June 9, 1993                HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY PROCEEDINGS                Vol. XLII  No. 14


The House met at 2:00 p.m.

MR. SPEAKER (Dicks): Order, please!

On behalf of all hon. members I would like to welcome to the House of Assembly fifty-one Grades X and XI students from Fatima Academy, St. Bride's. The students are accompanied by their principal Hubert McGrath and teachers Barbara King, Kay King and Daisy Dohey.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

Statements by Ministers

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

MR. DECKER: Mr. Speaker, this statement was supposed to have been read by the Premier but he is on Her Majesty's business and he is unable to be here, hopefully he will be here later. So, I am going to read it on his behalf.

Today I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Len Williams as Deputy Minister in the Department of Education. Dr. Williams replaces Cyril McCormick who retired from the position in April of this year.

This administration is pleased to have attracted someone of Dr. Williams' calibre for the position of deputy minister. He has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the educational field, having served in several capacities since his teaching career began in 1958. From 1973 to 1975 he served as president of the Newfoundland Teachers' Association. Since 1978 he has taught in the Faculty of Education at Memorial University. During his tenure at the university, he also served as the Director of the Division of Student Teaching in the Faculty of Education.

Dr. Williams has served on numerous provincial educational advisory committees including, the General Advisory Committee to the Minister of Education from 1971 to 1973; External Provincial Advisory Committee on Education to the Government, 1974 to 1975, and the Denominational Education Committee. In 1988 Dr. Williams served as a member of the Department of Education Committee to report on ideas of concern between the Pentecostal Teachers and the Newfoundland Teachers' Association. In 1990, he chaired the Provincial Conference on Denominational Education. Dr. Williams has been an active participant on the national education scene, having served as President of the Canadian Teachers' Federation and a director of the Canadian Education Association. He chaired the National Committee and Conference of Teacher Education at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. On the international front he has represented Canadian teachers and presented papers at a number of international gatherings. Dr. Williams' most recent undertaking was on behalf of the government as Chairman of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Delivery of Programs and Services in Primary, Elementary, Secondary Education which produced the report Our Children: Our Future.

Mr. Speaker, the appointment of an individual of Dr. Williams' competence to the position of deputy minister is further evidence of this administration's commitment to enhancing the quality of education in our Province and ensuring that our education system is administered in a responsible manner.

It is because this administration is committed to ensuring that our education system is managed properly, that I am today also announcing that Dr. Robert Crocker has been seconded from Memorial University to take special responsibility for facilitating the implementation of the recommendations of the Royal Commission. We have done this, Mr. Speaker, because it would not be doing justice to the report, or to the Department of Education, to ask the senior officials to take on this task in addition to the day to day running of the department.

Dr. Crocker has been a member of the Faculty of Education at Memorial since 1969 and has served as the Dean of that faculty since September of 1990. Dr. Crocker has written extensively on science education, curriculum and classroom teaching and acts as a consultant on various aspects of education in Newfoundland and Labrador as well as elsewhere. His most recent program of research involves a comparative study of teacher thinking and classroom processes in Canada and England. Over the past few years, Dr. Crocker has also worked on program evaluation and policy analysis. In 1988-89 he chaired the Provincial Task Force on Mathematics and Science Education which resulted in a widely cited report entitled Towards an Achieving Society. Dr. Crocker has served as President of the Canadian Educational Researchers' Association and recently served on the Advisory Committee for a study of education being conducted by the Economic Council of Canada.

Mr. Speaker, with Dr. Williams and Dr. Crocker working with the Minister of Education and the staff of the Department of Education, I am confident that the future direction of education in this Province is in very capable hands.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Waterford - Kenmount.

MR. HODDER: Mr. Speaker, I am also pleased to rise and to agree with the minister that the department is very fortunate to have attracted two eminent educators to the Department of Education. Dr. Williams has eminent qualifications that have earned him respect, not just in this part of the Province but throughout the entire Province and indeed throughout the entire nation.

I have known Doctor Williams for twenty-five to thirty years, have served with him on the staff of Mount Pearl Central High School, where he was the first principal of that school. I have also known him in my church. Certainly, I can assure you that Doctor Williams is one of the most eminent educators in our Province today.

I would like to also add to the credentials that have been offered by the minister, and point out that one of the Outreaches that Doctor Williams did, which is not mentioned here, is he set up the Uganda Project. For hon. ministers and members of the House, this is a project connected with the Health Sciences Centre and Dr. John Ross, whereby school children and other interested groups in Newfoundland and Labrador can provide medical services to the people of Uganda. He was the inspiration behind that and still is one of the directors. He also has a lot of background with the Canadian Bible Society, having served as the Newfoundland president.

Mr. Speaker, Doctor Crocker is known for his research capabilities, for his ability to be able to complete research that is respected in the teaching profession, and also, of course, in other fields of research.

I am delighted to be able to support the appointment to these particular positions. I am sure that the youth of this Province and the post-secondary schools of this Province will benefit from the appointment of men of this calibre.

MR. SPEAKER: Does the hon. the Member for St. John's East have leave of the House on this matter?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Agreed.

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

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am pleased to rise in support of the appointment of Dr. Williams to the position of Deputy Minister of the Department of Education - I think it is a very good appointment. Dr. Williams is a man of tremendous calibre and experience in the field of education in this Province. I support, also, the appointment of Doctor Crocker. Both these appointments give me a sense that the government is serious about looking at the recommendations of the Royal Commission and seeing that they are implemented. I think it is a good opportunity in the wake of that report, and with these appointments, to see substantial progress in education in this Province. I look forward to seeing the work that these individuals are able to do on behalf of the education system and the future of our children in this Province.

Oral Questions

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

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

In the absence of the - oh, the Premier is coming. I was saying, in the absence of the Premier and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology -

AN HON. MEMBER: The Premier is coming.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Yes, I can see the Premier coming there.

I want to ask the Premier: Can he confirm whether or not there have been additional members appointed to the Board of Directors of Enterprise Newfoundland and Labrador? If so, can he inform the House as to who they might be?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: I would rather take it as notice. I can tell the members of the House that we intend phasing out the ERC involvement in it as quickly as can reasonably be done, and to get more people from the private sector involved on the board.

The original objective of having the ERC constitute the board of ENL, was to build it to provide services in the different regions of the Province. The objective of government now is to phase that out as quickly as it can reasonably be done.

Whether or not there have been formal appointments at this stage I don't know, but I will take it as notice and I will get the answer for the hon. member.

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

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

I thank the Premier for giving the answer as best he can under the circumstances. I am wondering, while the Premier is at it, as well, would he check to see if these additional appointments are going to cost any additional money, because I have received the information that there is going to be an additional cost of approximately $100,000 for whatever government is entertaining to do. I will wait for the Premier to get his answer for that, but while he is getting it would he at least, as well, undertake to seek information to see if, indeed, what is being undertaken by government is going to cost in the vicinity of another $100,000?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: No, Mr. Speaker, I don't think there is any fear of that, so I can put that suggestion to rest right now. It may involve some additional travel expenditure and things of that nature, I am not quite sure, because we want to make sure that we have representation from different parts of the Province.

The members who are on the board now, being members of the ERC, of course, there is no additional compensation for any role they play as members of the board, and there is no travel expense as they are all here in St. John's and they can hold a board meeting at fairly low cost.

So I would expect that appointing representatives from other parts of the Province would necessitate some additional expenditures of that nature, but I am quite confident it wouldn't be $100,000.

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

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

I would like to ask the Premier another supplementary.

Is the Premier aware of Enterprise Newfoundland and Labrador having purchased new cars recently? I have been informed, as well, that there have been at least two new cars purchased for Enterprise Newfoundland and Labrador, one for the Gander office associated with Mr. Lush, and one for the Labrador office associated with Mr. Marshall. I am just wondering if the Premier is aware of this? The information is that those two cars are luxury cars, and from my understanding as well having raised the topic, I think, less than two years ago, there were new cars bought then. Is the Premier aware of this, and how can Enterprise Newfoundland and Labrador, and the government, justify such expenditures when we are here today facing another bill, Bill 10 and asking the public servants and employees of the Province to take drastic wage constraint measures?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: To begin with, Mr. Speaker, I do not know and I am not about to speculate on whether they have or they have not. I will take the question as notice. I have no indication that any new cars have been bought for anybody. Whether or not they have I can only assume that it would only be done if it were an absolutely essential move. They have to live within the budget that was provided anyway and their budget was, like everybody else's, cut. I suppose if a car is essential in order to carry out his duties then I will have to leave it to them to decide that it is the best thing to do, but again I will take the question as notice and determine whether or not there are any such purchases.

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

MS. VERGE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I have questions for the Premier about the report of the task force on Agri-Foods. Early in the Premier's administrations first term, back in the Fall of 1989, the administration appointed the task force, chaired by the present Liberal Member for St. George's. The task force gave the government its final report in February of 1991, that is twenty-eight months ago, and we discovered the other day that government paid close to $1 million for the document. What is the faith of the report? Has the government accepted its recommendations, or, as it appears, is the government simply allowing the document to gather dust on some shelf?

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

MR. FLIGHT: I thank the hon. member for her question. She is right in the fact that the task force report was received in February 1991. There were in excess of 200 recommendations and I am proud to tell the House that we have implemented at least sixty of those recommendations in little over a year, sixty of 200 have been implemented.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. FLIGHT: Sixty more are ongoing because some of the recommendations were not such that you would implement them immediately. It was advice from the task force as to how to approach a certain program in agriculture. At least sixty of the other recommendations are ongoing, and approximately sixty, Mr. Speaker, haven't been acted on up until this point in time.

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

MS. VERGE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Supplementary to the minister. Why haven't we heard about the implementation of any significant recommendation of the report? Why is it that all the people of the Province have heard of is government action to do the exact opposite of what the task force report called for for the hog industry? The Province is strangling the hog industry and cancelling the swine breeding program. What commitment does the government have to the report recommendations? Will the minister table an item-by-item report of the status of the recommendations in the report, indicating what action has been taken, what action is pending, and what decisions the government has arrived at with respect to each recommendation?

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

MR. FLIGHT: Mr. Speaker, the people I suppose who depend mostly on the Department of Forestry and Agriculture - the farming community - is well aware of what we've implemented. I can suggest to the member that we are in the process of announcing and implementing in September, been working on it for the past seven or eight months, a red meat inspection program recommended by the task force. We have a very successful school milk program, again recommended by the task force. We are in the process - one of the major recommendations of the task force is that Newfoundland would increase its forage production. The record shows that we're putting all kinds of effort into doing that.

As I say, the farming community, the people who look to the task force recommendations, are well aware of what the Department of Forestry and Agriculture is doing. What's interesting, Mr. Speaker, is that the task force report was presented, as she says, in February 1991. This is now June 1993. One has to wonder why the questions come two years after we received the task force report, and after two years into the implementation of that particular report.

MR. SPEAKER: Final supplementary, the hon. the Member for Humber East.

MS. VERGE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I say to the minister once again, check Hansard for questions that have been raised consistently by Official Opposition members about the status of the task force report.

The government spent close to $1 million for this report. Paid the chair, who at the time was on the public payroll as a professor at the University, some $136,000 plus $23,000 in expenses. How does the minister explain or excuse that extravagance? Was that expenditure intended simply to promote a candidate for the Liberal nomination in St. George's to knock off the previous member?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Minister of Forestry and Agriculture.

MR. FLIGHT: No, Mr. Speaker. That was an attempt by the government to secure the most qualified man possible to head up the task force on agriculture.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. FLIGHT: I might also point out to the hon. member that yes, we paid in salary approximately $135,000. I would remind the member that Dr. Hulan was employed as chairman of the task force for sixteen months. If one would take that and look at it you would find that his salary was roughly comparable to a deputy minister level which, by the way, my department checked with Treasury Board. Every expenditure concerning the agricultural task force was cleared. We made sure that it was within the guidelines as approved by Treasury Board.

Let me suggest to the hon. member something that I'm aware of that happened, and it's comparable. I recall when a senior advisor to the previous premier, Premier Peckford, was into a job whose salary was $62,000 a year. For some reason, an arrangement was made for that particular senior advisor's position to be declared redundant and he was hired on the next day at $150 an hour, which gave him the potential to earn about $700,000 a year, if he decided to work that many hours. So they dead-ended a $62,000 position and took the same man back on the next day at $150 an hour, Mr. Speaker. I can tell you that's not nearly as blatant -

MR. SPEAKER: Order please! I will ask the hon. minister to come to the end of his remarks.

MR. FLIGHT: - the task force situation is not nearly as blatant as that.

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

MR. WOODFORD: My question, Mr. Speaker, is to the Minister responsible for Municipal and Provincial Affairs. Back in mid-1989, Mr. Speaker, the Member for Waterford - Kenmount at that time brought in the so called amalgamation process in the Province where there were so many groupings going to take place over the next number of years to amalgamate quite a few communities in the Province. At that time both the minister and the Premier stated that there would be no up front money given to any municipality in the Province in order to get them to amalgamate. Would the minister tell the House if his department has ever broken with this statement made by the Premier and the former ministers - because both former ministers made that statement - has ever broken with that statement and given any municipality in the Province special considerations in order to amalgamate?

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

MR. REID: I think the hon. member, Mr. Speaker, is referring to a number of amalgamations which took place that we needed to do studies into prior to making the commitments to the towns to amalgamate. In his particular area for example, there are three towns now wishing to amalgamate or were talking of the possibility of amalgamating and they are asking for a study to be done on long-term or future planning. I think the department has sort of agreed that we would fund the study to the tune of around $25,000. If that is the up-front money he is talking about, the answer is yes, we have done it on a number of occasions. I am not sure, Mr. Speaker, that I can answer for all the amalgamations. I am not in a position right now to be able to answer the question and say if there was other monies, other than study money, put into any of the amalgamations that have been done in the past.

