March 15, 1991                 HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY PROCEEDINGS             Vol. XLI  No. 10


The House met at 9:00 a.m.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

Oral Questions

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

MR. RIDEOUT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have a question for the Minister of Education. I must say, I have always had the greatest respect for the honesty and integrity of the Minister. But the last couple of days, in particular the answer the Minister gave me in this House yesterday in relation to the University's operating budget, are beginning to make me wonder.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. RIDEOUT: Yesterday in the House in reaction to the question I asked him about the University's Budget, the Minister said this and I quote from yesterday's Hansard - this is the Minister speaking: `As I said before', and before meant before the budgetary freeze, `the increase was $5.5 million of the $12 million. But when we decided to freeze, of course, we took away $4,859,000. So that explains the figures that Dr. May has. So it is $140,000 of the $7 million that they requested on operation other than salaries.' Now this is the Minister's quote from yesterday.

Now, Mr. Speaker, in view of the fact that the wage freeze for everybody, including the University, was announced in the Budget that was read in this House on Thursday, March 7, how could the Minister of Education go before the public the next day, on Friday March 8, and state the following? Let me quote the Minister's press statement. The Minister said, 'Memorial's operating grant will basically be increased by $5.5 million in 1991-92 when compared with 1990-91. This operating grant increase of $5.5 million falls short of the University's projected additional requirements.'

Now, Mr. Speaker, I have to ask the Minister where is the honesty and integrity in that statement, when the Minister sat in this House the day before and heard his colleague, the Minister of Finance, announce a wage freeze for the University?

AN HON. MEMBER: Shame!

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

DR. WARREN: Mr. Speaker, there are a number of ways of looking at this. I think yesterday I agreed, and I read the presentation by Dr. May at his news conference. He said Memorial has a $7 million to $8 million problem, and I confirmed that yesterday in my comments in answer to the hon. Member's question.

Mr. Speaker, I went through the statistics yesterday, including salaries. If the salary freeze had not been imposed, the salary increase would have been $5.5 million. Seeing that we imposed the salary freeze, we then, of course, reduced the operating budget by $4,859,000. But I admit, Mr. Speaker, that the University still has a $7 million to $8 million problem. They asked for $12 million; they have a $7 million to $8 million problem and Dr. May has indicated that half of that problem will be solved through student fees and increases in various other fees, and the other half, Mr. Speaker, through cuts in University operations.

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

MR. RIDEOUT: Mr. Speaker, the Minister did not come close to answering the question. He knows that and the House knows it, and I would assume that people who are covering this House know it. But let me ask the Minister this. Does the Minister expect this House and the people of this Province to believe that the day after the Budget was delivered in this House, and the Minister was here and he is a member of Cabinet anyway, does he expect us to believe that he did not know that the University's operating Budget for next year would increase not by $5.5 million as he went out and told the people of this Province the day after the Budget came down, but by $140,000? Did the Minister not know that, Mr. Speaker? That is the question.

MR. TOBIN: Sure he did. Sure, he knew it.

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

DR. WARREN: Mr. Speaker, in my comments to the press, if the hon. Member had had somebody present, I explained that if there had not been a salary freeze and Memorial's request for $13 million, Mr. Speaker, if there had not -

AN HON. MEMBER: All lies (inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please! Order, please!

DR. WARREN: Mr. Speaker, I said if there had not been a salary freeze and Memorial's request for $12 million to $13 million, the amount that the Government would have added to the operational Budget of the university, including salaries, would have been $5.5 million. I stand by these figures, Mr. Speaker, and I went through them yesterday. I thought the hon. Member has his sums right and I told the press that, and I will repeat the same thing, Mr. Speaker. But with the frozen Budget the increase was offset largely by the reduction in the amount of salaries that Government will give to the University.

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

MR. RIDEOUT: Mr. Speaker, even the affable Minister of Education does not have any truths written over his face this morning. Now, Mr. Speaker, here is what the Minister said to the press: `Memorial's operating grant will basically increase by $5.5 million in 1991/1992.' He did not say anything about what happened because of the freeze or anything else. That is what he said. Now, Mr. Speaker, will the Minister tell the House the truth, that in fact what happened on Friday, March 8, was that the Minister read a statement to the press that had been prepared for him before the Budget was brought down in this House and the Minister did not have the honesty and integrity to change that statement to reflect the reality of the Budget that was brought down here the day before? Is that not the truth of the matter, Mr. Speaker?

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

DR. WARREN: The brief answer, Mr. Speaker, is no.

AN HON. MEMBER: Yes.

MR. WARREN: No, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. WINSOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is to the Minister responsible for Works, Services and Transportation. In the 1989 Budget Speech the Minister said Government is committed to the provision of improved ferry service to Newfoundlanders residing in island communities. In view of the most recent announcements, can the Minister still stand by this 1989 statement? And furthermore, can he explain why the only positive thing he has done in ferry transportation, the lowering of rates, has not applied to commercial as well as regular vehicles?

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

MR. GILBERT: First of all, Mr. Speaker, we are certainly committed to improving the ferry service to the island communities of Newfoundland. We have done it; we are working towards it and we will continue to do that. The Member will remember that when we changed the Change Islands-Fogo service this year and put on the one operation, we improved the service - we gave them an extra trip. And I have letters from the committees down there saying how happy they are with the service they have.

The commercial rates were reduced. When we looked at them, we reduced them. They are under review now and maybe they will be again, but I certainly cannot say so at this time. We have reduced them, we have done what we set out to do by evening and spreading out the base so that the people who drive back and forth, the people who use it every day, now have the same cost to go the miles required on the ferry as they would if they were driving over the road. And there will be a reduction come in on April 1 in ferry rates again.

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

MR. WINSOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

In view of the fact that this Liberal Government has already cancelled the dedicated ferry service it announced, except for three months of the year for Fogo Island and Change Islands, and it has deferred the construction of the ferry it had already announced, how can the Minister make the assertion he just did, that you are committed to the improvement when you have already downgraded it? Will the Minister cancel the decision that has been made and begin the construction of the Fogo Island ferry?

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

MR. GILBERT: Mr. Speaker, it is interesting, you know, when the people who live in Fogo have sent a letter to me saying they are perfectly happy with the one ferry boat and they are getting four trips a day now compared to the three trips they were getting before. We used our heads and imagination in the Department and we gave the people a better service than they were getting before. As for the construction of the ferry, we were forced to make some budget cuts. We think that sometime in the future we will carry on with the building of a dedicated icebreaker to provide that service. However, right now we have to use the service we have. We have not cancelled it, we have put it on hold because we were forced to, as we were forced to do many things in the Budget we brought in this year. Have no fear, the people are going to get the service. As a matter of fact, they even admit it is a better service than they were getting before.

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

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, based on what the Minister has said or has not said, I would like to put a question to the Minister of Development, because the inaction of this Government as it relates to the cancellation of the ferry will not just have a devastating effect on the Fogo area, it will also affect the work force of the Marystown Shipyard and the Burin Peninsula, which has the highest unemployment rate in Newfoundland and the highest in the history of that area. I would now like to ask the Minister of Development, Mr. Speaker, what assurance he can give to employees who are presently working at the Marystown Shipyard that they will not receive layoff notices this year. And when he goes to Marystown on Tuesday, and I am sure he has the courage to appear before the 800 unionized employees who have requested the presence of himself, the Premier and the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation, when he goes before these people, what assurance can he give them that they will find employment in the Government-owned Marystown Shipyard over the next several months?

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

MR. FUREY: First of all, Mr. Speaker, I do not set my agenda by other people's agenda. Ministers have meetings arranged weeks in advance, sometimes months in advance. Secondly, Mr. Speaker, this Government feels very badly about deferring the construction of the icebreaker at Marystown. The Minister of Transportation, the operative word was deferral. Everybody in this Province knows the budgetary position this Government inherited - we inherited $5.3 billion worth of debt. When we started to write a budget we had to find $527 million just to pay the interest on the debt. This debt was not accumulated overnight, Mr. Speaker, it was accumulated over the last 20 years, with the Conservative Government. But let me say this to the people of Marystown. It was this Government - this Government - which signed the Hibernia Agreement, this Government which put into place -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. FUREY: Mr. Speaker, it was this Government which effected and caused the construction of the $40 million fabrication yard at Marystown which will look after many, many people, it was this Government, Mr. Speaker, which put its 25 per cent despite the restraint we are under, despite the fact that money is tight, despite the fact that we are under difficult circumstances, it was this Government which put its 25 per cent, its $8 million in place for those workers at Marystown.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I just wanted to remind the Minister that he may have been drifting away from the main point of the question.

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

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, I would like to say to the Minister that it was this Member and that Member, and the hon. John Crosbie and the Member for Mount Pearl who announced and put in place the $40 million fabrication centre for the Marystown Shipyard.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please! Order, please!

I just want to again remind hon. Members, and I cannot be doing this all the time, that when a Member is into a supplementary, the Member should proceed to get to the supplementary.

The hon. the Member for Burin - Placentia West.

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, I would now like to put a supplementary question to the Minister of Education, the honest Minister of Education, Mr. Speaker. Now that the Minister of Development has admitted that he has nothing in place for the work force of the Marystown Shipyard - the Minister of Development is about to preside over the closing of the Marystown Shipyard as the new construction centre, the present Minister of Development - let me ask the Minister of Education whether or not he has looked at all options in his budget when he talks about education cuts, and whether he has been honest with the people of Newfoundland? And will he now abandon his foolish and politically motivated attitude toward losing several jobs on the Burin Peninsula, costing the Government a fortune? Will he now announce to this House that the headquarters for the Eastern Community College will remain in Burin?

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

DR. WARREN: Mr. Speaker, this past year the Government faced some very difficult financial problems. We dealt with them up front, and they were difficult decisions. One thing we have to do, Mr. Speaker, is rationalize a lot of our programmes, and last year in the White paper we believe that the Government began a rationalization of the post-secondary system: redefining boundaries, combining institutions, reducing central office staff, reducing the organization and the management, in some cases, of colleges.

Mr. Speaker, in that process we redefined some boundaries. And it seems reasonable that when you have a college that covers the Burin Peninsula, Clarenville, Bonavista, Placentia, Carbonear, it seems reasonable I am sure the hon. Member will admit, to put the centre for that college in Clarenville. We did what was right educationally, Mr. Speaker. And I do not want to be political here. I try not to be very political. But when we announced our decision to put the headquarters in Clarenville it is amazing how many people called us and said, I wonder why it was put on the Burin Peninsula? Why the extra cost of travelling for the central office staff from that area of the Province to cover Bonavista? Why originally wasn't the centre put in Clarenville? We did what was right, Mr. Speaker, and we are going to continue to do that.

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

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, let me say to the Minister that centralization does not have the same meaning for me as it does for him. I believe in rural Newfoundland. Now, let me ask the Minister how much money it costs to have the present headquarters for the Eastern Community College for the next five years on the lease, how much that is, how much the next lease will cost for Clarenville, how much it will cost to move the people, and then tell us how much it will cost for the residents from rural Newfoundland to stay in residence next year because of your inaction and political motivation, and personal attacks on the people of the Burin Peninsula?

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

DR. WARREN: Mr. Speaker, I will table these figures later on in the year. We have an implementation committee rationalizing the whole system and I will provide the hon. Member with this data. Let me say one additional thing, Mr. Speaker, when we redefined the boundaries we closed two offices, one happened to be in the district served by the hon. Member for Carbonear and the other hon. Members who happened to be on this side of the House, Mr. Speaker, so it is not easy for them either. It was not easy for them, but we did, and Clarenville happened to be served by a Member on the opposite side of the House at that point in time. If you ever want any evidence that we do what is right educationally and not politically you have it, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. R. AYLWARD: Thank you, very much, Mr. Speaker.

I have a question for the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation. Will the Minister tell this House how many positions will be eliminated from the Department of Works, Services and Transportation by the heartless Budget brought down on March 7 by the Minister of Finance?

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

MR. GILBERT: As I understand, Mr. Speaker, the number of full time positions that are going to be eliminated are twenty-one permanent, and, I believe, twenty part-time. These people have been notified now; all of them have received their notices.

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

MR. R. AYLWARD: Mr. Speaker, would the Minister tell this House how many of these positions relate to the general service agreement, and how many relate to the MOS agreement? And, is the Minister concentrating on laying off all his employees in the MOS agreement because they do not have the same rights of recall and rights of redundancy as do workers in the general service agreement, Mr. Speaker?

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

MR. GILBERT: I do not have the breakdown, Mr. Speaker, but it is a question I will get the answer for and get back to him.

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

MR. R. AYLWARD: Mr. Speaker, I find that strange since this is the most important issue in this Province and the Minister does not have these figures for his Department.

Mr. Speaker, how many of the eliminated positions are security technicians, security guards or security work persons? How many management positions relating to these security guards will be laid off, Mr. Speaker? And does the Minister realize that by installing the electronic security systems which he is doing in this building, he is not only eliminating jobs in Newfoundland, but he is creating jobs in Halifax, Nova Scotia?

AN HON. MEMBER: Go on!

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

MR. GILBERT: Mr. Speaker, that is an interesting question that the Member for Kilbride asked, because what we are doing now in automating the system is carrying out a policy that his Government had started in 1988.

AN HON. MEMBER: Go on!

MR. GILBERT: The fact is we put to public tender, the contract for the automated system. It matters, I suppose, little where it is operated from. You could operate it from Mars for that matter. You know, as long as it is done.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. GILBERT: But I mean it is the public tender situation and the automated system has worked. We are getting the security. The same security that we had -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Order, please!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. GILBERT: The security system is in place. We will be working towards it and eventually most of the buildings in the Province will be covered by the automated security system, and we think it is a much more efficient and effective system.

