The House resumed at 8:15 p.m.
BUDGET DEBATE (CONTINUED)
Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Hamilton Mountain will continue his remarks.
Hon. J. R. Smith: Mr. Speaker, in conclusion to the remarks of last Friday, I would like to say a few words regarding regional government, particularly the regional municipality of Hamilton-Wentworth, and in particular to commend the work during the past year of the regional chairman, Mrs. Ann Jones. In retrospect, it was a very worthy and appropriate appointment of a woman with many talents and gifts. She was well grounded in the field of municipal affairs and finance, with a warm and understanding appreciation for people and the complexities and challenges of municipal government in the 1970s.
Undoubtedly, during the last provincial election a great deal was said in our area about duplication and the waste of money in regional government. I was very pleased to see that the regional municipality of Hamilton-Wentworth recently published a brochure, which was delivered to every household. It very clearly outlined the actual facts regarding duplication. The brochure says:
“Perhaps the greatest misconception held by the residents in the region is related to duplication. Many feel that the systems implemented are duplicated and are costing them more money in property taxes.”
Then it goes on to show how the regional government has, in fact, reduced a great deal of the previous duplication in the past two years. Before Jan. 1, 1974, there were 11 local councils and after Jan. 1, 1974, there were six local councils. The Wentworth county council was replaced by the regional council and, in turn, was strengthened by the re-inclusion of the city of Hamilton representatives back into the county council.
Two social services departments have combined into one social services department. I think one of the keys in our area is the fact that the five police forces have been joined into one strong Hamilton-Wentworth police force. Water, sewers and waste disposal, administered by the various municipalities and public utility commissions, now form one department.
For capital financing, the county and the 11 area municipalities have combined into one regional finance department. There were two planning departments; there is now one, plus consultants. Similarly, regarding finances, following the introduction of a sewer surcharge, the regional levy on the property taxpayers was reduced in 1975 by 11 per cent. Allowing for the increase of 2.3 per cent in assessment throughout the region, the actual impact on the regional taxpayers on the average was a reduction of 13 per cent. Had the sewer surcharge been part of the property tax, the impact on the average taxpayer still would have been an increase of only 8.4 per cent, despite the fact that inflation was running at the rate of almost 12 per cent.
Since the inception of regional government there has been a substantial shift in the tax burden away from the taxpayers of the city of Hamilton to the taxpayers in the other area municipalities. The shift has meant a tax saving to the citizens of Hamilton of at least close to $2 million annually, with the province providing area municipalities assistance in paying for this tax shift in the form of grants over a five-year period.
Mr. Speaker, we see now that the people within the region are sharing the costs of services. Other municipalities undoubtedly were not carrying their full weight before. I wish the region well. As it concludes its first term, many things have been ironed out. Where some hostilities originally were felt, we now see councillors working together in a more amicable way. The future lies with the head of the lakes in the region of Hamilton-Wentworth, one of the faster-growing areas in Ontario. It has much to offer but without planned development our area would soon become a hodgepodge of development on different scales in the various towns of Ancaster, Dundas and so on.
Related to all of this on another front is the creation of the new Hamilton-Wentworth Housing Authority, which I hope will do a great deal to develop and diversify public housing and accommodation throughout the region. It is most encouraging to see municipalities such as Stoney Creek really carrying their weight in development under the various Ontario housing programmes. I hope the other municipalities such as Dundas and Ancaster, will similarly follow the lead that Stoney Creek and Hamilton have for providing housing lands for people.
Ms. Sandeman: I am pleased to be able to follow the Minister for Correctional Services because some of the things I want to say in connection with the budget have to do specifically with the budget of his ministry.
I was interested to see the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) announced in his budget for this year that the first element in his fiscal plan is control of spending. The Treasurer of this province has a marvellous facility for expressing the obvious in government planning. I had always taken it for granted that Treasurers were in charge of spending and that spending should be controlled and not out of control, although the debt and the deficits that this province finds itself in don’t lend much credence to the control theory of spending.
I really I wonder how it is in 1976 that the Treasurer plans to control spending on behalf of the taxpayers and the legislators of Ontario. One of the key elements in the Treasurer’s plan this year appears to be by reducing the staff of the civil service. He tells us in the budget that a key element in Ontario’s policy of expenditure control is a further reduction in the number of civil servants on the provincial payroll. “We are convinced,” he says, “and the evidence of the past year confirms, that it does not require a growing bureaucracy to maintain and improve public services.” Again, I suppose that is a statement of the obvious, but one needs to dig a little below the surface. When we look at how this present government is reducing staff, here are a couple of questions we have to ask. First of all, which staff are being eliminated? Secondly, is there really a reduction of staff or are we being fooled by a complicated numbers game?
First of all, in relation to the areas in which we find staff reductions, I think it’s true across all the programmes of government that there is a tendency to reduce or not to allow increases in staff in very important front-line positions, in just the positions where civil servants are dealing with the public. One of the ramifications of the restraint programme that the Treasurer is so proud of is that staff have been reduced not directly in civil service positions but in related positions. For instance we’ve seen the cutbacks in nursing staff in our hospitals and in health care personnel of all kinds. People have estimated that from 4,000 to 5,000 people are losing jobs because of the restraint programme.
It came to my notice just this last weekend that this has a spillover effect into private industry. For instance, Ethicon Sutures Ltd., a firm I which makes surgical supplies, has laid off 13 staff. They say it’s a direct result of a slowdown in orders from hospitals -- and the ramifications go on and on.
The 4,000 or 5,000 staff who are losing their positions in the health fields are not necessarily classified civil servants, but, nevertheless, we are experiencing through their loss an expensive waste of manpower and if we feel we’ve been using these people in wrong ways, efforts surely must be made to redeploy them. It’s costly in the long run and in the short run to lay off staff from these front-line care positions either in social services, or in health or in corrections or whatever it may be. The implications in social terms and in economic terms are very costly. But I think, in specific relationship to the budget, we should look at the figures of civil servants.
In many ministries, what we find is not a reduction in staff but a hidden increase. This is certainly true, for instance, in Correctional Services. The public are told many, many times that the complement staff of the government of Ontario is being reduced. But we are never, unless we ask for them, given figures for contract and casual employees who are employees of the government differing only in their classification status. They are bodies who work for the government. They are people who draw salaries and, if the figures were given honestly, they should be publicly acknowledged. But these figures have to be pried out of the various ministries.
The ministry with which I am most familiar, the Ministry of Correctional Services, has many staffing problems. They have a desperate need for more staff in adult institutions, and to give them I their due, this need has been recognized. The ministry has increased the complement staff in the field this year by two per cent from I 5,056 to 5,164; that’s for classified staff. But even with that straightforward addition of two per cent to the staff in areas of real need, there’s some clouding of the issues, some playing with numbers.
For instance, anybody who knows anything about community services in the Ministry of Correctional Services knows that one area that is clearly understaffed in probation officers for adult offenders. An announcement was made that there would be 20 new complement positions for adult probation officers, but a careful look at the estimates for the Ministry of Correctional Services shows that there is no more money allotted this year to pay adult probation officers. Questions elicit the response that: “Yes, there may be 20 new complement positions, but there are actually no new probation officers because these are people who were on contract last year and whose classification has been changed.” That seems to me to be a less than straightforward way of announcing an increase in probation staff.
But after you have the numbers of classified staff, the picture becomes very unclear and confused. Neither the budget itself, the overall provincial budget, nor individual ministries estimates gives a breakdown of numbers of unclassified staff.
In corrections, for instance, the increase in unclassified staff between March 1, 1975, and March 31, 1976, was about 26 per cent. The actual figures were from 1,142 employees to 1,441, so there were 26 per cent more contract staff. That is in no way a cut in staff, but it isn’t the kind of thing that the Treasurer feels who has to announce. The total increase in staff for the Ministry of Correctional Services, if it were straightforwardly announced, would be about 6.5 per cent -- if all the bodies on the payroll were counted, as I believe they should be.
I wonder why the government should be ashamed to admit that in some areas more staff are needed and that they are hiring people to meet the needs. There is no doubt in my mind that in very difficult tasks of looking after adults in jails and correctional institutions or in supervising people on probation, more staff are needed. The ministry obviously realizes that and is doing something to meet the need. It really escapes me why they should be so coy about meeting the needs of the people of Ontario. I guess the answer to that question is that at the moment the posture of restraint is felt to be more politically attractive than admitting that in many areas the civil service is, in fact, not shrinking but growing to meet our needs.
The ramifications of this kind of fudging of the figures -- of increasing contract unclassified staff -- are very unfortunate I think, both for the unclassified employees and the classified staff. The unclassified staff lack the protections of being members of a union, they lack the fringe benefits that are the right of the classified staff, in many cases they don’t find themselves able to take full part in training courses and in most cases they lack the opportunity to become full members of the staff.
Classified staff find themselves very uneasy at being outnumbered very often by contract staff of various kinds. It was pointed out to me for instance that at the Burtch institution in March of this year there were enough casual employees covering the various shifts to absorb 10 more complement positions. If 10 more complement positions are needed in that institution, it would seem to me to make sense to ensure that the people doing that difficult and demanding job have the protection of being on the classified staff. But it doesn’t suit the Treasurer to announce that there are more people being hired, so we are back to the position where you have contract staff, casual staff, part-time staff, trying to do difficult work -- and in corrections often dangerous work -- that would be better done by trained complement staff.
