The House resumed at 8 p.m.
ONTARIO YOUTH EMPLOYMENT ACT (CONCLUDED)
Resumption of the adjourned debate on the motion for second reading of Bill 11, An Act to provide Employment Opportunities for Youth in Ontario.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: I believe the parliamentary assistant was tidying up Bill 11.
Mr. Jones: I was merely explaining for the benefit of the members who took part in the debate and for the House as a whole that there were a few words that kept recurring throughout the debate that I felt it was important we clarify. I had touched on the often misused word “make-work” which so often crept into the debate. I was about to touch on the word “abuses” to assure the House that we were very mindful of the potential for abuses and did our very level best to ensure and guard against some of the ones described or that some of the members were concerned about.
The abuse probably most often referred to, and one that concerned us as we drafted the program, was that we might have, just as was described, a situation where perhaps people could be released from present work and replaced by young employees so that students or young people could take advantage of the jobs with the $1 subsidy, or rather the employers could. I can assure the House that we set in place a very closely designed program which involves not only the Manpower offices, with their extensive records, in order to ensure that they are legitimate, bona fide employers operating within the spirit of the bill, but also a program where, in concert, the Youth Secretariat is following up and checking those employers on a constant basis to make sure the spirit of the bill and the letter of the bill are complied with.
Also, the subsidies branch of TEIGA has in place an audit that is not only an on-spot audit but an onward going audit, and there will be a wrap-up audit.
So everything has been put in place. In fact, I can share with the House the fact that no less than 10 per cent of the applications have been declined. There was a comparison drawn in the course of the debate between this program and how it might relate to the home buyer’s grant. I can assure members that it is an entirely different situation. The audit as set out here and the inspecting powers under this Act are much broader than the home buyer’s grant provided for.
People who are not qualified are very clearly rejected. As I say, we have recorded some 10 per cent of those, probably the biggest part of them being simply that it was either not a new job or that it was some kind of an abuse whereby there might be a situation where it could be deemed that someone was being replaced. The audits are ongoing and provision is made in the bill for the grants to be recovered in any situation where we might find an abuse.
We heard certain of the members in the House during the debate mention cases, or rumours I think were alluded to most --
Mr. Cassidy: More than rumours.
Mr. Jones: We’ve heard a lot about rumours, and I guess some allegations, that there were abuses known under the program where existing employees were let go. I have talked with members of the caucus the member for Ottawa Centre (Mr. Cassidy) represents. I have talked with one I know of who has come to me and said he had this suspicion. He shared with me the city and the name of the firm, and we were able to do a check. I ask the House yet again, and any of the individual members, that if they know of any abuse, if they could provide us with any of the names we could follow up with the investigation to make certain that none of those occur.
As we make that suggestion, we have in place the mechanics in order to make those checks. I can tell members from the outset that when the program was explained to employers or prospective employers, it was very clearly made known just exactly what the criteria was and what the penalties for abuse would be.
We heard over and over, and I touched on it just before we recessed, the fact that this seemed to be a student program. We heard several of the speakers mention it was a student program, whereas in fact others did clarify as they touched it, that it was both for students and youths generally who are unemployed, more appropriately unemployed youths as a whole with students being a part of that.
Perhaps the misunderstanding comes into play because of the program having come into effect during the summer months. It is probably because we have the biggest period of youth unemployment then. We have heard the figure of 143,000 unemployed as it existed back in April, and we knew that there were large numbers of graduating students coming on the market. I would ask the members to bear in mind, when we hear this statistic of 197,700 coming out of the school system -- sometimes it’s referred to as 200,000 -- that there is a participation factor that has to be applied against that. Remember there are large numbers that might be June brides; or some might be going on to other post-secondary education.
Mr. MacDonald: That’s participation all right.
Mr. Jones: The fact is that somewhere in the early 60s is the percentage of real participation.
Mr. Cassidy: What about June grooms, why do you pick on one sex? Most June brides work if they can get a job.
Mr. Jones: Right, but the fact is I could deluge you with a pile of statistics, and I think there is a danger in that. All of us know full well there’s a very real problem with unemployed youth, and as we search for the answers to assist in this province we do so with a very clear conscience and with a considerable amount of thought and design in the programs.
There’s a danger of drifting into some statistics that are not helpful to us. In fact they probably cloud the issue and make our task, big as it is, even more difficult. So I just share that one thought that some of the statistics that come about tend to get a little magnified and a little over-dramatized, bad and all as it is.
But it is true that in the summer months when we have the normal large numbers of unemployed -- and that experience is being shared around the world -- as we deal with them we have our summer students coming on the job market in their very large numbers. On this program itself though, I would answer one of the questions people were asking -- and they had heard a discussion of figures from as large as a potential 11,000 to lesser numbers -- which of those jobs might have the possibility of being onward going; there was a lot of discussion during the debate about that. Our best guess -- yes, I say it is a guess -- can only be drawn from the types of discussions we’ve had with the employers who have made these jobs available and have gone forward to employ the great numbers of young people who are already in place and the others who are in the process of being employed. As I look at jobs, such as machine operators and all the different categories -- assistant hair stylers and farm labour -- and having talked with, as we have, so many of the employers, we can get some sense or feel for how many of them might be onward going, given the potential of an experience that will lead into a career and a better position and full-time employment for those young people. I would not pretend to be able to be accurate in the amounts. I have said, and perhaps this is where the figure mentioned in a Globe and Mail report comes from, that there was a maximum potential, given the 20,000, that could be upwards, in that figure, of 11,000; or it could be as low as 2,500, given our statistics.
Mr. Cassidy: That is the maximum.
Mr. Jones: That is the maximum.
Mr. Cassidy: What is the minimum potential?
Mr. Jones: The minimum potential could be about 2,500; but again it would be a matter of balance between how many of the jobs were taken up by students and how many of the jobs were taken up by unemployed youth, be it a young person of 23 with two youngsters at home to feed and so on.
Mr. Cassidy: Are there any studies?
Mr. Jones: I made my estimates, when I was asked about this, from the first sampling we have received by way of applications. I might give you an example. Let’s take one inquiry that came to us on the first or second day from a very sincere individual who wanted to hire one extra person. This person was a one-person operation, a courtroom clerk, who was taking on a certain amount of work. The person couldn’t quite handle the extra load, had been struggling under it, but the economics were such that the labour component of a second person, to add to the clientele and take on the extra court cases, just didn’t make it viable. They phoned to say: “Listen, I’m a one-person business, could I possibly qualify under this program?” We described it and they said: “Fine; it had to happen some time but I just haven’t been able to manage; the dollar will make the difference.”
That young person, I would have to guess from the conversation I had, would carry on as a full-time employee and no doubt make a career in that job. In fact there was some talk that it would become a partnership with the young person gaining the experience and becoming totally viable and productive in his or her own right and going forward in partnership with this other lady.
Many of those types of examples have come to us. We have no crystal ball, we won’t pretend to have, in which we can see how many of them will indeed bear that kind of fruit; but that’s the kind of opportunity we want to provide wherever we possibly can.
There’s no doubt this is a first-time-ever program, this dollar subsidy, which provides an incentive for employers to give job opportunities to young people and the young people in turn can prove themselves; there is opportunity here for both sides.
As I mentioned earlier, we found this as a result of our travels and talks across the province. Not only with young people but especially with hard-nosed businessmen, who so very often are the employers, people with an awful lot of conscience about their communities; who want to provide jobs but in many cases that labour component was the stumbling block in that first, early period where the young people were to gain the experience. This was the period when the employer had to decide. Would they take off an experienced, seasoned employee to help train one, two, three, or however many young people; or would they perhaps leave some of that productivity to lay fallow?
They suggested to us the difference the subsidy makes, not for a long term but for some period of time, could be the difference that could give them some extra elastic in their firm and thus make the job feasible and they’d have a chance to be introduced to these young persons, and the young persons in turn would have a chance to prove themselves. That seems to have been happening from the applications that we’ve received and from comments of the employees we have interviewed as we start our program of analysing in order to know more about both unemployed youth and unemployed students.
We went into this program knowing some considerable amount about it with our studies that we have done over the last two summers. But we added to it that extra dimension of working with the Chambers of Commerce, working with Boards of Trade, working with service clubs and employers in every shape and form across the province. This was the source of some of the advice that came to us and helped guide us as we designed this program.
There’s been some very real doubt raised about the chances of the program working. I’d have to say the evidence is already in. We have no less than some 35,000 applications at this point from employers of every shape and form, large and small, farmers; and the forms are in their hands. They asked a lot of questions and understood clearly the criteria that existed for them to be eligible.
Some 13,000-odd of these applications have been returned and we have -- pardon me, we have 15,180 of those applications returned, and we have no less than 13,400 of those approved. We do have 1,400 rejected, as I mentioned, giving evidence of the calibre of attention we’re giving to make sure that there aren’t any abuses if we can possibly avoid them.
