30th Parliament, 4th Session

L004 - Mon 4 Apr 1977 / Lun 4 avr 1977

The House met at 2 p.m.


Mr. Speaker: Statements by the ministry.


Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, on Friday the government of Quebec tabled in the legislature of that province a language charter which, as a prelude to promised language legislation in that province, is a document of both import, significance and controversy. Many questions with respect to the direction and tenor of that document have been raised from various sources, including many outside the province of Quebec.

I want to inform the House that I have directed the law officers of the Crown to prepare a detailed opinion for the cabinet as to the legality of some of the proposed areas of language legislation in the context of the constitution and its various restrictions and guarantees.

We do take the view, and I cannot express it strongly enough to members of the Legislature, that all governments must operate within the confines of the constitution. While it is legitimate to seek change in that document, it would not be legitimate to operate outside the constitution for any reason or purpose.

It would be our expectation that any legislation emanating from any province which was ultra vires, would be challenged. In view of the great sensitivity of this legislation, when and if it is brought down, it would be our expectation that the federal government would be prepared to initiate such a challenge, should they have an opinion which deems its provisions to be unconstitutional.

I would like, therefore, to register our province’s concern with respect to the constitutionality of this proposed legislation, without commenting generally at this time on the tenor and direction of the charter.

I would also like to take this opportunity to provide one basic assurance, to this House and to the people of Ontario, with respect to a very deeply held commitment in this province. Whatever legislation or restrictions may be imposed in another province or jurisdiction with respect to minority rights, this province’s commitment to our Franco-Ontarian citizens, to their educational, language and social rights will not be diminished.

As I have tried to explain before, that commitment is not tied to the welfare of any minority group elsewhere; it is tied to our commitment here in Ontario to an open, diverse and pluralistic society, strengthened by the vitality of our two founding peoples, and enriched by the presence of a multicultural milieu. We will continue to seek ways of improving and expanding, where fair and practical and where numbers justify it, French-language government services throughout Ontario. Our commitment to French-language public education and increased second-language French education stands.

I might add, by the way, that French-speaking residents of Quebec who choose to move to Ontario have full and unrestricted access to our French-language public school system -- without limit. I take great exception to any proposed denial of similar rights to Ontarians moving to our sister province of Quebec.

The French-language culture and French Canadian reality are an indelible part of Ontario’s heritage and make-up -- a reality we are all richer and better for embracing and advancing within the context of our society as a whole.


Hon. Mrs. Birch: Mr. Speaker, I would like to explain some of the background and provide further details concerning the initiatives affecting children’s services which were announced Tuesday in the Speech from the Throne.

It has often been said before, but it bears repeating, that children most need to be able to grow up in a normal fashion, nurtured by family and community. Where problems arise, help needs to be available in ways that will reinforce the family unit and rely on community resources.

For many years this government has been committed to helping children and their families and communities. As a result, programmes have arisen and evolved in a variety of ways.

Our efforts to increase the range and variety of services have, inevitably, produced inconsistencies -- as between insured health services for children, social services for children and so forth. Motivated by a primacy of concern for children, many efforts have been made to cope with the interrelated services. Spontaneous voluntary efforts at co-ordination have developed in a number of communities.

At the provincial level, the cabinet committee on social development commissioned the study of residential services, and created as well the interministerial council for troubled children and youth in order to identify possible avenues of reform, and produce improved co-ordinating structures.

The government has now concluded that it is appropriate and necessary to make two fundamental changes. At the provincial level, a new division of the Ministry of Community and Social Services will be established to provide for the total spectrum of services for children with special needs, excepting only special education services which will continue to be the responsibility of the Ministry of Education.

At the community level, children’s services committees will be established under regional and local governments.

The new division in the Ministry of Community and Social Services will have responsibility for: (a) overall policy development; (b) the development of unified standards and licensing; (c) financing; (d) those services which will continue to be provided directly, and (e) procedures for monitoring and evaluation.

At the community level, the children’s services committees will be responsible and have authority and resources for:

(a) Determining the special needs of children and taking the responsibility for ensuring appropriate assessment and placement services;

(b) Ensuring that appropriate services are provided. The committee would not be expected to deliver services directly, but rather would acquire them from suitable agencies. Where services are not available locally, services could be acquired elsewhere;

(c) Monitoring and evaluation;

(d) Ensuring or exercising wardship responsibilities for children placed in care under The Child Welfare Act, The Training Schools Act, The Juvenile Delinquents Act, or their successors. The Family Court would adjudicate under these Acts; the local committee would take the responsibility for ensuring the proper care and custody of the child;

(e) The planning necessary to meet community needs.

It is essential to focus on the individual child and his family rather than on the various systems and institutions. We feel communities are best able to do this. The government wants to ensure that a child is supported in his or her own home whenever possible, and that residential services and placement outside the home should occur only if essential, and that this should be provided in the child’s own community except in the most unusual circumstances.

We look to work with communities to ensure that whatever group homes are required are provided within the home community of the children served. We look to see arrangements made with the family courts that will further safeguard the rights of children. We hope that the federal proposals for new legislations affecting young offenders will harmonize with our own reforms.

It will take time to effect these changes.

Mrs. Campbell: Thirty-four years.

Hon. Mrs. Birch: My colleague, the Minister of Community and Social Services, will provide details in a moment on how the policy will evolve and how we are committed to consult with those who are now engaged in one way or another in the provision of services for children.

I have said in this Legislature before, and I must repeat, that probably we will never have all the answers. There are no magic cures, and despite the public’s expectations we will not achieve success with all of our children, but we are committed and we will try.

This government is determined to put an end to the isolation of children who need care, to put an end to the multiple assessments that many children are subjected to, and to put an end to the sometimes senseless movement of children from one service to another. The integration of children’s services underlines our determination to provide a compassionate, caring and effective flow of services to the many children who need our help.

Copies of the statements have been placed in the mail boxes of all members and I’m now tabling a compendium of background information.

Mr. Cassidy: Is that why it took you three and a half years to prepare it?

Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, it is the commitment of this government to unify the separate programmes into an integrated system that is better designed to meet the special needs of children and youth across this province. The first step of implementation of this policy at the provincial level will be the introduction of legislation this session to effect the transfer of the following programmes to this new division:

From the Ministry of Health: children’s mental health services branch of the ministry, facilities and programmes operated under The Children’s Mental Health Centres Act; regional children’s centres; special units for children in psychiatric hospitals, and the family court clinics.

From the Ministry of Correctional Services: the juvenile division of this ministry; its training schools; group homes; foster homes; special rates homes; probation and after-care services.


From the Ministry of the Attorney General: observation and detention centres and contract homes.

From within the Ministry of Community and Social Services: the child welfare branch of the ministry and facilities and programmes operated under The Child Welfare Act, including Children’s Aid Societies, The Children’s Institutions Act, The Children’s Boarding Homes Act, and The Charitable Institutions Act (for Children); the child abuse programme of the ministry; mental retardation services for children; the day nurseries branch of the ministry, and facilities and programmes operated under The Day Nurseries Act.

The new reporting relationships will take effect on July 1, 1977, but over the next few months there will be considerable discussion on the specific implementation of this policy. In some programmes, such as psychiatric, mental retardation and day care, it is anticipated that administrative changes will take a little longer period of time to implement in order that the transfer may be accomplished as smoothly as possible. Other programmes, not yet identified, may also be included in the new children’s services area.

In addition to the organizational transfer, it is my intention to move towards omnibus children’s legislation that will rationalize and reform such matters as licensing requirements, operating standards and funding.

To implement these changes at the provincial level, I take great pleasure announcing the appointment, effective immediately, of Judge George Thomson, judge of the provincial court (family division) in Kingston, to the position of associate deputy minister, reporting directly to me.

Mr. Deans: How about someone from Wentworth?

Hon. Mr. Norton: Throughout Ontario, and in fact Canada, Judge Thomson has initiated training programmes for the bench to help judges in the area of juveniles. Through leadership in numerous local provincial and Canada-wide committees and boards and through extensive written publications, Judge Thomson has established a very high reputation in the area of family law, and in particular with respect to juveniles and children. He has the direct personal experience, empathy and commitment necessary to spearhead the implementation of the overall goals of an integrated children’s services system.

To assist Judge Thomson, I’m pleased to announce that Mr. Peter Barnes, director of organization, policy branch of Management Board, is named as executive director of the new division. Mr. Barnes has several years’ experience both within the Ontario government and as a consultant to many levels of government, both in Canada and in Europe, specializing in organizational matters. The integration of the children’s programme both at the provincial and the local level will require the special skills and the sensitivity that Mr. Barnes brings to bear on this new office.

Similarly, at the local level, we will be moving quickly to implement the policy in which local governments will be responsible for ensuring the provision of services to their own children. In consultation with regional governments, we will start the implementation at this level with the establishment of local regional governments, appropriate methods of cost-sharing for these children’s services. In so doing, we will also take into account the implications of the proposed federal Young Offenders Act and Social Services Act.

For those municipalities not under regional government, the province will be initiating pilot projects to begin to phase in, in a unified approach, children’s services. The pilot projects would demonstrate various ways to provide for a consolidated approach best suited to that particular community.

In order to provide ample opportunity for consultation with local governments and agencies, and yet move as swiftly as possible toward the consolidation of these services, I will be announcing, not later than July 1, a full timetable for the implementation at the community level.

The implementation of the consolidation of children’s services will take the co-operation of literally thousands of government staff and many more thousands of staff from agencies, residences and services throughout this province. If we are to reach our goal of an integrated delivery system that truly meets the needs of each child, there will need to be a high priority placed upon consultation. To this end I have already written to the heads of provincial staff, agencies and residences that have been identified to date, to outline the proposed changes and to solicit their assistance.

Over the next few months. I will be holding meetings with these senior staff and with key agencies to inform them of the progress and to seek their comments, concerns and support. I’m confident that these people, as well as the members of this Legislature, share my concern in providing the very best possible special services for children and youth. Over the coming months and years I trust that we will move together towards this goal.


Hon. Mr. Auld: I am pleased to report that a settlement has been reached in contract negotiations between the government and the Ontario Provincial Police Association.

The new agreement runs from April 1, 1977, to March 31, 1978, and will provide a salary increase of 7.4 per cent for the 3,900 members of the bargaining unit, except for probationary constables, who will receive 6.6 per cent. In addition, there will be improvements in shift premium and vacation entitlement, and the government will pay 100 per cent of the OHIP premium and 85 per cent of the premium for the long-term income protection plan. The previous figures were 90 per cent and 75 per cent respectively. The plain clothes allowance will be increased by $50 per year.

In a similar announcement following last year’s negotiations, I recall making reference to the fact that the parties to these negotiations had established the enviable record of not having required the assistance of a third party to resolve salary differences in all the years that they have been negotiating -- I think it’s some 10 years. I am pleased that the record has been extended another year.

There are those who claim that real bargaining does not take place in a system that has binding arbitration as the final dispute-settling mechanism. The successful completion of all contracts with this association in direct negotiations is clear evidence that our system can and does work where the people at the bargaining table have the will to make it work.


Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Speaker, last Thursday the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Lewis) produced a document I had not seen and asked for comment on the disposition of HOME lands now that the HOME programme has evolved into a grant programme. I would like to respond in the form of a statement so as not to take up the time of the question period.

I find the document he was quoting from was material provided to Ontario lenders when the ministry was exploring whether or not it would be prepared to lend under the proposed programme. The figures were preliminary but close to what we have in mind for the disposition of land as it is developed.

As we have been saying since the announcement of the new programme, we will continue to develop our holdings at a rate of between 3,500 to 4,000 housing units a year. These would be marketed to builders at the lower end of the market appraisals with the bulk being used for housing under the new AHOP/HOME plan and the others for a range of housing. That’s exactly what the document says.

When the programme was announced on March 7, I said: “Ottawa has agreed with us that the land we and they have purchased should be sold at market values -- actually at the low end of market, as we will use the lowest of three appraisals -- primarily but not exclusively to builders who will make use of the AHOP/HOME ownership assistance programme.

“This will have two benefits. Our funds generated from the sale will be used for housing-related programmes. This provides additional financing for housing at a time of constraint both in Ottawa and Queen’s Park. Second, it will provide for the development of more balanced communities in the larger government developments. The same range of housing types can be developed there as developed in neighbouring private subdivisions.”

My press release at that date stated we would be developing land “in a way that would create more balanced communities” and that this has been discussed with and agreed to by the federal Minister of State for Urban Affairs, the Hon. Andre Ouellet, as CMHC is the major shareholder in many of the land banks.

The material quoted by the Leader of the Opposition from the memorandum to the lenders is in agreement with the policy as I announced it. The memo contains some preliminary estimates that some of the land units likely to come on to the market in the current fiscal year would be of higher- priced land which would result in housing over the AHOP limits. It will depend upon appraisals as to whether or not the land will fit with the new programme. However, I would point out the programme is universal -- not restricted to housing on government land -- so it is available across Ontario and not just in HOME subdivisions.

The Leader of the Opposition stated that selling land at close to market will provide a profit to the two levels of government. This, of course, is true. That’s what we said when we announced the programme and said the money would be ploughed back into other housing programmes.

He suggested the first buyers should benefit from any increase in land value and not the taxpayers whose agency develops the land. I would point out his party for years argued that under the original HOME plan, individuals should not be allowed to reap the benefits of enhanced value, that it should go to the state.

On June 22, 1973 -- as quoted on page 3814 of Hansard -- the former minister responsible for housing announced a change in the HOME plan where “any increment in the land value, therefore, will accrue to the public instead of a private individual” as land will be sold at market value and not at the price set when the lease began. This was warmly greeted by the then NDP housing critic, the member for Ottawa Centre who stated: “It looks like the minister has been reading NDP policy.”

As for keeping the municipalities informed, I would tell the hon. member we mailed details on the new programme to all municipalities. Also, we have already held two of about a dozen workshops which will be used to discuss details with municipal officials. Some municipalities will want representatives of the ministry to appear and discuss the matter. This has already occurred and we will be pleased to do so.

Under the new approach, we will follow the accepted procedures in dealing with the municipalities. We will still apply to them for subdivision approvals as we have done in the past. Municipalities will have as much say as before, as we will be acting as any normal developer.

Mr. S. Smith: And land speculator.


Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, just by way of a perhaps somewhat longer answer to a question which was asked on Friday with respect to the Pan-Am Games in Hamilton, my understanding is that the council of the city now wishes to invite the games to Hamilton. So far as I know, the city of Hamilton is not at present considering what is known as a vote on a money bylaw. The city has under present legislation the ability to approach the Ontario Municipal Board for permission to have a vote between elections of the electors, tenants included, to gain opinion if it wishes.

This broad approach that the hon. member for Hamilton West seems to favour is there now if the city council wishes to pursue it. On the issue of eligibility to vote on money bylaws, if and when it comes to that -- and they are very rare occurrences in Ontario these days, since we rely basically on representative councils and the Ontario Municipal Board to make these decisions -- I would be glad to review the base from which these votes are taken as we review, as we are doing now, The Municipal Elections Act.

Mr. Speaker: Oral questions.

Mr. Deans: In rising, Mr. Speaker, just before I ask a question, I wanted to say to you, sir, that I am sure I speak for more than just my own colleagues when I say to the Premier that we welcome his concerns expressed on behalf of the government of Ontario with regard to the recent position taken by Quebec. I would just like to assume that we will be kept informed as to what answers come from his constitutional questions and that he will make some representations to the Prime Minister of Canada.


Mr. Deans: The question that I have is to the Minister of Labour: Can the Minister of Labour produce any epidemiological study, other than that provided by Dr. Selikoff, to justify the action taken by the Workmen’s Compensation Board last week with regard to Aime Bertrand?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I have seen the report of an epidemiological analysis of the information provided by Dr. Selikoff to the Workmen’s Compensation Board. I do not have a copy in my possession at the moment, but I shall be glad to get a copy and to present it to the hon. member.

Mr. Deans: Can the minister indicate what it is about this relationship among the Ministry of Labour, the Workmen’s Compensation Board and Dr. Selikoff that has the board accept at face value evidence presented only some months ago by Dr. Selikoff with regard to cancer of similar types in other organs, because it happened to suit the board to do it, and now turn around at this time, on similar evidence, properly put together, and turn it down with just simply a reference to Dr. Miller at the University of Toronto?


Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, the acceptance by the Workmen’s Compensation Board of the classification of cancer of the gastro-intestinal tract in asbestos workers was made not upon examination of Dr. Selikoff’s information at face value at all. It was made upon the examination of all of the published information regarding asbestos and gastro-intestinal cancers which was carried out by Dr. Ritchie and then reviewed in an accurate and very long epidemiological study by Dr. Miller. Indeed, the response in that instance, I think, was entirely responsible.

The paper, which has been provided by Dr. Selikoff, is one piece of paper with some figures on it listing the results which he found in his study of asbestos workers -- with no real conclusions drawn. Therefore, that paper was submitted to the epidemiological study which has been carried out on the previous information, and the epidemiologist reported his finding would be that Dr. Selikoff’s results were, indeed, equivocal rather than being specifically on one side or the other.

At this time there are two other studies of this matter being carried out, and when those are produced and published -- and I do wish that Dr. Selikoff would publish his material so that it could be subjected to the critical analysis of his peer group -- we shall again be reviewing this specific matter.

Mr. Laughren: Supplementary: In view of the fact that the Workmen’s Compensation Board indicated previously that they were awaiting Dr. Selikoff’s report before making a final decision on laryngeal cancer, how is it that the Minister of Labour allows Dr. McCracken then to seek out evidence to the contrary rather than extending to the workers of this province the benefit of the doubt? And, further, doesn’t the minister think Dr. McCracken has outlived his usefulness on the Workmen’s Compensation Board of this province?

Mr. Warner: He should resign.

Hon. B. Stephenson: I would first say that I think Dr. McCracken is serving both the workers of Ontario and the Workmen’s Compensation Board extremely well. He is functioning as a very concerned, responsible physician in this aspect.

Mr. Warner: That board runs by itself.

Hon. B. Stephenson: The report presented by Dr. Selikoff was only one of the pieces of information we had asked for. If, indeed, the epidemiological study of Dr. Selikoff’s figures -- and I must admit when one looks at Dr. Selikoff’s single sheet of paper the first impression is that there is a direct causal relationship which, unfortunately, does not stand up under the epidemiological scrutiny it has been subjected to. There are other experts in this area --

Mr. Warner: By whom? Let’s see the answer.

Hon. B. Stephenson: Dr. Selikoff is not the only one.

Mr. Warner: You’re playing games.

Hon. B. Stephenson: He is an important researcher whose information we value, but it must be subjected to the kind of analysis which any other researcher’s studies would be subjected to. On that basis, at this time, there is no reason for accepting the causal relationship between asbestos and laryngeal cancer.

Mr. Laughren: Supplementary: If decisions such as this one are being made because of pressures applied to the Compensation Board by the employers of this province, will the minister direct the employers in Ontario that if they find the assessment of compensation against them to be too heavy, they clean up the work place and not extract the pound of flesh from the workers?

Mr. Warner: Why don’t you get some control over that board?

Hon. B. Stephenson: That is a spurious accusation. The decisions made by the Workmen’s Compensation Board are not subjected to any pressure from any employers. They are made independently --

Mr. Warner: It runs by itself.

