30th Parliament, 3rd Session

L139 - Tue 14 Dec 1976 / Mar 14 déc 1976

The House resumed at 8:05 p.m.


Mr. Norton, on behalf of Hon. Mr. McKeough, moved second reading of Bill 187, An Act to amend The Regional Municipality of Hamilton-Wentworth Act, 1973.

Mr. Makarchuk: You made it.

Mr. Deans: I did indeed. Mr. Speaker, I’m going to be very brief in regard to second reading of the bill because we anticipate that the bill will go to committee in order that some amendments might be moved. There are some questions we might want to ask when we get to committee and I think that would be the appropriate place to do so.

The debate on the takeover of the Hamilton Street Railway by the region has been a long debate and has taken a good deal of time. It wasn’t really finalized, I think it’s fair to say, until Sunday last. It’s been ongoing and I can recall having a number of meetings over the last year and a half or perhaps even longer with the ministry with regard to it.

I think it’s fair to say the bill as it now stands has fairly widespread support. That doesn’t mean it has unanimous support by any means nor does it mean that everything we on this side of the House and everything that many people in the community feel ought to be included is included. We do understand -- and a nod would suffice -- that the ministry has made an undertaking that at some time in the next session of the Legislature, when the bill is in place and it’s working, if some of the deficiencies which are anticipated do show up, the ministry won’t feel averse to bringing in some further amendments to make the bill more suitable to the overall needs of the municipalities outside the city of Hamilton.

There are two areas of concern which I want to raise. One which has been raised in terms of the discussion that took place over the last weekend and prior to that, concerns the rights of the smaller municipalities and whether they are adequately protected with regard to the provision not only of the existing service but also future services which might well be needed.

One thing that has concerned me and I raise it now is that the Hamilton Street Railway, in the last short period of time, has been doing a fair amount of reducing of the service available. The Hamilton Street Railway has done it; and its subsidiary operation, the Canada Coach Lines, has been reducing services to many of the neighbouring municipalities. By reducing those services they have put the municipalities at a distinct disadvantage. The town of Stoney Creek is perhaps the most obvious one. It would seem to me, if we are talking about simply providing the service which currently exists, the service which currently exists really is not adequate.

What I’m saying to the members, and, I suppose, I’m saying to the parliamentary assistant in the hope that the Hamilton Street Railway might even read it and the neighboring municipalities might pay some attention to it, is that it seems to me if this service is going to be of any value at all, if this bill is going to provide any useful additional service to the total area, it has to be simply the starting point. We can’t leave the impression that any one of us is satisfied that the level of service now being provided is in any way commensurate with what we believe to be the need for the area. The Hamilton Street Railway, which will become, I suppose, the Hamilton-Wentworth Street Railway, should take upon itself the responsibilities of providing service as it is required.

Let me say that the reason I raise it has very much to do with the ongoing debate between Gray Coach and Greyhound. Unless a service has it brought to its attention that what is being provided is not adequate and therefore as the result of that its jurisdiction is somehow in jeopardy, then that service will never be in a position to make adequate judgements about what it ought to be doing in order to meet whatever the criteria are that enabled it to have the sole jurisdiction in the first place.

What we should require of the regional municipality, the regional government, is that it should set out a policy quite clearly and not leave it up to the Hamilton Street Railway on its own. The regional municipality should establish a policy of service to the entire community and how that service is going to be phased in and how it’s going to be provided since we have at this point in time provided a method of compensating them, if not adequately, at least compensating them for the additional services they might render. I think we should have an understanding with the regional municipality that they have an obligation to set out pretty clearly what they anticipate the overall regional needs to be and how the Hamilton Street Railway, acting as an arm of the regional municipality, will provide for those needs.

We should bring to the regional municipality’s attention that that policy is its responsibility. It is not the responsibility of the Hamilton Street Railway. It is the responsibility of the regional municipality and the regional council. Regional council has to set the policy for the street railway and has to be answerable for the actions of the railway and the service that is or is not provided in much the same way that I think the government of Ontario should be answerable for policy in the overall in the province of Ontario in terms of the provision of transportation both for the movement of people and things around the province.

We have to make it clear to them that what they have to address themselves to is ensuring that there is a clearly understandable policy in terms of existing service and the provision of future service. The best example that comes to my mind is that the Ontario Housing Corporation undertook to build under the HOME programme a fairly substantial housing development on Saltfleet Mountain, but it took me two and a half years to get the Hamilton Street Railway to provide one bus. I think that that ought not to have been. It seems to me we have to make it clear that that cannot be abided in the future and that that’s something we are not prepared to accept.

There’s another problem and it’s one I think the minister or the parliamentary assistant may give some consideration to before we reach committee. There is nothing in this bill that addresses itself to the protection of the employees. At the present moment, as I understand it, the employees of the Hamilton Street Railway have a pension plan that is private in nature. It’s a private pension plan directed solely for the employees of the Hamilton Street Railway. My concern about this is that, as there is a takeover from the city of Hamilton to the regional municipality, those employees should be provided with all the protections we would normally expect to provide for employees who are affected by a transition of their power or a movement of their employment from one area to another.


What you are doing in essence tonight, if we pass the bill, is arranging that those employees will cease to be employees of the city’s Hamilton Street Railway and will become employees of the transit commission of the regional municipality of Hamilton-Wentworth. I want to be sure that in that transition, and in order that I don’t have to confront Ted Stringer some day, that it be clearly set out in the bill that all of the rights and privileges and all of the contractual arrangements in force at the time that this transition takes place --

Mr. Kerrio: You’re not even a wine drinker, Ian.

Mr. Deans: Why don’t you go back to your party?

Mr. Cunningham: We need a quorum.

Mr. Deans: I want to be sure that they will remain in force and in effect for these employees and any future employees. I just don’t want to leave it to chance. The parliamentary assistant might want to say to me that we fully intend that these employees will not in any way be disrupted, discriminated against or deprived. But I’ve been this road a number of times and I would much prefer if the draftsman of the bill could find a way to draft a clause that would guarantee that all of the benefits that currently have been negotiated and are in place are made available to each of those employees under the new employer system. I don’t think it requires any masterful mind to draft it; I can do it while the debate’s going on if that’s necessary, though I think I would probably prefer if it were done by the ministry in order to make sure that it conforms with the normal, legal language that we would have in legislation of this type.

I don’t want to see us being put in the position of having to have arbitrations take place in the province over the employees’ rights in the Hamilton Street Railway as they previously existed, over and against what they can reasonably expect to have when it’s taken over by the regional municipality.

With those few comments, and they are few comments, I suggest to the parliamentary assistant that we will approve the bill, recognizing that we fully anticipate that in March of the coming year or thereabouts there probably will be amendments forthcoming to satisfy some of the legitimate points raised by a number of people in the municipality over their protection, and hoping that the minister will bring in an amendment to the bill now that will ensure that at the time of takeover all of the contractual obligations previously undertaken by the Hamilton Street Railway will become the responsibility of the new entity set up under this bill.

Mr. Cunningham: Mr. Speaker, inherent in the acceptance of my party and my own participation here as the member for Wentworth North would be the understanding that the government is accepting the views put forth by the member for Wentworth as they relate to the acceptance of previous commitments --

Mr. Shore: Where are all your colleagues?

Mr. Cunningham: Sorry, Marvin?

Mr. Shore: Do you like talking to yourself there? Where are all your buddies?

Mr. Cunningham: Did you want to be invited? I’m sorry. If you’d stuck around a little longer you would have been invited.

Mr. Shore: I was invited.

Mr. Cunningham: You should stop while you’re ahead, Marvin, because I’ll tell you there’ll be no party for you -- not a Conservative Party, not a New Democratic Party. There’ll be no party for you, Marvin. But if you want to speak to this bill, I would invite you to get involved in this discussion as it relates to the Hamilton-Wentworth Transit Commission.

Mr. Deans: This was your going away party and you missed it.

Mr. Cunningham: Although, recognizing the fact that you’re an authority on so many subjects, especially bankruptcies, and I want to tell you, Marvin, given the particular financial --

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order, please. Will the hon. member for Wentworth North ignore the interjections and speak specifically to Bill 187?

Mr. Cunningham: I will, Mr. Speaker, and I want to say that you, probably more than many members, would appreciate the financial difficulties that affect the people of the region of Hamilton-Wentworth with regard to the bill. Given the fact that you appreciate that, I’m sure the member for London North would appreciate it as well. I’m sure he would be willing to participate in this debate as it relates to possible relief of tax dollars for those people who are so badly and adversely affected by regional government -- but possibly that might come at another time.

I want to say that we in the Liberal Party will support this piece of legislation, Bill 187. I only want to say to you, as the member for Wentworth North and independently so, I am concerned at this point in time about the possibility of some deterioration of service to my constituents. Implicit in this discussion, I suppose, is the idea of cross-subsidization. That has been the long-standing prerequisite, I suppose, of any granting of licensing authorities to the Highway Transport Board prior to this legislation.

I can only say, and Mr. Speaker, as a resident of a rural area you would appreciate this, certain areas are not lucrative; certainly they are not areas that have been of great beneficial service --


Mr. Cunningham: I am sorry, the member for Middlesex (Mr. Eaton), the soprano, is here. I didn’t recognize him; I didn’t know what he was saying. If he would like to participate in the debate I would welcome him, because I too would appreciate his view.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Would you continue to ignore the interjections and speak to the bill?

Mr. Cunningham: I will if you will rule him out of order.

Mr. S. Smith: He has been out of order since the day he was born.

Mr. Cunningham: That soprano is hard to recognize.

Mr. S. Smith: Where there are so many.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: The hon. member for Middlesex will be recognized.

Mr. Cunningham: I can only say that certain areas, especially as it relates to rural constituencies, require that concept of cross-subsidization, not only in the transportation of human beings, but in the concept of transporting goods. That’s been a principle that I think has been recognized by the province of Ontario for 35 or 45 years. It’s very important; I don’t think it matters what party you are in or how long you have been around, I think it is very important that we all recognize the importance of that very thesis, and that is that certain areas in our constituencies are not lucrative areas by way of transporting either goods or people. That is implicit in the granting of licences. It is so very important that we allow, by way of cross-subsidization, the more lucrative runs to subsidize the areas that are not so lucrative. That’s so very important -- at least, I think -- to the members of the opposition, to their point of view.

