April 27, 1994                HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY PROCEEDINGS             Vol. XLII  No. 31


The House met at 2:00 p.m.

MR. SPEAKER (Dicks): Order, please!

On behalf of hon. members I would like to welcome three groups to the public galleries. The first is a group of twenty-five participants from the Improving Our Odds course in Upper Island Cove, accompanied by their instructor's Mr. Wes Gosse and Mr. Todd Crane. The second is a group of nineteen students from an Improving Our Odds course in Hodge's Cove, Bellevue district accompanied by their instructor's Catherine Smith and Maxine Green. The last is a group of sixteen people from the District of Trinity - Bay de Verde involved in an Improving Our Odds course with their instructor's Carolyn Pike and David Eddy.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

Statements by Ministers

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

MR. GRIMES: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to remind hon. members present that tomorrow, April 28, is being observed as a Day of Mourning to remember persons killed or injured in the workplace or afflicted with industrial disease.

The government, through the Occupational Health and Safety Branch of the Department of Employment and Labour Relations, encourages safe and healthy workplace practices in this Province. In acknowledging the Day of Mourning, I ask that everyone in Newfoundland and Labrador commit themselves to the goal of working together with government, employers and workers to improve the health and safety of workers and encourage accident and illness prevention in the Province's workplaces. I ask also, Mr. Speaker, that we remember the families of victims of workplace accidents or diseases and those who have paid the supreme price while trying to earn a living.

Mr. Speaker, an Act Respecting a Day of Mourning for Persons Killed or Injured in the Workplace was passed in the federal House of Commons and April 28 has been set aside throughout Canada as a day of observance. Our Province has observed this Day of Mourning for a number of years. Tomorrow, the Annual Wreath Laying Ceremony observing this day of mourning will be held at the Ocean Ranger Monument on Confederation Hill at 12:30 p.m. In addition, government will fly the Day of Mourning Flag throughout the day. I invite all hon. members to participate in this ceremony. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

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

We on this side of the House would like to be associated with the comments provided to us today by the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations and acknowledge as well the tragedies that have happened in our workplaces. We will be there tomorrow to commemorate the day with the government in honour of people who have died in the workplace or have been injured but, Mr. Speaker, I must say this, that for injured workers in this Province, all this government has done since it came to power is offer them sympathy and very little of that. Thank you.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Does the hon. Member for St. John's East have leave to address the House?

AN HON. MEMBER: Leave.

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

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I'm pleased that the minister has taken the time to acknowledge the workers Day of Mourning for people killed or injured on the job. It's a recognized fact, Mr. Speaker, that many, if not all, workplaces in the Province are dangerous places to work and that there are unfortunately accidents and injuries, and to emphasize the need for continued vigilance in this field is proper and appropriate.

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

MR. FLIGHT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I would like to take this opportunity to inform this hon. House on the matter of domestic wood supplies for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, and in particular as it affects the Eastern Region of the Province.

Mr. Speaker, most of us do not realize the huge demand that fuel wood places on the forests of this Province. About 25 per cent of the annual harvest is for this purpose, for the purpose of firewood cutting. In this we not unlike many other parts of the world, although in some nations the demand for wood as fuel far exceeds even the demand for industrial uses. It is therefore extremely important that we manage our forests and our harvesting so that our people will be able to obtain adequate supplies of fuel wood for as long as the need exists.

Mr. Speaker, in the Central and Western parts of our Province, and in parts of Labrador, there are more than adequate supplies of fuel wood. My department directs fuel wood harvesting to hardwood stands of birch and aspen, and to non-commercial softwood stands or fire-killed, or insect-killed areas. Nevertheless, in some areas we still see good spruce and fir pulpwood material, and even saw-logs, in woodpiles. It is very important that our people realize that such waste cannot continue, and I call upon all members of this hon. House to assist in spreading the message of better forest management and greater environmental awareness.

Mr. Speaker, I would specifically like to inform the hon. members of the House of Assembly of an initiative taken by my department to reduce over cutting of wood in Eastern Newfoundland. These revised measures have been put in place following a review of the timber supply situation in this region by departmental officials and after consultation with the general public.

Mr. Speaker, the volume of wood to be issued on a domestic cutting permit will be on a need basis up to a maximum of six cords on the Avalon Peninsula (District 1), and eight cords on the Bonavista and Burin Peninsula (Districts 2 & 3). As well domestic cutting permits will be issued for a four month period instead of year round. No cutting of wood will be permitted from May 15 to August 31 which is our forest fire season. With regards to other areas of the Province no changes are being made to existing policies at this time.

These measures, Mr. Speaker, have been taken towards reducing the over cut, improved management of the forest ecosystem on the basis of sustainable development, improved utilization, increased effectiveness in monitoring our forest operations and reducing the risk of fires.

Mr. Speaker, enforcement alone is not a solution to the over cutting problem. We seek and must have the co-operation of the public to ensure there is a wood supply for future generations of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.

The timber supply situation in the Eastern Region is acute, and the Eastern region refers of course to the Avalon Peninsula and the Bonavista Peninsula, and will most likely require further adjustments over the next few years. My department will closely monitor the situation and I will advise the public and the Members of the House of Assembly of any additional changes that may be required.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Member for Baie Verte - White Bay.

MR. SHELLEY: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

First of all I would like to thank the minister for giving me a copy of the statement just prior to the House opening.

Now, I will mention to the minister that all of a sudden he had to change his regulations after listening to the people, after consulting with people, and I have to first of all commend our Member for Bonavista South and the people of Bonavista South for the petitions and raising it here so that finally somebody came to his senses and used common sense to rectify a mistake; and that's what we did, rectify the mistake.

The people on the Bonavista Peninsula, hopefully, the eight cords will be sufficient but I still have to ask the minister, and maybe he will respond to it later about the timing of the four months. I still don't understand that part of the statement and I am wondering if he will expound on that when he gets the opportunity in the House, but I would like to thank the minister for taking the time to listen to the people and maybe use the consultation method with some of the other issues, like Hydro on the other side of the House, maybe we can reconsider those too.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

Does the hon. Member for St. John's East have leave to address the House?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: No leave.

MR. SPEAKER: No leave?

AN HON. MEMBER: No.

MR. SPEAKER: No leave.

Oral Questions

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

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, a serious situation looms on the horizon I guess in this Province. In the next two weeks or so all of the Province's public sector unions will have strike mandates and will be in a legal position to strike and there could very well be for the first time in our history I guess a general strike.

I would like to ask the Premier if his government is prepared to allow that situation to happen, and I would like to ask him once and for all, answer those people who are saying, and there are many out there who are saying it, that in fact you, the government, want a strike to occur, obviously to save money. What do you say to those people?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: I say to the hon. member that he is doing the same kind of fearmongering that he did yesterday with Abitibi-Price. I spoke to Mr. Kerr, and he told me that it was the hon. member who called him and suggested that this was a problem that he should be concerned about.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

PREMIER WELLS: That is what Mr. Kerr told me. I don't know whether it's true or not. I can only report to the House what Mr. Kerr told me. So it's the same kind of fabrication of problem again.

AN HON. MEMBER: No, it's not, now (inaudible).

PREMIER WELLS: No, Mr. Speaker, the President of the Council is carrying on negotiations with those public sector unions that are prepared to negotiate. I understand there have been significant negotiations and discussions with NAPE and CUPE. I am not sure of the situation with the nurses. I know they are in the process of taking a strike vote.

With the teachers, I am advised by the President of the Council, there had been no negotiation because the teachers don't want to negotiate - or at least it seems they don't want to negotiate. They just appear to be posturing on the issue, and I could only conclude, on the basis of the information that the President of the Council gives me - I have no personal role in this, but the President of the Council keeps me advised of the matter - I can only conclude on the basis of the advice that I get from the President of the Council that the teachers just seem to want to have the strike they didn't have last year. They have had no negotiations, no discussions whatsoever. There has been a conciliation board recommendation that the parties start negotiation, and I believe that was unanimous?

AN HON. MEMBER: Yes.

PREMIER WELLS: It was a unanimous recommendation, including by the teacher representative, but they still don't want to negotiate.

Now, the government can't force the NLTA to negotiate, they have to be prepared to carry on collective bargaining in good faith. They may not like the offer that came from the government, but at least sit down at the table and tell the government how they think it ought to be adjusted. That, I think, would be a proper course and that, I understand from the President of the Council, they have not done.

Mr. Speaker, the government does not want to see any of its employees on strike. It does not want to see on strike any of its indirect employees, including the nurses and the teachers, who are employed by the school boards and the hospitals. We would like to resolve the matter, but as far as the teachers are concerned, it is just impossible because they absolutely refuse to negotiate at all, I am told by the President of the Council.

MR. SIMMS: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. SIMMS: I know the Premier has been trying his best, over the last few days, to isolate the teachers. Everybody in the Province can see what he is up to, but I am asking him about the general public service - the total public service.

Now, in his government's Budget, he stated that they want $50 million in compensation savings from all public service unions - not just the teachers, from all. You go on to say, they are currently the subject of negotiations.

I want to find out how genuine the negotiations are by asking the Premier this question specifically: Is the $50 million amount negotiable, or do you intend to take it away one way or the other, by a strike or by legislation, if you can't get it at the bargaining table?

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

MR. BAKER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to correct the hon. member. The $50 million that we have talked about that has to be saved in terms of government total compensation package is not the amount that comes from the unions, as he put it. That involves members of the House of Assembly, it involves all executive and management in government, it involves the doctors and the agreements that we have with doctors, it involves Memorial University and so on. That amount is not correct in terms of the union agreements. I would like to correct that misstatement first of all.

Secondly, we are currently having discussions with the NAPE-CUPE coalition. As late as this morning at about 11:00 they presented us with a counter-offer to the offer that we put on the table about a week-and-a-half ago, and we will respond to that counter-offer. So, negotiations are occurring. In terms of NAPE-CUPE, our offer a week-and-a-half ago was significantly different from our opening position, so certainly there is a great deal of flexibility in government's position and that has been demonstrated.

In terms of the teachers' union, they have consistently refused to even start collective bargaining. I have informed them in writing as well as in person that government is very flexible in terms of its opening position. As a matter of fact, within the last couple of days I informed them that we are flexible on all matters in the opening package. So, Mr. Speaker, government has flexibility, if only we can start the negotiating process.

Mr. Speaker, government is serious about collective bargaining and we believe that as we go through this collective bargaining process, we can reach - we certainly hope we can - reach arrangements that are satisfactory to both sides.

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

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, I almost dozed off listening to the minister's answer there. I apologize. May I ask the minister a supplementary question?

AN HON. MEMBER: Too busy (inaudible).

MR. SIMMS: Because, Mr. Speaker, if I was wrong, I deeply, deeply apologize and have no hesitation, for using incorrect information. I got my information from the perception from what I thought was said here in the House - and so does all the media. They are using the figure $50 million. Now, can I ask the minister then, what is the amount of money, if it is not $50 million from the public sector unions, in compensation savings that the minister wants?

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

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition is again trying to confuse the matter for people listening. I did not say that there was anything wrong with the $50 million figure. I said, as the press correctly reports, generally, that the $50 million is from the total compensation package which includes far more than the unions. When the hon. member got up he said the $50 million we want from the union contracts. I pointed out to him that is totally incorrect and he should not try to confuse matters.

Mr. Speaker, from the compensation package of the unions that we are negotiating with, the amount probably comes somewhere around $42 million to $44 million.

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

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, I'm sorry to add to the confusion but I believe the minister himself has now created confusion. Because after what he just said - I mean, does he not realize in his own document that he presented on Budget Day to everybody in the Province - media included - the Budget Highlights 1994 document, page 2, he says: "The main elements of the 1994-95 Budget strategy are" - first item - "A $50 million reduction in compensation is under negotiation with public sector unions." Why wouldn't the people of the Province think the amount is $50 million? It is not because of questions I've asked. It is because of the false information that he is putting out himself.

I want to ask him the question, I didn't hear - did he answer the question?

AN HON. MEMBER: No, he never answered the question.

MR. SIMMS: I want to ask the question. I think he said $40 million to what?

AN HON. MEMBER: Oh, oh!

MR. SIMMS: Around $42 million I believe is what he said.

MR. BAKER: Forty-two million dollars to forty-four million dollars.

MR. SIMMS: Okay. So then the original question that I asked him basically still stands. What I wanted to know is, do you intend to be flexible? If you intend to be flexible, why are you demanding major concessions on non-monetary issues? Why would you demand major concessions on non-monetary issues if you are obviously not prepared to trade off on the monetary issues? It doesn't make any sense, unless it is an attempt to break the union or force them onto the streets. So if you are genuinely interested in good faith bargaining why wouldn't you withdraw those non-monetary item demands?

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

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition is hopelessly out of date. Probably he hasn't been concentrating on this issue. He certainly has no concept of what is going on. We presented opening packages to our unions. In cases where there have been some negotiation and contact there has been some movement. As far as I know at this point in time there are none of these non-monetary issues he is talking about that are still remaining on the table. It simply at this point in time does not exist with the unions that we are negotiating with. It is as simple as that. The hon. gentleman is way out of date. He obviously doesn't know what he is talking about. There are no such things on the bargaining table.

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

MR. HODDER: Mr. Speaker, a question for the Minister of Finance. On March 3, March 4, March 7, March 24 and March 25 the President of the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers Association wrote the minister asking for a meeting to deal with the matter of severance for teachers. The minister refused to hold such a meeting and so therefore negotiations - or what might more appropriately be called confrontational and hostile face-to-face take-it-or-leave-it sessions - have been ongoing with the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers Association since mid-January or earlier than that.

Government, under disguise of budgetary constraints, have tried to strip the teachers' collective agreement, including many items that have purely non-monetary implications. Mr. Speaker, will the minister today agree to withdraw the non-monetary proposals so that meaningful negotiations with the monetary issues can begin in earnest.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Minister of Finance.

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, the Member for Waterford - Kenmount is totally incorrect in the dates he gives. There was one letter, I believe on March 4, from the NLTA to me, concerning the fuss about severance pay, which was totally blown all out of proportion. I suggested, in a previous letter, a way that this could be solved, and there was one line in it which said something like: If you want to give up on your position, then give me a call.

Mr. Speaker, there was no request for a meeting. There never has been a request for a meeting. The only request for a meeting with the NLTA occurred in the last three or four days. It came from me. The meeting was held, and they are still holding to their position that they will not, in spite of the conciliation board report, will not negotiate.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Member for Waterford - Kenmount.

MR. HODDER: Mr. Speaker, a supplementary.

I have all five letters here, which I am quite prepared to share with the hon. member. I will just quote from the one on March 25. It reads: I repeat my request that we meet in search for a solution.

That is signed by the President of the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers Association, Peter Sutherland.

Mr. Speaker, on February 25 the President of the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers Association wrote the hon. the Premier on the matter of the teachers' pension fund deficiency problem. They requested, at that time, having laid out the history of the problem, that the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers Association meet with the Planning and Priorities Committee of Cabinet so that they could share with the Planning and Priorities Committee of Cabinet some information, or have some dialogue direct. The Premier wrote back on February 25, in which he said he would not meet.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. HODDER: I ask the Minister of Finance if he could address those issues.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

Before I recognize the hon. the Minister of Finance, the hon. member indicated he would table the correspondence. The minister indicated he wished he would do so, and I think perhaps the correspondence should probably be tabled at this point - if you would table the letters.

