30th Parliament, 4th Session

L003 - Fri 1 Apr 1977 / Ven 1er avr 1977

The House met at 10 a.m.


Mr. Speaker: Statements by the ministry.


Hon. Mr. Taylor: Mr. Speaker, next Wednesday, April 6, the energy ministers of the 10 provinces and the government of Canada will meet in Ottawa for what seems to be shaping up as an annual ritual in this country. For the fourth successive year the government of Canada proposes to raise the price of crude oil and natural gas. This is part of the government of Canada’s compulsive obsession about seeing to it that our domestic price for oil and natural gas year by year is deliberately inflated toward the artificially high world price.

Mr. Lewis: Well, welcome to the fold. It is about time.

Mr. Kerrio: You are getting as bad as Hydro.

Mr. Lewis: You reneged on every occasion until now. On every occasion you capitulated.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. minister has the floor.

Mr. Lewis: This is ridiculous, Mr. Speaker. It’s a deathbed repentance so they can fashion an election platform.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: I presume you agree.

Mr. Renwick: Let’s dissolve this morning and get on with it.

Mr. Lewis: Who are you running against?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: I feel it incumbent upon me to advise the House in advance of Ontario’s position in this regard. First, we are opposed to any increase in the price of oil and natural gas --

Mr. Lewis: Well, what do you know?


Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Renwick: A gradual move to world prices.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: -- because the stated objective of this annual escalation -- that of ensuring security of supply through expanded exploration and development -- has not been met.

Mr. Lewis: You are too much.

Mr. Renwick: You are unbelievable.

Mr. Martel: Where do you find the courage?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: We are opposed because it will create further unemployment when the unemployment rate in Canada is the highest it has been in 20 years with nearly a million Canadians out of work.

Mr. Deans: What hypocrisy.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: We are opposed because it will deal yet another blow to the competitive capability of Canadian industry in world markets at a time when there is little competitive advantage remaining.

Mr. Renwick: Even Timbrell wouldn’t have had the nerve to make this statement.

Mr. Lewis: You should be choking on it.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: We are opposed because it further fuels inflation --

Mr. Breithaupt: Like your deficit?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: -- places an unnecessary burden upon all sectors and individuals in our society --

Mr. Lewis: Now you are at the world price, you are fighting back.

Mr. Renwick: A magnificent elementary lesson.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: -- and places an intolerable burden upon those least able to bear it.

Mr. Lewis: The battle is lost.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Any increase in the domestic price of oil and natural gas at this time would be gouging the Ontario consumer.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Can we not have interjections at a minimum this morning?

Mr. Renwick: Come on, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: It is not adding anything to the procedure in this House. If you don’t wish to listen to this, there is outside.

Mr. Lewis: This is provocation, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Please contain yourselves. The hon. minister will continue.

Mr. Lewis: I can’t.

Mr. Renwick: We will try.

Mr. Lewis: You lost the battle.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Mr. Speaker, these are some reasons why the government of Ontario is opposed to any increase at this time in the domestic price of crude oil and natural gas.

Mr. Lewis: What are you going to do about it?

Mr. S. Smith: A blended price I suppose.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: I would hope that the Ontario government’s opposition to any such proposals is shared by all members of the Legislature --

Mr. Warner: Weren’t you here last year?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: -- because I feel certain that I have the support of the consumers in this province. The public is fed up and rightly so. The public is prepared to make sacrifices, but only if those sacrifices deliver results.

Mr. Martel: It took you four years to find that out.

Mr. Breaugh: Turn the lights off.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: In terms of increases in the domestic price of crude oil, the promises, the commitments for a secure supply made by the government of Canada over the past three years have not been fulfilled.

Mr. Lewis: This is the most unbelievable statement.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: They have not even been seen to be fulfilled and the public knows it. The public knows that for the past three years the government of Canada has justified the crude oil price increase on the premise that those funds were required to ensure a secure supply by expanding exploration and development.

Mr. MacDonald: I hope Claire Hoy takes this hypocrisy apart.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: The public knows that this has not happened.

Mr. S. Smith: Is this a ministerial statement, Mr. Speaker?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: But the public does know -- and this government knows -- that the lion’s share of these price increases has disappeared into the consolidated revenue funds of the government of Canada and the producing provinces.

Mr. Martel: You forgot the companies.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Too much of this additional revenue is being used for purposes completely unrelated to energy.


Hon. Mr. Taylor: Ontario believes any national crude oil and natural gas pricing policy should meet six basic objectives.

Mr. Martel: Macdonald last night, Taylor today.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: It should develop additional supplies of crude oil, natural gas, and, if need be, other sources of energy. It should protect the competitive position of Canada’s industries. It should strengthen fiscal relationships amongst provinces. It should encourage the creation of new jobs.

Mr. Moffatt: It is an April Fool joke, that is what it is.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: It should alleviate inflation; and it should be equitable.

Mr. Peterson: This is absolutely juvenile.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Mr. Speaker, members should be aware of the impact that every dollar per barrel increase in crude oil would have on Ontario consumers.

Mr. S. Smith: This is a political statement, not a ministerial statement.

Mr. Peterson: He is embarrassing the province.

An hon. member: Speak to Pierre.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: The price of natural gas has been related to the price of crude oil.

An hon. member: See if you can get him to change his taxing --

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Assuming the current relationships are maintained, the price of natural gas -- as a direct consequence of each dollar a barrel increase in the price of crude oil -- would rise by approximately 15 cents per thousand cubic feet.

Mr. Lewis: This is a complete reversal of everything you have done for the last four years.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: The direct cost to the Ontario consumer for each dollar price rise per barrel of crude oil --

Mr. S. Smith: Where is the blended price? Where is that famous blend?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Let’s get on with the business of the House.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: -- and the attendant rise in natural gas, would be of the order of an additional $300 million for the first year.

Each dollar increase in the price of oil would result in an increase of half a per cent in the consumer price index in the first year.

For each dollar increase in the price of oil, the cost of home heating oil for the average man on the street will rise by approximately $25 over the last year. Also, if that person drives a car he is going to pay approximately $20 more per year.

Mr. Lewis: Now just listen to this next paragraph. Just listen to this one.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Mr. Speaker, if the government of Canada once again hikes the price of crude oil, it will be the fourth year in a row in which the Ontario consumer has been duped in the name of ensuring security of supply.

Mr. Lewis: Can you believe this? On a point of order, why don’t you admit that you have been a party to this for four years?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. There is no point of order.

Mr. Lewis: It is not a ministerial statement.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. It seems to me it is a policy statement and the minister will continue.


Hon. Mr. Taylor: Moreover, the Ontario government and Ontario consumers --


Hon. Mr. Taylor: -- do not accept the proposition advanced by the government of Canada that artificially high prices, unrelated to the cost of production, should be used to force conservation.

Mr. Cunningham: Just like Hydro.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: If the price of oil and gas must be high because it costs more to find, produce and market, then so be it. But governments should not impose artificially high prices in the name of conservation.

Mr. Lewis: God, you are too much.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: As members are aware, for nearly two years the government of Ontario has concentrated on many energy saving projects through its energy management programme, primarily within its own ministries.


Mr. Renwick: Where is Claude Bennett? Still honeymooning?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Much has been accomplished, and Ontario’s conservation programme is serving as a model for other jurisdictions.


Hon. Mr. Taylor: The price of crude oil has increased by 160 per cent in the last three years.

Mr. Lewis: With your agreement.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Where has this money gone?

Mr. Lewis: To the companies, that is where it is going.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: In addition, since 1975, every time a consumer of this province buys gasoline, he has been paying an extra 10 cents a gallon to the government of Canada.

Mr. Deans: And you agreed.

Mr. Breithaupt: You can always change your sales tax.

Mr. Renwick: Every time they raise the price -- this government benefits.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: This was purportedly for the oil import compensation programme, but much of that money is now being used by the government of Canada for other purposes.


An hon. member: Shame.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: The public has a right to expect the government of Canada will reduce that special tax and relieve the consumer of this unnecessary burden --

Mr. Nixon: Are you going to reduce yours? You are taking off 19 cents a gallon you know. That is almost twice what the federal people are taking.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: -- either that, Mr. Speaker, or the right to know where that extra tax money is being spent and what contribution it is making to future energy supplies.

Moreover the city gate price of natural gas has increased 220 per cent since mid-1973. Where has this money gone? Again the public has a right to know.


Mr. Peterson: You tell them. The worst I have ever heard.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Mr. Speaker, earlier I mentioned the relationship of natural gas prices to crude oil prices.

Mr. Speaker: Order please.

Mr. Breithaupt: It must be April Fool’s Day.

Mr. Lewis: This is the first time I have wished you were back in Comsoc.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Don’t push it.

Mr. Breithaupt: With our luck he will go back.

Mrs. Campbell: Don’t push that one.

Mr. Breithaupt: And no future considerations either.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Natural gas is about 85 per cent of an equivalent thermal value of a barrel of crude oil delivered in Toronto.

Mr. Martel: Have you had a change of heart over there, Bill?

Mr. Speaker: Order please.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: This percentage relationship was established by the government of Canada.

Mr. Lewis: It is easier to run against them than us, I will grant you that.


Mr. Speaker: Order please. Let’s get on with the business of the House. Will the minister continue and -- please, order. Now if members wish to remain in the chamber, keep the noise down. Will the hon. minister continue please?

Mr. Martel: Darcy is next this morning.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: In Ontario’s view there was no justification for establishing that relationship in the first place and certainly there is no justification for a further increase in the price of natural gas.

Mr. Martel: Why did you agree to it for three years?

Mr. Speaker: Order please.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: I believe Ontario stands to be reasonable, constructive and attuned to the realities confronting Canada today. Our economy and the average wage earner simply cannot afford another oil and gas price increase this year.

Mr. S. Smith: And in Edmonton as well. What happened to the blended price?

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Speak to Pierre.

Mr. Speaker: Order please.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: That is the message and the policy position which I intend to deliver in Ottawa on April 6, and I trust that I have the unanimous support of this House.



Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, my ministry will not be in a position for a few days to fully assess last night’s budget address by the Minister of Finance.


