30th Parliament, 3rd Session

L058 - Thu 13 May 1976 / Jeu 13 mai 1976

The House resumed at 8 p.m.


Mr. Chairman: When the committee rose at 6 o’clock we were ready to start vote 1005, the finance programme.

On vote 1005:

Mr. Chairman: Is there any comment or discussion on this vote? Shall it carry? The hon. member for Beaches-Woodbine.

Ms. Bryden: I don’t think we can pass over this vote without having some discussion of the fiscal policy of the government, because I think this is the vote under which we talk about tax policy.

I think the present budget does show a change in the government tax policy. After the Smith committee and the White committee’s report on the Smith committee, this government started to move away from regressive taxes to some extent and towards a more progressive tax system for this province. It started to increase its aid to local government and to concentrate on taxes which were not as regressive as the property tax.

But in the last budget it has completely abandoned this policy. It has moved to a more regressive tax system by proposing to get most of its increase in revenue from an OHIP premium increase. Since this is done by regulation and there is no opportunity to debate it in the House except under this item, I want to make a few comments about that premium increase.

I made some in my budget speech, but there is no doubt that raising $228 million by this particular means is adding a very great increase to a regressive tax system. Of the total budget increase coming from taxes, of $330 million, $228 million is to come out of this particular tax increase. In spite of the fact that people in the lower income groups and people with incomes up to about $7,200 get free premiums, that is families in that income level, for all others it will be a very heavy tax increase, amounting to 45 per cent if they pay their entire premium themselves.

At the same time, the government continued the exemption from sales tax for machinery and equipment purchases by industry, which is going to cost Treasury $220 million this year. Therefore it is giving money away to industry and taking it from the working people who will be paying the premiums, and from all people who pay premiums. Even if the employer pays the premium, whatever the employer pays is added to the taxable income of the employee and will increase his income tax. In that respect, the tax policy has been reversed from any sort of progress towards a tax system based on ability to pay.

The second important feature of our tax policy is the failure to increase the corporation taxes in any substantial way. In fact, there has been a reduction in the corporation tax for small business. This is something that we welcome, but the taxation of big business and of corporate business has not been increased, despite the fact that the percentage of revenue contributed by corporations in this province to total revenue has gone down substantially in the last decade. I gave the figures in my budget speech.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: It might even be because they are not making as much money.

Mr. Bain: It was even down a couple of years ago; they were making lots of money then.

Mr. Chairman: Order, please.

Ms. Bryden: On the mining profit tax, while the Treasurer has estimated $100 million, last year he estimated a higher amount, $130 million, and yet the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Bernier) said the other day that he expected to get only $45 million from this particular tax in 1975-1976 in spite of the change in the tax picture which was supposed to yield more money from the mining profits tax. If he was only going to get $45 million last year, I doubt very much if he’ll get $100 million this year unless he changes the base of his tax substantially. At any rate, perhaps he could comment on the basis of that $100 million estimate in the light of an apparent revised estimate for last year of $45 million.

The third element in the tax system, which is again moving towards the regressive kind of tax system, is the shift of responsibilities and costs to local governments by the cutback in the rate of aid to the local governments.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: The rate of growth of aid. I know you want to be correct.

Ms. Bryden: By rate of aid, I mean the rate of increase in provincial grants to local governments.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: That’s right. I knew you’d want to be correct.

Ms. Bryden: At any rate, they had expected that it would go up at the rate of increase in provincial revenue, which is 19.4 per cent, and instead it is going up 7.8 per cent. As a result, they are not only having to cut back services drastically, but also to raise tax rates; it looks like it may average out at between 15 per cent and 20 per cent across the province, but we’re not sure yet. In the city of Toronto it’s going 15 per cent.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Nonsense!

Mr. Makarchuk: Don’t argue with her; she’s probably right.

Mr. Bain: The Treasurer can reply in his rebuttal.

Ms. Bryden: This shifting of the tax burden from the province to the municipalities is certainly adding to the regressivity of our tax system, and it is the kind of tax policy that we seem to be having in this province at the present time. We consider it to be a reversal of the trends that had been in effect and the reason this government has broken faith with the people; in its desperate effort to reduce its deficit, it is cutting its own costs but shoving them on to the municipalities.

The province is virtually walking out of the succession duties field, with the revenue from that going steadily down. Some very large estates are either completely escaping taxation when they pass between spouses or are being taxed at a very low rate because of the very high exemption of $250,000. As a result, transfers of wealth between generations are not being taxed very heavily and people are starting out in life with a head start on other people who didn’t happen to have a rich father or uncle.

We think that succession duties on large estates are an area of wealth that certainly can be tapped and is not being tapped in this province. The ordinary transfer between a husband and wife and dependent children in reasonable amounts should not be taxed, but a widow who inherits an estate of $5 million should surely not be allowed to keep the whole $5 million. If she has been accustomed to living at that standard of living, I don’t think the state should be prevented from having a share of that particular size of estate.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Would you take it twice?

Ms. Bryden: From the husband to the wife, say, and then from the wife to the next person?

Mr. Shore: To the next wife.

Ms. Dryden: I am suggesting that on very large estates, yes, there should be a tax between spouses.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Just as a matter of interest, what is the member’s definition of a very large estate, $5 million?

Ms. Bryden: Anything over $1 million.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: The present exemptions of $250,000 and $500,000 are all right, are they? I listened to the member earlier today talk about how her party is in favour of small business, and I am just wondering what its definition of a small business is in relation to succession duties. It could be very interesting. That party is so terribly committed to the family farm that I know you would want to tie in your definition of succession duties to a family farm as well.

Mr. Ferrier: You have our philosophy down very well.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: You want to be precise in these things. Let’s put on the record what is large and what is small; what you would tax, and what you wouldn’t tax.

Mr. Bain: Your government is always so precise.

Mr. Chairman: Order please. The hon. member will continue.

Ms. Bryden: On the family farm and family business -- and naturally you would not want to see them wiped out by estate taxation -- there are ways of spreading any taxes over a period, but making sure that the farm or the business continues as an operating entity. We certainly believe that the business or the farm should continue.

But when it comes to large transfers -- and I am not going to specify exactly what is large as it changes from year to year as values change -- this province is not getting its share of estate taxation. I think you will find independent studies published in the Canadian Tax Foundation journals which state that generally estates and wealth of that sort, are not being heavily taxed at all in Canada. If you believe in equality of opportunity and some redistribution of wealth generally throughout the economy, there is room for that in the succession duties field.

I think our fiscal policy in the taxation field is something we should be looking at to develop a more progressive tax structure and one which does not bear so heavily on the low and middle-income earners.

Mr. Nixon: Mr. Chairman, I am not sure if the minister wants to respond to the position taken --

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I really can’t miss the opportunity.

For heaven’s sake, go on the record over there. You are talking out of both sides of your mouth. You are for higher succession duties. Then you go mouthing around the province, or your leader does, at Chambers of Commerce and Rotary clubs: “I’m for small business, I’m for the family farm, I want to see these things carry on.”

Supposing your little old widow who leaves an estate of $5 million has that $5 million invested in Canadian equities, isn’t that just as important as if she has it invested in a $5-million family farm, now come on. You can’t play both sides of the game all the time.

Mr. Makarchuk: How many $5-million family farms are there?

Mr. Chairman: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: You are for higher succession duties. Stop trying to weasel out of the whole thing. Get on the record one way or another.

Mr. Makarchuk: Would you like to name some $5-million family farms? Go ahead and name one.

Mr. Chairman: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: You have got this great big thing going with agriculture in this province.

Mr. Chairman: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Go out and tell them that in the case of a family farm down in Brant that is worth $250,000 or $300,000 or $400,000 you are not going to tax that. Come on, put yourselves on the record one way or another.


Mr. Chairman: The hon. member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk. Order please.

Mr. Makarchuk: How many $5-million family farms have you got?


Mr. Chairman: Order, please. The hon. member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk has the floor. Would you give him the courtesy?

Mr. Makarchuk: Has he got the only $5-million family farm?


Mr. Nixon: I was just going to say, Mr. Chairman, if that is a firm offer I will take it.

Here we have been having a nice rational discussion and the Treasurer in his usual provocative manner has disrupted the whole blooming thing. I will try, Mr. Chairman, to get it back on the rails again, with your assistance.

I would just like to ask the Treasurer one or two questions about the items in vote 1005. I am very impressed with the frankness in which he puts forward the size of the interest payments on our public debt as being $1,048,455,000. I want to ask some specific questions about that. What is the rate of interest paid on the funds that we borrow -- actually I suppose simply grab -- from the Superannuation Fund? What are we paying this year to the teachers, the civil service and so on? Is it still about eight per cent?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: No, it’s 10.11 per cent.

Mr. Nixon: I wonder if the minister -- since there are a number of inquiries from time to time from teachers and others who contribute to these funds about the change of these interest rates over the last four years -- would care to either give a report now or perhaps get a piece of paper with the information on it, and table it so that it would be available to us? I can remember his predecessor making a rather full statement, I believe this was about 18 months ago when the rate which had previously been pegged somewhere about five per cent was raised to 8.01, with the indication that it would be associated with changing rates.

I think it would certainly make it easier for us to answer the inquiries about this, in the process of condemning the government, if we could actually indicate how these interest rates have changed. The minister says that we, representing the taxpayers, are paying something in excess of 10 per cent on these borrowings now. That would be a useful piece of information.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I don’t want to deemphasize this, but in the case of the teachers superannuation or the public service -- it really doesn’t matter -- we are guaranteeing a certain rate of pension. We have an option of either paying a rate of interest or if the rate of interest isn’t sufficient to do what the Act, approved by the Legislature, calls on us to do, then we have to make up actuarial deficiencies from time to time.

Mr. Nixon: So we have kicked in several hundred million dollars.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: That’s right. And you could either put it all in this vote or you could put it back in the other vote for actuarial deficiencies. Either way, we have to pay it. The rate of interest to the Teachers’ Superannuation Fund is more than just a little bit academic. But since the member has asked the question, I might say that the Teachers’ Superannuation people have never asked to have this taken out -- and I doubt that they ever will. There’s been a lot of discussion about OMERS for example. It is interesting to note it was a damn good -- and I say that advisedly -- investment committee which has invested a certain amount of OMERS money these past 12 months. They have earned less than we pay them on what you say is stealing it away from them.

The fact is that we are now paying in these cases the provincial rate of interest. Some cases --

Mr. Good: On the new investment.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I beg your pardon?

Mr. Nixon: He said on the new investment?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: If you bought a bond five years ago --

Mr. Nixon: Don’t raise your voice on a matter like this.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I say to my friend, if you bought a bond five years ago that was paying eight per cent, do you really think those people, be it Trader’s Finance, General Motors or whoever, were going to come back and pay you 11 per cent today?

Mr. Good: Don’t say the average. The average isn’t 10 1/2 per cent and you know it.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Certainly our average rate is less than the 11 per cent today. Don’t be so silly.

Mr. Chairman: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Don’t be so silly. Use your head.

Mr. Good: Don’t say the average. The average isn’t 10.5 and you know it.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I beg your pardon?

Mr. Nixon: What is the matter with you? Did you take your nasty pills for lunch?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: No, the average isn’t 10.5 because the --

Mr. Good: Tell the whole story then.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: -- the average certainly isn’t 10.5, because we borrowed a lot of money at much lower rates of interest than that.

Mr. Chairman: Order.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: And I dare say that the rate of interest on the member’s portfolio isn’t 10.5 either. Because he made some investments a few years ago, probably at 2 7/8 when some of the rest of us did.

Mr. Nixon: You are right, it is 13.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: So your average is a lot less than 10.5.

Mr. Chairman: Order, please. Could we return to the estimates?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: What a ridiculous statement. What a ridiculous interjection.

Mr. Nixon: All right, my best efforts have failed once again, Mr. Chairman. No, it is not your turn yet.

The minister surely knows that for many years, even in his previous incarnation as Treasurer, the word stealing applied very directly, because you raided those funds for hundreds of millions of dollars. The interest payments had no correlation whatsoever with interest payments that were made in the general market. It was John White who saved the teachers from this; not you. You’re the beneficiary of his policies.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Chairman, I just say that it’s that kind of perversion of the truth that denied the hon. member ever getting any farther than being the leader of that party.

