30th Parliament, 4th Session

L008 - Thu 7 Apr 1977 / Jeu 7 avr 1977

The House met at 10 a.m.


Mr. Speaker: Statements by the ministry.


Hon. Mr. Taylor: Mr. Speaker, yesterday I represented Ontario at the energy ministers’ conference in Ottawa. I stated Ontario’s position in the manner that I outlined in the Legislature last week. I made it very clear that Ontario would not support any increase in the price of crude oil and natural gas this year.

Mr. S. Smith: What did Lougheed say?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: I did not gain the support of the government of Canada and the producing provinces. However, I am happy to report that I was supported by almost half of the consumers of Canada who are represented by all three of the political parties. The Ontario position was strongly supported by Manitoba and Nova Scotia.

The question of price was not resolved. It was agreed that all provinces would prepare written suggestions dealing with price and pricing mechanisms. I made it clear that Ontario would not support any price increase this year.

Mr. S. Smith: And did Lougheed threaten to keep it in the ground?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: The energy ministers will meet again within four weeks for further discussion.


Hon. Mr. Snow: On behalf of myself and the Minister of Northern Affairs (Mr. Bernier), I would like to state this government’s position with regard to the Canadian Transport Commission’s decision to discontinue rail passenger service between Thunder Bay and Winnipeg and between Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie. This discontinuation has been ordered by the CTC effective May 24, 1977.

Mr. Kerrio: How about using Greyhound out there?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Snow: To refresh the members’ memory on the background of the proposed discontinuation of this rail service, let me recap briefly.

In January 1976 the Hon. Otto Lang, federal Minister of Transport Canada, announced a programme to rationalize rail passenger services in Canada.

This rationalization process was to have included CTC hearings and subsequent reviews of each of the federally subsidized services in Canada. The way it was explained to us, the objective of these exercises was to reduce the growing subsidies being poured into rail passenger services.

Last week, on Monday, March 21 -- I guess that’s two weeks ago -- the CTC announced its decision regarding 11 of these services. Two of these were in Ontario. One is the CP service from Sudbury to Sault Ste. Marie and the other the CN service from Thunder Bay north via Fort Frances to Winnipeg. Both are to be discontinued May 24, 1977.

At this point, I should tell you that the Ontario government was present at both the hearings concerning the services to be affected in the north.

Our position on the Sudbury-Sault Ste. Marie service was that the CTC should completely satisfy itself that the bus service along the corridor be adequate to handle all existing rail traffic plus present and future anticipated bus traffic.

The decision signifies, I believe, Mr. Speaker, the CTC has accepted the adequacy of the bus service in this corridor.

At the Thunder Bay-Winnipeg hearing, we stressed Mr. Lang’s directive to the CTC which said: “Rail passenger service should not be abandoned in any case where no other commercial service exists.”

I would like to point out, Mr. Speaker, that there are a number of small communities in this corridor and while they have road access as well as rail, they do not have bus connections. And when you add to the fact that there are a number of summer camps and resorts along the line such as Owakonze -- I don’t know whether I said that right. Perhaps the hon. member for Rainy River could tell me --

Mr. Stokes: Owakonze.

Mr. Reid: Owakonze -- the jewel of the north.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Oh, forget it -- as well as several year-round residents at various points, it becomes clear to us, at least, that these people rely on rail for connections to the outside world. Yet the CTC order, in effect, cuts them off.

Expressed in other words, the CTC has completely ignored Mr. Lang’s policy directive to provide public service to those places without alternative commercial services.

Such communities may seem comparatively small to some people but this government will continue to support them until we have a concrete assurance that their problems have been solved in the area of transportation services.

I can tell this House candidly that until the very day that these two decisions were announced, the federal government has not reacted to our offer made during the hearings to sit down and discuss alternative solutions that must be provided to these communities in case of abandonment.

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Northern Affairs and I feel that the needs of these communities must be assessed further and a mutually acceptable solution reached. In order to allow the federal government and my officials enough time to properly assess these needs and find solutions, Mr. Bernier and I will be requesting the CTC to delay the termination of this service until at least September 30, 1977.

To be sure, there has been one encouraging note. Since the CTC’s announcement there has been some indication that the federal people are ready to talk about alternatives. My staff and staff members of the Ministry of Northern Affairs are now following this up. When these discussions have taken place, we will be in a better position to determine any further action that may be necessary.


Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, at the appropriate time later today, the House leader will introduce, on my behalf, legislation to establish a Ministry of Northern Affairs. The minister and deputy minister are in Sault Ste. Marie on government business at this moment.

This legislation represents a renewed commitment on the part of this government to overcome the obstacles of great distances, and relatively dispersed population, to provide comparable services and access to the people of northern Ontario. It is also a recognition of the wishes, which have been expressed by many people in the north, for a ministry which would have special responsibility for ensuring that the problems specific to the vast area of northern Ontario are considered when government decisions are made. The response --

Mr. S. Smith: What about a ministry of southern affairs?

An hon. member: He is being provocative.

Mr. Martel: Save your humour for the ball game.

Mr. S. Smith: Your establishment of this ministry is an admission that you have done nothing for the north; you treat it as a colony.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I heard from the leader of the third party that he wants a ministry of southern affairs. That’s part of his new platform? Is that to include the Bahamas and all of those relevant areas, or what is it that he is interested in?

An hon. member: I’m available.

An hon. member: Are you going to the ball game today, Bill?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Yes, I am going to the ball game today.

Mr. Deans: This is what is wrong with sitting in the morning.

Mr. Kerrio: I would like a couple in the reds.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I haven’t got any more tickets. I am sorry.

Mr. Lewis: I have the money.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I’m glad; I need it. Mr. Speaker, I am quite prepared to go on but there are a lot of questions being asked.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Will the hon. Premier continue with his statement? Thank you.

Mr. MacDonald: It was the Premier who answered the interjections.

Hon. Mr. Davis: The response from the north has been overwhelmingly positive since the government’s intention was made known.

Mr. Breithaupt: They are desperate for anything.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Members will have a chance to vote against it.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. There will be a question period later. Order; order, please.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Municipal councils, chambers of commerce and individual citizens in the north have expressed strong support for this recognition of the special status of northern Ontario.

The north comprises almost 90 per cent of the land area of this province. Its area would accommodate, for example, France and Germany, with room to spare. It is more than 1,000 miles from parts of northern Ontario to Queen’s Park. In fact, Halifax is roughly the same distance from Toronto as some parts of northern Ontario.

Mr. Stokes: We have been telling you that for years.

Hon. Mr. Davis: As part of our commitment -- we have been listening and we have been doing something about it.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Davis: In the member’s riding.

Mr. Ruston: He is going to switch over, like Homer.

Mr. Martel: After 34 years.

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

Hon. Mr. Davis: As part of our commitment to make government more accessible to the people of the north, the ministry will be establishing regional and district offices in both northeastern and northwestern Ontario, with an assistant deputy minister resident in each region.

Mr. Stokes: The northwestern office should be in Geraldton.

Mr. Warner: With Bernier as campaign manager.

Hon. Mr. Davis: The location -- Mr. Speaker, I can’t answer all of these questions.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I am sure the House will agree -- the interjections are not assisting getting on with the business of the House. Will the Premier continue his statement; and please, wait for the question period?

Mr. Ruston: Get the big stick out.

Hon. Mr. Davis: This is a very non-provocative statement.

The location of these offices has been the subject of intense interest on the part of the communities of northern Ontario and briefs have been received from many municipal councils expressing support for the concept. These are being studied carefully and a decision on the location of regional and district offices will be made in the near future.

In order to improve community liaison, the 25 northern affairs offices now with the Ministry of Natural Resources will be transferred to this new ministry. With assistance from these local offices, and from the people and organizations of the north, a prime function of the regional assistant deputy ministers will be to identify problems and needs unique to these regions, and to assume a co-ordinating role in resolving them at the local level by bringing together the local interests and the provincial ministries concerned. To help achieve this goal, the assistant deputy ministers will chair the public service advisory boards in these areas, which bring together the regional directors from government ministries operating in the north.


The Ministry of Northern Affairs will take over responsibilities for community and regional priority projects and town site development in the north, which were formerly the responsibility of Treasury, Economics and Intergovernmental Affairs. Northern Affairs will also assume responsibility for the northern Ontario resources transportation programme, the resource access roads, as well as the isolated communities assistance programme, formerly administered by the Ministry of Natural Resources. The establishment of priorities for the northern road construction programme will be transferred to Northern Affairs from the Ministry of Transportation and Communications. On July 1 the ministry will assume responsibility for the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission, including norOntair and the telecommunications service.

Transportation and tourism go hand in hand and so the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission will become directly involved, along with the Ministry of Industry and Tourism, in promoting and planning new recreational attractions.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. There will be time for questions in the question period.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Added impetus will be given to this effort by the delivery to the commission this spring of four modern unit trains. NorOntair, which the House knows, will also take delivery of a seventh aircraft. NorOntair, which is one of the government’s initiatives of which I am especially proud, Mr. Speaker, has been expanded until it now serves Sudbury, Timmins, North Bay, Earlton, Kirkland Lake, Kapuskasing, Elliot Lake, Chapleau, the Sault, Wawa, Thunder Bay, Pickle Lake, Kenora, Dryden, Fort Frances and Atikokan.

These initiatives on the part of our government demonstrate that, even as it is determined to preserve the natural and recreational heritage of this vast region of Ontario, it is also determined that the people of the north will share in the mainstream of development of our province.

Mr. Laughren: Not with Leo Bernier. He is the wrong minister.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I am sure, Mr. Speaker, that all members of this House will join me in welcoming this legislation, and that, in the months ahead, they will demonstrate, in the Legislature and beyond --

Mr. Lewis: What do you mean “and beyond”? What is “and beyond”?

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- the same spirit of cooperation in assisting the government in implementing our programmes for the north.

Mr. Laughren: Not with Leo Bernier there.


Mr. Deans: A point of order, Mr. Speaker. I wonder if you would be good enough to provide for the Minister of Transportation and Communications a copy of page 14, item number 1, which states that two copies of each ministerial statement shall be delivered to the party leaders or their representatives at or before the time the statement is made in the House, in order that they could read it and understand it?

Mr. Speaker: I believe that’s one statement to each party, is it not? Has that not been done?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, if that is the case I apologize, because I understood copies of the statement were delivered.

Mr. Speaker: Obviously there was a breakdown in communications.

Mr. S. Smith: And transportation.

Mr. Speaker: And transportation. Anyway that is the instruction, so the hon. minister could move to rectify it and provide the statement, it might be helpful, if that’s possible.

Oral questions.


Mr. Lewis: Mr. Speaker, a question of the Minister of Energy: Is there any special activity, inquiry, investigation that his ministry might now undertake to reduce the pattern of successive, serious, technical breakdowns associated with nuclear technology in the province of Ontario, the latest being the information about Nanticoke. Has the minister reached the point where he regards this --

Mr. Cassidy: Thermal stations.

Mr. Lewis: I’m sorry, thermal stations, the most recent being Nanticoke. Is he prepared to do something a little more urgent than the repair jobs which have characterized the activity in the past?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Mr. Speaker, the Nanticoke plant, as the Leader of the Opposition has stated, is not nuclear, it’s coal-fired.

Mr. Lewis: I am sorry.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: As a matter of fact, to my knowledge any of the serious problems have been in the conventional part of the plants. The plants generally are all the same, whether they’re nuclear-fuelled, whether they’re coal- or oil-fired or gas. Three-quarters of that plant probably is of conventional design and they look very similar.

The problem, of course, in Nanticoke was announced on March 15 by Hydro in connection with the stresses in hangers -- that’s the principal problem there. I may say that was a design problem. It was thought that the design used there was an improvement. It was, I guess, virtually impossible to determine the various stresses on expansion of the system as it heats up. That wasn’t able to be calculated, and as a result it was discovered that with the heating up of the plant there was an unusual distribution of stress.

The hangers that were designed -- and these are stainless steel hangers from two to four inches in diameter -- were not adequate to support the system, which all hangs from the roof. It was a technical problem; it’s being resolved by the manufacturer in terms of replacement of the rods and the support systems. So, I hardly think that would require any investigation. It’s a technical problem; it’s being resolved.

Mr. Lewis: By way of supplementary: The minister will concede that these technical problems continue to emerge time and again. I wonder about the design specifications. I wonder about the whole process of the construction of these plants, and who pays ultimately for all of the changes which, in succession, proliferate. Is the cost to the manufacturer, or do we in the province of Ontario bear these costs?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: May I just make some general comments in terms of systems? As you know, Ontario is probably leading the world in many cases in regard to the generation of electricity. This latest plant at Nanticoke was conceived as an improvement, really, in terms of design. What you try to do is get the system a little smaller -- you need less area; but there are some stresses that you really have to measure when it’s in operation. In connection with these hangers: They had to design a special gauge that would measure the stress when the system was in operation and heat it to a very high temperature. That gauge has been put on the rods to determine what the stresses are, and improvements are being made.

But you learn -- let’s face it. If you’re going to stick 100 per cent with what you have, you’ll never make any improvement. I’m not trying to assess blame, or say it’s a good thing or a bad thing. What I’m saying is that if you never do anything, you’ll never make any mistakes, but you’ll never make any improvements, either.

Mr. Breithaupt: The last cabinet shuffle proved that.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Now the company is replacing these hangers and doing the necessary work, and I would assume that the company would bear the cost of that.

Mr. Deans: You assume? Don’t you know?

Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Halton-Burlington with a supplementary.

Mr. Reed: I wonder if the minister would take steps to ensure that mechanical breakdowns of this nature are not used by Ontario Hydro as an excuse for the urgency for expansion of the system, as they seem to have done this past winter.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: I don’t think that’s a correct observation. I was in Nanticoke earlier this week. I inspected that particular plant. I looked at the problems, and it was explained to me what had happened there. I can assure the member that it wasn’t a question of deliberately shutting down a plant to generate concern for a lack of capacity in our system. It wasn’t that at all -- it’s a legitimate design problem that has been discovered, and is now being rectified.

