The House met at 1:30 p.m.

MR. SPEAKER (Snow): Order, please!

Statements by Members

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Baie Verte.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SHELLEY: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I am very proud and pleased today to stand and congratulate a young student in my district, by the name of Angie Bursey. Angie is a seventeen-year-old from MSB Academy in Middle Arm. Just recently, Angie was awarded a very special and prestigious scholarship award. It is an award that actually comes from the United States, and it is called the John Motley Moorhead Scholarship. What is so significant about this scholarship is, first of all, it is from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill in North Carolina, and Angie was awarded approximately an $104,000 scholarship, U.S. dollars, to attend Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

What is more significant about this particular scholarship is, it started with 3,600 Canadians, Grade 12 students, applying for this. Angie started the process with an interview here in St. John's, which reduced the number to seventy-two. Then she went on to Toronto, where it was reduced to twelve students. Finally, for Canada, three out of the 3,600 were chosen and Angie was successful in being one of the three Canadians chosen for this particular scholarship.

I want to congratulate her, and especially her guidance counsellor who put her on to the scholarship some time ago. Now Angie, at the age of seventeen, will be heading to North Carolina next year to continue her studies and do a full degree in pediatric surgery.

We want to congratulate Angie and certainly her parents, Rowena and Charlie Bursey of Middle Arm, who are very proud of her today, and also her students, and especially again her guidance counsellor, Tammy Richards, who made sure that when she saw a special talent in this girl, she applied for this scholarship. She has done us very proud, and I congratulate her.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. MERCER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

On May 4 and 5, Sir Wilfred Grenfell College in Corner Brook will be hosting a symposium on the history of the forest industries in Western Newfoundland, a symposium which is happily titled, Woodland Echoes. Participants to this symposium will find themselves in a number of engaging activities with both an historical perspective and a local flavor. Activities will include panel discussions, theme dinners, lectures and interactive lectures by presenters with a flare for bringing history to life. As well, there will be a comprehensive tour of Corner Brook Pulp and Paper, which last year celebrated its 75th Anniversary at Corner Brook.

I would like to commend the committee comprising of the staff and the faculty of Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, representatives of Corner Brook Pulp and Paper, and members of the Newfoundland Historical Society who are involved in this event.

Thank you.

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

MR. MANNING: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I, too, would like to stand today and make a few comments on a student in my district, Eugene Manning, who attends Fatima Academy in St. Bride's. Eugene has just received word that he has received a $50,000 Canada Trust Scholarship.

Eugene was among 300 young Canadians who applied for the scholarship. They were screened down to seventy. He was flown to Halifax for an interview, where there were twenty finalists from across the country. Eugene is the only Newfoundlander to receive this scholarship. He will travel to Ottawa the first week of May to a dinner that will be held in honor of the twenty students who received the scholarship. The scholarship is to attend any university in Canada. Eugene has decided to attend Memorial University in September, in engineering.

Eugene just arrived back from the Future World Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C., where he took part with hundreds of outstanding students from around the globe, and presented to a variety of countries and international organizations. They had a tour of the White House, the National Defense University, the Organization of American States, and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

I would like to take the opportunity today to congratulate Eugene on this great achievement.

Thank you.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

Statements by Ministers

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

PREMIER GRIMES: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I have no written statement, Mr. Speaker, but just to briefly ask that you and all members of the House today join us in wishing Happy Birthday to the Member for Burin-Placentia West. The number will remain a secret.

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.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. E. BYRNE: The Deputy Premier has said that my caucus believes this is my last day. Let there be no doubt that it is my last day as leader of the party. They can believe it or not. I am going to tell them and you, it is my last day in the House!

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

The strike is entering what I see as a new stage. The polarization that has occurred in the last twenty-four to thirty-six hours, on both sides, particularly by the use of inflammatory language, as I see it, by the leader of the government, has added to that polarization.

The people in the Province are asking questions, and they are asking this question: Where the issues, where the government and the unions themselves are so close, how is it that we are that close that we cannot find a reasonable settlement that is in the best interest of everybody?

I would like to ask the Premier today if he could, in the House - not in front of the cameras, which he has been doing lately, saying one thing here and going out and saying something else out there - if he could, in a forthright way and manner, stand up and update us on what government's latest offer is to the public service unions?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the President of Treasury Board.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

Again, I want to say that this is a very serious issue. I would have to say that, in an event like this, things often get personal. I know there have been personal things certainly said most recently about me specifically, in terms of my agenda and whatnot. Mr. Speaker, I can put that in perspective because I understand that these are very difficult, frustrating times for everyone, and everyone is interested in finding a resolution.

I will say that our most recent update on our offer is: 5 per cent in the first year, 4 per cent in the second year, and 4 per cent in the third year. We have given a commitment at this point in time which we will maintain, that we will not speak publicly; the same commitment that Mr. Hanlon gave, and Mr. Puddister, in the same meeting, that we would not speak publicly about that specific issue. We both acknowledged verbally and gave our word that we would not speak to this issue publicly.

I think it is important to note, by not speaking to it publicly, I think it is clear to say that we have responded to each and every offer and have provided offers ourselves in many instances to counter the ones that were offered, to do two things: to provide a respectful offer to our public sector employees; and also to provide a respectful offer that we can sustain on behalf of the 520,000 taxpayers in the Province whom we are also responsible to.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

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

My question is for the Premier. Yesterday in the House, he said: We have offered several different remedies which we will not discuss in public. Yet, he can go ahead on open line programs and make public offers but he cannot update the public in this House. He went on to say: but we will gladly discuss again with Mr. Hanlon and CUPE representatives.

The head of NAPE today issued a statement: Today, I want to make it abundantly clear that I release Roger Grimes from a commitment not to discuss the contents of our meeting.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

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

MR. E. BYRNE: - that I release Roger Grimes from a commitment not to discuss the contents of our meeting.

I ask the Premier this question: Based on your commentary yesterday, could you stand in the House and update the people on the remedies, using your language and your words, that you proposed to NAPE and CUPE to solve this strike in the benefit and for the people of the Province?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

PREMIER GRIMES: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The issue is clearly this: we want to be very respectful of the negotiating process. The real issue here is whether or not the discussions that we have had with the leadership of NAPE have been passed on to the rest of the executive of NAPE and the membership of NAPE. If I were to disclose, even despite Mr. Hanlon's offer for me to do so, if I were to stand here today and say exactly what we said in that meeting - in a private negotiating meeting - the first person I would suggest to condemn me, followed by the second person from Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi, would be the Leader of the Opposition. The Leader of the Opposition who would suggest: Why don't you leave it to the union to take those offers back to its membership? Then you would be accusing us of trying to go past the leadership and directly to the members.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

PREMIER GRIMES: Mr. Speaker, we have been down this road many times before. We have had the questions asked in this Legislature where the member opposite stood up and said: What are you trying to do now, pit the leadership against the membership? We will not fall into that trap. The only question is: When will Mr. Hanlon, himself, honestly tell his members exactly what we discussed in that meeting? Because we will respect the process.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I ask the hon. Premier now to conclude his answer.

PREMIER GRIMES: They are his members. I call upon him to tell the members what we discussed in the meeting, not me.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. E. BYRNE: Mr. Speaker, the Premier talks about the word respect, and he is right. This whole process, what happens with this strike and what has happened or failed to happen in this House, is about respect and the Premier's lack of it.

I will ask you this question: Did you have respect for the Members of this House when asked questions directly in this House where you would not answer, but yet went outside and inflamed the strike by talking about back to work legislation? Did you have respect for the people of the Province and for your negotiating teams when you personally inflamed the situation? That is the question I put to the Premier today!

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the President of Treasury Board.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MS J.M. AYLWARD: Mr. Speaker, it is very interesting because we are all in this House to do a job, and that is to serve the people of this Province to the best of our ability in a way that is reasonable and respectful. While we want to be very respectful, and I believe we are very respectful of our public sector employees, by offering the single largest increase they have had in any number of years. We are also trying to be, and I know -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MS J.M. AYLWARD: No, Mr. Speaker. I know it is not an issue about being fiscally responsible but I have to remind the members opposite, what is the only question they have asked specifically about the Budget? Our deficit and our debt.

Mr. Speaker, we have to be responsible to the people of the Province. We have to be responsible and we are being respectful, but we have to do only what we are able to do!

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. E. BYRNE: Mr. Speaker, this government would not know anything about fiscal responsibility if it came up and whacked them up the side of the head!

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. E. BYRNE: The courts of this Province - I am not going to stand here and be lectured by anyone on that side when the courts of this Province have judged you and your cronies to be -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. E. BYRNE: - to be the criminal actions that you have taken place that caused the public Treasury of this Province in excess on $65 million! Let me ask this question.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I ask the hon. member to get to his question. He is on a supplementary.

MR. E. BYRNE: Mr. Speaker, the people of the Province are asking the following questions and I am asking them on their behalf today. Why is it that negotiations were left to the last minute before we could get a resolution? Why was it left one week - before this government put a final offer on? Why is it? The people are asking. Why is it -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I ask the hon. member to get to his question.

MR. E. BYRNE: Why is it that we are so close, and instead of using the type of language and getting down, rolling up your sleeves, this Premier goes out and uses the intimidation tactics, the bullying tactics that will not end this strike? The public are asking that question, Premier. Do you care to answer that?

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I ask the hon. member to take his seat.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the President of Treasury Board.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MS J.M. AYLWARD: Mr. Speaker, it is amazing that after these number of days in the House that we have gone back to the very same question that was asked here. This is very important because every single individual in this Province, NAPE member, CUPE member or otherwise, were well aware of government's original offer; and we have made that clear. Everybody understands it. If that is the best that this member opposite can do to try to get an agreement is ask why we did not do something three weeks ago, shows that collective agreements and negotiations happened in the eleventh hour. We put an offer moving from a 9 per cent offer to a 13 per cent offer, in terms of our ability to pay and in terms of being respectful of our employees and of the people of this Province.

Also, Mr. Speaker, while they are shouting and heckling about increasing the deficit, we will not go there because we have too much responsibility to our own employees and to the rest of the people of this Province.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. E. BYRNE: Mr. Speaker, what is at stake here - this is the question, the fundamental question that people are asking - what is at stake here is this government's ability to negotiate on any issue.

I would like to ask the Premier this question: Does he believe that walking outside this Legislature, going before the cameras and talking about back-to-work legislation is going to end the strike? Does he believe that telling the people of Marystown, in his ability to negotiate, that civil disobedience is the answer to getting back the shipyard? Premier, will you stand up and answer to what people are telling me, that the confidence in you and your government is gone? How is it that you cannot negotiate fairly, equitably and reasonably on behalf of the people of the Province?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

PREMIER GRIMES: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I would suggest that the hon. puppet forgot to put in the last part of the question from the puppet master, which is, on the eve of the convention, with the rest of the little lead-in he was also supposed to say: and call an election. You forgot that part. You are forgetting your lines. You are beginning to forget your lines. Maybe it is time to let the other fellow take over the party.

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the two issues raised. In Newfoundland and Labrador, I have always believed that the people respect anyone who will talk directly and openly about the issues. In front of the TV cameras and the media yesterday, Mr. Speaker, I indicated that the government was not contemplating back-to-work legislation. That is what I told the people of the Province, Mr. Speaker. That is exactly what I told the people of the Province, Mr. Speaker, that we are not contemplating it. However, I also said, just like, not those members opposite but those that support the same party, did, at certain points in history when the public interest became jeopardized and compromised to the point that the government had to act, that group, when they were the government, Mr. Speaker, brought in back-to-work legislation if it was necessary. We are not contemplating it, and it is a matter of not using it as an intimidation tactic.

Everybody who is out on the line picketing -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I ask the hon. Premier now to conclude his answer.

PREMIER GRIMES: Yes. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Everyone of them understands that at some point, if the health and safety of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians is jeopardized - because we have to understand and believe that these 19,000 workers are very valuable, and that it is more difficult to provide services without them than it is with them; that at some point we might need them back and we might have to legislate but we are not contemplating it today!

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. E. BYRNE: It is not who writes my questions that people are laughing and wondering about today, it is who is advising and scripting your answers, Premier. That is what is at stake today!

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. E. BYRNE: Let me ask you this question. Yesterday, publically, he talked about the Marystown Shipyard deal and it goes to this government's ability to negotiate on any issue. He talked about: that's history. No wonder it is history, Mr. Speaker. Isn't it true that had you and your government put one tiny line into a contract saying that if that company had gone bankrupt, that the assets would revert back to the Crown? If that line was there, would you be musing publically about civil disobedience or would government have protected the people's interests of Newfoundland and Labrador?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER GRIMES: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

PREMIER GRIMES: I am glad the hon. member, the Leader of the Opposition, raised the issue because the future of the Marystown Shipyard is very important for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador, not only for the Burin Peninsula and the Marystown area but for everybody in the Province.

The Opposition, maybe, is conveniently now forgetting that an attempt to put that kind of a line into an agreement several years ago led to no agreement at a point in time when nobody wanted the yard. In fact, the deal that was reached, the agreement that was reached - and one of the biggest groups in making it successful in knowing every line that was or was not in it, because it was the best possible deal that could have been gotten at the time, were the unions that were involved. They gave great concessions and put a lot of work into jointly working at this agreement so that we could save the yard at that time. To suggest now that somebody could have put a different line in - if the line could have gone in and there would have been a sale, it would have gone in. There was no sale to be had. We cannot go back and redo history. That is the past. We are focusing with our administration on looking at the future and trying to secure work for Marystown on a day-to-day basis.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. E. BYRNE: Mr. Speaker, would anybody in this Province, after listening to that answer, buy a used car from that Premier? Unbelievable! He just stood up and admitted that in negotiating the sale of Marystown Shipyard he forgot to protect the public's interests, and in the process, the people of Newfoundland and Labrador! That is what he forgot!

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

PREMIER GRIMES: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: On a point of order, the hon. the Premier.

PREMIER GRIMES: Mr. Speaker, I do apologize for raising a point of order in Question Period. I recognize it is not normal but, Mr. Speaker, the comment that was just made by the Leader of the Opposition in no way reflects anything that I just said or have ever said with respect to this issue. I do not know who he is listening to today, but it is certainly not me.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

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

MR. E. BYRNE: If I really want to know what he is going to say on any particular issue I am going to have to follow him outside the House and stand by the cameras and listen to him because what he says out there and what he says in here are two different things!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

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

MR. E. BYRNE: He likes to talk about history. The only thing that is going to be history is him after the next general election!

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. E. BYRNE: Let me ask him this question: What is it? What is it that you are going to do in the next several days to resolve an impasse that is so minute to restore public confidence, to restore public services for the people of the Province? Tell us what your remedy is, Premier, to put public services and people back to work on the streets of Newfoundland and Labrador.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER GRIMES: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

PREMIER GRIMES: Mr. Speaker, I think the representation just made by the Leader of the Opposition shows exactly how indifferent he is about the possibility of getting a solution. He knows, because he does have some union background, that if I were to do what he just said, if I were to stand up here now, as the Premier of the Province, and say out loud and dictate to the unions, to the 19,000 public servants, what the remedy is and what I insist the answer should be before they come back to work, I would be condemned not only by him, but by 19,000 people, and the rest of the people of the Province, because I should be.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. E. BYRNE: Mr. Speaker, I asked the Premier what measures was he going to take and what was he going to do to resolve this strike. I didn't ask him about dictating. Stand up and (inaudible).

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Premier.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

PREMIER GRIMES: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I will gladly answer the question, because now -

MR. E. BYRNE: Answer the question in here, not out there.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. E. BYRNE: Answer it here, for the record of the House!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER GRIMES: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, maybe the Leader of the Opposition is either getting a little excited or maybe getting a little bit disappointed about what is going to happen the weekend, when he gives up at least one part of his job, because he is beginning now to get so excited in this particular exchange that he is forgetting even the question he asked.

Mr. Speaker, the question he asked - because words are important - was not, what are you going to do about it, he said: Would the Premier stand up and tell the people of the Province what the remedy is? That is the question he asked. He didn't say, what are you going to do about it. He said: Stand up and tell the people of the Province what the remedy is. The remedy, Mr. Speaker, is going to be worked out and negotiated because we are in a legal strike position and we respect the right of the unions to speak on behalf of their members. It is going to be negotiated with the representatives of the unions, and it is not for me to dictate what the remedy is, or to stand in the House and say what the remedy is. We are going to try everything possible to negotiate an agreed to settlement.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. E. BYRNE: A final supplementary.

Two questions for the Premier: When are you going to realize that it is not a dollar store you are running, but the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador; and, the second question: When is it, Premier, that you are going to realize that in the last two months you have misspoke, misread, misunderstood and mismanaged the public confidence in how you are running the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Member for Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi.

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

My question is for the Premier. I want to say to him first, I took him at his word yesterday, and I went to talk to the President of NAPE about the positions taken by the Premier, and he has released the Premier to talk back. The position of NAPE and CUPE is that their original position of 8-8-8 was very reasonable based on the loss of income over the last dozen years through inflation, but that they compromised, Mr. Speaker, first at 19 per cent and then at 5-5-5.

Will the Premier acknowledge that the only position taken by his government, aside from the 5-4-4 was the one that he made on the radio Tuesday morning, that was repeated at the meeting with the President of NAPE? Will he acknowledge that?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the President of Treasury Board.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

Again, while Mr. Hanlon may have released us, we have given our word that we will try to find a negotiated agreement to this outstanding strike, because it is a very serious one. We have - and I will say it publicly - responded to each offer and we have also made a number of counteroffers to NAPE and CUPE to try to address their issues. But, Mr. Speaker, the offer we have on the table is not about being mean-spirited or not wanting to do it, it is about being able to afford to do it.

I really question the commentary and questioning from the Member for Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi, who would suggest that an 8-8-8 is reasonable, just knowing our budgetary situation and what we have just come through. It is shocking, Mr. Speaker, shocking!