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

MR. WOODFORD: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker. No, I say to the minister, I am not talking about studies. There was money put into feasibility studies and so on for different groupings around the Province and I am not talking about the studies that are about to be done today, if there are any. I am talking about, Mr. Speaker, and I ask the minister if he could he confirm it, and I guess it is obvious anyway, the Premier should know about it and other members, that back in October of 1990 the administration opposite gave considerations and special considerations to the Town of Grand Falls - Windsor and that included a transitional rate of tax incentive grant. It included capital funding in the amount of $1.25 million for three years, new property assessments for next year, the Department of Works, Services and Transportation to maintain snow clearing and so on and it goes on and on. Could the minister tell me, if it was done for one grouping in the Province why were other groupings not told about it and why were they not considered when they were amalgamated the same as Grand Falls - Windsor?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. REID: Mr. Speaker, from this minister's point of view, for this government or any government to have to come out and buy an amalgamation between communities, I am certainly not going to promote it. The principle of amalgamation is to help communities provide better services for the residents who live there. I do not intend to entertain a bribery and that is what you are getting at. Now, you were talking a few minutes ago about Grand Falls and Windsor and from what I remember, in this House and prior to becoming a member in 1989, Grand Falls and Windsor separately at that particular time, was a unique case. They had come to government on numerous occasions and said that their infrastructure was in such a situation that they needed funding. They were looking for funding from this government and from the previous government before 1989, to help them with the infrastructure. Now, Mr. Speaker, if it happened that after the amalgamation or sometime during the amalgamation this money was provided, I would say 'thank you' to the government for providing it because the people of Grand Falls - Windsor were looking for that money for such a long time, and for this government to come along, and through the mechanism of amalgamation to be able to provide that money to those communities, I would say: Thank you very much to the government that provided it.

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

MR. WOODFORD: Mr. Speaker, I say this to the minister: If it can be done for one grouping in the Province it can be done for all.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. WOODFORD: And I say to members opposite today, especially the minister involved, that it is one of the problems we have with amalgamation today - the approach, not the concept - and this is one of the reasons why it could work.

So I say to the minister, when he is looking at the area, my area - Spillway, Nicholsville and Deer Lake - would he, in view of the fact that it was done previously with other groupings in the Province, could he do the same thing and afford those municipalities in my particular area - namely Spillway, Nicholsville and Deer Lake - and any other groupings in the Province, the same consideration so that they would probably go along with the amalgamation process that the minister has instituted?

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

MR. REID: No, Mr. Speaker, the answer is absolutely no. As Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs, I will not be bribed into amalgamating communities around this Province. I say: No, Mr. Speaker. I do not think it is right. Amalgamation is something that is created to make things and life better in a community, and if we as a government have to bribe people into making the basic services in a municipality right for groups of people around this Province, I do not think we should be at that.

The answer to your question is: No, I will not provide funding, money up front, to convince those people in your district to amalgamate.

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

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

One of the cuts to third parties in the Budget is a cut of $15,000 to pay for an annual dinner for volunteer firemen. In the estimates committee ministers have said that most, if not all, third party cuts are being reviewed. I ask the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs if the decision to eliminate a government dinner for volunteer firemen is being reviewed also?

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

MR. REID: Mr. Speaker, it was just, I think, on Monday that the President of the Newfoundland Volunteer Fire Fighters Association called me and asked me would I look at the possibility of reviewing it, and the answer is: Yes, I am in the process of reviewing it right now.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. MANNING: There are over 300 volunteer fire departments in the Province, and over 6,000 volunteer firemen. If it was not for the services of those volunteers, some level of government would have to pay millions of dollars for fire protection. Do they not deserve some show of appreciation from the provincial government? Is a dinner once a year too much for them to expect in exchange for vital services they provide as volunteers?

The government is sponsoring a dinner for the Association of Maritime Fire Chiefs. There are only two fire departments in this Province that are members of that association. I do not criticize the government for that because there is some value to the tourism industry in having the association convention here in Newfoundland, but does the minister understand the resentment that many volunteer firemen feel? Does he understand their feelings when he honours professional fire fighters and does nothing to show appreciation for the volunteer fire fighters who provide most of the fire protection in this Province?

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

MR. REID: Mr. Speaker, I neglected saying that not only did I have a call from the President of the Fire Fighters Association, but the hon. Member for Harbour Grace paid me a visit Tuesday morning after our estimates committee and explained his position as it related to the fire department. It was really through his efforts and encouragement that I have gone back to revisit the question of providing the dinner for the fire fighting service.

I want to make another thing clear here. It was not only the fire fighters who we had to cut this year because of financial restraint. It was the administrators, the municipal administrators, and the Federation of Municipalities.

It is true that we are providing funding for the Maritime Fire Chiefs Association, of which only a small number - and two is not correct - of our population are members, but that was a decision that was made some two-and-a-half years ago for them to have their annual meeting down here in Newfoundland, and when we made the decision to cut out our provincial ones, we had to honour the commitment that we made some two years ago to those federal ones that will be coming into the Province this year.

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

MR. WINDSOR: I thought you missed me, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The Speaker misses nothing.

MR. WINDSOR: Mr. Speaker, I have some questions for the President of Treasury Board.

The government has now gone back to public sector employees with a new proposal which I understand deals with reducing payments to their pension plan - government's contribution - by some 4.5 per cent.

That is essentially the same proposal that had been rejected before. Can the President tell us, Mr. Speaker, is this the entire package or are there other public sector units being asked to make other concessions in order to accept this proposal to roll back on pension plans?

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

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, the various unions have accepted different - or are going to their membership with a variety of proposals, some of them involving the pensions option that we had explored last - well, many months ago and some of them with other options, Mr. Speaker, and I do not intend to comment on these options and the details of the options until the votes have been taken. This is by agreement between ourselves and the union.

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

MR. WINDSOR: Mr. Speaker, the government's proposal on cutting back on pensions is in fact a wage rollback by any other name. Any way you call it, it is a reduction to the overall compensation package to employees, it is simply a matter of deciding how they will do it, so it is a reduction in their take home pay or they can have an option I am told, of reducing their pension income when they retire. In other words, at some point employees will lose take home pay as a result of this measure. Will the minister confirm that?

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

MR. BAKER: Yes, Mr. Speaker. As we indicated before we started discussions with the various public sector unions, we were seeking to reduce the public sector compensation package by - an estimate was $70 million in order to achieve a $51 million deficit on current account, and yes, Mr. Speaker, no matter which way you look at it, if the options are accepted this will be a reduction in the total compensation package for the employees. Mr. Speaker, I would like to correct the hon. member on one point. This is not government's proposal, they are proposals that have been reached after long sessions of consultation, discussion, talking with the union teams.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Mount Pearl, on a final supplementary.

MR. WINDSOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Well the President of Treasury Board confirms that in fact it is a wage rollback.

The Premier said a few days ago that there was no social contract, no quid pro quo in exchange for concessions from the unions, yet, the President of NAPE is saying that there is some language changes in relation to job security. Would the President confirm that there is in fact a social contract and that we have made those concessions in order to gain the wage rollback he is talking about?

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

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, first of all, I do not know, it is a little trick that the Member for Mount Pearl is learning from the Leader of the Opposition, where he gets up and starts a statement by saying: well, the minister admitted to something that the minister had no intentions of admitting to and in fact did not admit to.

No, Mr. Speaker, this is not a wage rollback, it is a reduction in the total compensation package and there is a tremendous amount of difference in that, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. gentleman opposite wants to consider this to be a social contract, I am not the one who used these terms, I believe the governments in Ontario and BC talked in terms of social contracts with the public sector workers in these provinces and, Mr. Speaker, what they were trying to achieve is what we have hopefully now achieved, if the voting goes as I expect it will go, so if the hon. member wants to talk about us achieving a social contract with our workers, we are very pleased to accept that.

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

MR. HARRIS: A question to the Minister of Education concerning Student Aid in the Province, could the minister explain why it is his department allocated $21.8 million for the Student Provincial Grant Program but only spent $18.9 million, some $3 million less? And will the minister say that he is prepared to give that $3 million that he saved from students last year back to students, either to the university to reduce tuition or to the students directly?

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

MR. DECKER: Mr. Speaker, the Budget had $21 million for student aid. In order for students to receive that student aid there are certain rules that have to be met. Their income has to be taken into consideration, the income of their parents, and whether or not they worked. There are a whole lot of rules and regulations which determine whether or not a students is entitled to receive student aid. At the end of the day, after all the students who thought they qualified for student aid made their applications and went through the process, it was discovered that we had more money in that vote than we had qualified applications. Now, Mr. Speaker, that happens quite often and it means that we came in under budget. It doesn't mean that every single student in Newfoundland and Labrador got every cent of money they ever asked for, but it means that students qualified to receive some $20 million-worth of student aid.

MR. SPEAKER: A supplementary, the hon. the Member for St. John's East.

MR. HARRIS: Mr. Speaker, will the minister not admit that his rules are too stringent or too stingy with respect to students? A recent study done at the University shows that in the Province of Newfoundland, 10 per cent fewer students than in the Province of New Brunswick receive student aid from the government and, in fact, the amounts of student aid received by students in New Brunswick, for example, are far greater than the average amount received by students in Newfoundland. Will the minister not review and revise his Student Aid program to meet the real needs of students, so that at least we are making the same amount of money available to students as does the Province of New Brunswick?

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

MR. DECKER: Mr. Speaker, the rules we abide by are similar to the rules that the other provinces use. I don't know if the hon. member is confusing this with the provincial student loan program that New Brunswick has, or not, but I can certainly look at our rules and regulations. The unfortunate thing, Mr. Speaker, is that we have to have rules; otherwise, the fund - instead of saving $1 million we would probably be spending $10 million or $25 million on top of that. So you have to put rules in place and try to abide by them. In my estimation, the rules that we have are fairly standard to those across the country. I hope the member is not confusing it with the provincial student loan program, which is a little different from the student grant program.

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

MR. WINDSOR: Mr. Speaker, I just want to get back to the President of Treasury Board again with one final question as it relates to the public service collective bargaining system. This proposal to take $70 million by way of reduced paid contribution to the pension plan is a one-shot deal, it is a quick-fix solution. It doesn't solve the problem, it is an aspirin to it. Will the minister confirm that next year we will also have to find that $70 million plus the $51 million deficit and whatever increase there might be on that over the year, and how does the minister propose to do it next year? Are we saying we are going to ask the public employees to reduce payments to the pension plan by $70 million again next year, in addition to what might need to be found?

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

MR. BAKER: The first part of the member's question - his analysis is absolutely correct in the sense that this is simply a solution to get us over a difficult time that we are having this year. Whether next year is as bad as this year remains to be seen, and obviously, the solutions that are being discussed now in the Province amongst some of the unions simply solve the problem this year. Obviously, we have to get back to collective bargaining as early as possible in the Fall to reach collective agreements that can begin starting in the next fiscal year. So, obviously, we have to do that and we will deal with these problems when they come. I don't know at this present time if, in fact, our problem is going to involve the $70 million, plus the $51 million next year. The problem my be greater than that, or it may be less than that, but I am hoping that we can work with the public sector unions to solve whatever problem we are faced with in the Fall.

MR. SPEAKER: Question Period has expired.

Presenting Reports by

Standing and Special Committees

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

DR. GIBBONS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, as required by the Mineral Act, I am pleased to table the Report of Mineral Licences and Mining Leases issued for Newfoundland and Labrador for the fiscal year April 1 1992 to March 31 1993. Thank you.

Notices of Motion

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

MR. ROBERTS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I give notice that I will on tomorrow move amendments to the Standing Orders in the form of a new Standing Order 54.1 and a new Standing Order 54.2.

There has been consultation with my hon. friend opposite. I understand each of us has spoken with our colleagues in the caucus. I won't read the Standing Order now - it is quite lengthy - but let me say for the benefit of those who wish to know that this Standing Order addresses the situation with respect to legislation that is referred to Standing Committees of the House, either before it has been introduced, in the case of 54.1, or after the legislation has received second reading, which is addressed by 54.2.

I hope we will be able to adopt these next week, Mr. Speaker.

Answers to Questions

For which Notice has been Given

MS. VERGE: A point of order, Mr. Speaker.

I am still waiting for an answer to the question I asked a couple of weeks ago of the Minister of Forestry and Agriculture about the fate of the genetically superior swine that were produced at the Western Swine Breeding Station.

MR. SPEAKER: Just a moment. There is no point of order. I don't need to hear from the minister on it, thank you.

MR. FLIGHT: I am prepared to provide the answer if the hon. member is interested in the answer.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I ask the minister to be seated. I want to make a ruling on the point of order first. The member is taking advantage of the House in raising a point of order, and knowing the difference, that this is not a proper matter. So there is no point of order apparent on the face of it. If the minister wishes to give an answer to a question for which notice has been given, he may do so.

The hon. the Minister of Forestry and Agriculture.

MR. FLIGHT: No, that is fine, Mr. Speaker, I will defer.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

Orders of the Day

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

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, we propose to deal with the Concurrence motion of the Resource Committee report. The same arrangements will apply today, in my understanding, but perhaps we could be sure we all have the understanding. The House will not rise at 5:00 p.m., it will rise at the later of 5:00 p.m. or the conclusion of the debate on the Resource Committee report. To that end, I will move the House not adjourn at 5:00 p.m., Sir.

MR. SPEAKER: I believe that particular motion was put on Friday past so I don't think we need to put it again at this point in time. At this point, we will launch into concurrence debate in accordance with Standing Orders.

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

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

MR. HARRIS: if the debate is limited to three hours, then 5:00 p.m., we don't need to not adjourn at 5:00 p.m., because it will be over by then.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Government House Leader.

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, the motion was that the House do not adjourn at 5:00 p.m.

