The House resumed at 8 p.m.
ESTIMATES, MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND RECREATION
Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Chairman, I am very pleased at this time to submit the estimates of the Ministry of Culture and Recreation.
Mr. Worton: Carried.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Thank you very much.
As you will note, the amount to be voted is established there. Rather than taking up what is already a limited time with respect to opening remarks, I simply want to share with the members of the House my pleasure in having this particular responsibility and say how much I look forward to the exchange, the opportunity for which these estimates provide. Perhaps we would be better to hear those comments and respond to those questions and thereby be satisfied that, in fact, we are dealing with those matters which are of some interest and concern to the members of the committee.
Mr. Samis: First of all, Mr. Chairman, I want to say it is a pleasure to participate in this debate. It is my second opportunity to debate these issues and estimates with the minister, I want to congratulate the minister; I believe he has been in this particular job now for 18 months. Looking at his track performance, I think that almost establishes a record for him. It sometimes reminds me of Mickey Rooney; every time he gets married, he immediately assures people, “This is the last time; this one is going to really last.”
Hon. Mr. Welch: What does that mean?
Mr. Samis: Don’t read too much into it either now.
I realize the duties of this minister are many, because he is not just Minister of Culture and Recreation; he has a very serious, important and probably powerful job in this particular Legislature, namely the leader of the government party. When I see him scampering about here, he sort of reminds me of a Niagara version of Maury Wills. I realize that, as House leader, he has much less time to spend on the ministry than he had previous to last September. Of course, that means less time for him to travel around the province, hand out cheques, get his picture in the paper and announce more goodies in every constituency he can find. But maybe being in the House so much is the best penance that the Premier (Mr. Davis) could have devised, considering his former previous errant ways in gross absenteeism from this chamber.
In all sincerity I want to congratulate the minister for the fine job he has done as House leader. As a member of the opposition who spent a very brief sojourn in the previous Legislature, I must say that the difference is very profound and much appreciated on this side. I think it makes for a better government and a much better parliamentary system. I am sure that all three House leaders must share the credit and, as a member of the official opposition, I want to pay tribute to the minister, because I think he deserves a large share of that credit.
Secondly, I want to welcome his new deputy minister. I think this particular gentleman has been a welcome addition to this ministry and his presence has resulted in a very obvious and, I think, much needed improvement. Among the various people I have talked to regarding this ministry, I have come across a very general feeling that there were certain specific problems surrounding some of the administrative practices exercised by his predecessor. I don’t say that in a personal way or to get vindictive in any way, shape or form; it just struck me that in the variety of people I talked to, a number of people kept reiterating a certain unhappiness with the administrative style and policies. In view of the fact the minister was spending so much time on the road, I think that was very important in terms of the overall value, function and appreciation of this ministry. So I want to tell the deputy minister that I welcome the openness, the decentralization and the new spirit that he has introduced to the ministry. I think it is all for the better.
Before outlining my concerns and criticisms of the operations of the ministry -- this is almost getting to sound like a mutual admiration society; this is the last page of that, don’t worry.
I want to commend the hon. minister for two basic achievements as a minister, not as a House leader, over the past six months. The first one I think is very important. I congratulate him for being able to resist the power and lust of the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) in his quest to channel all or part of the funds of Wintario into consolidated revenue. I think for the sake of the ministry, in the vast variety of programmes that it administers, this was an extremely important accomplishment. I can only hope that the victory was not a transitory or pyrrhic one. Regardless whether it is or not, I congratulate the hon. minister upon this victory.
Secondly, I also congratulate the hon. minister for seemingly -- and I emphasize that word “seemingly” -- not implementing most of the recommendations of the Henderson report regarding this ministry. I want to make it very clear that we on this side reject virtually all of what Henderson had to say about this ministry and we regard his conclusions as invalid, ill-founded and ill-advised.
I won’t go into any major dissertation on why I think Henderson is wrong, especially when he talks about the prohibition of any new programme initiatives or imposing a five per cent ceiling on funding increases. I just want to make it clear that we reject his criticisms, his calculations and his conclusions. Anybody who has anything to do with the cultural scene in Ontario surely must realize that for so many years there has been so much neglect. For anybody to suggest what Henderson did is just totally unacceptable to the cultural and recreational scene of this province.
There is one area, though, that I must say both disappoints and angers me. That’s a decision to accept one of the Henderson report recommendations -- namely, to postpone the expansion of OECA in northern Ontario and eastern Ontario, but particularly in the north. If there was any region in this province that needs OECA most, it’s the north. If there is any region that has been culturally, socially and economically ignored by Queen’s Park and southern Ontario, it’s the north. The east is a good second -- a close second.
If there is any doubt that this government discriminates against the north and the east in favour of the southern region, whether by design or some other method, this decision proves it. If there is a better way to illustrate the cultural disparities and regional disparities of this province, I don’t know of any better way than this decision. By giving in to Henderson to save a mere $2.9 million over six years, which works out to an average of $500,000 a year, you have created a class system in terms of educational television in this province: First class for the south, no class for the north and east.
I ask the hon. minister: Why cut here? Look at the human damage in those communities among the young people. Who suffers most from this particular decision? It’s the children, the young people of the north, the future generation. You have openly admitted here in question period that that particular decision will cost this government $900,000 merely to implement. You admit that cable TV is no substitute. You admit that many people in the north won’t even be able to get cable of any sort. I really wonder why the hon. minister had to cut here.
We in the opposition regard that decision as a real low point of this ministry. It was a bad decision, pure and simple. Bad for the north, bad for the east and bad for Ontario. In looking at this ministry and realizing we have only four hours to examine the estimates and realizing other members will want to participate in the ensuing discussions, I decided to try to restrict my opening remarks to basic policy areas rather than attempt to cover the whole realm of this ministry.
The first one I want to speak about is the whole general field of policy within this ministry. What concerns me most is what seems to be a virtual lack of overall policy and direction. Sure, the ministry has lots of programmes. Sure, it’s becoming pretty good at spending the taxpayers’ money. Sure, it’s keeping a high profile and convincing people that a ministry like this is nice to have. But where are we going. Do we know where we want to go? What are we really trying to do? What’s our overall policy and goal? Objectives -- do we have any? Or are we merely spending money on an ad hoc basis and responding to public demand or pressure without any clear idea of what we want for Ontario, for its people, for its future, for their future?
It is great to have all this money but we in this Legislature will be judged by how wisely we spend that money today. We can do a tremendous amount for the people of Ontario to build a better social and cultural climate for future generations, to strengthen our heritage. to make the so-called “leisure” society accessible to people of all classes and all parts of this province, to give them opportunities to develop Ontario in ways their forefathers never dreamed of, to create a more humane, more egalitarian, more cultural society in the best sense of the word, so that everybody in Ontario can truly enjoy the cultural, recreational and leisure fruits of our affluent society.
Mr. Nixon: Are you quoting Welch?
Mr. Samis: No, no; no quotes from Bob. Don’t worry.
Mr. Nixon: Sounds like the minister’s.
Mr. Samis: We can lay the foundation for much of this or we can muff it.
Hon. Mr. Welch: I got the quotes.
Mr. Samis: We can waste it, we can miss this golden opportunity. We can make Ontario a leader among English-speaking provinces in this field or we can fear to make the crucial decisions. We can draw back from the challenge and satisfy ourselves with the safe and the short-term.
The responsibility of leadership is to provide the people with leadership and direction; to provide them with some vision for the future; or at the very least to give them some goals, some objectives, some focus to work toward. That is what worries me most about this ministry.
There is no sense of direction, no sense of real policy objectives, no real sense of priorities, no sense of real coherence in what we are doing. Sure, Wintario is helping us to meet a lot of the short-term demands of our society, but the ministry has failed to provide any overall framework for these grants. It is not enough just to dole out money. The ministry must give culture in Ontario a sense of direction. It is not enough to initiate a new programme, without really determining the objectives. As David Silcox put it in the Toronto Star, and I quote:
“Every Wintario decision changes the balance of cultural life in Ontario. Wintario is operating in a cultural policy vacuum, and policy is being established on an ad hoc basis, responding to each request. With insufficient expertise in cultural matters and only a few funding formulae for guides, Wintario is changing Ontario’s cultural ecology without knowing or saying what it is. Needs and objectives appear not to be considered within the context of the whole province, and a sensible, staged programme of support cannot be mounted without an administration which knows the artistic needs of the province, and has the confidence of the arts community.”
I might point out that this statement, Mr. Chairman, doesn’t even take into consideration the whole problem of overall regional disparities and needs, which is so important in the north and the east of this province. This is a crucial problem in itself and it requires defining goals, needs, objectives, and recognizing individual differences on a regional basis. I am sure the minister will admit that the needs and tastes of Toronto or London are very different from those of Cornwall, Timmins, Sudbury or Kirkland Lake.
Hon. Mr. Welch: St. Catharines.
Mr. Samis: Oh, St. Catharines is a case in itself, you know that.
It is not only people like David Silcox who wonder about our policies and priorities, or how they seem when they see such things as Pioneer Village raising its rates due to a lack of funding; when they see many of our libraries strapped for funds; when they see theatrical groups and people in the arts community staving off bankruptcy or financial ruin; when they see various cultural programmes in desperate need of assistance; when they see these things. Yet they read in the paper that we have spent only one-third of Wintario’s funds and that the ministry is complaining that it can’t keep up with the demand for money. They hear the difficulties faced by our film-makers, our publishers, our theatrical producers, and our struggling performers.
How long do we have to wait for this ministry to develop a meaningful policy to assist the film-makers in this province? You and your officials met with the producers, you have met with the distributors and the exhibitors. You have got the Bassett report outlining a clear course of action; you have had that for three years. You have had the Klopchic Report for two years. You have had the report from the select committee. You promised last year in the estimates you would come forward with a new policy, and yet what have we got?
I recall very vividly that exchange in the estimates -- I am sure you do -- when you were asked “When are you going to take a stand on matters like that?” And you answered, “We have only been a ministry for five months, but we will take a stand on it.”
Then I followed up and asked you: “But the provincial government and various ministries prior to yourself have not taken a stand on it.” Your answer was, “I can only be accountable for mine.”
And then I asked you, “I realize that, but can the people in the film industry look forward to some new policy in this year?” Your answer was: “Unquestionably, unquestionably.”
No wonder he received the Canadian “Cannes” Award from the Toronto Star. I’m sure the minister remembers, and I quote:
“For managing to sit on your Canadian ‘cans’ for the entire year.”
If you look at the importance of film as an essential ingredient in our mass culture and its tremendous importance in developing a distinctive Canadian identity and the capacity of Canadians to do the job if they’re given a reasonable responsibility, then the minister’s inertia becomes virtually indefensible. Why are we spending money in community colleges and universities teaching people film courses and how to become involved in the film industry? What are we spending money for if there are no jobs and no opportunities and this government isn’t creating the opportunities for them?
It’s ironic that you can take important action in this field without even having to spend any substantial sum of the taxpayers’ money. The minister’s inertia and lack of action renders his declarations of being a so-called “cultural nationalist” as hollow as a $3 bill.
His track record in setting clear policy guidelines in the field of print and publishing would certainly shame any concerned person, much less a cultural nationalist. Two or three years ago, there was real hope that Ontario would take the lead in this country in ensuring that we didn’t become a total cultural satellite of the United States in this field, whether it be periodicals, trade books, public libraries, or pocket books. I think it’s extremely important that our heritage and our culture be duly transmitted and that we ensure that we do not become engulfed in the surrounding sea of American culture.
Why are we so timid in this field? Why do we continue to apply mere Band-Aids and fail to attack the real source of the problem? The minister can do more. He knows he can -- it’s not just a question of dollars and cents or grants that we’re talking about.
In the field of historical conservation, the minister has taken some initiative and apparently it’s worked out reasonably well. The people of Ontario are proud of their past and I’m sure they would support the minister if lie took some decisive steps to protect our Canadian identity in the important fields of film and publishing. Why are we so hesitant? Why are we so afraid of new initiatives? I’m sure the public would support the minister if he were to take some.
