30th Parliament, 3rd Session

L045 - Thu 29 Apr 1976 / Jeu 29 avr 1976

The House met at 2 p.m.


Mr. Speaker: Statements by the ministry.


Hon. J. R. Smith: In my absence, on Tuesday, April 27, 1976, the hon. member for Hamilton West raised a question concerning current practice in the Ministry of Correctional Services in the use of dissociation units or segregation rooms. I will attempt in this statement to set out for the hon. members current practice, but, initially, I think it would be beneficial to remind members of the range of young persons for whom the training school programmes are designed.

Currently, approximately 900 children are made wards of the Ministry of Correctional Services each year. For the most part, they have committed an offence which, had they been adults, would have led them through the adult court process. Fortunately, it is increasingly possible, because of the development of agencies in the community, for the police to divert many young people into community placements. However, as a consequence, my ministry to a growing extent is left with a training school population which represents the most difficult children from our Ontario communities. A great many of these young people have tested and tried every type of community intervention, from foster homes to group homes to psychiatric care. For the most part, they have truly been out of control in our communities.

With our continually improving training school programmes and opportunities for increasingly intensive follow-up supervision in the community in group homes or foster homes, and with the assistance of our probation and after-care service staff, we have decreased the average length of stay in our schools to approximately seven months.

With the population of young people whom I have described receiving the attention of a well-trained and competent staff, my ministry uses placement in segregation areas for a variety of selected purposes. Approximately half of these usages relate to children who have just been returned from an AWOL, from a group home or from a school. In other cases, our policy dictates that only in rather extreme cases may students be placed in segregation or quiet rooms.

For all children, the upper time limit for placement in a segregation room is 48 hours and this occurs only on the authority of the superintendent or his designate. Beyond this time, and for very exceptional cases, the superintendent must receive authorization from the regional administrator of schools. In most instances, during the time a young person spends in a quiet room, contact is made with him or her every 15 minutes.

The quality of interaction at these intervals is of course dependent upon the needs of the child.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Lewis: I’m sorry. Could there be a little more quiet? The statement is an important one.

Mr. Speaker: I’m having difficulty hearing too. If there could be fewer private conversations things would be more satisfactory.

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Practise what you preach.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. minister.

Hon. J. R. Smith: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. If a child is seriously upset, the supervisor would remain with him or her and attempt to engage the young person in conversation. If, on the other hand, the young person has requested temporary separation from his school group, possibly to bring himself under control, he will be afforded the opportunity for increased privacy unless this is otherwise indicated.

A variety of situations arise that lead to separation of the child from the larger population in any school. As the question raised relates to Pine Ridge Training School in Bowmanville, the statistics which I will quote will reflect events in that institution. For the time period, Jan. 1, 1975 to Dec. 31, 1975, a total of 101 usages of segregation placement occurred. Separation occurred for a variety of reasons, ranging from the management of individuals who had just been returned from an AWOL situation to assaultive behaviour within the school.

Of this figure, almost one half represented cases of children who had returned from AWOL situations and required a settling period and medical investigation and clearance often related to withdrawal from drugs. Approximately 10 per cent had been placed in protective segregation, often at their own request. The remainder included cases of children whose placement in segregation was a result of assaultive or other seriously disruptive conduct in the school.

During this 12-month period no child spent any more than 48 hours at any one time in the segregation area. On the average, 8.4 boys per month were placed in the area; if the numbers relating to protective segregation and returnees from AWOL are removed, fewer than four boys per month were admitted to segregation. It should be noted that the figure of 101 records the number of individual admissions. The actual number of wards involved was 58 and the average length of stay was approximately 18 hours.

Remarks have been made regarding the physical aspects of the segregation facilities. For the sake of his own safety and that of others, a young person in a state of uncontrollable behaviour cannot be surrounded with objects which he can utilize to harm or injure himself, his peers or staff.

To ensure the appropriate use of segregation facilities, each time a ward is placed in segregation a report must be prepared for and signed by the superintendent. This report must include the reasons for admission, a record of the times the ward was checked by staff and when meals, showers, etc., occurred, as well as the time of return to the regular programme. On a monthly basis, each superintendent must submit to the regional administrator a record of the use of segregation. The use of segregation is decreasing in our institutions as our supervisors become increasingly more versatile in handling children and intervening before crises develop.

Members may wish to be reminded that the Training Schools Advisory Board, which reports directly to me, visits each of our schools on a regular basis and provides an excellent appraisal and critique of the total programme and practices in each school. In addition, our inspection and standards branch provides a regular inspection of each school, plus investigative services when specific incidents occur.

In conclusion, may I reiterate the longstanding invitation of my ministry and I to all members of this House to visit all the schools. Such visits serve to demonstrate directly the extensive programmes within our facilities, the nature of the children for whom we care and the competence and the dedication of our staff. As ministers before me have remarked in this House, many questions are more readily answered by direct observations of our school programmes.

Great changes have occurred in our schools over the past 10 years as the numbers of children have dropped dramatically and as our supervisory staff group has increased both in number and in quality. Our staff now have much more opportunity for intervention on an interpersonal level which, I am sure the hon. members will agree, is usually the critical factor in reaching a troubled young person.


Hon. Mr. Bernier: Mr. Speaker, during the flooding emergency earlier this week at Kashechewan in the James Bay area, my ministry fulfilled its responsibility as the lead provincial ministry for such emergencies by coordinating and directing the evacuation of the 330 residents of the threatened community and having them received at Fort Albany.

For the evacuation, which was well reported by news media, the ministry brought in three commercial helicopters that were available at Moosonee --

Mr. Lawlor: You are being stung.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Bender: -- and arranged for three others to be on standby for additional support.

Mr. Lawlor: For eight years you did nothing.

Hon. Mr. Bender: The Ontario Provincial Police helicopter was also utilized --

Mr. Lawlor: Did you hear me?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: No, I wasn’t listening. I happen to have the floor. If you want to speak after, go right ahead.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. minister has the floor, please.

Mr. Cassidy: You are being very testy.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: The Ontario Provincial Police helicopter was also utilized during the emergency and, as is the custom, our provincial police have given us complete support and assistance throughout.

At the present time, arrangements have been made to move a number of the evacuees to Moosonee, because the water and the sanitary facilities at Fort Albany are being severely taxed and because there still is the potential of further flooding at both Fort Albany and Kashechewan.

My ministry staff is also maintaining a close surveillance on the river and ice conditions at Attawapiskat and Winisk where other residents may be affected if flooding problems become serious in those areas later next week.

I am particularly pleased with the cooperation received from the federal government in ensuring the safety and the welfare of the residents of the threatened community. In this connection, may I remind the members that my ministry’s role is essentially a coordinating one as well as taking the lead in responding to flood and forest fire emergencies.

As the situation in the James Bay area develops, it is our hope that on the federal level we will be able to count upon the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development as well as the Departments of National Defence and Health and Welfare to assist us, if the need arises, for possible additional evacuations and for the necessary after-care for the victims, including return transportation, rehabilitation and maintaining health conditions.

I know we will have the support of our sister Ontario ministries in this endeavour, particularly those of the Solicitor General and the Community and Social Services ministry.

It is my intention to fly to the area tomorrow accompanied by my colleague, the Chairman of Cabinet (Mr. Brunelle) who, as members know, is the local member for that very large area, to assess conditions at first hand and to investigate the possibility of emergency relief measures with the local representatives.

Mr. Speaker: Oral questions.


Mr. Lewis: Mr. Speaker, first, a question of the Minister of Correctional Services, in two parts: No. 1, has he seen and can he comment on the grand jury report on Pine Ridge which is distinctly at variance with his own glowing view of what happens within that training school?

No. 2, given the intermittent evidence of continuing problems in the training school setting, might he be willing now, after all the years of pressure, to consider their complete discontinuance and substitute for them settings which are far more therapeutic and generous in the provision of services to troubled kids?


Hon. J. R. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I don’t have personal knowledge of the grand jury report to which the member has referred.

As to the second question, I’d say the counts are down dramatically right across the system, other than at Cecil Fracer School in Sudbury. We have developed a number of very fine group homes and foster homes across this province to provide an alternate setting. Several weeks ago I announced the closure of the school in Cambridge, Churchill House. Eventually it is hoped that the Hillcrest facility in Guelph will likewise be phased out.

There are many articles in a number of publications this month related to training schools. It should be kept in mind that many of the incidents to which they are referring are those that happened five, six or eight years ago when counselling wasn’t high within the system. I assure the hon. Leader of the Opposition that from my personal observations in visiting these schools it is vastly different today than it was 10 years ago.

Mr. Lewis: Oh, I am sure that is so but it doesn’t mean we can’t improve them today.

Mr. S. Smith: Supplementary: How can the Minister of Correctional Services tell us in such a calm tone that we shouldn’t worry about the 101 episodes of solitary confinement because half of them were because of children away without official leave who needed a “settling in period when they got back?” The notion that one requires solitary confinement in order to settle in after running away from training school is something that does not do credit to this government.


Mr. S. Smith: How can the minister be so calm about simply telling us that half the time these people are in solitary confinement it is merely for having run away?

Hon. J. R. Smith: There is a policy for automatic segregation and I think a very valid one. A youngster might have been on drugs and be awaiting a visit from the physician. Secondly very often youngsters returning could very well have been in a fight or there could be abrasions on their body.

Mr. Warner: That’s an understatement.

Hon. B. Stephenson: If they are not left alone, they could --

Hon. J. R. Smith: In turn, there could be an accusation that a member of stall or another ward in the school had assaulted them.

Mr. S. Smith: That makes no sense at all.

Hon. J. R. Smith: So the policy is that they have a medical examination as soon as possible when they return.

Mr. S. Smith: I am a physician.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Physician heal thyself.

Mr. S. Smith: Ask the lady next to you.



Mr. Lewis: A question, if I may, to the Attorney General: Might the Attorney General comment more fully on the charges relating to the distribution of lottery tickets which have been laid by bringing the House into its confidence about when the investigations began and on what initiation they began? Was it as a result of questions on distributorship within the House? Was it a result of evidence brought to you by Mr. Pollock? Was it as a result of Dorothy Lipovenko’s articles in the Globe; and why was the RCMP involved so fundamentally rather than the OPP?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: The investigation was initiated by my ministry as a result of information brought to it by Marshall Pollock. As to the involvement of the RCMP, the RCMP have a number of officers who are permanently stationed in Toronto who are involved in white-collar fraud matters. It does not necessarily go across provincial boundaries. There is a very ongoing relationship between the ministry and RCMP officers, who often bring matters to be prosecuted to our ministry.

As to why the RCMP were involved rather than the OPP, I simply don’t have that information at the present.

Mr. Lewis: Really, oh! By way of supplementary, could the Attorney General clear up again, more specifically, when the investigation began, when this information was brought to him. And could he tell us, as a result of the investigation so far, the charges that have been laid and the charges that are pending, all least according to the Attorney General. Is he now looking at the propriety or authenticity of the distributorships across the province, to determine whether or not there are similar transgressions?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: The investigation to the best of my information, commenced approximately two months ago. I can obtain better and more accurate information. I don’t know the exact date, although I could find that out very easily; it was approximately two months ago. The Ministry of the Attorney General is not an investigative agency. If any matters are brought to our attention which might indicate criminality, we will assist in prosecutions. As to the propriety of the Wintario setup, I have no information on which to criticize the propriety of the setup, but it’s certainly not a matter for the Ministry of the Attorney General in any event.

Mr. Cunningham: Supplementary: Does the Attorney General not agree that the time has possibly come for the government to give us the basis on which these Wintario distributorships are made?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. That is not supplementary to the original question. The member for Cornwall.

Mr. Samis: Can the Attorney General clarify whether or not further charges are being contemplated, and if so, charges of what nature?

Mr. Yakabuski: We warned the minister a year ago.

Mr. Singer: Like Lebel in Sudbury?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Singer: That’s a good one, Paul.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, there is an ongoing investigation and, therefore, there is the possibility of additional charges. I cannot state at this time that there will definitely be additional charges.


Mr. Lewis: A question of the Minister of the Environment: Now that he has the latest and the most conclusive report from the lead data analysis task force, is it not time, four years after the event, that he finally accepted the suggestion made by my colleague, the member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick) on at least half a dozen occasions in this House, that the topsoil be changed in all the area in the vicinity of the plants in order to remove once and for all the hazard that comes from that soil?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Yes, Mr. Speaker, the report to which the hon. member refers is not the latest and most conclusive report. This is a task force study. I am hoping the report that is going to be filed, resulting from certain hearings during the past year, will, in fact, be even more conclusive than this report. Both of them together, however, will be a complete report. Both reports will deal with the question of topsoil in the area of those plants in question, and if recommendations regarding removal or treatment of the soil are made we will be expected to act on it.

Mr. Lewis: By way of supplementary, what is the minister waiting for? Is the evidence not now sufficiently conclusive that he should finally do what he has been asked to do for years? Why doesn’t he just initiate it?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Mr. Speaker, I want to table both of these reports, and I expect to do it at the first of the week. Members haven’t seen the hearing report as yet; hopefully that will be done early next week and then we will act on those recommendations.


Mr. Lewis: A question of the acting Minister of Health: Does she think members of the staff of the psychiatric hospitals under her jurisdiction should have direct access to the Ombudsman, or should be able to reply directly to the Ombudsman if answers are solicited from them, without checking through higher authorities in the ministry?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, like any other citizen of the Province of Ontario, any member of any staff of any ministry, I am sure, should expect to have direct access to the Ombudsman.

Mr. Lewis: By way of supplementary, if the Ombudsman approaches a member of the staff of a psychiatric hospital, should that not be a direct transaction without a member of the staff going further?

Hon. B. Stephenson: If the Ombudsman is requesting patient records of a psychiatric hospital, I should think that there might be some special concern related to that request. I would expect that the psychiatrist or the staff member of whom the request is made would have consultation with other members of staff, or of the ministry I would suppose, to decide whether in fact it would be appropriate. To release patient records is a different kettle of fish from almost any other kind of document, particularly psychiatric records.

Mr. Singer: By way of supplementary, does the acting Minister of Health believe that the members of her staff, the same as all the civil servants, are bound by the Ombudsman Act and have to act in accordance with it, without vetting what they are going to do with higher authority in advance?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I am not a legal expert as is my hon. friend across the floor.

Mr. Yakabuski: He doesn’t rate big retainers anyway, we know that.

Hon. B. Stephenson: There is some special status accorded to psychiatric patient records and those records are something which, perhaps, would have to be looked at in a different kind of way. I am not suggesting that any record requested by the Ombudsman should be dealt with separately or differently, except that this is a specific problem which I think might have to be. I’m suggesting that perhaps that possibility is there.

Mr. Lewis: A supplementary: Can the minister take a close look at what’s on the bulletin board of the Hamilton Psychiatric Hospital, re Ombudsman investigations, saying that Dr. Maynard, director of the psychiatric hospitals branch, has informed the hospital that investigations by the Ombudsman will be made from time to time and that the information, when requested or compiled, must be forwarded to the head of the Hamilton Psychiatric Hospital before it is relayed further?

Can the minister indicate to what extent she intends to muzzle -- not the minister -- to what extent she will tolerate the muzzling of the right of individual civil servants to deal directly with Ombudsman staff?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I’m sure that any directive -- I have not seen that one, I will have to confess -- to the staff of a psychiatric hospital is primarily in the interest of patient confidentiality and nothing more.

Mr. MacDonald: Not necessarily; the Ombudsman will respect that.


Mr. Lewis: A question of the Minister of Energy, Mr. Speaker. I ask it because it is in the nature of a setup. The Minister of Energy, the member for Lake Nipigon (Mr. Stokes), and I are engaging in this prearranged question. I ask the minister: Is he going to investigate the installation charges for residential customers of Northern and Central Natural Gas?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, that was exactly as I wrote it.

Mr. Lewis: Actually, that’s not fair. I added “is.”

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: At the request of the hon. member for Lake Nipigon I did investigate and I’m pleased to report to the House, and through the House to the member and his constituents, that as of this morning Northern and Central Natural Gas has agreed to stop the practice, to withdraw it. It is going to meet with the staff of the ministry and of the Energy Board in the next few weeks to discuss the problem it has.

Mr. Lewis: Another victory for socialism.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: For the moment, and I think permanently, the problem is solved.

Mr. Speaker: The member for Hamilton West.


Mr. S. Smith: This is a little better reception than your friends gave me yesterday, anyway.


Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, my first question is directed to the Minister of Natural Resources. Is the minister planning to issue a warning to Lake Ontario smelt fishermen, advising them not to eat the fish from this year’s catch because of the possibly excessive levels of PCBs?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Mr. Speaker, I’d like to inform the House that the Ministry of Natural Resources -- at least, the employee who made comments recently concerning PCBs, was basing his information on data gathered in 1974. The statistics are not valid because only 10 smelt were really analysed.

Mr. Cassidy: Only 10?

Mr. Breithaupt: That is not much of a sample.

Mr. Cassidy: Your restraint programme is going too far.

Mr. Ruston: I get more than that in my boots and I wouldn’t want to eat them.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: The lab of the Ministry of the Environment is now testing a much larger number of these fish and the results should be known in a couple of days.

Mr. Singer: And you’ll issue a warning in 1978.

Mr. S. Smith: Does somebody want a supplementary on that? I’m going to ask a separate question.


Mr. S. Smith: Another question of the acting Minister of Health: Now that the fishing season is upon us, has she been able to prevail upon the Minister of Natural Resources in any way so as to put an end once and for all to sport fishing for poisoned fish on the English and Wabigoon River systems and, once and for all, give some protection to the Indians and the families of the guides who live there and who have very high levels of mercury contamination? Can she persuade him to stop this fishing for poisoned fish?


Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, the hon. leader of the Liberal Party knows very well that the Ministry of Health has, in fact, informed the natives of Grassy Narrows and other reserves that they should not eat the fish from those rivers. They have been supplied with alternative fish sources and other protein foods in order to help them to overcome the possibility of eating fish from those rivers.

In addition, we have asked, in fact pleaded with, the resort owners to provide the guides with an alternative meal at lunch time -- since that is the meal they are most likely to eat when they are out with sport fishermen -- as an alternative to the fish which they might eat at that time. And we have also asked them to make sure that the guides do not take fish caught in the rivers home with them, so that neither will their families be eating those fish.

There is a limit, as the member knows, to the number of fish which the fishermen who are there as sport fishermen may take home with them. It is considered reasonable that they might eat, perhaps, one meal of fish per day while they are there for four or five days, and take the six-fish limit home with them. But as far as the guides are concerned, we have made every effort to ensure they will not have to use that source, fish, as their main source of protein, or as any source of protein in their diet. Alternative sources have been provided for them.

Mr. S. Smith: A supplementary question: I appreciate the answer, but is the minister aware that the chief of the Whitedog reserve has made it a point to say that it’s difficult for the guides to stop bringing home the fish to their families, even though their children’s mercury levels are very high. The reason is that they see these American fishermen coming and taking home carloads of fish to eat back home, and they don’t see anything wrong with it. What kind of a sport is it to fish for mercury poisoned fish? Isn’t it about time the minister put an end to it?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member is not supposed to be debating the matter; he is asking questions.

Mr. Cassidy: He is always debating the matter.

Mr. S. Smith: I enjoy debate.

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, the fishermen who do arrive for sport fishing are not allowed to take carloads of fish home with them. As I have said, they may take six -- which is one day’s catch -- that is all they are permitted to take home. The native people of that area, I am sure, have been very well informed about this; and I have great respect for them. I believe they are aware of the hazards. I believe they are aware of the alternative sources of protein. I believe they are aware that we are attempting to assist them in this area.

Mr. S. Smith: Forgive me, Mr. Speaker; I haven’t yet developed the ability to debate in an interrogative tone -- but it will soon come.

Mr. Samis: We will see about that.


Mr. S. Smith: A question of the Minister of Labour: Does she have some information about the fact that a standard set of hand signals exists, intended to ensure the safe operation of cranes on construction jobs? If she does, can she tell us whether she intends to have any licensing procedure or training programme to make sure that nobody will operate on a construction site as a lookout for a crane operator unless they are perfectly well aware of these hand signals?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Yes, Mr. Speaker, I am aware there is such a set of signals. I am also aware that it is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that the operator of that crane is in fact capable, knowledgeable and willing to comply with all of the rules and regulations before he hires that crane operator on any site.

Mr. S. Smith: A supplementary: It is not just a question of the operator, though. Does she feel that the licensing regulations are adequate with regard to those who act as lookouts for the crane operators, so that they know about it? She is undoubtedly aware of the coroner’s jury investigation of a 29-year-old worker who died. The foreman who was giving the signals said he never even heard of these standard sets of signals, yet no charges were laid in this situation. Can the minister explain that?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I am also aware that the Ministry of Labour has some concern about that remark made by the workman on the site, and that the labour services branch is presently involved in ensuring that other individuals on such sites will be knowledgeable about those signals.


Mr. S. Smith: Another question for the same minister but in a different capacity, now back to the acting Minister of Health: in view of the recent disclosure of nine deaths due to cancer of the liver, angiosarcoma, among vinyl chloride workers in the Goodrich plant in Shawinigan, can the minister assure the House that a similar situation does not exist ha this province? Can she give us the figures she has in this matter?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, we have no figures which would support the study which has been reported from Shawinigan. However, I can tell the hon. leader of the Liberal Party that of the four items which the special committee on occupational health has directed the ministry to become actively involved with, vinyl chloride is one of the items. It is not the top item, but it is one of the important ones and we shall be beginning our investigations in that area

Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary, if I could just ask a two-part question: First of all, have the figures of the deaths for the area of Sarnia and Niagara Falls been looked at in the same way that the Shawinigan deaths were looked at, to see if there are any unusual incidences of liver cancer there? Secondly, is the minister now prepared to proclaim an occupational standard consistent with the United States standard of one part per million, instead of the present Ontario standard of 10 parts per million?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I am not sure the entire study has been done on cancer-related deaths for areas such as Sarnia. I can tell the member we are awaiting the recommendation of the council on occupational health regarding that acceptable standard for the province.


Hon. Mr. Parrott: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The hon. member for Renfrew South (Mr. Yakabuski) has raised a concern about the value of sabbatical leave in Ontario universities and I would like to give him some general information at this time. This matter is clearly an internal university matter and any interferences on my part, I think, would jeopardize the independence of the institution --


Mr. Lewis: Resign.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: -- which this government feels is essential for freedom of academic endeavour.

The general rationale for sabbatical leave invokes the opportunity to intensify scholarly research and publication; the provisions of research opportunities at primary sources of data; improvement of the quality of teaching through the development of new materials and techniques; and the opportunity to gain practical experience in the setting of other institutions in Canada and abroad.

Sabbatical leaves are an historic tradition in this and most other countries, and are commonly accepted as a primary condition of academic employment.

Mr. MacDonald: He is a subversive destroying our traditions.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: The hon. member may wish to look all the handbook of the Canadian Association of University Teachers --

Mr. Deans: Are you going to send somebody along to read it?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I wish the opposition would be quiet. I’m trying to talk to one of my hon. friends and I think he has been put off on two occasions.


Mr. S. Smith: He won’t understand you anyway.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. minister has the floor. Fewer interjections I think would be better for everyone concerned.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I thank you, Mr. Speaker. I think the hon. member has raised a question for which he has a genuine concern and I would like to reply in detail.

Mr. MacDonald: It is obsolete to begin with.

Mr. Cassidy: We will see that he takes a sabbatical.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: The hon. member may wish to look at the handbook of the Canadian Association of University Teachers which has established a number of guidelines on sabbatical leave policies.

Each university is responsible for its own policies on sabbatical leave. It is common for universities to consider granting one year of leave after six years of full employment, and often with the proviso that the faculty member must be tenured, and sometimes with the restrictions that a minimum rank had been attained previous to that occasion.

Remuneration terms also vary, although a common arrangement seems to be six months at full salary or 12 months at half salary. In other cases, faculty members are eligible up to 75 per cent of salary, the precise amounts presumably being determined on the basis of their plans for their leave of absence.

While I do not have specific data on replacement of faculty members who are on sabbatical leave, I understand this also varies from institution to institution. In some instances teaching loads are assumed by colleagues; in others, visiting professors may be retained for a year or a term, as indicated by their own institutions. Many universities encourage, and some require, faculty members on sabbatical leave to secure research funding from alternative sources. Some fellowships, such as the Canada Council leave fellowships --


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. With fewer interjections we could get on with the business of the House.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: -- may defer the entire --


Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: -- may defer the entire cost of the sabbatical leave, thereby saving the university the full amount of the professor’s salary for that year.

I hope I have provided a satisfactory response to the question raised by my colleague. I would, however, like to emphasize again that under each Act establishing a university the powers to determine remuneration, tenure of office and working conditions rest with the board of governors of that institution. I would like to forward to the hon. member a statistical fact sheet compiled by my university affairs division --


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. We’ll deal with that in a moment.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: -- and which contains the basic information of each university.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Not just for the moment. Order, please.

May I suggest that an answer of that length is too long to be given as an answer during the question period and might better have occupied the time of the House before the question period. I shall therefore --


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. No, it was a lengthy statement basically -- even without interruptions, one might reply. We’ll add three minutes to the question period.

I will allow a supplementary from the member for Renfrew South.

Order, please. We’re wasting the time of the House. The member for Renfrew South.

Mr. Yakabuski: Firstly, I would like to put to the Minister of Colleges and Universities that he has not convinced me that it is not a rip-off.


Mr. Yakabuski: Secondly --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. We’re just wasting valuable time of the House. Now could we have -- order, order! Do I have to name someone this afternoon?


Mr. Speaker: Does the hon. member have a question, rather than a debate?

Mr. Yakabuski: I have a number of questions.

I’m not sure whether the Minister of Colleges and Universities --


Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Yakabuski: -- is aware that there were almost 1,000 of the academic staff of universities and colleges on sabbatical or leave of absence in 1974-1975 --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. We’re debating a matter. Will the hon. member ask a question for further information if he has one?

Mr. Yakabuski: Would the minister also feel that the public, the taxpayers of this province and of Canada, would be shocked to know that eight per cent of the university staff was on such leave at any given time?


Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Yakabuski: Would the Minister of Colleges and Universities feel --

Mr. Singer: This is a terrible abuse of the House -- a terrible abuse of the rules.

Mr. Yakabuski: Would the Minister of Colleges and Universities feel that --


Mr. Speaker: If the member has a question he’ll ask it and we’ll have the hon. minister -- order, please, the Speaker has the floor.

Mr. Makarchuk: It is a very simple process -- ask a question and get an answer.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I need no assistance from the member for Brantford. Thank you.


Mr. Speaker: Now, we’ve wasted quite a bit of time. I believe a question has been asked. Would the hon. minister care to reply to it?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, I’m sure all the citizens of this province are very interested in the activities of our universities; I’m one of those citizens.

As the Minister of Colleges and Universities, I do have a great deal of concern but I want to reiterate that the basic policy is that established under the Acts which form each university. I think I would have to ask my hon. colleague to investigate further his concerns with the individual institution. I would also say I think we should recognize genuine concern on the part of an hon. member from this side of the House.



Mr. Burr: I have a question of the Minister of Education regarding the Windsor secondary school situation. What has been the response of the teachers and the board to the minister’s request that the schools open on Monday?

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I have not had any response as to what their position is in regard to the proposition I put to them. I have been informed that the teachers will have an answer for me at 8:30 tonight. I don’t know what that answer will be. I haven’t heard from the board since they received my letter.

Mr. B. Newman: I have a supplementary, Mr. Speaker. In one of the conditions that the minister stated to the two parties, he makes mention that the teachers suspend their strike and resume their full teaching programmes with no sanctions on May 3. Does the minister not mean suspend on May 3 their strike, or does he simply mean sanctions on May 3?

Hon. Mr. Wells: I guess, Mr. Speaker, it can be whichever way the hon. member wants it. I mean suspend the strike as of May 3.

Mr. B. Newman: Mr. Speaker, I have a supplementary. I think this is a matter of grave concern to the teachers because they might be willing to accept the minister’s recommendation --

Mr. Speaker: And your supplementary question is?

Mr. B. Newman: -- but they want to know whether he means the May 3 belongs to sanctions, only for the date of May 3, or does it mean to suspend their strike as of May 3?

Hon. Mr. Davis: You don’t give your colleagues much credit.

Hon. Mr. Wells: I can tell my friend that it belongs to both actions. I think the word that may be bothering him is “suspend.” It belongs to both actions, and what it really means in simple plain terms is that the schools open and the full programme begins on May 3.

Mr. Bounsall: I have a supplementary, Mr. Speaker. Does the minister not feel that by mentioning May 10 as the day, if the contract has not been negotiated, when the mediators would expect to make recommendations to him for terms of a settlement -- by mentioning that date, just a week beyond Monday, May 3, that this would have a detrimental effect in terms of the parties reaching a negotiated settlement if one of them should decide that all they have to do is hold off yet another week before some more action is taken here through the mediators?

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I take the opposite view to this process. This is the innovative process I was talking about and which my friend asked about the other day. This is an attempt to get both parties back at the bargaining table and to put some kind of pressure on both parties to bargain.

Mr. Bain: Just like our reasoned amendment.

Mr. Lewis: You’ve just taken our policy, that’s all.

Hon. Mr. Wells: No, no. This is just a little more innovative because it isn’t compulsory bargaining.

Mr. Deans: Because you’re introducing it.

Hon. Mr. Wells: That’s right, because I’m introducing it. It’s a little more innovative.

Mr. Deans: That’s right.

Hon. Mr. Wells: But the whole point is that the term used, “and suggest terms of settlement” is, I think, the relevant thing. In other words, we’re not suggesting that those negotiators suggest some other form of mechanical action but that those people suggest the kind of agreement that should be made by the parties if they can’t negotiate it at that time, It’s a sort of conciliation report.

Mr. Deans: That’s a step in the right direction.

Mr. Lewis: It’s almost our position.


Mrs. Campbell: My question is of the acting Minister of Health, Mr. Speaker. Is the minister aware of report No. 11 of the social service and housing committee of Metropolitan Toronto, particularly item 2, fees for service for homes-for-the-aged physician?

Hon. B. Stephenson: No, Mr. Speaker, I don’t remember having read that specific item.

Mrs. Campbell: Mr. Speaker, a supplementary if I may: To shorten the question, I would like to read into the record a portion of that report. It is dealing with the rearrangement of financing of physicians in these homes.

Mr. Speaker: Is there a question following this?

Mrs. Campbell: Yes.

Mr. Speaker: It’s very brief, thank you.

Mrs. Campbell: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I think I’m entitled to put the point, at least, so that I could ask the question.

Mr. Speaker: I agree. The hon. member may proceed.

Mrs. Campbell: The example cited in the report is Bendale Acres, which is only one of the homes for the aged. Is the minister aware that in 1975 the physician in all of these homes, but specifically in this one, was paid $13,000 a year on a shared basis between the Ministry of Community and Social Services and Metropolitan Toronto? And is she aware that under the new arrangement, based on the visits of 1975 and the OHIP programme, the payments to the physicians will be $25,831.20 -- $19,410.60 being directly payable by OHIP? And the reason for this 100 per cent increase --

Mr. Yakabuski: Question.

Mr. Eaton: Speech; speech.

Mrs. Campbell: I am asking the question and I intend to continue, Mr. Speaker, with my rights. Efforts have been made for the regulations on the homes for the aged to be amended allowing for an increase in the --

Mr. Yakabuski: Statements.

Mrs. Campbell: -- rates set, which have been in existence since 1967 --

Mr. Yakabuski: Statements from the shadow cabinet.

Mrs. Campbell: -- but have been rejected. Would the minister advise what the ramifications of this kind of change in programme will be for her ministry and hew she sees this fitting into the goals of the restraint programme, which are to reduce provincial cash requirements in 1976?

Mr. Martel: What was the question?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. B. Stephenson: I shall attempt to develop a detailed answer for the hon. member.

Mr. Speaker: I suggest an answer requiring so much detail might better have been placed on the order paper.

The hon. member for St. Andrew-St. Patrick has a question, I believe.

Mr. Grossman: My speech is also for the attention of the acting Minister of Health.

Mr. Mancini: When is the member going to resign?


Mr. Grossman: On April 14, the minister wrote the president of the board of Doctors Hospital, stating:

“The government will expect neighbouring hospitals to be responsive with respect to clinic and admitting rights for physicians displaced by a hospital closing.”

In view of the fact that physicians are to stop admitting patients within two weeks’ time --

Mr. Mancini: When is the member going to resign?

Mr. Grossman: -- I wonder if the minister could tell us how many physicians have been accepted at the neighbouring hospitals? And if not very many have -- as I know to be the case -- what is going to be done in the next 14 days?

Mr. Singer: She will resign.

An hon. member: Both ministers should resign.

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, since the hon. member seems to have the answer right at the moment, I am wondering about the question. However, I can’t tell him the exact number, since approximately one-half of the staff of that hospital held dual appointments with other institutions, and it would be logical to anticipate that they would, in fact, be accepted as full staff members in the other institutions.

Of the remaining one-half, I do not have figures at the moment regarding acceptance by other institutions, but I have been assured by the chairman of medical staffs and by the administrators of those hospitals that they would be receptive.

I anticipate I shall be able to get that information from administrators of the various other hospitals. I have not had any communication from specific doctors at the Doctors Hospital regarding this kind of application or their success or failure in achieving a hospital appointment.

Ms. Bryden: Why don’t you keep the hospitals open instead?

Mr. Grossman: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: One supplementary, yes.

Mr. Grossman: Since the ministry has set up the Evans committee to be sure that the doctors do have a place to practise by the time they have to stop admitting patients on May 15 --

Mr. Lewis: Doctors and other workers.

Mr. Grossman: -- doesn’t the minister think the ministry ought to know seriously, as the thing progresses day to day, how many doctors, as of today, for example, will be without any admitting privileges at any hospital on May 16? And could the minister report back tomorrow or Monday as to the total of doctors who do not have dual appointments and who have not yet been accepted at other hospitals?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Yes, Mr. Speaker, I will try to obtain that information.


Mr. Deans: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Premier.


Mr. Deans: I was trying to decide whether to ask the Minister of Community and Social Services (Mr. Taylor) a question but we’ve wasted enough time today. I wonder if the Premier might tell us why he is having difficulty getting invitations to speak in the Hamilton area these days?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I’m having difficulties?

Mr. Lewis: Careful, careful.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I haven’t the foggiest idea. I know that I’m going to be in that great community, I think, next Tuesday at noon.

Mr. Speaker: Order. Is this a question of urgent public importance?

Mr. Riddell: Urgent public support.

Mr. Deans: It is.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I plan to be there.

Mr. Deans: Can the Premier tell us what is this matter of urgent public importance that the Premier is about to speak about in Hamilton that would justify writing and asking the Chamber of Commerce to set up a meeting for the purpose?


Hon. Mr. Davis: I think that any time anything is said in that great municipality it is a matter of urgent public importance and I’m sure it will be of interest to the citizens of that community. If the member would like to be there, I’d be delighted to see him.

Mr. Lewis: Answer the question.

