30th Parliament, 4th Session

L011 - Thu 14 Apr 1977 / Jeu 14 avr 1977

The House met at 2 p.m.


Mr. Speaker: Statements by the ministry.


Hon. Mr. Welch: A few weeks ago, Mr. Speaker, following the decision of the public accounts committee to recommend to the House that the committee be relieved of its scrutiny of the exemption under the land speculation tax provided to Ronto Development and that a select committee be appointed to continue that work, there were some discussions among the usual channels of the parties in the House concerning the implications such an additional committee would have on the management of the assembly’s work load.

The rather elaborate but very clear timetables agreed to by the parties earlier this week and now posted indicate the concerns we have had about making the new rules and structures work for members on all sides. Earlier, in fact, the House passed a motion supporting the enhancement of the role of standing committees by the avoidance of appointment of additional select committees wherever possible.

Since the House reconvened, and despite peripheral questioning of the Minister of Revenue (Mrs. Scrivener), there has been no direct question or response dealing with the government’s official reaction to the dormant report of the former public accounts committee.

Mr. Nixon: The questions were direct. The answers were peripheral.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Obviously our difficulty with that report stems from its failure either to acknowledge the all-party agreement on committee structures or to provide a means of examining the issue in a fair and balanced way, something which a judicial inquiry would indeed do.

The Premier (Mr. Davis) and I had been prepared to say in the House, had the matter been raised directly, that such a judicial inquiry would not be inappropriate. Today I am announcing that such a judicial inquiry will be held, to commence as soon as a justice of the Supreme Court of Ontario can be freed from other duties; and so the name of the judge should be known in a few days and announced to the House.

In addition, the terms of reference for the inquiry will specify that the justice complete the inquiry within 30 days of commencement, and will also specify that there be an inquiry into the granting of an exemption to Ronto Development under the provisions of The Land Speculation Tax Act, 1974, and particularly whether or not any undue or in- appropriate influence was brought to bear from any source on the decision to grant that exemption.

Mr. Speaker, our position has been and remains that the government has nothing to fear or to hide in this matter, and that such an inquiry is the appropriate forum for a full, objective and non-partisan resolution of this particular matter.

Earlier today, the opposition House leader put to the new public accounts committee a motion calling for such an inquiry, and I understand the motion was supported by all committee members present.

Mr. Sargent: With qualification.

Hon. Mr. Welch: I gather that the concerns for management of House business have by now been appreciated by some members opposite who made and supported the proposal for a select committee earlier.


Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I will this afternoon be introducing legislation designed to ensure the construction of a French-language secondary school in Essex county.

The events leading to this legislation have unfolded over, of course, a long period of time. The high feelings and strong emotions that have been generating during the course of public discussion about this school are well known, and I think there is no need for me to dwell at length upon them here today.

It is worth remembering, however, that it was as long ago as 1969 that the French language advisory committee of the Essex County Board of Education first recommended that a school be provided, and that this recommendation has been put forward consistently since that time. Further, the Languages of Instruction Commission of Ontario recommended in 1974 that the school be built.

Regrettably, however, we have come to a point where it is abundantly clear that the Essex County Board of Education has no intention of proceeding with the project of its own volition, now or in the foreseeable future.

This is why the legislation which we are introducing today has become necessary. We proceed with a sense of disappointment that legislation is required at all. It had been our earnest hope, indeed our expectation, that the board of education would itself have taken the initiative to build a secondary school for the French-speaking young people in its constituency, especially in view of the strong recommendations which have been made urging such a course of action.

However, Mr. Speaker, with the introduction of this legislation we recognize our responsibility, and we are proceeding with a firm sense of resolve and determination. As the Premier said in this Legislature last week, this province’s commitment to our French-speaking citizens -- to their educational language and social rights -- is not to be diminished, regardless of events elsewhere in the nation.

This commitment is tied to our belief in an open, diverse and pluralistic society, strengthened by the vitality of our two founding peoples, and enriched by the presence of a multicultural milieu.

It perhaps could be viewed as ironic that this legislation affects an area of the province where there has been a French presence and tradition stretching back through most of our history.

This legislation that I am presenting today is simple and direct. It deems that the board of education has passed a resolution to construct a school to accommodate 750 French-speaking secondary school students and it directs the board to proceed, within 30 days, to select a site and to appoint an architect and other persons required for the purposes of constructing the school. The Act further directs that the board shall proceed forthwith to have the school built, following the normal procedures which affect all school construction projects in this province.

The Act further provides that if the board fails to proceed in the manner directed in the bill, the government itself can proceed to have the school built. However, it is our sincere wish and expectation that the school board will move ahead, expeditiously and in good faith, to follow the wish of this Legislature and demonstrate a positive sense of leadership, which can be the starting point for a return to harmonious relations throughout Essex county.

For the sake of all concerned, I am sure that all members of this Legislature will give rapid and unanimous approval to this legislation as evidence of our united commitment to the rights of our French-speaking citizens, not only in Essex county but throughout Ontario as well. Nothing short of this, in the view of this government, would be appropriate if we are earnest in our stated wish to improve educational opportunities for our francophone students, and further to strengthen harmonious relations between French and English-speaking citizens wherever they may live in the province of Ontario.


Mr. Lewis: Point of order, Mr. Speaker. Apart from expressing accord with the minister’s statement, may I draw to your attention, sir -- and to that of the minister and thank him for it -- the first very full compendium we have received, as required under the new orders of the House, as background information from the minister. It is much appreciated; I hope it becomes practice.

Mr. Riddell: You guys are really getting into bed over there.

Mr. Speaker: I believe that’s part of the new rules we are operating under; thank you very much.

Mr. S. Smith: They’ve had seven years to collect this information.


Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, I wish to bring the assembly up to date on the actions I have taken, as Minister of Health, to safeguard the psychiatric health care rights of Ontario residents.

First, I have now asked the Ontario Council of Health to make a complete review of all adult mental health services in the province, to determine the range of services now offered, their distribution, accessibility and overall quality, and the relationship to children’s mental health services; and, further, to make recommendations for the future development of adult mental health services.

This is a broad mandate, but I am hopeful that it will be possible to release a discussion paper containing the council’s findings and recommendations for general public discussions by March 31, 1978.

This, I must make clear, is in addition to the review I asked the council, last month, to undertake of The Mental Health Act, with specific reference to the rights of involuntary patients, the right of a patient to receive or to refuse treatment, the confidentiality of patient information, special requirements applying to minors, responsibilities of non-medical staff, management of patients’ or of former patients’ estates, possible immunity of a psychiatric facility and its staff from liability in respect to injury or damage caused by a patient.

This is a major undertaking, as the assembly will realize. It would be unrealistic to expect the government to be in a position to submit legislative proposals for a complete revision of The Mental Health Act in less than two years. Nevertheless, two years is a long time. Accordingly, I intend to introduce, for the assembly’s approval, proposals for interim changes on specific aspects of The Mental Health Act where and when these appear to be matters of urgency.

I think it will be clear from what I’ve said that I recognize room for improvement exists in our present mental health services. Nevertheless, I think it would be appropriate to remind members of the considerable progress made over the past 15 to 20 years.

Previously, mental health services were almost exclusively confined to a comparatively small number of psychiatric hospitals in Ontario. Over that period, however, we have been successful in having the services made more widely available in general hospitals across the province. By doing so we have moved these services much more fully into the main stream of health services generally. Having gone from psychiatric hospitals to general hospitals, we are now looking at community-based services involving workshops, living arrangements, counselling and rehabilitation services.

A considerable number of agencies and groups have parts to play in community-based mental health programmes. These include the Canadian Mental Health Association, social service agencies, public health departments at the municipal level and the police, as well as the psychiatric units of local general hospitals. I foresee, in fact, that an increasing proportion of our future effort in mental health care will be in the area of community-based services.


To speak specifically now of Metropolitan Toronto, an up-to-date assessment of the mental health services in Metro has been undertaken by a task force on psychiatric care in co-operation with the Canadian Mental Health Association. This report should be available early this summer.

An attempt will be made in this report to identify the total mental health care system in Metro Toronto, both in its formal and informal approaches, and also to identify whatever gaps appear to exist in these services and to make recommendations.

The task force preparing the report is made up of mental health professionals, representatives of social agencies, and representatives of citizens’ groups and individuals who have been meeting to discuss their concerns and perceptions of mental health services.

Mr. Foulds: When are you going to do something in Thunder Bay?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: The House will also be aware that criticism has been levelled at the physical facilities at Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital and Whitby Psychiatric Hospital. Having personally inspected the Whitby hospital shortly after becoming Minister of Health, I have to confirm that many of the older buildings at both hospitals are inadequate for modern types of treatment.

However, since the Queen Street Mental Health Centre is now in the final stages of complete rebuilding and renovation, 15 consulting firms have been invited by my ministry to submit proposals for a role study and master programme development applying to all three facilities -- Lakeshore, Whitby and Queen Street.

This study is to cover clinical services, teaching and research requirements, and all the necessary support services. Further, this study will outline the relationship that should be established among these three hospitals, as well as their inter-relationship with the psychiatric units of general hospitals in their respective catchment areas.

The submissions we have received have already been reduced to a short list now being considered by an internal steering committee, and I expect to announce the successful proposal later this month.

I would ask the assembly to regard this statement as a progress report. I believe, however, that the actions I have outlined will leave no doubt that I share the view that mental health care represents an aspect of the province’s total health care system needing careful attention at all times.

Mr. Foulds: When are you going to do northwestern Ontario?

Mr. Speaker: Oral questions.


Mr. Lewis: A question, Mr. Speaker, for the Minister of Health, if I may. Has he directed the administrator of the Etobicoke General Hospital that he would wish him to reinstate Mr. Honsberger, the nurse who commented on the waste and maladministration, in his mind, of the hospital, within the context that the minister does not wish people in the health sector to be punitively dealt with when they feel, in the public interest, they should bring such matters to public attention?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, I think I made it clear in response to questions put to me in recent days by various media and particular groups that certainly I want people involved in the health care system to feel free to state their concerns. I would hope that, in the first instance, the hospital boards and administrators would operate their institutions in such a way that they would be receptive to those concerns, and where agreement exists on the need for amendments to procedures or whatever, that action will be taken there.

As far as my own office is concerned, I’ve again tried to make it clear that my door is open -- however you want to take that figurative expression -- and we’ll always see to it that we follow up on any complaints or concerns. I have no authority, as the member knows, under The Hospitals Act, to order a reinstatement. Mr. Honsberger is an employee -- a former employee at this point -- of the Etobicoke General Hospital. Staff in the ministry were in touch this morning with the administrator, who indicated he felt he had other reasons than the one indicated in the letter, but I am satisfied that Mr. Honsberger has available to him a grievance procedure to follow due to their collective agreement.

Mr. Lewis: By way of supplementary, does the minister not realize that if the administrator of the hospital is able to get away with this punitive firing in a letter he himself sets out, based on statements in violation of some hospital directive, press code, or whatever else it may be described as, then nurses all over the province who may legitimately want to bring to public attention concerns they have about hospital administration, such as the ONA has now done, will feel strait-jacketed, will feel that there will be punitive actions taken against them?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, let me also again repeat something I have said a number of times since the ONA brief came out.

One of my concerns about that brief when it was initially published was that they were not specific. As you know -- I am sure you have read it, Mr. Speaker, as most members have by now -- they talked about a problem in northwestern Ontario, a problem in eastern Ontario, without being specific. And that was a criticism I had of it; I said I want to know where those problems are.

Mr. Deans: Now you know.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I don’t want names of people -- the informants, if you will -- but I want to know, because I think really that it begs the validity of the whole report unless we know, unless they are prepared to tell us. There is no reason why, through the ONA, I need to have the names of nurses or nurses’ aides or RNAs or whomever so long as they are prepared to work with us in a co-operative spirit. Now I repeat, Mr. Honsberger was not an employee and is not an employee of my ministry. I have no authority to order a reinstatement.

Mr. Lewis: You closed hospitals, I remind you, without authority. You can reinstate a man.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Well, I didn’t realize the member had also become a Supreme Court justice.

Mr. Mackenzie: That doesn’t help very much.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: But I am satisfied that the gentleman in question does have sufficient grievance procedures available to him.

Mr. Philip: I wonder if the minister would not agree that the grievance procedure could likely take as much as six months; that two other nurses are presently, at this very moment possibly, before their hospital boards or before their hospital administration on a similar kind of problem; and is it not time that the minister took some specific action to ensure professionals in the health field, when they are speaking out as professionals -- as members of professional organizations -- that punitive action will not be taken against them?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: This is why I made the point that certainly through the associations on this specific concern the avenues are open. But they are employees of individual hospital corporations whose boards set the terms and conditions of employment, those which are not otherwise covered by collective agreements. I have no authority to intervene and to dictate terms and conditions of employment. If there is a term or condition of employment --

Mr. Cassidy: You are the Pontius Pilate of the health field.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Pardon me, if you would just listen for once.


Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I have no authority to intervene in those terms and conditions of employment, but I am, as I say, satisfied that this procedure is there for grievance.

Now I do not know that it would take six months; I would be very concerned that it should not take six months. I would hope that it could be dealt with as soon as possible, and I will follow up on that.

Mr. Cunningham: Supplementary: Notwithstanding the fact that the minister may not have the legal authority to dictate to the boards of health or to hospitals that such pervasive activities not be considered, would he not consider it his moral obligation to write to the boards of health and to the hospitals and indicate, as the Minister of Health for the province of Ontario, that this kind of situation disturbs him greatly?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, let me inform the member that the boards of health do not run the hospitals. They are boards of those particular corporations.

Mr. S. Smith: He didn’t say that.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I have already indicated that we have in fact this morning been in touch with that particular corporation to follow up on the press reports. So that, yes, our interest and our concern about it has already been conveyed.


Mr. Lewis: A question of the Treasurer, if I may, Mr. Speaker. Given the general state of unemployment, and given the Treasurer’s previous intermittent interventions with the Ontario Municipal Board on other matters, would he be prepared to convene a meeting among the Ontario Municipal Board members and all of the mayors of the various municipalities in Metropolitan Toronto, to bring to bear the pressure of the provincial government, or the good offices of the provincial government, to free for immediate construction two projects: one, the series of housing projects which have been discussed before in this Legislature, part of Metroplan, and the other, the construction of the light rapid transit line through Scarborough; which two projects together would amount to something like 6,500 man-years of work immediately available?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: No, I would not. The Ontario Municipal Board reports to this Legislature through the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) and the question might properly be put to the Attorney General.

Mr. Lewis: He has answered it.

Mr. Nixon: That’s what you said last week when we asked the question.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: The Attorney General has already indicated that he has been in touch with the chairman of the Ontario Municipal Board on the former matter. It seems to me that the council of Metropolitan Toronto in its constituent parts will, in their own good time, make up their mind whether they want or don’t want some form of rapid transit, and at that point the Ontario Municipal Board will become involved. I don’t think they have any involvement in it at this moment.

Mr. Lewis: By way of supplementary, does the minister not feel, given the present economic circumstances, that either he -- or perhaps I should have directed it right to the Premier -- should perhaps intervene, when the project will eventually proceed anyway? The jobs could be available now; these roadblocks make very little sense in the context of the unemployment figures.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I am not aware of any roadblock in the construction of the rapid rail, other than that Metropolitan Toronto have not yet decided to do it. I don’t see it as part of my job, frankly, to tell Metropolitan Toronto what they should or should not do. The Leader of the Opposition may see it that way over there, we don’t on this side.

Mr. Sargent: How about the Spadina Expressway?

Mr. Hodgson: Respect your leader, Eddie.

Hon. Mr. Davis: What was that?

Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Hamilton West has the floor.

Mr. Sargent: Have you told them about the Spadina Expressway, Bill?


Mr. S. Smith: Now that the Treasurer, Mr. Speaker, has decided he will no longer tell Metro Toronto what to do, perhaps he could say something about the plan for the south of Barrie.

Is the Treasurer aware of the existence of a report, submitted by the major developer to the south of Barrie, in which there is illustrated a land-use plan very similar, almost identical, to the land-use plan submitted by the city of Barrie in their annexation report? And is the Treasurer aware that the report of the developer had as its engineering consultant the same firm that in fact produced the Barrie annexation report?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: The answer to both questions is no, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Bullbrook: And yet you intervened.

Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary, now that the Treasurer has heard this, would he care to comment on the Barrie annexation study, on page 90, where they suggest that because the developers employed consultants to advise on the suitability of lands to be developed, that the Barrie annexation study recommends that that major land assembly in itself is excellent evidence as to why the annexation should take place, on precisely those lands? Does he have any comment at all on that particular aspect of the annexation report?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: No, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Nixon: Are you going to continue to let the developers do the planning, just like they did in Norfolk --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Nixon: Let the developers do the planning.

Mr. S. Smith: I have another supplementary.

Mr. Good: You are really involved there, Darcy. Why are you promoting the annexation then?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Nixon: There will be another royal commission there.

Mr. S. Smith: Since the Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. W. Newman) has still not seen fit to let us have the letter that went from his food lands division to the Treasurer’s department, even though he has that letter, would the Treasurer kindly table the letter in question, regarding the use of agricultural land south of Barrie?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Yes, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. S. Smith: Thank you.

Mr. Lewis: By way of supplementary to the provincial Treasurer, since his letter to the OMB was based upon and included a projected population figure of 125,000 by the year 2011, and since that time the new study, Ontario’s Changing Population, is projecting a figure of 50,600 by the year 2001 -- a discrepancy, now, of 75,000 in his own reports -- why is he prepared to allow this kind of annexation to proceed, on false premises, chewing up at least 9,000 acres of prime agricultural land in the process?


Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, I don’t necessarily, nor have we accepted this policy. I presume the member is referring to -- I think it is the Barnard report.

Mr. Lewis: That’s right.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: We haven’t studied that, nor has it been accepted, on this side of the House at any rate, as some sort of manna from heaven.

Mr. Lewis: Well, the government commissioned it.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: But if in fact it is, we still would say --

Mr. Foulds: Manna from McKeough.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: -- that whatever growth there is to be in this province -- and we happen to think that there will be some growth in this province and we are going to do our best --

Mr. Lewis: You sure do, all in one place; not in the north, not in the east, but always here.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: No, not always in Metropolitan Toronto; some of it will be in Barrie, whether the member likes it or not.

Mr. Lewis: Well by way of supplementary, to be specific --

Mr. Speaker: No, that was a final supplementary.



Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, a question for the Minister of Housing: Has it always been the policy of the OHC to evict people once their children grow up and they no longer, therefore, qualified as having dependants? Has this been a policy over the years or is it something new?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Speaker, that never has been the policy, and it is not the policy at this time to evict tenants once their children have grown up.