Mr. Nixon: With a definitive answer like that, Mr. Chairman, I’m sure that the teachers, who already have little or no confidence in this Treasurer and his colleagues, are not going to be persuaded to change their minds.

On another, perhaps less touchy subject -- and I always find that the Treasurer gets loudest when he’s wrong -- I wonder if he can explain why we are maintaining investment groups in Europe, particularly in Europe but perhaps also in the Orient -- I’m not sure about that, but there has been a reference to investment groups in Europe -- when our experience in borrowing in Europe has been so disastrous?

The minister -- I’m not sure whether it was this minister or his predecessor; probably it was both of them -- went to Abu Dhabi or somewhere where there is some oil revenue, which they thought they might be able to borrow, and he came back full of optimism. Perhaps he had some letters from members of the Ontario community indicating they weren’t too keen for Ontario to borrow these Arab oil capital funds, because we didn’t hear much more about it, even though the money was spent on the trip and the tour and the minister came back glowing in anticipation that we were going to increase our very impressive portfolio of debts owed around the world.

Are we going to go forward with anything like that? If not -- and frankly I think it would be a mistake on the basis of our previous experience, entered into in the minister’s previous tenure -- why are we maintaining a syndicate -- that lovely word -- in Europe that is still concerning itself with this matter?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Because, Mr. Chairman -- and I’m sorry the former leader of the third party isn’t up to date on this -- we have borrowed --

Mr. Nixon: Perhaps the former Treasurer can set us right.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I don’t know which incarnation you’re in at the moment; I think you’ve arrived at the after-supper incarnation at this moment. But we have borrowed -- when I say “we,” I use that term collectively -- Ontario Hydro and ourselves, in fact, have borrowed $175 million in Canadian dollars through that particular syndicate.

Mr. Nixon: When the minister talks about maintaining the syndicate in Europe, what is the purpose of that? Are they simply looking after the servicing of our German debt?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: No. They are there to advise us and to assist in arranging or underwriting amounts of money for either Ontario Hydro or ourselves, primarily Ontario Hydro.

Mr. Nixon: What happened to the Arab loan that was touted by the minister?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: That’s what I’ve just said. We have borrowed $175 million in the Middle East.

Mr. Nixon: Is it our intention to meet any more of our requirements that way in the future? What is our experience with this Middle East debt?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Last year -- and I think the same to some extent will be true this year -- I think Ontario Hydro and the Ontario government probably used the capability of the Canadian market and the American market as much as they prudently should have used it. Therefore, it was extremely fortuitous that the former Treasurer had begun the negotiations to open up other sources of funds to Ontario Hydro or to the government, as indeed three Treasurers have done with respect to European loans as well.

Mr. Nixon: I would like a further explanation of the explanatory note on G.93, where the total of the interest payments in excess of $1 billion is compiled. It says that interest on securities issued in the Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario is $178 million. That’s not just the guaranteed portion; that is the specific debt for which we are responsible. Is that correct?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: As the member knows, the last loan that Ontario Hydro made in the United States, which at $650 million was the largest loan they’d ever made, was made in their own name with the province’s guarantee. Up until that point, since the end of the 1930s, Ontario Hydro had not borrowed in New York in their own name; they have always borrowed in the province’s name -- or we have borrowed, taken the money in, and turned it over to them. And they have issued debentures to us. Consequently I think all of the 178 and 796 would be moneys borrowed in New York for Ontario Hydro.

As a matter of fact, as I explained to public accounts, the difference between the total of these printed estimates of $12,754,540,000 and my budget, which is $12,576,000,000, is represented by that 178 and 796 Hydro account which we take out of the budget -- because it is our legal obligation and we pay the interest -- but it is very much on behalf of Ontario Hydro.

The history of that would be interesting to the member. The reason we have gone through all this is that back in the Hepburn days, Hydro nearly defaulted in New York, and that’s something which has forever blotched our escutcheon in New York. It was a Grit government in Ontario that did it, and it will never happen again.

Mr. Breithaupt: That is because we aren’t going to be borrowing in New York.

Mr. Nixon: Mr. Chairman, the minister is of course aware that the only repudiation of bonds that has taken place in Canada, other than certain municipalities, has been in the government of Alberta, at about the same time. And the only problems we had with Hydro in the Thirties were because of the irresponsible contractual commitments made by this minister’s predecessor, in the early Thirties, in purchasing power from the government of Quebec -- which we did not need. And it was necessary, certainly for the good of the province, to simply take a business-like look at those contracts which were entered in so irresponsibly in those times. I will tell you during those Liberal years there were none of these ridiculous debt proportions that we are facing at the present time.

Now the Treasurer and his predecessor --

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Just as a question --

Mr. Chairman: Order, please. The hon. member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk has the floor.

Mr. Nixon: The Treasurer and his predecessor have normally attempted to justify the level of debt expenditure, particularly interest expenditure, by coming up with some statistical nightmare about how many specific dollars are owed per capita, and so on. And they say we are well within the realm of viability and strength and responsibility in this regard.

It seems to me that those people who are concerned with the four-star credit rating that the province has had, have also expressed a similar concern. It seems to me that the turn-around in government policy -- so different from a year ago, which I am sure you will remember, Mr. Chairman, and the Treasurer will too, perhaps to his embarrassment -- has been very significant, that even the Treasurer, at least in his statements, and the people speaking for him, have expressed a concern about the massive size of the servicing fund required and for which we are asked to vote here tonight. It is the largest single item of course, simply to pay these debts.

But we are talking about the debt structure. Can the minister relate these interest payments, that is without talking about the additional debts of Hydro, to the capital debt? Now some of it is self-retiring, self-liquidating; but that is the ambit -- sort of to the nearest billion -- of the debt for which we are responsible?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Well Mr. Chairman, before we get into a discussion of net debt and gross debt, I know that the former leader of the Liberal Party is a history teacher, and I never knew that it was R. B. Bennett who talked about Beauharnois as his “valley of despair.” That was of great interest, that was a very --

Mr. Nixon: I was talking about the government of this province.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: You were talking about Beauharnois, and that was Mackenzie King, and you know it. It is the Grits who tear this country down every time. You are trying to tag Bennett with Beauharnois, and it was Mackenzie King who said: “That’s our valley of despair.”

Mr. Nixon: The people still elected him.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Well, that was “our” valley of despair.

Mr. Chairman: Vote 1005. The hon. member for London North.

Mr. Nixon: Let’s have the gross figure just before we stop.

Mr. Shore: Well now that my colleague from Brantford hasn’t been able to get to this vote for racket, maybe I can strike a chord.

Mr. Eakins: Darcy will be shouting by Sunday.


Mr. Shore: No, I don’t think he will, because he has hesitated to provide me with many answers so far.

I would just like to put into the record -- I am sure the Treasurer is familiar with it -- the programme description of this whole vote. It says:

“This programme provides a centrally integrated budgetary planning system to propose, develop, integrate and monitor the government’s fiscal and financial policies for achieving stated social and economic objectives, with particular reference to federal-provincial fiscal relations, tax policy, provincial fiscal policy and co-ordinated provincial-municipal finance and tax reforms. It also provides support to the Treasurer of Ontario with respect to the development of policies for sound financing and debt management ….”

If you exclude the statutory amounts of money, you have approximately $6 million to cover the programmes that were outlined and described. It seems to me, without getting into a debate on the debt position of the province, which my colleague and others have spoken about -- and if the Treasurer is listening it would repay him to pay some attention to it -- without getting into the details of the funding of these debts, which is another matter we have talked about at great length and probably will continue to; without getting into too much detail in relation to the purported triple or quadruple “A” rating which I question will continue, I would like to bring to the attention of this body that in 1972-1973 with respect to the operational aspect of this budget -- and we keep taking great pride in this restraint and constraint, and I am going to repeat it every time we have a discussion on this vote or on any vote -- the amount to be voted in fiscal 1973 for this programme, for operation, was $2.9 million; in 1974-1975, it was $4.9 million. If I can interject for a moment, I would ask the Treasurer if he knows what the actual amount is for this year. Do you have that information yet?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: We will have it.

Mr. Shore: At any rate I am sure it will be under the $5.8 million which is outlined in the estimates. Therefore you can see that it has more than doubled in the last four years approximately. Therefore when you talk about restraint, take it within the guidelines of what it means in a two- or three-year period.

There is another thing which is more significant, or equally significant, and I would like the Treasurer to comment on that, because I believe the programme discussion is very valid. The only thing I am not clear on is what the answers are.

Could the Treasurer tell me what the fiscal and financial policies of this government are? Could he tell us what the stated social and economic objectives are of this province? Could he tell us how he has arrived at this definition of sound financing and good debt management? These are the questions to which I think we should have answers.

Then I would suggest that perhaps the $6 million used would be well used, but at this point of time I am not satisfied this province has had the best social and economic objectives defined and fiscal management made clear.

I would like the Treasurer, as I asked him before, to give us what he thinks are the objectives of the province and tell us how he thinks it is well managed and well planned and well run, as he states.

I would also like to ask the Treasurer, the same as I asked in the vote before, how many people are involved under the section of salaries and wages and what type of work they are doing.

I would also like to have an answer as to what the services figure of $1,041,000 is made up of. These are the comments I would like to put to the minister on this point and I would like to hear his comments in relation to them.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Perhaps we will start at the other end of the question. We are now talking the whole of vote 1005. In the executive director’s office there are four people and my guess --

Mr. Shore: I will settle for the fiscal policy division. The --

Hon. Mr. McKeough: You’re going to get the whole thing. You asked for it.

Mr. Shore: Very good.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Under finance, there is a complement of 185, of whom six are administration; the debenture planning function has two people; the executive director of fiscal policy has five; the taxation and fiscal policy branch has 41; municipal finance has 42; intergovernmental finance and grants has 19. Then we move into the treasury secretary: The executive director has two people; financial information and accounting has 30; finance management has 22; and securities has 16. That gives us the total of 185. During the course of this year that will be reduced by eight complement positions, from 185 to 177.

In respect to the other question, the amount actually spent in 1975-1976, again reflecting the restraints imposed in July, was $5,073,000.

Mr. Shore: Would you consider a 22 per cent increase from the actual 1975-1976 to 1976-1977 estimates to be restraint?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Would you say that again?

Mr. Shore: Would you consider a 22 per cent increase from actual 1975-1976 to estimated or budgeted 1976-1977 to be continuing restraint?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: What we’re doing, of course, is dealing with estimates as compared to estimates, as the member well knows. But I’d be glad to give him the explanation of the increases. What’s really galling you is that we cut back last year. It really is hurting, isn’t it?

Mr. Shore: You haven’t answered my question.

Mr. Moffatt: He doesn’t intend to either.

Mr. Shore: I asked the minister if he considered a 22 per cent increase from last year to be restraint.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: That is a ridiculous question.

Mr. Bain: Go ahead; give him a ridiculous answer.

Mr. Chairman: Vote 1005?

Mr. Shore: Hold on, Mr. Chairman. With the greatest respect, the Treasurer says you’re going to get the whole thing. Well, I haven’t had the whole thing. With some respect, I’d like him to listen to the questions that I put to him -- and I haven’t had the answers yet.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: You’ve asked two other questions.

Mr. Shore: Yes. Would you mind answering them?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Do you want them answered? What’s the fiscal policy of the government? It’s reflected in the budget of April 6; that’s the answer to that question, and you know it.

Mr. Shore: Is that the answer?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: What’s the debt management policy of the government? It was discussed for three hours in public accounts last week. Those are the answers to your questions, and you know they’re the answers.

Mr. Shore: Those are the answers?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Certainly.

Mr. Shore: That’s what $6 million is being used for.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: You’re darn right.

Mr. Shore: Very good. I knew if you got hollering, you wouldn’t be able to answer it.

Mr. Ziemba: Mr. Chairman, I’d like to talk for a moment about succession duties. As a percentage of total provincial revenues, succession duties keep going down. From 1965 to 1966 they went from 3.9 per cent down to 2.6 per cent as a percentage of provincial revenue. The anticipated $62 million in 1976 represents a drop from $88 million in 1974.

I don’t see anything wrong with succession duties; after all, this money is going to be coming from rich people and they’re people that can well afford to pay it. I think the present setup is discriminatory in that when a husband leaves his estate to his wife, the wife will pay no succession duties, while a single or divorced individual has to pay succession duty tax on anything over $250,000.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: How would you rectify that?