I am sure one could duplicate this kind of disguising of the actual figures of ministry employees from ministry to ministry -- the kind of figures that we have in Corrections, where a two per cent increase is announced but the actual increase is nearer to seven per cent. This is probably not the only situation of its kind.
When one is looking at the deployment of staff in the Ministry of Correctional Services, or any ministry, in light of budget statements, it is perhaps even more instructive to consider the deployment of funds. Basically that is what a budget statement is all about.
The Treasurer has stated among his list of generalities that there can be no escaping a shift in priorities, a trimming of costs and a reduction in staff if spending is to be controlled.
When I look at the ministries that deal directly with the public -- Social Services, Health, Correctional Services -- I wonder why, at a time when high spending is suspect and priorities are to be reconsidered, we are still spending such huge sums on institutions of all kinds and specifically on keeping children in institutions.
I have read in the Instant Hansard the spirited defence by the Minister of Correctional Services of the training schools. There is no doubt in my mind that the programmes in the training schools are certainly improving but there is no doubt in my mind that the enormous expense at which we are giving those programmes to children has to be questioned. I think it very likely that we could give equally good service -- in many cases probably better -- outside the institutional setting for all but a very tiny minority of the children now in training schools.
The training school count, interestingly enough, seems to be going up again. I suspect that is because, with the constraints on the Ministry of Community and Social Services and on Children’s Aid budgets, alternatives once again are shrinking. I know in my own riding we had a dozen children, eight boys and four girls, sent to training schools between the months of January and April, which is a large number for a small town such as Peterborough. it’s very interesting to me to see how in a time of restraint when large spending estimates are suspect we get a ministry -- again I return to the Ministry of Correctional Services -- which, when you break down its budget seems to be escaping what the Treasurer promises us, which is a shift in priorities. The breakdown of spending on juveniles by the Ministry of Correctional Services is extremely enlightening. Last year, 1975-1976, the Ministry of Correctional Services spent $24.6 million on children in training schools. At any one time there was an average of 900 children institutionalized in the training schools. If you do a little basic arithmetic you discover that it cost us last year $27,333 per child per year to keep a child in a training school. That’s a $75 per diem rate. That leads to some rather interesting thoughts.
It has been shown that most children in training schools are not only children. They come from families where there are brothers and sisters who have much the same problems as they do, come obviously from the same environment and are struggling with similar problems in school and their communities or with their families or whatever it may be. For some reason, which is not clear to the researchers, one child in the family rather than another ends up in the training school at a cost of $75 a day and the other children are left at home very often with very little backup services for the family as such. There will be some after-care for the child who is a ward of the training school but the family is very often left to sink or swim.
That $75 a day could be, I would think, a very ironic amount to spend on a child, particularly if his mother was in receipt of family benefits and was being allowed the princely sum of between $60 and $70 a month to bring up each of her other children. She might wonder what it was about one child that made him so very special and so deserving of so many thousands of dollars when the needs of the rest of the family continue to be ignored.
It looks very likely that we’ll be spending about the same this year on children in training schools. The budget is about $20 million. The client count is expected to be down, but per diems will probably be about the same. When we look at the money expended on children receiving care in the community under the Ministry of Correctional Services we really see where the priorities lie. Instead of the 900 children who are in training schools, there were 6,600, some of whom are on probation, and some of whom are receiving the services of a probation officer as wards of the training schools under the after-care programme. The total budget last year to look after those 6,500 children was $5.9 million. It is much cheaper to look after a child in the community, only $893 a year compared to the $27,500 for that child in a training school.
The group homes are getting to be a fairly expensive proposition. Last year there were 200 children in the group homes, and we spent $2.7 million, which makes a per diem of about $37 a day. This is very interesting when the Minister of Correctional Services is willing to spend an average of $37 a day on children in group homes but finds difficulty in allowing Viking II group homes a per diem higher than $22 a day when they are contracting services to them from the ministry.
It’s very instructive to see what’s happening to group homes that are privately run by families, since Community and Social Services and Correctional staff agree that the best and healthiest kind of group home is the family-centred group home with trained, experienced parents running a small group home. Those people find themselves, under the constraints of the Ministry of Community and Social Services, unable to increase their charges at a time when the cost of running a house, of feeding the kids, of heating the house and so on, are escalating very fast.
Some group homes have managed, through careful spending, to keep their per diems as low as $20 a day. When they announced at the beginning of this year that they needed to raise it to $27 a day to cover the costs for the children, they were told, “We are sorry. You are only allowed to increase the cost 5.5 per cent, so you can add $1.10 and try to look after those children for $21.10 a day.”
The group home operators are beginning to find that those who scream loudest get the most help. But that isn’t the way it should be in 1976 for children being looked after in group homes. The people who are looking after them should have the same financial security that the children would have if they were living in a group home run directly by a ministry such as Correctional Services. Those 200 children have $13,500 spent on them per child per year, which is considerably more than the average wage in Ontario at the moment. Foster homes are a real bargain to the ministry. There are 200 children in foster homes at any one time under the care of the Ministry of Correctional Services, and it only costs $5,000 a year for each child in a foster home. So the further we get away from the institution, the cheaper it is to look after children.
It would make sense, I suppose, and people could justify the expenditure of those enormous amounts of money on children living in institutions, if it could be proved that the institution was more successful than any other means of care for children in trouble with the law. The trouble is that we keep repeating the same old mistake year after year. We pump millions of dollars into institutions, we don’t beef up very much the money that we give to community-based services, and the institutions continue to fail our children.
Even with the new, more humane, more child-oriented programmes, there is no proof at all as yet that the success rate of training schools is any higher than it ever was. In fact, one of the most instructive tables year after year in the annual report of the Ministry of Correctional Services is the one in which they outline the reasons for termination of wardships for young people who have been wards of the training school. As you probably know, Mr. Speaker, legally you can’t be a ward of the training school after you reach your 18th birthday, and any child who is a ward of the training school at that time is automatically, as they so elegantly put it, terminated.
It is instructive to compare the figures from five years ago and this last year and see if we have had any improvement at all in how we are handling children in the training schools. The answer has to be no. It just seems impossible for this government to learn from its mistakes. In 1971, 1,253 children -- wards -- were terminated from their wardship. I guess the figure we should look for is the number that the ministry considered to have successfully adjusted during the time they were wards of the ministry and who could be allowed to go free without the constraints of being under the ministry.
Of those 1,253 young people in 1971, the adjustment of only 259 of them was considered satisfactory before the termination age of 18. That’s a pretty terrifyingly low success rate; 621 of them reached the age of 18 and presumably were allowed to become free adults, and we don’t know what happened to them then. We do know, however, that 187 were placed on probation to adult court while they were still wards of the training schools and 113 of them were sentenced to an adult institution. That’s 300 out of those 1,253. About a quarter of the wards graduated, again to use a favourite word of the Ministry of Correctional Services, directly into the adult criminal cycle, 50 more in fact than were considered to have satisfactorily terminated their wardship.
Some of them moved out of the province and some of them disappeared. A quarter went straight on to adult court or jail and 259 were considered to have terminated satisfactorily. We’ll skip the intervening years, because the figures are repeated almost identically, and have a look at 1975 when we had 1,371 terminations. It sounds like something out of 1984, you are going to be terminated when you reached 18. In 1975, 764 were terminated only because they had reached their 18th birthday. Even less of them than in 1971 were considered to have satisfactorily adjusted, only 245 out of the 1,371, while 232 of them were placed on probation to adult court and 74 were sentenced to adult institutions. We’ve still got over 300 going straight on into the world of adult court and adult criminal sanction. There has been study after study to show that once one is in the court conviction cycle it is incredibly difficult to get out of it.
There’s one very frightening figure for 1975, and I meant to ask the minister about this during the estimates. Ten wards died during the year 1975. That seems to me to be an unusually high proportion for young people who are at the peak of their health and development. But again we find that far more children go straight on to adult court than are considered to have satisfactorily learnt something or adjusted or however you want to put it through the wardship procedures of the training schools. We still are learning nothing from that. We still continue to institutionalize our young adults at a rate of --
Hon. J. R. Smith: That is why we closed Cambridge.
Ms. Sandeman: You closed Cambridge because 10 children died there?
Hon. J. R. Smith: No, the reason we closed Cambridge was to deinstitutionalize.
Mr. Warner: You’re going to phase them out.
Ms. Sandeman: You’re going to phase them out but at the end of April of this year you had over 1,100 children in the institutions. There are no alternatives. The phasing is an extremely slow and almost invisible procedure. Even if the juvenile section of the ministry believes it is phasing out institutional care, there is something that has to be got through to people who are responsible for dealing with adult offenders, because we have a frightening high rate of putting 16-, 17- and 18-year-olds into jail in this province.
In fact, the percentage of young people going to jail in Ontario as a percentage of the total inmate population is increasing, although the total inmate population has been dropping slowly between 1971 and 1975. The proportion of inmates aged between 16 and 18 has gone up quite considerably and shows no real signs of dropping back again. In 1971, 17 per cent of the inmates in our adult provincial jails were 18 years and under. By 1975, it was 24 per cent as it was in 1974 and in 1973.
That is a very frightening thing to look at when we consider the implications of the new federal legislation which may become law and may have to be faced by this province. The juvenile section of the Ministry of Correctional Services is going to have to come face to face with the fact that if the new legislation takes hold in Ontario, they are going to have around 67,000 young people in conflict with the law whom the adult court thinks should be institutionalized. The ministry is going to have to decide if that is what they wish to continue to do with them as juveniles and, if they don’t, what and where are the alternatives?