PREMIER WELLS: He acknowledges (inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: Oh, okay. In that case (inaudible), Order 3(a), that confusion resolved, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: We will now deal with Concurrence Motion No. 3 for the Resource Committee. I recognize the hon. the Member for Lewisporte.

MR. PENNEY: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It is, indeed, a pleasure for me to rise in this hon. House today, as it was a pleasure for me to have chaired the Resource Estimates Committee. It was an honour to have been the chairman of this particular sector of the Estimate Committees, because in these days of fiscal restraint we must recognize the importance of the departments that came under our review. We reviewed the estimates of the departments of Fisheries, Forestry and Agriculture, Mines and Energy, Tourism and Culture, and Industry, Trade and Technology.

I would, at this time, like to thank the members of the Committee who served with me, particularly, the Vice-Chairman of those Committees, the hon. the Member for Humber Valley, who was very co-operative with the Chair, as were the other members of the Committee: the hon. members for Baie Verte - White Bay, Fogo, Harbour Main, Kilbride and St. George's. It should be acknowledged at this point that the members for Port au Port, Eagle River, Fortune - Hermitage and Green Bay, as well, filled in on one or two of the evenings that we were doing the estimate reviews, filling in for some hon. member who could not attend at that time.

I think it would be only fitting that we recognize, as well, that the Member for St. Mary's - The Capes and the Member for Burin - Placentia West attended and took part in the proceedings by asking questions of the minister.

I would like to thank the members of the Committee for the manner in which they allowed the proceedings to go. Our proceedings were done thoroughly but smoothly. We reported yesterday that the estimates of all of the departments reviewed passed without amendment, and I would like to thank hon. members who served on the Committee for that.

If I may take just a few minutes to touch on some of the departments whose estimates we reviewed: the Department of Industry, Trade and Technology - it was recognized by practically every member of the Committee that this department is not only an exciting department, I think the expression was used that it is probably one of the more exciting departments in all of government. This was acknowledged by members on both sides of the House, as they said through the meetings.

I might add, Mr. Speaker, that there were times during the evening that the Chair had to bring the hon. the minister to order because of the length of time he gave to the answers. It was just a reflection of the total enthusiasm he had for his job. It is understandable, of course. The Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology was quite excited about what he is doing, and he has a right to be. Other hon. members who served on the Committee will acknowledge that, I am sure, when they stand to speak.

The Department of Mines and Energy, as well - it must be recognized that we, as Newfoundlanders, are now entering a new era for this Province. We are introducing probably a new industry that is going to lead us into the next century. Let us look at what has been accomplished at Hibernia since the Liberal Government took power in 1989. Negotiations that had stalled and were off the rails, we got them started again and, in a matter of no time, the agreement was signed. Construction has begun.

It was interesting that during the election campaign a few weeks ago, as the concrete was supposed to be ceremoniously poured, that their friends in Ottawa - at least one of their friends in Ottawa, saw fit to put a stop to that. But, whether the ceremonial pouring was stopped or not, we have seen construction begin and we have, in fact, started heading into a new era for this Province with a new industry, and we will see the same thing as we get into Hebron, White Rose and the other reserves out there.

What we will be doing is changing the level of unemployment that we have seen in this Province, and we will be increasing the level of skills, and I think Newfoundland will lead the way in this particular industry across this continent.

Mr. Speaker, one of the reasons I was especially proud to Chair this particular sector of the Estimates was because of the Department of Tourism and Culture. I think we must all recognize -and it is interesting that Tourism and Culture should be grouped under Resource, because I believe that tourism is probably the untapped resource of this Province. It is the resource on which the future of this Province lies.

I think we have all come to recognize that we are living in a part of this country that still enjoys a pristine environment. We have something that probably the inhabitants of Europe would give their left arm to enjoy, and we take for granted. It is about time that we started marketing it properly, and I am delighted to see that the minister - the new minister of this new department - recognizes that potential and is working toward that end, particularly in my district of Lewisporte. We are right in the heart of what I believe will become the tourist capital of this Province within the next few years. We are right in the center of the beautiful Bay of Exploits, the Notre Dame Bay area. That will become, in my opinion, without doubt, the tourist capital of this Province.

The minister has agreed to accompany me to my district again as the House closes in a few days, which will be his third or fourth trip to my district since becoming minister. He acknowledges that it will be his fourth, and I am pleased with that.

Mr. Speaker, the Committee on the Department of Fisheries estimates was chaired that night by my hon. colleague from Eagle River. Because of a previous commitment, I could not attend, so my colleague from Eagle River filled in for me. I have no doubt that when the opportunity presents itself, he will stand here in the House and he will explain to us some of the things that happened that night.

I would like to make a few comments about the proceedings when we did the estimates of the Department of Forestry and Agriculture. We all recognize that our forest is a renewable resource, but some concern was raised, Mr. Speaker, about the rate of consumption and whether, in fact, the resource can renew itself at the rate that we are consuming it. There was also some concern raised as to whether we should allow our hardwoods, particularly our birch, to be used for firewood. The minister elaborated that maybe we should put our hardwoods to some better use than firewood and we should re-allocate sections of the resource. Mr. Speaker, the questions were very thorough, very good questions, very substantive questions, particularly on the other section of his department, agriculture. It was recognized, as well, that Newfoundland doesn't enjoy the climate that we have in other parts of this country, nevertheless, we can become more self-sufficient in agriculture than we are. It is nice to know that we have a minister who recognizes that and is working toward that end.

There was a topic that came up that night, Mr. Speaker, that I must make reference to, namely, the issue of permitting the manufacture of reconstituted milk in this Province. I must say, I was somewhat disturbed when the hon. the Member for Humber Valley, the Vice-Chairman of the Committee, stated unequivocally that, in his opinion, the manufacture of reconstituted milk should be banned, effective immediately, it should be banned right now and put the Notre Dame Dairies in Lewisporte, all of the employees of that plant, out of work; that plant should be closed down because there should be no more reconstituted milk allowed in the Province. I was somewhat surprised when I heard him say that, because that certainly was not the position of his party during the election campaign only a few weeks ago. That certainly was not said by the candidate who was running for the PC Party in Lewisporte. That certainly is not what was said by the Leader of his party when he visited Lewisporte only a few weeks ago during the campaign.

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

MR. PENNEY: By leave for just a minute?

MR. SPEAKER: By leave.

MR. PENNEY: I am wondering if the hon. member was speaking on behalf of his party or just speaking on behalf of his own personal view. I am sure he will elaborate when he gets to his feet.

Mr. Speaker, I recognize my time is up. I move concurrence of the report.

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

MR. WOODFORD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I would like to make a few short comments pertaining to the Legislation Review Committee on Resource, Mr. Speaker. I have to concur with the Chairman of the Committee that, as far as I am concerned, it was a very worthwhile exercise. I always found, ever since I became a Member of the House of Assembly in 1985, that it was a great opportunity to learn and gain knowledge in a specific department. One thing I found, when I came in here in 1985, was that you may know of some things, whether they be agriculture, forestry or whatever, but if there is something that you are needing information on, attend an Estimates Committee. No matter whether it is government services, social services or the resource sector, attend a Committee meeting and ask some pertinent questions and, I have to admit, you will get honest answers. My experience with the Estimates Committees is that if the ministers didn't know the answer, at least they would go and find it and bring it back to you; they will do that. It is different in the House. When we ask questions in the House, I suppose, human nature being what it is, ministers have a tendency to try to be somewhat evasive, but in the Estimates, there seems to be no hesitation in answering the questions. Ministers, I will say, make every effort to try to give a member an honest answer, and that to me, is what this is all about, what the House of Assembly is all about, Mr. Speaker.

Pertaining to our Resource Committee, I have to say, I give all members credit. I had two so-called rookies who served on the committee with me, the Member for Baie Verte - White Bay and the Member for Kilbride, and government members, the Member for Harbour Main and the Member for St. George's -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WOODFORD: The Member for Fogo is no rookie. He is no rookie but he is an old stalwart, back again, and he contributed to the Estimates Committees; as soon as they start to get a bit dull, he used to liven her up, Mr. Speaker, and keep the Chair on his toes, or I should say, another part of his anatomy.

In any case, Mr. Speaker, it was, I must say, a well-spent exercise and the questions and answers by all members - the new members, on both sides of the House, I must say, had some very pertinent questions. And they asked questions, which is what it is all about.

Having said that, Mr. Speaker, I will make an effort now to try to comment on some of the particular headings in the Estimates Committee. I will make a comment to the hon. the Chairman of the Committee, the Member for Lewisporte, pertaining to the statement I made the other night on reconstituted milk. We have tried, Mr. Speaker, and it goes back a long way in this Province - I remember, in 1970, in this Province, going to the Department of Agriculture and asking them for some help to get into the dairy industry. They as good as laughed at anybody then, especially myself, personally, with the idea of getting into the dairy industry.

I fought long and hard to try to get into it and I did, but it was in spite of government, not because of it, and it wasn't a Liberal Government, it was a PC Government. And when Premier Peckford came out to me in 1985 and said to me: `Rick, they tell me that you have been fairly successful,' I said: `Hold on; hold on, now, don't get too carried away by my success.' I said, `I farmed in spite of you fellows, not because of you.' And the same thing that was there in 1970-1971, is there today; it is there today, Mr. Speaker, twenty-two years later; it is still there today. The roots are still there. And I say to the Member for Lewisporte that the only reason that plant, the only reason the `Recon' - not the plant, don't be confused now with the plant, and `Recon', the 500,000 litres of reconstituted milk that is coming out of that plant.

Businessmen being businessmen - or business women, will do what they have to do to make sure that their enterprise will survive, so don't be fooled by the threat of a plant closing down because of 500,000 litres of reconstituted milk. You don't have to tell me about that. We are the only province in Canada that is producing reconstituted milk, the only province. Why? Because of agreements made between Brookfield Ice Cream and the former owners of that particular plant some years ago. And there is one reason and one reason only - and if the member wants to stand in his place today and say the real reason why reconstituted is not being manufactured in Lewisporte today, that one reason is political - no other reason. There is no other reason for it to be manufactured here. We are bringing in skim milk from the mainland, mixing it with Newfoundland water and manufacturing reconstituted milk.

The Member for Terra Nova says that Central Dairies and Brookfield are owned by mainland companies. We all know that. That is no secret, but who is producing the milk for them? Who is producing the milk for Central Dairies and Brookfield?

AN HON. MEMBER: (inaudible)

MR. WOODFORD: That is right. Only when the Newfoundland producers cannot produce it, and the same thing is applicable in reverse. I can understand why the hon. member is upset.

MR. TOBIN: Tell us.

MR. WOODFORD: I stand in my place today and say to the hon. member, I do not know what the Leader of the Opposition said during the campaign in Lewisporte and I do not care. I do not know what the member who ran there for the PC party in this election said and I do not care. I will stand up for the principle of the thing, Mr. Speaker. Now, the member opposite might say that 500,000 litres of reconstituted milk is nothing, it is only trivial, it is only a small percent. It is a small percentage but what I am talking about is the principle of the thing, and that is what you are going to see. Only for that particular district today, is represented by the Member for Lewisporte, a good member, I have nothing to say about the member, nothing whatsoever, that particular section of that plant, the reconstituted part, would be gone, and I venture to bet that the AP&B who were suppose to be representing all agricultural sectors in the Province today, except for the commodity groups, and really after that represent the consumers in the Province, is about to make a decision. It is very interesting what the AP&B are going to say to the minister.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible)

MR. WOODFORD: I asked you the other night and you did not tell me.

AN HON. MEMBER: I know now.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: (inaudible) right now because you will forget it.

MR. WOODFORD: Well, I did not hear what they said today. I am only going on what the minister said the other night, but I have to make reference to that because the member brought it up, about the reconstituted in Lewisporte, and that is why I made reference to it. You know where I stand, there are no backdoors. I tell you out-front and I told your people yesterday when I met them. There is a lot more to it than meets the eye.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) with Sprung in 1988.

MR. WOODFORD: I had nothing to do with Sprung in 1988. When I had the opportunity to do something about Sprung I did it. Mr. Speaker, to keep on talking about the agriculture estimates there were different references made to different commodity groups, different headings under agriculture. There are a lot of commodity groups. There is a lot to agriculture because of the breakdown of the different commodity groups and the groups that are not represented by marketing boards. There was a lot of discussion about forestry. Ten minutes is not much to speak at any given time so as soon as you get wound up on a particular subject there is no trouble -

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. member's time has in fact expired.

The hon. the Member for Lewisporte.

MR. PENNEY: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I will only take a few minutes but I would like to address some of the comments made by the hon. Member for Humber Valley. He said, I do not know what the Leader of the Opposition said when he was in Lewisporte during the campaign, and I do not care. But I would like to remind the hon. gentleman that the management of the Notre Dame dairies plant know what they said. The employees of Notre Dame dairies know very well what those two gentlemen said. The voters in the Lewisport district know very well what they said. They also know what the member said quite clearly, every opportunity that he had, that in his opinion no marketing board, no arm of government, had a right to interfere with free enterprise. This is a free enterprise system that brought Newfoundland to where it is today, and there is no arm of government, whether it be a marketing board or whether it be a department of government, that has a right to interfere with that.

I would like to remind all hon. gentlemen and ladies here that if there wasn't a market for the product that's coming out of Notre Dame Dairies, if the consumer didn't want the product, they'd have been out of business before this. They wouldn't need a marketing board to do it. The very fact that that product is put into the supermarket shelves alongside their competition, and the very fact that the consumer chooses it, is reason enough to let it stay. It's reason enough to support the continued manufacture of that product.

Mr. Speaker, if the boards have enough autonomy and enough authority to close down an industry that the consumer wants then God help us, there's something very seriously wrong. I suspect that what's happening is that the members of the boards are protecting their own self-interest. Who's on that board that's looking after the interest of the consumer? I would ask. What percentage of the members of the marketing board is more concerned with the interests of the consumer than the interests of the industry?

