Province of Newfoundland
FORTIETH GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Volume XL Fourth Session Number 24
Speaker: Honourable P.]. McNicholas
Wednesday 27 April 1988
The House met at 3:00 p.m. representat ives of the Newman
Estate, and we were successful in
MR. SPEAKER: acquiring the property, so as to
Order, please! prevent the loss of this heritage
At this stage I would like to
welcome to the galleries The historical significanc e of
thirty-eigh t Level III students these heritage structures is
from Holy Trinity Regional High of rooted in the very trade links
Heart's Content, and also two that led to the settlement of
exchange students from Mexico, Newfound] and. t am glad that we
Martha Jiminez and Sylvia Robles. have some students in the gallery
They at"e accompanied by their today, because this is a real
teachers, Miss Susan Macleod and piece of history, and perhaps in
Mr. Albert Legge. one of the students' culture
classes or whatever, if they have
not already investigate d or
Statements by Ministers learned about the Newman people in
Newfoundlan d, they may be able to
take this back and do a project on
PREMIER PECKFORD: it.
The Newman family, merchants in
MR. SPEAKER: Dartmouth, England, from the 1400s
The hon. the Premier. brought their first cargo of
Newfoundlan d codfish back to
PREMIER PECKFORD: England in 1589. Richard Newman
Mr. Speaker, I want to make a established a seasonal trading
statement on a pet peeve of mine station for dried cod and general
for about ten years. On behalf of merchandise on Pushthrough Island
myself and the hon. John Butt, as early as 1672. Pushthrough
minister L""esponsible for heritage Island is on the South Coast, in
in the Province, I am delighted to Fortune Bay I guess, if my
announce here today, my geography is right.
government 's plans to complete the
restoration and refurbishin g of AN.HON. MEMBER:
the historic Newman Building Hennitage Bay.
located at Number 1 Springdale
Street, St. John's. PREMIER PECKFORD:
Hennitage Bay, which is in Fortune
In 1969, the Newman wine vaults, .B ay, no?
on Water Street in St. John's,
were declared a provincial AN HON. MEMBER:
historic site. In July, 1981, the They are· separate in many_ respects.
adjacent Newman building was
slated for demolition. The PREMIER PECKFORD:
building had deteriorate d to the Separate in many respects. I
point wheL""e it posed a threat to guess i t is like Halls Bay being
public safety. in Green Bay. Halls Bay is a
separate bay, even though we talk
Upon 1eaL""ning of the demolition about it as all being part of
order, my government immediately Green Bay.
entered into negotiation s with the
Ll219 April 27, 1988 Vol XL No. 24 R1219
This was still when permanent T take great pleasure today in
settlements in Newfoundland were announcing that a contract has
vigorously suppressed by an Act of been let to the firm of Titan
Parliament. In other words, the Holding Limited in the · amount of
Newman family came here before $229,133 to complete the interior
they were really allowed to, as refurbishing of the building.
did most of our ancestors, rightly When completed, this building will
or wrongly. By 1679, however, the house the provincial sports
Newmans' seasonal plantations were archives, which are now presently
gradually becoming more in the Arts and Culture Centre
permanent. Also about this time, here in St. John '.s, and serve as
the Newmans discovered, through the headquarters for the
their bartering trade, that their Newfoundland and Labrador Arts
port wine brought to Newfoundland Council and the Newfoundland and
in exchange for the cod imported Labrador Heritage Foundation - two
into Portugal, and stored here as organizations which are making a
payment, greatly improved in significant contribution to the
quality. I t was the Newfoundland preservation of our unique
weather no doubt. Consequently, cultural and material heritage.
sending port wine to Newfoundland The work on the building is
to mature became a regular scheduled for completion in
practice carried on right up to October of this year.
the present day.
Clearly all Newfoundlanders can
In 1700 the House of Newman and take great pride that these
Company established trading historic structures are being
stations at Harbour Breton, preserved for posterity and will
Hermitage Cove, and Gauttois, and be put to such productive re-use,
by 1800, William Newman was one of and I take great personal pr-ide in
the largest proper-ty owners here seeing this histor-ic and cultural
in St. John's. Tt is most likely initiative taken. Thank you,
that the Newman wine vaults were kindly.
establi s hed during this period of
expansion in the 18th century. SOME HON. MEMBE.RS:
The vaults survived the great fire
of 1846, and in 1847 evidence MR. GULLAGE:
indicates, Newman and Company Mr. Speaker.
decided to construct the current
rgian style building that the
Geo_ MR. SPEAKER:
government has just saved from The hon. the member for Waterford
demoll tion. - Kenmount.
Restoration work on the exterior MR. GULLAGE:
of the Newman building has now Mr. Speaker, I would like to
been completed - it was started a commend the Premier and government
number o.f years ago and a for taking the initiative to
derelict building has been restore this important historic
replaced by a f lne Georgian style building. It happens to be
heritage structure which will located in a ward I represent in
serve as a landmark for future council, and I am very familiar
re-development in this area of the with it. It lay there pretty well
city. dereLict for a long time, and it.
L1220 April 27, 1988 Vol XL No. 24 R1220
is great to see that government We have the Heritage Foundation
has taken a second step with the right now.
interior renovations, because
certainly the exterior has been MR. GUI.I.AGE:
restored quite well. I realize that, but funding that
in the past used to come from
We would like to examine the costs federal sources, in particular,
involved in terms of the exterior seems to be cut off now and we
renovations and look at the cost have to find other avenues because
overall, if you like, to restore a the numbers of buildings,
building of this importance. I particularly in st. John's, are
say that because, from the point such that we feel only a
of view of histodc buildings foundation can he the way to go.
throughout St. John • s, we have a
situation where many of our The other point I would like to
historic sites are in danger of make is that we wonder whether
being lost because of the lack of private developers and the private
funds to restore them. In fact, I foundat.ion that I speak of, could
can give some examples right now: best be doing this sort of woc-k,
The O'Dwyer property on Water and encourage the private sector
Street is in danger of being and a foundation to identify,
demolished because of a lack of first of all, in co-operation with
funding to really, in that councils and with government,
particular case, almost rebuild sites that are historic, and once
the building because i t is pretty they are designated, c-ather than
well gone. But it is of historic government dollars being spent as.
significance, and is worthy of they are in this case, to take the
preservation. initiative to c-estore buildings
with professional assistance and
Council is also planning to widen funding assistance from the three
the historic zone West of Adelaide levels of government involved.
Street, which will take in ' many
more historic buildings beyond I would 1 ike to commend the
the Newman property. The Newman government. It is a good
property is, in fact, the last one initiative . The Newman building
as you go West in the designated is one of the most historic
area.. As a matter of fact ·, we buildings fn the Province and i t
have a plan ready for adoption at is good to see it being restored.
City Council to extend the
historic zone Westward. We are I might add before I finish that
faced with a dilemma with historic the three groups you mentioned to
sites, and T am not just speaking occupy that building are badly in
of St. John's. I am speaking of need of proper space. The
other areas of the Province . where Provincial Sports Archives, for
it is necessary to look at the example, have been complaining for
setting ~P of a possible a long time of how crowded their
foundation and look at avenues of quarters are, and the other two as
funding not just from a provincial well. So it is badly needed from
perspective but also federal, the perspective of space for these
municipal, and from private three important groups.
SOME HON. MEMBERS:
PREMIER PECKFORD : Hear, hear!
Ll221 April 27, 1988 Vol XL No. 24 Rl221
MR. LONG: FoundatJon are indeed in need of
Mr. Speaker. more financial support, not just
The hon . the member for st. John's With regard to the space that will
East. be created now at the Arts and
Culture Centre Gallery, my
MR. LONG: understanding of what would be
We also welcome the announcement created as a result of taking the
by the Premier and see it as a Sports Archives out is that it is
fairly significant initiative on still not enough. There are going
the part of the government to play to be serious problems at the
an active ro~e in the preservation gallery until there is an
of buildings .of historic expansion plan or, in fact _ a plan
significance in the city. We also for a new gallery put in place by
appreciate the tone and even the the government.
elegance of the statement made by
the Premier today, which reminds I would also say, when we are
us all of the importance of our talking about the Sports Archives,
history. that there is a very real problem
not only of space but also in the
We would see it as a positive preservation of materials at the
initiative, but there is a lot Provincial Archives, in the
more to be done. In particular, I Colonial Building, which is
would have concerns about what another building of very important
appears to be a rather ad hoc historical significance. T would
manner in which · the government call upon the government · t.o take a
became involved as a result of a similar positive initiative " to
crisis situation, where the protect the materials in the
building was going to be lost, and Colonial Building and also t.o see
ask a quest ion about t.he i.f we can get a new location for
government's relationship with the Provincial Archives, given the
City Council and indeed other government's stated commitment
municipalities in the Province, today to the preservation of our
and the need to put in place a legacy. Thank you, Mr. Speaker .
more clearly established mechanism
so that the government - may SOME HON. MEMBERS:
continue to take such initiatives. Hear, hear!
I would also say, Mr. · Speaker, MR. RIDEOUT:
with reference to the Mr. Speaker.
organizations that are going to be
placed in this new building, that MR. SPEAKER:
I think it is a_ very positive The hon. the Minister of Fisheries .
thing. It will give a good
profile to these agencies which MR. RIDEOUT:
ar'e doing good work on behalf of Mr. Speaker, as I have previously
government. I, at one time, stated in this House and on many
worked for the Provincial Arts other. occasions, this government
Council, as an information remains firmly committed to the
officer. I would also say that continued development of a
the Sports Archives, the Arts commercial seal fishery by
Co.uncil and the Hed tage landsman hunters in our Province.
Ll222 April 27, 1988 Vol XL Mo. 24 Rl222
Our position on the issue has. Mr. Speaker, in a message I read
remained virtually unchanged since in this House just last month, I
it was presented to the Malouf stated that we have seen some very
Commission on seals and sealing in positive results from our efforts
May of 1985. We have promoted a to revitalize the sealing industry
cautious but steady approach to over the last number of years.
the revitalization of the seal The harvest of adult seals has
fishery and we continue to stand increased from approximately 6, 000
by this approach. in 1985 to over 40,000 in 198 7.
This increase in harvest has been
The recent renewed efforts been carried out in a co-ordinated,
perpetuated by a new anti-sealing hum~e and orderly manner.
group against our sealing industry
clearly indicate the need to The reason for the successful
tailor our present operation in increase in our adult seal harvest
such a way as to regain market stems largely from the
acceptance. This government does co-operation between this
not feel that the time is right to government and the Canadian
renew a war of words and Sealers Association and the
propaganda with the various animal Northeast Coast Sealers
rights groups. Tt would only play Co-operative. Since the inception
into their hands and give them the of the Canadian Sealers
stage they so desperately desire Association in 1982 we have
in order to carry out their financially supported this
anti-sealing campaigns. However, organization in its efforts to
Mr. Speaker, we will not willin~1y preserve, promote and protect the
abandon our people to the sealing industry. We have also
blackmail tactics of such a provided technical and financial
lunatic fringe who wish to' assistance to t.he Northeast Coast
characterize us as barbarians and Coast Sealers Co-op since i 1:. was
who are attempting, once again, to formed in 1986.
inflict economic genocide on our
rural economy and our rural people. A $200,000 · loan guarantee was
issued to the Co-op in 1986 and an
SOME HON. MEMBERS: additional guarantee of $500,000
Hear, hear! was provid_ed by government in
1987. This year the Co-op is
MR. RIDEOUT: projecting a purchase of 20,000
As a government we will do seat pelts to be used for·fur and
whatever has to be done, in leather sales. Initially the
co-operation and consultation with Co-op's leather production was
the sealers and the sealing sold to only one tannery in
indu~try of this Province, to Ontario. The Co-op has increased
protect our rural way of life, interest in coun~ries outside of
including the wise use of all our Canada, including Morocco, Italy,
resources, which includes seals. Finland and Hong Kong. The
Additionally, we will be calling Sealers Co-op is now confident
on our nation's government to that initial sales to these
protect sealers against countries can be followed up with
harrassment from the protest larger orders.
groups as they pursue a legitimate
liveihood. Mr. Speaker, it is through
initiatives such as those
Ll223 April 27, 1988 Vol XL No. 24 Rl223
undertaken by the Northeast Coast commitment is reiterated time and
Sealers Co-op that the future of again through the actions of the
the sealing industry rests. government by providing technical
Therefore, I am very pleased to and financial assistance to both
announce today that government the Canadian Sealers Asso·ciat.ion
will be extending the loan and the Northeast Coast Sealers
guarantees of $200,000 and Co-op. Never let it be said that.
$500,000 for a further period to this gove~nment has not come
expire December 31, 1988 subject through on its promises to develop
to the same terms and conditions, a revitalized sealing industry in
as was previously on those the Province.
guarantees, with the Co-op being
required to place a nominee of the I am convinced that our approach
Minister of Fisheries on its Board to the development and
of Directors. This will ensure revitalization of our sealing
that an even closer working industry has been the right
relationship will develop between approach. While we s.ee no net
the Co-op and this government. gain in a war of words through the
Also, government has authorized a media with those anti-sealing
$35,000 g~ant to the Co-op payable groups who appear upon our shores
out of my department's 1988 - 1989 from time to time, we shall not be
budget to defray interest costs on deterred in our determination to
the Co-op's operating line. I am protect and to support our sealing
also pleased to announce today industry. Our record speaks for
that an additional $175,000 loan itself. The sealing industry is
guarantee will be authorized for on the road to recovery and even
the Sealers Co-op under the same though this steady ~nd cautious
tenns and conditions as the other approach towards rebuilding our
two guarantees. This new industry may not · always achieve
guarantee will be released to the results as quickly as many,
Co-op by the Minister of Finance i~cluding myself, would like, I
as required, in consultation with stand behind our policy and feel
the Ministers of Development. and it -is the best chance for a truly
Tourism and Fisheries. This means revitalized long-term sealing
that our government is now industry for Newfoundland and
standing behind the activities of Labrador.
the Northeast Coast Sealers
Co-operative to the tune of SOME HON. MEMBERS:
$875,000, in addition to our Hear, hear!
interest subsidy on their
operating line of credit. MR. W. CARTER:
And that is not cucumbers. MR. SPEAKER:
The hon. the member for
MR. RIDEOUT: Twillingate.
And that is not cucumbers.
MR. W. CARTER:
Mr. Speaker, as I have said many I thank the minister, Mr. Speaker,
times, this government remains for giving me an advance copy of
committed to the ~evitalization of his statement, but I must say I am
the sealing in~ustry in not too impressed with its
Newfoundland and Labrador. This contents. The Premier interjected
Ll224 April 27, 1988 Vol XL No. 24 Rl224
during the final few paragraphs of (Inaudible) loan guarantee.
the statement by saying 'that is
not cucumbers. ' Mr. Speaker, all MR. W. CARTER:
I can say is i t is too bad i t is Let us assume, then, they are.
not cucumbers, when we have a The statement is not very clear.
government that is more interested But, Mr. Speaker, the fact remains
in putting $14 million or $15 the Northeast Coast Sealer's Co-op
million in growing cucumbers, and is doing a job that the government
then get up and boast about the itself should be doing. Of
fact that they are putting course, back a few years ago, when
$875,000 into one of our most the sealing industry, . that once
tradi tiona! industries. I do not grel!l_ and thriving and tradi tiona!
consider that, Mr. Speaker, as industry was going down for the
being too much to boast about. third time, we saw a group of
Newfoundlan d inshore fishermen, in
Now, what the minister has done fact about four hundred, who wet"e
today, and I am not downgrading or willing to invest a total of
demeaning the minister, I think $120,000 in that industry. They
the Co-op could use the $175,000 had enough faith in the sealing
that is being made available, and industry to invest $120,000 of
they can certainly use the $35,000 their own money.
interest write-off grant, because
what the minister has being doing My understandi ng of it: ls that
over the years is saddling the that Co-op is now in serious
Sealer's Co-op with an unbearable financial trouble. Mr. Speaker,
debt load. the minister shakes his head.
Well, I have it from a reasonably
MR. RIDEOUT: good authority that that Co-op is
We are paying it . now in serious trouble ·and this
will do very little toward
MR. W. CARTER: alleviating some of the problems
No, you are not paying it. You that they are going to be facing.
are paying $35,000 toward
interest, Mr. Speaker, that this Mr. Speaker, the minister makes
year will be in the vicinity ' of reference to the harassment on the
$50,000 balance. part of the new conservatio n
group, Internation al Wildlife
Mr. Speaker, the East Coast Federation I believe they call
Sealer's Co-op is in debt to the themselves -
government for approximate ly
$875,000. 10 per cent of that AN HOM. MEMBER:
would be $80-odd thousand dollars Coalition.
interest. The government is now
paying $35,000, I gather. MR. W. CARTER:
Coalition, yes .