Before moving on to Wintario, let me just end this particular session with a suggestion. Now that most provinces -- not all -- seem to have established ministers of culture and recreation, since Ontario is the key province in the English-speaking part of the country, surely it is time for this minister, as the leader of this particular ministry in the most important English-speaking province, to call and host a federal-provincial conference of ministers of culture and recreation, especially with your confreres in the west and east of the Ottawa River, to compare policies, goals, objectives and programmes.
The minister’s counterpart in the Province of Quebec would love to meet him. In fact, he’s envious of all the money he has to spend. Why don’t we co-operate with other provinces and learn? To almost every province, this is a new experience. Why don’t we share the experience so we have some degree of co-operation and harmony in what we’re doing?
There are many other areas of policy administration that I’d like to discuss, Mr. Chairman, such as the arts support programme, the heritage programme, the library services programme, sports and fitness, and so on, but I’ll wait till the specific estimates before we discuss those in detail.
My colleague, the member for Fort William (Mr. Angus), will be speaking later on the role of the ministry in delivery of services to municipalities of the province with particular reference to the very serious deterioration that’s been brought about by the implementation of Wintario.
The ministry has failed in its mandate to develop a coherent public reaction delivery system in this province. The people who are suffering because of this are those who are not the super-organized athletes or the highly influential cultured person, but the everyday working man and woman of this province. They and their families are being deprived of the opportunities to utilize their leisure time in a way that would be more beneficial to them and to their families.
Speaking of Wintario, let me emphasize that I fully recognize the fact that this ministry is much more than Wintario. This particular aspect of the ministry gets, I think, an inordinate amount of publicity. But talking about Wintario, first of all let me again say that we supported its institution. The response from the people of Ontario, I think, vindicates the wisdom of that decision and may I compliment the people in the lottery corporation for the survey that they took. It proves, reasonably conclusively, that the old maxim that lotteries are only a tax on the poor is no longer valid in Canada. It is a myth, and I’m glad to see that we have some facts and figures to prove that. Wintario overall has been good for the province and good for the people -- maybe too good for the minister in that he’s always looking for ways of spending all this money. Sometimes it lets him get carried away in the role of Santa Claus.
Mr. Peterson: He needs all the help he can get.
Mr. Samis: But let me express some of my concerns and some of the problems I think have developed in Wintario. The basic one is the whole question of distributorships. Last year in committee both opposition parties brought up the whole question of distributorships -- who should get them, and why service clubs and public service organizations were excluded from the system from the very beginning.
I recall vividly your defence was, “We use the existing Olympic lottery distribution system. We want to get the show on the road quickly and this was the quickest way possible.” Well, let me suggest in view of the court cases, the dismissals and the controversies, we’ve learned a few lessons from that first year of operation. One is that all distributorships, any vacancies, must be publicized. And we must invite all public groups, or individuals, and give them the opportunity to have one of these distributorships. You should allow senior citizens’ clubs, service clubs, or any public organizations such as the Legion, to become distributors.
I would also point out some of the benefits of this would be that if there are profits accrued to these groups as organizations, most of them are service organizations. They would put the money back into the community in many ways -- to serve the public, not to aid some businessman who is already well off, and just becomes even better off and doesn’t recontribute any of that for public service.
The whole system of distributorships should be put up for public tender after the expiration of the Olympic lottery and its particular distribution system. The size and boundaries of the districts should be re-examined. The practices of some of your distributors should be reviewed -- for example, allegedly forcing salesmen to borrow or mortgage to purchase tickets, and the whole question of how certain distributors were able to become distributors without receiving proper police clearance through the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations.
If there are to be future lotteries let me suggest that this is the ideal time to make the changes, because when the Olympic Lottery expires, that’s the end of that particular term, and I think this would be the time to make the changes.
The institution of Lotto-Canada by the federal government, I think, was contemptible and contemptuous; it was a unilateral decision and what it means is that the rest of Canada will be financing the financial follies and irresponsibilities of Jean Drapeau. To suggest that 82 per cent of the profits must go to the Province of Quebec to finance Drapeau’s fiscal follies is outrageous.
When I read in the Globe and Mail this morning that we’re spending $60 million to build a parking garage, $60 million to heat the Olympic stadium during its construction, $14 million for a pedestrian overpass, $8 million for a fountain, things like this just make it outrageous that anyone else should have to pay for that. If Mr. Drapeau wants to indulge in such glories and extravagances, he should pay for it, not the people of Ontario.
One thing I would point out is that if the ministry was serious about its declaration that it would want to get involved in medical research and occupational health problems, this federal lottery is depriving Ontario of that money. I couldn’t think of a better cause than the two outlined by the minister, and we would support him on that.
Another concern about Wintario is the whole question of delays. The fact that at the end of the fiscal year only $7 million was sent out, out of a total of $39 million, is cause for considerable concern. The fact that as of today only $32 million is committed out of a total of possibly over $70 million indicates a basic problem. There are tremendous delays in processing of applications, so long and so slow that it only has to be classified as unacceptable. If the minister says they want to be sure about whom they’re giving the money to, and to make sure that the grants are well-founded and well-suited, we would ask, how much of your ministry is being used for the Wintario applications and the whole processing process? How adequate is your staff? Is the pressure from Wintario interfering with the work and effectiveness of the ministry’s staff? What’s being done to streamline the whole administration process? What reforms does the minister propose to untangle the whole log-jam?
We realize there have been some changes made, some for the better. But the question is, is that good enough? Especially if we look ahead to even heavier demands upon Wintario in this upcoming year. Possibly there’s a role for the Ontario Arts Council to administer some of these funds. When we speak of moneys, we’re also interested in knowing what exactly is being done with the money that’s in reserve? How long will it take to deplete the net profit from the 1975-1976 fiscal year? Can we have some statement on the exact Ontario share of the Olympic lottery? How is that money being spent -- Ontario’s share of those profits?
Beyond the mere mechanics in the organization of Wintario, let me express a couple of major concerns about the impact and the effects of Wintario. The thing that would bother us most, I would think, is that the whole programme is being distributed without any clear-cut, coherent, cultural policies. It’s nice to give out moneys; it’s nice to ask people for suggestions; but it can create obvious imbalances. It can overlap or clash with the Arts Council’s programmes, as you well know. I believe your deputy minister on March 11 was quoted as saying:
“As a new programme, it’s taking a disproportionate amount of our time and it’s difficult for everyone to see yet that it will be supportive of our ongoing programmes rather than being counterproductive.”
That’s a fair statement and a fair concern. We’d like some answers from the minister.
We wonder where the planning is? What are the goals? Where are we leading to in the whole Wintario programme? The existence of Wintario can create special burdens on local governments in terms of operating costs. It’s nice to grant money for an arena, a cultural centre, a sports facility, but since it is a one-shot grant, obviously the burden of maintenance and operation falls upon the municipality, the local government. How does this tie in with their own spending priorities; their own revenue situation? It can even create imbalances with existing ministry programmes or activities, such as sports and fitness and the whole equipment programme. It can enrich amateur cultural groups at the expense of professional groups in the arts, especially performing groups.
I would suggest to the minister that in view of the overwhelming success of the lottery, the minister should reassess his opposition to the principle of allowing professional theatrical groups and companies to receive Wintario funds. I feel that in view of the absence of any real cultural policy, in view of the needs of the professional groups, and with the tremendous amount of money that he now has available in Wintario, the time has come to change the ground rules of Wintario. Professional groups deserve a share of the funds.
You can do it in a variety of ways. You can allot a fixed percentage of the net of Wintario to professional arts groups and performing groups. You can set aside a fixed sum -- for example $5 million -- and have the Arts Council administer it in the fairest way, which would probably cause you the least hassle and probably would be most satisfactory to people in the arts community. You could allow them equal funding with amateur groups. There’s a variety of means that you could follow.
I would suggest that a paper written for the Canadian Conference on the Arts by Joan Horseman makes a lot of sense, and should be considered by this particular ministry. She said:
“Differences in the nature of professional /amateur arts activities suggests several principles. To adequately promote development both to professional and amateur arts, decision-makers must understand and sympathize with the goals and needs which exist at each level. People working at the professional level aspire to excellence. People who participate as amateurs seek enjoyment and self-satisfaction. Adequate funds must be made available for both levels.
“Few professional arts activities are financially viable. The professional artist still works in a field which offers precarious work opportunities, few economic rewards and little social status or recognition. Government, corporate and private support is needed to sustain even the limited number of jobs which exist in the arts today. Government support is a prerequisite to the very existence of professional activities which can aspire to excellence.
“Without the professional level, there would be few activities capable of stimulating the amateur’s excitement, imagination and desire to explore further into the nature of his own creativity. Without the professional, the amateur can rarely progress beyond a very elementary stage, simply because there are no models of excellence and relatively few people can import their knowledge, skills and enthusiasm. Amateur growth cannot proceed without the stimulus generated by professional development.”
That is something I think the minister would be well advised to consider.
Another thing that concerns us on this side is the whole question of the grants. What are the criteria? How real, how precise, how well-defined are the guidelines for eligibility as to who is getting the money? I think there is a great need to specify the criteria in much greater detail, with much greater precision than presently exists.
Another role the minister might consider is that, in view of the role being placed upon the municipalities by Wintario to support many of the projects being financed from Wintario, he should have much closer liaison with them and possibly give consideration to affording grants to municipalities for continuing and co-ordinating their own cultural recreational programmes with the implied role involved in many Wintario grants.
We also have some concern about the principles of the one-shot idea. We understand the minister’s concern about creating unnecessary dependence. Some of the problems connected with LIP and OFY are remembered by all members of this House, but we wonder about the whole concept -- whether there may not be some other way of doing it beyond a black-and-white, either one-shot or continuing, basis.
Another matter that concerns me, Mr. Chairman, is regional disparity. As an economic development, regional disparities are a constant problem in cultural development especially in the north and in the east. We are glad to see that the ministry did take this into account by using a different formula for capital grants in the north and in the east. But I would ask the minister to consider that it can be extremely difficult to raise money for cultural projects in a community that faces severe economic problems. It may not be so difficult in Kitchener or London, which are very affluent communities for raising money from the private sector, especially when they have corporate entities who have their headquarters located there.
An hon. member: They are all Liberals, too.
Mr. Samis: But it is difficult if you have a community --
Mr. Nixon: They work for their money.
Mr. Samis: -- regardless of their politics, where you depend on one or two industries. If one of those industries, for example, such as my own community, has been on strike for six months, and the other basic industry is in a severe economic recession, then where does the money come from for cultural groups to raise the money? It’s nice to say that they should go to the private sector, but if the private sector has a less than admirable record of participating in the first place --
Mr. Nixon: In Kitchener, all the cultural groups get their money out of Oktoberfest.
Mr. Samis: -- and if the industries are in a state of depression, and if they are short of capital, then obviously you are just reinforcing the regional disparities.
I would ask that the minister give some special consideration to communities such as this. The federal government does make allowances in its UIC programme, calculated on a regional basis for benefits and special conditions allowed.
Mr. Nixon: A lot of help to Cornwall -- $14 million to Cornwall.
Mr. Samis: The question is, why can’t we do something of the same sort for the depressed areas of Ontario? Not Brant-Oxford-Norfolk, but the depressed, the slow-growth areas. If we don’t take into consideration those special problems in the north and in the east, beyond what has already been done, I would suggest that rich southern Ontario will get even richer, and richer culturally, while the north and the east will lag even further behind and the cultural disparities will grow even worse.
Another point we would consider, Mr. Chairman, is that the whole question of the administration of grants be kept neutral. So far the track record in this has been reasonably good. I would point out one particular instance, though, that did cause some concern. That was on Jan. 8 -- the announcement of a Wintario grant, datelined Toronto:
“‘A pair of Wintario grants totalling $271,000 has been made to Brockville community centre, auditorium and public library,’ Management Board Chairman James Auld said today.”
This is the only case of grants being announced where I noticed another cabinet minister made the announcement in his home riding. I would ask the minister for an explanation why that particular announcement was made.
Mr. Davidson: Political, what else?
