May 26, 1993                HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY PROCEEDINGS                Vol. XLII  No. 4


The House met at 2:00 p.m.

MR. SPEAKER (Dicks): Order, please!

I would like to welcome to the galleries twelve students from Cabot Institute, Parade Street, accompanied by their instructors Genevieve Gallant and Adelle Sharpe.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: On behalf of all hon. members I would like to welcome to the House of Assembly as well the Member for Torngat Mountains, who was sworn in this morning.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

Oral Questions

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

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, I have some questions for the Minister of Mines and Energy.

During the election campaign there were lots of rumours flying around about the privatization of Newfoundland Hydro - lots of talk, lots of questions and so on - and many people, I think, were asking the question: Was the government actually looking at the possibility of selling all or part of Hydro to the private sector? I want to ask the minister: Can he tell the House if there is any substance at all to those rumours?

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

DR. GIBBONS: Mr. Speaker, there is nothing further that I can add to what was said in Answers to Questions before we broke for the election.

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

MR. SIMMS: I do not know if the minister heard me ask the question. Is there any substance at all to the rumours that were going around? Can he tell us that? I do not know what he said before the election. That was not the question.

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

DR. GIBBONS: Mr. Speaker, without knowing what the rumours were, the answer is the same.

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

MR. SIMMS: Let me ask the minister: Has the government received an assessment of the market value of Newfoundland Hydro, and if so, who prepared the assessment and was it done at government's request?

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

DR. GIBBONS: Mr. Speaker, we have not asked for a market assessment of Newfoundland Hydro.

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

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, I do not know if the minister is trying to be coy. I am asking him: Was there an assessment done of the market value of Newfoundland Hydro? Surely as the Minister of Mines and Energy he would know that; and if so, who prepared the assessment?

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

DR. GIBBONS: Mr. Speaker, I tabled the annual report in this House only two or three days ago, and you can see there the value of Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Leader of the Opposition - a second final supplementary.

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, back in August of 1992 the Minister of Mines and Energy said - in response I think, at a time when the Member for St. John's South had publicly made some suggestion about the privatization of Newfoundland Hydro - the minister then said that the government had studied the matter - at least he is quoted as having said - the government had studied the matter and decided that privatization would not be in the best interest of the Province. What was the basis of the study that was done that he referred to? Can he tell us what the basis of the study was at that time and for what reason did government decide that privatization was not feasible?

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

MR. GIBBONS: In 1992, Mr. Speaker, in response to questions in this House - the questions referred to a proposal that had come in in previous years from Newfoundland Light and Power. When we were assessing a proposal from Newfoundland Light and Power concerning the power distribution districts, in the rural districts, and at that time a committee was put in place and did an assessment of the proposal and the decision at that time was that it was not in our best interest to proceed with that particular proposal.

MR. SIMMS: A supplementary.

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

MR. SIMMS: Can the Minister of Mines and Energy - I know he referred to the report, I have not had a chance to read the report - can he tell the House what is the market value of Newfoundland Hydro?

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

MR. GIBBONS: Mr. Speaker, without looking at the report and getting the figure, I am unable to say exactly -

MR. SIMMS: You told me just a minute ago.

MR. GIBBONS: Well, it is in the report and I would have to look at the report as well.

MR. SIMMS: You don't know either, in other words?

MR. GIBBONS: I could give an estimate of about $1.3 billion or thereabout.

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

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, a supplementary to the minister. Can the minister indicate how much profit the Province might make on the sale of Hydro if it was undertaken?

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

MR. GIBBONS: Mr. Speaker, I would not want to speculate on that at this time.

MR. SIMMS: A final supplementary, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: I give the hon. Leader of the Opposition -

MR. SIMMS: Can the Minister of Mines and Energy tell the House if the Province's credit rating agencies or any companies associated with the credit rating agencies have ever suggested or done any study or work that would suggest that the government sell Newfoundland Hydro as a way to raise money to offset deficits for the next two or three years?

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

MR. GIBBONS: No, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. SIMMS: Just a final Supplementary, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. SIMMS: Is the government looking at that issue right now, can he tell the House that?

AN HON. MEMBER: You should ask the Minister of Finance that.

MR. SIMMS: I am asking the Minister of Mines and Energy. Does the minister know. Are you doing it now, is it underway now?

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

MR. GIBBONS: Relative to what?

MR. SIMMS: You have no idea of what we are talking about.

AN HON. MEMBER: Nor do you.

AN HON. MEMBER: Are you talking about the credit rating or -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Member for Humber East.

MS. VERGE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have questions for the Premier. The election was held over three weeks ago and this assembly, this new assembly has convened, why hasn't the Premier activated the conflict of interest legislation that was passed two months ago and taken steps to have the House appoint the commissioner?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

MR. ROBERTS: She should speak to her Leader.

PREMIER WELLS: She should have spoken to her Leader. I spoke to him yesterday and I guess no doubt she's discovered that and that's the purpose of the question, to make it look as though she's doing something. I spoke to the Leader of the Opposition yesterday and I spoke to the Member for St. John's East about implementation of the conflict of interest legislation -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

PREMIER WELLS: - about implementation of the conflict of interest legislation, and appointment of a commissioner as the Act requires. I told them we were in the process of proclaiming it, and as the Act requires the Premier has to bring a motion before the House to nominate a person to be commissioner. As the Act requires, I sought their advice on the nomination beforehand. I put forward a proposal and I'm glad to say that both members endorsed the proposal that I suggested. At the appropriate time on the Order Paper I will be giving notice of motion to appoint the individual of whom we spoke. So if the member can contain herself for just a few more minutes, all will be answered.

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

MS. VERGE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I thank the Premier for his answer. As a matter of fact, I didn't realize that the Premier had consulted the Leader of the Opposition yesterday. Another question for the Premier. Why did the Premier appoint as his new Minister of Works, Services and Transportation, the minister responsible for public tendering and the Public Service Commission, a man who's bragged about his mastery of old style patronage politics? Does the Premier want to have the fox in charge of the henhouse?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

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

AN HON. MEMBER: The election's over.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: There are certain gutters into which even members of this House ought not to descend, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. WINDSOR: He obviously doesn't like the question.

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

MR. WOODFORD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is to the new minister responsible for Municipal and Provincial Affairs. It's been approximately two years now since the former, former minister of municipal affairs came up with the scheme for amalgamating a number of municipalities in the Province. Some have been completed, and I might add against the wishes of the people. Has the minister given any thought to reviewing the whole amalgamation issue, reviewing it any further?

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. REID: Let me say first of all, thank you to my hon. friend for Humber Valley for the question. But, Mr. Speaker, most members in the House will appreciate the fact that I have been in the office now for less than a week and I have discussed with my officials, I think, on two separate occasions the question of amalgamation, specifically the names or the communities that have been named for possible amalgamation. I am not really at liberty to answer at this particular point in time, until I have a chance to speak to a number of commissioners who have been appointed and to get directions from my department on what will actually happen in these individual cases. So I am hoping that the hon. member and the House can bear with me for at least a few more days until I familiarize myself with the whole question of amalgamation and then, hopefully, I will be in a better position to answer the hon. member's question.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. WOODFORD: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker. I would like to ask the minister, when he is reviewing the process and the scheme that was set up by the previous minister, well, I guess, the first minister, the Member for Waterford-Kenmount, who brought it in first, and not the previous one, the Member for Placentia, would he consider, especially the grouping of Spillway, Nicholsville, and Deer Lake when he is reviewing the process, look at that particular grouping. Those people did not ask for amalgamation. It was against their wishes. Would he give a commitment to the House today that he would take this particular grouping into consideration?

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

MR. REID: Mr. Speaker, I am led to believe that there are a number of areas that are concerned about the question of amalgamation and I cannot give special attention to one particular area of the Province that has problems with the question of amalgamation. I will deal with every area that has been proposed to be amalgamated on a fair and equitable basis. I will certainly take into consideration the hon. member's comments, but when the final decisions are made, of course, I have to be as fair as I possibly can with every area of the Province.

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

MR. WOODFORD: A final supplementary, Mr. Speaker.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member has the floor.

MR. WOODFORD: Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the minister if, when he is reviewing the process, he would take into consideration what the Premier said, I think it was approximately a couple of years ago, down in Lark Harbour or Summerside where we had a meeting on amalgamation first, that there would be no communities in this Province forced to amalgamate against their wishes.

AN HON. MEMBER: That is what he said.

MR. WOODFORD: That is what was said since in the House of Assembly. Will the minister take that into consideration, and what is his stand on it?

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

MR. REID: Mr. Speaker, everything will be taken into consideration when we deal with the question of amalgamation. We are dealing with, I guess, the lives of people in Newfoundland and I don't think one particular comment made by the Premier, or anyone else, should be taken out of context to the point where we have to concentrate on some one particular item. We will certainly look at representations made, not only by the Premier, but by members of this hon. House, from both sides.

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

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

My question is for the Minister of Forestry and Agriculture.

Prior to the election, the Minister of Forestry and Agriculture tabled a report, the Simmons Report, in the House of Assembly. Can he tell the House today, number one: What is the status of that report? And, number two, has any consideration been given, or is there any consideration being given to a time frame when the recommendations will be implemented, or will the recommendations not be implemented?

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

MR. FLIGHT: Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member indicated, the Simmons Report dealing with the land freeze and all the rest, is done, has been made public. My officials and I are perusing the report and it is my hope that it will be presented to Cabinet, because, as the hon. member will know, a lot of the recommendations in that report were to have boundary changes made to the zoned land deleted from the existing zone. Under the legislation, that has to be done by a Cabinet order, so we are now preparing a recommendation to Cabinet to deal with the Simmons Report and the implementation of it.

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

MR. E. BYRNE: In perusing the document before Cabinet, can you give a time frame, clearly here today, that this will be done by April, this will be done by next month, next week? Can you tell the House when those recommendations will be brought forward? Could you be more specific, Mr. Minister?

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

MR. FLIGHT: All I can tell the hon. member is that the Simmons Report, the recommendations and the implementation of the various recommendations are high priority in the department; it is a priority of mine and I don't want to put any time frame on it, but as quickly as possible, we will deal with the implementation of the Simmons Report.

MR. SPEAKER: A final -

MR. E. BYRNE: Mr. Speaker, this is clearly, I find -

MR. SPEAKER: Just a moment, please. A final supplementary, the Member for Kilbride.

MR. E. BYRNE: I am sorry, Mr. Speaker.

Clearly, I find this somewhat confusing.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member has the floor.

MR. E. BYRNE: Thank you.

I am somewhat confused, because during the election, the President of the Liberal Party indicated clearly that the recommendations in this report had been adopted and that people, certainly in my district, in the district of Kilbride, have been wondering: Is that the case? If it is not the case, then when will it happen? So again, can you be more specific on when the recommendations will be implemented and when you are talking about bringing them in?

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

MR. FLIGHT: Mr. Speaker, I would tell the hon. member that I have been somewhat confused too for the past four years when I looked at the way that zone was administered for twenty years - for twenty full years when the agricultural zone in Kilbride was administered by the previous government - for twenty years.

The reason for that report in the first place - the reason to implement it was to -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. FLIGHT: - was to try to deal with the inequities and the unfair way the people caught up in that zone were dealt with by the previous administration, of which he was not a part of course, but that he would be aware whereof I speak.

Mr. Speaker, nobody but nobody was in a position to say that the recommendations were implemented. What happened was the report was received by the department; the department analyzed the report and made the report public, so there is no reason for confusion. What is happening is the report is being dealt with expeditiously and shortly the Cabinet will deal with the recommendations, and we will implement whatever recommendations we intend to implement.

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. MANNING: My questions, Mr. Speaker, are for the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs.

The 1993-'94 Budget reduced recreational grants by $1.2 million. Included in that reduction is the elimination of the electrical power subsidy for recreation facilities. Could the minister please tell me how much of the $1.2 million will be saved by eliminating the power subsidy to these facilities?

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

MR. REID: Let me thank the hon. member for the question.

Your Honour, I have always professed, regardless of what role I have ever played in life, and especially in this one, that when you do not know the answer you get up and admit that you do not know the answer. I will certainly endeavour to find the answer for my hon. colleague and submit it to the House as soon as I possibly can.

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

MR. MANNING: To me this is another example of the cost being downloaded to the municipalities, and many of them cannot afford that cost. I would like to ask the minister also, when he is seeking to find the answer to my number one question, if he would also find the answer and know how many arenas and other recreational facilities will close or will have their operations reduced because of the cancellation of this subsidy?

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

MR. REID: Mr. Speaker, my department is in the process of announcing within, I think, the next week or so, the recreational capital works projects or grants for 1993. I know within that project, or within that amount, there are a number of areas where substantial amounts of money will be made available to stadiums and recreation facilities across the Province for improvement and for operation and for other things. Until, I guess, we are ready to make the announcement as it relates to recreation grants, I am not going to be able to give you that exact answer, and I think until, I guess, the towns or the municipalities that are directly in control of these stadiums and other facilities are made aware of how much money we are actually providing them with this year, they are not going to be able to tell me themselves either. So I think you are going to have to wait maybe a bit longer than a few days to get an answer on exactly how many are going to have to close because of the reduction in the power subsidy.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for St. Mary's - The Capes, a final supplementary.

MR. MANNING: Well I can tell the minister today that the Trepassey arena, which is located in my district, is being proposed to cease operation as of June 30th, and this decision by government is playing a major role in that closure. I am sure there are others across this great Province of ours.

Throughout this Province tens of thousands of young people are idle because they cannot find work. How many of them will lose the only opportunity available in their communities for positive recreation facilities? Is the minister concerned about the loss of recreation facilities and opportunities for our young people, and the social problems - most important - the social problems that could be caused because these young people have nothing to do?

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

MR. REID: Yes, Mr. Speaker, without a doubt I am concerned about our youth, and not only our youth because these recreation facilities are used by every member, I suppose, of the general public, from seniors down to youth. I am concerned.

I'm also concerned, as you are and everyone else in this Province is, about the budgetary restraints that this government has had to handle, or we've had to handle in the last little while. I guess it's a matter of being able to afford and what to afford. I agree with the member. Maybe it's a situation that we should look at, maybe we'd look at again. I don't know, I can't say if we would or not. I in my own district for example have lost a power subsidy in one facility, which amounts to I think around $5,000. I'm hoping and praying that most communities around the Province can find some other means of gaining back that money, either through their own taxation system or through the municipality or through fund-raising of some kind.

I do agree with you. We should not, I suppose, do anything to affect the people that we represent in Newfoundland. But when our hands are tied when it comes to the budgetary process and the actual money that we have to operate in the Province, we have to cut in certain areas. In that particular case that was one area we cut last year. It's regrettable, but then we have no other choice.

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

MR. SULLIVAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'd like to direct a question to the Minister of Forestry and Agriculture. Seasonal forestry fire fighters have been hired in all forestry depots on the Avalon except Cape Broyle and Salmonier. At present there is only one resource person available in these depots. I'll ask the minister: when is his department going to hire the six seasonal workers for those depots?