I can only say to you that my fear as the member for Wentworth North is that through Bill 187 -- and I know it is just enabling legislation -- I am concerned for the bus service that we have known through Canada Coach -- and more recently I gather by way of Highway Transport Board decree, for other areas in the northern part of my constituency -- that is the service that we have come to expect and which I think we pay for by way of our taxes, and we would expect that service to continue to be provided.

If this legislation does go into effect, it affords a licence to allow that transit authority to ignore the rural areas. I hope that is neither the intent nor the method which this legislation will be effected, because it would distract me greatly. In the matter of consumer analysis, put yourself in the view of the residents of Strabane or Carluke or one of the rural areas -- maybe Carlisle, Ontario. I know the member for Middlesex would appreciate this, because he has so many areas that are, I think, directly analogous to this particular situation -- you have Dartmouth and various areas like that -- I know he would appreciate that.

Mr. Eaton: He is in my riding. Do you know where they are?

Mr. Cunningham: Well, you’re there more often than I am.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: The hon. member for Middlesex will be recognized next if he wants to participate.

Mr. Cunningham: I wouldn’t want you to throw him out, especially this particular member; he’s so rarely here. But when he is we do hear him.

Mr. S. Smith: Keep him around for a while.

Mr. Cunningham: His voice is unmistakable in this House, sometimes not discernible, but unmistakable.

I can only say that we cannot forget the small rural communities in this province. And if this is the intent of this legislation, I would only say that I would oppose it. I don’t think it is. I would prefer to give the credit to this particular ministry to recognize the importance of the rural commitment to the regional municipality of Hamilton-Wentworth. We can’t afford a YMCA for the community of Strabane. We can’t afford the community and social service aspect, as it relates to that particular region. It is very important that we provide adequate transit facilities for those people in that area. They pay a great deal of taxes; their taxes have gone up almost 100 per cent in the last three years. It’s very important to me as their representative that a meaningful and adequate and a fair method of transportation be afforded them to the centre of the city of Hamilton, the second largest city in this province. That’s very basic to me.

In many ways, they have digressed from --

Mr. Moffatt: You’re digressing there.

Mr. Cunningham: No, no, I’m not digressing. The thesis of this bill has digressed by not suggesting that the whole region come within the purview of a regional transit bill. They are designating a certain area -- it’s unclear to me, and possibly the parliamentary assistant to the minister would afford me the ministry’s view as to what specific areas they are recommending for control in this particular regard. As I see it there are parts of towns and villages that will be intersected and which will qualify for a subsidy -- that basically, is what it’s going to be, a subsidization of transit facilities -- and there are other areas that do not. I can only say that I am very concerned about those areas that are not -- and about the preoccupation of this government with having those areas that do not receive any service paying for the entire service of the area.

I’m sure as a representative of a rural area, Mr. Speaker, you will appreciate the concern on behalf of my constituents as to the efficacy of paying for a service that they are absolutely, totally unable to receive any benefit from. I find that whole thing in the context of increased taxation through regional government a very, very unfair situation.

I am very concerned about protecting the employees that heretofore have been employed by Canada Coach or by the Hamilton Street Railway or in some other manner by a transportation system in this area that we haven’t recognized -- and there have been several. It’s very basic to us in the Liberal Party that we recognize that situation and that we see we accord every employee some recognition of his service and that they are brought into line with existing transit organization agreements. I think that’s only fair.

I would ask of the ministry that they consider changing “Ontario” to “Ontario Municipal Board.” This might bring the legislation to a more appropriate stance. More specifically, I would ask that more consideration be given -- possibly through committee -- to the idea of cross-subsidization. That is very basic to the whole idea of transportation in this province. We’ve heard a great debate on the efficacy of the Greyhound-Gray Coach issue and I suppose that was analogous to this situation. We must have the more lucrative runs subsidizing the areas that are not as advantageous to live in as are the more urban areas of our province. Some 36 per cent of the people of Ontario live in areas that are not well populated and they require this kind of transportation facility. I would only think it fair that the government consider it so.


Mr. Deputy Speaker: Does any other member wish to participate on second reading? The hon. member for Hamilton Centre.

Mr. Davison: The current situation in the Hamilton-Wentworth region speaks to something of a recurring problem with the government and that’s the lack of sensitivity to local positions and local situations. Regional government in Hamilton-Wentworth has been, since its inception, a contentious issue. The government was perfectly aware of the ramification of this bill that is now before us in the municipality of Hamilton-Wentworth. It was aware of the strenuous relationships at times between the councillors from Hamilton and the councillors from other areas of Hamilton-Wentworth. But the government didn’t extend every effort to help the region to come up with a solution that wouldn’t open old sores and wounds. There were long discussions and some bitter arguments in the regional council over this situation. The provincial government was aware of it.

On November 23 the regional council was finally able to hammer out a position unanimously after long and hard argument that was sent forward to the ministry, to Queen’s Park. On December 7, the councillors showed up for their meeting and found that substantial changes had been made in their proposal.

Examples of the substantial changes I’m talking about are the sections of the bill that deal with who has the right to license in the municipality. They had thought that we should deal with the Hamilton-Wentworth region as one complete entity and allow one group to build an integrated transit system, and there’s some merit to their argument. But the ministry wants to retain the right to license carriers and determine who the carriers will be --

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Will you keep your level of conversation down, please? It’s difficult to hear the member who has the floor.

Mr. Davison: -- in the entire region, with the exception of Hamilton itself and some parts of Ancaster, Dundas and Stoney Greek. Perhaps normally that wouldn’t be too upsetting. That wouldn’t be too frightening. But, given the problems that we see now in the Greyhound-Gray Coach dispute, it’s the kind of thing that makes people very nervous. I think that some people see the possibility of a similar problem developing with the Ministry of Transportation and Communications having control over the transit system in part of the municipality. What that kind of insensitivity on the part of the various ministries involved does is pour salt on the wounds.

The other thing that didn’t help greatly was that on December 7 at the council meeting it became clear to the councillors that they were basically confronted with a fait accompli. Sure, they could negotiate and they could suggest changes and, goodness knows, changes could be accepted by the government. But the hammer was that if you want to open it all up, if you want to make suggestions, if you want to have amendments brought, if you want changes to be made, okay, but you’re not going to get the legislation by January 1. It’s not going to be done during this sitting of the House. The councillors on December 7 were faced with the situation where they find out that the bill was not what they asked for; yet they have no recourse. It was made very clear to them in a very blunt, brutal fashion that there was no recourse; there was no way out. I don’t think the interests of all the parties and of all the people are served when the government is so rigidly inflexible. I think we can accomplish a lot more with a certain degree of healthy co-operation instead of what amounts to government by decree.

My colleague from Wentworth earlier in the debate raised a very valid point and a very important point -- that is, the way this bill is drawn up without any mention of the employee. The bill falls terribly short of what it should be by that exclusion. The Municipality of Hamilton-Wentworth Act in chapter 74, 1973, section 27, which is a substantial section, a very long section, provides in some detail the kind of legislation that is needed to protect employees. I wish the government would take a look at that and give some very serious consideration to including a similar section or group of sections in this bill.

Perhaps we can go into that in some detail during the committee stage of the debate, and I look forward to continuing the argument that I’ve just outlined now at that time.

Mr. S. Smith: I’ll just make a few brief remarks, Mr. Speaker.


Mr. Moffatt: Few but noisy.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. It’s the hon. member’s turn.

Mr. S. Smith: I have to wonder sometimes what the government really believes with regard to decentralization and with regard to the whole matter of local autonomy.

Mr. Hodgson: We wonder too about you.

Mr. S. Smith: For some strange reason the government has chosen to set up as the transit area under this bill a bounded area different from the region itself. It’s hard to understand the reasoning behind this. If the region, after all, is suitable for tax collection, suitable for determining the way in which it’s to do its planning, and suitable for setting up the incredible bureaucracy which has been foisted on the people of Hamilton and area, then it’s hard to know why it is not suited, somehow or other, to making its own transportation decisions. It’s difficult to know why it is that about half the region has to be left to the tender mercies of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, whose wondrous abilities have recently surfaced with regard to the $10-million giveaway of public assets to the Greyhound company.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: It is the same red herrings.

Mr. S. Smith: It is amazing. I cannot help but wonder why it is --


Mr. S. Smith: If Greyhound were even a sellout I wouldn’t mind as much as it being a giveaway.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. Member for Hamilton West only.

Mr. S. Smith: If Greyhound were even a sellout I wouldn’t mind as much as it being a giveaway.


Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. S. Smith: However, one has to wonder why it is that half the region, approximately, is being left to the additional tender and brilliant mercies of the Ontario Highway Transport Board. The reason seems to be that the ministry fails to trust the region to make intelligent decisions with regard to permitting certain inter-urban transportation facilities actually to be licensed properly by the region.

Mr. Hodgson: You are going to do away with the regions; that is what you told me.

Mr. S. Smith: The fear is that certain inter-urban routes will be jeopardized because they will not be permitted to stop within the region to discharge or to pick up passengers, because the region may wish not to license certain of these inter-urban facilities and services. My own feeling about this is that it demonstrates very clearly that the source of regional decentralization that exists in the mind of the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) and of this particular government is basically, “We’ll let you do a little for yourself but mostly we’ll keep the purse-strings, the decision-making power, here at Queen’s Park.” For some reason this government seems to believe that all the brains in Ontario are located in Queen’s Park; they seem to believe as well that the other areas of Ontario cannot be trusted to make reasonable and rational decisions.

The region, when faced with the alternative of having absolutely no passage of this bill or accepting the bill pretty much as read and then attempting to amend it in the spring session, has voted in favour of accepting this bill. Consequently, we will not stand in the way of passage of this bill.

Some hon. members: Oh, oh.

Mr. Cunningham: You are all Tories.

Mr. S. Smith: I want to allay the disappointment of the members opposite. I know they were hoping to divide the House and have a Christmas election on the Hamilton-Wentworth bill, but some of the best plans sometimes go astray. Even the desires of the members opposite occasionally must run afoul.

We will have to accept that the bill will undoubtedly pass. But I trust that the members opposite are prepared to come to Hamilton-Wentworth and to explain to the people on whom they foisted this whole stupid regional concept in the first place, why they don’t trust it enough to let them handle their own transportation.

How is it that the government will let them handle the ability to raise taxes so that the Treasurer can renege on the Edmonton commitment? How is it they will trust them sufficiently to create a second department of planning, a second department of engineering, a second department of personnel -- duplication all the way down the line, practically to a second city hall -- but they won’t trust them to do their own transportation? Let the members opposite explain to the people in the other half of Ancaster and in the other half of Dundas why they are not really members of their region when those members think they shouldn’t be. Let them explain to them why their Ministry of Transportation and Communications and their brilliant Ontario Highway Transport Board has to keep the reins with regard to transport and not allow the people of the region to have their own licensing ability?