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

A final supplementary, the hon. the Member for Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi.

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Premier has taken the position, along with the Minister of Finance, that the position of the Province financially is they cannot handle this matter. Can the Premier tell us what the fiscal advantage there is in terms of our borrowing commitments and the interest rates we get? What is the advantage of having resolved the long outstanding unfunded liability in the public sector pensions? What will that do to increase and improve the fiscal ability of this Province? Has the Premier taken that into account in discussing with the public sector unions how they can resolve this problem?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the President of Treasury Board.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MS J.M. AYLWARD: Mr. Speaker, if the member opposite is suggesting that the markets are not aware of our unfunded liability for our pension plan, that is certainly not accurate. In fact, they have factored it in. They factored it into our credit rating. But, Mr. Speaker, we have said very clearly, the basis and rationale from our moving from 9 per cent to 13 per cent was based on the fact of a number of outstanding issues that we all know: (a) we know that our equalization will be less next year; (b) the cap on equalization is gone now which will negatively affect our ability to raise revenue from the federal government. The Canadian economy is something that is very iffy right now. The US economy is under watch. Mr. Speaker, we are trying to be responsible and know because this is important -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MS J.M. AYLWARD: This is very important because we want to be able to provide the money that we have committed in a sustained way. We do not want to go back to the 1990s.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I ask the hon. the minister now to conclude her answer quickly.

MS J.M. AYLWARD: We want to make sure we have it; and members opposite know the state of our books. They know it.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Member for Bonavista South.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. FITZGERALD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

My question is to the Premier, since he appears to be the weakest link over there. I ask the Premier -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Member for Bonavista South.

MR. FITZGERALD: Mr. Speaker, the Premier acknowledged yesterday that Friede Goldman may be forced into filing for bankruptcy protection within days. I ask the Premier: What affect will the financial situation of Friede Goldman have on their plans to build two offshore tugs at Marystown for the merchant fleet?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Minister of Industry, Trade and Rural Development.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. J. BYRNE: (Inaudible).

MR. TULK: Jack, are you still on miss a lunch?

Let me say to my friend from Bonavista North that this is indeed a somewhat -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. TULK: I am sorry, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the minister.

MR. TULK: Skip a lunch was it? He is skipping every lunch.

Mr. Speaker, this is a somewhat serious matter for the people of Marystown. Obviously, the people down there are frustrated as they see no work in the shipyard, as they see their skills and their people leave the area and have to go to other places to find work and indeed, some of them cannot find work within their own area.

We have been working with the people in Marystown and the union down there trying to see what can be done. I would, frankly, hope - as I am sure the hon. member would - that whatever projects we are trying to get underway in Marystown, that whatever the situation is with Friede Goldman today will not affect, in the sense of a downturn, but indeed would see that whatever happens in Marystown is for the good of the people in that area.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. FITZGERALD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I say to the minister, not only is Friede Goldman near bankruptcy, but it used the assets at Marystown and Cow Head as collateral for a loan, not to finance work at Marystown but to pay for work it is doing in the United States. There is a very high risk now that Friede Goldman creditors will seize and dismantle all of the assets at Marystown and Cow Head and obliterate the economic base of much of the Burin Peninsula.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

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

MR. FITZGERALD: I ask the minister: How could his government have been so stupid to allow millions of dollars of taxpayers' money and hundreds of jobs to be put in jeopardy in the rural areas of this Province?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. TULK: Mr. Speaker, the hon. gentleman is very good at playing alarmist. I say to him, yes, Friede Goldman is -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TULK: He is at it again.

Friede Goldman is having some difficulty at this time, yes - we admit that - but I would say to him not to try to raise the bar to the height where he helps the situation deteriorate from what it is now. I would ask him not to do that.


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Minister of Industry, Trade and Rural Development.

MR. TULK: Let me also say to him that, besides being very good at being an alarmist, he has great 20/20 hindsight. He knows, and everybody in this Province knows -


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I ask the hon. minister now to conclude his answer quickly.

MR. TULK: He knows that everybody in this Province, including the union at the time, I think the mayor at the time, the government at the time, said this was the best deal that was possible under the circumstances that Marystown found themselves in at the time.

Mr. Speaker, we will work with the people of Marystown to try and ensure that the shipyard becomes the success it once was.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

Question Period has ended.

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

MR. SPEAKER: On a point of order, the hon. the Government House Leader.

MR. LUSH: Mr. Speaker, again I apologize if I am incorrect, but during Question Period today the hon. the Leader of the Opposition, in trying to discredit some of the statements made by the Premier, used the line, I believe, pointing his finger at the Premier, pushing his finger through the air, and saying -


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Government House Leader.

MR. LUSH: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I say to hon. members opposite, in ruling on an unparliamentary manner, the gesture of the body is as important as what is spoken.


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. LUSH: Mr. Speaker, I thought I heard the Leader of the Opposition say, after trying to discredit the remarks - I am concerned about decorum. I do not know about the hon. gentlemen opposite. I am concerned about following the rules. That is the only way Parliament works. We are all obligated to follow the rules.


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I ask the hon. members to let the Government House Leader present his point of order.

MR. LUSH: In trying to discredit the comments made the Premier, the Leader of the Opposition looked at the Premier and said: Would anybody -


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. LUSH: Jabbing the air with his finger, asked - and this is the important point -


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I ask the hon. the Government House Leader now to get to his point of order.

MR. LUSH: He asked: Would anyone buy a used car (inaudible).


MR. LUSH: The hon. gentlemen can laugh, they can try to be derisive, but I would suggest -


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The Chair will call for order one more time. If we don't have order and decorum here, the Chair will recess the House.

The hon. the Government House Leader.

MR. LUSH: Mr. Speaker, I would suggest to hon. members, that is an attempt by the Leader of the Opposition to do through the back door what he cannot do through the front door. Everybody is aware of the connotations of that particular expression, and they are not very honourable connotations. They suggest dishonesty, a cheat -


MR. LUSH: - a liar. Those are the connotations of that particular expression, Mr. Speaker, and I would not want to see that used as a regular expression in this House, on either side of the House, by any member. I ask Your Honour to rule, to look at that in the context that I would suggest that it is unparliamentary in every sense of the word.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

To the point of order, the hon. the Leader of the Opposition.

MR. E. BYRNE: Mr. Speaker, if I wanted to call the Premier any of the terms that the Government House Leader stated, I would do it through the front door, not through the back door, I say to the Government House Leader!

Mr. Speaker, I will ask you to rule, too -

AN HON. MEMBER: Would you?

MR. E. BYRNE: Yes, I would. I will say to you, Mr. Speaker, since when is jabbing the air with your finger unparliamentary? I will say to the Premier, I used the correct finger when I spoke to the Premier, the correct one!

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. E. BYRNE: It was pointing to him, because my questions were directed at him, nobody else.

I submit to you that the point of order that the Government House Leader has put before you for your decision, for your decision to rule on and reflect upon, is nothing more than a parliamentary prank to draw attention away from the real issues that were debated and discussed in this House today.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The Chair will take the point raised under advisement.


Presenting Reports by Standing and Special Committees

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

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

I would like to table the Newfoundland Liquor Corporation Annual Report for the year 2000.

Notices of Motion

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Government Services and Lands.

MR. NOEL: Mr. Speaker, I give notice that I will on tomorrow ask leave to introduce a bill entitled, "An Act To Amend The Pre-Paid Funeral Services Act." (Bill 5)


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

MR. H. HODDER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I rise today to present the second part, I guess, of a petition that has been circulated in the Province for some weeks now. The prayer of the petition is as follows:

To the hon. House of Assembly of Newfoundland and Labrador in legislative session convened, the petition of the undersigned residents of Newfoundland, Canada;

WHEREAS the Provincial Library Board permits the viewing of pornographic, violent, degrading behaviors by way to the Internet to patrons nineteen years of age or over in areas where children are exposed to unsuitable material; and

WHEREAS we do not wish our tax dollars to be spent in this manner, we call upon the House to request government to introduce legislation to protect our children from exposure to this material.

Mr. Speaker, some weeks ago, on March 15, I presented this petition because it had been signed at that time by about 500 residents of this Province. Today, I have about 2,000 residents who have signed this petition. I have discussed it with the Minister of Justice. This petition is signed by residents from all parts of the Province, from Central Newfoundland, from St. John's, from Labrador, to the South Coast, to the West Coast.

The prayer of this petition is not that these people want to say anything that is negative about the Library Board. They are very supportive of libraries; however, the people who signed this petition did not want it to interfere with the good work of the Library Board and the good work that they are doing in many communities. They also want to point out that the viewing of material that is inappropriate in libraries, because they are hooked up to the Internet, and the possibility that young children may be exposed to these pornographic and violent behaviors, is totally repugnant to these residents of our Province.

What the petitioners want the House to do is to look at the way in which our Library Boards are operated. They want to say to the House that they want to support the libraries. They want their children to go to the libraries. They want them to go there for all the right reasons. They feel that their children should feel comfortable, should feel welcome, should feel save, and should feel that they are in a morally and conducive environment. They feel the present situation where children can see pornographic material in a library to be totally unacceptable to these people.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.

MR. H. HODDER: They feel that the government should try to do something to address the situation.

Mr. Speaker, this petition I present is signed by over 2,000 residents of our Province.

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

Orders of the Day

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

MR. LUSH: Motion 3, Mr. Speaker.

Motion, the hon. the Minister of Mines and Energy to introduce a bill, "An Act Respecting Petroleum Products," carried. (Bill 4)

On motion, Bill 4 read a first time, ordered read a second time on tomorrow.

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

MR. LUSH: Motion 1, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Motion 1, the Budget Speech.

I believe the hon. the Opposition House Leader adjourned the debate.

The hon. the Opposition House Leader.

MR. SULLIVAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I rise today to continue some of my comments on the Budget. It is a document that I have said does not really lay out in a direct manner the true financial picture of our Province over all. Well, it does jumble around a few figures; it does carry $196.8 million from last year's revenues and put them into this year's revenues. You do a little bit of jostling. Most of that is in the sinking fund, but there is a good chunk of it in Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro also, that is carried forth.

I started off the last day - I spent most of my time on Tuesday talking about basically economic growth, the deficit, the debt, and some of the things here in our Province. I might add that, you know, in striking a budget it is important to strike a balance between your deficit - your total debt, of course, is a factor. It is an accumulation of deficits, what a total debt is, and to strike a balance between providing services to our Province to be able to fund our basic social programs on a fair level - education and health, social services or human resources, we call it, an employment area now - and to be able to balance our borrowing on the market, what the cost is of borrowing, and to try to meet our debt, and we are in the vicinity of between $500 million and $600 million now. It is a fair chunk of money to service a debt, and that is one of the realities we have to face.

The last day I talked about some of the aspects, and just touched briefly on what is happening at the federal level in terms, and I made reference to it. I think the Finance Minister agrees on this one. You were quoted in the media as agreeing that the solution to solving some of our problems here is a combination of two things. We must have policies that are going to grow the economy of our Province in proportion to growth in GDP. Now GDP growth does not always equate to a corresponding proportionate growth within the economy and jobs and provincial source of revenue. We have to have an ability to grow the economy so that we can generate an increase in our own sources of revenues. Granted, we have made increases as the economy grows. We have increased in our intake on personal income tax; and, of course, this year we will see the benefits of a reduction there, because our economy has responded to a certain level and there is going to be a break back in the pockets of taxpayers under that particular level of personal income tax. We do also see the economy growing. There is a little area to be concerned, to a degree, because we are seeing significant increases over the past period of time in our consumption taxes, and particularly we are seeing a tremendous amount of money - this year we are going to take in $100 million in revenue from liquor in the Province. We are going to take in seventy-some million dollars in tobacco tax. In lottery taxes we are taking in the vicinity of $100 million.

I have said it before, that this Province put into solving and putting money towards gambling addictions, that is becoming a very serious problem. We are allocating something like $160,000, I believe, into dealing with problems associated with gambling addiction, and we take $100 million in revenues. I am sure most people in this House here are familiar with some people who have gone through very difficult times with gambling addictions. I called for, last year, an increase at setting a limit, setting an amount that we should be putting aside from gambling revenues to assist people who are in need, to be able to deal with a promotion, to be able to do counseling. The figure I used, I said up to 5 per cent. I did not say right today, because 5 per cent, you would be close to $ 5 million. We just cannot dump money at the problem. It has to grow and assist people in the process. If we started with just 2 per cent, that is $2 million compared to $160,000 we throw in today.

The beverage industry - I think it is called the soft drink bottling association - I forget what the name is. It will probably come to me in a few minutes, anyway. I am familiar with them, and I have talked to them on more than one occasion over the past number of years, but they contribute an equal amount to this government.

When you only put three-hundred and some thousand dollars between the industry and government to deal with people dealing with those addictions, I think we have to do something about it. I have spoken to people who have called my office on many occasions. They have called the help line. They said, call this other number. They could not get the assistance. They were told, at the time, you have to be suicidal to be able to get intervention. In desperation, they call: Can something be done? I want to deal with my problem. I cannot get the help to deal with it.

When we are prepared to collect $100 million in revenues, when we go out and look for $100 million - I will get the exact figure we are projecting here this year; $99 million, that is pretty close to $100 million - $99 million in revenue, we should be prepared to put a certain amount of that aside to deal with the problems.

Can you imagine, $99 million in lottery revenues and $160,000 to deal with addictions from gambling? It is not enough. We should increase it. There should be a starting point of about 2 per cent. I have said, over a period of time - because you just can't throw it all in the one time the same as we looked at cancer research and Terry Fox. You don't take tens of millions and throw it in a pot and get a cure for cancer. You have to build a structure, the infrastructure, a base, and research. You can only move at certain speeds in certain areas. When there are people out there who cannot get access and have to wait months to access proper help there is something wrong. There is something wrong to take it on one hand and not do something on the social end. I am not saying we should not have it. I am not prepared to say we should not have gambling at all, or we should have it. I guess that is an issue that would need much debate. I am saying that if we are going to reap the benefits we also must be able to allocate a certain amount of money towards the problems associated with it.

With reference to the federal government, that is what I wanted to touch on first. Just to give you an indication. What is happening to us in this Province in terms of transfers? I said at the beginning, there are two areas to solve our problems that I think we need to get this economy turned around in this Province. Anyone who watched a program this week on CBC - the minister used the same two things in independent interviews. The minister attributed the same basic things that I felt are the answers. So, at least we are on the same wavelength, that we have to get a growth in our economy, we have to get policies that are going to work in our Province, and we also have to get the federal government to realize that we are part of a federation, we are a part of federalism, and we must depend on the federal government.

I am going to give you a comparison to other provinces, what they are getting under Canada Health and Social Transfer between 2001 and in five years' time. Let's look at our Province. Our Province - not counting this special amount that was just put in. We are scheduled to get from $299 million - and there is an extra amount just thrown into a special fund now, and that is for all provinces. I will just stay away from that one. From $299 million to $364 million over the next five years. That is a 21.7 per cent increase that this Province will get in Canada Health and Social Transfer. While our Province is getting a 21.7 per cent increase under Canada Health and Social Transfer in the next five years, Prince Edward Island is getting a 32 per cent increase; 28.8 per cent for Nova Scotia; New Brunswick, 28.5 per cent; Quebec, 24.4 per cent; Ontario, 42.8 per cent increase; Manitoba, 30.8 per cent; Saskatchewan, 48.6 per cent; Alberta, 48 per cent increase; and British Columbia, 35.5 per cent. We are getting the smallest percentage increase of any province in Canada over the next five years under the formula for Canada Health and Social Transfer.

Can you imagine, Alberta is getting a 48 per cent increase in payments to help them with health, post-secondary education, and in the social services area. Alberta is going to go from $1,290,000,000 to $1,909,000,000. We are looking at $619 million more going to Alberta to assist them with their social programs, and this Province here is going to see $65 million in that same period of time.

Look at Ontario, 42.8 per cent. They are going from $5.2 billion to $7.5 billion; $2.3 billion more going into Ontario in the next five years to help them meet their commitments to health care, education, social assistance, and our Province is getting a pittance.

Even the minister said, in the Budget Speech, that our Province will get $93 million less this year than we got seven years ago. Can you imagine, take $93 million less just in that component, which is the smallest component of federal transfers when you look at equalization. We are getting $93 million less than we got seven years ago.

What would $93 million do today our there to solve this public service strike? What would $93 million a year do? In fact, from the peak of $443 million, when you look at add-ons - it was $427 million. When you can point the two programs -

MR. H. HODDER: Loyola, don't point your finger on the other side.

MR. SULLIVAN: I will point it on this side.

Four hundred and twenty-seven million. It went down to an all-time low of about $272 million. In one fiscal year alone we got $155 million less than we got back in the early 1990s, out of this economy; $155 million a year! Everybody would be able to get a good hefty increase. We would be able to do programs and services that we are not providing. We have been asleep at the switch. We have allowed federalism to fail because we didn't stand up for it.

We had a premier who was here -

AN HON. MEMBER: Don't be pointing at me, Loyola.

MR. SULLIVAN: You cannot see that in Hansard. No they cannot.

We have a Premier who looked after paving the way for an ambition at the cost of this Province. That is not the proper way to go. When you look at the total accumulation - can you imagine, from 2001-2006 there is going to be $5.5 billion more money going into Canada Health and Social Transfers; $5.5 billion at the end. That is what will be higher on the scale; what we will be seeing. Out of that $5.5 billion we are getting $65 million. Do you know what Ontario is getting out of that $5.5 billion extra, where it is going to peak at? Ontario is going to be getting $2.2 billion extra. Between $2.2 billion and $2.3 billion extra they are going to be getting in 5 years' time under Canada Health and Social Transfers than they are getting today.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: That is a good point of humor there. I will not put it into the record at this time, until we get on that topic a little later. I might get to that topic. I like to keep my concerns focused.

