December 17, 1997         HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY PROCEEDINGS          Vol. XLIII  No. 53


The House met at 2:00 p.m.

MR. SPEAKER (Snow): Order, please!

 

Statements by Ministers

 

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

MR. MATTHEWS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, in conjunction with my colleague, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology, I wish to advise hon. members of government's intention to conduct a public consultation exercise regarding our provincial Public Tender Act.

As hon. members know, our Public Tender Act provides for a competitive bidding process in which the lowest-priced product, or service, is awarded the public tender for a government-funded endeavour. Newfoundland and Labrador's Public Tender Act is amongst the most stringent in all levels of government in Canada. It is an essential piece of legislation, ensuring that government contracts and purchases are dispensed in a fair and equitable manner, while achieving maximum cost-effectiveness for the public purse.

It should seek the best deal, while remaining true to the public trust. The world of business, Mr. Speaker, is not a static environment. As we have seen in recent years, new technology has taken on a much more prominent role in transactions; trade barriers go down, sometimes they go up, and partnerships between government and the private sector are producing some very favourable results.

While our Public Tender Act must encourage healthy bidding and ensure the best deal for the public, it can also be a nurturing factor for competitive businesses here in Newfoundland and Labrador. If there are provisions in the current Public Tender Act which are impeding Newfoundland and Labrador companies from flourishing and achieving a greater degree of success here at home, they should be reviewed.

Early in the New Year, we will write to key industry associations to advise them of a briefing session on current provisions of the legislation. Following these meetings, we will ask that these associations consult further with their members and provide written submissions to my department, which is responsible for the administration of the Public Tender Act. We will also brief all members of the House of Assembly, and ask that they encourage their business constituents to participate in this process by providing written submissions.

As well, members of the public with an interest in this legislation are encouraged to write to me directly.

It is our intention to conclude the consultation and review process by the end of March 1998.

Mr. Speaker, this is an open-minded endeavour, and while we are always open to suggestions from the private sector regarding legislative amendments that are fair and reasonable, this will be a more structured setting in which they can put forward their views.

Our consultation process my indeed determine that our current Public Tender Act is as fair and equitable as possible, and is in keeping with the evolving business realities. Or it may well reveal hurdles that can be overcome without comprising the integrity of the legislation.

Mr. Speaker, it is prudent to check the status of any legislation which has, on a daily basis, significant business ramifications for our Province.

It is our intention to produce a document which maximizes opportunities for big and small companies throughout this Province, while ensuring the integrity and key principles of our provincial public tender process are retained.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. SULLIVAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

This government should be ashamed of their action in following the Public Tender Act that we have today. We have Trans City, we have - you name it - the Murray Premises, there are dozens of instances, where they tried to circumvent the Public Tender Act. They did it with a bill here in the House on Kodak that fell through because it was faulty. They are using every avenue to circumvent it.

This government has been shamed into it, Mr. Speaker. The Member for St. John's South had to take it on himself to canvass local businesses to see how they can work within the confines of a Public Tender Act to get work for businesses operating in this Province.

We have had instances in the past, I say to the minister, a company in my district that produced a top quality window and the specs that this government called for was a window made in Germany, that had an agent in another province.

This government has prevented local businesses from being able to compete on an equal footing by being selective in what they put into a tender bid. There are avenues to help local businesses, I say to this government, and you have failed miserably in doing that. And now, because the Member for St. John's South is dealing with businesses and has had a forum around this Province in different areas, to solicit business input in doing this, the minister is shamed into coming into the House with a statement.

You should give him a budget to go out and do your job around this Province. You have failed to do it yourselves, so get with it now and do something for businesses in this Province before we start sending another flurry of thousands of people to the Mainland looking for jobs.

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

MR. TULK: Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the hon. Pierre Pettigrew, Minister of Human Resources Development for Canada, made a significant announcement regarding the TAGS program. The announcement comprised three main points.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TULK: What is Jim, your campaign manager? Only somebody as suspicious as Jim Morgan could put that in your mind.

Firstly, he announced that the current EI attachment rules, which were due to expire on December 31 - as I told the Member for Bonavista South the other day, I was 95 per cent sure would have happened - have been extended until the end of the TAGS program. This means that TAGS recipients will be eligible for Employment Insurance benefits on the basis that they are currently active within the labour market. This is a very fair approach, and one which our Province has strongly advocated.

Secondly, it was indicated that Mr. Eugene Harrigan will be reporting on his findings related to TAGS in early January, and that his report would be made public. Mr. Harrigan has been appointed by HRDC -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TULK: Do not listen to him, `Roger'.

- to report on the impact of the TAGS program and the implications of its pending termination for the Atlantic region.

Finally, and most importantly, Mr. Pettigrew announced that the Federal Government will be continuing the TAGS program until the end of August, 1998, rather than the previously scheduled termination date of May, 1998. Mr. Speaker, this is very encouraging and, I say, very important, in that it provides adequate time for the Federal Government to fully assess Mr. Harrigan's report and that of MP George Baker and the Commons Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans. In the interim, income benefits will continue for many TAGS clients for an additional period of time. It also demonstrates that the Federal Government is taking the TAGS issue very seriously.

Mr. Speaker, I believe that the reports from Mr. Harrigan and Mr. Baker will clearly demonstrate the devastating impact that the groundfish resource crisis has had on families and communities in Atlantic Canada, and most especially in Newfoundland and Labrador. It will also be very evident to the Federal Government that an appropriate replacement program for TAGS is absolutely essential to the continued viability of our coastal communities and regional economies.

Yesterday's announcement by the federal Minister of Human Resources Development provides us with a measure of assurance that the Federal Government is taking the necessary steps to properly address this continuing crisis -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TULK: Hello, Jim.

- and in the words of the federal minister himself, "find a forward-looking solution to the post TAGS situation."

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Thank you, Mr. Morgan.

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

MR. FITZGERALD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

This government and this minister have a way of creating a bad-news story and then bringing it back to a half-way point and trying to make a good-news story out of it.

Mr. Speaker, here is a situation whereby 18,000 people in this Province lost a year's wages. Now, the government of the day is going to be giving them back three months and this minister stands up and says what a wonderful thing. There is a case before the courts now, Mr. Speaker, where those 18,000 people are looking to be reimbursed for a full year's salary and that's the shame of this. They are bringing it about at a time when they know that they would have problems with the fishermen in this particular Province. They are bringing it back at a time when they know that if this particular program had not been extended then I would fear that many people would be going fishing. Many people will be going out there and doing what is right, Mr. Speaker, taking the initiative to go out and feed their families. The labour force attachment was a farce right from the very beginning. The TAGS program should have been considered labour force attachment from 1994, 1995, right up to 1999. It is another situation where people have to come back begging again. They have to come back begging, Mr. Speaker, for a few pittances from Ottawa.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.

MR. FITZGERALD: I say shame on the government. Reinstate the full year's salary and let the 18,000 people in this Province receive the income they are supposed to.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Member for Signal Hill - Quidi Vidi, does he have leave?

By leave.

MR. HARRIS: Mr. Speaker, of course no one would object to an additional three months lack of uncertainty about their future but the real problem here is that the people who are involved, the 18,000 people who are going to be cut off in May, in fact had a piece of paper giving them an entitlement to TAGS until May of 1999. Now, Mr. Speaker, the government has failed to address the full problem, failed to resolve the problems of the original TAGS program and this government seems to be just cheering them on. What we really need, Mr. Speaker, is a program to be overhauled, continued to 1999 and the other problems addressed for the future.

 

Oral Questions

 

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

MR. SULLIVAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

My questions today were intended for the Premier but I will ask them to the Minister of Environment and Labour.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Yes, I have to tell him that I have about ten sets of questions backed up now. If we will ever get him here I might get a whole Question Period some day.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. SULLIVAN: And the government's relentless move to end restrictions on Sunday shopping has come as a complete surprise to business groups, labour groups and to people generally across the Province. I have not asked a question yet I say to the Minister of Justice. Let justice prevail, I would say. With which people and which groups did the Premier and Minister of Environment and Labour consult this fall who told them that the Shops' Closing Act needed urgent changing, and will he table a list?

MR. TULK: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Government House Leader on a point of order.

MR. TULK: Mr. Speaker, the hon. gentleman knows, he has been told by the Speaker on a number of occasions, it is called the rule of anticipation, I say to him. That if he is anticipating something that is on the Order Paper, the question is out of order. This is on the Order Paper, and therefore the hon. gentleman is out of order.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Opposition House Leader to the point of order.

MR. H. HODDER: Mr. Speaker, I do have the Orders of the Day. We do know that this is Wednesday. We know that the Orders of the Day today have been announced in this House. They do include the private member's motion put forward by my colleague for Bonavista South. In consultation with other people who have been in this House, it comes from 409(12) of Beauchesne, page 121, and says: "`Questions should not anticipate a debate scheduled for the day...'"Scheduled for the day.

Mr. Speaker, this happens to be Wednesday. The debate scheduled for today is a private member's motion for Bonavista South. We contend we are completely within the rules. Precedents in this House, and in other legislatures, say that on a private member's day anything that is outside what has been scheduled is permissible.

That would mean, of course, that we are well aware of the thirty-five orders that are listed here, but they aren't scheduled for today. In fact, the schedule for today is contained in this paper, and of course it is Motion No. 6 on the listing here by "Roger Fitzgerald (Bonavista South)."

We say here the definition of "the day" - because it says "the day," it doesn't say any day, it says "the day" - and so therefore we say the definition of "the day" is Wednesday, in this particular case, and it happens to be December 17. Therefore we contend that the Government House Leader's point of order is no point of order. The question should proceed.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. TULK: Mr. Speaker, the truth of the matter is that the House is the master of its own fate. If we wanted to, we can schedule anything at any time. Therefore he is trying to anticipate something which may or may not occur.

MR. E. BYRNE: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. E. BYRNE: (Inaudible) you cannot take away Private Members' Day from this House -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. E. BYRNE: - even though you may wish to. You cannot do it.

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

The hon. the Member for Signal Hill - Quidi Vidi to the point of order.

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Government House Leader is attempting to use a general rule of the House in a very strict way to prevent any real questions and answers on this period.

We have had, what might be called debate, Mr. Speaker, going until 4:30 in the morning which has all been one-sided; the only people saying anything was over here. Nobody has been answering any questions, nobody has been required to answer any questions. At least in Question Period, Mr. Speaker, it will be done in the light of day instead of at 4:00 a.m. and, Mr. Speaker, if the rules of the House as interpreted by the Government House Leader were interpreted, the only questions could be asked would be something of an urgent nature.

Now we know that many of the questions asked in Question Period are not urgent in the sense that if they are not asked at 2:00 o'clock on a particular day, they will go away but I think, Mr. Speaker, the Government House Leader is calling for you to make a ruling, and a very strict and narrow ruling, that would prevent the proper exercise of this House to allow issues to be debated and argued and the ministers to be accountable to the House of Assembly and to the people of this Province for their actions.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

To the point of order, the Chair is going to recess briefly just to consult with the Table Officers

 

Recess

 

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

To the point of order that the hon. the Government House Leader raised, and referring to the section of Beauchesne to which the Opposition House Leader referred, Beauchesne, page 121, 409.(12), which states that: "Questions should not anticipate a debate scheduled for the day, but should be reserved for the debate."

In the short time that we had to research it, we have not been able to find any precedent in the House to support what the hon. member has said; however, the other sections of Beauchesne, I guess, lead us to conclude that this is not as restrictive as the hon. Opposition House Leader has indicated, and I refer hon. members to page 154, 512, paragraphs (1) and (2) which say:

"(1) The rule of anticipation, a rule which forbids discussion of a matter standing on the Order Paper from being forestalled, is dependent upon the same principle as that which forbids the same question from being raised twice within the same session."

"(2) The rule against anticipation is that a matter must not be anticipated if it is contained in a more effective form of proceeding than the proceeding by which it is sought to be anticipated, but it may be anticipated if it is contained in an equally or less effective form."

