30th Parliament, 3rd Session

L050 - Tue 4 May 1976 / Mar 4 mai 1976

The House resumed at 8:02 p.m.


Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Downsview has the floor.

Mr. di Santo: Mr. Speaker, in resuming my speech relating to the budget, I would like to bring to the attention of the House, which is almost empty I should say at this point, that I was reading part of a document which was presented by an economist of the Treasury of the Province of Ontario, Mr. Clifford Jutlah. I was trying to prove to the House how different is the version of an economist when he doesn’t speak officially and how contradictory it is with the official version given to us in the budget by the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough).

In his paper which was presented to the Public Petroleum Association on Nov. 25, 1975, Mr. Jutlah says, “One should note that the business sector purchases of different kinds of energy does not necessarily represent consumption in Ontario.” He is talking on the impact of energy on the Ontario economy. I think this is a crucial point which was missed yesterday by the Minister of Energy (Mr. Timbrell) during the special debate on energy. What he didn’t underline is the importance of any source of energy in the economy of the Province of Ontario, especially in terms of jobs, in terms of inflation and in terms of the cost of living.

Mr. Jutlah says then: “It does not mean that if you want to get the equivalent per capita consumption in Ontario, that you would divide the 2.8 quadrillion Btu by the eight million residents of Ontario.” It is extremely misleading to do that. Some of the more intensive energy users in Ontario in terms of industry are pulp and paper, industrial chemicals, smelting and refining, cement manufacturing, clay products, abrasives, lime, etc. Not only do these industries account for a large proportion of the total energy use, but the energy costs per person employed in this sector are extremely high.

Judging from the 1972 figures -- and you can now boost this up by 50 per cent or more -- the cost of energy per person in the pulp and paper mills is something like $3,000 in 1972. Cement manufacturers are paying about $11,000 in energy purchases per employee; lime manufacturers about $11,700; and other industries somewhat less. Manufacturing in Ontario accounts for something like one million jobs.

There is one final element I want to place before members before we look at the energy price changes and the Ontario economy. Imports of oil ran something like just over 200 million barrels a year, natural gas about 800 billion cubic feet per year, and coal about 13 million tons per year.

Over 80 per cent of the energy purchased by Ontario comes from outside Ontario. In many senses, Ontario is like Sweden, Switzerland, Greece and other European countries. The difference, however, is that Ontario is in Confederation and most of the energy imported into Ontario comes from other provinces of Canada. That makes a great difference, because you don’t have to worry about balance of payments.

It is estimated that if certain countries do not make changes in their national monetary systems their foreign reserves will be used up entirely in about four years as a result of the changes in oil prices. If Ontario were not part of Confederation, I don’t think you’d want to hold Ontario dollars.

What have been some of the effects of changing energy prices on the Ontario economy? Looking at the impact on households and businesses, the direct additional cost for oil as a result of the 1974 price increase was $560 million and for natural gas about $180 million -- a total of $740 million on an annual basis.

In 1975, we had some changes in the prices of oil and gas resulting in an annual increase of $800 million for oil and $300 million for natural gas, and, of course, the excise tax on gasoline raised another $140 million. Over a period of two years, the additional costs of energy purchases in the form of oil and natural gas amounted close to $1.5 billion.

I want to stress that it is not important, from the point of view of the analysis of the sector of the Ontario economy, that these amounts are $740 million or $1.5 billion. Ontario is part of a system in the Canadian economy, so if we have outflows for the additional costs of these fuels, a lot of it is returned to the Ontario economy through a variety of means.

What is important, however, is that as a result of the energy price change in 1974, something like $3.7 billion was added to the total cost of energy in Canada. That is about what the 1973 price schedules would have provided for, and that represents a significant drop or transfer of funds from the non-oil-and-gas-producing sectors and from consumers to the oil-and-gas-producing sectors and government. It is estimated that out of $1,700 million in 1974 arising from the oil price changes, over $1 billion went to the producing provinces and over $0.6 billion went to the federal government. The balance went to the producing companies.

The situation has improved for the oil companies as a result of a number of events since December, 1974. I must add that the oil companies now are waiting “anxiously,” as the Globe and Mail says today, about how price increases split; that is, the next price increase. But, taking account of the fact that we had these rapid changes in the price of oil and natural gas in 1974 and following through with the facts on industry selling prices to the consumer budget, we found the effect on inflation in Canada for 1974 was about 3.5 per cent, in other words, over one-third of the inflation experienced in 1974 in Canada was due to the increases in prices of oil and gas.

I want to point out that the new price increase which will be discussed and approved at the next first ministers’ meeting will be even more disastrous for our economy, because according to the calculations of the federal Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources, Mr. Alastair Gillespie, in his paper, “An Energy Strategy for Canada,” he said, and I quote from him:

“Through increases in labour costs and prices, the average impact of an increase of $1 per barrel for oil and an associated increase in the price of natural gas might be to increase the consumer price index by about one per cent.”

I think that this is a very conservative calculation because, according to our calculations, the impact on inflation of the new oil price increase will be in the range of six per cent in the next two or three years. This means our economy will be subjected to an extreme inflationary pressure because of the price increases that the federal government is deciding upon with the oil companies and with the complicity of the government of Ontario. According to Mr. Jutlah, the carryover into 1975 on the basis of no further price increases would be about 2.1 per cent. But this was an assumption which now is not true as a result of the price increases which will be delivered this week.

What happened in Canada as a result of the price changes -- and this is extremely important because it comes from the Ministry of the Treasury -- is not vastly different from what happened at the world level. We had a significant inflationary shock, and in addition to Quebec, we had a significant depression of economic activity. In terms of employment, Ontario lost 22,000 jobs in 1974, and as a result of the price changes in 1974, a carryover of 16,000 jobs in 1975. More recent price changes for oil and gas in 1975 would produce a job loss of something like 19,000 jobs over the next 12 months.


We all remember how both the Treasurer and the Premier of Ontario (Mr. Davis) before the last election were out crying about the losses of jobs because of the price increases but they accepted that oil price increase and they will accept the new oil price increase with consequent jobs lost. This time since the price increase will be much higher, according to the calculation of our research staff, there will be a loss of 60,000 to 70,000 jobs in Ontario. That’s what this government is giving to the Province of Ontario with its restraint programme and with the budget it’s presenting to the province for 1976.

Losses in real economic growth, again according to Mr. Jutlah, also followed as a result of these price changes. In other words, what is significant is the fact that there is a tremendous upset in the regional economic balance of power in Canada as a result of energy price changes and, not only that, but massive shifts of resources from non-oil-and-gas-producing sectors of the economy to producing oil and gas sectors and the government. It is crucial how these funds are used in helping us to meet the period of transitional existence, and this is from Mr. Jutlah. Neither from the budget nor from indications of the debate yesterday has the government of Ontario shown it has any policy at all about how to intervene in this crucial sector of the economy of the province and of the nation.

The Ontario economy is structurally highly precarious. I am going to speak now on the second major factor of the economy of the province. The province’s goods-producing sector is dominated by American-owned resource and manufacturing firms. Traditionally, a staples-based economy, Canada has specialized in selling resources and semi-fabricated products to outside metropolitan countries and has imported manufactured goods in return. In 1975, Canada’s deficit in its trade in manufactured goods reached a staggering $10 billion. The goods-producing sector of the Canadian economy with its weak manufacturing components employs a small percentage of the nation’s labour force in comparison with other western countries.

Two-thirds of Canadians are employed in non-productive jobs whether in the private or public sector. That really makes me laugh when the Treasurer of the province (Mr. McKeough) is saying that he is imposing restraints on the province and is limiting employment in the public sector because he wants to give back to the private sector what belong to it. The huge nonproductive sector of the Canadian economy places an enormous burden on the productive sector which turns out the products that all consumers in Canada buy.

The ownership of Canadian resource and manufacturing industries by American corporations has provided the institutional basis for reducing Canada to a northern hinterland of the United States. Canada’s role as a resource base for the United States has prevented the full development of manufacturing in Canada. This is the real problem we are faced with. Limited industrial development has led to the country’s inability to create new jobs at a rate sufficient to keep pace with the growth of the work force.

Furthermore, the retarded growth of the nation’s manufacturing sector has resulted in the relative over-development of the nation’s service industries, and service industries include all categories of workers who do not produce commodities. Their role in the economy is to increase the efficiency of commodity production or to merchandise the commodities which are produced. For example, teachers and researchers train the labour force and prepare new techniques so that more efficient production can occur. Advertisers, bankers and retailers merchandise the commodities produced and organize the financing of future production.

In spite of the seemingly endless growth of service industry jobs, which now employ two-thirds of Canada’s labour force, these jobs depend on the state of the nation’s commodity-producing industries. With only one-third of the country’s work force involved in producing commodities, there is a distinct limit to the number of service jobs the nation can support.

The government’s economic policy is based on the premise that recovery in the American market is the key to recovery in Canada, and that is stated several times in the budget itself. Wage and salary controls will clearly have the effect of dampening demand in the Canadian market, especially for durable goods. The logic of such control, from the government’s point of view, is that holding down Canadian production costs will gain Canada a bigger piece of the American market. The strategy is a classic of continentalism. Ordinary Canadians will have living standards held down so that Canada can compete for American markets and can provide additional capital to generate more investment in an American-dominated economy.

The availability of an economic policy in which the rewards are intended for the corporate sector, most of it controlled from abroad, with costs being paid by ordinary Canadians and the working Canadians, depends on the government’s ability to block potential opposition.

It is not easy, as the Prime Minister has pointed out, to persuade people to lower their expectations. This is especially true if people suspect they are being asked to tighten their belts to benefit powerful corporate interests.

If the Treasurer is forecasting a good year for the Ontario economy in 1976, and if he really thinks in terms of continuing expansion reinforced by the recovery of the US economy, we have our doubts. Even if the gross provincial product does grow by 5.3 per cent, as he forecast, we still question the quality of the recovery and, above all, who will benefit from the recovery.

By the Treasurer’s own admission, the unemployment rate will not go down. As a matter of fact, in March it increased to 6.2 per cent from 5.9 per cent in February, with 263,000 workers unemployed. Why, Mr. Speaker? Because the government does not encourage the development of modern industries with high technology content. As I said before, the manufacturing sector of Ontario employs only 38 per cent of the working force of the province, while 62 per cent are employed in services. Meanwhile, the US is dumping machinery on the Canadian market and we are unable to export technology-intense products.

In 1975, we imported $1,025 million worth of electrical appliances and products but exported only $425 million, with a deficit of $800 million, and that is why we have such a huge trade deficit.

Trying to justify the situation by citing the supposedly lower productivity of Canadian industry, or with wage parity, is inaccurate and ultimately untrue. Now that we are moving into a situation of importing more oil, as the Minister of Energy (Mr. Timbrell) said yesterday, our trade position will be worse unless we re-examine completely our economic strategy.