Mr. Norton: What is the principle of the bill? Back to the principle.

Mr. S. Smith: I am not happy with that: we will, however, acquiesce to the region’s demand, and the vote which was taken at the regional meeting, to have this bill pass so that at least something will be in place. But I want further discussion at the regional council. I want further discussion, with good representation from the smaller communities in the north and in the east of our region. I want to be sure that I am on record as saying that I decry this government’s two- faced attitude with regard to regions --

Some hon. members: Oh, oh.

Mr. S. Smith: -- whereupon they are prepared to foist regional government on them, but they are not prepared to trust people sufficiently to actually make their own transportation decisions.

Mr. Roy: You are getting there. You’ve got Frank beside you.

Mr. S. Smith: I hope that the public trust which has been put in this government will not be violated and that they will bring back a bill similar to this one, with appropriate amendments, in the spring session.

Mr. Nixon: You are the terrible Tories.

Mr. Reid: You are the terrible violators.

Mr. Speaker: Does any other hon. member wish to speak to this bill? The parliamentary assistant.

Mr. S. Smith: Here comes the Supreme Court.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please; order! The member for Scarborough Centre.

Mr. Nixon: This will be great.

Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, far be it from me --

Mr. Roy: That’s enough, Frank. Sit down.

Mr. Nixon: “In closing ... ”

Mr. Drea: Far be it from me to try to penetrate the somniferous mental processes of the last speaker --

An hon. member: Did you hear that, Pat?

Mr. Moffatt: Did you hear that, Sid?


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member for Scarborough Centre.

Mr. Drea: I would like to draw to the attention of the House that there are two particular applications and two particular sections in this bill, which are part of the principle of the bill, that absolutely protect the Canada Coach subsidiary of the Hamilton Street Railway from any intrusion upon its public vehicle routes, which were con- feared upon it by the Highway Transport Board.

One would think that someone who is such an expert on transportation, particularly in the bus field, who said only on the Monday of the Gray Coach debate that he understood Canada Coach might be sold --

Mr. Roy: There you go defending Greyhound again.

Mr. Drea: -- would have looked at the transportation implications, particularly on the over-the-road routes. Secondly, as far as being a regional carrier, Canada Coach or whatever wholly owned subsidiary of the Hamilton Street Railway chooses to go into the regional or the suburban operation, is absolutely protected, because it is a monopoly.


Mr. Nixon: What do you mean whatever? It’s Canada Coach. Are you trying to wear them down?

Mr. Drea: It is a monopoly that can only be broken by the vote of the regional council within the regional area.

Mr. Roy: What did we do to deserve this?

Mr. S. Smith: Give it to Greyhound.

Mr. Drea: It is the absolute conferring of a monopoly throughout an entire region upon the existing carrier.

Mr. Nixon: It is the power that this Legislature gives them.

Mr. Drea: Why this appals the leader of the Liberal Party is beyond me, because it is identical to Bill 55 which established Metropolitan Toronto.

Mr. Roy: We don’t deserve this.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Drea: It is entirely consistent with government transportation policy going back 20 years --

Mr. Cunningham: There is an awful lot beyond you.

Mr. Drea: -- to the establishment of the first region, Metropolitan Toronto. It is identical in concept to the extension --

Mr. Cunningham: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Hello.

Mr. Speaker: Does the hon. member have a point of order really?

Mr. Cunningham: Mr. Speaker, I want to draw to your attention that is not consistent with what has gone on in Ottawa-Carleton nor has it gone on in Metro region.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. That is not a point of order. The hon. member is debating the issue.

Mr. Nixon: He probably doesn’t want the member to mislead the House.


Mr. Speaker: Can we get on with the business of the House with a little more order, please? The hon. member for Scarborough Centre only.

Mr. S. Smith: He is leading the House amiss.

Mr. Conway: Shovel away.

Mr. Drea: It is entirely consistent with the transportation principles embodied in the original Metropolitan Toronto bill which did allow --

Mr. Cunningham: It is not.

Mr. Shore: Get back in your corner there.

Mr. Drea: -- for the expansion of the existing municipal service, which was confined by and large to the city limits of Toronto and three suburban municipalities, to penetrate throughout the entire 13 municipalities as existed at that time. Without the concept of a regional government elsewhere at that time, it did set up a concept by which Gray Coach continued to be (a) a regional carrier and (b) maintained its over-the-road routes.

I find this entirely consistent with the transportation policies of the government. One would trust that the expansion of a regional service in the Wentworth area will prove beneficial in terms of the transportation of passengers --

Mr. Roy: You don’t know what you are talking about.

Mr. Drea: -- the alleviation of highway traffic congestion and an alternative to those who do not believe that the automobile is destined to be the sole means of transportation within a major urban area such as this.

Mr. Roy: Talk to the Premier (Mr. Davis) about that.

Mr. Speaker: Does any other hon. member wish to speak to this bill?

Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker, before the parliamentary assistant replies, I just want to echo the concerns expressed by my leader about the future of Canada Coach Lines because they serve an area much broader even than the Hamilton-Wentworth region. They get as far as Brantford even --

Mr. Breithaupt: Even.

Mr. Drea: And Buffalo.

Mr. Nixon: -- and many other major communities in that part of the province. It would certainly he a disservice indeed to the community which I have the honour to represent, if I did not put before you, sir, the feelings that I have that, as a result of the present government policy, particularly relating to bus transportation that is owned or partly owned by a public transit authority, they ace in some jeopardy. It would be a serious error indeed if this House were to move in a direction which would permit the Hamilton Street Railway authority in any way to interfere with the service that Canada Coach has provided for so many communities in southwestern Ontario.

Mr. Drea: They might want to sell it.

Mr. Nixon: I wanted to be sure, Mr. Speaker, that you are aware of my concerns, even though some of the back-bench members of the Conservative Party are interjecting with an indication that they’re not concerned.

Mr. Drea: Don’t knock us. You know it is going to happen.

Mr. Speaker: Order please.

Mr. Boy: Let the member for Scarborough Centre try to control himself.

Mr. Nixon: I would like to indicate to the minister who will be speaking soon that we’re very much aware that government policy in support of these bus routes is something that might be best described, I suppose moderately, as inadequate and that we feel these communities are well served by the bus service of Canada Coach and we don’t want anything to interfere with that.

Mr. Drea: You don’t want better.

Mr. S. Smith: You don’t care about the small towns, Frank.

Mr. Drea: You impeach the Supreme Court.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please, the parliamentary assistant only please. Order, order. The hon. parliamentary assistant.

Mr. Norton: I shall try to confine my remarks to responding to specific points that have been raised by the hon. members opposite during the course of the debate. In fact, I think I would perhaps be a little more fluent had the hon. member for Frontenac-Addington extended his generous hand to me and invited me to the caucus party that obviously the members opposite enjoyed this evening and I might have been able to rise to the occasion on the same basis as the hon. member for Hamilton West.

Mr. Breithaupt: We were not only there but we are here too.

Mr. Nixon: I understand you are not invited to many parties.

Mr. Norton: No, I am not, especially by the members opposite and especially by the hon. member for Frontenac-Addington. However, dealing first of all with the remarks by the hon. member for Hamilton West --

Mr. S. Smith: I can understand why you prefer our party to your party.

Mr. Speaker: Now, we are back at the bill. The hon. parliamentary assistant. A point of order.

Mr. McEwen: I would like to offer condolences to the member for Kingston and the Islands.

Mr. Eaton: He is going to make his first speech.

Mr. Speaker: Thank you. It’s not really a point of order. The hon. parliamentary assistant.

Mr. Roy: In fact we are very gracious. We sent you a reject over there.

Mr. Norton: Any sign of a generous spirit from the hon. member for Frontenac-Addington is gratefully received by me.

An hon. member: It is called, no doubt, look out.

Mr. Norton: First of all, dealing with the comments of the hon. member for Hamilton West, he expressed concern particularly about what he interprets as the government’s position with respect to local autonomy and allowing the local decision-making authority to, in this instance, participate fully in licensing operations within the boundaries of the regional municipality.

I would point out to him that in our discussions, which have been necessarily rather compressed in the last couple of weeks with the representatives of Hamilton-Wentworth, we discussed this. In view of their own experience with Canada Coach Lines in other regional municipalities where they were, by virtue of a decision of the regional municipality denied an opportunity to pick up or to let down passengers within the boundaries of those municipalities, they saw, I think, the reason for the concern that was expressed by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications.

A similar situation has arisen in Ottawa-Carleton where, prior to the general authority to license that was granted, there were effective transportation routes starting outside the regional boundaries and terminating within the regional boundaries. Because of a policy that was implemented on the licensing basis to restrict these lines from picking up or letting out passengers, some of them, in effect, have been forced out of operation. The result has been that people living just outside the regional boundaries simply do not have any effective means of transportation into the Ottawa-Carleton region in some instances. Now recognizing that certainly there is a --


Mr. Norton: I was using Ottawa-Carleton as an example of a problem that could result.

Mr. Nixon: When are you going to improve transportation down there?

Mr. Norton: Bearing those kinds of problems in mind and recognizing that the province clearly does have a responsibility with respect to intercity transportation, one that it cannot ignore, if the Ministry of Transportation and Communications requested that in those areas outside the urban transit service area as defined in the legislation, they would retain some input at the discretion of the minister to avoid the kind of problem that had developed in some other situations.

Now, the hon. member from Hamilton Centre expressed similar concerns about licensing and the continuing involvement to a limited extent by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications. I am not sure whether it is clear. I don’t have a map but, if I can just explain that, there are three areas defined within the legislation.

First of all there is the urban transit area which is defined according to the boundaries of the city of Hamilton. At least part of the reason for that was to guarantee the city of Hamilton that it would not suffer as a result of the decision that has been made to transfer its interest in the Hamilton Street Railway and Canada Coach to the regional government.

The other area that is defined is the urban transit service area which extends beyond the boundaries of the city and includes those areas outside the city that are presently serviced by the transit system. It’s only outside that area where there is any input from MTC under any circumstances. Within the urban transit service area, the municipality has the total authority with respect to licensing and the provision of transit. Even outside the urban transit service area, where the mutes may begin and end within a single or area municipality, the region would have complete and total jurisdiction. It’s principally in cases of through transit that the MTC would retain an interest in terms of there being some ministerial discretion involved.