The hon. the Minister of Finance.

MR. BAKER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I will do better than that, Mr. Speaker. I will get the total correspondence from the NLTA over the last couple of months, and I will table it in this House and then we will see who is right.

Mr. Speaker, to the point in question, the member again is totally wrong. Last year - a year ago, or almost a year ago - when we reached agreement, when an agreement was signed on this current year, a committee was put in place - a committee to examine the unfunded liability of the pension plan, and to come up with suggestions as to how this unfunded liability could be solved. It had nothing to do with this collective bargaining process, I will say for the member.

This committee has been meeting and doing good work for a number of months. We got to the point where the government representatives on the committee tabled a proposal at that committee as a way of solving the unfunded liability of the pension plan.

I will repeat again, this is a committee that is working outside the collective bargaining process. It has nothing to do with the collective bargaining process.

Mr. Speaker, the NLTA had promised to respond to our proposal to solve a very serious problem, to solve the unfunded liability of the pension plan, but instead of discussing it with the committee they wrote this letter. The Premier quite properly responded: Look, in the committee discussions, government has put forward a proposal and you should discuss the response in the committee before you come to a conclusion that the whole committee can bring to the Planning and Priorities Committee, because simply it was done that way because that was part of the agreement. That was in keeping with the agreement that we had with the NLTA. This has nothing to do with a request for a meeting about this round of collective bargaining. The hon. member knows that, and he shouldn't try to portray it as something it is not.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

A final supplementary, the hon. the Member for Waterford - Kenmount.

MR. HODDER: Mr. Speaker, my supplementary is to the Minister of Education.

Given the high probability of a Province-wide disruption in the school system by mid-May, has the minister and his officials begun to develop strategies to minimize the impacts of the impending labour dispute on the student learning's of all grade levels and, in particular, on the evaluation procedures for those eligible to leave the school system at the end of the current school year?

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

MR. DECKER: Yes, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. WOODFORD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

My question is for the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs.

Could the minister tell the House the total number of applications that his department has received from municipalities in the Province and the total dollar value of the applications received from municipalities, and also from the private sector?

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

MR. REID: Yes, Mr. Speaker.

As of Monday, and they are still coming in, we have received in excess of 600 applications and the total amount of those 600 applications is approximately $600 million. From the private sector, I am not quite sure; I can't really answer that, I would have to look up the information for the member. In those figures that I just gave him, the private sector would be included in that as well, but right off the top of my head I can't tell him exactly how much the private sector are asking for.

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

MR. WOODFORD: Mr. Speaker, could the minister inform the House when he will announce the successful applicants, the people who will be getting some of this infrastructure money and, could he tell the House, what and who will be given priority? What types of applications will be given priority? For example, would municipalities that have applications in pertaining to environmental concerns in their particular areas be given priority over someone else?

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

MR. REID: Yes, Mr. Speaker. Maybe I can take this opportunity to inform the members that there is a third party involved here with the municipalities around the Province and with the Province there is a federal jurisdiction. The federal people are putting one-third into this program, as well as we are - the other two; and we have to rank our proposals from a provincial point of view and then pass those proposals on to the Federal Government. What we have done is created a committee of federal and provincial people who will make recommendations to both the Provincial Government and the Federal Government.

We have, Mr. Speaker, as of Friday past, because of pressure and, I suppose, common sense, based on the fact that we have such a short construction season in Newfoundland, we felt that we must move almost immediately so that in the next few days we would be able to announce a number of projects. We have recommended to our federal counterparts, last Friday, a total of some $22 million-worth of work under the infrastructure program. I am hoping that the Federal Government will be in a position, or the federal members will be in a position, maybe by the middle of next week, to make some announcements together with, of course, myself and other related ministers, so there will be some announcements going out.

I am hoping, Mr. Speaker, that after that, within a matter of two weeks, the remaining applications for infrastructure will be processed through the same type of system, and the Federal and Provincial Governments can make the announcement. I will say, quite honestly to the member, he is absolutely right; we had to move. There were some $20 million - $22 million-worth of projects going out. I will say this to the member, that all of those projects that will be announced in the next week or so, were based primarily on environmental and health concerns and I can assure him that each and every one of them, under our ranking system for capital works, ranked really high.

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

MR. WOODFORD: Mr. Speaker, in view of the fact that there was such a demand from municipalities in the Province for funding under this program, and in view of the fact that there were no monies allocated for a capital program this year under Municipal Affairs, would the minister consider asking his colleagues in Cabinet to increase the funding in this particular program?

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

MR. REID: Mr. Speaker, it is not fair to say that the Province is not having a capital works program this year. As I announced some weeks ago, we, the Provincial Government, will be responsible, and it looks right now as if it could go as high as 50 per cent of the total $150 million because of the system we are using. A large number of municipalities, for example, will avail of the infrastructure money and it won't cost them one copper because they have reached the $330-per-household limit that we use to evaluate for capital works.

It is also not fair to say that there won't be a small capital works budget - I am not sure at this particular point in time. There are a number of projects in the Province that will not qualify under the infrastructure program, and I will have to look at those projects and possibly go back to Cabinet in the future - I don't know how soon - and ask Cabinet to consider doing some of those projects that wouldn't fall under the infrastructure program. If that happens, we can assume, then, that we do have, I suppose, some sort of - I don't know at what level - capital works program for the year.

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

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

On Friday past, I asked the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, could he confirm, or was he aware, that eighty to 100 welders from outside this Province were being hired at the Newfoundland Dockyard? In his response, he said to me, `The effort we are undertaking' - his department, he was referring to, `is to try to find a way whereby those welders who do not have this particular designation can be tested to see if, in fact, they can reach those qualifications and be certified as being CWB-tested and have the particular ticket, and then be eligible to be hired at the dockyard. That information is being gathered at this point in time and I hope to have a more complete answer later in the day.' My question for the minister is, does he have that information, and if so, can he inform the House today as to what that information is?

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

MR. GRIMES: Thank you.

Mr. Speaker, the potential employer involved, being the Newfoundland Dockyard, as a result of follow-up, not only from ourselves in the department, as an interested party, but also from the individual workers themselves, representatives of the union and others, have indicated that they will do everything possible, as other employers always do on a regular basis within Province, particularly with respect to welding, to try to find a mechanism whereby Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who have the basic journeyman welder qualification and who can do these jobs, except for the need to be tested for this CWB designation, that they will find a mechanism to try to do that as expeditiously as possible.

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

MR. E. BYRNE: Mr. Speaker, let me provide some more information, then, for the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations.

Ten days ago, ten welders in this Province wrote the CWB designation test, and the results of their tests were then sent to Halifax to be graded. The individual who is grading the tests has gone on holiday for two to three weeks, and, as a result, ten welders in this Province will have to wait two to three weeks to find out if they have the CWB designation. What is even more infuriating, Mr. Speaker, is that we, as a Province, have the technology and the ability to grade those tests here. Let me ask the minister: Why are tests for CWB designation being sent outside this Province when we have the ability, the technology, and the professionalism in this Province to grade those tests here?

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

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

The issue is clear. The normal procedure for CWB testing is done by the Canadian Welding Bureau, which is an industry group. It is not a government group. It is the industry, itself, setting the standards for itself, in their own industry, which is the way it should be.

These welders have already met all the qualifications required by the training programs, by the apprenticeship board in the Province, and so on. They are looking at a special designation, determined by the industry, for people working in the industry. The normal testing, unless it is done at the work site, where it can sometimes be tested and evaluated, on the site, within a day - the normal practice adopted by the potential employer, in this case being the dockyard, and having nothing to do with the Provincial Government and so on, was to have them tested and have it evaluated in the normal way, which is to send it to the CWB in Halifax.

The representatives of the unions and the representatives of the workers, since again the normal period of time for that is about two weeks under any normal set of circumstances, and since there may now be a further delay, are asking if some of the testing can be done, and evaluated and graded on site, so that the people can find out, that day, whether or not they have the designation. That is still being worked on as we stand here now, but again, it's the Canadian Welding Bureau, which is an industry group setting industry standards with a member in the industry, an employer in the industry. They, themselves are working through the program as they should, and they are trying to make sure that the Newfoundland and Labrador qualified welders are certified so that they can take these jobs as soon as possible.

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

MR. E. BYRNE: Mr. Speaker, the minister may wish to leave the impression with the House of Assembly, and thus, the people of this Province, that the CWB designation is the responsibility of some Canadian Welding Bureau board. That is not the case. Let me inform the minister what his responsibility is. He said in this House on Friday that it was his concern and his government's concern that every opportunity would be maximized to provide opportunities - in this case, welders without the CWB designation in Newfoundland - that they would have the opportunity -

MR. SPEAKER: Question?

MR. E. BYRNE: - I have a question; I'm just leading up to it - that they would have the opportunity to get employment at the dockyard. My question for the minister, then, is this: Will he commit today to look into this situation to ensure, when a CWB designation test is given in this Province, that it is corrected in this Province, and that people will know immediately if they have the designation and therefore have the opportunity to go to work in their Province and not watch somebody from outside the Province come in and take that job from them?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations.

MR. GRIMES: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Again, I appreciate the question, because the hon. member opposite does know, as well, that depending on the circumstance and depending on the employer, as I answered in response to the last question - there are employers in Newfoundland and Labrador who, when they have determined that their need is to have someone on the site the very next day, with the appropriate designation, working, they arrange with the Canadian Welding Bureau to have the testing done on site, graded and evaluated on site, and for the individual person, a welder in this case, have it determined immediately as to whether or not he has the designation to go to work the next day.

The employer in this case, being the Newfoundland Dockyard, did not feel that sense of urgency. They were aware, and they were working with everybody involved to make sure that Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, qualified welders, who came forward but did not have this designation, were given an opportunity to write for the designation. They did not feel any urgency, and the hon. member opposite should know as well that it's not a matter of giving an undertaking today. We've been dealing with this issue on a daily basis since it was raised, before it ever came to this Legislature over ten days ago.

The members opposite would know that a constituent of the hon. the Member for Placentia had brought it to my personal attention several days before that and we have been working with it daily since then. The dockyard, as the employer, is doing everything possible to make sure that the Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, who are journeymen welders, are given the opportunity to get the CWB designation as soon as they can, with them paying for it, so that they can go to work at the dockyard.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

Question Period has elapsed.

On behalf of hon. members, I would like to welcome to the Speaker's Gallery the Ambassador of Austria to Canada, His Excellency, Mr. Walther Lichem, who is accompanied by the Honourary Consul of Austria, based in Halifax, Mr. Michael Novac.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Answers to questions for which notice has been given.

MS. VERGE: Where are those Western Memorial Hospital reports?

Petitions

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

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, I would like to present a petition on behalf of a group of people from the Central Newfoundland area, namely, from the -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. TOBIN: I would like to present a petition, Mr. Speaker, on behalf of a group of people from the Norris Arm area, the Norris Arm South area mostly, who are concerned about the government's decision to privatize Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro. I don't know - I'm sure the member representing that area certainly wants to speak on this when the opportunity presents itself.

AN HON. MEMBER: Where is that?

MR. TOBIN: Well, Norris Arm, Mr. Speaker, Bishop's Falls, Gander -there is one from Gander - the Central Newfoundland area.

MR. MURPHY: How many?

MR. TOBIN: On this sheet here, Mr. Speaker, I have twenty-one. I say to the Member for St. John's South that the twenty-one men and women who signed this petition against the privatization of Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro are just as important as any other twenty-one people in this Province. He shouldn't smirk at the numbers. Because the people from Norris Arm South have as much right to have their objections raised in this House as the people from any other part of the Province, I say to the Member for St. John's South.

What is happening here is that people are continuing -

MR. MURPHY: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: The Member for St. John's South shouldn't get too arrogant about not worrying. He is in here with less than 50 per cent of the support of his constituents.

The people of this Province are continuing to speak loud and clear through petitions, through letters to the editors, through the Open Line programs and through whatever vehicle is available, to let this government know that they oppose the privatization of Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro. Some of them we know - now there is available a 1-800 number. I don't know if there is anyone phoning in to the 1-800 number above and beyond those who were sent letters by the Liberal Party - not by the government, I say, the Premier corrected me on that already. They were written by the Liberal Party and asked to express their concerns and their views. I don't know how many letters were sent out asking people to phone in to the 1-800 number. I don't really know.

AN HON. MEMBER: You can check with headquarters (inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: What is that? Check with headquarters?

MR. HARRIS: Are you allowed to phone in more than once?

MR. TOBIN: Well, that is a good point the Member for St. John's East raised. Are you allowed to call in more than once? Or do you continue to call? Do you put people on a line all day in an office and ask them to phone the 1-800 number? The bottom line, Mr. Speaker, is that the people of this Province somewhere on the other side of 70 per cent have and continue to support Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro as it exists and do not want to see it privatized. That's where we are coming from, Mr. Speaker.

There are letters circulating in this House every day. Another letter here to the Member for St. John's North requests him to have a meeting to discuss the issue of privatization of Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro. As a result, in that district alone, 97 per cent of the voters approached signed the request for public meetings.

AN HON. MEMBER: A reasonable request.

MR. TOBIN: A reasonable request - sure, it is, and I'm delighted that the people have done it, because the member refused to do it on his own. He stood up down in the Holiday Inn when the Member for Pleasantville had his meeting and he was asked: `When are you going to have your public meeting?' He didn't see a need for one, Mr. Speaker.

AN HON. MEMBER: Not true.

MR. SIMMS: Oh, yes, it is.

MR. TOBIN: It is true. You didn't see a need for one.

Now, Mr. Speaker, it is a reasonable request. Well, the people should not have to beg the Member for St. John's North for a reasonable request. He should have said to them that night: Sure, I will have a meeting.

What is happening is that the people on that side of the House are not taking a concern -

MR. FLIGHT: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Yes, like you addressed the wood-cutting issue when it was raised by the Member for Bonavista South.

Mr. Speaker, the Member for St. John's North, like all other members over there, has been following the leader, and you have been following the leader very blindly, I say to members opposite, because the people of Newfoundland and Labrador do not want to see their electricity bills going up. They cannot afford to have their electricity bills skyrocket, which will happen with the privatization of Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro - and don't think it won't.

When the Premier admits that electricity rates will increase in this Province, then you can be assured that the increase will be significant.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time has elapsed.

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, in conclusion, I support the petition.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

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

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

I was tempted to rise on a point of order to try to set the record straight as to some of the information that the hon. the Member for Burin - Placentia West was giving in his presentation with respect to the petition, the statement being that the hon. the Member for St. John's North refused to hold a public meeting in his district for the residents to be heard with respect to the Hydro issue.

I want to tell the House, and clarify it, in the unlikely event that the hon. member really believes what he says, that that is not factual; that is not the case. As a matter of fact, I have long indicated that I have no problem with holding public meetings.

MS. VERGE: When is it going to be?