If this analysis is correct, then the position taken by the Treasurer with regard to the auto pact is understandable. At first glance, this crucial element of the Ontario economy seems to be one of the major concerns of the Conservative government of Ontario, or at least of the 1976 budget. The Treasurer emphatically stated that this is the first comprehensive review of the auto pact since its inception on Jan. 16, 1965. The fact is that the Ontario analysis of the auto pact comes at a very critical moment, when the auto pact is endangering the Canadian economy.

In 1976, Canada will suffer a deficit in the auto pact of $1.9 billion. If we consider that the total trade deficit of Canada in 1976 was $10 billion, we realize the magnitude of the auto industry’s trade deficit. What is even more important for Ontario is that 90 per cent of the Canadian auto industry is located in this province, which means, in simple terms, that one of the major crisis areas in our economy is right now in Ontario.

The reasons for the auto crisis are multiple. We recognize that Canada is suffering because of the stagnation of the auto industry throughout the world and specifically in the USA. As far as Canada is concerned, we do not realize most of the time that in Ontario 100,000 workers are employed in the auto industry, and what is even more important is that in Ontario there are six jobs related to one job in the auto industry.

The Treasurer’s review of the auto pact is, to say the least, meaningless. The auto industry is the uncertain underpinning of Ontario’s industrial economy. For reasons that go beyond the problem of the current recession, the industry is likely to experience stagnation that will be profoundly detrimental to the province’s long-term economic performance. Southern Ontario is as dependent on the auto industry as large sections of the American midwest. In seven major industrial clusters from Oshawa to Windsor, more than 100,000 workers are directly employed in the production of auto parts, assembled cars and trucks, and textile and rubber products for autos. The seven clusters are the Oshawa area, Toronto, Oakville to Brampton, the Niagara Peninsula, Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge, London-St. Thomas and Windsor-Chatham.


Ontario’s auto industry accounts for $7 billion in output annually, one-ninth of the province’s gross product. The industry creates demand for other basic industrial products -- steel, glass, plastics, rubber and textiles. It supports a huge industrial infrastructure, including energy and transportation systems, and is the basis for enormous activity in the service and government industries.

The problem for Ontario is that the auto industry is now in a chronic and deepening state of crisis. There are several reasons for this. First, under the Canada-US auto pact the Canadian auto industry has been rationalized to produce for segments of the entire North American market. The four American auto producers now manufacture cars in Canada and the United States for the entire continental market. In 1974, when the US auto market collapsed while Canada’s remained firm, the result was a gigantic deficit for Canada of $950 million in its auto trade with the United States. What happened was simply that more US cars, trucks and auto parts were shipped to Canada, while fewer Canadian cars, trucks and auto parts were shipped to the United States. Thousands of Canadian auto workers were out of work because the US auto market was off, while thousands of auto workers’ jobs remained in the United States because the Canadian market held firm. In 1975, the deficit was higher -- $1.7 billion in auto parts trade with the United States -- while Canada’s surplus in trade in assembled autos will fall to several hundred million dollars.

Under the auto pact, Canada’s share of the North American auto market will erode in times of economic crisis because the country depends on an American-owned industry, closely linked with the American government, to dole out its share of continental production.

There are important reasons for believing that the crisis in the American auto industry is by no means a simple result of the current recession. Long gone are the days of unlimited potential for market expansion that existed in the 1920s and, to a lesser extent, in the 1950s and 1960s. The world auto industry is highly overdeveloped in relation to potential markets. In addition, three factors are tending to cut further into market potential: higher fuel prices, fast-rising prices of automobiles and urban congestion which calls the viability of the car into question in some cities.

The auto industry, long an engine for the expansion of the American economy, is now a stagnant industry hampered by slow-changing technology and poor market potential. Ontario, Canada’s manufacturing heartland, has become dependent on a single industry that has passed its peak as a spur to growth. The country’s mounting manufacturing trade deficit -- this year $10 billion -- points to the crisis. No problem deserves greater attention from Ottawa and Queen’s Park in this period of economic reassessment than this crisis in the auto industry and the dependence of Ontario on the industry.

Two years ago, Alastair Gillespie, then Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce, went to Detroit and pointed out more or less what the Treasurer of Ontario is saying now in the budget. But recognizing the present critical situation is not enough.

I should point out, however, that the Treasurer is quite incorrect in his analysis of the auto pact. The Treasurer identifies the following problem areas: The lack of momentum in productivity growth in the industry; the allocation of activity in auto assembly between the two countries; and the share of North American markets held by Canadian parts manufacturers.

The Treasurer states that the last few years have seen a lack of momentum in productivity growth, particularly in the assembly sector. The auto pact meant dramatic improvements in productivity and once the major reorganizations were in place it should not be surprising that productivity growth slowed down. Moreover, the present economic crisis and the consequent instability in the use of auto capacity further restrained productivity growth. But the Treasurer seems to imply more than this. He seems to suggest that productivity growth in our assembly plants is doing badly relative to that of the US plants. Superficially, the statistics bear this out.

Between 1969 and 1972, the value added per man hour grew faster in the US than in Canada. Close analysis explains the paradox. What the statistics were really showing was not a weaker productivity performance but a changed model mix. In 1969, Canada began to have a larger share of the smaller cars and smaller cars tend to result in lower value added per man hour. A further problem in making such comparison relates to the fact that plants designated for assembly are also involved in other operations and the extent of such involvement varies from plant to plant.

The question of productivity comes up again when the Treasurer refers to the issue of the price differential. As we have repeatedly pointed out, the money involved is not a minor sum. This differential has by itself more than paid for all of the big four car manufacturers’ new investments in Canada over the past decade. In spite of this, the only responses at the federal level have ranged from wishy-washy headnodding to coming to the defence of the corporations, and so has the Treasurer of this province. As a minimum, what we ask is for more public support and the use of the offices of this government to put public pressure on the corporations. Instead, this government immediately diverted the question to the issue of productivity.

The arguments defining this differential as pure ripoff have been outlined and there is no reason to go into them again here. Let me only add that if the price differential between Canada and the United States were simply a compensation for lower productivity, profits in the two countries would end up to be the same. The facts are confirmed by the recent ITC study on the auto pact, which showed profits for major vehicle manufacturers have been substantially higher in Canada than in the US throughout the 1970s.

Moreover, for much of this period, the differential actually increased. Had this differential gone not to the corporations but to the UAW workers, giving auto workers at least a $2 per hour or 30 per cent increase, would this ministry have played the same low-key role on this question? This is the question we ask the Treasurer of Ontario.

There is one final matter that I’d like to raise. During recessionary times there is excess in-house capacity at the plants, and there is a tendency, therefore, to shift production from independents to the plants. Since this excess capacity is primarily in the US -- Canada is under-represented in terms of in-house parts production -- this shift also means a shift of production to the US. The recent events at Hayes-Dana are an example of this.

General Motors has decided to shift frames formerly produced in Canada to its own plant in Flint, Mich. Involved is about 40 per cent of Hayes-Dana’s current output, meaning the loss of highly skilled jobs, high technology production and export dollars -- 80 per cent of the output for General Motors went to the US. At a time when our “fair share” demands an increase in parts production in Canada, this inability to retain what we already have represents a particularly serious threat to Ontario’s industrial base.

The Treasurer states that he does not believe the auto pact should be necessarily renegotiated. He rather would like to have a regular review. The fact is that the government of Ontario has not understood in the past the importance of the auto pact and has always had a complacent attitude. Until recently. We think the auto industry, on the contrary, is a central factor in Ontario’s economy.

What is necessary is to introduce new safeguards in the auto pact. What Ontario should ask, and this government should impress on the federal government, is that this country as a whole, and then Ontario, having 90 per cent of the production, should produce as much as we purchase. If that was done in 1975, we would have had at least 30,000 more jobs by now. This is not my evaluation. This is not socialist rhetoric. This is the estimates of Mr. Patrick Lavelle, president of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association.

Mr. Moffatt: He’s no socialist.

Mr. di Santo: He is not part of the socialist hordes. Since I said before that 90 per cent of manufacturing takes place in Ontario, then one can figure out what that means for the Ontario economy and Ontario employment. It means at least 27,000 more jobs.

At the next conference of first ministers, the government of Ontario has to ask the federal government to take a firm stand with the view of renegotiating the auto pact, asking for the institution of more stringent safeguards in order to protect Ontario’s economy; and, in particular, that the Ontario production of both cars and parts be protected.

The government of Ontario should also press the federal government for a new oil policy, sales tax, and above all, the creation of a fully employed, growing economy. Those are short-term factors that will certainly influence the demand for cars. The Ontario government should take a firm stand for the removal of price differential on Canadian cars.


The government should ban the importation of auto products from countries that deny workers their trade union rights. The government of Ontario should ask definitely for an annual report on the auto pact. There should be ongoing monitoring and public information on investment patterns, the extent of Canadian content, car prices, etc.

Finally, there should be encouragement of investment and some form of control so that corporations will not be free to shift production and plants without having to answer for the special costs imposed on the workers and the communities involved.

Even though the issue has not been featured prominently in the past, it has two aspects that strongly recommend it this time: auto industry stagnation is central to Ontario’s current weak economic performance, and concern about the industry’s future is concentrated mainly in Ontario. The fate of the auto industry is an important issue because the health of the economy has emerged as the chief anxiety of Canadians since the inception of the federal government’s controls programme last Thanksgiving Day.

The anxiety in Canada about economic policy flows from these hard facts concerning our industrial performance. Politicians of all political stripes are now hastening to say that the key to our future is the building of the productive sectors of our economy. The wisdom that too few Canadians are employed in manufacturing has brought with it another insight -- the percentage of people employed in non-productive service and government jobs must be reduced. The chief target for many politicians is government spending. Cutting government jobs has now become the goal of the government of Ontario with the support of the Liberal Party.

Mr. Bullbrook: Be careful, Odoardo.

Mr. di Santo: The Ontario Conservative government has been engaged in high-publicity hospital closings and budget cuts for municipalities. The provincial Liberals, while critical of the specifics of Tory cutbacks, recognize budget cutting as the necessity of the hour. Both the Conservatives and the Liberals are hoping to make the NDP appear to be the big-government party -- the party that stands for social assistance programmes that imply even more government spending and expanding the government’s payroll.

The NDP is not looking at political convenience. We are showing a new concern for the well-being of the productive sectors of the economy -- the sectors to which service industry and government spending must be based.

We recognize what the crucial problems of our economy are at this time.

Mr. Mancini: This is better than you can do, Floyd.

Mr. di Santo: We are ready to co-operate fully to develop a new economic strategy for Ontario -- a strategy that unfortunately the government is unable to devise and that you would look for, in vain, in this budget.

