November 7, 1995           HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY PROCEEDINGS           Vol. XLII  No. 51


The House met at 2:00 p.m.

MR. SPEAKER (L. Snow): Order, please!

Oral Questions

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MS VERGE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I have questions for the Premier - questions about the contradictory words and deeds of his administration. I refer to the Premier's frequent `fairness and balance' rhetoric, the Premier's campaign slogan oft repeated, of presiding over a government with fairness and balance.

Mr. Speaker, the Premier's government has maintained the Public Service Commission, which was created by the PCs back in the 1970s. The Premier's government is providing for $3 million for the Public Service Commission this year. The Premier's government budget document describes the Public Service Commission as existing to provide for the staffing of positions in government departments in accordance with the merit principle. I would like to ask the Premier why, contrary to those words, the deeds have involved circumventing the Public Service Commission, taking the smoke and mirrors approach named by the Minister of Finance, and hiring people for government departments on a temporary basis. How does the Premier square the deeds with the words?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, I am not sure what the Leader of the Opposition is talking about. I don't think she is sure herself. That is probably why the question was as vague as it is. The government is committed to the principle of fairness and balance. We have applied it consistently ever since we have been in office, and we intend to continue to apply it.

Now, I know the former government didn't have much familiarity with it, so perhaps they have some difficulty with the concept, but we intend to continue to apply that principle, and there is nothing that anybody has been doing, or the government has been doing, that I know, that has in any way circumvented the Public Service Commission in any manner. I know that was an approach that was frequently used in the past, but we have abandoned that a long time ago, Mr. Speaker.

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

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

I will agree that Tom Hickman probably feels that this government has been fair and balanced.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MS VERGE: There are people in the Province who agree with the Premier, I will grant him that.

I would like to ask the Premier how he intends to apply his principle of fairness and balance in the hiring for the Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation, of additional staff to take over the responsibilities for overseeing the Cabot 500 Anniversary, which the corporation were handling until the government axed the corporation last week. How will the Premier ensure fairness and balance in hiring the additional staff for the Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: I will let the minister give the detail but let me just address the principle of the matter. The minister announced the government's decision with respect to the corporation. Now, I think one thing is probably pretty clear, it is highly unlikely that the staff of the department can assume all of those responsibilities, do as good a job as needs to be done without having some of the people that are already involved, in all probability, transfer over to the department or perhaps even find somebody new, if new and special talent is required. I don't know, I haven't considered that, but my guess would be that it is most probable that the department would seek the temporary help of some of the people who are there but we don't need the full staff that are there. I think that is probably where the minister is, but the minister is in a better position to elaborate than I am.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

A supplementary, the hon. the Leader of the Opposition.

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

The minister told us yesterday that he is not going to use the Public Service Commission to pick the additional staff for his department. Now, I would like to ask the Premier: Who is in charge, or who should be in charge? I know the Premier is increasingly unwilling and unable to impose his espoused high ethical standards. We saw that in his treatment of the Minister of Fisheries, Food and Agriculture, but I would like to ask the Premier: How can he allow the minister to hand-pick staff to carry out the remaining Cabot Corporation planning and overseeing? How can the Premier have this hiring and this selection of people for plum government jobs to be done other than through the Public Service Commission which has the express purpose of enforcing the merit principle?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, I didn't hear the minister say he was going to hand-pick anybody. I do know that the time frame is a limited time frame. We will not need people continuing on a long term public service basis and I don't want the minister hiring people on a long term public service basis if they are unnecessary. Too much of that has been done in the past, we need to correct it. Now, I will let the minister tell the House exactly what he proposes to do, because I don't know, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. GRIMES: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and again I appreciate the opportunity to address the issue further.

It was clear yesterday that the representation of the matter by the Leader of the Opposition was that myself, as the minister, and the government would hand-pick some Liberals, I think was the phrase she used. At this point in time, I am preparing a presentation back to Cabinet as to the additional staffing component that will be needed in the Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation to make sure that we move ahead as quickly as possible with a successful celebration in 1997.

As I have indicated in the media, Mr. Speaker, it is expected that some of those staff will be current staff members of the corporation who will be offered continuing employment.

An interesting note, Mr. Speaker, once we even take that position, those members who would be offered continuing employment were not selected through a public service competition because they were hired by an independent Crown corporation, that wasn't even a Crown corporation at the time of hiring, Mr. Speaker, and they went through a hiring mechanism that was not the Public Service Commission and in the expediency of time, and a mind to get this back on track as quickly as we can, which I understood, Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition was encouraging us to do yesterday, and that myself being the bluff that I am, that she suggests I am, and don't know what I am doing anyway so we will flubber our way through this as best we can, but, Mr. Speaker, what we want to do is, make sure that we as quickly as possible bring the necessary staff component into the department.

The hon. the Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Speaker, knows that if we were to run a public service competition it would normally take anywhere from six to eight weeks to run some ads. do some interviews and get some people and she would agree I am sure, that we don't have the time to wait at this critical juncture that she described yesterday, to go through a public service competition. We will announce who the people are, we will select them through a process, they will have Cabinet approval and, Mr. Speaker, we will carry on and do a good job in 1997.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Leader of the Opposition.

MS VERGE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I ask the Premier, is he allowing his minister to hire staff for a year or two for short-term periods for the Cabot anniversary by a principle other than a merit principle? Is the Premier suggesting that the merit principle only applies to long-term employment, not short-term employment and is the Premier willing to allow his minister to circumvent the Public Service Commission for the hiring for these plum jobs, even if they only last for another two years?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: No, Mr. Speaker.

The merit principle is applied throughout, unlike the situation with which they were familiar in the past. The merit principle will apply throughout and there is no authorization to the minister and no inclination on the minister's part as nearly as I can determine to hire other than on the basis of merit and what's necessary to meet the objectives of government in terms of the 1997 proposal.

The characterization of it is that of the Leader's alone and not the minister or the government.

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

MS VERGE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

A question for the Premier about the Cabot Corporation. The Cabot Corporation which his government established which had directors he and his Cabinet colleagues appointed, how much will the government have to spend to wind down the Corporation? How much will it cost the government in penalties for contracts and leases that were abandoned, and in severance pay and other benefits for employees who have been let go? If the Premier can't provide this information - his minister couldn't provide it yesterday -, is it really true the Cabinet didn't know the consequences when it made the decision to axe the Corporation?

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

MR. GRIMES: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I suppose after being chastised in that way I should get up and admit that yes, it is true, we have no idea what we are doing. I think that is what the Leader of the Opposition wants us to admit on every issue.

I appreciate the fact that the hon. Leader of the Opposition just read a question again from yesterday's Hansard. It is the exact same question she asked yesterday. I've indicated that we are expecting a week from today, actually, to be in a position to give the details of that particular information, and that we will be taking a proposal to the Cabinet at the first opportunity to lay out the plan for the future. We will make available to the public of Newfoundland and Labrador the details of those kinds of issues in terms of severance, contracts that either have to be continued, should be continued, or will be terminated because we make an assessment that there is no longer a need to move ahead.

I'm pleased to see that the Leader of the Opposition is taking the position that all of them on that side of the House wish us well in making sure that 1997 is a tremendous, rousing success for the Province.

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

MR. WINDSOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'm tempted to carry on with that. Cabot Corporation is indeed an interesting topic. Very interesting indeed when we saw the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board just last week table a special warrant, that funds were so needed on an emergency basis government had to issue a special warrant just a couple of months ago for a corporation that it has now cancelled. Interesting indeed!

The Minister of Finance and Treasury Board told us a couple of days ago he had a $60 million problem now with the Budget for the end of this year. He finally confirmed that after much prodding from ourselves. He told us that he is going to try to find that by the end of the fiscal year without taxes or additional borrowing by identifying immediate savings. I'm interested in just how the minister proposes to do that. Sixty million dollars a year is $180 million on an annualized basis. That is a significant percentage of our overall budget. Would the minister tell us how he is proposing to do that?

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

MR. DICKS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. We've asked the departments of government to present to Treasury Board by November 15 their suggestions as to how we might find the money this year. Those savings will go forward into next year.

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

MR. WINDSOR: Mr. Speaker, obviously a large percentage of the provincial Budget that has any flexibility in it at all would be in the wage and benefit side. Would the minister tell us if he has any proposals in that regard and further, has he had any meetings with representatives of the various government unions to bounce certain ideas of them, Mr. Speaker?

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

MR. DICKS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

In answer to the first part, yes, wages form approximately 50 per cent of our gross provincial Budget. In most departments it is between 60 and 80 per cent because much of the remaining 50 per cent is spent on capital and other works in the Province. Secondly, I did have a meeting with the unions this morning. I did not bounce any ideas off them. I told them the general state of the Province and I asked them for suggestions.

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

MR. WINDSOR: Mr. Speaker, would the minister tell us if he has suggested to the unions any general wage rollbacks such as we saw a couple of years ago, or dipping into pension plans of unions as a way of trying to find short-term gains, short-term savings, I suppose, to solve this problem, and has he considered, with the unions, the long-term implications of that? Is he suggesting short-term solutions here or is he looking at the long-term?

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

MR. DICKS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Again, in answer to the first part, no I did not suggest either rollbacks or pension options. I told the unions that no decisions had been made in anyway whatsoever with respect to what measures might be taken by government. I did indicate to them, and it is our plan to make decisions that will have a long-term impact rather than just sort of trying to deal with it piecemeal this year.

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

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

I have a question for the Premier. Last Tuesday this House passed an amendment to Term 17 to amend the Constitution through educational reform. Since that resolution has now been passed to the federal government has the Premier had any indication from the Prime Minister - I am sure they have had discussions over the last week or so, any indication as to when we might expect the Parliament of Canada to deal with this matter?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: I have not spoken with the Prime Minister in the last few days for fairly obvious reasons; he has been pretty substantially occupied with the Quebec referendum and the fallout of that referendum and where we go from there. Then in the last few days Prime Minister Rabin of Israel was assassinated, he was off to the funeral and he is continuing on another visit.

The process has started, however, as the Clerk of the House, I believe, has followed the normal procedure and forwarded the resolution to, I believe, the Clerk of the Privy Council which is the process that is followed, and I will be speaking with both the Prime Minister and Mr. Tobin and others to see that the process is started in Ottawa as quickly as is convenient.

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

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, a supplementary related to that. Has the Premier or the government given any further consideration to introducing a new Schools Act now in this fall sitting of the House? Everyone is concerned about reform getting off the ground and going quickly; I am just wondering if government has further considered introducing the new Schools Act to the House so that it is dealt with before we recess for Christmas and the much needed reform we can get on with.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: I can only tell the House that up to this moment, at least, Cabinet has not approved it. I do know that a substantial amount of work has been done in preparation of it, and I assume work is still ongoing on it, but it has not yet come to Cabinet for approval.

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

MR. W. MATTHEWS: A final supplementary to the Premier, Mr. Speaker.

There are reports circulating throughout the Province, and I guess they must be emanating from the Department of Education - maybe it is a question that the Minister of Education and Training might want to answer - that government is considering appointing school boards instead of having duly elected school boards. I do not know if that is to deal with getting things done in the interim, or as an interim measure, but there is that concern out and about the Province from some region. I think it has come from recent meetings that have been held within the city, actually, with people from around the Province, but it has been brought to my attention. I am wondering if the Premier or the Minister of Education and Training can react to that in any way, if there is any foundation to it or if it is totally unfounded, because the rumour is out and about that government is considering appointing school boards outright, even if it is for the interim.

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

MR. DECKER: Mr. Speaker, we have not given any thought to that. The intent is that all school boards will be elected, 100 per cent elected, and that is the way we plan to go. Now the hon. member knows that traditionally, over the last number of years, school board elections were held on the same day as the municipal elections were held, and that was to keep cost down, so if we have to put those boards in place six months before a municipal election the hon. member's suggestion might well be taken under consideration: it might be a way to deal with an interim. We have not given any consideration to that, but I certainly will take the suggestion under advisement; it might be a good one.

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

MR. HEWLETT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have a question for the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation.

Last week in this Assembly I presented a petition from residents of Little Bay Islands and Long Island in my district with regard to a shortening up of their ferry service. One boat serving two islands during this week, and the other boat serving the two islands next week, as I understand it, or for the greater part of each week.

This is not going down well with the locals. I read a petition into the record of the House the other day. The minister didn't rise to address the petition. I would like to ask the minister what is going on with regard to the moves of lessening the ferry service over the next two weeks, and is there a more long-term plan if this particular thing works a certain way to implement one boat serving two islands come the spring?

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

MR. EFFORD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The hon. member knows full well the answer to that question. He also sent out misleading information to the people of this district saying that government may be considering in the future using a one boat system in Little Bay - Long Island, and he knows that is wrong. The people of Little Bay Islands and Long Island know that is wrong.

What is happening here is a very simple process. In last year's budgetary decisions it was decided that each employee would take a day and a half leave from work without pay. What we are doing in the case of Little Bay Islands and Long Island is we are now putting a one-boat system for a two-week period to complement or to take care of the one day and a half that each individual on that boat is supposed to take in lieu of the budgetary decision. That is all that is happening. There are no further plans. The hon. member knows full well, but he is trying to mislead and misinform the people of his district.

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

MR. MANNING: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question today is for the Minister of Social Services. Yesterday in the House the minister stated that there was to be a meeting with the representatives of the Vera Perlin Society with herself and the Premier yesterday afternoon. Would she care to update the House on the meeting and results of the meeting, please?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Social Services.

MS YOUNG: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. No. I'm dealing with the executive of the Vera Perlin Society and I will continue to deal with them.

