October 25, 1995            HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY PROCEEDINGS            Vol. XLII  No. 42

The House met at 2:00 p.m.

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

Before we call Statements by Ministers, I would like to welcome to the gallery seven Basic Adult Education students and their instructor, Mr. Fintan Mullaley. These students are visiting from Eastern Community College in Placentia.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: I would also like to welcome to the Chamber today, the newest member, the Member for Gander.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

Oral Questions

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SULLIVAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I would like to direct a question to the Minister of Health. I will follow on the line of questioning I was asking yesterday.

Sister Elizabeth Davis was quoted in The Evening Telegram on September 28, as saying that there may be a shortage of operating rooms in the city today. The closure of the Grace and the Janeway Hospitals will leave only fourteen operating rooms still in the city down from the current twenty-four operating rooms.

Now, the minister said in this House, one week ago, and I quote: `Children will not be mixed with adults for programming. We will share things like MRIs and we will share operating room studios.'

Now, since surgeries are now being cancelled due to a lack of available operating rooms, will the minister now admit under his new re-organized structure, children will join with adults on long waiting lists for surgery?

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

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

The member who wishes he was the minster, was present at the news conference on June 29, when I announced the proposed restructuring in the city along with Sister Elizabeth and Mrs. Young, the Chairman of the Health Care Corporation Board.

What we clearly said at that time was that, we had set a direction for the re-organization of health care in the City of St. John's, the metro area generally. The basis of that essential, new direction was to provide for acute care services on two sites in the city rather than the present four sites, but in that, and implicit in that, even if we did not say it, implicit in that is the concept that as a result of that reorganization there will not be a decreased capacity in any area of programming or servicing.

If there is, for instance, 100,000 people today going through four emergency departments, or four outpatients department, and if that is the requirement in terms of capacity to meet the need in the future that is what will be provided in a new and restructured system. If there is a need for twenty-four OR studios to exist we will provide them in the new re-organized system. If on the other hand we can run twelve studios at a greater level of efficiency and do more work in less space we will look at doing that, of course, as well. That is only what we would call trying to achieve economies that are reasonable and normal within the system.

None of that has been determined with any finality, but let the member be assured that there will be at least as much capacity as we have today providing that is what the need is in the system. There will be no diminished amount of services, there will be no diminishing of programs, there will be an enhancement of programs and a better quality of service of health care as a result of the direction we are talking.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. SULLIVAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

On a supplementary, Mr. Speaker.

Twenty-four is not enough to meet the waiting list for surgery today, and if the Minister thinks that fourteen is going to meet it in the future he should have joined Raveen and left St. John's last week. When he stands in his place will he guarantee that there will be a minimum of twenty-four that are in use today? I would like to hear an answer to that. Also, at present there are forty-three adult critical care beds in acute hospitals here in the City of St. John's, and the Grace Hospital has one quarter of those critical care beds. Surgeries are often cancelled now because there are no critical care beds to put people in after surgery.

I know of individuals, and cases, where cardiac bypass surgery has been cancelled on numerous occasions because the critical care beds are not available today. Now, Sister Davis acknowledged three weeks ago that there may now be a shortage of critical care beds in the city, and that was in The Evening Telegram of September 28. Now, what type of service can we expect when you remove one quarter of those critical care beds from the system today? Will you give assurances today that the number of critical care beds in this city will not be decreased from the current number of forty-three?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

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

I think to some extent the public is generally, gradually accepting the concept and the reasonable concept that purely counting of hospital beds is no measure of the level of health care that a system can provide.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. L. MATTHEWS: The hon. member now is moving from counting of hospital beds and he is counting OR rooms in the system. I will give no such undertaking that in a new and redeveloped system there will be twenty-four OR studios because it is meaningless. If twenty-four OR studios are required, running at the maximum, reasonable level of usage, we will have twenty-four but if we can do the work in twelve, fifteen or eighteen studios that may be larger, that may be more efficient, that may be run on a more economic basis and also in a more efficient basis then that is what we will do. So we are not going to commit ourselves to numbers in any way, shape or form. What we are going to commit ourselves to and what we have committed ourselves to is a level of service and a standard of health care and a reasonable level of accessibility that the people of this Province will enjoy, as they do today but only enjoy in a more enhanced and in a more user friendly way.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Member for Ferryland.

MR. SULLIVAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

If we pursue that logic we should shut down every hospital bed and improve the quality of health care in this Province, if we follow that logic. Now I speak to doctors almost on a regular basis and I speak to patients almost every day, people are waiting for many months and over a year to get cardiac surgery in this city and people in this Province, every single day. They cannot get surgery, there is no operating space. They cannot get critical care beds, they cannot do the surgery because there are no beds to put them in after the surgery.

Now I will turn to another aspect of restructuring, the total maintenance and facility cost of maintaining the Rehab Centre right now, it costs approximately, in maintenance costs, around $300,000 per year to provide the basic facility costs for the Rehab Centre. The building occupy's around 50,000 square feet. Now plans are made to eventually move this service into the Health Sciences Centre, however it is going to be moved to the Janeway Hospital temporarily. Will the minister inform this House if it is possible to accommodate the Rehab Centre at the Janeway without incurring exorbitant costs over and above what it takes to leave it there until you are ready to move it to the Health Sciences Centre.

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

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

The budget for the Rehab Centre is $3,880,000 this year. That is the budget that was approved this year for the Rehab Centre. Two aspects are considered in all of this restructuring: number one, is providing a better level of service, a better quality of care for the people who use our services; and secondly, there is the aspect of financial or fiscal considerations in realizing that principle or that objective. And I can commit to the member that we will not be moving any service from any site until it is demonstrated, first, that the receiving site can accommodate it appropriately, that the service or the program can be delivered at at least the level of programming that is being provided now, and that in all of that there will be some efficiencies and possibly some cost-savings as a result of it.

The move of the rehab service to the Janeway is just the first step in the adjustment we are making in the total system. Eventually, as the member correctly states, the Janeway, including the rehab functions, will be relocated to a new site at the Prince Philip Drive Health Sciences Centre complex area.

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

MR. HEWLETT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I have a question for the Minister of Natural Resources. Yesterday, the Premier, in response to a question from the Leader of the Opposition, indicated that with regard to Voisey's Bay minerals, all further processing would be done in the Province. I ask the minister exactly what is meant by processing. Under the old act, before we amended it last Fall, processing meant concentrating, milling, pelletizing and smelting, but under the act, as amended last Fall, the Mining and Mineral Rights Tax Act, processing did not include smelting. Smelting was in a whole new different category. So, does the Premier's general reference to processing include smelting?

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

DR. GIBBONS: Mr. Speaker, let it be clear to anybody who is listening that smelting is included in processing. Let there be no confusion about that matter.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Green Bay, on a supplementary.

MR. HEWLETT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The definitions, as I indicated in the act that we passed last Fall had processing defined as totally different from smelting. I zeroed in on it, because I want to ensure that we have smelting included in processing.

Let me put it to the minister straight up. Is it the position of this Liberal Government that with regard to Voisey's Bay ores, the position of the government is simple; that is, either smelt it or leave it in the ground - smelt it here.

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

DR. GIBBONS: Mr. Speaker, I have said it numerous times; I guess I can repeat it today in the House. We have said it across the table to the companies. We believe that for the first time in 498 years we have finally discovered a mineral deposit in this Province that is big enough to justify us requiring that the processing be done in this Province, and we have told them so.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Green Bay, on a supplementary.

MR. HEWLETT: One further question, Mr. Speaker. Last Fall - it was December of last year - we passed the act, the amendment to the Mining and Mineral Rights Tax Act, that gave a tax break to mining companies. That occurred shortly after a large jump in claim- staking because of the Voisey's Bay find. The Voisey's Bay find was referenced in the debate on the amendment. Can the minister explain why, at a time when we had a resurgence of staking based on a very promising find, the government decided to bring in a tax break which now it claims that it is going to rescind?

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

DR. GIBBONS: Mr. Speaker, the amendment that we put through last Fall was coming out of a budget announcement of two years previously. The fact that there had been a deposit discovered last Fall, that at that time nobody knew what it was, it might have been just another deposit. There are hundreds and hundreds and thousands of deposits in this Province that have never been any more than that, just deposits, and will never, ever be mined. At that time there was no indication that this one was going to be as big as it is, and we put through the particular amendments because they had been planned for particular reasons to encourage exploration in this Province. They were successful because we had been promoting these amendments for two years, and they had been successful in getting people to come into the Province and explore, and probably without the promotion of them we would never have discovered what we have found today.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

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

I want to follow up a line of questioning I started yesterday with the Minister of Education on teacher certification restructuring, and having thought a bit more about it since yesterday, as I am sure the minister has, it seems pretty straightforward how one would determine experience, which is one aspect. It would seem pretty straightforward that you can determine professional development. I'm sure that is documented to date by professional development teachers have participated in.

The one that causes me some concern, and I'm not sure how it would be determined, is teacher performance. Can the minister inform the House how he anticipates how teacher performance will be evaluated to determine what level the teachers will start off on the new certification program?

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

MR. DECKER: As I explained to the hon. member yesterday, this is simply a draft paper which has not yet been made public. The hon. member has somehow got a copy of it but it has not yet been made public. It is not ready to be made public so it is still in its draft form. The hon. member has a good grasp of the paper, obviously.

The area which he talked about is one which concerns me as well, because somewhere there will have to be a value judgement that John Doe either performed or didn't perform. We have been looking at various ways to do that. Obviously there is going to have to be a file on a teacher. Now, will that file be in the teacher's filing cabinet or would that file be in a board office or would that file be in an office of the college of teachers, or what have you. That is one of the areas which I am presently in discussions with the president of the NLTA who met with me last week sometime. I referred to the meeting. That is one of the areas which we have to refine further.

There are several other areas. I'm just wondering will the fellow who wants to be the minister stumble upon that soon. Just see how smart the guy is. I will give him full marks for what he has done so far and see where he goes from here. That is one area where I'm still in discussions with the NLTA to get further direction on that. I don't want to have a situation where someone can be decertified because some board member or some superintendent doesn't like the colour of his hair, or doesn't like the way he played football or what have you. It would have to be a set of standards that are pretty fair, but there is a problem with that particular area. That is one of the ones we are discussing.

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

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I'm sure if the minister had his way that I would be put in level three, the leadership level, there is no doubt about that. Having said that, it is a component that is very sensitive, as the minister has alluded to, for teachers who are already in the profession. As I understand it, the thrust of the initiative is to improve the quality of education for our students.

My understanding is that in most cases there has been very limited teacher evaluation or assessment to date. I'm just wondering, will there be a two-or three-or four-year period whereby teachers will be evaluated before the new system comes into place? Or when the minister is ready will the new certification restructuring program start, say, in twelve months' time, and teachers who have not performed well to date, or are determined not to have performed well to date, will they then come out of the profession? What does the minister anticipate from that angle?

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

MR. DECKER: Mr. Speaker, I don't envisage decertifying teachers retroactively. I don't think that will happen. I know that won't happen. That is totally unreasonable. However, one of the problems with the present system is that some teachers - and mind you, the vast majority of teachers in this Province are tuned into the concept of continuing education and are excellent people. However, you get the odd case of a teacher who goes through Memorial and gets a degree in education and never opens another book beyond the one he is teaching until the day he retires. Very few, Mr. Speaker.

AN HON. MEMBER: Roger Grimes.

MR. DECKER: Roger Grimes might be one example. But very few, Mr. Speaker. When the royal commission made its report it did suggest that there was a problem with the continuing professional development of teachers. The royal commission recommended that we would deal with teacher certification. What the hon. member is talking about here today is a paper which is being drafted. The paper which he has now, there are sections in that which will never see the light of day unless the hon. member wants to make them public. We have no intention of doing it. It is simply a discussion paper with representation from various people on it.

The area that the hon. member is getting on, surely we can't at twelve o'clock on October 25, 1996 say that all teachers have been decertified, or some have been. It is going to have to be on a go forward basis. One of the areas, I told the hon. member yesterday, the area of transition, we have to come up with a way to deal with transition. That is one of the areas. So it isn't retroactively.

