31st Parliament, 1st Session

L001 - Mon 27 Jun 1977 / Lun 27 jun 1977

Monday, June 27, 1977, being the first day of the first session of the 31st Parliament of the province of Ontario for the dispatch of business pursuant to a proclamation of the Hon. P. M. McGibbon, Lieutenant Governor of the province.

The House met at 2 p.m.

The Honourable the Lieutenant Governor, having entered the House, took her seat upon the throne.

Hon. Mr. Welch: I am commanded by Her Honour the Lieutenant Governor to state that she does not see fit to declare the causes of the summoning of the present Legislature of this province until a Speaker of this House shall have been chosen according to law, but today at a subsequent hour Her Honour will declare the causes of the calling of this Legislature.

Her Honour was then pleased to retire.


Clerk of the House: Members of the Legislative Assembly, it is my duty to call upon you to select one of your number to preside over your deliberations as Speaker.

Hon. Mr. Davis moved, seconded by Mr. S. Smith, that the member for Northumberland (Mr. Rowe) be the Speaker of this House.

Motion agreed to.

Clerk of the House: Are there any further nominations? I declare the nominations closed and declare the Hon. Russell Rowe duly elected Speaker of this House.

Mr. Speaker: Honourable members, please accept my humble thanks for the honour and responsibility you have given to me today. I am grateful to the Premier and to the Leader of the Opposition for moving and seconding my nomination and to all hon. members for placing their trust in me. I wish only to repeat what I said when I was elected Speaker of the 30th Parliament, that is, that I am mindful of my responsibility to protect the rights and privileges of each one of you.

In a few moments I will, on your behalf, address Her Honour the Lieutenant Governor, using the traditional words which have been used in this House and in other parliaments for centuries to reassert the rights of the representatives of the people of Ontario. In this House we value freedom of speech and the right of members to be heard and, as the guardian of that right, I promise to do my best to assure that all members will be heard in accordance with the rules of this House.

This House will now adjourn during pleasure.

The Honourable the Lieutenant Governor then re-entered the House and took her seat upon the throne.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. P. M. McGibbon (Lieutenant Governor): Pray be seated.

Mr. Speaker: May it please Your Honour, the Legislative Assembly have elected me as their Speaker, though I am but little able to fulfil the important duties thus assigned to me. If, in the performance of those duties I should at any time fall into error, I pray that the fault may be imputed to me and not to the assembly whose servant I am, and who through me, the better to enable them to discharge their duty to their Queen and country, hereby claim all their undoubted rights and privileges, especially that they may have freedom of speech in their debates, access to your person at all seasonable times and that their proceedings may receive from you the most favourable consideration.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, I am commanded by the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor to declare to you that she freely confides in the duty and attachment of the assembly to Her Majesty’s person and government, and not doubting that the proceedings will be conducted with wisdom, temperance and prudence, she grants and upon all occasions will recognize and allow the constitutional privileges. I am commanded also to assure you that the assembly shall have ready access to Her Honour upon all suitable occasions and that their proceedings, as well as your words and actions, will constantly receive from her the most favourable construction.


Hon. Mrs. McGibbon: Mr. Speaker and members of the Legislative Assembly, it is my pleasure to welcome you to the first session of the 31st Parliament of Ontario and to offer a special greeting to those who are commencing their first term as hon. members of this House.

My government rededicates itself to Ontario’s continued progress, by which is meant not only the strength of our economic future, but also an increasing assurance of a balanced and more equitable society.

Le gouvernement entend se consacrer à nouveau au progrès continu de l’Ontario, ce par quoi il vise non seulement la vigueur de notre avenir économique, mais aussi l’assurance accrue d’une société toujours mieux équilibrée et plus juste.

On March 29, at the last Parliament, the government outlined an extensive program for consideration by the assembly. It remains pledged to that program and reaffirms that all necessary steps will be undertaken during the course of this session to ensure its adoption.

As matters of first priority, to be completed before the summer recess, you will be asked to approve legislation to require the construction of a French-language secondary school by the Essex County Board of Education, and also to give approval to the creation of the Ministry of Northern Affairs.

Amendments to The Environmental Assessment Act are necessary to enable the inquiry into proposed development north of the 50th parallel, to which Mr. Justice Patrick Hartt has already been named, to get under way.


Legislation will be reintroduced to establish province-wide single-trade bargaining in certain sectors of the construction industry.

Legislation is required to meet the deadline agreed to with the government of Canada for the conversion of speed limits and other related measurements to metric units.

In addition, you are asked to deal with all legislative measures required to implement the budget, presented by the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) to the previous House on April 19.

During this and subsequent sittings, it is hoped that all members of this House will, in word and deed, strive to support a strong and viable Ontario within a prosperous and united Canada.

In four days’ time, our nation will celebrate its 110th birthday. Over the next three days, at the invitation of the government of Ontario, hundreds of concerned Canadians are taking part in a forum on Canadian Destiny at York University. The real merits of such a conference lie in its capacity to meet with constructive dialogue the anxieties concerning the unity of our nation; in its recognition of the importance of keeping open the lines of communication among all Canadians; in its call to rediscover Canada.

Honourable members, my government endorses the traditional right of this House to the expression of differing points of view on ways to resolve the issues facing our province. At the same time, I have every confidence that the matters demanding your attention during this session can be met in a truly co-operative spirit and with loyalty and devotion to the interests of the citizens whom you represent here.

I therefore leave you to the discharge of these responsibilities.

To our Sovereign’s name, I thank you.

God bless the Queen and Canada.


Mr. Speaker: To prevent mistakes, I have obtained a copy of Her Honour’s speech, which I will now read.

(Reading dispensed with.)


Mr. Speaker: I beg to inform the House that I have received the following letter. It is dated June 27, 1977, and addressed to the Hon. R. D. Rowe, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, Parliament Buildings, Toronto, Ontario, and Roderick Lewis, Esquire, QC, Clerk of the House, Parliament Buildings, Toronto, Ontario.