Mr. Ziemba: I would say that if we just treated them all equally and took the $250,000 figure as a minimum and --

Hon. Mr. McKeough: But how? Would you tax them all?

Mr. Ziemba: Oh, yes. I would tax them all.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Okay, fine. I just wanted to get that on the record.

Mr. Ziemba: I would tax them all.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: What if it was a family-owned drug store?

Mr. Chairman: Order, order.

Mr. Ziemba: Oh, you and your $5-million family farm. Would you mind not interrupting me when I’m speaking, Mr. Treasurer?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: You can’t take it.

Mr. Ziemba: I’ve never interrupted you.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: You can’t take it.

Mr. Ziemba: I’ve never interrupted you.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: You can’t take it.

Mr. Ziemba: Why don’t you just sit there and be quiet for five minutes? You’re not fooling anyone with the big mouth.

Mr. Chairman: The hon. member may object to the Treasurer’s interjections, but those invectives are not parliamentary.

Mr. Makarchuk: Stay away from his physical features.

Mr. Ziemba: I think normal inflation, Mr. Chairman, would have seen the present succession duty income exceeding $100 million. Surely if it was $88 million in 1974 at just the normal rate of inflation -- in fact most properties have gone up 25 per cent and 30 per cent in that time -- I would just like to ask the Treasurer a couple of questions if I can, through you, Mr. Chairman.

What backlog of estates is the Ministry of Revenue dealing with now? Is that backlog piling up? And how many appraisers does he have going around this province auditing, checking those estates? How much anticipated revenue could the Treasurer see if he went after all those estates he’s got piled up in his offices, just waiting to be gone over? There’s my question for you.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I couldn’t give those answers, Mr. Chairman. That’s a question that should come forward in the Minister of Revenue’s estimates.

Mr. Ziemba: Correct me if I’m wrong, Mr. Treasurer, but I understand that you have something like six appraisers for the Province of Ontario. Does that sound right to you?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: We’re now down to something, as I remember the figures, we’re now down to something less than 1,000 estates a year.

Mr. Ziemba: Well, I understand you’ve got 2,000 estates.

Hon. Ms. McKeough: Taxable estates?

Mr. Ziemba: Two thousand estates. A backlog of 2,000 estates that you can go after -- rich people that have left money, $10-million estates, on which surely we could raise a couple of hundred million dollars.

Don’t you think you’d like to expand that staff? I’m sort of interested in some of your cutback programmes, but wouldn’t you want to hire a few more appraisers to go out and go after the rich people and try and raise some money for us?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Chairman, I can only say this is something which should be put to the Minister of Revenue -- although I will certainly say this: Whether it’s a rich person or succession duties or sales tax or whatever it is, we don’t describe their duties as “going after” somebody. I don’t like that inference and we don’t do that.

Mr. Ziemba: Of course you don’t do that.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Whether it’s six people or 12 people.

Mr. Ziemba: No, you’re not interested in rich people because they help you out.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: We don’t go after rich people or --

Mr. Ziemba: You just go after working people, that’s all you do.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: You’ll have to speak to the Minister of Revenue (Mr. Meen) as to what backlog there is; I wouldn’t know. This is their estimate of what will be brought in this year.

But there’s nothing in these estimates to collect succession duties. In terms of the philosophy of succession duties, the government is on record on a number of occasions that we eventually expect to phase-out succession duties as the capital gains tax matures -- which it hasn’t, and it’s a long way from it. We eventually expect to phase-out.

So obviously, in answer to the first part of your letter, yes, the proportion of provincial revenues collected by succession duties will continue to decline, at some point will be zero.

Mr. Shore: Mr. Chairman, on a point of personal privilege, I think. Call it what you like.

Mr. Chairman: A point of which?

Mr. Shore: Personal privilege, if I may.

Mr. Chairman: You have the floor.

Mr. Shore: I gather the Treasurer may think he’s wasting his time here tonight. If he does, fine. But Mr. Chairman, I don’t want to waste my time either.

I’m sincerely asking questions and I appeal to the Treasurer to respect the questions that are put, and to take it in the way in which it’s given. I’m not too interested in whether the Treasurer’s wasting his time or whether he thinks this exercise is useful. The facts are this is the way the game’s played. If we’re going to waste time, my time’s just as valuable as his, and I would just like to put that on the record.

Mr. Chairman: The hon. member for Brantford.

Mr. Makarchuk: Mr. Chairman, on the same vote I’d like to ask what the minister’s doing in terms of trying to -- you know, he’s not doing anything in terms of succession duties or trying to make a more equitable distribution of wealth and having the people, wealthy or otherwise, those who are earning the money in our society and taking the fruits out of society, pay their share of the cost of operating the society. You have more or less resigned yourself or you have walked away from that responsibility.


I just wonder what the minister, and this has been raised in previous estimates in the past, is doing about the fact that there is an escape of wealth in the country. There are groups or corporations, individuals and so on, who set up operations, corporate shells, etc., in other jurisdictions which they use strictly for the purpose of evading paying taxes in Ontario.

Somehow I think you would agree if they are making their money here naturally they should be paying their taxes here the same as anybody else. We are not asking more of them or to have them take on a more onerous task; nor do we hold it against them because they want to reside some place else. However, we do ask them to pay the same amount of the cost of operating this place as anybody else does who lives here. That is the one point.

The other point is that some time ago there was an item raised by the federal Department of Revenue to the effect that foreign corporations, by means of juggling books, writing things off, charging inflated prices for components and so on, are able to escape taxation or are able to provide a statement which really does not reflect the true wealth or the true profit of these corporations or companies. Once again, is the province taking any action in this direction? Again we get to the argument that everybody should pay their taxes and everybody should pay a fair share of taxes. I don’t know whether you agree or not but I think there are a lot of people in this society at this time who evade this. Somehow I feel that you are not carrying out your responsibilities. Could you comment on those two points then?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Actually, with the greatest of respect, I do think you are talking about the position of the Ministry of Revenue rather than Treasury. I can comment on the philosophy of the two points you raised. Aside from anything else, we have no intention of putting a wall around Ontario and saying you can’t own a family farm in Ontario, even worth $1 million, sell that family farm worth $1 million and move that $1 million to a bank account in Nova Scotia or to Edmonton which would evade succession duties. No, I don’t think we could. It is not a question of money leaving the country. The simple fact is today that in terms of succession duties I think there are five provinces now not levying succession duties, and Quebec has made another move to lower their succession duties. The argument perhaps to some extent becomes somewhat academic. I know of your party’s great interest in family farms and small business, but I do point out to you that they don’t always stay that way. It could be a family farm worth several million dollars which they sell to some great big rich developer. They take that money and leave the province with that money. If you seriously think somebody should put a wall at Kenora or Rainy River to stop that sort of thing, I think you had better spell out just how you are going to do it. There is no way I know of doing that and there is no way we have any intention of interfering with that free movement of money, which inevitably means also free movement of people.

With respect to corporation taxes, I am not aware of that much avoidance. You might want to question the Minister of Revenue about that. Essentially our corporation taxes follow practically word for word with those of the government of Canada. We try to keep them in conformity, and as a result our collection costs are small. We do some auditing of our own, but basically we accept the federal audit.

I think most small businessmen, again whom your party is very interested in these days, decry the fact that we do have two corporation taxes and say: “Please leave the whole thing to Ottawa; or if you want to collect your own, why doesn’t one audit do the trick?”

I must say I am rather impressed by that argument. We listen to that argument and the Minister of Revenue listens to that argument. In terms of compliance to a great extent we do lean on the federal auditors and federal assessors. If they are not picking something up, the chances are that we are not picking up everything that we should either. We accept this rather than have duplicate auditing and duplicate assessing across the board.

Mr. Chairman: The hon. member for London South.

Mr. Makarchuk: On the same point, Mr. Chairman. I must admit that all these people in Ontario who have the $5 million family farms and the $1 million family farm startle me -- I notice the price has dropped $4 million in 15 minutes. I am sure that the farmers in my area will be really surprised to know they have such wealthy farms. I am sure even in your area there must be a lot of these $5 million or $1 million family farms. I think that’s a lot of nonsense. If they can get $200,000 or $300,000 for what they have right now they are reasonably happy. The problem is they can’t get that, so let’s be realistic about it and talk about what it is.

Getting onto the other items, about leaving it to the federal auditors. That’s quite all right, I don’t believe in the idea of setting up any duplicate bureaucracy to go after it. However I think this government has a responsibility that if the other government fails in carrying out its responsibility then you should not sit back and accept the facts as they are demonstrated by somebody else and do nothing about it. The consequence of that is the guy who is working at the plant -- the middle and the lower class -- ends up by making up the bundle and somebody else gets the pickings out of the thing. If you sit there and do nothing about it I think that’s irresponsible.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I can only say, Mr. Chairman, to my knowledge we have no evidence -- but perhaps the member does -- that the federal assessors are not doing an appropriate job under the Income Tax Act.

Mr. Makarchuk: Mr. Chairman, just one point. Is the minister really convinced in his mind that there are no corporations or businesses in Ontario evading taxes at this time?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I think that would be a ridiculous statement. On the other hand I don’t think we are going to go out and hire the people to make sure that every last piece of evasion is found.

Mr. Makarchuk: You certainly catch the average guy for it, though.

Mr. Chairman: The hon. member for London South.

Mr. Ferris: Mr. Chairman, I would like to ask the Treasurer -- we may be in the wrong section for the vote that we are talking about now -- but are these the people who would be responsible for developing the programme of cash flow to local municipalities and boards of education?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: For a board of education, no.

Mr. Ferris: No? All right, then, we will discuss it later.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: That responsibility is in the Ministry of Education. They would develop the cash flow pattern. We might not altogether agree with it, and might not approve it -- but that is true, I suppose of every minister’s estimates.

So the cash flow programme from the Ministry of Education -- or from the Ministry of Government Services, I guess, where the cheque writers are -- to the local boards of education is the responsibility of the Minister of Education (Mr. Wells).

Mr. Ferris: Are you saying that it could be the Ministry of Government Services that could be doing this, or the Ministry of Education?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: No, they are the people who write the cheques. It is the Minister of Education.

Mr. Ferris: Then to divert just for a moment, did the Treasurer react to the London board when they censured him particularly for the cash flow problem and report that estimate to the --

Hon. Mr. McKeough: No, I am not aware that I reacted or otherwise. I would send it to the Minister of Education, rather than react.

Mr. Chairman: The hon. member for Waterloo North.

Mr. Good: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Under fiscal policy, I’d like to speak briefly on the matter of municipal financing generally. I’ll start with the transfer payments. I think it should be brought out that many of the injustices and inequities that have arisen, especially this year, are a direct result of unilateral decisions made in the Ministry of Treasury, Economics and Intergovernmental Affairs.

Let us look at the general support grant which, by the Treasurer’s answer to the question yesterday, will mean that 205 municipalities will get less money this year than they did last year. The reasoning behind it is set forth clearly in the answer which was given by the Treasurer to the question that was on the order paper from the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk (Mr. Nixon). I would like to just trace the history on why the problem has now arisen.

Back in 1974 you instituted a policy whereby the general support grant would vary according to the amount of spending done by a municipality. In other words, municipalities that spent more got less, while those that spent less got more. The level of the support grant varied all the way from three per cent of the previous year’s levy to as high as nine per cent of the previous year’s levy.

I think it’s important that the Treasurer realizes that in that particular year, although it probably wasn’t put in writing, the word did go out from the province that if you wanted to increase your grant, you shouldn’t pay everything out of your general current revenue; you should put it onto debentures to keep your general current revenue down, so your general support grant would be in excess of six per cent and you could go up to nine per cent. This is what many municipalities did. But it’s costing them money in this particular year.

What happened? Municipalities kept their spending lower in 1974; but those municipalities that had rapid growth rates and excessive costs involved with the carrying on of very progressive and reliable communities found that they could not do that. As a result, those municipalities were penalized by the province at that time, in spite of the surface appearance that that policy seemed to be promoting good money management.

In 1975 the Treasurer changed the ground rules and said municipalities would get a straight six per cent of their last year’s municipal levies, whatever it was that they raised. But to soften the burden a little bit he put in a rider that no municipality would get less than 95 per cent of the previous year. They didn’t; everybody got at least 95 per cent. If the formula worked to their favour, they probably got as much or more, but those municipalities that had spent very heavily the year before and got less than six per cent, got the six per cent in 1975.

