30th Parliament, 4th Session

L009 - Tue 12 Apr 1977 / Mar 12 avr 1977

The House met at 2 p.m.


Mr. Speaker: Statements by the ministry.


Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, later today I will be introducing The Residential Premises Rent Review Amendment Act, 1977.

Mr. Angus: Also your resignation.

Mr. S. Smith: Is it a little messy?

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

Hon. Mr. Handleman: I’m interested in the comments, Mr. Speaker, let them go.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. minister will continue with his statement.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: The purpose of the bill is to extend the rent review programme until the scheduled end of the national anti-inflation programme. The amendments are also designed to simplify, clarify and make more equitable various procedures in the rent review process.

Mr. Lewis: Slower, slower, much slower. We want to savour it.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: As noted in the Speech from the Throne --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: It rolls off the tongue with a certain amount of glibness, Mr. Speaker.

As noted in the Speech from the Throne, rent control acts as a negative force in the government’s aim to create new rental units in significant numbers. However, the Minister of Housing (Mr. Rhodes) will soon announce the details of a programme to encourage rental construction in areas of low vacancies.

Concurrently, provincial co-operation with federal and municipal governments will continue in order to increase the amount of rental housing for senior citizens and low-income families, and through the newly-merged AHOP/HOME programme to assist moderate-income families to buy their own homes, thereby freeing currently-occupied rental units.

The legislation will remain enforceable after December 31, 1978, for rent increases or orders extending beyond the expiry date. Also, applications and appeals for rent review, which are filed before the expiry date, will be heard and orders will be made after December 31, 1978.

Under the previous Act, any rent increases remained in effect for 12 months unless a landlord applied for and was granted a further increase within that time. Under the amendment, all increases of any amount, with or without an order, must remain in effect for one year from the effective date of the previous increase and no landlord may apply for a further increase during that year. This will prevent sudden rent increases when the Act expires.

A discontinuance of a service is not to be considered as a rent increase during such a 12-month period --

Mr. Moffatt: What?

Mrs. Campbell: What?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: -- but tenants may continue to apply for rent reduction as compensation for such a discontinuance, as in the present Act.

An important new requirement is the obligation now placed on landlords to provide written information about rents and rental agreements if required by a rent review officer in the course of his or her dealing with applications.

New punishable offences have been defined and corporations guilty of offences may be fined up to $25,000, while individual directors are subject to $2,000 maximum fines upon conviction.

Other amendments in the bill are:

The maximum rent that may be charged pending an appeal to the board will now be the same as the rent chargeable pending a hearing before a rent review officer.

The notice that landlords must give to tenants justifying a rent increase may now be in writing in the same manner as under The Landlord and Tenant Act.

No order can be nullified on the ground of improper notice unless that point was raised at the rent review hearing. The rent review board will be empowered to review its own decisions when satisfied that serious error has occurred.

Where it can be shown that persons were unable to attend a rent review hearing because of circumstances beyond their control, they may apply to the board for permission to appeal. Formerly, non-attendance at the original hearing eliminated the right of appeal.

Many of these amendments should serve to improve the effectiveness of the programme as well as eliminate some of the irritants which have come to light during the first two years of its operation. Between now and December 31, 1978, the government will be putting forward for discussion a number of policy options which will lead eventually to a return to a free market in the Ontario rental industry.

Mr. Martel: Has the Premier (Mr. Davis) accepted your resignation?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Order.

Mr. Lewis: You know who the biggest irritant is, the biggest single irritant?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Yes, the member for Ottawa Centre (Mr. Cassidy) who should be here today.

Mrs. Campbell: Call the minister to order.

Mr. Roy: That is a strange statement for a guy who was going to resign.


Hon. Mr. Auld: Mr. Speaker, later this afternoon I propose to introduce a bill entitled The Successor Rights Crown Transfers Act, 1977. This bill preserves the representation and bargaining rights or organizations representing employees employed in undertakings transferred from the Crown to other employers and in undertakings transferred from other employers to the Crown.

The bill provides for the determination of questions that may arise on such a transfer. Where a transfer is to an employer other than the Crown, the determinations are to be made by the Ontario Labour Relations Board. Where the transfer is to the Crown, the determinations are to be made by the Ontario Public Service Labour Relations Tribunal. Where a trade union or council of trade unions is the certified bargaining agent in respect of an undertaking transferred to the Crown, the trade union or council of trade unions is required to qualify as an employee organization within the meaning of The Crown Employees Collective Bargaining Act, 1972. Where an employee organization has representation rights in respect of an undertaking transferred from the Crown to another employer, the employee organization is required to qualify as a trade union or council of trade unions under The Labour Relations Act.

Mr. Speaker: Oral questions.


Mr. Lewis: I’d like to put a question to the Minister of Education, if I may, which, unaccustomed as though this may be, Mr. Speaker, is designed to elicit information rather than bestir controversy.

What exactly did the minister say on CBC radio this morning about the distribution of federal moneys for the teaching of French to parts of the school system in Ontario -- I gather, the private system in Ontario? Can he define his terms and explain to the Legislature exactly what it was that he asked the cabinet to reconsider?

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I don’t remember using the words “asked the cabinet to reconsider” or anything of that nature. It was pretty early in the morning, but as I recall, what I said, and I think I’ve said it many times other than on the CBC show this morning, was that the matter of the bilingual grants from the federal government -- which, of course, we accept; something in the nature of somewhere around, as I recall, $23 million or $24 million for the teaching of French as a second language and for minority-language education in this province -- that the matter of those grants being paid to private schools in this province -- for example, the Hawthorne school -- was something that was still under discussion by this government and that we hadn’t made any determination as to whether or not we would allow the federal government to pay those grants in the same manner as it is now doing, I think, in Manitoba and British Columbia.

In other words, in those provinces, as I understand it, they are not paying the grants to the private schools, although the situation is changing in British Columbia now, but the money is paid directly from the federal government to the private schools.

Mr. Lewis: By way of supplementary may I ask, perhaps for further definition, is the minister making a distinction among various schools when he says that? Is he referring specifically and solely to schools like Hawthorne or the French School which have, in the private sector, a large component of French-language instruction now? Or does he mean to extend it beyond that -- I needn’t set it out for him; he understands the implications -- but is he now being further selective or is he broad in his interpretation?

Hon. Mr. Wells: That’s a rather major policy decision. I’m certainly being selective in that I’m not referring to the grade 13 grants that people talk about -- that’s a completely different subject.

Mr. Lewis: I understand that.

Hon. Mr. Wells: But I suppose the French grants which would be payable to the Hawthorne school or the Toronto French School -- there are a number of other private schools, e.g., Catholic private schools, Upper Canada College, Ridley and others --

Mr. Singer: Yes, yes. Upper Canada College.

Mr. Breithaupt: That’s called socialist realism.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Wells: -- which would also qualify if they wish to ask for the money from the federal government, if we decided to allow that to happen.

Mr. Lewis: So, in fact you are including other schools.

Mr. Singer: Do you think Upper Canada should have it?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. A supplementary has been asked and the answer given.

Mr. S. Smith: In view of the fact that the minister has now been considering this matter for some years, I believe, can he tell us why there is a need for further delay before he permits what is a national policy -- namely, to have this money available for the teaching of French -- to be applied at the level of every student in Ontario irrespective of what school he’s attending? Why doesn’t he just get on with it?

Mr. Singer: Don’t pick on Upper Canada.

Hon. Mr. Wells: If my friend had listened to the radio programme this morning he would have heard my explanation.

Mr. Breithaupt: He did, and so did I.

Hon. Mr. Wells: It has, till this point in time, been this government’s feeling that even to allow those grants to he paid to private schools in Ontario would violate our basic policy of no public tax money for private schools.

Mr. S. Smith: They go to private schools --

Hon. Mr. Wells: We felt that that was an overriding factor in this matter and, therefore, we have not seen fit to allow even that kind of an arrangement to happen, which needs our concurrence for the federal government to pay that money to private schools. But as I indicated on the programme, it’s a matter that we’re still looking at.


Mr. Lewis: Since I assume the minister mentioned Upper Canada only because he is a member of the board of directors, or governors, or whatever they’re called, I won’t pursue it with him. May I ask, when does he intend to provide the Legislature with an actual decision, since, obviously, if this money is available to the Catholic system, the private system, and those parts of it which are bilingual and French specifically, it does mean a very major shift in government policy? When does the minister expect to make the announcement?

Hon. Mr. Wells: I would differ with my friend, Mr. Speaker. I don’t think it represents a major shift in government policy.

Mr. Foulds: Just a refinement.

Hon. Mr. Wells: That’s right, my friend said “a refinement.” I have not indicated what the government’s policy will be in this matter; I have just indicated it’s something that’s being looked at. I think that in presenting our total programme for teaching French as a second language, and with that the kinds of things that we are going to have to do to help convince Ottawa -- and I don’t think they’ll take too much convincing -- to increase their grants, I will also have to answer this question at that time, and I hope I can answer them all when we bring forward our programme in a week or so.

Mr. S. Smith: Does the minister not acknowledge that right now Ontario taxpayers are paying, via the federal government, to support the teaching of French in private schools throughout the rest of the country, with the exception possibly of New Brunswick? Doesn’t that in some way contradict his present policy? And, if, in fact, this is not a major shift, why is it taking him years to make up his mind? And if it is a major shift, why is he saying it isn’t?

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, certainly I am aware of that. I am also aware, for instance, that the taxpayers of this province who choose to send their children to private schools are also paying taxes for the public system, but there is good and just reason why we do not pay grants to the private school system.


Mr. Lewis: A question, if I may, to the Minister of Labour --

Hon. B. Stephenson: You may.

Mr. Lewis: Thank you so much. Can I ask the minister to re-examine the letter from Dr. Miller on the question of laryngeal cancer and its potential compensable quality, on the basis that on close reading of this letter there is enough uncertainty in Dr. Miller’s own mind -- there are obviously arguments on both sides -- that the benefit of the doubt could legitimately and compassionately be extended in this instance to cover the case of Aime Bertrand and perhaps others in similar circumstances?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I should be happy to re-examine Dr. Miller’s letter again. This will be not just the second time but the tenth or eleventh time. The one specific statement which Dr. Miller has made is that at this time he can find no evidence of direct causal relationship, which I think is the important and the operative phrase. I should be very pleased to look at it again, but I doubt very much that a re-examination is going to change either Dr. Miller’s opinion about this, or my understanding of what his opinion is.

Mr. Lewis: By way of supplementary, perhaps the minister, when she takes a look at it, could also comment on his equally compelling observation that “the difference between observed and expected for the total population is statistically significant.” Beyond that, maybe via Dr. Miller she could explain to the House what he means by the comparison group between white workers and black workers in the population under observation. What new matter has Dr. Miller discovered in white and black workers as distinctions which would draw these conclusions?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I’m not sure that Dr. Miller has discovered any particular item specifically, except that there are in certain other medical problems specific racial differences which have to be considered in establishing any kind of epidemiological study.

Mr. Lewis: In this?

Hon. B. Stephenson: In this? I’m not sure about this. I think he was making a general statement about this --

Mr. Deans: He was not.

Hon. B. Stephenson: -- in that Dr. Selikoff had not separated the individual workers into racial background.

Mrs. Campbell: Supplementary: I wonder if the minister could explain to this House how she interprets the phrase “the benefit of the doubt to the worker,” because I can’t understand it the way it’s operating? Perhaps she’d explain.

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, when there is question about whether indeed an accident has occurred on the property of the employer, whether it has been work-related or not, if there is doubt, if there is a question raised by the employer or by others, the benefit of that doubt is given to the employee. However, in the establishment of those illnesses which can be considered to be compensable because they are work-related, the rule has to be laid down first before the benefit of the doubt can indeed be applied to the worker.

At this time, regarding laryngeal cancer and its relationship to asbestos, no such rule has as yet been established. It has been established in other health-related problems -- such things as mesothelioma, carcinoma of the lungs, gastro-intestinal carcinoma -- but it has not as yet been established in the area of laryngeal cancer.

Mr. Laughren: Supplementary: In view of the fact that there are, indeed, no contradictory epidemiological studies, and in view of the fact as well that there is sympathetic medical evidence to support laryngeal cancer as a compensable disease, and in view of the rather questionable, if not distasteful, implications in Dr. Miller’s letter to Dr. McCracken concerning socio-economic status and race, would the minister consider the appointment of a medical referee acceptable to Mr. Bertrand to determine the merits of this case and whether or not laryngeal cancer should indeed be compensable?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, in view of the fact that I’m not entirely sure all of the hon. member’s “in view of the facts” are valid in any way, I have stated --

An hon. member: They are.

Hon. B. Stephenson: -- and I will restate today that I will re-examine Mr. Bertrand’s case as I had promised to do.

Mr. Warner: We’ve heard that before.

Hon. B. Stephenson: That I shall do. If I feel that I require supportive or otherwise medical expertise, that I shall endeavour to find as well.

Mr. Laughren: Supplementary.

Mr. Speaker: No. Order, please. Final supplementary, the member for St. George. We can come back to this later if there is time.

Mrs. Campbell: Thank you. Could the minister have someone in her ministry review those cases which are now acceptable as compensable diseases, and how long it took before we were able to lay down that rule and hence get to the benefit of the doubt?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I think it’s entirely possible that we should be able to do that. I would remind the hon. member for St. George that indeed Ontario has led in compensation for industrially-related diseases. It has been far ahead of almost any other jurisdiction in this area, in Canada and in the United States.

Mr. Nixon: We have more cases in Ontario.

Hon. B. Stephenson: No, we don’t have more cases. We have fewer.


Mr. S. Smith: A question for the Minister of Correctional Services with regard to conditions at the Don Jail: Would the minister report to the House on the alleged beating of one Michael McKinnon by certain guards in the Don Jail in February, and would he comment on the letter written by six Don Jail inmates in which they said that neither they nor visitors to the jail who witnessed the alleged assault on McKinnon were questioned during the inquiry which followed?

Hon. Mr. Meen: Mr. Speaker, I’ll be pleased to get the information for the hon. member.

Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary, he might at the same time look into their claim that this sort of incident happens “every day.” Would he further comment with regard to the Don Jail on the opinion of the director of the Ontario Humane Society who reports that primates housed at the San Antonio Zoo, for instance, would never have cages smaller than six by eight feet, whereas the cells of three by eight used in the old section of the Don Jail might well constitute cruelty to animals?

Hon. Mr. Meen: Mr. Speaker, I had the pleasure of reading a copy of the letter signed by Mr. Cowper-Smith and I could see his tongue in his cheek throughout the entire letter. But I’ll be pleased to comment on that in due course.

Mr. S. Smith: No, it wasn’t.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Lewis: A supplementary: Does the minister not understand that the exchanges between June Callwood and Dr. Cowper-Smith, in those letters, were entirely serious, and that the only ridicule being directed was at the government, not at the subject? Good grief, what is wrong with the minister?

Mr. Warner: Do something about that place.

Mr. S. Smith: Just by way of final supplementary, is the minister in fact aware of the exchange between June Callwood and Dr. Cowper-Smith, and the fact that the letter from Miss Callwood, which I will gladly table or read into the record, is one of the most passionate and touching letters that I have ever received?

Mr. Lewis: An inspired exchange.

Hon. Mr. Meen: Mr. Speaker, I have read both of those letters and I have indicated that I would touch on the reply in due course, when I make my other response.


Mr. S. Smith: A question of the Minister of the Environment: In view of the fact that after six years, and I guess it is about a quarter of a million dollars if I am not mistaken, Mr. Speaker, the village of Beeton still does not have an acceptable water supply, can the minister inform us whether any financial aid will be forthcoming to assist that particular village in obtaining a proper water supply?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Mr. Speaker, the problem is the taste of the water from some of the wells in that community. The water is clean, it is fit to drink; it just has a taste that my ministry is having great difficulty in removing and improving on in that village.

Mr. Lewis: The colour too.

Mr. Singer: It just looks like dirty water, it really isn’t.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: We have even dug new wells in the hope of improving the taste of the water supply. At the present time my ministry is undertaking a rather extensive analysis, not only in connection with existing wells but involving the possibility of opening new wells.

Mr. Peterson: Are you prepared to swim in it?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: If that doesn’t improve the situation we will have to put some type of communal system in there, which could be quite expensive, because the closest body of water is at least two or three miles away.

Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary: The minister refers to taste. Can the minister confirm whether the photographs I have been sent showing distinctly brown-coloured water are in fact authentic? Can he furthermore give an undertaking that this communal water supply will be established for the village of Beeton and in short order? They have been waiting a very long time.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Mr. Speaker, the samples the hon. member has must be quite old. We have corrected the cloudy or muddy appearance of the water. The answer to the second part of the question is yes, if we don’t improve the taste we may have to build a communal system.

Mr. Sargent: Would you swim in it?


Mr. Laughren: A question of the Minister of Labour: Why has the minister refused to recognize safety committees or safety reps at the Inco installations in Sudbury, despite the fact that they have been requested by the United Steelworkers more than two weeks ago and despite the provisions of Bill 139?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I have not so refused at this time.

