May 16, 1995               HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY PROCEEDINGS               Vol. XLII  No. 25

The House met at 2:00 p.m.

MR. SPEAKER (Dicks): Order, please!

Statements by Ministers

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

MS. YOUNG: Mr. Speaker, as minister responsible for the Status of Women, I am very pleased to announce that the proportion of women appointed to government boards and commissions has shown yet another increase since last quarter. This increase demonstrates the commitment of our government to equal representation.

The overall proportion of women on government boards and commissions has risen from 34 per cent last quarter to 35 per cent for the period ending December 31, 1994. This is the highest this figure has been since monitoring began in October, 1986 when the female participation on boards and commissions showed only 23 per cent.

Government actively encourages women to take their names and resumes to the Women's Policy Office databank for possible appointment as vacancies arise. Under the former minister, Patricia Cowan, a promotional brochure entitled "Government Appointments to Boards and Commissions: A Woman's Guide" was developed. It is available from the Women's Policy Office for women who are interested in participating. At the time of its release a procedure was developed to ensure that women were considered for every government committee.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to add that the Women's Policy Office has also recently taken on the role of being a repository for names of women who are interested in participating in the new provisional boards for the Province's nineteen economic zones. In co-operation with the Economic Recovery Commission, the Women's Enterprise Bureau, and the Provincial Advisory Council on the Status of Women, the Women's Policy Office has agreed to send out information on zonal context to those interested in participating. Every effort is being made to ensure gender equity in this Province.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MS. VERGE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I certainly support whatever efforts are being made by the government to achieve gender equity in the Province. Thirty-five per cent of female appointees to government boards and commissions is better than 34 per cent, but it is still a far cry from 50 per cent. It is still far short of equality.

I commend the minister and the members of the staff of the Women's Policy Office for their leadership and encourage them to keep up the effort. As a final comment in reaction to the minister's encouragement about zonal contacts, I would just like to say that sounds like something out of science fiction, but perhaps when the zones are set up we will make further advances towards gender equality.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Are there further statements by ministers?

AN HON. MEMBER: Mr. Speaker.

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


MR. SPEAKER: No leave.

Oral Questions

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

MS. VERGE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I have questions about forest management which I had hoped to put to the Premier. In the absence of the Premier, I would ordinarily direct them to the minister responsible. We no longer have a Minister of Forestry but there is a Minister of Natural Resources. He is not here today either, so I will direct my questions to the Deputy Premier or as the Premier calls him the Acting Premier.

The questions again have to do with forest management. As members of the government must be aware, a large part, a very large part of the Province's economy is dependent on the forest and the Provincial Government has sole jurisdiction over forest resources, it is not like the fish with split jurisdiction. In the case of the trees the Province has sole constitutional authority. The question is: Does the Acting Premier, does the government agree with the people knowledgeable in the field of forest management who say harvesting and silviculture have not been in balance and our Newfoundland forests are in trouble?

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

MR. FUREY: Mr. Speaker, I apologize that the Minister of Natural Resources isn't here; he is at a mining conference speaking, I think, in Halifax today so I will take the hon. the Leader of the Opposition's questions under advisement and bring the answers back.

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

MS. VERGE: Mr. Speaker, this is shameful. I am asking questions about the Province's forest resources and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology is standing and saying that nobody, sitting in the government benches today can answer; there is not one of them over there who can answer a question about whether our Newfoundland forests are in trouble? I will ask it again.


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology.

MR. FUREY: Mr. Speaker, I think the minister has responded to this question a number of times, I don't know where the leader was; I think perhaps the campaign may have been on at the time, but the questions were asked at the time and the minister referred the questioner at that time, to the Budget where you will see that there is $10 million, 100 per cent dollars, put in by the Province to help silviculture and to sustain and produce economic benefit for the Province and I think he answered it quite well at that time.

MR. DECKER: I thought so too.

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

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

I guess I have to ask the question to the Minister of Fisheries since I am not permitted to ask one to the Member for Eagle River, the parliamentary assistant to the Premier, about his recent trip to Ottawa on fisheries meetings with the federal minister Mr. Tobin. So I want to ask the Minister of Fisheries, has he been briefed by the Member for Eagle River? Has the concerns that were raised about the TAGS program, the appeal process and others, can the minister inform the House whether those concerns have been adequately addressed now to the minister's satisfaction as a result of the meeting between the Member for Eagle River and Mr. Tobin?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Fisheries, Food and Agriculture.

DR. HULAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. No, I have not been briefed by the Member for Eagle River but I was briefed this morning by the Minister of Fisheries for Canada. Indeed the questions of concern have been discussed, not only by the Member for Eagle River but with the member from the District of St. George's who represents and is responsible for fisheries in this Province. All the questions have been addressed, concerns have been discussed and actions will be taken.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Opposition House Leader, supplementary.

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

I thank the Minister for being so specific with his answer, I thank him very much. I want to ask the minister now about some public comments he made within the last few days concerning a reduction in the fishing industry processing sector. I understand now, from the ministers comments, that the industry renewal boards will look at the reduction in processing as well as reduction in harvesting. Now with the harvesting reduction there has been a minimum of a 50 per cent reduction mandate given that board. Can the minister inform the House if the board has been given a mandate, a percentage of reduction for the processing sector as well?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Fisheries, Food and Agriculture.

DR. HULAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I thank my hon. friend from Grand Bank for the question.

The reduction or the realignment of the processing sector will take place in due course. That realignment, Mr. Speaker, will be in view of the resource availability in this Province and the board indeed will be making recommendations along those lines as soon as they have an opportunity to review the entire issue.

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

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, it is like pulling hens teeth I say to the minister. Has the board been given a time frame in which to reduce the processing sector in the Province? Have they been given a time frame of six months, twelve months, eighteen months? Could the minister as well inform the House what the make-up of the board will be. Who will represent this Province on that decision making board? What is the federal-provincial ratio on the board? How well are we represented, numbers-wise?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Fisheries, Food and Agriculture.

DR. HULAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I can tell this hon. House that no time frame has been set with regard to the realignment of the processing sector. I can just tell you that it will be done in as expedient a process as possible, making sure that every issue is addressed and that the proper decisions are made with regard to the future of the fishery in this Province.

The board will consist of members of the harvesting renewal board which has already been established, plus one other individual from the industry of this Province who has been named to the board, one additional person to the harvesting renewal board.

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

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Final supplementary, Mr. Speaker. I would like to ask the minister - the minister in a previous answer indicated that - I sort of thought he said the reduction in the processing capacity would depend upon the resource available. I think that is what he said. I'm wondering if the minister can inform the House really what process is going to be followed in determining the number of plants that will come out of the system. Will the people in the communities where fish plants are located have an opportunity to make presentations or representation to the reduction board before decisions are final? Can the minister inform the House of that?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Fisheries, Food and Agriculture.

DR. HULAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have not been advised as to how the exact process will take place at this stage.


DR. HULAN: That advice, when the discussions occur - I say to the Member for Ferryland that we will not lose this process as a result of three chicken legs. We are going to deal with this process properly and the process will be taking place in due course. There will be direction from this office, from the minister's office, with regard to how the general procedures will occur for the committee, but those have not been set as yet.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Bonavista South.

MR. FITZGERALD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is to the Minister of Social Services.

I would like to ask the minister if her department has paid outstanding Hydro bill arrears since the decision was made not to take part in such payments back in April?

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

MS. YOUNG: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, not to my knowledge. We have not paid out any arrears.

MR. SPEAKER: A supplementary, the hon. the Member for Bonavista South.

MR. FITZGERALD: Mr. Speaker, if her department has not paid any arrears, I would like to ask the minister if her department has taken part in a monthly payment where arrears can be deducted from the monthly payment to social services clients, arrears that were built up in the past? Has that been a policy of her department?

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

MS. YOUNG: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. No, that was the policy before the latest budget.

MR. SPEAKER: A supplementary, the hon. the Member for Bonavista South.

MR. FITZGERALD: Mr. Speaker, I would like to inform the minister that I have been made aware of at least two cases, one in Torbay and another one in Deer Lake where Social Services clients outstanding arrears to Newfoundland and Labrador Light and Power have been paid. I ask the minister, if she is not making those decisions then I ask her who in her department is and why isn't she treating all people on social services fairly -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. FITZGERALD: - who happen to be in the condition they find themselves in today?

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

MS. YOUNG: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am not aware of the cases that he is referring to but then again I probably would not be aware of it happening because I don't make these decisions on a day to day basis, that is why we have staff. If we have people out there who are not adhering to the policy then you should make that known to me so that we can have consistency across the Province.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

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

MR. WOODFORD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I think the Member for Humber Valley has the floor presently.

MR. WOODFORD: My question, Mr. Speaker, is to the Minister responsible for the Department of Works, Services and Transportation.

In the last federal budget, Mr. Speaker, in last springs budget the federal government announced that they would be dropping the Atlantic Regional Freight Assistance Program in the Atlantic provinces. This program, as the minister is fully aware, I suppose, takes out of the pockets some $7 million in the Province of Newfoundland. Some of the products shipped was something like - in the food sector there was 34 per cent, 35 per cent in the newsprint industry - and in the Atlantic Provinces some 74 per cent or 75 per cent of the monies in the Atlantic Provinces were interprovincial subsidies.

Could the minister tell the House today if he has met with his federal counterpart on this particular subject, and could he tell the House if there will be a phasing in approach and/or transitional funding?

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

MR. EFFORD: The answer to the first part of the question is yes. I met with Minister Young myself. My officials and his officials met together prior to the budgetary decisions. Once the budgetary decisions came down it was clearly told to us in Atlantic Canada that the subsidies would be dropped. The subsidies will be coming back in portion to the Atlantic Provinces. The provinces will have to decide themselves how that money will be spent in the Province. To date we have not made a decision on how the money is to be spent, but the monies are discontinued, the subsidy is discontinued to the provinces, and we will receive over a five-year period a sum of money. I think it amounts to about $20 million, $22 million for the Province. (Inaudible) the smallest amount, because New Brunswick received about $26 million a year. But it is three hundred and twenty-three million dollars in total over a five-year period.

MR. SPEAKER: Supplementary, the hon. the Member for Humber Valley.

MR. WOODFORD: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker. The minister has admitted that there will be transitional funding over the next four years or five years, or the phasing in approach, I would say. Would the minister tell the House then if there was any move by government or his department especially, or has he contacted companies such as Abitibi-Price or Kruger, with the possibility of the monies that would be allocated for instance to the trucking industry, trucking wood, did he approach those two companies for the purchase of lightweight trailers for the Province?

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

MR. EFFORD: First of all, Mr. Speaker, I did not say there would be a transitional period with the companies. What I said was that the federal government has given the provinces a five-year amount of money based over five years. We as a province can make a decision how we spend that money.

The answer to the second part is, I have not approached Abitibi or Kruger. Kruger and Abitibi have approached me, my department, about the impact on the wood trucking industry. We have as a government put a team in place between the department of the hon. Minister of Fisheries, Food and Agriculture, ITT and officials of my department to look at the impact on industry. When we get that intergovernmental committee together and they make a recommendation to government, government will then decide on how they will spend that amount of money.

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

MR. WOODFORD: Final supplementary, Mr. Speaker. Will the minister tell the House today then and make a commitment to the House that if they go back and give in to the wishes of Abitibi-Price or Kruger with regards to the purchase of those lightweight trailers - the trucker will be able to haul more wood, no question, nothing wrong with that - but to make sure that if there are any monies allocated to Kruger or Abitibi-Price or any of those larger companies that the truckers or brokers in the Province will benefit and not those large corporations?

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

MR. EFFORD: First of all, Mr. Speaker, I will not make any commitment today to anything or anybody on this issue. The committee will make recommendations. The one thing that we are as equally concerned about as the hon. member is is about the impact on the independent trucker, not on the company. But we will make no commitment and no decisions until the interdepartmental committee comes back with a recommendation to our departments and then the government as a whole will receive the recommendations from the ministers' committee and then we will make a decision.

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

MR. SHELLEY: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My questions are for the Minister of Fisheries, Food and Agriculture. I would like to ask the minister, with the latest review of TAGS appeals and more specifically with the independent review board, does the minister see that this is proceeding as planned and everything is okay? Does he have any concerns about this latest process?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Fisheries, Food and Agriculture.

DR. HULAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. In my discussions with the federal minister this morning I am pleased and I am convinced that everything is being done to address the issue at hand, and I would like to report that to the House at this time.

MR. SPEAKER: A supplementary, the hon. the Member for Baie Verte -White Bay.

MR. SHELLEY: Mr. Speaker, I had a hard time hearing the minister but I do think he said - and I am sure he will correct me if I am wrong - but I think he said he had a brief discussion with the federal Minister of Fisheries this morning.

Mr. Speaker, if what he just said is true, the discussion must have been very brief, because I can tell him there are a lot of concerns with the independent review board, and I can tell him that a lot of my colleagues on this side, and I know, on that side, are getting numerous calls. As a matter of fact, as of yesterday morning, the calls that I got were people who were at the brink in this Province waiting for decisions.

Can the minister tell me if he has any concerns that decisions are not being made quickly enough and the process is really failing?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Fisheries, Food and Agriculture.

DR. HULAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I sort of take objection to the hon. member suggesting that it wasn't true - `if it was true', he said. I had a long conversation this morning with the federal minister and I am pleased, and I am convinced, and I am quite happy, that he is dealing with the issue at hand very, very well, without question.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

A final supplementary, the hon. the Member for Baie Verte - White Bay.

MR. SHELLEY: Mr. Speaker, I can tell the minister that there are thousands of people in this Province who are not pleased and are not happy at all with the process as it stands right now. As a matter of fact, I can tell the minister who is responsible for fisheries in this Province that the DFO officials have told me themselves, as of yesterday, that they are not pleased, because the truth is, DFO has lost control of this appeal process with TAGS.