Mr. Samis: There is one further concern I should point out, and I think the minister has received a letter from my colleague from Windsor-Riverside (Mr. Burr) about a particular incident there, that I think deserves an answer -- especially if we don’t have time to get to this in the estimates. This is a case of a young man who had won a Wintario prize of $1,000. This young man, unfortunately, was disabled; receiving a disabled person’s allowance. I quote:
“To his great surprise and delight he found himself holding a $1,000 winning ticket. Unfortunately, his excitement was short-lived. He was told that his disabled person’s allowance was to be suspended and he would have to live on the $1,000 at the same rate as if he were receiving his DPA.”
He was told that at the end of that time he would be eligible for DPA again. I think if we are going to advertise prizes, I think we should tell certain people who are affected in that particular way what the consequences might be, or else clear that up so they can enjoy the extent of the prizes as most other people do. I think the member for Windsor-Riverside was well spoken in what he did say in this particular letter.
In summary, there is a serious policy vacuum. There seems to be little or no real policy planning on overall goals and objectives. We are supporting and funding cultural and recreational activities without any real direction, sense of purpose or clear objectives. It is not enough merely to respond to public wants and desires. This government must provide leadership and vision to promote the long-term goals.
While Wintario is funded from the grassroots, we must look out and beyond the immediate and the most obvious. The ministry is now 18 months old. It is time they decided where they want to go and what they want to do. They got the ship out of dry-dock. They proved it could float. They have got themselves a crew and now the question is, where are we going?
Mr. Ferrier: Wonderful speech.
Mr. Kerrio: At the outset I would like to suggest that I am not going to follow the lead of the member for Cornwall --
Mr. Ferrier: You couldn’t.
Mr. Kerrio: -- and pay tribute to the hon. minister from Brock --
Mr. Nixon: You know him better.
Mr. Kerrio: -- because I don’t think too many things have been done right in that ministry. But I would congratulate him on his appointment and suggest that his House leadership has been very excellent, along with that of the members of the other parties. The Legislature would seem to be flowing smoothly; we have much more information available to the members and in this way feel we can function to a much better degree.
In my opening remarks, rather than accepting an increase for this ministry I would suggest, of all the ministries that so far have had estimates before this Legislature, if we are going to practise restraints in our economy, this ministry above all others should be able to carry on without any budget increase whatsoever. While those ministries in the community and social services field have very limited funding increases, I should think, if there were priorities by this government, this particular ministry could function without an increase. Instead, this ministry has the unusual problem of what to do with excess Wintario funds. With 17 to 20 per cent for administration costs, we could consider how much more revenue Wintario could generate if it was much more efficient. I will deal with this in detail later on.
There seems to be a great deal of selling done these days on the ministry’s expenditures in the areas of arenas and community projects, and I wonder if we should be selling these projects to the public. I should think we should initiate more real desire at the community level and show real purpose and interest at that level in order to put ministry moneys in these areas. We would recommend as another restraint a greater return to volunteer work in many aspects of this ministry, particularly in sports and fitness. I would like to see a return on a community basis to more involvement by service clubs and people genuinely interested in the young people of this country. You will excuse me, Mr. Chairman, if I go on quite rapidly as it is my intention to be very brief in my opening remarks to give more time to the other members who will participate in this debate from my caucus.
The original purpose of the Ontario Educational Communications Authority seems to be abused. I think this particular area in the ministry has been straying from its educational base in programming. I feel this has been brought about as a result of the station’s broadcasting mainly in the Toronto area and therefore in competition with the private stations for our urban audience. We therefore regret the cabinet decision last fall to postpone indefinitely the expansion of OECA into northern and eastern Ontario since these areas do not have ready access to universities, libraries, theatres and cultural institutions. We are depriving the people who need them most of the education and cultural advantages of OECA. In fact, I feel the implementation of that network was done backwards and should have started in northern and eastern Ontario. I’ll be dealing with OECA on these points later because I think it’s a very important aspect of our culture and recreation ministry.
I’d also like to comment and suggest that it’s a strange priority that this government has when it is going to devote the same number of hours to education as to culture and recreation when one ministry accounts for some 17 per cent of the budget of this province, while the other accounts for one per cent. Health, almost a third of our budget, gets some seven hours for debate. We’ve been sitting in committee for untold hours in some other areas. I suggest to you that shows a complete lack of priorities on the part of this government.
In this particular ministry, I think we’re attempting to be all things to all people. It’s about time the people in the culture and recreation aspects of our society were brought more into focus, into the particular areas that they’re interested in and the particular degree that we would then fund them from the coffers of this province.
I would point out a couple of very obvious errors in the type of administration that we have in this ministry in regard to some specific areas. Because of the fact that with some four hours to go through all the votes in this particular budget, time is of the essence. I would suggest that a great amount of money has been turned over to the Arts Council of Ontario, which in turn would then redistribute grants. In particular, I would name one -- Theatre Ontario in Toronto. With some $88,000 being given to this particular theatre, one of the executive directors has written in the following manner:
“More adequate media coverage of the achievements of Canadian artists and technical personnel should be made available and greater financial rewards. Perhaps Theatre Ontario could urge the Ontario government to have its agencies undertake a government-sponsored PR campaign on behalf of the arts, to teach Canadians the value of non-material goods.”
This just substantiates my feeling, that we’re trying to be all things to all people. As well as funding some of these worthwhile things, we’re going to have to have PR people to make the rest of the province aware of what’s happening in the ministry.
But be that as it may, I would just make a few comments in regards to Wintario. It’s been my private feeling from the very first day I stood in this Legislature that Wintario funds should not, in fact, be used in a frivolous way. Many members of this House stood before Mr. Speaker and suggested that all sides of the House supported this particular feeling. But I would make one comment I would think would be very valid. I would suggest to you, Mr. Minister, that all members on all sides of the House supported Wintario, before we started closing hospitals. I think it’s time to reconsider our priorities and get our house in order.
I would make one comment in passing, and these were remarks by the Treasurer to the Belleville Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, May 13, 1976. These are his remarks and I hope the member for Cornwall is listening.
Mr. Samis: He is.
Mr. Kerrio: He said:
“The official opposition would like to see Wintario funds used outside the Ministry of Culture and Recreation. I would like to go even further and see Wintario receipts included with consolidated revenues. That, however, is the Treasurer’s view, and at present the greater wisdom of my colleagues has determined the existing arrangement.”
I find it difficult to see the Treasurer in that role of humility, but those are the remarks he made.
In passing, I would suggest that the time allotted, as I said before, is crucial. With those remarks, I thank you very much.
Mr. Ferrier: Does the minister support the Treasurer on that or is he against it?
Hon. Mr. Welch: It is my understanding, Mr. Chairman, that the member for Fort William had some general observations. Perhaps he might make them now, too, before I respond.
Mr. Nixon: That’s out of order.
Mr. Samis: No, that is on the first vote.
Mr. Chairman: It has been the practice in committee that the two leadoffs for the opposition who have particular responsibilities for this ministry will make their leadoff remarks, whereupon the minister himself might choose to respond to them. Then we’ll get into the specific votes.
Mr. Peterson: Don’t let him weasel out, Mr. Chairman.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Chairman, I’m sorry, I interpreted it on the basis of what the member for Cornwall said, that the remarks from the member for Fort William were of a general nature. If they are related to a particular vote we’ll deal with them at that time.
Mr. Nixon: We’ll probably hear them anyway.
Hon. Mr. Welch: I want to respond briefly to the comments made both by the member for Cornwall and the member for Niagara Falls as best I can. Perhaps since it’s the most recent contribution I might start with the member for Niagara Falls first.
Most of his remarks were principally directed to the question of Wintario, which is the last item in the estimate book and to which we will be no doubt giving some attention before these estimates are completed. I think it’s fair enough to say there is a basic difference of opinion between the member for Niagara Falls and myself on this whole question of Wintario. Since Wintario was also the subject matter of a comment from the member for Cornwall, I think it would be wise to have on the record what we in the government consider to be some very important principles with respect to the use of these funds which are not tax revenues but voluntary funds made available because of the operation of the game.
By virtue of the Act establishing the lottery corporation itself -- supported by all political parties at that time, notwithstanding what the situation may be now -- section 9 of the Ontario Lottery Corp. Act is very specific with respect to the use to which those proceeds coming from those playing that particular game are to be put -- namely for sports, fitness, recreation and culture.
There are certain approaches to this. It’s of some interest since the member for Niagara Falls has supported a number of applications from his riding from people who have made applications to Wintario, and also because of the fact that the Niagara Falls public library has benefited from Wintario, the Niagara region library system has benefited from Wintario, the Niagara Falls peewee hockey tournament committee has benefited, and a number of other organizations. I would assume the member for Niagara Falls would not consider the activities of those particular groups frivolous. If he does, no doubt he would like to go home and tell those people that they are engaged in very frivolous activities.
Hon. Mr. Welch: There is a great expression about sucking and whistling at the same time and we’ve had a pretty good display of that from the member for Niagara Falls.
Mr. Ruston: You are doing that. There is one I would like to read to you right here.
Hon. Mr. Welch: The point is that the use to which Wintario funds were to be placed was quite clearly understood. The Act of the Legislature is quite clear in that regard.
Mr. Haggerty: He is asking you to change it.
Hon. Mr. Welch: I would like to share with you what I consider to be some very important principles which govern us insofar as the disbursement of these funds is concerned, all as initiatives from the communities where the applications come from. All of these people, I am sure, are very fine people, who are engaged in many activities which contribute a great deal to the lifestyle of these various communities. I would be the last one in this House to say that --
Mr. Nixon: You are getting more like John Yaremko every day. All you need is a flag on your car.
Hon. Mr. Welch: -- anyone who is engaged in these committees or this type of activity is engaged in frivolous activity. They mean a great deal to the community life in these areas. There isn’t a member sitting in this Legislature today who, for reasons best known to himself, has not supported the applications that have come from these particular groups. If you have any conviction at all, you should refuse to sign their applications and tell them you think the money should go for something else. No doubt we’ll see some evidence of that coming from Niagara Falls.
Mr. Cassidy: In a Tory riding, is that right?
Mr. Ferrier: Send it up to our area.
Mr. Nixon: You are asking us for $36 million in addition to the $99 million you have already got.
Hon. Mr. Welch: The principles of Wintario are these: I think they are very important to know and I would welcome a discussion in this House about them because after all, the lottery is only about a year old. The first lottery was held on May 15 last year. The success of the game speaks for itself. The revenues are here for the purposes set out in the statute.
We have tried to the best of our ability -- and I might say under a considerable handicap with respect to staff because we’ve been very cautious not to increase the number of people who are engaged in this activity. As the member for Cornwall so correctly states, it has placed a great strain on the ministry because of the additional work which the processing of these applications has brought about. I would hope as we talk about processing these applications and the time that it takes, that there might be some sympathetic approach to improving that situation by providing some assistance to already overburdened people.
I repeat that we’re not talking about tax revenues here -- that this item is in these estimates at the insistence of this minister only to provide an opportunity for discussion. As I say now for the third time, not five cents of this money is tax revenue. It is voluntary funds made available by those who choose to engage in this particular activity every other Thursday.
Mr. Nixon: And under the control of this Legislature, you would say.
Mr. Chairman: Order, please. The hon. minister has the floor.
Mr. Nixon: He is being provocative.
Hon. Mr. Welch: The principles of Wintario as we attempt to interpret them are very briefly these: First of all, Wintario funds are limited to the support of physical fitness, sports, recreational and cultural activities and facilities in Ontario.
Second is what we call the share principle -- that Wintario projects are intended to respond to community-supported initiatives -- and that’s important -- as evidenced by locally raised, private contributions of money, effort and other resources. The member for Cornwall quite rightly points out that although he doesn’t question the share principle, there comes some question as to the amount of that particular share --
Mr. Nixon: What is this?
Mr. Ruston: Buddy-buddy week.
Hon. Mr. Welch: -- and I would like to talk about that when we get to that particular point.
Another principle which is very important is the non-substitution of taxes. Wintario funds, as you know, are intended to enhance our capacity to promote and to encourage cultural and recreational objectives and they’re not intended to replace and they’re not intended to relieve the responsibility of ongoing government programmes in this field. They are not a substitution for tax support. The non-dependency principle is another very important one and I’m sure the member for Niagara Falls will know something about this, on the basis of the concern that many people expressed in former programmes at the federal level known as LIP and OFY. It is important that we would respond to this.