Mr. Laughren: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Why has the minister not agreed to appoint the committees, despite the request of the union? Further, while she is on her feet, would she tell us why, despite the fact that she clearly promised that mediators would be sent to Sudbury to resolve the new disputes so that Bill 139 can work before the omnibus legislation comes in, she has refused to do that either?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, the hon. member’s words are quite ill chosen. I have not refused to do so in either case.

Indeed, the request did arrive in my office from the union in Sudbury regarding the establishment of safety and health committees, and safety representatives, on the basis of the provisions of Bill 139. It is incumbent upon the minister to examine all of the factors included in Bill 139 to decide whether such an action would be appropriate or not; that process is ongoing at this time.

In addition to that, the mediation services which I had suggested would be reasonable for the situation in Sudbury began approximately one week after my first visit to Sudbury.

Mr. Laughren: Not true.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. B. Stephenson: They were carried on by representatives of my ministry.

Mr. Laughren: Not true.

Hon. B. Stephenson: I am sorry, Mr. Speaker, it is the truth.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. minister is giving her answer; she is the only one who has the floor.


Hon. B. Stephenson: Representatives of my ministry were involved in discussing the matter, both with the union and with management. I was involved in one set of discussions. As a result of those discussions we have asked both union and management to get back together to resolve their problems, with our help, if necessary.

We are awaiting some word that indeed they have got back together at this time, and if they have not, then we shall take further action.

Mr. Warner: Why do you pass legislation you never intend to support? It is ridiculous.

Hon. B. Stephenson: It is not ridiculous, it is fact.

Mr. Martel: Supplementary: In the letter to the minister from the union dated March 25 it states it seems that the minister has “seen fit not to follow through on this commitment as was given to us in Sudbury.” Now, is there difficulty in people in the union field understanding this minister when she makes promises, because obviously they misinterpret what she was telling them as well, as in the case of my colleague from Sault Ste. Marie recently? There seems to be great difficulty in understanding her use of the English language.

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I try very diligently to be precise in my use of the English language, which is a trait that I wish some of the members across the floor would exercise from time to time.


Hon. B. Stephenson: However, at the time of my visit to Sudbury, in my discussions directly with the union I suggested that indeed this problem looked as though it would be an appropriate area in which the ministry could attempt to mediate, to attempt to help solve the problem. We have undertaken that role.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. B. Stephenson: Apparently the union felt I had said that I personally would mediate. I made no such statement.

Mr. Laughren: No, no. Not true. Two mediators.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. B. Stephenson: That is what was contained in the letter.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. B. Stephenson: However, we have made attempts to resolve this problem with the two groups separately and have suggested to both groups that as a result of these attempts they now meet together to resolve the problem together as they should be able to do -- as any group of intelligent people in this province should be able to do -- at this time about this very important matter. If they are not capable of doing that as I suggested, we shall reconsider our position and decide whether indeed further mediation is necessary.

Mr. Singer: Or whether they are intelligent or not.


Mr. Nixon: I have a question of the Minister of Housing. Does he recall the Premier (Mr. Davis) saying a week ago today that there would be a statement from the Ministry of Housing on the development of Townsend City, the proposed new city? Is he under the impression that his response to a question later last week took the place of that statement? Or is he not aware that the municipal officials in the area are very much concerned indeed as to what government policy will be on the development of that $30-million site?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: As I understood the response that was given by the Premier to the question from the member for Haldimand-Norfolk (Mr. G. I. Miller) it was that I would reply to his question in the House and that is what I did when I responded last week. I did not interpret the Premier’s response at that time as meaning that I would be making a statement concerning Townsend.

Mr. Nixon: Supplementary: Since the Premier did use the word “statement,” I believe, there may have been some misunderstanding. However, would the minister undertake to prepare a statement of government policy on the development of the proposed new city, since his reference to the possibility of spending an additional $40 million for servicing the land, with there being a possibility of perhaps only 250 lots in the foreseeable future, left some of the local municipal officials somewhat confused -- to say nothing of the member, who as the minister knows, is from time to time confused on those matters.


Mr. Nixon: By the way, I am the member.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Yes, I understand that. I wasn’t sure, Mr. Speaker, who the member was until he admitted that the member was sometimes confused. Then I knew who it was.

Mr. Nixon: I don’t admit it, I assert it.

Mr. Sargent: At least he is still in the same party.

Mr. Mancini: He was confused listening to you, John.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Speaker, I am afraid I would not be in a position to make a statement on the policy as it relates to Townsend at this time because of the fact, as I believe I said in the House last week, we have been having discussions and will continue to have discussions for a short while with the regional council, who certainly have indicated, as the hon. member knows, some concern. In essence they have disagreed with some of the figures that we have been working with and we have been trying to resolve why we have come apart on the numbers as to expansion in the area when the source of the numbers we have both been working with has been the Steel Company of Canada.

Mr. Singer: Did you ever find out what John White really wanted? That is a key to that.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: It’s my intention to have those discussions, to talk with them and, hopefully, to resolve the concerns that have been expressed. At that time, we would make a statement in the House as well as in the area as to what our policy is. I also said last week that we would be sending the final planning report to the region for their consideration and for public discussion. To make a statement on the content of that report or any policy that may evolve from it, I think would be improper at this time.

Mr. Nixon: I’d just like to ask the minister if he would not agree that part of the confusion may lie in the figures that the government has provided, indicating that as well as the $30 million invested in that one city site -- and as my colleague wants to indicate there’s another city site just a few miles away --

Mr. Singer: It’s called the White City site after John White.

Mr. Nixon: -- the government is proposing spending $40 million on servicing when there are really less than 500 lots to be proposed by the government in its last statement. Surely some clarification has to be put forward without delay in that connection.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: I don’t want to comment on the $40-million figure. That figure, as I believe I said again last week in response to a question, would be the maximum amount. I will defer to my colleague, the Minister of the Environment, to deal with more specifics.

Mr. Singer: The polluter will pay.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: We’ve been talking about a lesser amount to be spent initially to provide basic services for the Townsend community and, at the same time, to bring water into two communities that need water, namely, Jarvis and Hagersville, which the hon. member well knows.

Mr. Nixon: That’s got to be done anyway.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: That’s right; we understand that it must be done. I think what we’re trying to do is not only to provide the water facilities to those two communities but, at the same time, to bring the services into Townsend.

Mr. Sargent: You are trying to bail yourselves out.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: There is nothing to be bailed out about. It is a matter of trying to develop that site in which, I say with the greatest of respect, the hon. member has shown a considerable interest and, I believe, has reasonably supported the position.

Mr. Nixon: No, no.

Mr. Sargent: Why don’t you tell the truth? You don’t know what the hell you are doing.

Mr. Nixon: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, so that you won’t be misled, my position from the first was that the surrounding communities should be developed and that we should stop wasting money on that Townsend site.


Mr. Breaugh: I have a question for the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations. His statement again today firmly tied The Residential Premises Rent Review Amendment Act very tightly in with the federal anti-inflation programme. Could he explain to the House why he did not accept the six per cent guideline that is so strongly in the AIB?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: I’m not aware of any six per cent guideline in the AIB except and in so far as it relates to wages.

Mr. Warner: The minister of corporate protection.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: We have not tied the rent review programme into the AIB philosophy. We’ve said that there is an anti-inflation programme in existence federally and that this province is committed to supporting it as long as it’s there. Therefore, we’ve extended our Act to the scheduled end of that programme.

The figures in each Act have been completely independent ever since the inception of both Acts.

Mr. MacDonald: That is the problem.

Mr. Lewis: How do you choose eight per cent?

Mr. Breaugh: Would the minister explain to the House why he chose to put in a termination date as opposed to an indication of when the vacancy rate rises, which would clearly be an indication that the problem is solved? Why did he choose a particular date in time as opposed to tying it to a vacancy rate?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: I’d be very pleased to debate the bill with the hon. member, if that’s what he wants to do right now. However, if I may just respond to that question, if the hon. member will tell us how to calculate vacancy, then I’d be glad to debate it with him. Nobody has been able to do it in any efficient way to date and I’m quite sure the NDP doesn’t have the answer to that one.

Mr. Warner: Let’s hear your answer.

Mr. Cassidy: You are ridiculous.

Mr. Nixon: It is the number of vacancies.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: How do you do it in Ottawa?

Mr. Peterson: You could count your feet and divide by two.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Singer: CMHC issues those statistics every month and you put them in your bulletin. If they are no good, why do you quote them?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: We don’t do them. CMHC does.

Mr. Singer: Sure you do.

Mr. S. Smith: How are you going to do it in your programme to build new houses in low-vacancy-rate areas?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Deans: Supplementary: I wonder if the minister would be prepared to table before the Legislature the statistical information used by the ministry to determine that the eight per cent level should be sustained during the year that the Act will be maintained in operation?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: We will do that when we’re debating the bill.

Mr. Makarchuk: Table them now.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: If the hon. member will examine the bill, he will see that we are not married to the eight per cent. We put it in as a maximum. It can be reduced by order in council at any time, which is a change from the original bill when it could have been increased by order in council at any time. What we’ve said is that the information we now have indicates an eight per cent figure is a good guideline but not a ceiling. It has never been a ceiling; one can go over eight per cent at all times. However, we’ll be glad to table that information if the hon. member wants it.

Mr. Nixon: Sounds pretty messy.

Mr. S. Smith: You know it’s restrictive.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Now we’re getting into debate on the bill which will come up in the House later.

Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary --

Mr. Speaker: No, I said that was the final supplementary and we’re getting into the bill.

Mr. Cassidy: On a point of order --

Mr. Speaker: No. No.

Mr. S. Smith: There’s no point of order.

Mr. Singer: Throw him out again.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Ottawa East with his question.

Mr. Cassidy: You never tabled that last year, you know. That information never came out.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

An hon. member: Throw him out.

Mr. Cassidy: You were asked for it.


Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Revenue: Would the minister advise whether she has been in touch with her counterpart in the province of Quebec about the threat to post inspectors on bridges and roads to the province of Ontario to ensure that out-of-province commercial vehicles either buy their fuel in Quebec or pay the 19 cents fuel tax under what they call their 1972 Fuel Tax Act? Has the minister been in touch with her counterpart in Quebec and can she report and allay the fears of the people concerned? There is much traffic, as she knows, in the Ottawa-Hull area.

Hon. Mrs. Scrivener: Yes, I have been in touch with Mr. Parizeau and my deputy has been in touch with his deputy. This matter is under discussion and I believe I can expect it to be resolved satisfactorily for our two provinces very shortly. The only thing that is holding it up at the moment is that Mr. Parizeau brings in his budget this evening and our discussion had to be put aside for a few days until his budget could be completed.

Mr. Roy: Supplementary: Would the minister please advise when, in fact, she’ll report on this? Secondly, did she advise Mr. Parizeau about the fact that it was totally unacceptable that they start posting inspectors on either the Ontario or the Quebec side checking every vehicle that goes over and across the bridge? There are about 15,000 civil servants who travel that route every day.

Hon. Mrs. Scrivener: Mr. Speaker, various aspects of the problem have been discussed.


Mr. Angus: A question for the Solicitor General regarding the native constable programme: Could the minister please advise this House why there is a lower salary scale for constables in the native constable programme as compared to regular constables with the Ontario Provincial Police, and further, could he advise why the same fringe benefit package, particularly provisions for life insurance and pension, are also not available to these special native constables?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Very briefly, the native constables are not subject to the same income tax provisions as are the regular constables, and for that reason there are some differences in their pay scales.

Mr. Angus: Supplementary: Would the minister be prepared to negotiate with the federal Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development at least to alleviate the difference in the lack of life insurance and pension programmes for these individuals, particularly life insurance, because they are in the same type of job, they in fact assist regular OPP forces and are, in fact, in the same type of danger?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Sir, we’ll take it under advisement.


Mrs. Campbell: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Attorney General: In view of the fact that the Attorney General has taken such an interest in violence in hockey and violence on television, could he advise this House whether he is prepared at this point to spend some money for some crisis intervention because of violence in the home?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member has some specific proposal to recommend to the government, I’m sure I’d be very interested in hearing it, as, I’m sure, would the Minister of Community and Social Services (Mr. Norton). This whole business of crisis intervention in the home is obviously a serious problem, but I’d like to hear the hon. member’s proposals for a solution.

Mr. Warner: Because you have run out of ideas.

Mrs. Campbell: Supplementary: Do I take it then that the initiative of the Attorney General is not addressed to this problem as it was to the others? Is it because the others were simpler to resolve?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I don’t think that question deserves an answer, or attempt to answer. It’s nonsense.

Mr. Ruston: Your headlines are hockey, eh, Roy?



Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Natural Resources. If the minister’s reforestation programme is as effective as he claimed last week, why did the mills in Thunder Bay feel it is necessary to import 48,000 cords of spruce, jackpine and poplar from the US in the past year?

Hon. F. S. Miller: It may be entirely a question of price; but I’ll be glad to find out. It’s my understanding that the cost per cunit of wood in Ontario is as much as 50 per cent more than the cost per cunit of wood in the States.

Mr. Foulds: By the way, that’s not so in the situation at Thunder Bay.

Mr. Speaker: Question?

Mr. Foulds: Can the minister further indicate why MacMillan Bloedel has unilaterally reduced the quantities of wood it is accepting from independent cutters in the Thunder Bay area -- contrary to its wood purchase agreements as designed by this ministry and forced on the independent cutters three years ago -- so that they have to deliver all of their wood to MacMillan Bloedel? Why is it necessary for MacMillan Bloedel still to import wood from the US? And will the minister allow the independent cutters to sell their wood to other mills as long as they do not exceed the allowable cut designed by his ministry for their licences?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, there are a number of points in that question, some of which I obviously can’t answer without checking. I’ll be glad to check those things necessary. I can’t speculate as to why the cuts were reduced unless, perhaps, there is some clause in the overall agreement between the company and its own forestry staff to guarantee employment for a certain number of people. I think one of the problems we’ve had in subletting cuts to independent operators has been a certain number of union agreements which require a level of production from their own staff. That may be the case in this particular instance. I can easily find out.

Mr. Foulds: If the minister’s hypothesis is accurate, why is it that MacMillan Bloedel is still importing wood from the US? Does he understand that it was his ministry that forced all of the independent cutters in the Thunder Bay area to deliver wood only to MacMillan Bloedel?

Hon. F. S. Miller: I don’t like the word “forced.” I will gladly check and find out the current terms of that agreement. There are times I’d like to have the force but I don’t have it.


Mr. Speaker: Order.


Mr. O’Neil: I have a question of the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations. As local municipalities will not grant building permits to builders who are not registered with the Housing and Urban Development Association of Canada, is the minister aware that the present six to eight weeks waiting period for registration of builders seriously affects the construction industry, and that this backlog of applications contributes greatly to unemployment and stagnation in the building industry in this province?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: As I understand the question -- am I aware of the fact that this has some detrimental effect on building?

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

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Yes, it does. I should point out to the hon. member that the whole programme is administered by the private sector which, for years, has complained about government red tape in administering programmes. I think this indicates that red tape is not always easily cut, and the private sector is finding that out as well as we are.

Mr. O’Neil: I don’t really go along with the answer of the minister, because this group comes under his staff.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. You don’t debate it. Do you have any further questions?

Mr. O’Neil: Okay. It comes under his ministry. Is the minister prepared to do something about this backlog, to see that something is done in this province to get some of these builders registered and to get building going in the province?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: We have already asked the board of directors of the corporation designated to administer the programme to put on additional staff, to process the applications faster and to do whatever is possible to catch up to the backlog.

Mr. Good: And what about a change of address?

Mrs. Campbell: What do you do?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: One thing we have not done is accept the fact that the government should administer a programme that the private sector wanted to; and that party voted for it.

Mr. Bullbrook: Because you are an expert on red tape yourself.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: I am getting rid of it.

Mr. Bullbrook: You are an expert on it.

Mr. O’Neil: Supplementary: I wonder if the minister would look at this carefully. I think it is a very serious problem in the province and, surely, between his ministry and HUDAC he could come up with some solutions -- make sure that these builders are registered right away and building can get on in the province.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, not only are we prepared to look at it carefully; and we have looked at it carefully, we have discussed it with HUDAC and will continue to do that to speed up the process.


Mr. Johnson: A question of the Minister of Government Services, Mr. Speaker, in two parts: First, is the minister aware that the government of Ontario has for more than 20 years recognized the great contribution and sacrifice made by Canadian veterans by directly purchasing, without tender, memorial wreaths made by disabled veterans employed by Vetcraft Industries? Second, what is the minister’s intention with respect to this policy; does he intend to let the contract out for tender, which might cause the loss of jobs for disabled veterans?

Hon. J. R. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I understand this has been discussed lately in Sault Ste. Marie and other places. I have every intention of continuing the practice of supplying to the members of this House, and to others, the traditional Royal Canadian Legion Vetcraft wreath of maple leaves and the traditional red poppy. I have no intention of asking for other tenders or other suppliers.

Mr. Johnson: In view of the minister’s response, would he consider informing the Ontario command of the Royal Canadian Legion that the Ontario government will continue to purchase wreaths directly without tender from Vetcraft Industries?

