May 12, 1995               HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY PROCEEDINGS               Vol. XLII  No. 23


The House met at 9:00 a.m.

MR. SPEAKER (Dicks): Order, please!

Oral Questions

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

MS. VERGE: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

I have questions for the Premier on his preposterous claim that the Trans City deal was in the best interest of the people of the Province.

Yesterday the Premier tabled in the House a whitewash report by the suspended Minister of Justice which contained a statement by a senior civil servant in the Cabinet office, Fonse Faour. I refer the Premier to Mr. Faour's statement, page 8, section 8, where Mr. Faour says of the Trans City deal, and I quote: "This was not the arrangement originally contemplated. The tender was awarded on the basis that the successful bidder would be the lessor. The actual arrangement resulted in the financing company being the lessor, in this case, Confederation Life."

Premier, isn't this statement of Mr. Faour yet more confirmation that you and your government made the deal with Trans City without even knowing what the price tag would be?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board.

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, in one sense it is no such thing and in another sense the Leader of the Opposition is right. The final lease payments -

MR. SULLIVAN: At least you are half right. You are a bit more than you were before.

MR. BAKER: Well, I just wanted to explain the truth of this. In both the 10-1-'89 bid and Trans City bid, the final lease payments would not be determined until some time in the future. In other words, the 10-1-'89 bid had a clause in there which allowed the rates to be fixed six months after the award of the contract. In Trans City, it allowed for the rates to be fixed at substantial completion of the project. The rates were changing, obviously, day by day. As a matter of fact, at that point in time they were heading down, and in that context, the final lease payments could not be known until the rates were set - in the case of 10-1-'89, six months after award of the contract, in the case of Trans City, substantial completion of the buildings - so in that sense that's correct, the final lease payments were not known at the time.

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

MS. VERGE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

My questions now are for the Premier.

After hearing the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board confirm that when the deal was done with Trans City the government didn't know what the cost would be, I ask the Premier: Isn't it true that the government shut all but Trans City out of the negotiations - out of the negotiations that took place after the deal was struck -and didn't give anyone else a chance to compete with Trans City and their financiers, and isn't that why the Supreme Court ruled the government violated the Public Tender Act? And because no one had a chance to compete, isn't it utterly false to say the Trans City deal was in the best interest of the Province? Isn't it accurate to say that deal was in the best interest of Tom Hickman, Joe Butler and Bill Case?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board.

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, I would like to just simply continue on from my last answer.

Whereas the exact amounts were not set, the substantive issue of what the rates would be above the long term in the 30-year bonds was set. In the case of Trans City it was, I believe, 120 basis points above the Bank of Canada rate at the point of setting the rate. In the case of 10-1-'89, I believe it is 145 - if my memory serves me correctly - basis points above. So there was a limit put on it and it was tied to the base rate in Canada with the Bank of Canada 30-year bond, so that was what would ultimately determine it; the money value was not determined.

In terms of the second part of the question, which I am now having difficulty remembering -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MS. VERGE: It had to do with patronage.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board.

MR. BAKER: Yes, now I remember the second part of the question. The fact that nobody else had an opportunity to bid and that Cabinet somehow did something to shut out everybody but one company. I believe that was the gist - yes, okay. We started the process, Mr. Speaker, with I believe fourteen different proposals before us, from five, six or seven different companies and there was an interim analysis done which determined the preference for brick/steel. At that point that left two companies still there and there was a detailed analysis done. Discussions were held with both companies to determine the true nature of their bid and so on and to get further details from both companies. That was an extensive process and the deciding factor in the end was which would save this Province money. Mr. Speaker, we saved a heck of a lot of money in this process, I will have hon. members know, I tabled information in the House a month or so ago which showed that conclusively.

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

MS. VERGE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I have another question for the Premier, it would be good to see the Premier on his feet this morning.

MR. TOBIN: He is afraid of you Lynn, he is not getting (inaudible).

MS. VERGE: I have questions for the Premier about -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MS. VERGE: - yet another manipulation of the law by his government. We have just been talking about the Trans City deal which was, according to the assistant clerk of the Cabinet office, awarded on a different basis from the tender award. I want to ask now about the matter of the rigging of the electoral boundaries to suit the interest of the Liberal Party. Now the Premier, as a lawyer, will realize that the Electoral Boundaries Act, the law of this Assembly, provides for an impartial non-partisan Electoral Boundaries Commission. The act specifically says that the chairperson of the Electoral Boundaries Commission shall be appointed by the chief justice of the Province, Mr. Chief Justice Noel Goodridge. Now Mr. Justice John Mahoney, as the Premier realizes, was appointed chair of the Electoral Boundaries Commission by Chief Justice Goodridge. The legislation further provides that other commissioners be appointed by the Speaker, before other members of the Mahoney Commission were appointed by the Speaker.

We have only had one legitimate Electoral Boundaries Commission. That one legitimate commission produced one report, a report that cost the taxpayers $400,000. That report called for forty-four districts and amendments that could lead to a total of forty-five districts.

Now I ask the Premier, how can he condone the tampering with that process by his suspended Minister of Justice? The suspended Minister of Justice here yesterday, under repeated questioning, confessed that he tampered with the process by attempting to have the legitimate commissioner, Mr. Justice Mahoney, come up with a proposal for more than forty-five districts, and Mr. Justice Mahoney refused.

Will the Premier admit that the document tabled this week is a fraud, that this document titled, Honourable Nathaniel Noel, Commissioner, was not authored by a legitimate commissioner appointed correctly under the legislation.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: I thought I had heard all of the possible obfuscation that could take place in any question, but I never dreamed that such fiction could be written.

Mr. Speaker, anybody who wants to can look at the record and see it very clearly. In accordance with the Statute, the commission was appointed. Mr. Justice Mahoney was designated by the Chief Justice. The other members were appointed by Your Honour. They took an action and brought in a report. They left the government with a report that we were not prepared to recommend to the House of Assembly, for one simple reason.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

PREMIER WELLS: I have no hesitation in saying it; we were not prepared to recommend it to the House of Assembly, for one simple reason - it created differential value of voting where none was justified. I can agree with it and understand it in Torngat Mountains - clearly, no problem; we specifically provided for it - because it is a largely aboriginal community and we wanted to make sure that the aboriginal people of this Province, if they chose to, would have the right to elect somebody who would be an aboriginal, and I am delighted to say they had the wisdom to do so in the last general election.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

PREMIER WELLS: Secondly, Mr. Speaker, the second variation was in the South Coast of Labrador area, and the South Coast of the Province, because of transportation. We agreed you could have some variation from a normally accepted standard, but the Goose Bay area, the Labrador City - Wabush area, are some of the most urban parts of this Province, far more urban than any part of the Great Northern Peninsula or the South Coast, or with the exception of Marystown much of the Burin Peninsula, far more an urban community. How could we justify having a superior voting advantage in communities like that and not in Grand Falls, Gander, Corner Brook, Stephenville, Port aux Basques, Burin, Bonavista, and so on. You could not do that. The commission left us with this recommendation. Okay, reduce the forty-four seats but have four of them in Labrador, no matter what disparity in voting power it produced. We were not prepared to recommend that to the House of Assembly. That is why we asked that same commission to reconsider it in light -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

PREMIER WELLS: If members will listen they will understand. That is why we sent it back to the same commission and asked them to revise their recommendation in accordance with our specific direction, that it provide for one person, one vote, with a variation no greater than plus or minus 10 per cent. They came back with a recommendation that still did not comply with that. We still were not prepared to recommend it to the House of Assembly, solely for that reason and no other reason.

Now, Mr. Speaker, when the commission said, well, we are not prepared to reconsider it any further we then asked Mr. Justice Noel to take the work that was done by the commission and provide for it in accordance with those strict terms that accepted the commission's recommendation, that there be four seats in Labrador, and then, Mr. Speaker, take the resultant quotient that was derived from taking the two urban seats, Menihek and Naskaupi, divide them, and that was the quotient for the Province. Whatever that produced, that produced the seats, so that there would be equality of voting power.

You cannot justify that kind of difference unless there is a compelling reason for it. That is why I have resisted the pressures from all over this Province to say, give more seats to rural Newfoundland. Look at all the extra seats going into St. John's. Look at two extra seats going into St. John's because Waterford - Kenmount is as big as it is, because Mount Pearl is as big as it is, because Mount Scio- Bell Island is as big as it is.

I say to you, Mr. Speaker, there is no justification whatsoever for giving the citizen in Bonavista, or Clarenville, or Ferryland, or Fogo, one and a half times the voting power of the taxpayer of St. John's, none at all, and we will not do it.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MS. VERGE: Mr. Speaker, I ask the Premier what justification did he and his government have for breaking his own law? What justification did he and his government have for scuttling the one report from the one legitimately appointed commission, the one and only independent, non-partisan commission? The commission composed of Mr. Justice John Mahoney, appointed by the Chief Justice of Newfoundland, and four other commissioners appointed by the Speaker, calling for forty-four districts under the strict terms of the amended legislation introduced by the government. What justification did the Premier have for indulging in gerrymandering, and by what authority did he and his government appoint Mr. Justice Noel?

Isn't it true that there was no legal authority for appointing Mr. Justice Noel? Isn't it true that the suspended Minister of Justice went judge-shopping, and after he couldn't get the legitimate commissioner, Mr. Justice Mahoney, to go along with his scheme for increasing the number of seats he went judge-shopping. He approached Mr. Justice Cummings, Mr. Justice -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, as I hear the Leader of the Opposition constantly proclaim: The government broke this law, the government broke that law, it sounds like self-proclaimed, infallible judgement delivered from atop Mount Ignorance. She stands in the House and declares: The government did this, the government broke this law, as though it were infallible judgement.

The government broke no law. The Leader of the Opposition knows, as a lawyer and former Minister of Justice, knows very well -

MR. TOBIN: She worked with you, didn't she?

PREMIER WELLS: I failed in my training in that respect, I guess.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

PREMIER WELLS: She knows very well that under the prerogative of the Crown the Cabinet can appoint anybody, give a commission to anybody to provide it with advice. The government complied with the law. We appointed the commission required under the statute and we brought its report to the House and tabled it. We tabled the report in the House. Now the House itself, under the law, decides whether to accept that report or do something else with it. What the government is required to do is to appoint the commission and bring the report to the House. We did that.

This House, members on both sides, will decide whether to accept the original report or to accept the report that was provided by Judge Noel at our request. The House is going to decide that. No law was broken. All we've done is gathered further information to deliver to the House. For the Leader of the Opposition to stand here and say we broke the law is a grossly irresponsible accusation to make. There is no justification for it, no foundation for it whatsoever.

Mr. Speaker, the government will in due course ask this House of Assembly to make a decision on the electoral boundaries. It will have before it the full report of the original commission and it will have before it Mr. Justice Noel's recommendation. The government will give its advice to the House of Assembly and the House will decide.

MR. SPEAKER: Supplementary, the hon. the Leader of the Opposition.

MS. VERGE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I say to the Premier, I'm not alone in saying the government broke the Public Tender Act. The Supreme Court of Newfoundland Trial Division has ruled the government broke the public tender act.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MS. VERGE: Mr. Speaker, will the Premier confirm that the electoral boundaries act says in section 3(3): The chairperson of the boundaries commission shall be appointed by the Chief Justice of Newfoundland? Will the Premier confirm that the Chief Justice of Newfoundland, Chief Justice Goodridge, appointed Mr. Justice John Mahoney? Will the Premier also confirm that the suspended Minister of Justice and the government hand-picked Mr. Justice Noel? Mr. Justice Noel was not appointed by the Chief Justice, and Mr. Justice Noel was chosen only after the legitimate chair, Mr. Justice Mahoney, refused to go along with the gerrymandering, and after Mr. Justice Cummings also declined?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, of course Chief Justice Goodridge appointed Mr. Justice Mahoney, that is what the law requires. I mean certain facts are obvious to everybody.

AN HON. MEMBER: No they are not to you.

PREMIER WELLS: I know that - of course he did not appoint Judge Noel. I just got through telling the House that acting under the prerogative of the Crown the Cabinet has a total right to do, as the Cabinet of which the Leader of the Opposition was a member for many years did on numerous occasions, appoint individuals to be commissioners or advisors to carry out a specific commission. They should have done it on some more occasions but they did it on a great many. The Cabinet appointed Mr. Justice Noel to give it advice.

Now I have already just gotten through explaining it to the House but in case the hon. member does not understand it I will repeat it, the original commission, appointed under the elections act, provided the advice that it did. Its report is tabled in the House. It is open to the majority of the members of this House to accept that report if they see fit. Now the government disagreed with it. We were not prepared to recommend it to the House for the reasons that I have given and for no other reason whatsoever. So we sought other advice and we have laid that advice before the House. The House has everything. There is nothing in the law anywhere that precludes the government from seeking advice from anybody and tabling it in this House. Now the hon. member knows that. As a lawyer she knows that and she knows the difference. What I don't understand is how in heaven's name she can so misrepresent the reality. The reality is very clear. All of it is placed before the House, Mr. Speaker, and the House will decide.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I will give the hon. Leader of the Opposition another supplementary on this and then I will move on.

The hon. the Leader of the Opposition.

MS. VERGE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. A final supplementary for the Premier.

Is the Premier claiming that he is above the law? How can the Premier defend trying to falsify this document by labelling it Hon. Nathaniel S. Noel, Commissioner, when the law says that the commissioner has to be appointed by the Chief Justice of Newfoundland and Mr. Justice Noel was not appointed by the Chief Justice?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: A former law partner of mine gave me some advice one time when I was having difficulty explaining to an individual something that was so obvious that it should not have required any explanation and his advice to me was: Don't let it bother you. A person convinced against her will is of the same opinion still.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. SHELLEY: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I cannot hear the hon. member's question.

MR. SHELLEY: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is for the Minister of Natural Resources, more specifically today the minister responsible for forestry.

Mr. Speaker, the termination of the CAFD the Canada Newfoundland Cooperation Agreement for forestry development will have, and is going to have in the future, a major negative impact on the forestry in this Province. The minister responded to earlier questions in the last session when he said that there were ongoing discussions with his federal counterparts concerning this agreement, specifically concerning the Canadian forestry centre here in St. John's, Mr. Speaker. Can the minister just bring us up to date on the status of those talks with his federal counterparts?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Natural Resources.