Hon. B. Stephenson: -- by the specialists and the consultants which the Workmen’s Compensation Board asks for advice, and that advice is entirely independent of everyone.

Mr. Warner: Including you?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Yes, including me.

Mr. Mackenzie: I would like to ask the minister at what point, apart from the studies and surveys, Aime Bertrand gets the benefit of the doubt in his tragic case?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I have promised Mr. Bertrand that I will review the decision which was made in his case, and I intend to do that.

Mr. Deans: Just for clarification -- it’s not a supplementary. Did I understand you correctly -- in answer to my question -- that you will produce the additional epidemiological studies that were done to justify the decision?

Hon. B. Stephenson: I said that I had seen a copy of the submission which was made by Dr. Miller to Dr. McCracken. I will try to get a copy of that letter for the hon. member.

Mr. Deans: Maybe this is a good time for a freedom-of-information bill.


Mr. Deans: I have a question for the Treasurer. Will the Treasurer produce for the House all the capital-works-projects proposals of all the ministries, and all those produced for the Ontario Municipal Board by municipalities for the years 1974 through 1977, and the state of completion or readiness that they are now at, in order that we can determine which, if any, can be proceeded with now to create employment in the province of Ontario?

Mr. Breithaupt: He can answer that off the top of his head.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Well, no, not off the top of my head, as I heard somebody say.

Mr. Nixon: Starting to get thinner.

Mr. Cassidy: Shame.

Mr. Laughren: Some Management Board.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I would think you would have to ask the various ministries as to what capital projects they might or might not have on the shelf, so to speak, and what position they would be in to accelerate or otherwise if funds became available. I would have no such list, nor do I think would the Chairman of Management Board. We could go through various submissions, I suppose, which are made to Management Board, but often we find that even six or eight months or a year later they are out of date and priorities have changed, and they might not necessarily be on the list.

With respect to those expenditure items, capital works programmes which would be put in front of the Ontario Municipal Board, I think that information in gross amount is contained in the Municipal Board annual report, which is tabled in this Legislature by the Attorney General. I believe that figure would be there. There again, I’m not sure that the Ontario Municipal Board keeps any ongoing record of what has been not approved for one reason or another.

I would also say that, not to my certain knowledge but certainly by comments made by the Municipal Board and others, I think it is fair to say that very little that has been put forward to the board in the last couple of years has not been approved. When the urge to restrain went forward from me to the board in the supplementary actions and in the last budget, the municipalities responded very well and did not, in fact, make application to the board for greater amounts than either the board thought to be prudently handled, or which were not in the nature of something which really needed to be done as opposed to wanted to be done.

So I think the variance between what was proposed to the board and what the board approved is probably very small, and that information, I think, would have to come from the municipalities.

Mr. Deans: A supplementary question: What then did the Treasurer’s statement on page 9 of the Throne Speech mean when he said “special funding to create jobs in both the private and public sectors will be a feature of the new Ontario budget,” if he doesn’t know what his own government was proposing to do during the years 1974 through 1982 in terms of capital projects and the possibility of the use of those to create employment for people not working?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I think we are talking about apples and oranges as opposed --

Mr. Breaugh: No, bread and butter.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: -- to the very large aspirations of the ministries at any given point in time.

Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary to the first question asked by the member for Wentworth, regarding what’s in front of the OMB, has the Treasurer spoken with the Attorney General to see if something can be done to speed up the pace about the hearing regarding Toronto’s downtown plan, given the rate of construction unemployment in this particular city? Has he also asked whether or not it’s possible to have the senior citizens’ projects separated out from the present OMB hearings so that they can proceed more rapidly and create the construction jobs accordingly?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, I discussed this matter with the Attorney General as recently as an hour and a half ago, and the member might like to direct the question to him.

Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Supplementary, the member for Ottawa Centre.

Mrs. Campbell: Answer the question.

Mr. Cassidy: To the Treasurer. Can the Treasurer say --

Mr. S. Smith: It is hard to redirect a supplementary.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I believe the hon. Treasurer provided the opportunity to transfer the question -- to the Attorney General, was it? Is there an answer, Mr. Attorney General?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Yes, Mr. Speaker, I met with the chairman of the Ontario Municipal Board last week to discuss this problem, and we discussed it in some detail, he having reviewed it with his own people before. He indicated that in his view there was no practical way that any of these matters could be separated out.

An hon. member: Why not?

Mr. Speaker: All right, the member for Ottawa Centre.

Mr. Cassidy: Since the Treasurer has said that he has not canvassed the government departments to find out what jobs could be created this year by the acceleration of provincial projects, can he say how many jobs have been lost over the last few months by the reduction of $77 million in lending by the Ontario Mortgage Corporation and the Development Corporation?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I think that opens up a new area.

An hon. member: No, it’s the same thing.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. This is a supplementary. Final supplementary, the member for York North.

Mr. MacDonald: In view of the universal concern about unemployment, would the provincial Treasurer canvass the ministries within his own government and in his budget indicate what share for public works, capital works projects, there is? Surely it is easier for him to do that than for us to ask each ministry -- and it’s a very relevant piece of information for his budget.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, one can ask ministries what they would like to do if money was no problem, yes. Certainly that is done from time to time, and we would have --

Mr. Foulds: Just before an election usually.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: -- a rather large list -- a very large list -- of public works projects.

Mr. MacDonald: Would the Treasurer exercise his judgement?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: That’s exactly what we do. In the course of preparing a budget that’s exactly what Management Board does. We exercise our judgement.

Mr. Foulds: Usually bad.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: We have been spending for the last four or five years, I would guess, in the neighbourhood of a billion and a half to two billion dollars on capital projects of one kind or another, which is very large indeed. No jobs have been lost because of the reduction in spending by either the Ontario Mortgage Corporation or the Ontario Development Corporation.

The Ontario Mortgage Corporation rates are such that they are now no longer, I think this is fair to say, an inducement. Private-sector mortgage money is available and those are the reasons why that money was not taken up, rather than a curbing on the spending of it by the Minister of Housing.

With respect to the Ontario Development Corporation, the demand for loans simply has not been there.


Mr. S. Smith: A question for the Attorney General, Mr. Speaker: Knowing that the Attorney General shares with me the view that the present construction unemployment in Toronto and in Ontario generally is really an emergency, could the Attorney General explain why he will accept the view of the OMB chairman that (a) the senior citizens’ projects could not be separated out and (b) that the hearings have to go on at the present somewhat leisurely pace? Surely in an emergency the Attorney General could instruct the OMB to meet overtime on a regular basis to get this matter on the road and get these people at work as soon as possible.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Firstly, Mr. Speaker, the counsel for the city of Toronto has considerable discretion in the manner in which he chooses to present his case; and the members of the Municipal Board -- the three members who are hearing this matter -- don’t feel that they have any right to indicate to counsel the manner in which the case is produced or how quickly the city’s case is completed.

Just following this matter in the press, I think the leader of the Liberal Party will have noted, as I have, some concern, expressed publicly by various members of the board hearing it from time to time, as to speeding up the process. I think the members who are hearing the matter are urging counsel to proceed as expeditiously as possible but there are obvious limitations in that respect.

With respect to the technical problems involved in relation to separating out any specific projects -- namely the senior citizens’ projects -- I have a number of details and information in my office in relation to this, and rather than just trust on my recollection today I’d prefer to attempt to respond in greater detail tomorrow with respect to the technical problems that confront any effort to separate projects and expedite them or the bylaws that would affect them.


Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary; I appreciate the answer but could the Attorney General tell the House whether he has personally communicated to the mayor of Toronto his concern, and his government’s concern, that counsel for the city proceed more expeditiously and more rapidly. And can he assure that if counsel will proceed more expeditiously that the OMB officers would be willing to work overtime to get some of these projects underway while the need is still great?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I haven’t communicated directly with respect to the mayor of the city of Toronto. As a practising lawyer for some years, I always regarded it as inappropriate to communicate with a client with advice as to how their counsel should conduct a matter before the courts or tribunal. I don’t think this would be proper for me, with all due respect.

With respect to the longer sittings, I think the board members have been prepared to sit regularly and for reasonable hours. There is a very large volume of highly technical evidence that is being introduced -- some say overly technical, or this view has been expressed by individual members of the board -- and to expect them to sit any longer hours than what they are sitting, I don’t think it is in the public interest, because I think individuals in any type of hearing such as this are capable of only absorbing facts for so many hours a day. I think the leader of the Liberal Party with his own professional training would appreciate that problem.

Mr. Speaker: The member for London Centre.

Mr. Peterson: As a Metro member particularly and one who is sensitive about these kind of problems -- and I think it is the kind of thing that requires assistance from everyone, particularly from the minister as a Metro member -- would he be prepared personally to attempt to come to some kind of accommodation with Metro and with the OMB to accelerate this? Would he get involved from now on?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: With respect, Mr. Speaker, I don’t really understand the question. I don’t know in what manner the hon. member is suggesting the Attorney General become involved. I think in matters such as this there are a number of interested parties with conflicting views. I think it would be most inappropriate for the Attorney General to intervene in the manner suggested.


Mr. S. Smith: A question, Mr. Speaker, for the Minister of Housing: In view of the rather severe hardships, including some evictions in Toronto and in Ottawa, caused by the attempts of OHC and local housing authorities to collect so-called arrears which resulted from the retroactive exclusion of public housing from rent review, would the minister not agree to forgive the additional amounts charged for that period, December 1975 to the third week in May 1976? Would he at least agree to meet with representatives of the various tenants’ groups to discuss this particular unfortunate situation? There have now been evictions, as he knows, in Toronto and in Ottawa.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Speaker, the hon. member, I am sure, is aware that a great many of the persons who were residing in the particular units he is referring to have in fact paid the rents they would have been required to pay under the normal rent-geared-to-income scale. It would be improper, I believe, to now forgive those who did not. Despite some of the comments that have been made, Ontario Housing Corporation officials have attempted in many ways to accommodate the payment of those funds. There has been no pressure brought to bear.

Mr. Good: Doesn’t the minister call eviction pressure?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: As I understand it the evictions have only come about as a result of people who have flatly refused to pay the rents they were required to pay under a rent-geared-to-income scale.

Mr. Speaker: Further questions?

Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary; is the minister aware of the case in Ottawa February 14 where a young couple with two small children were made homeless under rent review? The husband 23, an illiterate; the wife 19, naive. They paid their rent; they were then asked for arrears of $500, the amount by which their rent went up. They were asked to sign a paper agreeing to pay the arrears and they thought they had no alternative but to sign so they signed. Then they were evicted because they failed to pay these arrears. Has the minister looked into that particular case? Doesn’t he think this type of hardship was unforeseen by the House?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Speaker, I must say I am not familiar with that particular case. I would be pleased to hear the details, although some of them are a little bit strange as portrayed by the hon. member.

Mr. S. Smith: It’s not particularly funny.

Mr. Good: Supplementary: Did the minister authorize this or was he aware of the fact that during the term that rent review procedures were legal for people in OHC housing that OHC was sending letters to those people asking for the additional rents that would apply if they were not under rent review? Was he aware that that happened, or can he confirm that that did happen? Would he not consider that an illegal action at that time?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Speaker, yes, I am aware of that. I do not consider it an illegal action. What was done was that a letter was sent advising those tenants that there was a possibility that their units might not be subject to rent control.

Mr. Good: But they were at that time.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Yes, Mr. Speaker, that is correct. They were then. The letters were sent to them saying that they had the choice. They could pay the rent as it was controlled by the rent review process or they could pay the full rents and the differences would be held for them. You see, Mr. Speaker, some of us were of the opinion -- and I believe some of the tenants became aware -- that there might be a turnaround of the Liberal Party position in that particular matter.

An hon. member: You’ve had it.

Mr. Breaugh: Supplementary: I wonder, Mr. Speaker, if the minister would consider treating that in the same way as the government has treated the first-time home owner’s grant and pursuing it with the same diligence?

Mr. Good: Talk about breaking faith.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The member for Oshawa is asking a question.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: I apologize to the hon. member, Mr. Speaker, I was listening to interjections from the hon. member from Waterloo at the time.

Mr. Breithaupt: They were of some value too.

Mr. Breaugh: I’ll repeat the question. I certainly don’t want to interfere with any interjection over there.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. We can’t hear the member for Oshawa, the only one who has the floor. Thank you.

Mr. Breaugh: Thank you. I’m impressed. Mr. Speaker, would the minister consider putting this in the same box as the first-time home owner’s programme and treating it with the same diligence?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member wishes us to proceed and to collect the arrears, as this House has generally directed should be done under the first-time home buyers grant, yes.

An hon. member: The same way.


Mr. Philip: A question of the Minister of Transportation and Communications concerning the new licensing system for transport drivers: Is the minister aware that at a meeting last Thursday between officials of his department and the Ontario Joint Council of Teamsters the officials indicated that the only real guarantee of confidentiality of medical records was their word of honour, with the possible exception of certain sections under The Transport Act that would give them some protection? If so, would the minister indicate what sections of the Act offer protection of confidentiality of their medical records and what amendments the minister might be considering to strengthen these sections to guarantee that these records will not be made available to other people who might like to use them?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, I was aware that my senior officials were at that particular meeting last week. I have not had a report from them on the outcome, so I will have to look into the matter and get the information the hon. member wants.

Mr. Philip: By way of supplementary then, would the minister at least answer the second part of my question; namely what protection do they have, under what sections of the Act, of confidentiality? And why would the minister not accept a simple statement by the medical profession that drivers are fit to live up to the kinds of requirement that the ministry is setting for drivers?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, I am not aware of what sections of the Act were referred to at that particular meeting, because as I told the hon. member I have not received a report on that meeting yet; I will get the information.

Mr. Moffatt: Supplementary.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. minister has promised to come back with an answer. Have we got something that is supplementary to that?

Mr. Moffatt: Yes, Mr. Speaker, I have a supplementary. Since the minister is going to provide further information, maybe he can provide this as well. Why is it that the provisions under the regulations governing this new driver’s licence system provide that no person who takes insulin in any form can drive any kind of commercial vehicle?

Hon. Mr. Snow: I would have to get advice on that from my medical advisory committee. I don’t pretend to be able to answer that question.

Mr. Speaker: I indicated that was the final supplementary. We can come back to it at a later time.


Mrs. Campbell: My question is to the Provincial Secretary for Social Development. May I first commend her on the fact that she has now been motivated as a result of the activities of this party in the group home field.


Hon. Mr. Timbrell: You can’t say that with a straight face.

Mrs. Campbell: On page 3 of her statement she refers to the activities of the family court, the local committee taking responsibility for ensuring the proper care and custody of the child. Does this mean we are going to see a continuation of full responsibility in these cases being placed upon the municipalities, in place of the province, where they used to lie under section 8?

Hon. Mrs. Birch: I would just like to reiterate this government didn’t take action because of the pressure of the Liberal Party.

Mrs. Campbell: After 34 years?

Mr. Reid: Like the Minister of Education.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Breithaupt: It just happened.

Mr. Ruston: The same as the Minister of Education and his education policy.

Hon. Mrs. Birch: I would like to say publicly that the indication that the hon. member has tried to say the Liberal Party was responsible for the report on residential services is very misleading. I would say I’m very disappointed she would try to give this impression.


Mr. S. Smith: But not unexpected.

Hon. Mrs. Birch: This government has been very involved and very interested --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. We can’t hear the answer.


Mr. S. Smith: From last July. The minister had that report for two years.

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


Hon. Mrs. Birch: The hon. leader of the Liberal Party should appreciate more than anyone else in this House the difficulties in trying to get the kind of treatment for the children of this province who need help.

Mr. S. Smith: You had the report for 20 months.

Hon. Mrs. Birch: And he above all, I would think, would appreciate the government’s major reform in this area and would be so appreciative of what we are trying to do on behalf of the children of this province. These kinds of misleading comments are far beyond anything I can accept.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. We can’t hear. We’re wasting time.

Mrs. Campbell: I wonder, Mr. Speaker --

Mr. Speaker: Is this supplementary?

Mrs. Campbell: No, it is not supplementary, Mr. Speaker. I’m asking the minister to address herself to the question I put as to whether or not the local communities, via the local committees, would continue to assume the full per diem responsibility as they did when this government evaded its financial responsibilities on the repeal of section 8.

Hon. Mrs. Birch: Again I take unction with some of the comments she’s made.

An hon. member: It’s a fact.

Hon. Mrs. Birch: I would just like to say to her --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mrs. Birch: -- that it has been pointed out very clearly that there will be continuing consultation with the people who live in those communities --


Mr. Cassidy: You are too unctuous by now.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mrs. Birch: -- to see that the children really deserve the kind of attention they should have.

Mr. Reid: Who pays?

Mr. S. Smith: Who pays?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. We can’t hear the answer. I’m not even sure whether there is an answer or a question on the first part.

Mr. Breithaupt: Remind the minister.


Mr. Speaker: May I just remind the hon. members that when you ask a question, keep the editorial comment to a minimum -- really zero -- and the same thing with answering questions, of course. The question was a good question, I think, and I’m not sure even whether the answer was given because of the interruptions. I think there was an answer given to the last part. We’ll allow another supplementary from the member for St. George on the answer.

Mrs. Campbell: Mr. Speaker, I guess, to make it as simple as I can: Who pays under this programme? Who has the right to assess the efficacy of the programme?

Mr. S. Smith: It is your friend who says “unction” when she means “umbrage.”

Hon. Mrs. Birch: Mr. Speaker, I would again like to reiterate what we’ve said in both of our statements. There will be consultation as to the cost-sharing between local municipalities and the provincial government.

Mr. McClellan: May I ask the minister how quickly she’ll be introducing legislation establishing the children’s services committees?


Hon. Mrs. Birch: I would refer that question to the Minister of Community and Social Services.


Mr. McClellan: May I redirect? Mr. Speaker, may I redirect?

Mr. Speaker: Yes, you may redirect.

Hon. Mr. Norton: Yes, Mr. Speaker, the first stage of the consolidation of the youth services will be the introduction of legislation during this session to consolidate at the provincial level. During that time, as I indicated in my statement, we will be consulting initially with the regional municipalities since we see that government structure as the most likely one for early implementation.

Mrs. Campbell: They are paying now.

Hon. Mr. Norton: I would anticipate that before the end of this year we would introduce the legislation with respect to the local committees. It would probably not be possible for them to be in place prior to some time early in 1978, but we will move as quickly as possible in order to have them established. I trust that the member -- I’m sure he realizes --


Hon. Mr. Norton: -- that the consolidation alone at the provincial level is in fact a major administrative undertaking -- that it’s going to take some time. We have set the target date at July 1 for the transfer of accountability from the units and the existing programmes in other ministries -- transferring that to the new children and youth division -- because of the fact that it’s going to take that period of time, two or three months, in order to make sure that the mechanism is in place for a smooth transfer of responsibility so that we don’t launch into something irresponsibly and end up with a mess. I think surely the member understands that that kind of a lead-in period is necessary. To reiterate my answer specifically to the member’s question, I would hope that before the end of this year, we would have legislation before the House to set in place the local committees.

Mr. McClellan: That is a long way off.

Hon. Mr. Norton: Don’t be so ridiculous. You know very well that is not a long way off.


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


Hon. Mrs. Scrivener: Mr. Speaker, I would like to respond to a question on home buyer grants asked last Thursday by the member for Hamilton West. However, before answering the specific question, as the new Minister of Revenue I wish to make some observations about the grant programme.