The most recent budget eliminated the one-year protection, and municipalities in 1976-1977 will get a straight six per cent of last year’s levy; herein is the hardship. The hardship has been caused to these 205 municipalities because 76 of them had 1975 levies that were lower than their 1974 levies, which resulted directly from the way the Treasurer had set up the 1974 levy. In other words, he said, we’ll penalize you if you have to spend a lot; we’ll reward you if you’re in a community with slow growth and don’t have to spend very much. Those municipalities are therefore being penalized in 1976 because they fell into the trap of the Treasurer’s making in 1974.

The other 129 municipalities are going to be penalized this year, Mr. Chairman, and I’d like to let you know who some of these municipalities are. Many of them are townships and villages, of course, but there are a great many cities among them as well. This group is finding that while last year they were guaranteed the 95 per cent from the previous year, this year there is no guarantee, and they’re going to end up with a straight six per cent.

If the Treasurer calls this economic policymaking or any kind of fiscal policy with which the municipalities should be able to live, I think he’d better reorganize his ministry to come up with policies with which the municipalities are able to live and carry on business from one year to the next. The problem in the last few years has been that the municipalities do not know from one year to the next, let alone two or three years in advance, what kind of a handout they’re going to get. The fact that the province gave large grants in 1974, and at least 95 per cent in 1975, has penalized these same municipalities in this current year. They didn’t set the ground rules in 1974 and 1975, the province did. Now what happens? The municipalities are paying the shot.

The same thing happened with the Edmonton commitment. I don’t want to go into that again -- we’ve had a lot of discussion on it -- but the province set the ground rules and the province voluntarily, unilaterally reduced its revenue last year in an election year by giving away the election goodies and now the municipalities are caught with this mythical overpayment which is geared to revenue. That, in the Treasurer’s words, is a lot of nonsense. The province created the problems and now they have hung it on the backs of the municipalities once again.


I just cannot understand why there can’t be a more uniform, well-organized system of provincial financing that doesn’t have to carry on on an ad hoc basis from one year to the next. Of these 205 municipalities that are going to run into problems this year, there is a whole page, including the cities of Hamilton, Owen Sound and Sudbury, that are going to get between five and 10 per cent less than they got last year.

Then there’s another half a page of municipalities which are going to get between 10 and 14.9 per cent. They include Guelph and Pembroke and a host of other towns and villages. Then there’s another group -- a full page with two columns -- of municipalities that will get 15 per cent more or less this year than they did last year from the general support grants. These include places like the cities of Brantford and Cornwall, Nanticoke, the city of Windsor, plus a host of townships and villages.

There could be no more condemning evidence than the answer to the question raised by the former leader of our party, of the irresponsible lack of planning that has gone into this whole matter of municipal financing. The municipalities just don’t know from one year to the next what’s going on. I think it’s time the Treasurer got up and admitted they haven’t done the proper planning and municipal financing in the last three years and that it was a mistake the way the government handled its 1974 general support grants. Now you’re asking municipalities to pay for the mistakes that you made in the provincial Treasurer’s department.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Do you want an answer?

Mr. Good: I’d like to hear an answer to that, if you are prepared to admit that it is your fault.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: The fact is because of inflation, and we discussed this last year, the sliding rate of grants simply wasn’t working. If the member wasn’t in my office or in my predecessor’s office complaining about the fact that the year before they hadn’t built a bridge, or they did build a bridge in London, London was in my office and everybody else’s office. They were being penalized one way. The fact was that that grant wasn’t working the way it was designed to work.

Secondly, the rates of inflation have distorted the whole picture. It would have necessitated raising the figures to a very high level. It wasn’t helping the growing municipalities which were the municipalities which in terms of housing problems and a whole host of problems were the ones that probably needed the most help. Therefore, it’s true a year ago we made the change to a flat rate of six per cent and a year ago we said we will underwrite for one year a guarantee of 95 per cent. In fact, we gave them two years to get out of it. Now the member says we don’t plan ahead. They’ve known this for over a year. It’s as simple as that.

Mr. Good: That’s certainly an unsatisfactory answer. The whole thing is the problem has been of your making. If you expect 205 municipalities to get by this year on less money than they did last year, you will be very surprised.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: They got by with five per cent less than they had the year before. They’re not the little children that you and the Grits like to make them out to be. These are big boys. They know what they’re doing.

Mr. Shore: Why don’t you treat them like big boys?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Well they are

Mr. Good: You treat them as though they should get by with the crumbs that fall from the Treasurer’s table and nothing more.

Mr. Eakins: Big boys don’t shout.

Mr. Shore: They will be glad to hear they are not little boys.

Mr. Good: Let’s get onto the next grant, the resources equalization grant. I have heard more Treasurers say they wish they’d get rid of that, the inequity in that grant. Either do that or do something about the frozen assessment. I know you’re going to say by 1978 it will all be over.

Mr. Shore: By 1988.

Mr. Good: Yes, it will probably be closer to 1988 the way it has been postponed, postponed and postponed.

The truth of the thing is simply this, Mr. Chairman. There is no way we can have any equity in the resources equalization grants under your frozen factor system, because you know, I know and everybody knows that the factors that were set up before 1970 have not been able to be appealed since then and just don’t work in today’s grant system. To relate again the inequity, the city of Windsor gets no resources equalization grant; London gets a huge one. The city of Kitchener gets a resources equalization grant; the city of Waterloo doesn’t get one. Side by side, one city is no more wealthy than the next, but your whole system now has been tied up, or tied down to an inequitable base which has existed ever since you and the NDP voted to freeze the assessment back in 1970. That’s the truth of the whole matter. That has caused more problems in municipal financing around this province than anything else; that is, the freezing of that assessment over such a long period of time. To say anything different is to distort the facts as they are now. The resources equalization grants will never work properly until you get an equal base of assessment, and we’ve reviewed the whole assessment picture with the Minister of Revenue so we’re not going to go into that again here.

There is the other matter about the financial effects of the restructuring of local government. Some time ago I drew the minister’s attention to the fact that the township of Woolwich and the township of Wellesley in my area --

Mr. Nixon: Ever since Darcy has taken it over it has been a mess.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: You are in favour of higher taxes? What a party platform.

Mr. Good: -- are very unhappy with the effects that regional government has had on them. A brief was presented by the township of Woolwich, that went to the Premier. I passed along a copy to the Treasurer and he said -- I think it was in his estimates last fall; probably a year ago, before the election -- that he would be glad to look into it. The fact of the matter here is that one can recognize very quickly why there is dissatisfaction with the adjusted costs among the rural and urban people under regional government.

In the case of the township of Woolwich there are three wards. One ward is urban, the town of Elmira. The other two wards are rural. Previously, the town of Elmira and one of the wards had their own police protection. Now, of course, it’s all under the region. That’s another thing that one could talk about at length. Municipalities were suckered -- I shouldn’t say suckered, but they were encouraged -- into forming regional police forces by the issuing of a larger grant. So what happened?

Mr. Nixon: Suckered is the word.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: You don’t believe in policing either?

Mr. Good: Last year, the police grant went up about $5 in the regions where there were regional police forces, and the costs went up around $8. This year there wasn’t one cent more in the per capita grants for areas where there were regional police forces. It’s still $12 per capita and the costs have now risen in excess of $40 and they’re approaching the $50 per capita in many of the areas. That’s the kind of thing that has made a lot of municipalities lose faith in the government. You entice them into programmes by offering them grants and then you leave them hanging in there in mid-air and having to support the increased costs over and beyond that.

Getting back to the effect of regional government on the township of Woolwich, the urban part of the township experienced a decrease in costs after the regional government was set up because the region had taken over the policing. The rural parts, of course, experienced a tremendous increase, so the equalization of the differences was established and the amounts were put over five years to be taken off at 20 per cent each year to try and equalize the burden to some extent. So even before the equalization period of five years has expired, we find that in the urban part of the riding the costs have been held to about a 7.6 per cent increase in the past two years. In one ward, the costs have risen 165 per cent in the three years, and in the other ward, 77.9 per cent. Truly, the financial sections of the Waterloo regional bill, as they relate to the amalgamation of former municipalities, have not worked to the benefit of the rural communities. There is just no doubt about it. It is very difficult to go to any rural community in a regional government and find any municipal council that does not feel that they have had a rough time of it, because of regional government. Surely there must be a better way to work out the equalization of taxation among these municipalities that have been merged under regional government.

The municipalities now are resorting to anything they can do to make a few dollars to try to finance them. The lot levies across the province are now being used as a means of financing in the municipalities -- something they really weren’t intended for. We find that in some areas, I think in Mississauga, the region has a thousand dollar lot levy, the area government has another $500 or $600 or $800. We have the same hassle going on in our own area, where the region wants to impose a lot levy. It is no wonder that the costs of lots has risen. That is one contributing factor at least -- the lot levies have had to be imposed by municipalities through lack of a proper taxing base. You have left the municipalities with a tax base which doesn’t expand like the province’s does.

You even now are proposing under your report to minimize the business tax on certain types of industries. This will prove another hardship in certain municipalities such as my own. I really feel that financial planning, as it relates between the province and the municipalities, has left a lot to be desired.

Mr. Chairman: Shall vote 1005 carry? The hon. member for Beaches-Woodbine, anything to discuss on this vote?

Ms. Bryden: On item 3, are we dealing with all three on this one?

Mr. Chairman: I gather we are doing them collectively.

Ms. Bryden: I just had one question, I wanted to ask the provincial Treasurer why the item under 3, services, has gone up by 50 per cent? I looked at last year’s detail, and it was $396,000; it is now $620,000. I noticed the item for services under item 2 has also gone up from $879,000 to $1.4 million. This doesn’t look to me like restraint; a 50 per cent increase in services.

Mr. Renwick: That’s a deceleration in the rate of acceleration.

Ms. Bryden: The item is services.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I would like to get you an explanation of that, because that does sound large. The item services has gone from -- what did you say it was a year ago?

Ms. Bryden: A 50 per cent increase under Treasury.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: To $620,000.

Ms. Bryden: From $396,000 to $620,000; that’s the estimate figure.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: On the Treasury side, I don’t know what --

Mr. Renwick: This is a minority government now Darcy, not a majority.


Mr. Chairman: Order please.

Mr. Renwick: Is that all you’ve prepared?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I guess the biggest part of that would be for the upgrading, if I can put it in lay language, of the financial reporting system, which I think Mr. Auld talked about. This is to bring the financial reporting system into step with what is happening, which is going to require more computer time. I think that is probably the biggest single reason. We now get from the accountants overall an estimate of what -- we know what they have spent, that’s reported to us, but we’re not getting the best estimates of what is left to be spent. So in terms of the better control, it will, in effect, be exercised by Management Board so that if we’re running over on one vote we take a look around to see where there are possible savings before they spend it on something else, so that the net figure may work out to be the same. This has required improvements to be made in the accounting process to achieve closer control over the whole financial system. I think that’s the best way of putting it. It will essentially be administered by Management Board or controlled by Management Board but the reporting system will be in the financial information and accounting policy branch of the treasury division of my ministry, who are the government accountants if I may put it that way. They are going to get more involved through the financial information system, which will require more computer time. Now, I think there’s more to it than that and I’ll get you a fuller explanation. But I think that’s basically the big difference.

Ms. Bryden: It appears that it costs money to save money or to tighten up the controls. However we welcome any tightening up in the expenditure programme. Will this also include making Management Board orders available to the public on a better than annual basis, which is I gather what we get at the present time? I think the Chairman of Management Board did talk about possibly quarterly reporting. Certainly it would be very desirable to have Management Board orders available to us on a much more frequent basis.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Yes.

Mr. Shore: In relation to the interest factor on $1048 billion: Is the interest paid on the Canada Pension borrowing shown in the provincial account part or where would it be shown? G.93 -- where would it be?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: It would be shown on G.93 and it would be included in the $522,233,000.

Mr. Shore: It is included in that?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Yes.

Mr. Shore: Approximately how much of that $522,233,000?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Roughly $400 million, I think, isn’t it? Somebody’s getting me a better figure.