This is there in order to protect the integrity of intercity transit. I’m sure the member for Hamilton Centre would not deny that there is a provincial interest in maintaining effective intercity transit and that it should not be subjected to the kinds of things perhaps that Canada Coach has experienced in its own operations in other municipalities.

The suggestion by the hon. member that the government was in any way imposing or being heavy-handed in this situation, I hope was based at least upon ignorance, if not an excessive measure of unfairness under the circumstances. We became aware a little over two weeks ago that finally after two and a half to three years’ negotiation an agreement had been arrived at by the municipalities within the Hamilton-Wentworth region. To say that we have in any way delayed or made this situation more difficult, I think is very unfair, because the staff in our ministry have literally been working weekends trying to make the necessary preparations in order that this legislation could be before the House before the end of this session. On top of that, we have had staff taken away from their regular duties. We have spent full days in meetings with representatives from the region, trying to hammer out details.

Ultimately, that led to a meeting last Saturday in the region where, at a vote of 15 to three, the members of the regional council who were present supported the legislation as presently drafted and before the House. In fact, we are advised that those three who were opposed to it were the only three and had the full council been present the vote would still have been only three in opposition. It would have been desirable that it be unanimous, but given the circumstances and the long period of time over which negotiations took place, perhaps that was almost too much to hope for.

We have tried in every respect to accommodate the interests of the area municipalities and to protect those interests, and I think we have done it effectively in this legislation. We have tried to protect the interests of the city of Hamilton particularly where they have had an asset which they are transferring to the regional municipality and to protect the provincial interest, that is, the people of the province in terms of maintaining a reasonable level of intercity transit.

Under all of the circumstances, I think the legislation we have before us meets those needs as well as any legislation could. I suppose there is one other area I would like to touch upon very briefly and perhaps expand upon, that is, the protection of the smaller municipalities or the rural municipalities as has been raised by two or three of the speakers opposite.


Under the present legislation, in order for service to be expanded into the various municipalities beyond the present level of service, an agreement will be required between the regional municipality and the area municipality. Such agreement will arise at the instance of the area municipality and will include the details of the financing of such service. Disagreement on details of financing is subject to appeal for a determination by the Ontario Municipal Board.

One change that was suggested by us and has been accepted by the region was, where there was a request for additional service, the regional municipality was required to make every effort to provide it. The language of the Act was changed to make that mandatory.

I know of nothing else we can do to increase the protection of the area municipality. They have financial protection, they have protection of a level of service they may require or desire or request.

The suggestion of the hon. member for Wentworth North with respect to employee protection I think is something that clearly we anticipated -- not his suggestion, but we anticipated that that would happen in any event. We have no problem in introducing an amendment that should meet his requirements or his concerns and the concerns of the employees. I would propose to do that in committee along with some other drafting amendments that we propose to introduce at that time.

Motion agreed to.

Ordered for committee of the whole House.


Hon. Mr. Handleman moved second reading of Bill 135, An Act to provide for the limited inclusion of Grapes grown outside Ontario in Ontario Wine.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Durham East.

Mr. Conway: The little old wine-maker.

Mr. Moffatt: Mr. Speaker, I am going to be very brief.


Mr. Moffatt: That’s the most concerted applause the Liberal Party has ever given me, and I appreciate it.

Mr. Nixon: It’s the best speech you ever made.

Mr. Breithaupt: And the best reason to applaud.

Mr. Moffatt: It’s not often the Liberal Party agrees on anything.

This particular bill, as proposed by the minister, has a number of areas where we feel it is sadly deficient. It proposes that experimentation will not be carried on in a limited fashion but rather on an across-the-industry basis; it in fact has grave ramifications for people involved in the growing of wine grapes in the province of Ontario; it takes no account of some of the representations that have been made to the minister and to various people within the ministry --

Hon. Mr. Welch: That is not true; the minister has responded very well.

Mr. Moffatt: This particular bill --


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member has the floor.

Mr. Moffatt: This particular bill, if it is put forward in its present fashion and is allowed to stand, would, we feel, lead to a disservice for people who are involved in an extended fashion in the growing of grapes for wine. It may indeed pose some difficulties for some of the domestic wineries in the province of Ontario. This party intends to vote against Bill 135 on second reading.

Mr. Hall: Mr. Speaker, I look forward to discussing this bill, because unlike the member for Durham East, I come from grape-growing country.

Hon. Mr. Welch: A great riding known as Lincoln.

Mr. Kerrio: I’ll drink to that.

Mr. Hall: It is an interesting point, because we are concerned with the preservation of agricultural lands and I have to tell you that the unique lands that we possess are in large measure growing grapes.

Despite the promotion of the wine industry, and the Ontario Grape Growers’ Marketing Board the production of grapes in Ontario is in excess of current usage, both for the manufacturer of grape juice and the manufacturer of wines in Ontario. Despite the fact that vinifera and hybrid vines have come into play in large measure in the peninsula in recent years, I have certain statistics which are rather discouraging to the people who grow the vines, irrespective of the feelings of the member for Durham East.

Hon. Mr. Welch: As a consumer.


Mr. Hall: In the calendar year between 1974 and 1975, the sales by gallon of wines made in Ontario went down 188,262 gallons. At the same time imported wines went up some 645,921 gallons.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: The Liberal Party made it all up tonight.

Mr. Hall: Part of the problem in connection with this, is that the wines which are imported into Canada are in large measure subsidized by the government of the country of origin to obtain Canadian dollars. Our wine industry stands on its own two feet. It negotiates with the marketing board for the wines on an annual basis. It has nine categories of price and it also, like any free enterprise business in Canada, pays its property taxes and its corporation taxes when it does make a profit.

I have a long association with the grape-growing industry in this Peninsula, partly through my father-in-law who 22 years ago was involved in the Ontario Grape Growers’ Co-operative and was concerned about the manufacture of grape juice through what is known as Welch’s in St. Catharines.

Not many people know that the government House loader is a multi-millionaire

Hon. Mr. Welch: Including the House leader himself.

Mr. Conway: How about the member for St. Catharines (Mr. Johnston)?

Mr. Hall: However, the information that has been given to me is that the Ontario Wine Council and the Ontario Grape Growers’ Marketing Board have met with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food and discussed a programme which will assist in the improvement of the wine industry.

It includes certain things which have already happened; the reduction of the markup charged by the LCBO; the broadening of attitude with regard to outlets for wine sales; the concept of a wine standard being developed between the industry and the growers and this wine blending bill.

Mr. Eaton: Don’t forget the programme for the vining too.

Mr. Hall: The vine conversion programme has not worked out too well, if I could respond to the member for London Middlesex, because the wineries themselves are concerned about what varieties to plant, trying to guess what the taste of the consumer is. I have to tell you in the straightest terms that as a long-term resident of Grimsby and an occasional consumer of our native product --

Mr. Conway: No!

An hon. member: I don’t believe it.

Mr. Hall: I’ll ignore that.

Mr. Nixon: That’s a fact.

Mr. B. Newman: Yes, it is the best.

Mr. Hall: I have to say that for some time I’ve consumed Ontario wines in moderation and --

Mr. Nixon: That’s all.

Mr. Hall: -- and I think that those of us who haven’t tried them really are --

Mr. Nixon: Shouldn’t knock them.

Mr. Hall: -- very short-sighted. While I’m on the subject I must point out that --


Mr. Hall: I have to point out that when I came here in the fall of 1957, the wine list for our own legislative dining room had several foreign varieties listed by brand.

Mr. Nixon: That’s right.

Mr. Samis: Shame.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Shame.

Mr. Hall: The guiding fathers of this establishment had Canadian wines listed as domestic red and white.

Mr. Nixon: The member for Lincoln changed all that.


Mr. Hall: I must continue to say that after some co-operative dialogue with the previous member for Lincoln, the Minister of Culture and Recreation, and some persistence, one will now find that Ontario wines are recognized in the dining room of the legislative assembly by brand name.

Mr. Kerrio: Next move to the feds.


Mr. Hall: This is a very small point in terms of wine consumption, I’m sure, but nevertheless to the wineries who are trying to make their mark and trying to buy Canadian, the responses that I’ve had have been most complimentary. They really appreciate having a prestige listing of Ontario wines in our own legislative dining room.

This is all part and parcel of an effort that the ministry is trying to make, the wine council is trying to make, and the Ontario Grape Growers’ Marketing Board is trying to make.

Mr. Nixon: And the Minister of Revenue (Mr. Meen) is interested in it as well.

Mr. Roy: And we as consumers are contributing as well.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Exactly. That’s for sure.

An hon. member: How about bootlegging?

Mr. Hall: There are several interruptions here but I’m sticking to my point.

Mr. Nixon: You’re doing a great job.

Mr. Hall: We’re trying to introduce wine- blending because it is a fact that the soils where a certain wine grape is grown, such as a Marechal Foch grown in the Niagara Peninsula, give it a different taste from the same wine grape grown in France. The reason is only because of the soil conditions themselves. The concept that has been suggested by the industry, and I must say all segments of the industry, is that amelioration will be produced by certain blending in a limited quantity.

The Liberal caucus has discussed this and we support the bill subject to two changes. First of all, relative to the explanatory notes, the bill deserves a little attention in that it should be modified to say that in the first paragraph the last sentence should be deleted. It should be changed to read that the authorization to manufacture the wine expires on December 31, 1981.

Mr. Nixon: Did the government get it wrong?

Mr. Breithaupt: Again?

Mr. Nixon: Again.

Mr. Speaker: Perhaps the hon. member’s suggestion might await the proper inclusion at the appropriate time.

Mr. Hall: Is it in order for me to make another amendment then?

Mr. Speaker: Not at this point, no. The explanatory notes are not part of the bill, but if it goes into committee of the whole --

Mr. Roy: He could make fleeting mention of what he has in mind, though.

Mr. Speaker: -- then the hon. member may move an amendment.

Mr. Hall: I will just wander around a little bit, and hope I touch on the points involved, because I am concerned about a couple of things.

Mr. Speaker: Just on the principle of the bill.


Mr. Kerrio: Oh, we’re going to wander around on the principle of the bill.

Mr. Hall: Most clearly the principle of the bill and the regulations which will be the subject of further discussion by the Ontario Grape Growers’ Marketing Board and the Wine Council and the government have to concern themselves with the percentage of blending allowed. I don’t want to delve into all the regulations tonight; but there is one item that has to be clearly stated, and it is the principle of the bill: That is that the purpose is to permit the introduction of grapes grown outside of Ontario and imported wine into wine manufactured in Ontario without reducing the content of Ontario grapes in the wine so manufactured.