AN HON. MEMBER: Loyola, tell them you don't agree (inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: No, I do not agree with it at all, I say to the Member for Baie Verte. I do not agree for a minute with it, but I do agree on one thing - and I am sure the Member for Baie Verte agrees, and we all agree - that we are only going to be getting a 21.7 per cent increase in CHST over the next 5 years and Alberta is getting 48 per cent.

The ministers over there will agree that Ontario is going to be getting between $2.2 billion and $2.3 billion more in 5 years' time at the end, in one year alone, than they are getting now under Canada Health and Social Transfer. We are getting a measly $65 million. Who needs it worse? Does Ontario need $2.3 billion worse than we need for health care? We have a ten-tier system in this country. No wonder the federal government is feeling so guilty. They picked an NDPer from Saskatchewan, a former Premier - who, by the way, is respected across this country- who came from a Liberal coalition in Saskatchewan. We will not hold that against him too much. They feel there must be something wrong with medicare, something wrong with the services that we are getting in this country; and there probably is.

What is an insured service? What should be an insured service? What should not be an insured service? Ten or fifteen years ago what might have been an insured service, today may not be considered to be an insured service, or there are things that probably should be. So it is time to revisit and look at what qualifies to meet these basic requirements. I hope that Roy Romanow and his committee will do an effective job in dealing with this. While I am on that topic too, the Minister of Health has indicated they are going to form a committee to look at - in terms of health care.

The people in the public are very skeptical of government committees. We had a committee of the House of Assembly before, one on children's interests, which was looked at as a nonpartisan, non-political committee that went out and reported to the House on an issue. It had a perception that something was being done, that crossed party lines and did not draw on party allegiance. When government commissions a committee, they go out, and it comes back to the department and stays on a shelf. We tried to get information on that for two and three years. The perception is out there: Look, it is only another report, appointed by the minister, to go out and do this. A report to the minister, and it does not have the impression that it has an impartiality to it.

Committees to the House are perceived to have an impartiality because we represent different political parties; we come back and we report. It has at least a certain amount - an aloofness from the partisan sector out there in the House of Assembly, because we all have an opportunity to participate in the process. We have done and gone through - I have sat on committees of the House. Committees, I observed, have done very effective jobs in determining what the problems are and filing reports here in the House. It does not matter what that committee finds in health care or what they do, there is always going to be an element of people out there who will believe that: Look it is just another ministerial thing. It is another means to delay things, another means to slow down, buy us a bit of time, get us through the next election, get us through another couple of years, things might change by then. That is the impression a lot of people have out in the public, and it should not be. We are elected with specific parties. That is certainly one aspect. We may be elected to represent different political parties, but we all represent the people of the Province. I think everybody who represents a district in here believes and wants to serve the best interests of people in that district. These people in the districts are humans. People in my district are no better or no worse than individuals in another district represented by a different party. They believe, and a lot of people believe - Pardon?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: How much longer? I only had an hour-and-a-half the last day. I am just into the Budget today. I will take the day. I will speak for the day. I have a lot of items to get through. I want to talk about all the areas of this Budget.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Your last day? Well, I do not mind at all, in due course, allowing leave and getting back to me if anybody wanted - I am acceptable to having that done with leave of the House.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: You are doing a good effort. I am very cooperative, as he knows. We serve as opposite house leaders. He knows I am cooperative. I deal with things. I am upfront and to the point. I will do anything, within reason, to accommodate him. But, I do not want you to miss the wisdom of two or three hours of important matters here that I might want to relate to the House.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: That was a good effort. If I thought you were going away and you were not going to be back at the end of April I probably would sit down.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Yes, I would give you that for now. I think you deserve to get a rousing sendoff. You have been around a long while. You made a good contribution. I will not deny that. That is like the fox and the crow, is it? The crow did not go for it this time anyway. I will get back to it. If you do later on -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).


AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Yes, indeed you would. Before I get down out of here I want to ask the Speaker for leave of the House to get back again. I know a little bit about the rules of the game. I might not be any great expert, but I have a general knowledge of them. I will give him an A for effort. I cannot give him an A. I will give him a B for effort, I should say, in this case. I will not give him an unqualified A there, in that case.

MR. J. BYRNE: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: I say to the Member for Cape St. Francis, he tried that but I did not bite. It was a good ploy there. I would have gotten it on the record, I said to him, that I wanted leave.

Does the minister know that -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: That was a good idea. That was of benefit to you.

Did you know that Ontario is going to get between $2.2 billion and $2.3 billion more at the end of 2006 than they are getting now under Canada Health and Social Transfers? A 43 per cent increase, and we are getting only a 21.7 per cent increase. Alberta is getting 48 per cent; oil rich Alberta. Shameful!

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Yes, it is.

Alberta might not have any debt. Does that have to do with the party that is running it out there or just the individuals who are heading up the party? They used to do a clawback. I believe back in 1905 Alberta joined our great nation. When did they change in Alberta; 1925, 1935 or something?

MR. TULK: (Inaudible) conservative.

MR. SULLIVAN: That is the conservative element in Alberta out there, I think.

MR. TULK: No, in the Liberal Party in Ottawa (inaudible) Paul Martin.

MR. SULLIVAN: Oh yes, well, he is in there.

MR. TULK: We are going to have a Liberal (inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Are we? Well, I hope he is more generous to Newfoundland than he was when he was here. I hope he is more generous than he was in the five years he was here. When he was in Ottawa before, we lost the Canada Health and Social Transfer, the per capita basis.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: No, but on this per capita - Roy Romanow is heading up this committee. We have to start looking at the equal opportunities among Canadians to have reasonable access to medical services standardized. What qualifies in one province, what qualifies in one service as insurable and what is in another province that is insurable - I think, if we are going to espouse to a common system in this country, we have to have certain minimum standards we are going to accept and certain things to comply with. It is not consistent.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Maybe we might. I am prepared to pass my views on to anybody who might be willing to listen to them and take what is good out of it and benefit. We have a ten-tiered system in the country now.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: On behalf of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: How should we fund it out of the CHST? I ask the finance critic, how CHST should address more equitably medicare in this country. That is what nature, I think, we should look at; not just what is in and what is out, the funding.

I did not look at the terms of reference, other than to just hear it here in the news. I would certainly be interested in seeing - I guess that will filter down to us, the terms of reference of Roy Romanow's committee, and what the mandate is there. We need to -

MR. E. BYRNE: He speculated yesterday that he hopes and he believes that the recommendations he will obtain will be implemented carte blanche by the government. That is what Roy Romanow said yesterday.

MR. SULLIVAN: What he indicated is that he hopes his recommendations will be implemented carte blanche by the government.

I just finished speaking here a few minutes ago on committees that are appointed. I think the Department of Health is going to have one that is going to look at health care and the overall structure. With committees that come from departments, people have a tendency to think they file reports and throw them on a shelf, and they do not get any particular attention. I have a list of reports up in my office. I am almost running out of space up there. I am going to have to look for a bigger office; I have so many reports on health care and everything else up there that are lying on shelves somewhere. I do not know if they are on the bottom shelf. They have not been found. They have not been implemented. Recent reports, numerous ones, more recent - they have done more reports on long-term care. They did one about twenty years ago out in Clarenville on long-term care. It is still out there today, looking at the long-term care facility. The wheels of bureaucracy turn so slowly that there is a whole new set of circumstances arise by the time they get their turn, to any particular degree. That is one of the biggest problems with reports.

Now, it is not acceptable that we are going to be seeing our Province - looking under how CHST is carved up. We have to look, first of all, when you are funding health care and education, you have to look at cost of delivery, infrastructure. I mean we do not have dozens of universities in our Province. Some of the smaller provinces have more universities. We are sort of centralized on one university and, of course, other campuses, and a major portion of it on the West Coast in Corner Brook and other smaller ones in different parts of the Province. Lots of other universities around Atlantic Canada are competing.

In terms of the number of structures, we are not certainly overextended in terms of education delivery. We have been addressing the health care facilities in terms of trying to get some centralization and consolidation in that, but we have to look at the cost of delivery. The geography of the Province should be factored into the Canada Health and Social Transfer amount. We should look at certain minimum levels based on our population, and it should be reviewed in periods of every whatever, every five years, so it reflects census changes.

I think we should look at - there was a census in 1991, 1996, and 2001.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: There is a census again this year, yes, every five years.

We should be looking at populations built in; plus, we should be looking at another factor that looks at the geography - the cost of delivery per capita. If the cost of delivery of service per capita in Newfoundland is at 100 per cent, if we are the highest, let's say at 100 per cent we are the most expensive, if another one is the easiest, it could be at 60 per cent of that, wherever it falls into that range, or whatever scale you want to use, whether it is numerically or percentage wise, we should structure a certain basic part of that Canada Health and Social Transfer to reflect the cost to deliver at a per capita level. Then, once we get to that level, once we get beyond the basic minimum amounts of delivery on the geographical levels, once we eliminate geography into the equation, then you could fund it on a per capita basis and it would have some significance.

We have not done that in the Canada Health and Social Transfer. We have thrown it in on a per capita basis. That is why we are only getting a 21.7 per cent increase, the lowest increase of any province in the country over the next five years. When you accumulate what we were going to do from back in 1994-1995 until 2006, over that period we will have lost almost $1 billion in this little item alone to our Province.

Can anybody imagine what $1 billion would do to our Province now, in the coffers of our Province. One billion dollars would have done tremendously. It would have taken one-seventh of the total public sector debt off the books. One-seventh of that would be close to $100 million - $70 million or $80 million extra in interest we wouldn't have to pay. What would that do every year, $70 million or $80 million, to meet ongoing needs? It would be very significant.

We have to look at a structure. The Canada Health and Social Transfer, there are other numerous variations, suggestions, and things that should be looked at, and some of the things in our Province. I am not sure what we have done other than a little meeting with the ministers every now and then, when we say we have to take on those feds now and get this changed. What is done at a concrete presentation level, I haven't things. I guess we are not privy to that anyway. I am sure something is taking place and going on. I imagine that. If not, I would be very surprised if the minister hasn't spearheaded detailed presentations of our case to show where we stand. Canada Health and Social Transfer is only one aspect.

How many people think that we are better off today? If you think we are better off today in terms of Canadian population, after three years of economic growth, than we are going to be in five years time under the current trends, you are going to be sadly mistaken because we are going to see significant increases to other provinces and much more modest increases to our Province. It is just not going to happen.

As everybody is aware, we had the Canada Health and Social Transfer changed about six years ago. It eliminated two previous programs and rolled it into one program where it is funded on that basis. At least one thing about the previous program, while there were improvements that could have been made on it, it did look at a need basis. It did fund 50 per cent more on a need basis.

We have great needs out there in health, post-secondary education, and people who are on social assistance, because of a downturn in the economy, a depressed economy. There are people in rural Newfoundland today who cannot get a job, they don't have the sufficient education levels to move out of the Province. With the motorium shut down, it has devastated rural Newfoundland. They don't have sufficient education to be able to go out and get a reasonable paying job elsewhere. They are too old to get hired in a lot of the oil industries in Alberta. When you are in your fifties, you are betwixt and between. You are at a point where you are at an age - and you don't have an education to sell out and move. You are at the point where you may own your own home, and it is cheaper to stay at home even if you have to resort to social assistance.

There are some of the realities that are happening out there today in our Province. We have to look at addressing this.

We talked about programs to address people who have lost their jobs in the fishery. We had an opportunity for people in their fifties to be able to retire with a little bit of dignity and this government, with one of the former premiers, said: No, if you are not fifty-five, you don't retire.

People could have thirty years. Most people in the industry, at fifty years of age at the time, and fifty-four years of age, people who were in their fifties went fishing when they were fifteen, sixteen and seventeen. Some of them had up to thirty-five years in the industry when the moratorium occurred; up to thirty-five years in the industry and they could not retire. They missed retirement. What does a fifty-four-year-old do with a Grade 6, Grade 7, or a Grade 8 education, or even with a high school education at fifty-four and you haven't been in school for thirty-five years? What do you do? Where do you go for a job? I tell you, there are not many places to go for a job. There are very few. I have seen it, I have experienced it. I went through dealing with people in my district and other members in other districts. I know members on the government side who were in the House at that period of time and, since that, they have been seeing the effects of that devastation on our Province.

Our economy of the Province has not prospered from the fishery. Our total sales, in dollar value, has increased. Our employment levels have decreased considerably in the fishing industry. When employment levels decrease considerably, it means your income to these people decreases, our taxation decreases If you could have somebody who worked at fifty weeks a year, or a year-round job, contributing to our personal income tax, they would have more to invest back into sales, more money filtered back into our economy, whether it is in some of the other consumption taxes, whether it was liquor tax, tobacco, lottery tax, whatever the case may be, whatever tax it was, fuel taxes and so on. The more they make, the more they travel, the more gasoline, the more revenues in the government. It all goes through the economy. It all circulates through the economy.

When you look at the Province, if we spent, like the minister talked about earlier, we can put $50 million in the public service. Well, that is $50 million, of course, yes, into salary increases. When you look at the $50 million, we are getting back our 10.6-some per cent - ten point - on personal income tax. That is the lower level of taxation. We are getting back all of that, I might add. We are getting back a significant portion just in direct income tax, and we are getting back other amounts through other taxes. When the real amount of money that we are getting in the economy as a result of that - I think 10.66 per cent is the lowest tax bracket, or 10.56 per cent, in that range - we are getting back 10 per cent. Technically we are getting back 10 per cent of that in taxes. Ten per cent of $50 million, so that is down to $45 million. We are getting some back on all other taxes, so really the net cost to the government, you are looking on a $50 million expenditure, it is only about thirty-some million dollars.

We had that opportunity under a federal program at the time, in 1992, when the federal program NCARP was announced, the federal government were willing at the time to entertain anybody who was fifty in the fishery to be able to retire; and the net cost to this Province, when you look at tax and that, was down to about a fifteen-cent dollar, because it was a 70-30 program in the beginning. When you looked at what the Province would cost, that is what it came down to, and this Province said: No, we cannot do it for fishery workers; we will have to do it for all workers in the Province.

There is a certain amount of that - when you get attrition or a small sector of an industry, it is one thing. When you have a industry that is affected by 40,000 people out in an industry, that is a different story. That is a very large contributor to our provincial economy.

Basically, we have to look at improving our provincial revenues, expanding our economy here in the Province. How do you get more taxation without driving taxes up in per cent? How do you get more taxation without increasing the burden to individuals? Well, there is a way to do it.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: No, there is a way to do it without driving up taxes. You have policies that create jobs and expand the economy and have more people contributing, and therefore the costs are less.

We see in rural Newfoundland today, the reverse is happening. The people are gone out of communities in rural Newfoundland. One community in my district has 50 per cent of the people we had there ten years ago; 50 per cent of the people trying to pay taxes to keep a community infrastructure going. Other ones have 20 per cent reductions. Up on the Northern Peninsula, for example, up in those areas, it is one of the most devastated areas up along the coast in those areas because of a downturn in the fishery. We have seen it in other pockets around the Province. From Trepassey, for example, to other areas, there has been devastation - the South Coast, you name it. There is hardly an area of the Province untouched. We have seen areas along the South Coast that do not have access to other types of industries to be able to keep their economies going from the Burgeos, the Rameas, the Gaultois', the Harbour Bretons, and all around those areas there. They are very heavily dependent areas on the fishery over the years and their alternatives to keep these economies moving are not as great, and we have to look at an increase, an increase in encouraging investment in these areas.

I just read in the paper today - I was much aware of it all along - that the federal government, HRDC were going to be turning back money that they did not use here this year. They turned back money to Ottawa in the Budget, money they did spend in the year, to go out and assist different enterprises, businesses and other areas in various proposals. I think a lot of that came from the scare there last year, as Preston Manning called it, the $1 billion boondoggle. I guess there was so much fear went through departments, so much scrutiny, so much analysis and auditing, they never even got to spend the money that was allocated to them this year, in this Province. I am sure if projects cannot be identified to use, it is no sense in just throwing it to the wind. I do not agree with that philosophy. There has to be a certain benefit that someone is going to get because of that. That is the certain factor.

We have not had significant economic growth. We have had growth in this Province. Its percent and its effect on the Province has become somewhat skewed or distorted because the population of the greater St. John's area - St. John's, Mt. Pearl, the East End, CBS and those areas, all the outlying areas around the Province - growth has not been too bad. Unemployment levels have been reasonably low in these areas but they are not reflective of the rest of the Province. As more people move in here and the populations come in, the overall average does not reflect the extremities that you are getting in many of the rural communities around the Province. We do not really get to see those extremities.

One of the areas I said we had to change and look at addressing was the Canada Health and Social Transfer. I talked a little bit about that but there is another area too I think we need to look at: equalization. There are thirty-three basic categories of equalization and each one is looked at in terms of our ability to raise our revenues of taxation compared to other provinces, on our resources. It is categorized in each of these areas. You may have -

MR. FITZGERALD: Beaton, you are not very comfortable here are you?

MR. SULLIVAN: In some of these areas you may have a clawback of 80 per cent. In the mining sector; 70 per cent in offshore oil. That is an area we have to move in pretty quickly and aggressively. We should be continuously hammering on that subject; continuously hammering on what should be done to get a better cut of the equalization. We have suffered immensely because of clawbacks. We are not allowing our economy to retain the money we are getting in royalties in the offshore. Right now it is not so significant. Do you think when we only got $40 million last year in offshore oil royalties - they clawed back twenty-eight. What about when we are getting $500 million, $600 million and $700 million, and they are taking back $500 million on us? It is going to be tough now to say to other provinces: look-

MR. FITZGERALD: That was a bad point of order.

MR. SULLIVAN: What he meant, it was a point of order. Pardon the pun.

MR. FITZGERALD: (Inaudible) friendly fire and a house fire.

MR. SULLIVAN: There is a difference in what?

