May 15, 1991                 HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY PROCEEDINGS               Vol. XLI  No. 50


The House met at 2:00 p.m.

Order, please!

Before proceeding with our routine business I would like to welcome to the Speaker's gallery on behalf of hon. Members the hon. Brian Gardiner, Member of Parliament for Prince George - Bulkley Valley.

Also, I would like to welcome to the public galleries forty Grade V11 students from St. Edward's Elementary School, Brigus, accompanied by their teachers Mr. Fowler and Mr. Marshall.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

Oral Questions

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Grand Bank.

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

Today unemployment insurance benefits expire for fishermen throughout our Province and we have some severe ice conditions around our coast that have hampered hundreds of fishermen from being able to pursue their livelihood, I am wondering if the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations could inform the House if she has made any representation to her Federal counterpart the Minister of Employment? What have been the results of those representations?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations.

MS. COWAN: Yes, I have written a letter to Mr. Valcourt. It went out some time ago. He has not responded as yet, although there would not be time for him to respond, I am not condemning him, but the letter went to Ottawa, I believe, at the beginning of last week and I would anticipate his response soon.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Grand Bank.

MR. MATTHEWS: Mr. Speaker, this situation with severe ice conditions around our coast has been known for weeks, as a matter of fact, there was a resolution passed in this Assembly a week or so ago. Members on this side have made representation and Members on the other side have made representation. What does the Minister suggest then if she only last week wrote a letter to the Federal Minister with this situation known for weeks? What does she suggest? What is she telling fishermen to do now that they cannot fish and have no benefits? How are they supposed to stay alive over the next number of weeks until the ice conditions improve?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations.

MS. COWAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am not sure if that was a question or a speech. Anyway, I was quite aware of the fact that a number of my colleagues on both sides of the House have approached the various Ministers responsible in Ottawa including the Minister of Fisheries, who has also been able to make a face-to-face representation to the Federal Minister of Fisheries. So, the matter was well in hand, and it was not something on which I felt he needed to move more quickly on than I did. He is well aware of the problem, Mr. Speaker. It is a long ongoing historical problem in this Province -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Member for Grand Bank.

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

I do not know if the Minister is aware but as of today those fishermen have no income. They have no means to feed their families let alone have money to get back into the fishery.

As Minister of Employment or, Mr. Speaker, maybe I should say as Minister of unemployment with 22.3 per cent unemployment in the Province, does the Minister have any employment program under consideration for those fishermen around our Province who cannot fish? Does she have a proposed employment program to take them on working within the next number of days so that they can feed their families and get back into the fishery? Has she given any consideration to that, Mr. Speaker?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations.

MS. COWAN: We have many people in this Province, Mr. Speaker, who are in very drastic circumstances due to unemployment and they are on our minds frequently. We will be addressing the subject this afternoon in the Private Member's debate and going into it thoroughly at that time. We do not have any employment programmes in mind immediately, but as I said to the House the other day, we are monitoring the situation carefully and if in two or three months' time it has not improved we will only be too pleased to put something in place.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Grand Bank.

MR. MATTHEWS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Two or three months' time. These people do not have any income as of today. Is the Minister hoping that those fishermen will be so weak within two or three months' time that they will not be able to go to work? Is that her wish? Will the Minister stand in her place as Minister of Employment and tell the hundreds of fishermen throughout our Province what she is going to do to employ them until ice conditions around our coasts improve? As Minister of Employment, can she do that please?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations.

MS. COWAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would suggest that his Tory buddies in Ottawa are the ones who should be responding to this particular problem.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MS. COWAN: These Tory buddies in Ottawa who are prepared to bring in Bill 69, which is the most devastating thing that will ever have hit Canada. What did they care about fishermen in Newfoundland? What did they care about any of the people in Newfoundland, with the concerns that we have in this Province with unemployment? I ask the hon. Member of the Opposition to ponder that, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SIMMS: How incompetent!

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

The hon. the Leader of the Opposition.

MR. RIDEOUT: When is she going to run for Parliament? She should not be in this House.

Mr. Speaker, my question will be to the Premier. The Premier will know that the Municipalities Act lays out very detailed procedures which must be followed before a Cabinet can decide to amalgamate towns and communities. Government must - and the Act does not say that Government should or Government may, the Act says that Government must - first of all make a specific amalgamation proposal. Second, publish that proposal in the Gazette and in the affected communities. And third, appoint a commissioner or commissioners to study the feasibility of the proposal before any recommendation can be made to Cabinet.

Now I want to ask the Premier: Were all these requirements of the law followed with reference to the specific proposals that the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs presented to this House yesterday? Were these proposals that were tabled in this House yesterday published as the Act requires? Were these proposed groupings as tabled in this House yesterday the subject of feasibility studies as the Act requires? Were they recommended by commissioners as the Act requires? Or were they proposed by any municipality in the northeast Avalon region?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition and all Members of the House and, I suspect, all members of the public are aware, that a variety of proposals were put forward. Some were recommended, some were not, some were changed, changes were proposed, and so on, and, Mr. Speaker, while it may be correct to say that the Lieutenant-Governor in Council may not be able to issue an Order in Council, if certain mandatory requirements are not followed, this House can make the decision that is necessary no matter what course of action has been followed, and no matter what recommendations have been made. Now, Mr. Speaker, we have brought a resolution, the Minister has brought a resolution to this House and this House will make the decision that this House considers appropriate.

Everybody can well understand that you would have an interminable process, if you had to go through with the kind of process that the former Government had in place and it did not get recommended or the Minister proposed something that was recommended in another direction. So, Mr. Speaker, the Government is dealing with it in a very responsible way; proposals were made, commissions were appointed, hearings were held, recommendations were made and finally, the Government has brought its proposal before the House and such action as is necessary will be taken.

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

MR. RIDEOUT: Mr. Speaker, the Premier just cannot, as leader of the Government, accept those parts of the law which he likes and ignore those parts he does not like.

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The fact of the matter is, Mr. Speaker, that the Minister could not recommend to Cabinet, nor could Cabinet recommend to this House - which is what happened yesterday, because that was a Government order - the Cabinet could not recommend to this House without going through the process I have laid out.

Now, I want to ask the Premier, were those specific proposals that the Minister tabled in this House yesterday, do they conform to the letter of the law, as it currently exists in this Province?

MR. SIMMS: That is the question.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, either the hon. Member does not know the law or I do not, one or the other, and we will decide which one is correct later on.

The Lieutenant-Governor in Council, can propose to this House any matter that the Lieutenant-Governor in Council sees fit to propose.

Now, it does not have to conform to any specific Act; if we propose a procedure and ask this House to authorize a change, this House has the power to alter any Act as is necessary. Mr. Speaker, I just said now to the President of Treasury Board, that it may be necessary to re-word the resolution somewhat, to provide for the introduction of such legislation or the passage of such Orders in Council as may be necessary to give effect to the proposed amalgamation, and, Mr. Speaker, we will do whatever is necessary and seek the authority of this House to do so.

MR. RIDEOUT: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. RIDEOUT: So, Mr. Speaker, now the Premier can bring in a resolution outlawing elections, boarding up the doors of the legislature and never having this place meet again; that is the essence of what he is say.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SIMMS: That is just as silly as what you are suggesting.

MR. RIDEOUT: That is just as foolish as what the Premier just suggested, Mr. Speaker. The Cabinet can only act within the authority of a statute of this legislature, and this Government has flaunted that particular statute.

Now, Mr. Speaker, the municipalities feasibility report regulations, let me remind the Minister of those. The municipalities feasibility report regulations which were amended and approved by the Cabinet in October, 1989, set out fourteen criteria for the assessment of the viability of the amalgamation proposals. All of these fourteen criteria are important, some of them are technical and all of them require a great deal of study.

I want to ask the Premier, have the proposals that were presented to this House yesterday by the Minister been studied and assessed against those fourteen criteria? If they were, who did the study, and will those reports be made available to this House so that all Members will have the benefit of the reports before we are forced to vote on the resolution presented by the Minister yesterday?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: I suggest to the Leader of the Opposition once again that he get whoever wrote the question for him to seek legal advice before he puts forward these unfounded propositions.

Mr. Speaker, this Government cannot bring legislation before the House to outlaw or close the House, or outlaw elections or anything else. The Constitution of Canada prohibits that. It requires the House to meet within a certain time and not to be closed beyond a year period.

So, Mr. Speaker, the Government cannot bring such legislation before the House, it is a foolish proposition. But, Mr. Speaker, we can bring any legislation we wish before the House to alter the Municipalities Act or to do something that is contrary to the Municipalities Act, and provided this House authorizes it to be done, it is quite legal, and you do not have to follow any predetermined procedures fourteen or forty-four. It does not make any difference. I suggest the hon. Member seek legal advice or get whoever wrote the questions for him to do so.

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

MR. RIDEOUT: Mr. Speaker, the question to the Premier was would the Premier table in this House the assessments that were done, allegedly, by the department, on those specific proposals so that Members of this House will have the benefit of those assessments when we are debating the resolution that will come before the House over the next few days.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, the Government will table the reports of whatever commissions were done, but I do not know that there were any specific assessments done by any specific officials with respect to any specific proposal.

MR. SIMMS: (Inaudible) conform to your own regulations.

PREMIER WELLS: No, Mr. Speaker. We are coming before this House, asking this House for authority to do that which we are proposing, the Lieutenant-Governor in Council may not be able to do some of those things under the provisions of the Act without seeking the express authorization of this House. Now, Mr. Speaker, suddenly their eyes are open, they know why we are coming to the House, a brilliant deduction. I am really impressed, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. RIDEOUT: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. RIDEOUT: Mr. Speaker, the Premier should be depressed because he has been caught deceiving the people of this Province, again.

MR. SIMMS: Again.

MR. RIDEOUT: Again, for about the fifteenth time in two years.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I want to remind the hon. Member of the use of parliamentary language. To say that the Premier was caught deceiving the people I consider to be unparliamentary, and I ask the Member to withdraw, please.

MR. RIDEOUT: Mr. Speaker, if it is unparliamentary, I will withdraw, and we will look at it and argue about it later.

Mr. Speaker, has the Premier not admitted here today that the real reason for this resolution that was brought into this House yesterday was the Government wanted to deliberately circumvent the law of Newfoundland and Labrador? Was that not why it was brought in here?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: No, Mr. Speaker, that is not the real reason why the resolution was brought. The resolution was brought before this House because the Government committed that it would not make major amalgamation changes in the secrecy of Cabinet but it would bring it before this House so that it would be publicly debated. Now, Mr. Speaker, certain proposals could not be done by Cabinet, anyway. Some of what is proposed can be done.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, I cannot imagine that hon. Members opposite are so stunned that they just now discovered that, and that that comes as an utter shock for them.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

If an hon. Member wants to make a point of order, the Chair is not going to respond to Member's singing out, 'Is that a point of order?' If hon. Members want to say that it is a point of order they should get up on a point of order. But in this we are referred to in a collective sense, and the Chair would not rule it to be a point of order. But if the Member were referring to one particular Member, but taking it in its collective sense, the Chair would not consider it to be unparliamentary.

But the Chair is standing to ask hon. Members to my right to please give the Member silence so that he can conclude his answer.

The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, the Government made its commitment quite some time ago that it would not bring amalgamation proposals - or put amalgamation proposals - into effect after a secret discussion by Cabinet by passing an Order in Council.

MS. VERGE: (Inaudible).

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, the hon. Member for Humber East wants to answer her colleague's question. She can do it, but it will not be my answer, it will be her answer, and it will probably be dead wrong.

Now, Mr. Speaker

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The Chair again is asking hon. Members to the right to please extend to the Premier the courtesy of allowing him to answer the question. He cannot answer the question as long as Members to my right keep interrupting. So I will ask the Premier to clue up in a few seconds, please.

The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The Government is totally and completely satisfied that it has done everything that is entirely appropriate. It has taken no step that is in any manner inappropriate. The Government is at liberty to bring legislation or proposals or resolutions before this House that will do anything that the Legislature has power to do. It cannot bring a proposal that is unconstitutional but it can bring any proposal that is within the power of the Legislature, and this one very clearly is.

AN HON. MEMBER: It is as simple as that.

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

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is for the Premier. The Premier is aware no doubt of a report commissioned by the Council of Maritime Premiers called the McMillan Report, it was reported in December 1989. Amongst other issues, this report discussed the integration of Newfoundland and Labrador into the Council of Maritime Premiers by setting up and establishing a Council of Atlantic Premiers and it proposes three models for discussing this.

Would the Premier advise the House whether he has made up his mind whether or not he will support the establishment of a Council of Atlantic Premiers, with this Province as a full member?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the hon. Member's question but I have to tell him that that action was taken and announced publicly a year and a half ago. The Council of Atlantic Premiers was announced and put in place about a year and a half ago. What has been taking place recently and has been recommended by some of the Maritime Premiers is another proposal they referred to as Atlantic Union, or Maritime Union, and then the proposition to expand it to include Newfoundland and be Atlantic Union. It may be that is the matter to which the hon. Member is referring.

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

MR. HARRIS: The Council of Maritime Premiers still meet, and, of course, the Premier knows that there is a White Paper on the Economic Union being published shortly, next month as a matter of fact. Does the Premier intend to associate himself with the presentation of that paper, and does the Government have any plans to provide for public discussion and response to that White Paper?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, the Council of Atlantic Premiers, to which I just referred, will be meeting in Sydney on 30 May, I think is the next scheduled meeting, and we will be discussing the proposals at that particular time. Although, to be fair to the hon. Member I have to say that the officials in IGA, and other officials in Government have been looking at the detail of some of these proposals in preparation for attending that meeting. We will not be getting those proposals for the first time at that meeting. A great deal of preliminary work is being done at the moment to assess the proposals and when I attend the meeting I will be in a position to discuss some of the pros and cons of it, although I have to frankly admit I have a bit of difficulty coming to understand what is really meant by Atlantic Economic Union in either the Maritime Provinces or the Atlantic Provinces. It is a little difficult.

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

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

A public response and discussion is what I was concerned about there. My question to the Premier is: in view of the goals set by the Federal Government in the Throne Speech for the elimination of all interprovincial trade barriers by 1995, and the Premier's support along with a number of other provinces of an agreement to so reduce interprovincial trade barriers, could the Premier tell the House what plans his Government has, or would like to bring forward, to protect those who would be affected by the removal of interprovincial barriers, particularly those in effect in sectors like the beer industry, the fishing industry, the construction industry, and others?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, the hon. Member makes a good point and raises issues that are clearly of great concern in the Province. I appreciate his question because it gives me an opportunity to deal with the issue. It has been dealt with in the media about a year or so ago but it has not received much attention recently.

Most provinces following the meeting of premiers last June in Winnipeg signed an agreement to eliminate barriers to interprovincial trade. Eight of the ten provinces have signed and only Quebec and Nova Scotia have not as yet signed that agreement. Mr. Speaker, before the agreement was signed we sent a draft of the proposed agreement around to various groups, various industrial and commercial and business groups in the Province and asked for their input, and I am happy to say, Mr. Speaker, that we got very substantial support for the signing of the agreement. Our own assessment of it is that the terms of the agreement will affect only a very small portion of the actual purchases and acquisitions by government, which is what the agreement relates to, because it affects only above a certain level. I think $25,000 is the limit and something like 80-odd per cent of the acquisitions by Government fall under that level so they are not really caught by it. In terms of the beer industry, in particular, nothing in the agreement would adversely affect the beer industry.

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

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

I also have a question for the Premier: after two years of chaos and indecision Government has come up with probably the worst possible amalgamation proposal for the northeast Avalon. The big loser in this proposal, Mr. Speaker, is the City of St. John's, without a doubt.

Mr. Speaker, what rationale does the Premier have for annexing the Goulds and the St. John's Metropolitan Area Board lands that are protected as agricultural, to the City of St. John's?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, in order to really fully answer the hon. Member's question and be fair to the Member and the House, dealing with it adequately would take some time, so I would suggest either one of two courses: we do it in the debate when it takes place or hon. Members agree to give me adequate time now to do it, and I am quite prepared to do that, but it would take a significant period of time. So, Mr. Speaker, I am quite prepared to accede to whatever hon. Members want.

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

MR. R. AYLWARD: Mr. Speaker, I know the Premier is trying to avoid the issue and it is a very sensitive issue as St. John's is the one which will suffer most by the proposal put forward by his Government.