Mr. Nixon: You are against those? If the minister is against those programmes, let him stand up and say so because there are a lot of sincere people working in those programmes -- all good people back in St. Catharines --
Hon. Mr. Welch: The projects funded by Wintario must demonstrate the existence of support for any ongoing cost from sources other than Wintario.
Then there is the non-profit principle. Wintario grants are intended for projects that have brought public good and are thereby excluded from situations which might loosely be characterized as private gain.
Finally there is the principle of accessibility -- that the benefits of Wintario supported projects are intended to be available to the general public.
We’ve tried quite honestly in the ministry, as we are charged with this responsibility by the legislation, to examine and to process applications against the background of those principles. I might say to the member for Niagara Falls, I don’t ignore the difficulty that there must be in some places as far as public perception is concerned. This is a time when legitimate restraints are being imposed on programmes. The rate of acceleration that there would appear to be in this particular source of revenue makes it seem to be an unlimited resource -- limited only by the amount of money which is provided by those who play the game.
But I would remind the hon. member, and I say this without apology, to take a look at this ministry. Take a look at the very small percentage of the budget of this government which is allocated to the field of culture and recreation. Take a look at what happened to $40 million or $50 million which goes into the consolidated revenue fund to go out according to some other criteria with respect to overall government spending as related to tax sources.
Many people have come to me, as I am sure they have come to the hon. member, and raised some questions about health and other related fields. I am sure the entire net proceeds of Wintario would, in fact, go for 2½ days to operate the Ministry of Health. Here we have some visible way of doing something --
Mr. Nixon: No, but it would more than be sufficient to operate the hospitals that you are intending to close. It would help them for 10 years.
Mr. Leluk: No way.
Hon. Mr. Welch: -- of doing something in a very constructive way to support the type of projects that the member from Brant and the member for Niagara Falls had been so enthusiastic to attach their signatures to as the application forms come in.
I leave it ultimately to the assessments of the communities of this province which have, in fact, been very enthusiastic in making their submissions with respect to the general guidelines which govern us insofar as the disbursement of these funds is concerned.
I want to talk very briefly as well to the member for Niagara Falls who talks in terms of the general direction as to future direction of this. If, in fact, there are some aspects of these principles which he feels should be changed, I would be very glad when we get to that particular part of the vote to have an exchange with him with respect to these ideas. There is no question in my mind. I think we have 200 or 250 applications a week. There is little wonder that we are falling a bit behind with respect to the processing of these in order to satisfy ourselves that there is some consistency with the principles that are there.
In making some reference to the comments very briefly made by the member for Cornwall. I would want to point out that I have appreciated his comments with respect to the recommendations in the Henderson report. I would think that, as I listened to the member for Niagara Falls, he no doubt agrees with the Henderson report that we should simply turn over the entire proceeds of Wintario to finance the ministry and we would not have any particular extra resources to do some of those special things which obviously mean so much to so many other communities in this particular province.
Both the member for Cornwall and the member for Niagara Falls do underline their concern with respect to the postponement of the expansion of the facilities of the Ontario Education Communications Authority. It was a very regrettable decision. It was a decision that had to be taken in the light of the overall government restraint programme. It was a postponement or a deferment, not a cancellation.
Indeed, because of some very successful negotiations that have been carried on over the past several months, we have been able to recover a great deal of the moneys which otherwise would not have produced any positive results in having the microwave system itself extended -- notwithstanding the point, and I don’t hide the point or the concern expressed by the member for Cornwall, that ultimately it will be available in the interim only as a cable service. But I would remind him, as I would remind myself in analysing the situation, that certainly faced with the decision of this government to defer or postpone that extension, we were able to salvage those dollars in order to put the system in place although not, of course, ultimately ending up at the moment with a full broadcast system.
Mr. Martel: Those who need it most won’t have it.
Mr. Chairman: Order, please.
Hon. Mr. Welch: I want to point out, however -- and I don’t deny the limitations which cable imposes; no one is attempting to deny that -- I am only pointing out that as a result of these negotiations --
Mr. Hall: Will the chairman please simmer down?
Hon. Mr. Welch: -- the microwave system will be in place and there will be some opportunities.
The question of accessibility isn’t restricted only to the extension. Of course, as far as the school systems are concerned, no matter where they are, the availability of our programming is there and not dependent on the broadcast system. The school system itself can use it. So it’s not as if the schools in these areas don’t have access to our programmes, and certainly, of course, the private broadcasting stations have access to these programmes to the extent that programming time is available.
Mr. Martel: The most deprived will continue to be deprived.
Hon. Mr. Welch: This isn’t the whole area. In fact, wasn’t it the member for Niagara Falls who said that if everything had been equal with respect to the availability of the hardware, if that’s the proper use at the time, perhaps the whole authority should have been started in the north and then expanded southward?
I remind you, however, that by the very nature of the Act which established the authority, it had to be by a separate commission. A separate commission that would make these decisions was a condition of getting the licensing from the federal authority. So the authority itself, in taking all the facts into consideration -- the availability in this part of the province; the access, as the chairman of that board explained to the member for Timmins and others of the delegation; the availability -- couldn’t ultimately decide in favour of establishing itself elsewhere. Indeed, to put it more positively, it found it necessary to start it here because of the availability of the hardware and the advantages that there were to getting started in this particular part of the province.
I think he was very frank in that exchange at that meeting to admit that, perhaps, if the availability or access to this type of equipment was equal in all parts of the province, there may well have been a decision to have started the whole operation elsewhere in the province.
Mr. Mattel: They don’t have the authority here now.
Mr. Davidson: Point of order, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Chairman: Point of order, the hon. member for Cambridge.
Mr. Davidson: If I may, Mr. Chairman, could I ask the minister to respond to the two prime speakers and not respond to those who are sitting in their seats?
Mr. Chairman: That’s not a point of order. The hon. minister can resume his comments.
Mr. Good: It certainly is a point of order.
Mr. Davidson: If I may, Mr. Chairman, I believe it is a point of order.
Mr. Chairman: You may challenge the ruling of the Chair if you wish, but the minister may respond in any way he chooses.
Mr. Davidson: I certainly don’t feel that I should have to challenge the Chair, and I will sit down if he so directs me to. I will point out, however, that the minister is responding to people who have been sitting in their seats and have not yet been recognized. I would ask him to respond to those who have spoken on behalf of their parties, and are recognized as having spoken on behalf of their patties.
Mr. Chairman: It may be a lot easier for the minister to respond if he has fewer interjections. The hon. minister might continue.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Chairman, I thought I was, in fact, responding to the comments made by the hon. member for Cornwall and the hon. member for Niagara Falls. The member for Cornwall did raise the question, his fourth point, with respect to OECA, and I was talking to that, and I was sort of taking into account the concern of other members from the north who have, in fact, shared with me their concern with respect to that subject.
The member for Cornwall also raises, and I think very legitimately, some question as to overall policy goals and objectives of the ministry. He will notice vote 2801, item 3, the policy division. I must point out that during the last 18 months in this ministry, the question of overall direction and policy goals has been of considerable interest to me. The Legislature, in establishing this ministry, in section 6 of our Act, sets out the functions of the ministry in a fairly clear way when it states that:
“It is the function of the ministry to advance and encourage responsible citizenship through the process of cultural and recreational development, including (a) preserving and maintaining the cultural heritage of residents of Ontario with full recognition of their diverse traditions and backgrounds; and (b) promoting access to the benefits of citizenship and active involvement in the cultural and recreational life of the province; and (c) stimulating the development of new forms of cultural expression and promoting the concept of individual and community excellence.”
In addition to the functions of the ministry mentioned, which I’ve just established, I’m to perform such functions and duties in addition to those as are assigned by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.
I think it is important to know that this government didn’t discover culture and recreation just 18 months ago, that in other ministries many of the component parts of this new ministry were at work -- discharging their responsibilities there, developing an approach to those particular responsibilities in a fairly clear way.
I have shared with the cultural and sports and recreational community some of the philosophical background of government involvement in this area, underlying the fact that in our system of government and in this type of jurisdiction you really don’t look to government to be treating these things from that directed point of view, but rather you see the role of government as being more supportive. Indeed you are relying to a large extent on initiatives from the community and from individuals in this area, and recognizing the very delicate position that governments must play.
It was this party in government some years ago that saw the wisdom of developing an approach to the arts community, by itself establishing the Arts Council, to be at arm’s length from government, to leave a lot of the so-called judgement calls and the value assessment to that council by simply transferring funds -- which you will be asked to do in these estimates -- to the Arts Council and leaving to it that type of judgement, to remove the political arm to that extent.
I think it was just in the last couple of weeks we received what has been referred to as “Sport plan”. It is a very major initiative, insofar as sports are concerned, to review policy, to impart some input from the public that we serve. Indeed, we are going to address ourselves to the implications of “Sport plan,” and what the role of government should be there.
I think you could see something of our philosophy and our principles in our dealings with the sports-governing bodies, leaving to the sports-governing bodies the administrative and regulatory responsibility; ours being more of financial support rather than direction.
Not long after I became minister we asked Paul Shaffer, formerly of York University, to engage in a study with respect to the whole area of cultural policy. Within the last few days, I received that report, and we are now going to work on that as well.
We have opportunities, as the hon. members know, to come into contact with a number of agencies and individuals with whom we work on a day-to-day basis -- the Canadian Conference for the Arts and others -- with whom we have shared some of our thinking, and have invited their involvement as well. I am interested in the comments that have been made with respect to what the role of government in the arts and in the sports area should ultimately be, and other directions in which we might go.
The hon. member for Cornwall raises again quite properly this question of the film policy. I would like to think that I, too, am a cultural nationalist; I don’t apologize for that either.
Mr. Samis: You didn’t last year.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Well, I like to think I am a responsible cultural nationalist. I would point out I have been at a number of meetings with respect to those engaged in the film. I must say that there doesn’t appear to be any great consensus among those who are involved in this industry.
Just recently, we had meetings with federal officials in preparation for a meeting I am looking forward to having with the Secretary of State -- because I like to think that ultimately we would have an overall national policy in this regard, and that we would play our part within the framework of our responsibilities.
Mr. Samis: They changed gears three times in the last few years.
Mr. Nixon: Lots of federal money going into films.
Hon. Mr. Welch: I am encouraged. I think the Secretary of State has a very legitimate interest in this field as well. He quite properly points out that there are some jurisdictional matters here too, which we recognized a year ago in this House by amending the Theatres Act with respect to the matter of quota, if in fact that is to be the solution.
Mr. Cassidy: You didn’t do anything with it, though.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Well, no, I said the Act was amended to provide that vehicle if in fact ultimately we decide that is the vehicle.
Mr. Cassidy: But you haven’t moved.
Hon. Mr. Welch: As you know, under the leadership of the Secretary of State, two of the big chains voluntarily impose on themselves some quota.
Mr. Samis: You know he is backtracking on that one.
Hon. Mr. Welch: However, I am hopeful that eventually I will be able to work out some policy in this regard that will be acceptable, and I look forward to the meetings and the talks I will have with the Secretary of State to see what we might do as a province in playing our role in the development of an overall policy.
I apologize; I’ve taken a great deal of time. There are other matters that were raised. It may be more appropriate that we direct ourselves to these when the various votes come up.
I am concerned, because the hon. member for Cornwall has heard the principles of Wintario, that there still seems to be this misunderstanding with respect to the relationship of professionals in making application to Wintario. There is no such distinction, as you can see, There was no division between professionals or amateurs; these are the principles. We work very closely with the arts council and we work very closely with all of the agencies for which we have some responsibility of accountability. Indeed, we recognize Wintario as a very powerful resource that should be decentralized, not centralized, and should be seen as an opportunity for our various divisions and our various agencies to more adequately fulfil their mandate and to do so consistent with the principles here.
Perhaps with those general remarks, Mr. Chairman, we might turn now to the specific votes, and I’ll be very happy to answer any questions.
On vote 2801:
Mr. Chairman: Vote 2802, main office.