Hon. J. R. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I would be glad to and to say how we appreciate what it stands for in this ongoing very fine programme of the Legion.


Ms. Gigantes: A question of the Minister of Education, Mr. Speaker: I wonder, while he and the cabinet are considering whether they will accept federal money for French-language training in private schools, would he also think about and ask cabinet to consider those recommendations of the Mayo report on Ottawa-Carleton regional government concerning the pooling and equitable sharing of property taxes collected by the four Ottawa-Carleton boards of education?

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I think what we are doing in regard to the Mayo report is what my colleague, the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough), is doing. We are at the present time getting input from the various school boards concerned about the suggestions that Mayo has put forward. Once we have that process completed, we will then consider what, if any, action should be taken on the recommendations.

Ms. Gigantes: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Does this mean that the ministry is open to the proposition of the pooling and sharing of property taxes among the four boards?

Hon. Mr. Wells: I think that particular recommendation, of course, may not necessarily be completely unique to that area of the province and may have ramifications generally for taxation, which of course is all being looked at based on the recommendations of the Blair commission. I really don’t know yet, we will have to wait until we get the comments in.


Mr. Eakins: A question of the Minister of Industry and Tourism, Mr. Speaker: In preparation for the coming tourist season and in view of the continual decline in tourism visitations from the United States, will he be recommending to the Treasurer a temporary removal of the retail sales tax from accommodation rental in Ontario, from May through October inclusive?

An hon. member: A good question.

Mr. S. Smith: That’s a good idea.

Hon. Mr. Bennett: No, Mr. Speaker, I will not.

An hon. member: Do you want the tourists here, Claude?

Mr. Eakins: In this area, what incentives or what will the ministry be undertaking, other than a massive advertising campaign, to help the sagging tourist industry in Ontario this summer?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, I have already made some recommendations to the Treasurer as to what I think he should include in his speech of next Tuesday evening. Like other members of this Legislature, I shall wait until Tuesday night to find out whether some of the suggestions are being followed by the Treasurer.


Mr. Martel: A question of the Minister of Labour: Recently, Mr. Adelard Bruyere was killed at the Inco Clarabelle mill when he was crushed between a moving train of ore cars and a rotary car dumper. Is the minister aware that if the operating rules governing the CN-CP had been applied, the train would have stopped immediately the engineer lost sight of the conductor? And is the minister further aware that for six years I have requested this government to include that as part of the operating rules, which would have prevented this type of accident occurring?

Hon. B. Stephenson: In response to the hon. member’s last question, no, I was not aware of his action in this area. But I shall be very pleased to examine the case of Mr. Bruyere, which has been noted by the hon. member for Sudbury East, and I shall report to the House on the developments of that examination.

Mr. Martel: Supplementary: Can the minister indicate at the same time when the study, which was undertaken between the unions and the companies with respect to operating rules for private railways, will be introduced as legislation, if it has been completed?

Hon. B. Stephenson: No, I can’t at this point in time, but I shall try to find out and report.


Mr. Kerrio: I would like to ask a question of the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations. In an answer he gave me the other day on the dangers of aluminum wiring, he suggested that it wasn’t available for purchase in this province. I would ask him to explain a conversation I had this morning with one of the extremely large suppliers of electrical cable here in Ontario. When I queried him about the availability of aluminum wiring, he said: “How much would you like?” Could the minister explain that?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: I don’t recall -- I would have to check Hansard -- but I don’t believe I said it wasn’t available. I said it wasn’t being used; and that’s probably the reason why the manufacturer has a great amount on hand to sell.

Mr. Kerrio: Supplementary: In the conversation, he suggested to me that it could be used for replacement as well; so I’ll pose this question to the minister again: With the dangers that exist, would he consider banning it until such time as it’s proven safe and not vice versa?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: I don’t see much point in setting up a public inquiry and then saying to the public inquiry that we’ve already made up our minds that a danger exists. The reason for the public inquiry is to inquire into the problem; to determine the degree of danger, if any, and to suggest action to be taken by this government and other levels of government. That’s the announcement that I mentioned would be taking place when I answered the hon. member a few days ago.

An hon. member: You’re burning the evidence.

Mr. Moffatt: Supplementary: In view of the minister’s answer, are we then to presume that this government will assume liability for any accident which occurs as a result of aluminum wiring between the date of the announcement of that committee and its recommendations?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: We’ll wait until the commissioner has reported and then we’ll determine what action has to be taken.


Mr. Grande: My question is to the Minister of Education: Would the minister explain, in more detail than there is in the Throne Speech, what a heritage language programme is? Would he further explain how he manages to fund programmes -- and I’m quoting from the Throne Speech -- to encourage “children to understand the language and culture of their parents [through] a continuing education offering,” which, as far as I understand it, is adult education? I don’t understand that.

Hon. Mr. Wells: I think that’s very understandable. Of course, I didn’t write the speech -- Her Honour wrote the speech --

An hon. member: Do you write any of your stuff?

Hon. Mr. Wells: -- or use the very fine language that was in it. But, in answer to my friend’s question, the details of that programme will be announced very shortly.



Mr. McKessock: I have a question for the Minister of the Environment. In view of the fact that there are some 70 sewage and water projects across the province that are held up by the government for lack of funds; in view of the fact that some of these are health hazards to the community and the communities have received word from the health authorities saying they must complete these projects -- projects such as those at Meaford and Neustadt -- and in view of the fact that funds are coming through from other ministries for projects that don’t seem to have the same priority, why are funds not coming through the Ministry of the Environment for these sewage projects?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: We’ve got well over 100 projects in 100 different municipalities during this coming fiscal year. It may be just physically impossible to do all the work that has to be done this particular year. As for the projects the hon. member is talking about, at Meaford, for example, we’re going ahead with engineering this year and I would expect that within a year’s time the actual expansion of the sewage treatment plant there will be undertaken. As far as Neustadt is concerned -- I believe it’s water there -- the question of priority again comes into this whole picture, given the amount of money allocated to me. As a result of a meeting last week with some representatives from the Collingwood area, I have indicated that, hopefully, Neustadt will start next year as well.

Mr. McKessock: In view of the fact that it is a health hazard and also that it’s holding up home construction, which is badly needed, does the minister not feel that this is of sufficient importance to call upon the Premier (Mr. Davis) to bring the situation before the Management Board?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Those areas where there is a health hazard are included in my budget estimates for the coming year, that is the first priority. The growth or expansion of subdivisions is after that particular priority, and Neustadt just does not have quite the high priority of many other municipalities in the province as far as health is concerned, although it does have a high rating; and that’s why, hopefully, we will start next year.

Mr. McKessock: In view of the fact that Neustadt has a letter from the health authority saying that this is a health hazard in their community, would the minister see that this programme is put ahead in priority?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Without underrating the opinion of the local medical officer of health, I’ve had a number of letters of that kind when there’s some pressure to clean up a particular situation. As a result of correspondence of that kind, of course, my ministry officials have to go into the community and analyse the situation on their own; we’ve done that in Neustadt.

There’s no question that some of the wells need cleaning up, shall we say; but by servicing those wells, in many respects we could postpone, at least, a very expensive communal system for a small village of that kind. The member is talking $3 million and $4 million for a community of maybe 500 or 600 people. If the wells or the septic systems can be cleaned up by individual attention, hopefully that communal system can wait until next year when funds will be available.


Mr. Deans: A question of the Minister of Health: Will the Ministry of Health review the information used to justify the recent statement that came from the United States that links the use of fluoride with cancer? And will the minister, on behalf of the ministry and the government, make a statement to either refute or authenticate the claims that are being made before more people die of heart attacks and fear than die of cancer?

Mr. Roy: Or get grey hairs.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, I’ve seen nothing, in discussions with my staff I’ve seen no documentation, to support that assertion made by one individual in the United States.

Mr. Deans: A supplementary question: Since the minister hasn’t seen it and I haven’t seen it, and since a lot of people are concerned about it, does the minister think it might be too much to ask that his ministry obtain the findings and obtain the information and review it over and against what is generally accepted medical information, to determine whether or not there’s any validity at all to it?

Mr. Reid: Fluoride makes your hair go straight.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: The hon. member knows there is hardly a day of the week passes that somebody, somewhere in the world, doesn’t make an assertion, based on whatever amount of research or simple thought processes, that something might be related to the causes of cancer.

Mr. Breithaupt: Brown suits are bad, too.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: And if the member is suggesting that I table a statement every time, in this Legislature, that somebody makes that kind of a statement somewhere in the world, then that’s all you’d ever hear in this Legislature. On this specific point, I’ve seen no evidence to indicate that there’s anything to substantiate that assertion.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. We are just about out of time, and there are several people who have more questions. A final supplementary from the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk.

Mr. Nixon: Since the minister must be aware that there are many communities in the province that have been using fluorides for many years -- for example, Brantford, since 1946 -- would he not think that this is a special matter that must concern those citizens very much indeed; that it would be a great and useful service if, as Minister of Health, he could provide the information which would refute what I consider to be the irresponsible statement from that American source which has been carried so extensively by the media in the province?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I will take the hon. member’s suggestion under advisement.


Mr. Bullbrook: I have a question on behalf of myself and the Chairman of Cabinet (Mr. Henderson) to the Minister of Transportation and Communication. Today, marking the ninth anniversary of the announcement of Highway 402 east of Sarnia and that particular highway never having been violated by a motor vehicle yet, I’m wondering, since the government has spent about $60 million on pre-engineering, land acquisition, engineering overpasses and the road itself, could the ministry consider paving it to Komoka so that we could do away with what the Hon. Charles McNaughton rightly characterized as “that death strip going out of Sarnia?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, as I’m sure the hon. member knows, there is a great deal of activity on Highway 402 at this time.

Mr. Nixon: Birds fly around it; dust blows.

Hon. Mr. Snow: There are a number of contracts under way. Two new major contracts have been awarded this spring and they are proceeding as fast as resources will allow them to go.

An hon. member: Answer the question.

Mr. Bullbrook: I appreciate the minister’s indulging me. Would it be too much just to ask him to answer the question? Would he consider paving it? Everything is there to Komoka; would he consider just paving it this year?

Mr. Eaton: It doesn’t even go to Komoka, Jim.

Mr. Hodgson: Why don’t you ask Warner for the information and he’ll tell you.

Mr. Bullbrook: I’m sorry -- not to Komoka. My colleague points out I am completely in error -- to Warwick Village. He’s quite right.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, now that I know where the hon. member is referring to, there are --

Mr. Bullbrook: I apologize.

Hon. Mr. Snow: -- there are three contracts starting from Sarnia and going easterly. There is a grading contract that was awarded last year -- awarded, I guess, in 1975; it will be totally complete this year -- and a paving contract will be awarded this year, for 6.6 miles, as soon as the grading contract on that section is completed.

Mr. Roy: Is that for paving?

Hon. Mr. Snow: The grading contract is being done by Marentette, if that tells the member Which one it is.

Hon. Mr. Henderson: That’s in the member’s riding.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Following that, Mr. Speaker, the next contract under way is a paving contract. It will be completed in the summer of 1977. It is a further seven miles and is being carried out by Armbro Construction.

Hon. Mr. Henderson: That’s in my riding.

Mr. Bullbrook: Yours is probably paved in gold.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Following that there’s a paving contract that was awarded in January of 1977 for the completion in the fall of 1977 at the earliest, if they have a good year. This is a further 7.4 miles, to Warwick, and this contract has been let to Huron Construction.

Mr. Bullbrook: We are making progress, by the turn of the century we will get it.

Mr. Nixon: It will be nine years.

Mr. Bullbrook: A year a mile, and $2 million.

Mr. Martel: The Timmins highway took 30 years.

Hon. Mr. Snow: So those contracts, Mr. Speaker, are under way and I am sure that --

Mr. Lewis: What about Komoka?


Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: That is in Indiana, isn’t it?


Mr. Makarchuk: A question of the Minister of Revenue: Now that the matter of Ronto has been brought to her attention, about a week and a half ago, has the minister acquainted herself with the auditor’s opinion that the land speculation tax on this particular transaction should be collected? If so, is the minister prepared to make that collection?

Hon. Mrs. Scrivener: This property, Mr. Speaker, has been exempted from tax.

Mr. Speaker: We’ll allow a brief supplementary: the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk.

Mr. Nixon: Is the minister consulting with the Premier (Mr. Davis) over the establishment of a select committee of the Legislature to look into the matter as is referred to in the recommendation of the standing committee on public accounts, which appears in Votes and Proceedings, No. 1 of this session?

Hon. Mrs. Scrivener: I am not aware that there is a request before us at the present time for such an investigation.

Mr. Reid: What?

Hon. Mrs. Scrivener: And I am not consulting with the Premier on this matter.

Mr. Speaker: The oral question period has expired.

Mr. Nixon: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: A point of order.

Mr. Nixon: Since the minister indicated she was not aware of what appears in Votes and Proceedings, No. 1 --

Mr. Speaker: I heard the hon. minister say she would check into it.

Mr. Nixon: -- it is on page 14.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Thank you very much, there is nothing really out of order.

Mr. Deans: On a different point of order.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Went- worth.


Mr. Deans: Earlier today I asked the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations if he would table information with regard to the statement that be made. I want to draw to his attention that standing order 23(8) requires that there be a compendium of information made available after a policy statement or introduction of a government bill. I would ask the minister to comply with that and provide a compendium of information.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: It has been provided.

Mr. Deans: Where is it then?

Mr. Speaker: I think we might clarify this.

Mr. S. Smith: I don’t have it.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: It has been sent to the official critics as required under the rules. Get your critic in the House.

Mr. Speaker: There may have been a breakdown of communications; you had better check into it.

Mr. Lewis: On a point of order.

Mr. Speaker: The same point of order?

Mr. Lewis: On the same point of order, I believe the minister is confusing two matters. I think he means the copy of the statement which he made in the House today --

Mr. Deans: That is not what we are after.

Mr. Lewis: -- which we duly received. However, there is now a new rule in the Legislature which requires the information which supports the statement of policy -- and it certainly was a statement of policy -- to be given to the House at the time the statement of policy has been made.

The provincial Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) indicated that he intended to do that in relation to a statement he made last week. Therefore, my colleague for Wentworth asks, under the rules, where is the minister’s supporting documentation?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: On the point of order, it was not a statement of policy. It was a statement prior to the introduction of a bill. My understanding of the rule is the compendium can be distributed when the bill is introduced. It will be introduced as soon as we get through arguing this point of order.

Mr. Speaker: I understand this has now been tabled.

Mr. Breithaupt: On a point of order with respect, as well, to an involvement in the new rules: Referring to the new item 10, which appears with rule 27 concerning the indication to the House, within 14 days, with respect to whether answers to questions will be costly or time-consuming to prepare, on the order paper today there is now item No. 1, an inquiry of the ministry, which has its 14 days now expired; by Thursday there will be some 19 more items whose time will have expired with respect to answers, if in fact they are going to be lengthy or time-consuming. Could you, Mr. Speaker, take up with the particular ministries involved the concerns of the members as to the answering of the questions so that this rule will allow the information to come forward, in the absence of the difficulty that might exist to prepare detailed answers?

Mr. Speaker: I trust that the comments will be noted by the ministry. If there has been a delay, I haven’t noted.

Mr. Reed: Mr. Speaker, I am sure you may be aware of this, but on this day of all days, when the sun is shining so gloriously outside the heat is still on in Queen’s Park. I wonder if Mr. Speaker would be good enough to bring this to the attention of our resident custodian, the Minister of Government Services (Mr. J. R. Smith) in order to set the example for conservation in this province?

Mr. Speaker: I am not sure if that is a point of order or privilege.

Presenting reports.


Hon. Mr. Welch moved that Mr. R. S. Smith replace Mr. Gaunt on the resources development committee, and that Mr. Gaunt replace Mr. R. S. Smith on the general government committee.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Lewis: An excellent suggestion.



Hon. Mr. Handleman moved first reading of Bill 28, An Act to amend the Residential Premises Rent Review Act, 1975, Second Session.

Motion agreed to.


Mr. MacDonald moved first reading of Bill Pr5, An Act respecting the Borough of York.

Motion agreed to.


Mr. Burr moved first reading of Bill Pr11, An Act respecting Lombardo Furniture and Appliances Limited.

Motion agreed to.


Mr. Drea moved first reading of Bill Pr2, An Act respecting the Trustees of the Toronto General Burying Grounds.

Motion agreed to.


Mr. Drea, on behalf of Mr. Morrow, moved first reading of Bill Pr16, An Act respecting Fred Leblond Cement Products Limited.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. Auld moved first reading of Bill 29, An Act to provide for Successor Rights on the transfer of an undertaking to or from the Crown.

Motion agreed to.


Mr. S. Smith moved first reading of Bill 30, An Act to amend The Municipal Elections Act, 1972.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. S. Smith: By way of explanation, Mr. Speaker, the bill removes the property qualification which creates a distinction between those persons in a municipality who are qualified to vote for municipal representatives and those who are qualified to vote on money by-laws.


Mr. Leluk moved first reading of Bill Pr9, An Act respecting the Borough of East York.

Motion agreed to.