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. L. MATTHEWS: I have no problem with even attending public meetings in districts where there may be some manifested opposition to the Hydro thing. So, to the extent that the member indicated I refused to hold a public meeting, I say that is inaccurate.

To the statement that the members on this side of the House are following the leader, I would confirm absolutely, that is what we are doing. If the member on the other side has any illusions as to think that we should not follow the leader, I would ask him: Who does he think we should follow?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

AN HON. MEMBER: Your constituents.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. L. MATTHEWS: With respect to the issue of Hydro, a lot of leaders have manifested themselves outside of the House, and have purported to be representing the majority view of the people of the Province. Well, I want the hon. the Member for Burin - Placentia West to understand that I have no intention of following leaders, or the advice or the direction or the wishes of leaders, who sprout up out of the ground, who come home from Toronto for a short period of time when it is advantageous in a public way to manifest themselves.

There is no reason to think that I should follow people who come in from the university and take unto themselves, when they couldn't get elected to represent people in the House, as being their representative outside of the House.

So, with respect to the fact that we follow our leader, of course, we follow our leader, and I intend to do that not only on the Hydro issue but on any issue where I believe it is appropriate to do so.

MS. VERGE: (Inaudible) a meeting?

MR. TOBIN: (Inaudible) denominational education issue, too?

MR. L. MATTHEWS: I will follow the leader to the extent that the leader is leading in the right direction, and I have seen nothing to indicate in the tenure and the Premiership of the leader of this party, that he has so far not gone in the right direction.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. L. MATTHEWS: And we will continue to see, I think, as time goes on, directions taken that will be generally accepted by the people of this Province -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. L. MATTHEWS: - and that will work to the greater good of all the residents of the Province that we live in.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. HODDER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I would like to rise in support of the petition presented by my colleague, the Member for Burin - Placentia West, and to say to the Member for St. John's North, I am pleased to hear that he is going to follow the leader, and certainly he made no doubt about that. However, I'm sure that the good residents of St. John's North will weigh all of that in the balance and he will be found wanting very soon when he goes back to the electorate. He will be like the biblical character that was weighed in the balance and found wanting because, like the other person in the Bible, he says, `follow me.'

Well, I tell you that in this particular case the Member for St. John's North should know that it was the people in his constituency who elected him. He was asked by the residents of St. John's North, 269 or 279 of them, `Would you please convene a public meeting whereby we can express to you our concerns, so that you can share them with the government and with your colleagues in the House of Assembly.' Now, Mr. Speaker, I will leave it to the good people of St. John's North to judge the member and we will be reading the transcripts and will make sure they are circulated at all the appropriate times.

Now, Mr. Speaker, the Premier a few days ago on public television said that he would not proceed with privatization legislation if the majority of citizens of Newfoundland and Labrador are against it. Since then, the Premier has been carrying out an aggressive campaign on radio, television and in the print media - meetings held with selective people so that he can get the responses back that he hopes will indicate there has been a change of heart in the minds of some of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Mr. Speaker, let me assure the Premier and members of this House that there has been no change of heart. The people who are going door-to-door picking up the petitions, are saying loud and clear - the people of Norris Arm have been saying loud and clear that they do not agree with privatization of Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro, in spite, I might say, of all of the Premier's efforts to re-educate them. In other words, he has said: What you've been hearing is all false. Now, you better listen to what the government is saying because we are going to put you through a process of re-education, and after that we're going to give you a little test and if you say that you now agree with privatization, then you're going to be in the passing category. Now, Mr. Speaker, that's what's happening. We are trying to hoodwink the people of Newfoundland and Labrador, trying to persuade them that they should change their minds and, of course, the response that we're getting back from our constituents is that nobody is being persuaded, nobody is changing their minds. The people of Newfoundland and Labrador, about 80 per cent, a month ago, said that they did not agree with the privatization of Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro. They said that a month ago, they're saying it today and let me assure all hon. members, they will say it a month from now and a year from now as well. They will also say it in 1996 or 1997 when they get a chance to judge all hon. members here and, in particular, they will judge my colleague, the Member for St. John's North.

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, if there are no further petitions, perhaps three minutes early we could begin the debate on the resolution by my friend, the Member for Grand Bank. The rules, as you know, require you to call the motion at 3:00 p.m. in any event, so let's call it now.

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

I had a petition to present on behalf of some 140 people from the district but with a couple of minutes left I thought, what's the point? I wouldn't be able to do it justice.

MR. FLIGHT: What's the petition about?

MR. SIMMS: It's about firewood, something you know nothing about.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: I'm not presenting a petition, I say to the minister, he should go back to reading the stock market reports.

Mr. Speaker, the resolution that I put forward today in Private Members' Day is the first chance that a private member or anyone in the House has had a chance to put forward a resolution pertaining to last Tuesday's announcement by the federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Mr. Tobin, and by the federal Minister of Human Resources Mr. Axworthy, so we have had a fair bit of interaction and dialogue this week and last week as it pertains to the implications and the fallout of about 23,000 people in the Province because of the new TAGS program, so the resolution I put forward, Mr. Speaker, is:

WHEREAS the Government of Canada has allocated funding for the Atlantic Groundfish Strategy, now referred to as TAGS for fishers and fish plant workers in this Province, based on a formula designed to adjust approximately sixteen thousand people out of the fishery by May 16, 1998 whether or not they are able to find alternative employment; and

WHEREAS the Government of Canada is providing no more funding under the Atlantic Groundfish Strategy over the next five years, then they will recoup from Newfoundlanders and Labradorians over the same time period in Unemployment Insurance benefit reductions, over and above what this Province would have lost had the UI reductions been shared among provinces fairly on a per capita basis;

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that this honourable House condemn the Government of Canada for not allocating sufficient funding under the Atlantic Groundfish Strategy to provide adequately for persons and communities that have depended on the groundfish industry for their economic survival.

Now, Mr. Speaker, having said that and read the resolution, last Tuesday, I went to Hotel Newfoundland to take in the press conference, a very important press conference, very important announcement for the people of this Province. There were several hundred people there; fishers, fish plant workers, industry representatives, people who are involved in training programs, people just out of interest, wondering what the implications for this new program will be for our Province; and I guess, to a person, he left the Hotel Newfoundland somewhat confused and somewhat let down because of the vagueness, the lack of specifics of the announcement by the ministers. There were no specifics given; I refer to it as a slick political show. The minister certainly opened up the room to whoever wanted to come in which was wise, but he did not give them the specifics and if he had, there would not have been such a pleasant ending to the event.

People left very suspicious, grumbling amongst themselves, sort of worried that they were not going to have too much longer left receiving benefits under the new program. So, Mr. Speaker, once we knew the financial figures, once we knew what numbers had been allocated we did our own sort of numbers crunch, we, being the Opposition with our research people, and we said at the time that our estimation is, not being privy to the information that the officials and the federal ministers were privy to, that we said in the fifth year of the program that there would be roughly 5,500 people left getting some compensation; 5,500 people we said, based strictly on the numbers crunch.

Looking at what happened to NCARP, how many people were involved, looking at the new expenditure proposed under TAGS, we said about 5,500 so I think we did reasonably well when, the numbers start flowing from the working groups, the target numbers of some 6,400 started to surface so we weren't that far off with the information we had, so I think to be safe we are talking probably 6,500 people who will be left involved in the fifth year of the program. Everyone knows now that the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations has confirmed, the Premier has confirmed, federal minister has confirmed, federal officials have confirmed as late as a couple of days ago, that there will be 3,000 people come off the program, will be eliminated at the end of December, 1994. That's a given now, we all believe that now.

Where there is still some debate left is how many will come off each successive year after that? Our estimation is that by May 15 of '95, which is a year from now, there will be roughly 10,000 people eliminated from the program, 10,000 people in about a year's time. As I said, there is some debate over that. There may be a few less, there may be a few more. We are saying around 10,000 by May 15.

The other thing that people were somewhat confused about, Mr. Speaker, is they thought when they all have to reapply those who were deemed eligible from December 31 they thought they had two years from that date, which they don't. They have two years from May 15 of this year. People should be aware of that.

We estimate that there are approximately 16,000 people who are going to come out by May 16 1998, to leave some 6,000, 6,500 people in looking at - there are 23,000 people from Newfoundland and Labrador now receiving some form of compensation under NCARP and AGAP and the others.

AN HON. MEMBER: Oh, oh!

MR. W. MATTHEWS: I think it is ninety-eight.

AN HON. MEMBER: Oh, oh!

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Should be - no, at the end of the fourth year, I'm saying to the member. At the end of the fourth year, which is May 16 1998, that is all who will be left to get benefits in the fifth year. Okay? Alright? The member is trying to divert my attention but -

AN HON. MEMBER: Oh, oh!

MR. W. MATTHEWS: No, and once you asked me and I looked at it I said - but no, that is what will be left at the end of the fourth year to receive benefits in the fifth year leading up to May 16 1999.

MS. VERGE: He is still revved up after this morning.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Yes, he is still worked up after the big meeting this morning, the Estimates Committee meeting. No, it is a legitimate question, I say, and I can see why the member would ask it. Because a lot of people are confused about that as well.

The other point of the resolution, Mr. Speaker, is talking about the unemployment insurance benefits reduction, the flow of UI money coming to this Province as a result of the federal government's recent changes. There is going to be $262 million less per year for the next five years coming into this Province as a result of the recent changes to the unemployment insurance program. When you compare that loss over five years, the total amount, when you look at what the TAGS program is going to cost over the next five years, the amount is almost identical.

Again of course the federal government would like us to believe that this is all new money you are getting for TAGS but it is not new money. It is money that has been siphoned off. So either way you look at it the economy of this Province is going to be further damaged, hurt, shrunk, because of the loss of a large amount of money. Two hundred and sixty million dollars is a lot of money to come out of the provincial economy when you look at how fragile our economy is right now. While we know that - and people will argue that - there has to be more to your economy than unemployment insurance benefits and payments - we realise that, and we want to get away from it - but when you look at how fragile our economy is today and you take $265 million out of it per year for the next five years, it causes me great concern. I don't know how the Minister of Finance is going to keep it all together with the other problems that he has. I say that very sincerely.

AN HON. MEMBER: Oh, oh!

MR. W. MATTHEWS: What's that?

AN HON. MEMBER: That is 50 per cent of what is allocated under the program. One point nine billion. In five years, they will have $1 billion back.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Oh yes. I think the figure works out to $1.190 billion that we will get from TAGS that is supposed to come into Newfoundland and Labrador. Looking at the 77 per cent, the way it works out. Remember, it is not $1.9 billion, by the way, it is $1.7 billion. Two hundred million is getting the program up to May 15. When the federal minister announced a $1.9 billion program a number of weeks ago, included in that was the couple of hundred million dollars to get us to May 15 when NCARP ends. There is $1.7 billion in the new TAGS program, not $1.9 billion. Then, when you break that down by percentage to what should flow into the Province it is almost identical to what the losses in UI will be.

That is the other concern - and of course the concern that we've raised, and the Member for Kilbride has raised in questioning the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations. We are taking more than our fair share of UI reductions when you do a calculation on a per capita basis. Much higher than any other province in the country. We are taking it on the chin.

When you look at our economy you have to ask the question, why us? I have a note here from my colleague which says that 16,000 people will not qualify for UI as a result of the UI changes, 13,000 will receive less benefits, and 8000 to 10,000 more people will end up on social assistance. These are statistics from the federal Department of Human Resources. So, when you factor all that into what is a very fragile economy, with a very high unemployment rate, that is why I said I have very, very grave concerns about what the implications are for the Province, for the Minister of Finance, the government, and the people.

Mr. Speaker, the last BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that this House condemn the Government of Canada for not allocating sufficient funding under the Atlantic groundfish strategy, I think it is incumbent on every member here to support this resolution. I am not saying that for any light reason. I do not think that the federal government should get away with what they announced last Tuesday. I do not think it was good enough to fly into St. John's, give very few details, then fly back to Ottawa and let it all unfold over the last week without being upfront and telling the people, telling them the criteria.

To hear people say that the criteria was not developed on Tuesday when the minister had his press conference, when Monday there were officials from all the regional offices of human resources in this city being briefed on the criteria. Then it was announced that 3000 people would be eliminated as of December 31, but then you have to ask the question, how do you know that 3000 people will not quality for the new program if you have not developed the criteria? How would you know if it were 3000, 2000, or 10,000 if you did not have the criteria already developed. That criteria was established and developed when the federal minister sat in Hotel Newfoundland and pretended that the next six to eight months -

DR. KITCHEN: Not true. Not true.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: I say to the unhealthy Minister of Health that it is true because I was at the press conference.

DR. KITCHEN: I am perfectly healthy.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Now, I certainly tell the minister that is not true, that he is perfectly healthy. That is one thing we know is not true.

But to leave an impression with all of those people at the hotel, all those that were linked in by media from PEI, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Quebec, that in the next six to eight months we were going to see all of this consultation take place, with all the fisherpeople, the plant workers, the union, and the processors, to develop the criteria.

AN HON. MEMBER: For what?

MR. W. MATTHEWS: To see who is eligible for the program. Everyone was going to be paid until the end of December.

MR. TULK: That is not what he said.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Oh, I see. Well, maybe the member heard something I did not hear. Perhaps he did. I listened very intently to what went on down there. He left a clear impression, even those of the media, even those hosts of the famous fisheries broadcast, I say to the Member for Fogo, even those people, once it suddenly struck home to them, the game that had been played with them, they were very taken back. Then, of course, what did they do on Wednesday? They got Mr. O'Neill from human resources on and questioned him. Of course I got the transcript from Mr. O'Neill's statements on the fisheries broadcast and I read it, and those people has reason to feel somewhat taken in because Mr. O'Neill went through the criteria in great detail. The federal minister, particularly, our minister I will call him, played a pretty smart little political game, which is going to get him in the end, because one of these times he is going to come back to this Province and people are going to corner him, because they do not appreciate what he did to them.

MR. MURPHY: What about John Crosbie?

MR. W. MATTHEWS: John Crosbie told them upfront I say to the Member for St. John's South. He had the intestinal fortitude to tell people what was happening, and what they could expect, and they almost beat the door down at the Radisson as we all know, but I guarantee you one thing, if Brian Tobin had told the people last Tuesday what they know now, there would have been no doors left at Hotel Newfoundland. That is just what would have happened. Now, I am not advocating that. I do not support that, but I support the minister telling them exactly what the criteria was.

Mr. Speaker, my time will soon be up for this twenty minutes, but I want to say to members opposite that there is a lot of concern and anxiety out in this Province, and members on both sides know that. They go to their districts, they meet with groups, they talk to fisherpersons, plant workers, and store owners and teachers and nurses.

I had an invitation to Improving Our Odds group on Monday morning in my district and the only time I could do it was Monday before I drove back here to the House of Assembly, because by the time I got home Friday they were finished. I went in to talk to them, they identified the topics they wanted me to speak about. The first one quite naturally was TAGS. The second one was income supplementation and the third one was Hydro. I tell you, they are not a very happy lot. They are very concerned, very worried, about their future. They are even more worried since Mr. Tobin's announcement. They are worried because of the talk of the industry renewal boards and the reduction in processing and harvesting capacity to a minimum of 50 per cent. They are very worried about that. They are wondering if their fish plants are going to remain open or if a decision will be made to close them.