Mr. Breithaupt: He is going to have to renew his membership.

Mr. Deans: Just as an aside while he is there, is it possible the Premier might be prepared to explain to the citizens of Hamilton the Ministry of Health’s activities with regard to Chedoke and the Minister of Social and Community Service’s activities with regard to the Children’s Aid Society, as it is not getting adequate funding?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: How does that relate to the previous question?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I may touch on those items. I may also become somewhat non-partisan in my observations as to the real danger inherent in a socialistic government taking over the Province of Ontario as represented by the party of the hon. member. I could cover a multitude of things.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Lewis: If the Premier is having trouble being invited to Chambers of Commerce, could I offer my assistance?

Hon. Mr. Davis: The Leader of the Opposition on many occasions, though he perhaps doesn’t know it, is increasingly becoming of greater assistance to this government, and we appreciate it.


Mr. Mancini: I have a question of the Attorney General. Is the Attorney General aware of the light sentences given to a Mr. Price and a Mr. Beneteau in the savage beating of a Mr. David Comeau from Tecumseh, in view of the fact that Judge John Wheelton of Windsor called the incident, a savage, brutal, cowardly and unjustifiable attack, and then proceeded to sentence Mr. Price to 60 days to be served in the evenings and Mr. Beneteau to only 30 days?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Ask the judge.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Why don’t you call the judge?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I don’t think I’m familiar with the facts of that case.

Mr. Kerrio: Neither is the Minister of Housing.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: If the sentence was handed down less than 30 days ago, I’m quite prepared to have my senior law officers review it in order to consider the possibility of an appeal, if the member would like to provide me with additional information.

Mr. Mancini: Supplementary: In view of the fact that it was reported that Mr. Beneteau “jumped on him,” on Mr. Comeau, “pinning his arms and proceeded to beat him in the face with both hands. Mr. Comeau was blinded with blood, still lying on the sidewalk being beaten. It was at this time that Mr. Price came up and stomped him in the face -- “

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Does the hon. member have a question based on the answer that was given? You are now debating. You are giving a lot of information and that is not the purpose of the question period.

Mr. Mancini: No I’m not, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: Please ask the supplementary question.

Mr. Mancini: I just want to show the Attorney General how serious --

Mr. Speaker: No, you don’t need to show it. You’re supposed to ask a supplementary question.

Mr. Mancini: Is the minister aware of all of this, and if he is not would he mind looking into the situation and see if he can launch an appeal?

An hon. member: He told you he would.



Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Last Friday the member for Nickel Belt (Mr. Laughren) asked a question regarding a meeting of the American Indian Movement held recently in Sudbury.

He wanted to know whether surveillance by the Ontario Provincial Police of native people is being done with either my blessing or direction.

I understand that the Ontario Provincial Police superintendent at Sudbury did direct a constable to contact a reporter who had attended the American Indian Movement meeting. They subsequently discussed the meeting by telephone. The force certainly does not have all native people and native groups in the province under surveillance.

However, the American Indian Movement was involved in the unrest at both Wounded Knee and Anicinabe Park near Kenora. It is, therefore, the duty of the force to be aware of the activities of such groups.

Mr. Lewis: What?

Mr. Martel: What about the submarine park, John?


Mr. Samis: A question to the Minister of Culture and Recreation: In view of the charges laid by the Attorney General, and certain debatable practices within the distributorship system, does the minister not feel it’s time to reassess the whole system of distributors with a view to allowing service clubs and public organizations to become distributors, to publicly advertise any vacancies or any future distributorships, and to reassess the whole system of the districts for distributorships the ministry has set up?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, in view of the present investigations it might not be appropriate to comment at length on the question, but may I assure the member and the members of the House that, following this, I am sure the Lottery Corp. will be reviewing the entire matter.

Mr. Samis: Supplementary: Can the minister confirm if it is Lottery Corp. policy that the distributor cannot give an interview without written, prior consent from the Lottery Corp.?

Hon. Mr. Welch: I don’t know of any such instructions, but I’ll take that matter up with the Lottery Corp.

Mr. Speaker: The oral question period has expired.


Presenting reports.

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 bill without amendment:

Bill Pr26, An Act respecting the City of Hamilton.

Your committee begs to report the following bills with certain amendments:

Bill Pr6, An Act respecting the Welland-Port Colborne Airport.

Bill Pr19, An Act respecting the City of Hamilton.

Your committee would recommend that the time for presenting reports by the committee be extended to Friday, May 21, 1976.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to release the 1974 edition of Municipal Financial Information, or as it is more commonly known, the Blue Book. The 1974 publication has been completely revised with the objective of making more information available to readers interested in making inter-municipal comparisons. A variety of new statistics and summary tables has been introduced. Information on the use of these statistics may be found in the introduction, which has been greatly expanded to aid those using this publication for analytical purposes. Some data shown in previous Blue Books has been omitted from this edition in the interests of producing a more compact publication.

Mr. Speaker, while I’m on my feet, and since I missed “Statements,” I might just also, for the sake of the record, point out that the parkway belt west hearings will begin in Woodbridge on Monday. Three members of the Ontario Municipal Board have been appointed hearing officers, namely Messrs. McCrae, Ball and Dyer. They will move the hearings to Oakville about June 28 and to Richmond Hill about July 27. The plan is a composite of many ideas from both inside and outside the government. Two advisory committees representing municipalities and interested groups and residents have considered the draft plan and have submitted their reports to me, and those reports have been made public.

In providing their views, the advisory committees and others have made a substantial contribution to the final draft plan, which will be the subject of next week’s hearings. To ensure that all interested individuals and groups have access to the draft plan, some 5,100 copies have been circulated to the municipalities and the landowners in the area.

We look forward to receiving a summary of the public’s recommendations and the officers’ final report following conclusion of the hearings.

Thank you, sir, for allowing me to transgress in that way.

Mr. Speaker: Motions.

Introduction of bills.


Mr. Laughren moved first reading of bill intituled, An Act to prevent Post-retirement Integration of Insurance Moneys and Pension Benefits with Increases in Government Social Security Plans.

Motion agreed to; first reading of the bill.

Mr. Laughren: Mr. Speaker, the purpose of this bill is to prevent the reduction of moneys paid out under an insurance or pension plan because of a general increase or cost of living increase in a government social security plan with which it may be integrated.


Mr. Samis moved first reading of bill intituled, An Act to amend the Municipal Elections Act.

Motion agreed to; first reading of the bill.

Mr. Samis: The purpose of this bill is to require all candidates at the municipal elections scene to reveal all election contributions beyond $100.

Mr. Speaker: Orders of the day.

Clerk of the House: The 10th order, House in committee of supply.


On vote 904: (concluded)

Mr. Chairman: I think we are taking items 1, 2 and 3 together. Is that the understanding of the committee?

Hon. Mr. Meen: I think under that vote it is satisfactory.

Mr. Chairman: The minister was in the process of replying to some questions.

Hon. Mr. Meen: To tell you the truth, Mr. Chairman, I thought I had concluded the replies that I was making at the time when we rose.

Mr. Chairman: Thank you.

Hon. Mr. Meen: I believe the member for Sudbury East had some questions.

Mr. Martel: You can realize how anxious I was to speak on this issue. It is a burning issue and having started the comments the other day I want to return to them. They deal primarily with the assessment of the mining industry and I am delighted to see the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Bernier) stay around.

Mr. Laughren: Not that he’ll change his mind.

Mr. Martel: No, because he has always taken the position we are going to tax them out of existence.


Mr. Martel: Mr. Chairman, I was making a few brief points the other day indicating that the regional municipality of Sudbury came together with the present Treasurer (Mr. McKeough), then Minister of Municipal Affairs, and the main reason was to get a fair shake of the assessment dollar that should have gone to the Sudbury area. With that promise, of course, came regional government and in three short years we now find ourselves with a debt of $132 million and that municipality simply cannot afford to continue along that vein.

The profits of the industry have been rather substantial, but the assessment locally of the industry has been, to say the least, niggardly -- such that today, as I say, we have, just at the regional level, a debt of $132 million.

It is intriguing to me when I talk to people and they tell me such as the following: The assessment on the Trade Winds Hotel -- that’s in the riding of my friend from Nickel Belt (Mr. Laughren) -- is greater than the assessment on the new plant at Falconbridge valued at $135 million. There is just something crazy about it all. I tried to talk to the Treasurer during a bill last fall on this and he said, “Talk to the Minister of Revenue,” and that he would possibly see the light. It can’t go on. You can’t have a hotel paying higher taxes than an industry where one building alone is valued at $135 million, and come up winning on that one.

We have to start to assess the underground operation, both at Falconbridge and Inco, and we have to start to do that in the rest of the mining sector. In fact, we have to do more than assess the walls and the foundation and the roof of the buildings that Inco and other mining companies am using. in other words, we have to get a bigger assessment if we are to provide the amenities in the Sudbury basin and in much of northern Ontario that are at present here in the south.

My understanding is that most of the mining companies would welcome the opportunity to pay more municipally, because they could write it off in the federal tax field and more of the earnings that are being accrued in those areas could stay in the localities affected. I want to ask the minister if there is any intention on this government’s part to assess the equipment above ground, and also if they are willing to start to assess the operations underground, because there are entire cities underground, as fair as I am concerned. I would appreciate knowing what the government’s intentions are in respect of both those areas.

Hon. Mr. Meen: The hon. member is quite right that at present we assess land surface and the buildings. We do not assess plant and machinery, be it in the buildings or be it underground. I suppose what the hon. member is getting at is the question of the machinery occupying huge caverns underground, which I suppose are a form of buildings. I don’t know whether he is thinking in terms of that, or whether he is thinking more in terms of the assessment of the machinery.

That would be a complete departure -- and the hon. member is nodding his head, that that’s what he intends -- it would be a complete departure from the principle at present used in the Assessment Act and the taxing principles of the province. You must remember that businesses are assessed a further assessment for business tax purposes, but within the principles of the Assessment Act as it stands they are no more liable for tax on their production machinery than is the Ford Motor Co. in Oakville or a knitting mill somewhere else. Its plant and machinery is not subject to assessment for realty purposes.

To change the one, and I think it would be only fair if it were done, would necessitate a change in principle whereby plant and machinery themselves were taxed. That’s not something that 13 have under active study, but I would think it happens to be implicit in the whole and full look which the commission would be giving to our taxing picture.

I don’t know whether they would be doing that in the course of looking at our suggestion that business tax be a straight 50 per cent rather than the multitude of rates applicable to different types of business. I suppose it is something that the commission might want to take a look at and give the province the benefit of its advice on, but presently, as the hon. member had indicated, it certainly is not the case that plant and machinery are subject to real estate tax.


Mr. Martel: If I might just pursue it for a moment, Mr. Chairman. Two points: It is my understanding there is some work being done, a number of studies being done, in respect to whether or not we should be looking at the possibility of taxing equipment. The other thing I want to come back to is if you’re not going to go to the assessment route, what do you intend to do to ensure that municipalities in northern Ontario, of course, have the revenues available to them which would provide the amenities?

I’m sure you have to agree that in the year 1976, we’re still putting sewer and water in the city of Sudbury. Billions of dollars come out of it; billions of dollars in profit have come out. We’re putting sewer and water in 1976 in Sudbury Most of the outlying communities in my colleague’s riding and in my own riding are now, in 1976, getting sewer and water.

We don’t have moneys with which -- for example, in a place called Valley East which has 20,000 people -- to help those municipalities which don’t have sewer and water -- they’re not even on the books for it -- because we’re over $133 million in the hole in three years of regional government. That’s not talking about the local debit. Most of it is as a result of the policies of this government over the years, as it’s centred on the type of taxation which has been allowed over the years.

I’m sure even the Minister of Natural Resources, who sits with us today, agrees there has to be some type of alternative in order to get moneys back into the north to provide those amenities. Don’t tell me the $5 million extra in the budget last year for northern municipalities is the type of funding --

Mr. Laughren: That was a joke.

Mr. Martel: -- which is going to provide those amenities which are lacking. You simply can’t sit on your hands anymore; you’re going to have to introduce some sort of programme. You’re not only dealing with the organized areas: what are you going to do with the unorganized -- where you’re starting from scratch -- with the present way you people are allocating funds for the north? You have to do it either through some form of assessment or some other programme but you can’t sit any longer.

You’ve been reduced to four seats in the north in eight years. Next time around it’ll be less because you have given short shrift to the north and they aren’t buying the nonsense any more. You’ve got to come up with an alternative.

I suggest to you that one of the best routes would be through the assessment of equipment -- including underground -- because the mining industry has said it’s willing to go that route to make sure more money is saved in the municipality because it can write it off toward the federal taxation system. You’ve got to do something.

Hon. Mr. Meen: Mr. Chairman, certainly we recognize that there are problems. The hon. member was referring to Valley East. I’m not conversant with the current problems of Valley East. I recall hearing a couple of years ago that there was something like a $50 million account which the municipality was going to have to incur for sewage facilities which had been necessitated by some strip development which occurred through there in a rather unplanned arrangement.

Mr. Martel: You allowed it.

Hon. Mr. Meen: What has happened there, I don’t know; perhaps that was partially supported by Ministry of the Environment grants, which I presume to be the case. I know that the total picture, as I heard it then, was around $50 million, which is a lot of money and obviously couldn’t be produced by Valley East. It couldn’t be produced by the whole of the municipalities in the north, I would expect, in any short period of time. I can tell the hon. member that the government has been aware of some difficulties which arise when one doesn’t tax production machinery.

I had a discussion with Dr. Victor Goldbloom a year ago last October or November in Montreal; I think he was at that time both the Minister of Municipal Affairs and the Minister of the Environment. I think he was holding both portfolios. In any event, he was interested in this question. We met at that time with the Minister of Municipal Affairs for New Brunswick and discussed -- not in as great detail as I would have liked, frankly, but at least for a short period of time -- the question of assessment of industrial property of one sort or another.

The staffs of our three ministries in the three governments have been meeting over the intervening months. I don’t have a current report on this but certainly we’re aware of this. As I indicated earlier, I would expect that the commission may have some words of advice for us and perhaps we’ll have some information that we can pass to them by the time the commission begins its meetings.

In any event, we’re not unaware nor certainly are we unsympathetic to the fiscal problems of the north. The immense expenses that they incur in the installation of services in their areas, I suppose in the colloquial, have to be seen to be believed, but those of us who have had the pleasure and the privilege of spending a little time now and again in the north know the kind of problems that you’d encounter in putting in your sewers and your water mains through bedrock, as you have had to do in so many of your municipalities.

Mr. Laughren: Mr. Chairman, when the ministry refers to the commission, I would hope that the minister would not wait for the commission to make recommendations on taxation but that he, indeed, would make a suggestion to the commission that this be something that it look at in considerable detail.

I think what’s important here, as well as the things which my colleague from Sudbury East brought up, is that it really doesn’t matter to the mining companies whether they pay their taxes at the federal or provincial or municipal level. Certainly, given the public relations programme that the large mining companies, namely Inco, is conducting in the Sudbury area now they would probably prefer to pay their taxes to the local municipality as opposed to the federal government. It would certainly enhance their standing in the community if they were seen to be paying a fair share of their taxation.

I suspect that what’s required, if you don’t want to change the entire legislation in Ontario dealing with production machinery and equipment, is that you make an exception for the mining industry, or that you negotiate with the mining companies special grants to the tune of $5 million or $6 million a year, to go at the municipal level, which would then be deductible from their federal taxation.

I went underground at Inco about two or three weeks ago and I was absolutely flabbergasted at the kind of installations that are underground. I had been underground before, but at the particular location I was in they were building a new crusher plant to crush the large rocks. The crusher plant runs for about 65 ft. from one level to another. It consists of a huge conveyor system, a huge crushing system and all the equipment that’s required to tie in with that. The investment that’s underground in the mining industry is truly remarkable.

If I was running the mining company and I had an opportunity of puffing in an installation underground or putting it above ground and took a look at the taxation, I would probably do the same thing. What needs to be done surely is an assessment of the total investment in buildings and/or machinery or the equivalent thereof that needs to be taxed. That’s not happening now.

It’s very hard to accept when you go to an area within the regional municipality of Sudbury and, in the wintertime, you see people melting snow in order to have water. And the simple fact is that in the summertime when the wells run dry they just simply have no water.

The regional municipality is at the limit on its capital borrowings. They say they can’t do anything about it. You’re quite right when you say that there is about a $50 million investment in sewers and water in Valley East. That will service what, $25,000 or 30.000 people, I suppose? That’s for $50 million. The York-Durham region trunk line is going to cost in the neighbourhood of $200 million I think and that is going to service up to a million people.

Look at the contradiction in numbers where, in southern Ontario, you can service enormous numbers of people per dollar as opposed to northern Ontario. It’s for two obvious reasons: one, the bedrock that the minister referred to that they have to go through to put in the sewers and water; and, second, the way the communities have been allowed to develop with strip development.

Mr. Martel: And the government allowed it.

Mr. Laughren: This government must assume the responsibility for allowing that to happen. I’m not excusing the behaviour of the local politicians either, but surely the government had the overall responsibility in years gone by to ensure that that was not allowed to happen.

Probably the strongest argument that can be made is that the mining companies really don’t care to whom they pay their taxes. They would probably prefer to pay them at the municipal level. I see no reason at all why the minister cannot assess them in order to provide more services at the local level.

I’m the first to admit that the quantity of grants which have gone to the regional municipality of Sudbury in recent years is substantial. As a matter of fact, this government has probably ensured that regional government survives in the Sudbury region by its influx of grants but it sure as heck isn’t enough to cope with the kind of services being demanded.

