June 2, 1992                   HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY PROCEEDINGS              Vol. XLI  No. 48


The House met at 2:00 p.m.

MR. SPEAKER (Lush): Order, please!

Before moving on with the routine business, I would like to bring to hon. members' attention the presence in the Speaker's Gallery today, of Mr. John Nolan, a former member of this House.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

Statements by Ministers

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

MR. GRIMES: Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to remind hon. members that National Access Awareness Week began yesterday, June 1 and will continue until this Sunday, June 7. The intent of recognizing this week is to create increased awareness that all persons have the fundamental right of equal access to transportation, housing, education, recreation and employment. This year's theme "Local Community Action" encourages attempts to recognize the right to access at the local level.

As most hon. members are aware, a breakfast is scheduled for tomorrow at the Hotel Newfoundland, where members of the House of Assembly will be given an opportunity to meet with individual members of the disabled community and others who promote access awareness. I feel that each member should make an extra effort to attend this gathering in order to better understand and appreciate the types of challenges certain individuals have to deal with on a daily basis.

In promoting National Access Awareness Week, the department will be conducting a seminar on building accessibility on Wednesday, with the Buildings Inspection Department of the City of Mount Pearl. The same seminar will be presented to the Buildings Inspection Department of the City of St. John's on Thursday.

Mr. Speaker, as members are well aware, the department has made efforts to increase accessibility awareness and compliance over the last couple of years and also intends to increase these efforts in the future. The completion of Accessibility Regulations is in its final draft form. Subsequent to the adoption of these regulations, the department will be conducting Province-wide seminars in an effort to increase the awareness of the new regulations and their requirements. These regulations will be followed by ongoing public awareness efforts in the form of educational pamphlets which will identify areas of the regulations which require increased public awareness and education.

The department will soon be releasing an educational pamphlet identifying accessible facilities for the disabled along the Trans-Canada Highway. This initiative will be expanded over the next year to identify such facilities along other major thoroughfares throughout the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Further to this, the department will continue to lobby the owners of those facilities which are currently exempt from the regulations in an attempt to obtain voluntary compliance, while strictly enforcing the requirements for those who have a legislative responsibility to provide for accessibility.

Other departments, Mr. Speaker, most notably, the Department of Education, are continuing their efforts to remove barriers and ensure that people with visible and non-visible disabilities have increasing access to programs and services. While National Access Awareness Week is intended to focus on issues of accessibility for seven days, efforts are continuing on a year-round basis to realize the objective of full accessibility for everyone in our society.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. WINSOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I want to thank the minister for providing me with an advanced copy. We, too, on this side of the House want to support the minister in his Statement on National Access Awareness Week because we recognize the importance that many of these people can play in our society. I notice, Mr. Speaker, that the minister signalled out areas of access to transportation, housing, education, recreation and employment. And it is well for the minister to recognize these areas but what would be more important is to have some really concrete action so that it really becomes accessible to them. For example, all along the Trans-Canada, I am told by an handicapped person, I think there is only one restaurant that is adequately equipped to handle wheelchair patients. I understand the C.N. bus for example, has only one bus that is able to take care of the handicapped and that bus is frequently broken down; so, Mr. Speaker, there is certainly a need in this Province to have buildings and facilities that are used by the public, accessible to all.

The minister indicated that tomorrow there is going to be a breakfast scheduled. A number of our members on both sides of the House attended one similar to that last year at, I think the Salvation Army place down in the east end, and I know a number from our caucus will be attending tomorrow. Indeed, it was an enjoyable learning experience as members sat with individuals with varying disabilities, and we learned what these were and had a greater appreciation of their problems, Mr. Speaker, so we intend to attend tomorrow.

The minister also makes some mention in his Statement of the accessibility regulations in his final draft form. I know that has been ongoing for a number of years and I urge the minister, if it is possible, to speed up this process, because this is taking a long time. It has been two or three years now in the making and it would be good if the minister could speed it up because there are thousands of people out there waiting. I also notice he is talking about a pamphlet to identify facilities for the disabled along the Trans-Canada.

Mr. Speaker, perhaps we could take the lead on this and also erect road signs indicating to people who have disabilities that services are available in this particular institution for people who are in wheelchairs. A pamphlet is just not adequate, Mr. Speaker, because these people have difficulty getting into the tourist chalets, especially if they are not of a provincial standard, so maybe, as a little road sign we could also put the little wheelchair there to indicate that particular facility is accessible to wheelchair patients.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.

MR. WINSOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Oral Questions.

The hon. the Leader of the Opposition.

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, on March -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I am sorry -

MR. HARRIS: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, before you call Oral Questions. If the time has passed then -

MR. SPEAKER: Pardon?

MR. HARRIS: I was on my feet for a point of order, when you called Oral Questions, but if we have already passed -

MR. SPEAKER: Well, if the House will allow, because I do not want this to come out of Question Period, if the House will allow the Chair to revert -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Agreed.

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

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I was on my feet to ask leave of the House to address the Ministerial Statement regarding National Access Awareness Week and the needs of the disabled.

MR. SPEAKER: Does the hon. member have leave to address the Ministerial Statement?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Yes.

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

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I just wanted to make it clear that the remarks of the minister concerning the importance of National Access Awareness Week were supported not only by the Official Opposition but by the New Democratic Party.

I want to join with the minister in assuring the House and all members of the public that we are very concerned that the access to transportation, housing, education, recreation and employment ought to be as a matter of right, and not only ought to be protected as it is in some of these areas, except for transportation and recreation in The Human Rights Code, but that also the regulations and the provision of government services, public buildings, whether they be privately or publicly-owned, ought to have total access available to people, regardless of their abilities.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Oral Questions

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

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, on March 11, according to Hansard, the Minister of Mines and Energy, in response to a question or some questions I was asking him then about Hibernia said, and I quote, on Page 101: I would be very concerned if by June no new partners are found.

Now, the question was obvious. He knows what the question was. I was asking about replacement of the partners for Gulf. Well, we are now into June, so I would like to take the opportunity to ask the minister how he feels today about it. Is there any reason for us, or more or less reason for us, to feel confident that new partners will be found and that that project will proceed?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Mines and Energy.

DR. GIBBONS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, the process is continuing that has been ongoing now since February. I don't mind reporting that officials from our government are meeting with officials from the federal side and with the companies on the mainland this week. I am still hopeful that there will be a positive resolution; however, there are no guarantees. We are going to have to wait awhile yet to see.

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

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, the minister continues to express optimism about the project, but it is getting rather late now, so I think it would be appropriate for him to be a bit more forthcoming to the people of the Province.

In view of the fact that the Minister of Development down in Houston some time ago had no trouble talking to the delegates at the Houston conference down there, the off shore oil conference, and kind of implied that there was something positive happening. At least the minister should be able to be straightforward with the people. So I ask him again, is there anything that has him less concerned today than he was last March? I will put it that way.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Mines and Energy.

DR. GIBBONS: Mr. Speaker, I have personally tried to avoid using the word optimism. I don't want to elevate it, or over elevate, or depress the situation. I want to be realistic about the situation, and I give a lot of credit to the companies and all others who have been involved in the search for new partners since February 14. As I said, that process is continuing. I am pleased with what I have seen from the process, and I don't think it does the process any good to be carrying on in saying more about it at this time.

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

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, we were prepared to go along with that for the last number of months, but I think it is fair now for the people in the Province to expect some straight answers from this government as to what is going on, if it knows anything about what is going on. Can the minister tell the House: do the Hibernia partners have any firm offers that he knows of to purchase this 25 per cent share that was owned by Gulf formerly? How many proposals are being considered? And can the minister indicated if the proposals involve the purchase of all or just part of the Gulf shares?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Mines and Energy.

DR. GIBBONS: Mr. Speaker, I do know what is going on. We do know what is going on, as do the federal partners on the government side in this, and as I said earlier, I don't think it is in the interest of the project for us to be debating the issue in the House. We are all hopeful that there will be a successful conclusion. There are no guarantees on that. As the process continues I think it is in the best interest of the process to allow it to continue in the way it is.

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

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, can the Minister of Mines and Energy tell us if Petro Canada is still trying to sell some of its ownership share in Hibernia? Is the search for new owners simply to replace the Gulf shares, or does it also involve efforts to sell a portion of Petro Canada shares? Does he know that, and will he tell the people?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Mines and Energy.

DR. GIBBONS: Mr. Speaker, the search is to find some one, two, three, or whatever the number might be of potential new partners to take up the Gulf share, not the part that Petro Canada might be interested in selling. That is taking a secondary position in Petro Canada itself.

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

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, we all know about the public comments that were made by Mr. Hopper, subsequent comments made by the Premier and by the minister, and certainly June, as I indicated in the minister's own response to a question I asked two months ago in March, was seen as a very critical time. The question that has to be asked, and is on the minds of people, is, what is going to happen to the project out there for this summer? Are the partners expected to make some decision some time this month as to whether they are going to proceed? Because Gulf pulls out in October, but the partners may decide much earlier than that they are not going to proceed, as the minister would know. Is this a critical time for that kind of a decision making process? If it is, does the minister expect some decision, at least some announcement, so that the people of the Province can be informed as to what is going on with the future of that project some time this month?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Mines and Energy.

DR. GIBBONS: Mr. Speaker, I do not think it is in the interests of the project, the Province or the country to be debating it in this way, in the House at this time. I think that I have been as frank, forthright and forthcoming as I can and should be. I will continue to inform the people of this Province at appropriate times when it is appropriate to do so. When there is an appropriate resolution, and I hope a positive one, it will be done in the right way with all partners participating - ourselves, the federal government and the private partners.

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

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, I will ask one final supplementary because it is obvious the minister is not going to tell anybody anything. Since this is peak construction time in this Province, and since we have such a tremendous unemployment problem, can the minister give us some indication whether or not activities on the project at Bull Arm - on the site at Bull Arm, for example - will remain at least at the level that it is now, which is I think 50 per cent level of what it was before? Will it remain at least at that level for the rest of this summer? Can he tell us that?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Mines and Energy.

DR. GIBBONS: Mr. Speaker, I cannot make commitments as to exactly what the project level is going to be as components get completed. The last report that I had on employment relative to the project had over 500 people still working at Bull Arm, almost 500 working in the St. John's area. Basically, over 1,000 working in Newfoundland on the project, and the expenditure still being in the order of about $1.5 million per day. That is continuing, but obviously some components are getting completed at the Bull Arm site. As components get completed, until new projects start, there may be some reductions over time.

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

MR. A. SNOW: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister responsible for Works, Services and Transportation. Several weeks ago, in response to a question from me regarding winter maintenance on the Trans-Labrador Highway, he suggested that there were ongoing talks with CF(L)Co and his department with regard to who is going to cover the cost of that maintenance. I wonder if he can update me on what is occurring in those talks?

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

MR. GOVER: Yes, Mr. Speaker.

With respect to winter maintenance on the Trans-Labrador Highway, as the hon. gentleman is aware a sum of money has been allocated for maintenance on the Trans-Labrador Highway, being $400,000. This sum of money is being made available to the Town of Happy Valley - Goose Bay for maintenance on the Trans-Labrador Highway. That is the amount of money that has been allocated for maintenance, and the town has not advised me as to how they intend to expend those funds for maintenance on the Trans-Labrador Highway.

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

MR. A. SNOW: Maybe the minister was listening to somebody else other than the person who was asking the question, Mr. Speaker.

My question was: What is the status of the talks between his department and CF(L)Co with regard to winter maintenance on the Trans-Labrador Highway, from Churchill Falls to Labrador West?

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

MR. GOVER: CF(L)Co has provided the department with some information, Mr. Speaker, and, as of yet, I have not communicated my position directly back to CF(L)Co in writing.

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

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

I have a question for the Minister of Fisheries. Last Thursday, May 28, the Minister of Fisheries told the House that his department had contacted the Fishermens' Committee in Long Harbour and was told that incidents of red herring reported in the area were not uncommon. He went on to say that it was nothing out of the ordinary and nothing to be concerned about. He said it happens just about every year. He went on to state that only three herring out of 1,000 pounds or so were red herring.

Given the statement this morning by the Chairman of the Fishermens' Committee from Long Harbour, I want to ask the acting minister, whoever it is: Does he now support the statement of the Minister of Fisheries of last Thursday?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, I heard the radio interview too this morning. I also heard the radio interviewer, Mr. Miller, attribute to the minister the statement of the Chairman of the Fishermens' Committee. The minister made no such statement. He didn't refer to the Chairman of the Fishermens' Committee. So, I don't where that came from.

The minister stated quite clearly that he had his officials check the matter for him and they advised him of these circumstances. But he was quite clear too that he couldn't confirm this. He didn't mean to suggest that this didn't indicate that there was a major problem. There may well be a major problem. But in case, in the three years that they have been out of office, the hon. members opposite have forgotten, the legislative, governmental, and administrative jurisdiction over matters beyond the high-water mark rests with the federal government. In particular, jurisdiction on environmental matters - that is the reality.

Now the minister has made this very clear. He is not ranting and raving about how slow the federal government is in dealing with this. They realise they need a few days to deal with it. That time has been given. No doubt, Mr. Speaker, when that information is provided the minister will do whatever is necessary or whatever is appropriate for the provincial government to do to deal with any difficulty or any difficult situation that arises. I have no doubt that the minister will attend to it.

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

MR. MATTHEWS: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I say to the Premier: nice try. But the phosphorus and the slag is certainly above the high-water mark, and what is going on below that, well, that is a matter of debate.

I want to say to the Premier that it is obvious - why is the Minister of Fisheries so ill informed about this matter? It is a serious matter. It has not happened now for years out there. It is a rich fishing grounds, just about wiped out one time before. So why would the government be so lackadaisical about this matter? Can the Premier answer that? Really, who is monitoring what is happening at Long Harbour and the affect it is having on that fishing grounds out there that could be devastated? Who is monitoring on behalf of the Province, I ask the Premier?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, the slag and phosphorous has been above the ground since 1972, and for all seventeen years that the hon. members opposite had responsibility for monitoring the activity. Now the plant closed - the closure of the plant was announced, at least, well before we took responsibility for government in May of 1989. It was announced in the fall of 1988, and in fact the plant closed in August of 1989.

Now since that time the Department of the Environment has been trying to provide for an orderly cleanup of that site. It is a major task. It is severely polluted. Because whoever was responsible for it prior to the closure of the plant did not do proper monitoring, or they were not aware of it, or for whatever reason, there is very substantiable pollution in Long Harbour that is going to take a major effort to clean up. So let's recognise that.