They have no control of it. They are saying that everything now goes to HRD, Lloyd Axworthy, and the real truth is that Lloyd Axworthy and Ottawa are deciding the fate of fishermen in this Province, and they have no answers. And we have people in this Province deciding to leave the Province within the next few weeks because they don't have answers.

Is the minister concerned at all about that?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Fisheries, Food and Agriculture.

DR. HULAN: Mr. Speaker, what I am concerned about - and I am going to challenge the member right now, to give me the names of those DFO officials who are undermining their minister. I challenge you, Sir, right now to give me those names. Other than that, Mr. Speaker, I would suggest that a falsehood has been expressed in this House today.

Thank you.

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

MR. SHELLEY: Mr. Speaker, what a ridiculous statement by the minister! I am certainly not going to tell him the names of any DFO officials so he can axe them, as was done over on that side of the House before. Those officials told me point-blank and were very upset in conversations with me; they said: We have lost control of it.

The Member for Eagle River who dances off to Ottawa had better go back on a return flight to Ottawa and get some straight answers. They can't even use the 1-800 number to call HRD. DFO officials are telling us they can't get any answers and they have their hands washed of it, and now HRD and Lloyd Axworthy are making those decisions.

Is the minister satisfied with that process of HRD?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Fisheries, Food and Agriculture.

DR. HULAN: I am quite satisfied with the actions of my federal counterparts in Ottawa on this issue, and I again say, I wonder why the hon. the Member for Baie Verte - White Bay is allowed to express a falsehood in this House when he cannot name the people from DFO.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The minister will have to withdraw the remark accusing the hon. the Member for Baie Verte - White Bay of expressing a falsehood in the House.

DR. HULAN: I withdraw the remark if it is offensive, but I will again, Mr. Speaker, ask you to ask the hon. member to provide the names.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I didn't ask the hon. gentleman to ask a question. I asked him to withdraw the remark and I take it that he has.

The hon. the Member for Kilbride.

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

My question is for the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology.

As he is fully aware, with respect to the situation that has been developing for some time for the Dockyard, we have discussed it privately and questions have been asked in the House. Have you talked to the federal minister, Young, about the Dockyard, and if you have, can you inform the House and the people of the Province, especially the workers at the Dockyard, what came from that discussion?

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

MR. FUREY: Mr. Speaker, with the permission of the House, I will have the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations answer because he just met with the federal minister. I can tell the House we are arranging a meeting with the President of Marine Atlantic, through the Premier's Office. I think he is in Europe for the next few days, but there seems to be an agreement that we can meet him, if not later this week, then certainly earlier next week; but with your permission, I will ask the minister, because he has met with him just recently.

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

MR. MURPHY: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Last Thursday, I had a conversation with Minister Young whom I would affirm that the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology - and I have already discussed it with the Member for Kilbride, that the minister put Mr. Morrison on call, actually what he said was, `within hours, if the Premier's Office so desires.' Now, Mr. Morrison, I have been informed, has gone to Europe, I guess on business, and the Member for Grand Bank says: `to sell the Dockyard'. Well, perhaps so and that might be some welcome news. But Minister Young is totally informed and will be kept informed, I say to the member.

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

MR. E. BYRNE: Mr. Speaker, this is laughable. There is no question that Minister Young is informed. The problem with the Newfoundland Dockyard is not Morrison, he is a symptom of the problem. The Problem is the policy in the hidden agenda of the Federal Liberal Government, to sell that yard, to scuttle the Newfoundland Dockyard, to dismantle it, while at the same time, Mr. Speaker, it pumps $363 million into a shipyard in Quebec and pumps a $40-million to $50-million contract into the shipyard in Halifax. The question is this: How long will this government sit down and take what the Federal Government is doing to them without a peep, without a murmur? That's the question, Mr. Speaker.

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

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

You know, the hon. member should be a little more responsible. He knows that this government, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology, the Premier and this minister are dealing very seriously over the Dockyard, and have been. I don't need to remind the hon. member that the $360 million that was given to MIL Davie in Sorel, Quebec was given by the previous Tory Administration, so there is no need for that kind of rhetoric.

This particular problem, I suggest to the member, is too serious and we should be as we should have been on the fishery, we should be working collectively on this issue. And I can assure the member that we are doing everything we possibly can and will continue to the satisfaction of the workers at the yard in doing our best to ensure that the yard stays open and is open for business.

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

MR. HODDER: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Education and Training.

On examination of the Budget for the department, I find that there have been increases in the allocations in the Minister's Office. In the Human Resources Division within his department there is an increase of expenditures from $257,400, to $395,200 and, at the same time, we have drastic cuts in Adult Basic Education, Youth Services, Teacher allocations. How can the minister justify a 50 per cent increase in the Budget for Human Resources within his own department and, at the same time, drastic cuts in the classroom level of the educational system of this Province?

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

MR. DECKER: Mr. Speaker, I will have to refer specifically to what the hon. gentleman is talking about. Of course, the hon. member will know that when government does its Budget, government attempts to address some issues and we have to make a judgement call in some cases, but I can tell the hon. member that the Youth Resources Division of the department does a good job, we make available resources to various groups around the Province and we are quite proud to do that. However, I will take the question under advisement to see specifically where that extra money is being spent.

Now, if the hon. member is trying to say why you buy oranges instead of apples or why you paint something black instead of white, I tell the hon. member, that is a judgement call, and if that group continues on the rate they have been going since they have had their new leadership, they will never be in a position to make that judgement call.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Member for Waterford - Kenmount, a supplementary.

MR. HODDER: Mr. Speaker, the evidence is self-evident here. It is quite obvious that the bureaucracy within the minister's office is the only thing that has had increases in allocations and the evidence is very much shown in the Budget statements.

Mr. Speaker, I know of a school in this Province where, eleven teachers have been allocated for seventy-three students. I know of another example where thirty-four teachers have been allocated for 715 students. One is a ratio of 6.1, the other is a ratio of 21 and this includes all administrators, guidance counsellors, everything. How can the minister explain such wide discrepancies in the allocation of teachers in this Province?

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

MR. DECKER: Mr. Speaker, the Department of Education and the government do not allocate a single teacher to any school in this Province. The Department of Education, as the hon. member knows full well, allocates teachers to school boards, and school boards, in turn, determine how to allocate these teachers to their schools. Now, Mr. Speaker, that is the way it has been since Confederation, I would suggest it is probably the way it was before Confederation and that is the way it is, I suppose, in every educational jurisdiction in the country. So I don't know what the hon. member is talking about unless he wants us to over-rule every board in the Province and say, `You put all your teachers in Mount Pearl and put no teachers in Springdale or whatever the case might be.' The government does not allocate teachers to schools. We allocate them to school boards, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. HODDER: Mr. Speaker, the minister knows that all school boards in this Province are answerable to him. I say to the minister, when is he going to change from being an arms length minister to being a hands on minister? What the children of this Province need is a hands-on minister who is going to make sure that the best educational opportunities are provided for all the children of this Province. When it is convenient he becomes arms length. When is he going to practice some hands on?

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

MR. DECKER: Mr. Speaker, I am going to need a kind of person and kind of physician that the hon. member talks about just as soon as I become a deputy minister of some department, an administrator at some community college, a president of some university, Mr. Speaker. If it is an administrator the hon. gentleman is talking about, the bureaucracy is full of administrators who, by and large, are doing a good job. Maybe I should talk to the hon. member and explain to him the role of a legislator in the democratic system and maybe he could be enlightened by that but if he wants an administrator I am neither qualified nor do I want the job to be an administrator, Mr. Speaker. The role of a minister is one to legislate, to seek policy, to look at the big picture, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. SULLIVAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to direct a question to the Minister of Fisheries, Food and Agriculture.

A duration of benefits under the TAGS program is determined by the number of weeks employed in the fishery between 1987 and 1991. Now, people who are injured and on Workers' Compensation during one of those five years are now being dropped from the program early because they sustained an injury on the job. Many of these people have not obtained any response from HRD or DFO, they have to take their case to the Canadian Human Rights. I ask the minster, does he think it is unfair for people to be dropped early from a program because they sustained an injury on the job and will the minister go to bat with the federal ministers on behalf of those people?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Fisheries, Food and Agriculture.

DR. HULAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The story that the hon. gentleman puts forward is interesting. I would have to say, on the basis of the story, I might have to agree with his proposal but certainly I will assure the hon. member that I will wish to speak to him about this and be happy to look into it for him, no problem. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The time for Oral Questions has elapsed.

Order, please!

On behalf of hon. members I would like to welcome to the speaker's gallery a delegation from South Africa which includes Cynthia Nthute from people opposed to women abuse in Johannesburg and Nozipho Ncaphai from Ilitha Labantu (Sunbeam of the people) in Cape Town, South Africa and they are here sponsored by Oxfam Canada.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

Notices of Motion

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Bonavista South.

MR. FITZGERALD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I give notice that I will, on tomorrow, ask leave to introduce a bill entitled, "An Act Respecting The Good Faith Donation And Distribution Of Food."


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

MR. HEWLETT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

At the risk of engendering the ire of the Government House Leader, I again stand to present a petition with regard to the electoral boundaries issue. This petition is signed by some forty-nine constituents of mine, some of whom are from communities that will remain in what is left of Green Bay district after redistribution, some of whom are slated to be moved into Baie Verte district. The prayer of the petition is as follows:

WHEREAS our communities have been in Green Bay for many years; and

WHEREAS a recent government proposal will see some of our communities assigned to Baie Verte district;

THEREFORE we, the undersigned, petition the Honourable House of Assembly not to entertain or approve any proposal that would see our communities removed from Green Bay district.

Mr. Speaker, this is the third in a series of petitions that I have been presenting on this issue. I have more petitions to present, and as of this morning I am told there are more in the mail. One of my duties as an MHA is to bring forward my constituents' concerns in this Assembly. Of course, one of the ways one can do that is in Question Period, another is in general debate, and another is through the age old method of petitions.

At times I find the petition method useful because you are allowed to stand and speak on an issue as often as you can get petitions to address the subject, and I have a number of petitions on this subject and I do not intend to let the matter drop. The people of Green Bay, having had their lives disrupted by the electoral boundaries report, want me to speak on their behalf. Their organizations, their development association and their joint councils, want me to speak on their behalf and I am so doing.

It is unfortunate that apart from certain dismissive comments on the part of the Government House Leader no members on the government side seem to have either the inclination or the intestinal fortitude to stand up and address this petition. I would ask that certain members who have from time to time in the last little while made a few comments, rather mild-mannered comments to the news media on this subject, stand and address this issue, put themselves on the record in this Assembly today.

The current Member for Windsor - Buchans has informally made a number of comments as to his concerns. I have seen a small comment or two to the media from him, but the creation of a district called Windsor - Springdale is a subject that should be of some importance to him personally. Whether or not he runs again come the next election is not quite the point. Constituents that he currently represents are being affected by this electoral boundaries change.

There was a great fuss and bother about the amalgamation of Grand Falls and Windsor some time ago, and it was achieved with the expenditure of considerable sums of public monies and after much acrimony and debate. Now it is rather unfortunate that out of this electoral boundaries process we would see the communities of Grand Falls and Windsor again being split, with the border between the two electoral districts following along the border between the two former towns of Grand Falls and Windsor. So it is time that the government decide, number one, if they are going to do this, and if they are going to do this and put this report before the Assembly for approval, then it is time for government members to stand in their place, take a stand, and let the people who sent them here know where they stand. The people of Green Bay know where I stand, and it is about time that the Member for Windsor - Buchans and certain other members over there stand and be counted as well.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, I would like to support the petition presented by the Member for Green Bay. The Member for Green Bay presented a petition here on behalf of his constituents dealing with the need to have their wishes and their voices heard.

The House of Assembly, as I said the other day, put in place a system, as the act clearly states, whereby the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court appoints a commissioner to go around this Province and have public hearings into the changes to the electoral boundaries of this Province.

That system was put in place and the people from Green Bay, Mount Pearl, Ferryland, Burin - Placentia West, Humber Valley, St. John's East, Carbonear, Gander and Straits of Belle Isle had the opportunity to go out and present their views, their wishes and their desires as to how they believe their geographical area should be structured. That was followed to a `t' under the act, as it should be.

Halfway through it, or a little better than halfway through it, the Government House Leader, instructed by Cabinet, went to Clarenville and asked the commissioner to change the rules. The Cabinet had asked him to go to Clarenville and have it changed. The commission responded positively to the minister's request and did so. Then the report was brought back to this House. The wishes of the people of Green Bay and other parts of this Province - in Twillingate, Fogo, Harbour Grace, Trinity North - were brought back to this House by the commissioner who was duly appointed by the Chief Justice in accordance with the act.

That was not to be. The Government House Leader and the Premier and a few more didn't like it. There was no district left for the Premier. The Premier of this Province did not have a district. So he called up Ed and he said: Ed, come in boy, and we will have a look at this. I don't have a district. If for some reason I decide to run again, which is highly unlikely, because the boys in the back benches will have me kicked out before the next election, I haven't got a district and something has to be done. So they said: We will talk to Mr. Justice Mahoney again.

Mr. Roberts invited Justice Mahoney out to lunch. You had lunch. He said: John, I want you to again for the third time become involved in this game and to cut up the districts so that the Premier and a few more have a seat. Mr. Justice Mahoney refused. No more, he said, I've had it twice. Ed had to leave with his tail between his legs and go out in search of another judge. I don't know if he called the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, which he should have done according to the act, but I heard he then approached another judge who said: No, I am not going to participate.

Then he found Mr. Justice Noel, a very reputable person, a very fair person I would think but Mr. Justice Noel was doing work for the government in terms of changing legislation and reviewing policies and all of that.

AN HON. MEMBER: A former member of this House.

MR. TOBIN: Yes, a former member of this House, Mr. Speaker, from St. John's North, I believe a Liberal member. He accepted. Then we got the report. What does it say? It says on the cover: A report by the electrical boundaries commission. He was not appointed as electrical boundaries commissioner.