Mr. Peterson moved first reading of Bill Pr4, An Act respecting Canada Trustco Mortgage Company.

Motion agreed to.


Mr. McCague moved first reading of Bill Pr7 An Act respecting the Brockville General Hospital.

Motion agreed to.


Mr. Spence moved first reading of Bill Pr20, An Act respecting the Village of Erie Beach.

Motion agreed to.


Mr. Villeneuve moved first reading of Bill Pr19, An Act Respecting the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation for the Diocese of Alexandria in Ontario, Canada.

Motion agreed to.


Mr. Lane, in the absence of Mr. Johnston, moved first reading of Bill Pr24, An Act Respecting Frank Postl Enterprises Limited.

Motion agreed to.


Mr. B. Newman, in the absence of Mr. Stong, moved first reading of Bill Pr6, An Act Respecting Webwood Investments Limited.

Motion agreed to.


Mr. Grossman moved first reading of Bill Pr13, An Act Respecting Kevalaine Corporation Limited.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, just before calling the orders for today, I wonder if the House would bear with me.

The House leaders felt it might be helpful if we read into the record the results of a number of meetings with committee chairmen and others to establish the schedule for committees and the schedule for the House. Until otherwise agreed, the schedule for committee meetings will be as follows:

On Monday morning, of course, there will be no meetings. On Monday afternoon, social development, procedural affairs and members’ services are scheduled to meet. Therefore, it’s understood that if the social committee is dealing with estimates or legislation, there will be no social development field ministers’ business in the House on Monday afternoon, as provided in provisional rule 31. On Monday night, there are no meetings.

On Tuesday morning, the various caucuses will meet. Tuesday afternoon, there will be social development committee and members’ services. Therefore, once again, there will be no social development ministries having business in the House on Tuesday afternoon. On Tuesday night, general government and statutory instruments will meet, therefore, if the general government committee is dealing with estimates or legislation, there will not be any business of the general government field ministries in the House on Tuesday night.


Wednesday morning, the general government, resources development and justice committees will meet -- it being understood that only two of these committees may consider estimates or legislation at the same time. On Wednesday afternoon, it will be general government and social development; and of course there are no meetings on Wednesday evening.

On Thursday morning, it is resources development, the public accounts committee and the procedural affairs committee; and of course in the afternoon it will be the justice committee, it being understood they are to finish by 5.45 since that’s private members’ afternoon. As a result, as well, no justice ministries will have business in the House on Thursday afternoon.

It is of course understood that there is a requirement for full attendance in the House by 5:45 on Thursday because of the new procedures dealing with private members’ valid items.

On Thursday night it will be the justice committee and the statutory instruments committee; therefore no justice field ministries will have business in the House on Thursday night.

On Friday morning there will be the resources committee and public accounts committee; it being understood, as well, that there are no resource field ministries having business in the House on Friday morning.

Members can see why there is some advantage to having this on the record so that they can read it and understand what is a very interesting schedule. I want to commend the chairman for working out all these details.

With respect to the House, as a result of the above committee schedule and provisional rule 31, until further notice, it has been agreed that the following weekly schedule for House business will be followed:

On Monday afternoon the House will be in committee of supply to deal with estimates; on Tuesday afternoon, the House will deal with legislation -- that is in the resources, justice or general government area -- and on Tuesday night we’ll deal with legislation in the resources, justice or social area. On Thursday afternoon, of course, there will be the private members’ ballot business. On Thursday night it will be budget debate, or a report on committee reports or other special debates. On Friday morning the House will be in committee of supply to consider estimates.

According to the time table, this weekly schedule will take effect the week of May 2. That’s the first order.

Mr. Deans: Mr. Speaker, before you call the order, there are two comments I’d like to make with regard to the announcement of the House leader that I think might be important.

First of all, it’s been very difficult for all of the people concerned to find a way to accommodate all of the new rules and to bring about the House business in an orderly fashion. I think that the caution that we have to put before the Legislature is simply this: These rules are not written on tablets of stone and if there are problems with the workings of the new rules, all of us who are concerned with those matters would be quite prepared to hear representation and to make whatever adjustments are required to be made.

In addition to that, I also want to say to the government House leader something that has been on my mind. The fact that they’re called provisional rules shouldn’t be considered by anyone, now or in the future, to be an interpretation that they are intended only to serve the minority government. They’re provisional to the extent that we want to try them out and make adjustments to them, but at some point in the future when we are the majority government in the province of Ontario --

Mr. Ruston: Not in your time, never.

Mr. Deans: -- it would be our wish to keep these rules in place because they’re intended to facilitate the work of the members of the Legislature. I hope that would be the intention of both of the other parties in the unlikely event that they found themselves in that position.

Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Speaker, going back to reality now for a moment --

Mr. Ruston: Yes.

Mr. Sweeney: Let’s be serious.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please, we’ll hear a few brief comments from the member for Kitchener.

Mr. Breithaupt: Certainly over the last several weeks the House leaders, and I must say particularly each of their executive assistants, as well as the table officers, and of course, you Mr. Speaker, and your deputies, have worked hard in an attempt to develop a pattern of meetings, both within the House and within committees, to allow a balance of the individual members in the conduct of business within the House and committees inside a framework to make sure there was no duplication or more difficulty than there would have to be.

We recognize that there are a number of members, because of the present makeup of the House, who have to serve on two, and sometimes even three, committees, so there are going to be certain conflicts in order to ensure that the business is conducted in the right place at the right time. But certainly my colleagues, the other two House leaders, have attempted, with me and with our other advisers, to come up with a pattern that will encourage the greatest individual opportunity for committees to meet and do their work within the necessary framework that the business of the House must also be conducted.

It is in the nature of an experiment at this point. I would hope we will receive the goodwill of all the members to ensure that these rules continue not only for the balance of this parliament but whatever may befall in the next parliament.

Mr. Deputy 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. Deputy Speaker: It is my understanding that when we adjourned on Friday the hon. member for Downsview had the floor. He may continue.

Mr. di Santo: The second reason this government is unable to cope with the problems of the economy of this province, and in particular with the problems of industrial development and job creation in the productive sector, is related to the auto pact and the crucial importance that the auto pact has for the province of Ontario. In fact, in Ontario is located 90 per cent of the automobile industry in Canada. Even though this industry since the inception continued to exhibit the characteristic features of branch plant industrialism, in the first years of the pact, despite the deepening parts deficit, the growing assembly surpluses meant that the overall trade picture was improving for Canada and therefore for Ontario.

In 1970 and 1971, Canada achieved more surpluses in its overall auto trade with the United States. Beginning in 1972 though, our auto trade performance has sharply altered. In 1975, the deficit reached a staggering $1.9 billion. After a decade under the automotive trade agreement, Canada had returned to the kind of trade deficit that had been the reason for entering the pact in the first place.

The 1975 deficit in auto parts trade with the US was just under $2.5 billion, a figure so high as to point to the near collapse of Canada’s auto parts industry. Whereas in 1972 the Canadian auto parts industry manufactured products worth 90.8 per cent of the value of parts produced --

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Will you keep your private conversations down, please? I want to listen to the member for Downsview.

Mr. di Santo: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am glad you want to listen because I think that it’s quite important for the province of Ontario. In 1975, the proportion of parts manufactured in Canada dropped dramatically to 55.1 per cent. What accounted for the stunning turn-around in Canada’s auto trade with the United States and what are its implications for future Canadian economic performance?

Both short-term and long-term factors underlie the new auto trade deficits. The most important short-term factor in the trade turn-around was the relatively greater collapse of the US market during the recession years of 1974 and 1975. While the relatively greater collapse of the US market during the recession of the mid-Seventies accounted for the exceptionally high Canadian auto deficit in 1975, the deficit remained at the level of $1 billion even in 1976, a year during which this short-term factor was no longer operative. The 1976 deficit pointed to the operation of long-term factors that make it unlikely that Canada’s trade with the US would return to a state of balance. The slowdown in capital investment, noticeably in auto parts plants in Canada, is part of a long-term trend that has nothing to do with the momentary ups and downs of the auto market in the US and Canada. Auto industry investment has shifted to the US for two major reasons: the economics of the auto industry and the result of US government measures designed to lead to just such a shift.

As you remember, Mr. Speaker, writing off taxes on export sales has had an especially important impact on Canadian-American auto trade. While the list of American companies operating under the DISC tax plan has not been made public, former industry minister Jean-Luc Pepin told the House of Commons that both Ford and Chrysler have been exporting products to Canada under DISC plans.

The productivity gap and US government incentives to shift auto investment to the United States are not the only long-run problems facing the Canadian auto industry. The automobile is experiencing a long-term relative decline in North America, and the relative decline of the auto industry has three basic causes: the overdevelopment of auto production facilities in the industrial world in relation to markets; the problem of the automobile as a mode of transit in congested urban centres, and rapidly rising fuel prices.

The problem of urban congestion contributes to placing limits on the potential size of the auto market. And, finally, the energy price increases affect the auto market in several ways. Higher gasoline prices tend to favour other modes of transportation over the automobile and thereby become a factor in limiting market size. Moreover, energy price increases affect the cost of producing automobiles.

Auto production, as I said before, remains the hub of manufacturing in Ontario. In this province, almost 100,000 people work in the industry, producing about one ninth of the gross national product. The consequences of the continued dependence of Ontario manufacturing on auto production are serious. The auto industry is in a state of relative decline in North America and Canada’s share of North American auto production is likely to remain well below the country’s share of consumption of North American-produced automobiles.

Two final factors should be taken into account in any assessment of the future role of the auto industry in the Canadian economy: the switch to smaller, fuel-saving automobiles, and the tendency of the auto industry to shift auto parts production to low-wage countries.

Throughout this decade, first in response to the invasion of North American markets by European and Japanese compact cars and later in response to the escalation of gasoline prices, American auto manufacturers have been shifting the balance of their output from large and intermediate cars to smaller offerings. While Ford and Chrysler held the lead in the conversion until 1974, General Motors, the largest automaker, has been spending hundreds of millions of dollars retooling its facilities to shift its production to smaller-sized cars. Such a shift will only reinforce the other tendencies in the industry, already discussed, that are leading to large-scale auto trade deficits for Canada in the foreseeable future.

In the years ahead the auto trade will exacerbate the critical problem of Canada’s and Ontario’s current account deficit, as mentioned at the beginning of my speech. The relative stagnation of the industry will have a weakening effect on the entire development of Canadian manufacturing.


The poor prospects for the Canadian and Ontario auto industry are becoming alarming. To its 1976 budget, the Ontario government and the Treasurer appended an analysis of Canada’s record under the auto pact. The report warned that while Canada’s performance in the first years of the automobile agreement was satisfactory, major problems have developed since 1969. But while the Ontario government’s study of the auto pact pointed to three major difficulties facing the Canadian industry, it did not propose any major restructuring of the agreement.

The three major points that the Treasurer made in his budget presentation were the failure of the industry to improve productivity, the steady loss of Canada’s share of North American auto assembly activity and the rapid growth of the auto parts trade deficit. It concluded by calling for a regular review of Canada’s performance under the pact.

As we pointed out at that time, we do not think a regular review of the pact is either sufficient or useful at this time because, as I said before, in the province of Ontario and in Canada we are producing only 55.1 per cent of the auto parts and the trade deficit in the auto parts industry in 1975 amounted to $2.5 billion, with a net loss of almost 30,000 jobs in Canada, and specifically in southwestern Ontario, as has been estimated by Mr. Patrick Lavelle, who is the president of the auto parts industry association.

The auto industry is crucial to the development and growth of the economy of this province, but, unfortunately, this government does not understand the problem. I think the problem of unemployment should be dealt with in long-term solutions, as I have proposed before; even though, as the leader of my party pointed out in his speech, there are some decisions that can be made by the government at this time which can help to overcome the immediate problems of unemployment in the short term.

It has been the practice of governments at all levels -- provincial, federal, and municipal -- to step up construction of capital projects during periods of relative economic boom, when revenues are rising. In the past, the coincidence of public demand and financial means resulted in project approvals at the same time that the private-sector construction activity was at its peak. This, of course, contributed to inflationary pressures. But now that we are in a crisis, especially in the construction industry, the government is reducing its share in funding public works and therefore is contributing to aggravate the situation of unemployment in this province.

We think public capital projects should be scheduled on a counter-cyclical basis to minimize inflationary pressures in boom periods and maintain employment during excess production capacity and potentially slack periods. This is a time of high unemployment, as I said before, especially in the construction and building materials industry. The government should step in at such a period of slackness to bolster the economy, utilize the unused productive capacity and create employment.

I want to point out that the problem is especially acute in Metropolitan Toronto, where 30 per cent of the workers in the construction industry are unemployed and have no prospect of any change in the immediate future. I should also point out that most of the workers in the construction industry are immigrants who are hard hit because they have no other skills and no possibility of alternative employment because the market doesn’t offer any alternative at all. Immigrants are the hardest hit in this society because they have been working in this trade for years -- since they came to Canada after World War II. They are penalized because of the lack of commitment of the government in providing adequate funds for this basic industry of our province.

I’d like to point out what long-term proposals I think this government should make in order to face the present economic problems and solve our economic problems. One is the renegotiation of the auto pact. I think this is basic to the development of the industrial sector in this province, and especially of southern Ontario. I think we should also develop a capital goods sector within an economic programme aimed at producing machinery in Ontario. Our major trade deficit is in the machinery sector; last year Canada had a $10-billion deficit in this sector.

We should have a programme aimed at producing machinery in Ontario and Canada, so that in a 10-year period we can eliminate our dependency on foreign countries. We should keep down the oil price. This is the direction Ontario has to take if it wants to look forward to solving its economic problems, while at the same time outlining a concrete plan for the future development of the economy of the province.

I urge the government to take action in those areas affecting immigrants in the province of Ontario and in Metropolitan Toronto in particular. Immigrants, because of their condition, are one of the most vulnerable groups in our society. They are suffering the consequences of the present economic crisis, and they are paying a very high price in human, economic and social terms.

Unemployment among immigrant workers in the construction industry, in Metropolitan Toronto and throughout the province, has reached unparalleled and frightening heights in recent months. Thousands of immigrants occupied in marginal jobs, often the only ones available to them, have been laid off and do not find an opportunity to get back to work. A high number of immigrants, especially women, are exploited, working at minimum wage, thanks to the complacency of the government and to its lack of interest and care in introducing and implementing legislation aimed at removing legal, psychological and cultural obstacles to their real integration in our society.

The rate of accidents at the workplace is extremely high among immigrant workers because of the inability of the government to cope with their particular needs in the area of accident prevention. Immigrant workers are also victims of insensitive government policies regarding disabled injured workers. They are receiving totally inadequate benefits from the Workmen’s Compensation Board, and are deprived of any provision to match the increase in the cost of living. They are denied any kind of serious rehabilitation, have no right whatsoever to return to their jobs and are seriously handicapped by their cultural and language differences.

Immigrant working women are forced into inhuman experiences in order to accommodate their children during working hours because of the failure of the government to provide adequate day-care centres.

For these reasons, I support our motion and will vote in favour of the motion of no confidence.

Mr. Gaunt: First of all, as is traditional in these debates, I want to pay tribute to the Speaker and to the Deputy Speaker for the work which both do on behalf of the assembly in trying to maintain some semblance of order to the proceedings.

Since you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, are in the chair at the moment I want to say to you that you do a very effective job on behalf of the members here. Your rulings are even handed and we appreciate the effort and the fairness with which you deliver the hand of judgement on the occasions that we sit in here.

I want to say to the mover and seconder of the Speech from the Throne that I listened to both speeches with some interest and I want to congratulate both members. To my friend from Wellington-Dufferin-Peel (Mr. Johnson) I extend my congratulations because we are political neighbours. I understand the mover particularly is chosen as a person who is on the way up. I want to keep an eye on my friend from Wellington-Dufferin-Peel as he progresses through the halls of power around here. I wish him well.

I wanted to make a few preliminary remarks on a number of topics. I will touch on them very briefly and then move on to the matter with which I wanted to deal at more length, that being the matter of energy and how this province is reacting to what I would call a crisis in the energy field.

Before I get to that, however, I wanted to mention the matter of the Essex Packers affair about which my colleague from Huron-Middlesex (Mr. Riddell) asked the Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. W. Newman) last week. I want to say to the government that almost everything -- indeed everything that I can recall -- which we in this party predicted would happen with respect to that matter and the agreement entered into by the government with Better Beef has happened.

First of all, on the matter of jobs, the assignment was given on the basis that 200 jobs in Hamilton would be preserved. Those jobs are gone. Those two plants are closed. That is exactly what we said would happen.

In terms of the creditors, the creditors who agreed to take the 15 cents on the dollar have not been paid the 15 cents. The assets have been dissipated and there isn’t enough money to pay the 15 cents. The creditors who refused to take the offer are not going to get anything at all. That is exactly what we predicted would happen with respect to this matter.

In my mind, there is no question that this entire affair has been a disaster from beginning to end. The first mistake was made by the government when it entered into an agreement with Essex Packers, a company which was very shaky financially at that time. Ultimately, they went into receivership and Better Beef came up with a proposal to save the company and, at the same time, to maintain the 200 jobs in the Hamilton plants, neither of which has been accomplished.


