31st Parliament, 1st Session

L003 - Tue 28 Jun 1977 / Mar 28 jun 1977

The House met at 2 p.m.




Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Speaker, at this time I wish to present to the House the report of The Planning Act Review Committee. When this committee was established by my predecessor, he stated that a major objective was to not only review planning procedures in Ontario, but to ascertain the nature of problems that exist in the planning field, so that we at the provincial level and our counterparts at the municipal level would be better able to respond to the changing needs of the residents of Ontario.

The Planning Act Review Committee, consisting of Professor Eli Comay, Eric Hardy and Earl Berger, has been studying the matter for the greater part of the last two years. During that time it met with elected and municipal officials, with professional groups, and with all segments of the building and development industry to gather together as much information as possible about the strengths and the weaknesses of the planning process in Ontario.

Based on these discussions and on its own investigations, the committee has prepared its report and its recommendations for what the members suggest we should be doing in the future.

I want to point out to all hon. members that this report is the product of an independent committee appointed by the province and is being put forward for their consideration.

There are a number of recommendations that I would classify as being of a housekeeping nature which can bring immediate improvements. It is the intention of the government to introduce legislation with regard to these items as soon as possible.

Others are of a more substantive nature, and I am therefore asking municipalities, planning boards, in fact all those who are interested in the planning process to forward their comments on the recommendations to me by October 15, 1977. The comments I receive, together with a review that will be undertaken by government agencies, will form the basis of a white paper which I would hope to present to the House as soon as possible.

Copies of this report, together with a summary that has been printed as a special edition of the ministry magazine, Housing Ontario, are now being forwarded to all municipalities, planning boards, school boards, committees of adjustment and all others who have participated in or are likely to be affected by this review. Copies are also being forwarded to all members of this House. It is my hope that all those with an interest in the planning process and who have comments on the recommendations of The Planning Act Review Committee will forward them to me.

Finally, I would like to give my personal thanks to Mr. Eli Comay and to his associates. I am sure that when they first undertook this task they little realized how extensive and demanding it would be. It was a massive review, and, from the reading of the report, many of the recommendations will have far-reaching effects on the future of planning, development and building in this province.

I would also like to offer an apology to the hon. members. In an effort to have a wide distribution of at least the summary of this report, a substantial number of copies of the magazine of the ministry, Housing Ontario, were forwarded to Government Services for mailing on Friday of last week.

They were mailed as fourth-class mail, and experience with the mail in Canada has indicated that if you’re mailing it fourth class you can certainly not expect it to be delivered with any great haste -- even first class.

Mr. Peterson: From you it should be no class, John.

Mr. Roy: Did it have your picture on it?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: However, as the result of some unforeseen capability, many of these reports were actually in the hands of the recipients by Monday of this week. So I do apologize to hon. members. I had the full intention of presenting this report in its entirety to the hon. members first. But I offer a tip of my hat to the Hon. Jean-Jacques Blais. He’s made some improvement.

Mr. Deans: You just can’t trust the mails, can you?


Mr. Sargent: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege, on June 14, page 4 of the Globe and Mail, the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) is quoted as saying, regarding the $2-million tax exemption for Ronto, “I think I told them” -- Mrs. Todgham and the son -- “that so far as I could see there was no problem with an exemption, that I would be glad to speak to their lawyer who was going to pursue this and I’d be glad to speak to Mr. Meen.”

Two paragraphs later it states: “Mr. McKeough said he subsequently talked to Mr. Goodman and was advised by the lawyer that it was unnecessary for Mr. Meen to go on, that Mr. Goodman had written to the staff. He was dealing with the staff level and not to do anything in that regard.”

Mr. Speaker, I’d like to ask the minister why he was not in a position to --

Mr. Speaker: No, no. Order, please.

Mr. Sargent: Mr. Speaker, you can sharpen your sword if you want to, I am going to get this point across.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Might I just explain? Would the hon. member take his seat for a moment please? If the hon. member was rising to correct a statement or a report in the paper, that’s a matter of privilege, yes. But to debate a point is not a matter of privilege. Up to now he’s been in order if he has been misquoted. That’s the only point of privilege which this sort of report would lead to. Has the hon. member been misquoted?

Mr. Sargent: Mr. Speaker, I want to assess from the minister the position of the members of this House insofar as him jockeying with --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Will the hon. member please take his seat until I explain something else?

Mr. Sargent: I want to ask three questions.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. B. Stephenson: Wait until the question period.

Mr. Speaker: May I just suggest that it seems to be more proper, since he’s not correcting a misquote, that this should be taken up in the question period. He’ll have ample opportunity at that time. So he does not have a point of privilege at this time.

Mr. Sargent: I will be first up then, don’t forget that.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The matter is closed.


Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I just wanted to make a brief statement this afternoon to express my best wishes and congratulations to all members of the House on their election, or re-election, as the case may be.

Mr. Peterson: Do you mean that?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Yes, I do. And to the new members of the House may I offer a particular word of welcome. I expect that, as I can recall my own experience, they will go through at least three stages as new members in their perception of what goes on in this Legislature -- three stages which most of us went through during our first year. During the first stage, as they see the strange goings on, and wonder about the peaceful and tranquil life that they left behind in their ridings, they may indeed wonder what in fact they are doing here. But I discovered after about three or four months, after you sense that your expertise has grown totally in all areas of policy and procedure, you begin to wonder what the others are doing here.

Mr. Peterson: Other people are wondering what you are doing here.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Then as you move into your second year you ask yourself whether you can ever bring yourself to leave this very delightful place. Thankfully, the decision to come here, or more appropriately the decision on who should come here to serve the people is made by the people and they also decide who shall return and who shall not.

Mr. Samis: Are you referring to Timiskaming?

Mr. Laughren: Even the member for Timiskaming (Mr. Havrot).

Hon. Mr. Davis: There can be little doubt that aside from the stronger mandate which my government received to continue its programs with a stronger and enlarged caucus --


Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- this Legislature and everyone in it has also been given a mandate and direction to facilitate the responsible and constructive operation of minority government.

Mr. Nixon: Some mandate. There is a phrase.

Hon. Mr. Davis: In this respect, I think all three parties are particularly fortunate in the calibre of our respective House leaders.

Speaking for the member for Brock (Mr. Welch), I want to make it clear that he will seek the broadest possible consultation on legislative scheduling and co-ordination, and this is a co-operation which I am confident the other two House leaders seek equally with me.

I must admit that I did wonder a little bit yesterday at the intensity of the desire to make things work when on first reading -- on a tax bill at that -- the House was divided without any prior advice to the government House leader, or for that matter to the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. S. Smith). We were surprised, I say that honestly.

Mr. Nixon: That was Renwick’s opening shot.

Mr. Deans: Life is full of a lot of surprises, isn’t it?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: And you got three of them in northern Ontario, didn’t you?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Not that notice wasn’t given, because the parties in this House are all free to do that which they see fit to do and the House rules don’t preclude that happening. But I did observe that the leader of the third party indicated previously his disposition of important or controversial bills to emerge from debate here in this House, and of course we cannot decide what we do with these bills without that debate. So I would suggest we have all made a note of that manoeuvre yesterday of really, I think, what should not happen in the context of a minority government.

Mr. Reid: Irresponsible.

Mr. Nixon: A little hint of desperation.

Hon. Mr. Davis: We are grateful to the Leader of the Opposition for allowing the matter --

Mr. Makarchuk: That is an expression of naivete if I ever heard one.

Mr. Deans: I thought this discussion was done privately before?

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- to proceed to first reading without, of course, any prejudice to the rights of the official opposition to deal with that bill on second reading as it sees fit. Obviously, after persuasive argument they will see fit to support it on second reading as well.

Mr. Nixon: Don’t bet money.

Hon. Mr. Davis: However, I do make this point, and I make it very clearly. A difficulty with first reading on a tax measure very early in this session or in this Parliament I think would have put the government in a very limited circumstance, and one that all of us in this Legislature would have shared.

Mr. Germa: You are on thin ice.

Hon. Mr. Davis: No, we are not on thin ice.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: You should talk.

Mr. Germa: He is on thin ice.

Hon. B. Stephenson: You are swimming now.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I also want to express to the Leader of the Opposition my sincere congratulations on his elevation to that position of responsibility.

I would ask that the House leader would convey to the former Leader of the Opposition that I want to extend in a personal way my own hand of friendship and my own belief that his interventions in this House will broaden and continue to uplift the proceedings in this chamber.

Mr. Foulds: You better believe it.


Hon. Mr. Davis: I am sorry that he has decided to step down as leader of his party; and I say this most sincerely, he really is one of the finest Leaders of the Opposition that I have known.

Mr. Makarchuk: How about repeating some of those ads on TV? Tell us about the ads.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I think some day I may write a book about Leaders of the Opposition that I have known. I’m not sure whether I will do that or not.

Mr. Roy: Just write us a biography.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

An hon. member: How hypocritical.

Mr. Makarchuk: Tell us about the ads.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I didn’t want to be provocative on this first normal day, Mr. Speaker. There will be moments when the tensions in this House are significant and emotions are high --

Mr. Nixon: Not very significant.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- and that is what I think is important in any open and free government in the British parliamentary system. I believe we can resolve many of the differences within the context of a government that is allowed to govern in the traditional British parliamentary sense of that word and an opposition that asserts and discharges its responsibilities in a similar fashion.

I think our three House leaders are men of infinite skill and ability.

Mr. Roy: That is what we said before the election.

Hon. Mr. Davis: They tolerate their leaders, which is no easy task; they tolerate their respective caucuses, which may be the toughest of tasks; and they tolerate each other, which is probably the easiest of their responsibilities. In offering them our support in allowing them the time and opportunity to negotiate the schedule and direction of this House, we can provide for the people of Ontario the stable and reliable legislative process which they have every right to expect; from all three parties in this House.

I feel confident, Mr. Speaker, that we shall not, any one of us, shrink from that particular challenge.

Mr. Foulds: It started out with the three stages of the Legislature.

Mr. Speaker: Order.


Hon. Mr. Auld: In accordance with the House rules, I am today tabling the special warrants approved while the Legislature was not in session. Copies of these special warrants have been placed in the postal boxes of each member.

A special warrant is an order under section 4 of The Management Board of Cabinet Act, signed by the Lieutenant Governor, authorizing expenditures of an urgent nature for which no appropriation exists, and is permissible only when the Legislature is not in session. It differs from a Management Board order primarily in that an MBO may only increase the spending levels of an appropriation that already exists, whereas the special warrant has the effect of creating a new appropriation.

The three special warrants that were approved were all of an urgent nature which could not be delayed until the current session of the Legislature.

For particulars concerning these special warrants, I would suggest questions be directed to the minister concerned.



Mr. S. Smith: Just before launching into questions, Mr. Speaker, I would like to take a moment first of all to thank the Premier for his very gracious comments, which are gratefully received. I would also like, if I just might beg the indulgence of the House and yourself, Mr. Speaker, not only to congratulate you on your appointment but also to congratulate the Premier on the fact that despite the rather limited nature of his mandate it is nonetheless a mandate and somewhat larger than he had previously, and he has my earnest congratulations for that. I look forward to working together with both of the other leaders.

Having said something nice, perhaps I might launch into a question more in keeping with the spirit of question period. Can the Premier explain how it is that already -- it’s only one day into the session -- he has reneged on his charter, particularly to provide 100,000 jobs, when yesterday the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) reaffirmed his estimate that only 89,000 new jobs will be created this year? Surely this is rather soon to renege on the charter.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I am delighted the Leader of the Opposition paid such careful attention to that very significant document, which has become part of the policy of this government.


Hon. Mr. Davis: It’s a charter to which we are committed; whether it be for 100,000 jobs a year or two trees for every one, they are all significant parts of that charter.

Mr. Sargent: Who wrote the charter?

Hon. Mr. Davis: As I listened carefully to the Treasurer yesterday -- perhaps in the excitement of the occasion the Leader of the Opposition wasn’t listening as carefully as I. My recollection was, and is, that the Treasurer said that in the first five months of this year -- five months representing five twelfths of the total -- that 88,000 or 89,000 jobs had, in fact, been created in that period of time. While I don’t purport to be that great at mathematics, if one takes five twelfths of 89,000 or whatever -- if one looks at the next seven months, one can anticipate the possibility of achieving 100,000 jobs.

Mr. Reid: That sounds like the way the Treasurer makes up the budget.


Hon. Mr. Davis: I should also point out to the Leader of the Opposition --

Mr. Nixon: Give or take a bit.

Mr. Conway: Give or take a bit.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- because I’m sure he didn’t read some of my observations -- that I made it very clear that we had this year projected something less than the 100,000. But I also went on to point out that it was running ahead of the rate we had predicted and if the Treasurer’s figures, as I understand them, are right -- some 89,000 jobs in five months -- then I think we can be optimistic about the 100,000 in 12 months.

Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary, may I ask the Premier if he would be kind enough, or if he has taken the trouble, to examine page 6 of the table in the Treasurer’s update in which the number of jobs budgeted and in the revised budget is shown to be absolutely no different -- namely 89,000, the difference between this year and last year. Would he kindly correct the Treasurer? But, in addition, may I ask the Premier whether he would be willing to take up that suggestion I have made: that a select committee of this Legislature take a tri-partisan approach over the summer, towards job creation, including the best ideas of all three parties. That way, we would have something to work with in the fall. We could be doing something useful over the summer months.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I’m prepared to entertain any suggestion from members opposite. This has always been my approach. And some are better than others. I confess that. Some are not as good as others -- I should perhaps phrase it that way.

I think the possibility of establishing a further select committee -- knowing the traditional thought of the opposition party with respect to select committees, if memory serves me correctly -- might not be the most useful way of dealing with this matter. Certainly, during the course of this period of time, I’m sure the Leader of the Opposition will once again this afternoon suggest to the government one or two ideas that he may have, and I’m sure that other members will do so. Certainly, any worthwhile or constructive ideas that can be accommodated within the general framework and policy in respect to the fiscal responsibilities of this government, we’ll take a look at. But I think to say to the Leader of the Opposition, “Yes, we will establish a select committee,” -- this would be leading him astray.

Mr. Deans: A supplementary question, for clarification if nothing else: Is the Premier saying that because he understood the Treasurer to say that there had been 89,000 jobs created in the first five months, that the annualized figure of 88,000 -- which also appears in the report and which is a figure comparing this year with last year -- is wrong?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I’m not saying it is wrong. What I am saying is that being a bit of an optimist, which I am and I confess that without any doubt -- with the measure of success we’ve had in the first five months in reply to the suggestion of 100,000, I think the possibility exists.

Mr. Deans: Final supplementary: Is it not true that the Treasurer would have taken into account the Premier’s feelings that maybe we should be more optimistic? Why, then, given the same figures that the Premier must have at his disposal, would the Treasurer arrive at a figure of 88,000 in a budget statement presented to us yesterday -- based on the first five months’ experience in the year 1977? The Premier seems to feel that somewhere along the way we’re magically going to find an additional 20,000 jobs or more?

Hon. Mr. Davis: No. I think the Treasurer of this province in his usual responsible and conservative way, has on this occasion been more conservative in his estimates than a person like myself who is more optimistic.

Mr. Deans: The Premier wouldn’t be trying to pull the wool over our eyes would he? It doesn’t sound real.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I am suggesting that the potential exists for the 100,000. I pointed out to the Leader of the Opposition and made it very clear during that short period of, as the House leader says, consultation with the people -- that in this year our expectations were less than the 100,000.

Mr. Nixon: Maybe you won’t make it after all.

Mr. Roy: What you’re saying is somebody else is bailing you out.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.


Mr. S. Smith: I have a question for the Treasurer regarding basically the accuracy of his document reaffirming Ontario’s budget strategy. First of all, dealing with page 6, could the Treasurer affirm or not that his revised estimate is no different from his original budgeted estimate for 89,000 jobs and, furthermore for only 80,000 housing starts, in sharp contrast with the 90,000 predicted in the charter?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: No, we have not revised our estimates of employment. If the member will look in the next column, he will find we estimated at the time of the budget that employment would grow by 2.4 per cent and we have not changed that number. It remains at 2.4 per cent, therefore the figure is about -- whatever it is? -- 89,000 jobs.

Mr. S. Smith: Right, not 100,000.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I would share the Premier’s optimism on the basis of what’s happened for the first five months of the year. There was some feeling that some of the May figures that have been coming out have not been quite as strong as the first four months of the year. Forecasting, obviously, is not the most precise or scientific of documents.

Mr. S. Smith: Neither is charter writing.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: The real point is that in terms of the charter we have made a commitment to produce that number of jobs. I think we’ll come very close to that.

The member also asked about the housing figure. If the member would refer to last year’s budget, he would find that our forecast --

Mr. Deans: It is as worthless as the paper it’s written on.

Mr. Foulds: Give or take a million.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: -- for housing starts in 1976 was 80,000 starts --

Mr. Conway: Give or take a million. I told you, you have a C. D. Howe over there.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: -- and they ultimately came in at nearly 85,000 starts. That’s been discussed in the House.


Hon. Mr. McKeough: We have not found reasons to date -- at least my people have not found reasons to date -- to revise our housing forecast up from the 80,000 we forecast.

Mr. S. Smith: They didn’t write the charter obviously.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Let me say this: If the hon. member wants more --

Mr. Nixon: You haven’t read the charter either.

Mr. Eakins: It’s too long to read.

Mr. S. Smith: The NDP are over there now.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Well, you’re over here.

Mr. S. Smith: Still on the accuracy of this document, I have just one final question of a supplementary nature. Given the fact that on page 13 it’s indicated that the government seems to have been able to deal with a loss of revenue of $133 million merely by “having Management Board identify expenditure savings and constraining the 1977 estimates,” if it’s that easy to save $133 million, can the Treasurer explain to us please exactly where that money is being saved, who is going to suffer as a result and how much more fat there might be in that budget?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: The words used on page 13, I would draw to the Leader of the Opposition’s attention, is Management Board “will be.” They have not yet done so.

Mr. Speaker: Final supplementary.

Mr. S. Smith: Could the Treasurer please explain how he can be that confident that the Management Board will be identifying the $133 million in the budget that doesn’t have to be there?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: If the member would read the statement, he would find that the Management Board last year constrained something like $400 million in expenditures out of a total of $12.5 billion --

Mr. Nixon: Why don’t they then?

Mr. Speaker: Order, order.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: -- to allow for overspending and revenue reduction. It also occurs to me that I read in the paper the other day words by the Leader of the Opposition -- I think the term he used was $185 million. He said no doubt government can find that wherever they want it.


Mr. S. Smith: Yes, and the Premier said people would suffer.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: That’s exactly what we’re doing. Don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. We’ve now spent 11 minutes.

An hon. member: And he wasted 25 minutes.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. We’re wasting time here this afternoon.

Mrs. Campbell: We’re wasting time? He wasted time.

Mr. Speaker: Did the hon. Leader of the Opposition announce that as a final supplementary?

Mr. S. Smith: He wasted 20 minutes.

Mr. Speaker: No, I said “we are.” On the accuracy of the document, all right, we’ll allow one supplementary from the member for London Centre.

Mr. Peterson: I have a supplementary of the Treasurer. Is he telling the House that it’s the budgetary policy of his government to build in extra fat in every budget so that it can be taken out at a later time in order to revise downward for shortfalls in revenue? Is that what he’s telling us?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, that is not what I am saying at all. It seems reasonable to me that if we are to finance in-year changes and expenditures of various kinds, then during the course of the year we have to reassess our priorities and that’s exactly what we do.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Wentworth.

Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, may I?

Mr. Speaker: No. Order, please. That was the final one. The hon. member for Wentworth, thank you. We can come back to it later if it’s important.


Mr. Deans: I have a question of the Premier. What representation does he plan to make to the federal government and, through them, to the province of Alberta that we can’t afford the announced increase in oil prices that was announced by the minister just last week? What does he propose to do to make sure that the predicament that faces the province of Ontario and the people of the province of Ontario is corrected by either negotiation or action of this government with regard to the increases and the impact of them both on jobs and on the economy?

Mr. Warner: He’s prone to inaction.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I communicated with the first minister of Canada in the latter part of May, I think I’m right in this, when I asked him to convene a meeting of first ministers to discuss the question of the pricing of oil and natural gas. I received a reply from the Prime Minister suggesting that at the conferences or meetings -- I think there were two -- of the ministers of energy there was some degree of consensus as it related to the proposed increase.

