The House met at 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Grey-Bruce.
POINT OF PRIVILEGE
Mr. Sargent: Mr. Speaker, on a point of personal privilege. Following the events of yesterday, when the member for Ottawa East (Mr. Roy) was named and sent out of the House, in view of the fact that he was vindicated by the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry), and that I think he was slandered by the Solicitor General (Mr. MacBeth), I believe there is an apology forthcoming to the member from the Speaker at this point.
Mr. Speaker: I’m sorry. I didn’t hear the very last part of the hon. member’s remarks.
Hon. B. Stephenson: Don’t hear it.
Mr. Sargent: Telling you this, sir, is like trying to sell peanuts to a Republican today.
Mr. Speaker, I want to make quite clear as a member of this House that I think you owe an apology to the member for Ottawa East, in view of the fact that he was cleared by the Attorney General and was slandered by the Solicitor General. You did not give him a chance and you named him. I think you owe him an apology.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I disagree with the hon. member. I think that’s all I’ll say at the moment.
POINT OF ORDER
Mr. Reid: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, I wonder if you could clarify something for me and perhaps for the House. It has caused some consternation to myself, having been embroiled in this matter a couple of weeks ago, in which your ruling was that if a member stated that another hon. member was misleading the House, that was an offence punishable by being named and therefore ejected from the House. It’s not my recollection that that was a previous ruling of any other Speaker, and I’d like to know if you could indicate to me where in the rules that particular ruling has come from.
It seems strange to me because at the time I was embroiled in that particular matter, the Premier (Mr. Davis) got up and accused the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Lewis) of everything but being an outright liar; he was very careful, I presume, in not saying that that particular member had misled the House but, in fact, he said everything else. In any case, I wonder if you could give me the background of your rulings as to the misleading of the House, directly or indirectly, as being an offence punishable by ejection for the day.
Mr. Speaker: I’m sure the hon. member is familiar with the rules and has probably looked them up. I notice in standing order 16, subsection --
Mr. Singer: Ten.
Mr. Lewis: Or nine.
Mr. Singer: Nine or 10. But the word.
Mr. Speaker: Yes, you might say it’s a combination of subsections 8, 9 and 10, but it’s pretty well the standing rule and procedure in this House. Part of the offence is making the accusation that a member deliberately misled the House and the member rises to correct it, then that must be accepted. Then we ask the hon. member to withdraw that accusation, that’s all, for the sake of decorum and procedures in the House.
I might say in connection with that whole event, there will be a further communication to the House on Monday. There just hasn’t been time this morning. If you’ll just leave it at that, we’ll see what transpires on Monday. But as far as the hon. member’s question is concerned, the answer is contained in those particular items. It’s a very regrettable incident when any one member does deliberately accuse another member, irrespective of party or who it is. I really don’t want to debate the issue here this morning. Thank you.
Mr. Reid: Mr. Speaker, if I may add briefly to that, I appreciate the references to subsections 8 and 9; I was on the committee that drew up these rules. But the point that I am making is that it seems to boil down, at least in the Speaker’s mind, that you can say almost anything else as long as you don’t say he misled the House.
Mr. Speaker: As I indicated yesterday I think, and certainly on other occasions, oftimes there are things said in this House which I think a more temperate person would not utter.
Mr. Singer: Mr. Speaker, on that point, I wonder if you could consider the point raised by my colleague from Rainy River a little further and in a little more depth. I am perturbed after reading the words of standing order 16, subsections 8, 9 and 10, and having listened to your rulings on a couple of occasions. In my experience in the House the accusation that an hon. member has deliberately misled the House has been one that is frowned upon and is probably against the rules and certainly against the practice of this Legislature. That seems to be supported by the word “deliberate” in front of the word “falsehood” in subsection 10. On two occasions -- the one the hon. member for Rainy River (Mr. Reid) refers to and the one yesterday -- there was an accusation that another hon. member had misled the House, perhaps deliberately or perhaps inadvertently. It was never quite said either way. I think it perhaps might be helpful to all the members of the House if you took your time and studied it and gave us a specific ruling on this point. I think it could relieve some of the tension.
Mr. Speaker: I might just point out that the word “deliberate” is a matter of degree.
Statements by the ministry.
MULTI-YEAR LICENCE PLATES
Hon. Mr. Snow: I am pleased to inform the House that the programme of issuing multi-year licence plates for passenger vehicles registered in the province of Ontario has been most successful. The licence plates, first issued in 1973, have met and in most instances surpassed our expectations. Therefore, we will continue to validate the 1977 plates by means of an adhesive sticker.
These stickers may be purchased at any of the 300 licence-issuing outlets throughout the province and will go on sale Wednesday, December 1. The 1977 stickers will be red in colour and there will be no increases in cost to the motorist over the 1976 fees. Fees for automobiles will remain at $40 for eight-cylinder cars, $32 for six cylinders and $23 for four cylinders or less. Trailer, motorcycle, historic vehicle and moped licences will go on sale at the same time. The fees for registering these vehicles will also remain unchanged.
When the multi-year plates were issued in 1973, it was expected that the province would realize considerable savings related to the fewer number of plates required each year and that the issuing of renewals would be more efficient with the use of stickers. Both of these expectations have been realized. The ministry has saved millions of dollars by not having to reissue plates annually. Reports have come to me that indicate it is now possible for an individual to complete the renewal process in less than two minutes.
If more motorists in the province would remember to purchase their renewal well in advance of the February 28 deadline, we know we could drastically reduce those annoying lineups at the issuing offices. The life expectancy of the current multi-year plates was unknown when they were introduced in 1973. Today we know that the markers will last indefinitely. Therefore, there will be no general reissue of the plates. We will instead issue plates for new car registrations and replacements on older vehicles only when the plates become damaged or defaced.
Along with this continual replacement programme my ministry plans to introduce reflectorized licence plates to Ontario as soon as the production equipment can be installed and the new styles distributed to the licence issuing offices. This should be before the end of 1977. Reflectorized licence plates are now used by five other provinces in Canada and 47 jurisdictions in the United States. They provide greater night recognition when installed on passenger vehicles and give parked vehicles an extra reflective point during the dark hours.
When introduced to Ontario, reflectorized licence plates will form an integral part of the continuing safety programmes initiated by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications.
Mr. Speaker: Oral questions.
POINT OF ORDER
Mr. Deans: On a point of order, yesterday I rose and asked when the Premier (Mr. Davis) was going to make a statement with regard to the public health nurses. He promised on Wednesday last there would be a statement this week. I indicated yesterday that I had reason to believe the Premier would not be here this morning. I was told in a communication from the Premier’s office that the Minister of Health (Mr. F. S. Miller) would make the statement this morning with regard to the public health nurses and their negotiations.
I don’t quite understand why they are delaying, or what the problem is, or why the Premier isn’t here, or why the Minister of Health isn’t here. I had a commitment last Wednesday for a statement this week and I had further affirmation of that commitment yesterday that the statement would be made.
Mr. Singer: Off with their heads.
Mr. Speaker: I am sorry I can’t be of assistance to the hon. member.
Mr. Deans: I just raise the issue.
PUBLIC HEALTH NURSES’ NEGOTIATIONS
Mr. Lewis: Maybe I should direct the first question to the Minister of Labour to ask her whether the government is ever, but ever, going to pull itself together sufficiently to deal with the resolution of this dispute? Can she think of any other dispute which has been handled so badly for so long?
Hon. B. Stephenson: I would disagree completely with the hon. Leader of the Opposition that this dispute has been handled badly. Immediately upon the receipt of the statement from the Minister of Health regarding increased funding to local boards of health, the industrial relations director of the Ministry of Labour made contact with both parties in the dispute. Next week there are four sets of discussions beginning between the Ontario Nurses Association and four local boards of health -- four key boards of health, I believe. We have also been having discussions with the leadership of the Ontario Nurses Association and with the Association of Boards of Health of the province of Ontario. At the moment things are proceeding in a rational way towards the development of collective agreements.
Mr. Deans: That’s nonsense.
Hon. B. Stephenson: I think this is a very real possibility at the present time. As I have said before, I have had a commitment by both parties to the development of a programme which will resolve this problem in the future in a way which is acceptable to both sides.
Mr. Lewis: I don’t quite understand the minister. By way of supplementary, is she saying that, of the 27 disputes outstanding, four return to the bargaining table next week? Does she call this a rational return to collective bargaining? Is there no way the government can persuade the other 23 boards of health that in the interests of the good faith bargaining clause in The Ontario Labour Relations Act they too must assume bargaining with their employees?
Hon. B. Stephenson: The hon. Leader of the Opposition is assuming something which is not fact. The Ministry of Labour is attempting just such a course to persuade the other boards of health to return to the bargaining table as well. I have said many times in this House that the best solution to the problem is one which is agreed upon by both sides. That’s precisely what we are trying to achieve; we are in fact directing every effort that way right now.
Mr. Deans: Supplementary question: Which four boards are meeting next week?
Hon. B. Stephenson: Hamilton-Wentworth is one. I can’t remember the other three at the moment but I know that that one is meeting next week.
GUIDELINES TO JUDGES
Mr. Lewis: I have a question for the Solicitor General or the Attorney General. I will put it to the Solicitor General first because he handles things with greater moderation and, therefore, I prefer to tackle him initially.
Mr. Lewis: I am going to come to menopausal matters.
I want to ask the Solicitor General has he thought in the last day or two of the possibility of some renewed courses for some of the judges of the province, to talk to them about simple matters relating to sexual equality before the law and the value of eliminating gratuitous and prejudicial comments during the course of their judgements? Would he also in that concept comment on this phenomenon enunciated, I gather in the last day or two, that men are incapable of prostitution and, therefore, are beyond the law in such a matter when it comes before the courts? What is happening to the judges in Ontario? Are they all so threatened by the phenomenon of equality?
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Yesterday the member for Carleton East (Ms. Gigantes) in all seriousness asked me a question. Although it was dealt with on all sides with a certain amount of levity, it was a serious question. In connection with the matter, she asked me whether our policy field might look at it. The policy field in the general broad issue will be pleased to do so and also to look at this other question the Leader of the Opposition mentions of male prostitution. However, as far as dealing with the judges is concerned, and that type of question, the Attorney General is here and I would ask that he reply to it.
Mr. Lewis: I was afraid you might do that but I’ll turn it over to Mr. McHeadline.
Mr. Speaker: The hon. Attorney General, I presume you mean?
Mr. Deans: How did you know?
Mr. Singer: That is hardly parliamentary.
Mr. Kerrio: As one headline seeker to another.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I think, Mr. Speaker, with respect that the judges of this province are quite capable of discharging their responsibilities without any assistance from me. I think their responsibilities are usually discharged in a very able, fair and effective manner.
I’ve not seen a transcript containing the rather unusual statement that’s been reported in the press. I have ordered a transcript. I would like to take a look at it because it obviously appears to be a remark which should not have been made. Again, I think the Leader of the Opposition appreciates that the judges of this province are in no way under the supervision of the Ministry of the Attorney General nor of any other ministry. I think the type of instructions that the Leader of the Opposition refers to really don’t need to be given to the judges by anyone. I think they’re quite aware of their responsibilities in this area.
Mr. MacDonald: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker. Some years ago one of the Attorney General’s predecessors informed the House that periodically the Attorney General brought magistrates together primarily for discussing sentences so that there wouldn’t be divergences in the sentences or unequal application of the law in various courts.
Mr. Singer: Do you remember what happened to him?
Mr. MacDonald: Would it not be appropriate, without interfering unduly with them, to have some such getting together to examine the law and its implications with reference to sexual equality?
Mr. Singer: He had something to do with Bill 99, that fellow.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I can’t speak for my predecessors insofar as it concerns gathering the judges together in that manner. My own view is that that is not the role of the Attorney General and it would be improper for the Attorney General to act in that manner because it would simply be indicating to the judges that he is acting as some form of supervisory body.
Mr. Breithaupt: What’s wrong with that?
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I can state that I am in constant communication with the chief judges of the provincial courts --
Mr. MacDonald: Can they do it?
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: -- and they do it. This is the role of the chief judge; the chief judge does all courts really, particularly the provincial courts. They do have these educational type seminars on a regular basis and we do fund them.
Mr. Renwick: A supplementary question to the Attorney General: I take it that he would not find it amiss to draw to the attention of the chief judge the comments which have been made in this House about a matter of significant concern to the members?
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I would be quite happy to do that, Mr. Speaker.
PUBLIC HEALTH NURSES
Mr. Lewis: Is the Minister of Health inclined to make a statement on the public health nurses or did he come into the House just because it’s Friday morning and he wanted to be here?
Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, I’m always here on Friday mornings.
Mr. Singer: Even when the House isn’t sitting?
Mr. Lewis: Has the minister any statement to make?
Hon. F. S. Miller: No, I have no statement to make to the House, Mr. Speaker. The statement I did make a couple of weeks ago was one which indicated we were willing to pay up to parity on an hourly basis. The question of whether any further action would be taken I’m sure will have to be resolved by the Premier (Mr. Davis) and I but we really honestly did want some time for the boards and the nurses to negotiate.
I’m seeing a group of nurses in my riding tonight. I’ve seen some others in the meantime and I’m trying to encourage settlement in a normal negotiated way. I’m sure the member would agree with me on that
INTERMEDIATE CAPACITY TRANSPORT SYSTEM
Mr. Lewis: A question, if I may, to the Minister of Transportation and Communications. Back on June 21, when he announced his intended experiment with electric trains, he said, “We will introduce supplementary estimates in the fall for this project.” Yet he has put out tenders and he is proceeding by Management Board orders; when do we get a chance, therefore, to debate it in the House because no supplementary estimates came from his ministry?
Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, at that time it had been my intention to introduce supplementary estimates this fall, along with other ministries which will have supplementary estimates. This has not been done because the funding, as I understand it -- I wish the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) were here because it’s really his decision -- for the UTDC will be by way of a loan to UTDC from the government rather than by way of budgetary funds through my ministry.
Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Kitchener -- is he leading off this morning?
EXCAVATIONS AT BURIAL GROUNDS
Mr. Breithaupt: Yes, Mr. Speaker. A question, first of all, to the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations with respect to The Cemeteries Act, for which I believe he is responsible.
Can the minister comment with respect to the matter of the Indian burial site at Grimsby, particularly to the point that while the owner of the property could bulldoze the lot if he wished, excavation for archeological purposes cannot be done, certainly at least, without the consent and the interest obviously of the Indian peoples? Would the minister consider changes in The Cemeteries Act to protect the native people’s rights so that the reporting of these discoveries and consultation with groups -- since some are not as concerned about the disturbance of the site as are others -- would be a way of resolving an interest which appears to be somewhat confused at the present time?
Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, certainly the situation at Grimsby brought to light some aspects of The Cemeteries Act which require further study. It’s my understanding that that particular situation has been resolved by voluntary agreement among all the parties. The dig has been suspended.
We’re studying the situation. I would not want to say right now that we’re prepared to amend The Cemeteries Act. We’re certainly looking at it in the light of that situation to see whether or not amendments would be necessary.
Mr. Breithaupt: While the minister is looking at that, would he deal with the Minister of Culture and Recreation (Hon. Mr. Welch) as well to consider the declaration of these native burial sites, when they are found, to be historic sites so that they can be protected and so that landowners in the area will know that the properties have to be treated in a somewhat different way from an ordinary piece of land which, at the present time at least, could be used for a building site without that consideration?
Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, it would be presumptuous of me to deal with the Minister of Culture and Recreation on The Ontario Heritage Act which is his responsibility but I’m sure he’s fully familiar with the situation in Grimsby and the kind of results it could lead to. Presumably we will be working together to ensure that the rights of all parties are protected.
Mr. Breithaupt: A question, Mr. Speaker, to the Minister of Labour following the questions of my leader yesterday with respect to the Marshall Children’s Foundation and Viking Homes. The questions at that point were placed to the Minister of Community and Social Services (Mr. Taylor).
Following the response of the Minister of Community and Social Services that he has no particular responsibility with respect to The Employment Standards Act and the complaints of the staff in these homes, will the minister now proceed to step up inspection of these particular homes to avoid any difficulties of staff exploitation which have been brought to our attention?
Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, under The Employment Standards Act regular inspections are not carried out. If an inspection is found to be necessary it is carried out as a result of a complaint.
I think the hon. member should know that the Ministry of Labour, in conjunction with social workers and other interested groups, those involved in child care, as a result of certain problems which have been raised this year has been having discussions about the specific employment standards which should apply to child care workers. This is a special problem area which is being examined in depth by the Ministry of Labour in the hope that we will be able to develop appropriate standards for child care workers which may not be identical to other workers because of the specific requirements of that job.
Mr. McClellan: A supplementary: Since the Ministry of Labour is examining this matter within the Resources Development field and I understand the other ministries within the Social Development policy field are also examining the same matter, apparently in isolation from the work that the minister is doing, would it not make sense for the two groups to get together not just to look at the question of child care standards but also at the other question of per diem fees for service, purchase contracts and fees?
Hon. B. Stephenson: The discussions are not being held in isolation. There is most certainly communication between the two groups and there will be interaction as well.
Mr. Breithaupt: I have a question of the Attorney General, again with respect to the Viking Homes situation. Has the Attorney General taken any additional steps to investigate the possible conflict of interest which may exist concerning the placing of children in Viking Homes after the court-ordered assessment has been attended to by Browndale, an organization which of course has financial and other ties to Viking?
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: As the House leader of the Liberal Party knows, the investigation into Browndale by the Ontario Provincial Police has been going on for many, many weeks. In view of the enormous volume of documents they now have in their possession, I can’t indicate to the House when this investigation will have been completed and a report made available to the ministers concerned. Until that has been done, I just don’t wish to make any further comment at this time.
Mr. Breithaupt: When the Attorney General is prepared to make a comment, he might consider responding to the question as to whether an organization which does assessments should profit from the residential placement of the children it assesses? I would suggest that perhaps he might put his mind to that point as well in his response, if he would.
NOISE BARRIERS ON HIGHWAYS
Mr. di Santo: I have a question of the Minister of Transportation and Communications. The other day his colleague, the Minister of Education (Mr. Wells), announced that the government, giving in to the pressure from residents, is going to build a noise barrier on Highway 401 between Kipling Avenue and Dixon Road. I would like to ask the minister whether he would like to satisfy a similar request of the residents of Downsview and erect a noise barrier in the Downsview area, which has one of the worst conditions in the province?
Hon. Mr. Snow: We have been assessing all the locations within the province where there are noise problems. As I’m sure the hon. member knows, over the past few years several projects have been carried out trying to deal with the matter of traffic noise in residential areas bordering our major expressways. Some of these projects have been more successful than others.
We have decided within the ministry to proceed with two further experimental projects, one in the area just mentioned by the hon. member and one in the city of Ottawa adjoining the Queensway. Those projects are in the design stage now and will go ahead to construction, I expect this spring. We will be monitoring carefully the results of those projects and I expect looking at further projects that can be carried out in the future.
Mr. di Santo: Supplementary: How does the minister reconcile his position, expressed in a letter directed to me on September 30, where he said he had not reached any conclusion at all on the experiments his ministry is undertaking, with the statement of the Minister of Education, which says that experts now think they can build a barrier that in certain ideal areas will significantly lower traffic noise and that the privacy fence built on Warden Avenue and Victoria Park has cut the noise by five decibels?
Further, will the minister announce a policy on noise reduction throughout the province or would he like me to join the Minister of Education, who said that he is going to press vigorously in order to get those barriers erected on Highway 401?
An hon. member: He’s already got one in his riding.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I might point out that the last part was about the only question I could detect in that supplementary. The other was a debate. Please keep to questions and answers. Does the hon. minister have an answer to the last part?
Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, I don’t see where there’s any conflict between what I said to the hon. member in my letter to him, what I said to the Minister of Education (Mr. Wells) in my letter to him or what I’ve said here today.
Over the past number of years we have experimented with several different methods of traffic noise reduction in residential areas. The latest and probably the most successful experiment is the one in the Warden Avenue area and it has brought about quite considerable perceived benefits in that area. Before developing an overall policy to deal with highway noise, we are proceeding with two further experiments of a similar type. One is in the Dixon-Kipling area and one is in Ottawa, as I announced some weeks ago.
Mr. Singer: I wonder if the minister would give a commitment that, once something somewhat satisfactory is evolved, it will be used on the whole length of Highway 401 within the boundaries of Metropolitan Toronto, as has been requested for many years by the one-time member for Armourdale, who was a Minister of Transport, on one occasion by myself, and by the member for Yorkview (Mr. Young) and others. Anyone who has been affected by this has had the same problem, and it’s not only the Minister of Education who should get preferential treatment for his constituents.
Hon. Mr. Snow: If I may deal with the last statement first, I don’t think anyone can say that it’s only the Minister of Education who’s getting preferential treatment for his constituents.
Mr. Ruston: He’s doing pretty well though.
Mr. Speaker: Order please.
Hon. Mr. Snow: For the record, of the two most recent projects announced, I understand one is in the riding of the member for York West (Mr. Leluk) and the other is in the riding of the member for Ottawa Centre (Mr. Cassidy) --
Mr. Breithaupt: Same old gang.
Hon. Mr. Snow: I think that says for itself that we’re dealing with noise situations where we feel that the type of experiment that we are proceeding with has the best opportunity of being successful. I will not tell the hon. member for Wilson Heights (Mr. Singer) that we will build the noise barriers on both sides of Highway 401 from one side of Metropolitan Toronto to the other, for two reasons: First, I don’t believe that Metropolitan Toronto is the only place in this province that deserves consideration like this.
Mr. Singer: It is the last place that should get consideration.
Hon. Mr. Snow: Second, I would say that within the bounds he has mentioned, many miles of that right of way do not have any residential development along the highway and we have no intention of putting up noise barriers in those areas.
We will be giving consideration to an overall programme where our experiments and research show that the expenditure of public money in the construction of those noise barriers will give benefit to those citizens. I will be coming forward later, I hope, with an overall programme for noise barriers under those circumstances.
Mr. Singer: Nobody remembers Gord Carton rode that hobby horse into cabinet. What is it that Gord Carton did in the cabinet that nobody ever put up sound barriers?
Mr. Speaker: A final supplementary.
Mr. Philip: Supplementary: I wonder whether the minister could advise us whether or not there are significant differences between the two experiments, the one in Ottawa and the one in Toronto, and can the minister assure us that these experiments are not merely duplications of experiments done elsewhere in North America?
Mr. Conway: Let’s have a noise barrier for the member for Scarborough Centre (Mr. Drea).
Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, I don’t quite understand the member’s questions. I can’t say that it is not a duplication of some other project that has been carried out in North America, because I’m not aware at this moment of all the projects that might have been carried out in North America.
Although there may be some technical changes in the design of the barrier, it is somewhat of a duplication of the first experiment with this type of barrier, which was carried out in the Warden Avenue area. Before deciding on an overall policy, we wanted to do two more projects in different areas, one in Metropolitan Toronto and one in Ottawa.
STATUS OF HOSPITAL PHARMACISTS
Mr. Stong: Mr. Speaker, a question of the Minister of Labour: As a result of the decision of the Ontario Labour Relations Board, dated September 28, which requires hospital pharmacists to join a combined paramedical and technical bargaining unit what, if anything, does the minister intend to do to restore the independence and professional status of these pharmacists in Ontario?
Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, the hospital pharmacists are not the only group which has been affected by this decision of the Labour Relations Board. I am aware that there is some activity within certain professional groups who consider themselves inappropriate members of such units and they have the right of appeal to the Ontario Labour Relations Board for reconsideration of that ruling.
Mr. Stong: A supplementary: What is the ministry going to do to guarantee the pharmacists the right to choose their own bargaining unit separate from that of the technical staff in these hospitals?
Hon. B. Stephenson: I am sure the hon. member is aware that the function of the Labour Relations Board is to make decisions in this area based upon the information which it has. In such a function the board members exercise a semi- or quasi-judicial effect upon the situation. There is a right of appeal of that situation to the board and I would think that the professional groups, if they feel strongly about this, should use that mechanism.
USE OF FRENCH
Mr. Samis: Mr. Speaker, if I may, after yesterday’s abortive burst of bilingualism, I would like to address a question to the Chairman of Cabinet.
Could he, as Chairman of Cabinet, explain to the Legislature how it is that 80 per cent of the letters sent by Mr. Lévesque in Ottawa were replied to in English? Why was that allowed to happen? What does the Chairman of Cabinet intend to do about that and will he answer this basic question -- is it a right or a privilege for a franco-Ontarian to receive a letter of reply in French from this government?
Hon. Mr. Brunelle: Mr. Speaker, the letters my office receives in French are replied to in French and I know most ministries try to do the same.
Mr. Wildman: Is that government policy?
Mr. Samis: Since Mr. Lévesque has said that specifically letters to the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry), the Minister of Culture and Recreation (Mr. Welch), other ministries and civil servants were not replied to in the language he sent the letters in, what is the Chairman of Cabinet going to do to ensure that franco-Ontarians do get correspondence in the language of their choice, and official language of this country?