I say that in terms of the government’s responsibility and its actions in this respect, it certainly hasn’t been looking after the public interest in any way, shape or form.

The other brief matter with which I want to deal is the matter of flood plain mapping. I’ve had some continuing discussion with the government in respect to this matter. Flood plain mapping is of particular interest in my part of the province because we have two conservation authorities in the area which I happen to have the honour to represent, and the conservation authorities are very much wrapped up in this flood plain mapping.

As it turns out, a lot of the land that could be developed, and should be developed, is seen to be in the flood plain, and hence cannot be developed. It seems to me that where we’ve got land that hasn’t flooded in 100 years or more, even in Hurricane Hazel times, which is the criterion that is being used, it should be allowed to be developed. Indeed, it should be taken out of the flood plain and be allowed to develop, because when it comes right down to the fine point there is no possible way in which the government or anyone else can protect all of our citizens against the eventuality of a flood, no matter when it comes, no matter what time of the year.

To try to do so is sheer folly because it doesn’t really accomplish very much, other than drive up land costs and ultimately the price of housing, because it means the available land for such uses is lessened. There isn’t as much of it available, and hence the price is greater.

I realize the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. F. S. Miller) is new in the portfolio and that it takes some time to get familiar with these issues. But I say to my friend in Natural Resources that as far as I am concerned the criteria for flood plain mapping are too severe and the government should reassess that entire programme.

In terms of protection and in terms of eventualities, the acts of God if you like, there is no possible way -- even if we were to use the entire money resident with the Treasury over there -- to make sure that everyone that is sitting on a piece of property isn’t going to get flooded at some time or other. No possible way. All we can do is lessen the risk.

With that proposition, I agree. But to place a lot of the land which is now in the flood plain zone in this province out of reach, in my view does not really make good economic or insurance sense. I just don’t think one can take all of the risk out of these things by entering into a programme of this nature. After all, we live in a world where we are faced with risks every day. When one drives down the freeway it’s possible for one to have a car accident. When one flies in a plane it is possible to be involved in a plane crash.

Mr. Nixon: That’s enough to make a guy stay home on the farm.

Mr. Gaunt: Just to say that because we have the odd car accident and a few people get killed from time to time, no one is going to use a car, or because someone gets killed in a plane crash no one is going to fly, seems to me to be indeed stretching the point.

I want to turn now to the matter of energy, and what we are doing with respect to it in this province. The underpinning of the industrial and agricultural advances in this province over the years has been a cheap energy policy which has seen our development grow and mushroom over the course of the past 30 to 35 years. This period has passed and it’s about time that the government recognized it, admitted it and took steps to prepare for the dawning of a new era based on the new objectives and new goals and new technology and some government thrust.

In the longer term, Canada and the world are going to run out of oil and gas. The Ontario government has reacted to this situation by planning for electricity to fill that gap. Fair enough. Electricity is the energy of the future. Since most of the large-scale accessible hydro sites in Ontario are utilized and we have no coal suitable for generating electricity, the provincial government has decided that the only option -- and that’s the quarrel that I have -- decided that the only option was to use uranium to generate electricity via the CANDU reactor.

Indeed, the provincial government’s plan is to spend $40 billion over the next 10 or 15 years on nuclear reactors, transmission lines, and heavy water plants -- all the backup facilities that are needed for this kind of generation. That’s $5,000 for every man, woman and child in the province. This represents nearly a seven-fold increase of Ontario’s present $6-billion assets and over 100 times Canada’s share of the St. Lawrence Seaway cost.

The consequences of this massive commitment of money, technical expertise, materials and institutional management are becoming apparent to many people in the province. There are those who say -- and I’m one of them -- that while nuclear power is one acceptable alternative to produce electricity, it is by no means the only alternative, and that to pursue it as the only alternative is going to be just as dangerous for us as if we had stuck to oil and gas as our major sources until all supplies of both were exhausted.

To pursue Ontario Hydro’s and the Ontario government’s present course in energy production is going to lead us down the path to disaster. Nuclear power production should be one arsenal in the total energy programme of the government. But the alternative energy programmes of conservation and solar energy would provide some balance to the programme.

For example, if Ontario invests $11 billion over the next 20 years in conservation, by making appliances, homes, offices and industries more energy efficient, we would save $22 billion in nuclear investment. Appliances can be made 15 to 40 per cent more efficient. That costs money, but it costs less than trying to build more nuclear stations to continue to supply inefficient appliances.

Similarly, with residential and office heating it costs money to insulate and to build more efficiently in the first place. Yet with Hydro rates going up 60 per cent in the next three years -- and more moderately thereafter, I hope -- it simply means people will not be able to afford electricity for residence energy and industry, because using large quantities of energy will simply mean becoming even less competitive than we are now.

We can’t afford to have all our eggs in the nuclear basket; this government had better wake up to that fact soon. A greater use of renewable energy sources, particularly solar heating, is a must.

As John Bulloch Jr. has said -- and there are many things with which I disagree. John Bulloch is a very intelligent individual; he is rather right-wing at times and certainly all of the things he says I don’t endorse, but with this one I think he has hit it pretty well on the head.

John Bulloch has said: “Nuclear power means high-capacity, centralized generating stations in the hands of big government or its agencies.” Nuclear power, in other words, is synonymous with a philosophy of concentration of power. Mr. Bulloch continued: “Solar power, on the other hand, is ideally suited for deconcentration of population and growth of smaller communities, because each home or community would have, in effect, its own generating station. Solar-powered homes and communities can be located anywhere without concern for loss of power and transmission, and the manufacture, installation and servicing of these solar power systems would provide work for tens of thousands of small firms.”

And, after all, the cornerstone of this province is the small businessman, not the multi-national corporation.

Mr. Ferrier: I thought it was the farmer, Murray.

Mr. Gaunt: This is one industry -- well, the farmer’s a small businessman.

Mr. Roy: You should know that. I guess maybe you shouldn’t.

Mr. Nixon: I hear you’re a full-time member.

Mr. Gaunt: “This is one industry that should be Canadian owned and controlled. The choice is clear: by opting for nuclear power, we will have tied ourselves to big institutions. Solar power provides the flexibility needed in the future. Solar power, therefore, is the perfect example of appropriate technology in Canada.”

There has been opposition to nuclear power production on the basis of the dangers of radioactive emissions, the problems of storage and disposal of the high-level radioactive waste, the possibility of reactor accidents and, hence, thermal pollution. All of these things are the subject of justifiable public debate.

However, the major point of opposition at this point is clear and easily understood. We simply can’t afford an all-nuclear system. Nuclear power is 50 to 100 times as capital intensive as the traditional direct fossil fuel system on which industrial economies have been built. This capital intensity is much greater than for the big fossil fuel electrical systems, but both kinds are so costly to build that, as the strategic planners of the Shell Group in London concluded several years ago, “No major country outside the Persian Gulf can afford ever to electrify most of its economy.” Nuclear power, like coal synthetics, oil shale and tar sands, is so complex and costly that nobody can afford it on a big scale. It is a future technology whose time has passed.

In the same article, it goes on to say that because of this great capital intensity, if we try to build many reactors, electricity must become so dear that people cannot afford to buy much of it or else not enough money will be left over in the economy to build the non-energy devices that were supposed to use all the electricity or both.

For example, President Ford’s 1976-1985 US energy programme would cost a current GNP year one trillion dollars in today’s dollars, three-quarters of it for electrification. Thus, nearly two-thirds of all money traditionally available for the US investment in houses, roads, schools, hospitals, factories, everything else outside the energy sector, would have to be consumed by that sector alone. The author goes on to say that for fundamental economic as well as political reason, nuclear power is already dead in the United States. Mr. Carter’s energy policy will be coming out on April 20. I guess that’s next week. Perhaps we’ll have a better insight into just what’s going to happen south of the border with respect to new energy directions.


Last June, I had the privilege of attending the Habitat conference in British Columbia -- the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements, in Vancouver. One of the many speeches that was delivered at that time was on the nuclear question and was given by Amory Lovins, who is a consultant physicist concentrating on energy and resource strategy. He has collaborated with several UN agencies, the International Federation of Institutes for Advanced Study and the Science Council of Canada. He is a very eminent gentleman indeed and certainly a very well-qualified person to speak on this topic.

Some of his observations are worth noting. Mr. Lovins stated that conserving energy, especially in developed countries -- which covers the United States and Canada -- is a much cheaper, more benign, more effective supplement to fossil fuels than is nuclear power during the period of bridging to whatever comes next and is, indeed, essential. He states that a diverse range of soft energy technologies, those that rely on energy income rather than energy capital, could meet practically all our energy needs about 50 years from now at reasonable cost and with essentially zero risk of technical failure. Because these soft technologies are comparatively small and simple, we could build them much faster than an equivalent capacity of high technology. Enough soft technologies are already available and enough others soon will be so that we could start deploying them now.

Mr. Lovins stated that if we continue the nuclear power course much longer we foreclose -- and I think this is important -- we foreclose the soft option by delaying it so long that we shall no longer have enough readily available fossil fuels to form a credible bridge.

Mr. Lovins saw a three-pronged energy strategy as the answer: First, a wide-ranging energy conservation programme. Second, start without delay a large programme to develop, demonstrate and deploy a wide range of small-scale energy income technologies, making full use of existing technological resources. Top priority should go first to solar heating and cooling; organic conversion, especially methanol, for the transport section; and sophisticated wind technologies. Progress on harder technologies, such as geothermal and photothermal conversion, has been very rapid lately and people who say soft technologies are all far in the future are very much out of touch.

Efficient solar heating is commercially available and is now cheaper than electric heating in the United States, most of Europe and even in Canada. In some areas, it is cheaper than direct fuel heating. The barriers to its use are no longer technical or economical but institutional -- the building codes, the architects who really haven’t caught up yet, mortgage regulations -- all of those sorts of things.

Third, during the 40 to 50 years it takes to construct an economy of energy income, we should use fossil fuels in transitional technologies adaptable to the soft technologies, so that we can plug them in as they arrive.

Lovins predicts the United States will move in the next five years -- it’s that close he thinks -- to turn off nuclear power all over the world. Such an effort could succeed because essentially all countries’ nuclear programmes depend on each other and, ultimately, on the United States for either technical or political support. In essence, Lovins proposed a prompt redirection of national resources towards the wise and efficient use of energy and towards its extraction from renewable sources.

Finally, he concluded that we choose technologies that reflect human values under human control and not those promoted by technologists who can’t distinguish “can” from “should.”

I suggest that Lovins has an excellent grasp of the issues and has thought the matter through very carefully. It seems to me, in summary, that Ontario and Canada have basically three alternative directions for energy policy decisions.

One, we can continue with our present policy of promoting large-scale energy developments in which large amounts of energy and capital are invested. This option, in my view, will lead to disaster economically, politically and socially for all of us.

Two is a modified version of the first but with heavier emphasis on conservation. However, this still would entail heavy investment in the nuclear programme, which I think would be unwise and would make us and our energy supply vulnerable since we would have essentially all our eggs in one basket.

Three would put the major emphasis on renewable sources of energy. They have the advantage of diversity. Development costs in terms of money and energy are lower than with conventional fuels. This change obviously will not be made overnight. A combination of serious energy conservation and efficient use of fossil fuels would be used as a bridge to the point where renewable energy has been broadly introduced.

These are important issues for this government. I have stated before that, in my view, in the next five to six years the most important ministries in this government are the ministries of Energy and Environment, and I maintain that that is so. I think the next few years are crucial. If this province is going to maintain its industrial base at all, then we have to come to grips with our environment and with these energy questions. If we don’t, then I suggest that our standard of living is going to suffer, our unemployment is going to continue to rise and we are going to recede dramatically as an industrial province in this country.

The Minister of Energy (Mr. Taylor) has an unusually heavy responsibility to give leadership in this vital area. Unfortunately, so far his performance has done little to inspire me.

Mr. Roy: All of us.

Mr. Gaunt: I think he is going to have to come to grips with some of these things which he hasn’t dealt with so far. These things are certainly not going to be accomplished by mediocre leadership. The problem is that really this whole government is afflicted with the mediocrity syndrome.

Mr. Roy: A terrible sickness.

Mr. Nixon: Mediocrity.

Mr. Gaunt: I suppose one could say it’s a collection of mediocrity with only a slight dash of humility, although many on the government front benches have much to be humble about indeed.

Mr. Ruston: Look at the Provincial Secretary for National Resources over there.

Hon. Mr. Brunelle: You don’t mean that.

Mr. Nixon: He can still smile anyway. It is a very humble front bench right now.

Mr. Maeck: Somebody must have written that for him. That doesn’t sound like the member for Huron-Bruce. He never speaks like that.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: He had great difficulty because he didn’t have his heart in that.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member will continue and ignore the interjections.

Mr. Gaunt: I just wonder, Mr. Speaker, if the Attorney General would want me to repeat that in case he missed it.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I was listening very carefully.

Mr. Gaunt: I am not saying he would be included in that comment.

Mr. Roy: He would, no doubt.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please. Perhaps the hon. member will continue and ignore the interjections.

Mr. Roy: His track record as AG or as a counsel leaves something to be desired.

Mr. Gaunt: In any event, I am almost through but I do want to impress upon you, Mr. Speaker, that in my view the question of energy is a vital one. I would urge the government to come to grips with it immediately. I don’t think we have any time to waste and that our survival as an industrial province is at stake.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, I am very honoured, very privileged, and very pleased to participate in this very important debate.

I think it goes without saying that the quality of administration of justice in this province is of paramount concern to all of the members of the Legislature. I should say, in opening, that I, personally, have been very pleased -- during the 18 months in which I’ve had the privilege of occupying my office -- with the very genuine interest that has been expressed by the members on all sides of the House in relation to the many problems facing the administration of justice in this province.

In particular, I’d like to express my own personal gratitude to the justice critics in the two opposition parties for their very helpful suggestions from time to time, and to express the view that at all times I have felt they have been truly motivated by what was in the best interests of the public of Ontario in relation to the administration of justice. Partisan politics, at all times, achieved a very small dimension in their participation.

Mr. Laughren: They would make good ministers.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Yes, I think both of them would, at the appropriate time, whenever that may be.

Mr. Lawlor: We justice people are above party animosity.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Exactly, Mr. Speaker. At the same time, I would also like to express, through them, my appreciation to the members of the justice committee for the very positive manner in which they’ve approached matters. We’ve had occasions when we’ve had the opportunity of sharing, whether it be estimates or very important family law legislation before the House.

Her Honour, in the Speech from the Throne, announced the intention of the government to proceed with legislation to reorganize the administration of the courts in the province of Ontario. During the last session of the assembly I tabled a white paper on courts administration. The white paper introduced a new concept for the reorganization of the administration of justice in Ontario. As the members know, the white paper also included a draft statute and invited comment from the public and from those particularly interested in the subject of court administration.

Since the tabling of these proposals, I have received comment from a number of quarters. I have met with a number of law associations, representatives of the Advocates’ Society -- on two occasions that I can recall -- as well as having a number of meetings with senior judges and judges throughout the system. As a result of that comment and further consideration, I will be introducing to this assembly a slightly revised bill which will, however, reflect the principles of the original proposals.

The new statute, when reintroduced, will stress two principles: The independence of the judiciary and the public ministerial accountability of the government to this assembly for the administration of justice. While I will soon have the privilege of placing the new legislation before you, I would like to take this opportunity to bring home to you the general approach of the government as outlined in the white paper.

I would like to put this approach in the general context of the experience of courts administrations systems, particularly in the United States and, perhaps more particularly, in Great Britain, because the white paper adopts a good deal of the approach taken in the English Courts Act of 1971. Because of that, I took the opportunity recently to have a look at the English system, particularly at the office of the Lord Chancellor, which provides a unique administrative focus for the entire English legal system.


One of my most important areas of exploration was a series of discussions with the staff of the Lord Chancellor and with the Lord Chancellor himself -- Lord Elwyn-Jones -- who, despite his social leanings, is truly a most distinguished gentleman.

Mr. Lawlor: it is because of them, for heaven’s sake. He’s the most contemporary person in the modern world. That is where you get lost.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I am very proud to report to the members of this House that Lord Elwyn-Jones and his senior staff demonstrated a very deep interest in the problems of the administration of justice in Ontario and, more particularly, in the approach taken in our white paper.

Many of the very exciting court reforms which have taken place in England since 1971 depend for their working effectiveness on the unique institution of the Lord Chancellor and his office. Because we lack the structure and the tradition of that unique constitutional office, it is necessary to examine the actual function of that office to ensure that we provide in Ontario a structure suitable to our traditions, which will fulfil the key role in courts administration performed in England by the Lord Chancellor.

As many of the members of the Legislature will know, the office of the Lord Chancellor is indeed a constitutional anomaly. The very existence of his office is an affront to many traditional constitutional theories about separation of the powers between the government and the judiciary. For example, the Lord Chancellor is a member of cabinet, a member of the House of Lords and a judge at the same time. He is not only a judge but is, in fact, at the top of the entire judicial hierarchy; and in terms of precedent, he actually ranks ahead of the Prime Minister.

