The House met at 2 p.m.
Mr. Speaker: Before entering upon the business of the day, I know that the House will wish to welcome a distinguished parliamentary visitor in the person of Sir Robin Vanderfelt, the Secretary General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. Sir Robin is in Canada for consultations with Premier Regan of Nova Scotia in his capacity of chairman of the executive committee of CPA, and to meet with officials of the Canadian area of the association. Sir Robin is seated in Mr. Speaker’s gallery.
May I also at this time just draw attention to the note which should be on your desks -- I presume it is -- about an event that will take place around 5 o’clock this afternoon. We’d like to see as many of you as possible. In connection with that, the magazine which is referred to there, the Parliamentarian, is available in somewhat limited numbers at the entrance to the chamber.
POINT OF PRIVILEGE
Ms. Gigantes: Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of privilege as a member of this Legislature, and I seek your guidance. I would like to know how the members of this Legislature can transmit to the Ombudsman’s office a request to have made available to the members of the Legislature a report on the Ottawa-Carleton Regional Detention Centre and conditions there. The report has been available for several weeks at the Ombudsman’s office, and I seek your guidance, Mr. Speaker, and perhaps your help in expressing to the Ombudsman’s office our desire to have that report brought before the House.
Mr. Speaker: I’m not familiar with the report. I shall look into it and take whatever action I deem to be necessary. Thank you.
Statements by the ministry.
Mr. Meen: Mr. Speaker, I would like to advise members that effective April 1, Ontario GAINS income guarantees are being increased to $269.30 per month for single pensioners and to $538.60 per month for married couples, where both spouses qualify for GAINS.
The purpose of these adjustments is to ensure that increases in federal payments resulting from the indexing of old age security pensions and guaranteed income supplements are fully passed on to Ontario’s GAINS recipients. Provincial GAINS payments will not be materially changed at this time. Thus, Ontario’s maximum monthly GAINS payment to single pensioners will remain at $38.88; while the maximum for couples will be increased nominally by 40 cents to $99.04 per month in order to round up federal OAS/GIS payments. However, for the more than 6,000 GAINS recipients who do not qualify for federal OAS/GIS, Ontario’s GAINS cheques will be increased by the full amounts of $4.30 and $8.60 per month for singles and married couples respectively in line with the increase in overall income guarantee levels.
Members will recall that, in addition to routinely passing on changes in federal OAS/GIS payments, the province has also regularly increased its own GAINS cheques to compensate for cost-of-living increases. Most recently, maximum monthly GAINS cheques were increased in October, 1975 by $6.02 for singles and $12.60 for couples; while in January, 1976 they were increased by $2.85 for singles and $6.28 for couples.
In summary, the maximum income guarantee level will be raised in April to $3,231 per year for singles from $2,600 when the GAINS programme was introduced in July, 1974 and to $6,462 for married couples from the original level of $5,200. Over the same period, the number of elderly people benefiting from the GAINS programme has increased from 258,000 to approximately 282,000.
The increases in federal and Ontario payments since the introduction of the GAINS programme in July, 1974 have worked well to protect the elderly from the effects of inflation. We will, of course, continue to review the guaranteed income levels on a regular basis to ensure their continuing adequacy.
Hon. Mr. Handleman: Yesterday while answering a question from the member for Kitchener (Mr. Breithaupt) dealing with rent review, I told the House that so far no appeals have been filed with the Residential Premises Rent Review Board. Since answering that question, on returning to my office yesterday, it came to my attention that in fact four appeals have been lodged by landlords with the board. To the best of my knowledge, no appeals have been filed by tenants at this time.
I just wanted to apologize to the House if my earlier statement was in any way misleading.
Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I would like to report to the House on the status of the appeals which have been heard by the Premier (Mr. Davis), the Minister of Health (Mr. F. S. Miller) and by myself with respect to the hospitals slated for closing on April 1.
Clearly, since many of the appeals have been received within the past few days, the April 1 closing date previewed at the outset of the programme would be unfair. When the decisions on the appeals are announced, effective dates will also be announced. The closing date of April 1 for the hospitals at Kemptville, Virgil, Bobcaygeon and Copper Cliff stands. The Ministry of Health is now working with these hospitals to ensure appropriate wind-down procedures and caseload transfer.
However, in order for justice to be done to the constructive and informative appeal briefs which have been presented to the government, and in order to discharge responsibly the commitment made by the Minister of Health to the right of appeal, all figures and counter-proposals are being examined very carefully. I might say that, in some cases, the proposals indicate a preparedness to curtail operations or to modify the nature of service offered that is indeed worthy of very careful scrutiny.
The Ministry of Health is pursuing the examination of these appeals with the Premier in an open and positive fashion towards the goal of overall improvement of health delivery in Ontario as set by this government. Despite what may be implied by newspaper reports, the government has not altered any decisions made with respect to any institutions slated for closing. What is indeed taking place is a careful and open-minded review of the briefs which have been presented, with a view to preparing a decision within the next few days.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please.
Mr. S. Smith: If you had done that in the first place, you would have got the comments at the beginning.
Mr. Speaker: Before I call the next order of business, I would like to point out to the House that we also have another parliamentary visitor with us today from one of our sister Commonwealth countries in the person of Mr. Jack Slater, MP for the Gillis constituency, House of Assembly in South Australia, who is seated under the Speaker’s gallery.
Oral questions. The hon. member for Wentworth.
Ms. Deans: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have a question of the acting Minister of Health -- in fact, I have two or three questions.
Would the minister be able to explain to the House whether the statements that appeared in today’s press and which seem to indicate that the government is prepared to consider alternative uses for Doctors Hospital -- and I hope that I can assume for all other hospitals -- are true; whether the opportunity to provide alternatives will also be made available to all of the other hospitals which are being told that they must close their doors or eliminate their active treatment beds, and how is she going to manage to save the money that she’s talking about saving if she is going to allow the change to take place so that it becomes something other than active treatment but is still to be kept in use? What does she have in mind, in other words?
Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, certainly those hospitals which have appealed for their varied reasons the closures as active treatment institutions must be given the right to have those appeals heard. Their briefs are being heard and they are being read very carefully. There are alternatives which can be, in fact, utilized in some of those institutions and some of them are very reasonable I would think.
The major cost to the health care delivery system in this province is the acute general hospital cost and it is that cost that we are attempting to minimize. There are reasonable alternatives which cost very much less, which perhaps some of these institutions might, in fact, be put to.
Mr. Deans: A supplementary question: Doesn’t the minister feel that it might have been more appropriate to have done an evaluation of the health care delivery system of the Province of Ontario with an eye to finding out what those alternatives were and how they could be implemented, rather than disrupting entire communities with this threat of closing?
Hon. B. Stephenson: As a matter of fact, Mr. Speaker, I would doubt that any other jurisdiction in the world has had as many surveys of its health care system as this jurisdiction has. We have a great deal of information about it --
Mr. Reid: How could you make so many mistakes then?
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Hon. B. Stephenson: -- a great deal of in- formation about it, and that information has all been utilized in the decisions which were taken.
Mr. Cassidy: That doesn’t stack up. That’s nonsense.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please.
Mr. Davidson: Your surveys are wrong.
Mr. Deans: If the ministry has already conducted the surveys and if the information has been considered, what new information does the minister now have then that makes the ministry believe that it is possible to change the use to which those hospitals are currently being put in order to keep them in service? Will the minister please show us what rationale she has for either changing her mind, whether you are prepared to extend the same benefits to all other areas, and how it is that we are going to be able to come to conclusions different from the conclusions which she claims she already has reached?
Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member would care to look at various reports which have come from committees of the Ministry of Health --
Mr. Makarchuk: Particularly from Gallup.
Hon. B. Stephenson: -- from the council of health of the Province of Ontario over the last several years, he will find that those suggestions have been put to institutions in the past. It is, unfortunately, only under severe pressure that boards of governors of hospitals apparently are willing to consider this kind of alternative.
Mr. Angus: You’ve never tried, how do you know?
Hon. B. Stephenson: However, we do have a surplus of active treatment beds in the Province of Ontario related to any other jurisdiction and this must, in fact, be reduced if we are to make the kinds of modifications which will improve our health care system.
Mr. Roy: Why did you build the beds in the first place?
Mr. Speaker: Order, please, the member for Hamilton West with a supplementary.
Mr. S. Smith: Could the acting minister kindly give us the facts on which she bases the somewhat slanderous statement that hospital boards of governors would otherwise be unprepared to make constructive suggestions? How does she know if she has never asked them? When she finally asked them they were, in her words, “very constructive.”
Mr. Speaker: Order, please, this is not a debate.
Mr. S. Smith: What are the facts?
Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, the suggestion has been made rather forcefully upon occasion over the past decade to many of them and --
Mr. S. Smith: Oh, come off it.
Hon. B. Stephenson: -- unfortunately some of them have not considered it. There are institutions --
Mr. Singer: Oh, come on.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: Listen to the answer.
Mr. Cassidy: That is balderdash.
Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, there are institutions in this province where, in fact, those suggestions have been taken up. One of the institutions happens to be Chedoke, as a matter of fact, in Hamilton.
Mr. Deans: Are you still closing it?
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, that is a specious remark and the member from the New Democratic Party knows it because we met with him the other day and discussed the problem with him.
Mr. Deans: Nonsense.
Mr. Warner: Did you say inaccurate?
Mr. Speaker: Order, order.
Hon. B. Stephenson: No decision has been taken at the moment on that situation.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. We will have a final supplementary on this question from the member for Huron-Bruce.
Mr. Gaunt: Since the deadline of April 1 has been postponed, does the acting minister have a new deadline in mind with respect to the Clinton Public Hospital closing and will the decision with respect to that institution involve alternate uses?
Hon. B. Stephenson: I had hoped that I had made clear in my statement that the statement was in reference to all of the four institutions whose appeals we are considering at the moment. When the decision is made, the effective dates will be announced as well.
Mr. Roy: May I have a supplementary?
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I said that was a final supplementary. It is developing into a debate. I will call for a new question from the member for Wentworth.
Mr. Roy: How do you arrive at your decision on supplementaries?
Mr. Deans: You will get another chance. Wait a second.
Mr. McNeil: Be around once in a while and you will know what is going on.
Mr. Reid: There is a new rule for every question.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please.
Mr. Deans: I have a question for the acting Minister of Health related to the same matter: Can the minister provide the rationale for her own statement that one of the hospitals that did in fact comply and attempt to comply with the suggestions of the ministry was Chedoke and that the ministry still went ahead in spite of their efforts and tried to close the beds?
Hon. B. Stephenson: I think that that is misrepresentation because we did not try to close the beds. The letter was sent as a suggestion because we did not have any other suggestions from the district health council at that time. The decision has been made to ask the district health council to make recommendations to the ministry to resolve this dilemma for the Hamilton bed situation, and we are hoping that they will do that on behalf of the citizens of that area.
Mr. Cassidy: Can the minister explain why she now says that? Hospital boards of governors have been ignoring ministry advice for the past 10 years.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please.
Mr. Cassidy: Then will she say why the government has approved so many thousands of beds?
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Will the hon. member take his seat? Does the member for Wentworth have further questions?
Mr. Deans: Yes, I have another question for the acting Minister of Health. Can the minister indicate what discussions have taken place between her ministry and the federal Ministry of Health with regard to the inoculations for swine flu? Can she indicate the rationale that is going to be used by this province in terms of who are going to receive the inoculations, how they are going to be administered and how they are going to be paid for?
Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, discussions are still taking place regarding this matter but it has been a federal-provincial decision that the federal government will be responsible for securing the vaccine. The federal government will provide for the provinces all the vaccine which it can acquire. It depends entirely upon the amount which is available to the Province of Ontario and other provinces, I would presume, but certainly to this province, which people will be inoculated.
If we have enough to inoculate the entire population, then I would propose that we should do so, with the reservation that those who are allergic to vaccines produced on egg yolk would not be inoculated or would be inoculated in a different fashion. If we do not have sufficient vaccine to inoculate the entire population, it is proposed that those people who would be most highly at risk will be inoculated and we propose to use the health units throughout the province to do so.
Mr. Deans: Supplementary question: Does the ministry intend to have a fee attached to this? It was indicated this morning that the federal government thought the costs might range between 60 cents and $1 per inoculation. Is it the intention of the Province of Ontario to recover that directly through OHIP or is it going to be provided free?
Hon. B. Stephenson: That decision has not as yet been made. We are hoping, as I said, to use the services of the health units to provide the vaccine so that there should be no fee for the inoculation procedure itself. For the material, the decision has not been made.
Mr. S. Smith: Will the minister tell us will the vaccine contain immunization against types A and B viruses as well as swine flu, as we have been advised by some experts would be desirable?
Hon. B. Stephenson: There are two vaccines available and it depends, I suppose, on which is going to be more readily available to us. There will be a monovalent and a polyvalent vaccine available. It is hoped that those people at very high risk at least would acquire the polyvalent vaccine. Those at lower risk might acquire the monovalent vaccine.
Mr. Deans: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Community and Social Services, if I may, flowing from the statement of the Minister of Revenue (Mr. Meen). Is it the intention of the Ministry of Community and Social Services to make adjustments to the social family service benefits paid and to the general welfare assistance provided similar to those which are currently being made by the Ministry of Revenue for those under the GAINS programme?
Hon. Mr. Taylor: We have no plans at this time to do that.
Mr. Deans: Supplementary question. Might I ask the minister how he proposes that people --
Mrs. Campbell: Send them to work.
Mr. Deans: -- in receipt of those benefits, the disabled and others, are going to be able to meet the rising costs of living in the Province of Ontario?
Mr. Bounsall: They’re behind now.
Hon. Mr. Taylor: As the member knows, there has been a difference in rates. At one time they were kept parallel; that has lapsed and the intention isn’t to keep those two rates consistent.
Mr. Speaker: Further questions?
Mr. Deans: One supplementary: Does the minister feel that somehow or other the disabled and others in the Province of Ontario don’t feel the effects of the inflation?
Hon. Mr. Taylor: As the hon. member knows, the rate he is talking about, in terms of increases, certainly from the federal government, are geared to the cost of living index and they become automatic.
Mr. Deans: That’s what GAINS was supposed to do.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please.
Hon. Mr. Taylor: All right. It’s not based on need. Our programmes are based on needs testing, so total income is taken into consideration in terms of supplementation.
Mr. Deans: Is the ministry ready to make adjustments?
Hon. Mr. Taylor: We have no plans at this time.
INVESTMENT PORTFOLIO OF COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Mr. Deans: I have one final question of the Minister of Colleges and Universities. Can the minister indicate whether he has yet looked into the whole matter of the investment of capital by the president and his assistant at the Seneca College? Does he feel it appropriate that colleges, funded almost entirely, if not entirely, out of public funds, should be permitted to invest those public funds as they see fit? And does he think that perhaps some investigation of the matter might be carried out to determine whether or not it ought to be followed in this province?
Hon. Mr. Parrott: I’m prepared to say to the hon. member that a statement in greater depth will be made shortly on that particular question. I replied in part last week to a similar question. I would like to refrain, in fact I will not answer in greater detail at this time; but I will, in the next week, give a more detailed answer to the member’s question.
Mr. Deans: By way of supplementary: Is the minister able to indicate, as a matter of policy, whether he deems it appropriate for public institutions to use public tax dollars to invest at the whim of the president and his helper?
Hon. Mr. Parrott: No, I don’t think public funds should be invested at the whim of the president or his administration, but I think there are some positive rules established and perhaps in the not too distant future we will be able to identify more positive guidelines in this respect.
At the moment, from any information I have, there is no doubt there is no mishandling of those funds. I think the amounts are adequate, not in excess of what is required in the way of surplus. There might be individual colleges with perhaps a larger share than some of the others. if one views the system in total, I’m quite convinced those funds are only a normal and adequate amount to handle the liabilities they could expect to have.
Mr. Speaker: Is this a supplementary? The member for Kitchener-Wilmot.
Mr. Sweeney: Is the minister aware of the fact that the figure quoted last week of an excess of $2 million, in the most recent statement is now $3.4 million; and that that represents about 15 per cent of the budget of that particular college?
Hon. Mr. Parrott: Yes, I’m fully aware of all the facts and figures. As I indicated earlier, I’ll make a more extensive statement in the next week or so.
Mr. Speaker: Final supplementary, the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere.
Mr. Warner: Is the minister aware that while the college has been accumulating more than $200,000 a year in interest, seven faculty members have been fired as of September of 1976 from the diploma nursing programme?
Hon. Mr. Parrott: I think it would be quite unfair to relate those two particular events. There are some very definite problems with the number of nurses who are needed in this province.
Mr. Davidson: As a result of your policies.
Mr. Speaker: Order, order.
Hon. Mr. Parrott: It made good sense to ask the community colleges to reduce the number of people that they are accepting into their programme. I think the member would agree with me that right now there is a very considerable surplus in the number of qualified nurses in this province.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I fail to see where that was a supplementary to the first question; I didn’t get the portent of it earlier.
FUNDS WITHHELD FROM HOSPITALS
Mr. S. Smith: Another question for the acting Minister of Health. It’s her day today.
Mr. Foulds: lit was her day yesterday.
Mr. Martel: Out playing tennis?
Mr. S. Smith: Would she confirm a claim made by the Ontario Hospital Association that $16 million was being withheld from hospitals over the past two months because of insufficient funds. When will she make up this shortfall?
Hon. B. Stephenson: I am sorry, Mr. Speaker, I can’t confirm that claim because I do not have that information. I shall investigate, however.
Mr. S. Smith: I will undertake to send the information to the minister.
USE OF COAL BY HYDRO
Mr. S. Smith: A question of the Minister of the Environment: Will the minister table this government’s copy of the letter by the federal Deputy Minister of the Environment expressing concern about Hydro’s plans to continue burning coal to produce energy for export to the United States?
Hon. Mr. Kerr: I understand, Mr. Speaker, that that letter went to the National Energy Board. I don’t imagine there is any problem in getting a copy of it, and if I do I will table it. All I would want to say at this time is that Hydro has been importing low sulphur coal from the United States for a number of years, and it isn’t for the prime purpose of exporting hydro to the United States. This is to supplement high sulphur coal that is used from Canadian sources so that our ambient air quality standards can be met.
