May 29, 1996             HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY PROCEEDINGS                Vol. XLIII  No. 17

 


The House met at 2:00 p.m.

MR. SPEAKER (Snow): Order, please!

Oral Questions

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

MR. OTTENHEIMER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I will direct my question to the Government House Leader and it is in accordance with proceedings which have taken place on the steps of Confederation Building just a short while ago. My question to the Government House Leader is about the very hasty decisions of this government, first, to eliminate the public exam marking board and secondly, to cancel public exams this year altogether.

In the infamous Red Book, Mr. Speaker, we hear of commitments this government has made to our people, and in statements such as: `It is more important that we do things the right way than that we do them in a quick way.' Will the minister take this commitment to heart, Mr. Speaker, and will this government reconsider the quick decision on public exams, and instead, listen to the people and do things the right way, just as his government told people they would?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. TULK: Mr. Speaker, to that question, let me advise the hon. member that this government has indeed been doing things the right way, has been consulting with the people of this Province and he should know that the result of the consultations of the Minister of Finance and this government was that if we had to make cuts, we would make them in certain areas. One of the prime areas where we were asked not to make cuts was in the Department of Health, and the hon. member will note that we have not done that, that we have rather made some decisions that were indeed very, very difficult to make. I can assure him, that after some fifteen years in the House, I had a lesson this spring that was not pleasant, but I might say to him, it was very educational for me, and one day, it will be some time in the future, the hon. gentleman may indeed have the privilege of going through that same lesson.

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

MR. OTTENHEIMER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The way things are going, that day may come very soon.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. OTTENHEIMER: Mr. Speaker, as referred to a few minutes ago, we observed what I would submit to this House to be a very orderly and responsible demonstration by approximately 2,000 young high school students from this region of the Province. The hon. House Leader, in fact, represented government and spoke to the students, and I understand there is a meeting planned, perhaps as early as this afternoon, with the student group.

In view of comments that the hon. House Leader has made on the steps of Confederation Building, only within the last hour or hour-and-a-half, will the Government House Leader act as a spokesman and advocate for these students in recommending to his colleagues that, in fact, their interests be heard and their representations be made?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. TULK: Mr. Speaker, let me just say to the hon. gentleman that I agree that the students this morning were very orderly, and you will note that one of the first things I complimented them on was their orderliness and the fact that they were doing what is their right to do, demonstrating, in view of a government decision. I will make the same commitment to him that I made to the students this morning, and no other - I will make no other to him than I did to them - that is that I will meet with them today. If he wants to know the exact time, it is at 3:00 p.m., as soon as Question Period is over. I have committed myself to meeting with a group, four people, from the Student Alliance, the Education Alliance. We will meet at 4:00 p.m., and I made the commitment to them that I would take their concerns to the Minister of Education upon his return to the Province.

The Minister of Education, the hon. gentleman will know, is about very important business on behalf of this Province, as is his leader and my leader and so on, and as soon as he gets back we will pass those concerns of the students on to him.

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

MR. OTTENHEIMER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I ask the Government House Leader if he is familiar with a consultation paper on the senior high school program entitled Directions for Change, a consultation paper requisitioned by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and released by the Department of Education and Training in July of 1995? A chapter in this particular consultation paper deals directly and solely with the issue of public examinations. It is clear in its recommendations and findings that there are benefits in using public examinations, it addresses the importance and the integrity of standardization, and I would ask the hon. House Leader if, number one, he is aware of its existence - I somehow doubt that, in view of decisions that have been made by this government in the last few days.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I ask the hon. member to get to his question; he is on a supplementary now.

MR. OTTENHEIMER: Is the hon. House Leader, number one, aware of its existence? And, number two, what is the hon. the Government House Leader going to do about it?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. TULK: Mr. Speaker, I have to say to the hon. member that I have not read that particular piece of work that he is talking about. I have to remind him as they are so fond of saying themselves when they have to deal with certain issues in this Legislature that,in spite of what he might believe this is also the work of a former administration. We won't duck it on that basis, we will deal with the issue with the students and we will deal with the issue of the parents in this Province, but I say to him that there comes a time, and there may come a time in his lifetime, he is going to be a rather old man and there may come a time in his lifetime when he is going to have to make some decisions as to oppose and put forward what it is that he is going to do as opposed to just sitting on the other side of the House and opposing whatever somebody else does.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for St. John's East, on a supplementary.

MR. OTTENHEIMER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The new government, in view of comments just made by the hon. House Leader with respect to the previous administration, I would submit that this issue cannot be closeted by using that as a rationale or as an excuse.

The new Liberal government, Mr. Speaker, is committed to dialogue and discussions on all elements of implementing educational reform before decisions are made. Again, from the infamous Red Book, detail, page 67, and the word `all' includes, Mr. Speaker, the method of high school evaluation. Why won't this government listen to the people who he failed to consult in the first place and in fact, listen to its own recommendations and its own wording from its own Red Book, again, page 67?

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

MR. TULK: The hon. gentleman is taking the Red Book, like so many other people in this Province, and talking about a consultation process that he knows that this government has carried out far better, I say to him. How many days has the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board spent on the road this way?

AN HON. MEMBER: The better part of three weeks.

MR. TULK: The better part of three weeks consulting with the people of this Province as to what they would like to see in a Budget, and, Mr. Speaker, that Budget, I say to the hon. gentleman, that Budget that was brought down by the hon. Minister of Finance and Treasury Board, was so in line with what he had heard from the people of this Province that the Opposition over there cannot find one whimper to get on in the Budget Speech or in Question Period, rather, they have to trust to some students on the front steps of Confederation Building so that they can have a few questions for Question Period.

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

MR. H. HODDER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

My questions are for the acting Premier and it refers to the Public Tender Act exceptions that were tabled a few days ago by the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture. In January alone there were twenty-four exceptions to the Public Tender Act for the lease of office space in a variety of communities throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. I want to know, from the acting Premier, what is the possible rationale for this large number of exceptions to the Public Tender Act in one month?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

MR. EFFORD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

At least I tried back in Christmas but I did not make it so I will fit it in today. The answer is very simple. There has been a lot of reorganization work going on within different departments in government, as in the case of the Department of Social Services, they have been reorganizing the structure of the department right across the Province, and for that reason there have been many exceptions to the rental accommodations for different departments in government given on a month to month basis. Government service centres are another example as my colleague the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs has pointed out. The Minister of Forest Resources and Agrifoods is another example, so for different reasons for the reorganization of government departments and agencies we have extended and made exceptions to the Public Tender Act in rental accommodations on a month to month basis, and in some cases on a yearly basis. Those are the basic reasons for the exceptions to the Public Tender Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Waterford Valley on a supplementary.

MR. H. HODDER: The twenty-four exceptions in January amount to a total value of $944,815 in this category alone, in other words leases. By comparison back in January 1991 there were three exceptions in the same category for a total value of $47,203, and in 1998 there were nine exceptions for January and February for a total value of $168,000. Now, one knows that in January of this year there were certain things happening in this Province, there were certain rumours about concerning the potential of an election and that kind of thing, and that was on everybody's mind. I'm wondering if that was on the member's mind when he was making all those exceptions to the public tender, and if that indeed was not a motivation to get some of these tenders awarded, or get them out there, get the leases made before of course the election was called and there were knocks coming on the various doors of businesses in this Province.

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

The Chair would just like to comment that members cannot ask questions that impute motives to other members. I caution members on asking that line of questioning.

The hon. the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

MR. EFFORD: Mr. Speaker, I've been in this House now since 1985. I had the opportunity for four years, 1985 to 1989, to pretty well stand in Question Period just about every single day. I may not have gotten recognized every day, but pretty close to every day. The one thing I did before I asked a question to any minister on the then-government side was I researched and knew the answer. The hon. member, stooping as low as that, knows that - he never researched his question. He knows differently from that. He is imputing motives on this hon. minister that there was something illegal done, something out of context of the minister's office. If he has anything to back up that, give it to the hon. House.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Shame, shame!

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

MR. H. HODDER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The facts speak for themselves. Twenty-four lease exceptions in one month, $944,850 committed by the government days before the election was called. That is the fact. I want to know if the minister has concerns about the integrity of the public tendering process when we have each month page after page of exceptions. What is the purpose of the public tendering act if the Ministry cannot be better planned so we don't have this kind of thing appearing every month showing the pages and pages of exceptions?

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. EFFORD: The Government House Leader is making a comment that I would like for this - or I certainly would, and I'm sure he would too, and all members on this side, I would like to have the opportunity to debate or make that out in a public forum.

Mr. Speaker, this member, and I can speak for all ministers on this side of the House of Assembly, in a general election or whatever format is going on, we operated with the complete integrity and respect for our office.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. EFFORD: I have had four elections in my career as a politician and I do not need to go out and do anything underhanded or illegal or without the integrity of this office in mind to get votes, I have proven that to my constituents and I don't have to respond to questions like that in the House of Assembly. Every exception to the Public Tender Act goes to Cabinet. There is a reorganization of the Department of Social Services, it has been ongoing for some two years now and it is getting near completion. In the case of extending leases on a month to month basis, they must go to Cabinet and it is for that reason that exceptions to the Public Tender Act is given. There is no point in going out and signing a three, four or five year lease knowing that six months down the road, when the reorganization of a department is completed, you are throwing away taxpayers money. What this government is doing is making rational decisions, logical decisions based on the best interest of the taxpayers, not like the former governments of the past did for many, many years when the Public Tender Act was not even adhered to in many, many instances.

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

MR. H. HODDER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I will remind the member it was the past Progressive Conservative administration that brought in the Public Tender Act in this Province.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. H. HODDER: I will also remind the minister that the public of this Province need to be convinced of the integrity and the willingness of the government to follow the Public Tender Act in view of Trans City. So, Mr. Speaker, there have been decisions rendered on Trans City and the Public Tender Act. I say to the minister, since he is assuring us that he a person of integrity, and I don't doubt that for one moment but I wanted to ask the question, is he today committing his government to be diligent, to be persistent, to abide by the letter and the principle of the public tendering process in this Province so that in the future we will see fewer and fewer exceptions?

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

MR. EFFORD: For any hon. member to stand in this House and ask the three or four questions that he asked prior to this question and then to stand on his feet and say that he is not questioning the integrity of this government or this minister, I don't believe that your question deserves an answer.

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

MR. OSBORNE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question was for the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology so I will direct it to the House Leader.

The public has learned, through the media, that on May 17, the day after the Budget was brought down, four people were hired to fill vacancies left in key positions in the minister's department. What are these four positions and when did each of these become vacant? Are we to understand that the government chose neither to go to the Public Service Commission for qualified applicants from an earlier competition for these four positions, nor to ask the commission to begin a new competition to fill these four vacancies?

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

MR. TULK: Mr. Speaker, as I said to the hon. member, the Minister of Mines and Energy is at an energy conference. I am not familiar with the details of his question but let me assure him that as soon as the Minister of Mines and Energy is back in the Province and ITT - both of them are out, one is speaking at a speaking engagement and the other one is at an oil conference. As soon as they are back in the Legislature or in their offices we will attempt to get the answers for him.

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

MR. OSBORNE: The Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology stated in an interview that these four positions were important key positions and were to be preserved at all costs. If these positions are indeed key positions in the industry department and had to be filled, then why were they left vacant for so long, especially at a time of economic decline when the government should have been doing everything in its power to stimulate business, attract investment opportunities and stimulate growth in the Province? Did the Province suffer because the government had left these four positions vacant for so long?

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

MR. TULK: Mr. Speaker, as I say to the hon. member, I am not familiar with the four positions that he is talking about and the Minister of ITT is out pursuing Her Majesty's business out of the House. I would say to him that I doubt that the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology left four positions vacant that would seriously damage the economic well being of this Province and I don't believe that to be the case. I am sure that the Minister of ITT must have been, in some way, compensated for any positions that were left vacant in the department.

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

MR. OSBORNE: The House Leader just stated that the minister would not leave four positions vacant if it were to be detrimental to the department or the government. If we are to believe that the Province did not suffer because these four positions were left vacant, then why is the minister, or why is the Government House Leader, so sure that they had to be filled at all?

MR. TULK: That they what?