Therefore, the hon. member's question is out of order.

AN HON. MEMBER: That is ridiculous. That is unbelievable.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Opposition House Leader.

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

Mr. Speaker, it is with regret that we hear your decision. It is also with regret that I challenge the decision of the Chair. We feel on this side that the rules have been used to stifle the Question Period.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member is challenging the Chair and there is a motion for that. The hon. member should get to it.

MR. H. HODDER: Mr. Speaker, yes, there is.

We, on this side, want to quite simply put it to you that we, today, regrettably, are challenging the ruling of the Chair on this particular motion.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it the pleasure of the House to uphold the ruling of the Chair?

All those in favour, `aye'.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Aye.

MR. SPEAKER: All those against, `nay'.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Nay.

Motion carried.

AN HON. MEMBER: Division, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Division.

 

Division

 

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

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

The Chair will proceed with the vote and then get back to the point of order.

(Inaudible) can call the vote.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh! Oh, oh!

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

Is it the pleasure of the House to uphold the ruling of the Chair?

All those in favour, please rise.

CLERK: The hon. the Minister of Development and Rural Renewal, the hon. the Minister of Mines and Energy, the hon. the Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Mr. Walsh, the hon. the Minister of Education, the hon. the Minister of Forest Resources and Agrifoods, Mr. Penney, Mr. Oldford, the hon. the Minister of Health, the hon. the Minister of Human Resources and Employment, the hon. the Minister of Environment and Labour, the hon. the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology, the hon. the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation, the hon. the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation, the hon. the Minister of Government Services and Lands, Mr. Noel, Mr. Wiseman, Mr. Andersen, Mr. Canning, Mr. Smith, Mr. Ramsay, Mr. Whelan, Ms M. Hodder, Mr. Woodford, Mr. G. Reid, Ms Thistle, Mr. Sparrow.

MR. SPEAKER: All those against, please rise.

CLERK: The Hon. the Leader of the Opposition, Mr. H. Hodder, Mr. Shelley, Mr. Jack Byrne, Mr. Edward Byrne, Mr. Fitzgerald, Mr. T. Osborne, Mr. Ottenheimer, Mr. French, Ms S. Osborne, Mr. Harris.

Mr. Speaker, twenty-seven `ayes' and eleven `nays.'

MR. SPEAKER: I declare the Chair's ruling upheld.

MR. TULK: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Government House Leader on a point of order.

MR. TULK: Mr. Speaker, I recognize that we have just put a motion, and the Speaker's ruling was upheld.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible)!

MR. TULK: Well, I'm glad you finally got to it. I'm glad the hon. gentleman finally got to it. At least those are two rules he has learned about today. One is called the rule of anticipation; the other is called appealing a Speaker's ruling in Question Period.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. TULK: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order.

Mr. Speaker, if I could - I know, as I said, that we have just put a motion appealing the rule of the Speaker during a ruling that he made on oral questions.

MR. SULLIVAN: What kind of questions?

MR. TULK: Mr. Speaker, if the hon. gentleman will be quiet for a second, I will read the rule to him. He had it in front of him - maybe he would like to read it clearly. Because what I am asking the Chair to do -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TULK: Yes, you are.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. TULK: What I am asking the Speaker to do

AN HON. MEMBER: Sit down, boy.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Government House Leader.

MR. TULK: What I am asking the Speaker to do - Standing Order 31(6) clearly states: "The Speaker's rulings relating to", I say to the hon. gentleman, "oral questions are not debatable or subject to appeal."

The Speaker, a few minutes ago in this House, ruled that the hon. gentleman's question

AN HON. MEMBER: He is challenging the Chair.

MR. TULK: I am not challenging the Chair. I am asking for clarification.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. TULK: Mr. Speaker, if I could continue. A few minutes ago, the Speaker in this House ruled that the hon. gentleman's question was out of order, and that is my opinion. We upheld the Speaker's ruling; it was a proper ruling and should have been done.

MR. E. BYRNE: You raised the point.

MR. TULK: I raised the point, I say to the hon. gentleman, as I am perfectly in order to do - that is far more than I can say about your question.

MR. E. BYRNE: We will see about that.

MR. TULK: I would ask the Speaker to rule for us, if not today, at some point in time, whether indeed that was a legitimate motion to put before this House today, Mr. Speaker. I would ask you to rule on that motion that was put by a person who would like to say: Parliament exists to serve only us, the Opposition, and I am not going to abide by any rules that are in this House or any rules that are in our Standing Orders or any rules that are anywhere else!

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The Chair will review what the hon. member has said and report later.

It is now 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday -

MR. H. HODDER: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: On a point of order, the hon. the Opposition House Leader.

MR. H. HODDER: Mr. Speaker, relative to oral Question Period today, we view in Beauchesne, Paragraph 408 (1): "Such questions should: (a) be asked only in respect of matters of sufficient urgency and importance as to require an immediate answer." We view the questions that we have asked today fall into that particular category. While we respect your decision, Mr. Speaker, and the rules that have been applied, we, on this side of the House, have great regret as to what has happened in this House today. Question Period has been stifled, debate has been shut off and we, on this side of this House, while we will maintain one member in the House today we are leaving this Chamber in protest.

AN HON. MEMBER: It is your day. It is your Private Members' Day.

MR. SPEAKER: There is no point of order.

Order, please!

 

Orders of the Day

 

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

We are now into Orders of the Day, and today being Private Members' Day, we now move to the resolution by the hon. the Member for Bonavista South.

MR. FITZGERALD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I rise today to speak on behalf of the Agricultural Association and the farmers, not only in the District of Bonavista South, Mr. Speaker but right across this Province. Mr. Speaker, if I can find the Orders Of The Day - Mr. Speaker, I cannot find it but the motion, the Private Members resolution is very clear, the problems being experienced by farmers and by the farming community in this Province today.

The farmers with whom I have met, mostly root crop farmers - and I compliment the Minister of Forest Resources and Agrifoods for taking time to travel to the District of Bonavista South, to hold a meeting with those people concerned just a few short weeks ago, when there was something like twenty-two or twenty-three farmers showed up at a meeting to express to the minister their concerns of what is happening with - in excess of 200,000 moose that are inhabiting this Province today.

Mr. Speaker, what we find is, this particular predator was introduced to Newfoundland back in 1878. I think one moose was brought over at the time from Nova Scotia and then, a couple of short years after a cow and bull were introduced here from New Brunswick, and the population has exploded from just two moose, Mr. Speaker, to in excess of 200,000 moose in this Province today.

When you look at the number of licences that are being issued - last year I think it was approximately somewhere between 28,000 and 30,000, we are finding that this particular species of animal is certainly increasing in numbers very rapidly and as a result as they eat their normal food supply which is wood, and I think if you check back the very name `moose', you will find it is derived from the word `wood', Mr. Speaker, that those particular animals are now going out and becoming very brave and taking part in eating the delicacy of our home-grown vegetables right here and especially in the Lethbridge area.

It was only a few short months ago that I had a call from a farmer who is situated on the Trans-Canada Highway, and for those people who do not venture as far as Lethbridge, Sparkes, Mr. Speaker, I think his home is in Shearstown and this particular individual indicated that this year alone he has had damages in excess of $28,000. In my particular area we have about ten root crop farmers, in the Lethbridge - Bonavista area, major producers in this Province, major employers employing in excess of 100 people, and we have, although not in my district but bordering on my district, five dairy farmers. Some of those farmers have sighted as many as nineteen moose at any one time out in their fields, I say to members opposite.

The way those predators eat, they do not go into a cabbage patch or turnip patch and just eat half-a-dozen turnips and move on. They go and take a nibble, and they move on to another head of cabbage or another turnip, and they could probably destroy thousands of dollars worth of crop in just one night, in just one feeding. For the most part, those particular animals come out at night, some time between dusk and dawn.

Mr. Speaker, farmers in my particular area at one time only grew the rough vegetables, I suppose, if you would, the common vegetables. They grew potatoes, they grew turnip, they grew cabbage and, for the most part, other than for their own consumption, a few carrots and a few beet; that is all that was grown. Now we find farmers in this Province are certainly expanding their opportunities. They grow vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflowers, zucchini, strawberries, raspberries, all delicacies for the moose population.

I was reading in a report that was brought forward by the Minister of Forest Resources and Agrifoods just last year in response to the Budget debate, and he indicated that farm cash receipts for 1996 are estimated to be at the $70.8 million level. That is a major contributor to our economy, employing hundreds of people.

What the farmers are asking for - the minister is suggesting some kind of crop insurance. He is saying that maybe we can tie this in with a problem that we are dealing with here with the moose population.

I believe something should be done in the meantime. I don't think that we have to wait for our federal government to bring forward a crop insurance policy in order to deal with the problem that the farmers are experiencing with moose.

I think we can do that ourselves. When we look at the $200 million that is being taken by this Province with the sale of moose licences and fish licences, when we look at in excess of $200 million being generated from this particular resource, then I think we should be responsible and allow farmers to be able to file the claim for the damage that this particular predator causes, and be reimbursed.

The answer to it is to control the problem, to not have the problem happen. If it doesn't happen then we don't have to compensate anybody. There have been some suggestions brought forward to the Minister of Forest Resources and Agrifoods where we can deal with this particular problem. One suggestion, which was tried before - but it was tried in a way that I don't think can work, because people were hesitant to allow it to work. Just a couple of years ago we tried an early hunt in the farming area. What happened was there wasn't a lot of interest shown because the hunters who would ordinarily take part in that particular hunt found themselves faced with a situation whereby if they weren't successful then they weren't allowed to hunt in the regular season.

I think this is a idea that should be pursued. I think we should allow an early hunt. I know the minister is checking into this now. It has to be done in such a way that people would be encouraged, they would be allowed, to go and hunt. If they were unsuccessful, then all you would do is allow them to go and take part in the regular hunt at the regular time. Not go and say: You have two weeks. If you don't kill your moose in those two weeks, then you aren't allowed to take part in the hunt, which in most areas lasts a couple of months.

That should be changed. I think the minister is looking at that. We don't have to go out and give any extra licences. We are talking about the same number of licences. We are talking about the same number of animals being taken. All we are doing is allowing a group of people to be able to go and hunt a little earlier before the vegetables get ripe in order to solve the problem around the periphery of their farmland. That is all we are asking to do.

Those particular animals, I am told, eat in excess of seventy pounds of feed a day.

AN HON. MEMBER: What!

MR. FITZGERALD: An average size moose will eat seventy pounds of feed a day. So, you can imagine how much crop is destroyed in farm lands where you see as many as eighteen and nineteen moose on one farm, in one field.

This is not the only area where we have this problem - right here. This problem is not unique to Newfoundland. In other provinces in Eastern Canada they have a similar problem with deer. Out West they have a similar problem with waterfowl, but that is no reason why we should not move ahead and try to solve our own problems right here. We can say -

AN HON. MEMBER: Kill all the moose.

MR. FITZGERALD: No, we are not saying kill all the moose; and if the minister would talk to some of his own constituents and make himself more familiar with what is happening in his own district, he will know full well what they want, Mr. Speaker. What they are asking for - and they have tried to solve the problem. They have gone out and have put up electric fences around certain fields. They have invested, and government have taken part in a program with them, whereby they have made use of propane canons, where the moose would come, and on certain times during the night the canon would explode and hopefully would drive the moose away, and prevent them from coming back. The animals get used to those things pretty fast. It is almost like going in the woods where people are working with their chain-saws and tractors. It is not uncommon once you are there for a while to go back and see the moose browsing around right beside you. You cut down a tree and you see a moose come up and eat the top off the tree. It is not uncommon, I say to members opposite. Anybody that goes and takes part in such activities will verify what I am saying.

Farmers have gone out and used electricity, have run electric cords into their farm lands and put radios on, all night long, played loud music, put up scare crows, all that, it does not work. It will work for a couple of days, it will work for a couple of nights, and then the same old problem returns.