Hon. Mr. Brunelle: I don’t think I should be responding for other ministers. I think if the member has a specific question on that, he should ask the respective ministers.
Mr. Warner: Is it a policy of the government? He never answered.
Mr. Samis: All I am trying to find out, Mr. Speaker, is if the government has a set policy for all ministries that they reply in the language of the letter they receive?
Mr. Lewis: I will bet he says yes.
Hon. Mr. Brunelle: I guess the hon. member wasn’t listening very carefully. I think I said earlier that every ministry does its best to try to reply --
Mr. MacDonald: Is it a policy?
Hon. Mr. Brunelle: I will admit there’s room for improvement but I think there has been considerable progress.
Mr. Warner: You didn’t answer the question. Is it government policy?
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member for Rainy River.
Mr. Reid: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Solicitor General and Provincial Secretary for Justice in regard to organized crime: Is the minister aware of the article in the November issue of Quest magazine entitled “Is the Mafia making us all an offer we can’t refuse?” Has he read the article? Does he agree with the thesis of the article that publicity is the worst enemy of organized crime in the province of Ontario and can he give the House an up to date report on how the OPP and others in the province are battling organized crime in the province?
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Yes, I did see the article. I am glad the member reminded me what the thesis was because it had not made that great an impression upon me. In any event this matter of organized crime continues to be a problem for the police. Yesterday we had an unfortunate --
Mr. Reid: That’s a brilliant statement.
Mr. Conway: You aren’t kidding. That is --
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: All crime is the continuing problem of the police. That’s what the police are there for. To say there is not some degree of organized crime would be overlooking the truth and the facts.
Yesterday in this House we had an unfortunate incident in connection with electronic surveillance. It so happens that electronic surveillance is one of the most effective weapons the police have yet encountered or have access to to help counteract organized crime. I am not now referring to the matter of the Turner case but, as a result of electronic surveillance, the police of this province -- and indeed of this country -- have recently had some very great success in getting convictions where previously it was difficult to do so.
I can’t tell the member more than that. Of course I want to see the police given all reasonable freedom to use this equipment. Certainly there is an ethical problem in dealing with it and great difficulties, which I recognize and certainly which the Attorney General recognizes. They were enlarged upon yesterday afternoon. But, generally speaking, it is through electronic equipment that we are able to get the convictions that we have in recent months. I hope nothing will be done unduly to curtail that. That is mainly the field in which we are operating.
Mr. Reid: Supplementary: I fail to understand why the government for years has seemed to downplay the role of organized crime in the province, when all the literature that we see in the newspapers and magazines indicated that it’s a growing threat in the province. Would the Solicitor General consider a public inquiry, such as was held in Quebec, which seemed to expose some of the ringleaders of organized crime and put some of them in jail, at least for contempt of court if nothing else? Will he consider doing something like that and will he indicate to the House whether he considers this a serious problem in the province of Ontario or if he feels that it’s not high on the list of priorities of the OPP?
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: It’s very high on the list of priorities of the OPP and it is a serious problem. I haven’t tried to grade them as to order of magnitude as to which the greatest problems are. But again that is why the OPP was so upset by some of the charges that were recently made in their use of this electronic equipment. All I can say is that we will continue to do our best.
The member asks me questions about whether we would consider a royal commission. I think it would do more harm than good. The police know whom they are looking for. Their problem is to get the evidence.
When I say “whom they are looking for,” they know who is behind a great many of these so-called organized crime organizations. Their problem is in acquiring sufficient evidence to get convictions. I say recently they have obtained convictions of some of the better known or more prominent leaders in the field. We will continue to do our best. I don’t know all the details of their operations in connection with their tactics in trying to track down organized crime. I think it is just as well I don’t know all of their police procedures. In any event, I am sure they are doing everything possible.
Mr. Reid: I really am concerned about this. Does the minister not agree that publicity is probably one of the most effective weapons in dealing with that particular problem? Will he consider a royal commission? Will he consider doing something about the loan-sharking business which seems to be one of the largest money makers for organized crime in the province?
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: As I said, we have already considered what we can do and we have rejected the thought of any public inquiry. When I say “we,” I have talked to the police in connection with this matter and they don’t think -- I’m not suggesting that cabinet has had any discussion on this -- that that kind of information is going to help. Generally speaking, to be able to publicize the names of the people who are engaged in this does help, but again one has to be very careful to have the evidence to warrant publication.
Mr. Speaker: The hon. Minister of Transportation and Communications has the answer to a question asked previously.
SHABAQUA CORNERS-THUNDER BAY ROUTE
Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, on Wednesday, November 10, I responded to a question from the member for Fort William (Mr. Angus) in connection with the selection of a route of the proposed four-lane highway from Shabaqua Corners to Thunder Bay, and to the member’s suggestion that ministry staff were misleading the press.
I would like to confirm that the member’s information is quite inaccurate. During the process of any route planning study, it becomes quite obvious that some of the routes being studied enjoy advantages over others. However, the final selection of a route is not made until all public and municipal input has been received and considered. I might add, Mr. Speaker, that the final route selection is made in my office and not by the ministry staff.
In the particular instance mentioned by the member for Fort William the ministry project team were asked, and responded to a request, by the municipal representatives as to whether they had a personal opinion or preference. The request by ministry staff for a resolution by the municipality was to support the route selected by the municipality, which was not necessarily the route that may have been the personal preference of the project team.
Mr. Mackenzie: A question to the Solicitor General: Inasmuch as it’s almost a year since we passed the Sunday closing legislation, I’m wondering if the minister will give this House some indication as to whether or not he intends to tighten up some of the provisions in the law, since many stores -- the IGA chain in Hamilton is the latest one -- through the use of partitions, are abusing the law that we’ve passed, leading to a fair amount of cynicism from some of the smaller merchants?
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Mr. Speaker, I realize that in the metropolitan Hamilton area particularly there do seem to be many large stores that are operating by way of cutting down their space in some temporary way. It is a problem there and in various other areas of the province as well.
I have said repeatedly that I’d like to see this statute in existence for one year before we propose any changes to it. That year will be up, as the hon. member knows, in about a month and a half. Early in the new year we will look at the results we’ve had across the province. We have had a number of complaints -- and I’ve had a number of letters from both sides of the House -- some wanting tightening up in certain areas and some wanting more leeway. The hon. member is suggesting tightening up, but there are also two or three areas where people are suggesting it should be widened.
We’ll take all of these suggestions into consideration early in the new year and, if we think action is warranted, I’ll be recommending that to the cabinet.
CHILDREN’S AID SOCIETY DISPUTE
Mr. O’Neil: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Community and Social Services (Mr. Taylor). Can the minister advise me if he is aware of the contentious situation involving the managerial personnel of the Children’s Aid Society of the city of Belleville, county of Hastings and the town of Trenton and the Federation of Community Agency Staffs, Local 21, Hastings county, the latter having expressed, by vote, no confidence in the managerial personnel of the former? And can he advise me what action is planned to rectify this situation in the interest of the children who are caught in the middle of this issue?
Hon. Mr. Taylor: Yes, Mr. Speaker, I’m aware of an apparent problem. I’ve had some communication on it as has, no doubt, the member for Quinte (Mr. O’Neil). My staff is looking into the matter.
Mr. O’Neil: Supplementary: Could the minister tell me whether he plans to initiate a ministerial investigation or whether it will take a hearing before a judge to settle the problem?
Hon. Mr. Taylor: First, it is necessary to determine the problem. I have some information in regard to its source; however, I want to isolate and determine what the problem is before I suggest any course of action.
WAWA SENIOR CITIZEN FACILITIES
Mr. Wildman: I have a question of the Minister of Community and Social Services. Has the minister made a decision on my request that he meet with me and representatives of the community services committee and of the senior citizens of Wawa to discuss the need for residential care in northern Algoma?
Hon. Mr. Taylor: If the member is asking whether I will meet with him, certainly I’m always available to meet with everyone within the constraints of the day, of course. I’m always happy to meet people.
An hon. member: Always happy.
Mr. Wildman: A supplementary: Could the minister tell me what reaction he would have to suggestions made to the Minister of Housing (Mr. Rhodes) on CJIC radio this morning that the reason there is a residential care facility in Elliot Lake and not in Wawa is related to the fact that the member for Algoma-Manitoulin (Mr. Lane) is a member of the Conservative Party while Algoma is represented by a member of the opposition?
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Mr. Conway: Lorne, did you hear that?
Hon. Mr. Taylor: That’s a shocking statement and there’s absolutely no veracity to it.
Mr. Mancini: I have a question to the Minister of Health. In view of the fact that for the past week I’ve been trying to arrange a meeting between either the Minister of Health or his parliamentary assistant (Mr. Wiseman) and representatives from the Gerald R. Smith Ambulance Service and elected officials from my riding, I would like to ask the minister why he has told me to meet with his parliamentary assistant and his parliamentary assistant has told me to meet with the regional directors when we know that the policy comes right from his office? He is aware that this is very urgent and we have to meet with him before Christmas. Why will he not meet with these people from my riding?
Hon. F. S. Miller: I suppose I’ve been a pretty accessible minister and I think people who have asked to see me have found that in the past. There’s a big difference between policy and administration. I am told the particular ambulance group we’re talking about has been asked in writing to take their problems to the regional manager and discuss them. They have refused to do that and I’m told that in the past they’ve refused to do it.
We simply say that these are administrative details which we’d like to have at least one round at. If they do it once, we’ll see them if there’s still an outstanding problem but I can’t get into the middle of administration. Until the hon. member learns the difference between a minister’s policy-making function and a deputy minister’s administrative function, I don’t know that he’ll understand that.
Mr. Mancini: I have a supplementary. I’m sorry the minister feels that way but I don’t think he knows all the facts. In view of the fact that I’ve already brought this to the attention of the district health council and in view of the fact that they’ve told me and the ambulance service that they can’t make any statements until at least April or May -- by then it will be too late because they will have already had their cutbacks and they’ll be out of business -- why won’t the minister meet with these people and state his policy to them because he’s going to put them out of business?
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The question has been asked.
Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, they have every right to argue, as any budget process has, through channels. Let them do that because I can’t assess their argument versus my staff’s until there’s been some internal discussion about the fairness of levels of staffing and the rates of pay. Those kinds of discussions need to be carried out properly and then my parliamentary assistant will, I am sure, be glad to iron out any policy matters which are left.
Mr. Mancini: Mr. Speaker, one more supplementary. In view of the fact that the minister has already authorized his cutback for December 31 or January 1, we cannot wait --
Mr. Speaker: Your question please.
Mr. Mancini: Yes, Mr. Speaker. Is the minister aware that we can’t wait and is the minister aware that he is the only one who can authorize these cutbacks not to take place?
Hon. F. S. Miller: I’m not the only one to do that. My staff have that authority. They are working with the budget, within the dollars allotted to them by this Legislature, and if they have to make adjustments they may; that’s the proper place.
Mr. Mancini: Why won’t the minister meet with them?
Hon. F. S. Miller: Simply because the member’s man refuses to come in the proper way and do it the proper way --
Mr. Mancini: It’s not true.
Hon. F. S. Miller: -- and I’m not going to have an end run.
Mr. Mancini: On a point of personal privilege, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. That was the final supplementary.
Mr. Mancini: On a point of personal privilege, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker: A point of personal privilege?
Mr. Mancini: Mr. Speaker, it is not true that these people do not want to co-operate with the ministry and go through all the proper channels. We’ve already met with the district health council.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. That’s not really a point of privilege.
Mr. Mancini: What? I just want to explain to the members of the House --
Mr. Speaker: I understand the frustration of the member.
Mr. Mancini: -- that these people have tried to go through the proper channels --
Mr. Speaker: Thank you. We’re debating now. The hon. member for Wentworth.
Mr. Mancini: -- and it’s just not fair that the minister will not meet with them.
Mr. Speaker: Order. Order.
Mr. Mancini: It is his job to meet with the people.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please.
Some hon. members: Throw him out.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member for Wentworth has the floor for a question.
HAMILTON HEALTH CARE FACILITY
Mr. Deans: I have a question for the Minister of Health.
Mr. Deans: I still have a question for the Minister of Health.
Thank you. It’s okay. Can I assume he can recall having made a commitment as the Minister of Health for the building of a health care facility to service the needs of the east end of the city of Hamilton?
Hon. F. S. Miller: Yes.
Mr. Deans: Thank you. Then could I ask the minister, since it has been two years since he made the commitment, whether he might sit down with the health council and make it clear to them that this is a priority matter and that it should be proceeded with forthwith?