MR. WOODFORD: Same with your government.

MR. PENNEY: The hon. the minister has not yet made his position. I was just reacting to the comments made by the Member for Humber Valley who supports closing them down. It doesn't matter what the consumer wishes to buy. That's where I have a problem. He states that his position is one of principle. The principle of this, Mr. Speaker, is quite clear. As long as the consumer wants to purchase the product and as long as we have somebody prepared to manufacture it, nobody has a right to stop it. That's the principle of it.

He says: but we're the only province in Canada manufacturing recon milk. Two points. Number one: that is not correct. Number two: so if we are the only province in Canada manufacturing recon milk, so what? We're the only province in Canada marketing coloured margarine too. We're probably the only province in Canada that enjoys a good meal of seal meat too. Does he want to stop that? Or does he want to see it get to the point eventually that when Mr. Speaker walks into a supermarket and he wants to buy a particular brand of something, Mr. Speaker is being told no, he has to settle for a different brand, because some marketing board says so.

It's also interesting to note that the hon. member states that it's because of the representation by the member for the district of Lewisporte that that plant is still in operation. If that's the case, I take a great deal of personal pride in that fact. I'm not a bit ashamed to have that comment spread across the front page of the Lewisporte Pilot next week. That it's been recognised in the House of Assembly that because of the actions and the comments made by the member that the plant hasn't closed. But if members on that side of the House had their way it'd be closed down. I think that's basically what I've heard the Member for Humber Valley -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. PENNEY: Okay, Mr. Speaker. Basically what I'm hearing now then is that this is only the view of the Member for Humber Valley and his view is not shared by his colleagues.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. PENNEY: Sorry?

MR. SULLIVAN: He's (inaudible) his personal opinion.

MR. PENNEY: That's fine. I respect the fact that's his personal opinion. Obviously then his personal opinion is not shared by the other members of the Party and it is not shared by the Leader of the Party, and is not the policy of the Party.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible)!

MR. PENNEY: Well, that's a marvellous thing what they're doing to their colleague, Mr. Speaker. They're cutting him adrift. They're leaving him out high and dry. Where's the support they're giving their colleague for Humber Valley? Is that the kind of support he gets in caucus, I wonder?

AN HON. MEMBER: What support are you getting?

MR. PENNEY: I ask hon. members to be a little bit patient for a few days and we'll see. The House will see exactly what support I've gotten. Those are the comments I wanted to make on that particular topic right now, Mr. Speaker. Thank you very much.

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

MR. WOODFORD: Mr. Speaker, we can keep this going all evening, I guess, arguing back and forth about the reconstituted and so on, but one thing I will say to the hon. member, unlike members opposite, members on this side can express this opinions and express them freely.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. WOODFORD: I was elected, Mr. Speaker, by the people. There is not one other member in this House of Assembly who voted for me - not one! I was elected by the people of Humber Valley, and I will stand in my place any day -

AN HON. MEMBER: The dairy farmers.

MR. WOODFORD: - and represent the people of Humber Valley, whether it is a dairy farmer, whether it is a logger, whether it is someone in the mining industry or any other industry, I will stand in my place and represent them. I will not do anything other than that, Mr. Speaker. I will say to other members - and I am sure the opportunity will present itself, according to what I am hearing today, over the next two, three or four years - to have some fun here in the House and ask some questions pertaining to agriculture. I can see evidence of that here this evening. I can see evidence of that here this evening, so I will refer to that in later speeches.

I did not, anywhere in my speech, I say to the hon. member, say that plant had to close down. I said the reconstituted had to come out - not the plant - and there is a big difference. I can understand, like I said before, why certain business people are saying that the reconstituted went, that the plant had to go. That is not so.

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Forestry and Agriculture, in his questions, I must say, was really forthright, upfront and honest about the answers. Some of the questions asked and the answers given were pertaining to the Report of the Task Force on Agriculture presented by the Member for St. George's. It is an excellent, excellent report, a good job, no doubt about that, but the implementations of the contents of that particular report, nothing has been implemented.

The hon. minister talked about the sixty recommendations that were implemented. I say to the hon. minister this evening that when I sit down, stand up and tell me about them, because if some of the ones you mentioned are implementations and recommendations that were made coming from the task force, I say to the hon. minister that he is wrong. He is wrong.

He mentioned forage production. Forage production in this Province has been going on since God knows when. It had nothing to do with the task force. The ALFI agreement and the Agri-Foods agreement were in long before the hon. Member for St. George's started his task force. That was in, and absolutely nothing... The emphasis they put on it is right. It is true. It is dead on that there should be an increase in forage production, but the actual start of forage production under the ALFI and Agri-Foods agreement was started long before the Task Force on Agriculture.

His recommendations were right, to make sure that we were self-sustaining, to make sure that we were self-sufficient in forage, no question - but to say that particular recommendation came out of the task force on agriculture, Mr. Speaker, and that was a big implementation, is wrong.

One of the other things he mentioned was about the school milk program coming out of the report on agriculture. I say to the minister that that particular program was about to be instituted by myself in 1989.

AN HON. MEMBER: What?

MR. WOODFORD: The school milk program. Right when the election was called in 1989 there was $250,000 allocated -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) misleading the House.

MR. WOODFORD: Well if I am misleading the House, Mr. Speaker, then the member who wrote this report must be misleading the House, because on Page 113, on the second last paragraph, the member stated that the Province was close to being - that providing cheap milk to school children throughout the Province was close to being implemented in 1989, before the provincial general election.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. WOODFORD: Now, it is here in writing. I didn't write it, all I had to do was bring it up. But, I mean, it is there in writing. I don't know who signed it -

AN HON. MEMBER: Read it again, `Rick'.

MR. WOODFORD: - Mr. Bud Hulan. So, I mean, that is nothing out of the report. Again, when the member referred to it in his report, he did a good job. But to say that it came out of the recommendations of the Task Force on Agriculture, Mr. Speaker, that isn't so. To say that it was built on, yes. To say that it was increased with funding, yes. To say that it was a better program, yes. Having said that, I have to commend the minister on what he has done with the school milk program, on the department's $150,000 that they put into it.

Having said that, there was absolutely nothing said about what the producers and the processors put into the school milk program. The producers, last year alone, put somewhere in the vicinity of $400,000, $450,000 into the school milk program. The Member for Terra Nova - a lot of the producers out in her area, all agreed with it. The Farm Women's Association supported it. It was an excellent program. I think, the other day, she mentioned in her speech that the school milk program was a good program. I thought I heard her reference it, anyway. It is a good program.

The $150,000 in seed programming put in by the Department of Agriculture - I think that should be increased. I personally really think that should be increased, because the producer is putting in such a large amount. Now, the processors say they are putting in, I don't know, maybe $300,000 or $400,000, but some of that is -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WOODFORD: Pardon?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WOODFORD: Yes. That is what the producers are putting in. The processors say that they are putting in something like $400,000 or $500,000. But, directly, I don't think - I think it is coming off what they call fifty cent milk. But, regardless of how they are putting it in, they say they are putting it in, and it is a good program. I know, out in my area, and I am sure I can speak for a lot of other areas around this Province, that that particular school milk program has been accepted freely. The kids - one of the biggest things that I have found it has done is it has done away with these Pepsi-Coke machines in the schools. My wife is a teacher and she comes home telling me about all those syrups kids have in their lunch pails and this Kool-Aid rotting every tooth. It is the best dollars government ever spent, that $150,000.

Because, now, the children are more alert, they can learn better, they are on their feet more, they are more vibrant, because they have this fresh milk in their little stomachs, and if they have nothing else to eat in the morning - and a lot of them haven't - they could be sustained for the day, on that particular lunch alone, that they get at lunchtime. And it is affordable compared to other prices of that old junk, so to speak.

The other thing about it - and I have been a former dairy operator - the first to admit is, it is good for the industry. It is excellent for the industry, because two things are going to happen. The health of the children and the money spent on the health care system, somewhere down the road, has to benefit. Because milk is the first food, it is the prime food, it is the most nutritional substance you could ever put in your body. You must have it to sustain life, you must have it to keep a good solid bone content. It is an all-round food, the best nutritional food you can consume today, Mr. Speaker.

The other positive thing about it is that it can increase production all over the Province, and that will increase jobs. It will bring jobs to other parts of the Province. It is an industry that can grow. The Member for Terra Nova was quite right when she said that there were mainland companies involved. There are. The milk comes in from the mainland when the Newfoundland producer doesn't produce enough. But milk also goes out - we have to get to the point where we can take on more producers, and the only way we can do that is to raise the level of milk consumption. And the member also had that in his report. When he wrote this report, I think the level of consumption was 57 litres per capita in this Province. Do you know what the next was to us? The national average was 105 litres per capita.

MR. HARRIS: How about Carnation milk?

MR. WOODFORD: Carnation? Well, I will get to that. That is an interesting point,because the national average was 105 litres per capita. The next province to us was P.E.I. with 100 litres per capita and we were fifty-seven.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time has elapsed.

MR. WOODFORD: May I have just a couple of minutes to finish?

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: By leave.

MR. SPEAKER: By leave, the hon. the Member for Humber Valley.

MR. WOODFORD: I just want to finish on this particular point and then I will sit down and give someone else a chance.

But that is the national average. Now that to me - the Minister of Health alone, it is no trouble to look at his budget and say why, because it starts from infancy and comes right on up through the system.

The hon. the Member for St. John's East just brought up an excellent point about Carnation. Do you know that three years ago, we produced $52 million worth of fluid milk in the Province? And I don't know if members realize it or not, we imported $32 million worth of Carnation.

MR. HARRIS: What!

MR. WOODFORD: Thirty-two million dollars worth of Carnation milk was imported into this Province.

MR. ROBERTS: There was a time when we consumed (inaudible) Carnation milk.

MR. WOODFORD: In all of - I don't know if it is Canada but I think it is Atlantic Canada.

MR. TOBIN: It is the best you can get.

MR. WOODFORD: Well, that could be. I did hear that before, too.

MR. TOBIN: (Inaudible) Carnation.

MR. WOODFORD: That could be. Thirty-two million dollars worth of Carnation and fifty-two million dollars worth of fluid - that was about three, three-and-a-half to four years ago and we are wondering what is wrong with our health care system, wondering what is wrong with jobs, wondering what is wrong with lack of increase in agriculture. And that is fluid milk - when I say fluid milk I am talking about -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WOODFORD: Okay, I won't go on because I was only given a couple of minutes. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. FLIGHT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I am going to take only a couple of minutes, but there is one thing I want to do - I want to put in perspective and lay before the House the real story behind school milk, Mr. Speaker.

Now, it may well be, and I am sure the hon. member quoted the report right and I am sure the hon. the Member for St. George's knows what he wrote in the report but, Mr. Speaker, prior to the election in 1989, there was no school milk program in this Province and there was no intention of a school milk program in this Province. What happened, Mr. Speaker, was the hon. member who was then the Minister of Forestry and Agriculture, running his own campaign and trying to get himself elected in Deer Lake, made a campaign promise, saying, `If I am re-elected, I guarantee you that I will implement a school milk program.' There is no record anywhere in the department, Mr. Speaker, where it was the policy of the government, any intention, there was no record of the hon. member when he was a minister, indicating that he wanted to start a school milk program or that he intended to bring a school milk program forward to Cabinet, nothing, Mr. Speaker, no school milk program. The only reference to a school milk program in Newfoundland prior to our assuming office was that the hon. member, during his campaign, made it a campaign promise. Now, Mr. Speaker, I tell you that if all the campaign promises the Tories made in the seventeen years they were in government were implemented, there would be a lot of changes in this Province. Mr. Speaker, there was nothing. He hadn't moved, as Minister of Forestry and Agriculture, he hadn't indicated to his colleagues, he hadn't indicated to his executive or to his department. In Humber Valley, he simply said, `I think school milk is a good program and if I am elected' - and he had to assume also, I suppose, that he would be a minister - `if I am elected, I will have a school milk program.'

Now, Mr. Speaker, I did not implement a school milk program because the hon. the Member for Humber Valley made it a part of his campaign promises - I implemented the school milk program because the hon. the Member for St. George's, in the Hulan Agri-Food Task Force report, recommended it. It was not implemented because the hon. member decided that he would use it as a campaign promise in 1989. And, Mr. Speaker, the first time there was any record of the hon. member ever talking about a school milk program and discussing it with the department and discussing it with his officials and indicating that, `As a minister, I would like to see this happen' simply, one day in Humber Valley, he said, `If I am elected, I will implement a school milk program,' and that is the only reference that was made in this Province to a school milk program prior to 1989.

I thought, Mr. Speaker, the record should be set straight, because in 1989, after the government changed and I became the minister, and discussions were held - and I must say that the industry, immediately, was concerned.

Mr. Speaker, another fact should be made clear here, that one only needs to trace the association that that hon. member had then and still has with the dairy industry. The leaders in the dairy industry, the Milk Marketing Board, the Chairman of the Milk Marketing Board, Mr. Speaker, these are the people who were the biggest supporters of the school milk program, for obvious reasons.

Because of the school milk program today, roughly two million litres of milk is being produced and, of course, one of the benefits of the school milk program, was the increase in production, thereby allowing the dairy industry, the existing dairy industry to 1976, to expand. And they had a vested interest, in that sense, but they were also interested, as the hon. member said, in the nutrition value of milk, in getting milk into the schools, as opposed to soft drink.

Now, I wouldn't be surprised, Mr. Speaker, that the hon. member may have sat down during that campaign and in a campaign session, in a strategy session, where he was getting advice from the leaders to whom I just referred, Mr. Speaker - I mean, since they had, I would say, a lot to do with his campaign organization; but I am only assuming that. But they were the leaders in the industry and I know they are very much associated with the hon. member, so I can see, some night after the member having been going door-to-door all day, that they asked: Now, what can we say tomorrow that will sound good from an ex-minister or from the Minister of Agriculture? and they dreamed up the school milk program, and the next day the hon. member made a statement, saying: `If I am elected' - well, you know, I am sure the hon. the Member for Baie Verte - White Bay, said for three weeks - the previous hon. member - said, if I am elected, I will do such and such a thing. Well, he didn't get elected.