“Dear Sirs:

“Re: Edward Ziemba.

“I understand that Edward Ziemba is a member of the Legislative Assembly. I wish to advise that pursuant to the provisions of the Criminal Code, section 472, I did on the 23rd day of June, 1977, commit Edward Ziemba to prison by a warrant in Form 16 for a period not to exceed eight days --”

Some hon. members: Shame.

Mr. Speaker: “-- to be brought before me on the 29th day of June, 1977, at 10 am.

“Yours very truly,

“Robert Dnieper,

“Provincial Judge.”


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

Mr. Speaker: By her own hand, P. M. McGibbon, the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor, transmits estimates of certain sums required for the services of the province for the year ending March 31, 1978, and recommends them to the Legislative Assembly, Toronto, June 27, 1977.

Hon. Mr. McKeough moved that this House approves in general the budgetary policy of the government.


Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, two months have passed since I introduced my budget on April 19. During this period my ministry has closely monitored the performance of the economy and of our provincial finances. After carefully reviewing this information, I have concluded that the 1977 Ontario budget, as proposed, is a sound and effective fiscal and economic plan of action for the year ahead.

Mr. Cassidy: Shame. Nonsense.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: As the members will recall --

Mr. Lewis: Resign.

Mr. Deans: Call the election.

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

Hon. Mr. Davis: I thought we were not to be provocative today.

Mr. Warner: Resign, resign.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: It put you in third place.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: As the members will recall, the main dimensions of the budget plan were as follows:

An expenditure increase of nine per cent; tax cuts of $201 million; and tax increases of $209 million, for a small net revenue gain of $8 million; a reduction in the budgetary deficit of $287 million; a reduction in net cash requirements of $311 million; and a capacity to balance the Ontario budget by 1981.


Hon. Mr. McKeough: This budget plan will slow the growth in government and free up resources for the private sector. It will add stability to the economy by stimulating employment, easing inflationary pressures and restoring confidence. Implementation of the budget measures is vitally important to the health of our economy and to our revenues. Altogether, there were 14 budget bills before the Legislature at the time of dissolution. These bills have been amended where necessary and will be reintroduced at the appropriate time this afternoon.

Mr. Speaker, I continue to be optimistic about the prospects for the Ontario economy in 1977.

Mr. Cassidy: Nobody else is.

Mr. Sargent: So is Bill Davis.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I’m always an optimist.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Reports on the current performance of the Canadian and Ontario economies have strengthened my confidence that we will attain real growth in Ontario of close to five per cent in 1977. National accounts statistics issued last week indicate recovery of real economic growth in Canada during the first quarter at an annual rate of 5.4 per cent.

Businessmen, large and small, are showing a good deal more confidence in our future, and this confidence can be expected to be translated into investment, increasing job opportunities and rising real incomes over the next year. During the first quarter, real business capital spending on plant, machinery and equipment showed stronger growth than many forecasters had anticipated.

I am particularly encouraged by the improvement in activity in our manufacturing industries. A sharp increase in our exports to the United States and a steady improvement in our trade position are encouraging signs that government policies aimed at improving the competitive position of our industries are having their effect. In the auto sector, for example, the value of our vehicle shipments is up nearly 21 per cent, and the value of automotive parts exports is up by 24 per cent.

The improvement in the performance of our key manufacturing industries has had a real and positive effect on employment. In the first five months of this year, employment on a seasonally adjusted basis in Ontario has grown by 88,000 jobs. This growth represents the creation of more new jobs than the total for the rest of Canada combined. Moreover, these are real jobs provided by private employers, a continued reflection of the positive impact of restraint in public sector spending and growth.

Mr. Warner: Too bad nobody believes you -- 300,000 out of work.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, significant levels of unemployment still exist in Ontario. High levels of unemployment are concentrated among the young, often those with no skills and little experience.

Mr. Warner: You can’t do anything about it.

Mr. Cassidy: You’re damn right.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: The government will neither minimize that fact, nor ignore the plight of those who are unable to find work. We are faced with a rapid growth in our labour force unprecedented in the western world.

Although Ontario unemployment in May remained high at 7.3 per cent, down slightly from the 7.4 per cent peak in April, this was attributable entirely to many more people than expected entering the labour force.

Mr. Martel: Just change the figures again.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: As a consequence, I have had to revise upwards my forecast of average unemployment for the year to 6.7 per cent.

Mr. Lewis: Why don’t you revise your definition of full employment?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I believe that the performance of the Ontario economy in creating real job opportunities since December --

Mr. Warner: You should join the unemployed.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: -- indicates the wisdom of our plan to stimulate the economy in ways other than by government spending. Special programs are required to deal with special problems. We have taken the initiative to deal with the critical problem of youth unemployment in Ontario this summer with the youth employment program.

Mr. Mackenzie: You take them on while you fire the regular employees.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I am particularly pleased with the success of this program. To date, 10,178 applications from Ontario businesses and farms have been approved under this program.

Mr. Mackenzie: How many did they fire?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: With an average of two jobs for each application, this has already created 20,000 new summer jobs at a public cost of about $10 million. I expect this strong performance to continue through the summer and I am confident that the impact of this and other youth-oriented job creation initiatives of this government will be reflected in an improved job picture for Ontario’s young people. Our program to increase employment in the construction trades through the expansion of government capital projects, including Ontario Hydro, is also moving ahead.

Over the past year and a half we have made significant progress in reducing the rate of inflation in Canada. At the same time, the real incomes of Ontario’s citizens have steadily improved. It would be foolish for us to sacrifice the gains we have made for what would necessarily be short-lived improvement in growth and a resurgence of inflation, followed by an inevitable loss of jobs.