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

MR. R. AYLWARD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, I just want to point out to the Minister: Is the Minister aware, Mr. Speaker, that in the optional spending in his Department, optional spending only for supplies, a one per cent cut in that would create sixteen jobs? And is the Minister aware that his optional spending in Purchase Services, one-tenth of 1 per cent would have saved seventeen jobs, Mr. Speaker? Is the Minister aware that if he reduced the optional spending in property, furnishings and equipment by 1 per cent he could have saved twenty-one jobs? And is the Minister aware that if he cut by 1 per cent the travel of his Department he could have saved three jobs for a total of forty-seven jobs?

AN HON. MEMBER: Oh, oh!

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

MR. GILBERT: Mr. Speaker, you know, that is a fine, fine question. And I could say the to the Member for Kilbride that if we had not spent $5 million on this building we are in right now we could have saved a few more jobs.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. RIDEOUT: You did not have to spend it either.

MR. SIMMS: Go on to Mars, boy! Why do you not check out Mars? You know more about Mars than you know about Newfoundland.

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. WOODFORD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

My question is to the Minister responsible for Forestry and Agriculture. In view of the fact that the Minister had the section of the Task Force on Agri-Foods pertaining to the hog industry in the Province in early January, and the full and entire Task Force report two to three weeks before the Budget was brought down, and in view of some of the actions taken by the Minister in his Department in the Budget Speech, could the Minister tell the House if the Task Force on Agri-Foods recommended the closing of the swine station on the west coast of the Province and a decrease in funding to the Farm Loan Board?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Forestry and Agriculture.

MR. FLIGHT: Mr. Speaker, the recommendations of the task force itself is now in the process of being analyzed by officials and will be ready very shortly, I would think. It will probably set a record for the time in which a major task force report was made public. But sometime hopefully -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. FLIGHT: Sooner rather than later the task force report will be made public and the hon. Member opposite will have a copy and the industry will have a copy and all his questions with regards to the recommendations in the task force report will be made.

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

MR. WOODFORD: Mr. Speaker, it is obvious that what their task force did not recommend was that they would be all shut down by the time the report comes out.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. WOODFORD: But anyway, Mr. Speaker, another supplementary. Why did the Minister tell the Chairman of the Task Force on Agri-Foods that he could release the report to the industry at the same time he gave it to Government? And why did he renege on this promise?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Forestry and Agriculture.

MR. FLIGHT: Mr. Speaker, I am not aware - I have to accept at least what the hon. Member is saying. I am not aware for argument's sake that I made any particular commitments to the Chairman of Agri-Foods. The Member says: why did I tell the task force Chairman that he could release the -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. FLIGHT: Well, maybe the Member might want to provide the House with how he is aware of that particular information.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

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

MR. WOODFORD: Well, Mr. Speaker, I would like the Minister to confirm this categorically, because the Chairman of the task force for fourteen months has been going around the Province speaking to agricultural associations, development associations, chambers of commerce, and telling them in no uncertain terms that they would be given the report the same time that it would be given to Government.

Now would the Minister confirm categorically today in this House if he told the Chairman of the task force that he could release the report at the same time he would give it to the industry, the same time as he gave it to Government?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Forestry and Agriculture.

MR. FLIGHT: Mr. Speaker, I can confirm that the Chairman of the task force has been going around this Province this past year speaking to various groups, and doing a great job, I might say. But, Mr. Speaker, I would say to the hon. Member that any conversations - and I had many conversations with the Chairman of the task force over the years - those conversations were conversations taking place between myself and the Chairman and will stay that way.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

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

MR. WOODFORD: Final supplementary. Mr. Speaker. Would the Minister then agree with me that all planning for development of agriculture in the Province has been put on hold, and that all different commodity groups in the Province pertaining to agriculture have had funding held up through the Farm Loan Board and so on? And because of the slap in the face, as far as I am concerned, to the members of the task force, would the Minister now, within the next few days, release this report?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Forestry and Agriculture.

MR. FLIGHT: Mr. Speaker, I cannot confirm, nor should I, nor would - nothing has been put on hold, Mr. Speaker. The task force report took roughly a year to finish, which was a record in itself, when you look at the wide-ranging report we have. The Government has not had the report yet a full month to analyze and work out both the cost implications and implementation implications of a report that is almost 400 pages thick. I mean, it is (Inaudible), Mr. Speaker, for the hon. Member to be standing here saying that we have had that report any undue length of time - less than a month, Mr. Speaker. As I told the Member the report will be made public sooner rather than later, but when it is right to do so and when the Government is confident that they can deal with the issues in the report.

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

MR. PARSONS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is to the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation. Because of the Federal input in transportation as it pertains to monies from roads to rails, will the Minister tell the hon. House, what is the status - there are a lot of people out there asking -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. PARSONS: - what is the status of the Outer Ring Road?

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

MR. GILBERT: Mr. Speaker, the Outer Ring Road is included in the $405 million -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I just find the general noise level a little bit too high. I can barely hear what the Minister is saying. So I ask hon. Members please, to try to keep the noise level down.

The hon. the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation.

MR. GILBERT: Mr. Speaker, the Outer Ring Road is included in the Roads for Rail Agreement, as the Member for St. John's East Extern pointed out. That Agreement is made up of $800 million and $405 million of it was included for the major highway structure in Newfoundland, the Trans-Canada Highway. Included in that, the Outer Ring Road was one of the jobs that would have to be done. We have said that the Outer Ring Road is there, we recognize that it is a part of the Agreement. And we have said, Mr. Speaker, that we will review it each year as we talk to the Federal Government and we make the plans to spend this money over the thirteen years, and we will certainly review it. And as we feel that the priority comes up for the outer Ring Road to be included in the spending for that year, I will be only too happy to tell the hon. Member when we make that decision.

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

MR. PARSONS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have a question to a new Minister, Mr. Speaker. There is so much emphasis being placed on waste materials - liquid and solid - and in view of the initiative taken by the Province of Ontario in reducing their solid waste by 50 per cent I believe in ten years, I want to ask the Minister of Environment and Lands, is the Minister aware of, and can he give us a ball park figure, of the amount of unrecycled waste that is produced by the Provincial Government offices in the run of a month?

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

MR. KELLAND: I don't think I can give an accurate figure, Mr. Speaker, until I have checked the Opposition offices, but I can tell the hon. Member that I do not know how much waste is generated in everybody's office. We are in correspondence now with the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation, and we have sent him the letters, and so on, to establish a recycling program of the materials in the building. As to the exact quantity, I could not give him the figure.

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

MR. PARSONS: Mr. Speaker, I want to ask the same Minister: isn't it true that on November 23, 1990 the Minister announced a Round Table on the environment and the economy? This Round Table was highlighted again in the Speech from the Throne. Can the Minister confirm that the members of the Round Table have never met, and can the Minister explain why this is the case? They have not had one meeting.

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

MR. KELLAND: Yes, Mr. Speaker, I can confirm that the Round Table has not yet met. That is not to say, however, that the Government has not been in constant contact with all members and in constant contact with the chairperson. The problem has been, up to now, a budget reconsideration, Mr. Speaker. We now have the funding in the 1991-92 Budget to carry out the work of the Round Table. The other problem was a logistics one in getting all the members available at one time to have the initial meeting. We had attempted to have it before the end of the fiscal year. That now does not seem possible, Mr. Speaker, as very shortly into the new fiscal year we will have our initial set up meeting.

MR. SPEAKER: Question Period has expired.

Answers to Questions

For which Notice has been Given

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

MR. GILBERT: Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Member for Grand Falls stood towards the end of the day and raised a pressing matter concerning one of the layoffs in Grand Falls and it was concerning an engineer at the Grand Falls campus. He raised concern about safety when this gentleman was laid off. He quoted some of the regulations and stuff like that. Anyhow the Grand Falls campus holds the status of a guarded plant and the extended sides in accordance with the regulations that are contained in this Act. It allows for the Department to have the boiler-room equipment checked by a watchman or a maintenance repairer when the required power engineer is away from the building and we have a letter here that was sent from the Department of Health and Safety to the Department of Works and Services in 1986 and it says: For heating plants located in District Vocational Schools rated between 3,000 kilowatts and 4,000 kilowatts, one fourth class power engineer is required. However, in this case, the boiler-room equipment shall be checked by the watchman during the rounds when the power engineer is away from the building. The boiler shall be equipped with fail safe devices as required by regulation 52, boiler pressure vessel and compressed act regulation 83. Now it is covered under 51 and the operative word is, that you have one power engineer 'in charge of'; so what we have in Grand Falls with the layoff, is that the gentleman across the street in the Government building has the qualifications and he will be in contact with the watchman who is in charge of the vocational school and he will be making periodic checks; so according to the information, the best information we have, yes, we are operating within the regulation and the gentleman will be laid off and it will be controlled by the one gentleman who is there and can control both areas.

Orders of the Day

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

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, Committee of Supply, Bill No. 17.

On motion, that the House resolve itself into Committee of Supply, Mr. Speaker left the Chair.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

The hon. the Member for Grand Bank.

MR. MATTHEWS: Mr. Chairman, I rise to speak to this request for the granting of certain sums to Her Majesty, the Supplementary Bill that is asking the Legislature to grant the sum of $20,943,200. Having browsed through the subheads and expenditures, I must say there is not too much a person can object to in the request, it is pretty well for social reasons. Having said that, I want to refer to the answer the Minister of Education gave the Member for Burin - Placentia West this morning when he talked about relocating the headquarters of the Eastern Community College. The Minister said he wanted to set the headquarters up in a central location because of travel. Now I do not know how much the Minister thought out his answer, because regardless of at what campus location the headquarters is situated, and all the rest who have to go to meetings of that particular community college have to travel consequently, so if you calculate the travel requirements, it is going to come out about equal. I mean, those in Clarenville now have to travel to Salt Pond, and those in Bonavista travel to Salt Pond, and if the headquarters was located in Bonavista, those in Clarenville would travel to Bonavista and those in Burin would travel to Bonavista. So where the Minister thinks he is going to save money on travel, as he suggested, by making that kind of arrangement, I do not know.

A central location is not going to do anything to save money; it is not going to do a thing educationally for the students in the system, not one iota. The Minister of Education has done it, as the Member for Burin - Placentia West said, for strictly political reasons. I think it is really regrettable that the decision was made in the first place, but it is even more regrettable now in light of last Thursday's Budget, where Government has devastated the educational system in this Province, that the Minister of Education is still willing to spend unnecessary dollars. He is going to lay off teachers, he is going to lay off people in school board offices, he is going to lay off people at the community colleges - about 100 in the community college system of this Province - he is going to lay off in excess of 100 at Memorial University of Newfoundland, and this Minister still insists on spending unnecessary money to relocate a headquarters from Salt Pond to Clarenville.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible), too.

MR. MATTHEWS: I know you are. You are closing Carbonear. Even if you had closed Salt Pond and kept Carbonear open. But you are not doing that, you are closing Carbonear and you are relocating Salt Pond. What you are doing does not make any sense. You are laying off people in the system.

DR. WARREN: You do not have it right.

MR. MATTHEWS: Oh, yes I do have it right. It is the Minister who has it wrong. Just as wrong as you were with your press statement of a few days ago, when you said you were going to give the university $5.5 million additional dollars in operating and you gave them $140,000. So you cannot get anything correct. I think you are making a very serious mistake, with the hardship that is going to be placed on the educational system of this Province, to still insist on moving that headquarters and the staff from Salt Pond to Clarenville. It is a waste of money. And when thousands of people in the public service of this Province are being laid off, to see a Government still insist on doing those kinds of politically motivated things makes one wonder.

And they laugh. When the initial decision was made to locate a headquarters for Eastern Community College, there were three possible locations. The decision was made and it was put in Salt Pond. There was nothing political about it. At the time it was made, Bonavista South was represented by a Progressive Conservative Member, Trinity North, where Clarenville is located, was represented by a Progressive Conservative Member and a Member of the Cabinet, and Burin - Placentia West and Grand Bank were represented by Progressive Conservative Members. So how can they say that it was politically motivated, to not put it in a PC district? They were all PC districts at the time. But what we see now - and the Premier shakes his head. Well, you can shake it all you like. Since you took office in this Province you have been intent on destroying the economy of the Burin Peninsula: You have closed up two cottage hospitals; you have devastated the Marystown Shipyard; you have closed down the RCMP office in Burin; you are moving the headquarters of Eastern Community College; you have totally concurred with the closure of the Grand Bank fish plant, and on and on the list goes. You can shake your head all you like, but you will shake it more when the time comes - you will shake it more.

AN HON. MEMBER: Darn right.

MR. MATTHEWS: Mr. Chairman, as I said when I began, Supplementary Supply enables you to talk about anything because it is a budgetary item. I asked the Minister of Health a question yesterday on health care on the Burin Peninsula and he could not tell me what the operating budget was for the Burin Peninsula Health Care Board. All he told me about was the capital funding this year for St. Lawrence and Grand Bank. But I want to say to the Minister of Health and to the Premier that you are not giving St. Lawrence and Grand Bank anything extra. You are trying to make up for closing down two full-fledged hospitals, you are trying to make up for cutting about 115 jobs and for reducing health care services in the community served by Grand Bank and St. Lawrence. That is what you are doing, but you stood yesterday and tried to make everyone believe that you are giving them something extra. You are giving them nothing.

Now having said that, as I have said publicly, the only bright spot in the Budget for the Burin - Peninsula - the only bright spot - was the provision for the $3.5 million for St. Lawrence and the $800,000 for Grand Bank. That is the only bright spot. The rest was not very bright, and I acknowledge that in the House and I acknowledged it publicly. And anyone who monitors the press on the Burin Peninsula knows I have said that.

So, Mr. Chairman, I just want to make those few remarks. I feel compelled to make them because I feel so strongly about them. Because, you know, here we see a Government which has brought down a very harsh Budget that is going to see health and education and transportation and municipal services - not a mention in the Budget, Mr. Chairman, of any capital works, water and sewer, road work for municipalities in this Province. It is the first time in the nine years I have been in this Legislature that there has not been a reference in the Budget to a provision for capital works for municipalities throughout this Province - the first time. Having said that, Mr. Chairman, I conclude my remarks on Supplementary Supply.