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

MR. FLIGHT: Mr. Speaker, I'd like to take that particular question under advisement and provide the answer to my hon. friend - maybe this afternoon.

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

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Don't know anything.

MR. SULLIVAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The minister mentioned in the media yesterday and this morning that eleven forest fires have occurred in this Province. He's very concerned. One of those fires occurred in Cape Broyle. It took the forestry fire fighters one and half hours to arrive from Paddy's Pond. Tens of thousands of dollars were spent in fighting this particular fire. I ask the minister: will he act immediately to hire the fire fighters in this area so this area can get fire protection? It's the only area now on the Avalon that's not getting fire protection that's needed.

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

MR. FLIGHT: As I indicated, Mr. Speaker, number one, I'll have my officials brief me on the incident raised by the hon. member, and in the meantime I'll take the question with regard to the fire fighting situation in the particular area he talks about under advisement and provide him with the information he requires in the next - maybe this afternoon, but certainly tomorrow.

MR. SPEAKER: Final supplementary, the hon. the Member for Ferryland.

MR. SULLIVAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. One specific employee has been there for eighteen years - one specific employee has been hired for eighteen years. He hasn't been hired yet. The department announced the rehiring on May 19. A person moved in from Labrador to fill the position and is living in the area and has not been hired. I ask the minister: is his department's failure to hire these much needed workers in this area due in part that this minister still does not know what the department salary budget will be?

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

MR. FLIGHT: No, Mr. Speaker. We're very well aware of what the department's forestry budget is. I'm also proud to stand here and support the record of the Department of Forestry with regards to fighting forest fires and with regards to our ability and with regards to the equipment and the technology and everything else available. I would ask the hon. member to take a look at the record of the Department of Forestry in Newfoundland with regards to the number of fires and the number of acres or hectares burnt over the past two years.

I will say to the hon. member, specifically I'm not aware of the details he mentioned, that somebody was brought from Labrador and hired in the area he's talking about. I'll provide the information that the hon. member needs as quickly as I can get that information, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Mount Pearl.

MR. WINDSOR: Mr. Speaker, a question for the Minister of Finance. Recently the federal Minister of Finance indicated that he was going to meet with provincial ministers to discuss a common approach to dealing with some of the large spending areas. Particularly, I'm sure, he'll be speaking of health care and transfer payments. Would the minister tell us: has he been contacted by Mr. Mazankowski to arrange a meeting, and will those meetings be held soon and will health care and transfer payments be on the agenda for that meeting?

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

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, the meetings will be held Sunday and Monday in Ottawa, this coming Sunday and Monday. I have been in conversation with Mr. Mazankowski a number of times during the past month on this particular issue. The intent is to try to come to a unified approach in terms of deficits across the country. I guess the issues to be discussed will be the relative merits of taxation versus expenditure cuts and this kind of thing, as far as I know at this point in time. It has not been indicated to me that the transfer payments will be under any discussion at all.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Mount Pearl.

MR. WINDSOR: Mr. Speaker, when the federal budget was brought down the Premier, I think, commented that he felt the deficit had not been tackled as hard by the budget as he would have liked to see happen. In view of that sort of comment, Mr. Speaker, what proposal is the Provincial Minister going to bring to this meeting next week? Is he going to go with some proposals to look at cuts in health care, perhaps a co-pay system for health care? He has already answered the question I guess on transfers.

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

MR. BAKER: My message, Mr. Speaker, is going to be varied and I do not intend to discuss the details of it here. First of all, my message is going to be along the lines that this government has taken, the approach that this government has taken to deficit control, and we believe it is the only approach at this point in time. With regard to any other matters, I would prefer to wait until the meeting and at that point in time I will have a release related to the details of my presentation.

MR. SPEAKER: A final supplementary, the hon. the Member for Mount Pearl.

MR. WINDSOR: We will look forward to that, Mr. Speaker. Let me just ask the minister this though, specifically, does the minister support some sort of user fee as a means of reducing the cost of health care? What is the governments position on that?

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

MR. BAKER: Something, Mr. Speaker, that government has never discussed and therefore government does not have a position on and I have not been told that that is going to be an item under discussion at this meeting.

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

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Health. The minister will know that the Federal Minister of Health and Welfare announced a public inquiry to review the safety of Canada's current blood supply as a result of a House of Commons Committee report tabled yesterday in the House of Commons. This report also said that there is an urgent need to trace people who may have become infected with the aids virus through medical treatment before they infect others and notes that perhaps over 1,000 people in Canada have contracted the aids virus through the blood supply. I want to ask the minister what his government is going to do to assist people in this Province to find out whether or not they have possibly contracted the HIV virus through blood transfusions, through operations or through blood supply in this Province?

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

DR. KITCHEN: Mr. Speaker, there is no problem for anybody who thinks he may have aids or have contracted HIV to get a blood test. It is a very simply procedure and it is very inexpensive. I welcome anyone who has such a problem to visit the clinics and become tested.

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

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. What can the minister do to help the people identify those who may be at risk? Can the minister advise the public or members of the public as to what periods of time the blood supply in this Province made available may have in fact been contaminated and what period of time should people be looking out for, people who had operations or who may have had blood transfusions?

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

DR. KITCHEN: Mr. Speaker, since 1985, the blood supply that has been given for ordinary operations in this Province has been tested for HIV virus. So we can assume that since 1985 everything is fine or pretty well fine anyway but before that - I do not know how far back we go to check whether or not there was an HIV virus, perhaps we have to go back to the mid-70's and perhaps earlier but I would suggest that anyone who has had a blood transfusion before 1985 and going back for a number of years and who may be concerned about the matter, should go and become tested. That is about all there is to it. There is no need of anyone tracking down the thousands of people who may have had blood transfusions, any more than it is necessary to track down all of the people who have had other means of contracting HIV as well. So, it is not an appropriate issue to be debating. The means is there for people to be tested and anyone who feels concerned should become tested.

MR. SPEAKER: Question period has expired.

Presenting Reports by

Standing and Special Committees

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

DR. KITCHEN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I would like to table the Report of the Newfoundland Medicare Commission for the year ended March 31, 1992, and I would commend it to hon. members for their very interesting reading.

Notices of Motion

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, I give notice that I will on tomorrow move that Mr. Wayne Mitchell, who is the Chief Electoral Officer, be and he is hereby appointed as the Commissioner of Member's Interest pursuant to Section 34, Subsection 2 of the House of Assembly Act as amended. The House of Assembly Amendment Act, Chapter 1 of the statutes of Newfoundland 1993.

Petitions

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Green Bay.

MR. HEWLETT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I rise to present a petition on behalf of six residents of Long Island in the district of Green Bay. The prayer of the petition is quite simple. We the undersigned residents of Long Island petition the hon. House of Assembly for another phase of our water and sewerage system. The six residents signing the petition were members of the community council of Long Island a week or so prior to the calling of the last election. I had a meeting with the council with regard to their dissatisfaction with the lack of action regarding getting water and sewer work done and they gave me a petition to bring forward to the House of Assembly. However, by the time I brought the petition to St. John's the election had been called and now is my first opportunity to present their petition.

Long Island is an isolated island, Mr. Speaker. It is rural serviced by a ferry system. The water system on the island is only partly completed. During the last term of the Wells administration the government did the island damage by cutting the ferry system in half. During the last Wells administration one phase of the water system to the tune of $360,000 was approved way back in 1990. The Wells government has promised fairness and balance in the allocation of water and sewer monies but I do not think they have lived up to their word with regard to, especially rural communities in Green Bay in that regard. I ask the government to take the plea of the people of Long Island into consideration. Please do not hold it against them, that I was re-elected as their MHA. Please do not hold it against them that 46 per cent of the residents there voted for the Independent Liberal candidate. The next time monies are allocated for water and sewer monies please give Long Island its long overdue consideration.

Mr. Speaker, I support the petition and ask that it be tabled and referred to the Department of Municipal and Provincial Affairs.

Thank you.

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

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

I want to present a petition to the hon. House. It is not in the proper form so I would like to ask leave of the House to present it.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. member has requested leave of the House to present a petition from his district which is not the proper form. Is it the will of the House that the member have leave?

AN HON. MEMBER: He should show it to the Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Well, I hate to pass an opinion but it appears to me that it is in a general form that members would find acceptable. I do not know if the Opposition House Leader would like to review it.

The Opposition House Leader.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Mr. Speaker, if the Speaker has seen it and thinks it is alright to present here, we agree with the member presenting his petition.

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

MR. HARRIS: Mr. Speaker, I would like to report that I am quite happy to grant leave for the Member for Eagle River to present his petition.

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

MR. DUMARESQUE: Thank you, very much, Mr. Speaker, and obviously, a special thank you to the Member for St. John's East.

Mr. Speaker, the prayer of the petition is that we the people of Mary's Harbour, Labrador hereby present this petition to the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador: whereas the existing power plant is in a residential area and due to the recent fire, we feel this facility poses an extremely dangerous threat to our community, and we strongly recommend that when the new power plant is built, that it be located outside a residential area where it would be less dangerous, should a fire reoccur. Mr. Speaker, this petition is signed by 183 members of the community which virtually represents the total number of adults in this community, and I want to concur with the wishes of these residents.

As members would recall, about five or six weeks ago, there was a fire in that power plant that destroyed the power plant totally and left the community without any power. Certainly, it would have been very, very grave indeed if it had occurred in early January, because it would have caused tremendous damage to the water and sewer system and indeed to the lives of the people concerned. So I want to indicate to this House that this is a very serious issue and it is not only in the community of Mary's Harbour, it is the same thing along the coast, because when these original power plants were built, Mr. Speaker, they were built without the proper planning process and indeed, many of the communities were not incorporated at the time, so now that the communities are incorporated, there are certainly zoning regulations which must be respected and as we have seen in this community, many residents built their homes close to the power plant because that was indeed the residential zoning that was made available, but now this power plant has been eliminated.

I might also submit for members information, Mr. Speaker, over the last ten years, there have been four such power plants burnt to the ground on the coast of Labrador, and certainly, if this particular plant had burnt in the summer time, it would have indeed caused a very, very grave situation in that community and I think that it would only be prudent for Newfoundland Hydro to take a serious look at the implications of moving this particular facility when they rebuild it.

I would also like to take this opportunity to ask Newfoundland Hydro if they would review the staffing and locations of all their power plants along the coast of Labrador, because we must not forget that the replacement cost of the four facilities over the last ten years, is going to be somewhere in the order of $10 million, and, some people have expressed the view that if there were a system of staffing set up where these facilities would be monitored on an hourly basis, then maybe these accidents would not have happened and these kinds of considerable public expenditures would not have had to be made.

So, Mr. Speaker, I submit to the hon. House and to the minister responsible, the wishes of these people and I would hope that when the power plant is rebuilt, that it is done so with all the due respect for the wishes of the people in Mary's Harbour.

Thank you.

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

DR. GIBBONS: Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague from Eagle River for presenting that petition. I would certainly draw it to the attention of Hydro and ask for an assessment.

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

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, I would like to stand and support the petition presented by the Member for Eagle River. Obviously, he did not get much encouragement from the minister and I hope he brings back the comments of the minister to the people of Mary's Harbour, as it relates to the enthusiasm he displayed in terms of supporting the petition that was just presented by the Member for Eagle River.

I have some knowledge of what the Member for Eagle River is talking about because I too, represent a constituency where several communities have power plants - actually it is only one now because Monkstown is hooked up to the main grid and Petit Forte, again this year, was hooked up to the provincial power system, but I know what the member is saying. I think the improvements that are needed should be met; the residents of Mary's Harbour know what is best for Mary's Harbour, and I think this government has a responsibility to adhere to what they requested.

I would encourage the minister, if I may, to show more enthusiasm in the future for petitions that are being presented by the Member for Eagle River, and indeed all other members in the House of Assembly.

Orders of the Day

MR. SPEAKER: It being Wednesday, I understand that it has been agreed by the House Leaders that we would debate Motion 3.

The hon. the Government House Leader.

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, before we get into the debate it might be useful to record an understanding that has been reached between my friend from Grand Bank and myself, and see if members are prepared to endorse it.

The rules of the House, as we know - the Standing Orders of the House - provide that there are to be two days of debate on any motion standing in a Private Member's name - two successive Wednesdays when we ordinarily have it.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: Well not for many years until I arrived, I say to my friend from... When my hon. friend was in the Chair it was two days in those days; but in any event, his point to me shows the danger of changing the rules without changing the rules, which is really, in my judgement, about the stunnedest thing that the House of Assembly could do. If we want to change the rule we should change the rule, but there have been no changes made in the rules. There were recommendations made in 1975 on redistribution, which the government of the day ignored as well. Recommendations are of no value. It is action that counts.

Now let me get on - my friend from Grand Bank and I have reached an understanding which, if acceptable to the House, I would propose we act upon, and that is this: That with respect to Private Members' Day, first of all a motion be debated for only one day and put to a vote at the end of that day's debate. Secondly, that the speeches on the motion be of twenty minutes duration, and that the mover have the right of response at the end of the - after, in other words, at twenty minutes of five the mover would be given the floor and he or she would then speak. Thirdly, that we do not take the motions in the order in which they stand on the Order Paper, but instead alternately the Opposition and the government side are allowed to state which motion they wish to have debated, and we will endeavour to do that on the Monday before the House meets so as to give members a day to prepare.

Now that is my understanding of the arrangement. If my friend from Grand Bank is of like mind perhaps he could confirm it, and if all hands are agreed then we will proceed on that; but I say to my friend from Grand Falls - that is the same arrangement we had last time except we have now -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) years.

MR. ROBERTS: Well I do not know how long it has been on there. There was a six year gap in my time in the House. No, it was not there before 1985. It might have come after 1985.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: It could well be. I am not responsible for what went on after 1985. I was not there, but I answer for what I have done or not done.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: Yes, in a way in which the hon. gentleman was not. Even when the hon. gentleman was in the Chair he was not responsible. I am not responsible for Frank Moores and Brian Peckford, and that ilk, no.

AN HON. MEMBER: You do not want me to tell them about (inaudible) conversations.

MR. ROBERTS: I would hope not. The hon. gentleman, I would assume, still has the attributes of a gentlemen, as he always did, but if he wants to tell what he recalls of conversations, I will tell him what I recall of conversations and we will have a very entertaining time, Mr. Speaker.

In any event, if hon. members are of a like mind perhaps we could proceed on that basis, at least until such time as Standing Orders are formally amended, whenever that may be.

MR. SPEAKER: Yes, thank you.

The hon. the Opposition House Leader.