Hon. F. S. Miller: The member has used the word “building” and I think the key word was provision.
Mr. Deans: I said --
Hon. F. S. Miller: I have talked to the health council in that area, frankly within the last month. I quite agree with the member and I am very anxious to see it done. I am still trying to use them in their relatively new reorganization in a way that will effect the proper changes in Hamilton.
They have made some suggestions and we are looking at them very carefully. Some we’ve accepted and some we haven’t as yet reacted to. Specifically for that section, I can’t recall that they have solved it for me yet.
Mr. Speaker: The oral question period has expired.
Mr. McNeil from the standing resources development committee reported the following resolution:
Resolved: That supply in the following amounts to defray the expenses of the Minister of Energy be granted to Her Majesty for the fiscal year ending March 13, 1977:
Ministry of Energy
Ministry administration program............$505,000
Energy policy program.........................2,200,000
Ontario Energy Board program.............1,192,000
Ontario Energy Corporation....................327,000
Mr. Speaker: Motions.
Introduction of bills.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Before the orders of the day, may I take this point in the proceedings to indicate the programme for next week. In addition to the committee work which is in hand, on Monday we will proceed with Bills 140, 141 and 85. At 5 o’clock it’s private members’ hour and we are doing Bill 142, standing, I understand, in the name of the member for Sarnia (Mr. Bullbrook). We are not in session Monday evening.
On Tuesday we will have a statement from the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough); we will then continue with the Attorney General’s (Mr. McMurtry) legislation, if necessary, and when we have completed that legislation we will start with Bill 131. We go on on Tuesday evening.
Wednesday is committee day. On Thursday I assume we will be carrying on with Bill 131. If we were likely to finish that bill before 10:30 p.m. on Thursday, then we would indicate some time that afternoon what the evening programme would be. Then on Friday we have budget debate.
Mr. Speaker: Orders of the day.
BUDGET DEBATE (CONTINUED)
Resumption of the adjourned debate on the motion that this House approves in general the budgetary policy of the government.
Mr. Stong: In rising to speak at this time in the House, I might indicate that during the past summer I had occasion to visit several penal institutions throughout Ontario in my capacity as critic for the Liberal Party of Ontario on Correctional Institutions. I found my visits there very enlightening, if not very interesting.
There is a situation throughout the world, and no less important in Ontario and in Canada, involving the young juvenile offender. I would like to devote some time this morning speaking about the apprehension, the detention and the control of crime, and the use of our penal institutions in so doing.
On February 1, 1973, Mr. Speaker, Rene Vaillancourt gunned down Constable Leslie Maitland on a Toronto street. At his trial, psychiatrists and psychologists for the defence testified that Vaillancourt was not breathing when he was born and, as a result, suffered brain damage. They call the condition minimal brain dysfunction.
Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please. I wonder if the hon. members would extend courtesy to the hon. member who is speaking. There is altogether too much noise in the chamber.
Mr. Stong: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The jury at that trial found that the testimony of one Dr. Joseph Marotta was more believable. His evidence, as a neurologist at St. Michael’s Hospital here in Toronto, was that he performed a neurological examination and found no evidence of abnormality. Vaillancourt was sentenced to be hanged and is presently waiting in the segregation cell at the Toronto jail for that sentence to be carried out. It is alleged by the neurologist that that particular person, now sentenced to hang, suffered from minimal brain dysfunction, a term which I will use interchangeably with what is known as a learning disability.
As a result of studies I’ve conducted throughout the summer with the Association for Children with Learning Disabilities, it has been brought to my attention that at least one child in 10 in our schools throughout Ontario suffers from MBD, or minimal brain dysfunction, and it is imperative that the situation be corrected and be met with early detection.
Once a child enters the school the term “learning disability” comes into play -- usually not before, because parents themselves are not adequately prepared to recognize this type of disability in a child.
Much study has been done in the United States of America on this particular issue dating back as far as 1930, but it is relatively new to Canada. Children with learning disabilities exhibit a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or using spoken or written language. These may be manifested in disorders of listening, thinking, speaking, reading, writing and spelling, or in simple arithmetic. They are usually manifested in a combined physical and mental situation. A child suffering from a minimal brain dysfunction may have 20-20 vision, but not see the letters in the proper order. The letters may appear to him to be upside down, reversed, on an angle. His vision may be perfect but his comprehension may not be. A child may have perfect bearing, but because of the situation of his birth the strong side of his brain, being the right hand side, may not be the strong side for hearing and a minimal brain dysfunction develops and the child suffers what is known as “a learning disability,” a real disability which can be corrected.
Further studies in the United States of America on children who are confined in penal institutions, in homes for young offenders, indicate that 90 per cent of those children suffer from a learning disability of some nature or another. This type of study has never been done in Canada, but it is beginning through the Association for Children with Learning Disabilities.
One author in the United States, who has done a very comprehensive review of the causes of psychopathy, argues effectively against the theories in this regard of heredity. He is arguing, and he argues convincingly, in favour of a neuro-social theory, which combines the neurological approach with the environmental. He says that because all psychopaths have been at least mildly rejected, rejection seems to be a prerequisite in the development of the learning disability syndrome, but he goes on to say that not all rejected children necessarily suffer from a learning disability.
“The evidence of a neural defect in some psychopaths warrants the conclusion in that brain damage plays a causative role. Neural malfunction seems to be the catalyst which in some cases turns a rejected child into a psychopath.” The author goes on to say that the neurological theory alone is not the basis upon which the studies in the United States have been compiled. They go on to consider the environment of the children and look beyond such physical medical evidence as epilepsy to include such things as motor awkwardness, visual motor disturbance and deficiency and delay in speech development.
During consideration of the estimates of the Ministry of Correctional Services as well as those of the Ministry of the Attorney General and the Ministry of the Solicitor General, I had occasion to refer to the fact that -- and I have asked questions of the Minister of Education (Mr. Wells) about this in the House -- that our educational system is lacking in the early detection and the subsequent follow-up and handling of the situation of learning disability, no matter in what area that disability evolves.
I had occasion last October to speak to the guards of our correctional institutions at a hotel in Toronto. At that time I asked them how they regarded themselves as being prepared and equipped to deal with the situation of learning disability among the inmates of our penal institutions. The teachers in the correctional institutions, and more specifically the teachers at that particular meeting, indicated that they recognized no problem and that they were well equipped as teachers. They were on the defensive and had read my remarks as being an attack upon them in their professional capacity. Far from attacking any teacher in this professional capacity, I say that the system for detection and subsequent follow-up in Ontario is wholly inadequate, and our penal institutions are no more an example of that than our ordinary school boards and our ordinary classrooms.
The situation of learning disability and its early detection is paramount, and it is essential that we recognize that the disturbed behaviour seen in the clinic is not due to brain damage as such. One of the problems with respect to the problem of learning disability is that it’s related to emotional upsets or mental retardation, but the two are entirely different. Learning disabilities per se are not mental or emotional problems; they are real physical problems that can be corrected.
Our system in Ontario is so weak in this regard that parents who are seeking help for their children must look to the United States, to the Gow school and to the Pine Ridge school; and they must go through the vocational branch of the Ministry of Community and Social Services of our own government for financial assistance, but it is very difficult to obtain because of the prerequisites that particular ministry requires.
Learning disability in a child must be detected very early in this pattern so that the situation can be corrected. If it is detected early enough, correction can be done very rapidly and a child can then proceed through school, learning at a normal rate. Many of these children are above average in intelligence -- they are not below average -- and throughout the school system, when the situation has not been met and is not being remedied, they become frustrated. They are passed on socially with the other members of their class and it turns out that they cannot read, they cannot write and they cannot spell, much less do arithmetic; and then they come to their rope’s end, because they are intelligent and, as I indicated, they are above average intelligence.
In their complete frustration throughout the system, the statistics seem to indicate that they then turn to crime. As I indicated earlier, 90 per cent of those in penal institutions in the United States suffer from some type of learning disability. The same author to whom I referred earlier and to whom I will refer now, writes that the review of social psychological theory on lack of identification with respect to this problem of learning disabilities is such that most social theorists believe that without identification no child can evolve a mature conscience.
“One theory is that the child internalizes his parents’ values because he fears the loss of their love. When his parents have no love to offer the child does not fear its withdrawal. The unloved child becomes the unsocialized adult because he was not rewarded with affection. Physical punishment may bring temporary obedience but when the threat of punishment no longer exists, no residue of conscience remains.” This is from a study in the United States studying this very problem.
This is not to suggest that the majority of parents of minimally brain dysfunctional children do not love them but only that the many unpleasant confrontations which occur between parents and children with learning disabilities certainly could be interpreted by the child as lack of love, with its consequent effect on identification.
In the parent-child relationship, especially as it pertains to deviant behaviour, the role of ambivalence would seem to be an important variable.
Another author, Birch, writing in the United States has made the following observation: “Such technical descriptions as catastrophic behaviour, perceptual impairment, perseveration, disinhibition, short attention span, exogenous behaviour contagion, learning disabilities, Strauss syndrome, neurological impairment and hyperactivity are translated by the outside world as spoiled, bad-mannered, ill-behaved, badly brought up, undisciplined, obnoxious and, in some occasions, mentally retarded.”
The situation goes on. Authors have continued their research but it should be noted that the neurologist who examined Rene Vaillancourt did so strictly within the confines of his own speciality, which was to look for positive neurological signs -- tremors, abnormal EEG, absence of or exaggerated reflexes -- rather than those significant signs of learning disabilities which the authorities in the United States know most about and are able to identify.
The difficulty, of course, does not lie solely at the doorstep of our educational system or our penal institutions. Much of the difficulty lies in the fact that parents of children with learning disabilities do not recognize the situation themselves. It becomes incumbent upon the system that a child be diagnosed early and be diagnosed properly so that he may be able to function properly and meet his handicap through his entire educational process.
If we go on with some of the material from the United States -- I must say I’ve done thorough research in this area not only because it has been interesting but it is vitally important -- there is no material in Canada on this issue, our research is very young in nature. The Association for Children with Learning Disabilities is doing a magnificent job but the fact of the matter is our children, our young offenders, incarcerated in our penal institutions, are nonetheless affected, are nonetheless frustrated and nonetheless require this specific help which is lacking.
The authors, again in the United States, have gone on and dealt with the impact of the family relationship with children of learning disabilities. One author named Berkowitz, writing in 1964, said: “A child’s home life plays a major role in his choice of friends. If his family is bound together by ties of affection, it becomes a bulwark against anti-social influences. Family cohesiveness counters delinquent neighbourhood and peer influences in at least three ways.
“For one, home life can determine the extent to which the boy becomes attracted to aggressively anti-social activities outside the home. Those youngsters not exposed to frequent severe frustrations in their families probably do not have strong aggressive urges and so they are not drawn to groups encouraging the expression of hostility [and criminality]. Nor are they overinterested in obtaining adventurous, if not reckless, outlets for their emotional tensions. Delinquent activities have little attraction for them. In addition, a secure emotionally satisfying family life probably facilitates the development of law-abiding self-concepts.”
This author goes on to say that children, whose parental attachment is strong, receive those values and carry those values into their life. Delinquent acts result, he says, when an individual’s bond to society is weak or broken. He points out that findings abound in delinquent research to support the fact that delinquents are less likely than non-delinquents to be closely tied to their parents. He also cites other works as evidence that a child alienated from his parents will not learn or will have no feeling for moral rules. He will not develop an adequate conscience or super-ego; but if the child is rejected by his parents, he will usually become rebellious, aggressive and insecure, that is a criminal.
He is quick to point out that not all children with minimal brain dysfunction will become criminals. There are many important intervening variables pertinent to rejection. The extent to which the child’s aberrant behaviour fosters this rejection process and the extent to which parents are able to submerge their own feelings for the benefit of their child are very important considerations.
The author goes on to say that the degree of severity of a child’s disability is an important variable in respect of criminal behaviour. The greater the handicap the more visible it becomes, and therefore the more sympathy and understanding precipitated. It could be that the bright, alert demeanour of the lesser affected child would foster greater expectations for normal behaviour and thereby increase rejection when he fails to produce as expected. Yet the same author continues that we recognize that the child has brain damage and we are sorry, but when this acting out becomes intolerable in the community he will be arrested, and if necessary rearrested, confined in juvenile homes and perhaps committed to the training school.
It is not that all children with minimal brain dysfunction become criminals, but the statistics are horrendous that the children confined to training schools in the United States do suffer from some sort of a learning disability. Since 1930 the United States have been working on this problem and Canada is far, far behind.