MR. TOBIN: Electoral. The electoral boundaries commission, I would say to the member. Mr. Speaker, he was not appointed as a commissioner to do the electoral boundaries, but yet his name appears on the cover as the commissioner for the electoral boundaries commission.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.

MR. TOBIN: By leave, Mr. Speaker.



MR. SPEAKER: The hon. member doesn't have leave.

The hon. the Government House Leader.

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, if I may say a few words with respect to the petition.

Let me first of all say to the gentleman from Green Bay that he need not worry about raising my ire any more than he need worry about raising the level of intelligence of the debate that he and his colleagues are bringing to this issue. There are arguments to be made, Mr. Speaker, but the hon. member has not yet found them and apparently is not even aware that he should at least be looking for them.

As for the theatrics of the gentleman from Burin - Placentia West, let me say I continue to enjoy them. I don't know why he did not get the actor of the year award last Saturday night. His leader was very quick to come in here yesterday and rightly, in my view, praise those who were honoured by the acting community but the gentleman from Burin - Placentia West is among the very best actors we have. For a while there he almost had me thinking he might have believed a word or two of what he said, but I know he did not. I know his colleagues did not and I know nobody who listens to him does but it is an entertaining performance. It is an entertaining performance and I encourage him, not that he needs the encouragement mind you, I encourage him to carry on and we look forward to Act 336, it is nearly as good as page 52 of the speech from my friend from St. John's East Extern, that page that he keeps getting stuck on whenever he is speaking here in the House.

Mr. Speaker, let me say I do take seriously, my colleagues take seriously the concerns of the people from Green Bay who signed this petition. That, Sir, is a matter very different from the tactics of the gentleman from Green Bay. The gentleman from Green Bay is making use of the rules, he has every right to do that. I don't say anything except to encourage him to carry on presenting these petitions but I would say to him two things; I would say that I hope he will try to make arguments instead of indulging in ad hominen attacks and secondly I would say to him that repetition of a weak argument does not make the argument any stronger. Whether or not a bill will come before the House is yet to be decided. The government will decide and the government will then, in government time if we are going to do a bill, bring it forward. The House can discuss, the House can debate and the House can decide. The government will decide, in consultation with our colleagues the Caucus, what we are going to do. That has not been decided yet. If we bring a bill in then we will address the matter and deal with it at length, be happy to deal with it and to hear what other members say. With that said, Mr. Speaker, I move the Orders of the Day now be read.

Orders of the Day

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, this brings us to the happy point where again we hear from the Opposition and I would look forward to the Budget Debate which is Motion 1, if you would call it. I forget which of the hon. gentlemen - my friend from Baie Verte - White Bay adjourned it so we will hear his speech whenever he is ready and whenever Your Honour calls it.

MR. SPEAKER: Motion 1. The hon. the Member for Baie Verte - White Bay.

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

I started just yesterday with a few comments but of course I would like to continue with a few more today on a variety of topics relating to the budget, Mr. Speaker.


MR. ROBERTS: I suggest perhaps we could resume debate. Obviously the time that elapsed is not to be counted against my friend for Baie Verte - White Bay who has the unique distinction of having emptied the House without saying a word. If it is in order perhaps we could proceed.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

Motion Number 1. The hon. Member for Baie Verte - White Bay was just getting into his debate.

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

MR. SHELLEY: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I must say, Mr. Speaker, I had the distinct pleasure of clearing the House but I hope you will not hold that against me in my time. I do not think you will.

I did get to start it yesterday, but I have a few issues that I would like to raise and discuss today, Mr. Speaker. The first comments have to do with the so-called balanced Budget that was brought in. Just a little while ago I read an article in The Globe and Mail of the message that a balanced Budget might be sending to our counterparts in Ottawa.

Sometimes in a Province in the state we find ourselves in, Mr. Speaker, it is a concern, and economists would ask, what message is that sending to our federal counterparts who we rely on for transfer payments, etc? So, sometimes we have to question a balanced Budget and what kind of internal message that sends to our federal counterparts as to what Newfoundland is doing with their books at a time of crisis, especially the fisheries crisis, Mr. Speaker. Maybe we should second-guess, or at least consider, what that kind of message sends to the federal government who we rely on heavily for transfer payments to this Province. Maybe it is not as rosy as it seems from the outset, and economists warn us that that message may in fact hurt this Province's ability to obtain federal funding.

The first thing I want to talk about when we talk about balanced Budgets is priorities. The average Newfoundlander in the street over the last few weeks, just to talk to him and comment about a balanced Budget, and Newfoundlanders in general ask, what do we mean by a balanced Budget? It sounds good but is it really as good as it sounds? They want that explained to them, and I try to tell them that a balanced Budget sounds good on the surface and it can be good underneath, but we have to look a little bit deeper than what we see in front.

I have fear of, and the question is raised by the average Newfoundlander, working Newfoundlander or unemployed Newfoundlander, is a balanced Budget what it seems? Mr. Speaker, that is where I have the concerns, when we look at the priorities of spending in the Province. The first one I want to mention is transportation. This week in particular, and I am glad the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation is in the House, I have talked to officials who tell me that basically the provincial paving allotments have already been considered for this year, and they are pretty well on line and ready to be announced, Mr. Speaker, I think, in the very near future by the minister.

I do know that $15 million for provincial paving this year is an absolute disgrace. The minister knows it and he would probably admit it if only he had the guts to stand up and admit it, $15 million at a time when provincial paving in this Province is needed more than ever. Roads and paved highways around this Province are run down, and then we have so many roads in this Province that are not paved, Mr. Speaker.

Many times in this House of Assembly I have presented petitions on behalf of constituents in my district who are appalled with the road conditions. As a matter of fact about three or four weeks ago now we had students from three different communities who got off the bus that travelled over this gravel road of potholes and decided enough was enough, so they decided to close off the road. After doing that they immediately called me and sent in a petition which I presented in the House of Assembly on their behalf.

Mr. Speaker, a simple thing that was said to me in those communities was priorities. They said, how can they justify, although the differential has to be set aside as to where the money is actually located, how can they justify, any government, federal or provincial, spending $110 million on a Ring Road in St. John's when there are roads unpaved in districts where students have to travel in a bus. Now, anybody here who travels by car, in a good car, in a good quality car, must realize that those roads, even in that kind of car, are bad enough.

Now, if anybody has travelled in a bus they will understand exactly what I am talking about. I certainly do not expect the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation to relate to anything I am saying to him, because from what I have heard the last trip made by the minister to check out roads in this Province was by helicopter. I do not expect him to understand what the students in the school bus say to me. These students have said to me, we are not driving in this bus any more over these potholes. We get to school sick.

MR. EFFORD: You are certainly not getting any roads.

MR. SHELLEY: Now, I want to make note of that, Mr. Speaker. The Minister of Works, Services and Transportation just said again, as he has said many times in this House, to many members, you are certainly not getting any roads. I am going to send a Hansard showing what was just said to the people in my district, because that was a joke, once or twice, but after you have said it twenty, thirty, or forty times, a minister of the Crown no matter what political stripe has an obligation and responsibility to every person in this Province, and those school students that I just spoke about should expect just as much from that minister as any school student in his own district, Mr. Speaker. I can take a joke like anybody can, but time after time - I relate to the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation who left the chamber but he heard me in the beginning.

Fifteen million dollars has been allocated for transportation and provincial road paving in this Province this year, something that I know that the minister, and I certainly know that his officials are fuming about. The truth is that it is pittance, it is not worth the paper it is written on. Down from $45 million to $50 million, now we are gone to $15 million. Not only that, I've also learned that out of that $15 million $1 million is for signs, another $500,000 is to fix cracks in pavement, another $500,000 is for emergency money. We are now left with $13 million. Let's not stop there. Another $5 million has already been committed. That leaves us with $8 million in this Province for provincial paving and upgrading this year. It is a total disgrace. There is not a member in this House who can stand and say that is fine and they are satisfied with that.

Now that is why I talk about a balanced budget. That is why I said to my constituent: What do we really mean by a balanced budget? I will tell you what it means. It means no roads. You go over that same road with the same school bus, your kids still get sick as they go to school. That is what the balanced budget means. It is sickening. Is that the price that we are going to pay so we can stand up and say a balanced budget? Is that the price that we are going to pay? Or are we going to look at the priorities of a ring road in St. John's or a renovation of offices here in this building or a renovation of an elevator outside so we can get to the fifth and eighth floor faster.

It is a simple question of priorities. Where the hell are our priorities when it comes to spending in this Province? That is the question we have to ask. I can't believe the amount of money that is going to be spent on provincial roads this year. I guess what they try to do to buffer the whole situation or to ease it off a little bit is to brag about the federal agreement on Roads for Rails. In my district this year, thank God, finally, since 1989 it was signed, because I was in the office the day it was signed, the Baie Verte Highway will go ahead, twenty kilometres. Much needed work needed to be done. But the provincial roads - Westport and Burlington roads for the last three years have gotten five kilometres. The people have been pretty satisfied with that. That is pretty reasonable. We can't spend a lot. They've been thanking the minister, because I've seen the letters they've sent him. Five kilometres, three years in a row.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SHELLEY: I say to the Member for Windsor - Buchans, that is too bad. But what I say is that it wasn't any great deal. It was five kilometres a year for three years. Now there are 3.4 kilometres of paving left for Burlington Road to finish it, to finish the job that the minister started. For which I commend him, Mr. Speaker.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SHELLEY: I say to the Member for Windsor - Buchans, if you want to speak on that like I'm speaking about the roads in my district, for God's sake somebody on that side stand up and talk about this so-called balanced budget with the smoke screen on the front. Speak about it like we are doing over here.

The truth is, I agree with the Member for Windsor - Buchans. There should have been more money. There would have been more roadwork done, there would have been more jobs. What I'm saying, Mr. Speaker, something that is reasonable -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SHELLEY: I don't bloody care what member of government there was. I'm here talking about today. I'm not ready to talk about the seventeen years you keep bringing up. I don't give a hell about the seventeen years before that. I want to talk from today and onwards.

Five kilometres of road for Westport and Burlington for three years straight. It wasn't a lot. People were satisfied. They are not asking for the world or gold roads, Mr. Speaker. They asked for a little bit and they got the five kilometres for three years running. Sensible thing to do. Lo and behold, what happens this year? Fifteen million dollars for the entire Province. Westport and Burlington, sorry, you only have three kilometres left to do, but too bad, we are going to stop it right there. Machines out there ready to roll and they are going to stop the last three kilometres of a four-year project. How bloody ridiculous is that.

The priorities of spending in this Province have to change. The priorities have to be given back to people who pay the taxes. I say that because I really believe that rural Newfoundland - there is no other way to put it, but having the boots put to them. Everywhere you look in this Province you can bring it back to rural Newfoundland. Down loading on municipal services to municipalities. It started at the feds. This is where we have the problem, the link, the chain of events that is happening in this Province, the chain of events that is changing the landscape of this Province.

The federal government, the federal cousins of our government here in this Province, has said nothing, not a peep when the federal priorities have changed. The federal government has down loaded to the provincial government, the provincial government right away and said: Sorry, that is a hot potato, we will pass it right down to the municipalities. What is the reason behind it?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SHELLEY: It is not true, I say to the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board. You had better talk to some of the municipalities around this Province. The down loading is right down the tubes right to the municipalities, right to the councils. Here we have volunteer elected councils in this Province and I've got them coming to me - I know the minister has them coming to him too - elected volunteer people who have been getting the boots put to them. They are saying: We are trying to make our communities survive and what happens? Every time we turn around we get a slap in the face. Down loading of services on the municipalities.

Roadwork, Mr. Speaker, that I just explained. Hospitals - and the Minister of Health gets up and refers back that we've got the greatest system of health care, it is getting better. I mean, how naive, how gullible does he think people are? Mr. Speaker, the first thing you have to do, a psychiatrist will tell you, when you have a problem, is to first of all, acknowledge the problem and the problem right here, in the government of this day, is that they don't acknowledge the problem first. If you are an alcoholic or a drug dependant, you first acknowledge the problem and then you find a way to treat it, but before you can do that, you have to acknowledge the problem. And the problem is clear and simple, and I say to the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board in all sincerity, that rural Newfoundland is being hurt to the limit, where it is nothing short of the word that we hold back so often, of resettlement in this Province - and another headline today, Mr. Speaker, about migration in this Province.

Until we realize that, my solution would be involved with a step that your government is simply missing and that is: consult with people who are living in these communities, ask them what their problems are, ask them to spin back and let us spread out what is happening in these communities. When I see a small community like Shoe Cove or like Harbour Deep, Mr. Speaker, working as hard as they can with volunteer people on their councils trying every possible way they can to help themselves - because, Mr. Speaker, like they have said to me: We are not talking about saving our jobs, as in the fishery, we are talking about saving a way of life. We have our homes here, our families grew up here and it seems like it is an attitude in this government that - why the heck do you live in those small places anyway? Get out of there, move into Gander, Grand Falls and Corner Brook; get out of there, you are not allowed to be there, you don't deserve to be there.

Well, Mr. Speaker, these people have another answer to the government which says that to them. They say: We built our homes here, we own them; the crime rates are low here, our children can grow up with a bit of integrity. They know they have to move out for the purpose of education and job opportunities but they want to live there and, Mr. Speaker, they have every right to live there and have services; they pay tax dollars like anybody else, as well as anybody from the bigger centres in this Province, but what is happening is changing the landscape of this Province. The federal counterparts of this government have said nothing. Every time they make a move at the federal level, bring it on you, not a peep; what they do is take the hot potato and pass it right on to the municipalities, Mr. Speaker. That's what is happening, and what we have to do is say: Hold on a second, rural Newfoundland is worth fighting for.

