The House met at 2:00 p.m.

MR. SPEAKER (Snow): Order, please!

Before we begin our routine proceedings the Chair would like to welcome to the Speaker's Gallery today: Mr. John Coyle, Chairman of Galway Airport, Ireland, Past President of the Irish Chamber of Commerce, Vice-President of the European Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Coyle was also Galway host for Newfoundland and Labrador Trade Mission to Ireland in November, 1996. Mr. Coyle is accompanied by his daughter Zoe Coyle and Brother Timothy McGrath of the Benedictine Order.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The Chair would also like to welcome to the galleries today: Forty Grade IX students from Holy Trinity Regional High School in Heart's Content, in the district of Trinity - Bay de Verde. They are accompanied by teachers: Ms Yvonne Kendel, Mr. Fred Driscoll and Mr. Calvin Young and bus driver, Mr. Jude St. George.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!


Statements by Ministers


MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. EFFORD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, today I wish to inform the House of government's decision with respect to a call for proposals for the operation of the middle-distance vessel the Nain Banker.

This vessel, constructed at Marystown, is the last of four such vessels that remains under effective control of the Province. As hon. members may remember, the vessel was leased in 1997 to the Torngat Fish Producers Co-operative for a two-year period, with the company having an option to terminate the lease during that time. The Co-operative has exercised that right and notified government in February this year that it intended to terminate the lease effective March 8, 1998, for reasons internal to the company. Following this, advertisements calling for proposals for the operation of the Nain Banker were placed.

In considering proposals received both in 1997 and again this year, Mr. Speaker, government gave priority consideration to the special needs of the fish processing sector in Labrador. A shortage of raw material for plants has been a chronic problem in Labrador. In this context, government maintains a policy that fish landed in Labrador must be processed in Labrador.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. EFFORD: The Nain Banker is ideal for fishing off Coastal Labrador, particularly for Northern turbot. It was one of the two middle-distance vessels used five years ago in an experimental project that proved the feasibility of such vessels prosecuting the deep water turbot fishery off Labrador. In fact, the turbot resource represents the only significant groundfish opportunity for Labrador plants.

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to inform the House that the Nain Banker is being leased this year to the Labrador Fishermen's Union Shrimp Company Limited, based in L'Anse au Loup. This arrangement will supplement the supply of raw material for Labrador fish plants which have been largely dependent on landing from transient inshore vessels from the Island.

The Shrimp Company will utilize the vessel primarily for harvesting turbot off Northern labrador, for processing at L'Anse au Loup. The Company has also begun discussions with the Torngat Fish Producers Co-op for the Shrimp Company to harvest Torngat's turbot quota on behalf of Torngat for the coming fishing season. This would benefit the plant in Makkovik, and possibly the one in Hopedale.

I must also note, that a condition of the lease of the Nain Banker is that outside the operating season in Labrador, the Shrimp Company is required to make fish available on a competitive basis to more isolated plants on the Island, should such opportunities arise.

Mr. Speaker, Labradorians must be given every opportunity to benefit from marine resources adjacent to them. Government's decision to lease the Nain Banker to the Labrador Fishermen's Union Shrimp Company is one such opportunity.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. FITZGERALD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The first time I heard of the ministerial statement was when the minister read it at that particular time. I was not provided with a copy.

MR. EFFORD: Yes, you were.

MR. FITZGERALD: Well, I did not receive it, I say to the Minister.

Every time I speak to the Member for Torngat Mountains, the member speaks about the need for his people to have bigger boats, so that they can go out and take part in a fishery to supply the plants on the Labrador Coast.

Mr. Speaker, we welcome this news, and if that particular boat is to be leased, then that is the right place to have it leased, on the Labrador coast, where those plants can derive some benefit from it; and not have it tied up on the Southside of St. John's.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Signal - Quidi Vidi.

Does he have leave?

AN HON. MEMBER: By leave.

MR. SPEAKER: By leave.

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I would like to thank the minister for having the statement sent to my office prior to Question Period today.

Mr. Speaker, the leasing of the Nain Banker to the Labrador Fishermen's Union Shrimp Company is a very positive move. That organization has been responsible for a tremendous amount of community controlled economic development in the Straits area of Labrador; locally controlled expertise at the local level, with the needs of the people of the Coast first and foremost. The leasing arrangement the minister has set forth continues the fight for the principle of adjacency for not only the fish landed in Labrador, but the fish that are caught off Labrador should also be processed in Labrador. I welcome this announcement and I welcome the use of the Nain Banker by the Labrador Fishermen's Union Shrimp Company.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. member's time is up.

The hon. the Member for Cartwright - L'Anse au Clair. Does she have leave?


MR. SPEAKER: No leave?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: No leave.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

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


MR. SPEAKER: By leave.

MS JONES: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I want to rise and say that I am pleased that the Minister of Fisheries is starting to do things right in Labrador, and that the decision to lease the Nain Banker to the Labrador Fishermen's Union Shrimp Company is certainly a move in the right direction.

The Shrimp Company's base operation in L'Anse-au-Loup is largely dependent upon the turbot fishery off the shores of Labrador, and the Nain Banker will certainly contribute greatly to the resource and operation of this plant that employs several hundred people in that area.

Mr. Speaker, the Shrimp Company has a history of deriving maximum benefits from all areas of the fishery along the Coast of Labrador.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.

MS JONES: I am glad to see that the minister recognizes that and is willing to partner with this company to continue to derive maximum benefits to the people and to this company.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!


Oral Questions


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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

Yesterday we asked the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology questions related to the collapse of the call centre. We have learned there was close to $1 million worth of provincial money pumped into the centre, close to $1 million of federal money pumped into the centre just seven months ago. Without any apparent explanation of why the centre collapsed, with so much public money put into the centre as an incentive for it to come here, the question I ask the minister today is: Can she elaborate, given the fact that she has had a night to go over the issue, on why the centre collapsed with so much up front public money put into it?