Now it may well be, Mr. Speaker, that there is some continuing leaching out of the slag heap or out of the settlement ponds, that there is some leaching into Placentia Bay. We have to stay on top of that. Whatever this government, whatever is within the jurisdiction of this government, we must do without any delay or without any impairment, to prevent any further pollution of Placentia Bay. It is difficult to imagine that the occurrence of these red herring in Placentia Bay at this time does not have some connection with it, bearing in mind that that was the connection when it occurred before. So it is difficult to imagine, although you have to wait until you are certain. The initial reaction is probably, most likely it has some connection with the phosphorous plant at Long Harbour. So we have to find whatever is the cause of that and have it dealt with.

In the meantime, we just cannot assume the federal government jurisdiction to monitor what goes into Placentia Bay. That is a federal responsibility - they and they alone have the jurisdiction to do that. So maybe the members opposites might turn some of their heavy political guns on their friends in Ottawa and help them put a little more pressure on what is happening out there.

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

MR. MATTHEWS: I say to the Premier: nice try again, Mr. Speaker. We all know that the Long Harbour phosphorous plant was a proud initiative of the former Liberal administration. It would not surprise me that the Premier was a member of that. So the Premier can squirm about the last seventeen years or so all he wants, but there is a problem out there and we have all been shocked to find out that toxic effluents are still being pumped into the ocean from Long Harbour.

Now the federal government is not pumping it into the ocean. They may be responsible below the high-water mark, I say to the Premier, but it is still being pumped out there. So I ask the Premier again: isn't the Department of Environment and Lands or the Department of Fisheries monitoring this situation to see what is happening in Long Harbour? It is frightening what is happening there. You just can't slough it off and say: it's a federal government responsibility, or below the high-water line, or whatever he is referring to. Take some responsibility and monitor it.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Get this accurate. To the best of my knowledge, nothing of the kind is being pumped into Placentia bay. There may be some leaching from the slag heaps that have been built up there over the last twenty years or so. There may be some leaching from the settlement ponds, but nothing is being pumped into Placentia Bay, and for the hon. member to use that language is grossly irresponsible, to say the least.

Now I say again, this government cannot walk in, push the federal government aside and take over responsibility for monitoring the impact in the waters in Placentia Bay.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

PREMIER WELLS: It does not matter where it occurs. If it comes from the land into the water it is still a federal jurisdiction, and they and they alone have jurisdiction in relation to the matter.

Now they are doing it. They are supposed to be doing it. They have assured the minister and others that they have been doing it. I heard interviews on the radio, too, with officials of the department that has given assurance that they have been doing it. Well we have to see and check, and if they have not, we may have to find some means of making sure that we will do it. But there is no sense in both expending taxpayers dollars to do the same thing. It is normally a federal responsibility. Let the federal government do it.

If they are failing in their duty, then we may well have to find some alternative means to ensure that in the future protection is provided. But in the meantime I am told by the minister, and told by others, that DFO are having the matter assessed on an urgent basis and they should, within a day or so, know what the real cause is.

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

MR. MATTHEWS: Let me ask the Premier a final supplementary, Mr. Speaker.

Is the dumping of toxic waste into the bay part of the cleanup process which his provincial government has approved for Long Harbour? I want him to answer that, and probably he can answer something else for me. Has the Minister of Fisheries or the Department of Fisheries made representation or expressed concern about the proposed incinerator project for Long Harbour, and the impact that they may have on those rich fishing grounds? Can he answer two of those?

AN HON. MEMBER: Which department?

MR. MATTHEWS: The Department of Fisheries. Has the minister or the department expressed concern to you, as Premier, and your other Cabinet colleagues, about the possible impact that this incinerator project for Long Harbour may have on the fishing grounds that are already being polluted now by what was there before?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: The first question, or part of the question, Mr. Speaker, is really too silly to give much credence to. To suggest that the government is approving the disposal of toxic waste into Placentia Bay is utter madness. I do not even think the former government would have done that. Maybe they would have, but I do not think even they would have been so foolish as to do that. Maybe I am giving them too much credit, but it really does not deserve an answer.

The second part of the question is: What advice, or what opinion any minister, no matter who it is - what opinion or what advice any minister gives the government is the advice of the government and is not the advice of the individual minister.

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

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

My question is for the Premier.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The Chair has recognized the hon. the Member for St. John's East.

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

My question is for the Premier in regard to the Long Harbour proposal for the importation and incineration of garbage from the Eastern Seaboard.

I want to ask the Premier whether or not he is satisfied that the people of this Province have already directed their minds to this project and have decided that they do not want to have Newfoundland, whether it be Long Harbour or any other place, be the garbage dump of North America; and regardless of the technical merit or otherwise of the incineration project, is the Premier not prepared to take some leadership and provide some leadership on this and say no now so that the people of Newfoundland and Labrador will not be concerned for the next couple of years about whether or not this is going to happen, and destroy the future of this Province?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: There are several questions and several misstatements in that, Mr. Speaker.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

PREMIER WELLS: Yes, usually. There frequently are misstatements from the opposite side.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

PREMIER WELLS: I do not know, but I would like to find out one of these days. I keep trying. At least I keep trying. My problem is with people who do not care whether they are or not. That is my real concern.

I have nearly lost the -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

PREMIER WELLS: I have nearly lost the gist of the question, but just let me -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

PREMIER WELLS: Just let me get back to it.

The first question, as I recall was: Is the government satisfied that the people of this Province have already spoken, and decided? No, I am not satisfied. Undoubtedly a significant number of people have expressed a view. Even the members opposite found a cause, a parade, and said, let's go find a parade and we can appear as though we are leading the parade, and that is exactly what they did.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

PREMIER WELLS: I know that. That is a display of leadership; but no, I am not satisfied, because the process that enables the judgement hasn't taken place. You see, Mr. Speaker, here I give the former government credit. They brought in a piece of legislation for environmental assessment and management and basically it is pretty sound. It requires, not only requires, it mandates that the minister shall do an assessment of a variety of kinds of proposals or resource developments that could have environmental impact. The minister has no alternative but to do an assessment. As a matter of fact, if the minister refused he could well be on the receiving end of a court order directing the minister to do so. So that process is there.

When that is done, I am satisfied and my own view is the people of this Province will probably speak loudly against the proposal, but you can't deprive them of the opportunity to have the full facts so that they can make a sound and sensible judgement on the matter. Nobody that I know of, nobody, not a single person on this side of the House, wants Newfoundland to be the garbage dump of North America, anymore than the member opposite does.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

PREMIER WELLS: No, we won't have anything to do with it. But we are not so blindly prejudiced, Mr. Speaker, as to say: If we see a parade, we will run out and pretend that we are leading it, no matter what the consequences are, and make the decision. We don't operate in that way. We comply with the law, albeit a law that the members opposite brought in, that requires that process to take place.

The member understands the fundamental principles of natural justice. He is quite familiar with that phrase, I am sure, that entitles people to be heard. It is a simple proposal. Then, when it is clearly indicated that the proposal is unacceptable from a physical, a psychological, an economic, or any other kind of environmental terms, if it is unacceptable, you will find this government saying no very, very quickly. We are not so stupid as to just blindly say no to everything.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Premier knows that his government can make a law to ban the importation of garbage. So he can't hide behind legislation. The estimates, Mr. Speaker, are that even in household garbage there are fifteen pounds of toxic chemicals produced per year. Why can't the government say now that whether it is thirty tons or 300,000 tons that these proponents intend to bring into this Province, that this Province will not accept imported garbage, whether it be from the United States of America or from the Mainland or other places. Why not say no now? We don't need what the Minister of Environment called a horrendous amount of public input. Why don't we have some leadership and some decision making? Why put everybody through it? Why let the federal government spend millions more of public money to dangle this prospect before the Newfoundland people?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, what the federal government does or how it spends it's money is of concern to the Province, but we have no control over it. I only wish we did.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. TOBIN: It won't be long now.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, this is not a proposal of the provincial government. The government is not proposing such a facility. We do not propose that facility at Long Harbour. The investors who want to propose it for consideration have suggested they are going to put forward a proposal. They may not. None have been put forward yet. None have been put forward to the best of my knowledge. I don't know of any minister of government who has received any such proposal. I know it is under consideration. I am aware that they are considering making such a proposal.

Now, Mr. Speaker, the normal

MR. SIMMS: Squirm. Squirm.

AN HON. MEMBER: You should know about that.

PREMIER WELLS: Now, there is real leadership! There is real leadership! Now, you know why there was a rejection.

Mr. Speaker, I am going to give some credit to the former Premier, Mr. Peckford, whom I also heard interviewed this morning. He expressed the view that: What the proponents should be looking at is burning the garbage that is in Newfoundland, not importing it. That is what he is suggesting. Put an incinerator in Long Harbour, but give priority to burning the garbage that is here. Then if you need extra to make it profitable or to make it viable economically, well then give consideration. But what he said is we should be looking at managing our own garbage in this Province instead of worrying about managing the garbage for the New England States.

Now the only one thing wrong with that is that we are not worried about managing the garbage of New England. The proponents of this proposal, which is not the government, the proponents of this proposal have developed this probably because of the quantity - I don't know. Maybe because of the cost of collecting garbage in Newfoundland. But I remind hon. members that is exactly what the environmental process is for, to consider and hear all those views and suggest that instead of bringing in garbage from outside the Province we should be collecting the garbage within the Province and managing our own waste on that basis. But let the environmental process take its normal course.

So the former Premier has made a point, although I don't necessarily agree with him on all the comments that he made, but I give him credit for that. He may have made a good point.

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

MR. HARRIS: Mr. Speaker, why is the Premier and the government backing off on providing real leadership on this issue? That is what the people want on this issue; real leadership. That is what the people need. Why is the government backing off and hiding behind an environmental process the same way as they are hiding behind Enterprise Newfoundland and Labrador on economic issues. Why are they backing off instead of providing the real leadership that they were elected to provide?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: The difference is the hon. member does not recognize leadership. He doesn't know what it means. Leadership is not being pushed from behind like members opposite. They see a parade, so put me out there so I can be pushed along by a group that wants to make a lot of noise. That is not leadership. That is pushship. Leadership is yourself going out front and taking the firm position, and leading the Province. That is what the hon. member is not familiar with. That is what you are getting from this government, and I am sorry he doesn't recognize it.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. WOODFORD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question also was to the Minister or Fisheries, so I suppose it is the Premier in this case.

As the Premier is probably aware, if not he should be, the crab fishery, especially along the northeast coast in the 3K zone, has been experiencing some real problems in the last little while - no place to sell their catch. And other areas, especially from 3L up into the 3K zone taking it, thereby using up the quota. Can the Premier tell the House if he is aware first of all of what is being experienced by those particular fishermen, and what plans his government has to deal with it?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Yes, Mr. Speaker, I am aware that there is a problem. I don't pretend to have the full details of the knowledge. It is not new. It has been on the go for several months. It is not a new problem that has just now arisen. There has been a glut of crab in the northeast coast area in the last several months. As a matter of fact I believe the crab processors carried over a very substantial inventory last fall that they couldn't market. I think that is correct. The Member for Bonavista South tells me that is correct, and I understand that. The member confirms that this is in fact so.

Now what the government can't do is fabricate markets for crab. It is incredible that the fish plants have markets for cod and other species that they can't find, then get lots of crab and they can't get enough markets for them. It is one of those thinks. The government just simply can't fabricate the market. Yes, there is a problem. Yes, the government is aware of it and has been aware of it and has been dealing with it for a number of months. I would have to ask the department specifically for what action has been taken, what help they have been trying to give and so on. But I am prepared to do that and bring the information to the House.

MR. SPEAKER: Question Period has expired.

Notices of Motion

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

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, I give notice that I will on tomorrow ask leave to introduce a bill, "An Act To Amend The Election Act Respecting The Holding Of A Plebiscite In The Province."

Orders of the Day

MR. BAKER: Order 2, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Order 2, the continuation of the Concurrence motion.

Is the House ready for the question?

On motion, report of Government Services Estimates Committee, carried.

MR. BAKER: Order l.

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

Committee of the Whole

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

The hon. the President of Treasury Board.

MR. BAKER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

This is the beginning of the examination of the Estimates of the Executive Council. As all members know, included in this would be Government House, the Premier's Office, Cabinet Secretariat, Treasury Board Secretariat, IGA, Newfoundland Information Services, Women's Policy Office, the Hibernia project implementation and monitoring and the Advisory Council on the Economy.

MS. VERGE: The Advisory Council on the Status of Women.

MR. BAKER: Yes, I mentioned that.

MS. VERGE: You said Women's Policy Office.

Oh, that budget comes under Women's Policy Office. I thought it did. Anyway, we will have a look through and see.

Mr. Chairman, I don't know if I need to say anymore. All I need to point out is that I am ready to receive all the slings and arrows of outrageous rhetoric that I am sure are going to come from the opposite side.

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

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Chairman, this covers a whole range of territory, I guess, this particular debate, even though specifically, I guess, it covers the expenditures of the Premier's Office. It covers the Secretariat that serves the Cabinet. It covers the office of the President of the Council. It covers the Treasury Board aspect of governing which then covers just about everything, collective bargaining, in particular, and the expenditure portion of the Budget, in particular. In reality, of course, it also covers Intergovernmental Affairs, the budget for the Intergovernmental Affairs Secretariat, so I suppose you can talk about constitution, you can talk about native issues, you can talk about just about anything. That is the reality, because this whole area deals with the Premier who is the Leader of the government. We have always argued that you can talk about or ask questions about anything so that is precisely what I intend to do. I am not going to spend my first few moments in this debate because we will have lots of time in the days and weeks ahead, I guess, to deal with it, until the time runs out, twenty hours or so remaining. Throughout the course of that twenty hours, we will have an opportunity to ask specific financial questions about the offices of the Premier, the offices of the President of Treasury Board, and the Women's Policy Office, for which he is responsible and of which he has a tremendous knowledge about all the issues pertaining there.

I wanted to address a couple of issues of more of a local concern to me, a district concern, in my constituency of Grand Falls, because I don't get an opportunity too often to pose questions of that nature.

I just explained to the Premier that I don't intend to get into the detailed estimates of his department today - we will have twenty hours to do that, but I want to take the opportunity while I have it to ask some questions of other ministers, because we are dealing with the whole government and the Premier who is the leader of the government. I have some questions pertaining to my constituency and perhaps I might be able to entice the Minister of Education, or perhaps the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation to respond to in the debate. I think we are using ten minutes at a time so they will be short and sweet. I have a question on fisheries and I also have a question on health care, or at least, social services. That minister isn't here but maybe the Government House Leader will be able to respond. Let me deal with the first issue that I want to address today, of a constituency nature, and say to the Minister of Education, in particular, and to the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation, both of whom are involved in this issue that I wish to raise. and it applies to the question - as we all know, the government, the Minister of Education would certainly be aware of it because I know he is getting lots of heat out of it. The government has backed off from yet another one of its election promises and that is the promise of constructing or building a university in Central Newfoundland, they backed off on that.