The government recognizes there are serious problems with Ontario’s economy, but it cannot come to grips with them in any effective way. It endorses the federal government’s attempt to place the blame for inflation on the working people. It publicizes cutbacks in politically vulnerable spending areas to disguise the huge deficit caused by its election-year giveaway programme, while it ignores alternative sources of revenue.

It complains bitterly about the energy mess caused jointly by the oil industry and the federal government, but cannot come to support the greatly expanded direct public role that is essential to Canada’s energy future. Its attempts to blame the trade deficit under the auto pact on Canadian workers, while ignoring the corporate responsibility, simply underline both the need for and the total lack of, a coherent industrial strategy for this province.

I heartily endorse the expression of nonconfidence in the government’s budgetary policy contained in the amendment moved by the New Democratic Party at the outset of this debate.

Mr. Speaker: I believe it was with the concurrence of the House that the hon. member for Frontenac-Addington would be allowed to complete his remarks.

Mr. Conway: Back by popular demand.

Mr. Moffatt: Instant replay.

Mr. McEwen: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It is nice to see you looking so spry this evening.

Mr. Samis: Some humour there, Jack.

Mr. McEwen: When I left off speaking some two weeks ago -- this system of ours seems to get tangled up -- I was commenting on the action of one Mrs. Santo, who had refused to distribute a plan prepared in the township of Barrie and Kaladar. I wish now to continue to speak in the area of housing.

During the 1975 election campaign the grant of $1,500 was brought into being, and whether it was an election ploy or not is something else. But I believe, and a good many others believe, that if it was an election ploy at that time it was very costly to the taxpayers. However, it did produce some action.

Mr. Nixon: Spare no expense.

Mr. McEwen: But I have correspondence indicating it is debatable whether our people are receiving the grant. A home and land was purchased by a man from his father, and because it wasn’t all paid for initially, the revenue minister refused to pay the grant, and he is still refusing to pay the grant.

Mr. Mancini: Just awful.

Mr. McEwen: So again we get to the bureaucracy, and how much it is really costing us to administer this plan. I believe that all should be treated equally.

Mr. Mancini: That’s for sure.

Mr. McEwen: Why should some receive the benefit, while others have to continually quarrel and fight to obtain what is rightfully theirs?

I have also read with interest the housing minister’s speech reported on March 30, 1976, in which he stated the housing grants would go on for another year in a modified form. Why “modified,” Mr. Speaker, if it helped -- if it was successful? Why dilly-dally with something as important as a home for people? Why do we have to read statements in the press after the minister has made them, rather than being advised beforehand in this House? It may be that it is getting close to another election, and I ask, is this another election ploy?

Mr. Conway: Shame, shame.

Mr. McEwen: We can all criticize each other in some area if we cared to, but I am really concerned about the welfare of those who are not earning $12,000, $14,000, $15,000, $20,000 and $49,000 a year, such as some of the assistants to the ministers are receiving. I am concerned about those who do not have the opportunity of earning that much money in order to buy a home of their own.

I cite with regret that the Ontario government bought 300 lots at a rumoured price of $4,900 for the HOME project in one area called Glen Lawrence development. This, in my opinion, was a ridiculously low price for serviced lots. The lots were 60 by 120 ft or so. Without discussing anyone’s private business there is some rumour that this firm is now in financial problems due to the Ontario government wheeling and dealing. And, really, they knew that the contractor just couldn’t produce serviced lots for that amount. However, that was the deal.

This is public money and at least this system was brought about and brought into being to help those who were not fortunate enough to be in a position to find the funds for a large down payment. I’ve been told by many people, and it is also my opinion, that public funds should be used only for those who need the assistance. It is now evident that some of the people who have bought lots are now being allowed to resell them at a cost of $11,000.

That brings me back to my original statement that the delay in home building has been brought about by inflation in the cost of building materials, interest and land, the profit-taking by the Ontario government in projects just such as this, and the delay in the approval of plans for development.

Mr. Mancini: Probably.

Mr. McEwen: Here is a supposedly honourable government profit-gouging. In Toronto, I know of at least one place where the government’s profit is somewhere between $18,000 and $26,000 per lot. That is in the Malvern project.

The interest is now being controlled by the banks and their profits certainly show they are reaping a harvest. That also indicates there is no control on the government’s selling of lots to people who really can’t afford this high rate.

Further, with relation to the shortage of housing and expensive housing, and the high cost in all areas, I now want to dwell for just a few minutes on one area that really is causing this considerable amount of inflation. I cite as an example two letters I have received from two different people in the north end of the riding of Frontenac-Addington, where they have applied for a severance.

The Ministry of Transportation and Communications, in its reply on the questionnaire has called for a frontage of 500 ft. A frontage of 500 ft is almost the width of a farm lot. The width of a farm lot, I believe, is somewhere in the neighbourhood of 660 ft, and here is a ministry that’s calling for a frontage of 500 ft. I’m waiting for a reply from the Minister of Transportation and Communications (Mr. Snow) to my inquiry that was directed to him, I believe, some time in January or February.

This frontage, in my opinion, is not needed. It is just a means to stop some person from picking a lot in the country and living where he or she wants to live. That old story about education and other costs being too high because people are living in the country is just a red herring. The high cost of housing is caused by the bureaucracy in the planning branch in the Ministry of Housing, which is controlled, I understand, by the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough). If he continues to dominate the planning branch in the Housing ministry, then I say this government has earned an election and it has earned the right to defeat.

Mr. Martel: Why don’t you go with us?

Mr. McEwen: Mr. Speaker, there is the other directive here -- I’ll just read part of it; I don’t want to take up the whole evening --

Mr. Eakins: Go ahead.

Mr. McEwen: -- although I’d love to. The land division committee said the proposed lot met all requirements except those of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, and they wanted the lot to have at least 500 ft of frontage. The lot is an overall acre of land, with about 210 ft fronting on the highway. These people want to build a house of their own. They want to pay for it. They’re not asking any assistance, and yet they’re dealt with on this basis. A single ministry objected to the severance. All the other 31 agencies agreed to the land division committee’s request for a severance.

Now, I wish to say again that I can’t see where the Minister of Housing (Mr. Rhodes) is getting anything done or is doing anything himself. It is just possible that he isn’t being allowed to. He does look like quite a jovial person and he seems to be enjoying his role and smiling in the House. That’s all very nice, Mr. Speaker --

Mr. Bullbrook: He is schizophrenic.


Mr. McEwen: -- but at the same time we do need someone who is serious. The Minister of Housing, the Premier (Mr. Davis), the Treasurer and all of those other bodies can give all the lip service they wish to. I am attempting to tell the people that these people are trying to do the best they can but I must say I believe they have their minds in other areas and they are not interested in providing homes for the low wage earners.

The low wage earners don’t want a gift. They don’t want free housing or to live in apartments, blocked in with no place to go. They want freedom, and for as long as I can remember this has been one of the most important things in the lives of the majority of our people.

I call on the bodies responsible to clean house in the planning in the Ministry of Housing immediately, to get rid of the people responsible for the delays in either improving or rejecting requests for services and requests for plans of development.

I say let us put people into these ministries who are going to give the government back to the people; people who are going to listen to our taxpayers and our citizens and who will leave Niagara and Metro and Pickering alone. We need the action somewhere else.

We continually hear about Metro and about Pickering. We all know that Pickering was bought a long time ago and it is the most beautiful agricultural land we can find anywhere but it is still just sitting there.

We should not leave this with the Ministry of Housing or the Treasurer, but unless we take action, how are we going to correct the problem? People can’t continue to buy houses which cost $50,000, $60,000, $70,000 and $100,000. There is no way the average working person can pay for them. They can’t pay the interest and live. We must remember that some of them are going without some of the food they really should have. I think this terrible and I think it is cruel.

I got a shock for a minute when I looked over there. When I looked before there was a smiling man with silvery hair; I look over there and he is almost the youngest man in the House.

Mr. Godfrey: You are aging him rapidly.


Mr. Speaker: Will the hon. member for Frontenac-Addington please continue.

Mr. McEwen: I will, Mr. Speaker from Renfrew North. It is very nice to see you there.

The Minister of Housing has made a statement that he has no intention of lifting any of the 70 land-freeze orders put into effect by this government even though this is an illegal procedure and has been declared so by the courts. Therefore, he, as a representative of the people, is defying the law, which in my opinion is quite an example to set for the people and particularly the youth of this province. How can he, as a minister of the Crown, expect others to have any respect for the law when he himself is openly stating that he does not hold any respect for it?

It appears that this government feels it can ride roughshod over anyone and answer to no one for its actions. Yet other persons breaking the law have to pay the price for doing so. I would like to remind this government that it is a minority.

Mr. Sweeney: Say it again.

Mr. McEwen: I believe we have the worst Ministry of Housing this province has had for a good many years. It has only been brought about, I am reluctant to say, by the arrogance and the bureaucracy which the ministers responsible have allowed to grow.

Again I say that this government has earned the right to an election and this government has earned the right to defeat.

I will dwell briefly on the problem to show members the problem with planning and zoning which we have in this province. This is from the municipality of North Fredericksburgh. I will quote this:

“The Ontario Municipal Board was to meet with North Fredericksburgh township near here to hear objections to the township’s restrictive zoning bylaw. The bylaw has come under fire recently and at one meeting of the township council about 150 angry residents stormed the council chambers and demanded a change.”

Mr. Speaker, provincial police from Napanee had to be called to the meeting to keep the crowd under control.

At present, the bylaw enforced in the township states that no landowner can sever a piece of property unless that piece is at least 25 acres. It is a terrible thing in this province to get to the state where the people have to go out in droves and cause the police to come out to bring order, in deciding --

Hon. Mr. Taylor: It’s a local bylaw and doesn’t provide for 25 acres. Get your facts straight.

Mr. McEwen: I have more for you, don’t get excited. I’ll quote you in a few minutes too.

This bylaw came into being at the suggestion of the Ministry of Housing, which adopted a very restrictive policy. The clerk said the present bylaw could be abandoned if the people wished, but the ministry bylaw which replaces it would be a complete holding bylaw that might freeze township development completely.

I think this is one of the things we all must take a look at, we all must be serious about it and not allow dictatorship to exist to the point where land can be frozen at the whim of a few people --


Mr. McEwen: I’ll quote further:

“James Taylor, the Prince Edward-Lennox member of the provincial Legislature, has stated to the Napanee Beaver and others that the Ontario Ministry of Housing has no business dictating to the municipality what they can or cannot put in their zoning bylaws.”

Hon. Mr. Taylor: And it’s not and you know it.

Mr. McEwen: Do you remember that? The township officials of North Fredericksburgh, Richmond and Camden township have different experiences.

“I have reached such a point of frustration, I am so fed up with the Ministry of Housing, that I say to H with it,” Bruce Cuthill, Reeve of Richmond township, said about his council’s five years of work in designing a zoning bylaw.