Gods knows, Mr. Speaker, in this Province our farmers have enough to contend with, without contending with a problem with a species of animal that this very government themselves protect. God knows, when you look at the barren land and when you look at the weather conditions that we experience here, you will know that the farmers have enough hardship already. In fact, Mr. Speaker, a lot of people do not realize that we have a farming industry in this Province.

When you do some travelling around, Mr. Speaker, and somebody asks you what the major industries are in your district and you talk about fishing and you talk about forestry, they accept that, but when you mention farms, root crops, dairy farms, people - they do not -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. FITZGERALD: That is right. People look at you like you have two heads. It does not exist in Newfoundland. A farm is not supposed to exist here. But I tell you, there are a lot of farmers in this Province who have put a lot of hard work into developing farms and it is encouraging when you see it passed down from one generation to another.

One particular farmer in my district was, just a couple of years ago, recognized by the Atlantic Agricultural Association - was given an award.

MR. EFFORD: He is a good Liberal, too.

MR. FITZGERALD: He probably is a good Liberal. He is a good man, I do not know if he is a good Liberal. He is a good man, I can guarantee you that. And his sons have taken over the farm, Peddle's Farm in Lethbridge - and the Government House Leader knows him very well. His sons have taken over the farm, he is - well, he is supposed to be retired; he has reached the golden age of retirement, but he is still very active. Now, his grandson has started a farm there. They are getting into greenhouse farming. He is growing vegetables, set crops, set plants -

MR. TULK: (Inaudible).

MR. FITZGERALD: He has it built already.

MR. TULK: Where?

MR. FITZGERALD: Right there in Lethbridge. He has two big greenhouses out at what we call `the cut-off' there.

MR. TULK: Okay.

MR. FITZGERALD: As you leave Route 230, going out through to Bloomfield. He has two big greenhouses there, Mr. Speaker, and a lot of people go there to get their early cabbage plants, turnip plants, they go there to buy their flowers. He and his wife have a good industry going there, and I think just recently, this same farmer took over the abattoir in the area there. And I believe it will work. I believe now - not for the first time, because it has worked very well in the past, but it fell into some hard times there. We did not have the right people operating that particular facility, but I think we have the right person there now, and he is already after purchasing - reaching some kind of an agreement with government whereby he is operating the facility, and I firmly believe he will do very well there.

Mr. Speaker, the first thing somebody thinks about when you look for compensation is abuse. That is the first thing that comes to mind. When you talk about giving compensation to farmers or fishermen or some other group of people out there, the first thing somebody thinks about is abuse. The farmers will abuse it, the fishermen will abuse it. Mr. Speaker, that is not the case. That is not the case I say to members opposite. If you are going to go farming and if you have damage caused by moose, if you have damage caused by predators, Mr. Speaker, it is not hard to estimate the amount of damage that is caused. That same damaged crop will be there today and it will be there tomorrow. It does not heal. There will not be a little scab appear and two days after it is better so you can go and take it up and sell it. It is damaged as long as it is in the ground.

We have agricultural people out there who go around regularly visiting farms, helping farmers, accommodating farmers, Mr. Speaker, as much as they possibly can. Those people can very easily go and estimate the amount of damage that is caused - estimate the amount of damage, send in the claim, Mr. Speaker, and let us take some money. Let us take part of that $200 million that is being generated by this particular predator, by having some people to want to go out and hunt, take part in this particular sport. Let us take some of the revenue that is generated and give it back to the farmers, to compensate them for the damage that has been caused.

Down in Australia, they introduced - from my understanding, and I stand to be corrected, at one time there were no rabbits in Australia. So they introduced rabbits in Australia. They introduced them for sport, and then found out that they were causing - well similar to the moose, I say to the minister. They were introduced there and then they got to be a nuisance. They got to be a real problem. Well, what did the government do in Australia? Do you know what the government did in Australia? They built a fence right across the continent.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.

MR. FITZGERALD: They built a fence right across the continent of Australia and I think, Mr. Speaker, that we can control the moose that we have in this Province. I am not suggesting that we go out and build fences. I am not suggesting, Mr. Speaker, that we go out and kill off all the moose. I am not suggesting any of that. I am suggesting first and foremost that we compensate farmers for the loss that they have incurred. In doing that - the problem and the concern can be addressed both at one time - in doing that then let us look at ways and means of solving the problem. I do not think we are going to be paying compensation year-in and year-out.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

Has the hon. member been given leave?

MR. TULK: I will give him thirty seconds.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. member is speaking by leave.

MR. FITZGERALD: Okay, well I will have a chance to speak again, so I say to the minister, I will sit down and let somebody else respond.

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

MR. TULK: Mr. Speaker, I want to speak to the hon. gentleman's resolution. As a matter of fact, I want to speak in support of his resolution, but before I do that, I wish to give the following notice of motion, and I understand it is perfectly in order. It reads, Mr. Speaker: I give notice that I will on tomorrow move, pursuant to Standing Order 50, that the debate on Bill No. 48 entitled, "An Act To Amend The Shops' Closing Act No. 2", standing in the name of the hon. the Minister of Environment and Labour shall not be further adjourned and that further consideration of any resolution or resolutions, clause or clauses, section or sections, schedule or schedules, preamble or preambles, title or titles or whatever else that might be related to debate in Committee of the Whole House respecting Bill No. 48 shall be the first business of the Committee when next called by the House and shall not be further postponed.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) the hobnailed boots.

MR. DECKER: That is a good motion, though it is too bad about (inaudible). I like that motion you have on today, because they are causing problems, there is no doubt about that.

MR. TULK: Now, Mr. Speaker, I want to, if I might today - this is a resolution which the hon. gentleman knows I have had a great deal of dealings with, and my colleague, the person who has taken over the portfolio, has also had a great deal of dealings with, and in many ways has considered, and are considering, ways that we can maybe help the farmers in this Province.

Before I do that, and I think it is important, and I think it is important that it go on the record of this House, that it be shown that the hon. gentleman's colleagues - and I can hardly find the words to describe what went on here today by the hon. Opposition House Leader. It is normal that if the Speaker makes a wrong ruling, or if the Speaker in some way -

MR. FITZGERALD: Point of order, Mr. Speaker.

MR. TULK: - has any thought of being prejudicial -

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Bonavista South on a point of order.

MR. FITZGERALD: Mr. Speaker, we are discussing and we are debating a private member's resolution here today. It has nothing to do with the decision that was made by the Chair as it pertained to a motion that was put forward here in this House. Nothing to do with it whatsoever and I ask this Chair if they would call relevancy to this particular debate.

MR. TULK: Mr. Speaker, to that point of order?

MR. DECKER: (Inaudible).

MR. TULK: Oh, go ahead.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Justice and Attorney General.

AN HON. MEMBER: My colleague can barely contain himself.

MR. DECKER: Mr. Speaker, to that point of order. I find it difficult to contain myself, yes. Because what we saw here today is the highest insult that anyone can direct at a Speaker.

MR. FITZGERALD: Point of order, Mr. Speaker.

MR. DECKER: I'm on a point of order. Could you ask the hon. gentleman to sit down and shut up?

MR. SPEAKER: There is a point of order being addressed.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. SPEAKER: I will ask the member to take his seat.

MR. DECKER: Mr. Speaker, what we saw happen here today was the highest insult that can be hurled at any Speaker in the whole British Commonwealth. It was just an attempt to get into the same old shenanigans that they have been getting at for the last few days.

Now I have no problem with hon. members using the rules of this House. Every rule at their disposal, use them, but not at the expense of a gentleman. I say a gentleman, with respect, Mr. Speaker, because he is probably one of the best gentlemen we ever had in that Chair in a good many years. His rulings have been always impartial. At no time has he shown any favouritism. If you go through His Honour's rulings you will find he has called this side of the House to order many more times than he has called the other side of the House. Not a fairer, more hon. person ever filled that Chair, and to see that insult thrown at a man on the very eve of the Speaker's annual Christmas party.

Can you think of a more disgusting time to do it?

MR. TULK: And the rule is clear.

MR. DECKER: The rule is absolutely clear. Even if they were right, there probably could be some basis for doing what they did. Even if they were right, I submit, they would have to reconsider it, especially on the eve of the Speaker's Christmas party, in this season of the year, to throw such a slur, such an insult, at a gentleman who has served the people of this Province and this House faithfully for all of the years he has been Speaker, as well as the years that he has been in Opposition.

There is no point of order, what the hon. gentleman is talking about. It is too bad he didn't leave the House too.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The Speaker allowed a member on each side to thoroughly present a case. I would just remind the hon. Government House Leader that it is Private Member's Day.

The hon. the Government House Leader.

MR. TULK: Mr. Speaker, let me say to the hon. gentleman that the farmers in this Province need every bit of support they can get, and they need his colleagues to be sitting in their seats when this motion is being debated -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. TULK: - rather than leaving the hon. gentleman like the last great auk on the Funk Islands sitting over there trying to defend his constituents, trying to defend the farmers in this Province.

Mr. Speaker, that gentleman has the good will of the farmers of this Province at heart.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. TULK: I would not make any other point than that.

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to standing up in this House - I have said to him a good many times - for the common person, he reminds me of my old mentor, Steve Neary. I can say to him that when I put that out of my mouth, there are not too many people I would use that for; but to see him deserted today...

Here comes one other gentleman. Thank God there is one other gentleman coming in to - no, no, he is just coming in to tell him to leave. He is probably telling him to leave, to withdraw the bit of support that the farmers in this Province have.

Mr. Speaker, it is shameful to see people make so light of such a subject as the hon. gentleman has raised in his Private Member's Resolution. One would assume it would be their Private Member's Resolution, but the facts are clear. They speak for themselves. The people in the P.C. caucus, in the Opposition caucus today, will not be here to vote as a body in support of this resolution, and all because they were subject to the rules of this House that the Speaker of this House interpreted - and he did not interpret it; it is as clear as the nose on your face - that the hon. gentleman was out of order.

It is also clear that it was a planned attack to cut the legs out from under the hon. gentleman, to cut the legs out from under the farmers in this Province, to make sure that the support that the farmers of this Province need from the hon. gentleman's colleagues was not forthcoming. It was planned from the start of Question Period.

AN HON. MEMBER: A mockery.

MR. TULK: A mockery of Parliament, a mockery of this House.

AN HON. MEMBER: Contemptible.

MR. TULK: I cannot use the word `contemptible' and I will not use it. I will not use it. I will not use a word in this House that I know to be unparliamentary. I have too much respect for the place, and I have too much respect for the hon. gentleman, too much respect for the farmers in this Province who are today - and he is right; they are in need of support. They are in need of support from his colleagues. They certainly deserve what the hon. gentleman is asking for, and that is all he is asking for. He is only asking this House and this government to consider - to consider - the plight of the farmers in this Province and if possible, do something for them.

Mr. Speaker, I want to give the hon. gentleman a clear understanding, on behalf of the government of this Province today, that we will consider the plight of the farmers in this Province; and if it is within our means, and if we can find the mechanisms to do it, can find a way around to do it, we will help them in as far as it is within our means and as far as is possible - not like his colleagues who threw a fit of pique.

AN HON. MEMBER: Abandoned him.

MR. TULK: Abandoned him, left him high and dry on the rocks, just the same as a boat gone ashore down off Cape Bonavista, high and dry. Poor old Cabot, Mr. Speaker, found his way to Bonavista and the people of Bonavista are so proud of him, they are building a replica to show that he came there.

The PC caucus could not find their way to support the farmers in Bonavista South. They went ashore on the rocks, they hit the rocks, they left the hon. gentleman high and dry and said: Let him drown. If he washes off, so what? Only another member, says the Opposition House Leader, who cares? Who cares about the hon. gentleman, who cares about the farmers? Well, you know, I do not want the Shops' Closing Act to pass. The Shops' Closing Act cannot pass, even though the government says... It is unpopular, he says, it is unpopular for it to pass, and we are going to see that it does not pass. We will do everything we can; we will upset Parliament; we will roll 'er bottom up -

MR. DECKER: Take the House on our back.

