November 18, 1994        HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY PROCEEDINGS            Vol. XLII  No. 64

The House met at 9:00 a.m.

MR. SPEAKER (Dicks): Order, please!

Oral Questions

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

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, I have some questions for the Premier. Back in July, in fact, on July 9 1991, the Cabinet issued a directive identified as Minute-in-Council 106691 - I have a copy here if he wishes to see it - which concerns the financing of capital projects such as the construction of public buildings.

Now, according to that Minute, Cabinet authorized lease financing for capital projects: `Where it is available at an equivalent or lower cost than the Province's capital market cost.' I would like to ask the Premier, is he familiar with that Cabinet directive and is that still the policy of the government?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: I will take a look at the full Cabinet directive, Mr. Speaker, and provide an answer.

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

MR. SIMMS: Thank you.

Mr. Speaker, on a supplementary. I suspect when the Premier gets a chance to glance at the Minute it will probably come back to him. The second question, therefore, that I would like to ask the Premier is: Was this directive followed with regard to the lease financing arrangements for the health care centres at St. Lawrence, Port Saunders and Burgeo?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Let me answer his first question first. Whether or not this is the policy or it remained for how long the policy I can only determine by examining the records of Minutes since that time. Whether it applied to the health projects, I would have to ask the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board. He knows the answer. I could ask him to tell.


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Leader of the Opposition.

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, on a supplementary. The Premier will recall, no doubt, that the tenders for these three health care centres were awarded on 13 November 1991 which, in fact, was only four months after Cabinet had set the conditions on leased financing arrangements.

Now, I ask the Premier: Did any of the lease arrangements proposed by the companies that tendered on these health care centres meet that criteria? In other words, were any of the leasing arrangements tendered at an equivalent or lower cost than the Province's capital market cost?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, I know the method of the Opposition to laugh as though it is intelligent comment on an issue. I can only say to the Leader of the Opposition that my recollection is at that time a committee of Cabinet dealt with all of these issues, of which the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board, I believe, was a member, or the chairman - I don't know which - a member, so I am quite happy to let the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board answer the question, because he knows the answer - I don't.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Leader of the Opposition.

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, this issue hasn't exactly been a low-key issue, so I would have expected the Premier to be a little bit more familiar with it, and have a better recollection of the situation. The fact of the matter is, Mr. Speaker, that the leasing arrangements, in our view, weren't followed, and I will tell the Premier why.

The former Deputy Minister of Works, Services and Transportation wrote to the then acting minister on 13 November - that very day - 1991, and in that letter, a copy of which I have for the Premier, if somebody would be kind enough to pass it over to him, she told the minister: `I have been advised consistently by the Department of Finance that the financing costs of these proposals are higher than the Province's borrowing rate, in other words, not equal to nor lower as per the Cabinet order.

I would like to ask the Premier, as the leader of the government: Why did the government then proceed to award tenders for these health care centres when the financing arrangements proposed, in fact, by all bidders violated Cabinet's own directive?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board.

MR. BAKER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

First of all, there are a number of comments that need to be made. There were a couple of different Cabinet directives related to that, and they all had the same thing in common, that was, any arrangement that was made must be something that was similar to, or better than what the Province itself could do in terms of financing. They all had the same thing in common. The arrangement that was ultimately reached, indeed met all the conditions of these Minutes in Council, every single condition. In terms of the letter to which the hon. gentleman refers, and I know that is what added some confusion here, the deputy minister at the time was simply mistaken in that comment, but the advice from the Department of Finance was not that all of these proposals were higher than what the Province could do.

The Province, over the past number of years in terms of its long-term borrowing, has had to pay anywhere from I guess ninety-five to 135 basis points above the Bank of Canada long-term rate, and that varies depending upon the circumstances. The deal that we ultimately reached was 100 basis points above the long-term Bank of Canada rate which was better than we could have done ourselves at that time, so our rate varies, sometimes it is as high as 135 basis points above the Bank of Canada long-term rate, so one of the proposals that was submitted did in fact fit, and the proof of the pudding is in the eating of course, the deal that was ultimately reached was better than the Province could have done at that point in time.


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Leader of the Opposition.

MR. SIMMS: Well, Mr. Speaker, on a supplementary, I wonder, would the minister proceed to tell us which one was found not to be breaking the Cabinet directive, which proposal is he talking about?

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

MR. BAKER: As the hon. gentleman knows, the deal was done between government and a group called Trans City Holdings.

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

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, the minister's answers fly in the face of other evidence that is available and he knows it, he is aware of it. The fact of the matter is that you accepted a financing arrangement for these centres that exceeded the government's cost of borrowing at the time. That is the reality and the minister won't be prepared to - so, Mr. Speaker, I want to get this on the record and accurately. Is the minister saying that the Province will not pay more to lease and purchase those facilities than it would have paid if government had borrowed the money and built the centres directly, no extra cost at all as a result of the deal they reached? No extra cost over the thirty-year life of the lease on those three properties? Is that what the minister is trying to convince us of here this morning?

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

MR. BAKER: The answer is yes, Mr. Speaker, and I can only tell the truth. In terms of the proposals -

MR. TOBIN: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I am having trouble hearing the minister who is to my immediate left.

MR. BAKER: In terms of the proposals the effective interest rates, and I will not name the companies but I will just read them out, were 11.35, 11.2, 11.375, 12.95, 11.174 and another one at 11.35. We ultimately did a deal at 9.41 per cent interest rate which at the time was better than we could have done ourselves.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

A supplementary, the hon. the Leader of the Opposition.

MR. SIMMS: I have just a couple of final short questions. Mr. Speaker, can the minister explain, because it was his deputy minister that wrote this letter, she did not just make a mistake on one occasion, her quote is, `I have been advised consistently by the Department of Finance, that the financing costs of these proposals are higher than the Province's borrowing rate.' Why would she be advised consistently of this fact by the Department of Finance?

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

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, the hon. gentleman himself has been in government and he must realize that human beings make mistakes and an error was made. An error was made and that can be easily proven. It is simply a matter of going back and checking and seeing what the Government of Newfoundland's borrowing rate was at the time and the hon. gentleman can do that. Go and check and see what the borrowing rate was at that point in time and if in fact the government's rate was lower than 100 basis points above the long term bond rate, a thirty year rate, the Bank of Canada rate, then he would be right but in fact our spread was greater than that.

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

MR. SIMMS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. We shall see as we probe this issue further. What I would like to ask the minister to do is table for us any correspondence or any memos that were put in place by his officials, back during that time when they assessed these proposals, where they said either that it was not consistent with the Cabinet directive, that it would cost more or where they told him in writing that it would not cost more. I would like him to table those documents if he would and tell us if he will table the documents.

Secondly, I would like to ask him: the Premier referred to a Cabinet committee, it was a Cabinet committee that dealt with this matter.

MS. VERGE: Was Tom Hickman on the committee?

MR. SIMMS: What I would like to know from the minister is, who were the other three ministers, who were the other three Cabinet ministers who sat on that committee with the minister? Either the Premier or the Minister of Finance could answer that question.

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

MR. BAKER: If I remember correctly, Mr. Speaker, it was the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation, the Minister of Justice, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology and myself.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Green Bay.

MR. HEWLETT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I have a question for the minister responsible for wildlife and I guess I am addressing this as the Member for Green Bay and also as the industry critic for the Opposition.

In my district I have a local company, Newfoundland Souvenir Manufacturing, run by Gerald and Daphne Foote of Beachside. They are in the business of making souvenirs from cured moose antler. That business came into being with much assistance from government. It was financed by ACOA based on assurances from the Wildlife Division of this provincial government that there is sufficient raw material for them to produce their product for the market.

The crafts division of this particular provincial government promotes the products and advertises them in its crafts magazine that they send around to fairs, etc., and actually went to work and got orders, even overseas, as far away as the United Kingdom for this particular company, Mr. Speaker. Having detailed such an intimate relationship between this company and government I ask the minister responsible for wildlife why his officials charged one of the principals, Mrs Foote, with having illegally obtained moose antler?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Natural Resources.

DR. GIBBONS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

This case is before the courts. It is a legal matter. The law was broken and it will be dealt with through the courts.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Green Bay.

MR. HEWLETT: It is good to know that the minister has already prejudged this matter. The fact of the matter is, as I pointed out, that this government actively fostered this company into being and supported the fact that moose antler was going through their shop for years without any particular permits, so I am asking the minister when he is going to act to put this company on a legal basis so that they can buy moose antler through regular channels without having to worry about being harassed by officials of your department?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Natural Resources.

DR. GIBBONS: Mr. Speaker, right now it is illegal to buy or to sell big game animal parts. It is illegal to buy or sell big game animal parts. It has always been and until the law is changed it will always be. I will give an example for this year. Our wildlife officers in the woods south of Gander Lake this year found three black bears, side by side, probably butchered because someone wanted some big game parts. This year in the woods of Central Newfoundland we found a huge bull moose with nothing gone except his antlers.

AN HON. MEMBER: Shame, shame!

DR. GIBBONS: We cannot have our big game animals destroyed because people may be out there buying and selling. Right now that is the law. We do not buy or sell. In the meantime, if people can get by legal means moose antlers or caribou antlers or other things by legal means, then this company can continue. In the meantime the situation is before the courts and the courts will decide the case.

MR. HEWLETT: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker?

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

Final supplementary, the hon. the Member for Green Bay.

MR. HEWLETT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Yes, moose antler can be obtained through legal means, through jumping through a whole bunch of bureaucratic hurdles which make it very impossible for anybody to be into a commercial business. Let me put my last question to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology. His department fostered, sponsored, breathed the breath of economic life into this particular company and helped it go, using so-called illegal moose antler for a better part of five years. I would like the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology, the one supporting small business in this Province, to say just what he thinks of this mess that this government has gotten these people into.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. FUREY: Mr. Speaker, the answer is quite straightforward. We promote business, we don't promote breaching the law.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. CAREEN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to address a question to the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation. Did he consult with the auto insurance industry before he decided to do away with mandatory inspections for private vehicles? Did you say to them, sir: Here is what we plan to do. Will insurance costs increase if we do it?

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


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

MR. CAREEN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Is the minister able or prepared to assure the people of this Province that auto insurance will not go up as a result of his decision?

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

MR. EFFORD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'm not going to prejudge what auto insurance companies will or will not do over the next year, but I can say this very clearly. In the Province of Ontario, with a population of between six -


MR. EFFORD: In the province of....

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

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

MR. CAREEN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Yesterday, Mr. John Nolan of the Insurance Bureau of Canada said in a media interview that insurance rates will go up as a result of the minister's decision, because there will be more accidents in this Province. He said there will be more unfit vehicles on the road, leading to more accidents, that will lead to more claims, that will lead to an increase in premiums. He denies everything the minister said, and condemned it.

Will the minister postpone his changes until he and the people of this Province are fully informed of the impact it may have on safety and on insurance costs?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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


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

MR. MANNING: Mr. Speaker, my questions today are for the Minister of Tourism and Culture.

Now that the government has finally selected a site for the construction of the Cabot 500 building, would the minister confirm to the House today that this long drawn out process, this foot dragging by government, has already cost the taxpayers of this Province in excess of $150,000; and would the minister table in the House the expenditures thus far?

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

MR. GRIMES: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I appreciate the question from the hon. member with respect to the issue.

It was only, I think, a day or so ago that along with my colleague, the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation, we announced publicly that we have now secured a new site for the proposed Caboto Centre, the legacy building that we are trying to put in place to commemorate 500 years of the discovery of our Province by the white European community and so on.

With respect to work that had been done before in a previous selection process, all of these things, as hon. members opposite know and everybody understands, do require the expenditures of some money for planning, consulting, some design work, and those types of things, and the initial budget that was approved for that for this year, because we knew we were going to undertake these endeavours, was a budget originally of $150,000. I will check and see exactly how much of that money has been expended, and for what purposes, and I will undertake to do that.

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

MR. MANNING: Mr. Speaker, now that the site has been selected, when does the minister foresee the letting of tenders for the removal of the old buildings in the Fort Townshend site, and the letting of tenders for the design of the new building? Will there be swift action by this minister to ensure that the tendering documents are prepared as quickly as possible so that work can soon begin?

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

MR. GRIMES: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The process is under way even as we speak today in terms of now looking at exactly how we can make this triple complex fit into the block of land on which it will be hopefully located. The decisions will be made by government once we have a report back from our consultants and our design group in terms of how to best utilize that piece of land, and what kind of structure can be placed there.

It is not determined yet, and we don't know at this point in time, how many of the existing buildings will have to be removed - one, some or all of them. That work is ongoing, and as soon as we are in a position to do that, there is another step, I might advise all hon. members, that we have to go through yet before we go to tender and so on, and that is for us to have the final discussion with the federal government as to the arrangements for funding for this particular complex in terms of... The range that has been in the public domain before is that the whole thing would cost somewhere in the range of $40 million, hopefully less, and that it certainly wouldn't be inordinate to budget $150,000 or maybe even more than that, to do some careful planning to make sure that we get the best value for the money that is going to be spent.

MR. SPEAKER: A final supplementary, the hon. the Member for St. Mary's - The Capes.

MR. MANNING: Mr. Speaker, the 1997 celebrations are drawing nearer each day. This government has been lax in their efforts to secure a site for this facility so that Newfoundland and Labrador can take full advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity.

I am sure that the construction industry in this Province could have this building ready for 1997 if the government has its house in order with regard to design and engineering.

Recent reports have shown that government does not believe that the facility will be ready for 1997. Mr. Speaker, where there is a will there is a way. I ask the minister today, are you serious about this, sir, and if you are will you pull out all the stops to assure the completion of this facility, by 1997, so this Province can take full advantage of this opportunity?

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

MR. GRIMES: Thank you. Mr. Speaker, I think the inference should be put in context so that we do not try to play any political games with this issue either in terms of rushing or blaming us for dragging our heels or those kinds of things. Maybe if I could answer the question by referencing in this fashion that we are trying to put in place a structure that will be a lasting legacy for the next hundreds and hundreds of years that we are here to celebrate the fact that we have already had 500 established years of history.