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

MS FOOTE: Mr. Speaker, if I could, with leave, the member opposite asked me for a figure yesterday that I did not have at my fingertips at the time. I do now have that, so if I could, with leave, table this, even though I know it is normally done later on under reports, I would like to do that.

I would also like to table examples of call centre incentive packages across the country as reported through the media, Mr. Speaker, if it is okay to table that.

Mr. Speaker, the media have been asking the same question the last couple of days and, as I have said to them, the first indication we had that there was a problem was when the ice storm occurred in January. That was clearly, from the company's perspective, what prompted the demise of the call centre. The other factor, I am told, was obviously a collapse of the partnership.

Mr. Speaker, I am not here to defend the company; the company can defend themselves. My understanding is that what transpired there was the ice storm, which resulted in a significant loss of revenue to the call centre, and the dissolution of the partnership. The partners, for whatever reason, Mr. Speaker, after that did not see eye to eye and decided to dissolve the partnership.

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

MR. E. BYRNE: Two days ago it was the ice storm; yesterday it was the dissolving of the partnership; today now it is again the ice storm. I mean, there are questions left unanswered.

Minister, let me ask you this question. Yesterday, when questioned outside the House of Assembly, you were asked: Has government learned anything from this experience? You responded: Yes, of course we have learned something.

The question is, Minister: When one of the partners left and started up another call centre, what money did government provide to that call centre, in total form, whether it be through subsidies, whether it be through EDGE status, or whatever it may be? What was the total amount of money provided to that new company?

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

MS FOOTE: Mr. Speaker, because CBC chose to put a spin on the story, I do not think it is fair for the Opposition Leader to do the same. I have always, always said that there were two reasons for the collapse of this call centre: one being the ice storm and the other being the dissolution of the partnership.

The hon. member opposite knows that, CBC knows that. I told CBC that in the interview on Monday, and I repeated it again yesterday. There were two reasons for the collapse of that call centre of which I am aware.

As for the Cabot Call Centre, yes, one of the partners is running that other operation. Mr. Speaker, that call centre was established in December, long before there was any indication of any problems with BPS. It was started up in December, it is doing a different type of call centre business, and it is working very well.

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

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

The minister did not answer the question so I will ask it again: How much money has government provided to this new call centre, whether it be in a forgivable loan like they did with BPS Imaging, or any other sort of subsidy through the EDGE status or whatever? How much money has the provincial government provided up front to this company?

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

MS FOOTE: Mr. Speaker, I answered this for the media yesterday as well when they asked about the other call centre. It is $1 million, Mr. Speaker. It is a forgivable loan. It is less than you will find happening in any other jurisdiction in this country. To attract this type of business, Mr. Speaker, you have to be able to compete. Either we are in the call centre business or we are not. We have decided, as a Province, that we are because of the volume of the jobs that come with such enterprises.

Mr. Speaker, just today in The Evening Telegram there was a gentleman quoted who made reference to the fact that what we have done here is nothing out of the ordinary. This is done in every jurisdiction and if the hon. members opposite will read the material I just tabled, they will see what has happened in every province in terms of forgivable loans and the cost per job. The cost per job in Newfoundland, Mr. Speaker, was $5,000; well below the $15,000, the $12,000, the $7,000, the $30,000 that some other provinces are offering for similar jobs, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. E. BYRNE: The minister refers to a quote. It was not a quote, it was a statement.

Let me say this to the minister: The incentives that we provide to industry to come here are not in question. Protection of the public purse and attracting business are not mutually exclusive sort of concepts, Minister. I would think that they are one and the same. Protection of the public purse is what is at stake here.

So let me ask the minister this: With this new call centre, the $1 million forgivable loan that has been provided, do we have any security - as in equipment purchases - unlike what we had with the previous call centre? Are we a secured creditor on any part of that money that we have provided up front?

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

MS FOOTE: Mr. Speaker, let me repeat what I just said: We have not approached this call centre any differently than they are approached by other provinces of Canada in trying to attract call centre business. This $1 million, in fact, is less than what most provinces put in to try and attract this type of business. Look at the material I just handed out. Most of them are forgivable loans, Mr. Speaker. We are not a secured creditor and that is the case throughout the country. If we are going to be in this business and we have to be competitive, this is the way that business is done. If I have to repeat that, Mr. Speaker, either we are in the business or we are not.

The member opposite will stand and talk about people leaving this Province, leaving in droves: What is the government doing to attract business? They will talk about out-migration. They will talk about the number of social service cases. Well, Mr. Speaker, we are working hard with the private sector to create employment. NewTel was involved in this initiative. The Hudson's Bay Company was involved in this initiative. There were two levels of government involved in this. All of the players who came to the table had every level of confidence because there was no reason to suspect otherwise. These were credible companies.

Mr. Speaker, we have no control over ice storms. We also have no control over what happens between partners of a company, and in this event the partners decided to go their separate ways. It is unfortunate. I certainly regret the closing of the call centre. I do not want to stand here and say that it is something that I take pride in; obviously not.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MS FOOTE: Have I learned something? Yes. I have learned that we need to be there, we need to work with the employees. Mr. Speaker, we audit these companies, all of the levels of government audit these companies and the private sector enterprises have a close eye on these companies.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Leader of the Opposition, a supplementary.

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

Let us be clear; the issue here is accountability of the public purse. One million dollars is a lot of money when it comes from public funds, unaccounted for, non-secured.

I would like to ask the minister this question: When this call centre opened up, it indicated in an article quoted that the company had a five-year deal with the Hudson's Bay Company Portrait Studios with an option for another five years. Could the minister tell us if that contract is still in this Province and, if so, who is doing it?

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

MS FOOTE: Mr. Speaker, that contract is not in this Province and there is no one doing it.

I expect what the hon. member is alluding to is a call that was placed by some of the employees to the number that existed, the 1-800 number, to have it answered by someone who said they were, I guess, responding on behalf of Portrait Studios.