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

MR. SULLIVAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have a question for the Minister of Health. People today are finding it much more difficult to get admitted to hospital even though there is a distinct need for a medical service. We hear of people waiting for up to two days on stretchers in emergency departments. A recent example is the seventy-five year old man from Green's Harbour who suffered at home for two days with a broken jaw even though the diagnosis was already made. In light of the sharp reductions in acute care beds, is the minister directing hospital boards, or are boards acting on their own in setting higher standards for hospital admission?

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

MR. L. MATTHEWS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. No, the government is not directing boards to adjust standards, nor are the boards, to my knowledge, adjusting standards on their own. The standards that are used, the criteria that are in place, the protocols that are in place to effect admissions to hospitals from emergency departments or from direct referrals from physicians, are basically the same criteria and standards that have been in place for a long time. They continue to be working fairly well.

I have to say to the hon. member that any time you have unfortunately about 15,000 people a day seeing doctors on an individual basis, either in their clinics or in their hospitals or in some other setting - we have about 15,000 people every day seeing a physician for some reason or other - unfortunately, but I have to admit, there are times when misdiagnoses or inappropriate treatments or actions take place. They are very few. The number that are brought to my attention, I can count them in any given week on one hand.

If and when they occur we address them promptly, we address them with the utmost of seriousness. We take their concerns immediately and have them addressed and responded to by the hospital board, as well as by government.

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

MR. SULLIVAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I spoke with a lady a few days ago who has undergone two major operations in the past. This lady lives about a three-hour drive outside St. John's. On October 24 she was referred by her doctor to a St. John's hospital for admission because she was experiencing excruciating pain. Her family doctor called a medical specialist at the hospital and he was told that the only condition she would be admitted under were if she had a brain tumour, a brain haemorrhage or if she were dying. Now, that woman, within several hours, had to be brought by ambulance to the emergency department, she was at that emergency department and then she was sent home and that woman still has not seen a medical specialist. Now, does the minister think this is normal standards for admission and will he appoint an independent commission to investigate the admission practices of hospitals in this Province?

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

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

Mr. Speaker, I don't think it would be fair, appropriate or in the best interest of health care in the Province for the people of the Province to be responding to such a generalized assertion with respect to what is happening in the health care system. Let me say to the hon. member, that if he has information or if his constituents or anybody else in the Province has information which indicates that inappropriate service is being rendered through the system, I would implore them to bring it to my attention and I will be the first to ensure that it is addressed promptly and in a fashion that will address the concern. We are not giving direction to health care providers in the system to do anything differently from what has been done for many years, and that is to provide the most efficient level of service at the most appropriate point of delivery within the most reasonable fiscal realities that we have. Health care is going forward on that basis, and if there are instances where things are not operating as they should be, please bring them to our attention and I can assure you that this government will address the need, address the situation and respond in an appropriate fashion.

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

MR. SULLIVAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

This woman did call your office and spoke with a person. I have the name of the person she spoke with, if you need that, outside the House. She was asked, I am not sure by this individual in your office, but she was told to write a letter which she is going to follow up in writing with a letter. Now, I have an indication of what it is like in an emergency department. I worked there for several months under the conditions and I know what admission standards were established at that time.

Now, when there are hundreds of people - and the minister has repeatedly said, a number of acute care beds in this Province don't indicate the health of the people in this Province. Now, I say to the minister, when there are hundreds of people in this Province now being denied and having to wait for surgery for many months, and when there are people out there in dire need and in pain, hospital beds are an indicator of the health of people in this Province, I say to the minister. I ask the minister, why is he continuing to close hospital beds in this Province when the waiting lists are getting longer for surgery and there are people out there having to undergo intolerable suffering?

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

MR. L. MATTHEWS: Mr. Speaker, again the hon. member generalizes and refuses to acknowledge the fact. He says that the waiting lists in the Province are getting longer and longer. A couple of weeks ago, the Premier tabled in the House the July report of the Fraser Institute that indicated that on average in Newfoundland -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. L. MATTHEWS: - which indicated, Mr. Speaker, that we have on average the second

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. L. MATTHEWS: It is interesting that the hon. the members on the other side of the House don't want to hear the truth and don't want to hear the facts. Well, let me attempt again to give them the information.

The July report of the Fraser Institute of Canada indicated that we have the second shortest waiting list in Canada, not the longest, not the second longest, the third or the fourth or the fifth or the sixth or the seventh or eighth or ninth longest. We have the second shortest of the eleven jurisdictions that were polled. The description that the hon. member attempts to give of the health care system is not, in fact, the real situation. There may be times when service is not at the appropriate level, if there is, let us know and we will look into it, but on balance, our health care system is working well and we have a commitment to ensure that it works even better in the future, in the interest of the people of the Province.

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

MR. CAREEN: Thank you. My question today is for the Premier and it concerns the matter of a casino for Argentia. While the people in the Placentia region were not properly canvassed to find out the pros and cons of such a casino, I would like to know, Mr. Speaker, strictly for the record, why a government that does not support a small 10,000 foot casino in Argentia, is quite willing to accept money from video, lottery machines that are situated everywhere in this Province.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, the government made a policy decision, I guess probably about two years ago, that we would not rely on gambling revenue and introduce and promote more and more gambling particularly by the establishment of casinos in this Province as a source of tax revenue. Now, that's a policy decision, so it's a decision against introducing more and more gambling into the society in order to produce government revenue.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

PREMIER WELLS: It may well be that that's the right thing to do, too, to eliminate them from the existing establishments. The member may well have a good point.

Members will also recall that the government stopped advertising within the Province. We saw the general advertising that was being done by Atlantic Lottery promoting lifestyle advertising. If you want to have a big holiday down South or you want to buy a new car or a trailer or a boat or something else, buy lottery tickets, and we think it is wrong to promote that so we stopped it, Mr. Speaker. As a matter of policy, our objective is to reduce, not increase the level of gambling in the Province and that's the basis for the policy.

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

MR. CAREEN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I have one more question for the Premier and that is a supplementary to a question I asked last spring, regarding a trade enhancement zone for Argentia.

In our area, coupled with unemployment and TAGS, unemployment runs around 73 per cent. I was wondering, Mr. Speaker, if the Premier has gotten any further with his talks with the Federal Government regarding a trade enhancement zone for the Port of Argentia, because, Mr. Speaker, the Americans introduced such trade enhancement zones in their country in 1934, Canada brought it in once - one reading in 1936, and hasn't touched it since. And I am curious to find out how the Premier and his government are negotiating with the feds over a trade enhancement zone, particularly for Argentia.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, we have had numerous meetings, numerous representations. The Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology has been at it on a near constant basis; I have met with the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, I have spoken to the Prime Minister about it, but there is an absolute blank wall, mind-set in the federal public service against it and

AN HON. MEMBER: Oh, oh!

PREMIER WELLS: The member can say `aw-w-w' if he wants to. I just tell him what the reality is. That doesn't alter the concrete mind-set of the federal public service on the issue. It doesn't alter the concrete mind-set of the public service in Ottawa on the issue. I want the House to know, Mr. Speaker, that we have made every effort within our power to cause it to happen and the efforts are still being made. We suggested to them that Argentia is the logical place in Newfoundland and Labrador to set it up. We have put forward Argentia as the clear place to do it and a good and sound reason for doing it.

Now, there are other places in the Province that would like to have it, too, but I would note for the hon. member's attention, that we have tried to achieve it for Argentia.

MR. SPEAKER: Question Period has elapsed.

Presenting Reports by

Standing and Special Committees

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

MR. WINDSOR: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table the report of the Public Accounts Committee for the fiscal year ended 31 March, 1993. In so doing, I want to thank the members of the Committee, and particularly the former deputy chairperson, or vice-chairperson, who is now the Deputy Chairman of Committees, as well as the staff of the Table and our legislative assistant of the Resource Policy Committee, and all of the witnesses, the Hansard staff and the audio people in the House of Assembly, and all of the people who appeared as witnesses from the various boards and agencies that were examined by the committee this year.

I have discussed this with Your Honour, and Your Honour has indicated you might give me leave to read some of the recommendations. I don't know if the House is interested in hearing that, if there would be agreement. Normally, Committee reports are simply tabled, but there are some interesting recommendations and if there is agreement, I will read just a few of them.

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Agreed.

MR. SPEAKER: By leave.

MR. WINDSOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I will quickly go through the various items.

The first one is the Notre Dame Bay Memorial Hospital. The Committee recommends that the board discontinue immediately the payment of some salary supplements as directed by the minister, draw up and implement management policy guidelines as soon as possible, and ensure that the relationship between the board and management is clearly set out in the board's bylaws, and that the board comply strictly with provisions of the Public Tender Act and ensure that inventory is properly documented and controlled.

The second one examined was the Pentecostal Assemblies Board of Education. The Committee recommends that the board seek an opinion on the legality of entering into contracts which are renewable indefinitely, and that the board and the Department of Education review the school transportation systems with a view to drawing up a common policy and common guidelines for the Province; that the board complete the process of producing an inventory of capital assets; that the board seek an opinion on the legality of paying salary supplements, and that the board and the department formulate a policy on the payments. The Committee further recommends that the Department of Education, in collaboration with the school boards in the Province and the Auditor General, formulate and implement a common policy and manual to govern financial management and operational planning.

Central Newfoundland health care boards - the Committee recommends that the board draw up a strategic plan -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. WINDSOR: - and monitor regularly and recover on a timely basis receivables due -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

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

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, I am interested as any member in hearing what is in these reports, but I would suggest, with respect, this is not the time to do it. The time to present a report is to present a report, and then we can debate it at the appropriate time in the rules of the House, but really, we are not going to go on listening at great lengths to the hon. gentleman summarizing his own report. The report is tabled and speaks for itself, I suggest.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

To the point of order, the hon. member asked leave and leave was granted. The Chair asked if the member had leave, and -

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, leave to present, not leave to go on reading at interminable length, Sir.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The Chair had a request from the hon. member if he could briefly introduce some of the recommendations, if he would have leave, and leave was granted by members on both sides.

The hon. the Member for Mount Pearl.

MR. WINDSOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

That the board draw up a strategic plan within a reasonable period of time; that the board monitor regularly and recover on a timely basis, receivables due from positions; adhere strictly to all provisions of the Public Tender Act when acquiring goods and services; continue to implement ministerial directives relative to salary supplements of personnel as staffing changes occur; ensure that personnel responsible for purchasing include all relevant information on purchase orders, and that a note be affixed to the auditor's report to indicate that the final settlement done by the department may alter the final position of the board.

Grants to hospitals and other institutions: The Committee recommends that the department indicate in their annual report whether they have been successful in meeting their stated goals and objectives; consider changing the policy governing approvals for capital expenditures where it is impractical to document the approval at the time of the purchase, and communicate to hospital boards the importance of preparing final settlements on a timely basis, and work with boards to eliminate the backlog; continue to perform audits on physicians to monitor referral and consultation frequently for abuse, and use any means necessary to educate practitioners and the general public to use the system only when necessary, and that government consider amending the legislation to require the department to table an annual report in the House of Assembly. We found, Mr. Speaker, that some departments are not tabling annual reports.

On the topic of grants to school boards, the Committee recommends: that the department follow the directive of the Minute of Council from 1992 requiring them to submit quarterly financial reports; that the department and the boards work with the office of the Auditor General -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. WINDSOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. To establish a format for interim financial reports and for the annual reports from superintendents to boards; that government take the necessary legislative steps to require that the department submit an annual report to the House of Assembly on the performance of its educational institutions; that the department work with the DECs to establish guidelines to ensure there is a proper control over assets and consistency in the implementation of changes when school boards are combined or dissolved; and that government review pupil transportation policy in order to find ways of effecting savings and ensure that pupils -

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker?

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Government House Leader.

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, we gave leave to give a brief statement. This is abusing not only the patience of the House but the privileges of the House. Those of us on this side withdraw it, Sir.

MR. SPEAKER: Leave withdrawn.

The hon. members have withdrawn their leave so the hon. member doesn't have leave to continue.

MR. WINDSOR: Well, Mr. Speaker, that is abuse of privileges.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: When a chairman of -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. WINDSOR: - committee asks leave from the House and is given leave by all members of the House - just because the House Leader was too busy talking to his friend behind him at the time he gets sooky now and wants to go home crying.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. WINDSOR: Take your ball and go home out of it.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

Further reports?

The hon. the Member for Trinity North.

MR. OLDFORD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to table the report of the Social Services Legislative Review Committee. The Social Services Legislative Review Committee reviewed and approved for passage through the remaining stages in the House of Assembly without amendment Bill No. 33, An Act To Amend The Jury Act, 1991.

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

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) no leave!

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, I say to my friend for Grand Bank, the only leave he needs is permission to go and he has it.

I table, as required by statute, the financial statements of the Newfoundland Legal Aid Commission for the year ending March 31 1995, together with the report of the Auditor General thereon. I will forego the pleasure of reading the entire thing to the House. There are twenty-five copies here if any member would like to have one.

Notices of Motion

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

MR. DICKS: Mr. Speaker, I give notice that I will on tomorrow move that the House resolve itself into a Committee of the Whole on Supply to consider certain resolutions for the granting of supplementary supply to Her Majesty.

Petitions

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

MR. HEWLETT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I note that the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation has left the House. Otherwise I would be somewhat afraid to stand and present this petition from 147 residents of Little Bay Islands.

The prayer of the petition is: We the undersigned petition the hon. House of Assembly to reconsider upcoming changes to the ferry schedule affecting Little Bay Islands and Long Island during the next two weeks. The revised schedule will cause severe negative impact on our communities including the following: deleted morning trips, unable to return on the first day of the revised schedule, and delayed morning departures. More important, and to the point that the minister made earlier, we have experienced the negative affects of a combined service in the past and are not prepared to consider them as a part of government future plans. We feel this is only a temporary measure for the government's hidden agenda to cut services to outport areas.