Although he exercises a wide range of really very staggering responsibilities, perhaps the most important of all -- at least from the point of view of my examination of his office -- is his responsibility for the court system. His department is responsible for ensuring the proper functioning of the courts from an administrative point of view, including the flow of cases through the courts, the staffing of courts, the providing of suitable accommodation and the hundreds of other details which go into the operating of a complex court system.

The present Lord Chancellor had also been Attorney General under two previous Labour governments and therefore, of course, has had a great deal of experience in parliamentary matters. His views with respect to parliamentary accountability, as well as the necessity of a centralized court structure, were therefore of great interest to me.

The Lord Chancellor and his office have been at the centre of one of the most significant efforts towards court reform which has taken place anywhere in recent years. For years the English court system had suffered from a fragmentation of jurisdiction and a labyrinthine network of courts which had grown up since the Middle Ages. Courts administration was divided among a number of separate institutions and local authorities, and there was no unified system of courts administration, either for court personnel or courthouses and court accommodation, with the exception of the country courts, which had been administered by the Lord Chancellor’s office since the 1920s.

The Lord Chancellor in 1966, Lord Gardiner, was faced with a number of problems, including the constant postponing of civil work because of the heavy demands of criminal cases, the conflict of dates for hearings, which of course not only led to great inconvenience to the parties but in many cases led to the parties themselves being deprived of counsel of their choice, and a number of other problems which have a familiar ring in virtually every developed country with a legal system based on common-law principles.

The British government set up a royal commission under the chairmanship of Lord Beeching, who had demonstrated great energy and imagination in a radical shake-up and rationalization of the British Railways system. The members of the Beeching commission took a very strong statistical approach to their terms of reference, and addressed themselves to questions such as delays before trial, why cases were postponed, to what extent the trial time was related to the type of case, and a host of other concerns which are now generally referred to under the rubric of case-flow management.

The Beeching commission recommended a general reorganization and simplification of the structure of the courts. But one of the central recommendations -- and I think perhaps the most important recommendation of all -- was a unified administration of all of the courts. And if I may quote briefly: “We regard control by a single minister, coupled with the creation and maintenance of an efficient administrative service responsible for all aspects of court administration, as essential for our proposed reorganization.”

The Beeching report led to the passage of The Courts Act of 1971, which provided for a unified managerial control under the administrative aspects of the courts under the Lord Chancellor, whose office is responsible for the operation of the courts through the development of sound managerial policies and the development of professional court administrators throughout the system. I think it is rather important to emphasize the reliance placed on the concept of unified administrative control by the Beeching commission, as reflected in the new court system.

Now the English system is, of course, as many of the members will appreciate, a good deal different from the American approach. The American Constitution is based on the doctrine of the separation of powers, and the courts, the Legislature, and the executive are there for separate and equal branches of government. For this reason, the administrative office of the United States courts has been able to function as an almost purely judicial control of the administration of federal courts.

In England the rather delicate tension between the judicial and executive functions as contained in the office of the Lord Chancellor is as stated a constitutional anomaly, but one which appears to have worked very well, largely, I suppose, because of its very long historical tradition.

Those members who are familiar with the background of courts administration in Ontario will be familiar with the evolution, over the last 10 years, of a new approach in this province to the delicate balance in courts administration between the functions of the government -- more particularly the Ministry of the Attorney General -- and the functions of the judiciary. From 1968, when responsibility for courts administration was transferred from local governments to the provincial government through the report of the Ontario Law Reform Commission on courts administration, through the development of our courts administration projects in the central west area under the authority of The Administration of Courts Project Act, 1975, and culminating in the issue of our white paper on courts administration, we have been gradually working out the appropriate balance of accountability and authority that will be necessary to achieve effective and efficient operation of the courts while preserving the fundamental principles of judicial independence.

Because of the obvious importance of courts administration, I have sent a copy of the white paper, which includes a discussion of proposed legislation, to every member of the legal profession in Ontario. A number of comments have been received from various sources. From the handful of formal comments, together with a large number of personal discussions with members of the legal profession, I do discern general support for our approach, subject of course to a few reservations on matters of organization.

I think at this point it might be helpful to discuss briefly the background and approach taken by the white paper, an approach which in my view has largely been validated and confirmed by our recent examination of the workings of the English system.

As I indicated earlier, the basis of the new approach arose from our experience in the development of a model court administrative structure in the central west region, a group of 10 counties and judicial districts clustering around Hamilton. Authority for the project, as I have already stated, flowed from the administration of The Courts Project Act, 1975. As stated in section 2 of that Act the purpose was to enable the establishment of a development project in the region for the central co-ordination of the administrative facilities and services of the courts for a more effective operation of the courts, subject of course to the traditional independence of the judges. In short, the project was designed to determine whether effective court reform could be achieved with the traditional division of authority -- the Ministry of the Attorney General on the one hand to have control over strictly administrative matters, and the judiciary to control matters bearing on adjudication.

The results of the project have been carefully evaluated and the project has, I think, effectively demonstrated that we do need a new approach for courts administration in this province if we are to clear the backlogs in various parts of the court system. We certainly require a new approach to the flow of cases through the courts.

I have stated on a number of occasions that the case-load crisis facing the courts of this province does have the potential to seriously undermine the quality of justice in Ontario. At the same time I want to emphasize that there is a broad consensus that this crisis can only be effectively met by significant court reforms which must continue to include the application of new management techniques to the ever increasing workloads of the courts. While, of course, we must emphasize that justice can never be sacrificed for administrative efficiency, we nevertheless recognize that we can still do a great deal to improve the quality of justice by applying modern management techniques to the business of the courts.

However, as stated, the central west project has demonstrated that the present artificial division of the business of the courts simply cannot provide the basis for significant court reform. The courts are presently divided between purely administrative matters on the one hand and quasi-administrative, quasi-judicial matters on the other hand. Theoretically the purely administrative matters are managed by civil servants, and the quasi- administrative, quasi-judicial matters such as the times that a court sits, or the way the cases are adjourned, or the way that trial dates are set, are decided by judges.

While perhaps laudable in theory these distinctions have proven unsatisfactory in practice. Obviously therefore neither effective case load management nor true court reform can be dependent or based on such artificial distinctions. In our view the only way to achieve an effective unified approach is to consolidate the administrative management of the courts including the quasi-administrative, quasi-judicial matters into a single structure.


You will note, of course, the similarity of these conclusions with the conclusions reached by the Beeching commission and by the British government. I think it is very significant that two different jurisdictions sharing a common heritage and many of the same problems have chosen a basically similar approach. It should be obvious that the unified management of all these matters cannot be consolidated in the hands of the Attorney General, or indeed in any other minister of the Crown, for our entire court system is premised on the principle of the independence of the judiciary. That principle includes the proposition that judges cannot take direction from the government with respect to any judicial matter that arises in relation to the trial of a case. While judges cannot take direction or guidance from the government in these matters, they can and must take direction and guidance from senior members of the judiciary. For that matter, in my view, the only logical place to consolidate the management of the courts is in a body comprised of the senior members of the judiciary, but a body that would have to be backed up with the necessary resources from a standpoint of administrative and management techniques.

I want to make it very clear at this juncture that I recognize, as do members opposite, particularly the justice critics of the opposition parties, that judges being lawyers originally are not trained in administrative and management techniques. I want to make it very clear that our proposals are not dependent upon any necessary degree of management training or administrative training. But the truth of the matter is that judges throughout the system do exercise administrative techniques in many different ways and almost quite autonomously, often on a very ad hoc basis.

We recognize that senior judges and the judicial council can perform these important responsibilities only if they are backed up by the necessary resources from an administrative standpoint. If we had a Lord Chancellor our choice would be perhaps as easy and as obvious as the choice of the British government in consolidating authority in the person and in the office of the Lord Chancellor

Mr. Lawlor: Why don’t you appoint yourself Lord Chancellor?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: If you would be prepared to support it --

Mr. Lawlor: No, I am not.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: -- we could consider that option.

Mr. Cunningham: Agreed.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Because we are not blessed with the constitutional anomaly of the Lord Chancellor’s function, our only choice in order to preserve the fundamental heritage of judicial independence is to consolidate authority in the senior judges of this province which, quite frankly, will also involve a great degree more of accountability on the part of the individual judge throughout the system.

At the same time, we must preserve the fundamental constitutional accountability to the Legislative Assembly for the administration of public institutions and public funds under our system of government. That accountability must continue to flow, and must always flow, through a minister of the Crown who is also a member of the Legislative Assembly, someone who must answer in the Legislative Assembly for the administration of public institutions and public funds.

Mr. Singer: When he is asked questions.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: For that reason, we must maintain a strong element of ministerial accountability. I regard that as a crucial matter for the courts, through the office of the Attorney General, after this legislation, hopefully, becomes a law of this province. I want to make it clear that I for one, as the Attorney General for this province, would be most loath to support any legislation which in any way sought to diminish that very crucial responsibility and accountability. Therefore, under the proposed system the public accountability which the British achieve through the office of the Lord Chancellor would continue to rest with the Attorney General.

But again, as I’ve already stated, because we lack the unique office of a Lord Chancellor we must propose and consider a structure which would maintain, institutionally and hopefully in a harmony of working parts, the delicate and the essential balance between judicial independence and political accountability. I shall return to this essential point after outlining the basic proposals contained in the white paper, basic principles that will be contained in the legislation which I intend to introduce in a very short period of time as stated by Her Honour in the Throne Speech.

The white paper, explains the need for reorganization, sets out the details of the government’s proposals for reorganization and concludes with a draft of legislation a design to implement these proposals. The basic proposals, which will be slightly modified by the bill which I intend to introduce, are as follows:

First, that the day-to-day administrative, financial and operational aspects of courts administration would be transferred from the Ministry of the Attorney General to an office of courts administration, headed by a judicial council.

Second, the judicial council, as set out in the white paper, would consist of the Chief Justice of Ontario as chairman, the Chief Justice of the High Court, the chief judge of the county court, a county court judge appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council -- if the legislation is passed I think you could well speculate who that might be, if this proposal becomes law -- the chief judge of the provincial court, criminal division, and the chief judge of the provincial court, family division.

Third, the judicial council will be given authority and responsibility for establishing and applying policy directives on all administrative matters, whether the actions required are those of court personnel or those of individual judges.

Fourth, the office of courts administration would carry out the day-to-day administrative, financial and operational aspects of courts administration under a director of courts administration responsible to the judicial council. The director of courts administration would be a public servant with the status of a deputy minister, appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council on the recommendation of the Attorney General and removed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council upon the recommendation of the judicial council.

Mr. Singer: I wonder, Mr. Speaker, if I could ask the Attorney General a question?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I have no objection.

Mr. Acting Speaker: It is highly unusual to place questions during this type of debate. It would be up to the Attorney General if he wishes to accept one.

Mr. Roy: Of course, it is unusual to hear the Attorney General in the Throne Speech debate.

Mr. Singer: I wonder if the Attorney General would consider the inclusion of lay representation on the council in addition to the representation he’s outlined?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, the proposal does not contain that. I anticipate that that will be a subject for debate when the legislation is introduced to the House.

But I would like to say at this time, because I think it’s certainly something that’s going to be very germane in the debate, that the difficulty with the proposal, while it appears to have enormous attraction from the standpoint of public participation, is that we are faced with the dilemma of non-judicial persons directing the judiciary. The judiciary has adopted the attitude -- and I must state quite frankly that I’m very sympathetic to that attitude -- that the direction of judges by non-judges does strike, in their view, at the independence of the judiciary. Certainly, all the discussions and the briefs I have had from the judiciary of this province make that point very clear: that a judicial council made up of lay representation will be dealing not only with day to-day policy decisions, but with some very sensitive matters involving the conduct of judges and, of course, disciplinary matters.

I might say, for those who have taken the interest -- and I hope that includes many members of the Legislature -- that the whole area of discipline, or the provisions for discipline, in the draft legislation, which is part of the white paper, is being reworked, because I think that it has to be improved, quite frankly, compared to how it presently stands. It’s my hope that the advisory council, which I’m going to refer to next, will involve that public input, which is so essential.

I want to stress the need for the involvement of the members of this Legislature in the administration and in reminding the Attorney General -- as most of you do so effectively on a day-to-day basis -- of my accountability in relation to expenditure of public funds in the administration of justice. I think the crucial element of lay participation can be accomplished on a continuing basis through the advisory committee and through the participation of this Legislature in an institution which is of such fundamental importance to the community as a whole.

The advisory committee, which would report to the Attorney General, would be established to review the work of the office of courts administration and to initiate studies in relation to various aspects of courts administration and procedure. The Lieutenant Governor in Council would retain the power to appoint judicial officers and those court officials who are presently appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council. Finally, the government would retain overall authority and responsibility in relation to the administration of justice. I think this is essential. Government must retain overall authority and responsibility in relation to the administration of justice through its fiscal, legislative and other controls, such as the standards of the Civil Service Commission.

This white paper is a major and essential step before legislation is introduced to implement a reorganization of courts administration. The legislation is going to be introduced, and I hope that within the next two or three weeks all members of the Legislature will avail themselves of the opportunity of looking at, and carefully considering, the white paper.

The discussion to date, as I’ve already indicated, has raised concerns around the issues of judicial independence and ministerial accountability. I hope that these principles will be given greater effect -- greater emphasis -- in the bill which I will be introducing.

These principles are not, of course, ends in themselves; they simply exist to safeguard the public interest in the administration of justice. And following up the learned member for Wilson Heights’ question, I want to stress that, obviously, it should never be forgotten or overlooked that our courts belong to the public, that they exist solely to serve the public. It is essential, therefore, that all of us who serve the public should examine with care these proposals for the future development of their courts, because the issues raised are so central to our fundamental liberties.


A moment ago I referred to the essential and delicate balance between ministerial responsibility and judicial independence. This is not the only area where the new system must achieve a fair and effective working balance. I think that one of the commentators on the new English system put it very well when he said:

“What does seem clear is that programming problems can never be solved entirely by the imposition of authority, but that they involve a mixture of authority, calculation, hunch and persuasion.

“The Beeching commission did a good job in recommending a rational framework within which all this could operate. The Lord Chancellor’s department has done a good job in setting it up. Its operation, however, seems to involve more subtle and various considerations than are described in the Beeching report -- in fact” -- and I think, Mr. Speaker, this is very important -- “not only a system of authority but a system of relationships. There is the responsibility of the Lord Chancellor to Parliament; there is the independence of the judiciary and of both branches of the legal profession and the rights of the various parties who come before the courts.

“What is required is the maintenance of a delicate balance between all these, whether in the programming of individual cases locally or in planning and controlling the whole system nationally.”

I’ve stated at the outset that I believe this government is committed to the development of a new system of courts administration which can best serve the public by providing the machinery for achieving these essential balances. As members of this assembly, we all obviously have a very deep responsibility to the public to create a structure which will continue to promote the achievement of these balances.

Because of its newness, and because of its fundamental importance to all aspects of the administration of justice, I have focused my remarks on the courts administration proposals. In doing so I hope that I have not in any way minimized the importance of our other initiatives.

I am thinking, first, of our initiatives in family law reform. As you know, Mr. Speaker, they have been reintroduced in this assembly after a great deal of discussion, debate and public comment during the last session. I say nothing further about them now except that they are before you and, I repeat, that they do represent a very real advancement in the principles of fairness and equality in family law. I welcome the opportunity of carrying these reforms into law this session.

I should point out that not all of our recent and ongoing initiatives and advances have been legislative in nature. While, for example, the unified family court proposals did involve legislation in the last session, our encouragement of the family law division of the Supreme Court of Ontario has been accomplished without the need for legislation. Measures such as the reorganization and restructuring of the Crown attorney system into a more cohesive and responsive structure; the development of plans for a decentralizing of the Crown attorney system in Metropolitan Toronto, which bears about half of the criminal cases in Ontario; the development of a system of pre-trial discovery in criminal matters through various pilot projects; and, more important, our recent instructions to the Crown attorneys with respect to pre-trial disclosures, also have been accomplished without the necessity of introducing legislation.

One of the most important domains of the emerging public interest involves, of course, the complex issues of freedom of information and rights to privacy. You have our background paper on these issues prepared by members of the Ministry of the Attorney General, and I commend it to you, Mr. Speaker, as an example of the kind of hard, innovative thinking that must be done as the essential background of any major law reform in this area. I truly hope again that all members, most particularly the distinguished member for Lakeshore, will carefully peruse that background paper on not only the freedom of information but the equally important consideration of citizens’ right to privacy.

Although I don’t want to get into a debate now on the proposed bill from the member for Lakeshore --

Mr. Lawlor: You sure ask an awful lot of questions. You are a questioner; there are whole pages of questions.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I hope he will see the wisdom of combining in one Act these essential principles of freedom of information on the one hand and the citizens’ right to privacy on the other hand. I hope he will not urge upon the members of the Legislature that we pursue the mistaken course -- a course that is now acknowledged by most knowledgeable commentators in the United States to be the wrong course. I hope, therefore, that he will recognize this and that indeed he will want to withdraw his bill during the time that this very important commission --

Mr. Laughren: You are being provocative.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: -- not only dealing with freedom of information but also with privacy, does have the opportunity --

Mr. Lawlor: You have been in office too long -- 33 years.