DR. GIBBONS: Mr. Speaker, my discussions with the federal minister, relative to the Canada forestry centre have nothing, absolutely nothing to do with the conclusion of the five year agreement that expired on March 31, 1995. That five year agreement expired - the federal government, two years ago, announced they were not going to go into any new agreements. We accepted that decision after this latest government said that they were not going to change the decision of the former government and we ourselves put in $10 million, in this years budget, to replace what was there from the agreement. We did it, it is done.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. SHELLEY: Mr. Speaker, it is obvious to see, the attitude that he gave up two years ago he gave up again today. He is giving up on forestry totally and forestry has been on the back-burner. He said he put in $10 million this year. Mr. Speaker, a question to the minister, with regards specifically to silviculture.

In 1993-'94 it was $6.7 million, in 1994-'95 it is $5.9 million, in 1995-'96 it is down to $5.6 million, and it is still going to go down. Although the Provincial Government, yes, put in money this year, the Federal Government now is at zero.

Can the minister tell the House that the government will be able to commit to at least maintain, if not increase, the amount of funding for silviculture in this Province for the coming years - not for this year, but for the coming years?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Natural Resources.

DR. GIBBONS: Next year's Budget will come when next year's Budget comes, Mr. Speaker, but we realize that forestry is a provincial responsibility constitutionally, and we are going to do what is required to make sure we manage this resource properly.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: A final supplementary, the hon. the Member for Baie Verte - White Bay.

MR. SHELLEY: Mr. Speaker, this is the exact problem that the many people around this Province in the forestry industry are talking about, the attitude of the minister responsible for forestry, who never talks about forestry, never brings it up.

Mr. Speaker, we have to ask the questions that the experts have asked me. They have asked me: What is going to happen with silviculture for the coming years? Are we in danger? Is this industry in the same danger, headed the same way that the fishery headed, when the same politicians sat back and said nothing about it until we hit crisis proportion? That's what the experts are asking. And I will tell the minister who the experts are to whom I am referring - not the experts that we are going to use out of New Brunswick, which you didn't open your mouth about. We are going to listen to the experts in New Brunswick now. What about the people in our own industry right here? Is this minister and this government satisfied that there is enough being done to preserve this industry in this Province? And when are they going to let their federal counterparts know that there is not enough being done and that there is a potential crisis in the forestry of this Province?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Natural Resources.

DR. GIBBONS: Mr. Speaker, there is no question that we are going to ensure there is going to be enough done to manage the forestry industry properly.

Now, I could speak specifically about silviculture and what we are putting into it. As I said, we put $10 million into our own provincial Budget this year to effectively replace what was in the CAFD agreement in previous years. Out of that, the member is reading a line item that is designated to silviculture only as part of that. There is other money going into silviculture this year in this Province. We have approved already $1 million extra on top of that coming out of the Social Services department for particular training programs, so add $1 million to that.

In addition to that, as late as Monday of this week, I had further discussions with the paper industry in this Province, particularly in Grand Falls, relative to what we are going to do jointly with the paper companies. We are dealing with both of them in the extra contribution that they will be making toward silviculture on their limits this year. We are doing, ourselves, in co-operation with the people who are interested in forestry in this Province, everything that is necessary, and we are going to continue to do so.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

My question is for the Minister of Education and Training, and has to do with the drastic gutting - and I say this despite the fact that he has contradicted it on Monday or Tuesday in this House - of the ABE programs in this Province.

Mr. Speaker, there are over 100,000 people in this Province who have not completed high school education. Will the minister acknowledge that as of September there will be less than 500 places in the community college system for upgrading - less than 500 - not the 5,800 that the minister said in the House on Tuesday? Will he acknowledge that is the case?

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

MR. DECKER: I genuinely thank the hon. member for that question. I had hoped it would have come from the Member for Waterford - Kenmount. I apologize to him; his leader tends to dominate the Question Period and the poor fellow is confined to the back benches and can't get his question away.

The hon. the Member for St. John's East might not understand what has happened here. ABE has not been cancelled in this Province. Here is the way it works: The community colleges are offering 2,625 people Adult Basic Education on a part-time basis; in addition to that there are 1,960 people at the community colleges taking Adult Basic Education full time; added to that, there are 1,200 full-time Adult Basic Education students in the private institutions; on top of that there are numerous volunteer agencies providing ABE; on top of that again there is the TAGS program which has hundreds of people enroled in it. So I stand here today and say, unequivocally, that there is more Adult Basic Education being offered today in Newfoundland and Labrador than ever there was in our history as a Province, or in our history before that as a nation. That is the absolute, total truth.

Now, what the hon. member might not understand is this: the Federal Government is backing away from a lot of these programs; that is a fact which has been stated many times. We are unable to go in and pick up where the Federal Government chooses to back out. This particular case, the Adult Basic Education that the hon. member is talking about, is the old Manpower seats and it is more than a seat in a community college.

The individual goes to the Canada Manpower office and is sponsored. That individual is given a salary of $3,000, $4,000 or $5,000 a year, whatever it is, babysitting services if required, cost of books and what have you. All the community college gets is $39 a day to provide that space. What has happened this year is the Federal Government backed off from their commitment by one-third which left the colleges to make up with $2.3 million or whatever the amount was. The community colleges are saying: As a result of that, we are unable to offer more than these 200 seats. They are there but they are not being bought.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I will ask the hon. member to -

MR. DECKER: But ABE is not wiped out, there is more ABE than ever before in the Province.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

Question Period has elapsed.

On behalf of hon. members, I would like to welcome to the Speaker's gallery, Mr. Gerry Dinn, a former member of this House and a minister of the provincial Cabinet.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: I would also like to welcome to the public galleries on behalf of hon. members, twelve students from the Skills for Success class in Adult Basic Education, accompanied by their teacher, Donna Adams.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

Presenting Reports by

Standing and Special Committees

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Natural Resources.

DR. GIBBONS: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table today the 1994 Annual Report of Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro Corporation.

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

MR. FUREY: Mr. Speaker, I would like to table the Annual Report for Enterprise Newfoundland and Labrador.

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

MR. MURPHY: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I would like to table the Workers' Compensation Review Division, 1994 Annual Report.

Orders of the Day

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, as we announced yesterday -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Minister of Natural Resources.

DR. GIBBONS: Just a brief point of information, Mr. Speaker. Yesterday our Commissionaires asked me if I could bring a sample of the ore from Voisey Bay so they could see it. I did bring it this morning and I know that there is a lot of other interest in the House, people may see it and especially with former Minister Dinn in the audience, I would like to tell him that he is welcome to see it.

MR. SPEAKER: Points noted.

The hon. the Government House Leader.

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, I gather my friend and colleague is not tabling a piece of rock.

Your Honour, would you please call Order No. 3, second reading of the Advance Health Care Directives bill, please?

Motion, second reading of a bill, "An Act Respecting Advance Health Care Directives And The Appointment Of Substitute Health Care Decision Makers." (Bill No. 1).

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

MR. ROBERTS: Thank you.

Mr. Speaker, this bill is almost precisely the same as the bill which received second reading from the House in the session that ended effectively at Christmastime last year. It had not gone forward to Committee stage and third reading because after second reading, the bill was referred under our Standing Orders to the Standing Committee, the section 84 Committee on Social Services. There were one or two people who wished to be heard with respect to the bill and the Committee was chaired by my friend, the Member for Trinity North, who is absent, he has the 'flu this week. I believe they heard two or three persons representing groups, or themselves, as may have been the case and, in due course, presented a report here in the House; subsequently the Cabinet addressed the report and we have made one or two changes in the bill, which I will highlight as I go through it. I don't propose to repeat what I said during the initial second reading debate. The bill won widespread support. I think in fact members on all sides supported it. I think there is a consensus among all of us that this bill is a step forward and should be made law. Perhaps though I should say a word or two just so we know what we are doing when we make law, as we will if we adopt this bill.

The purpose of the bill and the policy embodied in it is very straightforward. Section 3 sub (1) is the provision that addresses it. It allows every person who is competent to make a binding direction with respect to his or her future health care decisions, and health care decisions, members will note, are defined with great precision. Unfortunately, it took a lot of words to achieve that degree of precision and they are defined in Subsection 2 (b) of the bill that is now before the House.

Advanced health care directives can take one or both of two forms. An individual may appoint another person to make the decisions and delegate to him, or to her, the power to make these decisions when the time comes, or an individual may say, when the time comes that certain decisions need to be made, a decision of this nature needs to be made, here is what my decision is. In each case those decisions are legally binding, they are enforceable at law, and that works to the advantage, Mr. Speaker, of both the person who is receiving the care, the patient, the person who has made the directive or appointed the substitute decision maker, on the one hand, and on the other hand the health care professional providing the care.

Members will note that we have defined health care professional very widely. We have defined it to include, in addition to doctors or lawyers, the administrators of health care facilities, and that reflects the reality that in many cases these directives will come into play in a situation where an elderly person living in an institution comes to the point where he or she needs health care decisions to be taken.

Now, that is what the bill does, Mr. Speaker. It does it, I think, very effectively. The rest of the bill, almost without exception is simply the legal provisions necessary to carry that policy into effect, the policy set out in Section 3. We have however done one or two other things that I want to be sure the House is aware of, and we can address and deal with as we believe appropriate here, all fifty-one of us at this stage.

We have also attempted, and I believe successfully, to address one of the most vexing problems of all in real life, basically what I am told by the consultation process, which I may remind the House has been a very widespread consultation process on this headed by Sister Elizabeth Davis who I believe now refers to herself simply as Elizabeth Davis. She is now the Chief Executive Officer of the St. John's Health Care Corporation and was formerly the Executive Director of St. Clare's Mercy Hospital, and Dr. Harry Watts who has been for many years the Medical Director or Executive Director, whatever the title is, of the Western Memorial Hospital in Corner Brook and a former President of the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association.

These two people have led a widespread consultation process. They have met with me several times.

MR. TOBIN: Is she still a sister?

MR. ROBERTS: Well, I say to my friend for Burin - Placentia West that I understand Sister Davis is still in Holy Orders. She is still a religious, to use the term in its precise sense, but for professional purposes she refers to herself as, I guess, Ms Elizabeth Davis. She is still in Holy Orders. In fact the last time I saw Ms. Davis she was not wearing a religious habit, she was wearing ordinary clothes, but then she works day by day running this very large hospital corporation. In fact the hospital corporation, the St. John's Health Care Corporation, whatever the correct name of it is, spends about 10 per cent of the total current account expenditure of the Province. It is a very large operation.

In any event there has been a widespread consultation process, and one of the problems that came to the fore during this that we have addressed is this, in fact we tried to address all the problems that came to the fore, but one in particular is this. I am told that many times a problem comes up, when usually an older person, but it does not have to be, usually an older person comes to the point where he or she needs decisions taken. Is a certain course of treatment continued? Is a certain course of treatment discontinued, and so forth? There are a number of family members around. Some have stayed here in Newfoundland or Labrador and some have moved on to another part of Canada for whatever reason. They all gather around, and I am told fights - not necessarily physical fights - but strong differences of opinion come. Almost inevitably the sons and daughters or nephews and nieces or grandchildren here in Newfoundland or Labrador who have been seeing mother and father regularly and dealing with them, say: Mother made it quite clear that there were to be no heroic measures. That when the time came - my friend for St. John's East Extern is nodding; he may have heard or run into this kind of situation - let me go with decency and dignity. Knock down the pain but none of this fancy-dancy stuff, I don't want an extra two weeks if it comes about because I've got tubes in me, and all the things that advanced medical science can do.

So that is the wish that these people convey to the health care givers. The sons and daughters who perhaps moved away and not been home very often and not been home for a long time, for whatever reason, say: No, you have to give mother - my friend for St. John's East Extern is nodding again; obviously he has heard of this or run into it - you've got to do anything you can for mother, and if it means she has to stand upside down with tubes going into her to try to keep her alive for a bit, you have to do it. The most terrible, agonizing, anguished discussions take place.

Of course, at this stage it would be easy if mother could give a decision, but this is all premised on the presupposition that mother has lost the ability to communicate a decision or to take a valid decision, and you've got the family in this terribly anguished position, and then you've got the health care professional caught right squarely in the middle.

There are provisions in this act - I believe it is section 10 - which say how the decision-making process falls from there. In fact, it is indeed section 10. Members who have ever had occasion to deal with the intestate succession act will recognize that it is the same scheme there. We simply take out the degree of kinship, we set out the degree of kinship, and the closest kin get first call.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend for Burin - Placentia West. I won't be long, but I do want to make sure we know....

There are one or two changes in this bill that -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: No. In fact, I say to my friend for Ferryland who is usually indefatigable, and no doubt on this, there are five or six. Let me simply go through the bill and draw the attention of the House to the changes.

Section 5(3)(a) is new. That raises a very major issue which I wanted to make sure we have set out our policy on. What is the provision, what is the legal situation, with respect to allowing a person who is not competent - now throughout, I stress to the House, Mr. Speaker, we are going on the presupposition that the person involved is not competent. Because if he or she is competent then he or she takes the decisions. Of course a person can revoke these advanced health directives at any time as long as you are competent to do it. But we have a person who is not competent.

Now, there comes a situation where the medical people say: We would like to enrol this person in a research program, a valid, accepted research - this isn't experimental stuff, but a valid research program developed and administered in accordance with the protocols. These go on throughout the country. There is nothing bad or unusual or mysterious or hidden in them. But the fact remains that here you have a person who is not capable of making a decision himself or herself or of communicating that, and the suggestion is that we should enrol this person in a research program. Which may or may not be invasive. It could be any one of a wide variety of procedures or data gathering processes.

Should the substitute decision maker have the right to consent to that? There is a big argument. There are two valid sides. We have come down on the side that says: Unless when I make my health care decision I specifically empower my substitute decision maker to consent to enrol me in a research program, then that decision maker may not do it. That is where we would say - we believe it is the correct side to be on, but there are two arguments. There is an argument that says: If it is a proper research program then we should be able to have the person enroled in it without specific consent.

That is what 5(3)(a) does. It says: "A consent by a substitute decision maker on behalf of a maker to medical treatment for the primary purpose of research shall have no effect unless the substitute decision maker is expressly authorized in the advance health care directive to give such a consent." I want to be sure that the House is aware of that.