While we are waiting for that promise to be fulfilled by this government, should they be there long enough to fulfil that promise, we have a community college in operation in Central Newfoundland, with campuses in Lewisporte, Springdale, Baie Verte, Gander and Grand Falls, with the headquarters in Grand Falls for the college. Now, that college, I say to the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation, is in its fifth year of operation, as he may or may not be aware, and they have a tremendous record in the post-secondary education field, in particular. They have some of the best records, I guess, in terms of passing and grades of passing of any of the campuses at Memorial University, either the main campus here in St. John's or the main campus in Corner Brook, so they have had a tremendous amount of success, considering the fact that they have operated under some pretty difficult circumstances.

The Minister of Works, Services and Transportation would be aware, no doubt, that one of the buildings that is rented by the campus in Grand Falls, is an old substandard school that was owned by the Roman Catholic parish out there, and he would also be aware that from a proposal, I think, that has been put forth, at least to his officials - I hope he is aware of it - that it would require major expenditures to upgrade that school that the college now rents to bring it up to standard. It would cost an awful lot of money and it is only rented from the R.C. parish.

That school that they presently use is not accessible; the school, I think it is two kilometres - a mile-and-a-half - two kilometres away from the main campus, which is up by the provincial building in the old district vocational school. The rental costs for the old school, the NDA school owned by the R.C. parish, is considerable and it takes a lot of the college's budget. And apparently, there has been an assessment done that if they were to utilize the underutilized space at the main campus building, some 11,000 square feet, I think, which is available, if they could renovate that and utilize that space, no longer need to rent the old school building and so on, it would be accessible, it would address a lot of the concerns that the college people have and would make a great deal of sense to develop this particular area in order to correct those particular problems

So, I would like to ask the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation, if he would participate in this debate briefly, by answering whether or not he is aware of all of those problems.

Perhaps the Minister of Education would be kind enough to tell me if he is aware of them, and I am sure he is, as well. But, since it is the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation, to whom a proposal has been made for a $400,000 renovation project, I assume the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation would want to answer, since he has had the proposal, or his department has received the proposal.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: Okay, the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation doesn't know anything about it so he is going to ask the Minister of Education to answer for him - that's fine. I also understand, I say to the Minister of Education, I think the college, from news reports, at least public reports, understand that the government is considering this project proposal of $400,000 capital, and are expecting some response sometime in the near future. One news report said in two weeks or something they were hoping to have some decision on it because they wanted to get work underway now, to obviously make it available, I suppose, for the start of the new school year in September. So that is one aspect and an immediate concern that exists at the college.

The second aspect of the college is the longer term, I say to the Minister of Education. In the longer term, more space is going to be needed to expand that college, which is having such great success, because, for example, the headquarters office and staff is located at a rent-a-building downtown, the guidance centre is outside the main campus building, the literacy outreach and continuing education centre is over in another building, and so on. So they are just scattered all over the place and still away from the main campus. But there is space available. I know, a few years back, when we first put it there, there was some look towards the future and what you might do. There is another old school building nearby it, there is land around it and so on.

I want to ask the minister if he would also comment, when he stands, and tell us what efforts are being made - I am sure his department would have to be aware of them and involved - and maybe what the Department of Works, Services and Transportation is doing to address those problems in the long term, but also tell me if he is aware of the problem with the short term and the immediate request for $400,000, I think, to help deal with the short-term issue and the old school, which they are now occupying, which is no longer up to standard, not suitable. The fire chief and the fire department out there, I think, have a lot of problems with it and so on.

So maybe I will just leave it at that and then I will get up again and ask the Minister of Social Services the question I wanted to ask him about home care and things like that, if the minister is prepared to participate, of course.

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

DR. WARREN: Mr. Chairman, the hon. member has most of the facts. I have very little to add, really, other than I wouldn't expect any major decisions, even for $400,000, in the short term.

What we are doing, I guess, in elementary and secondary education and what we are doing at the university and college level is trying to look at the long term.

If I might just digress for a moment, we are putting together perhaps the first long-term capital construction for elementary and secondary in the history of this Province. We are looking at needs over the long term. I don't know how we are going to fund it once we get it all together and the Royal Commission Report is assessed. We are doing a total evaluation of the 525 schools in the Province and we are looking at what the options are for the future, and we may have to look at long-term funding for that.

Now, in the same way, we have asked the university to indicate its needs over the long term. For example, residential space is a major problem. We are not sure what kind of student accommodation we will need on campus. So the university is looking at the long-term capital needs, including Grenfell, and possible other developments at that level.

With respect to the colleges, I think the member is aware that I have had meetings on this. I don't have all the details of the conversations we have had. I don't recall all of the details, but there was a presentation made to the government some months ago to take some short-term initiatives and I am having my staff look at these. I want to be perfectly frank with the member and say that it is not likely to happen in the short term. The college is doing an outstanding job. I would agree with his comments on the quality of the programs that are being offered and the diversity of programs for students, literacy and other programs. There is some excellent work being done, but we haven't yet prepared a plan for capital development in that region.

One reason, I guess, to be perfectly frank again, is that we don't have the resources to do what the government would like to do in capital, whether it is in health care or in education or in other areas. These are difficult times and we are using this period of economic restraint to put together a plan for the future, and we are doing that in Central Newfoundland.

So I want to guarantee the member that we are aware of the needs of that region. We know that some expansion has to take place, but we are going to put together an overall plan. For example, how much should be decentralized. We have other campuses. There may be space in other campuses where some programs can be put and then use that space in Grand Falls for other purposes. There are schools available and I visited some of the schools. I visited an area where there is possibility for residence. We have looked at those. There is a residence there and it is a pretty good facility. I found the facility is a good facility; a good location, good quality construction, and I think that is the kind of thing we have to examine. On the central university, I think that is going to be on hold for a period of time, but certainly we are looking at the needs of the college in total.

I am not optimistic about what can be done this year, but we will continue our assessment and we will meet with the board again in the near future to outline our long-term proposals and consult with them. I can't be more optimistic than that about the short-term, Mr. Chairman. I thank the hon. member for his question.

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

MR. SIMMS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I thank the minister for being forthright. I am really glad he cleared up a misconception because I honestly believed that the word was around that they were expecting a response to this request in two weeks, and I will tell him why.

I will just read from a newspaper story, I guess it was Monday, May 25, so it is only seven days old in the Advertiser, Grand Falls - Windsor. You saw the story. A $400,000 project would provide classroom space for first year programs and so on. Discussions have been held with provincial Works, Services and Transportation Department officials, and preliminary plans have been reviewed said Sheila McKinnon - Drover, the college president. Quote: "They see this as a viable project and an efficient utilization of space," end of quote. That is something, I guess, that the minister agrees with as well as I do. But where the difference is, in the next paragraph it says: 'College officials expect to hear from government over the next two weeks whether or not the project has been approved.' That is what the story said, you see.

So presumably that was in their discussions, not with his department but with the Department of Works, Services and Transportation, and that is why I asked the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation if he would answer that question. The Minister of Education just finished saying - and he can nod if I am interpreting correctly - it is not very likely that this year that will occur at all.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SIMMS: But I think he said in his comments it is not very likely that will occur. We will review Hansard if we have to, but there is no need of getting into it.

AN HON. MEMBER: It is not very likely that (inaudible).

MR. SIMMS: This year, right. However, they seem to think from their discussions with Works, Services and Transportation - I really wish the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation would be able to comment on it because there is confusion again going to be created out in that central Newfoundland area. I assure you I will be advising the press and the people out there of what is going on. I want to get some answers. I would like the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation maybe to take a moment to tell me. If he is not familiar with it, that is fine. He can get an answer for me and give it another day, but I really think it is important because there could be some confusion here because they expect a response, I think, according to the newspaper at least.

She even went on to say by the way, I say to the minister, that she would like to see the project completed by the end of the year. Realistically though, September of 1993 would be a more probable date, but it would mean that construction would have to get under way and plans and all the rest of it this fiscal year. The most important thing, she says, of course is the renovations would save the college about $500,000 a year in its operating budget. So I presume the government would want to be excited about the potential for the college to save $500,000 in its operating budget if you can spend $400,000 from the capital budget to make the changes that would bring about that $500,000 in savings in operating. I don't know if the President of Treasury Board was listening, but I noticed his ear cocked up.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SIMMS: Yes. They are looking for $400,000 in capital to make some changes to the college in Grand Falls at the campus so that they would not have to rent the old NDA next to the Roman Catholic Church in Grand Falls, which is a substandard building. By making these changes and moving out of that building and everything, it would save the college $500,000 in its operating budget annually.

So what they are saying, I think - pardon me?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SIMMS: Yes. That is correct. The renovations would save the college about $500,000 per year in its operation budget. There may be more to it than that, but that is a big part of it.

So the capital expenditure of $400,000 seems like a pretty reasonable trade-off if they are going to be able to save up to $500,000 in their budget annually.

I hope that the government will respond, and I hope the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation might give me his views of the thing from his perspective, or his department's perspective, as soon as he can. If he does not have it today, maybe he can do it tomorrow or Thursday or whatever.

I want to ask the Government House Leader, I guess. I do not mean to interrupt him. I apologize for interrupting him. I am sorry to be asking questions like this. I apologize for asking questions. I am sorry. Where is the acting Minister of Fisheries?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SIMMS: They are all looking around wondering who it is. I would expect it is probably at this stage the fourth one down the line; anyway, the Government House Leader. I am going to read a short letter, if I might, to bring it to the attention of the Government House Leader. My friend from Windsor - Buchans I am sure is aware of this one. This is a letter written to the provincial Department of Fisheries three or four days ago, May 28, to Frank Pinhorn. Frank is the Director of Processing Operations over in fisheries. It is written by the Lions Club in Grand Falls. I received a copy of the letter.

The letter goes like this: For the past number of years, I think it is something like fifteen years, The Lions Club in Grand Falls has had a fund-raiser, a lobster boil. The boil usually took place from the premises of a local business who had generously over the years donated propane. They did it on the lot of the propane store out there, and they did it free of charge.

The lobsters were cooked in plain view of all the buyers, in stainless steel boilers constructed specifically for that purpose, and usually when the lobsters came out of the pot there were buyers waiting to purchase same. Consequently, there was never any chance of cooked lobsters being contaminated while waiting to be sold. So on, and so on, and so on. I will not go into all of that, but they wanted the lobsters at fair price and fresh lobsters cooked while they waited and so on - a fifteen year project.

Now the proceeds received from that project have been used to support many other service projects. The main ones: sponsorship of the Girl Guides; donations to the upkeep of the Max Simms Camp for the Handicapped, and so on.

This year's lobster boil was set for Saturday, May 23. All the arrangements had been put in place and on Friday, May 22, the day before at 2:30, they received word from the Department of Fisheries provincially that some person, or somebody had informed them of the sale, and there is apparently a regulation that prohibits such a sale. It does not prohibit it. I talked to Frank Pinhorn about it. It is an extension of a regulation that is in place now; but the point is, and they wanted to make the point, they were ordered to cancel the lobster boil.

In the meantime, The Lions Club go on to say, of course, that that presented problems for them. They had to advertise about the cancellation. They had to cancel the purchase of the lobster. Maybe they had to pay some money up front in commitments; I do not know. But they go on to say that other vendors were across the street, and the minister knows the Exploits Valley Mall. The propane building is right across the street from the mall, so they closed down the Lions fifteen year lobster boil, and across the street in the Exploits Valley Mall there were other vendors that same day boiling lobsters and selling them.

Of course naturally The Lions Club is pretty upset about it. I phoned Frank Pinhorn about it, and it is not his problem. There is a regulation. If they get a complaint, yes, they have to do something about it. I said - pardon?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SIMMS: They had a complaint; but The Lions Club point was that they should have had the foresight enough to see that maybe the person or persons who made the complaint initially did not have something to gain from their actions. In other words, it might have been somebody across the lot.

They are very upset by it obviously, naturally, and they have written a letter to the editor and all of this stuff. So I said to Frank Pinhorn: Maybe what is needed is there should be some look at the regulations. That seems to me to be probably stretching it. He said the reason for it is because of fish and the concern about the way fish has been treated when it is taken out of water and -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SIMMS: Yes. But a lobster boil by a service club should not really be - and maybe the regulation is broad enough that it means that. It probably should not do that. So maybe the minister might want to check that out. I indicated I would raise it in the House just to point out the silliness of it, because it does seem to be pretty extreme.

Now, Mr. Chairman, one other thing I want to raise while I am on my feet, if I can, to the Minister of Social Services. I was away from the House last week but I read Hansard where my colleague, the Member for Grand Bank, raised some very legitimate questions with the minister concerning home care services. This was on May 22, in the House. I am just glancing at Hansard now. The minister said, in response to questions from the Member for Grand Bank, that to his knowledge at this point: "...we do not have anybody who has been denied service." Talking about the home care service under the enrichments program of his Department. "...[A]t this point to my knowledge we do not have anybody who has been denied service."

The minister goes on to say: "We have not denied anybody who has asked for the service and can justify the need for the service... we have not denied anybody. I have had a few cases where I've had to - with the executive staff - make a decision that we do proceed and provide the service." In other words, he had to intervene, I guess. "Even though we are limited by way of budget."

He goes on to say: "You can't deny people the services if they are justified and if they can make the case, and we deem that the service is necessary and has to be provided. I do not know of a case where we have denied service where it has been deemed that it is justified." That is a quote right straight from Hansard.

Further on the Member for Grand Bank talked about having talked to some officials in the Harbour Grace office, where it was confirmed for him that budgets had been frozen, then you got into that aspect in Question Period. The minister said that: "...even though budgets are frozen, and this budget amount is frozen, we do have to deal with cases over and over...", and et cetera.

Now the reason I raise it, Mr. Chairman -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SIMMS: Okay. Can I have maybe just a few minutes?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. CHAIRMAN: By leave.

MR. SIMMS: The reason I raise it is because I believe my friend for Burin - Placentia West may have raised an issue a couple of weeks earlier quite similar to that. The Member for Grand Bank has raised it now. I hear it around the - the Cabinet table. Not quite yet! Pretty soon, I guess. I hear it around the caucus table quite frequently. Members on this side of the House. I dare say members on that side - I would expect members -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SIMMS: They are on notice. We are going to have a very small Cabinet.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. SIMMS: We are going to have a very small Cabinet. Anyway, the point is that the issue and the problem is being raised I think more every day than it has been before and I think the minister is aware of that. I had a call myself. In Grand Falls there is a health care service. Private, just opened up out there a couple of months back. I think it is called Olsten HealthCare. I think they had one in here in St. John's as well. They hire retired nurses or retired nursing assistants, professionally trained people. When the service is requested, they can fill the service with professionally trained people, people who have the proper training.