Mr. S. Smith: Supplementary: Is the minister in disagreement with the views of his director of the environmental protection service who gave the opinion that the environment would be poisoned unnecessarily if the exports are approved? It’s the minister’s own director who said that.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: That was an official of Environment Canada.
Mr. Roy: Supplementary: Doesn’t he feel himself, as Minister of the Environment, some concern about the fact that we are importing coal, burning it here, and polluting this area to export electricity to the US? As a principle, doesn’t he sort of have concern about that for the future?
Hon. Mr. Kerr: Mr. Speaker, I would ask the hon. member how he would fire a coal-generating plant unless he used coal, and we are using the highest grade coal to do just that.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The member for Hamilton West, further questions.
Mr. Roy: That got you excited. That woke you up did it, Bill?
Hon. Mr. Davis: I have been here for two weeks, where have you been?
Mr. Roy: I finally woke you up over there.
Mr. S. Smith: They’re being very provocative, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please.
Mr. S. Smith: I will try to involve the Treasurer in something more constructive, Mr. Speaker. I will ask him a question so that he doesn’t have to be out of order in his answers.
PROPOSED PLAN FOR ONTARIO
Mr. S. Smith: Will the Treasurer confirm that a proposed plan for Ontario will be released next week?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: No, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Roy: Oh, you are a real genius.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please, order. Supplementary question.
Mr. S. Smith: Supplementary: Will the plan that has been referred to in the newspapers, of which the Treasurer I am sure is aware, just be another vague strategy such as the Toronto-centred region plan which is now 10 years old, or will it in fact be a real land-use plan with mechanisms for implementation?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, if, as and when these plans are tabled we will know those answers.
Mr. Roy: Are you proud of him, Bill?
Mr. S. Smith: This is another supplementary. These answers of course are very helpful, Mr. Speaker, and I would love to hear more of them. Will the plans supersede or elaborate upon the COLUC report?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, the world will unfold as it will and we will know that next week.
Mr. S. Smith: That’s beautiful; I really like that one. In fact, you should patent that, that’s very original.
PAYMENT TO DRAKE PERSONNEL
Mr. S. Smith: A question for the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations: Having had two weeks now to find out the answer, would the minister inform this House just how much is being paid to Drake Personnel for the hiring and paying of the rent review personnel? Will the minister tell us the terms of this contract?
Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, the contract was entered into by the Chairman of Management Board and I believe he has that information.
Mr. S. Smith: May I redirect it, please, to the Chairman of Management Board?
Hon. Mr. Auld: I’m just looking for it.
Mr. Reid: There goes the question period.
Mr. Nixon: Get out the marbles.
Mr. Reid: You just happen to have a 12-page document.
Hon. Mr. Auld: I just happen to have it here.
Mr. Nixon: He said “how much money?”
Mr. S. Smith: We don’t have the time to waste.
Mr. Speaker: I presume the hon. minister is going to start on page 2?
Mr. Reid: From one we get nothing; from the other, we get too much.
Mr. Roy: Can we revert to statements?
Mr. Speaker: Order, please; let’s get on with the answer.
Hon. Mr. Auld: On Dec. 9, 1975 --
Mr. S. Smith: Please table it; we don’t mind if he wants to table it. I don’t want to ruin the whole question period with this sort of farce, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please.
Mr. Ruston: Time up, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker: Order. May I ask the hon. minister if it is a lengthy answer?
Mr. Reid: If it is the minister’s, it has to be lengthy.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member from Hamilton West indicated he would be happy with tabling it if it is lengthy.
Hon. Mr. Davis: It is obviously not of public importance or you never would have asked.
Mr. S. Smith: The way it is being treated is farcical, Mr. Speaker.
Hon. Mr. Auld: I will attempt to give a synopsis and table the whole report.
Mr. Speaker: It is obviously an important question so we will hear the answer at least.
Hon. Mr. Auld: On Dec. 15, 1975, tender proposals were sent to three firms which were recommended by the Association of Professional Placement Agencies as having the capability to meet the province-wide requirements of the rent review programme. Only two of them tendered.
Mr. S. Smith: I didn’t ask if there were tenders. I have just said, Mr. Speaker, that the question was how much is being paid? It is a simple question.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. It’s too early to tell yet.
Hon. Mr. Auld: The contract called for the provision of 277 trained clerical stenographers, typists, clerks, other support personnel and administrative officers --
Mr. S. Smith: And they all lived together in a candy house in a forest.
Hon. Mr. Auld: -- with salaries and wages equal to equivalent positions in the civil service plus 11.8 per cent for employee benefits and for replacements of those who came and then left.
Mr. Singer: That still wasn’t the question.
Hon. Mr. Auld: The contract total is in the amount of $1.6 million; approximately $416,000 or 34 per cent of the total salary cost represents charges for employee benefits and the service fee. The service fee alone represents 22 per cent and that service fee covers all the personnel costs of administering this group.
Mr. Singer: How much was that?
Hon. Mr. Auld: The only administration paid by the government is the head office clerk. I will table the entire report.
Mr. S. Smith: Was it $350,000? Approximately?
Mr. Speaker: Order, please.
Mr. Deans: Supplementary: Would the Chairman of Management Board care to explain to the House why we didn’t use the offices of Canada Manpower?
Hon. Mr. Auld: Yes, indeed, because Canada Manpower can supply personnel but not offices, office furniture and administration of that personnel; nor the actual interviewing of staff, and the replacement of them if they didn’t turn out to be effective.
Mr. Deans: Office furniture?
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Is that the answer?
Mr. Singer: Supplementary: Mr. Speaker, can the minister explain to us why he spent $352,000 and did not avail himself of the personnel services of the Province of Ontario and save that money?
Hon. Mr. Auld: Mr. Speaker, to employ people in all parts of the province through the central office of the Civil Service Commission would not be possible. The personnel departments of all the ministries are in Toronto, and they don’t have to hire overnight about 300 people.
Mr. Nixon: I thought that is what they were there for.
Mr. R. S. Smith: How does the minister know?
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. We will have a final supplementary from the member for Windsor-Sandwich.
Mr. Bounsall: Mr. Speaker, can the Chairman of the Management Board tell us why Drake Personnel was not asked in its hiring to contact the local Canada Manpower offices for referrals from them which, in many cases, was not done -- certainly in Windsor -- or to place a specific ad --
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I believe the question was asked.
Mr. Bounsall: -- for rent control officers rather than the general ad which was placed?
Hon. Mr. Auld: Mr. Speaker, one of the specifications in the tender call was that the personnel provided will be recruited in accordance with the provisions of existing employment practices legislation which, I assume, would certainly imply to me that they would go to Manpower if they needed to.
Mr. Deans: What is the minister in charge of? Couldn’t he have got the furniture?
TRAINING OF MINERS
Mr. Germa: I have a question of the Minister of Colleges and Universities with reference to the committee inquiring into the matter of miners becoming a certified trade group. Now that the Ontario Mining Association has effectively frustrated the work of this committee, what is his next move in this regard?
Hon. Mr. Parrott: Later today I had hoped to make a rather extensive statement in regard to the Speech from the Throne on the Industrial Training Council. I think matters of this nature are just prime opportunities for that industrial council to come effectively to grips with that kind of problem, and I’m sure it will do so in the not too distant future.
Mr. Martel: Supplementary: Isn’t it a fact that the ministry and the government officials were the ones who scuttled any possibility of establishing a mining certificate for miners?
Hon. Mr. Parrott: I don’t believe so.
Mr. Reid: I have a question of the Minister of Industry and Tourism in regard to his white elephant in northwestern Ontario. Can he explain how the cost of Minaki Lodge has escalated by $3 million in the last year? Can he confirm whether or not --
Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Does your brother John know you are asking these questions?
Mr. Reid: -- that just the maintenance charges of the lodge, which we understand will not be opened now for at least four years, are in fact $30,000 per month? Is this part of his government’s restraint programme?
Mr. S. Smith: They catch poisoned fish, mind you.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: To answer the last part of the question first, yes, it is part of the constraint programme of the government of the Province of Ontario, that they have decided to forego the completion.
Mr. Nixon: No wonder you are so successful. That is the way you save money.
Mr. S. Smith: Close hospitals and open lodges.
Mr. Nixon: That is why taxes are going up.
Mr. Reid: You could keep a few hospital beds open that way with that money.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. minister has the floor.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: It’s your time. We decided to defer the completion of the Minaki reconstruction programme in light of the constraint programme. Inasmuch as we’ve cut back in other areas in this province, we thought it was essential that we should also defer the final operation of Minaki.
As to the $3-million figure, I’m not quite sure where the member happened to arrive at that cost. It was clearly said in this House at the time we took back Minaki Lodge, that we brought it under the ownership of the Province of Ontario so that it would not fall into the hands of the first mortgagees who happened to be Americans.
Mr. Reid: They can’t afford it now.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: We clearly indicated that they would automatically have held it. Whether they could afford it or not, the fact is that they would have become heir to it because of defaults in payments on the mortgage.
Mr. Nixon: They don’t want to pay that $30,000 a month.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: I indicated clearly at the time that we were going to do a refurbishing job on the lodge at a total cost in the range, in addition to the buy-back rights, of $5 million.
Mr. Davidson: Who can afford to stay there?
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: As to the cost of maintaining this lodge over the next period of time, I’m not sure of the monthly cost, but we will continue to operate Pistol Point Park that is presently on site.
Mr. S. Smith: Who wants to stay there to catch poisoned fish?
Mr. Davidson: Who could afford to stay there?
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The member for Rainy River may have a supplementary.
Mr. Reid: Is the minister aware that the executive director of the tourism division is quoted as giving the $6.3-million figure? Will the minister table in this House the cost; who the contractors are; and what is being paid for this sum of money? Will he table all the costs that he has to date and will he give us an idea of when this place may be open?
Mr. Foulds: It is already on the order paper.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: First of all, on the point of $6.3 million -- I’ve answered the question in the first part of the member’s question -- clearly it cost us, to buy back and to pay off the ODC loan that was outstanding as well as the first mortgage with the American firm, in excess of $1 million. It was $1,250,000. In addition to that, I indicated to this House that we would spend $5 million in refurbishing and trying to put Minaki back into operation.
Mr. Singer: Isn’t that awful? It’s unbelievable!
Mr. Reid: But you have spent that much and it’s not open.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: That money has now been spent; that is correct, sir.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: The member is absolutely right. There is a further extension to the plan, because we said it would be a phased operation, and we have the first phase completed. We have postponed the second phase. As to tabling the figures, I shall take that under advisement.
Mr. Reid: We didn’t know you made a contract with a millionaire. A white elephant.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. A final supplementary, the member for Fort William.
Mr. Angus: Mr. Speaker, I wonder whether the Minister of Industry and Tourism would now consider placing the Minaki Lodge development on the auction block to recoup the millions of dollars that the Province of Ontario spent on this project, in order that we may have some more money to spend on our hospitals and secondary industry in northern Ontario?
Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Do you want to sell it to the Americans? I thought you were a socialist.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, I am the one who first said that as far as I was concerned the lodge should go back into private hands, and over the last two years we have attempted with the federal agencies, as well as our own ODC and our own ministry, to secure an outside purchaser.
Mr. Singer: They are all white elephants.
Mr. S. Smith: Everybody wants a white elephant.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: You know, I have a great deal of advice from over there and they should know a great deal about white elephants in that party, let me assure them.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, if we are to dispose --
Hon. Mr. Bennett: -- of this particular operation, or lodge, it will have to be brought to a completion and be first in operation. I would hope that the first step to persuade it to go back into private hands is that we’ll have a private firm of hotel operators that would participate with the province at the completion date. Then, if the project obviously becomes a financial success, or can be a viable one in the private hands, it will likely go in that direction.
Mr. Reid: It will never be viable.
Mr. Mattel: As long as it is losing money, keep it.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please.
LAYOFFS OF WORKERS
Mr. Kennedy: Mr. Speaker, a question of the Minister of Labour: With reference to plant layoffs, would the minister consider requiring plants which have layoffs of fewer than 50 in number to give notification to the ministry in order that it may try to be of assistance to those people who lose their employment?
Mr. Deans: Try to be of assistance? They are creating unemployment.
Mr. Kennedy: Also, would the ministry re-examine some of the assistance that is offered to see if it can be of further help to those employees who are laid off?
Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, the ministry is at this time examining the termination legislation with a view to making modifications which will make it more equitable for all workers who may be laid off. There are mechanisms now which can be used in conjunction with Manpower which the ministry does, in fact, establish when the company laying off employees, or the union to which those employees belong, makes application to the ministry for that kind of assistance.
Mr. Deans: Are you going to give them jobs in the hospitals?
FALCONBRIDGE SMELTER EMISSIONS
Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of “the statesman,” if I can get his attention.
Mr. Hodgson: Jealous, Elie?
Mr. Martel: Well no, there is only one in the House, and I want to recognize it.
Hon. Mr. Bernier: Who, me?
Mr. Martel: On Feb. 5, I wrote to the minister concerning the conditions at Falconbridge smelter and he replied recently stating the following: “These time-weighted studies are being done in the smelter and form the basis for providing relief where and when required.”
Mr. Martel: Yes, you are the statesman. Could the minister tell me, based on the directive by Falconbridge that men cannot leave their place of work until concentrations of SO2 have reached 15 parts per million, how that corresponds to the ministry policy of five parts per million over an eight-hour period?
Hon. Mr. Bernier: Mr. Speaker, I didn’t catch the first part of the member’s question. I wonder if he would repeat it?
Mr. Martel: Yes, Mr. Speaker, I wrote the minister about the conditions at Falconbridge since the layoff and the minister responded to my letter recently stating: “These time-weighted studies are being done in the smelter and form the basis for providing relief where and when required.”
Based on Falconbridge’s instructions of recent date that the men could not leave the place of work until concentrations of SO2 gas have reached 15 parts per million, how in fact are the men supposed to know that they can leave a work place which has been overexposed, based on the fact that the ministry’s criterion is five parts per million and the company is saying they can’t get out until it is 15 parts per million?
Hon. Mr. Bernier: Mr. Speaker, I’d be glad to look into that detail and report back to the hon. member.
Mr. Martel: Would the minister at the same time tell me when was the last time an inspection was conducted at the Falconbridge operation, for both gas and dust?
Hon. Mr. Bernier: Mr. Speaker, I’d be glad to get that information.
Mrs. Campbell: That’s a new question.
Mr. Conway: Mr. Speaker, a question of the acting Minister of Health: Will the minister tell this House if there is a surplus of chronic beds in the Perth area and, further, confirm a report that attempts by the Great War Memorial Hospital in the town of Perth to get chronic beds have been thwarted?
Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I don’t think any attempts made by the board of that hospital have been thwarted at all. As a matter of fact, the hospital board and a committee of the ministry is examining the bed requirements and the situation in Perth at length right at the moment.
Mr. Conway: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Does it concern the acting Minister of Health that her parliamentary assistant, the member for Lanark (Mr. Wiseman) is perhaps in a position of conflict of interest, given the position of Wiseman private hospital and the chronic care bed situation there?
Hon. B. Stephenson: I am sorry; I can’t hear the member.
Mr. Speaker: No answer?
Mr. Nixon: She said she couldn’t hear.
Hon. B. Stephenson: I am sorry; I can’t hear the question, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Conway: Doesn’t it concern the minister in any way that her parliamentary assistant, the member for Lanark, given the fact that there is some family ownership in the Wiseman private hospital which is involved in chronic care beds there -- does that potential for conflict of interest concern her? Would she inform us of that?
Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I regret very much that any such statement has been made by a member of this Legislature --
Mr. Nixon: You mean it does not concern you?
Hon. B. Stephenson: -- about an individual who has worked diligently on behalf of the Ministry of Health and on behalf of the people of Ontario. If a conflict of interest could be construed to exist, I shall most certainly investigate it, but I really do not like the innuendo that this individual has made.
Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Are you going to run for leader now? You have got the qualifications.
An hon. member: He ought to apologize.
Mr. Conway: On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker, I would simply state that because we have in this province a set of guidelines governing the conflict of interest potential on behalf of members of the ministerial bench, I thought perhaps we might be given a similar set of circumstances governing parliamentary assistants.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. That is not a point of privilege on the part of the hon. member.
Mr. Cassidy: A supplementary: In view of the minister’s answer, will the minister return to this House within a couple of days and give us a specific statement about the possible conflict of interest involved in the parliamentary assistant’s wife running a private hospital in the area?
Mr. Speaker: Any answer? The member for Port Arthur.
Mr. Cassidy: There is no answer, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Nixon: What is the matter with that?
Mr. S. Smith: The minister is closing chronic beds there, but she has some chronic beds.
Mr. Cassidy: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, I realize the minister is entitled to refuse to reply but I would put on the record that the minister is refusing to reply.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. That is not a point of order.
Mr. Cassidy: Why doesn’t the minister stand up?
An hon. member: Don’t get so mad.
Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, a question of the Premier: In view of the Premier’s statement yesterday in reply to a question from the leader of the New Democratic Party (Mr. Lewis) with regard to the Windsor and Sault Ste. Marie teacher-board negotiations, and on the understanding the cabinet considered the situations this morning, was he aware in his deliberations of a memorandum sent out March 8 by the Ontario School Trustees Council, which says:
“However, under no circumstances should a school board agree to final-offer selection or arbitration on matters that are not directly related to salaries and fringe benefits. Matters relating to the control, nature and policy of the educational programme should not be left to third party adjudication.”
Mr. S. Smith: Is this a speech or what?
Mr. Mancini: Is this a speech?
Mr. Foulds: Does the Premier not find that an obstructionist memorandum? Does the Premier not think that it could lead to bad-faith bargaining and does he not think that the ERC should look into it to see if it actually contravenes sections 3 and 9 of the School Board and Teachers’ Collective Negotiations Act?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I’m not aware of the particular document. I’d be delighted to bring it to the attention of the ERC. I sense that documents are sent out by both sides in these negotiations, perhaps even by the teaching profession from time to time, and I don’t examine these either. I’d be delighted to bring it to the attention of ERC.