What Newtel did, Mr. Speaker, because of the negative image that would come with seeing the call centre closed - and I have to give credit to Newtel. We are working very closely to ensure that this type of business is not dissuaded from coming here. We have worked very closely with Newtel on this to ensure that there is not a negative image, because you have people out there who made appointments. There are people who called back to confirm their appointments or to change those appointments. Rather than having them call that number and getting no answer, Newtel, at no expense to the Bay, Mr. Speaker, decided to put someone there to answer that call.

There are no new appointments being taken. There is no new business being carried out. It is a service that is being provided to those who have made appointments and who may not be able to follow through with them; free of charge by Newtel.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. E. BYRNE: Mr. Speaker, yesterday the federal government, through its HRD Office, indicated publicly that they were not going to participate in any further call centre without some sort of knowledge of what took place with this one. After all, there was $949,000 involved. The minister referred to the fact that she would wait to see an audit.

Wouldn't it also be prudent for the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology to move in the same direction, to perform her own audit?


MR. E. BYRNE: Why not? You are in charge of the public purse, you are in charge of the million dollars that you spent of the people's money. Why shouldn't you perform your own audit, or jointly participate in the performance of an audit, to ensure that this sort of situation does not happen again?

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

MS FOOTE: Mr. Speaker, HRD is carrying out an audit. They have hired a reputable firm to do the audit. Why would we duplicate their efforts? Why would we expend more funds to do the same thing that is being done by a company with which we agree, Mr. Speaker? We will await the outcome of that audit.

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

MR. SULLIVAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

My questions today are to the Minister of Health and Community Services.

Yesterday, Mr. Speaker, I was pursuing a line of questioning when the minister was saved by the bell. I want to finish that question today, I say to the minister.

The minister spoke yesterday about the importance of prevention in our health care system. Millions of dollars are being spent in our health care system today to provide special services to children of school age, and later on during their adult life, I say to the minister, when early prevention could have resulted in tremendous savings. I am sure the old adage, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, is very appropriately applied to our system.

I ask the minister: When will she realize that five speech pathologists at the Janeway cannot do the job, and when will she provide that ounce of prevention that is badly needed?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Health and Community Services.

MS J.M. AYLWARD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I did not need a bell yesterday and I do not need a bell today, but what I will say is that we have put $10 million of new money into early childhood programs and into early prevention. As the member opposite would know, each of the health care boards identifies, through their budgets, the types of health care professionals that they hire to deliver services.

Mr. Speaker, there are doctors and nurses and o.ts. and physios and speech pathologists and a whole number of other professionals that are required to give the full scope of care that we need to give under our $1.1 billion health care system. We will always have room for improvement in every area, and I'm the first to admit that. I will say that we have made a concerted effort in this Province through our commitment financially and in other ways to early intervention and prevention.

He would also know that this is larger. As I said yesterday, it takes a village to raise a child. This is not only an issue of the health care boards, but also of the schools. If he has done his research he would know that the schools as well play a very key role in providing speech language pathologists, as well as our health system, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. SULLIVAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Children needing help are the ones ringing the bell, but the minister is not answering that bell, I would say to her. The health care corporation gets funding from this government, and you can't pass it off and blame it on those boards, I say to the minister. They are overrun on their budgets now; going to reach $20 million over a three-year period. The funding comes from here, Minister, and from your department.

There are over 100 young kids today waiting to get help in occupational therapy at the Janeway, and some have been on the list for over two years. With only one full-time occupational therapist at the Janeway -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. SULLIVAN: - young children are not getting the necessary treatment -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member is on a supplementary. I ask him to get to his question.

MR. SULLIVAN: Young children are not getting the necessary treatment to correct their problem, I say to the minister.

I ask the minister: Will she commit to providing those extra occupational therapists that are needed to address this critical problem that is facing young children?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Health and Community Services.

MS J.M. AYLWARD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The member started off asking about speech language pathologists and now he is asking about occupational therapists. He would also know, in our budget, as a result of our Health Forum, we allocated specifically a bursary program for allied health professionals, particularly o.ts. and physios, and we are looking at the other needs within that particular area of allied health professionals. We are providing a broad range of services.

I have to say, Mr. Speaker, today I am very pleased to hear the member speak in support of the boards, the very boards I had to stand and defend last week when he was very much discrediting them.

Mr. Speaker, I will work with the boards and I will also work with my colleague in Education to provide a full scope of services as it relates to children, because early intervention involves not only our health system but our schools and our families.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. OTTENHEIMER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

My questions are for either the acting Minister of Finance and Treasury Board, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology or the Minister of Environment and Labour.

We have been pleased to hear of the recent increase in employment at the former Marystown Shipyard, and early indications are most positive, and we sincerely hope this trend and pattern continues.

The Evening Telegram reports today that an assessment by Jacques Whitford Environment Ltd. indicates that there is considerable environmental contamination at the Marystown site, for which the Province is responsible.

My question is: Will the minister confirm that this liability exists? Would the minister please give some anticipated cost associated with the clean up?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Environment and Labour.

MR LANGDON: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Government hired Jacques Whitford Environment Ltd. in September, 1997 to carry out an initial assessment of the environmental review at the Marystown Shipyard. Recently, after getting the first review of that, the government has now decided to go into the second phase to see what problems are there. From what I understand, Mr. Speaker, many of the problems that are found are non-compliant, rather than having to deal with the occupational health and safety or environment.

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

MR. OTTENHEIMER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Will the minister confirm that this is a liability for which the people of this Province will be responsible?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Environment and Labour.

MR. LANGDON: Mr. Speaker, this is no different than any other deal. When the government entered into an agreement with the company at Marystown, that was one of the arrangements: that the government, who was the former owner, would take care of any environmental damage that was there prior to the company taking over now.

