October 24, 1995            HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY PROCEEDINGS            Vol. XLII  No. 41

The House met at 2:00 p.m.

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

Statements by Ministers

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, today, Canadians and billions of people around the world are celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the United Nations, a genuinely remarkable event in human history.

The purpose of the UN, as envisaged by its founders, was deceptively simple. In the words of the preamble to the Charter, they sought to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, and to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained.

Now, fifty years later, we are able to celebrate a level of international co-operation unprecedented in history. Through the UN and its various organizations such as UNICEF and the World Health Organization, the barriers of ignorance and prejudice are being struck down. As we look around the world today, it is easy to see that we have some way to go in reaching the objectives of the UN founders, but we are well on our way.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, we have a special connection to the UN. Its foundations were laid at Argentia with the Atlantic Conference of British Prime Minister Churchill and the American President Franklin Roosevelt. Canada has used the United Nations to peacefully resolve disputes with our neighbours, France and the United States. We have also been able to change world opinion and focus attention on the devastation of fish stocks off our shores and elsewhere in the world.

Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have contributed their time and talents on behalf of the United Nations as well. At 1:30 today, on behalf of the people of this Province, I raised the United Nations flag in front of Confederation Building to mark this anniversary. I was joined by peacekeepers, members of the UN Association in Canada, UNICEF and others who have worked for or supported the UN. They are sitting in the gallery of the House today, and I would be remiss if I did not mention the presence of Corporal Anderson, in particular, who really did the flag raising at my request. He is one of those Canadians who happens to be a resident of Newfoundland, who contributed and offered his very life and physical safety for the benefit of the United Nations and in discharging Canada's obligations to the world, and it is entirely appropriate that I ought to acknowledge his presence here today.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

PREMIER WELLS: Those men and women present represent the thousands of men and women from our Province who have worked with the United Nation at home and overseas in the fifty years since the Charter came into effect. Throughout Africa, Latin America, the Far East and the Middle East, Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have been at the forefront of UN efforts at peace-making and humanitarian relief. I ask you to join with me in thanking them for their efforts on behalf of the UN and mankind. We are proud of them and their record of achievements, as we are proud to support the United Nations and celebrate its 50th Anniversary.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MS VERGE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

It is most fitting that our House of Assembly mark this 50th Anniversary of the establishment of the United Nations - appropriate because the foundation of the United Nations was laid near Ship Harbour in Placentia Bay, Newfoundland during the Atlantic Charter talks in 1941, appropriate because Newfoundlanders and Labradorians serving in the Canadian Forces have made a disproportionate contribution - disproportionate to our small population - to UN peacekeeping efforts worldwide. I certainly want to associate members of the Official Opposition with the remarks made by the Premier in expressing the pride Newfoundlanders and Labradorians feel over the contribution made by our people to the United Nations over the past fifty years. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

AN HON. MEMBER: By leave.

MR. SPEAKER: By leave.

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I am pleased to join with the Premier and the Leader of the Opposition in praising the success of the United Nations over the last fifty years in contributing to a large measure of international peace and security, certainly as compared with the conflicts that were about in the world at the close of the Second World War and shortly thereafter. As part of Canada since 1949, Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have played a proud part in the development of Canada's well-deserved reputation in international peacekeeping.

The United Nations, through its main general assembly and through its other bodies such as UNICEF, the refugee organizations, the international labour organization and others, have played a significant role in the development of that international peace and security. We still have a long way to go. There are regional conflicts throughout the world. Poverty and inequality throughout the world is a modern challenge for us all, but I look forward to seeing progress being made on those fronts and I want to join with the Premier and the Leader of the Opposition in giving thanks to those Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who have played a significant role in the success of the United Nations to date.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. FUREY: Mr. Speaker, I would like to speak briefly about a significant event that happened in Toronto, last week. Mr. Lorne Janes, Owner and President of Continental Marble of Canada Ltd., in Paradise, Newfoundland, was elected as the National Chairman of the Canadian Manufacturers Association and he is in the gallery today.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. FUREY: He is the second Newfoundlander ever to be elected to this position, Mr. Speaker, we think it is very important. The total value of manufacturing in our Province was $1.4 billion last year and it showed a 7 per cent increase to the end of June this year, and in fact, if you exclude the fishery, it represents 15 per cent for the remaining sectors, the third largest increase of any province in the country.

Under the leadership of Mr. Janes who is also President of the Newfoundland Manufacturers Association, and with the support of the executive, they established the Newfoundland Manufacturers Manufactured Right Here Campaign and it is receiving national recognition. There are now 180 manufacturers participating in the program and over 10,000 products manufactured in plants throughout our Province.

The NMA has also worked closely with my department in organizing successful manufacturing exhibitions right across the Province and in organizing trade shows around the nation. We communicate with them regularly - I think Lotek Marine Technologies which was the second EDGE corporation designated by the Province, a great deal of credit goes to Mr. Janes and the Newfoundland Manufacturers Association in helping to bring that company here and helping us to negotiate the actual contract that we put in place.

I think it is important that we recognize the manufacturing sector, the Newfoundland Manufacturers Association and the great work that they are doing, and I think it is a great tribute to all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians that one of our own was elected on the national stage to head perhaps Canada's largest industry.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

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

We on this side of the House join with the minister and his government in congratulating Mr. Janes, on being elected to such a prestigious position and wish him our best and our support in any of his efforts and the association that he heads, efforts. I want to encourage the government to continue to support the Newfoundland Manufacturers Association because it is an opportunity, by doing so where we, as a people can create real and long-lasting jobs, and I will finish by saying that I am glad to see that the Newfoundland and Labrador Manufacturers Association received much more support than the minister did, when he stood to his feet to say a few words.

MR. SPEAKER: Before we move to Oral Questions I would like to, on behalf of all members, welcome to the House of Assembly sixty-five students from St. George's High School in New Harbour in the districts of Trinity - Bay de Verde and Bellevue, along with their instructors Mr. Morley Reid and Mr. Jeff Seymour.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

Oral Questions

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

MS VERGE: Thank you, very much, Mr. Speaker.

I have questions for the Premier about Voisey's Bay. The mineral deposits at Voisey's Bay promise to be among the richest discovered anywhere in the world in this generation. Will the Premier tell us just how valuable the government estimates Voisey's Bay minerals are, and will the Premier tell us how many hundreds of millions, or billions of dollars profit the developers of Voisey's Bay stand to make?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: I can confirm for the Leader of the Opposition that Voisey's Bay mineral discovery is probably the richest, certainly the richest in Canada in recent generations. The quality of the nickel is far richer, twice the richness of Sudbury, for example. They are still defining the size of the field so nobody knows yet what the full value is, and it is virtually impossible to calculate, but knowing what they know now in terms of the quantity that they can readily extract even with open pit mining, without having to go to underground mining, even with that it's value is measured in billions of dollars.

Now, that will pay very substantial dividends to the Province. It will pay very substantial dividends to the mining company. It will provide employment opportunity for large numbers of people. We have let the mining company know that the Province will require that all further processing of those minerals will be done within the Province, wherever in the company's judgement it is most appropriate to do it. We will leave that to them to decide, but we will require that it be done within this Province.

It is impossible to judge at this time exactly what the total value is because we do not know what the total quantity of minerals are, but based on what is there now they know that as a minimum it will be counted in billions of dollars in terms of total value.

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

MS VERGE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The supplementary is to the Premier. Will the Premier confirm that his government has been doing estimates and studies of the opportunity at Voisey's Bay, and will the Premier table in this House and make available to the citizens of the Province, who own the non-renewable mineral resource at Voisey's Bay, the government studies so far, and the government's financial analysis of the potential benefits of Voisey's Bay?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Yes, I can confirm that studies are being done. We've been doing them for some months now. As new information has come on we've tried to stay on top of it. In fact, we've put in place a special team. We've assigned responsibility to head that team to a public servant. He has been doing excellent work, and he works with other officials from the Departments of Natural Resources, Environment, Education and Training, Industry, Trade and Technology, Intergovernmental Affairs because there are aboriginal concerns and so on. So at least those -

MR. ROBERTS: Employment and Labour Relations.

PREMIER WELLS: Employment and Labour Relations.

MR. ROBERTS: Justice.

PREMIER WELLS: Justice. So there is a team that has been working on it steadily and it keeps the government fully informed.

The assessments that they do are very preliminary. They are assessments that are a bit speculative in the sense that it says: If the price is this, we can expect that there will be a gross return of that, if there is this amount of material and it has this level of richness and assuming operating costs will be that. So there are a whole lot of those things. It isn't in the public interest that those preliminary, speculative assessments be made public, so the answer to the second part of the question is no, the government doesn't propose to make them public at this stage.

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

MS VERGE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I say to the Premier, if the people of the Province had been made aware of the potential of Churchill Falls, the government he was associated with of the 1960s might not have made the disastrous contract it entered into with Hydro Quebec then.

I ask the Premier, how can he possibly defend withholding from this House of Assembly and the people of this Province, who own the Voisey's Bay minerals, the studies that his officials and the financial analysis his civil servants have worked up and have given to him and his Cabinet colleagues?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: The answer is, Mr. Speaker, if all of the members of the House, those who were Conservatives sitting on the opposite side at the time - I happened to be sitting as an independent Liberal at the time - and those who were all there, if they had had the information that we have today I expect we would all have treated Churchill Falls differently. I think that is true. What would be unforgivable is having the kind of information we had in the case of a venture like Sprung and proceeding with it, for example; that would be unforgivable negligence.

Mr. Speaker, it is easy to justify the position that government has taken on this, because the information is not yet definitive or of a nature that can be made public and justified. It is very preliminary, very speculative, and it is in the nature of information that is preparing government to stay on top of things constantly, and you have to do those kinds of things.

Mr. Speaker, when the time comes, and I expect it will come long before there is any mineral development there, government will make public all of the information it has as to the character and nature of Voisey's Bay mineral find, and as to the anticipated value to the Province. As a matter of fact, there is a piece of legislation, if I recall correctly, on the Order Paper, that will deal at least with changing the Mineral Act and the Mineral Holdings Impost Act in part to cope with the circumstances of Voisey's Bay, and as much information as the government can make public, will be made public in the course of that debate.

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

MS VERGE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Premier estimates the Voisey's Bay minerals are worth mega-billions of dollars, yet the Premier refuses to share with the public of this Province any preliminary studies and analysis his government has done. Why has the Premier not yet even tabled in this House of Assembly his proposed amendment to the Mining Tax Act, to prevent the mining companies and developers of Voisey's Bay from getting more windfall profits than would be the case otherwise?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, lest any of the media accept what the Leader of the Opposition just said as being accurate, let me correct her. I did not say it was worth mega-billions. I said: The preliminary estimates, based on the knowledge that we now have, would indicate that its value would be measured in billions. Now, if it is $2 billion, that is $2 billion, and that is a far different statement from mega-billions. That is something quite different, so don't pay too much attention to that irresponsible statement.

The second part of the question, why we haven't proceeded with the mineral tax, I don't think - is it on the Order Paper?


PREMIER WELLS: It isn't on the Order Paper. It is just about ready to come. We haven't proceeded with it because we want to make sure that we get everything done right, based on the fullest possible information. It is in process, and the leader need not worry, she will have ample opportunity to express her views on it at the time. But, Mr. Speaker, the important thing is, the government, through a statement that I made in this House, gave notice - I don't know whether I made it or the minister made it -

AN HON. MEMBER: No, you made it.

PREMIER WELLS: I made it, I think.

- gave notice of the government's intention in that regard, so everybody knows, and it will be effective from that date.

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

MS VERGE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Premier promised to bring in amendments to the Mining Tax Act. He made that promise in this House exactly five months ago to the day, on May 24th, 1995. He also promised to have a vote on the Meech Lake Accord. The people of this Province know what the Premier's promise is worth. I ask the Premier, what plans does he have to ensure that the mining companies get no more than a reasonable rate of return on their investment in Voisey's Bay? How will the government, how will the Premier's government, prevent the developers of Voisey's Bay from getting huge, exorbitant windfall profits from exploiting the people's resource, a resource that only comes out of the ground once?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, let me say to all of the people of the Province and to all of the people of Canada and the world for that matter, this government will not try to screw industries into the ground to prevent them from making profits. We want them to make profits. The biggest profits they can make the better we like it, provided our people are treated fairly and there are good safe working conditions, jobs for our people, economic development in this Province and a fair return to the taxpayers of this Province in the form of royalties. They can make as big a profit as they want and we want to tell them that that is the case so as to attract them here to invest and create jobs for the 50,000 people who do not have jobs. We will not send out the message that this government will prevent businesses from being successful in this Province and making profits. They are invited to come here and make profits, and not only will we not prevent it, we will encourage it.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. FITZGERALD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

My question is to the Minister of Fisheries, Food and Agriculture. Since the Provincial Government agreed to participate in the Fishing Industry Renewal board to help decide on reducing processing capacity around the Province, I wonder if the minister would update the House as to the activity of this board up to the present time?

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

DR. HULAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Harvesting Renewal Board has recently made an announcement with regard to the realignment of the harvesting sector. That board has a mandate that has been increased to look at and make recommendations on the processing sector. It is my understanding, that will be the next move they will be making. Looking at the processing sector with respect to a realignment of that sector, these are the resource capacity around the Province.

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

MR. FITZGERALD: Mr. Speaker, since this board was announced quite some time ago here in the House, I would like to ask the minister if the board has reached any decisions or are they close to making any decisions on which plants will remain in the system and which plants will close?

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

DR. HULAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The decisions of the board, the recommendations of the board concerning the processing sector will not be identifying which plants will stay open and which plants will close. They will make a broad recommendation to government to consider, with regard to future policy decisions in that area in the future.

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

MR. FITZGERALD: Mr. Speaker, that is a completely different board from what we were told it was going to be constructed here in the House months ago before the House closed for the last session.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the minister, if this particular board, in making its deliberations, is going to the rural communities out there and hold public discussions or hold public meetings in order to make those decisions. If they are, when should we expect this action to take place?

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

DR. HULAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The board will indeed receive input from and have discussions with the major stakeholders in the industry.

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

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I have a question for the Minister of Education and Training pertaining to teacher certification. I understand the minister is in the process of restructuring teacher certification and professional development. I want to ask the minister: Is it his intention to reduce the teacher certification scale to three levels, namely, an entry level, an intermediate level and a leadership level?

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

MR. DECKER: Mr. Speaker, the Royal Commission, back in June 1992, recommended that we make some changes to teacher certification. At this moment, a committee of the Implementation Committee is dealing with that. There is a consultation paper which is only in a draft form yet. One of the suggestions in that draft paper is that there will be three levels of teacher certification. At this moment, the paper isn't ready to be made public, although the NLTA have looked at it and other stakeholders have looked at it. But, at this moment there is no decision to make certification three levels, there is no decision not to have three levels, it is simply in the process of being drafted.

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

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

Let me pursue the question with the minister. It is my understanding that there indeed will be three levels, and where teachers are placed on the level will depend on experience, professional development, and job performance. There are some 7,000 or 8,000 teachers in the system at present. I am wondering if the minister could inform the House what his thoughts are on what level teachers will be placed on, those already in the system. I can see new teachers coming into the system going into level one or entry level, but what about those 7,000 or 8,000 teachers who are there now? What process will be used to determine what level they are placed on? I would think all of them would expect to at least be on the intermediate level, not on the entry level. And who will make that decision?

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

MR. DECKER: Again, Mr. Speaker, it is difficult to answer these questions because unlike the member, I don't believe it has been decided there will be three levels - there may, or may not be. Assuming that there will be three levels, then we would envisage a certification committee made up of - the majority of that committee would be teachers. They would be elected by teachers throughout the Province, not appointed by the NLTA. The teachers would choose members for the certification committee.

The other stakeholders - the Department of Education and Training would have representation on that committee. The NLTA would have representation on the committee. That certification board then would indeed consider all of the things that the hon. member is talking about - how would you define whether you are level one, level two, level three, if that is the route we decided to go. And there would be put in place a fair process where you would determine that. The major that a person would have had in university would be counted when you give that certification.

The Royal Commission talked about renewable certifications. The consultation paper, which we are in the process of drafting, is also talking about renewals for certifications. We are also talking about professional development along the way. One of the quirks of the present system is that a Kindergarten teacher, for example, could go, after he or she is out of university, and take a course in palaeontology. Under the present system she could be getting extra money because she went and further educated herself. Now, there is an intrinsic value in education, yes, but we would hope that under the new certification program, teachers would be rewarded when they did extra studies in the area that they are teaching on a day-to-day basis.

Again, I have to caution the hon. member - I'm glad to see he is interested in the issue - that at this stage the consultation paper is being drafted. It isn't ready to be made public. The hon. member is grinning - he probably has a copy of it but what he has will not be the final document, Mr. Speaker, it is still in the process.

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

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

I am sure what the minister will do after today, is the only change that will be in the paper that he releases now will be marked `final draft', that's the only thing but it will be the same paper; but yes, I am interested and I say, very interested, Mr. Speaker, because what we are about here, is trying to improve the quality of education for the students in our classrooms and that is what it should be about and I support that; but I just want to say to the minister: it is amazing how much his knowledge has improved in two or three minutes about the process but having said that, do you have a time frame established, whereby you hope to bring this thing to fruition? You know, we are into educational reform, does the minister have a time frame whereby, as I understand it, there will be more professional determination on this, more involvement by the professional people themselves, could he enlighten us when he expects this to materialize and when indeed we will see a change to teacher certification in the Province?

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

MR. DECKER: Mr. Speaker, I had hoped to have the discussion paper released last week, actually I was hoping to make it public but I did a thorough review of it myself and there were some issues in it that I was not totally satisfied with and that's why I am stressing that it is today a draft paper.

One of the problems, I will tell the hon. member, that I had problems with, was the transition. If you are going to change the total system and we are taking about major changes, if you are going to change a total system, then you have to have in place a transition method to determine what do you do with Mary Doe who has been teaching for twenty-six years, where do you place her on the scale? In the public service, she would probably be red circled and when she catches up or whatever, we have to deal with that issue.

Another issue, Mr. Speaker, which we certainly would have to deal with is that of collective bargaining. Teacher certification is tied to collective bargaining at the present time; will that be the way we go in the future or will it not? That will involve negotiations with the NLTA. I have also, prior to this document being printed in draft form and being leaked to my friend in the Opposition, I personally had not talked with representatives from the NLTA; now there was a member from the NLTA on the committee who was working on this, but since then I have met with the President of the NLTA and we have discussed some concerns.

As a matter of fact, they have been asked to report back to me as fast as they possibly can with their concerns with the present draft document which is only a draft, and I can assure the hon. member that when it is made public, there will be some substantial changes to the draft document which has been leaked to the member and the member thought it was the final document; but when the final document is ready, I personally will deliver it to the hon. member because I believe he is keenly interested.

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

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

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation.

Last year, Works, Services and Transportation was caught off guard with the first snow fall and there were a number of accidents and injuries. My question is: what is the department's state of readiness, and is the department ready this year, to avoid the type of accidents which occurred last year during the first snow fall?

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

MR. EFFORD: Mr. Speaker, we were not caught off guard last year. We were quite ready for the first fall of snow. I bragged a lot I guess in my lifetime and I profess to be somebody else but I am not going to take the opportunity to profess to be what the hon. member is asking me to be, God.

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

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


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Member for St. John's East Extern, on a supplementary.

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

We already have one person on that side of the House who thinks he can walk on water.

Mr. Speaker, in the past few years, there has been consistent cutback in the number of employees at Work, Services and Transportation particularly winter-support staff. With the re-organization of the depots, can the minister tell us how many layoffs and/or how many winter staff won't be called back this year and give us a breakdown by position?

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

MR. EFFORD: The decision that has been made to date - I guess that's what the hon. member is asking - the decision that we have made to date is, approximately 200 people will not be called back this year. I think it is 156 wing men.

AN HON. MEMBER: How many from you district will not be called back.

MR. EFFORD: Not very many. There are 156 wing men, a number of mechanics, a number of support staff, a number of labour positions, and a number of clerks. I cannot give you the exact number of people. The decisions have been made, they have been totally communicated to all the staff affected in all regions across the Province, and it is done region by region. No region will be treated any differently than the other.

What I am saying to the hon. member is that there will be absolutely, under no circumstances, in the normal operations of a plough a second operator on that plough. There will not be. That is under normal conditions, but in the case where there are extreme weather conditions, where it is absolutely necessary, for whatever reason, the second individual would be put on that plough.