When I asked the minister a question in Question Period a few moments ago he indicated that somehow I had misled the people on Long Island and Little Bay Islands with regard to their ferry service. That somehow I had put in their minds the devious notion that this particular government might, in due course, have longer term plans to shorten up the ferry service with regard to those two islands as it did as a budgetary measure a couple of years ago in this House, as it did to its chagrin, to much fuss and bother on the public airwaves, and to the people of the islands concerned, and fuss and bother to the minister's department.

Those are the express concerns of my constituents, express concerns that I've now put before this House twice in a petition. I haven't made it up. Those are the people being highly suspicious of the Wells Administration based on what the Wells Administration had done before. I make no apologies to the hon. minister for placing my people's concerns before this hon. House. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. EFFORD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I received a call from one of the local news media this morning from the hon. member's district. That news media had just received a fax from the hon. member stating very clearly, I believe for the second time to his constituents on Long Island and Little Bay Islands, telling the people, or trying to lead the people into believing that government is now considering operating a one ferry system on Long Island, and the manner in which he stated that left no doubt in their minds that maybe that is what would be happening in next year's budgetary decisions. The member knows full well that he never phoned my department, nor did he ask me the question by telephone, by letter, or in this House of Assembly, and if he would have asked the question he would have gotten the answer.

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has a temper and I do not know what is causing it, probably excessive eating at lunchtime, or whatever the cause, but if I could take just one second to clue up. In answer to the hon. member's question the answer is very simple; we are not considering implementing, at this time, a one ferry system. What is going to happen in 1996, 1997, 1998, or 1999, time will tell. Right now it is the result of a budgetary decision made last year and when the two weeks are up the boat ferry system will be put back in operation.

MR. SPEAKER: If hon. members want to give leave to go back?

Orders of the Day

MR. ROBERTS: If the hon. gentleman wants to enlighten us I would be prepared to go back.

Alright, Mr. Speaker, he is speaking next on the order I am about to call which is "An Act Respecting The Revision And Consolidation Of Subordinate Legislation, " which is Order 11. If there is anybody in the House who can relate that to the ferry service in Green Bay district it is my friend for Burin - Placentia West. If anybody could it is him. I believe he adjourned the debate last night, and like we were twelve or fourteen hours ago he will be on his feet talking and we will all be here avidly listening.

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

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, I did not adjourn the debate last night, I tell the Government House Leader, but I can understand the Government House Leader being confused between day and night because of the long hours he had to work over the weekend writing letters.

MS VERGE: What letters?

MR. TOBIN: The letter for Bud.

Mr. Speaker, as I speak to this bill that the Premier introduced, I say for the benefit of the Premier today, because he was not here when I spoke yesterday evening, I think it is a good piece of legislation. I think it is important that we clear up the mess and the backlog that people have to go through in terms of getting Crown land and other government services.

PREMIER WELLS: Built up over fifty years.

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, I think I suggested to him that he do it. I only hope that the Premier's handling of this will sort of cause him to handle other situations the same way. Now, today, it was out of character, I think, for him to blame the federal public servants for nothing being done for Argentia. Now, the Premier knows he should not say that. A few years ago there was no such thing as the federal public servants throwing up blocks, it was always Mr. Crosbie. Mr. Crosbie will not do this; Mr. Crosbie will not do that.

MS VERGE: He seems to have a concrete mind-set.

MR. TOBIN: I do not think the Premier should be getting on with that foolishness. He should stand up in the House and call the federal government to task. They have not done it. It is not a mind-set by the federal public servants. It is that the federal government is not acting on behalf of your requests.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: That is the word. That is right. There you go. Fire the public servants if they are not going to listen to their masters.

AN HON. MEMBER: I ask the hon. member to keep going.

MR. TOBIN: I will, Mr. Speaker. I know you must have a very important commitment or you would stay.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, I think it is a good piece of legislation.

AN HON. MEMBER: Hear, hear!

MR. ROBERTS: Carried.

MR. TOBIN: No, it is not carried.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Well, that's another issue. I say to my colleague, the Member for Grand Bank, that is another issue. Talking about government, talking about eliminating the bureaucracy within government, Mr. Speaker, you cannot eliminate the bureaucracy within government as long as you have ministers who refuse to answer their mail. As long as the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation refuses to answer the letters from the Member for Green Bay, you can bring in all the sunset legislation you wish, but when the Member for Green Bay writes the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation, he should be entitled to a response to his letter and we heard today, the Member for Green Bay -

MR. EFFORD: That's my decision, if I answer the letter or not.

MR. TOBIN: Now, Mr. Speaker, doesn't that say it all about the arrogance displayed by this government.

MR. EFFORD: If Gaddafi writes a letter, that doesn't say I have to answer it.

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, yes, you should answer it.

MR. EFFORD: You have already said (inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: He can't dictate the answer, but the least you owe the people of Green Bay is a response to a letter from their representative in the House. That's what you owe them.

MR. EFFORD: (Inaudible) answer my phone calls.

MR. TOBIN: Your phone calls -

MR. W. MATTHEWS: They can change all the regulations they like with an attitude like that, it isn't going to make any difference.

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, it is a different tune from the day he (inaudible) phoned Len Simms and asked him for his home phone number. What we have to say here is about this piece of legislation.

MR. EFFORD: What did you say?

MR. TOBIN: What did I just say?

MR. EFFORD: Yes.

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, it is in Hansard. Why, what did I say?

Why is the member so paranoid, Mr. Speaker? Who made reference to this member there? Who made reference to this member there, Mr. Speaker, in anything I said, other than the fact that he wouldn't answer mail? He was on his way up there when I spoke about something and he brought up like a horse, Mr. Speaker, with the britches hauled tight, came back and asked: What did you say? Why is the member concerned over what I said about someone talking to Len Simms?

MR. EFFORD: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: I never mentioned your name when I spoke about someone asking Len Simms for his home phone number, never mentioned the member's name, Mr. Speaker. Paranoia has set in for some reason. If the member is going out, nobody mentioned his name, why was he so concerned? It could be my colleague there or anywhere else, nobody mentioned his name, but he brought up -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. EFFORD: His time is up, sit him down (inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: No, my time is not up. I don't know why he came back and asked: What are you saying? I could be talking about the Member for Fogo.

MR. EFFORD: You said, the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation.

MR. TOBIN: I didn't say, the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation.

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

I remind the hon. member that he is now debating second reading of a bill, and I don't see the relevance of the conversation that is going on here.

The hon. the Member for Burin - Placentia West.

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, I got carried away there when the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation almost broke his leg trying to stop to come back to find out what I was talking about.

MR. EFFORD: (Inaudible) carried away in a pickle jar.

MR. TOBIN: You are in a pickle - there are a lot of jars, Mr. Speaker, and a lot of pickles over there, dill ones, dull ones.

There are 2,358 sets of regulations, and I think, Mr. Speaker, somewhere along the line, I touched them. I support this piece of legislation; I commend the government for bringing it in.

AN HON. MEMBER: What?

MR. TOBIN: I hope, Mr. Speaker - yes, I do. That's how I feel about it.

MR. SULLIVAN: Did you read them all? Did you see the regulations?

MR. TOBIN: No, Mr. Speaker, I (inaudible) have seen - Pardon?

MR. EFFORD: Praise us all!

MR. TOBIN: No, I won't praise you up, according to what I heard this morning.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Did you hear that? He is telling you to sit down -

MR. TOBIN: What?

MR. W. MATTHEWS: - sit down, you fool, sit down.

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, there is no doubt about it, if there is anyone qualified in this House to talk about someone making a fool of himself, it is the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation. All you have to do is talk about regulations. Talk about regulations, Mr. Speaker - he appointed the Cabot 500 Committee and then fired them and doesn't know how much it is going to cost to buy out their contracts. Maybe what's needed is for the Auditor General to get in there and determine what happened. Maybe that's what is needed to find out about the trips, find out about what was taken, find out about accountability, Mr. Speaker, find out about credibility, find out about the challenge of responsibility, that's what is needed for the 500 Cabot Committee and the minister responsible. I don't think, Mr. Speaker, that it will be the Cabot Committee who will be fired if there is justice done. The Premier would send that minister straight through the door, not only take his Cabinet post.

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations can try to throw up all the static he likes for his brother-in-law, but that won't work with me. I listened to CBC the other morning when they talked about the structure in the employees, their relations. Well, now you have the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations doing exactly the same thing. See how it works? Throw up static for the brother-in-law when he is questioned, that is what happens. Mr. Speaker, I am not concerned about either of them, I tell him.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: No doubt about that, Mr. Speaker.

Speaking about caring, when I watched the television news last night and saw that family from Bear Cove having to leave this Province, Mr. Speaker, to seek employment and saw the stress that this family was placed under, the first question I asked was: How must the MHA for this district feel? I thought it was the Minister of Education, Mr. Speaker, and then I said, there is no feeling, but I found out since that it is the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology, the man responsible for maintaining jobs in this Province. I would say that I really believe that the Minister of ITT, Mr. Speaker, has feeling for this situation, has an understanding for this situation.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time has elapsed.

MR. TOBIN: In conclusion, Mr. Speaker -

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: By leave.

MR. SPEAKER: By leave.

MR. TOBIN: In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I think and sincerely hope that that type of concern that the Minister of ITT expressed when I spoke to him earlier today would rub off on other ministers. I sincerely hope that the regulations that are being eliminated, thrown away, will not continue to bog down the bureaucracy in this Province as we have seen with Crown lands in the last situation.

Mr. Speaker, the Department of Natural Resources is another department where there is a congestion of regulations.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: I am not saying anything about the minister. I am saying, in that department, it doesn't matter who is minister or who works there.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: No, I am not saying the minister should resign. As a matter of fact, I think he should try to help straighten it up and I hope he had input into these regulations. They are ministers, Mr. Speaker, if we ever get to the bottom of that 500 Cabot Celebration I think there is a minister's head on the line. Probably the Auditor General is the way to get to it and the Public Accounts Committee deal with it. But, in conclusion, I support the piece of legislation and I sincerely hope that it works and that the government will not continue to have it held up.

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

MR. WINDSOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, I welcome the opportunity to speak to this particular piece of legislation. While we, on this side, I think, generally support the amendment and the elimination of a lot of unnecessary regulations - I will tell you a story about that in a moment - I do, however, have some concern. What we are doing here is wiping the slate clean, and I have some concern. At this point in time, we don't know what will replace it. We don't know what regulations, what amended regulations, what new rules will be put in place prior to March 31, I think it is now, it's being changed. So it is sort of, Mr. Speaker, a blank cheque. We are eliminating or we are tearing down the walls of the Penitentiary and saying we will decide who we are going to put back in - that is what it's like. So I do have some concern, Mr. Speaker, that we could be into an area of non-regulation in some cases, and some cases were grossly over-regulated, but I do have serious concern that we are being asked to give blanket approval to eliminate everything without know what is going to be put in place.

I am sure the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology will agree with me that we have to have some concern under section 4.(3) that some of the rules of the divorce courts are being left in place. Those are ones that I think the minister will agree need to be looked at very, very carefully, and some of our other colleagues here will agree as well. That is one that I would love to have on the floor of the House and have an opportunity to say something about.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) amend the act.

MR. WINDSOR: Amend the act; that is one we should eliminate altogether.

Mr. Speaker, my colleagues want me to relate to you a story. The Minister of Tourism is here, and I hope he will take a few minutes to listen to the story that I am about to relate. It relates to his own district, in fact, to a little business that I established this summer, and I want to use it as an example because it is such a simple thing that my partner and I did this summer, and yet what we had to go through in -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Thank you. The Minister of Tourism was not available at the time of our official opening, but the Minister of Health was good enough to come along with the Member for Lewisporte and participate and speak at the opening. We were delighted and honoured to have him, and I appreciate his coming, so he knows what I am talking about.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

There is too much private conversation going on. I ask hon. members, if it is necessary to hold meetings that they do so outside.

MR. WINDSOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Let me tell you what we did. My partner and I took a family home, my wife's family home, which is 150 years old, on a remote community, Exploits Island, which was resettled in 1965; there is only one couple that lives there now permanently - and Exploits Island, for those who have not had the pleasure of visiting, is probably one of the most beautiful parts of this Province, absolutely beautiful. When you step off the boat on Exploits Island you step back 150 years in history; that is what it feels like. The house that we have upgraded and turned into a hospitality home was the oldest house there, and by far the largest house - it was the merchant's house - built by an ancestor of mine, in fact, and bought by my wife's grandfather in 1944.

We had heard so much about the tourism industry being the opportunity for development in rural Newfoundland, and I have agreed time and time again in this House with that concept - I agree entirely; there are so many opportunities - and here is what I considered to be the classic opportunity, to take a heritage home, not yet officially classified but it will no doubt be very shortly as a heritage home by the Heritage Society, to take a heritage home and first of all protect it and maintain it, because an old home such as that will deteriorate unless considerable funds are expended and considerable effort gone into maintaining it. Obviously when you are using it simply as a summer residence, as it had been since 1963 or 1962, it generally starts to go down hill over a period of time unless some care is paid to it.

So we decided to take that fully in sync with the Province's stated objective of developing tourism in rural Newfoundland, on an island where absolutely no commercial activity of any kind takes place other than the fishery. There is no other business there, no permanent settlers there except for one couple, a gentleman who is a fisherman and his spouse. So we decided to take that home, renovate it, and turn it into a hospitality home, no major changes, no major additions, basically renovated it. We put in place a whole new septic tank and sewage system. We had to have a water supply. We bought a generator so that we had electrical power for the various facilities in the house.

