30th Parliament, 4th Session

L021 - Mon 25 Apr 1977 / Lun 25 avr 1977

The House met at 2 p.m.




Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Speaker, later this afternoon at the appropriate time I will be tabling a report entitled, An Evaluation of the Ontario Home Renewal Programme. This report contains the findings of an independent survey carried out by the consulting firm of Peter Barnard Associates.

In reading the report, members should note that the survey is based on statistical data gathered from the more than 400 municipalities that have participated in the Home Renewal Programme. In-depth interviews were conducted with municipal officials and other persons in 25 municipalities and a questionnaire survey of residents was carried out in six municipalities -- Cornwall, Kenora, Sarnia, Sudbury, Toronto and Windsor.

The results of the survey indicate that the Ontario Home Renewal Programme has been highly successful and has been a valuable tool in helping my ministry meet its objective to help to preserve and upgrade the existing housing stock in the province.

As with any programme, there are areas where changes can be made, and this report contains recommendations for modifications and minor refinements. It also recommends that the programme be continued.

The government announced earlier this year that the Ontario Home Renewal Programme would be extended for one more year, that is until March 31, 1978. But before any decisions are taken for beyond that date, I think it is important that those communities involved in the programme be given an opportunity to respond to and comment on this evaluation.

I will therefore be forwarding copies of this report to all municipalities which have participated in this programme and ask them to give me their comments by May 30 of this year. The report will also be provided to the members of the Provincial Municipal Liaison Committee and to the hon. members of this House.

Mr. Kerrio: How about a statement by the Premier?

Mr. Lewis: I will defer to you if you would like to make a statement.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I haven’t thought of one, but I will think of one.

Mr. Lewis: Okay. Well, we’ll still be here at 6. Don’t worry.

Mr. Reid: Just one word: “Go.”



Mr. Lewis: May I ask the Minister of the Environment the following: Does he recall that back on July 27, 1976, in a private memorandum to cabinet, the Minister of Natural Resources, dealing with fishing in waters where fish were contaminated, made the following recommendation -- and please forgive me for using his preposterous words -- I quote: “Do not prohibit angling on any water where it is known that at least some of the fish are contaminated, and continue to make available for leasing for private and commercial recreational purposes.” On September 17, 1976, the cabinet committee on resources development had a memo which indicated that it agreed with the general approach proposed by the minister.

Can the Minister of the Environment confirm that this is now government policy, and what further specifics flow from that?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Mr. Speaker, since the hon. member asked the question of the Minister of Northern Affairs (Mr. Bernier) last Friday -- as it was issued over his signature when he was Minister of Natural Resources -- I made some inquiries and what the hon. member has indicated was generally the discussion that took place. As far as government policy is concerned, the answer to that is no, that still has to be approved by cabinet and by the government. I expect it will be dealt with very shortly, as the hon. Minister of Northern Affairs indicated on Friday.

Mr. Lewis: By way of supplementary, since the minister, according to the memorandum I have covering a number of divisions within the Northern Affairs and Natural Resources ministerial areas, appears to have taken this rather further down the road, and since obviously there is increasing concern in Ontario, will the minister not now in advance of his compendium release all of the information on the levels of contamination in various species in various lakes, since obviously he can’t wait another two months while anxiety is heightened?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: No, Mr. Speaker -- I shouldn’t say no. The answer at the present time would be that up until now, we have issued bulletins or releases dealing with approximately 90 lakes. Thas has been an ongoing release of information that was handled by the Ministry of Health until the first of this year and has subsequently been handled by my ministry.

As the hon. member no doubt has seen, a number of these releases or bulletins deal with various lakes in certain parts of the province. This information is released just as soon as we have the analyses from the Ministry of the Environment laboratories which have the responsibility of analysing fish. This has been going on now for a couple of years and I expect to release another bulletin within a week covering 23 more water- courses, which will make the total about 107.

The booklet or guide to which the hon. member is referring will contain roughly 150 to 160 lakes and rivers. I will make sure that the difference, which obviously is available now, added to what has already been released by way of bulletin, is tabled in this House within the next week.

Mr. Reid: Supplementary: In view of the fact that the fishing season opens within about three to four weeks, can the minister indicate when this booklet, with the compendium or without it, is going to be made available to the people who are fishing on these lakes?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: As has been mentioned on a number of occasions, it is not a question of releasing the booklet as some of the media indicated, it’s a question of getting it printed in sufficient quantity to distribute around the province. We’re hoping that will be available in June. But in the meantime the information we have, dealing strictly with fish levels in specific lakes, can be issued before that time.

Mr. Ferrier: Supplementary: Other than further testing of fish to determine the mercury levels that may be there, is the ministry making any study as to the source of the mercury -- whether it’s natural or whether there is an industrial or other source of it?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Yes, Mr. Speaker. When we completed the analysis of fish from Lake Simcoe last fall and subsequently from the Muskokas, the Lake of Bays, where there are no known sources of mercury contamination by conventional industrial sources, we have undertaken a study of those areas to find out just what the possible source can be and whether it’s more than a natural source or rock formation or sources of that kind.

The study we’ve undertaken in Simcoe started in January and has been extended to the recreation lakes in Muskoka because of the findings there. I would assume that it could be very well just a matter of manpower to extend it to the Timmins area as well.

Mr. S. Smith: In view of the fact of my question of last November regarding a list of lakes that contain fish with unacceptable levels of pollutants -- in view of the fact that the fisheries branch in the Ministry of Natural Resources now says that they prepared an answer to that question last December -- could the minister tell me whether it’s his ministry or the Ministry of Natural Resources that’s suppressing the publication, or at least the giving to me of the answers that the fisheries branch provided for the minister about last December?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: That information should come from the Ministry of Natural Resources --

Mr. S. Smith: But you’re not suppressing it?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: No, we are not suppressing it, certainly.

Mr Nixon: It is the Minister of Natural Resources. Great suppressor.

Mr. Bain: Could the minister indicate what criteria he uses in judging whether mercury contamination is natural or non-natural? I use the example of Lake Timiskaming. On various occasions he has said its contamination is natural and then on other occasions he said it originates from the mills that used to be the Cobalt area. I was wondering when the people might have a definitive answer on Lake Timiskaming.


Hon. Mr. Kerr: I’ll have to look at that particular lake, Mr. Speaker. It’s quite possible that the early information indicated it as from a natural source. I think that a natural source may be part of the problem in the hon. member’s area; however, old mill tailings areas and old mining operations, of course, are always a possible source of mercury content.


Mr. Lewis: Never knowing how much time is left around here, I must ask the government House leader this question: Does he know, or is he aware, that there is a document circulating through the Ontario Educational Communications Authority, called The Political Climate -- 1976-1980: A Planning Overview, prepared by their corporate division in May 1976, which indicates an obsessive and slightly paranoid preoccupation with politicians, the use of moulding political behaviour and opinion, gratuitous comments on politicians and on the councils that are advisory to the OECA? Has the document been brought to his attention?

Hon. Mr. Welch: No, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Lewis: By way of supplementary, might I ask the minister to read the document and comment on observations such as: “The Ministry of Education: OECA’s main difficulty in connection with this ministry is Tom Wells.” Or on the Conservative Parity: “At best, Mr. Davis will remain leader for another three or four years, which means a change in the leadership of the party within our five-year planning horizon even if the Conservatives remain in power” --

Mr. Breithaupt: It may mean a divorce for the member for Ottawa South (Mr. Bennett).

Mr. Lewis: -- and a limitless corps of observations of that kind strewn throughout the document, albeit some obviously perceptive?

Hon. Mr. Davis: We’ll be here for another four years, yes.

Mr. Lewis: I would therefore ask the minister, could he possibly follow this up fairly seriously, given the often strange and disconcerting behaviour of OECA as they deal with politicians and the public and their various advisory councils? I’ll send him a copy.

Hon. Mr. Welch: It’s obvious that I’m not on the mailing list for the brown envelopes that are distributed throughout government, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Lewis: Touché.

Hon. Mr. Welch: But, number two, I take it, we need very little further evidence of the autonomy of the board of OECA.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Who needs freedom of information?

Mr. Lewis: Brown envelopes have begun to flow again.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I suspect it was a friend of the Leader of the Opposition who wrote that report.


Mr. S. Smith: I would ask the Minister of Natural Resources if he would please explain how it is that the fisheries branch of his own ministry had prepared an answer to my question of November regarding the polluted lakes in Ontario and that he had still written me in March saying that he and the Minister of the Environment are still working on the answer? Why has that answer not been given to me?

Hon. F. S. Miller: I believe, Mr. Speaker, there was not only a letter; I thought there had been some oral communication telling the hon. member that we were trying to prepare the whole package. And it wasn’t just two ministries; a number of ministries, including the Ministry of Health, were involved in preparing a reasonable package to inform the public, not only of the specific information about mercury levels in specific lakes but also of the risks of mercury and a number of other pieces of information which we thought would be of very real value to the people fishing or likely to be eating the fish. This is taking a fair amount of time. In fact, it is being proceeded with as quickly as possible; that much I can tell the hon. member.

Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary, there’s always the chance that I don’t quite understand the answer, but let me ask the minister whether he thinks it’s reasonable that an elected member like myself should ask for information, that the information should be ready and available and yet that it should not be given to me as an elected member? Is that reasonable while the minister works on some pamphlet that he wishes for public distribution? Is that the way the minister treats the Legislature?

Mr. Lewis: Oh, contempt, indifference.

Hon. F. S. Miller: It is not, Mr. Speaker. As a matter of fact, I think my record in giving information in this Legislature is pretty good. I intend to keep it that way.

Mr. Ruston: Like closing hospitals.

Mr. Roy: In fact, it’s too good; that’s why you are there.


Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. F. S. Miller: I thought the hon. member understood that we would have a package of information available that was useful in a very broad way for a number of people. I’ll be glad to check to see, for the member’s personal use, if some part of it may be raised at once.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Going fishing?

Mr. Reid: Supplementary: Can the minister indicate what information will be available through his offices and licence issuers to people who buy fishing licences for the season starting on May 21?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. That has nothing to do with the original question about the polluted lakes and what have you,

Mr. Reid: If I may, Mr. Speaker, it has to do with the pollution in the lakes -- so that the people know what lakes are polluted --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. This is an important question. We can come back to it later.


Mr. S. Smith: I will ask a question of the Minister of Culture and Recreation, Mr. Speaker. Can he explain why one of the officials in his ministry informed the church-affiliated sponsors of the nightly bingo at the International Centre on Airport Road that it must stop busing people from Hamilton, Brantford, Toronto, Acton and Collingwood to attend its charitable bingo operation?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, that question should be directed to the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations.

Mr. Speaker: Do you redirect it?

Mr. Nixon: Does he run the bingos?

Mr. Speaker: The question is redirected by the minister.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: I don’t know about the specific instance, but there have been rules issued that those people who are running bingos must keep their expenses within a certain percentage of the gross -- I believe it is 20 per cent -- and must return 15 per cent to the charity that they are supposedly supporting by the bingo.

I don’t know that particular case. I would be glad to look into it to see whether or not that is the reason why. But the busing costs money, and if the busing brings them over the expense limit, then it may have been very well suggested that’s one way they can get within the limit.

Mr. Nixon: You let the Jockey Club bring them in from all over.

Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary: Would the minister kindly look into the fact that it is alleged that a Mr. Fisher and a Mr. Don Spade of his ministry informed a Mr. Doyle that it was not permitted for people in one community to play bingo in another community? Furthermore -- you know, big daddy government is getting bigger all the time --

Mr. Nixon: They can’t drink beer but they can play bingo.

Mr. S. Smith: -- they renewed the bingo licence only to June 30 on condition that buses are stopped by that time?

Mr. Lewis: Oh, shame. Resign.


Mr. Speaker: The hon. minister only, please. Order, please.

Mr. S. Smith: I recognize it isn’t as important as internal memoranda on the OCEA. I recognize that, but it does affect a number of people.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, I will be glad to look into those allegations.


Mr. Deans: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Premier: Since Hamilton has unfortunately not been able to acquire the Pan-American Games and since the province of Ontario indicated a willingness to make up to $17 million available for the purpose of providing facilities --

Mr. S. Smith: Could we have it anyway?

Mr. Deans: -- and other matters related to the Pan-American Games --

Mr. Shore: Will you settle for $12 million?

Mr. Deans: I will settle for $12 million; is that an offer? Would the government --

An hon. member: You get Marvin as well. That’s the problem.

Mr. Deans: -- recognizing that part of the initiative surely was to create employment in the area --

Mr. S. Smith: How about $6 million and a draft choice?

Mr. Deans: -- consider three projects: A hospital in the east end of the city to meet long-standing needs --

Mr. Reid: Sounds like an election question.

Mr. Ruston: Here is his campaign speech.

Mr. S. Smith: You could call it the Pan-Am hospital.

An hon. member: And he wants to keep one choice until after the election.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Let’s get the question, and then the answer.

Mr. Deans: I am just waiting for a break. A hospital in the east that has been approved by the Ministry of Health --

Mr. S. Smith: And a partridge in a pear tree.

Mr. Deans: -- additional senior citizen accommodation in the east end which has been proven needed --

Mr. Nixon: That’s good.

Mr. Deans: -- and a stepping up of the sewer project in Winona which the minister agrees is required but for which there was no money available? Would the Premier use the money for those purposes and create the employment and meet the needs of the community in the meantime?

Mr. Breithaupt: And a new firehall in case --

Hon. Mr. Kerr: What riding is all that in?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I won’t make one observation about the Winona request that I could. In that these requests are all, of course, indirectly non-related to the hon. member’s riding, I can understand him asking the question. I can only say, Mr. Speaker, in the same general way the question was asked, this government is always prepared to look at any reasonable request from any municipality, any board. We are most reasonable people on this side of the House and certainly we look at any reasonable request.

Mr. Nixon: You gave Hamilton a new arena before the last election. What are you going to do this time? You can use the money for an election.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Any allocation of funds, of course, has to relate to the priorities and the availability of money. I should also point out to the hon. member, who wasn’t that enthusiastic about the Pan-Am Games initially --

Mr. Deans: Oh, not so.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Oh, well, I am sorry. I thought you weren’t. I can only say to the hon. member that there is no question there would have been employment created but if memory serves me correctly the design for the major facility was to be a 15,000-seat arena, I think, for most of the indoor events, and the architectural work and so on hadn’t started, so that there would not have been, in this current fiscal year, any capital expenditure. The funding, of course, was to be provided out of certain lottery proceeds.

There was no money in this year’s budget to accommodate the possibility of the Pan-Am Games in the city of Hamilton --

Mr. S. Smith: But there is for an election. It’s about the same time.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I really can’t say to the hon. member that there is any funding there that is not now being used that we could use for other worthwhile purposes.

Mr. Deans: Supplementary: Am I to assume from what the Premier has said that if the city of Hamilton and the surrounding municipalities making up the regional municipality of Hamilton-Wentworth were to request funds for the purposes that I have asked about, since the government was prepared to spend up to $17 million on the Pan-Am Games it might be prepared to entertain such suggestions for those projects, since they would equally create employment and provide needed facilities?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I think there were three projects that the hon. member was anxious that his constituents know he had expressed an interest in, and I understand that. I think the funding for the servicing in Winona might be available, as it should be in other parts as well, on a one-third, one-third, one third basis, and I think the hon. member knows that.

Mr. Deans: You said no.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Davis: With respect to the possibility of a Hamilton East hospital, I think that’s a matter being discussed by the health council in that community. As I pointed out, the funding for any of those projects would have to be out of general tax revenues. As I tried to explain to the member, none of the funding for the Pan-Am Games was coming from that source and none of it was in this current fiscal year.

As I say, this government is prepared to try to help wherever it can within the priorities and the financial limitations that are imposed upon all of us in this House.


Mr. Roy: If I may preface it by applauding the Premier’s statements of late on the question of economic association with Levesque, may I ask the Premier this: In view of the fact that he is apparently seeking a legal opinion on the question of the white paper, and in view of the fact that he has made a full statement in this House in his commitment on Monday, April 4, how does he hope to acquire credibility with the majority of the people of Quebec or even with the majority of Franco-Ontarians when he still has on his books legislation that reads such as this -- and I am reading section 127 of The Judicature Act, which states: “Writs, pleadings, proceedings in all courts shall be in English only.”