Mr. Lewis: It’s to evict them before they grow up.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Some people never grow up.

Mr. Reid: Why are they all in one spot?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: The policy is, that if a family is --


Hon. Mr. Rhodes: We’d probably evict the member for Grey-Bruce just on general principle.

Mr. Speaker: Will the hon. minister just ignore the interjections?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: My apologies, Mr. Speaker. The policy is that if a family is occupying a unit in a family housing project, if it is a single parent, and if the children of that single parent have grown up and left home, then we would look at the eligibility of that particular tenant in that facility. If they are under the age of 60 and in good health and are employable, then they may well be asked to find accommodation elsewhere so that that particular facility would be available for someone with children who would qualify to occupy the premises.

It is not the policy to evict when the children have reached a certain age or are no longer in school, as was suggested quite erroneously in the article in the Toronto Star today.

Mr. Bain: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Can the minister tell us then why the Timiskaming Ontario Housing authority evicts people who, when some of their children have left home, they say no longer qualify for the present unit they’re in, and they are told to leave without any attempt to find another unit, even though the people still have other children at home?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Speaker, I can’t comment with any degree of authority on what may be happening in that particular area, but I can say in general that what we try to do is make sure that we are not over-housing the tenants in the facilities. If a family is in a project where it requires three bedrooms, and as a result of a change in the makeup of the family perhaps it requires only two bedrooms, then we would attempt to relocate the people, if possible within an Ontario Housing project, into a smaller facility that would meet their needs, and house someone in the larger facility who could use that accommodation. To say that they’re simply evicted, I find a bit strange. I’ve never had that proposal suggested to me before. We try to relocate them in a smaller unit.

Mr. Bain: It happens.

Mr. S. Smith: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Could the minister, therefore, clear up the matter that was raised in the Toronto Star with regard to Mrs. Pitney and her family, and the statement made by one Laura Plescia, according to this report an information officer with OHC, who said that the Pitneys were being evicted and the lease wasn’t being renewed, and who pointed out that there are a great number of families with young children who need accommodation more than a single person who has no young children, or children attending school. That seems to contradict the point the minister just made.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Speaker, again I cannot be responsible for what has appeared in the article. I have not spoken to that particular officer to know whether or not those were the words that she, in fact, used. However, I just simply reiterate that it is not the intention nor the policy of Ontario Housing to simply evict people.

I can take the time, if it is desirable, to comment upon the situation that was reported in the paper. I won’t go into too great detail, but in general the understanding was that we were talking about a hypothetical situation that did, in fact, involve this particular tenant. In this particular case, the understanding that we had -- when I say we, I mean OHC -- was that the two sons were going to leave the project and that, in fact, the lady would be a single tenant in this particular unit, and she was advised, as I understand it, that she may not be eligible to be a tenant as a result of her particular circumstances, her age, her health and the possibility of her being able to work.

At the same time, it’s my understanding that the tenant advised OHC officials that she was going to be leaving anyway, that she was getting married. The circumstances apparently changed, why, I don’t know. But she is now not going to get married and, as a result, she will be remaining in that unit. She has not received an eviction notice. I understand as well that my officials will be contacting the individual who wrote the story in the Star to attempt to clear up this, I think, unfortunate misunderstanding.


Mr. Deans: I have a question for the Premier. With regard to the Ronto inquiry, is it the Premier’s intention to place before the Legislature the terms of reference to be followed in the inquiry in order that they can receive perusal by and approval of the Legislature before the inquiry commences?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I think it is the normal custom that a matter of this kind is determined by government. While I welcome the initiative of the standing committee and the very substantial change in approach, which I personally support, of moving from a select committee to what I think is a far more appropriate form, I would say with respect to the House leader of the New Democratic Party that I certainly have no objections at all to our House leader discussing with him and with the House leader for the third party the proposed terms of reference. But I suggest with respect that we are talking here about something that is fundamental to the discharge of the responsibilities of government in this province --


Hon. Mr. Davis: -- and that the Lieutenant Governor in Council will pass an order in council which will establish the terms of reference. After this is done, if some members opposite have reservations and if they wish to express either disappointment or, I would expect, very frankly, rather total support to the wording of the terms of reference, they will have opportunities to do this. But I do point out to the House leader, and I’m not attempting to be controversial, that this surely --

An hon. member: Or provocative.

Hon. Mr. Davis: No, no.

Mr. Makarchuk: Stop weaselling.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I would say to the hon. member for Brantford, if he is asking me, that the cabinet of this province will advise the Lieutenant Governor to sign an order in council which is part of our responsibility. It’s as simple as that. So there’s your answer. That’s the way it should be done.

Mr. Lewis: Why do you say that?

Mr. Breithaupt: Without being provocative, as a supplementary, would it be possible to have those terms of reference made available before the order in council is passed so that if there are some reasonable changes that may come forward, they could be accommodated rather than have an order passed which might then not be fully satisfactory to all members?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I’d be quite prepared to have our House leader discuss that in that we have had some suggested thoughts for a period of time.

Mr. Peterson: Give a few more supportive thoughts to the answer.

Hon. Mr. Davis: If the hon. member is available -- and I must discuss it with our House leader -- tomorrow morning at, say, 9 o’clock, and if the House leader for the New Democratic Party is available, perhaps the three of them could have a look at this. I would like to get the order in council passed forthwith because we are more anxious perhaps than some members opposite, who want to go the select committee route and have this prolonged for weeks and weeks on end, to see this matter finally disposed of.


Mr. Nixon: On a point of order, just before the comments of the Premier go by, Mr. Speaker, I’m sure you should be informed that the resolution to which he referred had a specific clause indicating that the select committee should be established without delay and that it should have only six weeks to accommodate its purpose. I thought that that should be set clear before the point passed.

Hon. Mr. Davis: On a point of order, just so that there is no misunderstanding of what I said, I said week after week, which could include six weeks. I would think a judicial inquiry --


Mr. Ruston: You’re playing with words now.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- would take substantially less time. I would point out to the hon. member who, I understand, was responsible for the initial recommendations --

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

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- in the select committee report that that recommendation was contrary to the general expressed intent of the new procedures we’re to adopt in this House, that is, to avoid select committees if at all possible.

Mr. Good: You’re sure avoiding them.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I suggest that the route that has now been suggested, which we totally support, makes a great deal of sense and -- it may come as a surprise to the Leader of the Opposition -- we’re ready.

Mr. Lewis: Ready for what?


Mr. Nixon: On a point of order.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. This is getting into a debate. Is there a further point of order?

The hon. member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk.

Mr. Nixon: On a further point that the hon. Premier brought before us in his reference a moment ago, I’m sure he is aware that the agreement with reference to committees was that select committees should not be used except in matters of some importance. We happen to think this is a matter of importance whether he does or not.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Who is the leader over there?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, if the hon. former leader of the Liberal Party is opposed to having this form of inquiry, why doesn’t he say so?

An hon. member: There’s a better way.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: He is the present leader, not the former leader.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please, this is becoming a debate. It’s out of order.

Mr. Nixon: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, in response to the statement made by the Premier -- I was going to say your leader, excuse me -- by the Premier, who indicated that if I was opposed to this I should say so. Of course I think a royal commission is a good idea. I believe a select committee would be preferable, since this House referred it to the standing committee on public accounts. Surely that is the way that it should be dealt with.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. This is strictly a difference of opinion.

Mr. Makarchuk: I have a supplementary question of the Premier. I may not have heard the statement correctly but the way that the statement was read in the House, as I understood it, no reference was made in the statement to where the justice will have the power to investigate the payment of $400,000 for undetermined services to one Mr. Ernest Goodman, as well as payments to consultants by the name of Hiram Walker, as well as payments to a fellow by the name of Reimer.

Mr. Speaker: Your question is?

Mr. Makarchuk: Are these matters going to be included in the terms of reference which will be investigated?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I think this can get into a prolonged debate.

Mr. Makarchuk: Yes or no?

Mr. Nixon: You are aching for a debate on this. Let’s have a debate on it.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Will the hon. Premier answer this question?

Hon. Mr. Davis: It’s quite obvious you people have decided not to.

Mr. Nixon: Why have you ignored that resolution for two weeks?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I’ve been asked a question by the hon. member as to why we have ignored the resolution. As a matter of fact, that public accounts committee report really hasn’t been before the House.

Mr. Nixon: It is printed in Order Paper No. 1.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Oh, come on. You’ve changed your minds again. In answer to his question, Mr. Speaker --

Mr. Nixon: It is in Votes and Proceedings of the Legislature.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Flip-flop Nixon. You’re a bigger flip-flop than your leader.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- I would anticipate the terms of reference will be such that the public interests will be well served. I will not get into a word-by-word analysis of what may be in that order in council, but I can assure the members of this House, and my experience has been, that these terms of reference give the commissioner adequate power to do what needs to be done.

Mr. MacDonald: Not always.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Bullbrook: Recognizing, rightly or wrongly, that we’re burdened with the Premier’s government and that he has the right to govern --

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: We are burdened with you.

Mr. Bullbrook: -- in view of the fact that the traditional response isn’t totally acceptable, and if I may say, in view of the fact that the terms of reference are totally deficient as far as one member is concerned --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Is there a supplementary question?

Mr. Bullbrook: -- is there any possibility of the Premier’s broadening the traditional function of not taking it just to the Lieutenant Governor in Council, but giving this whole House, in this minority situation, an opportunity to discuss openly the terms of reference, which are so important to us all?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I would only say to the hon. member for Sarnia, my experience here has been that he has never been reluctant to express his point of view on any significant issue; --

Mr. Bullbrook: Give us the opportunity.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- on sometimes insignificant issues he has not been reluctant to express his point of view. I’m just saying, and I’m not attempting to be difficult, that this is a responsibility the government must discharge. I have gone this far in suggesting that our House leader would be quite prepared to discuss with the House leader of the New Democratic Party, the eminent counsel --

Mr. Bullbrook: That’s not good enough.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- learned in the law, House leader of the third party in this House, the proposed terms of reference.

Mr. Breithaupt: What a nasty thing to say.

Mr. Nixon: The first two engineered the thing in the committee. They should be able to deal with the terms of reference.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I have total confidence in his ability to express the point of view of the member for Sarnia, and I think, in terms of the traditional responsibilities of government, I have gone a fair piece.


Mr. Reid: Maybe I can heat this debate up, Mr. Speaker, by asking the Minister of Natural Resources if he can give us a full report on what his ministry is doing in regard to the danger of extreme forest fires in northern Ontario this spring. Can he tell us specifically what steps he has taken, how many extra people will be involved in fire crews and what liaison he has had with the municipalities and their fire-fighting equipment in this regard?


Mr. Conway: He’s got Leo flying the skies.

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, I intend to make a statement tomorrow morning on that.

Mr. Reid: By way of supplementary, if I may, can I ask the minister if he is considering using high school students of perhaps grades 11, 12 and 13, particularly those who have indicated by their year’s performance that they will be passing their year, as emergency firefighters in this situation?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned, I will make a statement tomorrow. One thing I can assure the member is that we have $7 million more allocated to advance fire protection this year so that there will be more people trained, more equipment ready and more people in place than in previous years. The number of people used to fight fires depends upon the actual occurrence, as I am sure the member knows. At that time, I believe we have been quite willing to use people as we could get them to supplement the already trained staff. That certainly wouldn’t exclude the young people the member mentioned.

Mr. Foulds: Do I take it that the statement tomorrow morning will include answers to the questions I raised about this matter last Thursday with the member’s colleague, the Provincial Secretary for Resources Development (Mr. Brunelle), and in the statement could the minister indicate what contingency plans he has for possible travel bans in the area?

Hon. F. S. Miller: There is no reference to that in the statement at the present moment. I think I adequately answered the question the member raised last week, which prompted me, in fact, to prepare a statement.


Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, last week the member for Oakwood asked me if I was aware that since May 1976, staff of my ministry knew of complaints concerning charging practices to residents in Lincoln Place Nursing Home, yet had done nothing about it. Specifically, the member asked if I was aware the senior citizens in Lincoln Place Nursing Home were being charged for services they did not receive. Further, the member asked if I would investigate the situation and ensure the residents of the home were reimbursed.

I have investigated the situation and must thank the member for drawing it to my attention. It appears that through a misunderstanding the matter was not adequately addressed when first discovered by ministry staff in May, 1976. I can assure the member I will do everything possible to see this does not happen again.

A nursing inspector’s report has confirmed a $10-a-month charge for marking, mending and ironing of residents’ clothes was being applied to all residents, not just those who used the service. The report also indicated a monthly telephone charge of $2.15 was also being applied to all residents, except for those who had their own phones and those who were bedridden.

I can advise the member that on March 31 a letter was sent to the home to say that effective immediately these general billings to residents must cease, and that all charges to residents must be accompanied by itemized statements. The letter also stated that care must be taken to bill only those residents using these services. Furthermore, the fiscal resources branch of my ministry is today sending people to the home to determine as best we can the extent of any overcharges that may have been made to residents.

I can assure the member that if there have been overcharges to residents, I will insist the residents be reimbursed by the home.

Mr. Grande: Would the minister investigate other private nursing homes to see whether that kind of thing that happened at Lincoln Place is happening also at those homes?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, all homes are regularly inspected by three types of inspectors: those looking at nursing services, those looking at the physical care -- we call them environmental inspectors, if you will -- and fiscal. I can check and see if this is in fact the kind of thing that is covered in the inspection. It should be, because it is certainly covered in the regulations, as to what authority nursing homes have for additional charges.


Mr. Mackenzie: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. I am not sure if he is still in the chamber.

Mr. Conway: Send Segal out, it might be interesting.

Mr. Breithaupt: There’s the possibility of an answer.

Mr. Mackenzie: To the Premier: The mayor of the city of Hamilton has indicated that the province of Ontario, as approved by the cabinet, has committed better than $17 million to the Pan-Am Games in Hamilton, based on a cost of some $50 million to $55 million. I want to know if this is a firm commitment; I want to know if the province will increase its commitment in the event that the costs for the 1983 project escalate; and I want to know to what extent the province would increase its commitment to the city of Hamilton.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I’m going by memory; I think the mayor of the city indicated, and the reports indicate, that the top capital cost would be in the neighbourhood of $50 million. It was requested that we share on a little different basis than that to which we have, by and large, agreed. The agreement is one-third from the province, one-third from the government of Canada and one-third from the municipality. I’m not sure in what form that one-third will be, that’s not within our area of decision.

The mayor of Hamilton was very constructive on the suggestions we made, in terms of having some involvement on the part of this government, and perhaps the government of Canada, to assist in the planning and the development of the necessary physical plant. None of us want to see an escalation take place, but we’re talking about a five-year period so one has to build in -- and they have the $50 million figure -- the potential for escalation. But I think we’re all concerned that it be kept to approximately that amount of money and I am told that there is every likelihood it can be. I think with proper supervision this is possible. The mayor has indicated he would have on the committee representatives, perhaps from this government or people we might appoint; I’m not sure whether this understanding exists with the government of Canada or not.

I would like to think, Mr. Speaker, that our limit is in that neighbourhood. I can’t pin it down to, say $17 million or $17.5 million, I think it is still too early to determine that, but roughly within that amount of money, that that would be our limit; and I would be optimistic that it can be accomplished for that amount, including, then, the federal and the municipal share.

Mr. Mackenzie: Supplementary: I want to be sure, because this is a matter of some debate in the city of Hamilton right now. My understanding of what you’ve said is that if we’re not able to meet that control requirement -- and this is what’s concerning the citizens of Hamilton -- that this government’s commitment is only to $17 million or $17.5 million.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I haven’t had much experience in these matters, but if one establishes a pretty firm amount -- and I’m sure the city will do the same thing; I would be surprised if the government of Canada doesn’t do the same -- if one has that outside figure, knowing a little bit about physical plant for sporting events, not necessarily as much about what is served at those events from time to time --

Mr. Conway: Ask the Attorney General.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I think it can be kept within that measure of control. For instance, on the Commonwealth Games in Edmonton, my best recollection, again, is that they are pretty well on target with respect to budget. I see no reason why this can’t be accomplished for the Pan-Am Games in Hamilton. So for me to say yes, if it’s up 10 per cent we will raise ours by 10 per cent, human nature being what it is that then encourages it; so I’m saying no. We’re going to stand firm with our commitment, and if the other two participants do the same my guess is we can build a very adequate plant within that dollar amount.


Mr. Mancini: I have a question of the Minister of the Environment: Is the minister aware of the spill that occurred in Lake Erie and was detected last Friday, stretching approximately six miles from Point Pelee to Leamington? Can the minister tell us what was the cause of that spill?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Yes, Mr. Speaker, I am aware of the spill. There is some difficulty in pinpointing exactly what the cause is. There are a number of assumptions. The main one seems to be that it is from some type of commercial vessel and that it may have been laying there for some months; since the ice has moved away from the area it is now obvious and is seen by the people in that area. There was some possibility that the Leamington sewage treatment plant may have been responsible. My officials assure me that is not the cause of the trouble.

Mr. Mancini: Supplementary: I would like to know from the minister if his ministry is involved in the clean-up operation; and is the ministry going to monitor for any environmental effects which might take place from this spill?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Yes, Mr. Speaker, we are involved with the federal Ministry of Transport. I believe there is also some US involvement here, as well, in the cleanup and retention of that spill; and of course we will be monitoring it.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. Treasurer has the answer to a question asked previously.


Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, on April 5 I indicated with respect to a point of order raised by the Leader of the Opposition that I would be tabling a compendium of background information regarding the move of OHIP to Kingston, and the head office of the Ministry of Revenue to Oshawa. I have today filed that with the clerk, together with a three-page covering memo.


Mr. Moffatt: I have a question of the Minister of Labour: I would like to ask the minister, given the fact that the employees at Ontario Malleable Iron in Oshawa were locked out for well over a year and the company then ceased operation. Those employees have now been denied unemployment insurance benefits. Is there anything that the Labour ministry can do to aid those employees?

Hon. B. Stephenson: The Ministry of Labour has been involved with investigating the possible solutions to some of the problems which have been raised by this close-down of the plant. At this point of time I unfortunately don’t have any very positive answers which I can provide for the member, because that investigation is going on at the present moment.

Mr. Moffatt: Would it be possible that the minister could use her good offices to request special assistance from the Unemployment Insurance Commission to those employees who have, through no fault of their own, been disqualified from receiving benefits because they have not worked, by nature of the lockout, for the qualifying period?

Hon. B. Stephenson: I think that request has already been made, as a matter of fact.

Mr. Sargent: Mr. Speaker, before my question, I know you would like to recognize that today is the birthday of the hon. member for Wentworth North (Mr. Cunningham).

Mr. Conway: It is also the anniversary of the Titanic.

Mr. Speaker: Now the question.