I had occasion throughout the summer, as I indicated earlier, to visit six institutions involving training schools. I was impressed, when I arrived at the institutions, with the individuals assigned to me to give me a tour. In the first two institutions I attended, the children who conducted the tour seemed to me to be on the staff; they were so conversant with the situation and aware of where they were.
I asked, on the first occasion, about the youngster’s involvement in crime and I wanted to know why he was there. I was interested. I thought perhaps the authorities had pulled a fast one on me and had given me someone who was going to be discharged very soon and, in light of that, was able to exhibit the behaviour, the concern and the interest that this child did exhibit.
I learned very quickly that this child was from a broken home. I learned that this child did not know his father. I learned as well that he had been living on the street from hand to mouth, faring for himself and that the training school he attended was the first place where anyone had taken an interest in him, a personal interest. That does not speak very highly for society but it certainly did assist this child.
I learned as well that this child had never passed out of grade 3 and the child was 15 years of age. His problem had never been diagnosed. He did not know why he could not learn. He had been passed on with his peers, his friends off the street in his community, his neighbourhood, but at that stage he did not know how to write. He was following a technical course in the training school and doing very well. When he was able to go back into the community and into society he had hopes and expectations that what he had learned in a technical sense in a training school in Ontario he would be able to carry out into society and become a useful citizen. He was still reading only at a grade 3 level, a grade out of which he had never passed.
I will not take up too much more of the time of the House on this issue but it has become very evident to me in my study and in my contacts with the Association for Children with Learning Disabilities and with the various ministries that this situation must be remedied and must be remedied very quickly. It is incumbent upon the government of Ontario to be aware of the situation, and to offer the facilities to meet this urgent need.
In conclusion, other studies I would like to refer to again emanate from France and the United States. In dealing with this problem of learning disabilities an author looking at young offenders in France found 75 per cent of them to be non-readers. Another author in the United States found that 53 per cent of the delinquent population at the Robert F. Kennedy Youth Centre had more than one specific learning disability.
These authors concur and say, “Children with MBD, minimal brain dysfunction, who are not treated will develop severe emotional difficulties by the time they reach adolescence and without appropriate treatment they will spend much of their later lives in institutions for the mentally retarded or mentally ill or in jail, none of which is appropriate.”
These authors then mention a study following up on 18 children who had been diagnosed at the Johns Hopkins child psychiatric outpatient clinic but who had not received any special education. They found that 20 years later most of them had fulfilled what both authors had indicated; 72 per cent of them were or had been in jail or in homes for the retarded or mental hospitals.
Kiwanis International in the United States sponsor learning disability programmes and have compiled a publication which they entitled The Younger Years. In it, they state that separate studies in three American states indicate that 80 to 90 per cent of juvenile delinquents committed to correctional institutions have clinically-proven learning disabilities. In a recent issue of The Post magazine, the national newsletter of the Association for Children with Learning Disabilities in the United States, the following quote is found:
“Between 80 and 90 per cent of juvenile delinquents in five states were found to have specific learning disabilities. Dr. Chester Poremba, chief psychologist at Children’s Hospital in Denver, who also has many years’ experience as chief psychologist for Denver’s juvenile court, states: ‘Learning disabled children involved in crime have average or above average intelligence. Their loser self-image is reinforced by academic failure. The child is attracted to others like him and joins a subculture in which certain behaviours are rewarded. Kids who are succeeding in school have no need to become delinquent and so they don’t. Lack of early identification and treatment of learning disabilities combined with the rigidity of the school system combine to give many learning disabled children their loser self-image.’”
The New York Times recently ran a series of articles on what they termed dyslexia, which is another word for learning disability. The following is a quotation from that article:
“Some of the most disturbing statistics about dyslexia were officially reported to the United States Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare in 1970 by a special national advisory committee of 21 experts. The group found a shocking correlation between dyslexia and juvenile delinquency -- an estimated 75 per cent of the nation’s delinquents are reading retarded by at least two years.
“The study went on to review figures on all convicted criminals incarcerated by the federal bureau of prisons and found dyslexia four times more common among prisoners than among the general population. The prisoners had a non-verbal IQ of 102, but had reached an educational level of only a fraction of a year beyond grade seven.”
Those articles and that research that I have done proves one thing to me and that is that we are sorely lacking in adequate facilities to deal with this most important and immediate problem. I’ve asked the Minister of Education (Mr. Wells), I’ve asked the Minister of Correctional Services (Mr. J. R. Smith), I’ve asked the Solicitor General (Mr. MacBeth) about this very problem, and I am not surprised that no one seems to understand what the problem really is. When I speak about learning disabilities the conversation is immediately relegated to mental retardation, and that is the farthest thing from the truth. Until we as legislators, until we as concerned leaders in this government begin to take an interest in this particular and most important problem, we will not meet the solution, we will not be able to handle, or treat, or deal effectively with young offenders who find themselves going through our court system and ultimately in the training schools. We must act now to begin to remedy this particular situation and this aspect of youthful and juvenile crime.
Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Acting Speaker: The hon. member for Scarborough Centre.
Mr. Drea: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As is customary in replies to the budget, congratulations are usually in order for those now sitting in your chair.
Mr. Swart: It’s not in order but you will make them.
Mr. Drea: I beg your pardon?
Mr. Acting Speaker: Order please. The hon. member will continue.
Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, it is usually customary to award some congratulations or some accolades to those who sit in the chair. Today, following the lead set some sessions ago by the member for Lakeshore (Mr. Lawlor), I would like to offer my congratulations to our new Sergeant at Arms.
I think that perhaps the Sergeant at Arms in this chamber has the most difficult of duties. Speakers are quite often relieved of their responsibility and do get a break but unfortunately, particularly in this chamber, the Sergeant at Arms, even if he is not in the chamber, is constantly at the ready. I regret somewhat that he has had to exercise the first unpleasant function of his duty but I am sure that in the sessions ahead he will emulate the tradition set by the last two gentlemen to hold the post of Sergeant at Arms for this chamber, both of whom I knew.
It is also customary, in addresses of this kind to say something about one’s riding or one’s locale. I realize over the years that function has pretty well been relegated to those who come from smaller communities or from the rural areas but I have tried to keep it up because I think a member should draw to the attention of the House some of the significant and important things which are happening at the local level.
It pleases me, in this address to point out that because of and with the help of substantial contributions from this government -- both from Wintario and from the Ministry of Community and Social Services -- it will be possible for the parks and recreation department of the borough of Scarborough to open an expansion of the Birkdale Community Centre for senior citizens in the middle of December.
There is an awareness throughout the borough of Scarborough that because of our size and because of certain demographic trends an ever-increasing segment of our population fits into the sphere of senior citizens. I am sure that the expanded facilities at the Birkdale Centre for all senior citizens in Scarborough will not only be appreciated by those who now participate in activities there but will also begin to meet the growing needs of the future.
It is particularly impressive at this time that at the dedication there probably will be the last official or semi-official act of a very distinguished municipal servant, Mr. Jack Kay. Mr. Kay for many years has been the director of parks and recreation and I think he has set a standard which might well be emulated across the province. I think sometimes in the field of recreation and parks too much emphasis is placed upon facilities for the young, not just pre-adolescent children or teenagers but young adults and young families.
It’s been particularly impressive during Mr. Kay’s tenure that as much attention has been focused on recreational facilities and recreational opportunities for the older segment of our society, both outdoor and indoor, in some of the more leisurely recreation activities and some of the more intellectually stimulating recreation activities. Certainly he was a pioneer in that particular area of recreation in this province and certainly the dedication of the Birkdale Community Centre, which coincides with his retirement year, I think is a significant termination to a professional career.
First of all today I want to deal with a subject which troubles me a great deal. I think we might almost call it consumer beware. I’m talking about a certain situation which has developed in the prefabricated summer cottage industry, particularly involving two constituents of mine in Scarborough. It is a situation where they went forward in good faith and put down approximately $17,000 in cash over a relatively brief period of time; those payments were to buy a lot, to buy the prefabricated materials for the cottage and to pay for the erection of the cottage. It is more than a year since these people entered into their first contract, which was June 4, 1975. They have no cottage, no materials and no land. They cannot find out who is responsible for taking off with the $17,000. Their only relief so far is that they have put a caution on the transfer of a deed which doesn’t involve them, and they are getting remarkably little satisfaction from what is the largest company in the prefabricated cottage industry, which is Viceroy.
It is particularly significant, as I outline this case and another one, to emphasize that these people did everything right. They had a solicitor all the way. They checked the contracts all the way. If there was any lack of diligence on their part it was that they couldn’t visit the actual construction site because of an illness in the family for a prolonged period of time. But on matters within their control, they went to great lengths to follow the advice of the professionals and to do everything right.
At the end of it, as I say, they have no land, no cottage, no sympathy -- just a lot of excuses. They face the prospect that following the traditional route, in trying a civil suit, may well be as complicated as some of the cases that have wound up in the Supreme Court of Canada, which is not a very effective solution for people who merely wanted to use their savings to build, not only a summer cottage but a retirement home.
In the spring of 1975, this couple decided to buy a cottage. They saw an advertisement in a newspaper. It really wouldn’t have mattered if the advertisement hadn’t been in the newspaper; you can pick up brochures like this from Viceroy at the Canadian National Exhibition, probably at the Sportsmen’s Show, and a great number of places. These documents virtually flood the Metropolitan area prior to the cottage season every year. They advertise the great and glorious recreational activities that one may have in certain areas of Ontario if one buys land from the company and erects one of a great many varieties of cottages that are prefabricated.
When these people saw the advertisement, once again they did it right. They went up to the Muskoka area and looked at the land. They met a salesman there, a gentleman by the name of Michael Pickering. After discussing the matters with Mr. Pickering, who incidentally told them he was a salesman for Viceroy and after looking at cottage plans, prices and what have you, they decided to sign a document, which I have here. It is called, “Viceroy Construction Company Limited agreement to purchase and sale.” We shall return to that particular document, because now there is an argument whether indeed that document ever existed. None the less, they signed it.
The purchase contract was for $14,951.23; it involved lot 181920 in concession six of the district of Muskoka, registered plan number 579. That was on June 4, 1975.
On July 1, not even a month later, they signed another contract. You will recall Mr. Pickering told them up there that he was a salesman for Viceroy. Mr. Pickering arrives down in Scarborough and there is a new agreement of purchase and sale for the same property, the same lot, the same registered plan. This time it was for $17,465.20 and it was with another company called Allview Developments. The explanation for the difference in the amount of payment was that that was the erection fee for the prefabricated materials. Allview Developments was going to be the actual erector of the cottage. Therefore, they were assuming the entire contract because they were going to purchase the land from a company with very closely knit ties to Viceroy, that company being Fleetwood Construction Company Limited, the actual owners of the land. On the surface, this would appear to be a very normal transaction. The erector was going to take the money, he was going to take his fee, he was going to pay for the prefabricated materials, he was going to purchase the land from the cousin company of Viceroy and he would then arrange for the transfer and the registry of the deed back to this couple. They signed, and a week later they made out a cheque for $11,010 to Allview Developments. By the end of July they made out another cheque for $2,200.50 to a Mr. Robert Widdop of Robert Widdop Associates Limited. Mr. Widdop shortly, if he isn’t now, is going to be officially a fugitive from justice.
As I said, they went along in good faith. They had a lawyer. Then there was a family illness so they didn’t actually go up to see the erection of their dream cottage. But they did go the following spring and they couldn’t find a dream cottage. They couldn’t even find the materials. They didn’t seem to be able to find anything. First, they went to Viceroy and said: “Where is our cottage?” Viceroy, in effect, told them: “Don’t talk to us. Go and find Allview or Mr. Robert Widdop.” When they went to find Mr. Robert Widdop, he had certainly left a trail behind. As these things are known in the trade, he had literally papered the area. In other words, he had taken off and left behind nothing but a series of worthless cheques.
They went back to Viceroy. After all, they had a sales contract from them and surely there’s an agency relationship. Surely something can be done about it. But lo and behold, Viceroy points out to them that this contract, the original one, the one of June 4, 1975, calling for $14,951.23, including all these guarantees about the lot and so on, was never signed by Viceroy. They don’t know how Mr. Pickering ever would get such a thing. Mr. Pickering had worked for them a couple of weeks in the year before as a commission salesman. Somehow when these people came up there Mr. Michael Pickering had said: “I work for Viceroy and here’s the Viceroy agreement.” Viceroy said: “Oh no, he is now with Allview and you had better go and find Allview Developments or Mr. Robert Widdop, or indeed Mr. Michael Pickering, and find out why they would give you this from Viceroy.”