Hon. Mr. Davis: I think they are two rather distinct issues, and the hon. member, with his legal training, I’m sure would understand that. I don’t want to get into any sort of provocative discussion -- I don’t mean provocative in terms of the House -- but I made my observations as related to the option that has been presented by the Premier of Quebec and some of his ministers and, I assume, the government, as to the question of economic union or association.

I made my statement in Montreal; I repeated it here a week ago this evening, although it was somewhat lost sight of in the midst of other discussions, and I restated it very clearly. That was based on the concern that I felt that the Minister of Finance or Treasurer from the province of Quebec had really stated in so many words in this province that the debate about separation, in his view, was over.


I very simply stated that no Canadian has the right to make that statement or express that point of view, and that as far as I was concerned that debate was not, is not and, in my view, will not be over for some period of time. If anybody in Quebec, in the government -- and I emphasize in the government -- felt that because there had been no prior statement, the option of economic union or association had some slight attraction, I went on to say -- I hope I’m right in this -- that the people of this province are very committed to national unity; are very committed to having Quebec as part of Confederation; and would be prepared to assess any restructuring of the constitution or how this country functions; I think that the people of this province would approach that in a very positive frame of mind. This is my point of view and I hope I am expressing it on behalf of all of us.

I did point out at the Empire Club that I thought that frame of mind, that feeling, would not be the same if the issue we were discussing was solely that of economic union; and, as I have said -- that is not an option open, as far as I’m concerned.

The hon. member is trying to relate that to my concern with respect to the white paper. I must emphasize that the white paper, as I understand it, is in the process of being re-assessed and put into the form of potential draft legislation. I will not comment in advance of the legislation.

As I pointed out on a number of occasions, people who try to relate what we are doing in a very progressive, logical way with respect to the French language being used for the Franco-Ontarian minority in this province -- as it relates to the legal and traditional position in the province of Quebec -- are dealing with two different situations, not only in law but in terms of the tradition and practices in this province.

I understand that the member for Ottawa East is concerned that we move more expeditiously, or more rapidly in some of these areas. I see nothing contradictory in what we have been saying, in what has been and is the policy of this government; but I would point out to him that I think there is a contradiction in the question that he has asked me, and the position of his colleague, the member for Essex South (Mr. Mancini), as it relates to another issue that is before the House.

Mr. Breithaupt: Just like your candidate in Essex South.

Mr. S. Smith: Point of order. I believe the answer that the Premier just gave does not have any bearing on the precise question being asked. In fact, it was a very unfair statement to make at this time. I would draw his attention to this clipping about his candidate in that particular riding --

Mr. Ruston: Yes. Going to get a new candidate Bill?

Mr. S. Smith: -- it is headed, “Klees Condemns Wells Over French School.” Show the clipping to the Premier and bring it back to me.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. It seems to me it was quite a broad question in connection with the Judicature Act and I wasn’t sure of the connection between the two.

Mr. S. Smith: The answer certainly had nothing to do with it.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. A supplementary from the hon. member for Ottawa East?

Mr. Roy: I preface my supplementary by saying this: I had not intended to make the association between the Premier’s statement on economic association and the Judicature Act. I said I applauded his statement on economic association.

Mr. Speaker: Your supplementary, please.

Mr. Roy: My supplementary is this: Recognizing that the Premier is one of the leaders of this country fighting for Canadian unity, how does he expect to have credibility with the people of Quebec, which his predecessor Mr. Robarts had, when talking about Franco-Ontarian rights -- and in his statement he says that his commitment to Franco-Ontarian citizens, to their educational, language and social rights will not be diminished -- as long as he keeps legislation such as this on the books of this province?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. It seems to me that’s the same question. Is there a different answer?

Mr. Roy: It wasn’t answered.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. We are wasting time when we repeat the question; the answer has to be repeated as well.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I would like to expand on my answer to the first question. I agree with you that the second question is exactly the same.

Mr. Ruston: You didn’t answer the first question.

Mr. Nixon: Take another look at it, Bill.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I say to the hon. member, I’m really not concerned in that sense about my credibility. I am very concerned about the future of this country. I apologize to no one for the positions I have taken, and I say to the hon. member, unlike perhaps some suggestions made by others during this discussion in this province and elsewhere, that in the remote possibility --

Mr. S. Smith: Here comes another cheap shot.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- that something were to happen in the province of Quebec, nothing is going to diminish the rights of the Franco-Ontarians in this province as long as I have anything to do with it.

Mr. S. Smith: What rights? Their rights to a trial in French maybe?

Mr. Roy: Don’t you call this a right, to a trial in French?

Hon. Mr. Davis: It was suggested the rights would diminish.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. We’re wasting time with this calling back and forth.

Mr. S. Smith: The Premier gets lower every day.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. S. Smith: What about Hatfield? Is the Premier going to bring him up next?

Mr. MacDonald: With reference to the original question and dead on it, since this government 10 years ago, following the B and B report, got a task force report on the extent to which French could or might be used in our courts, would the government now table that task force report so that the Legislature might judge the adequacy or inadequacy of what Robarts or the present Premier has done in the last 10 years in that area?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I can’t speak with as much specific knowledge about the courts. I will look into that information. The hon. member knows what we’ve done. But I think it also would be relevant perhaps to trace, if this were to be done, the total --

Mr. MacDonald: Will you answer my question?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I won’t undertake to table it until I myself have seen it.

Mr. MacDonald: That’s all I ask.

Mr. Speaker: Order. Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Davis: But I say to the hon. member I think it is relevant that there be an understanding of all the programmes that have been developed for the Franco-Ontarians in this province, including the field of education, where somebody I know rather well had a very direct hand in bringing it about.

Mr. Lewis: What was that? Somebody you know rather well?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Order.

Mr. Lewis: That’s another gem of self- effacement.

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


Hon. Mrs. Scrivener: Mr. Speaker, I would like to respond to the question asked by the hon. member for Perth (Mr. Edighoffer) on Thursday, April 21, concerning retail sales tax exemptions to underground utility cables.

Underground cable for electrical utilities will continue to be exempt from retail sales tax, regardless of whether the cable is to be used in-duct or is buried direct. I informed the OMEA of this decision in my letter to them of March 8, which they then acknowledged on March 24. There has been a delay in finalizing the enabling regulation due to discussions among members of my ministry, the OMEA and representatives of municipal utilities. The regulation has now been revised to incorporate their suggestions and is being processed through Management Board and cabinet. When it is approved it will be retroactive to June 1, 1977.


Mr. Ferrier: I have a question, Mr. Speaker, for the Minister of Labour. In view of the concern expressed by the francophone community in my riding, will the minister see that The Workmen’s Compensation Act is translated into French and made available to them in French?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, there have been directions issued to the Workmen’s Compensation Board about multilingual translation of certain documents. I shall certainly approach them about the possible translation of the entire Act into French for their consideration.

Mr. di Santo: Supplementary: When translating them into other languages, will the minister also make sure the documents translated are understandable?

Mr. Breithaupt: They are not understandable in English; it’s unfair to do them in other languages.

Mr. S. Smith: You don’t want them translated, you want them rewritten.

Hon. B. Stephenson: I gather there has been some newspaper discussion about the understandability, if you will, of certain of the Workmen’s Compensation Board documents.

Mr. Reid: Understandability? There’s the problem.

Hon. B. Stephenson: I have asked specifically that the documents be looked at so that indeed they will be made clear to all those individuals who have to read them. The staff of the board stands ready at any time, however, to help anyone who is having difficulty understanding the documents.

Mr. Deans: Supplementary: Is it possible to produce for the House the documents that the minister intends to have translated and to tell us into which languages she intends to have them translated? Do they include The Construction Safety Act?

Hon. B. Stephenson: We were talking about The Workmen’s Compensation Act, and that does not include The Construction Safety Act, which is an Act under the Ministry of Labour.

Mr. Deans: I understand that.


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

Hon. Mr. Davis: I thought it might be.

Mrs. Campbell: Considering the fact that the minister’s answer given to me the other day regarding unlicensed children’s boarding homes suggested that many Children’s Aid Societies won’t use unlicensed homes, will the minister tell the House whether he can give the same assurance for family courts? Are there, in fact, children sent into unlicensed homes from family courts; and who, if anyone, is looking after these children’s welfare?

Hon. Mr. Norton: The hon. member, I am sure, is well aware that the family courts in this province do not come within the jurisdiction of my ministry, although the question of many of the group homes and boarding homes for children do. I cannot give the member the assurance that she asks at this point in time, but I can assure her that the whole area, as she is aware, is under review, and will be under the jurisdiction of the new children and youths services division of the ministry. One of the reasons for the reorganization was to look at precisely the kind of problem that I know concerns her and underlies the question that she has asked.

Mrs. Campbell: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Do I take it, then, that at this point in time this ministry cannot answer as to who is responsible for the welfare of those children in unlicensed homes; and that no such assurance will be available, at least until the minister has introduced the legislation transferring responsibility of all of these facilities in his ministry? Is that the thrust of his reply?

Hon. Mr. Norton: No, Mr. Speaker, it is not and I don’t think I really need to elaborate on that. The hon. member did in fact ask a question with regard to how many children were being placed in these homes under the jurisdiction of the court. She did not ask me the question at the time about who was concerned, who was responsible for the welfare of those children. Obviously our ministry bears the responsibility for the welfare of those children, and will continue to do so, through whatever agencies are available, Children’s Aid Societies and so on, across this province. The question of those group homes which are presently not under the purview of the legislation is under review and we will be developing means of closer supervision.

Mrs. Campbell: A final supplementary, Mr. Speaker: I would point out to the minister that I did in fact ask who was supervising and it was as a result of his answer that I asked my supplementary. Could he, then, now tell us if he is responsible for these homes, as his answer indicates, how many of them are there, to his knowledge, which do not comply with the standards of health and safety, either of the municipality or of his ministry?

Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, I cannot answer that question at this point. I will try to find that information. If the hon. member has information about any or all of the standards in such group homes, I would be quite happy for her to pass that information to me and I would be quite happy to investigate it.


Hon. Mrs. Scrivener: Mr. Speaker, a few moments ago I referred to the retroactivity of a regulation for The Retail Sales Tax Act as being June 1 of this year, and of course it is January 1 of this year. I am afraid my mind was on other events.

Mr. S. Smith: Other events?

Mr. Reid: That’s the ninth.

Mr. Breithaupt: June 9.

Mr. Lewis: That certainly answers the question.


Mr. Godfrey: Mr. Speaker, a question of the Premier with regard to North Pickering land acquisition royal commission: In view of the fact that last week the Premier promised there would be an early answer to those owners who have been dispossessed and are awaiting a decision, and in view of the fact the hearings have now been postponed, may I ask the Premier what specific steps he has taken to ensure there is a speedy answer for these people?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, we are moving expeditiously to make sure the hearings get under way very shortly and we’ll have something to say in the next day or so.


Mr. Godfrey: Supplementary: Perhaps the Premier did not hear what I said, I asked what specific steps were being taken. Has he approached the Lieutenant Governor to reconvene the board?

Hon. Mr. Davis: It is not a question of approaching the Lieutenant Governor to reconvene the board.


Mr. Kerrio: I have a question of the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations. Will he tell the House when he expects the new ceilings on administrative cost for bingos to be implemented; and can we expect a report from him on the effectiveness of this new initiative in the early stages of its implementation?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: My understanding is that the administrative ceilings, the so-called cost of operation regulations, have in fact been implemented and that many people are being given an extension of their present practices so that they can phase into the new conditions of operation.

Mr. Kerrio: Supplementary: Has the minister considered speaking with the Minister of Culture and Recreation concerning the 15 per cent ceiling, not only on private enterprises but on the province’s own Wintario lottery which has administrative costs above 15 per cent?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Yes. As a matter of fact, I have discussed this with the minister along with my other cabinet colleagues. All I can say is we found many instances where bingos were being operated for the full benefit of the promoter when it should be for the benefit of the charities. We are trying to help the existing bingo operations to meet those guidelines.

Mr. Reid: For whom is Wintario being operated?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: So far, to the best of my knowledge, no licences have been cancelled.


Mr. Moffatt: I have a question of the Minister of the Environment. In view of the statement tabled in this House about two weeks ago by the Minister of Energy (Mr. Taylor), which indicates that in the short term we are going to be more dependent upon nuclear power as a source of energy for quite some number of years, has the Ministry of the Environment any plans with regard to stating general policies and specific measures to be taken with regard to the disposal of nuclear waste, the construction of plants, the siting of plants and their adaptability and fitting in with the general industrial complex of the province of Ontario?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Yes. My ministry works very closely with the Ministry of Energy as far as nuclear power and the disposal of waste from nuclear plants are concerned. There is an interministerial committee which involves those two ministries, as well as Health -- and there is one more that I can’t think of off the top of my head -- in long term policies. It involves also Environment Canada. So there is no question that both ministries are aware of each other’s position in respect to nuclear power and, more importantly, the disposal of waste from that source.

Mr. Moffatt: Supplementary: In light of that I would like to ask the minister what his response is going to be to the application to have the Darlington generating station exempt from the terms of The Environmental Assessment Act, in light of the fact that Ontario Hydro went to the town of Newcastle and bought an agreement with them that they would not pose any objection to that kind of application.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: I don’t understand what the hon. member says when he says Hydro bought an agreement from the town of Newcastle. There must have been a price tag on it or some sort of a document.

Mr. Moffatt: That is correct. That is exactly what it was.

Hon. B. Stephenson: What is it you are alleging?

Hon. Mr. Norton: What are you alleging?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: As far as Darlington is concerned, there has been no decision with regard to any move to exempt that project from the Act.

Mr. Speaker: A final supplementary on the subject.

Mr. Moffatt: The minister apparently does not know that Ontario Hydro extracted from the town of Newcastle a commitment that, in return for signing a document which gave them certain sums of money for the development to go ahead, the town would not ask for any environmental assessment under that Act with regard to the Darlington station.

Hon. B. Stephenson: Has the member got that document?

Hon. W. Newman: You are accusing the council of selling out to Hydro.

Mr. Speaker: There doesn’t seem to be any question to that. There’s a rebuttal of an answer.


Mr. Riddell: I have a question of the Minister of Agriculture and Food. Can the minister clarify for us and give us details of the types of jobs that are to be created in the agricultural sector, as outlined in the budget, which indicated that new funding will be provided for job creation in agriculture infrastructure?

Hon. W. Newman: Yes, I can give the member a fair number on the list right now. As he knows, $2 million additional was allowed for tile drainage, which would increase the work there. There will be a certain amount of research work done at the University of Guelph by the use of students and others and in our agricultural colleges the junior agriculturalist programme will be extended. We will probably work on an abandoned orchard programme, probably in eastern and maybe northwestern Ontario.

We are also looking at some other programmes of cleaning up, removing abandoned farm buildings, the windbreaks programme and several other programmes, plus the other part of the budget that includes the summer youth programme to subsidize summer farm labour jobs; part of that is included in the overall budget.

May I just finish, Mr. Speaker, by saying there also may be other programmes we’re working on right now.

Mr. Bain: Supplementary: Could I ask the minister what specific programmes and jobs he has in mind for agriculture in the north in the light of the fact that the north has unique problems that aren’t covered by general blanket provincial programmes?

Hon. W. Newman: I would disagree with the hon. member’s comment to start with, Mr. Speaker. We have special programmes for the north and we are looking at special programmes for the north. I outlined in this house last Friday, I believe it was, many of the programmes we have for the north. We’re very much concerned about the north because we think there’s a great potential there.

Mr. Bain: What new jobs in agriculture?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. W. Newman: We will be working with the municipalities across this province to work out programmes in conjunction with them. As the hon. member knows, we have a team working right now on the water problem. And I’m aware of the problems of the north; I’m going to have a look at them later on this week, as a matter of fact.