Hon. Mr. McKeough: It contains many complex and technical changes which will take some time to digest in terms of their impact on the economy of Ontario --

Mr. Renwick: You will have indigestion.

Mr. Breaugh: Are you going to tell them Darcy?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: -- which will take some time to digest in terms of their impact on the economy of Ontario, our revenues and our taxpayers. However, I would like to make a few preliminary comments on those general matters of most concern to all of us.

Mr. Nixon: However.

Mr. Breithaupt: Without being provocative.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: These are not happy times for the economy. Some of our citizens are experiencing real hardship and this budget does not put an immediate end to any of their problems. Nevertheless I am encouraged that this is an honest budget. Mr. Macdonald has recognized the two primary concerns of unemployment and inflation --

Mr. MacDonald: The Liberals are more Tory than the Tories these days.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: -- and in his budget, concentrates on long-term performance to meet both challenges rather than short-term trade-offs.

Because we are a country that depends so much on international trade our economy can only produce real jobs and real gains for our citizens by expanding productive growth in the private sector. The budget will not accelerate economic recovery. But there are incentives to encourage the private sector to modernize, to create permanent jobs, and to face up to a very dangerous competitive situation. I believe this is honest medicine. It will lead to a safer and fairer economic future for our wage earners and our unemployed and it no doubt is the surest way to overcome the inflationary biases in the economy.

It is a budget that, in my view, attacks some long-term problems and provides some long-term directions. However, we have still not been presented with any kind of comprehensive strategy that this country desperately needs. We support his decision not to end the anti-inflation programme immediately.

As we said in the Throne Speech, we have made progress in moderating inflationary expectations --

Mr. Deans: And created unemployment.

Mr. Martel: On the backs of the unemployed.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: -- but we should not end the programme until the country has developed a clear strategy to contain inflation after controls are lifted.

The projected budgetary deficit of $7.16 billion is very large. The cash requirements have gone up by over $1 billion. Both raise the danger of too much borrowing, which could crowd potential sources of capital for investment and for our municipalities. Even worse, it could lead to an acceleration in the money supply, which would certainly cause more inflation.

This deficit and other structural problems remaining in the economy provide a clear warning that public sector spending restraint must continue. Real co-operation between governments, business and labour must be intensified. Ontario will play its part on both counts in our budget, to be presented to the House on April 19, and by continuing the dialogue --

Mr. Renwick: It’s too late.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: -- so ably initiated by the Premier (Mr. Davis) at his recent Partnership for Prosperity conference.

Mr. Speaker: Oral questions. The hon. Leader of the Opposition.


Mr. Lewis: First, I have a question of the Treasurer. Since the Treasurer, with his government, now stands almost alone in this country as applauding the budget last night, can he explain how he is willing to endorse -- even in the short term -- such a dreadful, ill-advised and stupid budget in its refusal to provide jobs? Surely that’s where Ontario should now step in, this morning, today?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, was that a statement or a question by the Leader of the Opposition?

Mr. Lewis: It was a question.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: That was no question; it was a statement. He is playing politics and he knows it.

Mr. Lewis: You made a statement too. You jumped into bed with Donald S. Macdonald. It’s incredible.

Mr. Speaker: Order, order please.

Mr. Lewis: Another question then, by way of a supplementary: Does the Treasurer not think that this is an opportunity for Ontario to canvass every other province in Canada and to present the federal government with a united front which rejects its priorities in maintaining a lower cost of living, which everybody will agree with, on the backs of the unemployed; and insists on unemployment strategy being changed?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, I would be glad to canvass the other governments in this country. We have had discussions, as Ministers of Finance, as recently as a month and a half ago. The Ministers of Finance, I think, of all parts of this country remain determined to fight inflation.

Mr. Lewis: Obviously.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: They remain determined in the fact that government spending and deficit spending is not the solution to our problem.

Mr. Lewis: With a million unemployed?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please, this is not a debate.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: You would have us in the same mess that the United Kingdom is in, dragged down by socialist policies.


Mr. Renwick: You create the jobs; they’ll give us the money.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Lewis: By way of a supplementary, does the Treasurer and the government he represents really believe that there is a twitch of fairness in federal Liberal and provincial Tory policy which permits a million people unemployed in 1977 without one significant economic response? What’s wrong with you people?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I am glad you are interested in jobs at last. I have wondered for the last three years.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, what’s right with people on this side of the House is that we’re prepared to say what we think is right for the economy in the long run and what we are not prepared to do --

Mr. Lewis: You should call the election in Ontario.

Mr. S. Smith: That’s a good question.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: What we are not prepared to do is to refuse to face up to problems in the economy, which the NDP won’t face up to.

Mr. Renwick: We faced up. You were the government and you created this problem.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: They go on playing politics on the backs of the unemployed.


Mr. Speaker: Order; order, please. This is a fine example, I’m sure, that is being witnessed by our guests in the galleries.

Mr. Lewis: Sorry to destroy the decorum, Mr. Speaker. It is of no consequence, the issue, I know.

Mr. Speaker: The issue is.

Mr. Lewis: May I ask one last temperate supplementary of the Treasurer? Can I ask the minister how he is going to reconcile last night’s budget with page 8 of his own Throne Speech in which, in a preamble, he talked about the need to create jobs and then said, and I quote: “To this end it is hoped that significant assistance will be furnished through the federal budget to be presented on March 31. In turn Ontario will complement federal action.”

Mr. Deans: How do you complement that?

Mr. Lewis: Since there are no actions to complement, why does he stand and endorse the federal budget?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, the member obviously makes light of the increases in Mr. Macdonald’s budget in terms of the Canada works programme. Whether that is sufficient or not, I can take issue with that. I think perhaps he might have done more by reordering priorities within a very large and swollen deficit to concern himself with, particularly, youth unemployment this summer. As to the second part of the member’s question, what we will do to complement his actions, whether they were adequate or not, will be known on April 19.


Mr. Lewis: A question for the Minister of Energy: Can I ask the minister why he did not include in his statement to the House the fact that the government of Ontario participated willingly in the decision to increase the price of oil in the last three years on those successive occasions when it was fought bitterly in the House, why he did not explain in the statement, therefore, that the prices he outlines now are the responsibility of his government, and how, therefore, he expects to have any credibility at all when he goes to Ottawa, since he is as much responsible for the duping as are the people in Ottawa?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, the Leader of the Opposition is misleading, and I won’t say deliberately, the members of this House.

Mr. Martel: What is your point of order?

Hon. Mr. Davis: The point of order is very simple. The Leader of the Opposition said this province willingly joined in the price increases that were imposed by the government of Canada, and to say we did that willingly is just totally and absolutely wrong --

Mr. Martel: He hasn’t got a point of order.

Mr. S. Smith: He hasn’t got a point of order.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- and the Leader of the Opposition knows it.

Mr. Martel: That is not a point of order.

Hon. Mr. Davis: You are wrong. It is a point of order.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Davis: It is a point of order.

Mr. Deans: It is a point of view.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Martel: It is a point of information, not a point of order.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Can we now get back to a more orderly question period? I think there was a question asked of the Minister of Energy.

Mr. Lewis: On the point of order.

Mr. Martel: He didn’t have one.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I don’t need any assistance from the member for Sudbury East.

Mr. Martel: Well, you sure do.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. Leader of the Opposition has the floor.

Mr. Martel: Because he’s the Premier, you know.

Mr. Lewis: Mr. Speaker, with respect, the Premier said I was misleading the House. I want to say to you again, Mr. Speaker, that I stated exactly and precisely what I believe to be true. I always thought the Premier’s position was mere posturing and when it came down to it, he accepted those price increases --

Mr. Breithaupt: This is an abuse of the question period.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Lewis: -- and that’s not misleading.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Davis: When it comes to posturing, we’re rank amateurs compared to the Leader of the Opposition.

Mr. Nixon: The Speaker is standing.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Now, can we get back to the question that was asked? The hon. minister, I believe.

Mr. Lewis: I think you should draw the Premier to order.

Mr. MacDonald: If you are not going to draw the Premier to order you’re causing chaos in the House yourself.

Mr. Martel: Sure, he wanted a point of information defined.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. Minister of Energy I believe was asked a question.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: May I just reaffirm --

Mr. Bain: Your position?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Exactly, because either the members opposite refuse to understand the problem and the issues and the involvements --

Mr. Bain: The problem is we do understand.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: -- or they are playing cheap politics with a very serious question of energy.

Mr. Renwick: You were wrong.

Mr. S. Smith: You want to play politics? That’s great.

An hon. member: Bring on the Energy estimates.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: The version that the members opposite have manifested today in connection with this statement would indicate to me at least, and I presume to the public, that they are not in support of a hold-the-line price on crude oil and natural gas.

Mr. Renwick: Don’t waste our time.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: They are looking for a further price increase. Now, they should know that when it comes to the pricing of crude oil -- and again, as they should appreciate if they don’t, the price of natural gas is tied in with that -- there are some oil- producing provinces in this country --

Mr. Renwick: We appreciated it a long time ago.


Hon. Mr. Taylor: -- who feel that they have the prerogative to negotiate with the federal government in terms of what the price should be; and, certainly in one instance that I’m aware of, feel that Ontario does not even have a position. I think that Ontario does have a position --

Mr. Martel: A new one?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: -- because, surely, if we represent 8.5 million consumers in this country we do have a position on behalf of those consumers.

Mr. Riddell: You sure don’t have an energy policy.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: I think the economic well-being of this province has a very decided effect and impact on the economic welfare of the rest of Canada. Therefore, I do think that we have a position; I’m just saying that we do not have a veto position. We cannot unilaterally declare what the price will be or whether there will be no price. But we have taken a position, a strong position. Frankly, I’m discouraged to hear from you and from the other opposition parties that you appear to be not in support of a hold-the-line situation.

Mr. Renwick: You have adopted our policy. Stop that and sit down.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Well, you’re deriding. I can only interpret your outbursts as opposition to a position that we are taking on behalf of the consumers of this province.

Mr. Renwick: You have adopted our policy.