MR. OSBORNE: That these positions had to be filled? How would the Government House Leader respond to those who say that the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology is making his department top-heavy with expensive management personnel at the same time that the government is laying off very capable and far less costly public servants through the system?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. TULK: Mr. Speaker, I don't believe that I said that the minister, by leaving those positions vacant, was doing anything that would be to the detriment of the department. I said, I am sure that he would compensate for it in some other fashion.

Now, as to whether he feels that the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology is making his department top-heavy with management, that is an issue, I say to him, that would be more appropriately left to ask the minister when he returns, and I am sure he will be only too glad to answer him.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Bonavista South.

MR. FITZGERALD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is to the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

Minister, yesterday in an interview on the Fishermen's Broadcast you indicated that you had grave concerns that there was a cartel in operation in the crab fishery in this Province today. I wonder if the minister would inform the House what it is he feels is happening in this particular fishery, since it concerns the livelihood of many, many Newfoundlanders.

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

MR. EFFORD: Mr. Speaker, there is no doubt in my mind that there is a cartel. The total format under which the cartel is operating, we are doing some investigations to the best of our ability. Secondly, I am seeking advice from the Department of Justice as to what, if anything, we can do about the operations of a cartel. Also, there are a number of options which I can deal with in my own department; I can try to do something about destroying - I guess that is the right word I want to use.

What evidence do I have? Talking to fishermen, talking to people in the harvesting of crab in particular. We have about nineteen processors on this Island processing snow crab. There has been a lot of information given to me that these nineteen processors, at least most of them - I shouldn't say nineteen - the majority, I should say, of these processors have gotten together and formed a cartel in which they are controlling the ability of - stopping and preventing a fisherman from operating in a free and competitive business manner. In other words, if Mr. Smith wants to go to Mr. Jones and sell his or her crab, a load of crab in a particular season, the processor will say: No, you have to go back to the processor, the plant that you sold it to in the previous week or the previous year. That, to me, is a cartel. Also, I believe they are getting together and saying: We will force the issue on price. We will force the issue on what we are going to pay fishermen for crab.

Is there a cartel operating in this Province among the crab processing industry? Yes, I believe there is.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Bonavista South on a supplementary.

MR. FITZGERALD: Minister, another question - because I had a couple of calls on this today after people listened to the Fishermen's Broadcast last night - are you implying that the cartel exists only between processors, or are you also implying that the cartel might exist between large fish harvesters and their union as well?

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

MR. EFFORD: Mr. Speaker, I said very clearly - very clearly - processors.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Bonavista South on a supplementary.

MR. FITZGERALD: Minister, this is a very important, a very serious accusation and I, for one, believe that if such a cartel - which is a very, very strong word - exists, then we should do whatever is in our power to make sure that it is not happening, because we are talking about jobs here, we are talking about people's livelihoods, we are talking about plant workers. I ask the minister if he sincerely feels that this is probably the reason why the price of our crab went from $2.50 per pound last year down to an offer of seventy-five cents so far this year?

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

MR. EFFORD: What I am going to say is very clear. What I said on the Fishermen's Broadcast, an interview yesterday afternoon - I didn't hear the interview myself; I did about a fifteen minute interview, so I don't know what they played on the Fisheries Broadcast.

Do I believe there is a cartel? Yes. Do I believe it is impacting on the ability of individuals to operate in a free and competitive manner in the free enterprise system? Yes, I do believe it is impeding the people in that manner. I am not going to stand in this House of Assembly today and say what I believe it does impact on the ability of a - on a competitive or collective bargaining system, on the prices. I don't have enough evidence or enough information to go beyond that. The cartel exists, I have no doubt in my mind about that. It is stopping the ability of people to move around in a free and competitive way. I presented that to the industry. I didn't back away. I went to the industry first before I made a public statement, and I also said I can bring the fishermen to the table if they argue and say it is not operating.

MR. SPEAKER: A supplementary, the hon. the Member for Bonavista South.

MR. FITZGERALD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I ask the minister, if there is such a cartel and if he is convinced that there is, what does the minister plan to do to make sure that this is not active, and it isn't going to control prices and the livelihoods of our fishermen? I ask the minister if he will commit to this House today that he will use every resource within his government to make sure that this is not allowed to happen.

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

MR. EFFORD: Either the hon. member is not listening or he is hard of hearing or something. You certainly couldn't have listened to the Fisheries Broadcast yesterday afternoon because I answered that. Somebody must have told you about it. Because I answered each one of those questions as put forth by the interviewer.

Do I believe it? Yes. Will I do whatever it is in my power to do something about the cartel? Yes. I have already sought advice from Justice. I'm waiting for that advice. A lot of people besides this Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture are concerned about what is happening in the industry in the Province. If we are going to carve out an industry in this Province that is going to be to the benefit of all, that everybody in this Province gets the benefit of the industry as a whole in the fisheries of the future, we have to deal with every issue. The cartel is one and I am committed to dealing with it.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Cape St. Francis.

MR. J. BYRNE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is for the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs regarding the budget estimates for Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation. Mr. Minister, the budget estimates for Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation indicate a dramatic decrease to grants and subsidies to Newfoundland and Labrador Housing, from $14,169,000 down to $8,200,000. Can the minister tell the House what is being cut and how he expects Newfoundland and Labrador Housing to make up the $6 million difference?

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

MR. A. REID: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The exact figure is approximately - well, exact and approximate are contradictory, aren't they? The figure that Newfoundland and Labrador Housing has to recover this year amounts to $5 million. Five million dollars was cut from the budget of Newfoundland and Labrador Housing based on the assumption that a number of assets, properties, around the Province would be sold in 1996. The properties that will be going up for sale will be the properties at Churchill Square, for example. Elizabeth Towers will go on the market. Arnold's Loop will go on the market, and a number of other rental units and assets that we have around the Province. We are expecting to recover at least the $5 million that will be put back into Newfoundland and Labrador Housing's budget, which will basically at the end of the year even out the budget to what it was last year. Newfoundland and Labrador Housing can operate this year quite adequately on that amount.

MR. SPEAKER: A supplementary, the hon. the Member for Cape St. Francis.

MR. J. BYRNE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Minister, I have been informed that Newfoundland and Labrador Housing signs have been removed from most, if not all, of their vehicles. Purchase orders for repair work on social housing units are on hold, sitting on desks, rumours of major changes over the next six months, and more job losses. Are there major changes in store for Newfoundland and Labrador Housing, and if so, what are they?

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

MR. A. REID: Mr. Speaker, I think I would be taking up the House's valuable time if I had the list of what the changes were, but I will answer the gentleman by saying yes, there will be some major changes made this fiscal year in Newfoundland and Labrador Housing.

MR. SPEAKER: A supplementary, the hon. the Member for Cape St. Francis.

MR. J. BYRNE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Minister, Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation is intending to sell off 200 units as you mentioned this year, mostly in Arnold's Loop and Churchill Square area, Elizabeth Towers. Last year Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation had revenues of over $120 million which supports their social housing program. By selling off these assets is the government concentrating on short-term versus long-term benefits to support this year's provincial Budget? Can the minister confirm government is contemplating getting out of the land development business such as Southlands and Pearlgate?

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

MR. A. REID: Mr. Speaker, the divestiture of assets belonging to Newfoundland and Labrador Housing started in 1986 under the former Peckford regime. They started the divestiture because the government of the day, the Peckford Government, felt that Newfoundland and Labrador Housing, and ultimately the government, should not be competing with the private sector when it came to owning and operating properties around the Province. This divestiture has continued up to today and we have been successful since 1986 in, I suppose, getting rid of, or divesting ourselves of almost 75 per cent of the properties that are owned, or were owned, by Newfoundland and Labrador Housing. We will continue that divestiture but we will not be leaving, or getting out of the social housing market we are in, the reason why the Housing Corporation was set up to begin with, but when and if we find ourselves competing against the private sector, this government, along with two previous governments, we agree with by the way, will continue to divest ourselves of any method or any avenue whereby we are seen as being competing against the private sector.

I cannot give the hon. gentleman an answer to his second question as it relates to Southlands and future development, because I just finished a consultation paper with a number of concerned business firms and contractors in and around the City of St. John's, and others outside the city, who have made representation to me over the past couple of weeks as it relates to the housing business in general and what we are doing in the Housing Corporation. I will have a report ready to present to Cabinet, and I guess, to the public, hopefully in the next month, and at that particular point in time I am sure the hon. gentleman will be grateful when I send him a copy.

MR. SPEAKER: Question Period has elapsed.

Presenting Reports by

Standing and Special Committees

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

MR. WISEMAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Government Services Committee have reviewed and approved without amendment the Estimates of the expenditure of the Department of Finance, the Public Service Commission, the Department of Works, Services and Transportation, the Department of Government Services and Lands, the Department of Municipal and Provincial Affairs, and the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation.

 

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

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Baie Verte, on a point of order.

MR. SHELLEY: I am about to speak to a private member's motion today in the House of Assembly and I would like to draw attention to the very first line of the motion which says:`WHEREAS INCO has acquired Diamond Fields Resources', and so on. Mr. Speaker, as we know, that has been delayed. It was due to be acquired today, the final acquisition, hence, my point of order.

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

MR. TULK: Mr. Speaker, this resolution was put together three or four days ago when I think everybody believed that INCO would acquire control of Diamond Fields by Wednesday of this week.

AN HON. MEMBER: It was due today.

MR. TULK: It was due today, was it? I asked the Clerk yesterday to put in: `WHEREAS INCO is acquiring', or `is attempting to acquire', or something of that nature. The point being, Mr. Speaker, if I could, I think the resolve of the resolution will stand, as far as this House is concerned, regardless of who acquires control of Diamond Fields. I think the intent of the resolution will remain the same, I would hope, by all of us.

MR. SPEAKER: To the point of order.

MR. SHELLEY: To the point of order, Mr. Speaker. That is exactly why we drew attention to this, to correct that first sentence. Of course, the intent of the motion is still there and we will speak to the motion.

MR. SPEAKER: I believe, if the hon. member would look at the Orders of the Day, the Order Paper, he will see that there has been some change in the wording. It says, `WHEREAS INCO is acquiring Diamond Fields Resources'. Is that the whereas?

MR. SHELLEY: The first line is not factual.

MR. SPEAKER: But in today's Order Paper, I believe the wording has been changed.

MR. SHELLEY: There is a change, is there?

MR. SPEAKER: Yes.

The Chair would like to table the report of the Commission of the Internal Economy for the fiscal year April 1, 1995 to March 31, 1996.

Petitions

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Grand Falls - Buchans.

MS THISTLE: Mr. Speaker, I have a petition today.

To the hon. House of Assembly of the Province of Newfoundland in Parliament assembled, the petition of the undersigned residents of the District of Grand Falls - Buchans in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, asks for the House of Assembly to accept the following prayer:

We, the undersigned residents of the District of Grand Falls - Buchans, do hereby petition the House of Assembly to protest the late opening of the winter trout-fishing season for Zone 2 and request that the trout-fishing season for 1997 be opened from February 15 to March 15.

Mr. Speaker, Zone 2, to which I am referring, covers the area west of Gander River to Springdale; in fact, it covers the entire district that I represent and the District of Exploits and also the entire District of Windsor - Springdale.

Mr. Speaker, this is the first formal protest from Zone 2. In other years it has been basically telephone complaints, but the residents of Grand Falls - Buchans were upset this past winter that they could not ice-fish mainly, I suppose, due to a mild winter but it was impossible because of the late opening to safely use the ponds and rivers and, Mr. Speaker, as Zone 2 intersects with the Bay d'Espoir Highway, it was frustrating, to say the least, to watch your neighbours ice-fishing when we could not.

Mr. Speaker, I understand that the trout management plan was devised by various user groups throughout - consultation with SPAWN and SAEN and both levels of government. Mr. Speaker, I understand the reasons for developing the plan with conservation being the underlying factor; I also believe that this year's trout plan is a good one. In essence, it is a three-year multi-plan which gives a lot of benefits to user groups. In fact, the tourism sector will be able to publish their literature with three years in mind, and it also helps out the outfitters and so on, but I believe that the timing of Zone 2 for the opening of the season needs to be revisited.