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

MR. MANNING: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

My questions today are for the Minister of Social Services.

Over the past several weeks we have read, watched and heard several media reports on the situation that is developing at the Vera Perlin Pre-Vocational Training Centre here in St. John's. The centre is set up to address needs of approximately seventy developmentally delayed persons. There is at present over 100 people participating in training at the centre, with approximately thirty-one people on a waiting list who are prepared to participate tomorrow.

The history of the Vera Perlin Society which began in this Province in 1954 is a success story that speaks for itself. I would like to ask the minister, following a meeting you had with representatives from the Vera Perlin Society on September 5, where they requested funding to accommodate the overcrowding at the centre and also to accommodate persons on the waiting list, could you inform the House today, what your government's response was to this request?

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

MS YOUNG: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Well, yesterday I asked the hon. member how come he hadn't asked me any questions and he told me I was doing a good job. Well obviously, he slept on that last night and changed his mind.

The answer to the question is: yes, we indeed had a meeting with the executive of the Vera Perlin Society and I had a meeting with the families of the Vera Perlin Society and I had a further meeting with the executive and I guess, the hon. member can understand that in mid-year into our fiscal year, it is very difficult to come up with two-thirds of a million dollars to satisfy that request. However, we are dealing with it and I am sure there will be further meetings with the Vera Perlin Society.

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

MR. MANNING: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

When I was sleeping last night I must have had a nightmare, I am standing in the House today asking questions.

Anyway, Mr. Speaker, the minister's answer I believe, is based on dollars and cents. These sixty-four individuals who will not have the opportunity to partake in daily training at the centre, now will all need respite care at home which this government will have to pay for. Based on a 40-hour week at $5.41 an hour for respite care workers, the annual cost to government will be almost $800,000, a long way from $643,000 that the Vera Perlin Society has requested.

I would like to ask the minister, due to the fact that in reality less dollars are need to provide the training versus the respite care, and the fact that the training centre allows those developmentally delayed individuals an opportunity to live, work and breathe in a normal environment, and as one mother put it recently in The Evening Telegram it was her daughter's only link with the outside world. I ask the minister today, on behalf of these individuals and their families would she please make the decision to fund this superb organization that has served this Province for over forty years?

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

MS YOUNG: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I want to assure the hon. Member for St. Mary's - The Capes that we are doing everything within our ability to work out some arrangement with the Vera Perlin Society.

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

MR. MANNING: Mr. Speaker, a final supplementary.

Studies have shown that improvement to the life of a developmentally delayed individual depends upon the person receiving consistency in their health and welfare.

Mr. Speaker, as of December 31 of this year, that training centre will have to send home thirty-three individuals. They will not be able to take anybody from outside the St. John's area. I know of one individual who has been attending the school for over twenty years, who rises out of bed every morning because of the Perlin Training Centre. As of December 31, that individual who resides outside St. John's will have to stay home.

I ask the minister: is her government going to provide just enough funding to take care of the people inside the overpass and forget about the developmentally delayed individuals outside such as Conception Bay South, Mount Pearl, Labrador and so on? Does this government show any concern for the health and welfare of these individuals?

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

MS YOUNG: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I want to assure you that we are very pleased with all the work that the Vera Perlin Society has done to help out the developmentally delayed people in our society and the members they serve. However, I want to assure the member as well, that there are a number of areas that we want to look at, to ensure that we are doing the best job that we can to help these people avail of vocational training. Some of it may mean centres like the Vera Perlin Society operates or it may be other plans from other organizations that we might want to implement. I am sure there is probably a good argument for all of the programs that are currently being offered but we are spending a lot of money and I think that the money has to be spent properly and indeed we will continue to work with the Vera Perlin Society. I think they made the decision to reduce the number of people over at the centre based on the study they had just completed.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) cutbacks.

MS YOUNG: No, it was not any cutbacks from our department. I want to assure that we are currently putting just about $500,000 into the vocational training and just about $1 million into the Vera Perlin Society and there were no cutbacks because of our government policies.

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

MR. CAREEN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question today is to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to know today from the minister what is the role for zonal boards and their structures in the future? Will they be camouflaged for growth centres and resettlement programs or will they be put in place to facilitate increased cooperation between groups and individuals in rural parts of our Province?

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

MR. FUREY: Mr. Speaker, I think the hon. member answered his question with the latter half of his question, they are put in place to develop cooperation and coordinate the efforts in the rural areas.

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

MR. CAREEN: We heard what the minister said but that is not what we are hearing coming out of different offices here in St. John's both provincial and federal offices, Mr. Speaker. We hear the word from these bureaucrats, some of them now, because we always had good bureaucrats and we always had not so good, but some bureaucrats are talking about growth centres and resettlement. They are talking about some of our communities out in Newfoundland that might become bedroom communities.

I am asking the minister today, Mr. Speaker, to get on his feet and tell this House that any bureaucrat in those offices, that he can control, will put a bit of hope back in the people of this Province, to the development associations and any stakeholders out in rural Newfoundland to stop these high paid slick bureaucrats from starting to dismantle rural Newfoundland.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. FUREY: Mr. Speaker, I don't know what bureaucrats the hon. member is referring to. We are certainly not giving policy direction in that regard, we have a terrific problem. There are declining resources, shrinking budgets, disappearing cooperation agreements, our transfers have dropped from 47 per cent to 41 per cent in six short years. There are scarce resources around. There are 800 communities along 10,000 miles of coastline with large expectations, Mr. Speaker. We cannot deliver on all those expectations. We put in place the strategic plan which put in place, I think, seventeen zones I've talked about. The rural development council asked for and we exceeded to the request to create a task force to move across the Province, to define those zones. They came back with nineteen economic zones. We put in place a provision for the widest possible participation. We asked that they consider putting in place a strategic plan which would take into account the various strengths of the regions that they represent. We said we would enter into a performance contract with the limited dollars that are left behind and we would table those here in the House of Assembly. We cannot deliver to every single community in rural Newfoundland, Mr. Speaker, it is impossible. We can't, they can't, I don't think God could but we've got to do within -

AN HON. MEMBER: Ask him, ask him.

MR. FUREY: I will let him speak for himself or herself.

Mr. Speaker, with the limited resources that we have we are trying to do our best. That is why we've carved the Province into the nineteen zones and we've made room for participation from every community.

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

MR. CAREEN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The minister referred to disappearing transfer funds and scarce resources. Well we are looking at disappearing Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, and scarce Newfoundlanders because theirs is a more subtle resettlement program than the one their henchmen had back in the late 1960s.


MR. CAREEN: Go West, yes. Anyway, in rural Newfoundland, the development associations and other groups out there were not maternalistic or paternalistic. They got together to put things in place. Women made up a good portion of the development associations as co-ordinators and as volunteers.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I remind the hon. member, he is on a supplementary and he should get to the question.

MR. CAREEN: I am getting to it, Sir. I have a copy of a letter that was put out by Ms Cathy Duke, inviting eighty-one women in to St. John's on Friday and Saturday of this week, maternalistic indeed. They are talking about doing a day-and-a-half of workshops but they would also be able to do personal business and start their Christmas shopping here in St. John's.

Mr. Speaker, I would like for the minister to talk on this maternalistic thing that is going on with Newfoundland women who can take care of themselves and lots of times they are better able to take care of themselves than the men out in rural Newfoundland.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

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

MR. FUREY: Mr. Speaker, I think all members would agree that we should be sensitive to gender and this particular report calls upon us to recognize the principle of gender equity. So far to date, if you consider 100 per cent of the boards, 31 per cent of the participants have been women. We are encouraging women to get involved in this process, Mr. Speaker. We think they have a very dynamic role to play in economic development.

Ms Duke's letter was sent out encouraging those who are participating, and I think forty women from all over the Province have agreed to come to a one-day seminar.

MR. CAREEN: (inaudible) eighty-one.

MR. FUREY: They invited eighty-one, that is correct; eighty-one would be 31 per cent, which is the total number of women on the board, and forty have agreed to participate. Mr. Speaker, I was shown this letter yesterday and I agree with the hon. member, those are unfortunate remarks that were put in there. She is a very good and dynamic hard-working civil servant. She puts in long hours without overtime. She personally regrets that and apologizes for any misunderstanding.

MR. SPEAKER: Question Period has elapsed.

Presenting Reports by

Standing and Special Committees

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

MR. EFFORD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to table the Report of The Public Tendering Act Exceptions from May, 1995 to September, 1995.

AN HON. MEMBER: More exceptions?

MR. EFFORD: More exceptions.

Orders of the Day

Private Members' Day

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

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, this is Private Members' Day, and it is the turn of the members who sit to Your Honour's right. I understand that after much discussion they have chosen Motion 6 as opposed to Motion 5, so, accordingly, may I request that you call Motion 6, please, Sir. It stands in the name of my friend, the Member for Placentia.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

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

MR. HARRIS: I wonder, Mr. Speaker, could I have unanimous consent to remove Motion 5 from the Order Paper?

MR. SPEAKER: Does the hon. member have consent to remove Motion 5?

The hon. the Government House Leader, to the point of order.

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, I have no problem, because otherwise, the hon. gentleman is precluded from ever putting another motion down, and that is not playing the game, so we, on this side, at least, are prepared to consent to his request.

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

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

I thought the hon. member was going to request unanimous consent to have himself removed from the Chamber, of which there would have been no doubt at all, but we have no problem with the member's request.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. member has consent.

The hon. the Member for Placentia.

MR. CAREEN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Today, I am pleased to put forward the following resolution:

WHEREAS the Rural Development movement in Newfoundland and Labrador has played a lead role in social and economic development in this Province for almost thirty years; and

WHEREAS the fifty-nine regional development associations making up this movement provide a unique mechanism for rural people to help determine and shape their own economic destiny; and

WHEREAS many smaller communities rely almost entirely on their own local development associations as a forum and a focus for issues of concern to them; and

WHEREAS the recommendation of the Task Force on Community Economic Development, as presently being implemented, could lead to seriously jeopardize the opportunity for increased co-operation among all community development organizations at the regional and provincial levels; and

WHEREAS effective community economic development depends on the involvement and participation of a strong and committed volunteer sector;

BE IT RESOLVED that this House of Assembly unanimously agree to provide administrative support for development associations and their volunteer members until such time as zonal boards are in a position to provide such administrative support and assistance.

Members of this House, we stood here in December of 1983 -

AN HON. MEMBER: Ninety-three.

MR. CAREEN: Ninety-three, I am sorry.

The development associations' funding was about to expire on March 31, 1994 and there were a lot of concerns. Members on both sides, including the present Minister of ITT, were fully supportive of development associations. A task force was struck and went across this Province listening to concerns of stakeholders in this Island and Labrador. They received many submissions.

The task force, when it was announced - but there was a component of the task force that wasn't fair. While development associations and others had to lay open what they had, to show what they had done, ENL and ACOA were not open to such scrutiny, and they are the ones - those two groups - who were taking 60 per cent of the funding. Remember a few years ago they talked about 167 organizations out there in Newfoundland that were chewing up money? Well the development associations were only 8.5 per cent of that. Other groups collectively were getting more monies, so how come development associations were under such scrutiny? Why?

Development associations started nearly thirty years ago, because prior to that time in our communities in Newfoundland one or two or three people used to speak for the communities at large. Thirty years ago things started to turn around and get bad, and people started to meet, and come together. They were not going to take things lying down as they had before, or one or two people speak for them. They collected themselves into groups. I think the first one was on the Northern Peninsula. Shortly after that time there was another group that came together in Green Bay, out on the West Coast in Port au Port, my friend the member's district. Placentia was one of the first as well. There was a downturn in the American base and there was a resettlement program on the go, a resettlement program that I witnessed, and saw what it was doing for people in Placentia Bay. They shoved them in from communities in Placentia where they wanted to continue on with their trade of fishing. There was not a decent wharf, no facilities for them to tie up to. The development association, for the first number of years in Placentia, was involved in putting infrastructure in those places that the governments had neglected to do.

