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It is too bad that the House of Assembly television debate does not go on for however long we sit, because I have never seen a group of people get such a beating. The last time I saw a person get such a beating - I say a person, referring to the government - was back when Mohammed Ali took on George Chuvalo in about 1968. In 1995, despite its tourism and educational value and its locally donated fishery related artifacts, the Grand Bank Museum was closed on December 5, 1995. This particular Premier did not have respect then for the people of Grand Bank and what the fishing museum in Grand Bank meant to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.
- We believe, and the Member for Humber West wrote Jane Stewart and asked her to have a look at this policy, to look at this program and see if something can be done about it.
- I know that we are expecting, within a week or so, that the provincial renal dialysis committee report will be made available to the Minister of Health and Community Services.
- As I was going down through some of the Budget figures there, I was reading down through Bill 2, I looked at the Interim Supply amounts; and Bill 3, on the defrayed supply amounts and $3,463,899,300, that is a lot of money to spend on a Province.
- As I recall, I think it was $4.2 million in debt relief.
- Mr. Speaker, I think that whether a commitment was made or otherwise, the road in The Straits area is in dire need of upgrading, or resurfacing.
The ‘classic eat-in area of the restaurant stayedrelatively the same for long-time fans, while the bar area got ahipper, younger make-over. When the owners of the successful localbranch of the Don Cherrys franchisedecided to go out on their own withtheir own sports bar concept, the stakescouldnt have been higher. Creating anew, successful brand on the foundationsof a beloved local institution ran the riskof alienating long-time fans while failingto appeal to a new client base. Getting itright meant landing that knock-blow firsttry and handle the transition with style.
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The Atlantic Accord, one for each of the two provinces, allows the Province to shelter a certain amount of these revenues under a tiny percentage of any new petroleum revenue so that equalization payments are reduced to a slow rate than what would occur under normal equalization. There is reference, of course, in the Estimates when we talk about the Department of Justice to both the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and an itemized breakdown of the cost and the expenses that these two police forces endure in our Province on an annual basis. We first have to say - and I am sure the minister will be the first to agree with me - that we are certainly lucky and fortunate in this Province to have the professionalism, the skill, and the experience of both of these police forces, both the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary and the RCMP. Of course, as we all know, the RNC has now an expanded force and has jurisdiction in the City of St. John's, City of Mount Pearl, City of Corner Brook, the Town of CBS and also in Labrador West. I would have to say, Mr. Speaker, that it is simply lacking, and that is unfortunate for a department as significant as the Department of Justice. The minister went on to say, "Government fully understands that the justice system plays a key role in creating a fair, equitable and safe society where citizens of Newfoundland and Labrador can pursue their lawful rights and freedoms." It goes on to say, "While our progress has been substantial, people told us we can do even better." That's not a huge step, is it? "Challenges clearly remain, especially in rural areas." That is what we have been talking about. I am pleased to rise to support the sub-amendment put forward by my colleague. The spirit and intention of that sub-amendment deals specifically with how much the debt has increased over the past several years, in particular the last five years. That is a government that does not have any foresight.
Now, that used to be a requirement, but it is no longer as important for the renewal of a licence that you show that you are making that available to everyone. The large cable companies like Rogers still have a local cable channel. You can see it here in St. John's, in Corner Brook or wherever. However, they have a kind of professional package. For example, in Corner Brook, we had all these shows about fishing tackle; and some guy with a drum performing with other musicians and so on. They got rid of all of that and came up with a slick supper show kind of idea to try to professionalize it. That has lost a lot of the viewers who really were interested in fishing tackle, and even if they were not, they got a kick out of seeing their neighbour talking about it. Therefore, while Rogers can say, "Yes, we are still offering community cable," the nature of it has changed and they are basically trying to compete with broadcast companies. Our feeling is that they should try to put the teeth back into that regulation. You can just make it available to a school. A school can do this because you have a PowerPoint presentation running with coming events and the kids change it.
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I say to the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation that this Province will never get ahead if we do not start taking serious concerns about our transportation system, about our provincial roads. If we do not get serious about it and do something about it, we are going to be too far behind to catch up. I can say to the minister that in my district, Route 380, Route 381 and Route 390 are getting into deplorable condition. It is a condition beyond repair now; it has to be rebuilt. If we are going to spend this kind of money in education, then I think it is only right that we give the special needs kids a better service, a better education, in small communities, in small schools in rural Newfoundland. I think anywhere in this Province you can see the same type of conditions. Anyway, they talked about the energy rebate, Mr. Speaker.
- We are terribly underserviced in terms of radio in Newfoundland.
- TSN was looking for a cross-promotional opportunity to capitalize on the World Junior Hockey Championships their most most watched live sporting event.
- It is going to take new money to do the necessary things that we need done in our Budget.
- It was always bad, but it has gotten considerably worse over the years.