Mr. Shore: Roughly $400 million. Now could I ask the minister to give me the major breakdown of the one million dollars under fiscal policy for services -- the $1,041,600 for services under fiscal policy? Could I have a breakdown of the largest part of that?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Services under the taxation and fiscal policy branch; and there are three branches under fiscal policy. They broke it down into three. If I can give you some of the larger items. EDP, the biggest single item, is $168,000. The printing of the provincial budget staff papers throughout the year is $110,000. EDP re municipal financial information, financial analysis of regional governments, analysis of real property assessment at market value, analysis of property taxation are all EDP -- $432,000. Those are the biggest items.

Mr. Shore: Where do you get the EDP from, internally?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: No, no. This would be all Government Services -- the majority of it is Government Services, is it?

Mr. Shore: Government Services.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Yes.

Mr. Nixon: Mr. Chairman, just as a matter of information, what is the plan of our transfer to the Syncrude commitment? Does that come into the statutory vote?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: The closest I can come is, “Payments from Ontario Energy Corp. trust account, $36 million.”

Mr. Nixon: Through the Energy Corp.? What is the plan for making up the total commitment? Does this $36 million accomplish that, or is it based on the rate of progress?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: There was $100 million set aside, in 1974-1975. I think the draw down in the first year was $25 million, and I guess this will bring it up to about $60 million on total.

Mr. Nixon: What do you mean set aside? I can understand a commitment, but the funds were not, in fact, set aside.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: No, it was a budgetary expense and a cash requirement expense in 1974-1975 because we made the investment then. I think we actually laid out $4 or $5 million then, and $95 million is reserved on the books for the Energy Corp., nearly all of which -- there’s $5 or $10 million in Polar Gas -- will flow through to the Energy Corp., and I assume mostly to the Syncrude project. $34.3 million in Syncrude and $2.5 million in Polar Gas. That’s our information.

Vote 1005 agreed to.

On vote 1006:

Mr. Chairman: Vote 1006, urban and regional affairs programme. Inasmuch as there are several items to be discussed, I would suggest that we discuss item 1. Does the member for Brantford wish to comment?

Mr. Makarchuk: Yes, Mr. Chairman, I’d like to participate in this particular aspect of the urban and regional development; and perhaps acknowledge a certain sense of personal frustration. The government, of course, would want one to believe that --

Mr. Chairman: I would draw to the hon. member’s attention that that would come under item 3 of vote 1006. Is item 1 agreed to? Carried. Item 2, urban and regional planning.

Mr. Makarchuk: On item 2, Mr. Chairman.

As I said, I would like to participate in this, and there is a certain element of personal frustration. Of course, the government would like us to believe that the reason for this is the perfection in the ministry; and one would find it rather difficult to disagree, how can you improve on perfection? Of course, that’s not the case. I think one has to realize that this is a ministry that is spending about $1,742 million, which is more than the whole budget of the Province of Saskatchewan. With that kind of spending one is aware of how large the ministry is.

However, the frustration comes, Mr. Chairman, when you examine the functions of the ministry that are not financial but flow from the ability to control the purse strings as well as being charged with specific functions, particularly those related to growth and development in the province.

For a long time we on this side seriously believed that the government was concerned about planning. It may have discovered the process a little late in life, but it did acknowledge there should be planning and it did provide us with a Design for Development about 10 years ago.

Actually, it has advised this House that it was developing a major land-use plan for the province, which is a necessary prerequisite if you subscribe to the idea of planning and everything that flows from it or is associated with planning. In reality what you have been doing over all these years is deceiving the people of this province, many of whom took your statements, concepts, designs and files of publications as evidence of serious intent on your part. What did we get? Recently we’ve got more of the same; more reports, more publications. I would like to quote Harold Greer from his column referring to the last bundle of publications provided to the House.

“Nevertheless, there was a clear implication in all this that eventually there would be an overall provincial master plan, official and dedicated, wherein everything would be made clear.

“Treasurer John White said so specifically in 1974 and promised the first ‘rudimentary’ version of it in the fall of that year. It never happened, of course, but then these things take time.

“So when it was announced that the government would have a major planning statement to give the Legislature on April 8, and arrangements were made to give the press an advance, four-hour, locked-room briefing thereon [there is drama involved in this thing, of course] it was widely assumed that here at last was the master provincial plan and living proof, perhaps, that Ontario Conservatives did indeed have some appreciation for what government is all about in the late 20th century.”

I may digress at this point and point out that New Zealand had land-use planning in 1933. I will continue with the column:

“Alas, the printing presses have merely been busy again; 11 more planning reports to put on the shelves, full of options and possibilities and alternatives, and not a provincial plan among them. There is not even a hint of a provincial plan emerging from them: the reports are so poorly coordinated that they do not even use the same statistical bases.

“Moreover, there is not going to be any provincial plan. Both Premier William Davis and Treasurer Darcy McKeough were at the press briefing to make that clear in, of course, their own way. They decried ‘concentrated central planning’ as vaguely fascist -- or maybe it was socialist -- and stood four-square for a ‘planning perspective’ in which the province assists local and regional governments ‘to achieve their own planning and growth management goals’ within broad provincial guidelines.

“These guidelines have all the consistency of jelly on the wall. ‘We will be looking to the future of our province in the general context of our restated development strategy,’ McKeough declared soberly. [It must have been the afternoon.] ‘As we progress, changes will be adopted that will reflect the expressed needs of the people to be served by provincial and local development initiatives of whatever kind.’ Don’t bother to read it again, it doesn’t mean anything [Mr. Greer says].”

The reasons for this are twofold. In the first place, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that the Conservative Party, and for that matter any political party which refuses to adjust and acknowledge the changing nature of our society, becomes irrelevant to that society.

The second reason is that despite the consistent lip service to planning the Conservative Party ideologically does not believe that government should be involved and be a positive force in organizing and directing the events which affect the lives of the people.

When you are forced to intervene by events you do it shabbily, arbitrarily, negatively and generally in a destructive way. When the need develops, when society cries out and says do something, you smugly crawl under the shell of leaving it to the marketplace to resolve.

The marketplace does not resolve it. The marketplace has a function, but its function is certainly not to plan the future of the citizens of the Province of Ontario.

I quote the minister, “Effective planning is inextricably involved in the proper management of the affairs of the public on behalf of the public.”

What he should have added to that is “by the public.” The government is supposed to be the agency of the public; not Stelco, not Hydro; not Glendour Developments, nor for that matter any other major corporations in Ontario that are doing the planning in this province.


Specifically, I’d like to look as an example, at the Haldimand-Norfolk operation. In the first place, Mr. Minister, the decision to locate a major steel plant was made by Stelco. Their considerations were availability to water, a place for port facilities, rock foundations, accessibility to markets and cheap land. And they were all there.

The fact that thousands of acres of farm land were going to be put out of production was inconsequential to Stelco, but it should be of some concern to the government. The past inaction and current series of statements indicates quite clearly that this government is still unconcerned and is not interested in preserving agricultural land. In fact, some of the statements that have been made by you and the Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. W. Newman) would lead one to think this is the only province in the world where they are still making land.

Besides the failure to preserve agricultural land, there is a failure of leadership and total lack of co-ordination particularly between various ministries. While Agriculture and Food is supposed to be interested in farm land preservation, Housing is busily taking up more land purchased earlier by private entrepreneurs who by themselves decide where the new townsite is going to be located. Of course, Housing and the Ministry of TEIGA were involved. They were not satisfied with one site, they acquired two sites.

You hold two sites right now. The other day we asked the Minister of Housing (Mr. Rhodes) just what he intends to do with the other site, and of course he doesn’t know. You have about 12,000 acres, I think, in the Cayuga townsite tied up. Money tied up; land is tied up. Although you rent it out, it is not really farmed sensibly when you rent land out.

I may add that the population growth, the figures that were submitted by your own ministry regarding population growth in that area, indicate that the Townsend site itself will be more than able to absorb or hold all the future population growth in the area. So why do you keep the second site?

May I also comment briefly on the delay of the development of the site -- and it is not really the municipalities in that area that have been holding it back, they have accepted the idea that there will be a satellite town and they haven’t really been objecting to it.

But you have been meeting about this site. You have been arguing about it, since about 1968-1969. You held major meetings in Jarvis. You were going to start the whole thing; you were going to be doing it and it would go on stream. As I gather now, nothing will go on stream until about 1977. I would like to point out to you, Mr. Minister, the fact that in Elliot Lake, with much rougher topography and everything else, you were able to design, plan and build a town site in something like three years.

It seems to me the only reason you are holding off up there is the fact that you have some major developers who are holding properties around Port Dover and around Simcoe, and until such time as their properties are utilized you are not prepared to move into that area.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I don’t want to interrupt but there is no money in my estimates for Townsend or for Cayuga. The estimates that you are now talking about are of the Minister of Housing rather than mine.

Mr. Makarchuk: Mr. Minister, I was discussing it as part of the planning process of the provinces That’s what I am discussing and that comes under your ministry in this particular vote.

In fact, Mr. Minister, each ministry seems to see its powers and responsibilities as weapons to be used in the fight with the rest of the government for influence.

Examples are only limited by imagination. Agriculture and Food is supposed to be preserving agricultural land, Industry and Tourism and Housing are building industrial parks and houses on it. Environment is supposed to be controlling pits and quarries; Natural Resources sees mineral aggregate where most people see trees and grass.

I may add in that particular area that there has been quite a great deal of concern expressed in the fact that the cabinet has decided to reverse an OMB decision and possibly open the way for the establishment of another quarry, particularly in the fact that you have an existing quarry that has estimated supplies that would last about 100 years.

One aim of the Treasury is to decentralize growth, while another aim is planning new towns on the periphery of Toronto. Environment is building massive servicing schemes in York and Peel. Transportation and Communication promotes roads. The Ministry of Energy advocates transit. Cutbacks are made here, with no thought for the consequences over there.

There is no plan and there is no design. The only time there seems to be a central agency of government is when the budget is being drawn up but there is no policy co-ordination or direction in that either. The so-called superministries were supposed to do some of that. Instead, it seems to me, they shuffle paper and convene a lot of conferences.

I don’t think any of the ministers have any clout to provide any leadership or to do any co-ordinating. Perhaps it may be because of the nature of the minister. I don’t think any one of them is prepared to stand up and ask the operating minister, or perhaps put his own point of view. The clout is on the other side, and it’s larger than what the superminister can generate.

The result is that it’s developed into situations where local people are getting themselves into confrontations with other areas and with people within the same region. It is not peculiar to Haldimand, where you have groups of people questioning some of the things we are doing. Even in Toronto you have Metro Toronto fighting through the courts or the city of Toronto fighting through the courts about the transit system. You have confrontations between hospitals, you have confrontations on things like the Hydro corridor. When you look at these things, when you see these groups of people through the whole province fighting each other or fighting with the government, you wonder where the heck is the direction, where is the planning, where is the coordination for all these things. It is not there.

In the case of Hydro, as an example, you have stuck yourselves on a decision that was made in 1971. You refuse to consider anything else and are going to bulldoze the whole thing through. You have situations where other groups of people are fighting garbage dumps, where one group tries to impose on another group; what kind of planning is that?

As an example, in your plans in the Design for Development series -- which could be described as the last bundle of books that were presented -- you state that you are going to have growth in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. You are going to do certain things for expansion. But you forget something; the fact that there’s no water in the area. You forget or you do not say anything about it. There is nothing in your planning to say how you are going to get water to that area.

Surely these are some rather fundamental things that you should deal with. You should provide some idea of how you are going to resolve these problems, not only because it will help your planning process, but the people in those areas would have some idea about what you are going to do so they can adjust and go ahead.

I think I would be a bit reluctant -- I think maybe it frightens me -- to suggest that TEIGA should be the central agency doing the directing. My feeling is that this kind of direction should be political and not bureaucratic. The central agency with the clout should be responsible to the cabinet and should further consist of order in council appointees.

Treasury estimates do provide an opportunity to talk about overall control because the ministry is supposed to be a central agency. The problem in Ontario is not that the wrong people are wielding the central power -- Treasury bureaucrats for example -- but that nobody is wielding power. Nor does there seem to be any political will to exercise that power.

It’s not surprising. It’s a symptom of the fact that the Conservatives have no sense of mission. They have no sense of purpose. They have no will to co-ordinate their activities. You really have no goals to which you direct those activities. In a sense, Mr. Minister, this department and you are floating like shipwrecked sailors and your only goal is survival -- in this case, political survival.