Other development associations in other places found themselves in similar veins, fostering and promoting social and economic development with their cultural entity of where they lived. There was a resettlement program on the go then, and there is a more subtle one on the go now. It is strange that some of these development associations started to put a stop to resettlements, and at a time when this resettlement program is on the go their demise is being engineered.

I said a moment ago about 167 organizations. The minister mentioned them back on December 8, 1993. For a moment, Mr. Speaker, the total amount of money was $41 million for that year. The business development centres had $3.5 million; Community Futures had $1.7 million. I must say, too, Community Futures, that component is gone now. What has survived is the business development centres. The Community Futures, which was supposed to do, and sometimes it was foggy of where a development association was in Community Futures in community development, that portion of the federal component is gone. The business development centres survive.

A letter, I think, came out on the last of September from Gordon Slade of ACOA, a directive to these BDCs, the community development corporations they are called now, they will no longer be involved in community development - strictly business - and the only ones out there left now standing to talk about the social and economic and cultural situation in rural Newfoundland are the development associations.

Anyway, Community Futures at that time got $1.7 million, ACOA had $7 million, development corporations out there $4 million, ACOA, the E-net they had $1.3 million. Now I am being told lately that the E-net that they had spent money on and are still spending money on is more costly than another communications system, STEM-Net which is supposed to be better. So why do they continue to waste money? The ENL, $17.1 million, the development associations I say spent 8.5 per cent. Fifty-eight of them had 3.5 per cent and then there were some umbrella groups. Then you had the Women's Enterprise and they had $1 million and the umbrella groups had $1.7 million. The total amount for the fifty-eight development associations was $2.1 million, they had $250,000 for the rural development council and $240,000 extra for the regional development officers programs with four staffers in different parts of this island, $2.6 million all total. No great shakes of money but there is a job being done in every portion of this Province except St. John's. Now you have the rules being changed by slick bureaucrats here in this city. Now we have bureaucrats here and good ones but we have some of them here who are not attuned to what is going on out in rural Newfoundland. They won't look through the window in the morning because then they won't have anything at all to do in the afternoon.

I noted the letter earlier that came from Ms. Duke, now I know Ms. Duke's father and he is a fine man. I met Ms. Duke a few times and she is a fine woman but whatever the attitude seems to be coming out of these buildings came out in this letter and it is wrong. The women I know do not need this. They can call their own meetings. They don't have to come into St. John's to go Christmas shopping. They shop in their own places first then they go to another place that is quite close to the region and then they might wind up going to St. John's. I am at a loss for what is going on in some of these offices here in St. John's.

I have known the minister for a number of years, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology, I always found him alright, straight up Joe, but there awhile ago in the Northern Pen he was quoted as development associations, yes and there will be development associations hang on. There will be some of them toughen it out for awhile and there are some that will go by the wayside. Whose districts are they in? They could be any of us. I am not talking about Liberals, PCs or NDPs here today because rural development associations go far beyond.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. CAREEN: I was employed for thirteen years with a development association and never once did I ask a persons political affiliation to get on a job, believe it or not Ripley. I was a better man than that.

Mr. Speaker, may I interrupt and talk to the Member for Windsor - Buchans, I have heard people my entire life, home and abroad, who get frustrated at one time or another and they say: I wish I were dead. But contrary, the Member for Windsor - Buchans is the only person I ever heard in my life saying: I wish I were alive.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. CAREEN: Get with it man! When it comes to doing nothing he is another go getter.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. CAREEN: Mr. Speaker, I got my waterproof voice on today and there is nobody who is going to drown me out when it comes to rural development associations. They are far too important but the minister, I was saying, I always found him alright but I was surprised and a bit hurt on August 15 when a quote appeared in The Northern Pen that associations, if they want to run their association on their own, had better have some bingo games and fund-raisers to keep it going because it isn't going to be funded through the government purse.

Where is the minister now? He has gone somewhere out of this room but he is in hearing distance, probably out in the Liberal common room. He should be asked today, and should reply to it: I wonder if you are going to allow the development associations with some of the few dollars or with a little bit of administrative funding left, will they be able to buy 6/49 tickets? Will they be able to purchase 6/49 tickets? Because their chances are just as good as buying a 6/49 winning lottery ticket now as they are on this hell-bent way - these zone boards and the Pandora's box that has been opened out in this Province. Their chances to win on a 6/49 ticket are just as good as the development association as a key stakeholder in this Province to get adequately at the table of economic development in this Province.

AN HON. MEMBER: The minister has gone for a bingo licence, isn't he?

MR. CAREEN: I don't know. He will tell us when he comes back.

We saw the minister the other day talking about funding for development associations and he said: The development council alone has received $4.3 million over that one-year period. The development associations plus the council only received a little bit better than $2.3 million. So either the paper made a mistake or the minister isn't sure of what is going on in the department.

My suggestion today, and I never had a chance to talk to these gentlemen yet, but what I would like to ask the government today is to put in place a committee of their own -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. CAREEN: For one second.

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


MR. SPEAKER: By leave.

MR. CAREEN: Thank you. I would like to put in a committee - I haven't talked to the Member for Port au Port - but I would like to suggest to the government today that a committee be struck of Liberals - leave me out of it - put in place as chaired by the Member for Port au Port with two other Liberals, I don't care who they are, to dig in, to make sure that the rural development component is going to get a fair shake. To be able to look at ENL and to confer with ACOA on what are the real matters going on in this Province, and to ensure that the development associations are not left out of economic development in this Province.

I trust the Member for Port au Port as I've always trusted him. He might be on one side with a different economic issue. That isn't the point. In my own family there are disagreements on issues, but when you come to trust I trust the Member for Port au Port. I suggest to the minister that as quick as possible - because what we see in rural Newfoundland is the zones that are open to people now is a Pandora's box. They are flocking there with their own individual agendas and agendas that do not fulfil what rural Newfoundland should be about. Thank you.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. TULK: Mr. Speaker, I believe the members of the rural development council, in speaking to this resolution, are in the gallery. Let me first of all welcome them and congratulate them on the magnificent job that they've done over the years for the maintenance of a way of life in rural Newfoundland. Let me also congratulate the Member for Placentia.

I guess, if his resolution does nothing else, it forces us to deal with the issue of rural development and its place in Newfoundland. Its importance to the Province I don't believe can be over-emphasized. I think we have to keep our eye on the ball, so to speak, and to make sure that the rural development movement in this Province continues.

I had the privilege to be a founding member of the Gander Bay - Hamilton Sound rural development association and I can tell you that they have contributed greatly to that area. The President, or at least the former President, of the Fogo Island Development Association is now the President of the Newfoundland and Labrador Rural Development Council, and that association has had the proud distinction of bringing to Fogo Island - indeed, of making sure that Fogo Island survived in the 1960s. So the movement has contributed greatly to this Province. And now, Mr. Speaker, without creating any fears of massive movements of people and hidden subversive agendas, I must say to the Member for Placentia, that over the last little while, since 1984 actually, when I was on that side of the House where he now is, and some of the people over there were on this side of the House -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) like to be again.

MR. TULK: Maybe I will one of those days, who knows? But, Mr. Speaker, let me say this to you, that I have had fears that there is and has been a resettlement program underway in this Province. Now, Mr. Speaker, I don't believe that was intentional on the part of the former Progressive Conservative Government and I don't believe it is the intention on the part of any government today but, Mr. Speaker, we do live in a time of financial restraint, when there are financial problems and fiscal problems in every province in this country and, indeed, with the Central Government of Canada. And it is very easy to pull everything together in a little bundle and say, that's much more easily managed, therefore, do away with those outlying outports. Some people say it is inevitable; maybe it is, I don't know, to be quite frank with you.

It is much easier, as I said, but I do believe that there are certain programs in place, and I use, for example, the TAGS Program of the Federal Government. There are certain programs in place today in this Province which are leading to massive movements of people out of rural Newfoundland, and contrary to what The Evening Telegram would have us believe, most of those people, I believe, are fairly well-educated people as well. So, not only are we losing people, we are losing a great deal of our leadership.

I have resisted those things in various ways and inasmuch as anything tries to make that movement, I guess it is part of my nature that I will resist it again, but I am not foolish enough, Mr. Speaker, to believe that rural Newfoundland can survive on make-work programs, can survive on Unemployment Insurance Programs or can survive on welfare programs, neither do I believe that Newfoundlanders want it, and I think the massive movement, the movement that we have seen out of this Province, the out-migration over the years - not only now, but over the years, have shown that indeed they won't, and therefore, I get upset with people like The Globe and Mail and The Evening Telegram when they suggest that we are somehow lazy and indolent. But, Mr. Speaker, there must be economic and social development in those smaller communities if we are to survive. Nobody can be foolish enough, nobody should be foolish enough to believe that he is going to survive otherwise. There has to be economic development and there must be a partnership, I say to the Member for Placentia, between the communities and between private enterprise, and I believe that the rural development associations provided that link and I believe in some ways, they still can.

The rural development movement is not necessarily any particular association, as the member will agree, and I think members of the Rural Development Council will agree, there are some associations in this Province which perhaps haven't performed as well as others, but the movement is still there.

In the 1980s and early 1990s in this Province, one thing that became very clear, and I think we are all agreed, is that there was a preponderance of organizations - the member listed the number, I believe it was 167 - a preponderance of organizations that were concerned with carrying on economic development, that created intolerable red tape. I doubt that even the rural development associations themselves, in many cases, could find their way through it; and in many cases, I think we would agree, it was a waste of public funds, as one person tried to do what the other person was doing. In other words, the right hand didn't know, Mr. Speaker, what the left hand was doing. And I think it is fair to say that the rural development associations themselves agreed that indeed, that was the case, and they agreed to take part in the process, as has been documented by the minister, and as again was documented by the member, that this must stop, that we must somehow come together and make our efforts more efficient and more effective to establish a better way of doing things and a better delivery process in the Province.

Subsequently, in May, 1994 a task force was established by the Minister of ITT. There were four people, as I understand it, in various capacities on that task force, from the development associations, four people who had input. There was wide consultation in the Province. I understand, for example, that there were twenty-two public briefings, that there were 235 written submissions, and forty private interviews. Out of those consultations, Mr. Speaker, came an agreement on what now has become known as economic zonal boards.

Mr. Speaker, I say again that the rural development movement has been an economic contributor to the survival of rural Newfoundland, and I want to say to the Member for Placentia that when I saw what was happening in this Province, when I saw the commission put in place, I had the same concerns that he had, and I expressed them to the minister, whom I had known for some time, on a number of occasions. I told him I was afraid that we would throw out the baby with the bath water.

I communicated that to him and I must say, in fairness to him, that I want to congratulate him this evening on finding him very willing to listen and to understand. Now, that is not surprising because I knew the Minister of ITT when he came into this House in 1985, and let me say to you that he was then, and I believe still remains, a friend of rural Newfoundland. When, and if a leadership is called, he would certainly be on my list, let me say to the hon. gentleman.

Mr. Speaker, to be quite honest with the Member for Placentia this evening, I would like for the whole fifty-nine development associations to have the same kind of authority, the same kind of funding, and the same kind of help as the nineteen economic zonal boards are now going to have. But I am also a realist and in today's world I think we have to know that a compromise has to be reached.

I had this discussion with the minister - I think the minister will recall it, and if he speaks in this debate this evening I believe he will refer to it. I think what we are seeing here is a decentralization downwards, because those zonal boards, for example, in my own case, will operate out of Gander, instead of some faraway St. John's, and we are also seeing some centralization upwards, in that the smaller rural development boards, many of them are maybe not going to have the same decision-making powers that they did have.

I said to the minister then, and I say to him now, and I know he agrees, that if the participation of the rural development movement is right in the formation of provisional boards, and then permanent boards, I think that compromise is a good one, and I believe that the rural development movement, by and large, can be that connection. It must not be cut off, and I think, Minister, it was on October 16 that I wrote you a letter suggesting that, indeed, must be the case, that they must not be cut off. But, on the other hand, we cannot continue the status quo, we cannot continue just to keep funding two or three parallel organizations. The cash is just not there. You cannot continue to fund rural development associations totally on the one hand and the economic zonal boards on the other. There must be movement, there must be movement forward, and I suspect that is the dilemma the minister has found himself in. Now, I say again, the rural development associations must be part of that forward movement, and it was in that light that I wrote the minister on October 16.