It would make sense to me, and I’m sure the ministry is already wrestling with this problem, to recognize once again that institutional care is high-priced and, on the whole, unsuccessful. We never ever seem to learn from our mistakes.
The government -- Mr. McKeough himself -- is very keen on private enterprise, on the merits of a well-run business. They’re always telling us that government could do well to emulate the merits of a well-run private enterprise. I have to think, when I look at the adult and juvenile institutions of this province, that if they were, for instance, a factory making airplanes, they wouldn’t survive for too long. If a factory producing expensive airplanes produced so many planes that came crashing down from the skies we would soon suggest that such a dangerous, expensive and unpopular procedure should be reconsidered. At the very least the factory should be retooled or probably the people should travel by rail.
I would suggest that we reconsider our spending priorities with regard to putting juveniles and young adults in jail when we have such a huge expenditure of money and such a conspicuously poor success rate.
Mr. Warner: The system doesn’t work.
Hon. Mr. Rhodes: What do we do? Let them all work?
Mr. Warner: You’re supposed to have the answers.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please.
Ms. Sandeman: What we are seeing, in fact --
Mr. Warner: How many years have you been around here?
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member for Peterborough has the floor.
Mr. Foulds: Stop rattling your bars, John.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member for Peterborough will continue without interruption.
Ms. Sandeman: What we’re seeing in this province at the moment, Mr. Speaker, is not a shift in spending priorities -- in this area at least. Large amounts of money are being poured into jails and institutions while preventive programmes go unfunded or underfunded.
The Ministry of Correctional Services recently produced a very interesting research document on the success of inmates at Vanier. I see that the minister made reference to it during his budget speech on Friday. What he didn’t make reference to was one of the conclusions of the research paper. This was that most of the women who left Vanier continued to live in very unsatisfactory surroundings -- economic, psychological, physical and social. The problems which had plagued them before they were institutionalized were not alleviated by taking them out of circulation from four to six months, and continued after their release. The recidivism rate was very high.
Many of the young women were separated from children and the rate of emotional illness in those women was far larger than in any representative population across Ontario. One has to ask again why we would spend so much money to put those women into Vanier -- and many of them are young women -- when there are alternative ways of dealing with the social problems which plagued them both before and after their incarceration.
A government which is willing to spend and does spend $27,500 a year on juvenile delinquents is curiously reluctant to subsidize daycare places. These are a preventive service and may be preventing the necessity for such expensive institutions in the future. They are curiously reluctant to give more support to mothers alone who may be the same mothers of the children who are in training schools. They are curiously reluctant to improve the employment picture for teenagers and young adults, the same population that we seem so eager to incarcerate at great cost to us all.
This government -- and it seems very odd to me -- is wedded, apparently, to the most expensive options at a time when the necessity of restraint would give it a perfect opportunity for beefing up preventive programmes and for finding innovative ways of keeping juveniles and young adults out of jail. Other jurisdictions have done it both for adults and young people. In Holland, in Japan, in California, in Massachusetts, in certain areas of the British Isles, people are being kept out of jail with no increase in the crime rate, at a lot less cost than we are seeing at the moment.
I think perhaps I should suggest that the Minister of Correctional Services and I would go and visit Holland and see how they have managed to close their jails.
An hon. member: You just want to get rid of him for a while.
Ms. Sandeman: The fear of most people is that if you close prisons, the crime rate will dramatically rise. This has been proven in jurisdiction after jurisdiction not to be true. The converse is obviously true. We build more and bigger and better prisons and the crime rate continues to rise. There is a certain logical lapse in the argument.
In Holland, Japan and other countries where new methods are being pioneered -- methods which not only give better results than imprisonment, but should appeal to this government and to all of us because they cost less -- in these countries crime rates are not rising. They are finding innovative ways to use communities to deal with offenders and to prevent further offences. We are only at the very beginning of that process and we seem to be curiously loath to give it a chance to succeed.
The advantage for a government and for all who are concerned with restraint is that deinstitutionalizing costs less in dollars and it costs much, much less in wasted life and in social costs which seem to be hidden from the eyes of the present government.
Hon. Mr. Rhodes: You are for deinstitutionalization?
Mr. R. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker tonight I would like to cover just a few things that have an effect on northern Ontario -- on my riding particularly, but I think that generally speaking it would apply across the whole of the north. As you and most other members are aware, there is a movement in northern Ontario, which has been spearheaded by a person from my riding, to form a new province up there, and now they are in the process of forming a new party.
Mr. Foulds: A former Conservative Party member.
Mr. R. S. Smith: Yes, he’s a former Conservative actually.
Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Supported by the NDP, I might add. You are right on.
Mr. R. S. Smith: Likely. But he spoke in your city about two weeks ago to the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities. He was what might be called the first outside spokesmen to speak to that group, because in the past there has been kind of a written rule that nobody -- no one, I should say; maybe nobody fits better -- no one but cabinet ministers from this government would speak to the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities as official speakers; that’s why I say you could maybe transpose “nobody” for “no one”. I have refused to attend meetings on that basis and have always replied to their invitations by saying that when a member of one of the two opposition parties, or the leaders of those parties, is asked to give an address to that body, then perhaps the members belonging to that party should take the time to attend their meetings.
I believe that the attitude put forward by that group of people is a part of the reason for the existence of Mr. Diebel and his group in moving toward a fourth party. The Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities is obviously blind to the democratic process and believes that if it is to get things from government, it must run around and at least seem to be fully supportive of that government and the party that forms that government. Of course, this is untrue, and the fact that the government is not much better represented in northern Ontario than is this party, belies the fact that the people in northern Ontario feel the same way as the municipal leaders do.
I would say to the municipal leaders who belong to the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities that unless they broaden their scope and become less narrow in their attitude toward, first, the democratic process and, second, the other two parties, the official opposition party and our own party, and begin to listen to them as well as to government, they are going to hold northern Ontario back just as they have for the last 50 years. I believe that the attitude of those people, which is expressed in the way they operate their association, has held northern Ontario back for the last 50 years and will continue to do so.
I believe also that their great move in accepting Mr. Diebel as their guest speaker perhaps shows even more clearly the fact that they do not recognize the official opposition party and the third party in this Legislature. That applied before September, 1971, as it does now. I believe that a lot of the problems in northern Ontario lie on the doorsteps of those kinds of people, who are partly within that organization called the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities.
I would like to spend a short period of time talking about the restraint programme and how it has --
Hon. Mr. Rhodes: They invited your leader, but he didn’t go. He didn’t know where it was.
Mr. R. S. Smith: Oh, I see. That’s patently untrue. He wasn’t invited. To make sure, I asked him if he had been invited. But we can understand that when it comes from the minister who represents Sault Ste. Marie -- for the time being, at least.
Hon. J. R. Smith: He was stuck in Burlington.
Mr. Martel: He is going skiing there next winter.
Hon. Mr. Rhodes: I will tell you one thing; it will be a long time before I am replaced by a Grit.
Mr. R. S. Smith: I think the people in that area are going to react the same way as they have across the rest of northern Ontario, and the Conservatives will be the third party, at least in northern Ontario, after the next election.
Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Under your dynamic new leader?
Mr. R. S. Smith: Not under the minister’s leadership anyway. What party does he belong to anyway? It’s hard to keep track.
Hon. Mr. Rhodes: It’s hard to keep track of you, whether you are here or not.
Mr. R. S. Smith: Anyway, I’d just like to make a few other remarks, to say that the restraint programme in this province is really based on discrimination against the poor, as individuals, and the poor in those areas that are regionally deprived. That is some place where restraint programmes should be put into effect.
I believe we first got wind of what was going to happen in Ontario when it was announced last fall that the Ontario Educational Communications Authority had cancelled its programmes that it had previously announced for northern Ontario. I’ll quote from the communication authority’s regional council meeting:
“The Ontario cabinet recently decided to postpone indefinitely the extension of ETV in northern Ontario. The five northern cities that were to be affected by the cabinet’s decision were Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Timmins and North Bay. They were all a part of phase three of the network extension.
“We ask you to consider two important points in responding to this: The cabinet decision does not affect phase two of the network programme involving southern Ontario. New stations are still going into Ottawa, London, Kitchener, Chatham and Windsor. It seems clear to us that the educational and cultural opportunities provided by OECA programming are being withdrawn from the very people who are most in need of them. The cabinet’s stated reason for postponing the stations, in line with recommendations in the report of the special programme review, was fiscal restraint. The fiscal restraint was made to apply, as far as ETV was concerned, in the northern part of the province but not in the south.”
I believe that that, in itself, is discriminatory. The combined capital and operating costs of the Sudbury and Thunder Bay stations would have been $1,466,000. The cost to OECA, and therefore to the taxpayers, of buying out contracts they had already signed to provide that type of service into those five areas of northern Ontario, would likely be more than $900,000. So there’s $900,000 down the drain, yet a total expenditure of just under $1.5 million would have provided the service to at least the two major communities. There could have been a negotiated settlement on that basis but the government chose to waste $900,000 and deprive those communities in that part of the province of ETV.
They did suggest, however, that they would put it through cable. Cable, as an alternative, is not attractive at all but it is going to be provided at a cost which, when added to the $900,000 to get out of the contracts which they had made, will be far higher than the original cost of providing ETV through the whole area. Cable will only go into those homes that can afford to buy it and will only go into those homes where cable itself is provided which is in only certain areas of northern Ontario. Only 33,600 will receive the scheduled service through cable whereas, under the first programme, 151,000 people would have received the programming.