MR. TULK: - take the House on our back, put her ashore; the heck with the farmers. But the hon. gentleman is over there trying to defend and help (inaudible). You should be ashamed of him. And when he stands up - and I am going to invite him now, Mr. Speaker -we have another member over here who wants to speak, wants to get on the record, as he should, and after that, I am going to ask him to stand and close the debate. I am going to ask him to stand and ask his colleagues who are not in this House to support him, when every member on this side is going to support him, Mr. Speaker -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. TULK: He has convinced us. Now, can he get his own crowd back in to vote for this? Or is he going to put up with the likes of what the Opposition House Leader just got on with: We will leave one member. We will leave one member; we will go out and be sooky because the rules of the House cannot be bent to suit our purposes, we will go out and act like children. If we do not get our own way, we take our marbles and go home. If you do not play the game our way, if we cannot win the game, then we are going to take our marbles and go home.

Mr. Speaker, I ask the hon. gentleman, when he stands in his place today, to say: Get into this House, colleagues - never mind Harvey up hiding away in the room, get down here. I want you to come down and support the farmers in this Province, to put your names on the record in Division because the hon. gentleman might as well make up his mind that there is going to be Division. We are going to see where they stand; we are going to see if their own sookiness is more important to them than the farmers of this Province. We will know and we will see how much backbone the hon. gentleman has. We will see if the hon. gentleman deserves the name that I stuck on him. We will see if the hon. gentleman will go out and disown the band that just left there when they do not come in and vote for his resolution.

AN HON. MEMBER: His time is up, Mr. Speaker.

MR. TULK: Yes, Mr. Speaker, and I say to the hon. gentleman that unless he can get control of that crowd over there, their time is up, his time is up.

Mr. Speaker, I want to say to the hon. gentleman, and I want to say it in all sincerity: I appreciate the resolution he has put forward; I appreciate it sincerely, but I also say to the hon. gentleman that if you do not, this afternoon, when we put the vote in this Legislature, demand that this crew come back in here and vote and support your resolution, as we are going to do, if you do not demand that, then your support for this resolution will be somewhat in doubt. Your support - either that or you have to go outside and say they abandoned you, one thing or the other, that because of some childish fit of pique or whatever it is, whatever you want to call it, you can call it anything -

AN HON. MEMBER: A tantrum.

MR. TULK: A tantrum, you can call it a tantrum, you call it a fit of pique, you can call it what you like, but the truth of the matter is, that the hon. gentleman's people have deserted him unless they come in and vote for this resolution. They should come in and speak to it and they should sit in their seats.

Mr. Speaker, I think there are a couple of other people who want to speak in support of this and I suppose - are they going to come in one at a time and speak, or what? Since the hon. gentleman (inaudible) to come in, I invite my friend from Harbour Main - Whitbourne to stand and say a few words.

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

MR. WHELAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I thank the hon. the Government House Leader for inviting me to participate in the debate.

AN HON. MEMBER: And giving you ample notice.

MR. WHELAN: And giving me ample notice, yes. I am delighted to be able to support this resolution, Mr. Speaker. The Member for Bonavista South has done an admirable job in promoting his resolution and defending it. Certainly, he had a good cause to promote. I am disappointed that the Opposition members saw fit to walk out on this particular resolution, because I have quite an interest in this particular industry, and I am disappointed they decided to walk out and decided not to support the motion of the Member for Bonavista South.

The moose population was introduced in Newfoundland back in, I believe, 1904. It was quite a while before that that we had farmers here in Newfoundland. They date back to the 1600s. I would say that if anybody has seniority in this Province it would be the farmers and the farming industry in Newfoundland. The government, over the past number of years, have tried a number of different things to alleviate the problem. They have brought in an insurance program. I believe most people, probably the government included, will feel that is inadequate. The farmers themselves have tried every trick in the book, as mentioned by the previous speaker, the hon. the Member for Bonavista South.

The moose is a very adaptable animal. There are approximately 200,000 animals in the Province right now. Here on the Avalon Peninsula, where we have a population of 250,000 or so people, we have a moose population of at least 12,000. In a relatively small geographical area with a large number of people, that gives rise, in many cases, to a very dangerous situation with regard to public safety. It runs into hundreds of thousands of dollars annually in crop damages.

There are a number of different sides to this particular problem. The farming industry is one, and a very big one, one that certainly captures my interest. There is another side as well, and that is the side of the general public. There is a number of accidents every year, people maimed, people killed. There is a tremendous cost to the insurance industry that we all have to pay for. There is a tremendous cost to the health industry, and we all know who pays for that as well.

Probably what is even more important is the fact that moose accidents which cause death and injury - many young people, old people alike have been paralysed as a result of it. The tragedy, the devastation that is brought into people's lives cannot be measured in dollars and cents. All the moose in the world cannot compensate an individual for the loss of a loved one. There are some friends of mine today - I know they are up in the hospital right now - their son has been unconscious this past two months and their life has been turned upside down. They do not know if he will ever walk again or indeed, if he will live.

The number of animals I would say would warrant a rather drastic move on the part of government. I know the government has taken certain steps, and I know they are good first steps, but I think we should be vigilant. We should always be conscious of the fact that this problem has to be dealt with, and dealt with in a very swift and sure fashion.

I encourage the government of the day - and I know they are as interested and concerned about this as I am, and the man who introduced this resolution - to be vigilant in their efforts, and I encourage them not to stop until this particular problem and the danger of the moose population that we find ourselves with today has been taken care of. With that, Mr. Speaker, I will sit down.

Thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER (Oldford): The hon. the Minister of Justice.

MR. DECKER: Mr. Speaker, before getting into my few brief remarks I want to congratulate the hon. the Member for Bonavista South for bringing forth this motion today. It is a good motion which clearly shows a lot of concern for the farmers in this Province, and I would certainly commend the hon. member for bringing it forward.

I also comment the member for the way that his motion is written. It is obvious that he put a lot of time into this, he obviously thought it out, and he recognizes that the moose is an animal which provides a lot of food for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. It provides a lot of sport for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who hunt. With the outfitters, the hunters that we bring into the Province turn a substantial amount of money. I believe the outfitting industry provides something like $20 million to this Province. The hon. member recognizes that, but yet he realizes that there is a problem. There is a problem for the farmer.

I have spent a lot of time out in the hon. member's own district, and I am familiar with the Lethbridge area, I am familiar with the farming out there in that area and what a contribution it is making to the Province, Mr. Speaker. I am familiar with the contribution that farming has made to this Province over the years. You know, before Confederation, Mr. Speaker, we were one of the largest sheep producers in the world - Newfoundland: one of the largest sheep producers in the world. We were self-sufficient in most of our potato, turnip, and carrot crops before Confederation.

So, farming is an industry which is quite possible in this Province, an industry which will make a great contribution in the future. We have a lot of faith in farming. Many people have said to me when we talk about the failure of the inshore fishery - we talk about not knowing what is going to happen to the fishery. I have had many people say to me, `You know, we should be encouraging some of our fishermen to take up farming.' A lot of our fishermen are food producers; they are used to handling food. And farming, although it is a different kind of industry, yet it is the production of food, and a lot of our fishermen did have to do a lot of farming for their own use - gardening, I think you would call it, Mr. Speaker. So, there is a little bit of interest there on the part of the fisherman. So, it is an area that could be developed.

We have acres and acres of good farmland out in the Codroy Valley which is not being farmed. So, the whole concept of farming is one, Mr. Speaker, that we should consider. It is one that deserves debate, and I would like for today - this has been an opportunity for members on both sides of the House to get up and talk about this problem, but also tie it into the whole concept of farming in general.

I believe the hon. member, when he researched this motion, this resolution, I believe he thought that it would provide for this House an opportunity for us to make a contribution to farming, but when he started to do his research into farming, he saw this problem, the problem that the moose are causing to the farmers. So, he decided that he would bring that problem to the attention of the House of Assembly and to the attention of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.

Now, that is part of the role of being an Opposition member, to find an issue which is not being adequately addressed, bring it to the attention of the House of Assembly; hopefully, the media would pick it up and it would attract the attention of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians all over Labrador and all over Newfoundland. That was his intent.

I have been there, I know what it is like to be in Opposition, and I can venture to say that the hon. member went out in his district in Bonavista South, where there are some good farmers and he would have gone and talked to some farmers and they would have told him how their cabbage patch, their big acreage of cabbage would be crowded by moose which would destroy the cabbage.

I can see the strawberry farmers bringing to his attention the damage that moose would do to their strawberries. I can see the potato farmers telling this hon. gentleman that the moose do damage, and I know what he would have said to them. He would have said: Yes, you have a problem, but you know what I am going to do? I am going to go back to my colleagues in the House of Assembly. I am going to go to Harvey Hodder, the House Leader, to Loyola Sullivan, Jack Byrne, Ed Byrne and John Ottenheimer, all of those people who are so sensitive to the needs of any Newfoundlander and Labradorian who in any way has a problem. I am going to go to my colleagues and I am going to raise this issue and I am going to get permission from them to put that on the Order Paper as a private member's motion; that is what I am going to do. I know that is what he said to his farmers out there, and they are listening today. They are following this. They are following his course, because they know that he was acting in their interest.

So he goes to Harvey Hodder and gets permission to put this motion on the Order Paper. Now, it is not an easy thing to get an issue on the Order Paper of this House of Assembly. In government we have four days a week when we can bring forward the business of the government, but when a private member has something to bring forward, he has to fight with the other forty-seven members of this House for the privilege of putting an issue on the Order Paper.

This member went through, did all of the right things, researched this topic, discussed it with his colleagues in Opposition, and what happens? The big day arrives. This is the day that hon. member has been looking for, for the past number of months. This is a burning issue. This is probably one of the issues that forced him to get into politics in the first place. He saw this burning issue, and he got involved in politics so he could do something about it.

How often, when people see a problem, they say, `Oh, I wish there were something I could do about it,' but they never do anything. This hon. member said, `I am going to do something about it.' So he went out and got a nomination for his party. He went out and fought an election and got elected, and came in here with that burning issue, and today is finally, finally, after all that he put into it, after all of his fighting, after all of his arguing with his colleagues, getting it placed on the Order Paper, he reaches the stage where, here it is, December 17, 1997, the day that he has waited for in anticipation ever since he was an elected member, and he brings it before the people of the Province, before the House of Assembly. He stands up to give his motion, and what does he see behind him? A row of empty seats; not a bit of support for this motion which is so important to the member and so important to the farmers of the Province.

I hope, Mr. Speaker, that a copy of Hansard will be sent to every farmer in this Province, and every son and daughter of a farmer, so that they will know who is standing up for the farmers of Newfoundland and Labrador today. Who is standing up for farmers in this Province? Is it Loyola Sullivan?

AN HON. MEMBER: No.

MR. DECKER: Is it Harvey Hodder?

AN HON. MEMBER: No.

MR. DECKER: Is it Jack Byrne?

AN HON. MEMBER: No.

MR. DECKER: Is it John Efford?

MR. EFFORD: Yes.

MR. DECKER: Is it Joan Marie Aylward?

AN HON. MEMBER: Yes.

MR. DECKER: Is it Kevin Aylward?

AN HON. MEMBER: No.

MR. DECKER: We are standing up for the farmers.

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

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Member for Bonavista South, on a point of order.

MR. FITZGERALD: Mr. Speaker, I do not think it is correct for an hon. member to rise to his feet here and take part in debate and mention members' names in the course of debate.

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

MR. DECKER: The hon. member is rightfully embarrassed, and I can see he is trying his best to get anyone to stop this debate. I know he is trying, and I probably would do the same thing. I sympathize with him; however, I have to point out that it is not a point of order. When you are addressing members, you cannot address them by their name, but you can certainly refer to them by name.

I understand his embarrassment. I really sympathize with him, but it is not a point of order.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

There is no point of order.

The hon. the Minister of Justice.