They really can't plan the rest of their lives unless that decision is made. That decision has to be made. A decision that is now, right as of today, it is 100 per cent provincial governments. The provincial government has 100 per cent control over the processing sector. The Province has procrastinated for two years since the beginning of NCARP, the moratorium. They have procrastinated for two years and have not been willing to make a decision about the future of fish plants in this Province. People are very concerned and they want answers. They need to know.

How are they going to plan if they don't know if they are going to be employed in their plant next year or the year after, or if they are not going to? How can they plan? How can they choose training? They sit around day after day talking about their situation and themselves, talking about how they can improve their situation and wanting very much to do that. The group that I talked to on Monday, I know every one of them personally. I know where they live. I grew up with a lot of them. They want to know that. They feel very let down, by the way, I say to members, they feel very let down by Mr. Tobin as of last Tuesday. They feel very let down by the Province because it is very wishy-washy on the processing side of things.

For the last two years the Minister of Fisheries and the Premier have said: Let the market forces decide and dictate which plants stay open and which close in this Province. I have consistently said and I have consistently called for the Province to make decisions to ensure that there is a regional presence of processing in this Province. Every region of this Province must have a processing presence, I say to members. In case people don't realise the importance of that, can you imagine the region of Labrador without any processing capacity, I say to members opposite. Can you imagine the region of Labrador without one single processing plant, which is very possible if the market forces decide what plants are going to stay open in this Province.

I see the Member for Eagle River, and I know he is listening, I hope. It is very possible that if it is left to the market forces and if it is left to total financial viability that we are going to have regions of this Province without any processing presence or capability. I think that would be devastating for all the reasons that we all know. Both employment, both opportunities for fishermen to sell fish, for quality, for all the other things that we are supposedly so interested in.

I have another few minutes to conclude the debate at the end of the day but these are the remarks that I wanted to start with. I was hoping that the Minister of Fisheries would be here. I was hoping that he would participate in the debate, actually. I think it is very important for our provincial Minister of Fisheries to speak out and to speak up and to give, I guess, the Province's reaction and the Province's opinion on one of the most vital decisions, most vital announcements, that has been made in this Province for years.

There are thousands, Mr. Speaker, of people out there who are wondering where the Province sits in this whole situation. Are they supporting the federal program, and what are they going to do about the processing plants?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. TULK: Let me first of all in addressing this resolution that the Member for Grand Bank has put forward congratulate him on bringing forward such an important resolution. If I were to be completely partisan I would say it is great to see them finally get off being (inaudible) and becoming somewhat involved in the fishery.

He made the point in his speech, Mr. Speaker, that there is a lot of concern and there is a lot of anxiety, especially in outport Newfoundland, and in the smaller areas of Newfoundland. He is absolutely and totally right. There is a lot of anxiety and there is a lot of concern about what's happening with the fishing industry. Let me also say to him, I don't believe that there is a member in this House and I can say to him that I am one, certainly - who will ever agree to moving 16,000, 19,000 or 20,000 people. Plucking them out of their environment as he - I don't think he used the word plucking but moving them out of their environment, out of the fishery, without first of all their having some say about where they are going and what they want to do, let me assure him of that.

Let me assure him also, that we will not, on this side of the House - I do not believe there's a person in this Legislature that will ask those people to move without them finding suitable, alternative lifestyles and incomes, let me assure him of that. So in that regard I say to him, I think this House is as one.

Mr. Speaker, he gets into this issue that the Member for Kilbride brings up about the unemployment insurance. He says that's a great issue where it's going to cost the federal government more now then it would if they had given us what he sees as our fair share of UI. Well let me say to him that I used to make the point - I wasn't a member of the House when John Crosbie initiated his program - by the way, I'm not going to be critical of John Crosbie because the day he got attacked down at Hotel Newfoundland I got on Open Line and congratulated him on having the fortitude to do what he did and to congratulate him on being a Newfoundlander and doing what he did in Ottawa. So I'm not going to get into that act but let me say to him that the federal government by and large saved you some of the money then that was allocated for unemployment insurance and make-work programs. It was just channelled into a program of compensation for fishermen under NCARP.

Mr. Speaker, he has raised some concerns and let me say to him, it gives me the opportunity as a private member to express my concerns. For that I'm grateful to him, that he had at least the foresight to do that. Mr. Speaker, I have very little problem with his concerns. What I have problems with, Mr. Speaker, is the resolve part of his resolution. The hon. member is obviously playing politics, when he says: BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that this hon. House condemn the Government of Canada for not allocating sufficient funding under the Atlantic Groundfish Strategy to provide adequately for persons in communities that are dependent on the groundfish industry for their economic survival.

Here's where we part company, Mr. Speaker. The hon. gentleman would have been much better off, Mr. Speaker, if instead of using the word, `condemn', he had been far more positive and said let us use the two years that has basically been given to the people of this Province with an income support for at least most of them in this Province - most of the fishers and the fish plant workers - let us be positive and put forward our concerns to the federal government. I think by the way that's what the Federal Minister of Fisheries was saying when he said there's going to be a great deal of consultation over the next six months. Mr. Speaker, he also gets into this idea -

MR. W. MATTHEWS: We've already had two.

MR. TULK: We've already had two and I say to the hon. gentleman that the last two years, in terms of what's happening with the restoration of the cod stocks and so on, has been a pure waste. There's been nothing in this Province that has happened to put the fishery back on a sound footing. All we've done is just fed people money and nothing has happened to put the resource back to where it should be.

Mr. Speaker, he also gets into this idea that the federal government is not allocating sufficient funds. I say to the hon. gentleman that I do not believe there is a person in this country today that knows what sufficient funds are needed to solve this problem. There's not a person in this country who knows what the sufficient funds are necessary to solve this problem. I hope, Mr. Speaker, that when I'm finished he will see where I'm coming from. I believe, Mr. Speaker, that basically we have two years, from May 15. Now it's estimated that some 3,000 people who are marginal - and we'll have to watch that. As members of this House we should watch that and defend our constituents when necessary. There are some 3,000 people who will come off the NCARP package, the TAGS package or whatever you want to call it, by December 31. Maybe, Mr. Speaker, that's right, that is the way it should be. Maybe those 3,000 people have very little attachment to the fishery anyway. Maybe they are using up funds that rightfully belong to somebody else.

Mr. Speaker, if we lose people through retirement, of their own choice, that is fair enough, I say to the hon. gentleman. There is no problem with that. Other than that, I believe that we have two years from May 15 to work out some of the problems and some of the concerns that we have, and I say to this House that I do not believe, as I said before, there is a person in this Legislature who will see Newfoundlanders and Labradorians uprooted, plucked from their homes, or left as welfare recipients.

I say to the hon. gentleman - and I use this with the greatest respect to the people of Davis Inlet - I do not believe there is a person in this Legislature who will see Newfoundland and Labrador become the Davis Inlet of North America. I do not believe that either, but I do believe, as I have said before, that we have two years to either right the wrongs or put the systems in place to right the wrongs. As I said, I won't condemn the federal government for that any more than I would condemn John Crosbie when he announced his program.

I say to the hon. member, if he would listen, that I could say something about the ensuing patronage that took place in terms of review boards and so on, because as I had to represent some of my constituents I got sick and tired of looking at former EAs to ministers in this government, and some MHAs, sitting at the table as a result of the largesse of the federal government.

Mr. Speaker, let me express my concerns. Let me express the concerns that I think people on this side have - people who are in fisheries related districts and so on. The overriding concern, I say to the hon. member, in this whole issue is what happens to the fish that was in 2G, 2H, 2J and 3Kl - in other words, that body of fish that is more or less known as the Northern Cod stock. What happens to that? What happens to the other groundfish species that are in those areas as well? Can we get that back?

That's the key question that faces this Legislature and faces this Province, not whether we are going to get $216 as opposed to $230 - as important as that is - but the overriding concern has to be: Can we get that stock rejuvenated?

Mr. Speaker, there are people who will tell you that that stock is today close to extinction. That stock is close to, if not, extinct. I do not believe that it takes any great genius to figure out - you can put in all the economic diversification programs you like; you can have all the NCARP packages you like; you can have all the TAGS programs you like - I don't believe it takes any great genius to figure out that unless we rejuvenate and rebuild that 2J+3Kl fish, and 2G and 2H in particular, because I believe the Gulf stocks are not yet decimated to that point; I believe they will come back on their own. Maybe 2J+3Kl will, but it is doubtful, in my estimation, whether that is the case or not; but unless we can do that, as a country, as a Province, then you can make up your mind that the face of Newfoundland will change regardless of what aid programs we bring in. So that's the overriding concern; the stocks have to be restored.

Whose responsibility is that, Mr. Speaker? Well it is certainly not the responsibility of the fishers and fish plant workers up and down the northeast coast. I can say to the hon. gentleman that it's certainly not the responsibility of this party, because in 1986 we told the then government of the day what was going on, as a result of twenty-two meetings with fishermen, and I don't believe we can say it was the responsibility of the Government of Newfoundland from 1979 to 1989, but it was certainly the responsibility of a federal government - central government responsibility.

Mr. Speaker, there is no doubt in my mind, as I stand here today, that if suddenly all the topsoil in Saskatchewan, say, became a dust bowl, the federal government would immediately undertake plans to see that it was put back in place and grassed and reseeded and so on, I will get back to that later.

This House has consistently said, for the past ten years, the first thing that has to happen is that foreign overfishing has to stop. I think the federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans is now saying that it has to stop immediately, as soon as he can get legislation on the books, and Ottawa is prepared to see that it does.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I believe - and I ask hon. gentlemen to listen - I believe that this House, this Legislature, should hold the federal minister to doing that as quickly as possible. But it is not necessary for the Member for Grand Bank to play his partisan games and condemn anybody - just hold them to their responsibility.

Now, Mr. Speaker, there is another problem here, another very real problem. I said to this Legislature just now that we don't know whether the stock is extinct or not. If ever there was a resource in the world that had a weak scientific database, or where the scientists did not know what they talking about - and I am not talking about individuals, I am just talking about the database from which they work, the research that they have been able to do.

If ever there was an indication of a science that is down there then it is the fishery science field in this Province and in this country. We don't know for sure what happened to that Northern cod, we say it was all caught, maybe it was, but what about the Barents Sea issue? As members are aware, a few years ago, the cod was all gone to the Barents Sea; now it's back and they have increased their quotas this year from what they were last year, so we don't know. Maybe that is some of our cod, who knows? Will it come back? We don't know whether the problem is primarily water temperature, we don't know if it is overfishing, but there is a legitimate question that we have to ask and it is a legitimate question that we have to put to the Federal Government, the central government, never mind the partisan politics.

Can we reseed that ocean? If that stock is close to extinction or if, through the efforts of Spain and Portugal primarily, and other NAFO countries, that we have overfished and caught small fish to the point where maybe it cannot rejuvenate itself, can we reseed it?

Now, Mr. Speaker, I am glad to see in today's Evening Telegram, for example, that there is a gentleman at least in the provincial Department of Fisheries who is thinking in the right way and this House should encourage the Federal Government to take him up on it. David Vardy, the Deputy Minister of Fisheries has had this idea for some time. He says: `Province pursuing idea naturally to rebuild stocks', and if you read the article, you will see exactly what I am saying is true, that Mr. Vardy says there are a couple of ways you can do this but we are not sure, the scientific database is not there for us, to tell us whether, indeed, it will succeed or not; so that's another thing that we have to press the Federal Government to do over the next couple of years. We have a couple of years to do it and we should do it. Maybe it is a source of employment, Mr. Speaker, for some of the people whom we are now saying should work for their NCARP packages. I have some trouble with that myself but I will get to that another time.

Mr. Speaker, I have a concern, too, I say to the Member for Grand Bank, but if you take 19,000 to 20,000 people out of the fishery, what are the demographics of that? Where are they going to come from? And that concern is on this side of the House, where are they going to come from? Are most of those people going to come from, say, Fogo Island? Are they going to come, as the hon. gentleman said, from Labrador? We don't know, but we have to know, and we have to plan for what is going to happen here.

Mr. Speaker, there is another thing we are doing here, another concern, this retirement package that we have on the go, and that's great, it is great to see those people with that kind of income for life, so at least they are taken care of for life when they find themselves in a situation through no fault of their own. But the other concern obviously has to be, Mr. Speaker, that we are taking out of the industry the experience base that those people possess, and all we are leaving there are young people who are still learning that industry.

We are here talking about the fishery of the future and about the number of people who can be employed. I say to you today that the number of people we are going to be able to employ in that fishery of the future will depend on whether the resource can rebound, and to what extent it rebounds. How many thousand tons of Northern cod will we see in the year 1999? If I could come back to my scientific database again, we don't know - we have no idea. How many of our people, Mr. Speaker, can we employ by further diversification in the fishery, by further secondary processing?

Mr. Speaker, all of those things depend on our rebuilding a scientific database, and I say to my friend, the Member for Grand Bank that we should not waste the next eighteen to twenty-four months condemning whatever government is in Ottawa, and condemning whatever government is in Newfoundland. We should, as a unit, put forward very positive proposals and work to develop this industry. Never mind planning people's lives. Never mind standing up and saying, Minister Tobin did this, Minister Crosbie did this. I say to the hon. gentleman, I think we are extremely lucky to have had Crosbie in Ottawa and we are extremely lucky to have Tobin in Ottawa, regardless of what stripe the government is.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TULK: I beg your pardon?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TULK: No, but if he has something to say he should be allowed to say it.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: He said what a difference a day makes.

MR. TULK: Why a day?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TULK: No, I just said to the hon. gentleman, and I maintain that, I maintained it all the time, that John Crosbie did what he could in terms of the fishery in this Province. I don't doubt that.

Now, Mr. Speaker, there is another thing we have to take a look at. It has been brought up in this House, and, I think, last week it was brought up by the Member for Eagle River, and that is the seal fishery. I think last week it was unanimously passed in this House that we have a - I don't know if it is a full-fledged sealing industry or not, but I think it was downgraded somewhat to say a sealing industry. Again, we have arguments going on saying they are destroying the stocks. I think everybody in this House believes that as well, and everybody in Newfoundland believes it. I think, as the Minister of Health said at one time, or somebody else said here in this House, I don't think seals eat Kentucky Fried chicken. I think they eat fish, so I think they are destroying the stocks. Just to what extent? But, let us look at it another way. How big a resource, as the resolution pointed out last week, can they be for us?

Mr. Speaker, it is amazing. There aren't very many people - I made a presentation to the federal Senate Committee on Fisheries some two or three weeks ago and in the process I mentioned seals. This gentleman from the senate committee, the Chairman, I think his name was Ronald MacDonald from Cape Breton, the lost Newfoundlander.

MR. ROBERTS: Not the Ronald MacDonald?