“The township has prepared several complete bylaws and I’ve seen them turned down by the Ministry of Housing. What a member of the Legislature tells us is not what the civil servants tell us,” he continues.

“That has been the problem all along. Mr. Taylor told us to put in the bylaw like we wanted and we would get it passed. I was looking for a minister like that for years, but that is not the way it works. Up to 75 per cent of what you put in the bylaw is what the Ministry of Housing wants.”

In Camden township a bylaw calling for a minimum size of five acres for a building lot was protested to the point that the township council tried to have it altered to one-acre lots. But even the five-acre lots were too small, according to Wm. D. Dolman, senior planner for the area for the Ministry of Housing.

Mr. Speaker, the residents of the Province of Ontario really do not have a say.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: He doesn’t pass the bylaws.

Mr. Good: No, but he has them approved.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: You don’t believe that.

Mr. McEwen: To continue:

“Two items still require further resolution before this branch would be able to comment favourably to the Ontario Municipal Board.”

The planning branch is going to comment to the municipal board, they are going to comment either favourably or object. Now this board, I thought, was impartial.

“Mr. Dolman wrote to the township’s planner, James McDermott, of the firm of Totten, Sims and Hubicki last Dec. 31. The Ontario Municipal Board has the power to allow or disallow municipal bylaws and the advice of the Ministry of Housing is weighed heavily in the decision.”

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Who said that?

Mr. McEwen: Still quoting:

“First and most important, this ministry is not at all satisfied with the five-acre minimum lot size and 330-foot frontage requirements of the bylaw.”

A frontage on a lot of 330 feet -- half the size of the frontage of a farm lot -- with such a five-acre provision might reduce the amount of prime agriculture land taken out of the production in an individual instance; it might even take more land out of production because of the increased number of five-acre lots, as opposed to 25-acre lots, that would be purchased. What it really means is that they are attempting to freeze any building, except where certain people request it and demand it.

There has been wide publicity of a controversy in North Fredericksburgh township over a land-use bylaw which calls for 25-acre lots in some instances and for five-acre lots elsewhere and which designates nearly all land within 50 ft of the high-water mark along the water as residential. Township officials are saying that they feel they are forced into some of the bylaw stipulations by the Ministry of Housing; and the 25-acre lot size was one of the minister’s main points, even though the councillors say they didn’t want that.

I want to go back to February, 1975, when all the reeves, mayors, clerks, etc., were called to a big meeting in Toronto to be given the glad tidings of a big event. We were told that 10,000 acres of land was going to be purchased in Prescott. It was really a political do.

At that meeting there was about 10 minutes allowed for questions. I remember one man asked the Minister of Housing at that time, the member for Carleton-Grenville (Mr. Irvine), “What about the freeze on land other than 25-acre lots?” That minister’s comment that day was that in two weeks his staff would be directed to eliminate all freezing of land in the 25-acre lot area. Today, it still exists and the same man, at a later date, without consulting the municipalities of Oso and South Sherbrooke, placed the freeze on 25-acre lot severances in those two municipalities.

Again, I am pointing out the bureaucracy and the reason for the cost of housing and for the cost of lots. Sheffield township farther to the north and not being developed as quickly as the southern area of Lennox and Addington, has not yet been approached by the Minister of Housing. The local council is not planning to start working on a bylaw at this time. “We are not working on a bylaw precisely because of the trouble we heard Camden East, Richmond and North Fredericksburgh are having with the ministry.” That is what the reeve stated.

Here’s another brief comment from a person who said he owned a piece of rock in North Fredericksburgh. He was at this meeting and said he was angry, yes, and why not. The gentleman went on to say that he claimed a taxpayer’s rights to voice his opinion about what’s done with his land. He said he had the right to discuss it and shouldn’t have someone demand what is going to be done with it.

“My particular fair-sized piece of property in the rural zone has emerged from this bylaw in a complete state of “freeze”. It left me unable to enlarge my home, barn or build a new one, or do a solitary thing to expand or improve present farming operations. Besides this, I have considerable lakefront property (in acreage), over which I have laboured hard this past year to clear and beautify, and I can’t touch it, according to these new restrictions. No dock, boathouse, summer residence, etc., and, even more important, a place to enjoy ourselves.

“Owning land today should be a security worth more than money in the bank. If the ‘for sale’ signs should go up on my property tomorrow, it would have to be a rare person indeed who would buy it ‘as is -- and forever shall be.’ Is it any wonder my ‘pet piece of rock’ gave birth to a pet peeve? Angry, yes -- and why not? If this bylaw is not revoked, you can put a sign on the township hail of North Fredericksburgh to read: ‘This is where freedom died -- 1976.’”

I can go on and on about the same thing. The same thing happened in other small municipalities, with township councils and city councils, and the people are not getting an answer. They are not being given any consideration. They are being delayed in the approval of plans. The cost of the land, the cost of interest on mortgages, the cost of building materials and so on are getting so out of line that the average person can only throw up his hands and say, “Give me something free, Give me some house to put my children under. Give me a roof of some kind.”

It’s a terrible situation to be in, yet we go on to hear about the cheaper lots, cheaper homes.


I could go on at considerable length on this. I want to just point out three items which I think should be of great interest to the general public.

In one area, the minister really hasn’t come out with a programme, although he did mention in the press and so on, and I believe in the House once, that they had a study on the feasibility of building cheaper homes. I don’t think it’s anything definite yet although it might be sprung on us anytime.

The thing that really bothers me is, how cheaply can one build a house? What can one do? Engineering costs are pretty well set. The cost of building materials is set. What are we going to have? Are we going to have a paper box house for some people? Do we want to shove them into some sort of house of this type? Are we going to have rooms of possibly six by six, just wide enough for a bed to get in there; maybe seven feet wide or something like this?

They even suggest in some areas here that we are going to have lot sizes with a frontage of 12 ft. Just imagine a house 12 ft wide, and one goes in there, there’s a hall there; what else does one have? One would be lucky to get in and get out again.

Where are we going to have the parking on lots where the houses are 12 ft wide? Where are we going to park the cars? Where are we going to have the parkland? They also state that we can do with less parkland. We can cut down the widths of the streets. We can cut the cul-de-sacs down considerably.

The question I am going to ask is, how are we going to plough those streets? How are we going to get a fire truck into those narrow streets and those narrow cul-de-sacs? How are we going to service the area, in particular, and what kind of slum will it be? What kind of a slum will it be?

They are suggesting that we have 10 units per acre. It is only a short time ago that we were supposed to have five-acre and 25-acre lots, like in North Fredericksburgh and these other municipalities. What will we get from the small lots and the small homes? I suggest that the water from the eavestroughs and so on will spill out on the ground beside the house, and from experience I see it flooding the next-door neighbour, flooding the basement, all sorts of problems; and after it’s built, after the Ministry of Housing has this built and the people are in there and the contractor has gone, then who will take the blame?

My reply to that is that the municipality will have to take the flak. That is part of the result. Unless the developer pays the cost of all services, the municipality is going to be in debt for 25 or 30 years, to the extent that when it does need to borrow, its borrowing power will be eaten up with services for streets, paving streets and so on, which is really the developer’s responsibility. Their taxes will increase, but apparently that doesn’t concern these ministries at all. As long as it gets away from them, away from the ministries and onto the person who is buying and the municipality, that’s all that’s necessary.

Mr. Speaker, I will go back to the results: You buy now and pay later, and you pay, and you pay, and you pay. The municipality goes deeper and deeper into debt through the debenture system. We will have flooded areas. We will have flooded basements. The municipalities will almost be facing bankruptcy. I don’t say that this province is bankrupt, but certainly its AAA rating is sure shot all to pieces. The interest rate keeps going up. There is no consideration whatever given to attempting to get that interest rate down where the average person can pay. The high costs of material keep increasing and no one is attempting to stop that, or doesn’t appear to be. There are planning delays, and as I mentioned previously there are all the costs of the engineering, the surveying, the drawing of plans and the redrawing, the travelling, the discussing and the meetings etc. That builds up and builds up and then there are the OMB hearings, and the developer, whoever it is, doesn’t know if he’s going to get it passed or not.

All of this adds up, and instead of the lot selling for probably $5,000 or $6,000, or $7,000 or $8,000, it’s anybody’s guess. The guy who gets the lot developed and approved first is the one who’s in the driver’s seat, and he can charge whatever he can get really.

I noted with interest the member for Hastings’ (Mr. Rollins) report from Queen’s Park in the Trade News I believe it was, in which he stated that the provincial Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) has reversed his procedure on the flow of public spending and brought forward a responsible budget. I want to commend him for his honesty, since he is admitting that in the past the budgets that have been brought down have been totally irresponsible, and now the government is trying to clear up the financial mess it created by passing the burden on to the taxpayers and also by making the taxpayers suffer the consequence of this irresponsibility by drastic cut-backs in essential services to the public.


Mr. Spence: That’s right.

Mr. McEwen: The budget is a farce. The Treasurer is taking much credit for the government’s restraint programme, and appears to be very smug and self-satisfied with his accomplishments. However, it is very obvious to everyone that he has merely passed the buck to the taxpayer and that his budget also smacks of total irresponsibility, just as budgets brought in by some previous Treasurers. Some of the admirable accomplishments that he has are:

In Odessa, a meeting was held -- and this is for you too, Jim, I knew that you would be waiting with bated breath -- in the Ernestown Secondary School with respect to the cost and repayment process of Odessa’s water and sewer system, which is currently about one-third completed.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Is this you now, or is this Clark?

Mr. McEwen: It appears that cost estimates in 1973 were that $186 would be levied against each typical homeowner. Typical homeowner -- that means an assessment of $3,000. How many homes are assessed at $3,000 today? More like $4,000, $5,000 or $6,000, so that means that it could be double that amount.

However, these figures were based on the project being completed in 1974. There has been considerable delay in finishing this project, and one reason for the delay was the acquiring of land and other items by the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority. Because of the delay, it is now estimated that the typical homeowner is going to have to pay a figure of $297.61 a year, but a Mr. Crabtree of the Ministry of Environment stated that figure would not be legal and binding until approved by the Ontario Municipal Board.

This is very important; he said if the Ontario Municipal Board rejected these prices the old $186 figure could still apply. I ask, on what authority? I would like to know why the original figure cannot be left as it is, if indeed there is any possibility that the OMB might reject the new figure of $297.61. I would also like to know what kind of business is this about our ministry has entered into? Is it without tendering? Is it without a contract?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: No. You know it’s not.

Mr. McEwen: Is it a contract? Was it a contract? If it wasn’t, it should have been. In this day and age it should have been a contract. I would say that it is government mismanagement,

Hon. Mr. Taylor: You know enough about servicing to know better than to talk like that.