Mr. MacDonald: The Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. W. Newman) has milked the prices.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. S. Smith: Supplementary: Can I assume that the minister is going to go to this conference that he’s outlined for us, and present, once again, the same peculiar blending proposal that this government contributed to the last meeting that was held of this nature? Or is there some change in Ontario’s position? And, furthermore, does he have some concrete proposal for convincing Mr. Lougheed not to push for a further increase at this time?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: If the hon. leader of the third party had listened to my statement, it indicates what the provincial position is at that conference. It does not include a proposal for blending --

Mr. S. Smith: No blending.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: What it is is a hold-firm on the present price of crude oil and natural gas.


Mr. S. Smith: Further supplementary: Can he explain to us why the province has backed away from this blending proposal which was presented to us in such detail and with such fanfare just a few months ago?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Very simply, Mr. Speaker, this position was put forward very forcefully last year. It was rejected. The position that we’re taking this year is simply that our economy and the people of this province cannot afford a further increase in the price of oil, which, of course, reflects in regard to natural gas.

Mr. Renwick: That’s our position.

Mr. Peterson: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. di Santo: Supplementary: Is the minister aware that the cost of oil is advancing inflation by 30 per cent in Canada? And is the minister aware that we don’t know at this point what the structure of the cost of oil is, and that the federal government has to rely completely on the figures given it by the companies? Therefore, is the minister prepared, at the next conference, to ask that the price be frozen until we know exactly what the cost is of every single barrel of oil?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Mr. Speaker, may I say that when we talk about the increase in the price of a barrel of crude oil, really what we’re talking about is the increase in government take; because 70 per cent --


Mr. Renwick: You are not talking about that.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: You agree, you want more and more government take. We don’t. At least 70 per cent.

Mr. Lewis: We are talking about the oil cost --

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Look, do you want to hear it or don’t you? Are you really, sincerely interested in the energy costs? Are you interested in oil costs and gasoline costs in this province? Or do you care at all about the consumer?

Mr. Renwick: Come on, you are in bed with the oil companies.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Apparently you don’t. What I’m telling the members is that at least 70 per cent of the price increase goes in forms of government take -- to the oil-producing provinces and to the government of Canada.

Hon. Mr. Davis: That’s right.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: The opposition is in support of that. Obviously they are in support of that; they want further increases. Over here we don’t want further increases in the price of oil and gas.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Peterson: Supplementary: Knowing as he does that his position is unrealistic and knowing that prices are going up and that this is just a fatuous political response, what I want to know from the minister is what contingency plans has he made that he can handle in this province, without just constantly complaining, to change pricing structures or to go to inverted pricing structures to moderate the effect on the Ontario economy? That is the only thing the government can handle, so why sit around complaining and squawking, which is all you do, about things that are not in your control.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The question has been asked.

Mr. Peterson: What is the government going to do here in Ontario tomorrow?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: First of all, I do not accept the member’s defeatist attitude. He may subscribe to the present federal government’s policy of tagging along to the artificially high world price of oil. As he knows, that’s set by a cartel; it’s unrelated to the cost of production of oil. A barrel of oil has increased six times in the last three years. He may subscribe to that, but we don’t.

Mr. Nixon: You are drilling for votes, not oil.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: It is not related to the cost of oil.

Mr. Breaugh: You should go back to the Flat Earth Society.

Mr. Nixon: You supported it every time.

Mr. Peterson: What are you going to do about Ontario?


Mr. S. Smith: I would like to start with a question to the Minister of Agriculture and Food. What is the minister’s opinion and that of his staff regarding the designation of 13,600 acres of prime farmland on the outskirts of Barrie for annexation and development?

Hon. W. Newman: My only comment at this point in time is that this is an annexation application and I am quite sure our guidelines will certainly be kept in mind in the development of that property.

Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary, since the minister is aware that the Treasurer has intervened at the OMB in favour of this proposal, will he table the letter sent by the foodland development branch to the Treasurer protesting the unnecessary loss of this vital farmland?

Hon. W. Newman: Any letter I have is public information. I don’t hide anything from anyone.

Mr. S. Smith: Will the minister table that letter?

Hon. W. Newman: I’d like to review it, but I think probably I can let the member see the letter, yes. I have nothing to hide.


Mr. S. Smith: A question for the Minister of the Environment: Can he please clarify his position regarding the removal of lead-contaminated soils in Toronto and can he explain why it is that the polluters in this instance are not being made collectively to pay the whole cost of the operation necessitated basically by the fact that lead from these various smelters has required us to have to remove that soil? Irrespective of the fact, as he mentioned in his letter of March 30, that there may be other sources of lead, surely he has to agree that the only reason the soil has to be removed is because of the lead from those particular smelters? Why, therefore, is the polluter not paying; why is the public having to pay so much of this cost?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: The fact is there has been no concrete established fact that only those plants are responsible for contaminating the soil in that particular area. Certainly, if the companies refuse to pay the total cost of the cleanup, it would mean that the province would have to sue those companies --

Mr. Singer: Oh, dear, shy away from that. The polluter will pay! Remember Dow.

Mr. Swart: Like Dow Chemical.

Mr. Singer: The polluter will pay; one of the great aspirations of all time.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: -- and be involved in lengthy court hearings, probably taking, like Dow, three or four years of costly litigation. So the idea is, first of all, that the contaminated soil be removed and be replaced. It can only be done during certain times of the year, such as this time of year. At the present time, Hydro is laying a cable across many of those properties thereby mitigating or reducing the overall cost of removing the soil. Therefore, negotiations were going on between the committee and the companies to get the companies to pay a fair share of the cost of removing the contaminated soil.

As I indicated during the last session of the House, the prime objective here is to get rid of the contaminated soil and to decide then who should pay the total cost or part of the cost of the removal. As my correspondence indicates, there has been no decision as to whether or not we are satisfied with the companies’ offer to pay a share of the cost of removal. The overall cost has been substantially reduced because of Hydro’s involvement in laying a cable. We’re talking a maximum of about $70,000. If we can get the companies to pay about half of that, it seems to make more sense than in getting involved in costly litigation --

Mr. Breithaupt: That’s called public bargaining.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: -- and above all, postponing the removal of the contaminated soil.

Mr. S. Smith: I have a supplementary. If, in fact, the so-called costly litigation is going to make it impossible to recover even the $70,000 from three companies -- which doesn’t strike me as that much money, given the volume of business these companies do -- if costly litigation stands in the way of even a simple case of this kind, what meaning does the phrase “the polluter must pay” have in the province of Ontario? Are you prepared to bring forward legislation to give that phrase, that clause, some meaning, or are you just going to wave it around as a type of slogan totally devoid of real purpose and substance?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: The hon. member, Mr. Speaker, has obviously not read any of the reports that resulted from lengthy lead hearings --

Mr. Nixon: We read your former speeches.

An hon. member: We read about Dow Chemical.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: -- and the complication involved when you have three or four or five companies involving a very large number of homes over a long period of time. There are also other facilities in that area. Some are municipal facilities which have contributed to the lead contamination problem. All I’m saying at this time is that there has been no decision made as to whether or not the companies will agree to pay a reasonable share of the part of that cost or whether we, in fact, pay the total share and take action against the companies to recover that share. There has been no decision. Negotiations regarding their share will continue.

I indicated last year that I thought a one-third, one-third, one-third arrangement was fairly reasonable. That involves the city.

Mr. S. Smith: They offered $7,000 each.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: The city has refused to pay any amount; therefore, the negotiations go on between the province and the companies.

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Speaker, by way of a supplementary question, will the minister give a commitment to this House that having used public moneys for the immediate removal of the topsoil in the area -- particularly in my riding where we have Canada Metal; or to solve that problem -- will the minister give a commitment to this House that, if his negotiations are unsuccessful with the companies, he will take the matter to the court for a final decision in order to recover for the public Treasury the expenditure of public funds?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: The answer is yes.

Mr. Singer: I wonder if the minister could tell us if his philosophy has changed since that June afternoon in 1971 when he pounded his desk and said, “The polluter will pay,” and forthwith announced a lawsuit against Dow Chemical -- for, what, $25 million? -- and why he has today said that he is concerned about the cost of litigation? He wasn’t then, and the Dow action has cost the government at least $2 million in costs to this point. Has his philosophy substantially changed since that time?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: No, my philosophy hasn’t changed. I still believe that basically our philosophy and policy should be that the polluter must pay, and we’ve been consistent about that. But as I indicated there is some difference between the Dow case --

Mr. Singer: I see.


Hon. Mr. Kerr: -- and a case involving four or five companies in a very complicated matter, as indicated by the lengthy reports we’ve had as a result of hearings. We’ve learned from Dow, I think. We have learned a little bit from Dow. We have learned, for example, just how effective our legislation can be and how effective --

Mr. Singer: Yes, right; how to spend but provide no solution.

Mr. Breithaupt: And how deep the river is.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: The common law itself, of course, left something to be desired. So the legislation has been amended. We are satisfied with our present legislation.

Mr. S. Smith: Bring in a proper Act. Come on.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: All I want to say is, just don’t compare apples with oranges.

Mr. Nixon: You mean lead and mercury.

Mr. Speaker: The member for Scarborough-Ellesmere.

Mr. Warner: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have a question for the Premier --

Mr. Singer: Supplementary.

Mrs. Campbell: I thought there were more supplementaries.

Mr. S. Smith: There are still some supplementaries, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: Order please. We have spent quite a bit of time on these subjects. We have used 25 minutes now. If you want the question period to be effective you have got to abide by your own instructions. There should be time to come back if there are further questions on it. The member for Scarborough-Ellesmere.


Mr. Warner: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. To the Premier: Since the Minister of Labour (B. Stephenson) has been unsuccessful during the past six months in convincing her cabinet colleagues, could the Premier show some leadership with the cabinet in trying to persuade them that the minimum wage should be increased from $2.65 an hour to at least $3 an hour, knowing full well that the AIB has already told us that anything up to $3.50 an hour will be exempt from the AIB guidelines?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I would only say to the hon. member that our colleague, the Minister of Labour, has very little difficulty in persuading her fellow ministers on many vital issues. If the hon. member is asking me whether at this point in time we are going to increase the minimum wage to the figure that he has mentioned, I have to say to him that at this time the answer is no.