No. T was surprised in Committee
yesterday when the minister
MR. W. CARTER: replying to a quest ion that. was
Oh? The statement says $35,000 put to him by myself or my
will be made available. colleague, maybe, for Port de
Grave, was unable to table copies
MR. RIDEOUT: of any corresponde nce that were
Ll225 April 27, 1988 Vol XL No. 24 R1225
dispatched to his federal and the fact that he was denying
counterpart when it was fl~st made them their bread and butter was of
known to the minister that that no interest whatever to him. I
group, these publicity-hungry, would suggest to the minister, Mr.
dubious types were coming in here Speaker, that he let his federal
to disrupt the seal fishery. When counterpart know ih n~ uncertain
the minister was f l~st made aware terms that Newfoundlanders are not
of their intended vtsit, he did going to stand by this tlme and
not make any written presentation allow these scoundrels to come in
to his federal counterpart here and, for questionable
objecting to thet~ being issued a motives, der:tY Newfoundlanders
permit. their right to pursue an industry
that- has been, I suppose, in this
Now, we all know that as a result Province now, and country, for the
of a ~ecent ruling of the Supreme past 300 or 400 years. The
Court, the Appeal Court, that the minister, Mr. Speaker, should make
Minister of Fisheries (Mr. Sidden) that fact known to his federal
in Ottawa has no choice but to counterpart.
make a permit available. However,
a condition of that permit, Mr. SOME HON. MEMBERS:
Speaker, is that a fishery officer Hear, hear!
be required to travel to the
icefields, accompanying the MR. FENWICK:
group. I would suggest to the Mr. Speaker.
minister that maybe therein lies
the answer. Becau~e surely a MR. SPEAKER:
government that is unable to The han. the member for Menihek.
provide sufficient surveillance of
our salmon rivers would not dare MR. FENWICK:
make fishery officers available to Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.
babysit or to accompany a group of
people whose sole objective in I believe that the policy this
life is to destroy a traditional government is following is wrong,
industry in this Province. and I believe that the policy the
federal government is following is
SOME HON. MEMBERS: wrong, as well. Mr. Speaker, we
Hear, hear! are in a new era now. We are not
talking about humane societies, we
MR. W. CARTER: are not talking about the SPCA, we
I said in the House yesterday, I are not talking about people whose
could have - primary thrust was that they were
looking at baby seals being killed
MR. SPEAKER: or they were looking at a hunt
Order, please! that they ·felt was somewhat cruel.
MR. W. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, the enemy now is
Mr. Speaker, may I conclude? individuals who do not believe
that animals should be used for
I saw on television last week one human consumption at all. It does
of the representatives from that not matter what you use it fo~.
group saying that he did not care whether it is for eating or
at all, he could not care less whether it is for fur or whet he~
what happened to Newfoundlanders, it is for flippers whatever
Ll226 April 27, 1988 Vol XL No. 24 Rl226
purpose at all. of Torngat Housing, and Wilfred
Lane, Mayor of Postville.
It is quantitative difference in a
debate that we have had over the SOME HON. MEMBERS:
last ten years. It is, I think, Hear, hear!
what someone once called the new
paganism; they are attributing
souls, attributing human worth to Oral Questions
animals, and as a result of that,
Mr. Speaker, we are in a different
kind of fight. MR. TULK:
When the federal government closed
down the whitecoat hunt, concurred MR. SPEAKER:
in by this provincial government, The han. the member for Fogo.
it showed a degree of weakness
that is now being exploit~d by MR. TULK:
this new group that is here. The Mr. Speaker, I have a question for
fact of the matter is, you are the President of Treasury Board
never, ever going to placate them (Mr. Simms). T have to say to him
as long as one seal is killed. that we are relying on news
They are not willing to accept reports rather. than any written
anything other than a total statement, because T do not
cessation of the seal hunt, and · believe either the minister or the
when they have finished with that, President of NAPE did, but I
Mr . Speaker, they wi 11 go on to understand this morning that the
continue with other $pecies. Presi.dent of NAPE called a news
conference to say that he was not
So, I say again, although there satisfied with the steering
are a few dollars being put in committee, on pay equity, that it.
there to try to continue on the does not have a mandate to do the
subsistence hunt, the fact' of the job. I understand that the
matter is it is a wrong approach minister says that is not the
by this government, and a wrong case, that it does have a mandate,
approach by the federal that it does not have to go to
government. You are going to have Cabinet and that, indeed, its
to stand up and fight them . some recommendation s are likely to be
day, so you might. as well start accepted. Would the minister
now! Thank you very much, Mr. clarify that situation for us,
SOME HON. MEMBERS : MR. SPEAKER:
Hear, hear! The hon. the President of the
The Socialists are finally MR. SIMMS:
prepared to fight for something. Mr.. Speaker, I am delighted to
have the opportunity to clarify it
MR. SPEAKER: and I thank t.he hon. member for
Order, please! h i.s question . What he has said is
in fact what T said today. I did
I would like to welcome to the not have a prepared statement
.galleries Tony Anderson, Manager because T got so many phone calls
Ll227 April 27, 1988 Vol XL No. 24 Rl227
from the press I decided just to implementing pay equity for the
have a press gathering to answer public service for the entire
their questions, so I had to rely Province , and we are going to do
on the press's interpretation of it.
what was said. because I·was not at
the press conference held by NAPE MR. TULK:
either. I understood, or at least Mr. Speaker.
my perception of what was being
transmitted to me via the media -MR. SPEAKER:
led me to think that there must be The hon. the member for Fogo.
some grave misunderstandings about
what the approach is that we MR. TULK:
propose, because clearly we made Mr. -·speaker, if I understood what.
the same proposal to all other the hon. gentleman said correctly
participants in other unions, all in reading from his letter, I
of whom had no difficulty witb the think he said that the individuals
approach we were pr.oposing. Yes, representing organizations could
in fact, I did say that the commit their organizations to a
steering committee does have a certain process.
mandate. In fact; the letter I
wrote to the President of NAPE MR. SIMMS:
yesterday is fairly clear, at Sure. ·
least I thought i t was clear. It
said, 'The steering ccimmi t tee • s MR. TUI.K:
work will be most significant. It I think what we are asking here is
will require that members' - that where does it go once a commit tee
is, those : who will be on the is put together? What authority
committee, and I asked NAPE to does the committee have? What
give me a repre-sentative to put on mandate does the committee itself
the committee 'have sufficient have? I think, if the reports are
authority to make decisions on correct, that is where the dispute
behalf of their organizations at seems to be, not in the
the steering committee level.' So individuals having the ability to
it was fairly clear, I thought, in commit or the power to commit
my letter, but I understand there their organizations, but what
is a disagreement, perhaps with happens after it goes past that
the interpretation of what we point and· you sit on the
propose. Subsequent to the press committee? What mandate does the
briefing I had, I had my officials committee have? And I do not
communicate with NAPE officials to believe that the minist.er has
ask them exactly what it was they addressed that question here yet.
were concerned with and what their
problems were. But, as I said at MR. SPEAKER:
the press briefing, if they have The hon. the President of Council.
some problems, if they have some
disagreement, then we are more MR. SIMMS:
than willing to sit down in a Well, Mr. Speaker, I think I have
co-operative way to work out those addressed it. I certainly
difficulties, because clearly the addressed it because I had similar
government's intention, as questions put to me by the press,
enunciated by the Premier in the again, at the lunch hour press
press conference several weeks briefing that I held.
ago, is that we are committed to
Ll228 April 27, 1988 Vol XL No. 24 Rl228
The steering committee, as I A final supplementary.
thought was indicated clearly in
the letter, will be the ones which MR. TULK:
will have the mandate to put Mr. Speaker, I must say to the
together all of the details, will hon. gentleman that I do not want
set out the overall policies and to ' aggravate this situation
guidelines within which pay equity because we on this side of the
will be implemented in the House, .want to see pay equi t.y in
Newfoundland Public Service. Now, the public service as well. But
I do not know what could be let me ask him this question,
clearer than that. This committee since the process apparently has
will have the mandate. The broken down: Has he taken any
steering commit tee will not report steps to get the process back in
to cabinet and it will have the place? Does he have a tlme frame
mandate to work out all of the as to when he wants to see pay
details of how pay equity will be equity in the public service of
implemented within the this Province? Does he have a
Newfoundland Public Service. time· frame in his own mind?
Subsequent to that, there would be
subcommittees to deal with each MR. SPEAKER;
bargaining unit and issues like The hon. the President of the
the actual wage adjustments and Council.
those things would be negotiated.
I understand that is what the MR. SIMMS:
union wants. Well , Mr. Speaker, to two
questions: First of all, T ha.ve
I also understood that this was taken steps in the sense that I
lhe approach that they wanted as was not even aware of what the
well, because they as~ed us to use problem was. I was not aware that
the Manitoba approach, and this is there was going to be a press
precisely what we have done in conference this morning to
this instance, and instead of announce that the union was going
legislating it, we thought they to take a strike vote on the
wanted to use the consultative issue. I was not aware of that.
approach. and, that is what we All I heard was they were going to
attempted to do. Everything we have a comment to make on the
are suggesting we do in this issue. So, - I mean, you will have
process is almost precisely what to forgive me i f I have not got
has happened in the Province of specific answers to the questions
Manitoba where it was legislated. related to what the union had to
say at its press conference,
We just thought that we would take because I do not know. But I can
a consultative approach. We tell you this, that the government
thought that is what the unions is commited to implementing pay
wanted and I hope i t is still equity. We are fully commi ted to
what they want. Maybe this whole it. The Premier said at the press
thing is a misunderstanding. That conference that. whatever money 1s
is all I can hope for. required to do it, we are going to
have to do it, so there is no
MR. TULK: question or cone~ ern, or there
Mr. Speaker. should not be a concern about
funding being made available.
Ll229 April 27, 1988 Vol XL No. 24 Rl229
We do not know how much it is from · the press myself, my
yet. That is the work of the officials contact one of their
committees to determine all of senior negotiators to discuss with
that kind of information. We do them what the problem was, to ask
not know the length of time over them what the problem was, and to
which it would be implemented. try to ascertain if there was any
But I can tell you this, just as a way to discuss these matters
point of information, and this was sitting down in a co-operative
made public at the press way, in a sensible fashion, in a
conference when the policy fair and reasonable fashion, and
statement was made by the Premier, that is what we want to try to
in those other jurisdictions where do. But I have not had a full
they have implemented pay equity, report back yet.
generally speaking the basis on
which the implementation has been MR. SPEAKER:
undertaken has been approximately The han. the member for Port de
one per cent a year ~ Grave.
approximately. That has been the
rough process. But we did not want MR. EFFORD:
to, . on our own, by ourselves, say Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
this is what will be done. We
have said, let the committees work Mr. Speaker, my question is
out the details; let the directed to the Minister of Social
committees negotiate the wage Services (Mr. Tobin) . I want to
adjustments and the period of the start out by saying that many
pay implementation. And they times in the last three years the
should be able to negotiate that Minister of Social Services and
and work it out. But they will many of his colleagues have
have full authority to do those accused me of being an alarmist on
kinds of things. There is many occasions, especially, Mr.
absolutely no difficulty with it, Speaker, when bringing forth and
and I really have had difficulty trying to impress on the
underst.anding what has transpired government the situation of our
in the last few hours. people dependent on social
Mr. Speaker. I make that short preamble, Mr.
Speaker, for a particular reason.
MR. SPEAKER: It has to do with the national
The hon. the member for Port de report of the Council of Welfare
Grave. saying in a statement relea~ed
yesterday that 27 per cent of
MR. TULK: Newfoundland children are living
You have had no contact? in poverty.
MR. SIMMS: Now t assume the Minister of
Sorry! . If I may, Mr. Speaker, Social Services, and I do not
just to conclude, if the han. think I am incorrect when I assume
member would permit, yes, I had, it, was aware of this before this
at the time that I got the word report was released, because he is
about what went on at the press Minister of Social Services. I
conference and I was in a rush to would ask the Minister of Social
respond to all of the inquiries Services what steps, since he
Ll230 April 27, 1988 Vol XL No. 24 Rl230
became minister in the past few increase in the budget of the
months, has he taken to correct Department of Social Services this
that problem, that 27 per cent of year.. I can say that every year
our children are living in poverty? the Department of Social Services
have received more money than the
MR. TOBIN: previous year. There has never
Mr. Speaker. been a year when any division
within the department received
.MR. SPEAKER: less money than the year before .
The hon. the Minister of Social
Services. MR. SPEAKER:
Mr. Speaker, the Department of MR. TOBIN:
Social Services have started I believe, Mr. Speaker, we are on
taking some very serious the right track.
initiatives back in the 1970s, I
guess after the PC Administrat ion MR. EFFORD:
came to office, as it relates to A supplementa ry, Mr. Speaker.
trying to deal with what was
happening . regarding the unemployed MR. SPEAKER:
people of this Province. · We have A supplementa ry, the hon. the
initiated a budget in excess of member for Bay de Verde.
$30 million for job creation
programmes, whereby we are MR. EFFORD:
employing people to work in this Mr. Speaker, it is absolutely
Province. shameful and disgraceful for a
Minister of Social Services to
The caseload in the Province has stand in h1s place this evening,
not increased significant ly. As a in answer to a question about 2 7
matter df fact, the caseload in per cent of N'ewfoundlan d children
the Province is basically at the living in poverty, and make the
same level. I can say to the hon. statement that since 1970 these
member, when you look at the programmes have been implemented .
caseload of the Department of The fact is that these programmes
Social Services, that in excess of that have been implemented by his
50 per cent of the people who are department, - by his own government
on social assistance are people are not working. That is a proven
who are not employable, that they fact. He just said they have been
are on social assistance for there since 1970, but they are not
reasons other than not being able working. Can the minister tell
to find employment. They are this House, will he address the
there for sickness, or whatever question I originally put to him,
the case may be. about what steps is his department
taking to ensure that we decreased
And we have addressed that with a the poverty level of our childr-en
159 per cent increase in the at least down to the Canadian
Provincial Budget since 1979. We average of 16 per cent?
have addressed it, Mr. Speaker,
w.ith a significant increase this MR. SPEAKER:
year in the Budget. We have The hon. the Minister of Social
addressed it, as a matter of fact, Services.
with basically a $20 million
L1231 April 27, 1988 Vol XL No. 24 R1231
MR. TOBIN: MR. SPEAKER:
Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier, we The bon. the Minister of Social
are addressing it every way we Services.
can. We have increased the budget
for the Department of Social MR. TOBIN:
Services every year. Since 1979, Mr. Speaker, it is great for the
Mr. Speaker, there has been an han. member to get up here and
increase of 159 per cent within talk about the department
the Department of Social implementing programmes, and
Services. That, in itself, is Newfoundland and Labrador
indeed very significant. Housing. What has been done is
that there is a certain allocation
I can say, Mr. Speaker, that, as a fr01i the Department of Social
government, we differ from the Services as a base for food and
Opposition. He wan ted it brought fuel and whatever the case may be,
down to the national average of 16 and that is received. Some
per cent. We would rather see it people, Mr. Speaker, who are
eliminated altogether, Mr. renting units from the
Speaker, and we are working to Newfoundland and r.abrador Housing
that end. have that subsidized by that
unit. Other people do not, and
MR. EFFORD: then the subsidy had to be dealt
A final supplementary, Mr. Speaker. with. If the han. member wants to
address that, Mr. Speaker, all he
MR. SPEAKER: has to do is look at the years
A final supplementary, the han. when his own leader was in
the member for Port de Grave. government, and what happened?
Not only was that dealt with, Mr.
MR. EFFORD: Speaker, the people in
I assure the Minister of Social Newfoundland who had need of
Services that I would like to see social assistance were segregated
it down to zero, but we are far, whereby they had to go to
far above the Canadian average, checkouts and line up, and they
and that is shameful in itself . had notes, Mr. Speaker, to buy
food and fuel. The Department of
I say to the minist~r very Social Services then would not
clearly, a programme has ·been trust them - with cheques for . the
implemented by Newfoundland and purpose of social assistance.
Labrado.r Housing whereby they They were not allowed, Mr.
subsidize heating, but the Speaker, to drive a car. When
Department of Social Services the Leader of the Liberal Party
deduct that out of the income of was a member of the government the
the people on social services. people in Newfoundland who wanted
Would the minister explain, when social assistance were not allowed
this type of programme is to drive a car. They had to turn
implemented and Social Services in their license plates. That is
takes it away, with the small what happened to people on social
amount of money people are 1 iving assistance.
on, how can they get above the
poverty line if his department Mr. Speaker, we do not treat the
does not implement some new people . of Newfoundland the same
policies and some new programmes? way they were treated under the
Ll232 April 27, 1988 Vol XL No. 24 Rl232
MR. SIMMONS: SOME HON. MEMBERS:
Mr. Speaker. Hear, hear!
