The House met at 2 p.m.
Mr. Speaker: Statements by the ministry.
REPORT ON NAME CHANGES
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present to the House today the report of the Ontario Law Reform Commission on changes of name.
As the commission states, “few things in life are as personal or as significant as one’s name.” The commission has endeavoured to suggest practical reforms for the provincial law concerning names and changing names, shaping the law to bring it into greater harmony with the values and needs of contemporary Ontario. Indeed, the recommendations of the commission are in large part based on the responses to a study paper widely circulated to the public by the commission.
The recommendations of the commission have two major thrusts. The first, which is perhaps of greatest interest, is directed toward the delicate issues of taking a name at marriage and naming children at birth. With respect to taking a name at marriage the basic recommendation is that upon marriage each spouse may choose a surname which may be the person’s own surname before marriage or the surname of the person’s spouse alone or a hyphenated combination of both surnames.
Mr. Renwick: In what order?
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: With respect to naming children at birth the commission recommends that a married couple --
Mr. Cassidy: Why limit the alternatives?
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: -- should be able to give their children the husband’s surname or the wife’s surname or a hyphenated combination of each spouse’s surname.
The second major thrust of the report is directed toward simplifying the procedures necessary to effect the change of name if so desired.
Mr. Gaunt: Just call it the Joe Clark amendment.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: The Ontario Law Reform Commission recommends that where a spouse at some time later wishes to change the surname which was chosen upon marriage, that spouse should be able to do so simply by registering the change without a formal application to court. Where it is still necessary to apply to the court for a change of name, the commission recommends that the procedures be simplified, made more informal and less expensive. For example, the commission proposes that the change of name applications be heard in the provincial court, the family division thereof; that a formal hearing need not be held in all cases; that the number of documents filed be greatly reduced; and advertising the change of name be required only in exceptional cases.
I assure you that my colleagues and I will give this report the serious consideration it deserves.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, on October 20, 1976, the Lieutenant Governor in Council directed, by an order in council, the expropriation of certain properties made pursuant to section 6(3) of The Expropriations Act.
Under section 6(5) of the same Act, the Attorney General is required, within 30 days after the commencement of each session of the legislative assembly, to lay before the assembly a copy of each order made theretofore under subsection (3).
Pursuant to this subsection. I will now table the only order in council passed prior to this session of the House.
ROYAL AGRICULTURAL WINTER FAIR
Hon. W. Newman: Mr. Speaker, I want to remind the House that the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair opens Friday, November 12, at Exhibition Place and runs until Saturday, November 20.
Mr. Peterson: What class are you in?
Mr. Cunningham: Do you have a booth?
Hon. W. Newman: Be careful now.
The Royal has grown bigger and better every year since 1922. It is not only rural Ontario’s most prestigious annual judging event but also a truly national show window for the best in agriculture across Canada. The 21 acres of exhibits range from championship livestock through flower shows to the cream of all our farm crops.
I hope all members will attend the fair at least once to brush up on some of the finer points of agriculture and see why our farmers have earned world-wide esteem for raising everything from Aberdeen Angus to zucchini.
An hon. member: Do you have a recipe?
Hon. W. Newman: If I’m not in the Legislature every day next week, you’ll know where to find me, Mr. Speaker. I’ll see you at the Royal.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Mr. Eaton: You fellows want to go down there; you might learn something.
Mr. Speaker: Oral questions.
PUBLIC HEALTH NURSES
Mr. Deans: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Labour. Can the Minister of Labour indicate whether there have been any negotiations commenced between the public health boards and the nurses’ association after the most generous offer of the Minister of Health (Mr. F. S. Miller) last week?
Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I am not sure that up to this date negotiations have recommenced in any situation but on the day the announcement was made by my colleague, the Minister of Health, the director of conciliation and mediation services in the ministry immediately contacted both parties to make them aware again of our willingness -- indeed, our eagerness -- to assist them to come to an agreed upon settlement which we felt was now particularly possible in the light of the improvements announced by the Minister of Health.
Mr. Deans: Thank you. I wonder if I can ask the Premier in regard to this same matter: Is the Premier now in a position to contact the public health boards, given that his government has made the money available to effect what may or may not be an acceptable settlement but never more than was on the table previously? Is he prepared to talk to the public health boards and to suggest to them that since two weeks will have passed by next Monday, after the holiday, they have a responsibility to sit down to attempt to find a resolution to this very difficult problem?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, as I said some few days ago, prior to the Minister of Health enunciating very clearly the position of the government, I would not reject this possibility. I would like to see, in the next week or so, if some of these matters cannot be resolved and I would be delighted to comment in the House later on next week.
Mr. Deans: May I ask -- the Premier says he would like to see it resolved in the next week or so and he’s going to comment next week -- what is he going to comment on next week that will have occurred if he’s going to wait a week or so for it to happen?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I would comment on the suggestion of the acting Leader of the Opposition, it is a question as to whether or not a meeting of the boards with me would serve any useful purpose.
Mr. Deans: I have another question for the Minister of Labour in her capacity as the minister in charge of manpower policy. Would she be able to tell the House today what wide range of policies have come forth from her ministry as a result of her responsibilities for manpower policy which might be applicable, given the increasing and rising unemployment figures in the province of Ontario?
Hon. B. Stephenson: No, Mr. Speaker, I would not be prepared to make that statement today. That programme is in the process of being developed actively within the Ontario Manpower Co-ordinating Committee. I’m sure that as soon as the deliberations are completed I will be making that statement.
Mr. Deans: Would the minister agree with me that there has been a minister in charge of manpower policy now for at least three years and to this date not one single policy statement has come forth with regard to the creation of jobs? Is there a job, any job, in the province of Ontario which the minister can identify as having come about as a result of the manpower policy efforts?
Mr. Breithaupt: Just the minister’s.
Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I’m sure the hon. member opposite is presenting his point of view very clearly. I shall verify that as a result of going through the past deliberations of that committee. I have not been responsible for it for that length of time --
Mr. Deans: No, but there has been --
Hon. B. Stephenson: -- but the development of that policy is part of the programme of the committee this year.
Mr. Deans: A final supplementary: Does the minister anticipate that there may be some kind of policy statement emanating from the ministry some time before the end of this year to show what we could expect in the way of initiatives from the government with regard to the creation of much- needed jobs, whether in the private or the public sector, in the province of Ontario?
Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Northwestern Ontario too?
Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, there has been a good deal of encouragement on the part of this government within the private sector toward the development of employment opportunities in the province.
Mr. Deans: Tell me about them.
Hon. B. Stephenson: I will try, hopefully before the end of this year, to present the policy position as developed by the Ontario Manpower Coordinating Committee.
Mr. Deans: I have a question of the Minister of Education. Is the Minister of Education aware of the situation with regard to Mrs. Merle Shepley and the difficulty she had over the receipt of her pension, which appears to be a miscarriage of justice? Would the minister be prepared to intervene personally to assure this lady that her pension will be paid?
Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I am aware of this case and I am presently studying it. I’m not prepared to say what the remedy should be in this case, except to point out that as far as I can ascertain at this minute all the provisions of The Teachers’ Superannuation Art and the regulations for which the superannuation commission is given the responsibility of administering were carried out in this particular case. It may be that if any remedy is to be effected, changes in the Act or regulations would have to be made.
That’s presently what I’m looking at and I’m not prepared to say what we will do in this case at this time.
Mr. Deans: By way of supplementary, would the minister agree that since he has reviewed the case, at least to some extent, that it’s a pretty large penalty to pay for one very small mistake or misunderstanding of the regulations?
Hon. Mr. Wells: I’d like to have my friend look at all the information before I agree to what he’s said and before he arrives at that conclusion.
Mr. Deans: I have one final question for the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations: Am I to assume that it would not be the minister’s wish that there be a further large number of applications before the rent review commission if it were unnecessary and would therefore cause delays in the administration?
Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, I don’t quite follow the hon. member’s question. Perhaps he’d rephrase it.
Mr. Deans: Let me try it again. Would the minister agree with me that it would be in the best interests of everyone if the law were clarified with regard to the termination date of the legislation, with the effects now being felt and the pressure now being put on by certain landlords in an attempt to get six-month leases or less, which will terminate at the end of July next year?
Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, first of all the termination date is in the legislation. It’s as clear as it could possibly be.
Mr. Deans: Not in this one.
Hon. Mr. Handleman: I can state it again -- it’s July 31, 1977. The amendments which were brought in earlier this year indicate quite clearly that any increase of eight per cent or more authorized by a rent review officer has status for 12 months from the time the rent review officer issues his order, or from the time there is a voluntary acceptance on the part of the tenant if it’s an eight per cent rent increase. Six-month leases would have no status whatsoever regardless of the future of the Act, simply because the order extends for 12 months.
Mr. Deans: By way of a supplementary question, that’s not what the regulation says, and that’s what worries me. The regulation deals only, as I understand it, with orders of the --
Mr. Speaker: Is there a question?
Mr. Deans: Am I correct in my understanding that the regulation deals only with orders of the rent review officer?
Hon. Mr. Handleman: No, Mr. Speaker, that’s not correct. The amendments which were brought in this year -- not the original legislation but new amendments -- make it quite clear that there is one increase in any 12-month period, regardless of the status or length of the lease.
Mr. Cassidy: Does the minister not agree there is need for clarification when landlords are clearly intending to raise their rents by eight per cent now and then eight per cent after July 31, when the rent review commission will no longer exist in order to give protection to the tenants? What protection does the government intend to offer and how soon does the government intend to announce its intentions about the extension of rent review?
Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, first of all, I don’t know how much clearer it could be, and I have just clarified it. I don’t know that any further protection is needed. Nobody can increase their rent eight per cent now and eight per cent six months from now. The Act does not permit it. That’s where the protection lies.
As I responded to the hon. member’s leader previously, when there is going to be any announcement as to government policy with regard to the future of the rent programme, it will be made in the usual way.
Mr. Cassidy: After July 31 next year, who will protect the tenants when they face another rent increase and there’s no rent review officer around to help them?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Not you, Mike.
Mr. Hodgson: They are going to raise your rent, Mike.
Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, the law will protect the tenants.
LAND SPECULATION TAX EXEMPTION
Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, a question for the Minister of Revenue: Can the minister explain to the House what the reason was for the order in council which exempted Ronto Investments from having to pay land speculation tax on a deal where, it’s my understanding, they made a very rapid profit of $10 million on land which they bought from a farmer and sold to Wimpey Homes without having made any improvement on the land other than a plan of subdivision? What is the reason for this order in council exempting them from that land speculation tax?
Hon. Mr. Meen: Mr. Speaker, that was made some months ago. I’ll have to refresh my memory on it and I’ll report back to the House in due course.
Mr. Cassidy: You’d better make up a good one.
Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary, would the minister not agree that on the face of it his original explanation, which was that Wimpey would build homes, has no application at all since it’s not Wimpey that was exempted from the tax but rather the middle man?
Hon. Mr. Meen: No, I won’t agree with that, Mr. Speaker. The whole situation is quite complex and it involves quite a number of facets, and I think the House deserves a more complete report than I would be able to give in an off-the-cuff answer to the hon. member at the moment.
Mr. S. Smith: A question of the Minister of Education: Now that a memorandum from his ministry confirms that the core curriculum changes, however modest they might be, are not in fact going to take place except for students who enter the system starting next year, can the minister explain why those students presently in the system will not receive the benefit of this same modest improvement?
Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, of course, the students within the system are receiving a very excellent programme now.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Hear, hear.
Hon. Mr. Wells: To suggest there’s something wrong with the programme that’s going on now begs the question.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Ask the member for Kitchener-Wilmot (Mr. Sweeney); he helped with it.
Hon. Mr. Wells: The fact really remains that, as I’m sure the hon. member has preached many times on the platform in this House --
Mr. Nixon: You were converted, you were converted.
Hon. Mr. Wells: -- and many others have, it’s a little unfair to change the rules on people halfway through the game --
Mr. Conway: Especially when they can’t read.
Hon. Mr. Wells: And on reflection it was felt that students who began school should have the requirements for their diploma as they were when they entered school.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please.
Hon. Mr. Wells: I might tell my friend, because he tends to miss some of the significant things of our programme, which has only incidentally been partially unfolded as yet and which will have much more substance --
Mr. S. Smith: How much can you do in one day?
Mr. Breithaupt: It is about time.
Hon. Mr. Wells: -- and credibility than the document that I read from the Liberal Party --
Mr. Eakins: You were converted on a day’s notice.
Hon. Mr. Wells: -- which is a very weak document indeed.
An hon. member: You must have written it yourself.
Mr. S. Smith: What you took out of it was weak.
Hon. Mr. Wells: The key is not only the core subjects that will be taken but the institution of a core curriculum in subjects that are being taken. This, of course, will benefit those students presently in school and operating under the old regulations until they finish their graduation, as well as those who begin school next September.
Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary, could the minister explain to me, if something is of sufficient substance to issue a memorandum outlining the credits that will be required starting next year, if the thing is worth doing at all why the present students are not given the same benefit?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Wait till you get some children in the system. You will find out just how complicated it is.
Mr. Peterson: That is because you made it complicated.
Mr. S. Smith: Why is it that the students presently in school would, in fact, find themselves possibly without these basic subjects?
What harm could possibly be done by asking them to take these subjects now? At least phase it in. What harm could be done?
Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I will tell you this is a fact, and I will guarantee it, that no harm is being done. I have repeated these figures time and time again, and the former Leader of the Opposition --
Mr. Bain: The former official opposition.
Hon. Mr. Davis: -- who had far more knowledge.
Mr. S. Smith: Can we revert to statements?
Hon. Mr. Wells: -- really continues to not believe these subjects. If he reads the statement he’ll know we are instituting the core programme because we want to take no chances.
Mr. S. Smith: Why take chances with the ones who are there now?
Hon. Mr. Wells: I want to tell my friend that 100 per cent of the people in grades nine and 10 at the present time are taking English, 100 per cent are taking mathematics --
Mr. S. Smith: They may take it but they can’t spell it.
Hon. Mr. Wells: -- 89 per cent are taking science and over 60 per cent are taking geography at the present time.
Hon. Mr. Davis: You are being hard on the teachers, you know.
Hon. Mr. Wells: So that really, to suggest that by not making these rules apply to those in the system, is a very fatuous argument. I think he can come up with something a little more constructive than that.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I am going to point out that the interjections have not added to the tenor of the question and answer period and --
Mr. S. Smith: Point that out to the Premier as well, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. We request that they be kept to a minimum of zero, please.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Is there something less than that?
Mr. Speaker: I hope so. The hon. member for Kitchener-Wilmot with a supplementary.
Mr. Sweeney: We appreciate the fact that 100 per cent of the grade nine and 10 students are taking English, but the question is are they taking the kind of English that the minister had to define in his press release of Oct. 6? That’s the sincere question.
An hon. member: Right on.
Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, my friend needs a course in listening, because just about two minutes ago --
Mr. Kerrio: You need a course in teaching.
An hon. member: No, in English.
An hon. member: Do you really know what you are doing over there?
Mr. Speaker: Order, please.
Hon. Mr. Wells: -- I said the other most important part of our statement was the institution of a core in the programmes that will be taught. The students presently in the system taking English will be the beneficiaries of that kind of reinstitution of something into the system --
Mr. S. Smith: Oh, you are changing the rules in the middle.
Hon. Mr. Wells: -- just as the new ones, because that kind of core will be present in the courses that those people will be taking also.
Mr. Nixon: He is a kind of ageing Dennis Timbrell.
Hon. Mr. Wells: I can’t believe that the hon. member wants to change the rules for kids already in school insofar as their requirements for their diplomas.
Mr. S. Smith: Can’t have it both ways.
Hon. Mr. Davis: That is what you think.
Mr. Ferris: Supplementary: Could the minister state to us, because there seems to be some confusion among the people who are administering the system, if in fact there are core curriculum courses and if students do not pass them, will they still qualify for their high school diploma or will there be any degradation or change in what is actually given to recognize what that degree is?
Hon. Mr. Wells: No; that is a rather silly question because --
Mr. Breithaupt: Try to answer it.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please.
Hon. Mr. Wells: It’s a rather silly question because certainly if there are requirements for their graduation diplomas, certainly they have to pass them. Where did the hon. member ever get the idea that they didn’t?
Mr. Breithaupt: They don’t have to pass them; they just have to grow through them.
Mr. S. Smith: Where did we get that idea? Oh, my goodness.
U.S. VISITORS TO ONTARIO
Mr. S. Smith: A question of the Minister of Industry and Tourism: Is the minister aware of the decline in the number of visitors to Ontario from the United States, which this year declined by 11.2 per cent? And before he tells me it is due to the bicentennial, is he aware that this is a trend which has now gone on for three years? If he is aware of that, what action is his ministry planning to reverse that trend?
Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, yes, I think I have admitted on more than one occasion that we are aware of the fact there has been a downtrend in the number of tourists coming from the United States into Canada. That is a general situation, not only in the province of Ontario but indeed in all 10 provinces, with Ontario likely having the smallest decrease in that tourist traffic.
We continue to try to boost the American market with better advertising and advertising located in the markets which we think have the greatest potential for us. Later on, early in the month of December, we shall be meeting again with the federal authorities to discuss their advertising programme in the United States and how we can co-ordinate the provincial advertising programmes, by which we hope we will be able to secure a greater percentage of American flow back into this country. While we admit there were some shortcomings in the marketplace this current year, we believe there’s a potential for getting it back to Canada.
Mr. Peterson: Have you thought of a change of government to attract tourists?
Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary, can the minister confirm that the executive director within his ministry has been assisting in petitioning the Treasurer’s (Mr. McKeough) office for special consideration with regard to the tourist industry; and can he tell us whether he’s had any success?
Hon. Mr. Bennett: Yes, we have had a great deal of success in dealing with the Treasurer --
Mr. Peterson: You are the only ones.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: -- because when we indicated to him the trend of the tourist market in the current year and that we felt there was some need for special advertising programmes, particularly in the northern United States --
Mr. Conway: Is your picture still on Times Square?
Hon. Mr. Bennett: -- I would say that my colleagues in cabinet, including the Treasurer, agreed with the extra allocation of funds that would allow us to run a special programme, which has turned the percentage upwards.
Mr. Breithaupt: Visit Chatham.
Mr. Samis: Supplementary: Since one of the major complaints of American tourists seems to be the excessive cost of gasoline, and since Highway 401 is one of the major routes for tourists in Ontario --
Mr. Breithaupt: It is a Jack Spence question.
Mr. Samis: -- can the minister tell us what pressure he has exercised on his colleague to try to do something about that situation?
Mr. Breithaupt: Talk to the member for Kent-Elgin (Mr. Spence).
Hon. Mr. Bennett: Yes, it is with great pleasure that I say to the House we have had a tremendous amount of success in dealing with the Minister of Transportation and Communications (Mr. Snow) and in the renegotiation of the contracts with the major oil companies along Highway 401 and the major highways coming in from the United States.
But let me remind this House, particularly the third party, that their friends in Ottawa added 10 cents per gallon to the cost of gasoline, which was another deterrent to the tourist industry.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Your friends.
Mr. S. Smith: Your tax is 19 cents.
Mr. Nixon: You are setting a new record.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Let’s get on with the question period.
Mr. Yakabuski: Supplementary: The minister, in answering the original question, mentioned there was consultation going on with Ottawa with regard to tourist promotion in this province. Is he aware that in a recent ski magazine, which outlined various skiing locations in Canada, mainly in the province of Quebec -- but I might mention that Muskoka was mentioned too -- Calabogie Peaks, only 60 miles from the capital, was not mentioned in that ad whatsoever?
Mr. Nixon: Is that near Killaloe?
Some hon. members: Shame!
Mr. Breithaupt: Resign. Resign!
Mr. Cassidy: You are losing eastern Ontario.
An hon. member: Is there no answer? Apparently there is no answer.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please.
COMPULSORY STERILIZATION OF FEMALE EMPLOYEES
Mr. Breaugh: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Health. Now that the Ontario Human Rights Commission has made the rather shocking recommendation to the Minister of Labour that the compulsory sterilization of female employees is probably legal in Ontario --
Hon. B. Stephenson: What?
Mr. Breaugh: -- what will he do in response to the letter that was sent to him on October 27 by Mr. Symons, the chairman of the Ontario Human Rights Commission? It says:
“The commissioners were alarmed by the medical evidence, which appeared to be confirmed in virtually all the literature examined on the subject, that exposure to quantities of lead oxide emissions could lead to fetal injury. Moreover, medical evidence appeared to indicate that injury to the fetus may be brought about when either the father or the mother is exposed to these conditions, either directly or indirectly -- by exposure, for example, to the clothing or personal effects of those working in such conditions -- ”
Mr. Speaker: I believe the hon. member has read enough of it to identify the letter. Is there a question?
Hon. B. Stephenson: On a point of personal privilege, the statement made initially by the hon. member for Oshawa is an interpretation, I would gather, of the documents released by the Human Rights Commission. It does not in any way support the concept of compulsory sterilization and I think that statement should be withdrawn immediately.
Mr. Breaugh: Excuse me, Mr. Speaker, the question was directed to the Minister of Health.
Hon. F. S. Miller: I am not able to answer it in any detail. I know the matter has been under study ever since the battery plant was discussed in the spring and until I see the results I don’t want to comment.
Mr. Breaugh: A supplementary: Is it the usual procedure for the Human Rights Commission to refer things to the minister’s office?
Hon. F. S. Miller: I don’t think it’s usual. I think it’s the first time.
FARM INCOME STABILIZATION PLAN
Mr. Riddell: Mr. Speaker, a question to the Minister of Agriculture and Food --
Mr. Sweeney: Get the broom out.
Mr. Riddell: Due to the fact that there’s obvious confusion over the meaning of actual costs of production or cash costs in Bill 131, could the minister indicate to me what items will be included under cash costs? Will they include such things as hired labour costs and interest on operating capital, which we feel is most essential?
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. This bill is on the order paper for debate -- order, please. We don’t want to get into a lengthy question and answer because it’s an item -- order, please -- which will be called for consideration, I presume, in the near future. Does the minister have a short answer, however?
Hon. W. Newman: Do you want a short answer, Mr. Speaker? The answer is yes to both parts. They are included in the cash costs and I can give the member a list of what’s included in the cash costs if he likes.
Mr. Lewis: Yes, read the list.
Mr. S. Smith: It is very important.
Hon. W. Newman: All right. I will give members the short form: taxes and drainage; seed and seed treatment; fertilizer; sprays; tractor and machinery -- that’s operating costs -- crop insurance; hired labour; interest on operating capital.
Hon. Mr. Davis: If the member had done his homework, he would have had no problems yesterday, but he didn’t do it.
OTTAWA JOURNAL LOCKOUT
Mr. Cassidy: I have a question for the Minister of Labour, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Ottawa Centre only. Order, please.
Mr. Cassidy: A question to the Minister of Labour, Mr. Speaker: Can the minister report on the lockout situation at the Ottawa Journal and what the ministry or the government is doing to try to bring about a settlement?
Hon. B. Stephenson: Yes, Mr. Speaker. The hon. member knows, because I discussed it with him as late as the end of last week, that the Ministry of Labour is actively involved in attempting to bring the two parties together in this situation.
Mr. Cassidy: A supplementary: Can the minister explain why neither the union nor the management appears to be aware of any direct contacts between them and Mr. Scott, or other people in the ministry, on a regular basis since the lockout began almost two weeks ago?
Hon. B. Stephenson: I find that an interesting comment. I really wonder from where the information came to the hon. member. I shall try to find out the source of the statement he’s made.
Mr. Cassidy: Is the minister aware that the Journal has announced today that it intends to resume negotiations with the pressmen, stereotypers and mailers and has therefore clearly stated its intention to try to break the ITU and leave 85 printers out on the street? Does the minister consider that is good-faith bargaining?
Hon. B. Stephenson: I was not aware that the Ottawa Journal had made that statement and I would remind the hon. member that the union has the opportunity to lay a charge before the Ontario Labour Relations Board if it feels that this is an example of bad-faith bargaining.
Mr. Cassidy: That’s no answer at all.
UTDC-ONTC TRAIN DEAL
Mr. Sargent: Mr. Speaker, a question of the Minister of Transportation and Communications: --
Hon. Mr. Henderson: This is going to be good.
Mr. Sargent: Will he please tell the House why he bought trains for the Ontario Northland Railway from Switzerland while Amtrak in the United States is buying $10 million worth of LRTs from Montreal, from Bombardier? If the Yanks can buy from us, why can’t we buy from Canadian firms instead of going to Switzerland? Has the Premier got a deal on there too?
Mr. S. Smith: He doesn’t understand German.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please.
Hon. Mr. Snow: I think it is very easy to explain, although there are several reasons, perhaps the foremost being that the first two trains we have purchased will be delivered April 1 and will be in service by the end of April. The second two trains will arrive perhaps in August or September, 1977. We estimate it would take from three to five years to obtain delivery of new trains manufactured in Canada.
UTDC has purchased four trains for an amount between $3.7 million and $3.8 million delivered here in Canada, whereas the cost of those four trains made in Quebec probably would have been considerably over $20 million.
Mr. Kerrio: Would the minister care to advise the House how those people who have those requirements would need that much lead time that would catch us ordering, on 50 per cent of the answer he has given, strictly on lead time?