I live in rural Newfoundland and I have every intention of remaining there, it is a great place to raise a family, a great place to keep your integrity, to work. And if they were only given a chance, that's what one mayor said to me last week when I was in my district; he said: You know, if we were given even a half a chance to survive instead of downloading - and we see the downgrading, all the examples are there, the roads that we just spoke about, roads that you can't send a trike over, let alone a busload of kids; potholes not done, and then what do we get for an answer from the Provincial Government this year? Not only are we not going to keep the amount of money in provincial roads that we have over the years, we are going to decrease it. How ridiculous, Mr. Speaker, at a time when this government should be saying increase work, increase construction, a time when upgrading of roads is badly needed. One member of a council said to me: If this goes on one more year, our community will be impassable, we will have to leave our cars inside or out and travel by trike or skidoo into our community. That's the stage, Mr. Speaker, that we are getting to in this Province. So that's the transportation, and then hospitals, health care, let's go again into rural Newfoundland.

Mr. Speaker, I have said it here before, I will say it again; I said it before I was elected and have been quoted as saying it in the school where I taught: When we live in 1995 in a part of this Province that holds approximately 12,000 people in my district, we have one hospital with five acute-care beds. I was born in that little town in 1959 in a legion where they had a clinic; here I am in 1995, with two children, three and five years old, and I had to sit in a bloody hotel in Grand Falls to watch my children being born, Mr. Speaker, and it was the first time I thought about entering politics, when I said: How bloody ridiculous is that. There I was sitting in Mount Peyton Hotel in Grand Falls in 1993 when my first child was born.

I was born in Baie Verte, but now I have to travel with my wife, sit in a hotel, she has to be in a hospital that is not even in her own community and have a child born. A friend of mine said the same thing to me the other day; he went to Corner Brook, sat in the Glynmill Inn and stayed there - he doesn't have relatives or anyone in Corner Brook - while his wife was in Corner Brook Western Memorial Hospital having a baby; and, Mr. Speaker, there is no Minister of Justice - Minister of Health - Justice either for that matter - who could stand anywhere and say that there is better health care in this Province. So those are two simple stories that relate to anybody in this House, I know they do.

At the same time, a young child - my child, or anybody else's - who has to have a common operation such as a tonsillectomy or an appendix operation, can't have it done in the Baie Verte hospital. That is too complicated; that is too big a task. We have to drive for two hours to Corner Brook, and then, Mr. Speaker, here is the catch of it all: We were told when we were downgraded, `Don't worry about it; we are going to increase ability at the Corner Brook hospital and the Grand Falls hospital, so you can go to either one of those and you will be taken care of.'

Well, I brought the best example to this House just a month ago that you are probably ever going to see. A man in my district with severe back pains, in agony, his wife was telling me, went to Corner Brook hospital in January. He needed a myelogram - on his spine. The doctor said, `Yes, you definitely need a myelogram before you have your operation done. `Now, your myelogram, by the way, Sir, will be in November.' This was January; he was going to get the myelogram done in November. Here is a man with pain in his face, and he has to wait for eleven months.

Mr. Speaker, I will say something about the squeaky wheel. By the way, the last time I brought that up in the House of Assembly, when the Minister of Health stood and said, `No, there is no problem', lo and behold that same man called me two days later and said, `By the way, my appointment has been moved up; I am in this week.' So I wonder sometimes what wheel gets the grease.

Mr. Speaker, all I can say is that the priorities on rural Newfoundland and urban Newfoundland have to change. These are taxpayers; these are people just like anybody else. Now, besides living in Baie Verte and travelling to the hospital - then, of course, connect this with transportation. You might ask me why on that, and the answer is simple. We have to now travel over sixty kilometres of deteriorating pavement, roads in a crucial stage that have to be done right now, so that is why I say to the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation, not only the construction industry but simple, basic decent road construction in this Province is badly, badly needed.

Just over a month ago, a delegation from Ming's Bight, a small town in my community, met with the minister and his officials, and so did I, and they told the minister what stage we are at with road construction in this Province. Their road hasn't been touched in twelve years, and the depot there on the peninsula, I have to say, does a magnificent job. Every time they are called, the graders go and do what they can do, but this delegation said to the minister, `It is simple. It is no good to send a grader to do our roads again because there is nothing left to grade.' And the minister, in his wisdom, and his officials, agreed. They said, `That is right; there is no more grading to be done. We are throwing good money after bad. We are sending paid employees down with a grader to do something that is not worth it.' So why do we keep doing it?

Isn't there a priority that this budget should have had more money in transportation this year? I would say that there is not a member in this House who would deny that. There should have been more money in the budget for Works, Services and Transportation this year because the state of the roads in this Province is at a breaking point, of being impassable. There is nothing more to it than that.

Municipalities and these small communities, as small as they may be - Burlington Road, for example, 3.4 kilometres left, and stopped right at the last minute. It is totally ridiculous, and it is something that can upset anybody, and it would upset any member in this House when they are speaking for their district.

I know there are members over there who have some pretty bad conditions in their areas. I know that my colleagues do - we have talked about it many times. And the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation should be addressing it now, should be starting to make his Cabinet colleagues realize that there has to be more budgeted for next year. It is not going to save anything now, but we certainly have to say something about it now and make him aware of it now.

I know that as I speak now there are petitions on the way to me for next week in the House of Assembly. It is a very, very serious problem, something that has to be addressed, something that we cannot jump up and say, `Yes, we have a balanced Budget, but you are going to have to go over the same bloody road, and worse again next year.' Now, where is the priority? for this Premier and this Minister of Finance to come in next year and say, `Here we go, another balanced Budget.' Whoop-de-doo! What does that matter to a man in Shoe Cove who just took his five-year-old, who just started school, off the bus because she was sick of beating over potholes? The priorities have to change.

As I said just a few minutes ago, what we have to do is start to remind this government that the chain of events happening is right in their lap. It is coming from the Federal Government into their lap. They are taking it like a hot potato and passing it right down to the municipalities of rural Newfoundland. This government have to roll up their sleeves, not worry about getting their hands dirty, and say, `No, we are not taking that anymore. No, we can't accept what you have just proposed.' Everything they propose, there is not a wink, there is not a blink.

I remember reading in The Western Star just over a month ago, a quote from a letter the Premier had written to Paul Martin. I wish I had it in front of me, but the quote is something like - the jist was this: Mr. Martin, we realize that you had to make some major cuts and we are trying to balance the budget in Canada. We are all for that.' I would help anyway that I can, too, Mr. Speaker, but what is he saying? In the next phrase he says, `So come on with the cuts. Whatever you do I will be hard-pressed not to accept them.' That is what the quote was, `I will be hard-pressed not to accept any proposals you have referring to the budget that will be inflicted upon Newfoundland. Now, Mr. Speaker, what kind of statement is that coming from a Premier of a Province that is in crisis - a crisis with the fishery, a crisis with so many other things in the economy? What kind of a statement is that? What kind of a message, like the economist in The Globe and Mail said, is this government sending our federal counterparts? `We have a balanced Budget, boys, we are in a crisis but we have a balanced Budget. Don't worry about us, don't worry about increasing our transfer payments, don't worry about helping us out an extra little bit.'

This is the same Federal Government - remember now,under different stripes - who cares about the stripes? P.C., Liberal, Trudeau, Mulroney, all of them before, that mismanaged our fishery. That is what we have, Mr. Speaker, we don't talk about Tories and Liberals and red and blue. We are here today, these members here in this House of Assembly, we have to deal with what is in front of us, not talk for seventeen years about Tories and ten years about Liberals. Like my colleague, the Member for St. Mary's - The Capes keeps saying - twenty-eight years old, seventeen years a Tory, he was eleven years old. Who gives a darn? He doesn't. We want to go on and talk about what we are going to do for the next few years.

And that is an attitude, Mr. Speaker, that has to change in government, as a whole, I believe. We can be here every day I stand and talk about the Churchill Falls mistake. If you want to talk about mistakes, $820 million every year. So we could sit up and talk about that. I could use the full half-hour to talk about that. I hardly mention it because it is not worth talking about now. That is the game, that is what we have to play. So let's look forward, Mr. Speaker.

Then, Mr. Speaker, I run this right into the rural urban argument about the electoral boundaries - not the electrical boundaries, as the member for Grand Bank mentioned earlier, it's the electoral boundaries.

AN HON. MEMBER: He was in shock.

MR. SHELLEY: He was in shock at the time. He was talking about extending the transmission line but, Mr. Speaker, I had to run this right into how it relates to the decision on electoral boundaries. Mr. Speaker, there is nobody in this House, and I have talked to members on both sides, who objects to the public saying that we can run this Province with fewer members and we could save money. That is good, I can accept that. I think most people can accept it. If it is going to be - the first thing, Mr. Speaker, and this is very important, if we are going to change the members and change the `landscape' of this House, let's do it independently like it was done in the beginning by Justice - Noel was it, the first one - there are so many who did it now that I cannot remember how many - Mahoney, yes, I'm sorry. Justice Mahoney did the first one independently.

It cost $400,000 to send Judge Mahoney around, independent, he came back with forty-four seats, perfect. He passed it into the Premier and the Cabinet - hold on now, he said forty the first time. Now that is significant. If we were going to do that, Mr. Speaker, we would have some trouble, all of us, with our districts but we all have to swallow it because it came independently. It came from a mandate that this man - this justice minister and the commission was paid $400,000, let's accept it and let's go for it. I will vote for that. I will support that. It might be hard to swallow in my district. It might be harder then what I have now but I will take that.

Well, Mr. Speaker, no, that didn't happen, we went the second time. And from what we are hearing, Judge Mahoney was asked to do it again but he said, `No, I am sorry that's it.' He refused. He did it independently, what was asked him in the first place. It went to the second justice and he refused. Lo and behold, finally we get a friend of the minister, the fugitive from Justice, we get a friend from him who says, `Yes, I will take it. I will deal with it.' So he did it. Now he comes back, Mr. Speaker, after a third or fourth time, whatever it is now; now it is down from fifty-two to forty-eight, Mr. Speaker. Now, first, two things; I don't believe that that is significant enough. If it is gone from fifty-two to forty-eight what difference is that? That is no difference, let's face it, let's be real about this. There is no difference in fifty-two to forty-eight. As a matter of fact, the way the districts are going and the way one of the members has already said, `Well, we can hire extra staff to help a few of the members who have the big geography area.' So where is the savings? What was the reason for it? Wasn't it for savings to the taxpayers of the Province? We have spent enough money on the commissions going around for the last year-and-a-half to make up for what we are going to save for the four MHAs who are going to be lost. So, Mr. Speaker, where is the logic and the commonsense? I just can't see it. For the life of me I just can't see it. If the whole purpose was to bring down the number of members in this Province to save the taxpayer's dollar, we have just spent that much on the commissions that went around the Province. I don't see the rationale in it.

The second point I would like to make on that is if we are doing the changes and going to forty-eight, numbers is all that the Minister of Justice and the Premier have talked about, the numbers, one person, one vote. That's fine. That sounds good on the surface. But I wonder - and I even think I have an answer to it now - but I wondered why the Premier was thinking about - why wasn't he thinking about the geography? Why wasn't he thinking about the number of communities? I finally came up with an answer and this is something I believe now, so I will give the Premier a chance to rebut some time when he is in the House or if we get to speak on electoral boundaries.

Was he ever really a good, what we call, constituent MHA? one who went out to the communities, met with the fire departments, met with the Kinsmen groups, met with the volunteer groups, met with all the councils. I wonder if he was. I ask that question because I can tell you that I am, I do that. I know a lot of members on both sides of the House who do. I have twenty-one communities, one which is isolated - Harbour Deep. I've been in every single one of them, I don't know, ten, twelve times, many times. I meet with twenty-one councils, I've met with fifteen fire department, I've met with five development associations in my district, I've met with Kinsmen and groups, women's groups. That is what a lot of these members do. Compare that to an urban MHA, and we have talked about it openly. Those people meet with the one council, the one fire department, the one development association. Right away, that wasn't taken into account, I don't think, when these decisions were made on electoral.

Very quickly, with time running out here, the other point that I would like to mention is the geography. Everybody talks about the geography of Newfoundland. The Member for Fortune - Hermitage made the best point I heard, in the media the other day. I can make some. The geography in the member's district - it now means he will have to fly to Gander from down on the South Coast, fly over to Stephenville and go down to the other part of his district. I just don't see the logic in that. I just can't understand that for the life of me. That is bloody ridiculous! That member is not going to be able to serve that district as well as he is doing now. The Member for Fortune - Hermitage will not be able to serve that district as well as he is doing now. I must say, to all intents and purposes, he is doing a good job now. He will not be able to continue that job.

I can tell this House of Assembly, I will work harder - and I know all members will work harder, we will try our best, but the reality is simple. With the geography, I will go from twenty-one communities to thirty-three. I will have to drive up the Trans-Canada over into Springdale and down that side of the shoreline. I'm figuring it will be somewhere between eight hours to twelve hours driving, to cover my district. Whereas an urban member can drive around his district in twenty minutes, which he should be able to do - to visit somebody who needs to talk to him, a council that needs to meet with him. I have to drive for eight to twelve hours just to talk to a development association over in Green Bay. You know, with the time you spend here in St. John's, that logic of it I can't see, the geography, the number of the communities.

AN HON. MEMBER: How are you going to be able to travel with the (inaudible) roads?

MR. SHELLEY: Of course, now, on top of all of that we come back to Works, Services and Transportation again, and we have the great roads we talked about. I said six to twelve hours, but with the road conditions we can say sixteen hours, easily. Mr. Speaker, I'm a member who likes to get into the district, the different communities. I think that this decision is going to interrupt that and we will not be able to (inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time has elapsed.

MR. SHELLEY: By leave, just to conclude, Mr. Speaker?

MR. SPEAKER: Does the hon. member have leave?


MR. SPEAKER: By leave.