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

MR. OTTENHEIMER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

In view of the fact the minister has not admitted the fact that the Province will be accountable and responsible and liable from a legal point of view, I ask the minister: Will he today table in this House, for scrutiny of the people of this Province, the agreement that was entered into between the new owner and the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador?


MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, I have to say that the hon. member ought to listen to the answer that was given by the Minister of Environment and Labour. He pointed out that there has been a primary assessment done which has identified a number of areas for further analysis. These have to do with non-compliance rather than any risk, at this stage, to the environment or to human health.

Mr. Speaker, further analysis will be done. But I will tell you, if you look at any industrial site in this Province, we say - the St. John's shipyard - and I take it this is what the member opposite is suggesting, that before the new owner, Burry, which now has 250 or 300 people on site, takes over the shipyard, we ought to go back 100 years and restore the site to a pristine condition. If that means laying off 275 people first and doing a second operation later, I take it that is the position of the Opposition.

Is the member opposite suggesting that the Marystown shipyard be shut down rather than sold as an operational yard, while we complete first a full environmental assessment? Is that what he is suggesting?

Mr. Speaker, of course, if the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador owns a facility, we have responsibility for any environmental cleanup that is identified. Thus far we do not have a list; we do not have a cost. When we do, we will be happy to make it public.

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

MR. FITZGERALD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question today is to the Premier.

Premier, some 2,000 people received their last TAGS cheque, as you know, on May 9, last Wednesday. Those still on the program at least have an income, but those already dropped from the TAGS program have no income to pay their bills or to support their families.

We are getting indications that there will be something put into place for those now dropped from TAGS. We are hearing different dates about when to expect the new program to be announced. Premier, what can you tell those thousands of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who today do not have an income and find themselves having to go to the department of social services in order to support their families?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, I think the hon. member knows, and indeed members on all sides of the House are aware, of the effort that has been made by an All Party Committee of the Legislature, and indeed the efforts that have been made in particular by the minister who sits to my left, and also the efforts made by the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, in leading a delegation to Ottawa to talk with federal ministers.

Mr. Speaker, the information we have is the information we conveyed last week, that the federal Cabinet Committee is now in the process of developing a follow-up program. I think the regional minister for Newfoundland, the Minister of ACOA and Veterans Affairs, the hon. Mr. Mifflin, has publicly indicated an announcement ought to be forthcoming by the end of this month.

We have said as a government that prior to any announcement or any details being released, we want an opportunity to be consulted. We want the union as well to have an opportunity to be consulted so that we can have some say in the final shape and form of this program. We have expressed repeatedly our view that you cannot simply turn those who have just come off TAGS, about 2,000, and 2,000 more who will come off between now and August, back into the street, that there have to be measures targeted at this group. We frankly want an announcement to be forthcoming as quickly as possible - in the next ten days, twelve days, fourteen days - because clearly people have come off the program and they need to know what they can expect by way of assistance in future.

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

MR. FITZGERALD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Premier, on May 2, you were quoted as saying that you expected to see a new program announced within a week or two weeks. Now we are into the third week, I say to the Premier. Have you, Premier, or your government, been given any idea of what a new program might look like? And have you people been asked to put your response back to the federal government in order for them to bring this particular program forward?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER TOBIN: Yes, Mr. Speaker, we know that the federal government is considering a variety of options, which I can share with the member opposite, and these are very much reflected in the representation that government has made to the national government, and indeed an All Party Committee has made to the national government. They are looking at, we know, an early retirement package for fishermen, at least down to age fifty-five. We have indicated our preparedness, as a government, to participate to the tune of 30 per cent financing of that program, and we have asked that the Government of Canada consider going below fifty-five. We will have to wait and see what the response is. We know they are looking at an early retirement, a licence retirement component, that would see, in effect, a cash buy-out of a number of licences of core fishers in the Province to allow that group to retire from the fishery.

Mr. Speaker, we know that they are looking at a component for economic development, and that is to recognize that it is not enough just to retire people from the fishery; we also need to diversify this economy. We have selected a variety of priority areas in our last $100 million package with the federal government. We would like to have another package to add to that one negotiated, Mr. Speaker, and put in place.

Mr. Speaker, there are a variety of other components that are being looked at. Those are the main components that we think, together with income support - or an option would be to allow people to cash out of their entitlement - that we think ought to be on the table and not to be part of any package.

Now, we are like everybody else. We have had our say, we have made our representation, the matter is now in process, in terms of the decision-making process in Ottawa, and we are urging Ottawa to move quickly and we are awaiting the outcome of those deliberations.

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

MR. FITZGERALD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Premier, I have to ask again, I don't know if you realize the thousands of people who are out there without a pay cheque. Their pay cheque doesn't come every second Wednesday like yours. They don't have a pay cheque any more. What can you tell those people? Where will they get money next week to put bread and butter on the table to support their families?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is seeking now to make some political mileage. The member knows -


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

PREMIER TOBIN: His colleagues opposite are acknowledging that he is seeking to make political mileage by the nature of the comments they are making across the House.

Mr. Speaker, the simple reality is that everybody in this Province is aware that we have up to 18,000 people in Newfoundland and Labrador today who have a dependency on this program, who have had a dependency on this program going back to 1992. We are all aware that there has not been a recovery of groundfish stocks; in particular, cod stocks. We are all aware that overfishing, both domestic and foreign, brought this circumstance about, and we are all aware that the Government of Canada has to take responsibility for this failure, Mr. Speaker. That is why we made the representation we made. That is why, when I had the responsibility, I was able to bring forward a $1.9 billion program to help the fishermen of Newfoundland and Labrador and Atlantic Canada.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

PREMIER TOBIN: And, Mr. Speaker, I have not changed my mind about who is responsible and what should be done. That is why I continue to call on the national government to act without delay. But I don't seek to make political gain at the expense of fishermen and plant workers who are in desperate circumstance today in Newfoundland and Labrador!