In fact, within the next few days in Central Newfoundland, there is going to be a new group formed, a new anglers association, and at that time the general public will be able to have input into next year's season. So, Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleague, the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture to pass this request along to the federal-provincial trout and salmon working advisory group for future consideration for the 1997 trout-fishing season.

Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Bonavista South.

MR. FITZGERALD: Mr. Speaker, I stand in support of the Member for Grand Falls - Buchans on the petition that she just presented on behalf of her constituents.

This is not only a concern in the member's district - and I congratulate her for bringing it forward to the House - it is also a concern in my district as well. Many, many people have always enjoyed being able to go out when the trouting season opens in the spring of the year; normally, it would carry right through, I say to the member, into the summer season. And I think the only explanation that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans could bring forward as to why there was an interruption there, is because they were in fear of people's safety, which certainly should be taken into consideration, Mr. Speaker. Most of the people you find going ice-fishing, I know, in my particular district, the people who are concerned about it and the people who are inquiring about it are people who are not fully responsible and fully cognizant of what happens to streams and what happens to ponds in the spring of the year, and this year, I suppose it was more evident than any other year, and for the most part, the ponds were wide-open at this particular time and people could have went and stood on the shore and fished as they do in June or July month, Mr. Speaker.

I fully support the member and I hope that the minister will speak to his counterparts and see if we can get the season extended to go right from the winter season into the summer season and not have an interruption there. I think we are only talking about three weeks to a month at the most, of it being closed at that particular time. So I fully support the member's petition.

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

MR. TULK: Mr. Speaker, let me to say to my colleague from Grand Falls - Buchans. I got used to, for a number of years, calling it Windsor - Buchans when it was represented by the Member now for Windsor - Springdale.

Let me say to her that the trout resource - I think the provincial and federal governments recognize that the trout resource - if I can put it as that - is a great resource in the Province and indeed will serve the tourism industry and our own people, we hope, for many years to come in the way that our own people have been used to being served by the trout industry. We have some of the best trouting streams in the world in Newfoundland.

We also have some people who are now of course getting engaged in fish-out ponds and so on. It is a great recreational sport in this Province and we are studying, I say to the Member for Grand Falls -Windsor, we are just (inaudible) into inland fisheries management in the department that I happen to be the minister of at the present time. We are now starting to take a look at the whole trout fishery as a matter of fact and recognizing that some of our resources have been seriously (inaudible) there have been some cases where, shall we say over-trouting, overfishing has taken place. There have been quite a few people, although not the majority of Newfoundlanders I suspect, who have not paid that much attention to the fishing limits. As a matter of fact, I say to the Member for Grand Falls - Buchans, we have had a great deal of lobbying carried on by some people in this Province to introduce a trout license. We are taking a serious look at it and may indeed -

AN HON. MEMBER: Don't go bringing in any more licenses.

MR. TULK: I knew the hon. gentleman would rise to the bait the same as a trout would rise to a worm, just the same as a salmon to a fly. If you throw out to the hon. gentleman a bit of progress and a bit of management in this Province, into something that he believes and there might be a half-dozen people out there -

AN HON. MEMBER: There are more rules then regulations. We never asked for more rules and regulations. Let's do away with the regulations.

MR. TULK: There he goes, just like an old salmon lying at the bottom of the pool, you flick out something to him and bang, he hits you.

Mr. Speaker, I have to say to the hon. gentleman that he can sit over there all he likes in his little cocoon and try to make believe that the world is going to remain as it was when he was a boy - that's some time ago - but this government will look at conserving our resources for our people to make sure that his grandson

AN HON. MEMBER: Do you support the petition?

MR. TULK: Of course I support the petition, I was about to get to it.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. TULK: Let me say to the hon. gentleman that his grandson may very well be able to catch some fish as a result of the acts of this government.

Now I want to say to the old budworm from Baie Verte that indeed - what I was about to say to my colleague from -

AN HON. MEMBER: Your welcome.

MR. TULK: Thank you - from Grand Falls - Buchans is that in this process that is now ongoing, her petition, I say to the hon. gentleman, which is so positive and so constructive will be considered by every member in the executive and every member in the Cabinet of this government. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. OTTENHEIMER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to present a petition to the House of Assembly; to the hon. House of Assembly of Newfoundland a petition of the undersigned students of Mount Pearl Senior High School that:

WHEREAS the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has eliminated the public exam marking board and cancelled public exams; and

WHEREFORE your petitioners humbly pray that your hon. House may be pleased to request the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador to reinstate public exams and the public exam marking board.

This issue of course is an important issue. The fact that approximately 2,000 students gathered, Mr. Speaker, at the noon hour to present their views to speak to this important issue and in a general way to speak to the long-term effect of cancellation of public exams and what impact this will have on their futures and on their educational lives.

Not only are we facing the cancellation of public exams but we are concerned with the fact, obviously, that there is cancellation of a marking board, which is obviously a consequence of cancellation of exams. But students are frustrated as a result of the fact that there was no consultation, there was no prior planning. There was no comprehensive plan to deal with an issue which is of great importance to them.

In speaking with a number of the student leaders - and I have to commend the student leaders. They organized today a very effective and professional protest of approximately 2,000 students in great orderly fashion.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. OTTENHEIMER: It was highly organized, professionally done, and the parents of these 2,000 students ought to feel proud, Mr. Speaker, as to the way their sons and daughters conducted themselves on the steps of Confederation Hill over the lunch hour.

During Oral Questions I referred to the consultation paper on the senior high-school program. It is clear in this report, which was requisitioned by government and which was presented by the Department of Education and Training less than a year ago, that public examinations are held in high regard. It recognizes the importance of standardization. It in fact states - and I will just read from it briefly: The benefits of using public examinations as a means of establishing and maintaining desirable performance standards were described in the public examinations review committee of 1989 and are well understood and accepted in this Province.

The question that has to be asked is: Where is the acceptance today? This government has fallen flat in recognizing what is in the best interest of students. I stand proudly to present yet another petition on behalf of the many high-school students in this Province who hold this issue dear to their hearts and who are genuinely concerned about their educational well-being.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. H. HODDER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I want to rise today to support again, for the third day in a row, the petitions that have been offered by my colleague, the critic for education and training.

Today we saw 3,000 students who came to this parliament hill to voice their opinions. What we have seen in the last few days is leadership from the students. We haven't seen leadership from the government. When we talk about slogans like Our Children, Our Future, and when we talk about issues that involve youth, then we have to be aware of the fact that in this Province today the young people, the high-school graduates, are saying to the government: We want to be consulted. Every publication that I am aware of over the last twenty-five or thirty years has promoted a standardized form of evaluation. We believe that our children in this Province have to measure up to the children of all other provinces.

When students write lines like this, and I quote from a letter by Sarah Glover. She writes:

"This standardized evaluation has provided equal opportunity for all students to receive scholarships and meet entrance requirements for university.

"A marking board has always successful determined each student's abilities and rewarded them fairly." She continues to write:

"The levels of teaching and learning in different schools throughout various areas of our Province are at different levels. Some schools cover more subjects in greater depth and detail than others. Teachers mark their students at different levels of difficulty. If the marking board is done away with, how will a provincial level of equal marking be determined?"

This is the voice of our youth. This is what young people are talking about today. They are saying to the government: Show yourselves to be leaders in consultation. Show yourselves to be following the directives that you have been promoting for a long time.

Mr. Speaker, what the young people said outside today was: It's our education, it's our future. We want to be party to the programs and to the policies and directions that they are expected to follow. What they have said is that they are nine months, almost ten months, into a school year, and suddenly we have a government in a budgetary crunch, saying: We believe we can cancel examinations because, well, it is only the young people. They thought the young people were a voiceless bunch. Well, today the young people came to this Parliament hill. This morning when I arrived as usual at 7:30, I could not get to my parking spot because we were going to have this great big, rough, tough bunch that was going to arrive, so we had to park at the back of the building. That, in itself, is an insult to our youth. Then we found that the doors were closed; you could not get in the front entrance.

What are we communicating to our young people? Well, they came here today, all 3,000 of them, and they spoke. And they were the largest demonstration I have seen since my time coming here, and they were orderly. They gave this Parliament respect, and all they ask back from the government today is: Give us back our respect. Show respect for the young people; listen to them. They have something to say. Don't try to just tough it out. Look at what you have done as a government, and be prepared to do the right thing, and be bold about it, recognize that these people want their public examinations put back in place. Don't do the easy thing; do the brave thing. Do what is right for the right reasons. What we have right now is government doing what is wrong, for all the wrong reasons. Switch it around.

Mr. Speaker, I want to compliment again the young people who organized the demonstration today. I hope that the government has been listening. After listening to the former Minister of Education for the last three years talk about standards, I hope that his words have not been lost on his colleagues in government, because what we are doing today with the public examinations -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.

MR. H. HODDER: - is we are destroying the basic principles of evaluation.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

Does the hon. member have leave?

AN HON. MEMBER: No leave.

MR. H. HODDER: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Baie Verte.

MR. SHELLEY: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I rise today to present one of a number of ongoing petitions in accordance with the food fishery and, for the sake of the Minister of Education, and technicalities and so on, I will read the entire petition first of all:

To the Honourable House of Assembly in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador in legislative session convened, the petition of the undersigned residents of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, known as the Fightin' Nfld'ers, ask for the House of Assembly to accept the following prayer:

We, the undersigned residents of Newfoundland and Labrador, do hereby petition the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador to support our petition to do one of the following: Open a food and recreational fishery to all Newfoundland families; or, b) Close the food and recreational fishery to all other Canadians.

Mr. Speaker, I am going to continue to present these petitions, as I said before. Since I started to present these, I thought I might run out of petitions - the Minister of Fisheries says nobody is listening. Although the media is not carrying it to any great extent - and I am not worried too much about that - lo and behold, I have received hundreds of petitions from all over the Province. So the word got out somehow. And I will present every single petition from Leading Tickles, Botwood, Point Leamington and so on, which I received yesterday - which I had no connection with whatsoever; they were just sent to my office because they heard I was presenting petitions on behalf of the food fishery - from Botwood, Grand Falls, Springdale, all over. I was surprised to get some of them. I have the petitions here with I don't know how many thousands of names.

As I said in the beginning, and I say to the Minister of Fisheries again, I don't know what the polls say or the surveys say. Maybe only 5 per cent of the Province wants a food fishery, maybe 10 per cent, maybe 2 per cent. The principle of the petition is that if there is one man or woman on this petition who believes that they should be able to go and jig a fish to eat, they should be allowed to do so.

Mr. Speaker, the lame excuse that the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture - and with all due respect to the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, I don't fully believe that the now Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture really believes there shouldn't be a food fishery. I think what we have here now is a Premier, a once-Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, who made that decision and of course, now, Mr. Speaker, the minister has to stick with his Leader. But I am willing to bet that if the minister were in the position of the Opposition, or even out of the Cabinet, into a back-bench position, that he would be standing in support of the food fishery, because, Mr. Speaker, his lame excuse yesterday for not supporting a food fishery was comparing it to the commercial food fishery.

I mean, how ridiculous a statement is that from the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, to compare 1500 tons of fish - and that was only a guesstimate, Mr. Speaker, and I want to make that quite clear. DFO officials have told me they were only guessing that it was 1500 maximum - 1500 tons supposedly, that was caught in the last experimental food fishery, Mr. Speaker.

MR. EFFORD: I would be surprised if it were that much.

MR. SHELLEY: Yes, I agree with the minister, I would be surprised if it were that much. The truth is, it was very little, and it is very little that it would hurt the conservation of fish. If I thought for one second that the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture and the Premier, who was in the minister's portfolio of fisheries for so long federally, could show us real scientific proof that the small amount caught, to which the minister just agreed, would in any way damage the recovering fish stocks, I would not support it, the minister would not support, nobody in this House would support it, and you wouldn't get a person in this Province signing one petition, not one name on it, if they thought they would hurt it. But there is no comparison between the commercial fishery and the food fishery.

The minister knows that. And he also made a statement last night in his department's estimates about how much the seals eat. I don't remember offhand the number, but 2.4 billion over a year, is that right?

MR. EFFORD: If they only eat one pound of fish a day, it will amount to 2.7 billion pounds a year.

MR. SHELLEY: 2.7?

MR. EFFORD: Billion.

MR. SHELLEY: 2.7 million a year?