Mr. Cassidy: That’s a very sharp increase in four days.
Mr. Jones: They are coming in somewhere in the order of -- given a start of a work week -- somewhere in the order of 350 applications. That’s not to say that all of them are eligible, because they might very well have sent one in and circled that they are not new jobs and then right off the bat they wouldn’t be eligible.
Mr. Davidson: Is there not a farm program implemented already?
Mr. Jones: Someone mentioned about farm programs, and several members have touched on it. Someone shared with us an article from, I believe, the Windsor Star. They talked about some of their worries; about whether the program would work for the farmers.
As you know, there were special provisos in the bill to deal with the harvest side of things. I can tell you that 10 per cent of the applications are being utilized by farmers who are quite happy with the program, who have found ways to create new jobs; and of course given experience to the young people so that they can learn and perhaps proceed from that to a career of their choice.
So while there might be some farmers who have some doubts about the program, I don’t suppose we should be surprised at that. It is new, it is the first time that any program of this type has been brought into being; but the fact is that 10 per cent of the applications are from farmers.
When we turned into this program we were mindful that there are some 2,800-odd businesses out there as potential employers. There are some 88,000-odd farmers who are potential employers. If some five per cent of those were to hire just one and a half youngsters we would be satisfied with the numbers that we were attaining given the funding that we were talking in the budget.
So to have applications that point in every way toward jobs for those young people, to have exceeded our target at this time, means we are a long way from some of the comments that we heard that the program wouldn’t work and all the doubts that were being expressed about it in the debate this afternoon.
There was some discussion about some of the alternative programs that young people could be working on. As we listened to some of those I’ve made careful notes.
I appreciate them, as I mentioned earlier. I notice, for example, there was some talk from the member for Lake Nipigon (Mr. Stokes) about some of the possibilities for young people to be working in the north with reforestation programs and assisting in forest fire fighting. I have to remind us all that we do have many other programs. We have our junior forest ranger program, which is working. We have our experience program which sees literally hundreds and hundreds of young people working in the north. They, in turn, as I visited the north last summer --
Mr. Stokes: How many of them are planting trees?
Mr. Jones: I really wouldn’t know at this point.
Mr. Reid: You also hired more from southern Ontario.
Mr. Jones: I know last year there were several hundreds of them working between Kenora and Dryden. I visited a site last year where some of them were trying a new reforestation program on burned-over areas. I’m not sure if that program is in effect this year, but I know that it was last year. I can tell the member that with last year’s serious fire situation, as it was then too, some of the young people took over some of the normal programs of the regular Natural Resources people, such as nuisance bear control, some of the checking on the fishing -- whether people were complying with the regulations -- so as to free up some of the Natural Resources people because of the special fire situation in the north.
So young people were playing a very real role in the north and, as the member knows, under the experience program this year and the expanded budget, Natural Resources received probably the biggest single number of increases. Of course, the junior forest rangers also had an increase yet again this year.
Mr. Davidson: Do you not have a junior farm program?
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order, please.
Mr. Jones: I was talking about the junior forest ranger program. There is a junior agriculturist program that isn’t in the capsule in the budget. There are several others, of course, taking place. So this government does have a pretty complete package, contrary to some of the comments this afternoon that seemed to imply that the government did not care about young people and their summer need for jobs or youth unemployment.
Mr. Davidson: There is a duplication.
Mr. Jones: There is no duplication, quite the contrary.
Mr. Warner: You just don’t know what you are doing.
Mr. Jones: It is a complementing of one program by the other. It’s not one simplistic program that’s going to answer the needs of young people in this tight market for them. It’s a whole proper package of well-thought-out programs. And it has to complement the federal government’s --
Mr. Renwick: Don’t go too far on that line, just limit yourself.
Mr. Warner: One Band-Aid after another.
Mr. Renwick: I know it is a Monday evening and July 4, but don’t get yourself out on that limb about the prepackaging of measures.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order, please.
Mr. Jones: Coming back to this bill, it is true that this program was planned around what the federal government was doing this summer, so this program would be in place.
Someone asked the question why did it not deal with municipalities and certain other boards that were creatures of municipalities, and so forth. That’s one of the reasons. This program was intentionally designed to complement what the federal government was doing with their particular summer programs. That’s why it was directed into the private sector, where we felt there was a large untapped source of new potential jobs where young people actually need that component called experience where they are eventually no doubt going to be finding their work place.
So, it followed that taking this kind of a program to the employers seemed to make an awful lot of sense. I think the statistics are proving that it is having an impact. We never did pretend that it was a magic wand that would solve all the youth unemployment problems we have in this province but we felt it was an important stride, a first that is also going to supply us, and this is in answer to questions, with some critical data that will help us in future years as we come to grips with it.
We all know and someone was reciting in debate what the statistics were 10 years ago when they were coming out of school. Of course this is a different condition. The baby boom generation is going through that youth transition from school to work right now around the world in very large numbers, at a time when we see the economy having some constraint and restraint.
The fact is this government has taken what I feel are a lot of important, innovative steps toward doing more than its fair share in setting an example for the private sector, with OSAP that was touched on earlier and which had a specific purpose and a high success rate. It is a project we can look on and explore bringing into the private sector. In addition we have advanced our Experience programs to meet a growing need; just as we have worked with some of the other programs we have just touched on. It followed naturally that we should move to the private sector in order to accomplish some of these large numbers of jobs that were still being needed.
I think that as we look at them some questions come up about how a specific employer might fit in, be they a golf club or some of the specific areas that were mentioned in the afternoon. One main thing about it is that the same rule applies for everybody. It’s a matter of incentive for a short term.
In answer to some of the questions about why it hasn’t gone longer, the fact is I think we all know, and it has been mentioned by some of the members today, any long-term solution does rest with the overall economy, and of course a government creating the kind of climate that makes possible the kind of inducement that has to take place for business to expand and create those new jobs.
So for this special problem of unemployed youth we didn’t see the answer lying in long years or many months of prop-up, because then you do come close to this make-work type concept and young people perceive it as that. They want to stand on their own two feet. They understand that for the first period they learn skills; and while they learn to be productive and while they gain that experience, they recognize full well that there could be something such as support for their employer; they understand and appreciate it.
On the long term, however, they feel if that prop-up is necessary it can’t be a very real job. Employers have shared the same sort of comments with us and we have had the benefit of some research in advance of bringing this together.
On the discussion about the farmers, and I see that the member who raised the question is here, those thoughts shared with us we are going to carry forward so that we can have the benefit of them. Probably the farm community is the one community that, while they responded well, have had some questions about how they fit into the program. As the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk (Mr. Nixon) said, there are some people who don’t quite understand how it could apply to them and how the work they have could qualify as a new, first-time job. Yet I say that 10 per cent of them have qualified and are actually hiring young people to work with them; without any of the abuses that we have heard rumoured. So again I ask that if you hear of any of them in that specific area of the program, we would like to know about them. Sincerely, we would track each and every one of them down to make sure we maintain the integrity of the program.
There were some questions about how many of the jobs were going to students. At this point in time we still don’t know, but we do admit that probably we will find a high proportion of the jobs going to students. That’s not necessarily a bad thing if under a program such as this we can take students off that market where they are presently in competition with other young employed, that helps to give them some extra elbow room. So it’s not necessarily a bad thing in itself.
All in all we would have to say at this point in time this program seems to be serving the purpose we set out to achieve, and in fact it’s probably beyond our expectations. We are getting excellent co-operation.
Someone asked me specifically what kind of salaries we were talking, the suspicion being that we might be below minimum wage, or in the student minimum wage I guess it was. In truth we can tell you that it is running higher than the minimum wage. Not necessarily large wages, but as I look down here at a sample I see machine operators at $4 an hour. They are being hired in a newly-created operation under this program. I suppose a lot of them are at a minimum wage of $2.65; but as we travel in connection with our other duties in the Youth Secretariat, we find that young people do recognize increasingly that their expectations have to come down for to start with. Gain the experience; it’s a first-time job -- that’s the approach. They can’t expect to start with T-Birds and $10,000 to $15,000-a-year jobs. They don’t expect to; they know it is a tight market out there. They are grateful for the opportunity to start and have a chance to prove themselves.
Mr. Davidson: They can’t find any jobs.
Mr. Cassidy: That was a mistake. That was a gratuitous assumption that bit about young people and T-Birds. Really!
Mr. Warner: Tell us it is good to be poor; that will be the next line. Tell us it is good to be poor.