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Cartwright - L'Anse au Clair.

MS JONES: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My questions today are for the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs.

In the last Budget, government confirmed its support to continue with the RRRAP program of Newfoundland and Labrador Housing and committed that they would fund, with the federal government, this program to the people of the Province.

I have been informed by a source, Mr. Speaker, that the Province has not come through to date with their portion of the funding for this program. I want to ask the minister if he can confirm that this information is true?

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

MR. A. REID: No, Mr. Speaker, it is not true. It is incorrect. The Province has - in fact, I announced two to three months ago that we would be involved in a RRRAP program this year.

The problem that the hon. member has identified is one that we are working on and we should have an answer to in the next couple of weeks or so. What the provincial government has done is ask the federal government: Would we look at the possibility of revisiting the RRRAP program and maybe find some way of delivering lesser amounts to people to do things like roof repairs and basements and this sort of thing, rather than to have to go out and spend $30,000 to upgrade a property and ultimately pick up a mortgage that would last for twenty-five or thirty years.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: A supplementary, the hon. the Member for Cartwright -L'Anse au Clair.

MS JONES: Mr. Speaker, presently there are about 120 applications from my district at the regional office for RRRAP Programs. These projects are not moving.

I would like to ask the minister: When he can see the changes taking place within the department, the restructuring being completed, and these applications being moved into the system?

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

MR. A. REID: My hon. colleagues told me to say soon, but I will go beyond that. The hon. member has a concern, and I think most of the House have concerns, especially in rural Newfoundland, with regard to RRRAP.

I should be in a position to be able to announce the start-up of the RRRAP program within the next week or so. I am hoping that it will be sooner than that. I do not want to get up, Mr. Speaker, and say something that I cannot live up to. So, I am going to say to you that within the next week or two there should be announcement, and then, hopefully, we will be able to do some of the things that we are proposing to do, with the blessing of the federal government.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Cartwright - L'anse au Clair, a supplementary.

MS JONES: Mr. Speaker, I have been informed that a lot of these applications may not be moving through the system until some time in August. I would say to the minister, in Labrador at that time of the year it will be to late to be able to precede with these projects because the shipping season will be coming to an end and the construction season will be coming to an end.

I would like to ask the minister if he could use due diligence with this restructuring, move these applications along in the Labrador Region and get it off the table, when shipping season opens in June?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. A. REID: Mr. Speaker, the hon. member answered her own question, basically. When the shipping season begins in June, she said. We have always had the RRRAP Program announced in Labrador, prior to the shipping season opening, and I can assure this House that she will know, and we all will know, prior to the shipping season opening, whether or not we will have a RRRAP program for Newfoundland and Labrador.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Cape St. Francis. Time for one quick question.

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

I have a set of questions for the Premier, but because of his long winded answers, I will have to go to a question for the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation.

I only have a minute left, Mr. Speaker.


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. J. BYRNE: Mr. minister, in the Estimates Committee hearings, I asked you a question with respect to the twinning of the Trans-Canada Highway and the area just before you get to Whitbourne. You mentioned that you were bringing it to Cabinet. So, can you tell us when we can expect a decision on that? How much money is planned to be spent this year? I only have a second to ask. What is being considered with respect to an overpass, upgraded intersection, or status quo; and how many jobs are being affected in this area, with respect to the intersection out there?

Did you get all of that?

AN HON. MEMBER: He got it all, Jack.

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

A quick answer, please.

MR. MATTHEWS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Yes, I can inform the hon. member that I got all of that. It was a very good speech you made, but not too much in terms of question


To the specific point: You are right, I do have a position on the completion of the twinning of the highway in the Whitbourne area that I will be putting before Cabinet within the next number of days. After that has been dealt with at that level, I should be able to announce how and to what extent we are going to proceed to finish the Trans-Canada Highway project from Triangular Pond, where it now stops, on to the Argentia access road.

MR. SPEAKER: Question Period is ended.


Presenting Reports by

Standing and Special Committees


MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Labrador West.

MR. CANNING: Mr. Speaker, the Committee have considered the matters to them referred and have approved, without amendment, the Estimates of Expenditure for the Departments of Fisheries and Aquaculture; Forest Resources and Agrifoods; Mines and Energy; Tourism, Culture and Recreation; Industry, Trade and Technology; and Development and Rural Renewal.

Mr. Speaker, I would also like to express my appreciation to the members for Baie Verte, Humber Valley, Bellevue, Grand Falls - Buchans, Bonavista South, and St. John's South, for their work during the Estimates Committee hearings this year.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.


Notices of Motion


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

MR. DICKS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I give notice that I will, on tomorrow, ask leave to introduce a Bill entitled, "An Act to Amend The Elections Act, 1991."

Thank you.



MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Signal Hill - Quidi Vidi.

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I rise today to present a petition on behalf of a number of residents of the Heart's Content and Winterton area of the Province, Mr. Speaker, on the issue of the School Lunch Program.

Mr. Speaker, these petitioners recognize that poverty and its affects are serious problems for many in this Province and that things are getting worse, with more than 30 per cent of Newfoundland and Labrador families living below the poverty line. Mr. Speaker, child poverty and child hunger are recognized as a sad reality which hurts children today and their chances for the future in education and in life.

Mr. Speaker, the petitioners say that school reform in the Province will result in significant savings in educational costs, making funds available to improve the quality of education and the quality of students' lives, and ask for the House of Assembly to direct government to establish a universal comprehensive school lunch program for every child in Newfoundland and Labrador to help end child hunger and to give our children a better chance.

Mr. Speaker, these petitioners are among thousands who have signed petitions in support of a universal school lunch program, because they recognize that the volunteer sector, first of all, is not the appropriate sector to be expected to provide a basic human right to the people of this Province, in particular the children of this Province. Secondly, they recognize it is not a practical solution for such an important problem.