MR. EFFORD: Billion.

MR. SHELLEY: 2.7 billion pounds a year by seals, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, that is a great statistic. I am glad the minister has clarified it here in the House today. Imagine, we are going to catch 1,000 tons in three weeks, by way of a man going out to jig a fish to eat! How ridiculous is it that we can't have a food fishery in this Province! And I keep saying to the minister and the previous Minister of Fisheries, that the small amount caught will have absolutely no impact whatsoever on recovering biomasses, the reason why this moratorium is on. And we know that the fish is in the bay, on which there is not a lot of scientific research, I say to the minister.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I ask the hon. member to take his seat.

MR. SHELLEY: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: It is now Wednesday, Private Members' Day, and I call on the hon. the Member for Labrador West.

MR. CANNING: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I am pleased to speak today on behalf of the people of Labrador, and in particular, on the issue of the nickel smelter and refinery.

AN HON. MEMBER: What are you going to be smelting?

MR. CANNING: Exactly.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I just want to read first the resolution that I am putting forward:

WHEREAS INCO is acquiring Diamond Fields Resources and the huge nickel, cobalt and copper discovery at Voisey's Bay; and

WHEREAS the Voisey's Bay nickel resource will be the lowest cost nickel resource in the world; and

WHEREAS the investment and employment opportunities flowing from this new mining opportunity is a major step in the economic future of this Province and the region of Labrador in particular;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that given that INCO has committed to the construction of the Mine, the Mine Mill, the Smelter and the Refinery, that this hon. House strongly endorse a policy of directing INCO to fully assess the economics of any and all smelter and refinery sites in Labrador first.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I just want to go through what has happened since and during the election.

The Red Book, that our hon. members across the way are so thoughtful in referring to all the time, on page 9 says: The Voisey's Bay Mine and other projects in Labrador should yield benefits to the greatest extent possible for Labradorians including Aboriginal people. Further, the Speech from the Throne: The Voisey's Bay mineral find, thirty-five kilometres south of Nain, is one of the richest nickel, copper, cobalt reserves in the world. The Voisey's Bay mine and other projects in Labrador should yield benefits to the greatest possible extent for Labradorians, including aboriginal peoples'. Further to that, on March 27, 1996, the Minister of Mines and Energy - and I want to quote it again for the record - said this: `Mr. Speaker, I don't know if anybody has been promised a smelter. In particular, I know I have received lots of calls. Everybody wants the smelter, it seems; everybody has the best place in the Province for the smelter and the refinery, it seems. My position is that there has to be a thorough evaluation of the sites starting with sites in Labrador. Because this mineral deposit is in Labrador. That has to be assessed first. Secondary, look at sites around the Island and evaluate all the potential sites.' That is what he said on March 27. In the Budget, further, again, on page 4: `The Voisey's Bay mineral discovery in Labrador has revitalized our mineral exploration sector. A mine, smelter and refinery will be built in this Province. Jobs will be created. Benefits will flow for all the people of our Province, especially those in Labrador.'

Now, Mr. Speaker, this is an important debate in our collective history. Labrador and Labradorians are not asking for all the jobs and opportunity that will flow from this Voisey's Bay development. They are asking for an equal access to those jobs and to some of that development. This debate is not a measure of designing an exclusionary provision for Labrador. It is about an inclusionary position for Labrador, that we should all recognize the importance of having Labrador assessed in terms of its capacity to have the smelter and refinery built there.

We believe, I believe, that the synergies and the potential in Labrador, the efficiencies to be had in Labrador, for the whole of that development, make economic sense, and I believe that INC0, in due course, will come to recognize that. INCO, by the way, is a magnificent Canadian company that today has a position in twenty-three different countries. Now, INCO is a wise company, it is a proactive company, and it is sensitive to people. It is a people company. We welcome this company to our Province, in particular, we welcome it to our region. I believe that INCO can and will recognize the importance of doing a fair and full economic analysis of the sites in Labrador for the smelter and the refinery. As I said, there are terrific synergies and efficiencies to be had.

We are asking today to have this hon. House accept the view that an economic analysis be done on Labrador sites first. I ask all hon. members to reflect on this very important issue. We are confident that given a fair and full opportunity to show how the economics make sense for Labrador to have this smelter and refinery, at the end of the day the debate will show that it should go there.

I look forward today to comments from any and all members who wish to participate in this particular debate. I think it is a reflection of the capacity of the Province to understand that regions have to be dealt with. It is no longer enough to say, because something exists in Northern Labrador, that it simply can be de facto taken somewhere else to be managed. We see what happened in Wabush. We see iron ore in Wabush being pelletized in Sept-Iles. It is a different Province but the problem is they had lost the synergies that they would have maintained and had, had they been able to have that pellet plant in Wabush and Wabush has suffered many times because of that lack of efficiencies.

So this is a debate about a long-term magnificent project that will unfold in Northern Labrador but it is a debate that is both timely and necessary. I look forward to the comments of hon. members and I look forward to their support on this particular resolution.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Baie Verte.

MR. SHELLEY: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I am delighted to rise today and the first thing I want to do is commend the Member for Labrador West for bringing forward this motion, for two reasons, first of all as the critic for mining on the opposition side but also secondly, because I was a resident of Labrador West for six years. Before returning back to university I spent some six years in Labrador City and Wabush. I know the area very well and I know, Mr. Speaker, in also talking to your other colleague here from Cartwright, I know the feelings of people in Labrador. I heard it very often while living there, of people talking about Labrador getting their full share of the Province and they felt they were mistreated a lot of times by different governments from over the years. The people of Labrador have built up that feeling over a long time and for good reason. Especially, Mr. Speaker, I can speak for Labrador West, from living there, is that people in that Province have made good livings in Labrador from the IOC of course in Wabush. They have made some good salaries over the years and paid in a lot of taxes to the coffers of this Province and they expect and they deserve more than they get, Mr. Speaker. So from that point of view I commend the Member for Labrador West in bringing forward such a timely resolution to this House.

Mr. Speaker, first I want to note that the very first sentence had to be changed today and it is a shame that it could not stay the way it was but the fact is, Mr. Speaker, that `whereas Inco is acquiring,' that may not even be sufficient to the motion at this point, Mr. Speaker, because they are attempting to acquire. Of course there are some problems with a Texas based company which has some problems with the Diamond Field's Group also and of course they are raising some concerns. So we were all hoping that today we could really welcome Inco by saying that today was the final acquisition point and that Inco would become that developer for the famous Voisey's Bay site. It is too bad we cannot say that today and I hope, Mr. Speaker, and I have asked questions of the Minister of Mines and Energy on that very question yesterday, I asked him very constructively because I just want to know, like many people in this Province want to know, exactly the steps that are being taken through this mammoth development in Voisey's Bay. Of course we have to be very, very careful, Mr. Speaker, and once we do decide and the decision is finally made that Inco will be the developer of this project, then of course this motion even becomes more to the point because Inco will finally be the developer.

So I just had to make that correction today because as of right now, the final acquisition which was scheduled for today has been delayed. That raises some concerns but I have asked the mines minister and I hope that he and the other officials from Diamond Fields and Inco when they report, that it is not too serious, there should not be a problem. I hope they are right. I hope they are right so we can get on with the development but that has to be, first of all, finalized before anything can happen.

Mr. Speaker, to the motion in particular as it describes Labrador. In the final line where it says; `therefore be it resolved, given that Inco has committed to the construction of the mine, the mill, the smelter and the refinery that this hon. House strongly endorse a policy of directing Inco to fully assess the economics of any and all smelter and refining sites in the region of Labrador.' Mr. Speaker, one of the most important words in that resolve is the word `all,' and that is why we have not been paying a lot of attention to it, Mr. Speaker. As the mines critic I have been studying and watching every single day, from The Globe and Mail, to the Voisey's Bay news, to the internet and I suggest to the Member for Labrador West that he follow that. There is a lot of information on Voisey's Bay on the new internet, the page they have there. There are developments right around the world and how the whole world is watching this discovery, Mr. Speaker. Sometimes in this House and around the Province people have not fully realized yet, I don't believe, the mammoth, the size of this project and that if it is done right Newfoundland will benefit greatly. Newfoundland and Labrador will benefit greatly, and especially Labrador.

Mr. Speaker, as far as endorsing Labrador for the first priority, there is no problem whatsoever from this member, or I don't believe from any member in this House, that Labrador of course, if the mine, and that is where the minerals are, that every possibility be given to Labrador. Of course, as it says here, "...endorse a policy of directing Inco to fully assess the economics of any and all smelter and refinery sites" in the region of Labrador.

Why I drew attention to the word "all" is simply because of this. In studying what I have just said over the last weeks and months on the Voisey's Bay find, you will find in Ontario for example - I've done some investigating of that, because of course Sudbury - that there is legislation in Ontario - and I suggest that the member should look this up - with Falconbridge that says that the mining, smelting and refining take place in Ontario. But with a loophole in the legislation in Ontario, we now know that the refining for Falconbridge in Sudbury is now done in Norway. The refining jobs are now done in Norway. So they have missed out, although they had legislation in place.

I caution the member and anybody else who speaks on this resolution is the word "all." So that in two or three years from now they said: Oh yes, we said we would do smelting and mining and refining in Newfoundland. The catchword is "all." There is no good putting in the smelter, the mine, and then refining by the way - which are the best jobs so I'm told, the highest paid jobs, the cleanest jobs, the refining - it is no good for Inco to say: We will put a small part of the refining up in Labrador, but by the way we are going to do the rest in Asia or some other part of the world.

That is the key thing we have to watch for. This is a big corporate giant, a very successful corporate business when it comes to -

MR. E. BYRNE: (Inaudible) sales were larger than the Newfoundland Budget last year.

MR. SHELLEY: As the Member for Kilbride just said, the annual sales last year were bigger than the Newfoundland Budget, just about. It cost $1.1 billion, if I'm not mistake, Mr. Speaker, to develop this. They paid $4.3 billion for it. You can imagine how much profit they are going to make. We are talking about an industry here that could very well be, not the answer, but a big part of the answer to Newfoundland's recovery. But we have to be cautious when we talk about such a mammoth development that we talk about all the smelting, all the refining. We also have to talk about, when we do an assessment, that Labrador, before they even look at the Island, that is what the Member for Labrador West is saying, that we fully assess. I think that is important in your resolution.

Of course, I should point out a few other things from the Red Book. I will caution the member again. This is not a day of caution but it is a day of being careful, I say to the member, in all due respect. It is a day of being careful. Yes, it is great to support this resolution. It is great to hear the Minister of Mines and Energy stand and guarantee the smelting. It is great for the Premier to say it, and in the Red Book. But what they say and what is written has to followed up or nobody wins. We lose. That is why every day questions about what is happening with it, continuous updates on what is happening with the development when Inco finally takes over the final acquisition. What their development plan is. That is what the key is going to be, when we can lay in this House of Assembly the development plan for Voisey's Bay. What is going to be smelted, where it is going to be smelted, how much refining, all the refining, where it is going to be done, and how it is going to be done. How many jobs, how much it is going to cost us.

Because the funny part about this - and I think every hon. member here will agree with this - for years - and I've told the Premier - it is not enough, with all due respect to the Premier, for the Premier or any politician for that matter to stand here or stand in the House of Commons and say: Don't worry about it, people, we are going to handle it, you are going to get your full and fair share. That is nice to hear, glad to hear the Premier saying it, but what we have to see is the development plan in front of us to see exactly how it will be developed, where it will be developed, and who is going to get the benefits.

To say a full and fair share in the Red Book, what we have to do is follow up with that. That is why every single member in this House, Opposition and government, it is incumbent on every single one of us to watch very closely how this whole thing develops. It is important for every single one of us.

I've referred to it before and I will refer to it again, the word "all." Be very cautious of that when Inco says - even if they do say it in writing that there will be refining in Newfoundland, there will be smelting in Newfoundland. They have to put down: all of the smelting, all of the refining, will occur in Newfoundland - and, of course, the mining.

I plan to tour Sudbury, and also Thompson, and tour, of course, Voisey's Bay, over the coming months, and really get in there and find out from people who have already experienced this type of development in Sudbury and in Thompson, Manitoba, what really happens, and learn from their mistakes. From what I am hearing with Falconbridge, and the refining that goes on down in Norway, a lot of jobs are in Norway that could otherwise be in Ontario. So let's make sure we don't make that same mistake I say, especially to the members for Labrador, to watch for that, and let's do our research, like so often the government members say to us, or like the minister said today: Do your research.