Mr. Speaker: A supplementary, the member for York South.

Mr. MacDonald: If the heat factor, combined with the tension, is what created this problem, what conceivable explanation is there for the fact that the design engineers would not have known in advance that that heat factor was going to be there? Is it a completely new product that they’ve never had any experience with -- and heat?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: No, it’s not a new product. The heat, of course, is there in any plant -- there are similar temperatures. The problem, as I understand it, was that the design of these particular boilers was such that it was a matter of trying to develop more compact units. The whole system is suspended; because of expansion in operation, rather than push up this immense amount of equipment, it’s suspended from the roof. With a change in design of the size of the unit, it was a question of the tensile strength of the hangers and the placement of those particular hangers. This was the new element in terms of this particular manufacturer.

I was told and believe that it’s virtually impossible, because there are hundreds of these rods, to calculate the stresses that are generated unless it’s in operation because of the expansion of the entire system.

Mr. Deans: I just don’t believe that.

Mr. Lewis: I don’t believe it.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: You don’t have to believe it. I’m not an engineer.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Deans: You are telling me that modern technology is trial and error.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: I’m not an engineer. You may have more knowledge than one.

Mr. Foulds: Certainly more than you.

Mr. Deans: This is nonsense.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I think a very brief question was asked and I would hope that the answer would be brief. If it requires a long, detailed explanation I think it should be tabled, because we’ve spent almost eight minutes in the House here now.

Mr. G. I. Miller: Supplementary.

Mr. Speaker: A final supplementary.

Mr. G. I. Miller: I think the minister is correct with his assessment of the plant at Nanticoke because it is a new system. The simple question is was it under warranty or wasn’t it? Should it not be the responsibility of the manufacturers to guarantee that it will work with the amount of money that’s been involved in this particular plant?

Mr. Deans: It is inadequate engineering.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: At the risk of repetition, I would assume that the manufacturer has acknowledged responsibility insofar as --

Mr. Lewis: What do you mean, assume?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: -- the manufacturer is doing the necessary rectification work or design.

Mr. Lewis: Don’t you know? Who designed it?


Mr. Lewis: A question of the Minister of Agriculture and Food: How will his food land guidelines apply in the visible and specific case of site F, the controversial landfill site in Halton region, 500 acres of class 1 agricultural land, when there are a great many other sites which might be chosen? How will his guidelines apply to the preservation of that piece of agricultural land?

Hon. W. Newman: As the Leader of the position knows, there will be an Environmental Assessment Board hearing on that particular site. Now that they have decided on it, there will be a hearing. Our people will be called forward at that time to give the appropriate evidence before that hearing. I’ve already had the same question asked by many people who live in the area and I’ve pointed out that we will he pointing out how our guidelines would be effective in that area.

Mr. MacDonald: Supplementary: If the ministry people come forward and make advice and then the provincial Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) cancels it out so that he reduces the guidelines to nothing, what about it?

Hon. W. Newman: We do have a few independent boards around.

An hon. member: Very few.

Hon. W. Newman: The Environmental Assessment Board will be sitting on this hearing and will be hearing all the evidence from all sides regarding the site. They will be making their decision and recommendation to the Ministry of the Environment.

Mr. Reed: Could the minister tell us exactly how the green paper applies to this situation?

Hon. W. Newman: I would suggest that the member read the guidelines over very carefully and see exactly how they would apply to all situations.

Mr. MacDonald: We have.

Mr. Lewis: Does the minister not realize that this is a classic little test case of the irrelevance of the guidelines in that he will appear before the Environmental Assessment Board, perhaps to say it’s inappropriate to use those 500 acres in that fashion, but his colleague immediately to his left has already made it known that he and his ministry want that 500 acres as a landfill site? How does the minister allow his guidelines to he handled that way?

Mr. Breithaupt: Don’t you talk to each other?


Hon. W. Newman: Mr. Speaker, it is quite obvious the leader of the official opposition wanted it all etched in stone.

Mr. Breaugh: You should be etched in stone.

Hon. W. Newman: What I am saying by our guidelines, whether it applies here or anywhere else, is good common sense must prevail over the whole situation. I said our people would he going before that particular hearing. The members will be picking up individual cases from time to time that they will bring before us, and that’s fine. But the Leader of the Opposition wants it all written into legislation.

Mr. Lewis: Yes.

Hon. W. Newman: He wants it all written into legislation and to have it his own way.


Hon. W. Newman: But I tell the House there has got to be some flexibility in the guidelines and it is there.

Mr. Lewis: They are flexible all right. They are so flexible they are meaningless.

Hon. W. Newman: Your own people, your caucus said they were great.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Lewis: Who said so?

Hon. W. Newman: I am not going to tell you who said so.

Hon. Mr. Davis: All of your farmers.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. We are wasting time here. Does the hon. minister have a point of order?


Hon. Mr. Snow: Yes, Mr. Speaker, in reply to the remarks of the hon. member for Wentworth (Mr. Deans) I would like to say there were two copies of my statement delivered to Mr. Lewis’s office and Mr. Smith’s office by special messenger this morning.

Mr. Deans: When?

Hon. Mr. Snow: This morning.

Hon. W. Newman: Why don’t you go to your office?

Mr. Speaker: I am sure they will show up.

Mr. Lewis: Your message disappeared en route.

Hon. Mr. Davis: He went to the ball game.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.


Mr. S. Smith: A question for the Minister of Agriculture and Food: Regarding the findings of Dr. Botterell, and in particular two of the findings -- one regarding the sale of uninspected meat in the province and the other the indiscriminate use of antibiotics -- can the minister tell us exactly what his ministry is going to be doing to implement the recommendation for a committee on antibiotics in agriculture for the protection of human and animal health -- in particular to make sure that antibiotics indiscriminately used in agriculture do not (a) find their way into the human food chain and (b) result in the development of resistant organisms which will then affect humans without the proper antibiotics to defeat them?

Hon. W. Newman: Mr. Speaker, Dr. Botterell’s report, which I released some time ago, contained 132 recommendations. We are at this point in time carrying out many of the recommendations. Many of the recommendations will be carried out -- well over half of them in total -- and the others are being studied at this point in time.

Regarding the member’s question on meat inspection, all meat in the province of Ontario, by and large, at the larger plants is inspected, of course, by federal inspectors. They do inspect it for residue. At the smaller slaughterhouses throughout the province, which are inspected by our inspectors, all animals are inspected before they are slaughtered and are inspected after they are slaughtered. Some tissue samples are taken from any animal about which there is any doubt, and those animals are held until results are made known. So that, by and large, we pick up any particular problems in our smaller slaughterhouses.

Regarding the agricultural people using antibiotics to treat their livestock, all the antibiotics that are issued to the agricultural community today point out very clearly on the labels the time when they should withdraw these antibiotics, especially in milk. By testing the milk that goes into our labs, we can pick up antibiotics. There is a penalty to the milk producer for any milk that is shipped that is carrying antibiotics. As far as any feed is concerned that is set out for the farmers to feed to their livestock and contains antibiotics, there is a tag on it saying how long the livestock should be taken off the feed before they are slaughtered.

Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary, is the minister then saying that he rejects the suggestion by Dr. Botterell that a committee be set up on antibiotics in agriculture and protection of human and animal health -- in particular, some of the points that Dr. Botterell brought out about conflict of interest regarding veterinarians who sell the drugs, where the bulk of some of theft income comes from the sale of these drugs, and a very distinct possibility exists that these thugs could enter the human food chain? Why not accept the committee’s suggestion, which strikes me as being very sensible? Certainly, as a physician I would feel more protected by that than by the minister’s labels on the antibiotics.

Hon. W. Newman: As far as the committees are concerned, Dr. Botterell recommended in his report setting up about 15 or 17 committees. Certainly, we will be looking into that aspect very carefully, as the member well knows. If it is necessary to set up a committee I am certainly not averse to setting up a committee. I’d rather take direct action, if possible, than deal with a committee.

Mr. Riddell: Has the minister been given any indication that dead stock is again finding its way into human food, and that some of the culprits involved are the same ones that were involved before? Has he given any consideration to introducing legislation requiring that dead stock be sent directly to rendering plants, rather than to pet foods and other markets?

Hon. W. Newman: I am aware of the cases that were before us about a year -- year and a half ago -- where charges were laid regarding the handling of dead beef. It all has to be charcoaled before it is shipped anywhere. By and large, the problem there was that it was going from this province to another province where it was being dealt with, and then to some degree being sent back into this province. Some of those cases are still before the courts, I am not aware of anyone trying, at this point in time, to get involved in this. I heard nothing about it.


Mr. S. Smith: A question of the Minister of Health: Is it still the ministry’s policy to send ambulances with 50,000 miles or over to northern Ontario, unless a hospital has “a proven ability” to maintain their vehicles? And will the minister tell the House exactly how many such vehicles have been sent to northern Ontario over the past several years and what the mileage was on each of them when the vehicle was sent there?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Obviously, I don’t have the figures as to the mileage on each ambulance. But the concern of the ambulance branch is to issue a new vehicle -- and, by and large, for the last few years that has meant a Chrysler product -- to an ambulance operation which is in reasonable proximity to a Chrysler dealer. This way if there are problems during the warranty period they can be attended to very quickly, so that the ambulance is not out of service for an inordinate length of time, and we don’t have problems with the warranty.

I’ll get the statistics the member wants -- as to which ambulances were sent where. I might tell him that this year we will be replacing a significant number of the ambulances throughout the province.

Mr. S. Smith: By way of a brief supplementary: Is the minister aware of the minutes of the Ontario Hospital Association committee on ambulance services, in which they were addressed by the minister’s director of ambulance services. The minutes say that Mr. Brubacher stated that generally it is policy to send vehicles with 50,000 miles or over to northern Ontario. There is nothing here about Chrysler dealers and it was my understanding -- the minister can correct me if I am wrong -- that there are a certain number of Chrysler dealers in northern Ontario.

Mr. Speaker: I believe the question has been answered.


Hon. Mr. Timbrell: The point is that there are ambulance services operating in a number of small communities, not just in northern Ontario, but throughout the province, which are not in close proximity to Chrysler dealers. But we would want to be sure -- and it has nothing to do with north or south -- that we had exhausted all the potential benefits of a warranty. I’m not sure of the minutes to which the hon. member is referring -- I’m not sure how old they are, whether they are recent or several years ago --

Mr. S. Smith: December 14, 1976.

Mr. Riddell: Have you ever thought of replacing Brubacher?

Mr. Speaker: One final supplementary on this.

Mr. Foulds: I would like to ask the minister if he, with his colleague, the Minister of Consumer and commercial Relations (Mr. Handleman), can get tough with Chrysler and insist that they give service to northern Ontario -- if that is what he is implying in his statement?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: It’s the usual quality of question from over there --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Cassidy: You can’t claim so much for your answers.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, our concern always has to be that the vehicles we put on the road are in a condition to meet the needs of the area, and that we are able to maintain them. And if the hon. member has a concern about maintaining them, that’s another problem.

Mr. Foulds: So the ones with 50,000 miles go north; the second-hand ones go north.


Mr. Deans: I have a question of the Minister of the Environment. Recognizing the severity of the sewage problem in the Winona area, and the statement of the minister of two days ago that he intended to spend something up to $4 million over the next four years to try and solve it, is it not possible to bring that programme forward and to implement it much more quickly than the four year period, given that it’s going to take perhaps six or seven years in the overall to get the remaining, connecting sewers up to the houses that have to have them?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: That line, the pipe, involves about three and a half miles. The region in fact is building the pipe from its present location at the edge of Hamilton about three and a half miles into Winona. They’ve allocated $1 million for this year and the total cost is about $4 million as the hon. member says. I would think that that should be completed, assuming they allocate funds for the next two or three years, by the end of 1979 or early 1980.

As the hon. member says, the problem is in the village of Winona. The septic systems there are a health menace at present; they’ve been condemned by the local medical officer of health. Therefore my ministry has allocated around $650,000 or $700,000 for work within the community.

We can finish the work, I would think, in the community itself by the end of next year. But as the hon. member knows, that work won’t be any good until it’s connected to the pipe that will be going into the Hamilton treatment plant. So it will be a matter of the region stepping up its work. We are paying our usual 15 per cent grant on works like that. If some arrangement can be made to speed up the pipe, having in mind the arrangement as to funds, I would be happy to see that done.

Mr. Deans: One supplementary question:

Is it not possible to extend the funds now to the region, on a loan basis if need be, in order that they can proceed and get the work done? So that they can be completed, they can have the trunk sewer ready next year, when the province has the connections ready in the village?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Frankly, I haven’t got funds in my budget for more than the 15 per cent grant as far as the pipe is concerned. There is money, as I said, going into the village of Winona. If my friend on my left is generous and will increase my allotment for that particular project for next year, it’s possible to advance the completion of construction.

Mr. Deans: Find out if he will give you some money.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Yes, I will.


Mr. Reid: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Natural Resources. Can the minister advise what he’s going to do about reforestation in the province in the next few years, in view of the fact it was mentioned in the Throne Speech and in view of the fact that in the last five years we’ve fallen behind some 370,000 acres in reforesting the province?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, of course that last editorial comment was the hon. member’s and not necessarily factual.

Mr. Reid: It came from your ministry so I don’t believe it either.

Mr. Riddell: It’s not the only time your ministry has given out that information.

Hon. F. S. Miller: It’s a normal indication of looking at a figure and concluding already on the basis of a predetermined thought. I’m learning to speak like the Premier, aren’t I?


Mr. Speaker: Now the hon. minister with the answer.