These people were obviously perplexed. They are not about to enter upon the hunting of people who, if they are not now, will soon be fugitives from justice. They looked around and they talked to their solicitor and their solicitor diligently proceeded as best he could. He found out something very interesting in October of this year about that little piece of land that Allview was supposed to be buying from Fleetwood and then turning over, since it had already received the purchase price. The solicitor found out that despite the denials that anything had ever been done -- it may not have been registered -- something was done. There was a copy of a land transfer showing that Fleetwood Construction was selling the land in question to Allview Developments, and then a transfer showing that Allview Developments was turning it over to this couple. Those deeds were never registered.
On the deed, not registered, from Fleetwood to Allview there is a stamp to get around the land transfer tax which says construction had commenced and was in progress. In this case, we are already in the area of criminal fraud when a man hands over a sales contract from a company he does not represent and, secondly -- I will draw this to the attention of the Minister of Revenue (Mr. Meen) -- here are people, for the sake of, shall we say, conforming to the regulations for exemption under certain taxes, very calmly putting down statements, on deeds which are supposed to be registered, which were at that time and still are patently untrue.
The interesting part of all of this -- I realize it’s complicated but none of these things is ever very simple -- people don’t just casually stroll up to you and say: “I’m going to lift $17,000 out of your wallet or your purse and I hope you appreciate it.” These things become very sophisticated.
One of the points here, it would seem to me, and I think it would seem to any reasonable person, is how does one begin to get at who is responsible for doing what to whom? Somewhere, there must have been an erection contract.
After all, here is Viceroy providing the prefabricated materials; in effect, it owns the land and is selling both of those, and here is Mr. Widdop and his Allview Developments, who are going to erect. Somewhere there must be a contract between Mr. Widdop and Viceroy to erect this cottage; or perhaps an agreement that he was not going to erect it, that these people really had bypassed the whole Viceroy programme. They bought a piece of land from them. They had bought the prefabricated materials but they were choosing their own builder and Viceroy was really out of it once the land was sold and once the prefabricated materials had been delivered as specified.
They can’t find the erection contract. There are two reasons, they say, that they cannot locate it. It may be in the mail and I think in today’s environment you have to give them a bit of the benefit of the doubt; although if it is still in the mail, we probably won’t see it in this century. Or it may have been one of the documents which were destroyed in a fire in an office building in Montreal. Nobody knows what documents were destroyed in that fire in that building in the city of Montreal.
That leaves my constituents flailing around in circles. The only thing they have been able to do is to put in a caution if the deed, the one that says construction had commenced, is ever registered. It won’t get them very much money back. They’re going to have a very difficult time even in a court case. It is very difficult for a judge to assign responsibility when the pertinent documents are either in the mail or consumed by fire in the city of Montreal.
There’s a second person, not a constituent of mine, who dealt with this same gentleman, Mr. Widdop, and his Allview. He did a little bit better. He got a cottage. One of the specifications in here, by the way, provides for sanitary facilities. They are very heavy on that and all of these advertisements keep saying, “Approved by the Ministry of the Environment.” As a matter of fact, there’s an out for people if the Ministry of the Environment doesn’t approve the land for the particular type of sanitary facilities which would normally be installed. They get their money back and it’s all over.
In this case, for a cost of $2,000 they built this gentleman a toilet and were to have the septic tank and everything else there. They built the toilet but that was about the end of the construction by Mr. Widdop and his company because they never got around to building the septic tank.
There was another person with the same type of arrangement -- where does he go to get his septic tank built? It’s another $2,000 down the drain.
These things seem to be in the world of things that happen to people. It’s not exactly the end of the world but difficult, heart-rending, inconvenient, annoying and frustrating. I would suggest that when companies of the stature of Viceroy start assigning responsibilities and allowing their good names to be used by people like this Widdop and his Allview, really the consumer of this province has to be warned.
It is one thing to go to a booth at a fair or an exhibition or a show and to pick up this marvellous document from Viceroy. As a matter of fact, if one stops in Scarborough, one can take a look at samples of the company’s prefab work because they’re erected there. It’s a company which has obviously been in business a long time. Or people can send away to them -- they don’t get the colour job one gets outside but there are seven great vacation communities ranging all the way from Parry Sound to Belleville and Prince Edward County. They get very nice documents back and really they are buying Viceroy.
I wonder how many prospective cottage builders or land buyers would like to deal with the likes of a gentleman like Mr. Robert Widdop or his Allview Developments? The answer is obvious -- they wouldn’t. It seems to me that when companies are prepared to lend their good names to projects, knowing ne’er-do-wells and just plain scoundrels are going to wind up at the operative end of the contracts, perhaps the time has come not only to say consumer beware but to suggest some legislation is needed in this regard.
One of the difficulties with legislation in this particular area is being able to get legislation which would protect against the scoundrel while not penalizing the couple of modest means who are having their cottage, small or medium as it may be, built by a local contractor and not increasing the cost of that to such a prohibitive amount in the name of protection so that the people simply wouldn’t be able to afford that kind of recreational activity.
I suggest that, unless companies like Viceroy are prepared to accept their responsibility, they are on a collision course and are going to find themselves so tightly regulated that they are going to sit around at board meetings and wonder how they ever incurred such displeasure by the public to inherit these consequences for a lifetime.
In this one case, and I say it again, we have the appearance of criminal fraud. We have a man who somehow has disformed the purchase and sale form of Viceroy, who has worked for them before, who incidentally is at the place described in their brochure, which says Viceroy. Mr. Pickering enters into all of these things, but when it turns out that there’s something the matter, Mr. Pickering isn’t employed by these people anymore, he’s over with the other group. Then the other person somehow isn’t responsible at all because nobody can find him and nobody can find his company.
It doesn’t do any good to go looking for the bankruptcy court, nor to go looking for a trustee in bankruptcy or a receiver, because Mr. Widdop obviously is a professional at these things and he doesn’t bother with little niceties like that. He merely papers the place with NSF cheques, skims off what he can and goes happily on to the next place, where, once again, we shall hear more about this gentleman. I rather imagine, if he is formally charged, that when the OPP go to get him he will be erecting summer cottages for some other prefab operator, and that the tale of woe that will accompany him will be identical.
One of the difficulties in this prefabricated cottage erection industry is that all of your money has to be up front. In other words when you buy the land you are buying right then and there for cash. Your prefab materials are paid for even before they’re delivered to the site.
It’s not like conventional construction, where you give advances to your builder and so on and so forth. When he fills the foundation he gets so much of an advance, when the walls are up another advance and when he gets to the plumbing or the electricity another advance or another draw. Then, finally, upon completion you hold back 15 per cent because there may very well be a mechanic’s lien filed against your contractor or subcontractors for lack of financial performance. But not with this stuff. You pay it all out; it’s right up front. There is no hold-back money. How can there be hold-back money? You pay for the materials or they don’t arrive. You pay the erection fee in advance or there isn’t somebody there to take those materials off the back of a truck when they arrive.
The transfer of the land doesn’t bother me as much, as that can be regulated. On the purchase of land in most cases the money is up front. If they are going to work such a very nice system where they have cash in advance, then if there’s any dispute you have to argue about it, rather than having the system that has evolved in this province over a great many decades, particularly in erection and construction, where the customer has the right to a hold-back, not only to protect himself against deficiencies but also to protect himself against liability if mechanic’s liens are filed, not against him but against his property, because of the lack of performance by the contractor. In these cases, that kind of protection simply isn’t there; or if it is it would be confined to 15 per cent of the erection fee that you are paying to the contractor you selected, which is extremely minimal.
We have a new home warranty programme commencing in this province on January 1 but because of the complexities of that programme, because of the many years of misadventure it is going to have to start cleaning up -- not for the benefit of those who have had misadventures over the years but at least to prevent them from recurring. This type of home, either the prefabricated or the summer cottage, was exempted from the provisions of that Act. I think the feeling was, as I’ve said before, that quite often the summer cottage is of rudimentary construction. It’s meant to be a recreational home; it’s not meant to be the Taj Mahal.
I am becoming more convinced that with this type of thing going on, when the subcontractor simply disappears after pocketing the money and somehow documents get lost in the mail forever or are burned in fires in Montreal, perhaps there may have to be some amendments to the new home warranty programme bringing this type of operation under the scope of that Act and that programme.
I regret that there doesn’t seem to be an orderly solution for this couple. I think it extremely difficult to try to explain to people that on one hand they may have been victims of a criminal fraud, or on the other hand, whatever they want to prove has fallen victim to the post office or fire. Or to try to explain to a couple who saved that $17,000 and did everything in good faith that, really, they’re in for a prolonged legal battle. It may yield them about a half a cent on the dollar.
If that couple had sent out an NSF cheque, I guarantee there wouldn’t have been all this difficulty in finding out who signed the purchase agreement. There wouldn’t be all this difficulty about finding out just who Mr. Michael Pickering was responsible to. As a matter of fact, at the saving of a considerable amount of money for the provincial police, we would probably find Mr. Robert Widdop, because he would have been at the nearest justice of the peace swearing out an information and demanding that this couple be hauled off in handcuffs to face the judge. When it’s on the other side, it’s just one of the risks of the marketplace.
The time has come in the prefabricated summer cottage industry that the risks of the marketplace are about to be terminated abruptly. They can either accept their responsibilities in a voluntary, mature and responsible way or they can come in and sit on the public benches while they watch the passage of the legislation which is going to tie them so tightly it will be difficult to breathe. I only wish that type of legislation and that type of control could be retroactive because I feel very deeply for this couple.
I could go on with some other escapades in the prefabricated summer cottage industry but I think I have made the point.
Turning to another topic, one of the things that government gives a great deal of lip service to today -- that is all governments -- is doing something for the handicapped.
Mr. B. Newman: Right you are.
Mr. Drea: I don’t mean in a paternalistic or patronizing way but in a meaningful way which will not only make it plain to the handicapped but also make it practical for them to be really part of the mainstream of society.
I endorse that thrust. In many ways, it’s a bit tardy but nonetheless it is here. I think in the last couple of years not only on these premises but in other public buildings we have seen the particular designation of entrances, ramps and other accommodations that will make life more meaningful for the handicapped because they now can feel that the building is as much theirs as it is those who walk up the stairs.
By the same token, there is an element that disturbs me and that is the recreational field for the handicapped. Depending upon one’s particular handicap, whether it is a paralysis that confines one to a wheelchair or blindness that confines one to somewhat limited physical activity or an internal physical ailment or loss of a limb or any number of things, this does limit in one way one’s ability to take part in what we know as recreation. I do not think it should limit one’s ability or opportunity to engage in the area of recreation that requires very, very limited physical activity but, depending upon the ability of the person, a considerable amount of intellectual activity. Perhaps it is as simple a thing as being able to meet people on the outside when one’s confined to an institution. To me, it is recreation for somebody who is bed-ridden or chair-ridden during the day to be able to get out once a week to meet somebody. It may not sound like great recreation to you or me but then we are in a different milieu.
Among the great providers for recreation in this province are the funds that come from Wintario. Once again, within the statute on Wintario, recreation and fitness and that type of thing are somewhat narrowly defined but broad enough in scope that they have taken in just about everything where there is a legitimate interest and where the funds can be properly used. I would suggest that the area of recreation for the institutionalized -- and I am not talking about recreation within the institution -- is an area that, unfortunately, when the statute was drawn, apparently was not realized and thus has been neglected.
It is not only for the physical handicapped. It also pertains just as validly to those who are retarded. Many of these people, despite the thrust to get them back into society, will for a number of reasons continue to be institutionalized for many years; some of them, because of their condition, really for the rest of their lives. I also understand that the definition by Wintario of just what recreation is had to be defined or otherwise there would be no control over the money.
As I have said, some of the activities of the people I have been talking about don’t fall within your definition of recreation and mine, and not of the law. For instance, in my riding I have 16 young people --
Mr. Warner: Is that all?
Mr. Drea: -- young adults who are institutionalized in a very good nursing home. I want to make it very plain when it comes to care the Rockcliff Nursing Home is second to none in this province. These young people are never going to be cured. Their physical status of today is what they will have the rest of their days. Because of the cost of that care, social services in one form or another, either through extended health care or social assistance, does pay for that care. It does provide them with comfort money and what have you.
One of the great sources of recreation for these young people is to go to night school. To you and me, Mr. Speaker, going to night school is not recreation; it’s leading to something. When they say they want to go to night school, they want to do something about the transportation. First of all, the obvious thrust is to go to the Ministry of Education; but night school is not education because it is not really within The Education Act. The hon. members and I understand the complexities of all of this. Unfortunately, a great number of people do not, nor can they be expected to. It is not education, within the responsibility of providing funds.