What would have happened if the previous administration had been elected and the hon. member had not been elected? Was there anyone in back here - did he leave the idea with anybody back here that we should have a school milk program? No, Mr. Speaker, no. The only thing that the hon. member can take credit for with regard to the school milk program is that, one night, with his campaign officials, looking at the possibility of something to announce tomorrow, he said: if I am elected, I will implement, or we should implement a school milk program. Now, Mr. Speaker, the school milk program comes as a result of the initiative of this government, supported and recommended by the Hulan Task Force Report.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. FLIGHT: If I am elected.

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

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WOODFORD: Mr. Speaker, I have all evening to speak yet, we have three hours on this yet. Mr. Speaker, I have to again set the record straight. The hon. minister, when he first got into his department, didn't do very much research, or else he did an awful lot of shredding in the first four or five days, one or the other.

Mr. Speaker, I say this to the minister, that I fought for almost eighteen months in 1988 and 1989, trying to get a couple of ministers at that time, namely, the Minister of Health and the Minister of Education, because those were the three line departments involved, to try to get them to produce the funding for the school milk program. And if you go back - maybe I can go back through my own Cabinet papers; I will go back.

MR. FLIGHT: (Inaudible).

MR. WOODFORD: You didn't look. I challenge the minister on that. But, apart from that, it is a good program, anyway.

I have to get to the point where the minister said that in the campaign, I announced in Humber Valley that there was going to be a school milk program. I never, never uttered the words in Humber Valley - never, never uttered the words - and I can say that categorically, Mr. Speaker. Where I did say it, I say to the minister, was in Gander, when I spoke to the Federation of Agriculture. I make no bones about it, and no back doors about it, I said, then: `I am interested.' They knew I was interested, and I told them then that I had requested funding to have the school milk program instituted. I had problems - I do not mind saying it - I had problems with other ministers, two ministers, specifically, who could not see the use of it. One of them was the Minister of Health, I don't mind saying. My own colleagues at that time - I couldn't beat it through their heads that the program was a good one. And I am glad that the present Minister of Health wasn't there then. I don't know who the Minister of Health was. Maybe the hon. the Member for the Straits was there then.

Well, I am glad to see it instituted, but to say that I said it in a campaign promise in Humber Valley is wrong - I never uttered the words there - but in Gander, I think it was in March of 1989, I did. I say to the minister, in a speech to the Federation of Agriculture, I promised that that particular program would be instituted - I didn't, other than that.

AN HON. MEMBER: We don't make promises.

MR. WOODFORD: Well, that was one promise I made that was kept. A good buccaneer, it had to take. That is what it had to take to make the promise, and another buccaneer carried it out. There is nothing wrong with it.

I can remember the old days in Buchans when the hon. minister there used to go from stope to stope and pillar to pillar and from pipe to pipe when he worked in MacLean Shaft and in Rothermere.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WOODFORD: The Minister of Mines and Energy, I wouldn't say, knows what a stope or a pillar is. He might now, but I can tell the hon. member what they are, from when we used to work underground at MacLean Shaft.

Anyway, Mr. Speaker, I would like to make a few short comments on forestry, as well. Forestry in this Province today is one of our biggest and most important industries. The fishery, no doubt, is an important industry, and the biggest. It is still the biggest, I would say, even with the 20,000 or 25,000 people who were displaced by the moratorium. But forestry is another main part of the resource sector of this Province. We have to have a sustained and viable and affordable, I should say, silviculture and forestry program in the Province.

I say to the minister responsible, every time we hear a member stand up, it is the Federal Government this and the Federal Government that. They are cutting out this program, they are cutting out that program. Well, I say to members opposite, if the Federal Government were going to fund every program, what do we have a new government for? What are we here for?

Having said that, the Minister of Forestry and Agriculture will have 100 per cent support in making sure that the Federal Government extends that particular program, especially pertaining to forestry. It is not their jurisdiction, is the first thing you will say, it is a provincial responsibility. Yes, it is a provincial responsibility, but I say to the Federal Government, regardless of who is going to be there as leader after next week, that they are going to have to pony up and help out with regard to the forestry, the silviculture program in this Province.

I think we are spending somewhere in the vicinity of $12 million a year in silviculture reforestation programs in the Province. That includes thinning and planting and so on, and that has to be kept up because of the sins of the past in forestry in this Province. Bowater, for years and years on end, cut and cut, and slashed and slashed, and destroyed and destroyed, and put absolutely nothing back, and that was the fault of previous governments - governments. There was absolutely nothing put back until the last eight, nine or ten years - nothing. Everywhere you looked, there was devastation. Everywhere you looked - talk about clear-cutting, nothing all across this Province was clear-cut, and nothing put back, absolutely nothing.

Today we have an excellent reforestation program, and we have to make sure that particular program is kept up. We have to make sure that particular program is sustained, and we have to make sure that the forestry sector in this Province is kept alive and well. Despite what the paper companies say, despite what Abitibi-Price says, despite what Kruger says, it is going to be there, it is our resource. I say again, Mr. Speaker, as I said before in this House, we talked about getting control of the fishery. We do not have it, we did not have it, it was managed poorly. We do not have control of our forests. The bit of Crown land that the minister has to deal with is a pittance compared to what the Kruger and Abitibi holdings in this Province are. They allow a management cut every year. The companies have to come to the Department of Forestry and sign an agreement on a management cut, whatever their percentage is, I think, it is every year, on where they are going to cut, how much spruce they are going to cut, where they are going to cut it and so on. That is good. At least we have control over that and we can tell them to go in an area where there is bug killed timber that should probably be salvaged this year before it is too late. We can tell them to go to another area where there is probably an overgrowth or something like that, or over mature timber that should be cut.

In the past all they did was go into certain areas and cut what was in close proximity to the mill. The cheapest and the best wood went to the mills at bottom prices and today we are paying the price for that particular sin of the past, as far as I am concerned. Abitibi-Price in another eight or nine years are going to be short of wood. There is no question. I have no arguments with Abitibi-Price or Kruger, or anybody else bringing in wood from outside the Province, provided - and I have to qualify that, Mr. Speaker, in saying this, that the loggers who are cutting wood on this island should be looked after first. They can supply spruce, they can supply a high fibre product to the mills. Some of the best fibre wood we have is in Labrador, as the minister stated the other night. It is still in the Province, some of the best in the world. The Abitibi plant, especially in Stephenville, has got the name for having one of the best products in the world, especially in North America anyway, because of the fact they have a good fibre content going to that particular plant.

I say to the paper companies in this Province, yes, but take from the locals first. I have a constituent now who was told he is allowed to ship four loads of spruce in June and eighteen loads in July, and that is it for the year. Now, that to me, Mr. Speaker, is wrong. I have calls into Abitibi-Price and I am waiting for some reply back. When I confronted them with it yesterday they could not understand where this came from, but they have got it. The operators in my particular area got it, and as far as I concerned I was told they are bringing in 30,000 metres of pulpwood from PEI, and 30,000 metres from the Labrador section of the island this year. Now, that is not a big lot when you look at the total consumption of Abitibi-Price in Stephenville or Grand Falls, but when you look at just the plant in Stephenville it is a sizeable chunk, and like I said before I do not mind them bringing it in provided they take from the loggers on the island who are supplying the product, especially when it is the same type of product, namely spruce.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. member's time is up.

MR. WOODFORD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

DR. HULAN: Mr. Speaker, I had the opportunity and privilege to sit on the Resource Estimates Committee and I say to this hon. Chamber it was indeed a learning experience and it also provided a chance to gain an insight into the workings of such a committee. It was also a chance for a newcomer such as myself to become introduced to the various departments we were examining the estimates on. I want to say, Mr. Speaker, right at the outset, that I was indeed impressed with the knowledge each particular minister demonstrated concerning his particular department. I say his because we had no female ministers in our midst at the time. That was, I think, obviously recognized also by the public as well and was no doubt a factor or a reason for the vote of confidence that this government was given on May 3.

I want to just mention a few things on each of the departments we had the opportunity to examine. In as far as Tourism is concerned, I was pleased to see that Tourism and their effort to develop adventure tourism in this Province, and to stress in particular in the future four season tourism. That particular area of tourism, Mr. Speaker, has the potential of creating many jobs in my district of St. George's alone, to say nothing about the Province in general. I applaud the Minister of Tourism and Culture in particular for his conviction and strong stance regarding the rates charged on the ferry services to this Province. You may recall that I made reference to that in my maiden speech here in this House, noting that such exorbitant fares and rates are not only a deterrent and detrimental to the tourism industry of Newfoundland and Labrador - especially here on the Island - but it's also a hardship on our residents and those who want to leave the Province, or those parts of our families who wish to come home.

Looking next to Fisheries, I am indeed thrilled with the emphasis being placed on aquaculture production and development by the Department of Fisheries. I am also pleased to see the foresight of the current minister as evidenced by his real emphasis on commitment to aquaculture research. It is indeed comforting to note that the minister recognizes the importance of good, sound research and the importance of such to the development of aquaculture in this Province. I, like other members of the Resource Committee, was taken by the minister's factual remarks that the reproduction biomass for the northern cod in our ocean is only a mere 70,000 metric tons, when in fact a minimum of 102,000 metric tons, I believe, is the required amount to maintain required production levels. That's serious indeed.

Turning to the Department of Industry, Trade and Technology, I am indeed impressed with the forward planning of that relatively new department and the vision of its minister. I feel that I can speak for the entire Committee in saying that this hon. Chamber, and indeed the Province, can have confidence and pride in this Ministry. The minister and his officials recognize the importance of hi-technology in the world today and the important role it can and will play in the future economic development of our Province. This is indeed an exciting department, as you have already heard from my hon. colleague, with a great deal of dynamism. The emphasis the department is placing on such things as information industries, environmental industries, manufacturing and computer literacy bode well for our future survival and development in a competitive world.

Last but not least I want to touch on the Department of Forestry and Agriculture. In fact, I can say, and I should probably say, that I kept the best till last. As in the case of other departments that we examined I was impressed with the knowledge displayed by the Minister of Forestry and Agriculture of his Ministry. I am enthused with the initiatives the department is taking in the area of silviculture and forest management, which was indeed ignored by governments in the 1970s and the 1980s. Our forest resources were largely decimated during those years and it was shamefully condoned by the governments of the day.

The initiative this government is taking to expand the private saw milling industry in the Province, and the steps they are also taking to secure additional sawing logs through effective negotiations with the large paper companies is commendable indeed. I am equally impressed, Mr. Speaker, with the actions of this department in their effort to encourage, support and develop private woodlot management in this Province and also to encourage the development of Christmas tree farms. The department is indeed to be commended on this type of forward planning.

Now, I want to turn my attention to agriculture and agri-foods. Mr. Speaker, this government recognized early in their mandate in 1989, that agriculture and the related food industry of this Province have been ignored by the business community, the public, the media and especially by governments for the last couple of decades. In recent years, Mr. Speaker, the public's awareness of agri-foods in this Province has been focused almost exclusively on the hydroponic growing facility in Mount Pearl. That focus has hurt the greenhouse industry in this Province, Mr. Speaker, an industry worth in excess of $7 million and it has also hurt the total agricultural industry, itself worth $60 million plus, in farm gate receipts alone and the true value of that industry in this Province is near $300 million. This government, Mr. Speaker, also recognized the fact that a major constraint in the development of an agri-food industry in this Province is the absence of a clearly defined comprehensive public policy on agriculture. As a result, Mr. Speaker, the minister commissioned the task force to inquire into the current conditions and the future direction of the agri-food sector in the Province and to make recommendations for a long-term policy on agri-foods into the next millennium.

Mr. Speaker, the ministers task force on agri-foods was indeed the most comprehensive study of the food industry ever attempted in Canada, as it examined each sector of the industry.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

DR. HULAN: In case this hon. House does not know, it examined every sector of the industry from primary production to consumption. That has never been done in the food industry anywhere in this country before. As an added bonus, the task force outlined in detail a public policy on food and nutrition, a policy this Province has been lacking for 500 years. We are the only Province in Canada, Mr. Speaker, without such a policy and yet it is well documented that the cost for diet related chronic diseases in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador such as osteoporosis, heart disease, obesity, hypertension and certain forms of cancer constitute a much higher proportion of the total expenditures of Newfoundland's health care system than elsewhere in Canada. Now, Mr. Speaker, at a time when funding for health services provincially is under tremendous pressures and recognizing that no society can tolerate an unhealthy population, efforts must be made to institute preventative health care. I challenge this House, Mr. Speaker, this hon. House by saying what better way to achieve this than through the production of wholesome nutritious food and at the same time generate needed employment -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.

DR. HULAN: - especially in rural Newfoundland and Labrador. I am pleased to see, Mr. Speaker, that the minister and his department -

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: By leave.

MR. SPEAKER: By leave. The hon. member has leave of the House.

DR. HULAN: Less than two minutes, Mr. Speaker.

I am pleased that the minister and his department has implemented or is in the process of implementing, I believe some 60 per cent of the 210 recommendations of the task force on agri-foods. Such action, Mr. Speaker, by this government is indeed commendable during these tough economic times and will allow the future achievement of the goals outlined above and in the task force on agri-foods. Thank you very much.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Baie Verte - White Bay.

MR. SHELLEY: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. First I will concur with some of the comments made earlier about this particular committee, I was glad to be able to sit on this committee. I will congratulate the chairman first of all for keeping things organized and under control, also the Member for Humber Valley who was the vice-chairman who did a superb job. I must say that it was a new experience for me, and some of the members already pointed out it was a learning experience. I didn't really understand until I went into the actual first meeting how the whole thing went. It's a great opportunity for the extra information that you don't get in the House, as we say, and to talk to the ministers.