Hon. F. S. Miller: The fact is it may be premature for me to jump to priorities within the ministry, but as I see my most important priority right now it is to improve our efforts at regeneration by other than natural means.

Mr. Martel: Well?

Hon. F. S. Miller: This is tied really not to simply planting trees. I think there’s a naive belief that if we got a lot of young kids out with axes or some kind of instrument and put them in the north and put seed in the ground we’d have a lot more trees. I think the hon. member for Sudbury East knows that -- he lives up there. It has a great deal to do with harvesting techniques. So I’m discussing the way we manage our forests with the pulp mills, particularly for spruce; I’m determined to see that we will keep on improving.

By the way, this year I’m told we will spend $5 million more for reforestation than we did last year. This I’m told will allow us to have some 45,000 to 50,000 more acres of regeneration this year than last year.

Mr. Martel: If it stays alive, Frank.

Hon. F. S. Miller: Last year we had about 175,000, compared to 30,000 10 years ago. So I think when you put these statistics together we’ve done a lot to improve reforestation in Ontario.

Mr. Lewis: It’s still pretty pathetic.

Hon. F. S. Miller: There is a lot still to be learned. I thought that we knew how to replant trees. We don’t. There are lots of things that still are not known about certain species.


Mr. Lewis: Oh, come on. This beguiling innocence is too much.

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

Hon. F. S. Miller: I’ll even --

Mr. Lewis: Mr. Speaker, they have been planting trees for generations in this world.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. F. S. Miller: Yes, they have.

Mr. Speaker: The question’s been asked and an answer’s been given.

Mr. S. Smith: Sweden is working on its third forest.

Hon. F. S. Miller: But you know, one of the things about this --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. There’s no supplementary question yet.

Mr. Speaker: I don’t know what that has to do with reforestation.

An hon. member: I could use some help with that.

An hon. member: He’s in the wrong ministry.

Mr. Lewis: I could reply to that in a way that would have me ejected.

Hon. F. S. Miller: They’ll start misconstruing our friendship.

Mr. Lewis: Perish the thought.

Mr. Reid: That certainly explains a lot anyway.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Can the hon. minister be allowed to continue?

Hon. F. S. Miller: They’re diverting me. In any case, I can only assure the member I am determined to put a lot of time, effort, and I hope government money --

Mr. Lewis: Into learning how to plant a tree.

Hon. F. S. Miller: -- into improving what is already an excellent programme.

Mr. Reid: Mr. Speaker, the minister said it was an excellent programme and my figures, which weren’t refuted by his ministry officials, is that we’re something like two million acres short of reforestation in the province. But my supplementary is this: In view of the fact that, even of all the replanting that’s been done, there’s only a 50 per cent survival rate after five years, can the minister inform us what he’s going to do about the technology and ensure that the trees that are planted do survive and are a quality tree?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, I would think one of the things we have to keep in mind is that when one has a regeneration programme, one is aware that not every seedling is going to take root.

Mr. Reid: Fifty per cent is not a good average.

Hon. F. S. Miller: The fact remains that --


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The interjections are not assisting.

Hon. F. S. Miller: I realize that, but he’s stimulating my glands.

Hon. F. S. Miller: -- the areas subject to intensive silvicultural techniques, I’m told, produce about twice the overall volume of timber that naturally regenerated grounds do.

Mr. Stokes: Not with clear cutting, it doesn’t.

Hon. F. S. Miller: Ahi Clear cutting is a very useful technique, provided the widths of the clear cutting are managed. As I’m sure the hon. member who interjected knows, we’re working on those also. I’ve discussed those with the presidents of the pulp mills and the forest industry very recently.

Mr. Cassidy: How long?

Hon. F. S. Miller: I am told of all the types we’re working on --

Mr. Cassidy: How long does the rape go on?

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. F. S. Miller: Just let me answer. Of all the types we’re working on, black spruce in the wet country is still the toughest to work on that requires clear cutting. It requires clear cutting of a managed type rather than simply cutting for very many hundreds of yards with no stands of trees left in the middle.

Mr. Foulds: Miles.

Hon. F. S. Miller: Those are the kinds of things I’m determined to see improved and I’m sure will be.

Mr. Cassidy: The government has been around for 34 years to do it.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. This has developed into a discussion instead of a question and answer period.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. If there’s a question, we will allow it. This is the final question on this.

Mr. Foulds: I would like to ask the minister, in the programme that he has planned, and I gather he said an additional $5 million --

An hon. member: Twenty-five million dollars.

Mr. Foulds: -- in the coming year, how much of that money will be devoted to hiring additional unit foresters, so that the supervision of the management plans in terms of the company cutting and the reforestation actually can take place?

Mr. Martel: That’s where the breakdown starts.

Hon. F. S. Miller: I think there’s a certain amount extra for management I was talking about reforestation and I think there’s $550,000 more in the budget over last year for management of projects in addition to the amount of money that is being spent on reforestation per se. We’re counting them as separate things.

One of the things I have to determine is this: Should government be the agency doing the replanting, or should it simply insist on the replanting being done? That’s one of the ones I want to look into.

Mr. Lewis: You are going to look into it, and you took the responsibility five years ago.

Mr. Mattel: What a hodge-podge over there.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I announced that as a final supplementary. We’ve spent quite a bit of time on that one subject.

An hon. member: It’s important.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Much of that time would be better spent on new questions.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Lewis: You are right.

Mr. Speaker: This is a question and answer period and not a discussion period, I might point out again. The hon. Minister of Transportation and Communications has the answer to a question asked previously.

Mr. Lewis: Better have the return of Leo Bernier.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, I would like to answer recent questions asked by the hon. member for Wentworth North (Mr. Cunningham) respecting the Urban Transportation Development Corporation.

I apologize, Mr. Speaker, if this answer may be a little long. You may, I guess, decide that --

Mr. Speaker: Is it the length I see in your hand there?

Hon. Mr. Snow: No.

Mr. Speaker: I point out again there are these complaints about question period. If the answer is a lengthy one then it should be given before the orders of the day, during statements by the ministry. As to what is considered a long answer, I would think anything over two minutes is a long answer. Some of them stretch longer than that.

Mr. Breithaupt: That’s true.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Davis: He is just getting started.

Mr. MacDonald: A good guideline.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please, we don’t want to get down to figures on this.

Mr. Ruston: Next question?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. We’re still wasting the time of the question period, I might say, with the interjections. About how long is the answer?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, the answer is five pages, but if you wish --

Mr. Speaker: Can you summarize it?

Mr. Peterson: He hasn’t read it yet, Mr. Speaker.

Hon. Mr. Snow: No. Mr. Speaker, if that’s the feeling of the House I’ll be glad to delay the answer until next week.


Mr. Speaker: If it’s too long then I’ll add a minute or so on to the question period, but please keep this in mind for both questions and answers.

Mr. Lewis: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, why are you allowing this? Why can you not just revert to ministerial statements? Why take it out of the question period?

Mr. Speaker: We’ll judge that. We’ll see how long it is. The hon. minister will continue.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Some of it is the answer to a question.

Mr. MacDonald: Two minutes.

Mr. Speaker: I said that was an approximation, but it’s a good guide. The hon. minister will start now.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, I could have been on page three by mow.

Mr. Breithaupt: You are imputing motives.


Hon. Mr. Snow: The hon. member for Wentworth North (Mr. Cunningham) questioned me recently in connection with the Urban Transportation Development Corporation and its bid to have Ontario manufacturers supply the major components of the proposed subway system in Caracas, Venezuela.

I might add, Mr. Speaker, that the primary concern of the hon. member seemed not to be with the success of the effort but rather with the apparent need of UTDC to deal through a commercial agent.

I feel it is important that the members of the Legislature be aware of the circumstances of this matter. A Canadian consortium consisting of UDTC of Toronto and Hawker Siddeley Canada Limited of Thunder Bay entered into an agreement to form a joint venture consortium to bid for the supply of major components of the proposed subway system in Caracas, Venezuela. The project is estimated to be for approximately $250 million worth of transit equipment supply.

The joint venture company, named Metro Canada Limited, entered its bid on March 18, 1977. The proposal included the supply of 242 subway cars which would be built in Thunder Bay, Ontario, electrical distribution systems for the complete subway and automatic train control equipment and the design, supply and installation of the complete trackwork. The total project could provide over 2,700 man years of employment for Canadian workers, with the work spread throughout a number of communities in Ontario and. possibly, some in Quebec and other provinces.

The joint venture company, Metro Canada Limited, has received financial support from the governments of Canada, Quebec and Ontario. The consortium’s bid was in competition with nine other international consortiums, including the British, French and Japanese.

Metro Canada Limited was formed to meet the Venezuelan requirements for common or joint responsibility among the contracting parties. The Venezuelan procedures also required that the various international bidders be represented by legal representatives domiciled in Venezuela. Therefore, the Canadian consortium engaged the services of a Venezuelan commercial representative named Venezuelan International Business Consultants. This firm was engaged after extensive interviews and following consultations with a number of Canadian and Venezuelan companies, banking institutions and legal firms. The commercial representative contract meets, and in most cases exceeds, the guidelines recently developed by the federal government for use in engaging foreign representative services.

The particular services and expertise required of the representatives and the information requested by the hon. member is as follows:

He must be familiar with and provide advice on marketing conditions in Caracas as they relate to labour rates and employment practices; the ability to secure especially skilled labour at appropriate times throughout the contract; Venezuelan practices with respect to fringe benefits, labour rates, holidays and working conditions; labour productivity and wage escalation provisions; customs and excise practices and duties, warehousing and local shipping services; subcontractor practices, their payment terms and supervisory practices.

He must be familiar with and provide advice on Venezuelan banking practices and local subcontractors’ financing practices. He will provide advice and reports on Venezuelan laws and regulations with respect to public works contracts, municipal services, permits for buildings, electrical codes, worker safety regulations and so on. He will assist in and provide reports for negotiations on acceptable terms and conditions for the prime contract and the various subcontracts to be tendered in Venezuela. He will assist in the administration and conduct of acceptance and commissioning procedures and negotiations and administration of all warranty provisions and customer service.

The management of Metro Canada Limited and the board of directors of UTDC approved the foreign representative’s contract and the board of directors of UDTC advised the Ontario government, as UDTC’s primary shareholder, of the contract and its provisions. The Ontario government officials examined the documentation and concurred with UDTC’s board of directors in the approval of the agreement.

For the further information of the members of the Legislature, I am tabling the following documents: A Management Board of Cabinet document, dated February 25, 1977, entitled Conduct of Business by Agencies, Boards and Commissions; a statement by the Hon. Robert Andras of December 16, 1976, in his capacity as president of the Treasury Board, government of Canada, on the government policy and guidelines concerning the commercial practices of federal Crown corporations; the draft of the commercial representation agreement, dated October 1, 1976; the resolution by the board of directors of UDTC re commercial representation agreement; the report on federal Crown corporation guidelines and the Metro Canada Venezuelan commercial representation agreement; a letter to myself from my deputy minister reporting on this matter, dated December 14, 1976; and a letter from my deputy minister to Mr. Foley, president of UTDC, dated December 20, 1976.

Mr. Speaker: We will add four minutes to the question period.

Mr. Cunningham: Mr. Speaker, I wonder if I might ask a supplementary on this?

Mr. Speaker: Yes.

Mr. Cunningham: I did ask in my question what the basis was of the commission or retainer and I have yet to hear this. I am just wondering how much this little soirée to Venezuela cost the Ontario taxpayers?

Hon. Mr. Snow: I felt I already answered in some length. I have stated that I am tabling the contract and I thought that would give the hon. member the information.

Mr. Shore: He can’t read.

Mr. Warner: Supplementary: Could the minister advise us as to the success of the --


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. We can’t hear the hon. member for Scarborough-Ellesmere.

Mr. Warner: Could the minister advise us as to the success of the trip so far to Venezuela, as it is generally understood that they were not successful, they have not achieved a contract and that what is the normal practice for most countries will remain

-- that is, that the equipment will be built and purchased in the country or by common agreement, such as in the European Common Market, so there is no chance for the sale to be consummated?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Conway: Is the member for Renfrew South (Mr. Yakabuski) going to run in Venezuela?

Hon. Mr. Snow: The bid has been submitted, as I stated, on March 18. There is no decision by the Venezuelan government or no award of contract at this time.

Nine bids were submitted. As the members may be aware, a federal consortium submitted a much larger bid several months ago for a railway contract also in Venezuela. To my knowledge at this moment, no contract has been awarded on that one to date, but certainly my understanding is that things look very good, perhaps not for the total contract but at least for portions of the contract in both those situations.


It’s not unnatural in a contract of a size such as this and when many of the bids were perhaps not totally in accordance with the specifications, that the Venezuelan officials will take some lengthy period of time to analyse all these contracts. We don’t expect that there’ll be any early decision made or any awards made in the immediate future.


Mr. Ferrier: I have a question, Mr. Speaker, for the Minister of Health: Is the minister in a position to explain why, after his predecessor and his parliamentary assistant have said that the replacement facilities for the provincial health lab in Timmins has top priority in his ministry, that those inadequate facilities which are really a firetrap are still what they’re using for the provincial facilities? Can the minister surely not get different and adequate and proper facilities for those workers in the Ontario provincial health lab in Timmins right away?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, I will be discussing this matter with cabinet next Wednesday and hope late next week to announce our decision.


Mr. Gaunt: Mr. Speaker, a question of the Minister of Natural Resources: Since the flood plain criteria and management evaluation study was undertaken last April with the final completion date of August 1976; and since the report is now completed, but according to the ministry officials as of two days ago the minister will not be making any decisions on this matter until the report is printed in its final form; and, since this matter is an urgent one as far as the conservation authorities and many property owners are concerned, would the minister consider dealing with the matter immediately as a priority item rather than waiting for the final glossy print version?