MR. SHELLEY: Mr. Speaker, I would just like to make a few more comments just to finish on electoral boundaries. All I'm asking, Mr. Speaker, is that when the final decision comes down on electoral boundaries, that above all the numbers and the quotients and the minuses and pluses that the Premier talks about, let me just throw another little thing into his solution: Common sense, logic. Ask the Member for Fortune - Hermitage, how can you now serve your district? Isn't that the whole reason for a member, to see if he can serve his district to the best of his ability? Isn't that the whole reason? Or is this just a perception, a smoke screen, to say to the public of this Province: Yes, we will decrease the number of seats, we will be the government that decreased the number of MHAs in this Province. From what? From fifty-two to forty-eight and then we will hire ten more bureaucrats, or ten more staff, to make up for the four we just lost. Let us be honest with the public of this Province, Mr. Speaker, what are the real reasons behind changes in electoral boundaries?

They are always asking advice from us, although I do not think they take it, but I will give the Premier that advice. On top of his quotients, minuses, and pluses, and with his little calculator on numbers, one vote, one person, with all this - I do not know what word I can use on that - I cannot use that word, but with all that, Mr. Speaker, I ask him to sit back in his seat and say, hold on, now, let us use a little bit of logic and common sense. Let us go and ask the members who are really constituent members, the members who go out in their districts and talk to the councils.

They are not the typical member they see elected one year and then wait until four years later for him to put a pamphlet on their porch again. They are not those members, Mr. Speaker. Let us take notice of the members who really go out and do their constituent work. Let us listen to those people. So, if we are going to change the electoral boundaries and go from fifty-two to forty-eight let us ask ourselves if we are doing it for the right reason or is it just a perception we want to give the public.

I ask the Member for Fortune - Hermitage, when he gets his chance, to speak on the electoral boundaries and give us his opinion on what he thinks a real constituent member is.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible)

MR. SHELLEY: Well, sometimes that is too late.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible)

MR. SHELLEY: Well, that is why I have a lot more to say on it and I think a lot of the members in this House will have a lot more to say on it, and I will continue to say more on it, Mr. Speaker.

I want to end off on one more issue, if I can continue. This past year we had a ruckus, a racket, whatever you want to call it, in this House on job creation programs. Every year before I even considered entering politics I heard the same argument in here, no matter what government was here. I say to the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations that I hear the same argument, Mr. Speaker. There are going to be no job creation programs this year, they are a waste of money, throwing money away, and all these arguments. That is what we hear year after year.

Mr. Speaker, another suggestion, or advice again, for the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations. Why not this year, now, soon, meet with his colleagues, and like I said before, admit and realize there is a problem every year with employment in this Province, and put monies in place now in their so-called balanced Budget and make long-term plans so that at the last minute we do not call it make-work projects and go scrambling around for $5 or $6 million to help a few people who are out there in desperate need.

Realize now, like I realize, and I am sure many members realize, that next year there is going to be a problem again. There are going to be people in a squeeze and at the last minute cannot help themselves out. That is a reality in this Province. With seasonal work and with the economic situation we have in this Province the reality is that we are going to have people again next year looking for a few weeks work to qualify for UI.

Remember, Mr. Speaker, the people we raised in the House this year were people who found themselves in critical situations because of the economy of the country and the economy of our Province. They are not people looking for hand-outs like some of the members I mentioned. They are people who found themselves stuck, so what I say to the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, and his colleagues, and the Premier, is to start looking at it now and realize that we will have the problem next year. Let us put the money in the Budget now and make long-term solutions with those projects.

Now, I want to mention one, and we mentioned it last year, and we had a press conference on it this morning, we cannot send enough people in the forests to plant trees, thin brush, and cut brush along the side of the roads. That is work that needs to be done in this Province. There are people willing and able to work who could do that type of work. We cannot send enough people in the forests of this Province to do that work. Let us consider that as one of the alternatives for next year when we decide on the amount of money for these so-called job creation programs.

In other words, let us do something that is productive, creative, and something that is going to be long-term and give some people who are looking for these few weeks work a little bit of integrity so that they can go work for their money. These are not people who are looking for handouts. They are people who are saying to this government, we want to work. Give us good meaningful work and something that will be beneficial, and I cannot think of anything more beneficial than sending a person who wants to work into the woods to plant trees, thin brush, and cut brush along the side of the road. It is something that is beneficial and sustainable for the long time life of that particular industry.

That is the advice I give to the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations. Let us use it to the best of our advantage for the long-term. I spoke to the minister about this before. Instead of throwing that $5 million out the last minute when we have to present all these petitions, sit down with the Premier and your colleagues and make plans now. There is going to be another crisis next year. That is the economy, that is the way we are running.

If we are going to set aside $5, $6, $7 or $8 million let us sit down and spent it properly and wisely. That money will not be wasted if we do it like that, but it will be wasted if you wait and do the same thing you did this year. At the last minute push it in and throw out some projects. A big rush on in the communities and nobody knew what was going where. They did projects they were not too sure about. Let's send it out now. Send out the applications and say that you are going to get this much money this year; come up with a good, viable alternative, alright?

Mr. Speaker, the last one that I want to mention today is education.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SHELLEY: That is a good idea. Like I said, I would be here until the cows come home but we are not sure if there are going to be any cows to come home.

MR. ROBERTS: The hon. gentleman looks like he was here when the cows came home.

MR. SHELLEY: If I look like I was here since the cows came home, he must have been on the cow that I rode in on. He has been here a lot longer than I have. When I have been here as long as the fugitive from justice has been here, I don't know if there will be any cows left in Newfoundland.

Mr. Speaker, on education very quickly, just the other day, of course, we saw a demonstration by students who were doing ABE courses. Now I relate to this one very, very well for a simple reason. I was an instructor at the community college in Baie Verte for an ABE course before entering politics and, I can tell you, I spoke to these people.

The best experience I can remember in teaching those people, these were people who, for all kinds of reasons - and I know friends of mine, I know many people - back in the sixties and seventies, decided to quit school at an early age and pursue, of course, job opportunities in mines, like in my district, and other places, so they had all kinds of reasons for quitting school in Grade VIII, Grade IX and Grade X because they had job opportunities, something that is very different these days. So these people now, of course, with the changing of technology and the way the world is changing these days, decided in their wisdom, because they were told by people in government: Go back and get your education because you cannot make it in this world today without an education...

Of course, when we all speak at graduations and so on these days, as I did the other night, I say that to students all the time: Make sure you finish high school and go get a trade or a degree in something so that you can better yourself, but don't give up. It is not such a big, bad world after all. You can do something.

So here we are, in government, encouraging students to go back to school, finish their education, do good for themselves, take themselves up by their boot straps and do something for themselves. Now, isn't that what we all say to our people?

Now, in the midst of all of that, lo and behold we see cuts to Adult Basic Education. No, it is not eliminated like the minister said. I realize that. My argument is there was not enough ABE in the first place. These are people who took our advice and said: Yes, we are going to go back and get our education and be productive members of society so we can contribute to government and not take away, and not look for hand-outs.

What happens when they get up and get into those classrooms, the people who were out here a couple of days ago? As soon as they got up and decided to do something for themselves they were pushed back down again by a government that decides they are going to have cutbacks, federal and provincial, to these ABE courses. It is a bloody shame when you look at that. It is so hypocritical of this government, to talk about people who never made it through their education degree, had the guts finally - and it took a lot for a lot of people who were out of school for ten, fifteen and twenty years - to go back and finish their Grade XII. They get in their now and they find out there are cuts to this program, something that was good; it was a good plan. Let these people get their education and be productive and pay into the government coffers, more taxes, more revenue for this Province. It is an investment into the future. That is why I was appalled to hear that.

On the same note, last year this government decided to cut provincial grants to students in this Province who badly needed it, because I was one of those students who got that provincial grant. I was one of those students who, without the help of that provincial grant, would have not finished - and I have said it before and I will say it again here - my two degrees at Memorial University. Because I come from a big family and I could not put myself through, that provincial grant allowed me to get my degrees, and that is the reason, maybe, why I am standing here today. The provincial grants and the cuts in ABE are ridiculous. It is a shame, a bloody shame. So these are some of the things that I talked about earlier about priorities and what government should look at as priorities.

We should really look at the people who are affected by cuts before we make the cuts; it is as simple as that. Let us not make it in a back room of Cabinet in solidarity and secrecy. Before you make a cut in government in this Province, you should, first of all, ask the person who is going to be most affected by the cut, not ask your buddies who are sitting around a Cabinet table how it is going to affect them, ask the people who are going to be affected most, what that cut is going to mean. So a balanced Budget, Mr. Speaker, I am going to tell you this, that there is a lot more behind the words balanced Budget than what we have seen, and it is going to unfold very quickly.

Well, Mr. Speaker, that's all I want to say for today but I will have more opportunity to have a few more comments on the Budget again. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. MANNING: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I am pleased today to have the opportunity to stand and speak in the Budget debate. After listening to the eloquent speech by the hon. Member for Baie Verte - White Bay, for the past forty minutes or so, it is a hard act to follow but I will humbly submit and try to do what I can.

I would like to follow up on some of the comments made by the Member for Baie Verte - White Bay as it relates, not only to the Province in general but indeed to parts of the District of St. Mary's - The Capes which I have the honour of representing in this House. I would like to touch first, if I could, on a major concern in my district, and it has to do with the unemployment situation. For many years we have enjoyed the lucrative results of a great fishery in my district which brought many, many jobs to the people, but over the last couple of years since the moratorium has been put in place, we not only see people who have been directly involved in the fishing industry such as the fishermen and plant workers and people who worked around the fishing facilities, but indeed we have found that many, many people in my district who were indirectly involved in the fishing industry, have had the sad occasion of being left out in the cold I would say, Mr. Speaker, such as baby-sitters, people who work in the restaurants, truck-drivers, people who, indirectly had work as a result of the fishing industry and these people will receive no compensation; they receive no help from anybody and have been left out in the cold.

Just this morning I received a call from a community in my district in St. Mary's Bay, the community of Branch, where they did a little survey over the past couple of days and the information that I received this morning was, that there were eighty-five people in that community now who are receiving nothing whatsoever from any government agency, either UI or social assistance - in some cases yes, some people have qualified for social assistance but the bare minimum in a lot of cases - and we have eighty-five people in the community of Branch at the present time who have no chance of work and really have nowhere to turn.

Mr. Speaker, it is hard to come up with a very positive feeling when your community is reaping the benefits of a positive fishing industry to come to where we are today, and Branch is repeated today, throughout this Province. There are several communities in this Province I would take a chance at saying that are in the same ball game as Branch finds itself, and these people are searching for help, they are searching for answers, they are searching for somebody to assist them in every way possible but it is very difficult to talk to people who in some cases, say that they are sending their children off to school without the proper necessities that they need. They are concerned about next week, they are concerned about tomorrow and this is repeated throughout the Province and definitely repeated in other communities in my district.

It is a major concern that we have. It is okay to say that we have a balanced Budget, Mr. Speaker, but we have to ask, at what cost? We realize that the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations cannot come up with a program tomorrow that would answer all the questions and all the concerns that the people have who are looking for work in the Province, but I say to the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, that he should certainly search in his wisdom and try to find some type of program that would not be termed as a make-work program anymore but find some kind of program that would have some element of training in the program and also have some type of on-the-job training, giving people the opportunity to go out into the workforce with some type of basic training.

I think if we came forward with some type of program that would give the people of the Province an opportunity to do that, we may see better results from money that is spent in trying to create jobs in the Province than what we have seen in the past.

I had a lady who called me yesterday who is trying to get a job as an office administrator, she just finished a course at one of the colleges here in town and a two-year training course and she told me she was willing to work for a month without pay just to have the opportunity to show the employers her skills. A few years ago you would never hear tell of this because there was plenty of work and there were plenty of jobs for everybody, but we have people now who are willing to go to work for a month just to have an opportunity to show their skills to their employers.

The unemployment situation is desperate. In my area just during the Easter weekend there were eleven young people who left the community to travel to B.C. I'm sure this is going on in other parts of the Province. There are positive things that are happening in this Province and I have no hesitation in saying that there are positive things happening in my district, but the fact of the fishery closure has certainly brought hardship to a lot of communities and a lot of individuals. I'm very concerned about what the future holds. As I said, there were eleven people who left my district during Easter weekend to travel to B.C. I'm sure that you can see this throughout the Province in other districts. People are leaving on a continuous basis trying to find work if they are not receiving any compensation for their involvement indirectly or directly in the fishing industry.

I hope that the government in its wisdom, that the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, may find something that will alleviate the hardship that the people of Branch find themselves in. Not only the people of Branch, but indeed the people throughout the Province and other parts of the District of St. Mary's - The Capes.

I would also like to touch on another issue that has been brought up in my district on a continuous basis, and that has to do with the roads. We have, over the past number of years, been very successful in receiving some money for roadwork in the district, and I will touch on that in a few minutes when I touch on a few of the positive things that are happening in the district. There are several pieces of road in my district that certainly are in desperate need of some type of work after the winter months. I'm looking forward in the next couple of days to bringing forward some petitions here in the House that would bring forward the concerns of those people.

We have a road between Branch and St. Bride's that is in desperate need of help. The access road down to Point Lance - I believe it is Route 100-13 - is in desperate need of some type of repair and maintenance. There are schoolchildren on these roads every day and the bus drivers are complaining about the condition of the roads. The parents are calling concerning the situation with the road. I hopefully will bring forward the concerns through a petition here in the House in the next couple of days from the people in those communities, and that the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation will address this very important concern, and that he will hopefully find the funds, or find the manpower I should say, to have the necessary repairs carried out.

We also have other roads. I bring up once again, as I have in the past, the concern of the people on the road to the community of Mall Bay in my district that is still unpaved, and the condition of the bridge that is on the road to that. I bring forward the concern of the people, they are going to bring forward a petition to me also in the next few days that I hope to present here in the House to bring forward the concerns of the people from Mall Bay in relation to the condition of the road and definitely in relation to the bridge issue and the safety factor, if nothing else.