MR. DECKER: Mr. Speaker, the hon. member does his research. He goes out and comes forward with the motion. His big day arrives, and who stands up for the farmers? I named some people, not the Progressive Conservative Party, not even the NDP. I would have thought that the NDP, who took no part in this charade, would at least have had the decency to stay and stand up for farmers in this Province. No.

Who stands up for the farmers? It is the same party who stands up for the rest of Newfoundland and Labrador, the same party who stands up for people who have to have an income support program, the same party who stands up for the downtrodden in society, the same party who stands up for the fisherman and the logger and the miner, and every single Newfoundlander and Labradorian.

So let the message go out from this House today that a Tory member, who had some Liberal leanings, brought forward a motion which he, to the best of his knowledge, would provide something that would make life a little better for a particular sector of this Province. He brings it into the House and the motion will be put soon, Mr. Speaker, after we have all had an opportunity to speak on it but what will Hansard show? Hansard will show that there is not one iota of support on the other side of this House but on this side of the House, Mr. Speaker, I believe you will find that there is unanimous support.

I thank the hon. member for bringing that motion forward and I certainly sympathize and emphasize with him for having to stand alone. All the support of his party members is gone. They failed him! They failed him, Mr. Speaker, in his hour of need but I tell him, with the greatest of respect that we on this side of the House will not see him go down, Mr. Speaker, we will stand to his back in the best interest of the farmers of this Province! Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. WOODFORD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I would like to say from the outset that this resolution is a timely one, especially at this time of year. We just passed an important time of year for farmers in this Province, especially the root crop farmers in the Province. A lot of people around the Province, when you talk to them about root crops they don't know - one old fellow said to me one time at Flowers Point, he don't know if it is fit to eat.

There were a lot of people over the years, Mr. Speaker, in this Province and the Minister of Justice just alluded to some of it - the attention being paid to agriculture in the past has missed some of the most important facts when it comes to agriculture in the Province. As far as I am concerned, this is an industry that could be triple the size that it is today. Triple the size today in agriculture in the Province means too - I think in farm cash receipts, I believe the member got it quoted in his resolution - somewhere around $71 million. I think it is much more than that. I have always argued with the farm cash receipts and so on, the gate receipts from farms in the Province and I always said that it was downgraded and minimized and never put in at its maximum. There is a lot missed when you talk about farm cash receipts in the Province. The total capital value and so on, as far as I'm concerned is also minimized, Mr. Speaker. However, that is probably a topic for another day, debating whether the figures are right or not but the topic itself with regards to moose problems that farmers are having around this Province, Mr. Speaker, is a very important one. I don't know if people realize it or not.

I would like to say to the member that in his second, `WHEREAS moose in this province...' I think that we should also include moose and caribou because in my area of the Province, Mr. Speaker, in the last three years it is just as bad or worse - it is worse than what it was when we used to have just a moose problem. I am well aware, Mr. Speaker, of what it can do to an industry and what it can do to a certain commodity group.

When I say that, we have one of the best pastures on the island in the Cormack area. It is a completely fenced pasture that covers the whole region. It takes animals from the whole region of Western Newfoundland, Bay of Islands and even down the coast as far as Cow Head and Parsons Pond area. They take in cattle; they take in beef cattle, dry dairy cows, lambs and sheep. Over the years - and this is a fenced pasture, I mean a wooden fence. It is completely fenced. It is not like in areas where - hon. members talked about - you have such big root crop areas in areas down his way. We have a fellow by the name of Melvin Rideout up our way who is a big root crop farmer. In the hon. Member for Port de Grave's area, very big cash crop, root crop farmers. When there is no fence you can understand it, they come in and they destroy. You say a lot of people have said to me, `Well why don't they fence it?' How can you fence and make money when it is marginal, at best, and make money to fence off probably 100 acres or 150 acres of land? Now anybody who understands it, Mr. Speaker, it can't be done. It can be done, yes, but it would want - this is a fence that is five to six feet high -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WOODFORD: No, no, I'm talking about the pasture one.

Five to six feet high and caribou today just walked right on through it. They just come in, they don't - what happens with caribou is not like a moose. A moose will come in, one, two, three or four of them and that's okay, they will take their time and they will lean over the fence or they will knock a rail off or something like that and eat in between. A caribou, once they start and they are panicked, they just go right on through. Once it is broken down that is it, they go on.

It is a real problem. I can understand the problem you have in your area. I had it with moose up until a few years ago. Now the moose are not the problem, it is the caribou. People would think: They will go in and they will take a head of cabbage and they will eat it. They won't. They will go from head to head, and the economic values and the loss of that - I think the hon. Member for Harbour Main - Whitbourne mentioned it to me the other day. A head of cabbage, roughly around three pounds, you are talking $0.40 a pound, you are talking $1.20 a head. One gentleman out in the area of the Province (inaudible) this year, this fall, lost 68,000 heads of cabbage alone. I'm not kidding, I'm serious.

Mr. Speaker, the other thing too, we just talk about root crops. We talk about root crops in the form of cabbage especially, and turnips and so on. What about forage? I had an agricultural person in the Province tell me the other day: That has no affect on forage; there is no affect on pasture. This is an individual who is into the business. He is supposed to be out helping farmers. Not knowing. I mean, new seedlings, especially when it pertains to pasture, highland, forage production, and so on, that is the thing that is most susceptible to damage.

When you get 200 and 300 caribou trampling over an acreage that you had just spent thousands of dollars - and I mean literally thousands of dollars. If people don't think that it costs money to clear land they have another think coming. In this Province people will always say: Oh, you have a farm. They say: Do you have Crown land or what? Did the government give you a farm? They didn't. If they gave you Crown land they gave you a forest, out of which you had to cultivate and make a farm. You had to cut the trees, you had to get the tractor and bull off the land, you had to rake the rocks, you had to lime it, you had to seed it, you had to fertilize it. You had to do all those things and then wait a year before you can get a crop.

That goes for root crop or forage production. I know of four individuals in my area this year that put down a total of 377 acres of land, put down new seedlings, new production, new cultivation, and it is destroyed completely. One man looked out on his field one day and there were 170 caribou on the field. Can you imagine when that is finished the tracks, the hoof prints, and everything that has gone through that particular section of land? It is just completely destroyed. He has to go out and spend thousands of dollars now to put it back into production. Just for the cost of the seed alone it is just unreal.

One of the representations that was made by one of the agricultural people said: Okay, we will give you some licences. We will get permission from wildlife and we will issue a few licences in the fall of the year. When do you kill caribou and when do you kill moose? You kill them in the fall of the year. When do you sow land? You sow no later than September 15 because you will have poor germination, it will die, it is lost anyway if you do get it in. When you do get it in you are hoping to get it in enough so the seed will germinate, take on enough strength, so that the spring of the year then it will start to go. When do they do the damage? In the spring of the year when the land is soft, when the soil is soft, when the frost is starting to come out, and so on.

This is a real problem. The moose (inaudible) issue licence. I think there was one gentleman, I don't know if it is in the Bonavista area or not, this year killed twenty-seven or twenty-eight moose.

MR. FITZGERALD: (Inaudible) been nineteen spotted at one time.

MR. WOODFORD: Nineteen at one time. I mean, it is a free meal, and it is good easy pickings. They don't have to walk through the woods and pick off a fir or pick off a spruce or go through a brush pile. All they have to do is come out and nibble, nibble, nibble, destroy it just like that.

The profits from some of those root crop operations are marginal at best, especially if a gentleman or the farmer hasn't any cellar or any avenue or any infrastructure available to keep his product over winter. He is depending on that resource and depending on that product to bring money in right away in the fall of the year; he is not looking at say $1,000 a month over the winter and so on to carry him back in the spring. They want that cash crop in the fall of the year so they can pay for the fertilizer and pay for the limestone and pay for their capital investments and so on; fuel, labour, everything.

There are other people who depend on it and the other thing now, Mr. Speaker, that people in the Province - I remember sitting in the House about seven or eight years ago. I guess, when the question was asked by the Member for Port au Port at the time to the minister responsible for agriculture, is he doing anything about the coyote problem in the Province, there was a real laugh about it, and rightly so at that time, when we all made a sort of a joke about it after but, Mr. Speaker, I tell you today, there is no joke today, Mr. Speaker, thirty-eight lambs were slaughtered on the Cormack pasture this summer, slaughtered by coyotes.

Now you tell that to some people in the Province who will say: Gee whiz, what is happening to them? Coyotes in Newfoundland, Mr. Speaker? Well, there are, and you have a job to get a coyote. Mr. Speaker, anybody who is familiar with tracking down or snaring a coyote, I will tell you, you have your hands full because it is almost impossible. They tell you in the business that it would almost take an average of seventy-one lambs, live bait, to catch one coyote. That has been proven in Nova Scotia because the only way you can get them is with live bait. You cannot put poison out because the other animals will die as well; they are very hard and they go for the lambs, they sort of keep away from the cattle, the larger - but they will take calves. They tried infrared, they tried to shoot them in the nighttime, they are a very cunning animal, Mr. Speaker, and they tried all summer but could not get one but they crucified and slaughtered thirty-eight young lambs on the Cormack pasture this fall.

So, look at the type of things you are up against. You have the moose out there, we cannot get a licence, you have people out there crying for a licence and we said there is none but there are all kinds. I know that the caribou in my area, the Hampden downs - I skidooed on the Hampden downs for years and I remember going in for three and four days at a time, Mr. Speaker, on the Hampden downs and seeing probably ten or fifteen caribou. Today, Mr. Speaker, I can take you in there any time and show you 200 or 300 at a time. I can take you up in Cormack on any street in the community of Cormack now, or in the summer time and show you a caribou on people's property. They are literally out around the community and we have issued this year, about thirty-five or forty licences.

They are rampant and I have no doubt about it, something has to be done in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Wildlife to do something about this problem. We will not be able to throw money at this and money only; something has to be done about the moose population and the caribou population around those communities where people depend on the farming community for a livelihood. We have very little land in this Province, Mr. Speaker, that is suitable for agriculture.

We have approximately only 2 per cent of the land total in this Province that is suitable for agriculture, and when you look at Atlantic Canada, Mr. Speaker, when you are talking about the land-base and when you look at that approximately the total land area not including Labrador and Atlantic Canada of sixty million acres, out of which eleven of this, some 6,600,000 acres consist of soil which is suitable for agriculture, it occurs mainly in three or four -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WOODFORD: No, that is in Atlantic Canada but we only have a very small percentage used in Newfoundland and it is concentrated in the hon. minister's area, one of the best areas in the Province, along the Port au Port Peninsula there is some great agricultural land; the Cormack, Humber Valley area. There are some great arable lands but there is very little of it, clear, put down because it is very expensive to do it as well. But it goes to show the very small amount of agricultural land that is available in the Province.

Yet when people are trying to take part in this industry and trying to make a living and livelihood out of it, there are so many impediments. Bad enough to get in production - and there is nothing as bad, Mr. Speaker, then spending weeks and months getting a piece of land ready and then all of a sudden you look out through the window and it is gone in the matter of twenty or thirty minutes. That is what it means.

You look on television and you say there is a hurricane down in Cuba or off the Coast of Florida or off the Coast of California and you look in Alberta the other day, a brush fire, ten kilometres wide and it destroyed this and destroyed that, we have the same thing happening only it is in another way. When you look out through your window and you see 150 to 200 animals tramping over a piece of ground - just imagine if you had it on your lawn, now a lot of people would like to have it on their lawn in the summer time so they wouldn't have to mow it, but in a lot of cases if it was a newly seeded lawn, I tell you, you would be in trouble.

So, I say to the member the only thing I would like to see caribou included there, although I don't think it is going to make any difference because we are dealing with a problem of moose it is only natural to assume that the people that are dealing with it -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.

MR. WOODFORD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Just about thirty seconds to clue up.