Hon. F. S. Miller: I understand it’s ready for printing right now, and in fact it’s one of those important topics, as the member has said. I want the chairman’s committee of conservation authorities and the PMLC to have a chance to have some input into it; I’m certain the Minister of Housing is going to have some very real interest in it too.

As to proceeding faster, I’ll certainly consider it. I’ve asked that my parliamentary assistant become specifically responsible for conservation authority problems so that someone will have the time to devote to it, perhaps more exclusively than the minister, per se, will, and yet have a political input into it. I hope that his extra efforts will help speed it up.

Mr. Gaunt: Supplementary: In view of the fact that the flood plain mapping criteria are currently holding up much of the development in my part of the province and in other parts of the province as well, what sort of time frame does the minister see in respect to holding these meetings with the conservation authorities and in finalizing this entire matter?

Hon. F. S. Miller: In all honesty I couldn’t give the member a time frame, but I’ll be glad to have one worked out for him.


Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Energy: In view of the fact that the Consumers’ Gas Company reported a 33 per cent increase in profits in the three months ended December 31, due to the unusually severe weather last fall, is the minister prepared to suggest to the Ontario Energy Board that it should consider ordering a rebate of these excess profits to customers who have been hit by rate increases both last October and in March of this year?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: As the members of this House know, rates are determined by the Ontario Energy Board. That unusual income will no doubt be taken into consideration in the determination of the rates and, of course, will consequently flow through to the consumer -- I would assume in the form of a lesser rate than they would have suffered because of those added revenues.

In other words, yes indeed, the consumer will benefit from that.

Ms. Bryden: Supplementary: Could I ask the minister how this situation differs from the situation in northern Ontario, where the Northern and Central Gas Corporation has been ordered to make a rebate of excess profits to the customers there in a similar situation?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: It is my understanding that the rebates, if we can call them rebates, are in effect a deduction from what the rate otherwise would be; in other words, it’s reflected in current rates permitted by the Ontario Energy Board. All of the rates of the gas distributors have to go before the Ontario Energy Board, where there’s a public hearing -- and of course representations are made, intervenors are there -- and the board sets the rate of return to the company, and accordingly fixes what the rates will be.

If there is an unusual profit -- in this case because of an unusual volume of sales -- then that will be reflected in the current rate, or the rate that is determined by the board. So in effect there is a rebate, but it may be done in a different manner than a member may have heard was the ease in another jurisdiction, where a cheque for $5 or $10 may be sent out to customers.


Mr. Riddell: A question of the Minister of Agriculture and Food, if I can get his attention.

With the financial collapse of Essex Packers and the consequential hardships and near bankruptcies of beef producers being the motivating factor behind the establishment of the financial protection task force, what action is the minister going to take to reduce the financial risk that is so inherent in the transfer of ownership of food products from the farmer to the purchasers, as was indicated in this report of the task force?

Hon. W. Newman: I think there are eight or nine recommendations in that report. There were some suggestions that we should ask for changes in The Bank Act. We will be pursuing that, though we have given up, almost, pursuing amendments to The Bank Act, because we’ve been trying for so many years. That’s why I set up a task force, so that we could get these recommendations.

There are several schemes that could be worked out under our present legislation, The Farm Products Marketing Board Act. As members know, the Ontario Milk Marketing Board has a programme in place. I look back to what happened last year; but the total loss is 0.007 per cent of sales, which is very low, however that still doesn’t help those individual farmers who get into a particular problem.

I’m looking at all the recommendations at this point in time. Some of them involve other ministries. We are talking to the other ministries and are pursuing the matter with them. We hope we will come up with a single programme of some sort that will try and encompass as many of those recommendations as possible.

I think they did an excellent job in the report; they have come up with some very good recommendations.

Mr. Riddell: In this same connection, recalling a speech the minister made at the time Essex Packers went into receivership, advising the farmers not to accept the first offer, I have now been led to believe that on the advice of the minister, those farmers who refused the 15 cents on the dollar will now not receive one red cent; and those farmers who did accept the 15 cents on the dollar will receive in the neighbourhood of nine cents on the dollar. Is this information factual; is the government now prepared to admit making a very serious blunder in leasing its facilities to Essex Packers in the first place; and what is the minister going to do to help these farmers?

Hon. W. Newman: Mr. Speaker, as far as the leasing of the plant is concerned, that does not come under my purview. As the member well knows, it comes under the Ministry of Correctional Services.

But as far as the individual farmers are concerned, yes I did say, at a meeting a year or so ago -- of whatever it was, I believe it was the cattlemen’s association -- that I thought they should hold on. I was led to believe, maybe wrongly so -- and occasionally we do this, you know; sometimes we stick our neck out on behalf of what we think is the best thing for the fanner.

Mr. Breithaupt: You have had lots of practice at making mistakes.

Hon. W. Newman: None of us are perfect, and I take the full responsibility for what happened.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. You’re wasting valuable time.

Hon. W. Newman: I accept the responsibility. On the understanding of phone calls that I had received, there was to be some better and firmer offers coming in, which did not materialize. But I accept that responsibility as an individual --

Mr. MacDonald: But not as a minister.

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

Hon. W. Newman: Yes, I did do it. Maybe I jumped the gun; I did what I thought was right at that time. We were told there were better offers coming, which did not come forward at that time.

Mr. Reid: Do what’s right now: resign.

Hon. W. Newman: Subsequent to the Essex Packers and other situations that have occurred in the past or could occur in the future, I set up this task force and I intend to implement many of its recommendations.

Some hon. members: Supplementary.

Mr. Speaker: A supplementary; the Leader of the Opposition.

Mr. Lewis: One supplementary: Since he was clearly speaking to that group in his capacity as Minister of Agriculture and Food and, inadvertently or otherwise, may have misled them, does the minister not feel a governmental responsibility now to meet at least the nine-cent level, which others apparently will be paid but many will miss as a result of the ministers specific advice? I understand it wasn’t made deliberately, but surely some compensation is forthcoming.

Mr. Riddell: That’s inflation for you.

Hon. W. Newman: I’ve forgotten the exact wording, but at that time I indicated to the producers at that meeting, and I don’t deny it, that I thought a better offer was coming and that I would suggest -- or however I worded it -- that perhaps it would be better if they waited. Some of those who did, unfortunately, did not make out as well as those who didn’t. But certainly I did not deliberately or intentionally mislead anyone. I thought they would and I was hoping they would --

Mr. Reid: Nobody is arguing that.

Hon. W. Newman: As a matter of fact, I personally talked afterward to some of these people who had indicated they would come forward with a better offer. I won’t tell the hon. member what I told them, but certainly they heard very loudly, and clearly from me.

Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Speaker, a supplementary.

Mr. Gaunt: Supplementary.

Mr. Speaker: We’ve had a lot of supplementaries. We’ll allow a final supplementary. The member for Kitchener.

Mr. Breithaupt: The minister having done what he thought was right at that time with the information he then had, would the minister now do the right thing again and arrange, either through additional funds for his ministry or in some form, to compensate those persons who took his advice or suggestion in good faith?

Mr. Speaker: I believe that question was just asked and answered.

Mr. S. Smith: No, it wasn’t.

Mr. Lewis: It wasn’t answered.

Mr. Peterson: What is the answer then?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. W. Newman: I don’t believe I have any legal authority to do such a thing, but there are recommendations in this report which would prohibit some of these things from happening down the road. Look, we’re going to have bankruptcies -- I don’t care whether it’s in the private sector or in the agricultural sector -- across this country from time to time.

Mr. Peterson: The whole province.

Hon. W. Newman: There are hundreds of them a week. We are trying to make it a little better. If we could get an amendment -- I won't say from the Liberals’ friends any more, but from the federal government in Ottawa -- to change The Bank Act, as we’ve been trying to do for a long time, we wouldn't even have had to have this report and we wouldn’t have had that problem.

Mr. Breithaupt: Jack Homer’s friends.

Mr. Gaunt: Supplementary?

Mr. Speaker: No. The hon. member for Welland-Thorold.

Mr. Gaunt: It is a very important matter, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Gaunt: It’s very important.

Mr. Speaker: I realize that --


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. There is just one person supposed to be asking questions here, and I had announced that that was the last supplementary because we’re nearly at the finish of the question period. If there is any time left, then we’ll allow further questions.

The member for Welland-Thorold.


Mr. Swart: My question is to the Minister of Industry and Tourism: Would the minister explain why his ministry would approach the heat treat companies in the United States, particularly one with which I am familiar, the Dayton Forging and Heat Treating Company of Dayton, Ohio, to establish a facility in Ontario to supply a certain major customer here? Instead, why wouldn’t his ministry approach our existing Ontario heat treat companies who have the capacity and know-how to look after the requirements and who have employees on layoff?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: I’ll have to take that question as notice, Mr. Speaker, because I’m not even aware of the particular case the hon. member is referring to. If he would like to supply me with that information, I shall make an inquiry through the ministry.

Mr. Speaker: Perhaps you might send it across.

Mr. Swart: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: If there can be on that answer.

Mr. Swart: There is a supplementary on that answer. I ask the minister if he is not aware of a letter that was sent to him some three weeks ago by H and S Heat Treating in Welland concerning this matter. Would he also, when he is looking into it, find out why information was refused by Mr. Murray Berlin of his ministry’s office in Cleveland to H and S Heat Treating? They called to get information on this matter and it was completely refused. Gould the minister look into that matter?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: I’ll take the question as notice.


Mr. S. Smith: A question to the Minister of Health: What is the minister’s response to the request by North End Residents Organization in Hamilton for assistance from his ministry for the establishment of a medical project to provide local health services in the north end of Hamilton?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I don’t believe that that has come to me. It may have gone to the branch of the ministry that looks at requests for grants. But I’ll take that question as notice and find out. I have not seen that request.

Mr. S. Smith: A supplementary for clarification: I take it, then, that the Premier has not been in touch with the minister about that, and that the minister will look at the ministry branch that might be responsible and report back. Is that correct?


Hon. Mr. Timbrell: That’s right. Often, Mr. Speaker, the correspondence that comes in, rather than it being all put upon my desk immediately is put out for investigation so that it comes back to my desk not only with the request but also the answer.

Mr. Peterson: You shuffle paper, Dennis. You just admitted it all. You just admitted you are a glorified mailman.


Mr. Mackenzie: To the Chairman of the Management Board of Cabinet. In the absence of the Premier, I am wondering if he could respond to these questions. The mayor of Hamilton has indicated that the province of Ontario has committed itself to better than $17 million to the city of Hamilton for the promotion of the Pan-Am Games based on a cost of approximately $55 million. Is this a firm commitment of the province of Ontario? Will the province increase its commitment in the event that the cost of the 1983 project escalates, and to what extent would the province increase its commitment in the event of a cost escalation?

Hon. Mr. Auld: Mr. Speaker, I am afraid I can’t answer those questions. I will attempt to get the information or pass the questions along to the Premier. I am not aware of the details of whatever negotiations are going on.


Mr. Cunningham: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Transportation and Communications. In response to my question of March 31 regarding the Venezuelan UTDC deal, he indicated our bid was “very unlikely to be accepted.” When is the minister going to admit that the UTDC is a complete failure and that we are wasting millions of Ontario taxpayers’ dollars?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, I don’t believe those statements are factual at all. I did say I did not believe the UTDC bid as submitted would be successful because there were lower bids submitted. But I understand now that some of the lower bids that were submitted are conditional bids, so the whole matter will have to await the full consideration by the Venezuelan government of all the bids received. So we are not writing off the fact, certainly now, that none of our bids will be acceptable.

Mr. Cunningham: Supplementary, if I may:

I am just wondering if the minister would indicate to the members of the House, and through us I suppose to the people of Ontario who have been supporting this fiasco for so long, just what substantial contracts we do have awaiting us here, and what progress is UTDC making? What real contracts are we going to expect to see here?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, I really don’t know what the hon. member is referring to. This is the only contract that I am aware of where the UTDC has joined with the private sector and with the federal Department of Industry where we are attempting to generate major foreign export business for Canadian industries. This to my knowledge is the first bid of this type that has been made.


Mr. Foulds: In the absence of the Minister of Natural Resources, who I assume is already out planting trees while the others go to the ball game, I would like to direct a question to the resources secretary. In view of the continuing serious drought situation throughout northwestern Ontario, in which we have now 60 winter fires still burning, can the minister tell this House what steps have been taken for increased training of potential firefighting crews, for the establishment of standby crews, and for the seconding of other ministry personnel to these firefighting responsibilities as the situation arises?

Hon. Mr. Brunelle: Mr. Speaker, I am aware of the seriousness of the situation, but I do not know what steps have been taken and will be pleased to get that information to the hon. member.

Mr. Foulds: Supplementary, if I might:

While the minister is seeking that information, could he find out if the plans of the ministry include the seconding of the forest management unit foresters and all the people involved in the reforestation programme to the firefighting situation should that need arise? Will that mean a cancelling of the reforestation programme as mentioned in the Throne Speech?

Hon. Mr. Brunelle: I will make sure, Mr. Speaker, that that also is determined.

Mr. Reid: Would the minister also ensure that there is some co-ordination and liaison between his ministry or the Ministry of Natural Resources people and the various towns and municipalities and unorganized townships, because the whole place could be wiped out unless we have a fairly good programme?


Mr. G. I. Miller: I have a question of the Minister of the Environment. Is there any possibility of extending the water line from the Nanticoke water intake which has already been established to the municipalities of Jarvis and Hagersville, due to the fact that the correctional boys’ school at Hagersville is on that line and there is a real need for better water quality in Hagersville and a shortage of water in Jarvis?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Mr. Speaker, the proposed water line or extension of a water line to Jarvis, for example, is more or less tied into the future development of the Townsend area, and in the event that Townsend goes ahead it will be, of course, necessary to provide serviced lots within that new community. As Jarvis and Hagersville are in that area, it is natural to expect that the line would be extended to serve those two communities.