MR. SPEAKER: MR. SPEAKER:
' The hon. the member for Fortune - The hon. the Minister of Social
MR. .SIMMONS: MR. TOBIN:
Mr. Speaker, were it not Question Mr. Speaker, the member fOL"
Period I would have license to say Fortune - Henni tage answered that
to the minister, stop living in question.
the past, twenty or twenty-five
years ago. JusF the other day I had the
opportunity to speak to the
Mr . Speaker, the Minister of Newfoundlan d Social Workers
Social Services has had brought to Association , which dealt somewhat
his attention a report made public with the same issue .
yesterday which points out that
despite the twenty years of MR. LONG:
marvellous programmes by the They gave you a hard time.
minister and his people, 27 per
cent of the children of this MR. TOBIN:
Province are living under the No, Mr . Speaker they did not . As
poverty level. Those are the a matter of fact, they were very
facts. No amount of regurgitati on appreciativ e of my remarks.
What I said then, Mr. Speaker, I
SOME HON. MEMBERS: say aga i.n now: We have to get.
Question! Question! control of our destiny in this
Province. Because of the mistakes
SOME HON. MEMBERS: of the Liberal regime in the past,
Speech! Speech! whether they want to talk about it
or not Mr. Speaker, money has been
MR. SPEAKER: pumped into Quebec, because of our
Order, please! hydro situation in this Province,
over the p~st few years . If we
MR. SIMMS: had that money and were able to do
A bit of both, Mr. Speaker. with it, Mr . Speaker, what we
would like to do with it, instead
of his version of history will of Quebec doing with i t what they
take away from that, Mr. Speaker. want to do with it - it is our
money we would be able to
My question is, in light of the introduce an awful lot of
fact the current statistics programmes in this Province .
indicate that the programmes that
the minister is talking about have Mr. Speaker, I also say to the
clearly failed, what new hon. gentleman for Fortune
initiatives does he propose taking Hermitage, if he had been a little
now as a result of this abominable bit more supportive of thi~~
set of figures which show 27 Province than he was when he was a
percent of these children are federal MP, when he stood with the
below the poverty level? Chritiens and the Lalondes and his
leader when they · tried to deny
Ll233 Apri:l "!7, 1988 Vol XL No . 24 Rl233
Newfoundlanders the right to their Environment (Kr. Russell). I will
resources, we could have the try and focus on what is a very
finances available to put in place serious issue concerning the
the type of social programmes that environment and the protection of
he is talking about today, and he the environment, and it has to do
would have been a lot better off. with recent publication of a
report by the Canadian Forestry
SOME HON. MEMBERS: Centre on fenitrothion spray.
MR. SIMMS: A point of order, Mr. Speaker.
MR. - SPEAKER:
MR. SPEAKER: A point of order, the hon. the
A supplementary, the bon. the Premier.
member for Fortune - Hermitage.
MR. SIMMONS: I am sorry to interrupt the member
Mr. Speaker, again at the for St. John's East ln asking a
appropriate time I will tell the legitimate question, but I have to
House it was not I who · hid away rise before time goes by and t.hen
when they wer·e restructuring, not somebody on the opposite side
I, but the member for Burin might say the time is gone for me
Placentia West, but that is to do it.
The hon. member for Fortune
SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hermitage got up in his place - I
Oh, Oh! was listening and I think I heard
correctly, and I just want to make
MR. SPEAKER: sure there is no precedent set
Order, please! here - on a supplementary, he did
not ask for a supplementary but he
MR. SIMMONS: made a number of Btatements and
Mr. Speaker, it is clear from the sat down.
line of questioning put by my
colleague and me that the minister Now this is question period, Mr.
does not even understand the issue Speaker, and if a member of the
so I will not waste the time of House is going to be allowed to
the House on any more questions. get up and make a retort when it
is supposed to be a question and
SOME HON. MEMBERS: then sit down, then we are setting
Hear, hear! new ~les for ourselves, and to
let that go by now, that would
MR. LONG: become a precedent that somebody
Mr. Speaker . could use in the future to
substantiate the fact that it is
MR. SPEAKER: no longer question period but an
The han. the member. for St. John's opportunity for members opposi t.e,
East. who do not 1 ike the answer g.iven,
to get up and make a ret.ort. and a
MR. LONG: statement as opposed to asking a
Mr . Speaker, my question today is question.
for the Minister of the
L1234 • April 27, 1988 Vol XL No. 24 R1234 .
So, Mr. Speaker, I just want to that matter.
bring to the House's attention,
and to your attention in The han. member of St. John's East.
particular, this particular
incident that just occurred so MR. LONG:
that it does not become a Thank you, Mr. Speaker. We did
precedent in future for question not take time to speak to that
period, instead of legitimate point of order, and we app.reciate
questions, as the han. member for the ruling that the Speaker has
St. John's East was just going to made because we are here to ask
ask and I am taking up his time, questions and we will continue to
so that they can ask them as do so, day in and day out.
opposed to abuse of the rules by
the member for Fortune - Hermitage SOME HOM. MEMBERS:
and others like him. Hear, hear!
MR. WELLS: MR. LONG:
On that point of order, Mr. Mr. Speaker, my question to the
Speaker. Minister responsible for the
Environment, indeed for the
MR. SPEAKER: protection of the Environment is
The han. the Leader of the concerning the publication of a
Opposition. report by the Canadian Forestry
Service which alleges, according
MR. WELLS: to recent newspaper reports, that.
Mr. Speaker, that is obviously a the test spray that was done with
silly comment. What the han. Bt in the Province last Summer
member for Fortune Hermitage proved it to be more effective
said was it is clear that the than the application of
minister does not understand the fenitrothion. So my question to
issue and has not intention of the Minister of the Environment is
answering the question, so I will whether the minister, in r-esponse
not bother ' to ask any more. It is to this report, is giving advice
as simple, straightforward to the Minister o.f Forestry (Mr.
statement. R. Aylward), on th;s year's spray
SOME HOM. MEMBERS:
Oh, oh! MR. SPEAKER:
The han. the Minister- of the
MR. SPEAKER: Environment.
Order, please! Order, please!
To that point of order, the point Mr. Speaker, my colleague, the
of order is well taken. Minister of Forest Resources, and
I and our officials are working
SOME HON. MEMBERS: hand in hand in close co-operation
Hear, hear! with r-egards to this year's spray
programme. The Pesticides
MR. SPEAKER: Advisory Board, made up of very
This is question time, and i f the competent people, are reviewing
hon. member :!lad a question to ask the matter and hopefully at. their
he would have been in or-der. I upcoming meeting, early next month
should have drawn his attention to as . I understand it, they will be
Ll235 April 27, 1988 Vol XL No. 24 R1235
putting the finishing touches on that very shortly that report will
the programme and i t will be be made public and be available
announced in due course. for anybody who wants to see it.
I would caution the han: member
I-iR. LONG: not to believe everything that he
A supplementary, Mr. Speaker. reads in newspapers.
MR. SPEAKER: MR. LONG:
A supplementary, the hon. member A supplementary, Mr. Speaker.
for St. John's East.
MR. LONG: A final supplementary.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask a
supplementary of the Minister of MR. LONG:
the Environment. Would he comment My supplementary, Mr. Speaker, is
on evidence that we received only to the Minister of Forest
through newspaper reports - and I Resources. I would just say that
hope that the minister would the public of this Province is
promise to release the report and very thankful for the work t.hat
table it l.n the House soon - on newspapers are doing in getting
the suggestion that Bt, by last ahold of reports and making
. Summer's programme, was proven to available to the public what
be more effective than should already be public
fenitrothion, given · the proven information.
damage that Fenitrothion causes to
songbirds, to fish, to salmon My final supplementary t.o the
species and, potentially, to Minister ·of Forest Resources on
humans? the same issue, is given that the
Minister of Forest Resources has
Will the Minister of the said that twenty years ago he
Environment recommend to the stood in an area where
Department of Forestry that the fenitrothion was being sprayed and
application of fenitrothion in that might have caused his
this Province be curtailed and baldness, and made light of what
that we have significant expansion is a very serious issue, will the
of the application of Bt this minister not today, in light of
Summer? the evidence that is in this
report compiled by officials of
MR. SPEAKER: his own department and the
The hon. the Minister of the Canadian Forestry Service last
Environment. Summer, give an undertaking to
reverse the pC"oportions and do an
MR. RUSSELL: application of 2/3 Bt this SummeC"
Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member is and 1/3 f~nitC"othion, a reversal
perhaps aware the Minister of of what the department seems tp be
Forest Resources and I, just last intending to do?
week, received a copy of la'st
year's study which was done on the MR. SPEAKER:
spray programme. We are currently The han. the Minister of FoC"est
reviewing it and in conjunction Resources.
with the Pesticide Advisory Board
we · will be making MR. R. AYLWARD:
recommendat. ions. I am optimist_ic Mr. Speakel"", T do thank the hon .
Ll236 April 27, 1988 Vol XL No. 24 R1236
member for his question. I would use up to 25 per cent of our spray
first like to coment that the hon. programme with Bt and hope that it
member for Torngat Mountains (Mr. will work, Mr. Sp~aker, because
Warren) was not with me at the there is a lot at risk for this
time we got sprayed, so there Province if our spray programme
could be other factors involved in does not work with the Bt, Mr.
my nice shiny head, Mr. Speaker, Speaker. That is why we still
probably hereditary rather than have to use some fenitrothio n in
any spray. our spray progarmme this year.
First of all, Mr. Speaker, I want SOME HON. MEMBERS:
to say I am very sorry to see, and Hear, hear!
I believe it ls the first time
this happened, that the socialists MR. GULLAGE:
in this end of the House are now Mr. Speaker.
using The Sunday Express as
their researcher. Mr. Speaker, I MR. SPEAKER:
think that is a bad move on their The han.· the member for Waterford
part. They usually have better - Kenmount.
researchers than that.
Mr. Speaker, the experimenta l Bt Mr. Speaker, a question to the
spray programme, that we had last Min~ste~ of Housing (Mr. Peach).
year · in areas of the Northern Given the ·statement by
Peninsula was done under very Newfoundlan d and Labrador Housing
controlled conditions. We used that its primary mandate is the
different formulation s of Bt and prov1s1on of social housing for
we found one, through the seniors and the disadvantag ed as a
experiments , that was very priority, would the minister
effective. It is called explain why Newfoundlan d and
diapel-176, Mr. Speaker. That was Labrador Housing is cant inuing to
only learned last season. We have be involved in providing land for
applied to Agriculture Cariada, the the private sector? And I speak
group that wi.ll permit the sprays specificall y of the Pearlgate
that we use. Feni trot hi on is the Development and the recent
only spray that is licensed to use announcemen t that a British
on the hemlock looper and that is Columbia flnn is interested in
why we are using it in this developing that site, and a major
Province. department store, Eaton's, has
been spoken of. Why, in fact,
The Bt that we experimente d with does Newfoundlan d and Labrador
last year turned out to be very Hou-sing seem to be straying away
successful, Mr. Speaker, and we from its mandate to provide
asked for registratio n and we are housing to the three sectors I
wait1.ng for that registratio n. mentioned, and is, in fact,
While we are waiting that developing land outside of its
registratio n we will continue with mandate for the private sector?
an experiment to try to take the
controlled circumstanc es that were MR. SPEAKER:
used last year and transfer them The hon. the Minister of Housing.
into a commerical · spray
programme. And, Mr. Speaker, this MR. PEACH:
government has agreed this year to Mr. Speaker, the Newfoundlan d and
Ll237 April 27, 1988 Vol XL No. 24 Rl237
Labrador Corporation is not SOME HON. MEMBERS:
varying from its mandate. The Hear, hear!
mandate of the Newfoundland and
Labr.ado~ Housing Corpo~ation is to MR. GULLAGE:
provide suitable housing to people Was that a profit?
in the Province in g~eatest need.
But in addition to that, Mr. Mr. M.iniste~, could I ask whether
Speaker, the Housing Corpo~ation Newfoundland and Labrado~ Housing
does have the ~esponsibility, and plans to be a majo~ shareholder in
it is part of thei~ mandate, to this p~oposed development when it
see that indust~ial land is does take place, or is it just
developed in a p~oper way simply selling the land? I ask
throughout this P~ovince. We do that- question because of the risk,
need to ensure that developers and as we all know, of shopping center
industrialists can locate in development anyway right now given
various parts of the Province, and that the St. John's - Mount Pearl
for that reason we do f~om time to region as a whole has more per
time acquire land so that it can capita shopping space than any
be available to municipalities and other area of Canada. So, given
it can be available to developers the risk .involved, does this
who wish to situate themselves in government plan to be a
va~ious areas of the Province so shareholder or partner in any way
that they can carry on proper in this particular development, or
business operations. So, Mr. is it simply selling the land for"
Speaker, that is not at all profit, as you did with Sprung?
outside of our mandate. T do not
know if the membe~ fo~ Waterford - MR. SPEAKER:
Kenmount supports the views and The hon. the Minister of
the thoughts of his leader, who Newfoundland and Labrador Housing.
would consider, of course, the
City of St. John's to be a MR. PEACH:
parasitic city. Mr. Speaker, first of all, I say
to the member for Wate~ford
SOME HON. MEMBERS: Kenmount, I am not sure if he is
Hear, hear! speaking now as a member of this
House or a member of City
MR. GULLAGE: Council. -He obviously has a
Mr. Speaker. conflict as to whethe~ he is going
to represent the City of Mount
MR. SPEAKER: Pearl o~ the City of St. John's.
A supplementary, the hon. the He should get that matter
member for Water.ford - Kenmount. · straightened out first.
MR. GULLAGE: Also, Mr. Speaker, he made
Mr. Speaker, I heard the comment reference to the parcel of land
over the~e from someone that it Newfoundland and Lab~ador Housing
was sold for p~of it. We can say Corporation made available to
the same thing of the Sp~ung Newfoundland Enviroponics at a
land. Newfoundland and Labrado~ cost of $150,000 for 11.9 hectares
Housing sold $1 mi 11 ion worth of of property that was zoned for
land fo~ $150,000. · Was that for agricultural development in that
profit? particular area. Tt was a sod
farm, as a point of interest, Mr.
Ll238 April 27, 1988 Vol.XL No. 24 R1238
Speaker, for the Housing MR. KELLAND:
Corporation. I say to the member What applies to us today, as the
for Waterford Kenmount that official Opposition, will in short
parcel of land, the 11.9 hectares order be applying to those of them
I think it was, made available to who are successful in re-election
Newfoundland Enviroponics, an and will form part of the official
agricultural piece of property, Opposition next time around.
for a recovery cost of $150,000 to
attract a technology to the MR. TULK:
Province that we have, and it was Five.
to make a profit, was a much
greater investment, Mr. Speaker, MR. KELLAND:
than the $150,000 that the party Whetl" you consider preparing a
is paying for· their leader's Private Members' motion you think
salary. about, perhaps, a regional issue -
by regional I mean Labrador as a
SOME HON. MEMBERS: region - or a district issue as it
Hear, hear! might relate to my own district of
Order, please! I felt that this particular
subject, access to information in
It is now four o'clock and it is order for us to adequately carry
Private Member's Day. So I will out our functions as Opposition
call on the han. the member for members, was more important
Naskaupi. because it affects a~l districts
in the Province, not just my
district or not just the region of
Orders of the Day Labrador, but indeed every aspect
of our function here.
MR. SPEAKER: In order for us to discharge our
The han. the member for Naskaupi . duties as an official Opposition
we must have access to information
SOME HON. MEMBERS: about government operations and
Hear, hear! government spending, and hence the
reason for this particular motion:
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have had an indication that the
han. the President of the Council
I would like the government side (Mr. Simms) will speak first for
of the House to pay close the government side on this
attention to what will be said in particular motion. As an
the debate on my Private Members' aquaintance of mine for a great
motion, because I think it not number of years, I recognize him
only affects those of us in the as an honourable gentleman, as no
Opposition, but it will have an doubt his colleagues are, and I
affect on those currently in would not want to see this
government as their tenure is particular debate deteriorate into
drawing to a rapid close. an excuse to get onto subjects
that really have nothing to do
SOME HOM. MEMBERS: with the motion itself.
L1239 April 27, 1988 Vol XL No. 24 R1239
Having witnessed the performance couple of these jurisdictions is
of government on debate in the that when the Government of
House in recent days and weeks, it Ontario, which has the
would seem to me that they would legislation, and the federal
use any excuse to enter into a government, which has some
level of personal attack so that legislation governing freedom of
if we are talking about access to information - both of these charge
information, as we are in this fees accepts a request for
case, freedom of information, this information under the Freedom of
may provide an opportunity, Information Act, the minister is
perhaps, for those of less not the person who either decides
character than the Government to grant or deny the request for
House Leader to enter into information. That is a
comments about a supplemented significant difference from the
salary, for example, for the way we do it in this Province.
Leader of the Opposition, which
has been discussed in detail in In this Province, I believe
the House and adequately explained Section 7 of the act says, within
to everyone in the Province, with thirty days, the head, the
the possible exception of the minister, may decide to either
members of the government . grant or deny the request for
information under the Freedom of
So I know that the hon. the Information Act . That allows the
President of the Council is far minister, if he so wishes, to
too honourable a gentleman to use protect himself from legitimate
that excuse, and that his comments and reasonab.le questions by the
will be confined to the context of Opposition, for wh~tever his or
my Private Members' motion. her reasons may be.