Mr. Sargent: A question of the Premier: I would like to ask the Premier -- anticipating the answer -- if an emergency situation would arise, does he have enough confidence in our credit rating to immediately go to the bond markets to raise some $300 million to $500 million?

Hon. Mr. Davis: It is not April 1, is it? Is he recognizing somebody else’s birthday, or what? Do I have confidence in the credit of this province? Yes, I have great confidence in the credit of this province.

Mr. Sargent: In view of the fact that I, along with about eight million other people in Ontario, feel that this government belongs to the people, not to the Conservative Party, and in view of the fact that hundreds of thousands of our people are desperately looking for jobs, I am asking the Premier to provide leadership, to tell us why he can’t go to the bond market and get an issue of some $300 to $500 million and do a crash programme to provide jobs in this province.

Hon. Mr. Davis: This government is quite concerned about the employment situation in this province. One reason we have developed the credit rating we have -- which the hon. member has come to recognize as being significant very recently -- I can recall some of his observations about who cares whether we have a triple-A rating or not. Not too many months ago he made light of it --

Mr. Sargent: You haven’t changed a bit.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- well, the hon. member has, thank heavens. He has now changed his mind; that it is important. And one reason it is as important as it is is because we have handled the affairs of this province, due to some very excellent Treasurers, in a way that has given us this rating.

Mr. Ruston: A deficit for five years.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Davis: We are anxious to deal with this problem, but I say with respect, going and borrowing $500 million at this moment doesn’t really appear to be a logical answer to the present situation. And we might not have the credit rating.

Mr. Sweeney: You did it in 1975.

Hon. Mr. Davis: We didn’t borrow in 1975.

Mr. Sweeney: Giveaway programmes.

Hon. Mr. Davis: No, we didn’t.

Mr. Sargent: In view of the fact that we have hundreds of vacant plants in this province and there’s a desperate need for housing, why can’t the government do a crash programme on housing in this province to put people to work?


Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I’m delighted to have that question. We had a great programme to stimulate housing. We had a great programme to stimulate the automotive industry. Those people opposite pooh-poohed it. Then voted against it. They went around this province -- and today is once again like --

Mr. Breithaupt: No new cars were built.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- you know, the great conversion that’s taking place. Today they would support that kind of thing. I think it’s tremendous.

Mr. S. Smith: It stimulated some voters for you.

Mr. Nixon: You voted $600 million that election. Money for everybody.


Mr. Dukszta: A question to the Minister of Health: In the context of the latest revelation of waste in hospitals, is the minister aware that one of the large unnecessary costs comes from the common practice in some hospitals in Ontario of routinely x-raying the opposite and unaffected limb where there has been trauma or injury to one limb in a child under the age of 16, whether or not there is a positive indication for the need for such an x-ray? If the minister is aware, what were the costs in 1976, or the current cost if it is known, of this practice to the taxpayer?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, I’m not aware that that procedure is, in fact, carried out in every instance. I don’t know if the member is in fact suggesting that it is carried out in every instance. I’ll take it as notice and look into it, but it seems to me from what he said, it sounds like a judgemental thing again in a treatment situation.

Mr. Dukszta: Supplementary: How frequently does the minister review the standards of practice in technologically intensive medicine, in view of the minister’s answer to my question during the last session regarding the cost of medical services, which indicates a growing trend toward channelling taxpayers’ funds for technologically intensive medicine? How long has the minister been aware of this and similar practices, and is the minister prepared to reduce the abuse of the cost of technologically intensive medicine?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, the member is well aware that there are a number of initiatives under way in the Ministry of Health -- be it through local district health councils, be it through study or work under way, for instance, with my fiscal resources branch, with input from the Ontario Hospital Association, whatever it is -- and we are constantly trying to find ways to pare unnecessary costs in the health care system.

I’m well aware, though, as a layman, not as a health professional, that in many instances what we’re talking about is a judgement by the health professional as to what is necessary in the interests of his patient. Certainly nothing -- nothing -- that we are doing is intended to put a crimp on the judgement of the professional, but rather to try to, where possible, pinpoint unnecessary expenses and do away with them and to work with the professions.

Mr. Dukszta: Final supplementary: I was not speaking as a professional, I was speaking in many respects like a chartered accountant to point out certain costs. Let me ask whether the minister would be prepared to introduce what his sister government in Alberta, a Tory government, has introduced in terms of controlling these costs on a capital cost recovery basis, or does he know what that is?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: It sounds like we’re going to exchange “did you know whats.”

An hon. member: Do you?

Mr. Dukszta: No, no.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, I haven’t seen that specific action out of the province of Alberta. Perhaps I can send the member some information on what’s been done in the state of New York.


Mr. Peterson: To the Treasurer, Mr. Speaker: Since a complete data base was not compiled before the Blair commission proposals and before the Blair commission started looking at budget paper E, was there in fact a data base developed with a specific impact on various communities, and if there was, is the Treasurer prepared to table that and reveal those specific impact studies to the people of this province?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: The studies were prepared on the basis of budget paper E and, of course, all those are now undergoing revision by assessment on the basis of the Blair commission. Consideration will be given to the request made by the member.

Mr. Peterson: Supplementary: Is the Treasurer prepared to reveal specifically the impact on each community of the proposals? Is he prepared to make that public, for public discussion, prior to implementing the new system, whenever that will be -- and, as a little tiny supplementary, when will that be?

An hon. member: Too late.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I think the statement which we made at the time of the release of the Blair commission indicated that those figures would be made available, yes.

Mr. Good: Supplementary: Does the Treasurer expect anyone to properly study, or get a proper evaluation of, the impact of the market value assessment without a counterproposal as to what changes there might be in government grant structures that would flow from the changes in taxation on assessments?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, those matters are being worked on at the moment.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. That was a final supplementary.

Mr. Peterson: Could the Treasurer tell the Minister of Revenue (Mrs. Scrivener) what is going on?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Lewis: It is called studied indifference.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Study yes -- indifference no.


Mr. Bain: In the absence of the Minister of Natural Resources I would like to direct a question to the Provincial Secretary for Resources Development. Could he inquire and find out when the Ministry of Natural Resources will be completing an economic and engineering study of the viability of the mine and mill at United Asbestos? This study was discussed at a meeting between the Premier, the leader of the official opposition, the Minister of Natural Resources and myself on March 15.

Could he find out when the report will be completed or, if it has been completed already, when it will be made public and tabled in this House? Could he also indicate to the Minister of Natural Resources that we are all in favour of a private company -- everyone in this House is in favour of a private company taking over the mine and mill and reopening it? But what will the minister be prepared to do if this does not materialize?

Mr. S. Smith: Surely not free enterprise.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: He is starting to squirm.

Mr. Reid: Jack Stokes --

Mr. Speaker: Order please.

Mr. Bain: Will the government be prepared to make a commitment to the people of Matachewan and to the people of all of the north that if a private company doesn’t purchase the mine and mill within, say, two months, the government will form a joint venture company with the creditors, and reopen the mine?

Hon. Mr. Davis: And you are going to be general manager like Elie is at Inco?

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Brunelle: Like the hon. member for Timiskaming, I know we are all very interested in seeing that the mine continues to operate. I understand that a meeting was held very recently with the Minister of Natural Resources. I did not attend that meeting, and I would be pleased to have the minister, or myself, report in the very near future on this important matter.

Mr. Bain: Supplementary: Could the minister also at that time make some indication that if a private company is not willing to open it up within the near future, a commitment will be made on the part of the government that either the government will work with a private company to get it reopened, or the government will form a joint venture company -- something on the lines of Texasgulf -- and reopen the mine?

Mr. Speaker: Order please. I think that was part of the original question.


Mr. Eakins: To the Minister of Health: Will the minister tell the House why it has apparently taken so long for his ministry to approve the Browndale budget for this year? Does this delay have anything to do with the OPP investigation?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I spoke with the director of the children’s mental health services branch on this about 10 days to two weeks ago. They are, in fact, proceeding very well in finalizing that budget. Certainly, the investigation by my colleague the Attorney General and by the OPP is still going on; you may have questions about that which you should direct to my colleague.

Mr. Eakins: Supplementary: I just want to ask the minister, is he aware that the lack of decision on his part has caused labour negotiations which have been going on since last year to bog down; and when will he approve the budget so that financial matters can be discussed in these negotiations?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Oh, come on; your leader wants to close them all out.

Mr. S. Smith: The only people suffering now, Bill, are the employees who can’t get a contract.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: No, Mr. Speaker, that suggestion has not been made to me but I will bring that up with the director of the branch.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Why don’t you people get together?

Mr. S. Smith: John Brown isn’t suffering.


Mr. Lewis: A question of the Minister of the Environment. If I may steal a leaf from the member for Sarnia, I ask this question on behalf of myself and the member for Lambton (Mr. Henderson).

Mr. Bullbrook: Is this about Komoka?

Mr. Lewis: No.

Mr. Bullbrook: Oh, good.

Mr. Lewis: Why has he allowed levels of anxiety to reach such significant proportions in Lambton county among the Federation of Agriculture, the council members and many people in the community over the possible reopening of an abandoned oil well for the purpose of disposing of millions of gallons of toxic industrial waste, which I gather is currently under negotiation between his ministry and the owner of that well, whose certificate of approval the minister terminated in 1974?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: There is no plan at the present time to renew that certificate. There has been some discussion between a private company, Tricil, which is in the waste disposal business, and the operator of the disposal well in the Lambton area regarding pre-treatment at the Tricil plant with a possibility of disposing of the residue in the Thompson well, for example. The minister, of course, has not indicated any approval to that.

I am not sure what rumours are spreading around the township of Enniskillen or in Lambton --

Mr. Lewis: Wild ones.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: I have made it plain to the local member --

Mr. S. Smith: You gave him a good round figure.

Mr. Reid: He is stopping up the well himself.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: -- that there is no change in the status as far as our ministry is concerned. There has been no application to Mr. Thompson. So nothing is changed as far as we are concerned.

Mr. Lewis: Supplementary: Is the minister prepared to guarantee that before any change is contemplated -- and certainly the community, having seen the correspondence between the minister and the local member, is a little apprehensive; and the minister can understand why if he thinks back to the letter he wrote -- is the minister prepared to guarantee that nothing will occur without (a) initial consultation with the community and (b) a hearing under section 33(a) of The Environmental Protection Act?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: I would answer yes to both of those questions --

Mr. Lewis: Thank you.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: -- but I want to say a little more --


Hon. Mr. Kerr: I just happened to reread that letter, and there is no reason they could have any apprehension or to conclude from that letter that we are going to approve that particular application.

Mr. Lewis: You don’t say you won’t.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: We are quite emphatic that the township will be advised if there is any change in the status of that well and that there would be a hearing.

Mr. S. Smith: Supplementary: How can the minister even contemplate putting more toxic wastes into those wells when the figures of his own ministry indicate that some of the existing wells which have been used in this way have been losing pressure over the years, which means there has to have been seepage around the well into surrounding lands and waters? How can he even contemplate doing this again?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: The hon. member, of course, is using the same type of scare tactic that he used last fall when this particular problem was a subject of discussion in this House.

Mr. S. Smith: I am scared.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: We have no evidence within our ministry that those existing wells which he is talking about have contaminated ground water.

Mr. S. Smith: They have lost pressure; you know that.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: The question is whether or not they have contaminated ground water.

Mr. S. Smith: Where has it gone if it has lost pressure?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: If there is no ground water in the area -- in fact, we have dug wells in that particular area to monitor that, so we are satisfied that there is no contamination of ground water.

Mr. S. Smith: Where is it going?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: As far as considering the opening of another well is concerned --

Mr. Lewis: What about Buttermilk Creek?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: -- as the hon. member knows, there is a great deal of concern about the disposal of industrial liquid waste in this province and it is important to have safe disposal sites. We are concerned about certain clandestine dumping that is going on. Who knows? That may have caused the problem that the hon. member for Windsor-Sandwich (Mr. Burr) asked a question about earlier. We are concerned that we have safe disposal sites. That is why we are looking at every possible disposal area that may be available in the province.


Mr. Good: A question of the Premier regarding provincial aid for developing countries. Since it is now almost a year since his government indicated that no funds would be made available for international development, and since the 40 churches and secular agencies have now given the Premier a critique of the Hilliard report, would he now consider their alternative that a grant be made to the Ontario Council for International Co-operation so that they, in turn, could apportion this grant out to the agencies working in world relief and development?


Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I had a very excellent meeting with representatives of the organizations and the churches some few days ago. The presentation was somewhat different from the one that was made a year ago. It did contain some of their thoughts about Mr. Hilliard’s report, but it also came forward with, I think, six suggested ideas.

I told the group that made the presentation that the first suggestion it made and the second, I thought, would be acceptable to the government -- that would be some great areas of co-operation and communication as between government, the various churches and other organizations. Then they had three alternatives as to how we might participate, if a matter of policy were involved. I did point out to them, and I restate it to the hon. member, that it’s not just the money involved, and I made that very clear to them, but it is a matter of principle as to whether or not the provinces should be that directly involved in what is normally, for most countries, a matter for the national or the federal government.

I also indicated to them that we would support a greater involvement by CIDA, not only in terms of amount but in CIDA giving to the independent organizations a greater portion of that budget for allocation in those projects to which they have attached priority. I said to them we would re-evaluate their more recent proposals, and that it would take us, I think I told them two or three weeks -- which I think is a fair length of time to see whether or not some policy decision might be entertained.

They did recite to us the policy of one or two provinces. I think Alberta has some involvement in the programme but it does have certain strings attached, I think I’m right in this, in that it relates to either surpluses or products that are produced within the province of Alberta, and I won’t be critical of that.

I did re-emphasize to them, because there is a principle involved here, that it’s important, I think in terms of this country and in terms of the effectiveness of these organizations, that to the extent possible it be done on a national basis rather than having necessarily individual provinces involved. We have not closed our mind to it. I sensed they thought it was a constructive meeting -- certainly we did -- and I did indicate to them we would get back to them in two or three weeks.

Mr. Speaker: The question period has expired.



Mr. Germa from the standing public accounts committee presented the committee’s report which was read as follows:

Your committee recommends to the Legislature that a commission be appointed, under The Public Inquiries Act, from the Court of Appeal of the province of Ontario to inquire into and make recommendations upon all matters related to the government’s exemption of Ronto Development Corporation from land speculation tax, made by regulation on April 14, 1976.

Your committee further recommends that the terms of reference for this inquiry be placed before the Legislature for approval within 10 days.

Mr. Germa: Mr. Speaker, I got the impression when the government House leader was announcing to the House that he would be setting up a judicial inquiry to look into the Ronto matter that he was aware this motion was going to be presented. Certainly the committee is not disturbed that the government saw fit to take action prior to the report being tabled. I would, however, point out to the government that there were two recommendations contained in the motion which was just presented, and one was that the terms of reference should be brought to this Legislature for consideration before the order in council was issued.

I am a little disturbed. The committee spent some considerable time analysing and determining whether the judicial inquiry route would be successful in accomplishing a resolution to this problem. The committee was of the impression that the quality of the inquiry, of course, will be determined by the terms of reference as presented to this Legislature. For that, I am a little disillusioned that the government didn’t see fit to take into considerations both recommendations.

Mr. Bullbrook: Mr. Speaker, may I speak to the motion?

Mr. Speaker: I think I should put it before the House first of all. Mr. Germa has presented the report and moved its adoption.

Mr. Bullbrook: I attempted before, during the question period, which is all too restrictive, to voice my own personal concern in connection with the terms of reference. Now the history of this: The Premier is absolutely correct in voicing the traditional aspect in matters of this nature. On royal commissions, judicial inquiries, unless under the particular statute, it’s totally the prerogative of government, through the Lieutenant Governor in Council, to develop the terms of reference and advise the commissioner, or the inquiry officer, what those terms of reference are.

The background of this -- and I want to convey this, if I may, to the Premier though the Speaker -- I think personally through correspondence that he and I have had over the last few months, he recognizes, I hope, on my part a total understanding of the function of government, the function of the legislative process, the function of appointed people. So I support, generally, what he says, that the terms of reference should be, to a great extent, the prerogative of the government.

However there is a different situation here. We are in a minority situation. The Premier is the first one to constantly tell the people in Ontario that minority government can work; and it works though one equation only, and that is reciprocal co-operation in this House.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Hear, hear.

Mr. Bullbrook: Hear, hear.

Now what happened was this: There was a motion, as I understand it, for the appointment of a select committee. Many in this party agreed with the motion, that there should be a select committee.

If I might be permitted to just digress for a moment, I totally disassociate myself from the attitude of the government House leader that there is something necessarily unduly partisan in a select committee; quite the contrary. My recent experience with the select committee on company law has been exactly the opposite, it almost reminded me of the days of the private bills committee. There was nothing partisan about it at all. I believe that the majority of members of this House have attempted, in that context of a minority government, to deal in a fairly nonpartisan fashion, and would have attempted to deal in a fairly nonpartisan fashion in this matter so important to us all.

Mr. Nixon: Just like they did with the Hydro building. Remember that one?

Mr. Bullbrook: Yes, we tried there.

Mr. Nixon: A select committee was all right then. You had a majority, remember.


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

Mr. Bullbrook: But be that as it may, we’ve apparently come to a conclusion that all parties will subscribe to the judicial inquiry process. So be it; I, for one, will support that.

But the terms of reference, as slightly elicited from the government House leader, in effect, Mr. Speaker, talk only of the judicial inquiry looking into wrongdoing with respect to that matter. This whole matter of Ronto, that whole exercise of judgement, although it is a governmental and ministerial judgement, in the context of a minority government situation I say to those on this side of the House: Although we don’t want to precipitate anything unduly on this matter, let’s hope that minority government could work, don’t give up our rights with respect to this one, it’s too darn important. If we’re going to permit them to draft terms of reference solely restricted to the question of wrongdoing, I can tell members right now that we’re going to absolutely fetter that inquiry officer. Members are not going to do what they intended to do at the public accounts committee to begin with, and that is to analyse the expenditure of government funds, or unilateral ministerial judgements which are wrong and costing the taxpayers millions of dollars.

I say this to you, Mr. Speaker, the motion just made by the chairman of the public accounts committee is entirely appropriate when he talks about 10 days for us to have the terms of reference, and we should be able to debate those terms of reference in this assembly. I say this to you, sir, in closing, as much as we admire the personal integrity and ability of the various House leaders of the parties, that’s not good enough. It can’t be good enough. It doesn’t in any way demean their collective activity, or what they do for all of us. We each have a right, nay a duty, to be able to get up on our feet here and discuss those terms of reference. I for one attempted, as vigorously as I could, to point out to all members of the House that although it is traditionally the function of government, of their own initiative, and unilaterally without consultation, to go ahead and make appointments and to structure the appointments and develop the terms of reference, if we’re going to make this minority government work -- because it can work -- then let’s have the legislative process involved in that.