So we can see that the government has wasted $900,000 on the one hand and is now spending approximately $500,000 on cable to provide what could have been provided right across the whole of northern Ontario for $1.5 million. This is what they call fiscal restraint. It is very difficult to follow if one can add or subtract what kind of restraint that produces -- except that it takes away from 120,000 people the ability to watch cable TV in northern Ontario. I believe that was the first indication we had that any type of fiscal restraint was to be put in place.
The second thing, as far as my particular district was concerned, was in regard to the regional priorities budget. On May 14, 1975, the Premier (Mr. Davis) made a statement and put out a news release in which he outlined new programmes under the regional priority budget. I will just quote from his statement:
“Today I am pleased to announce that a wide range of new provincial initiatives are being added to the list of regional priority budget projects at a cost of more than $10 million. In North Bay the province proposes an expenditure of $1.25 million for the establishment of an industrial park and the installation of an infrastructure -- that is, basic facilities such as water pipes, sewerage and so on. Water and sewer projects are also proposed for a number of other areas.”
As you go on through his statement, he goes on to say:
“We have a great many more initiatives in mind [This is prior to the election] for northwestern Ontario, for northeastern Ontario and for the eastern Ontario region, [He is covering the whole province with all his political promises] and these could conceivably involve the Ontario government in a dozen or more new cost-sharing agreements with Ottawa.”
This is what he said on May 14 at the same time as the government of this province was going around and the Treasurer himself was indicating that the province would enter into no further contractual agreements on cost-sharing programmes with the federal government. Here we had the Premier making promises of contractual agreements under DREE and under regional disparity and the Treasurer at the same time saying we were not going to enter into any such agreements.
Even though the Premier made those promises and they are documented in his own press release, on Dec. 17 under the signature of the Treasurer a letter was sent out to the city of North Bay indicating that they had cancelled the infrastructure and industrial park grant under the regional priority budget for some unknown reason. Other than the fact that it could have been political and it was just cancelling out political pre-election promises made by the Premier, I have been unable to find out the actual reasons since then.
I have written to the Premier and received no reply. I have written and talked with the Treasurer and received different replies on different occasions, depending on his mood and his temperament. It becomes clear that the Premier was using not only that programme but many others in northeastern Ontario in an attempt to buy votes. One really has to wonder about his intentions when he made those statements and one really has to wonder about his integrity of purpose which became an election issue, when one looks back at what he said then and what is being told to these communities now.
There were a number of programmes in that regional priority budget, such as police protection for Indian reserves, and I believe that some of those have gone ahead. But community resource centres -- $220,000--there was none of them during this fiscal year. Fire protection in unorganized territories has not since been heard of and he promised $150,000 for that. There was northern Ontario consumer education which seems rather stupid when what they should be perhaps providing m northern Ontario is an education programme to differentiate between the truth and what the Premier says and what he is going to do. That might be of more use to the people in northern Ontario than consumer education.
In Red Lake he promised hospital accommodation for $120,000 which has not been produced as of yet. In northeastern Ontario he promised supplementary assistance to mental retardation facilities in the amount of $30,000. This has not been provided and, if it is provided, it will be directly from federal moneys that have already been collected last year by this government from the federal government for that purpose. One can see that his whole statement is almost a fabrication and part of the restraint programme is the cancellation of many of the promises the Premier made across northern Ontario during his campaign during last summer and up to September. It’s quite obvious that he wasn’t serious with those people and I don’t think they will take him very seriously again.
The next matter I’d like to deal with just for a short period of time is the federal-provincial programme DREE. In July of last year there was an agreement drawn up by the officials of the Treasurer’s department along with the federal government for northeastern Ontario which was signed by him and the federal minister of the day in charge of DREE -- I think it was Mr. Jamieson. There was also a supplementary agreement drawn up under that programme which was to provide for infrastructure and additional assistance for the provision of sewer, water and mcli things to the city of North Bay in the amount of $9.7 million. The agreement was in the hands of the minister here in late July and in the hands of the federal minister at the same time, and had the full approval of both ministries and the full recommendations of both ministries that the ministers sign the agreement.
The provincial minister decided it wasn’t in his best political interests at that time to sign such an agreement so he put it off. He told the federal DREE people it would be looked after in September. I think this will be corroborated by the officials within the federal DREE department and by the ministry in Ottawa.
After Sep. 18, the Treasurer visited Ottawa and visited directly with the federal minister then in charge of DREE, who had changed from Mr. Jamieson to Mr. Lessard. The provincial Treasurer, being a much more astute and experienced negotiator, was able to convince the federal minister that he had a change in priorities and his change in priorities excluded the commitment that had been made by the DREE people, both provincially and federally, to North Bay. The agreement was not only not fulfilled in any way, but it was just completely discarded. Two agreements were signed, one with the city of Sudbury to provide the city of Sudbury an amount of $3 million and a second one to provide the town of Parry Sound, which has a population of 6,000 people, some $2 million.
I can understand the Treasurer’s anxiety in wishing to provide the city of Sudbury with any assistance he can because he knows as well as I that, since the inception of regional government in Sudbury which was brought into this Legislature and pushed through this Legislature by himself, there has been nothing but what the former Treasurer, Mr. MacNaughton, would call a fiscal nightmare in that area.
At the present time, the metropolitan city of Sudbury and the regional district have a debt of some $133 million. There’s no question, and I believe those members from that area would agree with me, that the regional government in Sudbury is on the borderline of bankruptcy.
Mr. Martel: A fiscal nightmare.
Mr. R. S. Smith: As I said before, it was a fiscal nightmare, correct.
Mr. Bullbrook: Was the member for Sudbury East asleep?
Mr. Martel: No.
Mr. R. S. Smith: The reason and the cause of that fiscal nightmare in that area is the Treasurer who brought it about when he formed the regional government in that area and promoted or demoted or sent -- I don’t know what you’d call it -- Mr. Collins, who is a former deputy minister within this government, to Sudbury to be the head of that regional government. From there on it was downhill. I almost think Mr. Collins must have been a remittance man in Sudbury, I don’t know. But anyway it was downhill from there on and they eventually came to a point where they had a deficit of $133 million. There was great difficulty there, and the present Treasurer must accept that responsibility.
So the DREE programme becomes one of those programmes which must pump money into that area. Yet even now, as I understand it, the moneys which DREE has committed to the area are perhaps not going to be used in the way which has been outlined in the agreement. I would urge the Treasurer at least to have the courage and decency to make sure that the moneys that are put into that area for the establishment of an industrial park -- and under a federal-provincial agreement, with which he always seems to disagree but which he always takes advantage of -- are used to develop such an industrial park.
The moneys that went into Parry Sound are another question altogether. Obviously there is a need in that area to bolster -- how should I put it? -- the fortunes of the party in power. The Liberal Party likely will succeed in that district in the forthcoming election, but in the meantime the Treasurer is going to do as much as he can to support the incumbent. So we had a switch into Parry Sound of an amount of $2 million for infrastructure in a town of 6,000 people. That is a lot of money to put into a town that size.
I would like to point out here that it goes against the recommendations that have been made in another study that the minister has given us with some fanfare -- Northeastern Ontario Regional Strategy, or the Design for Development, Phase 2. That document names four subregional centres -- Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie, North Bay and Timmins -- which should first receive all the assistance that can be provided for growth, so that we would develop those four growth centres first.
The DREE is not tied in with the recommendations of the Design for Development, by the way, which took about 10 years to arrive but is now just off on a shelf. In effect it is in opposition to the recommendations that are made by the government itself in the northeastern Ontario regional strategy. The minister gave us these just a few weeks ago with some great fanfare along with other regional programme developments for the whole of Ontario.
So not only are these moneys being used for political purposes, they are also being used to undermine the regional programme of development for all of northeastern Ontario. I think he holds a great responsibility in that regard.
The Climate for Development, Ontario Region -- that is part six of those same documents that I referred to -- has made a number of suggestions. Although I believe we are going to have one day set aside for the study of these documents, they are so significant to my area and since the public hearings are going to be held in that area within the next couple of weeks, I would like to put my ideas in regard to these matters on the record.
The Climate for Development, Ontario Region, includes a number of statements. Under “Summary and Prospects” it says:
“External trade and housing starts are also expected to improve over 1975 level, but to remain below levels achieved in earlier years. Unemployment should continue to be relatively high as the labour force growth is strong, and there is scope for labour productivity gains within the economy.”
In other words, what this government is now saying insofar as our province is concerned is that unemployment levels will not level out or be reduced but will continue at their present rate. They seem to be proud of that fact, just as they are proud of the fact that they are supposedly increasing the number of housing starts in this current year, which is up to now very difficult to see. There’s a second paragraph under that heading:
“Although the province is committed to the principle of decentralizing growth, the large urban areas of the south continue to grow at the expense of the rural and northern areas.”
This is just what we on this side of the House have been trying to tell the government for the decade or so that I’ve been here. It continues:
“As a result of sharpening world and national competition, the emphasis of the Ontario government has been and will continue to be on the attraction of industry to the province.”