Mr. S. Smith: Revert to statements --

Hon. Mrs. Scrivener: In the past six weeks, I have made a point --


Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mrs. Scrivener: I have made a point of reviewing this programme and it is my conclusion --


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I presume this is a short answer?

Hon. Mrs. Scrivener: Yes, it is, sir.

Mr. Speaker: Otherwise, it should have been given as a ministerial statement earlier.

Hon. Mrs. Scrivener: No, sir.


Mr. Speaker: Well, we’ll time it. Thank you very much. The hon. minister.

Mr. Deans: On a point of order.

Hon. Mrs. Scrivener: I have made a point of reviewing this programme --

Mr. Deans: On a point of order.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Deans: The minister has said that before she answers the question, she wants to make a statement with regard to the grant programme. This is not the time for ministerial statements.


Mr. Speaker: At this point in time, I cannot tell whether it’s part of an answer. I can’t tell what’s been said --


Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Deans: She said it is not.

Mr. Speaker: Order. Order, please. The hon. minister will answer the question as she sees fit. If I decide that it’s a ministerial statement, I shall add time on to it, but I’d suggest that statements of policy and other such like matters should be given as ministerial statements. Maybe this is really part of an answer; I don’t know at this point in time. I can’t help what was said. We’ll hear the hon. minister and then we’ll decide.

Mr. Deans: The minister said it is not.

Mr. Speaker: I cannot tell.

Hon. Mrs. Scrivener: Mr. Speaker, as part of the answer, I wish to provide a very few remarks as background.

Mr. Ruston: A few remarks?

Hon. Mr. Davis: This is as part of the answer.

Hon. Mrs. Scrivener: I have made a point of reviewing this programme and it is my conclusion that the programme has been extremely successful in meeting the goals set forth by the government.

Mr. Sweeney: That is just propaganda. That is not an answer. That is not even correct.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mrs. Scrivener: It materially assisted some 86,000 people in purchasing their first home. Indeed, more than a year after the end of the eligibility period --

Mr. Sweeney: That is on the election brochure.

Hon. Mrs. Scrivener: -- we still get calls from people wanting to apply for a grant.

While there has been an attempt to paint a picture of a great ripoff by the citizens of this province upon the public purse I am pleased to say that this is simply not the case.

Mr. S. Smith: What is nine million?

Hon. Mrs. Scrivener: The vast majority of people applied in all honesty and sincerity. In the case of the limited number of applicants who received the grants in error, the mistakes that were made were mainly honest mistakes.

Mr. Sweeney: That is the only kind you make.

Hon. Mrs. Scrivener: In fact, after approximately one year of intensive audit, my ministry has discovered a two per cent error factor in grants paid to ineligible applicants.


Hon. Mrs. Scrivener: All the most flagrant cases of abuse were uncovered in the early stages of the audit. The ineligible recipients now being discovered are those who purchased modestly priced homes and sincerely believed they were entitled to the grant. Sadly, recovery of these grants now works a real hardship on the families involved.

In response to the point raised by the member, out of 70,000 first supplementary grants of $250 each paid to date, only 18 were paid to persons who had previously been identified by our auditors as ineligible recipients of the initial grant payment.

Mr. Sweeney: How could there be any if you had already identified them?


Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mrs. Scrivener: Of these, 10 have been repaid already and there are no problems anticipated in collecting the remaining eight.

In my reply to the hon. member I have expressed my views of the grant programme. Although the problem of enforcement is not a happy one, we are continuing the audit of the home buyer grants.

Mr. S. Smith: It is my understanding that there are 18 people who received the additional money even though they had been identified as ineligible in the first place, but there was another part to the question which I asked originally and I didn’t hear whether she answered that, Mr. Speaker. That is, how much money has she recovered in total so far in her attempts to recover money from ineligible recipients, however honest the mistakes might have been in the first place?

Hon. Mrs. Scrivener: As I said in my statement, Mr. Speaker, it is two per cent -- $2,014,500.

Mr. S. Smith: You have recovered $2,014,500?

Hon. Mrs. Scrivener: This is the amount that is being recovered, yes.

Mr. Makarchuk: A supplementary to the minister: How can the minister reconcile her statement that the mistakes were made by modest home purchasers with that of the auditor who said most of the mistakes were made by people who bought expensive homes?

Hon. Mrs. Scrivener: That is simply not so, Mr. Speaker.


Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Peterson: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Can the minister tell the House how many audits her ministry has performed out of the total number of grants that have been given out by her ministry, and what her plans are with respect to the rest of the grants given out?

Hon. Mrs. Scrivener: This is a matter of public record at the present time. It’s somewhere on the order of 25 per cent. A very high audit.

Mr. Peterson: And what are the minister’s plans?

Hon. Mrs. Scrivener: As I said in my statement, the audit is ongoing.

Mr. Peterson: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Does that mean the minister plans to audit 100 per cent of the grants?

Hon. Mrs. Scrivener: No, Mr. Speaker, I made no statement to that effect.

Mr. Peterson: What does it mean? If it’s ongoing it doesn’t make any sense at all. What does it mean? What are the minister’s plans?

Mr. S. Smith: You’re still not going to audit them all?

Mr. Speaker: Do you have an answer? All right. One final supplementary. Is this a supplementary? No, okay.

Mr. Godfrey: Are we going to get an extension in the question-period time?

Mr. Speaker: No. As I recall the question, what was asked was partly answered.

The member for Bellwoods then with a question -- I’m sorry, Algoma.

Mr. Cunningham: On a point of order, the last one was over here, I believe.

Mr. Speaker: An answer was given over here.

Mr. Cunningham: The answer was over here. The last question was over here.

Mr. Speaker: No, no. We go in rotation here, here and here and we are now back here. The hon. member for Algoma.

Mr. Cunningham: Mr. Speaker, on a point of clarification, am I given to understand then that the arbitrary answer of a question on this particular side of the House disrupts the question procedure?

Mr. Speaker: I answered that question a moment ago. I answered it and I said that what was said was, in my opinion, part of the original question. The member for Algoma, at last.


Mr. Wildman: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have a question for the Minister of Labour. In view of the widespread serious concern over the effects of coke-oven emissions on the health of workers at Algoma Steel and the protests from the United Steelworkers of America over the minister’s decision not to hold public hearings in Sault Ste. Marie on the new omnibus workers’ health and safety legislation, is she prepared now to reverse her position and schedule hearings in the Sault?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I spoke with the leaders of the steel workers in the Sault on Friday afternoon and told them at that time, and I will reiterate it now, that it was not possible to schedule all the hearings in all the centres that we would have liked to have scheduled them in. We should have had them, I suppose, in Peterborough, in Kingston, in Windsor, in Sarnia, in a number of areas.

However, what we have done is to try to centralize the hearings in places where it would be reasonably convenient for both employers and employees to present their points of view to the staff of the ministry regarding the proposed legislation. When I spoke to the steelworkers on Friday in the Sault, I suggested to them that if they had difficulty in attending meetings either in Thunder Bay or in Toronto, they could let me know and we would very seriously consider their request to have a special hearing in Sault Ste. Marie to accommodate them.

Mr. Wildman: Supplementary: Is the minister aware it is 400 miles to Thunder Bay or Toronto from Sault Ste. Marie, and if she is, is she willing to take into account the statement by her deputy minister in Sudbury on Thursday that he felt they should look very seriously at scheduling hearings in the Sault as part of their regular hearing process?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I do wish the hon. member would listen. I agreed completely with the kind of thing that my deputy specifically said.

Mr. Breaugh: Now, now, now; be nice.

Hon. B. Stephenson: I am very much aware of the distances between Sault Ste. Marie and Toronto and Thunder Bay, but I would remind the hon. member, who lives in Sault Ste. Marie, that Sault Ste. Marie is only 185 miles from Sudbury.

Mr. Foulds: Supplementary: Can the minister clarify whether the hearings in Thunder Bay are two days or one day? There seemed to be some confusion over the weekend.

Hon. B. Stephenson: They are two days in all the centres in which they have been established.


Mr. B. Newman: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of the Environment. In view of the minister’s decision to pay for the cleanup of lead-contaminated soils in the vicinity of the three Toronto lead smelters, will the minister apply this same principle and pay for the washing of insulators on Windsor utilities poles, insulators contaminated by air pollution emanating from Detroit industries?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Mr. Speaker, as I indicated on Friday, this particular cleanup in Toronto can come within the provisions of health-related environmental projects. I also indicated that there was no final decision as far as the allocation of public funds for that cleanup. I question whether or not one can draw the analogy between what’s happening in Toronto and the hon. member’s proposal for the Windsor area. However, if the hon. member would send me more particular details, I would be happy to look at it.

Mr. Singer: How about the St. Clair River and mercury?

Mr. B. Newman: Supplementary: Is the minister aware that approximately two years ago a Mr. Donnelly Hadden, a US lawyer acting on behalf of 11 La Salle families, obtained $117,500 in settlement as a result of air pollution from US industry? Will the minister join with the Windsor utilities in suing the air polluters from the American side, in the light of the fact that Mr. Hadden states that the case is a very good one and the chance of being successful is very high?


Hon. Mr. Kerr: We would be very happy to consider that.


Mr. Samis: Question to the Minister of Education: In view of the fact that the secondary school teachers in the counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry have gone on strike this morning, could the minister advise the House if he’s planning any special or personal initiatives in order to try to get the two sides back to the bargaining table?

Hon. Mr. Wells: We have already conferred with the Education Relations Commission. They stand ready, as they always do, to assist in this matter, and they have a mediator standing by to help the parties arrive at a satisfactory negotiated agreement.

Mr. Samis: Supplementary: In view of the fact that the dispute seems to revolve around working conditions, and because the board does not consider working conditions a negotiable item, is the minister satisfied that both parties are negotiating in good faith and within the spirit and terms of Bill 100?

Hon. Mr. Wells: I’ve seen nothing to indicate to me that either party in this dispute has been negotiating in bad faith. I think there are some very spirited negotiations going on, but I’ve seen nothing to indicate any bad faith.


Mr. Edighoffer: Question for the Minister of the Environment: As the main purpose of the new proposed Glengowan Dam in the Upper Thames watershed seems to have been changed from flood control to flow augmentation, would the Minister of the Environment make certain a review is undertaken under The Environmental Assessment Act?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Conservation authorities will come under the provisions of that Act, hopefully by June. At the present time, the authorities are working with people in my ministry to include various projects that are planned now, are on the books for the immediate future, so that we can get under way as far as those projects are concerned; and then, of course, any subsequent projects.

I’m aware of the controversy surrounding the Glengowan Dam, because of the changes the hon. member mentioned, and I would expect the authority would want us to hold a hearing in respect to that project.


Mr. McClellan: Question for the Provincial Secretary for Social Development, who I think is still in the assembly: Given the fact that the Minister of Community and Social Services has indicated it will take upwards of a year, a year and a half, possibly two years before this scheme is in place and functioning -- and I suspect that may be optimistic -- could you tell us what measures you may have in order to deal with the kind of chaos that the report details -- on a short-term basis, on an interim basis? Or do we have to live with this chaos for another year and a half or two years?

Hon. Mrs. Birch: I’m sure the hon. member does appreciate how difficult it is to bring in three or four major ministries with children’s programmes and do it very quickly. As the minister indicated, our desire is to have it integrated as smoothly as possible so as not to interrupt those programmes that are helping children at the moment; but it will be done as quickly as possible.

Mr. McClellan: Supplementary: May I ask the minister when she intends to respond with respect to the concerns that were raised at the PMLC meeting of January 21, given that she indicated she would be responding to those financial concerns by early March?

Hon. Mrs. Birch: The Minister of Community and Social Services and I will be at the PMLC meeting on April 15, I believe it is.

Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary: In view of the concern expressed by the ministry in relation to children’s services, can the minister explain why children’s aid budgets were so savagely cut back during the period that these recommendations were being --

Mr. Speaker: That is not a supplementary to the first question.


Mr. Givens: To the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations: Since the passing of The Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act last year, what has the minister been doing to weed out all the bad actors, those who have been guilty of dishonesty and shoddy construction practices, who have defrauded people to the extent of thousands of dollars? Has he simply been registering everybody under the Act, or has he refused registration to anybody under the Act because of previous bad conduct on their part?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: If the hon. member has examined the Act, he knows we neither register nor refuse to register anybody under it.

An hon. member: No, you don’t.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: It is administered by a completely independent board which handles all the registrations and the refusal of registrations. I am prepared to ask the board that question and see if I can get a reply for the hon. member.

Mr. Givens: A supplementary: Under section 7(b), isn’t registration reusable to anybody who in the past has conducted himself in a way where we are afforded reasonable grounds for belief that he will not carry on his undertakings in accordance with law and with integrity and honesty? Don’t the ministry and the registrar have the right under that to refuse registration? Isn’t it a mockery under the Act for them to accept everybody with open arms?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, I thought I made it clear that we don’t accept anyone, and I don’t have the right to refuse registration. The registrar does. The registrar is employed by the private sector. I am prepared to get a report from the board for the hon. member to tell him what has happened under the Act insofar as refusal of registration is concerned.

Mr. Samis: Since there was a report recently that, I believe, half the builders in the province still aren’t registered with HUDAC, can the minister tell us what’s being done to try to expedite the whole registration process?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: We have asked the board of directors to put on additional staff. They have agreed to do that. There was absolutely no way of knowing the number of builders in this province, since they have never previously been registered, and we had underestimated the number and so had the board. However, we are prepared to try to catch up with that as quickly as possible.


Mr. Dukszta: I have a question to the Minister of Health. Can the minister tell me when he will introduce the amendments to The Health Insurance Act and others, if necessary, which will enable him to legally recover the OHIP overpayments to the sum of $1,106,737 as defined in the recommendations of the medical review committee of the College of Physicians and Surgeons as at June 30, 1976?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, as the member will recall from last Thursday’s question period, I indicated then that we were considering whether legislation was required or administrative changes to carry out these procedures. I am not aware that there have been any difficulties in recovering any of the sums pinpointed through any of the audits, whether it be the profiles done by OHIP or whether it be audits by my inspection branch of particular laboratories and other facilities.

Mr. Dukszta: Supplementary: The two cases which I mentioned on Thursday -- the medical review committee against Wakil and the other one involving the College of Optometry -- have put in jeopardy 175 cases which are waiting. The amount of money that I specified is over $1 million. The ministry has recovered so far $600,000. My question is, if the physicians decided now to recover that money which they paid and sue the ministry, will it be compelled to pay $600,000 right now for the money already recovered?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I have had no such indication of that, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Dukszta: Supplementary.

Mr. Speaker: A supplementary question, then, not a complete statement.

Mr. Dukszta: Yes. Could the minister tell me then on what legal grounds he can assure me that these physicians will not attempt to recover this money when the court has already judged that The Health Insurance Act is actually inoperative?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, I will review it further with the solicitors of our ministry. But in the previous reviews on several occasions since I took over the ministry, there has been no such indication that there’s a danger of that. The member is not a lawyer, I’m not a lawyer; I’ll check it again with those who are.

Mr. Dukszta: But what --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. You are asking about the same question over again.

Mr. Dukszta: I want to establish one thing, Mr. Speaker -- whether the minister is aware of those two cases I am talking about and how they affect the functioning in his ministry in respect of recovering the funds -- and he is not answering my question.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, I am aware of the cases; I indicated that last Thursday. Perhaps the member would read Hansard.


Mr. Good: Mr. Speaker, in the absence of the Treasurer, I will direct this question on market value assessment to the Minister of Revenue. Since the Treasurer has indicated there is virtually no chance of implementing market value assessment on the present legal schedule which now exists, since he asserts that much more information on this subject will be needed, could the minister tell us why a complete data base was not developed prior to the Blair commission hearings so that both the public and the commission could have a better understanding of its implication? Secondly, why is a complete data base for the province not now available for a better study of the proposal?

Hon. Mrs. Scrivener: I have no idea.

Mr. S. Smith: Why not?

Mrs. Campbell: We knew that.

Mr. Good: In reply to the answer, I’d like to ask a supplementary. When the minister does try to get an idea of that, would she also get an idea of --

Mr. S. Smith: Of anything.

Mr. Good: -- how she expects a proper assessment of the implication of this to be of any value without a statement by government as to what its proposed grant structures might be to correlate with the market value assessment?

Mr. Peterson: At the same time that she’s answering those questions --

Mr. Singer: Or not answering, as the case may be.

Mrs. Campbell: It’s a waste of time.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Will the member proceed?

Mr. Peterson: -- I wonder if she could provide to the people of this province specific information on the specific nature of the impact of property market value assessment on certain communities.


Mr. di Santo: I have a question for the Minister of Labour. Last November the minister announced that the Ontario government would set an example for the private sector in hiring the handicapped. Could she tell us how the programme has been developing since January, when it was supposed to start? Is the programme restricted to her department or open also to the other ministries? Third, as a result of this programme, has any handicapped person been hired by the government in the meantime?

Hon. B. Stephenson: The programme -- the pilot project -- is restricted to the Ministry of Labour at this time. The co-ordinator for the programme has been employed. The co-ordinator is reviewing with all the associations of handicapped individuals within the province of Ontario the names of potentially available handicapped persons to be employed in certain areas.

There are, to my knowledge, two who have been employed since, I think, December -- actually before the programme started -- as a result of the impetus of the programme, and more are being considered at this time. In addition, a programme of increasing awareness in an educative way is being developed by the ministry in order to assist other ministries to develop this kind of programme within their specific responsibilities once we have got ours really under way and functioning.

Mr. Speaker: The oral question period has expired.

Mr. Laughren: Point of order, Mr. Speaker. Pursuant to standing order 28 and to the provisional rules which apply for this session, I wish to inform you, Mr. Speaker, that I am dissatisfied with the answer to the question on laryngeal cancer and compensation by the Minister of Labour and that I wish there to be an adjournment debate tomorrow night at 10:30. I have so notified the Clerk of the House.

Mr. Speaker: Thank you. So noted.


Mr. Speaker: As I indicated on Thursday last, I informed the House that I would take Mr. Bain’s petition under consideration and inform the House as to whether or not it constitutes a proper petition to the House under the standing orders. At the same time, I said I would make a more comprehensive statement with respect to petitions.


As I stated on Thursday, we are proceeding at this session under the provisional changes to and additions to the standing orders as adopted by the House in 1970. These provisional changes and additions were adopted unanimously by the House on December 16, 1976. Paragraph 5 of that order specifies that the government shall provide a response to the House within two weeks to all petitions presented to the House. If this provision is to work, I am sure the members will agree that petitions must be only those properly within the jurisdiction of the House and presented by petitioners who knew when they signed that they were signing a petition to the Legislature.

If frivolous petitions or petitions which are intended for individual ministers -- or on matters which are not within the jurisdiction of the House to remedy -- are continuously tabled, the whole procedure of presenting petitions, which is a very ancient and important one -- having originated in the 13th century -- will be compromised to the point where it is useless. The public petition serves as the only mechanism by which an individual or the community can directly ask Parliament to change some aspect of the general law, rectify some personal or local grievance, or reconsider a general administrative decision.