Mr. Samis: Mr. Chairman, first of all, could I just mention that I’ve talked to my colleague from Niagara Falls (Mr. Kerrio), and we are very concerned because we have a very short period of time. We have seven votes that we would like to get through reasonably rapidly, but we don’t want to omit the seventh vote, which obviously will consume a fair amount of time. To that end, I mentioned to the minister before the beginning of this session that on each vote I would ask that he provide statistics on each office at to the number of salaried staff and number of people on contract. Rather than repeat that question four or five times, I would ask that he provide that information.
I would like to ask some questions on the fifth item, but I have one question initially on the first item and then I’ll sit down if my colleague from Niagara Falls wants to ask any questions. Can the minister confirm that in the main office -- and I don’t want to open up the can of worms of Wintario; I’ll just ask one question and leave it at that, because it’s an administrative question -- it is the administrative policy that when grants are issued and approval is given, that he signs the letters notifying the applicant of such, but when a refusal is announced he has his deputy notify the applicant of such? Is that the policy, and why is it done that way?
Hon. Mr. Welch: Yes, it is the policy, and the reason that these refusals are sent out that way, signed by the deputy, is that it provides the applicant who hasn’t been successful with the opportunity then to appeal to the minister. It does provide this further opportunity for further review if someone feels that the reasons given for the refusal are not satisfactory.
May I point out that I was very anxious, when we developed the procedures insofar as Wintario was concerned, knowing that there would be a number of appeals on the part of those who weren’t successful, that it was very important to share with the unsuccessful applicant the reason why his application was being turned down. In fact, that’s one of the reasons that we ran into some of the delays. But, quite briefly, the answers to your questions are as I have given them.
Mr. Samis: Mr. Chairman, could I ask if the minister would provide the information I requested for each of those items before we move on to the member for Niagara Falls? I’ll wait for the fifth item myself.
Hon. Mr. Welch: As far as vote 2801 is concerned, the regular complement is 136 and the contract complement is 23.
Mr. Kerrio: Mr. Chairman, I would like to know at the outset if the ministry has received any funds over the past year by way of Management Board orders or otherwise that are not recorded in the estimate books.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Do you mean for the last fiscal year?
Mr. Kerrio: Yes, or in the present fiscal year.
Mr. Chairman: Actually, in these votes we’re talking about the expenditures for 1976-1977, rather than a previous year.
Hon. Mr. Welch: The answer for the current year is no.
Mr. Chairman: Thank you. Is there anything on items 1, 2, 3 or 4 of vote 2801?
If not, the hon. member for Cornwall on item 5.
Mr. Samis: Just before that, Mr. Chairman, I’d like the information for vote 2802, salaries and wages; votes 3 and 4 --
Hon. Mr. Welch: Would you like me to go through the whole thing now?
Mr. Samis: Yes, that’s why I asked. Could you go through the whole thing rather than do it individually?
Hon. Mr. Welch: I’m sorry.
Mr. Samis: It will speed it up.
Hon. Mr. Welch: If I might give you then: Vote 2801 is 136 and 23, as I’ve just given you; vote 2802 is 93 and 56; vote 2803 totals are 209 and 60; vote 2804 is 76 and 47; vote 2805 is 18 and six; vote 2806 is 62 and four; and 2807 is zero complement but 12 contracts. That totals, if everything works well, 591 complement and 206 contracts.
Mr. Samis: Did you say 206?
Hon. Mr. Welch: Yes, 206.
Mr. Samis: Thank you. Could I ask, it might be related to item 2 before we get on to 5, if the minister could answer my query about a statement on Olympic revenue?
Hon. Mr. Welch: The deposits, in response to the hon. member for Cornwall, the Olympic lottery account deposit to March 31, 1976, totals $7,470,384.
Mr. Samis: Four hundred and seventy thousand?
Hon. Mr. Welch: Seven, four, seven, zero, three, eight, four.
Mr. Samis: Thank you.
Could I get back to item 5 now, Mr. Chairman? I did bring up the matter in my opening remarks and I think it comes under this item. It is the question of field services. It seems as if there is some concern within the ministry, as the minister, I’m sure, is very well aware, as to how the regional operations of your field offices are actually being used. I wish you could clarify to what extent your ministry staff is being used to process Wintario applications and assess them, versus carrying on their regular duties. Can you give any percentage breakdown and could you comment on the statement by your deputy on March 11 of this year, admitting there is a serious problem and saying, “It is taking a disproportionate amount of our time”? Could you give us some breakdown, please?
Hon. Mr. Welch: I think the way to approach this is related to how we were first viewing the responsibility we had with respect to Wintario. Indeed, when we started our operation with a more centralized approach and then sending out the applications, I would think it would be quite understandable that a number of our people, not just the field staff but the whole ministry, saw this as some new and extra responsibility.
What we’ve been attempting to do for the last several months was, rather than seeing it in this light, seeing it more as a part of the ministry from a decentralized point of view -- seeing what, in fact, we could do, as I mentioned in my opening remarks following your presentation, with these extra resources in helping to fulfill the mandate which was ours.
I’d be the first to say that this has put a great deal of pressure on all of our staff, who had plenty to do in their particular areas of responsibility. In order to make this work and to verify applications, to make sure they were consistent with a number of things that were going on in those particular communities, we have wanted to involve our staff more closely in this work, particularly the field people. It would be hard for me to use percentage terms but, certainly, there may be those who could.
It is certainly my understanding that we could use far more field people to do this work. There is no question about it. I’m satisfied, in talking to our regional managers, in talking to our field staff that perhaps things are becoming that much more understandable as they are getting some appreciation of Wintario in this more decentralized approach. But I would venture to say that we could certainly almost double our field staff and find plenty for them to do.
What we did, of course, too, when the new ministry was established, we turned most of our field people into generals where in some other responsibilities they had a more specialistic responsibility. And we’ve got our field staff now, I would venture to say, spending a quarter to half of their time on the average doing something with respect to responding to all of these Wintario applications. Of course, that would vary from region to region. We are trying to plug in some of the extra staff from the Wintario office to be of some assistance here.
Mr. Samis: I take it then the average range is somewhere from a quarter to a half at the present. Could you give us any indication -- this will be my final question, Mr. Chairman -- if there has been any evolution of those portions in the past few months that remained relatively the same as -- There have been a few changes administratively, obviously, in your office and in the ministry since the deputy minister took over. Has there been any evolution of those proportions in the allotment of work assigned these people vis-à-vis Wintario and regular duties?
Hon. Mr. Welch: Of course, it would vary from region to region, depending on the ingenuity of people in different parts of the province to generate applications. But I think that the point that I really want to make, and I hope that you’d understand it this way, is that I think eventually it will be very difficult for people really to draw lines so far as the work conditions are concerned. I think because of Wintario our field people are getting to meet an increasingly large number of people who are at work in the communities in these particular areas. And it is taking a great deal of their time, as they are giving some consideration to these particular applications, and I suppose sheer volume itself is on the increase.
There is no question that we are getting more and more applications for Wintario, which must quite obviously be putting that much more pressure on our field staff.
Mr. Kerrio: I have one question, Mr. Minister. I am quite concerned about some $4.5 million throughout all these estimates in regards to services. I would ask, in this particular area, just some description of services in the main office under the $69,200 figure.
Hon. Mr. Welch: There are two items marked services in vote 2801. There are the communication services -- this, of course, is the whole area of public relations and communications. The field services, of course, are those to which I was just making some comment that is, the field operation. The financial and administrative services are the general processing of accounts.
Mr. Kerrio: Yes, that’s the area I’m interested in. Thank you.
Mr. Chairman: Shall vote 2801 carry?
Mrs. Campbell: Mr. Chairman, no.
Mr. Chairman: The hon. member for Fort William.
Mr. Angus: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. As a person who has worked in the field of recreation for many years, I am very pleased to participate in these estimates. I never thought I would see the day that I would be at this end of the stick.
I would like to refer my remarks to the field services, which, to my way of thinking, are the cornerstone for developing innovative forms of leisure opportunities throughout this province; particularly these field services that spend more time with the smaller, less affluent communities within their service areas -- those without any staff at all, or with only one or two full-time people employed in recreation. Sometimes the field staff are called upon to be a listener, someone to check out an idea -- just another professional to talk to. At other times the consultant is the catalyst, the initiator, the organizer, or the hub, whatever role the situation dictates.
The consultant should not be a bagman. I think, with all due respect, that is what is happening in this province right now.
Two weeks ago, at the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association conference in Fort Frances, a consultant from the Thunder Bay office was introduced as a consultant for Wintario -- and it wasn’t in jest; they were very serious, because that was the role they saw that person play. And that’s the role they have seen that person and the other consultants in that area and most other areas of this province play.
Hon. Mr. Welch: How long ago was that?
Mr. Angus: Two weeks ago. That wasn’t something that the ministry gave them as a way of introducing him but what the municipal leaders saw that person as. That’s how the individuals in the communities are seeing the consultants. It is not what the original intention was. As I said earlier, the intention was for them to be developing new forms of leisure and working with communities to help them develop the forms of leisure that the people need.
My colleague from Cornwall has said that it has been 25 to 50 per cent in his estimation. I have heard 40 to 60 per cent, not just from people within the ministry but from lay people, and professionals within recreation fields in the province. That means 40 to 60 per cent of the time they can’t spend doing their original job as a consultant. They are attempting to cope with the bureaucracy and the workload of Wintario as well.
The demands that are placed on them by the communities they serve are becoming greater and greater as the knowledge of Wintario and the knowledge and feeling for leisure increase so that they are going to start working longer hours. As we all know in this House, the longer you work, the less effective you become.
If you are on the road for five days of the week as some of my former colleagues in northwestern Ontario are, and if you are only home on the weekends, and even then you are doing reports and follow-up and what have you, the tension builds and the quality of work is not as great as it could be. I think that it’s mainly due to the Wintario situation that this strain is being placed on the consultants.
I realize in some cases there are clerical people now being employed to handle much of the paper work. I compliment you on that. I think that’s an excellent step. A consultant who is paid $14,000 to $18,000 who has X number of years education, whether it be in recreation or adult education or citizenship or what have you, is not the person that we should be having filling out forms.
As you have mentioned, you have a number of contract staff within your ministry. They too, I believe, are under the gun in terms of the workload and they are second-class citizens in your ministry and I think in other ministries as well. From what I understand, when there are postings for permanent positions, if we can call them that these days -- and with all due respect I think there are more and more postings every day from the indications that I have been given the contract staff is not eligible to compete for those postings when it’s first done internally.
They are second-class civil servants, so to speak. They have to wait until such time as it is advertised in the local paper, even though they have seen the posting. They know about it and they are interested but they can’t apply.
When you bring staff in as a contract person, he or she has obviously got qualifications that you are interested in, and you think that that person can do a job. Following through on that, they should be having the same opportunities to apply internally. I would rather see internal staff who know the workings of the ministry get the positions than somebody coming from outside. Obviously there has to be a question of qualifications.
I am concerned about one situation, and I don’t know how accurate my information is. I am led to believe that in terms of field staff consultants, there are no women in the field at this time. There have been in the past. I think there are a number in the main office. You have one. You still have one token woman. I would like to know what method the ministry is using to attract women to the field services of this ministry and what your successes have been.
A second concern I have is that the administration of the field services is separated from the various functioning arms, whether it he sports and fitness or cultural or what have you, and yet the first person that most groups come in contact with out there in the real world is the field consultant, the generalist as they are being called now. I am not sure how to see it done but I would rather see some sort of rearrangement so that there is an official direct link, because I know that the unofficial link still exists as a carryover from some of the old ministers.
My final item -- one that I’m pleased about, if it is correct. In the past there was so much frustration from communities and consultants that they didn’t have the authority to approve $100 in expenditure or a grant to a municipality. They had to send their forms in in triplicate to the ministry and hope that within six weeks they would get an answer. I understand now that that has changed, that upon negotiation with the ministry the regional offices can receive a certain allotment to deal with their particular area in a way they see fit. I compliment you on that and I will be quiet for a few minutes until we get to a later vote where I’d like to go into some other details.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the comments of the hon. member and I know something about his background in this field, so therefore I do want to follow up on one or two areas.