Mr. Jones: Let me say this: From our experience -- everybody might say they would like to be in the mill making $6 an hour -- but in our experience if it is a young medical student and he is able to gain experience in the summer as, perhaps, an ambulance attendant to get some relevant experience, he is happy to be making that lesser salary -- even if it might be $3.50 an hour. When you have talked to as many young people as we have across the province, it has to be true.
Experience does count with young people. They know the value of it, they know that it’s the first, second or third question that they are going to face on an application --
Mr. Cassidy: Why inject Thunderbirds into the issue?
Mr. Jones: Well, we just heard that somewhere along the line --
Mr. Cassidy: That came from the Youth Secretariat.
Mr. Maeck: Pay no attention. Don’t listen to him; he’s saying nothing.
Mr. Jones: We heard the member for Brantford (Mr. Makarchuk) talking about the program being sloppy. I have to assure him that it really isn’t. We have given it a lot of attention. In the Youth Secretariat we probably have as our major priority to attempt to know more, to come to grips with it and be a voice of the young people to government, as is our mandate, on exactly what some of their needs are. This is, of course, paramount across the province. And of course it helps government to understand as best they can and garners support for assistance.
I might just say in answer to some of the criticism that we heard earlier that I have had support from the most senior of ministers to every private member within the caucus. Maybe they haven’t been making comments in this debate but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we haven’t totally had their support, their understanding; and their questioning as to how they can improve the constituents’ use of the program which benefits not only the businessmen but also of course --
Mr. S. Smith: Is he filibustering his own bill?
Hon. Mr. Welch: It’s called tit-for-tat.
Mr. Jones: -- the young people, especially young unemployed people who are facing difficult times. So I do urge the members to join with me and expedite --
Mr. Breithaupt: Expedite?
Mr. Jones: -- what each of us clearly knows is a step in an important direction towards bringing together the young unemployed and the employer, so that the youth of this province can gain that important experience and go on to build a career from this first job experience which would be possible under this bill.
Mr. Breithaupt: What about the other 80 per cent?
I presume the parliamentary assistant is in favour of the bill? I didn’t get that from his remarks so far.
Mr. Jones: Oh, yes.
Motion agreed to.
Ordered for committee of the whole.
ONTARIO YOUTH EMPLOYMENT ACT
House in committee on Bill 11, An Act to provide Employment Opportunities for Youth in Ontario.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Before we deal with the legislation, perhaps I might be permitted -- as this is the first time I have assumed the chair in committee -- to express my personal appreciation of the confidence and trust you have again reposed in me, with no increase in pay, in re-electing me as Deputy Chairman. I shall continue to discharge my duties to the best of my ability in an impartial manner.
On section 1:
Mr. Gaunt: With respect to section 1(b) I have an amendment.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Point of order. You will recall when the provisional orders were introduced for the operation of this House, although we had generally agreed we would waive certain orders as had applied to the time frame, we did draw attention to provisional order No. 20 with respect to adequate notice dealing with amendments to legislation.
Now here we are in committee with what is one of what could be several amendments, and as of this moment the government has received no written indication as to amendments to be moved. I would draw to your attention that although the rule says “wherever possible,” it’s quite obvious this member has had what he is about to read in his desk since Thursday, and there may be others. I think in order to facilitate the orderly development of business in this House, we at least should have the courtesy extended to us of having some indication of the actual wording of amendments.
Mr. Breithaupt: May I speak to the point of order, Mr. Chairman? Might I only comment that I believe the parliamentary assistant was aware of this item, and indeed appeared to accept it generally as a point worthy of consideration during the remarks which the member for Huron-Bruce made some days ago on second reading. Perhaps the point agreed can be stressed before the House, because obviously we want to have as much notice on these matters as is practicable. I would think on this point though, the Chair could accept this amendment, since the point raised was, I believe, presumed by the parliamentary assistant to be worthy of consideration. No doubt the stellar oratory of the member for Huron-Bruce will win the day if we only give him a chance.
Mr. Gaunt: Mr. Chairman, I’ve noted the remarks of the House leader and he’s quite right. I must apologize for not doing so. I didn’t have the amendment in my desk for days. I had it typed up this morning as a matter of fact, and I’ve had it in my desk for a matter of hours --
Hon. Mr. Welch: More than two?
Mr. Gaunt: More than two? Yes, I would have to admit it is more than two. But I did alert the parliamentary assistant on Thursday that I was going to move the amendment. We discussed it this morning verbally, and I think the parliamentary assistant is well aware of my intention and the purpose of the amendment.
Mr. Cassidy: On behalf of the NDP, we were aware of the Liberal Party’s intention to move this amendment but not of the details. I agree with the House leader that it would be helpful if we had had a copy of the amendment before, both for technical reasons and also because of the chance to consult on it.
Hon. Mr. Welch: That is the point.
Mr. Cassidy: I want to assure the House Leader that at least this time the one or two amendments that I might have had in mind to move, I won’t put forward due to not having given him notice.
Hon. Mr. Welch: I understand.
Mr. Cassidy: I think that it takes some getting used to on all of our parts. It is particularly difficult, however, in a case where there is a lot of legislation coming through under the jurisprudence of one critic, to keep ahead as far as these amendments are concerned.
Mr. Peterson: Point of order. I’d like to respond, in assistance to my colleague from Huron-Bruce. Notice was given of that on Thursday and was read into Hansard. I haven’t read Hansard, but I recall specifically giving notice before the member for Huron-Bruce that this amendment would go in. I don’t think anyone, by any stretch of the imagination, was caught by surprise of any type.
Mr. Renwick: Where is that? There is no provision for that.
Mr. Peterson: I’m just saying that the intention was very clear. As I recall my friend the member for Ottawa Centre was in the House at that time.
Hon. Mr. Welch: That’s not the point; wording is important.
Mr. S. Smith: I appreciate that.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: The Chair has listened to the observations of the hon. member for Brock and the other observations --
Hon. Mr. Welch: I wish you said that more positively.
Mr. Maeck: The member for the Niagara Peninsula.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: And I must say that he makes a point. However, I would caution the members of the committee that in the future, wherever possible -- I’m reading from section 20 -- amendments proposed should be filed with the office of the Clerk. It would be helpful, not only to the office of the Clerk, but to the Chair as well if we were aware of future amendments. In this particular case, after listening to the various explanations and debate, the Chair will accept the amendment but would hope that the hon. members of the committee in the future would co-operate not only with the Chair but the office of the Clerk as outlined in section 20.
Mr. Gaunt: Mr. Chairman, I have noted your comments and I do apologize: It does take some getting used to.
Mr. Renwick: Not when you have been around here for a while.
Mr. Gaunt: We run this operation a little tighter than we used to and one has to get used to that. I do accept the little touch on the knuckle by the Chairman and by the member for Brock, and I’ll abide by the rules in future amendments I might propose.
Mr. Renwick: Gaunt’s rules of order.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Let’s have the amendment.
Mr. Gaunt: With respect to the amendment, I put the case on Thursday. The member for Mississauga North and I have discussed it at length privately and I don’t think it needs any further explanation from me. Suffice it to say that there are good employers who have started up businesses within the last year who do not qualify because of the restriction under the provisions of the Act whereby a business has to be in business for a period of a year before the business qualifies under the terms of this Act.
I think there are new businesses which could legitimately make good use, perhaps even better use, of this program than some company that has been in business for many years, perhaps a multinational company. I think that it is well worthwhile and that the parliamentary assistant should take into account what the amendment is trying to do.
Mr. Chairman: Mr. Gaunt moved that section 1 (b) of Bill 11 be amended after the words “for at least” by deleting “one year” in the third line and adding the words “one month,” so that the section shall now read: “Eligible employer means a person who has been actively engaged in business or farming in Ontario for at least one month immediately prior to the commencement of the youth employment program but does not include a municipality or local board thereof, the government of Canada or the government of any province or any agency, board or commission thereof or any person prescribed not to be eligible as an employer.”
Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Chairman, I would invite your consideration as to whether the amendment is in order. In that connection I would draw your attention to standing order 86 which talks about resolutions, motions and so on, which specifically direct the allocation of public funds. The bill in its present form, that is, in its unamended form, has been recommended by a message from the Lieutenant Governor and has been in fact introduced by a minister of the Crown. The amendment, I would suggest, has the effect, by virtue of lessening the criteria, of directing the allocation of more public funds contrary to the spirit and the letter of standing order 86. I would therefore respectfully suggest that the amendment proposed is out of order.
Mr. Chairman: Any discussion on this?
Mr. Nixon: On the point of order, you need a great deal of advice. I don’t think the point raised by the House leader is valid since it has little or nothing to do with the expenditure of public funds, but simply the time element involved in accepting applications. It might, in fact, turn out that less money would be spent. There is no way of predicting that. Certainly the amendment, as my hon. friend has presented it, does not call for the expenditure of extra funds. I hope, sir, that you will not rule the amendment out of order for the reasons given.