It’s not asking too much of the Premier to do that, because the Premier, in response to the various points of order by my colleague from Brant-Oxford-Norfolk, did say “vote against it”; twice he said “vote against it.” This is the question I’m putting: How is he going to vote against it? How do we vote against the terms of reference that he has developed himself?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Through a motion.

Mr. Bullbrook: Is this what he is talking about? This motion today?

Mr. Nixon: This motion has the terms in it?

Mr. Bullbrook: This motion has no terms in it; and that’s the problem that I, as one member, face.

Hon. Mr. Davis: You weren’t even there for any of the discussions in the public accounts committee.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Sarnia has the floor.

Mr. Bullbrook: I am not a member of the public accounts committee; and I’m not voicing my concern in the context of being a member or otherwise of the public accounts committee. I’m trying to point out that voting against or for this motion doesn’t answer the very question that burdens me.

Mr. Nixon: That’s right.

Mr. Bullbrook: Nobody knows the terms of reference.

Mr. Deans: Mr. Speaker, at the time we considered whether or not a public inquiry would be a suitable method of dealing with the Ronto affair, we in the NDP caucus gave a great deal of consideration as to whether or not it would be better suited to be dealt with in a standing committee of the Legislature or a select committee of the Legislature. We decided that it was appropriate that it should go to a public inquiry. We decided that on the basis of a feeling that those doing the inquiring would only be able to come to satisfactory conclusions if the terms of reference were suitable.

In the matter of Ronto, the matter of the government’s decision to exempt Ronto from the payment of tax has been before the Legislature for some long period of time. The standing committee on public accounts had it before them for a long period of time, and it really now is a matter before the Legislature and not just simply a matter before the government. While I would always be happy to sit down with the other House leaders and chat about the terms of reference, I feel much like the member for Sarnia who just stated that, “I wouldn’t want to take upon myself the responsibility for determining whether or not the terms of reference put forward by the government were suitable in terms of dealing with the entire matter of the exemption granted.”

To begin with, it isn’t a matter of looking into whether there was wrongdoing or not. It’s a matter of trying to determine whether or not all of the information necessary was available, and the terms of reference have to make it clear that that is the purpose of the inquiry. The terms of reference also have to make it clear that it’s not simply a matter of determining whether the amounts of money which may well have been paid had the tax been applied ought now to be paid, but whether there were other moneys paid to other persons, or groups of individuals, which may or may not have influenced the decision of government.

I don’t know how the government intends to draw its terms of reference. I recognize, as one speaks of it, the traditional right of the government to govern, and I don’t very often make any inroads into that traditional right, but I do frankly feel that if the terms of reference are drawn sufficiently broadly to allow the commissioner to look into all matters related, and if the terms of reference in specific draw his or her attention to matters which are of particular attention and to which specific attention must be paid, then of course the terms of reference could receive the concurrence of the House and the inquiry would serve the purpose which we all intend it to serve.


I worry, now, about the possibility of the terms being drawn restrictively, even inadvertently; and I don’t quite understand why we couldn’t have had those terms of reference laid before the Legislature in order that the members, who are now all involved, could have had the opportunity to review those and to make some recommendation to the government, which could, if it wished, have chosen to ignore them. If the government felt and could argue sufficiently strongly that the suggested changes were in some way or another reducing the function and capacity of either the government or the public inquiry, then that argument would have stood up under public scrutiny and the public would have supported the government’s position.

I feel that we are getting into a hornet’s nest over very little and that it would have been much better if the government had simply accepted the fact that it was being asked by the public accounts committee, in a unanimous decision supported by all parties, that the terms of reference be placed before the Legislature before such time as the appointment of the commissioner, that it concur with that and agree that that is a reasonable thing to do in the circumstances, given the amount of legislative debate that has already taken place around the issue, and trust to the Legislature, as it has to in all other matters, to make a reasonable judgement about what constitutes sensible terms of reference.

Mr. Sargent: Mr. Speaker, I may say to the Premier that his bedmate in this situation, the official opposition, in presenting it to the committee this morning, made it conditional that they would vote for this on the fact that we would have a say in the terms of reference. It was fully understood -- that was our vote -- that the public accounts committee would have a say in the terms of reference and other things such as the framework and guidelines of the inquiry. It was modified from the select committee, for reasons I won’t get into here now, but the facts are that that was the condition of the vote this morning. I think the House leader beat the gun bringing that in before the chairman (Mr. Germa) brought his motion in, but that was our understanding this morning and all parties voted for that.

I may be wrong, I don’t know, but I know that we thought at that time that everything was conditional on us having a say on the terms of reference. If that is not the case, I think we should very seriously study what we are talking about.

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Speaker, I would like to address myself to this question very briefly. I am not a member of the public accounts committee and my knowledge, except for one or two occasions, is based entirely on the discussions I have had with my colleagues from the New Democratic Party caucus who sat on that committee. I have, however, been closely associated with the member for Brantford (Mr. Makarchuk) since he first raised this matter in August of last year about the propriety of the exemption which was granted, and I would say to the Premier and I would say to the House leader that the question was not in anything but a very minor and secondary way the question of undue influence or impropriety or anything related to that.

Mr. Nixon: That’s exactly right.

Mr. Renwick: The basic question and the fundamental question which was raised --

Mr. Nixon: Was whether you should exempt them.

Mr. Renwick: -- by the Ronto matter was, and may I try to phrase this in an effort to be helpful to solve the dilemma which has been presented to the House by the failure to have a proper debate about it, the key question which was raised throughout the whole of the discussion of Ronto, both in this House and in the public accounts committee, would in my judgement run something like this: Would the then minister, properly advised and fully informed, have granted the exemption which he did? It would appear to me that that is the primary question; and if I understood what the House leader for the government was saying today, the terms of reference as indicated in the statement he made would not have covered that question. From that question, and very much as a secondary one, might very well flow the question as to whether or not there was any undue influence or impropriety or favouritism or whatever you wish to call that, but that is very much a far distant secondary question.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, on a point or order, so there is no misunderstanding, the House leader did not read the terms of reference to the House. He said, very simply, that there would be a judicial inquiry, that it would include, amongst other things -- I haven’t even read his statement. What I was saying in reply to the hon. member for Brantford was that we would have terms of reference. My experience has always been that these terms of reference are sufficiently broad to accommodate the interest of the public, which I assume is the interest of the members of this House.

I don’t want to prolong this debate, and there are some things I could say in almost a partisan sense --

Mr. Deans: Well, don’t.

Hon. Mr. Davis: What I understand the House leader for the New Democratic Party is saying is -- and I ask for clarification -- that he would like an opportunity --

Mr. MacDonald: Enter the debate.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I’m just asking for a little information that might --

Mr. Speaker: The hon. Premier rose on a point of order.

Hon. Mr. Davis: All right, I’ll ask the question after. I’ll let the member for Riverdale put it. But I just want to make it clear the government has not set out the terms of reference. I don’t want any misunderstanding.

Mr. Renwick: I do appreciate the opportunity to conclude my remarks, with the leave of the Premier. I did not intend to say that the House leader for the government specified, specifically, the terms of reference of the committee; but he did indicate the general framework, in which his thinking was directed, about those terms of reference. In the statement which he made, he did not address his attention to what I believe to be the key question. I say to the Premier and to the House leader of the government, is it not acceptable that, whatever the actual language may turn out to be, something in the nature of the statement which I have made is the question which should be asked of the royal commission? Namely, would the then minister, properly advised and fully informed, have granted the exemption he did?

Mr. Lewis: Do you object to that as part of the inquiry?

Mr. Nixon: The House leader for the Liberal Party made an excellent suggestion, I believe, which he hasn’t been able to act upon. He indicated that one way to proceed in this matter would be for this debate to adjourn and be left adjourned until such time as the terms of reference are placed before us. Then we could resume the debate and there might then possibly be an occasion to express approval or disapproval of the terms. I thought that suggestion was a good one.

On the other hand, the debate has proceeded and I believe it is an important one -- I, certainly, believe it is. With your permission, sir, I would like to contribute my views.

Mr. Ferrier: He doesn’t want to be upstaged.

Mr. Nixon: I do believe that an important point has been made in that the reference to the public accounts committee was not to find out what Eddie Goodman was doing in all this business, but specifically for the public accounts committee to review the decision to exempt Ronto from the payment of the tax. One of the very significant resolutions that was before the committee for a long time, and might very well have been acted upon, was to recommend that the House instruct the government to remove that exemption; in other words, to collect the tax. I was a member of the committee -- at least for one of its meetings -- and we were looking at the matter not as a great political scandal -- although, in fact, it might be -- but as a matter of accounting for public funds, and that exemption in particular. Certainly on that basis I felt, and still feel -- although I have no particular objection to the royal commission -- that it was a matter for the public accounts committee; and when it became too burdensome and elaborate for the public accounts committee -- obviously demanding the presence of proper counsel and other assistance for the committee -- I felt that a select committee should be empowered to continue the investigation on that line.

Personally, I felt that if the results of the investigation were similar to the information already provided to us by the auditor, then the resolution calling on this House to instruct the government -- if such a motion is in order -- to go out and collect $500,000 or $2 million would have been a proper result rather than some other approach.

My own feeling is that a royal commission is used under these circumstances when there is a cloud over the reputation of an individual or where there is some indication of malfeasance. Surely, in this instance, it is the judgement of the government in granting the exemption. Certainly if you’re going to have a full review of the situation there are other collateral matters, to which the member for Brantford has already referred, such as the payment of commissions, and the additional exemptions to a former member of the racing commission. It makes a very interesting tale indeed and surely the royal commissioner will have to go into that. I think our prime interest is the fact that the government has exempted Ronto from the payment of $500,000 in tax. We even feel it should be $2 million in tax, and that that is why it was referred to the standing committee and why the standing committee moved to have it referred to a select committee.

The suggestion by the House leader for the Liberal Party that there be an adjournment of this debate until we have a look at the terms of reference is a good one. I might also say I don’t think there have been many occasions in the past where it was felt that the terms of reference of royal commissions were unduly restrictive. I do recall one occasion when some complaint was expressed in the House following the establishment of the terms and the government of the day was good enough to amend and expand the terms themselves. Surely that is their prerogative and a procedure which precedent has already seen established. I hope members of the House will have a chance to express their views on the terms of reference by their debate and by their vote, and I think there is a quite clear and easily understood procedure whereby that might come about.

Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, as the seconder of the motion that is before the House at the moment --

Mr. Nixon: You are the man who took the message to the committee.

Mr. Drea: I want to draw your attention to one very basic fact: There were no conditions in that motion. The mover of the motion this morning very courteously supplied me with a written copy of the resolution. There were some people -- some members, I may say, of that committee, but not of my party and not of the official opposition party -- who seemed mystified as to what the rules of the House were. They asked for certain information. Certain information was supplied to them by a member of the committee -- not of my party -- on a voluntary basis. If, on that basis, the member for Grey-Bruce (Mr. Sargent) was so confused that he thought there were conditions in a written motion, then Mr. Speaker I say to you when we get into a debate that that motion contains six or seven lines and it is very clear and it very concise.

The particular time designation in there is of 10 days. It was my understanding that because of the difficulties of the committee in coming to grips with the finality of the situation -- not the merits of it but the finality of it -- that the 10 days was a period of time during which the government would have to take a position on the matter. As a matter of fact, if the tapes were to be replayed from this morning, there is a very clear indication that if the government did not take a position on this particular motion, the committee might very well have to try to suggest another vehicle, or indeed go back to the select committee route. That is the impact of the last two lines of the resolution, that the terms of reference -- in other words -- there would be a commissioner -- would be placed before the Legislature within 10 days.

I will tell you, Mr. Speaker, had I interpreted those last two lines as a committee directing the government on what it was going to do, I would not have seconded it.

Mr. Conway: Are you changing your mind?

Mr. Drea: The intent of the motion that has been brought before the House this afternoon and which was passed unanimously -- even though there were three members who were mystified, confused or what have you, in the end they came around -- was to bring to finality --

Mr. Nixon: They are not used to the Tories and the NDP being in bed together. One of you has cold feet.

Mr. Drea: -- the question of the tax exemption to Ronto. This was considered to be the most expedient, the most fair and the most efficient vehicle to bring about finality one way or the other. That is all it was.


Mr. Sargent: Point of order, point of order.

Mr. Drea: For those who say that they were confused and there were conditions, I am prepared to have the tapes played back, because there was no confusion and there were no conditions.

Mr. Nixon: It has nothing to do with the royal commission anyway.

Mr. Sargent: Point of order, Mr. Speaker. The member makes reference to “three members who were confused.”

Mr. Conway: Burn the tapes, Frank.

An hon. member: It is you, Eddie.

An hon. member: Frank Drea, Frank Drea and Frank Drea.

Mr. Sargent: The three members who were “confused,” as he says, were not in bed with the government. The Liberal Party goes straight down the line and we were not party to the NDP and the government making a deal.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member does not have a point of order. The hon. member for Scarborough Centre will continue.

Hon. Mr. Davis: That just adds to your confusion, Eddie.

Mr. Sargent: A deal has been made and we were not party to the deal they wanted to make.

An hon. member: You will be, next time.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I was not going to continue on --

An hon. member: Please don’t.

Mr. Drea: -- but I want to decry this mention of “a deal was made.” Let’s put it on the record.

Mr. Conway: You don’t look like Monty Hall.

Mr. Drea: The first time that I knew anything about the motion that the member for Wentworth North was making was when he had the courtesy this morning, just about a minute before public accounts started, to send me a typed photo copy of it. I had never seen it before, and indeed, I suppose if he had asked for my comments on it, I would have said I thought it was a first-class idea, but he did not. I seconded the motion purely on its merits, I am getting a little bit sick and tired --

Mr. Sargent: We know you are sick all right.

Mr. Drea: -- that every time there is a motion of any bipartisan nature in this House, there is some redneck who gets up and says a deal was made. There was no deal made.

Mr. Lewis: When the chips are down in this House it won’t be this party that will stand up and support you -- when the crunch comes next week.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Speaker, the discussions which have been held by the House leaders during the end portion of the question period concerning this matter have come, I think, to the conclusion that the terms of reference to which the report makes mention can be made available to all members of the House within a comparatively short time. The Premier, in his exchange today with various members asking questions on this subject, has suggested that those terms of reference may be available as early as tomorrow. If such is the case, we will then have the opportunity to review those terms of reference, which may prove to be acceptable or may require some additional encouragement. I suggest that once those terms of reference are known, there will be an opportunity for us then to return to this debate, should that be necessary. We can then resolve the matter, since we are talking now in the absence of knowing what those terms will be.


Hon. Mr. Welch moved that section (h) of clause 37 in the provisional standing orders as approved by the House on December 16, 1976, be amended by deleting the section and substituting the following:

“(h) No question will be put to the House before 5:50 p.m. The votes on all items not opposed at 5:50 p.m. shall be stacked and put forthwith. If a division is requested by five members, there will be a five-minute division bell, following which all questions will be put forthwith.”

Hon. Mr. Welch also moved that section (j) of clause 37 in the provisional standing orders as approved by the House on December 16, 1976, be amended by adding the following:

“and that all bills intended for debate be introduced at latest on the Tuesday of the second week previous to the week in which such bill is to be debated, and that notice of a motion intended to be debated be printed on the Tuesday of the second week previous to the week in which such motion is to be debated.”

Motions agreed to.


Hon. Mr. Wells moved first reading of Bill 31, An Act to require the Essex County Board of Education to provide a French-language secondary school.

Motion agreed to.


Mr. Stong moved first reading of Bill 32, An Act to amend The Labour Relations Act.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Stong: Mr. Speaker, this bill defines hospital pharmacists and establishes a bargaining unit of hospital pharmacists as an appropriate unit for collective bargaining.


Mr. Dukszta moved first reading of Bill 33, An Act respecting certain Rights of Patients receiving Health Care Services in Ontario.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Dukszta: The purpose of this bill, Mr. Speaker, is to declare and protect certain rights of medical patients in Ontario. The bill is divided into three parts.

Part I of the bill is designed to protect the confidentiality of a patient’s medical record. The bill declares a general prohibition against disclosure of a medical record, but allows for some exceptions to ensure proper treatment and care of the patient. The patient also has a right to access to his own medical record. A person who violates these provisions may be found guilty of professional misconduct in a disciplinary proceeding.

Part II of the bill is designed to ensure that a patient is provided with adequate information about the proposed form of treatment before giving written consent to the treatment. This information must be provided to the patient in order for consent to be considered as informed consent. When enacted, this part will amend the existing procedure for providing written consent established by regulation under The Public Hospitals Act. It would also affect any other procedure where written consent is required.

Part III of the bill is designed to protect persons who are admitted to a psychiatric facility as involuntary patients under The Mental Health Act. This part amends that Act by creating additional review procedures to protect a person from being detained unnecessarily as an involuntary patient. In addition, the duration of a certificate of renewal is reduced to ensure that the patient is examined on a frequent and regular basis by an independent physician while he is detained as an involuntary patient.

Mr. Speaker: May I just suggest, and point out to the hon. member, that the explanation is supposed to be brief, explaining the principle; not filling or flushing it out too much. His explanation was slightly long.


Mr. Stokes: Point of order, Mr. Speaker. The motion that was just introduced amending standing orders would preclude the hon. member for Parkdale introducing that motion for debate two weeks from today. I think it is patently unfair.

Hon. Mr. Welch: I agree. It was quite clearly understood as a preparation for this -- and the clerk at the table perhaps hasn’t been clear on this -- that we were making an exception as far as the hon. member was concerned. It was because of the confusion with respect to the interpretation that that amendment was put in; it was not to cover this particular one but subsequently.

Mr. Stokes: But my point of order, Mr. Speaker, is that it be made abundantly clear to all members of the House that that amendment to the standing order will prevail with the exception of this motion which precipitated the whole thing.

Hon. Mr. Welch: I appreciate that clarification and this opportunity; I thought I had made that point clear earlier.


Mr. Speaker: Before calling the orders of the day, it has been suggested that before the first private members’ period under the provisional rules, I should outline as clearly as possible what I understand to be the consensus of the House respecting the procedure to be followed.

My understanding is this: When the routine proceedings have been completed, the orders of the day are of course the two prescribed items of public business. The time from the commencement of such proceedings until 5:50 p.m. will be divided equally between the two orders. When debate on the first order has concluded, the Speaker will immediately call the second order for debate. When debate on both orders has been concluded, if no petition adverse to a vote has been filed in accordance with provisional order 37(f), the Speaker will put a question on the first order as follows:

“Shall there be a vote on this motion? Any members opposed to a vote must now rise.”