The objective is clear, we would like to have the structure completed and ready for 1997 to commemorate that 500th year but it is not being built just for that 500th year in 1997. It will serve the needs of the archives, the gallery and the museum for years and years into the future. We will do the best possible job if everything can come in place and it can be built, finalized and opened by 1997, some time in 1997, that would certainly be the preferred course, that is what all of our energies to date have gone into trying to accomplish. If for some good reason 1997 is not an attainable date and the structure itself is not completed and not opened until 1998, 1999 or the Year 2000, then I think Newfoundlanders and Labradorians would still be well served at any point in time that we can secure this new structure to put those three facilities together for the future. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. HODDER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

My question is to the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs. The question relates to the Canada-Newfoundland Infrastructure Program for 1995-96 and what is asked, primarily as a district question, certainly has relevance to all municipalities throughout the Province. Can the minister advise the House as to the date of the announcement of the approved projects for municipal applications submitted under the second phase of the Canada-Newfoundland Infrastructure Program and include the total value of all the applications and also the amount of money which is available for the second phase?

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

MR. REID: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The total number of applications to date run almost upwards to $200 million. The amount left in the program is less than $20 million. I have to say less than $20 million because I am not sure if it is $10, $20 or $15 million. The problem with that is that a number of projects are coming in way over budget. I guess with the amount of work that was offered to the construction industry in the Province this year and the engineering firms, because of the amount of work that is out there, prices tend to creep up and that is true we found all across Canada.

The second phase and when it will be announced, Mr. Speaker, I have a personal problem in my department insofar as last year, if you remember, we allowed a number of communities in the Province - I think it was something around 114 - to make arrangements with us to pay down their debt to the Newfoundland and Labrador Financial Corporation. Out of the 114, I believe there were something like 108 that actually made agreements with us. As of today, out of that 108, a large number of that group have not fulfilled that commitment to the Province in taking care of last years NLFC debt. Therefore, it is the wishes of my department - and I have also consulted our federal counterparts on this - that we will hold off until the end of this year, December 31, so that we will have a better idea of what communities in the Province would qualify for the second round.

I am going to stick to that because basically there has been commitments made to the government and to my department that that would be taken care of. We still have a month-and-a-half left in the year and I know there are going to be communities rushing when they hear this, to pay this debt. Hopefully we can get all those commitments honoured and then at that particular point in time, we will make a decision. So you are looking at early 1995 before the second round will be announced.

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

MR. HODDER: Mr. Speaker, I would ask the minister if he would remember comments made at the time of the awarding or the decisions on Phase I to the effect that he assured those municipalities who did not receive their fair capita allocations in Phase I - for example, the Cities of Mount Pearl and St. John's - that they would be treated more equitably in Phase II. I know the minister made similar comments to other municipalities. I'm wondering if the minister can comment on, and give assurances to these municipalities, which did not receive their fair per capita allocations of phase I, that they will be treated more equitably in phase II.

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

MR. REID: No, Mr. Speaker, I can't make that commitment, The projects that are applied for will be run through the system of environment and health and all the other criteria that we use. In the end, when we sit down and make a decision on where we are going to put money in the Province, it will be based on need. I can't say that I'm going to give Mount Pearl or St. John's or anywhere else in the Province preference. I don't think that any of the larger communities demand any more than any of the smaller communities, but I will admit to you that there were areas of the Province that based on population probably got less money. But the criteria of the old program were certainly not based on population.

The hon. member knows full well that there are communities around this Province that don't have a drop of decent drinking water. What is more important to the hon. member or to me? I would rather see a decent drinking system, water system, or sewerage system put into rural Newfoundland before I would go and spend money on who knows what in other rural or urban areas of the Province. I think the hon. member understands that. He was born in a rural district, he understands that. I can appreciate the fact that he is trying to get those few extra dollars for his district, Mount Pearl, and we all I suppose ultimately try to do the best for our own districts. Thank you.

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

MR. HODDER: Mr. Speaker, I'm merely repeating the commitments that the minister made to those member municipalities when he said that he would undertake to treat these municipalities more fairly in the second phase of the federal-provincial-municipal infrastructure program.

Given the fact that we have between $12 million and $20 million left - I'm led to understand it is nearer to $12 million than it is to $20 - therefore I want to ask the minister: Will he undertake a commitment to further increase the provincial capital works program so that next year we will have a return to the municipal capital works program the level of funding that we had previously? I say that meaning the provincial share of the capital works program for municipalities. Only $12 million left, that is not very much.

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

MR. REID: Mr. Speaker, let me say that there was $147 million announced last year through the infrastructure program which was basically made up of three components. We like to refer to it as $150 million because we round it off at $50 million evenly.


MR. REID: What did I say? Out of the $150 million program, Mr. Speaker, as I'm sure that my hon. colleagues on the other side understand, the provincial government will be, it looks right now, responsible for up to $100 million of that $150 million. A large number of communities in the Province cannot afford to pay their share towards this, so the Province is picking up, over a two-year period, of approximately, could be up to as much as $100 million. Which basically means, if you divide that both ways, it is $50 million a year. A capital works program of $50 million a year is not too bad when you consider that it wasn't until 1989 that the capital works program almost doubled. In 1988 it was $25 million. This government moved it up to $56 million in just that one year and have been going up ever since.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. REID: I will say to the hon. member that we are not in a position yet, and we won't be in a position until we start the budgetary process in my department, and I guess overall in government, to discuss whether or not this government will put, on top of the $50 million we have to put next year into that program, more money for capital construction. When that time comes I'm certainly sure someone around the table, be it me or some other minister, will discuss that option. Until we get into the budgetary process I can't make that comment and I can't make that commitment to the hon. member. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

Question period has expired.

On behalf of hon. members I would like to welcome to the House sixteen students from Academy Canada on Kenmount Road, accompanied by their instructor, Mr. Kerry Olinskie.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

Presenting Reports by

Standing and Special Committees

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

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, I have here the official or final report of the 1993 Electoral Boundaries Commission dated June 1994, and I rise to table it in the House in conformity with the requirements of the legislation. I have only one copy - of course, the report was made public shortly after it was received, every member of the House has been provided with a copy and copies have been made available to the press and to anybody who wants it; so I rise simply to conform with the legislation.

May I have just a moment to say what has happened with the report because I know members are interested. Members will recall that the report recommended a House of forty-four seats and then went on to make suggestions which the Commission said they would recommend were it not for the terms of the legislation; there was a fourth seat for Labrador and a number of other changes in Grand Falls and the Humber Valley area and a several other areas throughout the Province.

The government have instructed Mr. David Jones, who was a lawyer in the Civil Division in the Justice Department and was counsel to the Commission, seconded at the Commission's request, to take the Commission's recommendations and work towards implementing and to see what could be done to implement their recommendations. Mr. Jones, yesterday, briefed the members who sit on this side, and I have offered and the offer has been accepted, to ask Mr. Jones at some time convenient to my friends opposite, to provide the same briefing to them.

The government have taken no decision as to what form a bill should take but we believe it is in the best interest of all concerned to share the information with the members of the House so that members can have that as part of the decision-making process. That is where the matter stands, but I officially table the report in accordance with the legislation.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: The model that Mr. Jones has developed to implement this requires forty-eight seats.

MR. TOBIN: How many did the Commission recommend?

MR. ROBERTS: The Commission recommended forty-four plus one for Labrador.


MR. ROBERTS: Yes. And then, if you get into, for example, trying to deal with the situation on the Burin Peninsula where you had two quite large seats, to put another seat down there - you know, I am not going to try to describe what is in this model, he will come and speak for himself, but we did find that forty-eight seats is the fairest and most effective way to do it.

MS. VERGE: You botched this the way you (inaudible) in the House.

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, the hon. lady, the Member for Humber East is shrill and loud -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. ROBERTS: - but that doesn't make her right, or intelligent.

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

We are presenting reports.

MR. ROBERTS: Now, Mr. Speaker, I am trying to treat this very seriously. If the hon. lady wants to try to take the House into some sort of bear pit, she is -

MS. VERGE: (Inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: Here she goes again now, shrill and shrew-like.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I believe the hon. the Government House Leader is presenting a report.

MR. ROBERTS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Orders of the Day. The hon. the Government House Leader.

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, much to the disappointment of members opposite, I would like to carry on with Bill 30 and the amendments to the Highway Traffic Act.

PREMIER WELLS: Did he call Answers to Questions?

MR. ROBERTS: Oh yes, I am sorry, he has called Answers to Questions.

May we have leave to revert?

MR. SPEAKER: Do we have leave to revert to Answers to Question for which Notice has been Given?



PREMIER WELLS: Pandemonium! I didn't hear Your Honour call for Answers to Questions.

Yesterday, Your Honour - I have forgotten who it was - a member opposite, the Member for Bonavista South, I believe it was, asked me if I would enquire into the matter of the dismissal of Mr. Mallenby and instead, dismiss the Minister of Social Services, and I undertook with the House to enquire into the matter and advise the House.

I have met with the deputy minister and reviewed the record. I have not reviewed in detail all of the correspondence, it was too voluminous, but I did indeed review a summary of it, and what I found is, in the brief period of Mr. Mallenby's employment - and I have forgotten when he was employed, I believe sometime in 1992 or early 1993. I will just give a quick summary; these are notes that I have made from what I saw in the file.

Prior to 23 September 1993 there were numerous incidents and discussions relating to the performance of duties or relationships with staff. On 23 September 1993 co-workers formally wrote and complained of negligence, with a recommendation for suspension. On 20 October 1993 there was a formal letter of reprimand to Mr. Mallenby. On 5 November 1993 there was a letter from the supervisor of Mr. Mallenby containing a request for Mr. Mallenby's termination. On 26 September 1993 there was a meeting with Mr. Mallenby and an agreement with him to extend his probationary period for a further three months to give him an opportunity to correct the defects that his supervisors were aware of in the performance of his duties, and that agreement was entered into with Mr. Mallenby.

By 10 March 1994 there had been no problems whatsoever in the intervening three months. There is nothing in the file to indicate any complaints or any basis for problems, so Mr. Mallenby's appointment was confirmed. That, it appears, was a mistake but the real mistake was probably back in November. Immediately after the confirmation deterioration set in again and there are numerous incidents, numerous incidents, recorded in the file.

On 13 April 1994 there was another letter of reprimand and after 13 April there were continuing complaints of negligence. On 27 April 1994 there was a formal letter to the supervisor complaining about the negligent performance by Mr. Mallenby of his duties. On 22 July, 1994 the director and the assistant deputy minister responsible reviewed the matter entirely and came to the conclusion that they had no alternative but to suspend Mr. Mallenby. That suspension went into effect and I believe he has been subsequently terminated.

My review of the file has been sufficient, not absolutely thorough, but it has been sufficient to -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

PREMIER WELLS: If the member would just wait a minute.

My review of the file has been sufficient to satisfy me that if there was an error on the part of the senior civil service in the department, their error was in not terminating Mr. Mallenby back in the Fall of 1993 when it ought really to have been clear that he was not a suitable employee to carry out that task, however, they gave him another opportunity and gave him the benefit of the doubt.

Now, the member's specific complaint, and the basis for the request for the termination of the minister's appointment, as I understand it, was that the minister made certain statements about the reason for the termination of Mr. Mallenby. I can only say that in circumstances where Mr. Mallenby has written a formal letter and send copies of it to all of the media, to every member of the Opposition, or at least to the Leader of the Opposition, he can hardly expect that a minister will not stand and defend the reason for the termination and make the matter public.

It was Mr. Mallenby who made this entire matter public. My own assessment of it, and I will say no more than this, is that the minister takes full responsibility, as she ought to, for the performance of the entire staff of the department, and she has done that, but my full examination of the entire matter indicates that I should give the minister a medal instead of her termination.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

Orders of the Day

MR. ROBERTS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Order 13 which is Bill No. 30, the amendment to the Highway Traffic Act, Sir.

MR. SPEAKER: We will continue with second reading of Bill No. 30.

The hon. the Leader of the Opposition.

MR. SIMMS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, I just want to have a few words on this particular piece of legislation. I had occasion to hear reports of the minister's approach in this issue, which, because the Opposition are asking some questions on the matter, has been to suggest somehow that the Opposition supports drunk driving.

AN HON. MEMBER: Drinking and driving.

MR. SIMMS: Drinking and driving. Well, that is untrue, and he knows it is untrue, and he should not use that kind of an argument because that is false and misleading. The reality is, what we are trying to do is get the minister to provide some answers to some concerns and questions that have been raised legitimately by certain groups and individuals.

Now, I don't know if the minister is aware or not, but we certainly recognize, all the members on the Opposition side certainly recognize, that drinking and driving, certainly drunk driving, results in a needless waste of life. We agree with that. We support that, and we support any effort by any government, and government policy, that could make a positive impact in this area, and any effort to curb drunk driving. We support that strongly. So for the minister to call Open Line shows, or to talk somehow in public and suggest the Opposition supports drunk driving, or drinking and driving, that is crazy. Nobody believes it, and my advice to him is to try to stay away from that kind of nonsense and rhetoric, and maybe try to stick to the issues.

Mr. Speaker, I don't know if the minister has had an opportunity to see one of the reports that was put together by the hospitality -

AN HON. MEMBER: Lounge owners.

MR. SIMMS: Well, Hospitality Newfoundland more precisely, I believe, which is more than lounge owners. These are people in the hospitality industry.

We had a chance to be briefed by them as well, as a caucus, and to hear what their concerns are and what their issues are. They made it very clear they support efforts to curb drunk driving and so on, but as you read through the report there is reason enough to ask the minister questions, because the studies that are in that report from all over the place - York University. Just to mention some, let me just try to remember, if I can. I noted some of them.

MR. EFFORD: Surely, you're not supporting drinking and driving.

MR. SIMMS: No, we don't support drinking and driving, so you can forget that. That is the only argument the minister has been flicking out, so I said to him earlier: `Get off that nonsense. It is silly. Nobody believes you when you say that. I mean, who is foolish enough to stand up and say they support drinking and driving? Why don't you respond to the substance of the issue?' The reason he doesn't respond is because he is not very well briefed on this matter. That has become obvious more and more every day.

The Traffic Injury Research Foundation in Ottawa is one group that has done it.

AN HON. MEMBER: What did they say?

MR. SIMMS: Well, he knows what they said because he told me he read the report. I will tell him what they said. They all say the same thing. I will tell him what it is in conclusion afterwards.

Dr. Avis, the Province's chief pathologist, you know what he says because you said you have the report there. He also points out the situation in Newfoundland, which the minister carefully brushed over and tried to give a wrong impression of, the statistics and the report and the comments of Dr. Avis. I will get to that, too, in a moment.

Mr. Speaker, in other jurisdictions, the minister knows, there have been studies done, including one done by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. In the Scandinavian countries, he knows, there have been studies done, in Sweden specifically, in Maine and Minnesota in the United States. He knows the comments from the founder of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. He knows what she said. He knows the comments of the communications executive and former president of MADD in Canada, Mothers Against Drunk Driving. All of these people, the director of the Centre for Research in Crime and Justice at New York University, all of these people are saying the same thing. They are saying that the lower BAC, blood alcohol content, is not going to be effective in saving lives. That is the point that all of these people are making.