An hon. member: Are you doing anything about them?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. McKessock: A supplementary pertaining to jobs available to farmers for hiring youth: Is there going to be anything different to last year as to the junior agriculturalist programme, or is it just going to be the same as last year? If it is going to be different, when will we know about it?

Hon. W. Newman: The junior agriculturalist programme is already in place. There was a lot of applications this year and, as a result of the additional funds we have, we’ll be allowing more junior agriculturalists to have that great experience of going to work on a farm for the summer to find out what it is really like to work on a farm, and we’re glad we’re able to extend that programme. The students who were picked before already have been picked; we will now be extending that programme.

Mr. Speaker: I’ll allow a final supplementary.

Mr. Wildman: Supplementary: In view of the attempt to produce more jobs in the north and the water problem in northern Ontario with agriculture, can the minister explain whether the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, the Ministry of the Environment or the new ministry responsible for the overall programme will deal with the water problem if we have another dry summer in the north?

Hon. W. Newman: As I said last Friday in this House, we’re working on it right now. We have a preliminary report; it’s working through the secretariat. But the Minister of Northern Affairs and the Minister of the Environment are also involved, as the hon. member knows, in looking at ways and means to try to cope with this problem if we do not get the necessary rain that we need in northern Ontario.


Mr. Samis: Another question to the Minister of Agriculture and Food: Is the minister aware that 750 pounds of poor-quality milk from Granby Co-op in Huntingdon, Quebec, and 250,000 pounds from Co-operative Fédérée de Quebec, in Fédérée Mont Laurier, Quebec, are being processed weekly in eastern Ontario? Can he tell us what assurance his ministry can give the consumers of Ontario that the quality standards of Ontario will be maintained?

Hon. W. Newman: We have quality standards for all milk processed in the province of Ontario, wherever it comes from, through the Milk Marketing Board. The plants that received that milk know of our standards of quality, and the milk is tested here in the province of Ontario.

Mr. Samis: Supplementary: Since the officials of the Milk Marketing Board themselves, plus farmers in the area, have described the milk by saying, “We had dark milk coming in from Quebec all winter,” can the minister give us some indication of the extent of this importation over the past few months and his projections for the upcoming months?

Hon. W. Newman: We’re very much concerned about the high standards of milk quality in this province, and I think it augurs well for all of us that we do have very high standards.

Mr. Bain: Answer the question.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. W. Newman: The specific problem that the hon. member is talking about is being looked into at this moment.


Mr. Stong: I have a question of the Minister of Health. Will the minister consider giving assistance, in terms of licence and funding, to two nursing homes in the town of Richmond Hill, Elmwood Manor and Country Place Nursing Home, both of which have ample space and beds available and both of which have waiting lists?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I will be glad to give an answer on that in a day or two. I had a complete report on that based on a newspaper report which I just happen to have in front of me, of March 16, 1977, and about the rather interesting history of those nursing homes with additions built without permission and that sort of thing. I’ll give a complete answer in a couple of days.


Mr. Sweeney: A question of the Minister of Education: Given that as of this morning both the teachers and the board in Peel county seem determined to close the schools either by a strike or a lockout, is the minister prepared to see 28,000 students go without their final exams, particularly when it means that a large number of them will lose their year because they need the final mark to complement their year’s work?

Hon. Mr. Wells: Of course, the answer is no, I would not be prepared to see them lose their final year. I don’t believe that that would lose the final marks for this year and I don’t believe that will happen. I believe that solutions will be found.

My friend should know, if he read the paper this morning, that the teachers have put forward a final position suggesting “Med-Arb” -- mediation-arbitration -- a process that’s been used in other jurisdictions and has been recommended by the chairman of the Education Relations Commission for use here in several disputes -- which has been accepted by the teacher negotiators. They’re having a general meeting tomorrow afternoon to get the backing of all the teachers for this method of settling the dispute. It then will be presented to the Peel board of education and if they will accept it as a method of settling the dispute, I think the sanctions can be lifted and things can be back to normal and a process for settling those items remaining in dispute will be in motion.

These steps are all taking place at the present time. The Education Relations Commission is very deeply involved in them and I’m hopeful that they will result in a conclusion to the problems in Peel.

Mr. Sweeney: Supplementary: While these processes are going on, regardless of what their outcome is, is the minister prepared to tell both the teachers and the board that they have an obligation to be sure that the students are evaluated -- an obligation, not a choice?

Mr. S. Smith: That’s right.

Hon. Mr. Wells: I think that what I would want to do is speak personally with the teachers in this case to find out exactly what they’re talking about. My friend is referring to some generalizations, perhaps, that have appeared in newspapers in this particular situation. It may not be exactly as it appears in the newspapers. The Peel teachers are in a legal strike position --

Mr. S. Smith: Why don’t you know?

Hon. Mr. Wells: They’re exercising what they think are their prerogatives in that strike situation. The board, on the other hand, has it within its power to do certain things also, and I think that both sides are concerned about the welfare of the students. They always are. But it is also a teacher- board labour dispute, and these kinds of side effects very often come to be. None of us like to see them but I think that we have to do everything we can to get the parties together to get the matter settled and that’s the best way to bring to an end any of the unpleasantnesses that may be being caused there.


Mr. Makarchuk: A new question of the Minister of Education regarding the fact that in the dispute between the Brant County Board of Education and the OSSTF one of the matters under dispute is the matter of increments -- whether they should be referred to the Anti-Inflation Board for consideration in the wage increase, or whether they should not be referred. Is the minister prepared to instruct the boards in Ontario to the effect that they should leave out that portion as a negotiable matter, or is he prepared to let it be a matter that can be kicked around by the two sides?

Hon. Mr. Wells: I know the matter the hon. member is referring to. I’m not sure that it matters what I think in this particular matter.

These disputes are between the teachers and their employers, the school boards. It’s incumbent upon the school boards to fill out the forms they submit to the Anti-Inflation Board, not the Ministry of Education nor the Minister of Education. Even if I might express my preference in this particular matter, it’s still the prerogative of the school boards to handle it as they see fit. Therefore, in certain cases in this province it has become an issue as to whether the increments will or will not be counted in the percentage increases they report to the AIB.

Mr. Makarchuk: Supplementary: In this case in view of the fact that if this matter was removed from the bargaining table either way, whether it was decided that it should be considered or that it should not be considered it does not become a matter for dispute. The minister would be in a position to defuse a lot of potential arguments or strikes in this province.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Your question?


Mr. Makarchuk: Is the minister prepared to move in that direction?

Hon. Mr. Wells: What I’m saying to my friend, Mr. Speaker -- and I’m sure my friend knows enough about labour-management relations -- is that I can’t remove anything from the bargaining table. If it’s a negotiable item and one of the sides wants to bargain over that particular item, I can’t wave a wand and remove it.


Mr. Singer: A question for the Solicitor General: I wonder if he could tell us whether we are going to see the new bill dealing with police complaint procedures? If we are likely to see it, is he going to follow the recommendation of Mr. Justice Morand and Arthur Maloney or is he going to have the view that he enunciated to the press just a few weeks ago?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: I hope that the bill will be introduced shortly. It is presently going through the legislative procedures again.

Mr. Reid: Which Parliament?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Ruston: Third time around.

Mr. Nixon: You are smiling, John.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: But it will have embodied in it many of the recommendations that Mr. Arthur Maloney proposed and some of the recommendations that Mr. Justice Morand proposed. As I say, I hope it will be before the House very shortly.

Mr. Roy: I wonder if I could ask if it is the minister’s intention and the intention of the government to see this legislation passed before the next election?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: When is that?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: That may be beyond my control, Mr. Speaker, but it’s certainly my intention.


Mr. Lewis: May I ask a question of the Minister of Labour? With the new emphasis on occupational health, has the Minister of Labour endeavoured to inform the various community colleges that have courses in industrial hygiene or matters related, to provide in their advisory councils a reasonable cross-section of the community so that various voices are heard when sorting out the content for the programme?

Hon. B. Stephenson: No, Mr. Speaker, I have not communicated directly with boards of governors --


Mr. Reid: Mr. Conservative himself.

Mr. Nixon: In a pin-stripe.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Breithaupt: The member for Ottawa Centre (Mr. Cassidy) is getting to look like the member for Ottawa South.

Mr. Speaker: We’re wasting time now. The hon. Minister of Labour has the floor.

Hon. B. Stephenson: I’m sorry that the unexpected sartorial splendour of the hon. member for Ottawa Centre has had this disturbing effect upon the members, but as I said, I have not attempted to contact directly the boards nor the presidents of community colleges at this time. Because what we are at this point doing is to --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. There is too much background noise.

Hon. B. Stephenson: -- establish, with the co-operation of universities, community colleges and other educational bodies, an integrated educational programme -- because we need three levels of educational programme and not simply the community college level. When we have completed that, then I am sure we will be in contact.

Mr. Singer: The member for Ottawa Centre is going to get his hair done every day.

Mr. Nixon: He’s put away his sweat shirts; no more sweat shirts.

Hon. B. Stephenson: I have communicated with some of them because they have indicated to me their interest in providing just that aspect of education in occupational health and safety. We are encouraging them, of course, to do so, making sure that they are aware that there needs to be some input from both management and labour when such courses are undertaken.

Mr. Lewis: I don’t think you should allow the ridicule of pin-stripe socialism, Mr. Speaker. That was the quid pro quo for the Treasurer’s job. May I ask a supplementary?

Mr. Roy: Did you ever think in your wildest dreams that you would ever see the member for Ottawa Centre in a pin-stripe suit?

Mr. Ruston: With a vest?

Mr. Lewis: You’ve been wearing vests all your life, Albert.

Mr. Reid: It is all right, Mr. Speaker. It comes from Syd Silver.

Mr. Breithaupt: It goes back at 6.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Breithaupt: The rates change at 6.

Mr. Lewis: Albert, you were born in a vest.

May I ask a supplementary of the Minister of Labour, Mr. Speaker?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please, we’re wasting time.

Mr. Lewis: Can I ask the minister in particular to pay close notice to the industrial Hygiene Technology Advisory Committee in Lambton College, which is the signal course of its kind in the province, where 10 out of the 13 members of the committee come from Polysar, Petrosar, Shell, Imperial Oil, Dow and Esso, not a single representative of any of the work force and three representatives from the college itself? Can the minister perhaps convey, if not displeasure at least direction that this kind of thing does not augur well for the course content we might wish in the province?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I’m not sure that I would convey displeasure because, indeed, in the past that has been the makeup of many of the advisory committees.

Mr. MacDonald: That is the problem.

Hon. B. Stephenson: In our enthusiasm and our attempt to ensure that there is, indeed, co-operation between management and labour in this particular area, as well as in all other areas, I should most certainly convey to them my concern that there should be broader representation.


Mrs. Campbell: My question is to the Minister of Revenue. Is the minister aware of the confusion, both in her ministry apparently and in the minds of the public, with reference to the retail sales tax as it pertains to performances of Canadian talent, where formerly they used to have exemptions on an application basis? What is the status of those applications now?

Hon. Mrs. Scrivener: Mr. Speaker, there is no confusion in my ministry.

Mrs. Campbell: There is.

Mr. Roy: It is not in the ministry, it is in the minister.

Hon. Mrs. Scrivener: Canadian performances and productions which are produced by Canadians are, of course, exempt from retail sales tax on admissions.


Mr. Breaugh: I have a question of the Minister of Labour. Would she provide us with a copy of whatever documents she forwarded to the UIC appeal board concerning the Ontario Malleable Iron workers in Oshawa? Would she also give us some indication of what else she might be contemplating that would help those people, who haven’t had a paycheque in going on two years, to either find another job or get some financial assistance in some way?

Hon. B. Stephenson: I’m not sure that there is any specific documentation. There have been a number of direct telephone calls and conversations about it. That I am aware of. I am not aware that there are transcripts of those calls. I shall, however, remind the hon. member that indeed there is an employment adjustment service within the Ministry of Labour which stands ready to assist any individual found in the unfortunate situation in which many of these former employees of that company are.

Mr. Speaker: The question period has expired.


Mr. Breaugh: I have a petition to present to the Legislature. The petition consists of approximately 3,000 ratepayers in my riding in the region of Durham and the petition reads:

“We, the undersigned residents of the region of Durham request the following: An immediate solution to the problems of increased water and sewer rates, high taxes and duplication of services in the region of Durham. We submit the costs of simply existing in the region have increased dramatically as a direct result of the region being implemented. As an immediate solution, we require that increased funding from the province be made available in the amount requested by the region in December of 1975 of the Treasurer of Ontario.

“Secondly, as a long-range solution, a full inquiry is required into the benefits and costs of the transition to this form of municipal government”.

Mr. Speaker: Will the hon. member send it down to the desk?

Mr. Moffatt: Mr. Speaker, I also have about 2,000 names of a petition with identical wording to that submitted by the member for Oshawa, all from the residents of the region of Durham.

Mr. Godfrey: I too wish to present a petition in the same wording as the two previous ones, numbering some 2,000 residents of Durham West.

Mr. Moffatt: Mr. Speaker, with regard to the petitions, those three petitions which have been presented are merely the forerunners of others which will be coming in and we simply wanted to give you notice that they are under way.

Mr. Breithaupt: Thanks for the notice.

Mr. Speaker: We will have to check and see if these three are in order first of all.

Mr. Breaugh: They are in order.

Mr. Speaker: Fine.

Presenting reports.




Mr. Breaugh moved first reading of Bill 57, An Act to amend The Regional Municipality of Durham Act, 1973.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Breaugh: Mr. Speaker, this bill addresses itself to what is known locally as “The Great Water and Sewer Ripoff.” This bill returns control over water and sewage services in the regional municipality of Durham to the area municipality.


Mr. B. Newman moved first reading of Bill 58, An Act to amend The Consumer Protection Act.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. B. Newman: Mr. Speaker, this bill requires that every product offered for sale by a retailer that is marked with the universal product code must also be clearly marked with its individual purchase price. This would ensure the rights of the consumer to the privilege of comparison shopping.


Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, before the orders of the day, I wish to table the answers to questions 28, 29, 30, 31 and 32 standing on the notice paper.



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

Motion agreed to.

The bill was also given third reading on motion.


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

Motion agreed to.

The bill was also given third reading on motion.


Mr. Deans, on behalf on Mr. MacDonald moved second reading of Bill Pr5, An Act respecting the Borough of York.

Motion agreed to.

The bill was also given third reading on motion.


Mr. Stong moved second reading of Bill Pr6, An Act respecting Webwood Investments Limited.

Motion agreed to.

The bill was also given third reading on motion.



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

Motion agreed to.

The bill was also given third reading on motion.


Mr. Deans, on behalf of Mr. Burr, moved second reading of Bill Pr11, An Act respecting Lombardo Furniture and Appliances Limited.

Motion agreed to.

The bill was also given third reading on motion.


Mr. Grossman moved second reading of Bill Pr13, An Act respecting Kevalaine Corporation Limited.

Motion agreed to.

The bill was also given third reading on motion.


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

Motion agreed to.

The bill was also given third reading on motion.


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

Motion agreed to.

The bill was also given third reading on motion.


Mr. Breithaupt, on behalf of Mr. Spence, moved second reading of Bill Pr20, An Act respecting the Village of Erie Beach.

Motion agreed to.

The bill was also given third reading on motion.


Mr. Drea, on behalf of Mr. Johnston, moved second reading of Bill Pr24, An Act respecting Frank Postl Enterprises Limited.

Motion agreed to.

The bill was also given third reading on motion.


Resumption of the adjourned debate on the motion that this House approves in general the budgetary policy of the government.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I had been led to understand that every one of the Conservative cabinet was going to be here for this particular speech.

Mr. Breithaupt: Wrong again.

Mr. Cassidy: Wrong again, yes. It’s unfortunate because it might have been a helpful piece of information for them.

Ontario is passing through difficult times and it faces a difficult economic future. More and more evidence indicates we face major changes in our industrial and economic structure if we are to continue to enjoy the prosperity that has been Ontario’s lot in the past, almost automatically.

The terms of trade within Canada are shifting against Ontario, and the economic pre-eminence we have enjoyed for so long in this country is weakening. The persistent increase in our unemployment rate to more than seven per cent this winter, which the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) seems to think is temporary, may well mark the start of a period of chronically high unemployment, unless there is decisive action by the government.