Mr. Martel: You are not nearly as tough as before the election.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I replied further to the Prime Minister of Canada suggesting that my understanding was that there were at least three provinces -- Ontario, Nova Scotia and, I believe, Manitoba; I think I’m right in those three -- representing, as they do, fairly close to 50 per cent of the total population of this country, who were not part of any decision to increase the price of crude or natural gas on July 1. I pointed out to the Prime Minister the potential adverse effects on the economy of this province. I have asked him to reconsider this position and to consider further the desirability of convening a meeting of first ministers to discuss this subject.

I have made no bones about it. I’ve said it in this House, I’ve said it elsewhere, that this government is opposed to this price increase. We’re opposed to it on the basis of the inflationary aspects. We’re opposed to it on the grounds of the adverse effect it could have on certain businesses and industries, let alone the consumer, whether it be for the use of the automobile or for home heating. That still remains our position.

I can give the House no further information. My Telex was as of June 20, I think; I can’t read it here. I guess it was on Monday. I have not as yet had a reply to that Telex. When I do, I shall inform the members of the House. But that’s where the situation stands at this moment.

Mr. Martel: Yes, before the election you were really tough, gung ho.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Wentworth only, please.

Mr. Deans: A supplementary question: Is the Premier prepared, first of all, to make known to the federal government that we simply can’t afford it. Secondly, is he prepared to take some action to freeze the prices in the province of Ontario until such time as he is able to renegotiate an agreement that we in the province can afford to undertake and maintain?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I wish it were a question of negotiation. I’m sure the hon. member is well aware of the fact that this isn’t a matter of negotiation. It was a decision made by the government of Canada. It’s as simple as that.

Mr. Deans: Then you’ll have to unmake it.

Hon. Mr. Davis: The ministers of energy and our Minister of Energy (Mr. J. A. Taylor) would be delighted to share their own views.

Mr. Deans: You got us into this.

Hon. B. Stephenson: How?

Hon. Mr. Davis: It is not a negotiation.

Mr. Grande: What are you going to do?

Hon. Mr. Davis: It is a price set unilaterally by the government of Canada. There are at least three provinces, I believe -- certainly one that I can speak for that has not agreed to this price and this has been made abundantly clear to the government of Canada.

Mr. Peterson: How long a price freeze does the government plan on the inventories of the oil companies in this province?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, in that the member for London Centre is one of those in that party who believes, as does his party leader, in moving to the world price level --

Mr. Peterson: Just answer the question.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Well they do, and this I could never understand.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I gather they probably gave Mr. Gillespie some advice.


Mr. Speaker: The hon. Leader of the Opposition will come to order. The hon. Premier will continue with his answer.

Mr. Nixon: Tell us about the costs of Hydro.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I would be delighted to tell the member. The costs of Hydro are related to your energy policy, which says we should go to the world price.

Mr. Roy: Well tell that to Joe Clark and Peter Lougheed, your friends.

Hon. Mr. Davis: As far as the freeze is concerned --


Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Davis: There is not a freeze. The understanding as between the various governments -- and the Minister of Energy should really answer this -- I think it’s either a 45- or 60-day period for the inventory price change. I can’t tell the member whether it’s 45 days or 60 days, but the Minister of Energy can.

Mr. Peterson: How can the Premier reconcile this freeze with his freeze for 137 days just before the election in 1975?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I don’t think it’s a question of reconciling it, it’s something --

Mr. Peterson: Sure it is.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. member wasn’t recognized for a supplementary question. The hon. member for Wentworth.

Hon. Mr. Davis: This is your policy.

Mr. Peterson: You buy me lunch and I will explain my policy.

Hon. B. Stephenson: You couldn’t.

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

Mr. Deans: If the government could ignore the problem of a price freeze for the purposes of using up the excess, is it prepared to make known to the federal government that this province simply doesn’t go along with it and we will, if necessary, pass legislation to impose a freeze at the current price until such time as some meaningful negotiation is undertaken? Is the Premier prepared to stand up for Ontario, as Lougheed has done for Alberta, and try to protect the people in this province?

Mr. Warner: That’s called leadership.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I am quite prepared to make the views of this government known to the government of Canada. We have done so, and I think the Premier of Alberta also knows our point of view; I would say with respect, so does the Premier of Saskatchewan who is sharing in this proposed price increase.

Mr. MacDonald: Where is your proof? Words are not enough.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I cannot give the hon. member any assurance that we propose any legislation that will in fact freeze the price of gas or oil.


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

Mr. Deans: It is hard to be away down here.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. We are wasting valuable time of the question period. The hon. member for Wentworth.

Mr. Deans: Thank you. It is really hard to be away down here you know, it really is; I didn’t realize how difficult it was.


Mr. Deans: I have a question for the Treasurer on the matter of employment in the province of Ontario. Is the government of Ontario prepared to sit down with the federal government and make some effort to renegotiate the auto trade pact in order to ensure there will in fact be a growth in the employment and a growth in investment in this province, and across the Dominion of Canada; in order that we will in fact have employment in this province as a result of the auto trade pact, rather than the deficit position which we are getting ourselves more deeply into every day?

Mr. Nixon: Sort of a Washington pact.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, I welcome what the member has said, since it was this province which, one year ago in the budget, first drew attention in a governmental way to the problems we were heading into. At that point in time -- I think it is fair to say that, a year and a half ago -- there was a complete denial by the government of Canada, by the automobile companies, and I might say by the UAW, that there was a problem. The fact that there was a problem was first recognized by this government. Now it is a problem.


Hon. Mr. Davis: Ask the member for Oshawa (Mr. Breaugh).

Hon. Mr. McKeough: We documented that fully in the budget of a year ago, and I think it is fair to say --

Mr. Bounsall: You are four years late.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: -- that the continuing representations of myself and the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Bennett) and others led to the Arthurs report, tabled in the House of Commons yesterday, which report has been available on some sort of a private basis for something like three months, and it was the urging of this government on a number of occasions that that report be made public.

Mr. Laughren: Four years late.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: We think the people of Canada, and the people of this province in particular, have a right and a responsibility to know what was in that report and we take some credit for seeing not only that it was authored, but that it was published.

Mr. Laughren: What are you going to do?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Now in terms of what we can do, I say to my friend over there that if he continues to support, as he should, the tax policies of this government, to create a climate in this province for growth and investment, that is the best thing we can do.

Hon. Mr. Davis: And the UAW knows that.

Mr. Roy: Darcy, you didn’t comment on the $4 minimum wage.

Mr. Deans: I can understand why the Treasurer laughed at the end of that.

A supplementary: Does the Treasurer have any statement to make to the House with regard to what representations he intends to make to the federal government in terms of renegotiating the auto trade pact as it affects the auto parts industry, as it affects the investment in Canada and in Ontario in particular, and as it affects the employment picture for the next five years?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, the concern of this government has been on the record for over a year, and it’s nice that the member is finally waking up to the fact that we do have a problem. Join the club. We’ve known it, we’ve been talking about it. He’s been so busy with his narrow little point of view that he won’t look at these problems.


Mr. Martel: Don’t be such a popinjay; and who do you think you are yelling at, the Chamber of Commerce?

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

Mr. Roy: I think he is another potential leader.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. We have a final supplementary from the member for Wentworth, because we’ve gone over the normally accepted time for the leaders.

Mr. Deans: It’s not my fault. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Now that the Treasurer has got over all his screaming and shouting, can he tell us what his policy is? He’s told us what he thinks we should be doing; what has he done, what is his policy, or does he know? Does he have a policy?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, there is no way the government of Ontario, within our federal system and under our constitution as I understand it, can negotiate an automobile pact with the United States.

An hon. member: Sit down.

Mr. Deans: It’s a lot of bluster.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I would ask the member what position is his federal party taking in Ottawa? That’s the forum where this is going to be debated. But the NDP in Ottawa haven’t been on this issue.

Mr. Deans: Typical Darcy McKeough.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: The members opposite are just waking up to an issue now, and they’re too late.

Mr. Martel: Darcy hasn’t said a word all day.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: It isn’t fair.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. That’s final. The hon. member for Grey-Bruce has the next question.

Mr. Sargent: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. di Santo: I have a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Sargent: Russ. Russ.

Mr. Speaker: I think the hon. member for Grey-Bruce knows what he should be saying.

Is this a point of privilege?

Mr. di Santo: Yes, the Treasurer said the United Auto Workers never asked him to intervene in the auto pact and that’s a false statement, because he received --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. We’re debating an issue now which should be the subject of a question. You may ask a question later if you wish. But I think the hon. member is very close to making a charge which is a bit improper, too, so we’ll just consider that it wasn’t said, if I understand correctly.

Order, please. The hon. member does not have a point of privilege. The hon. member for Grey-Bruce has the floor for a question.

Mr. Sargent: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. You’re looking more like a Speaker every day. It’s a basic rule here that you shouldn’t ask a question unless you know the answer. Well, I think we know the answers here --

Mr. Speaker: Would the hon. member ask his question, then.

Mr. Sargent: In view of the fact a revelation I just read a few moments ago was shocking news to those of us on the public accounts committee, and because this minister did not volunteer his action to the public accounts committee when they were sitting here for two months, I suggest he has been misleading the House.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Some hon. members: Shame, shame.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. That’s clearly out of order.

An hon. member: Kick him out!

Mr. Sargent: That’s my first question.

Mr. Speaker: No, the hon. member must withdraw that. He knows he must not accuse another member of misleading the House.

Mr. Roy: He didn’t say “deliberately.”

Mr. Speaker: Yes, he did. The hon. member will rise and do that first of all, before he asks a question.

Mr. Sargent: I suggest that to you.

An hon. member: Inadvertently.

Mr. Speaker: No.

Mr. Sargent: I ask the minister --

Mr. Speaker: The hon. member will withdraw those words and then he may ask a question, if he does it right away.


Mr. Sargent: In view of the fact that I will qualify later, I will withdraw at this time.

Mr. Speaker: Now your question please.

Mr. Sargent: I ask him if it is not significant, Mr. Speaker, that his appearance before the judicial inquiry three days after the election is not evidence of control or supervision of the courts by either the AG’s office or the Treasurer’s office or the PM’s office, in his appearance before that. Secondly, who arranged that he should appear after the election and not before? Because it would have had a great telling effect on the election to have the public know that he tried to arrange a $2-million deal with one of his constituents.

Hon. Mr. Davis: That’s totally wrong.

Mr. Sargent: That’s my first question. My second one is, what right does he have to go about this province offering $2-million deals with our money? Who does he think he is?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Is there an answer to that question, gentlemen? All right, next question.

Mr. Sargent: I say he has been misleading the House.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member came out with a statement again. He must withdraw that.

Mr. Sargent: Why can’t he answer my question?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Withdraw it.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Order, please. It’s the minister’s privilege to answer or not answer as he or she sees fit. The hon. member did deliberately state that he’s misleading the House. I asked him to withdraw that statement unequivocably without any --

Mr. Roy: He didn’t say “deliberately.”

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. It doesn’t matter, it’s the way it was said.

Mr. Sargent: I say about this --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Will the hon. member withdraw his remarks? All right.

Mr. Sargent: I will withdraw and come back in a minute.

Mr. Speaker: Now the next question is over here. Another further question over at this side of the House? Nobody with a question? The member for Downsview then.

Mr. di Santo: Yes. I’ve got a question for the Treasurer on the same subject as my House leader. In his review last year in the 1976 budget, what he was really proposing was a normal review of the pact. What we think is important is to renegotiate the pact --

Hon. J. A. Taylor: This is not a question, it’s a speech.

Hon. B. Stephenson: It’s not a question.

Mr. di Santo: This is a preamble to the question. Because the major problem we have --

Mr. Speaker: The member is debating now. Order, please. The hon. member is debating an issue. Ask a question, please.

Mr. di Santo: I am coming to the question.

Mr. Speaker: You should be there before this.

Mr. di Santo: Is he prepared to ask the federal government to renegotiate the auto pact, as opposed to a normal review of the pact?

Mr. Laughren: Stop blustering, say something.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, we will be making in due course --

Mr. Deans: That’s the first mistake.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I think the Minister of Industry in particular may well be making a position known to the federal government. We have offered to meet with them to discuss this problem fully, and to see where we can be -- if we can be -- part of the solution of the problem.

Mr. Laughren: Why don’t you say “no” and sit down?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: The member’s party doesn’t feel that a competitive tax climate is necessarily part of the solution. We feel very keenly on this side of the House --

Mr. Warner: Why don’t you resign?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: -- and I noted in the response put forward yesterday by the Automotive Parts Association that it particularly drew attention to the fact that Ontario, in taking off the seven per cent tax on production machinery, was doing its part in making the industry competitive in this country with the industry in the United States. I say in passing, something which has been opposed by the member’s party, specifically as to whether I think or we think the pact should be renegotiated. I’m not sure that a renegotiation of the pact is necessarily the most effective way of dealing with the problem.

Mr. Laughren: A new Treasurer would help.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: The key to the situation was to get the respective governments and the automobile vehicle manufacturers to recognize that there was a problem. It is within the power of the “big four,” I think, without a renegotiation of the pact, to do something about the problem, to bring the overall terms, to bring the results of the pact, into a greater balance than they are now. That would not, in my view, require renegotiation of the pact.

Mr. di Santo: Supplementary: Since, despite the sales tax exemption, the situation in the auto parts industry has worsened to the point that this year, according to the president of the Automotive Parts Association, we will most likely have a $3-billion deficit, does the Treasurer think his government can do anything in order to offset this situation, in view of the fact we are also losing between 70,000 and 90,000 jobs in this industry?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, I think we should bear in mind, and this is, of course, the position of the auto parts people, that although we are if not losing at least not gaining jobs in the parts industry, it is true we have been gaining jobs in the vehicle manufacturing industry. There are differences between those kinds of jobs. Although the deficit on parts is going to worsen this year -- at least those are the forecasts -- it is not necessarily correct that the overall deficit under the auto pact, which is in deficit, will worsen this year. I think I gave the House the figures yesterday. In finished vehicles I think our exports are up something like 20 per cent over last year. That doesn’t show up in the parts. It does show up in the total figures. So it is a somewhat confused situation, and the point of view of the parts manufacturers -- and I say this with respect -- will not necessarily be our position or the position of the government of Canada.

Mr. B. Newman: Supplementary: May I ask the minister whether his officials are trying to calculate the labour content, outflow as well as importation, as a result of the manufacture both of parts and the completed vehicle? Are we exporting jobs or are we importing jobs?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: One of my regrets, and the member for Windsor-Walkerville would know this well, is that although the pact in my view, and I have said this before, has been really a great thing for Canada and for this province in particular -- there is no question we have gained a great number of jobs which we would not otherwise have had, and I think it is also fair to say that Canadians generally are paying less for vehicles today than they would have been had we not had the pact -- having said that, there is no question, and I would refer to Windsor in particular, that we have lost some of the very skilled jobs, the tool and die jobs which used to exist in Windsor, in my home town and other places to a greater extent than they do now. Some of those jobs moved across the border, regretfully. However, I think when one looks at the sum total there is no question that the pact has been a good thing for Canada, as I have said, and for this province. What we want to do is to make sure it is better.

Mr. Bounsall: Supplementary: With reference to the Treasurer’s first answer to the series of questions asked, when he admitted that he believed the power to make the changes rests with the four auto manufacturing companies, will he sit down if necessary on a continuous basis and see that that equity is returned, something which I mentioned to him in April 1972 as being the easy, quick route to restoring equity in the auto parts and auto manufacturing industry?

Mr. Martel: In 1972, Darcy.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, meetings have been going on with various parts of the industry for some time now.


Mr. Hennessy: Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask a question of the Minister of Transportation and Communications. I would like to bring to his attention that licence fees for half-ton trucks under the new legislation for northwestern Ontario will not be reduced from $50 to $10. I feel that many half-ton trucks are used by the people of the north --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. We do not make a statement or argument.

Mr. Hennessy: I am sorry.

Mr. Speaker: Sometimes a sentence is necessary to place the area of the question, if I might just mention to the hon. member, to delineate just the area where the question will be asked, then you ask the question please.

Mr. Makarchuk: That is one of the $3-million members.

Mr. Hennessy: I struck out there.

Mr. Speaker: So, is there a question now please?

Mr. Hennessy: I would like to ask the question -- perhaps I will get the answer from the other side. I don’t know.

Mr. Makarchuk: Next time you will.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member for Fort William with his question.

Mr. Hennessy: I would like to ask why is the government charging $50 for the half-ton truck in the northwest when it should be only $10 for any other car? A lot of people use private trucks.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

An hon. member: Don’t be so hard on him.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Does the hon. minister have a short answer for that?

Mr. Breaugh: He wants to know why you are ripping off the truckers.

Mr. Nixon: He knows what you mean.

An hon. member: It was raised in the last session.

Hon. Mr. Snow: I regret very much that the hon. members on the other side didn’t have the courtesy to allow the member to place his question properly.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. S. Smith: It was a proper question. You shouldn’t criticize your member.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, I always thought it was a tradition in this House that a new member --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Will the hon. minister answer the question briefly and then I will have something to say about that.


Hon. Mr. Snow: I am aware of the particular situation that the hon. member brings to my attention.

An hon. member: You should be.

Hon. Mr. Snow: There was no mention in the Treasurer’s statement on the budget relating to this particular problem. It is one that I have had brought to my attention. I hope to come up with some recommendations to eliminate, if at all possible, the inequity between the person who drives a half-ton truck for transportation to and from his job as compared to those who drive an automobile.

Mr. MacDonald: You have been conjuring with it for three months.


Mr. Stong: In the absence of the Solicitor General (Mr. MacBeth), I have a question for the Premier. Does the government intend to review the fatal shooting at Bracebridge yesterday by the OPP officer by way a coroner’s inquest? Lest anyone think that summary justice was done in that incident, would the Premier direct the Solicitor General to provide the House with a full and comprehensive report of that incident, including the nature of the chase, the number of police officers involved in the chase, whether in fact there was any strategy for the live apprehension of the suspect, whether the police officers were in regulation uniform and, finally, what the particular training and experience were of the officer who fired the fatal shot?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Perhaps the hon. member would be kind enough to give me that series of questions. Before the afternoon is over, I will be in touch with either the Solicitor General who, I believe, is in Ottawa, or, if he is not here tomorrow, the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry). We will have a report for the hon. member.


Mr. Samis: A question of the Minister of Energy: Can the minister clarify for the House if he will be recommending to the cabinet that Ontario comply with the conditions dictated by Mr. Gillespie regarding the federal program for home insulation in order for it to take effect in Ontario this fall? Secondly, can he tell us if the provincial government is planning any additional assistance for home owners in this province?

Mr. Laughren: Are you stock-piling coal?

Hon. J. A. Taylor: As to the first question, there are four basic conditions now, I understand as of yesterday. I may say they have been changing a little bit. Firstly, there is the condition in regard to insulation standards. In our building code we provided for that in 1975. In fact, those conditions are in place now. In terms of the reduced speed limits, we did that in Ontario in 1976.

In regard to the question of sales tax, which is the third one, that is in the Treasurer’s budget. So that’s three. The fourth one, just to remind the member, is the question of the bulk meters. Bulk metering is in connection with both gas and electricity. We have some problems with gas because gas is used for heating apartments, for example.

Mr. Conway: You are not kidding.

Mr. Petersen: Leave the chamber then.

Hon. J. A. Taylor: Are you interested in the answer?


Hon. J. A. Taylor: I assume members can see where we have already complied with those conditions, with the exception of the bulk metering which is under study. The problem is of course the eligibility of the people of Ontario for that program. That’s what concerns me very much because I understand it will only apply initially -- at least till 1981 -- for houses that were constructed prior to 1921.

Mr. Bounsall: We have a few of them.

Hon. J. A. Taylor: There may be some. The grant programme is up to $350 provided it doesn’t exceed two-thirds of the cost of insulation. That doesn’t insulate the house.


I’m getting now into the second part of the question which deals with the supplementation of that program, which of course pinpoints the problem with the program in the first place: It doesn’t provide for the cost saving that Mr. Gillespie indicated that it would. In terms of my recommendation, I think the people of Ontario should participate in any recycling of funds. After all, the moneys are basically coming from the consuming provinces. I think the people of Ontario should be able to participate in any funds that may come back to assist them in home insulation.

Mr. Samis: Supplementary to the lecture provided by the minister, could I ask again in terms of the first -- understanding that number four comes after number three -- will he recommended to cabinet that we comply with the conditions and, second, will he offer a supplementary program?

Hon. J.A. Taylor: At the present time we cannot comply with the fourth condition that I mentioned unless we are going to put a separate furnace, which may be fired by gas, for every apartment unit, for example. What I’m saying is that it is very difficult for us to do that, and I think maybe the hon. member will appreciate that fact.