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

MR. PARSONS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Yesterday, I said a few words as it pertains to Supplementary Supply, and yesterday afternoon the hon. the Government House Leader made a few remarks. I want to say to the Government House Leader that his remarks, although well taken, really did not sum up what this side of the House said about this Government having options other than the way they went. I said yesterday evening, Mr. Chairman, that if what the Minister of Finance and the Government House Leader and the Premier is telling us, that restraints had to be made as it pertains to the spending power of the Government, and I will sau it again now, there were was of doing it which would not have been as cruel as the way this Government went about it.

I know there are reasons for Government not spending money they do not have. But I said yesterday evening and I will stand by it, I was in a position one time, when I worked at Pleasantville, where a whole department down there was to be phased out. We had experts come down from Ottawa, and they were just going to lay us off. I was one of the ones involved. And it is only when one gets that little slip of paper saying your job is redundant that one realizes what it is all about - you no longer have a job to go to.

But we fought back. I made a presentation to the Federal Government. I assumed at the time it could be done and, Mr. Chairman, in reality it became the way the Federal Government went. Mr. Chairman, if this Government had said, okay - I know a lot of people went out three years ago with this early retirement package, but there were still a great number of people who were just about ready to retire. Not replacing anyone within the civil service, doing it by attrition, Mr. Chairman, this Government never placed any emphasis on that. They did not care about the people they laid off. They did not care about the young people out there who had homes to pay for. They did not care. They said, this is the way it is. The axe has to fall. Mr. Chairman, by attrition we could have saved a number of jobs.

The other thing I am sure the majority of people out there would accept if it was necessary would be a two-year freeze rather than one. Put in one more year. At least the people would have jobs; at least you would not send more people to the Mainland. Because inevitably, Mr. Chairman, that is what is going to happen. And there is nothing wrong with that even. But there are a lot of people out there, as I said, who had new homes and bought new cars on the strength of a job with the Government. Everyone thought a job with Government was a surety. If you had a job with Government, well that was it, you were good for life, right?

I mean, this was something we lived with.

MR. SIMMS: The Member for Clarenville thought he had a job for life.

MR. PARSONS: That is right.

MR. SIMMS: When he heard about the cuts he decided to get out of it.

MR. PARSONS: Mr. Chairman, that was another way we could have saved, by bringing in a second year freeze, if it was necessary. And after the first year perhaps the second year might not be a necessity at all. Mr. Chairman, the other thing we could do - there are $5 million being spent on the ERC and Enterprise Newfoundland and Labrador, about $5 million, on salaries.

MR. FUREY: No. No.

MR. PARSONS: I would like the Minister of Development to get to his feet some time and explain to this House and to the rest of the people in Newfoundland how many new jobs were created in both those.

MR. FUREY: Thirty new jobs.

MR. PARSONS: At what cost? Certainly they are not $20,000 jobs. The overall picture, Mr. Chairman, is that the ERC and the ENL are costing about $5 million, and in my rough calculations that would be about 200 jobs. Now that would be 200 jobs we could save just by eliminating both those operations.

Mr. Chairman, when we were elected to this House on April 1989 we were elected to represent the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. We did not ask some royal commission. Dr. House was not elected. The people on those two commissions, they were not elected. You were elected to do a job, and if you cannot do the job, then you should resign, you should quit, give it up. I am sure that the Minister of Development is just as capable, I am positive the Minister is just as capable as Dr. House to run his Department. I am sure, I am positive that the people whom he had within the structure of his Department had the capabilities to perform as well as the Economic Recovery Commission -

AN HON. MEMBER: A good man.

MR. PARSONS: He is a good man, yes, he is, I agree he is a good man, but his goodness is certainly not showing because it has been taken away; he does not have anything to do, a good Minister, I am surprised at the Premier, I am surprised at the Premier, you know to relinquish, to water down that fine young man's capabilities and that is what the Premier is doing.

I mean I am really feeling dejected, you know, myself, he does not have anything to do. I mean the Economic Recovery Commission was the Premier's first baby and then they came up with another new one, Enterprise Newfoundland and Labrador; but what he did not eliminate from the Minister of Development in his first scenario, he certainly eliminated whatever powers he had in the second one. I mean, Mr. Chairman, this is where I have difficulty in realizing that we are a part of a system where we are all elected to represent certain districts to do a job, to do a job, and there we have a Premier who says, no, those men are not capable of doing their jobs, I will bring in Dr. House, I will bring in some other experts from out in the field.

Mr. Chairman, the Premier should have asked those gentlemen to run for the party, to run for the party and then he could make them, perhaps take away the young Minister of Development and replace him by one of those gentlemen.

AN HON. MEMBER: Yes, we should get rid of him anyhow.

MR. PARSONS: Mr. Chairman, every time one of the people on the Government side gets up, it is a Federal Government responsibility.

MR. SIMMS: He works for Doug House.

MR. PARSONS: He works for Doug, I know, but I mean I do not want to say that, I mean I am not going to say that, I would not say that because he is a good young man, a fine upstanding -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: Now you said that, not me. I am amazed at the Premier -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) $44 million (inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: He has yes, $44 million for Doug and the hon., the Minister of Development had a cut, I do not know if there is any monies there - has someone the Estimates, is there any monies left in his Department?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: There is no monies left in the Department of Development -

MR. WOODFORD: He had first call on that.

AN HON. MEMBER: No, tourism, he got a bit of tourism, he is in charge of tourism, Stephenville (inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: Mr. Speaker, I am sorry this morning too, because the other day the Minister of Social Services was up and he was waving that Sprung deal. He said: here is where the money went, if we had not wasted the $22 million, we would have lots of money, there would be no hospital beds closing, education would have a 12 per cent increase, there it was, Sprung.

Well, Mr. Chairman, I for one, and I want it to go on record in saying that I think that Sprung was a mistake.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

AN HON. MEMBER: Everybody said that.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) Ah, not all your fellows agree with you on that.

MR. PARSONS: There is a lot of people over there who agreed with me on that. Now, let me remind you of one thing, that Sprung cost $22 million; I believe it is about $22 million, $21 million -

AN HON. MEMBER: There is an inquiry into it.

MR. PARSONS: - well, $22 million, okay, but let me say this to you; let us look at the Churchill Falls situation, when last year we lost $138 million, $138 million we lost.

Now, let me do a little bit of calculation for the Minister of Finance, seven Sprungs every year, seven Sprungs every year, gone, the money is gone, seven Sprungs each year for sixty-five years, seven multiplied by sixty-five and we have 455 Sprungs.

MR. WOODFORD: It was seven hundred and some odd million we lost last year.

MR. PARSONS: My colleague here from Humber Valley tells me that we lost much more than that, so we are talking about thousands of Sprungs. Some of those young Members over there on the opposite side really do not realize what is happening. That is like the hon. Member for Placentia, a fine young man, but he just does not understand what is happening. Also, the Member for Mount Scio - Bell Island really does not realize what is happening, but I think way down deep he does. The hon. John Crosbie supports Bell Island more than the hon. Member does. One of those days, Mr. Speaker, I am going to do some research. I have not done much this morning, I must say, but I am going to do some research and I am going to see how many Sprungs are really going down the drain in the deal that was signed with Churchill Falls. How much money are we losing? Will the Premier get up and say that Churchill Falls was a dreadful mistake, that we sold her down the river? We sold our rights, we sold our people, we sold our hospitals, we sold our educational system, we sold our chance for being equal by that Churchill Falls agreement. That is what happened to Newfoundland. That is all that is wrong with Newfoundland.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

The hon. Member's time has elapsed.

AN HON. MEMBER: By leave.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Does the hon. Member have leave of the House?

AN HON. MEMBER: Yes, give him leave.

MR. PARSONS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I would like to ask the Premier, because he is living in the city and because he has a lot of people in his Cabinet from St. John's, and because of the situation as it pertains to transportation problems within the city, and because of the advent of Hibernia, because of the closing of the railway when we will get much more of an effort heading to and from the airport, I want to say to the Premier would he direct the Minister of Transportation to start immediately the construction of that Outer Ring Road? It is essential, it is an necessity. Surely, goodness, Mr. Chairman, the Premier is not listening to some of those people out there who are saying it is going to destroy the park and it is going to destroy what is out there. With today's technology that is not going to happen. The Premier should, and I think the Premier is fair, I think the Premier realizes there is a problem within the city. I think the Premier realizes that the Outer Ring Road is a necessity, and I ask the Premier -

AN HON. MEMBER: A four-lane highway through a park?

MR. PARSONS: What was Pippy Park is not being touched. It is the additional grounds that were added to Pippy Park, that is where the road is running. Before I sit down I would like to say to the Premier that I think his fairness and balance might be upper most in his mind. It has not become a reality by any stretch of the imagination but I am sure he is fair and I think he would be fair to the people in the area, in the St. John's area. I implore the Premier to say to this Minister of Works, Services and Transportation to go ahead and start that Outer Ring Road.

Thank you, very much, Mr. Chairman.

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

MR. HARRIS: I would like to speak on this Bill that deals with the Interim Supply of the Government to the end of March 1991.

I see in the Estimates an additional amount of money for the Legislature of the Province and the operation of the Legislature. And looking around me, Mr. Chairman, I would like to make one or two comments on the Legislature that we are now in. I know that some of the aesthetic and artistic Members of our populace and of the press do not find it a very salubrious place, but I must say I am not a critic of the look of the House. I think the House looks very dignified and a proper place for debate to take place. I think that is a good thing compared to other Houses across the country and to the House of Commons. I think it has a proper look and a proper field for the kind of debate that ought to take place here.

I am a little less enthralled, Mr. Chairman, with the facilities provided for Members in this part of the Chamber and around the Chamber. It is a very unfortunate thing that the House facilities are unable to accommodate all Members. I find myself being allocated to an office some distance from the House itself making it more difficult for me to do my duties. That is something that I may take up at a later date. But hopefully we are going to get some improved facilities.

I see also in addition supplementary supply for the Department of Education in the area of teaching services and transportation of school children. But there is an area that I would like to speak about this morning, Mr. Chairman, and that has to do with the recent most destructive piece of news coming from this Budget. I do not think that the Members on the other side of the House or indeed the Cabinet and perhaps even the Premier has not really fully considered the extinction of the Extension Services of Memorial University.

Mr. Chairman, I am convinced that the Members on the other side of the House and the Members of the Cabinet and the Premier cannot be really aware of the vital service that is performed by Extension Service around this Province. It is sort of invisible in many ways. It is invisible in many ways because it's work involving community development working with people, communicating with people, getting them together to help sort out their own problems, self-help groups, public participation, working with community councils, working with agricultural groups to develop projects and to improve agricultural services, developing leadership all over this Province, bringing about public participation in the rural areas of Newfoundland. This is an organization, Mr. Chairman, that has been responsible for an enormous amount of public involvement and public participation. I am sure there are Members on both sides of this House who have been touched by the work of the Extension Services over the years.

I know the Minister of Education made some comments in the House yesterday about what a good service it was in the past. But I think he must not be in touch with the present day Extension Service because he must not be aware of what a great service it is still performing in keeping people in rural Newfoundland, having them have facilities to be able to communicate with one another, to work together to try and solve their problems, to work together to bring about change and improvement in rural Newfoundland, and playing a tremendous role in bringing democracy to rural Newfoundland. That is a great service, Mr. Chairman. And I think that this service and this organization and the people involved with it over the years have developed a tremendous reputation, not only in Newfoundland, and not only in the rest of Canada, but around the world. And the people from this organization, from the Extension Service have been bringing their skills, their ability to other countries in the world, to India, to Alaska, to other areas which are trying to introduce similar kinds of services and are using the skills and the knowledge and leadership that has been developed in this Province. And to stand by, Mr. Chairman, and watch and allow the University for the sake of a very minuscule portion of its Budget, I think the figure quoted is .84 per cent of the University's Budget which goes towards the Extension Service. For that amount of money, Mr. Chairman, by a budget measure of this Government, to allow that Extension Service to be destroyed, to be placed in extinction, to be ripped up and thrown away as if it were a useless appendage, a luxury, an excess. This, Mr. Chairman, cannot be countenanced, and I would urge the Minister of Finance, who was a former professor of education at Memorial University, a person who aught to be aware of the great importance of this particular educational service, ask him to introduce a change in this Bill to provide an additional sum of money for Memorial University to keep the extension service alive. I would ask him to do that, Mr. Chairman, because I think it is of vital importance and a vital service to rural Newfoundland and a vital contribution to rural development programs internationally, leadership provided by this Province, excellence provided by the individuals working in this Province at the university. If the Minister of Finance cares about this university and cares about this Province he will introduce a Bill or an amendment to this Bill to provide an extra amount of money to keep the extension service going.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Those are my remarks on this Bill.

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

MR. WOODFORD: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would like to have a few words on this Supplementary Supply Bill.

Mr. Chairman, when we look at the total Budget and start going down through and looking at Budget highlights and certain estimates pertaining to different departments, I do not think there is one department in there that has not been touched. And if we are going to have any growth in this Province or any improvement in the job situation in this Province in the unemployment rate and so on, we all know that in a province such as this, and we have others, for instance, like PEI that have the highest Government spending in Canada, something around 77.8 per cent of all funds spent in the Province is spent by Government. This is a small province, no exception. Large, I suppose, geography wise and so on, but very small in a population that is spread out over a very, very large area.

The biggest employer, I would say, in this Province is the Government, the one employer that we as politicians can put our fingers and our hands on when it comes to either increasing spending or decreasing spending pretty well over night. A large corporation in the Province pretty well got the final say, and they can say, 'Well, I am going to lay off 10 tomorrow morning, or 15.' There is always a racket kicked up about whether it is in forestry or whether it is in hydro or what have you. They are always saying the corporations are taking money out of the Province and they should put something back, and so on. We cannot dictate anymore. One time we pretty well could, but today we cannot dictate who is going to spend what and where they are going to spend it, who they are going to lay off or what, but Government can. Government has the final say in what happens.