Hon. Mr. Rhodes: What are you talking about?
Mr. Kerrio: Where is the planning, that is the question?
Hon. Mr. Rhodes: It is delayed by the member for Nipissing (Mr. R. S. Smith).
Hon. Mr. Snow: First of all let me explain that, last September I believe, the federal government put out a request for proposals to supply new rail passenger equipment for the service between Quebec City and Montreal. Those proposals do not come in until next February or March and may be extended beyond that time. I do not expect that a decision will be made as to which trains the federal government will be purchasing until perhaps at least close to a year from now.
It is my understanding that it will take at least three years from that time for the new trains to be designed, finally developed and constructed. We have looked into the possibility of purchasing new train equipment for Ontario Northland as part of an order the federal government might place. Again, as I stated, if we did that, I don’t anticipate we would have the new equipment for a minimum of three years and it could be as long as five years.
The particular trains we have purchased are available and will be used in that five year interim. My statement, when I announced the trains, said that we were not bypassing the possibility of new Canadian equipment but this equipment would be utilized in the meantime.
Secondly, I might say it is my understanding, from talking to officials of the railroads -- not only ONTC but CNR and CPR -- that there is no way any Canadian company can gear up economically to build new rail passenger equipment for less than perhaps 20 or 25 train sets.
How this arrangement which has been made with Amtrak is being financed I do not know. Amtrak, as I understand it, has entered into some lease agreement with the Bombardier Company to supply two trains on a trial basis and the federal government has given a guarantee that it will buy back those two trains, for I believe $8.2 million, if after a couple of years Amtrak isn’t satisfied with them. This is a promotion deal of some kind.
SHABAQUA CORNERS -- THUNDER BAY ROUTE
Mr. Angus: Mr. Speaker, a question of the Minister of Transportation and Communications: With reference to the search by his ministry for a route for a proposed four-lane divided highway from Shabaqua Corners to the city of Thunder Bay, could he advise this House whether press reports originating from the staff of the ministry and indicating that the route has been narrowed down to three choices are correct? Has it been narrowed down to three choices?
Hon. Mr. Snow: I will have to look into that. I can’t verify it. I know the selection of that route is in the public participation process. The different alternative routes have been tabled, there have been public meetings, but I am certainly not aware of any narrowing down of the choices. I’ve not had a recommendation back from my staff as to dropping of any of the alternatives, which would be the normal process.
Mr. Angus: Supplementary: Perhaps when the minister is checking with his staff about that aspect, could he find out why they are saying one thing to the press -- that is three routes -- and to the municipality of Paipoonge, during a closed meeting on Tuesday, October 19, they stated they had selected the final route and would the municipality pass a resolution endorsing that route? Would he check into that for me, please?
Hon. Mr. Snow: Yes, certainly Mr. Speaker, I’ll check into it. I doubt very much, though, if my staff are giving different information to different people.
An hon. member: Do you want to bet?
Hon. Mr. Snow: I want to bet, yes.
Mr. Foulds: Supplementary: Does the minister not think that it would be wise to hold off a final choice of any proposed route, or even the development of the divided highway, until his ministry sees what kind of traffic patterns develop after the upgrading of Highway 102, especially with the new bridge over the thee railway tracks and the Kaministikwia River, is completed, to see how that shifts the traffic patterns in the area and whether or not that takes off the current load on Highways 11 and 17?
Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, first of all, as I tried to explain a moment ago -- obviously the hon. member doesn’t understand --
Mr. Foulds: I understand too well.
Hon. Mr. Snow: We have the public participation process going on at this time. There have been public meetings. The municipalities involved are considering the alternative routes. I’m sure those municipalities will be putting in resolutions as to their recommendations. After all this process has been completed then my staff from the northwestern region will be making a recommendation to me as to the selection of a route.
If I may quote an instance on Highway 17, on another section of Highway 17 between Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie, where there were about five routes originally selected, we did not narrow it down to one route because the project is some years ahead in the planning stage, as is Thunder Bay. We did disband three routes and have reserved rights on two routes. So there are many different ways of dealing with this particular type of a planning process.
CABLE TELEVISION SERVICE
Mr. G. I. Miller: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Housing concerning cable television service to senior citizens’ residences in my riding. Can he explain to me why cable television is being refused by Ontario Housing in senior citizens’ residences on Scott Avenue in Simcoe, when a similar residence on Arthur Street in the same municipality has cable service installed?
Hon. Mr. Rhodes: No, Mr. Speaker, I cannot explain that. If the hon. member would have dropped me a note on it I probably could have had an answer for him today, but I’ll find out.
Mr. Nixon: Is it true you don’t like senior citizens?
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. That’s not a supplementary.
Hon. Mr. Rhodes: No; I like senior citizens but you’re closer to them than I am.
Mr. Nixon: What did he say?
Mr. Philip: I wonder if the Minister of Housing can explain why there has been this continual fight between OHC and the cable companies that has not been resolved for a great number of months --
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I believe that’s a general question, where the other one was quite specific. There may be an opportunity later to ask that separate question.
Mr. Williams: Mr. Speaker, a question of the Minister of Health: Now that he has given the green light to the swine flu inoculation programme, would he recommend that all of the members of the House seek inoculation; and if so what would be the procedure to be followed?
Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, I am tempted to exclude some members from the programme. However, since it’s been proven safe, and since the Premier and I, in fact, are getting our shots right after this question period --
Mr. Lewis: Are you really?
Hon. F. S. Miller: Yes we are.
Mr. Lewis: You feel you fall within the generic definition of swine?
Hon. F. S. Miller: I’ll only speak for myself.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Hon. F. S. Miller: I might say he and I are not getting the same type.
Mr. Lewis: I should hope not.
Hon. Mr. Davis: He’s older than I am.
Hon. F. S. Miller: Yes, I would recommend that the members get it. In fact, I’d suggest that if they’re back in their riding they should contact their MOH. I’m quite sure that if members wanted us to have something for members -- in other words, our health service within the ministry arrange it -- we could do that and have an inoculation programme arranged at a specific time for members of the Legislature.
Mr. Lewis: We could do it during the private members’ hour.
Mr. Sweeney: Is it true that only the swine flu vaccine is now available?
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. That’s not supplementary to the question.
An hon. member: Oh, certainly it is.
Mr. Speaker: You may ask that in a few moments; we’ll get to you. We’re wasting time now.
Mr. Breithaupt: Is it true there hasn’t been a case of swine flu in North America?
Mr. Speaker: Order, please.
Mr. Bounsall: A question of the Minister of Labour: Would the minister inquire yet again into the arrangement between the Workmen’s Compensation Board and Premier Woodworking with respect to the situation where Premier Woodworking appears to be firing, rather abruptly and rather roughly in terms of the firing, those injured workmen whom they’ve employed by arrangement with the Workmen’s Compensation Board just prior to the period at which the subsidy paid by the Workmen’s Compensation Board to Premier Woodworking terminated?
Hon. B. Stephenson: I learned on Monday that there was at least a rumour about that this was happening and I have asked for an explanation and an investigation by the board on this matter.
Mr. Lupusella: Is the minister ready, through the Workmen’s Compensation Board, to reinstate full compensation to those seven injured workers who were fired by Premier Woodworking -- retroactive to the date on which they were fired?
Hon. B. Stephenson: I’m sorry, I obviously did not hear the middle portion of the question and I’m not sure which workers the hon. member was speaking about.
Mr. Lupusella: I’m going to rephrase my statement by way of a supplementary: Is the minister ready, through the Workmen’s Compensation Board, to reinstate full compensation to those seven injured workers who were fired by Premier Woodworking -- retroactive to the date on which they were fired?
Hon. B. Stephenson: It would be obviously premature for me to make any statement about that at all until the investigation of the problem is completed.
Mr. B. Newman: I have a question of the Minister of Culture and Recreation -- and by the way, Mr. Speaker, you bypassed us in the rotation of asking questions.
Mr. Speaker: No, there was the hon. member for Oriole (Mr. Williams), then over here, and now we’re getting to your party.
Mr. B. Newman: My question of the Minister of Culture and Recreation is: How are athletic supplies and equipment sent to the various groups and organizations purchased under Wintario? Are these purchases made on a tender basis in the first instance; and if they are, who are the prime suppliers?
Hon. Mr. Welch: We’ve recently altered the whole procedure. Rather than sending equipment out in response to those applications for equipment, we’re sending the cash equivalent and encouraging people to make their purchases in their own communities from distributors or retailers in their own home areas.
Mr. B. Newman: How long has that policy been in effect?
Hon. Mr. Welch: I think it was just cleared about two or three weeks ago.
Mr. Sargent: Last night.
Mr. B. Newman: In the minister’s letter to me less than a week ago, he made mention that he was going to change the policy, why didn’t he tell me at that time that he had changed the policy?
Mr. Nixon: His deputy hadn’t told him yet.
Hon. Mr. Welch: All I have shared with the hon. member is the policy as it is in answering his question. I take it that he would support the fact that we are encouraging successful recipients to make their purchases in their home area.
Mr. Bain: Supplementary: Could the minister clarify a situation? Before he made the change, when one ordered sports supplies from a supplier were they allowed to substitute and send a cheaper brand than the one the minister ordered?
Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, if I have understood the question, prior to this change in policy we were following procedures which had been employed for some years by the office of the athletics commissioner in actually sending out the equipment. I don’t know that there were any particular concerns with respect to the quality of the goods sent out -- if that is the hon. member’s question.
Mr. Cunningham: A supplementary over here.
Mr. Bain: If I could clarify the question --
Mr. Speaker: Order. No, I think we’ll go to another supplementary over here. The member for Huron-Bruce.
Mr. Gaunt: I’d like to know from the minister if the number of requests has increased substantially since Wintario has assumed this role?
Hon. Mr. Welch: Unquestionably. It’s very popular.
Mr. Gaunt: To what extent?
Mr. Speaker: A new question here.
DEATH OF CONSTRUCTION WORKER
Mr. Lupusella: A question to the Minister of Labour: Is the minister ready to initiate a full investigation and report to the House concerning the case of a 46-year-old workman, Herlander Santos, who fell 16 storeys to his death on November 8, 1976, from an extended loading platform on a building under construction on Yonge Street in North York?
Hon. B. Stephenson: No, Mr. Speaker, I am not ready at this point to report to the House about that matter. The investigation is not as yet complete and when it is I shall be pleased to report to the House.
While I’m on my feet, Mr. Speaker, could I please --
Mr. Lewis: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please.
Hon. B. Stephenson: I’m sorry.
Mr. Lupusella: A supplementary: In view of the 30 rolls of safety fence which were being lowered by crane on to the 12-by-18-foot platform which fell on top of Mr. Santos on the ground, can the minister investigate the safety conditions of the work place where Mr. Santos was killed?
Hon. B. Stephenson: Yes, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. O’Neil: A question of the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations: Can the minister confirm complaints which have been made to me that deaf persons are assessed for unduly high car insurance premiums? If this is so what steps does he plan to take to correct the situation?
Hon. Mr. Handleman: I’m afraid I didn’t hear who the question referred to; I heard something about high insurance rates. Did he say dead persons are assessed --
Mr. S. Smith: Deaf.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Would the hon. member repeat the question?
Mr. Sweeney: Maybe you have had your own --
Mr. O’Neil: I would hope that the minister’s premium rates are not too high. I’ll repeat the question.
Mr. Speaker: Order. Ask the question, please.
Mr. O’Neil: Can the minister confirm a complaint which has been made to me that deaf persons are assessed for unduly high car insurance premiums? If this is so what steps does he plan to take to correct the situation?
Mr. Nixon: He read your lips.
Hon. Mr. Handleman: Those complaints have not been conveyed to me, but I’d be glad to check into it and reply to the hon. member at a later date.
Mr. S. Smith: You haven’t heard them, have you?
Mr. Breithaupt: You haven’t heard them.
Mr. Speaker: The oral question period has expired.
POINT OF PRIVILEGE
Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege, the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations gave an answer which was not correct according to Bill 60, which was passed by this House earlier in the year. Section 5(2)(2a) and (3) of Bill 60 as amended makes it clear that if a landlord wishes to charge an eight per cent increase on a lease beginning in January or February of this year and then charge another increase after the expiry of rent control, he has every legal right to do so under the law as it presently stands. I would ask the minister to withdraw the erroneous material he gave to the House.
Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, my interpretation of the sections is quite the opposite of that of the hon. member. I’m prepared to check into it.
Mr. Speaker: Thank you.
Order; this is not a debate. The hon. minister indicated he would check into the interpretation of the sections.
Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I wish to serve notice that I am dissatisfied with the --
Mr. Speaker: You will give notice in writing, in the usual way.