The backlog built up over the years was enormous and it’s simply not good enough to say we’re in a period of constraint now and we’re not going to allow these kinds of services to take place. We are in 1975; this is not the time to talk about the unorganized communities where there’s no assessment but I can tell you the general feelings of neglect in northern Ontario are not something we opposition members in Queen’s Park express for political purposes alone. They’re there. We articulate them for our constituents and they’re very real, and if the government thinks otherwise it does so at its own peril.

I would urge the minister to put the position to the Treasurer and to the commission looking into municipal taxes and to realign the whole assessment of the mining industry. There surely should be some relation to the wealth created and the wealth which remains there. We know for a fact that 20 billion lb. of nickel have been taken out of the Sudbury basin in this century.

It’s hard to put a dollar figure on that today when it’s occurred over 75 years but surely we recognize the incredible wealth that represents? When we, on this side, talk about bringing those natural resources under public ownership, it’s not simply a knee-jerk ideological reaction on the part of a socialist party. It’s because we know that if we did have public ownership of those resources we could then process the resources there or have more control over the processing of resources. That, in turn, would give us an increase in assessment because of the installations required to do that sort of processing.

Mr. Martel: Rather than send them to Norway.

Mr. Laughren: It’s not a case of saying public ownership for the sake of public ownership. We’re tired of seeing that wealth shipped to Norway; or the ores being shipped out in semi-processed form and it’s not getting much better.

I urge the minister, as strongly as I know how, to change the assessment policy of the government and for once -- for the first time -- allow a portion, a proper portion, of that creation of wealth to remain in the Sudbury basin. I’m sure the minister would agree that only with the creation of wealth can we provide the kind of services this province demands and has a right to. Unless that wealth creation takes place we can’t deliver the services. We don’t question that.

We’re saying to you that there needs to be more wealth creation using those resources and you need to tax the resources in a much stronger way than you have in the past.

I wonder whether the minister could respond to what extent he’s willing to make the case to the commission -- not just to respond to the commission but to make the case to the commission -- that we need a new kind of assessment in the Sudbury basin?

Hon. Mr. Meen: Mr. Chairman, I’m not really sure whether it would be appropriate for me or any other minister to appear before the commission. We certainly want them to have the fullest information available. Certainly, there will be staff support available and the information can be got to the commission. I certainly would like to reassure the hon. member that the commission will have the benefit of all the information we’ve been able to work up on this subject over the last few years if it feels it can put it to use.

You’re asking if I’ll take the initiative. Certainly we will see that this information is at hand for them and that they know it is available. Staff themselves will certainly be apprised of the fact that it is available and they will, I’m sure, see that it is utilized.

I’m advised that staff is now in course of preparation of material for me -- I haven’t seen it -- to consider the extension of assessment in cases like this to include foundations. This is a possibility which could as much as double assessments for real estate purposes. That’s quite surprising to me but that’s what I’m advised: that that kind of extension of principle would double assessment in cases of mining operations, where it wouldn’t necessarily have a significant bearing on assessment of manufacturing properties, which is an interesting situation.


It would tend to overcome the basic misgiving I would have about just trying to roll right in and tax all machinery, because then you really would be hitting a lot of manufacturing industries, which obviously then would have to pass that along in the cost of their product -- and, of course, so would Inco, I suppose, if they received a substantially increased assessment.

Mr. Martel: That’s a federal matter.

Hon. Mr. Meen: Okay. That’s the point. It would come off Ottawa. I understand some discussions have been held with Ottawa as to whether some other mechanism, such as a municipal grant to the municipalities by the mining company, would not be deductible for purposes of federal income tax -- corporation tax under the Income Tax Act of Canada.

I am advised that the federal government would not give them any such assurance that it would be classed as a deductible. I think we would treat that as a gift to the Crown and would class it as a deductible, but that’s only 12 per cent. It is that other very big bite that comes on the federal income tax that would be the far more significant thing to the taxpayer than the relatively minor 12 per cent which we would be contributing, in effect -- but that’s something that we are going to be looking at.

Coming back to what I was saying, the paper that my ministry staff is working up for me to consider in the next month or two involves a question of the extension of assessment to cover foundations. Whether that would be practical in the long run, we won’t know for a while. But it’s a distinct possibility, it strikes me, and I find it a rather attractive route to consider. When I have a chance to review it, then I would expect that if I find it satisfying, I will pass it along for discussion with my colleagues in cabinet to determine Whether it will be an appropriate route to go by way of amendments perhaps later on in the year.

Mr. Laughren: Mr. Chairman, if I might speak briefly, I would feel much better about a policy that legislated assessment, as opposed to a grant from either the government or from the industry. I am nervous about the whole concept of grants from the government, because it isn’t enshrined in legislation. I would urge the minister not to do it that way. It is the old tin cup approach that the municipal politicians in northern Ontario seem to think is the answer for the development of the north. We in this party don’t agree with that. We are saying that the municipalities are entitled to a better shake, and it shouldn’t take the form of a grant.

Hon. Mr. Meen: May I just repeat; I was not suggesting that. I was saying that had been explored -- I gather by the companies on their own -- but I have not contemplated that myself. I am just saying what had happened when they tried that route. I agree with the hon. member; I don’t think it is a practical way to go either.

Mr. Maeck: Mr. Chairman, I would like to ask a question regarding the proposals in the 1976 budget regarding assessment in which the Treasurer talks about assessments of 50 per cent of the market value for residential, 100 per cent for commercial and 50 per cent for business. I attended a meeting in Parry Sound a couple of weeks ago, and this matter was brought up. There is some concern, particularly from the tourist operators, about the 50 per cent business assessments when they operate only two or three months of the year. On several occasions, the travel associations and so on have made overtures to the government regarding their assessment as it now stands and they are fearful that the 50 per cent is going to eliminate some of them completely, as far as business is concerned.

I am wondering if the government and the minister would consider, when these proposals are being discussed by the commission, remaining with the 50 per cent of business assessment, as was indicated in the budget statement, but assessing it on the basis of the number of months that they operate? I am wondering if that would be a fairer way, as far as business assessment is concerned, not only for tourist businesses but for any other business that might be a seasonal business. Could I have your comments on that, please?

Hon. Mr. Meen: Mr. Chairman, the whole principle of market value assessment, I think, would take that into account. Indeed, I’d feel uncomfortable with the principle of market value assessment if it didn’t take factors like that into account.

I am advised that, several years ago, a committee was set up in the assessment standards branch of my ministry, together with the tourist operators, to try to develop a base for assessment that reflected seasonal activities of this sort and to recognize the vicissitudes, I suppose, of weather and other circumstances of tourist and campground activities.

I am told that the committee wasn’t able to recommend a particular formula, short of using the income approach for campground and tourist operations which, when capitalized, can give a form of valuation that is far more, realistic. It recognizes the peak periods of income and the many months when perhaps there is no income from these operations, because it takes the income stream itself into account when you value the lands and the buildings. it is, I suspect, a much better way than anything else and, of course, it would overcome the inherent problem that one might fear of the occasional property being sold for too large a sum, the operator perhaps not recognizing the income stream and buying it with other factors in mind. It would overcome that if they did it on the income stream basis. That’s the route I would expect valuations would go in determining the worth of tourist camp operator’s properties, their campgrounds and their basic facilities.

Ms. Bryden: Mr. Chairman, the member for Yorkview (Mr. Young), is not able to be here, but he feels he has not received a complete answer on two questions that he asked in the earlier session Through you, could I ask the minister if he can give us the answer to the two questions raised by the member for Yorkview?

First, he didn’t feel we had pinpointed the electronic data processing money in the various parts of this vote. I think he wanted the figures broken out, and a comparison made with last year, as to how much is being provided for electronic data processing.

The second point on which he wanted a reply has to do with a point he raised in his leadoff speech; that is, the great number of appeals of business assessment which big businesses, in Toronto particularly but in other communities as well, are undertaking against the interim assessments under which they are operating right now. They are able to challenge a lot of those interim assessments on the grounds of inequities, which are there because we have taken so long to bring in market value assessment. A great many of them are succeeding in appeals against their assessment, reducing their assessments and therefore reducing the tax take of the municipalities in which they live. What the member for Yorkview wanted to know was, what is the cost to the ministry of fighting these appeals by businesses in the various municipalities and how many personnel are involved in fighting those appeals?

Hon. Mr. Meen: Mr. Chairman, I don’t have a complete breakdown but to the best of our ability, since the hon. member asked a question about cost of appeals, I can advise that this year we expect about $5.5 million as the expenditure for our costs on the appeals. That is, our assessors’ time, both in preparation and at the appeals, and all other costs my ministry would bear; about $5.5 million. That is pretty consistent. I am advised that that was about the figure for last year and the year before that.

Let me clarify one point. An interesting thing is one of the other points my staff had advised me about and that is that the actual number of appeals is only sunning to about 60 per cent of previous years.

Ms. Bryden: They must be big ones then.

Hon. Mr. Meen: That’s the point and they are costing us more because the cost is running at about the same in terms of dollars. The appeals coming forward presumably are not the little ones but those of some substance requiring more investigative time and consequently more time in the courts.

Ms. Bryden: I have a supplementary, Mr. Chairman. Could I ask the minister how many personnel -- I think that was part of the question -- are involved in these appeals and are there outside lawyers as well who are hired on a contract or a fee basis?

Hon. Mr. Meen: I am advised that those who are retained for this work are all outside counsel. I do not have the numbers of staff involved. I told the hon. member for Yorkview (Mr. Young) I would get that information for him. Although, to the best of my ability, I have been able to get some of it, there might be other details he would want as well and I hadn’t expected to have that available today. I will get it as soon as I can.

Ms. Bryden: May I ask if you have the computer information, or were you intending to get that for Mr. Young also?

Hon. Mr. Meen: I have some information here from management systems under the assessment division, the computer information for development standards branch -- no, I guess you are not terribly interested in that. The standards assessment system is $141,600 for computer costs and for research, $34,700. The operation is $1,211,200 and for maintenance, under the standards assessment, $158,000. Therefore, coming across in a total line, you might say, for standards the total is $299,600.

For research the total is $101,100. I may not have given the hon. member the cost for operations in research, $66,600, which, aggregating with development costs of $34,700, gives the $101,100 figure. The valuation file has the one figure for operations total, $1,211,200; the total for all being $1,611,900.

Ms. Bryden: May I ask how this compares with last year?

Hon. Mr. Meen: I am advised that is 10 per cent lower than last year.

Mr. Williams: Through you, Mr. Chairman, to the hon. minister: With regard to budget paper E, dealing with reform of property taxation in Ontario which was referred to a few moments ago by my colleague, in speaking at some length on this matter the other evening I commented on the 15 proposals for reform which are enunciated in the paper. There is one that gives me some concern -- item No. 9, return of assessment rolls, which will extend the period from the one year period as is the present practice to two years to coincide with the municipal election period. This makes good sense and I think will obviously bring about economies.

My only concern with regard to that measure, however, Mr. Minister, and perhaps you can comment, is whether or not this might have any adverse effect on the municipalities in that it might bring about some delays in bringing on stream the increased assessment through the levying of the supplementary assessments because of the more prolonged period. To put it another way -- will this necessitate in your mind the need to accelerate the initiative presently taken by the assessment authorities to record supplementary assessments so that there won’t be any adverse time lag arising out of this extended period?

Hon. Mr. Mean: I can understand the member’s concern, Mr. Chairman, but in short the answer is no. I don’t think there will be a problem.

The supplementary assessments still relate back, when ultimately made, to an apportionment to the very day of occupancy, shall we say, when the property was first assessable under section 43, and they are relatively effective in recovery to the municipality of the full amount of the taxes. The return of the roll every two years will save something like, if memory serves me, $4 million, or $3.5 million to $4 million. It is an economy that I guess we would all like to see effected. There are some disadvantages to it I guess, but in the long run it sounds like an interesting proposal and we want the commission to think about that one as well.

I don’t think the hon. member needs to worry from the standpoint of the municipalities about their getting the supplementary assessments. They will get them and they will be taxable from the day when they became taxable.

Mr. Williams: Just one supplementary point, Mr. Chairman. The last comment on that particular proposal states, “Provision will be made to record changes in school support.” This seems to imply that this is not presently being done. If it isn’t presently being done it’s contrary to my understanding of the situation. I thought that the school support amendments are being recorded, virtually on a per diem basis.

Hon. Mr. Meen: We recognize that the school boards would like to have that information annually, so they may not be too keen on going on the two-year period. That was one of the disadvantages to which I was alluding. Nevertheless, we would like to think that we can work out some way to record alterations in the rolls for school support purposes, perhaps accommodating the school boards. That is not thoroughly worked out and it is just another matter that the commission will doubtless have to spend a fair amount of time on, I should think.

Ms. Bryden: Mr. Chairman, just following upon the computer costs, it seems strange to me that they would be down 10 per cent in a year when we are coming into completing the impact studies of the result of the market value assessment, and also completing all the parts of the assessment that haven’t been done but which have to be done by October if we are going to bring the new market value system in for 1978 taxation. I wonder if this is one of these symbolic cuts and if they will be back with supplementary estimates later on, or is the minister confident that they can operate on 10 per cent less money, in view of the work of the commission and the requirements it will have, as well as completing the work in time for the new system coming in in 1977?

Hon. Mr. Meen: One of the doubts -- if I have any, Mr. Chairman -- is that when these estimates were prepared, the appointment of the commission hadn’t been formally resolved in our minds -- as to just how we were going to cope with the communication with the municipalities, how we were going to have these discussions with them and gain the input and do the studies that would be necessary. So the computer estimate does not include an allowance for computer time that may be necessary to assist the commission.

But subject to that, it’s simply some efficiencies and some economies -- some streamlining that we have been able to achieve in the computer work that I am advised has derived the otherwise accurate figure of 10 per cent reduction. In other words, the total figure that we have I think is something with which we can live and perform effectively and obviously more efficiently, and yet I do have to qualify that with respect to the operation of computer services for the benefit of the commission, a factor I don’t think anyone can put a dollar figure on yet.

Ms. Bryden: Just one more question, Mr. Chairman. If fighting the business assessments has cost $5.5 million a year for the last three years, has the minister any estimate also of how much it has cost the municipalities in the way of reduced assessments in cases that have been won by business?

Hon. Mr. Meen: I am advised that in very rough figures the assessments that were under appeal aggregated about $500 million a year. So a cost of $5.5 million is roughly one per cent.

In generalities again, those assessments are preserved. I am advised that the assessments that have been preserved for the benefit of the municipalities have been maintained; the losses on the appeals have been less than one per cent average reduction on those appeals. So it strikes me that the cost to the province incurred in protecting and preserving the assessment base for the municipalities is itself running at roughly one per cent. That’s relatively modest, I should think.

I am afraid I do not have any figure for the cost of any work done by the municipalities. Indeed I should think they could stay out of the picture pretty well until the assessment matter had been resolved, so I would expect that their costs are negligible.

It may be that the hon. member was referring in terms of cost to lost revenue from reduced assessment. A one per cent reduction in revenue from $500 million worth of assessment would be the figure we are talking about to municipalities.

Ms. Bryden: One final comment, Mr. Chairman. It could be said I suppose that some of this $16 million that’s been spent could have been avoided if we had managed to get market assessment in quicker, but that of course is a matter of whether it could have been done or not. I would just like to make that observation.

Mr. Wildman: I wonder if the minister could clarify for us the present rather confused situation regarding assessment for mobile homes regarding Judge Vannini’s decision? It appears that in Sault Ste. Marie at least mobile homes situated inside the city limits are being assessed for taxes while the mobile homes in mobile home parks outside of the city, in the unorganized territory, are being taxed for educational purposes on the basis of the old system of a licence fee.

I wonder what determines, in the ministry’s policy, what is a permanent residence, since in my estimation most modern mobile homes are very permanent and not very mobile. I am wondering if it requires the wheels and the chassis to be removed, or if it means they are simply put on a more permanent type of structure to stay in one place, and that determines whether they are permanent. If that’s the case, why is it that this policy is not being applied similarly both in organized municipalities and in areas outside of organized municipalities?

Hon. Mr. Meen: The Vannini judgement which, if memory serves me, was in June or July, 1974, adopted a principle which my ministry hadn’t been following and determined that, if the running gear had been removed, it would follow then that the mobile home was up on blocks. Certainly I agree with the hon. member for Algoma, it sure isn’t very mobile when it’s got its running gear out from under and it’s up on blocks.

In that case Judge Vannini decided that that house therefore becomes part of the real estate. It was my opinion, and my colleagues agreed with me, that that was a very sensible judgement. What we did was to alter our practice and that is precisely what we have been doing ever since, so that a home that has had the running gear removed, following the rationale of the Vannini judgement, is then affixed to the realty and it’s assessable for realty purposes.

If it is still on its wheels -- and we made this very clear -- it is not then assessable for realty purposes, but is subject to a licence fee. We amended the Municipal Act to provide that the municipalities could do one or the other, that is, if we assessed, they could not charge a licence fee; if we did not assess for realty purposes, they could charge a licence fee and in that way, hopefully, bringing some kind of order out of what did appear to be a chaotic situation which we had been struggling with for some time.

I am reminded that unorganized territories are not under our jurisdiction for assessment purposes. Consequently, they may still in areas unorganized -- frankly, I don’t know how they assess a tax if they are unorganized. In any event, I wonder since the hon. member for Algoma may just happen to be talking about some unorganized territories if that’s where the confusion still arises. I believe we have accomplished it in any area over which we have jurisdiction.

Mr. Wildman: If I might be allowed to clarify that, there are two small mobile home parks within the city of Sault Ste. Marie. It is my understanding that they are now being assessed in cases where it is judged that the mobile home is a permanent situation.

Hon. Mr. Meen: That’s fine.