Mr. Stokes: Speaking to the point of order, I would like to agree with the hon. member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk inasmuch as the principle for the expenditure of funds for that express purpose is already built in, and the only point that is being made by the member for Huron-Bruce is the actual time that the provisions of that particular section will come into effect.
The principle of the expenditure of funds for that express purpose is there. The effect of the amendment does not change that one jot. It just means that there is an extension of the number of people who may qualify because of the time differential. The principle hasn’t changed. The expenditure of funds is built into the principle enunciated by the bill itself.
Mr. Breithaupt: Before you proceed to make your decision, may I refer you to section 3 which is, to my quick reading, the first time the term “eligible employer” comes forward. The section states that the minister may make grants in the prescribed amount to eligible employers, and so on, who hire whatever. Presumably the minister is not obliged to make grants to persons who for one reason or another do not fulfill the particular requirements. I would presume that since it is “may” rather than “shall” the discretion yet remains within the minister, and he is not obliged to make any grants to any person or persons, whether corporate or individual.
As a result, the changing of this time frame, which might be of great benefit to the possible students who might be hired, does in no way obligate the ministry to, in fact, make grants other than as the section 3 already sets forward.
Mr. MacDonald: Mr. Chairman, I don’t know why such a fine Christian gentleman as the government House leader should suddenly become so obstructionist. He first tried to obstruct the amendment on the basis of there being technically --
An hon. member: He is a Christian.
Mr. MacDonald: -- no notice given. Now he is going to obstruct it on this basis. May I remind him of what the Youth Secretariat said, that they hoped they are going to meet the objective. In fact, he was so enthusiastic about the program that he was suggesting we might exceed the objective. In other words, you’ve got a flexible amount of money in there. And we are just going to assist you to meet the objective a bit more fully. We are really on the side of the Youth Secretariat. Why are you playing this obstructionist game tonight?
Mr. Chairman: Order, please! Inasmuch as the Chair was not aware of the proposed amendment and in order that I may have a little time to reflect on it, perhaps we might stand down the amendment and come back to it in a few moments.
Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Chairman, on a point of order. I do hope the parliamentary assistant comments on this because I had understood from the previous discussions that he was prepared on behalf of the government to accept it. I am not sure whether this is a split in the cabinet or what, but there does seem to be some dissension in the ranks over there.
What I wanted to say was this though -- specifically in response to the point raised by the hon. the House leader -- in the budget the Treasurer promised to introduce the Ontario youth employment program, which is what we have before us here, and then said: “This program is expected to provide a 16-week subsidy for up to 20,000 young people at a cost of $10 million.” And then details are outlined later in the budget.
Now, the point is that the amount of money is not changed one jot, tittle or iota by this particular amendment. The decision about changing the amount of money, I presume, is in the hands of the Treasurer of the government and ultimately the Legislature. The amount of money allocated for the program is not affected because a ceiling has been put on it in the declaration of policy by the Treasurer. Therefore, I submit that this amendment is completely in order as simply broadening the category of people who are eligible to split the $10 million allocated for employment support.
Mr. Jones: Mr. Chairman, while you consider the point of order, perhaps for clarification I may add that it is true that I was aware [that the member for Huron-Bruce had in mind what he felt would perhaps be an improvement in an amendment that he would like to bring forward as we moved into committee. It is true that I expressed both here and to him personally that I could see certain merit in that.
However, I also would like to share with the House that I can see some very real problems at this point in time as we consider the point of order and whether this should come forward. I would say that there have been several of those 10 per cent of those employers who have been disallowed and that you would have, to say the very least, one horrendous problem of administration to go back to seek them out if your sense of fair play is going to apply.
Mr. MacDonald: It’s like your first-lime homeowner’s grant. You have had a lot of horrendous problems.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order, please. The parliamentary assistant is really speaking to the amendment rather than to the point of order. Again I would ask the members of the committee to give me a chance to reflect and stand down section 1(b) and we’ll come back and deal with it late.
Hon. Mr. Welch: If I may be allowed only to say this in reply, I do say with the greatest respect for the member for York South that he would be the first person to suggest that rules were made to expedite the handling of business here. I think we have in fact seen some evidence of that even in this bill, where we’ve been prepared to allow people to wander away from principle.
I think it’s important to establish in this early stage of this Parliament whether rule 86 in fact does apply. I’ve heard nothing as argued before the Chairman of this committee which really is a rebuttal to the main point that I raised in raising Bill 86, that it can’t help but increase --
Mr. Nixon: You can’t be serious.
Hon. Mr. Welch: -- expenditures under the bill. It greatly increases the number of employers who may be eligible.
Mr. Nixon: But it can’t.
Hon. Mr. Welch: That’s the point, and we’ll leave it with the Chairman to suggest as to when changing something to a business that’s been in operation for 30 days or a year doesn’t increase the number of eligible people.
Mr. Stokes: Maybe you can explain how you are going to increase the overall amount funded for the program.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Where are there limitations on the amount?
Mr. Breithaupt: Without really wanting to repeat myself, I must say that the government House leader says that nothing has been argued to show that this is only permissive. I again refer him to section 3 of the bill, which simply states that “the minister may make grants, etc., to eligible employers.” What is being done here is to simply widen the class of those who might be eligible to apply for grants. Obviously the granting of funds to a certain total cannot be exceeded. It may be that you will have 1,000 applications where you had 900 before. But surely this does not commit the government to the spending of any additional money.
Mr. S. Smith: Of course.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Perhaps the committee might agree to my suggestion of standing down section 1(b) in order that I may reflect and make a ruling on the point of order that was raised by the government House leader.
Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Chairman, I want to comment on another matter related to section 1(b). May I simply read rule 86 into the record in view of the fact that the House leader is resting his case on that particular section?
Mr. Deputy Chairman: I think we all have it before us. Perhaps we could come back and discuss 1(b) in its entirety in a few minutes or later on this evening.
Mr. Cassidy: Okay. I just want to say then that after we dispose of that amendment I would like to raise a different matter related to 1(b).
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Any other comments, questions or amendment to any other section of the bill?
Mr. Renwick: I have a comment. I hope the parliamentary assistant can assist me with section 1(i) which reads: “prescribed means prescribed by the regulations.” As we are about half way through the period from April 19 to September 16, which the Treasurer announced is the termination date of this particular program, I’m curious to know whether or not the regulation is now available which establishes the program and the other terms and conditions of its operation, in draft form I assume.
Mr. Jones: A working copy of the criteria has been available and has been adhered to through the program. If we were talking to the amendment, for example, just to give you one case in point, where the one-year situation was being discussed, there were criteria set that we might get into if we come to that debate. It has been essentially set, but with there not being legislation in place we have worked in concert with the subsidies branch. It’s its responsibility and the Youth Secretariat’s to try to hold true to the bill as proposed, although it wasn’t in legislation.
Mr. Renwick: Mr. Chairman, I wasn’t speaking to the amendment. I raised it at this particular point in order that we could have available to us the draft of the regulation which, as you say, is a working paper which was used for the purposes of the program.
I would hope that the minister would provide the official opposition and ourselves with a copy of that regulation, because the guts of the bill is in the regulations which will establish the program. They will determine all the terms and conditions under which it will operate and which have been of so much concern to members of this party and others in the House during the debate.
Mr. Jones: Mr. Chairman, there are no regulations available in a formal sense as yet, except, as I say, a list of guidelines that we’re readying to be used.
Mr. Renwick: May we have the guidelines?
Mr. Jones: Specifically the points that we are finding being raised would eventually come out in formal regulations once the legislation is passed. I’d be happy to share the few working ones.
Mr. Renwick: I do want to emphasize -- and I wanted to raise it at the earliest point in time -- the whole purpose of the Act is to establish a youth employment program -- it is to provide for the establishment of that program and the whole of the program is to be established by regulation. It’s now, as I say, 75 days --
Mr. MacDonald: The program’s half over.
Mr. Renwick: -- 75 days since the Treasurer introduced it and 75 days from the termination of the program as announced by the Treasurer in his budget. Surely there must be something which will be promulgated by way of regulation to authorize this programme before September 16. And if you don’t have a draft regulation, then I think that we’re in serious trouble about the bill. I would ask that whatever guidelines or whatever rules you have established be made available to us because, presumably, ultimately they will find their way into the regulation.
Mr. MacDonald: Mr. Chairman, let me just add a word. This becomes more and more bizarre. You’ve been operating for half of the program without the bill having been passed -- circumstances that were under your control, perhaps, are responsible for that. But here we are with half the program over and you haven’t even got regulations. You’re operating illegally.
Mr. Nixon: Can’t have the regulations until they’ve got the bill passed.