Mr. McEwen: Let me finish. You’ve been here several weeks and you haven’t said anything yet. Let me say something.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Let me say something.

Mr. McEwen: Let me say something.

Mr. B. Newman: Let me say something.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Why don’t you be factual? Why don’t you?

Mr. Speaker: Order. Will the member for Frontenac-Addington please continue? Order.

Mr. McEwen: Now we’re getting there. That’s fine.

There was a chap said the other day that you could make a fortune endorsing kitty litter, but I didn’t agree with him.

However, those figures were based on the project being completed in 1974. There has been considerable delay in finishing this project, and one reason for the delay was the Cataraqui Conservation Authority. I’ll repeat that. I believe the Minister of Community and Social Services and the member for Lake Nipigon (Mr. Stokes) were in attendance at the meeting.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Sure, and you weren’t.

Mr. McEwen: No, I wasn’t there.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: And you don’t know the facts. Why don’t you get the facts before you speak --

Mr. McEwen: I’ll give them to you. Mr. Speaker, may I continue?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: -- instead of the conjecture and speculation and distortion.

Mr. McEwen: Shall I continue? I’d like to comment on Mr. Taylor’s approach to taking mothers and children off the welfare rolls and sending them out to work.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: What has that got to do with the sewers?

Mr. McEwen: It’s been my experience that most mothers who have children and have been deserted by their husbands do not have the qualifications to get a well-paying job which would allow them to pay for the care of their children while they are out working. Perhaps the Minister of Community and Social Services himself has never experienced poverty since he feels quite securely that his mother never was placed in this position of either having to go out to work or to have to apply for welfare. Nor do I feel that Mr. McKeough’s mother was ever in such a circumstance.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Who are you quoting now?

Mr. Speaker: Will the member for Prince Edward-Lennox please restrain himself and let the hon. member for Frontenac-Addington continue?

Hon. W. Newman: Mr. Speaker, you are being partial now. You shouldn’t do that.

Mr. McEwen: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Nixon: Enjoyable interjections.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. McEwen: I’m very pleased that you see how rude the member for Prince Edward-Lennox is to me. We’re all aware of a few cases where welfare may be exploited. But, on the whole, most people would rather not be forced to experience the humiliation which is their lot when applying for welfare. It appears to me that the Minister of Community and Social Services has more or less issued a blanket statement damning all people on welfare as being dishonest and chiselling the taxpayer. The cutbacks in Children’s Aid Societies is also going to create hardships for these who need the help most.

Mr. Warner: Too bad the minister doesn’t get up in the morning and do something useful.

Mr. McEwen: These are the children who do not have good homes or any homes at all, and as for family benefits, I have some information on people in my riding who are living not above the poverty line, but almost in poverty --

Hon. Mr. Taylor: You are not reading very clearly. Who are you quoting now?

Mr. McEwen: -- who are unable to go to work because they are crippled, blind or both, and a blind person’s pension allowance is somewhere in the neighbourhood of $2,500 a year. I would like to ask the hon. member if he thinks he could subsist on this amount of money.

Also, in talking about getting mothers off the welfare roll, I would like to point out to him that if a mother with a crippled blinded husband goes out to work and earns a few dollars, the money she earns is taken out of the already miserable allowance her husband receives for his disabilities.

Mr. Warner: He doesn’t understand. There is no point in talking, he doesn’t understand.

Mr. McEwen: The Treasurer has done a very thorough job on this budget. No area has been left untouched, because we now come to the subject of education. As the Minister of Education (Mr. Wells) is well aware, the cutbacks in the educational system have fallen upon the municipalities who have had to increase their mill rates to taxpayers to provide a minimum standard of education. After three years of mismanagement, the taxpayer and particularly those in the smaller municipalities, are now having to bear this extra burden on their already overstrained backs.

I’m quite sure that those in the high office knew quite some time ago where their overspending and mismanagement of funds was leading them. But, like ostriches with their heads buried in the sand, they continued on their merry way leading the province to financial ruin without any thought being given to the drastic results which would evolve from their carelessness. However, I believe they knew they could find a scapegoat in passing on to the municipalities the burden of carrying the mess they got the province into.

Then we get into the health services. I would not think either the Treasurer or the Minister of Health (Mr. F. S. Miller) would lose any sleep or be bothered by their conscience with regard to the closing down of a few hospitals, cutting down on staff at other hospitals and putting hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people out of work. After all, what does it matter if lives are lost because the nearest hospital may be 50 or 60 miles away? In rural areas where blizzards occur in wintertime and it is virtually impossible for ambulances to drive in such weather, ambulance men have walked and carried patients to the nearest hospital when their lives were endangered. But, of course, the hospitals were quite close -- perhaps a couple of blocks away.


It would appear the Treasurer and the Minister of Health are much more concerned about saving a few dollars than saving the lives of human beings. I must say at times our compassion and humanitarianism are admirable, most admirable. Also, I feel that when the Minister of Health -- I am very pleased to see him return today, and I hope in good health -- I feel it was fortunate when he had his heart attack that there was a hospital nearby to which he could be rushed and where he could be placed in an intensive care unit. Others in rural areas are not going to be this fortunate, after the budget cut to the hospital services system. These people suffering a heart attack will probably die on the way to the nearest hospital.

In trying to justify the increase in OHIP premiums the Treasurer has stated that this increase will be passed on to the employer. This may be right in some cases, but certainly not in all. Those who can least afford it -- for example, day labourers and people in the lower-paying job groups -- do not have part or all of their OHIP paid by the employer. They have to pay the whole cost themselves. What about the employers? They are carrying enough burden without having to pay any additional funds. In all probability many of them are going to wind up out of business through the poor planning of this government. As the old cliché says, you can fool some of the people some of the time, but you sure can’t fool the bank managers.

Although this government has, up until now, done a supreme job of conning the people of Ontario, it is my belief that its days are numbered in the con game. I repeat: this government has earned an election, and has earned defeat.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Is that your last word?

Mr. McEwen: Oh, don’t worry, I will get back to you. Don’t get lonesome.

Since our best budget con artist, the Treasurer, has pared down in all areas so that the taxpayer is certainly being made the fall guy and is going to feel the pinch -- especially the little guy, who earns little enough to manage on now -- I would like to ask why the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) finds it necessary to hire 40 more judges to fill up the current backlog in court cases. Why in the first place was such a backlog allowed to occur? I mean, judges certainly cannot be hired for peanuts.

While I am speaking about the Ministry of the Attorney General I would like to take issue regarding Mr. McMurtry’s statement to the North Toronto Businessmen’s Association regarding civil disobedience. He said politicians must exercise vigilance to ensure full public participation in legislative decisions. Yet as I see it, people are not being allowed to do this. The people had no say in the seatbelt legislation -- this was mandatory, and a great many people object to the government telling them they must be strapped into a vehicle. I believe, and a good majority of our people believe, that we can educate our people to use the seatbelts if they are the right thing. I think if you ask them, they will co-operate. But I think it was wrong to initiate legislation to demand such a thing as this.

Mr. Warner: You voted for it.

Hon. W. Newman: Why did you vote for it then?

Mr. McEwen: No, no. We further stated that there is no justification at this time in our society for the tactic of civil disobedience, since everyone has access to the courts to redress his grievances.

Hon. W. Newman: You guys have --

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Warner: Why didn’t you have the courage to abstain?

Mr. McEwen: May I ask the Attorney General how many people can afford a lawyer to represent them in court? It is a very expensive procedure, and this is a terrible attitude.

The Attorney General is having charges laid against hockey players for violence. I feel he could well leave this to the referees, and instruct them to inflict more serious penalties on those who are causing the problem, since there are more serious crimes being committed in today’s society.

It is my feeling his talents would be better employed in laying charges against the Ministry of Health. I’m referring to the case of 12-year-old Maryjean Boetto, who had been prepared for surgery -- emotionally, physically and mentally -- to have three gangrenous toes removed. This child was hysterical for two hours because the surgery had to be postponed due to the lack of nurses. How can one explain to a 12-year-old child that the surgery had to be postponed because of the Ministry of Health budget cuts to hospitals? Are we living in the Middle Ages? It appears to me that things like this should never happen.

I can go on about these laws that the minister has been advocating. We read them every day. I have heard him state here what is, in my opinion right on the verge of a police state in that he was going to bring in legislation to allow the OPP to stop anyone anywhere, and in particular to set up roadblocks -- I believe that is exactly what I heard; to set up roadblocks -- to determine if they were drunk.

I don’t participate in drinking so I take exception to being stopped in a roadblock and kept for an hour waiting while some policeman goes down the line to decide whether he is going to take a licence away or not.

Mr. Eakins: I don’t either.

Mr. McEwen: Is that right? I am glad you agree with me. Thank you very much. It is very nice that he agrees with me.

Now that the provincial government has passed the seatbelt legislation with some various, dubious rationalization for its need, it seems only logical to gaze into the crystal ball and speculate in the future. This is what we could see any day.

Toronto -- The provincial government today gave third reading to four more bills in its restraint programme.

One bill requires that women cease wearing brassieres and instead bind their breasts. A government spokesman at a press conference today explained that this had been successful with the Watusi tribe in Central Africa, so it should work here.

The second bill, a similar bill, requires that all women wear girdles. Asked for an explanation of this, the Attorney General said it was a privilege to have a bountiful body and the government wished all women to have this privilege. The girdle law would not go into effect immediately, however; there would be a waiting period of several months during which women would be required to report to their doctors for fitness examinations. Those who are more than 20 lb overweight will be enrolled in a weight-reducing studio. The spokesman said surgeons had no difficulty operating on obese women and operations took longer. Time is money, he explained, and every effort must be made to reduce medical expenditures.

Item 3: Males have not been overlooked in this government programme. The third bill requires all men to wear athletic supporters. The spokesman stated this had worked well in football players.

The fourth bill will require all residents of public housing to live on the roof. The spokesman explained that, although 95 per cent of the cost of housing was paid by federal funds, five per cent was provincial and the five per cent was just about the cost of interior decorating and the provincial government had to protect its investment.

This is the sort of arrogance that we can expect almost any time. This is the sort of legislation that we can expect at any time. I would like to ask the Attorney General when he is here, and if he cares to answer --

Mr. Haggerty: He is watching the hockey game.

Mr. McEwen: -- why justices of the peace who have no legal training, or for that matter, legal experience of any kind, are allowed to sit in judgement on people. I am citing here one case in which a justice of the peace, John Russell of Napanee, convicted a man by the name of Walker of Kingston for not wearing a seatbelt. Mr. Walker appealed the decision of Mr. Russell before a county court judge and his appeal was upheld since Mr. Walker was unable to wear his seatbelt due to a back injury. He was born without a portion of his vertebrae.