Mr. Foulds: Supplementary: In view of the four or five outstanding disputes that we’ve had in the last few months, and in view of the reluctance of the trustees in these cases to go to voluntary arbitration, does the Premier not think that the government should examine --
Hon. Mr. Rhodes: There’s a conflict of interest for you right there,
Mr. Foulds: -- whether or not they are involved in a concerted effort to avoid one of the legitimate routes provided for in Bill 100?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I am only going by memory, but I think my memory is correct, and I mentioned it to the hon. member’s leader yesterday. I could be wrong, but I recall that the Metro Toronto school board did suggest they would go to voluntary arbitration and this was not accepted by the teaching profession. The hon. member is saying that in his view now the legislation should be amended to make voluntary arbitration in fact --
Mr. Foulds: That’s not what I said.
Hon. Ms. Davis: All right. All I’m saying is he can’t have it both ways. If he is saying that this should be really the case for both sides --
Mr. Foulds: All we want is enactment of the legislation in the way it was designed.
Hon. Ms. Davis: -- that’s tremendous, but please don’t just put it on one side, as is that party’s custom.
Mr. Eakins: Mr. Speaker, to the acting Minister of Health: Will the acting minister tell the House if the audit that has been ordered into the affairs of Browndale Ontario is complete?
Hon. B. Stephenson: To my knowledge, Mr. Speaker, they are not as yet complete. When they are, I shall be pleased to report on them.
Mr. Eakins: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Will this be tabled in the House?
Hon. Mr. Stephenson: I shall most certainly report about the audit, Mr. Speaker. I shall have to check about the total report.
DAYCARE OPERATIONS OF CHILDREN’S AID SOCIETIES
Ms. Sandeman: A question of the Minister of Community and Social Services: Is the minister aware that the ceiling imposed on expenditures of Children’s Aid Societies has forced the Kawartha-Halliburton Children’s Aid Society to seriously consider closing its daycare centre? Further, would the minister assure this House that he considers daycare centres run by Children’s Aid Societies are part of the essential protective and child care services provided by the societies, and that budgetary allowance must be made for their operation?
Hon. Mr. Taylor: Well, there are two parts to that.
Mrs. Campbell: That is obvious.
Hon. Mr. Taylor: In reply to the first part, no, I don’t accept that there’s going to be any deterioration of service in connection with that Children’s Aid Society or any Children’s Aid Society in this province. I may say --
Mr. Moffatt: I don’t believe it.
Hon. Mr. Taylor: -- for the information of the members, that last year the average increase of all Children’s Aid Societies --
Mr. Davidson: It’s they who are saying it.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Hon. Mr. Taylor: -- in Ontario was 22.9 per cent; in other words, almost a 23 per cent increase over the year before.
Mr. Moffatt: Who is this guy?
Hon. Mr. Taylor: This year, they will be given another 5½ per cent over last year’s funding, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Deans: Whether it is adequate or not.
Ms. Speaker: Order.
Hon. Mr. Taylor: Additionally, I am reviewing every Children’s Aid Society’s budget to ensure --
Mr. Moffatt: Answer, answer.
Mr. Makarchuk: Will somebody pull the plug on the tape?
Hon. Mr. Taylor: -- that no child will suffer because of the constraint programme. And that, of course, includes this society to which the member refers. That’s the first part of the question.
As to the second part, insofar as daycare centres are concerned, normally daycare centres that are subsidized are either operated by the municipalities themselves or else they enter into contracts with the owners --
Mr. Moffatt: He talks automatically and makes no sense.
Mr. Davidson: If the minister has a statement, please table it in the House.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please.
Hon. Mr. Taylor: -- and operators of those Children’s Aid Societies --
An hon. member: Sit down, baldy.
Hon. Mr. Taylor: -- so that they are eligible for provincial funding.
Mrs. Campbell: If he doesn’t know the answer, surely he can be short and say so?
Hon. Mr. Taylor: Again, as members know, provincial subsidies in terms of operating costs of daycare centres --
Mr. Moffat: Do you believe yourself?
Hon. Mr. Taylor: -- in this province will be about $27 million in the current fiscal year.
Ms. Sandeman: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker: Is it a short supplementary?
Ms. Sandeman: Yes, a very short supplementary.
Mr. Singer: Shorter than the answer.
Mr. Nixon: Ask Michael Houlton.
Ms. Sandeman: I had some difficulty following the convolutions of the answer, but I understand --
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. We can’t hear the question.
Ms. Sandeman: Did I understand the minister to say that he did not consider the closing of a daycare centre to represent a deterioration of the service offered?
Hon. Mr. Taylor: No, I didn’t say that. If the member had listened, she would have heard the answer.
Mr. Deans: Well, what can you say --
Mr. Gaunt: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of the Environment. Has the ministry yet decided which insecticide will be used in Ontario in the mosquito control programme to prevent encephalitis outbreaks this summer?
Hon. Mr. Kerr: Yes, Mr. Speaker, I understand the insecticide being recommended by the pesticide advisory committee is Abate.
Mr. Reid: Yes, that is the one we were going to recommend.
Mr. Gaunt: Supplementary: Could the minister tell me why the larvicides Altosid and Flit MDL were not on the ministry’s approved list because they are very safe and non-toxic to humans, even more so than Abate?
Hon. Mr. Kerr: It is my understanding, Mr. Speaker, that the application for approval of that particular larvicide wasn’t made to the advisory committee in time for this particular season -- in the event that there is any problem this season.
Really, the article in today’s Star and the answer by Mr. Ruf would be our answer. This is information that he gets from the advisory committee and basically, as it said, Altosid is only in its testing stage and does not act on all species of mosquitoes and is not as effective as Abate.
Contrary to what the hon. member has said, Abate is considered just as safe as the other one recommended.
Mr. Speaker: The oral question period has expired.
Mr. Lawlor from the standing private bills committee presented the committee’s report which was read as follows and adopted:
Your committee begs to report the following bills without amendment:
Bill Pr3, An Act respecting the Borough of Scarborough;
Bill Pr4, An Act respecting the Township of Nepean.
Your committee begs to report the following bill with certain amendments:
Bill Pr2, An Act respecting the Township of Wicksteed.
Hon. Mr. Snow presented the annual report of the Ontario Highway Transport Board for the calendar year 1975.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry presented the first annual report of the Ministry of the Attorney General for the year 1974-1975 for the consideration of the House.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. There is too much background noise in the chamber. Order, please.
Mr. Cassidy: There is too much foreground nonsense as well.
Mr. Speaker: Order. The hon. minister with a further report.
Hon. Mr. Bernier: Mr. Speaker, in response to a request from the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Lewis), I am pleased to table a report of the air quality assessment of United Asbestos to which I have referred publicly on a number of occasions. I have also included a copy of my own ministry’s report which shows that the levels of asbestos fibres from that particular plant are slightly higher. The members would also be glad to know, I am sure, that the meetings at Matachewan and Kirkland Lake to which I referred publicly will take place on April 13 and 14.
Mr. Speaker: Motions.
Introduction of bills.
Orders of the day -- I am sorry, there is a bill; I didn’t notice it. The hon. member for Scarborough Centre.
Mr. Mancini: Stand up, Frank.
Mr. Drea: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I thought perhaps the sound system hadn’t improved since my remarks yesterday.
Mr. Speaker: And you didn’t do it any good?
ABORTION REFERRAL REGISTRATION ACT
Mr. Drea moves first reading of bill intituled, An Act to register the Referring of Abortions.
Motion agreed to; first reading of the bill.
Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, the bill provides for: 1. The registration of individuals charging a fee for referring individuals outside of Canada for abortion; 2. The bonding of abortion referrers; 3. The setting aside of abortion referral fees in a trust account pending the results of post-operative medical examination by the local medical officer of health of the woman who has undergone the abortion.
Mr. Speaker: Orders of the day.
Clerk of the House: The first order, resuming the adjourned debate on the amendment to the amendment to the motion for an address in reply to the speech of the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor at the opening of the session.
THRONE SPEECH DEBATE (CONTINUED)
Mr. Speaker: I recognize the hon. Minister of Industry and Tourism.
Mr. Cassidy: That’s the $28,000 man.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, I shall conclude my remarks in spite of the sarcasm of the member for Ottawa Centre. That’s fine. He can keep it any way he wants it, sir.
May I continue with the programme of tourism and its development? In my concluding remarks yesterday evening, I indicated the return we are receiving in Ontario for a dollar spent and related it and compared it to the Canadian expenditure and to the Province of Quebec’s expenditure for promoting tourism. There have been some great success stories in the tourism field for us.
Last year 56 per cent of all the Americans travelling in Canada came to the Province of Ontario as the principal destination for their holiday period. That’s a remarkable increase, because in 1967 that figure was 46 per cent. Through extra expenditures and wise placing of advertising, it is now 56 per cent. We hope that in this year of the Olympics in Montreal we will retain that percentage for the Province of Ontario.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I wonder if we could have a little less noise in the House so that we could hear the hon. minister.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: Last year, Mr. Speaker, the Province of Ontario was fortunate to produce for the economy, through the field of tourism, $2.6 billion which is a very substantial return to the individual communities. Just short of $1 billion of these funds was from our American visitors to Ontario.
Tourism missions have been taken by our ministry to the European market on three occasions in the last two years. I can sincerely report that the success story as a result of those missions is more than worth the cost to the province that is expended by the ministry. The last mission was to England and Scotland a week ago and I am pleased to report, having discussed the situation with some of the people on the mission, that they felt after the first day or two on the mission that the journey was indeed worth their time.
We shall continue to promote tourism for central, eastern and northern Ontario.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. There are too many conversations being carried on.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: The objective in promoting tourism to northern Ontario is to try to increase its percentage of the overall expenditures in the province. At the moment we have about 18 per cent --
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. There are too many conversations being carried on during the throes of this debate. Would the hon. members kindly give courtesy to the hon. minister so that he may continue his remarks?
Mr. Bullbrook: I suggest you name this fellow.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: I was indicating, Mr. Speaker, that the objective of the ministry between now and 1980 is to try to increase the revenue position of the overall tourist market for northern Ontario from its present 18 per cent to a 26 per cent level, and we believe that can be achieved.
Let me for a moment just mention that we have gone along with the government’s programme of decentralization from the city of Toronto and Queen’s Park to try to offer our services in the various areas of the province. Over the last three years we have been fortunate enough to establish 21 field offices in this province which we believe now serve the individual communities on a much more sophisticated basis than we could achieve from a central point here in the city.
Mr. Cassidy: Nothing has been achieved from that.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: While some people say nothing has been achieved, I would suggest that if one would open his eyes and look around, he might find there has been a fair amount of achievement even in eastern Ontario as well as in the northern part of our province. When one does not want to look at the situation openly --
Mr. Cassidy: Talk to Smiths Falls about that They are beside themselves trying to get assistance.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: Smiths Falls has had the assistance of this ministry and if the member would just listen for a moment, we are also assisting the people in the field of opening up their new municipal industrial park.
Mr. Cassidy: They weep when they come to Toronto. There is more industry along a mile of the 401 than in all of eastern Ontario.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: There is no doubt that there are certain advantages along 401. That’s why we have some incentive programmes in our ministry, to try to encourage industry to locate in various parts of the province where not all of the services are as conveniently located as one might find in this part of our province.
Mr. Cassidy: But those programmes aren’t working.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: Very clearly the programmes have been working. Municipalities have been applying for them and I will give the member the facts and figures.
Five hundred and seven industries last year made application for and received financial assistance through the loan programmes of NODC, ODC and EODC for a total of $89 million, a sum far exceeding anything we have had in the years prior to this. May I say that over $22 million went into the tourism field to develop and enhance that programme, something we have never achieved before. I think it’s a step in the right direction. Eastern Ontario and northern Ontario were the two parts of the province which principally received those funds, and I think it speaks well for the interest of those communities in developing their industrial programmes and getting on with creating meaningful employment.
Mr. Cassidy: Does six per cent unemployment represent success?
Mr. Speaker: Order, please.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, at the moment we are in the process of implementing the completion of the programme for municipal industrial parks under the Ontario Land Corp. and with the Ontario Development Corp. I am pleased to report that at this stage there have been some 40 applications by municipalities across the Province of Ontario. The incentive, of course, as was clearly indicated in the time of the legislation, will be that in the first year there will be no interest charged and the amount of interest charged in the second, third, fourth and fifth years will increase proportionately. The interest rate has yet to be established, but I hope that will be achieved this afternoon at a Management Board meeting that we are having.
I say to the members of the Legislature that there are many programmes within the ministry that have been functioning extremely well. Trade conditions have changed in the world and are continuing to change. We have to be able to modify our programmes that would be compatible with the federal programmes so that they might succeed in moving Canadian products out of the Province of Ontario into foreign markets and so that we can succeed in luring new industries from other countries of the world to relocate in the Province of Ontario. That is going to be one of our principal objectives.
As I said last evening, another key point at this stage of the game in the field of trading is to put together turnkey operations so that we can sell completely Canadian packages. And I use the word “Canadian,” because while a great deal of the content of goods in any package being sold by Canadians comes from the Province of Ontario, if we are going to be successful we’re going to have to blend together all of the industries and capabilities that are at our fingertips here in Canada.
Mr. Cassidy: Does six per cent unemployment represent success?
Mr. Speaker: Order, please.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, the question has been clearly placed, does six per cent unemployment indicate a success story? I would trust that the member who spoke would use a little more good judgement, if he has any, and consider the fact that six per cent is not an unusual figure at this time in world terms. If we look around the world, we see unemployment situations in England, France and other countries; there is a world economic situation that Ontario is not going to change alone.
Mr. Cassidy: And we have one of the highest rates in the industrial world.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: But we certainly can contribute to changing it by the constraint programme that this government has brought in; and with a little bit of encouragement by certain people in the community for people to work towards achieving those goals, maybe we can turn the economic situation of this province around and thereby also enhance the employment opportunities at this time and move down the road. But it’s not all going to be accomplished in one night.
Mr. Cassidy: But you’ve had 32 years to turn the situation around.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: May I say that if we’re going to look at the last 30 years, maybe we should look at the low points of unemployment. Economics have trends up and down; governments for years have tried to find ways to level them out, and not with the greatest degree of success that they would like.
Mr. Cassidy: That’s what we’re saying.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: We’re going through one such period at the moment, and I’m sure that we shall be successful, because we have people in this party and in this government who are prepared to apply themselves to the challenge at hand to bring things back into line.
Mr. Cassidy: The long-term rate of unemployment keeps going up under your government.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: I conclude my remarks by saying that I am very much aware of the fact that there is an unemployment situation in the Province of Ontario and in Canada. I also am aware of the fact that through the loan programmes and the incentive programmes of this government we have been able to lure new industry into the Province of Ontario and to find employment for roughly 125,000 new bodies on the market annually over the last five years. That’s an accomplishment.
Mr. Cassidy: New bodies?
Hon. Mr. Bennett: Employment for bodies, yes.
Mr. Cassidy: Do you mean men and women?
Hon. Mr. Bennett: Sure, he can sit there and laugh. He wouldn’t know what it is to work, because he has never had to go out and work; he has lived from the public trough all his life.
Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, the member is clearly upset. Would he withdraw that remark, because I’ve obviously worked in the private sector for many years before coming to work in the Ontario Legislature?
Mr. Germa: How about selling insurance?
Hon. Mr. Bennett: Selling insurance is a good occupation, one that the British Columbia government destroyed very nicely and one that I hope the present BC government will have enough encouragement to put back into the private hands to run it profitably, rather than having a $350-million deficit after five years.
Mr. Cassidy: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. This member was drawing $50,000 a year from the public trough in his first couple of years here when he became a parliamentary assistant and was still on Ottawa city council.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. minister will continue.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, I fully recognize the fact of what I was drawing; I’ve been through at least two elections since then, and I’m sure it has been obvious that the public has agreed I should have received that sum of money.
Mr. Cassidy: You wait until next time. You don’t have a safe seat any more.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: There’s always a next time for the hon. member too, and we’ll make sure we have the right candidate that will fix him.
Mr. Moffat: A contract.
Mr. Cassidy: Is that right? I’ve heard about your right candidate, and your candidate is a bum.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: I know a certain party that had a great number of them in their organization.
Mr. Cassidy: Sure, the Conservatives.
Mr. Grossman: Makes them twice as good as the incumbent.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. minister will continue.
Mr. Bullbrook: Are you enjoying this, Mr. Speaker?
Mr. Speaker: The hon. minister will continue.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: I conclude my remarks by saying that we shall be putting forward new programmes in the next period of time to try to overcome some of the problems that are confronting smaller communities across the province.
Mr. Philip: More giveaways!
Hon. Mr. Bennett: I once again say that the municipalities are making great use of the municipal industrial parks programme. I hope that within the next few weeks we will have some announcements as to the parks that are being assisted by the Province of Ontario.
The Speech from the Throne carries a lot of information that is worthy of the times in the Province of Ontario. I would strongly suggest to the members of this House that it is no time for an election in Ontario at this point, and I would ask for the members to join with us in supporting the Speech from the Throne.
Mr. Roy: That wasn’t much of a speech.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: That’s okay.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member for Windsor-Riverside has the floor.
Mr. Burr: Mr. Speaker, it is customary to begin a speech in the Throne debate by a few courtesies. The only minister, apart from the one who has just spoken, who is still in the House is the Minister of the Environment (Mr. Kerr). I would like to say that we welcome him back as Minister of the Environ- merit after his recycling. It is nice to have a minister back again who is going to make the polluters pay and one who is going to swim across Hamilton Bay. in fact, I understand he tried it the other day and put his arm out of commission.
Mr. Germa: It was in the papers.
Mr. Burr: Oh, that was in the papers.
Mr. Philip: He even tried walking across it.
Mr. Burr: In the eight years I have been in this Legislature I have had some opportunity to observe the Tory mind and the typical Tory attitudes. But because all individuals are different, one from another, my remarks will not refer to any individual members of this House, although individual members, past and present, may have been instrumental in creating or reinforcing some of my impressions.
Perhaps I can best begin as follows: Let us imagine that we have taken a random cross-section sample of 100 Ontario citizens, 18 years and older, 100 citizens who are doing paid work or who need paid work or who want paid work. We would except the three large categories of homemakers or housewives, post-secondary students and those who have retired from the labour market.