As far as supplementation is concerned, which is the other part of the question, we proposed a fuel-saver loan program -- and may I take the hon. member back to the last conference of energy ministers --

Mr. Germa: The minster takes us back a long way.

Mr. Samis: Mickey Mouse is still here.

Mr. Laughren: Has the minister ever thought of government services?

Hon. J. A. Taylor: At the last conference of energy ministers, the federal minister asked the provinces of Canada to indicate their initiatives in the area of conservation, and I filed with the federal people all of our initiatives in that regard. That was on the last agenda at the federal provincial ministers’ conference --

Mr. Conway: Speech.

Hon. J. A. Taylor: -- but it wasn’t discussed at that time, nor was the federal program discussed. What I’m saying to the hon. member is that there should be some consultation with the provinces if there is to be a program that meshes in with existing provincial programs, because some provinces already have programs and some do not; some are completely financed by the federal government. I think there should be consultation.


Mr. Bolan: This question is directed to the Premier in view of the fact that the Solicitor General (Mr. MacBeth) is not here. In view of the large number of prisoners in Canada who have lost their lives over the past year in prison, what investigations if any are being done with respect to safety features for prisoners in provincial penal institutions in the event of fire, and particularly in the older district jails?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I will be delighted to pass that question on to the Solicitor General for answer either tomorrow or Thursday.


Mr. Mackenzie: A question of the Minister of Labour: Would the minister tell the House when workers can expect an increase in the minimum wage in the province of Ontario, which is currently one of the lowest in Canada --


Mr. Mackenzie: -- and can the minister assure the House that waitresses will not be discriminated against by way of a lower rate than other workers?

Hon. B. Stephenson: If the hon. member is suggesting that we should move to the level suggested by his leader during the election --

Mr. Mackenzie: Don’t play games. We asked you a question.

Hon. B. Stephenson: I can tell him that as soon as the productivity of every single individual in this province improves to an equitable level, we will be pleased to do so --

Mr. Martel: Maybe most of those in cabinet should have theirs cut.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. B. Stephenson: -- particularly, perhaps, the productivity of the members of the House.

Mr. Bounsall: Starting with yourself.

Hon. B. Stephenson: In addition, I should like to tell the hon. member that waitresses have not been discriminated against in any of the moves as far as the minimum wage is concerned; indeed, all of those people who work in establishments where they are involved in the direct serving of alcoholic beverages are those who are under the program known as the wage differential at this point in time, and that involves both waiters and waitresses. There is no discrimination on the basis of sex in that area in this province.


Mr. Mackenzie: Mr. Speaker, that wasn’t an answer to my question.

Mr. Speaker: I am sorry, I didn’t hear that.

Mr. Mackenzie: I simply asked the minister when the House can expect --

Mr. Speaker: Order. It is the answer which the minister gave. Is there any different answer now?

An hon. member: That’s the silliest answer.

Mr. Warner: Try answering the question.

Mr. Mackenzie: Stop playing games.

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker --

Mr. Martel: So busy being arrogant.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Martel: Why don’t you answer the question?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. We can neither hear the question nor the answer because of the interjections, so we’re wasting time.

Mr. Mackenzie: Let’s talk about games. This House and the members.

An hon. member: Throw him out.

Mr. Lupusella: She should give an answer, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: All right. A question over here? No. Order, please.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Get to a proper question.

Is there a question over here? The hon. member for St. George.


Mrs. Campbell: My question is to the Minister of Community and Social Services.


Mrs. Campbell: I’m sure that comes as a surprise to him. Could I have the attention of the minister? He’s hidden a bit, behind --



An hon. member: He’s in the shadow.

Mr. Nixon: That is five of the members.

An hon. member: Behind the member for Lambton (Mr. Henderson).

Mr. Sweeney: Let’s have some order on the other side.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mrs. Campbell: Now that the Court of Appeal has unanimously upheld the Holland decision concerning group home placements by family courts, what action is this ministry prepared to take with regard to at least two family court judges who have circumvented the Holland decision by placing juveniles with employees of group homes, under section 20, subsection 1(d) of The Juvenile Delinquents Act; thereby doing, it would seem, indirectly by court order that which they are prohibited from doing directly?

Hon. Mr. Norton: First of all I must apologize to the hon. member, I do miss her down at this end of the House. I could always anticipate when she was about to direct a question to me before, but now that we’re at opposite angles in the House it’s a little more difficult.

Mr. Conway: If you are going to shine, Norton, you’d better be seen.

Mr. Roy: You were hidden by Lorne’s nose.

Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, with respect to the specific cases to which the hon. member directed the question, I can’t give her a very specific response on those. I do understand there are a very small number of cases where that type of placement was made. It’s my understanding the decision of the Supreme Court did not deal specifically with that kind of placement.

At the present time, all I can suggest to the hon. member is that we have asked that Children’s Aid Societies be prepared, if there is any indication whatsoever that the welfare of the children in such placements is in jeopardy, to move in and take the child into protection and proceed in that manner.

In the meantime, as well, we still have under review with the parties to that particular action the next step they might be following. I won’t know myself for some time yet whether the Supreme Court decision will be subject to a further appeal or not; but in the meantime we are continuing our commitment to municipalities with respect to the financing under the present arrangement, as well as the commitment to continue discussions with them with respect to more permanent financing.

We also, as I suggested, have asked and will be urging the judges to consider placement via the Children’s Aid Societies, which would still afford the opportunity for the placements to be continued in such group homes through the societies.

Mrs. Campbell: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: The minister undoubtedly must be aware, is he not, that the commitment which he gave to us at the time the Holland decision first came forward has not really been honoured in the case, for example, of Metro and Youth Sphere? There are other cases. Is the minister not aware of other cases where children are indeed in jeopardy; and isn’t it the responsibility of this minister to assure the protection of the children first, and then work his way through arrangements with Metro or anyone else?

Hon. Mr. Norton: I don’t disagree at all with the priorities that have been suggested by the hon. member; those are my priorities and the priorities of my ministry and of this government.

I am not aware of the reference she makes to the fact there are children in jeopardy. If she has specific evidence of children who are in jeopardy, I would urge her to bring it to my attention forthwith, because it is my responsibility and I would not want to shirk that responsibility.

I have also asked my staff, and people in the Children’s Aid Society across this province, to advise me of any cases that may come to their attention where there appears to be any jeopardy to the welfare of the children of this province, and I will act forthwith.

Mr. McClellan: I have a supplementary, Mr. Speaker. Since I, too, have cases that have recently come to my attention, of children at risk as the result of Judge Holland’s decision, would the minister not agree now to adopt a policy of 100 per cent funding to municipalities for the care of kids in this area, so that litigation would not be necessary, litigation would be eliminated?

Hon. Mr. Norton: I would hope we wouldn’t have to debate this again at 10:30 this evening, but my answer to that inquiry is the same as it was during the last session of this House -- “No”.

I am in the process of discussions with municipalities with respect to funding arrangements, and I will continue to follow that course. I will not precipitously jump to any such conclusion or fall into the trap of agreeing with the member in a suggestion that he may make. If he does have information about children who are in jeopardy, then please let him bring it to my attention, rather than stand in the House and suggest he has such information. I would also point out to him that if he knows of children who are in jeopardy then he might well bring it to the attention of the Children’s Aid Society as well. They do have responsibilities in that area.

Mr. McClellan: The minister may rest assured that I will.

Hon. Mr. Norton: All right. If the member has information, I would like to have it.


Mr. Swart: My question is to the Treasurer. I want to know if he soon intends to make a statement, or perhaps produce a white paper, on his intentions with regard to last year’s budget proposals in budget paper E on the Blair commission’s report on so-called tax reform?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, we have just received a rather comprehensive report from the Association of Municipalities of Ontario which, I think it’s fair to say, is the only complete response that we have, and perhaps will receive, to the Blair commission report. We have it under examination. We are waiting on the Ministry of Revenue for the complete results with the 1975 figures updated, which we expect to have sometime next month I believe. The answer to the member’s question is that I don’t anticipate making a response in the very near future to the Blair report, but no doubt we will in the future.

Mr. Swart: Will the Treasurer, when he tables his intentions, if and when he tables his intentions with regard to the Blair commission report, as to what he is going to do with tax reforms, will he also table his intentions on grant policy to municipalities -- transfer policies with regard to transfer payments -- recognizing that tax reform means little unless we know what the grant policy is going to be?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, I discussed this with AMO the other day. I wouldn’t want to indicate we would be in a position to give a complete response on all the grants. I suppose it is fair to say that, as they affect municipalities -- and this is a guess -- somewhere around 95 per cent of the grant money, or changes in the grants, would be in three areas: in the resource equalization grant, in the general legislative grant for education, and to a lesser extent, but not insignificant, in the municipal road grants of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications. It would certainly be our aim to indicate our intentions with respect to those main grant programs, which plus the other unconditional grants are by population and not related to assessment. I doubt that we would be able to with all of them, but with respect to those main ones, at such time as we release the figures and our intentions the answer to the question is “yes”, but perhaps not quite as far as the member intended.


Mr. Roy: I have a supplementary. When the minister is tabling his response or his views on the Blair commission report and the question of taxes, would he possibly give some explanation why it is that, for instance in the Ottawa area -- and this has come out again in a later report and I asked him a question about this last year -- the taxes in Ottawa are up to 25 or 50 or 100 per cent more, when we are talking about municipal and school taxes, than any other area of the province? For instance, on an average, they are $95 more than in Toronto. Could he give some explanation? He refused to do it last year. I would like to get his views on that this year.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I can’t believe that I would have refused to do so. It is not my recollection that on a household basis the taxes in the city of Ottawa are that significantly different from other areas of the province.

Mr. Roy: They are. The Treasurer’s own reports say that.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: If the member would be good enough to send me some particulars, I would be glad to try and analyse why that may be the case.


Mr. Hall: A question for the Minister of Transportation and Communications: Will the minister advise the House when the special committee established to investigate salt spray damage to the Niagara Peninsula fruit trees will make a public report and recommendation?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, the committee, which includes representatives from the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food and my own ministry, is working on different aspects of this problem at the present time and I would expect that it would be coming forward within the next few weeks with some recommendations to me.

Mr. Hall: By way of supplementary, Mr. Speaker, I am concerned and I wonder if there is a valid reason for delay in the matter; first of all in that the problem is urgent, and secondly that during the election the committee was said to be meeting daily --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. That’s not a supplementary question. That’s a debate.

Mr. Hall: I am asking if there is a valid reason for the delay, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: That’s okay then.

Mr. Hall: The point being that the previous information was that it was meeting daily and would take two weeks to wrap it up; and two weeks has long since passed.

Mr. Speaker: Is there an answer?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, the committee was only formed I would think three to four weeks ago and I do know that it has had a number of meetings. I have had some interim reports on the progress to date and, as I have said, within the next few weeks I am expecting the report.

Mr. Nixon: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker; are we to assume, sir, since you drew my colleague to order, that information given by representatives of the government during the election campaign cannot be validly raised in this House in the question period?

Mr. Speaker: No, no decision was based on that at all.

Mr. Nixon: Well what was the reason for your drawing him to order?

Mr. Speaker: If we check back through Hansard, I am sure we can define it. I just can’t recall the actual words right at the present time.


Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, if I may, I have a new question for the Minister of Transportation and Communications. What position has his government taken and what representation has his government made to the federal government with regard to the federal government’s policy to increase Seaway tolls, which will have a devastating effect on inland ports on the Great Lakes, especially on the port of Thunder Bay, because it will possibly eliminate the grain trade there?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, we certainly have made a representation to the federal government. I believe both the Premier and myself have made public statements on the Ontario position regarding the proposed major increases in Seaway tolls. I would be pleased to look up those statements. I am sure they were sent to the hon. member, but if they weren’t we shall send him another copy.

Mr. Nixon: Are you for it or against it?

Speaker: The oral question period has expired.



Mr. Stong: Mr. Speaker, although this does not take the form of a proper petition, I would like to rise on a point of privilege and offer to the Premier this document from the people of the town of Markham who met on One Canada Day and presented a petition with over 3,500 names on it signifying their intent to keep Canada one. I would like to present this to the Premier of the province on behalf of the town of Markham.

Mr. Speaker: I believe it is not really a point of privilege either, but the hon. member may send over his report or whatever it is.



Hon. Mr. Welch moved that a Speaker’s panel be established to consist of Mr. Speaker, the Deputy Speaker and Chairman of committees of the whole House, the Deputy Chairman of committees of the whole House, and the Chairman of all standing and select committees. All committees shall schedule all matters referred to them after discussion by the Speaker’s panel as desirable. Such scheduling shall ensure as far as possible that there is no interference with the business in the House.

Motions agreed to.


Hon. Mr. Welch moved that unless otherwise ordered substitution be permitted on all standing committees, provided that notice of substitution is given to the chairman of the committee prior to the commencement of the meeting.

Motion agreed to.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, may I point out at this time that the first two committees to be established under my next motion will meet tonight at 8 o’clock to start consideration of estimates; both the social development committee and the resources development committee.


Hon. Mr. Welch moved that the following standing committees be established for this session, with power to examine and inquire into all such matters as may be referred to them by the House, with power to send for persons, papers and things, as provided in section 35 of The Legislative Assembly Act:

Social development committee, 16 members as follows: Baetz, Cooke, Dukszta, Elgie, Grande, Jones, Kennedy, Kerrio, Leluk, McCaffrey, McClellan, McEwen, Sweeney, Van Horne, Villeneuve, and Wiseman.

Resources development committee, 16 members as follows: Bolan, Charlton, Eaton, Havrot, Johnson, Lane, Laughren, Martel, McNeil, O’Neil, Pope, Reed, Riddell, Rollins, Stokes, Yakabuski.

The justice committee, 16 members as follows: Blundy, Bradley, Cureatz, Drea, Gigantes, Grossman, Lawlor, Lupusella, Philip, Renwick, Roy, Sterling, Stong, G. Taylor, Turner, Williams.

General government committee, 16 members as follows: Ashe, Cassidy, di Santo, Epp, Gaunt, Hall, Hennessy, Mancini, McCaffrey, McCague, McGuigan, Rotenberg, Sterling, Walker, Warner, Wildman.

Public accounts committee, 12 members as follows: Baetz, Drea, Elgie, Germa, Grossman, Hennessy, Mackenzie, Makarchuk, Nixon, Peterson, Reid, Sargent.

The report of the Provincial Auditor for 1975-76 and the public accounts for 1975-76 are hereby referred to the public accounts committee.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. Welch moved that the standing members’ services committee be appointed for this session to examine the services to members from time to time, and without interfering with the statutory responsibility of the Board of Internal Economy in such matters, the committee is empowered to recommend to the consideration of the House matters it wishes to draw to the special attention of the board.

The committee shall be composed of eight members as follows: Ashe, Campbell, Cunningham, Davidson, Hodgson, B. Newman, Swart, Walker.

The committee shall have power to send for persons, papers and things as provided in section 35 of The Legislative Assembly Act.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. Welch moved that the standing statutory instruments committee be appointed for this session to be the committee provided for by section 12 of The Regulations Act and have the terms of reference as set out in that section, and that the said committee in addition to those powers shall review and consider:

1. The role of the committee, with particular reference to the recommendations of the select committee on the fourth and fifth reports of the Ontario Commission on the Legislature and the practices of the Parliaments of Canada and the United Kingdom, and

2. The establishment of guidelines to be observed in the delegation by statute of power to make statutory instruments and the use made of such delegated power.

The said committee to report its recommendations to the House and that in addition to the normal powers of standing committees to send for persons, papers and things; it shall have power to employ counsel and such other staff as the committee considers necessary.

The committee shall be composed of eight members as follows: Cureatz, Davison, Eakins, McKessock, Pope, Rotenberg, Samis, Williams.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. Welch moved that the standing procedural affairs committee be appointed for this Parliament. The said committee shall review and report to the House its observations and opinions on the operation of the standing and provisional orders of the House and such additional matters as may be referred to it by the House or by Mr. Speaker from time to time, and that the committee also have power to review the operation of particular boards, agencies and commissions for which annual reports have been tabled in the House and referred to it, and the committee may review the operation of these bodies as it selects with a view to reducing possible redundancy and overlapping. The committee shall review the eight points in the first paragraph on page 29 of the second interim report of the select committee on the fourth and fifth reports of the commission on the Legislature respecting proposed powers of committees.

The committee shall be composed of eight members as follows, with no substitution in membership: Breaugh, Foulds, Haggerty, MacDonald, G. I. Miller, Rollins, G. Taylor, Turner.

The committee shall be empowered to send for persons, papers and things pursuant to section 35 of The Legislative Assembly Act.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. Welch moved that a select committee on highway safety be appointed for the purpose of completing the report of the committee appointed in the 30th Parliament, such committee to be composed as follows:

Young, chairman; Bounsall, Breaugh, Johnson, Kennedy, McNeil, Mackenzie, McCague, Nixon, Jones, Riddell.

The said committee will have power to employ counsel and such other staff as the committee considers necessary.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. Welch moved that the following estimates be referred to the committees for consideration not exceeding 405 hours and 38 minutes as indicated.

In committee of supply: The Solicitor General, 20 hours; the Attorney General, 20 hours; Consumer and Commercial Relations, 20 hours; Correctional Services, 12 hours; Justice Policy Secretariat, 10 hours.

In the standing resources development committee: Housing, 8 hours and 34 minutes; Energy, 15 hours; Labour, 15 hours; Industry and Tourism, 15 hours; Agriculture and Food, 20 hours; Environment, 20 hours; Natural Resources, 25 hours; Resources Development Policy Secretariat, five hours; Transportation and Communications, 25 hours; Northern Affairs to be allocated.

In the standing social development committee: The Social Development Policy Secretariat, four hours and four minutes; Education, 22 hours; Colleges and Universities, 10 hours; Community and Social Services, 20 hours; Health, 20 hours; Culture and Recreation, 15 hours.

In the standing general government committee: Treasury, Economics and Intergovernmental Affairs, 20 hours; Government Services, 20 hours; Revenue, six hours; Management Board, three hours; Office of the Assembly, 10 hours; Office of the Provincial Auditor, five hours; Office of the Ombudsman nine hours; Office of the Premier to conclusion, the Cabinet Office to conclusion and the Office of the Lieutenant Governor to conclusion.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. Welch: As the motion states, there remain 18 hours and 34 minutes for consideration of Housing estimates by the standing resources development committee; and as I indicated to the House earlier, that committee will meet tonight to continue those estimates starting at 8 o’clock. I would also draw attention to the fact that there remain four hours and four minutes for estimates of the Social Development Secretariat, which will be heard in the standing social development committee, also beginning at 8 o’clock tonight.



Mr. Foulds moved first reading of Bill 28, An Act respecting Special Educational Programs.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Foulds: This bill guarantees access to education to all children of compulsory school age who suffer from any kind of chronic physical disability or any kind of learning disability, including the blind, deaf, autistic, mentally handicapped and perceptually handicapped.

It could be properly called an education bill of rights for handicapped children. This bill is strengthened from the form in which I first introduced it last July. It makes provision for requiring boards to do adequate testing to determine the proper and full need of special educational programs. Frankly, in a province as rich as Ontario it is shameful that children of compulsory school age are denied full access to education.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. We don’t debate it, we just state the principle thank you.


Mr. Samis moved first reading of Bill 29, An Act respecting Election Public Opinion Polls.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Conway: I thought it was going to be a bill to abolish the Tories in Cornwall --

Mr. Samis: This bill prohibits the publishing and broadcasting of public opinion polls during an election where the polls relate to the outcome of the election or the standing of any leader, candidate or party in the election. My colleague has baptized it the Regenstreif bill.

Mr. Speaker: Before the orders of the day, I will recognize the hon. member for Huron-Middlesex.


Mr. Riddell: Before the order of the day, and with your permission Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure and privilege to bring to the attention of the House the fact that 1977 marks the 150th anniversary of the town of Goderich. Considered to be the most beautiful town in Canada, Goderich actually had its beginning on June 29, 1827. From that time and up until the establishment of Perth county as a separate county, Goderich was the district town of the Huron district which included then Huron, Perth, and Bruce counties. The town was founded by John Galt and Dr. William Dunlop. As a matter of interest the latter, commonly known as the Tiger, was member of parliament for Huron in the province of Canada. Therefore Bob McKinley, the sitting federal member -- and that name should ring a bill --

Mr. Conway: He is related to the defeated Tory candidate.