Mr. Roy: I’ve got a feeling you are not going to win this case.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: -- of perusing and considering this very complex area before, as I say, we blunder into the same mistakes that have been made in other jurisdictions. We can learn from the mistakes of others --

Mr. Lawlor: This is a temporizing thing.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: -- and I hope that the member for Lakeshore does not persist in clinging to the same mistakes that have been made south of the border.

Mr. Roy: Do you think you are going to win that one?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Other initiatives which I intend to bring forward this session include proposals for a new Limitations Act to simplify and clarify the time within which legal actions must be brought, proposals regarding occupiers’ liability to simplify and clarify the rights and obligations of those who occupy land and the rights and obligations of those who go upon the land of others --

Mr. Makarchuk: When are you introducing the legislation?

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: -- and an Act to protect employees from the administration of lie detector tests by employers.

Mr. Makarchuk: When is the legislation coming in?

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

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: This legislation will be introduced in the next few weeks and --

Mr. Warner: Right after the headlines.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I certainly -- I’m sorry; does the --

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member will ignore the comments and continue.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Does the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere have a helpful suggestion?

Mr. Warner: I have many.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member will ignore the interjections and continue.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: These are just some of the initiatives which I will bring forward this session to continue the momentum and advance of the pace of law reform in the province of Ontario. Law reform is of course essential if we are to build in this province, and continue to build in this province, a community which continues to satisfy the ends of justice.

In conclusion, I cannot put it better than it was put almost a century and a half ago in the British Parliament by one of the great pioneers of law reform, Lord Brougham. I quote:

“It was the boast of Augustus that he found Rome a brick and left it a marble, a praise not unworthy of a great prince and to which the present reign also has its claims; but how much nobler will be the sovereign’s boast when he shall have to say that he found law dear and left it cheap; found it a sealed book and left it a living letter; found it the patrimony of the rich and left it the inheritance of the poor; found it the two-edged sword of craft and oppression and left it the staff of honesty as a shield of innocence.”

Mr. Makarchuk: Marvellous.

Mr. Acting Speaker: The hon. member for Nickel Belt.

Mr. Samis: Now the language of the people.

Mr. Roy: If the Attorney General gets carried away, he might build a court house in Ottawa. That would be something.

Mr. Sargent: The first thing he can do is shoot all the lawyers.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Laughren: It was appropriate that I was here to hear the Attorney General’s closing remarks. Strangely enough, in my opening remarks I want to deal with freedom of information. I want to talk about three specific problems, not all related as directly to the Throne Speech as freedom of information. I will close off with a quote too at the end of my brief remarks on freedom of information.

The Throne Speech referred to a review that would be undertaken, which has already begun, I understand. The machinery is being put into motion. We feel that is a needless delay on the part of the government, and that it could have been implemented without that review. I’d like to use a specific example that occurred in the Sudbury area in which information was withheld from the public needlessly, and I suspect that most members of the government would agree it was needless when they hear the details.

Back in 1973 there was a train wreck in the town of Dowling near Sudbury. There was a spill of something. It had to do with diesel oil and a transformer. The transformer contained something called PCBs or polychlorinated biphenyls, which are a very dangerous carcinogen. After the spill, the transformers lay on the ground for a few days. Then the Minister of the Environment proceeded to do testing into the spill. This is a chronological order of how the Ministry of the Environment conducted their monitoring and why I think they have been -- I hesitate to use the word but I really do feel I must -- irresponsible in withholding information from the public. When they see how needlessly the information was withheld I think that the government members too would agree with me.

The spill occurred on November 9, 1973. The initial clean-up -- and these are notes from the Ministry of the Environment -- including removal of debris, diesel oil and transformer fluid, was completed by the spring of 1974.

A follow-up inspection survey was initiated in the spring of 1975, which indicated that further investigation was warranted. By November, 1975, monitoring logs were located at the site and detailed investigations were sufficiently complete to indicate that further clean-up was required.

So there we had an indication in the spring of 1915 that further investigation was warranted and that in the fall of 1975 that further clean-up was required. Then in 1976 there was a further investigation to indicate that yet, a further clean-up was required. Then during 1976 it was indicated the clean-up would have to be even more extensive than that envisaged in the previous year.

During all this time the Ministry of the Environment did not tell the public that PCBs had been spilled into the environment and were draining through the ground. One has to wonder why the Ministry of the Environment withheld that information. Certainly it wasn’t because there was any political liability attached to the Ministry of the Environment. They were not the cause of the train wreck. They were on the job doing their checking early after the wreck. It would not have caused the public to panic if they had announced that PCBs had been spilled into the environment and were draining down through the ground. Rather, the reason they withheld the information -- and I can only surmise this from discussions with ministry officials and in letters from the Minister of the Environment -- was that they assumed they had the kind of expertise to make the decision as to what should be released to the public and what should be withheld from the public. In this case, they decided deliberately to withhold information from the public that there were PCBs in the environment.


It was a needless refusal. I must say that if they had disclosed the nature of the spill there are people in the Sudbury area, from the public, some in the immediate area of the spill, others in the community at large, who understood very clearly the problems of PCBs.

I have a chemist friend who understood it before 1973 even and who would have done some work on it. I believe we could have convinced the Ministry of the Environment that at that point they should have commenced a massive soil removal programme, rather than a monitoring programme. That, of course, did not happen. In other words, the results could not have been worse if they had given the information to the public.

I believe that the principle of the right to know here was terribly important. That principle was violated, and so needlessly. If the information had been forthcoming, the pressure in the community would have, I believe forced the Minister of the Environment to act a lot faster than he did and to have the soil removed at the expense of the Canadian Pacific Railway. As it turns out now, they have had to issue an order under The Environmental Protection Act. They’ve got 25 days, I believe it is, to respond to the order, and the soil is still sitting there.

We know now, as a result of tests this spring, 1977, that PCBs are in the water table. There’s no such thing as removing PCBs from the water table. There is no communal water supply in the community and as yet no individual wells have PCBs in them, I wouldn’t be alarmist in that respect; but the fact remains that there are PCB’s in the water table, and once it gets in the water table it is not possible to contain it in any way.

It’s going to get into the local supply chain. A river goes by there, there’s a lake into which the river flows; it’s a matter of time until it gets into the larger water supply and into the food chain through fish. It concentrates in fish as it goes through the food chain, and that makes it terribly dangerous.

The problem is I don’t think the ministry has learned anything. Despite the announcement in the Throne Speech that they were going to have freedom of information, when I phoned up the officials after the public meeting on March 3 in which they admitted all this, the ministry officials in Sudbury said: “Oh yes, we can send you that information” -- I had asked for all the data on the spill -- “but first of all it has to go through the minister’s office in Toronto.” Why information to the public -- not just because I’m the member representing that area but any member of the public -- why shouldn’t the local office be able to provide that information? It was all ready; they had already said what it was at the public meeting.

So then I wrote to the Minister of the Environment, and in part of his reply to me he said: “In this particular incident, there was no contaminated material in the ground water system until 1977 and it was not felt necessary to make special reference to this spill until such time as the situation developed to the point where there could be some concern in terms of a health hazard.”

Mr. Martel: It certainly does.

Mr. Laughren: There are people in that community who could have told the Minister of the Environment back in 1973 that there should have been some concern for a health hazard, and here is the minister saying there was no health hazard until it reached the water table. That’s a ludicrous statement for the Minister of the Environment to make. I know you would agree with me, Mr. Speaker, that if we are serious about providing freedom of information to the public with no threat to the privacy of anyone --

Mr. Mancini: Don’t lead the Speaker on. The Speaker can make up his own mind. The Speaker has to be impartial.

Mr. Laughren: Oh, keep your irrelevancies to yourself. Put them in your pocket.

Mr. Speaker, there was no question of any breach of the privilege of privacy in this incident, and yet the Minister of the Environment persisted in keeping the information from the public. That is something that really must change, and the Ministry of the Environment truly does stand condemned in this case.

I promised that I would end with a quote, the way the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) did. It’s not as learned a quote, but it certainly is appropriate in this case. Because the officials of the Ministry of the Environment all expressed grave concern: yes, perhaps they should have released the information; but after all they were only acting in what they thought were the best interests of the public. I don’t think that they were acting in a partisan political way when they withheld the information; they were acting in a highly arbitrary way, an elitist kind of way, assuming that they had expertise the public couldn’t cope with, that they had expertise the public didn’t have and therefore they didn’t want to trust the public with that kind of information. That was the view of Ministry of the Environment officials.

There was a fellow named John Kersell, who was writing on delegated legislation in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. He said about freedom of information: “A government official, like a good many other people in this imperfect world, is to be watched most carefully when he is acting with the best intentions.”

I did want to use that as an example of freedom of information and how it is at present withheld from the public in Ontario. I wish the government would proceed as quickly as possible with this freedom of information legislation.

Mr. Martel: But not with Carleton Williams.

Mr. Laughren: Yes, that could be a problem.

Mr. Martel: That’s a disaster.

Mr. Laughren: One of the other things I wanted to talk about was some problems referred to peripherally in the Throne Speech, as northern problems are always referred to in Throne Speeches from this government. It has to do with the unorganized communities in northern Ontario.

Those of us from this side have spoken long and spoken often about problems in the unorganized communities. Those are communities with no form of municipal organization whatsoever. Historically there has been a lack of services for those communities. I see the member for Algoma-Manitoulin (Mr. Lane) in his seat and I’m sure he understands the problem.

There are classic examples in my own riding, of communities like Gogama with a polluted water supply and other communities with no recreational facilities, no health care and no fire protection whatsoever. But hope does spring eternal. In those communities the people have been led to believe on a number of occasions that help was on the way.

A couple of years ago we had the northern communities bill, referred to affectionately as Bill 102. Bill 102 became a household word in the unorganized communities across northern Ontario. But when the government held public meetings across the north, it realized the enormity of the problem and withdrew the bill. They simply refused to deal with the problems in the unorganized communities and withdrew the bill entirely; and so much for the hope that there was in that bill.

Mr. Martel: That was in 1974.

Mr. Laughren: Then last year the government announced an isolated communities assistance fund. I believe it was $500,000 a year -- $250,000 for part of last year and $500,000 for this year. I can tell members that a communal water supply in Gogama alone would cost $240,000 or $250,000; so that certainly wasn’t going to go very far Then the government announced that we were going to have a Ministry of Northern Affairs, and once again the people got their hopes up that perhaps something could happen in the unorganized communities in northern Ontario; but it would appear the problems are not yet solved.

Mr. Mancini: Give the government a chance.

Mr. Laughren: I’ll tell you something, Mr. Speaker, I didn’t think it was possible for the government to take away anything from the unorganized communities because I wasn’t aware that they were giving them anything. But they found a way.

In my darkest moments I could not have conceived a way to take something away from the people in a little town called Sultan -- and this is happening in other communities in northern Ontario as well. The people in Sultan for years have had their snow cleared and have had roads maintained by the Ministry of Natural Resources because it’s a relatively isolated community. But they’ve found a way to take that away from them now. They’ve decided that the Ministry of Transportation and Communications will look after all road maintenance in those communities and they’ve refused to plough the roads or maintain them unless that community forms a local roads board and there is local assessment against the homes in that community.

Now we suddenly have local assessment for road maintenance. It doesn’t seem to matter that they pay the same sales tax, OHIP premiums and gasoline tax as other people who get other services such as sewer and water, fire protection, health care and recreational facilities. That doesn’t seem to matter. They’ve found a way to take something away from the small, unorganized communities in northern Ontario.

I want to tell you, Mr. Speaker, that took ingenuity. It is really strange that this government, after so many years, still does not understand northern Ontario. They still have trouble coping with small communities in northern Ontario.

A good example is fire protection. The government announced -- it wasn’t the Minister of Northern Affairs (Mr. Bernier) who announced it, he didn’t have the courage to announce it; it was announced by the Provincial Secretary for Social Development (Mrs. Birch), speaking on behalf of the Minister of Northern Affairs and the Solicitor General (Mr. MacBeth).

Mr. Mancini: Margaret had courage.

Mr. Laughren: The provincial secretary spoke on behalf of the Minister of Northern Affairs and the Solicitor General. She announced there was going to be a programme to help the small communities by smoke detectors. Not fire protection to prevent the fires or to put them out when they occur, but smoke detectors so that when a fire occurs they can all run like hell. Mr. Speaker, that is some kind of programme for northern Ontario. I want to tell you why it is so serious.

Mr. Martel: Read it for Frank Drea, he doesn’t believe it.

Mr. Laughren: According to the Solicitor General --

Mr. Drea: I don’t believe this.

Mr. Laughren: When we break down the number of fire deaths by district in this province this is what you get -- I’ll give it on a per 100,000 population so that it is constant throughout the province. The Algoma district, 2.73 deaths per 100,000 people; in southern Ontario 2.38 fire deaths per 100,000 population. In Algoma it is 2.73, in Cochrane it is 8.1, in Kenora it is 25.07, in Manitoulin it is 29.38 -- for the member for Algoma-Manitoulin -- for Nipissing it is 21.86, for Parry Sound it is 32.7 --

Mr. Martel: That is you, Maeck.

Mr. Laughren: For Sudbury district it is 5.38, for Thunder Bay it is 8.78, for Timiskaming it is 17.33, and for northern Ontario as a whole the fire deaths per 100,000 population are 13.25 compared to 2.38 for southern Ontario.

Surely the answer to the number of fire deaths in the north compared to the south is not to arm the population of northern Ontario with smoke detectors. Surely, if we are going to deal with the problem in a serious way we get into the whole area of fire protection. We get into the area of training people in the small communities, of providing the people with proper fire fighting equipment.

I don’t have the technical expertise to talk about the smoke detectors and the environmental impact of those detectors when they are triggered, because I believe there is a form of radiation at that point as well. It is highly questionable that they should be used in the first place, but to think that the government would announce that as a programme for the northern communities that have no fire protection truly reveals a bankruptcy of understanding of the problems of northern Ontario.

Mr. Maeck: What about the grants to isolated communities then?

Mr. Martel: They couldn’t buy a sweat pad for a louse.

Mr. Laughren: I can only assume that the government has no more of a commitment today with the Ministry of Northern Affairs than they had before the ministry was created.

Mr. Mancini: Why don’t you give the government a chance? That’s right, give them another 33 years.

Mr. Laughren: If that is the kind of programme that the Ministry of Northern Affairs is going to come up with, then we are in for some hard times in northern Ontario. People in the north will not be taken in by those kinds of programmes -- smoke detectors as a camouflage for fire protection, for firefighting equipment. That truly is not fair to those communities in the north.

Because I know that we are operating under rather severe time restrictions, the last issue I wanted to talk about is one that has become somewhat of a passion with me. It has to do with the Workmen’s Compensation Board, with the Minister of Labour (B. Stephenson), with the chairman of the Workmen’s Compensation Board and their failure to recognize laryngeal cancer as a compensable disease. The government has not heard the last of this issue; the government is wrong on this issue; the government will be proved wrong and the government will have to change its mind.


But what bothers me more than anything else? What bothers me more than the delay is the fact that the government has dug itself in on this issue. Not for the right reasons, but because they refuse to be proven wrong again. People like Dr. McCracken at the board, Michael Starr at the board and the Minister of Labour are saying we are not going to be pushed around by the opposition and the unions on this particular issue. I have a couple of quotes that will add substance to my remarks.

Mr. Nixon: We pushed them right out of the Legislature; they’re the only two live ones left.

Mr. Martel: McCracken within a year will be gone.

An hon. member: She should resign.

Mr. Martel: McCracken, he’s got to go; along with Starr.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Will the member for Sudbury East stop heckling his colleague from the Sudbury basin?

Mr. Martel: I’m not, I’m just supporting him; I’m supplementing his points.

Mr. Laughren: I am inclined to agree with the Speaker.

Mr. Martel: It’s my friends I have to worry about.

Mr. Laughren: I find that whenever any of us speak on northern Ontario, the average turnout is two Tory members on the opposite side.

Mr. Nixon: And Frank is too embarrassed to leave.

Mr. Laughren: The issue is whether or not, in the province of Ontario, laryngeal cancer should be recognized as a compensable disease. I believe it should be. One of the foremost experts in the world on the relationship between asbestos and cancer believes that it should be. But the Minister of Labour and Dr. McCracken think it should not be, and for those reasons it is not recognized in the province of Ontario.

Mr. Aime Bertrand worked for almost 30 years as a maintenance mechanic at the Inco operation in the Sudbury area. In doing that job of cutting through asbestos lining in furnaces and so forth, he was exposed to literally clouds of dust over many, many years; and not just asbestos, but other agents such as nickel, copper, iron, zinc, leads, selenium, cadmium, cobalt, arsenic, asbestos and sulphur dioxide.

Now, we have medical evidence which indicates that it should be recognized. We are not espousing this cause just on gut instinct. We do have medical evidence, if only the minister would convince the Workmen’s Compensation Board that it must be recognized.