I think there’s no question we have a little more time to go to get this concept of the new ministry translated at the field level. As the hon. member so correctly points out, the field staff were related to the sports and recreation division to a large extent, which was part of a larger ministry. Each part of that ministry had its field staff for different purposes. So there was that type of specialization, if I could put it that way.
When we established the new ministry, faced with the obvious fact that our field staff wasn’t going to grow, because of the limitations on growth, we wanted them to represent the entire ministry in the various communities that they were serving. We wanted them to be the field staff of the Ministry of Culture and Recreation and therefore to change from a specialistic approach and become generalists -- they could speak to library boards about the libraries and they could speak to the ethno-cultural clubs in their area about citizenship and multicultural support. I’m sure they were introduced to all kinds of other responsibilities which were not part of their former responsibility.
Then we wanted to find a focus for them in the ministry, not relating necessarily to a particular director of a division but to respond to the whole ministry. So we developed within the management area the director of field services, accountable as he is to the deputy minister, so that, given this organizational chart, he would have this idea of total ministry responsibilities. I appreciate the fact you may think that may be a problem still. I have some evidence from talking to our regional managers and our regional staff that they are becoming more comfortable with that -- I suppose in varying degrees.
We sure need more field staff. I don’t argue that point at all. We could use many more man-hours in the field, and that’s where it’s at. To be consistent with our whole approach to the philosophy of this ministry, that’s where I would like to see the development, in the relationship of this ministry to recreation commissions and boards and school boards and municipal councils and art councils and multicultural councils -- all kinds of groups.
I don’t know where they find all the time either. I think we are well served. We have some pretty dedicated people who are working long hours in order to do this. We have obvious limitations with respect to what we can do about it. But as the minister I recognize the limitations that are placed on them.
Mrs. Campbell: Mr. Chairman, I have just a few questions in this particular vote. Under communication services which is new this year I note a certain sum of money. Is any money allocated to the Foster Advertising agency under this vote? That is my first question.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Chairman, this is not a new item. We’ve always had an item for communication services and to answer this specific question, no.
Mrs. Campbell: Was it then under that vote previously when the Foster Advertising agency prepared the brochure on the guidelines for multiculturalism, according to the members of your staff? Where would that have been found in the vote at that time since there is no indication of the 1974-1975 actual here?
Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Chairman, multi-cultural support and citizenship is vote 2804. I’m at a loss -- I want to be helpful -- I don’t know of any brochure prepared by Foster Advertising for this ministry since I’ve been the minister. It may well be that we could have inherited it.
Mrs. Campbell: Perhaps the minister would investigate it. I accept the fact that if it were prepared, as I am informed it was, that it would be under the multicultural programme vote. Thank you very much.
Could the minister tell me whether management consultants are involved in this. If so, how many and over what period of time?
Hon. Mr. Welch: I don’t think there is any provision for that in these particular estimates. I know of no contracts that we presently have with management consultants in this particular vote. I did, of course, make some reference when I was responding to the general comments of the member for Cornwall, that last year we had retained the services of Paul Shaffer, formerly of York University, to do a paper for us, but that was last year.
Mrs. Campbell: That isn’t management consulting.
Hon. Mr. Welch: But we have the report just now.
Mrs. Campbell: Then I take it the minister is saying that there is no provision or that there are no management consultants in this ministry at this time and have not been. If that is the case, that’s all I wanted to know on that particular point.
Mr. B. Newman: Mr. Chairman, I want to ask the minister about his policy concerning the televising and radio broadcasting of sports events. As a policy, Mr. Minister, do you promote or encourage that at all as part of the culture of the province?
Hon. Mr. Welch: Certainly in this particular vote we have no programme along that particular line.
Mr. B. Newman: But as a policy, you do encourage the viewing of Canadian sports activities; you think it is part of the Canadian culture, do you not, Mr. Minister?
Hon. Mr. Welch: There is no question that in order to understand what is meant by culture in its broadest definition, you’d have to include the whole field of athletics and the types of activities in which our people are engaged.
Mr. B. Newman: I bring that to your attention, Mr. Minister, because I am sure your officials realize that we in the southwestern part of the province, in the Windsor area, are deprived of viewing Canadian hockey games simply because there happen to be hockey games played in the city of Detroit at the same time. I’m just wondering why your officials wouldn’t make a presentation to the CRTC on behalf of the residents of Windsor so that we wouldn’t be deprived of a bit of Canadian culture when, say, Toronto is playing Montreal in either Toronto or Montreal, and we in Windsor, because the Red Wings are playing, are deprived of that.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Of course, you can appreciate then that the people in your area are being saved from all that violence anyway.
Mrs. Campbell: They never heard of Roy McMurtry down there.
Mr. B. Newman: You may be right about that aspect of it, Mr. Minister, but don’t you think that your ministry should be concerned that one section of the province is being deprived of the viewing of that type of culture -- and not all hockey games are necessarily violent. For example, when the Russians were playing we couldn’t see the games being televised in the rest of Ontario simply because there happened to be another hockey game in the city of Detroit. I think that you, Mr. Minister, should fight for the dissemination of that type of an athletic event to all parts of the province so that one part is not deprived of at least that type of culture.
Mr. Samis: Who runs the CBC?
Mr. B. Newman: The minister should have made a presentation to the CBC.
Mr. B. Newman: I did have our federal member make a presentation, but I thought the province would be interested enough to make one.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Chairman, I’m wondering if members of the House would allow me, just before we proceed to vote 2802, to make a very important announcement. I have been told that the following tickets have been drawn tonight in Wintario.
Mr. Cassidy: That’s what we are waiting for.
Hon. Mr. Welch: If anybody here has one of these tickets, the office will be open until midnight to claim. The first prize was series No. 3; it is ticket 10546. The second big prize is series 16, ticket 11932. The third prize is series 37, ticket 71069. The fourth prize is series 3, ticket 29031. The fifth prize is series 55, ticket 79436. All of these ticket holders win $100,000. In all, there are 32,400 potential winners of $2,511,000.
Mr. Chairman: Inasmuch as the chairman does not hold one of the winning tickets, he rules it out of order.
Shall vote 2801 carry?
Vote 2801 agreed to.
On vote 2802:
Mr. Chairman: The heritage conservation programme.
Mr. Samis: Under the second item, unless there are any questions on the first one, I would like to ask a series of questions. Maybe to expedite it, we will do it in threes or something. Otherwise we may never get through this.
Could I ask first of all about the position of the present chairman, Mr. Bert Lawrence? In view of his stated interest in vacating for the federal field, could I ask for an explanation why there has been a $500,000 reduction in the grants to the Heritage Foundation? And as the first part of the third, could you tell us what role the heritage administration has played in the Sandiford Place dilemma in the city of Hamilton?
Hon. Mr. Welch: Sandiford Place dilemma?
Mr. Samis: North of Niagara.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Chairman, if I could quickly respond to those three questions. It’s clearly understood by the chairman of the Ontario Heritage Foundation that should he receive that very important nomination, he would resign as chairman of the foundation.
Secondly, the reduction is explained simply on a cash-flow basis. There are transfer payments to the foundation. They had a balance at the end of the fiscal year and therefore we were able to effect some saving and only transfer this amount. This still left them with adequate funds to carry out their particular responsibilities.
As far as the Sandiford Place situation is concerned, if you just wait one minute, I’ll get some further information on that.
Apparently, that particular establishment has been designated by the city of Hamilton and the property has now been acquired by the city of Hamilton. They have now made application for funds for its restoration. I would assume in due course the Heritage Foundation would deal with that matter.
Mr. Samis: The second series of questions would deal with other matters, more on policy. Can you explain why your ministry is so reluctant to designate provincial buildings or Crown buildings coming within the jurisdiction of the heritage legislation? Can you give us some indication of your policy regarding the Henderson report recommendation on Fort William and the reception centres? Can you tell us why the Royal Ontario Museum is included under heritage administration and last year it was under cultural institutions?
Hon. Mr. Welch: I think it was a very deliberate decision of the government, when the then Minister of Colleges and Universities brought in the heritage bill, to leave the question of designation at the municipal level. The establishment of the advisory councils was a new development with respect to this type of legislation and we felt that it would be better at this stage. That would still be our opinion, to leave this question at the local level where that type of assessment and judgement could be made.
Mr. Samis: I am sorry, but that wasn’t what I was asking. I was asking about provincial buildings and their exemptions.
Hon. Mr. Welch: But the point is that we, in fact, do not provide for provincial designation. The municipality, therefore, in discharging its responsibility would only deal with property within the municipality, either owned by it or by private property, and not property owned by Her Majesty in the right of the province or the federal government.
The Fort William situation; I think we have completed it at the stage where we are, and we don’t plan any further developments there at the present time.
The third question was --
Mr. Samis: The ROM; why is it under heritage this year?
Hon. Mr. Welch: We had our institutions, for which we were responsible, sort of all in one spot last time. And we felt that, perhaps, it would be better to decentralize and to place them within those areas more related to their activities. You will see that the Art Gallery of Ontario and the McMichael Canadian Collection and such institutions, are in the art support area. The Royal Ontario Museum, quite properly, is in the area of heritage conservation to sort of ensure that the developments there would be sort of consistent with our developments in that particular area of responsibility.
Mr. Samis: These are the final series of questions.
Can you tell us where the conservation review board comes up in these estimates, and why it is not listed? Can you tell us if you are giving any consideration to amending the Ontario Heritage Act, in the question of municipal designation? Have you given any thought to the regulation -- not a major point -- obliging the municipalities to advertise on three consecutive weeks in newspapers? I understand there is some scattered feeling that this places somewhat of a burden on smaller municipalities in spending. Can you clarify the eligibility of the heritage projects for Wintario, and have you given any consideration -- since Canada Week is becoming somewhat institutionalized, still in its early years -- to somehow incorporating some form of assistance or liaison between these committees and the heritage administration, since it seems like this particular form of heritage celebration is now taking root? It is not an isolated thing, it is becoming somewhat established in the province.
Hon. Mr. Welch: The provision for the conservation review board, I am advised, is included in this vote, although not necessarily singled out.
The question of publicity is, of course, to ensure that there is ample notice being given to those who may be affected by the designation and to satisfy ourselves that they have the opportunity to appeal the designation and what their rights are.
Heritage projects do qualify for Wintario, and we have had some successful applications along this line. We would encourage development here. In fact, that illustrates the point I made a little while ago that we were hoping that all divisions of this ministry would see the availability of Wintario funds as an asset for them. We have approved about 38 heritage projects to a total of nearly $88,000.
Mr. Samis: And the question of Canada Week?
Hon. Mr. Welch: Yes, actually, that is the programme of Heritage Canada. The position which we have taken as a government is that at such time as the federal government were to actually recognize it in a formal way, that perhaps would be the time to join in that particular observance. As you know, the government of Canada has really not yet taken that particular formal step by way of proclamation.
This isn’t to discourage the work of Heritage Canada. There are many jurisdictions now, through the school systems, that recognize “Heritage Day” or “Heritage Week” as part of their school observances in that first week in February -- and there is a great deal of multi-cultural work done in the schools at that time. But we have taken the position that perhaps we would wait until such time as it was proclaimed nationally, and then would join in those particular celebrations at that time.
Mr. Samis: Could I have just one final question? On the third vote, could the minister explain why there was such a sizable decrease in historical sites, especially in acquisition and construction of physical assets? I believe that is almost a 50 per cent decrease. And in services we have a very substantial decrease as well -- 66 per cent, I believe.
Hon. Mr. Welch: That’s related pretty well, I think, to the fact that the Fort William project is now completed, and therefore additional funds weren’t required this year for that.
Mr. B. Newman: I am sure the minister is aware of the Willistead art gallery, or former art gallery -- the Willistead coach house and the Willistead manor house. He also knows that the roof on the structure is badly in need of repair and that the city has put in a formal request for assistance to put the building back into a better state of repair so that it could be maintained, seeing that it is an example of 16th century Tudor architecture and one of the most unusual buildings in the community. How far has the city’s request progressed as far as your ministry is concerned?