Now, surely, all of these people who are involved in the issue in one way or another, the Mothers Against Drunk Driving, traffic injury foundations, people who have extreme concerns about the useless loss of life as a result of drunk driving, have all said the same thing, and that is that you have limited resources to begin with, and if you start stretching those resources to try to go after the people with the lower blood alcohol content rating, then the problem is, you are not really attacking those who should have the larger enforcement, more enforcement. You are stretching out your enforcement capabilities. This is what all of these people and all of these studies are saying.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, in St. John's, Dr. Avis, the Province's deputy chief pathologist and an assistant professor of forensic pathology at Memorial, said in Newfoundland and Labrador there were in 1993 a total of eighteen deaths resulting from single motor vehicle accidents. Twenty-seven per cent, just over a quarter of those, who were involved in fatal crashes had been drinking, but 100 per cent of those registered blood alcohol content levels above .15 per cent. One hundred per cent of those who were drinking in those fatal accidents, every single one of them was beyond .15 per cent.

Mr. Speaker, the only real point I want to make this morning to the minister - and it appears he is not prepared to listen in any event. It appears as if the minister has made his mind up on it and he is not going to listen to anybody, and therein lies one of the problems. Once again, the government -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SIMMS: It is very difficult, Mr. Speaker, to -

MR. W. MATTHEWS: The minister is not even paying attention to you now.

MR. WINDSOR: Order, Mr. Speaker, order. This is disgraceful. The minister is supposed to be listening to the debate on this bill.

MR. EFFORD: I apologize (inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: So you should.

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, therein lies one of the problems with this particular piece of legislation. The point I was trying to make to the minister - it is very difficult to make it when he is turning his back and not even listening. But the point is, there are a number of people who feel there was little consultation on the issue.

MR. EFFORD: That is not correct.

MR. SIMMS: The minister can tell us that when he stands to close the debate on second reading. There was certainly no consultation with this particular industry group, the Hospitality Association of Newfoundland and Labrador. There was no consultation with them, absolutely none. The first they heard about it was when he announced it, Mr. Speaker, so, to suggest there has been lots of consultation - perhaps the minister can tell us with whom he consulted, when he consulted with them, and give us a list when he closes the debate. We will see. We will make our own judgement if there has been lots of consultation. My suspicion is he will avoid that topic totally when he closes the debate. I can almost guarantee it by the smile on his face.

I say to the minister, I plead with the minister, to pay attention to some of the issues that have been raised. Never mind the rhetoric and getting on, saying the Opposition supports drunk driving and all that nonsense. That doesn't wash. People don't buy that anymore. That is foolishness, it is absolute foolishness. The concerns expressed in all of these studies by people who have concerns - Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the traffic injury research institute - all these groups have done research into it and their suggestion is that the problem is your resources will be stretched to the limit and it will not be effective in saving lives. The best example is one that Dr. Avis himself, the pathologist, gave, which you read in the report.

Of the eighteen accidents in 1993 in Newfoundland and Labrador a quarter of them, 27 per cent, involved people who were drinking and drunk. Twenty-seven per cent of those eighteen accidents. Fully 100 per cent - every single one of those - were found to have a BAC of .15 per cent.

MR. EFFORD: (Inaudible).

MR. SIMMS: Well, it has a lot to do with it. Do you see, Mr. Speaker? There is the problem. The minister isn't listening. He says he got this report, he didn't read it - obviously he didn't read it. He couldn't have read it. If he read it then he would understand what these people are trying to say, that you are going to be stretching your resources to the limit to attack and to go after those who won't - it won't have any effect on saving lives, according to these people who have done studies.

MR. EFFORD: That's ridiculous!

MR. SIMMS: The minister can say it is ridiculous. We are not necessarily debating with him whether he thinks it is ridiculous or not, what we are trying to do is pass on some concerns that we have heard and I am sure he has heard. I am going to be interested in hearing him close the debate because I want to know - I would like to see a list of all of those individuals and groups that he, the minister, consulted with, I would like to hear that. His assistant up there in the gallery - who is there ready to run and get that information for him - will run now and get that information, a list of all the groups and individuals that he, the minister, consulted with on this issue.

The only point I want to make to the minister is not that we support drinking and driving, that is nonsense. What we support is the right of people to have some input into legislation that will affect their lives, there is no question about that and more interestingly, that maybe the government may be making to fast of a move or making a mistake because you are taking your enforcement away from the real problem. The real problem being those like the example of 1993, in excess of .15 per cent, taking all your resources away from that, unless you are going to put in a lot more enforcement people. Well maybe you can tell us that when you close the debate but I personally think some of these concerns that have been raised are worth at least listening to and the best way for that to occur, I would suggest to the minister and to the Premier, the best way that this could occur - and there is no reason for this to be rushed today or by December, by January, there is no reason for that to occur unless they don't want any information to get out or they don't want people to have a say or anything else, Mr. Speaker, or unless this is an attempt to simply get more revenue.

Maybe the minister can tell us, how much revenue does he anticipate as a result of this move by the government? I am sure that is in his Cabinet paper, perhaps he could tell us. We would like to hear the amount of money projected by his department - when he closes the debate - of revenue they anticipate as a result of this measure to the Province's coffers. I am sure that is in the Cabinet paper, I am sure. I have not seen it but I am sure.

MR. EFFORD: (Inaudible).

MR. SIMMS: Listen now, let the minister answer the questions when he gets up, don't just say that is not an issue, that is nonsense and they are in favour of drunk drivers - I mean that is foolishness. Let him offer some substantial commentary on this significant piece of legislation. It is important I say to the minister, it is important.

Let me ask him this in conclusion and then I am going to sit down and let others, who may wish to participate in the debate, have a few words. I would like to ask him this, can the minister tell us why he would not be prepared to recommend to the Premier, to the Government House Leader, that this piece of legislation after second reading - maybe he is prepared to do it, I don't know, he has not mentioned it - to send it to the appropriate committee, the legislative review committee that we have? I mean after all, this is the number one priority of the government in this session. The first bill that they wanted to raise and bring to the House, on the floor of the House after the House had been closed for nearly five months, six months or whatever it has been. This was the first order of business, the first priority. So it is important obviously, to the government, this piece of legislation. Why would the minister not recommend, why would the Premier not consider - as we have done on lots of other legislation that perhaps is not as significant, as a matter of fact, not as interesting, not as important.

MR. ROBERTS: (Inaudible).

MR. SIMMS: Yes. So did the committee deal with it?

MR. ROBERTS: (Inaudible).

MR. SIMMS: Who refers it to the committee? The Government House Leader. Listen Ed, I say to the minister, you know better than that. Now I mean that is an easy way to avoid it, try to find some argument. What is the problem with putting it to the Social Legislative Review Committee? What would be the problem with that?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SIMMS: They have not had it. They have not dealt with it. That is nonsense and he knows it.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SIMMS: Okay, perhaps he can tell us he is going to consider doing that. Oh you are not going to do that. You would not give it to the committee to look at it?

AN HON. MEMBER: It is not necessary.

MR. SIMMS: Not necessary? Well, Mr. Speaker, I mean all we can do is ask. All we can do is plead with the government to listen to the people, to listen to the public. You would have thought they would have learned their lesson long ago on the way they dealt with Hydro and numerous other issues, not listening to the public, not consulting. I mean most people did not hear this. It is alright to say the bill was tabled since June but there has not been any discussion, public discussion on this or consultation on this. That is the ministers list of those he consulted with, is it? It is a small note. Anyway, Mr. Speaker, I can see where the words are falling on deaf ears. The minister seems to be hell-bent and determined to proceed and that is it. He is not going to listen to any of the concerns. He is not going to give the public a chance to hear what this legislation is about.

Because that is one thing that the committee process does. It at least gives the public a better understanding of the government's reasoning for it, and a chance for the public to have some input into it. That is the reason I make the suggestion and ask the minister to consider it. If we had a sensible and reasonable Government House Leader, like the former Government House Leader, the Deputy Premier, I would almost be willing to bet $100 that the Member for Gander would be prepared to give this legislation to the review committee. Let the review committee have it for a couple of months. What is the big deal, what is the big rush, what is the urgent panic all of a sudden?

MR. EFFORD: (Inaudible) finished.

MR. SIMMS: Yes, I'm sure you will - when you are finished all you will have said - you will speak for thirty-five, forty minutes. All you will have said in the end is: I'm shocked the Opposition is in favour of drinking and driving. That is all you will hear, Mr. Speaker, by the time you cut through all of the nonsense and rhetoric. There will be no substance to his argument, no argument. There won't be. I'm willing to bet that is what you will cut out of it.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: If he doesn't support drinking and driving why doesn't he have zero tolerance?

MR. SIMMS: That is another good point, and that is made in the report, I think, or one of the jurisdictions. Sweden. Was it Sweden or was it Maine? One of the jurisdictions. The minister can tell me because he read it as well. One of them, they have a zero tolerance. But the research they've done in that jurisdiction where they have zero tolerance - the minister can correct me, I believe - is that the one where the research that was done showed there was in fact a 7 per cent increase in the drinking offenses that occurred. There was actually an increase when they went down to zero tolerance. I think that is the one that is in this - you don't - that is in the report. Or does he know?

MR. W. MATTHEWS: He hasn't read the report.

MR. SIMMS: I would say the minister probably hasn't even read it. Anyway, Mr. Speaker, I'm beating my head against the wall here obviously, because he just keeps shaking his head and he is not interested in listening or hearing. All he wants to do is get up and attack the Opposition and try to paint us as some people who supports drinking and driving.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SIMMS: Yes, yes. See? There you go, look.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Len, he hasn't been the same since he ran into the moose.

MR. SIMMS: No, I think something must has happened to the minister. Because this is a serious issue. He knows it.

MR. EFFORD: You got that right (inaudible).

MR. SIMMS: Yes. It is too bad the minister wasn't listening to me when I was making my points instead of turning around and yakking away to his colleagues. We had to get the Speaker to intervene to call the minister and the Premier to tell him to turn around and listen to what people were saying. That is his problem, he doesn't listen. You are not listening to what people are saying. That is your problem. Put it out to the committee, let the public have some say in it. Then come back as the great white knight, and the minister, you put it out to the people, the people had a say, everybody understands what you are trying to do now, and they are prepared to support it and move on. Boy, what a great minister you would be seen as. Instead of ramming it down their throats. Like the Hydro issue. Don't listen to anybody. Just move on. Because we know what is right and we are going to do it.

MR. EFFORD: (Inaudible).

MR. SIMMS: I will, but there are other colleagues on this side who want to have a few words. The minister shouldn't rush, needn't rush. Lots of time.

MR. EFFORD: (Inaudible).

MR. SIMMS: Relax. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, we've a lot of speakers on this side yet.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Baie Verte - White Bay.

MR. SHELLEY: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I thought that I would take the opportunity to rise and make a few comments on this particular piece of legislation. I take it very seriously, I say to the minister, and I think he should take it a little bit more seriously, and not use the same line back and forth across the House of Assembly insinuating that we support drinking and driving, or anybody in this Province supports drinking and driving. He knows that is political rhetoric. He knows that.

The whole truth to this is - when the minister first of all says that, makes that statement, in all sincerity he knows he is smiling on the other side of his face. Because the truth is, when he says we support drinking and driving, when he supports .05 in this legislation, isn't that drinking and driving? We could really say you support drinking and driving. But that is no more true, I saying that he supports drinking and driving, as he saying I support it.

The truth is, nobody supports drinking and driving, not even the people who drink and drive. Nobody supports drinking and driving. If you are going to say you don't support drinking and driving then I ask the minister to come full steam ahead on it and say zero tolerance to drinking and driving.

So with the rhetoric he throws back and forth about drinking and driving the minister is really contradicting himself. A lot of things in this bill, and the initial response that I had personally when I heard about the bill, was good. There are a lot of things in the bill. I say to the minister that I wholeheartedly support anything that you can do to stop the main problem of this drinking and driving. The word we have to add is drunkenness and driving. That is the connection.

Mr. Speaker, there are a few statistics here that we have. We have a lady here by the name of Candy Lightner, the founder of MAD, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, who does not think that lowering the BAC will save lives and that we should concentrate our resources against the high blood alcohol content driver. Now, to me that makes sense. Somewhere along the line I really believe, after listening to the minister, and I was so shocked when I heard the minister get up, because I was looking forward to the minister getting up and taking his full hour. As a matter of fact we would give him leave to go on and explain the bill.

Until I first saw it and looked at the stats my initial reaction was, yes, anything we can do to stop the dangerous people on our highways drinking and driving, I am all for it, and I support it. I say to the minister in all sincerity that I support it. I know people who personally have been affected by situations and accidents. The situation that happened last year with the car in the garden, and the different things that happen, affect people in the Province and they will never forget. I am sure their focus would be on the people involved in these situations who are actually the problem, Mr. Speaker.

Let us get to the root of the problem and let us not linger around outside of it. Let us go right into the heart of the problem. That is what I am asking the minister today when he thinks about this legislation. The Leader of the Opposition also brought up that maybe we should have a review committee where we could actually sit down and discuss it. When I heard the minister give his introduction on this legislation it was obvious to everybody in this hon. House, and I would say it was obvious to his own colleagues, that he did not have his homework done on this bill, that he did not give it a lot of thought. A lot of people who call in, or a lot of people who speak to you ask where he got the advice, who was giving him the advice. Was it the minister, who happened to talk to a very small group of people, who made a hasty decision here on a piece of very important legislation?

Now, the intent of the minister is right. He is going after anybody who drinks and drives and has a dangerous affect on society. That is the right intent of the legislation, but if he stops for a minute and lets people on all sides have their say he will be a minister that the people of this Province would applaud. They would jump up and say that the minister is going to listen to people in the Province. Just listen to them and then the minister will finally realize that he did make a hasty decision and he really never thought out the process.

Mr. Speaker, like I said, the initial response to this was good. I am glad to see that this government and this minister are going to take it upon themselves to correct a problem that affects so many people in this Province, and I am very serious when I say that, but the truth is what we are doing is corralling a group of people into a situation where there are not the prime source of the problem. If the minister has the gall and the guts to do it he should step back from this, and we all know him to be a reasonable man, step back from this and say: hold on now, let us have anther look at this.