Let us imagine that we could assess the employability of these 100 men and women. There would be many factors to consider in employability, such as intelligence, talent, education, training, age, experience and physical qualities, including height, weight, health and personality. It should be obvious to everyone, even to red-necked Tories --
Hon. Mr. Kerr: There is no such thing.
Mr. Burr: Maybe there aren’t many, but there are a few.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: Not in this House.
Mr. Burr: Well, I have met a few.
Mr. Bain: There are not many Tories.
Mr. Burr: It should be obvious to them that in our free enterprise society roughly five per cent to seven per cent of every 100 will spend most of their lives unemployed or underemployed. Physical handicaps, mental handicaps and personality handicaps will disqualify them in the competition for employment.
It should be realized, likewise, that for every unemployed person there is probably an overemployed person or perhaps two or three overemployed persons. In Windsor, some auto workers are required to work 1,000 or more overtime hours per year. It is cheaper for the auto companies to pay overtime to fewer workers than to hire more workers and pay the fringe benefits that are required. The profit motive under which auto companies operate causes overemployment for many, while depriving able and available unemployed workers of the right to work, and forces them on welfare.
I have received complaints that hundreds of truck drivers are laid off while those kept on drive many hours beyond what is considered safe and beyond what the law actually allows. Why? It is cheaper for the companies and enables them to make more profit, but in the process it puts willing and able truck drivers on welfare.
In Ontario, we have finally reached the point at which we have enough well-trained nurses, enough well-trained teachers, enough well-trained social workers, enough people sufficiently trained to satisfy the various social needs of our whole society. But what happens? Because the provincial government is unwilling to tax the affluent corporations and the most affluent citizens sufficiently to keep its budgets reasonably well balanced, we have a government-imposed restraint programme that wipes out 5,000 jobs and job opportunities for trained hospital workers of all kinds, including nurses, technicians and even administrators.
Similarly, provincial government support for education is now restricted so that local school boards are contemplating scheduling larger classes and increasing teaching loads from 30 classes a week to 35. If this happens, about 15 per cent of the secondary school teachers now working will be laid off. I know of at least two secondary school teachers and one secondary school principal who taught 50 different classes a week during the hungry Thirties -- 50 different classes a week, while other trained teachers were teaching none. That was in the hungry Thirties and the trend, if followed today, may see us reaching that point again in the history of Ontario.
In the private sector, the profit motive produces overemployment for some and unemployment for others. In the public sector, Tory inability or unwillingness to raise revenue from the affluent results in overwork for some and no work for others.
The Minister of Health (Mr. F. S. Miller) has travelled around Ontario disemploying 5,000 hospital workers. He has been followed, or in some cases preceded, by the Minister of Community and Social Services (Mr. Taylor) exhorting those on welfare, even those on mothers’ allowances, to get out and find a job. Where? At the hospitals? How? As nurses? As teachers?
Perhaps they could start a corner grocery store, without capital of course. Perhaps they could start a restaurant without capital of course. Actually, they can’t even start a home daycare operation unless they can meet certain conditions, such as building and equipping a fenced-in playground in their back yard. “Perhaps the 16-year-old son could drive a transport,” suggests the Minister of Community and Social Services. What chance has he when even high seniority drivers can get only an occasional day of driving?
My colleagues from Windsor West (Mr. Bounsall) and his predecessor, Mr. Hugh Peacock, and I myself have appealed to a succession of Tory Ministers of Labour to eliminate compulsory overtime work, to reduce the work week -- in short, to share the work. Sharing the work automatically shares the wealth. It reduces the welfare rolls, restores human dignity, prevents family disintegration and rectifies a host of other flaws in our present society. Yet the redneck Conservative, whether he is a member of this Legislature or a member of the voting public, has a simplistic view of our economic and social system. He does not realize that in the competition for jobs as a means of earning a livelihood, only 95 out of 100 can succeed in holding a job if there are only 95 jobs available.
Only government by legislation can eliminate overemployment or shorten the work week to expand those 95 jobs into 100 jobs. Only government intervention, government enterprise and government imagination can arrange full employment.
As matters stand in Tory Ontario, there will always be about five per cent who cannot find work however hard they try, or however capable they might be. By and large, these five per cent will be the least employable. They are those who are weaker, less attractive, less educated, inadequately skilled or trained, in poorer health, suffering from some mental, physical or emotional problem, or handicapped. But to our Tory friends, they are, and always will be, ne’er-do-wells who don’t want to work and who are good for nothing.
The least employable for most of their lives will be the chronic unemployed for whom a whole range of community and social services must be established. If it weren’t for these least employable persons the present Minister of Community and Social Services would have no ministry. In a full employment society which we in this party have always advocated all but the unemployable would find a working role. They would enjoy the satisfaction of pulling their weight, of doing useful work, of making their contribution to society. They would retain or recover their dignity.
The Conservative, however, seems to be unaware that his success in life has been attained because of his own superior employability. He continually points to individuals of his acquaintance who have failed, usually because they lack qualities which he himself possesses. If one probes, these qualities turn out to be described as willingness to work, get up and go, initiative and willingness to take a chance. Your Tory who has made a success, let us say, of a restaurant, hardware store, a barber shop or any other small business rarely seems to realize that luck also played a part in his success.
He was lucky that several other equally enterprising individuals did not decide to open in his neighbourhood two or three other restaurants, hardware stores or barber shops in competition with his. For each type of store there is usually a definitely limited amount of business. Too many stores of any kind spoil the business for all. Only those individuals with certain qualities, which may include a certain amount of ruthlessness or just plain good luck, are able to succeed in a competitive society.
Your typical Tory does not seem to realize that in a competitive society, all too often one man’s success depends upon another man’s failure. In a co-operative society, the success of one is a boon for all. Consequently, your rednecked Tory develops an attitude of contempt, sometimes approaching hatred, towards those who end up at the bottom of the social and economic heap. Certainly he has no compassion.
It may be, of course, that this supercilious attitude results, not from a lack of understanding, but from a bad conscience. Perhaps your Tory appreciates fully that our economic system by its very competitive nature ordains that some should be first and others last and that some should be praised as successful and others condemned as failures.
Perhaps his constant harping on the supposed laziness and other shortcomings of those for whom social services have become essential is just a reflection of his feeling of guilt in approving and championing a system that invariably in every continent, in every country, in every province, in every city and in every community invariably produces the same results, a group of people who have been left out or perhaps frozen out, people who have been almost entirely excluded from the benefits enjoyed by the majority of the members of our competitive, so-called free enterprise society.
Last year’s pre-election Tory tax concessions of over $592 million were almost entirely for the benefit of those who needed them least. This year’s pre-election restraints are almost entirely at the expense of those most in need of help, all those in ill health and all those requiring community and social services of various kinds.
The NDP is opposed to welfare abuse. In fact, we are opposed to welfare. We favour a full employment society in which there is no need for welfare except for the disabled and the unemployable. Blame for any cheating in or abuse of welfare must be borne by the Ontario Tory government that has permitted it. Blame for any cheating in or abuse of unemployment insurance must be borne by the federal Liberal government that has permitted it.
Mr. Reid: Nothing like individual responsibility, is there?
Mr. Burr: Blame for loopholes in unemployment insurance must be borne by the federal Liberals. A good example, or a bad example, was the subject of a news item in this morning’s Globe and Mail.
Mr. Reid: Did you hear about the last election in British Columbia?
Ms. Burr: Unemployment insurance regulations, we were told in this morning’s Globe and Mail, allow supply teachers to work a couple of days a week for a period of eight weeks and then collect as much as $95 a week for 26 weeks. If there are weaknesses and abuses in welfare and unemployment, place the blame fairly on those who drafted the legislation and enforce, or fail to enforce, that legislation. Don’t blame us.
The NDP stands ready to support any proposals for full employment which would automatically reduce welfare systems and unemployment insurance plans to a bare minimum. The Minister of Community and Social Services, during debate on supplementary estimates, said that members of this party do not believe in the work ethic. This was one of the many strange statements made in and outside this House during the week of March 15. In fact, a policeman friend of mine drew to my attention the fact that the full moon was on March 16; it may be that some of these weird statements were caused by the position of the moon.
If NDP members don’t believe in the work ethic, they certainly practice it --
Mr. Reid: This sounds like an election speech.
Mr. Burr: After considerable reflection, I have been unable to think of any NDP member, supporter or MPP with whom I have had any social, economic or philosophical discussion who ever condemned the work ethic. The only Canadian politician who ever questioned the work ethic, as far as my memory serves me, is the federal leader of the Liberal Party. He is the only one I can recall ever suggesting that work might be optional or should be optional in modern society.
Mr. Philip: In between his vacations.
Mr. Burr: The UAW, both in Canada and the United States, has repeatedly called for a reduction in the work week so that the work, and therefore the wealth, could be shared. That is an ethical attitude towards work. It is because of this government’s indifference that some truck drivers in Ontario are driving inordinately excessive hours, while many truck drivers are called in once a week or so. It is because this government has not bothered to encourage the work ethic that we have many factory workers working overtime, often seven days a week, while other workers are forced into idleness and on to welfare rolls.
Admittedly, there are a few young people who seem to have little desire to work. But the blame for this should be placed on our whole society, our whole social and economic system. If you insist on placing blame somewhere, then place it on those who have been in office, both federally and at Queen’s Park, for they at least have had the power and the opportunity to do something about promoting and fostering the work ethic.
It is in the very nature of the private enterprise system -- what my Liberal and Tory friends call the free enterprise system, and what I call the selfish enterprise system -- that some succeed and others fail. That is the way the competitive game is played. If there are to be winners, there must also be losers. Losers, especially those who lose repeatedly, become discouraged and are considered failures and, what is even more unfortunate, consider themselves failures. Very often their despair is such that they seek to escape. A few turn to crime, most turn to alcohol and, in recent years, many turn to various mood-changing drugs.
Mr. Philip: Some turn to politics.
Mr. Burr: Society, or at least its less sensitive members, then condemn these unfortunates for abandoning the work ethic. If you are one of these insensitive people, you are likely to join or support one of the so-called free-enterprise parties. If you understand what our competitive society does to its losers, you join or support the party that believes, not in private or selfish enterprise, but in social enterprise and in the value of co-operation rather than a competition.
It was this belief that led me during the hungry Thirties to support the formation of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation. The CCF, as it name implied, was a group of people, a federation, working together, co-operating for the commonwealth or the common good. This new movement attracted support in the political field from those who were already active in social enterprises such as co-operatives and credit unions. We in the New Democratic Party and earlier in the CCF have always believed that a good society must put the emphasis on co-operation. We believe in the superiority of social enterprise as a basis for an economically stable and just society.
Recently the leader of the Liberal Party in Ontario told the press: “The NDP amendment bears no more resemblance to the NDP than the Martian party. Lewis is trying to change his political stripes, he’s trying to be a Liberal.” Let us examine the NDP amendment. Our Throne Speech amendment criticized the government for its inaction in occupational health hazards, which exist largely because of the profit motive, and for its inaction on food land disappearance, which is caused largely because of the profit motive. Because of the NDP’s belief in the work ethic, we criticized the government for failure to create jobs. We criticized the government for its undermining and dismantling of our social service structure because we in the NDP believe that we are our brother’s keepers. We criticized the government for its disemployment of 5,000 hospital staff members, all of whom, obviously have believed and practised the work ethic. We criticized the government for failure to stimulate the building of homes because we believe that all humans should have a right to adequate shelter as well as to adequate food and clothing.
In short, our Throne Speech amendment, based on our belief in everyone’s rights to practise the work ethic and on our recognition of harmful side-effects of glorifying and practising the profit ethic, was completely consistent with our party’s theories and practices ever since its inception. Apparently the member for Hamilton West (Mr. S. Smith) entered this Legislature with some preconceived ideas about the New Democratic Party’s philosophies, for he made this bizarre statement, quoted in the Toronto Star and other papers on March 9, and I repeat it: “Lewis’s amendment bears no more resemblance to the NDP than to the Martian party.”
What does he think the NDP philosophy is? Probably he shares the simplistic view of the Minister of Community and Social Services (Mr. Taylor) who stated in the House on March 18: “The NDP wants the government to run everything.” Ever since the NDP was formed in 1961 and for many years before that in the CCF, our party spokesmen have repeatedly and consistently stated our belief in a mixed economy for Canada, partly based on private enterprise, and partly based on social enterprise. We in this party put the greater emphasis on social enterprise; the two opposing parties put the emphasis on private enterprise. Of course, for psychological reasons, they talk about free enterprise, which has largely perished before the onslaught of monopoly enterprise. Actually, many of us in this party would like to see free enterprise still alive in certain sections of our economy.
Service station operators, for example, were at one time free-enterprisers. They bought gasoline and sold it and, by the quality of service offered to their customers, carried on as independent businessmen, each one depending for his success largely upon his own initiative. Today, however, the service station lessees are little better than wage slaves chained for 16 hours a day to their gas pumps. One friend of mine, a service station operator, estimated that he rarely made a cent for himself and his family before 7 o’clock in the evening.
Mr. Philip: They make less than their employees.
Mr. Burr: He had to stay open at night in order to buy the groceries. Service station operators, even of 20 years tenure, have had their rent raised 100 per cent in the last few months. The more successful the station becomes, the more rent is demanded by the oil company which supplies the gas and, in most cases, owns the station.
What have the two parties that champion free enterprise done for the small businessman? Precious little. Oh, yes, I believe last year, as one of the election goodies, the government restored the commission for collecting the sales tax to the small businessman.
An incidental remark, Mr. Speaker: I should like to suggest that the Legislature might function more effectively if the rules were changed to give a minority government a guarantee of a minimum term -- perhaps two years; perhaps 18 months -- to permit a period of stability in which members would not be in constant fear of some accident or other throwing them back into the election jungle.
I’d like to make a few remarks about the election expenses for the last election which cost the taxpayers of the province $12 million. The Progressive Conservative provincial headquarters collected, we are told by the commission, $1,227,000; the Liberal headquarters, $864,000; the NDP provincial headquarters, $112,000. In other words, the provincial headquarters of the Liberals collected almost eight times as much as the NDP provincial headquarters, and the Tories collected almost 13 times as much.
The Canadian Press dispatch in the Star went on to explain that of these large amounts collected by their provincial party headquarters, the Liberal ridings and candidates received $85,000 and the Tory ridings received $476,000, an average of almost $4,000 per candidate. I mention this in order to put on the record a significant difference in the funding methods of our party and of the two older parties.
In the New Democratic Party, every riding association is expected to send to our provincial headquarters in every election campaign an amount equal to 20 per cent of its own local expenditures. For example, if the Windsor-Riverside NDP spends $9,500 on a campaign, we must send $1,900 to support the provincial campaign conducted through our provincial headquarters.
Incidentally, this imposes on each NDP candidate and riding association a certain restraint in election spending because, in effect, we are fined $20 by our provincial office for every $100 we spend daily locally. If the constituency associations of the older parties had to function under our system they might show similar restraint in their spending.
I am told that the 1975 provincial election statistics have established an average expenditure for the Tory candidates of approximately $24,000 each, for the Liberals about $13,000, and for the NDP about $8,000. These last three figures are from memory. If, however, they are inaccurate I am sure someone will correct me.
Some Tory candidates spent over $50,000 to get elected; in some cases, to try to get elected. Even the $24,000 average is far too much to spend on election campaigns. There should be a limit to the amount each candidate is allowed to spend, and $20,000 would appear to be quite ample for any candidate.
There is one other aspect I should like to mention -- no, there are two. One that has come to my attention is a development affecting various ministries, especially the Ministry of Labour. The Komoka nursing home, which is part of a chain of nursing homes in southwestern Ontario, has initiated a strategy for denying health care employees the fruits of their collective bargaining.
About September, 1974, some 20 employees of the Komoka nursing home, though their union, began negotiating for a 1975 contract. After all kinds of stalling operations by management, the case went to arbitration on April 28, 1975. The award was four months in coming. On Aug. 25, 1975, an award was finally made to be implemented within 30 days.
So it took them 10 months to get their award, right? Wrong. The management appealed the arbitrator’s award and it was March 4, 1976, before a judge announced that the arbitrator’s decision was upheld. So there was a further period of seven months’ delay since the award resulting from compulsory arbitration.
But that was not the end of it. The employees have now been told that management will appeal to a higher court. Consequently, the Komoka nursing home management is holding over $100,000 of money that has been awarded to its employees. The employees need that money. They have negotiated for this money. They have been awarded this money, first by an arbitrator and secondly by a judge. Management, or the owners, have had two chances and both times have failed to persuade, first the arbitrator and then the judge, that they could not afford these wages that have been awarded. The Nursing Home Association is now encouraging its members to use these stalling tactics that have been developed by the Komoka nursing home.
I wish to make one point here. The legislation covering the whole health care industry must surely require review. Legislation should not allow for any health care workers an outcome such as I have outlined.
The final topic has to do with restitution rather than retribution. Just recently, on March 25 to be exact, Windsorites were shocked to read in their local newspaper that a man walking his dog had been assaulted by two young men who had just left a tavern. One of the men “struck the dog, sending it sprawling into the street.” When the dog’s owner “instinctively retaliated and swung at the man who had kicked the dog, he was knocked to the ground and beaten in the face.” The other man “stomped him in the face with a high heel, tearing his nose from his face.” The assistant Crown Attorney said that the man’s nose was severed from his face and “was just hanging there when he was found.” The Windsor Star reported that “a plastic surgeon spent two hours trying to piece his face together.”
What shocked Windsorites, in addition to the description, was the sentence given the two culprits. The stomper with the high heels was given 60 days in jail, to be served in the evenings after work. The other, an unemployed man, was sentenced to 30 days in jail.
These sentences should be considered from three viewpoints: the victim’s, the taxpayers’ and the offenders’.
First, the victim’s: As far as one can tell from the newspaper accounts, the victim gets not even an apology for his nightmarish experience. He may get some compensation under the Act which deals with victims of crime. Even so, the whole incident can never be better than a traumatic episode for him.