In section 6.2(b), we have changed the requirement for one independent witness to two independent witnesses. That was the result of a representation made to the Committee. It is now in line with the requirement for a will or other testamentary document.

We have made a change in subsection (4) of section 10. We have added the words, `a substitute decision maker referred to in that subsection'. That makes it clear that the provisions of subsection (4) of section 10 apply, notwithstanding subsection (1). The wording is simply - the drafters, I think, have made it a little clearer; but there is a change there.

Section 21 is new and I want to draw this to the attention of the House as well. The common law - and in the absence, of course, of the statute law, common law is the governing law - the common law provides that none of us owns his/her body after death. That may be a difficult concept to grasp but what it means -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) leave it behind.

MR. ROBERTS: I don't know about the hon. gentleman but most people do in fact leave it behind, yes. But, no, it doesn't belong to ones heirs nor can one make a binding declaration, at common law, as to what is to be done with one's body. That is the way the law - the responsibility belongs to what is called one's personal representative and that is in quotes. That is a legal term and the law, of course, says that there must be a decent disposition of the body. You can't just shove Aunt Jemima up in the shelf - or Uncle Timmy, shove him over the side into the landwash and let him be. You have to make a decent, proper and humane disposition of the remains, of course.

If, for example, I leave a directive - when I was in practice people would come and say: I am going to put it in my will. I would say: Well, it is not legally binding, in any event, but I have to tell you, in most cases, the will is not opened until some time after the funeral.' I know there may have been cases where Aunt Sarah dies and as soon as the poor lady - as soon as the word comes the lady is gone they all rush to get the will to see what happened to her fortune. But in real life, I mean, in the process of grieving of death the will is incidental. So if you leave it in the will, you are long gone by the time they see what you said; but, in any event, it is not legally binding. So if I wish to be cremated and my personal representative doesn't subscribe to cremation, then there is no way that I can legally enforce my views. Well, section 21 will now provide a person in that position with the right to do it. A person may, in an advance health care directive, give instructions with respect to the disposition of his/her body after death. That is legally binding and must be carried into effect.

Subsection (2) deals with a situation - we have a Human Tissue Act; while we cannot see what happens to our body, we can make a disposition of parts of our body. In fact, that is legislation that I sponsored in the House twenty-five years ago when I was Minister of Health, the Human Tissue Act. I think we now -

MR. WINDSOR: Would you permit a question?

MR. ROBERTS: Yes, of course.

MR. WINDSOR: I was advised the other day, the new driver's license with the photograph on it, does not now contain the section that you could sign to - you know, that was always on your person in case of an accident?

MR. ROBERTS: I don't know that. My birthday is in September so my driver's license isn't up for renewal yet.

MR. WINDSOR: Mine isn't either, it's just what I was told.

MR. ROBERTS: I just don't know the answer. I know the present one has a space on it -

MR. WINDSOR: To sign.

MR. ROBERTS: Yes, and presumably we all have a driver's license with -

MR. WINDSOR: An organ donor card that you sign.

MR. ROBERTS: I don't know, my friend the -

MR. WINDSOR: There is no provision on the new driver's license.

MR. ROBERTS: Well assuming that is the case, I hope we can do something about it. In any event, the point is obviously a valid one but perhaps my friend, the Member for Mount Pearl would pursue it with my friend. the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation.

MR. EFFORD: How can you put it on a piece of plastic?

MR. ROBERTS: In any event, we have - subsection 21 (2) provides that where there is a conflict between a directive and a Human Tissue Act declaration, the later shall prevail, which we think is a reasonable one.

Finally, Mr. Speaker, we have added a provision that the act will come into force on July 1, not on assent, and the reason for that is, July 1st is not a long time away.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: I will come back to that.

Let me just say now that the discussion of drivers' licences appears to have simmered down a little bit, that the delayed effectiveness is the result of a request from the hospitals and the health care people.

Now, my friend, the Member for Ferryland had a question?

MR. SULLIVAN: It is my understanding - I compared it to the previous one, in clause 15. I did not think it was in the previous one where it says, "... the doctor shall make a statement in the medical record of the maker..." Isn't that a new sentence?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Yes, it is still -

MR. ROBERTS: Yes, I am sorry; the word has been changed to track, I believe, with the Hospitals Act which uses the word `records'.

I must say to my friend, the Member for Ferryland, the law clerks didn't highlight it on the copy they gave me, so he can have a job as an assistant law clerk any time he wants. We would be glad to have him, with his very proper and very effective attention to detail. He, like me, believes that the devil often lies in the details, and that is true in a lot of these things.

In any event, Mr. Speaker, I shall say nothing more. If there are concerns or comments I will try to address them when I respond in second reading. I must say to my friend, the Member for Grand Bank that I hope he has a restful weekend. He is getting testy. If he is not careful, the stridency of his new leader will wash over on him and, I tell him, it will ruin his life. A man who has been successful, beloved, liked, re-elected, effective, will become all the negatives of all those things, so I hope he has a restful weekend. I know that he will be going home, he often does, and I am sure that if he takes a wee drop it will be from a bottle with a stamp on it.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: I can assure the minister (inaudible), I guarantee you, the bottle will have a stamp on it.

MR. ROBERTS: Not only that, that the stamp will not have on it a picture of President Chirac, or whoever the French authorities put on their stamps.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to close by reading a quotation from an Englishman who wrote widely on political matters 120 years ago. In fact, he may have been a Member of the House of Commons of England, if memory serves me - John Stewart Mill - and in the course of some reading recently this came to me. I think it is from `On Liberty', which is his essay on political liberty. Mill was a 19th Century Liberal. Today many of the views would be where the extreme right wing of the Tory Party is, because of the way the world has moved, but in his time he was a very advanced thinker, and his writings on personal liberty, I think, would still commend themselves to members on all sides of the House as they very much reflect the values which are at the core of our society.

Here is what Mill said, "Each is the proper guardian of his own health, whether bodily or mental and spiritual." Now, he said `his' in those days; today he would say `his or her' in this gender neutral language we now have, but - "Each is the proper guardian of his own health, whether bodily or mental and spiritual. Mankind..." - today person kind - "Mankind are greater gainers by suffering each only to live as seems good to themselves, than by compelling each to live as seems good to the rest."

Now that is a very profound thought, and I suspect members on all sides would subscribe to it. That thought is mirrored now in section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms of Canada. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person, and the right not to be deprived, thereof, except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice. It is essentially the same thought.

Mr. Speaker, I put forward this bill because in my judgement, in my submission, the bill is an embodiment of the thought that we are each responsible for our own, we are accountable for our own, and this bill gives us a way to carry that thought into effect in the most vital and most personal way with our own health care, particularly when the point comes when any one of us has lost the ability to give directions with respect to that care.

I commend the bill to the House, Sir.

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

MR. SULLIVAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

We have had an opportunity to look at this before. and there are very few changes and they are very minor. I didn't see here - the Government House Leader can probably comment on this.

Regarding a directive put forward for the substitute decision maker, there is no provision really to register that formally as such because it may come into a problem. I expressed that, I believe, previously when it was tabled, the bill came up previously. Otherwise, in the case of someone's death and decisions had to be made or somebody was incompetent, it is important that the directive would be passed on to the appropriate authority to make that decision. There may be a problem in getting that directive to the proper person for the decision making process there. Is there a registry of directive?

MR. ROBERTS: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Sure.

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

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, there is no provision in the bill for a registry comparable to the registry of deeds or the registry of bills - that kind of registry. Sections 17 and 18 are an attempt to deal with the problem which my friend raises, which is a perfectly legitimate concern, in my view.

Section 17 says: "A health care professional who has a copy of an advance health care directive shall include it in the maker's medical record." Section 18 puts an obligation on the person who makes an advance health directive to communicate its contents to a health care professional. Section 18 (2) says that: "Where the maker was incompetent upon admission to a... facility or is being treated outside..., the health care professional... [shall make] reasonable inquiry as to the existence of an advance health care directive...." That we think is as far as we can go, but I would say to my friend, if experience proves that there is a better way to do it, we would be prepared to ask the House to address it. That is what we've tried to do here.

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

MR. SULLIVAN: Thank you. It certainly is a concern because not all of us - I know it is probably as close as possible without having an official registry of directives and so on. That way, in the case of somebody being rendered incompetent, there can always be a registry where you can revert to find out if there are any directives on record there from that person. I guess that would probably be the surest way to ensure the directives get to the decision maker and -

MR. ROBERTS: It is very cumbersome.

MR. SULLIVAN: Yes, it is a cumbersome process, I know, and there are costs involved with that process, too, of course.

MR. ROBERTS: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Yes, and that may work fine, and it is quite possible.

The minister mentioned in clause 5 (3)(a), in addition to "medical treatment for the primary purpose of research". It specifies in this instance, and also regarding the disposition of the body, there must be the specific statements in that directive. In other words, really what the minister was saying is that a person cannot give, I interpret, a blanket approval in the directive to a decision maker to make all the decisions with respect to any aspect pertaining to a decision maker that the person wouldn't have had to make if the person were competent.

MR. ROBERTS: That is correct. If you want your decision maker to be able to put you into a research, you must say in whatever words -

MR. SULLIVAN: Yes.

MR. ROBERTS: - I expressly authorize them to put me in a research program.

MR. SULLIVAN: Okay. So the word "research" would have to be mentioned.

MR. ROBERTS: Or (inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: There is no one blanket statement transferring that decision making to that directed decision maker with blanket approval to make all decisions pertaining to any future health decisions for me as an individual. In other words, it would have to be specified.

MR. ROBERTS: Again, if the hon. gentleman....

MR. SULLIVAN: (Inaudible).

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

MR. ROBERTS: Thank you. My friend is correct, Mr. Speaker. We believe this is the right way to approach this issue. As the bill stands, if one wants to empower a decision maker to do one of three things - either or all of three things - they must be specifically authorized. One is medical treatment for the primary purpose of research. That is new. It was not in the bill we saw before Christmas. The other two are sterilization that is not medically necessary, and three is the removal of tissue from the body while living for transplantation for the purpose of education or research.

In each case, we believe that if you take the time to make the advanced health care -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: Well, maybe I missed one but I want to draw it particularly to the House because there has been a big discussion about it, and if I am misinformed I apologize I have just been going on the notes I have been given by the people who drafted the bill, but in any event the point is, as the bill stands, to do any of those, you must give specific permission to your personnel.

We think what will happen is that the hospitals and the nursing homes will address this as people come in and ask people to put their minds to these issues and then people will make their own decisions and we will carry on from there, but my friend's interpretation of the bill is correct.

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

MR. SULLIVAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

My biggest concern there was that, by not having the provision to give blanket approval for any decisions, we may jeopardize the opportunity for somebody, a decision-maker, to use a certain medical treatment for the purpose of research and that might hamper research efforts more so in that effort unless it is specifically stated there, so -

MR. ROBERTS: That (inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Yes, there would have to be an education process, whether it is through nursing homes or through hospitals or whatever to be able to inform people that this must be specifically stated, if not it might jeopardize those areas where you need specific request and that would be a concern of mine, but I didn't notice that; actually, the Member for St. John's East said, when I went through it and compared it with the previous bill, I didn't notice any difference there either unless I missed it. So overall, the intent of this, and I had an opportunity before to address it, it is good, it provides an opportunity for somebody who becomes incompetent to be able to have appropriate decisions made for their care rather than to have somebody who is far removed from that individual there, so it is a proper line or proper rank I guess, or pecking order from the people from the incompetent person's spouse right down the line to the health care professional.

The gist of this certainly is good and I guess we will see how it works in practice with a few of the points I mentioned there that may need to be improved on in the future and if there is something that could have been done I guess time will tell that and if a large number of cases arises, maybe we will need to get back and make an amendment to it.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I want to rise in support of the bill as I did when Bill 41 was presented before Christmas of last year and commend the House in bringing this forward and sending it to a committee. I think, Mr. Speaker, the committee system, particularly in bills of this nature where there are perhaps a community of interest on the legislation, there is a particular opportunity for all members of the House to participate in improving a bill, and in the committee there were a number of problems noticed, some of them were technical in nature and I think in dealing with legislation, if there is an opportunity as the legislation goes through the process to get rid of errors, to look for difficulties and problems and correct them, then that can be done and in this case it was done in a number of places where the five or six members of the committee who look at the bill with a different perspective from the people who drafted it, the lawyers or the officials in the departments who draft this legislation, the people who are on the committee look at this legislation with a fresh look, with the look of someone who may have to implement it are looking for areas of difficulties and problems in implementing a legislation of this nature.

Because it is a first, it is probably certain that it won't be gotten absolutely right the first time but with the committee process at work, the chances of problems that are there being fixed are increased, and in fact a couple of the references that the Government House Leader made in introducing the bill were noticed in the committee and asked that they be changed; one very simple one found in clause 22 of the bill, the drafters had talked about information necessary to make informed advanced health care decisions on behalf of the maker, that was obviously just an error and we had to take out the word advanced because -

MR. ROBERTS: Even lawyers make mistakes.

MR. HARRIS: - as the Government House Leader who is a lawyer, knows even lawyers make mistakes, and so this area was fixed and a number of other problems were pointed out to us by a couple of lawyers who came and spoke to the committee and went through in great detail. The Canadian Bar Association representatives went through in detail the legislation and pointed out a number of anomalies in areas that ought to be considered and I think the committee was quite pleased to hear from these two lawyers as to their concerns on behalf of the Canadian Bar Association as to some of the problems that were inherent in the bill.

There are still a couple of areas, and perhaps the Government House Leader can address them, that lead to a little uncertainty. In Clause 6 dealing with the issue of whether a person is competent to make an advanced health care directive but is unable to sign the directive, Clause 6 Sub (2) says, "Where a maker is unable to sign the advance health care directive it may be signed by some other person in the presence of the maker and by the direction of the maker, in which case (a) the person signing shall not be the substitute decision maker or the spouse." The maker is then required to acknowledge the signature in the presence of at least two independent witnesses, neither of whom shall be the substitute decision maker.

The question came to the committee as to what signature would the person signing make? If I am signing on behalf of the maker do I sign my own signature or do I sign the signature of the person making the directive?

MR. ROBERTS: As in a power of attorney.