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

Yes, Mr.Speaker, we agree with the proposal put forward by the Government House Leader. Of course that was the arrangement we were working under for years until, I guess it was some time last Fall - I think it was -

AN HON. MEMBER: Christmas.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Yes, close to Christmas. Somewhere after the 20th of December, with the night sessions and the long debate on certain legislation, and other things that some of us still remember, that this thing got out of whack and got off the rails. Then we, on one occasion, went to two Wednesdays for Private Members' resolutions, so -

MR. ROBERTS: (Inaudible) used up an entire day on points of order.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Precisely, so we totally agree with what the Government House Leader said, that we will give notice on the Monday; we will alternate sides on the Private Members' resolution, and it will be twenty minutes each with the mover of the resolution to take the floor at 4:40 p.m.; so we totally agree with what the Government House Leader has proposed, and we hope that this Session will be cordial enough that we will not resort later on in the Session to two day debates on Private Members' (inaudible). So yes, we agree, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you.

The hon. the Member for St. John's East.

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I would like to remind the Government House Leader and the Opposition House Leader of the dangers of assuming unanimous consent in coming to these agreements. I haven't had any discussions with either of these individuals on this, but for the purposes of today's debate I would certainly be happy to give consent to the procedure as put forth. There have been discussions in the past concerning not just the order of debate back and forth but also the arrangements being made to include the private member's resolutions coming from the New Democratic Party, as well. So I would hope that there would be an opportunity to discuss that, as well, Mr. Speaker. For the purpose of the debate today, I have no difficulty.

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you.

The hon. the Government House Leader.

MR. ROBERTS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Very briefly, let me say to my hon. friend from St. John's East, I had not presumed unanimous consent. I was stating an arrangement struck between the Leaders of the only two parties in this House, the only two groups in this House. As I recollect, my closing words were: If hon. members are so minded, Mr. Speaker, we shall proceed on that basis.

That said, I thank my hon. friend from St. John's East. He has exactly the same rights as any other individual member of this House and I will respect those, and look forward to continuing to work with him on that basis. But, with respect, I will deal with my friend from Grand Bank, as House Leader for the Opposition, on a different basis, because he speaks for - is it sixteen? - fifteen, sixteen, whatever it is, subject to recounts and controverted election petitions and nembers of the House, and members who have a role as the Official Opposition.

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you. What the House Leaders have pointed out, as well as the Member for St. John's East, is that under the rules, this is not the proper or the prescribed procedure, and that, of course, it has been custom. However, custom does not have the force of an order and, as was pointed out, perhaps the matter could be taken up by the Standing Orders Committee, which might then provide us with appropriate rule amendments, and we will act on that case.

In any event, it certainly appears to be the will of the House to follow the custom and we would do so. Of course, if an objection were raised, we all know the consequence of that.

The hon. the Opposition House Leader.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Not wanting to take up any more time, but since we are talking about procedure and Standing Orders and so on, the report that the Committee did present - also, there were some other changes proposed, such as that there would be statements by members at the beginning of the session, at the beginning of each sitting day for, I think it was thirty seconds or a minute or ninety seconds - I forget what the time was.

AN HON. MEMBER: Ninety seconds.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Ninety seconds. This stuff was never implemented. So I am wondering if the Government House Leader perhaps could take under consideration having a look at that report and maybe there are some things that we could look at, if not implementing now, before we adjourn for the summer, with a view to perhaps putting into practice by the time we resume this Fall.

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

MR. ROBERTS: Thank you. If I may, Mr. Speaker, I would say to my hon. friend, that is a matter I am in the process of addressing. I will have to, in due course, take counsel from my colleagues. I have read the report - I think it was a - of the Standing Orders Committee. In fact, I think His Honour was a member of it in his role as the Minister of Justice, and my friend for Mount Scio - Bell Island, as I recollect, chaired it.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) Eagle River?

MR. ROBERTS: My friend from Eagle River chaired it? No, I think my friend from Mount Scio - Bell Island chaired it.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Tourism and Culture, yes.

MR. ROBERTS: Anyway, there was a report and the House, for whatever reason, did not act upon it. I would say to my friend from Grand Bank, and, Mr. Speaker, to the other members, that we shall propose membership for the Standing Committee on whatever it is called, on the Standing Orders, the Standing Orders Standing Committee, in due course. My friend from Grand Bank is a member of the striking committee, and we shall strike, no doubt, that committee, along with the others we have struck, and are about to strike. We have struck. We will see whether we have struck well or badly. There are a number of areas which I would suggest we examine. I would say to my hon. friend, I would hope that we would be able to move this forward fairly early in the life of this House, so that we can get on with the substantive business, having put our affairs in order.

I would make one further comment. Again, my friend from Eagle River demonstrated today, when we have no rules, when we don't follow the rules, in my judgement, we get into trouble. Your Honour can't enforce understandings. Your Honour can't enforce vague - Your Honour can enforce fairly and impartially rules with precedents and interpretations. So I will certainly take the position that if we want to change the rules, we should spell out what we want, change them, and get on with it, just as we should get on with the debate here this afternoon. My friend from Ferryland is halfway down the Ring Road now and will meet himself coming back, in anxiety.

MR. SPEAKER: Before recognizing the hon. the Member for Ferryland -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

One more matter - before recognizing the hon. the Member for Ferryland, the Clerk of the House asked me to draw to your attention that if you wish to propose an amendment on Private Member's Day, it would be helpful to him if it could be in writing, if at all possible, because we have had some problems with getting the language correct. So, if at all possible - and it may not be at times - we would appreciate having any amendments, as such, in writing.

Private Members' Day

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

MR. SULLIVAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. First of all, I would like to take this opportunity to, I guess, congratulate all members on their election and re-election, and it gives me an occasion, too, to thank the voters of the Ferryland district for re-electing me. I can assure them that I will work as hard over the next four years as I have over the past year on their behalf.

It also give me pleasure to speak on behalf of the resolution on the Outer Ring Road, even though I feel that this resolution should not have been presented. It should not have been necessary to be presented today, because the Outer Ring Road should have been given the go-ahead for construction.

We are living in a society, today, where the large percentage of people are living in urban areas. We only need to look across this country, and here, specifically, in our Province, to see that the majority of people in Canada today, about 60 per cent of the people, are living in urban areas; and one of the greatest problems encountered by people living in urban areas is they become frustrated with the transportation network within their cities.

Successful cities from a business and economic standpoint are ones that can plan ahead and be able to prepare for the future, and this government has taken the approach of reacting to transportation crises and other crises instead of acting to prevent these crises.

Today, we are finding that the populations surrounding the City of St. John's and Mount Pearl are increasing in area, and there is a shift from rural Newfoundland into urban areas. I think this government is responsible in great part to the increase in shift of people from rural Newfoundland into urban Newfoundland. People, today, are starting to see that their local taxes in rural areas of this Province have increased substantially, and the gap between taxes in urban and rural areas has narrowed very much. There are no great incentives anymore in living outside in rural areas and commuting for an hour or forty-five minutes, or an hour-and-a-half, into urban areas when you are paying a very similar tax base. I think the need for this - this government has contributed to a shift from rural to urban Newfoundland, and I think they should accept a certain responsibility in being able to meet future demands of transportation and other services that come with this specific shift.

Now, with reference to Crosbie, I will get to the funding aspect, I inform the Member for Eagle River, very soon - where the funds for this road are coming from. I am sure he knows quite well.

One of the greatest concerns, I guess, being expressed, is from an environmental aspect and I will address that, too, shortly. But this Outer Ring Road, linked to the City of St. John's, would tie in with what was proposed as a Goulds bypass road that would meet around the Harbour Arterial, in around Mount Pearl, and would facilitate the movement of traffic around this city.

Now, even in my own district, it is very frustrating when you drive for an hour-and-a-half to get to work, and it takes fifty minutes to get from the regional water supply in Big Pond, in here to the Confederation Building. There is definitely a severe traffic problem developing, it is increasing, and there are no direct steps being taken to alleviate this problem. We have to plan ahead and look at this problem, and there are numerous reasons why the Outer Ring Road should go ahead.

Now, the people in my district have been told that the Goulds bypass that would tie into the Outer Ring Road would be one hundred per cent federally funded. This Provincial Government, in the Fall of 1991, were approached with putting the steps in place for a one hundred per cent federally funded Goulds bypass road to tie into the proposed Outer Ring Road, and nothing has been done. On May 15, 1992 it was registered for an environmental assessment review. That was over twelve months ago and nothing has happened. It has sat on a desk for eight months because the Premier didn't want the money to go on the Avalon, he wanted it to be directed off the Avalon, and I think that is very, very unfortunate - a 100 per cent federally funded project that could do wonders to the area of the Goulds, especially, the Southern Shore area, and here in the City of St. John's.

Overall, I think it is important that we plan ahead. Now, the Pippy Park area was commissioned back in 1968 to provide an area to house government and other cultural, social and educational institutions. That is one of the purposes for which that land was set aside. Since that time it has been made into a park area that enhances the city. I am not advocating to destroy that because we have to meet environmental standards, too, and I will address that very shortly, but overall, the intent of this park area was to provide an area for government to be able to operate and have various institutions in close proximity, set aside in at least some remote area of the city that would be able to facilitate the conduction of business within a proper environmental setting.

The Minister from St. Barbe finds that very hard to believe but, actually, that is a fact. Back in 1968, that was established under, I think it was called, the Pippy Park Commission Act 1968.

Now, this road is funded one hundred per cent by the Federal Government. I understand, $68 million has been contributed by the Federal Government to constructing the Outer Ring Road, in addition to $6 million for a Goulds bypass road, so $74 million would certainly be a big boost and it is not going to affect the financial position of this Province. If it is a concern in times of restraint and utilizing where money can be best spent, it is not impacting upon the Budget of this Province.

Now, the money is available and the need has been clearly stated. The Provincial Government have admitted there is a need, the Federal Government have admitted there is a need, and the City of St. John's has clearly identified the need for the Outer Ring Road and the need for it to progress. An environmental impact study was approved back in 1988 for this Outer Ring Road, and even just last Fall, Transport Canada completed its own environmental assessment.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: It hasn't? The Department of Environment Canada participated and also the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. It was done by the Federal Government to satisfy their need to see if it should proceed. They were satisfied, and stated that it met the requirements of the federal environmental and all regulating agencies for it to proceed.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: I don't know.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) Mr. Crosbie.

MR. SULLIVAN: Yes, but I am not sitting in the House of Commons and I am not the federal member, so I can speak -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) future considerations.

MR. SULLIVAN: Yes. It has been stated that it would be funded federally. The Federal Government have agreed to fund the $68 million. It has not only met the federal environmental regulations, it has met the provincial environmental regulations and, in 1989, the Provincial Government removed it from the public hearing process because they came to the conclusion that the assessment was not going to be detrimental or it wasn't significant to warrant public hearings, because there would be no adverse effects upon the environment and the terrain in the Pippy Park area where this proposed road was to go ahead.

Now, it has met all standards and funding has been set aside for this road but the Provincial Government have dragged their feet on the Outer Ring Road, failing to make a decision as to where they even stand on the issue. They have recognized the need but they haven't done anything to move it ahead and put it into motion.

On October 19, the Fall of 1992, the provincial Minister of Works, Services and Transportation stated on a CBC radio program, 'As I indicated in 1990, the Ring Road was released from further environmental review and the conclusions of the federal study are' - the federal study that the Government House Leader referred to, stated, 'With respect to the environment, impacts are either insignificant' - this was a result of the federal study that was released and quoted by the government's provincial minister in charge - 'or mitigative with known technology.' That is by your own government's minister responsible for Works, Services and Transportation. Your government's department was satisfied upon release of this federal finding back in October, 1992.

MR. ROBERTS: Hold on now, hold on now, who was satisfied?

MR. SULLIVAN: The hon. Aubrey T. Gover, Minister of Works, Services and Transportation.

MR. ROBERTS: Satisfied with what?

MR. SULLIVAN: He stated on an Open Line show, in a conversation and here is his quote, I quote against your information: As I indicated in 1990, the Ring Road was released from further environmental review and the conclusions of the federal study are, with respect to the environment, that environmental impacts are either insignificant or mitigative with known technology.

MR. ROBERTS: (Inaudible) have a look at the legislation and look before he leaps, would be my advice to him.

MR. SULLIVAN: Well, I am just quoting your government's minister

MR. ROBERTS: It was an accurate statement when made. When was it made?

MR. SULLIVAN: October of '92.

MR. ROBERTS: Okay.

MR. SULLIVAN: Just this past fall -

MR. ROBERTS: That is right, but the hon. gentleman might want to have a look at the act.

MR. SULLIVAN: - and since that time, there has been no known changes or environmental or terrain changes in the environment of that area since 1992, and if my understanding, that if it does not proceed even in '93, that legally,it would have to go back through an environmental process again, so maybe what this government has done, it has possibly put the Outer Ring Road into a situation -

MR. ROBERTS: We announced what we did.

MR. SULLIVAN: - well, we may have to go back to an environmental review again -

MR. ROBERTS: No, no, we have announced what we did -

MR. SULLIVAN: Yes

MR. ROBERTS: - we set up a commissioner, Mr. Goodyear, announced it publicly -

MR. SULLIVAN: - that is right.

MR. ROBERTS: - with a mandate to give us advice on that point.

MR. SULLIVAN: And what is the advice?

MR. ROBERTS: My hon. friend, the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation will speak in due course when the hon. gentleman concludes.

MR. SULLIVAN: Okay, the advice has not been made public?

MR. ROBERTS: No.

MR. SULLIVAN: I have not seen a report from the commissioner who was appointed -

MR. ROBERTS: It has not been made public, no.

MR. SULLIVAN: - and I understand that as of May of this year, that legally it may have to go through an environmental process again, if there is not a commitment -

MR. ROBERTS: (Inaudible) last September, some time.

AN HON. MEMBER: The advice of John Crosbie.

MR. SULLIVAN: No, it is not the advice of John Crosbie at all. It is the advice of the former Minister of Works, Services and Transportation on an Open Line radio program here in St. John's -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: One of the, I guess, pros in going ahead with the Outer Ring Road, is that currently the Outer Ring Road runs through the centre of Memorial University and divides the campus. The campus of Memorial University does not have a uniqueness and a closeness and identity there. I had the opportunity to go there and visit there on numerous occasions and attend university there for six years, and I have been at other universities also, and I find that it does not have a university good setting, with traffic running down the main thoroughfare and we know in the past that has posed some transportation problems and safety problems. In fact there was a very serious, tragic accident there in the past but that has been corrected somewhat by skywalks and fencing and that but, it does destroy the whole atmosphere of Memorial University, and I think it is important that we look at delivering a transportation system that is going to be conducive to increased growth and prosperity and development within the city.

Now, any city is judged by its ability to be able to meet the needs of its people, the needs of its people in terms of accessing the services in the city, accessing the businesses; it has had a profound effect, this poor transportation, in this city on certain businesses across the city. For example, in on Kenmount Road, with business on Kenmount Road, it must be very frustrating. At certain times of the day it is almost impossible, it takes about an hour almost to be able to get through the city of St. John's and into Kenmount Road; it has become a main thoroughfare leading into the city, and with the increased populations occurring in Conception Bay South and in Mount Pearl and in the Goulds-Kilbride area, we are getting an increased bottlenecking of traffic coming in across the Crosstown Arterial Road.