Mr. Speaker, the Premier will realize that revenues for all cities are based pretty well on the land. It develops the land to pay for the cost of services and they need to develop the land for residential and industrial uses. Mr. Speaker, will the Premier not agree that burdening the city taxpayers with this responsibility for the agricultural land within this area is going to saddle the taxpayers of St. John's with unnecessary costs?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, again an adequate answer would require more time but I just point to a headline in today's paper, "St. John's the big winner." So, somebody disagrees with the hon. Member at least.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

PREMIER WELLS: The Government considered a number of conflicting interests in this amalgamation issue. The interest and concern of the capital city area of this Province, and we are committed to protecting the interest of the capital city area of this Province because we have a responsibility to do so. Conflicting with that, Mr. Speaker, are the interests of the smaller communities on the coastal side of Conception Bay and they have a slightly different interest. Conflicting also is the interest of the group in the cohesive community of Mount Pearl who wanted, as the hon. Member for Mount Pearl said, to retain the special community they had, they did not want to do anything that would hurt that. So, Mr. Speaker, there were conflicting interests that had to be accommodated. We believe, Mr. Speaker, we made the decision that will provide for the orderly growth of one major city in this area and not two major metropolitan municipalities in this area, as the unmanaged growth would have resulted in in the future.

So, Mr. Speaker, we put in place a system that we believe will allow the City of St. John's to grow and maintain control over all the primary services in the area that it services. Mr. Speaker, it also enabled us to do it without putting in place a third level of Government. We believe that was the right course of action.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I have no hesitation in saying that I do not believe Mount Pearl should have been created a separate municipality in the first place. I think it should have been part of a single municipality of the City of St. John's. But the fact is, Mr. Speaker, it was not. It was created and built as a separate municipality. It was made a city three years ago. Mr. Speaker, we just could not ignore those facts even though we believe having a single metropolitan city, at least away from the coastal areas, was the right course of action to take. But we could not just ride roughshod over that community of some 22,000 or 23,000 and we did not. We put in place a proposal that we believe will provide for the orderly development and giving priority to the St. John's capital city area of this Province. We did just that, Mr. Speaker, with trying to accommodate to the extent that we reasonably could the legitimate concerns and interests of other areas.

Mr. Speaker, during the debate I will be happy to elaborate further on it, but question period really does not provide enough time to adequately do so.

 

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

MR. R. AYLWARD: A final supplementary, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, it is interesting to see that the lawyer is coming out in the Premier today when he makes arguments for Mount Pearl that exactly fit Wedgewood Park and that exactly fit the Goulds, yet they do not fit into his rationale for protecting Wedgewood Park and the Goulds. Mr. Speaker, you can make the same exact arguments that the Premier just made -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. Member is on a supplementary.

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

Mr. Speaker, is it not logical that the City of St. John's will, out of necessity, have to use whatever political clout it has to try to get the agricultural zone removed from the lands between St. John's and the Goulds, in order to help pay for the services they will have to provide that area? And, Mr. Speaker, is it not true that the Government, with their proposal yesterday, have sounded the death knell for the protected agricultural land in the St. John's area?

AN HON. MEMBER: Right on.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: To address the first commentary that he made before the hon. Member asked the question, Mr. Speaker, Wedgewood Park and the Goulds are quite different from Mount Pearl. It is a quite different situation. Wedgewood Park is a little tiny enclave of some 1,200 or 1,300 people, quite different from what is now the City of Mount Pearl, even though perhaps it should not have been created as such in the first place. Nevertheless, that is the situation today and Wedgewood Park is markedly different, so there is no comparison.

Mr. Speaker, the same pressure on the agricultural protection for the lands in the Goulds area existed, anyway. Whether it was within the municipality of the Goulds, within the city boundaries of St. John's, added to Mount Pearl, or whatever else was done with it, the same pressure to take it out of the protected agricultural zone would still exist. That pressure will not alter, no matter what the municipal structure, Mr. Speaker.

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Premier, as well, in the absence of the Minister of Municipal Affairs. The Government, up to now have spent millions of dollars to subsidize facilities and maintain roads and other services in the non-urban areas of the Northeast Avalon. Apart from the tax burden of servicing the high tract non-urban land, which was just mentioned, will the taxpayers of St. John's now be responsible for the large capital debt of the Goulds, and will the City be responsible for the high sums which will have to be invested to bring the municipal infrastructure into the non-urban areas of the city, to a standard? How much will this cost? Can he also tell us, will the Government be passing over to the St. John's City Council, the operations cost for the Aquarena and the Canadian Games Park?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: No, Mr. Speaker, we will not be passing over to the City of St. John's an amount to cover the operational cost of the Aquarena, for example. The Aquarena serves the people of this area. There is no reason why the people of the City of Corner Brook or the people of St. Anthony or Burin should pay the cost for services that they do not enjoy. So we have to make sure that costs are allocated on a fair basis.

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the other costs, I have no doubt that proper long-term management of the additional areas of land that are brought within the city, to ensure that the city's future is protected, will result in some additional cost for the City of St. John's, I have no doubt about that. But, Mr. Speaker, they will also have the opportunity to provide for additional development. For example, Newfoundland and Labrador Housing is talking about a major residential development in what was the Watercrest area of the St. John's Metropolitan Board area lands and in the Southlands area. So, that would provide substantial additional revenue to the City and ensure that the City has the ability to provide all of the services that are necessary.

I have no doubt that the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs will be discussing with the City any particular problems that arise out of any transfer or additions to the city, but I want to make sure, Mr. Speaker, that neither the hon. Member, nor any Member of this House, nor the City Council, operates on the assumption that the Government is going to pass over to the City of St. John's large sums of money, because we are not. We do not have the monies to do so.

MR. SPEAKER: Question Period has ended.

Before proceeding to other matters, on behalf of hon. Members, I would like to welcome to the public galleries, today, Walter Hodder, a former MHA of this Legislature and father of the present Member for Port au Port.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

Presenting Reports by

Standing and Special Committees

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

MR. MURPHY: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It is certainly a pleasure for me, at this time, to table a report of the Government Services Legislation Review Committee, respecting Bill No. 6, "An Act To Revise And Amend The Law Respecting A Pension Plan For Employees Of The Government Of The Province And Others".

Just a few short comments, Mr. Speaker. I would want to thank those who took the time to present both oral and written briefs and to thank the Committee Members and, of course, the Deputy Clerk of the House, who helped in compiling this report. Thank you.

Answers to Questions

For which Notice has been Given

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

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, I wish to lay upon the Table of the House, my reply to Question No. 27. It was asked by the hon. the Member for Grand Falls and was contained in the April 4 Order Paper.

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

MR. FLIGHT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I wish also, to lay upon the Table of the House, the answer to the question asked by the hon. the Member for Grand Falls, and, in laying it on the Table, I give the hon. Member credit for asking the question. Obviously, it was well-meant, and he was looking for the information for comparative purposes. In producing my expenses, Mr. Speaker, I did a comparison, and I am laying on the Table one-and-a-half pages, because that is what it took to list my expenses, Mr. Speaker. The year the hon. Member was Minister of Forestry, it took seven pages.

AN HON. MEMBER: What?

MR. FLIGHT: I am tabling twenty-nine trips to such places as Grand Falls, Gander, Corner Brook, Grand Falls, Grand Falls, Grand Falls, Goose Bay -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. FLIGHT: - and, Mr. Speaker, for comparative purposes, I can tell you that approximately seventy trips were taken by the Minister of Forestry in the year 1986-1987 -

AN HON. MEMBER: That is ridiculous!

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. FLIGHT: - to a lot more exotic places -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I cannot hear the hon. Minister. I hear Members on my right, saying that the hon. Minister is out of order. I cannot really hear what he is saying. If I could hear what he were saying, I would be able to substantiate whether or not the Minister is out of order. I ask the Minister, please, to finish his comments on the tabling of the answer.

MR. FLIGHT: Mr. Speaker, I just want the record to show that I took twenty-nine trips from the year 1990-1991, the bulk of them in the Province and, for comparison purposes, Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Forestry in 1986-1987, took around seventy trips -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible)

MR. FLIGHT: - and took seven pages to prepare it.

MR. SPEAKER: When Ministers, please, are tabling answers, I want them to be as precise as possible. I mentioned the other day, that, when we are giving Answers to Questions for which Notice has been Given, that the Opposition does not get an opportunity to reply, and the same rules apply. Hon. Members should avoid getting into debate and be as precise as possible.

The hon. the Minister of Development.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

Members to my right, for some reason, today, seem rather feisty, but they do have to give Ministers to my left an opportunity to speak.

The hon. the Minister of Development.

MR. FUREY: Mr. Speaker, I apologize. I was not in the House last week. I had fully intended to table these last week.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. FUREY: The hon. the Member for Grand Falls has asked me to lay upon the Table, trips taken by the Minister, April 1 to March 31: Destination, date of trip, length of trip, purpose of trip, etc. I did not compare myself to my predecessors, I could not add that high.

But, as Minister, Mr. Speaker, I travelled to: Gander, Stephenville, Philadelphia, Corner Brook, Houston, Gander, Corner Brook, Deer Lake, Deer Lake, Deer Lake, Twillingate, Goose Bay, Gander, Deer Lake, Ottawa and Norway, Deer Lake, Deer Lake, Ottawa, Toronto, Deer Lake, Deer Lake, Deer Lake, Gander, Deer Lake, Ottawa, Wabush and Deer Lake.

Mr. Speaker, I will lay that upon the Table.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. FUREY: Well, I did go to Saskatchewan, but the question to me was for April 1 1990 to March 31 1991. I did, indeed, go to Saskatchewan last week to represent the Province at the National Science Ministers meetings.

Now, the next question asked, was to lay upon the Table of the House, all itemized expenses paid on behalf of the Chairman and all other Commissioners of the Economic Recovery Commission, and the President and Vice-Presidents, I assume they meant, of Enterprise Newfoundland and Labrador since both organizations came into existence.

The President and the Vice-Presidents: The President, of course, is Jim Janes. His travel, hotel, meals and entertainment since this organization came into existence was $2,993.66. Vice-President Kennedy was $148.39; Vice-President Saunders was zero; Vice-President Marshall in Labrador was $5,587.73; Vice-President Lush in Central was $7,691.51; Vice-President Pearcey was $626.32.

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order.

MR. FUREY: Vice-President Cook -

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Opposition House Leader, on a point of order.

MR. SIMMS: As much as we love to hear the Minister's voice - not nearly as much, though, as he loves to hear his own voice - I have to say to Your Honour, the purpose for putting questions on the Order Paper is because they require lengthy answers. But, if the Ministers are going to stand and read the answers out, what is the point in putting them on the Order Paper? - point number one.

Point number two: The question was, to lay upon the Table, that is all we have asked, lay on the Table, not to get up and make big smart answers.

 

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Government House Leader.

MR. BAKER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Obviously, the customs in this House in the time since I have been a Member of this hon. House, is that Ministers, during the four years that I sat in Opposition did, indeed, get up and read answers and explain answers to questions under this particular heading. That is the practice of this House, Your Honour, and I suggest we continue to follow that well-established practice in this House.

Members opposite can ask questions, but they cannot tell us what to put in the answers. If they do not like the answers, they cannot sit us down. If they ask the questions, then they have to put up with the answers. It is not like when we were in Opposition, when a lot of the questions were never answered. We attempt to answer all questions and we will answer them to the best of our ability. If Members opposite do not like it, then that is too bad. We are not overly concerned about the feelings of Members opposite. It is interesting to see, when they start to hurt they get up on spurious points of order that have no meaning, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: To the point of order, there is no question about it, questions that are lengthy are asked to be tabled. One of the main reasons for tabling is because the answer is too lengthy for the House and ought to be tabled.

As to practice and procedure, that is a different matter. There is no question, practice has been that Ministers have commented upon the answers but, again, this Chair does not want any long or lengthy comments. The purpose of asking the question is to avoid lengthy answers, getting into the debate, so I ask the Ministers, please, to be as precise as possible in tabling their documents.

MR. FUREY: Mr. Speaker, I am summarizing. There are some seventeen or eighteen pages that I could take Members through. I know they want the answers. I know they are very concerned; that is why I want to give them, in summation, what this lengthy document says.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I left off at Vice-President Pearcey, who spent in travel, hotel, meals, and entertainment -

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

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Opposition House Leader, on a point of order.

MR. SIMMS: Your Honour has just ruled and ordered the hon. Minister, as I understand it, to table his answer. Now, he continues to flaunt Your Honour's ruling.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

What the Chair said was that in the past - and the Chair is going to research it a little further to see what the practice has been. I do remember from my own recollection - you see the House will change, because different Oppositions will require different things. We have had a couple of things that have not been required previously. Of all my time in Opposition, I have never known that ever we complained about a Minister who was responding to a question.

The Chair is going to research it. The very reason for Answers to Questions, as the hon. the Opposition House Leader pointed out, is because the questions require lengthy answers, and that is why they are asked to be tabled. Quite obviously, the logic from that is that they ought to be tabled with as little discussion as possible. That is quite obvious. I have said the practice and the procedure may be different but the Chair is going to check it out to see what the practice and procedure was. In the meantime, I ask Ministers to please co-operate and be very brief in the tabling of their documents.

I ask the Minister to clue up.

MR. FUREY: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

I am trying to get through one page which they specifically asked for. They asked for the President and the Vice-President. They specifically asked for travel, hotel, meals, entertainment, in total. Vice-President Pearcey, $626.32; Vice-President Cook -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

There is no point in the House proceeding like this. The Chair can recess immediately to check out what is going on. There is no point in proceeding.

RECESS

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

Again I remind hon. Members of the purpose for Questions on the Order Paper. When the answer is to be lengthy and detailed that is the reason why the question is put to the Order Paper. Indeed the Chair has the authority sometimes to do that when a Member is asking a question, to say that he thinks the appropriate place for this question should be the Order Paper because it is too complicated, too detailed, and will take too much of the time of the House. Quite obviously that is its purpose to be put on the Order Paper and to be tabled. That says to me that when a Minister is giving the answer, when he is tabling the document, that it should be as brief as possible because that is the reason why it was put there. Again, I have not had time to check the research but my own personal feeling is that when an answer has been tabled, that as little as possible should be said about it - because the answer has been tabled. Whatever the practice was in the past I will try and see. I do know, as I said, that it has been done but the Chair will ask for Member's co-operation and I will try and have something more definitive, more absolute tomorrow, but on the basis of it, it seems to make sense to me that the answer should be tabled with as little comment as possible.

It being Wednesday and Private Members' Day I call upon the appropriate Member.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. SPEAKER: It is 3:00 o'clock on Wednesday.

MR. SIMMS: A quick point of order, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. SIMMS: Did the Minister of Development table his answer, then?

MR. FUREY: I will table it tomorrow.

MR. SIMMS: You can table it now, if you wish. It is only to table it.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Harbour Main.

MR. DOYLE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I am pleased to introduce this resolution today on behalf of the official Opposition. I will read the resolution, it is only a short one: BE IT RESOLVED that the House urge the Government to immediately bring in an emergency job creation programme in order to combat the alarming unemployment rate and the loss of jobs to the economy of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Mr. Speaker, why would the official Opposition today bring in a resolution calling upon Government to introduce some kind of a job creation program to help the unemployed people in Newfoundland? Well, the answer is really very, very simple, Mr. Speaker. We are at a crisis situation in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. We are at a crisis situation with an unemployment rate of 22.3 per cent, the highest unemployment rate in Canada and the highest the unemployment rate has been in quite a number of years. I would imagine it is the highest time the unemployment rate has been in a lot of years in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. When the Government took office back twenty-four months ago the unemployment rate was at 17.5 per cent, still unacceptably high, still much too high at 17.5 per cent, but it was a whole lot more manageable than what it is today at 22.3 per cent. That is a full increase of 5 percentage points in a twenty-four month period. That is absolutely unacceptable and disgraceful for this Government to be presiding over, in just twenty-four months. We have 50,000 individuals in this Province who are now on welfare, and the statistics say there are 52,000 unemployed. In May 1991 we have approximately 25,000 families on welfare, and that compares, Mr. Speaker, back in 1989 when the Government took office to 19,000 families at that point in time on welfare, a full increase of 6000 families who are now on welfare today that were not on welfare twenty four months ago, and this Government has to take responsibility for that, Mr. Speaker. We have 13,000 more people unemployed today than were unemployed back in 1989. Believe it or not we have one out of every ten people in this small Province with a population of 560,000 on welfare, and one out of four officially unemployed. Now that is the record of this Government over the last twenty-four month period. At a time when we are at a crisis in the economy, at a time when we are seeing layoffs of 3500 people in the public service, at a time when people are begging and begging for jobs and at a time when people are genuinely hurting in this economy that they are living in, they are looking to their Government to offer some glimmer of hope. They are looking to the Government to offer some glimmer of hope. What do we see the Government do, Mr. Speaker? We see the Government doing absolutely nothing to try and address the unemployment problem that we have in this Province. We see a Government not only bankrupt of ideas to restore some dignity to the unemployed people of the Province but we see a Government that is totally devoid of compassion. Absolutely no compassion for the working man, absolutely no compassion for the unemployed person and they refuse to put one red cent into employment generation programs in this Province. This is at a time when the Government is presiding over a 23 per cent unemployment rate, at a time when they have laid off 3500 people in the public service, and they refuse to put one red cent into employment generation programs in this Province. Mr. Speaker, that is absolutely unacceptable, the Government and especially the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations should today be totally ashamed, she should be ashamed, to be sitting in the House of Assembly presiding over an unemployment rate of 23 per cent and does not have, in the Department that is called the Department of Employment, one employment program to help the people, the 52,000 people in the Province who are currently unemployed.