This is not necessarily to those areas of slow growth. There’s no mention of that. The report goes on in a number of other areas, and I’d just like to quote a few of them:
“Insofar as northeastern Ontario is concerned, growth was strongest in the Sudbury district at four per cent. In the districts of Algoma and Timiskaming, however, there were population declines between the year 1971 and 1974. Low-income levels are most evident in the Manitoulin, Parry Sound, Timiskaming and Nipissing districts. One may note, for instance, the relative success which the DREE programme has had in diversifying industry in the region.”
And yet in those areas where the DREE programme has diversified industry, we find lower incomes. The report also says insofar as mining is concerned:
“Vast areas in northern Ontario with high or moderate mineral potential have yet to be adequately explored. The new processing allowances and other incentives in the recent regulations under the Mining Tax Act are anticipated to encourage further development opportunities in the northland. These measures were designed to maintain the competitiveness of the Ontario mining industry. Future development, particularly in the more remote areas of Ontario, will be dependent on resource taxation, labour costs, world demand for minerals and conservation policies.”
It also goes on to point out the dependency of the province in regard to the incomes from this industry. I should say that this government appears to be more interested in the incomes it can gather from that industry than in the development of the area where that industry has been established. This has been evident for some years now but, even in these new documents that were tabled just a few weeks ago, the same situation seems to exist.
There’s another portion that says the forest-based industries should provide some limited development opportunities over the next few years. I would say that “some limited development opportunities” is obviously an overstatement. Because of the silvicultural programmes that have been developed by this government, it has become more obvious as the years go by that the number of jobs that will be created in that industry will be decreasing rather than increasing.
In any area, obviously the number of jobs in the forest industry has almost come to nil. I believe in the whole district there is something like 600 to 700 jobs where there used to be between 3,000 and 4,000 jobs. One can see that the depletion of our natural resources as far as the forest-based industries are concerned has certainly taken place and there’s no way that it can be turned around in a very few short years. One would have to look to 30 or 40 years to turning it around and none of us are going to see those days or perhaps very few of us.
Beyond that, I would like to comment for a bit on the northeastern Ontario regional study which I referred to a few minutes ago and which has received a fair bit of comment from people in the north, particularly in regard to its omissions rather than what it contains. But I would like to give a little background before I make too many remarks.
First of all, in 1965 the then Premier of the province indicated that within six months there would be a programme for the industrial development of northern Ontario. That’s 11 years ago, and to this day we haven’t seen it. There was commissioned a study called Phase 1, Design for Development: Northeastern Ontario. We finally received that study in 1971. It was commissioned, I believe, in 1967 just prior to the election of that year. It was received in 1971, just prior to the election of that year, and contained nothing but a cataloguing of fence posts, light standards and what-not that occurs here and there all across northeastern Ontario. It was nothing more than a description of the area and perhaps the development that had taken place up to that time.
The government then promised that Phase 2 would be forthcoming within two years and would be the design for development. Finally, it was tabled, I believe, about a month ago. It is really not a programme for development but is only for discussion purposes. Since the parliamentary assistant to the minister is here, maybe I will quote from what he said in regard to this document. He said: “Phase 2 is neither official nor conclusive.” He certainly was right when he said that.
An hon. member: He said that?
Mr. R. S. Smith: That’s right. He is really honest; everybody would agree with that.
Hon. J. R. Smith: Tell us the truth.
Mr. R. S. Smith: He went on: “It is simply a proposal for an overall strategy, with room for modifications.” And he was certainly right in saying that. “It provides the general framework for future decision-making by government and by the people of the region.”
Mr. Nixon: Famous Tory flexibility.
Mr. Norton: The word is “responsiveness.”
Mr. R. S. Smith: Responsiveness?
Mr. Samis: Where?
Mr. Nixon: Like a rubber band.
Mr. R. S. Smith: It has taken 11 years to get to this point, and I say to the parliamentary assistant that that’s longer than he and I have to wait.
Mr. Norton: Eleven years, 100 years -- we never calcify.
Mr. Samis: Calcify? What about the east?
Mr. Wildman: The member for Algoma-Manitoulin (Mr. Lane) says you know about the problems but you don’t have time for them.
Mr. Martel: We just need a Ministry of Northern Ontario, that’s all. There is one logical man left.
Mr. R. S. Smith: That’s likely what we will get, a Ministry of Northern Ontario -- which will not mean a damned thing.
Some hon. members: That’s right.
Mr. R. S. smith: My friend knows that as well as I do, and that will be the direct result of all the input of 11 years.
Mr. Martel: The member for Algoma-Manitoulin might have a job.
Mr. R. S. Smith: The final work of the Treasurer and his parliamentary assistant will be a new ministry, probably headed by the present Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Bernier) or the Minister without Portfolio from Cochrane North (Mr. Brunelle). They obviously couldn’t make the Minister of Housing (Mr. Rhodes) the Minister of Northern Ontario; that would be just too much. But it will be one of those very few people that the Conservatives have up there.
Mr. Norton: Why not the Minister of Housing? Are you suggesting housing is not important in northern Ontario?
Mr. R. S. Smith: I am suggesting he is not important in northern Ontario.
Mr. Norton: You should not engage in -- you are hitting below the belt.
Mr. Samis: What do you know about that, Keith?
Mr. N. S. Smith: That’s not below the belt. I tell the guy a lot of things. I told him I didn’t know what party he belonged to. I thought that was even worse than that.
Mr. Samis: It was an acupunch.
Mr. Norton: It is not very kind.
Mr. R. S. Smith: Anyway, he left, and the people of northern Ontario are not going to miss him tonight any more than they have missed him for the last number of years.
But, since that time, and particularly in the last year and a half, I think I have questioned the Treasurer on four occasions in the House as to when he was going to finally table Phase II of Design for Development. He kept saying, “in a few more weeks. In a few more weeks.” At one time he said, “My predecessor left it sitting there for three years and didn’t do anything with it,” and he meant John White by that, if you will recall. And that’s a paraphrase of what he said in Hansard.
Mr. R. S. Smith: Because he was saying, when he was Treasurer -- before he resigned and flew home to London before the Premier got back from the other London to fire him -- that he was coming out with the Design for Development in a few weeks then. And that’s about five years ago.
Mr. Norton: Depends upon how you define “few.”
Mr. R. S. Smith: A few weeks, I said. Weeks, when you talk about weeks that means three or four at the most; a few weeks is three or four. Then you start talking about months. That’s the calendar -- you might look at it some time.
Anyway, following that he was out as the Treasurer and we had John White. John White obviously took the thing and stuck it away up on a shelf and said, “To hell with those people in northern Ontario, they can put on another sweater.”
Mr. Norton: He wouldn’t say that.
Mr. R. S. Smith: The third thing is, he told them about the tax.
Mr. Norton: He wouldn’t say it like that.
Mr. R. S. Smith: He wouldn’t say it like that, he would be much more specific and much more vocal. He wouldn’t say it like that.
Hon. J. R. Smith: Just because he lived in London South.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The member for Nipissing has the floor.
Mr. R. S. Smith: But anyway that is exactly what happened and those are the words of the present Treasurer who said. “I don’t know what my predecessor did. He left it there for three years and did nothing.” So then we had two years of this Treasurer back again before we finally got the Design for Development and then we found out that it was nothing but a proposal. It wasn’t the design at all. So we’ve come 11 years forward and we have finally obtained a Design for Development which is obviously only a proposal.
I would just like to go through a few of the things that are included in that document. I’ll quote the minister; he started with this statement in the so again. All these ministers really have a great time going to the Soo; it’s about the only place they go in northern Ontario. I guess it’s the only place they are welcome.
But anyway, as I’m sure you all know by now, and I’m quoting Mr. McKeough, the long-awaited report entitled Northeastern Ontario Regional Strategy has been tabled in the House and is now being distributed throughout the regions. I can understand why some of you grew rather impatient to see this document,” he said, and I would indicate to you that that is in fact an understatement.
He went on to say the reason that he is circulating the document is so that he can get feedback from the people in the area. Of course, that’s very good, but it could have been done about five years ago. And it was circulated --
Mr. Norton: Be careful, Dick, don’t knock that.
Mr. R. S. Smith: It was circulated on a number of occasions to a small group of people in northeastern Ontario and each time it came back and they said it’s no good, it’s lousy. They then spent money to hire a university professor at Nipissing University --
Mr. Norton: At where?
Mr. R. S. Smith: Nipissing College, and they paid --
Mr. Norton: You have the wrong name.
Mr. R. S. Smith: No, he is a sociologist, a professor at the university and also a member of the Conservative Party.
Mr. Bain: That is why he was hired.
Mr. R. S. Smith: They paid him some money.
Mr. R. S. Smith: They paid him a goodly sum of money to rewrite the document, and he did that late in the fall of last year.
Mr. Norton: I think you have the wrong thing. You are talking about a report that was commissioned by --
Mr. R. S. Smith: No.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Only the hon. member for Nipissing has the floor.
Mr. R. S. Smith: He rewrote what he thought should be included in the document. It was referred right through the ministry to the Treasurer himself.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member for Nipissing only.
Mr. R. S. Smith: By the time it got to the Treasurer it had really lost its significance, just as the whole thing has done in the past three weeks. That report, which could have perhaps saved the document, was practically ignored. I have seen the report. It’s quite different from this jumble of words that have been put out here and which are being provided across northern Ontario --
Mr. Martel: Mish-mash.
Mr. R. S. Smith: -- as a proposal for I don’t know what and neither does anybody else.
Mr. Norton: Not over there.
Mr. R. S. Smith: Except the fact that the Treasurer can now get up and say, “I have tabled the Design for Development, Phase II.”