The company, Olsten HealthCare, has a number of registered nurses, retired, and a number of registered nursing assistants, retired, or part-time, available and on the list, professionally trained people who can give this proper home care. The problem is, a lot of the people who require the service cannot afford it, and have to seek some help from social assistance. But under the social assistance enrichment needs program - the minister has pretty well acknowledged - the funding has been basically frozen, and I guess they must address each case on an individual basis. I think that is what he is saying but I am not quite sure.

But there is a real need out in my area I know of, Grand Falls - Windsor, a real need. I checked with this particular company, for example, and they said they had three people in fact right now, who as far as they could tell, needed the home care and were justified in seeking it and so on, but who had gone to social services in Grand Falls - Windsor and were unable to get the necessary funding approved from social service because, as she understood it, they did not have the funding to provide so that Oleson Health Care could pay, or hire, these professionally trained people, nurses or whatever.

It seems to me to be a problem that is mushrooming and growing because I hear it in several places and I want to raise it here today because I have gotten calls from my own constituency. Since the minister is here in the House I want to raise it in the hope that he might take a few minutes to perhaps tell us how big a problem it is and what he is trying to do to address it. Is he in fact addressing it on an individual basis?... because if he has to do that as minister of the department it is going to take an awful lot of his time to address every individual single case. I think there has to be a broader way of addressing that particular problem. The President of Treasury Board is gone and I was hoping he was going to make a comment on the fishery, the Lions Lobster Boil that I raised, but maybe he will later on. The Minister of Social Services hopefully might comment on the issue I raise here.

MR. GULLAGE: Mr. Chairman, I welcome the opportunity to try to answer some of the concerns and questions of the Leader of the Opposition.

Home care, as he has already said, is very much a current problem in the sense that it is growing. The demand for home care is growing I would suggest in all parts of the Province. The largest growing segment of our population is seniors and as that seniors segment of the population continues to grow and continues to place demands on us, demands on the health care system, of course in the first instance, and demands on social services and programs within my department, it is going to be a real challenge, Mr. Chairman.

As the Leader of the Opposition has already suggested we are trying to address those challenges throughout the Province right now. Many of the members of the House on both sides have had conversations with me about their districts and about individual situations that we have been addressing, or have addressed, as a result of their intervention or indeed we were probably looking into in any case. The difficulty from our perspective is trying to identify - and I am speaking now, of course, on behalf of the worker in the field, the social worker, and other professionals and workers who have to deal with these cases. The difficulty is trying to make a fair decision and a fair assessment of a particular client, or clients.

We have situations, of course, where a family is available to look after these seniors in a home setting and refuse, for whatever reasons, to do so. We have other situations where the need is genuine and there is just nobody available in the community or nobody available from the immediate family or from the extended family to provide the care and we are left in a situation where we simply have to assist, whether it be on an enhanced basis where the couple, or the individual, cannot afford the care and we have to assist from a monetary standpoint, or whether it be simply assisting with the assessment and finally determining the level of care that is necessary.

Often we provide limited hours where family help is available for some part of the day, or other help is available, and in other cases we have to provide care literally around the clock. It depends, Mr. Chairman, on the health of the client, or clients, and it depends on the availability of, as I suggested, of family, extended family, and friends to assist. These assessments are never easy and, as has been suggested, often we do get a rejection in the field; it gets up to the regional office level, and beyond that point, of course, either the MHA or the family, or indeed, the individual, himself or herself, or the couple, come directly to the executive level in my department and we deal with it.

But we have, as I said, difficult decisions to make with a Budget that is frozen in this area, but can only be frozen to the point that - we have to provide service, Mr. Chairman, and frozen is a word in social services, in many parts of my department, that just cannot be applied. It is one thing to say that your budget is set and you can't expand on it and you can't exceed it, but it is another thing to say that you are going to deny service, and if, indeed, the need is justified and can be justified and deemed necessary and the alternatives are not there for the individual or individuals, in a given family circumstance, then the home care has to be provided. So we are going through this difficult transition period, Mr. Chairman, where home care is a growing phenomenon, there is no question about that.

We are trying to assess, and I have asked for an assessment to be done of the costs of the alternatives, the cost of providing space and care for an individual in the setting of a hospital or other institution and other location other than the home, and how that stacks up against the cost of home care. That assessment is being done right now, but, Mr. Chairman, there is no question, and I think the Association for Community Living and others who are involved particularly close to this problem, agree, and are pressing for an increased emphasis on home care of all kinds, not just with seniors but with the disadvantaged, both physically and mentally, and those who are presently accommodated in group homes, in hospitals and institutions.

There is an increasing emphasis and change taking place, shift if you like, towards having people cared for in a home setting or as close as we can get to a home setting. The problem is, of course, as I have already mentioned, trying to have the family, if a family is available or extended family or friends, provide the care instead of having the government step in and have to provide the dollars necessary to provide that care from government sources. So this is a very difficult area, but I have to say it is a growing need.

The demand for it is growing day by day and we are trying, Mr. Chairman, to deal with it as best we can; we are looking at all the alternatives; indeed, we may find that the alternatives - and I am sure it is true in most cases, particularly hospital care, the alternatives are more expensive than the home care solution. But we cannot have it open-ended, Mr. Chairman, we have to continually monitor it and, where possible, encourage people to, or encourage families to look after their own, to look after their parents, to look after other family who need this home care.

But also, Mr. Chairman, as I said earlier, that is not possible because they are working, or for other reasons they just won't provide the care and we are left in situations, particularly with people who have real need of assistance for often, twenty-four hours a day; but for varying numbers of hours per day, we are left in a situation where, if that is deemed to be the case, then, Mr. Chairman, we have to provide the care. We just cannot leave seniors in their homes unattended if there is no other option available to us.

So, Mr. Chairman, from my perspective, as a minister, I can only say that we are monitoring this situation very closely. It is a growing need in the Province and, in concert with my colleague, the Minister of Health, we are constantly looking at the health care system, looking at services available to my department, trying to come up with good, long-term solutions, as cost-effective as we can and keeping in mind the need and the necessity to provide care where it is deemed necessary. Thank you.

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

MR. WINSOR: Mr. Chairman, I feel compelled to respond to some of the things the minister has said, because yesterday I had first-hand involvement in services to seniors and home care because I was part of an appeals procedure.

Mr. Chairman, whether the minister wants to believe it or not, what we have in this Province now is a two-tiered system of care for seniors. Those who were already on the system and have been for the past two or three years are able to get home care services. Those who are now in need of it have been denied. The minister can say as often as he wants and as loud as he wants, that no one will be denied if they need it. The fact of the matter is, the minister should check to see the number of appeals that the Social Assistance Appeals Board have heard in the past few days in their hearings, see how many of them have been related to home care services. The minister will find that the majority, an overwhelming majority, of the cases that have been heard by that board have been for home care services. Mr. Chairman, not only does the minister need to have a look at the policy as it presently is, I think there is a need for a complete change in home care services in this Province.

I want to give the minister a specific example, without mentioning any names, of a senior citizen who is eighty-three years old. His wife recently died and he was unable to care for himself and he had to move into his son's house. The medical people have said that this gentleman needs twenty-four hour a day care and the family have provided it for the past year. They have found it has become very burdensome and tiresome, for the gentleman or his wife to have to be with this elderly man twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. So they went to the Department of Social Services and requested some home care support. Mr. Chairman, they weren't asking for very much. They asked the department to supply some respite care for three weekends out of a month, six days out of a month, and they would still continue to care for the elderly gentleman for the remainder of the month, the twenty-four or twenty-five days. It was turned down, Mr. Chairman, at the local office.

An appeal was subsequently launched at the Administrative Review Committee and that, too, was turned down. I wrote the minister on his behalf and the minister referred it to the Appeals Board. Mr. Chairman, we knew before we went to the Appeals Board that we couldn't win the case, because of a mechanism the department has in place whereby the gentleman is a senior citizen who gets old age pension and old age supplement coming something in the range of, I think, $800 a month. Because he is moved out of his home, social services now say that board and lodging that we would normally pay comes in the range of $232 a month. So now he is left with $550 a month out of his own resources that he could pay for home care for these three weekends.

Now, Mr. Chairman, how unfair a system! To think that we can pay $230 a month for someone who is capable of looking after themselves in a board and lodging situation and a senior who needs twenty-four hours of care seven days a week and to only have an allocation of $230 a month to care for that person.

Mr. Chairman, the alternative and what I have to suggest to the family is that in order for you to get a break you have got to apply for home care for five or six days a week. Now, Mr. Chairman, they were only asking for three weekends but, in order to qualify, they are going to have to ask for continuous care and quite possibly, if the minister can free up the budget, that is going to be granted. Now, Mr. Chairman, there is something wrong with a system where someone is going to have to be encouraged to ask for more government assistance in order to qualify.

So when the minister takes a look at the area of home care, I think he is going to have to look further than just finding a dollar or two for his budget. He is going to have to look at the regulations as they apply to family members who are expected, as the minister said - and this son and his wife provide twenty-four hour a day care; but, surely, God, you cannot expect them to do it for $230 a month, as the department regulations now state.

AN HON. MEMBER: What is this $230 a month?

MR. WINSOR: Board and lodging for an individual, the social services rate would be $230 a month. So what the department argues, now that he is a senior citizen who gets $800 a month, now he has $550 a month left that he can hire someone himself to assist in home care.

I am saying that the $230 a month is a rate for any healthy, normal, able person. Surely, we don't expect someone to care for that person for the $230 a month, the same as you would if he were a perfectly normal, healthy person.

That is the system that is in place now and the minister, I hope, is going to address it.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINSOR: The minister doesn't know what he is talking about. I will tell you again. The senior citizen collects old age pension. It amounts to $800 a month. He is not eligible for home care because the formula that you use says that for board and lodging with a relative you are entitled to x amount of money. Then, out of the remainder of his old age pension, old age security, he has $550 left, which means he will hire someone out of his own resources to pay for his home care.

I am saying that the $230 a month applies to normal conditions. This is not normal. This is a case where someone has to provide twenty-four hour a day care, and surely, it is not expected that family would have to do that.

The minister is all too aware, I think, that the number of requests for home care continues to rise. Frankly there are some problems with it. I see examples throughout my district - I am not sure, but the department might want to take a look at it - where one and two individuals, one quite often, has four people provide twenty-four hour a day care.

The whole issue now has to be addressed whether or not we can deliver that service cheaper in another way. In some cases it might be necessary that personal care homes or some other type of nursing home might have to be used. But if we are going to have the policy, if it is going to be in place, then the minister has no choice in his department but to find money, an allocation of resources to address it.

The minister now is already, his officials will tell you, and if you call him tomorrow morning, and I dare the minister to pick up the phone and call some social worker out in the field and say he is John Smith, and ask him if he can get home support services for an aged parent. The answer will be: No, he can't get it. The budget is spent. That is what the minister will get.

In order to get any course of action, the minister has just suggested what you have to do. But what does that do for the person who first has to go to the local level and be rejected? He has to go to the administrative review and be rejected. He then has to call or write the appeals board, and get an appointment set up to have an hearing. Then maybe a month or two months later he gets an hearing.

What happens in that four month duration? What happens in that four month duration when that person needed home care? They needed it when they went to the social worker initially.

The minister has to come to grips with it, and come to grips with it very shortly.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINSOR: He could very well be dead then. That is quite possible. That could very well occur. That has occurred on a number of occasions where I have had to intervene on behalf of constituents to try to get support, and we find out, too late, we don't need the support now because the person has died. That is a sad reflection on our system and our society, when we can't care for our aged.

If the minister - and I would urge the minister to do it - thinks that there is money left in his department for home support services, I ask the minister to write every one of the social workers that he has stationed throughout this Province, and tell them to examine each case individually; to not shut the door immediately, as soon as the request is made, because you don't have any money; and if it takes the minister going to Treasury Board and asking the President of Treasury Board to find some more money, to authorize him or the Minister of Finance, whoever is going to do it, to give him some extra money for programs, then the minister is going to have to do it because it is of vital importance that this occur.

I have some questions for the President of Treasury Board, but I see he is not in his place, so I will let the minister respond and wait until the President of Treasury Board comes back.

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

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I wanted to rise to speak on the issue of supply to discuss an issue that has been brought to my attention as a defect in the Province's policy with respect to raising revenue. I am sure the Minister of Finance would be interested because he has been looking at revenues from lotteries, and from video machines and other forms of gambling that are permitted for the revenues of the Province. We have seen, Mr. Chairman, a significant increase in the amounts of money, the revenue that the Province intends to raise through this means.

Now, Mr. Chairman, we don't have the exact numbers because we are still waiting for the provision of these numbers which were requested in the Social Services Estimates Committee. They have been requested and they have not yet been forthcoming. I want to speak, Mr. Chairman, about the net effect of all of this money going into lotteries. In fact, it is sending money out of the Province.

Mr. Chairman, the Atlantic Lottery Corporation is the vehicle by which the government gets involved in the raising of funds through lotteries, and during the period, Mr. Speaker, from 1976 to 1992 - and there is an estimate for 1992 of Newfoundland sales of $115 million, spent in this Province on the Atlantic Lottery. Now, Mr. Chairman, if one looked at that as a net expenditure of monies in this Province over the approximately fifteen years that the Atlantic Lottery Corporation has been in existence, there have been a total of nearly $500 million spent on lotteries in this Province, on the Atlantic Lottery Corporation vehicles, a total of $489 million, nearly $500 million spent by members of the public in this Province in sales to the Atlantic Lottery Corporation.

Now, Mr. Chairman, if one looks at the distribution of the monies that are spent here - and that is assuming that we get our share of the prizes, and that may or may not be the case. Statistically, we would think that of the prizes, Newfoundland's per cent of the prizes would be similar to its per cent of the sales. In the last year that I have, Mr. Chairman, the 1987 - 1988 annual report, Newfoundland had a 30 per cent of the total sales of the Atlantic Lottery Corporation, and shared in 64.4 per cent of the profit. I am sorry, that is a different category here. But in sales in 1986 - 1987, Mr. Chairman, Newfoundland had that share of the sales. Of the funds that were raised, 23 per cent of those funds was spent on operations.