I do not know if the Government saw the recent flash sheet from Statistics Canada that was put out on the unemployment rate and the accompanying story. The story that went right along with it that said, "The big jump in the unemployment rate is due to the layoffs and restraint measures of the Provincial Government."

Now, Mr. Speaker, that is not the Opposition saying that. That is not the union sector of Newfoundland and Labrador, that is not even the unemployed people who are saying that, that was said recently by Statistics Canada. "The big jump in the unemployment rate is due in large measure to the layoffs and restraint measures of the Provincial Government." Not said by the Opposition but said by an independent group of people, people who have no axe to grind with the Government or anyone else, that the Government is mainly responsible for the jump in the unemployment rate and the restraint measures that they have adopted.

But still, Mr. Speaker, the Government refuses to listen. The Government just refuses to listen. I am wondering if the Government has any idea of what it means to lay off 3500 people in the public service of the Province. I was doing a little bit of work on that just recently to try and put it into some perspective that might cause the Government to wake up and have a look at what they have been doing. Does the Government have any idea of what it means, in such a narrow economy as Newfoundland and Labrador with a population of 560,000, does the Government have any idea of what it means and the devastation that it wreaks upon the Province when you lay off 3500 people with one slap in such a small narrow economy with such a small population base of 560,000 people? Do they realize what kind of a devastating affect that has on this Province? Well, let me tell the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations what that is equivalent to. Laying off 3,500 people in Newfoundland is equivalent to laying off every single individual in Labrador City, with the Iron Ore Company of Canada and Wabush Mines. It is equivalent to laying off every single individual in Wabush Mines and the Iron Ore Company of Canada. That is what it is equivalent to. You have 600 people who are employed with Wabush Mines and you have 2,500 people employed with the Iron Ore Company of Canada. That is 3,100 people and this Government has laid off 3,500 people in Newfoundland.

Now can you imagine, Mr. Speaker, what that would mean to the economy of Newfoundland if tomorrow the Iron Ore Company of Canada and Wabush Mines decided to shut down the whole operation. That is what it means, laying off 3,500 people in Newfoundland means you laid off everyone at Wabush Mines, you laid off everyone with the Iron Ore Company of Canada and still 400 left to go. So do you have any idea of what kind of devastation that wreaks upon a Province in such a narrow economy that we have here in Newfoundland with a population of 560,000 people? Has the Government realized what it has done?

Let me even put it in better perspective. Let's forget about Labrador. Let's forget about Wabush Mines. Let's forget about the Iron Ore Company of Canada. Let me put it in an even better perspective for the Members and for the Minister of Employment. To lay off 3,500 people in Newfoundland -

MR. EFFORD: How many?

MR. DOYLE: Thirty-five hundred. If you laid off every single individual -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. DOYLE: Mr. Speaker, could I have a little bit of silence please?

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. DOYLE: If you laid off every single individual at the Grand Falls mill, if you laid off every single individual in the Corner Brook mill, and if you laid off every single individual at the Stephenville operation you would have 1,700 people gone. You would have 1,700 if you laid off everyone in Corner Brook, Grand Falls, and Stephenville. Out in Grand Falls, you probably have about 500 people in that mill out there. In Corner Brook you have 800 people in that operation, and in Stephenville you have another 400. That is 1,700 people, and the Government has laid off 3,500. Now can you imagine, if you laid off everyone in Grand Falls, everyone in Corner Brook, and everyone in Stephenville what that would do to the economy of Newfoundland and Labrador, and how everyone would be scrambling to try and help the people of Newfoundland to deal with what would be a catastrophe, a crisis? But still the Government can lay off 3,500 people, twice that number, two mills in Grand Falls, two mills in Corner Brook, two out in Stephenville and not bat an eye. Not bat an eyelash, Mr. Speaker. It is absolutely unbelievable that this Government could be doing what it is doing, laying off 3,500 people without any conscience at all, just letting them go and throwing caution to the wind, not caring about the hardship that they are inflicting upon the people of this Province, families who are suffering and suffering very badly who are begging this Government for some glimmer of hope to restore their dignity and their pride so that they can have a job again. That is what this Government has done by laying off 3,500 people.

So, Mr. Speaker, it is the equivalent, and I want to say it again to the hon. Members so maybe it might sink home. It is equivalent

to laying off - to put it in the third piece of perspective - everyone at Labrador City and all three mills on the island. Laying off 3,500 people in Newfoundland is equivalent to laying off everyone in Labrador City at the Iron Ore Company of Canada, plus all three paper mills in Newfoundland.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. DOYLE: Well, if you had been here for the last five minutes you might know. I will tell the hon. Member. In Grand Falls you have 500 in the mill; in Corner Brook you have 800; in Stephenville you have 400; and at Labrador City you have 2,500. So that is pretty well equivalent to what -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. DOYLE: Well, there is a few over there. There is a couple of hundred over there. But to put it in perspective this is what the Government has done. They have laid off the equivalent of everyone at the Labrador operation, at the Corner Brook, Stephenville and Grand Falls operation, that is what they have done. But I am not going to be sidetracked by the Minister of Development.

So 3,500 people can have a devastating affect upon such a narrow economy as we have here in this Province with only 560,000 people. I make no wonder that we have an unemployment problem and rate that are out of control. And when I look at the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations and tally up the efforts of that hon. Minister over the last twenty-four months to do something for the unemployed in Newfoundland, then I am very depressed and concerned for the unemployed of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Because that Minister has done absolutely nothing over the last twenty-four month period to try and help the unemployed. And with that kind of an unemployment rate of 22.3 per cent, we do not even have one employment programme that the Minister can point to to help out that 22.5 per cent, to help out those 52,000 people who are asking this Government for some consideration.

This Minister of Employment should be ashamed to sit in this House. I realize she has to go to Cabinet and she has to sit around the Cabinet table and fight for her few pennies as well. But she has not done a very effective job in getting those pennies and dollars to try and help the unemployed. The Premier and her colleagues are not listening. And it is about time that the Minister took some drastic action to try and impress upon her colleagues and the Premier the need to help out those 52,000 people who are begging and crawling and scratching on a daily basis looking for work to try and keep their families afloat, to try and pay their mortgages.

Bankruptcies are going wild in this Province. And what affect does something like that have upon consumer spending? The effect of laying off 3,500 people has not even worked its way through the economy of Newfoundland yet. It has not worked its way through. The devastation has not worked its way through yet. What effect does something like that have upon consumer spending in such a small Province?

Naturally when you lay off 3,500 people consumer spending has to go down. The purchasing power of the consumer has to go down when you lay off 3,500 people. So that is another effect that we have yet to deal with in the Province. And the secondary effect of all of that is bankruptcies. Bankruptcies are going to increase and that is going to result again in a greater loss of jobs in the private sector. So we are looking at 22.5 per cent or 23 per cent now in the unemployment rate. But it is conceivable that when all this is worked through the system that we could be looking at an unemployment rate of 25 per cent or 26 per cent when we finish up with the bankruptcies that are going to occur as a result of it and the downward spiral in consumer spending that is going to take place, and as a result of that the layoffs that are going to take place in the private sector as well. All of that has yet to work its way through the economy in Newfoundland and Labrador, and you do not have to be an expert to know that. Any eight grade economics student can tell you that when you lay off 3500 people it is going to have a devastating effect upon consumer purchasing power and consumer spending. You do not have to be a teacher, a Ph.D, a lawyer, or anything else to realize that. All you have to do is say: well, we have an unemployment rate of 22.5 per cent, we have a population of 560,000, and you cannot all of a sudden grab 3500 people out of that and expect it to have no effect upon a Province like Newfoundland. You cannot lay off the equivalent of all the paper mills in Newfoundland and Labrador City and not close out drug stores, restaurants, clothing stores, and everything else. All of this has a domino effect and we have yet to see the devastation that is going to happen and how it has worked its way through the system.

AN HON. MEMBER: You are hoping that happens.

MR. DOYLE: No, I am not hoping that happens. I would prefer to see the Government over there presiding over an unemployment rate of zero, because it is not the unemployment thing that is going to defeat the Government, it is the arrogance of the Government, the broken promises of the Government. It is pushing down the throats of the people the amalgamation process. That will defeat the Government. I would love to see the Government over there presiding over an unemployment rate of zero. There is an effect of all this yet to come, Mr. Speaker, that we have not seen, and the effect is even going to be more devastating. Now, did Government stopped there when they laid off 3500 people? Did they say, we have done enough damage now, and hopefully this will get a few more dollars into the coffers of the Province? Did they stop there? No, they were not finished yet, Mr. Speaker. What did they do after that? They rolled back the wages of 35,000 people, not 3500, they rolled back the wages and broke the contracts of 35,000 people.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. Member's time is up.

MR. DOYLE: By leave, naturally.

AN HON. MEMBER: A couple of minutes to clue up.

MR. DOYLE: I will not be clued up for an hour yet.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations.

MS. COWAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

As I ponder here this afternoon the unemployment rate in our Province, and the debt we have as a Government, I find some very, very startling revelations. Now, is this not interesting? I must comment on this. We are suppose to be the Government that is not interested in unemployment but look at all our Members sitting here, concerned, interested, and following the debate. There is nobody over there at all, only two people over there when the hon. Member was speaking. I find that interesting.

We inherited, Mr. Speaker, a Province which had a lot of economic problems but even more so we inherited a Province that had tremendous debt. If you look at that debt this year we have to pay $528 million for the entire year just in interest payments. That is $44 million every month, $10 million every week, $1 million every day, and it is $10,000 every minute. Every two minutes, if we did not have those interest rates, we could hire a person. That would be $20,000 that would hire somebody. Every two minutes we could be creating a job, but we have been left with a debt, an unbearable debt load that we are trying to deal with. We are not ready today to put money into an employment program until we are convinced that the figures will adjust themselves through the movements of the economy. We are not going to just put money into the employment programs in order to manipulate statistics so that next month we can say, this happened or that, and we are the great guys that did it. We are going to wait and see if the situation rights itself. If it does not within a couple of months then, of course, we will be quite ready to bring in some sort of a programme that will be of assistance to these people who find themselves unemployed with no hope of any kind of income.

I find it rather interesting too, Mr. Speaker, the reaction of the Opposition. They are very careful that they do not go back beyond 1988 because in 1987 in April the unemployment rate in the Province was 23.5, which is higher than we have here today. I will table that information if I can just so that it will be on the record here in the House. We have 22.2 now which is not terrific, but 23.5 in 1987, and at that time, Mr. Speaker, we did not have a problem with a recession, we did not have a failure in the fisheries. Do you know that our cod landings this month are down by 10,000 tons? That has had a tremendous impact on the work force in this Province.

We have, Mr. Speaker, a national recession over which we, as a Province, have absolutely no control. If you want to see just how devastating this national recession is, I am going to table also a three month average of unemployment by cities - some of the major cities across Canada. And if you look at them you will find Montreal, for example, has a tremendous problem with unemployment. Windsor, Winnipeg, many Canadian cities are struggling with the same kind of problems that we have here in Newfoundland. This is a national problem, it is not one that is just related totally to this small island and Labrador.

We, as a Government, are going to take a very responsible attitude. We are not out here looking for political gain. I suppose I could say, yes, let's have a program and I will get to send out letters all over the Province giving people money, and I can sign my name to them and won't that be wonderful? I will just look like the best Minister of Employment and Labour Relations around. But I prefer to be remembered as a responsible person who felt a responsibility towards the fiscal position of the Government balanced with a responsibility towards the unemployed of the Province.

We have had mining closures, again most unfortunate, they happened at the same time as the failure in the fisheries. We can look at some positives, Mr. Speaker, and we are hoping that they will help alleviate the tremendous problem that many of the people in the Province are under. For example, we know that seasonal employment will soon kick in, which will probably bring relief for many people. We have Enterprise Newfoundland which is doing a terrific job.

Every now and then I hear people question about: what on earth is Enterprise Newfoundland doing about creating jobs? Now just listen to this, in January and February of this year 205 new jobs were created by Enterprise Newfoundland and 708 jobs that were at risk were saved, and 22 businesses in Central, 27 in West, a part of the Province where we have tremendous unemployment - they are doing a great job. In March 50 jobs were created, and maintained, 370 jobs that could have been lost without the timely advice of Enterprise Newfoundland. So ask me what Enterprise Newfoundland is doing, Mr. Speaker, they are doing a great job. They are off to an excellent start.

We have Hibernia. Every day now we see the employment figures growing on Hibernia. I would suggest, Mr. Speaker, to those in the Opposition that they should not really be directing their comments about unemployment to the Government. They should be showing a bit of contempt for the Member for St. John's East who wants to scuttle one of the best projects that we have ever had in this Province.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MS. COWAN: That individual for nothing but personal gain stood on his feet in this House day after day condemning HMDC and Nodeco for their occupational health and safety programme when he had absolutely nothing to base it on, when the president of the employees group at Hibernia says that that site has excellent occupational health and safety. He was amazed that you could go through a winter in Newfoundland during heavy construction - and normally heavy construction closes down in Newfoundland over the winter - actually went through the entire winter with eight accidents. We are still not even sure if one was an accident.

That is an excellent rate. And he was horrified at the comments of the Member for St. John's East who thinks he is here representing labour. Really interesting. But what he actually is here doing is representing himself. When it comes to the point where I get on page 1 and he gets on page 17, he drops the story and also has the gall to tell me that is why he dropped it.

So if I was in the Opposition - the official Opposition - I would be watching the hon. Member for St. John's East because he is out to scuttle one of the best employment projects this Province has ever had. He may be out to scuttle them too, so they better be careful.

We see that recession is bottoming out in central Canada. That too is a positive sign, and that will eventually impact on our particular Province.

The Member of the Opposition, the official critic who kicked off this debate today, loves to say that our Government - or my Department - is doing absolutely nothing to advance employment in this Province. That is not the case. He has this sort of mind-set that unless you have public sector programmes that last for sixteen weeks you are not doing anything to advance employment opportunities for people in the Province.

Do you realize, Mr. Speaker, that we have through the Canada-Newfoundland Youth Strategy been in touch with 25,000 young people in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador? Twenty-five thousand lives have been touched with the type of information that that programme is disseminating, that encourages young people to stay in school, encourages them to develop the skills needed to find a job, and now through the linkages programme is actually helping them find that critical first job. And yesterday, do you know what I did yesterday?

I sat here in the House and I signed a document which gives another 36 graduates who could not find a job, a job somewhere in the Province. Those individuals are enrolled in the graduate employment programme because they lacked experience. They have been out of a post-secondary institution for more than three months, could not find work, because they did not have the experience. We have gone to approximately thirty-six companies and encouraged them to take on these young people, give them the experience they need. I am very pleased every time that I am able to do that kind of thing. In total we have over the past year I would say placed about 125 graduate students through this programme and their chances of long term employment are greatly enhanced by being in that particular programme.

We have as well masses of other programmes rising out of the Canada-Newfoundland Youth Strategy. That graduate programme that I mentioned is only one. We have the programmes that keep young women in school by providing day-care for their children. We have a marvellous programme that the medical school put in place that brings in young students from rural Newfoundland and exposes them to all the opportunities in science and medicine that they can seize when it becomes time for them to make career choices.