If Townsend doesn’t go ahead the line will be a very expensive one as far as the users would be concerned in those two communities. So once a decision is made regarding Townsend, then in the event we don’t go ahead with the new community we will have to make up our minds whether or not to service those areas. I appreciate the need for water, particularly in Jarvis, and if we can do something about the high rates that will result from that line, we will consider the extension.

Mr. G. I. Miller: Mr. Speaker, could I ask one supplementary?

Mr. Speaker: The oral question period has expired.



Mrs. Campbell from the standing procedural affairs committee presented the committee’s report which was read as follows and adopted:

Your committee has carefully examined the following applications for private Acts and finds the notices, as published in each case, sufficient: Webwood Investments Limited. The Trustees of the Toronto General Burying Grounds. Canada Trustco Mortgage Company. Borough of York. Village of Erie Beach. John A. Schmalz Agencies Limited. Borough of Scarborough. Fred LeBlond Cement Products Limited. Borough of East York. Brockville General Hospital. Kevalaine Corporation Limited. Township of Dover. Monsignor Zoel Lambert, Casgrain township. Roman Catholic Episcopal Church, Diocese of Alexandria. County of Peterborough. Frank Postl Enterprises Limited. City of Ottawa. Lombardo Furniture and Appliances Limited. City of Sault Ste. Marie. Perfume and Cosmetic Bars.

Your committee further recommends that copies of the Canadian Parliamentary Guide be purchased for distribution to the members of the assembly.

Mr. Speaker: Motions.


Hon. Mr. Welch, on behalf of Hon. Mr. Davis, moved first reading of Bill 26, An Act to establish the Ministry of Northern Affairs.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Conway: All Leo needs is Jeanette MacDonald.


Mr. Laughren moved first reading of Bill 27, An Act to amend The Employees’ Health and Safety Act, 1976.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Laughren: Mr. Speaker, the purpose of this bill is to discontinue the use of a collective bargaining agreement as a means for obtaining an exemption from the provision allowing an employee to continue to refuse to do work which he has reason to believe is unsafe. If I might say, we know this is a provisional bill, but it does serve notice as to how we think it should be changed for the omnibus legislation.


Hon. Mr. Auld: Mr. Speaker, I have a message from the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor signed by her own hand.

Mr. Speaker: By her own hand, P. M. McGibbon, the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor, transmits estimates of certain sums required for the services of the province for the year ending March 31, 1978, and recommends them to the Legislative Assembly, Toronto, April 7, 1977.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, before calling the orders of the day -- in keeping with the new rules, perhaps this might be an appropriate time to indicate the order of business for next week. The House will not, of course, sit on Monday. We will be sitting Tuesday and Thursday evenings next week. Tuesday afternoon and Tuesday evening, Thursday evening and Friday morning will be Throne Speech debate. Thursday afternoon will be the first session for the private members’ public bills, at which time we will be calling orders 15 and 16. According to the motion, of course, the House does not sit on Wednesday. So the order next week would be Throne Speech debate, except for Thursday afternoon when we will do the private members’ hour.

Mr. Speaker: Orders of the day.


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

Mr. Conway: Mr. Speaker, having due regard to the constraints of time I shall be careful to leave room for my hon. colleague from Downsview (Mr. di Santo) who I know is as eager as I to participate in the discussion this morning.

I’m happy to see that we now have the Deputy Speaker who has somehow survived the evening after that praise from the hon. member for Scarborough Centre (Mr. Drea) -- which I thought was effusive, to say the least.

Mr. Breithaupt: Precisely on point, though.

Mr. Conway: I should like to join with my colleagues in highlighting that praise, which is obviously and appropriately given, and particularly encourage the hon. Deputy Speaker in the efforts that he has so carefully and successfully undertaken in this assembly, the new rules notwithstanding.

Likewise, it is a pleasure for me, as a relative newcomer to this august assembly, to speak briefly this morning on the address of Her Honour tabled and read in this assembly on Tuesday, March 29, 1977. To be sure, and not surprisingly, it is a desk-thumping assertion that babies are beautiful and that God is in his heaven and that the Progressive Conservatives are alive and well in Ontario.

Mr. Ruston: It’s questionable about that.

Mr. Conway: Nothing is new.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: You are taking lessons on how to whistle in the dark.

Mr. Conway: Some things are about to change. I must say as a member of this assembly I cannot take exception with any substantial point in this motherhood statement. I will repeat briefly the points that have been made and will no doubt be remade time and time again throughout this Throne Speech debate. After all, how does one, for example, take issue with something as motherhood as “the faith and optimism which Ontarians share with respect to Canadian Confederation emerge from a deep conviction about Canada and about Ontario’s place within Canada.”


I go on to the comments about: “We must ensure, as the province of opportunity, that each citizen can participate fully in all aspects of life in Ontario, because we recognize equality of opportunity as the springboard of significant achievement.” And so it goes. It’s not the sort of thing about which one can take a great deal of exception and certainly one does not feel the need for any great amount of political umbrage.

Mr. Moffatt: Are you going to support it?

Mr. Conway: I must say the document is, as has been stated by my leader and others in this assembly, some measure of testament to the quality of minority government. I know the hon. member for London North (Mr. Shore) was ecstatic in his praise, as was the hon. member for Carleton (Mr. Handleman), about the government’s wholehearted support for the extension of rent control, something near and dear to the hearts of those two particular government members. I know that hon. members on this side of the House share with them the concern for and the emphasis on this particularly important aspect of our urban community particularly.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: You are going to vote for it?

Mr. Conway: The fact that we now have an admission by the government that the children’s services of the province of Ontario need desperately to be overhauled, to be improved and, most importantly, to be consolidated, is something about which we in this party feel an especial pride.

I must say in that connection that it is significant and positive that our good friend from Kingston and the Islands (Mr. Norton) has been recently appointed to that ministry, not so much because of what he has to offer, and indeed in personal and political terms I would suggest that he has indeed a significant contribution to make, but more importantly, he is a welcome change from his predecessor who was unfortunate and was granted a short-term appointment to that very important social portfolio. He has now been sent to the nondescript pastures of Energy, there to rummage and ruminate as he will and does, as I see this morning, on Canada AM, which will at least be to my pleasure if not that of the government.

Mr. Reed: He won’t be there long either.

Hon. Mr. Welch: You are getting personal.

Mr. Conway: I was pleased to see that among the suggestions put forward was a motion for the call for freedom of information. It is interesting that in its inimitable style the government should see fit to appoint a commission. I must say there is a commission not only to study the freedom of information and its viability and possibility, but also a commission to investigate The Workmen’s Compensation Act, a commission to investigate the pension plans in the province and commissions of such kind.

This particular business of freedom of information seems to be a much-talked-about point. I probably differ from many people in the opposition in fundamental terms that, while I can appreciate the direction of freedom of information and the peculiar turn of the bureaucratic mind that would keep all information from us if possible, I do not share the view of particularly the member for York South (Mr. MacDonald), I believe, and others, who somehow feel freedom of information is something of a golden answer to the problems of the difficulty involved.

Mr. Warner: No, but it would help.

Mr. Conway: I certainly think it will help, but I do not expect freedom of information to fundamentally change the process. I do hope, however -- and I would suggest as a fitting place to begin in the discussion of freedom of information because I think it is a significant indication of government’s intention -- that we might apply it, when the commission is final in its analysis, to The Election Finances Reform Act, for example.

I’ve always felt the need and the utility in bringing to bear the concept of freedom of information to, let us say, the funds that may be available to those of us as politicians and political parties. What better place to put this freedom of information as a concept into place? I don’t know what is so sacrosanct about that date in mid-February 1975, which is as a genesis to the election expenses discussion.

I am sure that the PC fund, for example, existed prior to that date, and I think that that might be a good place to start in applying the freedom of information concept. It is a small, perhaps a moot, point but I am impressed with the government’s direction. To the extent that one humble member from these lonely back benches might suggest to that government a place to start with that commission, I might respectfully suggest The Election Finances Reform Act as a fitting beginning.

An hon. member: Not only back-benchers are humble.

Mr. Conway: I mentioned earlier the personal approval I have for the appointment of the new Minister of Community and Social Services and the very major tasks he was assigned in the Throne Speech. However, there is a counterweight, as we would expect, in the Throne Speech and in the government programme, relating to another ministry, in this case, a reconstituted ministry involving another minister. As a member of this assembly who has a riding that straddles the southern and northern Ontario regions, having, for example, a significant if not too heavily populated part of the district of Nipissing in my riding, I have then some measure of interest in this new portfolio, the legislation for which was introduced just a few moments ago by the government.

Clearly, if ever a sop and morsel were offered to the good people of northern Ontario -- and I know, Mr. Speaker, that you have a special concern for this particular matter -- if ever we were thrown a sop and a morsel it is this political frill and whitewash that we are now to believe is the Minister of Northern Affairs. I only hope that we can restrict the machinations and travels, for my particular constituency’s point of view, of this new minister to north of the French River. They are certainly welcome to him. God bless him in his deliberations, but below the French River I hope and pray he will not travel.

Mr. Breaugh: How about in the French River?

Mr. Conway: The hon. member for Oshawa has gone further to suggest putting him or perhaps keeping him above water but in the French River.

Mr. Breaugh: What’s so bad about water?

Mr. Conway: Mr. Speaker, it being Lent I cannot be so uncharitable.

Mr. Bullbrook: It’s Holy Thursday.

Mr. Conway: I’m glad to see the member for Sarnia here, because in that chair last night he would not claim credit for me politically or otherwise. I’m glad to see that.

Mr. Bullbrook: I do now.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: You are taking all the blame are you, Jim?

An hon. member: That’s your problem.

Mr. Bullbrook: I regard you as a little brother.

Mr. Breaugh: Thank God he said "brother.”

Mr. Conway: The point, of course, about the Ministry of Northern Affairs is simply that it is a clear admission on behalf of particularly the Premier of this province that he has a particular, peculiar political difficulty in the member for Kenora (Mr. Bernier) and, in fact, the new ministry is a testament to the banishment of that particular gentleman particularly from southern Ontario.

Regrettably, the recent cabinet shuffle, which I think is related in these matters, is in its own particular regard an admission of other problems that this government has had and no doubt will continue to have. Like the hon. Leader of the Opposition, I take a cynical delight in the fact that we now have the hon. member for St. David (Mrs. Scrivener) as Minister of Revenue. If that does net put, as one columnist suggested the other day, “a drag on the political upward mobility of the hon. Treasurer” (Mr. McKeough) then surely nothing in God’s creation can do so.

I have said, and I continue to say, that from my own particular interest of eastern Ontario it’s clear from much of this government’s policy -- and I speak now of cabinet representation, and I am delighted to have my colleague from Carleton here with me today, knowing, as I do, he has a very trying afternoon before him.

Mr. Ruston: At the ballpark.

An hon. member: A dry one.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Not if they win, he won’t.

Mr. Conway: But eastern Ontario continues to be to this government what northern Ontario has more visibly been presented as over the past few years in this assembly. The feeling of alienation in eastern Ontario is, in fact, increasing and I would now suggest has reached a level outside perhaps the boundaries of Carleton, so well looked after by our dearly beloved federal government. But for the rest of eastern Ontario there is now a sense of regional disparity and regional alienation that I would suggest approximates that which has been historically the case in northern Ontario.

I must say this, that while we do have our problems in that government, while we do have the member for Renfrew South (Mr. Yakabuski) as parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Natural Resources, and while we do have our dearly beloved minister of wander and squander, the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Bennett), and while we do have resignations from the cabinet bench, I’ll tell you one thing, Mr. Speaker, on behalf of those million-plus people in my region: I do not want this government ever to give consideration to giving us the like of the new Minister of Northern Affairs. We are bad and our state is not too quickly improving, but that we neither want nor I suspect can stand. Indeed, secession might be justified.

An hon. member: Be careful; they might give you Oriole.

Mr. Conway: Now what have we in the rest of this document? I don’t want to belabour the point, and quite frankly I am pleased to see the government’s ongoing commitment to the Anti-Inflation Board for reasons that have I think been made clear over the past few months in this assembly.

I am happy to see the government’s commitment, and surely we all are, to the emphasis being placed on French-language education in this province and of that I would speak in more general terms later if time allows.

I am pleased to see the government’s recognition of job creation. I am disappointed, of course, that there is absolutely nothing concrete to match the promise with performance.

I am pleased, I must say, with the statement on page 11 of Her Honour’s address that “the impetus for effective economic development east of Metropolitan Toronto and eastern Ontario will be provided by significant government operations in selected areas. Details will be presented to the House early in the session.” Well, we had those details earlier this week, and essentially I can offer my full support of that.

Particularly I am pleased to see the significant infusion of government employment into the heartland of eastern Ontario, particularly with the relocation of the government’s Ontario Hospital Insurance programme offices in Kingston. While I can understand the reason for moving the revenue people into the Durham region and how that relates to the Toronto-centred region plan, I do hope that somewhere down the road the government will be impressed by the realities of far-eastern Ontario -- for example, Pembroke, Cornwall and such centres of economic activity that have been identified as needing that kind of an infusion, and I would certainly encourage the hon. Treasurer to expedite to the extent that is possible his Go East strategy.

Indeed, it was with some irony that I listened to the Treasurer the other day and I was thinking it is surprising that we should have in this day and age Horace Greeley in reverse and that in fact it should come from the mouth of the hon. provincial Treasurer. It is interesting, I suppose, from at least an anecdotal point of view. The hon. Treasurer is a dear and close friend, I know, of all of us in this assembly.

Mr. Warner: Speak for yourself.

Mr. Conway: I am further concerned about the eastern Ontario economic aspect and I wanted very briefly this morning to highlight that Go East strategy and what I expect from that strategy, quite frankly.

Mr. Warner: You should be a minister.