Mr. Chairman, this is a time when Government, as far as I am concerned, should try to hold the line. They say they have no money, they do have money. They have approximately $3.5 billion. It is no different than a household. The head of the household makes the decision on where those funds go and how they are spent. It is called priority, Mr. Chairman, and it is called good fiscal management whether it is in a household, whether it is in a business or whether it is in Government. When you start hitting health and education especially, to me that is frightening. When you see cases and interviews on television each and every night, carried not only across the Province today, but carried across Canada on Canada AM, Newsworld, Midday, and The Journal. When you see those people out, for instance, in Port aux Basques, 200 km, if I am not mistaken, away from the hospital in Corner Brook. How can anybody justify closing down the surgical unit in a place like Port aux Basque and saying they can go to Corner Brook, but at the same time closing down a Bonne Bay or Springdale or extra beds in St. Anthony and so on, and then say that they can all go to Corner Brook?

Sure, they can go to Corner Brook. How are they going to get to Corner Brook? With the conditions of the roads in the wintertime out there, let alone in the summertime because of the distances. And when they get to Corner Brook, what do they get? Now the Minister just last night on the newscast said that when those people do get to a regional hospital such as Corner Brook, they will have an excellent service.

Well then, the Minister better go back and consult with his officials. Because I for one can state and say here today that the regional hospital in Corner Brook cannot handle any extra burdens from Port aux Basques or Bonne Bay or St. Anthony or anywhere else. Under the fiscal restraint that is in place now they can't do it. And the people of Port aux Basques and Bonne Bay and elsewhere are not going to be deceived by that. They can't be. They can't afford to - because they are playing with their lives, their children's lives, their family's lives. And they can't take it lying down and I am sure they will not.

If there was extra funding put into the Corner Brook hospital, for instance, you could probably justify some of it, some of the closures and some of the, I suppose, so-called rationalization and centralization when it comes to hospital services. But in this case, Mr. Chairman, there is absolutely no justification in what is being done. You can't downsize the major hospital in the region.

You probably could do it in the city of St. John's with a few more services, because of the proximity to that service. But how, in the name of God, can someone say in the community of Port aux Basques - everybody knows what it is like to drive from Corner Brook to Port aux Basques in the wintertime in this Province. At the best of times even with a few snow flurries you have a job to make it. Everybody in this Province and in this country knows all about the Wreck House area of the west coast of the Province. You can't get through it on a windy day. You just cannot get through it, even on a nice day. You can go through the nicest kind of a day, middle of the summer, but if you've got that wind you ain't passing through the Wreck House area of this Province. One hundred and thirty, 140 mile an hour winds are nothing new. You can take a boxcar and whip it off the tracks, five and six at a time, loaded - not empty, loaded - whip them off the tracks and out into the ditch.

To add to that the distance, 200 kilometres from Port aux Basques to Corner Brook, how can they justify the closing of such a service in that area of the Province? Anywhere over there? But more specifically in that area. And to say that they are going to move it into Corner Brook and go to Corner Brook and you are going to get a top-notch service, you are not going to get it. There are people in Corner Brook and the west coast of the Province today, waiting six months for surgery. How are they going to now add all the expenditure and the needs of the Port aux Basques, Bonne Bay, St. Anthony people, to the Corner Brook hospital, and expect it to function? It can't function. It is common sense. And I am sure Members opposite realize that what I am saying is absolutely true, it is realistic, it is real, it does not have to come from a politician. You can talk to anybody on the west coast of the Province today who has a relative who is waiting to get in for surgery. And I am not talking about major surgery.

AN HON. MEMBER: How come you never talk about Grand Falls?

MR. WOODFORD: I am talking about the west coast of the Province, now. When the member gets up he can speak about his particular area. If you have the clinics and things in place, especially in that area of the Province, it is hard when you lose it - that is when it hurts. That is where the hurt comes in because then you have examples, as was shown on television the other night, of people just minutes away from probably certain death. Like the girl they showed on television the other night when her appendix broke. A calamity in no uncertain terms is what would have happened in that particular case. Now, Mr. Chairman, you do not have to be a hospital administrator and you do not have to be a nurse or a doctor to look and view, and take into consideration the needs and determination of the people in areas of the Province such as that. The Minister of Health is not here today but his Cabinet colleagues are, he should take it back and make sure that the Corner Brook hospital and other hospitals, but especially the Corner Brook hospital, the Western Memorial Hospital on the West Coast of the Province is fully funded. Going back to last September, with the promises made by this administration back in the Spring of 1989 that we will open hospital beds in this Province, and to look at it back in September when you had forty-eight beds closed in the Western Memorial Hospital on the West Coast of this Province, and when you look at it today without announcements being made, but it looks pretty much like there are going to be another thirty to thirty-five closed, and, Mr. Chairman, as far as I am concerned that is totally wrong. At the same time they say we are going to look after the other hospitals in the region, bring them all into Corner Brook and close an extra thirty beds. Now, if someone on the other side of the House can stand and tell me, and show me where I am wrong, I would invite it and I will be the first one to admit I am wrong. In this case, Mr. Chairman, I am right in what I say and the only place I could be wrong is in the number of beds that might be closed. I was told that it was thirty but until there are announcements made this week, Tuesday or Wednesday, by the administrator of the Western Memorial Hospital in Corner Brook, I stand to be corrected on that one.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

The hon. Member's time has elapsed.

MR. WOODFORD: Thank you.

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

DR. KITCHEN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

As I listen to the comments being made across the House I am wondering what Never Never Land the Members are living in. They are living in a Never Never Land. We are facing a financial situation in this Province which is extremely serious. We have had to bite the bullet. After years and years of financial mismanagement and a mounting debt we were faced with a potential deficit on current account this year of $200 million, if we had carried on the way we were going - and we just cannot do it.

Now, the Member for Grand Bank gets up and brings in a concept that must have come 200 years ago - of dividing up the spoils. He thinks that we take the money and divide it up by fifty-two and dish it out in that fashion. 'We did not get anything,' he said,' in my district.' That is not the way it is going. We do not divide up the spoils. That is the philosophy that he seems to have. I know he was leader of a party, once, an interim leader, a one-night leader I believe he was. Did you hear about that? The Member for Grand Bank was appointed and then he was disappointed. We all heard that. It is no wonder he was disappointed if he advocated that kind of a strategy.

AN HON. MEMBER: A point of order, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Chairman, I hesitate to rise on a point of order but you cannot have the mad hatter, the mad Minister of Finance, making false accusations and statements in this House. I have to correct the record about appointment and disappointment. The Minister is a great disappointment to the Province and the sooner he is disappointed as Minister of Finance the better everyone in the Province will be.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible)

MR. MATTHEWS: Why don't you get up and speak for your district instead of being a wimp?

MR. CHAIRMAN: There is no point of order.

The hon. the Minister of Finance.

DR. KITCHEN: Mr. Chairman, I did not really mean to get at the quick there but I guess I did. I am sorry about that.

We do not operate on a philosophy, Mr. Chairman, of dividing the spoils. We never have and I hope we never will. That is not to say though that every district should be treated fairly because we certainly believe that throughout the Province things should be done as fairly as possible. The Member for St. John's East Extern brings a very strange viewpoint, he thinks that we could solve our $200 million potential deficit on current account by attrition, by waiting for people to retire or to get sick and leave the public service.

Mr. Speaker, a few years ago we had an induced early retirement program which gutted out a very large proportion of the senior civil servants close to retirement age, and there are not very many people close to retirement age in the civil service any more, so there is no way we could have met the financial problems by just waiting for people to leave, the problem was far too great for that, so that proposal by the Member for St. John's East Extern is not a workable one. It would have been nice if we could have met it in that fashion, I am sure, but we just couldn't wait, we had to take firmer steps than that.

The Member for St. John's East - he has left the House - did make a point about the Extension Service, and those of us who were heavily involved with the Extension Service years ago, realize the tremendous contribution that the Extension Service has made over the years, but the problem is, as the President of the University said on television, you have to make a choice, if not that, something else.

What would he cut, what would the Member for St. John's East cut at the university if he were to restore the Extension Service? That is the question; it is a question of either/or, and I presume the university has made its decisions after weighing what things had more priority than others; that is their decision, it is not the Government's decision, it is their decision and they have to weigh one thing against the other.

Now, the Member for Humber Valley: he thinks that we should spend more money, that is basically what he was saying, do not make any cuts, do not make any cuts because cuts are harsh. There is no doubt that what he is saying is right, that it is very difficult to bring in a severe Budget such as this, but it had to be brought in, there was no choice in the matter and it is a painful experience. But just getting up and reiterating and saying: you know it is severe, it is too bad we had to do this, and don't do it, why don't you put more money in the Budget? There is no more money to go in it - there is no more money to go in. We have reached it and I am going to tell you this that had we not taken firm steps to come to grips with this Budgetary problem - this financial problem that the Province is in - if we had not taken steps immediately to address this in a significant way, the financial problems of the Province would be much worse.

Had we not been able to borrow the $600 million - almost $600 million we are going to have to borrow this year - we would have had to reduce service by $600 million, not $200 but by $600. If you could not borrow $600, we would have to reduce by $600, so it is no good to talk about adding more money back in, we cannot do it, but all we good do, I suppose, is to spend money in a different way and that comes down to priorities.

We have been examining this for some time and once we knew what the thing was like we spent several months - we have been accused by the Opposition of not doing it quick enough, and some of us would have perhaps liked to have done it more quickly but we had to think carefully about what we were doing and that is the problem.

Anyway, we have made these points and, Mr. Chairman, there was no choice, we had to come to grips with our Budgetary problem, our financial problem and we have done so; it is not easy to do these things, it is not easy, and people will be affected but I believe that in the long run what we have done will be better for the Province. We have not significantly, negatively affected the health care, it is on plan as the Minister of Health has said, it is on plan; some decisions are harsh, education is more or less on target towards the plan and similarly with the other Departments. But there is no doubt that the steps we have taken are severe steps, but steps that were absolutely necessary, and hopefully we will be able to carry on and do things in the next year or so that will further stimulate the economy. But I do not want Members to think that we are completely out of the woods yet. We still face severe problems. Not only does Newfoundland face severe problems but so does every other province in Canada.

Nova Scotia was talking last night about levying a fee that everybody will have to pay towards a medical insurance, $30 or $40 a year, and some other provinces are doing that. That is a terrible way, that is another form of taxation, a form of taxation which I certainly do not approve of, because it means that virtually everybody in the Province pays exactly the same amount. It is another form of poll tax. A $34 a month or $40 a month poll tax on everybody. You can't have that kind of thing. That is a very regressive form of taxation. But Nova Scotia has similar problems to what we have, and the Western provinces do, and Ontario has a severe problem, and so does Quebec.

So, Mr. Chairman, it is not something that Newfoundland alone is faced with. We are all facing these problems in Canada, and the basic problem in Canada, not only for the provinces but for the Federal Government, is that governments for years have been living far beyond their means and have been spending money unwisely. So what we have to do is to be careful how we spend the Government's money, the people's money, our neighbour's money, because there is just no more left at the moment. We have to be extremely careful.

MR. CHAIRMAN: The hon. Member's time has elapsed.

The hon. Leader of the Opposition.

MR. RIDEOUT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I wanted to have a few words on this supplementary supply bill before it is finally dealt with. And it is kind of passing strange to have the Minister of Finance, who just a few days ago brought in his third budget, to have the unmitigated gall to be on his feet this morning talking about unwise spending and over-spending and improper managing of the financial affairs of the Province.

Mr. Chairman, how much longer has that incompetent Minister got to be delivering budgets in this Province and getting up and trying to blame the budgetary woes of this Province on somebody else, and failing to take the responsibility himself, which is what he should do? The time has come for this Minister to have the fortitude to stand up and take on his shoulders his own responsibility. The responsibility for this Budget belongs to nobody else only this administration and the Minister of Finance. What we have in this Budget is a situation that this Government created itself. This Government create the situation that the Minister finds himself in. It was not solely created by other forces as the Minister and the Government would have you to believe. The problem is that this Government and this Minister have not had the fortitude and the ability to deal with the financial problems facing this Province.

Now there are a couple of other matters I want to refer to in this wide-ranging supplementary supply debate that the rules allow us to do. If there is one person on the front benches in the Ministry in this House that I would have gone to my death saying that he would be honest and forthright and open, not only with this House but with the people of Newfoundland and Labrador, it is the Minister of Education. I would have taken a bullet, believing that that hon. gentleman would not have under any circumstances even given the impression that he was not being honest and forthright with the House and with the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Now the Minister will have an opportunity if he wishes to get up when I am finished. First of all this Minister started the little trail of deceit a couple of days ago, when the Minister said in this House that the decision to do away with, to discontinue, the electrical subsidy to the church colleges on the University campus was announced in last year's budget. Now I could forgive the Minister for that. Maybe in his older days his memory is starting to fail him. But, Mr. Chairman, when it was pointed out to him in black and white that his colleague, the President of Treasury Board, told the House last year that it was not true and it was not in the Budget he still refuses to admit that he made a mistake and gave the House wrong information. That, Mr. Chairman, is characteristic of what the Minister did again yesterday. The President of the University, Mr. Chairman, had no choice because of the budgetary restraints put on the university by this Government, had no choice but to announce some very, very, draconian measures at the university. He, Mr. Chairman, that is Dr. May, told the people of this Province that the operating grant from this House to the university would increase by only $140,000 for the coming fiscal year. Mr. Chairman, the Minister of Education sat in his seat shoulder to shoulder with his soul mate, the Minister of Finance last Thursday and listened to the Minister of Finance say in his Budget that the salaries would be frozen for all public service employees, including the university, in this Province. The Minister of Education must have known. If he didn't he is an incompetent individual and I do not think he is, but he must have known that the budgetary decision was taken to give the university not a $5.5 million operating increase and operating grant, but a $140,000 operating increase. The Budget was delivered in this House on Thursday, March 7, and on Friday, March 8, the Minister of Education, in his usual smiling way, called in the microphones and the cameras, injected himself into the living rooms of Newfoundland and Labrador that evening, and said the following -now, this is the Minister's whole statement, all sixteen pages of it right here, and the Minister said, 'Memorial's operating grant will basically increase by $5.5 million in 1991-92 when compared with 1990-91.'