The major renovations comprised of taking one of the smaller bedrooms and making two bathrooms out of that so we complied with the minimum regulations of one bathroom for each two rooms, which gave us only four guest bedrooms, two bathrooms, two staff rooms for ourselves, and another third washroom for ourselves, which included laundry facilities, a washer and dryer; that was renovated. The kitchen was renovated to comply with the Department of Health regulations, to add two more sinks because you have to have three stainless steel sinks, and we put in a dishwasher and a microwave and additional cupboard space, and things of that nature. Other than that, all that was done to the building was painting and decorating, restoration, putting it back exactly as it was built more than 150 years ago. We changed nothing. Now it seems to me that is the kind of a project that we would love to have 500 of them ongoing today, right now. The classic, perfect, small tourist establishment providing accommodation for eight to ten guests, that is all. You are not talking a big operation. Not wanting to change the island.

I must confess that I think some of the - they are not permanent residents, but some of the summer residents of the island, because there is a considerable number of homes there that are frequented in the summertime - some of the residents, many of whom originated from Exploits, were a little concerned that we might be going to destroy the island, commercialize it and ruin it. I have to say now, Mr. Speaker, I think I can say without any fear of contradiction, that we have the full support of the people on that island, and they have been very gracious to us, very helpful.

Anyway. What do you do to establish a little tourism facility, a little business, such as this? The first thing, obviously, you have to be incorporated. You go through the legal process of having yourself incorporated and registered, using a lawyer and being registered with the superintendent of companies. Then you put your financial plan together. That is your responsibility of course. Without having a business plan and a proper financial plan you would be ill-advised to proceed in any kind of a venture. You try to put together funding.

As the minister knows - certainly the Minister of industry, Trade and Technology knows - no operation such as this in rural Newfoundland, particularly one which is clearly seasonal in this case, because you can't get to Exploits Island except summertime by boat, and in the dead of winter by snowmobile, unless you fly in by helicopter. Not a lot of tourists are flying around in helicopters these days. Not even Cabinet ministers. I can't even say that because I don't think ministers have helicopters available to them too much these days.

It is very much a seasonal operation. No operation that requires any amount of capital investment at all is going to be successful unless there is some support from government. That is precisely why government programs are in place. Not to give somebody something for nothing, but simply to make it viable. Let me say, and I can document this, that this is not a money-making venture for us. It is a labour of love. My partner and I - he lives in Ontario and is simply a silent partner, the ownership of the building basically resided with him. Not a money-making venture. It is a labour of love. If we break even on it and we are able to maintain the house, and upgrade it quite considerably, actually - it is a far superior building than it was four months ago - but if we are able to do that, we will be happy. We aren't going to get rich. We can't even take a salary out of it. Certainly didn't this year, and it is very unlikely that -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) place to retire.

MR. WINDSOR: A place to retire, but it isn't going to provide any support. If you have other means of support yourself, yes, but as it is now it will not be.

Our objective, our second phase, is to put back the third storey which was removed in 1963 or 1964, I think. There was a third storey on it originally and grandfather decided they weren't using it, the roof was leaking, and they had a total of eleven bedrooms and didn't need all that many. They eliminated the third floor and put a peak roof on it. Our objective would be to put that third floor back on. That will give us four more rooms all with private bath - eight rooms then would be marginally profitable. It certainly would be self-sustaining.

Mr. Speaker, not a bad project I think, in all humility. I say it is a nice little project, one that I would have encouraged if I were the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation, or Minister of Development, would have encouraged any Newfoundlander or Labradorian to undertake and would have wanted to support it fully.

The next step then is to put financing in place. We approached ACOA and we approached Enterprise Newfoundland. I must say, ACOA was very helpful and did provide a significant amount of financing in the end analysis. What you have to go through, in order to get funding from ACOA - and we complied fully with every request in detail. It seemed every time you submitted what they asked for then there was something else asked for, and you seemed to be dealing with somebody else who had a different view of what was required. We had some difficulties there. We went through about a six- or seven-month period of trying to get final approval. Finally, when we were at the point where final approval should have been given, we were told that maybe we should now do a market study. Now, they had had this for eight or ten months, at this point in time, and had been asked continuously, `What else do you need?' - `Nothing, this is perfect. You have done a great job and it is a great presentation. It is clear, it is concise, and we support the concept.' The bureaucracy worked on it, and worked on it. What they do with it, I don't know, but it seems that on the last day the answers come forward - We think we should do a market study.

Now, I don't have a problem with doing a market study, except what do you study? There is only one other operation similar to it on the Island which is at Woody Island, and which is an excellent facility. I have been there and I know hon. members opposite have been there. A good friend of mine, in fact, has that and he provides a very, very, good package; I would recommend it to anyone. That is the only one. Now, his success was tremendous.

AN HON. MEMBER: I don't think he had a market study done.

MR. WINDSOR: He didn't have a market study done? I am not aware of whether he did or not. The minister says he probably didn't. What do you study when you are doing something for the first time? I had for my figures an occupancy ratio of 40 per cent during the week and 60 per cent on weekends for the first year - not unreasonable. My friend on Woody Island enjoyed 100 per cent on weekends and 60 per cent during the week his first year, and he has sixteen rooms. We were putting in four, so we felt our numbers were probably quite conservative and, in fact, experience has shown that they were quite conservative. Had we been open all year and done any amount of marketing at all those numbers would have been conservative.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) get ENL.

MR. WINDSOR: Well, I say to the minister, I went to ENL and I found out after approaching people here that there was an officer in Lewisporte, a fine young man by the name of Rob Kinden whom I had never met. I was directed to go see him and I said: perfect. I went in to see him and I have to say without any fear of contradiction that he was one of the finest public servants I have ever met, capable, competent, interested, and very helpful. Absolutely superb - I couldn't have asked for any better service. He gave me everything I needed and was very helpful, and I moved it through the process. Then I got a letter back saying: Here is what we need from you. Now, if I were retired, I might have time to fill out all that - unbelievable the requests. The one that concerned me most -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: I had given them everything that one would normally think they would need.

AN HON. MEMBER: The same stuff as ACOA.

MR. WINDSOR: The same stuff, absolutely, the same proposal. Spit another copy out of the computer, that's all. The one that really bothered me, and here is the one that's interesting, they wanted a complete personal financial history from both my partner and me; Enterprise Newfoundland and Labrador wanted a complete net worth statement, basically, from us.

Now, with ACOA, if you are a private individual applying, then you have to submit a net worth statement. If you are a company, then it is the company's books that you are concerned about, not the individual. Why would you incorporate? I went through the same problem with one of the oil companies in getting an account set up to supply propane, later on in the year, and they said, but you are looking at a fair value here and your company doesn't have any record, so we need personal guarantees. I said: `My dear, if I were prepared to give you personal guarantees, I wouldn't have incorporated. Do you want my business or don't you, because the guy down the street is looking for it,' and eventually, they gave it to me.

Why would you incorporate if you are going to give personal guarantees? Why would you incorporate if you are going to have to give net worth statements of the individuals involved? The rules of ACOA are one or the other, so naturally we gave the opening balances for the company. They don't require net worth statements if you are incorporated, but Enterprise Newfoundland requires both, and I said: `I'm sorry,' somewhat a little personally, but I was not about to give my personal finances to some public servants in the Provincial Government. Being on the Opposition side of the House, perhaps, I was a little reticent.

Having gone through a fair bit of time and effort to get through it, and they were most anxious to help, I went to Fraser Lush in Gander, who was most helpful - you couldn't ask for better. I have no problem with the staff or anything they did; they were superb -until I got with this thing: We need a net worth statement. I just got my back up and I said: I'm sorry. I went down to the bank of Nova Scotia in Lewisporte. I walked out of Rod Kinden's office and I walked into the Bank of Nova Scotia in Lewisporte, and twenty minutes later I walked out with the same amount of money at 2 per cent better interest rate.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) favour.

MR. WINDSOR: Two per cent better interest rate.

AN HON. MEMBER: That's where you should have gone first.

MR. WINDSOR: Where I should have gone first. So what do we need Enterprise Newfoundland and Labrador for?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. WINDSOR: The Minister of Finance and Treasury Board wants to knock off some money? Eliminate ENL, eliminate the Economic Recovery Commission today, and he will find a lot of money.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. WINDSOR: That is the fact. I got a 2 per cent better interest rate. The advantage with Enterprise Newfoundland and Labrador is supposed to be - particularly with a seasonal operation - that they will vary your repayment schedule. They will give you forgiveness of principle for the first year so you are just paying interest, and then, if you are a seasonal operation you can pay only when you are doing business.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) flexible (inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: And they are flexible when companies are having a bit of trouble. I got the same terms with the Bank of Nova Scotia. I haven't paid any principle. I'm paying only interest. Not only that, ACOA only pays after the fact, so you've got to spend your money before you get your money back from ACOA, so you must have the money in place - and I don't have a lot of money in my pocket, and neither does my partner. I walked into the Bank of Nova Scotia and asked: Will you give us $20,000 bridge financing so that we can put claim after claim in to ACOA as we do the job? No problem, it is in place.

I went in two weeks ago and said: We spent a little bit more than we thought. If I give you back all of your bridge financing, I can't pay the trade creditors. There are a few outstanding. I want to carry half of it over. No sweat. What's going to happen in Quebec? was his question. Superb! Bank of Nova Scotia in Lewisporte. Great co-operation, great business sense, and very supportive of the project.

Now, we go through all of the approval process. I'm way ahead of myself.

MR. FUREY: Just back up to ACOA. Did they require (inaudible)?

MR. WINDSOR: No. They eventually realized that the tourism season is about to begin, you see. We had wanted to start in the fall, but they had let it go so long that they finally said - they sent me a letter of approval in principle saying: And the work must begin by March 15. I promptly called them back and asked: Now, how do you propose I'm going to get there between December and March, when the bay is half-frozen up, not solid enough to support a snowmobile or a truck? Later on in the year you can drive out on a truck or a snowmobile, but absolutely impossible to get out there - no concept whatsoever of the time of year.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Snowmobile with me on it? Almost as bad as one with the hon. minister on it, I must say.

So our project got delayed. It was finally toward the spring that they wanted the market study done. It was going to take a number of weeks to do it, which meant instead of starting in the middle of May, which is when we had hoped to get down, it would be the first of July before we could start construction. We are looking at six to eight weeks of construction, which means we would open, Mr. Speaker, just about when the tourist season was ending. You see? So they finally backed away on that.

Anyway, once we got over those hurdles, ACOA were very good, have been very co-operative since, and their payment has been superb. They have not given us any difficulties.

Mr. Speaker, I want you to look at the things that you would need to do this kind of a little operation. First of all, you have to deal with the Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation. They want a complete set of plans for what you are going to do. I had to draw a plan showing painting and decorating and wallpapering, and a couple of minor revisions that I have already mentioned. No problem - I had that done in my original submission, anyway. You submit that to Tourism, Culture and Recreation. Then they tell you that you have to then be referred to a number of other groups.

I had to go the Departments of Health and Environment to see about any sewage problems. We had to get a health inspector to come to the island. My boat burns about $120 gas going out to the island and back, but I had to take this health inspector out one day. A fine young man, again from -

MR. EFFORD: What?

MR. WINDSOR: A fine young man, the health inspector, to do an inspection.

MR. EFFORD: A man?

MR. WINDSOR: A man, yes. I didn't think it was right for him to swim out, so I took him out in boat. The hon. gentleman I would let swim out, and give him wrong directions and let him go on by the island, and let the Irish have him, but the health inspector was a very capable individual. The health inspector came out and, of course, there was a list of things that he wanted. Again, no problem with him - none whatsoever.

The coast guard had to be contacted, because I was probably going to build a wharf, and there is going to be a sewage outfall here and, of course, I had to have coast guard approval for the boat, because if I am carrying paying passengers on the boat, then I have to be a licensed tour boat. Now, be careful not to buy too big a boat, because if you buy a boat that is bigger than five tons it is going to cost you about $5,000 in equipment to outfit that boat. It may be a boat that has been sailing for twenty years on the ocean but, because you are going to carry paying tourists, now you must have all kinds of smoke detectors, gas detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, inflatable life-rafts which cost $3,600 each or something, a whole list of things. I can't name the whole list because I have managed to find out, buy a boat less than five tons.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Public servants, I suspect.

I can't fault - a lot of these things make sense. I eventually got down to, make sure you buy a boat that is less than five tons. So I bought a twenty-seven foot fibreglass boat which came in around 4.2 tons is the way that you -

MR. EFFORD: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: It won't carry some of the garbage that comes out of the hon. minister's mouth, but it is just as well that sank anyway.

So now, all I am required is to have at least one life preserver for every person on the boat - it makes sense - but you have to have the coast guard approved ones, which are $85 each, so $800 worth of life-jackets later, you have that. And you must have ropes and anchors and fire extinguishers and horns and alarms and lifebuoys, and all of these things that one really should have on a boat anyway, and I do not have any complaint with it, but you have to go through that process; so that's the coast guard.

Now, the Department of Health had to have a look at the sewage system, the septic tank, the disposal into the harbour, whether you are going to be able to go out into the harbour or not. Now, the fact that the City of St. John's, 150,000 people dump all of their sewage straight into St. John's harbour, that is a problem. One little hospitality home on Exploits Island in the middle of the Atlantic is hardly going to pollute anybody; nevertheless, I don't have a problem with what they eventually asked me to do, which was put in a septic tank and let the outfall go straight to the harbour, because you cannot put a disposal field on an island that is composed primarily of rock anyway.