The reality is that the communities and people who need this program the most are the least able to provide this program on a volunteer basis. There are quite a few people who are working on this problem. Many of them are involved with the School Children's Food Foundation. Despite the fact they have been given certain resources by government, and in some cases from the private sector, they have a gargantuan task ahead of them, and are only in a position to provide seed money where there is already a group able to provide the service in local areas.

To date, Mr. Speaker, what we have seen is that about 10 per cent of our Province's approximately 400 schools have either a school lunch or breakfast program. It is, obviously, totally inadequate. Most people in our Province, in fact far too many people in our Province, are very complacent about the issue of child hunger. There is a sense of denial of the existence of the problem in many cases, and it is just not recognized as the sad reality that schoolchildren are facing in our Province.

Mr. Speaker, this petition, and many others like it, is part of an effort to convince this government, to convince this House of Assembly, that there must be a universal comprehensive program so that every schoolchild in this Province can have at least one nutritious meal every day.

We have gone through, for some people, an agonizing process of school reform of our denominational system. Many millions of dollars have been made available as a result of this to improve our schools. However, what we see happening, unfortunately, in many cases is our school system going backwards in time and not forwards. There are many areas which I could mention in this context, Mr. Speaker, but I and the petitioners here today are concerned about the issue of child hunger.

There is an opportunity from the cash savings in our education system to implement this program at this time, and it is something that is badly needed. It is something that is of major concern to me, Mr. Speaker, and my party as well. We are fully, 100 per cent, behind these petitioners, and want to urge all hon. members to support it, and to encourage their own constituents to support this petition. Hopefully government will change its mind and develop a school lunch program that is comprehensive, universal, and that is done on the basis of a justice model and not a charity model, for our children.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Placentia & St. Mary's.

MR. SPARROW: Mr. Speaker, I would like to present a petition to the hon. House of Assembly of the Province of Newfoundland. The petition is signed by 330 residents of my district. They are asking for the gravel road connecting Placentia and North Harbour to be upgraded and paved.

I would like to present this petition to the House.


Orders of the Day

Private Members' Day


MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Labrador West.

MR. CANNING: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased today to rise and present the motion that I presented yesterday.

I just want to read the motion before we begin debating it, because this is a significant motion. It is an important resolution about a very important issue.

Mr. Speaker, the resolution reads:

WHEREAS the development of Youth Internship Programs provincially have allowed high school students direct linkages to the workplace providing important practicable skills; and

WHEREAS these programs have enhanced educational partnerships with employers, schools and the provincial Apprenticeship Board to benefit our youth. They have demonstrated useful linkages from school to work improving the future employability of our students; and

WHEREAS industrial opportunities, especially in our resource sector will create many new employment opportunities for young Newfoundlanders and Labradorians;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that this honourable House support initiatives by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador to ensure that Human Resources Development Canada continues with strong, meaningful, financial support for these very worthwhile programs.

Mr. Speaker, this has particular impact on Labrador West. Menihek High School was among the first, if not the first, high schools in the whole of the Province to participate in Youth Apprenticeship Programs, Youth Internship Programs.

Mr. Speaker, this allows our youth to have real connections with the workplace. It ensures that we develop educational programs that allow for the in-classroom training to occur, but it also allows an opportunity for the young student to go out into the workplace and see what its like at whatever job they choose to take a look. This allows for approximately 120 hours in the workplace participating in real life experiences, on-the-job work experiences.

Mr. Speaker, most recently this program was put together and funded with seed funding from Human Resources Development Canada. In most recent times, Mr. Speaker, the Department of Human Resources Development Canada, has suggested that they will curtail their funding. This will have a tremendous impact on these programs and these programs are important. With all the new resource opportunities opening up, with all the new industrial opportunities opening up, we need these Youth Internship and Youth Apprenticeship Programs to allow our students an opportunity to access those jobs, to make them more employable for those particular jobs when they come of age and when those jobs come around.

Mr. Speaker, usually Human Resources Development Canada and the EI fund are reactive. They react to many things. They react to down swings in the economy. They provide for the downturns, they provide a cushion and that is important. But, Mr. Speaker, it is equally important that they provide on the upside of the economy, to ensure that our youth today will not need Employment Insurance because they will be trained to take advantage of the new, exciting job opportunities that are coming in our resource sector.

Mr. Speaker, this is very, very important. Either we, today, generate the kind of educational opportunities for our youth and Youth Internship Programs, including Youth Apprenticeship Programs, so they can get those jobs or, Mr. Speaker, other people will be called upon to fill them. That would be such a crime because the youth of our Province deserve a hand up.

Human Resources Development Canada, in my area, was funding with significant funds this particular program at Menihek High. This year they have reduced it. We have managed to get $30,000 from them for the next year, beginning in September, but it is hardly enough to ensure that this program is kept up-to-date and allows as many students as possible to take advantage of the particular program.

Mr. Speaker, this resolution today is asking Human Resources Development Canada and the Government of Canada, to invest in our youth, to invest in this Youth Internship Program, so that, as I said, our students will be allowed the opportunity to go to the workplace.

As important as the academic side of school is, it is also important to share real life practical experiences on the job. That is the essence of the apprenticeship program.

Mr. Speaker, I was very pleased to have participated in the Apprenticeship Board when this particular program was first devised. The apprenticeship program, incidentally, is a program where you `earn as you learn'. Mr. Speaker, somebody coming out of high school could go to college, find a particular technical skill that they enjoy, get a job, and for the next four or five years complete their apprenticeship and earn as they learn.

Mr. Speaker, this really allows for the first time a full understanding by students in high school settings of the apprenticeship program. It is very beneficial. I would request that all members support this particular resolution. It is important that we make sure that each and every possible educational advantage is given to our youth to ensure that they are the ones who benefit from these new jobs coming around the corner.