Mr. Chairman, the Minister should quit while he is ahead. The Minister deceived the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. He deceived this House again yesterday when he got up and answered my question about the $140,000 increase in the operating budget, not $5.5 million. Listen to his convoluted mathematics, just listen to it, the Minister said this: then we decided to freeze the Budget. We took $4.8 million from that and that left a Budget of $106,246,000 that are in the estimates. He said, as I said before, that is before the freeze, the increase was $5.5 million of the $12 million, but when we decided to freeze, of course, we took away $4,859,000. Now, Mr. Chairman, that decision was made and announced on Thursday, March 7. How could the Minister go before the people of Newfoundland and Labrador on Friday, March 8, the day after, and say the university operating budget had increased by $5.5 million when he subtracted $4,859,000 the day before? How could he do it? Now, what kind of sense does that make? What happened, Mr. Chairman, is that the Minister was being dishonest, which I find very uncharacteristic for the Minister, he was being dishonest and deceitful with the people of Newfoundland and Labrador on March 8. Mr. Chairman, I do not know if there is anybody alive in the press gallery in this House any more, I really do not know. I can say this now because to me, personally, it really does not matter, but it seems to me that when it comes to the honesty and integrity of this Government nobody pays any attention, nobody listens.

AN HON. MEMBER: (inaudible)

MR. RIDEOUT: The Minister will have ten minutes when I sit down. If the Minister makes as much money as he did yesterday it is going to take some clearing up. The point I was going to make, Mr. Chairman, is this: it has now been shown beyond any doubt that the Minister of Education went before the people of this Province the day after the Budget was brought down and did not tell the truth about the increase in the operating Budget for Memorial University. That cannot be denied. The Minister admitted to me yesterday in the House that the operating Budget has increased by $140,000. Dr. Warren said it yesterday, the figures prove it, and the Minister acknowledged it in the House yesterday. Yet the Minister, the day after the Budget was brought down, continued to say that the budget for the University was increased by $5.5 million.

To be kind to the Minister, that is incompetence. If I wanted to be unkind to the Minister I could say it is being deceitful and untruthful. Or it is a combination of both. But, Mr. Chairman, do you think that that can get into the heads of the people in the press gallery here?

DR. WARREN: Don't criticize the press gallery!

MR. RIDEOUT: I will criticize, I say to the Minister, whom I like when I stand to speak in this House. Whom I like, I will criticize. And if they come in here to go up there and go to sleep, then they have no right to be here. None whatsoever to be here!

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. RIDEOUT: If they are going to come in here - the press gallery I am talking about - with rose-coloured glasses on and not pay any attention to the incompetence, deceitfulness and untruthfulness of the Government when it is pointed out, they have no right to be here! None whatsoever! Because if our parliamentary system is going to work - and I have heard other Members of the Opposition say harder words than I am saying now - when the Government makes a mistake, it is the responsibility of the Fourth Estate to report that mistake and report it fairly by reporting what both sides say, not what one side says!

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. CHAIRMAN: The hon. the Minister of Education.

DR. WARREN: Mr. Chairman, just a word. The press asked the question about Memorial University at the news conference, and if the hon. the Leader of the Opposition had had somebody there he would have known that we clarified it. I have the data and it is backuppable, in fact. What I have is backuppable with statements from other documents. I have a transcript of the news conference -we have transcripts of news conferences now - and I can quote -

AN HON. MEMBER: How much did you pay for it?

DR. WARREN: Mr. Chairman, we do not pay anybody anything.

AN HON. MEMBER: No?

DR. WARREN: We do what is right. And I have here a statement which clarified for the people of this Province precisely what we did, which was confirmed by Dr. May yesterday. They have got a $7 million to $8 million problem, and perhaps -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

DR. WARREN: Mr. Chairman, one of these days I will enter this data into the record so that even the Opposition House Leader will understand it. Everybody else understands it, including Dr. May and the Board of Regents at Memorial, and Mr. White, who is the Chairperson of the Board of Regents. They made all these decisions, they understand what happened, and one of these days I will enter into the records what I said at the press conference to explain the situation to the press.

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

MR. RIDEOUT: Now, Mr. Chairman, that is great spirited defence of incompetence if ever I saw one. `One of these days I will get up and enter some evidence into the record.' One of these days. Well, do you know what? One of these days the sun is going to shine and have not will be no more - one of these days! One of these days I am going to be able to afford to go to Florida for Easter - one of these days! The Minister of Works, Services and Transportation talked about some road work on Mars. One of these days they might be building super highways on Mars, I say to the Minister.

I mean, that is not good enough - one of those days. The fact of the matter is that the Minister of Education knowingly, I say to him, went before the people of - well, if the Minister shakes his head and says he did not know, well, I have lost all respect that I have had for him - if he did not know. The fact of the matter is the Minister of Education went before the public of this Province the day after the Budget was brought down and said that the operating grant for Memorial University was increasing by $5.5 million and the Minister knew or should have known - if he did not know he is totally incompetent - that that was a gross, gross error, that it was increasing by only $140,000.

Now the Minister may as well accept that, because that is the fact of the matter. I did not write this press statement. It says here: Ministerial Statement to the media. I know they have not gone nowhere now, Mr. Chairman.

AN HON. MEMBER: Read the whole thing.

Ministerial Statement to the media re 1991-92 Education Budget, Philip J. Warren, Minister of Education. Oh, Mr. Chairman, Philip J. Warren, Minister of Education! That is who delivered this. Now if this had been the Minister of Finance, I could see it. That is who delivered this the day after the Budget was brought down, and the Minister of Education wants this House to believe, and wants the public of Newfoundland and Labrador to believe, that he did not know the difference? I will tell you, Mr. Chairman, and I said in Question Period this morning what happened, this statement was prepared for the Minister before the Budget came down.

AN HON. MEMBER: Before the election.

MR. RIDEOUT: It may well have been prepared before the election.

AN HON. MEMBER: Hear, hear!

MR. RIDEOUT: But that is stretching it.

This document, this statement was prepared for the Minister before the Budget came down and he took it under his arm, Mr. Chairman; some public relations director, whoever serves the Minister's Department, gave it to him and he trotted of to a press conference and he read it. He read it out, Mr. Chairman, word for word. Right proud, Mr. Chairman, to announce that Memorial was going to get a $5.5 million increase in its operating budget.

Now, Mr. Chairman, I thought the Minister was more competent than that.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. RIDEOUT: Pardon?

AN HON. MEMBER: Matthews wants (inaudible).

MR. RIDEOUT: Mr. Chairman, Matthews wants a leader's pension. That Minister of Finance who brought into this House the most savage Budget that this Province has seen since 1932, the taxpayers of Newfoundland and Labrador pays that Minister in excess of $100,000 a year and all he can do is come into this House and make jokes about leadership, or potential leadership. Mr. Chairman, the people of this Province is getting some value, I say to the Minister, some value for the hundred grand a year the taxpayers are putting into your pocket.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. RIDEOUT: What value! The people, Mr. Chairman, what value they are getting from the Minister of Finance. We know what value we are getting from the Minister of Finance. Short and curly value.

MR. MATTHEWS: Right on!

MR. RIDEOUT: That is what he said, Mr. Chairman. Let them starve. And then he has the gall to come in here and start poking fun about who might be leader for this day or three hours from now, Mr. Chairman. The Minister is a joke, Mr. Chairman

MR. SIMMS: Right on!

MR. RIDEOUT: And not only that, he is even worse than a joke, Mr. Chairman. Because when he makes some silly little crack, he gets over there clapping for himself. I mean, I don't think the man has too much left upstairs.

MR. SIMMS: He is not allowed to answer questions.

AN HON. MEMBER: The mad doctor.

MR. SIMMS: Even the Government is embarrassed by him. They will not let him answer questions.

MR. RIDEOUT: That is right. We cannot get him on his feet. I managed to get him on his feet the day before yesterday, was it not?

MR. SIMMS: Yes, for one minute, was it not?

MR. RIDEOUT: I got him on his feet the day before yesterday, and the President of Treasury Board had to come in and try to bail him out yesterday.

MR. SIMMS: Oh, yes. Old bail-him-out Baker.

MR. RIDEOUT: Bail him out! I do not know what they would do without the President of Treasury Board, Mr. Chairman.

Now, Mr. Chairman, the Minister of Education cannot crawl out of this one. He will get up and he will skate and he will stickhandle and he will do it all, but the Minister of Education made a fundamental error, Mr. Chairman, the day after this Budget came down and he would be much better off in terms of his own credibility if he admitted it. But no, no, you cannot do that. You cannot. That would embarrass the Minister. I cannot admit I made a mistake, I was wrong, so you get up and you try in your convoluted way to stickhandle out of it and skate out of it. But what are the consequences, Mr. Chairman, of what this Government has done to the University in terms of this present Budget?

One of the most serious consequences is the total closedown of the Extension Services Department. And again the Minister of Education gets up in this House yesterday and talks about community colleges all over the place, and distance education all over the place. I wonder, did he hear some of the Extension people been interviewed this morning.

MR. SIMMS: Or last night.

MR. RIDEOUT: Or last night. Mr. Chairman, the fact of the matter is that there probably would not be a Fogo Island today if it were not for the Extension Services Department of Memorial University.

AN HON. MEMBER: What nonsense!

MR. RIDEOUT: Oh, nonsense! Mr. Chairman, here is the Minister of Finance, the man who had all the grit and the nerve to say to his Cabinet colleagues, the Committee on the university, `You bring them in here and I will tell them where to cut their Budget. There is nothing only fat and graft and corruption over at that institution. I ought to know, I have been over there long enough, and I can tell you where it is, too,' he said to some of his Cabinet colleagues. `Bring the university administration in before the Committee and I will tell them where to cut it out.' Low and behold, Mr. Chairman, the university people come in and sit down with the Cabinet Committee and the old wimp never opened his gob. The old Minister of Finance never opened his mouth. As a matter of fact, Mr. Chairman, I have it from the horse's mouth, one of his colleagues -

AN HON. MEMBER: Which horse is that?

MR. RIDEOUT: There are 31 horses over there, so you find out. That is a little game for you now. I have it from one of the Minister's colleagues that that colleague, after the meeting broke up, turned to the Minister and said, `Don't you ever talk to me again about bringing them in here and whipping them in line and telling them where they are going to cut and slashing their budget, and you know where the waste is and the graft is and the corruption is. Don't you ever tell me that nonsense again.' This was the grit, Mr. Chairman, of the Minister of Finance who was going to whip the university into shape. Well, Mr. Chairman -

MR. MATTHEWS: Corruption left the university after the last election.

MR. RIDEOUT: What a Minister of Finance. So, then the Minister of Education, of course, takes the tack - he is a little bit more diplomatic than the Minister of Finance. He is not going to haul the university in and tell them what to do. The Minister of Education will take the tack we will only give them a $140,000 increase in their operating budget, then they go make the hard decisions and perhaps it will not come back to lodge on my doorstep; perhaps it will not come back to haunt me. The same thing with the boards of the various institutes around the Province, Mr. Chairman.

Yesterday he said glowing words about Cabot, but they have to make their own budgetary decisions. We give them a global budget and that is right. So the Minister hopes to skate away from it all; he hopes to be a Gretzky, Mr. Chairman, and skate away from it all. But the fact of the matter is those institutions, including the university and Cabot and the community colleges, have to make those tough decisions because this Government was tough on them. That is why they have to make them and, therefore, the responsibility is here. Therefore, Mr. Chairman, if anybody had the fortitude and the determination of their convictions, they would say, `Well, don't attack the university, don't attack Dr. Inkpen, don't attack the Central Newfoundland Community College Board, attack us, because they are only delivering what we allow them to deliver.

DR. WARREN: Mr. Chairman, I have a few additional comments to make. I did explain to the press last week - I wish the hon. Member had read the whole statement. I am looking forward to my friend for St. Mary's - The Capes reading the whole statement of what I made last Friday, because despite the tough times, this Government believes that education is still a priority, Mr. Chairman. I would like for them to read the whole statement. I would like for the Leader of the Opposition to read the Appendix, where we put the actual figures in there. And when I was asked a question by the press, who do their job diligently - I had an excellent news conference. The press do their job; they ask all kinds of difficult questions.

MR. BAKER: You handled it well.

DR. WARREN: The President of Treasury Board says I handled it well. I look to him, I defer to him; if he says I handled it well, I believe him. I believe him and I thank him very much.

But, Mr. Chairman, I did say in answer to a question that Memorial asked for about $12 million - in answer to a press question that day. I went through it like I have gone through it in the House and the press understood it, and most people in this House understand it. Why the hon. Member is going after my friend the Minister of Finance and me, I do not know. Maybe it is because of the grade he got in our courses at the university. There must be something, because during the election, Mr. Chairman, he went after both of us. He said when he was running for the leadership, `What about the old fellows who are going to run for the Liberal Party, Herb Kitchen and Phil Warren, who are outdated, outmoded, out of touch?' He said that in the House, and he said that in the campaign. I do not know what he has against us.

MR. RIDEOUT: I was right.

DR. WARREN: Why does he not understand what the press understand and what everybody else understands? I said at the press conference Memorial asked for $12 million.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

DR. WARREN: That was before we adjusted for the freeze, and our plans to give them $5 million. I said there had to be fee increases, and there will have to be fee increases, and Memorial, after they have increased fees - we did not know at that point in time how much - they would still be left with a problem - I said a $7 million to $8 million problem.