Well, if we ever needed to do research and to investigate and follow up on, if we have ever needed to do that in this Province, every single member in this Legislature, and I say especially the Labrador members because you should be very aware of it, study it, follow it very closely, don't take verbatim what is said in the media and so on. That is not how this works. That is not how a multi-billion dollar corporation works. The Incos of the world don't worry about what is said on the front page of The Evening Telegram in little St. John's. This is a multi-billion dollar industry. What we have to see is what is black and white, what is written in the bill and what will come before this House and what will go down as law.

Of course, we heard it during the election - and how can we blame people - they say we messed up Churchill Falls, we ruined our fishery, the forestry is in a state; we don't trust you on this one to stand up and say, before a screaming crowd with banners flying, we will get our full and fair share, and that is the end of it. That is not the end of it. We have to see in black and white, and we have to see it in laws and regulations that are going to hold them to the decision that the smelting - I will start again - all the smelting and all the refining and all the mining takes place in this Province. There were already hints about Asian countries being interested.

By the way, for statistics, I don't know if all the members know, 60 per cent of nickel by Inco is sold to Asian companies - 60 per cent - and, if I am not mistaken, I am not sure the numbers for Canada, I think it is 2 per cent, but 60 per cent of nickel supplied from Inco goes to Asia. That is why they are interested. That is why, when we hear the words: You will get your smelting and refining, they have clout - it is obvious - but we have the resource. If we stick by what we have been saying, verbatim and so on, what the Premier keeps saying, that is fine, but it has to be followed up with concrete evidence signed and documented and made legal in this Province that they do not take anything away from Newfoundland and Labrador and especially, with this particular motion, from Labrador. That is why I put out the cautions today.

We support the Member for Labrador West, we support the Member for Cartwright, we support the other MHAs from Labrador, and I can tell you, from spending six years in Labrador West and from visiting the Cartwright district, I know the sentiments of the people in Labrador, how they feel. The people of Labrador are simply saying, and I think members will agree with me, that never again, not this time. They are saying, not this time; this time we are going to get every possible potential that arises from this project for Labrador as a priority first, and how can you blame them when they see waters rushing over the Churchill Falls, and every year $800 million -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SHELLEY: At least they are in my own pocket, I say to the minister.

Mr. Speaker, how can you blame Labrador people for feeling like that when they see the water rushing over Churchill Falls every day, and all the profits going into Quebec? How can you blame them? How can you blame them when the people on the Labrador Coast look out to the ocean and see the disarray of the fishery these days, and how we have ruined that?

Mr. Speaker, with all due respect - as the Premier says - to the Premier, that when he stands and says, `full and fair share' and waves around a red book during an election campaign, that works, and obviously it worked for this campaign, but I caution the members for Labrador that is not good enough. It is nice to hear, it makes you feel good, especially if you support that party, but it is not engraved, and it is something that we should be cautious about, and we should all, as members of this House of Assembly, very, very carefully, every day, keep ourselves abreast of what is happening with the development of Voisey's Bay so we can watch it develop step by step by step so we all know exactly what is happening with the development of Voisey's Bay so that really, when the day is done, and when development is going on, and when the people up there in the mines, and people working in the smelters, and people working in the refineries, that we can finally say - and I am sure I speak for all members on this side of the House when I say - we hope that at the end of the day, when the production is started, when people are working in this Province, and we start to see the benefits of Voisey's Bay come into this Province, we hope, that we can really say that we got our full and fair share, but the caution is that we have to follow each step progression because this is a mammoth project that has to be watched very, very carefully for the sake of all of us, not so much us here today but the future of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Torngat Mountains.

MR. ANDERSEN: Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak in favour of the motion put forward by my colleague for Labrador West, to speak on his resolution. Voisey's Bay is located in the district of Torngat Mountains, the poorest district in the Province. Certainly, for the people in my district I hope that Voisey's Bay does not go the way that Labrador Linerboard went in Labrador, where we still have hundreds of thousands of cords of wood rotting in the woods.

I hope that Voisey's Bay does not go the route of Churchill Falls where it lights up the Eastern Seaboard, but people in my district 150 miles from Churchill Falls are paying the highest electricity cost, not only in the Province but in the country. I am glad to hear the member across the way talk about 'all'. Up in our district we have been classified as failures for many years, and yes,`all' has been taken out.

Mr. Speaker, we talk of Voisey's Bay, thirty-five miles from Nain, and we talk of $4.3 billion. Thirty-five kilometres from Nain, my district Nain is considered to be the wealthiest community of the six, but Nain does not have one cent for water and sewer, and not one cent for land development. We have four people living in a house twelve by sixteen with no water and no sewer, and we have roads that are not fit to walk on.

Mr. Speaker, there comes a time when there is a big development, and if you look at any land claims that are set up by aboriginal people there was a big major development that brought about these land claims. We feel that Voisey's Bay is our answer, and finally we may get some of the good things that, as I travel around the Province and listen to the budgetary speeches that talk about school buses and paved roads, well that is a luxury we could never ever expect to have.

We are hoping that with the help of government, and most important of all with the group of people that are going to have just as big a say as government, the aboriginal groups, the Innu and the Innuit who are located in my district and who are hoping for a land claim settlement that will be beneficial to all. We do not want all. We are willing to share. I do not think there is any district that has gone through such neglect, and I mean that. I think any member who comes into my district and will take the time to sit down and look at it will know that we have been neglected. With all the neglect that has gone on the people of Torngat Mountains, the poorest district in the Province, and with the biggest find that is going to help bring this Province back on track, we look forward to getting, very simply, a fair share so that with some of these monies we can build a school, new roads, and employ a few people.

We would never, ever consider to take all but we will pass along the wealth of Voisey's Bay. We can build up Torngat Mountains, we can build up Labrador, and we will help build the Island portion of the Province. Mr. Speaker, I urge the members on both sides of the House to support the resolution, because I think this will be a step in the right direction and give the people of Labrador the ways and means to basic services they now lack and that they justly deserve.

Again, I ask the members in this House to support the motion.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

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

I am pleased to stand and support the resolution put forward by my colleague on the other side of the House today. And listening to my colleague, the Member for Torngat Mountains and the description of what has not taken place in his district, and what the potential wealth of Voisey's Bay offers in particular to the people in Labrador, I don't think there is any member in this House who could not support this private member's resolution today.

The wealth from Voisey's Bay - I don't think any of us really understand what it will mean to the Province, the huge and significant social and economic impact that a mine of this nature will have. And if we only look at and take some time to research the issue, as members individually, and to see what it has done for other parts, what huge discoveries like this, and even half the size, one-quarter of the size, have done for other provinces in Canada, have done for other countries across the world, I think it is only then that we will begin truly to understand the significance of Voisey's Bay.

The amount of revenue that this government and the people of the Province, through its government, has the potential to realize each and every year for the next twenty-five to thirty years, is outstanding. It is the only way to describe it. The potential that it has for members in this House, and the people, through their elected representatives in this House, to begin to pay down the significant amount of debt that this Province has, so that services that are not available in the Member for Torngat Mountains' district, five to ten years from now, will be available. That is what needs to happen. But the amount, the significant amount of revenue, is what we should be after and when we talk about the buzz word put forward by the Premier, a full and fair share, it is not a new term, it is a colloquial term.

Coaker had a term in the turn of this century, he said: `To each his own', and that is an appropriate term for today when we talk about Voisey's Bay, because it is ours, collectively ours. However, we must, at every step of the way, as the Member for Baie Verte indicated, at each stage of the development of this huge find, we all must be very, very careful and very prudent in what we demand and what we should expect.

The revenues from such a find, what they could do in terms of the provincial debt, the lowering of our debt, the ability to provide more services, the ability to invest in new business, the ability to create more wealth, gain more revenue both directly and indirectly, and the impact that that can have on this Province is significant. It could change significantly, how we, as a Province, not only manage ourselves but the type of lifestyle that each and every Newfoundlander could have twenty-five to thirty years from now.

We must not give up, not one single penny, what we can get from this find. We must learn from history, but I am fearful that if we are not careful that may happen. We have to be able to look beyond the tips of our noses, not only in political terms but in real terms and be able to say that jobs are important, yes, they are, but we must not give up on the revenue side to gain short term on the job opportunities on that side. We have to look at this resource in terms of what we can get from it, how it can be managed properly, and ultimately, Mr. Speaker, we all win; but before that resource can be developed, and members have alluded to it, the Innu and Inuit people of Labrador and the land claim settlements that are ongoing, these issues are paramount. I listened last about two weeks ago to a Native Canadian in Quebec who talked about a mining development that went on in that Province and who is now advising, I believe, some of the Innu and Inuit people on the potential development of Voisey's Bay and what it actually meant to land claim settlement in Labrador and benefits to Native peoples in Quebec, and I think there are many lessons that should be learned.

First and foremost, is that development must not proceed at all costs. Development must proceed in a controlled way so that not only the Province, not only the people of Labrador, but in particular, the people who first settled here, we must ensure that we deal with them fairly, properly and prudently, because history shows that we haven't. And I think that must be our first concern and a priority of this Legislature to ensure that happens.

I am not going to take up too much more time because I know that there are other members who wish to speak on this private member's resolution, but I stand today to support his resolution, to be associated with the comments he made, to make some of my own, and stand in hope that at some point in the very near future, we can start talking about the riches that will flow from a significant find like Voisey's Bay and what it will mean in a positive way for each and every one of us.

Thank you very much.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Government Services and Lands.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. McLEAN: Mr. Speaker, I stand in this hon. House to support the resolution by the Member for Labrador West. This being actually my first opportunity to stand and speak to anything other than answering a question, I want to briefly stand and talk about what Labrador means to the Province under this particular type of resolution.

It certainly is the wish of the people of my district that I stand in support of a resolution of this nature. I think I can also speak for many of the people on Coastal Labrador. I have spent twenty-five years travelling between L'Anse au Clair and Nain. Over those twenty-five years we have seen many changes, we have seen many downturns. Right now, we are probably at the lowest we have been on that part of the Coast in terms of jobs. We know that a development like this certainly provides an air of optimism for the people up there, and also of my District of Lake Melville.

Much can be gained from a project of this scale, both directly and indirectly. It will create a large number of jobs, especially in the development stage. It will create a fair number of jobs indirectly through support services and support business. We would certainly expect that the Lake Melville area will be sort of the drop-off point for the people travelling into Voisey's Bay.

The whole Province stands to benefit from such a project. What Voisey's Bay has done, just over the last year since it has been found, is create a large industry in the exploration business. Many companies are up all over Labrador. They have people hired. They are using the equipment that the companies of this Province own. This project eventually will provide a lot of jobs and it will also create a positive climate. We need something of this magnitude now to spark the attitudes of people in the Province to get into the whole mode of creating new businesses and new jobs. Inco is a Canadian company, certainly a very reputable company. They have been in the mining industry for many years. We see no reason why they can't do the same when they come to Labrador to develop Voisey's Bay.

There are certainly a number of issues that have to be dealt with before we can see any development of the mine at Voisey's Bay. In particular, many members have referenced the aboriginal situation. There are certainly issues that have to be dealt with as far as the aboriginal peoples are concerned. The settlement of land claims - even though these aboriginal groups right now are negotiating with Diamond Fields for funding arrangements up front, that is not the land claims agreements. These are only funding agreements where they will get some of the take from the mine profits themselves. These groups are still in the process of resolving the land claims issues. Voisey's Bay is a part of that. Voisey's Bay will probably be one of the levers that is used to see the settlement of these claims. For many years they have been negotiating. They feel a lot of times they aren't making any headway. Maybe this is the kind of project that will certainly kick-start that and get the whole thing settled prior to development taking place.

Prior to the development starting as well, there is a whole environmental process that has to be dealt with. Prior to anything happening in Voisey's Bay, there has to be environmental resolution to the area so that there can even be an air strip there. Right now, everything is coming out of Nain. Nain has been very much pressured because there is no airstrip in Voisey's Bay, there are no docking facilities there. So we have to ensure that the environment is protected before any development like this can go anywhere to a development stage. Certainly, the other side is that government has to ensure that a fair share is gotten for the Province from the profits that Inco or any other company that may buy out Inco or whatever, will gain from this particular project.