In advance I commend him for The federal government and the
taking that sort of an approach Ontario government handled it a
and an · attitude towards U. Let little differently in that they
us not use it as an excuse to have independent commissioners who
lower the level of debate and let decide on the level of fees which
us try to pay attention to what I will be charged when information
am after here, as a member of the is dug out and provided to the
House of Assembly, in raising this questioner. at that is
I think th_
motion in the first place. much more reasonable because it
takes that kind of power out of
It has been said in correspondence the hands of the ministers who can
and it has been said through the protect themselves and maintain a
media that there is no universal shield or a wall of secrecy around
method whereby freedom of their operations and expenditures.
information legislation is applied
in a number of different provinces It seems in the three years I have
in our country. There are some been here as a member of the House
differences . Some provinces, I of Assembly it is extremely
understand, do not have freedom of difficult and becoming
information legislation in place, increasingly difficult to get
but a number of others do, at information on government
least five, of which we are one. operations.
The difference in at least a As the tide changes, I do not
Ll240 April 27, 1988 Vol XL No. 24 Rl240
think there is any question at all to hide.
in anyone's mind that the
political tide is changing in this There are many examples, I can
Province as it is in many parts of give you some, of how difficult it
Canada, as people and politicians is to get information from the
on the government side realize government. We have a number of
that the tide is changing, a tide different methods. We can write
that no one can stop it - it is letters to ministers, we can ask
changing - when they realize the them verbally in meet.ings, we can
ship they sail on that floats on use the Question Period which, as
that tide is becoming leaky, the we have seen today and other days,
first evidences of it starting to often becomes a farce. Or we can
sink is now become well known put-writ ten questions on the Order
everywhere you look. Paper in which certain regulations
ask that certain information ·is
They have that realization on that given in cerfain time limits.
side. You can tell by their None of these have been very
performance in the House. When effective.
they realize that, they become
more secretive, .they lock more I recall meeting with a minister
doors, they become less accessible some time ago and asking him
to us as their critics in the something like, I suppose,
House and they have that twenty-five or thirty questions,
realization deep in their soul. matters of concern to me, the
district and my region. I do not.
So it seems that over the three r.eally have many answers yet,
years I mentioned it is becoming although I think I have a couple
increasingl y difficult to get of short letters from him
information from government promising that information would
members, from ' ministers, in be forthcoming . I do not have the
particular. information .
It is recognized that an Another example is found with my
Opposition plays just an important colleague for Port de Grave (Mr.
a role in the parliamenta ry system E.fford) who in his role, as is his
as does government, but in order responsibil ity as a critic, as a
for us to carry out our function, member of ~ the Opposition who
we must have access to information examines operation of government 's
on government operations and expenditure s, filed a request with
government spending. We must have the Premier invoking The Freedom
access. Of Information Act and saying he
required a ntwber of pieces of
What is there to hide if the information to do with government
government is performing and spending, government operations
carrying out their operations and and the pur-poses for travel and a
their expenditure s in an variety of things related to
honorable, legitimate proper that.
manner? Making access to
information difficult for the The Premier then, using Section
Opposition tends to create an ( 7)of The Freedom Of Information
impression in the minds of just Act, decided to grant that request
about e~erybody that the for information , and keep in mind,
government may just have something as I said earlier, that he can
Ll241 Apdl 27, 1988 Vol XL No. 24 Rl241
either grant or deny. There is no question about that in
Sometimes you question whether or
not The Freedom of Information Act 'l'his t use and take as another
should be there in the first place example of government trying to
if a minister can deny your increase the difficulty for the
request anyway. Anyway, the official Opposition to obtain
Premier decided to grant i.n information.
writing this information.
MR . FUREY:
However, they have just recently The great ministel."ial muzzle .
made some change in regulation
whereby a . greatly increased fee MR. KELLAND:
for services was applied, $15.00 Again I have to ask, what the
an hour if it is not stored in a government is afraid of
computer and whatever the costs are the ministers afraid of other'
are if it is stored in a than the sinking ship syndrome
computer. My colleague for Port which they are now aware of, as is
de Grave (Mr. Efford) was advised everybody else in the Province?
in writing, after a series of What are they really afraid of
pieces of correspondence, that in really?
order to get information that he
required to carry out his job as a If, to pick because he is visible,
member ' of the official Opposition, the Minister of Environment and
it would cost him $445 to get the Lands (Mr. Russell) carries out a
information he is entitled · to . certain function, a certain
Now, that is unbelievable. operation and incurs certain
expenses, what would he possibly
I can understand, perhaps, _when have to hide from me, as an
requests come from the media or Opposition member who may be
from citizens, that they would curious about it, who may, in
like to have certain pieces of representing the people that I do
i.nfonnat.i.on that would cause represent, want to know that. the
certain work within the money is being spent properly,
bureaucracy an~ therefore incur a wisely and legitimately? What
cost, but my colleague, and all of would he have to hide if the
my colleagues, and our colleagues operation was clear and above
from the third party, are here to board and done in an honourable
do a job and there is absolutely manner?
no reason on the face of this
earth that any member of the House I would suggest he would have
of Assembly in ' the role of nothing to hide . I apologize to
Opposition should have to pay for the minister because I happened to
information that is his by right, be looking at him and used him as
as a member of the Opposition, and an example with no particular'
is absolutely necessary for him in personal refel."ence to him as a
order to carry out the functions minister, but the whole thing is
of his job. there. There seems to be · a very
strong attempt by whatever means
SOME HON. MEMBERS: possible to pr.event the Opposition
Heal.", hear! froJ!I carrying out their functions
in the role of examining what
MR. KELLAND: government is doing and assuring
L1242 April 27, 1988 Vol XL· No. 24 R1242
ourselves and the people we The minister to my left suggests
represent that government is being that the questions were silly, and
run properly. There are many, I would have to say there, 'What
many questions about that last gives you the right, Mr. Minister,
comment that have been in the to sit in ju~gement in that
minds of Newfoundlander s and manner?'
Labradorians for quite some time,
quite a number of years in fact. AN HON. MEMBER:
(Inaudible) public figures.
I have another example I can give
you which indicates how difficult MR. KELLAND:
it is for Opposition members to Whatever! Whatever!
get information. At a recent
Resource Estimates Committee I We have placed the questions on
attended, my colleague for Fortune the Order Paper and they have not
- Hermitage (Mr. Simmons) gave an been answered. Five or six have
example to the minister we were been answered.
questioning at the time. He had
made a verbal request for When we do get an answer, and I
information to a part icu.lar have another example here, the
minister and was told that he must answer has absolutely no
put that in writing and must do relationship to the question asked
all kinds of other things, and he in the first place.
never did get the information. It
was never given to him directly. If you would look, if you wish, at
Question 15 on the Order Paper,
However, he had his secretary call which was dated March 15, I asked
the same individual for the same a number of different questions to
information as a citizen of the a minister artd ther were quite a
Province and the information was few sections to the question. The
readily given to that individual. answer that came back, which was
The minister, who was being tabled by that minister, has no
questioned about that at the time, relationship whatsoever to the
said he would in~estigate. He question asked. So you have to
apparently did and could find no question the quality of the
one who would admit to having answers, let alone the lack of
performed in that manner. _· But them. The few answers we do get
this is the sort of thing that have no substance and no quality
happens to us all the time. and do not relate to the
information we require.
We could even go to the written
questions on the Order Paper, and When we talk about The Freedom of
that is all governed by our Information Act, we do not believe
regulations and whatever. We have that members of the Opposition
placed something like 120 or 130, parties should have to invoke The
I guess, written questions on the Freedom of Information Act. That
Order Paper. We only probably Freedom of Information Act, in our
have six or seven answers. opinion, is there for anyone other
than an elected ['epresentative of
AN HON. MEMBER: this House to get. information they
They were silly. may require for any number of
reasons. That is what it is there
MR. KELLAND: for.
L1243 April 27, 1988 Vol XL No. 24 Rl243
We are here, as elected So, having asked that question,
representatives of a number of has any government member ever
districts, and our job and part of paid for information from one of
our function is to examine what his colleagues, which I doubt and
government is doing to make sure everybody else would ; doubt, I
they are doing it properly and to would ask that the members of the
try to keep them on a straight government put themselves in our
track. We cannot do that unless position and, perhaps a little
we have the information from the facetiously, I can say that the
ministers on what they are doing, members of the citizenry of our
how they are spending their money, Province are going to put you in
what they are spending their time our position next time anyway, and
at, and things of this nature. We say to yourself, 'I require
should not have to use The Freedom information from a minister and I
of Information Act. But if we are am an elected representative o.f a
forced to use The Freedom of district in this Province, I
Information Act because of the way should not have to pay .for that
government tries to hamper and information because I require it
hinder our operations and our as part of the information I need
functions, then I am asking, in my to -carry out my job.'
motion, that any charges which
might normally apply to agencies This seems to be applicable moreso
outside the House of Assembly be when the House is not in session,
waived for members of the House of because when the House is not in
Assembly, every member of the session, we do not have access to
House of Assembly. Oral Question Period, we do not
have access to the Order Paper on
I can ask the government this which to pose questions, and if we
particular question: If a do, when the House is sitting, we
backbench member of the government do not seem to get the same
required information of any charges for the same pieces of
minister at any given time through information. Why would it apply
the course of the year, and when the House is not sitting?
whether he does it verbally or
whether he ·does it in writing, has Keep in mind, government decides
any member of the government side when we sit, _ not us. so, put
ever been charged ~ne penny- for yourselves in our position,
any piece of information required members of the government, and
of a minister? t doubt it very visualize six months, three
much. Are we not all subject to months, ten months, .five years,
the same regulations in the House no, not five years, a year down
of Assembly? Has any backbencher the road when you weLe sitting
or, let us say, non-ministerial over here and require information,
member of government, ever made an and you ask the member for
enquiry for information and been Naskaupi, whoever happens to be in
charged as much as one penny for the Cabinet, for information,
it? I doubt it. But we have whether in Oral Question Period,
already given you an example of my or on the Order paper, or through
colleague for Port de Grave who a letter when the House is not in
was about to be charged $445 for session. How will you feel i f I
information that he required in and my colleagues treat you as
order to carry out his job. government treats Opposition? You
will not like it. You will dse
Ll244 April 27, 1988 Vol XL No. 24 Rl244 ...
in your place and you will MR. SIMMS:
complain just as I am Mr. Speaker.
I suggest to you, members of The han. the President of Council.
government, that is no way to run
government. That is no way to run SOME HON. MEMBERS:
government, to deny the official Hear, hear!
Opposition access to information
about your operations and MR. SIMMS:
expenditures that we require in Mr. Speaker, I thank you very much
order to provide good critical for recognizing me, even though I
comment on what to do. had- - some doubt. I - thought the
han. Speaker was looking at one of
Without an ~pposi tion, you have a the members of the Opposition.
free hand; with the numbers you The Speaker, as always, is a great
have, you have a free hand; with man and can see all things at all
your attitude towards legitimate times, whenever he wishes to.
questions from the Opposition, you
have a free hand, and that is Mr. Speaker, I listened with some
arrogance in its most profound interest to what the member for
form. I do not believe Naskaupi (Mr. Kelland) had to say
clear-~inded, good thinking i.n this . particular debate, and I
members of the House of Assembly, must say, T was not impressed, as
no matter where they sit can the member for Twillingate said
countenance that continuing. today about the Minister of
Fisheries. T was not at all
MR. SPEAKER: impressed with what the member for
Order, please! Naskaupi had to say in defense of
his own resolution.
The han. member's time is up.
It is unfortunate that throughout
SOME HON. MEMBERS: his twenty-minute address he did
By leave, by leave! not, in all fairness, put the
issue in its total perspective.
MR. KELLAND: He dealt with one specific, tiny,
I will clue up in just one brief minute litt-le point, and not very
second. I do ask you to give good well at that.
consideration to my motion. There
is nothing there to hurt any He started off by patronizing me.
member of the House of the 'What a fine man I was. I was not
Assembly in the performance of his going to be nasty, or anything
duties, it is there to help every like that. I was not going to
member of the House of Assembly. talk about the Leader of the '
Opposi tlon' s salary. I hope we
Government would have a better did not use this debate for that
image in this Province if they are purpose. •
more open with the people they
represent. DR. COLLINS:
He was not even accurate.
SOME HON. MEMBERS:
Hear, hear! MR. SIMMS:
He himself is the person who
.Ll245 April 27, 1988 Vol XL No. 24 Rl245
raised it! I do not know why, the hon. member's comments. He
unless they are paranoid over said, 'We had 100 questions or 125
there about "it or something. I questions on the Order Paper.'
have no intention of talking about The actual fact is, of course,
that. I am going to try to deal there were only about six or seven
with some facts here, but that is questions on the Order Paper,
not to say that other members may asked of twenty ministers. That
not. was the full extent of their
effort, six or seven questions,
It may very well be within the all the same, asked of twenty-
realm of debate, and that will be ministers or eighteen ministers
up to the Speaker to determine, giving the . i.mpression to the
not for the hon. member to lecture pubtl.c and to the press, 'Oh, they
us as to how we might approach put a whole 100 or 125 questions
this particular debate. Although, on the Order Paper.'
I do wonder, Mr. Speaker, since we
are talking about freedom of If that is not a bit misleading I
information, whether or not, not do not know what is. Talk about
whether or not, I would love to sneaky, using the han. member for
see the response that the Leader Gander's favorite adjective.
of the Opposition might provide if
that question were able to be The other point is, Mr. Speaker,
posed under The Freedom of he did not give credit to the fact
Information Act, but, of course, that there have been a
it does not apply to him anyway, considerable number of answers.
so he will not have to answer that He did say, 'Many of the answers
question. are the same. ' Well, of course
they are because the questions are
The member did say in passing all the same. There were only
though, and I did think this was about six or seven questions.
interesting, he understood when
there was a lot of work associated I know I have personally answered
with putting together answers and three, I think, of the maybe four
he understood why, perhaps there given to me, about travel, about
should be fees and costs. Well, cars, about staff, and it is no
if he understands it, 1 do not big deal. Th~re are lots of
know why he would even bothe-r to answers. In fact, I am told there
put forth the resolution that he have been 15 responses, as a
puts forth today asking that there matter of fact, in the last couple
be no fees. He is contradicting of weeks, 15 answers to questions
himself right away. and the hon. member said there
'tJere hardly any.
He asks, 'What are we afraid of?'
The answer is rather obvious Mr. Speaker, let us get down to
because in all the examples he has the nitty-gritty in this
given, we have indicated that we particular debate. Let us talk
would provide the information. about The Freedom of Information
That has never been the question, Act, the legislation itself and
never been the question. its purpose, just so everybody
understands it. In Newfoundland,
Then he talks about the questions of course, we do not have to take
'that were on the Order Paper. a backseat to any other
This is just dealing with a few of jurisdiction in Canada.
Ll246 April 27, 1988 Vol XL No. 24 Rl246
In fact, we were one of the legislation and approved it, never
leaders in introducing freedom of did proclaim their Freedom of
information legislation ; one of Information legislation ~orhich is
the forerunners ; a personal rather interesting coming from a
commitment by the Premier to bring socialist government. They did
in freedom of information not.
legislation contained in this
particular Act, and it was to. MR. TULK:
enforce the basic principle that When did they pass it?
we all are familiar with, that is
the right of access of any MR. SIMMS:
canadian citizen living in this Oh, I do not know. They passed it
Province, in our case, to quite sometime ago. They never
information contained in . the did proclaim it.
records of government departments .
There are certain restriction s. They had lots of time.
Everybody is familiar with 'the
restriction s. I did not hear the MR. SIMMS:
bon . member address any concerns . Oh, they had plenty of time,
about the restriction s that are plenty of time.
placed on freedom of information
so I presume he has no problem SOME HON. MEMBERS:
with the restriction s that are Oh, oh!
placed. That is the e~emptions to
the Act and there are two types MR. DINN:
the non-discret ionary ones and the (Inaudible) auto pact.
discretiona ry ones. He has no
problem with any of those so I do MR. SIMMS:
not even need to go through any of Yes, t.hey might have been worried
that information . a.bout some questions about the
auto pact or auto insurance or
He did say that other provinces do whatever it was up there.
have· similar pieces of legislation
and that is accurate. New Mr. Speaker, what was brought in
Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, with that legislation here in
Quebec, Newfoundlan d and . the Newfoundlan d provided for fees and
federal government, there are six the member did · not address any
jurisdictio ns that have access to concerns about the normal fees
information legislation . M~ni toba that are charged for anybody who
also has it, but it has not yet wants to obtain information under
been proclaimed and, of course, The Freedom of Information Act,
after the events of yesterday, it that is to charge people a basic
is not likely to be proclaimed for $5 fee for all requests that are
another while yet. processed.