Now, I dealt with the Department of Tourism. I eventually got approval to proceed to the next stages and so forth and, of course, I had to have approval from the Fire Commissioner because I have to be careful of what I am doing there. Here was one that really concerned me, because if I was going to have to put in smoke detectors and sprinkler systems and fire alarms and all the rest of it, you would destroy an older house. I had good co-operation from the Fire Commissioner's office. They understood what we were doing. They said: No, no, our regulations will deal with all of that. They told me what they wanted, and I have given them everything that they have needed. Of course, I had to have an inspection by the Fire Chief. Well, there is no Fire Chief. Of course, the Department of Tourism wanted a copy of the Fire Chief's inspection and a letter from the municipality, a permit from the municipality. Of course, being on a remote location neither was applicable.

Then you have to go through Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador for your inspection. The Department of Tourism doesn't do inspections.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: I beg your pardon?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Well, it is through Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: A separate entity.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Yes, but it is operated through Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador. That is where your contact is. You find the Department of Tourism doesn't do inspections anymore, so you have to have Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador do it. Where the Department of Tourism would have inspected this previously, now it costs you $181 to have this rating agency come down.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: You want to clarify it? I would be delighted to let the minister speak.

MR. GRIMES: Mr. Speaker, he is getting a bit tired there.

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

MR. GRIMES: I understand, Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the leave to provide a bit of information. I know the member was getting a bit tired and wanted to get a drink as well, so I will give him a little break there.

The relationship between the inspection that he is referring to, at this point in time, and I mention that because the very bill that the hon. member is debating, the regulatory reform, there are some suggestions that some of the regulations with respect to tourism establishments, which the hon. member is using as a very good example in his address, are being slated for possible removal at the end of this calendar year.

There is a difference, Mr. Speaker, between the tourism establishment regulations and an inspection done by the Department of Tourism, Recreation and Culture, which gives you a license and entitles you to operate a tourist establishment. The grading council is separate. It does a rating, paid for by the operator, to make sure that they get a star in the Canada Grading Council, so that they can then be included in the Travel Guide - two separate issues, and I would hope that the hon. member wouldn't try to run them together.

They are two, distinct separate issues. One is a license to operate whether you are graded or not; the other, is to get a grade assigned to your establishment so it can be included in the Travel Guide.

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

MR. WINDSOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I don't disagree with anything the minister is saying but let me say to him that, I was told by the Department of Tourism, Recreation and Culture: We don't need to do an inspection - which they didn't, that this grading agency, so whomever, will come out to do the inspection and do the rating, and I am proud to say that I have a two-and-a-half star rating which is not bad. Holiday Inns is three; whoever Holiday Inns is going to be is another story. So that isn't bad, two-and-a-half stars, one of the highest hospitality home ratings in the Province, and we are very pleased with that.

But it cost me, Mr. Speaker, $181, plus I had to bring that person out to the island, another trip, two trips, one to get him, one to get him back.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Pardon?

MR. FUREY: This is still the `health' person?

MR. WINDSOR: No, this is the rating person.

MR. FUREY: Whom?

MR. WINDSOR: The tourist rating - it had to be rated. I just went through this with the minister here and the minister clarified it. The Department of Tourism, Recreation and Culture doesn't do any inspection on the facility; this rating agency does the inspection, it is all included in the one, and you have to have that rating to get your - so we got our two-and-a-half star rating, but I had to pay -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) hospitality.

MR. WINDSOR: Well, I said Hospitality Newfoundland, and the minister got up on a point of order and told me no, it is not Hospitality Newfoundland, it is a separate thing.

MR. GRIMES: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: It was given to Hospitality Newfoundland but it is a separate Canadian co-op group, rating agency, Canada Select, is the term I was trying to remember exactly; Canada Select, but it goes through Hospitality Newfoundland rather than the Department. So a gentleman came out to do the inspection and he did a very thorough inspection and was quite helpful, actually, and made some good suggestions.

Now, we had to have health inspections because not only from the point of view of operating the hospitality home but we are also a restaurant, we are a dining room as well, so we had to have a food service license. Now, you should see my wall in my dining room.

MR. SULLIVAN: `Neil', is there a liquor license, too?

MR. WINDSOR: Oh yes, I am coming to that.

I had to have a food service license. I was told I didn't need a license from the Department of Tourism, Recreation and Culture, that it would come automatically; once the rating agency was finished doing the rating, then the tourist license would come out in a month's time.

Now, I had to get the health inspector back again, to do the final inspection for a food service, because I can't provide food service unless I meet all of their requirements, which we did; they had told us what we wanted and we went through that process, we put all that in place and we had another health inspector come out again then. This is another trip in and another trip out.

AN HON. MEMBER: Do you have to pay for all this?

MR. WINDSOR: No, I don't have to pay the health inspector; I did for the rating agency, $181.

AN HON. MEMBER: Do you have to pay his way out to the island?

MR. WINDSOR: I had to go and get them, they have no other way to get out and as I said, it cost me about $120 each return trip from Lewisporte to Exploits, a little bit better now, I have it cut down a bit. So each time, I had to go and get them and then I had to bring them back again - the money is adding up. So the health inspector came out, did an inspection, no problem, he was quite happy with everything we had done.

Now, the Fire Commissioner, of course, is not going to come out from St. John's to do an inspection. The local Fire Chief always does the inspections for the Fire Commissioner because there is no Fire Chief. I could appoint myself Fire Chief - I offered to do that but the Fire Commissioner wouldn't accept that. So I had to get the Fire Chief from Lewisporte, which is the closest municipality, to come out, and he didn't quite know how to deal with this, but anyway, he was good enough to come out. He came out and did an inspection, no problem. He sent in his report and everything was perfect for him. He wanted two fire extinguishers and we had four, no problem - everything we had met. He sent in the report to the Fire Commissioner and the Fire Commissioner was sending it back. I called them up, no sweat, it is all agreed, it has been processed, it has been signed, it is in the mail, it has to go out. Now, the Fire Chief has to sign it once he gets it. The Fire Commissioner sends it back to the Fire Chief. This is your capacity card. You have to have this card that is the ugliest thing you have ever seen. It is about that wide and about that high in red and white letters, it says, `Fire Commissioner's Office capacity.' It is all written on with a big black marker then, not typed, written on with a black marker how many persons you can have in your restaurant at any one time.

AN HON. MEMBER: Are you getting depressed at this point in time?

MR. WINDSOR: I am having a good day now but there is one better to come. Well, anyway, that is going to come now, it is all approved and I got my rating. I got my health license, the health inspector came and filled out a license for me right there and gave me this slip of paper.

Now, I go through the Liquor Corporation, Mr. Speaker, because I wanted to have a licensed dining room. I am not opening up a Stanley Steamer or the Sundance Saloon. I simply want a licensed dining room, beer, wine, liquor with the meal, that's it. No service to outside guests - I am not opening a pub. Hospitality or tourist home license, it is classified, which means you can serve your guests in your dining room or in their rooms and you can serve outside guests in the dining room. I think that's it, but you can't walk in off the street and have a beer. I have to sell you a bowl of soup or a bag of peanuts or something to eat if you want to buy a beer. Well, we don't want that anyway. That would destroy the concept of the business of the hospitality home, the ancient heritage home, and we didn't -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Yes, we had requests from islanders, from people on the island saying, `I suppose we would be able to drop up and have a beer on Sunday.' I said: `Boy, you can drop up because you always did and I will give you a beer but I can't sell you one. I will give you a beer from my own stock, but I can't sell you one unless you come into the dining room and eat or you are a guest here, you see,' and that is fine. I don't want to have eight or ten residents of the island sitting around drinking beer in the afternoon when you have paying guests who are trying to enjoy a quiet holiday.

So the liquor inspector had to come out. Now, he was on vacation so I had to go to Gander to get another fellow to come out and he couldn't make it that day, couldn't come until the next weekend. I half forget it all now, but it went on for about three weeks anyway, and then he said, `Well, do you have such and such a thing?' I said, `No.' He said, `Well, boy, you must have that before I come out.' I said,`Okay.' It might take me another couple of weeks, but I said, `I don't care. I don't care if I ever sell any liquor. That is only a service to guests anyway.'

I eventually got it in place and I called the guy again, and he said, `No, I am not dealing with it now. The guy is back from Grand Falls. You have to get him out there.' So I made arrangements for him to come out on a Saturday morning. He was good enough to do it on a Saturday for me. So I went in and brought him out. Now, this is the good part -

AN HON. MEMBER: From Grand Falls?

MR. WINDSOR: He came in from Grand Falls but he came to Little Burnt Bay and I picked him up at Little Burnt Bay. So he came in and sat down in my dining room and he looked on the wall at some of the permits that are on the wall there now. They are all displayed in the dining room. `Now,' he asked, `Where is your capacity card from the Fire Commissioner?' I said, `Well, I don't have the card yet - as far as I know, it is in Lewisporte. It is mailed from the Fire Commissioner's office. The Fire Chief has to sign it. But the Fire Chief works on the Northern Ranger and he is gone to Labrador for two weeks on the boat. He is not going to be back for two weeks, but I do have here the letter from the Fire Chief to the Fire Commissioner recommending twenty-two persons and a letter back from the Fire Commissioner to the Fire Chief approving twenty-two persons, and the card is in the mail. They told me that I need this big card. `I can't even talk to you,' he said, `I must have that card. I must have a number off that card. I can't even talk to you. I will have to come back again.' I said, `Well, Skipper, you are going to have to swim back up this morning and you are going to have to swim back the next time, because I'll be darned, I'm not taking you back. You mean this piece of paper is not good enough for you? `No, I must have a number. Where is your tourist license?' I said, `I don't have a tourist license. I have a rating; here is my letter, my two-and-a-half star rating, here it is on the wall and a two-and-a-half star sign on the front door, Canada Select, recommended accommodation.' `I have to have a number off that.' `You have to have a number off that?' `Yes.' Then he wanted something else, another number anyway, a third one. I can't remember which one it was now. But Health! The health certificate.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: This is sitting in the dining room on the island.

AN HON. MEMBER: Why didn't he check all that crap before he went over there?

MR. WINDSOR: Right. Now he asked: `Where is your health licence?' I said: `Here it is. I have the letter that the health inspector signed, the form, signed it all out, authorized to operate.' `Not good enough. You have to have the card on the wall.' I said: `For the love of god, old man, what do you have for cards anyway?' He said: `Boy, I have to have those three numbers.' I said: `Well, if you have a telephone, call them! Get the numbers yourself!' I went through, up and down.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time has elapsed.

MR. WINDSOR: I understand I have leave.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

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

AN HON. MEMBER: Yes, he has leave.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

AN HON. MEMBER: Give him time to explain why they didn't do what we are doing.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: I couldn't agree more. We had started the process. A lot of regulations had been eliminated - not enough, but it takes time. That is another issue.

Anyway, Mr. Speaker, eventually, he finally realized that this is getting serious here and he went about his business. I think about ten days later I got the permit. That was about four days after the Minister of Health was out to do the official opening, I would say. Not that it mattered. Now, after all of that fuss, I sold $40 worth of liquor for the summer. I mean, that's what you're talking about. Those are the kinds of things you go through.

I'm sure there are a thousand things more that I wanted to say but I don't have time to - if I had all of my documentation from my office I could go through a lot more.

AN HON. MEMBER: Is there any wonder why (inaudible)?

MR. WINDSOR: It is a wonder why a business starts at all in this Province. That is why I support fully the principle of what we are doing here. These things are not unfamiliar to me. Half of them were departments that I was a minister of at one point in time. I'm dealing with public servants I have known for the twenty years that I've been here, in many cases. How an individual with a medium education, without any experience in dealing with government, or without any experience in business, could ever get a project off the ground, even one as simple as what I was doing, converting an older home to a hospitality home, you wouldn't - I said to him at one point in time: Boy, I bet you if I put a twin of the Radisson Plaza up I wouldn't have had this much trouble.

It is absolutely - I mean, this is true, and we have said it many times in getting funding from government: if you want $20 million you will probably get it in two or three weeks. It will go through Cabinet because it is going to create 100 jobs. Rush it through Treasury Board, get it into Cabinet as quickly as you can, Resource Policy, Social Policy, Planning and Priorities, whoever has to see it. It will come through, red flag on it. The money will be approved, $20 million, with very little financial analysis, in many cases, except what these people are bringing in. Because these are big corporations with a huge business plan. Not so easy to analyze, is it, without a lot of background and study, unless you had a consultant who was knowledgeable in that field. It would be very difficult for our staff to do a real analysis on it. You can have a cursory examination of it. But if you want a few thousand dollars to do some little thing in rural Newfoundland, then you go through `hell and high water', Mr. Speaker.

MR. FUREY: Did the Department of Environment give you (inaudible) or did they bother you at all?

MR. WINDSOR: No, the department - I just had to go to them to be told: We don't need to be consulted on it; this is small enough that the Department of Health can deal with it. I didn't have any problem with the Department of Environment, unless I was getting into something bigger.

There is what you go through, Mr. Speaker, just to try to establish a small tourism industry. It is almost a hobby more than anything else. But how an individual who had a serious plan to start up a business in this Province would ever get through all of the red tape, god only knows. And I didn't have a municipality to deal with. That was the problem; nobody knew quite how to deal with it, because there was no municipality involved.

It is an interesting story, and I'm sure there are a million more like it. I encourage the government to proceed with this legislation, although I have great concern that it is a blank cheque. We don't know what it is going to be replaced with. You are eliminating all the regulations except the ones that you either re-enact or replace. We do not know which ones will be re-enacted and it is an unusual thing to ask. Obviously, before March 31 the ones that are going to be re-enacted will be re-enacted.

Mr. Speaker, it is not so much the elimination of the regulations that is required, it is the consolidation to some degree.