I would like to say to the minister, and I have said it before to people in the department, take another look at the insurance part of that, the livestock insurance policies with regards to agriculture in the Province and we have done that, some of that was addressed last year on some initiatives that have been taken, but it is hard to control, I know that and it is hard to get money from each department to put into it. The other thing about it is that it has to be brought to the attention of the people involved. If it is not brought to the attention of the people who can make those decisions and put the dollars in the right place and strategically place those dollars; well then, I guess it is the fault of us. If I have a problem as an MHA getting through to a certain department or a certain individual in government or outside, just imagine what kind of a problem an ordinary person has on the street.

So, this is why I think that it is incumbent on all of us when we are sitting around and discussing those things that we be heard. Yes, and I say to the member that as far as I am concerned his members should have given him some support. It is a good resolution. The other thing about it today, the important thing - if the hon. member had to walk out, he is going to take it on the chin, some of them are going to say, oh yeah, you should have came with us, you let us down, but you did not let them down, they let you down.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. WOODFORD: They let you down because, and I echo the comments made by the House Leader, Mr. Speaker, and you deserve those words as far as I am concerned, you brought the initial legislation in with regards to the food banks and so on -

MR. TULK: And we passed the bill.

MR. WOODFORD: And we passed the bill.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. FITZGERALD: (Inaudible) you wouldn't pass the bill.

MR. TULK: Never done in twenty years that I was here, an Opposition member got the government to put a bill and we did it because we believed in what you said.

MR. FITZGERALD: The former House Leader wouldn't do that.

MR. TULK: Never mind the former House Leader, this government (inaudible).

MR. WOODFORD: But one of the things, and the hon. member knows this full well what I am going to say now, is that over the years, and you can say what you like, whether on that side of the House or this side of the House and wherever you see it, that farming and agriculture in this Province is an unknown commodity.

MR. TULK: Right on.

MR. WOODFORD: And I don't care what you are into, whether you are into dairy, root crop, beef cattle, broiler production or poultry production, and we even had people around the Province that do not know the difference, a broiler from a poultry, they all laugh. But Mr. Speaker, I am telling you I have spent twenty-seven years in this industry -

MR. TULK: That is the reason this government last year, and the minister is now putting it out, some $375,000 into a public awareness program.

MR. WOODFORD: I mean I don't think we should - and I have said even when I was sitting in the Opposition - members today especially the member for -

AN HON. MEMBER: I know just what you are going to say.

MR. WOODFORD: I brought it up time and time again. I went to talk to individual members and I must say when you bring it to their attention, something to their attention on the subject they listen, but we have a lot more to do and I say to the hon. member that the resolution is a good one, and it is something that is going to have to be brought to attention more in the House. I am sure that the minister, in his new capacity here as minister, will take our advice - your advice, my advice, anyone who must bring it to his attention on this matter or any other matter that comes to the attention of the minister - and I am sure he will act upon it.

I say to the member that whether it is in private or in public, you should give him - I will not say it, Mr. Speaker.

Anyway, thank you for your time, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. GRIMES: Mr. Speaker, I would like to follow on from what my hon. colleague, the farmer from Cormack, just contributed, and our Member for Humber Valley. I am always impressed when he speaks with respect to agricultural issues because he has been a dedicated member in the House of Assembly. Every chance he has gotten, he has addressed these issues in this Chamber.

When we saw in our caucus, and when notice was given some time ago by the private member - the only remaining member in Opposition in the Chamber today... I would make a few comments about it, Mr. Speaker, but I do not really want to talk about it. I am so sick and saddened by that, I can hardly talk about it. In fact, when we got notice, when notice was given that this motion was to be coming forth on the Order Paper in the name of the hon. Member for Bonavista South, the first meeting that caucus had after that, the Member for Humber Valley said, `I want an opportunity to speak to that motion'.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. GRIMES: Not only that; in asking for the opportunity to speak to the motion in our caucus, he spent about twenty minutes in our caucus telling us why it was important to speak to it, much as he did here today.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. GRIMES: I commend him for it, and I commend the member for bringing forward the issue for discussion.

Mr. Speaker, most people do not think I know much about many things. I certainly agree with them. I do not know much about farming; I do not know much about cabbage; I do not know much about moose; I do not know much about turnips, but I love them all, eat them all every chance I get. I do not hunt the moose, but I love it. After someone has him down and out, paunched, brought home, signed, sealed and delivered, I will cook it, provide all the rest, invite you in, and we will all have a great feed; and I hope that the crops are there to go along with it and not destroyed by the moose before we kill him.

I am not a brutal man, and all that kind of stuff. I hate the sight of blood, except on the floor of this Chamber in a good debate. There is nothing wrong with that. That never hurt anybody. A bruised ego in a good debate never hurt a single soul yet. Even in hockey, sure, a smack in the mouth is only a bit of blood and maybe a tooth loose or something, a cut lip and a few stitches. The only thing hurt, really, is your pride. You are all over it in a few days, nothing to it. We are all over it. We are big boys and girls in here. I thought we were, but last night - it has carried over today to the point that members opposite have abandoned this poor, dedicated, single soul. They have absolutely deserted him. And the only thing I could think of, because I was so distressed about it last night, there is a contagious disease on that side of the House. We heard some complaints about it a couple of nights ago.

Now there might have been some justification. Someone got a bit cold, I understand, and whatever it is, it sunk right into the insides of their bodies, got under their skins, right into the bones, and they have been sick ever since. There is some kind of disease over there, because last night we witnessed it, and because of it, because of this disease playing itself out in the Legislature, this member, with a fabulous motion that deserves the attention it is getting, and support from everybody, is left abandoned.

Last night - and I think the public should be reminded of this because there was a late debate and so on; most people were tucked away in their beds, having grand dreams and everything else - we were here slaving over the business of the Province, dedicated to the cause, what we went out and got elected to do, doing what we got elected to do.

The members opposite again, like today, did not like the way the debate and the vote was going on certain issues. So, of course, the rules allow them, if they disagree, to have the votes called and, for purposes of the record of Hansard, to have a Division called so that the names would actually be read as to who voted `yea' and who voted `nay'.

There is a procedure in the rules to make sure that those who want to make sure their name is recorded, you can call a Division, have the bells ring for up to ten minutes so if there is somebody who is not in their seat at the moment they have ten minutes to get in and record their name. Well, the disease started last night, Mr. Speaker. All ten of the Progressive Conservative members opposite last night, on six, seven, or eight occasions were seated, fastened, almost had seat belts on them, in their seats, and wanted their names recorded. They were already in the Legislature. Wanted their names recorded, so they asked for a division and a recorded vote. The bells started ringing, and we said: We are ready to vote, Mr. Speaker, we are ready to record our names. They were in their seats. Rather than vote, for ten minutes on six, seven or eight occasions when they were complaining they had no time to debate the business of the day, in the same breath, already strapped into their seats, as soon as the bells started they bolted for the doors. Rang the bells so they could have their names recorded, already in their seats, and their wonderful, sane action was to boot her for the door.

MR. FITZGERALD: Point of order, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER (Penney): The hon. the Member for Bonavista South on a point of order.

MR. FITZGERALD: Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Education stands here many times, especially last night, asking for relevancy to a debate. He hasn't spoken six words about this particular resolution since he stood. I ask the Speaker if he would call the member to order and speak in the debate on the resolution.

MR. SPEAKER: I will ask the Minister of Education to make his comments in the debate relevant to the motion.

MR. GRIMES: Most certainly, Mr. Speaker. I appreciate the opportunity to tell the farmers in Pleasantview that this motion is going to help tremendously, and how it is that the members opposite are abandoning a man who brought the proper resolution and should be getting support.

Here we are again today. The same disease that caused them to boot her for the door first chance they got last night, today, as soon as the motion is called, where members on this side, eagerly anticipating an opportunity to participate in the debate, support the motion for all the right reasons, his colleagues, once the motion is called, stand. There are three or four words I have to use; I don't know which is the most appropriate one. I wish I had a thesaurus here so I could dig out some more.

The Opposition House Leader, in one of the most childish, babyish, sooky, silly actions I've ever seen orchestrated stands and says: We have this disease over here, Mr. Speaker, we can't be here in the House debating. We wanted to talk about something else today, but the rules of the House didn't allow it, because they didn't go about it properly. They fooled it up and didn't know how to get at it. The Speaker ruled they were out of order. They challenged the Chair. Then, because in fact they were seen to be clearly out of order, they decided, as one of my colleagues said before: take their marbles, didn't like the way the game was going, and going home out of it. Decided to go home and absolutely abandon their colleague.

So the farmers in Pleasantview and Wooddale in my district know, because they have a problem with the moose. Not with the caribou, because there are none down around there, but with the moose they have big problems. They would be delighted to see this happen.

So that they know that as soon as the debate started on a private member's day, which is in the name of the Opposition, that the Opposition members - because they wanted to talk about something else and didn't get a chance because they didn't know how to operate within the rules of the Legislature; didn't know how to do it. A totally incompetent, silly, childish, stupid Opposition House Leader; because he bungled the rules completely, didn't get to debate something else for today. He decided he is going to lead the charge. Like sheep, not like moose, like blind sheep, the other nine poor misguided souls abandoned their colleague, who is here with the right motion, with the right motives, doing the right thing, and they walked out. First chance they had again, bolted for the doors.

The people of the Province need to know it. If that is the approach that this Opposition is going to take every time it gets a little bit hot in here, every time it gets a little bit cold in here, every time it doesn't get its own way in here, what is their solution? Boot her for the door! First chance you get, get out through the door! Get outside the Chamber. They went around knocking on doors like the rest of us for three or four weeks in an election, knocking on the doors saying: I want to be your member. I want to go to St. John's so when the House of Assembly is in session I can debate matters on your behalf. I will vote for this, I will vote for that.

They promised to open seventy-five fish plants. All these kinds of things - let me get into St. John's so I can open seventy-five fish plants. Then when they get a chance to vote on something sensible, Mr. Speaker, with one of their own members, who has a record of being sensible and is probably now the front-running leadership candidate on that side -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. GRIMES: He has to be, Mr. Speaker, because how is anybody, even in the PC party, going to vote for any one of the other fools who knocked on doors saying let me go in here, Mr. Speaker, so I can represent you. Let me go in here so I can debate issues. Let me go in here so I can vote on these issues. The first chance to vote, out through the door they go. They spent a month knocking on doors saying let me go to the Legislature and the first chance they get to support a very sensible important resolution, from their own member on an Opposition Private Members' Day, their answer to him is, `Your on your own partner. We're heading for the door and as soon as we can get out there the better we like it.' I don't know where they are gone. They must be gone to a Christmas Party or something. I know it is close to Christmas and they are probably out doing their shopping.

They were elected to represent the people in this Legislature, Mr. Speaker. They abandoned their colleague. They started doing it in the wee hours of the morning a couple of nights ago. Something has set in, Mr. Speaker, and I think it is set in, right into the inner part of their bones. I hope they can shake it before we close this Legislature sometime next week, the week after or the middle of January or whenever it happens because I would ask them to come back and focus on the issues, like this important issue today and support things that need and deserve to be supported like the Private Members' Resolution, Mr. Speaker, put forward by their hon. colleague.

So I will leave with those few comments, Mr. Speaker. How saddened I am, you could not imagine. How silly I think they look, you can't imagine that either and I will find another word some time that really describes my feelings. I'm just at a loss for words as to how silly, childish, stupid, inane, sad and pathetic this really is but, Mr. Speaker, I can't wait for an opportunity to stand up and vote in support of this Private Members' Motion today because it deserves all of our support, including the nine sad sacks who bolted for the door the first chance they got. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

AN HON. MEMBER: Come on minister, tell them minister!

MR. FITZGERALD: I can't call Division can I? There has to be three of us here.

MR. TULK: Boy you won't have to worry about that, Sir, we are going to show the support that you need.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Forest Resources and Agrifoods.

MR. K. AYLWARD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I rise today and I must say that we welcome the motion put forward by the Member for Bonavista South. In the last few days, when we and the Caucus were looking at the motion, there was a lot of interest in our Caucus to debate this issue, to bring forward some thoughts, bring forward some good ideas and to discuss farming, Mr. Speaker. This resolution allows us to discuss farming in this Province and that is good to have in this House of Assembly, for us to be talking about farming. We don't do it often enough and I hope we are going to do it a lot more in the next number of months.