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

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

I say to the minister that during wintertime in this Province there are mostly extreme conditions.

MR. EFFORD: That is not true.

MR. J. BYRNE: No, boy. There has been a lot of talk regarding the layoff of wing men. I received a number of calls and letters on this issue. Works, Services and Transportation are now replacing individuals with modification kits which include heated mirrors, power windows, and a flag on the end of the plough, which is laughable. Does the minister actually believe that modification kits can replace human beings in the middle of a snowstorm, and has the minister lost all concern for safety of the travelling public?

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

MR. EFFORD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Let us deal with the last part of your question first. I have not lost any concern about the safety of people on trucks, the general public, or winter snow clearing conditions. I have total confidence in the decisions we have made in the department, that winter conditions will be just as safely operated this year as any other year in the past. The new technology, the new trucks, the fast operating ploughs do not require the second individual on the plough.

One of the complaints we got in the department all over the years, long before I went with the department, was why does Works, Services and Transportation have all of these people standing around when there is no need for it, wasting taxpayer's dollars? When you make a decision to eliminate people that you do not really need operating a vehicle you criticize the fact that we are trying to make a wise decision on saving taxpayer's dollars and still do a cost effective, safer, winter snow clearing job than has ever been done within the department. Let us wait and see what will happen.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for St. John's East Extern on a final supplementary.

MR. J. BYRNE: Will the minister be as upset and personally insulted in the middle of this winter when I point a finger at him as did the Member for Mount Pearl last year?

MR. EFFORD: I will be even more upset.

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

MR. SULLIVAN: Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct a question to the Minister of Health. The minister stated in this House last Tuesday that we could reasonably expect to achieve savings of around $30 to $35 million by the closure of the Janeway, the Rehab Centre and the Grace, and he has made reference in the past to a saving of approximately 30 to 35 per cent when hospitals have been closed in other jurisdictions. I ask the minister if he has considered that in other jurisdictions there were duplication of services and programs, unlike the Janeway, the Rehab Centre and the Grace that provide unique services that are not being duplicated in other hospitals in the city? And, has the minister been told by hospital personnel that severe cutbacks in services will occur under his reorganization plan?

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

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

I can confirm that in other jurisdictions the experience has been that there is a saving of about 30 to 35 per cent of the budgets of institutions that are taken out of the system, if you like. That is where we come up with that calculation. There is about $80 to $90 million tied up in the budgets of the Grace, the Janeway, and the Rehab centre, and we would expect to see savings along the line of $30 million achieved.

As to the final part of the question, as to whether or not there will be severe hardship experienced as a result of the reorganization, no, I do not have any indication that is the case. As a mater of fact what the Health Care Corporation people and people in health generally tell me is that as a result of reorganization there will be maintenance of all the existing programs, an enhancement of the quality of service that we deliver in those programs, and a higher level of efficiency as a result of the rationalization of the system in the city.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Ferryland on a supplementary.

MR. SULLIVAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The minister said in the House last Wednesday that the new Janeway will be adjacent to, or attached to, the Health Sciences Complex. Now, at the present there are twenty-four operating rooms in acute care hospitals in this city. There are already waiting lists for surgeries, and surgeries are often being cancelled due to a lack of operating rooms.

On September 28, in The Evening Telegram, Sister Elizabeth Davis indicated that there may now be a shortage of operating rooms - that was stated on September 28 - and the closure of the Janeway and Grace will leave only fourteen operating rooms now in this city.

Now the minister was quoted in the House last Wednesday as stating, and I quote: "Children will not be mixed with adults for programming. We will share things like MRIs and we will share OR studios..." Now, does the minister plan to increase the lengthy waiting lists for surgery, and deny surgery to people who are in dire need?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

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

The preamble was long but the question was short; do we intend to increase waiting lists? No, Mr. Speaker, we do not intend to increase waiting lists.

Let me remind the hon. member again, inasmuch as he may not have gotten the information that was presented in the House last week because I recognized you as absent, last week we tabled the July issue of the Fraser Institute, that talked about where we stand in terms of waiting lists in this country. Part of the information contained in that was this: Saskatchewan and Newfoundland have the shortest waiting lists in the country for appointments with specialists. New Brunswick has the longest.

Another statement was this: Newfoundland shows the greatest improvement in waiting lists. And I could go on and on and tell you where we stand on the various waiting lists that there are. We have the shortest waiting time from GP referral to treatment - the shortest in all of the country.

One other piece of information -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I remind the hon. minister that question period has expired.

MR. L. MATTHEWS: Thank you very much. I will be glad to share the rest tomorrow.

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

Before we move on to presenting reports I would like to welcome to the gallery Councillors Ray Walsh and Tony Doyle and Mayor Gerald Riggs of the town of Bay de Verde, and Town Clerk Molly Walsh.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

Presenting Reports by

Standing and Special Committees

MR. SPEAKER: I just want to inform members -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible)!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

In accordance with section 5(4) of the Internal Economy Commissions Act I wish to advise the House with respect to the membership on the Commission of Internal Economy.

The members are: the hon. Minister of Justice and Attorney General by virtue of his position as Government House Leader; the hon. Minister of Finance and Treasury Board, and the hon. Minister of Education and Training - both ministers were appointed by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council; the Member for Grand Bank by virtue of his position as Opposition House Leader, and the Member for Burin - Placentia West as a member of the Opposition; the Member for Bellevue by virtue of his position as Deputy Speaker; and the Speaker who is chairman of the Commission.


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

MR. WOODFORD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I rise in my place today to present a petition on behalf of some 706 residents of the communities of Jackson's Arm, Pollards Point and Sop's Arm in the White Bay area of the District of Humber Valley.

The petition has to do with the efforts of the people in that particular part of my district to obtain and have constructed a new school. Over the last three, three-and-a-half years, the people in that area have worked very hard in conjunction with the churches involved and all the parents involved in the three communities to try to have a new school constructed in that particular area. However, to date they have been unsuccessful. The question I have to ask today, especially as the Premier is here and the Minister of Education and Training, on the Order Paper today we are all discussing and debating a resolution as it pertains to the changes and recommendations to Term 17. A constitutional change that will change the way education is carried out in this Province, and have an effect, and in some cases a drastic effect, on some of the religious and the denominational parts of the education system in our Province.

However, the point I want to make is this. What does Term 17 have to do with the construction of a new school in White Bay? Absolutely nothing. This is a prime example - and I say to the Premier and ministers opposite - of people - you talk about the resolution we have on the Order Paper and how the new system is going to be parental driven. This is a prime example of something being parental driven.

We have three communities that have gotten together and agreed to close out all their schools. We have the Pentecostal people in that area having agreed to go into this new school. Close down their school and go in with the other people in the area. Jackson's Arm will lose their school. We all know that when a community loses its school the old saying is that it will lose its identity. Those are people who for the sake of a better education for their children have said: We will bus our children twenty kilometres to Sop's Arm and close out our school; we are willing to do our part. The people in Pollards Point have said the same thing. Close down their school and bus them to Sop's Arm so that we will do our part to help enhance the prospects of a better education for our children. The Pentecostal people have agreed also. Also, the high school in that particular area. The closure of four schools, or the construction of one school in the area, and the last three-and-a-half years they have been unsuccessful.

That says to me that there is also something wrong with the Department of Education and Training. I know that the minister will get up and the minister and his staff will say: It is the problem of the IEC. We give the church groups the money and it is up to them where to allocate their funds in whatever municipalities, whatever districts, school boards or whatever but, Mr. Speaker, how can they when they are not getting anything? Four to six million last year for school construction in the Province, to do what? You cannot change the light bulbs if they all went together, in every school in the Province, for that amount of money.

We have a school, the high school in that particular area, with leaks. We have problems with the sewer out there, all kinds of problems with cold and misery that the children are going through for what reason? They should not have to wait for a change in the Constitution to enhance the lives of the children in that particular area, Mr. Speaker. That can be done today. Now I ask the Premier and his minister, the minister's opposite, anybody in Cabinet, that this year when they allocate funding for the IEC in this Province to make sure that there is funding made available to this particular area so that those people can carry out the wishes of the parents in the area in order to enhance the education of the children in that particular part of Humber Valley. This is a must.

We have all kinds of areas where the government is saying: well the people should get together and they should do this and they should do that. This is a prime example of people getting together themselves, carrying out the will of government and the will of school boards and so on but yet they still have not been successful. So I say, Mr. Speaker, to members opposite, that this is the time that some action should be taken, regardless of Term 17 or anything else or what happens in the next few weeks, those people should be afforded the courtesy of a new school in that particular part of my district. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I rise today to support the petition presented by my colleague from Humber Valley.

Mr. Speaker, as he said, we are in a very important debate here in the House these days and again today, talking about educational reform. There have been many educational reforms that have taken place throughout our Province, a number of school boards reduced, a number of schools reduced but here we have an example of a number of denominations and communities who are willing to cooperate, are willing to be efficient, are willing to consolidate for the betterment of their children's education and they have been stymied by the inaction of this government here. That is what we see, Mr. Speaker.

How many reforms could have taken place? How far ahead could we have been if the government had exercised its rights in its jurisdiction that it has in education today without amending the Constitution of Canada, I say to members opposite? It is nothing but a smokescreen, is what it is, Mr. Speaker, and if the amended Term 17 ever clears the House of Commons and the Senate I expect that this government will drag its heels just as it has in the last six-and-a-half years that it has been in power. It is nothing but a smokescreen, Mr. Speaker, that is what it is. Why are these people denied an opportunity when they are so willing to cooperate? Why won't they have a new school replacing some other four schools? We talk cost efficiency and doing away with duplication, why isn't that situation being addressed by the Minister of Education and the government? How many other cases around this Province are there like this one, where we could have seen consolidation and a more effective education offered to the students, Mr. Speaker?

As the Member for St. Mary's - The Capes said yesterday, there are so many opportunities this government has lost in education in the last six years or so. So many opportunities. The Premier talks about our students underachieving and our standards lower than the national average - who is he blaming but himself? Who controls the very activities that determine student excellence in this Province if not the Minister of Education and the government? Don't blame it on someone else.

MS VERGE: They are the ones who have underachieved.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Yes, there is no doubt about that. If ever there was a group in this Province who have underachieved it is the group opposite, there is no doubt about that.

MR. REID: (Inaudible).

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Well, there are some exceptions opposite, I say to the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs -

MS VERGE: And he is not one of them.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: - but you have to question what they have achieved or what they achieve at, Mr. Speaker. I am not going to say anything more to the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs because I know what he has accomplished, achieved and improved most at in the last couple of years, and it is not being Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs; so I am not going to buy into the minister's plan. He wants me to tell, now, about his recreational pursuits, and how his handicap... His handicap, I would say, in the thing he participates in has improved, but as a minister his handicap has increased, so I do not know if the minister gets the drift.

I want to support the petition as put forward by my colleague for Humber Valley, a very legitimate petition, a very legitimate concern that this government should have addressed if they are sincere about improving the quality of education in this Province, and about doing away with duplication, about consolidation, then this case should be addressed and I want to go on record here as supporting the member and supporting the prayer of the petition, and supporting those who signed the petition.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Education, speaking to the petition.

MR. DECKER: Mr. Speaker, I have been following the activity of the parents in Sop's Arm and Jackson's Arm and Pollards Point for the last three years, and I can only commend them in what they have been doing, because one of the key problems with integrating schools is the problem that you have with parents, and in this area the parents have overcome their differences and they are ready to integrate. All they need now is money to build a new school.

The hon. member who presented this petition on their behalf said: What does this have to do with Term 17? In reality, it has everything to do with Term 17. Strictly speaking, this petition should have been directed toward the DECs, because if this Province had $150 million to put into school construction tomorrow we could not decide to build this school in Sop's Arm, or to not build this school in Sop's Arm. The constitution lays it out clearly; the Province has to give the capital dollars to the DECs. They decide where to build the schools. They decide to build a school or not to build a school in Sop's Arm.

Now, the hon. member said, what will the new system do for Sop's Arm? Here is what will happen: As soon as we have the constitutional authority to do so, we will be putting in place a provincial construction board. The mandate will be to build all of the new schools for this Province, whether that be one or whether that be 100. That board will be operating with a set of regulations. The regulations will be written in a non-discriminatory fashion - nobody will be discriminated against - but the overriding rule will be this: The schools will be built first and foremost based on need. Where is the worst school in this Province? The board will not be allowed to build schools because a certain political party represents a district, or because a friend of the Chairman of the school board has a child attending a school. It will be built according to regulations, and the overriding factor will be need. Mr. Speaker, with all respect to the people who spend government's money today, I can assure you today that there would not have been a $6 million or $7 million structure built in Bonavista, some years ago, when a school in English Harbour East that my friend talked about yesterday - he said he was capable of pulling the windows out; I can tell him the school up in Hopedale is almost as bad. Some of the decisions that have been made in this Province leave a lot to be desired.

I was just reading a letter which was talking about the mismanagement of some of government money, so I tell the hon. member that I am in sympathy with the people in that area because they have overcome their own biases, and are prepared to go into one school, but we do not have the authority, as a government, under the present Term 17, to build that school even if we wanted to. I tell the hon. member, when this issue is put to a vote, which we are debating in the House these days, I would say to the hon. member, if he wants a school in Sop's Arm to be treated fairly, then for goodness sakes get up and support the motion which is before the House, and hopefully get it off to Ottawa.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Baie Verte - White Bay, on a petition.

MR. SHELLEY: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I rise today to present a petition on behalf of the residents of Baie Verte - White Bay district. I will read the petition first:

We, the residents of the Baie Verte Peninsula are very concerned with recent cutbacks in the Department of Works, Services and Transportation. We believe that these cutbacks will seriously affect the safety as well as the overall quality of transportation on the Peninsula. We urge the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador to reconsider these reductions in order to ensure that the safety and quality of road transportation is retained at an acceptable and safe level.

Mr. Speaker, I think this petition is timely, especially today again, with questioning on behalf of my colleague, the Member for St. John's East Extern. I am glad to see the minister is back in the House.

I think the whole point behind this is that we correct something before we get into a situation in this House again, as with last year when it was too late, and, Mr. Speaker, today, the minister's response to some of the questions, I don't think will leave very much comfort for some of the people in rural Newfoundland, when you hear the minister's comments on his modification kit. I mean, what a farce, a modification kit, a mirror on the side of a truck.

Are we going to look at again, this year, Mr. Speaker, fatalities, accidents in this Province that are caused through some simple modification kit that was put in place? I ask the minister: What studies have been done to examine these so-called modification kits? What has been done so far to find out that these will actually work, that they are going to replace a person in the cab of a truck who has been sitting there for sixteen, seventeen or eighteen hours, to help out a driver who has a wing on the side of that truck? I mean, what kinds of studies can the minister tell us have been done? Is the minister sure - that is the best question probably to ask the minister, Mr. Speaker: How sure is the minister that these modification kits are going to do the job?

If the minister is sure and he is 100 per cent sure - because that is the only way you can accept it; if he is 100 per cent sure, fair enough, so we won't have to come back and ask the question that my colleague asked in the last question. Nobody wants to do that, Mr. Speaker. Nobody wants to come to the minister responsible for transportation in this Province and talk about a fatality on the highway and point fingers. I think we respect each and every one of us in this House enough not to have to do that.

But the question has to be answered: Do these so-called modification kits -and, Mr. Speaker, in all honesty, as far as technology goes, I don't know how much technology went in to these modification kits; a mirror to go on the side of a truck, a heater to make sure there is no steam on the windows. Are those to replace a human being who sits in a truck that has helped - and I have talked to these people and I assume, that the minister has talked to these people - not to experts in the department or somebody who is doing some study in some laboratory somewhere. I am talking about going out and talking to the men who have been working at this for fifteen, sixteen, seventeen years. I have done that, Mr. Speaker, and I assume that the minister responsible for making this decision, has done that. And he has to be getting the same answer because I have not had a different answer from anybody yet, that if you go into shift work and overtime and heavy storms and you have a fellow who is sitting there on the wing, the so-called wing man with these trucks, has been a very valuable asset to the driver. After sixteen, seventeen, eighteen hours working and that person is there with him for all kinds of reasons, Mr. Speaker, and what can happen.

The last thing we want to see this winter, I say in all seriousness to the minister, is a report of a fatality, of the wing on the truck that has clipped either a vehicle that has been on the side of the road or somebody who has been walking out in a storm and so on, or run into a guard rail on the side that hasn't been seen. There are all kinds of possibilities of what can happen. But the question has to be asked: How sure is the minister, who has made this decision, that these so-called modification kits are going to replace a human being in a truck? And the minister has to be sure, 100 per cent sure, because if he is not, then he is putting safety in jeopardy in this question.

It is a whole question of safety, and if he feels comfortable, as the minister, then nobody will have to point fingers. I hope, for god's sake that none of us will have to point fingers at anybody in this House. We don't want to do that, on either side, but you have to ask the question before - not when the first snowfall hits and things start to happen. It is no good to bring this up in this House of Assembly and present petitions or raise questions after the fact, after the snowfall has hit and we have problems on our highways. We have to ask it now. And I would ask the minister, on behalf of, not just people in this petition on the Baie Verte Peninsula, but all around this Province - because I think I am representing many people in this Province who share the same concerns.

Now, my district has decided that it will present petitions; they got on to this, they have initiated it on their own; I guess they have talked to people in the area, because we have a lot of trunk roads, as the minister knows, and there were a lot of concerns there last year.

And besides the wing man, Mr. Speaker, there has been a cutback in mechanics and labourers in that department also, in the depots. Last year, I visited these depots very often and I have talked to the mechanics, the wing men and so on and, Mr. Speaker, they will tell you - I am sure they told the minister, and he continues to say it is not going to happen. Well, maybe he won't mind the fingers being pointed afterwards if that is his attitude towards this. It is too late to do it after the fact, I say to the minister, it is too late to do it then. So, if the minister is 100 per cent sure -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.

MR. SHELLEY: - then continue, otherwise change it.


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time has elapsed.

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

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

I stand today to support the petition presented by my colleague, the Member for Baie Verte - White Bay. The petition is similar to a petition that was presented last week. This is a very serious matter. The Minister of Works, Services and Transportation can sit in his seat and be flippant and make jokes, but this is a very serious matter. The safety of the travelling public is in question here, nothing less.

My question today was concerning the travelling public in this Province. Yesterday, I was prepared to ask the same question, but the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology was long-winded in responding to his questions. There is a lay-off of mechanics. The minister just said from his seat that it isn't going to happen. It has happened. When we have equipment breaking down on the highway in the middle of a storm, how long will it be before this equipment is back on the roads? What kind of a dangerous situation is this department setting up at this time?

They are talking about replacing individuals in this Province with modification kits: heated mirrors, power windows, and a flag on the end of a plough. The people who are installing these modification kits - I have spoken to some of them, and they consider it nothing less than a joke. Simply, this is not acceptable to the people of this Province. The drivers themselves consider this to be laughable, if it weren't so serious. The minister continues to make jokes.

With the cutbacks in this Province over the past number of years at Works, Services and Transportation, in particular, we have the operators now working fifteen, sixteen hours a day operating this equipment. And it is not only equipment, driving the trucks and the ploughs themselves, but it is the operating equipment, the ploughs themselves, what have you. I would have to ask the question: Can one person operate such a piece of equipment?

The minister says yes, in his opinion. I would like to ask the minister how often he has driven a plough, how often he has driven one of these trucks with the equipment on it. How often has he been out in the middle of a snowstorm on the Burin Peninsula, on the Northern Peninsula, operating this equipment? It is alright in the safety of his own office. He made a joke not long ago that there would be no equipment cut in his district. It isn't acceptable, and the people of this Province -

MR. EFFORD: (Inaudible).

MR. J. BYRNE: There he goes again, Mr. Speaker. He wasn't joking. Well, I am going to remind the minister in the middle of this winter if someone is seriously hurt, that he said he wasn't joking when he was joking.

I would ask this government to take a serious look at the Department of Works, Services and Transportation. Obviously, we have a minister in place there who doesn't care about the human factor in this Province, Mr. Speaker. Thank you.

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

MR. EFFORD: Just a couple of short comments about both hon. members' comments. First of all, I don't consider it a joke. The only joke I consider is the members opposite. I can go back a couple of years when they brought equipment in from Western Canada to grow cucumbers to put in Robin Hood Bay down in Torbay. That is a joke. If I had that $25 million that was thrown out on Robin Hood Bay in growing cucumbers I would buy another dozen ploughs and hire on another dozen operators in this Province. The fact is, that crowd opposite wasted the taxpayers' money in this Province for seventeen years, got us so strapped financially now that we can't move.