Mr. Riddell: -- Murray Gaunt, Hugh Edighoffer and myself can all be considered his political heirs. I am displaying on my desk a small flag of Goderich which will be very much in evidence in the town during the two weeks of celebrations, commencing with the official opening tomorrow, June 29. Mr. Cutt, chairman of the sesquicentennial committee, has asked me to extend an invitation to all members of the Legislature to visit Goderich during this anniversary year and to share in our celebrations.

So once again, Mr. Speaker, I would like to advise the House of the sesquicentennial of the founding of Goderich by John Galt and Tiger Dunlop in 1827; and of the fact that the Tiger once held the seat for Huron district, and that the spirit of adventure, fidelity, loyalty and industry exhibited by the early pioneers and the representatives in the House still exist in the fine people of this area and their representatives today.


Mr. Riddell: I do hope, Mr. Speaker, that the members of the Legislature will avail themselves of the opportunity to visit our fair town --

An hon. member: Certainly will.

Mr. Riddell: -- to see for themselves the type of thing that John Keats must have had in mind when he wrote “A thing of beauty is a joy forever.”

Mr. Roy: And you thought he was talking about you.



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

Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak following the remarks of my learned colleague. I have no flag to wave. I can’t even claim to be a thing of beauty nor even a joy for a moment, let alone forever; but these humble words I hope will find some friendly ears across the way and if the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) is so inclined he may even decide to adopt some of the suggestions which we put forward in a spirit of consultation and co-operation.

The budgetary statement made by the Treasurer at the opening of this House yesterday did, as I brought to notice during question period, contain a number of revisions. Interestingly, as I did bring to the notice of this House, two of the matters that were not revised were the number of new jobs expected and the number of housing starts expected. I must tell you I remain puzzled as to how the same party that could produce a charter and publish it in full page ads in every newspaper of Ontario, could at one and the same time be preparing a revision for the benefit of this House of Ontario’s budgetary strategy; and in the charter promise 100,000 jobs and 90,000 homes, and yet in the actual document of the budget strategy agree that the revision itself accepts a target of 89,000 jobs and 80,000 houses.

It’s hard for me to understand how the same party could put forward at almost the same time vastly different figures, one in the form of a genuine financial document which I do not quarrel with -- the Treasurer’s predictions have usually been accurate, with the exception of jobs last year -- and the other in the form of a pie-in-the-sky promise which was treated by the people of Ontario with the contempt it deserves.

Mr. Roy: It’s called puffery in the trade.

Mr. S. Smith: The strategy with regard to the economy that we in the Liberal Party would like to put forward basically differs only somewhat from strategy which the Treasurer has discussed. I think the Treasurer agrees, and we agree, with a general policy which says that we have to move toward a balanced budget and with a general policy that says that Ontario’s long term growth is best assured by the private sector, and therefore the government must restrain the demands that it makes on the economy.

I feel that government restraint is something which I suspect the Treasurer and I agree upon. The difference seems to be that the Treasurer seems to feel that he has gone as far as he can go in restraining the growth of government, whereas we feel that it is necessary that the share of every dollar in people’s pockets that goes to government must be no larger than it is right now. We believe there is room for restraining government expenditures even further.

I demonstrate to you again, as I did in question period, Mr. Speaker, that on page 13 of the Treasurer’s document reaffirming Ontario’s budget strategy he makes it very clear as he did in his answer to me today in question period, that Management Board can be told to cut $133 million almost with a snap of the fingers. It is hardly something to be considered in great detail. It is simply sloughed off as a very simple matter. Frankly, I agree that $133 million can be found, but I also believe that a lot more than that can be found. I feel that it’s time for us to look at the entire accounting policy and the strategy that the government uses in dealing with money generally.

I would point out that 13 per cent of the government’s expenditures are made in the 12th month of the fiscal year. If the expenditures were carried forward as one might expect in equal quantities month by month, one of course would expect about eight or nine per cent of the expenditures to take place in any given month. Yet in the 12th month of the fiscal year we find almost a 50 per cent increase in the rate of expenditure in as much as instead of eight per cent or nine per cent they spend 13 per cent, and that according to the Provincial Auditor’s report.

The reason for that is very simple. When we have a system of accounting which says that any money we don’t spend by the end of the fiscal year, we lose, the natural tendency in all of us, I suspect, is to spend that money before the final deadline to get the money spent. If we gave the civil servants the right to carry over of these budgetary items, they might discover in the fullness of time that perhaps circumstances have changed, that certain items don’t need to be bought, that certain items might be better off leased or foregone perhaps, and if we didn’t penalize the people in this way by taking back the money at the end of the fiscal year, we believe that considerable savings could be effected. We think that’s plain common sense.

We also believe that the present policy of accounting of the government, which says to people, “If you’ve spent a certain amount of money this year, you can count on getting that in your budget next year plus a certain increment,” also gives an incentive to people to spend money in the last minute so as to be able to come in with higher expenditures at the end of the fiscal year and to be able then to obtain higher budgetary allocations in future years.

Good evidence of that, of course, was the memo that was circulating last spring in the Ministry of Government Services, in which advice was given to encourage suppliers to bill as much as possible during the last month of the fiscal year so that certain budgets would not be cut in future years. This is the wrong attitude to take towards the public’s money. I would ask the Treasurer -- not in a nasty or partisan way -- to consider seriously changing his accounting methods to allow a certain carryover and to get away from the incremental idea that you get a budget each year according to what you spent the year before plus a certain increment.

I would ask the Treasurer furthermore to consider seriously a form of zero-base budgeting. I know from previous comments he has made to this House that he is thinking about that. I would ask him to speed that along, to take the House into his confidence and to have some consultation, wherever reasonable, with our own financial critic on this matter, because we feel we have good reason now to move towards a policy of even more restraint in terms of government spending. Frankly, we would like to be party to some of the information the Treasurer has upon which he’s going to base these decisions. We think we have, if I may say somewhat immodestly, some reasonably good ideas and at least the right attitude which we’d like to bring to such consultations.

We believe that this province requires a form of sunset law; that is to say, a regulation by which all programs, all commissions and all organizations set up by the government automatically come to an end at a given period of time, be it three years of five years after the commencement, unless good reason can be evoked and demonstrated to require that such commissions continue; even then, they may continue with a different mandate or on a different policy or in a different scale. But the fact remains that there should be something which can start to take away programs rather than constantly adding to the list of overbearing government that we have nowadays in Canada -- not just in Ontario, but we’re speaking of Ontario. It seems to me that an attitude which starts to create less government rather than more government is one which is long overdue, and I suspect that philosophically the Treasurer is not very far from agreement with me on such matters.


I think it’s important too that we recognize that the government restraint which the Treasurer is somewhat proud of -- he mentions a nine per cent growth and so on -- applies only to the provincial scene. I think it’s terribly important to recognize that government in general in Ontario has grown considerably more than that. I point out to you, Mr. Speaker, and to members of this House, as well as to the Treasurer, what he already knows, namely that municipal expenditures and regional expenditures, including both school boards and other municipal services, have continued to increase at a rapid rate and have placed an enormous burden on the taxpayers of this province.

During the recent election campaign -- there’s one good thing about campaigns, strenuous and arduous as they may be they do allow one to get into close contact with thousands of people in Ontario, and I heard a message over and over again, and I want to pass this on to the Treasurer, that people felt the property taxes they were paying in many instances had pretty well reached the limit that they could tolerate.

I found numerous instances, not so much of very elderly people, but of people of late middle age, let us say, who found themselves with a home to keep up, with perhaps a status of separation or widowhood and in a situation where the property taxes were truly bringing them to the point where they felt they could no longer stay in their own homes. In fact, I began to hear that from so-called middle class people as well, who are beginning to find the property tax burden really quite enormous and quite crushing.

In regional governments, this tax burden has been even harder to take and since the duplication inherent in regional government has pretty well flown in the face of common sense and logic of the ordinary citizens of those areas, these governments are now being blamed for a lot of the property tax burden.

I accept that not all the burden is due to regionalization. Nonetheless, I think we have to think seriously about this matter when we consider that even per capita spending between 1970 and 1975 went up only 41 per cent in non-regionalized municipalities, but 105 per cent in regionalized areas. Of course, that compares with 73 per cent in Metro Toronto.

It seems to me, therefore, that it’s not enough to speak of restraint of the provincial budget. We must look at the overall picture as far as taxes go in the province of Ontario in every aspect that’s under our jurisdiction, and that must surely include municipal, regional and school board expenditures.

Mr. Cassidy: You think you are still back on the hustings, you know.

Mr. Conway: Your campaign is just beginning, Michael.

Mr. S. Smith: The fact is --

Mr. Cassidy: This is the most ridiculous stuff this House has ever heard.

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

Mr. S. Smith: The fact is that there are some differences in attitudes between our party and the party that presently forms the government of Ontario. One particular difference is this: we believe that our future can be best assured --

Mr. Cassidy: You are even sillier than they are.

Mr. S. Smith: -- by pinpointing and targeting the small business sector of Ontario. We recognize that the Treasurer has a commitment and a belief in large-scale industry, in more corporate concentration, and in so-called economies of scale which he believes in the long run can assure the international competitiveness of Ontario and the prosperity of one and all in the province.

We believe, however, that hand in hand with a large business policy there must be a genuine commitment to small business, to labour-intensive industry, to the deconcentration of economic and political power and to the growth of small-town Ontario which we think in the long run, given the drastic changes occurring in the energy picture in the world, will be vital to our future. We think that, in fact, we have to make a real commitment to small-scale technology, we have to recognize that many of our tax laws today put artificial preference on those companies which can mechanize, those companies which are capital-intensive and those which are highly concentrated.

Mr. Cassidy: Now I know why you got no seats in Metro Toronto.

Mr. S. Smith: It is extremely important that we recognize the need for the small businesses to be able to obtain capital on a reasonably competitive basis with the large industry --

Mr. Nixon: You still living on the island? Are you a Metro member?

Mr. S. Smith: -- and it’s important for us to recognize that the future in terms of employment and quality of life in Ontario lies in the small towns and in the small businesses.

It’s no favour to Toronto or any other large municipality -- and my own riding is in a large urban municipality, Hamilton West, of course -- it’s no favour to those municipalities to create a situation where little exists in the way of opportunity for the young people in the north and in the east and in towns of the west and smaller parts of central Ontario, so that these young people have no option but to trek into the larger municipalities, to crowd these places, to compete for work in these places, and to create social conditions which are not in their best interests, nor in the best interests of Ontario generally. We have to have a policy of decentralization of both economic and political power in Ontario and that means a genuine policy of fostering the small towns and the small businesses of Ontario.

Mr. Cassidy: With insulation inspectors in every block, eh?

Mr. S. Smith: We made a particular suggestion and that is that the jobs could be created in the small business sector of Ontario.

Mr. Roy: Tell us about the $4 an hour, Cassidy. Tell us, eh?

Mr. S. Smith: We made a suggestion that that could be done -- and I hope that the Treasurer will take this seriously -- by giving a certain incentive to the small business people by paying a portion of the salaries of new employees.

This is not a totally heretical notion. I point out to you, Mr. Speaker, that the Treasurer himself has put before this House a program of supplementing the wages of Ontarians for summer jobs to the tune of $1 an hour and he feels that this has created certain jobs. I think he used the term of 20,000 jobs and we welcome the fact that some summer jobs have been created. However, there’s no reason to believe that the same principle could not work for permanent jobs -- new permanent jobs, but targeting the small business sector and the medium-sized business sector in Ontario. We think that is a constructive suggestion. We think it can work and we would like to see it tried.

Mr. McClellan: Tell us about the eight per cent ceilings.

Mr. S. Smith: We feel, as well, another suggestion we have made is one which the Treasurer should consider seriously, although we accept that it may be more in the Ministry of Colleges and Universities. We believe that it’s important to adopt an apprenticeship program in Ontario much broader than the one that presently exists.

Without taking the time of this House in great detail, I do want to point out that we suggested that employers who wish to train apprentices could register with the industrial training branch of the Ministry of Colleges and Universities. They would establish and monitor standards for these programs and applicants would be registered and directed to potential employers who would decide themselves which applicants are acceptable for training. It’s kind of a matching service. There would be on-the-job training and this would deal with not only the blue-collar trades which are presently incorporated, but other service, sales and clerical jobs.

I would point out that this thinking is not totally foreign to the government, in as much as the Minister of Colleges and Universities has commented along similar lines some time ago, but I am disappointed that we’ve seen no genuine action in this regard. We have seen no real movement forward and this at a time when so many of our young people are caught in the gap between school and the job market

So many of them come out of school; they don’t have the experience; it’s very difficult for them to find a job. Yet on-the-job training at a reduced rate of pay while they actually benefited to the point where they could become skilled in an area and have a diploma or a certificate is probably just the answer for so many of our people. I remind the House that 73 per cent of young Ontarians don’t go to college or university and consequently we have to think of what we’re going to do for this vast bulk of our young people who are facing a very difficult future today.

We believe, of course, that it’s important to change our manpower guidance and planning devices. We have to have better figures. It’s simply inexcusable that people are being encouraged to go into teaching and nursing when we know very well that there are positions lacking in these areas. We believe the government is beginning to move but, frankly, far too late. I think the blame must be taken by all parties in this regard and by the federal government as well, but surely now that we see the kind of trend that we’re up against, it’s long past time that we start to tailor the output of such institutions as teachers’ colleges and so on to the real needs of the job market and that we start to advise and to guide our young people in a way that doesn’t mislead them or lure them into areas where there is really little hope of employment.

We have made suggestions for assisting the mining industry, which we think is one of the fundamental sources of genuine wealth in the province of Ontario. We feel that the competition between the federal and the provincial governments regarding royalties and taxes has been one of the factors creating doubt in the investment climate in mining. We feel that far too much investment is now leaving Ontario and moving toward Indonesia, Australia and other parts of the world. We think it’s important that the federal and provincial governments get together and negotiate a tax ceiling, an agreement that is going to last at least five years, so that the mining companies have some idea of where they stand and can plan their investment accordingly.

We have suggested that the government should carry out airborne surveys. This was done in Quebec and it led to a fair amount of small-scale prospecting, a fair amount of small-scale development in smaller mining endeavours. We think that might have the same stimulating effect right here. I have told the House in the past that it used to be that the prospecting industry, the small mines, the junior mines and so on, were a real source of economic activity in the province of Ontario, particularly in the north. What we find now is that this has just about dried up. Our prospectors are leaving. Ontario is no longer a source of expertise in this area, or -- let me be correct -- is rapidly becoming a place that’s no longer a source of expertise.

I think it’s important to take steps now to protect that industry. Along these lines we have suggested that the Ontario Securities Commission regulations should be overhauled, as has been promised for months and months, and even years, so that junior mines can once again find investment and carry out their rightful role in Ontario’s economy.

The construction industry: Surely, if there is any way we can create jobs and create a social good at the same time it is by stimulating our construction industry. There can surely be no argument about that. Yet what is the government doing? Pitifully little. A very small subsidy of $600 or something to apartment builders; pitifully little.

I think it’s terribly important for us to take drastic steps now to stimulate building, particularly of affordable housing but of construction generally. I ask the Treasurer to explain to himself, and to the rest of us, why it is that at a time when thousands of jobs could be created in Toronto by completing the Ontario Municipal Board hearing and by getting on with building here in Toronto, why is it that the OMB has taken off the entire month of July? To recover from their break-neck pace of hearing by which, I think, they met four days of the week and six hours or so out of the day? What is the need for a full month’s adjournment at this time when so many people are without work, when every moment of delay can be counted in terms of human difficulty not to say human tragedy.

We believe that the Toronto plan ought to be proceeded with as quickly as possible and hope that the government will take the steps necessary to get the Ontario Municipal Board functioning as it should. We believe it is simply ludicrous that in the province of Ontario subdivision approval has come to be a lifetime work for so many people. To get something approved in terms of a subdivision represents a hope in longevity, a certain faith in the future; and possibly even a faith in geriatric medicine, because to live to see these approvals come in is almost a unique experience. People hardly even want to build with these approvals. It is something to be framed, to be enshrined, so rare is the opportunity to actually live to see one of these approvals come through.

It is absolutely idiotic. We are all paying through the nose. There are red tape mechanisms and delaying mechanisms in force throughout Ontario in a way that prevents affordable housing from being built quickly and effectively. When you introduce long waits of this kind you make it impossible for the little guy.

The little guy can’t wait. The big fellow can wait. He can wait, and when the approval comes through, he may or may not build, depending on whether the market is good. He can wait for the market to turn just a little more favourable if he so pleases. The small builder has to take a chance. If you could give him the approval quickly, he has to build because he needs the money from that house to get on with another. That’s what makes a genuine market for people and gives people the benefit of a decent market.

But people have been insulated, prevented from benefiting from a genuine market, a free market, because the small builder has no hope. He can’t sit and wait; with the enormous costs involved he can’t sit and wait for the approval process.

Mr. Cassidy: This has all the depth of a puddle on city hall square.

Mr. S. Smith: We believe it’s terribly important that we set a limit. We have set a limit of 18 months approval. Every approval in Ontario must be through in between 12 and 18 months; and it will be automatically approved in that time unless proof is brought forward in that time explaining why it cannot be done.

Mr. Nixon: We are on your side, Mike. We hope you win.

Mr. Cassidy: Bob, you should have stayed at the helm you know.

Mr. S. Smith: It is time that we knock a few heads together, if necessary, so that the municipalities that are avoiding their share of affordable housing will recognize that every municipality has to take its proper share of affordable housing in the province of Ontario, and that’s something that’s long overdue.

Mr. Cassidy: There goes autonomy once again; another glib answer from the Leader of the Opposition.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Fewer interjections.

Mr. S. Smith: The more I hear of the asinine interventions of the member for Ottawa Centre, the more tempted I am to carry out my caucus’s wish to make a considerable contribution to his leadership campaign. Obviously no single event could help this party, or for that matter the party opposite us, any more than his election and elevation to the level of leader of that party.

Mr. Conway: Brian Cameron almost took care of him.

Mr. Breithaupt: We’ll give him $4 an hour.

Mr. Conway: Brian Cameron almost fixed him.

Mr. S. Smith: It’s marvellous that the hon. member for Ottawa Centre belongs to a party that would stimulate the economy at a time when restraint is the keynote by offering a 50 per cent increase in the minimum wage --

Mr. Warner: That’s fine for you people.

Mr. S. Smith: -- and having that then filter directly through the entire economy, increasing people’s expectations and increasing the demands made on the economy.

Mr. Cassidy: We were worried about the cost to your cleaning woman.

Mr. S. Smith: -- when it’s time for the fundamental realization that you can’t take more out of the economy than the economy has to give you. It’s about time we recognized that.


Mr. S. Smith: We believe that other opportunities exist -- and we want to bring these to the attention of the Treasurer -- to create employment and to create social and economic good at the same time. In the field of energy we have suggested two particular measures, one of which has recently been touched on by the federal government. We believe that it’s necessary to bring homes in Ontario up to a proper standard of insulation. We think, therefore, that there should be some form of insulation program, be it the one we suggested during the election campaign or the federal government’s suggestion.

Mr. Cassidy: You mean the compulsory one.

Mr. S. Smith: In any event, there must be a crash program undertaken immediately in the field of home insulation. That could create a lot of work in the small business sector and, of course, it can save the precious resources which we ought to be keeping for our own young people. Furthermore, it can avoid some of the very large capital spending that is required if we continue to waste energy at the rate we do at present.

Along those lines, harking back to my comments about small-scale technology and small-town enterprises, let me suggest that the time has come for us to have small-scale generation of power and electricity. I hope the Treasurer will recognize the enormous savings which can result to the economy of Ontario if we move in that direction. With these massive plants which produce electricity, there is an enormous heat loss -- most of the energy, you can say, is lost to the atmosphere or to the surrounding water or surrounding air -- whereas, in the smaller scale developments, in the smaller towns, we can produce power and utilize the heat that is so produced in a way that can yield a great saving in terms of overall energy wastages as we know them at present. It’s time for some innovative thinking, and I hope that the Treasurer, who in the past certainly has been willing to undertake new ideas, will recognize that this is an opportunity for us to move together in a new direction for Ontario.

In addition to an insulation program, I want to ask that this House consider the creation of a large solar energy industry in Ontario. Ontario has the brains; unfortunately, we have been exporting the better jobs to the United States, both in the auto industry, as the Treasurer noted today, and in other industries, where the mother company in the United States tends to do the development and the research, and we here tend to be assemblers, marketers and so on. I think it’s terribly important that we really put an investment and a genuine faith in our young people in Ontario and create an innovative forward-looking industry that eventually can serve the world. If we don’t do that now, we will end up as clients of those countries that are currently developing their solar energy and other renewable energy capacities. We will end up importing the technology from those places.