It does not have to be Tories, it does not have to be the public, but maybe he should even listen to a few of his colleagues, I say to the minister. Just be reasonable about this and step back for a second. There were 8000. This is a statistic. It is a fact. We are not fabricating this, a word that is so proper over there, but we cannot use it on this side, we are fabricating this. There were 8000 people who were stopped with levels between .05 and .08.

Now, what is the real issue here? I look to the Minister of finance and Treasury Board, I wonder what is the real, real issue? Is it a money grab on these people who are between .05 and .08? I would ask the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board to respond when he has a chance, maybe he will stand up and give us his thoughts on this. Maybe somebody on the other side of this House will stand up and give us his real comments on this and maybe, just maybe, offer the minister a few suggestions, just a very few light suggestions I say to the minister. Any minister, any colleague of his, please stand and give us your input - because we are looking for an input from both sides and from the public.

I just wonder where is the real problem here. Is it the .05, the .08, the person who has a glass of wine or two with his dinner? Are those the ones they are bringing in? I say to the minister, you should have another serious, serious look and I ask the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board, what really is the crux of this if we are talking about the 8,000 people who were stopped last year from .05 to .08? There will be more people stopped, I say to the minister, and he can move around the words and put them however you want but the $100 for the reinstatement of license is a fine; it is dollars, dollars, dollars. I don't care what way you put it or what words you put it in, so it is a very serious issue that we are talking about, the safety of people, but minister are we actually looking at a dollar sign behind all of this? What is the real intent of this legislation?

Now if the minister is ready to bring in legislation that goes to the education, the training, the enforcement, those are the issues that I would like to look at so that stronger, tougher laws apply to the people who actually go on the road and have very high levels of alcohol in their blood when they take the wheel. Now that is the problem, Mr. Speaker, on which we should be focusing. I am sure if we went in to statistics a little bit further and saw the number of accidents - I do not have them in front of me, but I will just make a wild guess, maybe the minister will correct me on it but we are somewhere close to it.

Of the sixteen accidents that were in the city last year, that were related to drinking and driving, of the sixteen accidents, I am pretty sure that is the number that were in the city last year and the minister can confirm this when he speaks. All of those accidents that were alcohol related were above .15. Not one of them had to do with anything .05 to .08 so, really, what we are trying to do here, Mr. Speaker, is to ask the minister to use that golden phrase that is so often left out of government's policy, common sense.

Let us use our common sense and say: hold on a second now, are we really targeting the people who are the problem? Are we really going after the root of the problem, but, Mr. Speaker, somehow I doubt that. Yes, here it is, Mr. Speaker, in this report it says: In St. John's, in 1993, 27 per cent of drivers involved in single vehicle crashes had been drinking. Of these, 100 per cent of those tested registered blood alcohol levels of .15 and above. Not even one. Now, Mr. Speaker, what I would like to see is the full statistics for the Province again with that same situation. How many accidents in the Province are related to alcohol, fatalities, accidents and how many of those were between .05 and .08.

Mr. Speaker, what we seem to be doing here and what I implied to the minister is that, what we are doing is corralling a group of people with alcohol content, who have had a glass of wine at dinner or one drink and becoming .05 to .08, they are corralling them into a group of people who drink heavily and get behind the wheel of a car, and I say to the minister in all seriousness: why are you corralling those people? .08 is in the Criminal Code of Canada and we should be following it and if the minister believes that there should be no drinking at all and driving, then he should go for a zero tolerance. I say you are just as guilty as when you say to us we are supporting drinking and driving, you know that is hogwash. We all know this.

AN HON. MEMBER: What about zero tolerance?

MR. SHELLEY: If the minister, I said.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SHELLEY: If the minister who is bringing in this legislation believes what he keeps saying, that you support drinking and driving and he looks across this House of Assembly and says to us we support drinking and driving, if he believes that, if he is supporting .05, he is supporting drinking and driving. Isn't that correct or are we missing something on our mathematics?

AN HON. MEMBER: You can't be half pregnant.

MR. SHELLEY: No, Mr. Speaker. The truth is the minister knows full well after stepping back and hearing some of the comments we on this side of the House had to give so that the minister would stop and think about it, is that he is really focusing on the wrong group of people.

His intent is good and I applaud him on that, and so does every Newfoundlander and Labradorian, but what he should be focusing on is the education and training, and the enforcement, and tougher laws, lobbying federally for tougher laws on drinking and driving, the people who cause deaths because of high alcohol content - high alcohol content - and that is where the difference comes in.

Mr. Speaker, the suggestion here that everyone on this side of the House and his colleagues should be giving to the minister is to say: Minister, just hold on for a second. Just step back for a second. Let's have a better, closer look at this. Let's get an open-ended discussion on it. Let's go to a review committee, and let's really listen to what people have to say.

I think the minister, if he sat back and instead of babbling across the floor, if he could not be too proud to fold his arms and say: Yes, maybe the public is right.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SHELLEY: I say to the Minister of Health, I have had calls, and I am willing to bet that the minister and other people have had calls on it.

We are not saying to change anything yet at this point. We are saying, let's put it out to the people and let them make some suggestions, I say to the minister, because I am all for your intent on this legislation. As I said in my initial response, we support a lot of things that are actually in the legislation, but the question has to be answered: Is there a dollar sign behind all of this, because if it is, it is the wrong approach. If that is really what is at the root of this legislation, then that is the wrong approach, I say to the minister, because when he tries to stand in the media of this Province and say we are going to get at drinking and driving, that is wonderful, but if there are dollar signs behind the real reason, then that is not so wonderful.

If you want to get at the real root of the problem, let's focus on the real problem, which is the drunken driver, the person who has a high alcohol content. Let's be serious about this. If the minister brings in that, and he wants this whole Province and everybody in this House of Assembly to help support him in lobbying the federal government in tougher rules for these particular people, and not the people between .05 and .08.

Mr. Speaker, I say to the minister, and I say to the minister, please - and I ask the minister to listen to the people who have some concerns about this.

MR. EFFORD: What people?

MR. SHELLEY: The people of Newfoundland and Labrador.

MR. EFFORD: (Inaudible) Tories.

MR. SHELLEY: The people of Newfoundland and Labrador. They may very well be Tories. As a matter of fact, most of them are probably Tories by now, even all those who were Liberals. It is hard to find any Liberals now, but still you should give them a few comments, too.

We want to keep a serious side to this, and I am going to be looking forward, I say to the minister, to the minister who missed out on a golden opportunity, in its first hour of this introduction, to stand up and really show us that he did his homework on this.

If he says he has some statistics, I have been trying to find some myself; I know everybody has. Even some of his own colleagues are trying to find some, trying to find some information which supports it, and I can tell you that if the minister, when he stands and has his time to do that, has statistics to back it up that .05 and .08, that group of people that he is about to focus on, if he can show us that is in fact true, that there have been fatalities and accidents -

MR. EFFORD: You are wasting valuable time (inaudible).

MR. SHELLEY: Well, at least I took the time. The minister didn't even bother to take the time, which bothers me a lot.

Mr. Speaker, I am looking forward to the minister standing up and giving us some facts, not emotion. We are talking about some facts, where he says that .05 and .08 yes, this is the problem. This is how many caused accidents last year. This is where we had fatalities. This is where the problem is. I can tell you that I would stand in this House of Assembly, if he can show me these facts, and support him wholeheartedly. We would applaud him on this side of the House.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SHELLEY: No, we are not opposed. Don't get the wrong idea, the minister keeps shouting across the floor about us opposing it. We are not. We are just saying to make sure. If we are going to do the job, let's do it right. I guess that is what we are trying to say. If we are going to crack down on drunken drivers, which we are adamantly against - and me, personally - I say to the minister, you have our wholehearted support and we would line up behind you to support it.

MR. EFFORD: (Inaudible).

MR. SHELLEY: Well, Mr. Speaker, we are all Newfoundlanders, and we all support the idea that drunken driving is a problem in this Province. I am not going to stoop to the minister's level here now and make a joke of this. We are very supportive of that type of thing - we all know that - but what I say to the minister is that if he can stand in this House of Assembly, when he gets the chance to conclude, and he keeps tapping his desk and talking about statistics - I mean, we have some here. We got them from all over.

MR. EFFORD: You have been up for twenty minutes and you haven't stated one yet.

MR. SHELLEY: Well, I will give it to you again. Maybe you didn't listen, so I will give it to you again, just one example. This is just one statistic, and this is a fact. I didn't write it up. It is a statistic.

MR. EFFORD: You didn't read it either.

MR. SHELLEY: Okay, I will read it for the minister for the second time here in the House of Assembly in the last twenty minutes: In St. John's in 1993 - that is just last year, I say to the minister - 27 per cent of drivers involved in single vehicle crashes had been drinking. Of these, 100 per cent of those tested registered blood alcohol levels of .15 or more.

Mr. Speaker, that is a statistic that is simple and straightforward. In other words, .05 to .08 had nothing to do with fatalities or accidents related to alcohol in this Province last year. It is simple.

Now, the minister keeps tapping his desk and saying, `I have the statistics'. I want the minister to stand in his place and say, if he can say this: I have these many people .05 to .08 who last year registered at that amount and they caused accidents in this Province. It is as simple as that. Just show me some people in that blood alcohol range who have been a problem on these highways.

I say to the minister that you missed the target. You missed the dartboard completely. You are not going to get a point at all. The minister missed the dartboard, Mr. Speaker. He tried for the bull's-eye on this and he missed, didn't get a point. He is wrongly focused.

We are ready to support anything in the legislation that is going to take away the problem, but we are not going to skate around it and involve people who are really not the problem, and that is the person who has a glass of wine with dinner, or one drink, and is the designated driver.

I think the minister has missed out on this one. I think what he did was make a hasty, emotional decision - I really do - and I am looking forward to the minister standing in his place and giving me some statistics so that I can think otherwise. If he does that, then power to him, but right now I don't see it.

Mr. Speaker, it is a simple suggestion that I put forward, as I take these few minutes, and that is for the minister to step back, keep the intent he has - I am all for that, and so is, I think, anybody in this House - but for him to take a second look and back out and bull forward again, and this time, hopefully he will hit the target.

I say to the minister, I look forward to his comments. I look forward to his statistics which support what he is really saying, because to date he has said nothing to convince me on that.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation. If he speaks now, he will close the debate.

MR. EFFORD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. EFFORD: Two sober people.

Mr. Speaker, I have been in this hon. House of Assembly since 1985, four years on the Opposition side, and since then, with the party governing the Province. I have heard I won't say thousands of speakers, but hundreds and hundreds of speakers, get up and speak about all kinds of legislation; and you can be critical of some, you can agree with some, and you have the opportunity to express your own opinion. And 99 per cent of the legislation that goes through the House deserves some criticism, and deserves some congratulatory words and some support - mostly support.

On the Opposition side, I had the opportunity many, many times to get up and, as the members opposite did for the past couple of days, talk about a piece of legislation, because we were the Opposition who then had the opportunity, and rightly so, to be able to criticize government, but I never, ever, in my wildest imagination - and that was the reason why the other day, in introducing this bill in the House, I didn't take a whole lot of time to do the introduction and go on into a lot of detail. Because never in my wildest imagination did I ever expect any MHA, any responsible individual sent here by the people of the Province, to stand in the House of Assembly and support drinking and driving.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. EFFORD: Never did I ever think that. I can honestly say that I got caught completely off guard. I kept a low-keyed introduction, I presented some of the facts. I said the reasons why we were doing it was to keep drinking and driving - drink if you wish. There is nobody in this Province going to object to anybody drinking. That is an individual's choice. Stay home and drink yourself silly, drink yourself into a stupor, drink twenty-four hours a day, drink seven days a week, 365 days a year, the point is, Mr. Speaker, you should not drink and drive.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. EFFORD: Now, Mr. Speaker, if I am going to present facts to the hon. members, as they have been doing for the last two days, they should listen, otherwise, they will be saying after I am finished presenting the facts to the House that I didn't say anything, because they are not listening. So listen to the facts that I am about to put before the House and then make up your minds. I have to make the point to the people of this Province, it is the first time since 1985 that I could sit in this House in total dismay and total shock and listen to people supporting people actually consuming alcohol and then driving their vehicles, endangering the lives of everybody, not only themselves but everybody else on the highway. I will not refer to that point anymore. The point is made quite clear to the people of the Province.

Now, let's get into some cold facts, some real facts. Let's address some of the issues put out by the members of the Opposition, some of the false information, the wrong information. All the information and all the facts that they presented to the House of Assembly were simply - no that information was put out by Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador, the lounge owners, a self interest group. Now, we obviously don't think that those individuals, who feel that they are going to have a loss of income, a loss of business, are going to present all the facts, the real facts about the problems with drinking and driving, the real facts which our law enforcement officers have on the highroads in stopping a drinking driver and using the breathalyser - and the 0.1 tolerance into a breathalyser versus the actual - what they can get - convict an individual in court. Not only that, it is a separate issue altogether.

The Criminal Code and the regulation we are bringing in now are two separate issues. There is a problem with people drinking and driving on the Criminal Code; there is a problem with the breathalyser; there is a problem with the fact that a law enforcement officer cannot charge someone who reads .08; there is a problem that people drinking and driving cause fatalities on the highway. That is another issue. We are stepping up the penalties and stepping up the fines to deal with the issue of drunk driving. The fact that the Opposition are saying that drinking and driving is not a problem is totally wrong. It is totally wrong and I will present the information and the facts to substantiate why the officials of the department have spent untold hours, weeks and months researching and gathering information and bringing in this piece of legislation which is going to make our highways safer to drive on.

First, I want to talk about, Mr. Speaker, the fact that these people have led us to believe that the Mothers Against Drunk Driving is against this piece of legislation. They read out an article that was taken out of a newspaper, I think it was the Globe and Mail and that is what they have been referring to, in saying Mothers Against Drunk Driving are against this piece of legislation. That is wrong. What the Mothers Against Drunk Driving said in that article is that this piece of legislation doesn't do anything to deal with the people who are drunk driving. They are correct, that is not the intent of this piece of legislation to deal with the people who are .10 or whatever, stupid drunk and driving their cars. That is the responsibility of the Criminal Code of Canada. This is a piece of provincial legislation that is to deal with the people on the road who have a .05 .06, .07 blood alcohol count in their system. That is what this piece of legislation is all about.

This is a letter faxed in, November 15, from John G. Bates, Founder and Director of Public Policy, Mothers Against Drunk Driving. This is what he says, Mr. Speaker:

"Following our recent telephone conversation, thank you for sending me the outline of Bill 30.

"On reading the proposed amendments it is clear that this initiative will be unique in this country.