Second, the taxpayers’: We taxpayers have to pay the medical, surgical, ambulance and hospital costs through OHIP. We have to pay the cost of the trial. If the victim is awarded some compensation as the victim of a violent crime, we taxpayers will foot the bill again. We must pay heavily, too, for the period of incarceration of these two men.
Third, the culprits’: They will spend time in jail. With good behaviour, one will spend 21 days, the other 42 nights. Will their incarceration make them better citizens or worse? Or will it have no effect whatever?
Could there have been a better sentence? It is my belief that punishment should fit not only the crime but also the criminal; that restitution rather than retribution should be the aim of justice; and that there should be repentance and reform on the part of the offenders rather than a fruitless vindictiveness on the part of society.
Sentences in England often require that a culprit perform some kind of personal service or make some kind of financial restitution to the victim. Sometimes an offender is required to perform some service to the community. Judges in England are being imaginative and innovative. When will Ontario start to follow suit?
Not knowing what skills or talents these two culprits possess, and what needs this victim may have, it’s impossible for me to suggest what form of restitution the judge could have called for, except the obvious financial kind.
Judges, aided as they are by a presentence report, should be able to come up with innovative restitution sentences in some of the cases that come before them -- and they should be encouraged to do so.
What made this mild sentence for such a brutal crime seem to me so inadequate was another news item of a few days before. A Toronto woman was convicted of perpetrating a welfare fraud. This defrauding had taken place between 1966 and 1973, a period of about seven years, during which she had received $18,600 in provincial assistance for herself and three children. The sum of $18,600 may seem an inadequate amount for a family of four stretched out over seven years. Actually, it’s about $2,650 a year or $51 a week.
This woman defrauded this province of almost an additional $10,600 during this period, a sum amounting to about $1,500 a year or $30 a week. For this crime she was sentenced to a jail term not to exceed six months. The defence counsel was quoted in the paper as saving: “There is nothing here to suggest that the funds were used except for the support of herself and the three children.”
I have forgotten now how much a certain famous Toronto sportsman defrauded the government some two or three years ago in income tax, and I have forgotten how long a sentence he served as a result but I am sure that it was much more than $10,000 over seven years. I’m sure that the motive was greed on his part; not, as in this woman’s case, need. By comparison, the well-known sportsman got off much more easily than this woman who struggled along on $81 a week --
Mr. Nixon: Are you talking about Harold Ballard?
Mr. Moffatt: How did you guess that? You did it, Bob; we didn’t think you would.
Mr. Burr: -- an amount that included her ill-gotten gains. Compare these two sentences for these two crimes: The woman got six months in jail for defrauding an impersonal victim, the government, in order to support her three children -- an action we can all understand, even though we may not be able to condone it. The two young men were given the equivalent of one month each for a senseless, brutal crime against an innocent, unsuspecting victim which no one can understand and no one can forgive.
The gist of my remarks is that there should be a review of the types of sentences being handed out in Ontario today. They should be more in keeping with the seriousness of the crime. There are thefts from individuals and there are thefts from the public treasury; a difference that almost everybody recognizes. There are thefts with violence and thefts without violence; an important difference. There are thefts because of need and there are thefts because of greed.
There are offences in which no other individual is actually harmed; for example, exceeding the speed limit. And there are offences in which lives may be damaged or even ended; for example, by an impaired driver. There are offences that cause the offender such shame that he will never offend again. The same offence may be committed by another individual who feels or betrays no remorse whatsoever. Yet sentences too often are not appropriate for the offence or the offender.
Recently, a Detroiter had occasion to drive to New York city and felt that he needed to carry a pistol under the driver’s seat. After his return to Detroit he forgot all about the gun and crossed into Windsor. The custom officials found the gun and although the man appeared to be a law-abiding citizen, the Windsor judge sentenced him to two weeks in jail.
One judge sentences a man to 30 days for a brutal assault on a complete stranger. Another judge sentences a visitor from Detroit to 14 days because he inadvertently broke one of our laws. It is time for judges to hold a review or a workshop and for the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) to formulate a few guidelines.
Mr. Speaker, it has been a pleasure to speak once more in the Throne Speech debate. I think I would like to close by expressing my regret that the Minister of Health (Mr. F. S. Miller) is not with us these days and to pass onto him, through Hansard, the wishes of those of us in this party for his speedy recovery and return.
Mr. Cunningham: As the member for Wentworth North and a new member to the Ontario Legislature I am particularly pleased to be able to participate in the debate on the Speech from the Throne in this our third session of our 30th Parliament.
Initially, I had intended to devote most of my time to discussing a number of issues which tend to affect us all in Ontario. I would say, as one of the younger members of this Legislature, that I particularly enjoy the privilege of being able to represent my constituency in this Legislature. I said during the course of the last election that I regarded public service to be a privilege in trust, and I must say I certainly appreciate this privilege and I hope I will always be able to honour that trust.
At this time I would like to speak on a number of issues. In the time I have, I would spend the concluding remarks on the issue of the Chedoke Hospital in Hamilton. At the time of my original preparation of my speech I was not, in fact, aware that Chedoke Hospital in Hamilton was to bear the brunt of health restraint in Hamilton. With this in mind, I intend to devote most of my remarks to this subject.
Before I move to that discussion, though, I would like to express my concern through you, Mr. Speaker, about a number of subjects I am concerned about, again not only as the representative for Wentworth North, but also as a member of the Ontario Legislature charged with the responsibility for directing the future of Ontario.
During the last election, the Liberal Party was criticized on many occasions concerning our stand about the need in Ontario to return to basics in our educational system. On many occasions our policy was simply interpreted to be a return to the three Rs.
In my brief experience as a member it has become apparent to me that while the children of Ontario are becoming increasingly well versed in the more esoteric aspects of education, they are failing to grasp the fundamental principles of reading, writing and mathematics. Such an approach to education many may conclude to be, in fact, simplistic. I myself am inclined to think that children were better educated, at least in the areas of reading and writing, some 20 and 30 years ago.
There are those who would generalize, I think in a rather fallacious way, that reading, writing and mathematics are not as important in today’s society as they were some years ago. I can assure you, Mr. Speaker, as one who has recently left that system of education that, in fact, the demands that are being placed upon our children today are even greater than they were in the past.
I would like at this time to put forward just a few of the conclusions reached by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in its report on basic educational skills, which was compiled in June, 1975. They concluded that the educational system in Canada has changed drastically, and in surprisingly similar ways across Canada, in the last five or 10 years. To this end, I guess the Province of Ontario is not alone. Most of the respondents to the survey conducted by the Chamber of Commerce indicated that many students do lack a proficiency in the basic skills and that there is, in fact, a very serious need to upgrade teaching of basic skills; that is to say, reading, writing and mathematics. There is also a tremendous need for measurement, so that the student knows, in fact, where he or she is, where he or she has to improve, and what is to be expected.
Clearly, the responsibility for not only the standard of education, but also the measurement of that standard, rests with the provincial Ministry of Education. It was not that long ago that we had a provincial standard of education across this province. This failure to enact solid standards among our high school students has caused some grave concern among our universities and community colleges. In a survey taken among universities, the reaction to the statement that high school students are, in fact, lacking in basic skills, was that 14 of 21 respondents felt that, in fact, the graduates were lacking in basic skills. At the community college level, 18 of 25 respondents felt that high school students were lacking in basic skills.
Times change, and I am sure that everybody in the House recognizes that the time has come that we must require our students to be better based and more informed if these students are going to be able to meet the stringent demands that I know will be placed upon them in the future.
On Dec. 1, 1975, I had occasion to speak in this House on the debate that related to the Toronto teachers’ strike. At that time, I indicated that I felt a real need for an Anti-Inflation Board here in Ontario, not only to interpret things like teachers’ strikes, but also all the matters related to public servants of Ontario, and anything related to the people of Ontario as designated by the BNA Act to be within our jurisdictional control.
At that time, it was apparent to me that there was a very serious reluctance on the part of the government of Ontario to enact an Anti-Inflation Board of our own, as provided to us as an option given by the federal government. What is becoming increasingly more apparent to me is the continuing need for an Anti-Inflation Board here in Ontario, to interpret not only the federal legislation, but also to make sure that it is implemented in the fairest and most equitable possible fashion.
It is increasingly certain the Province of Ontario is not going to be exempt from the number of disputes that result in the labour relations field.
Perhaps nothing illustrates this labour problem so much in Ontario as the failure and the sense of failure that we all experienced in the Metro Toronto teachers’ strike. Possibly, at this time, we in the Ontario Legislature should address ourselves to the need to find better and more efficient methods of settling our labour disputes. To this end, I would recommend that the Province of Ontario seriously take a look at the establishment of a labour court in Ontario. While I recognize that there would be some expense involved in this, I think the expense would be far outweighed by the benefits that we would all enjoy as a result of the increased productivity and, of course, the lack of labour strife that would result from such a system.
Integral to such a system, I think, should be some serious consideration about the possibility of adopting what is recognized to be a system called final-offer selection, where labour and management can work together, or where the Province of Ontario might assume a leadership role in seeing that the various negotiating parties reach a settlement much faster than we are accustomed to seeing right now.
Certainly, the incidence of industrial conflict has been one of the major reasons for Ontario losing its competitive position, not only within Canada but within the international market system. To this end, Ontario again can be a leader. We can rely not only on the material resources that we all know to exist in the Province of Ontario but, more specifically, on the human resources -- the kind of resources that I fear we are in a position of losing, should industrial conflicts continue to occur in the way that they have.
I would like to indicate very briefly my concern about the direction that the Province of Ontario is giving to the municipalities of Ontario. As indicated, the increase in provincial funds that will be transferred to the municipal sector will be eight per cent over the amount transferred last year. As I’m sure every member in the House is aware, this is a considerable reduction from previous years.
The municipalities and school boards of Ontario possibly have been inclined to spend beyond their means in the past but, more often than not, they have been extremely responsible to local needs and wishes and, of course, they have been responsible for keeping municipal taxation at a rather low level.
Integral to their taxation policies and, of course, to the provision of municipal services and local needs, is the need for long-term planning. To this end, I must express my disappointment that the various municipalities of Ontario are required to live on a year-to-year basis. That is to say, the municipalities of Ontario are never really aware of what the future may hold for them.
In November last year, the report of the special review programme was tabled by Her Honour the Lieutenant Governor of the Province of Ontario. I’m sure that each and every member of the Legislature welcomed the need for restraint in the Province of Ontario. There can be no doubt that for so many years we have spent beyond our means.
The Treasurer (Mr. McKeough), in his budget last year, stated that inflation was the single most serious problem facing the province today. He further stated that government spending was the primary cause of that inflation. Then he tabled his fifth successive record-breaking deficit budget of $1.6 billion. I would be less than candid if I did not say that this enormous debt that we have in this province worries me seriously. In the last five years, this debt has accumulated to an even greater extent, giving us the largest total debt of any province in Canada and one of the highest per capita debts. In the same period of time, Ontario’s growth has deteriorated to the point that our gross provincial product is in rather poor shape.
If this trend continues, we could lose our preferential credit rating in the international money market and, in fact, lose that triple-A rating that we have enjoyed in the past, thereby increasing our interest costs even further. This, I can assure you, would only leave a litany of decay for our children.
I am sure that no one is surprised to hear that Ontario at this time has the highest total debt of any province in Canada. By debt, I mean all the guaranteed debt and direct debt for which we in the Province of Ontario are responsible, including foreign and domestic credit and provincial treasury bills. This debt has grown from $6.719 billion in 1970 to more than $11 billion in 1974. This represents the highest growth, in percentage terms, of any province in Canada with the exception of Newfoundland, which as you know is governed by a Conservative government. In short, Ontario is on the verge of destroying what competitive edge we have enjoyed in the past.
We now have 38.4 per cent of the total provincial debt in Canada, a growth from 33.7 per cent in 1970. In that same period of time, British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and Saskatchewan, none of which is ruled by a Conservative government, have decreased their share of debt.
Between the years 1969 and 1974, the debt in Ontario increased 95.9 per cent and there is no doubt in my mind that if this trend continues unchecked we will have a very serious problem. What has the Premier’s (Mr. Davis) solution been to funding these deficits and interest payments? It’s been to use the taxpayers’ pension fund and through various capital markets. I would say to members this is excessively inflationary.
For instance, in this last year we will be required to borrow $750 million from the Canada Pension Plan; $128 million from the Ontario Municipal Employees’ Retirement System; $228 million from the Teachers’ Superannuation Fund. In short, this $1,106,000,000 of pension funds will be used to finance 63 per cent of Ontario’s deficit. The interest on the $4.4 billion borrowed from the Canada Pension Plan alone amounts to somewhere in the area of $340 million.
It is no surprise that the Ontario Provincial Auditor’s report of 1975 relates one very sad story as far as our borrowing practices are concerned and that is the $28 million loan received by the Ontario government from West Germany back in 1969. The re-evaluation of the German mark ended up costing the people of Ontario $37.5 million in total when we paid it off last year. In other words, there was a $9.5 million loss on the $28 million loan. That, in short, has been part of the approach of the Ontario government as it relates to the fiscal administration of this province.
Certainly, I know the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) of this province would tend to rationalize such deficits over the years as methods of stimulating employment and maintaining the standard of living that we in Ontario have come to expect. But I would submit that we are now, in Ontario, tied up in so many wasteful procedures, overlapping jurisdictions, unnecessary advertising programmes; programmes based on growth for growth’s sake -- such as Hydro -- and a myriad of various bureaucracies which we all know to exist. I guess this brings me to a discussion of the waste of public funds.
The government of Ontario has been excessively centralized in Queen’s Park. This centralization perhaps is indicative of the philosophy held by the Premier himself. It is a kind of centralization which not only encourages waste and abuse of public funds but also further insulates the people of Ontario from their government.
In my perception, the bureaucracy we have at Queen’s Park seems to be self-perpetuating. Max Henderson’s study of regional government indicated that the excessively high growth of upper tier staff at the regional government level has not spawned a corresponding decrease in the lower tier staff level.
Between the years 1910 and 1974, the municipal staffs in regional government grew at a rate more than triple that of the staffs of local government. It is the costs that relate to this expansion of staff in the area of municipal and regional government that is causing the excessive rate of municipal taxation which municipalities are going to experience not only this year but in the years that follow unless we take some drastic action now. Certainly, the object of the exercise with regional government was to make local government more efficient. It’s a rather sad commentary that in almost every region in the Province of Ontario taxes have increased and services have decreased. Certainly, Wentworth North is no exception.
I suppose one of the reasons hospitals have to be shut down and hospital budgets have to be cut back and, of course, community and social service budgets have to be cut back, is the waste that has taken place, especially at Queen’s Park in the last 10 years. No one should be inclined to forget the cynical approach by this government prior to the last election, with the introduction of the first-time home buyer’s grant; the drop in sales tax from seven to five per cent; and the cancellation of sales tax on new cars.
Clearly, it was bait to get voters in the various constituencies to vote Conservative. From my point of view, it did not work and we’re all paying for these election goodies now.
Highway construction in the Province of Ontario has declined but the government’s construction staff has not been cut. Enrolment continues to decline in Ontario’s elementary and secondary schools yet there are mere people working in the Ministry of Education and for the school boards than ever before.
Let me speak briefly about the subject of Wintario. The Province of Ontario is realizing millions and millions of dollars in Wintario revenue. Where are we directing these funds? To ethnic dance costumes; trips for senior hockey teams abroad; goalie pads; soccer balls -- so many things that I know the people of Ontario were inclined to support in their own communities, quite sincerely, long before the advent of Wintario.
What is the cost of administering this Wintario programme? I would suggest that 20 per cent of all the money we take in is allocated for administration alone. I would compare that to the Canadian Cancer Society, which budgets somewhere between three and four per cent for the administration of their budget.
I think the time has come for the government seriously to consider directing Wintario revenues to the general revenue fund; more specifically, possibly for hospital programmes so that in fact hospitals would not have to be shut down in communities such as Chesley, Durham, Clinton, Goderich and Paris and 187 beds at Chedoke Hospital in Hamilton.
One of the fundamental approaches to the election by the Progressive Conservative Party in that past has been what I would refer to as a bait and switch approach. That is to say they tend to bait each constituency across the Province of Ontario with some form of specific election goodie and then after the election they tend to switch their point of view.
Only yesterday I was actually at the point that I was appalled to hear the member for Scarborough Centre (Mr. Drea) suggest in this House that a $10-million court house was built in his riding because that riding was represented by a Progressive Conservative. I really was told that these kind of things occurred but I really didn’t think that anybody in the government party would actually admit to it.
Mr. Nixon: They boast about it.
Mr. Good: And brag about it.
Mr. Cunningham: He actually did boast about it. I would like very briefly to share with you just a few of the election promises that I understand were made during the course of the last election.
Mr. Mancini: Where is the member for Scarborough Centre?
Mr. Cunningham: On Aug. 15 the member for Lambton (Mr. Henderson) announced a $3-million loan in Sarnia for the Ontario Housing Action Programme. It was odd that it was done during the middle of the election. On Aug. 11 the Minister of Housing (Mr. Irvine) announced $50 million in loans to various developers in Scarborough. The then Minister of the Environment (Mr. W. Newman) and the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) announced on Sept. 3 that $660,000 would be spent in Timagami for a sewage system.
Mr. Nixon: They were buying votes with the people’s own money. There won’t be enough money next time.
Mr. Cunningham: In the area of health, the Premier (Mr. Davis) on Aug. 17 announced that unspecified millions would be spent in Chapleau on hospital beds.
Mr. Cunningham: On Aug. 26 unspecified millions were announced, again by the Premier, for a Toronto-centred highway programme. On Sept. 3, $143,000 was promised by the Minister of Health (Mr. F. S. Miller) for health research grants; again during the course of the election.
Mr. Nixon: He was not talking about hospital closings then.
Mr. Cunningham: The member for Oxford (Mr. Parrott) announced an unspecified amount -- certainly not cheap, I would think -- on Sept. 5 for a hospital expansion in Tillsonburg.
Mr. Nixon: He thought he was buying a cage.