Hon. Mr. Welch: Yes, I do recall. In fact, about a year ago I was there and saw the structure to which the hon. member makes reference. It is very attractive and has some particular style that has to be taken into account.
About two or three weeks ago, we had some consultants down to review the situation and to estimate whether or not there weren’t some savings which could be effected there. I haven’t seen that report yet. I think once that work is done, it will then go to the Heritage Foundation for their consideration.
Mr. B. Newman: When it goes to the Heritage Foundation, does it get a recommendation from the minister or not? Or is the Heritage Foundation the sole decision-maker?
Hon. Mr. Welch: Yes.
Mr. B. Newman: May I ask of the minister at the same time if the Heritage Foundation, through the minister, is looking at the Assumption Church, a church that was originally founded back in the 1700s. I think they’ve also asked for assistance through this ministry of the Heritage Foundation to put it back in a proper state of repair. Otherwise we’re going to lose a most unusual type of building and a type of church we should do everything to preserve.
Hon. Mr. Welch: I appreciate the comments that have been made. I think the Heritage Foundation for some time now has been struggling with this whole question as to the extent to which they get involved with churches and what you might call the development of church policy. There are a number of architectural gems, as far as our church properties are concerned, and the extent to which the Heritage Foundation will get involved there, I guess, is a matter which they really haven’t resolved yet.
Mr. Bain: I’d like to discuss with the minister a particular historic site that I think is worthy of conservation and preservation. It’s a site that I’m sure the minister’s familiar with, the Cobalt restoration project. This project has been studied for a good number of years, originally by the Ministry of Industry and Tourism, and most recently by the Ministry of Culture and Recreation.
I won’t go into all the background. Suffice it to say that there was a Cobalt restoration project committee set up that was functioning in the last fiscal year. Because of problems that were encountered due to the financial ceilings imposed by the government, a study that was to be undertaken last fall could not be started until the new year and was not completed until the end of the fiscal year. Therefore, the Cobalt restoration committee couldn’t apply for its new funding without the recommendations of this study.
What happened was that the Cobalt restoration committee went through a period, a very difficult time, during which they felt their project was going to come to an end without any transition or even any prospect of a transition being provided through another stage. As the minister is aware, a delegation from Cobalt, under the leadership of Mayor Jack Mathews and the co-ordinator of the restoration project, Mr. Doug McLeod, came down and discussed this project with officials from the Ministry of Culture and Recreation and with officials from the Ministry of Industry and Tourism.
I would simply like to make a case to the minister this evening that the Cobalt area is certainly worth preserving. The studies that have been done all point to a three-phased restoration which would entail a restoration of historical buildings in the town itself, a restoration of one of the mines -- the one that’s most often mentioned is the O’Brien mine -- and the restoration and installation of an electric streetcar line. All of these facilities would provide activities for people and, I think the minister will agree, are the kinds of activities that people enjoy at these historical sites. An historical site really has limited appeal if it is static. People like to be able to participate and recreate, so to speak, some of the historic background for themselves.
This restoration could be tied into a frontier tour, a self-guided tour that the motoring tourist could partake in as part of an overall tour throughout northeastern Ontario. I am sure the minister will agree with me, since I must say as an aside that I agreed wholeheartedly with some of his comments when he said that the funds in his ministry that come from Wintario shouldn’t be ploughed into the general treasury. It would make a drop in the bucket in the overall budget, but it would detract from something very important, and this cultural heritage in our province is important. We can’t separate ourselves from our past and we don’t exist in isolation right here and now. We should preserve our heritage for ourselves and for our future generations.
There are to my knowledge no such projects in Ontario that preserve the mining heritage. This is a unique part of our heritage. Much of the wealth that is now enjoyed in Ontario initiated with the mining adventures that occurred in northern Ontario at the turn of the century. Cobalt is the name that is most often associated with these original early days of the mining industry.
The Cobalt restoration is a good one to undertake because most of the buildings are still there. There wouldn’t be the millions of dollars that were needed to reconstruct buildings in other places as the buildings still exist. It would simply mean maintaining, upgrading and getting the buildings into a proper façade, a proper set up, so that they would be able to be enjoyed by the tourists.
Probably the best way of approaching it would be through an authority that could be set up to undertake the project. Already tourists are enjoying the facilities that exist. For example, the Cobalt mining museum and Hermiston museum attract many people, but there just aren’t other facilities that people can partake in. It is estimated that about 6,000 tourists go to the Cobalt area in a year. If the project was completed as proposed, approximately 60,000 people would go to the area. This, I think, would be of benefit, as I said, not only to the Cobalt and tri-town area, but to all of northeastern Ontario. It would be an attraction that would get tourists up beyond North Bay, and they would then make the great circle route along Highway 11 through all of northeastern Ontario. I think it is a worthwhile project; it is one that would assist the whole area economically as well as preserve a valuable part of the heritage of this province.
Mr. Ferrier: Could I just support my colleague here? The municipalities and the people in my riding are very enthusiastic about the Cobalt restoration project. A year or so ago we had been talking about a science centre in our part of the province to portray mining, hydro and forestry but, unfortunately, a few people let that project get out of their hands. The possibility looms that there could be a major tourist attraction and educational attraction in the Cobalt area which, as my colleague says, would bring tourists north from North Bay into the Cobalt area and perhaps bring them on.
It would be a place in the province where mining could be highlighted, the history of mining, and some of the techniques of mining. I would like very strongly to suggest that you make every effort to support this project and you will have the support of all of the northeast. While we kind of flubbed the science centre concept in Timmins, we believe this project in Cobalt is very worthy of support. We would like to see your government proceed to back them up and to put a major tourist attraction there and put in whatever planning, finances and so on are needed to help the Cobalt area.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Very briefly, Mr. Chairman, I appreciate having these comments. As the hon. members know, a delegation was here I guess about six weeks ago in which we were talking about this. It’s my understanding that Industry and Tourism have just now received the Proctor and Redfern report. We’ve received a copy of that just in the last few days. We’ll be working with Industry and Tourism because there is this question as to their interest as well as ours from a heritage point of view. No doubt we will be able to have a better appreciation of the extent of this operation once we’ve had an opportunity to study the Proctor-Redfern report.
Mr. Bain: Mr. Chairman, I realize time is of the essence, but if I could just leave one comment with the minister. The problem with the Ministry of Industry and Tourism recently has been that they don’t have the financial resources to deal with it. I’m raising this in your estimates because it would seem that your ministry will be the only one that will have the ability to undertake the project. If we leave it to Industry and Tourism, it’s not going to get off the ground, I’m afraid.
Hon. Mr. Welch: And there are obviously --
An hon. member: Maybe they could sell Minaki Lodge.
Mr. Kerrio: Mr. Chairman, I have two or three questions in this particular vote on 2802. I would question the minister in regard to the archives. We have an expenditure of some $795,000 for the maintenance of those archives. I would just like a little description of the physical being of the archives, where they are and if the government owns all of them.
Hon. Mr. Welch: 77 Grenville is the address.
Mr. Kerrio: That’s what I was looking for. I think the member for Cornwall asked the question, but in the estimates of 1975-1976 heritage conservation paid $142,000 for a conservation review board. It’s not present in this year’s estimates. You made some remarks toward that and I’d just like to know if there is money for the review board and where it would appear in the estimates.
Hon. Mr. Welch: It’s within the vote called item 2 and it provides for $142,600.
Mr. Kerrio: The same amount as the other year.
Hon. Mr. Welch: No, it’s down from last var.
Mr. Kerrio: One hundred and forty-two thousand dollars?
Hon. Mr. Welch: It’s lower this year.
Mr. Kerrio: In regard to Black Creek Pioneer Village, I would like to point out that they are now receiving a $12,000 grant from the provincial government as do all museums in the province. I think they have appealed to your ministry for more funds and I would just like to press their argument in regards to the particular function that they provide at that site.
Their $12,000 is used in the historical village and it contains some 32 homes. They have some 300,000 visitors go through that village and if we divide that out that is some four cents per person. There is some need to help them in this regard, considering that we support projects of single homes for the $12,000 in this particular fund. It would appear that with this kind of visitor coverage in this particular village, their particular application, I would stress, may be very well worth considering. They have had to sell memberships and run a campaign on CFRB to sell memberships in order to keep that particularly successful village going. I’d like to hear your comments in regard to that.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Chairman, I wonder if I might just correct some misinformation. The conservation review board, as I indicated to the hon. member, is included in the vote in item 2 of this vote. A sum of $30,000 is provided this year -- it’s down -- the reason being that last year, without having had any experience as to the extent to which the activities of this board would be called into play, we provided them with $142,000 but a considerable amount of that was not spent. Therefore, this year the budget for the operation of the board is only $30,000.
With respect to Black Creek, this particular facility in Metropolitan Toronto is a tremendous one. In fact, I was there today to see something of the extent of the support; they tell me that even at this stage their attendance is up 6,000 over last year. I think we should keep in mind, insofar as the museum policy of the province is concerned, it was in 1970-1971 that the maximum grant per museum was $1,000, so in a very short period of time, if we just keep the number of dollars out, we’ve increased the support to the museums of the province 12 times.
The problem with respect to Black Creek, and I think the same would apply to the Pioneer Village at Doon and others -- and I’ve already undertaken this in response to the concern of the conservation authority operating Black Creek -- is that we have to review our policy, not from the standpoint of reducing grants to other museums, which have come to depend upon this support, but rather to think in terms of maybe another classification for this type of facility. We must take into account all their sources of revenue, not just from the museum branch, and whether or not there is some way to look upon the village, not just as a single museum, but perhaps in terms of some parts of it as being individual museums. I don’t know what the ultimate outcome will be, except that in response to the particular concerns of Black Creek, I’ve undertaken to review our museum policy, keeping in mind that whatever is ultimately decided would have to apply to all those who could meet any new criteria that may be developed in response to that particular review.
Mr. Sweeney: Mr. Chairman, I have just a very short question. What is the comparative provincial government contribution between Black Creek and Upper Canada Village?
Hon. Mr. Welch: I don’t have any responsibility for Upper Canada Village, but I could get those figures. Under the museum policy, the maximum grant to Pioneer Village is $12,000 in this particular vote. Upper Canada Village, of course, is operated by a commission within the Ministry of Natural Resources. I don’t have access to that particular figure, but I can get you that information.
Mr. Mancini: Mr. Chairman, I’m sure the minister is aware there is quite a major programme going on in the riding of Essex South, particularly in the town of Amherstburg.
Mr. B. Newman: That’s a great riding, Essex South.
Mr. Mancini: That’s right.
On behalf of the people involved there in the heritage committee, and on behalf of the three municipalities involved, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you, Mr. Minister, and people like Stephen Otto and your deputy, Bob Johnston, for all the assistance that they have offered to that part of the province. We hope that someday you’ll have the time to come in and take a look at what they’re doing.
At this time, I would also like to mention the Ontario Historical Vehicle Society. We’ve already had this particular organization in to meet your deputy, and they were received quite well. I would just like to make an appeal on their behalf. They have quite an extensive programme planned, and I’m sure it will be a great asset to this great province.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Thank you very much.
Mr. Peterson: You don’t get many kind words these days, do you?
Mrs. Campbell: Mr. Chairman, I just have a couple of questions and observations. I am concerned throughout this ministry, and I will be speaking more at length on the Wintario programme, about the fact that we do not seem to have a very major thrust into the preservation of our heritage. I look at the matter of Black Creek Village and I wonder why it wouldn’t qualify, for instance, as a cultural institution, where perhaps it could have infinitely more funding.
One of the things that bothers me is that when you have historical societies, such as you have in Toronto, which are municipally controlled, they have a great deal of difficulty in finding the money for acquisition purposes because often these items come up at a time when they just are not able to purchase. Yet the various historical sites in Toronto itself are not adequately funded to enable Toronto, which is still the capital city of this province, to preserve the heritage of the province as indicated through its capital city.
I would like to know in specific terms whether any consideration is being given to assistance to the city in the preservation of the Paul Kane home which was purchased by the city interestingly enough by demand of the citizens of the area. It was not something initiated by the city. I think the city felt they couldn’t really afford it this year, but they either bought it now or lost it. There it sits, on Wellesley St.; it’s rather an eyesore, and I suspect it will continue to be -- unless there is some funding available for the preservation and rehabilitation of it.