"In fact, you are suggesting things which we have been advocating for years." Newfoundland is suggesting something that the Mothers Against Drunk Driving, a national group, has been suggesting for years. "A 24-hour suspension for `warn' on a roadside testing device, a $100 driver licence reinstatement" - not a fine, not a ticket, a "reinstatement fee, alcohol dependency screening are all features that put your Bill 30" - listen to this, Mr. Speaker - "that put your Bill 30 on the leading edge of the battle against impaired driving.

"We have known for years that an aggressive roadside sobriety spotcheck program is by far the most effective deterrent.

"This, combined with point of sale warning labels" - by the alcohol and beverage industry - "review of alcohol advertising policies, and implementation of server training is bound to have a positive effect on highway safety in your province."

That letter alone from Mothers Against Drunk Driving is sufficient for me as the minister of my department to support my department's officials in the research program which they've entailed and to bring this into the House of Assembly and to ask hon. members of this House of Assembly to pass this piece of legislation immediately. The Opposition members stood for the last two to three days, member after member, saying that they had information from Mothers Against Drunk Driving that was totally against this piece of legislation.

MR. SHELLEY: No we didn't.

MR. EFFORD: That is the message they've been putting out.

MR. SHELLEY: No we didn't! That is not true.

MR. EFFORD: The Leader of the Opposition said he wanted it to go out to public review. This piece of legislation was tabled in the Spring sitting of the House of Assembly. Three members from the Opposition are on that legislation review committee. They had full opportunity all summer while they were off on their vacations to do a total review of this if they had so chosen.

Here are the names of the committees and the people across this Province with whom there has been full consultation: The RCMP, in total support of this legislation; the RNC, in total support of this legislation; Alcohol and Drug Dependency Commission, in total support of this legislation; Newfoundland Safety Council, in total support of this legislation; Friends Against Drunk Driving, in total support of this legislation; Traffic Injury Research Foundation, in total support of this legislation; Council of Motor Transport Administrators of Canada, in total support of this piece of legislation; and full consultation by the people of the Department of Works, Services and Transportation.

For somebody who is being accused of not doing proper research, I say the Opposition should do more research themselves and get their facts straight before they stand in this House of Assembly and accuse people of not being responsible and bringing in the proper legislation.

Let me read something else to the hon. members who didn't do properly their research dealing with drunk driving offenders in Canada. This is a final report, July 1994. The Traffic Injury Research Foundation, Ottawa, Ontario, published by the authority of the Minister of National Health and Welfare. Let me read for you the last paragraph which talks again about the ability of Newfoundlanders to be on the leading edge of bringing in the right legislation:

`Newfoundland's proposed 24-hour roadside suspension program. Newfoundlanders propose a 24-hour roadside suspension for drivers found to have a blood alcohol content in excess of fifty milligrams. The proposed system has several features that make it unique from other roadside suspension laws in Canada.

`First, offenders will be required to pay $100 license reinstatement fees. Secondly, a record will be made up of all long-term suspensions and finally, the repeat offenders will be required to attend a brief education program. These aspects of the road-side suspension program provide enhanced deterrent and rehabilitative components not available anywhere else in Canada.

MS. VERGE: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

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

MS. VERGE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I note the minister has not answered the Opposition's questions about -


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MS. VERGE: - where he gets his authority for the $100 fine or the legal problems that I raised about the rights of people improperly and wrongly found to be above .05.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

That is certainly not a point of order.

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

MR. EFFORD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I have had the opportunity -


MR. EFFORD: If you want the answers I will give you the answers to as many questions as I possibly can in the time allotted to me.


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

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

MR. EFFORD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

If the hon. members want to hear the answers then they should listen. Here is an interesting article, Mr. Speaker, and the name of the magazine is Wine Spectator and I believe it is out of New York, in the United States. This article was done by a police officer in New York and has to do with drinking and driving, not as much drunk driving as it is an article here on drinking and driving, where the police, the RCMP officers, the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, the police enforcement officers across Canada and across the United States have a problem with, had to identify the problem of drinking and driving, and an impairment to the human mind that they cannot react to a certain situation because of a blood alcohol count of .05, .06, .07 and .08.

Do not tell me that any individual who has consumed two or three drinks of alcohol or whatever the amount, to bring them up to that level in as short period of time, is a responsible person to be behind the operation of a vehicle, the wheel of a vehicle and a detriment to the safety of our highways, to our children and to everybody else. Anybody who would say that I can drink or you can drink or she can drink X number of drinks and be responsible driving, Mr. Speaker, should be ashamed to be representing the people of this Province in this hon. House of Assembly. I drink myself, I am a social drinker, I like to drink but I have to be a responsible individual and know that when I drink I should not drive on our highways. That is the issue we are talking about here.

The idea of the lounge owners making the lobbying effort to the members opposite and for them to be listening to them and to say: well, why lounge owner, would you say that, that is going to hurt your business? Are we saying that if you go to a club, you take your wife or your friend or your spouse or whomever out to a meal in the evening, that the only way you can drink and get there is if you drive your vehicle? How silly. Nobody is saying that you cannot drink; go out to a restaurant or go out to a club and drink all you want, don't touch that vehicle. That is the issue here, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, I am going to read a short paragraph again and this is about a policeman - I will give you his name in a second. McGuire, from the United States and this is the paragraph: Each state has it's own legal definition of intoxication, and that is correct, so do the different provinces in Canada. On Long Island where McGuire spent ten years in a patrol car before becoming a police academy instructor, drunk means having a blood alcohol count of .10 per cent or more. A person with a blood alcohol count between .05 and .10 per cent is considered impaired, and that is the word that we have been using since we introduced and talked back and forth on this piece of legislation.

What the Opposition has been using is drunk driving and there is a difference between drunk driving according to the blood alcohol count and impaired driving. That is the issue that we are talking about here and we are trying to get the impaired drivers off the road that the police really do not have the authority to do under the regulations and the Criminal Code Act, because there is a tolerance because, as the opposition members pointed out very clearly, that .08 -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. Member for St. John's East, on a point of order.

MR. HARRIS: (Inaudible) the House as to the Criminal Code of Canada. There is an offence called impaired driving which the RCMP and the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary have the authority to enforce regardless of the blood alcohol content. Impaired driving is an offence against the Criminal Code of Canada.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

No point of order.

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

MR. EFFORD: Mr. Speaker, the hon. Member for St. John's East had full and ample time when he stood to his feet to make all the explanations that he wanted. If he wants to take up the time on points of order I'm quite satisfied to sit down and listen. If he wants the information that I am to present to this hon. House then I will do that. I have no problems with presenting all of the information dealing with all of the issues that the Opposition put forth, including the lonely man for St. John's East.

There are many points that we want to bring out here. I want to start first by talking about the Criminal Code of Canada, because the Opposition has made a lot to do about the Criminal Code of Canada, trying to tie it all in with that, I should be doing more to improve the Criminal Code's tolerances and not be dealing with the regulation that we are bringing in in Newfoundland. Some of the Opposition members said that the people who were charged under the twenty-four hour road suspension would be charged under the Criminal Code act, and that is not correct.

This is a regulation where you will lose your licence for a twenty-four hour suspension if you are caught with a .05 blood alcohol count. At the end of the day, the twenty-four hour period, you would have to go to the nearest office of Motor Registration and you would pay a $100 reinstatement fee. There is no record of a Criminal Code under this regulation.

MS. VERGE: Where is your authority (inaudible)?

MR. EFFORD: The ministerial authority gives me that right as a minister to impose the reinstatement fee. The hon. former Minister of Justice knew the answer to that before she asked it.

Secondly, Mr. Speaker, there is a standard between being sober and being criminal (inaudible) jurisdictions use as an administrative standard. That is very clear. That is what I have been pointing out, the difference in what we are talking about here in this piece of legislation. There is a difference between being sober and being criminal (inaudible) jurisdictions use that administrative standard. That is what I was talking about from the .05 and .06. When you get up to the .l0, .12, whatever, you are charged under the Criminal Code act. There is a standard between that that the law enforcement officers have not been able to take the impaired drinker and driver off the road. There is a change. This piece of legislation will deal with that.

The research conducted by, and it shows impairment of body functions -

MS. VERGE: (Inaudible) Criminal Code?

MR. EFFORD: Let me say this, Mr. Speaker. There has been a lot of research that has gone into this. The research conducted shows that the impairment of body functions starts at .03. There is a point of impairment of body functions.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) .03?

MR. EFFORD: There is a definite -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. EFFORD: Boys, how silly can you get.

AN HON. MEMBER: Well, (inaudible).

MR. EFFORD: Drinking coffee, eating rum and butter bars, is that what you are talking about? How silly. You see, Mr. Speaker, it is too bad that the general public of Newfoundland and Labrador don't hear the quips coming from across the floor. But again, they did, because back a year a half ago when they went to the polls they sure proved that they had heard them in the past. When they elected in this government in the future to be responsible they sure knew the reasons why they were doing it.

The Criminal Code level sets at .08 or .1 administrative standard set at .05.

AN HON. MEMBER: One-term member.

MR. EFFORD: One-term member, Mr. Speaker, there is no doubt about it.

The hon. Member for Humber East talked about the appeals process. Was there an appeals process in place so that an individual could, if they felt they were unjustly registered or monitored at the roadside suspension, yes, there is. If I were stopped this evening and it showed a `warn' and I argued and said that: I haven't had anything to drink, your machine is showing a `warn,' or I haven't had sufficient drink, I have the right to be taken to the police station. I have the right to be taken under better scrutiny, that I think is better scrutiny, and to have another police officer or another machine give me the right to take that. That is my right. You have the right to appeal right there. The police is not judge and jury.

They have a machine that is put into your mouth and you blow into it; it shows a warning. If you believe that machine is defective you have the right to take it further. You have the right for the appeal of that. The best thing to avoid it, the way to have the police not to be judge and jury, the way not to worry about the machine to be defective, is not to drink and drive. That is the solution which we are trying to accomplish. You haven't got to be brought to any of this, the so-called discrimination, the argument about the police being judge and jury. Do not drink and drive, then there will be no problem.

Mr. Speaker, let me talk about the arguments put forth by a number of members opposite about the fact - what does the blood alcohol content of people who have a blood alcohol count of .05, .06, actually do to people? Because I think that was one of the - the Member for Baie Verte - White Bay, I think he made that point. Using the reference that anybody who've caused accidents - the 27 per cent of accidents that were caused last year were caused by a blood alcohol count of 1.2 and on up. The drunker you were the greater risk of getting an accident.

AN HON. MEMBER: Point one five.

MR. EFFORD: Point one five. There is no question that those people are a major problem on our highways and we cannot do enough to get them off the highways. The more we are doing the more we will be required to do.

Let's talk about the blood alcohol count. The behaviour changes. Alcohol is a drug which impairs the ability to judge one's skills. Let me actually ask hon. members: How many individuals sitting in this House of Assembly have had the opportunity to be in the company of an individual who was drunk and try and convince them to get the keys away from them? Oh no, I can drive, I'm alright. They can't stand up, they can't sit up in the car, but they can drive. You try and convince that individual that he or she should not be driving a vehicle. They are 100 per cent right in their own mind and it is because of the alcohol blood count in their bodies and their inability to judge and to think rationally for that reason. It starts down.

AN HON. MEMBER: Not at .05.

MR. EFFORD: Yes, that is the point.

MR. SULLIVAN: (Inaudible) .05?

MR. EFFORD: That is what I'm getting to.

MR. SULLIVAN: (Inaudible).

MR. EFFORD: No, no. That is what I'm getting to. I understand. That is the point I'm making. Alcohol is a drug which impairs the ability to judge one's skills. Decisions to separate drinking and driving must be made sober. Administrative sanction of .05 helps makes the right decision. That is simple. All the research shows that at .05 you are impaired.

MR. SULLIVAN: Where is the research? Can you table a copy?

MR. EFFORD: You can have it all when I'm finished, you can have everything. Point zero five shows that there is an impairment of - the person's inability for a person to function soberly with .05. Therefore, if that is the case, any person driving a vehicle with a blood alcohol count of .05 doesn't have the ability to think rationally as would a sober person, doesn't have the ability to think and react at certain critical situations. You are coming up and all of a sudden a child runs across the road. You are supposed to hit the brakes and react quickly. A person with a blood alcohol count of point zero five, according to all the research, would not have the ability to react to a situation like that. Therefore you are a danger on the highway.

You don't need to be a doctor or lawyer to understand that. Common logic reaction. Are you going to tell me that if I go out tonight, as I said earlier in my remarks, and I sit down and I have a supper and I drink one or two glasses of wine or one or two drinks over a one hour period, one half-an-hour period, that I'm going to fail the .05? Nonsense. But if I go out and I drink three drinks or more in less than an hour, I will definitely fail. If I drink three drinks of alcohol in less than an hour I should not be driving a vehicle. That is the point that I'm making here.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. EFFORD: That is the point I'm making in this particular situation.

What are the unique aspects about this piece of legislation? One other point I should make about behaviour change. Behaviour changes when feedback is swift and certain. Swift or certain is when behaviour changes. Roadside suspension. I tell you one thing, Mr. Speaker, roadside suspension is swift and certain; make no mistake about that.

The unique aspect about this piece of legislation is clear - a simple, $100 reinstatement fee. They keep saying the government is going to make money off it. We will not collect one cent if people don't drink and drive, and if you choose to go out and drink and drive, you will pay the $100. If you go out two or three times or whatever, as often as you are foolish enough to drink and drive, and the law enforcement officers of this Province catch you, you will pay. It is your choice to break the law, but it is not right, and you will pay the penalty for it, and the penalty is to lose your licence for a twenty-four hour period, and if you are caught three times in the twenty-four month period, you will then lose it for two months. So we are not going to relax these regulations, and that is what we talk about, the accumulative suspensions, three times in a twenty-four month period.

I cannot imagine that the responsible drivers in this Province would condone drinking and driving and, secondly, anybody who would get caught the first time with .05, surely to goodness wouldn't be stupid enough to go out three times in two years and do it over and get caught, and lose their licence for two months. It is a deterrent to the individuals who are not responsible in the normal circumstances to keep people off the highways.

Mandatory education programs, if an individual gets involved and is not being responsible, and proves to the police enforcement of this Province that they are not responsible, they have lost their licence for a three month period, they will have to go through an assessment program - no doubt about it - and so they should.