I drive it every day. I have travelled throughout the city from one end to another, and I have seen the problems encountered with transportation in this city compared with transportation in other cities of similar size and larger size -

AN HON. MEMBER: Toronto.

MR. SULLIVAN: Yes, I have visited Toronto, Calgary and Edmonton and every city in Canada on numerous occasions, and -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Yes, that is correct. It is easier to get to Toronto airport from downtown than it is to get to Bidgoods from here, and that is a problem; and the hon. Member for St. John's South can tell you about traffic problems -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Yes, I would say, take the money and forget them if you wish, but take the money and do something constructive with the money. Now not only the frustrations being encountered across the city, the city too has identified that they are frustrated in their planning attempt to develop the east end of the city. The east end of the city cannot be developed because the transportation network is not there to entice residents and businesses and so on to establish there because it is remote and very difficult to move around the city and that is causing major problems.

So if the city is going to be able to carry on business and have movement of traffic on a more viable and progressive basis, it is important that this government look seriously and stop stalling this important transportation network in the city and do something about it. Now, not only for the need, the need is there, it has been recognized by your government, it has been recognized by the federal government and by the city of St. John's, that is not the problem. It has been recognized, it has met environmental regulations both federally and provincially, the need has been established, the money is available and the only thing holding it up is this government's inaction to move ahead and do something that is proper for the city, not only from that perspective but from the perspective in a tough economy, in a time of restraint. Can you imagine what $68 million and $6 million for a Goulds bypass, $74 million would do with an infusion of capital spending into an economy that is ailing and is badly needed? The spin-off effects of jobs alone from construction in an area in which this government has sliced, I think, $50 million from capital expenditures. They have just turned their backs on a project that has met all standards and a perceived need, and not only a perceived need there is a defined need out there that has been done from various studies. I would ask this government to take a serious look, to look at the factors involved, to assess the situation and to make a proper decision. I would ask our new minister there, I am sure he is a very rational individual, I have to give him credit for that, he is a very sensitive individual to people's needs and I think he is going to do an excellent job there and I am quite sure -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SULLIVAN: - and I am quite sure he is going to be a strong voice in cabinet to ensure that the interests of the people are served. I ask the minister to follow through with that and that is what his constituents said too and I concur with them, I ask the minister to look seriously at this. It is a very worthwhile project with no significant adverse effects, only positive effects upon the whole area of the Avalon Peninsula and I think it would be a tremendous project. I ask that the government stop dragging its feet and do something about it.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Port de Grave.

MR. EFFORD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. EFFORD: Mr. Speaker, it is good to be back in the House of Assembly again and to be able to take a few minutes to congratulate my good friends opposite and especially the Member for Humber East which I will get to in a few minutes. But I want to, Mr. Speaker, take this opportunity first of all to say publicly, congratulations to all of my hon. colleagues who were here before the election, for all of those new members who came in since the election and the latest, William Andersen, MHA for Torngat Mountains, who went through somewhat of a frustrating time but nevertheless successful.

MR. DUMARESQUE: Hear, hear! We prevailed, we prevailed the great Torngat!

MR. EFFORD: Mr. Speaker, I have already had the opportunity and the pleasure of listening to some of the new members speaking in the House of Assembly. If you did not know better, you would say that they had been here quite awhile. They are not like new members. A great improvement in what I have heard over the last number of years from some people in the House of Assembly and I think the new members from this side of the House are going to add a great addition, not only to the House of Assembly but to the Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador but especially the people of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. EFFORD: To my hon. friends opposite, except the Member for Humber East, I would like to congratulate all of the hon. members, especially the new members. I have had the pleasure of meeting them one on one and saying hello to them. I think it is a different political system than it used to be years ago. I think we cooperate a little more in the House of Assembly and we will respect each others districts. Being minister, where I am sitting, I hope we can work together and if you have any concerns I am only too glad to listen to them but I can assure you that from time to time I will not forget which side of the House that I am sitting on and that we can carry on our usual political interest that we both have, on either side of the House, that we always have on either side of the House.

My hon. friend for Humber East, I think she's setting a trend that she wants to continue the same way she finished off the last sitting. Make no wonder her majority dropped substantially -

MS. VERGE: It didn't.

MR. EFFORD: What?

MS. VERGE: (Inaudible).

MR. EFFORD: That's a dream.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: The Tories' vote dropped substantially with her leadership.

MR. EFFORD: With her leadership, yes, that's right. I say to the hon. member, she can throw all the barbs she likes across this house. This hon. member is used to it. He did his share from 1985 to 1989, he gave it and he's able to take it. So you can continue. I'll have no problems with listening to it. But there's a long road that has no turns, don't forget that. Wait and listen.

The important issue here, Mr. Speaker, is the Outer Ring Road. The motion that was put by the hon. Member for Ferryland, my hon. colleague the Minster of Justice said that it's the thoughts of the hon. federal minister, Mr. Crosbie, and the words or the speech or the voice of the hon. Member for Ferryland. That's not the point. Those are not the facts that we want to talk about. I know the hon. federal minister certainly wants to get the Outer Ring Road started.

I tell you, you should have an interest in your city. It's of great interest to all the people living in and around the city and commuting to and from. How the best transportation mode can be prepared and developed for the city. I too drive to and from St. John's on most days but I have to deal with very little traffic. I'll leave my home out in that great district of Port de Grave and I drive to St. John's in approximately fifty to fifty-five minutes right to the Confederation Building.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. EFFORD: I haven't lost a point since the new legislation came in.

AN HON. MEMBER: Ran into the moose.

MR. EFFORD: That was before. I tell you, you know, if you have a problem with a lot of traffic you haven't got to come in in the heavily congested times. You can come in a bit earlier in the morning. I usually leave my home at 5:30, 5:45 in the morning, so I'm usually here at Confederation Building by 6:45 or 6:50. Very little traffic then to bother with.

AN HON. MEMBER: You don't need a Ring Road, do you?

MR. EFFORD: You don't need an outer Ring Road for that time of morning. There's no traffic. You can come in with ease. In fact, there are very few cars. A few boats sailing out in Conception Bay. You fishermen usually get up that early. But very few cars driving Kenmount Road at 5:30 or 5:45 in the morning.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

AN HON. MEMBER: If we all came to work at that same hour we'd have the same problem.

MR. EFFORD: Well anybody who wants, as the hon. Member for Ferryland wants, to get to the Confederation Building without any delay, I'm sure all he has to do is do like all of his friends on the southern shore, the fishermen. Get up early in the morning and come in. There are very little traffic problems, I can assure you of that.

I tell you, Mr. Speaker, outside of the ease with which I come in in the morning, I live in rural Newfoundland. In the area in which I live we are very fortunate, like the city of St. John's, in that we do have a reasonably well organized transportation system out there. We don't have much problem. We're lucky now that the new Conception Bay North by-pass road is to be started this year, the beginning at least is to be started.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible)!

MR. EFFORD: It's the beginning. It's going to take about ten, fifteen years before it's completed. If the money and everything comes forth on a consecutive, year after year basis. Let's take it a little bit farther. Let's go across Newfoundland. I tell you, a lot of people in the Province of Newfoundland don't enjoy the same pleasures of driving on the roads that we enjoy driving on. If you want to take it a step further, Mr. Speaker, and go down to the great region of Labrador -

AN HON. MEMBER: Big land.

MR. EFFORD: The big land. That great, rich vast land of Labrador. Look at - this is 1993. What type of a transportation system are they living with? If you were living with the same transportation system that they are living with, what kind of complaints would we hear from you if you're complaining about the system that we have presently in this area or in this region, or for the Avalon region?

MR. SULLIVAN: They don't work in the city.

MR. EFFORD: They don't - but they are people.

MR. DUMARESQUE: What? So they shouldn't get a road?

MR. EFFORD: They are people. Are you saying because they don't work in the city they shouldn't have roads?

MR. DUMARESQUE: Now then. Now.

MR. EFFORD: They don't even have a road in most areas from community to community.

MR. DUMARESQUE: I hope Hansard got that.

MR. EFFORD: Very few of them have roads in the community. You're saying they don't live in the city? I hope Hansard - I'm sure it will, and that the hon. Member for Eagle River - because, I don't know, probably the hon. member didn't realize what he was saying, that there's a greater need in the city. But -

MR. SULLIVAN: (Inaudible) that's not the interpretation (inaudible).

MR. EFFORD: - I think what you have to look at is the rights of people, and that is what we have to look at in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador - the rights of individuals. Whether you live in Forteau, Labrador, or whether you live in Cartwright, or whether you live in L'Anse-au-Loup, or whatever place you live on the Island of Newfoundland or Labrador, you have as much right to have a road. Living in a city does not give you a greater right to have better transportation, as a person or an individual in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, so that is what I am talking about. I am looking at a region like Labrador, from where you hear very little complaints from time to time. We do not hear them in this House of Assembly. We have very few people get up and question: What time is the great Trans-Labrador Highway going to be completed? What time are the people of Labrador going to enjoy the same rights as we do here on the Island of Newfoundland. That is what we have to be very aware of - the needs of people in areas of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador who have less advantages now than we are presently enjoying.

I always say: The more we get the more we want. We take a lot of things for granted and we very seldom wonder and take a great interest or pleasure in what we have, that we get up in the morning, get aboard our car, turn the key, our roads are ploughed. If there is not enough salt on the road then we will pick up the phone and complain to someone in Works, Services and Transportation, saying: Get the salt on the road. Get the ploughs out, because I cannot get where I want to go. I cannot get to the movie theatre, cannot get to the shopping mall, cannot get to a place of work.

AN HON. MEMBER: Cannot get to a hospital.

MR. EFFORD: Cannot get to a hospital. That is another thing, and that is one of the most important things. The other equal - not only are the hospitals equal, but in mode of education - the disadvantages of living in a region like Labrador compared to here in St. John's, they do not only lose the pleasure of driving to and from a place of work, or a health facility, or a school, or Memorial University or whatever - they are not able to enjoy any of those advantages that we do here.

So we have to understand, where are the priorities? Do we put our priorities for the needs of the people in an urban centre like St. John's and the great places that they are enjoying, or do we look at the people of the whole region of Newfoundland and Labrador and say: Well, should we give them some consideration before we look at it ourselves? Are we selfish enough again to grab everything for ourselves and forget those people in Labrador, or in other parts of Newfoundland?

Many, many parts of Newfoundland do not enjoy a reasonably good road to drive over. I know. I have only been in the minister's office for a little more than a week, and I tell you, the letters that I have had to read requesting from people, explaining that we do not have a road to drive over. We are living on this road and there is no way to physically get a car or a truck, or even be able to go out after dark and walk on that particular piece of road. We are talking about in Newfoundland. We are not talking now about Labrador.

Then we listen to the hon. Member for Ferryland. I am sure he has good reason; his good friends want him to get up in the House of Assembly and push for that Outer Ring Road, to get (inaudible) from where he sits - well it is good to have that amount of money spent in the region. I can understand, and there was a commitment made by the federal minister to make sure that that money would be spent. I suspect that the hon. Minister of Fisheries - the federal Minister of Fisheries - has something in the back of his mind that I do not think he is going to be there a lot longer. I think come June 10th, and depending on the outcome of the federal leadership, I think will certainly determine how much longer Mr. Crosbie will be in federal politics. I have no doubt in my mind, and my hon. colleague over across the way knows full well what I am talking about. If the leadership goes to a certain Ms. Campbell, I suspect Mr. Crosbie will be seeking another career, and I have no doubt he will be wondering where he is going to go to work the next morning - probably Ambassador to some country, United States, England, London, wherever.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. EFFORD: Possibly - but I say 'if' Ms. Campbell wins, which is a good possibility; no doubt about it. The polls are showing there is a little dickering going on now, a little fluttering around, but I suspect that Mr. Crosbie wants to get the Outer Ring Road finished - I should not say 'finished' but at least a commitment to start, and some equipment working on that area, before he has his final days in as the Member for St. John's West, because there is no doubt in my mind that he did make the commitment personally to the people and he certainly wants to get it started; but then that is not always possible. There are a lot of things to consider before you make a commitment.

AN HON. MEMBER: This is boring.

MR. EFFORD: Mr. Speaker, I know the hon. member is not interested, because I am not saying now what he wants to hear. He would like for the minister to get up and say, yes, we are going to bring out the pick and shovels tomorrow morning, yes, we are going to start digging and we are going to get excited. I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, that there are a lot of people in this Province who would like to see a lot of things happen that are not happening today. I received, just yesterday, a letter from an individual in Labrador. I have to go back to Labrador again because I think we have to give a lot more consideration as to where the money is going to be spent in the Province for roads and for the needs of people. I think that is what we really have to look at, Mr. Speaker, the needs of individuals in the Province who desperately need and are doing without and that we as a government must look at the probabilities of getting a federal agreement and providing a reasonable mode of transportation for people who deserve equally, as I said a few seconds ago, equally as much and who deserve what we enjoy and what we take for granted. We do take a lot of things for granted here in this Province.

The one thing I can assure you is that people are going to be treated on a fair and equal representation, and while I have my good friend for Eagle River there is no doubt about it that when he gets up to speak later on this evening he is going to tell us the importance of a better improved system of transportation in Newfoundland and Labrador. I am looking at a letter I received from the local service district of Tors Cove.

AN HON. MEMBER: The residence of the Member for St. John's South.

MR. EFFORD: No, it is from the local service district. I am not going to tell the gentleman's name. It is from the chairman but it is in your district. I am not interested in who lives there. A lot of people live there but that is not the point. Is it or is it not in your district?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible)

MR. EFFORD: I tell you, if I were living there, your percentage of votes would have dropped substantially in the last election because you would have had a lot of competition running in the Ferryland district, on the southern shore. Anyway, here is an example. It is a photo. The hon. member never spoke about this and I was surprised. I was expecting him to make a comment, not so much for St. John's as for his own district, but not once during the twenty minutes did he mention the need of a road in his district. Here I have several photos sent in from a local service district in his own area. Now, that is very interesting.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. EFFORD: I am talking about the twenty minute speech, from 3:00 o'clock until about 3:20 in the House this afternoon and not a word from the hon. member to talk about this, so I wonder if my friend from Eagle River is not correct, that he had the call before 2:00 on what he should talk about because here is a prime example.

AN HON. MEMBER: (inaudible)

MR. EFFORD: It has nothing to do with my (inaudible). I am talking about a letter I received as minister. I have only been in the office a week. I have already answered and signed it this afternoon, attached the same pictures, and told them of the expedience in which this will be dealt with. I cannot read a letter of confidentiality between the Chairman. If he wishes to make it public I am sure he will do so.