I refer you to May’s Parliamentary Practice, 19th edition, page 811, and W. F. Dawson’s Procedure in the Canadian House of Commons, page 238. The history of the modern petition actually dates from the 17th century. In 1669 the Commons passed two resolutions which constitute the legal and philosophic foundation of the modern petition. These read as follows: “that it is the inherent right of every commoner in England to prepare and present petitions to the House of Commons in case of grievance, and the House of Commons to receive the same”; secondly, “that it is an undoubted right and privilege of the Commons to judge and determine, touching the nature and matter of such petitions, how far they are fit and unfit to be received.”

In all jurisdictions of which I am aware, petitions may be sent to the table as provided in standing order 83. If, after examination, the Speaker rules that the petition is in order, it is deemed to be received by the House, and may be read by the clerk if required as provided in standing order 85, clause b of which provides that no debate may take place at that time unless on a complaint of some urgent personal grievance requiring immediate remedy, in which case, it will be taken into consideration immediately.

As to the substance of the petition it must, as I mentioned previously, relate to a subject matter over which Parliament has some control. Hence, the House will not receive a petition relating to a matter which has been delegated to the control of another body. For example, in the House of Commons of Canada, a petition complaining that certain recommendations for the House have not been implemented by the Canadian Radio-Television Commission, was held by Mr. Speaker Lamoureux to be outside the House’s purview. Moreover, a petition may not specifically ask for the expenditure of money. This principle is incorporated in our standing order 84.

In dealing with the substance of petitions, Mr. Speaker Jerome in the House of Commons of Canada recently made the following observations: “This is a representative institution and the elected representatives are the ones who should carry into this chamber opinions or reflections on the performance of the government, not messages from the outside brought in here in some other guise. A petition which seeks to place before the House the opinions of people who are not responsible elected members, ought to be viewed in accordance with the straight interpretation.”

For the above reasons, it is my intention to receive petitions, and give myself time to study them. I anticipate that on the sitting day following the presentation of a petition by a member, I will be able to rule on the propriety of the petition. I, therefore, point out to the House that when sending a petition to the table a member should not make any comment on its contents. If and when the petition is declared to be in order, standing order 85 will then apply.

I also feel obliged to caution members that, in the past, documents purporting to be petitions have been offered to the House. These documents have, in fact, been altered after they were signed by the petitioner. I will insist that petitions be properly addressed to the House by the petitioner and that no alteration of the document takes place. My point simply is that petitioners must have known that they were petitioning Parliament, not only signing a document as an expression of views to an agency of government.

The House has gone a long way in modernizing the procedure on petitions and eliminating some of the ancient forms of speech which are still required in petitions presented to other jurisdictions. As stated, the only requirement we have really retained is that the petitioners must be aware of what they are signing and that this must be evident on the document they sign.

Finally, it appears clear to me that the House wishes to provide an avenue for the citizens of this province to address grievances directly to Parliament. The House has declared itself in this matter and it is incumbent on all of us to maintain the integrity of this procedure. I ask for the assistance and co-operation of all members.

Referring specifically to Mr. Bain’s petition tabled last Thursday, while it does not appear evident that the signers knew they were petitioning Parliament, I am giving it the benefit of the doubt on this occasion and will accept it. But I urge upon the members that in future when a petition is circulated, it indicate that it is addressed to the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly and is in fact a petition to the Legislature for the redress of a grievance. Under provisional rule 5, the government has until Monday, April 18, then to respond to this petition.

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Speaker, may I make a comment on that statement and ask a question on a point of order? Since it is not a remedy that is used by members of the assembly but is a method by which the everyday citizen of the province can petition the government, would Mr. Speaker give consideration to publishing in the Ontario Gazette at least some form of specific statement showing what the form of the petition must be, similar to the detailed instructions which are given with respect to private bills? Otherwise, the citizen of the province will not know what this technical procedure may be, interesting as it may be to us in the assembly.

Mr. Speaker: I realize the difficulty. Do you wish to make a brief comment on this?

Mr. Breithaupt: I just wanted to comment as well, Mr. Speaker, that when you are considering the possible eventual reprinting of the rules of the House, as these other rules may well be included, not only the matter of an index, of which we had spoken as being possibly useful as an addition, but perhaps an example or two of a petition in the end papers of the rules of the House would be most useful.

Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker, just before you complete your statement in this connection, since you are establishing ground rules for a procedure in this House, which we all hope will be used much more extensively than in the past, I didn’t fully understand your proscription prohibiting a petition calling for the expenditure of money. I understand, of course, that only the government or the advisers to Her Honour can introduce legislation calling for the expenditure of money, but it might very well be clear that in order to achieve redress, money would have to be spent.

For example, an easy indication would be an inadequate road system in a certain area. It may well be that money would have to be spent. I just wonder if further consideration might be given to your proscription and that in fact we might make it clear that petitioners might bring forward a petition that would call for the expenditure of money, if accepted by the government.

Mr. Speaker: We don’t want to get into a debate on this.

Mr. Godfrey: It’s important.

Mr. Speaker: I know it’s important. If all members will read and digest what I have just read, I think it might be useful. I think the suggestions which have been made, by the way, are quite reasonable. We’ll certainly try to be as helpful as we can in those regards, such as an example of a petition to the Parliament and other suggestions here. I think we can fund these. Also it might be helpful to get together on an informal basis to discuss these various things. I know I have been involved, along with the other presiding officers and the clerk’s staff, with quite a lengthy discussion on what is really meant by the word “petitions.”

As we reflect upon this, on reading the statement which I have just made and applying it to rule 5 in the new provisional order, I think we should start on that basis.

To answer the query of the hon. member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk, rule 84 in our standing orders is quite clear in that regard. If there is a matter of interpretation of what is the expenditure of public moneys, which is the next thing, I don’t think we can get into that and explain it here. But I think a little thought upon the statement will be helpful.

Mr. Cassidy: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, I would just like to make a constructive suggestion. The new procedural affairs committee was intended to advise on matters like this. I certainly have grave reservations about a number of the things in your statement. I fear it may put us back to where we were a couple of years ago where petitions have to be vetted by the table before they can actually be raised publicly in the House. Would it be possible for the recommendations that have been put forward to be treated as that, rather than as a ruling, and for the matter and the comments therefor thereon to be considered by the new procedural affairs committee?

Mr. Speaker: They need not be vetted by the table before they are presented. You may present them and I’ll examine them and report the next day to the House as to the propriety and reasons therefor. But I might say with the new standing order 5, petitions become very important and they must be true petitions or the process as requested and instructed by the House will break down.

Mr. Godfrey: On a point of information.

Mr. Speaker: I still think, rather than getting into a number of questions here, we should examine the statement because it’s pretty hard to grasp. It’s quite a lengthy statement. Is there anything that needs immediate clarification?

Mr. Godfrey: The problem is that there are a number of petitions, I’m sure, being signed at this very minute throughout Ontario. Are you going to rule these out?

Mr. Speaker: Well, maybe. If they’re not petitions to the House on something on which the House can properly act, then they are not true petitions. Mind you, many of the things which have been entered as petitions can be certainly handled by the House, but not under petitions, if I may say, and that can be explained at any meeting which you might decide to hold.

Mr. Deans: One point, if I may: Wouldn’t this be a suitable matter to refer to the new procedural affairs committee?

Mr. Speaker: I still think if people read the statement and think about it, a lot of questions will be answered. If further clarification is needed, I would suggest we have a meeting caucus by caucus or whatever you have to discuss the matter and explain it. Petitions are now -- and I say it again -- a very important order and they should be proper petitions, or otherwise the House cannot properly deal with them.


Presenting reports.


Introduction of bills.


Mr. Davison moved first reading of Bill 15, An Act to regulate Transactions involving the Purchase of Tax Refunds by Discount.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Davison: The purpose of this bill is to regulate certain business practices relating to the purchase of tax refunds by discount. The bill limits the amount of the discount which may be charged when a person enters a transaction of this nature. The bill requires that the person who purchases a tax refund must pay at least 95 per cent of its value to the person selling his right to the refund.


Mrs. Campbell moved first reading of Bill 16, An Act to amend The Ontario Human Rights Code.

Motion agreed to.

Mrs. Campbell: By way of explanation, the purpose of this bill is to prohibit discrimination on the basis of an individual’s sexual orientation.



Mr. B. Newman moved first reading of Bill Pr 17, An Act to amend The Public Utilities Act.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. B. Newman: Mr. Speaker, the purpose of this bill is to set up a review committee before a public utility can shut off water, Hydro, gas, oil or telephone. The exploding costs of gas, oil and energy, including electricity, has made it extremely difficult for many to be able to meet their bills on time.


Mr. Haggerty moved first reading of Bill Pr 18, An Act to Relieve Persons from Liability in Respect of Voluntary Emergency Medical and First Aid Services.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Haggerty: Mr. Speaker, the purpose of The Good Samaritan Act is to relieve persons from liability in respect of voluntary emergency first aid assistance or medical services rendered at or near the scene of an accident or any other sudden emergency.


Resumption of the adjourned debate on the motion for an address in reply to the speech of the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor at the opening of the session.

Mr. Lewis: Mr. Speaker, I’m pleased to rise to reply to the Throne Speech, since I suspect it will be the last opportunity before we hit the hustings sometime in 1977 to do so and therefore I’d like to set a number of matters before the House and before the government.

I’d like to start, if I may, rather than with the usual frivolity, right at the end of the Throne Speech itself and try to set a tone for the government House leader, who is here, if not the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough), who wouldn’t believe me anyway. On page 29 of the Throne Speech it says, Mr. Speaker: “With dependable legislative cooperation, it can be achieved” -- meaning the programme of the government -- “by this assembly by the end of the present year.” I want the government House leader to know and to report to the Premier (Mr. Davis) that while there will be volatile moments, from time to time in this legislative chamber -- we witnessed them this afternoon, we witnessed them last Friday morning -- by and large we on this side of the House, in the official opposition, will be positive models of co-operation.

Mr. Breithaupt: Except when he moves his amendment.

Mr. Lewis: The government cannot possibly -- except perhaps for the occasional amendment -- the government cannot possibly ask of us more co-operation than it will get. We come from that inheritance -- members may recall the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation. Co-operation is an endemic, genetic part of every social democrat in this House and I want to assure the Premier, through the leader of the House, that we will certainly assist in the passage of useful and important legislation.

There are, of course, important things to do which flow from the Throne Speech. No one denies that. It would seem that, from time to time, minority government is acceptable to the people of Ontario. I myself was surprised, during a recent CBC radio noon phone-in on minority government, to find a very large number of people calling in to say that they hoped it went on virtually forever. Therefore, without prolonging it, we will not be distracted by procedural trifles, not trapped into the irrelevance of turning this place into a steaming cauldron for the sake of a challenge to the Chair or some such. But if there is an issue which genuinely divides us, as I suspect and I’m sure there will be on more than one occasion, so be it. If that should lead to the campaign which everyone now talks about, so be it. There is neither fear nor hesitation on this side of the House if that comes about.

The Throne Speech itself, Mr. Speaker, was not bad as Throne Speeches go. I have said that before and I say it again. I guess I’ve been in this House 30 or 40 years -- so it seems -- but I’ve certainly listened to 13 or 14 Throne Speeches. As they go, consistent in their rhetorical and substantial mediocrity, this is a trifle better and I won’t cavil with that. It’s ironic that the government should receive such plaudits, even on occasion from the opposition, for simply including in a Throne Speech that which it is a job of any normal government to do. As a matter of fact, the Throne Speech largely compensates for errors of omission which have harassed and been characteristic of this government for the last several decades.

Doesn’t it trouble the government members to be talked of in terms of decades?

Mr. Grossman: No.

Mr. Lewis: But in truth we’ll try -- no, I guess it doesn’t -- we’ll try to overcome that.

Hon. Mr. Welch: It’s nice to be a part of the heritage.

Mr. Lewis: Yes, I guess it is. They begin to take it for granted, don’t they; and then these trifling setbacks are always the more traumatic for it.

We will deal with a number of matters which flow specifically in the Throne Speech, and I don’t hesitate to make the acknowledgement that some of them are worthwhile.

In NDP terms -- if I may, Mr. Speaker, address the members opposite -- the Throne Speech showed two things. Number one, it showed how contained the government is in its approach and therefore how much further we would wish it to go in a number of specific and important areas. For the government, politics remain still the art of the possible -- or the art of the minimum I suppose would be more accurate. For the New Democrats, of course, politics remain the art of the reasonable. We are angelic by comparison.


Hon. Mr. Handleman: The art of the impossible.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: The art of the impossible.

Mr. Reid: At least he didn’t say it was the art of the rational.

Mr. Lewis: It sounds magnificently reasonable to me. I kind of like the juxtaposition, Mr. Speaker; it flows lightly off the tongue. The art of the minimum versus the art of the reasonable; I think that flows neatly and shows the differences on opposite sides of this House.

Mr. MacDonald: You’re obviously not too quick over there.

Mr. Lewis: More than that, the government Throne Speech also demonstrated a number of fundamental areas of disagreement, partly by what it included partly by what it omitted; a number of areas that evoke profound ideological difference between the official opposition and the government. That’s fine. That’s what a Throne Speech should do; and in many ways that’s what is healthy for the politics of Ontario and wouldn’t they be sad if we didn’t polarize it that way anyway, eh fellows?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Absolutely.

Mr. Lewis: So, in fact, we are accommodating them by drawing attention to the reality of politics in this province.

What I’d like to do is try to illustrate first where the differences between how far the government has gone and how far it should go are apparent in a number of specific issue areas, and then speak to various fundamentals which emerge from the speech.

First, a number of specifics, just to give you a sense of what we mean, Mr. Speaker. Number one, rent control -- or, lest I offend dear Sidney, rent review; right. He is not the only Sidney to say it was a far far better thing that you have done. In any event --

Mr. Foulds: You know what happened to him.

An hon. member: Guillotined.

Mr. Breithaupt: But not until the last moment.

Mr. Lewis: Well, what happened to him at times this Sidney would prefer. I want to submit, Mr. Speaker, it was perfectly logical for rent review and rent control to be extended, and to the extent of that logic we can support it. But isn’t it absurd that, having had the opportunity to deal again with the rent control-rent review process, the government is clearly determined simply to give an imprimatur on what already exists without taking into account some basic and useful reforms?

For example, the government could of course lower the percentage rent increase which is permissible, to follow again the wage and price guidelines which permeate the rest of the economy. It could of course lower it to six per cent. Clearly the government has already indicated that it won’t do that because it is absolutely tenacious in its ideological rigidity.

The government could also use the whole reform of rent review legislation to provide for important and fundamental administrative reforms of the process. The administrative process in rent review is a nightmare for those who experience it. In several instances, particularly as it applies to appeal, the administrative aspect comes virtually to an end. The Minister of Housing (Mr. Rhodes) knew better than most to exempt himself from the field as quickly as possible. He is a relatively logical man. He can find his way from A to C via B. The Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr. Handleman), on the other hand, finds it difficult finding A, let alone going beyond. As a result the administrative process in rent review is really impaired.

I want to remind the members opposite --


Mr. Lewis: Am I going to be heckled? Is there no safety in numbers? This is what I hoped for.

I now want to read, via the Chair, to the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations, the fascinating comment made by Brian Bucknell, the associate professor of law at Osgoode Hall, who has written the first major paper on the rent review process. You will know, Mr. Speaker, he was a tenant representative on the rent review board before he removed himself. His paper was called “Rent Review in Ontario: Policy, Politics and the Well Paved Road.” Just let me read a paragraph into the record for the edification of the House:

“While many of the policies embodied in the rent review programme are open to debate, there are two fundamental assumptions which from both a substantive and administrative point of view shaped and misshaped the whole scheme.

“The first of these assumptions was, as noted previously, that rent control could be a temporary measure, that a two-year life span for the whole programme was acceptable and that the administrative structure required by the programme could be assembled, have its work completed and be disassembled within 18 months. Obviously the decision to have a temporary scheme had no foundation in economic theory and it can only be regarded as a political response of a disaffected government to a programme which it disliked.

“The other assumption was that the rent review programme could be established and administered wholly separate from the general law of residential tenancies. Rent control is in theory inseparable from a regime of security of tenure.”

The maladministration of rent review haunts the validity of the programme. It makes it for many tenants in the province of Ontario unworkable. If the minister had one whit or spark of creative juices about him, he would use the opportunity of the extension of rent control to provide for a complete revamping of the administration of the Act. I dare say, Mr. Speaker, that that will not happen; and it is because it won’t happen that the New Democratic Party finds itself at variance, again, with the government.

I really think -- and I want to say this as genuinely as I can, because I have no ill feeling at all for the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations -- he is the wrong minister for rent review-rent control. As a matter of fact, if I may submit to you humbly, Mr. Speaker, he is the wrong minister for anything to do with consumer protection -- anything at all, whether it’s rents or whether it’s television repairs. His refusal to consider a simple intrusion on the private marketplace to protect consumers from illegitimate private behaviour makes this often unworkable; and it leads to the minister’s own lovable eccentricities, which then govern, piously, the programmes we implement.

Making the member for Carleton Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations is almost as silly as making the member for St. David (Mrs. Scrivener) Minister of Revenue. In both instances it simply doesn’t make sense.


The second specific I want to draw attention to -- not to mention beer at the ball game, which I wouldn’t let past my lips for fear, either.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: What, the beer or the comment?

Mr. Lewis: The second point I want to make, Mr. Speaker, relates to the alleged programme in the Throne Speech to stimulate rental accommodation and to continue the government’s increase of the building of low-income family housing. We’ve heard so often in Throne Speeches the stimulating of rental accommodation it seems hardly necessary to pay it heed now. I can only say that we will wait with appropriate anxiety what the government is going to do, although its actions have belied its words a thousand times before. In terms of the significant pretensions --

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: You haven’t got an envelope yet? Didn’t you get an envelope yet?

Mr. Lewis: No, I haven’t but I will. I will and I’ll see the programme.

In terms of the pretentions over the building of low-income family housing I also want to remind the government how little the facts jibe with the rhetoric in the Throne Speech. It talks about increasing the continued increase of low-income family housing. Can I remind the government of something? Before the Ministry of Housing was formed we were building low-income family units in Ontario -- socially assisted housing -- at somewhere between 2,000 and 8,000 units a year. Then we created the Ministry of Housing, in October, 1973. In 1974 we built 494 units of socially assisted family housing for all of Ontario. In 1975 we built 474 units; and in 1976 we built 202 units for all of Ontario.

Mr. MacDonald: Shame.


Mr. Lewis: The minister doesn’t think that’s valid? The figures come from his ministry. Those figures are for low-income, socially assisted housing.

Mr. Cassidy: They’re right on, and you know it.

Mr. Lewis: That doesn’t include the senior citizens’ housing, which is a separate component, in which he also hasn’t been making any great strides.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: What else?

Mr. Lewis: What else?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Go ahead, there must be more.

Mr. Lewis: No, that’s it.

Mr. MacDonald: How much more devastating do you want it to be?

Mr. Deputy Speaker: The hon. Minister of Housing will have an opportunity to enter into the Throne Speech debate later on.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: On a point of order --

Mr. Deputy Speaker: There is nothing out of order.

Mr. Breithaupt: That’s a matter of judgement, Mr. Speaker.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: My apologies.

Mr. Lewis: Your apologies are accepted -- on behalf of the Speaker. I want to remind the minister --

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, I have always known the Deputy Speaker to be a man who could speak for himself. He doesn’t need the Leader of the Opposition to speak for him.