While I am on the subject, I would like to make it plain, insofar as I am concerned, and I know this applies to many other people in Ontario, that this mandatory seatbelt legislation should not have been passed. Appointing justices of the peace to do certain things is one thing, but to sit in judgement on people is another. It is my opinion they should be someone with legal experience and not campaign managers; or opposition to the Minister of Community and Social Services, such as the reeve of Ernestown, who was made a JP; or the man who runs Syl Apps’ brickyard, who was made a JP; or a man away out in the north end of Frontenac who was made a JP without any consideration of the members here. I think when they appoint a JP such as this it should be by a committee of this House so that we could decide

Mr. Warner: Is that called patronage?

Mr. McEwen: That is something.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Do you know what he is talking about?

Mr. McEwen: In the area of Natural Resources the budget has affected the restocking of lakes with fish and as everyone knows it is essential to tourist operators to have fish in lakes for tourists to catch. Operators are going to suffer great financial loss because of this action.

The minister is filled with compassion for the poachers since he feels that a person who is fined for a hunting offence is being punished unduly if he loses an expensive gun or some other type of equipment. It has always been my understanding that the punishment should fit the crime. It would appear the hon. minister is very sympathetic to poachers but I have found him to be most unreasonable in other areas.

In correspondence I had with him he felt that a small municipality should be punished by not receiving a fee owing to it for fighting fires on Crown land for the reason that it was reported a bit late. After several letters the minister did concede and the municipality is receiving these funds that were rightly its in the beginning.

Another matter he has been most unsympathetic about is that of the township of Sheffield which has objected most strenuously to the Moira River Conservation Authority changing the name of the Sheffield conservation area to the Belleville Yardmen’s area. The authority will receive a sum of $40,000 from the Belleville Yardmen to be paid at $2,000 per month for this name change.

I feel that perhaps it would be more incumbent upon the minister to give more consideration to law-abiding citizens and their requests than to see that a poacher does not have to suffer the great inconvenience of having his expensive piece of equipment taken away from him.

I quote from an article:

“Politicians should stop playing Santa Claus to poachers and lawbreakers. (‘Bernier says he returns confiscated guns.’)

“Conservation officers have their pride. Ontario is fortunate in having a few good ones. They should be encouraged to pursue their duties to uphold the law without interference.

“Unfortunately the Ministry of Natural Resources is oriented toward lumbering and big business. The fish and wildlife branch is just an appendage receiving little attention and meagre financial allocations.

“It is high time anglers and hunters of Ontario receive a more favourable break.

“Poachers should lose their equipment. They despoil our resources and give ethical outdoors people a bad name.”

I can go on about what is happening in those areas with that ministry. The one in particular I would like to bring to the attention of the House is a letter from the Ompah Conservation Association to me. It states:

“I recently read a letter addressed to a certain person, a good conservationist, who has a cottage on Mosque Lake, from Harold Cantelon, district manager of the Ministry of Natural Resources at Tweed, stating that the waters of Palmerston Lake was to receive no further plantings of lake trout. The letter went on to state that lakes having some degree of natural reproduction should carry a sufficient fishery to meet the needs of the people and that the indications were, for Palmerston Lake, that stocked fish were of no importance. Hence no further stocking would take place.”

I am very concerned about all of the small lakes in Ontario, particularly in the riding of Frontenac-Addington, because I receive numerous letters from people inquiring about the restocking of lakes and why it doesn’t take place.

Really, the answers we receive are that there is no restocking going to take place. We do try to encourage the tourists to visit all of our counties in the province and the one thing that does encourage them to come back -- I am speaking from past experience -- is catching fish. If they are not there, they are certainly not going to come back. This is the reply. I have a letter from another municipality in Clarendon and Miller. That is away in the north end -- that is farther up in the Ompah area.


The reply from the minister was quite lengthy but I would like to read some of it. The letter refers to the letter that I forwarded to him, and this is the procedure that I have been taking. It says:

“The matter outlined in your letter is of concern to me, particularly where fishing opportunities are declining and where this is affecting tourism as well as other related industries. [But yet in the Ompah area they are not going to restock.]

“Our provincial fish hatcheries are presently producing at maximum capacity. Increased costs and monetary constraints have made it almost impossible to consider expansion of our planting programme at this time. The most economical and, in the long run, the most satisfactory method of managing a fish population is by utilizing natural reproduction.

“Assuming that a lake environment is satisfactory for lake trout, for instance, use of hatchery fish can impair the native fish through an introduction of disease [and so on].”

Why are we operating the fish hatcheries and what are we doing with the, I believe they call them fingerlings? What are we doing, if they are put in the lakes, according to the ministry, to try to prevent damage to the other fish? Yet, if we don’t put them in, we won’t have fish.

In the one letter they say they are not going to stock it. This one is giving an alibi of why they don’t stock it. It goes on and on.

“In the future we do not plan to stock hatchery-reared lake trout in the eastern region waters where natural reproduction by native trout is possible.”

But it isn’t possible in here apparently. The fish population is declining. The letter says:

“Lakes which cannot support reproduction but which have suitable water quality conditions for fish survival will be the main recipients of hatchery fish. If water quality conditions have deteriorated to the point where trout survival is no longer possible, the existing warm-water fish population will have to provide the total sports fishing opportunities. [In other words, go somewhere else.]

“The only realistic solution is to clean up deteriorated water quality where it exists and reduce angling pressure.”

It is just impossible to tell people they can’t put a fish line in the water. This is our way of life in this country for all time and it would be sad to say to the people they can’t go fishing and they can’t put a line over that shore. The letter goes on:

“My staff in eastern Ontario are presently working toward a better system of utilizing lake trout stocks in the region. I hope that the preceding discussion helps to explain some of our fisheries management problems in the stocking programme in Ontario and I assure you that every effort will be made to maintain fishing opportunities in the Plevna area.”

I would like to know what they are going to do. First of all, they said they are not going to do anything and then they said they hope we will be satisfied with what they do.

As our distinguished Treasurer has done such an excellent job with his so-called budget cuts, I would now like to mention our illustrious Ombudsman who is being paid $60,000 per year for his services and has asked for a budget for the coming year of $3.2 million in order to increase his staff and other expenses, I would presume, from 80 to 100 members. Apparently the government is supposed to be only allowing him a budget of $2.3 million, and I understand Mr. Maloney is appealing this.

Up to the present time Mr. Maloney has only given generalities as to what he has accomplished as Ombudsman. However, he has taken credit for the release of Silvanus Jefferson who had been given the maximum sentence of 14 years for a minor wounding offence. I fail to see why Mr. Maloney should take credit for this as Mr. Jefferson may have been released in any event without his intervention.

Under the date of April 1, 1976, I wrote to Mr. Maloney asking him to inform me just what he had accomplished by way of helping the common man in Ontario, who was being slated by red tape and bureaucracy. In particular, I was referring to the Workmen’s Compensation Board, which, in my opinion, is one of the most badly organized departments of government I have ever come across.

I sent copies to the news media of the letter that I had written to Mr. Maloney. Mr. Maloney called one of the newspapers and asked what the newspapers thought of my letter. This is before he replied to me.

Mr. Eakins: What did he say?

Mr. McEwen: I want to tell you what I said first:

“It is my understanding that the Ombudsman was supposed to be a completely impartial person working only for the good of the little people who could not fight city hall ... ”

However, I am of the opinion that Mr. Maloney is either unable or will not maintain impartiality and that he is using his office not for the purpose intended, but rather for self-glorification. It would appear that Mr. Maloney’s office is not going to be deprived of anything because of the budget, nor are any of the higher echelons in government. The taxpayer is still going to be paying for the refurbishing of offices, such as the $65,000 spent on redesigning the Lieutenant Governor’s suite, plus $20,000 for plants. And then there’s the matter of expensive cars for deputy ministers, such as the one purchased for Mr. Backley of Health at a cost of approximately $10,000. Also the government is aware of the dreadful waste of taxpayers’ money in the cost of publications which lie on shelves gathering dust.

The reason for my letter was that we received quite a lengthy letter from Ellen C. Adams, director of institutional and special services, and I believe that each member received one of these. It goes on to say that the Workmen’s Compensation questions and grievances should be dealt with by the members.

“It would be of great help to this office if you could advise me if I should suggest to your constituents that they get in touch with you if they require assistance with their appeal against the Workmen’s Compensation Board.”

How could we help in their appeal? I don’t think we could.

“If you have no objections to this process, we could then suggest to your constituents that we forward their file to you so that they do not have to outline their problem once more.”

Mr. Speaker, we have a file full of complaints about the Workmen’s Compensation Board now, that we can’t get any consideration for.

“Should the appeals not meet with success and should you feel that the claim requires further investigation, I would appreciate it if the file were returned to this office so that we can request a Xerox copy of the Workmen’s Compensation file and conduct an independent investigation.

“Yours sincerely,

“Ellen C. Adams.”

Here is a department -- I guess you’d call it a department -- that is asking for $3 million or $5 million for the year to conduct the business of the Ombudsman. This is the letter I wrote, and in all humility it was good stuff to bring up. It was just to get to the point because we were really wanting to get some claims cleaned up.

“Dear Mr. Maloney:

“I am in receipt of a letter dated March 16 from Ellen C. Adams, director of institutional and special services, in which she states that your office receives a great many complaints relating to the Workmen’s Compensation Board. She then goes on to quote from sections 15(4)(a) of the Ombudsman Act.

“For your information, I have found that in most cases the injured workman has exhausted every avenue open to him in attempting to have his claim settled before calling on his MPP for assistance.

“The Workmen’s Compensation Board, which presumably was specifically set up to assist and protect the injured workman who sustains injuries in the performance of his duties while at the place of employment, appears to do everything within its power to harass the claimant. It is a nightmare even when the MPP does intervene on behalf of constituents to get this board to take appropriate action with respect to a claim. May I assure you that by the time a constituent contacts his MPP, he has reached the stage of total frustration and complete defeat in attempting to cut though the red tape which surrounds this board.

“Many of these people have been permanently disabled and will never be able to work again, and yet it is like trying to get blood out of a stone in attempting to get those unfortunate victims’ justifiable claims settled. In many cases the compensation was set quite a few years ago and has never been raised in keeping with the continuing escalation in the cost of living. Those people who through no fault of their own find themselves in the position of never being able to seek gainful employment invariably have to suffer incredible humiliation at the hands of the board, which was supposedly set up for their benefit and protection.

“It is my understanding that the Ombudsman was appointed to act impartially on behalf of members of the public who found themselves in the situation where they could not fight city hall and that his office would then enter the dispute in their defence to see that they received fair and just treatment.

“I regret to say that, in my opinion, this does not seem to be the case as far as your office is concerned. I would like you to advise me of what issues, if any, you have settled on behalf of the common man, and in particular, with respect to any person in the riding of Frontenac-Addington who may have approached your office for assistance. If you have not cleared any issues, particularly with respect to the Workmen’s Compensation Board claims, then I would ask, just what is it costing the province for the upkeep of your office?”