On that note too I'll also make the comment that the ministers and their officials who attended those meetings were very informative, very straightforward. I must say they were very cooperative in giving their answers, and if they didn't have the answers on hand they were quite willing to get those answers for us.

I heard a comment from some of the other committees before about how everybody didn't ask questions, especially the members on that side, during some of the committees. I must say that during our committees all members, including the members for St. George's and Harbour Main - and especially the Member for Fogo, who I call the Don Cherry of the Committee, he kept us in line and kept us in touch with a few things and kept us on our toes. Especially the Member for Kilbride who assisted me on this side. Overall the Committee ran very well, very informative. I must say I look forward to doing it again.

To just hit on some of the headings and try to keep them as brief as I can, and touch on some very straightforward and simple facts, I guess, of the Committee. First of all, the Tourism Committee. I'll concur with the chairman who said a few minutes ago - and I've said it for a long time, so it's not the first time - is that the tourism industry is what I call the untapped resource of the Province. There's no doubt about it that down the road I can see this Province, Newfoundland and Labrador - and I'll make a point on the Labrador section very shortly - that the tourism potential in this Province is untapped. It is a resource that if we harnessed it right now and started moving it in the right directions - and there are some good things happening in tourism - that in the future, future generations of Newfoundlanders will look at that resource as probably the biggest resource that will always be here, the long term of tourism.

I'm very pro-tourism. I always have been. Because I've done quite a bit of travelling myself, and the best travelling I've ever done is in Newfoundland and Labrador. I've got no problem in saying that. After travelling the world over - you know, you can travel for many miles on these big jets and find these desolate islands in the south. But I'm telling you, there's nothing as beautiful as a small cove in Newfoundland that's very quiet and talking to a senior and getting stories off a wharf, or something to that affect. Or sitting near a small quiet pond in the evening when you can have a chance to flick out the fly and just sit back and relax. You can travel the world over and you won't come across better situations in tourism than that.

Provincially, I told the minister during our Committee meetings that I would with him support and lobby as hard as we can to make sure the access to Newfoundland is there. More access through the Lewisporte area, which is going hopefully to come around soon, after the Labrador Highway comes through, and also that that access is cheaper. So that people are enticed and encouraged to come to this Province more often. Because it's one of the problems of Canada, it's so hard to get to. We've got to make sure that the access to the Province is cheaper and more accessible and more encouraging, for not only mainland Canadians to come, but also for people from the United States as well as from other parts of the world. So I will be encouraging with the minister to encourage that the accessibility to this Province is promoted and encouraged.

That's on the provincial scene, especially - the other part of provincially I'm talking in tourism is promotion. It has improved over the years but we've still got a lot of work to do in promoting tourism to Newfoundland, on the PR fronts, in the bigger cities, and also right across the country. Their brochures and the different literature that goes out now has improved it, also the television ads and the radio ads. These things help. There has to be more of it. There's not enough yet. We've got to improve on that.

Still on tourism, but moving into the local part, is the point I really wanted to bring up here today. I mentioned it during our Committee meetings, and I'll mention it again now. We have to work within the Province to encourage tourism so that Newfoundlanders use Newfoundland for their tourist sites. There are so many Newfoundlanders who I have to admit - and I'm sure the hon. Member for Eagle River will concur with this - is that Labrador is the untapped resource of all when it comes to tourism, the beauty of Labrador, for some of you who may have visited the Churchill Falls area and those areas up along there, where especially there's good fishing.

It is unbelievable what some people, once they get there and see the sights and do the fishing, and see the natural beauty of Labrador, they are just overwhelmed by it. I have heard it time after time, from even bumping into people in places like Toronto. They say: You know, I was lucky enough to have a trip to Labrador. It was unbelievable. They could not get over it. These are people who travel all over the world, and here, right in our back yard we have the tourism potential that has not even been touched yet. So through the Trans-Labrador Highway, of course, and through the entrance through Lewisporte, we are going to hopefully open up a new gate in tourism in the Province.

Also locally, and what I mean by locally is the districts - and this is one I also touched on in the committee that I feel is very important.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SHELLEY: Oh, I will be doing that.

I will have to give my example, I am sure, as it relates to many other districts in the Province. I said during a speech during the election, tourism for the Baie Verte Peninsula - if you do not know the geography then I will explain it a little bit. It is a peninsula with twenty-two communities with the most beautiful scenery - of course, even nicer than St. George's, although he argues with me - but it is beautiful scenery, and we should all think that of our districts. It is the right thing for us to do, as MHA's, but I can tell you that tourism on the Baie Verte Peninsula, just for an example, and you can all use it in your districts, is a sign at the Trans-Canada which says: Baie Verte 63 kilometres. Then just a little bit further down the road there is another sign that says: Eskimo sight 89 kilometres - and that is all we have.

There are people in tourism, whether you believe it or not, people who come to Newfoundland and start to drive in their big trailers and their cars, and they decide where to go when they get here. There are not a lot of them who have their agenda set when they get here. They come into this Province like we do when we travel, and you see a big sign that says: My God, okay, iceberg alley or cod jigging or whatever. Those are the things that attract, and right now - I have brought it up to the minister and he will be looking into that and investigating that - but the signage on the highway. What is wrong with having a sign saying: Cod jigging, or fishing, or iceberg watch.

In Lewisporte, I think it was last year or the year before, where the big slew of icebergs came into the harbour, there was an influx of tourists like you have never seen, and there was a lot of money spent in hotels. There was a lot of money spent at gas stations and services in towns because of a natural thing that happened, and Lewisporte, which is so beautiful... The point I am getting at is that the signs on the highway do not tell you these things. That has to be changed.

As people drive along the Trans-Canada - that is not Newfoundland. That is part of it, but let me tell you, the beauty of Newfoundland lies out on the coasts and its small little communities of twenty people, and on the little wharves and on the little stages. That is Newfoundland, and that is what we have to be selling nationally and internationally.

I am telling you, you get the best advertising, I have always believed, by word of mouth. So if we get those people to come here in the beginning, and they see the beauty, then they will come back, and they will tell their friends and they will come. That has to be the resource that we have to push. So I want to remind the minister again, while I speak here today, of that particular issue on the signage, and I hope he will take it into consideration.

A couple of small things on tourism - tourism is a big one of mine so I do not know if I will get all of the points out - but the parks and facilities right now. The parks have to be upgraded. There is going to have to be some private sector movement into the parks but also sustaining their natural beauty - for example, hookups for the big motor homes that come into the Province.

I just had an example again this past Summer of a big - I do not know, there were five or six at the Trans-Canada at the branch of Baie Verte - wanted to go down, and the first question was: Do you have hookups for motor homes? We said, no. That was thousands of dollars that just packed up and they said: We are sorry. We cannot go down - and just left - because we do not have a hookup for a motor home. It is terrible. It is something that has to be looked into immediately.

Of course other things in the park, for example they asked a question - and I am sure you can relate to this if you are a tourist at all. They said: Do you have showers in your park? I know it is the thing now. It is the modern thing, but people say to you: Do you have a shower in your park? And I say no, they say: Well, boy, I am not going there if you do not have a shower in your park. It is a simple thing, but it is the simple things that attract the tourists, and that is what we have to get out. I brought it up to the minister before and I hope he remembers it.

The last thing on tourism is a small one, but it is very important - the outfitters camps. There are licences now, as he agreed with me, that are issued right now for outfitters camps which are a major attraction, especially to some of the people in the bigger cities who want to come out and hunt and fish. Is that a lot of these licences for outfitter camps are not being used right now. As a matter of fact in my whole district there's not one outfitters camp. I think that's a shame. There are outfitters who are not using them. Meanwhile, in my district, there are people screaming for them and we can't get one. So the minister agreed that we have to look into that and review the whole issue of licensing.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.

MR. SHELLEY: Thank you.

MS. VERGE: By leave.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: By leave.

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

MR. SHELLEY: Just one minute on that particular issue.

MR. SPEAKER: By leave.

AN HON. MEMBER: No leave.

MR. SHELLEY: Finish off the outfitters camp. I would encourage the minister to continue with that -

AN HON. MEMBER: By leave.

MR. SHELLEY: Thank you very much.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. SHELLEY: I'll just finish on the outfitters then and I don't know if I'll even get to the Department of Industry, Trade and Technology and those things. The outfitters camps, I'd like for a review of those licences, especially so that they're used to the best - so it'll enhance tourism for the whole Province, not just sections of the Province. So they're evenly spread out so that all parts of the Province can be seen in these outfitters camps, which gives a great opportunity for tourists to get into the wild and really see what Newfoundland is all about. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. FUREY: Mr. Speaker, I'm wondering if I can have leave to respond to a question -

MR. ROBERTS: (Inaudible) speak in the debate. Just speak in debate.

AN HON. MEMBER: Question period.

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

MR. FUREY: There was a question asked, Mr. Speaker, with respect to two new luxury vehicles that were purchased by Enterprise Newfoundland and Labrador. I wasn't here but I read the Hansard. The truth of the matter is that we did buy one vehicle for Gander. It's a basic vehicle. A very basic vehicle. It cost $15,300. We reduced the number of vehicles at Enterprise from twenty-nine to nineteen, took the profits from the old vehicles that we sold and applied it against the new. The total cost was $3,700.

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

MS. VERGE: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I'm glad to have the opportunity to speak for a few minutes in the concurrence debate about the estimates of the resource departments of the government. These departments include Forestry and Agriculture, Mines and Energy, Fisheries, Tourism and Culture.... I don't know if I'm missing one. I think each of the committees had about five departments. I would like to speak briefly on at least those four resource departments.

In addition to departments the government has the Economic Recovery Commission operating off to the side, outside the ambit of the Public Service Commission, reporting directly to the Premier. It seems as though the Economic Recovery Commission and the Premier's office are exercising most of the power with respect to economic policy, such as economic policy exists. The government made much ado about its so-called Strategic Economic Plan which was published a year ago. It isn't a plan, it's more like an election manifesto, and the chief author was the Premier's chief propaganda employee, the $100,000 a year man, Edsel Bonnell.

It's a slick document. The government, I must say, is very skilled at public relations. They've been poor administrators, poor managers of the taxpayers' revenue, and with respect to the resource departments have a dismal record.

In question period today I was asking the Premier about the government's position on the Task Force report on Agri-Foods. The Premier has a new policy, no doubt suggested to him by his chief policy advisor, of avoiding answering as many questions as possible. The Minister of Forestry and Agriculture, who has failed to answer my question of a couple of weeks ago about the fate of the genetically superior swine that were produced in the Western Swine Breeding Station, which -

AN HON. MEMBER: That doesn't exist (inaudible).

MS. VERGE: No, it doesn't exist any more, because the government did the dead opposite of what the task force recommended. The task force specifically recommended that the government retain and continue to operate the Western Swine Breeding Station. The government got the report on Valentine's Day in 1991, withheld the document from the public until after it brought down its Budget that year, in the Budget Speech in March announced a decision to close the Western Swine Breeding Station. The report was released to the public a month or so after that; at that stage, people discovered that the government Budget decision was totally opposite to the advice in the task force report. Now the task force report calls for a hog industry in this Province. It talks about the natural advantage of our disease free environment; we are an Island, we have laws restricting the importation of hogs and for twenty years the government operated a small, efficient research station at Pynn's Brook in the Humber Valley. Through those years of work, using artificial insemination and successively breeding, the government succeeded in producing genetically superior breeding stock, swine breeding stock.

The Minister of Finance, a former biology teacher, is telling me that the swine were not genetically superior. I certainly do not have his level of expertise in biology, so I would defer to him but, while I am talking I will try to get the appropriate reference. The fact is that we have a swine disease free environment on this Island of Newfoundland, and at the Western Swine Breeding Station, over twenty years of operations, swine were bred which were superior in quality. Perhaps I am not correct in calling them genetically superior, but they were superior in quality and were attractive to the industry.

The report talks about opportunities for exporting the swine produced here and the government seems to be squandering the opportunities described in the task force report, and, Mr. Speaker, the economy of this Province is in a worse condition than it has been at any time in my memory. During the 50s, 60s and 70s - during the 80s, there were opportunities for expansion, there was a positive feeling, but in the 90s, our main resource industries have had serious problems because of the depletion of cod stocks, the depletion of minerals and our forest industry so far, has not run head-on into a resource depletion problem, although if we are not careful, that is what is going to happen, but we have the reality of difficult world-wide newsprint markets.

There is the recession throughout Canada and most of the Western World that has hurt us, so this is a very worrisome time and it is a time when the government cannot afford to squander any opportunity no matter how small for economic advancement and productive employment of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. Now, Mr. Speaker, there are opportunities for productive activity in agriculture. Presumably, the government had some notion of those opportunities when in the fall of 1989 they appointed a task force on Agri-Foods, they spent one million dollars getting a report from that body, maybe the primary objective was to get a new Liberal member for St. George's but nevertheless, in the bargain they got a report, now the questions is, why have they virtually ignored the report?

The minister claims that they have implemented sixty of the recommendations. The examples he gave were actions that were taken seemingly quite independently of the task force report. We are waiting for the minister to give a detailed accounting. I asked that, I asked the minister to table in the House the government's position on each of the recommendations in the report and I will not give up on that, Mr. Speaker. The minister has, so far, avoided giving me an answer about the fate of the pigs -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MS. VERGE: The Minister of Works, Services and Transportation having had a close encounter with a pig a few years ago is smiling.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MS. VERGE: Mr. Speaker, there may well be a good opportunity for Newfoundlanders, whether it's done in the public sector or the private sector, or both, to continue swine breeding and to export the breeding stock. That's not an opportunity to be laughed at and squandered. The Western Swine Breeding Station at Pynn's Brook involved a small operation. It employed three or four people and I believe at least a couple of them work only seasonally. According to this task force report which one of the members opposite wrote the results were superior. There is a specific recommendation that that research station be retained by the government and operated by the government with special attention being paid to opportunities for selling the breeding stock outside of Newfoundland, for exporting.