Mr. Speaker, how much time do I have left?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TULK: I think it is something like seven or eight minutes.

I wrote the minister a letter saying that, indeed, had to be the case.

MR. SPEAKER: The member has nine minutes left.

MR. TULK: Nine minutes.

I believe that what the Member for Placentia is putting forward to us this evening represents the status quo. As I understand it, from talks I have had with the minister on rural development associations, we are in a situation in this Province today where some organizations are in a better position than others to take advantage of this concept of the zonal boards. I understand, for example, that some have cash on hand to take them through this reorganization - their own cash - and some are already taking advantage of agreements with the management committee. For example, I believe in the Member for Ferryland's district there is what is called an archaeological dig going on now, and I believe the development co-ordinator is working full time with that group.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TULK: Yes, I believe that is the case. So that development association must also be a little further along in the process. Some, like I know Gander Bay - Hamilton Sound, and I suspect, Fogo Island Development Associations, are in a position where, unless they soon start getting some new funding, they are going to be forced to close down, and that is not acceptable. So they have to be treated differently, but they also have to move forward, and I believe the minister intends to do that. Subsequently, Mr. Speaker, I am going to move an amendment to the resolution put forward by the Member for Placentia, and it reads as follows:

I move to amend the motion presented by the Member for Placentia. I move to delete paragraphs 4 and 6, and replace with the following:

WHEREAS the Strategic Regional Diversification Agreement is able to fund economic initiatives and provide support for organizations performing necessary economic development functions based upon requests for support which demonstrate viability and a clear work plan; and

WHEREAS all future support for regional economic development within the economic zones will be based upon regional strategic plans and performance contracts to implement those plans, with any funding for administration for sub-zonal organizations such as rural development associations based upon contribution to economic development and performance; and

WHEREAS rural development associations have been key participants in the task force and provisional board process;

BE IT RESOLVED that this House of Assembly encourage rural development associations and their volunteer members to continue their active participation in the provisional board process, and until the Strategic Economic Plans for each zone are developed to submit proposals to the SRDA which can provide support based upon financial need, merit, and the availability of funds.

MR. TOBIN: A point of order, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Member for Burin - Placentia West on a point of order.


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I have recognized the hon. the Member for Burin - Placentia West.

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, the Member for Fogo has, for some reason, decided to change the entire intent of the resolution as put forward by the Member for Placentia. The Member for Placentia is calling upon the government for continuous funding until such time as the zonal boards are in a position to provide administrative support and assistance.

Now, Mr. Speaker, the Member for Fogo, in his amendment to the resolution, is not at all in step with this present resolution. It changes the intent of the resolution because he is doing what the government wants to have done in this Province, and that is scuttle the rural development movement. That's what the Member for Fogo is up to.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, that cannot be allowed to continue. I submit to you, Your Honour - is the Government House Leader trying to intimidate someone? Because you are certainly not going to intimidate me, I say to the Government House Leader.

MR. ROBERTS: (Inaudible), that's all.

MR. TOBIN: I submit, Your Honour, that this resolution is completely and totally out of order. It changes the complete intent of the resolution, which is to provide continuous funding to the rural development associations in this Province. The Member for Fogo has tried to scuttle that intent, wants the government to withdraw continuous support to the rural development movement, and in so doing, the resolution is not in order, I would submit, Your Honour.

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

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, now that I have caught Your Honour's eye, let me make a submission with respect to the point of order that the amendment, in my judgement, and my submission, is in order.

Of course, it changes the intent of the resolution. That is the whole point of an amendment, to present an alternate proposition to the House, that if the House prefers, it can adopt as an alternative. My friend, `Byrne Secundus' over there, is looking through the orders. He will find that, whether that is Standing Orders or in Beauchesne, that is parliamentary practice, first day, first lecture. His father-in-law would know that and he should know it, too. I submit, Sir, the amendment is in order. Your Honour may wish to take a recess to consider it and consult with the clerks at the Table. I submit it is in order because it does present an alternate proposition which gives the House a choice as to which opinion it intends to express.

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

MR. SULLIVAN: I wish to speak to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. The government side has the opportunity to defeat the resolution. It doesn't have the authority to change a private member's resolution that is intended to continue funding. This amendment is taking away funding. It is completely against the intent of the specific resolution presented. They have an option other than amendments, to defeat it, and not to amend it in such a manner that destroys the future intent of this specific resolution so that any future speakers, then, would be speaking on an amendment not to give funding when the original one is to continue the funding. That is taking away the intent and it should be ruled out of order, Mr. Speaker.

MR. TULK: (Inaudible) point of order.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Fogo, to the point of order.

MR. TULK: Of course, I say to the hon. gentleman, it changes the intent of the previous resolution, and that is perfectly allowed in this House. It does not, Mr. Speaker, in any way, take away from the funding for rural development associations in this Province. As a matter of fact, it provides a better way in which to give them.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The Chair will recess the House for a few minutes to check with the Table.


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I refer hon. members to Beauchesne, Paragraph 567: "The object of an amendment may be either to modify a question in such a way as to increase its acceptability or to present to the House a different proposition as an alternative to the original question." Sir Erskine May, as quoted in Beauchesne.

I declare the amendment in order.

The hon. the Member for Fogo.

MR. TULK: Mr. Speaker, let me conclude. I don't believe I have that much time left, but I was going to say if it is necessary then I would - the Member for Lapoile would second that motion.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. member's time has elapsed.

MR. TULK: Pardon?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. member's time has elapsed.

MR. TULK: Time is up. Oh, Mr. Speaker!

AN HON. MEMBER: By leave!

MR. TULK: Any leave, or what?


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

MR. TOBIN: A point of order, Mr. Speaker.

MR. TULK: I haven't been doing this for a long time.

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

MR. TOBIN: We will be willing to give the hon. member leave, Mr. Speaker, if he is prepared to table the petitions regarding the Department of Fisheries that he circulated throughout the Province.

MR. TULK: Mr. Speaker, that isn't a point of order, but the hon. gentleman can rest assured that I have no problem in telling him at a later date why the petitions have not been tabled in this House.

MR. SPEAKER: There is no point of order. The hon. the Member for St. Mary's - The Capes.

MR. MANNING: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I am amazed, simply amazed at the Member for Fogo, to stand up in his seat for ten to fifteen minutes and praise up what the rural development associations have done in this Province over the past number of years and then to move an amendment that is going to continue to put them on the train to get out of here. That is exactly what you have done, I say to the Member for Fogo. You are allowed today to stand up and put an amendment to a motion when you were not allowed to present thousands of names of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who signed petitions out around this Province to bring to this House.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. MANNING: I had fishermen in my district down in St. Mary's Bay and Placentia Bay, Mr. Speaker, who went all around their communities gathering up petitions to forward to this member. Where are the petitions now? Up in your office, because you are not allowed to present them in the House. You are not allowed. You stood here yesterday and seconded a motion for the Member for Twillingate and then you voted against it because you were not allowed to second that either. You are only a puppet, I say to the Member for Fogo, a puppet.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, on a point of order.

MR. MURPHY: Mr. Speaker, over the years - I think on three different occasions, an hon. member referred to another hon. member as an animal, and I think it is only in order that the hon. member, that a pup is -

AN HON. MEMBER: We weren't talking about a pup. Don't you know the difference between a pup and a puppet?

MR. MURPHY: I say to you, Your Honour, that the member should be obviously - the Chair should recognize it and ask him to withdraw that statement.

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

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

The hon. minister knows full well that the Member for St. Mary's - The Capes called the member a puppet, someone who dangles on a string for someone else, Mr. Speaker - not a puppy who barks and yaps, a puppet.

AN HON. MEMBER: Like the minister.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: I would not call the minister a puppet, I would call him a puppy, but I would call the Member for Fogo a puppet. So I want to submit that `puppet', Your Honour, is not -

AN HON. MEMBER: Call him what you want.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: No, I wouldn't do that - that would certainly be unparliamentary. But the point is, Mr. Speaker, that `puppet' is not unparliamentary.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

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

MR. MANNING: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I say to the hon. the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, you may try to slow me down with your points of order the same way you are trying to stop rural development associations in this Province, but you won't succeed with me and you won't succeed with them, I say to the Member for St. John's South.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to stand today to say a few words on the private member's resolution put forward by the Member for Placentia. I come from a background of living in rural Newfoundland, being a volunteer with the local development association in my community and following up to be a co-ordinator with the association. Since I became elected to the House of Assembly, I have had continuous dialogue with the four development associations in my district, who are continually trying to find better ways of improving rural Newfoundland. I say, Mr. Speaker, that what has happened here over the past couple of years is nothing but a cold slap in the face to the many Newfoundlanders who have been trying to improve the way of life in rural Newfoundland.

Mr. Speaker, the demise of the development associations, in my recollection - I could be wrong but I will make a statement - it started in Goose Bay at an annual general meeting, I say to members opposite. I am sure there may be members in the gallery here today who can remember that famous meeting that we had in Goose Bay when the government of the day sent down - they had it all planned, they need not try to tell us any different - they sent down and they made sure that `Woody Woodpecker' got elected as president of the Development Council for this Province, and he stated pecking away, Mr. Speaker, bit by bit by bit. He started pecking away, on the orders, I would say, of the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology, to do away slowly but surely with development associations - the orders of `Minister Slick' himself. Because he got slick orders from `Minister Slick' to do away with the development associations in this Province, and it has been going on now for two years, Mr. Speaker.

On December 8, 1993 - no, Mr. Speaker, I will go back a little before that. When we were elected here on May 3, 1993 and during that summer I had talked with development associations in my district and I had grave concerns at that time as to what the plans were for development associations in this Province.

Mr. Speaker, on September 25, 1993, in The Evening Telegram, Craig Jackson did a story where I had made some comments on what I believed the government's plans were for rural development associations in this Province. And the Premier said to the reporter: `Fabian Manning, P.C. of St. Mary's - The Capes is merely speculating and starting rumours; perhaps Manning jumped to the conclusion, because the Strategic Economic Plan deals with the issue.' I was starting rumours, the Premier said back in 1993, and he went on to say: `Nothing has happened in the last week, in the last month, in the last two months that justified Mr. Manning's comment or justified Mr. Manning raising that issue.

MR. TOBIN: Who said it?

MR. MANNING: The Premier said it on September 25, 1993 in The Evening Telegram, he said nothing has happened. Well, a lot has happened since then, Mr. Speaker. A lot has happened through a hidden agenda by this government to do away with rural development associations in this Province. I was right then, and I am right now, I say to members opposite and to every member in this House of Assembly, that the government had a plan a long time ago and it started in Goose Bay, when they elected Woody Woodpecker, the President of the Development Council, I say to members opposite.

Mr. Speaker, development associations have been part of this Province for going on thirty years now. There have been thousands of volunteers, Mr. Speaker, thousands of volunteers involved in thousands, in hundreds of thousands, I say, of hours of community service to parts outside the overpass in St. John's. It has been a grass roots movement that started in the kitchens and living rooms of many homes in rural Newfoundland, dedicated individuals, Mr. Speaker. And I can name a couple in my own district - people like Eva Coffey of Angels Cove; Ray Molloy down in St. Shotts; Andy Careen of Point Lance; Sylvester Yetman of St. Mary's. Among the four of them, they have over 100 years of service in development associations in this Province. But what did this government say? Instead of saying `thank you', they say ` out the door' - that is basically what they are saying. Yes, Mr. Speaker, I say that is the plan that they have for the rural development associations in this Province.

Being a part of rural development association hasn't been easy, Mr. Speaker, and I am sure that any of those people I mentioned and any of those thousands of volunteers in this Province who have been part of it, will tell you it is not easy. But they have always been attempting to shape - with a development association in your own community, you have the opportunity, I say, to shape and determine your own destiny, to be part of the planning and part of the process. Government has allowed over the past number of years $36,500 to be allotted for each development association in this Province, to survive on; $36,500, Mr. Speaker, that is what this government has allotted for fifty-nine development associations in this Province to a total of $2,153,000; and now, they look and tell us in rural Newfoundland now that they had no more money.