Mr. Chairman, I want to be serious about the Extension Department because many people know it was a very difficult decision for the Board of Regents. The Board of Regents, as was the Government, was faced with real problems. They cannot borrow. Perhaps the Government can borrow a little extra money, but the Board of Regents could not borrow money. So they had to balance their Budget. The only two sources of revenues, as my friends understand, fee increases and cuts - the only sources of additional funding. And I know they went through a difficult time.

Mr. Chairman, if the Member for St. John's East were here, I would congratulate him on some of his comments. Because certainly the Minister of Finance and myself who worked with Extension in the 1960s and 1970s and understand what Extension did for the Province, we believe the Extension Service has provided a very valued service to this Province. We understand what they have done. And I can understand Tony Williamson. I worked with the late Don Snowdon, and I know what he did and what his Extension group did. And I understand the workers who are affected, Mr. Chairman.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

DR. WARREN: I understand the workers who are affected by any downsizing in Government and by the Extension. I understand the anger of Neil Tilley. I understand Neil Tilley because he and I relate to each other. We know. We understand the needs of rural Newfoundland. We understand the needs of the Province. I can understand all of these. What I cannot understand, Mr. Chairman, and what I cannot accept, are the comments from the Opposition. Because I know what they did and what they tried to do to the Extension Service. History will record how they tried to interfere, and the calls that went to the President of Memorial University.

AN HON. MEMBER: Hear, hear!

DR. WARREN: History will record. I heard at the University when I was there, I heard secondhand, of how the Opposition tried to -

AN HON. MEMBER: You heard?

DR. WARREN: So I cannot accept, Mr. Chairman, the criticisms of this group now, when I know what they said over the years about the Extension Service, and I know how the Budget was decreased.

AN HON. MEMBER: They pulled their teeth.

DR. WARREN: I know how they pulled their teeth.

Now, Mr. Chairman, having said that we do leave to the Board of Regents, we leave to the college boards the decisions. We do make certain guidelines. For example, in the case of Central Community College, we did say, Mr. Chairman, to the Central Community College you may have some reductions, but do not reduce the level of service at Baie Verte. We said to other colleges, do not touch the Hibernia programs. But, however, within the context of the Budget we said to the Boards of the Community Colleges, you will have a difficult time. Government cannot provide all the monies you need. You decide what is best within certain general guidelines. Mr. Chairman, I am pleased to see you in the Honourable Chair. I am very pleased to see you there. I have the utmost respect for you, Sir, and I am delighted to be able to say it publicly to you.

But the Government did not dictate to the Board of Regents. We have confidence in the Chairperson of the Board of Regents, Mr. White, and all of the Board of Regents from all over this Province. We have confidence that they know what is best for the Province, and they have made their difficult decisions because they do not have enough money. We left it to them. We are pleased, however, with a number of things that we hear from Dr. May and Mr. White and the Board. We are pleased they protected the right of the student first. We are pleased they are looking at management and the organization of the University. We are pleased they are not going to close the University programs in Burin. We are pleased they are going to continue Burin, Labrador City, Lewisporte, Grand Falls. We are pleased they are going to continue all these programs. They had difficult decisions; we are pleased, Mr, Chairman, they are not going to cap enrolments.

The hon. Member for St. Mary's - The Capes knows what is going on across Canada with enrolments. Universities throughout this country are eliminating programs, and they are capping enrolments. And the hon. the Member for St. Mary's - The Capes, if and when he gets up to speak will tell how many students are coming to Newfoundland to attend Memorial, because he knows across Canada universities are capping enrolments. We are delighted, Mr. Chairman, that Memorial University looked at the student first.

And one final bit of information, Mr. Chairman. One final bit of information. I am pleased to tell this House and the people of Newfoundland and Labrador that our participation in university education has increased substantially in recent years. We are now approaching the Canadian average, and we think with our scholarship program and with our student aid program and with our decentralization of first year courses and second year courses at Memorial, that very shortly participation in post-secondary education in this Province will exceed the Canadian average. We are delighted with what is happening with our student aid program, with our scholarship program, with our first year courses all over the Province, with our other programs that Memorial will continue. And we are optimistic, too, that community colleges will provide basic community education for all our people. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

AN HON. MEMBER: What garbage! What garbage!

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

MR. RIDEOUT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, after suffering the vicious personal assault from the Minister of Education, I feel obligated to rise at least once more and respond to the Minister.

Let me say to the Minister, Mr. Chairman, despite his attempt to deflect from his own incompetence and his own deceit and untruthfulness on the Budget for Memorial University, despite his failed attempt to deflect that by making what I suppose he hoped to be a disparaging remark about my university grades or lack thereof, let me say, Mr. Chairman, thank God! thank God! I would fall on bended knee and thank God that I never ever did a course from the Minister of Education or the Minister of Finance.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SIMMS: Now do not interrupt. Do not interrupt!

MR. RIDEOUT: Never, ever, Mr. Chairman and that is probably why my university grades are A's - that is probably why they are A's. Because I would not want to do a course from either one of those gentlemen. The Minister made reference to some comment I made during the last election campaign, and I know exactly what I said. I called them yesterday's men, Mr. Chairman, and I mentioned Warren and Kitchen. And, Mr. Chairman, how right I was. How right I was. They are yesterday's men; they have not brought a new idea, a new bit of vision, a new bit of vigour into this House or this Government in twenty-one months. Nothing new have they brought to the public Administration of this Province.

MR. MATTHEWS: They brought bankruptcy.

MR. RIDEOUT: The Minister of Finance has the Province on the verge of bankruptcy. That is closer than we have been for forty-odd years of Confederation. The Minister of Education goes around with a half-moon smile on his face trying to be a friend to everybody but being a friend to nobody, because he will not stand up and take responsibility for his actions and the actions of the Government. That is what those yesterday's men, Mr. Chairman, brought to public Administration in this Province.

I never did a course with the Minister of Education, but those who have told me that he was always in the habit of bringing in guest lecturers -

AN HON. MEMBER: Yes, lots of guest lecturers, all the time.

MR. RIDEOUT: - that there were lots of guest lecturers in the Minister's classes. Mr. Chairman, perhaps he should bring a guest lecturer into the Minister's office and see if it is possible to dent that half moon-smile, that trying to be nice to everybody facade that the Minister tries to put on. And after twenty-one months, everybody in the Education fraternity in this Province knows exactly what the Minister is. He came in with a lot of hope, he came in with a lot of goodwill, he came in with a lot of expectation, and he has delivered nothing. Absolutely nothing has he delivered. The NTA does not trust him anymore, the school boards do not trust him anymore, the university does not trust him anymore, the community colleges do not trust him anymore. Because he has gone around the room the second time at socials, Mr. Chairman, glad-hand and smiling to try to keep moving so that some teacher or some NTA executive could not pin him down and ask him a question. I have had that told to me, that he just keeps moving around a room so he won't be pinned down and put into a corner and a hard question given to him. Well, Mr. Chairman, after 21 months

AN HON. MEMBER: Do not get personal (inaudible) get personal.

MR. RIDEOUT: The Minister doesn't get personal, after what he was just up to.

After 21 months, Mr. Chairman, the chicken are coming home to roost, and the people in the education fraternity know what they are dealing with. This Minister, Mr. Chairman, to get up and talk about Memorial University Extension Service and what some past Government may or may not have done, and he said history will record. What history will record, Mr. Chairman, is that it was the Liberal Government of 1991-92 which killed Memorial University Extension. That is what history will record. History is not going to be so concerned about recording something that may have happened, that the Minister said he heard secondhand. What will be recorded is that that group at the Extension Department of Memorial University who were committed to rural Newfoundland and Labrador, committed to the Fogo Islands of this Province and the Baie Verte Peninsula's of this Province, that group was killed, Mr. Chairman, knifed in the back, savagely killed on the table of budget restraint by this Government. That is what will be recorded in the history books. That is what will be recorded, I say to the Minister.

Mr. Chairman, Again the Minister has not yet had the fortitude to get up and inform this House about what is going to happen in the community college system around this Province. He is leaving that to the boards, he says. Let the boards make the decision. Well, Mr. Chairman, the Central Newfoundland Community College Board have met and they have decided that they have to take 17 positions out of their system this year; 14 of them, I understand, are instructors.

Now, the Minister, in the Budget and since, has indicated that the Baie Verte campus will be okay for this year, and we appreciate that. And I say, Mr. Chairman, my God, why wouldn't it be? Why wouldn't the Baie Verte campus be okay for this year? We just lost 350 direct resource jobs down in Baie Verte; we just had this Government put the axe to our hospital, which is going to probably result in another 60 or 70 jobs lost. The Baie Verte Peninsula has not made one ounce of progress, Mr. Chairman, in the last 21 months under this Government. Not an ounce, not a centimetre of progress have we made under this Government and the least they can do is try to find the means to keep that community college open, after everything else that has happened in that town.

I would say, Mr. Chairman, even though there has been economic devastation in other areas of the province over the last couple of years, I cannot think of one area that has suffered any more economic devastation than the Baie Verte Peninsula since January of this year. I don't believe there is one in the Province. There have been hospitals announced to close down in Port aux Basques, and that is rough, in Placentia, and that is rough. It is rough everywhere when services are taken away, but can anybody think of any other region of the Province which has had the dart put to it more often in the last three months than the Baie Verte Peninsula? So the least, Mr. Chairman, the Minister can do is find a way to keep that college open; the least the Government could do would be keep the hospital open. That is the least the Government can do.

Do you know, Mr. Chairman, that for the first time in 40 years, for the first time since my mother had to go to St. Anthony to have her twins, a woman on the Baie Verte Peninsula will now have to go to Corner Brook or Grand Falls to have a baby? Now that is progress. Mr. Chairman, forty years ago we had an old Bowater's clinic and a doctor in Baie Verte, and at least the women from Fleur de Lys, Coachman's Cove, La Scie and Baie Verte could get in a boat, the old (inaudible) Atlantic, and come up to Baie Verte to have a baby. If it was any more complicated than that you got on the Kyle or the Northern Ranger and went to St. Anthony or Twillingate. Now, Mr. Chairman, after forty years of progress, after forty years of new opportunity for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, the people on the Baie Verte Peninsula have to once again look at the possibility of sending their spouses away two weeks or two and a half weeks before delivery time to a boarding house in Corner Brook, or a boarding house in Grand Falls. And this Government has the gall to get up and talk about their dedication to rural Newfoundland and Labrador. I say you should be ashamed to raise your heads.

That is what is happening in rural Newfoundland and Labrador. The hon. gentleman who represents LaPoile, when the winds blow at the Wreckhouse and you cannot get to Stephenville or Corner Brook and one of his constituents dies in an ambulance on the Trans-Canada Highway, is the political Minister of Health going to stand up and take responsibility for it? And that is the reality of Port aux Basques, just as the reality is that Baie Verte is forty miles off the Trans-Canada Highway, two and a half hours away from Corner, and two hours away from Grand Falls. And this Government talks about improving the health care system in Newfoundland and Labrador. As the administrator of the hospital in Port aux Basques said, it is crap. That is exactly what it is.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. RIDEOUT: You have improved nothing in the health care system in Newfoundland and Labrador but you have jeopardized a lot: you have jeopardized the lives of the people out on the southcoast and Port aux Basques, where the Tory Government, that dirty Tory Government went and built a brand new hospital five or six years ago, when there was a Liberal Member in the district. The dirty Tories - how bad they were! - built a hospital in Port aux Basques with Mr. Neary, a Liberal, representing it, five or six years ago. That is how uncaring we were. And this hon. crowd have the gall to raise their heads and say rationalization in the health care system will make a better, more efficient health care system for Newfoundland and Labrador when the hon. the Member for LaPoile knows the difference, the hon. gentleman for Placentia knows the difference, the hon. Member for Trinity - Bay de Verde knows the difference, and I certainly know the difference when it comes to my constituency. Lives will be in jeopardy, Mr. Chairman, because of what this Government is doing.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

The hon. Member's time is up.

Shall the resolution carry?

The hon. the Member for Burin - Placentia West.

MR. TOBIN: I would like to have a few words on this Bill before the House, as well. Probably I was slow in getting up, but I noticed Your Honour was somewhat in a hurry to get the piece of legislation through the House. I apologize to Your Honour for being slow in getting up.

Having said that, let me say that I would not be surprised if the Member for Placentia, the Member for Bellevue, the Member for Bonavista South, the Member for Port aux Basques, and the Members for all these other places which are going to have their health care scuttled in this Province, would not be in a hurry to get the resolution through the House either. What we have seen is this Minister of Health taking the axe, the same as he took $1,027,000 out of the health care budget for the Burin Peninsula this year compared to what we had last year. In my own district, Mr. Chairman, there is $1,027,000 less for health care this year than Government gave them last year. That is the action of this Government. That is their commitment to rural Newfoundland.

The Leader of our Party just spoke about the new hospital that was built out in the district of LaPoile to provide health care services to the people. Also, Mr. Chairman, it was the previous Government which provided a hospital for the people of Bonavista South over the last few years, an extension. I remember the hard work done by the former Member and Minister for Bonavista South, Mr. Morgan. If he were to look back at Bonavista South, together with other people, and see how the present Member, Mr. Chairman, and this current Liberal Administration have closed acute care beds, I must say it would be very discouraging to him. And I would not be surprised, Mr. Chairman, but that type of action would entice the former Member for Bonavista South to once again come back into politics. And should he decide to, I can tell the present Member for Bonavista South that one term is all he would have in this Legislature. And it should not be any different for any Member to stand there and then go on CBC television and defend Government cutting the health care system in this Province, closing hospital beds in every community in rural Newfoundland.