Mr. Warner: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Since the Premier is so sure that the Minister of Labour will be successful, that her submission to cabinet on September 24 has not been ignored, could he then tell me what figure we will see as the minimum wage in the next few weeks?

Hon. Mr. Davis: No, Mr. Speaker, I just cannot tell him.

Mr. Peterson: I am glad to see the Premier using yes and no for a change.


Mr. Sargent: Mr. Speaker, a question of the Minister of Transportation and Communications: Now that his ministry requires that holders of drivers’ licences in certain categories will be required to have medical examinations -- for example, truck drivers -- would he consider recommending to the Minister of Health (Mr. Timbrell) amending section 49, subsection 1, part V of the regulations under The Health Insurance Act, which precludes legal requirements or proceedings from being services covered under the plan?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, I hadn’t thought of making that suggestion to my colleague, but I will discuss it with him.

Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary on this, if I might, is the minister aware that what has happened is that many truck drivers, including some farmers who only need the licence for the small amount of trucking they do, have gone to their physicians to receive their annual checkup to use it for the purpose of these licence applications and have been told that because of that particular clause they have to pay for it? If the minister is aware that an ordinary citizen is allowed one checkup a year under OHIP, can he please persuade his fellow minister to permit that one checkup to be utilized for the driving licence application?

Hon. Mr. Snow: I am aware of this situation, Mr. Speaker. I have, of course, no jurisdiction in my ministry on that. I will discuss it with the Minister of Health. I do know that the policy under OHIP is that medical examinations for, I guess the easiest way to explain it, commercial reasons are not covered under the plan. If you need a medical examination as a condition of employment it is not covered. Of course, normally the employer pays for that examination.

An hon. member: What about the self-employed?

Hon. Mr. Snow: As for their examinations for the driving licences, I understand in some cases the employer company is voluntarily paying for these examinations because most of the companies -- in fact all that I know of -- are very much in support of our new system. Of course when this is a cost of employment, I consider it somewhat similar to the things the federal government had in mind two years ago when they allowed a deduction in your income tax, which I believe was increased by Mr. Macdonald last night. They raised it from $150 to $250 to cover items such as cost of employment, such as tools that a carpenter or a bricklayer or an auto mechanic has to buy. This is more or less a tool that a commercial truck driver or bus driver has to buy.

I understand that these examinations are costing in the neighbourhood of $20 to $25, depending I guess upon the doctor, for the one class of licence, the class D licence, which is the most common one. The examination is only required once. For some of the other classes of licences the tests will be required every three years. As the hon. member for Grey-Bruce knows, this is very similar to what he and I go through every six months or every year in our medical examination for our private or commercial or airline pilot’s licence. We are required to supply that medical to the federal Ministry of Transport and, of course, that is not covered and we have to pay for it ourselves. So I think there are many different categories involved in this type of medical.

Mr. Kerrio: Supplementary: Is the minister aware that many hundreds of these drivers are self-employed, or and in fact, work for small companies and that they are not going to be subsidized in any way and that they are going to suffer a hardship? These are the people that I think we are genuinely concerned about.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Well, yes, of course. I thought I covered that in my previous answer. I am aware that some companies are paying these costs. But there is no compulsion on the company to do so. Of course I am aware of the self-employed individual where this is a cost -- whether it is a one-time cost for a class D licence or a once-every-three-years cost for a class A licence. I am sure in some of the agreements that may be entered into in the future that may be a subject of negotiation, but that doesn’t help the private businessman who requires the licence for his own truck.

But as I explained before, I feel that with the provision in The Income Tax Act allowing this to be a deductible item or considering it as part of the cost of employment package, some compensation is being given to the individual that requires this licence, the same as the individual that has to buy tools for his trade.


Mr. Williams: Mr. Speaker, a question of the Minister of Transportation and Communications: I was reading last evening, and I handed to the minister a few moments ago, the Wednesday March 30 edition of the Willowdale weekly newspaper, the Mirror. The headline on the front page states: “Plan to End Traffic Mess Gets the Axe.”

The story states that an MTC --

Some hon. members: Question.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Williams: The story states that an MTC position paper has turned down a Metro Toronto underpass proposal to alleviate traffic problems in the Consumers Road industrial subdivision. I have two questions for the minister related to this topic. Firstly, on the basis of his past interest in this matter, can I have his assurance that he will agree to an early meeting with the local provincial and municipal elected representatives --

Mr. Makarchuk: Why don’t you just walk down?

Mr. Williams: -- along with the representatives for the affected industrial and residential area? And secondly, could the minister assure me that the discussions will not only relate to a review and assessment of that position paper but to the other related proposals that have been put forward by the Metropolitan Toronto corporation? Some of these proposals will require approvals of the government of this province.

Mr. Singer: Is this a speech or a question?

Mr. Peterson: This is a serious abuse of the question period.

Hon. Mr. Snow: As the hon. member knows, over the past year I have met several times with him and with other elected representatives, both municipal and provincial, regarding this matter. Several meetings have been carried out by staff of Metropolitan Toronto, the borough of Scarborough, the borough of North York and my staff. The latest report I had was that at the last meeting four options were put forward, I believe, by the Metro traffic and roads planners. I’m not aware of any position taken on those options by the ministry at this time.

Certainly we did take a position on the one proposal that was put forward last fall where it was suggested that a direct access ramp off the main high speed ramp of Highway 401 go into this industrial development, which I definitely turned down. It’s just totally unacceptable from a safety and traffic standpoint to have an access ramp to an industrial subdivision coming off the main high speed ramp at one of the main interchanges of this province.

Mr. Singer: It would be nice if they talked about this in the Throne debate or something.

Mr. Williams: Supplementary: The minister is aware of course that this new proposal, which also relates to Highway 401, is totally unrelated to the submission that we discussed earlier last summer and, therefore, it’s a question for further consideration.


Mr. Singer: Why don’t you get on the list for the Throne debate?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, you have got to control that kind of nonsense.

Hon. W. Newman: Why don’t you leave now then?

Mr. Speaker: That’s not the only nonsense I’ve heard around here this morning, I might say. May I just remind the hon. members there have been some comments about the preamble to a question. Occasionally in order to delineate the area of a question, there has to be a brief preamble. I would remind all members on all sides -- and you’re all offenders --

Mr. Singer: Not to read the Don Mills Mirror at length.

Mr. Speaker: -- it’s not always on the other side -- the preamble should be as brief as possible. It should simply point out the area of the question and then the question should be asked and asked once. The hon. member for Peterborough (Ms. Sandeman) will do just that, I’m sure.

Mr. Williams: On a point of order, I had asked a supplementary question, to which I am entitled to an answer.

Mr. Speaker: Yes, if there is an answer. I thought the minister had completed his answer.

Mr. Williams: I haven’t had an answer as yet. I was interrupted.

Mr. Singer: He shook his head.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Peterson: Is there not a rule about boring everybody silly, Mr. Speaker?

Mr. Speaker: I felt the minister had completed his answer. Is there an answer to the addendum there?


Mr. Speaker: The date is correct, I think, on the calendar today.

Hon. Mr. Snow: In trying to answer the supplementary, I am aware that the four alternatives that were put forward at the last meeting do not involve the high speed ramp that was a part of their previous three submissions which I had to turn down.


Ms. Sandeman: I have a question for the Provincial Secretary for Social Development. Is the minister aware that because of the long list of exclusions under section 5 of the Ontario Building Code, the disabled population of this province is still not assured access to buildings such as churches, medical centres, convalescent homes, homes for aged and a long, long list?

Hon. Mrs. Birch: Yes, I am aware of it. I’ve had recommendations from the Advisory Council on the Physically Handicapped and we are attempting to deal with it.

Ms. Sandeman: Supplementary: Could the minister assure us that her attempts to deal with it will include making her colleague, the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr. Handleman), aware that he must amend his Act now?

Hon. Mrs. Birch: I assure the member that the minister would be very amenable to that suggestion.


Mr. G. I. Miller: In view of the fact that the Minister of Housing (Mr. Rhodes) is not here this morning, I’d like to put a question to the Premier. Since the Townsend townsite is located in my riding and in view of the fact that agriculture requires many years of planning in advance, I wonder if the initial plans for the Townsend townsite have been finalized and when they may be available?


Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I think that the Minister of Housing will have a reply for the hon. member in the next few days. If he would exercise some restraint, as I know he does from time to time, the minister may have an answer for him some time in the latter part of the week, next week that is.

An hon. member: Good Friday?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Good Friday.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Welland-Thorold.


Mr. Swart: My question is to the Minister of Agriculture and Food. In view of his alleged concern, as carried in this morning’s paper, for the Niagara fruit and grape growers, is he now going to bring in an amendment to the farm income stabilization bill to provide coverage for their products? Secondly, will he also bring in an amendment to provide that the stabilization price will at least equal all the costs of production? Or is he going to go on slavishly following the federal pattern in both of these matters?

Hon. W. Newman: Mr. Speaker, perhaps the hon. member doesn’t realize we passed a bill in this House last fall.

Mr. Swart: That’s not an answer.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. W. Newman: I think he is not aware of the fact that it covers those commodities at a certain level.

Mr. MacDonald: At five per cent.

Mr. Speaker: Are there any further questions? The member for Niagara Falls.


Mr. Kerrio: I have a question of the Minister of Energy, Mr. Speaker. Is the minister aware of the grave dangers that are presented to many homeowners in this province by aluminum wiring; and an admission by Hydro in some of their cautions that if you see smoke coming out of a receptacle you should take some kind of action? I wonder if he is aware of these dangers.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Mr. Speaker, I am aware of the concerns as expressed by many persons in regard to aluminum wiring.

Mr. Eakins: Blame it on the feds, Jim.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: I believe that matter is being addressed by the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations as it comes under his jurisdiction.

Mr. Singer: What address is that?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: As a matter of fact, if the hon. member redirected that question he may be able to amplify what they may have in mind in that ministry.