Mr. Lewis: The Leader of the Opposition is a close enough friend of the Deputy Speaker --

Hon. Mr. Davis: In fact, if you listened to him more often you guys would be better off.

Mr. Lewis: -- to know when to be cautious. I see him in a reasonable mood and I am taking advantage of it while it exists, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Just don’t press.

Mr. Lewis: Fair enough. I simply ask the Minister of Housing, therefore, if he’d like to document and refute the facts by all means, but in socially assisted, low-income family housing, his record has been dreadful. It speaks volumes about his ministry.

As a matter of fact, it might as well be said now: the Minister is turning OHC administration over to the municipalities; he is selling HOME land to the private sector as fast as he can; he’s reducing the number of houses that he can build generally; he’s tying himself into the federal programmes -- AHOP in particular -- so that the province has very little involvement. The minister is dismantling the Ministry of Housing with an adroit facility. He is in fact making himself a minister without portfolio.


Mr. MacDonald: The only thing desirable about it is that the people didn’t suffer.

Mr. Lewis: The third point I wanted to make to the Premier, just in a brief review of some of the ingredients of the Throne Speech, has to do with the royal commission on the freedom of information and individual privacy. Again, as in rent, as in housing, it’s another missed opportunity.

And if I may say, earnestly, to the Premier, it just doesn’t make sense. The government has all kinds of laws to choose from, and what we are receiving on this side of the House and in the public in general, is the beneficence of a government that is unwilling to share what it regards as secrets. This is in fact -- if I may respectfully say through the Speaker -- a very secretive government. Its members think that government secrecy is somehow the art of politics; it is, of course, the bane of democracy.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Not at all. We are interested in some measure of privacy.

Mr. Lewis: I appreciate the measures of privacy, that need not deny freedom of information. I want to remind the government, since I see the Provincial Secretary for Social Development (Mrs. Birch) shaking her head, I want to remind the minister and her colleagues how long the government sat on that report on residential treatment for children before it was publicly released. If the ministry wants to understand --

Mr. Breithaupt: Twenty months.

Mr. Lewis: -- the feelings of those on this side of the House about whether or not it is genuine in what was advanced today, one need only put it in the context of the absolutely indefensible secrecy which the government tolerated for 15 months.


Hon. Mr. Davis: It really is silly.

Mr. Lewis: I hope, through you to the Premier, Mr. Speaker, that this commission will mean something. My colleagues the members for Sudbury East (Mr. Martel) and Wentworth (Mr. Deans) found it a matter of some irony that the man chosen to head the commission, Dr. Carlton Williams, past president of Western University, was during the time of his tenure one of the people who refused to give information to the select committee on economic and cultural nationalism when it asked for it; and that makes one worry just a little about the nature of the commission.

May I say to the Premier, as gently as I can, I think he knows that I have, and my party has, complimented the government on certain appointments. Whether it was Arthur Porter or Arthur Maloney, on very many occasions we congratulated the government on the appointment. May I say this appointment is one of its lesser marvels. I say no more than that.

Hon. Mr. Davis: It is too bad, because he is a very able person and will do extremely well.

Mr. Peterson: The Leader of the Opposition is very wrong. He is very wrong.

Mr. Foulds: Not in that field.

Mr. Peterson: If he knew the man he would change his mind.

Mr. Lewis: If the commission turns out to be an excellent commission, I’ll accept it.

Mr. Speaker, the next point I want to deal with in terms of the items --

Hon. Mr. Davis: On a point of information, I wonder if the Leader of the Opposition could tell us as to the extent of the freedom of information Acts in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, how far-reaching they are --

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Or British Columbia.

An hon. member: What about Alberta?

Mr. Lewis: May I proceed now, Mr. Speaker?

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Yes.

Mr. Lewis: I don’t feel constrained to answer. I don’t know if there is a freedom of information Act in Manitoba or Saskatchewan. I wouldn’t really wish to prolong it --

Mr. Deputy Speaker: The question is out of order, unless you specifically accept it.

Mr. Lewis: May I move next, Mr. Speaker, to an item in the Throne Speech relating to initiatives in French language in the English schools. I doubt, in fact I’m sure, no one in the opposition benches will oppose such initiatives. But what an enormous pity that at this moment in time the government couldn’t bring itself to a collective initiative, which would be applauded right across the country, of making the French language obligatory, in a number of grades in the elementary system at least, so that finally we could have French language instruction in Ontario which began to be universal. That’s not something which anyone in this Legislature on the opposition benches has resisted, it seems to me, over the last number of months or years.

It is something which the government could have won from this House easily and willingly; and it is an example, again, of the difference between the extent to which the government is prepared to proceed and the extent to which we in the opposition think it ought to proceed. I am sorrier than I can say that on this matter the ministry was unwilling to take its courage in its hands for the sake of whatever opulent carrot it is prepared to offer the various school boards.

The fifth point I want to make about minor matters arising from -- if not minor of less than fundamental weight -- arising from the Throne Speech, is the question of some of the multicultural initiatives which seem to be inherent in that speech -- English as a second language and the reference to a heritage-language programme; I’m not at all sure what that will mean, obviously at some point we will learn.

But again, it seemed to us to be an opportunity to put to the province of Ontario, through the vehicle of the Throne Speech, Mr. Speaker, a number of specific and particular initiatives which would have given a tremendous measure of good feeling and reassurance to many communities, naturally a little anxious now because of our public obsession and preoccupation with matters English and French and matters Ontario and Quebec.

What might have been appropriate for the Throne Speech, Mr. Speaker, if I can submit, is a proposal which would have earmarked specific funds to school boards for the provision of English as a second language, because the programme is still far too amorphous.

The government might have expressed it in terms of a specific weighting factor and spoken to the concerns, although not yet policies, which the Minister of Education (Mr. Wells) has expressed, and my colleague from Oakwood and others have expressed. The government might have amended, or announced intention to amend The Education Act to permit the teaching of languages other than English and French at all levels in a way which would encourage the boards to do so; funded considerably by government, not unlike what it is now doing with the teaching of the French language; hopefully never having to resort to the extremity of the Essex county situation, although that becomes unavoidable.

But why was it that we have to have, instead, a vague reference to a heritage language programme when we might have done this kind of thing specifically? Not to mention, in other parts of the province like the northern parts, an amendment to The Education Act which could have provided for Cree and Ojibway to be put on a similar footing.

And further, Mr. Speaker, there might have been a specific initiative in the Throne Speech which spoke to the experience of teachers in the various education colleges, in order to provide teachers from a much wider multiplicity of backgrounds to teach, not to mention providing a sensitivity to some of the more difficult problems.

In the midst of the present crisis in the country, Mr. Speaker, none of us can afford to forget the wealth and variety of languages and cultures which make the composite of Ontario. It would have been nice to see something other than the facile reference to heritage languages in the Throne Speech. That’s something, again, where we would like to take the government rather further than it was prepared to go.

It is, I guess, worth pointing out that these are the same groups of people, largely immigrant groups of people, who are experiencing enormous economic problems at this point in time. I judge an absolutely disproportionate number are unemployed, with terrific inflationary pressure to boot; and one senses the need for a demonstration of faith contained in the Throne Speech. It was not there.

Number six, Mr. Speaker, I might like to make reference to what was tabled today in the Legislature in the consolidation of children’s services in the province of Ontario and the striking of a provincial authority. I am not willing to cavil, nor do I want to get into the argument about who was responsible for bringing it --

Hon. Mr. Davis: Well they weren’t, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Lewis: -- but I can remember back to debates in this Legislature when William Davis was a mere Minister of Education --

Hon. Mr. Davis: That’s right.

Mr. Lewis: -- in the middle 1960s, when the therapeutic environments for emotionally disturbed children were discussed most heatedly. I have often wondered to myself since, and I’d like to pursue it when the bill is actually introduced, what went wrong. I have a feeling that we concentrated our energies with such focus on young children that we forgot the adolescent range.

We did provide some important social changes for kids of six, seven, eight, nine, 10, 11; it was really quite fundamental and quite dramatic and quite important. But somehow the pressure of the disturbed adolescent in Ontario society escaped this legislative forum; things went from bad to worse, as a result of the enormous proliferation of statutes -- group homes, therapeutic settings, whether it was a psychiatric hospital, a Thistletown, a children’s boarding home, a children’s institution, a centre under The Children’s Mental Health Centres Act -- and then the residential report chronicled it all.


We have on this side of the House some anxieties about what the government has introduced. We have some considerable anxiety about how long it seems it is going to take before the local or regional groups get together to decide on rationalizing the system, sorting it out and finding the money to pay. We will be pressing very hard to get some details about that. But I want to put to the minister, because I know she is genuine in this, something that worries me personally even more greatly, although I suppose it isn’t the kind of thing on which one bases opposition to the principle. I have a feeling, intuitive but firm, that we have chosen the wrong ministry.

One of the reasons that we have had this incredible consequence of children in trouble in Ontario flows directly from the previous Department of Social and Family Services, which was completely inadequate to deal with it. The minister may recall that the reason we set up The Children’s Mental Health Centres Act under the Ministry of Health was because the Department of Social and Family Services was utterly incapable of dealing with it. They never seemed to have the capacity or the apparatus. I think that was partly because it is seen as a welfare ministry, and I guess it will never be seen otherwise.

I have heard nothing but positive things about Judge Thomson, for example, from all those I have talked to. And I understand that the civil service appointment from Management Board -- is it Barnes or whoever? -- is a go-getter, an active person; so maybe there will be reasonable administration. But I really wonder about the competence of Comsoc, whether it is under the present minister or anybody else, to handle it.

I want to remind the minister that when we moved mental retardation from Health into Comsoc it was an utter disaster. Not only did we have to have an inquiry into Huronia shortly after, but no one can persuade anybody in this province who is knowledgeable that that ministry has adequately handled the mentally retarded or that services in the community have been provided, as the member for Brock (Mr. Welch), when he was Provincial Secretary for Social Development, promised in his now infamous green paper or white paper, or whatever the devil it was. One worries about that ministry.

I would have thought in the best of all possible worlds -- and we think in terms of the best of all possible worlds over here -- that Education might have been the place. An educational environment is really what you want for these kids -- not in the strict learning sense, but in the sense that if kids are identified earlier, responded to through the educational process, and integrated early, then you don’t have to set up separate institutional arrangements for them.

By setting up a children’s authority, a separate division, in the Ministry of Community and Social Services, I wonder whether we are doing anyone a favour ultimately. I understand the politics of it. I understand the difficulty of it. I am expressing a grave personal reservation. I worry about all of the implications. I look at the rest of the programmes in Comsoc and, honest to God, I don’t know how the children will not be defiled by the inadequacy of the rest of the ministry. With all of the best will in the world, the whole inheritance of that ministry, precludes an appropriate setting. But I don’t know what one does, other than to register as strongly as I can what would have made more sense; and politics often becomes the art of what is essentially common sense.

The other thing I want to put to you, Mr. Speaker, is this question of the new occupational health and safety statute. It is the last specific item I would like to make reference to that flows from the Throne Speech. Again, who would dispute it? But if I may say to the House leader, and to the Premier in the wings, we in this caucus are increasingly worried about the way in which occupational health is still being dealt with, despite the alleged successes or advances we have made.

For example, may I ask, plaintively, where is the occupational health institute that was promised by this government in the last throes of the 1975 election campaign? And why the devil don’t we have it? Does not the government yet recognize that an occupational health institute of that kind is absolutely indispensable to do the kind of scientific and educational range of work without which individual statutes are of only modest use or modest application?

Because there hasn’t been a focus -- because the government has refused to entertain that vehicle which could have said something to the world -- then, if I may, I submit there are a number of matters arising which worry many of us greatly.

Why are we having the perversion of Bill 139, which was passed in good faith in this House? How is it that the Minister of Labour (B. Stephenson) is prepared to side with the International Nickel Company over the question of whether or not a worker has a right to leave a place which he or she believes to be unsafe?

I mean, we passed it in the House in good faith. Nobody ever believed in this Legislature -- never--that a worker who left a job because he believed on reasonable grounds that it was unsafe, would then be sent home without pay and that some other worker, who could be dragooned into it, would step in to do the job. No one thought that that would be the interpretation of the legislation in this House.

That’s a breaking of faith. It’s a breaking of faith in the field of occupational health on the part of the Minister of Labour. And it is simply unacceptable, Mr. Speaker.

Why this instinctive wish to close out the media to the public hearings that were being held on the new omnibus bill? It again bespeaks the same frame and attitude of mind which still worries about whether occupational environmental health should be shared with the public, with workers, with all of the people who might otherwise be interested. Why are we still relying, and intend to rely in the new legislation, on threshold limit values that come from this conference of industrial hygienists in the United States, whose values are largely discredited in the more progressive and enlightened scientific community, but by which values our workers, in our work place, will be governed?

I wonder, Mr. Speaker, if I can ask the House leader, in the absence of the Minister of Labour, whether he heard Mr. Cleverdon, head of the occupational health division of the Ministry of Labour, recently on radio -- a Radio AM programme -- after my colleague from Hamilton East had raised a question of asbestos dust at the airport.

I heard rumours of what Mr. Cleverdon said. I didn’t believe them. When I was at Radio Noon doing a recent show a few days ago, I asked to hear the tape and listened to it; and I want to say to the Legislature, Mr. Speaker, I couldn’t believe it.

Mr. Cleverdon, who heads an important branch of government, with the greatest respect in the world to the man, doesn’t know what he is talking about. He got his figures wrong. He got his assumptions wrong. He provided sweeping reassurance for which there is utterly no evidence anywhere. And he didn’t seem to recognize that asbestos is, I guess, the single most dangerous contaminant in the work place we have yet come across.

I felt again as though something was wrong about how concerned we are prepared to be around this issue.

I was shocked, I want to tell you -- I don’t know how else to phrase it -- when the new Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. F. S. Miller) went up to Matachewan to meet with the workers after the closing down of that asbestos mine and is quoted in the Globe and Mail as saying: “On the subject of environmental controls Mr. Miller described the government’s health standards for workers exposed to asbestos dust in the work place as among the strictest in the world. ‘The trouble with our standards is whether we have erred on the side of being too strict.’

“Mr. Miller said his minority government was forced -- “ that’s the verb he uses -- “forced to adopt the stringent occupational health standard.”

You have to wonder what happens to normally reasonable people when they move into the Ministry of Natural Resources. It’s like a kind of a metamorphosis, you know. It’s a science fiction transmogrification or whatever the word might be. But anyway, poor Frank Miller is transfigured the moment he moves into Natural Resources and has to thump the party line; and if that can be true of a man who was in the Ministry of Health, who fought these battles through, who one assumes would have supported, rather than seeing it as a coercive act, better environmental health standards, God help the ministry; that ministry is an absolute menace.

I’ll deal with the Workmen’s Compensation Board in this matter of occupational health in just a little while, Mr. Speaker, but around this particular matter we are sensing an absence of good faith and would wished to have sensed otherwise.

All right, Mr. Speaker, what I guess I’m trying to say to the Premier is that there are a whole range of specific items in the Throne Speech where we would have taken things much further. But we fully recognize that he has taken it, recognizing or paying tribute to the art of the minimum, as far as he is prepared to go. However, there are a number of fundamentals which I’d also like to raise with the Premier, and the most profound area of disagreement, the one which is most compelling for this caucus, an issue on which we know one day we will divide, whether it’s in the House or outside, is the question of management or mismanagement of the economy of the province of Ontario.

Hon. Mr. Davis: It is interesting that at long last you are interested.

Mr. Lewis: We have been putting it for a long period of time in terms of the management of the economy.

Mr. Deans: Continuously.

Mr. Lewis: Continuously.

Mr. Deans: You never listen.

Mr. Renwick: Since the member for Brampton became Premier.

Mr. Lewis: That’s right, as a matter of fact it began with his ascension to Premier. That’s when we really twigged to the frailties and that’s when we took it on seriously. But I want to remind him, lest he has forgotten, although his memory is legendary, of all those years in the early and mid Seventies when we on this side of the House tried unsuccessfully to persuade his intractable hordes that inflation was doing terrible damage to Ontario and that unless he did something about curtailing prices and profits we were going to be in a real jackpot in this province in the management of the economy; and we could never persuade him at all.

But we knew, for whatever worth it was, that in the context of the economy that was central then; just as, if I may say, unemployment has become equally central now.

Now in terms of the mismanagement of the economy, the Tories pay lip service to it, I understand. Those are some very gracious and elegant words in the Throne Speech, and again no one can deny them; but when Darcy McKeough, Treasurer of Ontario, rose in his place on Friday morning to make the statement he made it all become fairly clear. When all is said and done, the Tories are simply going to opt for the traditional, economic sophistry. They’re going to opt for those old-fashioned, traditional economic approaches, which have brought us to this pass, and have in fact characterized, indeed defined the problem for the last several years. From the point of view of this party, we think that the focus now must be equally shared with jobs. As a matter of fact, in many areas jobs are transcendent and we have to rip ourselves free of this conventional, self-serving assumption that it’s got to be an either/or proposition. As far as we’re concerned, we can do something about controlling inflation while at the same time creating employment. It’s as simple as that.

Hon. Mr. Davis: One of these ways is not to restrict capital programmes.

Mr. Lewis: Well I will come --

Hon. Mr. Davis: You people love to have it both ways.

Mr. Lewis: Were you engaging in some kind of doctrinal forum?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Just to the member for York South (Mr. MacDonald), for whom I have great respect and affection, one day he’s worried about jobs and the next day he wants to limit the programme of Hydro where there’s a lot of jobs involved.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order please, the hon. member will continue.

Mr. Lewis: As a matter of fact, I’ll get to Hydro, I’m very pleased the Premier has introduced it. It allows me another entry point, as it were. But I’ll get to that in just a moment. This isn’t --

Hon. Mr. Davis: I didn’t mean to interrupt.

Mr. Lewis: No, I know he didn’t and, perish the thought, I never interrupt him.

This is not a budget reply and I’m not going to make it into that -- we’re going to have a great deal more to say about the management of the economy in this province when we reply to the budget -- but obviously there is a deep concern expressed in the Throne Speech about jobs and the economy and I want to reply to it.


I want to reply to it starting this way, if I may, Mr. Speaker. There is a conventional mythology in Ontario, generally afoot, that the Tories are not bad economic managers, except that the facts constantly refute the assumption. I know the problems of Ontario aren’t separate from Canada, they’re not separate from North America. We are reminded ad infinitum about international markets and all the matters that impinge on this poor, fragile flower here in Ontario.

But on the other hand there is a very great deal of initiative and understanding which we could exercise and which we are not exercising. The role of the province of Ontario and the pretension of the Tory government as good economic managers is severely under attack, and I suspect that crescendo is going to mount rather than abate over the next number of months.

Let me remind the House of something. Let me remind it first of last week’s tabling of Ontario finances by the provincial Treasurer. This is, in many ways, quite a testament to the provincial Treasurer. Do the members know what it shows? If I can provide a simple dossier for my colleagues in the House: Number one, it shows that revenues were understated. Number two, it shows that -- sorry. I’ll start again. I’ll start at the other end.

Mr. Shore: You were close. You were close.