Now, Mr. Speaker, most of that operational money is spent, not in this Province, but is spent elsewhere in Canada, some spent on the production of materials and tickets, which are printed in Western Canada, I understand. Mr. Chairman, the headquarters of this organization is in Moncton, New Brunswick. Of the operational expenditures, almost all that money is spent outside of this Province. In fact, Mr. Chairman, it has been described in the following way: If you take one dollar of money that is spent by a Newfoundlander on an Atlantic Loto ticket, of that amount of money approximately 46 per cent of that dollar would be spent in prizes; 35 per cent is profits to the government, and to the people who participate in the lottery sales; 23 per cent is spent on operations. Of that 23 per cent spent on operations, 12 per cent of that 23 per cent, or twelve cents out of every dollar, is spent outside the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

So what we see is a government-sponsored revenue generating project that has a net result of taking twelve cents out of every dollar spent on it and sending it directly out of the Province. Now there is no attempt made to share the wealth on those operating expenses to ensure that the headquarters of the Atlantic Loto Corporation, for example, could shift from one province to the other. That Newfoundland would have some of the administration money spent here for a period of time. This organization has been in operation for some fifteen years or more. All of that operational or administration money is spent in the province of New Brunswick.

We in fact do not see how the Atlantic Loto Corporation, as the vehicle for government involvement in lottery schemes, benefits this Province when in fact what it involves is a net outflow of cash from this Province. It is in the form of expenses that are spent elsewhere, that are spent in the province of New Brunswick.

Now there has to be a better way for this Province to raise revenue than to engage in this type of nonsensical economics. Nonsensical economics that the Minister of Finance should be able to get up and explain. How is it that the government is prepared to countenance twelve cents out of every dollar spent on government-sponsored lotteries going out of the Province? That if the government chooses to raise money on lotteries - which is a different question altogether - I am not going to get into that debate at the moment, although there are pros and cons on it. I do not think that this Province has engaged in appropriate studies to determine who is spending that money. It has been described as a tax on the poor or a tax on those who can least afford to add additional revenues to government coffers, who might, out of a sense of desperation, hope that they might be enriched by buying these lottery tickets. These individuals are contributing to government revenues, not only of this Province but also of the provinces that benefit from the Atlantic Loto Corporation more than this Province does.

So perhaps the Minister of Finance can tell us why he permits this loss of revenue from Atlantic Loto Corporation, and why does the government, which is a partner in this corporation, not insist on a more equitable distribution of the benefits of this lottery scheme going to the Province of Newfoundland. There is a very high level of expenditure that covers operations, twenty-three cents out of every dollar. I am told, and I think this can be discerned from the total of the provinces involved and by looking at the annual returns, that of those twenty-three cents on every dollar, what is spent, and the net outflow for the Province, includes: all of the ticket printing, which is a considerable amount of money; 80 per cent of the marketing and administration; and 100 per cent of the data processing that goes on that are costed out as about $25 million of the total budget.

So it works out to about 12 per cent of the gross sales that are spent outside of this Province and are in fact resulting in a net outflow of dollars from this Province. I wonder, Mr. Chairman, how the minister can continue to permit.... For example, in the estimated sales for 1991 -1992 -

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.

MR. HARRIS: Could I have leave to finish this sentence, Mr. Chairman?

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

AN HON. MEMBER: Sure.

MR. CHAIRMAN: By leave.

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

The net outflow projected in 1991-92 based on estimated sales in this Province of $115 million for Atlantic Lotto tickets, the net outflow from this Province to other provinces would be approximately $13 million. Mr. Chairman, $13.5 million of the $115 million spent in this Province on lottery tickets for Atlantic Lotto alone are going right out the door and are lost to this government in the form of revenue. I wonder if the Minister of Finance can explain why this is a good thing for the Province of Newfoundland?

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

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Chairman, I want to make a few comments on this but I want to get into what is taking place with regards to the Executive Council and the Premier's Office that has been covered in this, and why there has been such exorbitant expenses in the various offices of the department. First of all I want to make a few brief comments about what the Executive Council is costing this Province. I want to talk about the $8000 that the Minister of Forestry and Agriculture is getting for his car. I want to talk about the $8000 that the Minister of Health and the other ministers are getting a year for their cars. To do what? They are getting $8000 a year to drive their cars to work and if they stir on government business they go out to a company and lease one. That is what I want to talk about. The Premier gets $8000 to drive his car to work and when he wants to move in the city there is a chauffeur with a big hat and the government limousine comes and picks him up. That is what is going on in this Province. That is what I want to talk about.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

MR. TOBIN: That is what I want to talk about, the chauffeur driven limousines that the Premier has, the number of chauffeurs that the Premier has. Joey Smallwood had a chauffeur, he had one. Brian Peckford and Frank Moores did not have any and this Premier has two chauffeurs and two limousines. That is what is taking place in this Province. The Minister of Finance, the fellow who is totally responsible for crippling the economy of this Province, refused to give the pensioners of this Province an increase, yet he had no hesitation in taking his $8000 a year for driving his car to work.

AN HON. MEMBER: How much do you get

MR. TOBIN: I do not get anything, Mr. Chairman.

He gets $8000 a year for driving his car to work. And, what happens if the Minister of Finance has to go out to Carbonear to speak? Does he drive in his own car or does he phone up Tilden, Avis or Budget and rent another car? The Premier of this Province gets $8000 for driving his car to work and if he has to go to the university what does he do? The chauffeur with the big cap drives up, parks in front of the door, gets out, opens the back door and lets the Premier in the limousine and he goes to the university. Now, that is what is going on in this Province.

MR. MATTHEWS: It does not stop with the Premier either. His staff, too, have been seen.

MR. TOBIN: And his staff.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. TOBIN: Indeed I was with him.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

MR. TOBIN: When Brian Peckford was Premier of this Province do you know what he had? A Chevy Blazer, an old two-door Chevy Blazer is what Brian Peckford had as Premier of this Province. This Premier has an $8000 a year car allowance and he has two chauffeur driven cars.

MR. MATTHEWS: We even got the licence plate numbers.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: The Premier of this Province has two chauffeur driven cars.

AN HON. MEMBER: Lies, lies.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

MR. TOBIN: I would ask him to withdraw that, Mr. Chairman.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Chairman, that is unparliamentary and I ask that he withdraw it.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

MR. TOBIN: Is that parliamentary for the Minister of Forestry and Lands to refer to what I am saying as 'lies', and if it is not, I would ask that he withdraw it.

MR. CHAIRMAN: The Chair did not hear any comment made by the hon. minister. If the hon. minister said it, well then I ask him to withdraw it, but the Chair did not hear what the hon. minister said.

MR. TOBIN: Well then, I heard it and everybody else heard it. The Premier of this Province has two chauffeur driven cars. One is a grey Oldsmobile and the other is a two tone Chevvy and he drives his own car right there. Not only that, for a long time when this government came to power, the Premier had a Chevvy Blazer, and do you know what the Chevvy Blazer was used for?... the Member for Exploits going to the golf course.

MR. MATTHEWS: That is right, he got caught.

MR. TOBIN: He got caught going to the golf course in the Chevvy Blazer, that is what happened. When it was raised in this House, what was happening, up Bally Haly in the government owned Chevvy Blazer for driving the Member for Exploits around golfing, and his caddy, so, Mr. Chairman, those are the questions I want answers to.

I want to know from the ministers how often, in addition to their $8,000 for their cars, they have leased cars, how often they have taken taxis paid for by the taxpayers of this Province. I want to have the log on the limo. I want the limo log, Mr. Chairman. The Minister of Works, Services and Transportation promised the other day he was going to give it to me, I have not seen it yet, but I want the limo log because the minister has assured me that all the trips are logged. The drivers, the Premier's chauffeurs keep a log -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: You are wrong, you are wrong. The Premier of this Province has-

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

MR. TOBIN: This government has on its payroll, it is not showing slick enough, Mr. Chairman, the Premier did not include his chauffeurs under the Executive Council, he shuffled them off to the Department of Works, Services and Transportation and Public Works, that is where he has them hidden away and that is where he has their salaries hidden away but we uncovered it in the estimates committees last week; we were able to uncover it, that the Premier of this Province - uncovered what?... salaries for two chauffeurs.

AN HON. MEMBER: What?

MR. TOBIN: Salaries for two chauffeurs.

AN HON. MEMBER: How many did you have, three?

AN HON. MEMBER: $200 tips, $400 tips.

MR. TOBIN: I would not put anything past you. $200, $400, I would not put it past you. In my opinion you are capable of it. Now that is my opinion I could be wrong but if you want to give someone $200 or $400 tips, don't go boasting about it because there is no one over here who will take any great satisfaction in it.

Now, Mr. Chairman, that is what I want to talk about. I want to talk about the Premier chartering planes. The Premier of this Province has chartered planes and gone to the mainland -

AN HON. MEMBER: Go on.

MR. TOBIN: Yes, he has so. The Premier of this Province has chartered planes and gone to the mainland rather than fly economy or first class or executive class with Air Canada or Canadian Airlines. He has chartered planes, landed on the tarmac, I saw him, Mr. Chairman. Chartered planes in this Province that is what he has done. When Brian Peckford was Premier, what did he do with the planes? He cancelled them, sold them. He sold the plane that is what Brian Peckford did in 1979, when he became Premier, he sold the plane.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

I ask the hon. members to my left if they would constrain themselves please.

MR. TOBIN: I am glad the Minister of Forestry and Agriculture brought that question to my attention. The Minister of Forestry and Agriculture talked about booze in the executive dining room. Let me ask the Minister of Forestry and Agriculture, if there has been any booze in the executive dining room in the last three years? Let me ask the Minister of Forestry that question?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Oh, Mr. Chairman. Well that is strange because I had lunch in the executive dining room not too long ago.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: I had lunch in the executive dining room not too long ago.

AN HON. MEMBER: Who with?

AN HON. MEMBER: The Minister of Finance (inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: No, I wasn't, but my colleague from Mount Scio - Bell Island was there the same day, I believe. The Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs was there, the Leader of the Opposition was there.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) dining room.

MR. TOBIN: That is the executive dining room.

MR. WALSH: I never knew it existed.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Now, Mr. Chairman, that is not true. The Member for Mount Scio - Bell Island -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Oh, you didn't know.

AN HON. MEMBER: No I didn't.

MR. TOBIN: You had lunch there and you didn't know it was a dining room. You thought it was the washroom.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Chairman, the Member for Mount Scio - Bell Island now knows where the executive dining room is. So the Minister of Employment, since he got in government and politics knows where Bally Haly Golf Course is. The Minister of Finance knows how to give all his colleagues an $8,000 car allowance and knows how to cut the pensioners in this Province. He knows how to not give an increase to the people on social assistance, but still give an $8,000 -- How can the minister justify driving up there in an $8,000 car.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: For their own car.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Chairman, if it is the cheapest car in town, why don't they buy one for everybody? Why don't they say: Here boys, everybody go out and buy a car like mine.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Chairman, I can tell the Member for Carbonear that I have a Ford Taurus, and I have a Jeep Cherokee if he wants to know, and I have a Ford pick-up if he wants to know.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Do you want to know what else I got. The bottom line is that the taxpayers of this Province are not paying for my Ford Taurus like they are paying for the Premier's. They are not paying for my Cherokee like they are paying for the Minister of Forestry's. That is what is going on in this Province. I paid for it. That is what is going on in this Province. They are not going around on entertainment expense accounts.

AN HON. MEMBER: Who?

MR. TOBIN: Who? I will get into anything because this government has to be exposed for their deceitfulness.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.

MR. TOBIN: By leave, Mr. Chairman.

AN HON. MEMBER: By leave.

MR. TOBIN: This government is deceitful -

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

Does the hon. member have leave?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: No.

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

MR. TOBIN: The Government House Leader gave me leave.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

Does the hon. member have leave of the House? The hon. member doesn't have leave.

The hon. the Member for Carbonear.

MR. REID: In reaction to my hon. colleague from the other side I have to get up and honestly say that I had a much better time I guess when it came to entertainment and the finer things of life when the Tory government was in this Province than what I am enjoying right now.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. REID: Somebody said in the House yesterday that I was the most expensive president of the federation of municipalities, and I guess I have to admit that I was.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

I am having difficulty hearing the hon. Member for Carbonear. I would ask that hon. members refrain from such loud private conversations.

The hon. the Member for Carbonear.

MR. REID: Because, Mr. Chairman, when I think back on my seven and a half years as Mayor of Carbonear and the fun that I had, the opportunity that I had to enjoy, I guess, the finer things of life, with my hon. friends they were at that time, and friends they are now. I must say, I got a heck of a lot more out of the PC government than I am after getting out of the Liberal government.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. REID: When I think about the hon.- and he is a good friend of mine. I am not being critical of him. He lives next door to me, in fact - the hon. Mr. Peckford coming to Carbonear to open up the Carbonear bypass road on Friday afternoon at 2:00 and opening up Fong's Restaurant, and leaving the bar open in Fong's Restaurant in Carbonear from 2:00 on Friday afternoon until 11:00 Sunday night. I think we were having a good time in Carbonear. I had no problems with that.

I have been listening to my hon. colleague on the other side, a number of friends of mine on the other side making comments about -

MR. TOBIN: (Inaudible) what the member is saying to this House is not true. I think basically he is misleading the House, and I think he should be very cautious about it, because the former Premier - and we may have it checked out, because what he has done is cast aspersions on Fong's Restaurant and the former Premier by saying that the bar was left open in that building for two days, from Saturday until - I am serious about this. I intend to pursue it.

He cast aspersions on Fong's Restaurant to say that the bar was left open -

MR. MATTHEWS: That is what he said.

MR. TOBIN: That is what he said, and I would ask him to retract it, apologize, or prove it.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

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

MR. CHAIRMAN: The hon. the Member for Carbonear.

MR. REID: I did not say - Hansard will record that I said the bar was opened at 2:00 that afternoon and never closed until 10:00. That is what I said. I did not say that the hon. the Premier or anyone else paid the bill. I guess us smart Liberals on this side can infer whatever we want to, I suppose, when it comes to -

I have been sitting on this side of the House now for almost three years, and I have been listening to my hon. friends and colleagues on the other side trying to find something to criticize this government about. They have had a lot of difficulty. I have heard on a number of occasions my hon. friend from Burin - Placentia West talking about the $8,000 car allowance. Well let me tell you about the $8,000 car allowance, for the record.

Number one, the hon. the Leader of the Opposition also gets an $8,000 car allowance. He has his car. No problem with that. I have no trouble with it.