The speech made by the Member for Humber Valley and the Member for Harbour Main was very welcome. The Member for Humber Valley has a lot of background and I always go to him for advice when we are looking at any issue in this department. He is very wise when it comes to what we should do with farming policy, the Member for Humber Valley. So we appreciate his contribution.

I want to thank the House Leader. I got to say, I have been in the House for a long time, Mr. Speaker, a few years, a scattered one, it is probably showing but I've been here a few years and that is one of the best speeches that I have heard today on this issue, that the Minister of Development and Rural Renewal made today, I have to say. A lot of passion, Mr. Speaker, and he put it right to the House today about the impact that we can have in this House if we all participate in the debate.

So we do welcome this resolution and ask the House of Assembly to consider the options of a potential compensation program. As the member well knows, we were out in Lethbridge and had a good meeting with the farmers out there, and it is a difficult problem. All of the other jurisdictions have been trying to wrestle with it but I am advised by my officials now that we may be able to come up with a couple of new options that we will be able to bring forward, I hope in the next few weeks. So we are looking at it very carefully and I tell the member that when we had the meeting with the farmers, I must say, they work very hard and I think we have to be more aware of what farmers do in this Province.

As the House Leader earlier alluded to, there is going to be, in the spring, a major advertising awareness campaign starting for farming in this Province.

M5 ADVERTISING LIMITED has been awarded the contract to promote agricultural awareness in this Province and you are going to see some major ads, some major promotion of agriculture in the Province and, Mr. Speaker, it is going to be good, I will tell you.

We are going to see people who work in the industry highlighted, we are going to see the products that they make highlighted and we are going to see a push for `Produced Right Here'. We will be pushing to buy and produce right here, Mr. Speaker. For the first time we are going to see it and we are going to see something like the successful `Manufactured Right Here' campaign that this government initiated a number of years ago. Well, manufacturing has grown and increased; well, we are going to do the same thing in farming, Mr. Speaker.

We are going to work very hard, we had a meeting this morning actually with M5 ADVERTISING LIMITED and the Federation of Agriculture and a whole range of others who are involved in looking at the agriculture awareness campaign and they will be meeting with all the major stakeholders in January and February, and we will have a major campaign coming up then and, Mr. Speaker, it will be very positive and we think it will help drive up purchases procurement of local products for farmers in this Province.

We are also initiating a number of meetings. We have already started with the major wholesalers, Mr. Speaker. We want the major wholesalers buying Newfoundland and Labrador made products from here on in. They have been doing some of it but we are going to put a lot more pressure on the major wholesalers, Mr. Speaker, to do that. A number of meetings are lined up and we will be seeing that the pressure is put on in a positive way, because our products that we are making in this Province are excellent, and it is about time that we start bragging more about them and the awareness campaign is going to do that.

We also have, Mr. Speaker, a new web site set up in the Department of Agrifoods, a brand new web site which gives information to all the farmers in the Province, are able to get information on programs for the first time right out of their household. Mr. Speaker, they are able to turn on their computer and get all the information they need about all the programming and information they are going to need and that has been very good also, Mr. Speaker, for the schools because we have to get into the schools about farming.

We have also, Mr. Speaker, the Department of Development Rural Renewal leading the way for the Rural Committee of the Cabinet which met with a lot of the economic zones over the last few months, and farming has been highlighted, agriculture has been highlighted by the Rural Committee as a major opportunity for the future, and a number of initiatives we are planning for the next year of 1998 and will be sitting down with the minister responsible for Development and Rural Renewal to look at some new initiatives in farming, some land clearing that we hope to do; some more land clearing that we need to do in the great Codroy Valley and in a number of other areas in this Province, that Bay d'Espoir -

MR. TULK: (Inaudible).

MR. K. AYLWARD: A lot of areas, people do not even realize we do in farming, Mr. Speaker.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. K. AYLWARD: A lot of good possibilities, Mr. Speaker, so we are getting the game plan ready for some new initiatives and to get agriculture moving in a positive direction. The farmers have been working hard; the industry has been working hard.

Last week, Mr. Speaker, we highlighted the School Milk Foundations Program and Central Dairies, the Brookfield Dairies, all the processors, fifty-four of them, all over rural Newfoundland and Labrador, given among them, over a $ million to subsidize milk in this Province. Ninety-seven per cent of students in this Province are getting milk at 40 per cent of the real cost and that is really positive, Mr. Speaker, in our Province and that is because we have an organized industry when it comes to milk. So, in the other commodities, we are going to see the same thing occur and we will see some improvements coming up.

Mr. Speaker, we welcome the member's resolution. This government is a major supporter of agriculture, we are going to be a bigger supporter of agriculture in the future; we see some major opportunities coming up, we are going to push procurement with wholesalers, Mr. Speaker, and we will be having a `Produced Right Here' campaign coming up. Also, Mr. Speaker, we have met a couple of major value-added processors outside the Province, we have asked them now to come into the Province for further meetings to discuss the potential of some other facilities in the Province with our vegetable producers.

We are looking at the possibility of McCain and others, and we are asking them directly to come into this Province to look at some value added, because they are big corporations and we are saying to them, they should be in here doing some value added and we are having a very direct dialogue with them right now. So a number of things will be occurring, Mr. Speaker, and I want to thank very much, the participation of our members on this side of the House. You know, I tell you, Mr. Speaker, it was very solid here today for our caucus to be here today. We were waiting for this today because we had planned for the last few days - and you know, Mr. Speaker, it is not very often that I swing my arms. I do not get excited, a scattered time I do, but you know, I have been in Question Period - for how many weeks here now? Mr. Speaker, how long has the House been open now the last (inaudible)?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) question on agriculture.

MR. K. AYLWARD: I don't think I have had a question on agriculture. To the member's credit, he is the only member on the opposite side who has shown an interest in it, I have to tell you, and I am delighted to see it. We have to get with it. We are all working hard to try to do things, so we have to get with it.

It is unfortunate that the other members chose to leave, but this is an important issue and we welcome, like you said, the resolution. We are working on some possibilities to help further what we already do, and I welcome the contributions made by the members today.

Thank you very much.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Port au Port.

MR. SMITH: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, I had not planned to participate in today's debate, but I have been so inspired by the wonderful speeches I have heard here today from my colleagues, and I think it is very timely.

I think it is indeed unfortunate that the theme that we have heard repeated here today, noting the absence of the members of the Opposition who have decided, for their own reasons, to walk out of the House, vacate the Chamber, vacate the House that the people of the House have sent them here to sit in and to represent their interests, on what I consider to be a very timely issue.

I do want to commend the hon. member for bringing this resolution forward. I think it is an area, the area of agriculture generally, that tends to get overlooked. I find it truly amazing. I live in an area of the Province that at one time had a strong tradition in agriculture, but over the years people were attracted away from the land and they lost the skills.

On a daily basis I talk to people who are living on acres of arable land and yet say to me that they cannot find anything to do, that there are no opportunities here.

Mr. Speaker, I do not say it to be critical of these people, because I think what we are dealing with is a mind-set. People have become conditioned that really the land is not worth growing on. The only thing they can remember...

I grew up in that kind of environment. I grew up where we were self-sufficient. We raised our animals. We raised sheep and cattle and pigs, whatever. It was a family enterprise. Everyone was involved, but we were totally self-sufficient. I am amazed at the sorts of things, when I was a child growing up on the Port au Port Peninsula - we made our own butter. We had fresh cream. We always had loads of meat. We had our own vegetables. Nobody was hungry. When I hear today, constantly, and when I hear us in this House, having to talk about food banks, and having to provide for people, I think it is a real tragedy that we have allowed ourselves in this Province to reach the point where no longer are we self-sufficient but indeed we have to be dependent on other people to step in and help us out.

Mr. Speaker, we all recognize that there are times and there are circumstances over which people have no control that can bring these sorts of things about, but I think it has not been helped by the fact that we have allowed ourselves to get away from something that we did do very well. I think it is important that we get back to this, and certainly that we, as a government, are committed to promoting agriculture in this Province.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SMITH: And by supporting the resolution put forward by the hon. member today to say clearly to all of the people of this Province that we, on this side of the House, stand with the farmers of this Province. We want to work with them. We want to support them in the promotion of an industry that has tremendous potential for all of the people of this Province; but, Mr. Speaker, to do that I get back again to the idea of the mind-set.

I think one of the things that we have to do, and where it has to begin, is in the school system. We tried it in the Port au Port area, in trying to help the young people identify career opportunities. I think for years we saw it in the school system. We were teaching our young people about careers that automatically would take them outside of this Province. For years we refused to speak to our young people about careers in the fishery, and we are doing the same thing now in agriculture.

It is unfortunate that the Minister of Education is not here right now, but I think - oh, there he is, over on the other side - one of the things we need to do is, through our school system, point out to our young people that in fact - I am aware of the time - two minutes is enough for you.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SMITH: I would have been finished now if you had not interrupted me.

We need, through the school system and through the Department of Education, to get the message out to our young people that agriculture does have potential. It can provide them with an opportunity and a reason for remaining in rural Newfoundland. That is why we support any resolutions that are brought forth in support of agriculture in this Province.

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. TULK: What support you are getting here boy.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Municipal and Provincial Affairs.

MR. A. REID: No, problem, Mr. Speaker, in supporting the hon. member across the way.

I want to make a couple of quick comments though and I want to say to every member of this House of Assembly, do you go into a supermarket and look through the vegetable bin and make sure that you buy Newfoundland grown products?

AN HON. MEMBER: I always do.

MR. A. REID: I happen to be one of those that feeds himself and you can see I am doing quite a good job with it here in St. John's and I shop at Sobeys and Dominion and I guarantee you I go in and pick out the locally grown vegetables, -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. A. REID: - but I will guarantee you that there are more Newfoundlanders over buying the - I shouldn't say it I suppose - the junk that is coming from other provinces that are on the carts because they happen to be -

MR. FITZGERALD: Do you eat at the Irving restaurants?

MR. A. REID: No, I do not eat at the Irving restaurants.

MR. FITZGERALD: Now, be careful, be careful. Do you eat at the Irving restaurants?

MR. A. REID: I will give you another example. I spent last summer - and my hon. colleagues here will back me on this - I fought with Pippy Park Commission and I fought with the other golf course here, I won't name it, to buy some local juice from Sunnyland farms from Mount Pearl and I have given up on Pippy Park up there, buying anything up there because they will not do it. They are telling me the reason they won't do it is because they can buy it cheaper somewhere else. Bull, as far as I am concerned. Put an extra few dollars on my fees for my license and I will be glad to pay it.

The last comment I want to make Mr. Speaker, is this one. I was not here this afternoon when the hon. Lloyd Matthews stood in the House and talked about doing a process whereby we can do some `Made in Newfoundland' things. I say to you quite honestly, - tomorrow if you get a chance or sometime before you go home, find out how many employees work for Newfoundland Telephone Company in this Province and then ask the second question, everyone in this House ask the question, how many employees does AT&T have? I say quite honestly to you that that is a Newfoundland company, born, bred, made and employing people from my district and everyone's district in this House. Keep that in mind too, that Newfoundland Telephone is a Newfoundland company and remember when somebody asks you when you are passing through an airport, here are 5,000 points to join up with AT&T, what you are doing to the 1,100 or 1,200 employees that are in this Province.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. FITZGERALD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. FITZGERALD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I rise to close off debate on this particular resolution. It is a resolution that I certainly believe in. It was information that has been provided to me by the farmers in my district. I have visited the farms on many occasions, it is not uncommon for me to get up on a Saturday morning or a Friday morning, if I am out there, and to spend two or three hours in on the farm talking to farmers or in the wintertime into the warehouse where they are grading their vegetables or washing their vegetables to get to market.