MR. HARRIS: The minister says as in a power of attorney, so I guess you could sign on behalf of, or John Jones by his attorney Pete Smith. That certainly would make a lot of sense. It was unclear, I suppose, for lay people reading it as to what would happen there, and it was considered as to whether some direction should be given in that for confusion purposes. However, I do not think at the end of the day it is a really practical problem because whether he signs his own name or somebody elses name the two independent witnesses have to swear, or attest at least, that person in fact has acknowledged that the signature was made.

I think Clause 3 is new, but I may be wrong about that, that if you make a mark other than the signature the maker shall do so in the presence of at least two independent witnesses. A person can sign a will in the same manner, just by marking an X or any kind of mark that is designated as his or her mark, indicating their assent to the directive. Presumably, similar to a will, in a situation where a person is not literate one would expect that it would have to be indicated on the health care directive that it was read over to him, or her, and he or she, appearing to have understood same. Now, lawyers in those circumstances would be aware of that. There is not much point in having an advanced health care directive from a person who is in fact illiterate when it is not clear that has been read over to such a person.

There is one area of this that still could use benefit from some improvement and that is the area as to how does the hospital know that there is an advanced health care directive in place? The sections are 9, 17, and 18. Seventeen takes care of the situation when the health care professional has a copy of the directive and that person would then include it in the medical records, so that would be part of the record of the hospital, or a doctor. Section 18 (1) says that the advanced health care directive shall be communicated to a health care professional.

I presume that obviously places an onus on a person going into hospital when they are competent saying: look, by the way, should I get to the point where I cannot give directions or consent, there is a piece of paper here so would you take this and put it on my chart?

MR. ROBERTS: That is a reasonable burden.

MR. HARRIS: It is a reasonable burden to lay on an individual, if you are going in the hospital to say: By the way, when I come in here I am signing my consent form for me, but this only lasts until I am ...

MR. ROBERTS: Jack, I expect the (inaudible) consent form is modified to say: Do you have a directive?

MR. HARRIS: There is an onus there for an incompetent, upon admission, for the professionals to make inquiries. Again, in section 9 it says the same thing. There is an onus on a health care professional, when there is an incompetent person, to make a reasonable attempt to determine whether there is a substitute decision-maker who is available. I am not quite sure why it is stated that way.

MR. ROBERTS: If they are not available, it is going to be difficult to communicate with them.

MR. HARRIS: Yes, I suppose the first step is to find out whether there is an advanced health care directive, and then see... The advanced health care directive is not mentioned in section 9, for some reason.

MR. ROBERTS: That is picked up in 18.(2).

MR. HARRIS: I would assume that what is going to happen is that upon admission to a hospital from here on in the hospital records people, and the legal advisors to the hospital, would have some provision in their forms now, upon their admission forms, asking for medical consent to admission, or asking whether or not you have an advanced health care directive. It is not in the act, and I just wonder whether that was an oversight or whether the government believed that hospitals, being very aware these days of the legalities of what they do, and the potential for legal consequences for what they do, the assumption being that they would fall into line without any urging from the Legislature, and in fact do that. I suspect it may come down to the interpretation as to what was a reasonable inquiry, but it seems that the health care professional is the one who has the onus, not the institution or the facility. I wonder if the minister, maybe, may wish to comment on that.

MR. ROBERTS: The health care professional includes the administrator. We defined it very broadly. Look at the definitions section. We defined it far beyond doctors and nurses there.

MR. HARRIS: So that would seem to perhaps cover the point that if a court were to be asked to answer the question of whether or not a reasonable attempt was made to determine whether the patient had a substitute decision-maker, whether that would include a question, upon admission to a hospital, as to whether or not there was an advanced health care directive in place, and that may answer the question. I would have been happier to see it spelled out more plainly in the legislation rather than await the interpretation of some lawyer or some court as to whether or not this should or should not have been done.

I think, Mr. Speaker, in conclusion, that we have here a very good piece of legislation, and I concur with what the Government House Leader says, that there may in fact be problems that arise as a result of circumstances that come about after the implementation of the act that could cause a requirement of there being amendments to it, but that is something that could be done later. There have been some amendments that have come out of the committee that could at least close a few of the loopholes and fix up some of the problems. I don't see any others there, other than the ones I have mentioned that could be clarified a little bit more in the legislation, but on the whole it is a very progressive piece of legislation. It is one that is overdue, because there have been very agonizing problems within families over the last number of years, and for a long period of time, and there still are, obviously, when someone becomes mentally incompetent. You always have discussions with people whose parents or relative has Alzheimer's; they are very agonizing times, and if a person has the foresight to make their own plans and their own decisions about what should happen to their medical treatment after they become incompetent, then that is the best person to make those decisions. It is better to have me make decisions about my future than have my spouse or my children or my relatives sitting around and wondering: What are we going to do with poor old Jack? But if poor old Jack

MR. EFFORD: I would tell them what to do with poor old Jack.

MR. HARRIS: I certainly wouldn't want the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation to have any say in it. So the best person to decide what to do with poor old Jack is poor old Jack when he is competent. If I have the foresight to spell out my wishes in an advance health care directive giving my spouse or my relatives the clear instructions as to what my wishes are, then that would make life easier for me and make life easier for them. I commend the legislation to the House.

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

MR. HODDER: Mr. Speaker, in the absence of the chair of the Social Services Committee who is ill, and as the acting vice-chair, I wanted just to have a couple of comments.

First of all, I want to share in the comments made by the House Leader saying that the process here was a good process. Because there had been extensive consultation with health care agencies, the legal profession and other health care people. The widespread consultation has resulted in the amendments that have been referred to by the Government House Leader. While there might be some other changes that will occur down the road when it is fully implemented I think that the bill as it now stands is indeed a very good piece of legislation. As my colleague for Ferryland has said, we in this party give the approval for it.

We do have a couple of concerns that have been raised, the amendments that were referred to. We brought these up at the Committee and we consulted with the people within the department. We just wanted to say that this bill is positive. It helps families in a time of crisis. The part that I wanted to refer to were sections 17 and 18 again, as my colleague for Ferryland did.

In my consultation with some people in the medical profession they had some concern about making sure that the will or the wishes of the individual are properly communicated. As people acknowledged, people will visit multiple numbers of doctors. If the person is competent when they are admitted to a hospital then there isn't a problem. They can be asked. If a person is not competent at that point as a consequence of an accident or whatever then the difficulty becomes in making sure that the last communication, the last directive, is indeed communicated or finding out where it is. Because a person may have had this not with a health care professional. It might be within the family, it might be anywhere.

There is a concern that the health care people or the medical people would have, although of course section 19 protects them from liability for not finding that particular directive; or for, shall we say, the consequences of having made a decision when reasonable attempts had been made to find the directive if one indeed does exist. We do have that concern about making sure that doctors' records or wishes that are left with doctors and the medical profession are indeed communicated. Not all doctors have standing in hospitals, so therefore the hospital records may not be consistent with the family doctor records.

The other concern we would have is a need for in-service, a need for public information, a need to communicate this by way of advertising, by notices in the clinics of the medical doctors, notices in hospitals, the need to let people know that this is an important thing to do. So the need for appropriate in-service for the health care professionals, nursing homes, a need to let the general public know, as we do with making a will or whatever, that this is an important thing for all of us to do. Like a will, it is designed to reduce the agony and reduce the anxiety at a time of crisis and if it is done then we can protect our families from these rather difficult decisions. Also, as the House Leader has said, very often these decisions are made at a time when the family is in crisis and there is often conflict as to what the right steps are that should be followed. So, Mr. Speaker, with that in mind I support the bill and compliment the government and the House Leader for the process that has been followed.

MR. SPEAKER: If the hon. the Government House Leader speaks now he will close the debate.

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, there is nobody else who wishes to speak. Let me say to my friend opposite, or whoever is acting as their House Leader, we will be going on to the Budget very shortly and the gentleman from Bonavista South adjourned the debate yesterday.

AN HON. MEMBER: His time is up.

MR. ROBERTS: Oh, his time is up? Well in many ways it is, I say to my friend. Alright, I just did not want him to be caught unawares and -

MR. SULLIVAN: (Inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: Alright, my friend from Ferryland knows about that too.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: And believe me I understand, more so than any other member in this House, I understand.

MR. SULLIVAN: (Inaudible) a lot better with experience.

MR. ROBERTS: Exactly. Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. members who have spoken. Most of their points I think we addressed during the course of the dialogue which they allowed to develop and that is a proper way at times during the second reading in debate but let me just make two or three points, the drivers license point, which my friend from Mount Pearl raised, is a valid point. My friend the minister has lent me his license. There is no little danger, I would ever be able to use it because there is a handsome picture of the minister on it. He and I are both wearing glasses and -

AN HON. MEMBER: There is no such thing as (inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: There may not be but let's assume there is for the moment. I am told what happens is this, when we get our renewal forms for our licenses - we have what, three year, tri-annual licenses I think now don't we? Every three years we get them. There will be a space on the written form that says: Do you wish to make a disposition of your body...? or the kind of wording we have now on our licenses. When one fills that out and sends it back in together with cheque, et cetera, to get the new license, the new license will have on it - I am told over on the left hand side there will be an indication, a mark, a word or whatever which indicates that the owner of that license has made a human tissue disposition. Now I cannot go beyond that. The minister will have to get into it in more detail if members wish and we will deal with it in that way. Obviously it will be difficult to have a hand written direction put on what is a plastic card, plasticised and whatever else goes into it. Anyway that is what I can say about that at that stage. The point is valid and I understand it is being addressed.

There has been a great deal of discussion, and again properly so, about what we can do to ensure that a health care professional is aware of the existence of a directive because unless one is aware of it, there is no way it can be carried into effect. I can only make two points, both of which I think have been canvassed so I won't go over them in detail. One is that we have tried to address the situations we could anticipate and the members referred to the sections, it is nine, seventeen and eighteen. I won't go over them again but they each address different situations. Now will they work? I don't know. We believe they will but as with so many things in life, all that one can do is go forward and let experience be our guide. If they don't work we will be back in due course and asking the House to make the necessary changes.

My friend from Ferryland suggested a registry. Now that would probably work but it would be very cumbersome, very expensive and we don't think it is necessary or appropriate in these circumstances. Look at the fuss we are having over registering guns for heavens sake.

AN HON. MEMBER: There are more guns (inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: Yes. The other point I would make is we work very closely with the NHA and with the NLMA, the Hospital and Nursing Homes Association and the Medical Association in this and I understand they propose to revise their forms because as my learned friend from St. John's East says: hospitals and doctors and health care professionals of every ilk are very much aware of these things. I mean there are lawsuits flicking around of negligence and lack of consent and what have you, so people are paying attention to these and my understanding is that if this becomes law as I think it will given the consensus of the House, then forms will be developed. I suspect the consent form in the hospital will be amended to say: Do you have a directive? If so, where is that kind of information and also, there will be, as my friend from Waterford - Kenmount requested, there will be a public information campaign.

I don't think we plan a large publicity or advertising campaign; this is the sort of thing one would address with in-service education and as he knows, the professional people in these fields are the nurses, the doctors the people who work in the hospitals, there is a constant in-service process for these people and I am told that this will be built in. We are not planning to spend any amount of government money or any amount of public funds to do an advertising campaign because we don't think it is necessary. Again, with that said, Mr. Speaker, I thank members for their support and I request the bill be now read a second time.

On motion, a Bill, "An Act Respecting Advance Health Care Directives And The Appointment Of Substitute Health Care Decision Makers", read a second time, ordered referred to a Committee of the Whole House on tomorrow.

MR. SPEAKER: Before I recognize the hon. member, I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of all the members to welcome to the public galleries, twenty-four students from Holy Redeemer School in Spaniard's Bay and they are accompanied by their teachers Mr. John Drover and Mr. Nath Crane.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. ROBERTS: Thank you.

Your Honour, could we please go on to deal with the adjourned debate on the Budget? It is Motion No. 1 and I understand from the gentleman from Kilbride that the gentleman from Bonavista South has concluded his remarks so I assume the gentleman from Kilbride will speak next, if so, then as you call it, we will see who rises and catches Your Honour's eye.

MR. SPEAKER: Motion, No. 1.

The hon. the Member for Kilbride.

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

It is a pleasure to stand up and respond and participate in the Budget debate, the Budget that the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board released and tabled and put forward in the House and heralded it as a great Budget, a balanced Budget, and one of the hallmarks of the Budget is that it would set this Province into a direction that would create employment, but never let it be said, Mr. Speaker, that this government has not created employment because they have. They have created for many people in many areas but the problem is this, that they have been very, very selective about those for whom they have created employment.

It certainly has not been for the greater number of people who are about to lose their jobs at the Newfoundland Dockyard, the 500 to 600 people, it hasn't been for them. It certainly hasn't been for those people involved in the fishery, the lack of research dollars put into the fishery in terms of future aquaculture spending, improving infrastructure within the aquaculture industry, it hasn't been for those sectors or the sectors of our society that deals with that, and I could go on and on which I probably will at length in a few more minutes but, for whom have they created employment is the question? That is the question.

Since the last election - we don't have to look too far, let us have a look at the former Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs, Bill Hogan, let us look at the employment created for that former minister; a Liberal minister, a $75,000 job in the Department of Employment and Labour to do a study. More recently he has been a benefactor of a fairly lucrative contract from the Cabot celebration. Now let us look at some of the other people for whom they have created employment. Gordon Seabright, who was unceremoniously dumped from the Workers' Compensation Appeal Tribunal and who replaced him, Mr. Speaker? Who replaced Gordon Seabright? Another defeated Liberal Cabinet minister, Eric Gullage.

Now, what is really peculiar about that situation that has developed is that, finally it created employment, they have been very selective, very selective but, Mr. Gullage gets appointed as the Chief Review Commissioner of the Workers' Compensation Commission. Immediately upon his appointment, not double-dipping, triple-dipping, even in some cases quadruple-dipping begins; I mean, it is laughable; $500 per case is what was supposed to be paid in that particular instance but postponements, $500 for a postponement. In fact, Mr Speaker, in seven to eight short months Mr. Gullage has made about $81,000. Not a bad short-term employment contract. Many Newfoundlanders would like to have that.

Who else have they created employment for? This essentially is a government that has made many rich people much richer. If we look at the amount of legal fees paid to Chalker Green & Rowe, if we look at the Trans City contract: blatant patronage, making millionaires millionaires many times over. Members in this House, particularly those on that side, can stand up and say that they are proud of their record of achievement. That they have guarded the books, that they've done such a marvellous job for the people of this Province. We will see what the next election will bring.