Because they are institutionalized and because social assistance in one form or another is paying for their care, the argument then is that this is in a form of social assistance. But then you get into the jurisdictional thing, that social assistance is paying for the institutionalization and not for this.
You go to the school board and the school board says, “We have a high school where they can go -- a great many high schools -- but there is no way that we can provide the transportation.” If you want to try The Vocational Rehabilitation Act, you cannot because the particular education, by definition, must lead to an occupation and obviously this is not going to lead to an occupation. In fact, the truth of the matter is that the night school is recreation. It is an attempt by themselves to come back into the mainstream of society as much as their physical and mental condition will allow.
I would suggest that now is the time to take another look at Wintario. Perhaps a definition of recreation for the handicapped might be in order, because surely a programme that is as socially aware as Wintario should begin to get interested in providing funding for these people.
Mr. Grande: Where are the guidelines?
Mr. Drea: What is your problem?
Mr. Grande: I am just asking a question.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please.
Mr. Drea: Well, ask it outside or somewhere else, will you?
Mr. Grande: You mean you don’t want me to be here?
Mr. Drea: If you could talk coherently so I could understand you, I wouldn’t mind.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Would the hon. member just continue his remarks? Thank you.
Mr. Drea: I have the gravest of difficulty understanding high tenors before 12:15 in the afternoon.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please.
Mr. Drea: I really think that Wintario should begin to take a look at this field. It is a field that Is going to become increasingly significant because the thrust of all government is really to return the handicapped, or those who don’t fall into the category of the beautiful people, into the mainstream of society. I think that is a goal that everyone in this House and most responsible people have advocated for a great number of years.
By the same token, when you do a programme like that you know full well in the beginning that you are going to inherit a great many problems. It is very easy to institutionalize and forget about people; it is sometimes manifestly more difficult to try to return them to society, because there are difficulties and there are problems. But to me those problems are relatively minor and can easily be overcome.
I would be less than fair if I did not mention that my friend and colleague the hon. House leader, who is the Minister of Culture and Recreation (Mr. Welch) has done something which will arrive at a solution for these 16 young people and their particular problem. I thank him very much for that. It only underlines to me that in this province we are very fortunate to have a man of his stature and a man of his humanity in the role that he now has.
Mr. Warner: Too bad he is in the government.
Mr. Drea: But I suggest there is a much wider scope for this type of thing. That is the larger scope that I am talking about. I don’t think it should be up to the ability of the handicapped to be able to locate a particular member who does go and get something done.
I think that these things should be put on an orderly, stable basis where people can apply as a matter of routine and the applications processed and the cheques or the programmes provided as a matter of normal business routine. That is what I am talking about. I realize it may take amendments to the particular statutes, putting in that type of a definition, and I would certainly hope that in the very near future that type of amendment which would allow that type of policy and programme would be introduced because I am sure it would get the unanimous consent of the House. I think it is an area of social endeavour where we have to accept our responsibilities and I think that this is one of the responsibilities. I think the scope of it should be province-wide, even knowing that in some of the smaller areas or some of the remoter areas it is going to cost an awful lot more money than it would in the borough of Scarborough, which is a high density area, or in Metropolitan Toronto or in certain other places. A programme like this should be available across the province, perhaps on an even more extended basis in those remoter areas because there aren’t the ancillary services or the little comforts so readily available for people there.
In conclusion, I would like to draw to the attention of the government that I think it is time we took a look at the effects and the practical applications of the Grange decision, which found that certain condominium owners were entitled to rebates on assessments that were wrongly levied, but in the traditional manner of the courts, the courts left the payment to the condominium owner in the traditional manner of rebates of property tax. I would suggest that that traditional manner unfortunately pertained to a day when rebates of property tax went to owners of detached homes and was never intended to handle the scope and the immensity and the complexity of the results of the condominium owners being right in their pursuit of justice against assessment.
I have condominiums in my riding, Mr. Speaker. It is very difficult to explain to people. Once again they did the right thing. When those assessments were first levied they wanted to know where to go. They went to the court of revision.
In a great many cases in the court of revision those assessments were lowered. The municipality immediately appealed and went into county court. In some cases they were put back up, in some cases they were left alone.
The thrust of the practical implementation -- in other words, the payment of the cash back -- that flows from the Grange decision is that you must have been a party to an appeal before the court and not the court of revision. You had to be in the county court where the appeal against the decision by the court of revision were made. And incidentally, you must still be before the courts to receive payment.
The difficulty is, Mr. Speaker, in a high-rise condominium you may have people living door by door from each other. One person is entitled to only one year of rebate. A person down the hall, who went to what he thought was the court -- he went to the court of revision -- is entitled to absolutely nothing. Someone else down the hall who was a latter participant in the case, who has only been in the building for a couple of years and who never got to court although his papers did, is entitled to the full rebate. There is a great deal of confusion. There is a great deal of alienation.
People find it extremely difficult to understand how they could have been right all along; how the government, the provincial assessors, could have been wrong all along; how the municipalities could not help out very much; how the courts could render a judgement and then, when it comes to the practical application of justice which is the cash, they don’t get it. I think it is time for this government to review the matter, since it is our employees who, under direction, made the first mistake which led to these wrongful assessments. I think it is time we set things right. If people were wrongly assessed, if people did the right thing and went to the court of revision but perhaps never went any further because county court is not only an expensive but a time-consuming thing -- as a matter of fact, the fact they all didn’t go into county court has saved this province tens of millions of dollars because they couldn’t have all been fitted in. We would have had to build county courts all over the place just to accommodate the cases or backlogged everything else.
Mr. Warner: You have to do it.
Mr. Drea: Yes.
Mr. Warner: Are you suggesting I get one, too?
Mr. Drea: Do you want to see me and maybe we can negotiate? They did save us money. I think it is the mark of a government that justice, when it is done, must be seen to be done. I think we are going to have a very difficult time convincing a great many condominium owners that in this particular case justice, other than technical justice, really has been done.
I would hope that the government, without intruding upon the prerogatives of the courts -- I say that because my attitudes toward certain establishments in this country are known -- perhaps can go a step further. Surely, the people who did appeal and who were the victims of economic injustice, in that situation I think they are entitled to the remedy that has been applied to some but not to all.
Mr. Swart: Mr. Speaker, I want to speak through you to the government and the other members of this House; unlike the last speaker, at this point in time I guess that is necessary for me. I must confess that the member for Scarborough Centre left me a little confused when he asked to speak through you to the government. I assumed that as a parliamentary assistant he is part of that government but, in any event, I would have assumed --
Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege.
Mr. Warner: Are you resigning?
Mr. Swart: -- that he would have had some access to the government without going through you. I don’t really want to make an issue of this; I realize it was just a slip. I think, though, perhaps it was more --
Mr. Warner: I think it’s important.
Mr. Swart: -- it was not a lapse --
Mr. Speaker: Order, please.
Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege. I meant every word I said in here. I don’t like motives being imputed to me. I don’t like it being said that it was a slip. I was speaking to the government in an acceptable and responsible manner through you as the Chair.
Mr. Haggerty: Like any other member of the House.
Mr. Warner: Resign.
Mr. Swart: They don’t even listen to you.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. On the point, all members speak through the Chair, so the hon. member will continue.
Mr. Swart: I would say finally on this issue that I don’t believe it was a lapse; I believe it was a projection. Perhaps, in the not too distant future, the member will have to speak through the Chair to the government.
Mr. Germa: He blew it.
Mr. Haggerty: Be my guest.
Mr. Swart: I have had the opportunity already to debate certain estimates contained in the budget. As a matter of fact, I was quite unhappy about a number of those estimates, particularly in the municipal field where there was a general shift back to the regressive property tax brought about by that budget, and particularly the part of the budget which kept the property tax credit at the same level and therefore caused the lower income property tax payers not just to pay the average 14 or 15 per cent increase in property taxes this year, but because the property tax credit was not raised their increases were 20 or 25 per cent.
I considered dealing with a number of other items in the municipal field about which I am concerned, particularly the proposed tax reform that is being dealt with at the present time by the Blair commission and the proposed transfers from the provincial government to the municipalities which was announced in September by the Treasurer. But in spite of the opportunity this does provide to deal with those things, I decided that I want to take part in the general aspects of the proposed budget because it provides a pretty accurate indication of the general thrust of this government’s policies, and I say that thrust needs to be deflected or blunted or abandoned in many respects.
The budget and the Henderson report, I guess more properly known as the special programme review, the hospital cutbacks --
Mr. Warner: The McKeough document.
Mr. Swart: Yes, perhaps the McKeough document is the better name for it.
Mr. Warner: The blueprint for destruction.
Mr. Swart: The gleeful embracing of the federal government wage controls, and the proposed increase in tuition fees at the universities, and other aspects of the budget demonstrate, along with the municipal policies that I have mentioned, a deliberate shift of the tax load and the service cuts on to the middle and lower income groups, and there is no doubt about this. But above all the budget and other policies, whether separately or collectively, show that this government that we have now doesn’t plan for or doesn’t care about the future of this province. It’s prepared to see our vast resources, particularly the renewable ones, sacrificed on its altar of corporate greed and private enterprise. No persuasive argument, no logic, no proof, not even any pleading from the youth generation will alter this government’s mad destructive course.
Mr. Grande: Because it’s dogmatic.
Mr. Swart: There’s lots of talk on their part. There are facades. But when it comes to action in these matters there is a total absence, and believe me the woods of the north are providing one classic proof of that attitude.
There has been abject failure of sustained yield policies in the forest management. I realize that recently this has received a lot of discussion in this House, and out of it, and on the estimates committees, and it’s all deserved, and I intended to contribute to it because it is of over-riding importance.
As long ago as 1924, 52 years ago, it was recognized by the Canadian royal commission on pulpwood that there was not adequate management in reforestation of our northern woodlands. That commission said, first of all: “If we are to any appreciable extent to improve what is over vast areas a sadly depleted and deteriorated forest estate; if we are to permanently maintain in flourishing condition a gigantic industry that has been built up, we must approach the question of forest dedication in a positive and vigorous manner.” That was 52 years ago. The commission further stated:
“There is ample evidence that the government of Ontario has also followed the practice of extracting too great a toll from its forest resources, without returning thereto, by any way of protection and competent administration, the amount which proper conduct of the forest business would demand.”
Mr. Reid: Are you suggesting the revenues they have derived -- from Crown dues, stumpage and that sort of thing -- are too much?
Mr. Swart: Too much? I’m not really as concerned about the revenues they derive at this time, although they’re totally inadequate, as I am by the fact that they’re not using adequate funds to do the reforestation.
Mr. Reid: You just contradicted yourself -- but that is NDP policy, so that’s all right.
Mr. Swart: The publicity, and perhaps some degree of concern, caused The Pulpwood Conservation Act to be passed in this province, which required “all pulp companies to plan their future management on a sustained yield basis.” That was 47 years ago. But, immediately after that was passed, the governments of this province and this nation steered us directly into the mire of the great Depression. This was then used as a justification to ignore the reforestation provisions.
Mind you, it shouldn’t have been. With all the manpower available in those times we should have been using it for purposes exactly like reforestation. But the government of those days, like this government, hadn’t the imagination or the economic common sense to productively put to use the talents and the labours of its citizens. They couldn’t even initiate a one-shot project like the United States did with the Tennessee Valley Authority.
The Second World War intervened and shortages of manpower and goods made reforestation again a very low priority. Isn’t it ironic that little reforestation took place for 15 years; first because we had a surplus of manpower and productive capacity; and secondly because we had a shortage of manpower -- or person power, perhaps I should say -- and productive capacity. It appears a bit absurd, doesn’t it? Yet in the 40 years since then the Liberal and Tory policies in this regard haven’t changed one bit. Today they tell us we can’t afford the things we need because we’ve got a surplus of manpower and productive capacity; that’s what we’re told today. I think this tells the public something about the doctrinaire, unplanned, private enterprise system which this government dogmatically supports. In the post-war years there was no dramatic shortages or surpluses of either manpower or productive capacity, but cutting of the forests with little degree of regeneration accelerated at a tremendous rate.