AN HON. MEMBER: The f ir"st two hours of information
The socialists did not declare gathet"ing, and this is very
that. important, by any pt"ovincial
employee or any person or
MR. SIMMS: individual, is free. Two hours of
No, they did not. The socialists information gathering is free . . If
in Manitoba, while they passed the the question takes less t.han two
L1247 April 27, 1988 Vol xr~ No. 24 R1247
hours to put together in terms of information and the file is rather
a response, there is no charge or thick, they will take the time to
no additional fee. call that particular questioner
and explain to him, 'You have a
If there is addi tiona! time used very thick file. Do you still
in pu,t ting the information want us to proceed? Because you
together, then there will be an have to pay for the copies. ' It
additional charge of $15 .per hour, is then up to them whether they
and of course, anybody seeking wish to or not.
information, i f they wish to have
reproduced photocopies, they are The other point is, if you want to
expected to pay the cost. In our come in and sit down with an
case, we have estimated it at employee of the Workers'
twenty-five cents a .copy, which is Compensation Board and look
not an unreasonable cost, and through your files, there is no
nobody really ever complains about charge. So, I mean, there is
it, I do not believe. nothing unreasonable or unfair.
But I will table this on behalf of
Just as an example, if T might the Premier in response to a
just digress, yesterday the MOP question asked yesterday by the
asked a question of the Premier member for Menihek, I think it was.
and I will table the response, or
this document which explains the Mr. Speaker, that is basically
answer very much in detai 1, with some of the background. Now let
respect to some individual who me just get to what has happened
applied to the Workers' over the last six months or so in
Compensation Board for some Newfoundland. First of all, with
information. The policy has been respect to the criticism, and it
in place there since 1983, and was repeated by the member for
their policy is the same basically Naskaupi, and the perception that
as we have here, under our own somehow people have to pay for all
legislation, a basic charge of $5, information under The Freedom Of
plus twenty-five cents a page. In Information Act that is
1987, they had 349 requests for certainly the perception, and it
copies of various files. In all is being perpetrated, I think, by
cases, copies were made available; members opposite and some media -
the average charge per file copy those criticisms are not accurate
was $16.30. nor are they fair.
AN HOM . MEMBER: Just as an example: The
(Inaudible) . individual for whom this
legislation was introduced in the
MR. SIMMS: first place, John Q. Public, would
He understood a question was asked not have to pay any additional
about a possible charge of fees for personal requests for
$80.00. While that is highly information. Ninety-nine per cent
unusual, it is possible if of the requests we have from the
somebody wants all those copies. general public are all addressed
But it was not additional fees, it very normally, no additi.onal
was for copies of files. The charge .
answer there ·is very clear, Mr.
Speaker. They are quite fair. In What has happened in recent months
fact, if a claimant asks for is that we have been receiving .
Ll248 April 27, 1988 Vol XL No. 24 Rl248
unreasonable requests for all travel claims, all
information, and there are some information, details on all these
examples I can cite here. The people for a period of five or six
Sunday Express requested travel months.
information: Copies of travel
receipts, travel claims for all MR. J. CARTER: .
ministers and staff who It is ridiculous.
accompanied ministers, and any
other staff. If a staff person MR. SIMMS:
from another department, Justice For a period of five or six months!
or Intergovernmen tal Affairs
accompanied a minister to a MR. J. CARTER:
conference or something, they Stupid! Stupid!
wanted all of those travel claims,
all the copies of all of the MR. SIMMS:
receipts, all the information on Opposition requests, and I am not
all of these people for one full certain who it was, but I seem to
year. recollect a question, it might
have been from the member for St.
MR. R. AYLWARD: Barbe, and if I am wrong I am sure
Ridiculous! he will correct me, but certainly
there was a question from
MR. SIMMS: · Opposition members asking for the
One year. same type of information, travel
information and so on, for the
MR. YOUNG: period since "1985, since the last
The han. the member for Port de provincial general election; they
Grave wants you to repeat it. wanted information and details
covering the last three fiscal
MR. SIMMS: years. Now, Mr. Speaker, I ask
I will table i t afterwards. I do you! And many of these
not have enough time to repeat it. unreasonable requests, by the way,
were being used by certain print
CBC wrote a four page letter media, one in particular,. to
four pages - asking I do not know simply fill up the newspapers.
how many questions, umpteen And I say, why should the
questions of a very, very taxpayers of this Province pay for
technical nature concerning the this material to fill up a
Sprung Project. It would have newspaper? Why should they?
taken weeks and weeks and weeks to
find the people to put all the Now, Mr. Speaker, the point is
answers together. Michael Harris, these kin~s of requests and
himself, at The Sunday Express, examples that· I gave were· not
example number three, not only reasonable because it was taking a
wanted to know about the Premier's lot of the time of provincial
travel, but he wanted all the public servants to try to
information on all those who have accumulate all of this
travelled with him, all those information, much of which was
staff from all of the various difficult to put together, by the
departments I just alluded to, way, because there are several
Justice and IGA, who would different bits of information
frequently accompany the Premier. located in different places. For
He wanted copies of all receipts, example, the department files are
L1249 April 27, 1988 Vol XL No. 24 Rl249
not kept by people, by names, they case? 'Oh, yes.' But if you
are filed by dates for accounting wanted information for a two or
purposes. That is one example. three year period, it would cost
Also, I understand, receipts are you roughly $300, not unlike our
kept in the vault in the situation. Well I said, 'What ·
Department of Finance, not kept in about if I wanted it for just one
the department itself. Travel month?' He said, 'We can give you
claims are kept in the government an estimate.' I said, 'Well, the
department, and so on. So, I member for Fortune Hermitage
mean, it is not an easy and simple used to be a parliamentary
task, as members might expect. secretary. Could you check it out
for me?' January of 1982, I found
So the reason for bringing in the out~- 'Yes, we can get that
fees, then, was that in order to information for you, no charge.'
be responsible to the taxpayers,
we must recover all of those The interesting thing, by the way,
exorbitant costs associated with is that when I did get the
these unreasonable and exorbitant lnformat ion, T found that on the
requests. authorizat ton form it simply says,
'To accompany minister on business
Other jurisdictions have, as the trip. ' It does not say anything
member for NaGkaupi mentioned, more than that. Tt was not vet'y
similar legisl_ tion.
a Ontario specific. When t read the
charges fees, and the federal receipts and documents of his
government charge fees. So we are trip_, I found that it was January
not breaking new ground. We are 5 to Januat'y 11 of 1982, a nice
not doing _ nything
a different or cool time of the year, and the
unusual in our particular member for Fot'tune Hermitage
situation. accompanied the minister on a
business trip to Honolulu,
God, how time flies! I only have Hawaii. I thought that was pr'etty
four or five minutes left. interesting. So that kind of
information is available.
Mr. Speaker, I do want to get . to a
couple of things. I did take the Mr. Speaker', I only have two
opportunity to check other minutes left. I want to conclude
jurisdictions, and in the cas·e of by saying this: Some startling
the federal government I made an information, if hon. members
enquiry, for example, to see what wonder why we brought in this pay
it would cost to get information schedule. The first quarter of
on MPs. I was told that last year, 1987, there wet'e ten
information related to the IiPs requests under Freedom of
offices you cannot get under the Information in four ' months. Four'
federal government's F~eedom of from pt'ivate individuals, which
Information Act. An MPs office, would include MHAs. So they never
the $50,000 or $60,000 he gets to bothered last year'. Four' ft'om
run his office, that is not them, six ft'om the media - five
applicable under Freedom of from The Sunday Express. The
Information. fir'st quarter of this year, six
from private individuals - this is
So, I said, 'What about a member since the fees went up - mot'e than
of Parliament who was involved as there were last year when there
a parliamentary secretary,' as one were no fees, and thet'e were
Ll250 April 27, 1988 Vol XL No. 24 Rl250
sixteen from the media, which is The hon. the member for Port de
three times as much as was there Grave.
last year when there were no
fees. So it has not. been a MR. EFFORD:
deterrent to them. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Here is the interesting For the f lrst two years after I
statistic: Last year, all told, was elected to thi~: House of
sixty-six requests under the Assembly, my main objective was to
Freedom of Information try to discredit the government on
legislation , twenty-four from the the other side and expose them for
private sector, and so on. The what they really are, so that we
interesting thing is that of the could prove to the people of this
sixty-six, thirty-four were . from Province that we are the
The Sunday Express, in the whole alternative , that we are the party
of last year. Now, Kr. Speaker, that should be in power ; That was
that tells me something. It may my objective for the first two
not strike home to the han. years.
members opposite, but I will tell
you that if we are going to be Af-ter listening to the President
responsible as a government to the of Treasury Board and President of
taxpayers of this Province, if we the Council for the last twenty
are going to be responsible and minutes, I am now convinced that
ensure that we protect the public we do not have to do that anymore,
trough as best we can, then when because they are doing quite a
you get exorbitant requests, capable job themselves. He stood
unreasonabl e requests, it is not on his feet and never once
unexpected that those people mentioned the resolution. He
should pay. But in the case of totally misled what the resolution
most of the questions members is all about, what the objectives
opposite might have, they can of the Opposition are, and the
simply ask questions and if it reason why they should ask
does not take an excessive amount questions.
of time to get the answers, we
will give them to them. We have The resolution very clearly
done it on numerous occasions, and states: 'BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED
they really .cannot accuse us of that the regulation be amended to
that . If they want information provide that any charges, which
for a three year period, they must might normally apply to agents or
be expected to pay. agencies outside of the House of
Assembly, be waived for Members of
And the Minister of Fisheries will the House of Assembly who require
give a glowing example of i t when the information .for the normal
he speaks in this particular pursuit of their duties.'
debate, Mr. Speaker.
There is noth.ing irregular about
SOME HOM. MEMBERS: that. There is nothing to say
Hear, hear! that that is a ridiculous
resolution, or that nobody should
MR. EFFORD: vote for it. As elected members
Mr. Speaker. of the House of Assembly, as
members of a party representin g
MR. SPEAKER: the people of this Province, we
Ll2.51 April 27, 1988 Vol XL No. 24 R1251
have a right to ask questions and travelling around the world, going
to get information that the people to Norway, going to Japan and
of this Province should know. going to China. We had better cut
The President of the Council
asked, 'Why would the taxpayers of He comes back and writes, 'We are
this Province want to know the going to have to charge you for
answers to the questions we are this. • I received a bill with the
asking? ' I am going to give you letter totalling $445. Obviously,
an example, and my colleague and in the week I asked the question,
friend for Naskaupi read out an they changed the Freedom of
example of what we are talking Information guidelines to insert
about. I refer you back to 4 the charge for only one reason,
December. This is where I because of the exorbitant. amount
requested information on two of travel incurred by the
parliamentary secretaries to the ministers. I am going to give
Premier. The information I proof that we know for a fact that
requested was just simply the cost this travel has been incurred.
We all know about the limousines.
Why would an MHA require That ls public knowledge. The
lnformatlon on the cost of press themselves picked that up,
travel? Because we want to know. the $1500 limousines, the -$1200
Were there costs entailed? What hotel rooms and the $200 tlp given
was the travel for? If there was to the driver. Now, we really can
none, it is just as easy to say no afford to do that in light of the
as to say yes. That is all we release that came forth in the
ask. We do not know the answers press today, from the National
to the questions, so we just write Council on Welfare, in which they
a letter and ask for the very clearly stated that 24 per
information. cent of the children in
Newfoundland at"e living below the
On 4 December, I received a letter poverty · line, are living in
from the Chief of staff: 'On poverty! We can afford to give
behalf of Premier Peckford I our $200 tips! We can afford to
acknowledge receipt of your letter live in $1200 hotel rooms or use
of November 24 requesting $1500 limousines when something
information. Please be assured like this is happening!
that your correspondence will be
brought to the Premier's attention This is the reason why we, as an
at which time a- more a detailed Opposition Party, have a duty and
response will be forthcoming.' a job to ask questions. The only
The Premier's Chief of Staff says reason why the charge was put
very clearly in the letter of there is to try and stop us.
December 4 that they will give us Where am I going to get $445 every
the information requested. time I need information from the
government? Every tlme l require
Somewhere between December 4 and information, I have got to come up
December 16, they started to take with $400 to $500.
this very seriously. 'Now,
gentlemen, we are going to let the It is absolutely absurd to expect
people of the Province know how any MHA or any backbencher on the
much money we are wasting in government side or on the
L1252 April 27, 1988 Vol XL No. 24 Rl252
Opposition side or from the little the minister's off ice and the
party down in the corner down minister alone, we are not talking
there to have to come up with that about the executive support, we
kind of money. They know full are not talking about all the
well that we cannot do it and, assistance, · we are just talking
therefore, they implemented the about the minister's office alone
charge to stop it, because they and I can go on and on. These are
know what they are doing is facts. These are not f lgures of
absolutely wrong . an alarmist. This is not an
alarmist standing up and dreaming
Let me just r-elay some figures, as up figures. It is information we
my colleague fr-om Burgeo Bay have.
d' Espoir- related yesterday in his
speech, of the cost of travel this Rural, Agricultural and Norther-n
Province is encountering from the Development, approved, $60,000 and
different minister's offices. Let spent $76,000. Now, the President
me give you an example. In 1987 - of the Council asked the question,
1988, the Premier's Office travel 'Why would the taxpayers of this
was $98,000, in the Premier's Province want to know answers to
office alone, the Premier questions like that?'
himself! The Department of
Finance, Public Works, for I can tell you why they want . to
example, $40,000 ; Development and know. It is very, very simple,
Tourism, estimated $60,000. Just basic information and knowledge.
listen! The Estimates Committees, When you sit down in the mor-ning
which it is a disgrace to have for- breakfast and you have two
Estimates Committees, estimated childr-en sitting ar-ound the table
and approved $60,000 and he spent and the best thing you can put on
$119,000! What is the point of that table is to share a slice of
sitting down in this House of br-ead for breakfast with youc-self
Assembly and approving in and your childr-en, that is why
Committees a budget for 1987 they want to know the answers to
1988 of $60,000 and a minister can those questions .
go off and travel the world and
spend $119,000? The member- for- Car-bonear- should
not stand in the door-way and make
Let me go a little further. fun because- he knows full well he
Energy, $60,000; Environment, and I and all other- member-s of
$40,000; Transportation - here is this House can go out and sit down
another good one we approved in a r-estaurant and enjoy a good
$60,000 for a minister to travel br-eakfast-. Twenty-seven per cent
and he spent $80,000. of the children in this Pr-ovince
cannot even affor-d the luxury of a
Let me relate back again to what slice of br-~ad for- breakfast.
came up in Question Period today,
what was on the provincial news If you want to stand up in that
and, I guess, on the national news doorway and tell me what I am
again today, 27 per cent of our saying is wr-ong, and make fun of
children are living in hunger and it, then I suggest to you -
in poverty without food, without
clothing, without proper heating, MR. SPEAKER:
and we can spend hundreds of A point of order-, the member- for-
millions of dollars every year in Placentia.
Ll253 April 27, 1988 Vol XL No. 24 Rl253
MR. PATTERSON: would generate again into the bear
This is beginning to be joke, pit that he would like to see.
listening to the han . member
there. MR. PATTERSON:
In the last session of · this House,
I introduced a resolution that MR. SPEAKER:
would help solve the problem. I The han. the member for Placentia.
know that there is poverty. I
know there is poverty out there. SOME HOM. MEMBERS:
I introduced the resolution on He spoke! He spoke!
universality and every one to a
man voted against that. You voted MR. - PATTERSON:
against the poor people of The hon. gentleman, who was House
Newfoundland, and you are being a Leader for the Opposition, you
hypocrite standing there. Dig out voted against the poor people in
the papers and you wi 11 see you Newfoundland, and you people
voted against my resolution - professed to be the leaders of the
toiling masses, you people are
SOME HOM. MEMBERS: scoundrels and hypocrites.
SOME HON. MEMBERS:
MR. SPEAKER: Hear, hear!
MR. PATTERSON: There is no point of order, it was
that will help alleviate the just a disagreement. and a
problem that exists in difference of opinion between two
Newfoundland and Canada today. han. gentlemen.
SOME HON. MEMBERS: The han. the member for Port de
Hear, hear! Grave.