Mr. Singer: Is he making a speech to the aluminum wire producers or what?

Mr. Speaker: Is the hon. minister referring it to the other minister? Is that what I understand?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Yes.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, of course we’re aware of these concerns. They have been expressed to us periodically over the last few years. I expect we’ll have some announcement to make in the near future.

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


Mr. Speaker: One final supplementary.

Mr. Kerrio: Is the minister aware of the fact that there are some jurisdictions within this province that already ban aluminum wiring? Is he prepared to ban it until such time as we have a firm policy about it and see that it’s safe for the people of this province?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, I am aware of the fact that some of these jurisdictions in the province have taken that action. Two of them happen to be in my constituency, so I’m fully aware of their actions.

Last year we asked the federal government, under The Hazardous Products Act, to impose a ban which they have every right to do. They refused to do that. We do not feel, at this time, that the Ontario Building Code should be used to ban the use of a product which, in fact, is not being used in construction today. There is not much point in it. We’re concerned about the existing situation, where it’s already been installed.

Mr. Speaker: The member for Durham East had a supplementary on that question?

Mr. Peterson: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: No, this will be the final one.

Mr. Peterson: Well, Mr. Speaker, is there only one supplementary here?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The only supplementary has been from the member for Niagara Falls and we allow two supplementaries. I thought the member for Durham --

Mr. Peterson: You can’t make that judgement now before you hear what the question is and only allow one supplementary. It’s arbitrary.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Durham East wishes to ask a supplementary; I cut him off before because I thought he was going to ask a new question.

Mr. Hodgson: Get a towel and cry on that.

Mr. Moffatt: Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the minister, as a supplementary, if there has been any gathering of data in insurance terms. and from Ontario Hydro and from the Fire Marshal’s office, to quantify whether or not there is any substantial difference between fires in houses equipped with aluminum wiring and those not equipped with aluminum wiring? Or is he going to continue with the same course of action, saying: “We don’t know there’s a problem because we have not gathered any information?”

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, I have already indicated there will be an announcement in the very near future and all of the data that we have will be made available at that time.

Mr. Peterson: One supplementary, Mr. Speaker; one short supplementary. It’s very important.

An hon. member: As usual, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: They always are. Since it is a very important subject I will allow it.

Mr. Peterson: I just want to ask this: If the minister has the confidence to ask the federal government to ban aluminum wiring, and he feels sure of that and he has indeed requested that, then why doesn’t he use his own power to ban it, in this jurisdiction at least, if the federal government won’t proceed? I don’t understand the rules that the minister operates under.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, I think one of the problems that we have in this country now, and I am sure the hon. member would agree with me, is duplication and entanglement of legislation. The federal government has a piece of legislation known --

Mr. Peterson: The Hazardous Products Act.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: The Hazardous Products Act should deal with hazardous products and there is no reason why this province or 10 provinces should start putting their own interpretation on the federal Act.

Mr. Peterson: Because lives are at stake when hazardous products are involved.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: We suggested that they consider a ban. We suggested it because the parliamentary assistant to the minister at that time, Mr. Norman Cafik, was asking for it and we suggested that the minister might listen to his own parliamentary assistant.

Mr. Moffatt: That’s exactly backward.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Obviously the minister at the time did not want to listen to that. This government will be taking action. We will be making an announcement here in the very near future.


Mr. Kennedy: Mr. Speaker, a question for the Minister of Transportation and Communications, without preamble: Will GO trains stop at the Exhibition Park for Blue Jay games?

Mr. Riddell: Lean over and ask him.

Mr. Eakins: Whisper in his ear.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Yes, Mr. Speaker, I understand --


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. We are wasting valuable time with the interjections. Thank you.

Hon. Mr. Snow: I understand, Mr. Speaker, that TATOA is arranging, where possible, to supply GO Transit services to the Exhibition Stadium as they do for the CNE itself, the Royal Winter Fair and the football games. There may be some problem in scheduling with afternoon games and the rush-hour situation, which doesn’t happen the same with the other games, but to the extent possible they will be supplying a service to the stadium.

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Speaker, by way of supplementary, will the minister, while he is giving consideration to that question, consider the installation of a GO train stop at De Grassi Street in the riding of Riverdale, at Queen Street?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Certainly.

Hon. Mr. Snow: I wasn’t planning on that, Mr. Speaker.


Mr. Deans: Mr. Speaker, I have a further question for the Premier with regard to the federal budget and its impact on unemployment. How can he continue his unqualified support for the anti-inflation programme, given that the programme has moderated inflation at the expense of employment; and given that the federal government has shown a complete unwillingness, or maybe an inability, to recognize that unemployment is the single major problem confronting people in Canada and particularly in Ontario at the moment; and recognizing that the federal government has gone to extreme and unfair measures to restrict unemployment benefits to people who cannot find work in Ontario and throughout Canada as the result of the anti-inflation programme; and also recognizing that --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. This is getting to be a speech now. The hon. member for Wentworth realizes that, I am sure. He has asked the question. I think we will allow time for the answer.

Mr. Deans: I will ask by way of supplementary then. I have been told I can’t ask any more in this part. I will ask it as a supplementary.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, that wasn’t what I understood you to say. I thought you were suggesting that there shouldn’t be any preambles or long speeches in terms of the questions.

Mr. S. Smith: Or the answers.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Well, I certainly am not going to debate whether there was a preamble or not. In an attempt to answer the question as I understood it -- and that is, how does this government continue its unqualified support, which I think perhaps is not a proper way of describing it -- I think this government has indicated very clearly, Mr. Speaker, that we support, and we have taken certain initiatives in terms of this process, some strategy that makes sense in terms of moving out of the control mechanisms. I would say this, and I think it’s a view supported by a number of people, just to state that this week or next week or three months from now that without any planning, without any consideration of the impact on the people who will be very directly affected, and that means hundreds of thousands in this province, without some plan for doing this doesn’t make sense. I said at the time the control programme was introduced, yes, we would support it.


Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Deans: You got into it.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Certainly we got into it that way. We had no alternative but to get into it that way --

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- as well as the other provinces. The member’s friends in Saskatchewan and Manitoba didn’t object to it at that time.

Mr. Lewis: Associates.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Yes, they are your associates. Don’t forget that when you start discussing the price of energy.

Mr. Breithaupt: They are no longer friends, though.

Hon. Mr. Davis: The answer is very simple. We want to see a mechanism that is understood, one that is discussed with labour, with management, with the people who are directly affected by it, before the control programme is removed. It’s as simple as that.

Mr. Renwick: You just want to talk; that is all you want to do.

Mr. Deans: Supplementary question --

Hon. Mr. Davis: If that is a supplementary from the member for Riverdale --

Mr. Speaker: No, there’s no supplementary.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- he may want to talk, but we want to see results. That’s why we’re here and that’s why you’re going to stay over there.

Mr. Lewis: Then call it, call it.

Hon. Mr. Davis: You will have your chance on Monday.

Mr. Lewis: But we can’t get the supporters.

Mr. Renwick: I was hoping you’d call it yesterday.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Deans: Supplementary: Since it appears evident that many people are being impoverished by the actions of the Anti-Inflation Board, and your complicity in the actions of the Anti-Inflation Board, where is your manpower policy that you’ve been promising this Legislature for the last three years?

Mr. Breithaupt: Since the days of Jack McNie.

Hon. Mr. Davis: With great respect, Mr. Speaker, I recognize that we all take poetic licence and there’s no one more poetic than the member for Wentworth. Complicity is really not the right terminology. We’re trying in this government, along with other governments of Canada, to solve some pretty fundamental problems; problems that hon. members opposite don’t understand. They have no sensitivity to them and I understand that. That’s why I accept the question and the way it was phrased.

Mr. Makarchuk: Is that why you have a problem, because you don’t understand --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Deans: Is it fair that a burden should be carried by --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. We’re repeating the same questions.


Mr. S. Smith: I direct a question to the Treasurer: In view of the forthcoming referendum or plebiscite in Hamilton regarding the Pan-Am Games, would the Treasurer please consider the possibility of bringing in, as quickly as possible, an amendment to The Municipal Elections Act, which would permit all qualified municipal voters to vote in a plebiscite?

By way of explanation, the Treasurer is probably aware that only landowners and those with 20-year leases can vote in a plebiscite if money is involved. It would be nice to have that changed in time for the Pan-Am plebiscite in Hamilton. It would be just a small amendment, which would, I’m sure, be supported by all sides of the House.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: That’s a rather fundamental amendment. Money bylaws in this province are voted on by taxpayers and not by tenants. I don’t necessarily say that’s a view which should not be changed, but I think the member is talking about something very fundamental which we would want to consider.

Mr. S. Smith: Supplementary: The Treasurer, surely, did not mean to make a distinction between taxpayers and tenants, did he? Surely he’s aware that tenants pay property tax as part of the rent. In the rent review procedure that’s considered part of the reason that rents can be charged and increased? Surely he recognizes that tenants are taxpayers, every bit as much as everyone else in a municipality?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I certainly recognize that. But I have to tell the member that it is a rather strongly held view in certain parts of Ontario -- parts of Ontario which the member may not be familiar with, he could ask some members of his caucus -- that only taxpayers should vote on money bylaws.

Mr. MacDonald: It is a basic principle --

Mr. Breithaupt: They all pay taxes.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I am not endorsing that view at this moment. What I am saying is, the member is talking about a rather fundamental change, which I think would take some consideration.

Mr. S. Smith: Tenants are taxpayers.


Mr. Bain: I’d like to direct a question to the Premier. Considering that it has been almost a month since the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Lewis) and I, and the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. F. S. Miller) and the Premier, discussed United Asbestos, could he indicate to the House what the government is prepared to do to ensure that United Asbestos will reopen?

Hon. Mr. Davis: The member did visit, along with his leader, to discuss that issue. As I recall our discussion, the Minister of Natural Resources indicated that it was being considered by his ministry. I think he made a visit to that particular site himself. My recollection is, too, that he pointed out there were a number of difficulties involved in the situation. I won’t remind the House of one of the things that he suggested, that helped create some of the problems at least, but I would suggest to the hon. member that he await the return of the minister, who will be here Monday and Tuesday, and get an up-to-date reply.


Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for St. George.


Mrs. Campbell: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Community and Social Services.

Mr. Nixon: Don’t kiss him, Margaret; hit him.

Mrs. Campbell: I am delighted with the change, Mr. Speaker.

Hon. Mr. Davis: You’d better get used to change.

Mrs. Campbell: Has the minister addressed himself to the problem of the definition of unemployability by reason of permanent disability and permanent disability, and could he share with the House what is to be done in this area; and has he, meanwhile, given consideration to the very serious plight of those on disability pensions who are living at a very low level of subsistence?

Hon. Mr. Norton: Maybe we should change back.

Mr. Breithaupt: Oh, no. We know that answer.

Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, the answer to the first part of that question -- and I know the response yesterday when I gave a similar answer to another question --

Mrs. Campbell: Yes, don’t go into the whole rigmarole.

Mr. Lewis: Just eliminate it.

Hon. Mr. Norton: -- is that it is an area that I have asked to be reviewed, and I am reviewing with staff the whole question of that rather complex distinction between the unemployable, permanently unemployable, and those who are disabled. I would hope that in the course of the next few weeks I would be able to answer the member’s question more fully in terms of where we might go from there.

With respect to the level of funding available for those on disability pensions, that, along with the level of funding for all persons on income maintenance, is presently under review. I would hope to have an announcement to make on that.

Mrs. Campbell: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker, if I may --

Mr. Speaker: Supplementary.

Mrs. Campbell: Do I take it, then, that as a result of the answer given we are no longer going to be told in this House that nothing can be done about definitions unless we get the co-operation of those horrible federal people?

Hon. Mr. Davis: You are not going to hear that any more.

Mrs. Campbell: Do I take it that the minister’s staff is going to be able to give him the assistance to make the change here?

Mr. Breithaupt: That’s in quotes, of course.

Hon. Mr. Norton: I will be in a better position to answer that at some time in the near future, I would hope. I do understand that part of the problem has been the historical development of these various programmes, where they have grown up on a piecemeal basis for specific individuals with specific problems. Over the years we have this anomaly where there are those who are classified as unemployable and those who are disabled. Their needs may not vary very greatly.

Mrs. Campbell: If at all.

Hon. Mr. Norton: But because of the agreements that exist with the federal government at the present time, the level of funding does vary. Now I am not casting all of the blame on the federal government, but it will require a co-operative effort to resolve the problem.

Mr. Speaker: A supplementary, the member for Sudbury East.

Mr. Martel: Can the minister tell us the difference between an unemployable and a disabled person?


Hon. Mr. Norton: I am not going to get drawn into that, because in all honesty that was one of the first questions I raised with the staff in this whole area of income support. I’ve had the same kinds of difficulties, I am sure, as the member, in trying to deal with that and explain it to those people who --

Mr. MacDonald: Ask the right question and you’ll get the right answer.

Hon. Mr. Norton: -- are in fact in that situation in my constituency as in the member’s. The distinction, I understand, historically grew up on the basis of the kinds of needs those people were perceived to have in terms for special assistance, such as clothing and so on if they were classified as disabled. I want that to be reviewed to see if that is any longer relevant and if there is any way of simplifying it and making it more understandable for the recipients of income support under these programmes; to make it understandable or else to resolve that distinction.

Mr. Breithaupt: Supplementary.

Mr. Speaker: The oral question period has expired.


Presenting reports.


Hon. Mr. Welch: I have a motion but it’s not quite ready yet. Perhaps at the appropriate time we could revert to motions to bring it forward.

Mr. Speaker: We’ll seek permission of the House at that time.

Introduction of bills.

Mr. Lewis: No, no. Now or never.

Mr. Speaker: Orders of the day.


Consideration of the speech of the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor at the opening of the session.

Mr. Johnson moved that a humble address be presented to the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor as follows:

To the Honourable P. M. McGibbon, OC, BA, LLD, DU (Ottawa), BAA (Theatre), Lieutenant Governor of Ontario:

May it please Your Honour: We, Her Majesty’s most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Legislative Assembly of the province of Ontario now assembled, beg leave to thank Your Honour for the gracious speech Your Honour has addressed to us.

Mr. Johnson: Mr. Speaker, it is an honour and a privilege for me to move adoption of the Speech from the Throne of this, the fourth session of the 30th Parliament of Ontario. I do so with respect to this government and to Her Honour, the Lieutenant Governor. I’m especially pleased, because a quarter of a century ago my predecessor, Mr. John Root, had the privilege of seconding the motion for adoption, presented by John Robarts, of the Throne Speech in the spring of 1952.

Mr. Martel: That’s as far as it goes though.

Mr. Johnson: It is an honour for me to serve my constituency and to serve in Her Majesty’s government here in Ontario in this the 25th year of her reign. I’ve served the people of Wellington-Dufferin-Peel since September, 1975. Mr. Root’s tenure and my presence here confirm the solid support for Progressive Conservative government in our part of Ontario.

Mr. Breithaupt: By 600 votes.

Mr. Bain: What has it got the poor folks?

Mr. Johnson: Her Honour’s Throne Speech stated very clearly the actions the government will take to address the economic, social and judicial needs of Ontario today, needs far different from those in 1952 but needs which can be satisfied by this government just as they were then. The continuity of tenure of Progressive Conservative government in Ontario is testimony to that fact and a source of pride to me. I urge all members of this Legislature to support our legislative and administrative programmes. I request the support of this House simply because at a time of such economic uncertainty, a time when the definition of our nation is being questioned, we would serve our constituents best by solving problems rather than engaging in political rhetoric or partisan grandstanding.

Mr. Martel: What do you think the Minister of Energy (Mr. Taylor) was doing this morning?

Mr. Johnson: I am well aware of the role of opposition members to question the actions of government and believe it can be a most useful process. I also believe, however, that recent abuses of that role achieve nothing positive for the people of Ontario --

Mr. Ferrier: Come on!

Mr. Johnson: -- and indeed have fostered an air of cynicism towards those involved in politics. Surely it is incumbent upon us all to prevent that from happening again. I would hope that in this session we can all act more responsibly and make this present minority situation work rather than destroy the credibility of our Legislature and those who participate in it.

Mr. Wildman: You can say that after listening to the Minister of Energy?

Mr. Johnson: Mr. Speaker, I would like first to compliment our Premier (Mr. Davis) for the positive approach he is taking with regard to the province of Quebec and the intentions of its government to separate that province from this great Confederation.

Mr. Bain: En français.

Mr. Johnson: I, like the Premier, have a great love for Canada and believe through open discussion, such as the forum for Canadian destiny, we the citizens of Ontario and all Canadians can find a sense of common purpose and understanding for each other. That singularity of purpose will enable all Canadians to see the benefits of staying together as a family -- a family of Canadians whose greatest asset is the accommodation of her cultural diversity. Let us not allow that asset to become our greatest liability.

I would also like to compliment the Premier on the establishment of a northern affairs ministry. I am confident that this ministry can address directly the problems of northern Ontario. The survival of the smaller and indeed dispersed communities of northern Ontario is critical to the survival of Ontario’s economy.

Mr. Bain: Ask the Premier what he will do for the people of Matachewan.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Johnson: Local secondary manufacturing at the point of resource development will ensure that the economy of the north will continue to grow and, most importantly, will provide job opportunities for young people in that region of our province.

Mr. Martel: They are all down here because there are no jobs up there.

Mr. Johnson: The northern affairs ministry will bring government at the provincial level closer to the people of the north.

Mr. Martel: That’s what Allan Lawrence said in 1970.

Mr. Wildman: It will be another barrier.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Wildman: How are you going to help Blind River?

Mr. Johnson: At the same time we must not forget the rural parts of the province.

Mr. Bain: They have been forgotten.

Mr. Johnson: In the past few years, with our preoccupation with the great problems faced in northern Ontario, we have often forgotten to mention our concern with the rural parts of southern Ontario.

Mr. Bain: Both the north and the rural south are forgotten.

Mr. Johnson: Much as northern Ontario needs industry both large and small, so does rural Ontario. To use my riding as an example, we face many of the same problems as do people living in the north.

Mr. Bain: Cross the floor!

Mr. Johnson: In particular we have had great difficulty in attracting small, clean industries. These industries tend to concentrate in the golden horseshoe. I am sure that my colleagues on all sides of the House would sympathize with that problem. I see this as a concern second only to our concern for northern development.

Mr. Martel: The Tories have been in power for 34 years. What are they doing about it?

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Johnson: Despite difficult times, tight money, and the demand by people for more services at a lesser cost, we on this side of the House have retained our commitment to rural Ontario. I have often thought that if there was any concept which could encapsulate what I feel as a member of this Legislature, and what this government feels as a partner in Confederation, it would be my and our commitment to people.

The initiatives announced in the Speech from the Throne, our new Ministry of Northern Affairs, our health care programme, our educational system and many other programmes demonstrate this government’s and my concern for the ordinary citizens of Ontario.

Mr. Wildman: You missed all the problems you caused in 34 years.


Mr. Johnson: Let’s glance for a moment at some of the programmes which demonstrate this government’s intention to benefit people, all people. Small businesses are just one example of this government’s commitment to people. I would at this time like to reconfirm my government’s commitment to the small businesses of Ontario.

Mr. Bain: You are going to tax them more.

Mr. Eakins: You won’t have any problems up there.

Mr. Johnson: No sector of our province is more important to the spirit and growth of this province than the people involved in small business. The essence of Ontario’s society is the freedom, initiative and commitment to accomplishment that exists in small business. I would add, at the risk of angering the socialist segment of this House --

Mr. Martel: Watch the hordes.

Mr. Johnson: -- that it is the commitment of people in small business to free enterprise that keeps Ontario strong. Whether they are involved in farming, manufacturing or retailing, small business people in Ontario are a priority of this government and will remain so.

Mr. Bain: Do you disavow the Blair commission proposal to tax them even more?