The minister spoke of marketing, and there needs to be a lot of work done in this particular area, Mr. Speaker. When you see vegetables -

MR. DECKER: Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Justice and Attorney General on a point of order.

MR. DECKER: Mr. Speaker, I will try to be quick, and I don't want to interrupt the hon. member's speech. Look, what we have seen happen here today is very sad. I believe, in view of the importance of this issue, that I'm sure the members are out listening in the Common Room. I'm prepared to let bygones be bygones and invite them back in to vote for this motion. I would suggest that the hon. member ask his colleagues to come in. This issue is too important and means too much to the member. I believe he should invite his colleagues in to vote for this motion. I certainly would be prepared to forget what happened, allow them in to vote for farmers. It is shameful that they wouldn't do that.

MR. SPEAKER: There is no point of order.

The hon. the Member for Bonavista South.

MR. FITZGERALD: Mr. Speaker, what is happening here in this Province today is we are seeing vegetables dumped in from other provinces. They are coming in at an opportune time. I suppose at a bad time. It is an opportune time for the Province which is bringing vegetables in, but for our own farmers they are finding they can't compete with those prices. It isn't a point that our farmers are not as good as other farmers, or they can't compete in the type of work they do, it is all about where we live. It is impossible for the farmers here in this Province to compete with the root crop farmers in Prince Edward Island.

When you look at the price those farmers have to pay for fertilizer. It was only a few months ago we saw the freight rate subsidy taken off this particular commodity being brought into this Province; another strike on the farmers. When you see the cost of importing limestone and other material they use, they certainly are not playing on a level playing field. When you see the way the production is being done in Prince Edward Island, where they go out with their potato diggers and they take it right from the ground into the tractor trailers -

MR. TULK: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER (Snow): The hon. the Government House Leader on a point of order.

MR. TULK: Mr. Speaker, I have to agree with the hon. gentleman that the farmers in this Province are not playing on a level playing field. They need all the support they can get, and I would encourage him before his time is up to sum up this to invite his colleagues back into this House -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. TULK: - to support them.

MR. SPEAKER: No point of order.

The hon. the Member for Bonavista South.

MR. FITZGERALD: No point of order, Mr. Speaker, it is just interruption by the Government House Leader. It tells you how sincere they are on this particular motion when you see such interruptions.

This is what is happening here today. It was only a few short months ago when the Minister of Forest Resources and Agrifoods of the day put forward, I suppose, a feeble effort in trying to promote local, home-grown vegetables in putting out a place mat.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. FITZGERALD: A feeble -

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

The hon. the Government House Leader, on a point of order.

MR. TULK: Mr. Speaker, let me say to the hon. gentleman that he may indeed consider it a feeble effort, but I can say to him that I made more effort than his colleagues are making today!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. TULK: Get them in here to vote!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

There is no point of order.

The hon. the Member for Bonavista South.

MR. FITZGERALD: Mr. Speaker, he made a feeble effort. I went into a couple of Irving stores because I thought - I was just waiting to see some of those place mats there. I did not see them - thank God. Because here is an entrepreneur, a business outside of this Province coming in here, probably has the major part of the oil industry - big stops all across the Province, and they do not sell one item produced right here in this Province, not an item. You talk to farmers out there today, and the first complaint they have is they cannot sell to the Irving restaurants.

AN HON. MEMBER: Do you know where they are located? Just about every one of them is located outside of (inaudible).

MR. FITZGERALD: You are probably right. I do not know about that. I do know they do not support buying local product right here in this Province. Everything is brought in from outside the Province, Mr. Speaker.

This kind of thing has to stop. If we are going to be putting forward resolutions, if we are going to see members opposite stand in the House of Assembly and talk about how they are supporting this resolution, they are supporting that resolution, well, I say to members opposite: let me see the meat of it. Let me see the commitment. Because it was only this week that the Minister of Forest Resources and Agrifoods did an interview with the local paper and in his interview said his government would not be compensating farmers for the damage caused by moose. If his colleagues are going to stand here in this House, say they support this resolution, and say they support the farmers, then that is not enough. They have to take it the extra step and they have to show some responsibility, and support the farmers in their efforts in trying to make this a viable business.

The Member for Humber Valley is a very capable man and has great knowledge of the farming industry in Newfoundland. Some of the figures that I put forward, he said that he questioned them, because he thought they probably should be higher, and he is probably right. I got my information, I say to the member, from the Minister of Forest Resources and Agrifoods in his budget speech in 1997. They maybe conservative figures and I think you are right that they are probably on the low size and they should be much higher.

Mr. Speaker, there is no harder working group in this Province than the farmers. They have to put up with the cold, the heat, the rain, the sun; they have to contend with weeds, they have to contend with all the elements. It is not an industry anymore, and it is not a profession, it is a seasonal operation. Farmers now work twelve months of the year. Farmers now do not do things anymore the way it was when we were growing up - you dig your potatoes and you put them in a seventy-five pound sack and you go out and sell them. That was the only way that we saw vegetables marketed twenty years ago.

You go today and unless you put up an attractive pack of vegetables and unless it is ready to go into the pot, you do not sell it. The vegetables have to be graded, washed, cleaned, packed in a plastic bag and if you have much more than a meal there and if you cannot take it right from the bag and put it in the pot, people will not buy it. That is the way we live today. We live in an age where you go and you take the plastic bag, you put it into the microwave oven, you push a couple of buttons, Mr. Speaker, and boom - here is your meal.

The other part of it, Mr. Speaker, this takes time and effort and that is why the farmers today, you will find them in the January and February months in the warehouse grading their potatoes, turnips, cabbage, washing it, packing it and taking it to the supermarket shelves.

Mr. Speaker, a couple of days ago when I brought forward this particular resolution - or last week, the editor of The Express picked it up and he kind of took a shot at me, if you would, and talked about Roger Fitzgerald introducing a private members' resolution looking for another form of compensation for farmers, and compared it to other programs, other abuse that he perceived as happening in this Province.

I wrote a letter to the editor and that was printed plain enough to see, Mr. Speaker. It was a letter that I believed in and I sent it out to the farmers as well, I say, because I think that the journalist, the person who wrote that editorial, was not aware of what was happening out there. He was a fellow living inside the overpass and was not aware of what this particular industry was contributing to the Newfoundland economy.

Mr. Speaker, after I wrote that letter I had a letter back from a Mr. Casey Robertson, who is a strawberry and raspberry farmer in my district, and from Bon Peddle, who is a root crop farmer.

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

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

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

MR. GRIMES: Mr. Speaker, I have been listening intently to the concluding remarks made by the hon. member opposite and, as indicated in our speeches earlier, we are anxious to support the motion.

I wonder if, in his final few remarks, he could let us know where his colleagues are going to be when the vote is held, and particularly, might he let us know whether the Opposition House Leader has finished his shave upstairs, like he did a year or so ago, and might be coming down for the vote.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

There is no point of order.

The hon. the Member for Bonavista South.

MR. FITZGERALD: I say, and I make the record clear, that my colleagues left this House on a matter of principle, and I support their actions. I support their actions, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, I will just read a couple of articles as put forward by those two particular farmers, and they are not two fly-by-nights. They are people who have been in business and making a very good living from the farming industry right here in this Province. They went on to say, in response to the editorial:

Farmers have attempted to drive the moose away with all types of spills offensive to moose, like rotten hair, rotten blood, fish offal, stagnant solutions. Farmers have constructed all matters of fences to attempt to keep moose out of their crops. Electric fences do not work. Barbed wire fences do not work. One farmer in our area counted nineteen on his field at one time this past summer - nineteen moose, Mr. Speaker, in his field at one time.

The feeding habits of moose are such that they bite and step. They do not stop to eat. When they are in a field of cabbage, they damage vastly more crops than they eat. When they bite, they simply take a bite of a few ounces and move on, rendering that particular product useless.

These are the habits of moose. You have heard them from other people who have spoken here in this House this afternoon, and I think the solution lies within this particular government. I think, with the $200 million that is being generated from the moose hunting and the inland fish operations in this Province. Some of that money should be directed back to farmers. One particular farmer from the Shearstown area indicated to me that he had in excess of $28,000 worth of damage done this year. Another farmer in my area, Mr. Speaker, a Mr. Peddle, submitted a bill to the Department of Forest Resources and Agrifoods. It was a very small amount. In fact, it was something like $2,800 or $2,900.

AN HON. MEMBER: He deserves the support of your colleagues too.

MR. FITZGERALD: He deserves everybody's support, I say. My. colleagues support them.

AN HON. MEMBER: Yes, oh sure.

MR. FITZGERALD: Absolutely. Mr. Speaker, I say to the minister that he should consider some form of compensation. The minister says that right now they are considering things to be done to alleviate this problem. Once the problem is alleviated, those farmers won't be looking for compensation.

In fact, I can see, and I firmly believe, that the suggestion of an early hunt, not depriving the people who want to take part in that particular hunt of the advantage of going on and taking part in the regular hunt should they be unsuccessful, if that was brought about in consultation with the farmers, whereby those people were allowed to hunt on the farmers' farms at night - at night -, if that was allowed to happen I think that would solve this particular problem.

At night; I say to the minister that farmers now are allowed to hunt at night on their farms. There are a lot of concerns. You don't want a fellow showing up in his four-wheel drive with his half-a-dozen beer and the .303 in the back window ready to go hunting. You don't want that. You have to be careful of that because most farmers today live on their farms. The cottage is on the farm, the barn is on the farm, people work there and they live there.

If this could be done in consultation with the farmers, and have the farmer issue a permit with the wildlife officer to allow them to hunt, so he will know who is there, so he will know who is hunting, then there is no reason whatsoever it can't work. We aren't killing one more moose than the number of licences being issued. What we are doing is issuing the number of licences that particular area can support. All we are doing is allowing the hunt to take place a little earlier so the crop won't be damaged, and allowing people the advantage, some trusted people who the farmers trust, allow them to hunt at night then why can't they go out and kill the moose? You have to realize, Mr. Speaker, that the farmers today, especially this time of the year, when they are harvesting their crop -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.

MR. FITZGERALD: - work in excess of sixteen and eighteen hours a day. You can't expect them to go out all day and work and then go moose hunting night time. They should not have to do that. We found lots of money a few months ago to pay fishery officers when there was a moratorium on the go. There was no shortage of money then. We brought back people who were retired. We brought in people and said go to work, work whatever hours you want. All I am asking is to treat those people with the same respect, Mr. Speaker. I think if we look after our farmers and we realize, Mr. Speaker, the potential that this farming industry has then I think you are going to see a lot more people employed and we can make this a very viable industry.

Thank you.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Before I put the motion I want to acknowledge the presence of the former Sergeant-At-Arms, Mr. Cyril Kirby, who is in the House today.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Aye.

MR. SPEAKER: Those against, 'nay'.

Carried.

MR. TULK: Division, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Call in the members.

 

Division

 

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

All those in favour, please rise.

CLERK (J. Noel): The hon. the Premier; the hon. the Minister of Development and Rural Renewal; the hon. the Minister of Justice and Attorney General; the hon. the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs; Mr. Walsh; the hon. the Minister of Education; the hon. the Minister of Forest Resources and Agrifoods; Mr. Penney; Mr. Oldford; Mr. Barrett; the hon. the Minister of Human Resources and Employment; the hon. the Minister of Environment and Labour; the hon. the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology; the hon. the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation; the hon. the Minister of Government Services and Lands; Mr. Wiseman, Mr. Andersen; Mr. Canning; Mr. Smith; Mr. Ramsay; Mr. Whelan; Ms Hodder; Mr. Woodford; Mr. Mercer; Mr. Reid; Ms Thistle; Mr. Sparrow and Mr. Fitzgerald.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

CLERK (J. Noel): Mr. Speaker, twenty-eight `yeas'.

MR. SPEAKER: I declare the motion carried.

Before we adjourn I just want to remind hon. members that they are invited to a reception in the government caucus room immediately after the House adjourns.

On motion, the House at its rising adjourned until tomorrow, Thursday, at two o'clock in the afternoon.