Mr. Cunningham: Another unspecified amount was announced by the Premier himself on Sept. 6 -- getting close to election day -- for the Institute of Occupational Health and $25 million to $32 million was announced by the then Minister of Transportation and Communications (Mr. Rhodes) for 80 double-decker CO coaches.
Mr. Nixon: GO coaches?
Mr. Cunningham: That was on Aug. 11. Mr. Lastman, who wasn’t even in the government, had the temerity to make an announcement that $45,000 would be spent for buses for the handicapped in North York.
The then Minister of Transportation and Communications on Sept. 4 indicated in an announcement that he would spend $20 million to continue to pave Highway 404.
Well this goes on, Mr. Speaker. I guess that is probably representative of the approach the government has held, at least in the past, with regard to the voters of Ontario. Possibly that is one of the reasons we have to shut down hospitals across the Province of Ontario.
As I indicated earlier in my speech, I would like to address myself to the problem of the closing of the Chedoke Hospital, which was announced on May 23 -- 187 acute beds -- in a letter from the deputy Minister of Health to the chairman of the health council in Hamilton.
It was interesting for me to partake in a CHCH-TV programme on Sunday and to hear the Minister of Correctional Services (Mr. J. R. Smith) indicate to us he had known this decision was going to take place some three weeks before the announced date.
Mr. Nixon: It came to him in a vision.
Mr. Cunningham: In the letter it was indicated to us that a decision would have to be made by April 7 and that it would be implemented by April 9. In the time that has transpired we have, of course, been able to meet with the acting Minister of Health (Hon. B. Stephenson) and we have, I hope, impressed upon her the need to restudy the decision to close 187 beds at the Chedoke Hospital.
Very briefly, I would like to speak about the economic ramifications of this closure as it would affect the people who work at that hospital. In the area of nursing services, 200 people would be out of work; housekeeping services, 25 people; dietary services, another 25; plant maintenance, 20; laboratory, 60; radiology, 25; clerical, 25; miscellaneous, 20.
What are the economic considerations? What is the total net economic effect of the abandonment of $10 million in plant investment considered in the light of the money that’s already been spent on that facility?
This is probably indicative of the planning problem that we have in the Province of Ontario as it would relate to health care facilities, in as much as we have spent in the last two years over $2 million on that Chedoke facility, making it one of the most advanced, not only in the Hamilton area but probably in Ontario. Where are these people going to work? This was the question raised by the member for Wentworth (Mr. Deans) only yesterday, and I think it was a very fair question. I would suggest that, in fact, there will be no jobs available for these people should this happen.
From the point of view of someone who has lived in the Hamilton-Wentworth area all my life, I see that this decision to close 187 beds at Chedoke possibly is a rationalization for a mistake made some years ago, and that is the creation of probably what is one of the biggest white elephants in the history of our health care programme, that being McMaster Medical Centre. Over $100 million was spent on that centre and it is yet to be fully opened. The government, further, would have us build a $25 million hospital, revamp the Hamilton General.
The problem of the present government of Ontario is that there is obviously some serious confusion at Queen’s Park about the geography of the city of Hamilton. We have a natural barrier that affects transportation in that city, it’s known as Hamilton Mountain, sometimes referred to as the island of sanity. During peak traffic periods, access from and to the mountain is very difficult and very crowded. With the closure of this hospital, many people who require emergency treatment will be caught up in these rush hours on their way to St. Joseph’s, the Hamilton General Hospital and, of course, the McMaster Medical Centre.
Further to this argument of keeping this hospital open, I would suggest that the only area in the Hamilton-Wentworth region where growth can take place is in the southern direction; that being in the constituencies of Wentworth and Wentworth North. The growth pattern in that area would indicate that the population increases somewhere between 18 and 19 per cent a year. I would think that trend will continue. It seems odd to me that we would close the hospital right now, ostensibly close it by closing 187 acute treatment beds, when we will probably, as a result of the pressures of the population increasing, be required to open it a year or two from now.
On April 5, we in the Liberal Party are going to have to face our responsibility, not only to our individual constituents but also to the people of Ontario as a whole. From my point of view, I will reluctantly be supporting this government; and I say that quite sincerely, reluctantly. I’m afraid all too often that we are perceived, in fact, to be in a position of having to prop this government up.
I would like to say to you, Mr. Speaker, and through you hopefully to the Premier of Ontario, that the time has come for him to recognize his responsibilities to the people of Ontario. In the last election, some 65 per cent of the people of Ontario did not, in fact, vote for him or his party. To that end I would suggest that he recognize the democratic process and allow us the opportunity of making minority government work.
I know that many of us, in quite a nonpartisan fashion, would like to see this government accomplish some things and that we would in fact like to represent the views put to us by our various constituencies. To this end, I can say quite sincerely that I doubt if the Progressive Conservative government has been inclined to meet us half-way. In fact, I would be inclined to say it hasn’t met us one-eighth of the way in the last six months.
Quite sincerely, the Premier has a responsibility in that regard and I’m going to find it very difficult to continue to support this government in the future should he not be inclined to recognize that responsibility.
Thank you very much.
Mr. Williams: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to respond to the speech by the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor and to highlight the main features of that presentation as I see them, the ones that concern me and, I believe, are representative of the concerns of constituents in Oriole riding.
The main theme in the Speech from the Throne is enunciated in the initial observation:
“This Legislature is called into session at a time of optimism about Ontario’s ability to maintain the quality of life of its citizens and a time of careful evaluation of the opportunities open to the province.”
From this basic statement unfolds the whole theme of what the major concerns and priorities of this government should be in this the third session of the 30th Parliament of Ontario.
The Throne Speech makes it crystal clear that a careful evaluation of the opportunities open to the province is related to a programme of fiscal restraint and selective priorities in provision of government service. This government is prepared to take the initiative and to give the leadership necessary to confer real meaning to a programme of economic belt-tightening. It is not politically an easy programme to initiate, let alone to pursue. However, it must be done if the opportunities open to the province are to be realized.
The mood of the people certainly reflects support for a programme of economic restraint, because citizens everywhere have experienced the undermining effects of inflation. The people realize that they, individually and alone, cannot slow or stop inflation; nor, in fact, can any one government, whether provincial or federal, when the malady is international in scope. Our citizens realize they must turn to the collective action of governments everywhere as the only effective means of checking inflation.
It is for this reason the government of Ontario has not hesitated to engage itself in a two-pronged attack on the economic ills of the country as they affect the citizens of the Province of Ontario. The government acknowledges and accepts the realities of the devastating effects of world-wide inflation and the absolute necessity of a national effort to improve the economic and working conditions of Canadians everywhere. Hence, this government’s initiative in joining in partnership with the federal government to combat inflation on a broad, national base.
As the most heavily industrialized province in Canada, it is imperative that Ontario participate in such a national programme; otherwise there cannot realistically be even the base for establishment of such a programme.
This does not mean that this government totally agrees with the duration of the federal programme, nor with its methods of implementation. In fact, the Throne Speech makes it quite clear that continuing discussions are being held with the federal authorities relating to appeal procedures and the general performance of the federal Anti-Inflation Board.
While this government has made an unprecedented move by entering into a contractual agreement to work co-operatively with the federal government to provide the relief from the ravages of inflation that is being asked by the people of Ontario, at the same time this government is embarking on its own domestic programme of fiscal restraint and modification of government programmes.
As stated in the Throne Speech, “Profit restrictions and wage limitations imposed on the public should be reflected in similar limitations on government spending at all levels.”
For some period of time, economists here and abroad, analysts and the public at large have been saying that government spending at all levels is a major cause of inflation. The economic well-being of a country cannot long endure a situation where government spending, and spending in the private sector, exceed the rate of growth in the gross national product. This government is not only willing to acknowledge this stark fact of life, it is prepared to take specific action to counteract its previous participating role in excessive spending and expansion of programmes in the public sector.
Since the inception of our government restraint programme, wherever I have gone to speak with concerned citizens about our new course of action, without exception there has been wholehearted support and endorsation of the principle of economic restraint. While additional funds will be made available, to offset the increased cost of the provision of essential government services, the increases will be far less than received and expected by the various ministries in the past few years. However, the real test lies in the willingness of the public to endure and accept the practical and very tangible consequences of such a programme.
I have stated on a number of occasions, all public meetings, that while the public seem to be in total agreement with the principles of the programme, we then must be willing to do without new or expanded government services, bearing in mind that some citizens will be affected in a very personal way. Nowhere is this fact of life more relevant than in the health and social services fields, which together absorb in excess of 35 per cent of the provincial budget. These are services that are heavily personnel-oriented, whether within government, as an agency of government or in allied fields.
However, the record must be set straight for those who allege that the government has chosen to single out these particular ministries as sacrificial lambs: This is not so. Restraint is being applied across the board so that the overall increase in government spending in the coming fiscal year, 1976-1977, will not exceed 10 per cent. However, limited percentage increases will differ from ministry to ministry, bearing in mind the percentage relationship of each ministry’s budget to the total budget and bearing in mind the varying degrees of percentage increase of budget in preceding years in some ministries as compared to others.
For instance, in the past three years the health budget has increased from nearly $2.1 billion in 1973-1974, representing a cost of $263 for every man, woman and child in this province, to nearly $2.6 billion or $319 for every man, woman and child in Ontario in 1974-1975, to today’s approximately $3 billion health budget, representing a cost of $364 for every man, woman and child in Ontario. In a three-year period that is an increase in the health field budget of $900 million.
Mr. Godfrey: But a decreased percentage of the GNP.
Mr. Williams: The blunt fact is that revenues of the province have been growing at the rate of 12.6 per cent annually while expenditures have been growing at an average of 14.5 per cent each year thereby creating a fiscal gap that cannot at the very least be permitted to widen.
Mr. Good: Whose fault is that? That is your fault.
Mr. Williams: These observations concerning the two ministries are simply illustrative of the basic problem. However, lest I be accused of being partisan in stressing not only the determination but the need of the Conservative government to confront the most serious and real challenge in recent times to the stability and well-being of Ontario and its citizens, I will quote the sobering observations on March 23 by the noted Globe and Mail financial analyst, Ronald Anderson, when he summarized the fight against inflation in the following terms:
“The fight against inflation has not been helped by the spending and taxation policies of government. The Bank of Canada observes that fiscal policy was strongly expansionary in 1975 at both the federal and the provincial-municipal level. On a national accounts basis, the government sector moved from a surplus of $2 billion in 1974 to a deficit of $4 billion in 1975, a swing of $6 billion.
“Such a fiscal performance is hardly consistent with a return to price stability, even with a wage and price control programme in place.”
And Mr. Anderson continues:
“Nor is the stubborn refusal of labour to moderate wage demands realistic in the circumstances in which Canada now finds itself. Average life-of-contract wage settlements advanced from less than 10 per cent in 1973, to 14 per cent in 1974, and to almost 17 per cent in 1975. Output per person employed has declined since late 1973 and still is not improving, while productivity is beginning to show significant improvement in the United States.
“The Bank of Canada concludes that it is of fundamental importance that the country gear down the rate of increase in costs and prices, not simply as a matter of international competitiveness but as a condition for economic, social and political stability.”
While the Throne Speech sounds a note of optimism about Ontario’s ability to maintain the quality of life of its citizens, largely in the context of realization through exercise of appropriate economic restraint, I read into the speech a broader concern for preservation of a quality of life that extends beyond concern for economic well-being and sharing in the material benefits of a productive society.
Our government must show concern for its citizens in the broader context of the cultural, social and moral wealth and well being of our society. The curing of economic ills is of immense importance. However, the reordering of priorities, as called for in the Throne Speech, must surely extend into every sector of our society if we are to maintain a quality of life that has been attained through recognition of and respect for the freedom of the individual, whose strength of character and individuality has evolved out of a politically democratic and morally Judeo-Christian principle. I might point out here --
Mr. Lawlor: It is what you call greed with religion.
Mr. Makarchuk: The last refuge of a scoundrel.
Mr. Williams: I might point out that this same type of ridicule was heaped by the member -- and I’m sorry he’s not here today -- for Etobicoke (Mr. Philip) last evening on a member of the House, when he also ridiculed the fact that that member of the House, as a professed, practising Christian, somehow had assurance of re-election of the Conservative Party at hand. I do not know the hon. member’s personal beliefs -- whether he is one who has religious convictions in the Hebrew, Christian, Buddhist or Moslem faith, or perhaps he’s agnostic or an atheist. The fact of the matter is that I respect that member’s personal beliefs whatever they may be, and I don’t think that I would see the need to ridicule the beliefs of another member of this House. I suggest that at the very least his remarks last evening were a poor reflection on his own judgement.
Mr. Makarchuk: Sanctimonious claptrap.
Mr. Lawlor: Far more important that he believes in free enterprise.
Mr. Angus: That is a religion unto itself.
Mr. Williams: More notably in this past decade than at any other time in this century, we have seen the very tenets that sustain our quality of life challenged both by those who have a vision of a new world and by the dissidents. Some see the need for change within the social order, others find the social order as founded on the principles which I have cited to be unacceptable. The ability of many of the more extreme minority factions to shake these foundations is not attributable to their offering positive alternatives to these precepts, but to their often open defiance of law and order, which has earned them unwarranted amounts of publicity but little more.
In fact, the persons who are most often influenced by such behaviour or actions are we, the elected representatives, who as legislators are too often too quick to respond to such pressure tactics without necessarily assessing the real worth or impact of the change sought in relation to the extent to which society as a whole is, in fact, asking for change. In order to remove the pressure tactics and the attendant publicity that this type of strategy generates, elected officials will all too often tend to offer some form of compromising legislation that will emasculate laws governing social order and behaviour, notwithstanding the fact that said laws have proved to be so fundamentally sound as not only to have stood the test of time but also to have endured more than one social evolution.
Last evening, the hon. member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk (Mr. Nixon) directed a great part of his response to the Throne Speech to the current social problem that is confronting this society related to the use of alcohol and the lower age of majority. I think it is well agreed -- or certainly it was in 1969 and 1970 -- that it seemed to be the “in” thing to give people more responsibility, greater legal rights and greater freedoms at a younger age. As was stated by the hon. member, he supported, as I believe all parties did at that time, the enactment of the legislation that reduced the legal age of majority.
As a consequence of that notion -- and I pose the question -- who in fact was asking for these changes? Was the public pounding at the doors of the Legislature, demanding that the legal age of majority be reduced? Or was this a feeling, an intangible feeling of the legislators of that day, that this had to be done to show the public out there that we were sensitive to new and changing social values and warm and responsive to the idea of greater freedom of the individual at a less mature age?
Mr. Samis: Are you going to raise the voting age?
Mr. Williams: In fact, it appears -- again, I think this was acknowledged by the hon. member in his comments last evening -- that that enactment alone perhaps was done a little too hastily, upon reflection of what has occurred. It now appears that new types of social stresses have arisen to replace the social stresses, imagined or real, that existed when this legislation was brought into force. I think it is very difficult in the family unit, for a now mature legal adult who is still living under the umbrella of the homestead, to feel that he or she has to live in a protective environment, even though, for all intents and purposes, that person is still not economically able to go out into the world on his or her own to establish his own home or living accommodation apart from home. That person has been given responsibilities that give him or her the opportunity to be independent of the family and yet so heavily influenced in living under the influence of that family.
This indeed has created new social stresses, because the parents realize that they have to do less in the way of giving direction to their children, knowing now that they are legal adults, and the children perhaps feel more resentful of the fact that they still have to live at home as legal adults and continue to take some direction from their parents. The fact that this legal condition has been established has perhaps emphasized that stress; perhaps that stress has existed for all time, but the legislation has only emphasized the problem.
A considerable amount of time was spent, as I say, by the hon. member for Brant Oxford-Norfolk offering what he felt would have to be the necessary solutions to the problem; and he acknowledged that they are not to be easily found. But I was somewhat concerned by the fact that he did indicate that he was still not convinced that the change of legal age, as far as the legal right to use alcoholic beverages was concerned, was the main contributing factor to this new social problem.
Instead, the member seemed to suggest that the real answer was to embark upon a new education programme. I think certainly that is one aspect of the problem -- one of the ways of attacking the problem, I should say -- and that more credit, I think he said, should be given to young adults for their maturity and their ability to use good judgement in the use of alcohol; and that what really is the problem is not the consideration of changing the legal age back to where it was or increasing it from what it is in any event, but rather the blame must fall on advertising and on lack of education.
I suggest that these are only dealing with the problem in a more peripheral manner. He had stated he did not believe that there was a ripple effect taking place -- that because the age was lowered to 18, therefore it was a contributing factor to having people at a younger age make use of alcohol.
Yet I find it distressing, when I go into a restaurant in my riding at noon hour to have lunch, to find that the majority of the patrons in that restaurant are from the local high school, enjoying a leisurely lunch and two or three beers before they go back to class. It’s not because they are necessarily abusing that right and privilege but because it exemplifies the nature of the problem. It is becoming part of the way of life in high schools as was referred to last evening by my associate, the member for Scarborough Centre.
I believe we still do have to come to the real root cause of the problem. It surely must rest in liberalizing those laws which have given greater responsibilities, socially and legally, to the people in our society.
The vehicle of banning liquor advertising is one that’s been used in other countries and has had little pronounced beneficial effect. I think next to France, we have Russia which, in my understanding, permits no such type of advertising yet it has the second highest incidence of alcoholism of any country in the world.
Mr. Makarchuk: Must be a socialist malaise.
Mr. Williams: I would agree with the suggestions made that there may be justification for greater control over the advertising of alcohol in the newspapers and magazines.
Mr. Nixon: I will bet within five years, it is abolished, somehow, right across the whole country.
Mr. Williams: If the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk suggests that the cure to the problem is to ban advertising, then I suggest --
Mr. Good: He didn’t say that.
Mr. Samis: Did he say that?
Mr. Williams: -- that is far from the appropriate solution to the problem and will not prove to be an effective means of bringing some control to the situation.
I suppose we could equate that situation to the one dealing with the seatbelt legislation that was brought in. You could say, “Don’t impose seatbelt legislation; educate the people to the use of seatbelts.” And we found out what happened in that situation.
Mr. Nixon: They were very intelligent, the people who wrote that.
Mr. Williams: The public did not respond in great numbers to that advertising campaign so they were legislated.
Mr. Godfrey: And the same thing with liquor.