Mr. MacDonald: You can have certain guidelines and you may mull over them and reflect over them, but at some point surely, when you’re halfway through the program, you’re going to promulgate your guidelines and make them regulations. I submit you’re operating illegally.
Mr. Makarchuk: Not only that, but you’re doing it with my money.
Mr. Chairman: Order, please.
Mr. Jones: Mr. Chairman, the guidelines that I speak of have been available. There’s no big clandestine cover-up or anything about them. I can tell you they’re contained primarily in the brochure that we made available to help explain the program to employers so we could get the program going. They could allot jobs; they could see if they qualified, so they could proceed. The guidelines are contained in the brochure that was made available through Manpower offices and through chambers of commerce offices.
And so essentially that is the proposal. Once the legislation was passed there would be the drafting of the regulations and the passing to the committee of regulations.
Mr. MacDonald: Posthumous regulations.
Mr. Jones: Also, in appendix B of the budget they were set out in the form we’ve been working with in this early stage of the program.
Mr. Chairman: Order, please. The member for Ottawa Centre.
Mr. Cassidy: Thank you. I say this partly to the House leader. He said a few minutes ago that he was concerned early in this stage of the Legislature that certain of the rules be adhered to. I would like to bring to his attention, and ask the parliamentary assistant as well to pay attention, to section 43(8) of the provisional standing orders of the Legislature which says: “After any policy statement or introduction of a government bill, the government shall table a compendium of background information of the type proposed on page 50 of the second report of the Ontario Commission on the Legislature.”
I won’t read the rest, but I would like to ask the parliamentary assistant, was such a compendium of information tabled at the time that this bill was introduced in the session prior to the election? And what information has been added, if any, to that compendium with the reintroduction of the bill at this time? Because I personally, as critic related to this bill, have not seen either.
There may have been a compendium of information which did not reach me prior to the election, but certainly there has been no such compendium of information right now. I say this to the House, Mr. Chairman, through you, that if this rule is not going to be adhered to then a basic spirit of the new rules is being compromised and being ignored.
Hon. Mr. Welch: That would be part of the budget speech.
Mr. Jones: Mr. Chairman, yes, I understand that when the bill was reintroduced the compendium of information was supplied -- to the library for one and, I understand, to both the critics as well. So essentially, it’s the budget and the information added to that, plus a whole explanation -- the detail of the breakdown of the plan as it has been working to date and as proposed.
Mr. Cassidy: On a point of order. I feel, obviously, we’re going to have to learn how to work this. For one thing it’s going to be like “Button, button, who’s got the button?” I may admit that the difficulty may be over here but I’m not aware that this compendium arrived over on this side of the House -- at least as far as the third party is concerned -- particularly if there was a detailed presentation of how the plan was going to work. I can’t say, from the words that have been uttered by the official opposition, that they’ve displayed any knowledge of having seen that particular presentation either. Perhaps the assistant would like to send that over, because that would be very helpful while we undertake a clause by clause study.
Mr. Peterson: We have not seen anything, at least in my hands, on this particular issue. The member for Ottawa Centre is quite right.
Mr. Cassidy: Perhaps we shall stand the committee stage of the entire bill at this point until the parliamentary assistant can find us that information and give us the necessary compendium. I think it is vital if we’re going to look at the details of other stages of the bill.
Mr. MacDonald: We must operate by the rules.
Mr. Cassidy: That’s right.
Hon. Mr. Welch: We could adjourn then.
Mr. Cassidy: Pardon?
Hon. Mr. Welch: Would you like to adjourn then for the night?
Mr. Cassidy: I’m sorry, you’re the House leader. I believe there are other bills that the Minister of Revenue has got. Alternately, if that material can be gotten for us in a short period of time we can have a look at it.
Hon. Mr. Welch: The parliamentary assistant told you that this material was tabled at the time of the budget. That’s last April. Surely to goodness that’s the point he was making. It’s in the budget. It’s part of the budget paper.
Mr. Nixon: He said “when the bill was reintroduced.”
Mr. Chairman: Order, please, I wonder if the parliamentary assistant could clarify that point.
Mr. Jones: Yes, essentially, as I was saying earlier, Mr. Chairman, the information of which the concern was raised surrounding the regulations was essentially that in the budget and the material that accompanied the budget. Then, when it was reintroduced, I understand that that information was resupplied yet again, including to the library as provided in the rules.
Mr. Warner: You must have mailed it.
Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Chairman, the assistant said, though, that the information which came out this time -- and I would point out that this bill -- what’s the number of the bill? Bill 7 or Bill 11 -- it’s a parliamentary fiction, I realize, but this bill bears no relation to any bill ever presented before in this Legislature -- by consent, material that had been given before can’t be included with it but it can be deemed to be included with it.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Do you give your consent?
Mr. Cassidy: Sure, if I knew what has been given to us before. But the parliamentary assistant has said that there was a detailed breakdown of the plans for the presentation of this particular program, or words to that effect. Of course, we have the budget documents. We’ve looked at the document that went to Canada Manpower Office, although I don’t happen to have one with me. But there was some other detailed information of which he speaks and which I think is the right of the members of the Legislature to have a look at.
Mr. Grossman: Who is quibbling now?
Mr. Jones: The working material that we have for our own clarification and that of the Manpower offices who work in concert with us have consisted of -- yes, the one you talked about that is available in the Manpower offices which sets out the eligibility and the criteria -- and appendix B which essentially sets out in the budget the outline of the bill -- and the bill was intentionally kept in simple terms.
We heard so much suggestion that the program would be ignored, or the program would not be looked upon with favour by the private sector if it was made too complicated. With that in mind we tried to keep all of our explanations and outlines in the simplest terms, yet adhering strictly to the principle set out in the bill.
Further we had some working documents that assisted us in those that would be eligible and wouldn’t -- for example, a list of programs that might be excluded under the bill, such as different commissions and different boards that wouldn’t fit into the criteria. We had those and you are welcome to them -- federal Crown corporations and lists such as that.
We understood that both opposition parties had the benefit of everything that we had available to us as we put the program to work.
Mr. Cassidy: On the point of order or whatever we are on right now, I am upset by this. I would like an assurance from the House leader that we don’t get this kind of situation again. Perhaps one of his assistants, or somebody else in the Cabinet Office, should make sure that this material does come forward on every bill in future so that we don’t get into this kind of situation.
It’s a damned nuisance for us to have to pick up the phone and say, “Where is stuff which should have been tabled?” but which has not in fact been delivered. The member for London Centre may think differently. If he is agreeable, we could probably go through the detailed consideration of the bill in view of what the parliamentary assistant has had to say. If he has reservations, on the other hand, I don’t think the House should go forward without the agreement of both opposition parties.
Mr. Peterson: I think our party takes this view. We are not happy about the procedure, and I think it has been well and fairly brought up by the members of the party to the left. I don’t see any merit at this particular point in prolonging this bill. It is halfway through the season. We are already, in effect, passing it retroactively. As we said the other day, we don’t see any other alternative in the circumstances but to pass it expeditiously.
We do have a particular suggestion. My colleague has moved an amendment. We want to proceed with that as soon as the Chair has a ruling, but we don’t see at this point any merit in fooling around any further.
Mr. Chairman: It has been drawn to my attention that they are still consulting. Possibly we could just wait for a few minutes more.
Mr. Cassidy: I gather from what the member for London Centre said that he is prepared to go forward with the bill. I just want to ask the parliamentary assistant: Can he give us some explanation of what the civil servants were doing between April 29 and June 9 in particular, and why regulations were not drawn up during that period of time so that we could have had them before the House at this time? In particular, what does this mean as far as employers and people who will work under this program are concerned? If they happen to need the protection of the regulations, they will find that they won’t have anything to rest on until after the program has expired.
Mr. Jones: Mr. Chairman, it is true that the program, and we talked to this in earlier debate, is an entirely new program as I am sure we all appreciate. It was a program that had a sense of urgency about it, which was expressed by all parties in the House during the Throne Speech debate in particular. The government worked with that same sense of urgency to try to get the program in place as young people were coming on the market which was being added to by summer students and first-time job seekers.
The regulations were not proceeded with. That would have been presumptuous without the legislation, yet we did adhere to these criteria as set out in the bill and as set out, of course, in the budget documents. Again I say to all the members of the House -- knowing and recognizing it as a new program, wanting to perfect it, to make sure that it works without some of the abuses that people were concerned about -- we were asking people to share any of their thoughts and any suspicions of abuse and any specific information on them that they can give to us. We pledge ourselves to share any information you might wish about how it works, and of course take that into consideration for any improvements we might bring to the bill.