This government says: we have no more funds to fund development associations in this Province, but still, they found $10 million, Mr. Speaker, to try to privatize Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro, when most of the Province was against it. They found between $2 million and $3 million to hold a referendum on education, that has divided this Province right down the middle. They have spent millions, God knows how many millions, on the Trans-City deal for their buddies, and then they say: We don't have any money left for development associations; $36,500 would only buy forty-five-and-a-half $800 briefcases, I say to members opposite, that's all you get out of $36,500; $36,500 would only buy sixty-six $100-door knobs, I say to members opposite.

I say to the Member for St. John's South, you don't have a problem that we have out in rural Newfoundland, nobody is speaking -

AN HON. MEMBER: He doesn't even know where he is now.

MR. MANNING: I don't even talk to the Member for St. John's South. He doesn't know where he lives, so it is hard to say he knows what is going on out in rural Newfoundland.

Mr. Speaker, the value of development associations in this Province is documented in this book right here, and I am sure all members opposite have received it - a 25-year report of what they have done in this Province for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. If I could have the opportunity for a minute to read a letter I received, not from somebody who has been involved in development associations, Mr. Speaker, not from somebody who has been part of the process and part of the work over the last twenty-five or thirty years. I want to read a letter from a Level II student in Trepassey:

`Dear Mr. Manning: I am writing regarding the upcoming decision by government to cut funding to development associations across our Province. I am a Level II student and I feel that the past economic downturn has caused enough job losses in our local communities. Why cut more? We have a small enough percentage of people employed in our area, and to reduce this further would be unfair and unjust.

The development association in Trepassey is responsible for its citizens, as well as those from Portugal Cove South, Biscay Bay, St. Shotts, Peter's River, St. Stephens and St. Vincent's. Though certain members of our government may look upon development associations as co-ordinators of make-work projects, I am sure that the people employed on these projects would not agree. Since 1991 our development association has employed approximately 260 individuals in various capacities on several employment programs. In the last couple of years' - and I touch on this specifically - `eleven full-time jobs involving information technology, communications, and work on our salmon rivers have been created. It takes only $36,500 per year to provide our communities with these benefits.

Development association co-ordinators and volunteers know most of the people in our area on a first-name basis. Approaching the idea of community development on a zonal level will destroy this personal touch. Mr. Manning, I am asking you to think long and hard about this decision, and the effects it can and will have on our Province. At risk are not only a few measly jobs, but rural Newfoundland itself.'

Mr. Speaker, that came from Candace Curtis in Trepassey, and I can't put it any better myself than that young girl put it.

What does the future hold for rural Newfoundland? Nobody can easily stand up and say, but without a doubt everybody, I am sure, would agree that there are hard, tough, economic times coming around. There are hard times on our social system, and the uncertainly that faces many rural communities today, as far as I am concerned, is a reason, without a doubt in my mind, for the continuation of rural development associations.

MR. DUMARESQUE: They will continue.

MR. MANNING: They will not continue, I say to the Member for Eagle River.

Now is not the time to put the brakes to a movement that has shaped rural Newfoundland for almost three decades. Now is not the time to put the brakes to it, I say to hon. members opposite. Do not try to run rural Newfoundland with a glorified management committee based in St. John's, in an ivory tower in St. John's. That has been the game plan from day one, it is the game plan today, and it will be the game plan in the future. We want to run rural Newfoundland from St. John's, and that is the bottom line that we are talking here. My understanding already is that this committee is issuing orders to zonal board members: You can do this, and you can't do that, and so on.

As I said before, Joey Smallwood, the Premier of this Province a number of years ago, brought in a resettlement program. While I don't agree with everything Joey Smallwood did, I have to give one nod for Mr. Smallwood in that he came in the front door. He came in the front door, sat down with the people and told them straight up, `I am moving you out'. This government comes in the back door, opens up the front and kicks you out. That is the game plan. There is no such thing as being honest and straight up with this government. They are doing it the back-door style, and I say that rural Newfoundland will remember what this government has done to them.

The other night I happened to be in St. Mary's to a graduation, and the Principal of the school, Miss Shirley Yetman, was giving a message. Part of her message, I would like to read out here, if I could, and I believe it resembles what this side of the House is trying to put forward here today. Part of the message went something like this:

`If you have ever seen a stream in the mountain, you know that it bubbles along over rocks and sometimes over rapids. There are waterfalls and whirlpools, and it can often be rough and violent. Yet, that water is clear; it sparkles in the sun; it is pure. Take that same stream and place a dam in its way so that it stops in the same place, never flowing, never changing, and it becomes a stagnant pool, the water dull and unfit to drink.'

Well, Mr. Speaker, rural Newfoundland is a lot like that. There are always rocks of work and rapids of life that we must go over, but if we dam it, if we put a dam across it, we become stagnant and uninteresting. When we let ourselves get into life, however, and let ourselves flow, then our lives pick up speed and flow like the river. Sure, there are troubles and work, and sure, we will get tired and weary, but we will also grow and learn, and we will come alive as we work to be the best that we can be.

Mr. Speaker, today we stand in this House and we ask the Minister of ITT and we ask this government in all sincerity to continue to fund the rural development associations of this Province while they are putting these zonal boards in place. There are some boards that are not in place yet. We want continued funding for the development associations. We want continued funding, not continued talk. We want continued funding, we want dollars, I say to hon. members, not on November 30th, thrown three sheets to the wind. We want $36,500 for those development associations. That is what we are asking here today in the private member's resolution as put forward by my friend, the Member for Placentia.

What does the government do? They try to come in, they bring in their big bully from Fogo, and they try to scuttle what the Member for Placentia is trying to bring forward here today, that's what they are trying to do.

Mr. Speaker, you don't have to go very far to see what rural development associations have done for this Province. I can get in my car and drive from one end of my district to the other and look at many things in the community that development associations have been involved in. Over the past number of years, because of job creation projects, development associations have been getting a black eye. But it is the government of the day that came forward with these job creation programs, the short-term work. That was a policy of government. Therefore, they came and they depended on development associations to deliver the goods.

Now, if all the dollars that had been spent in rural Newfoundland over the years had been a success story, the government would be taking all the credit. But the opposite is what happened. We had some failures throughout rural Newfoundland that caused many problems for development association people, and because of that, then, government decides to turn on development associations for the failure, when really, it was `from the top, down' approach that caused the problems, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. MANNING: But I say to to the minister, don't throw out the baby with the bath water, Mr. Furey. I say, rural development is on (inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. FUREY: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I am happy to join this debate. I would just mention to the Member for Placentia the reason why we altered this resolution. It is not something we wanted to do, nor did we take it lightly, but the wording of this particular resolution provides for administrative envelopes for two separate organizations and, as I mentioned to the Rural Development Council and others, we just don't have the money. It is just not available.

We redesigned and reshaped the resolution to keep available the option for those groups that require funding on a project basis where they can go directly to the management team, and that is exactly what this says. It says that we encourage the rural development associations, their volunteer members, to continue their very good active participation in the provisional board process, and until the strategic economic plans for each zone are developed, to submit proposals directly to the SRDA, which can provide support based on financial need, merit and availability of funds. I think that is a very fair amendment which provides that opportunity for every single association.

Let me say at the outset to those people who are flailing about creating bogeymen, saying that somehow the government and its members don't support the rural development movement, I want to make it quite clear that the government is very grateful - the previous government, I'm sure, is too - for all of the good work that was ever done and will continue to be done by the 1,300 volunteers that make up the rural development movement across this Province. They have done exceptional work.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. FUREY: In fact, Mr. Speaker, the first rural development association, I'm happy and proud to say, was organized on the Great Northern Peninsula in 1967, nearly thirty years ago.

MR. ROBERTS: That is right. Flower's Cove - the old NRDA. I was there.

MR. FUREY: Mr. Speaker, in this report - and I want to make something else perfectly clear. This report, it is not something that the government wrote. We didn't write this report. We made provision, provided funding, allowed for the consultation and put in place the task force of men and women to conduct the consultations across the Province to bring us back this report. We didn't write this report. I'm happy to say that there was very good participation by the rural development movement.

Tony Collins, who is here today in the gallery, and who served his Province very, very well in the rural development movement, participated in this report, and was proud, I think, to participate in these consultations. The former president, Woodrow Mullett, participated in these discussions. Barbara Genge a former coordinator, I believe -

MR. ROBERTS: A former constituent of mine.

MR. FUREY: - from White Bay South participated and is a signatory central to this, and Cynthia Downey from the West Coast who has done excellent work in rural development has also participated in this report, so this is not something that the government has tossed down on the people. This is a report that has come back to government and in the main 98 per cent of this report has been accepted with a few minor variations. We added an extra zone on the Great Northern Peninsula and we made some other adjustments.

There are some interesting things in this report. On Page 30: `rural development associations, however, are no longer the sole organizational vehicle for rural development in Newfoundland. RDAs have witnessed the growth of municipal government, sectoral voluntary organizations, and various government supported economic development agencies over the years. Competition for scarce resources and the need to define a clear role have forced the re-evaluation of previous approaches to development.'

That is not me saying that, Mr. Speaker, that is the report from this commission, passed to government, telling us that there are scarce resources. It goes on to talk about the volunteer movement being the backbone of rural development. I can only agree with that, Mr. Speaker. When I look at my own district I see the three associations that have performed absolutely sterling work over the last number of years in my own area. The Bonne Bay Development Association that have built a whole range of things. They took an old abandoned fish plant, revived it, and started to use it for under-utilized species, created an economy in the Winterhouse Brook area, and also created a craft store at the edge of the park which I think has done just wonderfully, and it has helped to sustain them. The Central Development Association just north and the arctic char project they have been involved in is an excellent piece of work, excellent designation under the SEP for agriculture, and I think they are going fabulous work. Further north, the St. Barbe Development Association have done wonderful work in developing new parks, creating summer jobs for young people, and that kind of thing.

Mr. Speaker, change is inevitable. I do not think anybody has to fear change and I can tell you this, that we either manage change or just as sure as all fifty-two of us are elected to this place change will manage us. There are, as I said in Question Period today, shrinking revenues, scarce resources, frozen cooperation agreements, and I think we have only just started to see the beginning of this, Mr. Speaker. I do not think Ottawa has really come with the deep cuts that are required to protect the country's rating in the bond markets, and I think you are going to see a very difficult Budget coming down out of Ottawa very soon as well.

In this environment of scarce resources we have to be very careful in how we use them. Zone 13 has a newsletter out and one of the quotes in here is, `the most effective way to cope with change is to help create it.' I do not think we should be frightened of change. Change is inevitable, but for anybody to say that we are going to scare away the rural development movement, chase away all of the volunteers, and not leave a meaningful role for them to play in a future economy in the communities of our Province, is just utter nonsense, Mr. Speaker, and scaremongering. They have a very valuable role. They have participated in a very meaningful way for nearly thirty years and they will continue to do so well into the future.

Mr. Speaker, in June 1992 we released a Strategic Economic Plan. We identified in here that there is no way we can deliver services to the 800 communities that stretch along 10,000 miles of coastline in this Province, so we set about presenting to the Province a map which divided the Province into seventeen economic zones on Page 16 of that plan. In there we said that people collectively in a cooperative spirit have to come together to create their own strategies for their own particular part of the Province for their own future. When that was tabled we started to see cooperation happen very quickly and full marks go to the Newfoundland Federation of Municipalities, and the Newfoundland and Labrador Rural Development Council. They came together to start talking about how they could cooperate. In fact it was in response to the Newfoundland and Labrador Rural Development Cooperation Council that we decided to even put in place this task force, and we did that allowing the people to speak, and we waited for them to report back.

We listened carefully to the briefs that were presented, to the discussions that took place, and we waited for the final report to come back. But we didn't abandon people, Mr. Speaker. We put in place a process to extend what was then the expired rural development agreement. I think it was number three at the time. We put in place a process to extend the money so that they could be carried for a period of time to participate in a meaningful way in the task force. We did that, and we did it at a cost of $1.3 million.