MR. SULLIVAN: Hand delivered by the Member for St. John's South.

MR. EFFORD: I can honestly say that the Member for St. John's South did not. It came directly to me from the chairman of the local service district and you know who that is as well as I do, the chairman of the local service district. In fact the letter was received only a couple of days ago. I can even tell you the approximate date on the letter. The letter is answered already. Anyway, this is the point I wanted to make. I have roads like this in my district. Although we have a great convenience in transportation we have a lot of roads out there and there is never enough provincial monies to go around the Province to take care of the needs of the people. We are talking about a very close distance from St. John's, Tors Cove, Port de Grave, forty-five or fifty miles out the road, all out through the Harbour Main district and to Conception Bay South there are a lot of needs, yet here we are saying: let us make the Outer Ring Road a top priority, let us do it before we do anything else in the Province.

That is where we have to ask ourselves the question: is that really right, should we do this now, before we address the needs of the people in the Province and the people of Labrador? And, in conclusion, Mr. Speaker, that is the point I want to make to the hon. Member for Ferryland district, and ask the question: where are the priorities, the greatest needs of roads to be addressed?... and that is the decision that will have to be made, not because the Federal Minister of Fisheries, the Member for St. John's West, the hon. John Crosbie made a commitment that this be started before his term of office expires, whether it is June or whether it is July or whether it is later on this fall, I am sure it is near. So look at our needs, look at our priorities and let us make the right decision in the best interest of all people, in the best interest of all people in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, not just the people in one region or in one area.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

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

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

I rise in support of the resolution put forward by my friend from Ferryland for a number of reasons, but I must say first off, I enjoyed the comments of the hon. Minister of Works, Services and Transportation, although I am speaking on this on behalf of more than one person, more than myself. The minister referred to himself driving into St. John's early in the mornings, but 99 per cent of the people that drive into St. John's early in the morning - it is a bit later actually in the morning, seven, eight, nine o'clock, so we should look at it from that perspective rather than 6:30 in the morning.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

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

I ask the hon. member to take his seat for a minute please.

The level of noise in this House is getting extreme, the hon. Member for St. John's East Extern is next to me and I am having difficulty hearing the hon. member, so I ask hon. members to restrain themselves and stop shouting across the House.

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

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

Mr. Speaker, for the past two years, '91-'92, '92-'93, I have been chairman of Northeast Avalon Towns, and in November of 1992, the Northeast Avalon Towns passed a resolution to support the construction of the Outer Ring Road. Now, the Northeast Avalon Towns is made up of sixteen municipalities including the two cities and fourteen other municipalities and they represent approximately 30 per cent to 40 per cent of the population of the Province. If this number of people and the town councils involved are representing this number of people, there should be some weight given to their views, but I do not know if it has been.

In March of this year, there were public hearings on the Outer Ring Road. The chairman was Mr. Terry Goodyear. I attended those hearings, and I wanted to hear the presentations by Works, Services and Transportation to get their perspective on the Outer Ring Road, I also wanted to hear the opposition to the Outer Ring Road, so I did sit in on a few of those presentations, to get the pros and cons to help make up my mind if I felt the Outer Ring Road should go ahead or should be stopped or whatever the case may be, and I honestly and sincerely believe that it should continue and should be constructed as soon as possible.

Works, Services and Transportation recommends the construction of the Outer Ring Road. These are people who are in the employ of the provincial government; they are being paid for their expertise, for their professionalism, they are supposed to be in the know when it comes to this kind of stuff. They have done studies on the Outer Ring Road, studies with respect to the environment which says that it is environmentally safe; studies which show that the Outer Ring Road is needed; I mean we can keep on studying forever if we do not want to make up our mind to do what should be done. The studies have also shown that it will alleviate traffic problems in and around St. John's, and that is the question, we are here today to discuss the Outer Ring Road.

The hon. minister earlier stated: should we spend money on other roads in the Province before we spend it on the Outer Ring Road?... that is not the resolution; the resolution is addressing the Outer Ring Road. Studies on the Outer Ring Road again have shown that there is very little impact on the environment and, as I said yesterday in this House, I am the critic for Environment and Lands so I should be aware of any concerns that would be involved with respect to the Outer Ring Road on the environment. Studies have shown that the air quality will not be affected; studies have shown that the soils and terrain will not be affected; studies have shown that vegetation will not be negatively affected. The wildlife and the water in the area of the Outer Ring Road will not be negatively impacted upon. The Outer Ring Road has been studied, studied and studied to death.

Traffic studies by the Department of Transportation have shown that the Outer Ring Road is required. They have looked at alternatives. Alternatives have been compared such as staggering the work hours, as the minister alluded to earlier. Studies have looked at the relocation of the Outer Ring Road, bringing it out closer to Windsor Lake. There have been recommendations made that Prince Philip Drive be piggybacked. I mean, this is actually ludicrous, in my mind. I believe we should listen to all the professionals. As I said, they are being paid for their expertise.

Back on studies again, population growth has been studied, employment growth has been studied, economic analysis on gas and oil consumption, time consumption, safety factors have been studied. As I said, it has been studied to death, and it is time to get on with the Outer Ring Road.

There has been some opposition to the Outer Ring Road and we have to be very careful here. There is talk about spills on the Outer Ring Road which is going to be 1.3 kilometres away from Windsor Lake. Now, we have Portugal Cove Road, Thorburn Road, Broad Cove Road, basically on top of Windsor Lake, and we are concerned about spills 1.3 kilometres away. The Southern Shore Highway moves right along Bay Bulls Big Pond. Does that mean we have to move all of those roads also, when they are right on top of the water supply? I don't think so.

There have been comparisons made between the City of St. John's and Toronto with respect to a nature park in the middle of a city. They were saying, if Pippy Park were in the middle of Toronto, there wouldn't even be a consideration given to construction of an Outer Ring Road such as the one we are proposing, but I don't believe that those arguments are valid. If someone wants to leave downtown St. John's, down on Water Street, and travel for fifteen minutes, he can enjoy Newfoundland outdoors at its finest. He doesn't have to drive for hours and hours and hours to get to a nature park. Most of Newfoundland is a nature park, so I don't know if that argument is valid.

There is a misconception out there that I would like to address and that is with respect to the Outer Ring Road. The misconception is that the Outer Ring Road divides or splits Pippy Park. As we all know, or should know if we did some research on it, when the Outer Ring Road was first approved, it was approved to go around Pippy Park. Subsequent to that, the government of today put more land with the park out as far as Windsor Lake so, actually, it is not dividing the original Pippy Park. Therefore, that is a misconception.

I have been in business, with respect to land, for twenty years and I believe the fact that the Outer Ring -

MR. HARRIS: (Inaudible).

MR. J. BYRNE: I won't comment. I was listening to the comments yesterday by the hon. the Member for St. John's East. I disagreed with most of what he said yesterday and I will try to ignore it today.

As I was saying, the amount of land that is going to be used up for the actual construction of the Outer Ring Road is very minimal when you compare it to the amount of land that is slotted for Pippy Park, itself. Some people say that if they split the park with the Outer Ring Road - which I disagree with - they are going to cause problems for cross-country skiers, hikers, berry-pickers and what have you. I think that these concerns can certainly be accommodated by walkways, underpasses, such has been proposed by Work, Services and Transportation. These people know what they are talking about, so we should be listening.

Mr. Speaker, as we all know, there has been opposition to major highways in the past, such as Pitts Memorial Drive. I believe it is a good thing that the government of the day had the foresight to go ahead with Pitts Memorial Drive. Where would we be today without Pitts Memorial Drive? Traffic problems in and around St. John's would be horrendous. The transportation between Mount Pearl and St. John's would be horrendous.

I travel the Trans-Canada Highway a fair bit, and it takes me longer to get from the Overpass in on Topsail Road to the east end of St. John's than it takes me to get from Whitbourne in, so there have to be problems. It is just common sense. We know there are problems.

Mr. Speaker, we have to remember that the Outer Ring Road is part of a master plan for transportation in and around the City of St. John's. The master plan includes roads such as Prince Philip Drive, Columbus Drive, Pitts Memorial Drive, Kenmount Road and others. If we do not complete the Outer Ring Road, where does that leave us with the plan, the roads, the money that has been spent so far on those roads? What is going to happen? Down the road it is going to lead to nothing but confusion as the population increases, transportation confusion, more problems - so we have to complete the plan. If we make plans today and half complete them, where does that leave us for tomorrow? We have to address that concern and we have to listen to the people involved.

Another concern of mine with respect to the Outer Ring Road is Prince Philip Drive. Prince Philip Drive goes right through Memorial University. Now, for safety reasons alone, in my mind, it makes sense that we would put in the Outer Ring Road.

MR. ROBERTS: We would close the Parkway then?

MR. J. BYRNE: It certainly wouldn't take the amount of traffic that it is now taking.

MR. ROBERTS: The hon. gentleman is not answering my question. Do we close the Parkway?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. J. BYRNE: No, let me answer. Why would we close Prince Philip Drive? I mean, it just refers to the amount of traffic. We are trying to alleviate the traffic in and around St. John's.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Member for St. John's East Extern is a new member to the House and I would like for hon. members to extend him the courtesy of being heard.

MR. J. BYRNE: I don't mind. I am enjoying this, actually, believe it or not. I expect, in a very short period of time, I might be doing the same thing to the hon. member opposite.

Anyway, let me continue, Mr. Speaker. We have to be careful not to make decisions that are based on assumptions and/or emotions. I believe we have to be careful to realize that the opposition to the Outer Ring Road is not to be blown out of proportion and exaggerated, which I feel has been done in the past year or so. We have very few people opposing the Outer Ring Road. But this is hanging up the Outer Ring Road, where the major, major percentage of the people in and around St. John's, people I talked to - the Northeast Avalon Towns Joint Council - support the Outer Ring Road. Therefore, we should definitely go ahead with it. I believe that there are precautions now in place to protect our environment with respect to the Outer Ring Road.

One point I would like to make before I conclude and sit down is: What is our legacy going to be to future generations that live in and around St. John's, on the Avalon Peninsula, if we do not complete the master plan that was put forward by the Department of Works, Services and Transportation for a number of years? Is the legacy going to be that we were poor planners when we knew, and we were told, that there were going to be problems down the road, where studies have shown that the population growth and the economic growth in and around St. John's will require the Outer Ring Road? Is that what our legacy is going to be?

Mr. Speaker, you will notice that I really didn't get into the actual economic perspective of the construction of the Outer Ring Road, because I believe the construction of the Outer Ring Road merits its own construction without the job perspective, although it can create many jobs and stimulate the economy at a time when the economy in Newfoundland and Labrador is very poor. I would like to end by saying, I believe, as you can tell from my comments, that the construction of the Outer Ring Road should be started as soon as possible.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. MURPHY: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I have just a few words on the Private Member's bill put forward by my colleague from Ferryland today - the Member for Ferryland, a good member.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) member.

MR. MURPHY: A good member? I agree. I said during the election that the man is unbeatable. I didn't say the same about the Member for Grand Bank.

AN HON. MEMBER: But he was.

MR. MURPHY: A few letters here and a few letters there, Mr. Speaker. What a difference a page or two makes!

MS. VERGE: What about the Member for St. John's South? He increased his margin (inaudible) -

MR. MURPHY: Now, the Member for Humber East is going to shoot her barbs. She got up today and got on with a silly and stupid question, and it was treated as such. I think she should, for one day, just contain herself. She has done enough to hurt herself.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MURPHY: Well, I can't, if you people - I ask for protection of the Chair, Mr. Speaker.

AN HON. MEMBER: Well, I have to laugh at that.

MR. CRANE: Yes, that would make anybody laugh.

MR. MURPHY: The Roads for Rail deal that my friend from Ferryland got on with - number one, let's have a quick chat about the Roads for Rail deal. 'The great train robbery' is what it should be called - a few paltry million dollars extended over a period of years that would have come to this provincial government or that provincial government -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MURPHY: It doesn't matter how much. The member knows, $800-and-some, and change, somewhere close - I remind the hon. member from Springdale, about the same amount of money that this government have lost in transfer payments over the last four years, about the same amount of money that the hon. J C has brought down in the form of moratorium, about the same amount of money - all about the same amount of nothing. The money to which this Province was entitled, you can put a new title on it, you can put a new face on it, you can call it what you want, it is still the same money. So it is the 'Roads for Rail' or 'the great train robbery.'

No Newfoundlander alive, Mr. Speaker, in his right mind, would have said, shut down the railway before we get the road completed. That would have been the logical thing to do. If the Member for St. John's West were really concerned about Newfoundland, the island portion of Newfoundland, if he was really concerned, he would have kept the railway in business and he would have built the four lanes across the Island, and then -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MURPHY: The hon. Member for Grand Bank may feel it is not much sense, but an awful lot of Newfoundlanders think it makes sense. Because what are we faced with today? The Member for St. John's East Extern full well knows - an overabundance of tractor trailers, heavy equipment. We are out there, day-in - you talk about safety. The Member for St. John's East Extern talks about safety, and all of us take a chance in taking our wives, our loved ones, our children, our grandchildren, on the highway with tractor trailer after tractor trailer, two-and-a-half feet -

MR. TOBIN: (Inaudible).

MR. MURPHY: The thing that really bothers me, the Member for Burin - Placentia West is out there driving a truck also. That really bothers me, talking about safety.

So we know that the initiation of this whole deal associated with the Outer Ring Road was wrong. It was wrong. It was a handshake between the former Premier, Mr. Peckford, and Mr. Crosbie, and it really took the feds off the hook. To allocate, then, $68 million in that Roads for Rail deal, for a road of convenience - not for the citizens of St. John's. It has nothing to do with the citizens of St. John's. It is a road of convenience to bypass the busy roads in the city. That is all the Outer Ring Road is. It is a quick convenience for people in this building to get to Mount Pearl or to get to Conception Bay South or to get wherever. It has nothing to do with the City of St. John's, absolutely nothing.

As a matter of fact, what it will do to the City of St. John's and what it will do to the tax base of the City of St. John's is, it will deplete it. It will stop the economics that are going on on Kenmount Road right now, all the gasoline that is sold there, and all the other products that are sold there. Ask the merchants on Kenmount Road if they are in favour of an Outer Ring Road. Ask them. Now what did the Crosstown Arterial do?

MR. W. MATTHEWS: A man for the merchants, are you?

MR. MURPHY: I am not a man for the merchants I say to the Member for Grand Bank. I am a man for the employees of the merchants. Anyway, the Outer Ring Road itself as we see it today, $68 million of, I think, 1987 money, is now about enough money to do about 60 per cent of the Outer Ring Road. I agree with the hon. Member for St. John's East Extern, there is no way that a few people over here in the northeast end of the city should have their own private park in their backyard. I agree with him, I totally agree with him.

MR. J. BYRNE: I did not say that.