Last winter we had a job creation program announced by the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, if I can just touch back on that for a minute. We were successful in my district of having $170,000 approved for the District of St. Mary's - The Capes under that program. Due to the strict criteria that were enforced by the Department of Employment and Labour Relations we received much less than $100,000, approximately $100,000, for the people in the district. So we had to return through the associations and the committees that had applied and received the funding around $70,000 of their funds to the department. This was a very difficult thing to do as so many people were there looking for work. We hope that the government will come up with some type of program. I certainly don't believe in a quick make-work program. Some type of job training and on-the-job work afterwards I think would produce, as I said earlier, much more positive results for the people than they have in the past.

I would like to touch on another important issue in my district. I've had an opportunity to have a couple of meetings with development associations and councils over the past couple of weeks. It concerns the plan the government has for developing the economic zones in the Province. We've gone through it several times and we are very concerned about a couple of things. One is the time frame that has been put on the people in the communities to put together their economic zones and their committees. Indeed, the size of these zones is a big concern.

The zone that affects my district, Mr. Speaker, will be economic zone number eighteen which will run from Long Harbour and Mount Arlington Heights up to the community of Bay Bulls. There is some concern being expressed and I hope that some words the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology said in the House last year, that the plan for the zones or the lines that make up the zones are not carved in stone. We hope that through discussions with his office, if it seems possible or if it is possible, that the people in that particular zone think that a subdivision of that zone or whatever the case may be, may be better in the long run, is that the minister will look at that and hopefully that will give some opportunity for those people to have a say but there is some concern about the size of the zone, there is a major concern.

We have six development associations who are in economic zone eighteen now. There is a very large concern throughout the district whether those six development associations will be there afterwards. If it is going to be two or three, who will they be, and the amount of funding they will receive to operate, because out in districts now and especially in my district, I have four development associations who are definitely a major integral part of the community and have been for the past twenty-five years. Their efforts have certainly not gone unnoticed I am sure by people on both sides of the House of Assembly who have development associations in their districts. I think there is room for improvement but there is also room to take in the positive aspects of development associations over the years. I hope that the government in their wisdom, when they are putting together these economic zones for the Province, have the opportunity to recognize the efforts of the development associations and indeed, make sure that they stay around for years to come, Mr. Speaker.

I would also like to touch on, if I could, Mr. Speaker, education issues that the Member for Baie Verte - White Bay talked about earlier. I am certainly concerned about some of the cutbacks in education as it relates to rural Newfoundland. Indeed, over the past number of years we have seen some due to the low enrollment in some of our schools, Mr. Speaker, that we have brought forward some amalgamation of schools in the district. In the case of the Mount Carmel area, there was a new school built that brought all the schools from that area together. Out in the Cape Shore area they closed out the school in Point Lance and Branch and brought everybody over to St. Bride's.

I understand fully, Mr. Speaker, that the government has to do those things in some cases because of the situation with dollars that are funded through the school boards and what they have to operate under their budget but my concern is the availability of some programs in relation to sciences, a music teacher or a phys ed or whatever the case may be. There is some concern that some of those programs are not being offered to the people in rural communities as much as they are being offered to the people inside the overpass, Mr. Speaker. It should not depend on where you live. I realize that we cannot have many of the things that they may have in the urban centres but I believe that the basis and hopefully a few add-ons can be certainly there for the people of rural Newfoundland and the children of rural Newfoundland to enjoy in their schools, Mr. Speaker. I say that the availability of these programs is important for the overall learning of the student. Indeed, when they head off to university or some post-secondary school, Mr. Speaker, they have the background that will enable them to receive the training that they need and not be playing catch-up with people who have been fortunate enough to live in a city and have all these programs at their fingertips for years to come, for years to pass.

I would like to touch on, Mr. Speaker, if I could, a concern I have in relation to some fisheries issues. I don't believe that the Minister of Fisheries, Food and Agriculture is in the House at this time but it goes back to some of the questions that were raised by the hon. Member for Grand Bank earlier in relation to the TAGS program. I have several people in my district who have been in the fishing industry for many, many years and because of some rule or guideline that they don't reach or they don't match in relation to what the criteria that has been set down for the TAGS program, those people are not qualifying for the program and therefore cannot partake in a lot of the training.

I have women - many, many women in my district - whom I have assisted with TAGS appeals, who have been trying to better themselves through ABE courses, or some type of training that has been offered in their communities, and because of the strict criteria that has been brought down under the latest TAGS program those people are not qualifying.

Mr. Speaker, I have people who have been in the industry for twenty-five or thirty years in a lot of cases, and because they missed one or two years, whatever the case may be, out of those twenty-five years, they are not qualifying for the program.

I think this is unfair. I think there should be opportunity for these people. The Federal Government came down a few months ago and announced a Level III process, and for some reason or other, everybody was under the impression that the people of the Province, or indeed the people who are affected most in the Province, the fishermen and the plant workers, would have the opportunity to go in and sit down in front of this appeal board and talk to them, and express their situation and their case to them, and hopefully they would receive some help, but for some reason or other this new TAGS III appeal process has been circumvented by somebody upalong and they will have no in-house hearing. There will be no opportunity for a TAGS recipient, or a person who is trying to become part of TAGS, to go in and sit down with this appeal board and express their concerns, and express the history of themselves in the fishing industry or whatever the case may be.

For some reason or other, the government have decided they are not going to allow that, and I think it is a sham that the Level III process has even been put in place at a time when there are so many people who have been involved in the industry for so many years are being left out in the cold.

Mr. Speaker, I say it is a very important issue, and I say that my biggest concern in many cases, is the fact that there are a lot of young people being affected in the communities because their parents who have been relying on the jobs in the fishing industry, now are receiving no money, and therefore, those young people cannot partake in further education because the funds are not available to them.

I think the TAGS appeal process certainly should be looked at, and that the Provincial Government should be taking the gloves off with the Federal Government in relation to the many people who are being affected on a day-to-day basis on TAGS. They are being taken off one by one, where there is going to be no big hurdle for anybody to jump over because nobody realizes the situation, I don't think, as it is happening day by day when people are coming off it.

I would also like to touch, if I could, on an issue in my district over the past couple of days that several members have discussed, as it relates to the crab industry. I believe the Member for Pleasantville is well aware of the situation with the crab. It is an issue that has been brought forward by the crab fishermen in my district over the past couple of days. It relates to the sale of crab this year and the fact that because of a rule that the provincial Department of Fisheries has in place, that 85 per cent of the crab caught must be processed in the Province, there is a possibility that the negotiated price of $2.50 between the buyers and the fishermen is going to drop to maybe below $1 a pound.

This certainly is a major concern in my district because I have three instances where one fisherman has spent over $50,000 in preparing for the crab fishery this year. There was a gentleman at my house on Sunday who has spent $27,000 and another who has spent about $18,000 preparing for the crab fishery this year, based on the fact that they could have had $2.50 per pound for crab. Now, I realize that we have to try to create as many processing jobs in the Province as we can, but there should be a balance so that the fishermen can have an opportunity to make a dollar.

I am glad to see that the Minister of Fisheries, Food and Agriculture is back in the House. He may be able to enlighten us a bit on some of the discussions they are having in relation to the crab fishery. It is certainly a major concern in my district over the past couple of days because of the fact that many fishermen, as I said earlier, have geared up for what they believe to be a very lucrative crab fishery this year. For some reason or other now, the possibility may be that they won't be able to sell their crab. The Japanese market, from what I can understand, is hot to trot for whole crab or sections of crab, and due to the rule of processing 85 per cent in the Province the cost of taking the meat from the sections of the crab is going to drive the processing costs up. Those costs will be passed on to the fishermen in the Province and therefore will drive down the price that the buyers are willing to pay for the crab.

I don't know if the Minister of Fisheries, Food and Agriculture would care to enlighten the House on the negotiations with the crab fishermen, and if anything has changed today in relation to the fact of the guideline of the 85 per cent being processed in the Province. Would the minister care to answer a question on that?

DR. HULAN: (Inaudible).


MR. MANNING: No, no go. Well, that is all you can do. If the minister is not willing to answer, I don't think there is anything I can do about that. I will have to leave it and he will have to answer us in Question Period,I say, Mr. Speaker. But it is a major (inaudible) -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

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

MR. MANNING: I'm getting my points across slowly. Mr. Speaker, I bring up the crab issue because it has been a major topic in my district over the past couple of days. We have seen fishermen who have spent tens of thousands of dollars gearing up for a crab fishery when now they may not even receive as much as a dollar a pound.

We all know that we are not going to ask the government to come in with a rule or a guideline that would allow 100 per cent of the crab to leave the Province in sections, in whole crab, but I think there should be somewhere a meeting of the minds that would at least allow a certain percentage or a greater percentage to leave the Province. If the markets in Japan want that type of product such as the whole crab or the sections I think government certainly should be able to accommodate the fishermen. Because if the fishermen cannot go out and catch the crab at a fair price they are not going to go at all. Therefore, neither the fishermen nor the plant workers will have the opportunity to reap any benefits from the crab fishery this year.

I think it is a major concern. I try once again, and I ask the Minister of Fisheries, Food and Agriculture - I wonder if the Minister of Fisheries, Food and Agriculture would care to answer a question on the crab fishery.

DR. HULAN: (Inaudible) tomorrow.

MR. MANNING: Tomorrow? No go today I say, Mr. Speaker - he won't answer today. You had some discussions this morning, I believe. I'm just trying to see if I can -

DR. HULAN: (Inaudible).

MR. MANNING: What is that, Mr. Minister?

DR. HULAN: (Inaudible).

MR. MANNING: I can't hear you.

Mr. Speaker, it is a big concern in my district and that is why I raise it here today. I certainly hope that the minister can enlighten the people of the Province tomorrow - if he doesn't care to do so today, that he will enlighten the people of the Province tomorrow on the situation with the crab fishery. Because we have boats in my district, and I'm sure throughout the Province, that are geared up ready to go at the crab fishery, but for some reason, the provincial Department of Fisheries, Food and Agriculture has a rule in place that 85 per cent has to be processed in the Province. The price has gone down to around a dollar a pound and therefore they can't go out and pursue the crab fishery this year. You will have some answers tomorrow, you say, Mr. Minister? That's good. It's good to hear.

DR. HULAN: The issue is being addressed (inaudible).

MR. MANNING: What is that, Mr. Minister?

DR. HULAN: I say the issue is being addressed (inaudible).

MR. MANNING: Okay. Is it going to be a positive answer for the fishermen, I say to the minister.

DR. HULAN: It is going to be good for the Province.

MR. MANNING: Good for the Province. We will have to wait and see, won't we, Mr. Minister?

I would like to touch on a -

DR. HULAN: (Inaudible).

MR. MANNING: Yes, okay, Mr. Speaker. The minister, I hope, will have some answers for the crab fishermen tomorrow. He has alluded that there are negotiations ongoing and that there will be some answers. We will have to wait in anticipation. I'm sure the crab fishermen throughout St. Mary's - The Capes and throughout the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador are waiting in anticipation for the Minister of Fisheries, Food and Agriculture to come across with an answer.

I look back, and if I could touch for a few moments on another very important subject that is being discussed in my district. It is in relation to the electoral boundaries. Several members before me have stood and talked about the electoral boundaries situation and I'm pleased to have an opportunity to say a few words.

Under the latest proposal for changes to the electoral boundaries, my district is combined somewhat. Some part of my district is gone with the new Ferryland district while another part has been combined with Placentia. Over the past couple of weeks, people have been calling and asking about it. There is a concern about the size of the district in relation to the service that is possible and in relation to the urban versus the rural district. I can attest to the fact that - I've represented St. Mary's - The Capes for the past two years - that it is a steady job every day just to keep the calls answered, to follow-up on the enquiries from people, and indeed to give the best representation that they can possible have.

With the concern now of the fishery crisis, the economic crisis, and the social crisis that is happening in rural Newfoundland, it certainly is a concern that a new district would run from the town of Dunville down to the community of St. Shotts on the Southern Shore. It is a concern that has been raised and I am sure over the next few weeks as the Electoral Boundaries bill is brought before the House, we will be having some discussion on it. It is a concern that has been raised by a lot of people, for the simple reason that people are concerned that at a time when people are looking for more representation than ever before, and are seeking the help of members of the House of Assembly, or their members in Parliament, that the opportunity for those people to have at least a one on one with their members would stay in place.

I look forward to the debate that will be forthcoming on the electoral boundaries issue, and having my say on behalf of the people of St. Mary's - The Capes.


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The level of conversation in this House is unbelievable. The hon. Member for St. Mary's - The Capes is only about two feet away from me, a good gunshot away, and I have difficulty hearing the hon. member. I suggest that hon. members keep their level of conversation down.

MR. NOEL: Perhaps the speaker should raise his level a little.

MR. MANNING: I say to the Member for Pleasantville that I will speak in my tone and I am sure that Hansard will record what I say. As I look around, several members of the House are not too concerned about it anyway.

I have been bringing forward the concerns of my district through the Budget Debate for the simple reason that my district for hundreds of years has been dependent upon the fishing industry as the mainstay of the communities, and as everybody is aware, through the moratorium over the past couple of years, those communities have been dealt a heavy blow. To say or to think that people in the district of St. Mary's - The Capes are sitting back enjoying the TAGS program is a major mistake, because we have many, many people in the district who were indirectly working because of the fishing industry and who have received no compensation or no assistance from anybody. This is creating some major problems, and as you drive around the communities today you can see many people who are preparing to move on to the mainland in search of employment. I think it is a sad commentary on rural Newfoundland.

There are no easy answers, Mr. Speaker. I am not standing here today to even ascertain that I have the answers, but I think we certainly should be taking a more serious look at the negative impact that the moratorium is having on all parts of rural Newfoundland, and government certainly should come up with some type of assistance. I am not talking about a job creation program that will see people get their twelve weeks of work and then go on UI. I am talking about some type of program that would see people involved in some type of training for a length of time, and then government would give those people an opportunity to go into the work force, would help out an employer or assist an employer in taking that person, and not for ten or twelve weeks. They could do it over a year period and give that person ample opportunity to get some type of training and also have some work.