Mr. Martel: We remain the hinterland.
Mr. R. S. Smith: And that may be his one sole accomplishment.
Mr. Norton: That’s not so.
Mr. Speaker: The member for Nipissing, please. Order, please.
Mr. Martel: The Liberals asked for it.
Mr. Bain: The land the government ignores and exploits.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Order.
Mr. R. S. Smith: The Treasurer, at the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities meeting to which I referred in my opening remarks, is so oriented toward his own party, it’s almost a peculiar situation. He said, “Here is what we think is a reasonable approach. What do you think?” If he really wants to know what the people of northern Ontario think he should ask somebody else but that group, because that group hasn’t had an initiative thought in the last 20 years.
Mr. Norton: Which group?
Mr. R. S. Smith: The Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities. The obvious reason they haven’t had that type of thought in the last 20 years is because they all belong to the same political organization and they allow no one else in. You know that as well as I.
Mr. Norton: You don’t have much confidence in the people of northern Ontario.
Mr. R. S. Smith: Pardon?
Mr. Norton: You don’t have much confidence --
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member for Nipissing will proceed.
Mr. R. S. Smith: I don’t have. No, I don’t have. I was a municipal elected representative in northern Ontario --
Mr. Norton: That’s insulting.
Mr. R. S. Smith: -- before I came here, and we invited all people to our meetings. We didn’t differentiate between those people on that side or these people on this side. At that time, it was perhaps a viable organization but since then, it’s just gone like that.
Mr. Norton: What an incredibly condescending attitude.
Mr. Ferrier: You don’t know the facts.
Mr. R. S. Smith: Now, I’ll read another platitudinous statement from this document and you can comment on that.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Mr. R. S. Smith: Talk about condescending. This whole thing represents the condescending attitude of both you and your minister.
Mr. Martel: Junk! That doesn’t even make good junk mail.
Mr. R. S. Smith: I’ll read this statement:
The principal goal suggested in the report is to promote -- ”
Mr. Martel: You need a shredder for that.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member for Nipissing has the floor only. Only. Order, please. If the hon. member wishes to remain in the House, he will remain silent. The hon. member for Nipissing has -- order, please.
Mr. Davison: Well, tell that to him, too.
Mr. Speaker: I think if the hon. members -- order, please -- will take the time to read the Hansard tomorrow, they’ll see how silly these interjections have been. Now the hon. member for Nipissing only has the floor. Will he proceed, please?
Mr. Martel: Tell the member for Kingston and the Islands, too --
Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Sudbury East will not continue after I request him to remain silent, please. The hon. member for Nipissing has the floor.
Mr. R. S. Smith: I’ll just read this remark and then you can label it whatever you like:
“The principal goal suggested in the report is to promote economic development in a way that ensures that the benefits will accrue primarily to the people of northeastern Ontario, that makes best use of the region’s potential and that respects the environment and cultural attitudes of the region.”
That has to be the most platitudinous statement I’ve ever heard, almost. It’s only been surpassed by some made by the Premier. Anyway --
Mr. Bullbrook: When John Robarts called OHIP --
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member for Nipissing.
Mr. Bullbrook: When he called OHIP a Machiavellian scheme, I thought that was a dandy one.
Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Nipissing, thank you.
Mr. R. S. Smith: Yes. Well, the Machiavellian schemes are much more prevalent here than they are down there. Anyway --
Hon. Mr. Kerr: He called it blackmail, too.
Mr. R. S. Smith: I’d just like to go on a bit in this statement:
“First, greater stability of production and levels of earning; second, increased diversity of jobs; third, improved productivity and earnings; fourth, more jobs and larger population.”
By God, I hope he does it because those people in grade 3 who are reading this for the first time are hearing something for the first time. But everybody above that has heard this same thing at least 25 or 30 times. You know, it’s just a reiteration of the same old garbage that we’ve been getting for, well, 30 years, and perhaps half a century.
Mr. Wildman: The question is how they’re going to do it.
Mr. R. S. Smith: I won’t make much further comment on the Treasurer’s remarks in regard to the northeastern Ontario regional strategy. But I would just like to make some reference to the Design for Development itself and perhaps a few comments on it and what it contains.
I indicated a few minutes ago that Phase 1 of this report was brought in in 1971, and five years later we now have Phase 2, It took six years for Phase 1, five years for Phase 2, and now it’s called the proposal for discussions -- which will perhaps add another three or four years. So, in 15 years we may come to a definitive strategy, or plan, or whatever you would like to call it, Mr. Speaker, They have changed this now from a plan to a strategy, because that seems to be the new term.
Anyway, I would like to just make a few comments on some of the things that are in this report. I would refer to development conditions and issues in northeastern Ontario and population changes. I think if you would look at page 5, the charts will show that the rate of growth in northeastern Ontario is far below half that of the province.
For example, the 1961 population of the Sudbury regional municipality was 137,000. The 1966 population was 147,000. The 1971 population was 168,000. So we had an increase in that 10-year period of about 7.4 per cent, which is much less than half the average growth. Of course, Sudbury is the largest and fastest growing area in northeastern Ontario -- so you can imagine what the rest was like.
Some areas had minus growth. Sault Ste. Marie and the rest of the Algoma district had a minus growth of 16 per cent. Nipissing district -- and that’s my district -- had a minus growth of 4.1 per cent over that 10-year period. Timiskaming had a minus growth of 7.5 per cent -- and right down the line.
In that 10-year period there was a continued drop in the actual numbers of people in many parts of northeastern Ontario. So, for this government to say in the past 10 years they have done anything for that part of the province is patently ridiculous, since there are less people there now -- in many parts of it at least -- than there were 10 years ago.
I would also like to indicate the income levels in that part of the province, which are outlined in the report. In the four urban centres, Sudbury, which has just received a DREE grant, has an income level of $6,185 -- and that’s the average after-tax income in 1973. Sault Ste. Marie has an average income of $6,385. North Bay, which didn’t receive a DREE grant, has an average income of $5,604 -- which is about $500 or $600 per capita less than Sudbury. Timmins has an average income of $5,248. This indicates that of the four subregional centres that this document covers, Timmins has the lowest income.
The average for Ontario, I would suggest, is $6,530. In other words, the people in the rest of the province received incomes 25 per cent higher than the people in my district. Yet the cost of living in my district is higher than in the rest of the province, as indicated further on in this report -- and I will refer to that. It’s very difficult to live on 25 per cent less money when it costs you more to live. Perhaps that very simple fact as digestible by the government in power.
I would like to point out that it also indicates the cost of 30 selected food items as of February, 1974. It indicates that food prices in most centres of northeastern Ontario are above those in southern Ontario. In Moose Factory, food costs are 28 per cent higher than those in Metro Toronto. Incomes are at least 40 per cent lower in Moose Factory than those in Metro Toronto. So you can understand the squeeze from both sides that the people in that area feel.
The 1971 document illustrated the same things, only in this document we have updated it by about four or five years. To call this one any more would be to say that we finally have come to a plan or a strategy. But we really haven’t. Those facts are still going to continue for at least another decade -- if this government is left that long, which I doubt very much.
On page 21 of the document, they refer to the mining industry as being subject to short-term fluctuations in the level of world demand in prices which has slumped considerably since 1974. However, recently there is some incline again. It could take time before the world economies recover and demand and prices for minerals revive and rise. Until then, profits may be reduced.
I bring this in because earlier I had mentioned that, in effect, the minister had said we must look to an increase in the mining and forest industries and the basic resource industries if we are to look for an increased growth in northeastern Ontario. Obviously, according to his own document, we can’t look forward to that type of increase on a steady basis. In fact, there is a bottoming out in that industry periodically. As world markets soften, as they do traditionally, unemployment rises tremendously.
The document goes on and says the forest industry, like the mining industry, is subject to short-run and recurring fluctuations in demand for its wood and paper products. During the current recession in demand, many operations have cut back production and laid off workers. Reduced profits have curtailed expansion on modernization programmes at some operations.
The fact of the matter is, as I pointed out before, that this is a blatantly untrue statement. I don’t believe that we can look for the forest industry in northern Ontario to increase either its production or its number of jobs. It becomes apparent that there will be a steady decline in the forest industry in northeastern Ontario because of the silvicultural programmes that have been followed by this ministry since they took over the whole programme of reforestation from the industry itself in the early 1940s.
Perhaps the most succinct statement in the whole of Phase II, Design for Development, is: “Based on current trends, the region’s economy would show little change, in its basic structure, by 2001.” In other words, this document, which the Treasurer has tabled and says that his government supports, is saying that there will be no change in northeastern Ontario between now and 2001 -- and that’s 25 years away.
So the document leaves northern Ontario as it is for the next 25 years. If that is not a statement of the lack of responsibility and the lack of ability of this government to do anything, I don’t know what is. Any government document that says a region that is under-populated and where incomes are much lower than the average and where the base living costs are higher than the average and says that they will remain that way for the next 25 years, obviously cannot seriously be looking for support in that area or any other part of the province.
It further goes on to say, “As in the past, resource industries would maintain their economic domination in the region.” That’s just what we’ve been trying to get away from, and I thought that is what the document was all about. But obviously, that’s not going to be the case. According to the document itself, we are going to continue to depend on mining and the forest-based industries along with some tourism. These are of a nature that does not provide year-round employment in that area particularly, and does create unemployment, welfare and all the other things that go with that type of programme.