I received a reply:

“Thank you for your letter of April 1.

“I think in dealing with some of your comments, reference should be made to the exact role the Legislature gave me to fill.

“Section 15, subsection 1 spells out the function of the Ombudsman of Ontario. This provision reads as follows:

“‘15(1) The function of the Ombudsman is to investigate any decision or recommendation made or any act done or omitted in the course of the administration of a governmental organization affecting any person or persons or body of persons in his or its personal capacity.’

“A further understanding of the section quoted is obtained by reading section 1, which reads as follows:

“‘1. In this Act,

“‘(a) “government organization” means a ministry, commission, board or other administrative unit of the government of Ontario, and includes any agency thereof;

“‘(b) “minister” means a member of the executive council.’

“It is my feeling and my colleagues’ that we are furnishing the people of the province with a first-class Ombudsman operation and that certainly seems to be the consensus of the great majority of people who have come to us for help.

“Obligations of confidentiality that were imposed on me under the Ombudsman Act make it difficult for me to reply to the inquiry contained in the last paragraph of your letter.”

All I wanted to know was how many is he dealing with and has he finished any. I didn’t want to know the particulars.

“The cost of maintaining the office of the Ombudsman will be disclosed in due course by the provincial auditor. You will find, I am sure, that the figure is lower than most people would have expected.

“It goes without saying the tenor of your letter came as a great disappointment to me.”

I’m really thrilled about the next paragraph:

“I’ve heard a great deal about you and am looking forward to the pleasure of meeting you. I would suggest you call me to arrange a meeting at my office so you can see our operation and meet my colleagues who are doing so much to help me make it work.”

And that’s the letter which really didn’t answer what I was asking for.

Mr. Speaker, it goes on and on here. Apparently I’m not the only one who is concerned about the path of the Ombudsman’s office. There appear to be some of my associates in the office close by me who are just as concerned as I am --

Mr. Deans: Why are you picking on Arthur Maloney? What have you got against Arthur Maloney?

Mr. McEwen: The one comment I have to make in reading the Ombudsman Act is that I would presume Mr. Maloney, being a lawyer, was completely aware of the fact that he could not remain impartial if he was not at liberty to revoke decisions made by the cabinet of Ontario. Therefore, if he cannot investigate cabinet decisions to see if people have been fairly treated, one must conclude that the entire government is infallible, and up to the present time I was always under the impression that human beings were fallible.

Mr. Foulds: He’s not finished yet, fellows.

Mr. McEwen: Oh, no.

Mr. Morrow: Not a bad preamble.

Mr. Foulds: It sounds like Canterbury Tales, it goes on and on and on.


Mr. Eakins: Just wait, the best is yet to come.

Mr. Foulds: It’s got nowhere to go.

Mr. McEwen: Turning to the Minister of Culture and Recreation (Mr. Welch) -- I have heard him called the minister of gambling although I really don’t go for that because he is a very nice chap -- but I am concerned about the $39 million taken by Wintario last year and the estimated $60 million forthcoming this year.

We read from time to time -- and the minister is gracious enough to send us copies -- of $3,000 to this organization or $4,000 to another and so on. But we are dealing with $39 million and $60 million. In the beginning I believed it was for recreation and culture, and recreation in one area is for building recreation centres, arenas, covered buildings and so on. I had hoped that the minister would give serious consideration to getting back to that application of the funds which he is collecting.

Giving out $1,000 to the grape-stompers’ association and so on is a great way -- it is a great political gimmick to be allowed to administer $60 million in a year and be the only one who will really decide who is going to get the money. We do have a lot of requests, a lot of recommendations for assistance in all areas, particularly in the riding I am honoured to represent. At no time do we see any great amount of money forthcoming to put up any of these buildings.

I would say that with $60 million we could put up 120 of these buildings in one year. From experience in what I have seen these buildings which are erected; they are put to great use. The ones which are in operation seem to be bulging at the seams with our young people who are wanting the use of them.

I have only one comment on the Ministry of Transportation and Communications because fortunately I have had great co-operation from this gentleman. I am very pleased about that. I must say this, I hope the man will take action after my complimenting him tonight. He has co-operated very well -- wonderfully -- but there is one area which is of great concern to a lot of people and I must speak for the people of Prince Edward-Lennox.

It’s the area of Highway 2 and Highway 133 intersection. This is a letter, April 6, 1976, to the chief administrative office, the county of Lennox and Addington, and it is from a Mr. Trew, Ministry of Transportation and Communications in Kingston. At Highway 2 and 133 there is a very flat approach both ways and coming south on Highway 133 if one is travelling at 50 mph and not exceeding the speed limit, you are on to Highway 2 regardless of the signs which have been erected there.

There have been a good many accidents in the past and the council of the township of Ernestown, in the county of Frontenac has continually asked the ministry to install traffic lights there and the ministry has continually refused to do so. The last letter is:

“We have reviewed the above intersection and feel that the present traffic control devices, which include 4 ft x 4 ft stop signs are adequate.

“The installation of flashers is generally reserved for locations displaying any of the following conditions: A physical obstruction in the roadway; a sharp curve in the roadway or where a major intersection is hidden by a sharp curve or severe grade. At the intersection of Highways 2 and 133, none of the above conditions exist.”

As I mentioned it is flat.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: What is the date of the letter?

Mr. McEwen: To continue:

“In 1972, the smaller stop signs were replaced by the 4 ft x 4 ft signs and the flashers were removed. [There were flashers there previously.] Since the installation of the larger signs, they have proven to be very effective, with a low total of nine collisions. From information received, it was discovered that the past fatal accident which occurred at this location would not have been prevented by the installation of flashers. [These people are psychic. You know, they are mind readers and they can look into the future.]

“Please be assured we will keep this intersection under observation and any adjustments which may be beneficial will surely be undertaken.”

In other words, apparently a certain number of people must be killed before any action is taken. I quote from the Kingston Whig-Standard of April 14:

“Camden East reeve Duane Williams, claimed he was ‘appalled the Ministry of Transportation and Communications would take this decision’ when it was learned the resolution he moved in last month’s county council session for a flashing light at Highways 2 and 133 was refused. The intersection has been the scene of several serious accidents recently. The ministry, in a letter from J. S. Trew, regional traffic superintendent, claimed that only nine collisions has occurred at the intersection.

“South Fredericksburgh reeve Harold Creighton asked the question: ‘Do you have to wait until so many are killed at an intersection before something is done? You shouldn’t have to ask for it.’ A further request will be resubmitted to the MTC and the area’s two provincial members of parliament.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: What was the date of the letter from MTC?

Mr. McEwen: The date -- I would assume that you should have got a copy -- was April 6, 1976.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: You haven’t seen any further correspondence?

Mr. McEwen: Mr. Speaker, I am not in the habit of making up a story. I don’t have anything to apologize for in that riding. I only offered to assist the people where the present member has refused to take positive action and get results for them. I intend to get the results if possible.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Who are you speaking for? You had better start looking after your riding because you are not going to be around after the next election.

Mr. Breithaupt: Is that a threat or a promise?

Mr. McEwen: The minister reminds me of trying to be a knight in shining armour on a white horse; and let me tell him this, after what he has done to the Children’s Aid Societies and the mothers and so on in this province, his shining armour is rusty and his horse is covered in the mud that he has made.

Mr. Breithaupt: So much for Prince-Edward-Lennox.

Mr. McEwen: If I was in a riding as traditionally Tory as long as that one, I would be ashamed to only win it by 700 votes.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: You had to switch parties to win yours.

Mr. McEwen: And if you were wise, you would too.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Who are you going to run for next?

Mr. McEwen: They will be looking for someone else.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: If I was the NDP I’d be careful, boy. Better not get too friendly.

Mr. McEwen: As for the tight-beltening at Queen’s Park, there can be no quarrel with the general thrust of the legislative programme outlined at Queen’s Park. This is a tight-beltening -- belt-tightening year -- you have got me really looking at you --

Hon. Mr. Taylor: You don’t read too well.

Mr. McEwen: -- and the real question is how the belt is tightened. While it would be an exaggeration to suggest that Ontario faces a fiscal crisis, the fact remains that the province has some really tough decisions to make. It has to do a much more effective job of weeding out wasteful spending and determining the province’s true spending priorities. The province is already facing a whopping $2 million deficit and in fact this deficit could turn out to be even higher, since new statistics show the economy weakened in recent months.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: And you want me to spend more, you were complaining that we are not spending enough.

Mr. Warner: Try to pay off your interest.

Mr. McEwen: In effect, the need to control spending is a non-partisan issue at Queen’s Park. What is debatable between the government and the opposition parties is what programmes should be cut and what taxes should or could be raised. This is a minority government, and you should remember to co-operate with the opposition.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: You were just talking about not spending enough on highways and welfare.

Mr. McEwen: For example, should Children’s Aid Societies face severe restraints, while college students have their tuition fees frozen and the provincial Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) is able to get a big boost in his department’s spending?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: You are talking about deficits.

Mr. McEwen: At the same time, while the government quite properly refrains from proposing lavish new spending programmes, it fails to indicate how the province plans to carry out its responsibility to provide adequate housing at reasonable cost to Ontario residents.

Moreover, the Premier (Mr. Davis) should not be allowed to pose as a champion of fiscal responsibility. It is, after all, his own government’s past lack of financial control that has led to the construction of unnecessary hospitals and an overblown bureaucracy. This government at Queen’s Park has always tried to lure the public with an open purse, especially at election time.

Mr. Warner: Absolutely unqualified disasters.

Mr. McEwen: What is true, as the Premier acknowledges, is that bringing the provincial budget under control is a major part in the fight against inflation. We must face the fact that government spending at all levels has been a cause of inflation, and more precisely that failure to match big spending increases with similar tax increases has been a major cause of inflation.

Mr. Speaker, I say where is your triple-A rating? It reminds me of a race horse.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: We have it in spite of you and your urgings to spend more money.

Mr. McEwen: A triple-A race horse is good, a double-A race horse is only fair, a single-A is getting down; and Mr. Speaker, I shiver at the thought of having a big nothing below the A. They are running like a race horse that has been worn out. They are down from a triple-A to a double-A to a single-A.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: We have a triple-A rating for this province.

Mr. McEwen: Yes, sir. Now there are some gentlemen who have been waiting here for a long time.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: You have lost some pages you haven’t read yet. Better find them. Are you going to mail this speech to your constituents?

Mr. McEwen: I’ll mail them to yours, too, if you aren’t careful; they sure need something worthwhile.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: You’re not helping the constraint programme, putting all that garbage into Hansard.