MR. TULK: MR. EFFORD:
To that point of order. Mr. Speaker, the display that just
came out of the member for
MR. SPEAKER: Placentia - (Mr. Patterson) is
To that point of order, the member typical and shows exactly the
for Fogo. problem we are having in this
I do not mind the hon . gentleman We have a government in power who
getting up and making are elect~d by a clear majority,
mini-speeches, that is probably as no· argument, by a clear majority
far as his capabilities go, but of the population of this province
let me say this to the han. to admi~ister and provide a decent
gentleman, and let me say to you, living for the people of this
Mr. Speaker, that this kind of Province. No question, no
thing that he has been carrying on argument, un~il the . next election
for the past week cannot go on. that st.ands in place. That will
He cannot get up on points of change after the next election,
order to interrupt another member make no mistake about it. If
speaking. Otherwise, this place anybody wishes to argue, drop the
Ll254 April 27, 1988 Vol XL No. 24 Rl254
writ, issue the writ, we are ready a word to describe it. There is
to go. no question about that. Let me
give you an example of why we need
SOME HON. MEMBERS: information on the spending by the
Hear, hear! government and the waste over
Mr. Speaker, what we are dealing When we go into our hospitals, we
with is why would the people of have a situation in our hospitals
the Province want to know. I can where people are actually dying
give you many, many examples of because they cannot get proper
why the people of this Province care by our doctors and by our
would want to know. nurs~s. It is not that the
doctors or .nurses are not capable
Let us stay away from the hungary of doing their job.
children, and if any . member on the
Opposite side think that I am AN HON. MEMBER:
fantasizing and I am trying to be (Inaudible) .
an alarmist, I will take them
personally to homes and families, MR. EFFORD:
children and parents, who are That is a · statement-
sitting down and sharing a bowl
full of rice, or a slice of bread MR . SIMMS:
for breakfast, or whatever. · I · Irresponsib le.
will show them very clearly. We
are not dreaming this up . We can MR . EFFORD:
take them and show them the Go to your hospitals and ·ask
people. them. Let us go together, let us
get a Select Committee of this
Let us get to the situation about House and go to any one hospi~al,
why should the people know where any one hospital. Two weeks ago
the tax dollars are being spent in at the Health Sciences Hospital we
another situation . Let us take had fourteen people who needed
our hospitals, for example, - by-pass surgery, who waited for
ten days in critical condition to
SOME HON. MEMBERS: get into the operating room. Why
Oh, oh! could they, not get into the
operating room? The money is not
MR. EFFORD : there to provide the beds that
Mr. Speaker, would you protect me needed to get those people the
from the idiotic things coming proper health care. Not enough
down from the backbench because I people -
have some points to make. My time
is elapsing and there is no way AN HON . MEMBER:
you can put your ideas forth in Not true.
this House with people sitting in
the back like that. MR. EFFORD:
It is true. Not enough people,
We have a situation in hospitals not enough money to provide the
where our health care is in a proper nursing care.
desperation situation. Words
cannot describe the desperate MR. DINN:
situation. I cannot come up with You are really careless with the
Ll255 Apdl 27, 1988 Vol XL No. 24 R1255
truth. Let me inform the President of the
Council, the Deputy Premier, the
MR. EFFORD: President of Treasury Board,
Let us go down to the Hoyles Home whatever titles are on top of his
and Escasoni, now let us give you little head, he asked the question
some more truth, where the manager why would the taxpayers of this
herself came on public radio - Province want to know the answet"s
to the questions put forth? You
MR. SIMMS: said it is in Hansard, this
Mr. Speaker, a point of order. question by the Opposition.
MR. SPEAKER: I am very clearly pointing out why
A point of order. the- · taxpayet"s would want to know
the answers to · the question. We
MR. SIMMS: need the answers to the question
Mr. Speaker·, in all fairness and because of the expenditure and the
reasonableness, the hon. member - wastefulness of money.
I did not catch his whole ·speech -
but I did hear him attack me and We had a parliamentary assistant
say as I left that I did not once ~ast year, a back benchet", let me
mention the resolution, and I give you an idea of what a back
talked about everything else. bencher of the govet"nment does.
Last yeat" the back benchet" spent.
I would like the ho·n. member to $57, 000 in tt"avel and we turn
tell us what is he doing now. around and we will tell the people
of this Province that we cannot
MR. EFFORD: give them a decent living, and we
Mr. Speaker, there is no point of will tell the people of this
order. Province that when we ask
~uestions about how much money did
MR. SIMMS: the ParLiamentary Assistant to the
It is a point of order, Mr. Pt"emiet" spend last year, he will
Speaker. I t is a legitimate point send me back a bill fot" $445.
of order, it is totally t"elevant
to the t"esolution. I know now why they are sending me
back the bill for $445, because
He is talking about health cat"e what they are doing -
and everything. The resolution
talks about freedom of AN HON. MEMBER:
information, Mr. Speake I:'. The (Inaudible).
hon. member should try to contain
his remarks to the appropt"iate MR. EFFORD:
topic. I will deal with that in a second.
MR. SPEAKER: - what they are doing is they need
Thet"e is no point of Ot"det". There to travel a little bit more and
is just a difference of opinion they will try to accumulate a few
between hon. gentlemen. more dollars to travel, so they
put the bill and hopefully we will
The hon. the member fot" Port de pay the bill . Fifteen times $445
Gt"ave. for all the questions, we could
get another $100,000 to waste over.
MR. EFFORD: in London doing some of the
Ll256 Apdl 27, 1988 Vol XL No. 24 ~1256
scurrilous things that you did going to cost you money?
last year over there.
Now, what was the question you Let us see if what you said he
just asked? said is what he actually said -
MR. SIMMS: MR. EFFORD:
We did not say we would not give Read the Premier's own mail.
you the information and that was
your whole point, is it not? MR. SIMMS:
- or did you fabricate that too?
Okay, let me answer the question. MR. -EFFORD:
Since I received the bill of $445, Did I fabricate that the Minister
since that time the House of of Development and Tourism (Mr.
Assembly opened and we put on the Barrett) spent last year, $119,000
Order Paper a written question, in travel? Is that fabrication
the same identical question that when a statement like that is
we requested and we got the bill made?
back for $445. This was back in
January. Today is April and we MR. SIMMS:
have absolutely no reference· or no Who . said it was fabrication?
answer to the question to date.
MR. SIMMS: Well, you were accusing me of
(Inaudible) to put that together, fabrication, Mr. Speaker.
a full year.
MR. EFFORD: (Inaudible).
The Premier said very clearly in a ·
copy of his letter that the MR. EFFORD:
information is available and we Mr. Speaker, there is no question
will give it to you tomorrow. - about it.
MR. SIMMS: MR. TULK:
Absolutely. On a point of order, Mr. Speaker.
MR. EFFORD: MR. SPEAKER (Parsons):
That was back on December 14. On a point of order, the hon. the
member for Fogo.
(Inaudible) pay tomorrow. MR. TULK:
The hon. gentleman should know
MR. EFFORD: better. He has been shouting
This is now April 27 and we have across the House the word
not received any information yet. 'fabrication' and I refer Your
Honour to page 106 of Beauchesne
SOME HON. MEMBERS: and the listing there. I would
Table the letter. ask the hon. gentleman to he the
leader that he should be and
MR. EFFORD: withdraw the word 'fabrication'.
This is a copy of the Premier's
letter. Go to the files, is that MR. SIMMS:
L1257 April 27, 1988 Vol XL No. 24 Rl257
Mr. Speaker, 'to that point of MR. EFFORD:
order . because we have a duty as
Opposition members to give
MR. SPEAKER: information to the taxpayers.
To the point of order, the han.
the Government House Leader. It is their dollars that the
people on that side of the House
MR. SIMMS: are wasting. It is ·not your own
Yes, Mr. Speaker, to the point of dollars, it is the taxpayers'
order. Let me also say that dollars. . They have a right to
further on in Beauchesne, starting know where the money is being
on page 110, there is a list of spent. You can put all of the
items that since 1958 have been obs~acles in the way that you
ruled parliamentary and in the wish. There is no question about
same connotation it talks about it, every individual in this
'false, falsehoods,' all those Province knows .full well why the
kinds of things being perfectly charge is put in.
acceptable in terms of
parliamentary wording. So the Really it does not matter that we
hon. member opposite, if he thinks bring out the number of dollars
I have offended him or something, that you have wasted in . travel.
I will withdraw. But I just point The fact that you charged us and
out that he should read all of the fact that the people of the
Beauchesne, not one specific page Province know full well why it is
that he referred to, Mr. Speaker. done is enough for the Oppositidn.
There is no point of order there.
MR . SPEAKER:
MR. SPEAKER: Order, . please!
The hon. the member for Port de
Grave. The hon. member's time is elapsed.
MR. TULK: MR. EFFORD:
Are you going t~ ask him to In conclusion, Mr. Speaker.
SOME HON. MEMBERS:
MR. EFFORD: By leave! By leave!
He did withdraw .
Thank you, Mr. Speaker . It is enough for the people of
this Province to know that after
Mr. Speaker, it is very obvious the next election they will not
that we have hit a nerve. It is have to contend with waste of the
very qbvious that we hit a sore taxpayers' dollars. One or two
point today in the House because members will be sitting on this
the hon. member for Naskaupi (Mr. side and fifty members will be
Kell~nd) put forth a resolution to sitting on that side.
exempt the M.H.As from this part
of the House from the cost of SOME HON. MEMBERS:
seeking information - Hear, hear!
MR. SIMMS: MR. RIDEOUT:
No, extra. Mr. Speaker.
Ll258 April 2·7, 1988 Vol XL No. 24 R1258
MR. SPEAKER: Speaker, that are before the
The hon. the Minister of Fisheries. committees now.
MR. RIDEOUT: And then, Mr. Speaker, the han.
Mr. Speaker, I suppose a sign of gentleman looking very seriously
how full of oneself one is is that at the Government House Leader,
as one is resuming one's seat one something along the lines that I
claps for oneself. spoke about in this House a couple
of weeks ago when I spoke about
SOME HOM. MEMBERS: the perception becomes reality if
Hear, hear! you can get the press to pick up
the right buzz word, and then that
MR. RIDEOUT: night in Ming's Bight, that is
It is ndt very often· you will see what gets reported. It was the
that in legislature s or hon. gentleman I · was talking
parliaments , I would think. But I directly to through you, Sir, that
thought it was interesting , Mr. particular day. Then today he
Speaker, does it again, Mr. Speaker. Today
he does lt again. After he said,
MR. E.FFORD: do not accuse me of being an
Walt until the next election. alarmist or anything like that, he
Mr. Speaker, it does not happen MR. EFFORD:
very often. (Inaudible) you yet.
Mr. Speaker, I thought it was kind MR. RIDEOUT:
of funny, actually, listening to I am not worried now, Mr. Speaker,
the hon. gentleman kind of if I speak about the hon.
burstrng at the seams· with gentleman.- I am not too worried
self-righteo usness, really almost about the hon. gentleman.- Those
puffed up in his threats are not going to frighten
self-righteo usness, talking about me , Mr. Speaker. If he has
freedom of information and the something we will deal with it.
public's right to know, and in the If he does not have anything, it
same breath ·saying, now before you is not going to bother me.
accuse me of being an alarmist,
because the hon. gentleman has He looks across at the Government
such a reputation of being an House Leader (Mr. Simms) then, Mr.
alarmist and raising false fears Speaker, and -
and anxieties, and so on, here in
the House, and . after the next two MR. EFFORD :
or three words that so eloquently (Inaudible) shaking, 'Tom'.
flowed from the hon. gentleman was
the following statement: 'Hundreds MR. RIDEOUT:
of millions of dollars spent on At least I can be understood, Mr.
ministers offices.' Do not accuse Speaker, whether I am shaking or
me of being an alarmist, but not.
'hundreds of millions of dollars
spent on ministers offices.' That MR. EFFORD:
was his quote, 'Hundreds of That was unbelievabl e.
millions,' talking about the
present estimates, by the way, Mr. MR. RIDEOUT:
Ll259 April 27, 1988 Vol XL Mo . 24 R1259
Well, so was the remark. brought in under the Freedom of
Information Act several months
The hon. gentleman then looked ago. The principle, Kr. Speaker,
across at the Government House is that the information is
Leader and made quoted something available; the information must _be
about a scurrilous trip to London made available. But is it right
- staring right at the Government and proper and is it prudent? Are
House Leader - this gentleman who you prudent managers of the
does not want to be branded as an taxpayers' money to allow a
alarmist, this gentleman who, in loophole, to allow technicalities
all self-righteousness, wanted the to account for a significant
facts to go out as they should to further expenditure of taxpayers'
the public. mon~y in order to research that
information? That is what it is
So, you see, Kr. Speaker, nothi~g all about, _ Mr. Speaker. That is
has changed, he just keeps coming what the regulations were all
on with the same old rubbish, the about. You can have what you
same old stuff, the same old want, you can open up any files
innuendo. Not one thing has you want, you can spend the next
changed. six months with civil servants
down in the vaults in the bowels
Now, let me talk for a few minutes of Confederation Building if you
about this particular resolution. want, photocopying and digging out
This resolution, Mr. Speaker, has information, but is it right and
absolutely nothing to do with the proper and a legitimate and
public's right to know. This prudent use of taxpayers' money to
resolution, Mr. · Speaker, has have that go on ad nauseum and the
nothing to do with the taxpayer pay for it? That is the
government's obligation to provide question that obviously has to be
information. The ~egulations that answered.
were introduced as part of The
Freedom Of Information Act has It is not a question of not
nothing to do or not to do with providing the information, it is
barring the public from knowing not a question of saying you are
how the taxpayers' dollars were not allowed to ask for the
expended. It has nothing to do information, it is a question that
with that whatsoever. if you bel~ eve, you being anybody
out there - it does not apply to
Those regulations, Kr. Speake. ,
r individual information on
had nothing to do whatsoever with yourself, on your own person, but
the obligation and the if you are The Sunday Express,
responsibility of those elected to or i f you are the CBC, or i f you
the treasury benches providing are a member · of the House of
that information to the public. Assembly, is it right and proper
Whether it came from the han. to expect that you can tle up
gentleman or whether it came from hours upon hours , days upon days,
The Sunday Express or whether it if the questions are detailed
came from CBC, or whomever it enough, at the public's expense to
came from, that is not the get that particular information?
principle that is embodied in this There is nobody saying you should
particular resolution, nor is it not have it. Nobody saying that
the principle that is embodie~ in it will not be provided.
the regulations that government
Ll260 April 27, 1988 Vol XL No. 24 R1260
Mr. Speaker, members of a is not a question of rates, Mr.
Parliament, members of a Speaker, i.t is not a question of
Legislature must ~se their the public's right to know or the
discretion. tihether they are on Opposition 's right to ask and the
this side or that side, they have government 's responsibil ity to
to use discretion. They have to respond, that is not the question,
say to themselves, Is t·his the question that they are
particular series of questions indirectly trying to attack here,
justified in my opinion? Do I that is not what i t is, the real
have sufficient reason to believe question is whether there should
that I should go after this be a reasonable charge over and
information ? I have a right to above a set limit to reasonably
get it. Do I have reason to prov-ide information . I say, Mr.
believe I should go after it? Or Speaker, yes, there should be.
is it just a frivolous approach Not to stymie the flow of
across the board like was done on information , not to stymie the
the Order Paper, by the way, on flow of answers, but to make all
Opening Day, five or six of the of us equally responsible to the
same questions to everybody and taxpayers who are paying our bills
the answers are invariably going to be here. t say, yes, there
to be the same? So members have should be.
responsibi lities, Mr. Speaker, as
does anybody else, to be as Mr. Speaker, I have responded to
protective of the taxpayer that information under The Freedom of
they get up and croak and moan and Information Act on a number of
groan about, as they legitimatel y occasions before the new
should, and not, on the other regulations on cost were brought.
hand, be .prepared to gouge the in, and since that time.
taxpayers_ iri a useless, frivolous Sometimes it is interesting to
exercise in seeking a piece of note, Mr. Speaker, what happens to
information . the particular information that
you aC'e asked to provide. I will
Now, if you want it under · give you a couple of examples_ from
reasonable circumstanc es, within my own expeC'ience: Last Spring I
reasonable cost, .fine. But if it was asked, under The Freedom of
is an abnormal, an unusual Information Act by, The Sunday
expenditure of taxpayers' money to Express to -provide information on
get that information , I suggest, my travel, enteC'tainme nt, and all
Mr. Speaker, and other parliaments that kind of thing, legitimatel y,
have suggested,. the Liberal up to and including the end of
Parliament of Ontario, for June, I believe it was; it was for
example, the great reform a six or seven month period
government that is now the leading up_ to the end of June; for
Government of Ontario - Freedom of all the senior executives in the
Information in the Government of department, and any of the ·
Canada was brought in by the political staff who are on the
previous administrat ion. The ministeC''s staff, a whole range of
Socialist Government of Manitoba, pretty detaile·d questions. t had
who never got around to the staff of the department
proclaiming their legislation but research the information , p~ovide
brought it in, all have rates it within the thirty days required
similar to what we have in this by the Act, and sent it off, of
Province. All of them do. So i t course, free of charge, because
Ll261 April 27, 1988 Vol XL No. 24 Rl261
there was only a flat rate then, arrears; and all that kind of
whatever it was - $5.00 - to The thing. No, problem! I had the
Sunday Expre~s. I anxiously Fisheries Loan Board people
waited fo~ Sunday to come, M~. research it over the weekend. We
Speaker, because I had no doubt it came back to Commit tee on Tuesday
was going to form part of a story and I still have the information
- I think the total ·bill for my here; the gentleman was not here
own, at that time, was only and I have not been able to give
$15,000 or $20,000 or something, him the information. But that
becau~e it was only for four or information cost the taxpayers of
five months, and with all the this Province in excess . of $1,000
senior executives included it was for fees to Computer Services. It
something over $150,000 for the is - right, but I use it as an
whole department for a five or six example. If this thing were to
month period and I see this mushroom in an uncontrollable way
great big headline, "Fisheries through members of the House on
Minister Rideout spends either side, members of the media,
$159,000." I went to pains, Mr. or members of the community at
Spea~er, to provide the answer, to large, it will be a significant
say to them here is what I have burden on the taxpayers. And that
spent, or any of my · political is fine, too. If you want it, you
staff, executive assistant or should be expected to pay a
whatever. I did not have a press reasonable part of the cost for
secretary at that tlme. Here is getting it.
what I have spent. Here is what
that amounts to, $15,000 or The hon. gentleman, the Minister
$16,000. Here is what the senior Responsible for Northern
exe.c utive of the department have Development, I ·think the member
.spent in their legitimate duties. for Port de Grave was referring to
There are several of them: The him again this evening. In his
Loan Board, the Fishing Industry self-righteous way, not being an
Advisory Board, three or four alarmist or anything he says, • A
ADMs, directors and so on. This backbencher, who happened to be a
amounts to one h~nd~ed and parliamentary secretary at the
something thousand dollars. Tt time' - T have to quote here, and
was all separated out very nice, this was the quote 'A
very decent , very clean for them, backbencher · spent $57,000 last
and out comes the big headline, year on travel. ' Do you see, Mr.