Mr. Cassidy: Thank you. Two other questions, Mr. Chairman. The member for Lakeshore (Mr. Lawlor) has expressed my opinions about the statement just made. The date of September 16 is exactly 110 days, or 15-5/7 weeks after the beginning of the program. In view of the late start of the program, and in view of the apparent very sudden increase in applications to the program which occurred between June 27, when the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) said about 10,000 applications had been submitted, and today when tie assistant says about 15,000 applications have been submitted, I want to know whether that particular date is intended to be absolutely rigid, so that it is impossible for any job that began later than May 30 to last for the full 16 weeks, or whether it is now intended to have some flexibility in the termination date for this summer employment program.
Mr. Jones: Mr. Chairman, I know at this time of no plans for any change in the final date. However, I can assure you that we in the youth secretariat, as we talked of this whole issue of youth unemployment, are very mindful that the problem goes on and not at all timid about bringing this to the attention of the government. I have to say that I cannot close the door on that, that we won’t be speaking to the appropriate minister. However, I know of no plan at this particular time, if that’s of any help to the member.
Mr. Cassidy: It sort of tells it the way it is, doesn’t it?
Mr. Chairman: I might draw to the attention of the members the fact that -- a member drew it to my attention -- section 56 of The Legislative Assembly Act, and in case those studying the amendment are within hearing, section 56 states that the assembly shall not adopt or pass any vote, resolution, address, or bill for the appropriation of any part of the consolidated revenue fund, or of any tax or impost to that purpose, that has not been first recommended by a message of the Lieutenant Governor to the assembly during the session in which the vote, resolution, address, or bill is proposed. I just draw that to the attention of the members for their future reference.
Mr. Renwick: You should draw it to the attention of those who are considering the validity of that equivalent provision in The British North America Act on the basis of which that particular section is modeled. We may be involved in a constitutional crisis of immense proportions over this whole question raised by the House leader. I don’t think he had any intention of provoking a further constitutional crisis over this particular bill.
Hon. Mr. Welch: I wouldn’t want to make John Robarts’s job any more difficult.
Mr. Chairman: I will just ask the members to be patient while we await a message.
If there are any other questions or comments on any other section, certainly it is in order.
Mr. Renwick: Section 2, Mr. Chairman.
On section 2:
Mr. Renwick: This follows along the point that I raised about the technical definition of the word “prescribe” as meaning prescribed by the regulations. I am very much concerned that the whole of this program depends on the regulations which will be promulgated, published in the Gazette, and made retroactive. What my colleague, the member for York South, in his much more direct way than mine chose to call “illegal,” what he is very much concerned about is that some time after September 16 in the Ontario Gazette will appear a regulation, after the event, awarded posthumously -- like the Victoria Cross -- when the program is all over, making it retroactive to April 19.
But none of us will have ever seen the regulation under which the actual ongoing program functioned. I am very much concerned about that, because for practical purposes, if the government doesn’t have a regulation in place very soon under this program, there is no way in which anybody is going to be convicted of an offence for a misuse of the program, or an abuse of the program, if in fact the regulations are not promulgated until some time after September 16.
I’m not interested in the legal technicalities of it. I think I had assumed -- and I now understand mistakenly -- that when the bill got into committee the parliamentary assistant would be in a position to say, “Here are the draft regulations which will be promulgated as soon as this bill is passed,” because the very same regulations provide for the very question that my colleague, the member for Ottawa Centre, raised as to whether or not it’s your intention to extend the duration of the program.
Here in section 2 we have a reference to summer job opportunities. Well, you know, summer is a measurable period of time. It generally ends on September 21 in this part of the world. I’m really worried that in your youthful anxiety to get on with this program you are creating immense problems at the end with respect to accountability, with respect to abuses, and with respect to the inability of this assembly, because of the non-disclosure provision later on in the bill, ever to be able to get to the question of whether or not the program is properly accounted for.
I think they’re really serious problems. I would assume that if what the parliamentary assistant is saying is that the basic regulations are simply going to be a rewording of the documents and guidelines which you presently have, then I’d be quite satisfied. We can then say these are the regulations in draft form which are going to be promulgated at a later date. We can then talk intelligently about the problems which are of concern to members of this caucus -- that is, how do you make certain that the person isn’t substituting a youth in his employment in place of somebody whom he otherwise would have employed in the ordinary course of his employment program?
I think it’s fair to say that with the experience of the home owners’ grant that we are anxious to help the government from stumbling into that kind of an accounting mess at the end of this program -- regardless of your good intentions, which are never, of course, in question.
Mr. MacDonald: Of course not.
Mr. Jones: I thank the member for Riverdale for his comments and in truth I suppose all of us expected to see this bill in place very much sooner than today. As a matter of fact the committee on regulations on which I sit would have expected to see this today. I can remember the House order we had hoped for indicated that the bill was to be dealt with last Wednesday, I believe. We expected, if that had been the case, that the regulations would have been in hand and dealt with at this Monday’s regular meeting.
It is true as we talk about some of the criteria that we’ve had to continually go back to the spirit of the bill as it is outlined in the budget papers in trying to achieve a sense of fairness and an equal interpretation for all the many different kinds of employers who have come forward on the new program to ask questions. So I share exactly your concern. We would have liked to have seen the bill in, of course, way back on the date we all know when.
As to the regulations, I understand they would be available very, very shortly and that’s why we’re anxious to see the legislation in place. I can tell you that the regulations will be adhered to and administered in the same spirit that has been explained during this first period of the brand-new program with the employers.
Mr. Bounsall: Further on section 2, Mr. Chairman. I realize that in my remarks on second reading my questions would probably be more appropriately placed during the clause by clause. The parliamentary assistant did not reply to the one point raised by myself on second reading. I wasn’t in the House for all of it, or listening to the box upstairs for all of it, but I understand that it wasn’t raised. My point was on the analysis of this program. I went on at some length over the presentations which we received in the select committee on highway safety about the need for this on any program. Did the secretary reply or did I miss his reply on that? If not, I would like to have him respond to that point now. How many dollars are being spent and what kind of analysis is being made as to the work of the program?
Mr. Jones: My apologies to the member for Windsor-Sandwich. I would be happy to share with him information on the program that is already under way and what we propose to follow up this program. We have, as I was mentioning earlier, a working relationship with the Canada Manpower offices. We also have the two offices of the subsidies branch of the TEIGA ministry, together with the youth secretariat, joined together in a program to give a very detailed analytical study of all the area breakdowns.
In fact, we already have early reports on that. This will give the nature of the jobs, salary components, and a host of data on the problem. It will, we hope, give the best package of information anybody could have in the province. As a matter of fact, without the program we couldn’t hope to have anything like this kind of information.
As to the cost, we are using our regular staff. They have built up an expertise over the last two to three years they have been studying the whole youth and summer-employment problem. That will not necessarily require any large added cost. It will probably require some cost in computer runs to bring that information together. In the last program of that nature -- last year we completed the second phase of a summer program, a lot of which went into the makeup of this program -- the computer cost runs were somewhere in the order of $5,000. That was being assisted by two separate ministries doing two separate parts of work on the computer runs.
I recall well how we shared the advice of expert after expert telling us, “Fine; you have a program that appears to be working, but if it is new then the value lies in knowing exactly what you have accomplished and where you can improve it.” Without that, a lot of the value of the program goes by the by. So we understand that.
I appreciate your comments. Yes, we are joined in making that one of our major thrusts, to find out every single possible thing we can from the workings of the program, aided by future program design.
Mr. Bounsall: I appreciate that the youth secretary has certainly agreed with my concern over making a thorough analysis of the program. I am a little worried though, with no additional staff being added, whether we are going to get out of this program analysis exactly what we should be getting out. Could the parliamentary assistant assure us that the following data will come forward, or if not, ensure that if not at this point, it will come forward from these analysts?
What concerns me is, were the jobs useful? Were the jobs created by this program meaningful, both to the employer and his profits -- which is, of course, what concerns the government over there -- and to the person who was employed? Was the whole program worth it? Were the jobs useful and how much profit did this generate for the private sector -- for the dollar per hour put into it by the government? I would like to see that careful dollar figure come forward which should be quite easily brought forward if the proper survey is done. Can he assure us that this will be done, or will he assure us that he will see that this is done? I feel that this must be done.
Secondly, you refer to the same type of program run near the end -- was it the Experience 76 program from which you got that or to run this one? -- has that been published anywhere and have I just missed it? Or where is that useful background data from which you’ve based this program? Probably it’s been made available and I’ve just missed it.
Mr. Jones: Mr. Chairman, I heard the member for Ottawa Centre making comment on it and he was the person who did raise that question and was following the progress of that report. There was some delay because of computer runs and some of the things we needed to bring it to a useful working purpose. However, it is in hand now and just being put into the final working stage and it will be shared with several levels of government.
I happen to have, I think, the only copy in captivity that has just come off in the last couple of days. But it will be available, and it’s very useful in primarily the summer student context because that’s who it concerned. To give you some idea of the extent of it, it wasn’t any small sampling, there were no fewer than 5,000 employers surveyed as to summer employment and some 2,000 students. So you can appreciate that that is giving us some very high accuracy.