This, to a certain extent, may be redundant considering the regulations that are proposed; but for the purposes of understanding of the many growers, small and large, in the Niagara Peninsula, I think that it is very important that it be understood that with regard to the importation of grapes and/or wine, that the Ontario grape content of said wine will not be reduced. This is the point that I wish to make when we go into clause by clause consideration.

The programme, as has been noted, is a five-year programme. The information I have is that it’s desirable that it be reviewed -- by the growers on the one hand and the wine manufacturers on the other -- on an annual basis. Then the percentages of blending, which are to a certain extent a judgement call at this point, and the availability of the actual grapes to produce wine, which may vary from year to year, will have an occasion to be measured. It happens that we have had two highly productive years of grapes; but this might not necessarily be the case, and production management in grapes is not an available facility for us all.

So as one speaker on the bill, I have to compliment the government for co-operating and working with the Wine Council and the Ontario Grape Growers’ Marketing Board to produce legislation, which in the opinion of all will assist the wine-growing industry and the grape-growing industry and the aspect of land preservation in the Niagara Peninsula. At the same time, we will be pursuing an amendment to the Act which will make it patently clear to the grower that whether the market buys more or less wine as a result of this legislation, the Canadian content will not suffer in any way whatsoever.

We really should give our Ontario wines a better chance. This industry and the Grape Growers’ Marketing Board and the government, through its vine conversion programme and its reduction of price, its attempt to establish wine standards, are all taking meaningful steps to strengthen the grape and wine industry in Ontario. I think this bill is a forward step and it is a part of an ongoing effort, and a co-operative effort by everyone involved, to sustain and enhance an industry against very difficult competition from foreign countries that we have no control over in terms of content and in terms of price.

So I compliment the minister for bringing this bill forward. And I am satisfied, after having checked with both aspects of the industry, that it’s a bill that they wish to have passed into legislation. Thank you.

Hon. Mr. Welch: For many reasons which I hope will become obvious I am anxious to speak to the support of second reading of Bill 135. The principle of the bill, of course, calls for -- I was going to say for the first time, although there was one exception made with respect to legislation two or three years ago -- the blending of imported grapes in wine with respect to the Ontario product. I think there are some things that should be put on the record.

I want to associate myself with the supportive comments of the member for Lincoln, a riding which I had the privilege of representing for a number of years. Indeed, recognizing the fact which I hope the House will recognize that when one thinks in terms of grape-growing in the whole Dominion of Canada, I suppose it’s fair to say that 70 to 75 per cent of all the grapes grown in Canada are grown in the Peninsula. The economic viability of this industry is tremendously important to hundreds of families in the Peninsula, many of which reside in the great -- although new -- riding of Brock and, indeed, other ridings which, of course, make up the Peninsula.

I think the important thing to recognize, if I may put it on the record this way, is that they are talking about blending, which is not an unusual or a unique situation with respect to quality wine. I am advised that blending is in fact a fairly widely practised art with respect to quality control and fairly essential in the evolution of quality wines.

I also point out that I would not be associated with this bill in any way if it did not have the unanimous support of both the producer and the processer. Indeed, the Ontario Grape Growers’ Marketing Board are on record -- and I think it should be clearly understood here -- that the producers in the riding of Brock, the producers in the Peninsula, are supporters of this particular legislation. The processers indeed associate themselves in a fairly enthusiastic way with it as well.

I think that this is worthy of note. The member for Lincoln and others will understand that over a period of years there have been many efforts to bring together the producer and the processer in the interests of the industry to develop some type of wine standards which in fact would enable us to carry on the development of this industry.

I think too one of the reasons -- it has to be said quite frankly -- is that we have been in an area where there have been significant surpluses in the production of grapes. I am somewhat disturbed -- although I understand in the process people have their own reasons -- but if in fact we are serious, and I speak to the official opposition of this House, about the preservation of food lands and agricultural lands, surely there has to be with it the assumption that there is some economic viability with respect to agricultural production.

We have to be sure that those who are engaged in this activity can make a living from the land and that is determined by the market place in this particular commodity and it’s the ability to compete for the interest and the support of the consumer. My colleague, the member for Lincoln, has pointed out, as others in the House could well point out as one reviews the consumer demand with respect to this particular beverage, the fact that there have been some inroads made with respect to the imported product in this jurisdiction.

I think it’s important also to note in this whole area of the formula, which has been agreed upon with respect to blending -- and I’m sure the minister would share this with the House when the regulations are being discussed, because the Ministry of Agriculture and Food has played a very significant role in the development of the dialogue between the producer and the processer here in the ultimate development of an acceptable formula -- that the one very significant result is that more Ontario grapes will be purchased by the processers.

It’s much a part -- in fact, a condition -- of the whole blending procedure, as I understand it, that less wine can be made from a ton of Ontario grapes; therefore, the Ontario processer will have to buy more Ontario grapes. Indeed, by the reduction in the amount of wine that can be made from a ton of grapes -- from 250 gallons to 200 gallons -- there’s that much less water and that much less sugar, which is also a contributory factor, along with the blending of the foreign materials in the attempts to improve the quality of the product.

Mr. Nixon: They have been adding water all these years, haven’t they?

Hon. Mr. Welch: I think that is a very important part of the formula, along with other conditions with respect to limitations on the amount of imported materials that can be used in the blending operation; in fact, the Ontario producer will sell more of his grapes. I would think the interest of the consumer, the whole question of the attraction of the consumer to certain products, obviously has to be a very important consideration in the marketplace, and I say once again how particularly pleased I am that the producers and the processors have been able to arrive at some understanding and some agreement.

I think one should also point out, as one speaks to the principle of this bill which deals with blending in an attempt to develop a quality wine that would continue to take part in the marketplace and attract consumer interest, that this legislation is for a term definite. In other words, it’s not an unconditional piece of legislation; it is quite clearly understood that it expires at the end of a certain period of time. That’s in the legislation itself, and I think that’s fairly important.

Mr. Renwick: Don’t you think it is irreversible?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Any change in that legislation would have to be brought to the floor of the Legislature, and the Legislature would have control of that situation with respect to the term.

I point that out because, as a member for the area --

Mr. Nixon: The only one.

Hon. Mr. Welch: -- it’s a very depressing experience, when one thinks of the investment that people have with respect to their lands, with respect to the labour costs at the time of pruning, preparation, spraying and all of the pro-harvesting expense that’s involved, to see literally hundreds of tons of grapes on vines in the area which I represent and to know they are without a market. It’s against this background that the growers, whom I have the privilege to represent, through their marketing board have made it clear to my colleague, the minister who is responsible for this legislation, that they are supportive of this attempt to increase the demand of the consumer for their grapes and indeed anything which, of course, is to be part of the improvement of the quality of the product which the processer makes.

I think too -- and I wouldn’t want to prolong the debate, because others obviously want to associate themselves with this legislation in a positive way --

Mr. Conway: Is the member for St. Catharines labouring in the vineyard?

Hon. Mr. Welch: I think it is very important, when one recognizes the whole world situation with respect to wine. If we’re very serious about the whole concept and question of cultural nationalism -- and I’m one who is -- certainly with our wine, representative of the soil and the climate of a particular area, we have something which is uniquely identifiable as our own.

Mr. Nixon: Right.

Hon. Mr. Welch: I think that is something quite important and something we shouldn’t apologize for.


Hon. Mr. Welch: I would also like to point out -- it’s unfortunate Hansard can’t record all that’s said in this particular Legislature or indicated --

Mr. Nixon: What has been said that has not been recorded?


Hon. Mr. Welch: -- but I think it is essential to recognize that in this particular product many of our wineries have in fact enjoyed positions of prestige in various competitions. I think there’s a certain snobbery that attaches itself to this question, that people sort of think it has to be imported to be good, and that it has to have a high-sounding name in order to be impressive.

I think, too, and if I can be fairly up-front and blunt, when one thinks in terms of the many and fine eating places in this province, one also recognizes that one’s extra income is related to what’s called the gratuity --

Mr. Peterson: We don’t take them in this party.

Hon. Mr. Welch: -- and the gratuity has some association with the ultimate price of the product, because the more expensive the bottle, the more generous the tip.

Mr. Conway: Only on a cabinet minister’s salary.

Hon. Mr. Welch: What we find many people in these places doing is pushing the higher-priced commodity.

Mr. Renwick: Who sets the prices?

Mr. Nixon: Bright’s President is $8 a bottle; 80 cents minimum tip.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. minister only has the floor.

Hon. Mr. Welch: I thought I was really sharing some very significant information with members of the House. I am surprised at the reaction.

Mr. Nixon: Well, we are stimulated.

Hon. Mr. Welch: I think in terms of the local product being representative of our particular area -- as the member for Lincoln said with respect to our climate and our soil -- it’s something that it is particularly important we support. Indeed, inasmuch as we have the position of the producer and of the processer unanimously in support of this legislation, we should do all we can to encourage the passage of this bill and the regulations which will follow.

To sum up, one reason that I support the bill is that both the producer and the processer certainly see this as a fairly important development with respect to their continuing ability to compete in the marketplace. It’s for a term definite, which will give us an opportunity to review the impact of this particular process of blending. I say this to my friends opposite: If we are serious about the preservation of agricultural land in the Peninsula -- and when one thinks in terms of the very large percentage of that land which is in grape growing and grape production -- it is absolutely essential that we ensure the grape growers of the Niagara Peninsula can really make a living from the land. Those who will determine that, of course, are the consumers who ultimately make their decision with respect to the processed product -- in this case, wine.

Mr. Nixon: Without Gene Whelan, they wouldn’t have done very well this fall.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Let me say, Gene Whelan did come to the rescue of the grape growers --

Mr. Nixon: Right.

Mr. B. Newman: He always comes to the rescue.

Hon. Mr. Welch: -- after the year before. This government was indeed influenced to do something about this --

Mr. Nixon: Yes, that was election year.

Hon. Mr. Welch: -- and this year did something about it as well by making it possible for the Grape Growers’ Marketing Board to increase its inventory of local concentrate for purposes of the development of an Ontario brandy industry.

Mr. Nixon: Heaven help the grape growers if you ever get a majority again.

Hon. Mr. Welch: However, I am sure that others would like to take part in this debate.

Mr. Peterson: No, we are enjoying you, Bob. Keep going.

Hon. Mr. Welch: I would just urge my friends opposite to reconsider their position and to make this the unanimous decision of the House.