Mr. Wildman: The situation in many of the parks outside or north of Sault Ste. Marie in unorganized townships is that the Sault Ste. Marie and District Board of Education is charging a licence fee for education taxes for mobile homes. Frankly, I think that the board of education would like to be relieved of this because it has led to a lot of problems.

There is one problem that I have in that I understand that in the situation within the city, where they are now being assessed, there apparently were some cases of people who have their homes on semi-permanent foundations but still have the wheels attached who were also assessed. They apparently went to the assessment appeal board, and I don’t know what happened, but it appears that they didn’t win their cases. I was wondering, if I could get the information to the minister, if he would investigate that.

Hon. Mr. Meen: I would suppose that if the running gear is still attached -- the hon. member talks about semi-permanent foundations, and I don’t know what that would mean. I suppose a few blocks up under the corners might be sufficiently --

Mr. Wildman: Blocks that aren’t cemented in.


Hon. Mr. Meen: -- impermanent, yes. They could pull them out fairly readily, but they can’t put their running gear in and out all that easily. Presumably, with that left in there, the rules that I have instructed to be followed are that that property would then not be assessed under the Act, but rather it would be subject to licence fee by the municipality.

I understand, too, that in the unorganized territories if there is an education tax implication, as there may well be, we do have the authority to go in and assess, and I’ll see that our people do go in and do that work in that area. If the hon. member can direct me to any particular areas I would be pleased to get the information from him because we may just be able to clear up that -- whatever one would call it, not necessarily inequity, because they’re paying tax one way or the other, I suppose, but at least get some consistency of approach across the whole of the area; and any other areas, for that matter, in which the situation still may prevail.

Mr. Chairman: Is there any further discussion on vote 904?

Vote 904 agreed to.

On the Province of Ontario Savings Office:

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Chairman, my concern is really directed toward only one area, and that is the inability of the government to realize what an important role is played by the Province of Ontario Savings Office. It’s an increasingly important role. It’s almost as if that kind of a financial institution is having the same relatively phenomenal growth that credit unions and co-operatives are having -- particularly credit unions.

I had occasion last year to correspond with the Province of Ontario Savings Office to get some information, in broad outline form, of the original purposes for which the savings office was set up when it was incorporated in 1921, and what its secondary purposes are, how it operates and what use could be made of the funds. By a letter to me in the latter part of October, 1975, the director of the Province of Ontario Savings Office gave me the information which I requested.

I am concerned that, so far as I can understand it, there have been no new Province of Ontario Savings Office branches opened up throughout the Province of Ontario since the 1930s. My first inquiry is, how many offices are there now in the Province of Ontario? I’m told that there is the head office and 21 branch offices. I would like to know the distribution of those branch offices, the date on which the last one was opened, and why it is that there are not a substantial number of new offices being opened, consistent with the expansion of the business which is taking place in the old established branch offices.

Hon. Mr. Meen: I’ll tell you, Mr. Chairman, the hon. member’s words are music to my ears because I would like to get on with doing some more of this. There are 21 operative branches. The head office is not an operative entity in the sense of taking deposits and dealing with customers, so we have 21. At one time there were 22. I think one was closed, or maybe a couple were closed and one opened, but the net balance is 21, as I understand it. I think the Province of Ontario Savings Office provides a terrific service to the government in making available to the government moneys at a lesser rate than --

Mr. Renwick: Just leave that aspect out of it.

Hon. Mr. Meen: Okay, my sales pitch comes later, does it?

Mr. Renwick: When was the last office opened? What is the distribution across the province?

Hon. Mr. Meen: The latest office opened was actually a removal of the branch at St. Clair and Yonge to a new branch over on St. Clair Ave. We still call it the St. Clair Ave. and Yonge branch, but it has moved along.

Mr. Renwick: The last new office?

Hon. Mr. Meen: I think one would go back 40 years or so, into the late 1920s or so.

Mr. Renwick: Not the first one; the latest one opened?

Hon. Mr. Meen: In terms of no branch being a replacement of another one closed for any other reason, I think one could go back decades.

Mr. Renwick: To get to a time when there has been any expansion of any kind?

Hon. Mr. Meen: Yes. I think that is fair enough, in terms of numbers.

Mr. Renwick: I don’t need to know the locations at the moment but I would certainly ask, when your estimates are over, that the appropriate person write to me and set out the present locations of the 21 branches and the dates on which they were opened.

My next question is that while I didn’t intend my remarks to be so pleasing to the minister, could he now tell me what plans there are to expand the Province of Ontario Savings Office operations?

Hon. Mr. Meen: One could be very brief on this point; in light of the present constraints I have no plans, at present at any rate, for expanding the numbers. What I do want to do with a number of them is to modernize their facilities and their appearances. I was astonished -- no, I really wasn’t astonished; I was pleased but not all that surprised -- at the very dramatic increase in the volume of business in the St. Clair Ave. branch when we moved it from a quite antiquated style of building to new quarters. There was a 73 per cent increase in a period of three years.

That thrust itself, to my mind, is probably one of the first things we should undertake and I have been advocating this with all the branches, all the ones which are not of a modern style at the present time. The Dundas and University branch, I think, will shortly be moving into new quarters of a similar modern style and I would expect a similar kind of dramatic increase in its deposit activity, too.

Mr. Renwick: Not being a banker I may not use the right term but the question I would like to ask is what was the net balance on deposit with the Province of Ontario Savings Office, in aggregate, for each of the last five years so I can get some conception of the magnitude of the growth of the business of the savings office which has taken place?

Hon. Mr. Meen: I don’t know whether I have that for the last five years. I can tell the hon. member what the moneys on deposit were at March 31, 1973. He might want to make a note of this. It was $154,712,000. At Jan. 31, 1976 -- that’s the most recent date I could obtain for the benefit of these estimates -- it was up to $240,078,000, an increase of 55 per cent.

I can give the hon. member the figures for 1974 and 1975 if he would like to have them. Comparable figures to the $154,712,000 of 1973 are: For March 31, 1974, $183,122,000; March 31, 1975, $225,947,000. There has been quite a significant increase in each of those years.

Mr. Renwick: I think this leads me to the next area I would like to speak about. When you consider that it has gone up by that significant amount each year for the last five years, I want to now ask the ministry some specific questions about these funds, which are guaranteed so far as the depositors are concerned by the Ontario government and which pay a significant current rate of interest on the accounts of 7¾ per cent, where there is an obvious net float of the deposits of a significant number of millions of dollars; when one bears in mind that the original purpose of the Ontario Savings Office was to supply funds for rural credit, and that has long fallen into disuse, why are the funds simply turned over to the Treasurer of Ontario for such uses as he may determine rather than being used for the purposes of mortgage lending at a rate significantly lower than the going market rate? Bearing in mind that the Province of Ontario Savings Office must make a profit on its operations by whatever the spread may be, I suppose my first question is: What is the rate of interest which the Treasurer of Ontario pays to the Province of Ontario Savings Office for the use of these substantial sums of money? Are they earmarked in any way by the Treasurer for any specific use? And what would be the rate at which a significant portion of those moneys on deposit could be used for mortgages for low and medium income people in the province for home purposes?

Hon. Mr. Meen: I would advise the hon. member that -- I guess his information was obtained before March 1 as to the activity of P050 -- the rate for deposits is now 8½ per cent rather than 7%.

Mr. Renwick: Eight and a half?

Hon. Mr. Meen: Yes. We increased that on March 1, because we endeavour to stay about a half of one percent above the trust company non-chequing accounts.

Mr. Renwick: The trust company non-chequing? Thank you.

Hon. Mr. Meen: Perhaps I can come at the question. The Treasurer is able to use the funds from banking operations at better than one per cent below what he could do on the bond market -- in 60-day, 90-day notes, whatever. He pays, at least I believe it works this way; it’s charged through at a rate of one per cent above the rate we are paying to depositors. So he is being charged at a rate of nine and a half per cent on the current basis.

The money goes into the general revenue fund, which is not earmarked, and it’s there for the purposes of the Crown and whatever priorities the Treasurer and the government may establish for its use. Specifically on the hon. member’s question of why the Province of Ontario Savings Office does not get into loans of one sort and another: He talks of mortgages, but he might just as readily talk in terms of general loans to depositors -- it is simply --

Mr. Renwick: It is constitutionally impossible.

Hon. Mr. Mean: No, I was not about to say that, because as a matter of fact I took a trip out to Alberta to see how they do it and they have been able to set up quite a number of branches of the Alberta Treasury -- Treasury Branches I think they are called -- and they do make loans to depositors. The action has never been challenged; well there have been two cases in the Alberta courts, both of Which upheld the constitutional authority of the Treasury Branches of Alberta to operate as “near banks”, as they call them, but as nearly as “near banks” can get --

Mr. Renwick: It hasn’t changed since the Thirties.

Hon. Mr. Meen: -- without getting into the banking function under so-called federal exclusive jurisdiction. In any event, neither of those cases vas ever appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada. They were Alberta trial court cases and I don’t know quite what would happen -- neither do they -- if they were appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada. There is no appeal on either of those. Those cases are of some long standing. But when I went out to see them they pointed out to me that to go that route would take quite a number of years, because you just don’t train loan officers overnight. Their experience was that it took at least five years to train a loan officer.


Mr. Renwick: May I comment?

Hon. Mr. Meen: Yes, I would be pleased to hear from you.

Mr. Renwick: I was not thinking of the Province of Ontario Savings Office engaging in the loan business. I am interested in the minister’s remarks that there may be some way in which one could skate around the constitutional prohibition, if one wanted to do so. I am thinking of a sizable amount of money; about a couple of hundred million dollars. Presumably if you doubled the number of branch offices from 21 to 42 in carefully selected locations, and an expansion programme was done in an orderly way, then in a very short time I would assume that the Province of Ontario Savings Office deposits would rapidly increase to about $400 million or $500 million over a period of time.

Now if those funds can be given to the Treasurer of Ontario for his use at a percentage point above what is being paid by the Province of Ontario Savings Office to their depositors, then there is no reason why it cannot be given either directly to the Ontario Mortgage Corp., or indirectly through the Treasurer and routed into the Ontario Mortgage Corp., which has the expertise and knowledge with respect to making mortgage loans. The funds could be available as a pool of mortgage money, obviously on some criteria of those persons who would qualify for that assistance, at a rate which presumably would run somewhere under 10 per cent; which is a significantly lower figure than the going rate for first mortgage money in the province, as the minister is well aware.

I just cannot understand the government, which got so hung up on the question of providing some subsidy to pick up some portion of the mortgage interest rate -- and I am going back now to the statements made by the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) last June or July in his supplementary budget. They were going to dash out and meet with the financial institutions and either cajole or twist their arm, or persuade them or beg them to make more moneys available for mortgage purposes.

I am going back to the election time. In those desperate days prior to the Sept. 18 election -- desperate, I say, for the Tory party -- there was a sudden announcement of the mortgage interest rate subsidy; and then it was reflected in the Throne Speech, if I remember correctly. But then nothing happened about it, and it didn’t appear again in the Throne Speech of this session.

I am asking the minister why it is not possible, in a time of extreme shortage of mortgage funds -- availability only at extremely high rates of interest -- why these funds cannot be made available through the Ontario Mortgage Corp. in such a way as to provide a very substantial pool of funds, if you can’t get it from any of the other financial institutions?

It doesn’t run contrary, you know, to the competitive operation which is so near to the minister’s heart and those of his colleagues in the marketplace. We wouldn’t dream in this party of interfering with the marketplace. But I would suggest that if this government, through Province of Ontario Savings Office deposits, made the funds available to the Ontario Mortgage Corp. in the magnitude I have spoken about, $300 million to $400 million, over a period of time and in a wise investment way with respect to first mortgages on house properties, it would enter the market in competition, and the competitive virtues of the marketplace would be enhanced by that competition with the other financial institutions which are making funds available. In so doing you could give significant assistance of immense importance to a large number of people to allow them to own their own homes.

Those are the comments I wanted to make and I am most anxious to hear what the minister’s comments are. If it could be done at its inception without interrupting the market system and the free enterprise system of 1921 by providing funds for rural credit in the field of agriculture, when it was originally incorporated under an Act known as the Agricultural Development Finance Act, then it seems to me it is consistent that the government in a different time could use it for mortgage credit purposes in the home field.

Hon. Mr. Meen: Mr. Chairman, I don’t know -- going back into antiquity, to 1921, when it was the farmers’ union that brought in this legislation, as I’m given to understand -- whether they ever did make any loan in accordance with the original intent. Certainly there’s no evidence now of any such activity. It’s been a dead issue for a decade.

If one were to pursue the activity along the lines I thought the member was talking about originally, namely that the Province of Ontario Savings Office branches would act as loan offices for mortgage purposes, we simply don’t have the expertise. I think that it would take upwards of five years, from the advice I received out west, to put in place any such skills as that in any meaningful way -- and it would have to be in all branches, I would suppose. So I don’t picture that as a function.

I’m also advised, incidentally, that once that happens -- and I’m sure the hon. member would understand this -- that no longer would any significant amount of moneys that are presently available to the province be then available to the province. For every $10 you had in on deposit you would have $8 or $9 out on loan, so you would then lose the advantage that accrues to all the people of Ontario by having this money available to the province at relatively attractive interest rates.

Mr. Renwick: Naturally, you can’t use the same money twice.

Hon. Mr. Meen: Of course -- well that isn’t available to the province.

If the hon. member is saying that out of the moneys that are got in in this fashion there should be designated a similar quantum for the benefit of the Ontario Mortgage Corp. or some similar operation, then that’s fine except that that question should be directed to the Treasurer. This money going into the consolidated revenue fund is at his disposal and his priority.

Mr. Renwick: He will undoubtedly read my remarks.

Hon. Mr. Meen: Oh, yes. He’ll have the pleasure of reading the hon. member’s remarks in Hansard just as the rest of us will in the fullness of time.

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Chairman, I only have one other comment about it. Will the minister give serious consideration to the expansion of the savings office branches, in carefully selected expansion programme terms, over a period of time in order to make this facility more available to the people throughout the Province of Ontario and not only to those who happen to be able to deal with any one of the 21 branches?

Surely, it’s Catch-22 in the sense if you talk about the curtailment of the restraint programme which doesn’t permit this to be done, when at the very same time one obviously knows from the record of this institution over the past five or six years that if you do open up these offices you’re going to get more and more funds and they’ll be available to the Province of Ontario one way or another.

Hon. Mr. Meen: Mr. Chairman, I’d be less than candid if I didn’t tell you that I agree with the sentiment expressed by the hon. member. It’s a matter of constraint and, at this time, I don’t have the money to do it, but I can tell you that the first time a few thousand dollars show up, where I can talk my colleague, the Chairman of Management Board (Mr. Auld) into letting me use a little bit more of these moneys for this kind of purpose, once we have modernized these branches then that certainly would be the next step.

There’s nothing in the north; I’d love to have some there. I’m told -- I think I’m correct on this -- there was a branch in Sault Ste. Marie, but I think that’s the branch that was closed down, for whatever reason.

Mr. Renwick: I understand that too.

Hon. Mr. Meen: That’s an area where one could seriously consider an operation. You can have another one in Sudbury, in North Bay -- I can think of the major centres.

Mr. Renwick: Thunder Bay.

Hon. Mr. Meen: Sure, sure, Thunder Bay; maybe even in Kenora and in many other parts of this province.

Mr. Renwick: Riverdale?

Hon. Mr. Meen: I think the hon. member has one or two in Riverdale now.

Mr. Renwick: No, not in my riding.

Hon. Mr. Meen: On Danforth Ave. Yes, there are two on the Danforth. If they aren’t in the hon. member’s riding they must be awfully close to it -- and I will tell him something, I don’t have one in my riding yet. In any event, I think the hon. member can see that I have every intention of pursuing this, at every opportunity, to expand this operation. It is a matter of fiscal constraint at the moment.

Mr. Renwick: All I can say is I am glad the Chairman of the Management Board (Mr. Auld) was here.

Mr. Good: On this subject, Mr. Chairman, could the minister tell me the nature of the debt instrument between the Ontario Savings Office and the province? I notice that in the Treasurer’s statements he doesn’t show any of the non-public borrowing as coming from the Ontario Savings Office. I am just wondering what is the nature of the debt instrument.

Hon. Mr. Meen: I must say, Mr. Chairman, I don’t know the nature of the debt instrument. I honestly don’t know what arrangement that is.

Mr. Good: What is the amount per year? It is not shown in the non-public borrowing.

Hon. Mr. Meen: Well it is not a repayable matter. The money is lent to the province and the province has it on an ongoing basis, with the Province of Ontario Savings Office retaining enough for day-to-day and week-to-week liquidity plus operating expenses.

Mr. Good: What would be the accumulation of the deposits to the credit of the province for use, on which they would pay interest?

Hon. Mr. Meen: It would be very close to the $240 million on deposit at Jan. 31.

Mr. Good: On an ongoing basis?

Hon. Mr. Meen: Yes.

Mr. Good: Where does this show up? I guess this would more properly be asked of the Treasurer. I fail to find where this shows up in the Treasurer’s scheme of financing.

Hon. Mr. Meen: I am sorry, Mr. Chairman, but I can’t answer that question. I think the hon. member should ask the Treasurer.

Mr. Makarchuk: On the same subject again, the expansion of the Ontario Savings Office was the subject of a motion that was introduced by myself about five or six years ago in my last tenure in this House. At that time Mr. Eric Winkler, who was the minister responsible, also told us pretty much the same thing that the minister is repeating now -- that yes, you were interested in expansion; yes, you are going to go ahead and expand; and, of course, you are going to move on it; and now you are telling us exactly the same thing. I am not at all convinced of the sincerity of your government to expand in this field, particularly in view of the record and in view of the past promises or past indications. I have a feeling that the reason you people are not prepared to move in this area is the fact that you will, in a sense, be involved in a public enterprise which will be in competition, or should be in competition and definitely could be in competition, with the trust companies and the banks, that you will have an economic tool in your hands or at your disposal which could to some extent affect interest rates in the market right now.