In the new program I can reassure the member that yes, indeed, we are providing in this new structure a very complex set of criteria that will probably give us a highly accurate reading on some questions that we’ve had. For example, even our early samples tell us what the proportion of skilled versus unskilled might be. These are things we want to know -- who would respond to a program like that. We want to know such things as the proportion of the jobs that were created under this stimulus, as to those that would be individuals, those that would be corporations, those that would be partnerships. We naturally want to know where they are in proportion to the youth employment.
We know simple things such as the student unemployment situation. The north -- say, the northwest -- would have about three per cent of the student population of the overall province, and yet we designed our program purposely knowing there are fewer job opportunities in that part of the province. So that, say, our summer Experience programs would provide something like 10 per cent of the jobs in that area. The same would be for the northeast and so on.
We also expect to be able to determine -- we have some rough ideas already -- how they break out; food service industry, retail, farming, tourist, clerical, wholesaling, finance, and the various types of jobs, and exactly where they are in, say, a Metro area such as Toronto or other regions. We can only accomplish that, of course, with a very sophisticated system but I think you can appreciate just how valuable it will be.
So I do assure you it is being done with some expertise behind it, and not sparing any time, talent or for that matter, if it was needed, the money, to make sure it would give us exactly the maximum we can attain from having run this program.
Mr. Bounsall: Mr. Chairman, I certainly appreciate the work that has been done in the Experience 76 program which the youth secretariat now has in hand and I am glad to be reassured on the type of analysis which will be done.
However, because you now have that study in hand, which I agree with you has a significant number of persons sampled in it -- the 5,000 employers and the 2,000 students -- could we have that? You’ve got one copy extant, but could we have that provided to us -- at least maybe one copy for the two opposition parties, for those of us within these parties who are statistically inclined?
I certainly would like to have a look at that, and fairly soon and possibly before we get through the committee stage on this bill, which now looks like it may well go into tomorrow, because that gives us some idea of the type of job and where it will be found and where it will turn up as proposed by this Act.
Mr. Jones: I would undertake to provide this material to you as early as possible. But I can tell you that this particular copy is a computer run-type document and bears no resemblance to anything that someone could follow down and make sense of and tie to this bill and how we came to be there. I will undertake as soon as the copy is in a finished-up form to supply copies to both caucuses at a very early date. We hope to be able to supply as a follow-up some of our early reports that will lead into our final statistical date on the OYEP program too.
Mr. Cassidy: The member for Windsor-Sandwich is an engineer by trade, a professor of chemistry by avocation, and has a great deal of experience in reading precisely that kind of print-out. I think the member for Bellwoods (Mr. McClellan), who is a social scientist, knows more about, has learned and has forgotten more about regression analysis than most of us ever learned. Surely if the parliamentary assistant for youth feels himself qualified to read computer print-outs, well so do we. I don’t see why that material couldn’t simply be Xeroxed and sent over. That’s the kind of thing which we should have had for this particular debate. Will the parliamentary assistant agree to have that Xeroxed and let us have it now?
Mr. S. Smith: I would still like to meet a guy who was a professor by avocation.
Mr. Jones: I’m not trying to hold anything away from anybody. I tell you truly, unless someone had the code charts that are still at the college premises that created this, with all due respect to the member for Bellwoods, I don’t know if it would be of any help.
Mr. Warner: This whole thing is a mess.
Mr. Jones: I asked to have this for today and it wasn’t completed. They forewarned me that it wouldn’t make any rhyme or reason, even though I’m working with those statistics on a regular basis. Yet I wanted to see it so as to have in my hands the statistics so far along as they were. They have graphs and charts but they have no code to them yet. If the member would just be patient we would have all of that shortly, within the next few days.
Mr. Warner: In due time.
Mr. McKessock: I think Bill 11 is a good bill and a constructive program that is going to allow our young people to get good business experience. I also believe the one year is too long a period to have to be in business before you can make use of this program.
Mr. Chairman: I might remind the member we’re on section 2 of the bill. Section 1 is under review at the moment. We’re discussing section 2.
Mr. McKessock: It was on section 4 that I really wanted to question the parliamentary assistant.
Mr. B. Newman: I wanted to make comment on section 2 and ask the minister whether he can provide me the information that I request. Apparently the purpose is to achieve increased employment of youth in Ontario by creating new summer job opportunities. Is the minister taking into consideration the index of unemployment among youth in various communities, in addition not only to the index but the numbers of youth unemployed, and as result provide more job opportunities to these communities in which the employment index is the greater and also where the numbers of youth unemployed are the greater?
Mr. Jones: I was answering a question previously where I was demonstrating that we do that on programs where we can administer it. For example, I was mentioning the Experience program which as an employer is setting an example for the private sector. Yes, we do encourage the 18 ministries that co-ordinate under the Experience program to address themselves to jobs in the areas where we have from our statistics the knowledge that the greater need is.
However, in the program to be provided by this bill there is no method whereby we can go and instruct employers or do anything other than the same for every employer across the province that falls under and complies as eligible under the bill to make the proposal that they would have that dollar grant. However, as I was just saying to an earlier speaker, it is going to give us considerable information that might also help employers as they make their plans about where the unemployed are.
We do know some of those statistics all this point in time. But under this program it’s really up to the normal working process. Once we’ve given the dollar inducement for every employer that will make them create new jobs across the province then it’s a matter of the employer seizing that opportunity and creating them.
Mr. B. Newman: Mr. Chairman, you are still limiting the number of job opportunities that are going to be available. My concern is that if there is a greater need in a given community because the numbers of unemployed youth are greater, and also that the index of unemployment is greater in that community, and you have more individuals or businesses that are willing to provide the jobs, there should be some preference given to the communities in which that index of unemployment is the greater and the numbers of unemployed are greater. I’m referring to youth only.
Mr. Jones: Okay. We are talking youth only and that was the reason that I brought something else into the discussion, namely the experience. Under this program, true, there may be a greater number of young people in a particular area. This is a new pilot project. It’s going to tell us in many cases. We’ve known about students, but we haven’t necessarily known about youth employed, and we don’t have any help from other levels of government with a high degree of accuracy on it. It will give us some new information of that nature.
However, we are able to make proviso under some of our other programs, namely the Experience program, where we can pick up that slack. Where we know there is a greater need we have been able to, and have, increased the number of jobs available through that program, for as you know we have some 11,491 across the province this year, a rather considerable increase.
Mr. B. Newman: How do you pick up those additional job opportunities under the Experience 77 program when the Experience 77 program is completely filled today?
Mr. Jones: Indeed, Mr. Chairman, the Experience 77 program is filled and it was filled early, and I think that’s probably a credit to the fact that --
Mr. B. Newman: Even before applications were sent in in some communities.
Mr. Jones: Well, I suppose that could happen in some cases. I’ve never heard of any community having that situation occur to it, but certainly there has been a habit by young people, and I don’t suppose we should blame them, to send in many more applications -- maybe a first, second and third choice. So we get quite a flood, as you well know, of applications to the program. I think again it talks to the fact that they know they’re gaining experience, something they are going to need as they go forward into that transition from school to work in a tight market.
We have very intentionally designed more jobs under the Experience program into some of those areas where we found youth unemployment during the summer months to be greater. But we haven’t yet come up with any system where we could do it under this program. Not that we wouldn’t consider it if we could devise it.
Mr. Cassidy: Three or four specific questions; I think they can be answered quickly. The parliamentary assistant gave us some details about the number of applications now in. I believe he said about 15,000 of which about 13,000 have been agreed to.
I’d like to know how much money has been committed; how many jobs have actually been approved; what’s the estimated average length of the jobs that have been approved; has he any breakdown about the kinds of jobs or the kinds of industries -- he has mentioned the salary ranges: $2.15 to $4 or thereabouts -- and can he give us any impressions at this stage about the locations of those jobs, particularly with reference to jobs under this program in eastern and in northern Ontario? I know he’s spoken in part about that, but not fully.
Mr. Jones: Mr. Chairman, as to the estimates of the length and duration, they tend to vary, of course, as to whether they’re purely seasonal or whether they have the prospect of going onward the full 16 weeks. They average to date 12 weeks, so that takes in some of the shorter ones and, of course, it takes in some of those that are taking advantage of the 16. We do have a constant breakdown of the numbers of employers and a breakdown by every town. So if someone were to ask me, at this point of time, how many of those applications there were, let us say, in the Ottawa district: In total there have been 4,763 requested and 1,928 of them have been approved -- now this isn’t the latest overall list but that was at June 15. The latest overall figures from across the province will came to my hand shortly, I suspect, but that will give you some idea. Then, of course, there is the breakdown Ottawa -- Arnprior, Belleville, then Pembroke, and so it goes. So that information is available to us.