AN HON. MEMBER: Friendly fire and a house fire.

MR. SULLIVAN: Yes. I liked the Member for Bonavista South's remark a little earlier there when he talked about getting practice for his senatorial position. I thought that was a good one.

Anyway, I was talking about equalization. Under equalization, we need to be getting a fair share. Canada Health and Social Transfer, to my knowledge, is not guaranteed. It is not constitutionally guaranteed, but equalization is. I did not like the comment that was made by -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Yes, Paul Martin or the Prime Minister made a comment. I will get to that in a second.

During the last election, federally, they made the announcement that they were going to eliminate the cap. They put a cap on equalization and decided to lift it during the last election. They lifted the cap, for one year only, 2000-2001. So we got an extra $38 million. The cap is back on. This year we get no - the cap is there. It does not matter what the equalization should be to close the gap of the rest of the country. They never pay out more than, roughly, $10 billion. Discrepancy could be so huge that we need $15 billion to come in but you do not get it, or $11 billion, whatever the case maybe. The cap is on.

I heard either the Prime Minister or the Finance Minister saying - or Paul Martin or Jean Chrétien, one of them said: we need the consent of the provinces. Well, I say to them, we did not need the consent of the provinces in 1982 when we capped equalization why should we need the consent of the provinces to lift it? We did not need the consent to lift it before the federal election. We did not need the consent to put it on and we do not need the consent to do it now; neither do we need consent to change the Canada Health and Social Transfers. They cut the social transfer in 1994-1995 without the consent of the provinces. They cut it against outrage from some of the provinces, but still they cut it. They do not need unanimous consent of the provinces to put it back where it was. They could do that with the stroke of a pen. In the Budget, the federal government, with the stroke of a pen, could put back Canada Health and Social Transfer. They do not need consent from the provinces. To tell us that we cannot deal with inequities until 2004 is not acceptable. Something has to be done about it.

I am almost up to page four now in th3 Budget Speech. There are only thirty-two pages. Don't do the math on that, I say to the Member for Harbour Main-Whitbourne.

I was talking about it the last day. I just got off on a little tantrum. The last day I was talking about the deficit last year. We did pretty good last year. We came in $2 million better than we budgeted. We budgeted it to be $34.7 million and we came in at $32.7 million. I would say whoop-de-do on the Budget. That was not the real deficit, of course. We know what is happening under the cosmetics of a budget. You try to dress it up as best you can. Put a nice document here that has the flow and has the little political jargons and little terminology. That is part of politics. I do not have a problem with that, to be honest with you. If you want to have language that is a little wordy and showy and do things - that is just to put their literary skills to work. That is fine. I do not have a major problem there, but when they put their creative accounting skills to work, that is a different story.

The minister went on to say: "For the year just ending, we incurred additional expenditures of $65 million including some year end investments." In addition to what they had earmarked, they spent another $65 million over and above what they had planned. Thirty million of that came out of the Contingency Fund; so that left $35 million, I understand. The biggest amount of that was health care equipment. I believe this year's budget mentioned $32.4 million in diagnostic and other health care equipment; was the major area. I could see an unforseen circumstance like the Innu. That was not something that you could anticipate. That is legitimate in terms of fulfilling a need. There is about $6.5 million there. That is something you could not anticipate.

The MUN Opportunity Fund was an anticipated one. I do not know why we had an extra expenditure like the MUN Opportunity Fund. I know we estimated how much the university would raise. In other words, if they raised $3 million more than we figured they would raise. I guess that is where the $3 million must have come from. The Education Investment Corporation, I think another $4 million went into that. Student opportunities, this particular investment fund for students, a couple of million. For fuel price increases there was an extra (inaudible) $4.8 million. That is an area that -

One of the ones here; this $100 rebate. I guess you are familiar with that. A lot of people are familiar on getting the rebate for fuel. This fuel rebate - and here is an interesting point. Maybe my colleague from Bonavista South, I know he talked about - I will just mention this point anyway. Under the fuel rebate, the $100 you are getting, that is based on your income for 1999. It is not based on your income for 2000. I know people who were on TAGS. The program ended in August of 1998. They give you a lump sum payment, if you are a member, in September and one at the end of January. Because that payment came in January, as a lump sum - there was $2,000 or $3000. That was in 1999, over two years ago. Because of that, people cannot get that rebate of $100. People who have very low incomes, almost on the lines of social services. It doesn't seem right.

In fact, I think, if they put forth their 2000 income and said here it is for 2000, they should accept that. I think that is a fair statement. That is not being too outlandish. Here is my tax return for 2000 which shows the income is within the limit. Why are you going back to January 1999, when a payment was made to finish the TAGS program? Some of them were going off the program in February and March, and it would have been May anyway. Now that has gone against their families, people on social assistance and low incomes. Before they went on social assistance, for example, they had a little bit higher income because of a TAGS lump sum thing; even if they had low income and were not on social assistance. That is an area, I think, has inequity there. I think this government should look it. They should say: Look, if your 2000 income is in that range we will accept that, and give those poor families that extra $100. It is significant, because a lot of families in this Province, in every district in this Province I would say - I don't think there is one district untouched, that does not have families who could use $100. People look at what they have to pay on their light bill and a bit of food. They deprive their children of clothing and everything else, delay trying to buy a few books and other things because of a low income. I think we should look at that. It is not going to be a big cost to the Province. A $100 cost on a rebate is something they should look at. It may be something I can get to mention and address a little later.

There were other programs. I think job creation was a $6.6 million thing. In a lot of areas in Newfoundland and Labrador short-term job creation is so important this year. In the fishing industry this year there were so many people who just did not get enough hours to qualify for EI. By having this short-term job program it gave families that extra fifty or 100 hours which prevented them from having to get money from human resources employment. It is pretty bad when you have to work five months to get over 400 hours work. Work is pretty scarce then. What happens if your husband happens to have a job, or the wife has a job and the husband does not? You are not likely to move away when you own your own house. You will work for as little as you can possibly survive on then. You will take any job you can get, and with most of these jobs you cannot even qualify for EI. I think that program should have served the benefits -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: I said to the minister before, if he wants me to give him leave of the House, to sit down, I will let him speak as long as he wants to, and then when he finishes I will get up and continue as long as I want.

I say to the minister, there are so many items on the Budget. I just opened the Budget book. I opened the Budget book and started looking at it and commenting. I am only on page five. Seriously, I haven't gotten to the schedules, exhibits or statements, and there are thirty-two pages in it. At the rate I am going it could be July before I get to address - this is significant.

This government had $3.9 billion worth of expenditure, and I think it needs to be looked at. I intend to look at every single item under this Budget.

MR. FITZGERALD: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Yes. I just say to my colleague from Bonavista South, an interesting point, this $100 rebate for people with low income, provincially.

MR. FITZGERALD: The fuel rebate.

MR. SULLIVAN: Yes, I just want to mention it while my colleague is there because sometimes we discuss common interests within fishing districts. The $100 rebate - and the minister should probably tune in. I think he should do something about this, because it is based on your 1999 income. Because people got a final TAGS settlement - and I am sure the Minister of Fisheries would be sympathetic to this. I am only just pointing to the Minister of Fisheries. Maybe he can bring it up with his colleagues in Cabinet.

January of 1999 was the last TAGS payment and when they are getting that $100 fuel rebate - people on very low incomes now are looking at their 1999 income. Because they got a lump sum payment of $2,000 or $3000 in January 1999, over two years ago - when they sent in the forms this year to get the fuel rebate and their income is only several thousand now, some of them, this year - last year and even this year - they cannot get that $100 rebate because they had a TAGS cheque in January of 1999 that distorted their income over two years ago. They cannot get the $100. They are down to a poverty line of income now. I think Cabinet should look at it and make an announcement. It would be a nice, grand gesture out there to say: here is $100. If you present your tax return for 2000, we will take your 2000 income rather than your 1999 income and look at it, because that is way more current. You could have made a millions dollars in 1999 and you might be on -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) individual case?

MR. SULLIVAN: Well, that is what I am in the process of doing. It only came to my attention when I got a call on it this morning. That is why I am mentioning this one.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: No, it is not. I am pursuing it. If you do it for one - if the 2000 income is more current, why shouldn't you use the 2000 income? The 2000 year is over now, and by the end of April you have to file the income tax anyway. We should use that, I think. It would not be a big expenditure.

I was mentioning a few other additional things. We spent $65 million last year, that we did not budget. Now, how do you figure this one? We spent $65 million we did not budget, and we carried that as an expenditure, showed that for last year. We took $30 million out of the contingency reserve fund and we took $35 million, basically, we overspent, and had to get approvals for, warrants. I think they were issued in special warrants. At the same time we took $196.8 million of revenue from last year and we carried it forth into this year's revenue, so we could have a Budget that looks a helluva lot better than it would have looked - $196.8 dollars better looking than it would have looked. Last year's budget would have shown a significantly less borrowing requirement and would have shown an operating surplus by the way you do the books. It would have shown an increase.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: What they are doing is, they are trying to stay comfortable to see what it is like on that side of the House because they figure they are going to be doing it.

AN HON. MEMBER: Jack Harris?

MR. SULLIVAN: Oh, Jack? I didn't see Jack. I don't accept any responsibility for the Member of Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi, none whatsoever. He wants to see what it is like on the government side. He wants to get comfortable there, and the Member for Harbour Main-Whitbourne wants to get comfortable over there.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) must have taken the long way around to get here.

MR. SULLIVAN: He is going to great lengths to get a dinner invitation. I don't know if he has gotten one yet. He is still working on it and he hasn't gotten one yet. He is not even listening to me.

I thought I was going to get sidetracked there for awhile from this Budget, and I was starting to get kind of worried.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: When I stop listening to myself, I am going to sit down.

It is all on the Budget, Budget related.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Who? The Member for Gander? The minister? The Minister of Youth Services and Post-Secondary Education, is it?

AN HON. MEMBER: And the Status of Women.

MR. SULLIVAN: And the Status of Women. That is kind of long. I will just call you the Minister of Youth. The youthful minister, we will call her.

I have to get back to page 5. Here is what the minister said on page 5 of her Budget Speech.


MR. SULLIVAN: The Minister of Finance, in her Budget Speech.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Oh, it was a tremendous speech. She must have practiced that for a long time. She said: This could have created a surplus for 2000-2001 of $164.1 million.

You know what she said? We could have had a surplus of $164.1 million last year. I say to the Minister of Industry, we could have had a surplus of $164.1 million, but we carried it over this year to make this year look bad so we would not have to do some of the things that we should be doing for this Province. That is what they said.

On page 6 of the Budget here, I want to comment on several of the things she said. Can you imagine, last year we could have had revenues of $196.8 million in last year's budget, and the minister says she is going to take it and shift it. That is the issue I got on in Question Period yesterday and the day before. Why didn't you take that money last September and spend it last September or October, get the wheels in motion, get the ball rolling, to spend money on health care equipment, because there are people out there today who are practically dying, some have, and others are in dire need of getting diagnostic tests. MRIs: You would almost want a letter from the highest authority in the world - you cannot even get a referral from your own doctor to get an MRI. You have to go to a committee and they have to decide. You have to wait almost a year in a routine case and you have to wait for months in emergency cases.

I had a call from a lady this morning - and I use this as an example - whose family member was diagnosed with cancer in mid-March, who needs to have treatment to reduce a tumor before they can operate, and cannot get to see a doctor until June to get that done. Can you imagine that, three months to see a doctor before you can get treatment to be able to operate? With cancer, that is serious, that could be fatal in some cases.

Our health care system has collapsed, it is gone. There are things we need to do to get it moving. We talked about some of those. I said, we need to scrap those boards that we have out there. I allow I would get a lot of support over there for that. I am sure I would. I am sure that is their secret agenda. It wasn't their political agenda in the last election, but it was their secret agenda. We have to look at streamlining. We can't have boards competing against each other: I will give you this to come here to start, I will give you this and this. We have to look at a collective arrangement to get professionals here. We can't expect to have a whole team of professionals in every little nook and corner of this Province, but we should expect to have a level of service that is representative of the population in an area and the geographics that are associated with having a service in a certain area.

Most people will agree that the medical services provided in their areas are considerably lower than they were, in terms of numbers and capacity; not necessarily in all. I think we have made some important advancements. There are certain skilled people we have here. We do a lot of positive things in health care, but we can't cater to enough people. We have bottlenecked the system in so many areas we cannot access it. We can't move people through the turnstiles of our system, of our hospitals.

I was in a hospital there yesterday and the day before, almost every day, to visit people. There is one gentleman I spoke with who has been waiting weeks now in a hospital bed to get into a nursing home in another part of the Province. I won't get into specifics. I don't want to identify the individual or family. He is just waiting and waiting, he is on a wait list. People are being kept for weeks and months in hospitals until they can get an open bed in a nursing home. That is not the function of an acute care system in this Province. That is the role of a long-term care facility and a process in this Province.

We have studied it to death. I know, when I was health critic back in 1993, I raised the issue of the long-term care facilities out in Clarenville area and on the Bonavista Peninsula. I said, I think they had the oldest population in the entire Province. That region had the oldest population in the entire Province. There were so many reports done on that, from Nycum reports - there are so many I have gone through I can't even recall what was in one report as opposed to another.

In any event, you have to build your long-term care facilities not to where it is politically expedient but to where the bulk of the population are going to be able to utilize them, recognizing the fact that they have families in those areas who can visit them, not put someone down in a nursing home on the Burin Peninsula if they are from Central Newfoundland or the South Coast, but try to have them within the areas where their families and friends can visit.

This gentleman I spoke with said: I am looking forward to getting back there because at least all my friends are around. The man is an elderly man, well past his retirement age, and who would love to get back. He said: At least my friends and family will be able to come in. He hasn't got many family members left in the Province, by the way. He said: I will be back where my friends can come in to visit every day. It will give that person a quality of life, not to have to sit there and just see a spouse or one of his kids, who are the only ones left in the Province, I think, now. It gives a little quality there.

We shouldn't be looking at acute care institutions that are costing close to $1,000 a day when someone can go to a nursing home that doesn't cost near that amount. It costs significantly less in a nursing home bed than in a hospital, and it costs significantly less in a personal care home than in a nursing home. If someone does not need to be in a nursing home, a personal care home will deliver a quality of service. I know many of them. I have been in there. I have visited them, many in my district and elsewhere, and I have spoken with people. There are a lot of those very well-kept homes that hardly can operate on the budget they are given. They got a little increase this year, I think, to push it up now to - it was $965. It has gone to about $1,000 a month, I think, that it is going to be, basically.

Well, they get their old age pension and guaranteed supplement. That is nine-hundred and some a month, so the subsidy in those homes just on that item alone, not counting some of the supplies they gave, it is less than $100 for a person who is getting a pension OAS and the GIS; and if they have a bit of Canada Pension, pretty well most of them can almost pay for themselves, which the majority do. In those homes is the cheapest way - they cannot afford, I can tell you. They are on the verge of bankruptcy. They have gone through high vacancy rates. They cannot afford to keep operating at the rate they are going. Some have been sold. Some people are moving out. I get calls regularly and, in speaking with people, their vacancies are up as high as 30 per cent and 40 per cent in cases. Some of them are older homes and what government is moving now, they are moving to give subsidies to clients rather than - I cannot say that is wrong. I have never opposed that, but I am saying you cannot take all the personal care homes that are now out in the Province that were around for awhile and throw them to the wolves and say, we are going to go out now because someone might want to go into a more modern home.

You cannot cut them loose. They built their businesses on mortgages, basically, on signing a mortgage based upon a certain guaranteed subsidy that government gives for those beds, that give you a priority in getting those beds for people to go into. When you are given that guarantee by this government, you have to honour those commitments. You have to level the playing field that somebody who puts a new home out there does not adversely affect, because of a subsidy that they mortgaged it on, one of the other ones. We are seeing a shift there, and it is a long time coming. They have been talking three or four years, but they have to address this topic sooner or later. It has to be dealt with. It is a serious matter within our system. I know my colleague from CBS has a fair number there, and Harbour Main-Whitbourne, I know, and myself, are representing three districts that have a significant number of those homes along with - I guess most members have at least one or more of these in their district, so that is important.

You know, if we can deliver it cheaper but give people the quality, that is important. There are things that have to be done to address that, and it is a major concern. We have to look at the proper balance, long-term care. I know most families are moving closer to St. John's now where the employment is. Rural Newfoundland does not have the same numbers. We have to build our long-term care facilities to deal with the future, not with the present needs. It is important. We have to look at the shift in demographics there. We cannot expect somebody down in Burgeo to have to go to a home in Central Newfoundland and their family are all in that area. We have to have a certain amount within a distance, within a region, that people can visit and at least maintain a quality of life. Because a time is going to come, whether we like it or not, regardless of what we do - unless you go out and pump money into every single community in the Province and we cannot do that. That is not the answer. We cannot stop the wheels of movement and growth and shifting demographics. Sometimes, if you get on and you move and you plan with it, it is the quickest way rather than slowing down the wheels. Sometimes you have to slow down the wheels in some instances to be able to build something in those areas to sustain those areas and make an extra effort. That is important.

This whole area of dealing with our seniors is becoming a major issue. We have an increasing percentage of the population who are seniors. They are a vastly forgotten people. They do not have many out there to stand up and speak for them, I will tell you. These people are in their eighties, and some of them in their nineties. They have toiled all their lives on behalf of people in the Province, and they deserve a reasonable level of dignity. The cost to families today with their parents and their loved ones is becoming enormous, not in the direct medical cost but in the cost of transportation, of getting there to visit, of having to stay overnight; of having to go further and further afield to avail of services. Those out-of-pocket costs that you do not see, that are not picked up by the system, are becoming increasing greater today. The person who called me this morning and said: What do I do? Can you give me any advice?