Hon. Mr. Bennett presented the annual report of the Ontario Development Corporations for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1976.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: During the fiscal year the corporations approved a total of 246 loans and guarantees for $27.4 million. In addition there has been a marked increase in the demand for the corporations’ advisory services by small businessmen and inventors across the province.
The businesses assisted represent almost every facet of secondary manufacturing in the province with particular attention given to Canadian-owned ventures. Highlighting the fiscal assistance have been the loans approved under the tourist industry programme and the Ontario business incentive programme which together received a total of $16.2 million.
Demands for loans under the export support programme continued. Advances under this programme are re-cycled which results in support for a dollar volume of sales much greater than the loan amounts authorized.
During the year the corporation achieved a primary objective, which is to encourage increased economic growth in the northern and eastern parts of our province. These areas, which represent 25 per cent of the province’s total population, received 63 per cent of all the financial assistance provided by the corporation.
Hon. Mr. Bernier: The way it should be.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: The corporations have once again played an important role in the area of job creation and retention. It is estimated that a total of 3,906 new direct jobs will be established as a result of the corporations’ activities in the fiscal year.
In addition to sending a copy of the annual report to each member, I am attaching a list of the loans made in their individual constituencies.
Mr. Lawlor from the standing administration of justice committee reported the following resolution:
Resolved: That supply in the following amounts and to defray the expenses of the Ministry of the Attorney General be granted to Her Majesty for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1977:
Ministry of the Attorney General
Law officer of the Crown programme..$4,398,000
Administrative services programme..$22,177,000
Guardian and trustee services programme ...........................................................$4,239,00
Crown legal services programme....$11,856,000
Legislative counsel services programme.$502,000
Courts administration program......$62,179,500
Administrative tribunals program.....$5,728,000
Mr. Speaker: Motions.
Introduction of bills.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, before calling the orders for today, this might be the appropriate time to indicate the order of business for next week.
On Monday we will start with second reading of Bill 139 and, of course, it being Monday, at 5 o’clock there will be private members’ hour, when we will take under consideration second reading of private member’s Bill 95. There will be no evening session on Monday.
On Tuesday, if necessary, we will continue with second reading of Bill 139 until completed and then turn to the legislation standing in the name of the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) dealing with Bills 85, 140 and 141.
Mr. Deans: I would like to raise just one matter, if I may. Since the government House leader is putting it on the record, my colleague the member for Lakeshore (Mr. Lawlor) has asked me to ask that they not be dealt with necessarily in that order. He would prefer to deal with Bill 85 last. Is that reasonable?
Mr. Breithaupt: I thought it was the intention to debate them in order, but it can be the way the Attorney General wishes to call them, I presume.
Mr. Deans: Anyway, my colleague has asked if it would be possible.
Hon. Mr. Welch: The Attorney General has no objections. We simply felt that we would call them in numerical order. If there is some other order, as long as we deal with all three of them, that’s fine. Are there any other questions?
Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Speaker, can we hear from the Attorney General what the order then shall be?
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, I have no personal preference whatever. I would like to accommodate all the parties in the Legislature and I would hope that perhaps the justice critics for the two opposition parties perhaps could agree on the order, which I would be quite happy to live with.
Mr. Breithaupt: Fine. That would be satisfactory.
Mr. Speaker: Orders of the day.
The following bills were given third reading upon motion:
Bill 130, An Act to amend The Planning Act.
Bill 136, The Corporations Information Act, 1976.
Bill 137, An Act to amend The Business Corporations Act.
Bill 138, An Act to amend The Corporations Act.
BUDGET DEBATE (CONTINUED)
Resumption of the adjourned debate on the amendment to the motion that this House approves in general the budgetary policy of the government.
Mr. Nixon: I see that the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) is planning to leave the chamber, but I’m still delighted to have an opportunity to bring to your attention, sir, and to those who will be here in the Legislature, some of my views having to do with the fiscal and financial policies that have directed the affairs of this province in recent months and to give my opinions as to what the direction ought to be in the future.
I feel that the most important and certainly one of the most interesting documents that is presented to us is the financial report of the province of Ontario -- not its budget, but in fact the accounting of where the moneys are raised and how they are spent during the previous fiscal year. The most recent one came into our hands about a month ago and it contained some points of interest that I want to use as more or less a structure for the remarks I want to put before you, sir, and the other members of the House
On page 4, I read from the report as follows:
“ … the province implemented a series of tax cuts and incentive programmes during 1975. These measures in brief were; a reduction of the retail sales tax from seven per cent to five per cent from April 7” -- just before the election -- “to December 31, 1975” -- just after the election. I’m interpolating, Mr. Speaker, for your convenience -- “rebating to consumers the entire sales tax on new cars purchased from July 7” -- just before the election, Mr. Speaker -- “to December 31, 1975” -- just after, and third -- “providing a $1,500 grant to first time home buyers from April 7” -- just before the election -- “to December 31, 1975” -- just after. “By the end of 1975... and as of January 1, 1976, the home buyers’ grants programme ended and the retail sales tax was returned to seven per cent. The total cost of these temporary measures is estimated at $590 million.”
That figure of $590 million is an important one from my point of view, perhaps more important than for anyone else, because the taxpayers in the province, and to some extent the members of the Legislature, are not impressed by the figure of $590 million. It’s almost meaningless. Yet, sir, I submit to you that this was the cost of the special programmes brought forward by the Treasurer to repair what he considered to be certain political damage suffered by the Conservative Party during the previous month.
I’m sure the instructions given to him by the Premier (Mr. Davis) were, “Darcy, you bring in a programme that will win us votes, and don’t worry about the cost.” This was before either the Treasurer or the Premier had ever heard of retrenchment, and this $590 million, all of it coming out of the taxpayers’ pockets, was for the payment of these short programmes which were designed to recoup some of the lost favour of the provincial Conservative Party. I’m very much concerned, sir, that the programmes will be entered into this way and it makes me feel that the approach the government has taken since those days in an effort to cut government costs has been essentially hypocritical and non-productive in a very serious way.
I want, sir, to bring to your attention a further extract from the financial report of the province of Ontario, and this comes from page 19:
“The Ontario Land Corporation, established in March, 1975, received on March 25, 1975, advances of $320 million to purchase land for the North Pickering, South Cayuga, Townsend and Edwardsburgh projects.”
Those names might ring a bell with some members. But $320 million of public funds has been used to purchase large tracts of land in various parts of the province which was supposed to fulfil the planning requirements in the long range programme of the previous Treasurer, the Hon. John White.
Mr. White is no longer a member of this Legislature. I am sure he is enjoying his new duties, among them being a lecturer in economies at the University of Western Ontario. While the students at that university no doubt benefit from his experience as Treasurer we here in this House have to carry, in my view, a very large burden indeed of the errors made in planning in the areas headed by the former Treasurer and subsequently supported by the present incumbent.
I want to recall to mind some of the, let’s say programmes, associated with this $320-million. Pickering new town was to have been a well serviced community built in conjunction with the new federal airport that was to be built in the Pickering area. The airport, very properly, has been suspended if not abandoned forever but it is really a bit of a tragedy that the properties taken for the airport and those taken for the Pickering new town were bought or expropriated.
Certainly it led to a good deal of heartache for the Minister of Housing (Mr. Rhodes) and our Ombudsman over the procedures for payment. That has not been completely disposed of yet.
The property sits out there and is not under development. The old homes have been repaired so that they can be rented out to people who might make use of them but here’s a large tract of land -- actually this was not John White’s programme but the present Treasurer’s programme -- which just sits there, and meanwhile we pay interest on the investment.
Edwardsburgh is another interesting one in eastern Ontario. A large tract in Edwardsburgh township was purchased by the government for an industrial development in that area. The present member for --
Mr. Conway: Carleton-Grenville (Mr. Irvine).
Mr. Nixon: -- Carleton-Grenville was not even consulted by the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Bennett) at the time when he made the announcement. The real tragedy of it is the member for Carleton-Grenville was very closely associated with local initiatives in purchasing property down by the river in that township. It is served by Highway 401; it is by the main line of the railway service with easy access to the Seaway. It is an area which has never developed in any appropriate way simply because the province went in without consultation, even with the local member, and bought this huge tract of land in the middle of Edwardsburgh township.
Mr. Breithaupt: I’d say he was betrayed.
Mr. Nixon: I will tell members it certainly does seem to be a betrayal because we have committed a tax fund amounting in total to $320 million for these purchases I am referring to. They were entered without consultation, without planning. The property sits there growing weeds except where the property has been leased out to local farmers at very advantageous rates. This is in an area where every member of this House would like to see government funds spent for the appropriate development of local industry to provide jobs for the people concerned.
I believe the member for Carleton-Grenville had a good initiative with his local municipal colleagues in those days in setting aside a development for this kind of growth. When the present Minister of Industry and Tourism moved in there and made this large purchase local plans were simply knocked into a cocked hat. Nothing has happened since then. We haven’t even been treated to announcements.
It may be when the election pot gets heated up a bit in 1977 the government, in reaction to some public relations poll, will feel it is time to say something more about eastern Ontario. Meanwhile our $320 million sits there.
Mr. Nixon: The hon. member for York North (Mr. Hodgson) is interjecting. The hon. member for York North is chairman of a planning committee for a third new community and that is Townsend, in Haldimand-Norfolk. Haldimand-Norfolk is not very close to North York but the hon. member, being a good Tory back-bencher and a fine fellow all around, we would agree, has been selected by his master, the Minister of Housing, to go to that area to chair the local planning committee.
I will tell you, Mr. Speaker, and you might be interested in this, he’s much more acceptable and personally popular than his predecessor. His predecessor is now the minister -- what the devil does she do? Anyway, she is presently the member for St. David (Mrs. Scrivener). She went down there with a rather autocratic view, representing the centralized authority of the province of Ontario, to tell those peasants exactly what they should have for development.
At least the member for York North knows how to talk to farmers and local municipal councillors, but even he is not capable of serving two masters. When it gets down to what you call the short strokes, he knows which side of the bread his butter is on.
Mr. Hodgson: Just wait and see.
Mr. Nixon: He is serving what I consider the misdirected planning initiatives and investments taken by both the present Treasurer and his predecessor.
I want to say something about it because the members of the House so often simply ignore the problems that occur in other parts of Ontario. We are all guilty of that. Perhaps we think what is happening in our own area is worthy of more direct attention. I feel this is an opportunity for me, as the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk, to bring to your attention just what is happening and what is not happening in the area of our investment of $320 million in these lands. I have already referred to the Pickering new town briefly and the Edwardsburgh project briefly, both of which are completely on ice, both of which receive part of that $320-million investment and both of which in my view were serious errors of judgement.
Hon. Mr. Irvine: Which you don’t know anything about.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: Listen to the interjections.
Mr. Nixon: Now we come to this Townsend situation. Here in the middle of the former township of Townsend is a property that the government was able to pick up at the knock-down price of $22 million. In asking questions in the House it appears that John White, who was then Treasurer, almost made the decision and signed the cheque himself. Question as we could, we couldn’t find anybody but the Premier who was aware of the decision to proceed and purchase.
Here is a beautiful agricultural tract. I have driven through it many times. It is in my constituency. It is completely rural with nothing but maybe one or two rural country stores in the area. And this is designed for development as a new city. It wasn’t enough that we get that particular tract of land worth $22 million, but about five or six miles away the then Treasurer decided we should have another. Try as I might, I can think of no justification to buy an additional tract of land, once again worth $20 million.
It is true it is reasonably close to the Nanticoke industrial development but, after all, we already have a new city site that had been purchased previously. Being the kind of politician I am, I even tried to think was there some political advantage in it, and I could think of none, other than that the Treasurer was caught up by this vision of development in Haldimand-Norfolk which really was not borne out by any statistics or plan that was developed either by the industries or the people locally in any sense whatsoever.
I will tell you, Mr. Speaker, I was not surprised when about a week ago the regional council of Haldimand-Norfolk passed a resolution telling the government that they were not prepared to go forward with the plan as enunciated by John White and substantiated by the Treasurer and the Minister of Housing. The council says that the development is premature, and that there are serviced lots presently on the market --
Mr. Makarchuk: At what price are they?
Mr. Nixon: -- to accommodate 30,000 people. They feel in their planning procedure they can find 10,000 lots. The hon. member for Brantford is interjecting, “At what price?” He can make his own speech when he wants to reflect the policies of the New Democratic Party which call for the ownership of all land used for development.
Mr. Makarchuk: That is a lot of nonsense.
Mr. Nixon: Oh, yes, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Makarchuk: What you are doing is driving up the price?
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk has the floor.