With those comments I have nothing further on this vote.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Chairman, I am familiar with the building to which the hon. member makes reference since I reside during the week in her riding. It’s my understanding that negotiations are still going on between the city and the present owner. Certainly it’s under very active consideration as far as the Heritage Foundation is concerned ultimately as to what our involvement would be with respect to renovation and restoration. I suppose those negotiations will be speeded up once the question of ownership in the city has been completed.
Mrs. Campbell: Could I have clarification on the earlier question raised that perhaps our heritage is just as important as cultural institutions which come in the next vote? Perhaps similar funding could be available?
Hon. Mr. Welch: I don’t think there is any question as to where we stand as far as the whole area of heritage conservation is concerned. We are being asked to vote nearly $16 million in this vote for this particular activity.
As far as the Wintario resource is concerned, there are no limitations placed on it -- subject to these principles that people want to move here. There has been perhaps a cautious approach under the new legislation with respect to designation. In fact I received a wire the other day from the Secretary of State to say they passed the cultural properties Act in Ottawa to make sure there were some resources to ensure our artifacts wouldn’t be leaving the country -- I think a very progressive piece of legislation, as far as the Canadian government is concerned.
The whole area of preservation is a very important one. There is a climate for that now. Certainly you won’t find this ministry standing in the way of being as supportive as we can to encourage that.
I think the Heritage Foundation itself has done a great deal of work. Many residents of Ontario, now that this Heritage Foundation is operating in its present form, are making gifts to the province of properties so that they can be held for future generations to see these particular artifacts as well. So I attach a great deal if importance to this. I suppose it’s like so many government programmes; we’ll move as quickly as there is a general acceptability with respect to these things and as resources are available.
Mrs. Campbell: Could I have clarification on the minister’s references to Wintario? He is aware of the fact that people had thought Wintario funding --
Mr. Chairman: That’s under the last vote.
Mrs. Campbell: Just a moment, please. I am referring to the minister’s own comments and I want clarification. People have been applying for preservation purposes under Wintario, and have been told they must apply to Heritage Foundation. It seems to me that heritage is going to run out of money unless there is some kind of movement to bring Wintario into accord with Heritage Foundation.
Hon. Mr. Welch: When we get to the last vote, I will show you how there have been some successful combinations between Heritage and Wintario.
Vote 2802 agreed to.
On vote 2803:
Mr. Chairman: Arts support programme.
Mr. Samis: First of all, before getting to an individual question, let me just state very clearly, so that it’s on the record, that in terms of arts support we wholeheartedly support the principle of the Ontario Arts Council. We are very impressed by the fact that almost unanimously people who deal with them are very happy with the way they are administering those funds. Let me suggest that, if they are doing such a good job where there is such a need, then the obvious conclusion is that they need more and should be given more. Before we get to that, let me get on to the first item. Can I ask the minister first of all for a breakdown -- in the major terms, not complete -- of the capital grants for cultural support in item 1?
Hon. Mr. Welch: You want to know our grants for capital support?
Mr. Samis: Just the major ones.
Hon. Mr. Welch: The difficulty here is that these are usually very small grants. I can tell you the Blue Mountain concert shell in Collingwood for $140,000, the Brockville Opera House for $150,000, the Dundas Valley School of Art for $100,000 and the Hamilton Art Gallery for $150,000.
Mr. Samis: Could I see a written copy of that?
Hon. Mr. Welch: Yes, I would be glad to send you one.
Mr. Samis: Could I move on in item 1 to the whole question of support for cultural programmes and cultural development and get back to the whole question, first of all, of our cinema culture in the Province of Ontario. I must say I am still not satisfied with the answer you gave me in the opening remarks. When are we going to have a policy? You will admit that as of now there is no such policy. You have met with all the constituent groups. You told us in the estimates last year that the reason there was no policy was the ministry was new and you had to adapt and size up the situation with the various elements.
It is 12 months later and it seems we are no closer to formulating any sort of policy. It would almost turn one into a cynic to wonder if we will ever have a policy. I have really stressed the importance of Ontario, in terms of English Canada and the development of a cinematic culture, a distinctive home-grown one, to take a stand, not to always cop out and say it’s Hugh Faulkner’s job or the Secretary of State isn’t doing enough. What I want to know is what are you going to do? What is this ministry going to do?
Hon. Mr. Welch: I can appreciate the sense of frustration expressed by the hon. member that we perhaps haven’t made more progress. In fact, I don’t hide the fact that I would wish that we could make more progress. I have met with all the groups. For the first time all the constituent elements that are necessary to develop policy sat down in one place at a conference under neutral chairmanship and talked about it very freely.
I am not sure that any one particular idea from any one particular group in this whole composite is really going to solve the problem. I don’t think we need any more meetings to understand the problem. On the other hand, what we need now is what we consider to be a satisfactory solution, and I am not being facetious here. If the hon. member has any contribution to make toward that solution, I would welcome it.
I do repeat that I see this as a national issue. We indicated at the meeting of officials that was held just last week with representatives of the Secretary of State that the time had, now come for the two ministers to sit down. As I understand it, an agenda is now being prepared for that particular meeting.
I am sure we would be prepared to do our part from a jurisdictional point of view in the development of such a policy. I think we have to recognize the fact that we want to develop something and it is a very interesting market.
We certainly shouldn’t deny the fact so far as the work of the National Film Board is concerned and other agencies have done a remarkable job as well. This is the big market, Ontario. This is where some leadership should come from. I understand all of those matters and I can only hope that eventually, with some further discussions, we would be able to respond in a more positive way and hopefully in a helpful way.
Mr. Samis: Could I suggest that we’ve studied this thing to death? We’ve consulted it to where there is no one left to be consulted to get the various considerations.
Hon. Mr. Welch: What’s the answer, George?
Mr. Samis: Let’s take two matters that are most frequently suggested to you. You’ve got the Bassett report; you’ve got the Klopchic report I believe it is; you have the report from the select committee; you’ve consulted within your ministry; you’ve consulted beyond with the constituent elements. Are you any closer to any form of decision, any form of policy on either quota or levy for example? Those are not magic solutions; they are not panaceas. They are two proposals, two concrete proposals, that will not cost money. Have you come any closer to formulating any policy whatsoever? Or are we still in limbo on those two matters?
Hon. Mr. Welch: I think we’re closer to developing a policy but I don’t want my answer to be deemed that I am necessarily seeing the solution of the problem going those routes. The levy situation, to speak briefly and to share with you, is simply a means to provide more money. If, in fact, there were other ways to provide those revenues without deterring support at the box office, I suppose we should take a look at that. I don’t think an arbitrary quota in itself or by itself might necessarily solve the problem. But it may be that it should be part of an overall policy. That’s why I say I think we are closer to some possible resolution of these but I don’t want my answer to be interpreted to necessarily indicate that I see the solution along those routes exclusively.
Mr. Samis: May I ask you why, in the estimates last year, you virtually assured us -- the word you used was “unquestionably” -- that we’d have a policy this year? We haven’t had a policy. I ask you, number one, why, in view of what you said in the estimates, haven’t we? Because we knew all those problems and considerations lay ahead anyway. Secondly, I’ll ask the same question: Will we have some policy from your ministry on this particular form of cultural development this year?
Hon. Mr. Welch: I think you’re entitled to know why I would answer the question as I did last year. Perhaps you could just chalk it up to the optimism of a new boy in a new job. Maybe what I’m faced with now, that having gone through a series of meetings, it has defied, perhaps, an overly simplistic approach to solutions. I am hopeful that we can arrive at some satisfactory solution, which I will then, after meeting with the Secretary of State, be prepared to recommend to my cabinet colleagues.
Mr. Samis: Is there any degree of commitment at all from you on either the Bassett report, the Klopchic report or the select committee report? Is there any degree of implementation? Or are you just going in sit on those three?
Hon. Mr. Welch: All three reports are helpful and I’m really avoiding being any more specific.
Mr. Samis: May I suggest that the minister sometimes emulates Toller Cranston on the ice with his dexterity with verbal evasiveness. It’s as frustrating as you know what, and it’s not heavenly.
Let me move on to another item under cultural development -- the whole question of publishing, and the book publishing subsidies. We’ll see if we can get a little more specific here.
A couple of years ago this government, more or less through Industry and Tourism, but affecting this nascent ministry, did inaugurate a programme where the government did guarantee loans from EODC to Canadian publishers. Since you do save some responsibility for this jurisdiction now, can you tell us what your ministry is recommending to Industry and Tourism? Apparently in September, 1975, you said the programme was under review. I understand that Mr. David Spence was partly commissioned to design a more sophisticated set of guidelines. Will that programme be revived in any way, shape or form? Is it still under review? What can we expect?
Hon. Mr. Welch: As you know the cultural industries branch, to which you made reference, has a number of responsibilities -- the question of our film policy, the question of the ongoing review of our publishing policy and also in the whole recording industry, to mention three. The involvement of our ministry has been to provide some direct grants to cover interest charges as far as the ODC operation is concerned. As you know, it is the Ontario Development Corp. that receives applications from the publishers for guarantees and payment of half of the interest due on loans, which are arranged with commercial lending institutions to aid the publishing concerns in maintaining this very important matter of Canadian ownership and operational survival. We’ve made provision for guarantee and/or subsidy of interest on loans to a number of concerns -- and I would be very glad to provide you with the list -- rather than reading them tonight. There is a list of companies which have benefited from this.
In addition, as the hon. member will know, the Ontario Arts Council has a programme of dealing both with authors and with publishers, and this particular programme has been very successful as well.
Mr. Samis: In view of the time factor, I’ll cut some of the questions out on that particular aspect of this item.
Let’s get on to periodicals. Your colleague in the front bench, the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry), is embarking on another one of his white knight crusades. This time he has picked out the “porno” field, supposedly as the latest victim of his crusades.
Can I ask, within the Act covering periodical distributors, if a crackdown is being launched against distributors, such as Metro News, for supposedly or allegedly violating the good morals of this fair province, have you given consideration or made any recommendations, either to the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr. Handleman) and/or the Attorney General -- but I assume much more so the prior minister -- that one of the conditions of giving a distributor a licence in this province, a provincial licence, would be that he must provide a certain access to Canadian publications, paperbacks, periodicals, on their newsstands? Have you made any policy recommendations to that effect to your colleague in Consumer and Commercial Relations to guarantee that Canadian publishers will have access to the market?
Even though we’ve made a transfer in ownership in Metro News, for example, the end result hasn’t been very happy in terms of the Canadian publishing industry. Have you made any initiative or suggestions to that end?
Hon. Mr. Welch: Of course, we would be identified with any move to urge access. But, certainly, if you’re asking me for some formal declaration which I may have made or said -- I haven’t done this. But this would be consistent with our policy in encouraging the whole question of access, relative to section 6, which incorporates this ministry.
Mr. Samis: As a minister who has some degree of involvement and, I hope, concern as well for this particular field, would you recommend such a policy to your colleague?
Hon. Mr. Welch: If I understand the question, you think we could develop some type of regulatory power that would ensure that any Canadian who printed a paperback, or is involved in a paperback, would have access to a retail distribution.
Mr. Samis: The emphasis would be on the distributor. One of the conditions of his receiving a licence would be that he’d have to guarantee some degree of access for Canadian periodicals and publications -- perhaps a quota.
Mr. Chairman: The time for adjournment has arrived.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Perhaps we could get back to that next time.
Hon. Mr. Welch moved the committee rise and report.
Motion agreed to.
The House resumed, Mr. Speaker in the chair.
Mr. Chairman: Mr. Speaker, the committee of supply begs to report it has come to certain resolutions and asks for leave to sit again.
Report agreed to.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, before moving the adjournment of the House, I would indicate that tomorrow we will have budget debate. On Monday afternoon we will return to these estimates until 5 o’clock, and then the private members’ hour from 5 to 6 o’clock. There will be no session Monday evening, of course.
Hon. Mr. Welch moved the adjournment of the House.
Motion agreed to.
The House adjourned at 10:30 p.m.