Mr. Speaker, the lounge owners of this Province called other provinces a joke. They fear the comprehensive approach that we are taking here in Newfoundland and Labrador is going to hurt business. That is the reason why they referred, when we referred to other provinces having similar legislation, not as stated by Ottawa, not as stated by Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, a unique piece of legislation, what they have been trying to accomplish for years. They said what the other provinces were doing was a joke, because they thought we were doing exactly as the other provinces are doing, but the fear is - they know what we are doing is right. They know we are going to keep drunk drivers off the road, and they know full well, in their own hearts and minds, that the intent is not to hurt businesses, the intent is not to take anything away from anybody in regard to profits or loss. We don't even consider that in our research, in our talks and our bringing in this piece of legislation. Our main intent is the safety of our highways.

MR. DECKER: Watch the other provinces. They will bring this in within two years.

MR. EFFORD: Within two years or less. Already we have had calls. I had a call from Ontario yesterday to do an interview, from a news media in Ontario who already heard about this piece of legislation, who already congratulates us with the guts and with the determination to bring this forth because it is the right thing to do.

The other thing that the hon. Member for St. John's East talked about was the Constitution. Would it impact on the people's constitutional rights? It has been challenged - already it has been challenged - in a number of other provinces in Canada, unsuccessfully. Unsuccessfully has it been challenged, so that answers the hon. Member for St. John's East.

The Highway Traffic Act has simply enacted a reinstatement fee, and the Registrar of Motor Vehicles can suspend their driver's licence in the process and can survive Charter challenge any time, because it is a regulation brought in by the Director of Motor Registration of this Province to make sure that our highways are safe for the people - all people - safe for the children of this Province.

Mr. Speaker, I just had a note passed down. I don't have unlimited time in this?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. EFFORD: Oh, I thought I had unlimited time in closure.

Mr. Speaker, I have covered a number of the questions put forth by the hon. members across the floor.

AN HON. MEMBER: You missed one there.

MR. EFFORD: What was the one I missed?

AN HON. MEMBER: I would like to hear some statistics (Inaudible) .05 and .08 were involved in alcohol related accidents in this Province.

MR. EFFORD: In this Province?

First of all there has been no law that could be administered by the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary or anybody else to take anybody off the highway who has had an accident.


MR. EFFORD: Mr. Speaker, there are no statistics to tell us if the accidents were caused by somebody with a blood alcohol count of .03, .04, or .05, or any. I cannot give the hon. members that, but what I can give the hon. members is a very clear understanding, as I have already, that when an individual is at a blood alcohol count of .05 he or she is impaired. He or she cannot think as could a sober person. That is reasoning enough to keep those types of drivers off the highway.

This silliness where they have been saying that if a person takes his or her spouse out to a restaurant, or they drop in and have a drink of wine, or one or two beer, that they will be stopped and are going to lose their license. That is uttermost silliness. We are saying that if two drinks causes that and you reach .05 because of your body weight and body conditions, then that brings you to the level where you are not a sober individual and you are impaired behind the wheel of a car, then, Mr. Speaker, you will lose your license. It depends on the individual and the amount of alcohol consumed that they can be considered by the law enforcement officers for an impaired reaction.

Mr. Speaker, in conclusion, I ask all hon. members, sincerely, to understand the purpose of the department and the government bringing forth this piece of legislation. We have to deal with drinking and driving. We have to be responsible people in our Province. We, the elected people, on both sides of this House of Assembly have the responsibility to show leadership and be concerned about the safety of the people of our Province.

I cannot imagine anybody being against keeping drinking and driving off our highways. It is an individual's right to do as they wish when they want to socialize. It is an individual's right to be able to go out and do as they wish, but it is not an individual's right to do as they wish when they go out and socialize if they put others at risk. It is not their right to put themselves at risk, but especially not their right to put others at risk.

Mr. Speaker, it is common sense, it is logical, and it is the right thing to do. I am going to sit now, close debate, and ask hon. members opposite, and all members of this House of Assembly, to do what is right for highway safety and for all people of the Province, and to pass this piece of legislation so as not to allow people who are drinking to drive a vehicle on the highways in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

On motion, a bill, "An Act To Amend The Highway Traffic Act," read a second time, ordered referred to a Committee of the Whole House on tomorrow.

MR. SPEAKER: Before recognizing the hon. minister I want to take this opportunity to welcome to the House on behalf of all hon. members thirty-eight students from Bishop O'Neill school in Brigus, accompanied by their teachers, Mr. Steve Hurley and Mr. Ron Burke.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: As well, on behalf of all hon. members I would like to welcome to the gallery six Pathfinders from the Newfoundland Career Academy.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, it is always a pleasure to have visitors to the House, particularly from Brigus, which is in my hon. friend's district and where my grandfather, I am proud to say, was born and lived for part of his life. He made it his retirement home and died there, in fact.

Mr. Speaker, my friend the Member for Port de Grave has been doing so well, perhaps we could call Bill 16, Order No. 8, "An Act To Amend The Department Of Works, Services And Transportation Act".

I earlier suggested to my friends opposite, there is also on the Order Paper a second amendment to the Works, Services, and Transportation Act. It is Bill No. 31, Order 14. My suggestion would be that we combine the two and debate them together, but that is a matter that would take leave. Each is a fairly straightforward amendment. It is really a question whether we want two rounds of debate on amendments to the Works, Services And Transportation Act or whether we want one. It would require leave to do it.


MR. ROBERTS: Well, that's fine, Mr. Speaker. We will call Bill 16, we will deal with that, and then call Bill 30. It is Bill 16, Order No. 8.

Motion, second reading of a bill, "An Act To Amend The Department Of Works, Services And Transportation Act." (Bill No. 16)

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

MR. ROBERTS: Oh, there are two of them. (Inaudible) act twice. You had better find it before you speak on it.

MR. EFFORD: Yes, that is what I want to find.

I apologize, Mr. Speaker, because I have another bill. Bill 31 is An Act To Amend The Department Of Works, Services And Transportation Act (No. 2) also, Bill 31. I was caught off guard and didn't have Bill 16.

AN HON. MEMBER: That is not unusual.

AN HON. MEMBER: Very unusual.

MR. EFFORD: Very unusual.

Mr. Speaker, I don't suspect this is going to cause such a -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. EFFORD: Well, probably I won't be caught off guard on this one again.

Mr. Speaker, some time ago, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador brought in a new signage policy which gives the responsibility to myself as the minister of the department to change the transportation act in order to accommodate that new policy. What we are going to do here - and I should start off by talking about Pasadena, Corner Brook and the highway signage in that particular area. I tell you, it must be a unique part of Newfoundland and Labrador, in that we seem to get a lot of complaints about the highway signage out there.

I read in the paper and I heard on the news media a while ago that an individual got lost driving from Corner Brook to Pasadena because of the highway signage. When you are leaving Port aux Basques and you get on the highway there is a straight drive on the Trans-Canada from Port aux Basques coming into the Province on through the Codroy Valley, on up to Corner Brook, no turns, on into Pasadena.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I would have to question the sobriety, I would have to question the amount of whatever an individual had for supper or dinner an hour before that, in order for him to get lost. What I had to question most of all was that the fact that the hon. the Member for Humber East made an issue of it and supported the individuals who said they couldn't find their way from Corner Brook to Pasadena on through Little Rapids. I don't know if they went up over Marble Mountain, I don't know if they tried to do some skiing in the summertime or whatever.

I can assure you I took it upon myself to go out to Corner Brook - in fact, two of my officials. I also said at the time that anybody who could not find his way from Corner Brook to Pasadena should not have a driver's licence. I said that very clearly. Anybody, the word is "anybody." That was in The Evening Telegram, by the way. Anybody who could not find his way. I've driven to Ontario I would say five or six times in my lifetime, and going through the Province of Quebec I think was one of the more difficult provinces, because of the language barrier. My Port de Grave accent and people speaking french caused me not to be able to understand people's proper directions.

I must say, I honestly drove five times through Quebec, Montreal, and I never got lost. If, because of highway signage, somebody coming into this Province, or some resident of this Province, would not be able to find his or her way from Corner Brook to Pasadena, leaves me to wonder what they did have to drink. I can assure you it wasn't all pea soup.

As to the highway signage going into Corner Brook, there are five entrances, five signs, to Corner Brook that would show you coming east and going west. If you count them you will find five in total.


MR. EFFORD: Okay, well, I will concede four. Now, can we just imagine the great city of Corner Brook, I get in my vehicle, I drive out, there are four entrances to Corner Brook and I get lost. I cannot find my way into Corner Brook. There is something wrong, Mr. Speaker, not with the highway signage but with the individuals operating the vehicles. There is definitely something wrong. Now, how do we put the highway signage on our highways? We conform with a national highway policy. A national highway policy is what we conform with. Now, I know with our weather conditions, our seasons, our snow, our snowploughs, from time to time, some signs get knocked down. Every year officials from the department, in all regional departments, go out and look at the signs and make sure that any that have been destroyed, broken down by accident or by ploughs or whatever, over the winter months are replaced.

AN HON. MEMBER: What about fences?

MR. EFFORD: Yes, I would suspect there is a scattered fence knocked down, too.

AN HON. MEMBER: Do you put them back up?

MR. EFFORD: Not always.

AN HON. MEMBER: It depends on who you are, does it, and where you live?

MR. EFFORD: It depends who you are, where you live and what district you represent.

AN HON. MEMBER: Right on!

MR. EFFORD: Mr. Speaker, I got off-track there for a minute. The purpose of this legislation is to change the act to conform with the new legislation that government is bringing in, not only the new piece of legislation according to the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs and the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation, the responsibility they will have for highway signage, to permit the corridor so that the business community, the tourism community and the municipalities can have the proper signage on the highway.

Secondly, the other thing we have to do - we are four-laning our highways. That will give you a different width. We have to change the act to allow the different widths of our highways, because the distance and the width of a four-lane highway or the Trans-Canada is different from the trunk road which is different from the normal roads into our communities.

MR. SULLIVAN: (Inaudible). Now, that happened.

MR. EFFORD: I tell you, Mr. Speaker, I am not going to be responsible - I have a problem with being responsible for myself, let alone the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation. So I am only going to make sure that I am going to look at - when I go out to Marble Mountain I don't ski, I don't have that kind of nerve, but if I go driving through Corner Brook, I am going to take my own responsibility and concern, not the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation.

MR. ROBERTS: The hon. gentleman has been on some slippery slopes in his time.

MR. EFFORD: Yes, I have been on some slippery slopes.

AN HON. MEMBER: And you have slipped off some, too!

MR. EFFORD: Yes. Mr. Speaker, I don't think there are too many people in this hon. House who have not been on some slippery slopes from time to time.

With that short brief explanation of the - I will entertain some questions.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. EFFORD: I am not the facilitator of the highway signage. The minister responsible for highway signage is the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs. I am only responsible for the traffic signage, the directional signage, the speed limit signage. The Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs will be responsible for the implementation of the new signage policy. All I have to do is to change the act - yes, that is correct. I will not be responsible for the commercial and the municipality or any signs other than highway direction signs.

AN HON. MEMBER: Even between municipalities like in developmental control areas - between communities?

MR. EFFORD: I am responsible for highway signage, department signs, that is right. All I am responsible for is to change the act to allow the corridor, depending on the width of the highway, the directional - so that the ministers responsible can give authority to the individuals, whether they be tourism associations or whether they be municipalities, to put up their signs.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. EFFORD: Well if it is tourism, the Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation - if it is directional it is highway but if it is not a municipality then they won't require municipal signage. If it is to do with a tourism-related industry, yes, otherwise it goes directly to the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs.

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

MR. CAREEN: Bill 16 - after all these years they are finally getting their act together.

MS. VERGE: Oh, I wouldn't count on that.

So it seems to be a perception of this bill that a number of years ago, since this government started, they have given all kinds of signs and they always went the other way.

Out in the western United States, among one of the Indian tribes, there is a word, `Niaki'. What it means is to say you are going one way, and turn around and go the other way. That is the way your signs have been since 1989, April 20, I should say.

AN HON. MEMBER: Like his inspections.

MR. CAREEN: His inspections - well, he said about being on a slippery slope. I tell you, the inspections are going to put him on a slippery slope.

The former Minister of Tourism, the Member for Mount Scio - Bell Island, traversed this Province about signage, and that was what, three years ago? And it takes three years for this government to get its act together about signs? We have seen what happened in Marystown and Hibernia, job creation, and other odds and ends. We know what they have done about that, and they can't get their signs together.

The minister talked about width of a highway - four lanes. You only have two lanes going in each direction, and we are all told to keep to the right unless you are going to pass, so is he going to stick up signs in the area between these double lanes? Is he going to overkill? Is someone else going to get a contract? Is the public tender going to be ignored for these little contracts?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. CAREEN: You were saying about four lanes. We are supposed to keep to the right when we are driving. You are only supposed to be out in the centre lane when you are passing. You are talking about your signs you are going to put in. You are not consistent, Minister. You are a really inconsistent minister.

They made such a fuss there about bringing in, in this legislation one time there the past spring, it amazes me that we had to come this long, this far, for him to finally find out that he is only responsible for highways. There has been a kerfuffle, interdepartmental kerfuffles, over the years with this government about who has jurisdiction.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. CAREEN: You are the silly one, Minister. You are silly with your presentations, and you are silly with the way you introduce your bills.

Municipal Affairs is going to have their responsibilities. Tourism is going to have their responsibilities, and the minister is telling us today what his responsibilities are. We have seen the minister's responsibilities over this past few days.

AN HON. MEMBER: Irresponsibilities

MR. CAREEN: Very irresponsible. I hope his signs take a better measure than what he has shown us and accounted for us of late.

The minister, I don't know who he listens to. I said yesterday: Is it an oracle that he throws bones at, and when the bones fall to the ground in a certain way, that is what he takes all his advice from?

It is about time that this government got its act together. It is about time they started doing something half right, and I am looking forward to seeing what kind of signs they are going to put forward for the people of this Province, and the visitors, the thousands and hundreds of thousands who pass through here.

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

MS. VERGE: This government has been in office for five-and-a-half years. Make no wonder they have made a mess of the big issues, the economy, Hibernia, the Lower Churchill; they can't even address highway signs. Now they have been promising for five-and-a-half years that they are going to bring in a new improved highway sign policy. What has happened, in fact, is that a bad situation got worse.

Now the minister referred to the Corner Brook/Pasadena area. The minister made a colossal mess of building a four-lane divided high-speed bypass highway around Corner Brook, and he failed to provide adequate directional signs so that even residents of the area could find their way into Corner Brook. His own Premier had to admit this summer that any reasonable person would have a hard time finding his or her way into Corner Brook from the new highway; that was his own Premier. The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation and the ADM of Tourism, Culture and Recreation came out to Corner Brook for a meeting organized by Corner Brook business people to protest the ridiculous Municipal Affairs highway sign regulations this summer and the deputy and the ADM decided to visit Marble Mountain on their way to the meeting and they missed the turnoff to Marble Mountain.