We believe that Ontario can continue to prosper, but the Treasurer seems to have lost confidence in Ontario. That’s why the budget he brought down on April 19 is such a profoundly disappointing document for us in the New Democratic Party.

Mr. Bain: And for the people of the province.

Mr. Deans: He just doesn’t understand.

Mr. Cassidy: In speech after speech since last September, the Treasurer has been laying his ground with warnings of difficult times ahead. Some of the analysis that was prepared in advance of the budget was perceptive, but to quote the Treasurer himself, “When the drains are plugged, you need a good plumber, not another public relations man.”

We expected, and Ontario needed, a serious, bold and innovative budget that would show the Conservatives are as capable of managing bad times as they are of profiting politically from the good times that Ontario has enjoyed over the past three decades. The Treasurer has failed to provide that serious new approach and all of us in Ontario are poorer as a result. He intends to continue the mismanagement of the Ontario economy that has brought us to our present difficult situation.

The Treasurer has helped to create stagnation in the Ontario economy, and now he asks us to accept that that stagnation will continue. He is so caught up in his ideological straitjacket that he cannot bring himself to apply the remedies that everyone else agrees the Ontario economy needs. This steadfast disciple of simplistic laissez-faire economics honestly believes a handful of corporate executives, many responding to direction from outside Canada, can do a better job of bringing Ontario out of its economic morass than the private and public sectors working together co-operatively with strong leadership and a sense of direction from the Ontario government.

The Treasurer has provided an outrageous rationale to justify his government’s accepting a level of permanent unemployment which can only be described as intolerable.

Mr Wildman: Shame.

Mr. Cassidy: McKeough is playing R. B. Bennett and Herbert Hoover wrapped into one --

Mr. Samis: Quite a combination.

An hon. member: I wish he’d said Calvin Coolidge.

Mr. Cassidy: -- except that he outdoes them both in the bravado and in the bluster with which he defends the indefensible.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Better get the jeans back on, Mike.

Mr. Makarchuk: Darcyville.

Mr. Cassidy: We suspect that it’s the Treasurer’s ideology that has compelled him to make tax proposals that are entirely inappropriate to our needs in 1977. The facts and figures with which he defends his position are a compendium of misrepresentation and an abuse of the facts for political purposes.

Finally, we had been led to expect serious new proposals and ideas for the long-term health and development of Ontario’s economy. Instead, we were treated to an analysis that was so brief and superficial that it wouldn’t even pass a first-year economics test, and to a demonstration of hand-wringing in the direction of the federal government, of business and of labour that does Ontario neither credit nor good.

The Conservative government’s reputation for being able to manage Ontario has been growing increasingly thin, and now it is threadbare. The emperor -- or should I say the Duke of Kent -- has no clothes.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Better get the jeans back on, Mike.

Mr. Breithaupt: But you have?

Mr. Cassidy: Yes, I have.

Mr. Bain: You have them.

Mr. Cassidy: The distortions and misrepresentations in this budget all favour a government facing re-election. They are so glaring that I feel I have to deal with them, even though I also want to talk very seriously about what we feel should be done for Ontario, both in 1977 and over the next decade.

The Treasurer is no plumber, but he is a public relations man doing his best to cover up the mismanagement of the economy by his government over the last five or six years. We can only conclude that this is the political budget for 1977 and that the real budget has been held back on the presumption that the Tories will be back in power when the election is over. Then the real medicine would come.

Mr. Philip: The one that implements Blair.

Mr. Cassidy: In his budget, the Treasurer states, and I quote: “I think there is every reason to be optimistic about the outlook for 1977.” The recent federal budget, he adds, and I quote, “builds in considerable fiscal stimulation.” His opinion is shared by almost no one; his facts are definitely misleading, and the figures he uses in this document are just plain wrong. Consider the following: The most basic assumption on which this budget is based is that Ontario will have real growth of 4.7 per cent in 1977. This estimate just is not credible. The most recent Conference Board estimate for Ontario is for real growth of just under three per cent, compared to the estimate of the Treasurer of 4.7 per cent.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: They are revised to three per cent, if you want to be accurate.

Mr. Cassidy: The recent federal budget forecast growth of four per cent for Canada as a whole. While the Treasurer’s election crystal ball tells him there will be almost no slowing down in growth this year from the forecasts of last fall, virtually every major forecaster in the country -- and I’ve been consulting them -- has been cutting back his forecasts of growth for 1977 from what he anticipated last December.

Take the highly respected forecast of Judith Maxwell of the C. D. Howe Research Institute, for example. She says, and I quote: “The combination of restraint in monetary and fiscal policy and of controls on wages and profits has dampened the economic recovery, with the result that production has been losing momentum since the spring of 1976, unemployment has been rising, productivity growth has been sluggish, and corporate profits have been stagnating.

“If investors and consumers were confident that good days were ahead, the potential would exist for a more robust economic expansion. However, confidence was at a low ebb in 1977, reflecting the fact that the economy had been losing momentum, and the impact of longer-range structural problems faced by many industries. This has put a damper on corporate investment and has curbed consumer spending, both on ordinary items and on new housing.”

That’s no socialist, wild-eyed radical. That’s the C. D. Howe Research Institute’s considered opinion of what’s happening, and it differs a great deal from what the Treasurer has to say.

The Ontario Economic Council is equally pessimistic. The outlook is for real growth of four per cent or less, it says, and unemployment will grow to a peak of seven and a half per cent and stay near that level until the early 1980s.

Next, consider that fiscal stimulus from the federal budget, which is the Treasurer’s chief rationale for not taking stimulative actions at the provincial level in Ontario. To put it bluntly, two-thirds of the so-called stimulus cited by the Treasurer is phoney, but has been brought into the accounts to make the overall picture look good.

Specifically, the continuation of the federal investment tax credit provides no new stimulus for Ontario’s economy, because it was there last year. The federal indexing scheme is a way of keeping taxes from rising, but it does not represent any overall cut as put forward by the Treasurer. What the Treasurer has called a reduction in unemployment insurance premiums is in fact a decision not to increase contribution rates. The choice of a word like that is itself a manipulation for political purposes.

Finally, the Treasurer would have us believe that the $500 million in federal tax refunds is a new stimulus for Ontario’s economy when it’s no different from the refunds that were paid last year, the year before, or five years before that. That’s really grasping at straws.

One should add that when the Treasurer is counting Ontario’s own tax changes he correctly adds up about $210 million of tax increases, but that $80 million of his so-called tax reduction is in fact the continuation of the fast write-offs for business which existed last year. In net terms, that means what appears as a balance between tax cuts and tax increases in this year’s budget is in fact an $80 million tax increase borne by small taxpayers. Another misrepresentation.

The revenue side of this year’s budget is unrealistically optimistic. The Treasurer now estimates his 1977 revenues at $12.6 billion. That’s half a billion dollars more than his official estimate last fall, even though his actual receipts during the past six months have been recalculated to $300 million below forecasts. Why the optimism? His forecast growth rate on revenues has almost doubled from 7.7 per cent anticipated last fall to 13 per cent today, despite the increasing signs of stagnation in the economy. That kind of forecast has an election smell.

Certain tax fields have been particularly inflated for reasons that we can only assume are political. For the third year in a row --

Hon. Mr. Kerr: For heaven’s sake, political?

Mr. Cassidy: -- that’s true -- mining tax revenue has been overestimated by about $50 million. After we adjust for tax concessions the government is expecting a 24 per cent increase in corporations’ tax revenues on a forecast increase of profits of only 6.3 per cent -- and that’s unrealistic.

Taken together, the mining and the capital and corporations tax may be overestimated by as much as $250 million in revenue. We strongly suspect that sales tax and income tax revenues have also been overestimated because of the rose-coloured economic forecast that the Treasurer used. Apart from blind faith, we could get no convincing rationale from ministry officials for such big revenue increase forecasts.


Obviously the political justification for juggling revenue figures is so that the Treasurer’s press release could forecast a budget deficit of less than $1 billion. That was the game last year -- but then the Treasurer came in $300 million off target. We anticipate that the final deficit this year will be even further off target than in 1976-77, and will in fact exceed $1.4 billion.

The Treasurer has so grossly distorted the real budget picture for 1977 that he has also destroyed the credibility of his stated goal of moving toward a balanced budget within three years. We know the government wants a balanced budget to be an election issue in hopes of diverting the public’s attention from the record-breaking deficits that have marked the Davis government’s regime and have raised Ontario’s total liabilities by $8 billion between 1971 and today.

I, therefore, want to put on the record the fact that the public are being misled if they believe the Treasurer is committed to balancing Ontario’s budget by 1980, and that is largely due to the distortion by the Treasurer and his people. The very first line of the 1977 budget press release says, and I quote: “A five-year plan designed to balance the Ontario budget was revealed by the Treasurer.” Quite naturally, a number of the press wrote their stories accordingly. The Treasurer’s own budget statement, however, was much more coy. “Our objective,” he said, “is to have the capacity to balance the Ontario budget by 1980-81.” No commitment; just to have the capacity.

If we are prepared to bring the Ontario economy grinding to a halt completely, this government has the capacity to balance its budget today. Any government has that capacity at virtually any time. If we examine it closely, the centrepiece of Ontario’s fiscal strategy in the budget may not be a promise at all, certainly lacks credibility, and relates far more to the Conservative Party’s political needs than to the economic needs of the province. I am not alone in questioning the government’s rosy forecast. The Ontario Economic Council again estimates Ontario’s net cash requirements could reach $4 billion by 1981, and its estimate is based on lower expenditure increases than those that we have seen since 1971.

When it comes to the municipal taxpayers, I am not sure whether to call the Treasurer’s actions misrepresentation or downright fraud. What is clear is that the municipalities are being shortchanged on the Edmonton commitment by between $50 million and $108 million, depending on how we count, because the Treasurer has refused to recalculate municipal grants under that commitment to take into account his projected higher rate of revenue increase for 1977-78.

The consequence of that piece of fiscal hocus-pocus will be yet another municipal property tax increase, and one that is as severe and as damaging as in 1976. I shall come later to the misrepresentations that underlie the atrocious decision of the Treasurer and the Ontario government to raise the full employment target for Ontario and to tolerate more than 200,000 workers being permanently unemployed.

What I want to turn to now is central to the ability of the Conservative Party to govern, because there is ample evidence of mismanagement of Ontario’s economy, both by the Treasurer and by his colleagues. It isn’t just misrepresentation, it is mismanagement as well. Consider the rosy forecasts that were made last year. A good year, the Treasurer said in his budget last April. He promised us 116,000 new jobs. In fact the labour force grew by less than he had expected, yet despite that, between March 1976 and March of this year the Ontario economy, under the shaky direction of the Treasurer, produced only 29,000 new jobs and added 49,000 additional workers to the permanent army of the unemployed.

That is real performance. It is a wretched start on the task that is now facing us all in Ontario, which is to create a million new jobs in this province, under conditions that are greatly changed from the booming 1960s, over the next 10 years. I don’t think the Conservative Party is any longer up to that challenge.

No matter how one looks at it, Ontario has been sliding back under the Tories. Back in 1971, when the member for Chatham-Kent first became Treasurer, the unemployment rate was 5.2 per cent. Today, it is nudging eight per cent. The Treasurer has been one of the chief architects of the public sector growth in Ontario, of which he is now the chief critic. In fact, Ontario’s government expenditures have risen from 11 per cent of gross provincial product a decade ago to 16 per cent of the present budget. Our net debt in Ontario has risen from 30 per cent of budgetary revenue when the present Treasurer first became Treasurer to 54 per cent today, or from four to eight per cent of gross provincial product. We are not in the bankruptcy court yet but it is a headlong slide and it’s a sign of the cynical and almost irresponsible way with which the Conservatives approach Ontario’s finances.

Consider now just how differently the Treasurer reacted to the slowdown of Ontario’s economy in 1975 and to the slowdown we are experiencing today. The economic picture in Ontario in both years looked remarkably similar. Inflation was worse two years ago and unemployment was lower. Nevertheless, the government undertook a major programme of independent fiscal action to get the Ontario economy moving. If stimulation was justified in 1975, then it is clearly justified today.

I searched the indicators to find out why the government moved so readily two years ago and so reluctantly today. The only variable that explains their actions is the fact that in February 1975 the Progressive Conservatives were 12 per cent behind the official opposition in the Gallup poll, whereas in February 1977 they were 15 per cent ahead and didn’t feel they had to try to manipulate the electorate in order to gain re-election. I think it is a measure of the Treasurer’s cynicism that the chief factor that guides the government’s fiscal policy is not the state of our economy in Ontario but the Conservative Party’s standings in the Gallup poll.

Let’s look at some other indicators. When one mismanages an economy as badly as Ontario’s is being mismanaged, everybody loses. Our gross provincial product could be $3.5 billion higher and Ontario’s fiscal deficit could be $500 million lower if Ontario’s unemployed workers were back on the job. The mismanagement of housing policy in Ontario has given our major cities some of the highest house prices on the continent. That has held back consumer spending that could have stimulated other areas of the economy.

Whether one looks at inflation, at growth, at unemployment or at the equitable distribution of incomes, we are failing abysmally in Ontario by the standards of sound economic management which have been accepted in this country ever since World War II. This province, which is in Canada’s manufacturing heartland, is running a $5-billion deficit in its manufacturing trade with the rest of the world. We are contributing substantially to Canada’s balance of payment difficulties through Ontario Hydro’s continued heavy borrowing abroad.

Western industrial nations are all having economic difficulties. But Ontario has enormous natural advantages, which means it should be able to do better than most jurisdictions in our present difficult times and not tag along at the rear. Running the economy of this province demands imagination and verve and also calls for a lot of careful rethinking about the ways we have been doing things, both in the private and in the public sectors. A sound manager would have embarked on this process of rethinking, but this government has lost touch with Ontario and the only direction it is willing to give to the economy is to abdicate its responsibilities and leave everything up to the corporate sector.

Let me give two final examples of mismanagement. First is the Treasurer’s irresistible urge to take Ontario’s sales tax off the machinery and equipment sector. He did it in 1971-72 and he did it again in 1975. Last November he extended the rebate indefinitely, repeatedly insisting that this was the only way to create jobs and get the economy back on the track.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Just to correct the error, I didn’t do that in 1971-72.

Mr. Cassidy: The five per cent investment tax credit in 1971 was equivalent to taking the sales tax off machinery.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: They were two entirely different things.

Mr. Cassidy: Exactly the same.

Mr. Lewis: Exactly the same.

Mr. Cassidy: By now I think the record is pretty clear.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: You don’t know what you are talking about.

Mr. Cassidy: Machinery investment rises in Ontario in response to demand and to a growing economy, as it did in 1973-74. It does not respond to artificial stimulus when the demand is not there. The 2.4 per cent increase in machinery investment this past year is surely evidence of that. Not one scintilla of evidence has been put forward to prove the machinery tax rebate has created a job. There is no indication that this misplaced incentive will do any better in 1977. In fact, we have asked in the House and I have asked the minister’s officials whether they can prove any jobs were created from machinery tax credit. The answer consistently is, “We don’t know. We aren’t even asking the question.”

Mr. Wildman: Blind faith.

Mr. Cassidy: Industry is now using only 81 per cent of its capacity, so there’s no incentive to invest. What machinery is being installed may well be eliminating more jobs than it creates. Only two industrial sectors, clothing and cars, are currently working at above 86 per cent of capacity. So there is enormous scope for increased production if it is stimulated by consumer demand. The idea that this tax rebate is an ineffective incentive isn’t just some sort of socialist fantasy. The Treasurer says as much in budget paper A, which says that the high unemployment in 1973 and 1974 was not the result of too little capital investment.

The Ontario Economic Council, which I quote with pleasure because I think it has done a good job on its papers this year --

Mr. Wildman: Being subversive.

Mr. Cassidy: -- has just warned that tax incentive policies designed to encourage investment have a reduced impact because of the extent of the operations of subsidiaries of United States firms. In other words, in a time of economic slack, Ontario’s $160-million handout in 1977 may well wind up as new plants and equipment in Michigan, Ohio or California. Now that’s as counterproductive as any policy can get.