MR. TULK: No, not the Ronald MacDonald, but a Ronald MacDonald from Cape Breton, a lost Newfoundlander, on his way up along, I told him he was. He asked me the question: What do we see as the future of the sealing industry? I said, `Do you know, Mr. MacDonald, that we are sitting on the finest leather in Canada, in the Newfoundland Legislature? He said, `Are you? I said, `Yes.' This was television so we had to do it back and forth. He asked: `Where did that come from?' Well, obviously, here it is, the best leather you can find anywhere, and it is made out of sealskin.

How much time do I have left, Mr. Speaker?

MR. SPEAKER: A couple of minutes, actually.

MR. TULK: In any case, Mr. Speaker, the Member for St. George's, for example, the biochemist, can tell you about products that can be made from seal that makes the seal almost worth its weight in gold, but we have to have, I say to the Member for Grand Bank, and I know he agrees with this, I think he does, we have to have a positive approach where both governments push to develop those products and push to put those kind of products in play. And we have to somehow destroy this - it is not very often I agree with the Globe and Mail, but I think it was in today's Globe and Mail that there is an article on Brian Davies, a friend of Newfoundland. `Animal welfare group keeps finance a secret', is the title. Each year in the spring, a U.S.-based animal rights group -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TULK: One minute.

- headed by a former Lance Corporal in the Canadian Army sets its well-financed sights on the annual seal cull off the East Coast of Canada. It is worthy of note that Mr. Davies did not want to meet with the Globe because he said they have treated him unfairly in the past. It is also worthy to note that of all those people who contribute to him, his salary is $169,265 U.S. a year. His wife Gloria is his executive assistant and is paid a salary of about $40,000 by the IFAW.

MR. SPEAKER (Barrett): Order, please!

The hon. member's time has elapsed.

MR. TULK: Mr. Speaker, if I could conclude in a sentence. Let me say to the hon. gentleman that I support his concerns, as does everybody in this House, but I will not support this approach that seeks to condemn, rather than be positive and seek to improve. Thank you.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. SULLIVAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It is my pleasure to rise and support the resolution here that indicates that the Government of Canada has not allocated sufficient funding for people who are dependent on the groundfishery in this Province for economic survival. When the PC Party was in power - and I presented a resolution here in this House, in my third day here I spoke on a resolution - I condemned the Federal Government and every federal government that mismanaged the fishery of this Province. I will condemn them today for doing it. And hopefully, by condemning, they will see the light and they will try to manage the fishery properly in the future. We wouldn't be in the dilemma that we are here in this Province today, I say -

The Member for Eagle River on that side of the House continuously condemned John Crosbie and the Federal Government for what they did. I say, thank God we had John Crosbie then. Because right now we have Lloyd Axworthy and we have a program that has gone out of the hands of DFO. It has gone to a minister out in Manitoba. It has gone to a Human Resource Development Department and we have lost control of the Newfoundland fishery forever, during this term. That's what's happening in this Province.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SULLIVAN: I will deal with the specifics of what has happened in this program now and deal with generalities, too, in this program. I think it is a downright shame. The minister has lost control, doesn't have the political clout, to be able to speak up and stand up for this Province, and we have a Premier here who is afraid to stand up for the fishery of this Province because he doesn't think it is important enough for this Province. Well, this Province grew and developed on the fishery. This Premier sold out this Province with this program here that people participated in as a working group. He sat with Lloyd Axworthy and Brian Tobin and Marcel Massť and a team of four federal ministers and he played a part in this TAGS program that has come down. This Province's Employment and Labour Relations Minister has been kept abreast of it.

They have tried to keep the facts from the public. I am going to touch on some facts first of all, and then I will get into some generalities. In the Atlantic Groundfish Strategy program - and here is what is going to happen. Any member who represents a rural riding in this Province should listen. Here is what is going to happen to the people who have been thirty years in the fishing industry. Here is exactly what is going to happen in twenty years and fifteen years. There is not one person out of around 1,800 people in my district of Ferryland who is going to be on this program at the end of year five. Here is why.

I could say, maybe the Member for Eagle River would be in the same category, and right down the northeast and eastern coasts of this Province, I do not see anybody who is going to be on the program. I spoke with over 200 people in the last two days in my district. I have a meeting tomorrow night in Ferryland, Monday night in Bay Bulls, and I've yet to find one who is going to be on this program after year five. People have spent thirty years in the fishing industry, 100 per cent of their income. Here is why they won't be on the program. Because the fishery from 1987, the late 1980s and early 1990s, has been on a decline in this Province. People were lucky to get ten weeks of insurable earnings. Because of a provision implemented by Revenue Canada in the 1970s -

AN HON. MEMBER: What years?

MR. SULLIVAN: I will get back to that; it is in Hansard if you want to read it. Because of a provision implemented by Revenue Canada in the 1970s, fishermen and fisherwomen can now average their income over any period that they choose and when they make their last sale they can do an averaging. Usually they average it over ten weeks, the minimum requirement.

Now, here is what happens. I will use an example of a thirty-year fisherperson in my district who received the qualifying weeks for the last five years in the fishery, who has received 100 per cent of employment income for the last thirty years in the fishery, who received ten weeks every single year to meet the minimum requirements, who will only get forty weeks credit per year now under this new strategy program brought down. For five years that is 200 weeks. That is three years and forty-four weeks. Over 80 per cent of the people are going to be dropped off the program after the third year and the forty-fourth week. Because there wasn't fifteen weeks available. Had they got fourteen weeks every year they would get five years.

Because the way it works, in case everybody is not familiar, the first six to ten weeks in the fishery, you get forty weeks credit. If you work eleven works in the fishery, you get an extra three weeks - that's forty-three. If you work an extra week, forty-two, you get forty-five, and thirteen, you get up to forty-nine weeks, and on the fourteenth you get fifty-two. So if you got fourteen weeks every year, 1987-1991, you will get fifty-two week credits per year for five years, and you will be on this program at the end of year five.

There is not one single person we could identify, and after Monday I will know if there's one, because I am meeting with the entire district. I have met with numerous people already. I could not think of one, and people who worked in fish plants and fished were at these meetings - could not think of one person, and that's not unlike other parts of this Province.

My district had a very successful trap fishery, 1989-1991, three of the most successful years. What about the people down in 2J, the Northeast Coast of Newfoundland further along, who had a failing fishery for the last few years? They are in an even worse situation. They are even worse - the South Coast, all around. It has failed before. They are not going to meet it. Here is who is going to meet it, trawler men who have been twenty weeks, and fifteen and twenty-five, some larger plants, offshore operations may meet it. It is those people who are going to meet it, the sixty-some hundred that are left on it. I can assure you, it's another part of a plan to phase out the rural inshore fishing communities in this Province, and the Premier participated in that process, and he agrees with it because he believes that we have to centralize everything, bring everything into urban areas of this Province, and that's the future way to go based solely on economics.

Well, I believe strongly in economics. I believe very strongly in economics, but I also believe very strongly in maintaining a social fabric in this Province, and in the preservation of rural communities in this Province, and the preservation of jobs for people who spent thirty years in industry. That's what is wrong with this TAGS program. The federal minister lost control. He didn't have the political clout. John Crosbie had it; he said it stays in DFO. He pushed the people in CEIC at the time the wrong way. They had a turf war, but they won. DFO won, and they kept that program. Now they have lost the turf war. It is now in the hands of the Human Resource Development Department, and that is bad news for this Province. It is bad, bad news for this Province.

He lost the fight for 10 per cent groundfish; it is up to 25 per cent in your operation. We are going to lost 500 plant workers off that. We are going to lose 2,500 fisherpeople who are going to be dropped because of that provision in the new program. That's what is going to happen there. We have out there numerous other instances in regulations where we are going to see people dropped by the wayside.

It's pretty sad when a person left school in Grade VIII to go fishing, at thirteen years of age, and fished every year right up to the moratorium, and qualified for U.I. every year they had U.I. available, and got 100 per cent of his income for the fishery, who is going to be dropped before year four in this program - people who did not get a high school education, people who are now in their forties, and there are twenty-five year people in my district who know nothing else but fishing. In order to upgrade them to a certain level of a high school education would take several years in some cases, and to go training them then for some other job, they are in their fifties, they are ready to retire, there are no new opportunities, and they are not there in the hundreds, I can assure you, in this Province, they are there in the thousands.

The Minister of Education talks about the illiteracy rate in this Province. The reason is because the fishery supported and encouraged people to go out and work, and leave school to help support their families and earn an income. And we are in a dilemma now where we don't have anybody out there reaching out, to be able to stand up and help. That is where the problem is, and the crunch is not coming in this year, or next year, or the year after, but in year four and thereafter, year five, we will be seeing devastation in this Province like we have never seen before.

Let's think for a minute. Let's look at it in an economic sense, where the dollars are going. There is $1.9 billion allocated to this program. There is $200 million to carry it to May 15. That leaves $1.7 billion. There is $300 million for industry renewal boards, that is $1.4 billion; 77 per cent in this Province, that is down to $1 billion.

Look at who is on the program now getting a cheque - 23,000 people. Give them close to $300 a week for one year; that is $690 million. Double that, there is not enough to keep the people who are there now for one-and-three-quarter years on the program; and you see how the numbers are going to drop. The numbers are not there. Anyone who wants them, I will give them the numbers and show them calculations why the money is not there to carry this program, and that's why they are going to dump people. They are going dump over 3,000 people by the end of December - 4,000 people. They are going to add on a few new people who meet the new criteria. There will be a net loss of 3,000 people. They have acknowledged that. Both federal departments have acknowledged that, and this government sits down and doesn't fight. You and the Premier should be standing up fighting for this Province.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SULLIVAN: Brian Peckford didn't let it happen. He fought for rural Newfoundland; he fought for the preservation of a culture in this Province and for the economic standing throughout the entire Province.

Now if we look at the numbers they're talking about and you work out the numbers - let's take our 23,000 people who are there now and multiply it by the average income, work it out, $282 is the average they're telling us now. Work it out for one year and see what you have. You'll have $680-$690 million. What have you got left for the rest in this Province? You got about $310 million. That's because they're going to keep everybody on it for a year or two so they can have transitional inter-training programs and hope people will take early retirement. They'll drive them into that which, if they want to take it, fine. That's going to happen. We'll see it happen and at the end of year two, there will be now less than 13,000 - between 12,000 and 13,000 people left in the industry.

When you look at the numbers there's going to be 9,900-and-some as projections left after year three, down to 8,000 and down to sixty-some hundred people and put a dollar figure on each of these during those years there and that'll add up to more then is allocated under this program. They're going to need new money to carry these numbers. You don't need a mathematician. Ask the department, what's the average they're receiving now? It's there, on NCARP there's 26,500 people, 17,500 got a cheque the last time. The other 8,000-9,000 people are out working, getting UI or currently working who are eligible but not receiving it. Work out the figures in the payrolls, they're there for everybody to see. That's what's happening in the industry.

This government sat around, tolerated, participated and recommended worst, what's happening to the federal UI program. Here is what happened - we all know the income supplementation. I'm not going to waste time talking on it because it annoys me just to talk about it. To see this government sit by and defend pulling $262 million in the federal budget in February, out of the economy of this Province, it is more money then is going to be given on an average basis over the next five years on NCARP. It is more than that and not to cry out, we had almost $1 billion UI into this Province and it's going to drop by $262 million by the figures provided by the Human Resource Development Department and Department of Labour. We couldn't get them from this government.

Nova Scotia, PEI and New Brunswick scampered around assessing the impact on their provinces and went public. This Province didn't know. It will only impact close to $20 million on our Budget - the Minister of Finance said on our Budget. Well I'll tell him what it'll impact on their Budget. It'll impact more then double that amount on the Budget and year one is only the phase-in. Anyone who qualified before April 3 could qualify under the old program. April 3, if you filed, you're on the new program. You'll see the affects new year, they'll be even more devastating and they're talking now about cutting it back even further. Lengthening the period to qualify and reducing the period to receive benefits and it'll be worst. We've got a major economic crisis here in this Province and this government is playing along with the federal government.

The Premier on one instance - and I'll get into that now - on industry renewal boards in this province, he stood in this House and he didn't know the role of industry renewal boards. He was asked a question by the Leader of the Opposition, I believe - the Leader of the Opposition asked the question, he didn't know. We won't participate in that because, Mr. Tobin told me that there's going to be renewal boards for the future of the fishing industry. Well that same day or the day before it was released in a press release by the federal government, the role of industry renewal boards is: manage an industry consultation process - maybe he didn't like that word, consultation - he said develop, coordinate and recommend regional capacity reduction subject to federal and provincial review in terms of complying with policy and criteria and number three, implement capacity reduction plans.

Its sole purpose is to rationalize the down-sizing of the industry and he played along or got sucked in by Brian Tobin and went along with it. When he was asked the question he didn't realize, we pulled the wool over his eyes. So what did he do? He said I wrote Brian Tobin then, that evening. I wrote Mr. Tobin and told him I will not participate in a board that is not going to look at the future of the fishery. Now that's what he said. Do you know what he's going to do? He is going to hold the people of this Province, the people in the fishing industry in this Province, as ransom to get joint management or some say in the management of the fishery of this Province. Getting some say in it, I endorse it, but I don't endorse it by holding people ransom to do it, that's wrong.

He came reeling back and then he said today I believe, or yesterday, whenever he said it, he said: I won't participate in one that is solely involved in down-sizing the industry. He wasn't going to participate in down-sizing at all the day before. The next day one that is sole purpose, so he's mellowed already. Brian got a hold of him, had a chat with him and said: we'll find something that's agreeable for this Province but we have to keep the other provinces happy too. That is the dilemma he is in now, that is the dilemma he has to face.

We've got Lloyd Axworthy who controls this program. The bureaucrats in Ottawa are doing this on an economic basis. There is a budget crunch coming in this Province and Newfoundlanders are bearing a disproportionate amount of that responsibility. We have absorbed 11.1 per cent of the UI cuts in this country when we only have 2 per cent of the population. The Province of Quebec, the Province of Ontario - let's look at Ontario, for example. They have 37.4 per cent of the population and they bear 23.4 per cent of the cuts in the UI program. The `have' provinces are the ones which are not bearing the responsibility. The `have-not' provinces are getting hit harder. Another province - Bob Rae is even crying out in Ontario and fighting and taking on the federal government, and we have a premier down here with his buddies and won't even take on the government, and we are getting massacred down here in this Province. It is devastation in this Province and there is no one to stand up and fight for the people in this Province to stop that onslaught what is happening.

There are too many other things pressing. Not to use my full time here today. We have a marginal fishery trying to develop in this Province. We have the supplementary crab fishery that is occurring, we have lump roe fishery now, and there are people trying to get involved. There were some incentives for these people to go out and have 50 per cent claw back. Right now, beyond 50 per cent of benefits it is all clawed back now after the 50 per cent now. Used to get a 25 per cent and then 50 per cent after that. Anybody who is familiar with the claw back process sees now, you file up like UI for from now on. The new program, you get your cards in the mail and your check every two weeks. You fill out your card, what you made for two weeks, you send it back, and what you made then is deducted. Just like the UI program. It is run exactly like the UI program and that is the way it has taken. It is out of the fishery.