Mr. Speaker, I had several conversations with -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation, on a point of order.

MR. EFFORD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I should caution the hon. Member for Humber East not to put such things out about the deputy minister. For anybody to miss Marble Mountain there is a real problem.

MR. SPEAKER: There is no point of order.

The hon. the Member for Humber East.

MS. VERGE: Mr. Speaker, the minister does not have to tell me that there is a real problem; I am looking at the real problem.

Mr. Speaker, this minister is a disaster. He is lurching from one calamity to the next. Mr. Speaker, I had several conversations with the minister's staff over the signage mess this summer, and in one of the conversations, one of the senior officials said to me, vehemently, I mean the man actually believes this, that the problem was not the signs, it was the people. Now what an attitude, and, Mr. Speaker, there have been three government departments with some responsibility for highway signs. Works, Services and Transportation, which has always been responsible for directional signs, pointing the way to various highways, roads and communities, the department that is responsible for pointing the way from the Trans-Canada Highway to Corner Brook, then there has been the Department of Municipal and Provincial Affairs which through its development control division, is responsible for the regulations governing private signs, business signs, commercial signs. And third, the Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation is responsible or should be responsible for fostering the tourism industry, one of the few potential growth areas identified in the Wells Administration's much bragged about Strategic Economic Plan, and, Mr. Speaker, those three departments have never been able to get their act together.

For five-and-a-half years there have been promises to do better; there have been speeches by a parade of ministers responsible for tourism at annual meetings of the Hospitality Association. Four years ago, the present Minister of ITT was publicly embarrassed when the staff of the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation actually cut down tourism business signs in Cormac, in the Humber Valley, cut down signs for Funland Resort at a bed and breakfast in Cormac and the minister was interviewed by CBC television and could not defend the indefensible, so he announced that there would be a moratorium on enforcing the ridiculous municipal affairs regulations.

The Minister of ITT called off the goons from the Department of Works, Services and Transportation and the goons from the development control division of Municipal and Provincial Affairs allowed Funland Resort and the B and B in Cormac to reinstate their signs for that tourism season; and then the government sent the Member for Mount Scio - Bell Island on a one-man mission around the Province to conduct public hearings on the new, highway sign policy. Now how long ago was that? That was before the minister was in Cabinet.

Mr. Speaker, more promises to the hospitality industry; the moratorium and enforcement of the silly regulations that are on the books continued for a second season and then a third season and then, the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation got into the act. Well, we might have known that, that was trouble. He has been nothing but trouble in Transportation since he landed in the portfolio.

Mr. Speaker, in the spring, the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation introduced this bill into the House of Assembly and he promised people who were lobbying him that it would be enacted before the summer, but perhaps the left hand and the right hand were not co-ordinated because just then the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs gave orders to his development control staff to resume enforcing the old obsolete much maligned municipal affairs regulations so he had his people travelling the Province. In the West Coast he had his development control people, his chainsaw brigade, travelling the Humber Valley and the Northern Peninsula and talking to the people in St. Judes who sell worms in the summer and rabbits and berries in the fall, instructing them they were not allow to have their signs up. This is heavy-duty stuff. We cannot have entrepreneurs in St. Judes advertising worms with signs. Oh, no, we cannot have that, so the development control staff personally delivered letters to various business people, from the small to the big, ordering them to remove their signs.

Mr. Speaker, that, combined with the Corner Brook bypass monstrosity resulted in a significant decline in tourism visits to Corner Brook and a marked loss of business for Corner Brook hotels, motels, and restaurants. After a month or two of drastic loss of business Corner Brook business people started to organize and they had a public meeting. It was for that public meeting that two officials, the deputy and the ADM of tourism, flew out from St. John's and on the way to the meeting failed to find the turn off to Marble Mountain because it was not marked properly.

Following the meeting the Corner Brook area business people wrote the Premier, having given up on the ministers responsible, and asked the Premier: for heaven sakes, to do what is official government policy in the strategic economic plan and foster business by having a sensible highway sign policy. The Premier then reinstated the moratorium on enforcement and said that all reasonable signs could stay up. The Premier said he would permit all reasonable signs while the government continued to work on the long promised new improved highway sign policy.

Mr. Speaker, we still do not have a solution. The minister is here telling us there is still going to be the old fragmentation with his department having some responsibility, municipal affairs having other responsibility, and we do not know where Tourism is. The minister sits in silence. This is a ridiculous situation. We have a weak economy that has become weaker. We have only a small number of businesses in the Province. Tourism is identified as one of the few areas of potential growth and the government is strangling tourism businesses by having ridiculously restrictive highway sign regulations.

Mr. Speaker, staff of development control were told in the spring to enforce the old municipal affairs regulations which are very restrictive. Those were the regulations used to cut down the Funland Resort signs and the Cormack bed and breakfast sign, but staff tell me there are other regulations that have been drafted which supposedly represent the new policy.

Now, Mr. Speaker, some of our members may not realize that these drafted new regulations do not permit signs for restaurants. They do not allow signs for food establishments. Now, the manager of the Deer Lake Motel is of the understanding that a sign for the Deer Lake Motel, which happens to mention that the motel has a dining room, would be illegal under the new improved regulations, because the regulations do not allow a highway sign mentioning where people can get something to eat. Now how ridiculous, Mr. Speaker. The government has been in office for five-and-a-half years and they still have not managed to get adequate highway sign policy.

Mr. Speaker, there are two aspects of highway sign policies; one has to do with directional signs. The kind of signs that clearly are the responsibility of the Department of Works, Services and Transportation. The signs indicating highways, routes, communities, places, distances. Now the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation in carrying out the four-laning of the Trans-Canada in the Humber Valley, which has been supposedly planned for years - it has certainly been studied for years - has failed to have signs paralleling the new construction. The minister has promised overhead directional signs pointing the entrances to Corner Brook. Now in July when complaints reached a crescendo, the minister said that the overhead directional signs would be in place by early September. Well we are still waiting for them, Mr. Speaker, and the most recent information indicates that those overhead directional signs won't be up until next year.

Now, Mr. Speaker, the government has announced an intention to proceed with the four-laning of the Trans-Canada on the Humber Valley behind Massey Drive, Corner Brook, east past Steady Brook, Little Rapids. Now, Mr. Speaker, I say to the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation - if he can hear me, he is not in his seat now - for heavens sake, get your signs ready for the stretch of the Humber Valley east of Corner Brook because you know you are going to be doing it. In Corner Brook the overhead directional signs will be more than a year late. The highway bypass in Corner Brook opened a year ago and we still do not have the overhead directional signs.

MR. EFFORD: I just may not put them up.

MS. VERGE: He just may not put them up. Why is that? You are getting spitey are you? Sookie?

MR. EFFORD: I'm tired of listening to people and their complaining.

MS. VERGE: You are tired of listening to the people. Well I say get out of politics, resign.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MS. VERGE: You are getting $100,000 a year to listen to the people complain, that is your job.

MR. EFFORD: But not you, not you!

MS. VERGE: Mr. Speaker, obviously the ministers opposite do not like what the people are saying because the people are faulting them for their stupidity and their obstinance, people are faulting them for hurting their businesses. Mr. Speaker, directional signs are the responsibility of the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation, he has always had that responsibility. He has a squad of people whose jobs involve making signs, painting signs, wording signs, putting up signs and it is going to take him a year-and-a-half after the new Corner Brook bypass highway to get up the overhead signs and now he is saying maybe he will not bother. Well, Mr. Speaker, I saw the wording of their proposed overhead signs and I say if that is the best they can do, it might be just as well that they forget it.

Mr. Speaker, I go back to what one of the minister's officials said to me in the summer, the problem he claimed is not with the signs, it is with the people. Well what kind of an attitude is that? If people are getting lost, if your own Premier is saying that any reasonable person would be confused driving on the Trans-Canada trying to find their way into Corner Brook, obviously the signs are inadequate.

Mr. Speaker, this spring, a woman in her eighties, who has lived in Corner Brook for over forty years, who lives alone now that she is widowed, left her home in Corner Brook and went to visit a friend in Steady Brook for the evening. Late that night she set out from Steady Brook to return to her home in Corner Brook. It was dark when she set out to go home. That woman missed the turn-offs to Corner Brook. I say to the Member for Conception Bay South, that woman missed the turn-offs for Corner Brook. She has lived there for forty years. It was dark.


MS. VERGE: Because you didn't have proper signs up, I say to the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation. That woman didn't get home for three or four hours later. She overshot Corner Brook.

MR. EFFORD: Where did she go?

MS. VERGE: Obviously, she went toward Stephenville, and then kept going back and forth. It is pathetic, when you think about it. You could cry thinking about it.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MS. VERGE: The Member for Conception Bay South is saying that she also missed the turn-off for Corner Brook.

Well, there is a message in this for the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation. Mr. Speaker, there are many messages here for the minister if only he had the intelligence to interpret them.

MR. EFFORD: Now, now, (inaudible).

MS. VERGE: Well, Mr. Speaker, I hesitate to come to that conclusion, but when his own Premier and one of his back bench colleagues is saying that they were confused, when long-term residents of Corner Brook have missed the way into Corner Brook, obviously the minister's signs are not adequate.

Mr. Speaker, the highway directional signs are a problem, and the minister didn't need new legislation to solve the problem. All the minister needed was a bit of concern and effort. There are lots of resources available to have proper signs. It doesn't cost much money. There are lots of staff to build signs, and paint signs, and word signs, and put up signs. It didn't have to take more than a year after the new bypass highway to have overhead signs indicating the way to Corner Brook.

MR. EFFORD: You know the reason for that.

MS. VERGE: I don't know any reason for that. The new highway has been planned for years. Perhaps the minister can't walk and chew gum, but as he builds his new four-lane highway east of Corner Brook, I say to him, plan ahead and get your signs ready, and put your signs up when the new road is open.

Mr. Speaker, the other part of the highway signs mess has to do with commercial signs, signs advertising tourist attractions and private businesses catering not only to tourists but visitors. We don't have many businesses in this Province; we don't have many people in this Province; we don't have many communities along our highways. Mr. Speaker, why do we have such a ridiculously restrictive regulatory regime?

Now the government is always paying lip service to fostering business, and having a positive climate for entrepreneurs, and boosting competition, and getting big government off the backs of business people. What are you doing having development control staff combing western Newfoundland this summer, hounding hotel owners and restaurant owners, and sending them threatening letters, and even going to the individual entrepreneurs in St. Judes, who were trying to make a few dollars selling worms, and telling them they are not allowed to have signs on the highway.

If you are going through St. Judes and you want some worms, how are you supposed to know which ones are selling worms unless there is a worm sign? If you are going through Corner Brook and you are hungry, how are you supposed to know what restaurants are there; or if you are just off the ferry into Port aux Basques and you are heading east through Corner Brook, how are you supposed to know where there is to stay, or where there is to eat, or what there is to see or do, if there aren't signs marking the way.

Mr. Speaker, for years, I say to the minister now responsible for tourism, studies about deficiencies in our tourism industry have identified as a major lack -

AN HON. MEMBER: What kind of signs?

MS. VERGE: Highway signs. I mean, this is not new information. Perhaps the minister since he has only had the responsibility for a short time has not been briefed or perhaps he has not researched this, but I say to him that if he consults people in the industry, if he talks to Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador, he will find that for years and years and years, people trying to make a living in the hospitality industry have been frustrated by the lack of proper signs, both directional signs and commercial signs, and in the case of commercial signs, it is not because business people have not been prepared to put up attractive prominent signs, but it is because development control has prevented them from doing it.

Now, Mr. Speaker, enforcement of these silly, obsolete development control regulations has not been even, it has been quite spotty and inconsistent. It seems to depend on which bureaucrat is in a given area. In Western Newfoundland we seem to go through phases of vigilant, zealous, ridiculous enforcement, then we get a reprieve after people complain. Now I mentioned four years ago or so, we had the ridiculous experience of development control on highways cutting down signs for Funland Resort at a bed and breakfast in Cormac and the Minister of ITT, who was then responsible for Tourism, Culture and Recreation could not go on TV and defend that; he did not even try. He admitted that it was wrong and he said that the government would haul off the goons and the chainsaw brigade and allow those tourism businesses to operate for the rest of that tourism season, short as our tourism season is with the benefit of their highway signs.

Well that was really nice of the government, I mean, it is really good of the government for businesses in Cormac to be able to have signs up on the Trans-Canada and the Northern Peninsula Highway so visitors and tourists will know about their existence. I mean, you know that is really magnanimous of the government; but, Mr. Speaker, this spring, the same government ordered the staff to go back at it, and you know what they did? They hounded business people in the Humber Valley and Corner Brook area, ordered them to take down signs, ordered motels and restaurants and other businesses in the Humber Valley to take down their signs and many of the businesses actually did it. Now, in the few cases where I was consulted, in the Humber East cases, I told people don't pay attention to the government because I don't think those regulations can be enforced anyway, and when the Corner Brook business people organized and had a public meeting with the media present around midsummer and then got after the Premier who, after all, was supposed to be representing one of the Corner Brook area districts, the government relented.

AN HON. MEMBER: He didn't.

MS. VERGE: He did, but I mean that was after we lost half the tourism season and after Corner Brook area businesses had suffered a drastic loss of business. So, Mr. Speaker, you know, I go back to the first statement; make no wonder they are making a mess of the economy and they blew the big opportunities with Hibernia and future offshore oil development and they missed the golden opportunity to develop the Lower Churchill and get rectification on the Upper Churchill, make no wonder they have blown the really big opportunities; they cannot even come up with a sensible policy for highway signs yet they have been promising a new improved highway sign policy for five-and-a-half years.

Mr. Speaker, despite this bill, there is no reason to think that they are going to have their act in order for the next tourism season. Mow, what we are trying to do is have a year-round tourism season and in the Humber Valley with Marble Mountain, and then with the Blow-Me-Down Cross Country Ski Park, we have developed a winter tourism season in addition to the traditional summer and fall seasons, and, Mr. Speaker, for tourists as well as for our own residents, we need adequate highway signs so that people driving in the Humber Valley who want to go skiing or want to visit the new ski lodge at Marble Mountain will find the proper turn-off. With a divided highway if you miss the turn-off you have to go miles before you can get turned around and headed back in the direction of your intended destination.

in the case of Corner Brook, as the minister indicated, there are several exits. He said five: in fact, there are four. One of the reasons for the confusion is the way those exits are marked. Gradually after many complaints the department has put up a few more signs. As I mentioned, we are still waiting for the overhead signs that the minister was going to have in place for September. They are a year late now. Maybe they will be up in another six months. With the signs that are there, anyone headed east into Corner Brook will probably end up turning off the Trans-Canada at Riverside Drive and ending up in Humbermouth when they might have wanted to go to the Glynmill Inn or Broadway in Corner Brook.