We have an opportunity to use our highly educated population, most of whom are either unemployed or under-employed. We have an opportunity to create in this province a real step forward, a real faith in the future, real faith in our own young people, and I suggest that we ought to encourage the development of a solar energy industry. One of the ways to encourage that development is to see to it that every provincial building, as quickly as is feasible, will introduce into itself some form of solar energy or solar heating, be it space heating, water heating or whatever. The more we do that, the more we give our fledgling solar energy industry an opportunity to experiment, an opportunity to improve its production methods, an opportunity to develop expertise and production efficiency, and eventually with the longer production runs we can be competitive with other parts of the world.

I have faith. There were many people who felt Canada could never compete in atomic energy with the United States, that great giant to our south, and yet we did, and now we produce probably the best reactor in the world. I tell you that if we put the same faith into solar energy or other non-renewable energy and into young Ontario, into intelligent Ontario, I believe we can have a solar energy industry here so that we will be ready. Manufacturing is not the way of the future anymore. Manufacturing has been the way in which Ontario has created jobs and most of the jobs here over the entire history of this country, but manufacturing in the long run will not be able to be internationally competitive without being highly mechanized. Yet we have to create jobs for people, not just machines. We have to be thinking in terms of higher technology.

Mr. Cassidy: In the long run you’d be dead, thank God.

Mr. S. Smith: We have to be thinking in terms of the computer age, in terms of the age of renewable energy. The time has come, therefore, to really put an investment into the solar energy industry. I believe Ontario can do it. We have the resources, we have the people, we need to have the determination to do it. In the provincial government we have the opportunity to give leadership by adopting solar energy devices in our buildings as rapidly as possible so as to give genuine encouragement to those who are presently in the forefront of solar energy.

I’m going to draw my remarks to a close now, Mr. Speaker. I want simply to say that we believe there is room for more restraint in government. We believe that as easily as the Treasurer could simply slough off $133 million in terms of telling Management Board to tighten up, there are probably many, many other instances in which this restraint could be adopted and taken much farther.

We point out that there are accounting methods which I’ve suggested. Zero based budgeting. A different attitude toward year-end budgeting. We suggested sunset laws for government programs. We’ve suggested ways in which genuine savings can be adopted and created for the people of Ontario. We have recommended that jobs be created and actually I think, frankly, that not all the good ideas are sitting over in the Treasury benches. I think some good ideas are here and some good ideas are in the New Democratic Party --

Mr. Conway: Never.

Mr. S. Smith: -- and I think that a select committee of the kind that I recommended for job creation could sit over the summer with great benefit to all Ontarians, and frankly it’s worth the investment to try that. I hope seriously that the Treasurer and the Premier will reconsider their refusal of what I’ve put forward not as a political gimmick but as a meaningful idea and an offer of consultation in the public interest.

I feel we have to recognize the need to encourage small business, to encourage apprenticeship, proper manpower planning and guidance. I feel it’s important that we encourage our mining industry, that we get the OMB moving and get rid of all the kind of red tape that prevents subdivision approvals so that our construction industry can get moving, and I’ve suggested some innovative ways in which we can stimulate our economy via energy production and various industrial aspects related to energy.

That has been put forward in this House, Mr. Speaker, as our effort to be constructive rather than critical, to be helpful rather than carpy, and I hope that our remarks will be taken in that sense, and I hope that we will have the benefit of some positive and reasonable response from the Treasurer and from his colleagues.

I trust minority government can be made to work well this time, as the people have asked us to do. I trust we can depoliticize it to a reasonable extent without, of course, losing the reasonable parliamentary prerogative. I trust also that the people of Ontario will be well served and will be proud of the actions we take here.

But we mustn’t waste the summer. We mustn’t waste time. We mustn’t pretend there isn’t a problem when there is one, and I hope therefore my remarks can be taken in the constructive manner in which they are intended,

Mr. Speaker: Just before we recognize the next speaker, I should inform the House that, pursuant to standing order 28 and provisional order four, the member for Hamilton East (Mr. Mackenzie) has given notice that he is dissatisfied with the answer given by the Minister of Labour (B. Stephenson) concerning the minimum wage. This matter will be debated at 10:30 this evening.

I should also point out that there is a slight irregularity here, and I accept the responsibility for this. I was notified in writing -- the member should have notified us verbally. But I am partly to blame for that so I accept that and I think we should allow the hon. member to make his point at 10:30 this evening.

In future, of course, we should bear in mind that our new provisional order says verbal notice of the intent to raise a matter in debate immediately at the end of the question period should be given.

I will now recognize the member for Ottawa Centre.

Mr. Cassidy: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Conway: The new Ed Broadbent. Cassidy for leader.

Mr. Roy: Where’s the striped suit?

Mr. Cassidy: That has been put in mothballs for the summer, as a matter of fact.

Mr. MacDonald: I thought you were going to have a constructive approach --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. This has been a very orderly debate up to now. I think it should continue with fewer interjections.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, the budget has already been debated in this House and I have worn my striped suit for that particular occasion. It has been discussed exhaustively during the election campaign which ended two and a half weeks ago. To consider the Treasurer’s proposals yet again in this Legislature, therefore, fills me with a sense of futility and frustration -- frustration because the Treasurer’s statement yesterday demonstrated that despite the Conservative Party’s failure to win its coveted majority in this opportunistic election it has neither learned anything nor forgotten anything as a result of its contact with the electorate; futility, because the Treasurer has rushed back to this House with a mixture as before.

He still somehow believes all is right with Ontario despite the very serious evidence to the contrary. He promises that should they be required, supplementary actions may be forthcoming to stimulate the economy in selective areas. This budget debate will go on until December, and we will pursue this Treasurer for those actions which are so urgently required. But I confess I have little faith that he will respond.

Yesterday’s budget statement is as full of misrepresentation as the Treasurer’s original budget, no more than eight weeks ago. Can I say now that the 1977 budget is a “sound and effective fiscal and economic plan of action” to quote the Treasurer’s words? The Treasurer’s figures are as misleading as eight weeks ago. His claim to have created 88,000 jobs since December is absolute nonsense. The real comparison is between May of this year and May of 1976. In that 12-month period Ontario needed to create 125,000 jobs just to stay where we were. The Treasurer promised 116,000 and delivered 79,000.

What is significant is that a number of the charges that we raised eight weeks ago are now acknowledged by the Treasurer. The NDP told the House that Darcy McKeough’s revenue estimates were phoney. He now agrees, and has cut them back sharply. We warned that his estimates of unemployment were too low. He now agrees and has raised the forecast unemployment rate to 6.7 per cent for 1977. During the campaign we said the Conservative promise of 100,000 new jobs a year in the charter for Ontario was phoney, and Darcy McKeough agrees with that. Despite his supposed success in the first five months he is forecasting only 88,000 new jobs for all of 1977. The charter’s promise of 90,000 housing units a year is also ignored. The Treasurer is forecasting only 80,000 units will be built this year.

Mr. Conway: Not too many to listen to you.

Mr. Cassidy: Is there any sign that the Conservatives will learn from their experiences? All the evidence is no. This week’s budget statement contains as little evidence of long term industrial strategy to get our economy on to a firm footing as the budget of eight weeks ago. If the government has any plans to create the jobs Ontario needs over the next 10 years, beyond a blind reliance on the private sector, they are still well concealed.

Mr. Conway: Mike, I wish you would talk slower.

Mr. Cassidy: On one front ideology has gained ground over the practical needs of Ontario. The 1977 budget spoke of achieving a capacity to balance the budget by 1981. The Treasurer now says he looks forward to a balanced budget by 1981 regardless of whether or not this will be appropriate to Ontario’s economic and social needs. The balanced budget was another promise in the charter for Ontario and it has no more credibility than the rest of that document.

I can’t help feeling rather bitter about this rather unnecessary election campaign these past few weeks.

Mr. Conway: What about your non-confidence motion?

Mr. Cassidy: We lost eight critical weeks when we could have been out working new approaches for the economy.

Mr. Conway: What about your non-confidence motion?

Mr. Cassidy: New approaches to ensure young people and adult workers the jobs that they so desperately require.

Mr. Conway: What about your non-confidence motion?

Mr. Cassidy: The civil service has been paralyzed for a much longer period of time waiting for the election, waiting for the election to end, and then waiting for new instructions from the government.


Mr. Conway: You wanted the election more than they did.

Mr. Cassidy: All of the evidence is that they spent most of their time costing NDP programs and then being repudiated by the Treasurer.

Mr. Conway: Where do you stand on nationalization?

Mr. Cassidy: We frittered away the chance for new approaches. All we got was a document with a glossy new cover.

One day after the election, in my riding office no less than five adult men came to me, one after another, men who were normally secure breadwinners with years of experience in their trade. Four were unemployed, the fifth was working out a contract and had no further jobs after next month.

One of my visitors was an immigrant from Jamaica, a proud family man who had worked hard and contributed a lot to Canada in the seven or eight years since he had moved here. He recently moved his family of four children from a two-bedroom apartment to a newly bought home. This winter, the debts piled up. But as a roofer he knew that every spring he would be able to pay off what he owed. In mid-June, at the height of the roofing season, this man came to see me because he was unemployed.

That’s the reality that Darcy McKeough and the Conservative government will not face. It breaks my heart after the election to say to people such as this fellow: “I am sorry, but the Conservatives have spoken and have decided that you are just statistics and not really worthy of any concern.” That’s the approach they are taking.

So far as I can see there was no meaningful economic strategy offered by the Conservatives during the course of this election campaign. What substituted for strategy was a vicious campaign of anti-socialist diatribe such as Ontario has not seen for 30 years.

The campaign promises and threats that were put forward by Conservative candidates from their leader on down --

Mr. Laughren: It was worthy of their leader.

Mr. Cassidy: -- were, to put it mildly, deceptive. When a candidate like John Turner, who has left now, told the people of Peterborough that they should vote PC to stop the layoffs in that city, the Tory promises were nothing short of lies. One wonders if the result in that riding would have been the same had the people of Peterborough known that days after the election Outboard Marine would be closing a plant, putting 450 people out of work.

Is there a response from the Conservatives to the continuing deindustrialization of our manufacturing sector -- or from the Liberals for that matter? We will look forward with interest to see whether the member for Peterborough (Mr. Turner) has any response, or Mickey Hennessy, the new member for Port Arthur --

Mr. Laughren: Forget it.

Mr. Hennessy: Fort William, my friend.

Mr. Cassidy: -- or the new member for Timiskaming (Mr. Havrot). The fact is that these new members will change nothing.

Mr. Conway: Where do you stand on nationalization? Tell us about nationalization. Where do you stand?

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Cassidy: I gather though that the member for Renfrew North has learned nothing and forgotten nothing from this campaign as well.

Mr. Conway: Where do you stand, right here and now?

Mr. Cassidy: I doubt if any of the new Tory MPPs have a contribution to make and certainly there are none who have entered the House with the stature that we thought was possessed by the Minister of Labour (B. Stephenson) or the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) before they entered politics and proved they had feet of clay.

Mr. Nixon: What do you know about stature?

Mr. Cassidy: The one achievement that these new backbenchers have is that they have temporarily brought to an end the strong creative and constructive contribution to the future of Ontario and the future of their ridings that was being made and --

Mr. Nixon: What kind of a comment is that? What kind of a judge are you? Descended from some mountain?

Mr. Cassidy: -- was the mark of such members as Gillian Sandeman, lain Angus, Bob Bain, Bill Ferrier, Doug Moffatt and Dr. Charles Godfrey.

Mr. Roy: Are you challenging the electorate?

Mr. Conway: Are you bitter?

Mr. Cassidy: As a matter of fact, I am. The electorate is going to rue the day that those members left the House and they certainly won’t welcome the contribution that the new members from those particular ridings have to offer.


Mr. Nixon: You are going to punish us by speaking.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, the Treasurer suffers --

Mr. Peterson: When you get down to specifics, you may be right, but it is an arrogant thing to say.

Mr. Cassidy: -- from such a divinely arrogant sense of self-assurance that perhaps he doesn’t even sense how reluctantly he and his colleagues have been returned to office. Back in February the Conservative Party had a 15 per cent lead on the official opposition and a commanding chance at a majority. They blew it for reasons which we think are predictable.

Mr. Conway: More than you do.

Mr. Cassidy: Quite simply, this is a government which is old and tired and arrogant and which has run out of juice and run out of ideas.

Mr. Nixon: Now Hennessy is here they are not out of juice.

Mr. Cassidy: Neither Darcy McKeough nor the other ministers around the Premier are capable of providing the innovative economic leadership which this province needs --

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Who wrote that for you?

Mr. Cassidy: I did -- and that fact is reaffirmed in every word of the Treasurer’s statement yesterday.

Mr. Conway: He sent 2,000 copies out to the delegates.

Mr. MacDonald: He writes his own.

Mr. Conway: What’s the cost of these?

Mr. Cassidy: I don’t know how many millions of dollars we’ve spent in the last eight weeks waiting for the Treasurer to come up with that particular document which was written for him by the people in the Treasury and, frankly, it wasn’t worth the paper it was written on. The central economic issue that we have to resolve this year is the question of jobs. That is what I want to talk about today, although I will have a few words to add on the question of national unity.

Mr. Conway: Just a few. Oh.

Mr. Cassidy: After the strong but constructive criticism which we delivered to the Treasurer two months ago I was very depressed to hear the old shibboleths come back and to see no effort whatever devoted to rectifying the glaring mistakes of the April budget.

Mr. Nixon: You are doomed to be frustrated.

Mr. Cassidy: Our employment problem has become chronic. I am sure the former Leader of the Opposition knows about that.

Three hundred thousand people are out of work. There are no prospects for improvement and no meaningful response from the government.

Mr. Nixon: I am further up the road than you, buddy.

Mr. Cassidy: Do the Treasurer and the government of Ontario still believe it is necessary for Ontario to have a full employment target of 5.3 per cent and a permanent army of more than 200,000 unemployed? Evidently, the answer is yes, because there has been no re-evaluation in the Treasurer’s statement. I guess the answer from the Liberal Party is also yes, because there was no re-evaluation in the Liberal leader’s statement, either. Do they still believe it’s only workers in the primary labour force, that is males from 25 to 55, whose job requirements really need to be satisfied?

Mr. Roy: I have had it. He is too much. His own party won’t listen to him.

Mr. Nixon: First the NDP, now the Liberals are starting to leave.

Mr. Cassidy: The same answer applies and the same answer seems to apply from the Liberals, because they had nothing to contribute on that particular front, either.

Mr. Conway: Michael, where are the caucus members who are supposed to be following your leadership speech?

Mr. Cassidy: Does the government still believe that women of all ages, as well as young workers and those over 55 are members of the secondary labour force, secondary earners, second-class citizens -- people one can afford to leave in dead-end jobs, on the dole or in minimum-wage jobs? Is the Ontario government really moving from quiet discrimination to blatant sexism in its attitude towards working women? Once again, the answer is yes. This issue was raised clearly and repeatedly during the budget debate and on the hustings and there has been no repudiation by the Treasurer or by the government.

Mr. Conway: Did your mother want you to be a concert pianist, too?

Mr. Cassidy: Does the Ontario government still believe the creation of 20,000 summer jobs lasting 12 weeks is an adequate answer to our problems of youth unemployment? There’s no question -- it does. No other new programs have been offered. When you divide the 250,000 weeks of subsidized employment that may be created by the summer job programs among 140,000 young people who are out of full-time work before the summer vacation brought students on to the job market, you get a magnificent average of two weeks of work for everyone for the remaining 50 weeks of the year, at which time I gather they are on their own.

As for the claim by the Youth Secretariat, Mr. Jones, that more than half of these jobs would go on to become full time -- that is at best conjecture. No substantive evidence has been offered for that claim and we know from experience with the Tories there never will be, it never comes, they never have any to offer.

We strongly suspect the government is simply subsidizing jobs that would otherwise have been filled anyway. We will have more to say on that when the bill comes forward on the Ontario youth employment program.

Mr. Conway: Now to national unity.

Mr. Cassidy: Does the Ontario government still believe tax handouts to large corporations are the best ways of getting our economy moving? Obviously it does, because of all the alternatives that were put forward during the election campaign and before -- even from PC candidates -- there’s nary a breath in the Treasurer’s statement. For all those words uttered by the Liberal leader about small being beautiful there isn’t a word to repudiate that particular set of 300 handouts to big business that is being offered by the Treasurer and will be supported by the Liberal party when we come down to it in the Legislature.

We live in hope. There is still time for the Treasurer to take effective action in the fall, even though action last spring and before would have had far more effect. On behalf of the NDP, I urge the Treasurer and the government to review very carefully the constructive proposals we have made and others in this House and in this province have made.

I urge the government and the Treasurer not to be locked in by ideology when what is at stake is our economic future. Above all, I urge the government to get away from rhetoric and to get down to some real action. During the campaign the Premier kept on threatening that the NDP would turn Ontario into an industrial wasteland accusing us of having no positive policies to offer in the economic sphere. Mr. Speaker, you know that’s rubbish and so do the other members in the Legislature.


Mr. Cassidy: We now have the highest rate of unemployment since the Second World War; we are something close to an industrial wasteland -- and that’s under the Tories. When close to 200,000 young people are leaving universities and high schools and looking for full-time work this summer and the increase in unemployment over the past year has been 46,000 people -- that’s catastrophic, and that’s happened under the Tories. It reflects terribly on the management of Ontario’s economy, when more and more young people are under-employed or unemployed.

When their skills and talents and education and commitment are going to waste, when their legitimate hopes of a productive career are slipping away, how can the Treasurer be satisfied with a budget that will create all of 250 full-time jobs for young workers? How can he be satisfied with a budget that bad mouths women workers and bad mouths young workers rather than providing constructive opportunities for them?

When there are concrete signs from every manufacturing centre in the province that we were actually losing jobs rather than gaining them, then the whole general strategy that the Treasurer has put forward comes under serious doubt.

Make no mistake, manufacturing employment is down in Niagara over the past few years. In Hamilton there were 55,000 manufacturing jobs in 1966 and there are 1,400 fewer jobs there today. In the Barrie-Midland area manufacturing jobs are down from 4,874 three years ago to around 4,000 jobs today. The other day there were 450 jobs lost in the Peterborough area. The deindustrialization of the province is taking place at a rapid pace under the Tories and there are no effective answers or strategies to stop it.

The centre-piece of the government’s strategy has been to curb spending and borrowing and make room for the private sector to grow. The Treasurer keeps arguing that only in manufacturing are there productive jobs that will guarantee the long-term future of our province. At least that’s what they do publicly. When you get right down to it, however, the Tories have lost faith in their own capacity to achieve the goal they’ve proclaimed, and even the Treasurer, even Mr. McKeough, no longer assumes this will happen.

Last year under this minister, the Treasury issued a document entitled A Long-Term Projection of Ontario’s Industrial Development Pattern. It showed that in 1961 manufacturing employed 30.7 per cent of Ontario’s labour force. By the mid-1970s, this had fallen to 25 per cent. Despite the Treasurer’s rhetoric, which is ample, his department predicts that by 1985 only 20 per cent of provincial employment will be in the manufacturing sector, and by 1995 the proportion will be down to 16 per cent.

Mr. Warner: That’s true.

Mr. Cassidy: It all adds up to virtually no employment growth over the next two decades in manufacturing. Where will the jobs come from? The Treasury itself is assuming many of these new jobs will be in the government sector.

These trends have also been discerned by the Ontario Economic Council, which estimated there will be almost no increase in the 1.4 million jobs that now exist in resource industries, in manufacturing and in construction over the next 10 years. The Economic Council says all of the one million jobs that are the least that will be needed over the next decade will have to be found either in the service industries or in the government sector. Where then, Darcy McKeough, is your strategy?

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order, please. I’d like to remind the member for Ottawa Centre that it’s the tradition of this House not to call members by names but by riding or position. I noted on a number of occasions he’s been using surname and given name and I wish he’d refrain from that.

Mr. Cassidy: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Nixon: Landmark ruling.

Mr. Cassidy: The point is well taken, Mr. Speaker. I merely have to say that I assume a certain familiarity in the hopes of somehow finding some soft spot in the carapace of the Treasurer --


Mr. Cassidy: -- some way in which I can get through to him to make him understand what the problem of unemployment is in the province, how many people out there, adult workers, young workers, women workers, workers of all ages and stations are suffering from his misguided economic policies --

Mr. Conway: Defeated NDP members.

Mr. Cassidy: -- and if it takes calling him by his first name or his last name or his nickname or anything else, Mr. Speaker, I’ll do it if it’s going to have some kind of an effect.