Mr. Nixon: Mr. Chairman, I just want to comment briefly on the same subject. Perhaps the Treasurer might save some of this if he would respond to comments made by the hon. member; but since he is not fighting for the floor, I could only assume he has no response at this time.

I was listening to the comments from the member for Brantford with a great deal of interest, particularly since they centred on criticism of the lack of co-ordination of planning and development in the Haldimand-Norfolk area. I can only assume that the hon. member’s expertise comes from when he leaves his home in Brantford and goes down to Lake Erie to cruise on his yacht. But perhaps he has some other source of information as well.

Mr. Breaugh: It’s a socialist navy, Bob.

Mr. Nixon: I often wonder at socialist principles, but I have stopped being surprised at some of these things.

However, the member is absolutely correct. The government has purchased two major city sites. We’ve got $50 million invested in the property. The Treasurer objected, Mr. Chairman, you didn't respond to it but he objected, to this discussion. He said there isn’t a dollar in his estimates having to do with this. I’m sure you will recall that the Treasurer’s illustrious predecessor was the one who insisted on legislation being passed here, particularly at the time of the development of the powers of the Ministry of Housing. He insisted on a very small bill, just a few lines, which said: “Notwithstanding any other piece of general or special legislation, the Treasurer shall be the chief planner.”

I should remember the discussions on that bill, and certainly Hon. Mr. McNaughton used to describe himself as the chief planner of the province.

There is no doubt that the expansion of the Treasury into what we now call TEIGA encompassed that very concept and the Treasurer’s predecessor perhaps took it more seriously than the present incumbent does. Mr. White felt himself to be really the father of the new concept and particularly the idea man for a moribund government which didn’t seem to know what to do with all the money it had stacked up in its vault.

So they bought the concept that they should buy these large tracts of land, two of them, in the now region of Haldimand-Norfolk. I believe there were other purchases made with which you are familiar, in eastern Ontario and elsewhere.

It seemed to be incredible that the government would decide that while they had purchased one site, the Townsend site, which so far has been designated as the one earmarked for earlier development, they felt that in order to maintain the balance of investment between the historic counties of Haldimand and Norfolk, and for some other reasons which were even more difficult to perceive, an additional city site should be purchased. But the problems have really just begun in the area, since as has been pointed out the rate of growth has been considerably less than that which was originally estimated, and the government has now in its possession a report, which I brought to the Treasurer’s attention in the question period a few days ago, commissioned by the government from Wood Gordon and Co. which says categorically the development of the Townsend site should be stopped. It quite clearly states that $65 million of money from the province -- maybe it is not going to be voted through the Treasurer’s estimates, but surely it must give him some concerns since he has got to be our chief financial officer -- $65 million must be invested in the next few years, probably five years, in order to get this new satellite town moving, and in fact move it only to a population of 7,000.

The report clearly sets out that new information is available which indicates quite clearly that the development should be based on the present communities that are already in existence. Most of them are already fully serviced.

The minister, who always pays careful attention to my comments, will no doubt recall the basis of the debate at the time of the purchase of these city sites. Actually the debate was with his predecessor, Mr. White, but as usual he paid careful attention not only to my comments but to those made by his predecessor.

The alternative to the procedure that the government is using, which is undoubtedly expensive and disruptive, is to foster the development, at least for the foreseeable future, up to 20 years, around the nucleus of the communities that are already established. The roads are built; they are served by railroads; the schools have room in them; the churches have empty pews, God knows; there are arenas -- I knew that would rouse you, Bill.

Mr. Ferrier: Not empty pews, surely not.

Mr. Nixon: There may not be room in your church but there is room in some. The services, while certainly we can’t say they are in any way redundant the way they are now, can be improved and expanded in a way which will accommodate the kind of growth the area is going to have. Now one of the sections from the Woods, Gordon report struck me and I would quote to you:


“We believe that there has been sufficient change in circumstances and realistic expectations to alter the statements promoting Townsend which were made with very different information at hand than exists today.”

I’m a little concerned about taking a position against Townsend. It’s in my constituency and the government has paid the money for the property. While I don’t believe that it is the best farm land in the province, if you look at what is available in Oxford and) so on, I do believe it has been productive. It would certainly be a shame for the government to go forward and pave it over with parking lots and a new development until it is necessary.

The report clearly points out that the $65 million the government presently intends to put forward into that new development, will carry over $30 million in interest charges in the years when the financing will go forward, when according to these independent experts the development is unnecessary. They point out that new statistics and growth trends are available. They are quite different from those that decided the Hon. John White to go forward with this very far-reaching concept of the establishment of new cities.

Personally, I felt he was infected with a virus that gave him delusions of grandeur. Going down into the area to visit his relatives as he often did, he must have seen this beautiful land and thought, now here’s where I will make my mark.

Mr. Breithaupt: The Wizard of Oz.

Mr. Nixon: Here is where we’re going to develop this fine new city. While he didn’t consider calling it “Whitesville” or anything like that, he had this paternal interest in it. Paternalistic, perhaps, would be better, since under his leadership the planning for the whole thing took place. While it had a façade of local involvement, it was left under the direction of the government of the day and is, in fact, in the hands of a back-bench member who isn’t even here tonight.

It concerns me, Mr. Chairman, that the Treasurer would imply this is all out of order in a debate on the discussion of the estimates of the Treasury of this province. The concept came from the Treasury, the financing came from the Treasury; there’s no doubt this $65 million, which so far, according to government policy, is going to be channeled into it, must surely be only with the approval of the chief planner of the province and our chief financial officer.

I am very much aware of the sectional differences within the region. There have to be, since the region is composed of two counties with traditions that go back for a long way. The local council, in its wisdom, has so far favoured the development of Townsend over the development of any other centre. I would think it would be a very difficult thing indeed for that regional council, under the leadership of its chairman, who was appointed by this government, to decide, for example, that Simcoe should be the regional centre.

Of course as is typical of new regions, and this is the wisdom of the locally-elected people now that they have been functioning for a couple of years, they are now looking for a site for a new regional administrative headquarters. They are simply following the pattern of all of the other regions.

Of course, these decisions crop up in the review of the cost of regional government which the Treasurer was talking about when he tabled the documents today and which certainly we’ll he examining with a great deal of interest.

We are now in a position where if the government is going to persist in maintaining direct oversight of the development in the Haldimand-Norfolk region, it’s going to have to reconsider these positions. If they’re going to go forward with the development of Townsend, which is in my constituency and I have that politically vested interest in it, then certainly the justification to overrule the recommendations of these impartial experts will have to be put before this House, as well as before the councils in the Haldimand-Norfolk region.

I’d like the minister to give us his views as to the future of some of these concepts. I sense he feels his predecessor has left him with a load of decisions which he sometimes finds difficult to cope with, which is maybe a kinder way of putting it. Nevertheless, the $50 million has been spent and the government has retained to itself the operative responsibility for the planning decision; and whether or not there is a dollar in the budget that is before us there certainly has been the commitment of millions of dollars of taxpayers’ funds through the authority of this Legislature. Whoever is ostensibly making the decisions, we all know that basically the decision is one that rests with the Treasurer.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Chairman, that couldn’t be more wrong. The responsibility for Townsend rests with the Minister of Housing. I haven’t seen the Woods Gordon report to which the member refers. I am not familiar with the ongoing development of Townsend, other than in my relationship to the regional council, who have not been in touch with me of late on this particular subject. Obviously any move to go against their wishes in the matter would concern me greatly. I am sure that all the points made by the former leader of the Liberal Party are under consideration by the Minister of Housing and in due course I am sure he will discuss the matter not only with the region but with his colleagues and perhaps with the House. I am not in a position to comment tonight.

Mr. Nixon: I have a brief question for clarification. The minister’s statement, and more than that his tone of almost disinterestedness in this -- I don’t mean lack of interest -- would indicate that he is not acting as the chief planner and that he is abdicating his role as the chief financial officer in this connection to the Minister of Housing. Does the minister mean that the issues which will arise in this connection should be dealt with not on a fiscal basis in the broader sense but only as a matter of providing housing?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: No, not at all. There is money in these estimates -- I suppose a billion dollars -- to run the universities of this province. I don’t abdicate my responsibility for --

Mr. Nixon: That has to be different. You realize it was under the aegis of the former Treasurer that we got into this, not the Minister of Housing or anybody else.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Having got into it as a government decision, government delegates those responsibilities to a minister.

Mr. Nixon: Are you not still the chief planner by statute?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: If you want to put it that way.

Mr. Nixon: You put it that way.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I have never put it that way.

Mr. Nixon: That is what the law says.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I have not put it that way, regardless of what the law says.


Hon. Mr. McKeough: I have not put it that way, but once a decision is made -- and there is a whole host of decisions -- certainly the policy of the government, to which I subscribe most fully, is that those matters become the responsibility of operating ministers.

My own ministry has tried very hard to get out of these operational side-effects. We no longer have any responsibilities for North Pickering, for example -- direct responsibility. That happens to be with the Ministry of Housing. There is a whole host of other operational matters, many of them large, which we have moved out of and we will be continuing to move out.

Mr. Nixon: This is simply a matter of clarification. The vote we are on is for urban and regional planning, close to $6 million, and the basis of this report was made public by one Dennis Durrant, manager of the policy division of the regional planning division. How many regional planning groups have we got?

Mr. Makarchuk: Mr. Chairman, on the same point: When this matter --

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Apparently he works for the Haldimand-Norfolk region.

Mr. Makarchuk: When this matter was raised with the Ministry of Housing they said they hadn’t yet received the Woods Gordon report. In view of the fact we have a very efficient courier service would you like to send them down a copy of the report so they can see what it is all about?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I have just indicated I haven’t received it.

Mr. Makarchuk: Who has this report then?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I don’t know.

Mr. Makarchuk: Who is responsible?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: It was quoted to me by the member for Brant.

Mr. Nixon: Brant-Oxford-Norfolk.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Sorry. I don’t know that I will be seeing the report. It’s a report to the committee and it will end up with the Minister of Housing. There is no reason it would be coming to me particularly at this point.

Mr. Makarchuk: My concern at this time is really not whether or not you will be seeing it, but obviously the ministry charged with the responsibility of carrying out that function of getting the townsite onstream has not received the report. This is getting back to what we were saying about some coordination between your ministries, to make sure they do get this report.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: It is not my report to deliver.

Mr. Makarchuk: You paid for it, didn’t you?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: No, I certainly didn’t.

Mr. Makarchuk: Who paid for it?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I assume the Ministry of Housing is paying for it.

Mr. Makarchuk: No, they didn’t. They claimed they didn’t pay for it. Who paid for the report?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Either the region or the Ministry of Housing.

Mr. Nixon: It was provincial money.

An hon. member: Taxpayers’ money.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: The whole $12,576,000,000 is provincial money.

Mr. Nixon: You are washing your hands of it.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I am not washing my hands of it.

Mr. Nixon: It’s your baby and it’s now an embarrassment. So shove it over to one of these junior fellows as long as it’s an embarrassment.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Do you want me to put you on the hook? What you are saying tonight is it doesn’t matter what Haldimand-Norfolk cares. Both the Legislature and the government overrule them and add to Simcoe. Is that the position you are taking? You go right ahead.

Mr. Nixon: They never thought of a new townsite down there until you and your predecessor went down and bought it right out from under them with $40 million.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: “Great daddy Bob” is going to run the province.

Mr. Nixon: Talk about consultation; there was never a word of consultation. That’s when you had lots of money. That was last year before you had ever heard of retrenchment.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Let it just go on record that the great apostle of strong local government said that a local committee in Haldimand-Norfolk said: We like the Townsend site; we don’t agree with an excessive growth in Simcoe; we want to go ahead with Townsend.

The member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk says: To heck with them; overrule them; forget Townsend and add on to Simcoe. That’s the kind of special planning you Grits would impose on this whole province. Ignore local government, just run the whole show; well, we reject it.

Mr. Nixon: Just before the green fieldhands here bruise themselves, the Treasurer should know that the planning committee, which he is talking about as having responsibility in the local area, is chaired by his back-bench sycophant, the member for York North (Mr. Hodgson). A Tory from Toronto is chairing the committee by order of this government. The report came to a working committee made up of three provincial civil servants, and two regional employees, and was kept away from the local regional people because it might interfere with their basic decision.