So we are doing a lot of work where it does not show those immediate results that you can go around flaunting and saying: are we not a great Government? But we are doing the kind of groundwork that leads to a strong economic base and to a population that survives on full time employment. That is not a sort of a hand-to-mouth type of existence, desperately looking for enough money just to get their stamps. That way of life was sanctioned and encouraged by the last government.

We are monitoring most carefully what is taking place in the employment scene in the Province. It is not anything that we enjoy seeing. It is difficult to realize that there are that many people who are unemployed and it concerns us greatly. However, as I said when I began, we also have a responsibility. Every minute we are paying $10,000 in interest payments to pay for the excesses of the past government. I wonder how many jobs sixteen charter flights would create, I do not know because I do not know the statistics, but at least one or two, I would think. That concerns me greatly, when I see people standing on the opposite side of the House condemning our Government for not taking action when they in fact hamstrung this Government to make it very difficult for us to do something to help the unemployed, to bolster the economy, and to start getting Newfoundland on the road to a style of life that is more similar to that enjoyed in the rest of Canada.

And they have the audacity - they would like to see us spend money like drunken sailors like they did, because it would make them feel better. It is embarrassing for the Opposition to see that we take this responsible way of dealing with the problem. And of course I always know when they are embarrassed because they start saying things like: sit down and shut up, she's incompetent, she should resign. That is when I feel really good, because I know that I am getting under their skin!

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MS. COWAN: Mr. Speaker, in a minute now I will sit down and the next speaker may rise, but I want to say once more before I sit down that if the problem becomes worse over the next two months, both the Premier and I have stated that we will indeed look at putting employment programmes in place. However, we are responsible to the taxpayers of this Province, and we will put in place a programme only when we are convinced that the economy is not going to right itself and address the problem in any way.

Thank you.

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

MR. POWER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I want to say a few words about this resolution. I cannot say that I am delighted to speak on this resolution because unfortunately it is not a very pleasant resolution to speak about.

But I have to make a couple of comments about the Minister of Labour who says that she does not want to go down in history as being a political Minister of labour. If she is not careful she is going to go down in the political history of Newfoundland as being the very worst Minister of Labour that this Province has ever seen.

I cannot believe that the Minister of Labour stands up in her place and basically acknowledges that we have all kinds of economic problems, and says if they get really a lot worse, then maybe the Premier and I in two months' time will do something about it. The Minister of Labour has to be - if she is doing her job properly - concerned about the issues of today, May 15 1991.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible)!

MR. POWER: And be concerned - well, that is exactly -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. POWER: That is exactly the kind of arrogance that we expect from the Minister of Labour. We bring in a resolution - they say they never get a suggestion from the Opposition - asking for an employment programme, that is all. Why do we want an employment programme? All of us are working. Not a big problem for any of us individually. But why are 22.2 percent of our population unemployed today? Why are 33 per cent - 1 out of every 3 people between the ages of fifteen and twenty-four is unemployed.

And we ask the Minister of Labour to listen to the Opposition, listen to the people of Newfoundland who cannot speak in this Legislature and can only speak through us, people who are concerned as parents that their children have not got jobs, people who are concerned as husbands and spouses that they have not got jobs, they cannot pay their rent. Those are the people we are speaking for. The Minister of Labour, the Premier and most of his Cabinet totally ignore the issue. But I will bet any money - any money whatsoever - that before six months are out, this Government is going to have to go out and say: no matter what we tried we are going to have to have an employment programme. We are going to have to increase our deficit by $10 million or $15 million. We are going to have to do something to get some of Newfoundland's people working. Now why is that going to happen?

And something else, I mean, if you look at the resolution, the resolution takes up about three and a half lines in the Order Paper, as presented by Mr. Norm Doyle of Harbour Main to move - and here is what we are asking:

"BE IT RESOLVED that this House urge the Government to immediately bring in an emergency job creation program in order to combat the alarming unemployment rate and the loss of jobs to the economy of Newfoundland and Labrador."

Any lies in that? Is the unemployment rate alarming? Has there been a loss of jobs in the economy? But when you look at the other part of the Order Paper today, there is a page and half, probably fifty or sixty lines, talking about amalgamation. Amalgamation is not the real issue in Newfoundland today. The same as we spent almost all last year, almost all the first year of the term of this Government, talking about Meech Lake and constitutional issues. We have a Premier who is famous all across Canada for his defence of English Canadians in the Meech Lake debate. It is wonderful.

But we also have a Premier who is being defiled in many parts of Newfoundland because we have so many people who are unemployed. We have an economy that is in shambles. We have a Government that seems not to have one single iota of an idea of how to create a job in Newfoundland and Labrador. We have a Minister of Labour who gets up and very falsely tries to tell people that the whole problem is because of the deficit. The deficit has not changed considerably since 1989, in April, when that group won the government, when the Liberals put out their policy manual. The Premier of the Province knew then what the deficit was, but he still made great promises about job creation.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible)!

MR. POWER: Great promises by that Member who now wants to speak from someone else's seat. Who said they were going to bring great amounts of employment in Newfoundland and bring home every mother's son - nobody else is going to leave the Province. All that happened in 1989. Everyone knew what the deficit was, everyone knew what the problems were. And that group of people deceived the citizens of Newfoundland into thinking they could deliver a vast majority of programmes and promises when in reality, having been in Opposition for seventeen years, they have not shown in the last two years of their administration one new novel job creation programme. Not one!

The only ones that are in the Budget are the ones that were there when we left. A graduate employment programme, a youth strategy programme - they did not put enough money into it - and an employment programme where we pay 50 per cent of the salary cost. And the Minister can squint all she likes but if she can show in this House - I will gladly sit down and give her my time - one job creation programme that her Department has initiated, a new programme, in the last two years. And there will not be one single programme she can mention because there is neither one there.

Not the Minister of Social Services is going to have a lot of money. And you will either put money - and I said it the other day - in the Minister of Social Service's Department in the next six months or you will have to put some into job creation.

When you look at what this Government has done - the wonderful job they did on Meech Lake, the wonderful deception now of amalgamation, the wonderful things that they do outside of this Province - I begin to wonder if there is any real point of having a government in Newfoundland at all. I am not sure we would not be better off being like the Yukon or the Northwest Territories and be run from Ottawa, run by a commission. Everything that happens in this Province by this administration is blamed on the Government in Ottawa and blamed on the past administration in Newfoundland.

But the real point of it all is that the Minister of Labour does not go back in history far enough and find out where the real blame for Newfoundland's economic woes are. The only real chance we had to be economically self-sufficient was the Churchill Falls deal. That was given away. It was not the Sprung and it was not the things that happened in the last seventeen years, it is what happened before. So if you are going to be historically accurate about Newfoundland's economic problems, let's go back to where they began. And that was the biggest opportunity that we had and we lost it.

Now the other day I tried to get the Premier to acknowledge that we had a serious labour problem in Newfoundland. He finally after about three questions says: yes, we have a problem. Yes, 33 per cent of our youth being unemployed is an unfortunate and sad situation and maybe we will do something about it. I saw the Premier on TV finally for the first time that evening relenting, at least in front of the press, and saying: we may have to reconsider our economic direction. We may have to reconsider the Budget that we brought in, the Budget which laid off 3,000 people and the spinoff effects of that - and there is a lot more than 3,000 when it is all calculated.

There used to be multiplier effect when you create a job in a province; there also must be a subtraction effect when you lose them. We used to hear that if you created 2,500 jobs, with the multiplier effect you would probably have another two or three jobs per job created, so you get 5,000 or so. So maybe, if you actually lay off 2,500, maybe you will end up with 5,000 unemployed.

But the reality hits when you look at the employment statistics. I think the Premier, when he saw these, when he finally began to look at them and say to himself that maybe, just maybe, we are on the wrong road; just maybe, we have not done the right thing. The only thing that Government has done that is different, is that they have created Enterprise Newfoundland.

Enterprise Newfoundland was RAND, the Department of Rural Agriculture and Northern Development - small business, the Department of Development and Newfoundland and Labrador Development Corporation were the three parts of it. All those groups were working before, all those groups were creating some employment before, all those groups were giving incentives to businesses to create employment before. What I cannot see is, what has Enterprise Newfoundland done that would not have been done by either the Department of Development, the Development Corporation itself or by Rural Development in the case of small business? I simply have not seen any large scale job creation projects done by Enterprise Newfoundland, that have changed any.

When the reality of it is looked at, Mr. Speaker, and these employment fact sheets: the Minister of Labour says that maybe if these fact sheets keep getting worse and worse, she and the Premier will do something about this a few months down the road. But the resolution is asking to do something now, because there is an emergency and any Member who is not bringing it back to the Government, any Minister who is not mentioning it to the Premier, is not doing their duty.

There is an emergency in Newfoundland today! What is happening in the fishery? Unemployment insurance for fishermen gets cut off today! In most of the northeast coast of Newfoundland, most fishermen are not going to have any income for at least a month, and if ice conditions and fish catches are as bad as they have been, then it is going to be a lot longer than a month. Is that an emergency, is it not an emergency to go for a month without food?

I think, most persons will say, yes, that is an emergency; you cannot go that long without food and sustenance and that is going to happen in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Is it true when we hear there are an extra 5,000 cases on the welfare rolls this month, is that an emergency for the Province of Newfoundland, for the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador? Are we just going to continually give more money to the Minister of Social Services and less money to the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations? That is the problem with this Government, they really do not seem to know exactly where they are going.

When you look at Forestry: the Minister who used to be the Opposition critic in Forestry who is now leaving for a minute, always talked about the great things that would happen in Forestry. How many new jobs have been created in Forestry since April of 1989, how many new people are earning an income from our Forest resource? The reality is, there are not any; that the Forestry industry in Newfoundland now, if it is not exactly the same, it may be a little bit worse than really what happened in 1989.

The Minister of Forestry and the Minister of Fisheries to whom he is talking - are there more jobs in fisheries now than there were, when this Government took office? The answer is no, there are less jobs in fishery, even with all of the ideas you were supposed to have had. When you look at our fishery resource and we are asking for this Government to respond to an emergency situation, which they do not see as an emergency yet, the only reason they do not see it as an emergency is that they are not themselves individually unemployed and they do not have to worry about income in that regard, but when you look at the figures, Mr. Speaker, you can do them any way you want. We have more people unemployed this month than we had a year ago, we have more people unemployed than we had, or the same number in March, when it usually falls.

Here is one startling statistic for all the Liberals of Newfoundland who really wanted and thought they were going to initiate a real change in this Province. When you came to Office in April of 1989, there were 188,000 people living, breathing and working in this Province, 188,000 two years ago and these figures, this year, two years later of Liberal Administration, there are 181,000 living, breathing, and people working in this Province. Now, where did the 7,000 jobs go? Is that the real change that you talked about in 1989, when you tried to get elected? The other part is, how many people are gone out of Newfoundland? That is 7,000 real jobs that are not there.

Mr. Speaker, when I look at the Mining Industry -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. POWER: - it is either true or not true. Stats Canada, on whom we rely, says, the two sheets are here, I will table them for the Member for Exploits, who says it is not true, but it is true and that is why you will not respond to the emergency. It is why everybody in your caucus today will vote against this resolution that calls for emergency employment creation programmes, you will vote against it because you do not believe what is happening. In your hearts and souls, you think because you are Liberals and you think because you are a new Government, that somehow or other, 7,000 less jobs are not present in Newfoundland. But that is what is happening, 188,000 two years ago, 181,000 now, you can subtract it anyway you like, there are 7,000 jobs in my mind, that have left this Province. Then when you look at 22.2 per cent unemployed, 33.4 per cent, I believe for Youth Employment, they are real numbers, and if somebody across the way does not start telling the Premier that we have a crisis in this Province, we will not get our Emergency Employment Programme, but, Mr. Speaker, I have to say that in the Budget itself there is a problem. It is the whole focus of the Budget. The focus of the Budget is not on job creation. What is the biggest problem in Newfoundland and Labrador? Do a poll, any poll that the Liberals want to look at. What is the biggest problem in Newfoundland? Biggest problem is always jobs. It is always a struggle for families to try and get young people educated first, get them some employment afterwards.

The reality is that in the Budget document there is not one single mention of a new job creation programme. The dollars and cents are less that they were last year. I think in one vote I mentioned the other day, in youth employment alone they went from $1.582 million last year to $1.583 million. A $1,000 increase when in effect there are at least 3,000 more youth unemployed, going from 26 per cent last year to 33 per cent this year, so we have 3,000 more young people unemployed and we have an extra $1,000. Now, where is that going to go? Give them a couple of dollars each and say: we are Liberals, you have a Liberal Government in Newfoundland, we really care, we are really compassionate, we are really concerned, and that is what we are going to do for you?

It is not what the people of Newfoundland and Labrador expected and it is most certainly not what they deserve. And the real problem with this Government is that they do not have an economic plan. They have three sources of excuses for everything: it is the Federal Government; it is the past Tories; and it is the national recession which we cannot do anything about. But they do not have any solutions, they really do not have any economic plan that I can see. I cannot see where the fishery is going to improve - no ideas coming from the Minister of Fisheries. No ideas coming from Forestry to improve the forest job creation projects in this Province. As a matter of fact this year there will be probably be a lot less people working in the forest. You are laying off some people out at Wooddale I understand in order to take care of their fiscal restraint problems.

But what this Government and Premier do not realize is that there is a lot more to trying to run Newfoundland than just fiscal restraint. Yes, it is great to keep your credit rating, but you will find when you become compassionate, when you become caring, and maybe when you become knowledgeable about what happens in Newfoundland, particularly rural Newfoundland, then maybe you will see these emergency situations. You will realize that sometimes it is a lot better to borrow a little money to keep those young people in Newfoundland, to keep them here, to keep them working, than it is to let them go out of the Province or let them stay in the Province and learn to live on welfare and handouts.

The Minister of Labour may not be willing to acknowledge it just yet but we are in a crisis situation in this Province when it comes to unemployment. It has not gotten better, she can talk all she likes about the statistics in other parts of Canada in the recession. The reality is that every other part of Canada, the number of jobs created in every other province of Canada was up in April from March, they are coming out of the recession, they are actually creating jobs. In this Province, we are one of the few places where the number of people unemployed in April was the same as it was in March.

That is a very unfortunate trend. It shows that in Newfoundland the situation is getting worse, and in other provinces it is getting better. I can only say to the Minister of Labour that maybe if she listens, maybe when some of her colleagues get nerve enough to really tell her that she is doing a terrible job, that she does have an obligation to the young people and the unemployed in this Province, then maybe the Minister of Labour might be able to acknowledge that we do have an emergency situation. Maybe she will go to her Cabinet colleagues, get some money for temporary job creation programmes so people will not starve to death between now and the time that she and the Premier come to realize that we have an emergency in this Province.

As I say, it is not a delight to speak to this kind of a resolution. It is very unfortunate that in this day, in May of 1991, after two years of supposedly real change, we are back in the same mess that we have always been in. But at least then there were some ideas of a plan to work it out. With the exception of Hibernia - it is the only thing the Minister mentions - the Hibernia certainly was not a Liberal idea. We had to fight the Liberals in Ottawa tooth and nail for four or five years to get control of the resource and get a decent agreement. The John Chretiens and Marc LaLondes and Trudeaus and the Liberal caucus here in Newfoundland fought us tooth and nail so that we would not have control of Hibernia. Now she gets up and she lauds this wonderful project, this great thing that the NDPers are supposedly against, of getting the Hibernia development. The only single project, the only thing that is happening in this Province.

MS. VERGE: Clyde called it a pipe dream during the campaign.

MR. POWER: Clyde called it a pipe dream during the campaign, he probably did.

AN HON. MEMBER: Tell us about the Atlantic Accord.

MR. POWER: I will say the Atlantic Accord is the only thing that you have going for you, the only single project of any consequence in this Province. It was a Tory project done by Tories in Newfoundland and by Tories in Ottawa, and you could not get it from the Liberals in Ottawa, you could not get it from John Chretien, you could not get it from Marc LaLonde, you certainly could not get it from Pierre Trudeau unless they were going to have full control of it.