"Fisheries Minister Rideout spends Speaker, the insidiousness in that
$159,00~ on travel and kind of a statement, hoping that
entertainment. it might get picked up? That is a
Sunday Express kind of
I had another example, Mr. headline. 'The han. gentleman
Speaker, just briefly. The member spent $57,000 last year.' What
for Eagle River was here in the was the fact, Mr. Speaker? The
Estimates Committee last Thursday total was for three years. That
night and he asked me to provide was the information that was
information from the Fisheries provfded under The Freedom of
Loan Board, which was ·legitimate, Information Act, just like the
on how many loans were approved in information I gave The Sunday
his district; in what communi ties Express, and rightly so. I am
they were; wnat the outstanding not complaining. I separated lt
amount was; how many were in out nice for them, mine versus the
Ll262 April 27, 1988 Vol XL No. 24 R1262
executive of the department. The to get your hands on the
han. gentleman's was the same, information , that is n~t the case,
separated out nice and neat and but some reasonable cost to cover
tidy over the three years because the cost of accessing the
that was what was asked for, three information should be welcomed.
years information . But the It should be welcomed, Mr.
headline story was, "$57 ,000 in a Speaker, by all those in this
year" . Province who are responsible , who
are fiscally prudent, who want us
I also understand, in that as their elected representat ives
particular case, that the request, to be · fiscally responsible - in
under The Freedom of Information looking out to the dollars that
Act, came from the official the~ pour into the public
Opposition, and two days after it treasury. It should be welcomed.
. was provided under the Freedom of That is not onerous, Mr. Speaker .
"Informatio n Act, it appeared in That is not dictatorshi p, Mr.
The Sunday Express. That is my Speaker. That is not covering up
understandi ng. So, I say, is the information , Mr. Speaker. That is
Opposition, or the Socialist being fiscally and prudently
Opposition, or somebody over here responsible for taxpayers' money.
supposed to be a vehicle to That is all that has happened
further gouge the taxpayer for the under The Freedom of Information
benefit of selling papers for Act, Mr. Speaker, that is all that
somebody? Is that our role, Mr. has happened . under the
Speaker? That is fine, if you regulations , and this resolution,
want to do that with the Mr. Speaker, is puffery, it is not
information . I have no objection worth the piece of paper it is
i f you want to do that with the written on, and I hope my
information . It is public colleagues will, with due
information . You can have it. diligence, dispose of it as it
You can have it .with 1001 should be disposed of. Thank you
welcomes. But the point, Mr. very much.
Speaker, of the regulations under
The Freedom of Information Act is. SOME HON. MEMBERS:
to ensure that the taxpayer is not Hear, hear!
further gouged and the taxpayer's
pocket is not further picked by MR. FUREY:
the unscrupulou s who might be in Mr. Speaker.
our society for other reasons.
Have it! You are entitled to it. MR. SPEAKER:
Provide it, government. You have The han. the member for St. Barbe .
a responsibil ity to provide it.
But, Mr. Speaker, it has to be SOME HON. MEMBERS:
paid for. There has to be some Hear, hear!
legitimate return to the Treasury,
not an onerous burden, not a MR. FUREY:
financial cost that is so extreme Mr. Speaker, I guess that after
that Rockefeller would not be able listening to the Minister of
to get his hands on the Fisheries we can assume he will
information , not a cost that is so voting for our resolution on this
onerous and so out of whack that particular matter.
you would have to be among the top
ten richest people in Newfoundlan d It is interesting to see that the
L1263 April 27, 1988 Vol XL No . 24 Rl263
Minister of Fisheries has been newspapers and the like that the
making quite a number of speeches minister has i:'eferred to, "be
in the House recently. I can only waived for members of the House of
reason one of two things: Either Assembly, who require this
there are no other speakers on the information .for the normal pursuit
other side, particularly those who of their duties."
do not sit in Cabinet, that
handful that do not sit in All that is saying is that all
Cabinet, or the minister is fifty-two people in this Chamber
getting a head start on the . have the right as elected
leadership race. officials, as people who represent
various people in various
At any rate, Mr. Speaker, the districts throughout the Province,
resolution presented by the member have a fundamental right to ask
for · Naskaupi is pretty for and receive information · which
straightforward. He tells me that they request.
he intentionally made it simple
and straightforward so that people Mr. Speaker, just put it in
could not be distracted or perspective, forgetting the
deterred, or could not wander off backbenchers just for a moment.
track. If you just look at this
particular side, the Opposition
He essentially only put · two side, both the official Opposition
recitals there, two recitals. How and the· other party, there are
you can meander and wander like seventeen members sitting on this
some of the speakers previous from side who have an average of 10. ooo·
those reel tals to talk about what constituents, which is 170,000
they talked about is beyond me, people.
Mr. Speaker. It is pretty
straightforward. So basically, 170,000 people on
this side, through these seventeen
He says, "WHEREAS the access to members, request certain pieces of
information relating to gove r Mient information, and what do we get,
operations is an essential element Mr. Speaker? We get regulations
for the performance of the duties and rules thrown back at us, at.
of all members of the House of the people, all 170,000 people,
Assembly, particularly the that you ·must pay to receive
official Opposition; and lnformat.ion where you were duly
elected to ask certain questions.
••WHEREAS this information should
be readily available to all They may or not be embarrassing,
members of · the House of Assembly that is not the issue, Mr.
and reasonable notice, whether the Speaker. It is not the issue of
House is in session or not." whether the minister's answers
will be embarrassing to that
Now, those are the two reel tals, minister or to that government.
pretty straightforward. That is not the issue. It is a
fundamental issue that goes right
"BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that the to the heart of democracy. That
regulations be amended to provide is why I say, Mr. Speaker, it
that any charges, which might appears to me that the whole
normally apply to agents or concept of freedom of information
agencies outside the House," almost seems to be a paradox. A
i:.l264 April 27, 1988 Vol XL No. 24 Rl264
paradox is something with Rideout) made a comparison. He
seemingly contradicto ry qualities said, 'What is so different about
or phrases. It is a statement Newfoundlan d, Ottawa, and Ontario
that is seemingly contradicto ry or and all those other places?' Yes,
opposed to common sense. The they have imposed fees. Yes, they
whole concept of freedom of have brought in these Acts. Yes,
information seems to be opposed to they brought in regulations . But,
the very basic tenant of common what he failed to talk about, I
sense. suppose in an elliptical sense,
was that he did not talk about the
The public pay all of us. We deal other half of the statement.
in information . It is public
information . The public pay our Whil~ there are fees imposed in
salaries. We owe it to the public Ontario, while there at"e fees
to give them that informatiqn . imposed in other places, for
That is my own personal belief on example, Nova Scotia, and the
this Mr. Speaker. House Leader alluded to this, they
have fees but they wave it for
However, we do see that there is a members for the House of Assembly
Freedom of Information Act. Well, there I think, or they do not have
why is it that each department, if fees.
you want to save money, does not
instruct their press secretaries What he failed to talk about was
or one of their various that while there are fees in
Order-In-Co uncil appointees to place, who puts the fees in
become an information officer? place? An independent freedom of
The information officer can deal information commissione r, that is
with each departmen~'s various who puts the fees i.n place, not a
requests. cabinet that sits around· and says,
'We are going to put the following
The minister said there were not fees in place.'
very many requests to each
department but government as a MR. SIMMS:
whole had a lot of requests to That is incorrect.
deal with. Why do they not have
an information officer, one of the MR. FUREY:.
civil servants or one of the That is incorrect? Correct me.
Order-In-Co uncil appointees? If I
asked the Minister of Public Works MR. SPEAKER:
(Dr. Twomey), for example, the The han. the House Leader.
question that I write to him under
the Freedom of Information , he MR. SIMMS:
just p~sses it to his information For the benefit of the hon.
officer. That information officer member, the estimated costs or
has thirty days by statute to fees that would be imposed for a
gather that information and send request of a large nature and so
it back to me. There are no on at"e estimated by the officials
worries about the global aspect of of the department, not by the
the government or all those Cabinet. The officials of the
problems that the Minister alluded relevant department will say, 'Do
to. you want this information . We
estimate it wiJl cost $300' or
The Minister of Fisheries (Mr. whatever. Then, if it does not
L1265 April 27, 198.8 Vol XL Mo. 24 65
cost $300, the member will get a price tag when they have already
refund incidentally, that is faced a general election and have
another point. been elected to do just that, to
come in and ask certain questions,
MR. SPEAKER: to perform the duties that are
The bon. the member for St. Barbe. assigned to her Majesty's loyal
Opposition, and to ask these
MR. FUREY: questions.
I am sorry, I did not mean to
mislead the bon. member. · I was How else would we have know, Mr.
not talking about the estimates Speaker, and held the government
for the total compilation of the accountable for some of the
information. I was talking about expenditures we saw from, forget
the set rates. Who sets the Cabinet ministers, lets look at
rates, for example 1 l.n our parliamentary secretaries. The
regulations now, you have added minister brushed lt off pretty
sections (d) and (e) which say quickly, but $56,000 is spent by a
that beyond two hours, it will be parliamentary secretary. That is
$15 an hour. quite a handsome chunk of change,
Mr. Speaker, in this time of
I am saying to you that the restraint, when hospital beds are
Cabinet of this Province being threatened, when drinking
determines what that would be. It water in a school in my riding
is not problem to estimate. that houses kindergarten to grade
Anybody can do an estimate, but three is not fit to drink, when
you have to base the estimate on these kinds of very serious human
what the Cabinet has decided that problems are at stake. What do we
the standard fee will be. see? We see a parliamentary
secretary go to Halifax; we see
I am saying to you that in other him go to London three times; we
provinces they have freedom of see him · go to Moscow, Dublin,
information officers who set those Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Cologne,
certain rates, as in Ottawa, as in Bremen, Amsterdam, Victoria,
Ontario, and other places. We are Reykjavik, Bergen, Trondheirn,
saying that that removes any Addles tone, Aberdeen, Augusta,
susp1c1on or any doubt at all, Boston.
otherwise people are going to say
that Cabinet just sits around and Mr. Speaker, that is not bad so
sets the rates. It is foolishness. bad to have that kind of globe
trotting event happen for the
At any rate, Mr. Speaker, the $56,000, but it is indeed our
ministe~ talked about certain duty, as responsible members of
information coming out. Whether this House, to say, 'Why was the
it is embarrassing_ to the money spent, how many jobs did you
government or not, is not the bring horne, and how did
relevant point. The relevant Newfoundland benefit?' Those are
point is that the public clearly perfectly honest questions. So,
has a right to know how all public whether it is embarrassing because
dollars are being spent. We are it is a one-time headline or
saying that the elected officials whatever, that is not the relevant
of this Assembly, the members of issue. The relevant issue is,- do
this House of Assembly should not we, as members of this House of
be burdened with this punitive Assembly, have the right to ask
Ll266 April 27, 1988 Vol XL No. 24 Rl266
for information and receive it MR. FUREY:
free in the time limitation put on We have asked again on the Order
us, the thirty days, or do we not? Paper. We did not have an Order
Paper prior to the House opening,
I refer to the hon. member for so we were forced to use the
Port de Grave. He is a good, Freedom of Information Act. So
hard-working, and honourable what happened was, we put the same
member. He wrote the Premier last question, the han. the member for
year, on November 24, 198 7 , and, Port de Grave, on the Order Paper,
not being sneaky or anything, he March 15, 1988. He asked it in
laid out the facts. He said, 'Mr. November of 1987. 'Pay $445 and
Premier, r would like the we will give i t to you.' Insult!
following information on the Slap· in the face to 170,000 people
travel of other parliamentary who are represented by the
secretaries.' The Premier wrote seventeen members of this
him back and said, 'You can have Opposition! He puts it on the
it as soon as you go down to the Order Paper three weeks ago . The
Central Cashier's Office and put Premier says the information was
down $445. • compiled back in December, it is
there, pay for it, it is yours.
Mr. Speaker, that is an insult to We wait now until March 15. He
every single member of this asks for' it on the Or"der Paper.
Legislature, an absolute insult. Do we have an answer? No. Is it
compiled? Yes. Is it over
SOME HON. MEMBERS: there? Yes. Can they give it to
Hear, hear! us? Yes. Have we asked for it on
the Order Paper? Yes. Have we
MR. FUREY: got it? No. Mr. Speaker,
Mr. Speaker, it is interesting to something is not right over on
note that the member asked for that side.
this information on November 24,
1987 and the guidelines were not Mr. Speaker, let m.e say a couple
changed until December 11, 1987 of other things. There was an
and yet this gets swept into the interesting article in one of the
new guidelines retroactively. paper recently where a gentleman
wrote in and said the following:
Mr. Speaker, it certainly . does "Freedom of· Information, denial of
hang a cloud of suspicion over information, delay of information,
this government. Nobody wants to cost of information: Of the
imply that there is something above, freedom seems least
wrong or anything like that, but appropriate, Freedom of
we are saying, 'Look, in fairness, . Information." He is saying that
this. letter was written before the dehial is more impor'tant with this
regulations government, delay makes more sense
with this government and cost is
MR. SIMMS: the order of the day with this
We can simply give it to now. government. Not freedom, there is
no such thing as freedom.
Well, give it to us. Mr. Speaker, let me put another
telling question to this
MR. SIMMS: Assembly. The regulations for
What is the problem? Freedom of Information were
Ll267 April 27, 1988 Vol XL No. 24 Rl267
gazetted on October 23, 1981. Mr. we going to be into it? etc.,
Speaker, it is interesting to note etc. A litany of questions went
that these regulations, which were on and on, Mr. Speaker. Did we
gazetted in 1981, were amended in get an answer? No, we did not get
December of 1987. Now, that gives answers, not at all.
rise to a most interesting
question. The han. House Leader (Mr. Simms)
referred to somebody writing under
Why was there no fee structure in Freedom of Information, CBC or
place from October 1981 to something, about technical
December 1987? In other words, questions for the Sprung
why did they wake up overnight and greenhouse and not giving the
all of a sudden say, 'We better answers. You have to wonder
get some fees in place here whether they have the answers.
quick?' Why did it take six years You cannot give what you do not
from the initial point of got. They must not have answers
gazetting these regulations to on that particular mega financial
December 11, 1987, the ·s ix years malestrom that they have got
in between, why were there not themselves spiraling down into.
fees imposed? Why did they
magically appear aU of a sudden, Mr. Speaker, it seems to me that
overnight when the heat starting what my han. friend for Naskaupi
getting on the government? They (Mr. Kelland) has put forwaL~d is a
had to start supplying information very good, a very simple, very
that was embarrassing to the point straightforward, and I put
of almost being incriminating. · So emphasis on the word 'simple.' He
the heat was on and they decided, made it simple for the government
.'Here is how we will deflect to understand. He made it very
this. I t will not be much of an straightforward so that they could
issue and it will be all over in a not dance all around the issue.
few days.' But what they failed The issue is plain.
to realize, Hr. Speaker, is that
the general public are not being Will you waive the fees you have
fooled by this absolute mugs game imposed _on seventeen members of
and shell game they are playing. Her Majesty's Opposition, both the
Official Opposition and the corner
Mr. Speaker, it seems to be a game party down_ there in the corner?
of hide and seek for this Will you waive those fees and deal
government. How many times have properly with people who have been
members come into this Assembly, elected by 170,000 . people out
day after day, seeking legitimate there basically? Stop muzzling
and honest and straightforward the Opposition. It is a very
information about that great big straightforward request. "BE IT
white elephant that glows in the THEREFORE RESOLVED that the
dark, the Sprung greenhouse? How regulations be amended to provide
many times have we come in and that any charges, which might
asked straightforward questions? normally apply to" members of the
House of Assembly, be waived "who
Where are the market studies? How require the information for their
did we get involved in this? normal pursuit of duties."
Where is the feasibility study?