Mr. Conway: I think it is high time this government decided to do something concrete for those areas, and I speak not only of the smaller communities in my riding but I can speak I think for my hon. friend from Cornwall (Mr. Samis) and other such far-eastern constituencies that have not received their fair share of the economic attention from this government. I only hope, as I said earlier, that places like Pembroke can expect in the future, and hopefully in the not-too-distant future, their share of this reallocation of Ontario government services.

As for the employment problems of eastern Ontario and Renfrew county, despite all the commissions and government agencies that are being appointed and will no doubt depreciate the unemployment concerns in a very selected part of the Ontario work force, I must say that the long and extended recess back home in Renfrew county certainly impressed upon me once again the extreme seriousness of the economic situation, particularly as it relates to job creation and unemployment.


Figures, for example, released not so long ago from the Pembroke UIC office indicate the following: In January of this year, 2,084 males and 1,349 females were registered at the Manpower centre in Pembroke as looking for employment. That week there were 12 jobs listed in that same employment office.

We have then a situation of unprecedented unemployment that can be validated and supported by a very considerable array of statistics, which I do not feel the need to go into today; but I do feel, from my own personal experience particularly over this past winter, that this government has a responsibility, not concretely addressed in specific programmes in this Throne Speech, to job creation, particularly in those areas of Ontario, and mine is an outstanding example for job creation, at least in the short term until the general economic climate, of North America particularly, improves.

Mr. di Santo: That’s not good enough.

Mr. Conway: It may, in fact, as my friend from Downsview says, be not good enough. One particular area that concerned me in the December weeks of this sitting was the fact that the ARDA commitment of this particular provincial government as it relates to my county and my region in terms of the job creation and the jobs involved, 1976-1977 as opposed to the previous year, there were considerably fewer jobs made available through that programme in Renfrew county this past winter as opposed to the previous winter. It was a clear and obvious cutback at a most inappropriate time.

While it is easy for us all to lay whatever, and I must say justifiable, blame we might like at the doorstep of the federal Minister of Finance and the federal government, this assembly has its own responsibilities in that regard. This Throne Speech has not done very much, particularly in eastern Ontario, to encourage the serious employment requirements of which we are all keenly aware.

I want to say, as many predecessors in this debate have said -- and I speak with a very peculiar sense of concern in this regard, and it relates to the serious crisis we now have in terms of unemployment in the young persons category, that category between 16 and 29 -- as I say, I have a special concern, both because it is to that age group that I belong and because this business of which I am now a participant makes me always wary of what employment might await those of us who might be somehow disposed of by the vagaries of party politics.

Mr. MacDonald: You are a realist.

An hon. member: Every cloud does have a silver lining.

Mr. Moffatt: And become a pessimist overnight.

Mr. Conway: I must say, Mr. Speaker, that it is most important for a society and a political system and an economic system to pay particular attention to that category, because it is that category that is most dynamic, that is most formative. If that group is disappointed, disillusioned, frustrated and turned sour and cynical, I think we will reap a whirlwind down the road that will be serious indeed.

On another related topic, I suppose if nothing else disturbs me about our problems in La Belle Province it is that the federalists have lost that category, have lost the 16-to-25-to-35-year-olds, and I think that will have a very serious implication indeed. In this province, in economic terms I think that is extremely important that we pay particular attention to job creation for young people. I must say in the strongest possible language that I can use in this august assembly that the insulting remarks of the Prime Minister, not so very long ago and not so very far away, as to what graduates from our post-secondary institutions might and should do in the light of these circumstances are both flippant and totally unacceptable on the strongest possible grounds. I would disagree and, in fact, disparage the position and the remarks in particular.

Mr. Kerrio: We’re freer than you guys are.

Mr. Moffatt: He is a Liberal Prime Minister.

Mr. Warner: That’s what the democratic principle is all about.

Mr. Conway: What then, Mr. Speaker, with all due non-partisan respect, do we have in terms of a comment on this Speech from the Throne? Well, to be sure, our colleagues and my friends -- if I might be so loose as to call you that, sir -- in Her Majesty’s loyal opposition, offered, I thought with no little bit of attention to the peculiar hypocrisies which they and sometimes they alone can muster, an interesting comment. I was impressed. I must say I was impressed when I watched my television set on Tuesday of last week, having regard to the statement which, in economic terms, goes on at great length to talk about how important the anti-inflation programme is to the economic health and well-being of this province, in particular as it is referred to in this Throne Speech, and all the other comments. I was very interested, having particular regard to that, to see my good friend from Scarborough West reported, visually and orally, on the televisions of Ontario that night saying to the effect that indeed, “This is great, minority government is working, and there is not one thing in that document which,” I think if I can quote him roughly, “inspires any anger in my heart.”

Mr. Reed: He’s the world’s greatest flip-flop artist.

Mr. Conway: I thought that was a very interesting statement, made only more interesting when the next day I picked up some of the provincial press to read, “The official opposition move want of confidence in the government.” I think that is some comment upon the anger in their heart --

Mr. Reed: It was his greatest flip-flop.

Mr. Conway: -- because that want of confidence certainly does not dovetail or relate in any way to the position taken by their esteemed leader the preceding day.

So we have this two-page statement issued, I guess late last week. It’s interesting, to be sure. It is an interesting testament to the age-old if nostalgic nostrums that call for the imminent creation of the Co-operative Commonwealth. It is in its own way a reinforcement of motherhood and apple pie. It is, I think, a significant comment on many things about which I can express some support. But it is, as I would be wont to say, transparent in its political character, and I think and I know it will be treated by the majority in this House as in fact it should be.

Just one comment on subsection (d) of section 1, actually, if I can refer to it as such: The first part of the paper calls for an intensive programme of secondary and tertiary manufacturing based on our resource sector. I just picked that out this afternoon or this morning, because of your particular interest, Mr. Speaker, in that kind of comment. I wonder what an embellishment of that sentence might have to mean for the resource sector to which I am so closely and personally related. I hope and pray that it has no nationalizing implications. I hope it doesn’t.

Mr. Moffatt: Are you opposed to it?

Mr. Conway: To be sure I am opposed to nationalization of our resource sector, and I know my friend from Lake Nipigon (Mr. Stokes) is as well.

Mr. Moffatt: Goodness gracious; leave it all to the Americans.

Mr. Conway: As I say, the nostalgic nostrums calling for the Co-operative Commonwealth -- it is nice to have them around but it’s obviously not a significant comment in political terms at this point in time.

As far as my response as a member of this assembly is concerned, I do think, as I said earlier, that this is in fact a testament to the workings of minority government. We all know what the real issues are in terms of the spring of 1977. I think we have a document that is, if not specific, at least suggestive, and I as one member of this assembly am quite prepared and quite anxious to get on with the job of pursuing the legislative programme that is talked about in this 29-page document.

Mr. Davison: We will have an election.

Mr. Conway: My colleague from Hamilton Centre makes some tangential reference to a division, something about going to the polls.

Mr. Ruston: He can recheck his line.

Well, as a practising party politician I must say that I am not insensitive to elections. I have said in this assembly before, and I probably will continue to say in the future, that when you have my kind of personal mandate you probably are more sensitive than most to the imminence and possible result of an election. But unlike my friends to the right --

Mr. McKessock: We are to the left.

Mr. Conway: -- who are to the left --

Mr. McKessock: Who are right.

Mr. Conway: Well, it depends of whom you speak --

Mr. McKessock: You would never know.

Mr. Conway: I’m sure my hon. friends from Lake Nipigon and Cornwall, for example, might indeed differ in their ideological perspectives from my good and hon. friend from Downsview.

Mr. Reed: I should hope so.

Mr. Conway: To say nothing of the moderating impact of these sunny days as to how they relate to our friend the Leader of the Opposition.

Mr. Warner: You left me out.

Mr. Conway: I speak only of that which is relevant, my good friend.

To the extent that we have economic problems in eastern Ontario, I wanted to speak today of the one particular offering that we have had since the appointment of my good friend from Renfrew South to the parliamentary secretaryship for Natural Resources. The one specific commitment that we have had from this government as to our economic future -- and I must stop there, Mr. Speaker, and introduce a personal, non-partisan note:

Since we last gathered in December 1976, we in eastern Ontario have had two or three social notes which deserve the commendation of one and all in this assembly. As we all know, my good friend from Renfrew South and our good friend from Ottawa Sooth (Mr. Bennett) have, or are about to enter into nuptials. I think we should certainly congratulate them in absentia for such an initiative. Indeed, as I was saying to my good friend from Renfrew South, perhaps, I shall learn the ways and means in the not so distant future.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: You want to watch -- it may be contagious.

Mr. Conway: I must say, Mr. Speaker, with all the candour that I can muster, we Liberals have a very great and growing concern about marital relations in these trying times of the spring of 1977.

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

Mr. Ruston: Give 'em hell.

Mr. Conway: What have we had? Well, we’ve had an interesting statement from the Minister of Industry and Tourism made in February 1977. Eastern Ontario, as I have said -- and I will say as Long as I am here -- is an area of real economic disparity. We have not had from this government our fair share of economic opportunity, despite the blandishments of my friend from Scarborough Centre (Mr. Drea) who was going on at some length last night about the province of opportunity, because for eastern Ontario and for northern Ontario this has not been the province of opportunity.

Mr. Warner: It’s got worse since you came here.

Mr. Conway: I must say that the offering we have had in the past nine or 10 weeks does not encourage me one whit about the future. On February 14, I believe, in the community of Arnprior we had convened, at the leisure of the county council and the Minister of Industry and Tourism, a major press conference which I’m sure had no political import -- a press conference that produced for us all the panacea that we were to have. It was called Timbertown. Timbertown, for those of you who may not be yet aware of this significant initiative, is an $8 million to $10 million project, funded by the private sector to create 300 to 400 jobs in the tourist sector on a 600-acre site, the southeastern corner of Renfrew county; a site that will re-create the historical lumber-timber past of my forebears.

Well, it’s interesting. First of all, we have, of course, nothing concrete, and that is not new. We have a statement that it will take $8 million or $10 million of start-up capital, all of which must come from the private sector, all of which must be in place before we can begin, all of which contribute if completely put in place -- 300 to 400 jobs in the tourist sector, 80 per cent of which are seasonal employment and to that extent will solve absolutely none of the deep-seated economic difficulties that we have had, and no doubt will continue to have.


Timbertown: I am a young man -- a young person, a young member -- and I quite frankly expect to be an old, old man before Timbertown etches its majesty across the southern sky of Renfrew county. It is a pipe dream that only this government could concoct. It is a political sop yet again, dragged before the good and honourable people of Renfrew county, no doubt in this pre-election circumstance; that I hope will succeed. To the extent that I hope it will succeed, I must say I do not support it conceptually, because it does absolutely nothing to redress those serious economic problems in the job-creation sector of our local economy.

After all, Mr. Speaker, consider for one moment a project that, if completed -- and I am just fascinated at the suggestion that the private sector is going to cough up $8 million for this kind of peripheral tourist complex in eastern Ontario. I must say that it is not my recollection or my information, that we have ever, either publicly or privately, certainly in the recent past, attracted $8 million or $10 million of private capital for any other project. In these economically difficult and trying times I am fascinated at the prospect of bringing such capital to our area for such a project.

If this government is capable of such attraction, if the newly-married Minister of Industry and Tourism can in fact produce that $8 million or $10 million, he is a wunderkind or something I never imagined. I wish him well in his endeavour.

The land assembly policy for which this government is famous -- and we have all kinds of specific examples of this in the not too distant past -- the land assembly policy that they entertained in this Timbertown project is really fascinating.

You know, Mr. Speaker, it has been talked about for a great length of time, this Timbertown. The question was put, over the past year, as to where it was going to be, which local community could expect the largess next door. Well of course I asked questions to this effect in this House, of my friends opposite; and in one of his rare flashes of parliamentary brilliance, the Minister of Industry and Tourism indicated to me we could not announce the site until we had some measure of control over the 600 acres involved.

That made an awful lot of sense to me, as a quiet country boy with not a great deal of business experience. It struck me as sensible and sound that you would not announce the site of this kind of a project without some control, in terms of options or indeed purchase. I believe in early November 1976, in response to a question that I put in this assembly, the hon. Minister of Industry and Tourism said exactly that; and I proceeded on those grounds, Mr. Speaker.

So what happened? In Arnprior, in February, 1977, but three months later, my good friends opposite have the courage, the effrontery and the candour, to stand before us and say: “Yes, Timbertown will be located on 600 acres in Horton township near the little hamlet of Castleford.”

My first question, Mr. Speaker, is: “Well thank you very much; did you have any trouble optioning the land, or getting control of the land?” To which there came a rather tame and lame response: “Well unfortunately, we have no options, we have no control. We will not proceed if there is in fact any speculation.” That latter was a caveat put well in advance.

That is a concept of convolution and land assembly that only this government is capable of; and I hope it has not seriously compromised the future of this project. That is just one small example of the offerings that this government has had in terms of economic opportunity for eastern Ontario. Before I get off the topic, I must say that the whole project, of course, has been shot through with local and provincial Conservative policies in a way that I would thoroughly expect. But we had what I thought was an interesting admission of how politics in government ore controlled and operated in my part of this great province.

Of course, there was a great debate about where this project would be located; and that does not have undue regard to the constituencies involved. I happen to represent the northern part of that constituency -- and, of course, I am not a government member -- and the southern half of the riding is, in fact, represented by a government member.

I would like to read into the record an article -- and, quite frankly, it has not been refuted -- which appeared in the Renfrew Mercury on February 16, 1977.

“Paul Yakabuski, MPP for Renfrew South, was instrumental in having the Timbertown project located in the southern part of the county. Mr. Yakabuski said that last year he heard reports” -- he heard reports I -- “that the tourist attraction was being located in the Petawawa area.” In other words, in North Renfrew. “After checking with the ministers involved and not receiving a denial, he composed a letter that said he would leave the party if the decision was not changed.”