When I heard there a couple of years ago that the hon. Cabinet ministers and the Premier and the Leader of the Opposition were getting an $8,000 car allowance, I looked into it and found out after that the $8,000 actually goes on their cheque, which they have to pay income tax on, and they do. Then I suppose the fact that they have to do what we do, and that is - the hon. Minister of Forestry says: Change your oil and buy parts for the car, and then pay insurance on the car. I went along to a Cabinet minister one day and said: You fellows really had the job done on you, because in comparison to the system that was there prior, where the government owned all the cars, and remember what the cars were, now. Some of them drove top of the line, what were they called? Blazers? Yes, some of them did. In fact, my friend in Carbonear had one, a beautiful one - drove it a number of times. You know who I am talking about.

MR. REID: Chev Caprices.

AN HON. MEMBER: Crown Victorias.

MR. REID: Ford Crown Victorias. They were all lined out, and we had them. When we came in we found them. I will not say there were hundreds of them, but there were tens of them all over the place. I would look out from my third level window over in the West Block and I would look down and see all of these wonderful cars, and I would say: Am I ever going to be lucky enough one of these days to get my hands on one of those good cars so I can take the -

Then, all of a sudden the hon. Clyde Kirby Wells says: No boys, I am sorry. This is a waste of money. And he gets rid of the whole works of them - gone - not the one. Then he talks, and being the smart man he is, then he talks all of his Cabinet colleagues into taking an $8,000 car allowance to substitute for a Crown Victoria that they never had to pay a cent on, and he talks them into taking $8,000. I sat down and I said to my hon. friends in Cabinet: there is something wrong with you, because it is no good to you. It is absolutely no good to you. You are going to walk away with approximately $3,000 a year to pay on a car that you can't -

MR. TOBIN: Don't be so stunned (Inaudible)!

MR. REID: Well, what is it? What do you pay income tax on?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. REID: I think the Premier is close to being ready to present in the House his expenses, as Premier, in comparison to the other premiers in the country. I am sure, if I remember, I saw the expenses of the present Premier of Newfoundland, in comparison to the previous premier of Newfoundland, just last year. I think there was quite a drastic difference, right?

You made reference to the fact that the Premier did fly in - rented a plane, or hired a plane, and flew to Ottawa. He was questioned about that. Believe it or not, someone had the gall to get up in caucus and question him about that. He came back with the answer that if he had to turn around and take the people who were flying with him and fly Air Canada, it would have cost more money to fly Air Canada economy than renting a plane to fly them to Ottawa. And he proved that. In fact, I believe, if I am not mistaken, that was tabled in the House.

The best one of all, Mr. Chairman, was one day one of my friends in caucus came along and whispered and said: guess what I found down in the private dining hall? Now, I do not know, and I had to ask my hon. friend from Cormack there a few minutes ago, I do not even know where the Premier's private dining - where was it?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible)!

MR. REID: Is it on the main floor? Where is it? Anyone know? I do not know where it is. Where is it?

MR. TOBIN: (Inaudible) $50,000 a year (Inaudible)?

MR. REID: Let's talk about that now, that's a good one. We'll talk about that one after. Private dining hall, and somebody whispered in my ear and said: guess what we found, Reid, down in the private dining hall? I am not lying, Mr. Chairman. If I am lying, please bring me up about it and make me apologise. We found $5,000 worth of cigars and cigarettes down in the Premier's private dining hall, $5,000 worth of cigarettes. What were they going to do with the cigars and cigarettes, $5,000 worth?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. REID: I suppose, yes, maybe that is what they were doing. I said: what? Five thousand dollars. Then it struck me with the cigars, because our Premier has a problem with smokers. His biggest problem is the House Leader, because he is probably doing more smoking than anybody else, and he gets up close to him and it irritates his eyes and so on. Anyway, the Premier has trouble with smoke and smokers. When he took over the government he took the ex-premier's car, Mr. Peckford's car, and he had to get rid of it. Because he said the stench of cigar smoke in the car was too much for him to take.

So when I was told there was $5,000 worth of cigars down in the private dining hall, well, I figured where most of the cigars were going. I do not think they were giving them out in Salvation Army hampers at Christmastime. They were going somewhere. I would say that I - that was it, knew right away where they were going.

That was only the small stuff. That was very small. He whispered to me and he said: that is nothing, there's $25,000 worth of booze down there too.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) that's totally false and you know it (Inaudible)!

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible)!

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

The hon. member's time has elapsed.

AN HON. MEMBER: By leave?

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

MR. MATTHEWS: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. It is an interesting debate, and I am sure for anybody watching it they would wonder what it is all about. I am sure they must wonder what it is all about.

One thing I can say, that the Member for Carbonear is rather gullible. He is rather gullible.

AN HON. MEMBER: Naive.

MR. MATTHEWS: Everything the Premier tells him, he believes. He doesn't ask for the proof. He believes everything he tells him. Getting back to the cars and the car allowances. As the Member for Burin - Placentia West said from his seat, when these ministers are ministers for three or four years, they get $24,000 or $32,000 of taxpayers money that they pay for their car with, plus the gas card that goes with it, plus the expenses of the entertainment for meals and others that they have throughout the day. So when you add it all up, they can drive away with a decent car that the taxpayers of Newfoundland and Labrador have paid for, I say to the Member for Carbonear. It really isn't their car.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: Well, when I look at the car that the Premier has parked out in his spot every morning, bought at Beothic Ford I say to the Member for Carbonear, and most of the time he is around the city when he is at functions. And the member is right. He is picked up in the grey Oldsmobile and dropped back. He doesn't use his own car. A chauffeur picks him up, drives him to the function and brings him back. Now not that I have any difficulty with that because he is the Premier. But you can't have it both ways. Don't get up and knock someone else because they had a chauffeur or someone drove them in a car. Be fair about it. Every time the Premier goes to a function around this city at lunch time, the grey car picks him up - I have seen it 100 times myself - and brings him back. Not only does the car pick up the Premier, I have seen it pull up and pick up his staff and other executive assistants of ministers opposite in the grey car.

As a matter of fact I brought the grey car to the attention of the House in the old Legislature when I introduced the licence number, and as well the licence number for the Blazer that the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, before he was minister when he was parliamentary assistant to the Premier, got caught up at Bally Haly with the golf clubs in the back of it. Now that is the truth of it. He got caught, and immediately when I gave the licence number the Premier reached back and said: Roger, put the keys in my hand. It is over for you. Everyone remembers that. Now those are the same hon. gentlemen, the same hon. members over there who are criticizing someone else from the past. But this government promised real change. Yes, there has been real change, but it has been change for the worse. Change for the worse I say to the Member for Carbonear.

MR. BAKER: I thought it was better.

MR. MATTHEWS: Well of course you think it is better, I say to the President of Treasury Board. You would think it is better. It is better than what we had it, and you thought we had it pretty good. So that is the truth of it.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. MATTHEWS: Never you mind, now, I say to the Member for Carbonear. When I talked about the champaign and chocolates from Belgium, when I called him and asked him about having the chocolates in Belgium a few weeks ago, I say to the Member for Carbonear, when he was over sampling the Belgium chocolate diplomatically on overfishing, I say to the Member for Carbonear. When he visited the troops in Lahr, Germany, with the German wine and the champaign, I say to the Member for Carbonear. And to be so naive as to think that you could take a plane from St. John's airport and park it on the tarmac in Ottawa for a week and it would save money from flying up three or four people to Ottawa with him. We knew who was up there. We knew who was up with the Premier. The Member for Pleasantville was up there, and Judy was up there. We all saw him on television saying: good night, Judy. She was up there with him. Who else was up with him?

MR. TOBIN: What did he say?

MR. MATTHEWS: Good night, Judy. Who else was up there with him, I say to the member? Who else was up there? How many more? Three or four seats to Ottawa on Air Canada would cost the equivalent of putting a plane on the tarmac in Ottawa for a week? Now the Member for Carbonear has to come down to reality.

Now there are a few questions I want to ask the President of Treasury Board, the President of the Council. We have heard about the $20,000 entertainment allowance for the Premier's office.

AN HON. MEMBER: Debby Coyne.

MR. MATTHEWS: Deborah Coyne was up there, but the Province shouldn't have paid for her trip. Someone else should have paid for that. She was up there on other interests obviously. It wasn't the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. We know the story on that one. I hope the taxpayers didn't pay for that. I really hope they didn't.

Premier's entertainment allowance, $20,000, which the government was so proud to announce. Twenty thousand dollars to run the Premier's house.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: Just hold on now. That is not all, let me say to the member.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: Yes. What is the allowance for is the question?

Does it cover all the Premier's entertainment expenses? Or is it for entertainment at the Premier's home? Those are the questions we want answered. What is it for? Does the Premier pocket it, the $20,000? Does he put it in his pocket on top of his $100,000 plus salary? We know the Premier could not live on a Leader of the Opposition's salary. That someone had to give him a $50,000 supplement. Now we find out, he said here last year, that he could not run his home and have his lawns mowed on his salary that he gets, somewhere, what, $130,000, $140,000 minimum. So where does the $20,000 go, I ask the President of Council?

MS. VERGE: In his bank account.

MR. MATTHEWS: Where does it go? Does it go down in whatever bank it is down there for the Premier? Where does it go?

MR. REID: I told him he shouldn't have gotten rid of his private dining hall!

MR. MATTHEWS: I want to say to the Member for Carbonear, we know where the private dining room is, it is now on Glenridge Crescent, where the Premier lives. That's where the private dining room is, it's moved from here down there, obviously. That's where it is! Don't kid yourself. Twenty thousand dollars.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible)!

MR. MATTHEWS: You'd be surprised, I say to the Member for Carbonear. You'd be surprised who serves the food at the Premier's house.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible)!

MR. TOBIN: You were down there! You were so down there!

MR. REID: I was never (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: You were so down there!

MR. MATTHEWS: That is the question I want to ask the President of Council.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible)!

MS. VERGE: Only the important members get invited (Inaudible)!

MR. TOBIN: (Inaudible) the Member for St. John's East was down there.

MR. MATTHEWS: Pardon?

MS. VERGE: Only the important members (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: Only important members....

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible)!

MR. MATTHEWS: My time is going to run out and I will not have half the questions asked, I say to members. I know that they want to ask. How is that $20,000 accounted for, I want to ask the President of the Council? How is it accounted for? How does he account for it? Can the President of the Council answer some of these question for us? How it is accounted for?

MS. VERGE: He probably hardly ever gets invited.

MR. MATTHEWS: Really? I know he does not spend much time down there for dinner, and I can understand that. I would say he has been invited a few times and he turns down the invitation. I tell you, I can understand why he would do that. Because I would say that whoever is invited in there, you are only permitted to eat. You must listen all the time. I have been told that, by the way. That, yes, you are invited to dinner, but you make an awful mistake, because you are brought there to listen to the views of the one and only. Mr. Perfect, the Member for Burin - Placentia West calls him.

MR. DOYLE: Bill, Bill, they're part of the vegetables.

MR. MATTHEWS: I have been told that. I have been told that you go to listen. You do not go to offer opinions, or to offer advice, you get told to listen. I have this from authority of someone who was there!

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

The Chair has tolerated -

MR. MATTHEWS: Yes, I must say, Mr. Chairman.

MR. CHAIRMAN: I think if we were at a social gathering that the behaviour of hon. members would be quite acceptable. But I think in the last fifteen to twenty minutes that the behaviour in this House is unacceptable to this person. I suggest that if hon. members want to speak in the debate that they would rise and the Chair will recognise them. I will not tolerate the kind of behaviour that is going on here right now.

The hon. the Opposition House Leader.

MR. MATTHEWS: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Good ruling, and it is time that you brought them to order. Because what they are getting on with here today is - I heard that the behaviour at Mingles a few weeks ago was better. I was not there, but I heard it was better than this.

MS. VERGE: Where's Mingles?

MR. MATTHEWS: That's not a story, where Mingles is. So, what is the accountability on the $20,000, is a question I have to ask the President of Council? Will he table an itemized accounting of the expenses incurred under the heading and a list of the people entertained? Will he do that? These are the kinds of things that I - right? Has the Premier entertained members and supporters of the Party under the $20,000 entertainment allowance? Those are things I would be interested - who really is the beneficiary of this $20,000 entertainment allowance for the Premier to run his home? That is what we need, right?

MR. TOBIN: (Inaudible) is it all charged to that $20,000?

MR. MATTHEWS: Yes. It is charged to that $20,000 or is charged elsewhere? Because I have been told -

MS. VERGE: Well, he has The Stone House send a caterer, (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: Well, yes, when The Stone House caters to functions for the Premier, that is a good question. Is that charged to the $20,000 account, or is it charged to the department that the -

MR. TOBIN: Of Development, of Development, in that case.

MR. MATTHEWS: No, there are other departments too, you see. Because delegations that he entertains probably fall under the jurisdiction or responsibility or -

MR. WINSOR: Constitutional affairs.

MR. MATTHEWS: No, under different departments. So does it come out of this $20,000 or is the bill then sent to, say, the Department of Development, tourism? The Premier may be discussing business over dinner with a particular group. Really, what is the bottom line on this $20,000? Is it $40,000, $50,000 or is it really $75,000 because it is clearly costing more than the $20,000? I want to say to the Member for Carbonear who has been rather flippant over there, that what we spent he knew about and he knew about where we spent it. There is a little bit of hanky-panky going on here and the people of this Province will really never know how much it is costing them for the Premier to entertain, both in his house and outside. I have been told as well that he flips off to restaurants and hotels, entertains and has dinners. What is the bottom line on this $20,000? I would not be surprised but you could multiply it four or five times.

MR. TOBIN: $250,000.

MR. MATTHEWS: I would not say it was $250,000. I would not go that far with it, but what is it really costing the taxpayers of this Province. Now they attempt to conceal it under the $20,000 entertainment allowance but where is the rest of it showing up, I ask the President of the Council? Maybe he can answer. I do not know but I would like to know the answer to that. Where is it showing up, these dinners that are outside and the caterers that go inside and cater? Who pays for that? Certainly it does not come out of the Premier's pocket. He was here last year telling us that even with this $20,000 entertainment allowance he cannot afford to maintain his home and have his gardens groomed. That is what he said here on the floor of the Legislature. Even with that $20,000 he could not afford to maintain his home and have his lawns groomed.

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

MR. MATTHEWS: By leave, Mr. Chairman.

MS. VERGE: By leave.

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

MR. MATTHEWS: Is the Minister of Environment and Lands not granting me leave? I heard her say no. You are not giving me leave?

MS. COWAN: I am not (inaudible)

MR. MATTHEWS: I understand you would not be interested. If I were on that side and a minister I would not be interested in hearing it either.

MR. CHAIRMAN: The Chair is looking for direction. Does the hon. member have leave or not?

MR. TOBIN: Yes, he has leave.

MR. CHAIRMAN: The hon. member has leave of the House.