I just made reference to it, and I will tell you what I indicated anyway. I do not mind saying it here in the House. They said: What advice do you give to someone who is diagnosed with cancer in two locations in the body, and needs to have treatment to shrink it before they can operate but cannot see a doctor for three months, from mid-March to mid-June? They cannot get in to see the specialist for three months, was diagnosed and has it.

I suggested: Call the doctor, if you concerned and it is affecting you. If not, go to - well, the cancer treatment foundation, through the clinic, is funding for people if the service is not available here. If you have to get a referral to go, if you cannot get it done in a safe period of time here, there was a fund put aside. I know people are going to Cleveland, Ohio, on a regular basis for a specific treatment. I am not sure if that is the case in this instance. They are usually post-operative or whatever, but something needs to be done.

You should not have to sit around three months knowing there is cancer in your system and it has to be shrunk before they can operate. You should not have to sit around in misery and agony for three months. Anybody who has been associated with people - I know a relative of mine a year ago was diagnosed in March, in her early forties, and two months later that person had died. I mean, to tell someone three months before you can see a doctor, before we can start doing a treatment, we are gone to dangerous levels. That is why money was put in, and we should not have had to put in money to fly people to Cleveland, Ohio, and a family member, and all costs covered. It is a necessity to do it. We cannot have people waiting, but we should not have let it get to that point. We should have the resources here. We have very proficient and skilled people here in those areas in our Province, but we do not have enough of them. We have not put enough of them here.

Just two years ago in the medical oncology field, every single one of the three left the Province and went elsewhere to medical oncology. I know we eventually got people back to replace them. One person went public and said, I have a 60 per cent - there was the caseload there, gone and went public. One went to Winnipeg. One went to, I think, Saskatchewan, and I think one went to Halifax. I spoke with at least one of them. Two of them actually, I think, I spoke with at the time. I just wanted to get an insight into what motivated or what caused it. Most of these people do not want to go out in the public forum and deal with this. They just want to - look, I have waited long enough. I just cannot take it any more. The workload and the caseloads - I can get far more money. I can get close to double the money with way less the hassle somewhere else. I need to get out of here for my own health. Not just these doctors. I am not referring specifically to these ones here, but that is part of the whole equation. I need to get out of here. I have a family, in some cases, they say. I have to get out for my own health. I do not need to be working all these long hours and weekends, when I can go out to Saskatchewan and other parts of the country, have a different quality of life, get paid way better, pay less taxes.

One person went away, and up to $12,000 to $14,000 less in taxes they are paying by going to Ontario, with his salary, than they were paying here in our Province. Just that item alone. We have lost some tremendous specialists in our Province in the past three or four years. We have lost specialists that - look, one went out of here to head up a child oncology unit at Western, in London, Ontario, to head up a department. They left down here. A renowned person down here, a Dr. Jardine, left here, and there are dozens. I can name dozens of them in different fields. I have spoken to people in other fields. I mentioned this case before. That is why I did not have any reluctance in mentioning that name because I have raised the issue before on many occasions. Others I have spoken with have gotten out of here, in areas where it was hard to get to see a specialist. A lot more will be gone, let me tell you, because people in this Province are some of the most competent in North America in their field but they cannot go to other provinces because of the licences and so on to be able to practice.

I know people who are some of the most competent in their field, who cannot do that because they have to go through, I guess, the medical process and the qualification, and that is another deterrent. When people come in here, they sort of get held over a barrel on that. We have lost tremendous skills, and it is not only in this Province but the rest of the country, and anybody who is following it, Canada is losing in a similar way. Canada is losing skilled doctors and other medical professionals down to the United States, and every time that they move to the United States, it creates a vacuum somewhere else in Canada that sucks the professionals out of this Province into those spots. The more who move to the U.S., the more openings there are, and they are crying out for certain skilled people. Only for we got the reclassification for some of our health care professionals recently, we would have lost some other medical professionals in numerous areas.

AN HON. MEMBER: We did it.

MR. SULLIVAN: Oh, yes, we did it, but not when we should have done it. We would not have lost Newfoundlanders who did not want to leave here, who were torn between their family and going away to make a living to support their families or pay back their student loans. That is when we did it. We did it when it was too late. There are dozens of fields I could point out there with people in the same category. The United States - what did Preston call it? The big sucking sound heading south out of Canada. Every time you hear that sound, almost like a toilet flush, there is a sound coming from Newfoundland gravitating to other parts of Canada to fill all these vacancies with the big enticing offers.

If Ontario and Saskatchewan and those areas lose them to the U.S., they are eager to recruit and get people from here. I mean, a starting nurse in Alberta today starts off at $49,000. I think the top of the scale is $64,000 or $65,000. The top of the scale for a nurse here in this Province is about $45,000 or $46,000.

AN HON. MEMBER: What do they start out with?

MR. SULLIVAN: The starting scale - I think I have it here in my notes. I can pull out the figures. I will just give you a rough idea. I think it is in the thirties. I think it is about the mid-thirties, in that ballpark. I do not want to say when I specifically do not know. From the mid-thirties to the mid-forties is the range.

There is an significant difference there. People here probably know it, and they have lots of family members, maybe spouses or husbands, whatever, who are nurses, and they will know what the top of the scale is. I think it went to $45,000 or $46,000.

It is not just the health care we talk about. Take education; that is coming next. We are finding now, in education, that the demand on teachers is going to be increasing significantly.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible). Give us some helpful suggestions.

MR. SULLIVAN: I have been doing that since I started. I just talked about - anyone who was tuning in here all day or the last day, I have been giving suggestions galore. I have been giving them all along. Even the Minister of Finance agreed with me on TV the other day, that the solutions to it are the same as the ones I mentioned.

No wonder he is not Finance Minister any more. No wonder he got the flick. Now he is going to wreak devastation on Mines and Energy. I hope he will come back from that with a bundle of money and a nice big agreement that is in the best interests of Newfoundland and Labrador.

I was giving the teachers' situation, and the shift is coming. The same thing is happening. We went through a reclassification - you can call it what you like - with nurses. They might not want to call it a raise, because if it is an increase in salary, it is perceived as getting a certain amount. To them, it does not make any difference. You can call it what you like. If you are going to pay them the $45,000 or whatever, I do not care if it is in reclassification or salary, it is income. Income to them is income, whatever way you want to cut it. You can do what you like -

MR. SHELLEY: A nickel is a nickel.

MR. SULLIVAN: That is right, a nickel is a nickel.

MR. MATTHEWS: If I gave you a nickel today and you gave me a nickel tomorrow, would I still have my nickel?

MR. SULLIVAN: I would check both sides of that nickel if I got it back from him, I tell you. I would check both sides to make sure that it is exactly a nickel, it is not nickel-coated, or some other lower value mineral, maybe a bit of lead. Lead is not cheap either, is it? There is not much cheap those days in the metal line. Now, nickel prices, what is the nickel price on the market today?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Yesterday?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: About $3.

MR. MATTHEWS: You carry on. I will check the paper.

MR. SULLIVAN: Just let me know what nickel is, will you? I might want to get back to that.

Take in education now, I was just touching on that area. I just talked about health. My colleague might be able to help me out, because I have not looked at the scale. Let's take a person who gets a degree at university. The minimum, I guess, to go teaching is about five years. You usually do two degrees or whatever, a conjoint degree. To go and teach with a degree, after five years, I would assume you would start somewhere in the thirties.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Twenty-nine? You would start at about $30,000. If you are there at the top of your scale, at fifth, you are getting about $42,000.

AN HON. MEMBER: No, at the top of the scale (inaudible) your Masters Degree.

MR. SULLIVAN: No, without Masters, just five years. With your Masters, you have to have years, right? Without your Masters, just with - you could have two degrees, fifth grade, about $42,000 or $43,000. With sixth grade, the top would be the high forties. In other words, you could spend five years at university and go out, and the top of your scale would be three less than the top of the scale of a nurse now, roughly. In teaching, you are going to see the contract expiring - and, of course, I guess the nurses' contract is coming up again.

MR. MATTHEWS: A point of order, Madam Speaker.

MADAM SPEAKER: On a point of order, the hon. the Minister of Mines and Energy.

MR. MATTHEWS: ( Inaudible) help the hon. member out, on page 34 of The Telegram today, nickel is $6,075 a ton, so that is about $3 a pound U.S. almost spot on. If that is helpful to you, carry on.

MADAM SPEAKER: There is no point of order.

MR. SULLIVAN: Thank you. I might say to the hon. minister, I do not get a chance to read a paper until the night time. I usually look at those prices. The Minister of Energy knew what the price of nickel is. It was $3, he said. He did not need all this research. Just ask him.

MR. MATTHEWS: You check your stocks at night, do you?

MR. SULLIVAN: No, I do not check my stocks. I do not check them at all. I do not even bother. I got rid of them all, cashed them in. Go over and read my public disclosure statement. You are welcome to read it. I do not even know if I have a stock there.

MR. MATTHEWS: I am not even allowed to read my own.

MR. SULLIVAN: I would like to have a copy of yours, I tell you.

MR. MATTHEWS: I am not allowed to read it.

MR. SULLIVAN: You put it in trust, did you? In whose trust?

MR. MATTHEWS: In Lloyd's trust.

MR. SULLIVAN: In God's trust. In God you trust, is it?

AN HON. MEMBER: What is the chance of getting a bit of lumber off you? I want to build a deck.

MR. MATTHEWS: I will see how two by fours are going.

MR. SULLIVAN: What do you say I switch mine over there with the Minister of Mines and Energy? I would go for that any day.

MR. MATTHEWS: You would be a poor man if you did.

MR. SULLIVAN: No Sir. I see people nodding over there. Go ahead and do it. Get that in writing, I am being told.

MR. MATTHEWS: If I had your money, Loyola, I dare say I would be in a warmer spot today.

MR. SULLIVAN: You would be retired, would you? You cannot retire at the age of forty. You have to do something. You cannot retire that young.

MR. MATTHEWS: You will not live long enough to spend it all, so what will you do with it, Loyola?

MR. SULLIVAN: Oh, boy, I have a long list of people in line looking for a cut of it. Some of them are doing a good job of spending it right now, doing a fantastic job.

MR. MATTHEWS: I know what you mean. There is no trouble to get help with it, is it?

MR. SULLIVAN: No trouble. It is getting pretty scarce now, I tell you.

Now, the next item. I want to touch on Investing in People. How is this government investing in people? There will be set up a new department, Youth Services and Post-Secondary Education, and the Status of Women. That is the same department now.

MR. MATTHEWS: A very good minister in that department.

MR. SULLIVAN: Oh, yes.

Now, it is not the title you give to somebody. It is not what the title of the department is; it is what it has done that counts, isn't it? It is not the cosmetics of something; it is what is beneath that and what they do.

A minister in a new department - we will give you an opportunity; we will not prejudge. It is too early to judge, I must say. Next year, we will give you a report card and let you know what the department - there are some.... With our youth, post-secondary education, that is our future. The future of our youth is the future, and it is certainly positive to see the brakes first put on tuition and then rolled back to a degree. That is a positive thing.

When you look at the cost of getting an education, if you happen to live at home, for instance, in the city, and you have to come in from outside of home, the difference is about an extra $6,000 difference over an eight month period. It is costly. There are people in rural Newfoundland - I spoke to one person last year who finished a degree program at MUN, were a course or two short, owed $40,000, and wanted to go into another degree program and had trouble getting a student loan because they had drawn down on student loans so many semesters. She wrote a letter and was lucky enough last year - this person is in the second year of the new program, getting excellent marks, and the program she is in, she will have no trouble getting a job when she comes out. Two more years to go, has to go back again this year, and wonders if they are going to extend the student loan. Her family cannot afford to support her. Hopefully they will extend it beyond the semester, because she is after drawing down now, I guess, up to $50,000 or more in student loans and still has two years to go in the program. She is getting really good marks, a guaranteed job. There are jobs there for everybody graduating in that area. That is an area we hope that increased emphasis will be put on. Lightening the debt load is important in keeping people here in the Province.

That is one of the reasons people leave, not just because of the situation of work. The majority of people would like to stay in Newfoundland and Labrador. I think they would. They would like to live here, go to work and be able to live comfortably. When you have a high debt load it is difficult to do that. Now, 10 per cent is probably not going to change that, but it is certainly a start. It is a start, no doubt. It is a hell of a lot better than leaving it where it was or letting it increase.

I remember I was education critic in 1992, when I got elected first in the by-election.

AN HON. MEMBER: You were Education critic? And you couldn't (inaudible)

MR. SULLIVAN: I didn't tell you that? When I was education critic they never increased it, but they rolled it back with you. He is effective there. They rolled back tuition since he became education critic, the Member for Harbour Main-Whitbourne. They froze it first and now they have rolled it back.

If I remember correctly, I went back and checked it, in 1989, when this government came to power, tuition for a semester - I may even have that here. I have it up in my office in my notes. Tuition for a semester then was, I think, $567, if I remember the figure. In that ballpark.

MR. BARRETT: When the PCs came to power, it was nothing. When the PCs came to power tuition was (inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: I will get to you in a minute. I say to the Member for Bellevue, the minister there, don't run away. I have got to get to you in a few minutes.

MR. BARRETT: Have you?

MR. SULLIVAN: Yes. I didn't want to forget it.

When this government came to power, I think $567 was the tuition, and now tuition for five courses is what, $360 per course? No, it is $330 per course? That is $1,650. Can you imagine?

AN HON. MEMBER: That is not med students either.

MR. SULLIVAN: No, it is not med students.

MR. FITZGERALD: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Yes, $350 it is, roughly, and then you pay your student fee. Then, if you have medical, dental or whatever, you are looking at - I have a daughter going to university and I have one who goes to another university somewhere else and I know what they are paying. I know what I am paying, I should say.

Who was the person who stood in this House yesterday - wait till I see where it is. Can someone find that for me there? Can you find that statement for me there? I would like to know, who was the person who stood in this House yesterday and made a statement that is contradictory to the policies of this government on what is happening? I think it was the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation. When I find that here - here we are, I found it.

MR. BARRETT: It was a good way of giving you something to talk about.

MR. SULLIVAN: Oh yes, you sure did.

The Minister of Works, Services and Transportation stood in this House and he said: "I want to go on the public record and go on Hansard that I am in favour of the Gisborne Lake proposal."

It says Mr. Barrett in Hansard, but it is the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation. I will address him as his official title. He went on to say: "The Gisborne Lake proposal is to take out bulk water, bottled water, and also a plant to make the bottles. It is a $30 million investment in my district. I support it 100 per cent...."

The Premier of the day said: We are not going to draw conclusions, we are going to have a full and open discussion on the proposal of Gisborne Lake, on bulk water. While the full and open discussion is going on, his minister says, before we get a chance for a full open discussion: I support the shipment of bulk water out of this Province. That is what he said, contrary to the Premier, contrary to the position of government, and I think you should refer that statement to the Justice Minister for a legal interpretation, as to whether it conflicts with the policy of that Cabinet.

The last time the Premier, in 1992-1993, went out in Central Newfoundland and spoke to a group, if I remember correctly, and I am going from memory, he said something that was not what the government of the day - he came back and the now Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the former Premier of the Province, made him stand in this House and apologize very humbly for saying such a thing. I just reminded him the other day. Don't you remember that? I didn't get a chance to research it. I might not have bothered to research it, but my memory is good enough to know. He had to stand and apologize. I do not know if he was parliamentary assistant then or whether he was a minister. I would say if he was a minister then, he probably would have had to resign from Cabinet. So you are going to get away with an apology, is that what you are saying, an apology rather than a resignation.

AN HON. MEMBER: The Premier said (inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: The Premier said he is supporting the legislation that is on the books today. He is not saying I am going to have bulk water. I am going to have a full and open discussion on it.

AN HON. MEMBER: But, I made up my mind.

MR. SULLIVAN: You made up your mind. Your mind better not be different than the mind of this government because the government right now has not got their mind made up, and the minister sitting there has made his mind up. You, as a member of Cabinet, has to follow the government decision. Whether you agree with it or whether you do not agree with it, you have to follow it, and you cannot be articulating that in public. You cannot be doing that in public, I can tell you.

If a Cabinet minister does not follow the policies of government, you are supposed to, because you have to do it, whether you like or not, whether or not it gets you in trouble in your district. It is a simple as that. That is the price you pay for being a part of the -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: There is not a difference. There is no difference. You cannot have one opinion on a matter and the Premier and your Cabinet colleagues have another opinion. Right now, the only opinion by Cabinet today, when the Premier speaks for Cabinet, is that there be a full and open discussion of this issue. Your position, I am in favour of bulk shipment, has been definitively and unequivocally stated for the record in this House. That is your position and that just cannot work. If the former premier was here in his seat today, you would be apologizing or you would be gone. You would be flicked out for that statement. This Premier has been very tolerant. I know you delivered all of the Bellevue delegates, or did you?

MR. BARRETT: What do you think?

MR. SULLIVAN: I think you did.

I am glad of one thing about the Premier though. He did use bottled water from Discovery Springs in Trepassey. It is straight answers, real solutions and good water.

AN HON. MEMBER: It worked, didn't it?.

MR. SULLIVAN: I do not know, boy. Who said it worked? It worked for the short-term. It won the battle but the war has not yet been fought. One battle does not a war make. Did anybody say that before?

AN HON. MEMBER: You should have had water instead of chicken. You would have won.

MR. SULLIVAN: It was not chicken. I did not have anything. People gave a voucher after to go get Chinese food. That is what it was.