Mr. Nixon: You certainly would be familiar, Mr. Speaker, with the stand taken by the New Democratic Party in the last election calling for the public ownership of all developable properties within a reasonable range of the urban areas. I am sure you are also familiar with the stand calling for the public ownership of the resource development of northern Ontario. But that is just a little bit off the point I wanted to raise here.
Mr. Moffatt: Perhaps the member would like to move that.
Mr. Foulds: The member is misleading the House.
Mr. Reed: Any more interjections?
Mr. Deputy Speaker: The hon. member for Port Arthur will not accuse another member of misleading the House. He must withdraw it.
Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is in fact mis-stating my party’s policy, and he even mis-states his own party’s policy.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: You can challenge the ruling if you wish, but you cannot debate it. You will withdraw it or I will have to ask you to leave.
Mr. Foulds: Oh, well, I’ll withdraw it, Mr. Speaker, seeing as it’s you.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Thank you.
Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker, I accept the gracious withdrawal of the hon. member, but rather than lose the point, which concerns me so much, the hon. member for Brantford feels the availability of serviced housing sites for 30,000 people in the Haldimand-Norfolk area does not provide sufficient competition in the area to keep the prices at a reasonable level. Really, I wish he could indicate how we could have serviced lots at no cost or at a lower cost to the people concerned --
Mr. Makarchuk: They don’t need 30,000 serviced lots.
Mr. Nixon: But I’ll tell you, Mr. Speaker, his only knowledge of the area --
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order.
Mr. Nixon: I said lots for 30,000 people. Why don’t you get it right, Mac?
You see, Mr. Speaker, the only knowledge the hon. member for Brantford has of the area is when he drives from his home on Dufferin Avenue, which is the elite street in Brantford, and he drives through the constituency to use his yacht, which plies Lake Erie and sometimes even goes into Lake Ontario, I’m told, on more extended journeys. So I know how concerned he is that the capitalist system is keeping so many of the good things away from him and his family.
I do want to tell you, Mr. Speaker, that by resolution of the elected council of the regional municipality of Haldimand-Norfolk, the Minister of Housing has been requested -- and that is a very mild word to use -- that the present plan for the development of the Townsend new town or city be changed and that it be postponed at least three years. It’s rather difficult to determine just what the plan is because when it was first enunciated by the Treasurer the first houses were to be ready for occupancy in 1977. Now, that’s not far away.
Mr. Breithaupt: About six weeks.
Mr. Nixon: I think there has been some internal adjustment, which the member for York North (Mr. Hodgson) might talk about if he wants to enter this debate, which has postponed it one year to 1978. But the local planning authorities indicate there is considerable confusion in that regard.
The member for York North has moved into the area as chairman of the local planning group, and through the Ministry of Housing they have some very capable people who have ensconced themselves in a trailer in this rural area on the edge of the proposed new town. I’ve met with these people and they are very able people indeed. I wouldn’t say they had a conflict of interest, other than they are committed to the town going forward and will not listen to any reasonable argument that it is not required at this time.
It’s interesting to note that this planning group, which is presently headed by the member for York North, commissioned a report from Woods, Gordon. The Woods, Gordon report, last June, looked at the plan of the area and the possibility for local development and came with a very strong recommendation that the timetable be revised. They said that if they go ahead with the present programme, which involves bringing water from the Nanticoke area up into the new townsite and another big pipe to take the sewage down to the lake again, then there is a real possibility that between $30 million and $40 million of capital will have been used for the servicing of that property and there will not be anybody there who will need to use the serviced lots.
It’s estimated by the local people -- and after all we are all committed to local autonomy; we are so frequently told this by the Treasurer and others, that surely in this area their judgement must be the directing one. I’m sure also that the government would not be prepared to go ahead without the appropriate zoning bylaws that must be enacted by the local council. In this connection I would say that if there is anything fair and reasonable in the approach by the planning authorities here in Toronto, they will bow to the wisdom and judgement of the local authorities.
Haldimand-Norfolk has been constituted as a region for three years. I understand their planning complement involves almost 30 professional people, their director of planning is a very competent man indeed, and yet the whole area is still under minister’s planning orders. One can’t get a severance; one can’t get a building permit for a backhouse unless it has the signature or the initial, presumably, of the Minister of Housing.
Mr. Breithaupt: Carved on the door.
Mr. Nixon: Perhaps that’s so. Right under the half moon.
Mr. Foulds: Can you get a building permit --
Mr. Nixon: It seems to me that if this present government is doing anything more than paying lip service to local autonomy, this is an area where surely it must bow to the behest, if not the demands, of the local people.
We have said from the first that the local towns in Haldimand-Norfolk, running up into Brant, have an excellent capacity for further growth. I have already indicated -- this is questioned by the member for Brantford but it is the information provided by the planning experts in Haldimand-Norfolk -- that there are serviced lots which will accommodate 30,000 people.
Mr. Makarchuk: What are the prices of the houses? What does a house cost?
Mr. Nixon: It is estimated that approximately 10,000 serviced lots are available in the area. This means that these communities -- such as Waterford, Delhi, Simcoe, Cayuga, Caledonia, into Brantford and Scotland -- most of them are presently served by sewage disposal systems which have been built largely with the assistance of programmes of the provincial government. They have water systems; they have schools with room in them. They have arenas -- many of them newly under reconstruction due to the decisions of the Minister of Labour (B. Stephenson) and the largesse of the Minister of Culture and Recreation (Mr. Welch). We have the social capital established there.
Mr. Breithaupt: Even the churches aren’t full.
Mr. Nixon: My hon. friend says there’s even room in the churches and God knows that’s true.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: All over.
Mr. Nixon: We’re saying that reasonable development during the next two decades can very well be associated with the communities which are already established. This visionary approach taken by the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) and now by the Minister of Housing which sees these new cities rising out of the rural landscape of Ontario, is a vision that is certainly not precise.
Mr. Breithaupt: The land of Oz.
Mr. Nixon: We don’t want it to become another one of the fiscal nightmares to which this government has treated us in recent years.
I simply recall to mind the point I read from the Treasurer’s report; it’s just a one-line note that in the purchase of those properties $320 million has been spent. The interest that money bears -- we’re holding the land now and not doing anything with it -- is a continuing drag on the economy of this province.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: That’s why we wanted development.
Mr. Nixon: I draw to the attention of the House as well that one of the strong recommendations of the special programme review, chaired by the Treasurer himself, calls for an examination of those properties and, he says, the sale of those properties to relieve the heavy economic burden on the taxpayers if development is not going forward.
I would say that those municipalities have the power to plan for the use of those properties in any way they see fit. I am very much concerned that the established policy of this government in spending $320 million for properties which are of no use now is a serious concern to everyone.
Obviously, landbanking is an important aspect of the policies of any modern government but landbanking cannot be simply the indiscriminate purchase of property wherever a Treasurer or someone advising him, politically or otherwise, decides to make such a purchase. I recall that these are not the only properties held in the name of the province of Ontario. I have tried to add together the properties which are held -- we’re not talking about Crown lands; you know a lot more about those than I do, Mr. Deputy Speaker, coming from northern Ontario.
In town and industrial sites only, the Crown owns 58,000 acres. For the parkway belt we own another 20,000. For housing as yet undeveloped, 21,000 acres. For highway development, 34,000 acres; and for recreation, 117,000 acres.
That means the Ontario government holds through its various agencies 250,000 acres, parcels of land worth, by a conservative estimate -- I know that’s the kind, Mr. Speaker, most impressive to you -- about a half a billion dollars. As yet, the government has no programme to adequately use them.
We’re concerned with affordable housing. It’s not just the member for Brantford who talks about that.
Mr. Makarchuk: The local Liberals squelched it.
Mr. Nixon: While he chortles up in the back row and thinks about his warm mansion in the heart of the city of Brantford, shedding those crocodile tears that are so characteristic of his approach to public policy, still we draw --
Mr. Makarchuk: The local Liberals killed the policy.
Mr. Nixon: -- to his attention and yours that a thousand acres are held by Ontario Housing in Brantford township, ready for development while that same member for Brantford is calling for a freeze on all development outside the city of Brantford. Talk about hypocrisy.
Mr. Nixon: Talk about a misdirected approach. That has got to be one of the more serious ones.
Mr. Makarchuk: On a point of order.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: A point of order, the member for Brantford.
Mr. Makarchuk: The member for Brant- Oxford-Norfolk is misleading the House. That is not the case whatsoever.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: Tell us the answer. Tell us what is the truth.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Is the member for Brantford suggesting that the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk is misleading the House?
Mr. Deans: It certainly sounds like it.
Mr. Makarchuk: The Brantford member is suggesting that what the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk is saying right now to the effect that I want a freeze on all development in Brantford township is not correct.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: You will agree that he’s not misleading the House?
An hon. member: Oh, yes, he is.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: The hon. member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk can continue.
Mr. Nixon: I will have more to say about the problems involving the city of Brantford, represented by my hon. friend, and Brantford township a bit later in my brief remarks. But you will be aware, sir, of the controversies between the city of Brantford and Brantford township.
Mr. Foulds: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, I beg your wisdom but I would like to know how the Chair can rule that when a member of the House gives false information to the House, the member is not in fact misleading the House.
Mr. Nixon: If I might speak to that point of order, Mr. Speaker, I doubt very much whether either the Speaker or the hon. member for Port Arthur can be the last judge as to what is false and what is not. If I might assist the Speaker in this matter, I may say something that I consider to be factual and the hon. member for Brantford contradicts me; then that should be the end of it. I don’t have to believe him and I don’t have the power to make him believe me. The electorate makes a judgement in these matters and that’s enough for me.
Mr. Foulds: It’s a question of procedure.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: The hon. member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk is very prescient. I was going to say the same thing myself. The hon. member may continue.
Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker, I like to be as helpful as I can.
Mr. Foulds: Even though misleading.
Mr. Nixon: I just wanted to be sure that the government’s policy in the development of these lands, to which I have been referring to specifically, has been completely inadequate. It has been wasteful in the extreme. It has been based on the pipedream of a former Treasurer who is not even here and is no longer a member of this House. I believe that it is no longer supported with any enthusiasm by the members of the ministry who have the direct responsibility for the enactment of the original vision.
I would suggest that those particular people who have for the present time the responsibility of carrying out government policy should examine it without further delay. We have $320 million of capital commitment and every day hundreds of thousands of dollars are being wasted because of government inaction in this particular regard.
I want to say something further about the emerging problems of municipal government that involve the city of Brantford and the county of Brant. I’m very glad the member for Brantford is here because from time to time he might want to interject his remarks.
Mr. Makarchuk: I just knew you were going to talk about it.
Mr. Nixon: As you are aware, sir, the area to which I refer is the smallest county in Ontario and is presently a hole in the regionalized doughnut, for which I give continuing thanks. The area is surrounded by regional government in Haldimand-Norfolk. I’ve already referred to them. Oxford --
Hon. Mr. Parrott: No, restructured county, we talked about that the other day.
Mr. Nixon: -- which the hon. minister is interjecting is not a regional government at all but I certainly would disagree with him in that connection, because he surely knows full well that the whole purpose of the so-called restructuring of a county is simply to put the city and the rural areas under one government and this is precisely what a regional government does.
Going farther to the north, in the north is the Waterloo regional government, and so we are surrounded. Being a fairly small county I have had the impression for many years --
Mr. Foulds: Are you a small county? You have got a misplaced modifier there.
Mr. Nixon: No, I’m not, I live in a small county. It’s the best one, but the smallest. I have had the impression now for many years that the present Treasurer, even going back to his first visions of regionalization, felt that this would be an excellent example of an area which could have a one-tier government; in other words, the city of Brantford would simply expand itself to include the whole of the area of Brant county.
This is really the position that has been taken by the city of Brantford and, as nearly as I can tell from the pronouncements that are frequently coming from the pen of the member for Brantford, is the approach to government reform the NDP member for Brantford considers the best course of action. In other words, gobble up the rest of the township and let Brantford run everything.
Mr. Makarchuk: You expect them to pay the shot, don’t you?
Mr. Nixon: I hesitate, Mr. Speaker, to put words in his mouth but he is not denying it; he is simply indicating that Brantford is paying all the shots, therefore they should run the whole of the local government.
I could not be more opposed to this, and if this is a difference in principle between the NDP and the Liberals then so be it. I consider it to be basic Liberal philosophy not to impose the kinds of government changes which have been so characteristic of Conservative policy in the past.
I want to be fair -- I always am fair -- and I want to say to you, Mr. Speaker, it is not the Conservative Treasurer who is trying to ram this down our throats, it’s the NDP member for Brantford who is trying to do it. That’s a fact.
Mr. Nixon: The Treasurer, being an astute politician, has backed off from regional government entirely. He has said that there will be no more imposition of regional government. I would like to bring that point to your attention, Mr. Speaker, because I believe very strongly that the traditions of cooperation between the city of Brantford and the municipalities in the county of Brant should be able to carry us over the difficulties which seem to be arising in the negotiations between the urban and the rural areas.