Mr. Lewis: I’ll start at the other end. Number one, it shows that economic growth was overstated by the Treasurer. Number two, it shows that expenditures of government were understated by the Treasurer. Number three, it shows that the revenues to be received were overstated by the Treasurer. Number four, it shows that unemployment was underestimated by the Treasurer. And number five, it shows that the provincial deficit was exaggeratedly understated by the provincial Treasurer. In other words, on all five economic indices of major import, the Treasurer was wrong. Dead wrong. That takes some doing, because he’s been around for quite a while.

Mr. Makarchuk: That’s nearly 100 per cent.

Mr. Foulds: He should resign.

Mr. Lewis: What it shows is a capacity -- well, I don’t think you’ll disagree with any of those matters. I think it shows a capacity for consistent prophetic error, or alternately, consistent rhetorical cant, and that’s what we have received from this Treasurer for a considerable period of time. I think what it’s going to do is to call into serious question the capacity of the government to make further economic forecasts. I ask the House, albeit the Premier treats it with a benign smile, to think that with all of the Treasury apparatus around him he can be wrong on revenues, wrong on expenditures, wrong on growth, wrong on deficit, wrong on employment, all by the same man, all within the period of 11 months. Not bad. Not bad.

Mr. Makarchuk: Almost a perfect score.


Mr. Lewis: I put it to the House as an interesting example of the mythology of the Conservative capacity to manage the economy.

I want to take that to a second point. The mismanagement also abounds in other smaller but identifiable ways. I remind the Premier of the millions spent on Minaki Lodge. I remind the Premier of the millions spent on the South Cayuga purchase, for which that town site will never see the light of a town. I remind the Premier, through the Speaker, of what was revealed around the OHIP billings to private labs and around, indeed, the administration of that system in general. I remind the Premier of the home buyer grant, yet to be accentuated week after week and month after month in this Legislature. I remind the Premier of the controversy around whether or not the exemption should have been granted to Ronto.

I remind the Premier, in other words, that there are individual identifiable examples, some of them mounting into the millions of dollars -- South Cayuga amounting to $30 million -- which are absolutely indefensible in the context of good economic management. Yet they are at the feet of the Conservative government. So on the one hand, the government’s forecasting is off --

Hon. Mr. Davis: You were going to land-bank the whole province a few years ago.

Mr. Lewis: Oh, dear! Is the Premier going to go back to silliness?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Yes.

Mr. Lewis: Well, by all means do.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Some people have never left it.


Mr. Lewis: That happens to me often, too --

Hon. Mr. Davis: You’ve never left it.

Mr. Lewis: -- and it’s very aggravating, particularly when it speaks the truth involuntarily.

Mr. Makarchuk: You didn’t come out that well on that one, Bill.

Mr. Lewis: I want to remind the Premier that there is yet another example of this mythology evaporating over time: his uncritical acceptance of the Anti-Inflation Board guidelines. He expressed occasional reservations but, boy oh boy, did he leap in quickly to endorse it, just as quickly as the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) leaped in to endorse Donald S. Macdonald.

Mr. Reid: And who voted with you on it?

Mr. Lewis: As a matter of fact, was it Sinclair Stevens my colleague from York South heard today saying that Donald S. Macdonald should resign for the budget he brought in. If he brought in that kind of balance sheet as president of a private corporation, they’d boot him out of office. But one never expected federal Tories and provincial Tories to see alike on such matters, I suppose.

Mr. MacDonald: They’re only fundamental.

Mr. Lewis: That’s why you’re here and Joe Clark is there. I understand that. I recognize it.

Hon. Mr. Davis: That’s why you’re here and Dave Barrett is back where he is.

Mr. Lewis: Don’t malign -- my goodness. you’re going far afield; nationalizing land in Ontario, Dave Barrett in British Columbia.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Same party philosophy.

Mr. Lewis: Is there nothing else you can invoke? Cuba, Czechoslovakia? Surely there are no limits to your horizons.

Hon. Mr. Davis: There’s a slight difference.

Mr. Lewis: All right. Let me remind the Premier that although he expresses the occasional caveat about the Anti-Inflation Board, he’s betwixt and between as much as the federal government is about what happens next, having imposed this phenomenon upon the people. But even though the Premier has exercised some restraints in the public sector, and I will have more to say about that shortly, he has never been able to bring himself, even now, to take a look at prices and profits. Indeed, one of the interesting aspects of the government’s inability to manage the economy is the way in which it has allowed a certain number of prices and rates to increase unconscionably while the controls programme is in place.

Mr. MacDonald: Milk prices, for example.

Mr. Lewis: Ah, thank you very much. I’ll accept any assistance that will come to me from my colleague. Milk prices, for example, said the member for York South. Does the Premier recall that his own government has done a study which indicated that the retail price to the consumer was illegitimately set for two years in succession? And they are talking about increasing milk prices yet again. Did we hear a twitch -- we never will hear a twitch from the Minister of Agriculture and Food or a roar from that minister when it emerged that milk prices might go up again? Not a chance.

Hon. Mr. Davis: You don’t hear twitches; you see them.

Mr. MacDonald: When the minister is here, I’ll see them.

Mr. Lewis: When you come right down to it, when it comes to the crunch, the government simply doesn’t intervene.

Hon. W. Newman: You would intervene in everything.

Mr. Lewis: May I also recall to you that when John Clement was Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations, when that portfolio was inhabited by a partisan rather than an antagonist, he did a study of 16 major food retailers, pointing out that the prices that were charged were frequently illegitimate. The government has had it all arrayed before it but in the question of food prices, during the course of controls, it has never been willing to intervene to protect the consumers or to protect the farmers. The government’s only interest is to protect the middleman. That’s whom they have protected.

Hon. W. Newman: Wait a minute. In Quebec the farmers --

Mr. Lewis: I think that’s true. I believe that to be true.

Hon. W. Newman: That’s not true.

Mr. Lewis: Mr. Speaker, may I point out to you how these Tories managed the economy in terms of energy prices? They were begged by this party to smooth the Hydro rate increase over a period of time so that people didn’t have to accept 25, 26 or 27 per cent rate increases capriciously, unexpectedly, in given years. They found it impossible, absolutely impossible.

Now that the Treasurer is back, the Premier may leave. I understand --

Hon. Mr. Davis: We’re just sort of alternating a bit. It takes two of us to handle you at any time.

Mr. Lewis: No, I don’t think that’s true, but I am prepared to admit that they are indistinguishable one from the other.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I will be back.

Mr. Lewis: I say that affectionately. I mean simply in girth if nothing more.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I have been working very hard.

Mr. MacDonald: That is not below the belt; it is on the belt.

Hon. Mr. Davis: On you -- it’s below.

Mr. Lewis: Exactly. On matters of food and on matters of energy costs, there has been absolutely no wish on the part of the Treasurer or the government to protect people in the province of Ontario. On the question of housing costs, it is engaged in exactly the same activity, exactly the same activity. As a matter of fact, the Minister of Housing read a statement today before the orders of the day, announcing fulsomely that of course the government is going to make a profit on the sale of the land. Well, land is the single most extravagant component, the one that has been going up most speculatively over the last several years -- in the cost of a house. If you have 20,000 to 22,000 acres of publicly-held land all over the province of Ontario, why in God’s name not build upon it and reduce the price of the house to the buyer by virtue of reducing the price of the land?

Now, it is my opportunity to correct what the minister said because when I talked about the first buyer, I was talking, of course, about the province -- not about an individual home purchaser. It seems to me that the province should keep the price down. I don’t understand the government’s whole programme. But I speak again to its inability to keep prices under check, yet at the same time allegedly supporting the wage and price control programme.

It also speaks to property taxes. May I say a word about property taxes? It speaks to procrastination, to delay, to a refusal to act upon suggested reforms, to the apparent acceptance of many of the preposterous propositions in the Blair commission and those propositions from government which preceded it. Again, we will have much more to say on the budget when we respond. I simply point out that whether it’s food or energy, housing or land, property taxes or whatever, the government supports the AIB guidelines on the one hand and, on the other, does nothing as a government to manage the economy. And that speaks volumes to us in this caucus, because it shows that the mythology around the Conservatives is mythology indeed.

That brings me to the fourth point I want to make: Whenever the economy of Ontario needed stimulation in the minds of this government, whenever it felt that jobs were required or that investment had to be increased or that something had to be done to get this economy going again, it turned to its favoured, absolutely single-minded preoccupation -- a tax rebate of one kind or another to the corporate sector. That is its fine tuning of the economy, a blunt-edged instrument used again and again in successive budgets from 1971 through, I dare say, to 1977.

It never seems to understand that there has to be a multiplicity of economic factors altered, changed and implemented, when dealing with the kind of stimulation which is allegedly required. And even when the government had conclusive evidence that additional jobs were not being created, even when it had conclusive evidence that the tax rebate wasn’t really working, it persisted in its application.

And what’s the bitter irony? The bitter irony is that in 1977 we are in worse shape economically than we were when the government first happened on the idea in 1971. By the end of this fiscal year, it will have budgeted for tax rebates equalling $830 million to the corporate sector. And for what? We have never been able to get from the government the number of jobs created.

An hon. member: None.

Mr. Lewis: You have always denied --

Mr. MacDonald: John White said none and he was right.

Mr. Lewis: John White admitted there were no jobs created but we have never been able to get that from this Treasurer.

Mr. Deans: You eliminated jobs, in fact.

Mr. Lewis: I would be glad to receive a lesson in elementary economics from the Treasurer whenever he wants to give it to me. More paradoxical is the fact that the government kept on providing tax rebates to the corporate sector for the purchase of machinery and equipment when there was significant unused capacity in the manufacturing sector throughout. How, in God’s name, does that make economic sense in Ontario to provide that kind of fillip to the corporate sector in precisely the area where they are unable to use it?


Do you know, Mr. Speaker, in 1971 when they began this proposal there was already unused plant capacity of 10 per cent to 15 per cent in the province of Ontario, with the provincial Treasurer sitting idly by? Perhaps I can read into the record the percentage of capacity utilization in the manufacturing sector by a number of major groups for the fourth quarter of 1976.

In wood it’s running at 75 per cent; in furniture and fixtures at 70 per cent; in printing at 79 per cent; in primary metals at 65 per cent; in metal fabricating at 80 per cent; in machinery at 86 per cent; in electrical products at 79 per cent; in non-metallic mineral products at 73 per cent; in chemical and chemical products at 82 per cent.

If you take all the major sectors of the manufacturing area by group you find we’re running at a use capacity of 79.43 per cent. That is, to echo the words of my colleague from Downsview, we’ve got over 20 per cent of unused capacity across the country, and it is generally conceded that those figures are directly transferable to the central manufacturing province, such as this one. It makes no sense.

It makes no sense when our exports are down as well. And I want to remind the House of the response of many of the corporate people to the Donald S. Macdonald budget. A number of them said, what use further tax rebates because we’ve got unused capacity? A number of them also said, why in the devil didn’t they provide a significant tax cut -- obviously these were people in the service and retail trades -- because that’s what we require to stimulate our sector? Surely, therefore, that significant tax cut must be part of the provincial Treasurer’s next budget, using some of the money he has so inappropriately deployed for the corporate sector. Yet his response to Donald S. Macdonald shows otherwise.

Can I remind the Treasurer of his clairvoyant words on Friday morning last? “These are not happy times for the economy,” he said. “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 and his budget concentrates on long-term performance to meet both challenges, rather than short-term tradeoffs.”

That is a devastating statement for Ontario, and it’s terribly disappointing because the problem has been long-term for a long time. Yet this government, with its straitjacketed view of economic management, cannot seem to adapt. You’re always good at curtailing the public sector. You’re always good at trumpeting the private sector, you invariably use tax rebates as a cure-all, but you’re not managing the economy well. Your statement on Ontario finances was wrong. Your support for the AIB and your refusal to curtail prices was wrong. The evidence of mismanagement in a number of identifiable areas is unacceptable, and in the crucial matter of the tax rebate you have clearly made an error.

Can I put it simply this way, Mr. Speaker? This Treasurer and those around him are terribly fundamentalist people. They’re far more dogmatic in their economic approach than the New Democratic Party will ever be. They’re stale, they’re narrow, they lack common sense. it is very, very difficult for any of us to appreciate why they rely so entirely on one economic strategy when it has led to indefensible unemployment -- or at least it has existed alongside indefensible unemployment in this province.

The government has said very often that we are the doctrinaire people. Utter balderdash! If ever there was a government of fundamentalists, it lies over there. Its mismanagement of the economy is proof of it. I can’t imagine any less creativity, flexibility than the government has displayed. As a matter of fact, if I can coin a phrase, this Treasurer and the government of Ontario suffer from what might be called an almost terminal scrawniness of the imagination.

Now I suppose, in a way, that it was all bad enough before, but now that jobs have become so fundamental, so central to the Ontario economy, it becomes dispiriting and demoralizing. Three hundred and sixteen thousand people unemployed in February of 1977 -- that’s quite a testament to the provincial Treasurer. Can I read the unemployment rates into the record, Mr. Speaker, lest members of the House haven’t seen them? In eastern Ontario in February 1977 the rate was at nine per cent. In Peterborough-Haliburton, 9.8 per cent. In Toronto, 6.9 per cent. In Hamilton peninsula, 8.7 per cent. In southwestern Ontario, London-based, 8.9 per cent. Southwestern Ontario, Windsor-based, 9.4 per cent. Southwestern Ontario, Kitchener-based, 6.3 per cent. Georgian Bay-Lake Huron-Barrie, 10.4 per cent. Northwestern Ontario, 7.2 per cent. Northeastern Ontario, 9.3 per cent. Three hundred and sixteen thousand people unemployed.

Does the Treasurer remember the budget of 1971? Can I quote his words back at him? I quote:

“Low-income workers have been particularly hard hit, as have young people and students who find themselves unable to enter the labour force in ways which fully utilize their abilities and training. During this period of forced slowdown, large numbers of older employees have lost their jobs and many of them will find it difficult, if not impossible, to secure equivalent positions when the economy ultimately recovers.

“The real cost of unemployment to these people has been enormous, not just in terms of lost incomes but also in terms of human dignity and family security. In addition, there has been a heavy cost to the community at large in lost output and weakened confidence.”

That was in the budget of 1971. What happened to those words by 1977?

Remember John White and the budget of 1973? He says, and I quote: “Let me repeat, however, the message of my predecessor, who stated that any unemployment figure in excess of three per cent is unacceptable to this government.”

An hon. member: Well, well.

Mr. Lewis: We’ll never see three per cent again, so long as the Tories are in power, because now we have a government which is willing to accept eight per cent. I know it’s a difficult proposition to deal with unless one sort of sees it visually in human terms, but imagine accepting as an economic premise in Ontario at least 316,000 people out of work for a continuing period of time. That’s not this month’s figure. There was a time when that would have turfed a government right out of office.

Mr. Deans: It will.

Mr. Lewis: And so, of course, it should turf this government and may yet do so, if it ever brings itself to facing the electorate.

I might say that a goodly number of people in my caucus have visited Manpower offices. They see them in their own constituencies. They talk about the individual ruination in families. One cannot deal in this society with that kind of unemployment rate. But it persists. It continues.

As I was driving to the Legislature today, I passed Shaftesbury and Yonge where they are putting up some kind of apartment hotel or whatever, and they are advertising on a billboard for workers. They have 160 to 200 jobs available. By noon they already had 500 applications, and the applicants were lined up down Shaftesbury and all the way along Yonge.

This is 1977, for God’s sake. This isn’t depression psychology. There is utterly no reason in the world why this government, were it able to manage the economy a little more creatively, there is utterly no reason in the world why it couldn’t step in and revive the confidence that it finds so elusive. But in its own straitjacketed persistence, it relies on one avenue alone -- the tax rebate to corporations.

So obviously we would be in favour of a fairly major tax cut. As a matter of fact, if those tax cuts to low- and low-middle-income groups had been exercised over the last two or three years, rather than these rebates which show little point, we probably would be a lot better off than we are today.

But we go further than that. What we’re saying to this government in no uncertain terms, what we’re asking, urging, proposing is simply this: Let the government be seen to be actively, urgently involved, region after region, creating jobs, saving existing jobs, taking equity positions, encouraging the private sector, restoring confidence, not by abstract theories, but by showing the world that we can make a significant dent on unemployment and that we can do it while still managing the economy in terms of inflationary pressures. Let the government use the existing funds it has. It has already budgeted for $160 million a year, for heaven’s sake. It isn’t as though it had to raid the Treasury further, although additional funds for direct investment would be a perfectly legitimate decision. Let it make its variety enormous and put life and enthusiasm back into the economy.

Let me put to the provincial Treasurer, if I may, a number of concrete examples. Let me not talk in abstracts. Let me tell him exactly what we mean. I’m just going to recite them at him pell-mell in the context of everything that’s gone before in this argument.

Number one: Take the example of Collingwood. Several hundred workers are going to be laid off in that Ontario shipbuilding community within the next several weeks. By the end of August 1977 there may be 1,000 people laid off. It is facile and inexcusable to consider Collingwood a federal shipbuilding responsibility. When I was in Collingwood some number of months ago, seeing the place and trying to understand what the unemployment hazards were and why there was so much anxiety -- and the Premier, I know, has been involved via back-benchers and others -- one of the things that struck me, small but compelling, was the wish on the part of the company to extend its dry-docking facilities from 750 feet to 1,000 feet in order to allow it to tender on a number of ships it couldn’t otherwise build.

No one is asking the government to give a subsidy to the shipbuilding industry. All we’re saying is, here is an identifiable role for tile provincial government to have gone in there, helped them with their expansion to 1,000 feet and helped them therefore gain additional contracts. It never occurred to the government to do so. As a result, the unemployment in Collingwood is as layable at this government’s feet as it is anywhere else.

Number two: Take Timmins in the riding of my colleague from Cochrane South. Timmins now has 4,700 people on the role of the Manpower offices, although that takes in an area beyond Timmins itself. But it hasn’t been this high in 20 years. Timmins is suffering from the gold mining decline. They’ve lost 730 jobs over the last two years in the various gold mines. I guess Texasgulf is not now hiring at the moment, although it has expansion plans for the future. The Timmins community is in serious economic hardship.

I throw the government’s mind back to July 1975. The Treasurer stands in the Legislature and says; “We are going to build a consolidated government structure in Timmins. We have apportioned the funds for it already.” It’s April 1977. Where’s the government structure? It’s never been built. The people in Timmins have never seen it.

Mr. Ferrier: They haven’t turned the sod.

Mr. Lewis: They haven’t turned the sod; they haven’t let the tender. Why, when the government has a community which has such heavy unemployment can it not at least meet a building project to which it is committed?

Why not do more than that? Why not take a look at the gold mining situation in a place like Timmins? Finally, the value is going up on the international markets. Finally, the government has from the gold- mining companies themselves -- the member for Parry Sound (Mr. Maeck) shakes his head. He’s shaking to a colleague, but I’d prefer to use it for my purposes. He agrees gold is up in price again on the international market. He knows, as few others know, that the International Monetary Fund has now looked as though it will stabilize the sale of gold. He knows because he has something to do with Natural Resources, doesn’t he?

Mr. Maeck: Don’t carry this too far.

Mr. Lewis: He used to have. He used to know that one of the major gold-mining companies, Pamour, has presented a piece of material to the Minister of Natural Resources and to the Treasurer demonstrating the kinds of gains and jobs which could be available in the gold-mining sector if only it had some confidence and economic support.