Then we had a couple of more extensions. Because in fairness to the rural development movement and to the associations we couldn't just accept the task in February of this year and all of the recommendations that were there and abandon them without allowing them to have some time, effort, and provide some seed money for them to carry on forward and participate in these recommendations. So we added another $650,000 to the pot, and another $650,000 after that, on February 10 I believe it was. After that we said: Let's make sure that there is money on the table to allow for a meaningful participation by the rural development movement. So from April of this year to September 30 we put another $1.3 million on the table. Some boards were a little late getting up and running, the provisional boards, so we made provision to add another $400,000 to the pot, for a total of $4.3 million.

That isn't walking away from people, that isn't abandoning people. It is staying there with our money, with our time, it is recognizing their effort, and it is recognizing that they will have a meaningful participation and role in the nineteen zones.

I had an interesting meeting and a good meeting and a very frank meeting with the Rural Development Council a couple of hours ago. I guess we had about an hour and a half in my board room. I understand the fears that were articulated by the Council, I really do. I do understand it. I tried to make my case, that it is a very limited pot of money. I tried to explain that there are no new cooperation agreements, there are cuts coming down from Ottawa, there is very little new money around, but the money that was earmarked for the Strategic Regional Diversification Agreement for small- and medium-size businesses was frozen and moved over to the nineteen zones. That is where we took the money to give life to carry on and extend the life of the rural development associations.

We agreed on three things, I think, basically. I understand where they are coming from; I think they understand where I'm coming from. We need to find some middle ground so that we can all get through this process and each of us participate in a meaningful way. In order to do that we've agreed we need to look at what are the financial circumstances of all fifty-nine associations. I wonder how many members in this House know what the financial circumstances are of their particular association in their particular area.

I happen to know one in my area. I don't know the other two, but I happen to know one in my own area. But you can't make a judgement to give a blank cheque to just throw the blanket over the entire group and keep adding money. At some point in time there is a cutoff where you make the transition from the old to the new, but you want the people from the old to continue to participate in a meaningful way in the new. I can tell you this: We've agreed to review the financial statements of all fifty-nine associations up until September 30 of this year to see what is their cash position. I don't want to know what their assets are. I know some of them own millions of dollars worth of assets. But what is your cash position at the end of September. Now, I've extended to the end of November, but what is your cash position at the end of September?

I know of one association in my own district whose cash position at the end of the fiscal year this year, March 31, was $58,000 in cash. Now, should we extend and give extra money from a limited pot to that group who have cash on hand to carry on with their activities?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. FUREY: Ah, I am getting to that. Let me finish, now. I have not interrupted you. Let me finish and I will answer any questions.

So the rural development council, along with our team from Enterprise Newfoundland, will diligently perform that exercise over the next three or four weeks to see what is the actual cash position at the end of September for the fifty-nine separate entitles? I would like to know, and I am sure you would like to know.

I also went a step further and said, when we see what the situation is, I will commit that those that are poorer and are in need can approach the Strategic Regional Diversification Agreement with their projects, and that they will get priority, and that is only fair and proper and right to do. I think they agreed with that.

The other thing we agreed was to have a meeting very quickly with the four regional development officers - you know that there are four around the Province - to come to St. John's and meet with the management committee of this Strategic Regional Diversification Agreement, to understand and make clear what the criteria are for the project funding so that they can disseminate that information back out around the Province. That is what we committed to today, Mr. Speaker. I think that is an example of fairness and balance at its best.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. FUREY: Now, the Member for Ferryland was going to ask me something, I think.

MR. SULLIVAN: (Inaudible).

MR. FUREY: The Member for Ferryland, I think, is a good example of how we have treated the situation fairly. In his own district there is a magnificent dig happening out at Ferryland, an archaeological dig. There was an example of a development association whom I have a lot of time for out there. I thought Loretta Ryan, who I believe was a former president of the whole movement, absolutely superb person, in fact I think she was the lady who rejected government money at one point in time. I was tickled pink when I saw that; I have to be honest with you. I thought she was right on the money. But here is an example of a development association that approached the regional development agreement, the management team, with a solid project, and were approved last week, I think, for $40,000 - community driven - where the co-ordinator will be hired by that particular project to make sure it runs and to make sure it goes forward. I think it is a superb project. I think it fits your strategic plan. I think your zone will just admire it. It is a fabulous piece of work, and it has tremendous economic potential on the other end of the line, and I think you would agree with that. So there is an example of a development -

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. member's time has expired.


MR. FUREY: Do you mind if I take a few more minutes?

MR. SPEAKER: By leave.

MR. FUREY: I won't be too long.

There is another example on the Great Northern Peninsula. The six development associations own a corporation called `The Great Northern Peninsula Development Corporation'. They went right directly to the management agreement on their Arctic Char project. They were approved for $35,000 last week, so it is working. It is just that I think we have to do a better job of communicating to people that there are other sources of funding, and that is what this amendment says. It says: Look, if you want to bring a project directly to the management agreement, come to the agreement, but we have just put in that caveat now, after our meeting with the rural development council. We have agreed to do an assessment of the fifty-nine associations to find out what their real cash and investment earnings are to the end of September this year. Once we judge all those, we will have a column of those that are in need, those that are okay cash wise, and those that are very, very well off, and some of them are well off. I can tell hon. members of one association that has $100,000 in its account today - $100,000. Surely you do not want me to extend their funding. That would be insane; it just would not be right.

So I think we had a good and productive meeting with the council. I think we are going to get back on track. I really firmly believe that the nineteen zones is the correct way to go. I think it focuses economic development, and I am proud to tell you that seventeen of the nineteen boards are up-and-running. Thirteen of the budgets are approved. Four more will be approved either today or tomorrow. I really believe there is a lot of support out there for this particular process. If somebody else knows another magic way to create economic development in a very large and wide and

difficult piece of geography, I would like to know about it. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. E. BYRNE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I will just take a few moments to deal with the resolution as put forward by the Member for Placentia.

I would like to say first that his, `be it resolved' simply says this, that this House of Assembly unanimously agree to provide administrative support for development associations and their volunteer members until such time as zone boards are in a position to provide such administrative support and assistance. Not an unreasonable request from where I stand and not an unreasonable request from the Newfoundland and Labrador Rural Development Council because it was a commitment made to them by the task force and they were led to believe that this would happen but it has not.

The minister was very eloquent in describing the history of the movement and the impact that it has had on economic development in rural Newfoundland. Nobody in this Chamber is going to question that but that is not what this amendment and this Private Members' Resolution is about. This resolution talks about one thing and one thing only, it talks about bridging the gap from the old to the new - to use the ministers words - that is all it is about. A period of time anywhere from two days to eighteen months if necessary, until such time that zone boards are in a position to fund administrative or other projects put forward by the rural development movement or rural development councils within their own areas.

Mr. Speaker, the minister is aware, he probably failed to recognize it or to speak about it but he is surely aware, as he is sitting in that seat right now, that when the task force put together its recommendations the rural development council played an integral role in developing what recommendations came from that task force. They embraced the concept, as the minister knows. They saw it as an opportunity to redefine what their role would be in economic development in Newfoundland and Labrador and they ran with it, hand in hand with the government and they should be congratulated but they have been let down, that is the point. That is what this resolution is about, put forward by my hon. colleague, the Member for Placentia. Why have they been let down? That is the issue that we must get at here today and in getting at it we will get at why this resolution was put forward. It is simply this, the minister knows, as other members who have taken any time to read or who have a direct interest, either past or now, in the rural development movement, that the task force seriously underestimated the time it would take to implement its recommendations, that is the bottom line.

On page 70 of the report it clearly states: the task force saw itself as saying that it is important that the umbrella organizations of various regional development associations or stakeholders play a coordinating role during this transitional time, this bridging time that the minister so talked about, taking the old and the new and moving it forward. The Newfoundland and Labrador Rural Development Council, which is currently funded by government, should have its funding continued during this transitional period but the task force saw its transitional period as being only six months but it is taking longer. The minister knows that, the members of the task force know that, rural development council stakeholders, who played a part in this task force know that, so what is the problem?

Two things, Mr. Speaker, that must be considered here now and we must talk about frankly is that during this process it was not discussed by the task force at all, at any meeting. This is something that came about after, a wrinkle that was introduced after, that all applications to the zone board and the sub-regional boards must be project driven. A very big wrinkle when we look at what is happening with the rural development council today. A big wrinkle but mostly, Mr. Speaker, I asked questions on this very subject in the House on Monday and I asked the minister directly why will he or his department not extend funding to the rural development associations in the Province during this interim or transitional period? It is not a huge request.

I am happy to see that the minister met with representatives from the movement today, and I'm happy to see that if there are associations which are in a position financially to take care of themselves and their activities during this transitional period, fair enough. But there are many that are not. The minister knows this as well. He knows it as well as anybody in this House. If he doesn't know it then he as minister is not doing his job, because that is his job. What is happening and emanating from this task force report comes directly under his authority. That is the reality of it.

It isn't an unreasonable request, I say again. The rural development movement has supported government in its role to increase economic development. It has supported the process that this government has put in place. But they did it with certain conditions applied. That during the transitional period interim funding would be provided. The minister is correct when he talks about that funding was provided up to a certain point, and they took $400,000 more and gave it again. But make no mistake about it, Mr. Speaker. This wasn't the charity of the government and the charity of the minister; it was something that they were committed to doing and should be now committed to keep doing until this period is over. That is what we are talking about here today.

For the Member for Fogo to introduce the amendment to this resolution that he has, he has done one thing and one thing only. He not only has watered down the spirit of the resolution, but he has changed the intent of it altogether, and frankly that is unacceptable.

Let me leave with saying this to the minister and to the government. Everybody on this side of the House understands the financial constraints that this Province is operating under today. Nobody can underestimate the significance that will have on the services that this government or any future government will offer. But any government, either today, this government, or a future government, must be able to live up to the commitment it makes, whether that is six months ago or six days ago or six years ago, if at all possible. I think that the commitment here to provide interim funding is within the grasp of government to provide if the political will exists to do it.

Let me say one final thing before I sit down and give other members the opportunity. I'm not going to take up my entire fifteen minutes because I know there are many members in the House sitting here today who wish to have some commentary on the resolution. Because they know themselves, they understand themselves, and fully appreciate the seriousness of what we are debating.

Mr. Speaker, if funding was provided during this transitional interim period to those associations who need it the most, to those associations who by providing it, projects that are ongoing right now would continue, would not have to be shelved, until six months or eighteen months from now. Because that is the period of time in which we are talking about. Not all the provisional boards are up and running; not all the boards are in a position to provide funding; not all the sub-regional boards are ready to go after projects.

That is what we are talking about, and that is the spirit of this motion. I stand today side by side with my colleague for Placentia in supporting the private member's resolution that he puts forward. Because it makes not only economic sense for Newfoundland and Labrador, especially rural Newfoundland and Labrador, but it makes sense from this point of view: Government made a commitment, government must live up to that commitment. Thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Port au Port.

MR. SMITH: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'm very pleased to rise and participate in this debate today on the resolution put forward by my good friend for Placentia. As most people in this House would be aware, I can speak from some experience with regards to the rural development movement, having served with the association in Port au Port for some twenty years, and having the privilege for some five years to serve as the president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Rural Development Council. I can say to the members of this House that during my years working as a volunteer with the Port au Port economic development association, and also working as the president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Rural Development Council, I saw many challenges, and there were many obstacles. It seemed that we were constantly being confronted by hurdles that we had to overcome.

There were many times in the past - and I am sure my hon. friend from Placentia will recall the famous or infamous debate that we had some years ago in Grand Falls - when the future of the rural development movement in this Province was on the line, when at that time, the funding from the federal government was at risk and really, it was only because of the strong stand taken by the membership in coming together and standing together, that we were able at that point in time to avoid the situation whereby the development associations would have ceased to exist.

As has been pointed out to us this afternoon, the rural development associations in this Province have been around for a number of years. My own association in Port au Port, of which I am still proud to be a member and a member of the Executive, is now approaching thirty years that it has been in existence.

AN HON. MEMBER: How many?