MR. MURPHY: Well, I will say it for you, because basically what you were saying was that there is little opposition, no opposition, or a select group who are the opposition to the Outer Ring Road. Alright, it does not matter. The name of the game is simple, we as members in this House of Assembly cannot look after 100 people. If those 100 people want a short distance to go to the most majestic wilderness area close to the city then let them go to Shea Heights in the district of St. John's South which is totally a beautiful area. They can cross country ski, they can walk on trails, they can do what they like.

AN HON. MEMBER: That is right.

MR. MURPHY: You are right. The member is right, the road does not deter or take away a great deal from the Pippy Park complex as we know it. But this is 1993 and what the hon. member must realize and must know is that the terrible deal that was made by the previous administration can be called nothing less than terrible. It was an awful deal to say to the feds: we are letting you off the hook for a paltry sum over the next ten years, spread out, alright fifteen years, the longest period of time. It was unheard of because year after year, after year, each provincial government had its fair share of federal funding towards the construction of roads throughout the Province because after all how do you get goods and services to the city of St. John's if you do not bring them by ocean, or you bring it from Port aux Basques, or you bring it from Corner Brook over a network of one, two lane highway.

This government and the previous government has been struggling for years now and we have finally gotten to Holyrood with a four lane highway, and we now want to take $68 million now and apply it to an Outer Ring Road. I say to all members opposite that there are definitely higher priorities that will bring a better return to this Province. I see new members in the back over there agreeing. Do you think the Member for Bonavista South wants $68 million spent on an Outer Ring Road here in St. John's? I am sure he does not. I am sure he has all kinds of highway priorities out there. Does the Member for Baie Verte - White Bay want $68 million spent to the Confederation Building? I do not think so.

AN HON. MEMBER: Not likely.

MR. MURPHY: Well, the Member for Ferryland is obviously on his feet today because of his close affiliation over the last three or four weeks with Mr. Crosbie. It is incredible how friendly they have become. Mr. Crosbie has become so influential, I say to the hon. Member for Exploits, that he got to the Leader of the Opposition to move my true friend and colleague from Burin - Placentia West, moved him down a seat to make room for the Member for Ferryland, so this is what we are looking at today. This is what we are going to see over the next while when this House is open. What we are going to see is dissertation in speech, and dialogue after dialogue, from the Member for Ferryland directed by the Member for St. John's West and the Member for Grand Bank knows it. He now has his official parrot in the House of Assembly of Newfoundland, so I know the hon. members in the back concur.

If we had a situation here in St. John's where $68 million of Outer Ring Road was going to develop all kinds of jobs that were going to impact and affect Bonavista South, White Bay - Bay de Verde, St. Mary's - The Capes; if that was the kind of happening that was going to take place, these members would be pounding on the desks when the Member for Ferryland got up - he is right; he is right - but not a peep out of them. The member sat down and one little polite tap from the Member for - you are going to have to forgive me - the Member for White Bay, a little polite tap on the desk - a little polite tap - because he never had the enthusiasm nor the gut feeling that you need to support even your own. You have to feel it.

Now the Member again for Humber West, a good friend who also has absolutely - will not be here when the vote is taken; will not be here because he has no time for the Outer Ring Road to St. John's - the Member for Humber West.

AN HON. MEMBER: Humber Valley.

MR. MURPHY: Humber Valley I meant to say. Excuse me, Your Honour. He will not he here, because he has about as much interest in this resolution as he has in the Khyber Pass, I say to hon. members.

What I say to the Member for Ferryland, what got me baffled a little bit, is he says: Be it therefore resolved that the government take steps necessary to ensure that construction of the Outer Ring Road will commence no later than the spring of 1994.

Well if it is such a priority why are we waiting a year? You would think that the member would be chafing and biting and tearing up his desk to start construction now. Now I agree with the Member for St. John's East Extern. We need the jobs. He is right. Any kind of construction that is going to take place in and around the city of St. John's would be welcome - more than welcome - because we need the jobs here in St. John's; but I say, in all conscience to the Member for St. John's East Extern, there are a lot of parts of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador that also need jobs. I am sure he would agree. I am sure other hon. members would agree.

Now, you know, it is ludicrous when you think about what the Member for St. John's West has done in the House, or in Parliament in Ottawa when it comes to federal funding, because historically for forty years the provincial government always, always but always made a contractual arrangement with the federal government of the day to a 60/40 split, or a 40/60 split, or a 50/50 split. In some cases - in some cases, and I remind the hon. members opposite - it was 90/10 when Mr. Lester Pearson signed the original Trans-Canada Highway with the then Premier, Premier J. R. Smallwood - 90/10. There was never a federal/provincial deal since, but it is not fair for an hon. member to stand up in this House and say that the total contribution of the Trans-Canada Highway came from the federal government. What was the federal government's commitment to the Province? What was the commitment? So subsequently we have $68 million that Mr. Crosbie is trying to ram down this government's throat and say: You do this.

Now is that the way to do it? Would he turn around to the Province of Ontario or any minister and say: Here is the money; you put this road there. I do not care what government was there. It does not matter whether it is NDP, and God forbid they got another short while to bathe their wounds before the people of Ontario dispose of them in rapid order. We will see, Mr. Speaker, that the federal government and/or Mr. Crosbie, or anybody who speaks for Mr. Crosbie, is not always right. He is not always right. The Outer Ring Road was a concept that started at City Hall to alleviate pressure through the City of St. John's to get people from outside St. John's into the Confederation Building, the Arts and Culture Centre, the University and such places.

Now we have a member opposite, and some other members opposite, baying about the Outer Ring Road. I'd like to see the Outer Ring Road, but it's not on my list. It'll do nothing for the constituents in St. John's South. It might offer some jobs for them, it might get a few jobs for them, but outside of that it will do nothing. If you don't listen to the dictatorial face that the hon. John puts on every time he offers, he throws down like Lazarus some crumbs from the table to the floor, and we're supposed to bend over and pick them up, then what happens is he gets hon. members opposite to drive his silly horse.

So, Mr. Speaker, as much as, yes, it would impact and affect the safety of those people who drive from out around the bays and inlets in Conception Bay and other places, it would help the safety. Nobody's guaranteed of that. Because after all, if you had an Outer Ring Road, you would expect that road to be a fairly high speed highway. We know what happens on high speed highways. The road that has the worst record in the City of St. John's right now is the Crosstown Arterial.

MR. SULLIVAN: Too much traffic. (Inaudible).

MR. MURPHY: I say to the hon. member, when he gets up in his last twenty minutes he'll have ample opportunity to tell us the difference between the Crosstown Arterial traffic and the Outer Ring Road traffic, and where it comes together, and how the Outer Ring Road would alleviate the Crosstown Arterial. Because if he's coming to Confederation Building he would use the Crosstown Arterial. He would never, as the Member for Ferryland, or anyone who lives in that area of the Avalon Peninsula, have an occasion to use the Outer Ring road as such. Unless he wanted to go on a scenic drive and go up and across the Witless Bay Line or something.

MR. SULLIVAN: The Goulds by-pass is going to tie into it.

MR. MURPHY: The Goulds by-pass is going to tie into it?

AN HON. MEMBER: What Goulds by-pass?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MURPHY: The hon. member may well be wheeled in here. He may be pushed in here or carried in here and sat in his place by the time the Goulds by-pass - I understand that. I agree. As a matter of fact, I would suggest to the Member for Ferryland that he would do a lot better if he stood in his place today and brought in a private member's resolution to deal with the Goulds by-pass.

AN HON. MEMBER: That's right.

MR. MURPHY: Yes. Then maybe the member - no, see, he keeps falling off his own issue and falling on John's issue. He keeps falling into the basket of the hon. John. Whatever the hon. John wants him to say he says. He takes the issue as such and raises it. If he was standing up today talking about the Goulds by-pass I'd be up supporting him. Up voting with him. But no. The hon. member knows. If we prioritize the situation here in Newfoundland and in Labrador, if we prioritize it, if we look at it fair as all Newfoundlanders should, if we look at what's needed, what's the most need, what has the most need, what will do the most good for our people, alright? Then the hon. member could stand in his place and I would have to probably stand up and support him when he's talking about the Goulds by-pass.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Probably.

MR. MURPHY: There are other places, I say to the Member for Grand Bank. There are other roads that would do every citizen of this Province, both in Labrador and Newfoundland, a heck of a lot better -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MURPHY: No, no. That's not the issue. We could put a new airport down in Frenchman's Cove, or wherever they call it, right? We could do all kinds of stuff. The member knows what I'm talking about. All these other members over here are not very interested in this particular issue, not very interested. It doesn't get the juices flowing in the members up in the back. I can sense that on their faces. When the member was up they were polite. They have to be polite. They're new members. There's nothing going in them. It's not like the Member for Grand Bank talking about fish. They're all on their toes when that happens. But the member who lives in Renews talking about the Outer Ring Road. It sets suspicion right through every member here. It sets up all kinds of 'ifs' and 'ands' and innuendoes and 'buts' and so forth and so on.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: That's a prerequisite of being a Liberal, you have to be suspicious of everything.

MR. MURPHY: So, Mr. Speaker, it is nothing - as a matter of fact, I say it again: The Roads-for-Rails deal was a disgrace. It was a disgrace. For one provincial government to sit with a federal government and sign that kind of a deal -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.

MR. MURPHY: By leave, just to clue up.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. member does not have leave.

Order, please!

Before I recognize the hon. the Member for Mount Pearl, I would like to point out to hon. members, new members, and not so new members, and older members, that it is unparliamentary for hon. members to turn their back to the Chair. I do not want to identify hon. members, but all hon. members who were in the last Sessions of the House know it is unparliamentary to turn their back to the Chair.

I will now recognize the hon. the Member for Mount Pearl.

MR. WINDSOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I would like to take a few moments to address this particular issue. I have to say that I was totally amazed by the performance of the hon. Member for St. John's South.

AN HON. MEMBER: No wonder he left.

MR. WINDSOR: No wonder he left. I believe he left because I do not think he believed a word of what he said - not a word. No member that represents a St. John's constituency could honestly stand in his place and say the sorts of things that hon. member just said.

I would like to know where the rest of the members for St. John's are coming from. How about the new Member for St. John's North? What is his view on the Outer Ring Road and the value to the city? How about the Member for St. John's Centre? We do not expect him to speak. He has not said two intelligent words in this House since he came here, but we would like to know what his position is on it. How about the Member for Pleasantville? Where is he? Is he going to speak on this particular motion? Is he going to represent the people of Pleasantville? Is he going to try to tell us that the people of Pleasantville do not want this particular road? How about the Member for St. John's West? Where is the Minister of Mines and Energy? Is he going to speak on the Outer Ring Road? The Member for St. John's West probably does not even know that the Outer Ring Road and another offshoot of the Outer Ring Road, which has been planned for twenty years, called a bifurcation Road. How many members opposite have ever heard of the bifurcation Road?

AN HON. MEMBER: Here.

MR. WINDSOR: One. The Member for Gander is the only member opposite who has ever heard of the bifurcation Road, or the East/West Arterial. Has anybody ever heard of that?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: It is not there yet, but it has been in the planning stages for many years. It was in the planning stages when the Harbour Arterial was built. It was in the planning stages when the Crosstown Arterial - or what do we call it, the Prince Philip Parkway, is it?

AN HON. MEMBER: Columbus Drive.

MR. WINDSOR: Columbus Drive?

AN HON. MEMBER: Crosstown.

MR. WINDSOR: Columbus Drive is Crosstown, yes. The Pitts is the Harbour Arterial - all in the planning stages then. Well what is interesting about this debate, everything I have heard today, I sit back and say: Where did I hear it before? Where did I hear all of these arguments before? Does anybody remember the debate that went on when the Harbour Arterial Road was built? Well what a stupid proposal that was! The Government of Canada was going to build an access road to the Harbour of St. John's so that all of the businesses that come in through the busiest port in the Province would have direct access to the Trans-Canada Highway. What a foolish proposal! What do we need it for?

Do you remember all of the cries from the do-gooders, the environmentalists, who said: You are going to destroy the beautiful South Side Hills. I do not see anything beautiful about some of the oil tanks that are allowed to stay up in the South Side Hills. There is nothing beautiful about it.

Do you remember every single spring, on spring breakup, when the ice and the snow on the South Side Hills started to melt? Do you remember all the houses that were flooded, many times shifted off their foundations; and oh, the Harbour Arterial Road is going to make that worse. It is going to destroy everything. Have we had a floor on the South Side since? Not one.

AN HON. MEMBER: It solved the problem.

MR. WINDSOR: It solved the problem. Instead of being an environmental problem, it solved a natural environmental problem that was caused many years ago by certain developments over there when we had no knowledge of such things as dealing with the environment, or proper drainage. There were no drainage facilities on South Side road. The houses were hanging from the side of the cliffs. Ice and snow carried them away every spring. We have forgotten about all of that.

Do we remember all the environmentalists yelling that you are going to destroy Bowring Park? Bowring Park seems to be still there; and how many more of us, every day that drive the Harbour Arterial Road, or drive the Columbus Drive, the Crosstown Arterial, and connect up with the Harbour Arterial at Kilbride, how many more of us enjoy the beauty of Bowring Park almost every single day? I do for one.

AN HON. MEMBER: What do you be doing down there?

MR. WINDSOR: I am on my way home, if it is any of the hon. members business, to my riding.

How many people enjoy that park because these highways go through it or adjacent to it and so you get the visual enjoyment of the park - and Pippy Park, Mr. Speaker, will be no different. What we are listening to here are a couple of people who have self interest. John Bear, Dr. John Bear and the news media crawl all over him like he is some great environmental prophet. What is he a doctor of? History or Philosophy or something like that? He does not have one iota of special expertise about the environment. Not one iota, Mr. Speaker. But the news media crawl all over him as if he is a great environmental prophet and pump him up as if he knows everything there is to know about the environment, about the construction of highways, about city planning or about the impact of anything on anything.

I met with Mr. Bear and one or two other members of his committee on behalf of our caucus, with the former Member of St. John's East, who is now the mayor of the city. About three years ago they wanted to make a presentation to our caucus on the Outer Ring Road and we were the only two, it was in the middle of the summer, we were the only two members of our caucus who were readily available on short notice. I met with him for two hours I think upstairs in our board room, on the fifth floor. I had to conclude, Mr. Speaker, at the end of that two hours that they did not have one basis of fact. I went through their reports and everything else, all of their claims very carefully, and they could not substantiate with scientific fact one claim that they were making.

Now, as my friend for Ferryland and my friend for St. John's East Extern have quite properly said, why are we not listening to all of the professional people? We did our environmental studies. The professionals have looked at it, they have told us there is no serious environmental impact that cannot be pitted against with proper construction procedures, none. Then we hear this poppycock from the Member for St. John's South who said there is no benefit, it is going to hurt the businesses of St. John's. Has the Harbour Arterial Road destroyed the businesses of St. John's? Has 401 destroyed Toronto? You talk about environmental impact, where is the Toronto zoo? One of the best zoo's in the world is adjacent to the 401. It is adjacent to the 401, does that destroy it? I never heard of anything so foolish. Those people who want to have an environmental wildness in the middle of the city of St. John's may find it affects them but that is why we have the Avalon wilderness area and the Bay du Nord wilderness area for those naturalists who want to go to a pure untouched, unspoiled, wilderness area but you cannot have that in the middle of the city of St. John's, Mr. Speaker.