During the 20 months of operation of the anti-inflation program, there has been a significant moderation in the rate of increase of consumer prices. This overall improvement has been achieved despite the performance of food and import prices, which are not controlled. Volatile weather conditions have contributed to food price increases that have accounted for 44 per cent of the consumer price index increase to date in 1977, and currency depreciation has made imported goods more costly. These price trends have made it unlikely that the second-year anti-inflation program target of a six per cent rate of increase in consumer prices will be achieved. Nevertheless, there has been substantial success in containing the domestic sources of inflation.

In parallel with this price moderation, wage settlements in Ontario have also moderated, and fewer negotiated settlements are above the guidelines set by the Anti-Inflation Board. Profit margins continue below allowable levels under anti-inflation program regulations.

A major danger to Ontario’s competitiveness still exists through the accumulation of cost increases in Canada above those in the United States. Though the gap is beginning to close, wage settlements negotiated in Ontario during the first quarter of 1977 are still above comparable settlements in the United States. Market pressures on wages and prices are helping to restrain increases and the lower international value of the dollar is offsetting some part of our legacy of uncompetitive cost increases in the past. But we cannot take for granted that these market forces will be an adequate guarantee against renewed inflation. We require a continuing commitment to the longer-term fight against inflation in Ontario.

In this regard, we are looking for the termination of the national anti-inflation program but only when an effective post-control, anti-inflationary strategy has been put in place. Discussions are now taking place with all segments of Ontario society.

Mr. Cassidy: That is not what Joe Clark is saying.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: The federal government is also attempting to determine the dimensions and requirements of such a strategy. These consultations will continue in earnest over the next few weeks and months.

We have established the groundwork for these discussions in the outline of the options and the statement of Ontario’s position on decontrol in the 1977 Ontario budget. The comprehensive analysis in budget paper D, entitled The Anti-Inflation Program: Decontrol and Post-control, now serves as a major reference source and, along with the federal government’s recently released paper on decontrol, will assist in shaping the strategy which is finally adopted.

The April 19 budget proposed a number of important tax changes. These actions are necessary to raise revenues as well as to stimulate important sectors of the economy. I am providing, for the information of the members, an updated tax appendix containing details of the current status of the tax changes as reflected in the bills which I am reintroducing today. I would now like to discuss them briefly.

There will be no change in the effective dates for any of the proposed tax decreases. Accordingly, Ontario citizens will benefit in full from these important tax cuts.

The enrichment in Ontario’s personal income tax reduction, to ensure that tax filers with less than $1,680 of taxable income are free of income tax, will be effective for the full 1977 taxation year.

The changes proposed to the retail sales tax will all be retroactive to midnight, April 19, 1977. These measures include an increase in the exemption for prepared meals from $5 to $6; a new exemption for certain disposable items purchased by the hospitality industry; an extension of the exemption for thermal insulation materials to all buildings; a new exemption for certain other energy-conserving materials and equipment such as heat recovery units, heat pumps and solar cells; and an increase from 75 cents to $3 in the exemption from sales tax on the price of admission to places of amusement.

There were three incentives proposed to assist small business in Ontario. First, increased compensation will be paid to retail vendors and tobacco tax collectors; compensation will increase from three to four per cent of tax collected, and the maximum will rise from $500 to $700, retroactive April 1, 1977.

Second, to greatly simplify tax compliance by owners of small businesses, I proposed a flat tax of $50 on corporations with paid-up capital of up to $50,000, and a tax of $100 on corporations with paid-up capital between $50,000 and $100,000. This bill will be reintroduced, retroactive for fiscal years ending on or after April 20, 1977.

Third, I am reintroducing The Venture Investment Corporations Registration Act. In conjunction with the corporation tax provisions to be introduced in the fall, this will allow implementation of this innovative small business incentive by January 1, 1978.

The doubling in the annual exemptions for purposes of gift tax to $10,000 per recipient and $50,000 per donor will be reintroduced as originally proposed, effective January 1, 1977. The increase to $300,000 in the basic level below which no succession duty is payable and the crediting of capital gains tax against succession duty will be reintroduced with several minor changes of a technical nature. These beneficial amendments to The Succession Duty Act will be retroactive in respect of deaths occurring on or after April 20, 1977.

To encourage the flow of productive foreign investment into the province, the budget proposed a substantial amendment to the land transfer tax in respect of the treatment of non-resident individuals and corporations. This bill is being reintroduced, unchanged, effective April 20, 1977. Briefly, it proposes that the 20 per cent rate of tax apply only on non-resident purchases of agricultural and recreational land. In addition, the land speculation tax bill will be reintroduced with an important change. While the proposal to shorten the holding period for investment properties from 10 to five years is unchanged, I am withdrawing the proposed change in respect of farm properties and replacing it with a better and simpler one.

Recognizing that bona fide farmers are not property speculators --

Mr. Sargent: Are you sure you’re not giving any more $2-million exemptions?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: -- I am now proposing that any farmer who owns and actively farms a property for any period of more than 10 years will be free to sell his farm at the time of his choice without incurring any liability for speculation tax. There will also be a provision for the proportionate reduction in taxable value where a farmer owns and operates a farm for a period of 10 years or less. The impact of these changes, which will be retroactive to April 20, is such that virtually all bona fide farmers will be free of land speculation tax.

To close my discussion of tax decreases, I will simply note that the changes to The Corporations Tax Act proposed in the 1977 budget have not been altered. Legislation and regulations affecting the taxation of oil and gas income, the fast write-off for manufacturing and processing assets and the three per cent inventory allowance, will be reintroduced as proposed in the budget, including the effective dates.

The revenue impact of the changes to the tax cuts proposed in the budget are minimal. The government will absorb a $25-million revenue loss as a result of the delay in implementing some of the tax increases proposed in my April 19 budget. Consequently, I now estimate that the tax increases will yield $184 million in 1977-78.

Mr. Cunningham: It was an expensive election.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: There are three changes in the bills to be reintroduced.