Anyone travelling the north coast, as the hon. the Member for Torgnat Mountains mentioned, don't have to look very far to understand that there is an awful lot of money that needs to be pumped into his particular riding. The ministers who were up there in the last months certainly have seen that for themselves. There is a great need in Torngat Mountains, and one has to remember that Voisey's Bay may be the richest nickel find in North America at least. It is found in the middle of the poorest district in the Province. So we have to ensure, I think, as government, that much of the profits that come off the beginning of it should remain in that district and go into infrastructure programs, roads, schools, all kinds of health facilities and the like, because they are drastically needed in that particular riding.

I think the other thing we need to certainly consider is because Labrador - the Voisey's Bay mine will be developed in the heart of Labrador, that the adjacency rule should be somewhat considered and certainly, Labradorians should get a reasonable chance to prosper from this particular development.

Mr. Speaker, I will not take up any more time because there are other speakers, but I certainly support the resolution by the Member for Labrador West.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Cartwright - L'Anse au-Clair.

MS JONES: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I also rise in support of the resolution put forward by my colleague, the hon. the Member for Labrador West, and I appreciate the comments and concerns that have been brought forward, not only by my colleagues from Labrador but by the other members in the House.

I also say that it is unfortunate that we have to come to a point in the House where we, as Labrador members, feel that we have to have a resolution on the floor to ensure that we are given ample and every consideration for development within this Province.

When the hon. the Member for Baie Verte was speaking, he cautioned us, as Labrador representatives. Well, I would have to say that we all have to be cautioned in this Province with regard to that development. We have to be careful of the tax regimes in which we implement so that we get the full and fair share that we keep consistently talking about; but I will not get into that at this present time. I will say that what the hon. the Member for Torngat has brought out with regard to the poverty and the conditions that exist in his district at the present time - he talked about neglect; and no doubt I have spent time in his district and I have seen neglect in great abundance, but I have also seen it in my own district, and I have seen it growing tremendously over the past few months.

It is unfortunate that while a deal is being made of this magnitude in the Province that concerns resources directly related to Labrador, a deal of $4.3 billion, that our district is faced with so many cuts and downfall on services as it is. In the past two to three weeks we have been hit with devastating cuts from every angle, from the RCMP, from transportation, from Hydro, from air services to freight subsidies and so on. Still, as the deal goes on and the money squabbling continues over a resource that is adjacent to us, we still fight the issues of unemployment and poverty to be able to move ahead in our communities and rejuvenate the economy and move on to other industries.

Of course, I support the resolution, I support it wholeheartedly, and I hope that ample consideration will be given to Labrador and Labrador communities. We do have the ice-free ports that they keep talking about, if they would only look into it and see what the situation is and what the conditions are that exist here. We do have linkages to the Island through the Labrador Straits and we have linkages to mainland Canada as well. We do have power that exists in Labrador that can be used for a development of this magnitude, either from the Churchill Falls development, or there is also the Lower Churchill, which hasn't even been explored to this date.

We have the people who are unemployed and trained in the workforce to be able to carry out the jobs that are necessary to work in a project of this calibre. We are not asking that this development be solely for the purposes of people in Labrador, but we are asking that we have a fair share of all the economic benefits that are being derived from this particular location.

I can only ask that the House support this resolution and that the government put emphasis on Inco to look at all possible sites for Labrador, and wherever possible, locate the industry development related to this particular site in Labrador for the benefit of its communities and people. We have had enough exploitation of our resources and that is what has caused people in my district to protest to the degree that they have. This is what has brought about the talk of separation and the other upheavals of protest that we have seen throughout the districts.

Now is an opportunity to give something back to the Labrador people, to actually prove to them that we do understand where it is they are coming from and what it is they were asking for. I hope that we don't turn around and make the same decisions twice, as the hon. the Member for Kilbride has spoken of today. Let's hope that history doesn't repeat itself with this development in Voisey's Bay. Thank you.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. WOODFORD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. WOODFORD: I take this opportunity to rise, despite the - to support my colleague -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. WOODFORD: Mr. Speaker, could you speak to some members on this side, especially the Member for Torngat Mountains down there in the last seat?

- to support the member who put forward this resolution, a very timely resolution, one, I suppose, of some sad ironies over the past number of years with regard to all our natural resources in the Province. I can name all kinds, and so can other members in this House. We can go back over the years.

I just had last night an example of some things happening with regard to the forestry industry in the Province, out in Hampden, out in White Bay, about the harvesters, big companies and so on, taking everything, pay a few royalties, pay a few taxes, everything else just goes on across the Gulf. They sit down to the banking machines and just press a few numbers and transfer it down to the Canary Islands somewhere, transfer it to some other part of the world, and we see the pitiful, minuscule few royalties from it.

In this case, what I am talking about last night with Kruger, not even a royalty. We don't even have control over our own natural resources with regard to forestry in the Province. They don't even pay stumpage. But the ordinary Newfoundlander and Labradorian does have to pay stumpage. That is one example. We could go on and on. That is a speech for another day. Because you can speak -

AN HON. MEMBER: What about the MOGs? (Inaudible) explain that.

MR. WOODFORD: If I start to explain the municipal operating grants to the member opposite - I only have fifteen minutes, so it is very limited time - unless by leave after my time is up, I could probably do that.

Mr. Speaker, this is a very exciting time, you know, in the Province. As other members have spoken, the Member for Kilbride and other members who have spoken today, have said, these are very, very exciting times, but what have we done every time something like that would happen? We can go back over the years. I remember going back to my own hometown. My colleague representing Grand Falls - Buchans, every time that is mentioned - Buchans is my hometown. I was born here on the East Coast of the Province, and when I was four years old, moved to Buchans. I know all about a mining company, worked underground myself for six years with ASARCO. Nobody has to tell me about a shaft mine, an open pit mine, whether it is a drift or a cross-cut.

AN HON. MEMBER: You have to tell Graham Flight about it, though.

MR. WOODFORD: The hon. the Member for Windsor - Springdale did work there for awhile with ASARCO. But what happened there? When the members for Labrador talk about that resource down there, what happened in Buchans? They put a company town there. Everybody from Conception Bay worked there, and there was reason for that, and excuses for it, and good reason, because it was a completely new town, so people had to come from everywhere else to mine that particular operation. Some were miners, some came from outside the Province and so on, and they got into it by trial and error. It was very costly, too, I might add, in terms of lives, in that particular operation in Buchans. There were a good many lives lost over the years in the Little Bay mines and so on.

Now, with Voisey's Bay, most of this on the first of it, I would say, will be taken with open pit. Eventually, they will have to sink a shaft and go down and take it out by another means. But the Member for Kilbride, in his speech just now, mentioned the possibilities of royalties, and what they could mean to this Province. Rightly so, we have to be very, very careful, I say to members here. We are the custodians, we are the money managers of the people of this Province, and this is one time in our history that we should not let this opportunity slip through our fingers. This time we should make sure that an operation such as this, whether it's Voisey's Bay - not only Voisey's Bay; we have Terra Nova out there now, and I am hearing that this particular royalty regime will be on a negotiated basis and not a generic basis. I think it is time for us to get away from the generic stuff with regard to royalties in this Province. I think it is time for each and every operation to be looked at on its own merits, and pay accordingly.

Voisey's Bay is a very rich mineral find. I remember the Buchans operation; ASARCO took enough money, enough gold, out of the Buchans operation to pay their overhead every year. I remember in 1966 they took $13.5 million worth of gold out of the Buchans operation - ASARCO; they paid their overhead for that year.

Everything was high-graded, another important factor for government to remember with Voisey's Bay. It is very important for government to have inspectors in there watching what is being done, whether it is an open pit or a shaft mine, because a company can high-grade an operation very quickly, especially where there is a large tonnage involved. When you are talking today something like 150 to 200 million tons in Voisey's Bay alone, the temptation is going to be there for a company to go in, extract the top and highest grade minerals, and then say goodbye. That is why we have to make sure that there is a good royalty scheme put in place so that the people of Labrador and the rest of this Province can benefit from such a project.

It is right, in the minister's resolution, to look at that particular area first, and if it doesn't go there, if there is just a mine there, we have to remember, what comes out of that particular operation in royalties, that money should be funnelled back into the districts of Labrador to make sure that the services that the Member for Torngat Mountains, and other members in the House today have spoken about, can be brought up to par with other areas in the Province. Nobody should be second-class citizens, especially when they got a project like that right on their doorstep. People have already brought up in the House the Mineral Act. There is no rush for the Mineral Act. I sat in this Chamber when we discussed the Mineral Act some years ago, and what happened? What happened a few years ago when we sat here, fifty-two members, and debated the Mineral Act? Isn't it interesting what irony is in that, Mr. Speaker, when we sat here last fall and threw everything out, it was a bad move. Did any members read Hansard and see what happened to that? At the time it was done it was relevant because at that time there was very little mining in the Province, very little exploration, but what happened after that? Another bit of irony, because out of that particular Mineral Act at the time, that we all thought was so great, and found so bad last fall, out of the ashes of that particular Mineral Act came the likes of Voisey's Bay, because that is what helped the small entrepreneur, the small prospector to go out and look for the Voisey's Bays of the world.

AN HON. MEMBER: (inaudible).

MR. WOODFORD: That is why Baie Verte is alive and well today, because of that particular act. Companies were given a break to go out and look. They did not have to be tied down to what the bigger companies were told to do years ago, so that is why I think each project should be taken on its merits. The Voisey's Bays of the world should be looked at separately and make sure we get the proper royalties from them. The Terra Novas of the world should be looked at. The West Bonne Bays and Amocos should be taken - well, Amoco is going to drill two wells just fifty kilometres from Hibernia. I think the wells are called West Bonne Bay and East Flying Foam. Those are the two wells that are going to be built next year by Amoco here in the Province. They were going to drill one this year but they figured it was just as well to go with the two next year.

We have so much opportunity, Mr. Speaker, and now is the time to take hold of it. Now is the time to put something in place, and everybody, not only people on this side, the members opposite, the Member for Labrador, the independent Member for Labrador, everybody, should put their minds and hearts together and make sure that we get the best deal possible for this Province. We should not be shy. We are not going to be shy in standing up to INCO or anybody else, nor should we, Mr. Speaker.

Like I said we are the custodians of the Province and the people put us here to make sure that we do the best job possible on their behalf. We will have to answer some day if we trip and fall again as it pertains to Voisey's Bay. We will be the people who will have to answer. We are the people that our grandchildren and - we do not have to go to grandchildren in this case, our children. This is not something down the road. This is not something hypothetical, this is something that will be up and going and started in a couple of years time.

We will see benefits very, very shortly because even in the infrastructure part of it with regards to jobs, that alone will bring benefits to the Province, income tax and so on, the trickle effect to small businesses and elsewhere, not only in this Province but the same as Hibernia is doing for other areas of Canada, and not only Canada but as far away as Asia. We have one great opportunity here to do something for this Province.

We have 560,000 people in this Province. Just imagine, we could put them down on the sidewalk in New York and not even see them. We would know they are Newfoundlanders but we probably would not see them in the great populous of New York or some of the great cities of the United States like California somewhere, 560,000 with the resources we have. Like I said from the outset, Mr. Speaker, we get the few royalties and the rest, all the value added, everything else is gone outside of this Province. The profits are gone outside of this Province.

I have said time and time again over the years in a very constructive way that we have to stop it. This is an opportunity, Mr. Speaker, for us to stop it now. Deal with the Voisey's Bays of the world, deal with the Terra Novas of the world, deal with the Hibernias of the world although that one now I guess is engraved in stone, Mr. Speaker, the Hibernia part of it, can't do much about that, but at least that will be pumping next year bringing royalties into the Province, so I say to all members of the Chamber that we should be very cognizant of what is happening when legislation comes to the House of Assembly, every member should read it; every member should do his research and every member should know what is in that particular piece of legislation, if not he or she should ask and make sure that they understand what they are doing before they stand and vote in this Chamber on anything as it pertains to royalties for any particular mining company in this Province or elsewhere.