MR. SULLIVAN: It was my opponent who delivered the chicken. You are a bit mixed up. They have it confused. I wanted to clarify it for the record at the time, and I could have but I didn't. I said: Why go out and make a spectacle as you did at your convention? I said: There is no need of that. Look, when you lose you lose. I lost by a less than fourteen, (inaudible) three of two more people. The ones that did not get in there had to get in. I just said: Look, no matter what happened, what the dynamics are, if you lose you lose. You do not ask the referee when you lose in overtime to go back and play the third period over, you could have scored a goal. You do not do that. It is over, you accept it, you move forward and you deal with it. It is as simple as that. That is a chapter that is over with. You cannot turn the clock back. So why try to turn it back? If you do not want to go forward, get out of the game, get out of the race. If the losers are not happy, do not gripe and complain. One has said he is going to go and get away from it altogether. That is an honourable route. The other one doesn't know whether he wants to go or not, wants to be a part of it and doesn't want to be a part of it. He wants to criticize and wants to be a thorn in their side. I did not be a thorn in the side of anybody. If you want to be that, get to hell out. So, that is the difference. You should never look back unless you are planning on going that way.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: That is right, you go forward, and that is good advise. If you want to go that way, you look back, and if you go that way it doesn't do anybody any good. Right? So, you have to look forward. If you are not going to look forward, go somewhere else and look in another direction. Go look for your greener pastures somewhere else, don't look for it there.

Anyway, the writing was on the wall. Why anybody would want a job when no one is going to support him, I can't figure out in the first place. Why would anybody want a job when there is nobody going to support you? I mean, if you had to win what would you have anyway? The other situation could be a lot worse. So, there you go.

Now, I am not defending the Premier at all. I am not complaining. He is there.

MR. FITZGERALD: (Inaudible) you are giving up your seat for Danny.

MR. SULLIVAN: Yes. I was told that, was I? Oh, him. No, I heard one of you guys were giving up a seat for him, because that gives one more over here. If we give up a seat, then we are only back to the same number, are we. If they give up one first, we get one more. You gave up two for us already.

MR. J. BYRNE: He gave it up today.

MR. SULLIVAN: Did he resign today?

MR. J. BYRNE: Yes, he resigned today. April 9 is his last day.


MR. J. BYRNE: Yes.

MR. SULLIVAN: Oh, okay. So the member gave up his seat today. Why should we give up a seat and put the same number back when you are giving up seats for us. You gave up two and we got two more. Another fellow is giving up his seat over there on April 9, official.

AN HON. MEMBER: Paul is not resigned yet, is he?

MR. SULLIVAN: Yes, he announced today. Is April 9 the last effective day?

MR. J. BYRNE: Yes.

MR. SULLIVAN: Which is when?

MR. J. BYRNE: Monday.

MR. SULLIVAN: Monday, April 9.

MR. FITZGERALD: He is resigning on my birthday.

MR. SULLIVAN: When is your birthday?


MR. SULLIVAN: Boy, I had one two days ago. I beat you by a few days, I had one the day before yesterday.

MR. FITZGERALD: Are you a Newfoundlander or are you a Canadian?

MR. SULLIVAN: Close. I was born a Canadian. My wife's first cousin was the first born Newfoundland Canadian. She was a Confederation baby. I was born two days later. I was close. I am not sure, but there can't be too many between the first and the third, I wouldn't say. At that time, I don't know how many were born in a day, but it was probably close.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Actually, she was from Fermeuse. Her family moved to St. John's and she was born here. I guess she was in St. John's when she was born, on the first. I don't know the exact time. Actually, I mentioned it to the minister at the time and she got invited to the stadium celebrations. She was, on the twenty-fifth, I think, recognized, but I think they had forgotten about her the last time. I gave them a little reminder. It is nice to have the first born invited to the ceremonies. The minister did send out a personal invitation, I must say. It was very nice of him at the time. That was the member whose seat we have taken, up in The Straits. That was Chuck Furey, the minister at the time. He was, I must say, very courteous and extended the invitation out to the events.

AN HON. MEMBER: Did you vote for Chuck in the by-election?

MR. SULLIVAN: I couldn't do it. I supported a guy who lives almost next door, a few doors over from me. Now had he run somewhere else other than there, who knows. I mean, I could support him. He was a good member over the years and he was co-operative. He was one of the more co-operative ministers we had to deal with.

MR. FITZGERALD: I tell you what, he always had an answer

MR. SULLIVAN: Yes. I do not think I ever said anything about him. I praised him up lots of times in the district and when we got a contribution from the department, I thanked the minister. Actually, he went up in the district one day and he even praised me up.

AN HON. MEMBER: Your right.

MR. SULLIVAN: Yes, and he got a few liberals to turn over when he did that.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Yes, I will miss you but I will know you are up sitting in that red chamber, that comfortable seat there. It won't be a hard adjustment, I would say. He has been in here now since - when did you get elected first? The first time was 1979, was it?


MR. SULLIVAN: 1979 until 1991, twenty-two years minus a four-year term. So that is, what, eighteen years? Eighteen years is a lengthy time. There are not many who survive that long. The Member for Terra Nova must be here in that ballpark. You are here twenty years, is it?

MR. LUSH: Since 1975.

MR. SULLIVAN: Since1975. You were only out for a couple of years, was it?

MR. LUSH: A year-and-a-half.

MR. SULLIVAN: A year-and-a-half. So that is a long time. That is twenty-four years. So, he is the dean now. You must be second, are you?

MR. J. BYRNE: Put your arm around him, boy. Give him a kiss.

MR. SULLIVAN: Get a picture.

Then who is the next longest serving member? John - he got elected in 1982?

AN HON. MEMBER: John is no longer than Kevin.

MR. SULLIVAN: In 1985. Yes, the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation got elected in 1985.

AN HON. MEMBER: We only count half of his service.


MR. SULLIVAN: Which half? That is right. Kevin got elected in 1985. John Efford got elected in 1985. Rick got elected in 1985 also, didn't he? The Minister of Forestry and Agrifoods got elected in 1985, wasn't it?

AN HON. MEMBER: In 1985.

MR. SULLIVAN: Yes, so that is three 1985s. We have people previous to that. We have a 1979 and 1975er, 1974-1975.

MR. FITZGERALD: What about Jim Walsh? Was Jim elected in 1985?

AN HON. MEMBER: In 1989.

MR. SULLIVAN: No, in 1989.

AN HON. MEMBER: There are four or five of us in 1989.

MR. SULLIVAN: Sure, you are not as old as you are acting over there, are you?


MR. SULLIVAN: 1989. Praise them up. Give them a bit of confidence.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) elected in 1989.

MR. SULLIVAN: Elected in 1989. Hang on.

MR. FITZGERALD: Here is an old-timer coming in there now. That is no spring chicken, buddy..

MR. SULLIVAN: Here they are now.

AN HON. MEMBER: He got elected in 1982, was it?


MR. SULLIVAN: In 1985. As somebody said from your side, they only count half of your service. I ask him which half?

MR. TULK: In 1996. He only has six years service.

MR. SULLIVAN: That is only five years, 1996.

Okay, let's see now. Plus, we had the Premier who got elected in 1989 and we have the Member for Terra Nova who got elected in 1975, Bonavista North who got elected in 1979. It is not marked here. Grand Bank got elected in 1996, the Minister for Finance and Treasury Board, 1996, Mines and Energy got elected in 1993. Works, Services and Transportation Minister got elected when? In 1989?


MR. SULLIVAN: You. In 1989? I think I know all the rest of them. The Member Bay of Islands got elected in 1989. Yes.

AN HON. MEMBER: Bay of Islands.

MR. SULLIVAN: Yes. He got elected in 1989.

AN HON. MEMBER: He never sat.

MR. SULLIVAN: No, but he got elected. The people elected him. He was the people's choice in 1989, so we have to give him credit for that.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: What is that? What is the story? Oh, that is the Prime Minister. He said he is going to look at his big committee now or he is going to revisit something, is it? I can talk about that.

AN HON. MEMBER: Bulk water export.

MR. SULLIVAN: Oh, I just talked about that. Here is what I said. I just talked about that. Oh, you missed this. I think you should have been here for this one. You should know this.

The Minister of Works, Services and Transportation stood in the House and said: I want to go on public record and go on Hansard that I am in favour of the Gisborne Lake proposal to take out bulk water. He is in favour of shipping bulk water out of this Province. The Premier said: We are not drawing conclusions. We are going to have a full and open discussion. Right?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Don't you worry, the Cabinet will have a different mind. You will change your tune in a hurry, I can tell you. He will change his tune in a hurry or he will be axed out.

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

MR. SULLIVAN: Not a point of order! Interrupting a -

MADAM SPEAKER(Hodder): A point of order, the hon. the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation.

MR. BARRETT: I hate to interrupt the hon. member because he is -

AN HON. MEMBER: Be careful now, Percy.

MR. BARRETT: I am always careful.

I hate to interrupt the hon. member because his speech is so interesting. It is the first speech I have heard in a long, long time. I just wanted to say to him that, as a former teacher and one that used to organize debates, the only way you could have a debate -

MR. SULLIVAN: Organized what?

MR. BARRETT: You organized debates when you were a teacher.

MR. SULLIVAN: Who did?

MR. BARRETT: You did. Or did you?

MR. SULLIVAN: I was a moderator.

MR. BARRETT: You were a moderator of debates and in order to have a debate you have to have someone for and someone against. What we are doing now is having a debate about water. In order to have a debate you have to have some people for and some against, if not you don't have a debate. So I said that I am taking one position and the Member for St. John's South is taking the other position.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) hair.

MR. BARRETT: No, this is the Rick Woodford hairdo.

Madam Speaker, this is not a point of order.

MR. SPEAKER: There is no point of order. I will ask the hon. the Member for Ferryland to continue.

MR. SULLIVAN: I say, he makes a very interesting point, but the last person you want on the other side of the debate when you are a Cabinet minister is the Premier. That is the last person you want on the other side of the fence.

AN HON. MEMBER: I have been there before.

AN HON. MEMBER: Yes, but you never told anybody.

MR. SULLIVAN: The grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence, does it? Is that what the minister is saying?


MR. SULLIVAN: On this issue, bulk water.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Listen here, I would like to see more of this stuff, not the little lettering, a little script on it.

AN HON. MEMBER: Has the seal on that one been broken?

MR. SULLIVAN: Yes, it has been broken, it has been tampered with, it has been maneuvered, it has been manipulated, every possible thing.

AN HON. MEMBER: Is that the one with Roger on it?

MR. SULLIVAN: Oh yes, Roger's straight answers, real solutions.

Discovery Springs: The spring was likely first discovered by Europeans in the early 1600s serving as a secret retreat for settlers wishing to avoid fishing admirals and pirates who frequented the Southern Shore of Newfoundland's Avalon Peninsula.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: That must be some size of a container. He must have a tanker over there, I would say. He has a tanker. That is what he has with Gisborne Lake. We are not going to get a tanker into this place, are we? You don't have any bottles over there?

AN HON. MEMBER: No, we are going to bottle it right here.

MR. SULLIVAN: No, it is only True North and Discovery Springs. The containers for Gisborne Lake are tankers. British Columbia legislated, I think -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: This side will want future considerations too.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Boy, it is a funny world, isn't it?

Clyde Wells was the Liberal. Clyde Wells went so far to the right he shifted the spectrum, he changed the spectrum. How do you define a PC or Liberal? I don't know how you define a PC or Liberal.

AN HON. MEMBER: Don't you try to define them.

MR. SULLIVAN: No, I won't, no. I would like for someone to define for me - I haven't been able to define it, to be honest with you, I cannot define it. I have seen where Paul Martin's policies were pushing Preston Manning off the edge of the spectrum. We had Clyde Wells who made the PCs look like you were on the far left, Clyde Well's policies. I can't figure out now what is the difference in where we are on a spectrum in terms of particular policies in many instances.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: I don't know. Are you trying to say now that the Premier said: Listen here, we are going ahead with that regardless. You better straighten out these clawbacks there. If not we are going to pull the rug out from you on this one. Did he say that? I ask the Industry Minister, did he say; we are going to pull the rug out from under you on bulk water if you do not stop this clawback on equalization?

AN HON. MEMBER: That is not what he said.

MR. SULLIVAN: Oh, I just wondered.

MR. SHELLEY: What you doing sitting way back there, boy?

MR. SULLIVAN: We have a new guy in the Premier's chair now, we might get some straight answers and real solutions. Did you grow up near him?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: You would have moved, wouldn't you?

Now, I am getting a bit diverted away from this. I am only at page six in this book and this is only day two. I have to get back to some of the real issues here.

I think I will skip the next section. Now, we get back to this budget debate. I was talking about education. This government states and the education critic - interesting point - that we have increased significantly per capita spending on education. Well, if you never spent a cent more on education, declining enrollments would have driven you up to the highest per capita anyway.

Declining enrollments have increased per capita spending. Per capita spending is not highly relevant in areas of small populations. If you are going to compare apples and apples - lets take Quebec and Ontario with large populations. Take Newfoundland and Labrador. Declining -

MS FOOTE: One hundred and fifty extra teachers this year.

Oh, they are going to put 150 new into the system, over and above what they did last year.


MR. SULLIVAN: That is not extra then. Extra means you put more than you have now.

MS FOOTE: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: You are not putting extra teachers in, you are preventing extra teachers from coming out. That is the difference. There is a difference.

Let me ask you this question. If you are a teacher - and I spent twenty years teaching in front of a classroom - if you are a teacher and you have twenty-six students in your class, one year, and next year you have twenty-four in each of the classes, does that mean you do not need the same amount of teaching level in the classroom. You still have to teach the twenty-six, twenty-four, or whether it is twenty. You still have to teach. You still need the teacher.

AN HON. MEMBER: ( Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Listen, the enrollments do not drop one year that drastically. They go down on a scale.

The next question I ask: Because you have lost sixty students from a school, or thirty, do we chunk off 2 per cent of the gymnasium? Do we take out 2 per cent of the library? Do we have less books now? Don't 290 students need the same resources as 295 students? I am asking these questions, and you can answer them all in due course. Give me a chance to ask you some more and then you can -

AN HON. MEMBER: Well, we are going to close four schools on the one island and open one. Are you saying now that there are not going to be any redundancies in that school?

MR. SULLIVAN: I did not say that.

AN HON. MEMBER: Are we going to need four administrators, four gym teachers, four home ec teachers, and possibly eight or ten or twelve math teachers.

MR. SULLIVAN: Let me answer. Madam speaker.

AN HON. MEMBER: You are using -

MR. SULLIVAN: No. I said, in a classroom. I did not talk about school closures.

AN HON. MEMBER: The lowest student-teacher ratio in the country.

MR. SULLIVAN: I thought I had the right to speak. I am recognized.

AN HON. MEMBER: You are asking a question. I answered it.

MR. SULLIVAN: I will give you a chance to answer it when I am ready to relinquish it. I will use the same example he used. I said, if you have two less students in each classroom in a school, you still need a gym, you still need a library, you still need a canteen or cafeteria -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MADAM SPEAKER: Order, please!

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: No, I didn't, not at all.

MR. REID: (Inaudible) entirely true.

MADAM SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. SULLIVAN: The Member for Fisheries and Aquaculture is completely wrong, absolutely completely wrong. He does not know what he is talking about on this issue.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MADAM SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. SULLIVAN: I will give you an example.

MR. REID: Answer the question.

MR. SULLIVAN: Give me time. I thought your House Leader said that you should not point. Now you are pointing at me. You have to get your act together. You all point, or nobody points. Did you ever go partridge hunting, I ask you.

MR. REID: (Inaudible) year after year after year.

MR. SULLIVAN: He is pointing. House Leader, he is pointing. Just look at him. He is pointing at me, and he still does not get the point. He is pointing the whole time.

MR. REID: Sit down and let me respond to you.

MR. SULLIVAN: When I am ready. I have unlimited time, and I will give leave for you to get up and shout out and do a few things, when I am ready. I have been recognized and I intend to use it. When I feel that I want to relinquish it -

MR. REID: When you are misleading the people (inaudible). I am not listening to you (inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: I am not listening to you - and he puts the plug in his ear. He wants to listen. If he did not want to listen, he would take it out. You have things reversed. No wonder the government is going backwards, and he thinks it is going ahead. Where is the fishing industry going to be next year? You had better get that guy back to straighten you out over there, on the end there, because you are not hearing me very well.

AN HON. MEMBER: Loyola, tell him where he is wrong.

MR. SULLIVAN: I will tell him where he is wrong. Two years ago -

AN HON. MEMBER: No, right this year (inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: I am telling him.

MADAM SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. SULLIVAN: Where is he is wrong? He is wrong because he is talking about something I did not talk about.


MR. REID: On a point of order, Madam Speaker.

MADAM SPEAKER: Order, please!

On a point of order, the hon. the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

MR. REID: When your compatriots, the Tory government, was in power back in the 1980s, they brought in a 2 per cent clause that said you could not lay off any more than 2 per cent of the teachers a year. You were in the school at that time, when the government said you could lay off 2 per cent of the teachers every year. This year we did not lay any off, none!

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MADAM SPEAKER: There is no point of order.

The hon. the Member for Ferryland.

MR. SULLIVAN: You should be kept on. You should keep him on.

I will tell you about consolidation. Two years ago in the Ferryland district, four administrations in an area from Cape Broyle to Cappahayden -

MR. REID: A point of order, Madam Speaker.

MADAM SPEAKER: On a point of order, the hon. the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

MR. REID: The hon. education critic says you cannot lay any more off in the system. He was an administrator - were you an administrator?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. REID: If we closed four schools in one area, and we opened one school, do we need four people like you sitting in an office administrating that school?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MADAM SPEAKER: There is no point of order.

The hon. the Member for Ferryland.

MR. SULLIVAN: Madam Speaker, I ask for protection from that guy.

Back two years ago in Ferryland district, in an area from Cape Broyle -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: I am answering it. I have unlimited time in answering the question. That is one of the rights that is in the rules of procedure, in the Standing Orders of this House, that I have unlimited time in addressing this subject. I just might use unlimited time. Until the next election, or the writ is dropped, I might keep speaking.

MR. HARRIS: A point of order, Madam Speaker.