We talk about the need for the road. I am not going to stand in this House, Mr. Speaker, and try to justify the several traffic studies which have been done on the city of St. John's and the region. These studies, Mr. Speaker, are not just a whim, it is not just somebody saying: well let us stick a road there.

MR. HARRIS: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Well, if the Member for St. John's East does not know it is time he started doing his homework. Go to the Department of Transportation and get these traffic studies. Go down to the City Hall and get the traffic studies. They are done and they have been done about five times. The hon. member should get his act together, Mr. Speaker, before he comes in this House saying: where are they? I thought the hon. gentleman was more thorough than that.

Mr. Speaker, studies have shown time and time again, and if you did not have a study all you have to do is drive out Prince Philip Parkway now at 4:30 this afternoon and have a look at the traffic or try to get into this city or around this city in the mornings -

AN HON. MEMBER: What time?

MR. WINDSOR: Anytime in the morning. Anytime from 7:30 - 9:30 a.m., Mr. Speaker, he will find out what the traffic problems are in this city.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Let us address the cost of some of these things, Mr. Speaker. The hon. gentleman opposite just talked about where are the priorities and he talked about the roads-for-rail agreement, an $800 million road-for-rail agreement, where is our money being spent? Not in the middle of St. John's, it is being spent in rural Newfoundland. How about the $200 or so million for the secondary highways agreement. Where is that being spent?.. in rural Newfoundland, a billion dollars of federal money. Maybe the most appropriate question is: ask the hon. gentlemen opposite what is happening to the provincial funding? Where has that all been? These are the same hon. members that opposed the Roads-for-Rail agreement but they trip over themselves to have a public opening to cut a ribbon to make an announcement that all that money is going to be spent. The Member for Port de Grave is going to have a great time over the next number of months announcing federal money, but where is the provincial money? Let us put our money where our mouth is. We are concerned about rural Newfoundland and $1 billion of federal money is going in rural Newfoundland, so what is the problem with having $68 million spent in the metropolitan region?

Do you not realize that one third of the population of this Province lives in this metropolitan region, one third of it? Do you not realize that most of the businesses that depend on these types of highway networks are centred in the metropolitan region? How can the Member for St. John's South stand up and say that businesses are not being affected by the present state of the highways? He should know better. He is a safety person and he knows first of all just from a safety point of view that as you overload a highway system the level of safety decreases. I do not know if he knows anything about economics or not but if you are operating a business and it takes you an hour to get your product from St. John's airport is that not a benefit to the city of St. John's, of the airport industrial park which is going to bloom now with the development of the offshore oil and gas because that airport industrial park is primarily aimed at attracting offshore industry? Can the hon. gentlemen opposite not see through their glasses that the airport industrial park is going to be a major economic factor in this region but that it has to get its product to the marketplace which is not east end St. John's? They have to move it to Mount Pearl, they have to move it to Come By Chance, they have to move it to Clarenville, they have to move it to Harbour Grace.

MR. FLIGHT: Why did you not leave Donovans in St. John's? Why did you need to put it in Mount Pearl?

MR. WINDSOR: I did not leave them in St. John's because they were never in St. John's or never planned to be in St. John's, but I would not expect the hon. Member for Windsor - Buchans to understand that.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. WINDSOR: Mr. Speaker, can they not see the economic impact? Never mind the construction jobs. Surely God the hon. member knows that spending $68 to $100 million in this region of labour intensive industry, or construction industry, is a benefit to this region? Of course it is, it is a benefit to the whole Province. Surely, I have not got to argue that, but can they not see the economic impact of putting this kind of infrastructure in the area that produces a tremendous amount of the business of this Province? Are they telling me that the Harbour Arterial Road was a waste of money and that we should not have built it? Is that what they are saying? It is amazing how jealous they are of Mount Pearl, the most economically viable, the best managed, the best operated, the best planned, and the best run city in the Province and they are doing their damnedest to destroy it.

That is the bottom line here, Mr. Speaker. Let us get to the bottom line, raw basic politics. The Premier said a long time ago, we are not going to spend any money in the St. John's area, it is all going to Corner Brook, and now that he has a couple of members elected from Labrador he has to look after Labrador, I suppose, as if we had not spent enough money on the Trans-Labrador Highway. I know we would like to spend more but there are priorities.

My friend for Labrador West has been screaming and shouting about money for Labrador and, yes, we have to spend money there but we are not taking it away for the Outer Ring Road. There is an allocation for Labrador, there is an allocation for other rural roads, and there is an allocation for the Outer Ring Road, so what is the contradiction? The contradiction is raw, basic politics and since this Premier came into office he has done nothing but persecute the city of St. John's and everybody who lives in it, and the members who sit on that side and represent St. John's have not got enough gumption between them to stand up in this House and speak for the people who elected them. That is the bottom line. I have to come in from Mount Pearl and represent St. John's because the members opposite are not doing their job. It is as simple as that. I find it absolutely incredible that hon. gentlemen opposite can't see. That they're so blinded by perceptions presented by those who have no technical expertise whatsoever.

MR. ROBERTS: Unlike the hon. gentleman.

MR. WINDSOR: Unlike the hon. gentleman, yes. The only one ever elected to this House of Assembly with any engineering expertise.

AN HON. MEMBER: Go and play with your Lego blocks.

MR. WINDSOR: At least I'd know how to do it. The hon. gentleman wouldn't know how to play with them.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. HEWLETT: He started it and he deserved it.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) make a lot of sense.

MR. WINDSOR: I make a lot of sense. I thank the hon. Minister of Finance. The hon. the Minister of Finance sees the benefits that such developments have brought to Gander. He sees the benefits of infrastructure in Gander. He sees the benefits of the $1.3 million we put into the convention centre in Gander Hotel to make Gander the convention centre of Newfoundland. He sees the benefits of the money that's gone into the Gander Industrial Park. He sees the benefits of the Cooper Drive, is it, or whatever. Is it Cooper Drive? That goes from the Trans-Canada Highway up through Gander. He sees the benefits of good, sound, sensible planning.

You talk about environment. The biggest environmental problem we have is Newfoundlanders and Labradorians starving to death because this government has failed to produce jobs and failed to produce any economic stimulus in this Province. That's the biggest problem we're faced with today.

The Member for Gander is quite right. Because he can see the impact that such a major development will have on this region, and it's not just for St. John's. Who are the people who are lined up on the Kenmount Road and the Trans-Canada Highway to get into this city in the morning? Not St. John's people. These are people from as far away as Port de Grave. All kinds of them commute every day to St. John's. So they should. But then we see the parochialism coming from the Member for St. John's South: they're coming in like a bunch of scavengers to feed off St. John's. Does he not realize how much business those people bring to St. John's? Where are they spending the money that they're earning? They might be paying their property taxes in Bay Roberts or Bay de Verde or Harbour Grace, but, Mr. Speaker, many of them come into the city.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: It's the business hub of the Province. We come out of our airport and the worst road network in the Province - been upgraded slightly over the last two or three years, a little bit, but by the city. Not by the Province, by the city of St. John's. It was always a constant source of embarrassment to any of us who travelled, to come into St. John's airport, and the first five miles of road you drove on were some of the worst roads in the Province.

They finally have it upgraded, the main drag in there, to four lanes. You've got to, when you leave the airport, you have about a thirty-five or forty minute drive in peak traffic times to get to the other side of the city. If you're heading outside of St. John's - if you're flying into St. John's, renting a car or a taxi or being picked up there, and you want to go to Conception Bay South, you have a thirty-five or forty minutes drive to get yourself to Donovans before you start to go out the highway.

MS. COWAN: That's a slight exaggeration.

MR. HEWLETT: No it's not. It's not exaggeration in (inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Not the least bit of an exaggeration. Absolutely none.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Mr. Speaker, it frightens me to see what we have for a Minister of Works, Services and Transportation. He doesn't know the difference between a road and a cow path, nor does he care. The only thing he's concerned about now is how many of his buddies can get highway contracts without going to tender. That'll be his priority for the next four years.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible)!

MR. WINDSOR: We haven't heard him, Mr. Speaker, stand up - I don't know how long he's been in the House. Eight or nine years. He's never yet stood up to argue for the Conception Bay by-pass road.

MR. EFFORD: Got it started.

MR. WINDSOR: Got it started, yes. Not by the hon. gentleman opposite, though. Got it started in spite of the hon. Minister of Works, Services and Transportation. That piece of road, Mr. Speaker, the design for that was started in 1970.

MR. EFFORD: (Inaudible) and the Tories stopped it.

MR. WINDSOR: Tories didn't stop it at all. The Tories started it. In fact, Mr. Speaker, I did a lot of the preliminary surveying and design work myself. The hon. gentleman will probably want to go check it now. You want to have a look at it now and change that. It probably makes too much sense for you.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) Randy Collins (inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Long before Randy Collins, (inaudible). I did a lot of the original design, location design for that myself.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.

MR. WINDSOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. DUMARESQUE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I am indeed pleased today to return to this Chamber and have a few words to say, and certainly I am very happy to be able to speak for the first time in this Chamber in this particular term on transportation, and indeed to be able to get a chance to expound on the needs of Labrador.

Mr. Speaker, I could not help but be struck, after listening to the hon. gentleman. I could not help but write a couple of things down that he said because it was so ironic. What happens to people after a couple of years being out of that Cabinet room, from being away from that Cabinet table? What happens to them? Now quote: "We would like to spend more money in Labrador." Of course, Mr. Speaker. In June of 1988 when he ran around that table and said to the Member for Torngat Mountains, who was the minister at the time: Should we spend now $600 million of this $800 million for the Trans-Labrador Highway, because we would like to spend more money in Labrador. He said to his Premier: We would like to spend more money in Labrador now. We want to give these residents of the Province, who have no roads at all, what they deserve, the taxpayers of this Province who are real contributors, I might add, to the Member for Mount Pearl, to the economy of this Province.

Did he say to the Premier at that time: That is what we should do because we would now like to spend more money? No, Mr. Speaker. When the red carpet was pulled out down at the Radisson, when the lights went on in that particular building and they made the grand announcement of $800 million, there was not $600 million; there was not $200 million; there was not $50 million. Three per cent of $800 million is what he gave to the people of Labrador. That is the record! That is the fact!

Let me say to that hon. member who had the audacity to say: It is a big embarrassment when you come in from the airport and drive over some pavement that might have a couple of cracks in it, or some kind of a deficiency because of the wear and tear of the weather. Mr. Speaker, let him be in Mary's Harbour when he has to go to a hospital, when the fog is in and you cannot get a Medivac in because of the weather. Let him say to the people of Mary's Harbour that he is going to be embarrassed because he has to go over three or four kilometres of pavement -

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

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

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

MR. TOBIN: The member cannot be allowed to mislead the House the way he is doing it there. At the time that the Roads-for-Rail deal was signed, when you talk about the federal government portion of it, the budget for roads in this Province by the provincial government was $45 million and you have now slashed it back to $25 million.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. TOBIN: That is where the people in Labrador lost their money.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

There is no point of order.

The hon. the Member for Eagle River.

MR. DUMARESQUE: That is right, Mr. Speaker, another point of foolishness obviously coming to the fore because their guilty consciences are coming back to haunt them. He was at that table as well, and it is absolutely ridiculous.

The member obviously also said: Thirty-five to forty minutes of my time going to work in the morning. Well let us solve that. Let us spend $100 million so we can have the people go to work in fifteen minutes. It does not matter about speed limits. Give it to her. Get right in there as fast as we can. It is just not right. We cannot have a situation in this Province where we have people in one area of our Province who have real needs, medical needs, employment needs, trying to generate jobs - and I want to touch on that.

He talks about the economic potential of this area. Let me remind him and all the people of this Province that the real economic potential of this Province lies in the great land of Labrador, and do not ever forget it. You look at the expansion that is going to take place in Labrador. You look at the Trans-Labrador Highway study which will be released very soon. I know the minister is actively pursuing this. You will look at the figures that they come up with. Look at the real jobs that are going to be produced by the Trans-Labrador Highway - not only to Labrador but all of this Province from one end to the other, and indeed all of Canada will recognize the benefits of that massive project. It can be done and it will be done, but it will be done by this government, who took the people of Labrador seriously and said: You have real needs and we are going to treat you fairly,' not because the people of Eagle River have never voted Conservative in their lifetime. The people of Eagle River, Mr. Speaker, always had faith in the Liberal Party, because they knew that at a point in time they would come back and would treat them fairly. They would not play the crass politics that was played when they sat around that table and said: You deserve mere pittance, you deserve nothing from that Rails for Road Agreement.

To the hon. member who got up today and presented this resolution, I say, Mr. Speaker, many people in this House will have to wonder, why is he doing this today? Why is he doing this today? Now, probably, to really give people a chance to focus on the thing, I will put a couple of 'pick from the above' - I will give him three choices: Is he the critic for Transport, is he the minister's critic over there, on the other side? If so, a) is this project in his riding, is this the immediate, pressing, top priority in his particular riding? If it is, then give him, b). If it is, Mr. Speaker, that he is a good, loyal Conservative, having his kinship with the hon. John Carnell Crosbie, then give him c). That is why this resolution is here today - it is because John Crosbie wants to get elected again in St. John's West and he is again trying to play the old style politics with the public money of this Province, and that is what we cannot accept in this hon. House. We can't accept that.

The people of Labrador - the people of Cartwright, Black Tickle, Port Hope Simpson, people all up the Northern Coast, deserve to have put in place a proper transportation system, and if we can't do it immediately with the money for the roads and the pavement, then, certainly, we should be able to extend the airstrips to be able to get them paved, so that we can get airplanes in there for our Medivacs and for our other transportation needs. But no, there was no commitment being given to that kind of program at that particular time, and there is none espoused over there today. They have said to us that it is inconvenient, it is embarrassing, it is not very good having to come in here and maybe, be locked up in a traffic jam for thirty-five to forty minutes. I would like to see that better, too.