So we had the Atlantic Accord, done by us, supported by us and fought against by Members opposite.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. POWER: And if somehow or other -

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

Hon. Members seem to be under the impression that they can shout across the Chamber, that they can interject and ask questions, that they can engage in loud conversations whenever they feel like it when debate is going on in this House - that is totally unparliamentary. Hon. Members will have an opportunity to engage in the debate, and I would advise them to restrain themselves and take the opportunity when it comes to engage in the debate in the proper manner - that is parliamentary.

MR. POWER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. But I have to ask forgiveness for my colleagues here because if the Minister of Social Services and the Minister of Labour starts calling Hibernia a Liberal project then I think we really have a distorted view of the history of Newfoundland and Labrador for sure. It was a Tory project done by Tories, delivered by Tories and it is the only thing that the Liberals have going for them. You have not got another single project in this Province of any consequence.

Mr. Speaker, I can only say that the Minister of Labour took some great strides to try and prove why we cannot borrow some money. I say to the Liberal Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, yes we have a $5 billion deficit, yes we are budgeting a $54 million deficit this year. It will not be the end of our fiscal world if we go out because of 22.2 per cent unemployment overall, because of 33.3 per cent unemployment with young people, if we borrowed $10 million or $12 million or $15 million in May of 1991 and we created some job creation projects, that we gave to some of the industries, some of the entrepreneurs in Newfoundland and we created some employment and kept those people in the Province until such time as our fishery and our other industries improve. Mr. Speaker, I recommend it highly to Members opposite. It will not be the end of the world. And I say in conclusion, Mr. Speaker, that it will happen anyway. The only difference between us and them is that we recognize an employment emergency and this Government refuses to recognize any emergencies, refuses to recognize that they have failed the people of Newfoundland, that they have not created employment -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. POWER: - and until they recognize they have failed, then we are going to have the same situation.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. Member's time is up.

MR. POWER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Eagle River.

MR. DUMARESQUE: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I am pleased today to rise in this debate and expound upon the issue of unemployment, and what is happening in Newfoundland and Labrador. Over the next few minutes, Mr. Speaker, I would like to talk about the causes of unemployment in this Province, some of the solutions that this Government is working on, and some indication of the progress that has been made since we took power in 1989.

Mr. Speaker, the causes of unemployment have been documented in this Province in a number of different reports and a number of different studies. The causes of unemployment in this Province have been seen to be directly related to the dependency we have on the Federal Government. Let there be, Mr. Speaker, no doubt where the substantial amount of blame must be laid for the unemployment problems we have in this Province today. It is the Federal Government, it is the economic policies, and the national political platforms of the Tory Government in Ottawa that has caused the problems of this Province today.

Now which kinds of policies, Mr. Speaker, are we talking about? Are we talking about the guy who came down here a few years ago who made that revelation, 'I am not afraid to inflict prosperity on Newfoundland and Labrador.' I wonder, who that was? After he went back from St. John's, Mr. Speaker, after he went back that day a few years ago he started to put together a platform for inflicting prosperity on Newfoundland and Labrador. He started to put together his platform, his programme. The first programme, of course, was the interest rate policy. Now, let us see how we can gear the interest rate to inflict prosperity on Newfoundland and Labrador. Let us see if we will take the interest rate down. Maybe we will bring it down to 6 or 7 per cent or something like that. That would be where we could really inflict prosperity, Mr. Speaker. I suppose everybody was astounded when they saw that, instead of interest rates going down to 6 or 7 per cent, they were up around 12 or 15 per cent, Mr. Speaker, since they were in power up in Ottawa.

What did that do to the business community in Newfoundland and Labrador? What did that do to job creations? What did that do to housing starts in this Province, Mr. Speaker. It drove them into the ground. These were the policies of the Federal Government, Mr. Speaker. That is what it was going to do for unemployment and employment in Newfoundland, Mr. Speaker. Of course, they could not fulfill that objective in just one policy, there had to be other policies in their platform to really inflict true prosperity in Newfoundland. There had to be some other things.

So, Mr. Michael Wilson got together with his people and his magic wand and said: What can we come up with? Can we come up with price and wage controls? Can we come up with some kind of a national employment strategy or something like that? Maybe we will have to look at the tax system, Mr. Speaker. That is what he said: Maybe we will have to look at the tax system. Maybe we will have to come in with a GST. Well, what a brilliant idea! A Goods and Services Tax! Tax everything, Mr. Speaker, from one thing to the other. Let's see if the tax system now is not burdened enough. Let's see if we can really cause jobs to come out of the system by fiddling with the tax system, Mr. Speaker.

So, the second masterpiece, the second part of that platform, to inflict prosperity on Newfoundland and Labrador, was the 7 per cent GST. I know, Mr. Speaker, from my own district, what kind of an impetus that was. On January 1, 1991, when that GST was brought in, Mr. Speaker, signs went up: "Open for Business"; "New Jobs"; "Help Wanted". Yes, Mr. Speaker, those are the kinds of things that happened on January 1, 1991.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. DUMARESQUE: Mr. Speaker, everybody knows what happened in January, February, and March of 1991. The cost of living, Mr. Speaker, went right up, and the prices on the goods and services went through the roof. I mean, that really did something for inflicting prosperity on this Province, it really produced, Mr. Speaker. But, of course, never can a programme be fulfilled on two planks. There have got to be at least one or two other planks to really bring true prosperity into a Province like Newfoundland and Labrador.

So, we had to see what else we could do. Maybe if we looked at free trade with Mexico, or, maybe, free trade in general - let us revisit the Free Trade Agreement. That is what was happening in February and March. The Hon. John Crosbie, when he was Minister of International Trade, said: Let us revisit the Free Trade Agreement. Let us acknowledge the real prosperity that it brought into Newfoundland and Labrador. Let us look at the wages in Mexico. Let us look at what we can get for Newfoundlanders in Mexico, Mr. Speaker, and let us see what free trade has done. Of course, they looked at Ontario and they said: Oh, in Ontario, 50,000 jobs. But, Mr. Speaker, they were 50,000 jobs gone, not 50,000 jobs created because of the Free Trade Agreement. In one month, last June, 50,000 jobs gone, cleaned right out, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. DUMARESQUE: So, that was the central platform of the Tories over the last two years: Interest rate policy through the roof; GST nailed onto goods and services all across the board; and the re-visit to the Free Trade Agreement, Mr. Speaker. They said, this was their masterpiece for the future.

However, there had to be some other minor adjustments in the whole equation. To really zero in on youth unemployment, to really zero in on the fishermen, and to really get at the crux of the problem, they said there has got to be some fine tuning in our policy. Let us look at our budget, Mr. Speaker. Let us look at our established programme financing. Let us look at how we can give some millions of dollars to Newfoundland, because they really need it. What did they do? Of course, you would expect that they would fulfill that objective in spades. Of course, you would think they would.

Now, there was a time when I think there might have been some overpayments or something in transfers, maybe, for the last four or five years. I think it happened in several other provinces as well, Mr. Speaker. So, they said to Newfoundland, of course: Now, Newfoundland, you are in a tough position. There is not much you can do, there are some things happening down there that you have no control over. So we will forgive that $35 million that you accidentally got a few years ago, we will actually forgive that. That would be compassion. That would be inflicting prosperity. That would be really doing something for job creation, Mr. Speaker. But, what did he do? He brought down the hammer, Mr. Speaker. He said: Pay up, or you will not be getting any established programme financing funding for this year. That is what that Tory Government in Ottawa said.

He said to the Minister of Finance: Let us fine-tune it a little bit more. Let us put the cap on her. Let us put the cap on health and education transfers, Mr. Speaker. Now, of course that was not going to affect Newfoundland and Labrador. That was going to really promote job development and really stimulate the entrepreneurial spirit. Yes, Mr. Speaker! Nothing like having $145 million pulled out from under you, just before you have to put your budget together, when you are dealing with this kind of an economic situation. That was the Tory philosophy from Ottawa that was propagated on this Province, Mr. Speaker. That was it.

Of course, everybody acknowledges the seasonality of the fishery, everybody acknowledges the seasonality of tourism in this Province, and how much we depend on UIC. So, they said: We have got to fine-tune this UIC. We will call it C-21. That is what we will call it. This is how we are going to fine-tune the UIC, to make sure that the people on the Coast of Labrador get that extra benefit, Mr. Speaker. We will make sure that the person in seasonal employment on the Bonavista Peninsula is going to get that unemployment. We will make sure that they qualify with ten weeks. Of course, everybody was flabbergasted when this inflicting prosperity, this C-21 took $100 million out of the UIC programme in this Province. It said: You are not going to get any unemployment if you do not work up to nineteen or twenty weeks. It was zeroing in on the people who could least afford it, Mr. Speaker. That is the kind of financial obligation that they had to this Province. That was the kind of prosperity that they wanted to inflict on Labrador, on Bonavista, on the South Shore, on Corner Brook and those areas.

They were not content, Mr. Speaker, until they brought in the mother of all policies. They said: We have got to zero in on the compassion of Newfoundland and Labrador, we have got to get them generated, and we have got to educate them. We have got to give them lots of money for their health care, so they can be well and we can go out and be trained, and take advantage of the opportunities that are going to be before us. So they devised the mother of all policies, Bill C-69. He said: That is the one for Newfoundland. That is the one that is really going to inflict prosperity on Newfoundland and Labrador, Bill C-69. Hundreds of millions of new dollars, now, for health and education. Newfoundlanders were saying: What are we going to do with it? We are going to have to build new schools, new hospitals. We are really going to have to do something to accept all this money that is going to be coming into this Province.

Mr. Speaker, the most draconian piece of economic policy, the most draconian piece of any government's programme to ever be inflicted upon anybody in this country, is Bill C-69. It will forever damn the system of health transfer payments, and education transfer payments on any part of this country. But it will more seriously affect Newfoundland and Labrador than anywhere else. That is the kind of fine tuning that they did to their three big planks in their platform, Mr. Speaker.

Now, how did the Government of Newfoundland respond? We obviously had to look at some solutions, because here we were depending so much on the economic giant in Ottawa, saying: How could we do some things now to really capitalize on the kind of transfer payments and the kind of economic situation that the Federal Government has put us in? So, we said, let us look at it in a couple of ways. Let us look at some macro projects. Let us look at something micro to really get the small business community going.

So, Mr. Speaker, we looked at the Atlantic Accord, and we said there were some things in the Atlantic Accord that could probably use some fine tuning. We could probably try to get some things straightened out there. I am not afraid to inflict prosperity on Newfoundland. With that kind of attitude, we had no doubt that there would be some substantial, significant changes coming in the Atlantic Accord, to make sure that when we did get a few dollars from Hibernia, that they would be able to keep at least ninety cents of it. That would be reasonable.

I remember, Mr. Speaker, former Prime Minister Trudeau saying that there would never be a time, if Newfoundland ever got into the Hibernia offshore, that Ottawa would take back one red cent, until the people of Newfoundland and Labrador were at the level of other Canadians across the Country. That was the Liberal policy, Mr. Speaker. That is what they were expecting. They were expecting, of course, that after this rejuvenation that happened up there in 1984, that some of this would rub off onto that Tory Administration, and they would welcome it with open arms and say, let us discuss the fine tuning in the Atlantic Accord. No, Mr. Speaker, they said take it or leave it. If we were obstinate, over-reacting, as some other Premiers have been in the not-too-distant past, we would have probably thrown out two Accords. We would have probably put $3 million, $4 million, or $5 million into court fees to make sure that we got our rights - maybe $10 million or $20 million. I mean, what was four or five, ten or twenty million dollars a few years ago? - not very much. If we were of that mentality we probably would have flicked it over to the courts, fought it out, paid the best lawyers in the country, and we would have tried to resurrect our prosperity that way. But, no, Mr. Speaker, that was not our mentality. We said, We are going to make sure that we take full advantage of an otherwise bad situation. We could do better, yes, but we are going to do something, we are going to get that Accord signed. The hon. Rex Gibbons, Mr. Speaker, when we came in here in May, 1989, said, `We are going to sign that deal. We are going to stand up with pride and sign the Hibernia Agreement.' Mr. Speaker, after all the ranting and roaring, all the court battles, all the posturing, all the inflicting prosperity, not one cent was realized by the Tory Administration, at that time, not one red cent.

What did we do? Mr. Speaker, we signed that deal, and today, we are going to reap the benefits of that deal. That is a Liberal project, a Liberal initiative, a Liberal deed, Mr. Speaker, and we are going to produce on that. That is what we have done. Of course, the Minister of Mines and Energy, today, is not convinced that is going to be the panacea of all our economic problems. He is obviously not going to say, now that we have the Hibernia agreement, everything is over, we can settle back, we can put on our robes and act like the Saudis. We cannot do that. We are obviously going to have to look to other ventures. So, he looked to Labrador and said, What a wonderful land we have down there, what wonderful resources, what valuable resources we have! The water running over those falls, Mr. Speaker, now, there is something that maybe we can work with. An otherwise insensitive Government would probably have said to themselves, Well, let it go. You know, it is a long ways away, it will always be there, maybe someday later, someday, the sun will shine. We will not have to go down there. We will not have to do anything like that, Mr. Speaker. He said, that is the way the Tory Administration in the past worked, let us not overheat the economy or anything like that, let us not get into overheating the economy.

Mr. Speaker, we were more prudent, more understanding, more rational. The Minister of Mines and Energy went to Quebec and put the negotiations for the Lower Churchill back on track; consistent planning, consistent progress, that is what this Administration has done, Mr. Speaker, to secure - and I am confident that we will secure that fifteen thousand person years of jobs, Mr. Speaker.

AN HON. MEMBER: Only five more minutes, `Danny'.

MR. DUMARESQUE: We have another few minutes to expound on this resolution and, I guess, I will have to indicate why we disagree with what has been proposed here today. We have looked at the big picture, Mr. Speaker. We saw where the problems lie, we have acknowledged some of the solutions, and we are working vigilantly to see that they are accomplished. We have put into small business and entrepreneurship the integral component of stimulation, Enterprise Newfoundland and Labrador, and everybody in Newfoundland and Labrador realizes today that it is working, it is producing, it is establishing businesses, and establishing meaningful employment, throughout this Province. Over the last year, Mr. Speaker, did we create some part-time jobs? Did we create some kind of a ten-week syndrome in this Province? - not at all. That is not our objective, that is not our focus. We produced 4000 long-term meaningful jobs in this Province in the last year. That is progress, Mr. Speaker, that is commitment. That is not a flash in the pan, Mr. Speaker. That is not what the resolution is asking for today; the resolution, today, is asking for another quick fix. What is it saying? - that we must immediately bring in an emergency job creation program. Mr. Speaker, it must be acknowledged that the last time that Administration over there sought to immediately create a job creation program in this Province, there was a big puff, a big bang, a big light over Mount Pearl, and cucumbers popping all over this Province. That was the kind

of job creation, the kind of instant job creation we had.

I remember seeing the hon. Garfield Warren, down by the hotel in Wabush, with cucumbers coming out of his pockets everywhere, cucumbers here, there, everywhere, that is the kind of instant job creation projects we had.

Now, I suppose that did not cost anything, just a bit of imagination, just a bit of playing around, but that cost $25 million, Mr. Speaker, $25 million, and what did we get? We got zero jobs, we got a flash in the pan, we got a con job put on to the people of this Province that was supposed to be creating long-term, meaningful employment.

That is not our objective, Mr. Speaker. This Government will be remembered for dealing with the real problem of unemployment in this Province. We will be offering meaningful jobs for the people of this Province. Our young people will have a meaningful career to follow in the different sectors of this economy, Mr. Speaker, and overall, there is going to be a plan.

There is no cookbook, a part of our economic platform, Mr. Speaker. There will be no cookbook, I tell you, propagated among the people of this Province. What we are going to have and what we have established is a master plan, and come the next election, the people of this Province will look at it and say, `Yes, indeed, you have done what you have done in spite of that man up there who said he was going to inflict prosperity.' In spite of the Tory policies of that Government for the last six years, Mr. Speaker, we will survive and we will overcome that kind of draconian policy and we will go back to the electorate, proud to have accomplished what we said we were going to do back in April, 1989. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. EFFORD: (Inaudible).

AN HON. MEMBER: Sit down! Sit down!

MR. HEARN: I am sure the hon. the Minister of Social Services will get a chance to speak afterwards.

MR. EFFORD: Ten minutes?

MR. HEARN: I will consider it.

MR. EFFORD: Give me ten minutes.