Mr. Johnson: It is the small businesses that provide employment opportunities in so many of our smaller communities. Clearly, we must continue to stress their importance and through the activities of the development corporations and small business assistance programmes, aid their growth.

Small businessmen are people too, and we must give them the same attention given to anyone else.

Mr. Philip: The same way you did for the oil companies?

Mr. Wildman: How about the small gas stations?

Mr. Johnson: My riding consists of small businesses, farming and some of the most pleasant small towns in Ontario, each part depending upon the interaction and support of the others for its survival. Although primarily a rural riding, we do have problems similar to those in the urban centres.

Mr. Bain: Yes, the government.

Mr. Johnson: Local transportation and local employment opportunities for young people are two of the greatest problems we in rural ridings face.

Mr. Wildman: How can you have problems? The Tories have been in power for 34 years.

Mr. Johnson: In Ottawa and Toronto people argue over how many buses and trains will be provided. In Wellington-Dufferin-Peel we are concerned that basic services be maintained and improved. We in rural communities need far better transit systems connecting us with larger cities and other communities within our regions. My government has as much of a commitment to transportation needs in rural as in urban communities. Senior citizens, commuters, young families and students all require better bus and, if possible, rail service.

Mr. Bain: If it goes the way it has been going there won’t be any of either.

Mr. Johnson: With respect to employment, the problem is far too severe for the provincial government to solve on its own. However, as the Speech from the Throne indicates, we believe that all who wish to work should have the opportunity Incentives to businesses to increase productivity and hence employment, summer job programmes for students and a rational application of minimum wage laws and labour standards are all directed to providing more employment to people.

Small businesses in particular, if given the proper stimulus, could provide a great deal of employment for our pre-post-secondary youth. Farm vacation programmes such as the one practised successfully in Prince Edward Island and the farm income stabilization programme could provide a greater and more stable income for farmers and facilitate the hiring of more employees at reasonable wages.

All of these problems I have been discussing are faced by those of us who live outside the cities in northern and southern rural Ontario. They are difficult problems, no more so than in urban centres, but difficult problems nonetheless. I am sure, however, that my constituents and those similarly placed across the province will, with the help and concern of the provincial government, solve the problems facing them and Ontario today.

Mr. Speaker, Her Honour’s speech outlined a number of actions which addressed directly the problems we as a government face. Those actions show leadership and initiative and adoption of that speech by this Legislature will show that we as legislators are going to get that job done. We will continue to provide programmes which meet the needs of Ontario society, programmes that are reasonable based on need and cost effectiveness.

Needs such as those of our senior citizens -- financial assistance is required for senior-citizen homes and apartments. The provision of this form of assistance will relieve the pressure on hospitals and provide meaningful care to the people of Ontario who need our help the most.

Needs such as those of the agricultural community. The productivity of the agriculture industry in Ontario is a source of pride to all of us, yet there is still work to be done. Through tile drainage and other similar programmes, tens of millions of dollars have been committed to rural Ontario to increase productivity. Crop yield for tile-drained lands is estimated to be over double that of undrained lands. Ontario’s commitment to food production and the well-being of the farm community is more than just talk, or rather obscure ideals. It is a solid commitment to people, a financial commitment to make farms grow. Marketing opportunities for our products, technology, innovations as a result of work from our agriculture colleges, and tariff changes will further aid the farmers in facing the cost pressures that exist today.

Let me emphasize here today the concern and understanding that this government has for our farmers. They are business people, working very hard, investing in the province with a personal commitment to prosperity and seeking nothing more than a fair profit. This government has ensured and will continue to ensure that a climate exists where they can achieve that single, reasonable and honourable objective.

Ontario has just experienced a period of excessive inflation which appears to be coming to an end. I’m sure all members now are aware of the unemployment problems that we face. Rest assured that we will take action to do what we can, this government, to aid in providing work for the people of Ontario, meaningful employment throughout Ontario.

Mr. Wildman: Things are pretty tough.

Mr. Johnson: But let us at the same time reconfirm our commitment to restraint in the public sector and assistance to the private sector.

Mr. Wildman: Can we really afford more years of you?

Mr. Johnson: This government has participated in the anti-inflation programme and we have succeeded. This government has exercised restraint as directed by the Premier and we have succeeded. This government is committed to the rights of individuals to strive for excellence and we have succeeded. This government is committed to free enterprise consistent with responsibility and we have succeeded. This government is committed to a judicial system equitable to all and we have succeeded. This government is committed to a strong Confederation, Canada, and we will succeed.

Mr. Deans: This government should be committed.

Mr. Johnson: I request the support of this House and the adoption of the Throne Speech in this the 25th year of Her Majesty’s reign.

Mr. Moffatt: Before the member for London North starts, does he know where he is going?

Mr. Deans: Did he move to second some budget address?


Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member for London North is about to speak.

Mr. Shore: Mr. Speaker, as I have been given the distinction of seconding the motion put forward by my good friend and colleague, the hon. member for Wellington-Dufferin-Peel, that the Speech from the Throne delivered so eloquently by Her Honour the Lieutenant Governor be adopted, I cannot but feel that this represents a great and rare privilege. The Throne Speech is an all-embracing document offering us encouragement to face difficult tasks, expressing the hope and the confidence that we can overcome the obstacles that face Ontario and the challenge which now faces our nation.

Mr. Speaker, we now find ourselves at a crossroads.

Mr. Deans: Which way are you going?

Mr. Moffatt: There are four directions -- which way are you going to go?

Mr. Shore: I know now where I’m going.

Mr. Philip: He wants to go straight up.

Hon. Mr. Davis: You guys wish you did know.

Mr. Riddell: You’re not too sure of the people of London, though.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Oh yes, we are.

Mr. Shore: I have a lot of confidence in the people of London. The problem over there is that you have no confidence in yourselves.

Mr. Nixon: I guess Darcy remembers last year’s speech because he walked out.

Mr. Shore: Mr. Speaker, there comes a time in the history of every nation when that nation must decide whether it can answer the question of its own survival. During this period of conflict and testing --

Mr. Bain: Are you going to declare a war on somebody?

Mr. Shore: -- it is necessary that we, in Ontario, answer in a strong and firm voice. In this, as in so many other regards, I’m grateful for the leadership of our Premier, Mr. William Davis.

Mr. Moffatt: I’m sure you are the one who said, “Save us from Davis,” last year.

Mr. Nixon: He must have some friends.

Mr. Shore: He is a man who has carried this recent burden --

Mr. Cunningham: You are just lucky there aren’t four rows.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Eakins: He didn’t say that last year.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for London North will continue.

Mr. Shore: -- of responsibility with openness, sincerity and single-minded devotion.

Mr. Nixon: What a lot of crap.

Mr. Shore: The Premier has spoken clearly on this subject, travelling to Quebec, speaking to audiences in Ontario and throughout Canada, working to build a firm bulwark of dialogue, and establishing Ontario as a real leader in the battle to save Confederation. In the fire of, perhaps, the most serious crisis that we have ever had to face, our people can rest assured that this government will remain true to its goals, steadfast and determined.

Allow me, Mr. Speaker, to take this opportunity to be among the first in this session to offer to you my best wishes, along with your deputy. We are confident that you will preside over this chamber, demonstrating the same qualities of fairness and earnestness which have marked your service in the past.

Mr. Speaker, I stand before you today proudly --

Mr. Eakins: Your speech is better than last year, Marvin.

Mr. McCague: He has lots to talk about.

Mr. Shore: -- representing the constituency of London North, a riding which has a unique and special place --

Mr. Ferrier: That’s a Liberal commitment.

Mr. Shore: -- in the history of this province as well as the annals of the Progressive Conservative Party.

Mr. Deans: It certainly does.

Mr. Shore: For this is a riding whose boundaries take in parts of the area that were represented in this Legislature by such distinguished personalities as --

Mr. Cunningham: Gordon Walker.

Mr. Shore: -- the former Minister of Agriculture and Food, Mr. William Stewart, and the former Treasurer of Ontario, John White. And it cannot be forgotten --

Mr. Nixon: Is that South Cayuga John?

Mr. Shore: -- that London North is the historic riding of the former Premier of Ontario, John Robarts --

Mr. Bain: Oh, that! Those good old days.

Mr. Shore: -- a man whose name is synonymous with a whole air of integrity, good government and high ideals.

Mr. Moffatt: As opposed to --

Mr. Shore: From the first crack of an axe felling the trees that would become the first house at the forks of the Thames, London has led in the dynamic growth and prosperous development of the southwestern region of this great province of Ontario. A town by 1848 --

Mr. Eakins: That’s what Dave Peterson says.

Mr. Philip: He did a lot for the insurance companies.


Mr. Shore: -- a city by 1854, London became, by virtue of its ideal location and industrious inhabitants, the industrial and financial hub of the region. Freely translated, the motto of the city’s coat of arms reads: “Through labour and perseverance.” Yes, through labour and perseverance the city I proudly call my home has become a city of more than 250,000 people, responsible for more than $1 billion of manufacturing output each year.

London is as cosmopolitan in make-up as the fabric of Canada itself. Today, a street named after an old London location -- Hyde Park, Covent Garden, Chelsea Green or Piccadilly --

Mr. Nixon: How about Cheapside?

Mr. Shore: -- is likely as not to be the site of a Greek Orthodox Church, an Italian, German or Portuguese social club, a showing of works of art by a Dutch-Canadian painter or yet another example of the many cultural threads which make up the fabric of life in Canada.

Mr. Cunningham: How about the Hunt Club?

Mr. Shore: The cosmopolitan reality has come together in an atmosphere of understanding and equal opportunity to make London a dynamic and thriving community and the fourth largest city in this great province. What’s more, it has come together in a manner which proves beyond doubt the practicality of cultural co-existence. In this regard there is the Folk Arts Council of Women, which is the umbrella for more than 70 ethnic organizations in that city. This spirit of co-operation extends to many other institutions and thus has directly contributed to the quality of life in our city. This spirit is particularly evident in the contribution that labour, both organized and unorganized, is making to London’s communal life.