The reality is that this government is spending money in ways that it should not be spending it in. It is not what they doing so much that is getting this government in trouble on one hand, but it is what they are not doing in terms of looking ahead and looking at industries in a much more - potential industries that could be created, that need some investment, that need investment in capital, that need investment in people. This is where this government is lacking.

Let's take one example, the Newfoundland Dockyard. An operation that has existed in this Province for over one century. Initially the mandate of the Dockyard was it was a service centre for the marine fleet that operated on the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador up until the 1970s. That was its mandate. It was a Crown corporation that was never meant to participate, at that time, and go after the private sector business that was available to many shipyards, because it had an adequate supply of business that was incoming all the time, month by month, and it employed many Newfoundlanders.

Around the mid-1970s things began to change. The coastal fleet began to disappear, automation, modernization, technological advancement, began to take over, and the Dockyard at that time began to slip further behind. We entered the 1980s. When there was a problem with the Dockyard it was restructured. The federal government did not want to put an investment into the Newfoundland Dockyard but the provincial government came to its aid with an $8 million to $10 million investment in terms of a synchro-lift. At that time, my understanding is, that synchro-lift was put in place to go after work on Russian trawlers. Russian factory-freezer trawlers and others could be brought into the port, could be lifted out of the water, and the work could be done, thus employing many Newfoundlanders and thus creating new money coming into the economy. Not old money circulating round and round, but new dollars which create new jobs which provide new opportunities. That was the incentive at the time.

Two things didn't happen then, two things didn't happen at the Newfoundland Dockyard at that point. One, the port where ships would come in for the synchro-lift was not wide enough and it was not long enough. In fact, only about 60 per cent of its capacity really could be used. The PC government of the day should have invested more. The Newfoundland Dockyard has probably, for a shipyard, the most strategic location in the northwest Atlantic.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. E. BYRNE: That is what I'm leading to. There is no doubt about it. At that time that was a problem. It was an investment, because the federal government would not come to it's aid, the Cabinet of the day, the government of the day, saw fit to put its own money up front to reinvest in the Dockyard, but it didn't go far enough.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. E. BYRNE: No, neither government went far enough. No question about it, I say to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology. What happened then? Once the synchro-lift went in there the Dockyard's mandate changed. Because this is essentially the real issue for the Newfoundland Dockyard and it is an issue that this government I know is facing now. How it will face it, how it will respond to it, how it will help either solve a problem or create another one, is yet to be determined, but you enter into the mid to late 1980s.

Year after year for the past eight years the Dockyard has gone through subsequent managers, each coming in with a mandate of their own in terms of positioning the Newfoundland Dockyard for business that could go elsewhere, to search for work, to bid on work, to produce quality work, to gain a reputation nationally and internationally.

When the recent manager was appointed by the Board of Directors of Marine Atlantic, he came with an understanding that with him would come at least a $12 million cheque from the Federal Government, whether that be through ACOA or other sources, that would see new investment, new equipment, that would position the Dockyard to bid on future international work and national work.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. E. BYRNE: No, it is not enough. It was not enough, but it was a beginning. I would estimate that what the Dockyard needs right now is probably $24 million to $26 million.

AN HON. MEMBER: $30 million.

MR. E. BYRNE: $30 million? I guess we should explain, even for the record, why it needs that.

In a shipyard museum in Scotland there is equipment over there that the Dockyard is still using, some of it 80, 90 or 100 years old; it is incredible. There is a conveyor belt system down there that the Dockyard employees created for themselves, made for themselves, what they call a pamper.

AN HON. MEMBER: A pamper.

MR. E. BYRNE: They call it a pamper. That is the nickname on it. They actually welded it. I saw it. I was down and had a look at it. It is about twenty-four to twenty-five feet long, about six feet wide. It is connected for under the conveyor belt. The reason it is there is because the system that is being used leaks that much oil that it requires a pamper. The oil that is caught in the pan is recycled back into it. It is incredible what they are working with. But let's look at the quality of work that has gone on there. The quality of work has been high recently, because the workforce is well educated, it is well trained, and it has a commitment to high standards of which they have performed greatly.

Recently, the Dockyard employees built a ship, a seiner, I believe, the first ship that the Newfoundland Dockyard employees have built in twenty-five years. It was over budget, as most shipyards when first building ships are over budget, as happened in Nova Scotia when they got the frigate contract. The first frigate that they built was almost $1 billion over budget, but on the subsequent ones that they built, because they gained the technology, because they gained the skills, because the investment was made in the employees and in the area, they made money on each subsequent ship. That is the reality. The minister may say, `Maybe this, maybe that', but they did make money.

Right now, for example, that is what is needed at the Newfoundland Dockyard, a major, major recapitalization. It is strategically located in the world, but what has happened? Last year the Dockyard was on a short list, I believe, on a major contract for the Government of Peru. What happened with that contract? Why did Marine Atlantic stop the Newfoundland Dockyard from bidding on that contract? Here are the questions that must be asked, that surround that issue. Was it because they were not qualified? No, that wasn't it because, as I said before, the employees at the Newfoundland Dockyard are among the highest trained and skilled workforce in that area, in Atlantic Canada, if not nationally; so it wasn't because they weren't trained.

Was it because they could not do the job with the equipment they had down there? Albeit it would have been a challenging job for the employees with the equipment, but they could have done it. So the question remains, why was it pulled? Why did Marine Atlantic scuttle the contract, the bidding that went on for that major contract, that would have seen 300 to 400 people employed for a period of seven to ten years, eight months of the year each year for that period. What happened? The questions were asked in this House because I asked them this time last year.

AN HON. MEMBER: Did you get an answer?

MR. E. BYRNE: No answers forthcoming, again dealing with the loss of contract and why Newfoundland Dockyard could not bid on international work. The answers that came from the government here were similar to the answers I got yesterday: We are concerned about it, but it is really a Federal Government responsibility.

MR. FUREY: Surely, you agree with that, don't you?

MR. E. BYRNE: Surely, I would agree technically.

MR. FUREY: Well, surely you agree (inaudible).

MR. E. BYRNE: If the minister would give me chance. What I do agree with is that it is a Federal Government Crown corporation, but what I do not and cannot accept is this government's lack of responsibility to stand up and fight for those Newfoundlanders, because you have not done it, Sir. No one in this government has done it, not for the Newfoundland Dockyard.

Why, Mr. Speaker, did Marine Atlantic not let the Newfoundland Dockyard bid on international work? This is where we are getting to, this is the real issue. In a recent interview the president of Marine Atlantic who is a hatchet man, period - do you know what his background is? He was a deputy minister of northern development and he was the president of B.C. Ferry Services, and now he is the president of Marine Atlantic. He boasts publicly that his claim to fame is that he has worked on every frontier in Canada. Now, what that has to do with building ships, what that has to do with going after major international work or national work or Atlantic work, is beyond me. Because it does not have anything to do with it.

The reality is this, that Marine Atlantic has a mandate, a private agenda, to scuttle the Dockyard. That is the bottom line here. No matter what is said by any minister in this House, no matter what is said by any politician federally or municipally, it will not convince me otherwise. What is happening is this: Marine Atlantic will not let the Newfoundland Dockyard bid on work nationally. In print, the president of Marine Atlantic said this, and I quote: They cannot bid on any work in Quebec, we will not let them bid on any work in Ontario. The only thing we will let the Dockyard bid on is work in Atlantic Canada.

Mr. Speaker, surely, if I owned a company or if you owned a company, or if any member of this House owned a company that wanted to compete in the private sector, and you set up walls and limitations on that company that they could only operate within a small geographic area, what are you doing to yourself? You are putting yourself out of business, that is what you are doing. If you are really trying to privatize the Newfoundland Dockyard, or if you are really trying to give your own people a chance, if you are really trying to give the employees and their families the opportunity to survive, make a living, send children to school and work and live in a community, you would not do that. You would not begin to do that. You would not even conceive to do that. The only reason that is being done, again, is to close the Newfoundland Dockyard and, in effect, shut down the livelihoods of some 600 to 800 people in this Province on one coast.

It is fine for me as a member of this House to stand up and be critical; it is my job, on one hand. But I also have the responsibility to propose some solutions, which I intend to do now. What needs to happen with the Dockyard is simply this. It needs a major infusion of capital investment.

MR. FUREY: We all know the solution, it is very simple.

MR. E. BYRNE: If it is very simple, I say to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology, why haven't you got up off your backside to do it? Why have you been sitting down since 1989 and done nothing about it, if it is that simple? Seriously. If it is very simple, why haven't you done it since 1989? Let me ask you that.

MR. FUREY: You are just playing politics, that's all.

MR. E. BYRNE: My god!

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. E. BYRNE: My oh my! What an incredible statement!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. E. BYRNE: Mr. Speaker, what is required for the Newfoundland Dockyard is a major capital investment. There has to be legitimate and real reasons to go after it. If the government, federally or provincially or by some cost-shared arrangement, sets itself to bail out the Dockyard, to put it in a position where it can compete nationally, internationally, there has to be some legitimate reasons for it.

There are. One: the Newfoundland Dockyard is probably the most strategically located dockyard, ship-building facility, repair facility, fabrication yard, in the northwest Atlantic. Each year passing in front of our doorsteps, some twenty to thirty miles just outside the narrows of St. John's, 33,000 to 35,000 vessels pass by there.

AN HON. MEMBER: Per year?

MR. E. BYRNE: Per year. The next position, Mr. Speaker, the next place where those ships could stop for any repair, to re-service themselves, to pick up supplies is 2,000 nautical miles away. It is incredible. That is a legitimate reason.

The other reason is that beyond its strategic location the Newfoundland Dockyard and its employees, as I said before, are amongst the most highly trained and skilled workforce in Canada, in shipbuilding repair. Now, what is the other reason? What are some other good reasons that we should do it, besides all the social reasons in terms of providing employment? Last year for example the dockyard I believe - the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations may correct me - had a payroll of $25 million.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. E. BYRNE: $26.4 million was it? $26.4 million, that was their payroll. What did that do to the local economy in this Province? Incredible. Last year the dockyard, in terms of supply and services of places it contracted with - it purchased 40,000 tanks of oxygen from Canadian Liquid Air. If the dockyard closes down today, sixteen employees are laid off at Canadian Liquid Air. Mark it down because it will happen and it will happen immediately, effective like that, beyond the spin-off. Beyond the social reasons, what are some of the business reasons that we should do it? One, a major investment in the Newfoundland Dockyard will produce significant profits. Two, we have excellent - with proper marketing, skilled marketing because the marketing department that has been down there has not been doing their job because they have been handcuffed by Marine Atlantic. It is not because they do not have the ability to do it, it is not because they do not have the willingness to do it, it is not because they do not have the expertise to do it, it is because they do not have the support of their parent company, that is the problem.

Mr. Morrison, in a radio interview, was asked: Is there a likely possibly that the Newfoundland Dockyard will close down and be dismantled? His answer: Yes there is. Then in the same breath, in the next question, he said: But, we are bidding on some work for Hibernia now. We have a staff of sixty or so managers there. There is only one trades person on, so we are hopeful we will get it. Now when you are dealing with a major, major private sector company like those companies that are involved in the Hibernia Project and on the one hand the president of the company is saying that there is a likely possibility the Newfoundland Dockyard will shut down, how in the name of God do you expect to win bids and contracts? What message does it send out to the private sector? What message does it send out to the business community? Simply this: Don't do any work with us, we might not be around next week, we might not be around next month. That is what it is saying.

Now there are all sorts of figures, Mr. Speaker, that have been bandied about, talked about, spun out by some very irresponsible people in terms of what the dockyard has really lost. What has the dockyard lost last year for example? Some people say it lost $3 million, other people say it lost $1.5 million. The reality is that no one really knows. Morrison knows, Marine Atlantic knows I suppose but it is not information they are releasing to the public. It is not information they are releasing to the trades council. It is not information that they are willing to release because I don't believe they lost that much.

Well lets get back to what the Province can do. What did the Newfoundland Dockyard pay in payroll tax last year? $1.2 million in payroll tax. Could not the Newfoundland Dockyard, if the government brought in its EDGE legislation, be considered a company that could take advantage of the EDGE legislation? Is that a possibility? Why can't companies now existing, for the maintenance of 500 to 600 jobs, be incorporated into EDGE legislation that would give them an edge in the marketplace, that would give the employees of the Newfoundland Dockyard and their families an edge, a sign of hope maybe? That may be one thing that we can start. That may be one direction, one pillar that we can put up under the falling ceiling there in the Newfoundland Dockyard that can help keep it up and keep it alive.

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology made a few comments before he left, that I was demeaning myself somehow in playing politics with an issue. I don't want to play politics with this issue. Every MHA in this Legislature, especially every MHA in the St. John's and surrounding area who all have constituents and families working at the Newfoundland Dockyard, should put partisan politics aside on this issue and should go cheek to cheek and arm to arm and slug it out with the federal government to maintain those jobs. That is what needs to happen.

Now the minister said also that it is a simple solution that was required - simple, $24 million to $26 million. If it was that simple why couldn't, over the last six or seven years, there be a plan put in place to reinvest and recapitalize that dockyard? Why did we let it go to the state that it is today? Why did it happen? Things just don't happen like that. What is happening to the dockyard is exactly what is happening to the railway. There was a private agenda to scuttle it, to dismantle it, to get it off the backs of the federal government, but we should not let that happen. Whatever we can do within our power, within our influence, with who we know, with what we have to do, all the legislators here, but people in this surrounding area as well, every employee, we all have a responsibility at this time to come together on this issue. It is too important. Are we that flushed with jobs and employment in this Province that we can let 500 to 600 jobs just disappear? Are we that advantaged? I think not, Mr. Speaker. We talk about new opportunities in the global marketplace. The St. John's Dockyard is strategically located to take advantage of those new opportunities. It deserves investment. It deserves a chance.

Now, what about the private sector initiatives that have been going on? Who is interested in purchasing the dockyard? They have tried to privatize it on four or five occasions. I understand that there are a number of bids before it now. If the Newfoundland Dockyard can be privatized, sobeit, as long as it maintains jobs, it goes after international work, as long as it can compete - fair enough - but you are not going to privatize a dockyard by dismantling it and shutting it down. It is not enough to do that, and this is where the Province does have some leverage. This is where they do, because the Province has an $8 million to $10 million direct cash investment through the synchrolift. What about the Province's share if Marine Atlantic closes it down? Does the Province reap back the money they invested into the Newfoundland Dockyard, plus interest? We will see, but the Province does have some leverage, and do not let anyone think otherwise, because we do, and we have a responsibility to go after it.