MS VERGE: Cabinet can do it anyway.

MR. WINDSOR: Oh, sure, Cabinet can do it anyway, but it is the consolidation that really needs to be done and government is moving towards service centres. Now, the service centres, I think, have some good aspects and they have some not so good aspects. At least you can now go to a service centre and perhaps have one inspector deal with all of it, but I doubt that you are ever going to get to the stage where that one inspector can handle every aspect of the inspection that has to be done. I just do not think it will happen, and I am not sure that the economies are there, but that is another story and I will not get into that.

I thank hon. gentlemen for leave.

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

DR. KITCHEN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The elimination of regulation is certainly something we should be supporting, and I certainly appreciate what the Member for Mount Pearl has experienced in his attempt to set up a small business, and I am sure that many other people are faced with similar problems when they are in the same situation.

I remember a few years ago when we tried to eliminate some fees and licenses in various departments of government, when we approached every single government department and said: is there a fee here, or a license that you do not really need to have? Attempting to eliminate little fees and licenses which kept public servants preoccupied was like drawing teeth from a hen. There is almost an impossibility to do that, and after a year or so of work we were able to extract 150 fees and licenses. Similarly, I believe, we are confronted with a problem here as well. We do need to have these regulations eliminated and re-enacted, and this is one bill I certainly support with great enthusiasm.

As a matter of fact I was almost ready to propose an amendment. I will not propose an amendment, but I really think this is something we should do regularly and not just once in the history of Newfoundland. We should do it perhaps every ten years. Just as we redraw the electoral boundaries every ten years so we should probably re-enact or eliminate all the regulations every ten years and decide which ones we want to put back in again. It is a process that should be ongoing and provision should be made to continue it. I am going to ask the Government House Leader if he would consider, I am not going to move an amendment, but to make this process an ongoing thing, something that happens on a regular basis, perhaps once every ten years or so.

Members have been speaking largely about problems that businesses have in getting established, and the problems you have in dealing with a variety of government departments. This is the main thrust of this bill, but I would like to extend it a bit further and indicate that there are many other regulations which do not affect businesses but which effect human beings in this Province which also need to be looked at. I would like to look at, first, some of the problems that people have with respect to housing, and the regulations that are in place.

We have in the Department of Justice a Division of Landlord Tenant Relations and that division has a primary responsibility of seeing to it that landlords and tenants do what they are suppose to do. That is the private landlords and their tenants. I am sure most members realize what is going on, and I am going to raise a few problems that tenants have with landlords. Let us take the case of somebody who wants to move from one apartment to the other for some good reason, and wants his damage deposit back, and the landlord says: I am not going to give you your damage deposit back. This happens very, very frequently. Now how does that tenant get his damage deposit back? He may go to the Division of Landlord/Tenants Relations, and they say: Yes, boy, you have the right to get your damage deposit back unless you have done some damage. But the procedure is very cumbersome, as some hon. members know. What you have to do is go down to the Registrar of the Supreme Court and pay $50. Then you have to take a paper and serve it on your landlord, and if you are a bit scared of your landlord you can hire somebody to deliver it, to serve it. Then you bring it back to the Supreme Court, after you have certified that it was delivered, and the Supreme Court refers it back to the landlord/tenants board. Then you, as a tenant, have to appear before the landlord/tenants board and make your case, just for the simple matter of getting your damage deposit back.

Now this has to be the most cumbersome procedure that mankind could possibly invent. It is almost as cumbersome as the procedure that the hon. Member for Mount Pearl described in getting a little tourist home going, but there is a difference. The Member for Mount Pearl was able to handle his problem because he understood things, but you have some poor son of a gun who is on social assistance intimidated, frightened; he is not going to go down to the Supreme Court Registrar with $50 - he does not have it in the first place - so justice is, in effect, denied this person, and that happens time and time and time again despite all of the good efforts of the people who work in Landlord/Tenants Relations. It is not an easy procedure, and in my view it should be changed. This is a series of regulations that have to be changed to make it simpler, so that some civil servant can say to the landlord: Look, pay him his money... and that is the end of it. Then let the landlord go to court if he doesn't like what the civil servant has done, something of that procedure.

I am going to talk about my constituents rather than my own personal thing here today. I got a call from a constituent the other day. He did it by talking to somebody else because he did not have a phone. So I went and visited him in his little place, and his bedsitting room was no wider than these two desks, and no longer than from here to the wall, about 7 x 10 maybe. This was a room that he was paying for. He had a couch that he was sleeping on. He had a few nails driven in the wall to hang his clothes on, and I said: How do you cook? Well, I have a hot plate. I cook on a hot plate. Very good; and where do you wash your dishes? Oh, he said, I have to go out in the bathroom and wash in the sink where the guys shave. Now that is a true story. I said: Nobody can treat you like that, man; let's do something about it. Oh, no, he says, I am afraid. I can't do anything about that. I can't appeal to the city; they might throw me out. The landlord might throw me out. He begged me not to do anything about it or to kick up a fuss. And, of course, I respected him. The only fuss I am kicking up is when I am making the point here. There should be some way for that person to be protected so that he would not be afraid.

I got another call from a fellow downtown, and he was cold. He phoned me and said he was cold, so I went down and he had a little larger place than the other fellow, but not much larger, and it was a nice place as far as the kitchen and the bathroom was concerned. It met all of the requirements in my view, but it was cold. The landlord had pulled the heater out of his place because he was not able to pay his rent. He was behind in his rent for a few weeks, and the landlord said: Well, I will pull the heater out. That was illegal as well. You have to give him a month's notice and then he goes if he does not pay his rent. So I said: Look, let me go down and let me make a complaint to the city, because you are not allowed to cut off the heat. That is one of the things a landlord cannot do, cut off the heat. No, he says, don't do it. I said: Why? What is your problem? Again, it was fear of the landlord. He said: well look, I am not paying very much here. My rent is very low here. He had a particular problem why he could not pay that month but his rent was so low that he felt that if he were thrown out of that he would have to pay much higher somewhere else but he had no protection about his heat, no protection.

I know a man last winter who got so desperate with his landlord that he pulled the heaters out of one of those electric stoves and put a little heater in each of the rooms made from the burner on the top of the stove. Of course, it is a very dangerous thing for a person to do but people do desperate things when they are in the middle of the winter and cannot be heated. Now the point of my making these things is that there have to be -

AN HON. MEMBER: How much does social services pay a single person now?

DR. KITCHEN: Well it varies, if you can make the case and you are of age you might get $602 or $601 I think it is.

MR. HARRIS: (Inaudible).

DR. KITCHEN: You could get very little money, yes. Well I am not sure about the maximum because there are lots of exceptions to that. Yes, it varies from place to place whether you are boarding or whatever it is but I am talking about the regulations that should be in place to protect people of that nature.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

DR. KITCHEN: No, this has nothing to do with the Department of Social Services, what I am talking about. It has little to do with the Department of Social Services, it has to do with the Landlord Tenant/Relations Act. The Residential Tenancies Act and how it should be amended, there should be some teeth in the relationship between landlords and tenants. Now I am not saying that the tenants are always right because sometimes landlords take a rough break too but that is one thing that I believe, not only should the regulations be thrown out but new ones should be re-enacted.

The hon. Member for St. John's East mentioned Social Services. I will give you a few examples about that too, just while we are talking about it. One of the problems that has always bothered me is people who have those low paying jobs. In this city, a lot of the new jobs that are created here are in the fast food joints. Everybody is setting up a fast food joint, different ones - wherever you go anywhere in Canada or in the United States you will see the same fast food joints as you do here in St. John's, dozens of them.

Now if you have a job in one of those fast food joints you are probably getting the minimum wage and you are not getting forty or fifty hours a week either. So really the money that you are hauling in is less probably then you would get if you were on social services and so what Social Services does quite properly is give you a top-up. If some month your earnings are below what you would get on social services they top you up to what you would get if you were on social services. That makes some sense but it does create problems for a person whose income is unreliable because you have to go down to Social Services. You bring in your cheque stubs and then they make a calculation, so much for transportation, they subtract this and it is quite a complicated procedure. Then when it is all over the social worker says: well we will give you ninety dollars this month. Come back with your stubs next month and you may not be entitled to anything or we may have given you ninety dollars last month and we forgot the fact you had a boarder so you have to pay that back. We forgot to take it off. So the person says: To heck with it, I am quitting work and I am staying on social assistance. At least I will know that my income is steady and constant. Now that is true. That is not something that happens once in awhile.

I know a lot of people who would dearly love to work and don't want to be on social assistance but they also need security of income. Whatever their income they want it to be constant so they can make some sort of a plan to do things with. The problem is not with social services alone, it is with all those jobs that are around which take advantage of people who are on social assistance and who have low incomes because of the top-up procedure. I have a feeling that we need more regulations, higher minimum wage or something like that, to do something about it so it is not just enough to eliminate the rules, they have to be looked at. Perhaps what we should do is enable people to earn more money rather than less, is another point.

The other problem I find with rules and regulations has to do with broken families. If a man and a woman and their family are living together on social assistance, they get X dollars. If the man and the woman have a row and split apart and he gets an apartment, he gets his cash and she gets the children and gets her amount and the total now is more than it was before, even if you take away the amount for the apartment, the total is more than it was before, so this encourages people to do things that they wouldn't normally want to do; it encourages them and it happens from time to time, it happens fairly frequently.

Let us take the case of the family which has a young woman, who has a boyfriend, who gets pregnant, I mean the girl gets pregnant. Now then, if she stays with her mother and father the amount of social assistance that family gets is a certain amount. If she decides that she is going to go off by herself and set up her own house with her baby, then there will be more money coming into that extended family than ever before, but in my view, there should be no gain there, if the girl wants to stay home, money should be provided almost as much or just about as much as if she split apart and sets up her own place unless she really wants to do that so the encouragement again is to break up the families.

Now I don't know if that is the object of anybody but it is the effect of the rules and regulations that are in place; it is the effect, it is the effect and we can go on and on about that as much as we like. There are many things that have to be told, that could be told by a careful analysis, so what I am thinking is that, not only must the rules and regulations with respect to businesses be looked at very carefully, I also believe that the rules and regulations with respect to the way human beings are treated by various government departments, whether it is Newfoundland and Labrador Housing - and I haven't gotten into that at all yet, I don't think I will today - I just wanted to make a few remarks to extend this bill not just to encourage businesses but to make life a little more appropriate for many people.

So, Mr. Speaker, what I am proposing, what I am suggesting is that, this procedure of revising the regulations, be done, not just once in the history of Newfoundland as we are doing it now, but that it be done almost on a decennial basis, that it be done on a regular basis and I would certainly had hoped that this might be added to the bill; I don't know if it can, Mr. House Leader, whether we can put in a provision here that this will happen on a decennial basis or every twenty years or something, where all the rules are pitched out and we start figuring out which one we need to retain, and it should be broader than just the rules and regulations that encourage businesses to be established. That's very important, very, very important but it also should be looked at with respect to the rules and regulations that we apply to human beings whether it be housing or social assistance or justice or whatever.

With these remarks I conclude, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. WOODFORD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

As other members have said, Mr. Speaker, this particular piece of legislation is a very, very important piece of legislation and I would agree that it is one of the most important pieces of legislation that has come to the House in a long, long time. However, I am a bit sceptical myself that it is going to do anything in cutting down on the frustrations that are out there today by people in this Province when it comes to starting up a business or carrying on a business.

It is not only the starting up of a business in this Province or anything else and it is not only business. It has to do with Crown land applications, it has to do with building permits, it has to do with putting in a culvert. If you have a piece of land or a building block or anything else, it has to do with a whole gambit of regulations across the board in every department in government, and I say to members opposite, especially Cabinet ministers, because all through this, it relates to the Lieutenant-Governor in Council and so on, what would happen after the subordinate legislation is finished, after December 31, and the powers of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council on "re-enactment of subordinate legislation under section 4, the same power as that conferred by the Act on the minister, board, commission or other body as if the power to make the subordinate legislation had been conferred by the Act on the Lieutenant-Governor in Council," and so on throughout this, through certain clauses, throughout certain references to the Lieutenant-Governor in Council in pretty well every clause there.

I say to members opposite that the intent no doubt is a good one, if we could only be assured that this was going to be carried out with the intention of members opposite that they got in trying to help small businesses and help cut down on the permits that the people have to deal with in the Province.

One of the questions I have to ask is that I believe it was in last spring's sitting of the House that - maybe the Minister of Justice can - I can't recall exactly. Was there a ministerial statement made on it or was there legislation with regards to the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs setting up offices, different areas. Like for instance, Corner -

MR. ROBERTS: No legislation, but government service centres (inaudible).

MR. WOODFORD: Yes. The government service centres. Some moves were made on that after, because I had talked to some different civil servants that -

MR. ROBERTS: (Inaudible).

MR. WOODFORD: If that is up and running, that was supposed to cut down on some of the frustrations of some of the -

MR. ROBERTS: (Inaudible) one-stop shopping (inaudible).

MR. WOODFORD: Yes, exactly, one-stop shopping. Because I think they took some people out of, for instance, Crown lands, forestry, Municipal Affairs, different government departments, and sort of put them in this one-stop shopping office to deal with those - like the problems, for instance -

MR. ROBERTS: (Inaudible) user-friendly.

MR. WOODFORD: Yes, that is right. You go in to one office and you get your permit for -

MR. ROBERTS: (Inaudible).