Secondary manufacturing activity would grow slowly to quote from the document. The document itself indicates that the government is not going to do anything and can’t do anything and that things are going to remain exactly the same in northeastern Ontario now and for the next 45 years as they have been for the past 45 years. I believe any ministry that will put out such a document as that does not have the interest of those people within its goals, nor does it have the interest of the province itself in the overall within those same goals.
I believe the rest of the document just goes on to point out the probable location of what might be additional industries and what might be additional development but it is very vague. There are really no specific recommendations as to what will be done and what can be done. I’d just like to refer to the concluding statement on page 78.
“Throughout the formulation of this proposed regional strategy a serious effort has been made to satisfy the goals of both the residents of northeastern Ontario and the provincial government.”
I believe they put those last two in an improper sequence. Obviously the document is based on the goals of the provincial government and the party in power. It is not based in any way on the goals of the residents of northeastern Ontario. It’s nothing but a political pulp document which they hope will get them through the upcoming election and perhaps save the four or five seats they hold in northeastern Ontario. The fact that it makes no definitive proposals and says so and the fact that it says we will remain in the same state for the next 45 years actually is an indictment of the government itself, let alone indicating that they support the document which they have tabled.
I won’t spend any further time on that document but I would just like to spend a few minutes to get back to the restraint programme and the disparity it has created in our area. I believe that this applies generally right across northern Ontario. In my area, the board of education has come down with its mill rate and it has increased the mill rate by 12.5 mills or by about 23 per cent. At the secondary level the increase is 60 per cent. For North Bay the increase has been from 17 to 27 mills for secondary education. The reason for that is that this government has completely abdicated its stated purpose in education of equalization of opportunity across the province. For some years we have not had equalized opportunity in the north and there have been many areas in the province that have not had equalized opportunity. But at least we thought and most people thought there was some attempt being made to equalize that opportunity.
The school board in my area has provided some documents, and has been to government and met with the minister and the cabinet in order to try to impress upon them the differential between those areas where there is a small pupil assessment ration as compared to those areas with a much larger ratio of assessment per pupil. I’d just like to quote a bit from that document:
“The Province of Ontario has shifted more of the burden for financing education on to local taxpayers and has appealed to us [meaning the school boards] to exercise restraint and belt-tightening.”
That restraint and belt-tightening are obvious. They have done what they can do and the rest is being passed on to the local taxpayer with a 60 per cent increase at the secondary level in the cost of education to the local taxpayer in Nipissing district. The grant structure has meant that equality of educational opportunity was achieved across the province through assigning more grants per pupil to lower assessment areas and less to higher assessment areas. In my area, the rate of grant has been about 80 per cent of expenses for secondary and 75 per cent of expenses for elementary. This was much higher than the provincial average because Nipissing does not have a broad assessment.
The effect on low assessment areas such as Nipissing is disastrous as far as the base tax rate is concerned. The second major problem area which will affect our local taxpayers and which at this point has done so has to do with the ceilings on expenditures eligible for grants. Any expenditure above the grant ceiling must be borne entirely by the local taxpayer. Again, in low assessment areas this dictate from the ministry and from the government has hurt disastrously the tax rate in areas with that low assessment, such as ours.
It is unfortunate that the low assessment areas such as ours will suffer most from the extra burden placed on local ratepayers. It has been said that there would be a rough kind of justice applied in the fight against inflation -- I believe that that was said federally. In our area it has certainly been a rough type of justice as applied by the provincial government.
I could conclude perhaps this part of my remarks by quoting from an editorial of the Globe and Mail of Oct. 22.
“There is another serious result of the removal of ceilings. One reason for the rural equalization was to ensure that what money was available for education spending was used to give equality of educational opportunity to all Ontario students wherever they live. Now rich school districts with a lot of assessment will be able to spend much more on their students than will poor school districts with little assessment.”
In other words, my children are not going to have the same opportunity as the child who lives in Toronto or Hamilton or Windsor or most southern Ontario municipalities and the same will apply to most children in northern Ontario because, generally speaking, the school boards have a much smaller assessment base on which to work.
I will quote some figures to indicate that but, first, I would like to just go through the changes in the government financing of education that have taken place during this year which have a direct result on the opportunities for the children in our area. In the case of capital construction cost projects, we all know that only those that were in process are being allowed to go ahead and others are frozen for the time being. The planning of enrolment in advance is to be discontinued and this has a direct effect on some boards of education where they do have staff designing enrolment. The third reason is, for recognized extraordinary expenditures, which include transportation and debenture costs, the rates of provincial support will be at the basic level of 75 per cent for a school board of average wealth.
Since we do not have in northern Ontario school boards with average wealth but rather those with much below the average level, our basic level prior to that dictate was 89 per cent of the approved costs for transportation and debenture costs at the secondary level and 80 per cent at the elementary level. We can now only collect 75 per cent rather than 80 per cent at the primary level and 89 per cent at the secondary level. It is not hard to calculate the major difference that that means in the overall costs of education to the local taxpayer or the cutbacks that must be made within the educational system itself and therefore the downgrading of the type of education that is provided to the students.
Then, fourth and perhaps the most significant, is the financial support to recognized ordinary expenditures. This represents the basic portion of school board budgets and includes all salaries. Of course, there has been an eight per cent maximum increase placed on those at the secondary level. It means, in our area at least, that the expenditures on education itself will be reduced by eight per cent at the secondary level and two per cent at the elementary level, in order to make up for inflationary costs that are in between.
For each pupil in this province there is an average assessment of $132,400 at the local level. In my area the assessment is $58,227, just about 40 per cent of the average across the province. And this is prevalent right through northern Ontario.
With the provincial average being $132,400, I will just read these figures: Nipissing, $58,000; Parry Sound, $66,000; Timmins, $67,000; Metro Toronto, $195,000; Windsor, $146,000; Sudbury, $84,000; and even Sault Ste. Marie, $90,000. These are far below the provincial average. So you can see that this has had a direct effect on both the educational costs to the local taxpayer, as well as the type of education that will be provided in the coming months.
Based on a local tax cost of some $258 per pupil -- which is, in effect, what the increase was in our system -- the tax required from the average homeowner would be $88.62 more than was paid last year. If that same increased cost was applied in, say, Metro Toronto, the cost would be $26.43 for the average homeowner. So you can see that the average homeowner in northern Ontario, just to keep pace, has to pay three times as much in increased cost.
I do believe that from these last remarks in regard to education, and the other remarks that I made insofar as the economic situation in northern Ontario is concerned, that it is obvious that there are two standards in this province -- one for certain regions of the province and another, much better standard for the most populated areas. I am sure that the Speaker would certainly recognize those facts and would be in full agreement with me.
With those words, Mr. Speaker, I will finish my remarks and thank the House for its indulgence.
Mr. Germa: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to be able to contribute a few remarks to this budget debate. But first of all I should like to congratulate you personally, Mr. Deputy Speaker, on your elevation. I think you have done a reasonably good job up to this point in time. Now you are in the chair, I hope you protect me from the interventions which might come from the members around here.
I would also like to congratulate the Speaker. I think he has brought the House into better control during this session than it had been in the past, and I know he works very diligently at it. With your assistance, Mr. Deputy Speaker, I know that he has had some reasonable success, despite the fact there are certain improvements that can be made all the time.
The present government, since the September, 1971, election, has been in a continual state of decline, and they appear absolutely frustrated. They seem not to know what they are doing. They are making errors on almost a daily basis. I think they are a little rattled over the events that have happened. For the first time in 33 years they have had to take into consideration other people’s opinions. They are not well trained in that and consequently they are prone to making errors and over-extending the power which the legislation grants to the province.
I am sure they are enjoying their popularity, with these massive demonstrations which come to Queen’s Park to greet the Premier (Mr. Davis) almost on a weekly basis, the latest one being the Ontario Federation of Labour. I think there were some 25,000 people who came all the way to Queen’s Park to greet the Premier and his misguided group of cabinet ministers. Of course, we had earlier in the winter about 30,000 school teachers, who are not prone to voice their opinions publicly.
This government has managed to antagonize almost every sector of the community since the September, 1971, election. They show no interest in changing, or do not seem to have the facility to change, their course. I think what we are looking at right now, Mr. Speaker, is the decline of a once honourable party. I think they are going to be eliminated from the political scene, as far as power is concerned, and they remind me of the --
Mr. Warner: They are on their way out.
Mr. Germa: They remind me of the disappearance of the dinosaur, I understand the dinosaur died because his head was too small for his body. He had a huge body and he didn’t have any thought process and consequently he couldn’t adapt to change so he disappeared from the face of the earth. I think that is precisely what is happening to this Conservative government.
Hon. B. Stephenson: He is still living in Sudbury.
Mr. Germa: They seem to be atrophied --
Mr. Wildman: Thanks to the Conservatives.
Mr. Germa: -- as though they had arthritis in a certain position, and they seem not able to move from that particular stance that they have adopted.
Ontario has changed very much since the Second World War. The old gimmicks, the old window-dressing that this government used to use to win elections just doesn’t go with the new population and the new attitudes of the Province of Ontario. I think a lot of the decline of the Conservative power is a result of large immigration into Ontario over the past 25 years. This government cannot adapt to that change in attitude and philosophy, and consequently they will have to go.