Mr. Speaker, over the next week or so I hope to be asking questions to the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations on this issue, and I know that he, as one St. John's MHA over the past six or seven years, and as a Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, has fought for the Newfoundland Dockyard, and we disagree on many issues, but I know I cannot stand in my place today and say that he has not, because he has a number of constituents who work there. It is in his district, and I know that it is very important to him, but I want to say to him, as the minister, do not let the federal government dictate what will happen in this instance. If you do not, you can count on this member's support to ensure that those 500 or 600 jobs stay down there, and more, because the possibilities are that there could be more if the dockyard was let to have work.

Mr. Speaker, what about the federal government and the hypocritical response to the Newfoundland Dockyard? What have they done in Canada for other dockyards, for other shipbuilding facilities? In the Province of Quebec they gave a $363 million project to the shipyard MIL-Davie - $363 million. If the dockyard could have 5 per cent of that it would keep another 500 or 600 people alive, working today for another eight months. $363 million, let that not be lost, the impact that has had in the Province of Quebec. Let not the federal government stand up and say on one cheek that we are trying to get rid of Crown corporations and out of the shipbuilding repair, while at the same time, for other provinces, they are getting $363 million. That is just one example. What about Dartmouth shipbuilding yard? What was the size of the contracts for the frigates there, I say to the minister?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. E. BYRNE: $30 million or $40 million?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. E. BYRNE: $40 million to $46 million federal government work given to the shipbuilding in Halifax.

What about international work? What work is happening internationally? Morrison, the President of Marine Atlantic, said there is nothing happening internationally, the reality is that there is really not much going on, trying to create the perception that there is no work for the dockyard, no work for shipyards anywhere in the world - blatant, blatant, misleading statements made by him.

In the European Union today there is $18 billion worth of work going on, with next year anticipated another $20 billion to $22 billion more work that needs to be done for the European Community alone. We are not even looking at the needs in the Pacific Rim; we are not looking at the needs in the Baltic States. This is just the ten member countries that make up the European Union.

There is $18 billion worth of work going on right now and next year $20 to $22 billion worth of work needs to be done in ship building, ship repair fabrication.

Why can we not bid on it? Why can we not bid on that? Why can the Newfoundland Shipyard not bid on that? We are not allowed at this point because it is not part of their agenda. It is not part of Marine Atlantic's agenda. This, Mr. Speaker, is just one example of what this federal government has been able to do in this Province since it has become elected with very little opposition.

MR. EFFORD: Why can it not be privatized?

MR. E. BYRNE: The minister must have been out of the House when I said that if it can be privatized let us privatize it, as long as it will stay open and as long as it can bid on international work. Right now the dockyard could be doing that. It could be creating a profit that would make it more lucrative and attractive to private investors, but that is not happening, because Marine Atlantic will not let it happen.

Over the past two years if the dockyard was allowed to bid internationally, because it has the expertise and the marketing individuals down there to do it, if it had been allowed to do that, if it had gotten some international work which it was in a position to do, we may be able to sell the dockyard today at a greater profit but we can't. If you were to invest your own money in a facility that was going to be dismantled would you really invest your own money? But if you were going to invest your money in a company that was vibrant, that was going after international work, that was bidding, that was getting it and had a future, maybe it would seem a more sound investment. I am not against privatization here, but what I am against is a private agenda that scuttled families from work and a facility that can work if it were given a chance to work.

With that, I think my time is up.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. MURPHY: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Just a few comments in conjunction with what the hon. member has said about the Newfoundland Dockyard. As he said sometimes we disagree and, I suppose, rightfully so if the opinions are different, but I would concur that most, if not all, of what the hon. member had to say this morning is correct.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: About the dockyard?

MR. MURPHY: Yes.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Not what he said before that.

MR. MURPHY: No. About the dockyard. Let that be clear.

Just to make some more comment about the Newfoundland Dockyard. It is, I suppose, nothing less than discouraging when you see what I feel is an negative agenda. It has been in place a long time I say to the member, and as the members knows and readily admits, I have been involved with the dockyard since 1989. I spent quite an amount of time dealing with the then Minister Crosbie and his principals. The member is totally right about the subsidy level that went into Sorel, MIL Davie, what has happened in the St. John yard, what has happened in the Halifax-Dartmouth yard, and what has not happened in the Newfoundland dockyard.

Just by example a couple of weeks ago there was a fabrication tender that came out from the Hibernia project which the Newfoundland Dockyard bid on, FOB yard, which obviously gave the Newfoundland Dockyard a better chance to get the contract because of our proximity with Hibernia. Two weeks later the tender was amended FOB Hibernia which basically took the yard out of that particular tender as such, but we still may get it.

These are the kind of things that are very disturbing. Not aggressive is what Marine Atlantic has been saying to the management people at the yard for some three years now. Do not be aggressive. Do not bid on international work. As the member knows, and all members know, when you have a yard with the capability of building a floating batch plant to pour all the cement on the Hibernia GBS - that job was done at the Newfoundland Dockyard, this time 820 employees with good quality, high-paying jobs.

AN HON. MEMBER: Under budget?

MR. MURPHY: Well, I say to the member, somebody may - you know the bean counters, I know the bean counters, you can make something look a little -

AN HON. MEMBER: How did it work out (inaudible) period of time (inaudible).

MR. MURPHY: Let me tell the member that the job - the information that came back to me personally was that the quality of that batch plant work was beyond expectations; it was delivered before the requirement time and that batch plant was responsible for pouring all the slip form work at the GBS. So the member is right, we do have a quality workforce. I never wanted to make an issue of the archaic equipment that those employees were working with because some of it should be in the Smithsonian Institute. It was a credit to the quality of the workers at the yard, to be able to perform, to be able to bid and to be able to do work with that kind of equipment in comparison to the yard in Quebec, in St. John, in Halifax and in Dartmouth.

Now, most yards today, I say to the member, are subsidized. For whatever reason governments have let the shipbuilding industry and/or refit and/or repair fall into that category, I have no idea; but I say to the member and I say to the members of the House that I did have discussion yesterday, when I was in Toronto, with Minister Young whom Marine Atlantic reports back to, and he assured me that during the negotiations that Marine Atlantic will be conducting - and their agenda: without question, I say to the member, and we all should know and understand it, Marine Atlantic's agenda is to privatize and/or sell the yard.

Now, I agree with the member. If we privatize the yard and the yard is competitive and it gets out there and is bidding international work, the yard is identified in the trade magazines associated with -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MURPHY: None of that, no, the member is entirely right. The whole thing takes on the same smell as the railway. You take a situation, you downgrade it to a point that it is totally unattractive to anybody and then they say: Well, it can't make any money so we have no alternative. So I say to the member that we will be meeting, and I say `we', the Premier, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology and myself on Monday morning with the workers representatives. Mr. Young guaranteed me yesterday, that Mr. Morrison, who is the CEO of Marine Atlantic, will be available to the Premier's Office any time during these negotiations to continue to bring this government up-to-date on what is going on. Because the member again is right, that the people of this Province have $8 million in the yard in the synchrolift and at the end of the day, I think, it would be a total and utter shame that that whole property may provide twenty-five or thirty jobs in a marshalling-yard situation and/or a lay down as we know it for pipe casings etcetera and a few forklift operators and a few what have you.

The yard has the capability, as we know - as a matter of fact in the history of the yard, last summer there were more people working at the yard than ever in the history of the yard, 820-some employees. I say to the Federal Government, if they want to play games or if Marine Atlantic wants to play games with whether or not that job made money, all you do is look at the payroll, look at the income tax from that payroll, look at the GST from that payroll and you could never say, you could never justify, not in your wildest dreams that the yard lost money on that job.

So, I assure the member that this government is doing everything it can, I am doing everything I can, as I have over the last six years in dealing with Mr. Crosbie and others, to try to keep that yard because we all should realize this and we have seen it too often lately, that once that chain and that lock go shut, it is very, very difficult to unlock it for whatever the reason. So we have to keep in our minds and we have to strive to do everything we possibly can to keep the Newfoundland Dockyard doing what it has done for seventy-five years and that is the repair and the refit of the marine business that, as the member said is all around us, but when management at the dockyard are told from Moncton or from Ottawa: No, no, don't be aggressive, only bid on local work' - where is the local work? Our groundfish resource is gone. If the trawlers from FPI and Nat Sea were available - that work is gone.

So the two ferries that were built in Quebec just happened to be twenty-two feet too long for the dry dock, just happened to be. So we can't bring them in and put them on dry dock. Their own ferries, Marine Atlantic's own vessels, where you would think that they would be able to do their own vessels, certainly would have saved them and would give the business to themselves but they don't have that ability or capability. However in saying those things, I can assure the member that we will be prudent, we will do our best to remind the principals that are negotiating this deal, that this government supports the continuation of the Newfoundland Dockyard as we knew it. If it goes private, then I am sure the member understands, that is a situation we have no control over. We will not turn our heads away from the $8 million that the yard owes the people of this Province and the accumulated interest but we would never draw that in if we knew the jobs were going to be available at the yard. We would not call that in.

So I say to the member that I am sure he will hear and I am sure he will be asking questions about the progress between now - and I want the member to know and understand, that Marine Atlantic, and, my understanding is, one serious bid and another bid that may be not so serious, let me say, we will be watching that, watching it very closely, and we will be doing everything we possibly can to ensure that those people who have had an opportunity - and the member knows, the Member for Ferryland at that peak last year had about 120 of his constituents working at the yard. The Member for St. John's East Extern had people working at the yard. The Member for Kilbride had people at the yard. The Member for Waterford - Kenmount had people there. It isn't just a yard that - my colleagues in Carbonear, Harbour Grace, all over the Northeast Avalon, it provides jobs for people. So let me say to the member, he can be assured that we will do everything possible, I will do everything possible to make -

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Bowing down to the federal minister.

MR. MURPHY: Now the member could probably give me a lecture on bowing down to federal ministers. I remember - now I am glad the Member for Grand Bank said that because there was nobody - when I talked about conservation officers way back five or six years ago with the member, he said, `Well, I can't embarrass John.' So now the member is the last one I want to hear a lecture from on kowtowing or bowing down to federal ministers.

MR. J. BYRNE: You were.

MR. MURPHY: Well, now, the Member for St. John's East Extern, of course, knows full that that is not the case; I never did, never will, and don't intend to now, I say to the Member for Grand Bank. If he had been prudent, on top of it, and listened to this member -if we went to the steps as I suggested, all fifty-two strong of us, some five or six years ago, we might be better off today, I say to the Member for Grand Bank. I talked about conservation offers and what have you, and he knew I had a good point but he didn't want to offend John. He was afraid of offending John. He said: Well, you know, Crosbie is a good man and he is looking after us and so forth and so on. He always had a little bit - no, he always -

MR. SULLIVAN: (Inaudible).

MR. MURPHY: Let me say to the Member for Ferryland, I also had an opportunity to have a meeting with Minister Axworthy. The two-tier system that was of very great concern for all of us here in Newfoundland, re: the permanent worker, re: the seasonal worker. That is something that was very - and the Minister of Education was on that social committee. That was of very great concern for us. I say to the Member for Ferryland, that is no longer a consideration of the Federal Government. There is no two-tier system in UI, it is gone. And this government, this minister and the Minister of Social Services played a large role in convincing Minister Axworthy - a large role.

MR. SULLIVAN: Sure, he brought it in.

MR. MURPHY: No, I say to the member, that is incorrect and if he hadn't got on with that stuff he may have done a little better a couple weekends ago. It is incorrect. But let me go back to my colleague, the Member for Kilbride and tell him, yes, we will be prudent, we will do our best on the dockyard situation.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. MURPHY: Mr. Speaker, if the Member for Ferryland wants to carry on a private conversation, perhaps behind the Chair or outside is an appropriate place to do it.

MR. SULLIVAN: (Inaudible) defend myself.

MR. MURPHY: No, I say to the Member for Ferryland, to be quite candid with him, I always have been impressed with his diligence, his hard work. I have a little bit of a problem with his math at times, over another issue which is long gone, but I wonder - and over the last few days, I have heard the members talk about how you can't keep the government caucus quiet - they are all eating one another over there.

Now, let me make a quick comment. I will make a prediction today that when caucus solidarity - and I don't know how it is; it is a good show over there now, and I see the Member for Burin - Placentia West clapping, but I can see it over there; it is not as strong, I say to the member, as they want us to believe. It is starting to crack. It is like the Liberty Bell; it is starting to crack, and you can see it. It is very easy to recognize. It is starting to come apart.

Today, the Member for Waterford - Kenmount was sitting on the edge of his seat with a question for the minister, shaking, trying to get up, and what happened? The Leader of the Opposition drew so much time - well, the member knew, so the Member for St. John's East, the last question, addresses the question.

AN HON. MEMBER: A burning issue.

MR. MURPHY: A burning issue. So we can see what is going over here. We are watching. We are looking, and we are sensing that there is starting to be fragmentation in the Opposition.

AN HON. MEMBER: Dream on.

MR. MURPHY: I don't think the hand-raising at the end of the decision of the delegates is as strong now as it was then, I say to the member. We will see. Time will tell how well our friends opposite get along, and what happens after the House closes.

AN HON. MEMBER: Solidarity.

MR. MURPHY: Solidarity, oh, yes. I say to the Member for - I don't know how he spells solidarity. He may want to spell it -

MR. ROBERTS: (Inaudible).

MR. MURPHY: Yes, I thank the House Leader. He is an excellent speller, a marvellous House Leader and a super speller.

AN HON. MEMBER: What did he say?

MR. ROBERTS: (Inaudible).

MR. MURPHY: All in all, the Member for Ferryland - and I never had a chance since, I never saw him - I wanted to offer both him and the Member for Grand Bank sincere congratulations. I think the Member for Grand Bank did an excellent -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MURPHY: No, don't get into that. I forget the `i'. Where does the `i' go?