First, I am proposing that the tobacco tax increase, which was withdrawn on dissolution of the Legislature, be reintroduced in its entirety, effective midnight this day. Full details of the tobacco tax increase are contained in the tax appendix. I would remind members that effective July 1, the tax on cut tobacco will be calculated on the new metric basis rather than by using the old and venerable avoirdupois system.

Mr. Reid: You got it right that time.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Wholesalers will be required to declare their cigarette, cigar and tobacco inventory as of midnight today and to remit tax on such inventories as directed by the Ministry of Revenue. To minimize the inconvenience and work to retailers, they will be required to declare only their cigarette inventories as of midnight today. I would like to take this opportunity to thank both wholesalers and retailers of tobacco for their patience and understanding. Their kind co-operation under very difficult circumstances is very much appreciated.

Second, the five-cent tax on canned carbonated soft drinks will be reintroduced by my colleague, the Minister of Revenue (Mrs. Scrivener), with an effective date of August 1, 1977.

An hon. member: You just don’t understand, Darcy.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: This environmental tax is necessary to complement the ban on non-returnable bottles which takes effect on April 1, 1978. This tax will be imposed on the purchaser, but, for administrative convenience, will be collected by the manufacturer or importer. Retail sales tax will apply to the total price of canned soft drinks inclusive of the environmental tax. As well, all businesses dealing in canned carbonated soft drinks -- including bottlers, wholesalers, distributors and retailers -- will be required to declare their inventories as of August 1, 1977, and to remit the environmental tax on such inventories, as directed by the Ministry of Revenue.

Third, I am now proposing that the change in The Motor Vehicle Fuel Tax Act requiring the registration of all sellers and distributors of middle distillate fuels be put back from July 1 to September 1, 1977. This change is incorporated in the revised bill.

The bill increasing the paid-up capital tax for large corporations will be reintroduced as proposed.

Motor vehicle registration fees will also be increased as originally proposed, and fees for passenger cars and motorcycles will be reduced to a flat $10 in northern Ontario. The definition for northern Ontario has been broadened to include the district of Parry Sound and that part of Nipissing district north and west of Algonquin Park.

Mr. Reid: How about half-tons?

Mr. Lawlor: How about Lakeshore?

An hon. member: What about Muskoka?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: In concluding this review of the status of tax changes, I should perhaps also note --

Mr. Warner: Why don’t you conclude by resigning? This is ridiculous.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: -- that the conversion of the rate of the provincial income tax for 1977, resulting from the new federal-provincial fiscal arrangements, remains as detailed in the budget.

The interim estimates for the 1976-77 fiscal year published in the budget were based on actual performance to the end of February. Final results for last year are now available and I am pleased to report considerable improvement from the interim estimates. Net cash requirements were $70 million below interim as the government’s expenditure restraint program forced out extra savings in the final month of the fiscal year. In fact, 1976-77 expenditures were $99 million below the interim estimates shown in the 1977 budget and the growth rate dropped to 10.1 per cent. This improvement means that the expenditure growth rate for last year was 33 per cent lower than that recorded in 1975-76 and 59 per cent lower than 1974-75. Revenue growth in 1976-77, on the other hand, turned out to be less than I expected.

Consequently, I have revised downwards by $108 million my revenue forecast for

1977-78 --

An hon. member: Too much.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: -- reflecting the lower 1976-77 base and the $25 million loss because of delays in implementing tax increases.

Mr. Breithaupt: Because of the election.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: The Management Board will be identifying expenditure savings and constraining the 1977 estimates to cover this shortfall in our revenues. The greater-than-anticipated savings from our restraint program in 1976-77 provides a good headstart on this process. This action by the board, in co-operation with all ministries, will keep the expenditure growth rate target at nine per cent for 1977-78, and hold the province’s net cash requirements to the budget forecast of $1,077 million.

Mr. Sargent: Is that give or take $1½ million?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Our 1977 cash needs are well within the capacity of the province to finance from non-public sources. Consequently, I reiterate the statement I made in my budget by saying, once again, that the province will not need to borrow in the public capital markets on its own account in this fiscal year.


The government’s budget plan for 1977 implements a fiscal policy appropriate to the needs of the Ontario economy and makes wise use of our financial resources. The economic outlook is steadily improving, assisted by the built-in fiscal stimulus in excess of $1 billion that I documented in my budget statement, by lower interest rates and by recovery of the economy of the United States.

I believe this recovery trend will continue throughout the year and into 1978. I will be monitoring the situation closely, and I am prepared to consider supplementary actions to stimulate the economy in selective areas if necessary.

This government of Ontario’s record of achievement in fiscal and economic policy is second to none. In 1971, and again in 1975 --

Mr. Conway: How about the trees, Darcy?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: -- Ontario led the way in Canada in the early and timely implementation of expansionary fiscal policies to stimulate economic growth and to create the greater number of new job opportunities our people demand.

Mr. Breithaupt: Each election year.

Mr. Warner: Tell that to the 300,000 out of work.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: We have shown equally good judgement in recognizing the threat of inflation and in bringing forward policies to protect our high standard of living and enhance our bountiful opportunities.


Mr. Nixon: You new guys better learn to applaud better than that.

Mr. Cassidy: Not a word have you said about the unemployed.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Through firm application of our sound management practices we have imposed a greater measure of expenditure restraint than any other jurisdiction in Canada. We have reduced absolutely the number of our civil servants.

Mr. Cassidy: Tell that to the unemployed.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Because of this success --

Mr. Cassidy: It’s a failure, not a success.

Mr. Speaker: Order, order.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Because of this success, I continue to look forward to a balanced budget by 1981.

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


Mr. S. Smith: After that introduction, tempting as it is I am rising, Mr. Speaker, only to move the adjournment of this debate.

On motion by Mr. S. Smith, the debate was adjourned.