Mr. Speaker, I have total confidence that what we are doing this winter will not jeopardize the safety of the operators, will not jeopardize the safety of the general public, neither in the equipment operating on the Trans-Canada or the snow clearing responsibility that the individuals have. The Provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and P.E.I., those three provinces, have run the same type of equipment for years with one operator.


AN HON. MEMBER: There are no hills in P.E.I.!

MR. EFFORD: No hills? No hills in New Brunswick, no hills in Nova Scotia. Newfoundland is the only place - now there is a statement for a member to make!

What I am saying is, three provinces - and Quebec makes 4 - are operating pieces of equipment in the same manner as we are operating this year. Are you saying that Newfoundlanders can't drive a plough? That we have to put two people to do the same job as a person from Nova Scotia? Now, you go out and tell the people in your district that! How silly can you get? This thing about the kits you are talking about. An individual driving a truck does not need a second person to drive that truck. Only one person can drive a piece of equipment at one time. How do you get two people driving a truck at the same time? He has the controls in front of him. The controls are there to operate the plough, and if he decides that wing should not be down, he presses a button and up comes the wing, if he is into a narrow piece of road or area.

The hon. member is trying to make points, and I have no problem with that. I am satisfied that the decision we made is the right decision. Yes, there will be accidents this winter, there is no doubt there will be, and after the very first accident, the hon. member will be up like the hon. the Member for Mount Pearl was last year: `Efford, you caused that.' Well, when I become God, I will stop all snow from falling and then there will be no accidents.

MR. TOBIN: You are in the middle of a snowstorm now, boy.

MR. EFFORD: Don't be so silly, boy!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

Orders of the Day

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

MR. ROBERTS: Thank you.

Mr. Speaker, before we get into the substantive Orders of the Day, I wonder if I might move that the House do not adjourn at 5:00 p.m.

Motion, that the House not adjourn at 5:00 p.m., carried.

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, for the benefit of members opposite, I would say, in this House, noise, volume doesn't count, it is numbers that count.

Mr. Speaker, we don't necessarily intend to ask the House to sit late this evening, it depends entirely on how we get along with debate. My friend, the Member for Mount Pearl has something to say?

MR. WINDSOR: I think we will stay here all night.

MR. ROBERTS: We have often stayed all night to listen to the hon. gentleman speak and we will be delighted to do it again. It is his colleagues who have the trouble. Your Honour, with that, would you be good enough, please, to call Motion No. 4, that is the debate on Term 17. I believe the Member for Kilbride had not concluded his remarks, and accordingly, the floor is his.

MR. SPEAKER: Motion 4.

The hon. the Member for Kilbride.

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

The majority of my remarks related to the government's resolution I spoke about yesterday before I adjourned debate, and I would like to conclude today before my colleague, the Member for Grand Falls, speaks to the resolution, by saying just a couple of things.

Over the last three years, Mr. Speaker, if this government had spent as much time and energy, had expended as much time and energy, on what happened inside the classroom as opposed to what has happened outside the classroom, we would not be having this debate today. I do believe, firmly and frankly, that if government had done that, if they had spent their time implementing the recommendations that came forth from the William's Royal Commission, if they had spent their time negotiating fairly and openly with the church leaders, today, we would not be debating this resolution. We would see a higher quality of education in our classrooms today that would benefit the children and students of this Province.

In my opinion, Mr. Speaker, the parents and taxpayers of this Province wouldn't care who was in control of education if that was happening - you could call it any brand name, or put any name to it that you wished. But the fact is this, that what is at stake here is a battle between a Premier who is fixated on the belief of what an educational system and a model should look like and the reality of what actually could have happened over the past three years.

Mr. Speaker, in conclusion, let me say that I cannot support this resolution. I have no intention of supporting this resolution, neither today, tomorrow, or the next day. I will not stand up and support the automatic stripping away of minority rights when a government during the last election made it clear that no such stripping away would happen without consensus. Frankly, Mr. Speaker, what has happened is a bold, two-faced lie by this government.

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. E. BYRNE: Mr. Speaker, I would like to withdraw the remark. It was said within the heat of debate and I apologize.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. member's remark was certainly out of order and I accept the apology.

The hon. the Member for Twillingate.

MR. CARTER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The voters of the Twillingate District knew precisely where I stood on the issue of constitutional change long before the referendum was called, in fact, long before they voted on September 5. They also knew how I felt about calling a referendum. I announced at a public meeting held in Summerford in 1993, where 1100 people attended, that I would not, under any circumstance, support an amendment to the constitution, nor would I support a call for a referendum.

I subsequently informed my constituents that while I would respect their wishes to vote how they see fit, I expected them to show me the same consideration, because in a campaign leading up to the 1993 general election, I gave the voters of Twillingate District a solemn undertaking that I would not, under any circumstance, support or be party to any proposal put forward by the government to seek an amendment to the Canadian Constitution, that would tamper with their constitutionally protected rights in education.

Moreover, at the same time, I gave them an undertaking that I would not support calling for a referendum, because I considered it unnecessary, unwarranted, divisive, and a shameful waste of public money. Mr. Speaker, I am unable to reconcile the action now being proposed by government with the commitment the Premier gave church leaders, Members of the House of Assembly, and the general public, from the floor of this Legislature on 12 March 1993.

Now, like most Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, I support the government and church leaders in their efforts to achieve greater efficiency and excellence in our education system. I think most Newfoundlanders likewise support that. Likewise, I support the reforms on which there is general agreement between government and the churches; however, I am not pleased with the manner in which government has dragged its heels and have refused to implement the reforms on which there is agreement between the churches and government, and on which substantial savings can be achieved. The government's `all or nothing' policy simply does not make sense. It makes one wonder precisely what it is we are trying to achieve.

While I support the fact that differences still exist between government and the churches on the question of education reform, surely, there is a more civilized way to settle those differences than maligning and alienating our church leaders, putting our people through a costly and divisive referendum, pitting people of different religious faiths against each other, and in the end, removing their constitutional rights.

I believe it was being very naive for anyone, including the Premier, to suggest that religion would not be a factor in the campaign leading up to the referendum. I fail to see how you could possibly entertain the notion that tampering with issues such as church rights and denominational education would not arouse a very high level of religious bigotry and rancour in this Province. People in this Province take their religion seriously and, I repeat, to suggest that you could tamper with those rights, the rights of education, the rights of the churches, is to court disaster.

The concerns of the churches are understandable, especially those of the Roman Catholic and Pentecostal churches who have raised some very serious questions as to their future role in education in this Province, and the extent to which their rights under the constitution will be affected. It is also understandable why church leaders feel that they have been betrayed and their rights trampled on.

Mr. Speaker, March 12, 1993 was a very important day for a lot of people in this House. There were church leaders in the gallery, the Premier gave an undertaking in this Chamber on March 12, 1993, just before the last provincial general election, that government would not seek an amendment to the Constitution without the consent of the churches. Now these may not have been the Premier's exact words but it certainly reflects the way it was interrupted by the church leaders, the news media and members of the Liberal Caucus who campaigned in the last general election on the strength of the Premier's commitment.

Mr. Speaker, I personally believe that as many as eight or ten hon. members, who now sit in this House, would have found it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to be re-elected were it not for the fact they were able to use the Premier's statement of March 12 in their respective campaigns. I have been told by a gentleman on this side, in fact by people in Cabinet, that the moment that that statement became available they had it reproduced and sent to their constituents and in some cases they took it with them. They would not knock on a door without knowing that they had that statement in their pockets.

Mr. Speaker, I would have found it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to have been re-elected in Twillingate district were it not for the fact that my constituents were given an assurance that their constitutionally protected rights in education would not be placed in jeopardy and I say now, Mr. Speaker, that I speared no effort to convey that impression. I did it in good faith, convinced that that was then the policy of the government and the party for which I ran. That being the case, Mr. Speaker, then I believe that a general election, not a referendum, would have been a much more honourable way of dealing with this issue.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. CARTER: Realistically, Mr. Speaker, I think most Newfoundlanders will agree that neither a referendum or a constitutional change will alter the fact that geography, a chronically weak economy and isolation are the real curses that have plagued our education system for centuries. Geography, a chronically weak economy and isolation, not religious symbols, school colours or school governance. Of course there are other factors that contribute to the problems facing our education system and I might add, most of which our church leaders recognize and have indicated that they are prepared to address. Notwithstanding these problems, Mr. Speaker, and contrary to what we have been told, a great deal has been achieved in this Province in recent years in education reform, without constitutional change or the need for government to wield a big stick. Let me give you a few examples, the number of school boards in this Province have been reduced from 270 in 1969 to twenty-seven in 1994. Let me repeat, from 270 in 1969 to twenty-seven in 1994. What is interesting to note, Mr. Speaker, is that the churches are quite prepared to do what has to be done to reduce that number to ten.

We have reduced the number of schools in this Province from 1,046 in 1967 to 492 in 1994. Of the Province's 469 communities only 293 have schools. Two hundred and sixty, 89 per cent, of these communities have a single school system. Twenty-four communities have joint service schools. In these communities two or more school boards operate a single school system jointly because the number of students doesn't warrant separate school systems. Only thirty-three communities have more than a one-school system. These communities are large enough to support more than one system.

AN HON. MEMBER: Twenty-five.

MR. CARTER: There was an interesting statistic, Mr. Speaker, and I would ask hon. members to listen. The most recent statistic available from the Province of Nova Scotia, where they have a public school system, shows that their annual cost per pupil is higher than in Newfoundland. For example, in Nova Scotia the annual average cost is $4,755. Ours is $4,535, which is $120 per student per year less. Although Nova Scotia has a public school system, in relative terms we both spend the same amount on school busing, which is 5 per cent of our respective budgets for education.

While I'm on the subject of education costs, those of us who recently attended a meeting with representatives of the Roman Catholic and Pentecostal churches were surprised to learn that not once during the past two-and-a-half years was the matter of cost, or ways to cut cost, raised at any of the meetings between government and churches. I have to ask myself the question then: How much emphasis is the government placing on cost-saving factors within their proposal?

In their wisdom our ancestors firmly established an educational system based on the principle that you can't separate Christian and moral development from our philosophy of education and from our school system. That, my friends, is precisely what this resolution will do if it is approved by us and acted upon by the Parliament of Canada.

I am convinced that the ultimate outcome of this whole exercise will, within a very few years, see the removal of every vestige of religious influence from our schools. I am convinced of that. It is happening in other jurisdictions. I had a visitor this year from the State of Kentucky in the U.S. She arrived here in the middle of this controversy, especially the open line controversy leading up to the referendum. My wife and I visited with her because she was a relative, and she told me she couldn't believe what she was hearing. She said: We went through this very same exercise back in - I think it was Kentucky - twenty years ago. She said: Today most Kentuckians would give their eye-teeth if they could forget it ever happened and revert to the way it was. She told me in her schools, in a country where the motto is "In God We Trust," pupils in those schools are not allowed to mention the word God, not allowed to make any reference to God. The God in whom they trust is a dirty word in their schools.

I hope I'm wrong, but I contend that there will be a time in my lifetime when Newfoundland schoolchildren will be forbidden maybe to even sing "God guard thee, Newfoundland" in our schools; that is how serious it is.


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, I am not detracted by that sort of thing, because six months ago the hon. member would have been up saying the very same thing I am saying now.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. CARTER: But, for whatever reason, he is not allowed to do it now.

MR. DUMARESQUE: You don't want to get into that.

MR. CARTER: No, you don't want to get into it.

Mr. Speaker, during last Thursday's Question Period the Member for St. Mary's - The Capes asked a very simple, straightforward, question. Essentially, all the hon. member wanted to know was: What will happen to the schools in places like St. Bride's where every person in the community is of the same religious faith? Will the character of that school remain intact?

Surely that question, which is the most basic of all questions raised in this whole debate, should have received an equally simple answer. Unfortunately, the hon. member's question went unanswered. That came as a shock to me, as it must have to all other hon. members, because just think about it for a moment. Here we are debating a resolution introduced by the government, a resolution that is by far one of the most important precedent-setting resolutions ever introduced in this House, and government members are unable, or maybe unwilling, to provide a simple answer to the most fundamental question that could possibly be asked in this debate: What happens to the schools in my community, a community where all of the people are of the one faith?

I say precedent-setting because never before in the history of Canada have constitutionally protected minority rights been taken away by a decision or a vote of the majority without the consent of the minority affected. That is essentially what this House has been asked to do.

Over the past few months we have been bombarded with legal opinions, provided by so-called experts trained in constitutional law. Government's experts tell us one thing, and equally competent constitutional experts acting for the churches tell us something entirely different. I do not think that any two yet have agreed on anything. Of course, that is not unusual for lawyers.

AN HON. MEMBER: That is how they make their money.

MR. CARTER: That is how they make their money.

Spokesmen for government put their slant on what they are proposing; church leaders and their representatives have theirs, and I can say now that any similarity between the two is purely coincidental.

There is one good thing about it; historically Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have always shown far greater willingness to believe their church leaders than what they have to believe their politicians. I am not sure that is called for, but it is a fact of life. It is a fact of life - I think it is fair to say that clergymen demand more respect and attention than certain politicians.

Mr. Speaker, maybe, just maybe, that accounts for the low voter turnout in the recent referendum. The fact that 72 per cent of the Province's eligible voters either voted against the government's proposal or for reasons, which I suggest had to do with the wording and the nature of the question, refused to vote. Their only hope, Mr. Speaker, is that wiser heads will prevail in Ottawa and the Prime Minister will refuse to be party to this schemozzle.

The decision to seek an amendment to the Canadian Constitution on such a weak and inconclusive mandate, Mr. Speaker, is unacceptable and will not soon be forgotten by those whose rights are being threatened. To seek an amendment to any Constitution, of any country, is serious business. The Constitution is serious business. As I have already stated, to amend the Constitution for the express purpose of abolishing the rights of minorities, against their will, is simply not done. That is simply not done and to do so, Mr. Speaker, based on an approval of 28 per cent of the Province's eligible voters, without regard for the other 72 per cent who voted either against the government's proposal or refused to vote, is anything but democratic.

Mr. Speaker, I suspect that some of the people involved in this issue are more interested in carving a niche for themselves in history then what they are in doing what is right.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. CARTER: Church leaders and their representatives have engaged in extensive discussions with government and with the Premier himself, over the past two-and-a-half years. While certain differences still exist significant progress has been made. In fact, we have been told by church leaders that 90 per cent of the reforms recommended in the Williams' Royal Commission report are achievable, within the framework of existing legislation, without a referendum or the need for constitutional change.

Mr. Speaker, I have had occasion to meet, several times, the leaders of our churches to discuss this matter and they have made it clear to me that they welcome any legislation that would readily contribute to an improvement in the quality of education in this Province. I am satisfied that they are telling me the truth. I am not about to question their honesty or their integrity. I believe them and I believed them when they told me that. I can understand, Mr. Speaker, why they are not prepared to roll over and play dead while their rights are being abolished. Government has stubbornly refused to accept the position put forward by the churches as a basis for consensus and are pressing forward with their proposals as though it is the only legitimate basis for educational reform and that thought was conveyed to the public many times during the campaign, Mr. Speaker. Like I say now, I am not prepared to accept that line. I am of the old school, I still have the upmost respect for church leaders and for their integrity.

Mr. Speaker, following the Premier's announcement on August 19, 1994, that government would proceed with the implementation of Adjusting the Course, leaders of the Roman Catholic and Pentecostal churches, who collectively represent 44 per cent of the population of this Province, served notice on the government of their intention to initiate court action if they - meaning the government - introduced legislation in the House of Assembly that would have the effect of dismantling the denominational system and extinguishing their constitutional rights. Acknowledging the fact that the churches were within their rights to take court action, and that any such action would undoubtedly he upheld in the courts, government proceeded to deny them their rights by seeking to amend the Constitution, so is it any wonder, Mr. Speaker, that church leaders are upset and feel betrayed.

Calling a referendum in these circumstances for the purpose of extinguishing their rights, is an unforgivable act of high-handedness and arrogance. Any process that uni-laterally removes rights held by minorities and denies them the right to appeal through the courts when their rights have been violated, is totally unacceptable in a country like Canada, which is founded on the democratic ideals of justice and (inaudible).

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, there have always been mutual trust and understanding between churches and governments in this Province. Past governments have always recognized and respected the right of parents to seek a christian education for their children, a right established in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed by the UN on December 10, 1948. Mr. Speaker, I readily agree, that governments have the right, indeed a duty to establish standards of education that it wishes its citizens to achieve. Government will always play a vital role in our education since it provides the legal framework, the financial means and the administrative muscles for the whole education system.

Mr. Speaker, when it serves their purposes, all too often, hon. members insist that our students perform academically far below students from the rest of Canada. They quote batteries of test results that supposedly support their claim, however, the official publication of the Department of Education, Profile 93, Education Indicators, paints an entirely different picture. In a news release dated February 10, 1995, in which the Minister of Education and Training gave the results of Canadian Tests of Basic Skills administered to Newfoundland students, he also painted a different picture. The minister is quoted as saying: `The results of the recent CTBS are encouraging. It is comforting to know he said that Newfoundland students can compete with others from across Canada. It is comforting to know he said, that Newfoundland students are able to compete with others from across Canada.'

Mr. Speaker, if indeed our children are performing poorly, let those responsible accept the blame. Certainly, we cannot blame it on the children. The blame rests squarely with the Department of Education and Training and in the final analysis, with the minister. They have full control over the -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.


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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. member does not have leave.

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, it is my intention to move an amendment –

MR. SPEAKER: With the time at the Chair and the time at the table, there is a discrepancy. The hon. member has three minutes left.

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, it is my intention to move an amendment to the resolution.

Now I am not so naive as to think that this resolution is going to pass this House. In fact, I suppose one could almost bet anything that it will happen, it shouldn't but it will, so I intend to move a resolution that, while it is not going to remove all of the concerns of the churches, it is not going to make the resolution perfect but I think it might have the effect of making it a little more palatable for the people. So, Mr. Speaker, I move, seconded by the hon. gentleman for Fogo, that the English version of the schedule of the constitutional resolution which would amend Term 17 to the Terms of Union of Newfoundland with Canada be amended as follows:

(a) in line 11 of paragraph (a) by deleting the words "provided for" and by substituting the words, "direct and determine":

(b) by deleting the six lines before subparagraphs (1) and (11) of paragraphs (b) and by substituting the following:

"(b) where numbers warrant,"

(c) in line 7 of paragraph (c) to insert the words "to determine and" after the words "to have the right and"

(d) in line 11 of paragraph (c) to insert the words "and determine" after the words "and to direct".

MR. SPEAKER: Could the Chair have a copy of the amendment from the table?

The hon. member can continue speaking until his time is up but the House will recess to consider the amendment. I would like to consult with the advisors on this before we make such an important decision.

MR. CARTER: I did not hear, Mr. Speaker, you want to adjourn the House?

MR. SPEAKER: Recess the House, not adjourn.

MR. CARTER: Then I presume I am good for half an hour, am I, if I want to?

Mr. Speaker, if there is a problem with the curriculum whose fault is it? The Department of Education designs and develops all curriculums taught in schools in Newfoundland and Labrador with the exception of religious education. The minister authorizes all curriculum including the text books to be used. The Department of Education sets the standards for teacher's educations. The faculty of education at Memorial University trains the teachers and the Department of Education certifies them. The Minister of Education prescribes the length of the school year, the length of the school day, and the period of time to be spent on each subject. The Department of Education sets the criteria for evaluation and testing. The matter of bussing and funding for school construction is also the responsibility of-

MR. SPEAKER: I would ask the hon. member to take his place so that the House can recess to consider the amendment.


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The Chair has had an opportunity to look at the amendment. Based on our precedents and our Standing Order 36 the amendment is in order.

The hon. the Member for Twillingate.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. CARTER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Like I said a moment ago, I don't think it is going to satisfy all of the fears of the people who are affected, but I think it will go a long way toward allaying some of their concerns and making the resolution somewhat more palatable.

I should point out by the way, in defence of my amendment, where we talk about item (b) I think it is: "by deleting the six lines before subparagraphs (i) and (ii)..." and inserting the words "`where numbers warrant.'"