Anyway, I want to congratulate the Member for Grand Bank. I think you did a wonderful job, as I saw it, and, of course, the Member for Ferryland who is, as everybody knows, my member where I live.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MURPHY: Oh, yes, I say the member does know, because the member also knows how much I have done for some of his constituents over the last few years.

MR. SULLIVAN: You have a nice cabin up there, I must say.

MR. MURPHY: Well, the member may want to call it a cabin because he has a much better home, I would suggest.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MURPHY: It depends on your resources, and one of the platforms in the member's campaign was that he was a businessman, and he stressed that, and I believe it, so he is much more fortunate. I was never a businessman. I only could accumulate the few dollars that somebody gave me every second Friday, so the member was very fortunate, and what he calls a home to him, and what I have he may call a cabin, but to me it is a home.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MURPHY: Oh, out of this world. He can entertain 100 in his house.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) fortunate.

MR. MURPHY: I was very fortunate.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MURPHY: Well, he has been a merchant, comes from a merchant family, and there is nothing wrong with that. You cannot compare him to Minister Crosbie, the friend of the Member for Grand Bank, but he has done alright over the years for himself.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MURPHY: Well, I say to the member, if you go to Witless Bay now and look at the crab plant and who owns it, that years ago would be deemed a merchant, and it is owned by the Sullivans.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MURPHY: Oh, yes, I say to the member, and other interests around the Province, and other -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MURPHY: Well, Joey got a little bit in it, but that is nothing. I understand it all, but the member has done well. Well he has been a merchant and comes from a merchant family. There is nothing wrong with that. You cannot compare him to Minister Crosbie, the friend of the Member for Grand Bank, but he has done alright for himself over the years.

AN HON. MEMBER: He did not come from a merchant family.

MR. MURPHY: Well, I say to the member, if you go to Witless Bay now, and you look at the crab plant and who owns it, years ago they would be deemed merchants. It is owned by the Sullivans.

AN HON. MEMBER: Is that so?

MR. MURPHY: Oh, yes, I say to the member, and other interests around the Province. Well, Joey has a little bit in it but that is nothing. I understand it all, but the member has done well. He fell short and I am sorry, to be quite candid. I think the member had a lot to offer. I do not think the member has the baggage that the new Leader of the Opposition has, and that, of course, will be an issue over the coming months and years, as we go into the election, and as the Member for Humber East is probably much aware.

However, it is the first opportunity I had to say to the Member for Ferryland that I was very impressed with his hard work, which he is known for, and his diligence. He came within that whisker and I know what it is to win by a whisker I say to the hon. member. In 1989 I won by two votes after the official recount so I know what it is to be close I say to the member. I wish him well as he carries on with his political career and I am sure the day is not far away when the Member for Ferryland will take his rightful place in that seat, and will remain in that seat for ten or twelve years, and do an exceptionally good job while he is there.

MR. REID: He had the vast majority of the delegates you know, it was the ex-officios that done the job on him.

MR. MURPHY: The Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs is right, it was the old guard that let the member down. I think all the new, young, vibrant people, the 15,000 you talked about of which about 9000 were Liberals out socializing, as Newfoundlanders do, I say to the minister. I must say that the member had, in my district, just about all the delegates. I think there might have been one.

AN HON. MEMBER: Six to five.

MR. MURPHY: Six to five. Now, that just goes to show you, if you are talking to a Tory in St. John's South he does not know what he is talking about.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible)

MR. MURPHY: Well, if the member had to call me I might have carried him over the top I say to him, because the member knows how much my constituents think of me, and, of course, will send me back with a much more resounding majority than they did in 1993. The member is also aware of that.

I look forward still, to working with the member and doing what I can. As he will see when he gets back to his office, a nice package there on the employment programs, as all members will. Hopefully, as the hon. member knows we do not have all the money we will need but we will try and do our best, as we did in the other program. We are trying to do what we can. I look forward to dealing with the member. To be quite honest, Mr. Speaker, I would like to go on the record. I look forward to the Member for Ferryland sitting as Leader of the Tory Party and being the Leader of the Opposition for many, many years to come.

With those few works, Mr. Speaker, thank you.

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

MR. SULLIVAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

It is too bad the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations cannot live in every community in my district. I would have won with a majority twice as big as I won the last time. He has done a great service to me up in the district and I thank him for doing that.

Now, I would like to get back to the Budget, the so-called infamous balanced Budget. The Minister of Finance calls it a balanced Budget. He took a $25 million surplus last year, a $25 million surplus on current account, and of course a deficit when you consider our capital expenditures, when the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation had given a commitment he was not going to do it. We are going to take that $31 million we are getting this year, we are going to take the $14 million we are getting next year, we are going to take the $11 million the following year, and we are going to put it into a fund. That is not going to go into the general revenues. We are going to use that $55 million to operate the ferry service on the South Coast and I think in White Bay, in perpetuity it would carry it, because $55 million with revenues would bring you in approximately $5 million a year and that is the cost of operating that service today.

Now, there is no fund. The $31 million is gone to balance our Budget, to make it look like we had a balanced Budget this past year. Now, they did another procedure that I do not disagree with but it still gives the perception of a balanced Budget. They took the $20 million from the sinking fund and put it into general revenues. Now, I agree with that aspect, I agree with doing that, because I do not see much point in building up sinking fund surpluses, why not call it revenues? That's a fine procedure there and I am not disagreeing but without that, they did not produce a balanced Budget for last year. They only give the perception of one and by using the accounting procedures that were used in the past, they had a far cry from a balanced Budget. In fact they were about $26 million shy last year of balancing their current account Budget based on their past methods of presenting Budgets.

Now this upcoming year, 1995, they are proposing that a balanced Budget with a surplus on operating of a current account of $128 million, when you factor in the capital expenditures there is only a surplus of $2 million in this year's Budget. Now once again, they dipped into the sinking fund for approximately $70.6 million of that from the sinking fund surplus; another $13 million they are taking from the South Coast ferry service and they are throwing that into current account revenues to bring it up to about $83 million, $84 million and there is a net amount on the offshore revenue fund, another $7 million net, they are taking that into revenues again this year along with $13 million they are proposing to obtain for the privatization of Newfoundland Hardwoods and the Holiday Inns; so basically, they are looking at, when you total all these, we have about $100-and-some million that are one-time things that are happening to give the perception that we are going to have a balanced Budget when really, we are going to be about $100 million short.

Now, another thing they have done and the Premier stated in this House before that Newfoundland Hydro's debt is a contingent liability on this Province therefore we need to privatize it to lift that burden; it is affecting our credit rating. Now what they have done this year in the Budget is, they have taken almost $20 million in dividends and taken as revenue for this Province for Newfoundland Hydro. Now that is going to do, the Premier stated, and in case the Government House Leader missed it, he stated that there is a liability on this Province, a contingent liability for Hydro, therefore it is important to lift that away, remove that from this Province so it can maintain or enhance our credit rating.

Now what this Budget is proposing to do is one of two things to recover that $20 million. If you take a $20 million dividend away from a corporation, that means that corporation has less money to do one of two things. It has to spend less to retire its debt, so that is $20 million less that Hydro is going to spend to retire its debt, that is one option, or the other option is to recoup it either in efficiencies in administration or increased rates to the consumers from Hydro or indirectly from the consumers through Newfoundland Power, so basically that is what is happening and I think what is going to happen to be honest with you, there is an obligation by Hydro and any other corporation to move and to allocate funds to retire their debt, you have to do that -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: I know, yes. I am not debating that point, that is going on regardless of what you do with your dividends.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible)

MR. SULLIVAN: Yes, that's what I am stating. It is a dividend that is coming for the operating profits of Hydro.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Yes. We didn't get one before, we didn't get a return on equity; now we are getting a return on equity and that is going to do one of two things I mentioned - there is the Government House Leader - it is going to have less revenues available to Hydro in debt retirement that the Premier said is affecting the credit rating of this Province, so now the government is advocating we are going to further jeopardize the credit rating of Hydro and subsequently this Province, or -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: It is not twisted logic. We are going to charge the rate payers of this Province a higher electrical rate to recoup that $19.6 or $19.7 million. That is basically one of two things -

AN HON. MEMBER: Somebody has to pay for it.

MR. SULLIVAN: - and somebody is going to pay for it, yes.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: If you want to talk to me on that, I will tell you what seat I should be running in. I'll run in any particular seat you want me to run in, it doesn't matter, if I win, I win, if I lose, I lose.

MR. ROBERTS: I appreciate that but I won't be looking for the nomination (inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: You won't be looking for the nomination, you mean you are quitting, getting out?

MR. ROBERTS: I did it once.

MR. SULLIVAN: Yes. I will do like the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation. I will save my comments on the electoral boundaries when it comes up here in the House. I have some very strong comments on electoral boundaries, and not just on the procedure; on the actual issue itself. Which I usually do when I speak on issues. I deal with issues.

MR. ROBERTS: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Yes. I was dealing with issues here, Mr. Speaker, until I did get interrupted by the Government House Leader and had to divert temporarily from the issue.

I will just get back to the issue again. Basically what we need to be doing in this Province is we need to be friendly to small business in this Province. The Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses in their 1994 banking survey, there were some very important things that were addressed there that we need to be moving, not only as a province but as a country, basically. Because the banks are a service in the entire country, basically, regulated through federal, not just provincial, but the Province can have a say, and the collective voice of the provinces can influence decisions and so on that banks make in lending procedures. I know some effort, some discussions, are ongoing now.

The report said banks must find more cost-effective ways of evaluating small business loan applications. Banks got to the point where they became less personal and decisions higher and higher up the line were getting made. They weren't the best decisions based on performance of individuals in obtaining loans from those banks. A few key points here I think that are important to entice business investment here in this Province and to be able to increase our employment levels, it said: Banks must target proportions of their business lending portfolios to small loans. The achievement of small business lending targets should be part of the reward system for bank personnel.

We have to look at getting a more subjective approach on the small loans. Some of the main banks in our country - the Royal Bank, for example, only 24 per cent of commercial loans go to small loans as opposed to larger commercial loans.

MR. ROBERTS: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: No, that is just of loans.

MR. ROBERTS: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Yes, yes.

MR. ROBERTS: - but on dollar value it would be a smaller percentage than that.

MR. SULLIVAN: No, it is a percentage of loans.

MR. ROBERTS: What percentage of dollars?

MR. SULLIVAN: In terms of dollars it hasn't specified at this point, but I was getting on to the share - like the CIBC, for example, was 24 per cent, the Bank of Montreal was 33 per cent, the Hong Kong was up to 40 per cent. When you look at the share of total bank lending to small business as a total lending percentage, and I think this is a percentage now, the Royal Bank is showing 30 per cent down to a low of 6 per cent in small business.

Basically I think the focus needs to be that there has to be a more personal approach farther down in the banking system to make decisions on personal loans based on someone's credit. Not having someone in Halifax or some other part making a decision on a person who visits a Bank of Nova Scotia or a Bank of Montreal branch here. You have to look at the person's track record, that is important; but knowing that individual too would reap a much better return, and employment levels, and a better stimulation of the economy.

I think we need to decentralize a little more the small business loans and so on in the decision making process. That is conducive to increased employment there. Because small business is accounting for a big percentage of employment in this country. We know the down sizing that occurs in big corporation. You look at I.B.M., the drastic cutbacks. In most major corporations there is a tremendous down sizing, elimination of middle management, and a more streamlined system that is there. So we have a down sizing. It is the smaller businesses that is the engine that is driving this economy.

When you look at in this Province the unemployment rates - that is something I read there May 6 in the Telegram; it just showed job figures by provinces - we've had a shrinking labour force. In fact the labour force has shrunk in Canada just recently, just this past month. We've had a shrinking labour force. Unemployment levels in this Province are at intolerable levels, up to 20 per cent, the highest in the country. When we have Saskatchewan - now, Saskatchewan too has its share of financial problems and debt-related problems. Its unemployment rate is only 7.4 per cent, even though it has major per capita debt problems. But still, people are working in Saskatchewan, more so than in any other province in this country.

In Quebec, 11.9 per cent unemployment, New Brunswick, 13.5 per cent, Nova Scotia, 13.5 per cent, and we have over 50 per cent more people unemployed in relation to the workforce in this Province than they have in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. P.E.I. is on a par with us.

Now, I guess governments can twist and have something read whatever way they want it to sound. Something I read way back a few years ago when this government took over, came into power, it said when Premier Clyde Wells set up his Economic Recovery Commission he was full of doom and gloom and stated: There is high unemployment, a growing dependence on unemployment insurance, apparent decline in population, and his belief that the economic performance of Newfoundland and Labrador has not kept pace with the growth experienced on average throughout Canada or the Atlantic Provinces.

It goes on to say: We cannot, in conscience, allow this to happen if we can humanly reverse that process, basically. Then, he went on to point out: On June 6, 1989, when they brought down their first Budget, he stated that though the disparity between Newfoundland and the rest of the country was still big, and though the Province remained, to an unacceptable large degree, dependent on transfer payments, it went on to mention that we are currently going through an extended period of economic growth. That was just a month after it was doom and gloom. Then he appointed Dr. House to head up the Economic Recovery Commission, and a day later they had a completely different outlook than they had the day before.

I say to the minister now, this Province has not done anything to enhance the business climate and the creation of jobs in this Province. The former Minister of Employment and Labour Relations did more to turn away businesses, as a minister, from this Province, to reduce the employment levels in this Province - he was part of the Cabinet and the government that brought in a payroll tax. In 1990-'91 it was $23.9 million.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: I only had fifteen minutes there, I have thirty now and I am going to say a little more.

Then they increased the payroll tax to $47 million.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: At least we have the minister back in the House now. We have him back in the Province, I should say. We have him back in Canada, I should say. That is nice to know.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SULLIVAN: I heard he left his golf clubs overseas when he was over. They will be shipped back next week.

On payroll tax, it has now gone up to $75 million - $75 million last year in payroll tax. They are looking at gouging more on payroll tax next year. They have even budgeted higher for this year again in payroll tax, so the minister is part of a government that is neglecting to address the drastic employment problems here in this Province, and since 1989 we haven't seen any improvement. We have seen a deterioration. They brought in EDGE legislation now that is going to turn the whole equation upside down; it is going to solve all of our economic woes.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Yes, I am delighted to see there are companies coming into this Province. In fact, we should have more of it. Whether EDGE is going to do it, I am not sure.

MR. MURPHY: Cucumbers didn't do it, I remind the member.