The C. D. Howe Research Institute has also been warning that in times like these further tax concessions to industry are likely to be quite ineffective. Is this a sound way to manage the economy? All the evidence says it is not.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Not quite all.

Mr. Cassidy: When the Treasurer produces it, we’ll look at it with interest.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Not quite all.

Mr. Cassidy: The final example, I cite more in sorrow than in anger. It is 10 years since the Smith commission called for the reform of Ontario’s property tax system, based on market value assessment. That reform has moved from delay to delay, from excuse to excuse, from one minister to another, to the point where what original value may have lain in the proposal has been almost completely frittered away.

Things seemed to be moving a year ago in the budget, when the Treasurer set up the Blair commission to recommend the best means of easing the transition to the new form of assessment.

Mr. Riddell: Before they even had the data.

Mr. Cassidy: But now the Blair report is out, the Treasurer’s silence about the property tax reform in his pre-election budget is deafening. That silence contrasts with the lyrical speeches on property tax reform and market value assessment that were being made both by the Treasurer and by the then Minister of Revenue (Mr. Meen) up until last fall.

The mismanagement of property tax reform these 10 years is the mark of a government that has lost its grip. A lot of people, moreover, are now being hurt by the government’s delay. Many of them are tenants and home owners who are being over-taxed because of the injustices of the present assessment system. Their numbers are swelled, however, by the small businessmen, by the homeowners on modest incomes and by the supporters of charitable organizations and Catholic schools for whom homes, businesses and vital community institutions are threatened by the injustice of the Treasurer’s proposals as validated by the Blair commission.

The New Democratic Party has made its position on the major issues around property tax reform very clear. We should like the government to make its position equally clear before the election, rather than delaying a difficult decision in hopes it will be returned to power and then can take the action.

People talk frequently in this House about the waste of a government that pours millions into a Minaki Lodge and hundreds of millions dollars into ill-conceived land assembly at Pickering and Haldimand-Norfolk. I want to talk now about another form of waste -- the waste in human terms that results from this government’s mismanagement of the economy, and that means the waste, the tragic waste of Ontario’s unemployed.

This winter the unemployment rate was 10 per cent in Windsor and in the Simcoe-Georgian Bay region. It exceeded nine per cent in St. Catharines-Niagara, in the Ottawa Valley, in the Peterborough-Lake Ontario region, in the southwest and in the northeast, and it averaged eight per cent across the province. One worker in every 12 was out of a job and, when you come to teenage workers -- fresh entrants into the work force -- one in every five was unemployed. That is tragic and that, in our terms, is unacceptable. When the number of job vacancies is less than one-half of one per cent of the labour market, you can see that unemployment in Ontario is a social and economic problem and not the fault of the people out on the street.

In addition to the 312,000 people who in March were counted as unemployed, there were another 149,000 who had recently lost their jobs or were laid off but who didn’t count in the labour force survey because they had given up looking for work. The survey doesn’t count people in remote locations, it doesn’t count Treaty Indians, and it doesn’t count the 50,00 people who in March were working in part-time jobs because they couldn’t find full-time employment.

Mr. Wildman: It never counts Treaty Indians.

Mr. Cassidy: Even if you count only the 149,000 who had just lost their jobs, rather than ignoring the hidden unemployment that exists in Ontario, then Ontario is running its economy with a rate of 11.3 per cent unemployed. In other words, one worker in every nine can’t find a job.


Moreover, these hidden unemployed aren’t just some concoction created by Ed Broadbent or myself. The official unemployment insurance statistics show 40,000 more people are collecting benefits than are counted as unemployed; and the UIC totals don’t include young workers who’ve never become eligible for benefits or a substantial number of workers who, for personal reasons, or who, through ignorance, don’t try to collect unemployment insurance, or who are not eligible.

The situation that exists is tragic and unacceptable to everyone except to the Treasurer, to his minions and to his party. Their response is worthy of Marie Antoinette. Instead of taking meaningful action to curb unemployment, the Treasurer has chosen to try to define it away. I can’t tell the House how deeply disturbed my colleagues and I were to encounter this self-serving economic sophistry of budget paper A on unemployment, or to hear the Treasurer assert, and I quote: “The full employment target for Ontario appropriate for the 1970s is 5.3 per cent, up from three per cent some years ago.”

Now that the budget has been published, the Treasurer knows his redefinition of unemployment is a political error of major proportions and it could even cost his party the election. He is trying to wiggle around his commitment to keep unemployment high by saying the figure might be tinkered with a little. It’s all rubbish and it makes my heart break.

What Ontario’s Treasurer is saying is that in order to keep the Ontario economy from overheating, it is necessary to maintain a permanent army of more than 200,000 men and women in Ontario perpetually unemployed. Moreover, his lamentable record of meeting targets in the past suggests the number of unemployed will be even higher. I say that is shocking and unacceptable.

Mr. Lewis: But typical.

Mr. Cassidy: We would never tolerate such a target if we were the government of this province. No other government, no other jurisdiction in the western world, would dare to set 5.3 per cent unemployment as a desirable economic goal.

The argument presented in the budget paper is that structural changes in the economy are combining to increase the rate of unemployment that prevails when the economy is at its maximum capacity. We’ve gone to some lengths in order to try to discern the meaning in a paper which is notably devoid of it. The paper argues that increases in the labour force have been concentrated in groups with traditionally higher rates of unemployment -- namely, an influx of women and young people -- and that their unemployment is less serious than the unemployment of prime-aged males. What’s really happening, of course, it that the economy is no longer expanding as solidly as it did in the 1960s. Therefore, it is no longer succeeding in absorbing these new entrants into the work force.

Unemployment for women is not traditionally higher than for prime-aged males, and it is a misrepresentation to claim it has been. In fact, the unemployment rate for women has averaged one per cent below that of men consistently in Ontario over the past two decades. That’s true whether you take prime-aged women or whether you take women of all ages. Women’s unemployment exceeded that of men for the first time in 1974 only as a direct consequence of the slowdown in the economy. To say their rate of unemployment is traditionally higher is another self-serving representation.

I see the Treasurer is looking troubled. He’s trying to loosen his tie. The statistics come from Ontario Statistics 1976, a very commendable book published by his ministry.

As far as young workers are concerned, they were 24 per cent of the labour force in 1972 when this government accepted the three per cent full-employment target -- 24 per cent at that time. Today, five years later, young workers have risen to 25 per cent of the labour force, an almost insignificant change over half a decade. Again, therefore, the only difference is the slowdown in the economy. During the 1960s, the proportion of young workers in the economy expanded dramatically but they were absorbed, and that’s not happening today.

The Treasurer and his staff are misrepresenting the facts to try to prove a point that gets them off the hook for failing to create jobs. What’s particularly offensive about this section of the budget paper is that it classes every woman worker as a member of the secondary labour force. This is a sexist notion, as sexist a notion as we have heard from government in this Legislature in a long, long time. It is an obvious prelude to deliberate discrimination in government economic policies between the so-called primary and secondary members of the labour force, in which the government intends to relax its efforts at job creation once it has achieved what it considers a satisfactory employment rate among prime-aged males.

I might say the degree of resentment at this second-class status to which the Treasurer relegates them is enormous and quite justified among the women workers with whom I have talked. I fail to understand how women can be put in the back seat, when at least one-third of Ontario’s female work force is made up of women who are single or who are heads of families, and when most working women work out of necessity in order to balance the family budget.

The second major reason for changing the full-employment target is, and I quote: “The worker preference changes induced by revisions to The Unemployment Insurance Act in 1971 and 1972.” I have read this material again and again and I cannot find where the budget paper even says specifically that the UIC system is the cause of increased voluntary unemployment. When there are only 12,000 vacancies, it’s pretty hard to argue that 312,000 unemployed people are sitting around being choosy.

The Treasurer is being insulting when he indicates he believes a lot of people are on the Ontario labour force only to take advantage of unemployment insurance benefits. If he’s been listening, in fact, be could have learned as long ago as 1974 that the Ontario Ministry of Labour had determined that, and I quote: “A tax on the unemployment insurance system served mainly to divert attention away from more fundamental manpower concerns” -- an opinion with which we associate ourselves -- and, from the same source, that far more important than unemployment insurance in explaining the difficulties of matching workers to jobs during the 1973-74 boom was, and I quote: “the lack of training and on-the-job experience during 1971-73, regional and sectorial shifts in labour demand, and a failure to learn how to adequately utilize women, youth and various minorities.”

The report went on to say that one of the main causes of the present situation was the reluctance of employers and social planners to treat labour as a resource to be developed and planned for over the long-term horizon, rather than to treat it as if it flowed from a tap. Alas, our Treasurer prefers not to be confused by the facts.

We understand why the Treasurer has resorted to this sophistry, because his statistical redefinition of unemployment is 30 times as effective in reducing concern for the unemployed in his terms than are his programmes for creating full-time jobs. The 3,600 jobs that have been promised in construction and in work with old people represent barely one per cent of the number of unemployed in Ontario at this time and one-tenth of one per cent of the total labour force. The problem of the 138,000 young people who are not students and who are unemployed has been almost totally ignored because the Ontario Youth Employment Programme and the wage subsidy to private employers is timed to be of use almost inclusively for students seeking summer jobs.

To support his redefinition of unemployment, the Treasurer has cited the Economic Council of Canada and the US Council of Economic Advisers along with the Bank of Canada. What he fails to recognize is that first, as an industrial province, Ontario should have a lower target for full employment than Canada as a whole and, second, that it is the task of government in co-operation with the private sector to find means of improving the skills, mobility and adaptability of the work force and to identify and eliminate other bottlenecks in the economy so that the potential growth rate of the economy can be improved, not worsened, and so that we can safely run the economy as close as possible to 100 per cent employment.

Once the Treasurer’s people decided to say, in error, that the rate of unemployment among women was traditionally higher than men, all the figures and conclusions of this budget paper came into question.

Mr. Wildman: All wrong.

Mr. Cassidy: Frankly, I prefer the compassionate positions that were once advanced by the government, and I quote John White in 1973, “Any unemployment figure in excess of three per cent is unacceptable to this government.” We’ll go along with that.

I quote again: “Low income workers, young people and students and older employees have been particularly hard hit by unemployment. The real cost of unemployment to these people has been enormous, not just in terms of lost incomes, but also in terms of human dignity and family security. In addition, there’s been a heavy cost to the community at large in lost output and weakened confidence.” We associate ourselves with that remark as well. It was made by the present Treasurer in his 1971 budget when the unemployment rate was running at 5.2 per cent. The tragic consequences of unemployment which he acknowledged to exist then exist again today, but this government no longer cares enough even to try to get people back to work and to get the Ontario economy moving.

Mr. MacDonald: That’s a more relevant quote.

Mr. Cassidy: I want to turn for one minute, and one minute only, to the announcement by the Liberal Party and by its leader that his party intends to support this budget. I do so because of the very harsh words he had to say about the government’s record on unemployment during his response in the Throne debate. The least I can do is to read those remarks into the record:

“Mr. S. Smith: In my own constituency office I have people with all levels of education -- grade nine, grade 13, MAs, PhDs -- unable to find work. The bitterness, the hopelessness, the frustration which these people indicate to me is something which is simply intolerable.

“I get the feeling that we have broken faith with our young people. We push them through high school and nurse them through various educational opportunities and then we dump them on the labour market to rot like so many surplus vegetables. This a time when they should be achieving a measure of independence and one in five of our workers under 20 cannot find a job.

“We cannot abandon them. The Treasurer, in his budget, must offer hope and jobs to counteract the despair, the fear and the disillusionment of 143,000 jobless young people.”

He found it intolerable three weeks ago, but now the Liberal Party in Ontario finds this budget, this heartless budget, so tolerable that it intends to support the government on a motion of confidence. I simply cannot understand how a party leader with that attitude can support a government which is so demonstratively incompetent at resolving our problem of unemployment.

Mr. Roy: We want to keep the government going so they’ll bring on solutions.

Mr. Lewis: You want to keep them going on forever, never mind solutions.

Mr. Cassidy: When there are no solutions there’s no use in keeping the government going.

Mr. Wildman: You make up your policy decisions on a trampoline, while flipping over and over.

Mr. Roy: Now that the member for Ottawa Centre has a pin-striped suit he shouldn’t be irresponsible.

Mr. Nixon: I think the word is that we want jobs not elections.

Mr. MacDonald: You know you’re going to get one.

Mr. Cassidy: Let me now turn to the Treasurer’s proposals, specifically for job creation. Both the promises which were made in the Throne Speech about job creation and the promise that was made in the budget a year ago, that Ontario would take appropriate action if the economy began to run off the rails, are simply not matched by action.

For the labour force generally, the Treasurer is promising to create about 3,000 full-time jobs, or about one-tenth of one per cent of Ontario’s labour force. For students, he promised about 4,000 more jobs on the government’s summer employment programme; plus something less than 20,000 summer jobs in the private sector which will be subsidized by $1 an hour. We suspect that many of these so-called new jobs will be last year’s jobs, only cheaper for the employers.

What really counts, however, is that next to nothing is being done for the 138,000 workers under 25 who were out of work at the time the budget was delivered. I know that the students are having a hard time finding work because of the economic situation, but I think Ontario’s priorities are misplaced when attention to young workers is almost totally confined to students. It seems the main reason the Treasurer chose this route was the political reason that summer jobs are easier to create than year-round jobs and the public relations impact is more visible if you’re going into an election. We are concerned that the burden of unemployment is falling so heavily on young workers who are being permanently excluded from the work force as members of “Darcy’s army of the unemployed.”

I therefore want today to propose the creation of an Ontario youth careers programme to provide work experience and career-entry types of positions for workers in their late teens and early 20s. These jobs should be for up to one year. They should provide for significant work experience in job training, and the bulk of them should be in the private and non-profit sector. We believe private employers should bear some of the costs for this programme and that the youth careers programme should be as substantial as possible. I shall come in a few minutes to the magnitude which we think is feasible in this year’s budget for such a youth careers programme.

Mr. Lewis: Kind of a Pied Piper of the unemployed.

Mr. Cassidy: We’re facing two challenges in our economy: What do we do in 1977 and what are we going to do for the next 10 years?

I want to join issue with the Treasurer on the long-term questions first, because I think his response to what is happening in Ontario have been so completely inadequate. The changes that are forecast in our industrial structure over the next few years are frightening. According to the Ontario Economic Council, employment in goods-producing industries in Ontario will shrink from 36 per cent of our labour force this year to 28 per cent in 1987, a mere decade away, if current trends continue.

To put it another way, that means there will be almost no increase in the 1.4 million jobs that now exist in the resource industries, in manufacturing and construction; and in fact there will be a natural decline in manufacturing. If the economy expands by one million workers over the next decade -- and that’s the forecast -- the council says that all of these jobs will have to be found in the service industries and many of them in the government sector.


We in the NDP believe it is not good enough to simply sit back and accept further weakening of an industrial sector which is already both incomplete and vulnerable. We believe that to sit idly by while the work force in manufacturing actually declines would be to irreparably damage our future as a prosperous industrial province. Ontario would go into the next century with nothing ahead but a few more decades of resources to exploit.

The Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) has talked about industrial strategy on many occasions and he let it be known he would have important things to say in this budget. That’s another reason we find the budget so profoundly disappointing. All the bold words of the past about Ontario industry have given way to a pageful of prattle which does little more than call on the federal government for action.

Imagine saying, for action, that, and I quote, “we badly need a national policy of income and price stabilization,” when this government just last fall deliberately decided not to undertake a farm income stabilization plan which was both adequate for farmers’ needs and had the full support of the farm community. Imagine calling for, and I quote, “a national policy with some vision of the economic future,” when what we need is provincial policy with some vision of the economic future.

Imagine worrying about the economy becoming too capital intensive and talking about resisting subsidization and feather-bedding when this government indiscriminately hands out $160 million for investment, with no indication where it should go and no attempt to channel resources to the areas of strength in the economy.