MR. WOODFORD: I at the time said it was a good move, and I hadn't heard any comments otherwise so far. Out there today it is just terrible. If they are going to take someone from Crown lands, if you are going to take someone from the Department of Health, if you are going to take someone from the Department of Municipal and Provincial Affairs, development and control, Works, Services and Transportation, and put them all in the one office and the person goes in there, or a council sends their recommendations to this particular one-stop shopping area or office or whatever to be dealt with, and it is dealt with prudently, fast and efficiently, then sobeit. It is a benefit to everybody.

Is that going to happen? What I'm after seeing it in the past few weeks, an application comes into a council for a building permit. The council has to send a recommendation off to the Department of Works, Services and Transportation. They have to send one off to development and control if it is in the vicinity of a protected highway. Anywhere I think within 300, 350 feet of a protected highway development and control has jurisdiction. It goes to the Department of Municipal and Provincial Affairs, it goes to the Department of Health, it goes to the Department of Environment, just for a building permit. That is in any municipality around the Province. The only different would be is if you are in a municipality that doesn't have a protected highway. Then you would get out of the one with development and control. You would be out of that one. That is the only other one. Everything else you have to go by.

Then all those departments have to come and do an inspection. The Department of Health has to do an inspection for instance on the soil.

MR. ROBERTS: (Inaudible) that is one thing we are doing with the one-stop shopping is to, in so far as is possible, with one inspector doing a number of inspections.

MR. WOODFORD: Doing the Department of Health one, and probably the Department of Environment one.

MR. ROBERTS: In so far as is possible.

MR. WOODFORD: Yes, that is understandable, if it is something like that. But if it is for a building permit or, for instance, for someone from forestry to check on if you have the proper location for your building permit or -

MR. ROBERTS: (Inaudible).

MR. WOODFORD: And the proper square footage for your building lot if you are in a community where there is no water and sewer and you have a septic tank system, those 15,000, 20,000 square feet, the different regulations that have to be followed, it is pretty easy for someone with, we will say for argument's sake, the Department of Health fellow to come and make that assessment.

The applications that I am talking about, they all go to separate departments. Can you imagine the paperwork that has to all come back again to the same council, for argument sake - I am not even talking about a business - and then that goes out again. Someone wants to know: well, where is this location and that location? We have to test this and test that. It is just so frustrating it is not even funny.

I had another example the other day for Crown Lands. A young fellow started to do renovations on his home. He went to Crown Lands and all of a sudden found out - it was in a community and the Department of Transportation's right-of-way seemed like it was a little bit closer and the surveyor, when he put in his location certificate for the mortgage and so on, and he did his location certificate for the house and whatever else was on it, they did not accept it. Crown Lands said there was a piece of property there that belonged to the Department of Transportation. Now, that took three months, and only for he did call me, I must say, and a couple of phone calls to the department, and finally one down here to the registration department, the Registry of Deeds, they finally sent a letter out to the banks saying that the individual will get title to his property; you can proceed and release the monies for his mortgage. So at least now he has his home finished, and that was done, but you should not have to wait that long. We have all kinds of people within the system, it is sitting on people's desks, and it should be dealt with more prudently, and that stuff goes on in every department today. It went on when we were there, it is still going on today, and it will go on tomorrow unless someone is willing to put a stop to that type of thing.

You get the Department of Health testing water, the Department of Health testing the soil. Then Environment comes back and tests the soil again. The other question I had is: After December 31 what governs any of those government departments? The Department of Health comes then, what happens to someone looking for a building permit? If someone is going in looking for a vendor's number? If someone is going in looking for a permit from Revenue Canada, or a permit to collect RST? All of those things have to be looked at.

I say to members opposite that if they are really going to do something with this particular piece of legislation it will be a great thing for the people of the Province, because everybody is affected by it, whether you are starting a business, whether you are building a home, whether you are renovating a home.

One of the things that I found out over the years is that a lot of people figure they are exempt from anything when it has to do with Crown Land, or anything that has to do with when they go... What they run into when they go to do renovations on their homes and they go, for instance, to get a mortgage or a second mortgage or whatever, they find out that there is always something lacking. There is a corner post out of place, the survey is not done right, the location certificate is not done right, something is not done right, and then they are three or four months hung up waiting for the bank's lawyers or Crown Lands arguing back and forth before anything is straightened up with regard to a mortgage or even to get a renovation.

A lot of people today, if they go to get an equity loan, a lot of the banks today look at equity loans. They will give you up to 75 per cent, I think, it is, on the value of your property, and you can do absolutely what you like with it provided you sign a mortgage. You can take it and go on a holiday in Florida, or you can spend it on the casinos.

AN HON. MEMBER: All you have to do is give them your house.

MR. WOODFORD: All you have to do is give them your house, but if they find out that there is something there that is not right with regard to the documents and once they get that they run into problems with documents. Those are just a few comments on that. I asked the minister about the one-stop shopping thing that was announced last year. If the minister and his colleagues opposite can get that working and do away with the regulations, as many as possible, get it working, the one-stop shopping and a few other things like that, then it would be better for anybody who has to do anything in the Province, whether it is starting a business, a homeowner, or whatever.

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

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

MR. CAREEN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Like other members I would like to recommend the idea of streamlining regulations. Cutting down red tape is not such a bad idea, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I recognized the hon. the Member for Placentia.

MR. CAREEN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I say to the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation that you have not been recognized. Bill 7, if you look at it on the surface, talks about throwing out over 1000 regulations. They are saying it will make things much easier and things will not be as cumbersome. They will have some 1270 regulations left. Are these meant to be cumbersome? We have all known of businesses, individuals, and companies having extremely hard jobs trying to get their companies off the ground. Is this going to make it any better? We have no idea what they are going to toss out.

Since I was a youngster I have been told about buying pigs in pokes.

AN HON. MEMBER: What?

MR. CAREEN: Not to buy a pig in a poke, or the old saying, `when in doubt, throw it out,' say, no. Government is saying, yes. Well, I have seen what this government has done over six years. I have seen what they have done with amalgamation, what a process they did then. I have seen what they did out in Placentia with amalgamation. The council in Dunville were asking questions about amalgamation and they were ostracized for asking questions. Other councillors in other areas did not ask as many, and now the council in Placentia are paying for it. It will be another two, three, or four years before they are eligible for any infrastructure money, because the monies they got from the past representative they had said they were gifts and grants, and now they find out they were loans.

We have seen regulations by the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation regarding the wing men and other people within his service. They are talking about gambling in Argentia, about casinos. The biggest gambler in this Province is the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation because he is gambling with the lives of the driving and motoring public in this Province. You talk about gambling, well I heard old Mulroney talk one time about rolling the dice. Well, minister, you loaded them.

AN HON. MEMBER: The signs are not high enough either, Nick.

MR. CAREEN: It is not that the signs are not high enough; it is that the minister cannot look up long enough. He cannot look you straight in the face when he is talking to you. He cannot look up, he looks down. He is continually looking at his feet or someone else's, bowing and scraping to the Premier, I suppose. Yes sir, no sir.

Anyway. This government for six years has done stuff with health that was unheard of. Because in 1989 during their campaign I saw pictures of the Premier sitting next to the beds of the old and the sick and the infirm and his crocodile tears of what he was going to do about health care. Now they have 700 beds gone since they got in. That is what we know of. Can you trust this government to do what it is going to say?

I see the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation waving his hand. He got a leg up the other day from the Premier. There are men across the way looking to be leader when the Premier goes. Obviously the Premier canvassed outside this building and he couldn't get anybody else to run for the leadership when he goes, so it is going to be confined inside. Anyway, taking away Cabot and allowing that to happen, he is allowing the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation to get in every corner of this Province on his election campaign. The Premier has given him a nod, a nod over the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation, a nod over the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board, a nod over the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs, a nod over the Minister of Fisheries, Food and Agriculture.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. CAREEN: Oh yes. I know, yes. He has given the Member for Exploits who is exploiting his department to get his own way to become leader of this Province.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. CAREEN: It is amazing. You think that is a scenario? I'm not the only one saying that, Mr. Speaker. He has been given a mandate to get everywhere in this Province without any expense on his own to campaign before the rest of them. So can you trust this government? Can you trust them?

We see this government on the out-migration that is happening in this Province. This government is a government of the past and a government of resettlement. The resettlement government, only this time it is more settled than the one they had twenty years ago when Mr. Bill Rowe was sitting over there with the government, and Joey Smallwood, and they had hired Mr. (inaudible) and these to move Newfoundlanders out of their homes across the bays to growth centres. Of late we've heard the term "growth centres" again being used. Growth centres in this Province, or anywhere outside this Province.

The Premier when he introduced this bill yesterday saying that he couldn't help but have a bit of pride in introducing it. We all know that pride goes before a fall. But he won't be around. We see a lot of people in this Province falling, see a lot of people in this Province leaving. A family reunion in this Province now with the out-migration that is going on is either a wake or a funeral. This government. Now they are talking about dropping over 1,000 regulations.

What are the ones they are dropping? What are they dropping, I wonder? What are they keeping? They are asking us to adopt this. The principle might be alright, but they don't have any principles.

AN. HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. CAREEN: Oh, listen to him. He is mad because the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation got ahead. He hasn't got a chance, no. He will get one vote out of Caucus and if he had a conscience he would not even get that vote. Oh we see what he did, on his 10th Anniversary he would not allow liquor or dancing at his festival.

AN HON. MEMBER: Is that right?

MR. CAREEN: Yes, playing games with the church people. Then in Cabinet he agreed: Yes, give it to them in the neck, let them go, take their rights. That is what they did to education and they are waiting. They are waiting, just as sure as in the boundary issues when they changed, the people of Upper Island Cove and Spaniard's Bay, they are all waiting for what disparaging remarks the minister said about those people a few years ago. They are waiting and hoping for a boundary change. They will get even with the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation, I say. He will be running for leadership from the outside if they bring in the boundary changes any time too soon.

Speaking of regulations, Mr. Speaker, caribou licenses in Placentia Bay, on Merasheen there are twenty-five given out annually, twenty-five caribou licenses. Now anybody who applies for a game license in this Province and are awarded a game license, it comes to you in the mail but not Merasheen, not Merasheen Island. You have to leave - say just for instance in Placentia, you have to leave Placentia and motor out to Merasheen Island, go to the other end of the island down to Dog Island to pick up your license and that is a fact.

AN HON. MEMBER: And what do you do if you get one?

MR. CAREEN: That is if you get it. You got to apply for it and if you get it you got to go down to Dog Island to get it. Then when you shoot the animal you got to bring the jawbone and whatever else is needed, you got to bring it back to Dog Island again. You got to get a boat to get to Merasheen Island to get the license.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. CAREEN: I am talking about regulations, game licenses. Nobody lives there. I will repeat again for the minister, ordinarily if you apply for a game license and if you gain one, it comes to you in the mail, your license but not on Merasheen Island. There are twenty-five caribou licenses given out annually so you got to go out to Merasheen, to Dog Island at the other end of Merasheen, to pick up your license, if you are awarded it. Then if you kill the animal you got to get to the other end of Merasheen - because they got no road, they got no air strip so you got to motor out there again.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. CAREEN: But it is a restrictive measure. There is no reason why they cannot have the wardens out there during the season. It is ludicrous. It is time to update, yes. I hope this is one of the ones that is in these over 1,000 that they are going to throw in the wastepaper basket.

We heard this government too, Mr. Speaker, last year talking about a balanced budget. Can you trust them? I am afraid not, Mr. Speaker. Last year they claimed to have a balanced budget. They had $50-odd million - the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation said the South Coast ferry service would pay for itself in perpetuity. They would take this money and put it in a fund, and it would generate its own money to pay the cost annually of the South Coast ferry system, but the Minister of Finance at the time grabbed it and dumped it into current account to pretend they had a balanced budget, the first time since Confederation.

Now we see what is coming out. This year now it is down $60 million, and they do not have all the railways money gone, and in a few years' time Newfoundland is going to have to pump in its own money by letting the federal government, through Marine Atlantic, off the hook for the South Coast. They replaced good-paying Newfoundland jobs with less paying jobs by another Newfoundland company. They let the feds off the hook. Anyway, the money that was supposed to be in that account forever is gone, and the people on the South Coast are still upset about the ferry service. You hear about Grand Bruit and there is nothing on it.

This government too, over the last six years, especially the last two, can you trust them on throwing out, they say, regulations? There are people out there looking for work, and desperate, and what have we seen about job creation? Very little. Last year Jiffy Cabs and some companies here in this city were getting coats for the moms and dads in houses so moms and dads could have a few dollars to get coats for the children, in this city. And over there talking about job creation, and making feeble attempts to go to the Ax. in Ottawa. Well, the Ax. should be stopped dead in his tracks because they do not have a conscience. They do not have a concept of a person wanting to put a bit of grub on the table.

One of my colleagues said last week about Axworthy and Axe Murphy. Well, is there any difference in them? One is from Winnipeg and the other is - where is he from?

AN HON. MEMBER: One has authority and the other has no authority.

AN HON. MEMBER: Neither one of them is worthy.

MR. CAREEN: Neither one of them is worthy, no.

Anyway, the principle behind this bill is a good one if they are talking about doing away with antiquated regulations, the regulations that are not adequate at all, but by not seeing what they are dropping what do we know is happening? What do we know is going to happen to the people of this Province? What is going to be worse than what they are facing today?

Thank you.

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

MR. AYLWARD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

This is a great piece of legislation.

Anyway, getting rid of over 1,000 barriers to business activity, I think, is a wonderful thing, as a matter of fact. The more of it the better. This process was undertaken to help streamline activity for government, and to streamline what activity people have to deal with when they deal with government, so it is important that it was undertaken, and I think it should be kept going in the future.