Mr. Williams: On the other hand, it’s being suggested not to legislate an age control over the use of alcohol but to go to the supposed root cause of the problem, to the advertising people.
Mr. Good: Nobody said that.
Mr. Williams: I suppose in the same way with regard to the use of seatbelts one could say for those who oppose the use of seat-belts go to the advertising media and ban advertising of high-powered automobiles so that the new young adult generation won’t go out and buy a new car, and introduce new highway legislation that will reduce the speed limit for the new young adults with their new cars that they bought because of high-pressure advertising so they will not go out and kill themselves. You can say, “Educate the people to use their seatbelts but don’t impose it upon them because it’s taking away from them a personal freedom.” That’s the same logic one can apply to this about the drinking age.
Mr. Nixon: An interesting parallel but not quite the same.
Mr. Williams: Don’t increase the age level because you’re taking away a personal right. Get to the advertisers -- the big, bad media people who are promoting the product. I suggest to you these will help but they won’t solve the problem.
Change, where improvement can be the end result, is not only desirable but often necessary. However, change for the sake of change only is usually based on frivolous, if not vexatious reasons rather than because of some deep, social need or belief. A desire for change in social attitudes or conditions need not necessarily be equated with a demand for change in basic values. Unfortunately, when the distinction is not made our quality of life can be impaired. If we believe the values that constitute our equality of life are worth preserving, then we must be prepared to respond in a positive way to these challenges on behalf of the community of citizens we represent.
The seriousness of these challenges and the necessity of government to recognize and to respond to these challenges cannot be minimized. What must be of equal concern is conscious or unconscious effort in some quarters insidiously to distort basic values rather than openly to demand change of values. I believe that what I am saying can best be illustrated by the controversy that has been raging in our society over what has been, is, and will be a most basic and fundamental issue for all time, the respect for and the sanctity of life itself.
Whether the issue is euthanasia or abortion, the challenge has been made to the basic belief in the right to life and the right to preserve life. There is an onerous responsibility on elected leaders from a secular point of view to respect the dignity of human life itself and to preserve or enact the laws that will ensure that that dignity or fundamental right will not be imperilled or destroyed.
With this concern in mind, one cannot let go unnoticed an event of last week which emphasizes the reality of forces within our society which see justification for tampering with these basic values in the name of supposedly greater freedom of the individual. I refer, of course, to the recent entry into the United Way of an organization which advocates and supports abortion counselling and referral services.
This action by the United Way prompted the issuance last week of a declaration by Archbishop Philip Pocock, of the archdiocese of Toronto, wherein he announced the withdrawal of the Council of Catholic Charities from the United Community Fund of Greater Toronto. While the declaration stems from a religious base, in reading and rereading the archbishop’s statement one can gain an appreciation of the profound importance of his position -- to preserve basic values; basic values which are not, however, the exclusive domain of any particular religious sect, but which also fall within the broader parameters of fundamental secular values. While the archbishop’s statement was concise, its content was so intense as to arouse one from a state of complacency.
The archbishop’s concern, and now my concern as a community leader, is that the United Community Fund of Greater Toronto has recently admitted an organization which advocates and supports abortion counselling and referral services. The archbishop points out that:
“Such an action contradicts the fundamental truth of a Christian tradition which respects the dignity and rights of every person. Such an abdication betrays the heritage of a western democracy which has been built upon the concept of defending the defenceless.”
The declaration continues with the observation that --
“Every human being is unique and priceless and that human life must be respected at every stage of its development from the first mysterious moment of conception to the declining days of advanced age.”
Mr. Makarchuk: Tell it to the member for Prince Edward-Lennox (Mr. Taylor).
Mr. Williams: It continues:
“Such phrases as ‘termination’ or ‘interruption’ of pregnancy are infringements upon the rights of the individual upon which our nation and indeed all civilizations rest. To destroy one human life which has already begun is a threat to all humanity. The basis of a free society is fundamentallly rooted in the concept that violence to one is a menace to all. Abortion is an execution against life.”
The last quotation I will make from the archbishop’s declaration is a statement that I believe puts it all together, to use the common vernacular; or to put it more precisely, it is a statement that puts the whole issue into its proper perspective. The archbishop states:
“The decision of the United Community Fund is being presented on the pretext of either coexistence within a pluralistic society or the freedom that whatever is permitted is proper. The adulation of pluralism can be an escape hatch for rationale. It justifies excess and leads to permissiveness. It cultivates laxity and destroys both logic and morals. Freedom is the cornerstone of democracy and civilization. It is guaranteed to every person. It is that guarantee we want to preserve and it is each person we want to protect. Abortion is an encroachment on these rights.”
I have reiterated these views only because they reinforce a humanitarian perspective that recognizes the right to life and preservation of life as the fundamental cornerstone of our society. Accordingly, we must indeed set about reordering our priorities in the broadest sense of the term. If the optimism about maintaining our quality of life as expressed by the Hon. the Lieutenant Governor is to be realized, I believe that members of this government party have the resolve and determination necessary to carry out this government’s mandate. It is my firm belief that the people of Ontario are demanding nothing less than a total commitment to firm and resolute leadership in these troubled times that will ensure, in the end result, a reaffirmation of our basic values and a maintenance of the quality of life that all of us seek to preserve in this the province of opportunity. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Ms. Gigantes: Mr. Speaker, it’s very pleasant to have this opportunity to be able to reply to the Speech from the Throne, and the number of issues that one could talk about in such a forum, obviously is almost limitless. We’ve just had an example in the speech from the member for Oriole which has just preceded this one. I will try, however, to touch more specifically on some of the issues that have been of concern to me and to the people of Carleton East over the last few months.
I have been surprised and almost overwhelmed, almost buried, by the number of letters that have come to me, as the member for Carleton East, on the subject of the government cutbacks in health and social services, and government moves in the area of cutting the increase in financing to municipalities, and therefore the effect that is being felt in municipal services and the increase in property taxes which will follow.
I’ve been surprised by the number of letters, because I felt that these were issues that would take a long time to be felt by the general population in Ontario, and there were no specific areas in which Carleton East suffered more, or indeed in many ways it suffered less than other areas that have come to our attention in this Legislature over the last few weeks. But the people of Carleton East are obviously very alive to the significance of the cutbacks that the government has been implementing since December, and very alive to the effects that this programme will have in the long run for services to people in Ontario.
Of all the items that our caucus mentioned, I think these have been the most significant in terms of our amendment to the Speech from the Throne. One item which we might have added in our amendment, and which is significant in my mind and I think in the minds of people in Carleton East, was not mentioned in our amendment and I would like to bring it to your attention now, Mr. Speaker; that is, the problem with urban transportation and what this government has failed to do in the area of urban transportation in Ontario.
In 1971, in the Ottawa-Carleton area, we had high hopes that we would see the development of a basic system of rapid transit within the area. This is 1976, and we don’t even have a decent bus service in Ottawa-Carleton.
The people of Carleton East live in a sprawled-out residential riding where communities are widely separated from each other geographically and where travelling to work downtown is a very difficult and very tiring, long, drawn-out process. We need, at the very least, good bus service.
OC Transpo, which has the responsibility for serving the Ottawa-Carleton regional area, is not able to provide a level of service that would be adequate, because the Ottawa-Carleton regional area does not have the financial wherewithal to be able to deal with the deficits that OC Transport has been incurring.
We must have increased service in Ottawa-Carleton; the only way we are going to get that is with larger deficits -- and we must have provincial help to deal with those deficits. The promises of 1971 are not being met, and I think in 1976 it is critical that a government that is willing to spend millions of dollars on new arterial roads through urban centres and on major highways should start to think about helping people get to and from work in areas of major urban concentration.
One thing that the NDP amendment does include is another issue which is of paramount importance to the riding I represent, and that is housing. The problem with housing has been supply -- and supply at reasonable cost. The HOME programme, which has been carried out in Ontario over the last few years, is really a short-run land-banking scheme. It worked; it helped to produce houses at prices the people could afford.
I used to say to people in Carleton East that the HOME programme was fine, except that it was too limited. But within recent months the government has undermined the very essential, beneficial effect of the HOME programme by allowing purchasers of HOME homes who sell their properties to sell the land which the government had, in the first place, put into public use. The government has undermined the very quintessence of the beauty of that programme -- which is that the government controlled the land -- controlled the price of the land -- and was able to provide low-cost housing on that land. Under the current government measures, the land will now pass back into the private sector and Ontario, and the people of Ontario, will lose the benefits of the HOME programme.
Supply, as I have mentioned, is the critical element in the housing problem as I see it. The government has recently announced that it will not follow through on its promised programme to subsidize mortgages in Ontario. Under current circumstances of supply, I think that is probably a reasonable position to take.
I would like to give you one example with which I am familiar in the Ottawa area. I know of a large condominium building, built in downtown Ottawa, which remained almost totally empty for a year and half; it had three-bedroom apartments going for $61,900 and a condominium regulation saying that no children were allowed in that building.
In a situation like that, where owners and developers have the financial wherewithal to be able to wait out the market, there is no way that we should be subsidizing mortgages. Why should we think of bringing the market up to the developer’s level and meeting those kinds of stipulations -- $61,900 for a three-bedroom apartment and no children? We must have a greater supply of housing before we can talk about subsidizing mortgages.
In Ottawa-Carleton, housing supply has been critical. There has been line-ups at expensive housing development sites; fist fights in line-ups at housing sites; and homes being out of the reach of the majority of people who live in the Ottawa-Carleton area.
I would like to focus some of my comments today on an area where government policies could change and where simple honesty in government policy would help a lot of home owners in the riding of Carleton East. In Carleton East we estimate that there are about 4,000 condominium units. It’s a very large proportion of the residences of the area. I would like to talk about the changes which this government could bring about within the Condominium Act which would help to protect the rights of condominium owners, so many of whom live in Carleton East. I know it is becoming an increasingly important part of the housing sector in Ontario.
These changes, the first ones that I would like to indicate, are changes that would not cost the provincial government one penny. They might cost the Conservative government -- the Conservative Party -- many pennies as I understand that contributions from developers have certainly been made to the Conservative Party election funds and perhaps after 33 years in power this government has difficulty distinguishing the Conservative Party from the government of Ontario.
An hon. member: Shame on them.
Ms. Gigantes: The Act as it stands does not give adequate protection to the individual condominium owner. The family about to buy a condominium is entering on the largest purchase it will probably make in its lifetime.
Most condominiums, however, are managed in the first few months by the developer which built them and it is very difficult for condominium owners to bring about a change in the management of their condominiums. There has been case after case in Carleton East -- which, as I have indicated, has a great many condominium corporations -- where developers have proved to be intransigent and, in some cases, incompetent managers of condominium corporations. The condominium owners have had a great deal of difficulty in managing to change their management.
Under the former legislation, the Condominium Act of 1970, it took an 80 per cent vote of all the owners in a condominium corporation for the owners of that corporation to be able to change the management. I remind members again that, in most cases, in a newly-incorporated condominium the management is the developer.
With the changes to the Condominium Act in 1974, it is now only necessary for 66 and two-thirds of the owners to vote for a change in management. That still can prove to be very difficult. I would like to read a letter which will indicate the depth of this problem and the great difficulty the current legislation now creates and allows to exist in terms of how condominium owners can change management.
I have a letter dated Feb. 5, 1976, from the Bank of Montreal addressed to the unit owners of Carleton Condominium Corp. No. 25. This is a condominium which is called Sutton Place. It consists of two towers, in one of which the mortgages of the individual owners are financed through the Bank of Montreal. In the second tower, most of the owners have their mortgages through the Provincial Bank of Canada. The letter goes as follows:
“We have just learned that the board of directors of your condominium corporation is intending to terminate the management contract between the condominium corporation and Shenkman Corp. Ltd. We are in the delicate position of having undertaken and agreeing with Ontario Housing Corp., as one of its conditions of guaranteeing our individual unit mortgages, that we would insist that Shenkman Corp. Ltd. manage the condominium corporation for a period of five years.”
Mr. Speaker, at this point I should identify Shenkman Corp. as the developer in this case also. I continue with the letter:
“If the board of directors on instructions from the condominium owners insist on terminating the existing contract, we will seriously consider, in order to protect our interest and to not disturb our guarantee, withdrawing the right of condominium owners to vote and take over this responsibility ourselves in accordance with paragraph 23 of the first mortgage registered against most of the units.
“Please understand that it is not our wish to interfere with the operation of this condominium corporation by the owners, but on the other hand we cannot stand by and watch our security being jeopardized.
“It is not acceptable to us that the management contract be terminated until we obtain a waiver of the condition from Ontario Housing Corp. and until it is conclusively shown to us that the present manager is incompetent and the corporation can be better managed by others and detailing to us the alternative means being considered for managing the business of the corporation.
“To conclude, please realize that the reason that Ontario Housing Corp. and the bank insisted on Shenkman Corp. Ltd. managing this operation was for the protection of the owners as well as ourselves.”
And it goes on. It’s signed by Mr. R. Boudreau, the mortgage manager.
Each and every owner of condominium units within Sutton Place received that letter just prior to a scheduled meeting at which the condominium owners were considering changing their management, for which they needed a 66% vote of all the owners. There is an identical letter from the Provincial Bank of Canada. It’s obviously a copy, and it’s signed by Mr. Davignon, the assistant regional supervisor. This letter too went to every condominium unit in Sutton Place.
It’s obvious that that kind of letter can and did have a very, what shall we say -- blackmailing?
Mr. Moffatt: Intimidating.
Ms. Gigantes: Intimidating is the word I’m looking for, thank you -- effect on the individual owners in that condominium. In spite of that, I’m happy to report that they overcame their fears and with legal advice went ahead and have started the process of ridding themselves of their current manager.
It’s clear the mortgagor, in this case, for example, the Rank of Montreal and the Provincial Bank of Canada, has a right to try to protect its investment, and the investment in a condominium corporation such as Sutton Place is a major one. But, especially as we see in this example, when there are close links between the banks and the major developers, condominium owners have to be protected from this kind of gross pressure which developers and their financial backers can bring to bear on the operation of the condominiums.
As the law now stands, the banks can withdraw from the owners the right to vote and the owners would have to try and take the bank to court in order to exercise their right to vote for the management of their corporation. The law should be written the other way around. We recognize that the owners have an investment, but we have to recognize that the individual owners are subject to all kinds of pressures and that to rid themselves of existing management may be very difficult. I think that we have to write into the law the right for individual owners to be protected vis-à-vis the developers and their bankers in a situation such as this one. There is an imbalance of power now and I think that the law must be rewritten to turn that balance around.
One of the other problems that arises in condominium corporations under current legislation is that any person can own any number of units within the corporation. In most cases, the person who is going to be interested in accumulating units, and hence votes in a corporation of this kind, is going to be a developer. One can imagine situations, and in fact there is some threat of situations developing within Carleton East, where developers are buying back units at cut-rate costs in a situation where they are also the management. They are becoming a controlling interest, not only in terms of being the managing company but also in terms of the ownership of the units and control of the votes of the condominium corporation. I think there have to be regulations written into Ontario law which will protect individual condominium owners from this kind of development. It can undermine the investment they have made as individuals in their condominium units, and I think it is time that Ontario law took the problem into real consideration.
The law must be changed also in the matter of use of proxies for votes at condominium corporation meetings, particularly at meetings of importance where, for example, management might be being challenged. I think the law should lay down rules for the use of proxies and should insist that proxy votes only be transferable to people who live within a condominium corporation. It is possible again for one individual, and particularly for a developer, to round up proxies in a situation where there may be absentee ownership of condominium units, and to effectively control the management of a condominium corporation through the unlimited use of proxies.
Condominium law, as it now stands in Ontario, does not lay out regulations under which management may take on loans in the name of that condominium corporation. I feel very strongly, and I know I am supported by condominium owners in Carleton East, that the law of Ontario should be amended to give protection to condominium owners as a group that their management will not take on loans which they do not know anything about. As the law stands now, loans are only governed under bylaws and it is not a requirement that management inform and have support for taking out loans for the corporation.
The law should be changed so that management, whatever management company or management group is in direction of the corporation, will not be able to hold the assets of that corporation in the name of the management, but must hold the assets of the corporation in the name of the corporation. A situation is developing now in Carleton East where many condominium corporations are being managed by the same management company. There is developing a whole new field of enterprise which is called condominium corporation management, and companies are being formed that offer themselves as management to many condominium corporations.
If these companies are permitted to hold the assets of condominium corporations in the name of the management company, then one can imagine a great many situations which are going to be fraught with legal hazards and offer possibilities of financial mismanagement in the future. I think it very important that Ontario law take cognizance of that possibility and that the law should prescribe that the assets of the condominium corporations are held only in the name of that corporation.
One other point about condominium law which I think should be raised, and in which a change would cost the government nothing, is that condominium law mast be available in translation in the French language. Within Carleton East the francophone population is anywhere between 20 per cent and 30 per cent in given areas, and many francophones in our area are purchasing condominiums.
Condominium law and the rights and responsibilities of condominium owners are difficult enough to understand if one’s language is English and the law is in English, believe me. But for people who speak French and who cannot obtain a translation of condominium law, I think it is a real injustice. I think it imperative that the government of Ontario provide French translations of condominium law so that individual condominium owners can exercise their full rights and responsibilities within condominium corporations in Ontario.
One other area I would like to mention would cost one government or another some money, and that is the taxation of condominiums. As you are aware, sir, we revised the Condominium Act in the fall and, for the first time, we insisted in Ontario that condominium units be taxed on the same basis as all other residential units; that they be taxed on fair property value.
Mr. Cassidy: It was the NDP that got that amendment.
Ms. Gigantes: Yes, it was the NDP that got that one in.
Mr. Moffatt: That’s responsible.
Ms. Gigantes: That was step No. 1. Step No. 2 lies ahead of us.
Mr. Nixon: Now that you have two people, you can scratch backs.
Mr. Moffatt: The two leaders?
Mr. Martel: Whose back was Houlton scratching?
Ms. Gigantes: At the moment, the Condominium Act specifies that owners must pay for maintenance of common elements. That is to say that each person who owns a unit in a condominium corporation is also responsible for a fee which covers the common elements.