Mr. Speaker, I look forward to the debate and I look forward to the support of all members on this very important resolution.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. OTTENHEIMER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I would like to just take a few minutes to speak to the resolution as put forward by the Member for Labrador West. The resolution is, I guess, to put it simply, most straightforward in the sense that it obviously looks out to the interests of students and the interests of our young people. We are talking in particular about the Youth Internship Program and the relationship that this program has, in an overall educational sense, to the benefit of our high school students in the Province.

Some while ago I had the benefit of having a co-op student work with me for a full academic semester, and it was certainly an experience that had mutual benefit, I would say, Mr. Speaker. There is certainly benefit to the student who has an opportunity to work on a day-to-day basis in the workplace. Of course, there are a variety of professions and a variety of business experiences of which one may take advantage.

In this particular case this student worked in a legal environment, in a law office. The benefit, of course, is that the student gains the experience on a day-to-day basis, the real life experience of seeing on a first-hand basis what it is to work in the regular work and employment routine. Also, the employer gains invaluable benefits, Mr. Speaker, because that employer has the opportunity to learn from the skills of this young person and to share with this young person the benefits that may be forthcoming. Of course this goes toward the overall academic performance of this person in Level II or Level III.

Clearly, Mr. Speaker, the program is of benefit to both employer and employee. It is clear that obviously members on this side of the House have no difficulty in joining with this resolution because we simply are asking our federal government to simply ensure that this program is there for our young people, that it is not discontinued in any way, that the federal government and provincial government together work in concert with one another to protect the interests of our young people.

Clearly it is a resolution, I say to the member, with which we obviously have no difficulty. It is most straightforward, it is clearly in the benefit of the students and young people of our Province, and I simply stand to share and concur with the points that were made by the hon. member.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Health and Community Services.

MS J.M. AYLWARD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I want to stand today to speak in support of this resolution.

I had a very interesting experience this morning. I was lucky enough to attend the stellar school program at Booth Memorial High School in the District of St. John's Centre whereby they not only launched their stellar school with a linkage to Ireland but they also spoke very clearly about the impact and the benefit of the Future Pathways Program, which is a program funded by the federal government under the Youth Internship Program.

It was very interesting to be able to see it firsthand, and meet and speak with students who had actually participated in this program. When the students were asked to stand and be noticed, there was a full classroom of young men and women who had participated and are currently participating in the Future Pathways Program.

Through a video production which was made at the school, they were very clear in their appreciation for the Youth Internship Program under the Future Pathways Program, showing students doing all sorts of job and work experiences in our community ranging from working at the airport, at a local mechanics shop, doing all sorts of professional work as well, including working at the laboratory at Memorial University, and doing all sorts and ranges of work opportunities.

It became very clear and very valuable to those of us who had the opportunity to watch and listen that not only Booth but also Bishop's, which is another high school in my district, have led the way and have just attained a national recognition award for its contribution to the community as it relates to the education of our young men and women.

It was very clear that this program is both a very valuable one and one where we must all work together, all parties, taking the politics out of this particular issue, and lobby the federal government for the continuation and reinstatement of the Youth Internship Program.

It was also interesting today to see the various talents from the number of students who were able to attend, and also the linkages with the private sector. This whole initiative is not just something that is done in-house. It provides the valuable work experiences that children and youth would not otherwise receive through this seed money that had been put forward by the federal government.

I think it is important that we all stand firm in our commitment to support such programs for our youth. We can see the benefits, and in the interviews that were given by these students they made it very clear that they would never ever have received this opportunity and this experience in the classroom.

So, Mr. Speaker, I join with my colleagues on both sides of the House today and urge that we vote in favour of this resolution and move in a very constructive way to lobby the federal government to reinstate the Youth Internship Program.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Signal Hill - Quidi Vidi.

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I rise to join with the Member for Labrador West in his private member's resolution in support of the Youth Internship Programs.

Mr. Speaker, these are quite a valuable object lesson for young people to get an opportunity to see on a firsthand basis the kind of variety of job experiences that are available to them. How could you be opposed to that kind of exposure that our students can get through a program such as this?

A lot of students have a fairly narrow idea of what the world of work is like, and many students do not have the personal and family resources to be able to explore these kinds of opportunities to find out what is available to them, what a particular line of work is like, what people in certain employment categories do, and have a very, very limited notion of what is available to them. So this kind of program is quite helpful.

We like to see the kind of partnerships that have been developing between employers and students in these types of operations, and I hope that more employers, and hopefully some of our larger employers who have the resources - I see the Member for Labrador West nodding. I do not know if IOC is involved in this program, but it is a fascinating operation. I had the pleasure several months ago of not only visiting - well, on two occasions in Labrador in the last few months I visited the mine site in Labrador on one occasion, and on another occasion went through the entire pellet plant.

It is quite an astounding experience and site for anyone in this Province to see that scale of industrial activity in this Province, the very size and scale of the buildings themselves, the machinery and equipment, and the many varieties of skills and jobs that are available here in this Province in the kind of heavy industry that operates in Labrador West in this instance. A terrific need for millwrights and skilled tradespeople of all types to operate this very sophisticated mine, mill and pelletizing operation which we hope will be expanded by the addition of a new pellet plant. It is a terrific opportunity, I say to the Minister of Mines and Energy, for young people to get exposed to the great variety of jobs that are available in this Province.

I would have to add, while I am on my feet, that the great concern I have about our young people is that they have a sense that there are no jobs here for them once they graduate. They have a very negative outlook on their own futures here in this Province. While our unemployment rate is high, there are a lot of people working as well. While we emphasize as much as we can the great need for jobs in this Province, we do have to let our students know that there are in fact job opportunities here, that they don't have to all set sail for Western Canada or other parts of the world to get employment. There are jobs here, there are opportunities here, there is a great variety of job experiences and job opportunities that they can tap into.