Those of you who have in your files a copy of an advertizement that was placed in The Evening Telegram by the government, I believe it was in March of 1994, under the heading The Principles of Education Reform, one of the commitments given in that advertizement is to provide for uni-denominational schools where numbers warrant. That is the precise effect my amendment will have on the resolution.

I sometimes get annoyed when I hear statements being made both in the House of Assembly and in the news media by responsible people, people who at least should be responsible, that focus on the illiteracy rate in this Province and other unflattering negative aspects of our educational system. These serve only to cast the people of this Province in an unfavourable light in the rest of Canada. It also gives comfort to certain Upper Canadian editorial writers and journalists - we know who they are - who appear to derive great satisfaction, great joy, stereotyping us as somewhat less than first-class citizens.

The people of this Province don't deserve to be cast in that light. Historically Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, most of whom are the product of our much maligned education system, have made a very significant contribution to the professional, cultural and corporate life of Canada and the rest of the world.

I listened with some considerable interest to the speech made in the Chamber last Thursday by the hon. Member for Conception Bay South, and I have to say that while I fully appreciate the hon. member's sincerity, and I am sure she did not mean any harm, I did find certain aspects of her speech to be a little offensive. Several times she referred to our education system as being medieval. Now I do not have any statistics to back up what I am about to say, but I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, and I can tell the hon. member, that on a per capita basis our so-called medieval education system has produced more brains and has made a greater contribution to this country in terms of human resources than any other Province in Canada, including her native Province of Ontario.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. CARTER: Historically Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, some of whom came out of one-room denominational schools, have excelled at home and abroad. It is also worth noting that there is scarcely a country in this world - certainly not a Province in Canada - where you will not find ex-Newfoundlanders who are doing extremely well. For example, in the arts, the medical and legal professions, the clergy, in the field of communications, commerce, and in the military, our native sons and daughters have proven to be as good and in many ways better than the best of them.

I am sure the hon. member will be pleased to learn that the first woman to be admitted to the Bar in Newfoundland, Louise Maude Saunders, was the product of a one-room school in Greenspond, Bonavista Bay. Equally interesting is the fact that a native Grand Banker, General William Carr, became the highest ranking officer in the Canadian Air Force - no mean feat for a Newfoundlander to attain that position. Another well-known and highly respected native Newfoundlander, Colonel Clarence Wiseman, was born in Morton's Harbour, which is in my district, became the head of the Salvation Army in the entire world.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. CARTER: Yes, General Clarence Wiseman filled the shoes of General William Booth as the world leader of the Salvation Army; what an honour.

Former Newfoundlanders, most of whom are the product of small denomination schools in outport communities, have become outstanding leaders in their chosen field. Some have become university presidents, great artists, theatrical producers, men of the cloth, poets, architects, bankers, physicians, lawyers, politicians and diplomats. An example that is not a widely known fact, the president of the largest bank in the world, the Bank of America, was one Mr. James Kennedy who was born in Newfoundland. Two native born Newfoundlanders, Arthur Jensen, who was born in Harbour Breton, and George Neal from St. John's, became Chairman of the Board and Vice-President of the Bank of Montreal respectively.

For years Newfoundlanders have dominated the communications industry in this country. Newfoundlanders Geoff Stirling, Ralph Snelgrove, and the late Don Jamieson dominated the Canadian Radio and Television industry for years.

Two other Newfoundlanders who are seen daily on one of Canada's largest television outlets, and have become well-known in the Ottawa area are also native-born Newfoundlanders. One of them is Max Keeping, a native of Grand Bank, who is now vice-president and senior broadcaster with the largest privately-owned television outlet, I suppose in Canada, certainly in Central Canada, CJOH-TV. Needless to say, my wife and I take some considerable pride in the fact that the other Newfoundlander who was seen daily in Ottawa on that large t.v. station, is our son, Glen. Of course, we have another well-known Newfoundlander whose star is rising very rapidly on the national scene as a radio and television personality in the person of Mr. Rex Murphy.

In the field of politics, a number of native sons and daughters of Newfoundland have risen to the top in other parts of Canada. For example, Edward Halliburton and Roland Thornhill, two Newfoundlanders, spent considerable years as Cabinet ministers in the Government of Nova Scotia. A former Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia, Dr. Clarence Gosse, is also a Newfoundlander. Mr. Speaker, the list goes on and time will not permit me to do justice to it, but let me name a few more.

We have Dr. Robert W. Pilot, who was Canada's outstanding artist, A.J.C. Paine, a nationally acclaimed architect, both Newfoundlanders; John Murray Anderson, one of America's leading theatrical producers, Captain Robert Bartlett, a famed Arctic explorer, Sir Thomas Roddick, one of the greatest medical pioneers in Canada, all Newfoundlanders; Dr. E.J. Pratt, Canada's Poet Laureate; Newfoundlanders, Chris Pratt and David Blackwood, both of whom have become internationally acclaimed in their chosen profession, as have business tycoons, Craig Dobbin, Harry Steele, and members of the Collingwood family.

Mr. Speaker, if we had time to research, there are hundreds of Newfoundlanders who are the products of these small, so-called medieval schools who have gone away and excelled and have reached the top in their chosen fields. All too often we are inclined to do and say things that do nothing to enhance the image of our Province and our people. We Newfoundlanders are good, we are excellent, we excel at putting ourselves down. Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have no reason to take a back seat to any Canadian, and I believe it would be in all of our best interests, certainly in the best interests of our Province, in our children, and their children, if we get off this silly kick we are on about criticizing ourselves and our educational system.

Let me give you another personal story which I use to back up what I'm saying. In 1968, my wife and I moved our eight children to Ottawa. Naturally, we were both a little apprehensive about their schooling and how they would fit into their new environment. Coming from Newfoundland, and we were exposed to this inferior attitude that all too often prevails, some of our friends told us: You are going to have problems, they aren't going to be able to fit in. I can tell you now, we were absolutely overjoyed when we found out that not only were they capable of adjusting, but two of them were so far advanced that their teacher saw fit to have them skip a grade. One of my daughters who left here in Grade VII was allowed to skip Grade VIII and go on to Grade IX. One of our sons also skipped a grade. He left here in Grade V and in the Ottawa school he immediately went to Grade VII.

Mr. Speaker, these were not above-average children, in fact, they were very average children of average intelligence. As a parent, naturally, I would prefer to believe that credit for their advancement was due to them entirely. However, I willingly concede that most of the credit for their advancement belongs to the schools they attended and to their teachers.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I rise to speak to the amendment presented today by the Member for Twillingate and seconded by the Member for Fogo that would have the effect of making a couple of changes to the proposed Term 17 amending the Constitution. Let me say first of all, Mr. Speaker, that the debate that we are having here this week and last week in the House of Assembly is a debate that we should have been having before any referendum took place.

It is not precedented, Mr. Speaker, in the constitutional realm, to have an amendment to the Constitution and a referendum without public discussion, prior to the referendum being called, of the question to be asked and the nature of the amendment to the Constitution to be proposed. What has happened in this particular instance, to an issue so important to so many Newfoundlanders and Labradorians that it has caused divisions in this Province and will continue to cause divisions, that instead of trying to craft a proposed new Term 17 that would accommodate and recognize the attachment and the needs of a minority of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to having what in other provinces are called, separate schools.

The government decided, the Cabinet decided, to go ahead with the referendum by Cabinet fiat, with a proposed constitutional amendment not subject to wide public discussion and debate - let alone debate in the House of Assembly - where amendments such as those proposed by the Member for Twillingate could have been moved or other amendments that members on this side, I know, have been contemplating.

I, myself, had prepared and had typewritten an amendment that would have been to the same effect as section B of the Member for Twillingate's motion which would have read as follows; `...the Member for St. John's East to move that Motion No. 4, in the name of the Premier, be amended by deleting from the schedule thereof in the proposed Term 17(b) of the Terms of Union of Newfoundland and Canada, the words; `subject to provincial legislation that is uniformly applicable to all schools specifying conditions for the establishment or continued operation of schools' and replace them with the words, `where numbers warrant.'

That was a motion that I had prepared, an amendment to the proposed Term 17. I want to talk for a moment about the effect of that motion and, in the process of doing so, explain to members of the House and put on the record of Hansard why it was that I personally voted `no' in the referendum held on September 5, 1995. First of all, let me say, and reiterate, that I, and my party, have been the most consistent supporters of the reform of the denominational education system in this Province over the last twenty years. I read in The Telegram files recently, around September month, a reference to an NDP convention in Grand Falls taking place over two or three days, in 1972, I believe it was, which featured as one of its resolutions for debate, and which was passed, the reform, if not abolition, of the denominational education system in the Province of Newfoundland.

What does that mean, Mr. Speaker? Does that mean that there should be no more schools in this Province that are exclusively Catholic schools or exclusively Pentecostal schools? No. What that means is that the system of education, the system that involved the layers of administration, the layers of responsibility, the layers of bureaucracy, the duplication that was even worse then in 1972 than it is in 1995, that, that system had to change and be reformed. And I don't think there is a single person in the Province today, if the question had been put in the referendum: Do you agree with the reform of the education system? who would have voted `no'. But what happened, Mr. Speaker - and certain other members on the other side of the House have expressed this more eloquently than I would be able to do here today.

The Member for St. John's Centre has outlined the position taken by this government prior to the last election. The position taken by the Premier in this House and reiterated to the public in the May 1993 general election, was that government would not seek to change the Constitution with respect to denominational schools without the support of the churches. I opposed that at the time, Mr. Speaker; I think that was the wrong position to take. When the government and the Minister of Education and Training were talking in this House about attempting to achieve consensus with the churches, I supported that attempt, but I cautioned, and I am on record as having cautioned this House, that one must not commit oneself to saying that if there is no consensus nothing can be done, yet, that's what this government did.

In 1993, it said to the people of this Province, to the church leaders sitting in this House and to all members present, that they would in fact, not bring about change without the consent of the churches. So what we have then, is a process, whereby the government went through a series of negotiations, if they can be called that, the consensus attempt failed and I am not going into pointing fingers and blaming the churches, as the Member for Mount Pearl did, blaming the churches, suggesting that they acted in bad faith. I don't agree with the Member for Mount Pearl when he said that the churches acted in bad faith.

AN HON. MEMBER: Waterford - Kenmount.

MR. HARRIS: Waterford - Kenmount, I'm sorry. I misstated myself. The Member for Waterford - Kenmount, the Education critic who stated that the churches had in fact acted in bad faith in the negotiations, I didn't agree with that. I think they went to the meetings, they had proposals; they responded to the invitation of the government and the Premier to get involved in the consensus-building process, but they weren't able to agree. They weren't able to agree, and therefore, there was no consensus.

Now, some might say, Mr. Speaker, that the government had boxed itself into a corner because they had committed themselves to a consensus process and they had reached the point where they felt that consensus was no longer possible. The right thing to do, Mr. Speaker, would have been to come back to this House of Assembly and say, We have failed to achieve a consensus and we are now proposing to bring in an amendment to the Constitution consistent with government objectives - put it before the House, seek the support of the majority of the members of the House to put a referendum question to the people, listen to members on both sides express their own and the constituents' concerns about what the new amendment would do, what affect it would have, not only on the school system but on the rights that their constituents enjoyed under the existing constitution; that would have been the right thing to do. What did the government do? It closed the House, and the next day announced that it was going to have a referendum, waited until the schools were closed and then issued a press release saying what their new Term 17 was.

AN HON. MEMBER: And waited until July to give us the wording.

MR. HARRIS: And waited until July to tell us what the wording of the referendum was, and then have the referendum held on the day that the schools were reopening again. That is what they did. They did not invite this House or the people of Newfoundland to participate in the wording of a constitutional change. This is from a Premier who traipse across this country, and may have contributed to its destruction on the Meech Lake Accord because the process was inadequate, the wording was inadequate, even though he had agreed to bring this matter to the House of Assembly of Newfoundland, did not do that either.

I have to say, and I am going to say this quite openly, when I saw the wording of the proposed Term 17, and I was given a copy by the Minister of Education, the Minister of Education and I, and the Leader of the Opposition were sitting together on a radio program with CBC and I had a copy of the wording from the minister, and I did not have a real problem with it because I saw, in section 17(b), the provision for uni-denominational schools, with one problem. I pointed it out at the time to a caller who had called in and talked about this, because I wanted to be supportive of the changes that were being brought about. I pointed out a problem in the words, `subject to provincial legislation'. I pointed that problem out at the time, and I expected, over the course of the summer - although I was away for three weeks out of the Province, like many people, having their vacation, entitled to it - I expected to hear the Minister of Education and the Premier give some commitment, some comfort even, to those people who were asking questions, like the Member for St. Mary's - The Capes was asking in the House last week: Does this mean, Mr. Premier, that in Trepassey or in Ferryland -

AN HON. MEMBER: Or St. Bride's.

MR. HARRIS: Or St. Bride's, as he asked last week, but the people phoning into these Open Line programs were phoning from various places, does this mean that our school, in an area with 99 per cent Catholics, will still be a Catholic school? One would have expected: Oh, of course. That is what you would have expected. Even when people from St. John's called in and said: Mr. Premier, are you telling us that this referendum change will still guarantee that we will be able to have a Catholic school in St. John's, with the Catholic schools that we have there, given the population of St. John's, and the number of people who want to have Catholic schools, that that will be so, I would have expected the Premier to say: Of course; I cannot imagine it not being so - and the Minister of Education the same thing. I would have expected that.

That would have been a decent compromise between the need to reform and the desire of certain people, not a majority, but certain people to continue to exercise the right to have their own school. Now, what did the Premier and the Minister of Education say, no problem. We do not have any problem here. They did not say that. They said that would depend on what legislation was passed, and that would depend on what the school board rules were. They would be making the rules after all and not the government, I presume, so there would be legislation, there would be school board rules, there would be viability rules, and then there would be something else called budgetary considerations, so all of these things would have to be going into the mix to determine whether or not the simple question asked by the people, who called in from St. John's or from a rural community with a sole denomination, as to whether or not they would still be able to have a school that was a Catholic school or a Pentecostal school, as the case may be.

Now, I am going to go a little bit farther than that because I had a conversation recently, or a few days before the referendum, I had a conversation with a former president of the NTA.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Do you think they do not know what they are going to do or are they trying to cover-up?

MR. HARRIS: I think they have an idea I say to the Member for Grand Bank. I have an idea that what they are going to do is not going to be very popular with the people who voted, no, but it is probably not going to be very popular with a lot of the people who voted, yes, either and their fifty-four per cent majority is going to start slip sliding away, as they say. People are going to be scratching their heads and saying: well, I do not think that is what I voted for. I voted for reform. I did not vote for the jackboots. I do not know what they are going to do but I suspect it is not going to be very happy for the majority of people in this Province, even those who voted, yes.

I say I talked to an active politician at the municipal level, a former president of the NTA and he said, I am an Anglican and we gave up our rights years ago, and I disagreed with him. I said: no, you did not give up any rights at all. You may have chosen not to exercise them, you may have decided that you did not want to insist on having a separate Anglican school for the common good of your school children of the communities, but you did not give up any rights.

What has happened here and what turned me against the Term 17 was initially not the wording but was the attitude of the Premier and the Minister of Education in failing to reassure people that certain things they regarded as rights were going to be acceptable and were going to be possible, and there was a commitment to it from the government, and the reality is that they are not. They have converted, through this amendment, a constitutional right into a legislative privilege. Now, any right to have a separate denominational school is going to be subject to provincial legislation. That is not a constitutional right and that is why I support the amendment, because the amendment by removing that section, `subject to provincial legislation', and replacing it with the term `where numbers warrant,' provides a constitutional means whereby, where numbers warrant, people can have a denominational school.

Now, I hope the minister is going to speak to this amendment, and I hope he is going to deal with the substance of the amendment, particularly with respect to that particular section. The wording `where numbers warrant' still permits the Province to make legislation. Hopefully, it will permit it to make the very same legislation that it plans to make. But what would be left, Mr. Speaker, would be an opportunity for those people if they disagreed with the legislation and weren't being provided with an opportunity to have a uni-denominational school where numbers did warrant, whether that be on the Port au Port Peninsula or in St. Mary's - The Capes, or in St. John's or in Lewisporte, that the opportunity would be there to challenge the legislation.

The phrase "where numbers warrant" already appears in the Constitution. It is there in the Charter of Rights. Section 23 of the Charter of Rights provides a guarantee of minority language education for Francophones and for Anglophones in Canada where numbers warrant. It was that constitutional change that provided a French school in Port au Port. Without that constitutional provision the people of Port au Port would be continuing to do what they've been doing for years before that: begging, asking, pleading, petitioning, trying to find somebody to support their minority language education rights that they didn't get until the Constitution was changed.

Is that what they want to do? Is that what this government wants to do to the Catholic population of Newfoundland, to the Pentecostal population of Newfoundland? Put them on the outside looking in, saying: Please change the legislation so that we can have a school in our area because numbers do warrant and there is 99.9 per cent of a particular religious denomination and we want to have a separate school. Is that what they want?

It may not be this government. If this government were the most liberal government on this issue possible I would still feel the same way about supporting this amendment. Because it isn't this government, it is the next government, it is the government thereafter. When the government said: Trust me, and yet they weren't prepared, and they are still not prepared, to lay before this House of Assembly what provincial legislation that is uniformly applicable means, and we won't see the legislation, then I have to seek to change that constitutional amendment and support the motion by the Member for Twillingate to continue a constitutional right where it is required to use that constitutional right in order to achieve what exists in other provinces; that is, the right to a separate school.

While I and my party may have supported and still do support, and I still support, reform and change and in fact the abolition of the denominational system, that system with all its trappings, I don't wish to see the right to have a separate school to be relegated to a legislative privilege as opposed to a constitutional right.

I did support, and do support, most of the reforms that have been brought in. I support and did support the removal of the institutional churches in the day-to-day administration of the school system, and would want to see any rights exercised by the classes of persons to be exercised through elected representatives to school boards, and only through elected representatives to school boards.

That is what I see as the fundamental change to a denominational system that would in fact put power and control in the hands of elected citizens of this Province in any particular school district. That would achieve the reforms that have been so desirable for so many years, without taking away a right that should seldom have to be exercised. If the intentions of the government are honourable then they would presumably have no difficulty with this improvement to the resolution. Surely they would not refuse to allow a denominational school, where numbers warrant it, surely that would not be permitted. Surely one could expect them to recognize that in certain areas of the Province there are sufficient numbers of people to form, support, create and make a viable school. What is the danger, Mr. Speaker, in making that a constitutional right? What is the danger in ensuring that a class of persons who currently exercises or has certain rights in education can still have rights to have a separate school, where numbers warrant? Is that imposing a financial burden on the Province? If it is, let us hear the explanation of that because one can still have the constitutional right without ensuring duplication of services, while still having viability rules and viability standards that are adequate and protect the standard of education in this Province.

I suppose that the bottom line is, Mr. Speaker, I support this amendment and I support the retention, not of the denominational system, not of the layers of bureaucracy and appointed boards, not the convoluted school construction obligations that exist under the current Constitution but I do support the right of parents to choose to have their children educated in the manner that they have had before. With control of that particular education system in the hands of, not the churches but elected school boards.

The other provisions of the proposed Term 17 provide for the manner in which members of particular classes, who are represented in a particular school district, can be elected as members of that class and that those individuals, as elected members of that class, will be able to carry out through a democratically elected method, the other aspects of religious instruction and religious involvement and the rules therefore in a particular school.

So with that, Mr. Speaker, I end my remarks on the amendment, and say that I will be voting for this amendment in the hope that the government will see the light and take heed from the members who have spoken about the importance of accommodating the traditions, the feelings, and the rights of the minorities who wish to exercise them. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. ROBERTS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. There will be ample opportunity for other members to speak in this debate, of course. We have no intention of trying to rush it but instead we will ask the House to sit whatever hours are necessary to accommodate any member who wishes to speak, within the rules of the House.

It probably would be appropriate if some member of the Ministry spoke with respect to the amendment moved by my friend for Twillingate. We shall be asking our supporters to vote against it and to defeat it. Let me just briefly outline the reasons why. I will not delay the House long and I don't intend to get into the substance of the debate.

My first point is to deal with the matter just escorted across the floor by my friend for Ferryland, the fact that there are one or two minor changes in the draft before the House and the wording which was presented to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador on the referendum on September 5. I acknowledge that. The Premier has acknowledged it. The changes are very straightforward and each has a particular reason and each was dealt with during the period before the referendum.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: I'm sorry, my friend wished to say something?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) familiar with it.