Is equity such anathema to those people opposite? Is it not possible to give a community continuity and economic resilience by stepping in at the moment when a small public, private venture would guarantee it long-term security? What is wrong with the Tories? They can’t extend a dry dock in Collingwood. They can’t build a government building in Timmins. They can’t provide equity for gold mines.

Let me ask them something else: What about Matachewan? My colleague from Timiskaming (Mr. Bain) has certainly raised it with the Premier and the former Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Bernier). So have I. There is a company, United Asbestos, which went through a terribly difficult time. I think it is generally agreed by those who have looked at it, including the Mercantile Bank. I suspect including the government itself, that the problems of United Asbestos are very deep. They go back to management. they go back to a capital inflationary spiral which the company did not anticipate. But the place is relatively safe; safer than most asbestos environments in Ontario. The machinery is now installed and it could probably go to 100 per cent production.

And the Tories are dealing with Kirkland Lake. Do they remember Kokotow Lumber -- down the drain 18 months ago -- no jobs? Notice Ontario Dynamics, a little manufacturing plant in Kirkland Lake -- down the drain -- no jobs. Now we have 275 jobs at a viable operation, and they sit there in that absolutely intractable rigidity and say, “We will not intervene in the market place.” Why do they give rebates of $160 million to private companies? Why don’t they take an equity for the province of Ontario in certain of the industrial or resource sectors in order that the jobs be fulfilled?

I spoke to the president of the Mercantile Bank. My colleague spoke to the vice-president of the Mercantile Bank. This government has been in touch with the bankers, the people who hold the notes. The Premier knows that if the government showed some confidence in Matachewan that place could reopen and the people would go back to work. There seems to be a good international market. That is a concrete job-saving proposition, just as there are other concrete job-creating propositions.

Why can’t the Tories do it? Why can’t they bring themselves to do it? Why can’t they flood out from this place with sirens ringing, establishing a number of job situations all across Ontario to show that they are serious about it? What about the east end of Metropolitan Toronto? What about light rail transit for Scarborough? They have the money apportioned. They have shown some evidence of good faith. What is it about this government that it can’t step in and say, “We want that light rail transit system built. It is (a) legitimate and (b) will provide jobs and we will move heaven and earth to get it done.”

They move with alacrity and with support from us when they stop the Spadina expressway. It doesn’t take them long to do. They move with alacrity and support from us when they stop the Pickering airport. It doesn’t take them long to do. Why can’t they move with the same feeling in job-creating areas which are concrete and identifiable? Do they know that the building of that Scarborough light rail transit will create 1,325 man-years of work? That will be several hundred construction workers in Metropolitan Toronto employed for two, three or four years. This isn’t a LIP project; this is real. And they can’t get themselves to do it.

Can I remind them about construction in Metropolitan Toronto? Bricklayers; the rate of unemployment is 29.5 per cent. Carpenters, it is 28.7 per cent. Electrical workers, it is 23.1 per cent. Ironworkers, it is 24.5 per cent. Labourers, it is 70 per cent. Five thousand, five hundred and ninety-nine labourers unemployed as of April 1 out of 8,000 workers. Painters, 13.8 per cent. Plumbers and steamfitters, 17.3 per cent. Sheet-metal workers, 22.9 per cent. You know as I know, Mr. Speaker, that these are terribly vulnerable people, these are largely immigrant people, people who need jobs more than most, people for whom life is perilous at all times in the adjustment to a new society and a new economy. The government has a project. Why the devil can’t it rouse itself to do it?

Let me point to another. What about the whole question of environmental and pollution control measures to create jobs? There is an enormous job benefit inherent for eastern and northern Ontario, end this is totally the private sector. We don’t have to spend a penny of government money. And does the government know how to do it? It does it simply by enforcing the environmental regulations which the Minister of the Environment allows the companies to flout and prolong at will. The Premier, when we raised the question of the pulp and paper companies and matters of environmental control and water management, said we wanted to close down the plants. And then he learned from the Minister of the Environment alone, who is on record in Hansard in an exchange with my colleague from Durham West, that we wouldn’t lose a single job, that it’s all economically possible, that it’s all there, if only they would clean up.

Now we learn that if we insist that the companies clean up, there are more economic and job benefits than we could have imagined, because there has now come to light a study called “Benefits from Industrial Production Pollution Abatement Equipment for the Pulp and Paper Industry,” dated January 1975 -- a study right across Canada showing that if our environmental standards were met it would require from the private sector $740 million of legitimate expenditure which, like the Minister of the Environment’s study, it shows they can afford -- much of which would come into Ontario.

Do the members know how much? Shall I tell them how much? Sixteen thousand, four hundred and thirteen man-years of work -- 4,000 in manufacturing, 5,000 in construction, 6,000 in services. Even if we only took 4,000 to 5,000 workers we would keep them employed for up to four years at an important environmental and economic undertaking which everybody applauds, which should be undertaken by the private sector, and which would provide jobs all over the province.

We have pulp and paper mills, 37 of them, everywhere in the province of Ontario, particularly the east and the north. Why isn’t it possible for the people opposite to undertake that kind of thing?

But let me go further, Mr. Speaker, while we are speaking of that. We managed to lay our hands upon a draft copy of Design for Development from the Ministry of Natural Resources submitted to TEIGA very recently. I want to read a paragraph from it because it speaks to exactly the kind of proposition this party is making:

“A number of byproducts can be recovered from pulp mill wastes, thus reducing pollution and providing a base for further chemical processing. Quantities of crude tall oil and turpentine already are being recovered from the spent liquors, but a significant proportion of this is exported without further refining into such products as tall oil, fatty acids, resins or other derivatives. A number of byproducts such as lignosulfonates, sugar and minerals can also be recovered from sulphite mill spent liquors.

“Other pulp mill wastes have byproduct uses as well, for which new applications and markets are developing. There is some potential for development of a wood-based chemical industry in this region. This related secondary manufacturing substantially increases the number of employment opportunities and the product dollar value added over that derived from primary producing operations. The appropriate provincial ministry should carry out immediate investigations to harness this potential.”

So where is the potential? Where is the harnessing of that potential for northwestern Ontario?

Don’t talk to us about the Reed Paper company, five, 10, 15, 20 years down the road. Talk to us about secondary manufacturing for northern Ontario today, now, because it’s today.

Mr. Wildman: What about Blind River?

Mr. Lewis: I’m coming to Blind River. The support I’m getting is superb. The prompting is dead on. That’s my next subject. Everywhere you turn in this province there are job-creating possibilities if the government weren’t so terminally scrawny. The Minister of Culture and Recreation should not take it personally, although I will admit the description has a certain unerring glance.

I just want to remind the government -- whether it’s Collingwood, whether it’s Timmins, whether it’s Matachewan, whether it’s Scarborough, whether it’s communities with pulp and paper mills, whether it’s Design for Development northwestern Ontario -- it has projects, private and public, crying out to create jobs. And the government can’t undertake it.

Well, how about looking at the possibility of creating new industries as well in this time of high unemployment? Why not look at that seriously? And when the government thinks about that, and I can’t go into it at great lengths -- my colleague from Durham East I hope will do so at some point in this session and perhaps my colleague from Windsor- Riverside (Mr. Burr) as well -- why not look at energy?

The government talked about Ontario Hydro; the Premier interjected about Ontario Hydro. There’s no invidious contradiction with Ontario Hydro. The problem with Ontario Hydro and energy in the province of Ontario is that those beggars monopolize everything. They are monolithic to a point where one can’t even make a dent on them. They have tied us into a nuclear option which may or may not be valid in itself -- that we do not yet know -- but sure as the devil, it precludes effectively the development of all kinds of other alternatives. So we limp along in solar, and we limp along in wind energy and we never undertake anything seriously. They want $25 billion by 1985. If the government can refer one, two or three per cent of that, think of the job creating possibilities.

Let me put to the Minister of Energy one particular aspect of that. Let me put to him the aspect of methanol as a job-creating potential, as an alternative fuel source in the province of Ontario and as one of the most exciting and imaginative experiments we might undertake, if anybody over there had the imagination or the wit to do it. I simply want to point out that methanol of course is not meant to be a substitute for electricity, but it can by way of additive be a significant substitute for gasoline and diesel fuel. As we know, as we’ve heard from the Minister of Energy just Friday morning, we have so much of a problem in the amount of money we’re paying for oil that it would be nice to begin to develop some alternative supplies.

The methanol process, while not yet economic, has some clear possibilities, and again one doesn’t understand why the government can’t be flexible or imaginative enough to embrace it. For example, the government could have three prototype plants in this province. One would be based on waste wood from current mill operations from full tree operations. I don’t have to go into all the details and definitions, but that is possible adjacent to one of the current mill operations, let’s say, at Kapuskasing.

The government could also have a mill, a methanol plant, tied to a tree-farming project for methanol production. I come back to Blind River. What a beautiful place to have a prototype to instill confidence in the economy again, to produce a fuel which more and more is accepted as a viable possibility, if only a government will come to grips with it. I don’t want to depreciate the possibilities around Blind River for a long-term, land regeneration programme, but in the short term, given the amount of land we need for tree farming for the production of methanol, there is an appropriate place, or somewhere in eastern Ontario.

Do you know, Mr. Speaker, that for roughly 4,775 square miles -- that’s about three million acres -- we could provide 15 per cent of the total gasoline and diesel fuel requirements of this province in the year 1985?

I assume the House leader also knows that the Ministry of Natural Resources has experimented with poplar plots in eastern Ontario which have achieved a work production rate of 320 cubic feet per year, which is 13 times the present growth rate. Yes, I know the Minister of Culture and Recreation has personally investigated them.

Mr. Moffatt: He even gave them a Wintario grant.

Mr. Lewis: Probably that’s true. What I’m pointing out to the government then is that when it talks about 19,000 square miles for the Reed Paper company, 4,000 square miles doesn’t seem very much, does it? When the Minister of Agriculture and Food talks about 12 million acres of class 6 and 7 land available for eventual agricultural use, three million acres doesn’t seem like very much, does it?

The government could have a free-farming operation as a prototype in a place like Blind River and bring life back to that community and create a great many jobs. It could also do it from solid waste in around the Metro Toronto region and have a prototype plant here, as the Minister of the Environment nods his head. You people are so bullishly frustrating -- if the minister will forgive me for using an unlovely adjective to describe such a demure creature as himself. I don’t understand why be sits there --



Mr. Lewis: -- in constant agreement, but can never initiate anything. We produce about two million tons of waste now in the Metro region -- annually. Four hundred thousand of it will be going to the Watts from Waste programme. There will be enough remaining to create a fairly major methanol plant -- and methanol is a legitimate fuel in this part of the province.

All of this isn’t hearsay, because fortunately people are at work on it. There is now at the federal level -- done for the Ministry of the Environment -- a report entitled The Economic Prefeasibility Study: Large-Scale Methanol Fuel Production from Surplus Canadian Forest Biomass. And there is Ontario’s paper which the minister is acquainted with: Methanol in Ontario, a Preliminary Report, done by two University of Toronto professors, Donald MacKay and Russell Sutherland, for the Ministry of Energy.

So, finally we’re getting the documentation. Where is the creative verve? Why the failure of imagination? You could provide a prototype in at least two other parts of the province and, above all, you could provide jobs.

And what about measures to refine and process more of our minerals in Ontario as a way of maintaining jobs? Mr. Speaker, you have probably looked at the list of exemptions given to the mining companies of the province of Ontario for processing and refining abroad. I have 34 such exemptions updated to March, 1977. Some of them are very, very large. Falconbridge, for example, has an exemption of 85 million pounds of nickel per year. What is the reason given? Let me tell you -- “Inadequate further processing capacity exists in Canada; and funds for construction are not available at this time.” My colleagues in the Sudbury basin haven’t noticed the penurious state of Falconbridge -- certainly not when they deal with Norway.

There are other conventional reasons given in this report. One of the most frequently given is this: “No further processing facilities exist in Canada and the benefits obtainable appear to be too low in relation to costs to justify construction.” Who makes the judgement? The Ministry of Natural Resources makes the judgement? “Appear to be too low”? I hope it is not unkind of me to say that the Ministry of Natural Resources has had such an unhealthy, supportive, and often lackey relationship with the mining sector, that they should not be making judgements on whether or not refining and processing is done abroad. It should not be permitted.

We are exporting jobs. We’re exporting thousands of jobs, many of them, I expect, illegitimately. And again, all of these exemptions should be subject to public scrutiny. The government might have a select committee of this Legislature take a look at some of those exemptions, because I’d like to know how the Ministry of Natural Resources arrives at its conclusion as to whether or not it is apparently valuable to have the processing facility here.

Mr. Laughren: In the Albany Club.

Mr. Lewis: In the Albany Club? I don’t know. But I do know that it is a highly suspect process, given the actors in the play -- on other matters -- up until now.

Let me remind the House about servicing of land in southern Ontario to get housing directed to land of lesser value -- something the government keeps on talking about. When the government builds its pipe, it builds it through the York and Durham regions rather than Niagara, and it uses up the best agricultural land rather than use the money to create real jobs in southern Niagara where it requires servicing to deflect the population growth. I needn’t elaborate on housing.

Look at services to people. We’ve been talking about services to people in this caucus until we couldn’t stand the sound of the repetition. And suddenly, in this Throne Speech, the government discovers services to people in the context of using youth unemployment to deal with the aged. Well, what an amazing revelation. Why can’t they expand that to services to people in corrections, in mental health, in retardation, in a number of other identifiable social service needs? They’ve got plenty of surveys and plenty of material to do the job.

In other words, all over this province there is example after example of job-creating possibilities. The government could expand these further by stepping into vulnerable communities such as Kitchener, where Electrohome is losing its electronic parts business because of tariff problems, or Cornwall, where a textile mill is losing the same way because of tariff problems. The government could show verve and imagination. They could create thousands of jobs in Ontario. The first part is the direct tax cut, but then the government should go to those communities which are under pressure, losing jobs or needing jobs, and to the industries that will bear fruit -- a Collingwood, a Timmins, a Matachewan, a Kirkland Lake, pulp and paper mills, northwestern development, the gold mining industry, Scarborough light rail transit, construction workers in Metropolitan Toronto, methanol prototypes here and there in Ontario, servicing of land in southern Ontario communities. One area after another is open to the government, and if they had any imagination in job creation at all they would have the jobs as well.

I simply want to say to the hon. minister opposite that this is a theme, an issue, a focus for us which we shall not relinquish over the next number of months; and others will obviously share it, because I think it is shared generally by the opposition in Ontario.

Clearly, Donald S. Macdonald’s project is a death knell to job creation. Clearly, Darcy McKeough is travelling down the same road, and it is utterly and unacceptably wrong to maintain a persistent level of 316,000 unemployed in this province when the job- creating possibilities stare the government in the face everywhere and its crazy, narrow, stale, conventional, traditional views of managing the economy do not permit it to intervene in a way which is helpful to Ontario. We deplore it.

The mismanagement in the field of jobs is but one kind of mismanagement of the economy of which this government is guilty. There is the mismanagement of the entire resource sector. At times, outside and inside the Legislature we have dealt with our water resources. We have dealt with our mining resources. The entry of the former Minister of Natural Resources, as I come to mining resources -- or the Secretary of the North or whatever his job appellation is --

Mr. S. Smith: Governor of Northern Ontario!

Hon. Mr. Bernier: You will be sorry. Be careful what you say.

Mr. Lewis: Is that not fair? I’m not sure. The northern tail on the cabinet dog? How do you say it?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: I just came back from Sudbury.

Mr. Lewis: Well, the fact of the matter is that when one speaks of mining in this context, one wonders what the government is going to do. I’ve listened to the leader of the Liberal Party ask questions in this area on occasion around prospecting and the opening of new mines. It is interesting that we’ve come to 1977 and there are no new mines opening and no new mines in prospect. The amount that is invested per year is declining steadily; it was at an average of $23 million from 1967 to 1971, but it’s now at an average of $15 million from 1972 to 1976.

Does the former Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Bernier), who is about to become the Minister of Northern Affairs, remember his proposal to bring in a Crown corporation for exploration? Does he remember saying that in 1974? He repeated it again that year and again the next year, and then he jettisoned it at the end of 1975. If we had a Crown corporation in place now for exploration and development in the mining sector, we might not be in such difficulty. As a matter of fact, if that minister had accepted a proposal put to him by the New Democratic Party a number of years ago to set up a development fund for northern Ontario based on 50 per cent of the mines profits tax, we might not be in this particular jackpot today; but none of that was done. They put forth a proposal; they abandoned it, they pulled it back. And as a result we are in terrible difficulty in our mining sector.

So we are in difficulty in water. We are in difficulty in mining. We are obviously in difficulty with our forests; and boy oh boy, are we in continuing difficulty with agricultural land for which there is still not a land-use plan adequate to provide legislative protection in the province of Ontario.

The time speeds. I have dealt with the major matter I wanted to deal with, and that was jobs, but I want to say something about agricultural land as I pull natural resources together. I want to say, Mr. Speaker, through you to the Premier and to the House leader, that all of the guidelines in the world will still not protect those lands which are under pressure in the province of Ontario.

I notice that the Minister of Agriculture and Food last week went to the Bureau of Municipal Research and made a speech in which he said that in Niagara the government had saved 3,000 acres from urban expansion; 1,800 acres of tender fruit land and 1,200 acres of vineyards. Can we believe that? I mean it is just not credible that a minister of the Crown should make that kind of statement when he knows that it isn’t valid.

With greatest respect, it isn’t valid. What really happened in Niagara is that there weren’t 7,000 acres under pressure, there were 8,000; and that, in fact, of grape and fruit land, the government saved only 1,780 acres in the Niagara region; 1,780 acres. I have an internal document from the regional planners of Niagara which shows, just so that it’s a matter of interest, that there were 860 acres of tender fruit saved, 820 acres of grapes, 90 acres of good general, 10 acres of potential development of other land; totalling 1,780 acres. In other words, they gave away 5,000 and kept 1,780 to protect, and they did it on the day that they announced their guidelines.

Since then, the population projections for the Niagara region have dropped by another 67,000, according to the report put out by Peter Barnard Associates to the Minister of Housing. Why are they not saving all the land in Niagara when the population data we now have, since their announcements, indicate they don’t have to alienate any of it?

Now whether it was Niagara or whether it is the dismal saga of Haldimand-Norfolk -- let little be said about that in this Legislature, it is embarrassing enough for the government -- or whether it’s the landfill site proposed for the Halton region for 500 acres of prime agricultural land, all of that goes down the drain. Their guidelines mean nothing.

There are 500 acres of agricultural land in the middle of Halton, class 1, jointly owned by Burlington and Oakville; in both local official plans zoned agricultural; and the regional municipality is going to use it for a landfill site. So where are their guidelines now? Where are their guidelines now?

Where were they in Niagara? Where were they in Haldimand-Norfolk? Where are they in Halton? Where are they on the Niagara Escarpment?

Mr. Speaker, may I say to the Premier we have been doing some work on the Niagara Escarpment, sufficient that this delicious little memo came out from the Escarpment Commission on March 7, 1977: “To development control staff from C. A. Louis, manager, development control:

“In future, all requests for information from any of the opposition parties -- e.g., Frank Lewinberg, NDP research -- should be directed to Carolyn Jamieson, our information officer. By channelling such inquiries through Carolyn, we will be able to monitor the same more closely. At the same time, all information will be co-ordinated to provide complete, up-to-date and accurate responses.”