I grant that the Treasurer had a few other words to say. He never ceases to utter his hymns to profits. When the Treasurer isn’t castigating the federal government for doing not enough to develop industry, he is castigating business. Last June he told them that not only should they invest more and get out and boost exports, but that, and I quote, “with just a little more social awareness in your decision-making,” they alone could resolve the problem of the inequities between rich and poor regions of the country. That’s rubbish too, Mr. Speaker.

The Treasurer demeans himself by turning into a naive cheerleader for business when he should be seeking to provide leadership in very difficult times, and he demeans Ontario by constantly trying to shift the blame to labour, to the private sector, to federal government, to foreign competition or to some other bogyman. He strains credibility by saying that everybody is to blame for any problem except the provincial government.

On behalf of the government, the Treasurer says he thinks we should work now to rationalize --

Mr. Bullbrook: You can’t take issue with his statement. He just asks for some social awareness on their part.

Mr. Cassidy: Well we might have some social awareness on the part of the government as well.

Mr. Bullbrook: What’s wrong with that? I am glad he asked.

Mr. Cassidy: On behalf of the government, the Treasurer thinks we should work now to rationalize and concentrate around the best industries in Ontario. That’s fine, but I search in vain to find how he intends to achieve that goal. He wants us to do what we can do best, but he gives no indication in what fields the government thinks Ontario should specialize.

He wants a reappraisal of foreign investment policies to permit what he calls beneficial capital inflows, but he spends too little time worrying about how we can build up strength domestically. Even the Canadian Manufacturers’ Association now estimates that since August 1976 Canada has lost 178,000 jobs in the manufacturing sector. That’s serious, but the response we have had so far from the Ontario government can only be described as superficial.

I want to deal now with a number of specific areas and make some specific suggestions which we believe could have been launched as part of this year’s budget, and as the first steps in reorganizing Ontario’s industry and economy to meet the challenges of the 1980s.

First, our overall industrial situation. We are constantly being exhorted to get out and sell on foreign markets. However, there is an increased parochialism about the world which reminds one uncomfortably of the great depression. As part of their economic strategy, many countries, and not just Ontario, are gearing up in order to create more jobs through manufacturing exports. That puts some limit on the opportunities for Ontario, since we are part of the relatively high-cost North American economy.

There is one foreign market, however, in which Ontario industry has an enormous natural advantage if we started to work hard at it. I mean, of course, the market that is now filled by imports into Ontario from foreign countries. Our imports of finished goods are worth $5 billion more than our exports, and if we include finished materials and certain foods that compete with Canadian products, there is a market within Ontario of close to $20 billion which Ontario industry and the government should take a real crack at.

We’ve had foreign trade crusades in the past; it might be time to have one for ourselves, both to identify products that could be made economically in Ontario and also to let Ontario consumers know how much of the dollar value of goods they buy was made in Canada. We would consider providing means to inform consumers at the point of sale of the Canadian content of goods that are offered, so that they do not wind up buying foreign products out of ignorance, where price and quality are comparable with imports.

An example of what I mean by the inadequacy of the Treasurer’s approach for Ontario’s future is Ontario’s involvement with the automobile industry. I have to say that this is a very sad saga indeed. One in every nine jobs -- or one in every six by the Treasurer’s count last year -- depends on the automobile industry in this province. Ontario ranks in importance with major automobile producing jurisdictions like Michigan, Ohio and California.

Last year the Treasurer spoke with great concern in his budget about the need to revitalize the automobile industry. “We can’t be complacent,” he said. “We must take positive action.” Specifically, he called for measures to increase productivity, to give Canada a larger share of value added in motor vehicle assembly, to reduce the parts deficit and to provide for a regular review of the auto pact.

What disturbs my party is that there has been absolutely no follow-through on the very serious concerns which were raised in the budget last year about the future of Ontario’s automobile industry, even though there is now more cause for concern than there was in 1976.

President Carter’s energy statement last week indicates that the US government will be pressing very hard on the industry to develop a whole new generation of automobiles, based on new lightweight materials and production techniques in order to ensure better fuel economy. It is precisely in new technological development that Canada’s automobile parts industry has tended to do worst. Last year, our car assembly industry bounced back from the very bad year we had in 1975 when the US car market was soft; our trade deficit in parts went from $1.9 billion in 1974 to just under $2.5 billion in 1975, and it got no better from that very serious deficit in 1976. The initial signs this year are that things are going even worse.

Back in the early years of the auto pact, Canada had very much more than its normal share of investment in the North American car industry. Its share is around 10 per cent, our investment was running much higher. Now we are running far below that 10 per cent share. With an industry that has reached market saturation, and with some turning away from car purchases because of crowded cities, because of high energy costs, because of changing social values -- maybe because of Jimmy Carter -- there is no sign that we will recover that position through economic reasons alone; yet that has been the naive supposition of the Ontario government.

When you have an industry as closely linked to government as automobiles, however, when you have an industry which is totally American-owned and when you have several states which depend even more heavily on automobiles for their economic prosperity than does Ontario, then the failure of the Ontario government to do more than to exhort Ottawa for action on the auto industry takes on serious proportions. When Michigan and Ohio, Illinois or California, Georgia or Massachusetts, are pressing Ford, GM or Chrysler to locate facilities in their state, just where is the Ontario government? It isn’t good enough to hope that the federal government will take action; it isn’t good enough to maintain a small research unit on autos in the Treasury ministry, along with one or two junior analysts in the Ministry of Industry and Tourism, it isn’t good enough for the Treasurer of this important province to make one speech on budget day about automobiles and then leave the subject alone for a year.

Yet that is precisely what happened. We have searched through the record and sought the help of the Treasurer’s staff to find out what he has said since the bold initiative in the budget of April 1976. We embarked on this quest with some charity, since the Treasurer’s riding of Chatham-Kent is an automobile parts town and since the industry actually feels that he has lobbied actively on their behalf. The record, alas, indicates no discernible pressure that Ontario has taken on behalf of this industry which is so important to our future and which is so seriously threatened.

Not once during 1976 did Darcy McKeough breathe a single word about the automobile industry in the Legislature once he had finished his budget.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: You mean the provincial Treasurer.

Mr. Cassidy: I mean the provincial Treasurer. As best we can establish, the provincial Treasurer mentioned automobiles only twice in passing during the numerous speeches he made in the past year. The most voluminous reference was one page in a 30-page speech to the Conference Board last June.

We believe that part of Ontario’s industrial strategy should be to work actively and publicly, using every means possible, in order to get a better break for Canada on its automobile trade. What is missing, in other words, is the political element and that is one of the major reasons we are losing automobile investments to the more aggressive state jurisdictions in the United States that are trying to keep those jobs at home.

The kind of intervention we talk about may include talking with senior executives of major automobile manufacturers. It may include going cap in hand, if it has to be, to Detroit and Washington. It will certainly include sitting down with the automobile parts industry to develop a strong joint plan to restore health to an industry which is now seriously endangered.

It isn’t good enough for Ontario to abdicate in this vital field of industrial strategy and to expect the federal government to carry the burden on its own. With 90 per cent of the Canadian industry within its borders, Ontario must act at the political level to counteract the very strong political pressures which are now being brought within the US to bring production and jobs back home at the expense of the industry in this province. What goes for automobiles is true for the rest of the manufacturing industry in this province as well.

To put it in plain terms, the Conservative government of Ontario has actually abdicated its responsibility to nurture Ontario’s manufacturing base. It mouths slogans about making room for free enterprise while its actions indicate it is prepared to tolerate a devastating shrinkage of Ontario’s manufacturing sector over the next 10 years. I find it ironic when the Treasurer says in his budget: “We need a national policy with some vision of the economic future to help us see where we should be going.”

For God’s sake, we need a provincial policy with some vision of the economic future to help us see where we should be going. I don’t disagree with the Treasurer’s call for national policies in areas like automobiles, steel and industrial rationalization. What I deplore, however, is the total lack of comparable policies at the provincial level. The Treasurer rejects higher tariffs and industrial subsidies, he’s trying to back away from government spending; but then he has nothing else to offer, his policies are bankrupt.

Mr. Warner: He should resign immediately.

Mr. Cassidy: Two years ago, the Ministry of Industry and Tourism did a detailed study of 13 major industrial sectors in this province in preparation for our submission to the federal government for the current international round of tariff negotiations. These sectoral studies provided clear indication of many industrial opportunities in Ontario which are being ignored or lost because of lack of leadership. Firm after firm, industry after industry indicated they wanted to work in closer co-operation with the government. Not surprisingly, all the sectors called out for higher profit margins; I don’t know any businessman who wouldn’t ask for that.

None of the reports, however, asked the government for more and better capital subsidies; nor do they ask for faster write-offs, nor do they ask for increased depreciation allowances. Instead, the themes that come through clearly are the following:

First, domestic research and development is in desperate straits and must be encouraged, both by persuasion and by direct government co-operation.

Second, most of our industries are dominated by small and medium-sized firms which need better management expertise and access to better trained personnel. This applies in particular to the firms which are Canadian owned.

Third, domestic markets are important. It’s not enough to constantly harp on penetrating foreign markets, and a buy-Ontario policy is seen as being very important.

Fourth, our industrial base is being eroded by imports. While importers and wholesalers in the service sector may be doing well in the process, our productive sector is stagnating as a consequence of the degree of foreign penetration of the Ontario market.

Mr. Bullbrook: Do you want the Treasurer to put a tariff on it?

Mr. Cassidy: Once again I repeat, these are not socialist fantasies, these are hard-nosed opinions and judgements that are made by the business sector and are reported to the provincial Ministry of Industry and Tourism. These are problems that require not the Treasurer’s shotgun approach but a concentrated assault on some of our structural problems. These sectoral studies indicate that we should be using this current period of high unemployment to train more skilled workers against the day when the economy moves closer to capacity, that we have a very serious need to train more Canadian managers and to provide many more counselling services to entrepreneurs.


The government should facilitate the development of consortia in order to encourage specialization in certain kinds of production. We should be devoting particular attention to industrial areas where we enjoy a resource base, such as agriculture and food processing, forests and furniture, mining and metal fabricating.

Hon. B. Stephenson: That’s what the Treasurer was saying. I’ll examine your ears for you.

Mr. Cassidy: In all these areas, Mr. Speaker, the Ontario government’s policies are not just deficient -- they are downright absent.

Since the Minister of Labour has come in, I point out to her that studies by her ministry indicate that the Treasurer’s gratuitous comments about workers and unemployment insurance are simply not justified by the facts, and I thank her for that very excellent survey.

Mr. Lewis: It’s interesting that the minister would let him get away with that sexist claptrap in that document; it really is, that she would tolerate that as Minister of Labour.

Hon. B. Stephenson: Who said I was tolerating it?

Mr. Cassidy: Even the members of the cabinet are shying away, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Conway: He has the Minister of Revenue (Mrs. Scrivener) to worry about, Bette, leave him alone.

Mr. Moffatt: She’s going to Oshawa.

Hon. B. Stephenson: I get annoyed at the gratuitous comments across there.

Mr. Lewis: Informed, knowledgeable, profound, but rarely gratuitous.

Hon. B. Stephenson: Always gratuitous, never informed.

Mr. Breithaupt: Always worth the price you pay for it.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Since this is the budget debate, all members will have an opportunity, hopefully, to participate.

Mr. Bullbrook: Can you guarantee that, Mr. Speaker?

Mr. Deputy Speaker: It’s not a guarantee, but if you’ll allow the member for Ottawa Centre to have the floor we’ll get on with the business.

Mr. Cassidy: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

One of the areas on which the Treasurer harps almost incessantly is the need to restrain the public sector. In his view the only real productivity is in the private sector, that is his ideology -- although if he therefore intends to disband the Ontario Northland Railway, Ontario Hydro, the Liquor Control Board, and radio station CJRT, I wish he’d let the public know before the election and not afterwards.

Mr. Lewis: Don’t give him any ideas.

Mr. Cassidy: We take a more balanced view. We believe that activity by the public sector should be used where appropriate and where it can be most effective. We suspect that in many cases the public sector has better means of determining priorities than the private sector, regardless of what sector can carry those things out.

We also believe, as the Treasurer and his party do not, that governments and the public sector have an important role in redistributing income in a more equitable manner than that determined by the market. If the Treasurer disagrees with that statement, then would he please announce the government’s intentions as regards the continuation of the GAINS plan for senior citizens and the disabled before we enter the election and not afterwards.

The Ontario Economic Council’s recent publication on public decision-making puts this matter in the kind of perspective which we believe is more appropriate than the Treasurer’s diatribes. They warn that the statement that government spending has risen to 40 per cent of the gross national product must be interpreted with considerable care, because the big increase in the government’s share of the economy has been in transfer payments to redistribute income, which now accounts for an estimated 17 per cent of GNP or getting on for half of the government sector in toto.

To back this up, the Ontario Economic Council calculates that the total number of government employees has risen from 10 per cent of the work force back in the prehistoric times of 1961 to about 12 per cent today. In my opinion, Mr. Speaker, that is hardly a stupendous increase in government involvement in our daily lives.

The Treasurer had talked a lot about productivity in recent months and it is an area which we recognize is vital. But his position seems to be that we cannot afford to do much about the current levels of unemployment because we cannot jeopardize our long-term competitive position. We therefore must help industry now in order, or in hope of helping people later.

This approach is so sterile it is sickening. There are strong indications that Ontario’s corporate palliatives will be irrelevant or even counter-productive. While the Treasurer can find words to deny it, the talk of Ontario’s weakening competitive position lends itself far too easily to coming down hard on labour while subsidizing capital so that business can improve its productivity and reduce the need for workers.

However, the research that has been done indicates that; first, differences in productivity between nations relate to a number of factors and sometimes to the way that those factors are combined and not just to one factor such as labour; second that capital is employed far more inefficiently than labour in Canada.

A recent federal study for the Industry, Trade and Commerce department establishes that although Ontario is close to the US norm for labour productivity -- I think that’s important, because it indicates we’ve got a very good chance of making our way if there were more confidence in the future of Ontario’s economy -- although Ontario is very close to the US norm, the average Canadian labour productivity is about 18 per cent below that of the United States. That’s bad, but the average productivity of capital in Canada is about 46 per cent below that of the United States, and that is disastrous.

The study concludes that “for all major industry groups in Canadian manufacturing except tobacco, clothing, machinery, transportation equipment and electrical products, the output per dollar of capital is much lower than in the US. This is very significant and suggests the need for measures to improve the performance of this factor input in Canadian manufacturing” -- capital and management. That’s where our biggest weakness lies right now, and it is an important point.

The Canadian tax climate has fostered a rich undergrowth of fast write-offs, of investment credits, of sales tax rebates, of capital cost allowance, et cetera. But what appears to have resulted is a capital bias which has actually damaged that productivity performance and drains scarce capital resources away from new entrepreneurs as well as from necessary social expenditure by government. I would say that the classic example is the petroleum industry, with capital productivity which is 48 per cent below its American counterpart. Governments have given this industry a licence to pick the consumer’s pocket indiscriminately, the most recent incident being the Treasurer’s decision to make the Treasury and not the oil companies pay for the increased cost of driving in the north. That’s shameful.

The federal study concludes: “If the Canadian economy uses capital just as ineffectively as it does labour, it is doubtful whether competitiveness will be increased by the substitution of the former, [that is, capital] for the latter [that is, labour]. “And yet that is precisely the drift or the direction of the Treasurer’s policies. The Industry, Trade and Commerce study also suggests that there is significant room for productivity improvement within small establishments without going to the scale of US plants. The difference in plant sizes, it says, only explains a small part of the difference in cost per unit between the two countries; and I would suggest, with the changing pattern of manufacturing, that may even be more so in the future.

What does all this mean? It means that the capital efficiency and the management of Canadian industry will have to be seriously challenged if we wish to stay competitive. I suspect it means that government should encourage much more in-plant training, both for management, for supervisors and for workers, so that they can stay abreast of developments in the field and adapt quickly to the latest techniques. Just as in the automobile industry, it means that the province of Ontario should intervene actively with branch-plant subsidiaries in this province to ensure that their share of the parent company’s range of products can be efficiently made in Canada and that they have access to new technology developed within the industry or by the parent at the same rate as plants that are closer to head office. The problem of the diffusing of technological expertise is a very serious problem within the Ontario economy which government can and should act to correct.