I would like to put some of this evidence on the record. No. 1, a letter from Dr. Victor Cecilioni of Hamilton who stated, when he reviewed the problem of Mr. Bertrand: “Since the major ingredient or component of asbestos is silicate, I believe you have sufficient grounds to repeal the WCB’s decision.”

He was referring to the decision not to recognize it. “In conclusion,” he said, “I would say that the Workmen’s Compensation Board and the appeals board should review and reconsider the decision in accepting the claim of Mr. Aime Bertrand, especially in the light of our present knowledge about the effects of prolonged exposure to not only one but many carcinogenic agents, both gaseous and particulate, that are present in the work place. Some of these have an additive or synergistic effect when combined with cigarette smoking.” That was Dr. Cecilioni again.

Then Dr. Selikoff sent to the Workmen’s Compensation Board, and released, his statistics on what happened to asbestos workers when they were exposed to the material over a large number of years -- between 1967 and 1975. He found that, along with many other cancers that were caused, cancer of the larynx had a prevalence which was statistically significant, to 95 per cent confidence levels as they say in the world of statistics. There were 4.45 expected deaths and the observed deaths were nine. So there were twice as many observed deaths because of laryngeal cancer as could be expected in the general population. Those are statistics from Dr. Selikoff of New York.

Well, all that information from Dr. Selikoff was the reason the board was stalling on making a decision, they told us. Then, when they get the information, they say it’s not good enough. That issue was raised during last December’s debates when the Workmen’s Compensation Board appeared before the standing resources development committee. That issue was raised by both the leader of this party and myself. Dr. McCracken testified at that hearing and made no mention that there was a study going on. As a matter of fact, when he was asked about this very recently, he said: “The board had launched a $20,000 epidemiology study in conjunction with the University of Toronto. The decision was made in November to proceed on a study in the Toronto area.” That’s a quote from the Globe and Mail.

If that was true in November, why did Dr. McCracken not mention it during the debates in the month of December? Dr. McCracken’s reason was: “The reason I haven’t gone around announcing it is because I didn’t want to jeopardize the study in any way.” I don’t know how announcing that a study is under way to determine the relationship between asbestos workers and laryngeal cancer can jeopardize the study. Perhaps Dr. McCracken could explain that to me.

After this became an issue in the province of Ontario, the Minister of Labour spoke to the Industrial Accident Prevention Association on April 4, about a week ago, here in Toronto. This is what she said:

“I have not and will not use occupational health and safety for political posturing. Some will and do. I suppose that is one of the sad realities of politics at the moment. But it shouldn’t be. The reality of occupational health and a safe work place should be nonpartisan. It should stand far apart from the adversary relationship between business and labour, employer and employee, the divisiveness of which some in Ontario like to foster.”

When I read that kind of statement by the Minister of Labour and try to put it together with some of the comments that she and the chairman of her Workmen’s Compensation Board make, it doesn’t really fit. In an interview at Thunder Bay a couple of weeks ago -- actually Mr. Starr was here in Toronto, and the CBC outlet in Thunder Bay phoned him -- he was defending the Workmen’s Compensation Board. I’d like to quote What Mr. Starr said.

“Let me say this: I’ve been on the job since the fall of 1973 and I’ve had very little complaint from the Northwest Territories or from the Thunder Bay area.”

I don’t know why he would get complaints from the Northwest Territories.

“As a matter of fact, last November I spent the whole week up in Kenora and the Fort Frances area and I didn’t have a single complaint about the function of our staff in Thunder Bay.”

The interviewer said: “Mr. Starr, 200 people have signed their names to a union called the Injured Workers’ Union in Thunder Bay. There’s a problem.”

Mr. Starr replied -- keep in mind what the Minister of Labour had just finished saying about it being non-partisan and not being political about it -- Mr. Starr replied: “Don’t forget the injured workers are of the NDP political party.”

Mr. Martel: They’re in those crowds.

Mr. Laughren: Maybe the Minister of Labour should tell the chairman of the Workmen’s Compensation Board what she’s saying, so that he’s saying something in concert. The way it is now, she is saying we must not be partisan about it and he’s saying that a group of injured workers who have been discriminated against by the board are doing so for partisan political reasons because they are affiliated with the New Democratic Party. That’s total nonsense, to start with. The Union of Injured Workers --

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: You shouldn’t blame them for their poor judgement either.

Mr. Laughren: Because they didn’t affiliate with the party?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: No, because they won’t.

Mr. Laughren: Oh, I see. The Union of Injured Workers have formed, not just in Thunder Bay but all across Ontario, because of their desperate situation in coping with the Ontario Workmen’s Compensation Board. This kind of knee-jerk reaction on the part of the chairman of the Workmen’s Compensation Board is indefensible, and it is really time that the minister had a talk with Mr. Starr.

My colleague from Port Arthur says the Minister of Labour said the same thing in Thunder Bay last week. I didn’t know that, but if that’s true, that truly is a sad commentary on where her head is.

Mr. Lupusella: She’s playing cheap politics.

Mr. Laughren: Yes, that’s exactly right. To go back to the interview in the Globe and Mail, Dr. McCracken, in talking about laryngeal cancer, then warned that “the more that is printed about this” -- referring to throat cancer victims who had work exposure to asbestos and are being denied compensation -- “the more it will jeopardize studies from being undertaken. The worst thing you can do is to keep splashing these cases in the newspapers.”

Once again, how dare the doctor from the Compensation Board say that these kinds of cases should not be brought to public attention? They are gross injustices and the media have an obligation even to bring them to the attention of the public and they should not feel at all defensive because of the utterances of the likes of Dr. McCracken.

Mr. Martel: You should fire the hot dog.

Mr. Laughren: Then Dr. McCracken said “that he is prepared to live with the criticism he may receive from politicians and unions, particularly New Democratic Party MPPs and United Steelworkers of America representatives, who have been pressing the WCB to recognise Mr. Bertrand’s claim for about three years.”

Mr. Martel: There’s a neutral civil servant if I ever saw one.

Mr. Laughren: Surely it’s time the Minister of Labour and the chairman of the Workmen’s Compensation Board realised we do speak for those people who are having problems with the Workmen’s Compensation Board. We do speak to a principle that goes beyond one individual such as Aime Bertrand. We speak for the problems of recognizing as compensable a disease for which there are epidemiological studies to indicate it should indeed be compensable. The minister simply refuses to do that. It’s simply irresponsible on her part and or the part of the Compensation Board to refuse to do that.

The last thing I wanted to say about this is that when the minister refuses to direct the board to change its policy, she uses as a reason a letter from a Dr. A. B. Miller writing to Dr. McCracken at the Workmen’s Compensation Board. This letter leaves me almost speechless, but not quite speechless enough that I can’t finish my remarks. I do want to read this letter because there’s a paragraph in this letter that simply astounds me.

“Dear Bill:

“Thank you for your letter of March 11. I have carefully considered the table from Dr. Selikoff and have compared this with the previous data that I also obtained from him.

“In practice, the number of deaths from cancer of the larynx observed have not changed with the additional year of observation. The data I had before went up to December 31, 1974. The new data goes up to December 31, 1975. What has, however, happened is an increase in the expected numbers of deaths which, in fact, makes the comparison between observed and expected for the total population, irrespective of duration from onset of exposure or smoking habits, slightly less significant than it was before.

“As Dr. Selikoff indicates, the difference between observed and expected for the total population is statistically significant. We estimate the P value as 0.03 using a one-sided test, but the two component parts of this, i.e., that depend on duration from onset of exposure are neither statistically significant. As you indicate, there is an apparent anomaly in the fact that the ratio of observed to expected is approximately in the same order for those cases with a duration from onset of exposure less than 20 years compared to those of a duration from onset of 20 years or more.

“But perhaps if larynx cancer is behaving the same way as lung cancer, the appropriate division is, in fact, 15 or maybe even 10 years, so that maybe we should not take too much notice of that. Furthermore, when you look at the smoking-habit information, the major difference between observed and expected is for those individuals whose smoking habits were unknown.

“The difference here is, in fact, statistically significant, though the difference for the larger sample of individuals with more personal years of observation who are known to have smoked cigarettes is, in fact, not significant at all.”

And now we come to the interesting paragraph.


“This particular discrepancy is, I feel one of the major difficulties in accepting Dr. Selikoff’s data at its face value as an indication of a causal association between cancer of the larynx and asbestos exposure. Even if Dr. Selikoff is right that most of those for whom smoking was unknown are cigarette smokers, that still does not explain the discrepancy, though I agree we are now talking about very small numbers. It does, however, suggest that maybe some other factor accounts for the discrepancy which has nothing to do with asbestos, exposure or cigarette smoking. This could be alcohol or it could be something else, including socio-economic status or race (the comparison group are white workers and maybe there are a number of black workers in the population under observation) and therefore I feel that we should regard this data as an indication that the question needs to be studied further but that the association has not been established as the cause of one. I therefore feel that we are no further on than we were before. The data we now have from Dr. Selikoff if anything, makes us less certain of the relationship than we were with the earlier data and we have no fresh data, apparently, on the horizon other than data which we are planning to collect ourselves.”

I’m sorry I read the whole letter, but I did not want to be accused of taking a paragraph out of context.

What bothers me a great deal about that is the comment that perhaps there is something to do with socio-economic status or race in the data provided by Dr. Selikoff. In the data on stomach cancer, cancer of the colon and the rectum or lung cancer, there is no mention of race or socio-economic status as far as I know. Besides, I don’t think there is any validity whatsoever to that kind of invidious comparison. I would suggest that the Minister of Labour --

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: What does Dr. Selikoff say about fluoridation?

Mr. Laughren: He is not in that debate, and I’m happy to say he’s not in the debate.

Mr. Cunningham: He says, “Don’t drink the water.”

Mr. Laughren: He says, “Don’t drink the water if there’s asbestos in it.”

An hon. member: Drink wine.

Mr. Laughren: And that goes for the people in Thunder Bay as well.

What bothers me most about this, aside from that comment about race and socio-economic status, is that there’s enough doubt in everyone’s mind that if there’s even the slightest benefit of doubt given to the worker with laryngeal cancer, then it must simply come down on the side of the worker and it must be recognized as a compensable disease in Ontario. That simply must come about.

What’s bothering me, as I said earlier, is that the Workmen’s Compensation Board and the Minister of Labour are digging in their heels and saying, “We’re not giving in on this one.” Well, there goes the whole concept of the benefit of the doubt for injured workers in the province of Ontario. I guess that’s partly because I spent time with Aime Bertrand myself and came away really touched by that man as well as, I think, some kind of understanding of the kind of battle he’s fighting and the conditions under which he’s fighting that battle. I want to tell you, Mr. Speaker, that if more people can spend time with him, there would be a public furore in this province.

It’s not right that the Aime Bertrands and the Gus Frobels of Elliot Lake have to fight the kind of battle they do when there is a Workmen’s Compensation Board that has a responsibility, not just to the employers but to the workers in this province as well. That’s why we in this party realize that the adversary system of providing compensation to injured workers simply must be abolished.

We understand there must be compensation for injured workers. We understand that the employers in this province must be the ones who fund compensation to injured workers. We believe it can be done along the lines of the New Zealand model, where you take away the adversary system so that the injured worker isn’t at the mercy of the likes of Michael Starr, Dr. McCracken and the Minister of Labour.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Just before the hon. member for Haldimand-Norfolk commences, Mr. Speaker, I’d like to recognize the presence in the Speaker’s gallery of the Hon. Francis Tulloch, Minister of Public Utilities and Transportation of Jamaica, and Mrs. Tulloch, and His Excellency Anthony Hill, the High Commissioner for Jamaica in Canada.

Mr. Nixon: I’ll bet they have a more interesting Legislature than this.

Mr. G. I. Miller: It’s certainly a privilege for me, as the representative for Haldimand-Norfolk, to participate in this Throne Speech debate, Mr. Speaker. It certainly has to be a better day than it was last Thursday, the last day we sat in the House, and had the opportunity of going down to the ball game and almost freezing to death without a beer. But there were a lot of brown bags around and I don’t know what they contained.

Mr. B. Newman: Lunches, lunches.

Mr. Ruston: Roy, you could have made lots of arrests that day.

An hon. member: Roy had one of the brown bags.

Mr. G. I. Miller: It’s certainly a privilege for me to speak on behalf of the riding of Haldimand-Norfolk. It is perhaps one of the greatest ridings in Ontario. It produces tobacco, apples, milk. We have an industrial park, we have the Nanticoke generating station, which isn’t producing too much power at the present time, and we have Texaco which is going to be in production in the near future. We also have two town sites which were purchased not so long ago by the former Treasurer of Ontario, John White. It is a very controversial issue.

But it gives me great pleasure to speak on behalf of my riding and the folks I represent. I would first of all like to delve into the problems as I see them, and some problems that we have to deal with in this sitting of the House. I think the first one is the unity of Canada. That has to be the most important issue. There are also jobs for our youth and our older folks; controlling inflation; and the fact that we have to be competitive in the world markets.

I think perhaps the last factor is the most difficult to get across to the public at large because no one wants to accept the fact that we shouldn’t have a little more, but I think it is clearly indicated by the markets and by our production. Our tobacco industry is running at 45 per cent; our industry is not running at full tilt; our agricultural produce is being imported at the rate of 74 per cent over our exports; and I think that indicates that we are in very troubled times.

But I would like to commend our leader for the stand that he has taken on the leadership of this great province of Ontario and the fact that he ended up the last session of Parliament with a speech on the Quebec issue. I think he realizes the importance of it. He realizes the fact of what it means to Canada and to Ontario. Only time will tell but I think the indications are at the present time that he hit it pretty well on the head, and I think also the polls have reflected that too. It’s not a popular decision to make or road to go.

I think the leader of the federal government of today has taken the easy way out. I think the leader of the official opposition has taken the easy way out. I give our leader a tremendous amount of credit for the courage that he showed. He went around this province speaking on behalf of the people of Ontario and, as a representative of the riding of Haldimand-Norfolk, and of Ontario, it means much to me that Canada remain united. I can understand too that --

Mr. Samis: Be a statesman.

Mr. G. I. Miller: -- we have to give and take. I don’t think it’s necessary that we give all the way. But I don’t think over the past number of years -- and I think that the government has to take this responsibility because they have been the government for -- is it 31 years?

Mr. Nixon: Thirty-four.

Mr. G. I. Miller: Thirty-four?

Mr. Mancini: Too long.

Mr. Nixon: Another few weeks.

Mr. G. I. Miller: I think it clearly indicates that they have to accept the responsibility for the deficiencies of our French counterparts in Ontario. As the largest province, representing perhaps the largest French population outside of Quebec, I think compared to the rights that the English have had in Quebec that the French in Ontario have been ill-treated. I think this has to be righted so that maybe they won’t have equal rights but at least they’ll have more rights than they have now and hopefully we will work towards equal rights for both Quebec and Ontario.

I think too that when we are discussing the French issue, if French is made available, I don’t think we want to forget that the elementary schools in the smaller centres will have the same opportunity as the larger urban areas. I think we all have to be treated fairly and over the years some of the smaller municipalities haven’t had access to as good facilities in the education field as the larger metropolitan areas.

I think also when you look at the legislation proposed in the Speech from the Throne that we have had considerable influence. There are many Liberal policies that have been just turned around slightly --

Mr. Foulds: That’s why it is so bad.

Mr. G. I. Miller: -- to bring them before the people. I would like to think that our Liberal caucus can take much credit for the effectiveness that this minority government has had over the past year. Again, I think we want to be responsible in the future, in the year ahead --

Mr. Foulds: Going to keep propping them up, eh?

Mr. G. I. Miller: Certainly will. It’s got to be part of the democratic system.

Mrs. Campbell: You should talk!

Mr. G. I. Miller: I think that our education policies, which we were about to announce last October, when there was a quick turnabout by the Minister of Education, is a very clear indication that they were listening to the Liberals. They were watching and they ultimately made the quick turnaround.

Mr. Riddell: They are bankrupt for policies over there. They rely on the Liberals to make their policies.

Mr. G. I. Miller: Consequently, I think the real people who have gained are the students, the boys and girls of our province. I say again we could take some credit.

It was very interesting yesterday. I had the opportunity of having dinner with a young boy who is graduating from a male nurse class, and he has no future here in Ontario. There just doesn’t look to be any jobs at all. He goes to college at the hospital at Woodstock.

The amazing thing is that there’s a hospital in Florida that would take the class as a whole; there is a hospital in Kansas City that would take the class as a whole; and there was another which would take the whole class we have spent our money educating and yet we do not have a job here in Ontario for them to go to.

I think, again, the government is responsible. When we were criticizing the education policies we weren’t criticizing the teachers, we weren’t criticizing the students in particular; we were criticizing the fact that we weren’t adjusting our education system to fit into the needs of today. I think this has to be a continual change because we don’t know exactly what tomorrow is going to bring. We have to be flexible.

I think another area of real concern is in the environmental field --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Perhaps we are close enough to 6 o’clock to recognize the hour before the hon. member launches into a new area.

The House recessed at 6 p.m.