Mr. Kerrio: Show a little class.

Mr. Conway: Throw him out for contempt.

Mr. Cassidy: It’s worth noting in passing that the figure of 100,00 jobs a year which the government plucked from a hat for the charter for Ontario --

Mr. Conway: Stephen will need a second stall.

Mr. Cassidy: -- is by itself a cruel deception. Without going into all of the details, the government’s own target for job creation would mean the unemployment rate will exceed seven per cent for the next 10 years. We say that isn’t good enough for Ontario. We believe equally that it’s not good enough for Ontario simply to sit back and to accept a further weakening of an industrial sector that is 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. We believe the sole strategy being proposed in the budget of tax concessions to manufacturing investment is a badly designed and wasteful handout that is so ineffective that a Conservative government has yet to show that it creates one single new job.

We’re not talking about peanuts either, because the total of the Conservative government’s tax concessions to industry amounts to $160 million annually just for the machinery sales tax exemption, along with $84 million in the continuation of the fast write-off on machinery and plant investment, plus another $25 million or so in income tax concessions which are directed to large investors. We say this money can be far better spent. We said that during the budget, we said it during the election campaign, and we say it again now.

Let me start with those tax concessions. We discussed them at length in the budget debate and I don’t intend to talk about them at length right now. If I can sum up our position, however, in one quote from the C. D. Howe Research Institute, and they’re certainly no raving socialists, they said: “In a stagnant economy or one fraught with uncertainties” -- and that sure describes what we have right now -- “any positive impact from further tax concessions is likely to be quite limited.”


With manufacturing running at only 80 per cent of capacity, sales are not strong enough to spur investment and the tax concessions offered by the Treasurer are nothing but corporate welfare.

One other argument has been offered in order to justify introducing machinery tax concessions. That is, if Ontario doesn’t move at once, we will lose manufacturing investment to competitive neighbouring states that do offer this incentive to industry. Is the situation really that serious? The Treasurer is being misleading. I don’t think the facts bear his argument out at all. Our neighbours have been offering sales tax exemptions to industry on machinery long before they were considered here and the competitive impact in Ontario was never a problem in the past. In fact, it never became a problem until the elections were nigh and the Treasurer decided something had to be done.

Mr. Conway: Here comes the other half of the leadership team.

Mr. Cassidy: Specifically, New York has given this concession since 1965, Michigan since 1933, Pennsylvania since 1961 and Ohio for the past 10 years. Minnesota and Illinois, which are in direct competition with those particular states, don’t find it necessary to give a comparable concession and neither has Ontario in the past. What is really at stake in our competitiveness with neighbouring American jurisdictions is not one tax concession but a whole mix of strategies that affect where industry decides to locate and to expand. That’s what we’ve been trying to talk about over the past few months, and in the election campaign, and that’s what neither Darcy McKeough or his government has been able to understand.

Mr. Conway: Let’s give Deans equal time.

Mr. Cassidy: I want to reiterate some of the ideas that I put forward in the budget debate two months ago about the need for industrial strategy for Ontario. We in the NDP are putting more and more emphasis on the need for Ontario to develop its own domestic market, which now consumes some $20 billion worth of imports every year. It’s the market where Ontario industry has got the greatest natural advantage but, sometimes, it seems the biggest handicap Ontario industry is suffering is the failure of vision and direction on the part of the government at Queen’s Park.

In the budget debate I talked about the desperate desire of businessmen in many industrial sectors to have closer co-operation from this government and the recognition of their desire to expand in order to meet domestic as well as foreign needs.

Mr. Kerrio: How do you get to talk to a businessman?

Mr. Cassidy: We recommended a “Buy Canadian” policy and the use of joint ventures in certain circumstances in order to provide a large domestic market that would encourage more efficient production and encourage the economies of scale in Ontario industry.

Just recently, the consulting engineers of Ontario were making very much these points in a brief to the Ontario cabinet. Ontario’s own purchasing power is important and should be used, but we have naively played the role of international boy scouts without realizing that, like it or not, most other jurisdictions use the influence and buying power they possess to encourage local industry.

If we can create a strong domestic market, we help our industries grow to the point where they can compete abroad as well as at home. The evidence in sector after sector is that import penetration has badly shaken the confidence of Ontario industry and has hurt us both at home and abroad. There are important structural problems that prevent Ontario industry from serving our own domestic market and we need direct action by government in order to remove these blockages if we want to build new and permanent manufacturing jobs in Ontario. That, as I say, is the bottom line.

Ontario needs a direct approach to productivity innovation that would help Ontario firms get in on the ground floor in the sourcing of new technology. The Ontario government should start using its capacity to lobby business and other governments to ensure Ontario gets an equitable proportion of new productive activity in relation to the size of our market. We’re being taken to the cleaner right now, particularly in the automobile trade, because of our failure to fight, at the political level as well as at the industrial level, for new jobs.

Direct efforts can and must be made in order to ensure Ontario industries have the chance to provide components that are now imported from the United States or abroad. We must ensure that development work is shared with Ontario, too, rather than being concentrated in the parent companies in another country, and that our own manufacturers can plug into the chain of production in order to reach the market that exists. We must be aware of the danger of being reduced to doing nothing but assembling end products and marketing them from components, technology and research that is imported from elsewhere.

Co-operation with government and industry, the training of skilled workers, better management and more inplant training are all required if we are going to improve our productivity. We’ve got to learn to utilize our capital a hell of a lot more productively than we do right now.

Mr. Conway: Let’s give Deans equal time.

Mr. Cassidy: Our apprenticeship programs need expanding to the point where they are open to every young person entering the work world. We also need to train competent, well-established working people for high-skill occupations that are too often filled by immigration, rather than by developing our own talent.

The government’s proposals this year for small business are quite ludicrous and the venture investment corporations in particular are almost entirely inappropriate because they rely so heavily on big business financing, rather than giving smaller entrepreneurs the chance to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps.

Mr. Conway: Is the NDP going to solicit funds from those corporations? Not a bad idea.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, all of these points bear directly on the automobile industry, the key industry in Ontario and its largest single employer. The Treasurer quite proudly told us yesterday that automobile assembly is up by 20 per cent, as are the exports of auto parts. What he did not tell us is that our auto parts deficit continues to be catastrophic.

Ontario’s production of automobile parts has declined from 90 per cent of our consumption in 1972 to somewhere around 50 cent today. The federal report that was published this week confirms just how much Canada is getting the short end of the stick under the auto pact. The effects, I remind the House, are felt almost wholly here in Ontario.

It isn’t just that we have a deficit in our automobile trade with the US. It is that that deficit is particularly strong in the automobile parts sector. The changing structure of the American industry, according to the federal report, is likely to make the imbalance in the Canadian industry even worse in the future. Employment in the industry in Canada is not keeping pace with the growth in the number of production of units as it is in the United States. Although the automobile companies find it profitable to operate in Canada, they are being run in a semi-colonial fashion.

I find it very hard to accept that 75 per cent of the production workers in the industry in Canada are unskilled and only two per cent are skilled, whereas the proportion in the US is less than half of the workers unskilled and eight per cent wholely skilled.

The report to the federal government estimates that Canadian companies have contributed at least $230 million annually to the research and development accounts of their parent corporations over the past six years. And those are high-level, productive, innovative jobs that should be here in Ontario rather than exported to Pennsylvania, to Michigan and to other parts of the United States.

Mr. Conway: Should we nationalize?

Mr. Cassidy: The reports indicate that in the early 1970s the Canadian companies --

Mr. Conway: What do you think? Should we nationalize it or not?

Mr. Cassidy: In the early 1970s the Canadian companies spent $1 billion less on tools and capital equipment than they accrued in depreciation and in amortization.

Mr. Conway: Better you tell me than Fraser Kelly.

Mr. Cassidy: In other words, not all of the fiscal incentives in the world of Darcy McKeough proved to be enough to offset the automobile companies’ determination to exploit Canada.

Mr. Nixon: You will have to edit this before it goes out.

Mr. Cassidy: This happened, I might remind the House, under the aegis of a Liberal government up in Ottawa and I have yet to hear a single word from the Liberal Party in Ontario showing any concern or understanding about the serious situation with the automobile industry and the failure of the government to respond.


Mr. Conway: Speaking of leadership conventions.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Cassidy: Once they start to respond on that issue, Mr. Speaker, then they can be justified to intervene in this House when I am speaking.

Unless the Ontario government begins to use every means possible to lead, to direct both industry and government and our American neighbours, this chronic weakness of this keystone industry is doomed to continue. We are talking a lot of jobs. We are talking 30,000 to 40,000 jobs in the automobile parts industry which are now being lost because of the failure of Ontario to get its fair share of production in that particular industry. If those jobs existed, another 30,000 or 40,000 jobs would be created through the multiplier effect, but under the Tories we are losing jobs in this area rather than gaining them.

Mr. Conway: Your father ran in the Liberal race.

Mr. Cassidy: These are some of the elements which we anticipate in an industrial strategy for Ontario. Over the coming months we will be elaborating our thinking in these areas. I trust the House senses that we, unlike the Liberals, are serious in this particular direction and how that contrasts as well with the essentially superficial approach the Treasurer has taken.

I trust the House also understands how tenaciously we in the NDP have stuck to our guns on this issue of industrial strategy and on our whole economic program through the spring and through the summer.

Mr. Conway: What about nationalization?

Mr. Cassidy: We will continue to do so over the coming months and particularly in this minority situation we look for a genuine response from the government.

There is a contrast, and it lies with the policies being advocated by the Liberal Party. I don’t think I have ever seen the Liberals as irresponsible in their use of figures or economic programs as over the past few months. When the finance critic two months ago said we advocate tax cuts and new programs, I simply stopped when his total came to over the $1 billion mark. It interests me that not a single word of what he said during his budget debate had the remotest amount of influence on his leader during the Liberal election campaign. What came out instead were three of the silliest proposals that have ever been advanced in Ontario.

Mr. Conway: Where do you stand with your leader on nationalization?

Mr. Cassidy: The member for Renfrew North is provoked. Dear me! What was the vision of the member for Renfrew North nod his colleagues going up and down every street and byway in the province, along with the insulation inspectors, who would be haunting the streets of the province to make sure that homeowners had installed their compulsory home insulation by the deadline? The Liberals wanted to spend $3 billion or $4 billion on this particular program --

Mr. Conway: Should we nationalize the forest industry?

Mr. Cassidy: -- and absolutely everybody was going to come under the Liberal gun to make sure they did it on time. That was quite some step for the party, which has so long trumpeted the cause of individualism.

The second simplistic scheme of the Leader of the Opposition was that for a mere $200 million from the public purse the Liberal Party would create 100,000 jobs in the small business sector. The money, like the jobs, will come out of thin air. Unlike the NDP, the Liberals have never said what spending or payments they would cut in order to pay for their programs.

Mr. Kerrio: That’s the kindest thing you have said.

Mr. Cassidy: When you think how lovingly every nickel that was added to the minimum wage by the NDP was dissected by the press across the province, it makes me smile rather wryly to think that not once did the journalists who accompanied the leader of the Liberal Party force him to come up with specifics on this program.

Mr. Conway: Now he’s against journalists.

Mr. Cassidy: Would there be 100,000 more new jobs in 1978? Would the wage subsidies end after one year, after two years or after three years? If it was really three years, as he said, then where did he intend to get $600 million when the only spending cut the Liberals have ever been able to suggest is $5 million from Minaki Lodge and a couple of hundred thousand dollars from the superministries.

Mr. Conway: I hear lain Angus is the new caretaker.

Mr. Cassidy: Moreover, just who were all those small businessmen standing in line to benefit from the wage subsidy? Isn’t their problem really that there’s nobody to buy their products? Isn’t it demand that we’re lacking in Ontario? Frankly, I think Liberal economics suffer from a complete misunderstanding of the economic situation of the province right now.

The third piece of silliness was the pledge of the Liberal leader not to increase any tax or charge by the Ontario government by more than eight per cent and to extend this principle to the municipal level as well. This proposal is as fatuous as it is hypocritical.

Mr. Conway: Let’s nationalize the member for Ottawa Centre.

Mr. Cassidy: If the Liberals intend to be responsible about it, then starting this week when we consider the tobacco tax, they will say precisely what other tax they will raise to offset every penny of revenue they have lost by adhering to the eight per cent limit.

Mr. Nixon: I presume you are supporting the Tories.

Mr. Conway: Where do we send the contributions to your campaign?

Mr. Cassidy: Moreover, when we come to debate the increase in unconditional grants to municipalities, they will say exactly what programs municipalities should cut in their own spending, and through school boards, in order to keep their tax increases below the eight per cent limit. We accepted when we were the official opposition, and we accept now, the discipline of ensuring that every political promise is matched by a promise to pay and a clear indication of where the money would come from.

Mr. Conway: How much will nationalization cost?

Mr. Cassidy: The Liberal Party should start accepting that discipline, as well, instead of indulging in all this hyperbolic nonsense --

Mr. Conway: How about $4 an hour?

Mr. Cassidy: -- in particular, the nonsense coming from the member for Renfrew North.

Mr. Conway: How about nationalizing the forest industry? What’s that going to cost?

Mr. Cassidy: As a matter of fact, if the Liberal critic had been listening, the NDP proposed very specifically that private industry should be doing its share in order to ensure that they stop raping our forests and that they replant the trees that they are cutting because, right now, under the public direction being given by the Tory government of Ontario, we are exploiting our forests in a way that we will never be able to replace.

Mr. Conway: The rape of the log.

Mr. Cassidy: I would like to stop here for a minute.

Mr. Conway: Deans or Pitman on the first ballot.

Mr. Cassidy: I appreciate the applause, particularly from the member for St. Andrew-St. Patrick (Mr. Grossman) and the new members in the back row. One of the problems with the PC Party, it seems to me, is it can’t get decent candidates any more. I’ve never seen such a rotten bunch of candidates as the group that came forward this particular election.

Mr. Pope: What happened in northern Ontario?

Mr. Cassidy: Well, particularly in northern Ontario. The new member for Cochrane South obviously shares the same predilections as the old member for Timiskaming who has returned. Ontario will gain nothing from his presence in the Legislature.


Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Cassidy: Shut that member up.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order, please. Will the member for Ottawa Centre continue?


Mr. Nixon: He said he was going to finish.

Mr. Cassidy: What I wanted to say, Mr. Speaker, in a very serious kind of vein, is this -- that if any of us are concerned, and I certainly am and I believe we all should be, about the future of Ontario, here we have a legislative body that is responsible for a $12-billion budget, that is responsible for programs and spending that affect every man, woman and child across the province, that is responsible in a very direct way for the continuation of whether or not we have a country left in Canada, and what kind of candidates did the Conservative Party come up with in this particular campaign? Frankly, they’re a bunch of second-raters. They really are, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Kerrio: Cheap shot, Mike.

Mr. Nixon: I think that’s completely unworthy.

Mr. Cassidy: And I think that’s very serious. I think it’s very serious that the Conservative government which has been in power for 34 years has been completely unable to attract men and women of stature in order to replace those who are being defeated or who are stepping aside.

Mr. Pope: Just the majority vote.


Mr. Cassidy: If we have a temporary situation of one-party government of the province, I think it’s a matter of grave concern that there is nobody in the backbenches right now who can replace the present Treasurer, God save us.

An hon. member: How can you be speaking about the budget in that new suit and vest there, Mike?

Mr. Peterson: That’s right, but anyone’s better than you are.

Mr. Cassidy: As the Attorney General reveals how little capacity he has, as the Minister of Labour reveals --


Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order, please. I hope the members will come to order and allow the member for Ottawa Centre to continue on the second order of business.

Mr. Conway: In conclusion ...

Mr. Cassidy: As the Minister of Labour reveals just how unfit she is to work in this particular political sphere, as the other members of the cabinet -- including the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Bennett) who is almost down in Florida he’s so far south in this particular chamber, in his new place in the seating plan -- all reveal how little they have to offer, I really weep for Ontario for the next two or three years.

We are committed to trying to make this minority situation work, but God help us. It’s going to be difficult with the gang that we have returned and with the newcomers who have been elected to the back row.

Mr. Peterson: This is the worst speech I have ever heard in my life.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I would like to say a word now, perhaps in a slightly more constructive vein than that, about the other major issue in this particular campaign --

Mr. Conway: Donald, this is the valley of humiliation. The NDP’s Beauharnois.

Mr. Cassidy: -- the question of national unity. I want to say this with particular reference --

Mr. Eaton: Is this your run at the leadership, Mike?

Mr. Conway: Why don’t you stick to Brian Cameron?

Mr. Cassidy: -- to the Legislature. I think the Conservatives -- I’m just coming to that -- have got to sleep with their conscience for the shameless way in which they have exploited the Ontario public’s concern over the future of Canada after declaring that national unity was a non-partisan issue. In my riding, the Conservative candidate did everything except wrap himself up in a maple leaf flag in his efforts to stampede the electorate into voting PC in order to fight separatism.

Mr. Cunningham: What’s that got to do with the budget?

Mr. Cassidy: “Help keep the Montreal Expos in Canada,” he said, proving how quickly you can descend from the sublime to the absurd.

What shocked me even more was that a candidate who had the full support of the Premier should openly and deliberately, from the very first moments of the election, carry on such a low campaign based on the fear of separatism. What he did was matched in degree and kind by many PC candidates across the province and it was all very distasteful.

Mr. Conway: Why, did he cut your majority?

Mr. Pope: You taught us how to exploit.

Mr. Cassidy: I don’t want to further debate the campaign, nor do I want to further debate the future of our country this afternoon. My commitment and my party’s commitment to maintain a strong and united Canada is known, is understood and appreciated by every man and woman of good will in the province.

Mr. Kerrio: You have tears in your eyes.

Mr. Cassidy: Whatever the results may be in electoral terms, I think one of the proudest achievements the NDP can take credit for over the past few years is the fight we have waged on behalf of Franco-Ontarian rights in this particular province.

Mr. Deans: Without any Liberal support.

Mr. Cassidy: Without any Liberal support, as well, apart from Albert Roy. I do have a concern and a modest suggestion. The concern is very simply that while the future of Canada is being debated at every service club luncheon and every conference table in Canada, we here in this Legislature, and perhaps our colleagues in other legislatures across the country, are extraordinarily detached from this national debate. The question of Canada’s future has been raised in the Legislature since the November 15 election in Quebec -- granted.

Mr. Conway: Renwick had a few things to say.

Mr. Cassidy: But we did not even find one half day or one whole day to set aside in order to debate the subject of where are we as a country going.

Mr. Peterson: They were afraid you would speak.

Mr. Cassidy: Apart from the Premier and the two leaders of the opposition, not one of us is participating in the Destiny Canada Conference that is currently under way at York University. Whether it will prove fruitful and constructive or not I don’t know. I suspect not. I hope so.

Mr. Conway: Is Brian Cameron there?

Mr. Cassidy: God help us if he is. Party leaders have spoken out --


An hon. member: Why don’t you shut up?


Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, this happens to be a fairly serious speech I’m going to make.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Cassidy: Party leaders have spoken out on their vision of where Canada should be going and so have many of us on the hustings, but what we lack here in the Legislature is a focus. The immediate problems that must be solved -- whether it’s road transport or rent control, the Essex county school and other budget bills or yet another Workmen’s Compensation case -- take up the time of MPPs and our attention is too seldom lifted to what is happening in the country. For that matter, whatever research and thinking may be going on among the government’s advisers in the civil service, the Legislature is effectively not privy to it. Our sources of information are limited to what we read and see in the press and to material on the future of Confederation which, I fear, seems increasingly to be acquiring the bias of the government that publishes it. That’s one reason I believe the Treasurer’s proposal for an impartial and co-operative accounting of the costs and benefits of Confederation should be supported.

I now want to propose the creation of a select committee of the Legislature that will allow us, here in this House, to focus on the questions of Confederation and of national unity. The problem is critical. The need to start is now. I believe this select committee on Confederation should be established before we rise in two weeks or so and should begin its work over the summer.

It should be able to travel to Quebec and to other provinces as well as throughout Ontario. It should be able to talk to civil servants who advise the government and have access to material they are preparing. It should hold hearings, carry out research, seek ideas, meet with MPPs from other provinces and report regularly to the House. In fact, not only should it report regularly beginning in the fall, but I suspect we should debate its reports just as regularly so that those members who do not form a part of the select committee can also make a contribution to its work and a contribution to the future of the country.