MR. HEARN: Mr. Speaker, we just heard, what, to a listener - should we be fortunate enough to have one in the House, and we do not, except the person operating the machines upstairs unfortunately - what appeared to be a tremendously exciting, political, speech. The unfortunate thing about it is I really believe that the hon. Member who delivered it believes some of what he said, and, if that is the case, he is even more naive than I give him credit for.

It was extremely interesting to hear him list the prosperity that was inflicted upon us by the Prime Minister of Canada, as he went through the interest rates, GST and Free Trade and the EPF and UI and what have you, with very little understanding of any of it. But, the most interesting thing about it, was, if these programmes, inflicted upon Newfoundland the type of prosperity to which the Member alluded, in other words, a complete lack of prosperity - they were destructive rather than constructive programmes - then it gives all kinds of justification for the very resolution we have here today, because, if our people have been so demeaned by the Federal Government then, what has the Provincial Government done, and the answer is a very simple, nothing.

The statistics that have recently come out make it quite clear what this Government has done to assist employment in the Province, where we see this Province, the only Province in Canada, with the exception of Alberta - and Alberta with an unemployment rate of 8.4 per cent, up from 8.3 per cent last month, big deal - with the exception of that, no other province in Canada, except Newfoundland, had a decrease in the number of people looking for employment. Consequently, when the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations stands up and talks about us being affected by the Canadian recession, and having no control over it, how come, during the same period, every other province in Canada did have some control, did exert some control, and lowered the rate of unemployment? Consequently, it just does not wash. It just shows that the Government, as everyone knows now, has taken no new initiatives at all to deal with the unemployment situation in the Province. The only jobs, I submit, that have been created are the ones created by the bureaucracies set up by the present administration, Enterprise Newfoundland, the Economic Recovery Commission, and what have you. These are the only jobs that have been created, high paying jobs for friends and, of course, organizations which have delivered absolutely nothing to those who are seeking employment.

It was ironic that the Member who spoke last, when he talked about all the federal programs that had a negative effect Newfoundland, did not allude to the positive asides of these programs, neither did he allude to such agreements as the road funding program, the upcoming Tourism agreement that I understand will be signed this week, the fisheries diversification programs, the community futures organization put in place. If there have been any jobs created in this Province recently, they have been created by federal initiatives. I am not here to defend the Feds. In fact, there are many policies that they have come up with that affect Newfoundland with which I thoroughly disagree, but, if we are going to decry the programmes of the Federal Government, then at least, we should have the courtesy of recognizing the fact that many of their programmes have got us, as a Province, out of the bind we have been in with unemployment. Consequently, many of the new initiatives are strictly there because of federal funding.

I should ask the Government where are the jobs this year in relation to our own construction programs? Where is the road work that should be ongoing right now? Where are the municipal projects that should be operating? What is happening in the field of construction? Most Members, some more than others, have a lot of people in their districts who depend entirely upon construction work for a living. How many of them are working right now? How many of the major companies are in serious trouble because there are no major projects being called by Government? These are provincial projects that should be providing jobs right now.

What about Tourism? Yesterday in the House - I presume it was yesterday - the Minister read a statement acknowledging the fact that this is National Tourism Week. He went on to talk about Tourism generally and finished up by saying, `And that is why, as Minister for Tourism, I am pleased to announce the week of May 13 to May 19 as National Tourism Week. Maybe the Minister should be announcing some good Tourism initiatives. I agree with the Minister when he says that the Tourism potential of this Province is not being tapped. I think there is only one way to go for us and that is up. I think we have a long way to go. There is no place - and I have said this on a number of occasions - there is no place in this country that has more to offer, maybe there is no place in the world that has more to offer people who want to see something different, than the Province of Newfoundland. if we want to get specific about it, and I hint to the Minister, perhaps there is no place in this Province, or in this country, that has more to offer than the Southern Avalon Loop, part of which I represent. I do include the Northern Peninsula when I say that the Southern Avalon has more to offer than any other part, because anyone who becomes familiar with the trip from St. John's, around to St. John's, whether you do the single loop out Salmonier Line, or whether you do the double loop out through North Harbour, Branch, and into Cape Shore through Placentia, represented by the Member for Placentia, covering four districts, Kilbride, the Goulds area, Ferryland, St. Mary's - The Capes, and Placentia district, every few miles, there is something unique, something entirely different, something that people would come from all over the world to see.

The problem with that area is, as I have said before, we are beyond the end. People come to St. John's to get on the boat, they come to Port aux Basques, they drive across the Island, they land in St. John's and put their foot in the water or whatever, and they bow to City Hall, saying, `We are here. We have arrived.' What they do not realize is that the most exciting part of Newfoundland, from the oldest settled part of North America to the historic sites, to the scenery, to the Caribou herds, to the salmon rivers, to the bird sanctuaries, all these things are beyond St. John's. You go down the southern shore and around the loop to see them. Every few miles, you have something that is entirely different. I am sure the Minister will get a chance later to comment. I know he agrees with me. Undoubtedly, when his agreement is signed, during the week, there will be some initiatives to help promote some of the exciting sceneries we have up there, some of the exciting attractions, specifically the bird sanctuary out in Cape St. Mary's, and what have you. In the Minister's own booklet that he put out this year, there is a picture of the bird sanctuary out in Cape St. Mary's, part of my district, and I thank the Minister for that. But what I am saying is that we have to let people know.

Perhaps the Minister, himself, should do a little more travelling than what he announced today. I would be the last ever to criticize the Minister of Development for travelling, because the Minister of Development has to be the salesperson for this Province as it relates to business, development opportunities, but specifically, tourism. People very seldom take time to sit back and read brochures or papers, but people in the know attend special functions. They will always attend cocktail parties, and so on, where Ministers represent the Province. Maybe the Minister of Development should travel around the world trying to sell the tourist potential for this Province, and I am quite serious when I say that, because, if there is a way to diversify away from the fishery, in particular, then perhaps the best avenue for recovering some of our lost revenues is through the field of tourism. And any endeavours that the Minister will come up with and any trips he takes to promote tourism in the Province, I certainly will support the Minister.

It was hinted to me that the District of Bellevue is somewhat involved there, and it is, really. You come out at Moorlands, I guess, if you come up through Placentia. So you are sort of by-passing the District of Bellevue. It, in itself, might have a lot to offer, but it is really not part of the loop.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) promote the Irish Republic.

MR. HEARN: I will gladly. If the Minister invites me to go to Ireland with him, I will gladly go to Ireland to promote, not only to encourage them to come here, but to let them know that there is a little part of it over here which may have been forgotten, and undoubtedly, the potential for a two-way trade is fabulous.

Now, Mr. Speaker, to get a little more - although I cannot say get more serious, because the creation of jobs through tourism is perhaps one of the best opportunities we have. Let me suggest to the Government why the resolution was brought in by the Member for Harbour Main. Perhaps the word is `frustration'.

Mr. Speaker, it is extremely hard to speak over the noise.

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

The hon. Member has requested silence.

MR. HEARN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I do not have to sit down and let the hon. the Minister of Social Services speak, he never stops speaking anyway.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. HEARN: Nobody is extremely interested in hearing what the Minister has to say. Maybe I will ask the Minister, in the event he does get a minute or two when I finish, if he would elaborate on what that Minister is going to do when all the people fall off the employment roles, as is presently happening, and fall into the roles of social services? The number of people receiving social assistance in this Province now has to be at an all-time high. The Minister is getting more and more people flocking to his doors every day - not to his doors, because a woman on Open Line, the other day, said she called him and he would not even talk to her, but doors to his various Departmental offices, those of them that are staffed. In a number of the offices these days, when the workers go on the road, there is nobody there to answer the calls of the people who come lining up looking for social assistance. The Minister might be very concerned about the number of people who are ending up on welfare. The Minister might also be concerned about the horrendous cuts in his own job creation programs and community development programs. At least it gave people a chance to get out and work. A number of the programs that the Minister put out over the last couple of years were quite good, the Beautification Program, and a number of the community development programs. Now, maybe they were set up to get the people back on UIC, but the underlying reason for that was to get the people working, to encourage them to work, to make more money than they were making on social assistance, and quite often people who got involved and got the initiative to go back to work did not end up back on the Minister's roles, thank God. Unfortunately, these days they are falling into his rolls from all over the place, from layoffs, from lack of construction, from lack of resource development in the Province, from lack of a vision by this present Government. Where are the dreams, where are the visions that Governments must have to create new jobs? Enterprise Newfoundland, and the Economic Recovery Commission, are these the visions? The ends do not justify the means. You had a vision to create an institution that would create jobs. You created the institution and they created their own jobs, but nothing beyond that. They took advantage of some of the Federal dollars, once again an agency that was berated by the Member for Eagle River, they took advantage of some of the initiatives taken by ACOA, taken by other Federal agencies, and tried to claim some credit. Now that the screws are being tightened in that regard we find out that they are becoming frustrated and some of them are even throwing in the towel. So, Mr. Speaker, the Government has to zero in on the development of the resources. What about the fishery? What has been done for the fishery? The Minister might say, once again, a federal problem, we cannot put fish in the ocean. I fully appreciate the Minister's position, but there are a number of initiatives that the Province can take to create jobs in the fishery. We have a number of fish plants around the Province that are inactive, you might say from a lack of resource. That to some degree in some areas might be true, but there are a number of areas, who with help, and some promotional assistance, some reasonable understanding of what goes on in the different areas, can once again get jobs back into the work force. It has been done before with very, very little help or support from the Government. The UIC benefits that fishermen get: today in questions from the Fisheries critic to the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, asking, what are we going to do? Very little has been done to impress upon the Federal Government the need for an extension of the UIC benefits. Nobody disagrees with that, Members on all sides of the House. What it means, if benefits are not extended, along with the long list of those who are unemployed presently, we have many more who could be fishing tomorrow and who will not be fishing because of the ice conditions around the coast, and who now have been cut off from their only income, so consequently, Mr. Speaker, the deadline - and we have always said that, in fact, over the years I have had personal resolutions on the Order Paper suggesting that the time frame for UI for fishermen should be looked at and adjusted according to the areas in which fishermen live. But once again it shows the need to react. It is a provincial responsibility to look after the people who live in the Province, and consequently if they are going through hard times then the Government should take initiatives. If you are not going to start your construction jobs, if you are not going to bring in your municipal projects, if you are not going to revive the fishery where it can be done, if you are not going to promote tourism and assist in creating, if you are just going to frustrate with further levels of bureaucracy which Government has been doing, then at least keep bread and butter on the table by coming in with some kind of an emergency response program. Many of those employed today, if the truth were known, are employed on make-work programmes. We decry and deride the programmes brought in by the Federal Government, but without them two things would not happen, number one, a number of the facilities that we find being constructed around the Province, a number of the water lines that are being put in, a number of the community buildings, a number of the fire halls, a number of the play facilities, especially -

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Social Services on a point of order.

MR. EFFORD: Mr. Speaker, I rose on a point of order yesterday afternoon and it was pretty well about the same thing. I want to bring to the hon. Speaker's attention, that the hon. Member for St. Mary's - The Capes, is speaking on a very important resolution that was submitted by his colleague for Harbour Main District. I find the same thing which happened yesterday is happening today, the hon. Member for Humber East has her back to the Chair. There is a private conversation and a private meeting going on, it shows you, Mr. Speaker, how interested they are in this resolution and the fact of whether or not people are working in the Province. The point I want to make is there should be respect for His Honour in the Chair. The hon. Member for Humber East, has her back to the Chair, having a private meeting when her colleague is speaking on such an important resolution in this hon. House.

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker.

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

On the same point of order?

MR. TOBIN: Yes, Mr. Speaker, I would like to speak to that same point of order. I would just like to say that the Minister of Social Services is wasting the time of my colleague for St. Mary's - The Capes. He has no interest in what takes place in the House, he spends more time outside the House than in here and he has not shut up the whole afternoon. So, maybe if you will ask the hon. the Minister of Social Services to restrain himself and let my colleague continue, he would probably learn something.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Social Services has a valid point. It is very difficult, particularly in this Chamber, when there are loud private conversations going on, to hear the hon. Member for St. Mary's - The Capes.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

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

His Honour had no difficulty hearing the hon. Member for St. Mary's - The Capes, because I guess, we are so close to each other, but I know there is a difficulty and it has already been ruled that it is unparliamentary to turn your chair and your back to the Speaker, so the hon. Minister of Social Services had a valid point and I ask hon. Members to refrain from the private conversations.

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

MR. HEARN: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Let me continue where I left off. I was talking about the Federal job creation programmes, job development programmes, the section 25s, the challenge programmes, where they have been used for two things. I mentioned, one, the construction of a number of facilities, the placement of infrastructure that the Province has not been providing, but mainly they have provided employment and in some cases where employment was desperately needed.

Maybe the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations should look carefully at some of these programmes, and, the Minister should consult with her colleagues and colleagues opposite, as to the needs in different areas. The Minister says: we are not going to do anything short-term, it is a waste of time and money.

It is a waste of time and money if they are not planned properly, supervised properly and if there is not some result from the expenditure, but I say to the Minister, that there are many short term projects which have been carried out in this Province that have been a credit to the area, have been a credit to the employees who have been involved, a credit to the sponsoring groups and they not only have produced good results, but people have been employed; they have not been lining up on the social welfare rolls, so maybe the Minister should look carefully at that.

When the Government throws out close to 5,000 people, when the ripple effect is felt down through the system, out of the work force, this just aggravates the situation because many of these people are themselves going to end up either displacing others in the work force as has happened, or, will eventually end up knocking on the Minister of Social Services door also.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. Member's time has elapsed.

MR. HEARN: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. As it is twenty minutes to, and I know that the Member for Harbour Main wants to finish, I will just clue up by saying that I fully support the resolution; there are people out there who are in desperate need to keep bread and butter on the table, to be able to pay their bills, to be able to hold on to their houses, and if the Government is going to be lax in bringing in its regular construction programmes, its resource development programmes, then it is up to the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations to make some short term effort, to make sure that these people can continue to survive without having to go through the embarrassment, and it would be an embarrassment to have to go and talk to this present Minister of Social Assistance. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

AN HON. MEMBER: I heard every word the (inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Opposition Party Whip, the hon. the Member for Harbour Main.

MS. VERGE: An excellent speech he delivered it with flair and feeling.

MR. DOYLE: Yes.

MR. SIMMS: (Inaudible).

MR. DOYLE: Mr. Speaker, I have been sitting here for the last hour and a half approximately or two hours listening to Members on both sides of the House make some very interesting speeches, and make some very, very good points indeed.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I hate to interrupt the hon. Member for Harbour Main, but the hon. Members are on his back - I really cannot hear the hon. Member for Harbour Main. I ask the hon. Members to refrain from private conversations please.

AN HON. MEMBER: Sorry, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Harbour Main.

MR. DOYLE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, as I started out to say a couple of minutes ago, I have been sitting here for the last hour or hour and a half listening to Members on both sides of the House make some very good points, make some very good speeches and I really thought that there was absolutely no reason today why we should not get unanimous approval for this resolution. It was not until I heard the Member for Eagle River and the Minister for Employment and Labour Relations speak that I realized that we are not going to get unanimous approval for this resolution that we have before the House today, and it is not a controversial resolution in any respect whatever. We all have to acknowledge the fact that we do have a high unemployment rate, an unemployment rate that is 22.2 per cent, up from 17.5 per cent back just two years ago. So we all have to acknowledge the fact that we do have a high unemployment rate in the Province. We can all agree on that. Statistics Canada put out that information only a few days ago. It was not put out by the Opposition, it was not put out by the Government of any province, it was put out by an independent body. Statistics Canada have confirmed that Newfoundland has an unemployment rate of 22.2 per cent, up five percentage points from when the Government took office back in May or June of 1989, whenever it was. So I was really expecting, Mr. Speaker, given that fact and given the fact that we do need to have some employment creation programme or emergency programme brought in to deal with the problem, I though for sure, Mr. Speaker, that we would be getting unanimous approval for this resolution, and there is absolutely no reason why we should not get unanimous approval. It is not a controversial resolution, it is one which we can all agree with.

BE IT RESOLVED that this House urge the Government to immediately bring in an emergency job creation program in order to combat the alarming unemployment rate and the loss of jobs to the economy of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Now what could be lower key than that. And we purposefully made the resolution non-controversial in order to get the Government's support. But apparently from the comments that I have heard the Member for Eagle River make today, and the comments that I have heard from the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations that we are not going to get unanimous consent and we are not going to get unanimous approval for this resolution, and that sends a message to the unemployed people of Newfoundland and Labrador, I am sure a message that they are very, very disappointed in this Government this evening, Mr. Speaker.