You will agree there is limited or no competition in that area, and I feel this is really the reason behind your reluctance to deal with this problem. I have a feeling -- and I would have to see the figures -- that in most cases the POSO branches are self-supporting. It is not an extra charge on the taxpayer. You have a figure of $2 million, but I would like to hear the minister comment on whether the profit that is made is adequate to pay for this, or whether it is subsidized here. Even if it is subsidized, in this case by this $2.6 million, I am sure that if the province had to borrow that extra money -- the $200 million that is on deposit -- on the open market and borrow it at the going rate, the amount of money it would have to pay there would be far greater, in terms of interest, than what it is paying on it now. Those are my comments. I would like to know, specifically, is POSO self-supporting at this time?


Hon. Mr. Meen: I think it’s fair to say all the branches are self-supporting except for one or two. I guess the figure is six, that demonstrated a very small loss. I don’t have the details right in front of me, but it’s expected that one or two of those will have a turnaround to a modest profit position in the next very short while -- I would think in the next few months even.

On the other point, the hon. member refers to my predecessor, Mr. Winkler, when he was the Minister of Revenue. I am sure that he would have expressed the same sentiments as I. We have all felt this after having had an opportunity to get to know the Province of Ontario Savings Office operation, to see what it does and see the quality of the personnel in that branch. We think it justifies being expanded. It just seems over the years there have been other places in which government priorities have determined that our money should be put.

I don’t disagree with the idea at all of trying to expand. Frankly, I don’t think the banks and trust companies with whom the Province of Ontario Savings Offices would purport to be in competition really could care less. I don’t think they would worry at all.

We have deposits presently that are about one per cent of the Canadian bank and trust company deposits, as I am advised. Since we are only in Ontario, a fairer comparison is that we are about three per cent of the total Ontario bank and trust companies deposits. This is really very, very small; there is no intention on anybody’s part, of which I am aware, to deliberately keep the POSO operations in this league for any purpose whatever to which the hon. member for Brantford may have been alluding. I would like to see the activities expanded, and I am sure my colleagues would too, but it’s all just a matter of priorities.

Mr. Makarchuk: Mr. Chairman, taking the last things first. There is no doubt about it that when you have such a small portion of the market, the banks couldn’t care less, but if you were really serious about it, and you really expanded, then I am sure they would care quite a bit. You are irrelevant to the money market. You transfer funds between the banks and the government, and this is a sort of a closed shop operation in which you circulate it from one pocket to another; but you are not really out there in the market, either in mortgages, or possibly eventually expanding into consumer fields.

Your argument that it takes five years to train an officer, that’s understandable. You could also hire good officers with a lot of training and ability to perform this job in five minutes if you were serious.

So the reason the banks are not concerned about it right now is that you are irrelevant and they really have no reason to fear. But I am of the opinion that if you were serious about it, if you went into the market and the consumer had the opportunity to shop around for mortgage funds or consumer spending funds, then I am sure the banks would be up in arms. But that’s beside the point, and I think you should have the backbone or the intestinal fortitude to stand up and do what you have to do.

One other point about the matter of expansion: If you are indicating that the offices are self-supporting, that they are paying for themselves with the odd exception and those with a loss could rebalanced off with the ones that are making a profit, then as I said earlier this is not a charge on the taxpayer of Ontario and I do not see why there is this reluctance to expand. You may have to borrow the money, but it is turned over, it is paid back eventually out of the revenue that you generate in a savings bank. Consequently, it seems to me there is no reason why you shouldn’t go ahead and do it.

Hon. Mr. Meen: To answer the question, the hon. member for Brantford simply repeats what I have already said. It’s been a matter of priorities for the dollars, Mr. Chairman.

Before we report, I was asking my colleague, the member for Mississauga South (Mr. Kennedy), if he would check to see if the member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick) was still available. I am advised, though, that he has now gone to a meeting.

There were two questions which came up in the course of one of the earlier votes which I have been discussing with him and I had hoped he would be here because I have just learned there were two points on which I was at minor variance with accuracy. I had hoped he would be here. Perhaps in his absence I can refer to those and at least get it on the record for his benefit. With my apologies that I didn’t have it sooner, if the committee would care to bear with me while I --

Mr. Chairman: The hon. minister wishes to read his comments into the record?

Hon. Mr. Meen: Yes. I was asked by the member for Riverdale how many Management Board orders there had been in my ministry in the last year. I replied that I understood there was just the one -- the one which we had already talked about, the $900,000 Management Board order in January with respect to the GAINS payments for February.

It turned out -- and I should have remembered this but I didn’t -- that there was another Management Board order in March, which had been in the mill before the House reconvened, for $114,700. That had been approved by a Management Board commitment last May for mailing purposes for the home buyers grant. That was brought in in the budget and we had not anticipated the home buyers grant being in my estimates of last year and so there was no provision for it in the estimates. The Management Board order for $114,700 went through on March 16 to pick up the mailing costs for the home buyers grant.

I wanted to make that abundantly clear to him although I suppose I was accurate enough when I said my advice was that there had been only the one.

The member for Riverdale had also raised the question about the order of certain initiatives in a letter which I had written to him in March and in which I referred to certain measures. What had happened was that the constraint measures under our original documentation from cabinet were, in the wisdom of cabinet, changed in their numbering. I had referred to the earlier lists and their numbers in my letter to the member for Riverdale, assuming that that was the information he had. It turned out that he also had the corrected lists of the various constraint measures.

Measure 3 in my letter to him of March 24, according to our current figures, would be measure 1. Measure 1 in my letter to him would be measure 2. Measure 7 in my letter to him would be measure 3 and measure 2 in my letter to him would be measure 4 which, of course, serves to confuse everybody unless you can follow the various material. He was able to follow it -- I think that part came out clearly enough.

When we were talking about measure 7, the member for Riverdale correctly indicated that measure 7 is the rationalization of regional offices but then he suggested that we had cut $395,400 under this measure and I incorrectly replied that I believed that to be the case. Well, it was not because the reference is correct but no dollar cut was made against the measure.

The amount of $395,400 refers to measure 3(7) which is actually data processing. I think the member for Riverdale actually had that straight when we were finished but I did want to get it corrected on the record.

Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, thank you very much for allowing me to correct this.

Mr. Chairman: This completes the estimates of the Minister of Revenue.


Mr. Chairman: Does the hon. minister have an opening statement?

Hon. Mr. Auld: Yes, Mr. Chairman, I have a very short one.

I would like to open my estimates with a brief explanation of how our programmes are structured. The estimates of the Management Board include expenditures for the two separate organizations which report to me, the Civil Service Commission and the Management Board secretariat. I think this is the third year they have been combined in this fashion.

The first four programmes include parallel activities carried out in both organizations. For example, in vote 501, the main office appropriation in the administration programme comprises the offices of the chairman of the Civil Service Commission and the secretary of the Management Board, my two deputy ministers. In addition, on the Civil Service Commission side, the office of the executive secretary, senior appointments compensation, and transfer payments are also made from this vote. The personnel activity provides personnel support services to the Civil Service Commission and the Management Board secretariat.

There is a new item in the administration programme that I would like to bring to the attention of the hon. members -- the salary and benefits contingency. This activity was established to ensure that the government estimates reflect an allowance for unannounced salary and benefit awards which will likely be paid out in this fiscal year, and the estimate is consistent with the Treasurer’s budget for 1976.

In the policy development programme, vote 502, personnel policy is the responsibility of the Civil Service Commission, while the management policy division of the Management Board secretariat is responsible for administrative policies.

There is a similar breakdown in the Management Board analysis programme, vote 503. The programmes and estimates division of the Management Board secretariat is responsible for programme analysis and the Civil Service Commission has the central responsibility for personnel administration.

The last programme, which consists of parallel activities in the commission and the secretariat, is the management audit programme, vote 504. In the Management Board secretariat, the operation review branch carries out operational reviews of ministries and certain agencies. In the Civil Service Commission, the personnel audit branch conducts audits of personnel policies and procedures.

The employee relations programme is carried out entirely by the Civil Service Commission under vote 505, and includes the Public Service Appeal Boards and the staff relations branch. The last programme, personnel services, vote 506, is also carried out by the Civil Service Commission and provides a range of personnel management services to ministries and certain agencies.

I hope that brief statement might assist members when we get into the discussions of the votes.

Mr. Davidson: I would just like to give a brief discussion on the general basis as to what we in the New Democratic Party feel with regard to the Management Board to this point, without going into detail; detail will be gone into I am sure during the votes on the various programmes.

We in the New Democratic Party are pleased to participate in this discussion of the Management Board estimates, which allows us once again to bring to light some of the unjust circumstances which Crown employees of this province find themselves in simply because they are that -- Crown employees. I say unjust because in many cases Crown employees are denied certain rights which have come to be an accepted fact throughout this province, rights which should be theirs as citizens and not denied to them simply because they earn their living as public servants.

First and foremost, I suspect, is the right to participate in the election of a government in this province. Any one of us in this room, I am sure, would be the first to claim our civil rights and liberties were being denied if we could not participate fully in the election of a party or a candidate at any given election. Yet we appear to turn a deaf ear and blind eye to the fact that this basic concept is denied to thousands of people living and working in this very same province. Why? Simply because they chose to earn their living as public servants.

Mr. Philip: Keep them in the back of the bus.

Mr. Davidson: Who else in Ontario is unable to canvass on behalf of a political party or political candidate? Who else is denied the right to speak openly at public meetings, to write political speeches or to raise and collect financial contributions? When one considers that thousands of persons are in fact denied these basic rights, surely he should become concerned. Not only should he be concerned, he should do something about it, and yet this government refuses to act.


Last year, during discussion on the estimates -- und you, Mr. Minister, I realize were not the minister at that time -- on Tuesday, June 24, 1975, the then minister, Mr. Winkler, when this point was brought up, made the following statement:

“I simply have to reiterate to you this afternoon that this is under review. It is under review, I can say, by myself as well as other ministries and I will be the one who will be taking the recommendation to cabinet.”

He then went on to say that that recommendation would in all probability be brought forward before the month of September.

During the course of the discussion of this, I would like to ask the present minister whether or not this review was, in fact, completed?

If it was, when, and what does the report say? if it is not as yet completed, when can we expect it? Or has the government simply given up on even trying to find something out about what, in fact, is happening? In other words, have you allowed, and satisfied yourselves in allowing your own employees to remain second class citizens in the Province of Ontario?

Not so long ago, again last year, a private member’s bill was put into this House -- I won’t read the whole bill; I’d just like to quote some of the things that it said. It was put forward by the member for Ottawa Centre (Mr. Cassidy), I believe -- which asked that all public servants in the Province of Ontario be granted:

“(a) The right to vote, (b) the right to actively support a political party or a candidate for provincial or federal office, (c) the right to contribute to a political party at any time, (d) the right to solicit funds for a candidate or for a political party, (e) the right to be a member of a political party and to hold office in such party, and (f) the right to express views on matters that form part of the platform of a provincial or federal political party.”

In addition to that there were safeguards that would ensure that the government wouldn’t have to be concerned about these people stealing documents etc. that they would be using during the course of an election.

Other provinces throughout Canada have taken action in this direction. Manitoba rewrote its legislation in 1974 and provided for complete freedom of political activities for employees in the civil service.

Saskatchewan in 1972 also made those provisions available to the public servants of that province. In both cases there are certain provisions which safeguard the government in certain areas, but overall their employees enjoy political freedom. Hopefully this government will take notice of some of the changes going on around it with regard to this matter and will act accordingly.

We then get into the area of collective bargaining on behalf of civil servants, and some of the things that bother the people who work for you and me and the other citizens of this province. They are things that again I think are probably enjoyed by the majority of people within this province, and yet we deny these very same things to the civil servant or the public servant who works on our behalf.

One of the things that really concerns them, and concerns me as a former trade unionist, is the probationary period that a person is put to in order to confirm the fact that he or she is available and knowledgeable and suitable to work for the government of Ontario. That probationary period is one year, and it has to be, without question, one of the longest-drawn-out, unbelievable lengths for a probationary period even to be considered. When you take the average of most union negotiated agreements throughout the province, it would probably average three months. In many cases you will find that companies are prepared to accept the fact that they can analyse and evaluate an employee in 80 days. Yet we ask our civil servants to go into a one-year probationary period, during which time they have no protection whatsoever with regard to grievance procedures or other necessary items.

There is one other thing, Mr. Minister, and it’s a question that maybe you can give me an answer to later. It’s the problem of a citizen other than a Canadian citizen coming into this country and getting a job with the Ontario civil service. I use as an example the United States citizen who, when coming to work for the civil service, is required to take an oath of allegiance.

I can’t speak for all of the countries in the world but I am aware that if that person takes the oath of allegiance to Canada he then loses his American citizenship. The one-year probationary period, if they intend to remain working within the civil service, then becomes a five-year probationary period because they can’t become Canadian citizens for five year. If they’re not Canadian citizens they can’t be hired on the permanent staff of the civil service in the Province of Ontario. That makes things just a little bit tough for these people who have to work over that period of time for five years -- again without the full protection of negotiated contracts that they have in existence.

Another thing they are very much concerned about and, rightly so I would suspect, is the guaranteeing of their bargaining rights. I think one need only go back to the case of the ambulance drivers in Toronto last year, when they were taken nut of the civil service aspect and put into another category. They had to do some pretty heavy and fast negotiating to ensure that the rights they had developed and gained over the period of years were available to them at least for a certain period of time. I think you will recall -- and correct me if I’m wrong -- that those who had had 12 or more years of service ended up having only 18 months guaranteed seniority. That’s quite a drop from 12, 13 or 14 years.

The understanding that I have -- again you can correct me if I’m wrong -- is that this government is now in the process of taking psychiatric hospitals out of the Ministry of Health and putting them in the hands of community boards. If this is the case, then we are talking of 9,000 people who are, at the moment, civil servants of the Province of Ontario and who, once that transition takes place, will no longer be civil servants. They now have the protection of a negotiated agreement but could lose the contractual provisions that they now live under. This means they would have no guarantee of wages, no guarantee of accrued sick leave benefits, no guarantee of pensions or whatever else it may be that they now benefit from under their contract.

That, Mr. Chairman, is totally wrong. There should be some form of successor rights such as there are under the Ontario Labour Relations Act for industrial workers and construction workers and others. Civil servants should have that same kind of protection. Again I think that’s something you should be considering.

One thing that is bothering me is the so-called reduction in complement of civil servants -- permanent employees as we would know them, differing from what we call casual help or whatever else it may be. I am wondering whether or not you are reducing the number of civil servants within this province as you claim to be saving everyone money. For example, I’d like to know how many contract workers you have in comparison to permanent employees? When you get into casual labour, here again, you are using people as full-time employees but you are doing it in a manner that doesn’t allow him or her the benefits of the agreement.

Some people have been casual employees for as much as 10 years. I don’t know how casual you want to get in this field. But the procedure that is used by this government is that they’ll hire a person then lay them off for four or five weeks, hire them back again as casual help, let them work so long, lay them off again and bring them back. So, over a period of time they could work a lifetime with the civil service and still be classified as casual help not being allowed the benefits of the union agreement and not having the protection of that contract.

Again we get into another area that is of great concern to us within the New Democratic Party, that is, the function of women within the civil service. We feel -- and justly so if you read the report of the executive co-ordinator of women’s programmes on the status of women Crown employees in Ontario -- women are not being given the privileges they deserve within the civil service. As an example, taking the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, it seems to be that women just don’t have the capacity in the eyes of this government to handle certain jobs. The Liquor Control Board, for example, has 625 managers who are men. It has none who are women. It has 1,797 men who are clerks and only 31 women. If anyone over on that side can convince me that a man can bring a bottle of booze from the back of the room to the counter and hand it across to a customer any better than a woman can, I would like to see bins try to do it.

These then are some of the things that we are much concerned about over here. These are the things that we will be speaking to during the vote. I would like to thank you for having allowed me the opportunity just to generalize in a certain way about what bothers us in the New Democratic Party in relation to the actions of the Management Board.


Mr. Bullbrook: I want to join just quickly in the debate, not particularly in any capacity of official critic but again to convey, if I may, in the guise of this opportunity the distress I continue to experience over the government’s decision to place the public sector of the Province of Ontario under the Anti-Inflation Board of the federal government. That was a mistake. I think now it is an irreparable mistake. I think the time has now come, because the matter of administration has become so entrenched and so structured, even if we undertook what was our constitutional responsibility and more definitively our responsibility to those people for whom we as a government have a direct responsibility, that it is too late for that, if I may say. I think the administration at the federal level is too entrenched.

I hope, frankly, that the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada on the reference will show that, not only were we political unsound in making the decision that we did but that we were legally unsound in doing so I don’t quarrel one bit with the Province of Ontario in its statement saying that it wished to support the necessity and the philosophy of the anti-inflation programme as outlined by the Prime Minister of Canada. That was worthwhile. There are certain deficiencies in that programme that the trade union movement is bringing to the attention of the federal government at this time, again with great validity.

I want to say that I just don’t know how the Chairman of Management Board, whose function it is, I understand, to deal reciprocally with those public servants of a permanent nature working for the government, could have permitted his cabinet colleagues to persuade him that it was in the best interests of those public servants that the ultimate decision as to their wages in some aspects of their condition of employment should be given over to Jean Luc Pepin and his appointed federal colleagues. I will never understand that.