Mr. Speaker, I have to add just one little thing with regards to the Voisey's Bay and I talk about Buchans, rather interesting and over the years, Mort Verbiski whose son, Chris, found the Voisey's Bay find lived in Buchans, he played hockey in Buchans, I played with him, Mr. Speaker, back in the 60s when he first came from the mainland to play hockey with the Buchans Miners in Buchans, I played with Mort Verbiski the first day he came there.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WOODFORD: Mort married a girl from Buchans and they moved out here and are now living, and his son, in Pasadena, another community on the West Coast of the Province and Mort always worked with ASARCO doing something in the (inaudible) office there before the Buchans mining company closed down and then he went into other businesses as well as an independent, so I know the Verbiskis very well; his son Chris took up from his father and his mother with regards to the entrepreneurial spirit and the hard work ethic that they had, and it is nice to see someone like that succeed, especially when people like that are associated with something such as Voisey's Bay because it is world known and I hope, at the end of the day, that the people of Labrador, the Member for Labrador who put this particular motion today and the other three members representing that area and everybody who stands in the Chamber, are sincere when they say: yes, look at the potentials, look at the possibilities, look at whether they should do this or do that down there in a realistic and proper way and at the end of the day, we will all benefit, not only the people from Labrador but the people from the other parts of our Province, on the Island part of our Province as well.

It is not only the Voisey's Bay in Labrador. We have to look at the forest resources in Labrador. We have Abitibi-Price here in this Island with two to two-and-a-half years of wood left, crying out for timber and what did they do? They had to go to PEI, they had to go to New Brunswick and here we are, with some of the best timber in the Province, some of the best fibre timber in the Province, a timber that holds some of the best fibre for pulp wood production in this Province, paper production; this is another example of opportunities for that particular region and what happens in Labrador benefits the people in the Island, what happens here should benefit the people in Labrador, no question, and if there are changes to be made to royalties or some other policies in government to dictate those particular things, Mr. Speaker, then I think that they should be done.

I have not had notice on time, some members are saying that my time is up, Mr. Speaker, but in order to give other members a chance to speak, I would just say, again I congratulate the member for bringing forward such a resolution, a timely resolution, a resolution that is not lost on the people of the Province, a resolution that is not lost on the people of Labrador, Mr. Speaker. We hear all this separatist talk, we look at Quebec, we look just across the border into Labrador and we talk about separation.

Mr. Speaker, we have to get our minds together and make sure that those concerns are addressed. Those concerns, sometimes it is not necessarily money that is involved. It is not necessarily infrastructure or anything like that. Most of the time it is communication. When there is a communication breakdown and someone is left without anybody paying any attention to them, you know what happens. They feel left out.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.

MR. WOODFORD: Mr. Speaker. Once again I would like to congratulate the member for putting forward the resolution, and I congratulate all other members who spoke on this resolution, and the members who are about to speak on the resolution in a constructive and realistic way.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) members in absentia.

MR. WOODFORD: And the members in absentia, and the other few who lost their seats. Anyway, Mr. Speaker, once again I would like to thank everybody for leave. Thank you.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Cape St. Francis.

MR. J. BYRNE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I must say I'm pleased today to stand in my place and support this resolution. I consider this resolution to be a very serious resolution and I believe all members of the House consider that to be the case. I would like to commend the Member for Labrador West for bringing this resolution forward at this point in time. I have to say that all members of this House of Assembly have to be very astute and keen with respect to any legislation that may be coming forward in the future with respect to Voisey's Bay and an implementation and the construction of whatever may happen with respect to Voisey's Bay.

We are dealing with big companies here when we talk about Voisey's Bay, big companies that have revenues larger than the Province of Newfoundland and their expenditures yearly. The Minister of Government Services and Lands addressed a couple of the concerns that I had, and I will touch on them briefly. I have to say to the Member for Humber Valley that he made sense when he was on this side of the House, and I have to say that I agree with most of what he said standing this time in his place with respect to Voisey's Bay and this resolution.

One of the points I wanted to address was the land claims themselves. I think that is one of the things that has to be handled first before we can really get anything going in Voisey's Bay. As a matter of fact, there is an article in the paper today saying: Labrador Inuit trust Inco will respect Voisey's claims. I hope any trust we would have in Inco would be well founded. There were a couple of points made in this article by a Mr. Barbour, the Labrador Inuit Association president. Basically the whole article deals with the land claims and any agreement with the native people in Labrador. From my perspective that has to be dealt with right away and have an agreement with those people. If not, the start-up of Voisey's Bay could be delayed.

With respect to an environmental impact study that has to be done I would imagine - and the Minister of Government Services and Lands addressed this. I would have to make the comment that Newfoundland has a poor history when it comes to the environment. We saw the Baie Verte mines a couple of years ago where there were companies planning or wanting to bring in garbage to fill the mines in Baie Verte. There was a lot of opposition to it at that point in time and it didn't go through. I would say that any agreements that are done with Inco should be looked at twenty or twenty-five years down the road when it is completed. That is the life span I believe, or proposed life span, of the site itself. Any destruction that they do to the environment - I can't see how they could actually restore it, but they should have to enhance it before they leave. We see that happen in areas in the Province. Baie Verte, as I said earlier. A big hole left in the ground and it needs to be addressed.

With respect to a smelter and refinery and that type of thing, and that is the whole intent actually of the resolution, I just wanted to read one part of the resolution. "Therefore be it resolved... this hon. House strongly endorse a policy of directing Inco to fully assess the economics of any and all smelter and refinery sites in Labrador first." I don't think anybody here in the House would really disagree with that, although -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. J. BYRNE: I say to the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, ask the right question and you will get the right answer.

Diamond Fields actually made a statement I believe that with respect, one of their criteria to have the smelter located would be to have an ice-free port. The question has to come up, would that rule out Labrador? Would Inco agree that to have a smelter in Labrador they would have to have an ice-free port? I think that is something that has to be answered when you consider the intent of this resolution to have any smelters and refineries in Labrador. I agree that a cost analysis or breakdown or cost benefit analysis to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador to have a smelter and refinery in Labrador should be the first thing off the mark. One of the first things to be done but with respect to the location again, I believe that a number of members on that side of the House, Mr. Speaker, probably got elected on the fact that they were pretty well promised a smelter in their district during the election. So I think it has probably been promised all over the Province, all the districts where people were running - not all, I should not say all I suppose but many districts with respect to location.

As I said earlier with respect to any legislation that would be coming forward with respect to Voisey's Bay, there is legislation from what I am told and I understand that there is legislation in Ontario requiring Inco to have a smelter in Ontario but there is no smelter in Ontario. The mineral is shipped out of Ontario to be refined. So that is something, I will say again, that every member of this House has to be very careful on any legislation that would be forthcoming.

Mr. Speaker, we have been waiting now for awhile to have amendments to the Mineral Tax Act coming to this House to be addressed. It was promised for the winter setting, we got into an election, Mr. Speaker, and we are still waiting for amendments to the Mineral Tax Act and we have yet to see that. I have to ask the question, why we have not seen the legislation or the amendments coming forward?

I remember during the election that the now Premier made a statement that there was an agreement worked out with Falconbridge to have the smelter and refinery put in Newfoundland and Labrador. I asked the question before, I hope that we don't run another Churchill Falls situation for the sake of a few jobs to get the refinery here and then give away any benefits that we would have with respect to Voisey's Bay in the form of royalties. There has been some suggestion that what should be done basically is look at specific agreements or site agreements as was done for the Hibernia project with respect to royalties from Voisey's Bay and I think that is something that should be seriously considered.

Maybe we should be looking at the royalties with respect to the mineral coming out of the ground rather than after it is refined and looking at the profits of a company because we know when we talk about big companies they can do lots of things with their books to make it look like their profits are not as much as they really are. So basically we could be losing a lot of money if we don't look at the royalties of minerals coming out of the ground. That's just my personal opinion, Mr. Speaker.

Also there have been some comments made recently, in the past week to two weeks, that there is some concern that the ore may be shipped to Asia to be refined or some portion of the ore would be shipped to Asia. Again, that is something that the Premier has categorically stated will not happen but I really don't know if the Premier of the Province really has the clout to deal with these big companies and say that it is not happening. My personal view is that if the full benefits don't come to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador then it is not going ahead. That's the bottom line I would say to the members opposite, Mr. Speaker.

Also more recently, Mr. Speaker, there is a concern with respect to the lawsuit against Diamond Fields from a company in Texas. Again, I am wondering is that some sort of a - I hope not, I suppose I might be becoming a bit too cynical - is that some sort of delaying tactic? Inco was supposed to complete the deal today, Wednesday, and now they are looking at next week and when next week comes we will see a delay further and further. As I say, we are dealing with big businesses and there are many people in this House who don't have the experience to deal with the big businesses of the world and we have to be very careful. That certainly can be confirmed by just looking back a year two years ago when the government was trying to unload Newfoundland Hydro to some of the bigger businesses in the Province, and only when the wisdom of the people spoke, and they got up in arms against the selling or privatizing of Newfoundland Hydro, did the government actually understand what was going on.

Mr. Speaker, I say to the Minister of Fisheries now, the Reverend Mr. Black over there today, that if he has something to say on Voisey's Bay and the resolution, I am sure he has lots of time to get up on his feet and have a few words. I am sure he is not shy in doing that.

Mr. Speaker, as I started out saying earlier, this is a very, very serious resolution. The people of this Province, and this government, have put a lot, and have hinged a lot, on the production of the ore coming out of Voisey's Bay, and if the Minister of Fisheries cannot take this situation or this resolution a bit more seriously than what he actually is, and what he is doing over there now in his seat, I suggest that he probably leave the House and come back later on.

Mr. Speaker, again to the resolution, I commend the Member for Labrador West for bringing it in. It is very timely, and I fully support the resolution itself.

Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Fortune Bay - Cape la Hune. The Chair is still not familiar with the names of the districts.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. LANGDON: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I almost forgot what district I represented, and who I was for a moment.

First of all, I would like to commend the Member for Labrador West for bringing this particular resolution into the House. It is timely, and there is no doubt in my mind that he has the full support of the whole House in the resolution that he has brought, because if you look at the resolve, it says, "...the Honourable House strongly endorse a policy of directing Inco to fully assess the economics of any and all smelter and refinery sites in Labrador first". I think that augers well if this happens, and I am sure that it will.

My first contact, I guess, with Inco, or the name Inco, was probably in a geography book when we learned it in our social studies; however, some ten or fifteen years ago I had the opportunity to visit the Inco operation in Port Colborne, Ontario, when I took a number of our students from the Point Leamington - Leading Tickles area into the smelter and refinery in that particular city and saw what it did in terms of economics for that particular region, and also to look at and see what Inco has meant to the City of Sudbury, Ontario, and I believe what it can do for this particular region and this particular Province as well. It is a fine company. It is a big company, as the Member for Labrador West has already said. It is Canadian, and it is operating in twenty plus countries around the world, and we are proud, in a sense, to have a company like Inco that will hopefully have controlling interest in the Voisey's Bay particular project and bring benefits to the Province.

It was also the Member for the Happy Valley area, the hon. Ernest McLean, who said recently, as I was listening to him talk about Labrador and its vastness, and the distinct regions that it has, I think it was four that he outlined. I think I have had an opportunity to visit each one of the regions of Labrador, and last fall I had the opportunity to visit Nain, one of the larger communities in the region of the Member for Torngat Mountains.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. LANGDON: Okay.

And in that particular community, for the first time visiting the northern part of Labrador, I wasn't surprised, I suppose, at what I found, because I had heard and read about it a number of times, but I could equate with a number of things that I saw in Nain. There is no doubt about it; that particular community, and the people of the northern region, are looking forward to an opportunity to benefit directly from the Voisey's Bay find and the Voisey's Bay industry when it is fully developed.

I think what Voisey's Bay will mean to this particular Province is basically, I suppose, what Sir Wilfred Laurier said when he kindly phrased that the Twentieth Century would belong to Canada. I think that the Twenty-First Century, when we talk about Canada, the future belongs to the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. I think we have tremendous potential here to develop into an economically strong region. We have the assets. We have Voisey's Bay that was sitting there and we didn't know we had it. Just tremendous. We talk about the oil industry on the Grand Banks, the potential of the oil industry on the Port au Port Peninsula. We talk about the potential for tourism and aquaculture in our Province.