I sat here and I listened to the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, and I was never as surprise, never as shocked in the twelve years that I have spent here in the House of Assembly to hear a Minister of Employment say the things that the Minister said today. She said there is going to be no more money put into employment efforts in Newfoundland because she has to evaluate the situation. Then she made another comment that I thought, Mr. Speaker, I would go through the floor, when I heard, she said we will see if the situation rights itself. That is what the Minister of Employment said today, we are not going to put any more money into employment creation because we have to be given a chance to see if the situation is going to right itself. Well she has been waiting now for twenty-four months and she has been Minister of Employment and Labour Relations for twenty-four months. The situation has not righted itself so far, and I suspect, Mr. Speaker, that given the fact that it has gone from 17.5 per cent up to 22.2 per cent in a twenty-four month period, I have the sneaking suspicion that the unemployment rate is not going to right itself.

The Minister of Employment and the Government are going to have to take some measures to right the unemployment rate and to bring it down.

The Minister of Employment said in her remarks that we have had a high unemployment rate before in Newfoundland. She said we have had a recessionary period in Newfoundland before. But what she failed to mention was that when we had that kind of an unemployment rate before, and when we were into a recession before, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador had $8 million in a private sector employment programme to try to help the people in the short term until the recession was over and the unemployment rate would come down.

The Minister of Employment says she is going to be remembered for being a very responsible Minister. Well let me tell the Minister of Employment what she is going to be remembered for. She is going to be remembered for - nothing - absolutely nothing. That is what the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations is going to be remembered for. She is not going to be remembered for being compassionate, for being caring, or for holding out some hope to the unemployed people of Newfoundland and Labrador. She is going to be remembered for nothing. That is what the Minister of Employment is going to be remembered for. And that is unfortunate.

She talks about the Member for St. John's East. That is what she was doing today, talking about the Member for St. John's East. He gets on page 17, she said, when he talks about employment, but I get on page 1. Well, she is not on page 1 for the jobs that she has created with 50,000 people on welfare. Twenty-five thousand families in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador in 1991 are on welfare. And back in 1989, still unacceptably high, but it was 19,000 families at that time on welfare. And now, here it is two years later, and we have 25,000 families on welfare, more than a 20 per cent increase, a six thousand family increase. Six thousand families extra since 1989, have followed the Minister's suggestion. "Let them go on welfare," she said, and that is what they have done. That is what they have done, Mr. Speaker, but they have done it reluctantly, because this Minister and this Government have failed to address the pressing unemployment problems that we have. This Government, Mr. Speaker, is an absolute disaster.

Then the Member for Exploits, when the Member for Ferryland was speaking and saying we had 188,000 people working two years ago, and now, today, we have 181,000, said it is not true.

MR. SIMMS: Who said?

MR. DOYLE: The Member for Exploits. "It is not true," he said.

MR. SIMMS: Yes, but that is his favourite saying. He says that about everything, when he does not even know.

MR. DOYLE: He does not believe Statistics Canada, he does not believe the flash sheet, and I would say that the Member for Exploits is probably speaking for the Government, because the Government does not believe it either. Because, if the Government believed it, they would have to do something about it. If the Government truly believed that we have 52,000 people unemployed in Newfoundland today, the Government would have to do something about it. If the Government believed that we had 25,000 families on welfare, up 6,000 over a two-year period, then the Government would have to do something about it.

So, Mr. Speaker, I am very disappointed, indeed, that we are not going to have unanimous approval for this resolution today, because it is not a controversial resolution. It is one that everyone could support. So, I make no wonder we have an unemployment problem.

The Member for Eagle River stands up and says, `One of the projects which is going to cure the unemployment problems in Newfoundland is the great Liberal project, Hibernia.' They are hanging their hat, Mr. Speaker, on a Tory project, the only project that offers any light at the end of the tunnel, that offers any hope to unemployed people in Newfoundland and Labrador, the Hibernia project. If it was not for this former Tory Government, we would have no Hibernia project today, for this Government to hang its hat on. But, in any event, they have negated the effect of Hibernia, with 3500 people being laid off in the civil service. Hibernia is not going to have any appreciable effect because of that. The Minister of Finance does not believe it either. He does not believe that we have an unemployment rate of 22.5 per cent.

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker - because I understand we have some House business that we have to get at before 5:00, and I am not going to take up the entire time, because I am sure we will have division on this - I just want to say once again that if Government have any compassion at all for the 52,000 people who are unemployed, they will get off their duffs and start to do something about it.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

Is the House ready for the question?

All those in favour of the resolution, `aye.' Against, `nay'.

I declare the resolution lost.

MR. SIMMS: Division, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Call in the Members.

Division

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

All those in favour of the resolution, please rise.

The hon. the Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Simms, Mrs. Verge, Mr. Doyle, Mr. R. Aylward, Mr. Tobin, Mr. Matthews, Mr. Hearn, Mr. A. Snow, Mr. Hewlett, Mr. S. Winsor, Mr. Power, Mr. Parsons, Mr. Woodford, Mr. Hodder, Mr. Harris.

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

The hon. the President of the Council, the hon. the Minister of Development, the hon. the Minister of Health, the hon. the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, the hon. the Minister of Mines and Energy, the hon. the Minister of Fisheries, the hon. the Minister of Social Services, the hon. the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation, Mr. Barrett, Mr. Grimes, the hon. the Minister of Justice, the hon. the Minister of Finance, the hon. the Minister of Education, Mr. Reid, Mr. Ramsay, Mr. Crane, Mr. K. Aylward, Mr. Gover, Mr. Noel, Mr. Penney, Mr. Murphy, Mr. Dumaresque, Mr. Walsh, Mr. Short, Mr. Langdon, Mr. Oldford.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

CLERK (Miss Duff): Mr. Speaker, `ayes,' sixteen, `nays,' twenty-six.

MR. SPEAKER: I declare the motion defeated.

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Opposition House Leader, on a point of order.

Do we have agreement to stop the clock?

MR. SIMMS: Yes, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: No, no!

MR. SIMMS: We always do!

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

Do we have agreement to stop the clock?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Yes, Mr. Speaker.

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. BAKER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I understand that my good friend, the hon. the Opposition House Leader, had a point of order to raise, and I was, at the same time, standing on the same point of order, I guess. I understood he wanted some time, and we were quite willing to give him the time, so I would suggest, Your Honour, stop the clock, and we could carry on with the point of order the Member has.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Opposition House Leader, on a point of order.

MR. SIMMS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Perhaps we could save a lot of time if the Government House Leader could advise the House what the schedule is tonight for the Estimates Committees, particularly the two remaining committees that have not yet finished their work. The Social Services Committee dealing with the Department of Health Estimates, and the Government Services Committee dealing with Employment and Labour Relations: What time will their meetings be tonight, and where?

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

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, we have scheduled no meetings for tonight. We are having difficulty arranging the time. As soon as possible, we will call both committees together to pass the heads that have not been already passed. We are having difficulty because of the availability of Ministers tonight.

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

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, this is as I suspected from talking to the Government House Leader earlier today. What is going on here is an absolute affront, I think, to the House itself, to the parliamentary process, because the Estimates and the rules governing the Estimates are very clear. On page 38 of our own Standing Orders, Standing Order No. 120 says: "Each committee shall, at the conclusion of fifteen sitting days following the reference of estimates to it, put all questions, without debate, needed to carry every subhead of each head of expenditure referred to it before making a report to the House."

Now, Mr. Speaker, I want to make this submission to you. I do not how, exactly, Your Honour is going to deal with this, because today is the fifteenth sitting day, according to the information I have from the Clerks at the Table. The fifteen sitting days, in their estimation, would run out at midnight tonight. Therefore, in order for these two committees to conclude their work, or even to have an opportunity to conclude their work, or to even put the heads, there should be a meeting of the two committees, surely, tonight.

Now, there is no difficulty with the availability of facilities, as I previously understood. I understand the equipment is in place at the Colonial Building, and the equipment is certainly in place here, so that is not a problem.

Now he says, because of the unavailability of Ministers. Surely, Mr. Speaker, even the Government House Leader would have known that today is the last sitting day of the Estimates Committees. We would have done what we were always advised to do when the Estimates were on. Ministers were on call and that took priority over any other personal commitment you might have in your constituency, or anywhere else. The Minister of Health said, while the Government House Leader was outside, that he would voluntarily come to the meeting, so it is certainly not because of his unavailability.

AN HON. MEMBER: That is not true. He said (inaudible).

MR. SIMMS: Oh.

AN HON. MEMBER: He did not say it.

MR. SIMMS: Well, the Minister of Development said it on behalf of the Minister of Health, and the Minister of Health looked over and said yes. Now, please do not try to play games, that is what he said.

AN HON. MEMBER: Okay.

MR. SIMMS: So, it leaves one other Minister.

AN HON. MEMBER: Who?

MR. SIMMS: The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations. Now, I understand that the Minister has a commitment to speak at, I do not know what, a school graduation or something of that nature in her constituency, or whatever it is, which is very important matters, very important things to do, but surely, Ministerial duty and responsibility to this legislature has to take priority over any other kind of commitment that Members have made. We often all have had to change commitments or functions.

So, Mr. Speaker, I do not know how this committee or these committees are going to be - first of all, it is an affront to the House not to give Members of the committee and the House a chance to examine and finalize their examination on the Estimates. They know there is only one day left, because this is the last day. That is one point. Secondly, I do not know how the Government House Leader intends to allow the committees to make a report to the House, not having had the opportunity to pass their heads, because, after today, the committees have no authority to meet. They only meet for fifteen sitting days. You cannot ask them to meet or get together tomorrow, because that is the sixteenth day.

Those are the arguments I am making to Your Honour. I mean, if the Government wants to stonewall and wants to cover up and do everything else, and whitewash, and not have committees and order the Chairman not to hold committees, order the Ministers not to appear, well, then, there is not a heck of a lot we can do about it. Mr. Speaker, there is not much we can do about it only bring it to the attention of the people of this Province, which we intend to do.

The other point is a parliamentary point, one on which Your Honour will have to consider submissions from me and from the Government House Leader and whoever else might wish to offer submissions to Your Honour. But the dilemma is in making a ruling, whether Your Honour recesses the House now - and I am sure he has the authority to stop the clock himself and recess if he wishes to rule now - or whether Your Honour comes back tomorrow, in which case, if he rules tomorrow, it is too late, because the fifteen sitting days have expired.

AN HON. MEMBER: That is right.

MR. SIMMS: So we are in a little bit of a dilemma, and I do not know what the Government House Leader has to say about it, but I would be interested in hearing.

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

MR. BAKER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

In dealing with the Opposition House Leader's point of order, I feel I should deal with some of the statements he made when he was making his point of order. First of all, he talks about the glorious past, the fact that, when he was a Minister, the Premier, or somebody, whomever, ordered him to be on call twenty-four hours a day for fifteen days, and at a minute's notice he had to show up in the Estimates Committees. Now, Mr. Speaker, that is the impression the Opposition House Leader would love to make in this House. The truth, Mr. Speaker, is this, that did not happen. The truth is that as a Member of the Estimates Committees many times, Mr. Speaker, if you care to look back, many times meetings were postponed, cancelled and so on, because of the activities of Ministers. Many, many times, year after year, Mr. Speaker, so that the idyllic situation that the Opposition House Leader would like to paint simply did not exist. The truth of the matter, Mr. Speaker, is that during the Estimates period there are often problems with scheduling. Sometimes they have to do with location, and sometimes they have to do with activities of Ministers. For a period of time during this fifteen days when the Minister of Development was out of the Province, for over a week, I believe, he was out of the Province, so obviously we would have to work around that. We could not phone the Minister and say, you have to be here two hours from now in the Estimates Committee. That is absolutely impossible. Those things do not happen. In the real world, Mr. Speaker, we have to make allowances for the activities of Ministers in terms of the Estimates.

Now, Mr. Speaker, let me deal with the substance of the situation and the truth of the situation. We do have to work around the availability of Ministers, number one. Number two, in terms of the Social Committee there were five Departments referred to that particular Committee, the Social Services Estimates Committee. There are fifteen hours of time allocated to be subtracted from -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. BAKER: I just want to make sure he is listening.

There are fifteen hours deducted from the total Budget debate time for these five Committees, fifteen hours, and the reason for that is obvious, Mr. Speaker. The Committee should not be able to consume all of the time available for the Budget debate so it is limited to fifteen hours to be subtracted for these five Committees. That is a fact of life. Mr. Speaker, so far we have spent twenty hours, not fifteen, but twenty hours. In spite of the fact that there have been scheduling problems we have spent twenty hours with these Departments. As a matter of fact the Department of Health that has not had its Estimates read, spent the full three hours before the Committee. The Minister of Health and his officials, last night, were available all night to appear before the Committee. The Members of the Committee knew that and they could have dealt with this Department last night. It was easy to do, but instead they chose to play their little game, a little game, Mr. Speaker, that when we were in Opposition we never did play because we had more respect for the House. We never did play that silly little game of putting it off until midnight, forcing the Committee, forcing workers back here to sit at midnight. What a silly, stupid, little game, Mr. Speaker, so we never did push the Estimates Committees to that extent, and always towards the end - and there was an Estimates Committee meeting this morning - we simply passed the heads of the Committees. So, with the Social Services Estimates Committee, there have been twenty hours, not fifteen. In the Government Services Estimates Committee, there is one not finished, which is Employment and Labour Relations. All the others were passed, and there were twelve hours subtracted from the Budget debate for that Committee. Mr. Speaker, we spent thirteen-and-a-half hours in that Committee, more than is subtracted. In the Resource Estimates Committee, there are again four heads presented to that Committee, twelve hours subtracted from the Budget debate time. We have, so far, spent fourteen hours of examination.

So, Mr. Speaker, the argument, that Members of the House have not had an opportunity to examine these particular Departments, is totally, absolutely, and completely false. The Member, in his presentation, indicated that Members of the House now want an opportunity to examine these Departments. Mr. Speaker, totally irrelevant! They have had at least three hours to examine the two Departments that are left.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I ask the hon. Government House Leader if he could conclude his remarks, please, on the matter.

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, we delayed starting the Estimates Committees by a month, because Members opposite refused to come and sit down at the Estimates Committees. Now, what a change in attitude! They refused to come. For a full month they refused to come and sit down here. Now how self-righteous they are!

Mr. Speaker, I refer you to Standing Order 120, which was quoted by my friend opposite, and he read all kinds of inferences into that Standing Order. It simply says, "Each committee shall, at the conclusion of fifteen sitting days following the reference of estimates to it, put all questions, without debate, needed to carry every subhead of each head of expenditure referred to it before making a report to the House." Now, Mr. Speaker, obviously what this says is that the Committee, in some circumstances, has to wait the fifteen days, has to give the full fifteen days allotted to it. These fifteen days will conclude, I am told, at midnight today, although I have not done the check myself, but I have been told midnight tonight. Then, that will be the conclusion of fifteen sitting days.

My understanding is, that the Committee, at its next meeting, would put all questions without debate and every subhead and so on, at the end of those fifteen days. It does not say that you have to wait until one minute after twelve to do it.

The argument the hon. Member opposite uses is that the Committee cannot sit after the fifteen sitting days. If that were so, then we would wait until midnight. We would have the ludicrous situation where they would keep it going until midnight, and at midnight make the point that we cannot sit beyond midnight, and then come to the House without the heads passed, if the Committee were not allowed to sit beyond midnight. Now, Mr. Speaker, the Committee is allowed to sit beyond midnight. There has to be a mechanism to pass the Estimates. If you use the argument used by the hon. Member opposite, you would go until midnight, keep talking until midnight, and then there would be no mechanism to pass the Estimates. The committee has to be able to sit after the fifteen days.

I would submit to Your Honour, that as soon as possible we will call the Committees together to call the remaining heads, and that is the way we intend to proceed. So, obviously, Your Honour has to make a ruling, and, obviously, we will be bound by whatever ruling Your Honour makes. But, I would submit to Your Honour, that under these Standing Orders it is possible for the Committee to meet beyond midnight, and, therefore, it is possible to call the Committees tomorrow or the next day, whenever we can get them together, to pass the subheads, as directed by the Standing Orders.