The constitutional aspect of things concerned me and I expressed this as directly as I could at the time. We just can’t give over to the federal government provincial responsibility. That’s the fracturing, not of Confederation but the fracturing of our duties and our rights as set down under the British North America Act. As I said before, bad enough to give them the rights, responsibilities and direction of matters which are traditionally within the purview of the government of Ontario or any provincial government, but superimposed upon that, to those people to whom we have a direct responsibility as employers -- not private employers but as the elected government; the representatives of all the people of the province -- in effect we have said, as a result of that agreement executed in February, to the people of Ontario, “You have elected us to do a job but we think it’s in your best interests that we don’t do the job and we let Pierre Elliott Trudeau and his appointees do the job.” That’s improper.

I am really hopeful that perhaps the Chairman of Management Board whom I admire, of course, both professionally and as a colleague in this House, might make comment as to what representations he did make, if any, during the course of the discussion as to whether that agreement should be entered into; secondly, and more importantly, whether the public sector, which is his responsibility, should be included in the terms of that agreement, because you know what you read this week.

Mr. Lawlor: Why didn’t you intervene in the Supreme Court?

Mr. Bullbrook: The strange thing about this is we came to the conclusion, frankly -- if he requires a response -- that we were not a class of person within the definition of that under the Supreme Court of Canada Act, which would permit us to intervene. I want to say to you, as immodestly as I can, that the Chief Justice of Canada agreed with our opinion and didn’t permit the New Democratic Party to intervene. That’s the answer. Are you content with that answer?

In any event, to get back to the point, if I may: I really am vitally interested because you have read this week of the great dichotomy of all when you read that certain aspects of the federal ministerial responsibility at Ottawa had been unilaterally removed from the aegis of the Anti-Inflation Board. That must make the Treasurer of Ontario, the Premier of Ontario (Mr. Davis) and the Chairman of Management Board shake their heads. When you look at section 2 of the contract we have entered into with the federal government, we have given up to them everything -- but the federal government hasn’t given up everything to the AIB.

I want to use a phrase which sometimes is regarded as vulgar but is, I think, colloquially accepted. The government of Ontario has been suckered in by the government of Canada on this thing to such an extent now that I, as one member, don’t think we can extricate ourselves from the position. Even now, if you came to the conclusion, as I said before, that you should administer it provincially -- which you should have done -- I think it’s too late. I think it would make an absolute shambles of the administration of the scheme.

Hon. Mr. Auld: Just a couple of matters, Mr. Chairman, which were of a general nature. In terms of the hon. member for Cambridge and his comments about the political rights of the public service, I can only tell him there is no plan to change the legislation at the present time. In the sense that legislations is always under review and may well be changed at some future time, I can’t predict that. There is no plan that I am aware of and nothing before cabinet which would lead to any change along the lines which he has suggested.

Mr. Warner: That’s very sad.

Hon. Mr. Auld: In connection with the comments of the hon. member for Sarnia a few moments ago about the provincial acceptance of federal legislation setting up the Anti-Inflation Board and its authority over the public service in Ontario, once again I suppose, in terms of the specific question, I am one of those who believe that the public service should be treated in the same way as the private sector. They should be treated no better and no worse. This is exactly the position of the government and why the government, along with all the other provinces, as I recall, except Quebec, has accepted the federal legislation and, in effect, made agreements to be bound by it during the period of the agreement.

Mr. Bullbrook: You realize that doesn’t answer my question?

Hon. Mr. Auld: On the question of the constitutionality and so on, as far as the government is concerned it has been mentioned many times that the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) his advised the law officers of the Crown and the government that we have acted properly and within, our own authority. I don’t really see how, if we had set up our own agency to deal with the public service --

Mr. Bullbrook: I am not talking about that, You would have administered the guidelines.

Hon. Mr. Auld: -- end public employees in this province and used the same rules as the federal government, if we applied them properly, how there would be any difference in the effect on those who are presently covered by the federal agencies.

Mr. Bullbrook: I will respond to that after or now if you wish -- if I may. I want to tell you the distinction. The white paper as originally issued by the Prime Minister’s office set forth the general guidelines and gave the provinces the alternative. They could have chosen to accept administering those guidelines on a provincial basis. That is the distinction.

No one has ever stood in this House and chastised the government of Ontario for undertaking the acceptance of the federal guidelines. Sure we believe that the public sector should be as restrictive as the private sector as far as the intent of the guidelines is concerned. I want to my to the Chairman of Management Board that you should administer those guidelines in the context of the provincial responsibility. What is in the best interest of Prince Edward Island isn’t the same thing as what is in the best interest of Ontario. That’s the first thing.

The second thing involves the fact that you are an employer. The key ingredient in this is that when you are collectively bargaining with the public service in good faith for the best interests of the people, as their representatives, you do so as an employer and you don’t give that function up to someone else. That is the key thing.

I would never say to the Chairman of Management Board or his colleagues that they have made an error in accepting the intent of the guidelines.

On vote 501:

Mr. Chairman: I think in dealing with vote 501, in order to have an orderly debate, is it agreed that we will deal with items 1, 2 and 3 together since they contain the minister’s office, the main office and personnel? Any comment on any of those three items?

Items 1, 2 and 3 agreed to.

Item 4, salary and benefits contingency. Any comment?

Hon. Mr. Auld: Mr. Chairman, I would like to give a short explanation about this because it is a new thing.

Mr. Chairman: Item 4. The first three items are carried. You are referring to item 4 -- the $171 million figure?

Hon. Mr. Auld: I am just looking for it. Yes.

In the past years unannounced salary awards have net been provided for in annual estimates on the grounds that they weren’t a known quantity and that to make a provision would, in effect, give away the province’s negotiating position. When settled, awards were financed by Management Board orders. There was no provision in the estimates for salary awards.

For 1976-1977 at least, Ontario’s commitment to the anti-inflation guidelines is an announced policy and it was decided that a provision for salary and benefits awards and merit increases should be made in the estimates to cover the amounts allowable under the guidelines. I should add to that, since most of the bargaining unit negotiations are in arbitration, and the arbitration awards may well be in excess of the guidelines and the Anti-Inflation Board -- of course we don’t know exactly how they would be dealt with by that board, it could be more than this amount.

However, the most important thing is to point out that a straight comparison between the budgeted salaries -- which in 1975-1976 were $1.1 billion -- and the amount provided in the fund gives a false impression that civil servants will receive a 15.3 per cent salary increase. There are a number of factors that contribute to that false impression. The fund provides for salary payments retroactive to dates in 1975-1976, salary increases for 1976-1977 resulting from those 1975-1976 contract settlements, and the estimated effects of contracts to be awarded during 1976-1977. Thus, we’re talking of approximately 1½ years’ awards, which are in that amount included in the $166 million of the fund related to salary awards; the balance of the fund is provided for pension, employee benefit awards and youth employment.

I just want to say, as I’m sure the hon. member is aware, that we now bargain on an annual basis in eight groups as far as the OPSEU is concerned. Some of their contracts expire at the end of September and some of them at the end of December. There have been no agreements made in any of those eight groups so far for the period from Oct. 1, 1975, or from Jan. 1, 1976. And, of course, those contracts from last September and last December will expire this September and this December; so we will be into negotiation and settlements, it’s hoped, before the end of this fiscal year for the next year.

Mr. Chairman: Item 4 carried?

Mr. Ruston: What item are you on?

Mr. Chairman: We are on item 4, vote 501. Does item 4 carry?

Mr. Warner: No, I have a question for the Chairman of Management Board. Will the figure that’s quoted here include, in some way, those increased premiums for OHIP which, because of the nature of agreements with OPSEU, must be picked up by the employer, in this case the Province of Ontario?

Hon. Mr. Auld: I’m not sure I understand the question but do you mean, does that amount include OHIP benefits?

Mr. Warner: That is correct -- since the change in the OHIP premiums that has taken place in the last short while.

Hon. Mr. Auld: No, that will have to be funded out of the normal salary and benefits amounts in the ministries. In other words, there have been no increases made to the ministries to cover the increases in the OHIP premiums which they are paying at present.

Mr. Warner: I see. Thank you.

Mr. Chairman: Shall item 4 carry? Carried.

Vote 501 agreed to.

On vote 502:

Mr. Chairman: Vote 502, item 1; personnel policy.

Ms. Sandeman: Mr. Chairman, the programme description under this vote caught my eye; it says that this programme is to develop and maintain, for the Management Board and the Civil Service Commission, administrative policies, procedures and so on to enable the boards, commissions, agencies and the ministries to effectively use their resources to public advantage. It occurred to me that there is still one major resource that we are not using to the public advantage, and I refer to the human resource represented by the female part of the labour force in the Ontario public service, which is so badly under-utilized.

The first report which the minister received from the executive co-ordinator of women’s programmes on the status of women Crown employees, includes some very interesting service-wide statistics. I know these statistics are current for around this time last year, but it seems to me it’s worth looking at those and considering where we are in April, 1976, in relation to April, 1975. I’d like to ask the minister to comment on changes as I go through the report that Ms. McLellan presented to you.

I believe that in April, 1975, there were about 26,700 women in the public service, and they represented 38 per cent of all the employees. Then we had the unclassified service, where there were 5,300 women, who were 34 per cent of the total. And in the 11 Crown agencies there were another 2,000 women, making up 30 per cent of the total. So at this time last year we were talking of 34,000 women Crown employees.

When we look at the salaries we see a familiar and depressing picture. Women, as always, were over-represented in the lower salary levels. Women made up, at this time last year, 81 per cent of all employees earning $9,000 or less. Women are equally underrepresented in the higher salary levels. Only 10 per cent of the employees making $15,000 or more in the public service were women. So 81 per cent of the employees at the bottom end of the salary are women, you have only 10 per cent at the top end and the other nine per cent come in that middle range.

The average female salary was $9,800 which is only 72 per cent of the male average of $13,700. And women’s jobs, the jobs in which women are concentrated, pay much less than men’s jobs. The average salary in the jobs in which we find men concentrated was $16,000 while the average salary in the women’s jobs was $10,200.

Again, we find in the way that women are bunched together in certain occupations some pretty interesting trends emerging. Over half of all women employed in the public service in Ontario at this time last year were employed in the general services category: about 57 per cent. Of the total employees in the general service category, 80 per cent were women.

And there are some interesting groups of public service employees in which there are very few women. Only one per cent of the law enforcement field in Ontario was made up of women employees. In the scientific and technical fields, we find only 11 per cent women. In the administrative services, only 14 per cent.

If you want to go into a more detailed analysis, as Ms. McLellan did, there are only five occupational groups in the public service which could be said to be really integrated, in other words where you have approximately a 50-50 split between male and female employees. Those integrated jobs account for only 17 per cent of all our public service employees.

At the other end of the scale there are only 14 occupational groups which we could think of as completely segregated, in which there were either only men or only women. Those completely segregated groups accounted for only two per cent of all the jobs.

Most of the occupational groups in the public service, as in the community at large, still are sex-typed groups; 67 out of 86 occupational groups have more than 60 per cent male or more than 60 per cent female employees. Most of the employees in the public service are in sex-typed jobs: about 81 per cent.

For example, in the Ministry of Correctional Services 87 per cent of the 2,700 correctional workers are men. But in data processing, 86 per cent of the 1,000 workers are women. There is still clear differentiation of occupation by sex in the public service of Ontario. Even when you have a situation where women make up a reasonable proportion of an occupational group, still we find they’re clustered into the lower classification levels.

For instance, take the court reporter classification: 68 per cent of all the court reporters are women, and level 1 and 2 court reporters are 76 per cent women. But when you get to the Supreme Court, you’ve only got seven per cent women court reporters. Again, whenever a job is perceived to have a higher status, somehow, unaccountably, the women begin to be absent, very noticeably absent.

When you get into the higher, well-paid echelons of the public service, we find that last year -- and the picture has probably changed and I’d like to ask the minister about that -- there were 7,000 employees in the public service earning $17,000 or more. Of those, only eight per cent were women and most of those women are employed in professional or staff positions rather than in general management. There are only four per cent of the women among the 778 employees in the top executive structure of the professional part of the public service.

There is one area in which there has been some small improvement, I think, for women in the public service and that is in the staff training area. There do seem to be more women coming into the staff training programmes. In the secretarial programmes, managerial programmes and overall, women in training programmes apparently increased from 22 per cent to 29 per cent of the total participants. But when you remember that they make up a total of 38 per cent of the work force, that still doesn’t represent them properly.

In managerial staff training courses, women’s share went up from 13 per cent to 17 per cent. When you look at the total of staff training and development programmes, women’s share was 23 per cent. Again, when you break down those staff training programmes, you find the same old sex-typing going on. When you have a secretarial staff training programme, 87 per cent of the participants are women. When you have a managerial staff training programme, only 19 per cent are women.

I don’t know if the minister would like at this point to give me the figures for this year or whether I should continue with my remarks. What I really would like to have from him is some updating of that kind if breakdown by occupation, by salary range, by staff training programmes and so on. Maybe you don’t have it right there.

Hon. Mr. Auld: I can’t give the hon. member details throughout all the ministries as to what changes have taken place. The report from which the hon. member was quoting is the one which covers the period from April, 1974, to March, 1975. The report for the same period for 1975-1976 should be available in June and it will be the first opportunity that we will have had to see what progress has been made.

I am sure she is aware of the inventory that has been done of those making over $17,000 and the names that have been added to the bank of people we are anxious to have and who are capable of promotion into the senior ranks. I simply say that Management Board’s role really is to ensure that the activities in the affirmative action programme are co-ordinated in the ministries. The executive co-ordinator of the women Crown employees’ office is Ms. McLellan. That office is in the Ministry of Labour and Ms. McLellan is a member of the Civil Service Commission. So we have good communication and we’re expecting to see some significant improvements as far as women are concerned.

Some of the inequities have been solved in terms of equal pay for equal women in those areas where there were differences as well, for instance, between seamstresses and tailors and those sorts of things. I understand the last major one of that kind, which affected a lot of people primarily in Community and Social Services institutions and Health institutions in the cleaning staff has been resolved just in the last week or so. There were four, as I recall, which is another aspect of the affirmative action programme.

Ms. Sandeman: I understand in June we will get comparable figures for this year. Thank you very much. I hope we will see the significant improvement you speak of. There is certainly room for significant improvements. I think the figures which I’ve already quoted suggest to me that there is the need for some further action in particular areas.

To begin with, while we see that so-called women’s jobs seem to pay so very much less than the traditional men’s jobs, we must surely examine the rationale for the various pay scales to ensure equity. Secondly, I think the sex-typing of the job seems to perpetuate the continuation of the inequities of pay and the under-utilization of women. We really have to have greater efforts made to diversify men’s and women’s occupational distributions.

Particularly, more women must find their way into the traditionally higher-paid male-oriented jobs because it seems to me that you might have some trouble persuading men to take what they would perceive as a step down. The equalization must be by movement upwards of women, not downwards of men. I have been nervous for a long time of the practice, not only in the public service, but in the community at large, of putting token women into senior management positions and hoping that the rest of us will then be satisfied. That does nothing for women in general, but I still feel it’s vital that we have more women in such positions, a really significant number of women in senior management positions in the Ontario public service.

To ensure that this happens, obviously something has to be done in a tough kind of way about making sure that women’s share of training opportunities is increased. It is not enough just to have a list of women who are willing to take part in programmes if and when there’s a chance for them. The chances must be there, and they must be encouraged to go on training courses.

The report to which I referred, and the minister referred in his remarks and which was presented to the minister last December, contains some very interesting recommendations. I think there were 25 of them. I would like to ask the minister in a moment if he could tell me how many of those recommendations have been implemented, and there are a couple I would specifically like to ask you about. One of them was the suggestion that the ministries should identify specific budgets in their estimates for the affirmative action programmes, for the equal opportunities programme. Could you identify in the Management Board budget a specific amount set aside? It’s difficult for me when looking through the estimates books in general to discover if other ministries are following that recommendation. I intend to ask at any estimates I am present at.

I wonder further if the minister is advocating this kind of approach to the estimates for other ministries, the kind of approach that says if we really believe that affirmative action and equal opportunity programmes are important we have to fund them and this is how we are funding them, to the tune of so many dollars for 1976-1977.

Another recommendation was that the Civil Service Commission should initiate a study of the implications of adjusting pay scales within the Ontario public service to provide equal remuneration where job duties are substantially equivalent. I think the minister just made a nice slip of the tongue about equal pay for equal women. It is that kind of area which I would like you to think about. That’s an extremely important principle. I am glad you realize that women are equal and I don’t believe the restraint programme should be used as an excuse for postponing any move toward such a study or toward starting to pay right now equal wages for work of equal value. I wonder if you could tell us if the Civil Service Commission has instituted such a study and if it hasn’t, when it’s going to.

It is those two recommendations I would like some specific comment on, the recommendation that you identify specific budgets for affirmative action programmes in your estimates, and the recommendation that a study of the implications of adjusting the pay scale be undertaken. Finally, could you just tell me how many of those 25 recommendations have had consideration and, more importantly, action?


Hon. Mr. Auld: As far as recommendation 13 is concerned, which had to do with specific allocation of resources, the Management Board just completed a review of all the recommendations earlier this month and has sent a number of them to the Civil Service Commission officially for its study and report. But on the question of specific allocation of money in each ministry’s estimates, the board simply confirmed the directive that the Management Board had given some time ago, that ministries were expected to implement the programme with the allocation of resources given to them for their total programmes and activities. What we have required is a work programme indicating the available resources which should be developed by each ministry for that purpose. We also confirmed that ministries should recognize the importance of assigning adequate resources at this point in the development of the programme to make sure that it is carried out.