Hon. Mr. McMurtry moved first reading of Bill 1, An Act to amend The Unified Family Court Act, 1976.

Motion agreed to.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, this bill is in the nature of housekeeping amendments to The Unified Family Court Act, 1976, which this House passed at the conclusion of the 1976 session and which comes into force July 1. It is made necessary by the postponement of passage of the family law reform bill, which has twice been before this House.

The unified family court is to have jurisdiction over all family law matters in Hamilton-Wentworth for a three-year demonstration project. This bill adds the existing law of alimony, property and summary support remedies, which we had hoped would be replaced by The Family Law Reform Act before the court began hearing cases. The bill also contains transitional provisions that would have been included in The Family Law Reform Act.

I hope the House will give speedy passage to this bill, as these measures are absolutely vital to the proper functioning of the court when it opens its doors next Monday. With the passage of this legislation, I am confident the unified family court will show it is the court of the future for the prompt resolution of family disputes in one forum and in a non-adversarial setting.


Hon. Mr. Kerr moved first reading of Bill 2, An Act to Amend The Environmental Assessment Act, 1975.

Motion agreed to.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Mr. Speaker, this amendment to The Environmental Assessment Act is essentially the same item that was introduced in the last session and became Bill 59. I would refer the hon. members to Hansard of April 26, 1977, at which time I gave a statement outlining the purpose of the amendment. Subsequently, I also tabled a compendium of background information with the leaders of both opposition parties, as well as the Clerk of the House. I have additional copies of this material if they are required now.


Hon. Mr. Wells moved first reading of Bill 3, An Act to require the Essex County Board of Education to provide a French-Language Secondary School.

Motion agreed to.


Mr. Mancini: You were going to give them camping sites.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, this Act is designed to ensure the construction of a French-language secondary school in Essex county. It’s similar to the bill that was introduced a few months ago, with the addition of a few clauses.

Mr. Sweeney: Whether it’s needed or not.

Hon. Mr. Wells: It’s needed.


Hon. Mr. Auld moved first reading of Bill 4, An Act to provide for Successor Rights and the Transfer of an Undertaking to or from the Crown.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Was there a statement with that bill?

Hon. Mr. Auld: Mr. Speaker, simply to say that it’s the same bill that was introduced in the last House.


Hon. Mr. McKeough moved first reading of Bill 5, An Act to amend The Income Tax Act.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. McKeough moved first reading of Bill 6, An Act to amend The Ontario Unconditional Grants Act, 1975.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. McKeough moved first reading of Bill 7, An Act to amend The Succession Duty Act.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. McKeough moved first reading of Bill 8, An Act to authorize the Raising of Money on the Credit of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. McKeough moved first reading of Bill 9, An Act respecting the Registration of Venture Investment Corporations.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. McKeough moved first reading of Bill 10, An Act to amend The Tobacco Tax Act.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. McKeough moved first reading of Bill 11, An Act to provide Employment Opportunities for Youth in Ontario.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mrs. Scrivener moved first reading of Bill 12, An Act to amend The Retail Sales Tax Act.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mrs. Scrivener moved first reading of Bill 13, An Act to amend The Land Transfer Tax Act, 1974.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mrs. Scrivener moved first reading of Bill 14, An Act to amend The Land Speculation Act, 1974.

Motion agreed to.



Hon. Mrs. Scrivener moved first reading of Bill 15, An Act to amend The Corporation Tax Act, 1972.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mrs. Scrivener moved first reading of Bill 16, An Act to amend The Gift Tax Act, 1972.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mrs. Scrivener moved first reading of Bill 17, An Act to amend The Motor Vehicle Fuel Tax Act.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mrs. Scrivener moved first reading of Bill 18, An Act to impose a Tax on Certain Pollutants of the Environment in Ontario.

The House divided on the motion, which was approved on the following vote:




















































Miller, G.I.

Miller, F.S.

Newman, W.

Newman, B.







Reed, J.

Reid, T.P.








Smith, S.






Taylor, J.A.

Taylor, G.



Van Horne







Worton -- 86.







Davidson, M.

Davison, M.


Di Santo


















Young -- 28.

Ayes 86; nays 28.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. Snow moved first reading of Bill 19, An Act to amend The Highway Traffic Act.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. Snow moved first reading of Bill 20, An Act to amend The Motorized Snow Vehicles Act, 1974.

Motion agreed to.

Hon. Mr. Snow: In conformity with undertakings between the federal government and all the provinces, this amendment to The Highway Traffic Act which I have just introduced will convert to metric units the speed limits and distance provisions in that Act, effective September 1, 1977. Also, the amendments to The Motorized Snow Vehicles Act which I have just introduced will convert to metric units speed limits in that Act consistent with the comparable amendments made in The Highway Traffic Act.


Hon. Mr. Bernier moved first reading of Bill 21, An Act to establish the Ministry of Northern Affairs.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Breithaupt: This is signed by his own hand.

Mr. Foulds: Is this the second time or the first time?


Hon. Mr. Bernier: On April 7, as the members will recall, the Premier (Mr. Davis) introduced the bill to establish the Ministry of Northern Affairs. Soon after that the election was called and it was impossible for the bill to receive second reading.

It is now my pleasure to introduce this bill which contains substantially the same provisions. In the interests of time my statement is included in the compendium of information and background material I’ve given to the opposition members. We’ll carry on with second reading, and follow it from there, with the full support of all members of the House I’m sure.

Mr. Deans: That will be a joy to read -- good bedtime reading.


Hon. B. Stephenson moved first reading of Bill 22, An Act to amend The Labour Relations Act.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Laughren: Where is your omnibus bill?

Mr. S. Smith: The Minister of Energy (Mr. J. A. Taylor) knows what he is seconding there, does he? Did she read it to him?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, this bill again establishes province-wide-single-trade bargaining in the industrial, commercial and institutional sector of the construction industry. The members of this House will recall that a similar bill, called Bill 14, was presented for their consideration in the last session of the Legislature but was not passed before the House was dissolved.