If 20 members rise, a vote is of course blocked. But if any less than 20 members stand, a vote will be ordered and stacked. The same procedure will then be followed with respect to the second order of the day. If votes on both the orders are blocked that, of course, ends the proceedings.

If, however, a vote is ordered with respect to either one or both of the orders, the Speaker will proceed in the usual way to call for the voice vote, the ayes and nays, and give his opinion as to whether the ayes or nays have it. If that opinion is accepted, the vote is so recorded.

If, however, five members stand in their places in the usual way to call for a recorded vote in either one or both cases, there will be a five-minute division bell after which the recorded vote or votes will be taken.

The time allotment for each member speaking will remain as heretofore with this exception: The mover may, if he wishes, reserve any part of his 20 minutes for a reply at the end of the debate. He must, however, advise the Speaker beforehand of his intention to do so and as to how many minutes he is so reserving.


Hon. Mr. Welch: Just before the orders of the day are called, I wish to table the answers to questions 1, 3, 4, 5, 16, 17 and 19 and the interim answers to questions 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 18 and 20 on the order paper.

Mr. Speaker: Orders of the day.



Mr. Maeck moved second reading of Bill 3, An Act respecting the Withholding or Withdrawal of Treatment where Death is Inevitable.

Mr. Speaker: I will announce very shortly exactly when half-time is up for this particular order.

Mr. Moffatt: And then change ends?

Mr. Maeck: By luck of the ballot, Mr. Speaker, I have been chosen to present the first private member’s bill under the new rules passed by this House last December 16. These rules, as hon. members are aware, allow greater opportunity for private bills to become law in this province.

I am well aware of the honour falling to the member to present the first bill, but I am also mindful of the importance of the situation. Accordingly, I have chosen to bring forward for consideration a bill based on humanitarian principles which should commend themselves to all members.

If this bill is passed into law, it will not have widespread or general application; however, it will have great significance for many citizens in a time of anguish. I believe that a bill which has as its aim the alleviation of suffering is always worthy of favourable consideration.


Mr. Speaker, let me begin by outlining the principles which lie behind the bill and which motivated me to bring it forward. Let me also attempt to make clear both what the bill intends to achieve and what it does not intend to achieve.

Some time ago it came to my attention that medical technology had advanced to the point where it is possible to keep a human being alive by artificial means when one or a number of that human’s vital functions have been irreversibly damaged by accident or disease. It is possible to prolong a patient’s life beyond the point where he or she would die naturally, but with no hope that the patient could ever recover.

In some instances the prolongation of life by artificial means gives added pain to the patient. But in all instances, however, it means added pain, anguish and concern for the patient’s family, attending medical personnel and the clergy. I must point out that I am not talking of a very large number of cases. Informed estimates conclude that fewer than two per cent of hospitalized patients reach the stage where artificial prolongation of life is a consideration. But for that two per cent, and for those concerned with their treatment, it is a serious problem. It occurred to me that a mechanism could be devised to allow the alleviation of suffering for all concerned when death is close and inevitable.

In this regard, Mr. Speaker, I noted with interest the passage of a natural death Act in the state of California, and saw that with certain modifications such legislation could be enacted here. Through the courtesy of the Attorney General of California I obtained a copy of their legislation, along with a fairly complete file of the arguments heard during its passage. It is important to note that the California legislation took over two years of drafting and amendments before it was signed into law by Governor Brown.

There are, of course, differences between the legal and legislative powers of California and Ontario. What I am presenting in this bill, however, are the best features of the California Act combined with what expert counsel indicated appropriate for Ontario. In other words, the ground for such legislation has been broken and many of the arguments regarding theology, morality, ethics and humanitarianism have already been heard.

By this I do not intend to say that there should be little or no debate on the bill. On the contrary, it is my expressed intention to direct this bill to the standing committee on social development should it receive second reading today. It would be my hope that that committee would hold extensive and comprehensive hearings on both the principles behind the bill and its specific provisions.

I would like to have all interested groups and members of the public make their views known on this legislation. We all have the right to consent or refuse to consent to medical treatment today. What this bill intends is that while patients would normally consent to such treatment when there is hope of recovery, they might wish to limit that consent when artificial means are contemplated to keep them alive beyond their time of natural death. That is to say that this anticipates those instances where artificial means serve only to prolong a death watch instead of leading to recovered health. What this bill seeks is to allow a patient to meet his inevitable death with dignity and a degree of comfort.

There are three principles which underlie this proposed legislation. The first is that the individual should have the right to decide whether he or she is going to die a natural death where the possibility exists. I cannot stress enough that Bill 3 falls into the category of permissive legislation. No one would be compelled to limit his consent to have his life prolonged or sustained by artificial means. The proposed legislation would allow only those who wish to do so to indicate their desires on this question.

The working of the bill is such that only those who have reached the age of majority, who are in full control of their faculties and who are not under pressure from any source, can execute a directive for the guidance of their physician. It was my original intention that sane and healthy individuals could execute their directives before fatal illness or accident befell them. I anticipated citizens filling out directives in much the same manner as we fill out, or do not fill out, whatever the case may be, the consent forms on our driver’s licence under The Human Tissue Gift Act.

It is possible, however, that patients might wish to execute a directive at or near the time they are diagnosed as terminally ill. So provision has been made for both categories: sane and healthy, or sane and terminally ill. It is my hope that individuals who wish to would fill out the directive when they’re healthy. In this connection, hon. members will observe that there is provision for prompt and effective revocation of the directive should the patient change his mind. As well, legal directives will remain in effect for only five years.

Arising from the first principle is that responsibility for an agonizing decision will not fall on grieving members of the patient’s family. If a directive has been executed by the patient, family members will be relieved of a terrible burden at a time when they are already distraught. Attending members of the clergy are often troubled as well by the plight of the patient and the family. They, too, will be relieved if a directive has been executed beforehand.

The third benefit to arise from granting the individual right to limit heroic treatment is that medical personnel will be spared the responsibility of deciding to limit treatment. There will be no question of liability for any act done or omission made in good faith under the provisions of this bill. Attending physicians will simply be following the clear wishes of their patients when there is nothing to be done to restore life processes. It should be noted as well that in cases where terminally ill patients have not or cannot execute a directive the physician will carry out his responsibilities as he always has.

In sum, the intent of Bill 3 is to allow individuals to take it upon themselves to spare their families, clergy and medical attendants the agony of deciding whether to prolong suffering when death is inevitable.

Having stated the intention of the bill, let me go on to indicate what the bill does not intend. Here I want to be very specific, Mr. Speaker, because some questions have been raised despite the fact that the humanitarian objectives of the legislation are quite clear.

In the first place, the bill does not in any way make provision for euthanasia or mercy killing. It deals only with the circumstances surrounding a death that would occur in any event. Criminal activity which results in the taking of a life is dealt with under The Criminal Code of Canada and is a federal responsibility. Nonetheless, I stress as strongly as I can the fact that the specific provisions of Bill 3 do not allow the taking of a life. They deal with a death that would take place naturally and inevitably. Death is not to be hastened in any way.

Similarly, any death occurring naturally under the provisions of this bill cannot be considered a suicide, and such is specifically stated in the bill. Let me explain the safeguards that have been written into the bill. Anyone signing the directive must do so in the presence of two witnesses who cannot stand to benefit in any way from the death of the individual. Secondly, the existence of an irreversible and terminal condition must be diagnosed by two physicians who are not responsible for the care of the patient in question. In the case where two independent physicians cannot agree that a condition is terminal, the directive will not take effect.

Another safeguard has been drafted to guard against the taking of an innocent life. Provision has been made to nullify the effect of a directive when the patient in question is female and expecting a child.

What I have been endeavouring to explain are the basic humanitarian concerns which motivated me to bring this bill forward.

To repeat them once again, the aims of the legislation are: one, to allow an adult in clear control of his faculties to decide that his inevitable death will take place with as much dignity as possible; and two, that by allowing an individual to choose not to have his moment of death postponed by artificial means, he and he alone will absolve his family, clergy and physicians from having to make an agonizing decision.

This bill, I believe, has been drafted in such a way as to prevent any consideration of the taking of life. As a former police officer and member of our armed forces, I know only too well the awful reality of someone causing another to lose his life. What I am concerned with are those rare occasions when, by virtue of accident or disease, an individual’s death is certain and imminent as certified by the diagnosis of two qualified physicians. The situations I am talking about are those in which an individual might be kept clinically alive by artificial means for some period of time but who would have no hope of recovery.

May I now turn to some of the practical aspects of the bill? As various members are aware, I have canvassed a wide sector of religious, medical and community leaders concerning the principle of the proposed legislation. The response has been extremely positive, especially from those who have had to deal with terminal patients on a regular basis. It should be of interest to hon. members that what is proposed in this bill parallels much of what is already in practice.

The code of ethics of the Ontario Medical Association, for instance, has two clauses which bear on this matter, and they read as follows: “An ethical physician will allow death to occur with dignity and comfort when death of the body appears to be inevitable.” The second says: “An ethical physician may support the body when clinical death of the brain has occurred but need not prolong life by unusual or heroic means.”

The Ontario Medical Association is on record in supporting this code of ethics, so these statements are statements of the association’s policy. I know the OMA is in support of the principle of my bill and I look forward to hearing from its representatives should the bill get to the committee stage.

As I indicated, the mail and telephone calls I’ve received since it became known that I would be presenting this bill have been very positive. Well over 80 per cent of those who have communicated with me have indicated their support and many of the letters which indicated opposition to it were, I believe, based on a misunderstanding of the specific provisions as safeguards of the bill. This is understandable because they didn’t have an opportunity to see the actual wording of the bill until it was introduced and printed.

It is my sincere belief that virtually all original opponents of the bill can rest more easily now that the provisions and safeguards have been spelled out. Yet it would appear that the primary concern of those who indicated opposition to this bill was that it would promote euthanasia. As I hope I have made clear, it does not.

The taking of a life is a crime under The Criminal Code and the provisions of the bill do not alter that in any way. This bill deals with natural death, not unnatural death. Here I should also point out that I have specifically and deliberately left out any provision for delegation of authority for executing a directive. It is to be made by the individual and no one else. This is to further ensure that only the wishes of the patient will be recognized.

Another concern that has been expressed comes from doctors who wonder what will happen to patients who do not sign a directive. Section 6 of the bill clearly states that physicians will carry on in their normal manner. The provisions of the bill will apply only to those who sign a directive.

In conclusion, I would like to share with the hon. members an example of what this bill is all about. Some time ago, I appeared on a radio show on London’s Station CFPL to talk about this particular bill. I wasn’t able to hear all the telephone calls that came in but the station’s programme manager wrote to tell me about them. In part he wrote:

“I think you would have been moved had you heard the call I received just before the programme signed off. A middle-aged man called to tell me he is a terminal cancer patient whose prognosis is very bleak. He said that not a day goes by that he does not pray for death to come swiftly since he suffers even with the administration of drugs. He supports very much your idea. His very moving conversation, I thought, showed us a side of the great moral question here that most of us cannot see clearly from our vantage point of good health.”

It should be readily apparent that the provisions of this bill, if enacted, cannot help this man at this time. No one has been able to shorten his life by any means, but once his death was imminent he could be allowed to die a natural death without prolonged suffering.

I have received many letters expressing equally moving and genuine sentiments. It is my hope, if this bill progresses through the legislative process to become law, it will serve to assist those citizens who are afflicted and distraught or who may become afflicted and distraught. The aim of this bill is to bring a measure of comfort in the face of awful reality.

I would like to conclude by asking support for this bill on second reading in order that the aims and objectives of it can be studied by the standing committee on social development. There may be amendments required to give full and fair meaning to the humanitarian objectives of this bill. There may be amendments required to give further protection against abuse. In any event, I strongly believe in the goodwill the bill has elicited and I look forward to hearing from hon. members who will take part in the debate.

I understand that whatever time remains to me under my time allocation can be used in order to answer questions or make corrections or clarifications. I would be happy to use that time for these purposes.


Mr. Deputy Speaker: The hon. member for Parkdale for up to 10 minutes.

Mr. Dukszta: How many minutes, Mr. Speaker?

Mr. Deputy Speaker: No more than 10 minutes.

Mr. Dukszta: Fine. I actually will do it in seven and a half. It is exciting to participate in a debate in the best parliamentary tradition when a bill can be debated freely, voted upon I hope as freely, and in response only to the dictates of one’s own reason and conscience. It is also felicitous that Mr. Maeck’s bill presents us with a moral conundrum. I have talked about the bill with church fathers. I have read on the Quinlan ease. I have consulted with my good friend, the member for Downsview (Mr. di Santo), about the implication of Mr. Maeck’s bill in the context of class analysis, but ultimately I have come to the realization that the bill affects me primarily in two ways -- first, as a physician, and second, as a human being.

First, as a physician, I play a specific role in society, a role which carries certain responsibilities, power and some privileges. Second, as a person, I can identify myself with a situation described by this bill. I can see myself with a terminal condition, incurably ill, knowing that I am facing death and possibly having to make a decision whether to live or die. These two roles, however -- me as a physician and me as an ordinary human being -- carry different role prescriptions which are in some sense contradictory.

The contradiction in my two roles is quite simple. As a person, I believe the decision whether I live or die is my own. I do not mean this in the more general context of our daily living, for clearly everything I hope for and do hinges on other people -- whether it is my work relationship or pleasure. Yet when it comes to the moment when I am incurably ill and with no hope of living and totally alone, or when I come to a point when no longer do I find life tolerable or meaningful, then I reserve to myself the right to make the decision to die.

The logical and often intolerable contradiction between this existential position and my role as a physician and psychiatrist comes when I am faced with a patient who I know is dying, who I know I cannot help by any known means, and who I know is aware of this and wants to die. Yet I will then proceed to institute heroic efforts to prolong life, give painful treatments, and start massive and uncomfortable life support systems, knowing full well these efforts will be useless, for I have unhesitatingly followed the prescription of my role as a physician. The physician is entrusted, and rightly so, with the responsibility for saving life, for prolonging the life of the patient to the best of his ability and power.

More often than not the patient would be glad that all efforts were being made to help him or her, and they would fool themselves that such heroic efforts were going to be successful. This I consider to be my proper responsibility and work, and I was happy to be of this minimal use. Yet on many occasions, a more aware individual would say to me: “Why are you doing this? You know I am dying. Let me die in peace.”

I wouldn’t and I couldn’t listen to such statements. I am compelled as a physician to do my utmost. I would do everything in my power, I repeat, even if I knew my patient didn’t want these heroic measures instituted on his behalf, for I refused and I still refuse to take this decision on my own shoulders. Fear of legal repercussions and civil suits for negligence is only a part of it. The core of my decision to institute these needless and hopeless treatments is my total refusal to accept the responsibility for ending that life, even if it is only by omission.

It is not my decision. I don’t want that power and I shall never accept it. It is the individual’s decision and if the individual is fully aware of the facts of his incurable position and makes a decision, then I can go along with it, applaud his or her spirit of fortitude and simple human dignity, and hope the same for myself.

As a psychiatrist, I have to deal with individuals who are suicidal. The ethics of the profession and the law are quite clear on this. Anyone who decides to kill himself or herself is at best of unsound mind and the responsibility of the psychiatrist is quite clear: The psychiatrist must prevent it.

Let me give you an example. A friend tells me that he has made a decision to kill himself. “I don’t want to go on living,” my friend says. “I am not depressed. I have just had it.” My responsibility here is again quite clear. I have to make a decision as to whether or not my friend means it, and if he means it, I have to fill in Form I under The Mental Health Act which specifies that a person who is dangerous to himself or herself must be protected. One may say that if my friend really wanted to kill himself, he shouldn’t have told me, but it doesn’t change the fact that at the moment he tells me, I have to act whether he likes it or not.

Human attitudes towards the right to die vary from society to society. Let me quote from the Roman historian Tacitus, from his Annals of Imperial Rome: “At Rome” -- this was following the failure of a conspiracy -- “the massacre was continuous. Pomponius Labeo, whose imperial governship of Moesia I have mentioned, opened his veins and bled to death, followed by his wife. Such deaths were readily resorted to. They were due to fears of execution, and because people sentenced to death forfeited their property and were forbidden burial, whereas suicides were rewarded for this acceleration by burial, and recognition of their wills.”

Even in western society, attitudes to suicide and death vary and are ambiguous. Although the church has always disapproved there was a tacit societal approval, expressed, for example, by an officer disgraced, or facing disgrace, who killed himself rather than subject his regiment to the spectacle of a trial and public opprobrium.

I remember my father talking of an acquaintance of his, an officer who took regimental funds, who killed himself before he could be arrested. “He took the nobleman’s way out,” my father said. But honour was so bound up with rank that in effect to kill oneself was a privilege reserved only for people of rank.

Mr. Maeck’s bill is consciously quite limited, but the conceptual thrust of his bill is embedded in the wider context of our societal attitude to death, whether “natural” or by one’s own hand. I do not, therefore, think I have strayed far from discussing this wider context, and I have quoted extensively -- not as extensively now as the last time -- from Tacitus because those passages illuminated for me how our attitude to death is a reflection only of our society and not of immutable truths.

Clearly, this bill reflects these wider perceptions and I accept and laud it. For me, when this bill becomes law, as I hope it will, the logical contradiction between my role as a physician and my belief system will be lessened.

It has also made me reflect on what I believe and what I consider important. Our life is an uncertain, transient, solitary, brutish and short one. The very fact that it is so transient, however, fills me with an uncomplicated, probably very physiological, appreciation of just being alive.

There is, of course, one certainty in my life, and that is that I shall die. Maybe it is only false and unbecoming pride in us, when we are such clearly transiently sentient beings, that makes us care how we die. But I do care, and I insist that when the time comes that death is imminent, or when I have come to a decision that death is the only alternative, I want to decide for myself. I want to decide not egotistically, but because my very commitment, and my choice of the moment for my death, is in itself an act of human dignity and an act of freedom.

Mr. Sweeney: Mr. Speaker, first I’d like to state very clearly that I agree with the basic premise or principle of the bill; that is the right of each and every individual to decide what type of medical attention will be given to him and whether or not it shall be given. With that I cannot quarrel.

Secondly, I would like to commend the member for Parry Sound for introducing this bill, because I believe it is an issue that needs to be debated publicly. For too long the subject of dying and all that is associated with it has been taboo in our society. As a matter of fact it is as much today as the subject of sex was 20 years ago -- you simply didn’t talk about it. I am not suggesting that we go as far with this issue as we have with the first one.

An hon. member: Actions speak louder than words.

Mr. Sweeney: Mr. Speaker, I am going to speak against the bill. However, I want to make it very clear to the member who introduced it that anything I say should not be intended to imply motives to him or those people who support it. I’m speaking to the bill itself.