I would like to see the traffic problems of Kenmount Road and surrounding areas solved, just as all other hon. members in this House would like to see it. We are not against that. The people on this side of the House are not against solving the traffic problems of the St. John's area or the Avalon area or any other area - the South Coast of Newfoundland. We are not against trying to get the people on the South Coast of Newfoundland linked up by road and away from the marine system. We want to be able to do that, as well, but especially now, in hard financial times, fiscal realities are such that we do not have the kinds of dollars today that we had in years past. We have to look at these kinds of expenditures very, very closely and, at the end of the day, it cannot be whether I can spend a dollar that will get me so many votes because I have to be elected again, it cannot be whether I would want to try to make sure that my political buddy is kept in office, it cannot be that they will put their partisan, political preferences before the real needs of the people of this Province. That is why, I submit to the people opposite, on May 3rd, the people of this Province said 'yes' to Premier Clyde Wells and his Liberal team, because we are going to treat people fairly, as they have not been treated for years. That is why last night we saw in Nova Scotia, the massive landslide victory of Dr. Savage and his Liberal team, running from Cape Breton right on down to Yarmouth; that is why, because they told the people that it was time to cut out the kind of crass politics that have been pervading our system, and that is the kind of public use of money that the people expect today.

The people on the Labrador Coast, the people in Naskaupi, the people in Western Labrador, at the end of the day, must realize that the money they need to get their transportation needs up to standards is not going to be found at whim, so they have to be confident that they have put people in place, a government in place, that is going to take their needs seriously, that is going to address the economic impact of a dollar spent. And I would submit to the hon. the Member for Mount Pearl, that if you look at the completion of the Trans-Labrador Highway, we can stack up, any day, the economic benefits that would be derived from that project against any economic benefits that would be derived from the Outer Ring Road project here in St. John's. I believe the people of St. John's and all the areas of the Avalon Peninsula would say to the people of Labrador, yes, we will wait for the thirty-five to forty minute traffic jam to clear, we will wait to see that your needs are addressed in a reasonable and fair way, we will agree to treat you fairly. I believe the good people of St. John's and the Avalon Peninsula will turn to us and say, 'It is time you got your fair treatment out of this Province,' Mr. Speaker. I have no doubt about that at all.

Mr. Speaker, yes, there is something here today that is pervading this House, and it has raised its head on previous times, that is, the agenda of the Member for St. John's West. I think it is about time that the Member for St. John's West got the message that we are not about to be told, not about to be bullied or blackmailed, or we are not about to be coerced in any way through his puppets opposite or through himself in any of his tirades, whether in the paper or on TV. We are not about to be intimidated by that man, Mr. Speaker, and neither are we going to give in to his partisan political strategy for the next few months. We have to put all of the people of this Province first, and that is exactly why we were returned on May 3. I submit, we will be returned many times, Mr. Speaker, on the same basis.

I want to say to the people of Labrador that today we have a government here, of which they can be satisfied in knowing that their priorities are our priorities. They can be satisfied to know that the public funds we have, as a government, will be expended fairly. They will be garnered to the areas of this Province that have the greatest need, regardless of how you voted in the last election.

I want to submit to the House today that I will not support this resolution as it is stated. We will not be able to support this resolution put forward by the member opposite because it is not being put forward, in my view, with the best interests of all the people of this Province. More particularly, it is certainly not put forward with thought for the interests of the people in Labrador or on the South Coast of Newfoundland, or other areas of this Province that do not have an adequate - in my district, do not have any roads to promote economic development, to obtain services and other things.

Mr. Speaker, I guess, all of the people now know of the economic benefits of the Trans-Labrador Highway just by the one thing that we did this year. For the first time in our history, we connected Western Labrador to Happy Valley - Goose Bay. We saw the cost of living drop dramatically in that area because of that one fact, that we took the initiative. We put the $400,000 of scarce economic resources we have and we kept that road open for the first time in our history. Labradorians understand that, they respect that, and, indeed, they are grateful for that.

We cannot continue the ways of the past, and I submit to the hon. member that it is about time he carried on with his own agenda, not the agenda of his hon. friend from St. John's West. Indeed, the people of this Province will know that this Premier and this government have their best interests at heart and we will continue to impose our particular vision of this country and this Province, Mr. Speaker, because that is what they elected us to do.

Thank you very much.

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

MR. SULLIVAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I must say, I am not very impressed with the substance of any of the arguments put forward today. I follow my own agenda. I have a right as a private member to present a resolution that I believe in, and I will continue to exercise that right, whether or not everybody in this House of Assembly disagrees with me. I would like to state that point. If anybody thinks I follow anybody else's agenda in what I do, they don't know me very well. You can talk to my constituents if you want advice as to how well they know me, and what I have done, and I will work in their interests. If I have to put the interests of my constituents behind the interests of this Province, when the time comes, that is a decision I will make.

The road on which we are heading in this Province is not one that I take great pride in. In this Province, we are going down a narrow road. We haven't shown any creativity, vision or direction that is going to put this Province on a road to recovery. There is no light at the end of the tunnel here in this Province. We have to approach the future of this Province with a great degree of respect and we have to plan for the future of this Province if we are going to have a province to live in. Because we are going to have an out-migration of people from this Province.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Yes. It is not being debated here today. If it is debated then, I will certainly speak on it at that time. I feel we have to entice businesses and have a community here that will get businesses here, in a good environment. They are doing it in other provinces. The new Premier of Nova Scotia is going to start out with an economic agenda to entice business into the Province of Nova Scotia, as the Premier of New Brunswick has done. I think we need to develop a network in this Province and a transportation system that is going to be conducive to a proper business environment in the Province. We are being frustrated here in this city and surrounding areas with a network that is not adequate.

I believe in funds being spent in rural areas. The department has indicated - and I have approached them on numerous roads, and the one on which the minister received a letter, and we were told that there is no funding whatsoever, not one penny approved for roads in my district this year. There is no money for upgrading roads that have been washed out - thirty-seven roads washed out with severe flooding. There is no money for that, other than what their own equipment can do. I have addressed these concerns and taken them to officials in his department.

We have an opportunity here to be able to avail and use federal funds if this government will not spend money to be able to put something into an infrastructure here that is going to improve life in and around this city. From Conception Bay South right out to Port de Grave and up in my district and all over are going to benefit by it. It has met environmental standards. Everybody cannot get up and drive in at 5:00 or 6:00 a.m. in the morning. I have a wife who works, I have kids, I have a family and a lot of other people do. It is not practical to do it. We have to live and be realistic and pragmatic of what is going to happen. We can talk about it and we can talk all day long, I have not heard one item of substance.

The only item of substance I heard today was when the Member for St. John's South indicated he agrees that there is no adverse environmental damage going to be done to Pippy Park because of the Outer Ring Road. I have seen roads across various cities in this country and surrounding, that have beautiful surroundings, as the Member for Mount Pearl alluded too, they enhance the environment. It makes people aware that there is another side to the city. It enables them to appreciate an environment and a park area. It is good for everybody's thinking. We are too narrow minded in our thinking and we are afraid to make a decision.

Now, if we are going to make a decision that is going to help the general community around here and the business of the future, decisions have to be made today that are going to help us in the future. We have been a government and a Province that reacts. We react to situations instead of putting the mechanisms in place to act to avoid those situations. That is the success of any good government or any good business, it is being able to anticipate the future and have the structure in place to meet the demands of the future and we have not done that, we have failed. We failed in the fishery, we failed in transportation, -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: They failed too and it is not the issue we are debating but they failed and I will keep it to the resolution I am debating today.

In 1989, the former government spent $45 million per year on roads in this Province. We are now spending $25 million on roads in this Province. We would have money for Labrador -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: You will get an opportunity to speak. We would have money for roads in Labrador and other areas if we were spending $45 million on roads. I agree with a trans-Labrador Highway, I think it would do wonders. I support it and if there were a resolution here in the House I would be very eager to speak on it. We need to open up Labrador to outsiders to show them the beauties of Labrador and the opportunities in Labrador. I agree with it, I think it would be fantastic for the Province. We have to stop thinking in a parochial type of way and we have to use funds in this Province that are going to entice outsiders to come in here to enhance and improve the revenue base of this Province. If we are going to look inwardly at what I am going to get in my district here and my district there, that is not the line of thinking I aspire too because I have a belief in this Province first before my own district. I would like to be a resident of this Province for some time. I hope I will be a resident of my district for some time.

We are moving on a course that is playing petty politics because someone else suggested it. I am not playing to John Crosbie's agenda, I am playing to mine. I agree with - if John Crosbie supports the Outer Ring Road and I support it than I agree with him. If he does not, tough luck. I think it is good for this area and I think it is about time that members of this House just sat back and look at the facts.

Number one, will an Outer Ring Road do anything to facilitate transportation across the city of St. John's? The answer is yes. Will it enable the east end of the city to develop the land mass they have there? The answer is yes, it is now frustrating development. Will it enhance Memorial University and the surroundings? The answer is yes. In doing these things will it be more enticing for business and so on to be able to move more freely and more mobile within the transportation network? The answer is yes. When you look at all the positive aspects and they have been documented and there have been traffic flows done and records to show, then it is important to look at what negative aspects can result because of an Outer Ring Road in this city.

Will it affect the environment in such a way that it is going to be significant? I have a strong regard for the environment. I had my training in university in biology and I have a very fine regard for the environment and I tried to instill that in my students when I had the opportunity to do it and I would not want to see any adverse effects to the environment. There is no known established or documented evidence that is going to show the effects, the adverse effects of problems on Pippy Park. In fact, they are insignificant. This government and your government recognizes that the effects are minimal. They have agreed with a need, they have accepted the fact that there is a need. The feds have accepted the fact in their funding. The city has established the need. But this government has delayed continuously and been afraid to come out and make a definitive statement whether it's on the shelf permanently or what we're going to do about it. I think it's time to get on with the business at hand, to make some definitive statement on what's going to happen. Put it aside and stop wasting and debating time over matters if there's no hope of ever achieving them.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Yes, because I believe in it, and I believe there is hope, and I think there is an opportunity. I want to find out if the government believes in that and if they have some hope and think it will help the city and surrounding areas of the city. I drive back and forth each day, and I see the problems and the frustrations of traffic. Whether it's an Outer Ring Road or whatever you want to call it. I don't care what it is, we have to improve the traffic flow across the city of St. John's where almost 250,000 people roughly are using the city.

We need to respect and have proportionate amounts of money in rural Newfoundland too. We don't doubt that. As the Member for St. John's South alluded to, 'the great train robbery.' What happened with trains is history. The trains are not coming back. We have to start looking forward, not backward. That's what's wrong with our thinking here. We're looking back too much on poor decisions, or good decisions, whatever they were, but decisions that are made and the book is closed on them. We're not going to assist or prepare us for the future if we keep doing that. We want people who are going to look forward and have some substance in what they're saying, and some desire to improve the way of life here. This is an avenue that's open to do it.

We've looked at the deficit. The deficit is a major problem. I agree with fiscal control. In fact, economists are saying we're far from out of recession. We're into a cycle in history - the long wave, as economists call it. It's not going to be cured in 2000 or 2010. We've gone through a long cyclical period in history and it happened right back since the 1800s. We've gone through different phases of economic highs or lows. It's not a three, four, five or six year term. We're going to be looking at this for the next ten, fifteen years of stagnation to a certain extent. It will never reach the high pinnacle over the next number of years.

We have to do what we can to be able to make the best of a slow and tough economic time. That's when you need to be creative, show initiative, to get projects under way that are going to do things in tough economic times. Any government can govern in easy times. When there's money there, the tax revenue is there, and the base is there, it's very easy to do it. It is very easy - if this Province has cut $20 million from what was spent on roads, there are no avenues of money open in this Province to spend it. The federal government has agreed to spend it on an Outer Ring Road, yes, I would say spend it on the Outer Ring Road.

AN HON. MEMBER: Is that your priority?

MR. SULLIVAN: My priority? I have a lot of priorities.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: I will tell you my priority. My priority - and once again it is off the topic - my priority, number one, is the fishery and revitalizing and getting the fishery back on stream, that is number one priority for my district, and that is a different resolution, if you want to entertain it, I will debate it.

The issue today with which we are dealing, is the Outer Ring Road, and the people in my district want a Goulds by-pass road, they want an Outer Ring Road, they wrote the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation, they wrote the Minister of Environment and Lands and they wrote me. They had public meetings with the minister and with deputy ministers from both departments and every municipality in the area, they met, the ministers came up, they were very gracious to come up to the district, and they expressed in no uncertain terms their feelings on a Goulds by-pass road and the tie in with the whole city and the Outer Ring Road, so a lot of people in my district are depending on the transportation system; they are very frustrated with the main street almost of St. John's right now.

St. John's ends at Bay Bulls. Water Street ends at Bay Bulls, and if you have to drive from Water Street to work, for ten miles every day, you would see what I am talking about and the Member for St. John's South will tell you what it is all about, he lives in the district. We have to stop that mentality and we are getting on with it a bit here today I am glad - there are probably a few people who have not spoken on it and I would certainly hope that they have not spoken possibly because they probably agree with it, and I am sure people here in the city and outside the city see the benefits of it. I see the benefits of it and I think it is good and I think it is proper, but it does not mean that we have to sacrifice other priorities, we have to establish priorities, I agree with that and as a member said, it does not mean because you do not drive into a city - I alluded, and the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation, I indicated - he does not drive into the city to work - I indicated that even though they live in rural areas, people who are depending on work in the city have a right to a fair share of funds going in to improve the transportation system and to get them from their homes to their place of work -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Sure. Roads in this Province are a concern to me because roads in this Province enhance business and enhances tourism and improves things and I want to see a Trans-Labrador Highway almost every bit as much as the Member for Eagle River, because I want to see Labrador prosper too and I want to see the whole Province prosper, but we have an access here to federal funding that the government is turning its back on, that will, definitely be money that will have to be spent, and I can tell you the cost will be much greater down the road in better economic times and more money will have to be expended to get the same results. There is going to be less dollars there for Labrador, for Baie Verte, and for all other areas across this Province.

In closing, I once again reiterate my support on solid basic grounds, unbiased. I haven't seen any negative things that would change my mind. I'm subject and open to any things that would be presented that would have a negative impact. I'm open to it and I'm subject to change if I've seen it. I haven't seen anything whatsoever that would say the Outer Ring Road should not go ahead. I think it's about time - at least, the majority of the members of this House and the government could see - that it's a proper thing, it's good for the area here. People have the mentality that what's good for St. John's is bad for the rest of the Province. A lot of people have that mentality. I don't have that mentality. What's good for Labrador is good for the rest of the Province. What's good for St. John's is good for the rest of the Province. We need to stop thinking in a parochial way and get on with the proper business here and do something positive for a change.

MR. SPEAKER: Is the House ready for the question to be put?

The motion before the House is Motion 3, that of the hon. Member for Ferryland who just spoke.

All those in favour of the motion, signify by saying 'aye'.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Aye!

MR. SPEAKER: Contrary minded, nay.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Nay!

MR. SPEAKER: In my opinion the 'nays' have it.

The hon. the Government House Leader.

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, I take it it's the wish of members that we call it 5:00 p.m. Before we adjourn let me say that we propose tomorrow to call the Budget speech again. My friend for St. George's has been up there champing at the bit all day and after the excellent oratory which we've heard from this side today, and my friend for Ferryland measured up to the mark, then we'll have a chance for my friend for St. George's to show us what he can do tomorrow.

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

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