Here is something that is going to happen in industry. Those people - and what do these people do? I throw this out to anybody who has fishing people in their district, plant workers. What do you do when you are dumped from a program after year three or year four and spent all your life in the fishery, and when they down size the fishery they are going to determine how many licenses are going to be out there. You lost your income probably two years or a year before they decided who is going to be in the new fishery of the future. If this program is extended for a year or two, who are they going to carry on the program?

Those who are left after year five. If a person entered the fishing industry in 1987 they could stay on this program for five years if they got fourteen weeks a year. Someone who went on this program back in the 1960s, and even in the 1950s are out still fishing, and in the 1970s, who qualified for UI from fishing every year, are not going to be on the program. It is stated in here in the regulations what they stated, that: Your attachment to the fishery will determine your period, your duration of benefits. That is a pile of crap.

That is not in the bureaucrat regulations that are there and they are going to apply. If thirty years isn't attachment to the fishery and you get dumped in year three, there is something drastically wrong with the criteria that have been developed under this program. There is a flaw in that aspect of the criteria and it is wrong.

Some of the eligibility criteria I can agree with. Make no bones about it. I went through this in great detail in the previous criteria on all the programs. I'm very familiar with it, on the eligibility criteria, and I had an opportunity to - in over 200 cases I personally attended under the appeal board myself, in person represented people -

MR. TOBIN: How many?

MR. SULLIVAN: Over 200 cases in person at the appeal board I represented and I became very familiar with the aspects of the criteria, and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans would have listened, I believe, they would have listened to the proper... and see that the fisherpeople and plant workers in this Province were treated properly. The bureaucrats in the Human Resource Department didn't. Brian Tobin lost the fight to get control of the fishery and to have a say in what is happening here.

That is the sad reality of the situation. The Premier of this Province, who participated in this number reduction, and the Employment and Labour Relations Minister, sat by the wayside and didn't fight. How many plant workers and fisherpeople are in his district? How many are in the Premier's district? How many people are in this Province? They have responsibility for the entire Province. What did they do? They ignored the people in this Province.

Now, talk about what is happening in overfishing. Here is what is going to happen in overfishing. They are bringing in legislation in the House of Commons to deal with the 20 per cent of the people out there who are flying flags of convenience. You might think the seventy boats are out on the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks today, the boats that are out there are 80 per cent the Baltics, Russia, Spaniards and the Portuguese. What the federal legislation is going to do - and believe me and you listen and that will come through - the federal legislation would regulate the flags of convenience. The flags of convenience are being flown for Portugal and Spain. They will pull them out of the system and talk about a great victory.

At the same time the 80 per cent caught by these people, they will increase their catches and they are delighted because it is all going back to these countries anyway. That's what is going to happen; it will be a cosmetic piece of legislation to show or sell it to people that we are doing something about it, like bringing in a Canadian registered boat, the Christina Logos. I am delighted they did so, I completely disagree with the devastation, the size of fish they are catching and breaking the rules that are there.

It was a piece of public relations work, that's all it was, no more than I get into a boat and go out and start jigging a few codfish now and violating Canadian law, that's all that boat did because she is Canadian registered. We didn't catch any foreigners, we projected an image of doing it, and we are not going to deal with the Province on the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks until we get international understanding and appreciation and support to deal with it otherwise it will be a smokescreen there to try to hoodwink the people that we are doing something about it, because -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.

MR. SULLIVAN: By leave to finish up?

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

AN HON. MEMBER: No leave, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations.

MR. GRIMES: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I appreciate the opportunity to make a few remarks in this particular debate.

It took me a little while, as the hon. Member for Ferryland started speaking, to relax again because the approach that he took had me, I would admit, a bit irritated for a while because I think it borders on being irresponsible, particularly, Mr. Speaker, from the point of view that he gets up and quotes some numbers, and the other time I have seen the exact same thing, either this time he doesn't know the difference yet or he knows the difference and still for totally political reasons, wants to portray something completely different than what it is; it is one or the other and I will spend a few minutes-

MR. SULLIVAN: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. SULLIVAN: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. GRIMES: I will spend a few minutes, Mr. Speaker, if I could speaking about the issues, and again, as the hon. Member for Fogo pointed out and said, it is the right issue to be debating in the Province, it's the proper motion to be on the floor of the Legislature for debate today because it is a very important issue in terms of the adjustment measures that are available for people in the fishery, particularly the groundfish fishery in Newfoundland and Labrador over the next five years or so.

But the manner that the Opposition have decided to go about it in terms of: let's state that we should all condemn the federal government, and the hon. member for Ferryland -I don`t have any particular argument with the hon. Member for Grand Bank in his representation because he has stuck pretty close to the facts and talked about genuine concerns, but it is the hon. Member for Ferryland who just finished, Mr. Speaker, who caused me some real problems because of the approach.

The first thing he tries to say is there is something remiss or something different or something wrong here because of the fact that Human Resources Development in Canada along with DFO is actually administering this program, and that's some sign that it's not important as a fisheries issue and so on, that there is something to be read into that, that we have lost control, that Mr. Tobin has lost control, that the fishery is not an important issue to the federal government and so on, and the same comment will come up because I rose in this debate to speak because my colleague, the Minister of Fisheries, who had intended to speak was late getting back into the Legislature because of another commitment, and because I had followed the remarks and he didn't have time to be briefed on exactly what was said in the debate.

He knew what he wanted to say about the resolution, to say oh, we don't care either because the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations who sits on the committee with the Minister of Fisheries and with the Premier and with the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology because we feel it is that important, that that is some signal that this is not important in Newfoundland and Labrador because the Minister of Fisheries doesn't speak in the debate. The very tone of it, Mr. Speaker, I find disturbing and upsetting, talking about how terrible it is that we have lost control at the federal level.

The reality, this government did not condemn Mr. Crosbie even though it was another government doing the thing. Mr. Crosbie had a lot of support for delivering the money on an emergency basis once the moratorium was put in place. He got a lot of credit for delivering the money under very difficult circumstances. Everybody knows - and the Auditor General in reflection now a year and a half or two years later - on reflection that a lot of mistakes were made. Everybody is willing to say: We are willing to forgive that. Because there was a crisis, there was an emergency; it had to be done quickly. It had to be done without the total amount of planning that should have been put into it. But the need was great and the response had to be given.

So even put all that aside. Put all that aside and say: Yes, the man did a good job. He exercised some influence in Ottawa; he got a program in place. Then the federal government now and the provincial government here and the industry - FFAW and FANL - have had since last October, everybody knowing that May 15 was coming, and that this time around nobody was going to be excused for saying: There is another crisis upon us on May 16, we didn't know it was coming, so we better slap something in place for May 16. It had to be planned, it had to be structured, it had to make some sense for the long-term.

There is a lot more information in now, Mr. Speaker, with respect to the state of the stock, the biomass, and what is the real expectation. When might we realistically expect to return to a renewed groundfish fishery in Newfoundland and Labrador? All of the reality is starting to set in and people know that it is not two years like Mr. Crosbie announced. There has been two years. There has been no sign of recovery. As a matter of fact, there is an increased moratorium. In other areas the groundfish fishery has been shut down. It has gotten worse. It hasn't improved.

Now there is a five year plan to carry us on a planned basis through the next five years. There are certain things in it that some people would like to have different and better and all of us agree with that. But at least there is a five year planned approach which will be seriously looked at and monitored every step of the way with adjustments that can be made as and when necessary as we continue on.

But no, the approach from the Opposition is to say: Never mind that, put all that aside. Because of the fact now that they want to try to make some phantom tie-in between some other necessary changes that had to happen with the UI system, which we agree have left an impact that we need to address in the Province. To try to make some phantom tie-in between that and the TAGS program and say: This and this were done in concert and here it is, look, they subtracted here, put it over there, and there is your program. Absolutely no relevance, none whatsoever. The approach is: We will jump up and say let's condemn them.

I say again that the hon. Member for Fogo had it right. There are concerns. There will be difficulties. There are individuals who would like to have something done differently. The government might like to have some parts done differently. The union representatives might like to have some things approached differently. The processors and the people in the industry, they would probably like to have some things done differently. They are going to keep working at it, trying to make adjustments as we go along.

But they didn't decide to come out - FFAW, representing all those individuals who the members opposite espouse or propose that they are speaking on behalf of, so sincerely from the heart - FFAW is not out saying: Let's condemn Mr. Tobin and the federal government about this. FANL is not out saying: Let's condemn Mr. Tobin and the federal government about this. They are saying: We have some areas of concern. We know that people are going to be fairly well taken care of for at least two years, and we will work at the areas that are problematic.

That is the difference in approach, and it is a difference in approach that we took when Mr. Crosbie made his announcement. Because we said: While this may not be perfect we certainly appreciate his efforts. We commend the man on putting at least that kind of an emergency program in place, and now we have no choice but to go forward on a planned, systematic basis. Mr. Crosbie, while he did a good job of providing the emergency compensation, there are a lot of people opposite, and maybe a lot of people in Newfoundland and Labrador, who said that he, like other federal Ministers of Fisheries, did not heed advice about the state of the stock. Maybe he didn't do a very good job in terms of managing the stock. Because he was the minister responsible.

Because everybody who was in Ottawa - Mr. Crosbie, those before him and so on - they listened to the advice, except for one group. Nobody, for some reason, listened to the fishermen in Newfoundland and Labrador, who have been telling people for twenty years that the cod stocks are in trouble. The fishermen have been telling them year after year, after year, and we are at the point now where Mr. Crosbie had to make the unfortunate stand to say there is a moratorium on Northern cod, and Mr. Tobin had to come out and say, not only Northern cod but there is a moratorium on codfish, period. That happened because successive federal ministers did not listen to the fishermen who were telling them that for years, and years, and years. It is not a point of condemning any particular person, or any particular government, Mr. Speaker, it is a matter of saying, what is in place now? Have we planned on some kind of a reasonable basis, and where can we go forward from here?

Again, Mr. Speaker, I was not intending to spend the time talking about the matter specifically raised by the hon. Member for Ferryland, but he did the same thing in this debate as he has done with information he has in the Hydro debate, for example, where things have been explained to him, he knows the difference, but for his own reasons he has drawn his own conclusions and he listens to no one but himself. He stands up and says these are the numbers. Here is what I think they mean. He bawls them out, and the unfortunate part is there were some people in the galleries today involved in the fishery who listened to him say these things in the House, with conviction, as if they were true. Now, they are gone out of here thinking it is true, thinking that there will not be a fisherman on the Southern Shore that will be in this program after four year.

The hon. member opposite either knows the difference or he should find out the difference before he goes around scaring people with that kind of talk, because that is absolutely irresponsible. Unless you have the information you should not be saying it, none of us should, Mr. Speaker. We should at least get the information because the other part of it is clear. Part of what was announced was the criteria in terms of tying your period of entitlement to the number of weeks worked per year and so on. That is true, and the example you were giving was right in that respect, but what has not happened is the definition of a core fishermen, these lifetime core fishermen.

MR. SULLIVAN: That is a separate issue.

MR. GRIMES: Exactly. But what you did not say, what the hon. member did not say, Mr. Speaker, is while that may be a separate issue, because that is going to be a separate definition, these designated core fishermen, whoever is designated as a core fishermen, will be entitled to five full years of compensation under this program.

Now, if the hon. member did not know that was part of the deal - he stands up as if he knows all about the deal and says: I will give you the facts. Here is exactly how the program works. Well, if you do not know those arrangements, and if you do not know that is part of the deal, you should go back to the HRD people again and ask them that question. Mr. O'Neill has again written to me - I do not always espouse everything he says, and indicates quite clearly - you can contact him because you try to give the world the impression that you know it all anyway, more so than anybody in either one of the governments, more so than anybody in Ottawa, more so than anybody actually in the government in St. John's, more so than anybody in FFAW, more so than anybody in FANL, more so than anybody.

You contact the same people that you say you got your information from and they will tell you, that you should not be, no member should be standing in the Legislature providing information, standing there and verifying it as if it were true. If you do not know for sure then you should say, I do not know for sure, but I think. That is a fair comment, but to stand up and say: I am going to tell you the facts, here is how the program will run, and then to leave out a significant element.

Now, what scares me about this, Mr. Speaker, and what makes me talk about the irresponsibility of it, is that he has also indicated - the hon. member and others might do it.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. GRIMES: The hon. member and others also might do it. He says he is going to go down the Southern Shore and meet with everybody down there in the fishery. Now, I would plead, beg, and plead again, with the hon. member that before he has a public meeting about this particular program to please make sure he has the real facts and not as they are seen in his mind. He had better check one more time with the HRD people, and with the DFO people, and everybody else, to make sure that he would not go down - because I do not think he would want to do this, Mr. Speaker. I do not think any of us would want to go to our constituents and give the impression that they are disentitled to this program if in fact they are not. If they are disentitled then fine, say that, but to go and present it as if it is fact when it is not, is irresponsible in my opinion.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. GRIMES: So, again, I would ask the hon. Member for Ferryland, before he has his public meeting, to go again to your HRD people and ask them one more time about these core fishermen, and people who have a lifetime attachment to the fishery: Is there any other circumstance under which they could qualify other than the formula that says you will get forty weeks here, and extra weeks here, because there is, and if he hasn't been told that already, go back and check with them one more time, because they will tell him.

I just ask him to make sure, before he goes to his public meeting, get the latest facts, because the definition of the core fisherman has not been dealt with yet, but the core fishermen will, guaranteed, be qualified for the full period of this particular compensation program.

The other point that was made, that I find problematic and bothersome in this whole affair -

MR. SULLIVAN: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. GRIMES: - problematic and bothersome in the whole thing, is that a couple of the speakers -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. GRIMES: A couple of the members opposite, not only today but in questions relating to this program since it was announced last week, have used the kind of language saying there is a program designed to boot people out of the fishery, and that there are certain numbers around, and that the targets are set, and all that is going to happen is that at a certain date this many go out, on that date some more go out, and on that date somebody else goes out. Again, Mr. Speaker, nothing could be further from the truth. Absolutely nothing could be further from the truth.

The hon. Member for Ferryland again gets up and says: Let's take the number of people, how much money was paid this year, multiply that by this, and now you've got less money, you can't run the program for a full two years. Now why he would do that, and why he would represent the program in that fashion - because I am convinced he knows the difference.

I have known that hon. member for a long time, and I know for a fact that it has nothing to do with an intelligence level that he wouldn't understand that, so again he has to be deliberately, for whatever political reason he thinks is in this, whatever political value, going to go out and scare the living bejabbers out of anybody involved in the fishery in Newfoundland and Labrador, to suggest that you're not even going to last two years, because if you follow his statement to conclusion, then the idea that everyone who qualifies gets two full years, which he stands up and admits, it can't happen, according to his mathematics. He says there is not enough money here to run the program for any more than a year-and-three quarters. He can't have it both ways. He cannot have it both ways.

There are two things perfectly clear. Everybody has been admitting that those very marginally attached will move off this program at the end of December, 1994, and everybody's best estimate is that would be 2,800 to 3,000 people. They will be off the program at the end of this calendar year.