I have to speak against the bill for three reasons: The first one is I believe that it is not necessary legislation. One thing government should not do is introduce legislation that is not needed, because that, in my estimation, is bad legislation.

The second reason I would speak against it is because it will in fact create more problems than it solves. I cannot personally see any point in creating more problems than we already have.

The third reason I’ll speak against it is because there are significant moral and ethical values involved in this. As a matter of fact, as late as yesterday I was still not sure which position I was going to take, but in order to help me come to that point I met with the doctors, the administration staff and the medical ethical committees of the two hospitals in my community. I spent about two hours with each of those groups and unanimously all of them opposed it -- all across it.

Why do I say that this bill is not necessary? It is because what the bill proposes to do can already be done. An individual right now can say to his doctor: “I don’t want that to be prolonged.” If the individual is not capable, the family can do it. They can say to his doctor: “I don’t want that to be done.” The returns from the latest survey among doctors, both in Canada and in the United States, suggest that 94 per cent of doctors would respect that request.

The other thing the bill says is that doctors would be protected from prosecution, if in fact they were to do it. Once again, the information that I have is that there has not been a successful prosecution of a doctor for doing such a thing in the last 40 years -- as far back as it goes. So the bill isn’t necessary for those reasons. The second reason I say the bill is not necessary is because the core and the centre of the medical history and the medical situation in this province, in this country and in North America is the private individual doctor-patient relationship. I’m suggesting that the last thing we want to do is to introduce legislation to introduce government into that very private, very personal doctor-patient relationship.

The other point on which I think it is not necessary is because we’re talking here in terms of trying to anticipate what is likely to happen. I would suggest that I could decide at this point in time to sign such a piece of paper and three years later, four years later or four and a half years later, before that thing automatically revokes itself, I may find myself in a very particular situation of life and death and I may feel very differently about it. But because of my position at that time I am unable to revoke it. I may be sentient and I may be sensible but unable to communicate.

I would suggest that on an issue like this one cannot plan in advance and we should not legislate in advance. It involves a particular point in time that is exclusive and cannot be looked at in any other way. At that particular point in time, the patient, his or her doctor and, if necessary, the family have to make that decision. The law and the government should stay out of it.

I am suggesting, secondly, that I must oppose it because it will create problems that don’t exist now. This comes mainly from the seven or eight doctors that I specifically spoke to yesterday. I am coming back to the point I made earlier. This may not be intended, but the fact simply remains, if this is passed into law, if it becomes legislation, then the doctor feels that his hands will be tied. At the present time, he makes a decision on the spot, a decision relating to this particular point in time with this particular patient. But if we have such legislation, and let us say there is no signed statement -- I know what the bill says -- the doctor is going to say, “What do I do?”

What I feel is going to flow from it, what the doctors say will flow from it, what the medical ethical committees say will flow from it is that it will not reduce what we are trying to reduce but will increase it. What will happen is that medical treatment that should be given, from a medical point of view at that particular point, will not be given. At the other end, medical treatment which perhaps should not be extended will continue to be extended because the doctor cannot know what was in the mind of the patient, because he did not sign this particular piece of paper. That’s what we have to be concerned about. That’s the kind of problem we are going to create that does not exist at the present time.


Let’s look at the bill itself. It says that in order to make the final decision, two independent medical opinions have to be brought in. As a doctor pointed out to me yesterday, if a patient is wheeled into the emergency ward from a very serious accident, the doctor has to make a decision now -- not 15 minutes from now; not an hour and a half from now -- so somebody has to run out and round up two other people to help him make the decision. By that point in time, the man’s dead.

Or, conversely, it’s 3 o’clock in the morning and the hospital is practically empty; when the nurse finds the patient and the doctor moves in, he has to make a decision right then and there. What does he do? Does he call his colleagues at home, get them out of bed and say, “Get over here. I need you to help make this decision”?

This bill is tying their hands; it’s creating a problem which the medical profession says doesn’t exist at the moment. That’s bad legislation. Why create a problem?

What about the ethical and moral decisions we have here? What are we talking about here? I know the member indicated that the intent is not to support euthanasia. But let’s face it: In fact, what we are talking about here is, to use the terminology, passive or negative euthanasia. A life is being terminated. That is euthanasia. It is not positive euthanasia, I will admit that; but may I read one little point into the record? This is what I meant earlier when I said I am not imputing any motives to the member.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: The hon. member has one minute.

Mr. Sweeney: Robert H. Williams, professor in the department of medicine, University of Washington, and long an advocate of euthanasia, made this observation:

“However, it seems unwise to attempt to bring about major changes permitting positive euthanasia until we have made more progress in changing laws and policies pertaining to negative euthanasia.”

Here’s a doctor in a school of medicine, an exponent of euthanasia, who says; “Look, fellows, let’s get this little bit in first. That’s step one. That’s the moral, ethical problem. It’s the thin edge of the wedge.” I say, we support this legislation at our peril.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I’m very pleased to be able to speak today on this particular bill, Mr. Speaker, but more particularly on the process that has led to this privilege on our part.

Mr. Conway: It’s called minority government.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I think it’s a great day that we, the members of this House, can speak our minds -- emotionally, as we’ve just seen, and to the member’s credit; and intellectually, as we have also just seen, and to that member’s credit. I think it is a fine day that that should happen.

I want to congratulate the member for Parry Sound for his fortitude in bringing in this bill. It certainly is one of some controversy; there shall be no doubt of that. But I think this is the kind of action that the people should expect from their representatives. So, to the member for Parry Sound (Mr. Maeck) I give a good deal of credit.

I would like to be very brief, because I would hope that many members would avail themselves of the process of speaking on the type of bills we see today. Therefore, I think we can express our opinions in a very few minutes and do it effectively.

I would have to react a little bit to the remarks by the member for Kitchener-Wilmot (Mr. Sweeney). I thought he viewed one of the instances in far too short a term. I suspect that no self-respecting physician would not do the ultimate in terms of life-sustaining drugs, facilities -- the works, if I may put it that way -- in the short term. If someone arrived at the hospital tomorrow, I would imagine that every facility would be used to protect that patient’s life until a fuller and more careful assessment could be made. I think the member viewed that point from far too short a perspective.

But let me say why I would like to see this bill supported. Basically there are two reasons. One, it gives the individual a great deal of opportunity to express his or her own self-determination. I think we need more of that in this province. I think we are not superimposing government legislation, we are indeed giving the privilege to the individual to make a determination as he or she sees fit.

But perhaps my strongest reason for supporting this bill is because of my understanding of the Christian beliefs that I profess to have. Some might disagree with the Christian belief and I am not asking anyone else to take either my understanding of the Christian belief or, indeed, as they themselves understand the Christian belief. But I think surely that the message of this past weekend clearly demonstrates that there is no fear in death, and if we take another view, surely we have missed the salient point of the Christian belief.

Mr. Good: We all want to go to heaven, but not today.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I think the member really confuses the basic issue, at least as I perceive it.

Mr. Ferris: There is a difference between heaven and hell.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: This is not a bill to prematurely end life. It is a bill that will not permit the overextension of life beyond the natural and normal method of sustaining life. I think there is a significant difference.

So as I understand it, and particularly as I understood the teachings, as I was able to read them, of Sir William Osler, without doubt the most famous and renowned physician in Canada, he viewed death as though it were to sleep. I think we should be given as individuals this dignity, that we should not be asked to prolong our lives, but we should have that dignity to end our life in a natural and normal fashion.

To end on that thought I would say I believe all of us who believe in the Christian faith must have the right to die by the same faith that we have lived. And that seems to me to lead us to the point where we could die a normal and natural death as outlined in the bill that the member for Parry Sound presented.

Mr. Lawlor: Mr. Speaker, I think it best in this debate not to advert to specifically religious propositions or presuppositions. It can be handled on a broader basis. Let me read the oath of Hippocrates: “I swear by Apollo the physician, by Aesculapius, and health and all heal, and all the gods and goddesses, that according to my ability and judgement I will keep this oath and stipulation.” And in the body of the oath it says it will preserve life.

The reverence for life is probably as close to an absolute as we can get in this society. On the other hand, the fear of the undergoing of suffering is very relevant. Suffering on one side can be quite ennobling; on the other side it can be demoralizing and dehumanizing. It depends upon the flux and direction of circumstances.

I think it should be abundantly clear to this assembly that this is a bill neither having to do with suicide or, properly speaking, with euthanasia. It is not a happy death bill. Maybe you could stretch it by talking something about negative euthanasia. That is not really even within the dimensions of the thing.

Everyone I think in this assembly, or I suspect pretty well in any case as far as the tenor of this legislation is concerned, would be opposed to a direct taking of life. He would be also opposed to an omission which has the eventuality of bringing death about where otherwise means could be taken. But the area in which we are dealing here, all moral codes that I know of wouldn’t take exception to, namely, you don’t of necessity use artificial and extraordinary means to keep a human being alive, particularly if that human being doesn’t wish to remain alive.

With that I nevertheless find the legislation defective. And largely for the reasons that were given by the member for Kitchener-Wilmot. Listen, we legislate too much. The present status out there with respect to the medical profession in the handling of people who are terminally ill is well enough to be let alone. They use prudence. They use mercy. They are perfectly aware of the incidence of suffering. They will withdraw the mechanisms to let a person die naturally. They will not unduly sustain life as some kind of biological feat.

We are too influenced by the Quinlan case in this particular. The jurisprudential problems surrounding the California situation are quite different, involving tort suits against physicians, et cetera, either in their failure to provide mechanisms to prolong life or in their failure not to provide them. So it goes both ways.

As to the legal profession, we know of nothing comparable to that, nor within the ambit of the common law is that a procedure or a mode of address and I quote, “at least at the present time.” Therefore, the matter rests well enough.

Once you bring in the legislation, what the member for Kitchener-Wilmot said is absolutely correct: If into the emergency ward comes an individual badly smashed in an accident of some kind, what does the physician do? Does he go searching for the card in the first instance? Does he say, “I wonder if this fellow happens to have a card indicating his desirability?” On the other side of the question, as he attends to the patient, suppose he finds there is such a card? Does he have to construe that as a truncating of any further treatment? Is he not to do anything to help this human being?

Let us assume the human being in this instance -- the member says all these cases are rare, so let’s have rarity within rarity -- is unconscious and can’t indicate at that particular stage one way or the other. An awful lot of conditions that come to a hospital are terminal if they are not treated. That’s the nature of the thing. Therefore, in the particular situation he may feel that if he treats in the face of a card, he could very likely be subject to suit.

We raise the Hydra head by bringing the legislation forward. If there is no card, as at the present time, a discretionary decision in the wisdom of the physician is made as to how to treat, when to treat, to what degree to treat, all these matters, and if there is no card the legislation may very well be construed in the opposite sense, that he must treat and he must treat with every means available. Otherwise, again he’ll stand the possibilities of damages in a court action.

Why engender all that fuss? Over and above that, there’s the whole host of phrases here that have to be worked out and determined and more precisely defined. The word terminal, as in terminal condition, is not a word even among the medical profession, as I understand it, easily arrived at by any means. The incurable condition. What is an incurable condition? I don’t think there is any definitive determination in the medical profession as to what an incurable condition is. Some conditions that appear to be incurable are not incurable. People are cured.

Then there is the whole situation with respect to the use of “imminent.” When is imminent imminent -- two weeks, a few hours? Again, there is enormous flux in here, a very great difficulty in making the determination. So what do we gain? We open the Pandora’s box to bring explicit legislation in and cause confusion and compound a situation which could be very well left alone.

Another point that has been brought to my attention is with respect to transplants. Sometimes it’s necessary to use life-sustaining mechanisms or artificial means to keep people alive in order to perform the transplant, to have the time, et cetera. Are they not to do that in face of a card or if the individual can’t consent one way or the other? What if you have two cards, one for transplant and one for which you de-terminate?


While I think pretty well every member of this assembly has deep respect for the member’s intention, for what he is trying to do -- don’t let him follow California on the thing. He is not improving the situation by doing so. In my opinion, he is not helping the medical profession. Certainly, he is doing nothing in terms of law to assist the courts. He is confusing the issue. I’m going to have my final dig: They send my bill out to a royal commission; this is a very deserving subject for the same treatment -- and that’s probably terminal too.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: I want to inform the hon. members that the mover and the sponsor of this bill still has four minutes of his time left in order to answer questions and he will be recognized at 4:50.

Mr. R. S. Smith: That leaves me three minutes, which is all I need because everything has already been said. I will oppose the bill for a number of reasons, most of which have been given by the previous speaker and the member for Kitchener-Wilmot and which have been pointed out to me by those people I conferred with in my own area, as the mover of the bill well knows. I have also spoken with him on a personal basis with regard to the bill and I don’t intend to allude to that; but he fully realizes my reasons for opposing the bill.

The explanatory note, if that was all the bill represented, would, I think, be acceptable to almost every member in this Legislature. But the bill does go much farther and brings into play other things which, I believe, are not in the best interests of society. The bill is, in itself, another intrusion of government into the rights of the individual by setting up a law which is very difficult to be reversed if, in fact, it does not work out well. We have a lot of those laws on our books; they stay there -- and the public suffers in the long run.

I firmly believe the bill also takes away from the medical profession some of the rights it now has to make decisions. If the person himself who has, or has not, signed the card is not in a position, because of his state, to make a decision for himself, I firmly believe his family and his physician together should make that decision as to whether the extraordinary means that are being used, or could be used, should be withheld.

I would point out to you that I have spoken with the members of the medical profession in my area --

Mr. Deputy Speaker: The hon. member’s time has expired.

Mr. Maeck: Give him some more.

Mr. R. S. Smith: They have expressed their opposition to the bill, and so have the directors of one of the hospitals in my area. I should also point out that I have spoken to at least two people who feel that if such legislation had been in place and they had received one of those cards, they would have not received the extraordinary means that prolonged their lives well beyond a few weeks, and into years and years. I think that is perhaps a significant point when you talk to people who have had that experience.

Mr. Bullbrook: May I presume to say that I just think the quality of the debate and the exposition of the various arguments has been just superb. It’s obvious that the exercise that we’ve undertaken under the new rules is a most advantageous one to us and the public and I compliment it.

If I may say to my colleague from Parry Sound, I found the most telling argument for those who oppose his legislation --

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Is this for the purpose of asking a question?

Mr. Reid: Yes, he wants his opinion.

Mr. Bullbrook: Yes. I appreciate your indulgence. The most telling argument is the fact that the legislation seemingly is redundant. There is nothing under the law at the present time that deprives an individual of the right to say to his physician: “I don’t want that type of treatment.” I’d ask the hon. member then to respond to the question: Why do we need the legislation, in view of the redundancy?

Mr. Maeck: Probably that’s the first question I should deal with because I have only a couple of minutes left. The reason I feel there’s a need is simply this: It’s all very well to say that the doctors and the family can sit down and make a decision. If someone should suddenly have a stroke, as an example, he’s not able to speak. Perhaps he’s never indicated to his family his feelings on this matter. So his family does not know what his desires are. His doctor doesn’t know. He suddenly has a stroke and he has been declared terminal. What does the doctor do? He and the family must take on that authority and make that decision. I don’t believe it’s the doctor’s place or the family’s place to make that decision. I think I should have the right to indicate that ahead of time. I just feel that that is important.

The member for Kitchener-Wilmot (Mr. Sweeney) mentioned that 94 per cent of the doctors would carry out the patient’s wishes. Okay, what happens to the other six per cent? Who’s looking after those people? There are those six per cent out there, if that’s the case, who, if they become terminal, are going to be put on life-sustaining machinery whether they want to or not. I’m not saying that’s a general practice, but I am saying that I as an individual or any adult as an individual should have the right to decide whether or not he should be put on life-sustaining equipment if he becomes terminal and if he’s been declared terminal by at least two other physicians besides his own.

The matter of somebody being pulled up out of, say, a car, after an accident or so on, being taken into the hospital and being ignored, I think is a little far-fetched. I don’t think any doctors can diagnose any case in 15 or 20 minutes. I think the natural reaction would be for them to give them aid. This directive is not going to be enforced in 10 or 15 minutes time. I don’t think that’s an argument.

I don’t know if there’s anything else that I wanted to mention or not. The member for Nipissing mentioned the rights of the medical profession, suggesting they might be taken away. It’s not my intention to take away the rights of the medical profession at all. I don’t think the bill does that, but what it does is relieve those people of the responsibility of having to advise the family what should be done. You or I or whoever has signed the directive made that decision for them.

Mr. R. S. Smith: Some consider that their right and their responsibility.

Mr. Maeck: Everyone is entitled to his own opinion on this matter. It’s permissive legislation. You don’t have to sign a directive if you don’t wish. But if it did become law and you decided to sign a directive, you, in effect, would be making the decision rather than asking your family or your clergy or the doctor.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: The hon. member’s time has expired.

Mr. Sweeney: You can’t make that decision in advance.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: The question of whether or not there will be a vote on this item will be decided at 5:45. We’ll deal with item 2.


Mr. Lawlor moved second reading of Bill 4, An Act to provide for Freedom of Information.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: The hon. member has the floor for up to 20 minutes.

Mr. Lawlor: The freedom of information bill before the House today is founded on several matters. It’s an amalgam of many sources and statutes. The base of it is the bill of the member for York South (Mr. MacDonald) of an earlier date, somewhat built upon and flushed out. We looked at the American statute which passed through the American Congress in 1967 and was amended fairly substantially since that time, particularly in 1974, and the bill produced by Jed Baldwin up in the federal House -- he calls it The Right to Information Act. Our bill -- and that’s an editorial “our” -- is set up along somewhat different lines.

Honourable mention should be given to a man called Vasilkioti, the Conservative candidate running against the member for St. George (Mrs. Campbell), who drafted a bill and presented it to us at an earlier time, and to the Swedish legislation.

Can there be any question that such a bill is needed? We in the opposition know it direly. We know it from the dearth of information that flows. It’s kind of commentary, a curious one, on the democratic process that such a bill should be found necessary at all; that in an open system of government, such as we supposedly have, we don’t feel that’s the way it operates.

Under this particular head, I would like to quote from the joint Senate-House minutes of proceedings in evidence on the joint standing committee regulations and other statutory instruments, written in this instance by Eugene Forsey. I don’t quote Eugene too often any more. He’s kind of a purblind, maladroit fellow as far as I’m concerned, particularly on the Quebec issue, but on matters of this kind he has an exemplary capability. I want to read into the record at page 32-47:

“The complaint most often made and most intensely expressed concerning the provision of government information was that the practice of the Canadian government” -- and this, of course, includes the Ontario government -- “although enshrined neither in principle nor policy, was to release only that information which was considered advantageous or harmless and automatically to withhold the rest. The operative principle seemed to be, ‘When in doubt, classify it.’”