MR. SULLIVAN: No, I am aware of that, and Trans City didn't do it either, I can assure the member. There are a lot of areas, and I will get to a few more in health care that didn't do it, either, now, in a few minutes, if you give me time. I know the minister is not here. He will probably pick up your golf clubs. He will be back on the twenty-third. Does he swing from the same side?

AN HON. MEMBER: No, but he is a swinger.

MR. SULLIVAN: We have a few of them in government. The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations professes to be an expert in that category. I must say, he is doing something to enhance the valuation of his property in my district, I must say, and he knows all about the roads up there in my district.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: I tell you, since you have visited a little more frequently this past year you have done more to enhance my re-election than anything else.

I hope the minister will come up frequently. When I drive back and forth each day I usually spin in around your house to see if I can find you to have a chat but I can never seem to find you.

MR. MURPHY: Well, I invite the member to drop in tonight, tomorrow night or Sunday night.

MR. SULLIVAN: Oh, you go up on weekends do you? Up visiting on weekends. Well, it is getting into the barbecue season now and summertime. Most people like to get out to their cabins in the summertime. Most people don't usually go out in the wintertime - around the pond, a very nice area.

MR. MURPHY: The member knows the difference (inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: It is a very nice area there, I must say. I wouldn't leave the wrong impression, I can assure you. It is a very nice area. I would encourage anybody to come up and visit.

It is too bad the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation is not here. I have researched a few little things for the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation. Maybe I will repeat them when he comes back in but I have to get to these before I run out of time. With this terrible winter we have had, with the snow and the ice conditions and all the work needed on our highways across the Province, do you realize that in spite of such a harsh winter this government spent less money on snow and ice control than it did in 1991, $1 million less, in 1992 $1 million less? They have spent less money on snow and ice control during this difficult winter than they spent in even 1990, '91, '92 or '93 and the minister talked about improved highway conditions - less money spent and twice as much snow and ice conditions as in the past. So we have seen a deterioration in the service for the people who are driving on our highways across this Province.

We have seen a complete deterioration in the infrastructure in roads in our Province in the last six years. We have seen a budget that has gone from $50 million-odd on road construction and bridge construction, down to one now that is only a pittance, $7 million in new money, I think, this year going into roads here in the Province. I think it is a sad state when we are going to allow the roads of our Province to deteriorate to such a level that it is going to take an infusion, I can tell you, of hundreds of millions of dollars to get them back to an acceptable standard. Then this government is bringing in a bill that is now going to take those deteriorated roads and they are going to force municipalities now to take these against their will. That is what this bill is going to do that was introduced here in the House on first reading, on Tuesday, I think. So basically we are going to download further on municipalities in the Province.

I want an opportunity to get to health care in the limited time I have left. We have seen in the Budget this year -

AN HON. MEMBER: How much time does he have (inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: A limited time. Oh, it was a good time.

In the Budget under health care, this year this government is reducing by $3 million the grants that are given to hospitals in the Province. Now, this has government stated and the Minister of Health stated that we are going to have a better service for health care in the Province. We have seen $3 million taken out of the hospital budget. In long-term care facilities - we have $1.1 million taken out of long-term care facilities in the Province. We have $750,000 on health care centres taken out in this Province and we are going to see an improvement in health care? The minister stated yesterday, he admitted, we have taken $2.5 million out of $7.2 million out of dental care and he said we are going to have better dental care. If that is the case, take every dollar out of road construction and we will get better roads, take every dollar out of health care and we will get better health. Is that what they are saying? Is that their logic? It is not practical. We know that you can't slice $4 million out of health care and expect to get better health care. That is not practical.

I would like to draw attention to a point. I made a statement in the House in response to the minister's, that we have seen a reduction in hospital beds in the Province and I am not opposed to a reduction in hospital beds if the structure is there to be able to deal with those people out in the communities. The executive director of the Hospital Nursing Home Association came out and made a statement that, well it is not necessarily bad to have beds closed and so on, we need community structures. The same person, a month earlier - and I saved a copy of this, April 9th, '94 - the same person stated - and the heading was in The Evening Telegram - `Don't cut beds too hastily' says Rob Burnell, of the Hospital Nursing Home Association. The same person, a month later went to the defence of government on something that he had made a statement - `We need to be sure we have properly developed community health services first', said Robin Burnell, the Association's Executive Director. You can't cut the institution's capacity until you make sure you have other and better ways to look after people who need health care.

Now, that is the same person who defended the government's stand. I am saying: put the structure in place in communities to have and accommodate those people there; there is nothing wrong with reducing hospital beds if the need is not there. They are expensive, they are costing $140,000 a year. I know in New Brunswick they did it; it cost $145,000 in New Brunswick to keep a person in hospital all year long; it costs over $100,000 in this Province and I say to the minister, it costs $60,000 to keep a person in a nursing home in this Province but it only costs in a personal care home, an average of $2,400 a year in a personal care home in this Province, so we need, where possible to keep people in their own homes, if the cost is going to be less to this Province. We have not developed that structure out in the community to do that; we haven't developed any structure.

Here is what the Premier said about it on September 3, '93. I say to the Minister of Tourism, Recreation and Culture, the Premier said on September 3, '93, that he is not ruling out user fees in a bid to control health care costs. He said that may, in the end, prove to be right and if they are, I believe we will all have to resort to user fees in order to protect the health care system from being overwhelmed by burgeoning costs.

MR. GRIMES: Would you today (inaudible) and say you would never, ever entertain the concept of the user fees. Is that what you would do if you were leader?

MR. SULLIVAN: No. That is not what I said.

MR. GRIMES: Alright. You are saying the same thing the Premier said.

MR. SULLIVAN: No, that's not what I said.

MR. GRIMES: That's what he said.

MR. SULLIVAN: No. The minister doesn't pay attention to what is being said and then he butts in and tries to put words in my mouth that are not factual at all. He is pretty good at that.

MR. GRIMES: I just asked you what you would say.

MR. SULLIVAN: What about health care? I have a letter here from a doctor, a very, very interesting letter - a doctor who left this Province actually. It is a 9-page letter that I had sent to me from a doctor who is now out in a rural area of the Province of Saskatchewan. And just to give an indication of what people have to contend with in this Province, this doctor was promised when he came to this Province, excellent living conditions, far superior to what the doctor had before and a $90,000 salary for a specialist, now. That is not exorbitant. He was told that he would be on call on alternate weekends, the workload was light, excellent time off, excellent family life, and this would compensate for the geographic location of that doctor.

Here is what the doctor got when he arrived: Less than that money. Because he had a provisional licence and they didn't inform the doctor. That doctor worked almost ever day, on call twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, for three consecutive months at a time. That is what that person got. Increased the rent when he got here from what it was before, and it wasn't the money the doctor was concerned with. The doctor was concerned with time to be able to give to his patients. That is the type of thing that is happening in this Province.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Yes, the Hippocratic oath, he said. What this doctor stated here - actually the doctor stated it here and I will just quote a part from it if I can find it. It is a lengthy letter but here is what he said: I never fought with - I won't name the person - over money and it was not my primary concern. My primary concern was service to the patients and an equitable contract for the staff which was the same for all medical staff. Then he went on to other things that are not related to what I'm saying here that I don't want to bring up again. I addressed this earlier.

I filed copies of this with the former Minister of Justice and the former Minister of Health and the Director of Public Prosecutions. All got copies of all these detailed things.

AN HON. MEMBER: Who wrote this letter?

MR. SULLIVAN: That was a doctor who is now out in Saskatchewan. I don't want to name him at this time but -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: No, I'm not saying anything pertaining to that. I'm only talking about his service. They investigated and checked on other matters that I didn't make any reference to. I only made a reference to the workload of that particular doctor or some of the things that are involved there. The investigation, yes, it centred on a few other items that I haven't addressed and they've been dealt with, and I don't wish to resurrect them here. Okay?

We know in this Province we have a declining state of nursing homes. Back I think in the fall of 1993 Agnew Peckham's study made reference to several nursing homes here in the St. John's region. It stated that out of the long-term care beds that are here now - 1,184 - 740 are not adequate and do not meet the standards for today. That is a sad commentary when over two-thirds of every single nursing home bed here in the City of St. John's doesn't meet the standards.

The Agnew Peckham study was in the fall of 1993. I read it in detail. It is very lengthy, comprehensive, and very excellent work done on the study. For example, if you want to get specific, the Glenbrook Lodge had 146. They recommended they phase out the old building and upgrade the remaining parts. St. Luke's, 132 beds there; they have to phase out the annex, the new hostel and extended care areas. Hoyles-Escasoni, that is a government owned one. They must comprehensively upgrade that facility.

The only ones that were okay were in the Miller Centre, the fifty-two beds for the DVA pavilion there, and the other fifty-three beds, thirty-nine continuing care and nineteen Alzheimer beds there, were not okay, and they are completely out.

MR. GRIMES: What is the problem?

MR. SULLIVAN: Here is what is wrong. I will give you some examples of what is wrong. For example, people usually go to a nursing home, and that has really become where they are going to spend the rest of their life. When their family and people close to them want to come in to visit, with four and six people all together in an open area, it is not the type of dignity that someone wants, especially in their later years, for their family and parents. Washroom space has been limited; they have to go to other wings to get to washroom facilities. There are no sitting areas for people who come in. You would like to have a little bit of dignity and respect for seniors, so -

MR. GRIMES: There is nothing wrong with the actual physical bed itself? I thought the bed was too (inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: I am not talking about beds; I am talking about spaces. Usually in the system a bed is a space or a living section that is provided for these people.

MR. GRIMES: So, when we close beds, do we close spaces or actual (inaudible)?

MR. SULLIVAN: The general term in the industry is when you close beds you are closing that specific space and you do not have that unit available for somebody. It is not interpreted to be the mechanical structure that you winch up, or you have four legs under the structure; it is in a much broader sense. I am sure the minister is very much aware of that. He doesn't need a lesson in that. Even if he does spend most of his time sleeping here, he still probably should know a little bit more about beds.

MR. GRIMES: This could be called a bed, what I am sitting in here.

MR. SULLIVAN: It could.

Actually, what it is going to cost, really, to do an upgrading of these, it is going to cost about $35 million alone in there, if you look at the projected costs to do changes there, and we are moving into an age where we have an aging population, and that is not allowing for the increase in seniors and the care that we are going to need to meet in the future.

There are some problems that need to be addressed. That is only to meet the current ones. What we need is a long-term plan with commitments to address those future needs, because they are going to get a lot more severe than they are right now.

Now, I know we had some capital funding. The Minister of Finance is aware of this one.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Well, I have been telling the minister. I made some suggestions this year but I will not tell you what they are. The minister knows they were implemented. I do not mind indicating alternatives. I do not think we need to just complain. I think we have to have solutions and alternatives to put forth. The minister knows full well what is needed in health care. In his own district he is well aware - I think, it is $5 million that is allocated for the James Paton hospital, in capital expenditure. I know that is in bad need. We have Melville down in Goose Bay where I do not think any money got allocated this year. That is in bad need of a hospital. Its in the plans.

I have a list and it is like pulling hen's teeth trying to get a copy of where the capital expenditures are going to be. After a week I managed to get a copy. I see there is $5 million going to the James Paton, Curtis Hospital $3.5 million.

MR. SPEAKER: I believe the hon. member's time may have expired. Does he have leave to continue?

Leave given up to closing.

MR. SULLIVAN: I will just take a few minutes with leave.

We have had over $70 million in capital. The minister did not do too bad for his district. He managed to get 30 per cent of the capital expenditure in his district this year. He has his hand in the pot there to get his share for his district, I can assure him. There are a couple of other things I need to touch on before I run out of time.

Education. I went back and researched tuition fees back at Memorial when I was education critic, and I just updated it recently to see where we have gone - this government that is so focused on enhancing the education standards.

Hang on now. While the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation is there - I will get back to education.

AN HON. MEMBER: Now, you only have four minutes.

MR. SULLIVAN: I said I will get back to this when you get back here. I know what it is so I will tell you. In spite of such a difficult winter with so much snow and ice, with the difficulties out there and so much snow clearing to be done, your department spent $1 million less on snow and ice control this past year than was spent in 1991, 1992 or 1993. In spite of a much greater snowfall the minister stands up and says that we have improved highway services. We are going to have better snow clearing, better control. It is outrageous. It took me two hours to get back from your area, by the way, from the Bay Roberts area, two hours to get back to St. John's.

MR. EFFORD: You did that on purpose.

MR. SULLIVAN: I am not fortunate enough to have the snowplough going before me. I am not as fortunate as the minister. We have seen a deterioration, we have it in dollars. If you can tell me - the same logic the Minister of Health used - I said we took $2.5 million out of the dental program and he said we had a better dental program. I said, why not take it all out and get a great program?

I say to the minister that he is taking $1 million out and he has better snow and ice control. I cannot see how $1 million less is going to have a better snow and ice control in this Province. I do not see it.

MR. EFFORD: If you are finished by Monday I will get up and speak.

MR. SULLIVAN: I might not be finished by Monday if they keep giving me leave. On tuition fees at MUN. In 1984-85 tuition fees at MUN cost $468. Now, I will jump up to 1989 because that is where the damage started.

MR. ROBERTS: How about jumping (inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Yes, in one minute.

In 1989 it was $582 to go to Memorial University full-time. In 1994-95 it was $1075. We saw an 84.7 per cent increase in tuition at MUM since this government came into power in such a short while, and for the previous five years we saw an increase of only about 20 per cent, and here we have seen an increase of 85 per cent, so the cost of getting an education in this Province is going downhill rapidly.

AN HON. MEMBER: What is going downhill?

MR. SULLIVAN: The opportunity to get an education in this Province. ABE programs are being eliminated and slashed, and with that, Mr. Speaker, I adjourn debate.

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

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, I understand the debate has been adjourned.

MR. BAKER: Yes.

MR. ROBERTS: I am not adjourning the debate on the Budget, okay?

Your Honour, we will obviously adjourn in a moment. The Opposition look as if they have already adjourned. There are four of them left. On Monday when we meet the House will be asked to carry on dealing with the Budget, so perhaps my friend for Ferryland could have a word with his colleagues in the caucus to let them know that. We will be dealing with the Budget again on Monday afternoon when the House meets.

With that said I wish all my testy friends opposite a restful weekend and I move the House do now adjourn.

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