For everyone who qualifies after May 16 - for everyone who qualifies - they will get twenty-four full months of compensation, starting on May 16 - twenty-four full months. Now it is no good to get up and argue that there is not enough money in the program to keep the program going for two full years. The program is going to go for two full years for everybody who qualifies, and it is going to go for up to three years beyond that for those who absolutely show an eligibility for further compensation.

Not only that, but it is going to fund a list of options much expanded beyond what were in the previous Northern Cod Adjustment Program, what were in the AGAP program, what were in TFAA and the other programs, because they were all put in place on a short-term emergency basis. This is a long-term, five year adjustment program, providing all kinds of options that individuals will exercise voluntarily.

Now one of the things that will happen, and everybody in this Legislature is aware of that as well, is that somewhere in that first year, one of the key considerations in the first year, is that there will be a group of people, both fish harvesters and plant workers, who will decide, of their own volition, not because anybody booted them out of a program, not because anybody said, `You have to do this', but they will choose to retire. They will say: My best option here, because of my age and because of the opportunities, or lack of them, that I see around me, I will retire.

Now there are some estimates to that. People don't know for sure because it's a voluntary program, so it doesn't matter what any planners put down on a piece of paper, whether they think one is going to leave, or whether they think 10,000 are going to leave, it is up to the individual.

What the Premier has been saying in the House is that, in that two-year period where everybody who qualifies is guaranteed to go ahead, there will be a constant, continual re-evaluation and reassessment of how the money is going, how the options are being exercised, whether it needs more money, whether it needs less money, whether the estimates done have been accurate enough, all those things will happen, and the good news is that while that's going on, Mr. Speaker, everybody, the federal government, the provincial government, the representatives of the fishermen themselves, the FFAW, the representatives of those particular plant owners and so on and processors in the system in FANL and the independents, they will all be working in trying to make sure we can put in place some kind of Industry Renewal Board that will look at the revitalized fishery of the future, the current fishery and the new fishery and, Mr. Speaker, everybody will also be looking at economic diversification and development opportunities, not only for people in the fishery but for everybody in Newfoundland and Labrador who doesn't have the work opportunity available now that they would like to have and that they would like to see.

So I think, Mr. Speaker, rather than, as the motion suggested we should be condemning anybody, we should, as the hon. Member for Fogo stated, express our concerns, we should let people know clearly what parts of the program we wish were different or improved.

We will monitor it, we will work together to try to make the adjustments that may very well be necessary but part of that process is no better served by condemning Mr. Tobin than it would have been by condemning Mr. Crosbie. Neither one of them serves any purpose. It serves no purpose now, it would have served no purpose then, and I don't believe, Mr. Speaker, that members on this side of the House are going to join with members opposite in rising today to pass a motion that says you should condemn a federal government for trying, on a planned basis, to let people look forward into what the fishery of the future will be while taking care of their economic needs in the short term.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Member for Bonavista South.

MR. FITZGERALD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I am very happy to rise today to speak in favour of the resolution that was brought forward by the hon. Member for Grand Bank. I don't have to read the resolution, I think it has been printed in the Orders of the Day, and hopefully everybody has read it, especially, Mr. Speaker, people who represent fishermen and fish plant workers in rural Newfoundland and Labrador.

It was interesting to hear the Minister for Employment and Labour Relations speak; he talked about the numbers that were being brought forward by my colleague, the hon. Member for Ferryland who was totally wrong and erroneous and he was fearmongering again but, Mr. Speaker, it is another situation where we call on the minister, if he continues to come forward and say that all our numbers are wrong and are all different from what he has, I would ask the minister if he would table his numbers and enlighten us, so we could bring forward the proper numbers. I challenge the minister to do that, but I think, Mr. Speaker, you will find out that those numbers will not be forthcoming because the numbers that the hon. Member for Ferryland brought forward is certainly the true numbers and true perspectives of what will happen.

The minister talks about the FFAW agreeing with the proposal that was brought forward by the federal government, and he might be 100 per cent right but I can tell him today, that many of our seasonal plant workers in rural Newfoundland and Labrador, and many of our seasonal fishermen are not behind the FFAW, that the FFAW is not fully supporting them when they came out and supported this document. Mr. Speaker, the hon. minister also referred to the core fisherman. Now that's the first that I have heard of the core fisherman and I hope he is right that there is an allowance given for core fishermen, and I will hope core fish plant workers as well, because the Member for Placentia, the Member for Ferryland and I, the three of us attended the news conference at the White Hills a few days ago and the manager of HRD was there at that time and another gentleman from DFO, and what was brought forward at that time was exactly as the member had brought forward, Mr. Speaker.

Six to ten weeks will give you forty weeks of benefit, with every week of attachment to the fishery after that allowing you three weeks with fourteen weeks allowing you the fifty-two weeks in order to qualify for the full benefits that's brought forward in this new package, the new NCARP package, the TAGS program.

Mr. Speaker, it's obvious in some of the numbers that were brought forward, that there will be 16,000 people taken out of our fish plants and our fishery by 1998. Ten thousand people in one year, Mr. Speaker, and the figures that have been put forward will back that up 100 per cent. By the end of 1998 - and I recall a couple of weeks ago that there was a question asked to the Premier here in this House and at that time there was a figure brought forward of 6,700 people that will be left in the fishery after 1998. The Premier at that time said it was wrong, it was a wrong figure. Some time during Question Period the member handed him a note and he said I just got a note from the Minister of Fisheries, the federal minister, confirming that the number is totally wrong. I say to the members on the opposite side, now you know that the numbers are not totally wrong and the numbers were totally correct. The numbers that were brought forward at that time.

Let's look at the reductions in unemployment insurance benefits to this Province, Mr. Speaker, you will find out that there's $262 million less of unemployment insurance going to be coming to this Province - $262 million, a situation where we as a Province, 2 per cent of the population - 2 per cent of the population of all of Canada and we're burdened with 11 per cent of the responsibility. The estimates that have been put forward by the Human Resource Development has shown us that there will be 16,000 people less on UI. Mr. Speaker, 13,000 will receive less benefits because of the changes which now have the UI benefits reduced down to thirty-two weeks of the year from forty-two and having twelve weeks to qualify.

Then I heard the Minister of Finance on the radio taking part in an interview one morning saying how rude it was, what a shame it was that our people now would have to burden the responsibility of having to find twelve weeks work in order to qualify for UI, Mr. Speaker, and with the lack of opportunities there for employment in our rural areas. That was coming from the same minister who supported bringing forward a twenty week qualifying period in order to qualify for UI. So it shows where government members and government ministers are speaking from both sides of their mouths, Mr. Speaker, and saying whatever they think is popular at the time.

Mr. Speaker, the Member for Ferryland indicated that he's attended 200 appeal processes in the old NCARP package. I fear that you're going to see him making a good many trips now, Mr. Speaker, because at least at that time there was a deadline put forward when the process ended. Now it's a continual thing over a four year period where people will be dropped off along the way, Mr. Speaker, and it'll be a continual process of going before appeal boards, trying to get our people out there qualified for a package and qualified for funding that they need in order to survive in our rural areas.

Mr. Speaker, a couple of weeks ago we saw a charade at the Newfoundland Hotel. It was situation where the federal minister drifted in here, told us he was going to announce a program and by the time he had ended up patting Mr. Lloyd Axworthy on the back and Mr. Axworthy giving him his congratulations, it was all over with. An orchestrated event, Mr. Speaker, and it's only now since this member has gone back to Ottawa that we see the negative things of this program deciphering. Coming out now, Mr. Speaker, of all the people who are going to be dropped off in mid-stream, all of the people that are going to be left hung out to dry, Mr. Speaker, all going to be hung out to dry.

Speaking of the frustrations that people are facing, it was only the other day that I relayed this story to you. An individual in my riding indicated to me that a couple of weeks ago he was walking down the street - and I think I relayed this here in the House before, but I will say it again, because it is a prime example of what is happening out there - where he was walking down the street in Bonavista, and this lady was walking by, a lady he knew very well, and her three year old kid ran out in the street and was doing something - it was a very, very minor thing that the child did - and the lady ran after the child, took her, and gave her an awful spanking right there on the street - could be almost charged with abuse, but it wasn't a situation where that lady wanted to abuse a child, especially her own. It was a situation that showed us the frustrations that are out there in Newfoundland and Labrador today. I can also relate stories similar to that, and those are not my stories. Those are stories coming from people who are living out there in the communities.

Mr. Speaker, many of our people now, our rural Newfoundlanders, are being penalized for taking part in an inshore fishing program. It is a situation where those people have been taking part in this tradition for 500 years. It has been a situation where those people went out, got a good living from the fishery, taken part in the fishery, and are now finding themselves, because they had taken part in a seasonal occupation, they weren't fortunate enough to get fourteen weeks, or twenty weeks, now they are being penalized by this uncaring government.

It is also a situation where some of those people could have gotten fourteen weeks probably, a situation where the fishery has been bad, and instead of staying themselves and taking part in the full amount of work that was there, they saw fit to do some work sharing, to share with their brothers and sisters, to give them an opportunity to collect unemployment insurance, to have an income to feed their families in the winter months where there was no work available.

Now we are finding that those people themselves are being punished for helping their fellow workers, because they saw fit to help somebody support their family -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. FITZGERALD: - and now they are being penalized because they need fourteen weeks in order to qualify for the full amount of this package that has been brought forward.

AN HON. MEMBER: Say something nice (inaudible).

MR. FITZGERALD: I will say something nice about the minister. I thank him for changing the rules and regulations. I will thank him for that, and I will do it publicly, because the minister did the right thing. He saw a need, and he responded to it. I was man enough to come out and criticize him; I will be man enough now to come out and say he did the right thing, but I would like for him to have the four months not to have to run consecutively. That would be a much better situation. Anyway, Mr. Speaker, I am being distracted now.

The income renewal boards, a process which I believe should be put in place - should have been put in place months ago. It was a situation where the Minister of Fisheries, and I don't know if his thoughts or his views have changed on that, but I know that he has always maintained the belief that the marketplace should dictate which plants are going to stay open and which plants are going to close. That is something that I have had a real problem with. I have expressed my views to the minister before, and I believe the marketplace should not be allowed to dictate that. I think it is time for us to make up our mind to identify some plants which are going to open and which plants are going to close, to let people get on with their lives, make realistic decisions, and get on with running the Province.

A funny thing about this, and every time we stand up in the House here and debate the fishery we talk about cod, the Northern Cod fishery, and it was quite interesting. Last night I had a chance to look at a graph - I forget the name of the book - but it showed the cod inventories right now in the United States are at a higher level than they have been in four years. And the price is down to probably the lowest it has been in three years. So it might be a situation where this thing that we are waiting to come back and fighting for, that we may have to fight for a market for it in years to come, but that is the situation.

Apparently, the inventory of cod right now in the United States is at the highest level it has been in four years, and that was quite interesting, because I am sure that if we go out and talk to many of our rural people, they will be of the perception that I was, that there is no cod, but there is. It is cod that is being brought down from the Barents Sea, and I would suggest it is probably being processed south of the border, and probably taken by one of our great suppliers of codfish here in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Mr. Speaker, we continue to talk about what we must do in order to curb foreign overfishing. I agree that is one of the things that we have to pay a lot of attention to, and I would applaud the minister for any effort that he might put forward in that direction, because I think that will be the beginning.

When we saw the last election, and we heard the Federal Government come forward, and I think there was a ninety-day time frame there, that foreign overfishing would be curbed. We are finding that there is something like between seventy and eighty boats out there today still taking part in the foreign overfishing, and ravaging our stocks that are just outside on the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks. You will find that only 20 per cent of those boats that are out there today taking part in foreign overfishing are flying flags of convenience; the other 80 per cent are boats from Portugal, Spain, the Baltics, and Russia.

Just before this new TAGS program was brought about, we saw a situation where the Minister of Fisheries said he was going to consult with people and find out what they would like this new program to look like, the son of NCARP, or NCARP II. It ended up being called the TAGS program. It seemed like a situation where once again there was only lip service being paid to including people to be part of the decision-making process. It was a situation where people were called in just a couple of days before this package was brought down, and I fail to believe that much of the input by those selected few had any real bearing on what we saw as this new package was brought forward.

Mr. Speaker, I think it's about time that many of us started to be realistic in trying to identify things that can happen in our fish plants out there in rural Newfoundland and Labrador. We know there is going to be a reduction in processing, a reduction in harvesting, and I think now is the time it is incumbent upon all of us to look for solutions and to identify something that can happen in those plants. I can't blame the fishers; I can't blame the fish plant workers out there for hanging on to what they have, because their local fish plant is their only hope of survival.

A few weeks ago some people from Fishery Products International were going to go down to Charleston and take out a blast freezer and take it to another plant in my district. Nobody knew about it. I found out about it, and the first thing I did was call the people involved. I said: Do you know that FPI is coming down there tomorrow to look at taking out a blast freezer, look at taking out part of the infrastructure of your plant?

No, they didn't know but, Mr. Speaker, they soon put a stop to it. They soon put a stop to FPI coming and taking that out, and I don't blame them for doing that. I don't blame them, because as long as they can hold on to that building and maintain equipment there, something can happen. Once you allow them to strip the building out, take everything away from it, then you have a building that's probably going to be left as an eyesore, vacant, and I fear to think that there would be absolutely nothing that would happen there. But as long as they can maintain the infrastructure that they have in place, I am certain that they have hope that something might happen there. It may not be processing fish; it may not be taking part in any pelagics, or shellfish or codfish, but something might happen there - something to do with the food industry, and we will be able to implement the freezing capacities and the freezing equipment and the processing equipment that is in place there.

So, Mr. Speaker, I think we have to look things we can do to solve the problems that we have by creating new ideas, creating new industry, and I refer again to an economic development officer that has been put in place on the lower end of the Bonavista Peninsula. He was put there by the joint councils and I think they received funding - in fact I know they did - from government, but it is another situation where only lip service is being paid to the problem. The gentleman was put there, a very knowledgeable man, very capable, sitting in an office with a telephone and that's the extent of it. If we're going to be serious, Mr. Speaker, then we have to pay more attention and we have to do better. We have to provide some funding if we're going to employ those people to let them go out and preach the wonderful things that can happen there. What we have in place, the infrastructure that's already existing, the labour force, Mr. Speaker, and attract some investment, get some people looking at what we have and hopefully get our people back to work.

So, Mr. Speaker, in conclusion, I fully support the Member for Grand Bank. I fully support and applaud him for bringing forth this resolution. I challenge all members on the government side to get up, support your districts, support your people that are out there today and if it means sending a message to Ottawa - whether the government of the day is red or blue it doesn't make any difference - then let's send them that message on behalf of our people out there in rural Newfoundland today.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time has elapsed.

Order, please!

Do I understand that the hon. the Minister of Fisheries has leave?

MR. W. MATTHEWS: By leave.

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

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, I apologize for not being in the House when the debate started. I was in Harbour Grace on Her Majesty's business and just got back a few minutes ago, and the hon. gentleman on the other side, the Member for Grand Bank was kind enough to give me leave. I promise to keep my few remarks within five minutes.

I want to say a few words, Mr. Speaker, about the program because, in my view, it's not a bad program. In fact, there are things in it that need to be refined and I'm sure that given the fact that the minister has undertaken to consult with the stakeholders in the Province, I believe that we will have ample opportunity to identify some of the problems as we see them and to do something about it.