And the Minister of Education over there, what is he doing to constituents and people of rural Newfoundland? When I look at the Member for St. George's, or the Member for Eagle River, or the new Member for Trinity North, their constituents are going to come in here over the next year for an education, and this Minister of Education has caused their tuition fees to increase, has caused the residence fees to increase. And what will happen? The rich, Mr. Chairman, the multi-millionaire buddies of the Premier, the lawyers and the doctors, the upper echelon of society in this city, that is who will have health care, that is who will have an education given to them. The ordinary individual in rural Newfoundland will not have it, will not be able to afford it, Mr. Chairman. Is that what the Liberal Government is all about?

Will the Member for Windsor - Buchans be able to go back to his constituents and tell them that it is in their best interest to increase education costs for them, to increase tuition, to increase residence fees? Is that what the Minister of Forestry and Agriculture will be able to do? The Member for Placentia, and I sympathize with him, he is a friend of mine and has been for many years, I know he does not take any pleasure in what this Government has done.

MR. FLIGHT: He got nothing for seventeen years, so another five years will not hurt him.

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Chairman, they did not have representation, from 1982 to 1985. They did not have representation, and still do not. That is the long and short of that.

Now in my own constituency - today, my colleague for Grand Bank spoke on it -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Yes. I can say to my colleague for Grand Falls, I have been in his office and have seen the correspondence that comes to him from Windsor - Buchans District. That is a fact.

But I want to say to the Minister of Education that today in this House, Mr. Chairman, as in the past, the Minister has been very careless with the truth. The Minister of Education is quickly earning a reputation as being extremely careless with the truth. And today he got up in this Legislature as it relates to the moving of the Eastern Community College Headquarters from Burin to Clarenville and tried to defend that action, when at the same time he is depriving the students of this Province adequate teaching positions, he is increasing the cost of students to go to University, he is increasing the cost of residence fees for students at University. He is doing all of this, and at the same time he will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for one reason only, and that is political motivation, to take the headquarters, to rob the headquarters from Burin and put it somewhere else where it will not in any way improve the educational system for that eastern region. That is what the hon. the Minister of Education is going to do. Why will he not stand in this House and tell us - or the Minister of Public Works - how much money they are now paying on a five year lease for that headquarters. And what is going to happen to it? I would suspect the owner of the building is not going to forget about the lease. What is going to happen to that five year lease that is on the building, taxpayers' money? Is someone in Clarenville going to provide them a building free? Not likely, Mr. Chairman. That is what is taking place.

What about the transportation costs? When is the Minister going to come to his feet and tell the people of this Province how much it is costing to move that educational facility for no educational value? Mr. Chairman, if there were, I would not be here arguing for it. It has no educational value. You have a Minister of Education who is prepared to sacrifice every last child in this Province and deny them a right to an adequate education; keep the money, Mr. Chairman, cut educational positions, and at the same time close the headquarters because it is in a Conservative District and move it to a Liberal District. That is what he is up to; that is what the President of Treasury Board has been up to and supporting all along.

I do not see anything in the Budget, Mr. Chairman, about the President of Treasury Board or the Minister of Education or any of the rest of them throwing in their $8,000 car allowance. I do not hear anything about that. Yet, they are firing people left, right and centre. I do not hear anything about a cutback on the wasteful expense accounts, I do not hear anything about the Minister of Public Works and Services talking about certain issues as they affect his department, yet we can have the Minister of Education close down a headquarters in Eastern Newfoundland because it is in a Conservative district.

The Minister of Development, this morning when I asked him a question on the shipyard in Marystown what did he say? What did he say? He did not say one word that was true - not one word to the issue that was true. He talked about the Hibernia deal. Yes, Mr. Chairman, the Hibernia deal that was put in place was put in place before ever this Government came. He talked about the Cow Head facility. That was signed and announced and put in place by this party when we were in Government.

The people of the Burin Peninsula will once again, Mr. Chairman, be buying plane tickets for mainland Canada. The Premier talked about bringing every mother's son home. What he meant, I believe, was to have every mother and father meet their sons and daughters on the mainland. Because nobody has come home - nobody. The Burin Peninsula has been devastated since this Government came to power - devastated, Mr. Chairman.

Not one who sits opposite me has any commitment to rural Newfoundland - nobody, particularly those on the Government benches, although I would not go so far as to suggest that about my colleague for Placentia. I think he probably does care about rural Newfoundland. But most of them, Mr. Chairman, do not care about rural Newfoundland. The backbenchers over there, with the exception of the Member for Placentia, are prepared to do anything to get into Cabinet. All you have to do is read some articles that have been attributed to the Member for St. John's South and you can readily understand what I am talking about. But what is happening here is that rural Newfoundland has been cut from the agenda of this administration.

This Government has one commitment, and that is to the elite, the people with power and money in this Province. I wonder what happened to the socialist principles of the President of Treasury Board and the Member for Pleasantville, who ran several times for the NDP in this Province? How could someone who goes out and enunciates social principles in this Province automatically become a Minister of a Government who fires everybody in the public service, closes hospital beds and shuts schools? How could someone who articulates the principles of social Government in this country take that type of action? That is a question I would like to have answered, Mr. Chairman. That question leads to the answer that this is a dictatorship, and one man and one man only calls the shots. That is where we are coming from, and that is where we are going. The President of Treasury Board ran as an NDP candidate in Ontario, he ran as an NDP candidate in Newfoundland, and all of sudden he becomes the Minister who fires everybody, leaves nobody standing.

I want to ask the Minister of Education if he will listen, and I can tell him this issue is very important to the Burin Peninsula, but I would like to ask the Minister of Education if he will stand when I sit down and tell this House and the people of the Burin Peninsula how much money it is going to cost him to carry out his political acts?

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

The hon. Member's time has elapsed.

The hon. the Member for Torngat Mountains.

MR. WARREN: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I want to have my ten minutes on this particular piece of legislation. I believe what we saw here today is some indication of how the Minister of Education is trying to skate around the issue. What the Minister of Education has done in the last three or four days, in my opinion and in the opinion of many other people in this Province, is not tell the facts.

Now, Mr. Chairman, I do not know how much more you want of me than that, but the Minister of Education has not on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday of this week told the facts. As it pertains to the electrical subsidy for the three church residences on campus, it was not announced in last year's Budget. Now the Minister said yesterday that he does not like people calling him a liar, he does not like people saying he lies. Mr. Chairman, I know it is unparliamentary to say a Member in this House is lying, but, Mr. Chairman, I have to say the Minister did not tell the truth in this House in the last two days. He has misled the people and this House by the statements he has made in the last two or three days.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. WARREN: Mr. Chairman, I want to dwell for the next few minutes on your district, Sir, the District of Bellevue. As a former resident of that particular district, I know that -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please! Order, please!

I am having difficulty hearing the hon. Member for Torngat Mountains.

MR. WARREN: Yes. Maybe the Member for Placentia is not listening, but I would think the Chairman is listening. Because what I am going to say in the next few minutes has to deal with his district in particular. Three or four years ago, the Members at the time for Gander, St. Barbe, Bellevue, the Straits of Bell Island, Fogo, and Twillingate, those Members in particular, were five or six Members who were continuously doing everything they could and saying: don't close down Come By Chance. That was the big story from the Liberals of the day at the time, don't close down Come By Chance. You are going to cause people to die. You are going to cause people to have to come all the way to St. John's, all these kinds of things. And which government really closed down Come By Chance?

I listened to the former mayor on television a while ago. Well, she said, we may as well give up, they won't listen. Now I know that, because you have two doctors in Arnold's Cove, you have the hospital in Clarenville which is not fully opened - all the beds are not operating at the present time. I could see some rationale in closing the clinic in Come By Chance. In fact, what went wrong is that a lot of times we do not stand up for what we really believe in, we just stand up and make comments just to go against somebody or something.

And that is half of what happens in the political arena. We just go up and we will not admit that what someone has done sometimes is right. Because all the Minister of Education had to do yesterday was say it was not in last year's budget. But he did not want to put himself a little degree lower by admitting he made a mistake. That is what is wrong with us as politicians. As far as I am concerned, when the Come By Chance hospital was closed two or three years ago it should have been completely closed at the time, the clinic should have been closed at the time. Because you have two doctors now in Arnold's Cove who can do the work. And, furthermore, it is a strain on Government to keep it open. And I do not mind saying that, Mr. Chairman. A lot of my relatives for years and years had to rely on the Come By Chance hospital. In fact, Mr. Chairman, I still have a scar reminding me of the Come By Chance hospital, on my right hand.

And people are talking now about how it takes three or four hours to go to a doctor. Forty-seven years ago it took almost two days for me to get twenty-five miles to the doctor. So things have improved.

Now, let me go back and say to my hon. colleague from Bellevue that this morning I heard Mr. Thistle, the Mayor of Sunnyside, on radio, and I thought the Mayor of Sunnyside was making some good points.

AN HON. MEMBER: That's your buddy, is it?

MR. WARREN: Well, I have a lot of buddies in the Bellevue district, I must say. In fact, Mr. Chairman, I have to say this to my hon. colleague. You know, a while ago I said to the former Member for Bellevue that if he was not careful, if he did not do a better job for the Bellevue District, then I was going to go and take him on. And the former Member for Bellevue, we know what happened to him. He was afraid that I was going to take him on and he made another move, but that did not work. So I say to my hon. colleague, I am getting so many calls from that area, and after having lived there, and I still have a residence out there, and still have family out there -

MR. KELLAND: A point of order, Mr. Chairman.

MR. CHAIRMAN: The hon. the Minister of Environment and Lands on a point of order.

The hon. Minister's mike is not operating.

MR. KELLAND: I do not mean to interrupt the hon. Member for any length of time, but I was just cogitating something that was said a minute ago and I just want some clarification.

The hon. Member for Torngat Mountains said he could not call another hon. Member a liar because it would be unparliamentary but he did say however, that the hon. Minister of Education did not tell the truth and therefore accused him of lying, is that subject to the same rule, just for my own information?

MR. CHAIRMAN: It is just a difference of opinion between hon. Members.

The hon. Member for Torngat Mountains.

MR. WARREN: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I thank my hon. friend for interrupting my train of thought as I was going through talking about the district of Bellevue; I only wish I had another ten minutes because I could go on talking about the district of Naskaupi.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WARREN: No, I am not going to say anything about Eagle River, no, but I would say to the Member for Naskaupi: you had better watch your back, you had better watch your back because the Member for Eagle River is after your job, sir, you had better watch your back and I would say to the Minister of Fisheries, he had better watch his back.

Now, Mr. Chairman, I have to say to him before my time is up, there is only about two minutes left, to my hon. colleague from Eagle River that if he wants to go through the Maritime Provinces preaching about fish, preaching about getting quotas for fish, he should make sure that this Government does not issue any more processing licences to other people who take fish off the Labrador Coast. I think he should do that, I think that is what he should do first.

If you are going to clean up someone else's backyard you had better clean up your own backyard first. Mr. Speaker, every time I speak, I get interrupted by the Members opposite. Do I hit a sore point or not, Mr. Chairman? I want to say also, that I am concerned about the cuts in the health care.

The cuts in health care are the most devastating thing that has ever happened in this Province since, and I go back to the Minister of Finance's comments, probably since 1932. Oh, I just thought about something else.

In the Minister's Budget, he announced the money for the new hospital in Hopedale. Mr. Chairman, this was in last year's Budget, and back in the month of January the tenders were awarded to the contractor and here this year, the Minister announced it in this Budget again this year; and furthermore, furthermore, the money for the new hospital is not all coming from the Provincial coffers so the Minister should realize that here he announced a new hospital, a new clinic for Hopedale which is in last year's Budget -

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please! Order, please!

The hon. Member's time has lapsed.

MR. WARREN: By leave, Mr. Speaker.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Before I recognize the hon. the Opposition House Leader, on behalf of hon. Members I would like to welcome to the public gallery today, Gerry Appelby, the Mayor of Burin.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. SIMMS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, it is nearing the end of the day and I wanted to indicate to the President of Treasury Board that we will agree to let the Supplementary Supply Bill be voted on at the end of the day, but before doing that, there are a few points I would like to raise myself, and I would hope the President of Treasury Board might take advantage of the opportunity to respond to those points that I raise and as well clue up the debate, I suppose, as it is nearing that time.

I have only got ten minutes and there are several points I would like to make. The first one is the issue which was raised today in Question Period by my colleague, the Member for Kilbride, to the Minister of Transportation about layoffs that are occurring in the public service, particularly as it applies to those employees who are members of the MOS bargaining unit. As Members would know, and Ministers would know, no doubt, at the present time, or at least up until the present time unless there has been a change in the last twenty-four hours, which there may well have been - and if there has been this will be a great opportunity for the President of Treasury Board to make it public, but up until now, at least, the Members in the MOS bargaining unit do not have the same bumping privileges as members of the GS bargaining unit. They also, by the way, I believe, cannot qualify for a call back, as I understand it, but certainly they cannot bump, and the reason why, as I understand it, is simply because it is not in their collective agreement. Over the years, negotiating and so on, it is one of the items that obviously was not negotiated in their collective agreement. However, it is obviously pretty unfair that MOS employees could not bump the same as their colleagues who happen to work and be members of the general services bargaining unit. I would hope that the Minister, if he has not already, would certainly consider this as an official request from the Opposition on behalf of those employees in the MOS bargaining unit, that the Government take a look at this because of the extreme circumstances in which they find themselves, and we all find ourselves these days in the Province, and perhaps make a compassionate decision to allow the bumping privileges to occur as if they had it in their agreement. I think it would be fair and certainly would fit in with the Government's often touted fairness and balance philosophy. That is one point I want to raise, and I know the President of Treasury Board will address it. There is another point I want to address and it is not going to be done in as kindly a way as perhaps I just did with respect to the other issue. This is an issue which has come to my attention, it is an allegation towards one of the Cabinet Ministers in particular, and I want to briefly outline it, the way it has been put to me by people in the public service, senior people in the public service, who have said to me that the decision of the Government to lay off people and to cut jobs was not particularly that difficult a decision in many respects, but one of the main reasons they think it might have been easy is because there is a prominent lack of respect in certain quarters around the Cabinet table for members of our public service, for our public service in general. There is a certain lack of respect for the public service itself. Apparently, the attitude they are referring to is a terrible, terrible attitude. The allegation, I regret to say, the allegation that was made to me by some people, is that the person around the Cabinet table that harbours that attitude most strongly, a lack of respect for the public service, is the Minister of Finance. I regret to say that, but I have to say it, I have to bring it out in the public chamber and I hope that maybe the Minister will have a chance to respond to it. Perhaps he can deny it and if he does I would be grateful if he could have the opportunity to do so. The argument that has been put to me is that the Minister of Finance thinks that the 'do nothings', that there are a lot of 'do nothings' in the public service. I have no doubt there are some, as there are in politics, as there are in all kinds of professions, but the allegation is that the Minister of Finance harbours a deep, deep, resentment towards our public service, and therefore he had no trouble cutting 3000 jobs from this Budget. I pass it on for what it is worth because it is out there and I do not think the Minister of Finance would want that to permeate, if in fact it is not an accurate description, so I wanted to raise that. I can tell him seriously it is out there.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. SIMMS: No, I am not making it up. If the Minister of Finance is accusing me of making it up he may force me to name a particular name of a particular individual very close to him in his own Department. Now, he may.