This is a modest suggestion, but perhaps it has a democratic flavour when you compare it with the elitist idea of elitist counsel advanced by the Leader of the Opposition. Perhaps it will be of value too in helping to form and educate legislative opinion, and through this Legislature perhaps we in turn can help to educate opinion in this province about who we are, where we’re going and what we should do in the country. This is a chance for the Legislature to become a sounding board for opinion and ideas the way it was intended to be and the way, I fear, that it so seldom is.

More than a century ago, the Fathers of Confederation who brought this country together were themselves provincial legislators who came from their provincial parliaments and met together in order to forge a nation and find the terms under which the country could function together. Things are more complicated than that right now but it seems to me that we, as MPPs in this Legislature, have a contribution to make, as do our colleagues and counterparts in other legislatures across the country. We should do that and encourage it on the part of other legislatures.

The constitution authorities use the quaint term, “One function of the Legislature is to ventilate ideas.” Perhaps all of us who are concerned about the future of the country would welcome a bit of that kind of fresh air right now.

My modest suggestion is that we in Ontario need to find ways to get to know our neighbours in Quebec better than we do today. In many ways the best way to start is with our kids. The budget shows the Wintario lottery will have at least $80 million to spend this year. I would like to suggest that we use $10 million or $15 million of that particular fund in order to encourage school visits and educational exchanges between students in Ontario and their counterparts in Quebec.

It’s just as important to invite Quebec students to visit families in Ontario cities and towns as to send our kids off to spend a few days with their counterparts in Quebec. For $15 million we could provide a strong incentive to encourage exchange visits on the part of 100,000 students from grades seven to 11 in our Ontario schools with return visits, in every case, from Quebec.

I hope this initiative will be accepted in the spirit in which it is suggested and offered. I hope Quebec will understand that even if it comes very late, even if this is something we should have been doing many years ago, that it is offered genuinely and that it is accepted in that particular spirit.

I believe other exchanges should be offered and should be encouraged as well. Cultural groups have been suggested by the member for Port Arthur; I would suggest groups like skilled workmen from the GM line in Oshawa. Simpson’s has recently announced it is going to send some teenagers who are sons and daughters of its employees for an exchange visit with families in Quebec. We should be doing this at the professional level, at the personal level, at the community level, at the legislative level -- in every possible way that we can find.

I think it is a very good way to begin if we could say that over their school lifetime most of the kids in Ontario schools would have the chance at least to go to Quebec for one week or so on a well organized, well supervised exchange, with teachers and with preparation, to meet families, to meet kids, to play together, to work together and to get to know people in our sister province a hell of a lot better than we do right now today.

I would speak personally, coming from a border riding in Ottawa, and say that we have too little of those kinds of contacts just between the kids, for example, and the families and the people who live in Ottawa and their counterparts who live across the river in Hull. We don’t do it; we need it, we should encourage it. We shouldn’t care if we are isolated in Ottawa; what is the situation for people who live in Chicoutimi on the one hand and Windsor or St. Catharines on the other? Those are two specific proposals related to national unity which I hope will be adopted by the House.

I want to reiterate now the question about our economy and about where we are going with jobs. I want to say that during the budget debate I had a number of specific proposals to make on behalf of the New Democratic Party which were costed, which we knew we could afford, and which we offered in a constructive way to the Treasurer. The specifics included a youth careers program, energy-saving grants and tax cuts to stimulate demand and get the economy moving.

As is natural, those proposals were elaborated upon by other members of the caucus, by myself and by the leader of the NDP during the course of the election campaign. There are a number of points that I want to put on the record right now, because we think they are a heck of a lot more constructive means of getting the economy moving and beginning to prepare ourselves, not just for the short-term problem of unemployment but the longer-term problems of industrial strategy which the Treasurer and the government are refusing to face at this time.

There is approximately $280 million which could legitimately be brought out of tax concessions to big business and industry and used to get the economy moving. I think that we have adequately documented just how ineffective those particular incentives have been and will be in creating jobs in the economy both for the short run and for the long run.

We believe that it is desirable and necessary to have -- we advocate this, and I hope the Treasurer accepts -- a program along the following lines:

First, a direct tax rebate for low- and middle-income groups for the purpose of stimulating purchasing power to increase demand and thus create jobs. We recommend that at least $100 million be devoted to that pump-priming operation to help get the economy of Ontario moving.

Second, a new careers program in Ontario, the point of which will be to direct young people coming out of high schools, colleges and universities into on-the-job training programs so that they can acquire the skills required in the marketplace. A new careers program like that might cost $30 million.

It is not enough to assume, as the government does, that if you give people a certain amount of work experience they will automatically find jobs. There are only 12,000 job vacancies in the province; there are more than 300,000 people unemployed. We have to get the economy moving, but it will certainly help to give people job experience as part of the overall package.

Third, a program which is well accepted and which can be moved quickly and one which people will use to improve the state of their housing; it is one which can be administered on a decentralized basis and which will help in the small business sector. We would recommend $25 million be added to the Ontario Home Renewal Program, in which 94 per cent of Ontario’s municipalities are currently involved. This is a means of directly stimulating jobs in the construction sector.


Fourth, we advocate that $25 million be used directly for services to people. Day care, corrections, mental health, retardation and the elderly are specific programs which can engage the talents, the commitments, the skills, the drive and the capacity to communicate of our young people who are now so frustrated because of the under-employment and lack of jobs that exist in the economy.

Next, 10,000 units of non-profit housing could be started with the incentive of a $5,000 per unit grant. It would cost $50 million to the exchequer, it would create jobs far beyond that particular amount and it would provide desperately needed affordable housing which we’re not getting in the province right now.

We recommend the allocation of $25 million for special services like sewerage and lighting for northern municipalities, particularly the unorganized municipalities, in order to create jobs in the north, to make those northern communities more attractive places to be and in order to serve as the launching pad for the creation of a broader range of job opportunities in the north. We recommend as a final instalment in that $280 million which is available from the tax concessions that the minister is now giving to big business, $25 million to take capital works programs off the shelf, specifically where they have application to public transit systems. One of the earliest candidates for acceleration under that particular program would be to create construction jobs in the Toronto area with an acceleration of the Scarborough light rail transit program.

In addition, Mr. Speaker, we were concerned at the fact that the Treasurer found it possible to allocate $200 million to very expensive and capital-intensive energy projects under the wing of Ontario Hydro. We felt that was a distortion of priorities, because conservation of energy is now a more effective means of using our scarce dollars in the energy field than the creation of new generating capacity. We recommend that the $200 million that the Treasurer found from Ontario Hydro’s budget be devoted in three or four specific directions.

First, if you recall, Mr. Speaker, I have recommended energy-saving grants. A number of other suggestions have been made. We suggested during the election campaign that $100 million be used for home insulation to involve 100,000 homes with an appropriate subsidy. The money would be in a revolving fund, repayable on an interest-free basis, so that it would continue to ensure insulation of homes on an annual basis. We believe that this fund should be carried out in conjunction with the recently announced federal program of $350 grants for home insulation, but we believe that Ontario can afford and should go faster than was proposed in the federal program and we think that that too would be a means of creating jobs and stimulating the small business sector.

I suggested and I think that we would advocate that there be particular preference given to eastern and northern Ontario in this program, because those are the areas with the greatest climatic problems and the areas of greatest need for job creation.

Next, a pilot plant for the production of methanol. We recommend that it go into the area of Renfrew North, an area which desperately needs job creation. After the comments of the new member for Renfrew North I think I would reconsider that particular suggestion. However, a $20 million investment in starting a pilot program for methanol based on waste wood production from the logging industry either in the northern or eastern part of the province helps us in the energy field, helps us in the utilization of our unutilized wood resources and would allow us to learn a heck of a lot about a new energy source which could increasingly be used in the province.

Mr. Peterson: Anything that helps you learn something is worthwhile.

Mr. Cassidy: We recommend that $30 million should be used for the installation of solar heating units in the form of a $1,500 subsidy for 20,000 new houses every year that would be outfitted with solar heating equipment. That too is a major kind of program, not the Mickey Mouse stuff that the Treasurer has been offering. That’s a quarter or a fifth of the new homes being built in the province, which should be equipped with solar heating equipment. Once that market existed in Ontario we believe that very quickly industry would respond and the cost of solar heating equipment would very quickly come down. We recommend $50 million for the generation of electricity from solid waste disposal projects in southern Ontario. Once again, whether it’s in Hamilton or in Toronto, the bold plans announced by the government have not been taking off and have not been going forward.

We recommended during the course of the election campaign a number of other specific initiatives which I will run over very quickly. We think that Ontario could use every means at its disposal to urge and to ensure a renegotiation of the automobile pact in order to return to the province of Ontario the jobs that we have unnecessarily lost because of the way that we have been shortchanged in that agreement with the United States.

We believe that it’s necessary to provide support for special trade skills for rationalization and for research and development in two other vulnerable sectors and important keystone sectors of the manufacturing sector -- that is the machinery industry and the electronics industry -- and we will have more to say about that during the course of the budget debate in the fall,

We believe that it is necessary -- we may or may not see action from the government in this session -- to ensure that the scandalous plundering of our forest resources does not continue; that the private forest industry is obligated to replace the trees that it cuts, that we catch up the shortfall of reforestation over the past 20 years; that we do this with a view to ensuring as well the protection of existing jobs in the pulp and paper industry, and that we do so with an understanding that almost two-thirds of the jobs in the pulp and paper and forest industries are, in fact, southern jobs which are threatened by the wasting away of this vital natural resource to Ontario.

We have made specific proposals to reconstitute Ontario’s furniture industry based on guaranteed forest resources. Right now we don’t do so. We don’t harvest our hardwoods in the south. We don’t adequately manage our softwoods in the north. That needs to be done and the furniture industry is one sector that can benefit.

We need a much greater degree of processing and refining of ore in Ontario and in Canada. This can be done by eliminating the special exemptions and concessions that the government has so consistently given to companies like Inco and Falconbridge. Those concessions should step and in the case of the small mines that have been granted exemptions, Ontario should step in on a joint venture basis in order to ensure beneficiation and refining of these minerals in Ontario, rather than exportation of the jobs abroad.

During the election campaign we called for, and I call for now, the creation of a Northern Ontario Tomorrow fund to ensure the future of jobs in the north; an Eastern Ontario Tomorrow fund for the economic development of eastern Ontario in a way which we have never seen, Mr. Speaker, under the present inadequate arrangements which the government has in place.

We believe it’s desirable to have a “buy Canadian” policy in Ontario to stimulate domestic employment. This should extend both to governments, to the quasi-government sector, and it should also include encouragement of people in Ontario to understand what their purchasing does when they buy Canadian rather than buy foreign products.

We believe that it is necessary, desirable and possible to free up to 10,000 construction jobs that are presently hanging fire because of delays before the Ontario Municipal Board and other planning bodies. We believe that the government should act with a sense of urgency in order to ensure that those permissions are given and that these jobs are created and that those construction workers now unemployed are given the chance to get back to work with productive employment.

Finally, we made, during the course of the spring, specific proposals for the creation of up to 4,000 jobs in pollution abatement equipment manufacturing and in installation, which can be done simply by enforcing the control order directives which are currently applied to the pulp and paper mills of Ontario. If the government was not asleep at the switch in enforcing these particular rules in order to protect our environment, we would have jobs and pollution control which would help to get more people back to work in the province.

During the course of the budget debate, during the course of the election campaign and new, we don’t intend to try and put numbers on all of the job-creating proposals that we are putting forward. What we’re saying instead is that it is possible, necessary and essential to move forward now with an industrial strategy that secures our future and ensures that jobs are being created in the province where, under the Conservatives, they’re ensuring that those jobs are being lost.

We don’t believe that the blind reliance on the private sector that the government has adopted is going to work. We live in hope that somehow action will be taken by the government and we will be watching their actions over the course of the fall.

Perhaps it is clear from my remarks, Mr. Speaker, just how little confidence I do have in the Treasurer, in his budget, in his budget reappraisal of yesterday, in his economic policies, and in the general path which is being trod by the government. We tried last April to be constructive in our approach, however, and we intend to continue that approach ever the coming months. I sincerely hope that a number of the proposals we have made will be adopted by fall by this Treasurer when on sober reflection as he sits in his cottage in the month of August the government realizes -- maybe he won’t have the chance, I am not sure -- how inadequate its policies are for Ontario’s economic future.

The NDP House leader is pointing out to me that there is very little chance that the Treasurer will have a chance to sit by his cottage during the month of August, unless we decide not to sit on the weekends during that particular month.

We are not putting forward a motion of no confidence today, Mr. Speaker, because our opinions on the government are well known. Our options are open until December. Also, only 2½ weeks after the election we understand as clearly as the government or the Liberals that however unfair the public were as to who they wished to govern Ontario they did not want the past election, and they do not want another one very soon. We said very clearly, and I say very clearly, that where we disagree with the government on legislation, we will oppose them. We intend to work in that spirit, but so long as our unemployment rolls swell and the province’s economy stagnates, we will do everything in our power to press for an economic policy that deals with the real problems that face Ontario.

On motion by Mr. Maeck the debate was adjourned.


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

Mr. Acting Speaker: Is there any discussion?

Mr. Cassidy: The Liberals were asleep at the switch again.

Mr. Swart: They have nothing to say.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: What is it, the rule on perpetuities or the warble fly Act?

Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, I had expected the official opposition to be up first, but at any rate I am prepared to discuss this bill.

Mr. McClellan: The opposition is up first, Marion.

Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, this bill implements new federal-provincial fiscal arrangements which became effective April 1, 1977. It also establishes Ontario’s income tax rate for next year.

There appears to be a very significant change in the provincial income tax rate in this bill. It rises from 30.5 per cent of the federal tax in 1977 to a proposed 44 per cent of the federal tax for 1978. However, this change really reflects a very substantial change in the federal-provincial fiscal and cost-sharing arrangements, which as I said became effective at the beginning of this fiscal year.

The federal payments for programs such as medicare and hospitalization and post secondary education are being curtailed to some extent. Other federal payments are being partly replaced by the transfer of tax room to the provinces. And so you have to look at the whole package before you can assess the effect of this proposed change in the provincial rate.

The transfer of tax room did have a very fortuitous effect for the federal Liberal government. It enabled them to appear to have made a substantial reduction in their expenditures. But in effect, the expenditures have simply been transferred to the provinces which are expected to raise the amount of money that was represented by those transfers through provincial income taxes. People should not be misled by the amount of back patting that the federal Liberals did regarding their cut in their expenditures in their last budget.

Mr. Peterson: How many of you have noticed that?


Ms. Bryden: The new arrangements do provide more flexibility to the provinces. They have more opportunity to choose their own priorities. They do mean an end to open-ended federal support of certain programs and they may mean that the have-not provinces will not benefit as much in the future as they have in the past. I am also concerned that the new arrangements may limit the opportunities for federal initiatives for necessary extensions of existing programs. If prescription drugs could be provided more efficiently through the public sector than through the private sector, as I think they could, at really less cost to the purchaser, then you need federal initiatives to get such an extension that will be applied across the country.

In fact, I think we must look at all these federal-provincial changes in the light of the necessity in this country of having the principle accepted that all Canadians, regardless of where they live, are entitled to a basic level of services, and the only way we will achieve national unity is if we recognize that principle. For that reason we must continue to support equalization formulas and opportunity for national initiatives in improving services for all Canadians.

Turning to the nitty-gritty of the bill, shall we say, as I mentioned, it is necessary to adjust the provincial income tax rate to take up the vacated tax room. The objective, presumably, is to provide no additional burden on the taxpayer by the time you add and subtract what he would pay to the federal government and what he would pay to the provincial government. However, the provincial Treasurer has indicated in his budget paper that a provincial tax rate of 43.63 per cent would probably produce the equivalent burden on the taxpayer that the previous arrangements provided.

The requirement of the legislation is that you must adjust whatever rate is thrown up by the calculation to the nearest half per cent. What the provincial Treasurer has done, rather than knocking the 43.63 down to 43.5 --

Mr. Peterson: What did Saskatchewan do?

Mr. Cassidy: Where did you come from?

Mr. Deans: Why would we care? This is Ontario.

Ms. Bryden: -- he raised it to 44 per cent.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member for Beaches-Woodbine has the floor.

Mr. Martel: The member for London Centre had an opportunity to speak and he passed it up.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Peterson: Count me out.

Ms. Bryden: So there is slightly more money being taken from all taxpayers in this province than they would have paid if the previous arrangements had been kept in effect.

Mr. Kerrio: We will only give him equal time.

Ms. Bryden: However, when it came to the adjustment in the dividend tax credit, which also had to be adjusted because of the change in the tax base, it was a case of raising the dividend tax credit per $1,000 by $9 rather than dropping it. So this government appears to be carrying on its tradition of favouring the well-to-do, who are the math ones to benefit from dividend tax credit, but putting the extra burden on all the ordinary taxpayers.

Also, if you study the chart which the provincial Treasurer provided in his budget speech, chart 1, page 17 of budget paper B, you will see that the change in the tax burden on various income levels does not go up in a straight progression. There is a slight reduction in tax burden for the people of $10,000 and under due to various changes which we commend. But the interesting thing is that the $15,000 taxpayer will pay more. As a result of these tax changes, he will have a greater increase dollarwise than the $20,000 and $21,000 taxpayer. That anomaly is something that I would like the provincial Treasurer to explain -- as to why the rate could not have been arranged so that those people between $15,000 and $21,000 seem to be paying less of an increase than those at the $15,000 level.

The fact that we now have additional tax room offered by the federal government and are taking advantage of it, plus a slight increase that is hidden in that smoothing of the rate, perhaps might indicate that there is room for the provincial Treasurer to reconsider his opposition to a transfer of one or two points of income tax to the municipalities. BC has just recently done this; I don’t think they are a socialist government out there, but they have transferred a portion of the income and other taxes to the municipalities. Of course, Manitoba has been doing this for quite a while. But now that we do have more tax room, it is possible that the Treasurer might share some of it with the municipalities.

I would also have liked to have seen in this legislation some attempt to make our tax system more progressive. There was a recent study done of the income tax, both federal and provincial. It was written up in The Canadian Tax Journal for March/April, 1977. It was a study by Gregory Jarvis and Roger S. Smith, called “Real Income and Average Tax Rates: An Extension for the 1970-1975 Period.”

What these gentlemen have done is analyse the effect of the tax changes in that period, federally and provincially. They have come to the conclusion, and I quote, on page 215 of that journal: “However, it should be noted that the middle income classes appear to have benefited least in terms of absolute changes in average tax rates from 1970 to 1975.”

So they confirm what a lot of us have been suspecting that the middle income groups in this province, as in Canada as a whole, are the heaviest taxed. And this is something that this government is doing nothing to correct.

They are giving relief to the lowest income tax earners, in accordance with the federal relief that came in the last budget, and we commend them for that. Anybody who does not pay federal income tax will no longer pay provincial income tax, if this bill is passed. But the government still has not done very much for the people who are just above the level which is being relieved of income tax.

For example, there was a study done and published in the Globe and Mail, April 23, 1976, comparing how a year ago the various provinces compared on the amount of tax paid when you added together federal and provincial income tax, health premiums and property tax, assuming an average property tax of $480. It showed that the province with the highest burden on a family of four earning $8,226 a year was Ontario. That family would pay $1,078 in total taxes of the kinds I mentioned.

So you can see that we do not have the most progressive tax system, particularly because we have this very regressive OHIP premium system. Very few other provinces finance their OHIP by straight premiums; they do it out of general revenue, which is a more progressive method.

I would have hoped that the legislation included more tax credits and that overall we would rely on fewer regressive taxes such as the increase on motor vehicle registration fees proposed in the budget which is another regressive tax and which are being increased from 30 to 50 per cent as a result of the budget. Of course, we all know that people don’t necessarily buy their cars according to their income. In a lot of cases, people who buy second-hand cars often have to buy the bigger ones, so they’re going to be stuck with a 50 per cent increase in registration fees.

There is one other item I would have liked to have seen in the bill. It is not there and I drew the attention of the Treasurer and the Minister of Revenue to this a year ago --

Mr. Peterson: Point of order.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member has a point of order?

Mr. Martel: What’s your point of order?

Mr. Peterson: Is it not necessary for a speaker to address remarks to a particular bill and not wander all over the place? There is a particular small bill in front of us and she is discussing everything under the sun. It seems to me there has got to be some kind of direction in her remarks or we will be here for the next six months.

Mr. Acting Speaker: The hon. member will continue. I would hope that she would keep her remarks a little more to the principle of the bill and not on the philosophy of the various political parties. Perhaps she would continue.

Mr. Martel: Marion, you’re on.

Ms. Bryden: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I’m on my last points, I may assure you.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member will continue. The Chair cannot hear her.