I think that if you add all of these together we do have a tremendous opportunity to succeed and to benefit, not only our generation, but generations to come. I have no doubt about it whatsoever, that at the end of the day this government will make sure, through cooperation with the large major company and legislation, to ensure that the proper benefits that are derived from Voisey's Bay and other particular industries will benefit all regions of the Province. There is no doubt in my mind that will happen.

When we look at the Churchill Falls situation and we look at the revenue that is going to Quebec each year, and we look at the rough time that we have economically to survive, then obviously it puts it into perspective to realize that what we do with this particular industry, this particular find that we have in Labrador, and the other industries - the oil industry and the aquaculture - that we do not make a mistake. I don't think that we will. I think that we will be prudent providers for the right thing for the whole Province. I think that the public demands that of us, and that at the end of the day we will succeed and accede to doing what is right and doing everybody who lives in this Province justice.

The potential, as I said, is awesome. If we are to do what is expected of us, and I'm sure we will, then we will make sure that the benefits that are derived from Voisey's Bay will not only benefit the people of Labrador but will also benefit the people of the Island of Newfoundland as well.

I'm not going to carry on too much longer. I just want to say on the record that I support the Member for Labrador West in the resolution. It is timely. I believe that in due course the region he represents, and the other three members as well, will no doubt benefit directly and indirectly from the new mining industry that will take place in Northern Labrador. It is also interesting to note too - I was reading one day the week from the paper that the community of Nain in a plebiscite there had voted in favour of allowing NDT to drill for prospective minerals within its boundary as well. I think that is positive. Also, the Member for Cape St. Francis was saying that in today's paper the Labrador Inuit trust Inco with respect to Voisey's claim.

I think that everybody, whether it is the Inuit and the Innu Nation of Labrador and the people on the Island, begin to realize that all of us together, we have to work, and I'm sure that we will, to do what is best for the people in Labrador and in the Island of Newfoundland. With that, Mr. Speaker, I want to commend the member for bringing forth the resolution.

Thank you.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. OTTENHEIMER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have absolutely no difficulty whatsoever with the private member's resolution which has been brought forward on this day to this hon. House. It is a resolution which is appropriate and timely and certainly speaks to the best interests of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians

Clearly the proviso states: "And whereas the investment and employment opportunities flowing from this new mining opportunity is a major step in the economic future of this Province and the region of Labrador in particular." I think that is an obvious statement and it is one which I endorse wholeheartedly, and support the hon. member opposite for bringing this to the attention of the House.

In conclusion, when it states that: "Therefore be it resolved that given that Inco has committed to the construction of the Mine, the Mine Mill, the Smelter and the Refinery, this hon. House strongly endorse a policy of directing Inco to fully assess the economics of any and all smelter and refinery sites in Labrador.

Mr. Speaker, this brings the issue of both Bills 43 and 46 to the fore. This is important legislation and I would just like to refer very briefly to what the significance of both Bill 43 and Bill 46 are to this House. Bill 46 confirms and confers upon government the right to require as a condition of issuing a mining lease under the Mining Act that minerals extracted under an issued lease would be smelted, processed, and/or refined in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Bill 46 was passed on December 21, 1995 and therefore is not intact.

Bill 43 does not have the same certainty. It would see that the imposition of a separate and additional tax on rich producing mines. The proposed new tax would apply to mines whose gross annual income exceeds $100 million. Obviously, an astronomical amount of money, $100 million, and whose operating income exceeds prescribed levels of annual return on a fixed percentage of capital investment after the pre-production investment is recovered. This is significant legislation and has significant impact upon the mining industry of this Province.

Mr. Speaker, I understand that in due course there will indeed be amendments to the Mineral and Mining Act. I just raise as a question, and maybe the hon. speaker, the proponent of the Private Members' resolution today, maybe he has some indication as to when we can expect these amendments, these very important amendments, and if so in his conclusion perhaps he can give all members of this House some idea as to when we as Newfoundlanders can expect these important amendments to be brought forward to the legislation which is now in place.

Mr. Speaker, in conclusion again I endorse and support the resolution as it has been brought forward. Clearly the government is relying heavily on income and royalties which in due course, hopefully, the Province will be able to take advantage of. I shudder to think that should Voisey's Bay not pan out, that if that ever did happen what sort of situation and predicament we would find ourselves in. Clearly, we rest on the hope and the reliance that Voisey's Bay will be a meaningful industry, will have a meaningful impact on the economy of this Province, and I think the passion that was shown by the Member for Torngat Mountains when he speaks of the importance of this particular industry on the Innu and Innuit people of his district.

I am sure the hon. Member for Torngat Mountains must realize and appreciate that the Voisey's Bay development is first and foremost significant to his particular district, in addition to the whole region of Labrador and in addition to the Province of Newfoundland as a whole

Mr. Speaker, I now conclude and support the resolution as brought forward.

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

MR. DECKER: Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate the member for doing a great service to his fellow Labradorians and to his fellow Newfoundlanders. This is a motion that I am sure the descendants of the hon. member will read with great pride when they consider that their grandfather or their great-great grandfather brought this motion forward to be debated in the House today. I want the record to show that I support the motion which the hon. member brought forth.

As every Newfoundlander and Labradorian, and every Canadian knows, we have just come through an election where we made it perfectly clear, people on this side of the House made it perfectly clear, that if there is no smelter and no refinery in Newfoundland and Labrador there will be no mine for Voisey's Bay. That was established and we were dead serious and we are going to stand by that decision. If there is no smelter and no refinery there will be no mine in Voisey's Bay. That is an established fact so there is no point in arguing that.

Now, we come down to when the mine starts, and I do not share the pessimism as members opposite because I want to see it operate. When the mine operates in Labrador where is the logical and reasonable place for that smelter and that refinery to go? I think of my own district. Supposing this discovery were made, say in St. Anthony. If this discovery were made in St. Anthony I would think it would be perfectly appropriate that if it were viable, if it were reasonable, if it were economically feasible, then the right place for the smelter and the refinery to go would be in St. Anthony. That is a perfectly reasonable approach, Mr. Speaker. Now that is not to say that we would want to get in St. Anthony and say, no one from Labrador would ever be allowed to work in St. Anthony no matter how long the world goes on, or nobody from St. John's or nobody from the Burin Peninsula. That is not, Mr. Speaker, that is not I am sure what the hon. member is talking about.

What the hon. member is saying is this, given the fact that there is going to be a mine in Labrador and given the fact that there is going to be a smelter somewhere in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, then the first logical place that the owners of that mine should look would be right in Labrador itself.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I would even go further, the logical place to look is right in Voisey's Bay itself, look right in Voisey's Bay itself. Any company which is setting up a smelter or a refinery would look at all the economical reasons, the economics of putting it there. This motion is suggesting, Mr. Speaker, and I support it fully - the owners of the Voisey's Bay project and no doubt that over the next little while it will indeed be Inco. This House has even more power than - this is not even Cabinet, Mr. Speaker, this is the House. The House in Assembly representing Newfoundland and Labrador which takes precedence, we have the power to make laws. We have the power to change laws. We have the power to direct what happens in our Province. This House today is going to vote and we are going to vote in favour of this motion, I would certainly hope, if the speakers so far are any indication. We are going to support this motion and we are asking the company that when you decide to put your mill and your refinery in operation that look first in Labrador. Give it a good solid look and if that is the logical economic place for it to go, that is where it should be, Mr. Speaker. That is the position which is put forward today and I am pleased to get up and speak in favour of this motion. I will be one of the first on my feet, if we call Division, I will certainly be the first with the `aye' when the motion is finally called.

In closing, again congratulations to the member for bringing forth such a very good, sound, profound motion. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. OSBORNE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It is good to hear the Minister of Justice so strongly support the smelter and refinery going in Labrador. It is clear to see, Mr. Speaker, while the rats away the mice will play.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. OSBORNE: I wasn't necessarily referring to anybody in particular.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. OSBORNE: Anyhow, Mr. Speaker, as I said I am proud to stand and support the resolution put forth to the House. I think that it is high time that Newfoundlanders and Labradorians started treating all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians as equals. During the 1996 election campaign it was indicated that the refinery and smelter would be located in Newfoundland before any mining was to take place and I strongly support that initiative as well. I understand that there is a feasibility study underway and we should have the results of the feasibility study by the end of June, determining the feasibility of where the smelter should go. They are saying that it should go in an ice-free port, a port of deep water with access to the resources, cheap access to the resources. Well the cheap access to the resources would certainly indicate that the refinery and smelter would go in Labrador. I don't know geographically which parts of Labrador would offer a deep port and an ice-free port, but I am sure there are several of those.

So, as I said, I am very happy to support the resolution put forth by the hon. member across, and I am in full support of industry in all of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Member for Labrador West.

MR. CANNING: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

First of all, I want to say that I did not promise, commit, a smelter\refinery to Labrador West or Labrador during the election. I promised them that they would have a full and fair assessment of the possibility of having that in the region, and this -

AN HON. MEMBER: Well, you are the only who didn't.

MR. CANNING: Well, I didn't, but those of little faith will never realize high achievement, and it is high achievement that we are looking for here today. But I did promise a full and fair assessment of areas within Labrador, and I expect that to be the case. What I heard today in speeches from hon. members is that there is quite a bit of care and caution to be taken in this development; that, I agree with. This is a very large, multinational company with tremendous resource; that, I agree with, and I am somewhat familiar with dealings with these types of companies. But this company is, I know, a good Canadian company, a solid company, a great company, a company with a capacity to deal properly and appropriately with people, regions, the environment, industry, and the resource to which they are going to apply their talents, so I have no difficulty with, or fear that Inco may not deal appropriately with the people of Labrador. It is a huge development, $4.3 billion going into it so far, and not an ounce, except for the drill cores, taken out of the ground. That will tell you how impressive this particular mine will be.

This, this evening, is a resolution about fairness. It is about inclusion, not exclusion. We are not excluding anybody in the Province; we are including the people of Labrador, and they want to feel that they are included in this particular event and development.

This was, today, a very healthy debate. It sends a very positive message to all those in Labrador who believe that they have, for a long time, not been heard and the resources have not been dealt with in a way accordingly that provides for some measure of that wealth to flow back to the region.

We are extremely confident in Labrador - and I want to just deal, for a second, with an ice-free port. When IOC and Wabush Mines began in Western Labrador, it was not built on the basis of an ice-free port. It did operate twelve months of the year. This is a cash-flow issue. They shipped the ore up through the St. Lawrence, and we all know the St. Lawrence is frozen for part of the year. It is only of recent years that we have decided to sell to Japan and to Europe, and to Australia even, but the ice-free port is not something that really I get carried away too much with. It may be an issue, but I don't think it is an overwhelming issue.

I want to say that I especially appreciate the comments from my colleagues from within Labrador. They all know, each of us have felt, what people are feeling and saying in Labrador. We have seen it, heard it, felt it, at the combined councils. There is a tremendous degree of angst and anger flowing from especially the coastal regions, and my friend from the mighty Torngats expressed, to some degree, the frustration that the people there feel. Also, I should say, the Member for Cartwright - L'Anse-au-Clair was very eloquent in her words.

I heard comments discussing the royalties regime that will be put in place for this tremendous resource. Well, I can tell all members of the House, when the Minister of Mines is ready, after consultation that he is committed to, you can be sure that he and this government will provide a royalty regime that gives the maximum benefit back to the people of this Province as a whole.

I want to thank the members today for their kind comments, for their expression of good will, good faith, and I look forward to the vote, which I will call upon the Speaker to ask for now.

Thank you very much.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: We are being asked to vote on Motion 7.

All in favour of the resolution, please say `aye'.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Aye.

MR. SPEAKER: Opposed?

Motion, carried.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. DECKER: Mr. Speaker, the Government House Leader has advised me that tomorrow he will be calling Bill 9: "An Act To Establish The Professional Fish Harvesters Certification Board And To Provide For The Certification Of Professional Fish Harvesters". That bill, Mr. Speaker, is being put forward by the hon. the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, who, I am sure, will be doing a good job.

I move that this House do adjourn until tomorrow, Thursday, at 2:00 p.m.

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