The 1972 figures indicated that Ontario’s position is not quite so bad on productivity as the Canadian average, because we are that much more productive than the Canadian average. On average, in fact, we matched the Americans for productivity in 1972 and we are still not far off five years later. When the investment per worker five years ago was $41,000, compared with $27,000 in the United States, there are clear signs that we are using our capital stock inefficiently.

Two other points come out of the federal study. First, about 40 per cent of our work force is in plants of less than 100 workers, compared with 25 per cent for the Americans. There are obviously problems with plants this size but there may also be benefits from the flexibility of the work force, the closeness of management to staff and the substantially smaller size of administrative overheads which are characteristic of these small operations.

Second, the scope for productivity improvement is certainly not only through building large, world-scale specialized plants, as the Treasurer seems to indicate. The detailed figures on productivity by industry sub-sector indicate there are enormous differences in productivity between United States and Ontario firms precisely in the small and medium-size industrial sector and that these are areas where enormous improvement could probably be made if the government began to co-operate seriously with our industry in Ontario.

To take but two examples -- because I could spend a whole speech in this area -- it is hard to understand why Canadian vegetable oil mills are more productive than in the US; confectionery manufacturers in Ontario are less productive than in the US; but biscuit manufacturers and bakeries in this province have half the value added per production worker than in the US. It’s easy to see from that single example that there must be many areas where by looking at the problem in detail we can achieve enormous productivity improvements within the Ontario economy.

Now I want to turn to small business. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business called the Treasurer’s budget “small and medium-sized crumbs for small and medium-sized business.” We agree, and we believe it’s time for the province of Ontario to make a full legislative commitment to the small-business sector. The increasing concentration of economic power, allied with government programmes directed to big business, is killing the independent-business sector. This means everything from the corner drug store threatened by a chain, and the independent retailer being shut down by an oil company, to firms that are established suppliers in the manufacturing sector.

The Davis government has abrogated its responsibility to small business, and we’re beginning to feel that the NDP is its only hope.

Mr. Breithaupt: That is called wishful thinking.

Hon. B. Stephenson: That would sound the death-knell for independent business.

Mr. Lewis: Small business.


Mr. Cassidy: What is interesting is that in a world where people are beginning to talk about small being beautiful, all the Treasurer can say is that large is terrific. We disagree categorically with that kind of stand; we believe that there are many opportunities to be provided in the private sector, if, perhaps, one could even restore to industry some of the values of a few years ago, values which have been lost in the rush to the monopoly sector by this government.

Mr. Bullbrook: Well, McKeough and Sons isn’t that big, is it?

Mr. Cassidy: The government’s incentive of increasing the compensation for sales tax collections is a sham. It’s a $200 increase which still makes small merchants the next thing to unpaid tax collectors. The change in the capital tax is a step forward, but it should be complemented by the creation of one form for small business which would serve to file for unemployment insurance, for sales tax, for Canada pension and for all the other onerous dealings with government.

The Treasurer takes credit in this budget for creating special venture investments in corporations, ignoring the fact that the proposal first came from John White in the 1974 Ontario budget. I think that was three years ago, as a matter of fact; and it will be another year or two before they get operating. After three years of Tory inaction on this proposal, do we take it seriously now?

If venture investment corporations do get going, will they help small business? I question it. The Treasurer is so blind about bigness and about his own deficit that his legislation will insist that the venture investment corporations have outstanding capital of at least $250,000, and be up to three times that amount by the end of their fourth year. There is still absolutely no legislative encouragement for half a dozen friends to put some money into a pot and to launch a new small business without the fuss and delays that will be entailed in the venture investment corporations. I think it’s worth contrasting this government’s reticence about small business with the newly-formed Alberta Opportunity Corporation, which has a deliberate bias towards small companies and small communities. It has located its head office in a small town and has succeeded so well that the commercial lenders are now following its lead into the small-business field. Why can’t we do that in Ontario as well?

Many small businesses need professional management advice but they can only get it in Ontario by paying $20 a day under a federal programme; and the service is little known. The NDP government in Manitoba has got such a service and it works well.

Providing advice like this could prevent thousands of business failures every year; many small businesses are vulnerable at the start, because of their owner’s lack of business expertise. On the other hand, small business tends to be more efficient, more innovative and more flexible than large firms, besides being more economical in its use of energy. Small firms also create more jobs for dollar investment than big business, and this is important when unemployment is so high. The tax breaks for large industry, which the Treasurer is offering, do little for the small-business sector, which employs almost half of the province’s work force. In our view it makes much more sense to give the small-business sector real incentives and encouragement to prosper and to create jobs.


Ontario is actually behind most western countries in the priority that it gives to small business. I’ve already spoken of the need to inform consumers of the Canadian content of goods sold within Ontario. To help small business and Ontario industry, Ontario should focus the purchasing power of both the provincial government and of the municipalities and of the many semi-public agencies, such as hospitals and school boards, which depend on public funds. It should insist that the Canadian content be identified on all tenders that they consider, and as part of a Buy Ontario policy which I am proposing, Ontario should insist that at the very least goods produced in this province should have preference where price and quality are comparable to imports.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Imports into Canada or Ontario?

Mr. Cassidy: Imports into Canada. Mr. Speaker, Ontario --

Hon. Mr. McKeough: That is not what you said, by the way.

Mr. Cassidy: Ontario should take steps to help group the common requirements of bodies such as hospital boards, in order that they help to develop an assured market for Ontario industry -- and this time I mean Ontario industry. Because public demands are involved, this may be one area where joint public-private ventures could be justified.

Ontario should also ensure that small business gets a fair share of the provincial government’s own purchases. This is something, among other things, which the US federal government has done for years. Many contract specifications in this province are drawn up today in such a way that small businesses are actually ruled out from tendering. Our policy would work the other way. Ontario, like other jurisdictions in North America, should require that a certain proportion of the purchasing that it does from big business be directed through subcontracts to small business. Ontario should also require larger firms to subcontract a certain proportion of the successful contract tenders into the small-business sector.

All of these are elements that enter into an industrial strategy for Ontario. I don’t pretend to have covered every base, because the Treasurer has had six years and 600 staff on the job while opposition critics work with a staff of three or four. They’re good staff, mind you, but it’s three or four.

What I want to say on behalf of the New Democratic Party, however, is that we believe that now is not the time for defeatism and we believe that there are constructive approaches and new directions to be taken which respond to our problems, which build on our strengths and which are far more productive than hoping against hope that a few corporate decision-makers will bail out the Ontario economy.

Part of the NDP strategy is that Ontario needs a strategic development strategy that covers not just land use but also economic and social development. Years ago, we thought we might be getting it from the Conservative government, but that effort has been so thoroughly obliterated at the behest of this Treasurer that we know it will never be rehabilitated. If you follow the present population trends, Mr. Speaker, as this government now clearly intends to do, there will be no growth to speak of in northern Ontario or in the eastern part of the province. We will continue to have more and more people crowded into less and less space in the region around Metropolitan Toronto and the pressure for growth could easily take off again in the 1980s with another explosion in land and housing prices.

We believe equality of opportunity should spread into every region of the province and not be confined to people fortunate enough to live within a few miles’ radius of Queen’s Park. The plan we would propose would include a programme to preserve and maintain small communities across the province, as an alternative to forcing everyone to move into larger cities, for reasons of economy, diversity and social justice. Small enterprises, in particular, should be encouraged to locate in small communities and to build up the human and natural resources of their region.

Perhaps it’s significant that the budget said virtually nothing about housing, despite the fact that 80 per cent of Ontario’s families have too little income to pay for the average house being sold in Metropolitan Toronto. Part of our industrial strategy would be to ensure that housing was being provided at reasonable cost in every part of the province, in particular in order to serve families on low and modest incomes. But because such a strategy is lacking, the government is blindly marching ahead with increasing subsidies to developers for houses and apartments over which it will have no public influence, but whose subsidies will range as high as the cost of subsidizing a family in Ontario Housing.

Non-profit and co-operative housing groups have never been offered the generous treatment now being provided as a matter of course to the private building industry. This is an obvious case where the government’s political biases have overcome any hope of a coherent strategy.

Next, resources: The New Democratic Party position on resources is well known. Our position is that resources development should be carried out with the maximum benefit for the community and for the regions in which those resources are located. That generally means the north, which is the region that now has the least economic benefit. As a beginning, Ontario should begin to review the 38 exemptions from domestic processing that have been so uncritically granted by the Ministry of Natural Resources.

We should negotiate with the mine owners to have that processing done in Canada, and preferably in this province. Ontario should be prepared to set up joint ventures to handle the creation and operation of processing facilities in co-operation with the private sector to ensure we begin as quickly as possible to reap benefits and jobs from the resources that have been mindlessly exported for so many years.

As a note, I might comment that the Northern Ontario Development Corporation specifically excludes certain kinds of beneficiating activities because it defines them as processing and not as manufacturing and, therefore, says they are ineligible for ODC assistance. That’s the way the government is working right now.

Finally, energy is obviously a vital part of Ontario’s industrial strategy. I want to speak about oil and conservation because these two were almost ignored in the budget, and they get less attention in the Legislature than Hydro. In his report a few days ago, the Minister of Energy (Mr. Taylor) said Ontario should give high priority to investments and incentives for conservation and efficiency in energy use. The NDP agrees. We looked in vain for any reflection of that strategy in the budget, apart from the remission of sales tax on insulation material.

We are concerned at the prohibitive capital requirements for the energy industry over the next decade. We believe alternatives should be sought and we regret their absence in this budget. Among other things we should be concerned with are the retrofitting of houses and businesses and the development of techniques and technologies for alternative energy sources, such as sun and wind industry, which the Treasurer as Minister of Energy used to pooh-pooh when the member for Windsor- Riverside (Mr. Burr) asked about it two or three years ago. We should be concerned also about the installation of more energy efficient technology in Ontario industry and the development of new energy sources.

Two areas that deserve particular attention are the establishment of a methane industry in Ontario, based on renewable forest resources, as outlined by my leader a few days ago, and the enormous deposits of lignite coal in northeastern Ontario at Onakawana. You may recall, Mr. Speaker, that the government promised to study the feasibility of this energy resource back in 1971.

Mr. Ferrier: That was an election year.

Mr. Cassidy: In the days of $2 a barrel of oil, they found that the project wouldn’t fly or that they didn’t want to fly with it. Perhaps it was only a politically motivated idea. Today, however, when our oil prices are moving towards the $13 world level and when Ontario is prepared to spend $100 million in a Syncrude project whose production will cost close to $18 a barrel, it makes very good sense to re-examine the Onakawana project. In 1973, the Onakawana task force which reported to the present Treasurer, said the deposit was an important potential asset.

In early 1974, consultants told the Ontario government: “The development of northern Ontario’s vast lignite deposits is not only economically feasible but might make a significant contribution to the province’s power supplies.” They found there were enough reserves for a 1,000-megawatt generating station. The deposits happened to be within a stone’s throw of the Ontario Northland Railway. They recommended that this should be seriously considered as an alternative to high-cost nuclear energy development. We accept that judgement, particularly with the rapid increase in energy prices since 1974. The power generated at Onakawana should, of course, be used to spur secondary industry development in the north.

Closer to home, there is increasing evidence that spending on conservation may be more efficient and may have a higher return than spending on new power generation facilities. It is also a good deal more labour intensive at a time of high unemployment. Given the present economic situation, plus the Treasurer’s total unconcern for the need to create jobs, the money being provided to accelerate Ontario’s hydro projects could conceivably include some funding directed to the area of conservation.

Third, I want to make a very specific and major proposal designed to get people working in a wide variety of occupations, to stimulate small business, to provide a particular stimulation to the eastern and northern parts of the province and to have important long-term results in energy conservation in the saving of capital and in the creation of new industries. There is real work to be done in this province in preparing our homes and businesses to use energy more efficiently through insulation, through the improvement of construction standards, through the installation of more adequate doors and windows and through the other measures that go under the general rubric of retrofitting. I don’t particularly like that word, but the concept is both important and valuable.

I think many Ontario residents are prepared to co-operate with government in a programme to save energy and get Ontario workers back on the job by means of what I call an energy-saving programme.

The cost of retrofitting a house runs between $800 and $1,500. and the savings, typically, run anywhere between 10 per cent and 40 per cent of a household’s fuel bill. It is, therefore, reasonable that homeowners share in an initiative by the Ontario government. I am, therefore, proposing on behalf of my party that Ontario launch a programme of energy-saving grants designed to make a substantial improvement in the energy efficiency of every Ontario household over the next 10 years. The grants should be worth up to one-third of the cost in southern Ontario and 50 per cent of the cost in the north and east. The maximum amount available would be $500 in the south and $750 in the north and east.

This is a programme which is important both for energy conservation reasons and for its effect on employment. It’s a programme where it’s possible to create meaningful jobs very quickly. Many of the techniques of retrofitting are straightforward and easily learned. Others call on construction labour, which is in more than ample supply. The materials necessary are in reasonable supply and this is also a field where small business can get involved very easily.

There’s not enough time in this budget reply to elaborate on all of the areas of the economy and what should be done. I hope I have given enough detail, however, to indicate the approach that we in the New Democratic Party believe should be taken and to indicate, as well, how firmly we are opposed to this constant recycling of old shibboleths by the Treasurer.

Mr. Lewis: It’s fundamentalist dogma.

Mr. Cassidy: Our analysis shows the government position on these matters is almost entirely a matter of words.

Mr. Lewis: He would do well in South Carolina.

Mr. Breithaupt: Are there new shibboleths?

Mr. Cassidy: I thought of calling for new shibboleths. It’s about time we had a few. The Treasurer is excessively fond of saying that something must be done about the problems that confront us over the next 10 years -- but then he falls back on naive hope in the corporate sector.

One final example: Just as the most uncritical supporter of the recent federal budget was Ontario’s provincial Treasurer, so too is the Ontario government likely to remain the last defender of the Anti-Inflation Board. We have opposed Ontario’s involvement in the AIB since its inception, but the pressure to scrap controls now comes not only from my party and from the labour movement, but from spokesmen for business.

What Ed Broadbent predicted 18 months ago has come to pass. The AIB has been such shock to confidence and has created such distortions in the economy that both Ontario and Canada have fallen seriously short of what they could have achieved economically if the AIB had not been created. Both the federal and the provincial economic councils keep warning that economic policy makers should beware of concentrating too obsessively on one measure of economic performance, such as the control of inflation, over our other goals, such as an adequate rate of growth and equitable distribution of incomes and the creation of jobs.

Mr. Lewis: Is the Treasurer doctrinaire?

Mr. Cassidy: But so determined is our Treasurer to wrestle inflation to the ground and to balance his budget for ideological reasons that he is absolutely blinded to the consequences to Ontario and to its workers of his single-minded obsession. We believe both goals are important: Get the economy moving and keep price increases in check.

I recall with great regret just how many times my leader and the NDP called, in this House, on the government to establish a mechanism to keep prices under review, but were rebuffed in the early 1970s because the government feared their proposal would unduly intrude on business.

Mr. Lewis: Right. The old rigidity.

Mr. Cassidy: I marvel at the bias that allows the Treasurer to argue the AIB controls on profits should be withdrawn now while controls on wages should continue to apply. How much more one-sided can he get?

The measures I have outlined will contribute to improving Ontario’s productivity and competitiveness over the next few years and would also contribute, both directly and indirectly, towards improving our price performance. They should also help to protect the economy against overheating when it is moving near to full capacity. These proposals are put forward in a constructive spirit, because we believe it is important for the public and private sectors to work together cooperatively and we are tired of the government’s inaction and its apparent inability to grasp the challenges that lie in store for Ontario’s economy over the next 10 years.


Mr. Lewis: The Treasurer is such a fundamentalist. He makes Edmund Burke sound a radical.

Mr. Cassidy: And Ronald Reagan.