Mr. Deans: Mr. Speaker, I am bitterly disappointed in the comments of the Minister of Culture and Recreation. I never thought I would see the day when he would be sucked in by the claims of certain people in the province of Ontario. I have got to tell the members that I never thought I would see the day in this House when he would stand up and talk about the wine industry in the way that he has and completely ignore what they themselves have said. I read to you from, not the wine industry, the grape growers to begin with; the wine industry we will deal with in a moment.

Hon. Mr. Welch: That’s my main interest. My main interest is the grape growers.

Mr. Deans: That’s my main interest and I wish that were the main interest of the minister’s colleagues.

Mr. Renwick: And the bill.

Mr. Deans: I thought the minister and I shared their concerns but I wondered as I listened to him speak tonight. Let me read to the House from the Grape Grower of October 1976, under the heading “Board Comment”: “Our wines find favour with world experts. Are we telling the consumers about it? Ontario wineries have demonstrated their capacity to produce a complete range of wines to satisfy virtually all public demands and taste preferences.”

If the grape growers are saying that from knowledge they have gained from discussions they have had with the experts in the field around the world, then what it is that we are producing now must surely be a saleable commodity. If the wine experts of the world are saying the wineries of Ontario, given the conditions they work under at present are capable of producing a wine that meets virtually every taste of all of the consumers in this area, then why are we now running the grave risks that this bill brings about? Why are we now taking the chances that this bill requires us to take? Why are we now entering into an irreversible process that will ultimately mean the destruction of the grape production industry of this province at this time in the province of Ontario?


Mr. Deans: I’ve listened to the minister and I’m quoting from the people who are most concerned.

Hon. Mr. Welch: That’s not what they say at all. You haven’t been reading what they said.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member for Wentworth has the floor.

Mr. Deans: Let me go on. I want to give you the benefit of what has been written by the people the minister pretends to be representing. The Grape Grower says: “European wine-tasters now assure us that Ontario wines are perfectly acceptable -- ”

Mr. Kerrio: Why don’t they buy them, then?

Mr. Deans: “ -- and this is a distinct compliment for Ontario-grown wines and also well-earned recognition of the calibre of our product.”

Mr. Makarchuk: That’s in addition to all the guys who sit in the House.

Mr. Kerrio: Sell them one case.

Mr. Deans: If the minister wants to tell me that the Ontario Grape Grower, volume 9, number 4, October, 1976, published by the Ontario Grape Growers’ Marketing Board in St. Catharines, is misrepresenting the facts, then let him stand up and say so.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order.

Mr. Speaker: What is your point of order?

Hon. Mr. Welch: I think it’s important to get the record straight. No one is disputing what the hon. member is in fact reading from the newsletter. What we don’t particularly associate with the newsletter is his own personal comment and his editorializing.

Mr. Renwick: That’s not a point of order. You can’t speak twice.

Mr. Nixon: What are you standing up for then?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member is presenting his viewpoint and illustrating it.

Mr. Renwick: The government House leader should know better.

Mr. Speaker: I think fewer interjections would lend a lot more to the calibre of this debate. The hon. member for Wentworth.

Mr. Nixon: He is trying to put new wine into old bottles.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Wentworth only.

Mr. Deans: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I appreciate you protecting me from the misinformation that the government House leader attempted to place before the House.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Withdraw.

Mr. Speaker: It’s an interpretation here.

Mr. Conway: Strut along.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member for Wentworth.

Mr. Deans: They go on to say the following: “All sides of our industry must share in the responsibility to promote and communicate, whether they are self-employed grape growers or involved in any level of operations with Ontario’s 10 wineries. Competition for wine sales is particularly strong in this province. Most sales are processed through the LCBO outlets which are now to provide a fairer amount of display space for Ontario wine. Even so, the plurality of LCBO listings or sales opportunities continue to favour foreign product by a margin of two to one.”

That’s where we begin and I think that’s where the government is beginning. But I don’t think it begins by dismantling the guts of the wine industry and the guts of the grape-growing industry in the province of Ontario in an effort to try to find something that is not necessarily better but something that someone says he likes the taste of. If the government is trying to produce a product that is the same as another product, there is nothing in history that would record that that will necessarily be more saleable than the original. That’s what it is trying to do.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: No, we are not trying to do that at all.

Mr. Deans: What we’re talking about here is a wine industry that for years has failed to advertise the product that it sold, has failed to address itself to the production of quality table wine, and was satisfied to provide low-quality wines. Now, because there is competition -- which, incidentally, I would have expected the minister to be in favour of -- for the product, and they are being required to upgrade, to advertise and to spend some of the money they made over the years on the sale of inferior wines, we find ourselves faced with the request that they be allowed to blend.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: They are not inferior.

Mr. Deans: I say that this blending process is, in fact, irreversible.

Hon. Mr. Welch: It is optional -- and reversible.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: It is only irreversible if it succeeds and it will succeed.

Mr. Deans: It is not optional to this extent, that no winery can afford to take the chance -- no matter how remote that chance may be -- no winery can afford to take the chance of not entering into the use of imported products for fear that in the long run it may prove to be to someone else’s benefit. That’s the difficulty we’re faced with.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: They go in and out of it every two months.

Mr. Deans: Not only that, but at this point in time the winery that uses the largest single number of Ontario-grown grapes doesn’t even fit within the definitions as set out in the Act; so they would be unable to use the Act --

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Are you looking for a donation?

Mr. Deans: I’m telling you the truth, and you know it to be the truth. You can say what you like, and if you are inferring that I’m saying this because I think I’ll get a political donation, I urge you to rise on your feet and say so. If that’s what you’re pretending, if that’s what you’re whispering under your breath, I suggest to the Speaker that that’s quite out of order.


Mr. Kerrio: Mr. Speaker, who is he talking to?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I think if the hon. member would speak to the Chair, it might be more peaceful.

Mr. Deans: Yes, thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am glad you asked me to do that; in fact, you would appreciate this, because you enjoy wine. The winery that uses the single largest tonnage of Ontario-grown grapes is to be excluded from the use of this Act.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Absolutely not.

Mr. Deans: Absolutely.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Absolutely not. Speak to the president.

Mr. Deans: This Act doesn’t even allow them to take part.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Speak to the president.

Mr. Deans: Then the minister doesn’t understand his own Act if he thinks it does. I’ve spoken to Joe Peller and I know.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: I was talking to him today.

Mr. Kerrie: I talked to him on Sunday.

Mr. Deans: So did I. I think what we have to be considering is whether we are able to hold our current market share and to test in the marketplace whether, in fact, blended wines would be more saleable. We shouldn’t impose this particular Act on the entire industry --

Hon. Mr. Welch: It’s optional.

Mr. Deans: It is not optional.

Hon. Mr. Welch: We are not imposing anything.

Mr. Deans: It is optional for no one, because once it comes in, each winery by definition would have to become part of it.

Hon. Mr. Welch: It’s optional!

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member for Wentworth will speak to the bill through the Chair, please.

Hon. Mr. Welch: In fact, to the principle of the bill.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The government House leader will refrain from making interjections.

Mr. Kerrio: He is being provocative.

Mr. Deans: I would have thought that the proper approach to determining whether the blending of wines would provide a more saleable product would have been to have allowed the various wineries -- the 10 wineries or those who chose to take advantage of it -- the option of putting on the market one or two product lines blended to whatever specifications we determined were suitable, and then attempted to find out whether those, if advertised in the same way as the current wines are advertised, would sell more readily than the wines that are currently produced.

What I am going to suggest is this: If they used the same level of advertising that they use for most of the wines they produce today, I doubt very much whether those wines, blended or otherwise, would make any impact at all on the wine drinkers of the province of Ontario. I think that’s where the difficulty lies. What I see happening over the next five to 10 years is a continuous erosion. We’ll find the wineries saying, “What you have allowed us now is not really enough. What we really need is just a little more to blend, because we think we’ve almost got it done.” And, little by little, we are going to erode the farm community of the province of Ontario and we are going to reduce the marketability of the grapes we grow.


Hon. Mr. Welch: That would be disastrous.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: That’s what happened in France, Portugal, Spain, and everywhere you buy it.

Mr. Deans: That’s what the outcome of this bill will be if I can ignore the interjections of my friends, we have a great difficulty in believing that this bill will be beneficial to the farmers of the province of Ontario.

Hon. Mr. Welch: I wouldn’t support it if I didn’t believe in it.

Mr. Deans: You may believe in it if you like, but you’ve believed in other things that were wrong. I’ve seen you stand up and vote for them.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member for Wentworth only, and to the Chair.

Mr. Conway: Shove along.

Mr. Deans: Let me tell you, and I know that the member for Brock will agree with me on this, even now in the province of Ontario, the Inniskillen Winery produces wine of a sufficient quality to sell reasonably well in competitive situations with most any other wine. It is produced in Ontario of Ontario grapes.

Hon. Mr. Welch: And they could continue to do that.

Mr. Deans: If they can do that in Brock, there is no reason at all why the other wineries across southern Ontario cannot do likewise. If they can produce a product that meets the tastes of the wine drinkers of the province of Ontario, among which I’m really not one, if they can find a sufficient blend of Ontario-grown product to enable them to put into the marketplace something that is saleable in competition with the wines that are brought in from outside, then I say that that can be done by the others.

If you were saying to me, as you did two years ago or more, that what we’re doing is a short-term deal --

Mr. Nixon: That’s when you supported the government.

Mr. Deans: -- to be phased out as we produce grapes in the province of Ontario that will be suitable for blending purposes with the already grown grapes to ensure that the quality of the wine that will be produced will be that similar to that being produced by that winery in Brock in the riding of the House leader for the government, then I would say we would give some serious consideration to approving that.

But what you’re saying to me is that you’re going to allow them to begin this process of bringing its wine at this point in small quantities. In five years’ time I predict it will be in larger quantities to the extent that there will be a lesser and lesser amount of Ontario-grown product in the finished wine.

Hon. Mr. Welch: That would be unfortunate.

Mr. Deans: It would not only be unfortunate but it would be unfortunate in retrospect if we did it and discovered that that in fact was what would happen.

Mr. Reid: Meanwhile we should destroy it all.

Mr. Deans: It is predictable that that will happen.

Mr. Nixon: You voted for it in 1971.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member for Wentworth only, speaking through the Chair, if he would please.

Mr. Deans: I am, sir --

Mr. Kerrio: He’s a free enterpriser, now.

Mr. Deans: -- I want you to know that I don’t have to be looking at you to speak to you.