MR. SMITH: Thirty years, which means that it certainly has earned some credibility during that point in time, and the rural development movement is such that it is unique to this Province in that it is a grass-roots movement. This is not an organization that either the federal or provincial government decided to create but in fact, it was something that grew up in rural Newfoundland and primarily it grew up in response to a very serious problem that was seen to exist there and I guess primarily - and we have heard reference to it here today, most of the associations grew up in response to the efforts of the government of the day to resettle the people from rural Newfoundland, and it was primarily in that context that many of the associations that exist in the Province today, had their beginning.

As for my own association in Port au Port, it grew up in response to the fact that this was in the mid-60s around the time that the American Base was closing down, and people were faced with the prospect of not having employment and not having a reason for seeing the communities continue in that area, so it was in that context that the Port au Port Economic Development Association grew up, and during the course of those thirty years, it has endured and it hasn't always been easy but it has endured and it certainly has been a major player in economic development in that region of the Province.

Mr. Speaker, we have heard reference in recent days to the fact that rural development associations in this Province, after being around for thirty years, surely now should be in a position where they can stand on their own, that they should no longer require financial support from either level of government in order for them to continue, and I suppose there is some merit to that; but anyone who espouses that view, really, is not considering the fact that for most of those years that development associations existed in this Province, there was in fact, in place, a policy on behalf of government whereby self-sufficiency was not encouraged. In fact, the understanding with government - and I worked with this personally so I know I can speak from personal experience on this -the understanding with government was that the role of the development association was to experiment with new ideas, explore options, demonstrate that it could work and then turn it over to the private sector to run. Now this wasn't encouraging self-sufficiency so as a result, if a development association undertook a project and demonstrated that it could work, the next order of business was to then turn that enterprise over to the private sector, so any return that could be expected was in fact going back to the private sector and not into the coffers of the development associations.

This was a debate, Mr. Speaker, for a number of years among development associations as to whether or not we should be going along with this arrangement, because as you can imagine, during the course of thirty years, there were many profitable enterprises that were initiated and developed by development associations, but they divested themselves of these and as a result they still, to this day, find themselves in a situation, most of them, where they do not have the means where they can sustain themselves financially.

MR. TULK: (Inaudible) at cost, they divested -

MR. SMITH: Yes, but my hon. friend from Fogo mentions that cost, but very often what would happen is that - for example, I could speak for my own association - I recall a few years ago, that when we had a fish plant operating in our district, the need was recognized for an expansion in order for us to expand the operation. The government of the day did not have the funds to undertake this expansion so the development association undertook it themselves utilizing existing programs and completed the extension at a total cost, as I recall, of some $500,000, and then promptly turned that facility back over to the provincial Department of Fisheries.

In more recent years the association in Port au Port has done tremendous work in the area of aquaculture, primarily the development of the scallop aquaculture industry. After ten years of developing an idea and a concept they have turned that over to the private sector. Right now there is a cooperative comprised of some ten fishermen who are now running that enterprise and the understanding is that it will be returned to the development association at some point in time but they have been given some five years in which to make this operation viable, and during the course of that five years they will pay back a portion of what it cost to set that in place to the development association.

Mr. Speaker, I just point this out from the point of view that we should be aware of that, so if we are going to assume that associations that now exist by virtue of the fact that they have been around and in existence in this Province for so long, if we are going to assume that really during that course of time they should now be able to look after themselves, we must be mindful, as I said at the beginning, that this was not the game plan from the beginning because if it were surely there would be more development associations in this Province today who would not be finding themselves in the financial bind they are presently in.

There are a number of other things I would like to touch on in the short amount of time I have available to me today. One of the things that development associations - and I am sure the representatives of the movement, particularly of the Newfoundland and Labrador Rural Development Council - I see the former executive director Mr. Collins and the present day president, Mr. McKenna, in attendance here this afternoon. Mr. Collins, in particular, who was working as the executive director with the council when I was president of the association will certainly recall the debates we were involved in, in trying to counter the perception that was out there in the media, that all the development associations in this Province did was to administer make-work projects.

Mr. Speaker, I would be the last person to say that we were not good at it. As a matter of fact we excelled at it, but what most people overlooked, and the media, certainly, shortchanged the development associations on, was the fact that the development associations were attracted to these make-work projects because they were a ready source of capital that was not otherwise available to them, and it was this funding that they used to develop and create some very important infrastructure throughout rural Newfoundland.

Mr. Speaker, let us not lose sight of the track as well, the people who voiced these criticisms over the years, always neglected to point out why these make-work projects were developed initially. They were never developed in response to problems that were in rural Newfoundland. Initially, they were developed for one reason, to try and bring the unemployment figures down, to make the federal government of the day look better to the people of the country. They were never designed to allow people living and working in rural Newfoundland to try and develop infrastructure that would make their lives a little easier. I think it is a credit to the development associations that they were able to adapt these programs to indeed do some very worthwhile projects throughout rural Newfoundland.

One of these projects was one that I referenced earlier, the fish plant in Port au Port, in Piccadilly, that in total saw an expenditure of $500,000, and all of that money came through make-work projects. Believe me, Mr. Speaker, as a person who worked primarily with these it was never easy to try to meet your objective working within programs that were developed for national consumption. Let us keep that in mind. We never once, during all the years that I worked as a member of the development association of Newfoundland, we never once had a program to work with that was developed for consumption here in Newfoundland. It was always national programs, and if they did not work nationally then invariably within a year or two they would be scrapped regardless of whether or not we were able to demonstrate that they could work in our area of the country.

Mr. Speaker, we have also heard reference here today, and certainly in the media of late, of a great deal of talk about the duplication of effort. I too have sat in on presentations - I remember when I served on the Advisory Council on the Economy, sitting down at presentations where - and I'm sure all of you have had occasion to see these with the overheads when they start putting up these various development agencies. When they end up it is just one mass of dots all over the map of Newfoundland.

It is true, there is duplication out there. But again, we cannot lose sight of the fact that there is nothing right now that exists in this Province comparable to our rural development associations. They are unique to this Province and indeed they are unique to this country, and they are a model which in fact other areas in this country have looked to. Just a few years ago - I mean, there was a major conference with P.E.I. where they were very interested with this concept that we had developed here in Newfoundland. We must never lose sight of that. The other agencies which we very often hear of are agencies that were put in place to be supportive of these development agencies.

If I could for just one minute, to reference the Community Futures. I can recall when the Community Futures program was announced for this Province and for this country. I was president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Rural Development Council. I can recall that we called a special meeting of the Council in Gander. We spoke with the federal officials, the people who were going to be administering this program, and we tried to appeal to them that we really didn't need this program here in Newfoundland as it was being presented. We needed something developed specifically to meet our needs, but to no avail.

I at that time could certainly speak from experience. Because we had just prior to that spent some time in working in Port au Port with the community employment strategy association, which was again a federal program, forerunner of the Community Futures. It had operated in two areas of the Province, Port au Port and up in the Straits. The program in Port au Port was considered to be a tremendous success. We did some very worthwhile work. Unfortunately what happened was that nationally the program was deemed not to have been a success. It was scrapped, even though we had done some tremendous work with it in Port au Port.

Over the years the rural development associations in this Province have been up to every challenge, whether it was to lobby for a road, construct a medical clinic, a senior citizens' complex, or to help an individual citizen to prepare a business plan. The development associations have always been there. This gives you some idea as to the wide range of services which these associations provide.

In recent years in my own area of the Province, which I must confess is now my only contact with the movement, I can reference two current specific projects. First of all, the community education initiative in Port au Port, which members of the Children's Interest Committee had occasion to visit some time ago and be briefed on some of the very exciting things that are happening in that area of the Province. One of the major players in that when that program was initially started was the Port au Port economic development association. You talk about partnerships. The Appalachia Roman Catholic school board, the Port au Port economic development association. Because the development association in Port au Port recognizes, as do the development associations throughout this Province, that the real answer and the real key to trying to address some of the concerns that we have out there is through education, that we have to have an educated population. Again, an example of a tremendous partnership.

Most recently, very shortly the minister will be accompanying me out in Piccadilly where we will be participating in the opening of the Piccadilly Plastics, which is a new business venture which has been set up in the old fish plant in Piccadilly. One of the prime movers of that development is the Port au Port economic development association. Again, an example of the kinds of work that these associations can do for us in rural Newfoundland.

Mr. Speaker, one of the things I found somewhat frustrating in the short time that I have been in this House - and I had occasion to participate in various forums here within the House and outside in my capacity as now an elected member of this Legislature - is the amount of time that has to be spent in trying to educate fellow Newfoundlanders on the important function that these development associations are performing on behalf of the citizens of this Province. Very often when I speak at these functions and I talk to these people, I meet with blank stares. People look and say: Well I didn't know these associations even existed and I certainly didn't know that they were doing this tremendous work. Maybe that is partly our fault and over the years in the rural development movement one of the criticisms that used to be delivered at us is that we did not do a very good job of getting our own message out and making people aware of what we were doing. Maybe that is something that we have to accept some responsibility for. However, Mr. Speaker -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.

AN HON. MEMBER: By leave.

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


MR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, I was given a note a few minutes ago that I had five minutes. I don't know if that came from you but I have not been speaking -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SMITH: Okay, just a couple of minutes to finish up. There are some other people who want to speak.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up. Does the hon. member have leave?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. member has leave.

MR. SMITH: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and keeping in mind that there are some other people who want to speak - but as you can appreciate, Mr. Speaker, I'm sure, this is a subject which is very dear to me and as a result I find it difficult to confine myself to the short period of time that I do have available to me. Well just a couple of other quick points, if I may and then I will conclude.

First of all, just let me remind the members of this hon. House that one of the things that the rural development movement has done for this Province, it has certainly done a tremendous job in developing leadership. One of the things that we've heard as being a difficulty in trying to redress the Province's rural Newfoundland, is the shortage of leadership. Well, Mr. Speaker, I just look around this House, opposite, people that I know myself, two former coordinators of development associations and myself, much of whatever skills I do have I can subscribe to my experience working with development associations.

Mr. Speaker, we have heard today and we have heard over the last little while that there are changes which must take place and I think we recognize that changes are - as the minister has pointed out - inevitable. We must be open to change, however, Mr. Speaker, in making these changes I would point out that I feel that we should use a scalpel and not an axe. As we are talking about a movement that grew from the grass roots in this Province, a movement that has been an important part of the recent past in rural Newfoundland and certainly has a very important role to play in determining the future of our rural communities and in this way, Mr. Speaker, it is intricately involved in the lives of a large number of citizens of this Province and with that I will conclude.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. FITZGERALD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I rise today to support the resolution as put forward by the Member for Placentia, Mr. Speaker. I say to the hon. Member for Port au Port, that you make so much sense and you have so much knowledge and compassion about the rural development movement and you are so in tune, Mr. Speaker, he is so in tune with the ideas and thoughts that the man should be over here, this is where he belongs.

When the minister got up and spoke I don't know if he was speaking to the amendment or if was speaking to the resolution but he certainly brought forward all the thoughts and all the ideas that were presented into the resolution and not the amendment that was brought forward by the Member for Fogo but I am speaking to the amendment to the resolution.

Mr. Speaker, I have never been a member of a rural development association but I am well aware of many of the wonderful things that they have done in rural Newfoundland. I understand rural development associations were constructed some thirty years ago, constructed because there was a need in rural Newfoundland to identify projects that could be viable, that could happen and that could create some economic activity by employing local rural people, Mr. Speaker, and for the most part the rural development movement met with many successes, some failures along the way, but many successes.

I do not know any other country, or any other province in this country, or any other country in the world, that you could travel to and find people with more pride in their communities and in their rural environment than you find in rural Newfoundland. Just this past summer I had an experience, and you are well aware of it, to go and take part in a parliamentary conference. There were three of us there representing this House of Assembly, and when everybody had a chance to speak the talk was about the pride, and about how proud Newfoundlanders were when they had an opportunity to promote their own communities and their own environment. It was not evident from any other participant in that conference, and this is the reason why it is so important for us to all want to live and maintain our rural homes, and I suppose a utopia it would be if we could all be employed there. That may not happen, but I am sure some positive effects and some jobs have been created by this movement.