The first exit to Corner Brook as you head west coming from the east is through Riverside Drive, which is not Corner Brook centre or downtown. That is quite confusing for people. The second exit to Corner Brook which is for the downtown and the city centre is now marked Lewin Parkway. The Lewin Parkway really doesn't mean anything even to most people who've lived in Newfoundland all their lives. People in the Corner Brook area refer to that road as the arterial road. The Lewin Parkway name hasn't really caught on.

What people generally are interested in by the time they approach that exit is not the Lewin Parkway, even if they know what the Lewin Parkway is. What they are interested in is Corner Brook centre, or Corner Brook downtown, or Corner Brook business, so that is confusing. Then as you head west the third exit is marked Massey Drive. What has happened to a lot of people who've turned off there is that they go into Massey Drive. They go two miles into the end of Massey Drive looking for Corner Brook because after all the sign said: Corner Brook via Massey Drive. They go way into the end of Massey Drive and come to a dead end at the rod and gun club and wonder: Where is Corner Brook?

Then the fourth exit, as you head west, is several miles beyond, and leads to the ring road which bypasses Corner Brook at quite a long distance from the city centre. To reverse the process, traffic coming from the west - including from the ferry at Port aux Basque - towards the east approaching Corner Brook will see first a sign marked: Corner Brook via Ring Road. People who are interested in going to the centre of Corner Brook tend to turn off at the Ring Road and end up in Curling somewhere when they wanted to go to McDonald's to have a meal. As a consequence, McDonald's is getting calls from people in Curling or on Broadway or West Street asking; Where are you and how do we find you?

You can't argue with the facts. The facts indicate that masses of people, both long-time residents - the Premier himself, who lived in Corner Brook for about twenty years - as well as visitors - visitors from our own Province, such as the Member for Conception Bay South and then out-of-Province tourists - have not been able to find their way into Corner Brook since this minister moved into his office. He made a mess of building the by-pass highway to the extent that woods trucks couldn't even make the grade last winter. I don't know what is going to happen this winter, because last winter he was able to give them an escape by reopening a section of the old road. He has that sealed off this winter.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.

The hon. the Member for Baie Verte - White Bay.

MR. SHELLEY: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I noticed there are a few minutes left on the clock so I thought I would take the opportunity to raise a local issue. I just want to take a few minutes to raise a local issue that I would like to put forward in this specific debate, to alert the minister to it, and to get his reaction when he closes debate. Maybe it will relate to some other districts in the Province.

We know a lot of people in the Province don't pay attention to maps a lot, but they do go out in the summertime, especially as it relates to tourism, and also in view of the new ski facility that we are about to open this winter on the Baie Verte Peninsula. As a matter of fact I attended a ski show at the Delta Hotel this past weekend and this situation came up time after time. I know the people in my district have raised it for years and years, and it probably relates to some other district as I just mentioned.

Mr. Speaker, when you leave St. John's to drive across the Province if you are looking for the Baie Verte Peninsula, which has twenty-one communities, you do not see a sign for the Baie Verte Peninsula until you one kilometre from that turnoff. I know we are not St. John's, the capital, or Corner Brook the bigger centre, Grand Falls or Gander, but for a 700 kilometre drive, from St. John's to the Baie Verte Peninsula, there is not one sign until you get one kilometre from the turnoff. I realize that the Baie Verte Peninsula is not on the priority list for signs, but the question is, why not?

The minister just said Baie Verte is not the priority list for him but I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, it is the priority list for the people who live there.

MR. EFFORD: It is a Tory district.

MR. SHELLEY: It is a Tory district and probably always will be, I say to the minister, but I can tell you in all seriousness that many people in the district, different groups, have commented to me over this past year-and-a-half, time after time, and, of course, individuals themselves. I have people who visit me in the Baie Verte Peninsula from the St. John's area and they keep driving and driving. They say, when are we going to get to the Baie Verte Peninsula? There is nothing there.

Now, I don't expect to see a sign every few kilometres as you go.

MR. EFFORD: People (audible) Baie Verte Peninsula.

MR. SHELLEY: As the minister keeps doing in this House of Assembly, Mr. Speaker, I am talking about a serious subject and he makes a joke about it again, time after time. Maybe this whole portfolio to the minister is a big joke but it is no joke to me.

MR. EFFORD: (inaudible) Baie Verte Peninsula.

MR. SHELLEY: Are you saying that or am I saying that? The minister keeps putting words in everybody's mouth in this House of Assembly instead of listening to them. I am telling the minister now, as he is suppose to be responsible for the Province, that the people in my district have complained about it. I have had complaints from people who are considering visiting this year because of Copper Creek Mountain, that facility. They ask where it is. They say we drive and drive and if you turn your head once and don't see that one sign `700 kilometres from St. John's to the Baie Verte Peninsula', you miss it. So the buffoon there from Labrador, he keeps making - he shouldn't be speaking, by the way, Mr. Speaker, he is out of his seat. The seriousness of this is that the people on the peninsula are saying why not, at least from Grand Falls - this is the point, Mr. Speaker; and minister, I hope you consider it: once you leave Grand Falls, go all the way to Corner Brook - Mr. Speaker, I am going to ask the minister to listen and not carry on with the person next to him, because I am serious about this matter.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I recognized the hon. the Member for Baie Verte - White Bay.

MR. SHELLEY: I still haven't gotten to the point and that I would like for the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation to take this seriously and react to it, please. I am asking you that on behalf of my constituents, minister.

Now, if you would let me get to the point. After you leave Grand Falls, until you get to the Baie Verte Peninsula, there is not one sign. I am asking, as requested by the people in letters and in reports to me, minister - and I know they have gone to your office - that there would be at least one sign after you leave Grand Falls until you get - there is not one other sign that says the Baie Verte Peninsula, all it says is Corner Brook and Port aux Basques. Somewhere, after you leave Grand Falls, before you get to that peninsula, there should be a sign saying that the Baie Verte Junction, which has twenty-one communities, is actually on the road map.

MR. EFFORD: Is there a sign on the Trans-Canada saying turn right (inaudible) the Baie Verte Peninsula?

MR. SHELLEY: No, until you get 500 metres from the turn-off.

MR. EFFORD: Exactly.

MR. SHELLEY: What I am asking the minister is for a bit of fairness. For ten times after you leave St. John's there are signs saying Corner Brook, Grand Falls and Gander. I am just asking - I don't think it is going to break the minister's budget.

MS. VERGE: All the tourists - everyone knows where the Baie Verte Peninsula is. The whole world knows where the Baie Verte Peninsula is. Why do we need signs anyway?

MR. SHELLEY: Yes, why don't we take down all signs that says where St. John's is and where Corner Brook is? Mr. Speaker, I will just tell you why I raised the question, I am serious - set aside your colleagues over there who really don't know what they are talking about - there were 8,000 people who visited the booth at Copper Creek this past weekend. The most common question asked each time was, `Where is the signage once you leave St. John's?' There is nothing until you get one kilometre from the peninsula. They would like to have some idea - for example, in comparison, when you leave Baie Verte to come to St. John's, there are fifteen signs telling us where St. John's is. I know where St. John's is. Why do we have to have fifteen going from Baie Verte to St. John's, but when you leave St. John's nothing else matters?

I have had complaints from the people, individuals, I say to you, and they say, `I wish they would put up a sign giving us an idea before you get to within one kilometre, so we will have some idea how far more we have to go. Everybody doesn't look at road maps, they depend on signs.

MR. EFFORD: When I leave St. John's to go over to Port de Grave, there are no signs on the Trans-Canada telling me where Port de Grave is, I know where to find it.

MR. SHELLEY: Good point, Minister. I am glad you said that, and so do I know where the Baie Verte Peninsula is, but I am talking about the people who don't know the Province. Everything is St. John's, St. John's, as you go toward St. John's. The same should be for Port au Port and those areas. They should be arguing the same thing.

I am not talking about the people who know where we are. I am talking about the people who don't know where we are, and it is the responsibility of your portfolio, of transportation, to let people know that. I am not asking for the people who do know it, and for the Member for Port de Grave to talk for his district. There should be a sign somewhere else besides when you get right at the turn-off saying Port de Grave. There should be a sign. Why are there fifteen signs to St. John's and nothing for that peninsula?

Mr. Speaker, these concerns, by the way, that the minister tried to make a joke of, were brought up by responsible people who live in the area who know how to get there. They are not asking for signs for themselves. They are asking for the signs for people who travel.

I just ask the minister to react to that, and to respond. I just use the Baie Verte Peninsula as one example. Respond for the other ones. Going to St. John's is fine, but for the people - I am not talking about the people who know how to get there. I don't need the signs. I am talking about the people I spoke to who were going to visit the ski facility for the first time, had never been out in that area of the Province before, and the minister well knows, you do a statistic in St. John's, a lot of people in St. John's don't get out past the overpass; they don't travel much of the Province. Now that is the reality.

AN HON. MEMBER: That is not true.

MR. SHELLEY: Yes, it is true. I have in-laws who have left to come to visit me, who have never been on the Baie Verte Peninsula before, and called me from Grand Falls to ask me how far more they had to go. I say if you had one sign on the highway, you would like it.

AN HON. MEMBER: That is not true.

MR. SHELLEY: Oh, yes, it is. As a matter of fact - well, I won't give that story, but I can tell you that all I am asking for is a bit of fairness in signs. There are other places in this Province just as important as the bigger centres of Corner Brook and Grand Falls.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Member for Mount Pearl.

MR. WINDSOR: The minister hasn't learned, Mr. Speaker, that he can't bring bills into this House and expect them to go through without debate, as much as he would like it. The fact that he doesn't contribute anything to the debate in this House doesn't mean that the rest of us are not going to contribute whatever we may have to offer.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. WINDSOR: I haven't yet recovered, Mr. Speaker, from the disastrous introduction to the last piece of legislation that we just put through this House that the minister did. It had to be the worst introduction of any piece of legislation I've seen in this House of Assembly. Absolutely the worst, most incompetent, ill-informed, ill-researched minister I had ever seen, Mr. Speaker, when he introduced that piece of legislation.

MR. EFFORD: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: He is not much better on this particular piece of legislation, Mr. Speaker, but I'm not going to waste my time with the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation because he is only the person who puts the signs up. The one who really should be interested in this particular issue is the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation. He finds it interesting and amusing as well.

The minister should be paying attention too because it is an important issue for the tourism industry. All jokes aside about trying to find municipalities and all the rest of it, the real issue here is the tourist. Can the tourist find his or her way to facilities that he or she wants? What is the position of the tourism industry as it relates to promoting tourism in this Province?

We can see how much attention the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation is going to pay to it, how much interest he has in the issue. He will soon find -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Two ministers, yes, they are discussing signs, I'm sure. The former minister has an interest, I say to the House. The former minister did have an interest in highway signage. Maybe he had a conflict of interest, I'm not sure, but he certainly had an interest, Mr. Speaker.

The problem we've had with signage has always been a conflict between highway safety and promotion of the tourism industry. How do you find a happy compromise between the two? Contrary to the statements of the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation the former administration did make major steps in that regard. It was a very difficult question. If the minister would like to go back through the files he will find stacks of letters from tourists from outside of the Province and from inside the Province, and they are very clearly divided into two groups.

One group writes in and says how pleased they are that there are not many signs on the highway, not advertizing, not spoiling the scenery, not spoiling the natural beauty of the Province. Not as if they are driving through Florida where you have these massive eight foot by twenty-four foot signs with all kinds of pictures of water slides and places to eat and Mickey Mouse and all the rest of it. People are very complimentary to the fact that they are not forced to see all of these signs as they drive through the natural beauty of our Province.

On the other side of the equation you have those people who are saying: We can't find the things that we want to find.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: I'm not talking about municipalities. That is another issue. I'm talking about tourist facilities, highway facilities. It is not a problem if you are driving through Gander where everything is on the side of the road. The big disadvantage to the persons who are up in the shopping centre, where you would probably like to see them, that is where you would prefer to have these kinds of facilities, is in the industrial and commercial areas, commercial areas in this particular case, rather than on the side of your highway.

We have a problem in Gander now as we did in Pasadena, as we did in Corner Brook, where you build the highway adjacent to a major municipality, all of these establishments want to establish on the side of the highway to catch the passing trade, and that is a big chunk of their business, the passing trade. People are impetuous, shoppers are impetuous.

If they see something that catches their eyes, they may, if we are talking about food for example, they may be driving on their way to Grand Falls and they see an establishment in Gander - a Mary Brown's on the side of a highway, it catches their eyes, they will stop at Mary Brown's but they won't go off the highway to go up to the shopping centre to the Kentucky Fried Chicken, and so the disadvantage there, is to Kentucky Fried Chicken in that case.

Now the tourist may get his Mary Brown's but he does not know where the rest of the facilities are and so you have this tug of war always between the person who is trying to promote his facilities, tourist facilities or food establishments or hotels or service stations or whatever, and so you have to try to find a happy medium. Now we introduced a system, I would say ten years ago -


MR. WINDSOR: It is time? Oh that is too bad, I just started to get warmed up.

I move the adjournment of the debate and I will come back and start all over again on Monday.

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

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, before I move the adjournment, I have just been provided with the first three copies of the documents with respect to Hiland that I had proposed to table. If I have leave, I will do it now, if not I will have to wait until Monday to table them.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: We will give you leave to table them.

MR. SPEAKER: By leave.

MR. ROBERTS: Alright, there is a statement but I won't read the statement to the House, but the statement will be made public as well, so I will table these and there will be copies available. The press may or not be up in their cubbyholes listening but there will be copies available for the media.

The documents speak for themselves and will reveal I think, some items that have not been revealed before which will show why I say the matter was handled responsibly and appropriately.

Mr. Speaker, the House will adjourn until Monday obviously, at two o'clock when we propose -

MR. W. MATTHEWS: (Inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: Well, if my friend from Grand Bank wishes, we can come back this afternoon, but, Mr. Speaker, I take it there is less enthusiasm among his colleagues and there is not very much more on this side. I move, Mr. Speaker, the House do now adjourn.

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