MADAM SPEAKER: On a point of order, the hon. the Member for Signal Hill-Quid Vidi.

MR. HARRIS: Madam Speaker, just because the Opposition House Leader has unlimited time, it does not mean he has to use it all.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MADAM SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Ferryland.

MR. SULLIVAN: The Member for Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi is on an infinity mission; that is what he is.

I just might use unlimited time, until the Lieutenant-Governor says: You have to stop talking. We have an election. The writ is dropped.

AN HON. MEMBER: Are you going for the record?

MR. SULLIVAN: No, I am not interested in the record. I am only on page 9 and I am interested in getting through this Budget There are thirty-two pages of statements and schedules and everything else. If I keep getting interrupted by people who do not know what they are talking about, I might be a month.

If the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture wants to listen, I am going to mention something to him, and the part I played in the process, in the same situation that he has talked about. That was not what I was talking about. Two years ago, in the area from Cape Broyle, Brigus South to Cappahayden, there was four schools - four administrations. There were numerous schools (inaudible). The people in the area and the school councils got together and said: If we keep all of these schools open, we are not going to give our kids access to as many programs and services as if we had the one school.

We went to public meetings, and I stood at public meetings and indicated that we should look at what is best: a new gymnasium, a proper technology lab, proper science labs - there was only one. The school had burned twenty years ago. There were two before that and then it was down to one. We looked at getting that. We wanted a commitment. We went to the Department of Education. We had a committee that went in. I went to school board meetings. Here is what we did: we put a proposal to the school board in November, the year before last. We went to an architect and got a design of a school that would meet those needs, and said, we are ready to shut down schools - three administrations into one principal. One principal, one vice-principal, and we will shut down these schools and give us -

AN HON. MEMBER: When are you going to answer the question?

MR. SULLIVAN: I am answering it, right what he is talking about. We said: We are prepared to shut down these other schools - one principal, one vice-principal. We want adequate facilities that people under this area of the Avalon East School Board, in my area, should have equal access to programs and services in other parts of this board. We went to the department and we went to the school board. We had a battle on our hands. The schools went out and each of the schools raised money to pay the architect. We presented a plan of how you would modify the school that was there into accommodating every single student.

Last September, 548 students collapsed and went into the one school and under one administration - it was a year ago September past - but we had problems. We went initially between board - well, you have a gym already; we are going to turn that into a cafeteria. We cannot give you another gym. The department has certain standards. The board said this and the department said that. Look, I went back and forth from board to department and finally the board did approve it at a meeting. The board met at a special meeting and overruled the decision of a general board. We went down and camped out and sat around there - I was not allowed to speak - and all the people gathered. There were only fifty allowed in. I interrupted the meeting and said, that is not true. I called every board member -

MR. REID: A point of order, Madam Speaker.

MADAM SPEAKER: On a point of order, the hon. the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

MR. REID: Have a seat for a second. I do not want to sit here all afternoon and listen to you getting on with a tirade. I want to make a simple point, and that is this: Where did you teach? In Calvert? Alright, you taught in Calvert under a Tory regime for seventeen, eighteen or nineteen years and you liked their policy so much that you ran for that party in 1993. Their policy was that you lay off 2 per cent of the teachers every year. We came in the Budget this year and said, we are not laying off one teacher - not one, zero - and you are up complaining about it.

MADAM SPEAKER: There is no point of order.

The hon. the Member for Ferryland.

MR. SULLIVAN: Thank you, Madam Speaker.

He is a little mixed up. I think he has really got his element in time mixed up. The last school that operated in Calvert, I would say, was in the 1960s, or even before the 1960s. That is thirty-five years ago. That is number one.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Well, thirty-five years ago the last school was open. Do you think I taught there now? That answers that question, number one.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: You wanted an answer to the question and I answered it.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: I am not complaining.

AN HON. MEMBER: Yes, you are complaining.

MR. SULLIVAN: No, I am not complaining, not at all. The Minister of Post-Secondary said, we are putting an extra 150 in the system and I said, no, Minister, you are just -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: No, she said 150.

AN HON. MEMBER: I don't care what she said; 250 (inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Sure, I don't care.

AN HON. MEMBER: It is 218.

MR. SULLIVAN: Fine, it is 218.

Anyway, the minister said, we are putting 150 extra teachers in the system. I said, no, you are preventing that many from coming out of the system. That is all I said. He gets carried away. He wants to be fisheries critic, he wants to be education critic, he wants to do this and do that. Look, he gets carried away. We hit a nerve. He jumped up several times and interrupted me in my Budget response. I did not jump up and interrupt the Finance Minister in presenting her Budget. I did not do that. I did not have points of order when the minster was reading her Budget. I do not mind giving leave. I have sat down lots of times and let people answer, but I am not going to get bullied into doing something, talking about a different topic than I am talking about, and then try to paint it as something else. That is not what he is doing. I will discuss any topic with him, but I will not get blamed for talking about one topic that is unrelated to what he his doing. Either he wasn't listening - he admitted he didn't want to listen, and maybe he didn't listen. They say that when you are talking, you are only repeating what you already know. It is when you listen that you learn something.

AN HON. MEMBER: Why do you think all those guys are sitting behind you, and they won't come up here?

MR. SULLIVAN: The minister tells me she can't hear me at times, so she asked me to pick it up. Speak up, sometimes she says; not too often, but occasionally. There are no chairs in front of me. That is why they don't sit in front of me. There are no seats in front of me. If there were seats in front of me, they would be sitting there. Even you enjoyed it so much that some of your guys came over and sat next to us. The Member for Bay of Islands came over and sat down next to me. He wanted to get an increased volume.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: I was getting on with it. The member is still trying to figure out where he should put the hospital out there. Have you figured that out yet?

MR. REID: A point of order, Madam Speaker.

MADAM SPEAKER: On a point of order, the hon. the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

MR. REID: (Inaudible) because he is misleading the House, Madam Speaker. The hospital is going in the centre of Fogo Island.

Thank you.

MADAM SPEAKER: There is no point of order. Continue.

MR. SULLIVAN: Thank you, Madam Speaker. As usual, he does not make any points of order. Points of disorder, basically, I would class them. It is a point of disorder.

AN HON. MEMBER: You made the point. (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: No. I said, are you still trying to decide? My question was: Have you decided where the hospital is going? You should have stood up and said: Yes, I have decided, and sit down. That is what I asked. I didn't ask you where it is going. I said, have you decided? That is what Hansard, for the record, will show. He gets so carried away. He said my volume was too loud. The Member for Bay of Islands, you even came over and wanted to be close to get an increase in volume, I might add. You even sat down to hear.

I was talking about topics in education and I said, I won't prejudge the minister, a new department there. Next year is the time to judge how effective that job was. I won't jump to conclusions. She said, we are putting an extra 150 teachers in the system. I said, no, you are not putting an extra 150 teachers in the system. You are preventing teachers from coming back out of the system.

That is accurate. I don't see new allocations. Are there new allocations of teachers? I am not aware. I didn't see it in the Budget. I didn't see it mentioned here. If it is, I would like to know. It is not here in the Minister of Finance's statement. We are preventing them - and that is good. That is positive. I support the government in not taking teachers out of the system. I think it is a positive response. It is one of the positive aspects of this Budget, something that did not happen last year and the year before. I say that is good, I am delighted to see it, and I think it should be.

AN HON. MEMBER: Thank you for your (inaudible).


What I was saying is that because, in a classroom - I am not talking about the consolidation of schools; I wasn't even on that topic - because a school might lose thirty students, two out of fifteen different classes, that does not mean we have to take a teacher out of the school. If you have fifteen classrooms and you have to lose two out of every classroom, that is thirty gone. Should you lose a teacher? You still have to teach to the ones who are left, the thirty that are left out of thirty-two, or the sixteen that are left out of eighteen. You still have to teach to them.

I recognize many teachers and administrators on that side of the House. They know that when you lose a couple of students out of a classroom - I am not talking about consolidation of schools. I support consolidation. We did it already, we went through it, the parents supported it, we got tremendous support up there, and I hope the same kind of support will happen out there. This was parent-driven out in our area and it is positive, but when a classroom size is reduced by a couple, in every classroom, for example, in the school, that does not mean you should take a teacher. You still have to teach those who are left.

AN HON. MEMBER: I understand that quite well, but you are saying we will never be able to take an extra teacher out of the system. That is not the way (inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Who said that?

AN HON. MEMBER: You said that.

MR. SULLIVAN: No, I never said that.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Sure, of course there does.

If you can find that I ever said that in my life, in printed word, I will apologize, but I can tell you, you will never find it because I did not say it. I do know that in areas where the population goes down so drastically there have to be reductions at some point. Then you have to do one of two things; you either have to get to a certain point under - we call NES schools.

AN HON. MEMBER: They are gone. There are no NES schools.

MR. SULLIVAN: No, but when it got down to a certain point NES schools would maintain a certain minimum level of services and programs, basically. If you got down to that point, it then becomes difficult - you have to start making the point then: Isn't it time to have the students and consolidation of schools when you get to a certain point? If enrollments go down in the future forever it does not mean that every single teacher in the system can stay there. Who knows, the numbers could drop another two, five, ten, 50,000. What are we now, about 90,000?

AN HON. MEMBER: Some positions we cannot fill.

MR. SULLIVAN: Ninety-something thousand now is it, in the systems? In fact, the school that consolidated, the one we talked about -

AN HON. MEMBER: Are schools going to drop by the same proportion?

MR. SULLIVAN: The schools that consolidated in Ferryland seen that there were close to 600 students. They realized that in five years' time there are going to be 400. Now let's move early and get the facilities we want before the whole bottom comes out and we have to move. Let's get ahead of the game. There are positive things in doing that. The schools in our Province now are down to what? Three hundred and

AN HON. MEMBER: Thirty- seven.

MR. SULLIVAN: Three hundred and thirty-seven schools in the Province. There were 1,380-some schools in this Province back in the 1970s, I believe. We have gone down. I think there were 487 schools back just three or four years ago.

AN HON. MEMBER: The peak year was 1970.

MR. SULLIVAN: There were how many then?

AN HON. MEMBER: 162,000 students.

MR. SULLIVAN: Students in the system, and now we are looking at ninety something. Obviously, numbers have to go down. As population goes down, unless we have a working population that maintains or increases, we have less contributing to the taxation of our Province. We have less to be able to maintain a service. There has to be a shrinkage in numbers. Everybody realizes that. There are less teachers. We have gone from, I think, 8,000 teachers or more when I was there, down to about 6,000 today.

AN HON. MEMBER: But we are having trouble filling some specialists positions. Some of these are not being filled (inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: My colleague is telling me that there are some specialists positions they are having a job filling. I notice that in some areas in Northern Labrador it is very difficult to fill certain positions. When it gets scarce you can sort of pick and choose. That is where - I mentioned earlier today - we are going to get to in education, like we had to deal with in health care this past year. We are going to have to look at changes in the salary and remuneration to teachers because, simple as that, if we do not be as competitive - I know teachers who left in January. One couple left in January - one was retired and one was still an active teacher - and went into a community up in Northern Ontario. At annual salaries up in the $70,000-something range. People have gone - I know two immediate family members in my wife's family who left. One went to Ontario twelve or thirteen years ago. One taught in Gaultois for two years but did not get a permanent position; majored in French. Specialized in French. Teaches all french in Ontario; and had to leave the Province. Also, they are teaching in all parts of the country, actually. Another family member teaches in New Brunswick.

AN HON. MEMBER: We have retired teachers now leaving.

MR. SULLIVAN: We have retired teachers who left. The principal and vice principal of the school I am talking about up in Ferryland, are teaching up in Northern Ontario. In two different locations up in Northern Ontario. One left in January. From the time they left here their paycheque started. In the March break they were paid, I think, a seven or ten day break, whatever. They were given so much money.

AN HON. MEMBER: $73,000 for fourth grade in Calgary.

MR. SULLIVAN: Yes, but they had to fly into this place in Northern Ontario. One is on an Indian reservation and there is another one in another particular area. One of the ones who is teaching there, at a lower grade, cannot speak English. They have to have someone in class to interpret and speak in a Grade 1 class up in Northern Ontario.

People have retired and gone up there. They said: Look, I will go up there for a couple of years. Stay there, pay off my mortgage and come back. At least I will live on my pension, type of thing. Two members of a family. They are going - I know numerous people who have done it.

AN HON. MEMBER: ( Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: My campaign manager in the last election has gone. He did the same thing actually, went away. He retired, was off two years, and went away. He has gone away for the rest of the year. He went in January, and his wife decided to go away. She took a leave because of a sick family member who unfortunately passed away back a few months ago. They went away, and others. The former principal is away. They examples, I am talking about, are on education. These things very pertinent because we have people who got out a little early. They could not wait. When they get their thirty years they got out of the system here because there is a lot of stress in teaching today. I hear it from people in the profession, that there is a lot of stress out there. When people get thirty years they are ready to go out that door as fast as they can possibly get out of there. Then they go back and teach elsewhere again. Some do not experience the same stresses in other areas that they had to go teach. So, it is demanding and we have to go look for teachers.

We are getting the same problem in teaching that we had with nurses and other health care professionals. We had some health care professionals - not just nurses. I use that because they are a larger number of the population, but we had to go through everything from (inaudible), from reclassification to physiotherapists, you name it. The whole spectrum in health care and reclassification. They had to do something to bridge the gap, and I think it was a positive factor in stopping that out-migration of people. We have to nip it in the bud this time. We did not nip it in the bud with nurses, and it got us into a whole pile of problems there. Babies had to be flown to Winnipeg from neonatal. We could not get enough nurses to work there. We had cardiac surgery - we had people die on waiting lists. We had numerous things occur because of bottlenecking, from profusionists, to anesthetists, to nurses in particular. Bottlenecking for most of the time were nurses, the lack of critical care nurses, to go to work in the operating rooms and there were not enough to work afterwards in the recovery rooms. So you could not do an operation if you did not have a nurse to come into the recovery room to look after them, because you need a high level of care. In intensive care the ratio of care is about - you have to have 80 per cent; almost 100 per cent, one-on-one care. In other levels out on the different floors in medicine and surgery, it varies with the number of hours per day that you need to give to an individual. It varies to an extreme number in some if these areas. So we got into problems there.

The same in education. Granted, we know there is not a bottomless pot of money out there. We realize that. We are not that stupid. No more stupid, I guess, than people on either side of the House. It does not make you any more intelligent. We are no more stupid -

AN HON. MEMBER: Get up on a point of order, Gerry, please.

MR. SULLIVAN: In other words, we might be just as stupid as you are over there. It sounds different.

AN HON. MEMBER: Gerry, please get up on a point of order.

MR. SULLIVAN: It is how you say something. You always said: It is not what you say, the words, it is how you say it. Like the person who said to this person: You have a face that would stop a clock. He said: You could have said you have a face that would make time stand still. The two of them mean different things but they are -

MR. REID: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: On a point of order, the Minister of Fisheries.

MR. REID: The hon. member was talking about a clock and he is like a broken clock in that he is right at least twice a day.

MR. SPEAKER: There is no point of order.

The hon. the Opposition House Leader.

MR. SULLIVAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Once again, it is a point of disorder. If it not a point of order it must be disorder or disorderly. That is what I assume. It either is, or it is not. Is he saying that we should stop the clock now so I can go on forever?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Okay. He just confused me there.

AN HON. MEMBER: You are going to be some sorry.

MR. SULLIVAN: Yes, I probably will. It will not be the first time I was and it probably will not be the last time.

I am only up to page 10. I am making progress. We will be able to report some considerable progress. I started on page 3 and I am up to page 10. The last day I only got three pages covered. You have to address the Budget in detail. You have to look at these items.

Let's see what we have here now: Maintaining School Board Grants. Is there anything there I might say on education (inaudible) that is noteworthy? Ah, ah! Here it is, my colleague. It did not say there are extra teachers. It says on page 10 of the Budget Speech: "No Teacher Lay-Offs." I cannot find where it says they are putting teachers - oh, here is where they are. They said: "Implementation of the new allocation method in the Ministerial Panel Report on Education Reform would have resulted in the loss of 218 teaching units." In other words; would have resulted. So we are going to retain those units.

Just because I corrected the Minister of Post-Secondary when she said extra, the Member for Twillingate & Fogo, the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture blew a gasket when he was not listening close enough to what I said. He thought I said something that I did not and he got all flustered up and wasted fifteen minutes of the Budget debate to get back to this topic again.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Yes, he did so. This is very informative stuff. We are talking about the education of our youth.

I was talking about university. We did have some expenditures that were not anticipated. I am just wondering - maybe the minister, when she gets up to speak on Budget debate might answer that. I don't mean now on a point of order or anything. She might be able to tell us why we spent, last year, $3 million more on the Opportunities Fund. I know we are matching dollar for dollar. We sort of built into the budget so much and what they were raising each year. Was there an extra big rush of fundraising this year over and above what government projected that required an extra $3 million to go into that?

Silence. Silence is deafening. Anyway, when she gets up she will answer that.

It says: "We will have one teacher for every 13.3 students." Is that right? So that would leave you an impression that when you go into a class there are 13.3 students.


MR. SULLIVAN: Actually, they factor other things into the ratios. I think the ratios are done - I am not as current on this as the education critic and maybe some other people here, but some provinces factor differently in the student ratio than our Province. For example, any personnel at board levels, specialists, and things are -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: But, you have to compare apples with apples you know. You can't compare apples and oranges; you have to compare apples and apples.

AN HON. MEMBER: No argument, but there are still -

MR. SULLIVAN: There are still some differences. That is an area of expertise the education critic - I am sure when he gets up on Budget debate he will clarify that for the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture. You will set the minister straight on that when you do get up.