MR. MATTHEWS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I can understand why you would not be interested. I would sit there and pretend that I was signing my letters or reading my departmental mail if I were the Minister of Environment and Lands, I say to the minister. I certainly would because I would not want to hear the truth about this. I would rather it was not told here today really how much this Premier is costing the people of the Province for entertainment and other expenses. If ever this House is going to be closed this summer, I say to the President of the Council, we are going to have those answers. If we do not get the answers on the kind of questions I am asking here it is going to be a long hot summer I say to members opposite.

AN HON. MEMBER: (inaudible) in July.

MR. MATTHEWS: Well, the President of the Council is banking on it, that we are going to close July 21 because I told him my birthday was on the 22 and I want to be home for that, so he is now hanging his hat on July 21.

MR. TOBIN: It is a big one, too, it is his 50th.

MR. MATTHEWS: It is like Mr. Neary used to say in the fall, members be prepared because we will be carving up the turkey on the clerk's table. That is what he used to say when we would get close to Christmas.

MR. TOBIN: And this year we will have your 50th birthday cake.

MR. MATTHEWS: Yes, my 50th birthday I say to the member and after that comment the Member for Burin - Placentia West will not be invited, I say to him.

These are the kind of questions we want answered. How much did they spend last year on entertainment, the Premier and his office? What amount is budgeted for this year? We want to know that. The free dining room, the executive dining room, because there is a dining room I want to say to the Member for Carbonear. He may have conveniently forgotten it but there is a dining room over in the West Block, an executive dining room and the Premier is quite often seen going through the link or getting dropped off at the west entrance over there and going in for dinner at the executive dining room, so they use that quite frequently. I know that ministers have been over to the executive dining room quite often, having lunch, so how much is that costing? Now, we have three things, we have the $20,000 entertainment allowance, we have the restaurants and hotels out and about the city that the Premier entertains in, and we have the executive dining room in the West Block. It will be worse than that lady who won the jackpot in Reno once all the figures are put together. It is going to be a staggering figure I say to members opposite. Most of them over there do not believe this you know, and you know what?... most of them over there don't know that is going on.

MS. VERGE: Because they are not included.

MR. MATTHEWS: They don't know what is going on. They don't know these things are happening, you see? They are blinded by the light.

DR. KITCHEN: How often is it used?

MR. MATTHEWS: How often is what used? Fairly often, I say to the Minister of Finance. He doesn't know much about it either.

DR. KITCHEN: Once a year?

MR. MATTHEWS: Pardon?

AN HON. MEMBER: Once a year.

MR. MATTHEWS: What! Once a year, yes!

MR. TOBIN: I've been there that often.

MR. MATTHEWS: Once a year.

DR. KITCHEN: Not even once a year.

MR. MATTHEWS: Once a year. You have been over there once a year.

MR. TOBIN: I've been there that often so far this year.

DR. KITCHEN: (Inaudible) not you (inaudible).

MS. VERGE: I've been there more often than that.

MR. MATTHEWS: I'm telling the Minister of Finance that he had better be quiet now, because he will walk right into another one. He will walk right straight into another one.

MS. VERGE: 'Herb', I've been there more often than that.

MR. MATTHEWS: Yes, right. So the executive dining room.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: Yes.

MR. TOBIN: I was there, and the government paid for it, too.

MR. MATTHEWS: That's right. What would be the expenses of all the departments that use the executive dining room? is another interesting question. What does it cost to operate that executive dining room over there? - an interesting question. Let's compare figures, now. They've slapped up figures from the past. Let's talk about the present. What is it costing, I say to members opposite?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible)?

MR. MATTHEWS: What? Some of them over there don't even know what the Executive Council is. They were staggered to know they were debating - 'Executive Council,' they were saying, 'what's that? What are we talking about? - Executive Council?'

MR. TOBIN: That's where they used to feed Oliver when they were trying to make him cross the House.

MR. MATTHEWS: Ah no, that's not fair. But I did hear that one member over there thought that 'executive' was a community and the 'council' was elected from that community. But I don't believe that.

AN HON. MEMBER: It is going to be amalgamated.

MR. TOBIN: Yes, it's going to be amalgamated.

MR. MATTHEWS: They were afraid of -

But anyway, this is what has happened here, you see? So I want my good friend there, the Government House Leader and the President of the Council, to attempt to give us some answers now. What is it costing the people of this Province for entertainment? What is it costing? Can the President give us the answers?

MR. NOEL: Can we include your salary?

MR. MATTHEWS: Yes, you can include what you want belonging to me, Sir. Yes, Sir, and that you can. Everyone knows what mine is. It is shown up on the television screen and in the papers at least three times a year. Everyone knows that.

MR. NOEL: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: Pardon?

MR. NOEL: (Inaudible) put all of your salary into your pension.

MR. WALSH: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: That's what you say. You don't know, see? You don't know. Because you don't ask the questions in the right places, and if you do, they don't give you the right answers, I say to the Member for Mount Scio - Bell Island. These are the answers we want. How much is it costing? I can assure the Member for Mount Scio - Bell Island that it is 'way more than $20,000, 'way more.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: So these are the questions that we want the President of the Council to answer. I am sure he is going to answer them now when I sit down. He will get up and answer those few questions. That is what we want to know. We want to know the answers to these things. It's important that the people - not that I want to know, but it is important to the people of the Province to know. Because the Premier is pretty slick. He thinks he almost perfect.

MS. VERGE: He thinks he is perfect! No "almost".

MR. MATTHEWS: He thinks he is perfect, yes. But he is almost perfect at fooling the people. He is almost perfect at that. But we are going to get the answers. We want to know what this Premier is costing the people of this Province. We are not going to give up until we find out. We know what his salary is. We give him $20,000 to run his house, supposedly, to entertain at his house, but we find now, he entertains anywhere else but his house - restaurants, hotels, the executive dining room.

MS. VERGE: (Inaudible) his caterers.

MR. MATTHEWS: Caterers come into his home with the Chinese or the Italian or whatever they have. Caviar, champagne and chocolates.

AN HON. MEMBER: Meals-On-Wheels.

MR. MATTHEWS: Meals-On-Wheels has nothing on that. That is what is going on, and we want answers. We want to know what it has cost the people of this Province and we are not going to stop until the President of the Council gets up and tells us. Because the people need to know that. It's no good to try to fool the people and say: 'That's all I'm getting.' The man got up on his feet - well, we know what's happening. Last year, in the same debate, he got up and said: 'With my salary, and even with the $20,000, I cannot run and maintain my home and the grounds around my house.' That is what he said. I should get Hansard and read it for members opposite. What he said, really, I should get it and read it. I will do that. I will get it and read what he said here, that he couldn't afford it.

He couldn't afford it. So what did he do then? Well, I will go out and entertain out and about the Province. I'm not only entertaining other people then, because I'm eating, myself. Right? I'm eating myself, then. I will have people in to serve food in my home that other departments will pay for. If it's pertaining to Employment and Labour Relations, I will slip the bill off to the minister or his department, or Development or Fisheries or whatever. That's what has happened with all of this. So how do you find that out? How do you find out what has been charged to the Department of Fisheries or Development or other departments? How do you find out how much this Premier is costing this Province?

So these are the questions for the President of the Council, and he is going to get up now and give us some answers, I hope.

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

MR. BAKER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I will give some answers, I am sure. Whether they are satisfactory or not is a different question.

The questions so far have hinged around the Premier's office and the Premier and his $20,000 a year allowance. I should point out to members that this $20,000 a year allowance is a taxable allowance, so a big chunk of it goes to income tax, I should imagine - a big chunk. It is to replace the house that was provided the former, former Premier, the food, the furnishing, all of those kinds of things that were provided the former, former Premier; the special dining room with chef and so on that was provided the former, former Premier, the cost of which probably ran into $100,000 a year or more.

I could get the exact figures and will, because I believe, I really believe that either last year or the year before I dug out and generated the actual figures it was costing. I am getting a bit old now. The exact amount seems to have slipped my mind, but I am sure I can dig them out.

Mr. Chairman, there has been a tremendous saving in terms of the operation of that aspect of the Premier's job. As a matter of fact, I would just like to review for hon. members the total figures in the Premier's Office.

In 1987-1988 there was $1,150,400 spent. That's the Premier's Office, and there was a little over half-a-million for protocol, but let's leave out the protocol. I will try to separate out the protocol here. So in 1987-1988 $1,150,400 was spent in support of the Premier's office, and that includes these amounts that members are talking about.

In 1988-1989, which was the year immediately preceding the change of government, this expense ballooned to $1,778,100. Now, Mr. Chairman, the reason is fairly obvious. I know what the reason was for this sudden increase. A lot of it, I guess, had to do with severance pay, the changeover in staff from the former, former Premier to the former Premier, the big severance pay payouts that had to be made, and so on. So that ballooned the expenses of the Premier's Office in 1988-1989.

In 1989-1990,the expenses dropped to $1,372,605. Now,looking at that you might say, that is a nice saving. You people in your first year cut expenses in the Premier's office, but, Mr. Chairman, we cut it even more than that because in that $1,372,000 was again, a whole lot of severance pay that had to be paid then to the new employees of the former Premier who were in office for a month or two. I forget how many days now, but they also had to paid severance pay because they had to be let go. There was a second changeover, and that was the extra cost.

In 1990-1991, which I suppose was the first normal year, when we talk about a normal year, we budgeted $1,169,800 for the Premier's Office, a drop of a couple of hundred thousand dollars. But we didn't spend that much, we only spent $1,089,858, so that was a tremendous drop from the previous two years.

In 1991-1992, we budgeted $1,145,700. Unfortunately, in that year, the Premier's Office went over budget by some $35,000, I believe it was.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. BAKER: Yes, around that, and the reason there was again that some employees left and there were unexpected severance payments, so we went a little over budget. This year, Mr. Chairman, we are budgeting $1,137,700, so, in spite of the fact that costs are increasing, Mr. Chairman, the costs of running the Premier's Office have gone down every single year. As a matter of fact, in this year, 1992-1993, we will be spending less than was spent back in 1987. We are still spending less than was spent back in 1987 -

AN HON. MEMBER: What? Say that again.

MR. BAKER: - this year, in the Premier's Office. So, Mr. Chairman, there have been some big changes since 1987, and still, we are spending less in the Premier's Office than they did back in 1987, and I should point out that the protocol costs have gone 'way down, as well, so there has been a tremendous -

MR. TOBIN: May I ask you a question?

MR. BAKER: Yes, Mr. Chairman, the Member for Burin - Placentia West can ask any question he wants.

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

MR. TOBIN: I do not want to interrupt the minister but I just wondered if he can tell us if any of the food, the food on wheels, or any of the food for entertainment purposes, that was delivered to the Premier's house has been charged off to any other government departments?

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

MR. BAKER: Mr. Chairman, I can't immediately give him that answer. I am tempted to give an answer but I will say that I will have a look at it and get back to the hon. gentleman -

MR. TOBIN: Why wouldn't you?

MR. BAKER: - because I believe in making absolutely certain. I am tempted to give him an answer but I won't. I will get back to the hon. gentleman, you can be sure of that.

MR. DECKER: 1987 -

MR. BAKER: We are now spending less in the Premier's Office than was spent in 1987.

MR. DECKER: That is unbelievable! That is just unbelievable!

MR. BAKER: It is a tremendous saving. We have consistently cut expenses, so, Mr. Chairman, I am not ashamed of the division here that handles the Premier's Office, the division of Executive Council, headed in the book as the Premier's Office. We believe that we have to provide service to people but we believe in cutting a lot of unnecessary expense, cutting as much unnecessary expense as we find and trying to reduce costs of this service while still providing an even better service.

Mr. Chairman, that is the detail I can give right now in terms of the Premier's Office, as a whole.

There were some more specific detailed questions asked. I am sure that members opposite were asking the questions to make a point and they were, in essence, rhetorical questions, but even though they were rhetorical questions, I will endeavour to get back to the hon. members with regard to the answers.

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

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, what a gamut of untruths I just heard from the minister! Why didn't you tell us about the Premier's car that the Minister of Environment and Lands was using, driving around the Province at taxpayers' expense, to golf courses?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Yes, that's what is going on in this Province.

AN HON. MEMBER: The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations.

MR. TOBIN: The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, I mean, the old weeping willow. Why didn't the President of Treasury Board answer my question with respect to 'Meals-on-Wheels', that runs to the Premier's house every day, how many government departments that is charged off to? This Premier is the most expensive Premier this Province has ever seen.

AN HON. MEMBER: That is not true. That is a downright lie.

MR. TOBIN: That is the truth of the matter. This Premier is constantly entertaining at his home and charging the bills off to everybody else instead of using that $20,000; that's what I suspect is happening. Let me ask the ministers -

MR. CRANE: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: No, that is another problem: 'He is never home,' said the Member for Harbour Grace - another a problem.

AN HON. MEMBER: An absolute lie.

MR. TOBIN: Well, he is never home. No, well, he is usually - when he was over in Germany as my colleague mentioned, in Brussels, the chocolates and the champagne, we have heard all about that. Did that come out of the $20,000, the chocolates? that is the question. Did the chocolates come out of the $20,000? The Minister of Education is another prime example, and the Minister of Finance. The Minister of Education and the Minister of Finance, are both of them getting $8,000 a year for a car allowance? That is the question that I would like to have answered. Is the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation, old campaign manager, old poll captain - is the minister getting $8,000 a year for transportation?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: - Well, does he use any other cars other than that one when he is doing government work? That is the question I would like to have answered. Has he ever been in a jeep or a four-wheel-drive belonging to the Department of Transportation - that is the question I would like to ask - since he became the minister? These are the questions, and I know what I am talking about.

The Minister of Education, now there is a prime example, the Minister of Education. He lives here in the city. He never does a thing in his district. He doesn't even know where the boundaries of it are, I suspect. He gets paid $8,000 to go to the post-office to pick up his cheques. Now that is what is happening to the taxpayers because all his cheques are not delivered to the House. He has to go to the post-office to pick up one, I would suspect.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: I heard.

MR. MATTHEWS: Yes, they applauded for him. Tell him. Tell him they applauded for him down there.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Well that is nice. I would say one thing to the minister, that I have no difficulty in believing the people of Burin Peninsula extended you courtesy, shook your hand, and applauded you. They have been known to be like that. That doesn't necessarily mean that they believe in it. That doesn't necessarily mean that they believe in what you had to say.

Answer me this question: Has there been any cost of the Premier's house charged to your department? Answer me that question.

AN HON. MEMBER: I don't know what you are talking about.

MR. TOBIN: I am talking about -

MR. MATTHEWS: He has been down there for dinner. Who paid for it? Ask him.

MR. TOBIN: Have you been to the Premier's house for dinner, and who paid for it? That is what I am talking about.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Have you been to the executive dining room for dinner, and who paid for it? Where is it showing up?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: What was that?