As the hon. member I am sure is aware, the ministries are still at perhaps varying points in undertaking the various programmes, which vary somewhat from ministry to ministry and around the province.

The second point is that work is continuing on the compilation of a final report to be tabled with the commission on action taken by the ministries to resolve some of the problems of equal pay and equal work on the question of equal pay for -- Did you say similar work?

Ms. Sandeman: The phrase being used is equal remuneration where job duties are substantially equivalent. That’s the recommendation.

Hon. Mr. Auld: That one is a very difficult one to deal with because it is a bit of a subjective matter. The commission has been charged with the responsibility of looking at that to see if we can find a definition which will apply to the many circumstances where there are variances.

I would think that some progress has been made on that. I think we are having the same kind of problems that we have been having in the so-called broad-banding programme in management classes where we have tried to reduce the number of variants. It is very difficult. We had hoped to have that completed about some time last year and we will be fortunate if we get it all done this year. Some of them are fairly simple, but some of them are very difficult indeed.

Ms. Sandeman: One final question: Could you identify for me a figure from your own budget for the affirmative action programme in the Management Board budget?

Hon. Mr. Auld: There is no specific item in the budget. There is an amount in the main office which will cover some seminars planned. We had a full-time person, Miss Walshe I guess, in the commission, and then Mrs. Burak, who is executive assistant to the secretary of Management Board and is our women’s adviser in the Management Board end of things.

Mr. Ruston: Mr. Chairman, briefly on the personnel policy, and what I wanted to hear: The government has been making great statements lately about how it is cutting down civil service staff and so forth. But how do you rationalize how many staff you needed? Two years ago, apparently, you said you needed so many people, so you hired them. And now you are coming to say, a year later, “Well, we don’t need so many.”

Somebody either goofed then, or somebody is goofing now. It seems to me it’s almost that simple. You had about the same programmes in effect a year ago, and the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) gets up in his budget and says we are cutting down in our civil service. I really think you did one of two things. You either had too blasted many a year ago, or you are not going to have enough now. It’s either one way or the other in my opinion.

I think it’s easy to come out in big headlines and say, “We are the saviour of the taxpayers’ dollar.” At the other time, of course, we know how many thousands you are hiring by contract. What you didn’t say of course, the Treasurer didn’t say, and maybe I can’t tell you, is how many, but I certainly have an awfully good idea how many because of just finding out where you are hiring people and who you are hiring.

You are certainly increasing your contract employees by probably double or triple what you had a year or two ago.

What throws ma off, and I have had a number of people remark on this to me, is how can they dismiss so many employees by attrition or whatever way, while at the same time carrying on the agencies of government you have to carry on; I tell you I have an opinion that I just don’t trust the way you have carried this out at all. I think I have great reservations about it.

Hon. Mr. Auld: There are several factors that are involved in the reduction of staff. Jo dealing with all staff in the first instance, in things like computer applications, the mechanization of certain things, there are reorganizations within ministries to reallocate their human resources; and there is some reduction in some programmes. I think immediately of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, which for instance no longer paints the guard posts. Certainly down our way, they have reduced their year-round patrol staff by one or two in the last two or three years by doing things less frequently, like cutting the grass. There have been a number of actions taken, various ones depending on the kind of work the operating ministries do. I think it is fair to say too there is a better use of people’s capabilities, and perhaps in many cases an increased workload or at least increased production.

In terms of unclassified staff, I don’t want to really repeat. I made a fairly lengthy statement in the House two weeks ago, April 13, but the real control over unclassified staff is in the main office budget allocation. Although we have increased our controls by in effect freezing any additional recruitment in that connection, if you don’t have the money, you can’t pay the unclassified staff. The only loophole used to be that if you had money in that item, you could in effect use it for salaries or for purchase of supplies or something like that and you may decide you wanted to hire unclassified staff. This is not possible now.

Mr. Bullbrook: I want to now deal under this item of policy development with respect to personnel policy. It is something that I believe to be a specific example of the general problem that I mentioned, with respect to the transfer of jurisdiction over the public service to the federal government. I believe that to be the answer to this problem and since the question of personnel policy development also relates to designated boards and commissions, I think it is relevant under this vote.

It has to do with an open letter that was sent to the Premier of Ontario (Mr. Davis) from the Liquor Control Board and Liquor Licence Board employees association with respect to their negotiations, which now are apparently still ongoing but which normally would have been concluded by what would be final and binding arbitration under the Crown Employees Collective Bargaining Act; however for some reason, the provincial government doesn’t want to enter into a collective agreement. I think they are saying the reason is that because of the agreement with the federal government we don’t have the right to do so; but with your indulgence, I’ll read excerpts from an open letter directed to the Premier of Ontario from A. C. Edmunds, the president of the association.

“We are writing this letter in the hopes of initiating a return to honourable, honest and legal collective bargaining by your representatives in government when dealing with our association members and other employees of this province before the situation becomes so untenable that it can no longer be tolerated, leaving extreme measures as the only probable route we all will have to take in order to affect some sense of equity and justice.”

If I might just digress for a moment from the actual text that I’m going to read. You’ve got to realize these people are the people normally I regard as having been appointed -- for example my people in Sarnia having been appointed by my colleague, the member for Lambton (Mr. Henderson).

This makes it even more astonishing when you read a letter from an association like this, when it’s been traditional, this appointment bit; at least in my area. As I said to the Premier of Ontario one day during the course of a debate I couldn’t get my brother a job in a liquor store if he were dying of thirst.

Mr. Bain: You could if you supported --

Mr. Bullbrook: I would address my remarks to the Chairman of Management Board, if he were in the House. The Premier, if you will recall, said: “I didn’t know your brother wanted a job.” And if you recall the then Speaker. Allen Reuter, said: “Would you please consider one of my brothers for a job too.” That actually happened. My brother was a priest though and he couldn’t take the job, and the Premier knew it. The Premier knew him quite well. He knew he couldn’t take the job.

Mr. Breithaupt: He could take a drink though.

Mr. Bullbrook: Oh he’d take the odd drink. He’d take some even ones too, I’ll tell you, along the way. But he’s gone to his great reward.

To continue: “We began negotiations for our contract on April 1, 1975.” The collective bargaining process can be an anguishing period at times. But when they start on April 1, 1975, and on April 28, 1976, they’re writing an open letter to the Premier of Ontario, it’s less than anguishing for them.

“We began negotiations for our contract on April 1, 1975, and as yet have not received proper legal settlement. To paraphrase only some of the intolerable actions by your people we would make the following points:

“Your negotiators have delayed negotiations, avoiding many of the issues time and time again without cause. Yet we obeyed the law. Your negotiators threatened the removal of one-third of our bargaining unit, a virtually unforgivable course of action during negotiations. Yet we obeyed the law.

“Your negotiators, at one time during negotiations, refused to deal with our selected legal representatives -- people who were professionals and whom your people had never dealt with before. Yet we obeyed the law.

“Your negotiators tried by direct contact to our members and by the institution of increases to non-bargaining unit employees of the Liquor Board to intimidate and place pressure upon our bargaining team. But we still obeyed the law.

“We obeyed the law while other groups were acting illegally and were receiving increases far exceeding any that we were seeking through lawful, orderly negotiations because we believe the law must be paramount.

“The law to which we refer is the Crown Employees Collective Bargaining Act, which as you are aware is the provincial legislation setting forth the conditions under which we must bargain as employees of the Province of Ontario. There are many facets of this law that we don’t agree with, but we obeyed the law.

“It is the law that denies us many of the rights enjoyed by all other citizens of Ontario. It removes many items from the bargaining table that are normally negotiable in the private sector. But most of all it denies us the legal right to strike. Yet as restrictive and unpalatable as that law may be, we have obeyed it.

“The one thing the law does encompass is that an independent board of arbitration composed of one representative from each side of a dispute and a chairman mutually agreeable to both sides would, when direct negotiations failed, sit in judgement of the situation and render a decision which by law would be final and binding upon the parties.

“We chose to take our dispute to such a board in compliance with the law, believing that the government would, of all bodies, obey the law. The board of arbitration made a decision that while not wholly satisfactory to us was a fair and equitable decision. According to law we are prepared to obey the decision and sign the contract. But your representatives have chosen to ignore the law and refuse to accept the award as final and binding, as the law states they are honour bound so to do.

“Again while all this has been going on, we’ve seen other groups, by the use of militancy, by ignoring and at times breaking the law, receive contracts and settlements far exceeding any aspirations we had. Indeed many of these groups have ridiculed our position of obeying the law and have warned us that we would not receive our proven worth. In spite of these warnings and happenings we continue to obey the law.


“Many of our own members have asked us to take a more militant stance, and if necessary break the law in order to force a fair settlement. Yet we continued to obey the law.

“Now your cabinet has broken the law by signing away your jurisdiction over provincial employees, ignoring existing provincial legislation.”

And if I may remove from the text again: Boy does that come home to roost. That phrase is not from a lawyer, not from a member of the Legislature but from somebody who is employed by the government of Ontario. I want to read it again, if I may:

“Now your cabinet has broken the law by signing away your jurisdiction over provincial employees, ignoring existing provincial legislation.”

They presume something there that might not be correct. The assertion to the hon. Premier of Ontario by the president that you have broken the law has not been so found. It might well be that it isn’t so found, so I don’t want to associate myself entirely at this time with their comments that you have broken the law. But that isn’t important, of course, in the context of what they are talking about. It isn’t the fact that you have broken the law. If you have, it’s important. It is the fact that you have given up your jurisdiction.

“Your negotiators advised us they would neither support nor oppose our efforts to have our legally-won contract honoured before the Anti-Inflation Board, in spite of an earlier promise by a minister of your cabinet of support in our efforts for the legally due “special consideration”, and then they vigorously opposed us by every means at that board.”

I want to again deflect from the text, if I may, because the dialogue that the hon. minister and I had a moment ago again is tremendously relevant and germane.

The minister says in effect: We support the AIB guidelines, but why establish our own board? There is one reason why you establish your own board. The assertion of Mr. Edmunds is that those people who were negotiating on behalf of the government in this collective bargaining process hindered them in bringing it before the AIB; and secondly did everything they could to argue that there shouldn’t be special consideration. That’s the anomaly, that’s the strangeness about this whole thing, Mr. Chairman. I would like my colleagues to understand this.

The Crown Employees Collective Bargaining Act deprives those people of the right to strike and as a result of that deprivation says that final and binding arbitration will be the result. We don’t like to deprive anyone of the right to strike, but the question of essentiality of services is, in the mind of most of us, paramount and we are prepared to accept that; but if it is final and binding, then it would be final and binding.

It is not a question to be transferred over to Jean Luc Pepin or anybody else in Ottawa. It is our duty and our responsibility to deal with the provincial statutes as we see the federal guidelines to be. As we see them to be, not as Trudeau sees them to be but as the Hon. William Grenville Davis sees them to be; he and his government that’s elected, albeit in a minority position.

One of my colleagues and great friends is the Minister of National Revenue, my former law partner. I don’t demean him one title by saying that he has no right to deal in my function. If he wanted to be a provincial legislator, let him run provincially. He chose to run federally and undertake federal responsibilities. I, for one, am not going to give up one bit of my responsibility to him.

Back to the text:

“Someone even went so far as to tell the Anti-Inflation Board that the wages of all Ontario civil servants would be affected by any decision that board made, making us targets to be set upon. All this in spite of the fact they were honour bound by virtue of the Crown Employees Collective Bargaining Act to at least support us before the Anti-Inflation Board.”

He makes an extremely valid point there. Certainly the letter of the law, the intent of the law, is quite manifest. The intent of the law says this: If we deprive you of the right to strike, Mr. Chairman, then when it comes to a final decision by the independent board of arbitration, we will honour that He says it is a breach of honour and I agree with him wholeheartedly. It is a breach of honour to go before the AIB and resist implementation of the award in the context that the negotiators for the government did.

They could go before the board and say:

“We believe, frankly, Mr. Pepin, that the award is outride the guidelines.” To go and actively resist is, in my respectful submission to all our colleagues, a breach of honour in the circumstances. I subscribe to and associate myself entirely with the remarks of Mr. Edmunds and the association in that connection.

“All this brings us to ask you several questions [if I may get back to the text]. Is our belief in obeying the law not valid any longer in this society? If the political party in power can select laws and ignore and break them for their convenience, can the residents of this province do the same? Does you cabinet take precedence over the provincial Legislature?”

It’s a very important thing.

Again, if I may bring to the attention of our colleagues, through you, Mr. Chairman, the essence of another argument that we put forward here: It’s one thing to sign an agreement -- be it valid or invalid, be it legal or illegal -- it is terrible, arrogant effrontery to this legislative assembly to sign it on the basis of a federal order in council, without even giving us the opportunity to debate the consequences or the propriety of the execution of the agreement. That is all that man is saying. He says:

“Must we now become militant and cause disruptions and contravene the law to obtain what is rightfully ours as determined by the due processes of the law? Mr. Premier, the answers are yours to provide. We implore you to take this matter in hand and correct the situation before it grows beyond control and drastic actions occur. Order your people to obey the laws of this province and sign our contract. Prove to us and the other people of this province that our laws are to be honoured and obeyed. The urgency of this situation requires your immediate reply.”

It is signed by Mr. Edmunds on behalf of the association.

I think nothing can speak more eloquently on the specific thrust of the general concern we expressed previously as far back as October last year. There is a breach of honour there. If you are developing a personnel policy I find it hollow to expend some $800,000 on the development of personnel policy when really the ultimate aspect of almost all personnel policy resides in the federal Anti-Inflation Board.

Hon. Mr. Auld: First of all, I think we were getting into the staff relations branch which is in a later vote, but I didn’t want to interrupt because we might as well deal with this at the moment. I would point out to the hon. member that the Liquor Licence Board and the Liquor Control Board are separate entities. They are not part of the civil service.

Mr. Bullbrook: I am sorry. Are they not a designated board?

Hon. Mr. Auld: I understand that the chief negotiator for the Liquor Control Board and Liquor Licence Board is Mr. Evans, the assistant general manager, although our staff relations people are available to agencies and commissions if required.

Mr. Bullbrook: I am sorry, Mr. Minister, I don’t mean to interrupt you but was I incorrect in assuming they were a designated board or commission with respect to personnel policy?

Hon. Mr. Auld: Yes.

Mr. Bullbrook: I was incorrect, was I?

Personnel policy development, with respect --

Hon. Mr. Auld: They are an independent agency. We don’t develop their personnel policy for them. We develop it for the operating ministries of the government.

Mr. Bullbrook: All right. Thank you, sir.

Hon. Mr. Auld: However, the staff relations branch is available to assist them if they require assistance.

The position, as far as I understand it, and you could deal with this in the estimates of the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations, was that the boards took the position that they could not implement a pay increase in excess of the federal guidelines since the Anti-Inflation Board has indicated this is improper. Some companies, I believe, have been fined and some interim increases which turned out to be in excess of the guidelines were rescinded.

On April 23, there was a letter from a Mr. R. H. Dowdell, director of public administration division, compensation branch, of the Anti-Inflation Board, to Mr. Evans, assistant general manager, personnel and administrative services, Liquor Control Board and Liquor Licence Board:

“The Anti-Inflation Board has just reviewed your submissions with regard to the 3,152 full-time employees and 316 part-time employees of the Liquor Control and Liquor Licence Boards of Ontario. Insofar as the part-time cashiers are concerned, we will not intervene in the introduction of the compensation increases provided. However, insofar as the full-time employees are concerned, the Anti-Inflation Board has decided that the increases are larger than can be accepted under the anti-inflation programme.

After carefully reviewing all the documentations submitted by the parties, the board is of the opinion that the programme of restraints should be implemented by restricting the first guideline in your compensation increases to the maximum permissible under the anti-inflation regulations, i.e. 11.31 per cent. The board has decided not to intervene insofar as the 10.06 per cent second guideline-year increase is concerned.

I may say that I understand that the arbitration award was something in the order of 20 per cent in the first year and 10.6 in the second. The board decided to roll back the first year.

Mr. Bullbrook: Do you agree that --

Hon. Mr. Auld: To pursue the other matter, I inferred -- and perhaps I was incorrect -- from what the hon. member says that had we had our own board we would have made a different ruling than the federal Anti-Inflation Board.

If we were to run by the federal guidelines -- which are very clear -- and say anything after Oct. 13 has to be within the guidelines -- and you look at historical relationships and the variety of things -- I am sure that any board which this province would have had would come to approximately the same conclusions as the federal board, if we were operating under the same guidelines.

So I infer that the hon. member believes that if we had a provincial board we would influence it to be more generous with the public servants in this province than the federal board is.

Mr. Bullbrook: It is almost intolerable dealing with this minister, my lack of ability to convey to him my thoughts. That’s the red herring the Premier casts back and forth at me all the time: You want to give them more money. That isn’t it at all.

There is a basic distinction and a basic onus on government when dealing with final and binding arbitration under provincial statute, as opposed to normally negotiated collective bargaining award. I want the minister to understand, if I may, that the distinction being made is this: There is a law called the Crown Employees Collective Bargaining Act. You see, if General Motors sits down with the UAW and alter the normal process comes to a conclusion that it should be 24.2 per cent, then that’s one thing. Then the AIB looks at that and says, in the context of economic and other conditions, we feel that that must be rolled back.

But when a statute on the books of Ontario, to be administered by a government, says when you come to a conclusion -- and I am not interested in whether the figures are 20 per cent or 80 per cent because one presumes that a three-man board comes to a fair, just and equitable conclusion on the basis of the evidence given to it -- now, there is where the dichotomy arises, because you have a statute of the Province of Ontario which says that award is final and binding. That’s what Mr. Edmunds is talking about.

The House recessed at 6 p.m.