The spokesmen for the city -- including the local member; that is the local city member -- are very much against any developments taking place in the county at all. They point to what some people have called the devastation of the city core in Brantford. I don’t consider it devastated. Some of the best stores around are there. But one should not forget the point that one of the largest new shopping centres, Lynden Park Mall, was not built out in the rural area but in fact built within the boundaries of the city of Branford itself.
I don’t want to be in a position where I exacerbate the problems that have been arising between the two areas --
Mr. Makarchuk: It was your friends who put it there, Bob. Your fellow members put that in there.
Mr. Nixon: -- but I will say to you, Mr. Speaker, that we have had a full local government review and the spokesman for Brantford in this House keeps calling for the annexation of the whole of the county of Brant, and he is talking about an area of Brantford township but essentially one tier regional government means the annexation of the whole county, and that is completely inadmissible. As long as there are people talking that way, then of course we cannot move in any orderly or co-operating way to a reasonable settlement. I believe, very strongly --
Mr. Makarchuk: You have been moving since 1964 -- backwards.
Mr. Nixon: I believe very strongly that it is necessary to co-ordinate the planning procedures of the urban area with the rural area, but I am unalterably opposed to any regional government which would mean that all of the decisions taken in the county area are based on a majority decision of those representatives representing the city of Brantford. I have a very good reason for expressing this opposition. The most recent statistics having to do with the cost of regional government are as follows.
Between 1970 and 1974, there was regionalization of very large areas of the province and certain costs changed during those years. Very briefly I want to compare the changes in the cost of local government and local taxation in the areas which were regionalized with those in the areas in the rest of the province which were not regionalized.
The increase in municipal spending in the period between 1970 and 1974 in the regions was 85 per cent. In the rest of the province it was 54 per cent. The increase in residential taxation in the regionalized areas was 52.3 per cent; in the rest of the province it was 23 per cent. The increase in provincial assistance to the regions was 139 per cent and in the rest of the province it was 98 per cent.
Let me say something about that. Obviously in those years of inflation and expanding municipal services, the government, under great pressure, had increased municipal assistance across the board to all the municipalities. It almost doubled it in the four years to the municipalities of the ordinary unregionalized type but it went up almost 140 per cent for the others. These statistics are government statistics. They come from the special review of government programmes, chaired by the Treasurer himself, and they indicate clearly what’s happened to those costs.
I want to put on the record just one other statistic. In the period from 1970 to 1974 the increase in staff, those people hired by municipal government, was as follows: In regions the staff numbers went up 53.6 per cent and in the rest of the province the staff numbers went up 24 per cent. We can understand now why the Treasurer says we don’t want any more regional government. We have been saying from the first, as Liberals, that we cannot afford this additional level of government. We cannot afford an approach which was supposed to make government more efficient but which has a price tag which has been an extremely heavy additional burden for the taxpayers to bear.
Mr. Makarchuk: You are talking out of both sides of your mouth.
Mr. Nixon: The member for Brantford is interjecting -- probably something about increased services, and that may be.
Mr. Makarchuk: You are talking out of both sides of your mouth.
Mr. Nixon: Not at all.
Mr. Makarchuk: What is the per capita spending in Brantford?
Mr. Nixon: We are opposed to regional government. It is interesting that although the member for Brantford wants the city to expand its jurisdiction over the county, still the official policy of the NDP is against regional government. Of course, as usual, they are trying to have it both ways. I don’t know -- the member cuts his cloth to deal with what he thinks is going to be acceptable in his own community but it doesn’t reflect the policy of his party. I think that is a regrettable thing. I don’t think he’s trying to mislead this House in any way but he may be trying to mislead the people in Brantford.
Mr. Edighoffer: They don’t all have yachts, do they?
Mr. Nixon: I would simply draw your attention again, Mr. Speaker, to one of the clear recommendations in the special programme review, chaired by the Treasurer. It had all sorts of other people on it. What was his name -- the former federal Auditor General?
Mr. Edighoffer: Henderson.
Mr. Nixon: Maxwell Henderson was the watchdog of federal expenditure. The clear instruction was that there should be no further regionalization of government and this was predicated directly on the statistics they gave us on the increase in the cost and the increase in the staff.
To be fair they went on to say that there was increased service. In many areas the regions have their own police forces, as we know, but they don’t have the advantage of policing by the OPP. Where they have a local regional police force, while this is an increased service, still it is a tremendous and unnecessary increase in expenditure.
I wanted to make clear my feeling that the problem in the Brant area, involving Brantford, can be worked out in a very acceptable way. Brantford can have the room to expand. There are streets of houses for rent in Brantford now. We talk about going to buy a house -- we can buy a street of houses in Brantford if we want. The houses are not just serviced -- they are built and standing empty.
The member for Brantford very properly concerns himself with the price but unless we are going to opt for the socialist alternative that he is recommending, then really I would say to you that there’s no shortage of houses in Brantford and really there is no shortage at this time of space for further and reasonable development. I don’t see why Brantford township cannot avail themselves of the services, of the sewage disposal system in Brantford and even the water supply. After all, the original capital came almost 100 per cent from the vote of the moneys from the Legislature of the province of Ontario and if another municipality is going to avail themselves of the service, then of course they would pay their share and no one would expect differently.
Any attitude on the part of the urban areas that all other growth should be frozen and thus apply the kind of pressure that can only lead to some cataclysmic change in the procedures of local government -- I believe that approach is irresponsible. It is not in the tradition of government development in our area and anyone who advocates it is certainly courting the wrath of the thinking citizens and taxpayers.
I want to deal briefly with another matter that often occupies my attention and that has to do with the policy of the Liquor Licence Board of the province. Unfortunately the minister is not in his place, but I just want to deal briefly with this because the area that I represent perhaps suffers more from the inconsistencies in the policy of the Liquor Board, which is essentially the policy of the government, than any other area.
I have brought to your attention on previous occasions, Mr. Speaker, the fact that a number of the townships in my constituency have never had what you might call a “yes” vote. In other words, they are dry townships. There have been votes in a number of the townships which have been lost and in fact the dry status under the law has been maintained.
I have said repeatedly that I feel that the local option approach to this no longer serves the community and that I feel that it should be done away with, but that’s another matter. I believe that the approach is ridden with hypocrisy. But dealing with the law as it is, even in those townships which have never voted wet since about 1962 there has been a procedure developing whereby an application for a special occasion permit has been received with some favour with the LLBO. Even though there has never been a yes vote, a permit goes out for a special occasion in which an organization which wants to raise money in support of an arena or a hockey league or any other worthy purpose can in fact do so. These dances and social events are sometimes the highlights of the season in many respects.
I believe it was at the end of Mr. Mackey’s tenure as chairman of the LLBO that someone brought to the attention of perhaps the minister, if not the chairman of the board, that these special occasion permits -- which began to be issued, I believe, if not under the direction at least with the knowledge of the former Premier, John Robarts -- that the approach had changed dramatically. An order went out that no more special occasion permits were to be issued and it was about a year ago now that that happened.
Any of my colleagues who happen to represent areas affected know how dislocating they were. The areas had become accustomed to the fact that they did not have commercial outlets for alcoholic beverages in their area -- and had voted against them in fact -- but on these special occasions for purposes which the community supported you could go to one of these affairs and buy a drink which you thought was being legally bought and consume it in a manner which you thought at the time was legal.
This was changed just before Christmas when a number of plans had been made and because of the outcry the decision was made -- and nothing was said too much about it although I raised it here in the House -- that perhaps the old order would be maintained at least over the festive season and that it would be in the January following that the new and more rigid approach would be applied and so it was.
This might be a surprise to you, Mr. Speaker, but I am not a teetotaller myself and so I don’t want to indicate anything other than that in my remarks, but I do feel that the law being as it is and these areas having voted dry, the best thing they could do was to make plans to seek the opinion of the electorate again and if they continued to vote dry, then of course the new tougher regulations would apply. But there is a section of the Act that says you can only have one vote every three years. Most of the townships, having just had a vote, found themselves in the position where the law would not enable them to carry on as was their custom, and there was no recourse.
I asked the minister if we could not amend the law, even giving the Lieutenant Governor in Council the power to authorize a special vote since, in fact, the regulations had been changed without consultation with the Legislature or with anybody else. The application of the regulations had changed. This request was denied, and so we had to make do as we were.
The thing that I found most unconscionable -- and here I must express dissatisfaction with the conduct of the officials of the Liquor Licence Board -- was that on many occasions, which I have brought specifically to the attention of the chairman of the board by letter, there were applications from these areas in the former sense which were turned down by the board under the new rules and the people concerned then would turn for help, in at least two instances that I know of, to a defeated Conservative candidate in the area --
Mr. Conway: Typical.
Mr. S. Smith: Scandalous.
Mr. Nixon: -- and, like that, the decision of the board was reversed. I do not blame the gentleman who was the defeated candidate. After all, as a citizen himself if somebody comes to him for his advice and his assistance, why shouldn’t he give it? But I do say that the law itself is an ass. What is even more unacceptable is the way it is being applied, or has been applied in my personal knowledge, by the Liquor Licence Board.
I want to be fair to Mr. Rice, the chairman, who has written to me saying that it was done in error. But it happened on more than one occasion, and the people in the local community have come to me and said to me, as their member: “What kind of a state of affairs is it when the Liquor Licence Board turns it down and then reverses their decision under those circumstances?”
Mr. Conway: Where is Lorne?
Mr. Nixon: I felt concerned about this and I wanted to bring it to the attention of the minister, because I believe that the basic fault is with the law itself and I would hope that we can move in this Legislature at least to moderate its effect.
The minister in his responses to me has said: “We in the Conservative Party believe in local option” -- that’s true; they do -- “and you, as a Liberal, have said you don’t believe in it.” But I do not feel that we are serving the cause of the community in any way by this particular course of action.
There is just one further point in this connection. I do feel that we might also amend the liquor laws to make another option available to the community if this law is going to continue. At the present time if the residents of a community are asked to vote yes or no on a liquor question, if they vote yes it means that there must be a commercial outlet in the community, either a liquor store, a beer store, a licensed dining facility, a bar or a lounge -- whatever happens to be the question before them. But many of these areas feel they are reasonably well served with outlets and they would like, as one of the alternatives, a question as to whether they would like the Liquor Licence Board authorized to grant special occasion permits under the procedure where, if they are granted, sales can take place in support of certain community non-profit programmes. I wanted to bring that to your attention, sir, since I feel it is a matter which continues to plague us.
Mr. Conway: Patronage.
Mr. Nixon: If I had time -- and maybe I do have time -- I would like to say a good deal more about this matter. We have been treated to statements by government officials that the drinking age should be raised, that advertising should be controlled, that we ought to have diluted beer instead of the present beer -- remember the former member for Niagara Falls said we ought to have near-beer of some sort or something like that? They had all sorts of proposals, but they have done nothing.
One thing we in this House could do is to move toward a banning of liquor and beer advertising in this province. Obviously this is a matter which comes under federal jurisdiction as well, but I would say that one of the simplest ways to move toward that would be to pass legislation in this House directing the Liquor Licence Board not to handle any product that is advertised under the procedures that could be designated in this province.
I’ll tell you, with a market of the size that it is in this province, where we as a government make $350 million profit on the markup alone before we even tax it, that the people who are in the liquor business would very soon, let us say, amend or change their ways. It seems, as we look at the statistics, both in costs in dollars to the taxpayers and in suffering to the community at large, that it is irresponsible of us as legislators to permit the advertising of liquor and alcoholic beverages to continue in this province. I would submit to you, sir, that we must take action to see that that advertising is stopped.
In completing my remarks. I want to say just a word or two further about the Treasurer’s attempts to cut costs. I have indicated to you, sir, how inadequate I feel his approach has been. When I see in his own report that close to $600 million was spent last year in those election gimmicks that were in force for only a few months just before the election, it just appals me; it probably appals me more than anybody else. But then to see the government come forward, with all of the piety they are capable of over these many years and say: “Ah yes, now we are concerned about the cost of government”; where in fact it was our concern, in a way that I feel could have been very effective indeed, with the costs of these programmes that have gone forward.
I simply want to tell you that under the Treasurer’s own signature there is a compendium of cost-reducing programmes that should have been accepted by this province. We are spending this year, $18 million on the Ontario Educational Communication Authority, for educational television. They tell me the programmes are very good. But we already have a public network in Canada, the CBC; we are already well served by the free enterprise system in television and radio; and for us to be continuing to spend $18 million on establishing what is really just another competitive television network -- I say to you that is a mistake.