MR. ROBERTS: Alright. My friend may be familiar with it, I assure him I am familiar with it too, and that being so I'm sure he will agree with me that the changes simply reflect the policy embodied in the amendment itself, by which I mean the Term 17 amendment. They don't in any way change the principle put before the people of Newfoundland and Labrador on September 5. If he or any member of the House wishes I would be delighted to go through the changes and point out where they are and what they mean, but the Premier's already done that and I don't intend to weary the House or delay the proceedings.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: Yes. So my friend and I, at least on that point, we are on all fours.

That was my first point. The second point I wish to make, and the major reason, or the principle reason why, we shall not be able to accept these amendments, and why we shall ask our supporters and our friends to vote against them -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) put it to the vote now.

MR. ROBERTS: I will gladly put it to the vote. If my hon. friend opposite can assure me that nobody else wishes to speak on either side I would be delighted to sit down and put it to a vote, but I suspect there are members who wish to be heard and I shall do everything I can to facilitate members who wish to speak.

The major reason why we shall ask those who support us, Mr. Speaker, to vote against this amendment is that the changes suggested do represent major changes from the principles put to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador on September 5, and for that reason they are unacceptable to us. Let me deal with each of them in turn and explain why I have formed that view and what it is based on.

The first is to amend paragraph (a) by deleting the words "provide for" and by substituting the words "direct and determine". Paragraph (a) of the new term 17, if this amendment should be adopted and become part of the Constitution, establishes denominational schools and gives -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible)!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, it is very difficult -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. ROBERTS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I haven't interrupted any hon. member opposite nor do I intend to. Now, I engage perhaps in as much badinage as any member of this House. Sometimes with egg on my face, sometimes with egg on the faces of others. But if members believe, as I do, that this is as important as almost any measure ever to come before this House, perhaps we could do each other the courtesy of letting each person make his or her case without being interrupted. I shall try not to be provocative. I realize on occasion I may stray over the line into provocation.


MR. ROBERTS: It is difficult not to be provoked when I see hon. gentlemen opposite, but on occasion, Mr. Speaker. Anyway, let me come back.

MR. TOBIN: I agree with you, Ed.


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. ROBERTS: - if the gentleman for Burin - Placentia West agrees with me one of us, and probably both of us, are wrong.

Mr. Speaker, let me come back. Paragraph (a) of the proposed or the new Term 17, assuming it is accepted, is the one that first of all establishes, gives the Legislature the authority to establish denominational schools and to maintain them with public funds. By deleting the words `provide for' and putting in the words `direct and determine', there would be a major change, a major derogation from the powers invested in the Legislature by this amendment. Now, members can vote in favour of that change if they wish. We on this side do not because it would represent a very major change in the principle put to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador which they endorsed on September 5.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) boring.

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, I may be boring hon. members but at least I am making sense, which is more than my friend from St. John's East can claim, having heard him at length.

Mr. Speaker, I don't know why they are all pointing. My friends up here are being very attentive. They are listening with bated breath to every word I say. Some are noting down my words. They will no doubt be memorized; there will be a quiz in the morning, guys. My friend from Fogo is taking notes.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: There are invitations I should resist, and that is one of them.

Mr. Speaker, let me come back. The model, to use the word, that the government put forward throughout the negotiations was based and founded upon the scheme outlined in (a) of this. It was a system in which the denominational authorities, churches, classes of people - to use the term in the present Term 17 - had the right to provide for religious education activities and observances. The words `direct and determine' are very different words in law, and we are not prepared to accept that. The people of Newfoundland and Labrador did not accept it, and accordingly we shall ask that it be defeated.

The words `to continue to', as members will recall, were inserted simply to make it clear there is a link between the rights being exercised in this respect under the present Term 17 and the rights that will be exercised under a new Term 17. Those who fear - what was the phrase: The crucifixes would be ripped from the walls. This is the answer to that kind of emotive balderdash.

Now, Mr. Speaker, the second amendment is to delete from subparagraph (b) the very important proviso that opens that which reads: `subject to provincial legislation that is uniformly applicable to all schools specifying conditions for the establishment or continued operation of schools', and putting in the phrase 'where numbers warrant'.

Now, Mr. Speaker, as my friend, my learned friend from St. John's East said and as I believe my friend from Twillingate said, those words do appear in the Constitution now. They appear in, I think it is section 23 if memory serves me well, the French language section, they have a very precise and a very different meaning from the concept embodied here. There has been a great deal of jurisprudence in the Supreme Court of Canada; my friend from St. John's East has obviously not read the Mahe case, I commend it to him. He says he has it in front of him in which case I say, he either hasn't read it notwithstanding it is in front of him or if he has read it hasn't understood it, and the subsequent case the reference from the Manitoba Cabinet that found it's way to the Supreme Court and was summarily dismissed, the court said: what we had to say on the matter, we said in Mahe, go and read Mahe and follow it.

Now, Mahe is a very different system from the one that would be authorized to the Legislature by this amendment. The difference is that 'where numbers warrant' takes no effect, no account of what starting a French language school would do to any other school in the area. Our system, as my friend the Minister of Education and Training, as the Premier and others have repeatedly said, balances off, viability will mean (a) enough people in the uni-denominational context, enough students to have a school of their own particular denomination, 1 and 2, without detrimentally affecting any other school.

My friend from Grand Bank says how many? Well, it will depend. For example, when I represented White Bay North, in the days before there were roads, we had communities of twenty, thirty, forty families.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: My friend from Baie Verte - White Bay would do well to ponder. I commend it to him.

We had many communities where there were twenty, thirty, forty, or fifty families predominantly if not all of one denomination. Those would be classic cases for uni-denominational schools. There would be enough children to support a school. No matter how many there were, you have to have a school. If there were only a dozen, you still have to have a school, one; and secondly they would not detrimentally affect another school. So it depends entirely on the circumstances, and my friend the Education Minister has addressed that, and will again, but the rules will be universally applicable. They cannot be constructed so as to prejudicially affect the denomination or a group of denominations. The words `where numbers warrant' do not allow that balancing process. It is an absolute right and we are simply not prepared to put it in, again because it is a change in principle the people of this Province endorsed in the referendum.

Now we come to paragraph (c) which specifies the powers of the school committees that will have a degree of jurisdiction with respect to uni-denominational schools, and these will function as part of the school board but they will still have special powers with respect to the uni-denominational schools under their governance. The proposal is to insert the words `to determine and'. Now this is one which I -

AN HON. MEMBER: What is wrong with that?

MR. ROBERTS: I will tell my friend what is wrong with it in a moment. This is one which most recently I saw in a letter from His Grace, the Archbishop of St. John's to the Premier, which the Premier has addressed, and those letters, I believe, have been made public. My friend from Ferryland, I have no doubt, has read them; if not, I would be happy to send him copies.

If one takes (c), and one adds in line 7, `...shall continue to have the right to determine and to provide for...', that is what it would be, `...to have the right to determine and to provide for religious education.'

AN HON. MEMBER: How do you define `provide'?

MR. ROBERTS: In any case, I say to my friend, where words are not defined in a statute, and they are not here, they would be defined by the dictionary definition, so the answer to his question is the word `provide' is determined by dictionary definitions.

They will continue to have the right to provide for religious education activities and observances. Obviously that carries with it the right to decide what they provide. Nobody could suggest that this would enable government or a school board to say to a Roman Catholic uni-denominational school, for example, that you must teach a doctrine which is contrary to Roman Catholic beliefs and principles; but - and an important but - we do get in, when we come down to the direct - and remember, the words `to continue to provide' would provide for the next.

MR. SULLIVAN: (Inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: No, the next - hold on now, I've dealt with `provide'. `Provide' means provide.

MR. SULLIVAN: (Inaudible) answer a question (inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, I don't know what my hon. friend's question was. The question I heard him ask was: What is the meaning of "provide"? I made an answer to that.

MR. SULLIVAN: I have another question (inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: The hon. gentleman may have many questions. He will get an opportunity to ask them and we would be happy to try to deal with them.

Now, let me come back. Adding these words would not only modify the words "to provide for religious education," it would also modify the words "to direct the teaching of aspects of the curriculum." We dealt with that in the letter which the Premier sent to His Grace and the answer is really quite straightforward. The direction of teaching of aspects is different from the determination of the aspects of that curriculum and -

MR. DECKER: They don't have it now.

MR. ROBERTS: I mean, they don't have that now, my friend, the Minister of Education and Training tells me, and it isn't proposed that a school committee, a uni-denominational school committee, would have that in the future.

The same line of argument would apply to the fourth change suggested by my friend, the Member for Twillingate, and that is to add the words "and determine" after the words "and to direct" in line 11 of paragraph (c). Yes, in fact, he wants to make it very specific that the churches would have the right to determine the teaching of aspects of the curriculum. That simply is contrary to the position we have maintained throughout the discussions.

Mr. Speaker, putting those together is the reason why we are going to ask those who support the government, the Ministry, to vote against these amendments. But let me make one or two other comments that I think are important.

First of all, there is a degree of confusion, I fear, in the remarks of my learned friend, the Member for St. John's East. He has somehow got linguistic rights under the Constitution confused with this. Nothing in this affects or even speaks to section 23 of the Charter. Should there be a conflict - I don't believe there will be - but should there be a conflict, and one could envisage it, even though I don't believe that state will come to pass; but should there be a conflict between the constitutionally guaranteed linguistic educational rights under section 23, and the constitutionally guaranteed rights of denominations under the new Term 17, then the courts will have to resolve that in the same way they have to resolve any other conflict between constitutional rights. There are many instances in our Constitution, including many in the Charter, where rights come into conflict with each other.

The classic legal formulation is one that I - if I remember correctly, Mr. Justice Holmes said in a case, in about 1915, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, that the right - he was speaking of the American Constitution - the right to free speech does not include the right to cry `fire' falsely in a crowded theatre. That is just a way of saying that rights must be balanced, and if there is no other way to do it, if it cannot be done among the parties, if there is litigation, the courts will determine it.

I want to make two other points, Mr. Speaker, and then I will sit down. My learned friend, the Member for St. John's East -

MR. TOBIN: Burin - Placentia West.

MR. ROBERTS: No, I have called my friend, the Member for Burin - Placentia West many things, but in the parliamentary sense, at least, he is not learned.

But my learned friend, the Member for St. John's East, spoke of accommodation. He spoke of the 1968 arrangement. And let me repeat here a point that has been made by many speakers for the Ministry, the Premier, the Minister of Education and many others who have spoken. But let me once again say, I sat through these negotiations, I think I was at every meeting. I may have missed one or two but as far as I recollect, I was at every meeting, or every meeting but one or two, of the very long series that went on between the heads of churches as a group and the government as a group. The original premise on which the government proceeded, which we have maintained to the end - with all the changes we made in the various models in an effort to try to get an arrangement acceptable to the churches - the original premise was we shall not change Term 17 any more than it was changed in 1968. We simply say to the churches, agree to changes while preserving your rights.

The whole basis of the 1968 arrangement was that the churches put aside the exercise of their rights. The system that came into place after 1968, my friend, the Member for St. John's East is right, they were not given, there was no - but the point I was going to make is that the system that came in place after 1968, and I was in the Cabinet that brought that legislation before the House, that system was contrary to the Term 17 rights, but the churches accepted that. I make no quarrel with the fact that they have not accepted these changes but it should be said that we tried and they tried very hard for two-and-a-half years to find an arrangement and accommodation that each side would accept. Now, it is nobody's fault, in my book, that we could not bridge the chasm. I don't get angry, I have been at this business too long to get angry, but I feel sad at those who cry: bad faith. They either don't know what they are talking about or are wilfully ignoring the evidence. In my judgement, I was there and I didn't come with any preconceived notion, except the need to make changes, which everybody, I think, in the House, everybody in the Province acknowledges, the need to make changes in the system, there was no bad faith on either side. Both sides, the leaders who spoke for the churches, the Premier and the ministers who spoke for the government tried very hard to come to an arrangement that was acceptable to each side but the chasm and the gap could not be bridged and that's what led us then to say: fine, we shall go to the people. We could have gone in an election, we chose to go in a referendum because that presented only one question, an election could be 100 issues. My friend, the Member for Terra Nova, I have no doubt, would have been re-elected in an election but it might have been because she is a fine member, or it might have been because people agreed with the government's position or it might have been for a thousand reasons.

MR. TOBIN: (Inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: My friend, the Member for Burin - Placentia West might have been returned on the grounds he, too, is a fine upstanding member, or he might not have been but, one can't say that that would have been the result that would have been solely a verdict on the constitutional issue. The advantage in the referendum is it was the only issue put before the people, the only issue they addressed, the only issue on which they spoke.

Now, people can say there should have been an election, fine. There will be an election in due course, the sooner the better as far as I am concerned, but, Mr. Speaker, let there be no doubt, we chose the referendum deliberately because that gives the clear and the clear-cut verdict. Now, let me make one other point. If I have time I will try to answer a question, my friend, of course.

When my friend, the Member for St. John's East, in one of his rhetorical flights - and he does try his best, I will give him credit, to be rhetorical. I will never try to reach the rhetorical heights to which my friend aspires - or expires. He said - you could almost see him standing like Horatio at the bridge - `Trust me,' he said, `is what the government are saying.'

The government are saying: We shall bring in the bill which we believe meets the needs of the people of this Province, assuming it is constitutional. There is no point in bringing the bill in now because it clearly contrary to Term 17. The churches don't need to bring litigation against that; that is only a make-work scheme for lawyers. My friend is into enough make-work schemes, he doesn't need more.

Mr. Speaker, assuming -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) table (inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: We could table the hon. gentleman, too, but we are not going to do that either.

Mr. Speaker, assuming the amendment is accepted by this House and by both Houses of Parliament and is proclaimed as part of the Constitution. Assuming that, Mr. Speaker, we will bring in a bill that we believe is in the best interest of this Province and it will be debated, accepted or rejected by this House. We shall then answer for that to the people of this Province. If they believe it is not right, it is not the right answer, the best answer, then they will know what to do and they will do it. If another government in ten or twenty years, or fifty years, chooses to change it they will have the right to do it. This Legislature will have the right, Mr. Speaker, this Legislature. That is what this change would do.

Mr. Speaker, with those few brief remarks I shall - if I have time I will gladly answer a question from my friend for Ferryland, or try to answer it.

MR. SULLIVAN: By leave.

AN HON. MEMBER: Sure, go ahead.

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

MR. SULLIVAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

With reference to Paragraph (c) in this amendment, and Paragraph (c) is dealing with uni-denominational schools, where a school is established and maintained pursuant to subparagraph b (1), so in this third amendment by the Member for Twillingate we are talking about uni-denominational schools. We are in agreement on that, I think. The minister is nodding, and according to Term 17 tabled in this House it is indicating that in uni-denominational schools those schools shall have the right to provide for religious education activity and observances.

I am only asking the question on the first part, not the second part that you sped onto when I tried to get my other question, just the first part, 'to determine' amendment. If 'provide', does provide include determine? It was the impression that was given to the public, in a uni-denominational school that denomination shall have the right over religious education, religious activities and observances in that uni-denominational school. So, if this government is not willing to accept an amendment 'to determine' they are indicating 'to provide' does not include determine, and that is subject to debate as to how you would define provide, therefore they would be, in essence, if determine is not allowed to be put him, you would be preventing uni-denominational schools from having the right over religious education, the curriculum activities and observances.

If government believes that the 'right to determine' is in provide let us put it in there now and that would give schools that right in uni-denominational schools and this would not in any way effect any other provisions for nondenominational or common schools, or whatever you would call them. It is not a new situation. It is giving an assurance then that they will have that right within that uni-denominational school and to not include "determine" here indicates that you have a different definition for "provide' than determined.

I feel "provide" doesn't mean determined. It gives you the ability to be able to present it, not the ability to be able to devise it, and not only implement, to put together that curriculum, to arrange that observance. It is more in line with the direction and delivery, not determining. I think the government should support that aspect. It wouldn't be contrary to what it is trying to promote, or what it has told the public it is trying to promote.

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

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, if that is a question the hon. gentleman should go back to his dictionary. I took that to be a speech and I accept -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: Yes, he is allowed to make a speech, but not under the guise of a question. I don't begrudge the hon. gentleman all the time he needs. In fact, the more the hon. gentleman speaks the more I become convinced of the wisdom of the contrary case.

Mr. Speaker, let me try to deal with his point. I dealt with it before. The draft resolution before the House says: "shall continue to have the right to provide for religious education, activities and observances...." If my hon. friend is maintaining that somehow those words mean that somebody else - the Minister of Education and Training, the editor of The Evening Telegram, the author of Erskine-May on parliamentary procedure - if somebody else could order the churches what to provide, then I'm afraid his perversity - and I don't say that in a personal sense - in the linguistic or legal sense knows no bounds.

The problem with the wording "to determine" is that it goes well beyond what "provision" means. I agree with him on that. We don't want somebody saying: There is Anglican algebra or United Church eurhythmics or Pentecostal political science or Roman Catholic writing. That is the problem. That right is not there now. The right is not there now. The wording of Term 17(c) as it is before the House reflects the best advice we can get as to what the right is now.

Part of the problem with the present Term 17 - part of the problem with it - is its very imprecision. That is perhaps one of its charms as well. There are any number of things that have grown up over the years that are contrary to Term 17 that somebody could throw forth. I hear talk of `guarantee no challenges.' There is no way to do that, of course, in a system of men and women who are governed by laws. But let me point out to those who say `Make no challenge' that in my judgement as a lawyer, if somebody takes a run at the present school system - and I don't mean the Integrated system, I mean any of the school systems - under Term 17, they are almost certainly going to be able to persuade a court of final judgement that the system is contrary to Term 17, because what you have to do with Term 17 is go back to March 31, 1949 and see what was the situation then. Those are the rights guaranteed, and almost without exception - there may be some exception, but almost without exception - the way in which the system has come to operate in the last fifty years, with consent, has been contrary to Term 17 but is reflected on accommodation to the need to change.

There are, however, two areas where that change has not come, and there are only two reasons this amendment is here; one is viability, and the second is capital, and I will say here now that I sat at the table and I heard the church leaders put forward - or a proposal put forward in their behalf - that said that they would agree to a capital construction board, but I never heard them say those words without adding a phrase at the end: subject to balancing over a period of time. In other words, instead of the annual commitment we now have, we would have to have a biennial or a quidquennial or a decennial balancing. That does not address the need for priorities, and the example is Gander Bay. There was a school in Gander Bay, and I forget, was it Victoria - my friend from Fogo would remember.

AN HON. MEMBER: Wings Point.

MR. ROBERTS: Wings Point in Gander Bay, and it happened to be an integrated school, and there was a problem with some kind of infestation.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: If my time is up, I will shut up.

MR. SPEAKER: The Chair will have to take direction from the Table.

MR. ROBERTS: If I am out of time -

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. member has one minute left.

MR. ROBERTS: Alright, just let me finish the Gander Bay story. The Gander Bay story is that the integrated school there was unusable, it had to be replaced, and I think everybody agreed with that, but to replace it - it was $1 million to replace, am I correct?

AN HON. MEMBER: No, $3 million.

MR. ROBERTS: Over $3 million. It cost us -

AN HON. MEMBER: Almost $6 million.

MR. ROBERTS: It cost us $6 million to replace a $3 million school, and this is in a Province that can barely afford to operate what we have now. Do you know why it cost $6 million? Because the integrated people are, let's say, 50 per cent of the people in the Province. If we gave $3 million to the integrated school system, we had to give an equivalent amount on a per capita basis to the Roman Catholics and the Pentecosts, and we did that because we were obliged - and, am I correct in saying it was suggested that was insisted upon? That is the reason we are changing it. That is the reason we are standing here.

Viability I will talk about at another time, but I want to thank the House for the extra time, and I will say I will ask my friends to vote against this amendment for the reasons I have given.

Thank you, Sir.


October 24, 1995           HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY PROCEEDINGS          Vol. XLII  No. 41A

[Continuation of sitting]

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

MR. SULLIVAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The minister talked about different things. This provision here, uni-denomination school, has nothing to do with viability. This school is being set up based upon viability and the minister is trying to talk around it, I tell the minister, and it is my understanding right now, that in the denomination school, that school has the right today over religious activities and observances; it is my impression that it is there now. The minister said it is not there. And under this provision and this change, a uni-denomination school is not going to have the right over religious observances and religious activities in that school, according to what the minister just said, and he said they don't have it now, but that is incorrect. He talks about viability.