That then gives the employer, whether it is in rural Newfoundland or in the urban parts of the Province, to take somebody into their employ and allow them to learn skills and show their skills to the employer. If there is a positive aspect to that it would be in the fact that the employer then may keep that person on for future employment in the company.

I think we certainly have to look at some different ways to create employment in rural Newfoundland, and not to have an attitude that if you live out there you have to put up with what you have. I don't think that is fair to the people of the Province, I don't think it is fair to the people of rural Newfoundland, and I certainly don't think it is fair to the people of St. Mary's - The Capes. I say that in all honesty and sincerity, as members on the opposite side would say.

I would like to touch, if I could, on a couple of positive things happening in my district. We all can't be talking negatively all the time, so I will touch on a fair number of positive things that are happening just to show that people haven't given up and thrown in the towel, as they say. For example, out at Cape St. Mary's Bird Sanctuary, they have just wound down a contract on a new interpretation centre, somewhere around $1 million, that has been spent on that facility and ground, and I think, over the next month or so, we hope to have the grand opening of that facility that will hopefully enhance the seabird sanctuary itself, and indeed enhance the tourism industry in the Province.

Everybody in the area has played a major part in lobbying for that money and I have to say, with all sincerity again, the money started back a few years ago under the tourism agreement with the Federal Government, who were Tory at the time, and we were pleased enough to have the hon. John Crosbie as our member, who brought forward this money for the interpretation centre, and I wouldn't want anybody else to take the credit for it. I want the people to know where the money came from, that it was through his efforts and the efforts of the people in the Cape Shore area that we were successful in obtaining that money to see that new interpretation centre constructed at Cape St. Mary's, which will open this summer to the delight not only of the people of the Cape Shore, but indeed the many, many tourists who make their way to Cape St. Mary's each and every summer.

Somewhere in the vicinity of 10,000 people visited the bird sanctuary last year, and hopefully,with the new centre and further promotion by the Department of Tourism and Culture,those numbers will rise over the next few years and we will see a major increase which will, in turn, bring many, many dollars into the area. I can tell you that it is well needed and well appreciated that the people find their way out to Cape St. Mary's.

We also have out in that area, just finished last summer, the paving of the access road down to Cape St. Mary's, at around $1.5 million, and this, too, will enhance the bird sanctuary and the tourism industry in the area. For many, many years we have been looking for this money for the road, and I am very, very pleased that the dollars have finally come forward to take care of those two pieces of work, the road to Cape St. Mary's and the building. The people are looking forward to a very lucrative tourism industry in the next few years, and they are gearing up for it throughout the district, I say in all honesty.

I would also like to touch on a salmon enhancement project in Rocky River, just outside Colinet. Over the past fourteen or fifteen years they have been trying to develop a salmon project there, and it has shown some positive results.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time has elapsed.


MR. SPEAKER: Does the hon. member have leave?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Pardon?

MR. MANNING: It is all in Hansard, I say, and the people of the district will see it next week.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).


Mr. Speaker, we have salmon enhancement projects on the go. I say to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology, I am discussing some of the positive things happening in my district now. I am not dwelling on the negatives but touching on some of the positives.

I will continue on talking about the salmon enhancement program at the Rocky River in Colinet and also down in Holyrood Pond. I just to my delight received a call yesterday that they have received funding to continue on with the Holyrood Pond salmon enhancement project. There are some negotiations over the next couple of days just to finalize the deals, but the people in the St. Mary's area, St. Vincent's area, are very pleased with the fact that they have found this extra money now to continue with something that has been ongoing for a number of years.

Also, down in the community of St. Vincent's, Peter's River, St. Stephens, we are pleased that the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation last year provided somewhere around $2 million to build a new bridge in this area, as much a safety issue as anything else, but it has provided some employment in the area and definitely has provided a bridge that will last for many, many years and the people there are very pleased, I am talking about the positive things I say, Mr. Speaker, and it is all in Hansard. I am talking about the new bridge in St. Vincent's and how pleased the people are that the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation could find a couple of million dollars to spend in that community when we know that there are communities throughout the Province that are looking for those dollars. That bridge will be completed some time this summer in St. Vincent's and the people in the area are very pleased and I am sure they would like to say a special thank you to the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation for providing those dollars but we will be back looking for more.

We also, have received over the past year, funding to continue with the recapping and upgrading of the road known to all people as the Salmonier Line. Last year we received around $800,000 to carry out eleven kilometres of work, this year I think there is another $800,000 or $900,000 that has been allotted to continue the road right down, just before you come to Dick's Lounge in Salmonier, and this road is one which is travelled on very much in the district, back and forth to St. John's and we are very pleased that the funding has come forward to finish this road, not only to give people a safe highway but indeed, something that they can be comfortable driving on.

We also are very pleased to find in the last Budget, Mr. Speaker, funding for a new fire truck in the community of St. Shotts in my district. We have a pick-up assembly that will be on the way to St. Shotts in the next couple of months and are in the process now of fund raising in that community. As a matter of fact, as of Friday night past, I attended a concert in St. Shotts to help raise funds for the new fire truck, their 25 per cent share. They are proceeding very well with the fund raising and hopefully some time during the summer or early next fall they will receive the new fire truck in the community, and I can certainly say that the people of St. Shotts are very grateful and very pleased that this funding has come forward.

Also, up in the community of St. Joseph's, in the fire hall of St. Joseph's, they have put in for a fire-fighting package to assist with fire-fighting services in the communities of Forest Field and New Bridge and St. Catherine's area and we are very pleased that somewhere around $30,000 to $40,000 are allotted for this fire-fighting package and between St. Shotts new fire truck and the fire-fighting package for St. Joseph's, we have received around $100,000 out of a million-dollar Budget for fire-fighting equipment last year, and we are very pleased that the government has provided this funding.

I would like, if I could, touch on this for a minute and the fact that in this Budget, Mr. Speaker, there are $250,000 instead of a million dollars of last year's funding for fire-fighting equipment and I believe that is a big concern that has been raised by people throughout the Province, that government would cut that by 75 per cent this year, which has certainly left many people who were hoping to receive some fire-fighting equipment and services in jeopardy and are hoping that the government will find it in their wisdom to put some of these dollars back into that package.

I would also like to touch on a sheepskin project that is ongoing in the community of Riverhead, sponsored by the St. Mary's Bay Development Association. I happened to be in that area a couple of weeks ago when I visited the facility there, and I certainly welcomed the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology; we discussed before for him to come down to my district and visit this facility just to see what those people have been putting together in Riverhead, a product that is worth seeing, and are just now starting to market; they are sheepskin products: coats, caps, sweaters, vests and it is unbelievable the type of work they are doing and the quality of the work. I was very pleased to have had the opportunity to visit the facility the other day and hopefully, over the next few days, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology will have a chance to drop down.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MANNING: I say to the Minister of Education and Training, don't get all excited now. I would just like to finish up with a few concerns. Over the past year or so, the Southern Avalon Development Association has been trying to find some funding to construct a caribou interpretation centre on the Trepassey barrens. It is another major tourism draw and hopefully over the next year or so there will be some funding available through the federal government or the provincial government, that some of this work would begin on what I believe would be a major tourism draw for that area, that those people have been working on for a number of years.

The caribou have attracted thousands of visitors and I believe that if the right dollars were put in place to put a proper interpretation centre there, that it would indeed increase the traffic flow in that area. Also, we see over the past year or so, the completion and the grand opening of the Riverhead Fire Training Centre. That was very positive indeed, Mr. Speaker. It serves not only my district but indeed parts of the whole Province that come to Riverhead to do fire training. People come from all over the Province, Mr. Speaker, to do fire-fighting training. Volunteer firemen come from all over to do training in Riverhead and give accolades to the set-up there in Riverhead and indeed to the people who put that together, Mr. Speaker, from the immediate area. The people who have spent years and years trying to put a training centre there that will indeed assist people throughout the Province. It is worth anybody's time, who would be interested, to travel to Riverhead to have a look at that. Indeed to invite their own volunteer fire departments in their districts to come down and partake in some of the training there because the facility is nothing short of a class one facility.

I say to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology, I was in Riverhead the other day, in my district, to a sheepskin project that is down there -

MR. FUREY: (Inaudible).

MR. MANNING: Yes, I was down to have a look at a facility where they are doing some sheepskin products in Riverhead and they just received an additional twenty week training extension to their program. I take the opportunity today to invite the minister down to have a look at the products that they are making down there. In Riverhead there is a sheepskin secondary processing, it is coats, vests, caps - very, very popular products. They just received some orders now from some -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MANNING: They just received some orders from some tourist chalets across the Province. I was down there the other day when they received a $7,000 order from Central Newfoundland that they will be shipping out. I certainly take the opportunity today to invite the minister down some time during the next few weeks to have a look at the facility. I am sure that he will be pleased to see that those people are certainly heading in the right direction in trying to find some secondary processing for a product that has been thrown in the dump for many, many years in our area such as the sheepskin and the sheep fur. It is a positive story in a very negative economy, I say to the speaker.

MR. FUREY: (Inaudible) spy glass.

MR. MANNING: Oh very, very well, I say, Mr. Speaker, very well. I sat down the other night and I went throughout my district and there are some very positive things happening -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MANNING: Ship Cove, Mr. Speaker, yes. Spyglass Limited sells their product right across the Province.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MANNING: Yes, right across the Province. He told me last week he had a major order from somewhere in the Corner Brook area and they were, as a matter of fact, hoping to ship it out there in the next week or so and they have a developed market right across the Province.

MR. FUREY: How many people are working there?

MR. MANNING: Upwards of four sometimes, Mr. Speaker. Usually a couple but if they get a heavy order or whatever they bring in some extra hands but it is certainly another positive thing that is happening. It is something that was happening for a long time in our area. Now the fact that someone is making a living and providing a few jobs I think speaks well for itself. It is easy to find the negatives when you look around the Province, Mr. Speaker, but indeed that is another positive story. Hopefully the people in Ship Cove and the owners of the Spyglass will be able to continue and provide work, not only for themselves but indeed for other people in the area.

To finish up, Mr. Speaker, I would like to mention, if I could, another issue that is concerning my district and that has to do with some of the elderly who, for some reason or other, Mr. Speaker, have problems with their houses over the past couple of years. They are in the process now of living in houses that are, in some cases, a century old. We have been trying to find some assistance for those people through the RRAP program but it is a very, very difficult and long process. We have a two year waiting list now with that program. We have people who are calling and at this particular time now they are not even going to pass out or sent people applications, they will only put their names on a waiting list.

I had a lady call me the other day who is in her late seventies and her husband is around eighty. They live in a house that is almost 100 years old and it is in desperate need of repair. I visited the house last Thursday and it is in desperate need of repair. Those people are not receiving any type of government assistance therefore they do not qualify for the emergency RRAP program. I think that we should certainly have a look at helping people, especially our elderly, who have found themselves living in, for sure, not ideal housing accommodations.

I say to the Member for St. John's Centre, who talked last week about some of the housing situations here in St. John's, there are housing problems throughout the Province, and I hope that the government can find funding and certainly come up with something more positive to assist those people who are in desperate need of some type of funding.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to go back, if I could, now that the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology is in the House, to speak about the economic zones. I spoke about it for a few minutes earlier, but the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology who is responsible, I guess, for implementing the economic zones, was not in the House at the time. Coming from a background with the rural development associations, and after meeting with my four development associations over the past couple of weeks and discussing this proposal, I ask the minister: Are the words that he said in the House last year still relevant today considering the fact that those zones, the lines -

AN HON. MEMBER: What did I say last year?

MR. MANNING: The lines in those zones are not carved in stone.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MANNING: Last year in the House the minister said that the lines -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MANNING: Okay, so the lines are drawn in stone now, are they?

MR. FUREY: The new ones are.

MR. MANNING: The new ones are, the nineteen are in stone. There will be no changes to the zones?

MR. FUREY: I don't think so.

MR. MANNING: You don't think so; okay.

There is a concern in my district of the size of these zones, the geographical size of these zones, and the fact that people will be from Long Harbour right down through Placentia Bay, down through St. Mary's Bay, up the Southern Shore as far as Bay Bulls. It is a concern that has been expressed by not only the development associations but councils in the area, and I hope that over the next few months as the provisional boards are being put in place that if the provisional board for economic zone 18 recommends that the zone is too big and that it be subdivided, that the government would certainly look at what this provisional board would bring forward, and if it is shown that the economic zone should be split, that the government would certainly assist in doing that, with the wishes of the people.

There is a concern about the future of rural development associations under this new zone concept. I think, as I said earlier, that the years of service that members and people have given to the development associations in the Province should certainly be thought about, not only by these provisional boards but indeed by the government, as you said about planning the new zone concept for the Province, and that the people who have volunteered hundreds and hundreds of hours, thousands I say, to this Province in relation to rural development associations, that you take them into -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MANNING: The total number of communities, I think, is up somewhere around thirty.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MANNING: No, no, over fifty communities. They go from Bay Bulls right out to Long Harbour, Mount Arlington Heights.

I don't think it is the number of communities they are concerned about as much as the geographical size. Last week they had their meetings out there to decide on who would sit on the municipalities. A part of the provisional board is for municipalities, and they had meetings out there in the zone last week, or a couple of weeks ago, to select the people for the municipalities to sit on the provisional board, and they had to have two meetings in the zone, I say to the minister, to select those people. If the zone is so big that they had to have two meetings to select the people for the provisional board -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MANNING: You have a concern down in your district, too, I say, and you should address it, but if The Newfoundland Federation of Municipalities had to have two meetings in the district in the new proposed zone to select the people for the district, then it certainly begs a question on whether the zone is too big, or can the people really give justification to the zone on the size that it plans to be under economic zone 18?