If London is a microcosm of Ontario, the riding of London North is surely a mirror image of the Canadian social and economic scene. From the efficient and productive industrial concentration in the east of my riding, regarded as a model for environmental and antipollution practices, to the new, carefully planned and prestigious residential areas in the west, the riding covers the entire spectrum of sociological and economic desires as well as achievements. I note proudly the number of women in London North who are active in community, professional and public life.

Like many residents of London and London North, I first came to the city as a young man seeking a beginning. I was fortunate to choose London for many reasons, not the least of which was the fact that the University of Western Ontario, one of the oldest and most prestigious campuses in Canada, is located in this city and, I am proud to say, partially located in the riding of London North. My parents, non-affluent, had taken it as a great joy to have me attend the university. Today, the student population of this soon to be 100-year-old seat of learning numbers nearly 20,000, the second largest enrolment of all Ontario universities. Another important element in this community is Fanshawe College, an institution which has demonstrated initiative and flexibility in meeting educational challenges. The city itself is served by more than 100 elementary and secondary schools.

The fact that quality of life is highly regarded in London is testified to by our many volunteer and community organizations as well as by a strong and creative cultural scene. Fortunately for all of us in London, we are able to work from a broad base of good planning which goes back many years. There are, for example, nearly 2,000 acres of parks and playgrounds in this city and London is indeed coming into its own as a sports hub for all of southwestern Ontario.

Mr. Ferrier: London has a real good mayor.

Mr. Shore: Yes, it has got a fine mayor.

As a centre for head and regional offices of major enterprises such as London Life, Canada Trust, Labatts, Northern Life, General Motors and 3-M, London is emerging as a bustling financial metropolis. In this ever-evolving community of competing and co-operative interests, fast and accurate reporting of news developments is assured by a concentration of media services. The media take seriously their responsibility to keep Londoners informed, and speaking personally as one who has been both lauded and roasted by them, I can personally attest to their tenacity.

While being proud of our accomplishments, Londoners cannot afford to lose sight of the problems which still confront us, for we share with the other cities in Ontario the whole series of challenges that are related to our increasing, complex, urban way of life. These are issues which all legislators can sympathize with. As a body we must stand together if we are to make London and her sister cities in this province the model for good living and environment.

Involved in public life because of my consistent and long-time commitment to free enterprise, educational opportunity, necessary reforms --

Mr. Nixon: I would say what an unfortunate word that was.

Mr. Shore: -- and the struggle for individual rights, I have been able to find a welcome and true political home in the party in whose midst I now stand.

Mr. Kerrio: How can you say that?


Mr. Shore: Having grown with experience, I have come to realize how fundamental is the importance of leadership. I will not shrink from saying what must be said in reply to those who spend their time pointing fingers. On the issues that concern me most and should concern all of us -- the economy, Confederation, the cost of living, education and the opportunities open to young people -- it is this government and this Premier who have taken the lead. It is important to recognize that as a province citizens are better served here, have more chances here, and have greater means of expression here than is the case in many other parts of this country.

We are well aware of the great challenges which lie before us -- economic threats, unemployment, housing issues, financial insecurities. These, my friends, are our real enemies and these are the issues, and our war against them must be intense, as unrelenting and as inspired as can be waged by a government not trapped with rigid, out-of-place ideology or by a caucus gone wild with bedlam disorganization.

Mr. Breithaupt: The one you were in.

Mr. Shore: Our proposals are decisive, realistic and forward-looking.

I believe this Throne Speech represents a continuing pledge that this government, so overwhelmingly endorsed by popular opinion, will continue a programme of action and development. Its content -- which includes such proposals as extended French-language education, a commission of freedom of information, the extension of rent controls, an effort to create jobs for the young people, to improve housing, and to better plan the management of our resources -- is individual, positive programmes designed to meet specific needs, and yet at the same time to be woven together to become the cloth from which the continued prosperity of this province will be cut.

If I might speak on one problem which has long concerned me and to which the Progressive Conservative caucus is making a strong commitment, it is in the area of small and independent business.

Mr. Nixon: Free lunch at caucus.

Mr. Shore: If small business -- which includes most of our firms and is the wellspring for so much of our competitive initiative and new ideas -- can’t make it, then our whole system will suffer and each of us will pay a price. It is evident that a highly competitive economy is still the best consumer protection as it is the best guarantee of our individual right to choose. In keeping with the spirit, the Premier has taken the lead and established a caucus committee that would be a link between the government and the interests of small-business men and women.

I have been given the responsibility and the honour to serve with men who have real experience and genuine concern, the member for Scarborough Centre (Mr. Drea), the member for York North (Mr. Hodgson), the member for Wellington-Dufferin-Peel (Mr. Johnson), and the member for Lanark (Mr. Wiseman). We have set out to travel to various parts of this province, meeting business people, listening to problems and complaints, coming to grips with several alternatives and seeking to arrive at well-considered policy proposals. This is an opportunity which we cannot allow to fall from our grasp.

We are therefore pleased to see the additional initiatives for small business in the Speech from the Throne -- the advisory committee, the lending assistance, and so on. It reflects a real and practical sensitivity which is what government is all about here in Ontario.

Mr. Deans: Do you mean you are taking credit for all that?

Mr. Eakins: You put in an application.

Mr. Shore: Another issue with which I am heavily involved is that of educational reform and a return to a more basic approach to learning. As a parent with three children in the school system, as a former chairman of the board of education in London, and as an elected provincial member, my record is clear and unwavering. My fight for new guidelines in spending, a return to core curriculum, essential basics in the teaching of English, three Rs in the elementary school, a renewed emphasis on standards, and a decentralized more-human system was begun literally years ago.

Mr. Kerrio: That’s our policy.

Mr. Eakins: You said that last year.

Mr. Shore: In this regard, I can only applaud the curriculum reforms recently announced by the Minister of Education (Mr. Wells).

Mr. Breithaupt: You can swallow anything if you can swallow that.

Mr. Shore: As he has said, we cannot leave it to chance that young people get the fundamentals. We have to ensure it.

Mr. Eakins: Is that what the Premier has done?

Mr. Shore: While much has been done, while in some instances it might have been slow coming, there have been great accomplishments. Much still remains to be done. There is absolutely no reason why our children cannot get the greatest education that money and caring and reasoned government can supply.

The Speech from the Throne is a human and responsive document. It seeks to lead and to serve and to lay before this House the programme that does both. Ontario’s real economic and social needs will be advanced through carefully balanced and fair government, government which all responsible members of the opposition will, I am sure, wish to support and sustain.

Instability in Ontario now and unnecessary manoeuvres in this House by those that would distort the will of the people will only discredit the institution of the Legislature and foster a lack of confidence at a time when confidence in ourselves as Canadians and Ontarians, confidence in our institutions and capacity, is more necessary than ever before. Canadians in our province are not looking for expressions of no-confidence in our future and in ourselves. We are looking for the confidence that builds nations, fosters understanding and provides growth and prosperity. That is what this Speech from the Throne offers us all.

In summary, while I am not party to the politics of pie-in-the-sky optimism in that I realize the tough challenges that lie ahead in the economy, in Confederation, in promoting the best welfare for our citizens, I can remain confident because of the often-demonstrated concerns and decency of this government and its leaders.

If the hopes expressed in the Throne Speech are to be fulfilled --

Mr. Deans: It will be a miracle.

Mr. Shore: -- all of the members of this Legislature must co-operate, despite their partisan differences, for the sake of the higher ideal of real service to the people of Ontario in these difficult times. That is why with great pride I second the motion to adopt Her Honour’s Speech from the Throne. Let it he said that in the face of adversity the bywords of this Parliament were to remain strength, compassion, justice.

On motion by Mr. Deans, the debate was adjourned.



Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I move that on Thursday, April 7, the House meet from 10 a.m. till 1 p.m. --

Mr. Deans: Why is that, by the way?

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- and when the House adjourns on that day it will stand adjourned until Tuesday, April 12.

Mr. Deans: Don’t you really think it is more important to do the business of the House --

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Davis moved that on Thursday, April 7, the House meet from 10 a.m. till 1 p.m., and when the House adjourns on that day it will stand adjourned until Tuesday, April 12.

Motion agreed to.

Hon. Mr. Welch moved that the membership of the standing committees established on March 31 be as follows:

Social development committee -- 15 members as follows: Belanger, Conway, Dukszta, Ferris, Grande, Jones, Kennedy, Kerrio, Leluk, McClellan, Sandeman, Shore, Sweeney, Villeneuve, Wiseman.

Resources development committee -- 15 members as follows: Bain, Eakins, Eaton, Ferrier, Gaunt, Hodgson, Johnson (Wellington-Dufferin-Peel), Lane, Laughren, Martel, McNeil, Reed (Halton-Burlington), Riddell, Rollins, Yakabuski.

Administration of justice committee -- 15 members as follows: Drea, Edighoffer, Gigantes, Grossman, Johnston, (St. Catharines), Kennedy, Lawlor, Leluk, Lupusella, Maeck, Philip, Renwick, Roy, Singer, Stong.

General government committee -- 15 members as follows: Cassidy, di Santo, Evans, Good, Gregory, Irvine, McEwen, McCague, Morrow, Reid (Rainy River), Rollins, Ruston, Smith (Nipissing), Warner and Wildman.

Public accounts committee -- 11 members as follows: Angus, Drea, Germa, Grossman, Hall, Mackenzie, Makarchuk, Peterson, Sargent, Shore, Williams.

Statutory instruments committee -- eight members as follows: Belanger, Davison (Hamilton Centre), Johnson (Wellington-Dufferin-Peel), Jones, Mancini, McKessock, Samis, Williams.

Procedural affairs committee -- eight members as follows: Drea, Campbell, Cunningham, Eaton, Foulds, Haggerty, Irvine and Morrow.

Members’ services committee -- eight members as follows: Davidson (Cambridge), Evans, Givens, Lane, McNeil, Miller (Haldimand-Norfolk), Moffatt, Swart.

Motion agreed to.

On motion by Hon. Mr. Welch, the House adjourned at 12:02 p.m.