When people are trying to create opportunities in this Province, as they go forward from here on in, they will have less government to deal with, which is the way it should be. It is the way it should be in this Province of ours of 580,000 people. You should not have to go and get twenty-five or thirty approvals, as you have to do in certain types of activity. We are trying to lessen that impact and make it easier for people to undertake to do things. The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations wants to see new jobs created in this Province. He wants to see new opportunities created. This minister has a tremendous track record out there in the labour community. He used to be a good runner, too. He used to be a good softball player, too, I hear. He has a commitment to this wonderful place, the whole Cabinet does, and the whole caucus does, in trying to streamline activity, in trying to make it easier for people to do things. That is what this bill is all about. This bill is about making it easier to do those things, getting rid of regulations, and making things happen. That is what it is all about, and it is very important.

AN HON. MEMBER: Take care of Long Harbour.

MR. AYLWARD: That's right, take care of Long Harbour. I heard the speeches from hon. members opposite and I think mostly they supported it really. They encouraged government to take out rules and regulations, encouraged government to get rid of any barriers to doing and creating opportunities in this Province. A lot of small business activity is starting up around the Province and it is good to see that. We see a number of small businesses that are being created in the information and technology field, small businesses being created in the service sector, and we see some different types of manufacturing starting to happen in different parts of the Province, and it is really important that they not have the unnecessary impediments that have been in their way to create opportunities to make things happen.

It is also important that we have some rules and some regulations in place that are meaningful, that protect the environment, and protect the people of the Province in a number of areas. This process has seen that occur also, and it has seen the reinforcement of the proper rules that should be in place for protection in a number of public areas. That is in place with this act. It is cleaning up a process which should have been cleaned up a long time ago.

Enhancing tourism jobs, and helping create more tourism, it carries out a lot of very positive initiatives and reinforces them for people out there. When they see the new set of regulations that they will be able to get a copy of, and see what is governed under what, it will be very clear to people as to the rules they have to follow. It was always unclear as to what you would get into when you went to start something like a business, and the archaic stuff, as the minister points out, the archaic rules and regulations that were around since God knows when.

When we were going through the process and reviewing it half the time you would not even know where these regulations came from, but here they were on the books and they were impediments to good, positive development in this Province. This is a major piece of legislation and it lets people know that there is a process in place, too, that will be left in place to help clean up the impediments to people doing things in this Province.

We all want to see new opportunities created in this Province and everything we can do to help that process along is very important, everything we can do to ensure that people who want to start a small business, or want to go out and create an opportunity, that they will be able to do so and they will not find an impediment in their way, an unnecessary one. It is important that people understand that government is there to assist them and not to get in their way, as you say. This will help improve, I hope, the attitudes overall for that business activity.

It is very important, especially with the times we are in now, where government is looking at all its resources and expenditures, and looking at what it is going to spend its money on. If we are spending money on enforcing regulations which do not even have a bearing anymore in this Province then we should be getting rid of them and we should not be spending dollars in this Province protecting these types of impediments. That has also been a benefit of this exercise, as we walk through the exercise, in making sure that we have cleaned out impediments and that we are using, and only having the proper regulations that we will now go forward with for our protection.

The bill is a good one, Mr. Speaker. It sets out a process for further review in the future, which is also important, and will ensure that accountability in government, which is really important, will occur with these types of regulations that are now in place as we go forward. It is really important. Because people need to see that if government has something in place - regulation number 1, or regulation number 400 - that that regulation or that requirement has to make sense. What we've tried to do is bring some common sense back to what is in the bureaucracy when it comes to dealing, especially with business people and businesses out there, with people who are trying to do things. Even people who are trying to do just regular activities that they want to carry out.

This really is a common sense bill. It is a bill to make things much more commonsensical to the people of the Province as to what they are being asked to do when they go and they want to undertake to do something. It is getting down and making sure that it is simplified, and that fellows like me can understand it, Mr. Speaker. Thank you very much. I would like to move the bill, close debate.

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. J. BYRNE: I'm not closing debate. No, a couple of minutes. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. J. BYRNE: I was up.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. J. BYRNE: I'm speaking, I have the floor. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Bill No. 7, An Act Respecting The Revision And Consolidation Of Subordinate Legislation. Finally, something being put forward in this House by that government over there that I can support. But I have to qualify that too. I certainly support the general intent of this bill. I do have some concerns with respect to a carte blanche dropping of over 40 per cent of the regulations that are in place in this Province now, over 1,000 regulations being dropped.

This may indeed be a very good move on the part of this government.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. J. BYRNE: I would say to the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation who is not in his seat that he should probably take a long drive on the bumpy roads he is responsible for in one of the car wrecks he is allowing on the highways, Mr. Speaker. That is what the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation should do.

I was referring to over 40 per cent of the regulations being dropped. These regulations that are being dropped may or may not be a good thing. Some of these being dropped may have a negative impact upon the public in this Province. We really don't know what impact they will have. That point was brought up when the Premier introduced the bill yesterday in this House. Any regulations that are dropped that the Premier or this government feel should be reinstated that are having a negative impact, or they should be in place, will very quickly be reinstated in the regulations of the Province.

I had a question the other day with respect to the process that has taken place with respect to the gathering of information on the regulations and reviewing the regulations themselves and which should and should not be dropped. There was a committee put in place. I questioned the Premier on this. I'm not questioning the integrity or the intelligence or anything of that nature with respect to the committee, but I would question the knowledge or the background some of these committee members would have had when they were reviewing these regulations.

The Premier went on to state that the departments and members, or each government department was consulted basically when they were talking about dropping certain regulations. Of course, that is a bit of a safety catch there, but it is certainly not all-encompassing with respect to when the regulations are dropped. The other point is, we really don't know which regulations are being dropped at this point in time.

There were certain criteria put in place that this committee had to use when it came to public safety when reviewing the regulations. In listening to and reading the bill, Mr. Speaker, it seems that the public safety certainly was a major factor in reviewing these regulations, but I have to ask the question: I wonder, is government doing too much too fast? Are we going to drop regulations that will, in the long run, have a negative impact upon the people of this Province, Mr. Speaker? I would say that if this works, it will be great; it will actually be great for this Province, great for the people in this Province, great for businesses in this Province.

I have been in small business myself-

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The level of noise in this Chamber has reached the level that I am having difficulty hearing the hon. member.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

A good ruling, yes indeed.

Mr. Speaker, as I said, I have been in small business in this Province for a number of years, I worked with government for a number of years before that, and I have been always preaching that we have been regulated to death, regulated to death and these regulations have been an impediment to business development in this Province.

The Member for Mount Pearl told us a story today and went on for quite a length of time in telling us of some of the problems that he ran into with respect to starting up a small business in this Province this past summer, and a number of points that he didn't even mention, that he was planning on mentioning I believe with respect to Workers' Compensation, the GST, the RST and what have you, so these regulations and a number of regulations we have in this Province have definitely been an impediment to small businesses in this Province.

I have often said in the past, that the government and this House of Assembly and municipalities and the federal government have gotten to the point where we, as legislators, are trying to justify our existence. We go out and we say: what can we come up with today to make some regulations on, and one of my pet peeves, since I came here, Mr. Speaker, was the ATV regulations, which point this out point-blank, and I would say that there are people on that side of the House -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. J. BYRNE: Mr. Speaker, I was referring to the ATV regulations. Take the long ride on a bumpy road I would say to the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation.

Anyway, Mr. Speaker, with respect to the ATV regulations, when these regulations were brought before the House, I spoke on them a number of times and so did other members and pointed out to the then minister at the time, the Member for Conception Bay South I believe, some of the faults with respect to these regulations and they dealt with the licensing of trails, with respect to where the trails should go. We talked about studies not being done on these regulations, there were no public meetings. I went out and attended public meetings on these ATV regulations.

Now last winter the Member for Harbour Main, I believe it was, was appointed as the Chairman of a committee to review these regulations and these regulations were, at that point in time I think they did have public meetings, and the committee made their report to the Minister of Natural Resources. Last May I believe the report was in and last May we questioned the minister on that, when the report would be made public, if and when he would take some action with respect to the ATV regulations and the minister has yet to make a move.

We have May, June, July, August, September, October, November and still nothing. Maybe, the ATV regulations now will have a proper review and the minister will drop some of the negative parts of the regulations and bring in some proper regulation with respect to the ATV regulations in this Province, Mr. Speaker.

Now, Mr. Speaker, with respect to regulations being changed in this Province or dropped or consolidated, I have to say it is a good move regardless. I know that the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation does not agree with this move, he is consistently trying to interrupt me and obviously he must not agree with the move of the Premier in trying to consolidate the regulations in this Province.

Now five or six years ago, I believe it was probably in 1990, the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs brought in a set of regulations referred to as the St. John's Urban Region Subdivision Regulations. At that time I was chairman of the Northeast Avalon Towns Joint Council and we told him at the time, we told the minister, we told the committee in place, the Department of Municipal Affairs, the planners, that these regulations were not a good set of regulations. They would have a negative impact.

MR. EFFORD: (Inaudible).

MR. J. BYRNE: Pay attention and you will find out.

MR. EFFORD: I've been paying attention and I can't understand (inaudible).

MR. J. BYRNE: Well then I will say to you go back to sleep.

Mr. Speaker, the St. John's Urban Region Subdivision Regulations were brought in a few years ago. As I was saying, we opposed them at the time because these regulations were a duplication of regulations that were in place by the City of St. John's by the various municipalities around the area.

MR. SPEAKER: I remind hon. members once again that the level of noise has become intolerable and if hon. members wish to have private conversations I would request that they leave the Chamber.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. E. BYRNE: I am not finished, when I am ready.

Mr. Speaker, talking about the St. John's Urban Region Subdivision Regulations which were brought in by this government who are now about to drop these regulations and I have to compliment them on that, Mr. Speaker.

The subdivision regulations, when they were brought in, were a duplication of regulations that were in place by various municipalities in and around St. John's; the town of Torbay, the town of Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove, the town of Flatrock - Pouch Cove and what have you, Mr. Speaker. What happened actually, if a piece of land was to be divided it would have to be sent to the Department of Municipal and Provincial Affairs for approval, Mr. Speaker.

Now if it was more then two parcels of land it had to be sent to the Department of Municipal and Provincial Affairs for approval. Now why do we have a town plan in place? If a town has a municipal plan in place which has to be approved by the Department of Municipal and Provincial Affairs, in the first place, the town should be given the authority to implement that plan. They were told this at the time and they would not go along with it. They were told they did not have the staff at the Department of Municipal and Provincial Affairs, Mr. Speaker, to implement these regulations. They were told that they did not have the staff to enforce these regulations, Mr. Speaker. This government was told at the time that these regulations would be an impediment to development in these towns. I fought for two years, as Chairman of Northeast Avalon Towns, to have the regulations changed. There were some substantial changes made after two years, but the regulations were kept in place. Now, this past summer again, I had areas in Pouch Cove, areas in Logy Bay and in Torbay, that wanted to have development - people wanted to have subdivisions in these towns - and these subdivision regulations clearly would not permit that. So, again, I went to the Department of Municipal and Provincial Affairs and made representation, showed how illogical these subdivision regulations were. And I am led to believe now, at this point in time, that the St. John's urban region subdivision regulations will be dropped, and I think the municipalities in and around St. John's are quite supportive and glad of that.

I remember the other day when the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs was talking about the Government Services Centre, and it was brought up here today.

I see the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology waving me down. I suppose he wants to get up and say his few words. I don't know what he can add to the debate; I really don't know.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. J. BYRNE: Say what? He wants me to adjourn debate, but I am not ready yet, Mr. Speaker.

Anyway, with respect to the Government Services Centre, it is not doing the job it was set up to do. I had a call the other day with respect to a piece of Crown land, and I had to make a call to that Government Services Centre. They told me that they would have to go back to Crown Lands and check it out, so I told them to forget about it; it would be quicker if I checked it out myself. So the Government Services Centre, as they are set up, are not doing the job they were set up to do. Basically, from my perspective, the Government Services Centre is only an extra step in any application that goes through this government. If you have an application for Crown Lands, if you have an application for a municipality, if you have an application to Works, Services and Transportation, an application to the Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation, it is only an extra step. What they praised as one-stop shopping is nothing more than an extra level of bureaucracy for the people of this Province to follow or to attend to.

Based on that, seeing that now we have a few of the members over there willing to get up and say a few words and close debate, and they are biting at the bit - the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations is biting at the bit, talking about drawing in a horse, as one of the members said earlier.

Anyway, I think I have said all I want to say on this topic today, but the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation, I believe, wants me to continue. There are five or six or seven or eight or nine minutes left. I could continue on, I suppose, and talk about the car wrecks on the highway and the bumpy roads that the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation is responsible for.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) ferry service.

MR. J. BYRNE: Maybe the ferry service down on the South Coast or the ferry service up in - the Member for Green Bay spoke about today, in his petition. I can go on and on, but I think I will sit down now. I have spoken more than I thought I would speak, Mr. Speaker, so I think I will give the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation a chance to speak.

AN HON. MEMBER: Adjourn debate!

MR. J. BYRNE: Just on second thought, Mr. Speaker - no, that's alright, thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: Before I recognize the hon. minister, is it the Chair's understanding that if the minister speaks now he will close the debate?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. J. BYRNE: I adjourn debate.

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

MR. FUREY: Mr. Speaker, the Premier, I'm sure, will want to speak to close debate. Tomorrow, I think, is the Opposition day, and I think the resolution from the Member for Burin - Placentia West is on tomorrow. I think the day after - I guess the Government House Leader has mentioned to you that the next items are Bill Nos. 27, 28 and 10.

Mr. Speaker, I move that the House adjourn until 2:00 p.m. tomorrow.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

SOME HON. MEMBERS: `Chuck', `Chuck', `Chuck'!

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