I hope that the minister certainly takes the concerns of the provisional boards that are being put in place, because I am sure they will come back with recommendations to make some changes to this concept that we have, and that the minister will have an open-door attitude to suggestions, and indeed to improvements that will come from these provisional boards.

It is certainly a concern that we have in the district. It is a concern that has been raised with me over the past few weeks, and I am sure it will be raised here in the House, or with the Minister of ITT over the next few months.

In the meantime the provisional boards had been put in place through the economic zones and funding for development associations will be over as of September 30, so I hope that government certainly does not leave those people who have been putting so much time into those development associations out in the cold while they are waiting for the provisional boards to start acting on some of the recommendations through their Strategic Economic Plan. I think that is a concern, and I raise it here today in the hope that the minister will certainly take into account the wishes of the people when he prepares to finalize the economic zone structure for the Province.

To clue up my remarks, Mr. Speaker, I will find something else to say a few words about. If I could have the attention of the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations. In cluing up my remarks I would just like to throw out a suggestion. A few weeks ago, before the House closed for Easter, I asked you a question in debate - I think it was debate on Interim Supply. When we were debating Interim Supply I asked a question in relation to some type of employment program that would offer some kind of training for people, plus some on the job work, and hopefully a program that would bring both of these together to give people an opportunity. Is there anything new on that I say to the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations?

MR. MURPHY: I have not forgotten (inaudible).

MR. MANNING: I think the people in the Province are looking for work, but a make-work program, some type of program that would offer training, plus some on the job, and some assistance to an employer, or whatever the case may be. I say to the minister that I had a lady who called me yesterday who was willing to go to work for a month for nothing just to show her skills to the employer. I think she was sincere in saying that and I believe that is the kind of thing you will hear throughout the Province now because people are certainly desperate and are looking for any type of work they can find.

I would just like to finish up by saying that over the past couple of years I had the opportunity to represent the people of St. Mary's - The Capes here in the House of Assembly and am very honoured to do so, and to bring forward some of their concerns on their behalf. As I said earlier I will be bringing forward some petitions in relation to roads, employment, and some other things over the next few weeks, I hope, if the House stays open long enough.

Those people, like many people in different parts of the Province are now very concerned about the future. They are not going to dwell on the past, but hopefully we have learned from the past and rural Newfoundland is certainly in need of direction, and certainly in need of some positive thinking by this provincial government. I hope that through the wisdom of the people at the Cabinet table, they don't, when making their decisions, whatever their decisions may be, whether they are financial or social, that those people will keep in mind that rural Newfoundland has been around for hundreds of years and we hope it will continue to do so.

I ask that the Premier and his Cabinet colleagues think about that when they are making decisions that may affect not only the lives of people, the present lives of people in rural Newfoundland, but indeed people for generations to come.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. CAREEN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for the opportunity to get up here to discuss the annual Budget, a thing we have come to see over the past number of years, a litany of broken promises and shattered dreams. This government is likened to the fellow who thought that a sure cure for dandruff was to use the guillotine. It is quite drastic what they have had in store for the people of this Province since their initial step back into the public limelight after being in the wilderness for some seventeen years, brought back in by a man who is going to lead them back into the wilderness again. Sure enough they will be brought back into the wilderness and so they should.

I would tell the Minister of Employment and Labour Relation to listen to his conscience, but I heard that he seldom takes advice from strangers. Anyway, I would just like to make a few comments on the minister of Works, Services and Transportation who is aiding and abetting his federal counterpart, his office in Ottawa, putting poor, old Newfoundland on the rack.

MR. EFFORD: Now, where are the Tories?

MR. CAREEN: I did not agree with a lot of their policies either. If they come from up in Ottawa and we are suppose to be here on the extremity of the eastern coast of North America there is a difference.

AN HON. MEMBER: You voted for Jean Payne, did you?

MR. CAREEN: I never, ever, put anybody in pain. The only people I put in pain are the poor devils that have to listen to me. No, I never inflicted any pain on the Placentia district. I never ducked issues and I returned my calls. The Member of ITT had a meeting there some time ago and it proved a jinx on the people who worked down in the drydock. I mean what an omen, what a going on. It was the Member for St. John's West who some time ago demanded that an audit be done on the drydock. Remember?

Anyway, regarding Works, Services and Transportation in this Province. There is talk of potentially some 200 more people being cut from your department, 200 more mechanics. What kind of vehicles are you going to have on the roads? Something similar to what you did with the inspections, something similar to what you did to suspend road inspections. That was brought in by one of your people in your department in 1985 to the Tory Cabinet and they tossed it out, but you, you accepted it. You are not a yes man. The only time you say no I suppose is when Clyde says no. You are after saying yes and continually saying yes to Ottawa and what they are doing.

Up on the South Coast, for example. You were up and down the South Coast and you repeated often that you will do what the people wanted. Now, are you telling me that the people in François and other places on the South Coast are satisfied with what you've done? Are you satisfied that what was (inaudible) on you, that that $55 million would be put into a separate fund in perpetuity, forever, that it would generate its own funds, and all of a sudden you couldn't keep hold of it, that some other minister has a hold of it and put it in a budget? Who put it in a budget to force a balance on this year? This poor old Province is going to have to find money after this to put the ferry service up the South Coast.

Another form of resettlement is what it is, and different from the times when Joe Smallwood was here and Bill Rowe was minister. At least they paid them a few pittances to leave their houses. Now they are forcing them without anything. It is either to hell or British Columbia. We saw in the paper yesterday how many people had left this Province, and that is what we know about, that is what we are told. How many others are gone? They are saying that there is a decline in social services. There is a decline now in how many people use social services. Where are they? Are they buried in the ground or are they somewhere else on the mainland of Canada? It is either one or the other. Because they still have to eat, they still need shelter. No jobs for them. Work, we all know, is good for your head, let alone your pocket book. It makes you feel good about yourself.

Works, Services and Transportation, and the federal minister up there talking about ice-breaking services that we have to pay for in this Province. What is going to happen to Abitibi and Kruger when your buddy gets his way with you and your government's consent?... Yes Mr. Minister, yes Uncle Ottawa. Do more to us, inflict pain on us, inflict more. You must be some kind of a masochist government.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. CAREEN: I was told one time about this masochist who said to a sadist, `Beat me, stomp me, kick me,' and the sadist said, `no.'

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. CAREEN: It is not logical what you are doing. It is not logical. Mr. Smallwood, rest his soul, would stand up and fight for this Province and he did on many occasions. He took on a lot of big wheels up there, the Diefenbaker's and all of these, regardless of the political stripe. Moore stood up and fought and Peckford would have declared war. What are you doing: Yes sir, yes sir, give us more sir. Three bags full, sir. Well the bags are empty sir. The bags are empty and you are helping them dump whatever out of their bags up to the mainland of the Province. You are turning the population of this Province upside down and you will pay for it because I told you so weeks ago. I hope that electoral boundaries comes through because they are waiting for you.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. CAREEN: Like the Poltergeist, they are back. You took over, your ministry, and you wanted to get even with people who had been hired under the ministry of Mr. Haig Young and now they are waiting for you, Sir.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. CAREEN: Upper Island Cove, Bryants Cove, Spanaird's Bay, Bishop's Cove and Tilten. They are going to tilt you in Tilton.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. CAREEN: They are going to turn you inside out.

MR. SULLIVAN: There are 5,700 people in those five communities.

MR. CAREEN: Fifty-seven hundred. You have 60-odd hundred coming from your old district and they are not all going to vote for you. You are finished, you are finished.

MR. EFFORD: (Inaudible).

MR. CAREEN: I don't have to be there. It was never my intention to be a career politician, but I see a fellow who was out our way, who wouldn't even talk to the people, a fellow you accommodated for $75,000.

MR. EFFORD: What's wrong with that?

MR. CAREEN: You accommodated him; a minister in Municipal and Provincial Affairs who couldn't get re-elected in rural Newfoundland and you tell me, wasn't he very smart, and speaking of another fellow, now, he was supposed to put a software package together, helping to develop something on safety, with your department, Labour Relations and some other departments. Where is the package? Where is the thing that he was supposed to help develop? The only thing that was packaged, was the package that he got; the package that the former Member for Placentia got was the package, and very well rewarded, much better rewarded than the poor devils on TAGS.

I made an appeal last week for a fellow who was fishing for thirty-six years and someone stole his gear and he couldn't get out in '91 and partially in '92 and he has to appeal now, after thirty-six years of fishing. Well, if the former Member for Placentia had been thirty-six years in this House, you would have given him something; you probably would have given him the building!

I see another man in the last few days became aware of it, another former Minister of Education, who wasn't doing it out of generosity for Education, the hon. Phil Warren. He is up where? in Pippy Park, an area that borders three Liberal districts in this city. How many more are you going to reward? There should be a reward put out on those fellows.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. CAREEN: Pardon?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. CAREEN: Oh, and Eric - well, that's another case. My colleague, the Member for Kilbride has laid that open like a sore, a festering sore, and others who were on the commission, who were enjoying so much stuff last year and now they can't get a cent out. Well, there is a God; there is a God, and everything comes 360 degrees and it is coming on you people in short order. It's coming. Newfoundlanders are easy going - the best piece of real estate in the world; if you tune in to news in the evening, in other parts of the world people are eating themselves, and the best piece of real estate in God's green farm is right here on this Island - and Labrador, I must say to the people who represent there, but it is part of this Province.

Your children can go out in relative safety and we can say what we like to hear as long as we stick to issues.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) Voisey Bay.

MR. CAREEN: Voisey Bay, a very good thing but if you allow what happened with other enterprises in this Province since we were founded, if we can't develop that to its maximum, it is better to leave it in the ground. We should have a smelter for starters, going there, and if they have to use EDGE money, it's a good idea to use it.

MR. EFFORD: (Inaudible).

MR. CAREEN: Now we will see what kind of teeth we had in that contract. Can we, and how much can we recall from Churchill power, that the people of Quebec are getting so much of a benefit out of? They get $800-odd million a year, and what do we get? less than $20 million. That is Canada.

MR. SULLIVAN: The richest corporation in Canada.

MR. CAREEN: The richest, oh, yes, and the Premier has lunch with the president of that company, and he denies someone around this Province putting food on their table for supper. Marie Antoinette, `Let them eat cake'. Well, with the new Fisheries Minister we are not even allowed to have fish cakes. We have to get stuff imported. You see Russian cod coming into Argentia, and the people that we are being taunted by are the people who are over there. They are trying to cod us all.

Anyway, Newfoundlanders are easy-going, but they are not stunned. We are not stupid people; we are a gentile people, and I know them. I was lucky enough to work in all parts of this Province, and regardless of their political stripe or whatever, there is no better. I come by my prejudices honestly because I was born here, but I don't act like I am the Prime Minister of Canada, like our Premier does. He is the Premier of this Province, and he is beholden to the people of this Province.

We see what happened with Hibernia, in Argentia, the best port in this Province, the only one that can stand on a stand-alone basis. The Minister of Works, Services and Transportation, like all of us, was hoping for something for his district, and he was talking to me the other day about the ice problems. They figured that was one of the biggest factors. Now, you have ice still off of St. John's, and in Argentia there is no ice, so ice is not a problem to them. They don't want to save any money. Argentia could save $1,400,000 year, so they are not willing to save any money, obviously. Then they give namby-pamby excuses. They ask the company, `Did you check with the fishermen who use that area of Placentia Bay?' Well, did they check with the livyers here in St. John's when those eighteen wheelers are going to go past their houses day and night? Or is it another plot? Is it part of the St. John's dock coming out of there to accommodate them and a place for the storage on their uplands?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) view is terrible.

MR. CAREEN: The view; oh, yes, there is a view. Well, there are some of these people in Hibernia not from this Province, and they don't want to be here, and they'll be damned if they'll have to go out to rural Newfoundland where the poor devils might wind up with accents like I have, or the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation has. God forbid that could happen to any of these people who come from away.

Down in Argentia now you have a $27 million mistake made by the brains of Hibernia, jump forms they were going to use in the first place for cement, and then they went to slip forms. That junk is down in Argentia, going to be taken apart.

Just imagine either one of us here, either one of us was in government, and you made a $27 million mistake, they would hound you and your youngsters and your grandchildren. It would all be slapped up in their faces. These are the brains. People are afraid to take them on. Because we are all calling, every one of us, trying to get someone else down into Hibernia. Trying to get past the union, trying to get someone, a big shot in the company, to take on another poor devil from your own district. They are playing us like fiddles. They shouldn't be fiddling with the people of this Province.

The way things are going in this Province, what we see out there in Argentia, when one of the four companies that are nodded for St. John's and Bay Bulls, we were turned down because one of the excuses was the management team that Argentia had - and Argentia had the best management team - that one of the crowd that got it is after the Argentia management team now. Tom Cardale and Mike Derrick, noted over in the North Sea, famous over there.

I was also told a little story. I heard that the person given the nomination, running for the Liberals in Grand Falls, is a sister of one of the proponents, one of the ones they've given the nod too. If that is true I don't know, but I will find out this evening because I was just told a few minutes ago.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. CAREEN: We will find out what kind of a difference. Political influence. Someone else feeding money into someone else's coffers.

Argentia, like I said earlier, was the only port in this Province that could stand alone. The ones who have St. John's, the ones who have Bay Bulls, have to have an alternative port. Where are they going? Trepassey? Hardly. They are going to Argentia. Our council is being urged that when they start doing that we are going to give it to them in the neck because they were afraid to let the Argentia management bid because they were afraid Argentia would wind up with the offshore base.

With that I adjourn debate for the day.

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

MR. BAKER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I would like to remind hon members that tomorrow we proceed with the Private Members' Resolution by the Member for Kilbride, I think on the dockyard situation. On Thursday it is our intent to continue on with the Budget Debate.

On motion that the House at its rising adjourn until 2:00 p.m. tomorrow.