Mr. Cunningham: The last day.


Hon. Mr. Norton moved first reading of Bill 23, An Act to provide for the Transfer of Services relating to Children.

Motion agreed to.

Mrs. Campbell: Where’s the background material?

Mr. Lewis: Resume. Your voice is even better closer -- nice resonance.

Mr. Conway: Are you running, Keith?

Mr. Eakins: Move your seat up here.

Mr. Martel: I thought that was a transfer of power.

Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, the purpose of this bill is to effect the transfer of responsibility for the administration of certain services relating to children to the Ministry of Community and Social Services. The proposal to consolidate services for children was announced in the Speech from the Throne, and on April 4, 1977, the Provincial Secretary for Social Development (Mrs. Birch) and I announced the purpose of the consolidation, the basic principles and the programs to be transferred. The compendium for this bill will be the same as that used in April.

At the present time, responsibility for the administration of The Children’s Mental Health Centres Act and The Children’s Mental Hospitals Act is assigned to the Minister of Health; the Minister of Correctional Services administers The Training Schools Act; the Attorney General administers The Provincial Courts Act and The Unified Family Court Act. This bill will transfer responsibility for administering each of the Acts in its entirety, with the exception of The Provincial Courts Act. The following sections of The Provincial Courts Act will be transferred: sections 21 to 23 which relate to the establishment and operation of detention and observation homes and diagnostic clinics, and section 28(1)(g) which provides authority to make regulations governing the function and providing for the management of those places. From The Unified Family Court Act, section 17(i) which relates to observation and detention homes will be transferred.

I will be giving a statement providing further details on the implementation plan for this consolidation later in the week.


Hon. Mr. Handleman moved first reading of Bill 24, An Act to amend The Personal Properties Security Act.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Sargent: To have beer in the ballpark -- Davis is chicken.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: There is an ample supply in your office, Eddie.


Hon. Mr. Parrott moved first reading of Bill 25, An Act respecting Ryerson Polytechnical Institute.

Motion agreed to.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: The purpose of this bill is to establish a new governing structure for Ryerson Polytechnical Institute. The size of the board of governors is being increased from 13 to 23. An academic council to oversee educational policy at the institute is being established.

Mr. Conway: Sounds like a socialist plot.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: This bill is based upon a report received from the board of Ryerson and in addition, consultation has taken place with all elements of the Ryerson community.


Hon. Mr. Welch moved first reading of Bill 26, An Act to amend The Legislative Assembly Act.

Motion agreed to.

Hon. Mr. Welch: This makes some adjustments in this legislation, which have already been agreed to by the Board of Internal Economy, dealing with mileage allowances and some allowances for accommodation.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: You can drive to the Sault now, Stuart.


Mr. B. Newman moved first reading of Bill 27, An Act to amend the Ontario Human Rights Code.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. B. Newman: The purpose of this bill is to prevent discrimination on the basis of a physical handicap where the handicap does not prevent the performance of the particular employment. In the legislation “physical handicap” means a physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement which is caused by bodily injury, birth defect or illness and includes epilepsy and any degree of paralysis, amputation, lack of physical coordination, blindness or visual impediment, deafness or hearing impediment, muteness or speech impediment, or physical reliance on a seeing-eye dog, wheelchair or other remedial appliance or device.

Mr. S. Smith: Or being a Tory.


Mr. Speaker: I beg to inform the House that Mr. S. Smith, the member for Hamilton West, is recognized as Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition.


Mr. Reid: Strangely quiet down there.


Hon. Mr. Welch moved that the House hereby resolves to dispense with the customary address in reply to the Speech from the Throne and the formal debate thereon.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. Welch moved that the fees paid by applicants for private bills in the fourth session of the 30th Parliament be applicable for the continuation of those applications in the first session of the 31st Parliament.

Mr. Peterson: Who are those payable to?

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. Welch moved, seconded by Mr. Breithaupt, that the member for Perth (Mr. Edighoffer) be appointed Deputy Speaker for this Parliament and that the member for Simcoe East (Mr. G. E. Smith) be appointed Deputy Chairman of committees of the whole House for this session.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Reid: It’s easier to say Speaker than Edighoffer.


Hon. Mr. Welch moved resolution No. 1.

Hon. Mr. Welch: If I might just make one or two comments: That motion puts in operation the rules we were working on at the end of the last Parliament. If members would take a look at their proceedings, at item No. 1 in the order of business for the day, under notices, I think we’ll have to have some general understanding amongst us, particularly with reference to rules 17 and 19. In order to accommodate the expeditious carriage of the legislation which has been introduced, we might have to have some understanding that the time frames that rules 17 and 19 call for might have to be amended on unanimous consent.

Rather than attempting to make some special provisions for this special summer session and then reintroducing them again, we have simply brought in these new rules in their former language. I do draw attention to the fact that there will have to be some accommodation with respect to rules 17 and 19 with respect to the amount of time. I would also draw attention to rule 20 as to how important it will be that we have notice of amendments in plenty of time to respect both the letter and the spirit of that particular rule.

Mr. Conway: Does that apply to letters of no confidence?

Hon. Mr. Welch: They’re now mimeographed.

Mr. Speaker: I also inform the House that the Clerk has laid upon the table the roll of the members elected at the general election of 1977. May I express to each of you, both those who are returning and those who are here for the first time, my personal congratulations.



Mr. Speaker: In accordance with standing order 30, the member for Scarborough West (Mr. Lewis) has given notice that he intends to move that the ordinary business of the House be set aside to discuss a matter of urgent public importance.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, I understand the Attorney General has a statement covering this.