Mr. McEwen: Mr. Speaker, I submit to you petitions from the Hotel Dieu Hospital in the city of Kingston. I have been asked to participate and act on behalf of some of the residents of the riding of Kingston and the Islands. I will submit this to the Clerk. The one petition states, as addressed to myself:

“Enclosed you will find an expression of opinion by the majority of the voting members of the medical staff of the Hotel Dieu Hospital, Kingston.

“This petition is in response to the recent closure of beds in the Hotel Dieu Hospital, and our determination that these closures have interfered with the logical implementation of a plan undertaken between the teaching hospitals and the University of Kingston for rationalization of services.

“We trust that you will take these facts into consideration and allow an extension of the deadline for closure.”

They’re asking that this petition be submitted and consideration be given to it.


I have another petition, with 700-some names, and again it’s addressed to myself, from 161 Avenue Rd., Kingston. It says:

“We are respectfully submitting further signatures in support of the petition which was sent to your office April 1.”

And here are the names and the petition, Mr. Speaker. It says:

“We, the undersigned, having a genuine concern for the matters hereinbelow stated, do hereby petition the Hon. William Davis, the Premier of the Province of Ontario, to:

“1. Instruct the Minister of Health to grant an extension beyond the April 1, 1976, deadline for the closure of beds and the cutback in staff at the Hotel Dieu Hospital, Kingston, to allow an opportunity for an independent study to justify this action;

“2. Institute immediately a legal appeal tribunal before which hospitals in Ontario may appear to question the dictatorial decisions of the Ministry of Health for the Province of Ontario;

“3. Instruct immediately the board of directors, the board of management and administration of the Hotel Dieu Hospital, Kingston, Ont., not to discharge any employee as a result of the directive of the Ministry of Health planned for April 1, 1976, until a full review of the government’s policy in health care is completed; and

“4. Attend in the city of Kingston a meeting to hear personally, from representatives of employees of the Hotel Dieu Hospital, their grievances in this matter.”

This is the petition, which I’ll leave with you a little later.


Mr. McEwen: I’m not finished yet; I’ve got more.

Mr. Warner: Is this chapter 12?

Mr. McEwen: Mr. Speaker, also submitted by those interested in the Hotel Dieu Hospital --

Mr. Speaker: I must remind the hon. member while it is quite permissible for him to read from his own notes, it’s against standing orders to read at any great length from someone else’s previous written documentation.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: You should have said that two hours ago.

Mr. McEwen: Mr. Speaker, this has been typed in my office.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: You don’t have enough --

Mr. McNeil: Why don’t you just file it?

Mr. McEwen: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, for bringing that to my attention.

Mr. McNeil: File it in the waste paper basket.

Mr. McEwen: Mr. Speaker, I would suggest that if the hon. member wants to comment, he should do it from his own seat.

A number of years ago, with appropriate publicity, it was announced by government that a health sciences complex would be built in Kingston. This was to fulfil two roles: to provide updated teaching facilities for the medical faculty at Queen’s University and to improve the outdated clinical facilities for patient care in Kingston. Originally $110 million was allocated for Queen’s and Kingston on the premise that local agreements could be developed between Kingston General Hospital and Hotel Dieu Hospital regarding division of responsibility.

Consulting firms were employed by Queen’s, Kingston General Hospital and Hotel Dieu Hospital. These included Booz Allen and Hamilton Canada Ltd (United States) and Llewelyn-Davies Weeks Forestier-Walker and Bor (United Kingdom. It is estimated that these separate reports, when finally submitted, cost about $1.5 million. At the time of submission the purse-strings of the provincial government were tightening after the financial fiasco at McMaster and with local disagreement between hospitals and university as to what should be built and where. Thus, all of the plans were shelved and a more stringent budget applied, with $55 million to be spent to rebuild both hospitals on their present sites over a five- to seven-year period.

A new round of consultants was hired and thus far a new family practice centre has been completed at Hotel Dieu Hospital and a new outpatients’ building at Kingston General Hospital. However, as of 1975-1976, it has become apparent in Ontario that medical faculties are producing too many doctors and particularly too many family practitioners.

The continued placement of the two active general hospitals in the downtown area of Kingston shows a lack of planning and a lack of foresight. The centre of population for the Kingston district has already shifted to the western limits of the city. Future population growth in Kingston township will displace the centre to Collins Bay by 1980.

The primary reason for a hospital is the provision of sickness care for the community that has supported its inception and has financed its operation for all but the past decade of governmental control. Thus, it must follow that the expenditure of $55 million on two hospitals in downtown Kingston shows a complete lack of study of the future needs of the total community in a geographic sense.

In addition, the revamping of old facilities at Kingston General Hospital and Hotel Dieu Hospital cannot possibly produce modern hospitals. They will continue to be inefficient due to their “add-on” architecture. An inefficiently planned hospital architecturally will continue to be an inefficient hospital operationally because of the high labour costs for sickness care personnel.

A study of population trends along the north shore of Lake Ontario suggests that the Kingston area in the very near future will present a sudden increase in population pressure, as the industrial overflow from the Toronto-Hamilton area pushes eastward. This increase cannot affect the central Kingston area. It is filled at present. It follows that Kingston township with its new water and sewage system will receive this growth along with the township of Pittsburgh.

Thus, if efficiency and economy are to enter the sickness care field in Kingston, one hospital at least should be built in the west of the city near the Day’s Gardiner-Bath Rd. area. This could occur without the high demolition costs incumbent upon the present rebuilding scheme, estimated at $1,750,000, and with the sale of the downtown location.

The Hotel Dieu, the smaller hospital, is on an inappropriate site at present The rebuilding of this hospital on its present site is criminally negligent of the sickness needs of the area and the cost of the venture. Yet, $11 million has been allocated for this programme. There is only one reason for leaving this hospital on its present location. That is to satisfy the university’s needs for proximity. This is a luxury that the taxpayer should not be forced to support. The present site of Hotel Dieu Hospital is overcrowded and does not meet modern specifications for green space. New buildings will not improve the efficiency. It will still be an old hospital with add-on new facilities.

The centre of population density of the Kingston area will, by 1980, be nearer Collins Bay. The present Hotel Dieu Hospital site worth is estimated at $7 million. Demolition costs at Hotel Dieu Hospital will be approximately $750,000. About $11 million will be spent on demolition and rebuilding of the Hotel Dieu Hospital. Inadequacy of parking space at this hospital will continue unless the city is prepared to expand the Brock St. parking lot.

New construction of the Hotel Dieu Hospital on the new site would be cheaper and would produce a modern hospital with consequent efficiency of operation and savings in ongoing personnel expenses.

These are some thoughts on health care in Ontario. There should be a separation of the entities of (a) health, (b) welfare, social and community service, (c) unemployment insurance, and (d) workmen’s compensation.

The Ontario government has gradually assumed complete bureaucratic and autocratic central control of all matters pertaining to health. This has been done ostensibly to present the population with a uniform standard of health care and, in the process, to control costs. This has failed completely and now the government should relinquish its control of hospital and medical management and supply, and allow the following:

Hospital insurance should be established through a re-established hospital services commission.

Medical insurance and dental insurance should exist through a medical-dental insurance commission or separate commissions for each service.

A credit card system for hospital, medical and dental insurance should be used. This would supply an ongoing method of verification of services performed or received. It would also notify users of the system on a yearly basis of how much their health care was costing.

A user’s fee should be part of any health care system. This is presently used in the ambulance service in Ontario. This fee could be collected on a yearly basis by the hospital or medical-dental insurance commission from all patients not on social insurance. An incentive for payment would be an income-tax deductible clause.

And, the hospital insurance premiums should be paid by all except those people and their families on social assistance welfare. Three levels of insurance should be available -- ward, semi-private, and private. The per diem rate in hospitals should be established for a region by a locally-appointed regional health council. The per diem rate would be collected by each hospital for the insurance commission.

Medical and dental insurance premiums should be paid by all except those people who are on social assistance. This insurance programme should include a user’s fee, utilizing the credit card system. The basic fee for service as agreed by the medical and dental professions in concert with the commission should be pro-rated at 85 to 90 per cent as collection costs for the commission.

Hospitals: The control and management of hospitals should be returned to the board of management or directors of the hospitals concerned. The provision of adequate management capabilities should be implemented. The hospitals of Ontario should be set up as corporate structures and allowed to employ all business practices of good management in private enterprise.

Hospital programmes and capital expenditures would be subject to review and approval by the regional health council before institution. Extendicare in the United States is building and operating hospitals as a private money-making enterprise. A foundation in England has also built hospitals with these ground rules. The techniques should be scrutinized for Ontario. Regional health councils appointed by and for the region would supply answers to questions at a local level. All control should be vested in the local hospital boards under the supervision of the regional council.

Hospital construction: Consideration could be given to a Crown corporation or to private enterprise to build and lease hospitals to communities. This could allow the development of a modular design for hospitals and the prefabrication of components at a greatly reduced cost. Communities must be re-involved in their hospitals. Since the Ontario government has assumed dictatorial control, most communities and their citizens have lost all interest and pride in the hospitals that have been built by the efforts of their forefathers in the past hundred years.

Local autonomy is necessary to regain the pride of ownership and the consequent endowments that formerly accrued to hospitals in bequests. This should be fostered once again in light of the total failure in a monetary sense of the present central dictatorial control of a Ministry of Health, 10 tiers deep, with political control at the top. Sickness care is too important to be cast into the political arena in totality.

The ratio of acute-care beds to minimum-care or chronic-care beds should receive immediate attention. One area in England has reduced its ratio of acute-care beds to two per 1,000 population. This is combined with 12 to 13 minimum-care beds per 1,000 population. In the Kingston area, we have about one minimum-care bed per 1,000 and about 4.7 acute-care beds per 1,000. The difference in cost is $18 to $20 per day to $94. The health-care package in Ontario has been developed on an ad hoc basis without planning for the total package. Study and recommendations on a regional basis would belong to the revamped Ministry of Health in conjunction with regional health councils.

Medical education: This should receive the attention of an inquiry shortly. Medical manpower needs should be balanced against the increasing use of nurse-practitioners and paramedical personnel. The size and magnificence of health-care complexes, such as McMaster, need not be repeated throughout Ontario. This theme can be developed with specific illustrations of wasteful practices presently employed in the expensive care facilities found in health science centres.

There is a great need for physical fitness in Ontario. It must begin at grade school level and pass through secondary schooling to adulthood. This should not be added to Health.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Perhaps the hon. member might find this a convenient place to break his remarks and he might move the adjournment of the debate.

Mr. McEwen moved the adjournment of the debate.

Motion agreed to.

Hon. Mr. Auld: Mr. Speaker, before moving the adjournment of the House, on Thursday we will go to the 11th order and deal with the estimates of the Ministry of Treasury, Economics and Intergovernmental Affairs.

Hon. Mr. Auld moved the adjournment of the House.

Motion agreed to.

The House adjourned at 10:30 p.m.