Mr. Speaker, the Strategic Economic Plan glibly talks about various opportunities. It talks about the importance of adopting -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.

MS. VERGE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

AN HON. MEMBER: The chipmunk.

MR. HEWLETT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I won't tell the hon. member my second name if he's going to refer to me as the chipmunk. Although not being a Roman Catholic and particularly partial to french fries I don't know if I could be called a `chip monk'.

On a more serious note I'd like to address the matter of the resource departments. When I first went to work with the former administration under Premier Peckford one of the first leaflets that I produced stating government policy of the day was, Developing Our Resources: The Challenge Of The '80s. Today we're in the '90s and we see the shrinking of our resources, and the shirking of duty on the part of the provincial government with regard to the development of those resources.

In my own particular area a park was started at Crescent Lake, for instance, under the tourism department. A lake which, like the one in Scotland, is renowned to have it's own private lake monster. The sort of thing that tourists take tremendous interest in. In the dead of night, just after the Wells administration took power, the park officers came out with their chain saws and sawed down the signs that said: Provincial Park, No Cutting. To eliminate evidence that a park had been started at Crescent Lake, a park which could have been a tremendous tourist attraction to the area and added greatly to diversifying the economy of the area. This is the type of economic planning that was forthcoming from the Wells administration. A crass political move to kill a bold new initiative in a PC district. That is reality as regards economic planning in the resource areas with regard to the Wells administration.

They have given lip service to the area concerned by naming the road leading to the area where the park was the Beothuck Trail, as it follows the Spring-ward migrations of the Beothuck Indians to the sea every Spring. But the bridge over South Brook at the beginning of the Beothuck Trail is an absolute disgrace, it's an eyesore, it's a danger to the travelling public. I've brought it to the attention of both the federal and provincial governments yet absolutely nothing is done. So much for tourism development in the Green Bay area.

I've heard many glowing things about tourism developments in various parts of the Province but the Wells administration has certainly fallen down on its promise not to be patronage oriented. The Wells administration very much uses the politics of a given district in the way it dispenses monies in the development of things like tourism industries.

The Minister of Works, Services and Transportation need not be outraged because I can remember him sitting here in this House and yelling across the floor: I would never hire a Tory, I would never hire a Tory.

MS. VERGE: What about the crab plant in Roddickton being a tourist study?

MR. HEWLETT: Forestry, Mr. Speaker: one of the mainstays of my particular district, loggers are being replaced hand over fist by harvesters. One thing that is particularly galling that this particular government should have no part of, and should be speaking loudly against in regards of the funding agency of the federal government, ACOA, and that is loggers tax dollars going into the purchase of harvesting equipment that puts loggers out of work. I do not care what political stripe the government is in Ottawa unlike the party opposite who were lapdogs of the Trudeau era. I for one do not like to see loggers tax dollars, either through Enterprise Newfoundland and Labrador or through ACOA, be used to put themselves out of work using these new high-tech harvesters with their yet unproven environmental consequences.

The Forestry Department, Mr. Speaker, in order to access timber you need a road network. The budgets for forest access roads have been sliced to ribbons. Out home, certain forest access roads are all but impassable but the budget for the entire district which covers Green Bay and the Baie Verte Peninsula is in the order of $6,000 to $7,000. To grade one road would cost in the order of $5,000 and there are dozens and dozens of roads. So, in other words, the forest industry is being shut down because people cannot get access to the timber stands, another problem not being addressed. While that is a problem that could be addressed and save jobs, the Premier goes to work and spends $500,000 renovating a suite of offices on the eighth floor that Premier Peckford just renovated several years ago. Even the lobby, Mr. Speaker, even the lobby of the Premier's office was redecorated and yet I cannot get a grader in on the Kippens Ridge Road to let the loggers go to work. Yes, Mr. Speaker, we cannot get a grader to let the loggers get to work on the Seal Bay Road on Kippens Ridge for the want of the expense of one grading of the road and yet we can spend $500,000 in a time of restraint redoing the suite of offices for the Premier that just a few years ago were redone completely.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. HEWLETT: Kippens Ridge.

MR. TOBIN: He does not have to go very high not to look down on you. Bud is still looking down, Bud is still looking down.

AN HON. MEMBER: Boys she is gone.

MR. HEWLETT: Fishery, Mr. Speaker, last year we saw the spectacle of the government trying to sweet talk Little Bay Islands out of its crab license. Little Bay Islands, a very stalwart community hung tough, would not allow themselves to be sweet talked out of their crab license and today they have a brand new crab plant which, with the fishery opening up, I have great hopes for that particular plant and that particular industry.

Mines and Energy, Mr. Speaker, they sat by and watched as the feds patched up the problem with regard to the withdrawal of one of the major partners. They were there on the stage when the pictures were taken, when the final agreements were signed but the entire industry and most of the Province knows that the provincial government, the Department of Mines and Energy and the Premier himself played an insignificant to almost minimal role in restarting the Hibernia project. They wanted to be there when the signing was done, they wanted to be there when the cement was poured but they were not there when the work was being done, Mr. Speaker, and that is shameful.

Then we have the Department of Industry, Trade and Technology, this is the department of cosmetics, Mr. Speaker. The department that puts the pretty face on the so called industrial program of this particular government. Even the ministers' million dollar smile cannot cover up the failure of this government to produce real economic development and to produce jobs. The Department of Industry, Trade and Technology and an amalgamation of various other departments of government puts the pretty face, has a very smooth talking and charming minister in charge of it, but unfortunately we get no results.

The unemployment rate is growing, people have no work, the welfare rolls are growing, and as I said, the minister's million dollar smile, while very attractive is doing absolutely nothing to create jobs in this particular Province. There we have it, Mr. Speaker. In the resource area the challenge of the 80s was to develop our resources and the challenge of the 90s is to sit back and suffer as the resource sector shrinks and the government itself does absolutely nothing except wring its hands in agony and say: there is nothing we can do. It reminds me of John Turner when he lost the debate to Brian Mulroney some years ago on TV during the national election: I had no choice, Sir, I could not do anything, there was nothing I could do.

This is a do-nothing government, Mr. Speaker, that spends more on public relations and upgrading the Premier's suites of offices than it does on upgrading roads to stands of timber where people can actually get a job, get to work, and develop some industry in this Province. All they can come back on on me, Mr. Speaker, is that I worked for a government that did X, Y and Z. The fact of the matter is they are a government that is not doing X, Y and Z. When your party was last in power you gave us fifty Sprungs a year for sixty-five years so do not go pointing fingers over this way. This is a do-nothing government, Mr. Speaker. Compared to Frank McKenna's Liberals up in New Brunswick who are aggressively seeking economic development this is a do-nothing government. This government is quite content to sit back and let our resources be developed, if someone comes along. It is not aggressively selling itself. It is not aggressively selling the Province.

AN HON. MEMBER: We brought Hibernia home.

MR. HEWLETT: You brought Hibernia home. You would have given it away to Mr. Chretien and the federal government years ago if you had been in power.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.

MR. HEWLETT: You cannot re-negotiate an agreement on royalties if you do not have the right to collect them and we gave you the right to collect them.

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

MR. WHELAN: I just want to have a few words, Mr. Speaker. I feel obligated to speak if only for the reason of the very positive experience I have had over the past week or so in the committee hearings. First of all I want to say I was delighted to have served with the members on our committee. The calibre of debate or discussion was very high, the meetings were effective, efficient and educational, thanks to the co-operation of all involved and to the preparedness of the ministers and his staff. I want to offer congratulations to the Chairman, the hon. the Member for Lewisporte, as well as all the ministers involved. I know the Member for Green Bay has to try and put the government down as much as he can but yesterday, I guess, he figured he would call us as bad a name as he could possibly think to put on us and that was Tory. Well, I do not know that the hon. ministers are Tory but I know they are very progressive and I guess that is not too bad. In the area of mines and energy there is much excitement these days, especially when it deals with oil and mineral exploration both onshore and off. I have to say, Mr. Speaker, that I can think of no person more capable of carrying on that department than the minister who is presently occupying that seat.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. WHELAN: In the area of tourism, Mr. Speaker, I was pleasantly surprised that the value of tourism in this Province is in excess of $400 million, with a total enrollment in the employment statistics of 12,000 people. The potential in that department is virtually unlimited and we can expect big things in that department over the next few years. We are certainly looking forward to great expansion.

As I mentioned earlier, these meetings were an educational experience and I was certainly surprised to learn that the total potential for agriculture in this Province is in excess of one billion dollars. That industry has gone ahead in leaps and bounds these past few years, however the total worth of that industry is presently, approximately $300 million; certainly it is obvious the potential for growth in that area is tremendous.

There has never been a time in the history of this Province when the condition of the fishery has been so desperate. Now that the dust has been settled and the blame has been laid and cause has been established, and all the postmortems have been written, we must assess the situation and take whatever measures necessary to see that industry is rebuilt. With the resources available, I am sure that our fate is in good hands with the Minister of Fisheries.

Mr. Speaker, I could continue, but basically what I would be doing is repeating the words of others, although I know there has been a lot of repetition in this House in the past, so I will just reiterate what I have mentioned earlier. I am delighted to have served with the members of the committee; they showed broadness of mind and character, and I look forward again next year to a process similar to the one we had this year.

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. CAREEN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

While I was not a part of this committee at all, it is obvious that they got along quite well without me, but anyway I am glad to have the opportunity today to say a few words.

The tourism: I was surprised that the minister of late, did not get Oderin included in the license plates because contrary to Leif the Lucky being here in the 10th century, St. Brendan, in legend, camped out on Oderin Island in the 6th century, so if the minister stays longer, our next license plates might have St. Brendan on it. Anyway, just a few things on tourism today. Anybody familiar with the Placentia area, with Castle Hill, some work was done back in the early 70s, when the base phased out in Argentia and it is a nice spot, but there are lots of improvements there to be made.

At the foot of the hill is Fort Lewis, far more important than Castle Hill ever was; 600 feet long with twenty-four cannon and that is where the governors of the day lived and it is time that was put into some kind of papers to proceed with the development of Fort Lewis. Placentia, going up the Gut, is a historical area, because the French, like the English in other places, it was always closest to the water's edge where they made their fish. Last year, when steel piling was placed up Placentia Gut, back diggers discovered clay pipes and old stones from three centuries ago. There was a report made and historical resources were late getting it out to our respective peoples, so in the next couple of days I will be asking the minister if I can have a copy please, but today in Placentia, another machine, digging down in that same area uprooted more historical artifacts. In certain areas of our Province, in addition to Placentia, when they are digging, they should be digging with fine tooth combs and not big, big machines.

Industry, trade and technology is going to be very important to us in the Placentia area in the future, with the next phasedown, the next closure, of Argentia. Two hundred and sixty-five workers will be thrown out of work. There is a move afoot, and people from our area have met with the minister and some of his people regarding procurement - procurement to repair for the Canadian Armed Forces - materials, machines and whatever. The expertise is in Argentia to do it, and the best ideas put forward by people will have to be adhered to, because we envision what is good for Argentia could be good for Eastern Newfoundland.

Our fishery - well people on all sides here have agreed on the state of our fishery. If it was only desperate it would be looking up. We have plants closed as well, and sometime in the not too distant future I will be speaking to the Minister of Fisheries regarding the freeze put on two particular plants - one in Jerseyside and another one that has been closed for ages in Little Harbour.

I do not have too much more to say, but I will reinforce to the minister about Placentia Gut and the artifacts that are there. I will close by saying that it is a true fact that a different world for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians cannot be accomplished by indifferent people. It has to be done by us all struggling together.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, I was not going to get into the debate, but I thought that the Minister of Health was long enough having his snooze, and I thought it was time to wake him up, so I decided that I would like to have a few words on this concurrence debate as well as it relates to the economic portfolios, basically, of this Province.

There are a couple of areas that I want to certainly speak to as they relate to that. What is that?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: I cannot hear what you are saying.

There are a couple of areas that I want to get into, and since the Minister of Forestry sort of wants me to speak as it relates to his department first, I shall honour him and do that. Now I should not say `his` department, because right now if there is any minister in this House to have a loan of a department, it is the Minister of Forestry and Agriculture. If there is any minister who has a loan, who is just tentatively in a department, it is the Minister of Forestry, because he should realize that they are over there behind him who want his job like no one else ever wanted a job. Not only that, Mr. Speaker, there is nobody in this House more aware of the people out to take his department away than the minister.

The minister stood up today and said: We hired the most qualified person in agriculture in this Province to do the report. The minister said that. Now how can you hire the most qualified person in agriculture to do a report and have him sitting in the back benches in the House of Assembly when you have the most incompetent minister in the House holding that portfolio?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. TOBIN: How can you have that, Mr. Speaker? The minister cannot have it both ways. That is something like believing in polls when it suits you. I say to some of my colleagues on this side that is something like -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Yes, and not only that, I would say that as it relates to my colleague from Ferryland that he made reference, that he will go further in this party than I have ever gone, I say to the member.

AN HON. MEMBER: That would'nt be very hard.

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, I say to the Minister of Justice, the fall of the Member for Ferryland will not be as great as the fall that was engineered by Bill Rowe, Steve Neary and the present Minister of Justice. I tell him that, Mr. Speaker. I say to you if you want to talk about my rise and fall in this party there is no one's fall in any party that was as severe and great as that of the Minister of Justice, and the most difficult part of this campaign had to be for the Minister of Justice to try and endorse the new Liberal member, the fellow they hoped to have had for Mount Pearl, but I think my colleague for Mount Pearl did the Minister of Justice a great honour to ensure that his former leader did not return to this Legislature. Can the Minister of Justice just imagine for a minute if my colleague for Mount Pearl had not done what he did in the last election, and that if Mr. Rowe was sitting in Dr. Kitchen's place what could happen?