In the short term, the actions of the Treasurer are just as misguided as is his inaction over the long term. A week before the budget was delivered, the Treasurer said he was not going to tinker with the basic setting of the income tax in Ontario -- tinker. Instead he has chosen to play with every other part of the tax system in a way that probably appeals to certain small groups who are rock-ribbed Tories, but that certainly doesn’t appeal to most people in Ontario because they pay the shot and they don’t get the benefits.

Mr. Lewis: Turned the budget into a Tinker Toy.

Mr. Cassidy: Ontario is taking only 35,000 low-income people off its tax rolls, while tiny Manitoba just last week found it possible to take 75,000 low-income people off of its rolls.

Much of the $32-million reduction in Ontario’s personal income tax revenues comes from paralleling the federal dividend tax benefit, whose major beneficiaries will be people earning more than $25,000.

While the tax on cigarettes and car licences go up and are paid by the little guy. Ontario is matching the federal inventory write-off to give Ontario corporations, mainly big business, a tax cut of $42 million.

Mr. Reid: Who provides the jobs?

Mr. Cassidy: If you are a dead quarter- millionaire, Mr. Speaker, then you are one of the prime people in need whom the Treasurer helps in this budget by raising the exemptless limit for succession duties. In just two years, in fact, the Treasurer has raised the exemptions on succession duty by 100 per cent, from $150,000 to $300,000, apparently on the basis of ability to pay. Over the same period of time, his government is raising general welfare and family benefits by eight per cent, or by half the increase in the cost of living, apparently on the assumption that poor people are much better able to cope with inflation than people who are very wealthy. It is better to be rich and dead than poor and alive if you live in Tory Ontario.

Mr. Deans: That is correct.

An hon. member: Right on.

Mr. Cassidy: In our opinion, the succession duty is a tax that is fair and just. There is no excuse for the government’s continued abandonment of this field, just as there is no excuse for the continuous way that it has pushed the exemption levels up. In fact it is Ontario’s retreat that is forcing other provinces to vacate this lucrative tax field. Ontario could be collecting an extra $100 million in succession duties this year if it wasn’t so committed to giving further privileges to people with wealth when they die.

Mr. Breithaupt: It’s called downward indexing.

Mr. Cassidy: In passing, I am sorry the Premier isn’t here, as a matter of fact, because I understand that he spoke to an appreciative farm audience last week and told them the NDP didn’t care about the farmers because we had opposed the increase in succession duty exemptions to $300,000. He was also chortling that tiny Manitoba had increased its succession duty limit and why was the NDP opposing it here in Ontario.

If the Premier wasn’t so anxious to curry favour with farmers by distorting the facts, he would have acknowledged that farmers have been effectively exempt from succession duties since 1973, that this Ontario measure was supported by the provincial NDP and that the new exemption from succession duty in Manitoba has been increased from $50,000 to a realistic $75,000, or one-quarter of the exaggerated level that is being permitted in Ontario.

Mr. Lewis: How about some policies for the living now?

Mr. Cassidy: That’s right.

The final tax concession that the budget announces is the fast two-year write-off for machinery and equipment worth about $80 million. When you look closer, however, Mr. Speaker, that is simply a continuation of a tax concession which was already in existence and is not a new tax cut at all. As I said before, this is yet another misrepresentation and it is no response for an economy that has too much industrial capacity to spare and too little confidence to grow.

We would withdraw the inventory write-off. We consider the succession duty cuts are inappropriate at this time of economic stringency and we believe the subsidy to capital contained in the fast write-offs is ineffective and should also be withdrawn.

As for the machinery sales tax rebate, I have already made our case. We believe this $160-million annual cost to the Treasury can be used in better ways in order to stimulate the Ontario economy.

My colleagues will have more to say about the individual tax increases proposed by the Treasurer, although I want to personally welcome the increase in tobacco taxes as what I hope will become an essential part of a public campaign against the worst public health hazard we have in Ontario. Tax action alone will not stop people smoking, however, and, in my opinion, government should follow this tax increase up with prevention campaigns, with stop-smoking clinics and with provincial legislation to stop smoking in public places and guarantee non-smokers the right to clean air. That kind of action is simply absent as far as this government has been concerned.


Mr. Cassidy: The House leader for the NDP (Mr. Deans) wants an exemption for certain cigars, which we grant him for at least six months until he quits.

Mr. Breithaupt: I hope he doesn’t want the spitoons brought in here.

Mr. Cassidy: While the tax cuts are overwhelmingly directed to business, and while some of them in fact are recycling of tax cuts granted a year ago, the tax increases are both regressive and mainly come from the consumer. There isn’t much philosophy to them, except for an effort to soak the little guy. It all amounts to fiscal tinkering. There isn’t even the increase in exemption for sales tax from 21 cents to 25 cents, which we expected, which we would like to have seen and which not only would have kept people working in the chocolate bar industry but also would have helped people in small retail businesses and taken some account of the effects of inflation on the price of small purchases over the last five years.

Everyone in Ontario, everyone in this Legislature, knows northerners such as the member for Port Arthur (Mr. Foulds) who sends his regrets at not being here, and the member for Lake Nipigon (Mr. Stokes) pay more than a dollar a gallon for their gas, while my Toronto colleagues and I pay as little as 81 cents a gallon when we fill up our car. It is, therefore, welcome that the government, at long last, recognizes it costs far more to operate a car in the north than in the rest of Ontario. It is typical of this Treasurer, however, that after he mouths slogans about making the private sector responsible, he bails out the oil companies by giving northerners the equivalent of a nickel a gallon subsidy on their gas out of the public Treasury. In our opinion this amount does not compensate the additional operating costs in the north and it is the oil companies who should pay by providing gasoline to motorists in the north at the same price as in the south.

Mr. Wildman: That doesn’t help the dealers at all.

Mr. Reid: Stealing Liberal policy again from the last election.

Mr. Cassidy: As for the tax on pop cans, we welcome the government’s environmental initiative, but we are naturally anxious to know what the job impact of this proposal will be at a time of seven per cent unemployment. Because this tax comes from a Conservative government, I strongly suspect no alternative has been given or even considered for the 1,000 can workers whose jobs may be affected. We believe government should take every care possible to ensure new jobs are found when it is cutting back in a sector of industry for environmental reasons, whether it’s in pop cans or any other environmental campaign.

Mr. Ferrier: The revenue grab.

Mr. Cassidy: Four years ago in this House I urged the imposition of a tough land speculation tax at a 50 per cent rate to halt the hectic spiral of property dealing, which was driving up housing prices and also affecting the competitive position of Ontario’s industries. The measures that followed were conceived by Tories and so were designed to be ineffective in action. They were riddled with loopholes and they were irrelevant to the real problem.

Now that our resources and secondary manufacturing are firmly in the hands of foreign owners, the government apparently feels it is time to remove any impediments to increased foreign control of property in our urban centres. We will oppose that change, but in sorrow at how inadequate the original bill was for the problem.

We regret the reduction in the land speculation tax, but in particular because that tax has been so ineffective from its very inception.

I want to bring my remarks together now in order to comment on the Treasurer’s actions and on what we would do to get the economy of Ontario moving. Just two weeks ago, the Treasurer said he was not going to encourage what he called “forced levels of economic expansion” by means of a personal income tax cut. How an increase from our current level of activity could be forced growth is beyond me. But what is significant is that the Treasurer and the government of Ontario are virtually alone in their present stance.

What we in the NDP advocate in terms of job creation and tax cuts is solidly backed by a wide variety of expert opinion, while the experts are almost equally unanimous in their judgement that further tax concessions to business will have no stimulative effect. That has certainly been the experience of the past year. The rate of machinery investment, for example, went up by 2.4 per cent; we created only 29,000 jobs. We’re not doing the job were the Treasurer’s answers.

We simply cannot stimulate the economy from the top, If we put money into the consumers’ pockets, however, if we start from the bottom, however, we will inject demand into the spending stream; we will create jobs; we will restore investment and restore confidence to the business sector.

Mr. Deans: Did you hear that, Darcy?

Mr. Cassidy: Let me cite some of the voices that have been calling for a tax cut in order to get the economy of Ontario, or the economy of Canada, moving. Chief among them is the Ontario Economic Council, whose report came out just before the budget. They are supported by the Economic Council of Canada, by the C. D. Howe Research Institute, by economists Abraham Rotstein and Dian Cohen, by the Canadian Labour Congress, and even by the economists for the Canadian Manufacturers Association.

The support is so widespread, in fact, that it even extends to Lincoln Alexander, the Conservative opposition in Ottawa and to the official Conservative finance critic in Ottawa, Sinclair Stevens, who this month in his reply to the federal budget called for a substantial personal income tax cut, with the greatest benefit going to people earning less than $8,000 a year.

Mr. Breithaupt: Surely he’d like some for himself, as well?

Mr. Cassidy: Speaking for a party which has a strong tradition of saying the same things at both levels -- at the federal and at the provincial level -- I really wonder how the messages can be so different between the Conservative opposition in Ottawa and the provincial Conservative government.

Mr. Reid: That’s you, monolithic.

Mr. Breithaupt: You are against everything, so it is easy.

Mr. Lewis: Your sister government in Zaire.

Mr. Wildman: Rhodesia.

Mr. Nixon: Both levels of the NDP say what Joe Morris tells them.

Mr. Cassidy: We in the NDP acknowledge that there are significant restraints to the amount that Ontario can afford to put into stimulating the economy this year. What we deplore in particular is that there is no effort at all being made.

Ontario has so misspent its good years for the political benefit of the Tories that when action is really needed, which is now, the cupboard is virtually bare. Since we anticipate that the Treasurer’s budgetary deficit will probably be $400 million higher than he forecast -- that is, it will exceed $1.4 billion -- we feel compelled or constrained to propose only those fiscal measures which will not further increase the deficit.

I would that we could do more, and I regret that we cannot do more.

There are three elements in the fiscal stimulus which we believe should be applied to get Ontario’s economy moving and to get its people back to work The first is direct job creation through the energy-saving programme which I have already outlined, a programme to insulate Ontario’s houses beginning now and completing the job over the next 10 years. We estimate that a $50 million programme in grants, along the lines that I have described, would generate $150 million in new spending in the economy; would provide for more than 100,000 homes to be made fuel-efficient; would generate important long-term savings for Ontario consumers and the Ontario economy; would begin to reduce Ontario’s needs for capital in the energy sector; and could provide up to 10,000 jobs between now and the winter -- and those are full-time jobs, not the kind of summer work the Treasurer is providing.

Secondly, we are calling for an Ontario youth careers programme that would provide full-time work for about 8,000 young workers this year. I’ve already described how that programme would work. I wish it could be more, but this is certainly a more significant effort than the 250 full-time jobs for youth that are promised by the Treasurer.

We estimate that the cost of providing 8,000 jobs as a part of our package of stimulating the economy would be about $40 million this year.

Third, the New Democratic Party believes that there should be a cut in personal income taxes to stimulate the economy and that it should be as substantial as resources permit. I’ve already outlined a number of areas where we believe resources are available because of misapplied tax incentives in other parts of the economy.

This tax cut should be directed to families in low and modest incomes to ensure that it is spent and not saved. Without increasing the deficit a nickel, it should be possible to draw money from the Treasurer’s dubious incentives to business and to provide for tax cuts that would be greatest for people on the lowest incomes.

Such a tax cut would do four things: It would increase real growth in the Ontario economy this year, and it would do so substantially; it would increase employment and reduce unemployment; it would have a positive effect on the rate of productivity growth in Ontario; and it would serve to restore confidence in an economy in which the Conservative government of Ontario seems to have lost faith.


Mr. Deans: The Treasurer just doesn’t understand.

Mr. Cassidy: To conclude, we in the New Democratic Party find this to be a profoundly disappointing budget. As the unemployment rate climbs towards eight per cent, the evidence rises every day that the Treasurer and the government are mismanaging Ontario’s economy. The Treasurer’s budget is filled with misrepresentations from beginning to end and its distortion of figures for political purposes is fundamentally dishonest. The callous decision to accept a permanent army of more than 200,000 unemployed by redefining the full employment target in Ontario reflects both on the government’s mismanagement of the economy and on the Treasurer’s warped sense of social priorities.

Mr. Makarchuk: Now you’ve got throwaway people.

Mr. Cassidy: In particular, his condescending attitude toward so-called secondary members of the work force is unjustified and will be resented by every woman worker in Ontario. As the member for Brantford says, it’s a throw-away society, and now this government is going to throw away people.

Effective April 19, 1977, the word “progressive” is no longer applicable to the Conservative Party of Ontario. The Treasurer is failing to provide the leadership needed to bring Ontario out of its economic doldrums. His budget is totally devoid of any coherent plan for the future structure of Ontario industry. He was trying to divert attention from our present difficult situation by presenting a plan to achieve a balanced budget which can only be described as a fantasy.

In this speech I have tried to outline how my party would tackle Ontario’s difficult economic situation over the next five to 10 years and for this year. Our most urgent priority now must be to get the Ontario economy moving and to put Ontario workers back to work. The corporate concessions that are offered as a solution by the Treasurer demonstrate that it is he and not the New Democratic Party who is the real prisoner of ideology in this Legislature.

We need to take those corporate tax cuts and put them into programmes to get our young people working, to provide direct job stimulation in a useful and responsible way, to begin to prepare for a future of scarce energy and to put money in people’s pockets where it will be spent both to stimulate the economy and to restore confidence in Ontario’s future. That is the programme for 1977 of the Ontario New Democratic Party.

Mr. Deans: He should resign.

Mr. Cassidy: On behalf of my party, I’m moving an amendment. I want to assure you, Mr. Speaker, that this is couched in technical terms so that it will be understood by the economists in the Treasury.

Mr. Lewis: In soft and gentle terms compared to what we would have wished.

Mr. Cassidy: That’s right.

Mr. Speaker: Mr. Cassidy moves --

Mr. Breithaupt: Dispense.

Mr. Renwick: No, read it.

Mr. Speaker: I think we should read it. It’s fairly short.

Mr. Bullbrook: I think it is out of order too.

Mr. Speaker: Mr. Cassidy moves, seconded by Mr. Lewis, that all the words after “that” in the main motion be struck and the following added:

“This House deplores the mismanagement by the government of Ontario’s economy, condemns the misrepresentation by the Treasurer of the government’s fiscal situation and Ontario’s economic prospects, rejects a policy which accepts a permanent army of 200,000 unemployed, regrets the failure of the Treasurer to provide any long-term direction for Ontario’s industrial development and future prosperity, condemns the slavish addiction to ideology which has led the Treasurer to offer corporate tax handouts as his only remedy for our short-term economic stagnation and, above all, calls for a reordering of the expenditure programme to create jobs in order to put the province back on the road to economic strength and security.”

Mr. Peterson moved the adjournment of the debate.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Cassidy: As a matter of privilege, Mr. Speaker, I had been led to understand that the Conservative speechwriters were writing heckles for this particular speech, and I want to express my regret they didn’t come in with them.

Mr. Speaker: That’s not really a point of personal privilege or order.

Mr. Cassidy: Not a word about Manitoba.


Mr. Speaker: I beg to inform the House that in the name of Her Majesty the Queen the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor has been pleased to assent to certain bills in her chambers.

Clerk of the House: The following are the titles of the bills to which Her Honour has assented:

Bill 10, An Act to amend The Election Finances Reform Act, 1975.

Bill Pr2, An Act respecting the Trustees of the Toronto General Burying Grounds.

Bill Pr4, An Act respecting Canada Trustco Mortgage Company.

Bill Pr5, An Act respecting the Borough of York.

Bill Pr6, An Act respecting Webwood Investments Limited.

Bill Pr9, An Act respecting the Borough of East York.

Bill Pr11, An Act respecting Lombardo Furniture and Appliances Limited.

Bill Pr13, An Act respecting Kevalaine Corporation Limited.

Bill Pr16, An Act respecting Fred Leblond Cement Products Limited.

Bill Pr19, An Act respecting The Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation for the Diocese of Alexandria, in Ontario, Canada.

Bill Pr20, An Act respecting the Village of Erie Beach.

Bill Pr24, An Act respecting Frank Postl Enterprises Limited.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I’m so glad that the cameras have been brought in while I move the adjournment of the House.

On motion by Hon. Mr. McKeough the House adjourned at 5:05 p.m.