The New Democratic Party, as the official opposition, is learning as it goes along the way. What we are debating tonight, Mr. Speaker, is the amendment that the NDP proposed to the budget as presented by the government. On April 13, 1976, the leadoff speaker for the NDP introduced the following amendment, and I think it is good to remind the members of the House exactly what we are debating. Of course, in the interval, certain things have happened which seem to indicate that when the vote comes it will be of little consequence because the leader of the third party, I understand, has sent up the smoke signals. I think he said that it would have to be the worst budget since King Herod -- I think that was the name he used -- in order for him to vote against the government. It amazes me. I listened with great intent to the last speaker, from Nipissing, who was speaking about things that I think I know something about, coming from the northeastern part of the province as he does. It amazes me that he can stand here for one hour and 15 minutes and criticize the government on this presentation of the budget knowing full well that when the time comes he is going to vote to support this government. If that is not hypocrisy of the highest order, I don’t know what is.
Mr. Warner: Shame.
Mr. Germa: This whole gang in the third party, who stand here criticizing this government, have already said that regardless of how bad it is, they are still going to support the government.
Mr. Warner: Coalition government.
Mr. Germa: Coalition government. It is not a minority, it is a coalition government.
Mr. Gaunt: Where were you last year? Where were you last fall?
Mr. Germa: The amendment which the New Democratic Party proposed encompasses all of those things that the Liberals have been criticizing in the budget.
Mr. Gaunt: Where were you last fall?
Mr. Germa: I think it would do us well if we were to read to the members of the House exactly what the New Democratic Party was talking about and they will see the things the last member spoke to are included in the amendment.
Mr. Wildman: He gave a very good speech.
Mr. Roy: Well, he knows the north as well as you guys.
Mr. Germa: I understand that and I gave him credit for knowing the north. But what I was criticizing was that he can stand here for one hour and 15 minutes and criticise this budget, knowing full well that he’s going to support it in the long run, if he follows his leader --
Mr. Ferrier: You’re going to support the Tories too, Albert.
Mr. Roy: You really want an election, eh?
Mr. Wildman: The sooner we get rid of them the better.
Mr. Germa: If the Conservatives have lost the power of the thought process, then the Liberals are so disorganized that there are no thoughts whatsoever coming from them that have any coincidence. If you listen to three Liberals speaking, you get three opinions.
Anyway, on April 13 the New Democratic Party moved the following amendment:
“This House regrets the introduction of a budget responding only to the fiscal impact of a government which, having over-borrowed and overspent during its four years in office, recorded an election-year deficit approaching $2 billion -- ”
An hon. member: You keep telling us we’re not spending enough.
Mr. Speaker: Will the hon. member for Erie (Mr. Haggerty) take his own seat if he wishes to interject?
Mr. Germa: To continue:
“And regrets the paralysis of the government when faced with 253,000 people unemployed and the passive acceptance of a continuing unacceptable rate of unemployment in excess of six per cent.
“And regrets the most inequitable feature of the budget, the increased premiums for health care, which highlights the preoccupation of this government with unfair and regressive taxes without considering existing and other alternative sources of revenue; and regrets the choice by the government of policies dictated by this impasse and paralysis which fail to create jobs and which cut back vital programmes in health, education, and social services, causing more unemployment, which force regional and other municipal governments and school boards to increase taxes on property;
“And regrets the failure of the government to introduce programmes stabilizing the income of farmers, preserving land for agriculture, making available medical, dental and other essential social services within a basic economic framework in northern Ontario, particularly in unorganized municipalities, in any way comparable to southern Ontario, providing the incentives and opportunities which would stimulate the orderly economic development of eastern Ontario, protecting the health of people working in our industries, meeting the need for public transit in the regions, towns and cities, producing quality housing at reasonable prices, and reducing the dependence of our natural resource industries on foreign capital.”
Mr. Roy: Have you got the kitchen sink in there too? That sounds like the Regina manifesto.
Mr. Germa: It’s not a bad budget, except for the exceptions which are included in the amendment proposed by the official opposition. Those are the things we have been speaking to, and those are the things that the Liberal Party members speak to, but they do not have the intestinal fortitude to stand up on their back legs and oppose the government when the time comes.
Mr. Roy: Yes. Who’s that?
Mr. Nixon: Remember when you voted with the Tories in favour of the anti-inflation programme? The CLC didn’t like that very much.
Mr. Mackenzie: That’s pretty weak, Bob.
Mr. Germa: As I stated earlier, I think the cabinet has panicked. They have been abusing their power, and the courts have already told them in what areas they have abused their power. It was the courts that told them that they do not have the power, under the Public Hospitals Act, to close those hospitals.
We gave them various other reasons why they shouldn’t be carrying out this insanity, and yet the courts had to come along and dictate to them that they didn’t have the power. The power has gone to their heads and they’re making a mistake.
Mr. Nixon: The member for Kingston and the Islands (Mr. Norton) is back. Isn’t that great?
Mr. Germa: The second setback the government has had in the courts was that a decision of the rent review board was overruled in the courts when a rent review officer allowed a hearing to proceed. And the government was informed of this. The Minister of Housing (Mr. Rhodes) was informed. The Minister of Community and Commercial Relations (Mr. Handleman) was informed. Yet instead of correcting the situation, they locked into their stubborn position. They had to go to court and the divisional court ruled that the hearing was illegal because the rent review officer had not complied with the Act in giving due notice to the tenant of a rent increase.
That also tells me that this government is not too interested in the rent review legislation function. They have an inborn bias in favour of landlords. It is indicated in that decision in which the courts, once again, had to come in and protect the people from their own government. When we get a situation like that, when the courts have to protect the people from the government, then we are in deep trouble.
Mr. Wildman: No, it was the hospital beds that were to protect --
Mr. Germa: We missed one item in our amendment I believe. That is that the government has failed to redistribute the income in Ontario. In fact --
Mr. Norton: Right on.
Mr. Germa: We see various steps taken by the government to treat the symptoms of inequitable distribution of income. We have studies going on inquiring into violence. We have various studies going on into why people are disillusioned and why we have increasing police costs. Yet the government doesn’t seem to face the idea that if the income was a little better distributed in the Province of Ontario, a lot of this violence might go away.
I’m sure the Minister of Labour (B. Stephenson) is aware that the bank holdups in Metropolitan Toronto, up to this point in time this year, are double what the bank holdups were in Metropolitan Toronto last year. There have been 26 stickups in Toronto already this year, which is exactly double what we had last year. Why doesn’t the government set its sights on finding the reasons why people are forced to this extreme action? It’s on account of the unemployment which it has failed to address itself to. It’s on account of the inequitable distribution of the wealth, which it has failed to address itself to.
The study on income distribution of the Ontario Economic Council -- Issues and Alternatives, 1976. The council issued a paper on social security. They zeroed in on distribution of wealth and I would like to quote just one sentence from page 3 of the Ontario Economic Council social security paper:
“There have been no dramatic changes in the distribution of money income in either Canada or Ontario over the past eight or 10 years. The proportion of the money income going to the lowest fifth of Ontario’s population stayed almost constant between 1965 and 1973.”
I have the figures here for Ontario. The lowest quintile in 1965 had 6.8 per cent of the income. By 1973, they had shrunk to 6.4. So the bottom 20 per cent of our society has lost during that period -- from 1965 to 1973.
The top quintile of our society in 1965 have 37.9 per cent of the income and they are still enjoying 37.3 per cent of the income. So this is exactly what this government has done over the period 1965-1973. It has done absolutely nothing to distribute the wealth of this province.
Mr. Bain: The party of the rich.
Mr. Germa: The top 20 per cent are still enjoying 37 per cent of the income.
Mr. Kennedy: You never had it so good.
Hon. B. Stephenson: You can’t add and you can’t subtract.
Mr. Germa: You ask me why there’s violence in our streets; you ask me why police budgets have to rise. You don’t have to ask me why.
Mr. Norton: We’re not all going to wait for --
Mr. Bain: We don’t have parliamentary assistants in the Treasury either, pulling in $5,000. How much do you get as a parliamentary assistant?
Mr. Warner: Talk about lawyers’ salaries.
Mr. Roy: Can I ask you why there is violence in the streets?
Mr. Germa: Poverty causes violence and the more you press the bottom 20 per cent, the more policemen you’re going to have to hire.
Mr. Norton: That’s a very simplistic statement. Now would you prove it?
Mr. Bain: It’s a very simple statement. Study the Thirties.
Mr. Germa: It’s very simple. Go to Chicago and take a look.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member for Sudbury has the floor.
Mr. Germa: Those are not the things I wanted to deal with. I wanted to deal with northeastern Ontario, where everything I have said that applies across the province is magnified and exaggerated in the northeastern part of the province where this government has failed miserably --
Mr. Norton: Crime is not an issue in northeastern Ontario.
Mr. Ferrier: That is not necessarily so in southern Ontario.
Mr. Germa: -- to deal with any of the problems facing northern Ontario.
Mr. Germa: The most miserable record of any government in this great country of ours is the way this government has treated the northern part of the province.
Mr. Bain: They don’t even know where the north is.
Mr. Speaker: Would the hon. member find this an appropriate place to adjourn the debate?
Mr. Germa: I believe this is a natural break in my discourse, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Germa moved the adjournment of the debate.
Motion agreed to.
Hon. Mr. Meen: Before moving the adjournment of the House, I would advise our colleagues that on Thursday we will continue with the estimates of the Ministry of Colleges and Universities and, if and when those estimates should be completed, we will continue on that day with the estimates of the Ministry of Culture and Recreation.
Hon. Mr. Meen moved the adjournment of the House.
Motion agreed to.
The House adjourned at 10:30 p.m.