If that’s the kind of local responsibility the hon. Treasurer fostered, we as Liberals reject it. It is why you lost that seat and why you are going to lose Chatham.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: The record will show the member said tonight that it doesn’t matter what the regional council thinks.

He made some reference to a provincially-appointed chairman. There are another 20 people down there who are elected who will make up their minds. We are going to pay some attention to their view --

Mr. Nixon: As long as they agree with you you will pay attention to it.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: -- even if the member isn’t.

Mr. Nixon: As long as they agree with you, you will listen to them. You have foisted the whole thing on them down there.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Even if the member from the area doesn’t want to listen, we will listen to them.

Mr. Nixon: You have foisted high taxes; you have taken their farm land.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Sure, sure.

Mr. Chairman: The hon. member for Oshawa.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Alfred Judd has got to you hook, line and sinker.

Mr. Nixon: Alfred Judd, the mayor, a fine person.

Mr. Chairman: The hon. member for Oshawa.

Mr. Breaugh: I have heard some amazing things tonight, and I am going to remember them for a while. I am going to remember some of the remarks the Treasurer just made in this House, because they were really good stuff in my area. That kind of planning is going to come back to haunt you. I am going to remember that statement. When a project that came out of this ministry, under a form of planning in the region of Durham, called the North Pickering project, hits their official plan, you might be interested to know that local planning authority has refused to recognize the North Pickering project.

I want to read back those words which you just quoted to this member when it comes in and your entire North Pickering project is thrown out as an official plan. Then we will see how hot you are about local planning autonomy. We will see how much you like it then.

Mr. Nixon: They will reverse anything. Just like your regional health councils -- you reverse them any time you want to close the hospitals.

Mr. Breaugh: That’s right, with this government there is a secret about local planning. Plan it the way they want it down at Queen’s Park, and then you have local autonomy, and that’s been said many times.

I want to deal with a couple of pretty basic issues on this particular item. Really, the tendency of this government is to go for great planning documents, which surely is less than half of the planning process. They have a propensity to come out with stacks of paper, to do all kinds of staff reports, and then to put them on the shelf rather than to make any critical decisions.

The only time they deviate from that particular course is on occasion when we see their kite flying some kind of a sample project, like the parkway belt west. It seems their planning is so good, their planning for the Province of Ontario is so excellent, that every time they try to implement something they are immediately into hot water. They immediately back-track, they immediately stop and desist every other form of planning on a provincial scale in the Province of Ontario. That seems to be something that you do with amazing regularity.


Let me deal too with some of the things that come out of this ministry because the way it works is perhaps as important as how it works. It seems that this particular ministry is charged with the responsibility of putting out the pieces. At the point of implementation or where something might actually be done or where a decision could actually be made, this ministry rather neatly steps out of the way. Somebody else gets that particular job and then, if it falls flat on its face, which it does with amazing regularity, this ministry isn’t really at fault.

I watched yesterday, in the Durham regional council, an exercise that I think was rather typical of this government. There were four cabinet ministers present. I thought, frankly, that the regional council, given their problems with the provincial government over the past couple of years, have really treated you well. I thought they received you courteously and I was impressed with the performance because it was a solid Tory performance. Four important people from the provincial government came in, with a few assistants standing around.

The Treasurer made reference to the Durham sub-region report and I thought put rather succinctly the problems that this government has with it that I think are insurmountable. In fact, you said it really was not a planning document.

I, for one, am quite grateful you said that because it would be a disgrace to anybody who had worked in the field of planning to call that a planning document. It’s inaccurate for starters. It’s based on wrong statistics for seconds and it really doesn’t plan anything. The word “strategy” was used, strategy implying that somewhere down the line you will do some of those things and carry out some of those recommendations. If you like, it is planning in that sense if not in a land-use sense.

There were some brief remarks there. I watched another member of the cabinet with a great display of dexterity hand to the regional chairman actually a cheque for $7 million and some odd cents.

Mr. Nixon: Was that the Minister without Portfolio (Mr. Henderson)?

Ms. Breaugh: No, that was the Provincial Secretary for Resources Development (Mr. Irvine). I was impressed. I’m always impressed whenever I get a chance to see somebody handing over a cheque for $7 million.

Mr. Shore: How many zeros is that?

Mr. Breaugh: What I thought was nice about it, though, was that it wasn’t a gift by any means. It was a loan, probably under some very favourable conditions -- interest free, you don’t have to pay it back for three years and you’ve got 15 more after that to pay up.

Hon. Mr. Irvine: You know the terms.

Mr. Breaugh: Nonetheless, what I like about this government is that it has this great ability to hand you $7 million worth of debt and make you like it. They did that yesterday. They handed to the region of Durham $7 million worth of debt that the region of Durham had not asked for but that this government had asked for through one of its programmes, and everyone seems pleased about it. It struck me as being a bit odd, but then the way we operate from Queen’s Park anyway certainly is.

They went on for the rest of the afternoon answering some questions from the council. There wasn’t any planning here, although the purpose of the meeting was, I thought, to discuss the Durham sub-region strategy or plan or whatever that was. I think it brought out some conflicts that this government has. This government really can never be committed to any kind of urban or regional planning. It just cannot. It has within itself a great ideological conflict. It cannot be committed to that kind of planning. If it was then obviously some of those people who bought the $5-million farms that the Treasurer referred to earlier -- and I know of some, and none of them are farmers, who will in fact have bought $5-million farms and not $5 million worth of speculative land that will eventually become houses and highrises, commercial and industrial sites -- will have paid a grossly inflated price for a place to run quarter-horses. That is what’s going to happen.

If this government was prepared to do some kind of sensible planning in that area, then it would be in natural conflict with that kind of a system. That is a basic problem and, I’m afraid, a basic conflict that you just cannot get around. You cannot bring yourself to accept that if you did some sensible planning there would be some winners and there would be some losers. This government can’t accept there would ever be losers, particularly on the side of the corporate entity. It’s quite prepared to say there will be small guys who lose and that there will be working people who lose but it is not prepared to say that in Ontario there will ever be a major corporation lose and that there will never be a speculator lose. You are always dangling out that carrot.

One of the things that I’m interested in, too, is the way you go about the kind of half-hearted efforts you make at planning. It’s surprising in particular how a party which purports really to identify itself with the free enterprise, big-business system can be so inept.

It is amazing how you keep buying town-sites in places where there isn’t any water supply. That is really a fantastic exercise. It is amazing how you go about buying land through local realtors without having seen the laud, not even knowing, at least in a number of cases, where the land is, or what kind of land it is -- whether it is good farm land or bad, or good land to build houses on, or bad. Not knowing whether or not there is sewer or water capacity in the area or any potential ever to get it in the future, except at great public expense. Nonetheless you have that tendency to buy that kind of land.

That seems to me to be a strange thing. One that I really can’t sort out. If you really are a party that identifies with the free enterprise system, with big business, or business in any sense of the word, why do you keep making such ludicrous business propositions and buying land in the wrong place? That really confounds me. It strikes me that if you were efficient businessmen you would never make that kind of bad investment, yet you do it continually.

Let me deal with a couple of other things about you that really bother me -- like the urban planning and regional planning that is done by this ministry. It is purportedly known in the boondocks -- like in the region of Durham -- that TEIGA really is the major ministry. That is the ministry that ties together all the plans of the entire provincial government. Yet I find some strange things going on.

Nobody is tying together the plans from other ministries, and I think we should all recognize that fact. There are ministries operating in conflict with one another, at great public expense, all the time. And there is nobody sorting them out. There is nobody providing that kind of direction. There is nobody prepared to take it on publicly. What happens is that ministries get themselves backed into a corner with their own little plan, and then get themselves abandoned with great regularity.

Aside from the fact that it is a little dumb to do that kind of thing, it also turns out to be massively expensive. I would have thought with a ministry whose major emphasis is probably in dealing with money and the Treasury itself, that you wouldn’t allow that to happen, but it happens time and again.

In my own area -- and I really blame you for this one -- there was a study on early forms of regional government called the OAPAD study. You laid out $1 million for that study at a time when there were some tough decisions to be made. It appeared that locally you probably needed some help to make some kinds of decisions because there were naturally conflicts between the area municipalities. You totally abandoned it. After you had laid out the $1 million you threw it out the window. And when it did come time to put a regional government into that particular area you threw out almost every concept that was put together in the OAPAD study. You never used it. You paid $1 million for nothing.

Then if you run on through that particular area you will find a new highway being planned -- except that now it is not being planned. But the money was spent to get the planning under way, the series of public hearings was set up, and then the election came. I think quite sensibly in the middle of an election -- you sure wouldn’t want to face that kind of stuff -- you scrapped it. It is now scrapped entirely.

You went into the North Pickering project. You went into the York-Durham sewer agreement. I was rather pleased that the minister had the unmitigated gall to mention that project yesterday as being one that showed good co-operation between the region of Durham and the Province of Ontario. In my mind when a regional municipality takes the Province of Ontario to court that can hardly be called good co-operation.

Mr. Makarchuk: They are used to spending time in court these days. It’s a way of life with them.

Mr. Breaugh: It was one of their early forays into that field.

Mr. Makarchuk: They haven’t been doing too well either.

Mr. Breaugh: There are some simple lessons to be learned by that entire process, and it appears you haven’t learned them. They were mentioned yesterday by a good friend of mine who happened to be the conservative candidate in the riding of Oshawa last time around. Because he has dealt with your ministry a good deal, he knows some of the problems. I don’t know why but you get the staff people together and let them go away for six months and come back with some kind of task force report that somebody puts on a table somewhere and nobody makes any decisions about.

I don’t know why you don’t go to those local people, if you believe so strongly, as you just said, in local autonomy and local planning decisions, and letting those people decide for themselves. Why don’t you go to them first? Why don’t you talk to them? The region of Durham you were talking to yesterday in two weeks time will have their official plan documents on the table ready for political discussion and final political decision. Two weeks ago you tabled in this House a document that is directly contrary to that regional official plan.

Have you nobody on your staff who ever took a look at what they are doing? I know you do, because several of them have been out and made representations to the people who are putting together that regional official plan, and it so happens that the representations from the government of Ontario are in direct conflict with the things that those people locally want to do.

How come you can’t sort that out? Surely, with all the money and the wealth and the power and the people and the paper that you’ve got, you could learn some basic truths? If you really believe in local autonomy, you would, for starters, go and talk to the people locally, not send your staffers out, not do a million-dollar report, go and talk to them and don’t hand them a $1-million debt. Just take the time to talk to them and ask them what they want, what are their ideas, and see if you can’t work some things out with them.

In the end, you can. In the end, you did, with the York-Durham sewer agreement. I don’t agree with that thing yet, but the majority of that council went along with that. After a session in the courts, and after a long session when your ministry officials came out and talked to them, the majority of the members of the council went along with that. I would like to say it is not particularly, in my view anyway, because it is a good idea, but because they got blackballed on the project.

In effect, one ministry of the Crown said, “You don’t get your own sewer and water problems cleaned up unless you opt for this agreement.” So at least two of the municipalities were in a rather sad position. They couldn’t get their own sewer and water problems fixed. Even though it would have been quite conceivable to do it on a much smaller scale and a much cheaper scale locally, they had to opt into that York-Durham sewer agreement, and you put it to them.

That whole agreement fundamentally was set up initially not to deal with the region of Durham at all, but in fact to solve some engineering problems in York and even then, only because it was one of several alternatives available -- not necessarily the best, but only one. There are some basic conflicts that you’ve got there.

I want to take this occasion again to thank the Treasurer in particular for giving this party three seats -- three of them -- in the region of Durham. There is only one left and the sitting member there had a landslide victory of less than 100 votes. He is called “Landslide Newman” in that particular area.

We were quite ready to go at it again, because the basic problems are still there. The basic planning problems in that particular area are immense, and I’m not sure that this government appreciates them yet. The reason I think that is that I saw the Durham sub-region planning or whatever it is, strategy or whatever. There are some basic urban problems being faced in that area by the people in all of those municipalities, problems that you have task forces investigating -- I’m sure there are a number of them covered under this particular vote -- how local municipalities are financed and how they are governed, on what makes sense and what kind of co-ordination you should have. There are basic problems there, and yet that strategy, plan or whatever it is that you tabled in this House, purports to more than double the population projections that anybody locally had imagined. I heard the minister say again yesterday that he was unhappy with the idea that those municipalities had opted for a lot levy. They are bad things.