Needless to say, since the memo, the responses have not been quite so immediately forthcoming as in the time prior to the memo.

Mr. MacDonald: Freedom of information.

Hon. Mr. Davis: They probably just want to be accurate.

Mr. Lewis: Oh, I’m sure they want to be accurate.


Mr. MacDonald: They were too accurate before.

Mr. Lewis: The government wouldn’t want to bring in a freedom of information Act which could make it sure; let’s wait a year or two while the escarpment disappears --

Hon. Mr. Davis: We just want to protect a little privacy when we do it -- like the member from High Park.

Mr. Lewis: I think I’m beginning to warm to this. The fact of the matter is --


Mr. Speaker: The hon. Leader of the opposition has the floor.

Mr. Lewis: Thank you. I just remind members that the escarpment, which John Robarts moved to protect 10 years ago last month; 10 years ago -- and then the Gertler report and then the special task force and then the Niagara Escarpment Commission -- and we still don’t have a plan for the escarpment. And in the very --

Hon. Mr. Davis: That’s not quite right; look at the great town of Caledon.

Mr. MacDonald: You’ll have your speech later; don’t interrupt.

Mr. Lewis: In the very near future we will be able to document for you, Mr. Speaker, how the commission staff and the commission itself, have in certain crucial urban growth developments, recommended strongly against acceptance by this government, as a result of the need to protect agricultural land and other environmental and planning protections, and this government has systematically overruled the submissions -- well we will see; I’ll give chapter and verse.

Why do you think they boxed us out of getting the material from the commission, Mr. Speaker? I may say that what it shows is that, again, the government’s guidelines are not worth the paper they’re written on. All of which comes back to the whole theme which I am trying to put together.

Mr. MacDonald: Ask Eric Winkler.

Mr. S. Smith: Six hundred acres in Milton and a parkway belt.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. Leader of the Opposition please.

Mr. Lewis: All of which puts together what I wanted to convey to you, that the conventional mythology about the Tories being good managers of the economy in Ontario does not stand up to scrutiny. It doesn’t stand up to scrutiny in areas of financial prophecy, doesn’t stand up to scrutiny in areas of job creation, doesn’t stand up in areas of natural resource management.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Stephen, you are reaching today; and you know you are reaching.

Mr. Lewis: I may say to the Premier, through the Speaker, he is in serious difficulty around the management of Ontario economy. It is his Achilles heel and I suspect one day it will bring him down.

Hon. Mr. Davis: It may bring us down, but it won’t bring you up.

Mr. MacDonald: Bring him to order, Mr. Speaker. Don’t give the floor back to the Opposition Leader, he’s got it; just bring the Premier to order.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. Leader of the Opposition will continue his remarks.

Mr. Lewis: I don’t seek distractions as often as the Premier does when speaking. I like to rely on the material I have at hand rather than the repartee I can evoke.

Hon. Mr. Davis: You don’t have to seek them.

Mr. Lewis: If you will allow me merely to deal with two final matters, I’ll move the amendment. They’re brief.

Just as there is the whole range of the economy and natural resources, and I’m glad the Minister of Labour is back, there are some simple matters of human resources. I think, as a matter of fact, the government isolated that in its own Throne Speech on page 29 where there is reference to the balance of natural and human resources in the province of Ontario.

Mr. Speaker, I want to convey to the Premier the really desperate need in Ontario, about which we in this caucus feel most strongly to do something about the Workmen’s Compensation Board. As we look at that perilous balance of the natural endowments and the human realities, I want to point out to the Premier, respectfully, through the Speaker, that management is unhappy with the board for a whole range of reasons, some of them related to the kinds of money they pay; others related to the administration of the board. The unions are unhappy with the board for a whole range of reasons, often conveyed with real feeling.

May I say to the Premier, through the Speaker, that this is a recent phenomenon. The Premier will recall that the trade union movement has been almost universally supportive of the Workmen’s Compensation Board. As a matter of fact, the trade union movement has been critical of the New Democratic Party when we have criticized the board. But all of that is changing. It’s not simply management now. The trade union movement is losing patience and feels aggravated and antagonistic toward the board.

I want to point out to the Premier that a lot of members of the Legislature feel personally aggravated with the behaviour of the Workmen’s Compensation Board. There are the difficulties of getting through the bureaucracy, the difficulties of dealing with them individually and the difficulties of the appeal process. If one talks about mismanagement of the economy, think of the mismanagement of that board. May I also point out to the Premier that the Ombudsman’s select committee expressed in its own careful way equal concern about the board and its refusal to share with the Ombudsman data and information that was pertinent to the inquiries being conducted.

In other words, there is something wanting right at the heart of that board. That Workmen’s Compensation Board is grinding to a halt. It’s simply not functioning as it should function. If I may say to the Minister of Labour, the latest and most vexing example of that is the incredibly insensitive and positively indecent refusal to grant compensation to Aime Bertrand in Sudbury.

I’m not going to rehash the case with her on the floor of the Legislature today. All I’m going to do is to make the point that the scientific evidence on which the government based compensation for stomach cancer, scientific evidence from which it based compensation for lung cancer, scientific evidence on which it based compensation for esothelioma, is exactly the same scientific evidence that has now been adduced and provided for the relationship between laryngeal cancer and asbestos.

Hon. B. Stephenson: Oh no it isn’t. You are wrong.

Mr. Lewis: It all comes from the New Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Dr. Irving Selikoff.

Hon. B. Stephenson: No, it doesn’t.

Mr. Lewis: If I may say to the Minister of Labour, respectfully, she has been wrong before on occupational health, and if I know her she will be wrong again on occupational health.

Hon. B. Stephenson: And so are you.

Mr. Lewis: I say to her with respect that Selikoff’s findings on this matter are irrefutable.

I know the pressures the board is under, I know what is happening here, I can understand it. Why it has to happen at the expense of Aime Bertrand, I’ll never know. It isn’t as if the government were talking about compensation for thousands of people in Ontario. When we provided compensation for stomach cancer, do members know how many claims have been awarded? Two.

Hon. B. Stephenson: Three.

Mr. Lewis: Is it three now? Now we’ve got one laryngeal cancer case and there may be one or two more that can fit into the compensable system.

Hon. B. Stephenson: The causal relationship has not been established.

Mr. Lewis: The causal relationship has not been established!

Mr. MacDonald: Does the minister mean they have to die before she will do anything? Does she want them to die before she gets the relationship developed?

Mr. Lewis: That’s really quite aggravating. I will try not to be provoked about it but it really is quite aggravating because the minister knows, as I know, that that causal relationship will be a matter of acknowledged scientific history a few months from now, or a year or two from now. It’s just this constant reluctance to recognize it when it is real and to run around impugning the studies which make it real.

Hon. B. Stephenson: It is rational responsibility to function in that way.

Mr. Warner: You can’t give them the benefit of the doubt.

Hon. B. Stephenson: Oh, yes, I can.

Mr. Lewis: The minister said that to us every time. Every time we introduce an industrial disease which should be compensable, she talked to us about causal relationships; she talked to us about scientific validity. My God, we have adduced scientific validity for the minister which she has never been able to counteract. All she can now say, and all that Dr. McCracken was prepared to say, is that they have initiated a study at the Princess Margaret last November.

Hon. B. Stephenson: What scientific information have you ever given me? None!

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

Mr. Lewis: Can I point out something to her as Minister of Labour? The standing committee of the Legislature sat in December at the Workmen’s Compensation Board and discussed laryngeal cancer for quite a long time. Does the minister know we were never told about the study that was struck by the board?

Mr. MacDonald: Withholding information again.

Mr. Lewis: Does that not tell the minister something about the board, about the sickness at the heart of the board, that they should meet with a government body of legislators dealing with an issue and not tell us that they’ve instituted a study?

Mr. Deans: They hadn’t; they hadn’t that’s the point.

Mr. Lewis: That’s sickness. That’s the only word I can think about it.

Mr. Deans: They hadn’t.

Hon. B. Stephenson: Yes they have.

Mr. Lewis: I’ll tell the minister something else. They now refer to some European study. They won’t give us the information on what European study they’re talking about. There’s something wrong with the board, and there is something wrong --

Hon. B. Stephenson: Their researchers are fearful of harassment.

Mr. Cassidy: Balderdash!

Mr. Lewis: Mr. Speaker, I want to say to the minister --

Hon. B. Stephenson: Speak to the member for Durham West (Mr. Godfrey). Just speak to him and find out.

Mr. Lewis: I want to say to the minister and the House what it isn’t nice to say; but we all know it and we all believe it, so let’s say it.

Hon. B. Stephenson: Go ahead and say it anyway.

Mr. Lewis: Michael Starr is not an effective chairman of that board. That board is run by Harding, and Kerr and McCracken and MacDonald. Michael Starr is there purely as the voice, and although I like Michael Starr and I had hopes for his appointment, I wish it were not the case. Because that board, as a result of the top internal administrative control, is riding roughshod over the legitimate demands of working people for whom the benefit of the doubt should operate. All the scientific gobbledegook notwithstanding, it won’t help Aime Bertrand. Thirty years! Thirty years from asbestos to cadmium, and the minister can’t persuade the board to give him a pension, and Dr. McCracken talks so foolishly, if you’ll forgive my saying so, so presumptuously about all of this.

Hon. B. Stephenson: I hope that you will read from Hansard today’s question period.

Mr. Lewis: I heard carefully today’s question period. I asked about it and was briefed on it, and I certainly hope that’s changed. I’m glad my colleague from Nickel Belt is going to deal with this again tomorrow night, because, by God, it’s a sick body. It’s a really sick body and it needs a reformation badly, and you people shouldn’t put up with it. You just shouldn’t put up with it.

The law needs changing, the administration needs changing --

Mr. Ferrier: And the government needs changing.

Mr. Lewis: -- the whole system needs changing. And the government needs changing. But I knew that all along. That’s a sine qua non for the Workmen’s Compensation Board.

By way of a personal observation -- I’m not usually provoked to this -- you’re obviously a very able minister, I say to the Minister of Labour through the Chair. You handle yourself well, you’re articulate. I understand that. And you master your portfolio -- I understand that. But just as I always believed that a doctor shouldn’t be Minister of Health, I’m becoming more and more persuaded that a doctor dealing with scientific matters finds it too often necessary to spring to the defence of certain sectors of the scientific community. I don’t think that’s necessary in the minister’s role. I don’t think she should need do that. I think in fact she should move to the innovators rather than defending the traditionalists, and that that would serve well in occupational health and serve particularly well with the Workmen’s Compensation Board.

I have but one last point I want to make. I want to say something about Quebec, and I hope, Mr. Speaker, that the House leader will be kind enough to convey my words to the Premier, who may not get a chance to read them.

My colleague from Wentworth today got to his feet and associated this party with the Premier’s remarks on Quebec, and wherever we can so associate we will, because we think that the initiatives that have so far been taken are pretty good initiatives and we want to keep them going. We’d like to try to make them more precise. We’d like Ontario to play an even stronger role, but a number of things which have been done seem to us to be presentable. I think something has happened in this Legislature. I think there is a kind of consensus developing about it. The leader of the Liberal Party went recently to Quebec. He spoke. I guess, in Ville St. Laurent to the Rotary Club or one of the clubs. He was good enough to send me a copy of his speech and I read it. It spoke much truth. It said, as many of us have increasingly been saying in the Legislature, necessary things about the province of Quebec. Like others, I speak about it with some regularity here and there because one can’t really avoid the subject, nor would one wish to. I don’t want to prolong it here, but it is in many ways a terribly discouraging business which becomes more and snore intractable.


I visited the province of Quebec, as all of us have been visiting, a couple of weeks ago, and saw a number of interesting people and a range of people.

I spent some time with Robert Cliche, he of the royal commission on the construction industry and a man who is sort of a folk hero in the province now. I spent some time with Claude Castonguay, a man of enormous integrity who left the former Liberal cabinet and author of that social services and health report; an excellent fellow. I met at great length with the editorial bureau of La Presse, eight of their senior editors. I met for a while at some length with the Minister of Social Affairs in Quebec, Denis Lazure, who happens to have been a sort of friend in the late 1960s. I met also with the editor and the associate editor of the Montreal Star. I had a number of strong impressions emerge, which I would like to share very briefly.

First of all, I had the impression that these pilgrimages really proliferate; the movement from Ontario to Quebec and from Quebec to Ontario is quite something to see. Every time you turn around a Claude Morin or a Castonguay is here, or a Lazure is coming to speak. Or Bill Davis, Stuart Smith, or Stephen Lewis and their colleagues in the cabinet and the benches of their parties are moving back and forth. I had the sense that if this had happened more often in the last few years, it would have been rather better today.

I smiled when I saw Claude Castonguay. The interview was hurried at the end because he was just about to meet with John Evans, president of the University of Toronto, who was coming down to pay homage on other matters, on a major conference that he wants to sponsor in the fall.

I emerged with another feeling. I emerged with the feeling of the tragedy it was that there is no focal point in Quebec to provide another federalist option independent of that of Pierre Trudeau. Within Quebec it is still seen as a Levesque-Trudeau exchange, and there is no one in the Liberal Party, no one in the UN, no one in society as a whole apparently, who can meet Rene Levesque with a different federalist option, because Trudeau’s federalist option is suspect in many eyes.

Some people talk of Castonguay. I often thought to myself that these rumours about Chretien going from the federal cabinet to assume the leadership of the Liberal Party in Quebec might not be such a bad idea, because he is a pretty able fellow and presents himself rather differently from those of his confrères in Ottawa. Or maybe somebody will emerge. There is a terrific vacuum there -- a vacuum which pains and which is acknowledged everywhere you go. So the debate polarizes ever more fiercely and it causes internally, and externally around Quebec, a great deal of anxiety.

When one is there, one recognizes how everything is so absurdly heightened in the context of the drive of that society, of the ethos of that society. Castonguay was saying and it is the only thing I will report, but it struck me as so vivid at the time, maybe just me because I hadn’t thought of it enough. He was saying that when the federal government imposes milk payment cutbacks capriciously or arbitrarily -- two or three times in a given year or two -- in the province of Ontario it is seen as a debate between the federal Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Whelan) and the provincial Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. W. Newman); we rail at each other a little, we savage each other a little, and we get over it. But in the province of Quebec it is seen as further conclusive evidence of a kind of federal conspiracy to entrap that province in a discriminatory position.

When we have trouble with tariffs in the textile industry in the province of Ontario, we do battle. The Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Bennett) or the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) will stand up, or any one of us, and take on the federal government over the question of tariff policy and over the question of the way the thing works. But in Quebec, when that kind of tariff policy prejudices a fragile textile industry because the economic base is not as diversified and because there isn’t the same confidence that Ontario has, it is seen again as another example of Trudeau federalism smothering Quebec’s need for independence or quasi-independence. It creates in the society tremendous continuing anxiety and tension.

All of that conveyed to me, particularly by a number of other people I chatted and met with who were kind of friends and associates, that they are a long way down the road; that that CBC poll was not misleading; that when you are talking about sovereignty with economic association, there is an increasing appeal to a lot of people in Quebec.

That, I think, is why it is so desperately important that Ontario keep the option open -- keep the doors open -- largely as the Premier has said he will do, and largely as the direction of policy seems to be. I don’t know what the answers are. Nobody does. I am as confused and bewildered as anybody else. I do know that we shouldn’t be provoked, at all costs -- even when Quebec introduces a language policy like that which it has just introduced. It is to play into the independents’ hands by reacting too sharply, too provocatively. It is sensible to act with concern. It is probably wrong to invite exactly the kind of backlash which the PQ will at some point, I assume, deal with.

They are, after all, the government. They appear to be a government of some ability. They appear to have a tremendous support as a political party from the people of Quebec. And that must always be remembered because somehow we have to deal with the majority of those in Quebec who want to opt for federalism.

In this Legislature we will have our differences. We have had them before around this issue. We will have them again. But there is, I think, something to be said for acting in concert. As a matter of fact, there is something to be said for the widespread sharing of use. There’s something to be said for opening up this forum once every few weeks, if you will, to a debate on Quebec and on Canada, bringing each other up to date with the experiences, impressions, opinions that are gradually forming, particularly in advance of the conference which the Premier intends to hold in June. In other words, our job is not so much to divide, in a partisan way, when common approaches might make an estimable contribution.

The majority of Quebecois still want to hear the voices which speak for unity. Let us not be discordant. I judge we won’t be. Perhaps this forum can be turned into an exciting intermittent assembly of those who wish to think it through, collectively, because there are many here who can talk to it with authority and with feeling. Therefore, I simply say that we appreciate the direction things are taking, feel not the slightest self-consciousness in applauding it or acknowledging it, and hope that within the temple of this Legislature it can be maintained under control -- not dispassionate, sometimes argumentative, but under control. Because otherwise, we have an enormous amount to lose.

So I end, surprisingly enough, with protestations of good faith, certainly around this issue. Doubtless we may soon be out there on the hustings -- that too may be useful, because then it will be an appreciation of alternatives. The Tories seem to be doing marginally well in Ontario -- so the polls would say. And that’s fine too. That has never cowed us or intimidated us. Those are the momentary realities of politics.

But what I have tried to extend to the government today is a basic position, a position which says: On these specifics we divide in degree and on other specifics we divide fundamentally in kind. You will not get from the New Democratic Party arguments of trivia or personality or irrelevance. We are going to try to keep it pinned to the issues. We are going to try to keep it pinned to fundamental differences of approach. We are going to try to keep it pinned, with as much reason and substance as we can bring to bear, to alternatives. And in that spirit and with that context, I would like to move an amendment.

Mr. Speaker: Mr. Lewis moves that the motion for an address in reply to the speech of the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor at the opening of the session be amended by the addition of the following words: “That while it is recognized that the concerns expressed in the Speech from the Throne, delivered by Her Honour, are genuine attempts to redress grievances resulting from many years of government mismanagement and while it is recognized that those portions of Her Honour’s address which dealt with questions of national unity are eminently supportable, nonetheless we must insist that this Conservative government has once again failed to establish priorities and policies which would resolve the following major concerns in the province of Ontario:

“1. The failure to ensure employment, both short- and long-term, with particular emphasis on (a) direct government involvement in major long-term job-creating projects of wide diversity, public and private across Ontario, (b) economic stimulation by the promise of substantial tax cuts, (c) major development and building of diversified housing for low- and middle-income citizens, (d) an intensive programme of secondary and tertiary manufacturing based on our resource sector;

“2. The failure to call for an early end to the AIB, despite increasing public concern that controls are now hurting far more than they are working;

“3. The failure to moderate increases in the cost of living by refusing to recognize that (a) the present property tax formula places an unfair burden on middle, low- and fixed-income families, (b) food prices, energy prices, land and housing costs are above the consumers’ reasonable capacity to pay;

“4. The failure to protect adequately our natural-resource heritage, be it water, minerals, forests or agricultural land, compounded by the continued absence of a land-use plan for Ontario;

“5. The failure to call for a complete overhaul of the Workmen’s Compensation Board to civilize it, to humanize it, and to make it respond sensitively to many of the people it was created to serve;

“And for all the foregoing enumerated reasons this government no longer enjoys the confidence of this House.”

On motion by Mr. S. Smith, the debate was adjourned. On motion by Hon. Mr. Welch, the House adjourned at 5:55 p.m.