Mr. Conway: That you should be so lucky, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Reid: The Speaker should assemble some of the product tonight.

Mr. Deans: Why did you allow the Liberals to have a party tonight?

The question that faces me is where do we have to place the protection? We’re in a situation at the moment where the wineries are not faced with imminent disaster. We’re in a situation where the largest single user of Ontario-grown product is doing very well, thank you very much, and the others can do likewise if they wanted to apply themselves. A winery in Ontario, one of the 10, is producing a table wine from Ontario-grown product that matches anything else that is produced in the same line.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: In what quantity?

Mr. Deans: The quantity is simply the result of us having not been more vigorous in our attempts to grow the hybrid grape. Had you been more vigorous, had you established some reasonable standards for advertising --

Mr. Reid: And nobody would be in business today.

Mr. Deans: -- had you insisted that the LCBO give at least the same degree of preference to Ontario product that they have given over the years to imported products and had you insisted that we in Ontario speak as highly of the wine product of the province of Ontario as many do of the imported product, then I suggest to you, Mr. Speaker, and through you to the minister in charge, that we wouldn’t he faced with this bill tonight.

Mr. Reid: And to those people it all tastes like vinegar.

Mr. Deans: The largest single problem facing the wineries is a marketing problem. It is a lack of desire to attempt to market and to advertise their product. And for many, many years --

Mr. Reid: We drink a lot of Canadian --

Mr. Speaker: Order please. The hon. member for Wentworth has the floor, not the member for Rainy River. Thank you.

Mr. Kerrio: Ask him what wine he drinks.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Wentworth.

Mr. Deans: For many, many years there was virtually no wine advertising done in the province of Ontario --

Mr. Reid: Mr. Speaker, in Rainy River we drink --

Mr. Deans: Virtually none.

Mr. Reid: -- a lot of Ontario wine.

Mr. Deans: And on top of that it was the common quiet discussion that only so-called “winos” drank Ontario wine. It was degrading to the industry and it reduced the capacity of the industry to sell its product.

Mr. Reid: Only the NDP would make that kind of statement.

Mr. Deans: And the government failed to enter into any discussion at that time --

Mr. Reid: Whoever said that, other than the NDP?

Mr. Speaker: Order please. The hon. member for Rainy River may have an opportunity later.

Mr. Reid: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order.

Mr. Deans: Oh, sit down.

Mr. Reid: I find that kind of comment slanderous to the people of Ontario and to the wine-growers --


Mr. Reid: -- in the Niagara Peninsula for them to make that statement.

Mr. Speaker: That is not a point of order. The hon. member for Wentworth has the floor.


Mr. Deans: What I’m discussing is the 90 cent and the $1 a bottle wine.


Mr. Deans: Perhaps that’s the stuff that the member for Rainy River was drinking before he came in.

Mr. Renwick: You’re getting to them now, Ian.

Mr. Deans: In any event, what I’m saying to you is this --


Mr. Deans: -- that we have seen no proof --

Mr. Reid: At the Liberal parties we serve Ontario wine --

Mr. Speaker: Order please.

Mr. Reid: -- not that French imported stuff.

Mr. Speaker: Order please. The hon. member for Rainy River will please desist. Thank you.


Mr. Deans: Mr. Speaker, we have seen absolutely no proof that the blending will in fact produce larger sales. There has been no marketing study done to determine whether or not the blending will bring about an increase in sales.


Mr. Deans: There are absolutely no guarantees in this bill to protect the farmers of the province of Ontario against further erosion.


Mr. Deans: The government has reserved for itself the right to change the terms by -- are you listening? Okay.


Mr. Deans: The government has reserved for itself the right to change the terms of the legislation by regulation. I suggest to you that you should have had at least a three-year period during which there was an extensive effort made, both though advertising and by virtue of the use of the LCB operation, to promote the sale of Ontario wine. There wasn’t up till now -- and don’t say “pshoo,” because it doesn’t wash. Every one of us knows that there was no effort made in the last five years to sell Ontario wine.

The only effort that was made was to sell the so-called pop wine, and it happened to be successful. In the areas where they did make any effort to market -- the areas where they did do any active promotion -- the pop vines, to use the common phrase, were very saleable and very profitable to those who made them -- so much so that many of the other wineries have followed suit and gone into the product and sold.

Mr. Reid: Which side is he on?

Mr. Deans: And so I suggest to you that this bill will be detrimental to the farmers --

An hon. member: Wrong.

Mr. Deans: -- will not produce a quality product --

An hon. member: Wrong.

Mr. Deans: -- and will, in fact, over the long haul, provide for the farmers fewer opportunities to sell their produce. We just don’t think that the risks that you’re prepared to take are worth taking in the face of what little benefit may flow, given that we happen to think that it will be detrimental rather than beneficial.

Mr. Reid: Strange, considering the farmers asked for the bill.

Mr. Speaker: Thank you. The hon. member for Niagara Falls.

Mr. Reid: Now for somebody who knows something about it.

Mr. Kerrio: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. At the outset I’d like to say that I’m pleased to support this bill. Whereas on many occasions I have desisted from speaking on a particular issue because of lack of interest or expertise, I feel very comfortable talking about this bill.

Mr. Philip: You’d better believe it.

Mr. Kerrio: I want to tell you that I can roll this one around and savour it, and I would say to the member for Wentworth that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

Mr. Reid: Not the first time.

Mr. Kerrio: Mr. Speaker, I’d like him to try and grow an orange in any part of Ontario, and that’s the very thing that we’re confronted with in this great industry. I feel that some of the wineries in my area have spent literally millions of dollars improving and planting in fields, many, many different types of hybrids. I think they have reached the very highest point of producing a grape in Ontario that’s as good as they’re ever going to produce. The wine that that grape makes, I’m afraid, leaves a little something to be desired.

Many of the accepted imported wines that come from France, in reality are blended vines. They’re blended with wines from Spain, from Italy, and from other areas. They produce a high-quality product that they put on the markets of Ontario.

Mr. Deans: If you want to put the farmers out of production, you go ahead.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member for Niagara Falls only.

Mr. Kerrio: When you take one ton of grapes produced in the Niagara Peninsula and you crush it, you have a particular gallonage of must that will produce so many gallons of wine. Because of the high acid in that particular soil and sun, we must put water to it to tone down the acid. In place of the water and the sugar that produce what we consider something less than top-quality wine, the industry would now introduce imported grapes or imported wine. We will then produce a product that will be very well accepted across this province and across Canada.

Mr. Breithaupt: There is someone who knows what he is talking about.

Mr. Kerrio: How any member from the NDP could get up and suggest that they’re experts in the free enterprise society just astounds me. I sit here on many occasions and listen to them expound on the virtues of the labour movement, and I have to listen because many of them are expert in those lines. But I tell the members, when it comes to free enterprise, I come from that part of the country that makes wine and the people there are asking us on the floor of this Legislature to help them produce a better-quality wine.

The minister and the House leader on the other side have called many meetings. We have had the input, we have had the feeling from the wine industry; we cannot turn this into a political issue. There are many important issues that one can turn into a political issue. This certainly is not one of them.


Hon. Mr. Welch: Let’s join together for the grape growers of Canada.

Mr. Deans: Why don’t you just go out and clean them out?

Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Niagara Falls, please, has the floor.

Mr. Kerrio: I will reiterate the very important part of the bill: From so many tons of grapes we make so many gallons of wine. We add water, we add sugar. We are now going to add a quality imported grape or wine. We are going to produce a better product. We are going to sell that product. We’re going to sell more grapes. We’re going to make grape growing in the Niagara Peninsula a viable, good way to preserve the farm lands. We’re not going to try to freeze the farm lands; we’re going to make the farmer a very successful businessman. That’s the way to keep him in business.

Mr. Nixon: Blast our way into the markets of the world.

Mr. Kerrio: I say again, there will be many other occasions when I will feel as strongly about a bill. But I have to tell the members, with respect, on all sides of this House that I talked with people who have been in the wine industry for many years. They have spent thousands of dollars in vineyards in Niagara. The member for Brock suggests some 70 or 75 per cent are grown in Brock. I would have to think that of the 25 to 30 per cent, a good part of those are grown in Niagara.

Hon. Mr. Welch: I said “in the Peninsula.”

Mr. Kerrio: I’ve got two of the top wineries in Ontario in my riding. I spoke to those people.


Mr. Speaker, may I bring something to your attention that’s very interesting? We have a flying farmer in the Niagara area. He grows a lot of grapes and he’s a little private enterpriser. He has airplane engines all over the vineyard to keep it from freezing. These are people that are very interested. These are the kind of people I talk to. He said, “Yes, Mr. Kerrio, we have reached the ultimate. Now you can help us on the floor of the Legislature.” I say, with respect, we’ve talked to growers --

An hon. member: You haven’t listened to them.

Mr. Kerrio: We’ve talked to the people who have grown the hybrids that have reached the ultimate product that we will ever produce in this country. We are in competition with other provinces, remember -- not only overseas wines, but other provinces’ wines. That is something that is very important to the people on the floor of this Legislature. We must identify with those people who are in the industry and know what they are doing, and not attempt to make judgements here on their behalf if we haven’t really studied the issue. This is a good bill and we are going to support it.

Mr. Speaker: Does any other hon. member wish to speak on this?

Mr. Haggerty: I would like to speak to this particular bill, Bill 135, An Act to provide for the limited inclusion of Grapes grown outside Ontario in Ontario Wine. I believe it was a couple of years ago that I spoke on a similar bill, and I still have certain reservations about this particular type of bill.

Mr. Deans: Oh, do you hear that? He has reservations.

Mr. Haggerty: When I consider the intent of the bill, I wonder why it is before us today. In the Ontario Grape Grower, June-July, 1976, it says: “Bright’s Wine sales rise to record dollar high; sales of Andrés Wines jump 21 per cent.” From 1970 to 1975, I believe, the sales of wines have increased by 50 per cent. But quoting again from the article in the Grape Grower, it says:

“High costs and foreign competition have cut profits although sales rose to a record dollar value in the last year, reports T. G. Bright and Company Limited of Niagara Falls. Profits fell to $203,254 or 20 cents a share.”

When one looks at that particular comment, that the profits have fallen, I suppose one should look at the government itself and the amount of tax it has put on Ontario wines and the cost of purchasing the product in competition with import wine.

I was delighted to see that the minister had reduced the price of wine through certain concessions given to the wine industry; perhaps the price will be more in line with the price of import wines. Perhaps he should have done that a couple of years ago.