AN HON. MEMBER: (inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Well, Mr. Speaker, I can say to him that when the hon. Member for Mount Pearl came in he stayed. He did not go out and set up a big law firm with some heavy industrial government accounts. He did not do that, Mr. Speaker. He did not have Enterprise Newfoundland and Labrador as an account before he came back in the Legislature I say to the Minister of Justice. Now, I got distracted by the Minister of Justice and that was not my intention. It was my intention to deal with the issues.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, when a guinea pig speaks I guess I should listen but the real guinea pig in this Legislature, the real IQ of a guinea pig in this Legislature will get the -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. TOBIN: The real Minister of Forestry will have the opportunity to defend his report one of these days. Mr. Speaker, there is something very interesting, yesterday in this Legislature the Premier got up in this House and ranted and roared and said that the Department of External Affairs scuttled his attempt to speak. Now, Mr. Speaker, we find out today that is not true. The Premier misled this House and what happens? You get today Judith Swan, Executive Director of the Oceans Institute of Canada who denied Tuesday the Department of External Affairs played any part in the decision to rescind the Premier's invitation. She said the conference was put together with only three week's notice and organizers ended up with more speakers than there was room for. Wells was simply the odd man out. How can the Premier come in this House and tell such barefaced untruths?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, I hope he does not have to give you one to fit your ego. You would not take a job from Mulroney? Well, I would suspect that you will never have the opportunity to say, no, because there is no job in North America capable of controlling your ego, I say to the Minister.

AN HON. MEMBER: Plucking chickens, that was his job.

MR. TOBIN: The only job, Mr. Speaker, that the hon. member had before he came in here was a chicken plucker for Mary Brown's, Mr. Speaker, plucking the chicken, a chicken plucker.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Now, Mr. Speaker, what we are dealing with here today is the Department of Fisheries and you have the minister going around this Province today and it is good that the minister is out listening to the fishermen because he has not done it in the last four years. He went down to Bonavista South, Mr. Speaker, and the fishermen down there told him what they thought of him as Minister of Fisheries and he went to the Burin Peninsula and I understand, Mr. Speaker, - what is that?

AN HON. MEMBER: He said he trained you.

AN HON. MEMBER: He took the job, he took the job that is where he went wrong.

MR. TOBIN: Yes, he took the job that is where he went wrong. Mr. Speaker - what is that?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Is that right? Mr. Speaker, we will make a decision this weekend in Ottawa that will ensure the Conservative Party will continue to live on as the government in this country for a number of years.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. TOBIN: We will make that decision, I say to the minister.

Now, Mr. Speaker, there is another area that I want to touch on for a minute, and that is the area of mines and energy, the Mines and Energy Department and I want to say to the Minister of Mines and Energy, Mr. Speaker, that in the last assembly I had the opportunity to be the spokesman of this party for three departments, three ministers, Mr. Speaker, three ministers.

AN HON. MEMBER: Who were they?

MR. TOBIN: Who were they? Mr. Gullage in Social Services, Mr. Hogan in Municipal Affairs and Mr. Gover in Transportation, that is who they were. So, I say to the Minister of Mines and Energy, he had better take heed because there are none of those three around. That is the only three I had, I wish I had to have a few more. I wish my colleague for Grand Bank had to be as effective as I was.

AN HON. MEMBER: Critic at large.

MR. TOBIN: They wanted me to accept that, a critic at large but I would not do it, Mr. Speaker.

AN HON. MEMBER: You would have wiped them all out.

MR. TOBIN: Wiped out the three of them.

In any case I want to take the few minutes I have left to talk about my own district, Mr. Speaker, and the relationship that it will have with the ministers department as it relates to energy. Mr. Speaker, there are a lot of questions being asked in this House during the past couple of weeks about the real pigs.

AN HON. MEMBER: The what?

MR. TOBIN: About the real pigs. The superior pig, Mr. Speaker, the superior pig, that is the name - the superior pig. In any case, I want to say to the minister - to the about to be former Minister of Forestry and Agriculture - that I want to deal with an issue that is very important to my district, and if he wants to talk about the superior pig, then let him continue to talk to himself.

In any case, the Minister of Mines and Energy, the Minister of Development in particular, and the Premier, are familiar with the Cow Head fabrication yard. Back in 1989, I guess, the government of the day, of which I was part and in which my colleague from Grand Bank was a minister, we, together with the Member for Mount Pearl, who was Minister of Development at the time, I guess, myself and my colleague from Grand Bank, and the Member for Mount Pearl -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, if I had a minute's leave to clue up on this?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: By leave.

MR. SPEAKER: Alright.

MR. TOBIN: Thank you very much.

We had the opportunity, together with Mr. Crosbie representing the federal government, to go to Marystown and to announce that from the Offshore Development Fund governments were going to proceed with the construction of a new Cow Head facility.

Mr. Speaker, that was good news, and we made the announcement. We did all of that. We were the government that did it, but we were not the people who were directly involved in doing all the work of bringing about that decision.

Tom Whelan, the former President of the Marystown Shipyard, deserves much of the credit for bringing that project into light, for giving the government the opportunity to approve it, number one. Number two, I want to say that I was certainly delighted that this government, the present administration, continued to support and to fund, and to see it finished - to see that the Cow Head facility was finished.

MS. VERGE: Did they put any of their own money into it?

MR. TOBIN: No, it is the Offshore Development Fund. I certainly do not want to be partisan on something like this. I do not want to be partisan on it. I know it was started by our government, put in place - the Offshore Development Fund was put in place by the Peckford and Mulroney governments - but this government, this present administration, did continue to support the Cow Head facility in terms of the agreement that was made for the construction. They did do that and I am grateful, but there is only one thing that is not finished.

We have the best work force in the world, the highest - make no mistake about this - the highest certified tradespeople in the world in the Marystown Shipyard. One hundred and twenty-nine have already been trained and certified in Norway through the technology programs that were brought in place, so they reached the Norwegian standards of offshore development that was brought in for the North Sea, they have done that. Now, combined with that, Mr. Speaker, we have the best facilities, certainly, not within Newfoundland but within Atlantic Canada, probably within Canada, we have the best facility there, so when you have the best facility, the best workforce and the highest tech-equipment, then you are ready for business but there is only one thing we do not have and that is, the work -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: - that is the work - And they have a good member, that is right. I thank the Minister of Health for saying that, that they have a good member. But having all of that, there is only one thing we do not have and that, Mr. Speaker, is the mechanical outfitting contract, and I know that everyone in Newfoundland including the Minister of Development is committed to doing what can be done to ensure that Cow Head receives the mechanical outfitting. I know that the federal minister representing Newfoundland, Mr. Crosbie and Mr. Reid, in particular, have the same commitment as the minister and the Premier and others have and within two weeks, two to three weeks we will know who gets that mechanical outfitting and that will not just be good for the Burin Peninsula, that will be good for all of Newfoundland and Labrador.

There are only four others - three others who have bid on that contract, none of them from Newfoundland, but in any case, in three weeks we will know if the Marystown Shipyard and all of Newfoundland, the Cow Head facility will have a great industry, of which hundreds upon hundreds upon hundreds of jobs will be created in this Province, and I will be very excited if we get it as I know all hon. members will and the minister as well, so, Mr. Speaker, I know that the Member for Terra Nova wants to say a few words and I thank my colleagues for giving me the opportunity to have leave to clue up and I say to the Minister of Health that next time he has his afternoon nap, I will let him sleep for thirty minutes, not the twenty-five I let him sleep for today.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Terra Nova.

MS. YOUNG: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The hon. Member for Humber Valley was speaking on my behalf a few times this afternoon, but I figure I can speak for myself, and certainly with regard to the reconstituted milk issue. I am just wondering if, indeed, he was talking for the Milk Marketing Board and if the Milk Marketing Board, itself, is actually speaking for the producers?

AN HON. MEMBER: Hear, hear! A good question.

MS. YOUNG: Because I have talked with one producer who felt strongly that taking 500,000 litres and losing fifty jobs, these jobs could not be replaced in the milk industry, by putting 500,000 litres into the hands of the producers. We cannot afford to lose any jobs here in Newfoundland and I certainly know what I am talking about when I talk about the Milk Marketing Board.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MS. YOUNG: No, but I want to tell you this much. The hon. the Member for Humber Valley once told me when he was minister not to come to him unless I had all my facts straight about the Milk Marketing Board, because he knew everything. Gosh, I was really impressed, Mr. Speaker, because I have never met anybody who knew everything.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MS. YOUNG: Now, there may be people out there who know everything but would never confess to it because they would be in high demand.

AN HON. MEMBER: Some people are too humble.

MS. YOUNG: Yes, that is true, some people are just too humble. I am sure some of the hon. members over there would silently express to that.

On the other hand, with the Milk Marketing Board, I think we have to be very careful on that issue of the reconstituted milk. The hon. the Member for Humber Valley also spoke about the school milk program and, certainly, as a member of the Farm Women's Association of Newfoundland and Labrador, and especially, of the Goose Head Farm Women's Association, and I was president of both associations at one time, we strongly urged the Progressive Conservative Government to institute the school milk program, because we, too, felt that it would be actually a saving of dollars for the government and certainly would provide extra jobs for people in the industry. That school milk program, of course, was never brought into effect until this government took over, and I am very proud of that.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MS. YOUNG: The other thing with which I also want to go on record is that in the farm organizations, the only farm organization that ever brought to government's attention the issue of Sprung in a public forum was the Farm Women's Association and that was the local Goose Head Farm Women's Association. We raised thirty-two questions to the minister.

AN HON. MEMBER: Who was minister then?

MS. YOUNG: It was the hon. Robert Aylward at that time, and he was unable to answer even six questions on Sprung. I think, too, if they are concerned about agriculture over there today, why in the world didn't they fight to have all of those thousands of millions of dollars put into the traditional agricultural industry?

That is about all I will take time to say, Mr. Speaker. I could go on, because I have been through the milk industry and I know a lot about the Milk Marketing Board that was brought in by the former government, and that certainly reeks of a lot. Thank you.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

On motion, Report of Resource Estimates Committee, carried.

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

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, even I don't have the heart to call more business at 4:56 in the afternoon. Let me simply say what we propose to do next week. We will be adjourning the House in accordance with the arrangement until Tuesday. On Tuesday, we propose to ask the House to deal with legislation. We will not be taking a supper break. My colleagues in the caucus, and I, have said we would rather sit through supper and then adjourn at 7:30 or 8:00 p.m., but we can be flexible if - there's a carrot and a stick.

MR. FUREY: Workflex.

MR. ROBERTS: Workflex, my friend from St. Barbe says. We will carry on throughout the week. We anticipate some evening sittings. We are prepared to yield Wednesday if hon. members opposite are prepared to take it as being a government day. I don't want to say when the House will adjourn because that is not for me to say, Mr. Speaker. We hope it will adjourn some time next week, but we have to deal with the legislation on the Order Paper; that also includes dealing with the remaining estimates that must be dealt with here in the House. There are three heads, I believe, Consolidated Funds Services, Executive Council and Legislative, and there are only eighteen hours available to deal with those, I say to my friends opposite.

With all of that said, Mr. Speaker, I wish hon. lady and gentlemen opposite a good weekend. It is not often they have the privilege of choosing a temporary Prime Minister, as they will. I wonder if the person will have a shorter tenure than either Mr. Turner or Mr. Clarke. It won't be shorter than Joe Clark's, it may well be a little longer than John Turner's.

AN HON. MEMBER: It certainly won't be shorter than Tom Rideout's.

MR. ROBERTS: It won't be shorter - but in any event, Mr. Speaker, before my friend for Grand Bank attempts to get the last word in, I will move that the House do now adjourn until tomorrow, Tuesday, at 2:00 p.m.

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

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

I was just wondering if the Government House Leader might consider, Mr. Speaker -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I am having trouble hearing the hon. the Opposition House Leader.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: On this side, we prefer to take a break from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. and, as the Government House Leader has indicated, the government members would prefer to go straight through. I am just wondering if, in the name of co-operation, perhaps on Wednesday we could break from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. - go through Tuesday, and break on Wednesday from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., and then you are back on Thursday to go straight through again. At least, that would give us - some of our members felt strongly about that, if we could have Wednesday to do that but, more importantly, I want to ask the Government House Leader the order he proposes to do on Tuesday. I understand it is Bill Nos. 2, 4, 6, and 8, in that order. Is that the order in which the Government House Leader intends to do business, that we start with Bill No. 2? Do you want to react to that?

MR. ROBERTS: Well, Mr. Speaker

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Government House Leader.

MR. ROBERTS: Perhaps we could simply ask the clock to stop for a second or two, it won't take us long.

MR. SPEAKER: I think we have already extended hours so I don't think we need to stop the clock.

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, I will consult with my friends in the caucus, that is all I can say. We will do what we can to accommodate. We have no desire to be dogmatic as long as the governments program is addressed expeditiously. My suggestion will be that we take the bills - and I say that to my colleagues in the caucus, in Cabinet, who are responsible for dealing with them. We will start - we are not going to take Bill No. 1 and Bill No. 7 further, we are going to refer those to Committee. We will be carrying Bill 3 and Bill 5 through Committee stage for third reading, of course, but before we do that, my suggestion will be that we take Bill No. 2, Bill No. 4, Bill No. 6, Bill No. 8, we can carry on Bills 10, 12 and then we will clean up Bill No. 9, and then we have the finance bills which will be dealt with in Committee under that procedure. On Tuesday we will get through - how about Bills 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 on Tuesday. We will adjourn when we get - I will tell my hon. friend, whenever we get through Bills 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 on Tuesday we will adjourn for the day.

I move the adjournment.

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