Mr. Speaker: I recognize the hon. Attorney General.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, as members of the Legislature are aware, the duly elected member of this assembly for the riding of High Park-Swansea (Mr. Ziemba) has been committed to jail under provisions of the federal Criminal Code. The member refused to obey the order of a court to disclose the source of information he obtained in relation to a criminal proceeding involving a medical laboratory and the Ontario Health Insurance Plan.

The information the member has refused to give the court has been ruled relevant to the defence in the case, both by the presiding provincial court judge and the Supreme Court of Ontario. This matter has prompted much comment by members of the Legislature, the media and the public. It has further been a subject of discussions I have had with senior members of my ministry late last week and throughout the weekend.

In reference to the specific matter involving the member for High Park-Swansea, I have several comments. All members and the general public should understand that this is essentially a matter between the member for High Park-Swansea and the court that has jurisdiction over the case. Nevertheless, it is a matter of serious concern to me, and I’m sure to all members, that a member of the Legislature is in jail. At the same time, I want to point out and to stress that there were and still are remedies open to the member to deal with his predicament.


The preliminary hearing of the case in question began on January 4 of this year and later in January the member first refused to answer a question put to him by counsel for the defence. On March 23, the question of his refusal was before the Supreme Court of Ontario and on April 12, that court ruled that the question was relevant to the proper conduct of the defence in the preliminary hearing. On May 13, the member was again asked to answer the question at the preliminary hearing and again cautioned about the consequences or possible consequences of his refusal. The matter was put over to June 23 when the member continued his refusal to abide by the direction of the court. He was then committed to jail.

Throughout the sequence of events and at the present time the member has, and has had, several legal options open to him in this regard. He could have appealed the Supreme Court decision and he could have applied for a writ of habeas corpus to obtain his release pending a judicial review of the matter. He has chosen not to avail himself of these opportunities and so remains in jail; but from his jail cell he has made comments urging me as the Attorney General to intervene on his behalf.

My duty as the Attorney General is of course to continue to recognize the rights of the accused persons before the court in this matter, as well as the highly publicized predicament of the member for High Park-Swansea. This particular case undoubtedly does pose a dilemma for me.

As Attorney General, I am responsible for the prosecution of the laboratory and two of its principals who are before the court in this case. I feel that to intervene on behalf of the member for High Park-Swansea and in effect against the people that my own agents are prosecuting could be seen to be both improper and unfair. I am therefore very reluctant to take any step that would interfere, or would be perceived as interfering, in the proper conduct of the defence in this case. I have also taken note of reports that the member for High Park-Swansea has instructed his own lawyer not to take action in court to seek his early release from jail pending a further ruling on the matter. I have had no contact with the member or his lawyer, and any Attorney General would always be very concerned in any event about the propriety of intervening and possibly interfering with the course of justice.

There can also be no doubt that one of the duties of the member for High Park-Swansea, as both a witness and a citizen, is to abide by the law. He has in these circumstances chosen not to. He is now using his situation to try to mobilize public opinion to effect a change in law giving an extended privilege to members of the Legislature. It has occurred to me that one of his duties as a member would have been to try to clarify this situation by taking all avenues open to him in the legal process. That procedure would have been in the best interests of all members of the Legislature in helping us carry out our responsibilities as representatives of the public within the limits of law.

Nevertheless, this matter has given rise to questions about legislation to extend the privilege of members to include the right to keep confidential the sources of information brought to us in the performance of our duties by members of the public. There is little or no experience in other jurisdictions to assist us in this regard.

Within the Canadian common law provinces legislation, where it exists on the matter of a member’s privilege, tends to follow almost exactly the approach taken in Ontario’s existing legislation. Generally speaking, a clear distinction is drawn between civil and criminal matters and legislative or common law protections extend only to civil matters. None of the law reform commissions appear to have dealt with this issue and no other jurisdiction is known to have legislation similar to what is being suggested by some members opposite. There are also serious doubts whether Ontario could legally pass such legislation that would delve into the criminal law, a federal responsibility.

In addition, this assembly should seriously consider the wisdom of granting to politicians rights before the criminal courts that are not enjoyed by the general public. It is a basic principle that no man, even an elected representative, should be above the rule of law.

I should also like to put the question of a member’s privilege or protection or immunity in the wider context of the rules which the courts have, over the centuries, laid down for the protection of the channels of communication by which the detection of crime is brought to the attention of law enforcement officials. A strong stream of judicial authority affords a limited protection from disclosure in relation to the existence, source and contents of communications made by an informer to a law enforcement official regarding the alleged commission of a criminal offence.

The cases hold that this protection or privilege exists on account of the importance to the public that those persons who are channels for the detection and prosecution of crime should receive protection against unnecessary disclosure. However, the courts, in asserting that protection against unnecessary disclosure, have very strongly held that disclosure will be compelled if necessary to assert the innocence of the accused or is otherwise truly necessary to the investigation of the truth of the case.

One eminent judge asserted the general principle in the following words, and I quote: “I do not say it is a rule which can never be departed from. If upon the trial of a prisoner, the judge should be of the opinion that the disclosure of the name of the informant is necessary or right in order to show the prisoner’s innocence, then one public policy is in conflict with another public policy. And that which says that an innocent man is not to be condemned when his innocence can be proved is the policy which must prevail.”

The courts have thus very clearly extended some protection against disclosure of the source of confidential information given to law enforcement officials. They have likewise put clear limits on the extent of the protection from disclosure. The question of great public importance now arises as to whether that protection extends equally or should extend equally to the existence, source and contents of such confidential information communicated to members of this assembly.

The Hon. Mr. Justice Steele, in his judgement in this matter, held that an informant to a member of this assembly is not in the same position as an informant to the police. This decision is of the utmost public importance, not only to the enforcement of criminal justice, but also to the rights, duties, privileges and protections of every member of this assembly.