Mr. Nixon: Taylor always used to say things that got publicity.
Ms. Gigantes: I believe this constitutes a form of double taxation, given that condominium corporation owners also have to pay normal municipal property taxes. The condominium owner pays taxes on the real value of his own personal condominium unit. He also pays municipal taxes on the common property elements of the condominium. Then he also has to pay condominium fees for such services as are normally provided by a municipality. These services include the maintenance of access streets, snow clearance of access streets, salting and sanding of access streets, the maintenance of outdoor lights on access streets, the maintenance of fire hydrants, sewer maintenance on access streets and the maintenance and installation of street signs.
I think that simple equity demands an adjustment in condominium taxes. As was the case in the Condominium Act revisions, which we went through in the fall, it is the province which has the responsibility to take the initiative to make sure that adjustment takes place.
I have been in touch recently with the Ministry of Revenue, and I have forceably argued the case with spokesmen from the ministry that this kind of adjustment is a fair and reasonable kind of request on the part of condominium owners. However, the argument came back to me from the ministry that an adjustment of condominium taxes would constitute a precedent similar to a refusal to pay school taxes if you didn’t have children.
I consider this argument to be a specious argument, because a request for an adjustment of condominium taxes doesn’t constitute an attempt to avoid a general tax; it’s a request that condominium owners won’t be forced to pay the same tax twice.
Mr. Speaker, in concluding, I would like to express my gratitude for being able to put before this House the concerns that I have heard expressed in Carleton East by the many thousands of people who are in condominium units and who have felt deceived over the last five years by the government that has promoted the sale of condominium units, talked about how condominium ownership was a new form of property and house ownership in Ontario, and talked in glowing terms about how it was offering so much to the very restrained housing market in Ontario. I think the condominium owners throughout Carleton East, and probably throughout the province, feel they’ve been let down by a government which has not provided a sound enough legislative framework so that they can live peaceable, simple, direct, easily-accountable lives in their condominium units. They have been harassed and bothered ever since they first began purchasing condominium units, and I think it is imperative that the government of Ontario now recognizes its responsibility for making sure that condominium owners in Ontario have a decent deal. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Essex South.
Mr. Mancini: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I’m very pleased to rise here in the legislative assembly of Ontario and embark upon the traditional Throne Speech debate, which allows me to try to make the members of this House a little bit more familiar with my riding, the great riding of Essex South.
I have decided that I will keep all the political and partisan statements to a bare minimum.
Mr. Mancini: I’m sorry to have disappointed my friends here on the right. I said to the bare minimum; I’m not going to let them get away altogether.
Mr. Moffatt: You are going to keep to the unbearable minimum.
Mr. Mancini: Before I start, since there’s been such a large request, maybe I will get a little bit political. Let’s go back to the Sept. 18 election. I must say it was on that day the Conservative government of this province lost its grip on majority rule. It was on that day the people of Ontario said they had seen enough, enough of regional government -- and I might add that those fellows on my right also support regional government -- and enough of the aimless directions that the Conservative government has been going in; enough of the vote buying, which seems to have become the only sole philosophy of this government here in Ontario.
But, as extreme as that philosophy is, there is another philosophy in this House and it sits over here on my right --
Mr. Warner: Got two philosophies.
Mr. Mancini: -- a philosophy so vulgar that it insults the very intelligence of the people of Ontario.
Mr. Nixon: The very word.
Mr. Moffatt: Is it one of your old speeches, Bob? It sounds like it.
Mr. Mancini: A philosophy which would pretend to give everything to everybody and grant a solution to every problem. I would say that they spout this off without any form of embarrassment.
Mr. Nixon: Do you think they would be embarrassed?
Mr. Mancini: But getting back to the text of my remarks, I would like to bring to your attention, Mr. Speaker, and I would like to ask you if you remember, some years ago, a very fine gentleman who represented the constituency of Essex South, a member of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, a very fine man by the name of Bill Murdoch?
Mr. Murdoch represented his constituents in a very fine and honourable manner in the years between 1943 to 1963.
Mr. Martel: Did you write that for him, Bob?
Mr. Mancini: He became Speaker of this legislative assembly in the years 1960 to 1963. The member following Mr. Murdoch, who wrested his seat away from him, was another gentleman by the name of Don Paterson.
Mr. Nixon: Now you are talking.
Mr. Martel: A fine fellow.
Mr. B. Newman: The finest of the fine.
Mr. Mancini: A very fine fellow, as my friend Elie has said. Mr. Paterson, a very honourable and capable man, represented the constituents of Essex South from the years 1962 to 1975. He brought Essex South under the Liberal fold, and today I would like to say that Mr. Paterson has retired from the assembly but he is still active and is still a viable force in Liberal politics in Essex South, and a well respected man in his community.
Mr. Martel: You are going to vote with the government too, next week.
Mr. Laughren: Why did you take the election away from him?
Mr. Foulds: What do you mean a viable force?
Mr. Mancini: Essex South has approximately 55,000 people. Many of these people are from ethnic backgrounds --
Mr. Ruston: Great workers.
Mr. Nixon: Well to do.
Mr. Mancini: Right, very great workers. Anderdon township, where I make my residence, and the River Canard areas is populated by very proud French Canadians. The Amherstburg area has a rather large Italian ethnic community, with an ethnic club they refer to as the Verdi Club. In the Harrow area, there is a very large Portuguese community which has also established an ethnic club for itself. Fine people.
In the Leamington area there is another Italian club, the Roma Club. The Lebanese community which, I might say, is the largest in all of Canada is presently making plans for establishing an ethnic club. The Germans of the area have probably one of the most attractive establishments at the Rhine Danube Club.
This brings me to the point of mentioning the Mennonite community of Essex South. These people are extremely hard-working and industrious. A few weeks ago I had the privilege of participating at the opening of their new auditorium and gymnasium complex. I want to tell my friends over here on the right that not everyone needs help and there are still some people left in this Province of Ontario who can do things for themselves. These people have built for themselves, without one penny from outside their community --
Mr. Foulds: No assistance from the Liberal Party.
Mr. Mancini: -- and without one penny from this Ontario government a $500,000 gymnasium and auditorium.
Mr. Mancini: Mr. Speaker, I would just like to digress for a moment, if I may --
Mr. Martel: I thought that was a digression.
Mr. Mancini: I think you are a digression, personally.
Mr. Mancini: Mr. Speaker, if I could have order in this House --
Mr. Ruston: A little order in this House; keep them in order.
Mr. Mancini: I would like to go back to March 30 when the hon. member for Scarborough Centre (Mr. Drea) just about insulted everyone here when he made comments implying that areas held by Tory members were better taken care of financially by the government of Ontario. A more crass form of politics cannot be found.
Mr. Laughren: It is not true of Parry Sound.
Mr. Maeck: Certainly not.
Mr. Mancini: If the Premier had any sense or feeling he would ask that member to withdraw his remarks and apologize to this assembly.
As a matter of fact, that philosophy doesn’t stay in Scarborough Centre; it travels throughout the whole province, I can recall last September that the only campaign platform the Tories had in Windsor and Essex county was to vote for a fellow on the government side of the House. They forgot to say on the minority side of the House because there are more members in opposition now than there are in government.
Mr. Nixon: Do the Tories still run candidates down there in Essex and Windsor?
Mr. Mancini: Over the last few days I have tolerated, and I am still tolerating, statements by the socialist members of this House who sometimes speak of free enterprise, as I am sure one of them did today --
Mr. Martel: Socialist hordes.
Mr. Cunningham: Especially when Stephen’s away.
Mr. Moffatt: He is so seldom away.
Mr. Foulds: We are trying to get in tennis lessons.
Mr. Mancini: The fact remains, Mr. Speaker --
Mr. Warner: What are you going to do?
Mr. Mancini: Mr. Speaker, I am being accosted here.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Mr. Mancini: The fact remains that in the last session of this assembly, when a vote was put to this House about the province having its own anti-inflation programme and coming to help the people in the public service--helping take care of our own, that’s how I see it -- these fellows here abandoned all their responsibilities and they are still catching it from the trades unions.
Mr. Warner: What are you going to do?
Mr. Mancini: They are still catching it.
Mr. Foulds: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please.
Mr. Foulds: I would like to point out, Mr. Speaker, that this party is represented by more than fellows. We have representation by both men and women in this party.
Mr. Speaker: That’s not a point of order. The hon. member for Essex South can continue.
Mr. Mancini: I apologize to the member for Carleton East (Ms. Gigantes).
Some hon. members: And the member for Peterborough (Ms. Sandeman).
Mr. Mancini: She’s not here right now.
Getting back to the riding of Essex South, I would like to mention the very famous Pelee Island. I would like to invite all members of this House, ladies and gentlemen, to Pelee Island during the great pheasant hunt and partake in that great institution.
Mr. Martel: Even the socialist hordes.
Mr. Bullbrook: You are lucky it’s not a peasant hunt.
Mr. Foulds: Keep the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Bernier) away though. There will be a special privilege for his father-in-law.
Mr. Mancini: Essex South has three main job occupations -- industry, farming and fishing. The Kingsville and Wheatley areas I would say are the capital ports of Essex South. They employ many hundreds of people in the fishing industry and bring many millions of dollars to the community. The Leamington area is the tomato capital of all the world.
Mr. Ruston: I’ve seen some of these nice tomatoes down there.
Mr. Mancini: The farming industry and the labour industry, who support me very well, are spread across the riding. A great deal of it is congregated in the Amherstburg and Leamington area. I just want to add for the advice of my friends here that the UAW locals and the AFL-CIO locals openly came out in support of a Liberal member in that area.
Mr. Foulds: Are you tied to big labour?
Mr. Laughren: Do you take contributions from the international unions?
Mr. Mancini: We in the Liberal Party try to represent everyone.
An hon. member: And everything.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please.
Mr. Mancini: Thank you for coming to the rescue, Mr. Speaker. I’d just like to take time out to mention something very unique in the Province of Ontario. That is that there is only one volunteer ambulance service and that happens to be in the great riding of Essex South. It’s situated in the Amherstburg, Anderdon and Malden areas. Having known the great wisdom of the Conservatives of Ontario, one wouldn’t have to wonder too deeply why on earth anyone would want to take away this voluntary ambulance service, as they tried to do nearly three years ago.
Mr. Foulds: This guy’s got a memory.
An hon. member: Shame, shame.
Mr. Mancini: I believe it would behove them to leave that service alone.
Mr. Ruston: The Conservatives are like the NDP -- they want to take over everything.
Mr. Mancini: I’d just like to say that I’ve enjoyed my work in the Labour and Workmen’s Compensation Board estimates a great deal and I hope I can learn a lot more. I sincerely hope that in some small way I can assess the blue collar workers of Ontario. Just getting on to workmen’s compensation, I don’t believe, as my friends here on the right believe, that it should be abolished. I think it should be bettered.
I’m very glad to see the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) here.
Mr. Good: The only cabinet minister.
An hon. member: He’s not listening.
Mr. Mancini: He’s going to be listening in a minute. I think it’s time for the Attorney General to put out his tentacles a little bit further than the hockey rink and start to become concerned with crime in the streets, and start to become concerned with plea bargaining, and start to become concerned with the way the judges in our province hand down decisions. I’ve spoken to the Attorney General on occasion before.
Mr. Mancini: This has to be brought out -- if the NDP will let me --
Mr. Martel: Go ahead.
Mr. Mancini: It has to be known that in the riding of Essex South there was a very sad situation occur. Many lives were damaged forever, I would say. It has to be known that I feel that some judges in this province would have to pay slightly more attention.
There was a rape case and these particular individuals were convicted twice by a judge and jury but they were granted a retrial in each situation. They were granted a third retrial and they were found guilty by a judge and jury again. I think there is something wrong with our judicial system when persons found guilty by their peers on two separate occasions are again granted a retrial, and again the victims are dragged through the courts as though they were the criminal.
I would like to close by saying that I am a little bit disappointed with the province’s restraint programme in the light of the way the Tories threw money around last September; and in light of the fact that they gave almost $500 million away -- that we can keep track of anyway. Today, they have the audacity to close down the hospitals and tear the guts out of small communities to save $50 million.
Mr. Martel: But you will support them.
Mr. Laughren: You’ll support them.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please.
Mr. Mancini: We don’t support that government in their actions.
An hon. member: Tell us about the Anti-Inflation Board.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please.
Mr. Kerrio: We are going to fool you guys again.
Mr. Mattel: Good.
Mr. Kerrio: You had your chance.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please.
Mr. Kerrio: In bed with Trudeau and those guys.
Mr. Mancini: I would just like to say that --
Mr. Martel: You have got it rough.
Mr. Mancini: -- when a government has done this it has lost all form of consciousness and should be defeated.
Mr. Speaker: Do we have another speaker who wishes to participate in this debate? The hon. member for Eglinton.
Mr. Martel: Is this your maiden speech?
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Firstly, I would like to assure my hon. friend opposite, the member for Essex South, that I am indeed concerned about matters relating to the administration of justice which go far beyond what might be termed excessive violence or brutality in the ice arenas of this province. In the same context I might say I have been reluctantly absent from some of the very major clashes which have involved some of my colleagues, such as the hon. member for Niagara Falls (Mr. Kerrio), at Maple Leaf Gardens for fear of the position I might be placed in if I were perceived to be aiding and abetting some of the conduct which has been reported to me as occurring from time to time and involving some of the hon. members.
In a more serious vein, particularly in relation to certain remarks made by my friend, the member for Essex South, in respect to the administration of justice in this province, I should like to state that I have been satisfied, not only during my short tenure as Attorney General for this province but by reason of my experience as a trial counsel in the courts of this province for almost 18 years, that the overwhelming majority of judges at all levels of our courts carry on their duties in a very dedicated and conscientious manner with overriding concern for the community as a whole.
I do believe that anyone who has the privilege of holding the office of Attorney General for the province does have responsibilities which obviously should be governed by considerations which have nothing to do with partisan politics.
During the short time I have occupied this office, I think I have encouraged members from all sides of the House, including the hon. member for Essex South (Mr. Mancini) to communicate with me at any time they felt the administration of justice was not being well served; and I would like to reiterate that I hope this type of communication will continue in the future. I do believe that insofar as the administration of justice is concerned it’s generally a matter that is approached on a relatively non-partisan basis, because I am confident that all of the members of this Legislature are deeply concerned with maintaining the high quality of administration of justice we have generally enjoyed in this province.
Mr. Speaker, as you know sir, the government indicated in the Speech from the Throne that it would seek the support of this House for a programme to improve the administration of justice in our province. At the same time, the government is committed to reforms in estate law which will include revisions concerning the rights of children and spouses in property matters. Although the administration of justice has many facets, all of which are significant, at the present time one of the most important -- and one to which I am sure this House would wish to direct its attention -- is the administration of the courts of Ontario. It is our objective to develop an administration of those courts which will ensure the continued independence and impartiality of the judiciary, and at the same time ensure the efficient and economical operation of the several levels of courts of the province. To achieve this objective under our constitutional system, we must bring into balance two principles which are equally important but in practice sometimes extremely difficult to co-ordinate.
The administration of justice is a responsibility, certainly, of this Legislature under the British North America Act, and it follows that this House holds me, as the Attorney General accountable to it for that responsibility in relation to the administration of the courts.
The expenditure of public funds in the court system and the accountability for that expenditure to the legislative assembly is certainly fundamental to our system of responsible government. On the other hand, our parliamentary form of government contemplates as an inherent principle a separation of the judicial function from the other branches of government. This separation is commonly described as the principle of the independence of the judiciary, and I think members from all sides would readily agree that this concept is absolutely fundamental to any proper administration of justice.
Mr. Nixon: We agree over here, but where are your people? There is not another cabinet minister here to listen to you.
Mr. Singer: Arthur Meen.
Mr. Nixon: Arthur is engaged in active conversation with another member. I really think it is a sorry tale.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I am sure they are all listening intently outside the doors, and some of them might feel they have heard this before.
Mr. Roy: You have six members over there.
Mr. Nixon: We are on the Attorney General’s side in that sense.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: The principles in relation to the separation of the judicial function and the responsibility of the Attorney General for the administration of justice do meet, and sometimes head-on, in the area of courts administration. In our system of government it is essential that a practical working relationship be established between the courts and the Legislature on all administrative and financial matters. As Attorney General, I am faced daily with pragmatic difficulties in developing this relationship which is so essential to the total administration of justice.
Mr. Singer: And getting money from the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough); that’s the other problem.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: That is certainly an interesting challenge. The Treasurer is very aware of his responsibilities to all the citizens in Ontario in relation to protecting the public purse. It is necessary for any minister of the Crown to plead a very effective case in order to secure the funds that we all sincerely believe are necessary to carry out our functions; and certainly the additional funds which I personally believe to be necessary for the administration of justice. Where is the Treasurer?
Mr. Moffatt: You listened to him in the election; that is the trouble.
Mr. Roy: Don’t lose hope. If we get close to an election he becomes more generous.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: As I indicated, although many studies have been done in Canada, we have still not as yet established a mutually-acceptable definition of the respective roles of the government and the judiciary in administration of the courts. The difficulty is manifested in many ways, but none so obvious as in the problems encountered in case-flow management.
Delay in the disposition of cases is not only a chronic problem of our court system but one which exists in virtually all common law jurisdictions of the world. In Ontario, it has been underlined by the admittedly existing case load crisis. This crisis, in turn, is attributable to a number of factors such as population increases, the advent of the automobile, the complexities of modern business, growing recognition of individual rights, the continued expansion of the regulatory powers of government and the acceptance of legal aid as a pillar of our administration of justice.
Mr. Singer: It being 6 of the clock --
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: In view of the fact that I was about, at this point to remind my friends once again of this time of serious government spending restraints, I will demonstrate the type of restraint I’m sure is expected of me, even as a neophyte in this Legislature, by becoming aware that it is now 6 o’clock.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry moved the adjournment of the debate.
Motion agreed to.
Hon. Mr. Meen: Mr. Speaker, tomorrow we will continue with the debate on the Speech from the Throne.
Hon. Mr. Meen moved the adjournment of the House.
Motion agreed to.
The House adjourned at 6 p.m.