Mr. Kerrio: I thought they would jump at the chance.

Mr. Gaunt: Now there’s a threat for you.

Mr. Conway: That makes the member for London North (Mr. Shore) look statesmanlike.

“Mr. Yakabuski said that the letter said if the attraction was not in the south part of the county, he would ask the Speaker to rearrange the seating plan to enable him to sit as an independent until the end of his term’.” I was not quite sure that he hadn’t been an independent for the last 15 years or whatever, but he said that would be his course.

“He explained that he thought it would be unfair to have the Timbertown project located at the north end of the county” and so on. Interesting. Perhaps not that significant but, if nothing else, picayune in its interest and suggestive as to how politics operates in dear old Renfrew county.

Mr. Gregory: Too bad the north hasn’t got a good member like the south has.

Mr. Conway: Well, the member for Mississauga East comments about the government offering in this regard. I must say that while it may be many things, it is at least historic and consistent, because that’s how the pork barrel has been rolled down Renfrew county and the Ottawa Valley for lo, these many years.

Mr. Ruston: Give 'em hell.

Mr. Conway: The hon. member should just make sure, though, that he does not lie in its wake, because it could be a flattening prospect if he is so unfortunate as to reap the whirlwind.

I have been cynical and, I must say, I have probably been uncomplimentary in some of the things I have had to say about the way this government has made appointments in eastern Ontario. But they made a good appointment yesterday. I just want to digress to congratulate my good friend, the Minister of Agriculture and Food, for his appointment to Ellard Powers from Beachburg to the Farm Income Stabilization Commission.

Mr. Gregory: You just made it suspect.

Mr. Conway: Of his politics I am surely not aware, but I must say there is no agricultural personality in Renfrew county, and indeed in Ontario, save the member for York South, who has the competence, the commitment and the personal background enabling him to make a real and genuine offering to this important commission. I congratulate the government for its consideration and good sense in making that appointment.

Mr. Gregory: We will start to worry about him now.

Mr. Conway: A non-partisan I am not.

Mr. Gregory: He has begun to be suspect.

Mr. Conway: I must say just one other thing: The election of September 1975 has had all kinds of interesting and salutary effects for those of us in Renfrew county. We have had a flypast of Tory cabinet ministers that would impress the most urbane southern Ontarian. The only junket that we have yet to expect will surely come with the member for London North and his travelling committee on small business. That’s the only impressive representative opposite we have not yet had.

We have had the Premier, we have had the Treasurer, we were going to have the Minister of Housing -- unfortunately he got lost, not realizing that Pembroke wasn’t Perth -- we were going to have the Minister of Agriculture and Food in the next week or so. We had the Minister of Education, invited somehow, Mr. Speaker, surprisingly at the explicit invitation of the Progressive Conservative candidate, who arranged an official meeting with the local boards of education.

These Tories in eastern Ontario are surprising me, because as we all know Bill Kelly has a bit of money. I hear he’s making low-interest loans to needy opposition business because his fund is so flowing over. But the Minister of Education came to Pembroke and through the Conservative association did his official business, seriously for a moment, as disgusting in its import and implications as that is.

I was glad to see him there, and I know the local boards of education were delighted to see him there and they were very happy and anxious and pleased with the opportunity to meet him. But the fact that this government felt the need to arrange such a meeting with the duly elected local school boards through the nominated Progressive Conservative candidate is I think disgusting in its implications.

I think it is absolutely acceptable that the Minister of Education in his capacity come as a Conservative and do Conservative business and I applaud him for that initiative. I am glad to see and I respect totally the very serious and ongoing efforts made by my good friend the Local Progressive Conservative candidate in his ongoing efforts to displace me. That is an initiative which I know gentlemen opposite can applaud. But I do not accept the political implications of confusing the official business of that ministry, of my government and of the people of Ontario with the local pre-election antics of the Conservative Party.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: We will fix that next time.

Mr. Conway: I’ll tell you one thing, Mr. Speaker, that the election of 1975, in proving as it did the status of non-Conservative membership in this assembly, has gone a very significant way and distance in taking the real and legitimate concern of eastern Ontario off the Conservative back benches where they have reposed for, lo, these 34 years. I’ll tell you that will be a major issue in the next election in Renfrew North and I don’t mind being parochial for a moment in saying that.

While I personally can respect the personal contributions made by my colleagues opposite -- and I have a great deal of respect for the contributions made by many of their long standing members from eastern Ontario who are with us this morning, and I am not ashamed nor afraid to make that confession -- no region has been as good politically to this government and to this party over the last three decades as eastern Ontario. It has consistently, prior to 1975, provided a bulk of 20 or 25 seats that have sustained that government and that party through good times and bad, and what have we got in return? We have been given a diet of neglect, more sops and morsels than any other region, perhaps northern Ontario included. Because at least they’ve had a strong regional cabinet spokesperson over the last few years, and with all due respect, eastern Ontario continues to be without a strong regional spokesman, though I have some hope that the new Minister of Community and Social Services (Mr. Norton) might begin to fill the void.

The ministers from Carleton and Ottawa South and formerly from Carleton-Grenville are no answer in articulate political terms to the problems of which I speak this morning. As an opposition member at this point in time I am not afraid to say that a major question in our election debate whenever that may occur will be the whole question of this diet of neglect which we have been force-fed in the past 34 years will be a very significant part of the public debate if and when it should occur in the not too distant future.

Mr. Speaker, I want to conclude this morning with a reference or two --

Mr. Haggerty: Keep going.

Mr. Gaunt: More, more.

Mr. Ruston: Give ‘em hell.


Mr. Conway: -- with a reference or two to what we might call the Canada and Canadian question. I do this for a variety of reasons, one of them is self-interest in the question.

I was invited, I was intrigued, I was interested, I was impressed -- I was sometimes depressed -- by my distinguished friend, the member for Scarborough Centre (Mr. Drea) last night, who truly, and in his inimitable style, entertained those of us who were here with a speech on the Canadian question. I agree with my friends here who would say that we must not overdo the question, and we must not, Mr. Speaker. I hope that all members of all parties will be sensitive to the politics of that question, that none of us would ever feel the need, for personal political reasons or gain, to prostitute ourselves, our Parliament, our process and our community, for whatever personal gain politically there might be out of this fascinatingly complex and emotional issue.

But because I come from the Ottawa Valley, because when I look out of my riding office window I see La Belle Province across the river, because in my community of Pembroke and in my riding there is a substantial French-Canadian involvement and representation; I do feel that it is incumbent on me this morning to take a few moments to express some very personal views on this question. I have done so in the past, perhaps somewhat intemperately in my first speech here 18 months ago, but I wanted to talk this morning about the question very briefly.

My friend from Scarborough Centre last night spoke in a way and in a style that was truly reminiscent of what D’Arcy McGee must have been all about. There was an Irish madness in it all that was truly something to behold.

There was, Mr. Speaker -- and I don’t believe you were here -- for a time last night something of an Irish conspiracy involving the members for Scarborough Centre, Lakeshore (Mr. Lawlor), Sarnia (Mr. Bullbrook), and only parenthetically myself.

The member for Scarborough Centre spoke consistently of the national dream, and he spoke of the national fervour, and this great concept of Canada and Confederation; and I wanted just to footnote some of his comments because they were, very honestly, very well put, to the extent that they were coherent and sometimes they weren’t, and I must differ with my hon. friend to that extent. But he made some extremely significant and salient points last night, that I hope were not lost on those of us who, while heckling, were listening in part.

He talked of a national dream, Mr. Speaker. You know I’m impressed by this country and its national dream. Not so very long ago the national dream was, I think, very interestingly popularized before us all by our good friend Pierre Berton.

Think for a moment about our national dream. Can you think of another country that has a national dream that’s a railroad? Think of it. Our national dream is the Canadian Pacific railroad; and I think that’s a symbolic reflection of the society and the economy that Confederation anticipated.

Think about the national dream that my friend spoke of last night, and I would suggest that is really in the essence of what the national dream, as Pierre Berton has said and we have all read, is essentially all about. Take that national dream, the railroad; pretty mechanical business, isn’t it? Pretty transcontinental in its dimension; but pretty serious in its implication, both economically and regionally.

If that be our national dream, think for a moment that that national dream has been the political sore point of at least four provinces since its very inception. To the extent that we have a national dream, we’re told it’s the CPR; and I’ll tell you west of North Bay you cannot find one item in our past or present that inspires such antipathy, such genuine disgust, and sometimes hatred, as the mention of that national dream. Just a small point when we wax eloquent about our dreams.

I take a great interest in the debate today on this Canadian question and I was impressed again by some of the comments of my friend from Scarborough Centre last night when he talked in this regard. There’s an awful lot of complaint this very week about Monsieur Laurin’s white paper on language in La Belle Province.

It’s interesting. Before we talk about the white paper I wanted to reflect just for a moment on the irony of an even more interesting debate that continues this very day on the economic balance sheet of Confederation.

Monsieur Tremblay’s statement of about a week ago to the effect that the real good reason, economically, or the real good reason why Quebec should get out of Confederation is because taking as a beginning and end point, 1961 and 1975, Confederation as an arrangement has cost the people of Quebec -- if my memory serves me correctly -- his 225-page report indicated a $4.3 billion deficit.

In other words, we’re being told by this government in Quebec today that the reason for Quebec to get out of Confederation is because it is costing too much money and, in fact, the money is not being spent locally but is being spent -- I think he indicated to the benefit of the rest of Canada, but particularly to Ontario.

There is a great and fascinating irony about that point, Mr. Speaker, because whether you are aware of the fact or not, almost to the syllable, that was the very reason why Ontario wanted and ultimately got Confederation in the first place.

I wanted to quote today, very briefly, and I’ll finish that if I can for a second -- let none of us here forget, if we have not already made ourselves acquainted with the rather significant fact, particularly when we talk about the national dream, that for Ontario Confederation was an explicit act of political and cultural separation. There was very little of a dream involved.

And the arguments put -- and I’m going to put one of them very briefly this morning because I think that while it is historical in its suggestion it is very relevant in terms of its implication. The most important, I would argue, father of Confederation -- and I don’t want to sound political or partisan in this respect -- with all due regard to Macdonald and Cartier, the really significant character in the whole proposition was the founder of the Toronto Globe, George Brown. Without George Brawn’s participation there would have been no Confederation rat that point in time.

Having regard to what I have just said about Confederation and about what the Quebec government is now telling us as to why Quebec should opt out on those economic grounds, I want to quote from the Confederation debate of February, 1865, and the comments made by the senior Ontario representative, George Brown. See if this doesn’t ring relevant today. He said;

“But, Mr. Speaker, the second feature of this Confederation scheme, as a remedial measure, is that it removes to a large extent the injustice of which Upper Canada has complained in financial matters. We in Upper Canada have complained that though we paid into the public treasury more than three-fourths of the whole revenue, we had less control over the system of taxation and expenditure of the public moneys than the people of Lower Canada. Well, sir, the scheme in your hands remedies that.”

Remember that, just remember that when you get exercised and excited about Monsieur Tremblay. Remember, when you talk of a national dream, that Confederation, as we now have it presented to us, was not a beginning of something entirely new; that the Canada to which we now address ourselves and which we very justifiably want to protect, was not a new nationality born of wedlock. It was rather an admission of failure. It was, quite frankly, a compromise constitution built out of obvious failure and deadlock.

Confederation in 1867 was for Ontario, two things: It was hoped to be an end to French and Quebec dominance and, quite frankly and maybe more important, it was an effort to get our greedy little paws on western Canada and to exploit it to the hilt.

I think my friend from Durham East (Mr. Moffatt) says with some import that it was one historian’s view -- most historians would probably agree with me to a large extent, and I just want my hon. friends to remember that -- that insofar as the Confederation of 1867 is concerned, it was not a question of a great national dream; it was really a product of a very frustrated and expansionary Ontario mentality and, quite honestly, it was a mentality that was very tired of Lower Canada.

Interesting, too, was the fact that Confederation was the fifth constitutional arrangement over 107 years. It was an admission that the previous constitution had failed abjectly, obviously and totally. When we talk in the upcoming debate, as I hope we will, about our Canada and about our national dream, I would suggest going back and reading this, small, cheap, document.

If I can quote from one other contribution in that document, because I think it has a very significant relevance to us here today, the most eloquent speech made in that pretty important debate came from an English-speaking farmer; and I know my colleagues here will certainly appreciate that. He was the member for Brougham, and he said that the Confederation scheme was a total disaster. He went on to outline many of the reasons.

I want my colleagues, as members of a provincial assembly, to bear with me while I read briefly from one of the arguments he put as to why the Confederation of Macdonald and Cartier was bound to fail. He says -- and I quote:

“But there is another result about which there can be no question. The provincial governments will in a quiet way want money, and the provincial legislators and people will want it yet more. Grants for roads and bridges, for schools, for charities, for salaries, for contingencies of the legislative bodies” -- he anticipated Wintario -- “for all manner of ends they will be wanting money. And where is it to come from?

“Whether the constitution of the provincial executive savours at all of responsible government or not, be sure it will not be anxious to bring itself more under control of the Legislature or to make itself more odious than it can help, and the easiest way for provincial legislators to get money will be from the central government.

“I am not sure either but that most members of the provincial legislatures will make it that way the best. Gentlemen will go to their constituents provincially with an easy conscience, telling them: True, we had not much to do in the provincial Legislature, and you need not ask very closely what else we did, but I tell you what, we got the federal government to increase the subvention to our province by five cents a head and see what this gives you -- $500 to that road, $1,000 to that charity, so much here and so much there. That we have done and we have done well.

“I am afraid [said Duncan in concluding] the provincial constituencies, Legislatures and governments will all show a most calf-like appetite for the milking of this one magnificent government cow.”