I would dare say, if this thing is finally opened up somewhat, that 80 per cent of the information that is held in secret at present would be revealed as a great revelation on the day of judgement and that only 20 per cent would be withheld for very good and obvious reasons.

The chief weight of the legislation, and the conceivable argument against it, has to do with the privacy of individuals. I think it’s just as well to deal with that first. It may be said that this legislation before us doesn’t adequately protect or forfend in this regard. I would ask the members of the House to look at section 3, where the exemptions, the non-disclosable items, are set forth. The first two have to do with security and foreign relations. The fourth says:

“Documents, the release of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.”

I admit that was borrowed from the American statute. It has held over the whole period. It hasn’t been amended. It stands and it is the most succinct and direct way of protecting personal privacy. We want to keep the exemptions in this kind of legislation to the very minimum. The whole purpose of the legislation is in the direction of disclosure. Where the disclosure is not warranted in that rather narrow sphere, then of course it has to be adequately protected.

Next, I want to point to clause 8:

“Documents that are excluded from disclosure by statute.”

If we look at the statutes having to do with taxation matters, we will invariably see clauses in there making for confidentiality of financial reports and all kinds of information having to do with the internal operation of businesses, particularly corporations. It’s already in most statutes in this regard.


If whatever government exists sees fit, with respect to areas of information touching the personal lives of citizens which ought not to be easily disclosed or readily available for whomever wants to snoop, then that can be put into any piece of legislation. If there’s legislation now that doesn’t contain a clause and they believe it should contain such a clause -- in the area of welfare, in the area of health and the area of education -- so be it. You could pass a statute. At least we would get the opportunity to canvass the proposition in this House and it wouldn’t be used unilaterally and arbitrarily by some cabinet minister, et cetera who is simply anxious to protect his own flanks --

Mr. Conway: Shame.

Mr. Lawlor: -- from all directions.

Mr. Conway: Shame.

Mr. Lawlor: Protection is given in this legislation to the minister of the executive council, but it seems to me that it didn’t want to go very much further than that. We all respect cabinet secrecy; it can’t make decisions otherwise. Nevertheless, a great deal of information, reports, various types of documentation is given to the cabinet upon which to make the decision which should be available to us too so that we can see the basis upon which these decisions were made.

It should go beyond that. We should know what the alternatives discussed might be, but I do not think you can penetrate into the closure of cabinet as such or would we want to do so nor does the legislation call for that. On the contrary, the legislation specifically excludes that sort of thing.

The structure of the bill, as to the first part, defines a public document in a very broad way. That has been worked over, expanded -- and it’s not in line, it’s fairly new drafting -- to try and cover the whole area as to what can be elicited, what is being sought and to cover the ground pretty thoroughly.

The second section is interesting because here’s the major problem. In the United States, and to some degree in Sweden too, the freedom of information legislation has spawned something of a bureaucracy and has proved fairly costly to the public purse to make disclosures as required. I thought that initially at least, to get the legislation off the ground, to get it into operation, it would be best to cut out all that and simply move to the heart of the matter, reposing a certain amount of faith in the public servants, et cetera, in this particular regard. So I say that, subject to the exemptions, any person may request in writing any public document from a government organization, where the request reasonably identifies the subject matter or a list of public documents affecting the subject matter, and upon receiving the request, the government organization shall make available as soon as possible such a document or list of documents for examination. It does. It’s not perfect but it does save a great deal of cost.

In the United States under their Public Information Act, they have gone to a system of indexing with elaborate provisions -- many sections and so on -- it is a system of indexing all these internal memorandum, all the internal documentation, manuals and everything else which they publish every quarter for the perusal of the general public. The minister is perfectly right. This has been abused by certain corporations in the United States in working over that particular material and making demands upon it.

I don’t see at this stage publishing all these lists. People who want to know something within, say, a particular area of nuclear energy or something of that kind know with some specificity what they are after. The government servants can say, “Well, this is what we have available internally. What do you want?” And there has to be some reciprocity in order to get the thing operating.

I am one of those who believes that the office of the Ombudsman should not be contracted, restricted or truncated in any way. On the contrary, it should be expanded. The role and functions of the Ombudsman are not sufficiently full and warranted and operating in this province at the present time and so I thought -- and this is what the Swedes do; they have an Ombudsman in this particular regard -- I thought that if there was a dispute between a government agency and whoever is out there wanting information that was denied, that the Ombudsman could be the referee. Why not, in this particular? Then, if that didn’t appear to be quite palatable, let’s take it beyond that, by way of sealed documentation, to the courts, because a government agency might, under various circumstances particularly, not want to accede to the Ombudsman -- its own creature, so to speak -- and would want to take it on, if it felt the matter was of sufficient secrecy and importance, to a judge of the high court. So be it, and one has no exception to that.

And then if there are other areas open up with respect to what may or may not be legitimately asked for -- provisions made in the regulations. But, again, the legislation goes one step further and says we all chafe under the present system touching regulations -- we all spend all our nights reading the Ontario Gazette. In this particular situation, I say that the standing committee of the Legislature having to do with regulations -- which is a kind of dormant body if ever there was one -- might peruse the regulation exempting a particular area and give its approval.

Again, we keep it within the legislative intent. The matter is controlled and operative through this body, where it has to be, and ought to be, and I trust would be regarded by all members of this House as an innovative measure. It is one way in which the British Parliament, by the way, does fairly often with respect to their regulations, and which we have never done. That is, indeed, a great shame.

You see the balance of the sections having to do with cost and so on, preventing vexatious and frivolous proceedings to be taken. A person, if he forces the thing up to the high court, very well might have to pay the costs if he hasn’t got good grounds for asking for this thing and for pushing it thus far. I think that’s a warranted and worthy provision.

The minister will talk about our kind of constitution being different from other constitutions. I am inclined to agree, in this kind of legislation, with Professor Rawlyk that the constitutional issue, while important and to be cognizant of, is not all that important. The problem is, is the information available or ain’t it? If we need it and we want it, are there legitimate grounds for withholding it? That, in any system of government, would be the primary consideration. I don’t think that all this malarkey and all this background paper that we have been subjected to --

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I hope you read it before you comment on it.

Mr. Conway: You insulted the Attorney General.

Mr. Lawlor: I read it with great care -- three times, as a matter of fact.

Mr. Conway: You are going to upset the Attorney General.

Mr. Foulds: Your batting average isn’t very good, Roy.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: It’s a lot better than yours.

Mr. MacDonald: Philadelphia is coming to town.

Mr. Martel: If Carleton Williams is heading up that study you’re lost.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Can we have some order, please? You’re taking the time away from the member for Lakeshore. This is a structured debate.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Structured? It is a very structured presentation.

Mr. Lawlor: I put it to this House that adequate provision for privacy is made in the terms of this legislation. I put it to this House that the other subterfuge and various traducings attempted in this particular background paper, pointing out the Wall report -- the Wall report is a report which fundamentally says that confidentiality should be lifted, to some degree, from the civil service and that internally through the civil service they should make these decisions. Guidelines could be laid down -- you have no necessity for legislation under this head. Things are fine as they are and you ought not to open it up in this particular way.

Mr. Bullbrook: What did you do with all those brown paper bags we sent you?

Mr. Lawlor: It’s a case of arterial sclerosis over there. You do get hardening of the arteries. All bodies, particularly when they’ve been exercising too long, end up with a kind of cretinous condition. This government has been so self-enclosed and so habitually addicted to withholding information over the years that it finds it quite impossible to do gracefully what the times call for, and which most other civilized jurisdictions do voluntarily. What does this government do when this kind of legislation is mooted? It immediately turns around and says that it’s going to appoint -- it wasn’t quite sure what kind of commission it was going to appoint for quite a while. The Throne Speech says some kind of commission. The government got around finally, the following day to say it was going to be a royal commission.

The minister has seen, I trust, the remarks made by some of my colleagues about the constitution of that commission, particularly as to its chairman. We have grave misgivings about the operation of that commission. It’s already predelicted, through its chairman, in the government’s favour.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: As an Irish nationalist, are you offended by the use of the word “royal”?

Mr. Lawlor: Have you suddenly gone simple-minded?

Mr. Conway: It wasn’t a very long trip.

Mr. MacDonald: Fred Shero is going to look after you.

Mr. Lawlor: I, therefore, knowing and holding for an idea whose time has come, ask all members, since I trust this is a free vote on all sides of this House, to vote for this legislation. If members find there’s some minor weakness somewhere --

Mr. Reid: Just in the speaker.

Mr. Lawlor: -- and I can’t lay claim to total perfection in these matters, it can be amended in committee. It would be welcomed in these terms, but if members want to flesh something out or make it clear, so be it. The legislation has great validity and I particularly want to commend the member for York South (Mr. MacDonald) for having been the first to introduce the matter to this House.

Mr. Singer: I start off my remarks in this debate by complimenting the hon. member for Lakeshore in bringing this bill forward. Those of us who have been here for a while have become absolutely frustrated at the inability to obtain information from government, information that the people of Ontario are entitled to get and that their representatives are entitled to get. What we receive instead of information is a bunch of gobbledygook, subterfuge, plots and cute answers. A bunch of nonsense emanates from the government benches, and there is no free exchange of information.

It’s sufficient for the day that the government is in charge and can order the business of the province. That is their duty and responsibility. But at least they are supposed to be a democratic government. One has to wonder at the extent of democracy, at least in the minds of those who have governed in this province for some 30 years or more, when they refuse to give to the other elected representatives who don’t happen to wear their same party badge information which will allow appropriate discussion of matters of public concern.

Mr. Speaker, you will remember with me that over the years we have asked time and again for the records and the minutes of the Ontario Housing Corporation. There has been great concern in the minds of a number of us as to the method whereby the Ontario Housing Corporation buys and sells and deals in property. I thought we are making some progress with the newest Minister of Housing (Mr. Rhodes) -- and I’m sorry he isn’t here today -- who promised this House over a year ago that he was going to work out some method whereby the minutes of the Ontario Housing Corporation could be examined by members of the Legislature.

He put a couple of caveats into that kind of a study. He said, “You wouldn’t want to make public matters affecting personnel.” Perhaps not. “You wouldn’t want to make public matters affecting a transaction not yet to be completed.” Perhaps not. “You wouldn’t want to make public matters which would seriously affect the marketability of a particular piece of real estate.” Perhaps not. After we got the various caveats from the Minister of Housing, the matter died, yet to come back to light again. None of us yet has been able to see the minutes of the Ontario Housing Corporation and what they would reveal, or to see any explanation of some of the most peculiar dealings in land -- at least as they appeared to us, at least as they appeared to the media and at least as they appeared to voters.

I am very happy to see that the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) is next on the list to join this debate. I hope he will give us something more than the pap that is contained in the so-called white paper.


Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Have you read it?

Mr. Singer: Yes, I’ve read it; I’ve read it in detail.

I wonder why, and I would ask the Attorney General -- through you, of course, Mr. Speaker; I wouldn’t engage in this kind of talk -- I would ask him to explain to us when he gets on his feet, and I’m sure he will, why it has taken this government all these years to bring forward nothing more than a really nebulous white paper which promises action some time in the future. Why is his word in the white paper any more useful or valid than the word of the Minister of Housing, which he gave to this House a year and a half ago when we asked him -- was it for the 10th, 12th or 15th time? -- to let us have a look at the minutes of the Ontario Housing Corporation?

What I say substantially is this: There is no reason to believe that this government is serious when it talks about disclosure of information. There is no reason at all to believe it’s serious, because questions sit on the order paper. He, the Attorney General, and his colleagues give us these snappy answers -- they think they are very clever -- they sit down and we don’t know the answer. Or the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) for instance. What better evader of fact is there than the Treasurer, who makes a loud political attack on people seeking legitimate information to appropriately consider matters of government policy?

Having said that, I say that my colleagues and I are anxious and eager to support a bill which will force as quickly as possible, and bring about as quickly as possible, a system of disclosure of information. I think this has to be an immediate part of the legislative procedures and provisions of the province of Ontario.

I agree with the hon. member for Lakeshore that his bill is something far less than perfect, and there are a number of changes I would like to see in it. However, in principle I have no hesitation in supporting it. For instance, I wonder whether or not we really should appoint the Ombudsman as a person who is going to sit in judgement on whether or not particular pieces of information are relevant or come within some of the exclusions that the Act provides.

Mr. Lawlor: Why on earth not?

Mr. Singer: I believe that there is a very serious danger that can be further aggravated by giving to the Ombudsman yet more power to make decisions which will set him over and above the Legislature. I would like to see section 4, referring to the Ombudsman, deleted from this statute and whatever review there has to be perhaps entrusted to the court.

I’m not too happy with the kinds of exclusions as they are worded; they’re pretty broadly drawn. I would think if we had a little more time -- perhaps in committee -- the definitions set out in section 3 could be expanded and made more specific.

With those comments, Mr. Speaker, again we commend the introduction of this bill. We believe it deserves the support of all members of this House. The test is going to be, when the Attorney General speaks, as to whether or not he is serious. We’ve heard far too long from him and his colleagues, and from his predecessors and their colleagues, that they believe in the freedom of information. They give lip-service to democracy, but let them put their lips where their principles lie and let them support this kind of a statute.

Mr. Acting Speaker: The hon. member for Eglinton.

Mr. Moffatt: The opposition critic.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I certainly hope, Mr. Speaker, that I’ll be able to make a little more useful contribution to this debate than was made by the member for Wilson Heights.

Mr. Singer: Just say you’ll support the bill.

Some hon. members: Support the bill!

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I should state at the outset that I ought to be very pleased with the interest of the hon. member for Lakeshore with respect to this obviously very important and most crucial topic. I’m certainly willing to concede that the introduction of his bill is at least a useful contribution to the continuing investigation of what should be the best approach. However, as I’ve already clearly indicated in the Throne Speech debate, it is my view that the legislation is, firstly, premature --

Mr. Nixon: Shame.

Mr. Lawlor: Fifty years too late.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: -- and, secondly, contains very substantial defects; I’ll touch on some of these in a few moments. In my respectful view, it would be not in the public interest to support such legislation.

The member for Lakeshore (Mr. Lawlor) has acknowledged the fact that his legislation is based to a very large extent on the US freedom of information Act. He has also referred to Sweden as well, and recognizes the fact that both those Acts are obviously based on very different constitutional principles and are not appropriate to the Canadian experience. In relation to the, I think, very important background paper, it should be pointed out that in Canada very little scholarly attention has, in fact, been paid to the many issues that have been raised, and certainly there has really been very little detailed analysis of the US and the Swedish solutions. The debate in Canada, as a matter of fact, has been confined to date to a relative handful of contributions and those are referred to in the white paper.

I think it should be pointed out again that the experience in the US has been very useful and has demonstrated the enormous cost that has been involved in enforcing the rights under the Act. It has not only added enormously to government bureaucracy but because of the litigation --

Mr. Bain: It would be cheaper not to have an election either.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: -- the member should be interested in this -- and because of the adversary system that has been set up there, the principal beneficiaries of the US legislation have been the large corporations, because they are the only people who have been able to afford the very costly litigation that is engaged in in relation to whether or not there has been a compliance with the legislation.

Mr. Conway: That would make it like the Tory party.

Mr. Drea: The Marxist mind always has the answer.

Mr. Lawlor: You think it is a sop to the socialists, do you?

Mr. Drea: Yes.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I point out again that it is recognized in the United States that the treatment, in the US, of freedom of information and privacy in separate legislation has caused enormous confusion and uncertainty in relation to interpreting both Acts.

If I may turn to the bill that has been introduced, I should like to make some specific comments in relation to what I view to be very substantial defects. First, the list of exceptions in section 3(1) raises more questions than it answers. For example, what constitutes “a clearly unwarranted invasion of privacy” in paragraph 4? The same expression in the US freedom of information Act has certainly spawned a great deal of litigation and it is yet to be satisfactorily defined. I think just simply to crib some legislation from another jurisdiction and assume that this is going to serve the interests of the people in Ontario is really not a very useful approach.

Mr. Martel: You had better vote against Lorne Maeck’s bill in a little while.

Mr. Lawlor: You are not even considering your legislation.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: The exceptions in paragraphs 6 and 11 contain the potential of rendering the right of access declared in section 2 almost totally meaningless. After the member attempts to establish precise criteria for disclosure in sections 2 and 3, the bill then goes on to empower the Ombudsman to order the release of documents when in his opinion it is in the public interest that this be done. This is section 4(3). The effect of this provision is to eliminate from the bill any identifiable criteria.

Mr. Nixon: The member for Lakeshore was trying to protect the government.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Furthermore, I think section 4 does raise very fundamental questions about the role of the Ombudsman. For example, in no other instance does he have the power to direct or order that things be done. He can recommend only. Paragraph 8 of section 3(1) of the bill specifically exempts from the requirement of disclosure, “documents that are excluded from disclosure by statute.” The effect of section 4(3) is to permit the Ombudsman to rewrite the statutory exemptions; and I think the same may be said about section 7, which confers power on the Lieutenant Governor in Council to order the release of any public document where it is in the public interest to do so.

I suggest, Mr. Speaker, that a fundamental defect of the bill --

Mr. Kerrio: It is premature?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: -- is that it promotes an overly legalistic approach to the question of access to public documents, and it certainly encourages both the individual and the government to adopt adversary stances.

Mr. Lawlor: I wish I had kept my 2½ minutes now.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: As I indicated, furthermore, the bill ignores the most fundamental importance of dealing with information privacy and automated data processing in the same bill, and if the member was really acting in the public interest he would recognize the wisdom of dealing with both those issues at the same time.

Mr. MacDonald: Now you are casting doubt on the hon. member’s motives.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Finally, when any dispute over the release of public documents reaches the courts, again at this point in time the judge -- at least as I read the legislation -- would appear to have a wide open discretion to determine the issue -- in the member’s words -- as he thinks fit, without reference to the specific section 3(1); for example the exclusions or the Ombudsman’s opinion of where the public interest may lie.

So quite apart from what I say is premature, the bill itself will create far more problems than it will ever solve. It may well be a bonanza for lawyers, but I certainly don’t think that was in the hon. member’s mind when he introduced the legislation. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. MacDonald: Mr. Speaker, my first words must be of thanks to my colleague from Lakeshore for introducing this bill.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: They are turning the lights off.

Mr. MacDonald: That’s right. The darknesses will descend on us when we have to vote on this this afternoon.

Mr. Conway: The lights are dimming.

Mr. Reid: You are casting us all into darkness.

Mr. MacDonald: I trust you are deducting all that time off mine, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Nixon: All of this is time; it’s all counting.

Mr. MacDonald: My luck of the draw this year on the private member’s bills brought me in 70th position, so it would have been some time in the 1980s --

Mr. G. I. Miller: Pity.