MR. GRIMES: You lived over in the Premier's dining room for three years. You never moved out of it I was told.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: Tell him that was the same time, Tobin, that he was fleecing the teachers. Tell him.

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, I was in the Premier's dining room. I was in the Premier's dining room at times when we were frustrated by the lies that were being told to teachers of this Province by their leadership. I was there when that happened. I was there when I watched the former president of the NTA cry on the steps of the Confederation Building. He said get me a tissue over what the government was doing. I was in the dining room when that happened, Mr. Chairman. I have been in the dining room. Sure I have. But I can tell you where I was never, and that is up in Bally Haly in a taxpayers car playing golf. I was never up there I say to the Member for Exploits. I was never driving around in the taxpayers car up on the golf course like you were. That is where I never was. I have never been down on Glenridge Crescent either, by the way, at the taxpayers expense. I can tell you that! I can tell you that!

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: I can tell you something right now, sir, and that is what you are getting from the taxpayers of this Province makes you the most expensive Minister of Forestry that this Province has ever had. That is what is happening.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: A poor investment.

MR. TOBIN: Yes. Ask the employees. Some of your senior ones. But the questions that we have to have answered before this is approved -

MR. MATTHEWS: Tell the Minister of Education not to run off. We will have more questions for him.

MR. TOBIN: The Minister of Education is not running off. He is getting the paper to see if his picture is in it.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: Charges for two.

MR. TOBIN: You know I have to tell you. The Minister of Education was not in Marystown making a speech, he was in St. Lawrence, in case he wants a course on the geography of this Province.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Yes. I heard my buddy was down.

Mr. Chairman, the Minister of Education won't be successful in distracting me from the real issue here today, and that is the exorbitant cost the Premier of this Province is costing the people of this Province. I would suspect it is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Hundreds of thousands of dollars being expended. I ask this question: does the Premier entertain in his home, and does he not charge it off to the various government departments? That is the question I want answered. Does he spend one cent of that $20,000 for any entertainment, or is it all charged off. How much caviar, wine and champaign was drank at the Premier's house from that $20,000? That is what I want answered.

AN HON. MEMBER: Who kept FPI going.

MR. TOBIN: Who kept FPI going?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Well, Mr. Speaker, I will tell you something. I would rather have a $3,000 standing order with Fishery Products than with a company on mainland Canada: New Brunswick or Nova Scotia, I say to the Minister of Forestry.

MR. MATTHEWS: At least you are employing Newfoundlanders.

MR. TOBIN: Yes, and that is not something they know a lot about, employing Newfoundlanders. I wonder if the Minister of Fisheries agree with you condemning government purchasing fish from Fishery Products or does he think it should go to the Mainland? That is the question that has to be asked. That is another one of the questions. We will ask about that $20,000 that the Premier is getting for entertainment and is it being spent? We talk about the old medical line jumper who goes to the hospital. The poor: give them no increase and then when they have to go to the hospital the Minister of Health comes and jumps ahead of them in the lineup. I know what the Minister of Finance is at. Another fellow getting $8000 a year of taxpayer's money to drive the government car to the post office to pick up his pension. That is another fellow. That is what is going on in this Province. Does he have a gas card? That is the other question.

MR. MATTHEWS: Yes he has.

MR. TOBIN: They do not have gas cards, too? What?

MR. MATTHEWS: Oh, yes.

MR. TOBIN: So now they have gas cards with the cars. I did not know that.

MR. GULLAGE: Cars use gas.

MR. MATTHEWS: Cars use gas the Minister of Social Services says.

MR. TOBIN: Is that right? Well, Mr. Chairman, let me say to the Minister of Social Services that if his car needs gas he does not have to go to the pumps to get it. There are other issues that we have to put to debate here today and we want answers.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.

MR. TOBIN: By leave.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

The hon. the Minister of Health.

MR. DECKER: Mr. Chairman, I am somewhat surprised that the Opposition is not insisting that we let this motion go through a lot faster because the longer we prolong it the more opportunity we get to compare what used to be with what now is, and every time that is done I have no doubt who comes out on top. One of the first conversations I had with anyone in the aircraft chartering business in this Province was early in my term as Minister of Health, about a month or six weeks after I stopped off in Deer Lake. I took the regular Air Nova flight out to Deer Lake on the way to my district and while I was there one of the people who was involved - and I will not say the name of the company, came along to me and said: I am not too well pleased with you people in government. I said why is that? Well, he said, we are not chartering any planes to you now. Oh, I said, how come? Ah, he said, the good old days, the plane every Friday afternoon after the House closed at 12:00 or 1:00 o'clock. The plane would pick up the crew in St. John's. First stop, Clarenville after the boys would stagger off. Those who could walk would get off in Clarenville and they would disperse.

AN HON. MEMBER: Clarenville?

MR. DECKER: Yes, Clarenville. There is an airport for a chartered flight. I am quoting the guy from the airlines industry but I am taking responsibility for what I am saying myself and I will stand by it, Mr. Chairman. The next stop, Mr. Chairman, Gander, and a few more guys would stagger off. Now they would find it a little more difficult to walk by the time they got to Gander. Now, the plane could only take eight or ten passengers and she might have to come back to St. John's to pick up the next stop, Grand Falls, Mr. Chairman. Remember the racket about that little landing strip in Grand Falls? Everybody staggered off, Mr. Chairman. The next stop Springdale, unload a few more.

AN HON. MEMBER: She went on the Burin Peninsula, too.

MR. DECKER: That was another plane. You are confused. My hon. friend is confused. That was another bunch. That was another charter.

AN HON. MEMBER: That was the Winterland charter.

MR. DECKER: Quite often that was a helicopter that had to go down and check on something, Mr. Chairman. The next stop Springdale and by now they had to be taken off, physically removed. They could not walk. They were air sick, rough flights and that sort of thing. The next stop was Deer Lake, Mr. Chairman, where a few more would crawl off or be dragged off. The next stop was out in the St. George's area. Was there an airstrip out there somewhere?

AN HON. MEMBER: Stephenville.

MR. DECKER: Now, Mr. Chairman, I got a tremendous calling down at Stephenville. This is what it used to be in the old days.

AN HON. MEMBER: Every Friday?

MR. DECKER: Every single Friday and sometimes in the middle of the week. I apologize profusely. I am sorry you are losing all this business. Oh, he said, minister, do not apologize. What I am saying is right but I have to hand it to you guys. Really the kind of government we want is where you people are not afraid to get on the public transit and take a flight with everybody else. We think you are doing what is right, Mr. Chairman.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. DECKER: Mr. Chairman, the hon. member makes a big deal about the $8000 car allowance that we are all getting and that the Leader of the Opposition is getting. Now, let me compare that to what it used to be. When a member of the House became a member of Cabinet the first thing he had to do was write a requisition for a brand new car.

AN HON. MEMBER: Twenty-eight thousand.

MR. DECKER: There was a maximum on it, twenty-four - remember we are talking four or five years ago now.

Let me tell you what some hon. members used to do over in that Cabinet. Let me tell you what they used to do. Now listen to this. As a member of the House of Assembly, a member is entitled to use his vehicle to drive to his district. These are the old rules, twenty-odd cents a mile or whatever we got, the same as the civil service got. I got it. We all got it. We would take our own car, drive from St. John's to our district, and you would claim your mileage.

Hon. members in that previous administration -

AN HON. MEMBER: In Cabinet.

MR. DECKER: In Cabinet, who had a government provided car to the Department of Health, Transportation, or whatever department -

AN HON. MEMBER: And a gas card.

MR. DECKER: And a gas card, would take that car and drive it to his district and claim mileage on a government car. That is the kind of corruption of which the hon. member was part. That is exactly the kind of thing that used to happen. That is what used to happen.

Now all hon. members understand what I am saying?

AN HON. MEMBER: Yes.

MR. DECKER: A government owned car, charged out -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

R. DECKER: No one is doing it now. None. The hon. member says: How many are doing it now? How many are doing it now? Is that the question? How many? None. Not a single person.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. DECKER: Nobody is doing it now. I will table my expenses. Any hon. member will. Not a soul is doing it.

Furthermore, if we are using our -

AN HON. MEMBER: No government cars now for Cabinet Ministers.

MR. DECKER: The $8,000 car allowance, I have a car. If I have to go anywhere within driving distance, on Department of Health business, I take that car and there is no mileage paid to me for that. That car is used for Department of Health business. I cannot claim mileage. Before hon. members going to their own ridings would claim mileage on a government car.

Well talk about the famous visit across the Province when they visited the municipal buildings in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, in a government car. Talk about hon. members!

The opposition should be trying to get this bill out of the way as fast as they can, because if we compare them with us, it is like day and night. It is darkness and light. It is like Hades being compared to Heavenly bliss! It is totally different. It is like sin and righteousness! It is like comparing sin with righteousness.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. DECKER: Standing order. I did not know what a standing order was. The first time I heard of a standing order, you know what it was? It was for Cuban cigars, for the premier's office, Mr. Chairman.

AN HON. MEMBER: Cuban cigars.

MR. DECKER: Yes, because they were concerned about the Cuban economy. The hon. member talks about concern about the Newfoundland economy and helping FPI. But the Cuban economy has taken a tremendous bump since the previous administration has been kicked out. Fidel Castro has a problem. Because the export market that he had to Newfoundland for his cigars has disappeared since the government changed, Mr. Chairman.

MR. FLIGHT: Do the figures, the food, booze and the fish standing orders.

MR. DECKER: Five thousand dollars worth of Cuban cigars, Mr. Chairman. Booze! A $20,000 standing order.

MR. FLIGHT: Every liqueur in the world.

MR. DECKER: Now, do you know what that means, Mr. Chairman? That means, when there is a bottle that has to be replaced it is delivered automatically!

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

The hon. member's time is up.

MR. DECKER: Could I have leave, Mr. Chairman?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: No leave!

MR. CHAIRMAN: No leave.

The hon. the Opposition House Leader.

MR. MATTHEWS: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. There is one thing about it, we have certainly got the attention of members opposite, particularly the ministers. Now you know what they say about that, that you have struck a nerve, I say to the Minister of Health. We have struck a nerve of the Minister of Health on the shenanigans that he has got on with since he became minister. Jumping the line at the hospital is only minor to what we are going to disclose here before the end of the week about the Minister of Health.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: Yes. He gets up in his preaching way, condemning those in front of him, before him. I want to say to him, he wants to be careful, talking about chartering planes and hooking rides and hitching a ride. He should be careful about that, because it has been brought to the attention of the people of the Province that not only the minister has had rides on planes, I say to the Minister of Health, but other people belonging to him have been known to come to the city at public expense.

MR. TOBIN: Like who?

MR. MATTHEWS: Well, I'm not going - everyone knows who I'm talking about. The Minister of Health knows who I am talking about. You know who I am talking about. At public expense. Relatives of ministers have been known to come in, within the last three years, I say to people opposite, not before 1989. It is too bad the Minister of Education is gone, because I wanted to ask him. But it is interesting to hear the Minister of Health talk about the Cuban cigars.

I wanted to ask the Minister of Education, Who paid for the dinner at the Premier's house when the Stone House catered, when he was there? Did the Department of Education pay for it?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: From the Stone House, I say to members opposite. They catered at the Premier's house with the Minister of Education and others present. Who paid for it? Did it come out of the $20,000 that the Premier was given, or did the Minister of Education's department pay for it, or some other government department or agency?

The Minister of Forestry is over there mumbling and going on. He can mumble and go on, but we are going to have the answers.

The Minister of Health goes on about the cars. There are other questions to be asked about the cars, I say to the Minister of Health, and other questions about his own situation, when he gets his car allowance and goes out to other areas of the Province. He flies out, which the taxpayers pay for; he drives, which the taxpayers pay for; and the car that he is getting the $8,000 car allowance for, where is it?

MR. FLIGHT: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: No, he should put wings on her, I say to the Minister of Forestry, like some of those beetles he is laying spray on - put wings on her, try to get her to go all over the Province, or get a flying carpet for them all, or something.

MR. TOBIN: Then he claims his trips to the district.

MR. MATTHEWS: Yes, and the big helicopter.

I say to the Minister of Health, there are times we took planes and helicopters and went into places, but at least they knew we were coming and they knew who was there.

AN HON. MEMBER: That's right. Guaranteed, they did know.

MR. MATTHEWS: Yes, they knew. We didn't go in under the cover of darkness or dusk, and sneak in and out without anyone knowing about it.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: A lot of bars, yes. Well there is one thing I can tell you, that I would say the Member for Carbonear knew about the bar being open at Fong's because however long it was open, he was in there. He never left the bar. I would say most of the expense at the bar at Fong's, the now Member for Carbonear -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: Yes he did. Oh, yes. The member is not fair. I would say the member, if the truth were told, would be -

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

MR. MATTHEWS: He was in the private dining room, I say to the member, when he was President of the Federation.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

The hon. the Minister of Education, on a point of order.

DR. WARREN: Mr. Chairman, I would like to ask the member to withdraw any comments. I was in the caucus room and I heard something about the Department of Education paying for a dinner at the Stone House. I would like for the member to withdraw that. The Department of Education never did pay for any dinner -

AN HON. MEMBER: At the Premier's house (inaudible).

DR. WARREN: At the Premier's house or the Stone House or anywhere else. I ask the member to withdraw that.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

MR. TOBIN: I have my doubts if you are telling the truth.

MR. MATTHEWS: Mr. Chairman.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

The hon. the Opposition House Leader, to the point of order. Are you speaking to the point of order?

MR. MATTHEWS: Yes, to the point of order, certainly.

I just want to say to the Minister of Education, no, he didn't hear all the story. But the question I wanted to ask the minister is, Who paid for the dinner at the Premier's house, where Stone House catered, at which the Minister of Education was present, I have been told, and the question was: Was it coming out of the $20,000, the Premier's allowance for entertainment, or did the -

DR. WARREN: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: Okay, that was the question. We are trying to get answers.

DR. WARREN: You asked me if the Department of Education -

MR. MATTHEWS: I didn't accuse the Department of Education of paying for it, I am asking the question, because I know the minister was there.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

There is no point of order.

The hon. the President of Treasury Board.

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

MR. SPEAKER (Lush): Order, please!

The hon. the Member for Trinity - Bay de Verde.

MR. L. SNOW: Mr. Speaker, the Committee of Supply have considered the matters to them referred, have directed me to report progress and ask leave to sit again.

On motion, report received and adopted, Committee ordered to sit again on tomorrow.

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, I move that the House at its rising do adjourn until tomorrow, Wednesday, at 2:00 p.m. and that the House do now adjourn.

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