Mr. Speaker, the mandate of the rural development association was to promote economic and social development in rural Newfoundland. I do not have to think long, or I do not have to look far from where I live today to see many of the success stories that rural developments have brought about in that particular area. I can look and see fishermen's facilities that were brought about. In my own district I can see tourism establishments that were built, which today provide services for thousands of people visiting the Bonavista Peninsula. I can see wharves; I can see slipways, all there and all providing a very valuable service.

Now somewhere along the way rural development associations may have gotten involved in something they did not want to get involved in, but the reason was that they had no other choice because they had to get involved in other things and be misled or detour from what they were constructed to do because of funding. The association was never funded to the extent that it should have been in order to go out and do the things it was put in place to do. As a result of that, many of the associations had to take on special projects in order to generate funds to help pay the co-ordinator, or to help pay the light bill. That should never have been, and that is the reason why a lot of the rural development associations that are out there today, if they are perceived as not doing the things that they should be doing, that is the reasons why the perception is there, because they did not have any other choice.

From what I understand, rural development associations started out with something like less than $10,000 and at the end of it, I think, today it is something like $36,500 - not a lot of money to be able to go out and take part in identifying things that can happen and generate economic activity. When you have to confine yourself to an office and a telephone, and not be allowed to make long distant phone calls, or be careful of how many you make, I am not sure how effective you will be in generating economic activity.

Many of the reasons why some of our local development associations have not done what they were expected to do was because of lack of funding, lack of understanding by government members, by bureaucrats, lack of government support, and lack of people in administerial positions in government trusting volunteers and their knowledge. I am a firm believer, if you look at volunteers, and if you use local volunteers to the full extent of their talents, that many, many positive things can be achieved.

Some people have become disenchanted because they have found themselves having to raise funding for things that governments themselves did not believe in, and not being able to convince government there were positive things that could happen in that particular area. I think of one such facility today that is up-and-running down in the Member for Trinity North's district, which is a composting venture, and from what I understand in talking to the member they are doing very well. I do not know if they are turning a profit yet, but they are putting up a product that can be sold locally on the market. They will create jobs and I am sure that it will generate some economic activity in that particular area, which right now is suffering many ill-effects because of the downturn of the fishery.

Right now, Mr. Speaker, we need rural development associations more than we ever needed them in rural Newfoundland and Labrador. Right now, with unemployment in most areas hovering around if you take into consideration the moratorium, probably 40 per cent or more; right now is the time that we should be looking forward to generating economic activity there and doing whatever we can to make sure that funding is supplied to rural development associations, to take them over and bridge the gap between now and when those provisional boards come into place.

Mr. Speaker, there are many people over here, on this side of the House who want to add their few words before we adjourn debate here today, and I would like to extend the courtesy to the member who presented the resolution to have the final word, so having said that, Mr. Speaker, I will sit and allow somebody else to say a few words on behalf of this very important resolution, and I plead with the minister, to take this resolution very seriously and provide gap funding, Mr. Speaker, in order to allow rural development associations to continue to be active until the provisional boards are put in place and then allow them to come forward and generate the activity with their understanding and knowledge that they have in rural areas.

Thank you.

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

MR. SULLIVAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I would like to have a few comments pertaining to this specific resolution. I don't support the amendment to the resolution. I do support the original resolution submitted by the Member for Placentia, and I don't think it is an unfair request. The Newfoundland and Labrador Rural Development Council recommended it basically in their submission as part of the SRDA Agreement, very simple and straightforward, it recommends that interim funding continue to be made available to the council and its membership until the strategic planning process has been completed in each of the zones. Then, and only then, can the true extent of their future role be fully evaluated within the context of the long-term zonal planning and priorities, and the Regional Economic Development Boards must be given sufficient time to develop their plans to utilize all the human and organizational resources at their disposal and so on.

I have never seen $36,500 ever spent in a better manner than I have seen it spent by the development association in my area. Now, I was never a part of development associations, I was always involved in numerous community organizations and only since entering politics back in June of 1992, had I monitored more closely and dealt with people at the development association level, and the I think the Member for Windsor - Buchans today, talked about being political and so on; well, I can tell you from my experience in the last three-and-a-half years, our development association is an apolitical, a very non-political association and I have the utmost respect for the job that they have done.

The president was a candidate for the Liberals who ran for the nomination against me and that person has never used development association on political challenges, they have done a tremendous job up on the Southern Shore in their development association and it encompasses almost my entire district, and it has done a tremendous job in developing the economic base for tourism in other areas in my district. The archaeological digs in Ferryland is an upcoming project that has been ongoing now for the last four years but it is one that has tremendous potential.

The development association has been a leading force, in fact it is the only organization, the only association in my district that represents the entire, specific area and has been a strong voice for all people in that specific area. Other organizations are more regional based in the district, this has been the one that has very impartially, dealt with matters under development in our area, and in rural Newfoundland it is very difficult, there are always trends from communities and so on in trying to act in an impartial manner, but it is difficult when you have many communities tugging together to get their say in future developments.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.

MR. SULLIVAN: Okay, the Member for Placentia has given me leave until 4:50.

MR. SPEAKER: Okay, fine. The hon. member has leave.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Well, if the House could give me leave I would appreciate it.

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

MR. SULLIVAN: We asked that before the minister arrived. It was unfortunate he wasn't here but I will continue.

The development association has coordinated student employment in our area in the summertime, over fifty students, selecting students who can best work in the tourist chalet, ones that can present an image to the public and be trained and to be able to do a good job for the tourists who come to our area. They've done a tremendous job in selecting personnel there that have the disposition and manner to be able to do the proper promotion. In the Interpretation Centre, at the archaeological dig, they have post-secondary students in all of these areas who have worked there and have done a tremendous job. In reference to putting students on the dig, by working in other communities and avenues there, they have been instrumental. This past year I know, with pressures there on students, the numbers will dwindle somewhat, but they have done, I must say, a tremendous job in coordinating activity in our area.

I would hate to see that association that represents almost 7,000 people gobbled up in a larger zone, like a Southern Avalon zone. Because what we are going to lose in this process - we are going to lose the volunteer segment that is so important in Newfoundland today, and in rural Newfoundland. It is very important. It is a unique area from Bay Bulls up to Cappahayden area, in that specific area. I know in the neighbouring districts there are development associations that do their role in their area. You aren't going to get volunteer people with the same level of commitment to drive to meetings in Placentia and St. Mary's and other areas that don't represent necessarily the same specific regional interest and the same type of developments that are needed.

We have started the ball rolling with the development association in our district. The ball has been rolling and it has been going well. We were able to access some funding under cooperation agreements for the past few years, and Memorial University is spearheading the archaeological dig in our area. When and if we are gobbled up by those zonal boards, we need sub-zonal regions that can have some minimal administrative funding. Thirty-six thousand and five hundred dollars isn't very much funding to hire a coordinator, to run an office space, to coordinate student and other employment in our area, and to help stimulate other economic ventures in our area that are going to help the economy in rural Newfoundland that is in very dire need of some ideas and incentives and voluntarism to help stimulate that economy that governments are withdrawing from funding in numerous other areas.

We need this volunteer base here in the area, and it is going to destroy it in our area to a great extent. You are not going to get the commitment from people now that are overworked as it is in their own specific jobs and by expanding an area where they will have very little, or direct control over. I think it is a wrong move. All they are asking for is funding until they are up and running in an efficient manner. We are asking for continuous funding into the future. The minister made reference earlier to the fact that if associations have a fair amount of money maybe they can use that to keep administrative support going. There are many areas that are doing a tremendous job and that do not have any dollars. They are solely dependent on this $36,500 and cannot function properly without it.

I ask the minister to certainly reconsider and to use areas where there is a direct need. We do not need to wait for some future proposal. We know now, people know if an area is in direct need. People on the NLRDC are knowledgeable to know what areas are in need of this funding immediately to be able to continue. We do not have to do a study, an investigation, and compile it. There is an ongoing communication there with the member associations there, all fifty-nine, and I think something should be done immediately and announced, in the immediate future and not down the road.

Just because we give extensions does not mean we cannot give a further extension until it is up and running. The intent of this was to have an orderly phase-in under the new proposal, and it is severely going to impact upon this transition, and it is going to turn off people from giving that effort who have made tremendous volunteer efforts over the past number of years.

I ask the minister to look closely at it and to do something appropriate. I ask this House to defeat that amendment to the resolution today.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. CAREEN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Someone once said that voluntarism is the dues we pay for being allowed to exist upon this earth. Whoever said it, its a good thought. The amendment put forward today strips out what the original resolution meant to attain, project funding, an association needs administrative funding. The association, yes, had make-work projects over the years. Often they were called upon by different governments to do work that had to be done, and there was no shame in that, but the development associations took on other numerous projects which have been mentioned by members here today.

The Member for Fogo got up earlier today and he was smooth and nice, and complimentary, then he stuck the knife in. This amendment changes the intent of the resolution which was put forward, it is not the same as what was put forward, not a whit, not even close. We wanted to make sure that development associations had the rights that they earned over thirty years, and a rural development movement to be around the table when the dust settles on these zonal boards. We wanted to ensure that the volunteer sector in this Province, the development associations, were there as full participants, not just giving `yes' to a process. But there have been changes. Since the report came out, Community Matters, governments have made changes. They refer to different items, like recommendation number nine. The government had linked funding to the diversification fund which was not designed to fund associations, and made no provisions for future funding should this process take longer than anticipated - and it has taken longer. `Seventeen boards have already had budgets approved which allow them to develop long-term plans only at this stage.'

What is happening is that some of the zones are proposing outrageous budgets, proposing sub-zonal offices, and ignoring development associations that are already located in these sub-zones and have computers in offices already. This is duplication that government has pledged to do away with. Look into it, and look further.

Recommendation number eleven has given direction and direct power to ministers. That was put in after the release of the task force, and not mentioned during the task force time.

Recommendation number twenty-five: associations are now being told in some areas that HRD, the federal wing, cannot deal with development associations because they don't have core funding in place, and that after November, they won't be around. Where is the co-operation from that federal department? The development associations can't apply?

I said earlier today, every man and his dog are now trying to get a seat on the regional boards. Well, they had better be careful because if there are too many single agendas and their own agendas, and not the community agendas, we will all be the worse for it.

The council asks for the task force to be set up to look at all community development funding. I mentioned earlier that ENL and ACOA refused to be scrutinized - those two agencies - and that was a political decision, even though they were spending 60 per cent of the $41 million that the minister is fond of referring to.

Neither the associations nor myself are against change - we witness change all the time. The associations for years put the projects together. There have been a number of successes, but they were never allowed the mandate to become independent. If they got a success up it was directed to them to either give it away or sell it at cut-rate prices for some entrepreneur or entrepreneurs. They were never given a full chance.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. CAREEN: Different administrations.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. CAREEN: Oh yes, the development associations. Right now the perception is they are on the wire, and they certainly are. Some have existed, as I said earlier today, for a longer time than others, but in a short period of time, some associations will wind up. Some people now have laid off their co-ordinators; others are giving notice that they are to be laid out - off - laid out probably would be better. They lay them out for funerals. Some day or other, if we allow the rural development movement and its volunteer core to get away from us, some administration sometime down the road will be hiring some mainland company to put something back in place that already exists.

I am glad the associations got their hearing today. From most speakers, they got a fair hearing, and this will continue. In the days that are coming that lead up to November 30, I and others will be at the beck and call of any development association in any part of this Province. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The House is ready for the question and we are voting on the amendment.

On motion, amendment carried.

MR. SPEAKER: We are now voting on the main question, as amended, the main resolution.

On motion, resolution as amended, carried.

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

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, we are about to adjourn but just to remind members, tomorrow we shall resume the debate on the Term 17 resolution. I understand there will be at least one more amendment forthcoming, so we will be asking the House to sit a little later than 5:00 o'clock in the hope we may be able to deal with that amendment tomorrow. As events go we will have to see where we get to, as it were. With that said, Mr. Speaker, I move the House adjourn until tomorrow, Thursday at 2:00 p.m.

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