AN HON. MEMBER: Name him.

MR. SIMMS: Well, I do not play that kind of a game, Mr. Chairman. If the Minister wants to get up and say I am making it up, deny it, and say he has a lot of respect for the public service, then I will be grateful. That is what I just said to him. Perhaps he is hard of hearing as well.

Mr. Chairman, the other item I wanted to quickly raise is the issue of the salary estimate details, the detailed documents. The Leader of the Opposition, I believe, raised this question in debate or in Question Period, sometime during the past week - in a press conference, I guess, publicly.

I have raised it privately with the Government House Leader, as he would know. So it has been raised and talked about in the House. I want to now go on record as advising the Government House Leader and the Government that we on this side, at least we in this caucus, do not believe that we can properly do our job, cannot do a thorough job of scrutinizing the Estimates, if one of the most important documents of all is not available to us.

AN HON. MEMBER: That is right.

MR. SIMMS: Now the other day when it was raised there were a few catcalls from the other side: ah, that is not that important a document. It is only the salaries and all that kind of thing. But, Mr. Chairman, I remind Members, members of the press gallery, if they are around listening, that last year during scrutinizing the Estimates the issue of the $8,000 car allowance for Ministers was discovered, with the use and assistance of that particular document.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SIMMS: Yes, it was.

No, you announced it afterwards.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. SIMMS: The Premier's $20,000 entertainment allowance was in that document. We asked questions about that until finally the Government announced that as well.

So I just point out those couple of examples. There are many others. And obviously in this salary estimate document you would have a fairly good indication of what positions are being eliminated and where. What increases are made available to Ministers and the salaries of their department, if there is any increased staff, all of those kinds of things. So it is in fact a very important document. So to suggest that you do not need it for the Estimates is nonsense.

And in case anybody thinks that perhaps we are just toying or fooling around or that we do not think it is important, I want to seriously advise the Government House Leader now publicly in the Chamber, that it is our intention to use whatever parliamentary tactics we can to ensure that the Estimates committees do not proceed as they normally would on an early schedule, until those salary estimate documents are available to us. We do not intend to do that.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SIMMS: Now I know the Minister has said to me privately, some of the problems associated with it, but I think it is time for him to publicly state it. If he can give us some satisfactory explanation as to when they might be available we might be prepared to reconsider it. The only parliamentary tactic we will have available to us, I say to him, is upon the appointment of the Committees, whenever the appointment of the Committees comes due sometime next week, I guess, those motions to appoint the Committees are debatable, and we will use that unless we can get a satisfactory explanation. I say to him in all sincerity that this is just not simply a political ploy, we sincerely believe that the need for our Members to do their job thoroughly on behalf of the people of the Province, as an official Opposition, is there. And we cannot do it unless we have all the documentation, which we have had, by the way, in years gone by without any difficulty at all.

So I wanted to raise that with the Government House Leader in the hopes that he could respond and maybe allay some of our fears, but I want him to be assured that we are serious about it and that we do not think we can do a thorough job unless we have all the documentation and we intend to make sure that whatever parliamentary tactics are available to us to bring the delay of the Estimates Committees about we will do so.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. BAKER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. There are some points raised by the Opposition House Leader I feel I should respond to.

First of all I would like to start at the beginning and deal first with his third point which had to do with the salary estimates details and the committees of the House.

The salary estimates details are details. They are very specific details as to which individuals receive which salaries. So in terms of the Departments, it is broken down as to exactly which management positions are there, which union positions are there, the amounts of money spent on positions. This document is normally presented either with or shortly after the Budget, because in the budget process you obviously have to make decisions with regards to the salaries, and when these decisions are made then the details are published.

This is a very unusual circumstance. We made a decision very, very late in the budget process that affected the salaries of every public servant in the Province. Because of that we now have people working, going back over each individual salary unit to determine what the salaries would be. We have to have all of the details in terms of which funded positions, which positions that are normally in these estimates, that would be put there but people not put in the places, which ones of these have disappeared from the roles of government, because we can no longer have eliminated positions showing up in the salary estimates. And we have to make sure that the full effect of the reduction, the downsizing, has occurred in the elements that are in that book before we can actually publish those details.

So I guess what I am saying is that the salary details will be published. When they are published they will be accurate details. In order to make sure that these are accurate details it is going to take quite some time to put together. Now, I suppose within a very short time I could have an inaccurate salary estimates book published but I do not think that would serve us well or serve the Opposition well.

The indication I got a couple of days ago - because I have been on to this and there is one of the media outlets in the Province that has been asking about it and so on - and a few days ago I checked to see how quickly it could happen. And I was told that it would be at least a month before it could all be put together - the accurate information - at least a month. However I will check back again and see and try to hurry it up but you have to realize that we are going through a process now that we are not going to rush. We are going to make sure that we know the specific positions that have disappeared, any changes that might happen because of the downsizing, before we actually publish the specific details of each position in terms of salary.

So it has to be done. The process is slow. The Public Service Commission is helping out with the process and when the process is finished then, obviously, the salary details will be published. When I check again, perhaps there is some compromise that can be reached here in terms of a certain amount of salary detail, or whatever, but I will talk to the Opposition about that in the next few days. Right now it looks as if it is going to be about a month. Now, I understand this will affect the Committee work. Members say that they will be very upset and disturbed if this detail was not available for the work of the Committee so we could for a short time at least put of appointing the Committee, which would allow a little more time to see what can be put together and what satisfactory arrangements can be made. I would not want to interfere with the work of the Opposition Members on the Committee in any way, so let us see if we can work that out. We will delay the appointment of the Committees for a short time. I would like to also, before I leave that point, mention, or assure the House and anybody who might be listening, that there is nothing being hidden here. We want to make sure the numbers are accurate because of the tremendous changes occurring during these few weeks and perhaps in the next month or so. I want to make sure that the work that comes out is accurate, that is all.

The second point he mentioned had to do with the lack of respect for the public service, and I do not think I really should answer that, except to say that there is a recognition that we have a very professional public service, made up of a lot of people who are expert in their jobs. There is that recognition and that is all I can say about that.

In terms of the MOS. The Member is right, the MOS agreement as he knows, as he was responsible for negotiating the one before this last one, he knows that the MOS agreement does not contain the same bumping rights as the other agreements in the public service. I suppose historically there may have been a reason for that. It was not considered to be a particularly important point, I suppose, on the part of the union and perhaps Governments through the years have had their reasons for not dealing with that issue. The point has been raised with me because I should remind hon. Members that there is consultation, there is communication with the union leadership and this is going on all the time. Both sides want to make sure that any downsizing that is done is done with the least possible harm to individuals. Discussions have been taking place this morning between officials, union and department as well, but we have agreed essentially that the same bumping rights that other unions have will be given MOS. We just signed a collective agreement on 23 February, I believe, with MOS and in spite of that perhaps we could go back and change a Clause in that collective agreement to guarantee it, but certainly, at least in this process we are going through, they will have access to the same bumping rights as the other unions. NAPE has declared war on this Government, Fraser March has declared war, at the same time we are willing to talk, it is not a time for vindictiveness, it is not a time for vindictiveness and I have said this so often, it is a time for working together to make sure that the impact is as small as possible.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. BAKER: Well, I will remind hon. Members that the approach I took from day one, is the approach I took in October. I called the union leaders in and laid out the problem and pleaded with them to take it seriously - it was a serious problem - and to give us any input that they might feel they should have, because they have a view of the systems out there that perhaps managers do not. It is a view I have taken from day one at every step of the way and the union leadership knows this, every step of the way they have been informed, they have been asked for their input, it is their choice whether they give it or not, so that is my approach to the problem. When a request came about the bumping rights for MOS, I very simply dealt with it. It is not a time to be vindictive; somebody declares war on you, you do not have to declare war on them and it is not a time for vindictiveness, it is a time for working together, so, Mr. Chairman, these are the three points.

In terms of the Supplementary Supply Bill, there is $20 million of supplementary supply that the Government needs. These are largely over-expenditures in one area or another, it is a normal kind of thing that happens every single year and it is very difficult to estimate accurately the expenditure on open ended programs; it is fairly difficult to estimate any extra expenditure we might approve under a heading, and every year we need a certain amount of supplementary supply, and this year it happens to be around $20 million, so that is what this particular supply bill is about. I thank the Opposition House Leader for his co-operation so far in what has been going on, and I understand the level of co-operation. I understand this may not exist at the same level forever.

MR. SIMMS: That is up to you.

MR. BAKER: But so far - so far - I would like to thank him for his co-operation.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Before recognizing the Opposition House Leader, I would like to welcome to the public galleries the Mayor and Councillors from Port au Choix.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. CHAIRMAN: I think they have left. They were there a minute ago.

MR. SIMMS: I was going to say.

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

MR. SIMMS: A final brief word on this. I do not want to get sucked in by the Government House Leader, and I have no intention of allowing that to happen. I just want to repeat that our decision to allow the Supplementary Supply Bill to pass today has nothing to do with co-operation or anything else. Basically we have had two days of debate on it, we recognize quite clearly that it is overexpenditures, it is done, it is spent, and there is not a heck of a lot you can do about it. And we have asked questions. We have asked questions of the Minister of Finance in particular, and he never gets up; he usually leaves or goes out for a walk or something like that. So, I mean, what is the point of beating our chops for any more than two days on a Supplementary Supply Bill when the money has already been spent, if we cannot get any answers?

Now on the other hand, one of the other reasons that we are doing it is because we are anxious to get on with other legislation the Government has plans for: the publicly announced decision of the President of Treasury Board to introduce the next day we sit, on Tuesday - Monday is a holiday - the wage rollback bill.

MR. HEWLETT: Bill 16.

MR. SIMMS: Bill 16. We are anxiously looking forward to the debate on that bill.

MR. HEWLETT: (Inaudible) Bill 59.

MR. SIMMS: Thank you. The Interim Supply Bill will be an opportunity for us to scrutinize more carefully this Budget coming up. And of course then you have the Budget debate, and on it goes. So lest the Government House Leader think this is an air of co-operation that is exuding from this side, let me tell him he is mistaken, absolutely mistaken. And hopefully my comments about our intent to hold up and to use whatever parliamentary tactic we can to ensure that the Estimates Committees do not proceed until we work out some kind of a solution on the details of the salary estimates, that is a certainty and that should diminish any thought he might have that it is co-operation.

Now secondly, I just want to say to him this.

MS. VERGE: He is not a pushover.

AN HON. MEMBER: No, I will guarantee you.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: He ain't no pushover!

MR. SIMMS: I get nervous when people use words like that, because sometimes that means it is in their mind, you know?

Anyway, Mr. Chairman, whatever I am or whatever I am not, I am not going to let the Estimates Committees start until we get an agreement on the salary estimates details. That is the point I wanted to make.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. BAKER: Just for one minute, to comment on the co-operation aspect, Mr. Chairman. I perceive that there has been a certain level of co-operation from all Members opposite.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. BAKER: No, but perhaps. If this is not co-operation, perhaps it is because compared to what I have experienced in the past year, this is more co-operation. So in comparison with what happened before, maybe this can be construed for a moment as being co-operation.

MR. SIMMS: Wait until next week.

MR. BAKER: I have also indicated that I understand the same level is not going to exist in the future. I do understand that we have a number of important items to deal with, amongst them the Interim Supply, which Bill was distributed today and which we will be trying to get to some time in the next week and a half. So there is ample opportunity to debate financial items in the near future.

On motion, clauses 1 and 2 carried.

On motion, resolution carried.

Motion, that the Committee report having passed a resolution and a bill consequent thereto, carried.

On motion, that the Committee rise and report progress, Mr. Speaker, returned to the Chair.

MR. BAKER: Stop the clock.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed to stop the clock?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Agreed.

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

MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. Speaker, the Committee of Supply has considered the matters to it referred and has adopted a certain resolution and recommends a bill be introduced to give effect to the same.

On motion, report received and adopted, resolution ordered read a first and second time, bill ordered read a first, second and third time.

On motion, resolution read a first and second time.

On motion, a Bill, " An Act For Granting To Her Majesty Certain Sums of Money For Defraying Certain Additional Expenses Of The Public Service For The Financial Year Ending March 31, 1991 And For Other Purposes Relating To The Public Service", read a first, second and third time, ordered passed and its title be as on the Order Paper.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the President of the Council.

MR. BAKER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. On Tuesday I intend to introduce the wage legislation, as I have previously announced.

Mr. Speaker, I move that the House at its rising do adjourn until tomorrow, Tuesday, March 19 at 2:00 p.m.

On motion, the House at its rising adjourned until tomorrow, Tuesday, March 19 at 2:00 p.m.