As Attorney General, I cannot let these important questions, which are central to the administration of justice and to the rights and duties of the member of this assembly, go unanswered. It is for this reason that I have decided to ask the executive council to advance to the Court of Appeal a reference in order to secure for the government, the administration of justice, the members of this assembly and the public, answers to these following fundamental issues:

1. Is it open to a court in a criminal proceeding to refrain from compelling a member of the Legislative Assembly to disclose the existence, source or content of a communication made to him by an informant on the same basis as communications by informants to law enforcement officials have been held on occasion to be protected from disclosure in the public interest?

2. If so, what principles and interests should the court consider in determining whether it is in the public interest to compel or to refrain from compelling such disclosure?

3. Does the Legislative Assembly of Ontario have the power to enact legislation protecting its members from being compelled by a court in a criminal case to disclose the existence, source or content of a communication from an informant?

Nevertheless, at the same time, I welcome a debate at the appropriate time on the principle of extending the privileges of a member of the Legislature in relation to matters coming before the courts. However, I sincerely believe a debate at this point in time would be premature. Certainly it would not be in the public interest for it to be carried on in an emotionally charged atmosphere where it may be very difficult to retain the necessary perspective.

The member for High Park-Swansea can end his jail sentence on Wednesday when he is returned to court, if he chooses to do so. If he chooses not to, counsel for the Crown will at that time invite the presiding provincial judge to consider that any continued incarceration of the member is a matter that ought to be left to be determined by the trial judge, who, of course, will have the advantage of the judgement of the Court of Appeal on the reference.

Mr. Lewis: I wonder, Mr. Speaker, as the member who gave you notice under standing order 30, if I might speak very briefly to the Attorney General’s intervention.

In light of the intervention, and particularly its finale, I think it is unnecessary -- we think it is unnecessary -- to pursue this debate this afternoon and would therefore ask that the Speaker not take notice of the submission under the standing order.

I wish, however, to say very briefly, through the Speaker, that even though the politics may demand it, I thought perhaps the Attorney General’s statement was a trifle argumentative and prejudicial in its reasoning, given the nature of events. May I say also, Mr. Speaker, and with some regret, that it was also highly selective in its choice of authorities, even in its allusions to Mr. Justice Steele, who I remind the Attorney General said quite specifically in his judgement that Judge Dnieper had the authority to find, and I quote, “that the witness had a reasonable excuse in this case by reason of his position as a member of the assembly.” I bring that to the attention of the chamber only to provide, if I may, some sense of balance.

I am nonetheless pleased with the direction of the Attorney General’s statement because it allows for a review of this difficult conflict of principles and interest to which he alluded before the Court of Appeal -- precisely the submission which we have put to him, and I think I must say as my colleague from Riverdale particularly advanced, a submission that I understand will go under The Constitutional Questions Act of Ontario, which seemed to us at the time the appropriate Act.

We also understand, which is why I don’t think the debate need be advanced this afternoon, that the effect of the Attorney General’s statement is that either the member for High Park-Swansea will be released on Wednesday by virtue of the presiding judge putting the matter to trial -- which ends the preliminary hearing and therefore his incarceration -- or that indeed he would be released on Wednesday by virtue of the reference to the Court of Appeal, which release would therefore be pending the resolution at the Court of Appeal. Since that is, I think, the initial object -- to have our colleague back in this Legislature where he belongs -- and because as well we can resolve what we concede to the Attorney General to be difficult matters of public policy around confidentiality and disclosure, I think under those terms and in that context and with the member for High Park-Swansea back here Thursday morning, we will withdraw our wish for an emergency debate.


Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I wonder if I might reply very briefly to clarify the matter. As the Attorney General I have no power to release the member’s colleague. I have put it no higher than on the grounds that I have already mentioned -- namely whether, first of all, the member for High Park-Swansea is in a position to answer the question, or may be in a position to answer the question that was asked of him. I have made it clear that if he chooses not to, then counsel for the Crown will invite the presiding provincial judge to consider, as I have already said, that any continued incarceration of the member is a matter that ought to be determined by the trial judge who, of course, will have the advantage of the judgement of the Court of Appeal on the reference. The final determination in relation to the member’s release will be the decision of Judge Dnieper on Wednesday. I just want to make that perfectly clear.

Mr. Sargent: If he had been a Conservative member he wouldn’t be in there at all.

Some hon. members: Oh!

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Now that is --


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I’ll recognize the hon. Leader of the Opposition.

Mr. S. Smith: I want to say, Mr. Speaker, that I am very pleased with the statement made by the Attorney General and I welcome it. We in this party are particularly concerned not only with the rights and privileges and the duties which we have in serving the public, but we are also very cognizant of the fact that it is up to us to protect the basic liberties of everyone in society. The basic one that is in question now is the right of an accused person to face his accusers and to prepare his defence.

We recognize very well, therefore, that the Attorney General has been in the dilemma that he outlines. We think the resolution he has come to, which is basically to ask for an opinion regarding the items in question, and in the meantime to take what steps are within his power to encourage the release, or at least prepare the possibility of the release of our colleague from High Path-Swansea, are reasonable steps that he is taking.

As a physician, I am aware that in this province and the common law provinces, physicians and clergymen do not enjoy the privilege that applies, for instance, in the province of Quebec. I think it is very important, lest we start extending privilege willy nilly, or even thoughtfully but in an emotional atmosphere, that we take what steps we can to secure the release of the member and then allow the courts to proceed with the case -- as frankly I wish the member himself had chosen to instruct his counsel to do. However, he has not done so; the Attorney General is doing so; the executive council apparently will act on this. I for one am pleased and my party supports the statement made by the Attorney General.

Mr. Speaker: I recognize and appreciate the various comments which have been made and I accept the hon. member for Scarborough West’s offer to withdraw his motion.

Mr. Peterson: Spend $50 and hire a decent lawyer.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, it has been agreed on consent that we will convene again at 8 o’clock and at that time take into consideration second reading of Bills 1 and 2 placed on the order paper this afternoon.

The House recessed at 4:20 p.m.