There was no choice. The choice very simply in those municipalities, because of their financial position, is you either go for the lot levy or you stop huddling houses, period, because with the kind of urban growth pressure that they have had in the last 10 years, they can’t afford to allow any more houses. Yet they feel a social compulsion to let housing into the area, not because they’re coming in at a reasonable price, and certainly not because our people need housing, because they will not be able to afford the houses that are built in that region despite all the OHAP plans or any other plans that this government has ever put forward. To qualify for a house in Oshawa, one must earn $15,000, and even our average income in a supposedly high-paid industrial town is not that high, and they can’t get in there. They can’t buy a single-family home on the free market. If that is good urban regional planning, I would hardly agree with that at all.

The people in my riding, the people in my area, can’t afford to buy a house there. Yet you are now purporting to put almost double that population, even by their wildest projections, into that area probably within the next 20 or 30 years. That’s hardly planning and hardly consideration. If you are doing this kind of urban and regional planning, where are all the little things that go together -- all the little pieces that would ever make that work? If it isn’t strategy as opposed to a land-use plan, where are the things that will make it happen?


The document tabled in the House addresses itself very briefly to a couple of them. It says, quite frankly, that you might relocate some government offices, and that’s a good thing. We don’t deny that, and we would like to see them out there as well.

They are not big employers, by and large. They are not big economic boosts to the region, by and large. They might be a matter of convenience. They will provide some service jobs, no questions, but they are not going to straighten out any real problems in that area. There might be some help, it’s said -- some assistance, I believe was the word used -- in servicing industrial land but it is not specified. Even with all the people and power available we still haven’t figured out how we are going to put that together.

Yesterday afternoon’s session with the region of Durham dealt with that rather loosely, I thought; certainly not very definitively. We still really don’t know.

In my own office we made some inquiries about that because we are pretty interested in that. As of Friday of last week, nobody knew. Nobody even knew who was going to head up the task force. On Monday we had a couple of names but the rules were not set out.

What is going to happen again, I’m afraid, is that a provincially appointed task force is going to sit down here and draw up a number of recommendations and probably cost us some more money. The people in that area are probably going to be the last ones to know again. I hope not. I really hope we have learned some lessons.

I hope you took heed of the words given to you at the regional council yesterday. I hope there will be some involvement. Frankly, I don’t see why you don’t go to that council, talk to them and ask them what they have, what they want, what they need, and bargain from that kind of a position. Frankly, I don’t think that’s going to happen. It hasn’t happened yet, anyway.

There really needs to be some basic reforms done in that kind of government. This is the ministry which at least is charged with the responsibility of putting all that together, of doing that kind of urban and regional planning but it hasn’t happened yet. We still don’t see any signs that you are prepared to do one or two things. Perhaps, first and foremost, is a major shift to stop the idea of having people up here draw up reports for people down there. I don’t see any movement to go to talk to them, to go to deal with them in a very realistic way at all.

I saw a little bit of this yesterday, too. There seems to be real antagonism particularly between the Treasurer and local people. Local people are standing up, one after another, saying, “Our mill rates are escalating to a degree that we can’t handle any more.” The Treasurer is saying, “Nonsense. Everything is rosy. Property tax is okay.”

There are people getting hoofed out of their houses because they can’t afford to pay the taxes any more. They are saying, “It’s too much,” but the Treasurer, of course, knows better than that and is saying, “It’s not that bad at all. In fact, it’s much better than it ever was.”

In terms of planning transition, if you like, of power or the decision-making process there really isn’t much going on there, either, because there has been a kind of dumping effect. A good number of functions which were carried on by the Province of Ontario have been dumped on local municipalities. I think in some cases they are ready to take those on and in others they are not but whether they are ready or not, the plain fact is that in a number of instances they can’t afford them even if they want them. That is what is causing that escalating property tax in local government.

It is serious. I don’t care whether the Treasurer feels that kind of pinch personally in his home or anywhere else but I would note that there is no regional government in the Chatham area. If it’s such a hot item I would think he would be fighting like mad -- he certainly can do that -- to bring regional government to the Chatham area. I wonder whatever happened to that? I seem to recall an announcement or two some time ago that that was one of the areas of the Province of Ontario which ought to have regional government and they were going to make some moves on that line. I don’t see it there. About the time they started to make that kind of noise, the province decided it would stop implementing regional governments anywhere.

I want to make a couple of points in summation. There are some real problems in this kind of urban planning and I don’t see any major moves on the part of the government to get at them. I don’t see any serious moves to reconsider the kind of responsibilities put on local municipalities. I really don’t. I see a few little task forces floating about here and there but I don’t see any major moves to change that.

I don’t see any substantial movement in terms of, if you like, local government financing but that’s a bit of a misnomer because those people are taking on much more responsibility than they ever did. They’re not just building sidewalks any more; they are into a number of other things. In a number of cases those are items which at one time were substantially carried out by the Province of Ontario. They are no longer done that way. The province is slowly but surely moving out of those areas.

In one sense I think the province does a considerable amount of planning. It plans how to get out of things -- what’s the best way to retreat -- what’s the best way to move back from a particular thing. Particularly when it starts to get expensive and particularly when it’s not a popular thing to do in an area. I think I want to stop on these last two points.

If you’re really going to do this, you ought to do it. You should stop messing around. Either that, or say this Province of Ontario doesn’t believe in planning at all, it’s just going to let it all go.

If you want to do that, that’s fine, but I think you should serve notice to the people of Ontario that that’s what you’re going to do. You should simply say that the Progressive Conservative Party believes in the free enterprise system so strongly, that the needs and wants of the public-at-large don’t matter, that we’re out to let people make a buck for themselves and if they hurt other people in the process, too bad. If the public purse has to pick up the tab at the end of all that, too bad. If that’s what you want, that’s what you should say.

The second point I want to make is if you’re going to continue to spend millions of dollars on planning documents, why don’t you spend a few bucks on talking to the people whose lives you affect by putting out those planning documents? Why don’t you take the time and trouble to go and talk to them on a regular basis?

I know that if the minister cares to reply, he will surely say that they go and talk to people. That’s true. He makes an appearance, it’s kind of like a guest appearance. This government is famous for that kind of stuff -- when the horse is stolen, they go out and look at the barn door. No question about that. They do that with amazing regularity.

When the plan is all in document form, when she’s all typed up and put away, when the $2 million or whatever has been spent for that kind of planning document, then they take it down to them and say, “How do you like it, guys? Do you want to do anything with this, or no?”

When it comes to people saying to you, how about some money to implement some parts of that plan, it’s always “Let’s negotiate” from that point on.

Why not do a little negotiating about the plan? Why not get in a little early? Why not talk to those people early? You made dramatic points about talking about local autonomy in urban planning. Why don’t you do that?

Mr. Chairman, there are a number of other problems that we have. There are a lot of things that you could go on and on, but I think I’ll leave it there. I would be frankly interested in some kind of a response from the minister. I can anticipate the kind of response we will get, but I think that that perhaps is just as good to put on the record as any kind of a serious response that we might get from him as well.

Mr. Chairman: The minister has no response. We are on vote 1006, item 2, urban and regional planning.

Mr. Good: Just one matter under this vote, municipal legislation. Would the Premier (Mr. Davis) comment on the matter which was brought up earlier about which I had asked a question of the Minister of Housing?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I am sure, if he were here, he would, but since he isn’t here, I will.

Mr. Nixon: If he were clairvoyant, he would.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Under local government services?

Mr. Good: No. Under municipal legislation.

Mr. B. Newman: Programme analysis.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Yes. Which would come under item 4. Have we moved to item 4?

Mr. Good: Under item 2, there is according to the sheet which you gave --

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Okay, sorry -- Public Utilities Act. First of all, there is no intention at this moment to move on legislation in Thunder Bay at this session of the Legislature. They go on arguing up there, and I guess they’re going to go on arguing, period. The courts have to settle it.

I’ll be glad to send a copy of the letter to the member which I sent to several people -- well, we’ve only had a few letters -- with reference to the Public Utilities Act. Basically, the underwriters urge the city, and us particularly, not to pledge certain assets, but all assets, when they borrow -- the reverse of the situation, I may say, because the member has pointed this out to me in terms of the industrial parks, and we’re taking another look at that as well.

Mr. Good: The matter to which I wanted a reply was my question this afternoon when I suggested that as far as I know there is no legislation allowing municipalities to levy a fee with an application for a zone change or a development permit. I recognize the expense involved on the part of a municipality, and I recognize the fact that anyone would be foolish to suggest they weren’t going to pay this fee because it is illegal and try to get a zone change. Do you plan anything to right this situation?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Not at the moment. The whole question of the fees and licensing is under study. A month ago we tabled two studies with the Provincial-Municipal Liaison Committee, and those are to be discussed tomorrow morning. Out of those discussions may come some policies, but I simply can’t answer the question as to whether we plan legislation. I think it would be the Minister of Housing’s legislation, rather than mine, to regularize something which has gone on for a long time.

Mr. Good: Mr. Chairman, the point I want to make is that it is not a matter of regulating the fee; it is the fact, as I understand it, that there is no legislation now which even permits the municipality --

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I didn’t say regulating. I said regularizing something which has gone on for a long time.

Mr. Good: Yes, which really is illegal, under present legislation. There is nothing in the Planning Act or the Municipal Act, but everyone has been doing it; they have to do it to offset the fees involved. People are being blackmailed into paying the fee, because if you refused, you probably wouldn’t even have your zoning application dealt with by council. I think the municipalities are somewhat concerned about it; in fact, those to whom I have spoken are concerned about it. They feel it is a grey area and they would like the thing regularized by legislation.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: We are looking at it.

Mr. G. I. Miller: Mr. Chairman, I rise in defence of my riding of Haldimand-Norfolk, which has got kicked around considerably tonight. I would like to point out that Haldimand-Norfolk made a study a few years ago, and they indicated at that time that the existing municipalities should be allowed to expand first. That was a recommendation made by the local representatives. We do have an industrial park, which is developing at a fairly good pace. I think we are going to have growth. The predictions of the potential for growth have been on and off, but I think it is still perhaps a question mark; it depends on the economy. But there are a couple of questions I would like to ask in regard to urban and regional planning.

Mr. Chairman: Would the hon. member prefer to defer those questions? It is time for rising and reporting. Would he prefer to do it at a later time?

Mr. G. I. Miller: I could do it later, yes.

Hon. Mr. McKeough moved that the committee rise and report.

Motion agreed to.

The House resumed, Mr. Speaker in the chair.

Mr. Chairman: Mr. Speaker, the committee of supply begs to report it has come to certain resolutions and asks for leave to sit again.

Report agreed to.

Mr. Speaker: I beg to inform the House that in the name of Her Majesty the Queen, the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor has been pleased to assent to certain bills in her chambers.


Clerk of the House: The following are the titles of the bills to which Her Honour has assented:

Bill 45, An Act to amend the Corporations Tax Act, 1972.

Bill 47, An Act to amend the Ontario Guaranteed Annual Income Act, 1974.

Bill 78, An Act to amend the city of Thunder Bay Act, 1968-1969.

Bill Pr9, An Act respecting the Kent County Roman Catholic Separate School Board.

Bill Pr12, An Act respecting the city of Burlington.

Bill Pr13, An Act respecting the city of Toronto.

Bill Pr21, An Act respecting the Dovercourt Baptist Foundation.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, before moving the adjournment of the House, I would remind members that the House will not sit tomorrow, although many of us will be here carrying on the good work of the people and, in fact, some of us will be here for the whole weekend in that great endeavour.

Mr. Nixon: That’s going to be great, isn’t it? We are going to be able to go home.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: On Monday, as I understand it, the debate on the budget will continue from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m., with the private members’ hour from 5 p.m. until 6 p.m. On Tuesday, we will deal with legislation in the afternoon -- Bills 69 and 59 -- and continue the budget debate at night. On Wednesday, the House will not sit. On Thursday, the estimates of this ministry will continue, to be followed by the estimates of the Ministry of Colleges and Universities. On Friday, we will be back into the debate on the budget.

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

Motion agreed to.

The House adjourned at 10:30 p.m.