MR. HEDDERSON: Do you remember a couple of days ago when I was on my feet and the justice minister said that I was so negative; but with 13.3, or whatever it is -

MR. SULLIVAN: "These initiatives include the creation of a Centre for Distance Learning and Innovation." Distance learning and innovation, that is an important part. Distance education - I had an opportunity to go the telemedicine centre and see how it operates. Remote areas of the Province that just do not have the numbers there, it would be an opportunity - I know it has been going on for a number of years - to be able to do courses like normally in schools. I know the school I taught in - and the school is still there - there was advanced math. In fact, I used to teach biology, chemistry and advanced math. They had advanced math, academic math, we called it, and basic math, with smaller numbers. Many schools around this Province do not have that luxury to have different levels in all areas and by having distance education you can get those students who are gifted students and people who want to do more programs that are not available. It is a tremendous opportunity. We are into the modern age of technology. This has been going on for some time.

I know His Honour, the Lieutenant-Governor, had been very active in the telemedicine area at Memorial University. We have seen in education, a lot of courses offered. Actually, a course is offered at Memorial. They go into the telemedicine centre - and the professor was in Calgary. He was in Calgary on leave, but he was doing this program. He did it from MUN. They were hooked into sites all over the different parts of the Province. More of this in the school system, more opportunities, more with the modern age in education, because if we cannot take the person out to the community it is important to be able to take instructions via the technology that we have today.

In fact, medical diagnosis are being done. I looked at an example on a screen there. You can look at diagnosis getting done up on the Northern Peninsula - you can be here in St. John's with a specialist (inaudible) and get a diagnosis at a remote area by a specialist so they can advise. That is one of the biggest problems in rural areas. You have a doctor out there who does not have the support in terms of medical expertise. Everybody cannot have a specialist to call and a specialist to be available. But, doing diagnosis on that and say: Look, this is something that warrants close attention, get that person in there. It certainly facilitates in the process. They are areas in education the same as we moved in the health care field.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) if he falters at all.

MR. SULLIVAN: I will only falter when the member does not listen attentively, misinterprets and does not understand what I am saying.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) if you go wrong.

MR. SULLIVAN: I am interested in knowing - I don't have the figure, but I am certainly interesting in knowing how many students in this Province, in high schools, in secondary schools, are doing courses through distance education today? Do you have any idea?

MR. HEDDERSON: Not off hand, but there are about ten courses being offered.

MR. SULLIVAN: About ten different courses.

MR. HEDDERSON: The problem is, they are mostly the advanced -

MR. SULLIVAN: Most sites can tune in though? Are there areas of the Province that cannot access? For example, smaller areas?

MR. HEDDERSON: I think for the most part they can.

MR. SULLIVAN: Pretty well most sites can access -

MR. HEDDERSON: They are gone to the interactive, digital, and they are replacing the old system, and this is what this (inaudible) is for. We would like to know where it is going. If the teachers are going out of that allocation. Who is going to man it (inaudible) question.

MR. SULLIVAN: Yes, how will this affect your direct in-classroom teacher in that particular school? In other words, will they say at your centre (inaudible) is that going to be factored in the allocations, and that portion of a teacher that is not going to be in that school.

MR. HEDDERSON: There are going to be about twenty or thirty teachers (inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: For instance, if you had a course offered in Burgeo, for example, and there were twelve doing advanced math, would that school then be considered to have to sacrifice a small portion of a teacher unit because they have students who are getting instruction from another location? Are they the things -

AN HON. MEMBER: No, no, no.

MR. SULLIVAN: I am just asking. Are they some of the things - I guess, if you offer a lot over that area, there has to be some for the person doing the course, offering the course, from their control. Basically, there has to be some allocation. That has to come out of somebody's figures, some units.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Or it might be a separate allocation above that specific ratio as determined for each board and so on. They are certainly interesting questions that we should get answers on.

MR. REID: I answered everything you asked me.

MR. SULLIVAN: Yes, you have answered everything. I asked you: Have you decided where the hospital is going on Fogo Island? You did not answer yes or no. I still do not know if you have decided.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Supporting post-secondary education: provincial funding for public post-secondary education is increased by 21.3 per cent since 1997-1998.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Do you want me to tell you what I told you?

MR. REID: About what?

MR. SULLIVAN: About the topic you just asked about, the Fogo Island Co-op.

I said that, in extreme cases -

MR. REID: No, you did not say anything (inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: I did, and the Member for Torngat Mountains will tell you. He was here, too, because I made reference to his area .

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Sure, I am in Hansard. I am on the record. I will stand by whatever you read in the record. It will not be different. I said: As a policy, this government should not be into subsidizing plants to compete with other plants in the Province. I will still say that today.

I made this statement, and the Minister of Industry was there. He represented that area -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Wait until I get to it. I am getting to it. The minister was there that day, too, and he was probably upset that I did not support the bill. I spoke at length against it. I said, they went out one year and paid higher prices than anybody else for crab, and they had a million dollar guarantee. They came back to this Legislature the next year and they wanted a $2 million guarantee. I said, when you go out and pay more for it and you cannot operated, and now you want more money, we cannot do that.

I am not saying there should not be consideration given. I am saying that our goal should be to phase out all dependence on government guarantees. With over capacity in an industry, we cannot be out there supporting or propping up one at the expense of another. There are certain remote areas. How many might want to go down in the Torngat area, if it is not as competitive as certain area? We have to look at maintaining a structure and base in parts of our Province that otherwise would not.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: It could, very possibility.

AN HON. MEMBER: That is not what you said. (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: It could be. If they are competing already - and it could not be. It could not be, and it could be, I say to the minister. We have to look at the circumstances. We have to look at the type of production, the competition, the factors. There are numerous factors that go into doing that, I can tell you.

This government and the previous PC governments passed out guarantees hand over fist. It went through a phase. They have been on the books, they have been in bills; since I came in this House in 1992, I have seen them.

AN HON. MEMBER: How many?

MR. SULLIVAN: Two years ago, we had a bill that was three fisheries guarantees.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Oh, there is no comparison. We are sort of phasing out of it. That is a positive step. There are not near as many plants. There are about 200 operating. There are only sixty-five identified core plants, basically, in the Province. There are issues, things that we have to look at. The survival of areas is important. They have to be into the whole equation. We have to look at the competitive factors.

AN HON. MEMBER: What do you think of Twillingate?

MR. SULLIVAN: Twillingate has a long history in the fishery, to be honest with you. There is a fair population base out there. I am not going to stand up and say what specifically we should do with Twillingate. I think we should look at it with every consideration. It is not something that we should just turn out back on. It is something that need to be investigated. I am not familiar enough with all the details of Twillingate, to be honest with you. There are proposals in. I do not know what they are. I do not know what the dynamics of it all are. It is not in my critic area. Had it been in my critic area, I might be more versed on it. I do know the generalities of it. I do not draw conclusion on things until I know all the specifics on that, so I cannot draw a judgement there on it. I would like to see all the basic plants here in the Province prosper and benefit from increases in quotas in any resource, not going outside this Province, to be directed into our Province to be able to get rural Newfoundland back. Rural Newfoundland today is a far cry from what rural Newfoundland was before the moratorium. When we have allocations in new species coming out there, we have to be looking at the whole dynamics of the Province.

We do not want to see the South Coast of Newfoundland shut down, or the Northeast Coast of Newfoundland, or other areas. We have responsibilities to maintain employment levels in all regions of the Province, within geographical limits. We have a responsibility and we cannot cluster it in one area or cluster it in another. I think we have to look at the resource and use the resource and adjacency. There are a lot of factors that play into that. I am sure the minister knows full well. He has been around the situation as a executive assistant out there for a number of years prior to that. He knows the dynamics out there a lot more than I do in his own district. I do not profess to be any expert in that area but -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) make a decision.

MR. SULLIVAN: No, I am just saying I cannot make a decision when I don't know all of the facts, basically. I would like to get the facts.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: I said you are in a lot better position than I am because you are close to it, you know more of the dynamics -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: I just answered. Listen here, read Hansard in the last -

AN HON. MEMBER: You backtracked, did you?

MR. SULLIVAN: No, boy. Indeed I did not backtrack. Here is what I am against.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: No, I will not backtrack. Here is what I said, yes siree. Could the minister listen for one second? I was speaking to the Minister of Fisheries -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: I do not care.

I said, the Minister of Industry got upset at the time - and you were there and you did not listen to me. I said, here is what I oppose: I oppose when a company gets a million dollar guarantee and they go out and compete against other companies and pay them more than anybody else for the product, more than anybody else for crab that year, and comes back the next year looking for a $2 million guarantee. I said, there is something wrong. That is what I said is wrong. I opposed an increase in the loan guarantee on that basis.

He might try to add a little -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Ask the Member for Torngat Mountains what I said on that. They do not even know what they said at the time. They do not have a clue. A good effort there. That was like his effort to get me to get him up to say a few words. The former Government House Leader thought he was going to get me down for him to say a few words and then I would be ending my Budget Speech, but I did not fall for that. I did not fall for that trick. Indeed, I didn't.

We are making considerable progress. We are on page fourteen. I want to talk a little about Reducing Tuition. Tuition is just one of the expenses for university students and other post-secondary students. Tuition represents roughly 30 per cent of the cost of a student who leaves home, comes into St. John's and has to spend the winter here, pay their share of board and light and heat and food and transportation. That represents about 30 per cent of the cost of a person's education over an eight-month period. I estimate that to attend university for two terms is about $10, 000, if you are from rural Newfoundland. If you are from St. John's, the costs are about cut in half because you have to get transportation costs and you have to get accommodations here. If you are living in St. John's, you have a place; you have a roof over your head. I guess the basic maintenance of the house of your parents or family, if you are a student, some of these costs are absorbed.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: My colleague is eager to get up and speak, but I am not willing to let him do it yet. I have to bore him a little bit more before I am ready to throw in the towel on this one.

Tuition is one thing. Other costs -

MR. SHELLEY: Could you go back over what you were talking about around 3:00 p.m.?

MR. SULLIVAN: No, I am going to start that next week. Next week I will get into that. What is today? Thursday.

MR. SHELLEY: Could you repeat what you said between 3:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.?

MR. SULLIVAN: No, I was being interrupted too much then. I do not want to revisit that.

Lowering Student Debt: What are you doing to lower student debt? The former person involved in this - yes, what are you doing?

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

MR. SPEAKER: On a point of order, the hon. the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation.

MR. BARRETT: The hon. member asked a question, what we are doing about (inaudible) student debt. I am happy to report this afternoon that the Prime Minister of Canada agrees with the Member for Bellevue. He just announced in the House of Commons that water was not covered under the NAFTA agreement. He is going to have a debate on the whole idea of bulk shipment of water. That was in The National Post, so the Prime Minister of Canada -

MR. SULLIVAN: (Inaudible) tuition now because we are going to sell bulk water.

MR. BARRETT: Right. That is it, right on schedule.

MR. SPEAKER: There is no point of order.

The hon. the Opposition House Leader.

MR. SULLIVAN: He said, because the Prime Minister stood in the House and said the export of water was not covered under NAFTA - I asked him: What are you going to do for student debt? He is now saying that the students of this Province, the future students, are going to get their tuition now because we are going to ship out bulk water. He is reinforcing what his Premier said. He cannot agree with him on the export of bulk water. He disagrees with him on that, but he agrees with him that we should only get tuition if we can export bulk water. Is that the link? I asked: What are you doing for student debt? and you talked about bulk water. So that is the link that I made to it. What other conclusion -

AN HON. MEMBER: ( Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: The revenue from bulk water is going to give free tuition? It is not going to give health care, nothing for health care?

AN HON. MEMBER: Oh, yes.

MR. SULLIVAN: Oh, it is going to give free health care?

AN HON. MEMBER: Solve all your problems.

MR. SULLIVAN: Solve your problems? What else is it going -



AN HON. MEMBER: A causeway too?

MR. SULLIVAN: Causeways.

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

MR. SPEAKER: On a point of order, the hon. the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation.

MR. BARRETT: If we had revenue coming in from bulk shipment of water and from our natural resources, all kinds of royalties, we would be able to provide tuition fees, health care. We may be able to resurface a few roads down in the Ferryland district, if we had the money coming from Gisborne Lake. It is too bad we did not go ahead with it two years ago. Imagine, if I had $200 million for a road building program, all the jobs that would be involved and all the generation that would go on. Look at all the revenue we would have coming in. More beds open for the hospitals, and all that sort of stuff. It is amazing, even a causeway for Long Island. We would not even have to go to Ottawa begging for money. We would have enough money; we could do all these things.

MR. SPEAKER: There is no point of order.

The hon. the Opposition House Leader.

MR. SULLIVAN: Did I hear the member correctly? What he is trying to say is, unless we export bulk water we are not going to get paving in the District of Ferryland. Is that what he said?

Joey Smallwood said that, and Greg Power ran. We will sit on the treasure chest and there will not be one red cent go to Ferryland district, he said. Do you know what happened to Greg Power in that election? Do you think he won?


MR. SULLIVAN: No, they said, you can take it; we are not voting for him. We are going to decide. The people in Ferryland district are going to decide who they vote for. It will not be the member from Bellevue or the Premier of the Province or anybody else. It will be the people of the district.

AN HON. MEMBER: You are not looking for pavement for your driveway again?

MR. SULLIVAN: No, I paid for it myself. I am soon going to need it resurfaced, though. Do you know any contractors that are really looking for paving jobs? There will be lots of them this year, I would say, with all this pavement torn up.

AN HON. MEMBER: ( Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: No, leave that alone. That is a luxury. I cannot talk about luxury items. I have to talk about essential items. I need that resurfaced too. It has been fifteen years since I put a -

AN HON. MEMBER: ( Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: What? I am talking about my driveway. I say, that is private.

Yes, we do need it. I am not even over to the transportation part of this Budget yet. I never even got to that yet; but, yes, we certainly do. I think the only place on the Avalon there was an increase - maybe the Tourism Minister might be able to vouch for that - in visits last year was the Colony of Avalon. The number of people that came up that highway over the past couple of years, the past three years, and I am still looking for that figure from the minister, there was $5 million on the trunk roads to be spent on that area on Route 10. There was $750,000 spent.

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

MR. SPEAKER: On a point of order, the hon. the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation.

MR. BARRETT: The hon. member wanted some information. There is $800,000 left.

MR. SPEAKER: There is no point of order.


MR. BARRETT: You don't have to talk about that, now.

MR. SULLIVAN: I will not. I would assume, with it expiring, that would have to be spent next year, would it?

MR. BARRETT: In the next two years.

MR. SULLIVAN: Thank you. I appreciate the answer, because -

MR. BARRETT: I might ask you (inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: No, it was earmarked for Ferryland district and I would like to see it spent in the Ferryland district, thank you. That is the figure, though, is it, I say to the minister? I figured it was about three-quarters of a million dollars. Well, that is enough to do a significant portion. If you drive through the historic town of Ferryland, it says, as you enter the town on either side: Bumpy roads for the next five kilometers.

You go through the town, it is unbelievable, some of the roads through that town. The road is paved almost up to that, and if they had that $800,000 this year it would have made it right up to the Colony Building. Just drive through the Town of Ferryland. Go right through from one end to the other and turn around when you are up that way, and just look at the main highway. It is ridiculous. It is not just because of the winter. That is last year. That is the worst section -

MR. BARRETT: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: No, between that area and St. John's. That is the worst section, from Ferryland to St. John's, that is not done.

MR. BARRETT: Did you hear what I said?


MR. BARRETT: We are not doing it this year because I did not want to overheat the economy.

MR. SULLIVAN: You didn't?

MR. BARRETT: No, I did not want to overheat the economy.

MR. SULLIVAN: Oh, don't worry. We might not get rid of winter. The economy might not overheat if this winter lasts a lot longer. That will put a chill, I think, in the economy this year and increase your expenditure. The price of gas will increase your costs. You will not get to do that road work as early. You will not have to be doing maintenance as early. All that money you will be sitting on, that over $1 billion we got in Interim Supply. You will not get to spend a lot of that now. You will not need that until after June, and if this winter keeps on going and going -

MR. BARRETT: I was supposed to meet with Collenette tomorrow and get more money. I can't go.

MR. SULLIVAN: No, do not overheat the economy. Who was it that said - Premier Tobin was afraid he was going to overheat the economy, was it? Who made that comment?

AN HON. MEMBER: Bill Marshall.


AN HON. MEMBER: Bill Marshall.

MR. SULLIVAN: Are you that old?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: What did His Honour say about overheating the economy?

AN HON. MEMBER: Elect the Liberals and we will overheat the economy.

MR. SULLIVAN: Yes, and what happened?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: They elected him and they have been taking the heat ever since. That is what happened.

Now, we get back to student debt. I don't know how we turned student debt into roads, but that is what I was talking about, student debt. I asked him the question: What are they doing to lower student debt? He said: We are going to export bulk water, basically.


MR. SULLIVAN: I said: What are we doing to lower student debt? You said: The Prime Minister said that bulk export of water is not covered under NAFTA, and if we can export water we will be able to get tuition.

I said: What about health care? You said: Health care and other things.

AN HON. MEMBER: Loyola, adjourn the debate now.

MR. SULLIVAN: They might not want to go home yet. Do you want to stay for the night, or do you want to adjourn?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Okay, I was just getting into a topic, being almost halfway through the script part of this Budget Speech itself. At this point, since it is getting late in the day, I will adjourn debate.

MR. SPEAKER (Snow): Before I recognize the hon. the Government House Leader, I want to remind members that the Resource Committee will meet at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, April 9, in Committee Room 5083 to review the Estimates of the Department of Industry, Trade and Rural Development.

The hon. the Government House Leader.

MR. LUSH: Mr. Speaker, before moving the adjournment of the House, I remind hon. members that on Monday I may call the legislation for the second reading that we passed out today, "An Act Respecting Petroleum Products," (Bill 4). I tell hon. members that I will probably call that for second reading on Monday.

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

On motion, the House at its rising adjourned until tomorrow, Monday, at 1:30 p.m.