While saying that, of course, it is the responsibility of government to participate actively in job creation so that not only will they have an experience of what a job might be like, but they could actually have a real job. We have gone away in this country from the concept of regional equality and regional economic development on a national level. We have to revisit that. We have to go back to the drawing board on the issue of social justice for our regions of this country. Because if we keep going on the path we are going, there is never going to be equality of opportunity for young people in Newfoundland and Labrador, there will never be the equality of employment for our young people, there will never be social justice for our residents. We will continue to be sending people down the road, unfortunately, in many cases, as many of our brighter young people who are going off to seek their fortunes and building the economies of other provinces, and supporting services in other provinces.

While having opportunities elsewhere is a wonderful thing, we also want to make sure that young people have opportunities in this Province. I think government has to do a heck of a lot more to justify their role and the mandate they sought from the people of this Province.

In saying that, I support the resolution. The Youth Internship Program is one we support, it is something that is needed. It is probably not something that costs an terrific amount of money, but the result from the effort that is put in is very useful and valuable to our young people.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. SMITH: I am pleased to rise in support of the resolution put forward by colleague for Labrador West. As a long-time educator, any programs that come along that assist our young people in furthering their education, in helping them in identifying career goals, is certainly something I am all for.

For anybody who stays close to the education scene and has an opportunity to visit the high schools throughout the Province, or to talk with any of the young people today, there is still - and perhaps more so today than ever among the young people - a real concern as to where the career opportunities are, what sorts of things they should be getting into. I think many of us who are parents, and have children of our own who have come to us and asked for advice as to what sorts of decisions they should be making with regards to career, can relate to the problems that young people face today.

Where do you go? What sorts of training do you avail of beyond high school that will assure you of an opportunity of being able to make a living? More importantly, what sorts of career decisions can you make that hopefully will allow you to make a living here in our own Province of Newfoundland and Labrador?

One of the things that we certainly, I think, have to try to do is to try to encourage more of our young people to find reasons to remain here in this Province, and to use their talents and gifts to advance not only their own cause but also that of their fellow citizens of this Province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

This Youth Internship Program I think is of particular value to the rural areas of the Province. I know in my own district it has been used fairly widely and very effectively, with the idea being to provide young men and women an opportunity to actually spend part of their school day in the workplace, to get firsthand experience in certain jobs and certain fields, and in this way to determine if in fact their own particular talents or aptitudes would dictate that maybe this is the type of direction in which they should be moving beyond high school graduation.

I think all of us from time to time have said, and certainly we hear repeated just about by everyone in the Province, that our youth are our greatest resource. There is no question about that. The youth are the future. The real concern in rural Newfoundland is that a lot of that future is not only leaving rural Newfoundland, but indeed is leaving this Province. Certainly in my own area of the Province I have had the opportunity to witness, over the last twenty years, an out-migration of the young people, indeed, my own children, who, beyond high school, have seen a necessity to move on, and in most instances to move outside of the Province to pursue their futures elsewhere on the mainland.

In my own area of the Province, on the Port au Port Peninsula, we have for the past number of years been engaged in some very innovative programs geared towards, first of all, keeping our young people in school and also assisting them to make responsible career decisions, and trying to help them identify where future career opportunities might be. This is why this particular program, when it did come along, as with all programs, both federal and provincial, had been embraced by the educators and people generally of that area and used to great benefit for all of the young people in that particular part of the Province.

This particular program is a wonderful example of the sorts of things that can be accomplished when the federal government partners with the provincial government in an area which is basically of provincial responsibility. It indicates that there is the opportunity, and there is room and reason, for the federal government to be involved in education, using the resources that are available to the federal government to assist us in providing programs that we as a Province would have great difficulty in making available to our young men and women.

Mr. Speaker, I fully endorse and support this resolution put forward by my colleague, and certainly call upon all members of the House to support this and to send strongly to the federal government our concern that this is a program that should be continued, that is doing a good job here in this part of the Province.

I suspect, as with a lot of federal programs, when the evaluation takes place on the national level, the program may not have been seen to have been fully effective, but certainly in this Province, from everything I have seen, it has been a tremendous success. I think we should all encourage the federal government to reconsider and to continue to make funding available so this program will continue and will continue to support and assist the young men and women of this Province in being able to identify and pursue career choices that will see that each and every one of them will have a very bright future.

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Labrador West.

MR. CANNING: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I really appreciate all the support from my colleagues around the House with respect to this particular motion. It is an important resolution, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, by trade I am an industrial electrician. I know the value of the apprentice program.

I really appreciate, incidently, in Labrador West, the community coming together to support this program. You have the school and the school board, the unions, the United Steel Workers of America, the mining companies, coming together to allow youth an opportunity to participate in a youth internship or apprenticeship program.

This is a very valuable educational opportunity for the youth of Labrador West and indeed throughout the Province. I heard the Minister of Health reflecting upon some of the young people and their jobs that they are moving into here in St. John's through this particular program.

Mr. Speaker, I think it is important to send a strong message to the Government of Canada that we have to stop always being reactive to issues and become more pro-active, in a way that we can support people entering the workplace. We need to make that linkage between the schoolroom and the workplace.

This is very, very, important, it is worthwhile of funding, and I call upon the House of Commons, the Government of Canada, through HRDC, through this resolution, to support wholly these programs in our Province so our youth can participate in the multitude of industrial job opportunities that will flow from the variety of big projects that are coming around, from Labrador West to Voisey's Bay to the offshore oil, Mr. Speaker.

It is very important that we ensure that this particular program continue with the level of success that it has, with the level of support, and more if needed, through the Government of Canada and HRDC.

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

All in favour of the motion, `aye'.


MR. SPEAKER: All those opposed?

On motion, resolution carried.

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

MR. DECKER: Before you call for adjournment, the Government House Leader has advised that tomorrow afternoon we will be going back to Order 2. We will be continuing on with the Consolidated Services Fund, the Legislature and the Executive Council, and we are hoping to do all of that tomorrow afternoon if we could, Mr. Speaker.

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