How much are we into it at this Now look, hon. members have to ask
point in time? How much more are themselves a question. If they
Ll268 April 27, 1988 Vol XL No. 24 R1268
vote against this resolution, they How many jobs were brought home by
are really saying that duly the minister and the parliamenta ry
elected members of this · House secretary? How many jobs were
ought to be muzzled, should be brought home.? How many jobs were
muzzled and have no right to this brought home? How many jobs were
information . Mr. Speaker, where brought home? Nobody seems to
are we going to get the know. Tt was just a wonderful,
exorbitant amounts of money for highfalutin , galavanting trot
the simple questions and the across Europe. That is all it
simple answers that we ask? Where was. Nobody else can pin-point
is the han. member for Port de what had been done.
Grave (Mr. Efford) going to get
$450 every time he wants a simple MR. -SPEAKER:
pie.ce of information from a Order, please!
request that he has put in? Where
is he going to get it? Where is MR. FUREY:
the hon·. member for Bellevue (Mr. Mr. Speaker, to conclude, I want
Callan) going to get money when he to congratulat e the member for
puts in freedom of information ? Naskaupi on behalf of all members
He too may want some answers to of this legislative assembly for
questions which may deeply affect having the foresight and the
his district, Mr. Speaker, if he courage to stand up and say to
starts being treated unfairly over this assembly, all of us, to vote
there in the backbench. not just for members, now, but for
future members, that none of these
Mr. Speaker, these are legitimate punitive measures be applied to
questions raised by the hon. the the fifty-two members assembled
member for Naskaupi. . The answers here to do the people's business.
may be very embarrassin g, and the
Minister of Fisheries eluded to Thank you.
that, that yes,- sometimes you will
put information out and i t will SOME HON. MEMBERS:
catch a headline and it may be Hear·, hear!
embarrassin g for a moment, but
that is the nature of democracy. MR. WARREN:
If you are going to spend money,
you must be accountable for that MR. SPEAKER:
expenditure , and the Minister of The han. Minister of Northern
Fisheries knows, because he is a Development .
good and decent person, that in
his heart of hearts, this global MR. WARREN:
little tirade from one of the Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
parliamenta ry secretaries visiting
Halifax, and London, and Moscow, I thought, Mr. Speaker, it would
and Dublin, and the list goes on be an appropriate time seeing the
for $56,000, he knows in his heart resolution was brought forward by
of hearts because he is a decent the member for Naskaupi, that I
and dignified human being - and I would take a few minutes to
know him to be that that address the resolution. I would
Newfoundlan d did not get a very like to begin, Mr. Speaker, by
good bang for those $56,000. They tabling a letter, and I will read
did not create one job. the contents of the letter, Mr.
Ll269 April 27-, 1988 Vol XL No. 24 Rl269
Speaker, as I am going to table asked somebody on this side of the
it. It was written on the January House to withdraw the word,
15, 1988. It was·addressed to Mr. 'hypocritical'. I would ask that
Chuck Furey, MHA, St. Barbe the same rule be applied t.o the
District, House of the Assembly, Minister responsible for Northern
Confederation Building, St. Development.
John's, Newfoundland. Dear Mr.
Furey: This will refer to your MR. SIMMS:
letters of October 13, 1987 and To that point of order, Mr.
December 8, 1987 addressed to the Speaker.
hon. Robert J. Aylward, former
Minister of the Department of MR. SPEAKER:
Rural, Agricultural, and Northern To ..that point of order, the hon.
Development, enclosed are copies the President of the Council.
of documents relating to travel
and entertainment expenses for the MR. SIMMS:
hon. Garfield Warren, from April Just to assist Your Honour in his
1, 1985 to September 30, 1987, ruling. Obviously these kinds of
totalling $53,483.36. Yours words sometimes are parliamentary
truly, Harold Stone, Deputy and sometimes they are not. If
Minister. Your Honour would look at
Beauchesne, Page 110, near the
Mr. Speaker, that letter was only bottom of the page, it says,
sent to one member of this "Since 1958, it. has been ruled
particular House of the Assembly, parliamentary to use the following
one particular member to this expressions:" Then move over to
House of the Assembly. Mr. Page 112, up near the top, and
Speaker, two weeks later, ~ Your Honour will see that it has
Sunday Express carried the been accepted since 1958 to use
headlines of my travel expenses. the words, 'hypocrites' and
Now, ·Mr. Speaker, and who, Mr. 'hypocrisy•·. There are several
Speaker, were making all of the examples, December. of 1975;
comments in The Sunday Express~ October of . 1966. So, I mean,
the hon. member for Naskaupi, the obviously the word is not
hon. member for Naskaupi. So, Mr. necessarily absolutely
Speaker, I think both gentlemen unparliamentary.
are very hypocritical. They . have
concocted, they have concocted a MR. TULK:
sleazy, a sleazy means of Mr. Further to the point of order, Mr.
Furey, or the member for st. Speaker.
Barbe, asking for information on
behalf of The Sunday Express, on MR. SPEAKER:
behalf of The Sunday Express. To that point of order, the hon.
the member for Fogo.
Order, please! MR. TULK:
If Your Honour would go back to
·Apoint of order, the han. the Page 107 he would also see that
member for Fogo. 'hypocrite' has been ruled
unparliamentary, and last week .in
MR. TULK: this House Your Honour ruled it
It was about seven or eight days unparliamentary.
ago, I believe, that Your Honour
Ll270 April 27, ·1988 Vol XL No. 24 Rl270
MR. SPEAKER: media who . interviewed me
To that point of order. I see the afterwards. My first choice was
reference here on page 107, and to go and buy one, which would
then a contradicto ry one here on cost $300 to $500, and which I
112. I do not know i f the .Chair would use very seldom. I said,
is supposed to toss a coin to 'No, I am not going to buy it. '
decide which one to accept, but I The other choice was to go and
do not think the word rent one, and I thought that over
'hypocritic al' is a particularl y for some considerabl e length of
acceptable word and I would ask time. My third choice, which gave
the hon. member to withdraw it. me reason to accept the second
choice, was I could have borrowed
MR . WARREN: one _. from the member for Naskaupi.
Mr. Speaker, I have no problem at But that was way too big for me,
all with withdrawing the comment, so I went and rented one. That
but if the shoe fits, let him wear was the reason I finally rented
SOME HON. MEMBERS: AN HON. MEMBER:
What? What was your fourth choice?
MR. WARREN: MR. WARREN:
I said, if the shoe fits, let him Anyway, I would have to say if
wear it. there are, Mr. Speaker, any
members in this particular House
Now, Mr. Speaker, let us go back who are sneaky and sleazy - I do
to what happened. Just to show not know if I am allowed to use
you, Mr. Speaker, what was given those words, Mr. Speaker. If I am
to the hon. member for St. Barbe, not, I withdraw them - and trying
i t was a copy of all this right to be smart, I think t·hey . al:"e the
here, everything, right from the Bobbsey Twins; they sit next to
first day he asked for it up to each other down there, the member
the last day. Everything was for St. Barbe and t)'le member for
duplicated for. him and everything Naskaupi. Mr. Speaker, for him to
else, itemized right down to a tee. say that on reasonable notice
information should be given.
Mr. Speaker, one of the comments
from the hon. gentleman from Mr. Speaker, I have no problem, as
Naskaupi, who brings in this I said in my letter to the member
famous resolution, had to do with for St. Barbe. They asked for the
a particular jacket I wore at the information and they got the
Governor-G eneral's residence in information . It cost hours and
Ottawa, where . I was representin g hours of staff time to gather up
the Province at an Order of Canada ·all the information for the past
Investiture for one of the most two and a half years.
outstanding ladies in Labrador,
Dora Saunders. I was there, Mr. Mr. Speaker, this House has been
Speaker, representin g the open now for the past month and a
Province, and the dress code was half, and what really gets to me
that you had ' to wear a tuxedo. is here he is asking for freedom
of information and he has a leader
Now, Mr. Speaker, I had three over there who will not tell
choices, as I told one of the anybody where the extra money is
Ll271 April 27, 1988 Vol XL No. 24 R1271
coming from that he is being paid. Express. ·n was my trip to Cold
Lake, Alberta. He never mentioned
Now, Mr. Speaker, surely goodness one thing about it. Why? Because
every member in this House should I was in Cold Lake, Alberta, with
get information if he wants· it. the Minister of Rural,
At the time · the election was Agricultural and Northern
called in 1985, that hon. Development, the Minister of
gentleman was in a particular Culture, Recreation and Youth, at
house in Goose Bay on election the time, and the Minister of
night and said to this particular Environment and Lands.
person, 'I am a Liberal today. I
do not know if I wili be tomorrow Mr. Speaker, I should advise the
or not.• That same person did not hon~_ gentleman that I was not
know whether he was elected to the doing in Cold Lake, Alberta, what
Liberal Party or not on that his leader was doing in Davis
particular night and he said, and Inlet last July. I was in Cold
I think han. gentlemen opposite Lake, Alberta, trying to promote
will know who it was said to, who Happy Valley - Goose Bay, where in
was present at the time, and here the past year alone there were in
he is now supporting a leader who excess of 280 jobs. Now, Mr.
will not give information to the Speaker, can the hon. gentleman
House. Why not give information honestly get up and say we never
to the people of Newfoundland and brought in any work th·r ough our
Labrador? trip to Cold Lake, Alberta? There
were 280 extra jobs last ·year in
Once in a while I get the Happy Valley - Goose Bay, in the
opportunity to. look WWF wrestling, han. gentleman's district.
when I have time to spare. There
is a person on there called the The hon . gentleman should look
Million Dollar Man. I forget what more carefully at some of the
his name is, Ted DeBiasa or reasons why we · are tt·avell ing.
something like that. I think the Naturally it is to promote
Leader of the Opposition is business in the Province.
something like him, so we can call
him the second Ted DeBiasa. The han. gentleman made the
comment, what a simple
Mr. Speaker, I am surprised that resolution. Yes, Mr. . Speaker, a
the hon. member for st. Barbe very simple resolution from a very
would make such remarks. He has simple individual. I am now going
asked if there were any jobs to go through the resolution to
created by ministers or see if there is any way that I can
parliamentary secretaries support it:
travelling. Let. me tell the han.
gentleman, and again I should 'WHEREAS the access to information
remind him that his colleague relating to Government operation
sitting next to him, who is an essential element for the
represents one of the fastest · performance of duties of Members
growing towns in his district, of the House of Assembly,
Happy Valley - Goose Bay, one of particularly the Official
my trips which I found so Opposi ticin. '
interesting, that han. gentleman
never even picked up on, or never Mr. Speaker, I would not say
even discussed with The Sunday 'particularly the Official
Ll272 April 27, 1988 Vol XL No. 24 Rl272
Oppositio n,' I would say it is for The gentleman said to me, 'I guess
all members of the Oppositio n. you know the Liberal Oppositio n
And not only for members of the has sent this over to us.' I
Oppositio n, but for members of said, 'What?' 'Oh, yes,' he said,
Governme nt. All members in this 'The Liberal Oppositio n did up a
House are here to perform their big package and sent it over to
duties to the best of their us.' Now, Mr. Speaker, here is a
ability. member of the Oppositio n who wants
some informati on.
'AND WHEREAS this informati on
should be readily available to AN HOM. MEMBER:
Members of the House of Assembly, Because Wangersky is not allowed.
on reasonabl e notice, whether the
House is in session or not.' MR. WARREN:
Yes, Mr. Speaker, he is allowed.
Mr. Speaker, I cannot agree with Meanwhile , the bon. member was not
that. The hon. gentleman wanted asking for it for his own purpose,
informati on, which I gave to him because he did not do anything
in all sincerity , and in seven wit~ it, he just took the package
days, Mr. Speaker, the bon. a.nd passed it over to The Sunday
gentleman packaged i t all up and ExPress. Therefore , it is very,
passed it on to Russell, I think very difficult to try to support
his name is, of The Sunday his resolutio n. And not only
Express. that, instead of researchi ng the
questions himself,. he referred it.
AN-HOM. MEMBER: to another member who did all the
Russell Wangersky . investiga tion into it.
MR. WARREN: 'BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that the
I do not know what his last name regulatio ns be amended to provide
is . I know his first name is that any charges, which might
Russell. So one day Russell normally apply to agents or
called me and began asking me all agencies outside the House of
kin~s of questions for The Sunday Assembly .'
Express. Here are the exact
words this· guy, Russell, said. He Now, this is what is wrong, Mr .
said, ' I guess you know ... ' -: now Speaker: · . I think the bon.
Russell is a reporter with The gentleman is missing in his
Sunday Express. resolutio n when he says, 'might
normally apply to agents or
AN HOM. MEMBER: agencies outside the House of
Russell Wangersky . Assembly .' In what they are
doing, they are agents for The
MR • WARREN: Sunday Express. ,.
Honestly, it is a name that I
never heard around very many bays Mr. Speaker, 'how can you support a
around Newfound land and Labrador. resolutio n that has -
AN HOM. MEMBER: MR. RIDEOUT:
I think he is from Main, is he not? (Inaudibl e) today, either.
MR. WARREN: MR. WARREN:
I do not think he is from Main, no. That is right.
Ll273 April 27; 1988 Vol XL No. 24 Rl273
In fact, Mr. Speaker, I would not
be surprised if the hon. leader
does not get a few perks from the
owners of The Sunday Express. I
would not at all be surprised.
Therefore, Mr. Speaker, those
gentlemen opposite are not
considered members under this
resolution, they are considered
agents. And that is exactly what
they are, agents for Harry Steel
and his buddies. That is what the
hon. gentlemen opposite are.
Unfortunately, because . they have
indicated that, not only to me but
to other members here - they have
indicated they are just in here as
agents - I have no alternative but
to join with my colleagues and
definitely not support this kind
With that, Mr. Speaker, I adjourn
SOME HON. MEMBERS:
The hon. minister has adjourned
Is it agreed to call it six
SOME HON. MEMBERS:
It is no\1[ six o • clock. The House
stands adjourned until tomorrow,
Thursday, at 3:00 p.m.
Ll274 April 27, 1988 Vol XL No. 24 Rl274
Statements by Ministers
Rt':1 s t or· at io n of his tori c NeuJmao_.B. ui l_g_i 11.9. :
Pr•emi.er· Peckford . . . . . . ... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. ..... ... 1.219
Ml". Gullage .... . ............ ......... . .. . . . .. . ...... ... 1220
Mr . Lo ng ..... ......... . . ........ . .... . . . . .. ... ....... .. l22 2
Ass ista nce to Sealers Co-op extended:
r"'r . I~ l.deou ·l~ .. . ............. ....... . ....-·... . ........ . ... 12 22
Ml'' . W. Car·'l:er ..... ............ ............ ..... ......... 12211-
Mr . Femuick ... : ... ............. . .. .... .. ............. .. 1226
Clarification of the mandate of the steering
committee. Mr. Tulk, Mr. Sirnms .. .. .......... ... . .. -...... 1 2.?.7
Authority of·the steering committee.
Mr. Tulk, Mr. Simms ............. .... . ........... . .. . ... 12.?.8
Action to get process back in place.
Mr. Tulk, Mr. Simms ............. .... ............. ...... 1229
Nat i onal W fare Councjl__Kepo rt:
Report states 27 percent of children in the
Province living in poverty. Mr. Efford,
Mr·. Tobin ..... .. .. ..... . .. . . ...... . ........... ..... ... . 1230
Steps to improve the situation : Mr. Efford,
Mr. fobi.n ............ ............ .......... .. . . ........ 1231
Actions to bring Newfoundland statistics up
to the national level . Mr. Efford,
Mr. Tobin . ... ... ......... .. ..... .. ... . ....... : ......... l232
Statistics indicate fRilure of prog~Rms .
Mr. S:l.rnmons, Mr. Effor·cl .. . . .. .. .... . ..... . ............ . 1233
ts Environment advising Forest Resources.
Mr. Long, Mr. Russell ............. ...... ............. .. 1234-
Curtajl application of fenitrothion .
......... ............. . 1.236
Mr. Long, Mr. Russell ...... ... .. -
Requests wider use of Bt . Mr. Long,
Mr. R. AyJ:ward ........ . ............ ............ ... . .. . . 1236
.!:Lousing .COI"pora:t:i_9_rl :
Nl HC pr·ov:i.dJng l.~n d t.o pd.IH.:ti: e secto r .
Ml". Gullage, Mr· . Peach . . ....... . .. . . .. .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1237
·1t j , n Pr~ a r J. gate
Go v (;ll"rHn (;'l nl ·. ·i.nv o J. v e:~!MJ 1
D~w e 1 o p me n t . M,.. . Gu 1 J a g e , Mr· . Pe a c h . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 2 3 B
Orders of the Day-
Private Member 1 s Day :
Mr . l<elland, begins debate on Motion 4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1239
Mr . Si rnrns .... .. : .... .. ... .... .... . .... . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1245
Mr . Efford . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . .' . ... ...... .. . . ... l2 5 1
Mr· . r~ i d c~ o l.l ·t . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ·. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 2 59
Mt" . Furey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1263
Mr . Warr en, concludes debate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...... .. .... 1269
Adjournme nt ......... .... ... .. . . . . . . . . . . .. .. ........ . ... 1274-