Mr. Speaker, the way that the current minister has handled this is vastly different from the way in which his predecessor handled it when he came down here and announced the first NCARP program. I remember then that the minister arrived in town, went straight to the television station and taped his speech at one o'clock. I got a telephone call at two o'clock inviting me to his office in the Radisson building at three o'clock, where he gave me a half-an-hour briefing on the whole thing, as much as he could in that short time frame. He was in a rush because he said he had to arrange to go somewhere and make the announcement. But what I'm trying to say, I guess, Mr. Speaker, is, there was absolutely no consultation whatsoever. The minister had his speech taped with a local television station ready to be aired at five o'clock, an hour-and-a-half after he invited me to his office for a briefing.

Now, there we have a situation that is probably one of the most critical events, I suppose, in the history of this Province. Certainly, it's a departure from what we know to have a moratorium imposed on that very important fishing area - 2J+3KL, Northern cod. Yet, the then minister did not see fit to even give the Minister of Fisheries in the Province of Newfoundland, the Province that would be severely affected by this new program, the benefit of a five-minute meeting prior to having made the final decision to go ahead with the moratorium and to announce the package that subsequently followed.

At least now, Mr. Speaker, we have a minister who recognizes the need for dialogue with the various stakeholders and he has offered to consult with the Province and the others, in areas where we do have some disagreement on certain aspects of the program.

I want to take a minute, Mr. Speaker - because I only have five minutes or so; I gave the hon. gentleman an undertaking that I wouldn't take more than five minutes of his time. I want to talk about the fisheries renewal board, because that, too, is a very important component of the program that was announced just recently by Mr. Tobin. The board envisaged by Mr. Cashin and spelled out in his task force is totally inadequate as far as the Province is concerned. The Premier is on record, I am on record, as saying that. The board is designed to - notwithstanding its name, renewal - the board that is envisaged by Mr. Cashin, and I guess, to some extent, maybe, adopted by the federal bureaucrats, will do nothing for the renewal of the fishery. It is a board that is going to be totally concerned with the down-sizing of the fishery, plant closures. It is a board, of course, that has a very short lifespan. The board, itself, as it is envisaged will self-destruct within a few months.

The Province is on record, and I say again today, that under no circumstances will that board satisfy the hopes and aspirations of the Province. We want a board that is going to have a much broader mandate. We have communicated that to Mr. Tobin and to others - a mandate that will not only give it authority to deal with the problem of overcapacity and down-sizing, but a mandate that will authorize it to focus on the need to rebuild, to renew. I have good reason to believe that the new minister will see things our way and will, in fact, broaden the mandate of that board to include that aspect of it. Once that is done, then the Province is prepared to vest in that board, pursuant to well-defined public policy objectives, the right to administer the licensing program of this department, a plant licensing program, providing the Federal Government will vest in the board, again pursuant to certain well-defined public policy objectives, the right to issue licenses to fishing vessels for the harvesting sector.

The Province, providing the Federal Government is willing to do likewise, and pursuant to certain well-defined public policy objectives, criteria, is prepared to vest in that board certain authority with respect to the licensing of fish plants at arm's length from government.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: (Inaudible).

MR. CARTER: Yes, but by the same token it is understood that if we do that then the federal government will vest in the board, again subject to their own policy objectives, the authority to issue fishing vessel licenses, for example. By doing it that way, unlike it is now, the right hand will know what the left hand is doing. I think Mr. Tobin in his comments on television, in fact, I think, that is the way he put it, how desirable it would be to be able to make sure that the right hand will know what the left hand is doing in terms of the harvesting and processing.

Mr. Speaker, therein lies one of the big problems we have been having in this Province in terms of administering our sector of the fishing industry. How can we intelligently decide on how many plants we should have, where they should be, and what species they should be developing, if we have absolutely no input, or any knowledge of what is happening in the harvesting sector? That has caused a lot of problems, so I am happy to say that -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. CARTER: I cannot be sure they are going to accept that recommendation of the Province. I can only tell you that the Province is adamant. Our position is quite firm, quite adamant. We are not prepared to play a role in a plant unless it does, in fact, have that kind of a mandate. If that is done then the other issues that must be addressed, that of plant downsizing, vessel downsizing, harvesting processing, then that board will play a major part in determining precisely how it is to be done.

There are a number of ways, Mr. Speaker, that we can downsize the harvesting and processing sectors. Financial intervention. That is the course that has been recommended by the industry, and I might add the Cashin task force recommend financial intervention where large sums of money will be required from both governments. In fact an amount equal to, if not in excess of, $50 million, and that money would then be used to buy out smaller less efficient plants.

Mr. Speaker, the Province is not too enthusiastic about that proposition because we can see a number of pitfalls that it contains. There is another way of doing it and that is regulatory intervention, where market forces will play a major part in determining which plants close. Regulatory intervention following a well defined set of public policy guidelines, regulatory intervention could, in fact, be the vehicle through which new plants would be licensed, reopening of existing plants, renewal.

Now I haven't got time this afternoon, Mr. Speaker, to go into any more detail on this, because I know my hon. colleague opposite, it's his duty to wind up the debate and I am not going to take any more of his time but I can say, Mr. Speaker, that having talked to a reasonably large number of people about this program in recent days, I think by and large, Newfoundlanders are reasonably well-satisfied with it. Some of them have some problems but these problems I am sure will be addressed in the process that will follow over the next few days and few weeks.

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Thank you, thank you -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

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

I rise to conclude the debate. I was more than happy to give the minister a few minutes; I realize he was away on Her Majesty's business. I asked out loud when he said it, I wondered how Her Majesty was doing today but my colleague from Mount Pearl assured me that she was fine; but it has been a very good debate. I have listened very closely to what members have said; even when I was outside I was listening on the monitor.

There is no doubt that the weakest speech of the afternoon was given by the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, there is no doubt about that, the weakest speech, the less factual speech. The speech with less content and substance was by the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations who didn't have a clue what he was talking about. All he did was criticize everyone else who knew something so - I see him going back to his seat now but that's the fact of it all.

A minister who should be on top of this situation, who I guess is really the equivalent of Mr. Axworthy in the provincial government -

AN HON. MEMBER: Executive assistant.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Yes, perhaps he is the executive assistant, that perhaps is what he is aiming to be but it was a good debate, some good figures given by my colleague from Ferryland as usual, reliable figures, great on detail, knows the program inside out like he knows everything else, I say, and I compliment him on a fine speech. The Member for Ferryland knows the program inside out and if members opposite had been serious enough to listen to him, they would have been even more concerned about this program than they were before the debate started today.

MS. VERGE: Where was the champion of the fisherpersons?

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Yes, the champion; the great disappointment was that great champion, that great defender was hidden away, hiding away somewhere out in the common room, didn't want to be drawn into the debate, but, Mr. Speaker, what disappoints me about it, is to hear first of all the Member for Fogo, who gave an excellent speech by the way, I say to the Member for Fogo -

MR. EFFORD: Who?

MR. W. MATTHEWS: The Member for Fogo.

MR. EFFORD: Gave a speech?

MR. W. MATTHEWS: An excellent speech.

MR. EFFORD: He never!

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Excellent speech, I must say to the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation. The Member for Fogo was not afraid to take part in the debate, to express himself. He is still interested in the fishery as he was a few years ago, the Member for Fogo, much more than I can say for the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation.

MR. EFFORD: Do you want your road paved or not?

MR. W. MATTHEWS: It is too late now, I believe tenders are called, I say to the minister.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. W. MATTHEWS: The only thing I say I was disappointed in, it almost sounded like the Member for Fogo had to find some reason that he couldn't support the resolution so he zeroed in on the word "condemn." He almost insinuated that if it was a little softer wording he would have supported it, so I was expecting him to make an amendment.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Yes, a bit wimpish, the minister is correct, a bit soft. I will give the member the benefit of the doubt. Maybe it is concern for the people of his district why he doesn't want to be too hard, too harsh. Maybe it is out of concern for the people of your district that you are wondering how they are going to fall out in this program, the route -

MR. TULK: I don't know (inaudible).

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Yes, exactly, and I can understand it. You don't want to irritate your good cousin. You don't want to irritate your Brian. How the world of politics revolves and evolves, Mr. Speaker, that it is now their Brian, it is now their terrible Brian, it is now the bad Brian of the Liberal Party. How things revolve and evolve in politics. It is totally amazing. That the person now who is not defending and standing up and delivering the goods for Newfoundland is their Brian. Isn't it amazing? Their Brian. How things change.

AN HON. MEMBER: Our!

MR. W. MATTHEWS: No, their Brian, Mr. Speaker, not our Brian.

The thing that worries me about the TAGS program - and we were thinking about a name to put on the TAGS program. I think about the Tobin something or other. Then it struck me: Tobin-Axworthy, for sure. TA. I was looking for -

AN HON. MEMBER: Grimes!

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Grimes! Grimes, maybe. Tobin-Axworthy-Grimes strategy.

MR. SULLIVAN: No, sell-out, sell-out.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Sell-out. `Tobin-Axworthy-Grimes Sell-out,' that is what it is, Mr. Speaker.

MS. VERGE: Sham!

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Sham! Sell-out! That is what it is.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. W. MATTHEWS: The `Tobin-Axworthy-Grimes Sell-out,' that is what this is, Mr. Speaker. I was thinking about the Tobin-Axworthy Gutting Strategy, and the Tobin-Axworthy gutting strategy, and the Tobin-Axworthy gear strategy, plus the Tobin-Axworthy-Grimes sell-out wins the award.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Pardon?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. W. MATTHEWS: That's why we're a team, I say to the member. That's why we're a team!

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. W. MATTHEWS: We are not all going to follow the captain over the end of the wharf, like you're going to do - jump off the end of the wharf with the captain. We are a team. We are a strong team, and we are getting stronger by the day, I say to members opposite.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. W. MATTHEWS: That's the difference - stronger by the day!

MR. DUMARESQUE: (Inaudible).

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Well, now, old thrifty himself. Oh, I've got all kinds of it, but I can't find it.

MR. DUMARESQUE: (Inaudible).

MR. W. MATTHEWS: We will deal with the Member for Eagle River another day. We've got six or seven limericks -

AN HON. MEMBER: More limericks.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: More limericks about the member, if I could only find them in time. I will find them some day for the member. There are seven or eight limericks on the member now about his escapades in Quebec - absolutely amazing. I could read them all if we agree to stop the clock.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Yes, we have the plan and we have the people.

Mr. Speaker, on the numbers that will flow out of the program, those who will not qualify - people are wondering about the numbers, whether we are exaggerating the numbers. Do you have to ask this? Those who will not qualify for the program by the end of December, the early retirement which the Member for Fogo referred to - a very good point, by the way - those who will be afforded the opportunity on the early retirement will be taken care of. They would be taken care of a lot better if the Provincial Government would participate in the fifty to fifty-five-year-old category, I say to him, early retirement.

The member mentioned experience - taking experienced people out, and you said, leaving the young people in, but let me tell you, most of the young people are going out, too. Most of the young people are going as well. What is going to happen to the people after they finish their retraining period if it's for two years? Are they out on their own if they don't have a job?

These are all the concerns that I have, and why I think the numbers are so -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. W. MATTHEWS: This one? Okay.

Anyway, I soon have to stop, I realize that, but I want to thank members for participating in the debate on the resolution. It has been worthy. It is certainly timely. It is the first chance we have had, and of such importance I felt that -

I want to finish off with a little limerick for the Member for Eagle River. You need to rehearse this, Mr. Speaker, to be able to deliver it properly: `If I were the Member for Eagle River\I wouldn't be renting cars - Quebec cars - no never\I would stay on my side of the straits\and pay the Newfoundland rates\and not act like an Indian-giver.'

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Now, that's just one, I say to the member, there's a whole pile we are going to print. With that, Mr. Speaker, I conclude my remarks.

MR. SPEAKER: Is the House ready for the question?

Order, please!

All those in favour of the motion, `aye'.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Aye.

MR. SPEAKER: Contra-minded, `nay'.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Nay.

MR. SPEAKER: In my opinion, the motion is defeated.

Division

MR. SPEAKER: Stop the clock.

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, we are ready to proceed with the division if my hon. friends opposite are.

MR. SPEAKER: Again, all those in favour of the motion, please signify it by standing.

CLERK (Mr. J. Noel): Mr. W. Matthews, Mr. Sullivan, Mr. Tobin, Mr. A. Snow, Mr. Woodford, Ms. Verge, Mr. Windsor, Mr. Hewlett, Mr. J. Byrne, Mr. Hodder, Mr. E. Byrne, Mr. Fitzgerald, Mr. Shelley, Mr. Careen.

MR. SPEAKER: Those against the motion, please stand.

CLERK: The hon. the Minister of Justice, the hon. the Minister of Education, the hon. the Minister of Forestry and Agriculture, the hon. the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation, the hon. the Minister of Social Services, the hon. the Municipal and Provincial Affairs, the hon. the Minister of Finance, the hon. the Minister of Fisheries, the hon. the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Mr. L. Snow, Mr. Barrett, Mr. Walsh, Mr. Murphy, the hon. the Minister of Health, the hon. the Minister of Environment and Lands, Mr. Anderson III, Mr. Tulk, Ms. Young, Mr. Ramsay, Mr. Penney, Mr. Aylward, Mr. Langdon, Mr. Oldford, Mr. Dumaresque, Mr. Gilbert, Mr. Whelan, Mr. L. Matthews.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

CLERK: Mr. Speaker, fourteen `ayes,' twenty-seven `nays.'

MR. SPEAKER: I declare the motion defeated.

The hon. the Government House Leader.

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, before we adjourn, there are two matters I should raise. I don't claim to be a poet but I've been inspired by my hon. friend opposite. May I perhaps be permitted to offer my humble limerick?

`There was a young man from Grand Bank\Who never quite made it to the front rank\He ranted and roared\But his career never soared\And before long from sight he sank.'

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. ROBERTS: I'm not sure, Mr. Speaker, how they will rhyme Naskaupi, but I'm sure they will be at it overnight trying.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: That is the former member, Les Thoms, you are talking about.

MR. ROBERTS: He hasn't sank from sight.

Mr. Speaker, it might be useful to members to know that my friend, the Member for Grand Bank and I have been at it again. We propose to ask the House not to meet on Friday, May 6, to accommodate a small gathering to be held in Gander, and on Friday, May 13, to accommodate a mass meeting to be held in Ottawa, the capital of Canada. So the government will be adjourning the House next Thursday for the weekend and the following Thursday again for the weekend.

MR. TOBIN: Good luck, boys!

MR. ROBERTS: With that - I'm sorry?

MR. TOBIN: Friday the thirteenth! Good luck!

MR. ROBERTS: Friday the thirteenth, I say to my hon. friend. It would be easy, I must say to him, to rhyme Placentia West in a limerick, so we will work on that.

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow we will be doing the Electrical Power Control Act. What is it? `The plowman homeward plods his weary way'. Well, they will plod some more weary way tomorrow.

I move that the House adjourn, Mr. Speaker.

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