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

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

MR. RIDEOUT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, I want to make a brief submission on this point of order, because it is an important one. This parliamentary point, as far as I know, has never been - no Speaker, since our rules changed back after the 1979 election, has been forced into a situation where Your Honour has to make the decision that is required of Your Honour, as a result of a point of order raised by the Opposition House Leader - no Speaker. The decision that Your Honour will make will be a precedent setting decision, one that will influence further decisions in this House for decades to come I suppose, it will be a precedent of this House, so I think it is very, very important that submissions from all sides of the House be not made with political rhetoric like the Government House Leader did, but, be made based on our Standing Orders.

Now, Mr. Speaker, there was no reason for any other Speaker, until Your Honour, to make the decision that you are required to make today or tomorrow or whenever you make it, because, in previous years, up to and including this year, Ministers were always available and committees worked around their schedules, but it so happened that within the fifteen-day period, the estimates were dealt with. We never had this precedent setting situation before which is going to, if the Committees do not meet tonight, is going to result in certain estimates of certain Departments not being dealt with in the time frame provided by the rules.

Now there are two points, Your Honour, I wish to make. The first point is the argument made by the Government House Leader of the business of fifteen hours. Well, Your Honour will see from Standing Order 119 (2) which says, " Three hours shall be deducted for each departmental estimates so referred from the time allocated under Standing Order 116". So, you go back to 116, and 116 says: " The procedures in Committee of Supply shall be limited to not more than seventy-five hours to be reduced in accordance with the provisions of this Part", so, the seventy-five hours are reduced by three hours for every department referred to in estimates committee. Now, that particular estimates committee could take 200 hours, under the Department of Fisheries, if you can fit 1,000 hours into fifteen days, under the Department of Development, you can take them, that is a red herring and has nothing to do with it at all.

The Parliamentary point, Mr. Speaker, is the next one. Standing Order 120, and 120 says very clearly: " Each committee", that is the estimate committee, " shall, at the conclusion of the fifteenth sitting day," it does not say at the conclusion of the sixteenth sitting day or the seventeenth sitting day or at the conclusion of fifteen hours, it does not say anything about that, it is specific and clear and it says: at the conclusion of the fifteenth sitting day, the committee must put all the heads that are not carried and carry them.

Now, Mr. Speaker, if those two Committees do not meet tonight and at ten o'clock or twelve o'clock, whatever the case might be, put the heads, those Committees have no authority under the Standing Orders of this Legislature, to meet again. That is the parliamentary question that Your Honour must decide. It is unfortunate that the Government has put you, Sir, in the position where you have to make that decision because it is unnecessary. The Committees could meet tonight, they could conclude their work tonight, they might be finished in ten minutes, they could do it according to the rules, according to the Standing Orders, but they have not been given the right to do that because of the incompetence and the arrogance, Mr. Speaker, of the Government.

MR. HARRIS: Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Member for St. John's East on a point of order.

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to speak to this point of order because I think it is of great importance to the House and to the respect that the House ought to have and the Government ought to have for ordinary Members.

Now, I have had the privilege of serving on the Estimates Committee for the first time in this Legislature, and I have to say that I expected that the sitting of the Estimates Committee would be in keeping with the expectations of the involvement of ordinary Members in the process of considering the Estimates, debating the Estimates, questioning the Ministers on what they are proposing in terms of their budgets and we have seen the Government House Leader, from the very beginning of the consideration of the Estimates, purposely, purposely misinterpret the rules, to suggest that there was in fact only three hours for each Department allocated, and he used the word allocated for each Department.

Well, there was nothing in the rules that talks about the allocation of three hours for every Department; what it says is that the time this House shall spend, shall be deducted by three hours, so it is defining the amount of time that this House shall spend on Supply by deducting three hours, it does not say that it is three hours allocated for each Department. The Government House Leader has constantly used that term and he knows that he is wrong, he knows.

You said that this afternoon for the first time. Now listen carefully to what the Minister has said. That the Minister has said all - from the very beginning except until today - has said there were three hours allocated for each Department. Now he says, today, that we deduct it. So now he has dealt with this red herring for the last month and now he recognizes that he was wrong and that he was misinterpreting the rules.

Now, I do not see how there can be any other interpretation to "at the conclusion of fifteen sitting days." It does not say 'after,' the day after, the next day, it says "at the conclusion of fifteen sitting days." So it must be at the time that the fifteenth sitting day concludes, that is when these can be voted. Not next day or next week or tomorrow or next Thursday or next Tuesday, or next October or whenever they want to meet. The Committees have a life that lasts only to the end of fifteen sitting days. At the conclusion of the fifteen sitting days they pass those subheads or else they are dead. Those Committees are - I think I will use a Latin word for some of our more educated Members - the committee is then functus. It has done its job, it is over, it is finished. Those committees are functus, they are finished, they are done.

And, Mr. Speaker, you are required to make a ruling on this prior to these Committees trying to get together to meet and come into this House. These Committees are going to try and meet. I do not think there will be anybody from this side of the House. I do not know about - I am not going to speak for them - but I do not intend to go to a meeting that is called tomorrow or next week to rubber-stamp estimates when we cannot question the Minister on them. I do not know about the Members here, but I do not intend to participate.

So the Government Members of these Committees will have a meeting, and I do not feel that it is right for me as a Member to participate in a Committee that no longer exists. So the Speaker is going to have to make a ruling prior to these meetings that are being held. Unless they are going to be held this evening.

The Minister makes a comment about the three Ministers being available last night. Well, we did have three Ministers who were supposed to be available last night, scheduled without consultation with the Committee. Scheduled last night, one at 7:00 p.m., one at 8:00 p.m., and one at 9:00 p.m. And the lack of co-operation from the first Minister, who refused to answer questions, purposely misinterpreted questions -

AN HON. MEMBER: What!?

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. HARRIS: - dragged things out, was very contentious, and could not answer questions sensibly. We ended up until 8:30, 9:00, dealing with that Minister before we could get to the next one. That is why the Minister of Health was not dealt with last night.

So all Members were willing to meet tonight. There is time to meet tonight. The Minister should be available and we should carry on. Mr. Speaker, I do not think this Committee can, after 12:00 p.m. tonight, this Committee no longer exists, and I think that the Speaker should so rule.

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

MR. BAKER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Just a very brief comment on the presentation made by the Member for St. John's East who did not really quote from anything. Simply gave a little speech, and misinterpreted what I said. I did not say that only three hours were allocated for each Estimates. If that is what he heard then he should go and see a good ear doctor.

What I said was that three hours were deducted from the Budget hours. That is what I said. Not what he claims I said. And I wish he would either get things straight or start telling the truth.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. BAKER: Because I did not say what he said I said. Now, Mr. Speaker -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. BAKER: - the only thing I want to add to what has already been said, and I thank the Leader of the Opposition for pointing it out to me, because he made a very important point.

I believe that if the intention was that tonight at midnight, that somehow the Committees had to come back here and stay until midnight and at the stroke of midnight had to all of a sudden call the heads, if that were the intent, the Standing Orders would have read exactly the way he said they read. The Standing Orders would have read that: each committee at the conclusion of the fifteenth sitting day.

Now that is what he said the Standing Orders read. And I believe he is right. Because if, Your Honour, the intent of the Standing Orders was to do it at midnight then that is exactly what the Standing Orders would have said.

However, I would like to call to the attention of Your Honour that that is not what the Standing Order says. The Standing Order says the "committee shall, at the conclusion of fifteen sitting days following" - it does not say at the conclusion of the fifteenth day. Which it would have said had it meant we immediately then had to call the heads at midnight on a certain time. "At the conclusion of fifteen sitting days." And I suggest to Your Honour that today the fifteen sitting days are over and then we can call a meeting and call the heads that have not yet been dealt with.

So I would suggest that the Leader of the Opposition is perfectly right, if the intent was to do that tonight, then the Standing Order would have read exactly the way he said it read; unfortunately, he was incorrect, he did not read it properly, and the Standing Order actually says something quite different.

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Opposition House Leader, one final comment.

MR. SIMMS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, just a final submission.

I have to bring this point to Your Honour's attention. I am sure Your Honour understands it but, obviously, the Government House Leader does not understand it. He is trying to read something into that Standing Order No. 120 which is not there. I think, if he would check with his own officials, his own experts at the Table, he will understand that the Standing Order which says, "Each committee shall, at the conclusion of fifteen sitting days", etc., etc. It does not mean literally, that at the conclusion, the heads are passed. It means, if they have not been passed before the conclusion of the fifteen days, they then must be passed, so the argument he tried to make there is really a very confusing argument. He has probably misunderstood it himself. I cannot say that I obviously understood it totally, but I did check with the Clerks at the Table, who have advised me. In other words, what is not written there is what is understood, that if they are passed before the conclusion, then they are passed. Now, that is one point.

The other point is this: For fear, the Government House Leader keeps flicking out this `midnight' - two or three times, he has mentioned this midnight sitting, and all this stuff. Now, he must be surrounded by paranoia, or something, to keep flicking that out, and that is because I made reference to it, I suppose, as being the conclusion of the fifteen sitting days, but he interpreted from that, that we were going to go, I suppose, and sit until midnight and make some kind of a big fuss and all that. That is not the point at all, and it is absolutely not the intention at all. All that needs to me be done here, that could have saved thirty minutes of unnecessary Parliamentary verbal wrangling, would have been for the Government House Leader to call the two committees that are remaining, 7:00 o'clock for a meeting here, and 7:00 o'clock for a meeting in the Colonial Building. The Committees meet, and they take as long as they wish because they are entitled to under the Standing Orders, but it might only take half an hour, or an hour, to finish up the two departments we are talking about. Maybe that is all that is required. So that would certainly resolve this whole political - because that is what it is becoming now - this whole silly wrangle, and would not put the Speaker in the position he is in. Because the Speaker should not be forced to rule on this, in my view anyway, particularly when there is time remaining. That is the only final comment I will make, Mr. Speaker.

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Government House Leader, very quickly.

MR. BAKER: One final point, Mr. Speaker.

First of all, there is a problem. Ministers have commitments. One Minister, I know, has a speaking engagement and it makes it kind of impossible to cancel at the last moment. I would like to point out to Your Honour that I would also like to get an interpretation of what is meant by a sitting day. My understanding is that a sitting day ends when the House adjourns. It is now 5:00 o'clock and the sitting day has ended, so the time is up as of now and the Committee cannot be called tonight. I would like Your Honour to get an interpretation of that, as well, because I would suggest -

MR. SIMMS: (Inaudible) Wednesday night (inaudible) out of order.

MR. BAKER: No, but tonight.

- I would suggest that the end of the fifteenth sitting day is 5:00 o'clock.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. RIDEOUT: Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Leader of the Opposition.

MR. RIDEOUT: I cannot let that foolish comment go, Mr. Speaker. Last Wednesday night, the committee sat, so therefore, if 5:00 was deemed to be the end of the sitting day -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. RIDEOUT: Mr. Speaker, the Government is losing badly this argument and they know it so that is why they are reacting the way they are. Mr. Speaker, outside of Wednesday, a normal sitting day in this House is 10:00 o'clock at night, because the House can meet any day, and Fridays it is up until 5:00 in the afternoon. Your Honour knows what a normal sitting day is. Your Honour knows what rules are provided for Wednesdays, and Your Honour knows that the committees have met Wednesday since they have been struck, so that is not valid, and it has nothing to do with the point of order. What has to do with the point of order is that at the end of the fifteenth sitting day this committee has no legal life left in it.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The Chair will recess to take this under advisement.

Recess

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

On the point of order raised by the hon. the Opposition House Leader, in the time that we have allotted to us we have done considerable research and have deliberated quite intensely on it.

I want to point out to hon. Members that the Chair does not, of course, have the power to determine when committees meet or where they meet, and the scheduling of the committee meetings is certainly to be dealt with by the Chairman and the Members of the committee and the House Leaders to decide where and when these committees meet.

On a sitting day, with respect to committees, of course, is in my interpretation, the Chair believes that according to Standing Order No. 120, a sitting day is any day that the House sits, this is for committee purposes; consequently, today's sitting, for the purpose of committees, would end at midnight tonight and, indeed, that has been the practice over the years for the committees.

One other point raised, one cannot assume, at the conclusion of the fifteen days, that the question, if it is not put, is deemed to be put and carried. Before a report is made to the House, the questions must be put in Committee. Therefore, it is the conclusion of the Chair that it is up to the Committee to act accordingly.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: This House now stands adjourned -

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Government House Leader.

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, I was listening, but, still, I do not understand the import of your ruling. Does that mean that before midnight tonight the heads must be passed? Is that what the ruling is? I did not understand it the way it was put.

MR. SPEAKER: The Chair's ruling was that before a report is made to the House, the committee has to pass the heads. In committee, they have to be put and carried or whatever. Before a report can be made, the committee has to deal with it. And I am saying that for a sitting day for a committee, it is deemed to be that 12:00 tonight would be the end of a sitting day, and that has been the past practice. Therefore, it is up to the committee to decide whether they will meet between now and then and put the question and report back to the House. I am saying that before the report is put back to the House, the committee has to put the question.

MR. BAKER: I am sorry, I just wanted to get it clear. Is Your Honour's ruling that these heads must be passed at the end of that sitting day? Must that be done tonight, or could it be done tomorrow? What is Your Honour's ruling? If, in fact, as the Opposition House Leader said, the committee cannot be called tomorrow, then, when tonight comes, and if there is no meeting between now and midnight, we are in limbo.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. BAKER: No, I am not asking Members opposite, I am asking His Honour what the ruling is, because I just want to make sure I understand his ruling.

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. SIMMS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I find it incredible that the Government House Leader has now risen twice to ask Your Honour for clarification of what he is saying. I mean, I think anybody who was listening in the House understands, at least, we understand it to be that the committee must put the heads before it can report to the House, point number one. And the other point that was raised in the debate, in the discussion, was when do the sitting days end, and the sitting days end at midnight tonight. Therefore, if the Government wants the committee to deal with this question, then they must have a meeting before midnight tonight. If they do not want to deal with the heads, well -

MR. RIDEOUT: Well, I mean, if you cannot gather that -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: What the Chair has done is given hon. Members an interpretation of the rulings and the Standing Orders as they now exist. The Standing Orders clearly state that in order to report back to the House, the question has to be put in committee, and, the fifteenth sitting days, the Chair interprets that to mean, midnight tonight would be the end of the fifteen sitting days. If that is not done, then that will be another question that will have to be dealt with, I guess, at a later date, but, in order to make the report, the question has to be put in committee.

MR. BAKER: I do not know if Members opposite realize, but this is a very important point. Your Honour is saying that you do not want to make a ruling at this point in time as to whether the vote must be put before midnight or whether the committee can actually come back tomorrow and put the vote and so on. Your Honour is not actually ruling on that. So, I would suggest to the House -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. BAKER: No, it is important. There is a loophole here and I would suggest to the House that perhaps we need to have another look at our Standing Orders to straighten out the point and make it amply clear, and my interpretation of what Your Honour said was you were not ready to rule on that particular point and that, if the point arose, it would have to be ruled on some later date.

My point in bringing it up is simply that, if in fact, the committee ceases to exist and cannot come back tomorrow, and, if we do not do it tonight, then we have a tremendously important problem that should be dealt with -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. BAKER: - in our Standing Orders, with a change in our Standing Orders. Because, if, per chance we had an obstructionist Opposition, then this could create an impossible situation for governing of the Province.

Mr. Speaker, it is now after 6:30. I would suggest that perhaps we could do the Employment and Labour Relations Estimates in the Colonial Building at about nine o'clock, to give Members time to - or as soon thereafter as possible, to get officials ready and so Members can get a bite to eat or whatever - and I believe hon. Members opposite have a meeting they need to get to - and that the other one, the Department of Health, be held here in the House at the same time.

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

MR. SIMMS: I commend the Government House Leader for finally relenting, finally recognizing the schemozzle he has caused here this evening, for us to sit here for an hour and thirty-five minutes, arguing over this point of order which he accused me of raising as being almost a silly point of order, he almost said. Now, he has just finished saying this is a very important point.

Well, I have to say to Your Honour that Your Honour's ruling, I think, is extremely important, because it is important that we know the Standing Orders and how they are interpreted. We respect Your Honour's ruling, and once again, the Opposition has proven its point, that is about the only thing I can say.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

This House now stands adjourned until tomorrow, Thursday, at 2:00 p.m.