When I hear some of the comments about how this particular piece of legislation will save the farm lands in the Niagara region, I think that is foolish thinking. The farm lands have gone; they nearly all have been taken over by developers --

Hon. Mr. Welch: There are hundreds of acres of grapes.

Mr. Haggerty: That’s what the member says, hundreds of acres --

Mr. Nixon: Thousands of acres were taken by the Queen Elizabeth Way.

Mr. Haggerty: When we sit back and look at it, hundreds of acres --

Hon. Mr. Welch: Thousands.

Mr. Haggerty: Thousands of them, he says. If one looks at the development along the Queen Elizabeth Way from Saltfleet township to Niagara Falls, one can see the land disappearing. If one goes back into the history of the tender fruit industry of the Niagara Peninsula, one will see that the peach growers are in trouble. One can pick up the Monday, January 26, 1976, issue of the Niagara Falls Review and read: “300 jobs to be lost as peach canning cut.”

One can go back and look at previous government actions which resulted in the loss of much of the canning capacity of the tender fruit business in the Niagara Peninsula. We’ve seen the larger corporations, the foreign corporations, move in and take over these small processing plants and the business has disappeared. There is profit in the tender fruit business.

Hon. Mr. Welch: It doesn’t have to happen with the grape-growing industry if you would support the industry.

Mr. Haggerty: The minister doesn’t recall the speech I gave a couple of years ago; once the door is open how do you close it? This year we are going to allow more wine concentrate or wine --

Hon. Mr. Welch: No concentrates.

Mr. Haggerty: No concentrates? Well, blending of wine then. We don’t know just what it is going to be. But we are going to allow them to come in.

Hon. Mr. Welch: You have been at two meetings where you have been told.

Mr. Haggerty: It’s interesting to note, too, that Jordan Wines and Andrés Wines have found a process with which they can take that taste that’s in the wines at the present time, and both of them are in a healthy position.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Baby Duck.

Mr. Haggerty: Baby Duck, that’s right. Again, this government and the federal government won’t allow them to put on the word “champagne” or a name similar to that.

Mr. Nixon: Oh, the minister has a sophisticated taste.

Mr. Haggerty: So government is much to be blamed in this particular area. I think when one looks back, and I’ve talked to some of the growers in the peninsula -- and particularly in Pelham township where there are a number of large growers of grapes -- they’re not too happy with this particular type of legislation. They are deeply concerned about it.

It has never gone to a vote of the grape growers. It may have gone to the grape marketing board who’ve made the decision, but the grape growers in the Peninsula have not actually made that decision. Some of them are not too familiar with just what it may involve or what the intent of the legislation is. My main concern, as I’ve said before, is that once the door is open, how does one close it? We’re dealing with multinational corporations and their interest is to make profits. It may look good this year to the grape growers there, where they’ve had a surplus of grapes.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: You asked your people in Ottawa to let us do it.

Mr. Haggerty: When one goes back and looks, the government has got them into a new programme or bringing in new hybrid types of grapes. I’m afraid once these come into full production they’ll perhaps be cut back later on.

I would like to see this bill reviewed every year -- not five years hence, but every year -- to see where we are going. Year by year the situation can change. I want to assure the House that my purpose of speaking on the bill today is that I want to see a guarantee that the grape-growing industry is going to be a viable industry, that we’re not going to see it backslide like it is at the present time. I want to see the land in production in that particular area. There’s a need for that particular type of land. It’s perhaps one of the most suitable agricultural lands in Canada.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Hundreds of tons are left on the vines not sold.

Mr. Nixon: Not this year. This government today has not made a decision on the Niagara regional plan.

Mr. Haggerty: It is slowly disappearing through the development in that area.

Hon. Mr. Welch: There were 5,000 tons this year not sold and what are you doing to help?

Mr. Haggerty: This government has not made a decision on the Niagara regional plan as it relates to extension of urban boundaries in the St. Catharines area. When I look at the St. Catharines area, as I understand the information that’s passed on to me, one can almost have accommodations for 35,000 people yet within the boundaries of the city of St. Catharines. It’s interesting to note that one particular regional council just elected, was elected on that basis to preserve the farm lands of the Niagara Peninsula. I want somebody from the government side to assure me those urban boundaries are not going to be extended, that we’re going to protect --

Mr. Deputy Speaker: That’s not a part of this bill, I am afraid.

Mr. Haggerty: It is; I think it is, Mr. Speaker. In due respect, I believe it is.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: I am ruling that it is not.

Mr. Haggerty: The intent of this bill is to protect that industry and I want some guarantee from the government, any of the government members over there, to tell me that this is going to guarantee the grape industry in that particular area.

Many are not too happy with the decision. I have my strong reservations about it, but I will support the bill. But I said that once the door is open it is pretty hard to shut it. I can predict that maybe in the future the industry will disappear because the government is allowing the import of foreign wine. Sure, it may make it a better-quality wine to sell, but then again when one looks at the increase in sales in the past couple of years in the wine industry, it isn’t that they are not selling the present wine. That’s what I’m concerned about. They’ve increased the sales. Why do they want additional imports, and particularly as they relate to one winery in the peninsula?

I think all I can say is that I’ll support it but I still have my strong reservations about it. I want some guarantee from the government that it is going to protect the farm land and that were going to see a change in the Niagara regional bill.

Mr. Deputy Sneaker: Does any other member wish to participate in this debate?

Mr. Hall: Can I not add a few comments, Mr. Speaker?

Mr. Deputy Speaker: You’ve already spoken.

Mr. Hall: Can I not add a few comments, Mr. Speaker?

Mr. Deputy Speaker: No, not on second reading.

An hon. member: Closure!

Hon. Mr. Handleman: I am going to speak very briefly because in my view some of the comments made by the member for Wentworth stem from a complete lack of knowledge of the whole industry and a failure to consult with those in it.

An hon. member: And a total misunderstanding.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Quite typical of that member.

Mr. Deans: Tell us what protection you are going to give the farmers. Tell me how the farmers will sell the grapes that they have got.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: I would like to thank, first of all, the member for Lincoln, the member for Brock, my colleague, the Minister of Culture and Recreation, and the member for Niagara Falls for their supportive attitudes.

Mr. Davidson: What do you know about grapes?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: It has taken me a long time to learn something about grapes and I have put a great deal of time into it. I wish the member for Wentworth had done likewise.

Mr. Deans: I did.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: When I first came into this portfolio almost two years ago I found there was a natural antagonism between the growers and the wine producers. In fact, they would not come into my office together to sit down and talk about their common problems. Over these two years, they have developed a rapport which has enabled us to reach this point tonight. I think this is a very important point in the history of this industry. But for the member for Wentworth to suddenly become a convert to the values of advertising is completely astonishing to me.

Mr. Deans: That is not so. I told you this months ago.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order, please. The member for Wentworth doesn’t have the right to interrupt every time the minister makes a comment.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: The member for Erie mentioned very briefly the profit situation of this industry. I don’t know how 10 wineries with a gross profit of about $500,000 between them embark on a promotional programme to sell wine. Wines have to be promoted and I agree with the hon. member on that point. But we have to provide the funds to enable them to finance a promotion programme and it is not going to come from government, not this government. It is going to come from the private sector out of profits they make because we have created a climate of opportunity.

You must have an opportunity to earn profit. That’s the way the market works, not by the government saying you shall make one brand with blended import and that will be the only one you are permitted and, if you don’t make money on it, then you can get out of the programme. That’s not the way the free market works. The free market works by a manufacturer being given the right to do certain things and then going ahead and letting him decide how to do it. That’s the way this government will operate.

Mr. Riddell: They don’t know anything about a free market or free enterprise or anything else.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: There are other aspects to our whole programme. This is only part of the programme. I think it should be recognized that our aim is to make Ontario one of the finest wine-producing jurisdictions in the world using Ontario products. In order to do that we have to meet the other world producers of wines on their ground with their rules. They all blend and they also grow grapes and their grape industries are not dying. They are flourishing. That’s what we want for Ontario. The only way to do it is to adopt the same kind of rules that they have over the past 25 years.

To talk about the Ontario wine producers not meeting the market tastes, market tastes in Ontario have changed dramatically over the past four or five years. Five years ago the taste of Ontarians in wine was for sweet dessert wine. Almost overnight that changed to dry table wine. In changing to dry table wines, the Ontario wineries did not have the wines to satisfy that market. It is going to take some time. They started out behind and they have developed some fine wine. There is no question at all. The Grape Growers article is absolutely right on. We have the products now.

Mr. Deans: Without blending.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: We don’t have them in quantity and we don’t have the reputation. We have to enable our people to compete not only with foreign wine producers, but with Quebec wine producers, with British Columbia wine producers, with California and New York, all of whom blend. We have to provide our producers with the same ability to meet that competition on the same grounds.

Time is short but I want to say that the LCBO has worked very diligently with the industry. We have worked with the growers, with the producers, with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, with the UCBO and within my ministry. I think we have developed a total programme, including promotion, which will be coming forward in a period of a few months, and including the establishment of wine standards that this province will be proud of.

We are going to develop a system of appellation control which will enable us to promote our wines as fine wines. At the present time I think we can say that they are good table wines. We want to develop a finer quality than that and I think we can do it. With the co-operation of the industry, Agriculture and Food and my ministry, we expect within the period of this bill, five years, to see the Ontario wine industry meeting its competition everywhere in the world, not only in Ontario, and we’re going to help it to do it.


The House divided on Hon. Mr. Handleman’s motion for second reading of Bill 135, which was approved on the following vote:

























Johnson (Wellington-Dufferin-Peel)













Miller (Haldimand-Norfolk)


Newman (Windsor-Walkerville)





Reid (Rainy River)






Smith (Nipissing)

Smith (Hamilton West)












Yakabuski -- 62.







Davidson (Cambridge)

Davison (Hamilton Centre)





















Ziemba -- 29.

Ayes 62; nays 29.

Ordered for committee of the whole House.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, before moving the adjournment of the House, may I indicate that tomorrow afternoon we would proceed with orders 12 and 13 -- that is Bills 189 and 190 -- following which we would go into committee of the whole House to clean up legislation which is there. Following this we would call order 14, being the second interim report of the select committee on the fourth and fifth reports of the Ontario Commission on the Legislature.

Just by way of some indication, on Thursday we would do second reading only of Bill 176, following which we will do the supply bills and then wind up the budget debate.

On motion by Hon. Mr. Welch, the House adjourned at 10:35 p.m.