Mr. Reid: Well that’s about your relative standing in the House.

Mr. MacDonald: The fact that my colleague was willing to bring this in is an evidence not only of it being a personal concern of mine and of his, but a personal concern of this whole party, because we have given it the first place in terms of private member’s bills.

Mr. Drea: As a party?

Mr. MacDonald: The hon. member for Lakeshore has dealt with the substance of this bill and, given the restraints of time, I am not going to deal with the substance of the bill any more. I want to deal with the political context in which we are considering it.

It was widely believed that the government was going to bring in a bill on freedom of information. It was almost an open secret; the press was speculating on it. Yet when the Throne Speech came down we discovered that the government had said it had opted for a commission on freedom of information and individual privacy.

The best comment I have seen on that is not only the little stiletto effort of it being a spurious commission, but the lead editorial of the Hamilton Spectator on April 5, right after the Throne Speech, drew attention to the great challenge today to get governments to be a part of the people instead of government being separate from the people. They said the theory that government is part of the people is being shot to pieces because it is becoming a separate entity, groping in various ways to work out some new mutually acceptable relationships with the public.

Then their comment on what is happening in Ontario was as follows: “In Ontario this effort has taken a strange and pathetic form -- a commission on freedom of information and individual privacy. The commission on freedom of information is not a noble attempt to restore decent relations between the people and government. It’s an admission of government’s failure.”


This study is not needed; we study things to death. This government has the greatest propensity of studying things to death, instead of acting to come to grips with solving the problem.

Mr. Conway: It is just their socialist instinct.

Mr. MacDonald: The Attorney General was quoted on radio this morning as saying: “We don’t want to stumble into this issue.” This afternoon he had a new version -- “It’s premature.” How something can be premature when it’s as long overdue as this mystifies me a little. I think he should have a discussion with the hon. Minister of Labour (B. Stephenson).

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Read the background paper carefully.

Mr. MacDonald: We’ll come to the background paper in a moment.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Carefully.

Mr. MacDonald: The proposition that we are stumbling into this issue is just a piece of nonsense. The government may be stumbling into the issue, they may be backing into the issue; but we have generations of experience with regard to freedom of information in Sweden, we’ve had a decade of experience with it in the United States. In Ottawa Jed Baldwin has been leading something approaching a crusade to get freedom of information legislation passed in the House of Commons. He now has the backing of the Bar Association in Canada.

It’s interesting that a Tory in Ottawa finds that he is bucking the Liberals and they won’t break down the traditional inhibitions to freedom of information; whereas when we get down here the opposition is attempting to deal with the Tory government and facing the same road blocks.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: What about your friends in Ottawa?

Mr. Nixon: You Tories didn’t think of it when you were in a minority situation in Ottawa.

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

Mr. MacDonald: I want to come back to the province of Ontario. The Attorney General was aware of the fact that a very significant group of Conservative lawyers had been working on this issue for quite some time.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Vasilkioti will be sitting in this House after the next election.

Mr. Nixon: How well the Tories do down there in St. George.

Mr. Conway: Remember March, 1973, Roy?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: That was premature.

Mr. Foulds: You stumbled into that.

Mr. MacDonald: Last fall, Mr. Speaker, the Attorney General got up and criticized the hon. member for Wilson Heights (Mr. Singer) because of his contribution. His function here this afternoon is to run interference and to play games with an important issue. That’s all he’s done so far.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please. Perhaps the hon. member for York South will return to the principle of the bill.

Mr. MacDonald: I am dealing with the principle of the bill, Mr. Speaker. If you want to bring the Attorney General to heel instead of interrupting, then you would have some justification for trying to get me back to the principle. We’ve wasted about three or four minutes. A little bit of even application of the rules of the House around here --

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please. The Chair will rule impartially.

Mr. Conway: The Attorney General is the one wasting time.

Mr. Moffatt: Who is that Speaker?

Mr. Drea: You wouldn’t treat the Speaker that way?

Mr. MacDonald: If he deserved it, I would.

This government is backing into this issue in spite of the fact that it had a group of Tories who have studied it, who know that it is time, that it is not premature for a bill to be brought in. They have made their representations to the Attorney General; the Attorney General’s department prepared a bill; the bill went to the cabinet; and the cabinet took flight. The cabinet decided that they could not run the risk of the kind of freedom of information that would be passed by a government in a House in which they were a minority; so they’ve gone off to study it further because they’re good.

The problem, Mr. Speaker, is the attitude. And what is the attitude of this government? Let’s start right with the Premier (Mr. Davis).

Last April the Premier was interviewed on CFTO by Tom Clark. The question was: “Do you think we have too much secrecy in government?” The Premier’s comment was: “I don’t think there is. I think there are some people who feel there is too much secrecy. I think actually there’s a great deal of public information, in fact more public information than probably either the media or the public generally can assimilate.”

That’s the attitude of this government. It always has been, and the whole cabinet has taken on that kind of an attitude.

Mr. Martel: You never release anything.

Mr. MacDonald: The net result of it, Mr. Speaker, was that a month later the Conservatives held an annual meeting and there was a revolt -- at least it was termed a grass roots revolt on the front pages of the Globe and Mail which always reports authoritatively on the Conservative Party.

Mr. Makarchuk: It’s a revolting party.

Mr. Moffatt: That’s true.

Mr. MacDonald: The Premier then said that they were reviewing the situation; they were reviewing it and the result is that we now have this going off into a study.

Our problem, in terms of the attitude, is the tradition. We have a tradition of administrative secrecy in the British parliamentary system which makes a mockery, makes it impossible to have the kind of open government that we need in a modern democracy. Something has got to be done to reverse that tradition of administrative procedure.

We’ve had studies by COGP and they’ve said we should have a declaration of communications policy. We’ve had studies by the Wall report which said there should be less confidentiality; and I agree that both the COGP and the Wall report backed off when it came to the proposition of having legislation.

The AG’s report, or this study paper that he’s prepared that he’s so proud of, is a rehash of all of that stuff. They have elevated it to a threat to the British parliamentary system if we don’t go into this carefully, because somehow or other we’re going to challenge this administrative secrecy which is sort of core to the whole British parliamentary system.

Mr. Speaker: One minute to go.

Mr. MacDonald: Right:

Mr. Conway: Does Bill Kelly like this bill?

Mr. MacDonald: The Attorney General argues that it is not appropriate to the Canadian experience. I suggest that it is appropriate. I suggest that his own colleagues in the Conservative Party told him at their annual meeting last year that it was appropriate. I suggest there’s a group of lawyers, some of whom he thinks may be in this House after the next election, who have presented a bill to him; and his ministry has prepared the bill and brought it into the cabinet, and now he is backing off from this issue.

Mr. Speaker, I would agree there may be defects in this bill. Nobody for one moment would argue that in as complex a bill there might not be defects. But this bill has been before the House three times before. It has had the support of spokesmen from all parties on each occasion which it was debated. I suggest now is not premature. Now is the time, long overdue, to pass the bill. Send it out to committee, improve it where it needs to be improved; but let’s come to grips with this issue instead of studying it still more.

Mr. Speaker: Thank you. The hon. member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk.

Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to speak in favour of the bill before us. I certainly feel that if anything were put in the way of a free and democratic vote on the bill in the House it would be a tragedy indeed. I see some of the back-bench Tories -- there are only six of them, of course -- coming in in preparation for the disposition of this order of business, and I would certainly warn them against expressing any view against a free vote in the House.


Mr. Nixon: The hon. member who has just spoken is entirely correct. It has been before the House on three occasions; it has been supported on all sides; and it would be a shame indeed if the will of the House were not now carried forward.


Mr. Makarchuk: They don’t believe in democracy.

Mr. Nixon: I want to quote just very briefly, Mr. Speaker, from a publication I know you read carefully called “The Parliamentarian” --


Mr. Nixon: It is an article from January, 1977, having to do with cabinet confidentiality and the Crossman diaries. We’re not talking about getting into disposition of cabinet secrets or anything like that. As a matter of fact, it is accommodated in this bill. But Lord Chalfont, whom I read regularly --

Hon. Mr. Welch: That’s why you don’t make sense.

Mr. Nixon: -- in being quoted in ”The Parliamentarian,” quotes a man whom I do respect and do read regularly, Mr. Jo Grimond. Jo Grimond said on one occasion in the Mother of Parliaments, and I quote from him: “The bureaucratic frame of mind, self-regarding, secretive, hierarchical and averse to open discussion, is a major, though perhaps well-intentioned threat to our society.” I will tell you that the passage of this bill and its acceptance wholeheartedly by the offices of government would do much to strengthen our method of government and reaffirm our commitment to true democracy; which surely is that decisions are not taken in secret, that the basic information available to government is also available to the public and that the public does have a right to know. So I say that it is a matter of high principle for every member of the House to respond to this bill before us and not to use some sort of a legal loophole in the rule to dispose of it otherwise.

Hon. Mr. Welch: You agreed to the rules.

Mr. Singer: It is at your peril.

Hon. Mr. Welch: You agreed to the new rule. Don’t start talking about loopholes.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk has the floor.

Mr. Nixon: The only other matter that concerns me is that the rumours in the newspapers may be correct, that before this bill goes through and becomes law this House might be dissolved. I would assure you, Mr. Speaker -- and I know it must concern you deeply -- as far as the Liberal Party is concerned, when we form a government we will move this legislation in this Legislature, without delay.


Mr. Nixon: However, I am confident that the goodwill that has marked the debate this afternoon will carry forward into the taking of the vote and that no one is needlessly going to obstruct the declaration of the majority will in the House at this time.

Hon. J. R. Smith: You are going the way of the dinosaur.

Mr. Nixon: I just want to say something about an objection raised by the Attorney General. In his sort of quavery voice he said that this is going to cost a lot of money. I feel that is really an inadequate argument for a person in his capacity to put forward.

I do want to quote from a report that was in the Southam News Services by Ben Tierney, which I’m sure others have read. In that report he quotes from the research undertaken by the Library of Congress in the United States responding to a review of the American freedom of information statute. I quote from this article:

“The library researchers also tend to disagree with complaints concerning the cost of meeting requests under the Act. In 1975, the Department of Defence offered figures to Congress which suggested the department could be forced to fork over close to $6 million. But, according to the figures produced after the law was in effect, the defence department actually reported an expenditure of only $405,000.” This was in the United States of America.

I feel that the arguments put forward by the Attorney General were simply to obstruct the passage of this bill. If our commitment to the private members’ hour is something other than just a debating society and is a real one -- and I know that the government House leader has made a real commitment to it -- then we cannot allow the objections of the Treasurer, who has conveyed them to the Attorney General, to stand in the way of the passage of the bill.

I feel the bill is well drawn. If anything, the hon. member who put it forward was perhaps too careful about protecting anything that the government might want to keep in its secret files. As a matter of fact -- and I hesitate to open myself to an interjection from him -- it sounds as if he were already the Attorney General --

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Stop playing politics.

Mr. Nixon: -- and attempting to protect his own butt before there were even any blemishes on it.

I would just say to all of those who might be concerned about a change in government that it appears to me if the NDP were elected, and God forbid, we would have the same sort of commitment to the concept, but drawing back from the application, that we have been so critical of in the Conservative side.

When I see that long list of exclusions, including that classic one that the Tories always use, which says something to the effect that “in case we haven’t thought of it already, anything else we want to exclude we can do so by law,” then that is unworthy of the hon. member for Lakeshore. If it does go to committee, as I trust it will, I for one would move that that be struck out.

I cannot agree, however, with my colleague when he objects to the role of the Ombudsman. I believe that is an approach that is supportable, although if the Attorney General did make a good point it was that the Ombudsman should not have the power to enforce but simply to make a recommendation, because his recommendations in our political system should be tantamount to a decision having been made.

I trust this bill will not be obstructed. If it is not obstructed, I know it will pass this House and add one of the most useful laws to the books of this province.


Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Scarborough Centre has up to four minutes.

Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I will be very brief. It will be less than a moment.

Mr. MacDonald: Be consistent.

Mr. Kerrio: Thank the Lord for small mercies.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Time is very short.

Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I shall be less than a moment. I give my respects to my friend the member for York South. I supported his private bill. If he had brought in this kind of a private bill at that time, I would not have supported it.

Mr. Nixon: The fix is in. You did it this morning and now you are doing it again.

Mr. Reid: That must be a reversible coat you are wearing.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Drea: I would appreciate a sense of decorum in this House on this historic occasion.


Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, my friend and colleague, the hon. Attorney General, has said it far more eloquently and far more expertly than I, what is fundamentally wrong and --

An hon. member: That’s true.

Mr. Nixon: You are standing on your head.

Mr. Drea: -- fundamentally invalid in this presentation. I am not going to repeat his remarks. I endorse them. Number one, this bill is premature.

Mr. Nixon: No.

Mr. Drea: Number two, it is redundant, because this government is far more concerned about civil liberties and the protection of the individual --

Mr. Nixon: You are wrong twice.

Mr. Drea: -- than those who have a continued obsession with crime.


Mr. Drea: Above all, number three, with subsection 2 of section 3, it is probably the most dangerous piece of legislation put forward in this House since the infamous Bill 99.


Mr. Drea: I am very much surprised -- I am very surprised -- as a matter of fact I am quite taken back --

Mr. Warner: You should be taken back somewhere.

Mr. Drea: -- that such a noted professional civil libertarian as the mover of this bill would put into any statute over which he had some control, and I presume he had some control in the drafting of this --

Mr. Lawlor: Some remote control.

Mr. Drea: -- that subsection 2. Can you imagine, Mr. Speaker, if the government was refusing to do something for somebody because they had a criminal record? Read that subsection 2. The criminal record gets to be a part of the proceedings of a standing committee. When he thought about this and when he drafted this, he should have taken a look at the protection of the individual.


Mr. Drea: But knowing the mentality that produces this kind of legislation --


Mr. Drea: -- I will say there apparently are no lengths to which those who want to snoop and to pry and to get rid of any private considerations will go. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Martel: That won’t get you a cabinet post.

Mr. Conway: Keep you out of the bedrooms of the nation.

An hon. member: You are right where you belong.


Mr. Speaker: Order. Can we get on with the business of the House now? We will deal with these orders in accordance with the instructions as laid down this afternoon, dealing first of all with the first item.

Mr. Maeck had moved second reading of Bill 3. My first question is, shall there be a vote on this motion? Any members opposed to a vote must now rise.

Mr. Reid: Explain what you mean.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. If there is any doubt about what I mean, this isn’t voting against the bill necessarily. We are voting as to whether there will be a vote on the bill, and if 20 members rise we will not put it to a vote later. I will ask that question so that we are quite clear. Any members opposed to a vote must now rise. There are not 20, so this will be stacked --

Mr. Reid: There are 19 over there.

Mr. Speaker: -- for the possible division. Yes, the first item will be sent to a vote.

The second item had to do with Bill 4. Mr. Lawlor had moved second reading of Bill 4. Again I will ask the question, shall there be a vote on this motion? Any members opposed to a vote must now rise.

Sufficient members having objected by standing, a vote was not taken on Bill 4.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. We have a matter to decide yet; there will be a vote on second reading of Bill 3. May I just remind the members that this is a recorded vote, as I am sure most of you are aware; and, since the voting pattern may be divided in this or any of the other items on which we will vote in future, I would just remind the hon. members that they should in their turn rise and bow before they expect their name to be called. I just point that out because many people stand after their names are called. You’ll have to stand first.

The House divided on Mr. Maeck’s motion for second reading of Bill 3, which was approved on the following vote:



  • Auld
  • Belanger
  • Birch
  • Bryden
  • Cassidy
  • Cunningham
  • Davidson
  • Davison
  • Drea
  • Dukszta
  • Eaton
  • Evans
  • Ferrier
  • Germa
  • Gregory
  • Grossman
  • Hodgson
  • Johnson
  • Jones
  • Kennedy
  • Lane
  • Lewis
  • MacBeth
  • MacDonald
  • Maeck
  • Makarchuk
  • McCague
  • McMurtry
  • Meen
  • Miller, F. S.
  • Moffatt
  • Morrow
  • Newman, W.
  • Norton
  • Parrott
  • Philip
  • Samis
  • Sandeman
  • Scrivener
  • Shore
  • Singer
  • Smith, J. R.
  • Stephenson
  • Taylor
  • Timbrell
  • Vileneuve
  • Warner
  • Wildman
  • Wiseman
  • Young -- 50.
  • Bain
  • Bernier
  • Breaugh
  • Breithaupt
  • Brunelle
  • Burr
  • Conway
  • Deans
  • Di Santo
  • Eakins
  • Ferris
  • Foulds
  • Good
  • Grande
  • Hall
  • Kerrio
  • Lawlor
  • Mackenzie
  • Mancini
  • Martel
  • McClellan
  • McKeough
  • McNeil
  • Miller, G. I.
  • Newman, B.
  • Nixon
  • Reed
  • Reid
  • Renwick
  • Rhodes
  • Riddell
  • Ruston
  • Smith, R. S.
  • Stong
  • Swart
  • Sweeney
  • Welch
  • Wells
  • Williams
  • Worton
  • Ziemba--41.

Ayes 50; nays 41.

Motion agreed to.

Ordered for standing committee.

Mr. Nixon: Don’t tell me the Conservatives are going to keep us from voting on freedom of information.

Hon. Mr. Welch: While our attendance is at this level, Mr. Speaker, perhaps this would be the appropriate time to discuss the business of the House for next week; it will just take a minute.

On Monday of next week we have the concluding Throne Speech debate, with a vote Monday evening at 10:15. On Tuesday there will be legislation in the afternoon, and we’d like to serve notice that we’ll call Bill 28 on Tuesday afternoon. Then at 8 p.m. the Treasurer of Ontario wants to have a brief word with us.

Mr. Martel: He probably won’t have anything new to say.

Hon. Mr. Welch: On Wednesday of next week the resources development committee and the general government committee will meet in the morning, with the resources development committee able to start consideration of estimates. The social development committee will meet in the afternoon and it also will be ready to start considering estimates.

On Thursday afternoon, of course, there will be debate on ballot item No. 3, the notice of motion by Mr. Singer, and on ballot item No. 4, Bill 10 standing in the name of Mr. Johnson.

On Thursday night, if required, we will continue second reading debate on Bill 28. Then we’ll proceed with the bill introduced today by the Minister of Education dealing with the Essex school. On Friday we will continue with that legislation, if necessary, and if there is time, start second reading of Bill 26, the Act dealing with the proposed Ministry of Northern Affairs.

Mr. Speaker: Perhaps the government House leader would like to call the order of business for the evening?

Hon. Mr. Welch: The first order.

Clerk of the House: First order. Resuming 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.

The House recessed at 6:05 p.m.