Mr. Martel: Give it to them again, Marion. Take your time.

Mr. Makarchuk: More slowly this time.

Mr. Martel: Don’t be harassed.

Mr. Drea: That’s no way to treat a lady.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member will continue without being interrupted, please.

Ms. Bryden: Well, I think it is appropriate to draw the Treasurer’s attention to the very great inequity that does exist in our income tax credit for political contributions.

An hon. member: In a polluted lake.

Ms. Bryden: The political contributions were put in to encourage people of all walks of life to participate in financing political parties instead of having them financed by a few big companies and big developers and so on. But right now the way it is administered, the people of, say, $7,000 and under -- housewives, pensioners students who wish to make a contribution to a political party -- seldom gain the tax credits, whereas the wealthy man gets 75 per cent on his first $100.

Mr. Drea: How about a new kickback?

Ms. Bryden: It seems to me that if we’re going to encourage that, we should do three things. We should make it possible for the political contribution to be calculated before the pensioner credits, the sales tax credits, and the property tax credits are deducted, because deducting those often reduces low-income people’s taxable income to zero and they get no political credit.

Mr. Eaton: Are they some of the ones that you forced to kick back?

Mr. Martel: You had better remember the document you signed.

Ms. Bryden: We should permit those people to receive the credit regardless of whether they have taxable income. Certain low income categories should be allowed to receive the political credit, regardless of whether they have provincial taxable income, if we want to make it equitable and encourage people of all walks of life. There won’t be very many because a lot of low-income people cannot find $100 to put up, but if they can, they should get their $75 back.

Second, we should make it applicable to spouses if the one person in the family has a taxable income; they should be allowed to claim the political credit against their income even if the spouse made the political contribution. And there are many cases where the one spouse may be a civil servant who doesn’t wish to make a political contribution or somebody who doesn’t particularly believe in it. But the spouse does and makes it out of their very low income; but they cannot transfer it.

Under the federal Income Tax Act you can transfer health and charitable expenditures between spouses. I see no reason why the Ontario Treasurer could not allow this transfer to occur between spouses for political contributions. He is being very restrictive in his interpretation of the law in this case.

A third thing that could be done with regard to the political thing is, of course, something we’ve been advocating for a number of years -- to add to The Income Tax Act the right to make a checkoff of $2 to the political party of your choice. Those are the suggestions that I’d like to put before him.

We intend to support the bill, Mr. Speaker, with these reservations -- that we would have liked to have seen a much greater reform of our income tax system.


Mr. Peterson: Briefly, I don’t regard this as a situation where one makes a complete budget speech and one talks at great length about what is in or not in the bill. We are talking about a very specific piece of legislation here that regularizes certain agreements, federal-provincial agreements, and I don’t think it is in the interests of this House or the members to sit here and talk at great length about philosophies or what may or may not happen in Saskatchewan, or wherever, under each bill.

Mr. Martel: Read the rules just once.

Mr. Makarchuk: How do you break it up?

Mr. Peterson: Because if we do, when we discuss these 14 or 15 Treasury bills we are going to be here for the next three days, and I hope I don’t have to listen to you like I had to listen to her.

Mr. Cassidy: You brought up Saskatchewan, it wasn’t us.

Mr. McClellan: You can sit down right now.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please, the hon. member for London Centre has the floor.

Mr. Cassidy: Were you hoping your leader was going to make it?

Mr. Peterson: We regard this as very much a matter of housekeeping. We have absolutely no trouble whatever in supporting the government on this. We are quite aware that they snuck through a little tiny tax increase with this, but perhaps that makes it less complicated. It is interesting to point out to our friends in the NDP that when their friends in Saskatchewan did it, the same procedure, they snuck in a tax increase.

Mr. Martel: You were going to talk to the principle of the bill. Why don’t you speak to the principle of the bill? You are talking out of both sides of your mouth at the same time.

Mr. Peterson: Everything I hear out of you people is how to spend more money. So at least I am glad they didn’t put it up any more than the little it is.

Mr. Makarchuk: Why don’t you compare their per capita taxes to Ontario?

Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, I have nothing more to add on this bill at this time.

Mr. Martel: What a magnificent contribution.

Mr. Cassidy: I just want to make a couple of comments, Mr. Speaker. One is to comment that effectively by going along with the federal Income Tax Act changes in this particular bill, and we have certainly had the option of doing otherwise, Ontario has decided to grant I think it is a $32 million tax cut which is basically going for big investors, for coupon clippers, who will benefit from various changes made at the federal level and which the Treasurer has decided that he wants to endorse.

Whatever the member for London Centre feels about that on behalf of the Liberal Party we don’t feel comfortable with that. At a time when there is a desperate need to get spending power into the economy we don’t feel comfortable giving $32 million to people who essentially will put it into savings and not in spending, to people who don’t need it in any kind of financial way. I think all of the evidence indicates that for every widow or orphan behind whom a Conservative hides in making arguments about the investment sector, there is about 50 times as much income going to people in the upper three or four per cent of the income bracket. People at the very highest levels are the people who mainly will benefit from these income tax changes --

Hon. Mr. McKeough: How much of it is in pension money?

Mr. Cassidy: -- and it is the Treasurer who feels that that is a worthy kind of a policy to carry out at this particular time. The other point I want to make is this, that in going along with the established programs financing Ontario has also taken upon itself both a certain amount of federal money which did not exist before for programs which have been under-developed in this province. Also it has acquired flexibility in a number of formerly shared-cost programs to carry out these programs with our own priorities, rather than having to constantly jump to whatever the federal government says should be done.

I acknowledge, and in fact agree with some of the frustrations that the government has expressed from time to time about the difficulties of working shared-cost programs. I don’t differ from the government on that particular point. However, now that we have that freedom it would be encouraging if we can very quickly see the government use that freedom in order to come up with innovative approaches in the field of social services, in the field of education, and in the field of health care.

I am afraid from the recent experience that, far from having innovative approaches, what we have is a government which sort of takes a tentative step or two and then draws back and says no we can’t do it, the establishment in this particular field is too strong for us. we don’t want to move, our own civil servants tell us it can’t be done and we haven’t got the guts or the gumption to do it.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please, perhaps the hon. member might direct his comments to the specific principle of this bill as outlined rather than using it for a general budget debate.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, with great respect, the increase from 30.5 per cent to 44 per cent in the Ontario income tax rate is the major feature in the new agreement with Ottawa and that is what I am touching on at this time, I think this is entirely within order and I really don’t feel it is incumbent on you, Mr. Speaker, to try and stop a debate which is completely in order. There were other times, when I admit it is possible we strayed a bit, but this time I don’t feel I am straying at all. I just want to point out to you, Mr. Speaker, that this new tax arrangement is discussed at great length in about a 20-page budget paper, budget paper B on the federal-provincial fiscal reforms. It seems to me it is appropriate to comment on one or two of the comments made there during the course of debate on this particular bill.

I point out that one of the arrangements is that starting in 1977-1978 the federal government is to pay $20 cash per capita in respect of such health-related services as nursing homes, intermediate care, lower level residential care for adults, the health aspects of home care and those aspects of home care and those aspects of ambulatory health services not previously covered under the hospital insurance agreements.

The Treasurer has put his finger on specific areas which are grossly underdeveloped in Ontario and where we need to act. The government now has a payment of $160 million coming in to the Treasury in order to encourage that kind of innovative health care. We believe those steps should be taken and that opening should be exploited very quickly and not ignored. I fear the Treasurer and his government with the cutbacks they have imposed over the last two years do not understand at all why that is desirable and will not respond to these new fiscal arrangements in the spirit with which they have been entered into on behalf of the federal government and, I believe, on behalf of the other provinces.

Not only will the people of Ontario suffer as a consequence of that, but I also believe that the taxpayers of Ontario will in the long run suffer. If we continue to have institutional care at the rate and the cost that we’ve been having under the PC government, we will be spending ourselves into perdition as far as Ontario is concerned. We need those innovative approaches. We need a commitment to change in the delivery of social services and the delivery of health services. I am afraid we haven’t had that commitment in the past. I hope we will see it in the future with the adoption of this bill.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Is there any further discussion on second reading of this bill?

Mr. Cassidy: What about the minister?

Mr. Acting Speaker: Does the hon. minister wish to comment?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, I have perhaps two or three points. Tempted as I am to agree with the member for London Centre and say this is a matter of housekeeping, although the bill itself may be, it does reflect something like five or six years of intense work on the part of my staff in Treasury and my predecessors and certain other provinces which ultimately convinced the federal government that what came to be called the established program financing package was a correct way in which to go.

I would take this opportunity to congratulate my staff and all those, and indeed federal officials, who over a series of meetings finally hammered out a proposal which I think by and large was not unfair, although when one looks at the table on page 10 of the budget paper on federal provincial fiscal reform on just what happened in terms of tax reform, one will see that under the new arrangements, despite the fact we are receiving $20 per capita we are receiving according to that table something like $150 million less than we did under the old arrangements. I simply caution the big spender from Ottawa Centre that the room for innovation is not quite as apparent as he would have us believe.

I would further point out to the member for Ottawa Centre who has concerned himself about the dividend tax credit and the change that was made -- and he impugned the fact that the Liberal Party was concerned about the pensioner and the widow who owned shares -- that despite that fact that most of the money went to the big people, as he called them, he should take a look at the proportion today held by pension plans of this province on behalf of some very little people, on behalf of organized labour, among others, and people who have been in the work force. I would point out how very much their dependency is on the investments that have been made on their behalf in pension plans and investments in equities --

Mr. Cassidy: That’s completely irrelevant.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: -- in which dividends are important. I also tell the hon. member there’s another little word that’s important too; that’s profit, and nowhere are profits more important than in the pension plans of the people who his party supposedly thinks at times it represents, organized labour in this province.

Finally, I would make one further comment with respect to two remarks of the member for Beaches-Woodbine. First of all, the political tax credit in no way is meant to be a function or to be used as a function of income distribution. We reject the argument which she has made, that in fact it would be a function of income distribution. That is not the purpose of the credit.

Ms. Bryden: You don’t want the poor people to participate.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Secondly, she has made a point about table 8. I would simply point out, in answer to her question as to why table 8 turns out the way it does, the specific answer is that the federal government in developing its new table went from 28.16 per cent to 28 per cent, whereas the rates immediately below that were rounded up rather than rounded down. Having said all that, I would point out to the hon. member that regarding a gross income of $20,000, as compared with a gross income of $25,000, the tax increase is all of $4.27 for a married taxpayer with two dependants; or, for a single pensioner, it works out to $4.34 over a full year, which is hardly, if I might be so bold as to say so, an earth-shattering amount. But I’m glad that the member noticed it.

Ms. Bryden: May I correct the Treasurer? I was referring to chart 1, not to table 8, where it is talking about taxable income of $20,000 and not gross income. He was answering about table 8. I was just referring to chart 1.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Chart 1?

Ms. Bryden: On page 16 of budget paper B.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: All right. If the hon. member looks at the amounts in chart 1 she’ll see something between $30 and $25 where that big curve is, which works out to about $4 a year. The figures in table 8 are reflected in chart 1. It’s not an earth-shattering amount.

Motion agreed to.

Ordered for third reading.


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

Mr. Epp: I want to thank you, Mr. Speaker, for the opportunity of speaking to this bill. I have some general comments about the bill, and I am in support of it; however, the bill indicates that the regional municipalities will be obtaining $15 on a per capita basis and the non-regional municipalities $10. I’m concerned about the difference here.

There have been some views expressed that there are more services in a regional municipality and that’s why the regional municipalities require $15. The argument has been given that some municipalities, because they are more urbanized, need more money. In speaking to a number of people, the reason they feel that there is $15 as opposed to $10 for regional municipalities is that this was the dangling carrot in front of municipalities so they would adopt regional government as opposed to remaining as they were to have some amalgamation of smaller municipalities. It’s probably not any single one, but probably a combination of all three of them.


I understand too that there was some acknowledgement that when regional municipalities were formed a few years ago in the various areas there would be at least a 16 per cent increase in the taxation of those areas. As you know, there’s been a significant increase in all of them, including the regional municipality of Waterloo with which I am very familiar.

This may not all be reflected in the local tax rate but has been reflected by the unconditional and the conditional grants that have been given to the regional municipalities.

One of the things that I would like the minister to look into is that the police commissions, when these grants are given to them or when a grant is increased from $12 to $15, immediately find some way of spending the money. I understand that the bill reads that it’s an unconditional grant, and yet my own experience in the regional municipality of Waterloo indicates that the police commissions immediately feel that it’s their grant and that the municipalities really have no control over that grant.

I’m concerned about this and I think that the minister should be concerned about it and should do something to more clearly designate in the future that it isn’t necessarily for the police commissions to spend all the money, but that the municipalities, since it’s so designated as unconditional, have the final say on it. Thank you.

Mr. Swart: Mr. Speaker, I have comments that I want to make on this bill, An Act to amend The Ontario Unconditional Grants Act. I don’t want to be controversial when I lead off, but I think perhaps it’s worth pointing out at this time that this will be the first municipal bill that has been dealt with in this House since I have been here -- and perhaps it is more a Treasurer’s bill -- where the Treasurer and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs has been present. On every other municipal bill he has been absent.

The bill which we have before us at this time is a relatively simple bill. It increases the general per capita grant within regions from $9 to $10 and the police grant from $12 to $15. Outside of regions, the general grant will be increased from the $6 to $8 which they are now getting to $7 to $9 and the police per capita grant from $8 to $10. There is an increase in the support grant for the northern municipalities from 15 to 18 per cent and there is an increase in the average level of assessment per capita of which a support grant is given from $10,400 to $10,650, which is exactly in line with the average of assessment per capita in this province.

I say immediately that we will reluctantly support this bill in second reading, even though we think in several respects it is wrong in principle. First, it doesn’t meet the level of need for the municipalities, nor does it form part of a package that meets the Edmonton commitment. It also attempts to cover up the excessive costs of regional government and in so doing penalizes the municipalities which are outside of regional government.

I want to deal in some detail with what I consider to be these two major faults in the bill. I make no apology to the member for London Centre or anyone else for doing that. We’re talking about moneys in the neighbourhood of $125 million or $150 million. Even if we have to take an extra day of the summer session to do that, I think that it is worthwhile to have all of these bills properly discussed.

Mr. Kerrio: Properly discussed.

Mr. Swart: I say that this bill -- properly discussed, right. This bill is part of a --

Mr. Martel: Leaves a good deal to be desired.

Mr. Swart: -- total transfer package of funds for the --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The side conversations are interrupting. The hon. member for Welland-Thorold has the floor.

Mr. Swart: Mr. Speaker, this bill is part of a total transfer package of funds to local government, a package which I suggest is very inadequate. Property taxes in 1976 in this province went up, according to the Treasurer’s own figures, by something like 13.5 per cent.

Of course, he didn’t add to that the average increase in assessment per capita so, in fact, the average taxpayer, the average property owner, had an increase in the amount that he had to pay of somewhere between 15 and 16 per cent. Even though he may have added a garage or put aluminum siding on his house to increase the value of his house so there was a greater assessment, the money still had to come out of his pocket and the average amount he had to pay was in the neighbourhood of 15 to 16 per cent.

This year, it’s perhaps too early to tell the exact increase in property taxes, but I think again the Treasurer has estimated it will be in the neighbourhood of 10 per cent. I have checked the Niagara region, some eight municipalities there which have set their budget and I find that it is just about the 10 per cent.

In fact, the average taxpayer will be paying slightly more than 10 per cent this year than he did last year in his property taxes. I say that’s a 10 per cent increase in the mill rate. Once again, because there will be an increase in assessment the property taxpayer will be paying in the neighbourhood of 11 or 12 per cent more in dollars in his property taxes this year than he was last year. So much for the AIB guidelines, or any other level of income, or standard of living, or cost of living that we want to compare it with; it’s above all of them.

From 1975 to 1976, the percentage of household income being paid out in taxes went up slightly from 2.4 to 2.5 per cent, and again this is from the Treasurer’s own report. I suggest that this is not a true indication, because the property tax credit has not been increased and the facts are that those on the low income, therefore, had a net increase in property taxes of substantially more than the 15 or 16 per cent in 1976 and substantially more than the 11 to 12 per cent which they will have this year.

I presented the Treasurer, about a year ago, with a table that indicated the effects of not increasing the property tax credit. He said he would take a look at it but I’ve heard nothing from him since that time on this matter. That table showed that for a person with a $3,000 income, if there was a gross increase in his taxes of 15 per cent, it would mean his net increase would be in the neighbourhood of 20 per cent. That holds true generally across this province, that those in the lower incomes, because the property tax credit is not being increased, are paying substantially higher percentages of net increase than those in the higher incomes. I suggest that when we have these kinds of increases the reverse should be true, that those in the lower incomes should be paying less.

I’d be glad, again, to supply the Treasurer with that table if he would like to have it.

These increases are entirely due, or almost entirely due, to the cutback in the transfer increases to local government. Again, using the tables of the Treasurer, the increases in 1974 over 1973 were 14.6 per cent. In 1975, the increases in transfers went up to 24 per cent, In 1976, they were cut back to 7.9 per cent and in 1977, to 7.8 per cent. This is largely what has caused the dramatic increase in property taxes in 1976 and again this year. Not only is it that cutback, although that is the major factor, but the reason that many municipalities have to spend more is because of the policy of the government of this province. I’m not criticizing all of that policy.

Mr. Gregory: I am sure glad you are not.

Mr. Swart: Some of the things which they have encouraged and in some respects ordered are things which should be done. We are having a better sewage treatment than we were having five or 10 years ago. Phosphate is being removed, and I don’t object to this. There are better ways now, but more costly ways, of solid waste disposal, and the increase in the Ontario government’s hydro rates have been a factor in the municipal tax rate. So I say that when municipalities have been forced by the Ontario government to increase their expenditures in many fields, there is some irony about the government relatively cutting back the amount of funds that they are supplying to the municipalities.

There’s another factor too this year, in the inadequacy of the transfer payments in this bill and the general policy. That is that it has not lived up to the Edmonton commitment which was given on October 22 and 23, 1973. The then Treasurer of this province promised in Edmonton at that time and I quote: “The Ontario government therefore gives this guarantee to its local governments: provincial assistance in future years will grow at a rate not less than the growth rate of Ontario’s total revenues.”

Mr. Warner: Hollow words.

Mr. Swart: That was juggled around in a number of ways in subsequent years and subsequent statements given that year but it never got lower than the statement that Ontario’s financial transfers to local government will grow at the rate of its total revenues. They took out the words “not less” but at least they said it would grow --

Mr. Reid: Is that the Edmonton commitment?

Mr. Swart: -- at the rate of its total revenues.

I think we are aware that this year the Ontario government has withheld $108 million of the amount that would have lived up to that Edmonton commitment. If that had been paid, perhaps the average property tax rate in this province would have been no more than the rates which the AIB allows with regard to wages -- but the Ontario government took upon itself to withhold $108 million from the municipalities.

My colleague from Riverdale (Mr. Renwick) made some comment in one of the debates yesterday that he hoped the six new members who took the NDP seats would be speaking on issues and making as much contribution as the NDP members had. I would just like to hear --

Mr. Reid: That is not a hard act to follow.

Mr. Pope: Figure it out. They are not around any more.

Mr. Swart: They will never do it.

An hon. member: Don’t hold your breath on that one.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member has just a moment to go.

Mr. Swart: But particularly, Mr. Speaker --

Mr. Foulds: Careful now. Don’t tease the bears.

Mr. Havrot: I think that’s not the only contribution you can make.

Mr. Swart: But particularly, Mr. Speaker -- and I have some more things to say so, after these two --


Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Swart: But particularly, Mr. Speaker --

Mr. Speaker: May I ask the hon. member if he has some more remarks?

Mr. Swart: Two sentences by 6 o’clock.

But particularly, Mr. Speaker, I would like to hear the members for Wilson Heights (Mr. Rotenberg) and for Durham West (Mr. Ashe), who are member of the Provincial-Municipal Liaison Committee and who condemned the government because it didn’t live up to the Edmonton commitment, speak on this particular bill.

Mr. Speaker: Any other hon. members to speak? Will the hon. member for Windsor-Walkerville move the adjournment of the debate?

Mr. Swart: I have another 10 or 15 minutes on a related subject.

Mr. Speaker: Oh, I am sorry. I misunderstood the hon. member. I thought he was finished.

Mr. Swart: No.

Mr. Speaker: Will you move the adjournment of the debate?

On motion by Mr. Swart, the debate was adjourned.

Motion agreed to.

The House recessed at 6 p.m.