I believe in educational television, and I was one of the first, back in 1962, to urge the government to move in that direction. But I wanted educational television that would bring French language and other language instruction into the school system; that would give courses in history and economics and government, and whatever was useful, in the school system. The thought of having a competitive network where you can tune in and see old movies and Judy LaMarsh interviewing all sorts of interesting political characters may be interesting, but I feel that we’ve got plenty of facilities already. We could save $15 million there very easily.
There’s a clear recommendation, in the special programme review, on the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. They go through its costs very carefully and they indicate that from all sources they will be paying $13.2 million for the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education this year. They point out, as I have pointed out so often, that we’ve got a 40-year lease on that building, built by that famous Canadian, Gerhard Moog, and we’re paying $2.195 million a year for the rent. That includes janitorial service, I don’t want to be unfair.
The special programme review makes it clear that those services could be built into the universities of the province, and in fact give us at least as good research capability and facilities for post-graduate work for teachers centred in more than one university -- and we could lease out that building and get some money back from it.
The regional offices for education are clearly referred to in the special programme review. They’re costing us just over $11 million this year. The programme review indicates that, in large measure, they are superfluous and that one of the most serious additional costs to the Treasury of this province has been the top-heavy administration of education at the county level -- certainly we all know that, but also at the ministerial level where it has grown to be an expensive and unnecessary burden.
So we’re looking, in this connection, at a saving of close to $40 million in education alone. I simply bring that to your attention, sir, because the only thing you may have remembered about any reference that I made to that in the past was that people say, “Well, Nixon’s got his figures wrong again.”
They’re not wrong; and they’re still the way they were then. They still come from the Treasurer’s own reports, with Max Henderson’s signature on it -- and who’s that nice lady at CFRB?
Mr. Cunningham: Betty Kennedy.
Mr. Nixon: Betty Kennedy, Mrs. Burton; they brought her in as a high-profile, locally well-respected lady. She signed it.
All of these are recommendations that are there and nobody in the government has even looked at it; instead they go out to Paris and close the Willett Hospital, or try to. There’s been no coming to grips with the cost of government at all.
The Premier (Mr. Davis) looks around and looks at his friends on the back benches and he says, “What can we do for them? We really need a few more parliamentary assistants; we need a few more chairmen; we need a few more ministers without portfolio.” I still don’t think he’s picked the right ones, mind you. There’s one lonely chap sitting up in the back row there who may yet --
Mr. Edighoffer: Poor George.
Mr. Nixon: -- be a part of the government; and if he were to become a part of the government, it wouldn’t hurt my feelings. But if he’s going to come in, then I would say at least those three or four over there should go. That’s the kind of reform -- well, let’s make it five, I don’t want to leave out the Minister of Community and Social Services (Mr. Taylor) --
Mr. Conway: They are going, they are going.
Mr. Nixon: But I would say to you that it concerns me, when you look at the report of the Treasurer himself on the costs that are incurred, when you see the interest on our debt in the past year. This is the interest we paid. It was $867 million in interest alone.
Do you remember in the last election I was saying we’re paying $2 million a day? He says, “Oh Nixon’s got his figures wrong.” Well we were perhaps a little conservative, because it’s well over $2 million a day. That’s Christmas, that’s Easter, that’s May Day, that’s even your birthday, Mr. Speaker. That’s every day of the year. It’s getting very close to $3 million a day.
If we look at the information that is provided, and it must be provided under statute, we see that the last time the books of this province were balanced was the last year John Robarts was Premier. It’s been down bill ever since; with ever growing deficits, with the cost of government completely out of control, with programmes designed to curry public favour at any cost and with visions of individuals for the development of new cities across the rural areas of this province. These, I tell you, are just half-baked and are costing the taxpayers millions of dollars every day in interest alone.
There’s a good deal that can be said about the budget of this province. It’s been a long time since it’s been presented. The Treasurer, although he didn’t read it to the House, presented us with famous budget paper E which recommends the very far-reaching changes which will see the taxation of schools and the taxation of charitable institutions. It will see the government of the province paying the taxes for the farmers, and everybody sitting opposite who has good connections with the rural community knows the farmers will not stand for that.
Mr. Nixon: I would say on budget paper E that we might as well throw it in the basket, because it will never amount to anything unless the Conservatives -- and God forbid -- are re-elected with a majority.
Hon. Mr. Irvine: We will be.
Mr. Nixon: If that happens, then of course those recommendations are a very real possibility. It’s interesting; I’m getting letters, mostly from the chairmen of separate school boards and things like that, very concerned that the tax exemption of their schools is going to be withdrawn. It really amazes me that the chairman of the public school board is not aware that the tax exemption for all schools, under this proposal, will be withdrawn. It is true.
The government is going to make this up, they say, with grants. But even in the budget paper itself it is clear that the grants will not make up the difference and that there will be an additional burden on local taxpayers.
Mr. Cunningham: Pretty obsolete though; it’s absurd.
Mr. Nixon: I believe the proposals are absurd in the extreme --
Mr. Cunningham: Inane.
Mr. Nixon: -- and that it’s got to be a matter that concerns the electorate right across this province.
Mr. Cunningham: Mindless.
Mr. Nixon: The Premier has been back- pedalling. He’s been saying: “Oh no, we’re not going to tax the schools and we’re not going to tax the churches.” Yet it’s strange that he would say that when he has created a royal commission travelling about the province getting the views of the people on this very matter.
These, certainly, are matters of concern to us all. I am certainly confident, of course, in the viability of the province, I’m not crying doom to that extent. But I believe it is our duty to bring to the attention of this House and the citizens of this country and this province the fact that our fiscal and financial affairs are not being managed with a responsible approach to the goals that all of us would wish.
We believe that the most disastrous thing that could happen would be the re-election of a government which is guilty of these programmes, some of which I have attempted to describe this afternoon. In the best interests of the province of Ontario I’m going to work for and hope for and vote for the defeat of the present government and the election of its Liberal alternative.
Mr. Eakins: Round one.
Mr. Speaker: Is there another speaker?
Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, could I ask for the indulgence of the House to revert to statements by the ministry?
Mr. Speaker: Do we have that consent? Agreed. I wonder, if there is no other speaker --
Hon. Mr. Bennett: I think there’s another speaker.
Mr. Speaker: You have another speaker? I’m sorry, I thought that was the last. All right, the hon. minister.
Mr. Maeck: We have some rebuttals.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today and inform the hon. members of this House of a major Canadian business development. Agreement has been reached between GSW Limited, formerly General Steel Wares, and Canadian General Electric Company Limited -- CGE -- to form a new company which will merge the major home appliance operations and service organizations of both of these companies under Canadian management.
This merger, as an innovative partnership, is scheduled to be completed early next year, on January 4, 1977. The important part of the statement is that agreement in principle has also been reached with Westinghouse Canada Limited for the new GSW-CGE joint venture to purchase the household appliance operations of Westinghouse Canada. This transaction will be completed as soon as possible consistent with maintaining employment and customer services.
The new company will operate a total of five factories employing 6,000 people, The plant locations in London, Hamilton, Weston, Orangeville, Ontario, and Montreal, Quebec, will be retained.
The senior executives of GSW and CGE have met with the Premier and me and they have assured us that balanced employment will be continued in all manufacturing locations, including the four Ontario plants. In addition, the new company plans to make major capital investments to improve the technical and productive capacity of their facilities and to foster research and development in Canada. I might also add at this point that we have met with the president and one of the senior directors of Westinghouse Canada who wholly support this amalgamation at this time.
Industry and government have worked together in this instance to bring about a partnership which is consistent with the stated strategies, both of the federal government and the provincial government, on the rationalization of the industry and maintaining it under Canadian ownership.
GSW and CGE will each have 50 per cent of the voting shares of the new company. Additional non-voting shares will be issued so that CGE will have 60 per cent of the total equity and GSW 40 per cent. This represents the value of the assets and resources being transferred.
The companies have assured us that at some time in the future it is their intention that the new company will make an offer of additional shares to the Canadian public. I believe that today’s announcement is a major breakthrough and will indeed enhance substantially the industrial position in Ontario. In summary, I would like to list the advantages that are derived from the creation of this new major appliance business in our province.
For the first time, Canada will have an appliance manufacturer of world scale, where production volumes in big numbers will permit the company to approach the operating efficiencies of large international corporations. Because of its large scale production technology, the new company will be able to provide a more secure future for its employees.
The new company will be in a position to export to markets where it can stand up to foreign competition. Domestically, it intends to be aggressive in the market and to seek increased opportunities to reduce imports.
The spin-off effect of this will be felt favourably by Canadian parts and components suppliers as the new expanded company provides support to these suppliers through volume purchases. On behalf of the government of Ontario, I wish to compliment those individuals responsible for the successful formulation of the new GSW-CGE company in partnership with its vital acquisition of Westinghouse’s home appliance division.
I would also like to read into the record some of the guarantees which have been afforded to Ontario and Canadian plants. Mr. Ward, who is the president of Canadian General Electric, and Mr. Barford, who is president of GSW, have assured Mr. Chretien and our ministry that, number one, there will be no plant closing.
Mr. Foulds: For how long?
Hon. Mr. Bennett: If members would listen to the rest of the statement they might be interested.
Number two, investment of at least $50 million over the next five years and plant and production improvement. This investment, they said, will increase the productivity and reduce costs leading to long-term growth of the new company. As employment grows, plans are to maintain the ratio between present facilities. In the meantime, the present Westinghouse plant will continue normal operations.
Over all, the plan and the new company, I believe, gives assurance to the Westinghouse employees of their continued employment. May I say on behalf of the president of Westinghouse, one of his principal concerns at the time of the amalgamation was to make sure that the employees would retain and maintain the secure position of all the fringe benefits they have had, including longevity of service.
Mr. Foulds: On a point of clarification, Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the minister could tell us how long the guarantee is that the company has given that there will be no closures?
Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, in talking with the management of both CGE and General Steel Wares, it is their intention to eventually streamline the lines and to maintain full employment. They project that over the next few years they will increase employment directly in their factories by about 400. They see the opportunity of reducing by
component supplies the imports of last year -- $160 million to that industry. They see they will be able to reverse that into a Canadian production system, which in itself translates to about 3,000 new jobs. As far as the company is concerned, in the economic advancement that it has now brought into it with the resources it will put into the new technology and development, it sees no curtailment of employment in any plant in the future. Given some economic downturns in market conditions I suppose that would change, as it would for any manufacturer.
Mr. Conway: Just a further point, a very brief point, Mr. Speaker, for clarification. The minister’s statement makes reference to -- I think balanced employment was the term, am I right, in saying that? Would he, in respect to the point raised by my hon. friend from Port Arthur (Mr. Foulds), care to tell what he might mean by balanced employment?
Hon. Mr. Bennett: Yes, Mr. Speaker, at the moment, as I have indicated, there are five plants. Some of them are in multi-lines of appliance development and production systems. And it is my understanding that what they intend to do eventually is to start streamlining the plant facilities into specific lines, particularly those that they might export. What they are saying is, as a result of streamlining each plant there will be no reduction of employment. The balance position will be maintained. There could be some advancement of employment in some of the areas without any difficulty at all.
BUDGET DEBATE (CONTINUED)
Mr. Speaker: The next speaker in the debate, the hon. member for Brantford.
Mr. Makarchuk: I would like to join this debate in the time that is available right now, and basically I have to answer some of the things that have been raised by the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk (Mr. Nixon).
First, to put the record straight, and certainly there are always two sides to the story and I think the House has to hear some of the other side, particularly as the situation develops in Brantford and Brant area. I would like to caution the Minister of Housing (Mr. Rhodes), should he ever decide to try and cancel the development of the Townsend site, which seems to be the thrust of the Liberal policy, what it really means to the people in that area or the people who will be moving into that area.
There is a major steel complex that will be going into operation in about one and a half years from now, there’s an oil refinery, there are other industries that are planning to move into that area; there will be a labour force developing in that area of about 5,000 people over the period of the next three or four years. These people, who will be making reasonably average wages, will certainly want housing.
What the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk forgets to mention when he suggests the idea that the provincial government kill the development of the Townsend site, is he doesn’t talk about the price of housing and he doesn’t talk about the price of lots. When there is no competition in an area, as there is none in that area; when the land is held by a few major developers; what happens is that the cost of lots goes up and consequently the cost of housing goes up. Despite the protestations and everything else, when the Liberals have to decide on whose side they are going to fall, are they going to fall on the side of will we provide affordable housing or are they going to end up on the side of protecting their speculator friends, they always fall on the side of their speculator friends.
As an example; in the Brantford area, when we tried to bring in publicly-initiated housing which would have provided single family homes on reasonable lots of 50 feet by 100 feet, the local Liberals killed the project. I want that to be clear. They went out and sided with the UDI; they lobbied, they persuaded some other members of council, and the project was killed.