Now, the minister must keep in mind that paragraph C, is a school that is established, subject to viability. It has nothing to do with viability, it is subject to viability. You talked about - viability had nothing to do with my question; you didn't answer the question because you know that in denominational schools today, a school can determine religious activities and observances. Under this new provision, even in a uni-denominational school, they will not have that right - the minister indicated that today.

This is further support, and to put `determine' back in, in that third amendment moved by the Member for Twillingate - which is only allowing uni-denominational schools to have been so established with viability criteria. This government hasn't seen fit to tell us, and they will not tell us this Fall, they will not tell us until it goes to the House of Commons and the Senate, because they don't want us to see the criteria that signifies their true intent in this House.

The Minister of Education and Training said last week that it could be ready in two days. It won't be ready in two months because if they table it now in this House, we will see what is in it and it will raise the ire of the public and members and so on, before it gets through the House of Commons and the Senate. They should table their intent in the legislation, here in this House, let the members and let the people see it. The Parti Québécois, who are looking to separate this country, put the question to the National Assembly and they debated that fully and gave members, elected members representing the people, the right to stand up in that assembly and have their say whether they were in the minority or whether they were in the majority, and that's a right that was denied the people here in this House.

We have seen three amendments today, three changes, although minor, and I agree they don't detract from the original intent of Term 17, as circulated by government, I agree with that. But there are no assurances now, that the Prime Minister of Canada concurs; and the bureaucrats and the people in the legal system before it is presented to the House of Commons and to the Senate - there was no concurrence with the Prime Minister and a joint presentation of such a resolution to the houses in this Province and in the country, and that is wrong, that is keeping something from the people.

I was elected to represent people in my district, and I take great pains in trying to be informed on every aspect that comes to this House of Assembly, and I take great offence at not being allowed to have a say in what is happening with something so vital and so important to the heritage of our Province and our people. And that is an insult to the members in this House and to the people of this Province; that is why his so-called 70 per cent or 80 per cent was only 55 per cent and some 48 per cent stayed home.

Now I went out in my district and I did not campaign; I didn't provide any voters list, I didn't participate in any way whatsoever, but anyone who asked me my opinion, I told them how I was voting and why. There were no meetings held in my district, I didn't meet with anybody in my district pertaining to this matter. I received two letters and I wrote a response to both letters in my district and 63 per cent voted no; but had there been an active campaign in my district, it wouldn't be 63 per cent it would be more like 83 or 90 per cent, because people even called me as I saw them in the last couple of days saying: How should I vote? People did not know how to vote on this issue. I said: Here is how I am voting. What you want to do is your choice, but here is how I am voting and why. I will get to that when I speak on the regular motion. I am not going to go into detail on that. And that is only a right that people have - and the Premier has the audacity to tell us that the 48 per cent who stayed home would have voted `yes'. I can tell you, 80 per cent of those who stayed home in my district would have voted `no'. They would have voted `no', in my district - they would have.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: I know my district better than the Premier knows my district, and I know my district better than the Member for Exploits knows my district. Let him speak for his district and I will speak for mine.

MR. TOBIN: Be a man and not a coward. Stand up and speak for your district.

MR. SULLIVAN: If this government is willing to admit that schools established in line with the viability criteria that nobody knows -in paragraph (c), if we are going to give those schools that meet the viability criteria - they do not even have control over the religious activities they want to have in that uni-denominational school or religious observances in that school. The minister indicated to that, that the word `provide' - he does not want the word `determine' in there. Anybody can provide. `Provide' means to give it, it does not mean prepare it, put it together or have a say in the formation of that specific material. That is why a resolution here - the third one, the first part of it, it is the only one I have addressed - to `determine' is certainly in order as ruled by the Chair and is proper. It is only giving people that this government said should have certain rights, uni-denomination, the right to have religious observance in their particular faith in that uni-denominational school. And that is wrong there. They are trying to ram it and bully it through, would not answer my question, talked about viability that has nothing to do with section C. Section C only comes after viability is determined.

With that, Mr. Speaker, I will end my debate.

MR. TOBIN: Keep going. You are making good points.

MR. SULLIVAN: No, if I speak any longer I may get - that concludes my debate on the amendment, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. MANNING: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I stand today to say a few words on the amendment put forward by the hon. the Member for Twillingate. I feel I will be reiterating some of the comments already passed by some hon. members but I guess I will have the opportunity to have my say, also, Mr. Speaker.

To go back a few months, back to my district and the timing of the referendum, Mr. Speaker, called by the Premier the day after school closed, became a hot issue in my district over the past couple of months, over the summer months, due to the fact that 99 per cent of my district is of the Catholic faith. People took as a major concern the fact that what they believe to be a constitutional right is being planned to be taken away with the change to Term 17 that the government had proposed. We waited with anticipation over the summer months, Mr. Speaker, as we came forward and waited for the referendum question to be announced by the Premier. On July 25, when the Premier announced the referendum question, once again the people in my district, as I am sure people in other parts of the Province, were perturbed by the fact that the Premier, in the same question, asked people did they want to have reform to the educational system in the Province and also asked them to support revising Term 17.

The reason the problem came into question is that many people I talked to, even in my district, supported reform to education. Many of the people I talked to throughout the district supported any way that the government could save a dollar and put it back towards the educational needs of the children of this Province. Mr. Speaker, I did not think there was ever going to be a problem with that in my district, but the problem arose when it came to the talks about revising Term 17 and the fact that there was a guaranteed right under the Constitution when Newfoundland joined Confederation in 1949.

I guess, Mr. Speaker, when anybody's rights are being taken away, those people come out in force and try to send a message to their government - to their member, who in turn sends a message to the government that they have grave concerns over the fact that someone has taken away their constitutional rights. So on September 5th, when the people of my district came out to vote on the referendum that the Provincial Government had put forward, the people in my district voted in great numbers to reject what the government had proposed. As a matter of fact, it had the largest majority of `no' votes in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador: 87 per cent voted `no' while 13 per cent supported government's plans.

Leading up to the referendum, I had several pieces of correspondence in my office, several phone calls from people who had expressed concerns, people who were involved in parish councils in my district, people who were involved in the church but also from people who were just, plain, simple, ordinary Marys and ordinary Joes; people who have children in the system now, people who would have children in the system in a few years time or who have grandchildren in the system. There are many, many concerns raised about the fact that we now enjoy in our district and in our part of Newfoundland and Labrador, something that we believe was a birthright that was given to us and guaranteed to us under the Constitution.

We were given the right of a Catholic education and we come forward here in this House now, to make a change that would take away that right of a Catholic education, and that is a concern that was sent with a loud and clear message from St. Mary's - The Capes on September 5, that the people did not agree with what the government's plans were, and I feel that I have to stand and bring forward the concerns of those people to this hon. House and bring forward the concerns that they had only the opportunity to mark an X on September 5. There was no opportunity for the people of the district to explain why they didn't agree with it, why they didn't want the government to change Term 17, why they didn't want the government to take away their constitutional rights, it was a simple answer of `yes' or `no'.

Mr. Speaker, it caused grave concern with the mix-up of the question, but the people did speak on September 5, in my district, they spoke loud and clear with 87 per cent of the people voting `no', and that is why I feel compelled today to stand and support the amendment put forward by the hon. the Member for Twillingate, that would, at least, give the opportunity to hold on to some of those rights that these people have enjoyed over the past number of years. I come from a community that is 100 per cent of the Catholic faith. We have a school in my community, Fatima Academy in St. Bride's where I went to school, of which 100 per cent of the students in that school are Catholic. I stood here the other day and asked the Premier a simple question, Mr. Speaker, I wanted a simple answer. I asked him: Could he guarantee, absolutely, that that school that has enjoyed the right to be Catholic for the past number of years, would that school have the opportunity to stay Catholic after the Term 17 change? The Premier could not answer me that question, Mr. Speaker, he couldn't answer me a simple `yes' or `no'. Mr. Speaker, he beat around the issue but he didn't come to the main part of the question that I asked which was: Would it be a Catholic school after the changes to Term 17?

Mr. Speaker, from what I can gather here - and someone can correct me if he feels like doing so, from the other side, someone from the government can correct me - there is nothing in any of the paperwork I have here, any of the legislation that is being brought to the House, anything that I have seen or have read over in Hansard, where other members have commented on it here in the House, anything that has been sent out by the Provincial Government leading up to the referendum and talking in the House and news releases after the referendum, there is nothing here, Mr. Speaker, that guarantees the rights of the people of St. Mary's - The Capes to have a Catholic school, nothing. I have seen nothing and nobody has explained to me the fact of why the people of St. Mary's - The Capes, the children of St. Mary's - The Capes, cannot enjoy a Catholic school in the future.

Mr. Speaker, I think myself that if the government cannot guarantee that right here in the House of Assembly, guarantee that right to the people in this Province, that they have turned their backs on what they have started here. The people of St. Mary's - The Capes, as I have said before, are 99 per cent of the Catholic faith. They want the Catholic schools in their district and they demonstrated that on September 5, Mr. Speaker, and for some reason or other there is no way in this legislation here that that can be guaranteed to those people. That is why I come forward today and support the Member for Twillingate as he makes the move to at least hold on to some of the rights that those people have enjoyed, Mr. Speaker.

I want to touch on what the Member for Ferryland was talking about earlier with regard to part (c) of the Member for Twillingate's amendment. It says, in line (7) of paragraph (c) to insert the words `to determine and' after the words `to have the right'; and part (d), in line (11) of paragraph (c) to insert the words `and determine' after the words `and to direct'.

Mr. Speaker, the reason, I believe, that the Member for Twillingate has brought this forward here today is the fact that this would at least give the classes of people referred to in Term 17 the right to determine religious education, activities and observances. All they are asking for is that right, Mr. Speaker. For some reason or other the Government House Leader just announced a few minutes ago that he would be asking the supporters of the `yes' side to vote against the Member for Twillingate's amendment.

Mr. Speaker, I believe in what the Member for Twillingate has put forward here today and I support the Member for Twillingate in putting it forward, the fact that the class of people referred to as Catholics, say in my district, would have the right to determine and provide for religious education, activities and observances. Under what I have here - and I just heard the Member for Ferryland asking a question which he didn't get an answer to, but that doesn't surprise me - what the government is saying is that you can have the right to direct religious education, activities and observances but you cannot have the right to determine them. Mr. Speaker, I think that is stepping over the line.

I believe, in my district of St. Mary's - The Capes, that the people would agree with me, that the government is not playing fair ball here. We need the right to determine what is going to be taught in our schools. Or would someone please tell us who is going to determine that. Is it going to be the Premier? It does not have to be this Premier, Mr. Speaker, it can be any Premier. Is it going to be the Minister of Education? Is it going to be the Government House Leader? Mr. Speaker, I don't know who it is going to be but it is not explained here who will determine the religious education, who will determine activities and observances under this new Term 17, Mr. Speaker.

That, I believe, is why the Member for Twillingate has brought that forward, because that is definitely a concern among the people, Mr. Speaker, who agree with the denominational education system. Now, I will get to the denominational education system in a few minutes, but I just want to reiterate that under what we have here, the classes of people and, in my case, the Catholics, will not have the right to determine what will be taught in the classrooms. Under no conditions will they have the right to determine what will be taught in the classrooms. I, Mr. Speaker, definitely agree with the Member for Twillingate in bringing this concern forward. As a matter of fact, I contemplated bringing it forward myself but the Member for Twillingate jumped the gun on me. That is fine, I can just as easily stand here and support the Member for Twillingate as I could in presenting the amendment myself.

I would like to go back, if I could, to a little history lesson, what happened, and the concern I have is that all of these changes - the Premier stood up in the House last week, on Tuesday, and put forward all these changes and the plans that they have. Well, I should not say he put forward all the changes and all the plans because we have not as yet seen the Schools' Act, and really we don't know what is coming. We don't even know, really, in one sense, what we are voting for here. I believe that a fair amount of the Province, when they voted on September 5, did not really know what they were voting for. A fair amount of them voted, I am sure, with an agreement to reform education, but they did not vote - when they see what is going to happen here over the next few months if Term 17 becomes law. I think that down through the next number of months and years many people who voted on the government side on September 5 will regret the fact that they did so, but only time will tell that; only time will tell.

If I could get back for a moment - back in my community of St. Bride's, which is part of the Cape Shore area, there are eleven different communities. We had a school down in the community of Point Lance, a school in the community of Branch for a number of years, a school in Cuslett, a school in Patrick's Cove, and over a period of time those schools closed down - I believe Cuslett was the first to go, and then Patrick's Cove followed, and then Branch and Point Lance came over in years after - but the population itself determined that. The communities were not growing as much as they did back a few years ago, and when they came forward trying to sell the idea of bringing these schools together, what they offered was more. They said, we cannot provide in the school in Point Lance, or the school in Branch, or the school in Patrick's Cove or Cuslett the level of education; we cannot provide the extra-curricular activities; we cannot provide the extras in those schools, but if you come together to one school in St. Bride's we will provide that. We will provide the music teachers; we will provide the computers; we will provide the guidance councillors; we will provide all these things that the larger schools have. But it is sad to say, as I stand here today, we do not have many of those services that were promised to the people in my district, promised to the people in my area, that they would have if they agreed to come under one school. Why? Because it came down to dollars and cents. That is what they tell us, it is down to dollars and cents, fiscal restraint, fiscal responsibility, promises by the government, that they have to balance the budget. Therefore it goes right back down the line, back down to the student in the classroom.

Now we stand here and listen to the Premier, who last week said the two main reasons why we are bringing forward these changes have to do with cost and student achievement. I would like to ask somebody if they can answer me a simple question, whether a school in St. Bride's that is 100 per cent Catholic today will be Catholic after Term 17 becomes law. Are they going to tell me that the dollars they are going to save out of reforms that they are planning in education are going to go back into the classroom? I fear not. I am sorry, but I cannot trust the Premier on the other side of this House, to think that the dollars they save are going to go back into the classrooms in this Province.

I will go back to the story I was telling concerning the changes in my school when they promised a music teacher and they promised a guidance councillor. Just the other day I found that there is only one guidance councillor in this system now for every 1,000 students in this Province. Now, to some people, Mr. Speaker, a guidance counsellor may not be important. Some may be more interested in the Physical Education teacher, the Math teacher or the English teacher, as the case may be, and these are all important, there is no doubt about that. But I believe with the economic situation that we have in this Province today, Mr. Speaker, there should be more funding provided for guidance counsellors. We should have a guidance counsellor, as far as I am concerned, in almost every school in this Province.

Out in my area, Mr. Speaker, people are suffering, under stress and financial hardship, because of the fact that we have no fishery. You can see that from the parents down to the children, you can see that when you walk up to the corner store, you can see what is happening in our communities. I think the dollars that the government saves, the dollars that the government could provide, would be very wisely used in putting some extra guidance counsellors in our schools. That is only one concern that I have, Mr. Speaker, there are many other concerns.

If I can go back, Mr. Speaker, to something that the Member for St. John's Centre touched on yesterday. They have a name on us in here, they call us honourable when we stand up, the honourable member for so and so. That is how we are addressed in this House. Well, the Government House Leader and my friend, the Member for Ferryland got into a discussion concerning the definition of `provide' - I would like somebody to tell me what the definition of `honour' is, what the definition of `honourable' means in this House, Mr. Speaker. `Honour' to me is standing up for something. `Honour' for me is saying something, believing in it and sticking to it. That is not the case with what happened in this honourable House, Mr. Speaker.

On March 12, 1993 - I wasn't here then, Mr. Speaker, I was out campaigning in the district trying to get in here but I wasn't in here at the time - the Premier stood in this House and said, "Mr. Speaker, in response to the church leaders' concerns that implementing certain recommendations of the Royal Commission Report would jeopardize their traditional rights, government has assured the leaders that it is not seeking change to the Constitution that will remove the constitutionally-protected rights of classes of people specifically provided for." The Member for St. John's Centre brought that forward yesterday, as other members here in the House have brought it forward.

It was a promise, Mr. Speaker, that was made in this House by, what we call, hon. members. Again, I wonder what the definition of `honour' is, when shortly after being re-elected in May of 1993, the Premier went back on a promise he made to the people of this Province. He went back on a promise not to seek a change to the constitutional rights. Now, we stand here today and debate what many have called the most important piece of legislation brought to this House since the Confederation debate. We stand here today and we debate a broken promise by the Premier and his government, a promise that was made to the people of this Province before a general election, a promise that was made but was quickly broken after the government was re-elected.

I respect the Member for St. John's Centre for bringing that forward yesterday in the way that he did. He sent the message loud and clear, Mr. Speaker, that he campaigned on that promise, as did many members on that side of the House. I am sure many members on this side of the House campaigned on the promise that we wouldn't bother the constitutional rights. We can stand here and talk party politics, we can talk about everything in the book, but when it comes down to it, there was a promise made to the people of this Province in this House by the Premier on March 12, 1993 and that promise was broken shortly after the Premier was re-elected.

Mr. Speaker, I would like, if I could, to talk about minority rights. The Premier stood here the other day and talked about the rights and the collective rights of different classes of persons in the Province. When you add them all up, the 7 per cent Pentecostal, 36 per cent Catholic and so many percentages of the other denominations, they all add up to 95 per cent. That is what the Premier used here the other day, 95 per cent. Mr. Speaker, that is wrong, that is misleading. We, as of the Catholic faith, have 36 per cent of the population in this Province. We are a minority in this Province. We have a guaranteed right under the Constitution, in this Province, to be allowed to provide, determine and to teach religious education in our schools.

I have many questions I could ask the Premier, but again, my frustration is that I cannot get any straight answers from the Premier. One of them has to do with something I believe that the Member for St. John's Centre brought up yesterday. I am not sure but I believe it has to touch on rights. Down in Conne River, Mr. Speaker, the Micmacs have total control over their education system. It was given to them by a former government here. Mr. Speaker, they have total control over their education system, total governance over what goes on in their schools, including religious education. They chose whatever process they wanted to, they chose the fact that they would follow the guidelines set down by the Catholic Education Council, and along with the main subjects in that school, they are teaching Catholic religion down in that school also.

It is my understanding, Mr. Speaker, that in Sheshatshiu, those people have been promised their own rights also. They have been promised their own rights as it relates to hiring, curriculum, operation of the school in Sheshatshiu. The number of Catholics in Sheshatshiu may choose to teach the Catholic faith in that school. These, Mr. Speaker, I agree with. I have no problem with aboriginal people in this Province having the right to have their own religion, their own school and governance over their own school, but I have to ask the question, is there a difference between the rights of the Catholics in Conne River and the rights of the Catholics in Sheshatshiu and the rights of the Catholics in St. Mary's - The Capes? Mr. Speaker, I don't think there is a difference. We are all in this boat together, Mr. Speaker, and we have a right in St. Mary's - The Capes to do what the Catholics are doing in Conne River and what the Catholics are trying to do in Sheshatshiu, but this government, Mr. Speaker, refuses to give the people in my district that right that they have given to the Catholics in Conne River and Sheshatshiu. I don't believe it is right at all, what the government is planning to do.

Mr. Speaker, we talked here the other day about the cost of the system, a teacher and student - the cost of the system, Mr. Speaker, and student achievement were the two big things that the Premier talked about during his speech.

Now, Mr. Speaker, the government today has total control - and someone can correct if I am wrong, but my understanding is that the government has total control over teacher accreditation in this Province now as we stand here today. They have total control over student achievement. They have total control over the length of the school day, Mr. Speaker, they have total control over the length of the school year, they have total control - if you could bear with me for a minute - they have total control over their curriculum in the schools in this Province, except for religious education, as we stand here today, Mr. Speaker. They have total control over everything that I believe relates to student achievement. While there are arguments on both sides of the issue as it relates to student achievement, I believe myself that we compare with many across the country, on a par with many and better than some.

Anyway, to get back to what I was saying, we talked about government cost and student achievement. I touched on things such as teacher accreditation, student achievement, the length of school day and school year, and curriculum. I would like to ask somebody, if somebody could get around to answering me, what difference do they believe the changes they are planning here now are going to make to those particular topics, and to bring out student achievement?

Is teacher accreditation going to change when this changes? Somewhat maybe, but not... Is student evaluation? Students are still going to be evaluated the same way. The length of the school year, government can change that if they want to now. The length of the school day, government can change that if they want to now. The curriculum that is being taught in the schools, the government can change that if they want to now. Along with that, I am sure they could get a lot of advice from a lot of members in this House how they should change it, but there is a fair amount of curriculum in the school now - well, all of the curriculum, except religious education, they can change now. So the changes they are planning are not going to affect any of these. It is not going to give them any more rights than they have today. They have the right to do what they like in this Province today.