This year, 1976, is sort of an anniversary, because it’s exactly three decades ago that a royal commission in forestry was appointed by the Tory provincial government, then one year old as a majority government, to “investigate, inquire into and report upon the forest resources of Ontario and their conservation, management, development and beneficial utilization for all purposes.” One year later the commissioner, Howard Kennedy, said in the report which he tabled:
“Up to the present, cutting practices on Crown lands in Ontario, as elsewhere in eastern Canada, have been governed by considerations of current operating costs rather than by the needs of a future crop of timber from the same area. Good reproduction, when it has occurred, has always created satisfaction, but it has been the child of chance rather than of design. Areas which supported pine in the Ottawa Valley and a majority, though not all, of the black spruce swamp types in the province, give promise of future stands commensurate in quality and quantity to those cut. Other cut-over areas on the average are reproducing inferior species or are barren or are only partially stocked. If Ontario is to remain one of Canada’s major timber producing provinces this trend must be checked and practices developed and enforced which will guarantee a future crop preferably better than, but at least as good as, the one harvested if such is economically feasible.”
The Crown Timber Act resulting from that report appeared to usher in a new era with required forest management by leaseholders of public woodlands, but as K. W. Hearnden, the former chairman of the Professional Foresters Association, said, and I quote: “Unfortunately, the so-called management plans tended to be little more than academic exercises designed to satisfy a statutory requirement.”
White papers, amendments to The Crown Timber Act, further reports and government statements, including in 1962 the transfer of responsibility for silviculture from the forest industry to the provincial government, have produced mountains of paper and words but little improvement in percentage of regeneration of the woodlands cut over.
Significantly, in all the many documents and bills there is yet no commitment by the government in writing to the principle of sustained yield. Its actions show, in fact, that it rejects that principle. The statistics provided to us by the Professional Foresters Association of Ontario show this picture in 1974 and 1975: That we’re cutting in northern Ontario something like 500,000 acres annually; that the objective of the Ontario government for regeneration was 400,000 acres annually; that all forms of regeneration that in fact took place were about 350,000 acres annually during those two years and the actual regeneration that took place, the trees which rooted, accounted for about 200,000 acres or 40 per cent of the land which was being clear cut.
I want to use the example of the Mattawan working circle of the Great Lakes Paper Company which I visited with certain other members of the Legislature at the end of August last year. The Mattawan working circle, according to the document which was presented to us by the foresters, is one of the six making up the Great Lakes management unit south of the transcontinental line of the CNR.
The gross area of the unit approximates one million acres, of which 787,000 acres or 79 per cent is productive forest land. The forest is harvested by the clear cutting system. They say the wood required from all their limits for this manufacturing complex in Thunder Bay, the Great Lakes Paper and Wood Company, is in excess of one million cords annually. In fact, that means that in less than 10, really about in seven years, the area cut over for this mill complex alone is an area equal to the whole Niagara region.
The section on forest management in this document is rather interesting and I should point out here, Mr. Speaker, that in the preparation of this document the professional forester, at least one, working for the Great Lakes Paper Company had a hand in the preparation of this document. He would have, I suppose, a vested interest to some degree, although one of the happy things now in our society is that many of the professional people were willing to speak out as they were not before, whether the agrologists or whether the foresters.
But he would have a vested interest and not overstate the case, and he says this: “The management plan dated July 11, 1962, was prepared by the Great Lakes Paper Company forest staff for their cutting limits. Then a further interim forest management plan was prepared for the decade 1970 to 1980. The management period for the original plan is from 1962 to 1982.”
He goes on to say this: “The management plan and its revision do not describe how the forest should be managed so that it remains productive. There is little information on the silvicultural methods that must be employed to secure maximum quantity and quality of regeneration. The management objectives and systems dwell almost exclusively on extraction, with little consideration for other uses, and although the licence contains a regeneration agreement clause, the plan does not make any reference to this fact.” That was said in 1962 and again in the interim forest report which was developed at a much later date.
Then they give us tables that point out in fact what has happened. They show that in the years in which this particular limit has been cut -- the Mattawan limit -- this is the situation. They have cut over something like 70,912 acres of land in this one limit. The total regenerated is 19,566 acres or 27.6 per cent of what was cut over.
Then they go on to deal with the question of the effectiveness of the regeneration and they point out in their table that by sampling they have found out that 5,180 acres were successfully regenerated. This doesn’t compare the years from the time they started cutting; this is a spot check. Unsuccessfully regenerated was 4,293 acres; 54 per cent was successfully regenerated and 46 per cent was not regenerated.
Surely this is an utter condemnation of the policies of this government, the government that has the stewardship for the natural resources and particularly the renewable natural resources of this province.
This is the broad overview and this then is a specific example of the current situation when our virgin northern forest will be practically consumed by the end of this century. Even massive reforestation now -- with a minimum of 40 to 50 years of growth to marketable maturity, and I guess on the average it’s more like 60 to 80 years -- won’t prevent the drastic reduction of forest production at the start of the next century and that is only 25 years away.
Mr. Reid: What is a virgin forest?
Hon. B. Stephenson: It’s one that’s as pure as you are.
Mr. Reid: I knew there was none left.
Mr. Swart: What type of government would permit this situation to develop? A Tory one that has been in power for 33 consecutive years, one with a Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Bernier) who has this report on his comments carried by the Globe and Mail on October 28 of this year, and I quote:
“Mr. Bernier agreed in an interview that there are problems with reforestation. He said it is partly because the ministry does not have the funds to enforce guidelines ... When we’re asking for funds to plant trees today, we would not actually reap benefits for 60 or 80 years ...” End of quote of the minister responsible in the year 1976 and for this documentation of the destruction of our forests.
I say it is a government that hasn’t the courage to take from the woods industry with an annual value of shipments of $2.5 billion to $3 billion --
Mr. Reid: What’s the profit margin?
Mr. Swart: We are not talking about profits here. We are talking about reforestation --
Mr. Maeck: You have to. It’s got to be considered.
Mr. Swart: -- the need to conserve for future generations, even our children --
Mr. Reid: You don’t know what the word “conserve” means. It means wide use of.
Mr. Swart: The necessary $50 million out of that $2½ billion to $3 billion --
Mr. Conway: You guys go anywhere where it’s free.
Mr. Swart: -- to provide the regeneration needed for sustained yield. It is a government that has a close liaison with the Ontario Forest Industries Association, whose spokesman, W. C. Harrison, said recently to the Rotary Club of Hamilton, as quoted in The Forest Scene which I have here, and this is for the fall of 1976: “Ontario’s forest industry can well disappear unless quick action is taken to stem the growing restrictions on the operations. W. C. Harrison told the Rotary Club that forest fires, shrinking cutting areas, blight, preservationists [they’re right next to blight in his statement] and the apparently disinterested public are strangling the industry’s competitiveness.” That’s a statement by the industry at this stage in the destruction of our forests.
The industry is saying: “Give us full speed ahead for the rest of the forests. Get the preservationists and the restricted cutting measures out of our hair and get them off our backs. Let us maximize our profits now; don’t worry about the future.” You can’t put any other interpretation on that statement and that’s the exact attitude this Tory government has taken and is taking in this matter. I say it’s a cynical and shabby attitude.
Mr. Germa: Absolutely.
Mr. Swart: It sells our future generations for a few bucks and a few votes now. The Tories simply don’t care. Nothing could have demonstrated this more clearly than the attendance or, perhaps I should say, the non-attendance by the Liberals and Conservatives at the status of Ontario forests conference for MPPs in Thunder Bay last August 30 and 31.
Need I remind the House how many people the Liberal and Conservative Parties had there? Need I remind members that the Ontario Foresters Association spent six months trying to arrange dates which would be satisfactory to the MPPs of this House and, in fact, changed the date to try to accommodate the MPPs?
Mr. Conway: You guys go anywhere when it’s free.
Mr. Good: You are a bunch of phonies now.
Mr. Conway: Trying to educate the NDP is an all year task.
Mr. Speaker: Order please.
Mr. Reid: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order.
Mr. Reid: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. I’d like to set the record straight -- there were numerous Liberals in attendance.
Mr. Warner: Numerous.
Mr. Reid: There were not as many as we would have liked because of the timing of the particular convention but I’d like to draw to your attention --
Mr. Renwick: I don’t think that’s a point of order.
Mr. Reid: I’d like to draw to your attention, Mr. Speaker that the Liberal members and the Conservative members stayed in the residence at Lakehead University while the poor starving socialists stayed in the Red Oak Inn, a CPR hotel.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. That is not really a point of order, I think. Order, please.
Mr. Swart: Mr. Speaker, all the Liberals there could have been put in a telephone booth. There were only three of them.
Mr. Conway: Tell us about the forests in Welland-Thorold.
Mr. Swart: I want to put on the record of this House, the numbers there at that time and perhaps, in answer to the member for --
Mr. Good: At the NDP convention.
Mr. Conway: At the NDP caucus, at the NDP convention.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please.
Mr. Swart: In answer to the member for Renfrew North, I might say there is far more hope for those who may not think they have all the knowledge at this time but are concerned than for those who think they have the knowledge and never show up at these things.
Mr. Conway: Is he telling me the attendance at that convention was of concern?
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The member for Welland-Thorold has the floor.
Mr. Swart: There were 20 out of 38 NDPs who were concerned enough to attend that Foresters Association seminar.
Mr. Good: For an NDP convention that wasn’t very many.
Mr. Reid: And what it took the foresters to learn, my friend learned --
Mr. Gregory: You are now an expert.
Mr. Swart: The Conservative party, then with 51 members had 10 present. I would point out that even if the party had had 52 members then there would have been only 10 present because the additional member wasn’t there.
Mr. Gregory: Very important.
Mr. Swart: The Liberals, I think, had a maximum at one time of three out of 36; on the second day it was one or two. I think this rather clearly demonstrates the type of concern that this government --
Mr. Haggerty: It’s the quality that counts.
Mr. Reid: A bunch of rubbish. He sold out northern Ontario and now they are concerned about the trees.
Mr. Germa: Three members.
Mr. Swart: -- and the third party --
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I think matters would proceed much more smoothly without the interjections. Thank you very much.
Mr. Swart: I am sure they would.
Mr. Reid: I just want to set the record straight.
Hon. Mrs. Birch: Whose record?
Mr. Reid: You had better go back and set the record straight.
Mr. Swart: Over there the government counts on the indifference of the public.
Mr. Conway: Where is Ellis Morningstar? Bring Ellis back.
Mr. Swart: The government thinks people are not concerned, that they don’t know about this and it won’t make any difference in votes. I can say to the government that up north the indifference has gone. That’s why both of these parties in the whole vast north will each have only two members.
Mr. Reid: Your leader has sold out northern Ontario.
Mr. Swart: I say the government is misleading the public and the rest of Ontario too.
Mr. Reid: How come the member for Lake Nipigon (Mr. Stokes) doesn’t go along with this policy?
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member for Rainy River will restrain himself, please. The hon. member will continue with his remarks.
Mr. Swart: As a matter of fact, I posed that question to the member for Lake Nipigon and he said there were some people he had to sit close to when he was in the House and that he could only take it for a certain length of time.
Mr. Reid: He is opposed to your policy. How do you resolve that?
Mr. Conway: What do you think of Algonquin Park?
Mr. Swart: I say that the public is aware of and is not indifferent to this situation.
Mr. Reid: There is somebody else in southern Ontario telling us what to do in northern Ontario.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. May I point out again that the hon. member for Welland-Thorold has the floor?
Mr. Swart: I would also point out that we are going to have the member for Sudbury East (Mr. Martel) back shortly and he will be able to tell them about the north.
Mr. Reid: Do you know what he said, Mr. Speaker?
Mr. Speaker: Order, please.
Mr. Reid: The member for Sudbury East doesn’t even know where Red Lake is though he’s from northern Ontario.
Mr. Speaker: The hon. member is out of order.
Mr. Swart: If he went to Red Lake though, he liked it, unlike certain people who went to Sault Ste. Marie.
Mr. Conway: You had better stick close to Welland-Thorold.
Mr. Maeck: The member for Rainy River is doing a fine job.
Mr. Swart: The public is aware of the shortage of natural resources. They are becoming increasingly conscious of these things because of what has been taking place with regard to other natural resources, such as oil and gas, and of the price increases because we didn’t preserve those natural resources for our own use. We tried to sell them and exploit them. They are aware of the shortage because of the flip-flop on Hydro that this government has had to do in four short years. Their advertisement formerly was Hydro is yours, use it. There were special concessions to put in electric heating. Now we have a special week for conservation. The public wonders about a government that four years ago couldn’t predict that this sort of shortage was going to take place.
The second reason people are aware of it is because what the government is doing to the forest resources in the north it is also doing to the land resources in the south. The same dismal destructive pattern permeates the whole food land preservation issue. The unique lands of Niagara provide the glaring example of this. I intend to speak on the Niagara fruit lands for another 10 minutes or so. Perhaps this would be a convenient point at which to break.
Mr. Swart moved the adjournment of the debate.
Motion agreed to.
On motion by Hon. Mr. Irvine, the House adjourned at 1 p.m.