Mr. Nixon: Point of order, Mr. Speaker, who is --
Mr. Makarchuk: There is no point of order.
Mr. Nixon: Who are local Liberals? I don’t believe he can say somebody killed some kind of a programme he had for affordable housing and blame it on local Liberals.
Mr. Foulds: He just did.
Mr. Nixon: Is there anybody you want to accuse of that by name?
Mr. Makarchuk: Mr. Speaker, I can say it -- I just did -- they killed the project.
Mr. Nixon: You don’t want to name them?
Mr. Conway: Would you care to amplify that? Would you care to give us a few names? You have two hours.
Mr. Makarchuk: Yes, certainly I could give the names and everything else, but the point is the city did initiate a project; we managed to get one small project through, 15 houses that we sold at $32,000 to the people. I may add that was probably the only place in Ontario where people were able to buy single-family homes at that price.
Mr. Conway: Any names though? You have lots of time, just give us two.
Mr. Makarchuk: Oh absolutely, lots of them.
Mr. Foulds: Sean Conway.
Mr. Makarchuk: I would like to move from there and to go into the local government situation. It seems, again, that the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk has suddenly discovered there is a local government problem in Brantford. I would like to look at the history of this and point out to him that on October 13, 1964, there was a resolution passed by Brantford township council asking for a local government study that was forwarded to all the municipalities. On April 12, 1965, Mayor Beckett, whom you all know, and Warden Howell, whom I’m sure the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk knows, wrote the Hon. John Spooner, then Minister of Municipal Affairs, asking that he --
Mr. Nixon: Wilfrid Spooner.
Mr. Makarchuk: -- Wilfrid Spooner, a friend of the member from Timmins -- asking that he convene a meeting to explore the possibility of a study in the Brant area. I could go on with the chronology, but there were meetings in 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970 and 1971. Darcy McKeough moved into the picture approximately in 1970 -- June 5, 1970 -- and he still is in the picture.
The point in all this is that there have been continuous discussions in that area to resolve some of the problems developing there. The latest, or the most major report that was of interest -- or study that was done -- was the Smith report; by Howard Smith who was appointed as commissioner to do a study on the area in 1972.
The report was presented; council considered it, county considered it, the various townships considered it. They decided they couldn’t agree on that, so they got a report from the top civil servants or the top municipal officials in the county, in the townships and in the city, to try and resolve the same thing. They came out with what they called Brantford Area Local Government Review Report.
Again, it provided various options to try and resolve some of the impending problems. The discussions went on, and they’ve been going on, and absolutely nothing has happened. It’s a case that certain people are very happy where they are and they’ve been managing to manipulate the city council, which in effect thought there was some genuine concern to resolve this problem, or felt there was.
I didn’t when I was in council, and I told them so and made no bones about it. But in frustration they finally decided to do something about it, and this is what they’ve done:
They’ve gone to visit the Treasurer, and meetings are planned again in the Treasurer’s office, to try and resolve this thing. The meetings, I may add, are between county and township as well as city officials.
I’d like to point out some of the problems that have developed. The serious problem that came to light, resulting from lack of any kind of restructuring or regionalism or whatever it was in that area, was the matter of health. In the county, the township was not able to treat its sewage properly and the area could have had hepatitis develop. The city was persuaded, and I was a member of council at that time, that in order to bail them out of their own foolishness it would put in the sewers; and of course take the sewage and treat it for which they were not really paying.
There are other matters involved. The city provides a transportation system, the system is subsidized in some portion by the province, but it also is subsidized by the city taxpayers. The township residents also use the same system; they do not pay a cent for the operation of the system.
There is the matter of libraries, which the city provides and the township does not pay for. There is the matter of recreation, which the city again provides and the township does not pay for. The city also has to provide the services for the hospitals, but the township does not pay for these things. I could go on in great detail, quoting specific dollars and cents, as to the amount of money that the city taxpayer has to raise --
Mr. Nixon: Do you pay for the Brantford General Hospital?
Mr. Makarchuk: Yes, as a matter of fact, we provide the services. That’s not taxable, I would suggest to the member over there. He should be aware of this fact.
Mr. Nixon: You mean they use the sewage disposal system the province built for you?
Mr. Makarchuk: Well, the province built the system, but I think the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk should realize that when you have an institution in a community and one community pays for the services for that institution, whereas another community uses it but doesn’t pay for it, even to him it should seem to be unfair.
Mr. Nixon: There was a centennial grant from Brantford township which went into the arena. Now they can’t even play there.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please.
Mr. Makarchuk: What it really boils down to, Mr. Speaker, is that you have a form of municipal welfare “bum-ism,” where one community is sitting on the edge of another community, paying lower taxes, but using all the facilities provided by the city and putting the load on the city taxpayers. The member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk is prepared to live with that. He thinks that’s great.
I would like to point out some of the other areas of concern. There is the matter of industrial land. In terms of growth and industrial land, the city will have to acquire land in order to plan effectively for future growth and to decide where the transportation corridors are supposed to go, where the sewers are supposed to go and so on. Again, the city is not able to do it because the township lies all around the city and the city is the hole in the smaller doughnut.
There’s the matter of zoning, which again is a concern. The member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk pointed out that the shopping centre was built within the city, but the only people at that time who were fighting the shopping centre in the community were local NDPers. The local Liberals and Tories thought it was a great thing to put a shopping centre up there. The same Liberals, I may add, friends of the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk, insisted on putting it there.
Mr. Nixon: Oh, gosh. Are those people elected to the council only NDP?
Mr. Makarchuk: In the House he squawks about this foolish decision, but of course it was his own friends who made this foolish decision.
Mr. Nixon: They are all my friends. Even the NDPers on the council are all my friends.
Mr. Foulds: You are in trouble then.
Mr. Makarchuk: At that time, they had consultants’ reports indicating that about 40 per cent of the money that was going to be spent in the downtown area was going to move out and the downtown was going to suffer, etc. That didn’t stop them. They put it out there anyway.
An hon. member: Did he support it?
Mr. Makarchuk: Yes, he did support it, as a matter of fact.
Mr. Speaker, we have a problem now. We have had problems before --
Mr. Nixon: Brantford really has a problem -- and he is speaking right now.
Mr. Makarchuk: We could allow this problem to continue. We could allow the downtown to deteriorate. But that’s not going to solve the problem. The time has come when we must start doing something about this situation --
Mr. Nixon: You did that when you tore down the city hall.
Mr. Makarchuk: Therefore, one of the things we cannot do is allow future development of urban shopping centres. That is the concern; it is not a desire to freeze all development in Brantford township. The point is that recently, because of the lifting of a zoning restriction, Brantford township was permitted to build additional commercial space in a mall in the township. That space, attached to an existing 30,000-square-foot store that was phased out, gives the township another 50,000 square feet of space and will cause a major department store in the downtown area to move into the mall --
Mr. Nixon: Why didn’t you think of that before you opened Lynden Park?
Mr. Makarchuk: Well, we could continue making more problems, but it is not going to resolve it.
Mr. Nixon: You certainly made one there, according to your philosophy.
Mr. Makarchuk: I said now is the time to stop this foolishness that the hon. member’s friends have been perpetrating and to deal with the problem.
Mr. Nixon: Are you talking about the people elected to Brantford council?
Mr. Makarchuk: Yes, of course -- and others who are friends. The local speculators had a lot to do with the problem.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Only one person has the floor and that’s the hon. member for Brantford.
Mr. Makarchuk: Anyway, we cannot let the downtown deteriorate and we cannot ensure viable economic commercial activity in the downtown area until such time as we have some control to prevent stores or other commercial establishments from going into the suburban area. The only way we can do that is to have some zoning or some controls. We have neither. Consequently we have a problem. These are some of the things that concern Brantford.
The city of Brantford did provide some ideas or some solutions to the minister in their discussions. They suggested what can be done. One thing they suggested was what the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk said, to reorganize the whole county of Brant on a one-tier basis thereby encouraging a coordinated approach.
I don’t think that that approach is going to meet with any success. I have a feeling that should any attempt be made to move in that direction there will be resentment. The resentment to a point is justifiable, because anywhere any kind of restructuring has gone in on a large scale the costs have gone up. Something the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk did not say when he presented his selective statistics is the fact that in the Brant area the per capita municipal spending without regional government is the same as it is in the Niagara area with regional government.
Mr. Maeck: What does the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk say to that?
Mr. Nixon: You said I was wrong before now, I remember. The facts are right there.
Mr. Makarchuk: The other scenarios that were presented by the city were that the county be divided up into two areas; that you have one area as a city-centred area of approximately 40,000 acres and another area which would be centred on Paris for the rest of the county; in effect you would have two municipalities.
The third suggestion was that the city expand its boundaries through annexation. In other words, if they annexed they would have to annex the Brantford township area. The next was very similar, with a buffer zone --
Mr. Nixon: The next one is leave it alone and make it work.
Mr. Makarchuk: The member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk says leave it alone and it will work.
Mr. Nixon: Make it work.
Mr. Makarchuk: The problem is it is not working.
As I said, there is a downtown problem. There is no room for residential development. There is no way we can plan the outside areas. There is no direction, no sense of a community moving as a whole. We know there are going to be pressures on the area in terms of growth and in terms of industrial development, and there is no way to cope with it.
There is no dialogue, really; there is no direction. If there is a dialogue, there is a certain feeling, shall we say of: “Leave us alone in the township. We will only allow housing with a minimum of 1,500 square feet.” It is the old philosophy, the Grosse Point philosophy on the outskirts of Detroit. We will have lily white suburbs over here and the rest of you people just stay in the city; and if you have problems that is too bad.
Mr. Nixon: Are you suggesting racial prejudice on Brantford township council?
Mr. Makarchuk: We are not suggesting racial prejudice and the member knows it. What we are saying is that people who need housing and are working in the industrial jobs that exist in the city of Brantford, these days would not be in a position to buy housing in those areas.
Mr. Nixon: What you are saying is everybody who doesn’t agree with you should be abolished.
Mr. Foulds: No, just you.
Mr. Makarchuk: They will be left to the city; the city will have to look after this class of people while another class of people is going to get established in Brantford township. This is the direction in which they are driving.
At this time the city of Brantford is faced with a $9 million expansion of a sewage treatment plant. Again, most of the capacity in that plant is designed to service the areas that are in the township. At this time the sewage treatment system has capacity left for only 32 more budding units. We have to move in that direction. Again, who is going to finance it? Who is going to pay the cost? These things aren’t sorted out.
Mr. Nixon: The province of Ontario, as it always does.
Mr. Makarchuk: There is no way; in other words, the city will have to hear the burden.
What we are concerned about here is that when we are dealing with municipal problems we can’t look at just a little portion of a community, we have to look at them in terms of what we have got to do that is going to benefit the whole community. That is the concern in Brantford. Neither Brantford township, nor Paris, nor Brant county can live in isolation. They have to live together and they have to work together.
Mr. Nixon: They live in the county of Brant, they have a county council.
Mr. Makarchuk: In order to do that there has to be some kind of planning and some co-ordination. The community is reaching a crisis stage.
The smallest thing I can ask of the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk is to show some sense of responsibility because it is not only Brantford that is going to suffer it is the whole area that is going to suffer unless we move in some direction, either to annexation or some kind of restructuring to resolve these problems.
Mr. Speaker, I move the adjournment of the debate.
Mr. Speaker: Mr. Makarchuk moves the adjournment of the debate. Shall the motion carry?
Mr. Nixon: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, is the hon. member finished with his remarks?
Mr. Speaker: I was just going to clarify that. Is the hon. member finished with his remarks?
Mr. Makarchuk: I might continue next Friday, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Nixon: We are prepared to listen to more now, it is only 4:25.
Mr. Speaker: If you are finished then we’ll move the adjournment of the debate.
Mr. Makarchuk: I’m sorry, Mr. Speaker. The agreement, I think, between the whips, was that there would be about 15 minutes available to me and I would adjourn the debate.
Mr. Nixon: On a point of order, I’m not aware of that agreement and normally a person gets to speak once in this debate.
Mr. Speaker: I would think the proper thing would be if the hon. member has more to say he should continue; if not, he or someone should move the adjournment of the debate and continue the next day, unless there has been other agreement.
Mr. Deans: He’s already moved it.
Mr. Nixon: I simply point out, Mr. Speaker, that if the hon. member is not prepared to continue his remarks now, someone else should move the adjournment of the debate. Why should he decide that he’s finished and we should all go home? We stayed in here to listen to the debate; maybe somebody else would like to speak.
Mr. Speaker: We will deal with that.
On motion by Mr. Makarchuk, the debate was adjourned.
On motion by Hon. Mr. Irvine, the House adjourned at 4:25 p.m.