All the people in St. Mary's - The Capes are asking for is the right to teach Catholic faith in their schools. They demonstrated their request on September 5 in a vote in this Province. As far as I am concerned, that right is over with when this becomes law. As far as I am concerned, when Term 17 becomes law you will be able to count on one hand the uni-denominational schools in this Province. You will be able to count them on one hand.

AN HON. MEMBER: There probably won't be any.

MR. MANNING: You may not even have any on one hand. But I believe what I see here before me, and I don't pretend to be any lawyer - I don't pretend to be something I am not - I believe there is no opportunity in this legislation here for a Catholic school, a uni-denominational school.

I brought up the concern that I had the other day about a common school, and the Premier asked me where did I get `common school'. Common school comes from Adjusting The Course. It is written right in Adjusting The Course. A concern I have is that when this becomes law, all schools in the Province are automatically common schools, according to what I am reading. And in order for the Catholic school in my district to go back to being a Catholic school, to be re-established as a Catholic school, it has to go through a process. Maybe somebody could answer me some questions on the process, that I have asked, but in order for a Catholic school in my district to be re-established as a Catholic school after Term 17 becomes law, I believe we have to go back, and according to what the government has put forward, if enough people want it - well, I have no problem with that in one regard. I would really like to know how much `enough' is. Is it fifty plus one? Is it sixty, seventy, eighty ninety? Is it 100 per cent? Nobody has said what `enough' is.

MR. ROBERTS: How many should it be?

MR. MANNING: I don't believe it should change. I believe it should stay Catholic.

MR. ROBERTS: (Inaudible).

MR. MANNING: No, see... Okay, if I could, House Leader, because to tell you the truth you will carry on a civil conversation - in St. Bride's, for example, we have a school that is 100 per cent Catholic. Should that -

MR. ROBERTS: (Inaudible) population.

MR. MANNING: What is that?

MR. ROBERTS: It is reflected in the population.

MR. MANNING: Yes, the population is 100 per cent Catholic.

I will give you this scenario now. Don't you think that if they wanted to take that away, that fifty plus one would have to come forward and take it away, and leave it Catholic as it is. That is what we are asking; we are asking to leave it as a Catholic school. If 50 per cent plus one of the population want to take it away, sure, come forward then and see what happens.

MR. ROBERTS: So what should the figure be, 50 per cent?

MR. MANNING: If 50 per cent come forward, I don't think we should take away the Catholic from it. If, for example - okay, you are saying under this legislation, they are all going to be common schools, there won't be a Catholic school after this goes through. I would like to ask the -

MR. ROBERTS: My guess is St. Bride's might be the kind of place where there would be uni-denominational schools. That is my guess.

MR. MANNING: I am sorry, I didn't hear you.

MR. ROBERTS: My guess is that St. Bride's might well be a place where there would be a uni-denominational school.

MR. MANNING: Yes, but I haven't seen anything that shows me this.

MR. ROBERTS: Well, read the models: Adjusting The Course addresses this issue at some length and the variations.

MR. MANNING: Okay, Adjusting The Course - I thank the Government House Leader for talking on the issue. In Adjusting The Course - correct me if I am wrong - it says: If enough schools, if enough people come forward - Mr. Speaker, maybe the Government House Leader could answer. No. 1, is that the common school is - my understanding -

MR. ROBERTS: The term common school is nowhere found in Term 17.

MR. MANNING: No. In Adjusting The Course, Mr. Speaker.

MR. ROBERTS: It is no where found in -

MR. MANNING: Common school is not written in Adjusting The Course?

MR. SULLIVAN: Non-denominational (inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: Multi-denominational. They are all denominational, multi.

MR. DECKER: No - inter-denominational or multi-denominational.

MR. MANNING: Okay, hold on now, boys, hold on.

MR. ROBERTS: But anyway, carry on; we have nowhere used the phrase `common school'.

MR. SULLIVAN: (Inaudible) he can't use it.

MR. ROBERTS: No, I am not arguing that. It is used only once.

MR. MANNING: Okay. In Adjusting The Course you don't use `common schools'?

MR. ROBERTS: Not in my recollection. The hon. gentleman may have (inaudible).

MR. MANNING: Okay, I don't have it here in front of me, I will have to go with that tomorrow.

When Term 17 becomes law, could somebody tell me what the school in St. Bride's is going to be called?

MR. ROBERTS: What is it called now?

MR. MANNING: It is a Catholic school. It is a denominational Catholic school.

MR. SULLIVAN: (Inaudible).

MR. MANNING: Well, hold on now.

MR. ROBERTS: Would you yield?


MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend.

Whether or not the school is uni-denominational or multi-denominational, will be determined by the legislation uniformly applicable, that's the first six lines of - I think it is sub B, I don't have it right in front of me.

The Adjusting The Course and the variations on it, said that there were two tests for viability. One is, where there are enough children to make a school viable and obviously, I would assume, I don't know details about it but I would assume, for the argument at least, that the school in St. Bride's educationally is viable. It is big enough, it has enough classes, there are enough students, whatever they measure.

Secondly, you get the question of making a uni-denominational school at the expense of making another school non-viable. Now again, speaking of what I understand about St. Bride's, that is not likely there.

MR. MANNING: No other school.

MR. ROBERTS: Right, so then you get the third issue which is the one that is addressed as well in both Adjusting The Course and the three or four variations which we put forward in an attempt to try to get an agreement with the churches, whether it should require 90 per cent of the children - or the parents, I think we used, in the community to say we want to be a uni-denominational school or whether it should be 50. We began at 90 and we came down in one of the variations to 50 but, my friend is correct, in that in each case, one starts from the base of multi-denominational and then the variation from that norm is the uni-school.

One of the positions taken by the churches and maintained, I think, throughout the piece is that they, once started with all schools being uni-denominational, whatever they are now, remember the integrated people count as a single denomination for the purposes of Term 17 as amended, then go change from there to the multi-schools. We said, no, the way it should be in our judgement, and the way certainly the term is written, all the schools would be multi-denominational unless they became uni.

Now, I have tried to answer my hon. friend's question. I may not have been able to satisfy his concern, but that is the position, as I understand it.

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

MR. MANNING: I thank the Government House Leader for at least attempting to answer some of my questions. It is much more than what I have seen expressed on the other side of the House so far.

I would like to ask the Government House Leader if he could, and the Minister of Education there with him - for argument's sake I will call it a multi-denominational school. I don't agree with that but for argument's sake I will call it that. In Adjusting The Course, it says, `If it does not adversely affect the school.' Now, in the Cape Shore area, as an example, that is the only school in that area. When you come to doing your viability, is the school you are talking about not being affected the present school?

MR. SULLIVAN: That wasn't (inaudible).

MR. MANNING: Now, I don't know if he has thought about what I am saying. Hold on, now, boys, listen. I want to get this straight. We have a school in St. Bride's that is the only school on the Cape Shore. When this becomes law that school becomes, as you say, a multi-denominational school. The only way, in my understanding, it can become a denominational school once again is if it does not adversely affect one of the criterion, if it does not adversely affect the multi-denominational school. Okay? If it does not adversely affect a multi-denominational school. The multi-denominational school you are talking about there, can that be the school that is already there?

MR. ROBERTS: Again, with leave?

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

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, first of all, there are no non-denominational schools. Let me make that clear. Term 17 clearly says that all schools are denominational. The only exceptions are the B-2 schools which are aboriginal, francophone or, arguably, things like schools for the deaf, which is a non-denominational school. All other schools are denominational, multi or uni.

If I understand my hon. friend's question, what he is saying is that on day 1 - I don't know the name of the school in St. Bride's, I acknowledge.

AN HON. MEMBER: Fatima Academy.

MR. ROBERTS: Fatima Academy, Fatima School, whatever the name of it is, becomes a multi-denominational school. It is still called Fatima School. Then a sufficient number of parents come forward, whatever the trigger number is, and they say, `We would want our children to continue in a uni-denominational school,' and the principle of parental choice underlies our policy at this point.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: I said a sufficient number. The Premier has given full answers, as my friend, the Minister of Education.

Then there are two questions. First, are there enough children in the school to make it a viable school? At least for the premise of this, the answer is, yes, of course. Secondly, does it adversely affect another school? My hon. friend is saying, `Would that be, yes, it would adversely affect Fatima multi-denominational school?' That is what my friend's concern is. I think his concern is baseless. We wouldn't say that by making Fatima a uni-denominational school, we would destroy the multi-denominational Fatima, therefore we cannot have a uni-denominational school in the Community of St. Bride's.

I will go further. The other side of that is, let's assume St. Bride's were not 100 per cent Roman Catholic, let's assume it was, to take a number, 95 per cent Roman Catholic, which means 5 per cent of the children would be Protestant, United Church, whatever, they would not be Roman Catholic. They might not even be Christian, though the law is saying all the children are Christian. We are then faced with a uni-denominational school where those children would go to a uni-denominational school. They would have to because we wouldn't allow a second school to come in. That would educationally be a very bad move.

Now, I think I have addressed my hon. friend's question. There is no trickery in the sense of saying, well, because it is multi-denominational and you wanted a uni-denominational you are destroying the multi-denominational school, therefore you cannot do it, but if it were a situation where the community had - well, let me take a clearer example: my own district of Goose Bay, we have at present in Naskaupi two school systems; an integrated system and a Roman Catholic system. The Roman Catholic system is much, much smaller but it is a full system from K - 12. The Pentecostal people, as it now stands, have every right to apply for their own school system in Happy Valley - Goose Bay. They would have that right under the new Term 17. But if the effect of taking the Pentecostal children, most of whom are now in the integrated system, out of the integrated system and putting them into a new uni-denominational Pentecostal system were to destroy the multi-denominational system, then that would be a violation of the viability guidelines. Does my hon. friend see where I am coming from? My guess, and it is no more than a guess, is a community that is reasonably off on its own - as St. Bride's is, I mean it is not cheek by jowl with other communities, it is a number of miles from the next community - that a community reasonably off on its own which is predominately 100 per cent or 99 per cent, you know, predominantly of one denominational persuasion, would almost certainly become a uni-denominational school. Is that -

MR. DECKER: (Inaudible). The government cannot make that decision.

MR. ROBERTS: Assuming always - my friend, the minister corrects me - assuming the parents want it. My hon. friend, I suspect, would say that the parents in St. Bride's would want it and I don't quarrel with that at all. We are not suggesting they have to swear undying oaths, there will be some kind of process.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: Alright, but I mean, my friend, the Member for St. Mary's - The Capes has the floor. He was good enough to yield to me.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Member for St. Mary's - The Capes' time is up.

MR. ROBERTS: No, give him a couple of more minutes.

MR. MANNING: By leave, if we could, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: It is 4:47 p.m. but I will give the hon. member a couple of minutes. He has leave.

MR. MANNING: Thank you. I appreciate Your Honour's indulgence and I also appreciate the Government House Leader. Any more questions I may have on this issue I may pass them to him in Question Period.

If I could, Mr. Speaker, since we have the Government House Leader on a roll answering some questions, he may be able to -


MR. MANNING: I have another question for the Government House Leader if my friends will give me the opportunity to ask it.

I have sat in this House and listened to the Premier and many other speakers in the House on this issue because I am very interested in the issue. It is one of the most important issues since I became elected, that has come to my district, Mr. Speaker. Another question I have is: when you talk about a number - and `parental choice' I believe is the term you are using - when you talk about parental choice, what is the percentage of parents in St. Bride's - I will use St. Bride's as an example, it is my own - what is the percentage in St. Bride's that the government will be looking for, the trigger number, that will allow that school to be re-established as a Catholic school after Term 17?

MR. DECKER: I can answer by leave.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Education, by leave.

MR. DECKER: The hon. member will know this is the issue that we had a lot of discussion on with the churches. In the case of St. Bride's, supposing, as the hon. member says, that everybody wants a uni-denominational school, there is no argument. You just register your children and you have a uni-school. Now, supposing 90 per cent want it and 10 per cent do not? Okay, you would probably (inaudible) with that but what happens when you get close, and you have 51 per cent to 49 per cent? Forty-nine percent are adamantly opposed to a uni-denominational school, 51 per cent want it and there is only room for one viable school. It gets even more complicated if 51 per cent of the population want a uni-denominational Pentecostal school and 49 per cent do not want to attend that uni-denominational Pentecostal school. Where do you draw the line, where do you cut off? That is one of the big issues. We never did resolve it. We started off by saying 90/10 and we settled - at one time we said okay to the churches, `If 51 per cent want a uni-denominational school, then sobeit.' We agreed on that at one time, but we didn't reach a compromise, so all bets are off.

Here is what we are looking at: Recognizing that there is room in, well, let's not say St. Bride's, let's say Town X, for one school. We are considering, as one way to deal with it, having a registration process. So all the children in that community will register for school. If you get enough children registering to make a uni-denominational school viable, then that school will be uni-denominational.

AN HON. MEMBER: How do you know (inaudible).

MR. DECKER: Well, there will be legislation coming which will determine viability based on educational grounds. As this act states, the viability guidelines will have to be uniformly applicable to - for example, you couldn't have one set of viability for uni-denominational schools and a separate one for inter-denominational schools. Viability must apply to all the schools in the Province.

In the case of St. Bride's, I would suggest to you that there will be sufficient children sign up for a uni-Catholic school. If there are twenty-five or thirty children who did not sign up for that school, they will still be expected to attend that school knowing full well that it is a uni-denominational school. There will be Catholic ambience, the teachers will be hired by the Catholic committee on the board, the teachers will be fired by the Catholic committee on the board, and the committee will direct the teaching. They want the right to direct the teaching. They will prepare the religious education in total, all that sort of thing.

So what we are looking at is a registration process - but everybody will have the right to attend that school, but their attending it will not make it inter-denominational. It will still be a uni-denominational school. Again, it has to be up to the parents. The official church cannot make that decision, the government cannot make that decision, it would have to be the parents in the community itself.

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

MR. MANNING: I want to clue up, Mr. Speaker, and some other members may want to speak. I would just like to touch, if I could, in cluing up - if I understood the minister correctly that time, he said that the teachers in this uni-denominational Catholic school will have the right to direct the teaching of, say, Catholic -

MR. DECKER: The church, the church, the official church would have the right to direct teaching.

MR. MANNING: The official (inaudible) would have the right to direct the teaching?

MR. DECKER: Yes, and they would do that through their denominational committee on the board.

MR. MANNING: Okay. I ask the minister: Who is going to determine what is going to be taught in that school?

MR. DECKER: As of now, the curriculum is set by government. That is not going to change.

Now, the hon. member will know that, for example, in the case of the theory of evolution, that is part of the curriculum today. The Science course teaches the theory of evolution. Now, the Pentecostal Church does not accept the theory of evolution as the explanation for creation. In the teaching of the theory of evolution today in Pentecostal Schools, they have the right to also teach the creation as in the Book of Genesis. They don't have the right not to teach evolution, that is the curriculum of the Province, but the churches have the right to say, `However, there is another theory of evolution.' That right will still remain.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. DECKER: Yes. They won't have the right not to teach evolution but they will still have the right to direct that, look, this is not the only theory of evolution, there is also a biblical theory of creation. So that is what we are talking about, direct, but the government has the right today to prepare curriculum except RE, that will stay exactly the same but the difference comes in as to how the teacher handles the teaching of that.

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

MR. MANNING: I am almost finished. I have one more question for the minister.

AN HON. MEMBER: I was wondering whether we would withdraw leave.

MR. MANNING: What's the rush?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MANNING: Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the minister a question concerning minority rights and then I will pass on my time to some of my hon. friends.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) leave, you have something (inaudible).

MR. MANNING: I have some serious questions here and I thank the minister for at least listening and answering. My question concerns minority rights as it relates to the Micmacs in Conne River who are guaranteed, Mr. Speaker -

MR. EFFORD: (Inaudible).

MR. MANNING: I am carrying on a conversation and maybe the minister if I could - no, I will not, I am steering clear of it because this is too serious an issue.

I say to the Minister of Education and Training, with the minority rights that the people in Conne River enjoy, they have decided to teach the Catholic faith in their schools in Conne River, they have total governance over their school down there. I understand it has been promised to the people in Sheshatshiu that they would have the right to govern their school there. Could the minister tell me what the difference really is in the Catholics in Conne River, the Catholics in Sheshatshiu versus the Catholics in St. Mary's - The Capes?

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

MR. DECKER: The hon. member wants to know. Do I have leave?


MR. DECKER: The Indians in Conne River, the aboriginal people in Conne River, Mr. Speaker, are on a reservation. The hon. member will know that some years ago the Federal Government bought some land from the Province and established a separate reservation so they have the same treaty rights as Innu on reservations right across the country. The Federal Government funds their education totally. What they do is, buy the service from the Provincial Government. They buy the education service, they also buy the health service and they buy lots of things.

The aboriginals on the Coast of Labrador, however, are not treaty Indians in the same right - they don't live on reservations. At the time of Confederation, when we came in, there was no reference to aboriginal people. We came in as Newfoundlanders, whether you were of aboriginal ancestry or whether you were English or Irish or whatever you were, so that's the difference.

Now, we believe though, that the people in Sheshatshiu, in Davis Inlet, in Nain, the Inuit and the Innu, do have aboriginal rights and we are prepared to recognize them. And we believe that the process for putting in place will indeed be able to deal with that. We could see on a board where there would be a Catholic education committee on a board, there could well be an Inuit committee on a board if there is an Inuit school in that area, and the same rights - the committee would become the repository for the church rights, for the french language rights and for the aboriginal rights. So we will deal with that, but my answer is, the difference is quite clear - Conne River is on a reservation, Sheshatshiu and the other places are not.

MR. EFFORD: Now, Mr. Speaker, no more leave.

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

DR. KITCHEN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, I want to address the amendment, and I will say a few words about it in a minute, but I want also to continue with some of the remarks I was making the other day and didn't quite finish, because time went by. Before I do, though, I would like to make a slight correction on Page 1410 of Hansard where it says, "A letter that I got the other day from the Chairperson of the Far East Council of St. Pius X." Now, that should be `the Parish Council of Pius X.' I thought I would correct that. That wouldn't look good at all.

I want to say a few words about what I perceive to be inaccuracies - and not only me but some of the other seven members who went down to the DECs. We haven't really gotten a proper explanation from it yet. I am not going to comment on all of them, but I would like to comment on one or two.

One concerns the joint service arrangements which have been in this Province for some time. We were told that only twenty-four joint service arrangements have been achieved in twenty-five years. What we were told, though, by the DECs was that there were more than fifteen potential joint service arrangements under consideration, most but not all of which were stymied by the lack of government funding for school construction, because this is the problem. There is not much point in deciding to combine two or three schools and making one school in several communities if the building they are going to is not quite large enough to accommodate all hands. So the government is going to have to put in a bit of extra money. Regardless of whether it is done through joint services, which is what the churches want to do, or whether it is done as the government wants to do, without joint services, you are going to have to get the cash, the construction money, to put a wing or a room or whatever on the school. Some of these arrangements could be made now if the government had the cash, and the government, of course, is strapped for cash and that is part of the problem.

The thought was left with us that there should be a lot more joint services, but that the churches were dragging their heels on it. What we were told by the DECs was that they were not dragging their heels, it was that the government was unable to provide the capital funding to enable the joint service arrangements to proceed. That is fairly serious, I think.

There is also some difference of opinion about the amount of savings that could occur with respect to the reduction of the number of schools. I mentioned yesterday about the Parish Council in Pius X and the amount of money that the church was putting into the school system, and I am sure the same is true with respect to other churches. We know that the Pentecostal Assemblies put money into their schools and so do other denominations as well. Money goes into the school system from the parishes and from the various churches, and we have to take that into account.

I don't want to keep saying what has already been said publicly, but the amount of money that will be saved is probably substantially less than we have been led to believe. I think that is true, because one of the things that we haven't dealt with yet really is: If the churches are pretty well eliminated from education and there come to be just a few uni-denominational schools and the rest are no longer Catholic or Pentecostal Schools, but these buildings and the land on which they are situated belong to the church organizations - now the question is - will the churches turn over that when they have no control over the land? This land is worth tens of millions of dollars, and some of the buildings have a church attached or close by. The buildings, too, are worth many tens of millions of dollars and the churches have a stake in some of that money, because in some cases they built those schools years ago. The same is true with some of the equipment in them.