I want to conclude by thanking my colleagues for their forbearance in this regard, because it might be less than interesting to them to listen to a student out of water waxing historical about these alleged irrelevancies, if indeed they judge them that; but there is an awful lot to remember when we talk about our beloved Canada and our Confederation.


It is all too easy for us to walk through our ridings and talk very euphemistically about what it is we might have had and what it is we should like in the future; because separatism does not owe its origin to the province of Quebec. Ontario, in economic circumstances, and in constitutional arguments, proceeded from 1867 to lay a beautiful basis for the arguments which will now be put by the province of Quebec through its separatist government. Separatist governments have prospered not so much in Quebec as they have in western Canada and, certainly, in Nova Scotia. I must say, apologetically, that the reform tradition from which I flow must bear a very significant measure of responsibility for the problems that our constitution has faced in its evolution.

But, remember, colleagues in the assembly, it is one thing to talk about the national dream, but I caution you to remember, and to take a serious look at what the national dream of 1867 was all about. When we talk about the white paper on French-language rights in the province of Quebec today, there is a great effort, very calculatingly put by Monsieur Laurin, as to what has happened in Ontario and Manitoba. But we’re not talking about a new concept of minority rights as a reflection of language. Provinces other than Quebec have minority rights relating to education.

You can make an exceptionally good argument that those are the rights not of language but of denomination, Mr. Speaker. Indeed, it is interesting that my neighbouring county across the river, in Quebec-Pontiac county -- which is significantly anglophone, does have an English-speaking school board that is not public. But that’s not the Pontiac English-speaking school board. As I was saying to some of my colleagues yesterday, there’s a little bit of significance in the fact that it’s called the Pontiac Protestant School Board. A small, rather significant comment about bow minority rights began and how they have evolved.

As members of this assembly, we must pay cognizance and respect to the fact that language rights are important, and I am delighted to see them commented upon in this Throne Speech, But language rights are not always a question of minority rights; they are to be considered, both in past and in present -- and I’m sure they will be in this upcoming debate with Ottawa and Quebec City -- as a matter of minority rights. Interestingly, they will become, I think, a matter of provincial right. I know our friends in Quebec City are sitting there waiting, just waiting -- as were the governments in Manitoba 75 or 85 years ago -- for the federal government to disallow a provincial Act.

Canada is a frailty that is not to be forgotten. It has always been so, and I suspect it will continue.

I just want to end -- and I will end, after taking more than my rime -- by using a statement which I like to use in this regard. It grows out of the Confederation debates, again, as to the Canadian nationality, the national dream, or whatever. I want to emphasize, yet again, that we, as Ontarians, really were the architects of Confederation; we were the aggressive reason for Confederation.

I want you all, in your own way, to examine the cause at that time. There was not a great mandate for nationalism; it has never been so. I suppose we had been beleaguered with the nationalisms of other communities. But it has not been our peculiar role in society to have had it so.

It is a very difficult, ongoing, and sometimes not very heroic effort, to build a national community out of two groups that have neither a common cultural experience nor -- in the beginning or now -- a common language or religion. It is, in fact, a bilingual, bi-cultural experiment that will always be difficult to maintain. It will always be essentially fragile in its composition. I’m prepared to accept that and to live with that.

To conclude, I would suggest to you an interesting comment made by a Quebecker -- not French-Canadian-born but a French-born Quebecker -- who was Protestant in his religion, which was far more important then than now, and he felt, like Christopher Duncan, that the Confederation scheme was a not-too-worthwhile project. With tongue in cheek he spoke very eloquently of the frailty of the Canadian nationality and the national dream that was being so well-espoused by many of his colleagues and he suggested a symbol that would best comment upon the national dream. He said, and I quote:

“I propose the adoption of the rainbow as our national emblem. By the endless variety of its tints, the rainbow will give an excellent idea of the diversity of races, religions, sentiments, and interests of the different parts of our Canadian Confederation. By its slender and elongated form, the rainbow would effect a perfect representation of the geographical configuration of this Confederation. By its lath of consistence, an image without substance, the rainbow would represent aptly the solidity of our Confederation. An emblem we must have, for every great empire has one. Let us adopt a rainbow.”

My colleagues, our challenge is the challenge of 1867 and it will be the challenge of three generations in the future, to make this national dream, of whatever particular and peculiar variant, more than a rainbow, more than an image without substance. I thank you for your forbearance.

Mr. di Santo: I rise in support of our amendment to the Throne Speech, because I think it was illustrated by the leader of my party that the programme presented by the government to this Legislature, even though it contains important points that we agree with, doesn’t respond essentially to the basic problems that this province and Canada are faced with at this time. I mean the economic problems.

Yesterday a columnist said that the Conservatives have been a party of economic boom, but the present situation proves that this government and this party is unable to deal with the issues that we are faced with today, in 1977, because they are not equipped to deal with the economy in a deep crisis like today. The situation in Ontario is bad and growing worse. For the first time the increase in unemployment in Ontario last December exceeded the rest of Canada. There were, in February, 316,000 people unemployed in this province, and the Conference Board of Canada yesterday predicted that unemployment in Ontario will be in the range of seven per cent during 1977 and that the growth will be three per cent. So much for the predictions of the Treasurer of this province last year, who predicted that the growth will be about five per cent.

This is quite clearly intolerable. Unemployment of seven per cent is a needless waste of human resources and industrial capacity. According to a new ECD report, Canada’s economic growth this year will still average three per cent at most. Even countries like Norway, Greece and Finland will surpass Canada’s growth in 1977.

We are, Mr. Speaker, quite clearly in a situation which is critical, even though this government doesn’t realize it. It doesn’t do any good for the Treasurer of this province to use trite Tory rhetoric portraying us and the socialist policies we put forth as one of the causes that brought England to its present condition.

I want to quote what the federal Conservative critic, Mr. Sinclair Stevens said the other day in the Commons: “With a million unemployed, comparable to the entire working population of the Toronto region, Canada had the worst record among industrial nations for unemployment and one of the worst in the world for inflation.

“In the past two years this country’s current account trade deficit was higher than any nation in the world. In fact, it was higher than the total deficit position of the United States, Germany, Japan, France, Italy and the United Kingdom put together. Those six nations represent approximately 50 per cent of the world’s wealth, while we have less than three per cent. This country can pretend no longer that we are prosperous.”

This is the sad situation in which Canada is today, in which Ontario is today, after 34 years of Tory government.

I should also add, Mr. Speaker, that the preoccupation of both federal and provincial governments with wage controls and the phoney Anti-Inflation Board has brought the economy to a standstill. Prices to the consumers are rising despite the fact that officially the inflation rate is down. Just yesterday we were informed that the cost of living went up again last month because oil prices and food prices went up, both of them not controlled by the Anti-Inflation Board. As you know, Mr. Speaker, for a time lower fond prices and the international situation contributed to lowering of the inflation rate; however, the inflation rate could have been further lowered if the Anti-Inflation Board had dealt with prices and profits.

As it is, the major sources of inflation have been exempt from the control of the Anti-Inflation Board -- as I said, food, energy and housing. The main preoccupation of the Anti-Inflation Board has been with trimming wages. Other countries have brought down inflation to a greater extent than we have without controls. The United States, for one, has today a lower rate of inflation and a lower rate of unemployment.

I think, Mr. Speaker, that it is much more difficult for this government to deal with unemployment than with inflation. In the last 18 months that I have been in this House we heard, time and time again, the ministers, the Premier and the Treasurer blame everybody else for inflation; the international situation, the federal government. But to deal with unemployment in Ontario today means to deal with the failure of this government to enact policies in Ontario directed at having economic growth which would provide this province with enough jobs and which, essentially, would avoid the situation we are facing now in this province.


For more than 30 years during which this government has been in power, it has chosen an industrial strategy with results which appear every day as a starting failure. After three decades of Tory rule in Ontario, we have an economic structure which is proving to be weaker and weaker as time goes by.

As a part of the branch-plant economy developed within the federal framework, this government has been unable to develop a sound manufacturing sector. Worse than that, this government has developed the service and finance sector to a proportion which is not only unacceptable but is becoming dangerous. One of the Treasurer’s economists pointed out last year that in Ontario the manufacturing sector occupies only 36 per cent of workers, while the service sector has been inflated to 55 per cent. In a modern economy this is not only unsound but it is becoming increasingly dangerous, because the people who are producing are becoming less and less important in our economic structure while the number of people employed in the service and finance sector is increasing, which means we are consuming more and are producing less.

The manufacturing sector is a basic sector in every modern economy and that is where this government has failed more than anywhere else. Today, it is sad to say, we are unable to develop the manufacturing sector in the province of Ontario for two basic reasons: We don’t have enough investments to be made in our economy in order to develop it, and the foreign investments that we receive are needed to finance our foreign debts.

In 1976, in fact, our debt was $9.2 billion. What does that mean for the economy of this province? It means that in order to repay that debt, we should increase our exports by $500 million a year. Quite obviously we are unable to do that. Since we cannot increase our exports to that extent, we are forced to refinance our debt with the money that comes to Canada for investments. One of the big borrowers in Ontario is Ontario Hydro, whose consolidated debt in 1976 was $7,262 million. Along with Quebec Hydro, Ontario Hydro is probably the biggest borrower on the North American market.

The consequences of this situation are that New York bankers are dictating our economic and financial policies; they can pull out short-term loans and, if that happens, the Canadian dollar will fall. This is obviously a prospect that neither the federal government nor the provincial government can accept in Canada. This is one of the reasons why the provincial government so cynically accepted and endorsed the Anti-Inflation Board, which was the result of our financial situation toward the New York market. In fact, the logic of the Anti-Inflation Board is that if controls are removed then what most likely will happen is that workers will have higher settlements, and if workers have higher settlements then they will be able to buy more durable goods like houses, refrigerators, cars, et cetera, and then Canada must increase imports and, therefore, must increase our foreign debt. Absurd as it is, Mr. Speaker, unemployment costs less to Canada than to have people employed in the non-manufacturing sector. This is the basic reason why the provincial government is endorsing the anti-inflation programme at this time when everybody knows that it is not working, that is not reducing inflation, that it is increasing unemployment in Canada and in the province of Ontario.

Mr. Kerrio: Your party supported the AIB.

Mr. di Santo: What the member for Niagara Falls thinks it is worth is quite irrelevant in view of the figures that we have and in view of the figures that I mentioned related to the unemployment in the province of Ontario.

There are two more reasons why this government is unable to deal with the problems of job creation and the economy in general in the province of Ontario. One of the reasons is the price of oil. This morning the Minister of Energy (Mr. Taylor) told us how he opposed a new oil price increase and, of course, we agree with that. We actually urged the government last year to oppose any oil price increase, but this is a very late decision made by the government which is following a policy that is lasting since 1973, a policy which is wrong, which has been proved wrong, that we opposed all along.

I want to mention for the record the position taken by the Premier of this province when, in March 1974, he participated in a conference of the Premiers where an increase in the price of oil was decided. On March 28, 1974, he told the House:

“In spite of this cost which will have to be faced by consumers in Ontario, I am convinced that we have preserved for Canada the benefits of this country’s vast energy resources. The increased price will permit rapid development of new energy resources; the lower-than-world price will maintain a competitive advantage for Canadian industry; consumers in the eastern provinces will be protected from the high cost of imported oil, the western provinces will have a base on which to diversify their economic development, Canadians will have a stable oil price for at least a year” -- and he was right in that case because the next year the price went up again -- “while the rest of the world faces uncertainty, and Canada will be spared a potentially divisive constitutional confrontation. I think yesterday was a reasonable solution for this province and Canada.”

I think that day was the start of the troubles we are now faced with and, of course, the Premier of this province didn’t realize at that time that we were going toward increases in oil prices that are now reaching the world level. So his assumption was wrong and, of course, the consequences that we are having now are dreadful.

The provincial government until this time has always endorsed oil price increases. Last year, as you remember, Mr. Speaker, the then Minister of Energy (Mr. Timbrell) suggested a blended price which was a laughable proposition and was rejected. As a result of that conference we had a price increase which cost Ontario between 45,000 and 50,000 jobs. In fact according to the projections of the Ministry of the Treasurer of Ontario, and in particular Mr. Clifford Jutlah who is an economist with Treasury, we lose 7,400 jobs for each dollar of oil price increase; and if we go to the world level of $11 per barrel in Ontario we lose 45,000 to 50,000 jobs.

Of course, we have this situation in Canada, and Canada is the only oil producing nation in this situation -- not even Venezuela and Mexico are adopting this kind of crazy policy -- we have this situation because the federal government is accepting all the company positions on cost of oil per barrel, cost of exploration, drilling and marketing of oil. There is no way that the government of Canada, and perhaps it’s the only government in the world in this position, can become equipped to ascertain, on its own, the cost of a barrel of oil.

The same thing happens for gas. I have to point out to the House that this government has never taken a public position on the construction of the northern pipeline. I think this is extremely important for the province of Ontario, because if the northern pipeline were built, and we will get the figures in two weeks, the increase of the cost of gas will be terrific and Ontario will pay an unnecessary, gigantic amount of money because of the building of the pipeline.

As you know, Mr. Speaker, we have a surplus of gas. We are exporting, actually, one trillion cubic feet of gas to the United States, so there is no economic justification for the building of the pipeline. What we will have is a drainage of money which is needed for building the pipeline, money which is necessary for investments in southern Ontario. One of the results, if we build the northern pipeline, will be that there will be very little money left for investments and job creation in southern Ontario -- in southern Canada, I should say rather, Mr. Speaker. The second negative consequence will be that the increase of the price of gas will produce an increase in the cost of products and therefore a less competitive position for Canadian industries, and therefore loss of jobs.

On motion by Mr. di Santo, the debate was adjourned.

On motion by Hon. Mr. Welch, the House adjourned at 1 p.m.