So, if the government is going to take over and call it multi-denominational, there is a question there as to, will the government buy the buildings or the churches' shares in the buildings. Will they buy the land from the churches? And if so, where is the government going to get the cash to do it? There is no money for housing construction in St. John's Centre. There is no money to put into places where people have to live, and yet we are going to find money to buy out churches. This issue has to be addressed and addressed carefully, and it should be in the cost equation that the government comes to.

I made a comment about the Parish Council of Pius X. I would like also to indicate, as I indicated yesterday, when I asked the Premier the question about the Seventh Day Adventists Schools - that is a good school. It has a good christian ambience. Why would anyone want that school not to exist? Why would anyone, in their wildest dreams, want to close that school? What is the motivation for closing a good school? I don't know, and the problem is, no one can answer.

I don't know if you were able to study the response that I got to that question, but when I looked at Hansard and looked at the response that I got to that question yesterday, various numbers with respect to viability were thrown around. `We have the number of people, the number of rooms,' said the Premier, `482 students or 366, or whatever the standard of viability is.' Down further, `look we have 384 or 516 or 282.' Now, what guidance does that give to the Seventh Day Adventists as to how many students they are going to have before they have their schools declared viable? That is one of the problems that I have in really coming to grips with whether we should proceed or not with this. I would like to be able to see the viability criteria. What is a viable school?

I have spent most of my life in education, in educational administration, where this whole discussion of viable schools comes up. James B. Conant, maybe two generations ago, said, `No high school should have less than 100 graduates a year.' That, for a while, became the standard throughout the United States. Everybody was saying, `100 students in a high school, in the graduating class.' I lived in Alberta and most of the high schools in Edmonton had 1000, 1500 or 2000 students. They were like Holy Heart used to be. Is that a viable school?

I have taught in small schools, two room schools where every child learned and they are as good as some of the schools that are much larger. They were viable schools, in my view, it depends a lot on the teacher, the parents and there are other things. So this business of viability is a very difficult thing to construct, especially at the elementary level and even at the high school level. It depends largely on the qualifications of the teachers and also to some extent, on the variety that you offer in the curriculum.

I would like to see what government means by viable and the reason I would like to know that is because then I will have some clarification as to what might occur in this. What will happen? What I would like to ask the Minister of Education, when he speaks in this debate, is to give us his notion of what the configuration of schools will be after Term 17 is amended and after his legislation is brought in and passed in the House. What will be the configuration? How many Catholic schools will operate in the City of St. John's? How many Pentecostal schools will there be in Newfoundland? Where will they be, roughly? Give us an idea of where they will be.

Are you going to close the one - people have said we are against the one in Deer Lake. Well I am not sure why you should be against the school in Deer Lake. I know the Principal of that school or the Principal who went there. Mr. Rideout was there at one time. He is one of the most outstanding educators that I have ever met. He was in my graduate class. He wrote a thesis which is one of the few that we have ever published. A tremendous piece of work. The person who wrote the history of the Pentecostal Assemblies in education in the Province, David Rideout. I don't know if he is still there or not because I have lost touch with him. It cannot be any other than a good school when you have good teachers in it.

So my problem is, I cannot foresee and no one has been able to tell me what will be the configuration of schools when this exercise is over? Then I could make up my mind if I don't agree with that configuration. I can say no boy or yes boy or whatever the case might be but the people don't know. In the referendum no one could say anything, no one could give us that idea. Viability has never been discussed in this House of Assembly. We don't know what is meant by an elementary school. What are the ingredients of an elementary school that is acceptable to the department, to the government? What about a junior high school? What are the ingredients of that that are acceptable? He should be able to tell us even though the legislation is not passed and may not even be constitutional now, but he should be able to say: This is the sort of thing that we have in mind. There will be X Pentecostal schools probably closed and we are going to do this and do that and the other thing, and so many Roman Catholic schools possibly, but we aren't sure about the rest because we aren't too sure what the people will want.

I think we should be able to get a clearer configuration of what the educational system with respect to schools will be like before this debate is over. I'm going to ask the Minister of Education and Training or the Premier to give us a little sketch. We won't hold them to it if they can't come up with it exactly, but a good idea of what will probably happen. Many people say there will be 100 schools taken out of the system. Fair enough, but where will they be taken and for what reason? This is the sort of thing that I would like to know. Because it is very unclear because of the question of viability.

It is also clear that the legislation that is going through the House now has neither the approval of the Roman Catholic Church or people class, nor of the Pentecostal class, nor of the Integrated. I've got a letter here. I don't know if other members have received this letter, a copy of a letter that was written to the Premier from the Integrated council on October 13 signed by the Rev. Carmichael of the Presbyterian Church, Rev. Whitten on behalf of Bishop Harvey, Mr. Browne for Lieutenant-Colonel Moore, and Rev. Swain for the United Church. They say this:

As you know, our concern is with the preservation of religious education programming in the broad sense as discussed in our letter to you dated July 25. We are fearful that the wording of the proposed Term 17 even as adjusted in the draft appended to your October 6 letter will not provide a guarantee of religious education programming. We say this because the schools described in proposed Term 17(a) will be open to all, and within these schools the classes will have certain listed rights limited to their own children. Our fear is that the implementation of these rights throughout the school generally may be challenged successfully by a non-adherent.

That is the crucial point: Our fear is that the implementation of these rights throughout the school generally may be challenged successfully by a non-adherent.

That isn't the Pentecostal, that isn't the Roman Catholic, that is the Integrated, the crowd that the government says is on side, but they are fearful.

AN HON. MEMBER: The government says they are on side, but you are part of the government.

DR. KITCHEN: The government is the Cabinet. The Premier makes that decision and so do I.

AN HON. MEMBER: So you are not part of the government anymore?

DR. KITCHEN: I am not part of the Cabinet. I am on the government side and I support virtually everything that government does, but I do not support this particular piece of legislation and I thank the hon. the Premier for allowing us to have a free vote and a free discussion. That is what we have: We take comfort from your correspondence, that it is not intended to deny the classes their right to religious education activities and observances generally throughout the schools, that it is not intended, for example, that the courts may order the removal of religious programming from school assemblies. So they ask for certain amendments to be put in, and I really think they should be put in. I am not going to make the amendment now because it is not appropriate, but I really think that the concerns of the Integrated group should be taken into account.

I am not going to read the letter that was written by the Archbishop dated October 18 but he, too, has concerns that are not being addressed. Which schools, then, will be closed? Where will there likely be Roman Catholic schools in this Province? That is what I would like to know. Who will have the right to attend? Are these going to be neighbourhood schools where all the children in the neighbourhood are going to be able to attend? If this is the case then you no longer have a Roman Catholic school, if they are outnumbered, you will have something else. It is an interesting point, this whole question of neighbourhood schools in large communities.

Which school will be closed in Mount Pearl? Will it be O'Donel or will it be the integrated school? Which one?

AN HON. MEMBER: Neither one.

DR. KITCHEN: How do you know? It depends on the viability criteria. Which one is the multi-denominational one in there? Neither one of them.

MR. EFFORD: I am saying (inaudible)

DR. KITCHEN: You can talk about it after. The other question is, what religious activities will be permitted in these schools?... because as I see the amendment here - we will come to that in a minute. Where are their likely to be Pentecostal schools in this Province? Will there be just five Pentecostal schools as some people are saying or will there be many Pentecostal schools? I would just like to know what the configuration will be like. Will there be any Seventh-Day Adventist Schools at all in the Province? How will we know? We don't even know the viability criteria, when numbers were quoted to me yesterday ranging from 282 to 516, that means that no one has an idea what it is going to be. I don't suppose they do; they may know but they are not telling me so we are seeing through a glass darkly, a glass darkly.

You know, it reminds me of something that was written by the Rev. Charles Dodgson, many years ago, otherwise know as Lewis Carroll, the fellow who wrote Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and I would like to quote you from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland: When I use a word, Humpty Dumpty said in a rather scornful tone, it means just what I choose it to mean, nothing more nor less. The question is said Alice, whether you can make the words mean so many different things. The question is said Humpty Dumpty: which is the master?... that's all. Here I believe we have an answer.

Mr. Speaker, I want to have a few words on the specifics of the amendment that my hon. friend introduced. Looking at (b) part, where he says, we should put in where numbers warrant. I believe that will give us more assurance than what's presently there, because what's presently there is this: "subject to provincial legislation that is uniformly applicable to all schools specifying conditions for the establishment or continued operation of schools", I don't know what that means because I haven't seen the legislation, I don't know what kind of legislation the government has in mind so how do I know, how does anybody know what that clause means? We have no way of knowing what it means but I do know 'where numbers warrant'. I am not sure what the numbers are but that gives me a little more consolation than I had before if we vote for that amendment.

Now, when the hon. House Leader, and I am very glad that he started answering questions back and forth because that is a very important part of this debate here and I hope that that will continue.

When he got to part (c) he indicated that "where a school is established, maintained and operated, the class of persons referred to in that subparagraph shall continue to have the right to provide for" and he said we don't need the words `to determine and', which is what my hon. friend from Twillingate wants in for religious education, activities and observances and to direct and determine the teaching of aspects of the curriculum.

Now what my hon. friend forgot to do, he stopped reading there. It is true that the denominations don't determine the curriculum now but they certainly do determine the religious beliefs, student admission policy and the assignment and dismissal of teachers in the school and that's what should be, and the observances. That's what should be there. So I believe that these things should be there, it protects what's there, it clarifies it slightly; it doesn't clarify it enough. I wish the government would bring forward this other bit of legislation and let us look at it just to give us an idea what they have in mind.

I do not know what's in mind but I hope now that the Minister of Education and Training when he rises to his feet, either to speak to this amendment or to the main motion, will clarify what a viable school will be and what it will look like and how it will reverberate through the system, what will be the configuration of schools in Newfoundland afterwards? Where will the Roman Catholic Schools probably be, where will the Pentecostal Schools probably and probably not be? Where will the Seventh-Day Adventist Schools probably be and probably not be? Where will the Integrated Schools probably be and not be? I would like to know the answers to these questions.

Mr. Speaker, I respect the constituents in my district who voted yes. A majority of the constituents in my district voted yes, they wanted change, but I am going to be voting with the 43 per cent because I promised them, as did the Premier and the members of government, and all of those who were here in this House before the last election, including the Opposition, that the Constitution would not be changed without the consent of the churches. We do not have that consent. Neither do we have the consent of the Roman Catholic, Pentecostal or Seventh-Day Adventist classes of people. It is not only the leaders; it is also the classes. We do not have the classes.

MR. GRIMES: How do you know that? You do not know that.

DR. KITCHEN: Yes, but we can tell by the way they voted in various districts. We can tell by the way they voted in your district what they want, and we can tell what they voted in other districts.

MR. GRIMES: You do not know that.

DR. KITCHEN: We have a very good idea.

MR. GRIMES: You don't know. Now you're saying you have a very good idea. You admit you don't know.

DR. KITCHEN: Look, the member is babbling again. My good friend there is babbling again. He will not get to his feet and make a speech.

MR. GRIMES: I will be up.

DR. KITCHEN: He will not make a speech. Oh, no, he sits there and babbles. He sits in somebody else's seat and babbles.

AN HON. MEMBER: Roger, give up babbling.

DR. KITCHEN: Let me do the babbling.

Mr. Speaker, to abandon needlessly the commitment that resulted in my re-election and our re-election, to abandon that commitment, that promise, would be a mark of dishonour. I will honour my pre-election commitment, and I trust that upon reflection all hon. members will honour theirs.

Thank you very much.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. CAREEN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I was glad earlier today when I heard the Member for Twillingate, a man I have known from years ago, a man who I told, after he brought forward the amendment -

MR. EFFORD: Time is up.

MR. CAREEN: Your time is up. The gospel singers, I must say, Mr. Speaker, are going to get the Member for Port de Grave.

Anyway, I was glad to hear the Member for Twillingate. When he represented us I had the opportunity to vote for him twice, and I will give the man a nod here today. It is not easy to get up and go against your party. It is much easier for someone like me in Opposition to get up and go against the government. Just as I praised the Member for Pleasantville last year, I have to give a nod to the courage of the man from Twillingate. I will also give acknowledgement to the man from St. John's Centre. Anyway, they are not among the (inaudible) that you find over in the Liberal ranks today. There are a couple of other men, the man from Port au Port, always a man of stamina.

Anyway, the amendment today put forward tried to soften what was being done, what was being perpetrated on the people of this Province. We hear what happened in 1948 when we were deliberately manipulated by some forces inside this little Province of ours, and what was in the works on the outside of us. We were manipulated. Water Street merchants manipulated some people. Other works were at manipulating others, and in referendums we always see manipulative forces.

MR. EFFORD: Are you against Confederation?

MR. CAREEN: I am not talking about you and Confederation. I will talk to you after. I am talking about manipulative forces that are at work to get their way.

MR. EFFORD: We would starve to death only for Canada.

MR. CAREEN: We never starved to death where I was only for Canada. They were in bread lines up in Canada.

A friend of mine a few years ago was telling me that out in Saskatchewan their little family - they had a friend's cousins back east who had visited them and left some tins of sardines, and the welfare officer went into that house and saw two tins of sardines and turned them down for the welfare order for that month. So you tell me how bad it was. And the dust bowl, when they blew one province into the other, this little Province of ours was much better off than most other places in North America.

MR. EFFORD: (Inaudible) here was six cents a day.

MR. CAREEN: I am talking about the way we could feed; you could not starve them to death. They could go out to sea and they could go in the woods, things that your people see now that they cannot do. They could fend for themselves, and they cannot fend for themselves now.

I am curious about what we are going to see when this act, this resolution, this change in Term 17, goes through. I thought the Member for Twillingate's amendment might fall on some ears and make them change their minds, but down in my heart I knew that they would not; too many `yes' men.

The viability of schools, we will have to wait and see, which is not fair. We talked earlier about joint school services. We see out in Dunville, Placentia Bay, where the Anglicans closed their high school, the United Church closed the elementary school, the RCs closed two little schools down in Ship Harbour and Fox Harbour, all in favour of making a joint services school in Dunville, and they all seem to be great. When this referendum was called, a friend of mine, a Salvation Army member, came up to me and said he wanted to know what in the heck was going on. He asked, Are they blind, because it is happening in other places? St. John's seemed to have a bit of trouble with it, so why must the rural people always pay for what is going on in here. We seem to be making the grade.

That resettlement program which was sponsored by the Liberals years ago - and in Placentia the population swelled - but since that time they closed an RC school in Southeast, RC in Point Verde, RC in Bons Path, an RC high school over in Freshwater and so on throughout the Placentia area, all done by the Roman Catholic School Board. Numbers were declining. They were doing it themselves. The curriculum always came from the Department of Education, did it not? It wasn't made up by any of our crowd out there.

What about when this is over? What about some challenges through the courts? What about some fancy thing put on some piece of paper and some kind of a manipulative type lawyer, a Johnny Corcoran, probably waiting somewhere in the wings? They have Johnny Corcorans.

AN HON. MEMBER: Lawyers - they all beat up on lawyers.

MR. CAREEN: No, I am not beating up on lawyers. They are a necessity. I am not saying that a lawyer could make anything worse by the fact of just being there either. But there are the possibilities. There are too many `what ifs' in this resolution.

MR. EFFORD: (Inaudible).

MR. CAREEN: I am very comfortable with the way the people in Placentia District went. In the by-election of 1994 I gave my word, I stated what my views were on denominational education. I cannot very well change my word in 1995. I wouldn't dare! But your Premier and your Leader has changed his word. He changed it from March 12, 1993. He changed it, no matter what way you cut it.

Since you came here in 1989 you also tore up a number of agreements the government had with the unions. So, why should that surprise me?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. CAREEN: You are going to tear up roads, that is what you are going to do. Mirrors on trucks! The minister has blinders on.

The concerns that are being registered by people are legitimate. They want to know, now, what they will be looking at, what is going to Canada. They won't tell them what the Schools Act will be. Aren't they entitled to know? That is the reason I was delighted to see the Member for Twillingate today mention this. He brought it up in his amendment in the terms that are in there.

MR. EFFORD: (Inaudible).

MR. CAREEN: No, I am just up for a few minutes to have my say. This is a democracy or it is still supposed to be one, and I will have my say.

The Premier and others are wordsmiths, far better educated than I, but if they cannot keep their word why do they give it? It would be more honourable if they had not given it. They want a further page in the history book; that is what the Premier wants. He wants an extra page in the history book for what he did.

MR. EFFORD: You had your mind made up years ago.

MR. CAREEN: I had my mind made up months ago.

This amendment softens the impact this could have on this Province, the children of this Province. I spoke earlier about manipulative processes, and this has been the only manipulative process I have seen in this past two months that I am willing to support, and I thank you, Mr. Speaker, for my having the opportunity to get up to support my friend, the Member for Twillingate.

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

The hon. the Government House Leader.

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, I don't rise to speak - I have already spoken in this debate. May I suggest that the House adjourn for twenty minutes to make sure that members on both sides who wish to vote are here?

AN HON. MEMBER: To do what?

MR. ROBERTS: That members on both sides who wish to vote are here.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) twenty minutes?

MR. ROBERTS: Yes, twenty minutes.

Mr. Speaker, that is the motion I would make if we need it.

Motion, that the House adjourn for twenty minutes, carried.


MR. SPEAKER (Penney): Order, please!

Is the House ready for the question?

On motion, amendment defeated.

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

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, if it would assist the matter I am quite prepared to suggest - our colleagues opposite, for whatever reason, were a couple of minutes late - that Your Honour put the question again, if that was acceptable to the House. The House has a right to have a clear matter on it, so I say to my friend, the Member for Ferryland, the vote was taken but I am prepared to suggest that we, in fact, ask the Speaker to call it again. Are there more of the Opposition members to come?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Would members like to have the question called again?

MR. SULLIVAN: Mr. Speaker, we would appreciate having it called again, if that is fine. It is academic probably anyway.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the amendment?

All those in favour, `aye'.


Opposed, `nay'.


MR. SPEAKER: I declare the amendment defeated.

AN HON. MEMBER: What? You must have made a mistake, Mr. Speaker.


MR. SPEAKER: Call in the members.

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, those who sit to Your Honour's left are ready to put the question whenever the House wishes.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the amendment?

All those in favour, please rise.

CLERK: Mr. W. Matthews; Mr. Sullivan; Mr. Tobin; Mr. A. Snow; Mr. Woodford; Mr. Windsor; Mr. Hewlett; Mr. J. Byrne; Mr. Manning; Mr. Shelley; Mr. Fitzgerald; Mr. Careen; Mr. Mackey; Mr. Harris; Dr. Kitchen; Mr. Smith; Mr. Flight; Mr. W. Carter.

MR. SPEAKER: All those against the motion, please rise.

CLERK: The hon. the Premier; the hon. the Minister of Justice and Attorney General; the hon. the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology; the hon. the Minister of Education and Training; the hon. the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation; the hon. the Minister of Environment; the hon. the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board; the hon. the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation; Mr. Lush; Mr. Barrett; Mr. Dumaresque; the hon. the Minister of Natural Resources; the hon. the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs; the hon. the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations; the hon. the Minister of Social Services; the hon. the Minister of Health; the hon. the Minister of Fisheries, Food and Agriculture; Ms Cowan; Mr. Walsh; Mr. Ramsay; Mr. Crane; Mr. Langdon; Mr. Oldford; Mr. Tulk; Mr. Anderson; Mr. Whelan; Mr. Hodder.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

CLERK (Mr. J. Noel): Mr. Speaker, eighteen `ayes' and twenty-seven `nays'.

MR. SPEAKER: I declare the amendment defeated.

The hon. the Government House Leader.

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, notwithstanding the clamour from those on both sides to carry on, I am going to suggest that the House adjourn in a moment. Tomorrow, we shall be dealing with the motion moved by my friend, the Member for Placentia and it's Private Members' Day, of course, and it is his call.

We will adjourn then at five tomorrow evening or whenever the House determines, then we will meet again on Thursday. We shall be calling the Education resolution again on Thursday and we shall again be asking the House to sit late. It depends, how long it is; if we are in the filibustering tactics we will -


MR. ROBERTS: There is no rush, Mr. Speaker. We are anxious to give every member -


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. ROBERTS: We are anxious to give every member the opportunity to speak to the fullest extent permitted by the rules and that includes the right to move amendments and so on, and we shall facilitate that.

With that said, Mr. Speaker, I move that the House do now adjourn.

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