You were asking about the proportion of jobs by sector, I believe. We are finding that it varies. Because of the largeness of the central region, which we call the Toronto region, versus the other regions we did break it down and we had some differences.
For example, one of the categories was food services. I notice that in the Toronto area it was 12 per cent, whereas in the other regions it was 23.9 per cent.
Naturally, you would get something in the farming area. In the Toronto area it was 8.6; outside the Toronto region it was running greater than that, but for an average of 10.
Tourist was running pretty well consistently across the province at 8.2 per cent. As we got into some areas such as resources there would be nothing in the Toronto area but in the north there was something like 6.0 per cent, to give you some idea where some of those jobs were falling.
All of that statistical data, as I say, is just now rapidly starting to come to hand, but that will give you some idea of what kind of care we’re putting into bringing it all together to give us a really hard-core, concrete, accurate, province-wide assessment.
Mr. Cassidy: There are two questions the assistant did not answer. How many jobs have, in fact, been committed? And how much money has, in fact, now been committed -- assuming that the applications that have been approved go forward for the time for which they have been approved?
Mr. Jones: Mr. Chairman, the method by which the program works is that we have approved so many applications. We know that the employers are running an average of two jobs per application at present. At this point we wouldn’t have an update as to the accurate numbers that the employer has filled to date. Once he’s had the approval from us, we wouldn’t know how many of them he has in place actually working, because the normal process goes into work.
One thing that wasn’t touched on in the debate -- and that I think is important to this discussion -- is that the student would go to a Manpower student centre, or go to a Manpower office, for example, and he ask about an employer who is taking advantage of this program. Then he can use his initiative and go to that employer, or he can take one of these applications down to a potential employer he might have in mind and do a sales job and ask if he could take advantage of this program.
So there is that type of process in work as well as the normal filling out of applications, seeking something in the window and, of course, following up the advertising that takes place in all of the newspapers. So the normal process is taking place.
I didn’t give the total number of employers here earlier in the discussions. They are in that figure we were just discussing; I think the figure I mentioned to you was 13,000. That’s the number of applications approved and, of course, they are running too. How many of them are in place or how long they might go for we have no way of knowing, except to know the jobs that have already been filled are to run 12 months on the average. That is the indication from the employer -- 12 weeks, I’m sorry.
Mr. Warner: I have a couple of questions related to section 2, in particular the wording at the end of that last sentence, which is “will provide young people with work experience and skills that better equip them for full-time participation in the labour market.” Unless I am mistaken, there already is some jurisdiction for that kind of mandate within the community-college system, and within manpower retraining.
I am wondering if you have established any formal connections with the Ministry of Colleges and Universities so that there would be a potential involvement through the college program; if you have any formal connection with the manpower retraining program in the community colleges, and if you have any serious intention of developing these programs for more than the one year?
Is there some way that this program will extend beyond the dates that you mention? I don’t mean as a specific program, but the concept of it. In other words, do you have some idea in mind of working with the community-college program? In many cases, in many of those programs offered in community colleges, the idea is, through part-time work, to bring about the kinds of skills needed to equip students to participate in the workforce.
That’s the idea behind many of those courses in the community college, and similarly with the Manpower retraining program. There are sufficient faults in that Manpower retraining program that what you have set out here could, in fact, be worked into a Manpower retraining program if you worked at it.
Now there is nothing in the bill to indicate that you have any intention beyond the date specified, or that you have any intention to take the concepts of this and work with the community colleges, or with Manpower retraining. I would be interested in knowing if the thought had occurred to you at all, or if you have any specific plans whatsoever.
Mr. Jones: Given the problem of youth unemployment, the government -- as I think is clearly demonstrated and set out in the budget -- is looking at new, innovative ideas on a constant basis.
Yet we do want them to be well thought out, carefully designed and piloted despite the urgency that we are up against with the large numbers.
We don’t, through OYEP, have anything in mind like what the member is discussing. But we have a very open mind about the whole thing. The government did, as you know, in that very same budget, allocate from the 1976-77 funding of $3.5 million a rather dramatic increase to 7.4 for OSAP, which is very kindred to the type of program you are discussing.
The Minister of Colleges and Universities (Mr. Parrott) is very much a proponent of the program, and has demonstrated a very high success rate. I understand there are programs in that ministry to bring it forward.
The member asked if we stay in close contact with that ministry. I can assure you we do. For example, one of the programs is Venture Capital, which gives young people opportunities to work in the summer, creating their own jobs, and there’s the summer achievement program operating in concert with the Ministry of Colleges and Universities. I would say that in pretty much all of our work we would be in close and constant contact, as we will as we go forward with new programs of design.
Mr. Warner: Part of that question was left unanswered: the Manpower retraining. One of the constant criticisms of that program was that there was not a sufficient amount of time for work experience. I am wondering if there is any way through your Act whereby a person who is part of the Manpower training program could also be eligible for your program which would supply the work experience which isn’t met by Manpower training.
I realize Manpower retraining is a federal program and that you would have to negotiate that sort of arrangement. But what I am concerned about, from the students that I have met over the past while, is that the person who is into that Manpower retraining program often is a person who desperately needs that work experience, who lacks confidence in going back into a work situation, who has had some difficult times in previous jobs, and for a variety of reasons is into the Manpower retraining program, but really needs that work experience. For whatever reasons, the federal government doesn’t see fit to add in enough work experience weeks, and I am wondering if that can be compensated for through your program.
Mr. Jones: I know of no reason why some youngster couldn’t be a recipient of a job in this program here, and that same young person would be able to fit that around Canada Manpower training, or some kind of training in a college or another program design. We have tried to be as fair as possible with the examples -- people ask them about the minimum number of work weeks that they would provide under the program. I think we would be inclined to be especially so where it was married up with our intention to help them gain experience. Of course, wherever they can get the confidence that comes with that experience, if they do need some Manpower retraining off the actual job site, we would be more than 100 per cent in favour of it. I couldn’t see us ever letting the program work counter to that avowed intention.
Mr. Makarchuk: Mr. Chairman, I am a little bothered by that section as well, and I suppose it would be okay if the --
Mr. Chairman: Did the hon. member mention section 12 or section 2?
Mr. Makarchuk: Section 2, Mr. Chairman. It would be fine if the section ended up “by creating new summer job opportunities.” Period. But the section continues and says it will provide young people with work experience and skills that will better equip them for full-time participation in the labour market. When you look at the kind of jobs that these students are taking, and the kind of jobs that are available for them -- you are a gas jockey, or you are a floor sweeper, or you are a dishwasher, or a waiter, or you are a canning plant worker, or you are a fish filleter, or a chicken plucker, or something like that -- those are the kinds of jobs that are available.
In a sense, it demonstrates this government’s lack of any kind of commitment or dedication to produce meaningful jobs for people who are coming on the labour market. If you sit over there, and if you think that the youth of this country or the youth of Ontario are going to look at this job experience as a meaningful job experience which will provide them for better work for the rest of their life, you are crazy, or just have no concept of what the heck these people are all about, or what kind of work that they deserve, or what kind of work we should create in our society.
It’s silly to put that in paragraph 2, or to think this is going to provide them with a meaningful job experience. If anything, it certainly is a stop-gap measure, and somebody had to do that kind of work, and that work has to be done, and I am sure that each and every one of us here has at one time done that kind of work. But to say this is going to equip them for something greater on into life for the future is just idle rhetoric. It is idle nonsense to put it into this kind of legislation.
I want to repeat that in effect this paragraph says your government just doesn’t have the capacity or dedication or even the knowledge, the ability, to create the kind of employment for our young people so that they can go to a job in the summertime and continue later on to something greater -- that would equip them. If anything, to work in some of these jobs, what it really persuades them is that there is no point in working.
Hon. B. Stephenson: Every job is a good experience.
Mr. Makarchuk: You sit and pluck a chicken day after day and it isn’t going to help convince you that work is the greatest answer to anything like that.
Hon. B. Stephenson: You wouldn’t know what end to start on.
Mr. Makarchuk: That’s all you are doing. Again, as the secretary said earlier, we are going to depend on the private market to develop these jobs and so forth. Well, no other civilized nation in the world depends on the private market solely to develop jobs for its youth or for the people of this country.
Mr. Grossman: Like Marx or Lenin.
Mr. Makarchuk: And the sooner you get off that policy and get to some sort of modern reality -- forget Adam Smith --
Mr. S. Smith: Something as modern as what -- Marxism?
Mr. Makarchuk: The sooner you get back to something more modern in your economics, the sooner you’ll start doing something about jobs instead of just putting nonsense into your bills.
Mr. Jones: Mr. Chairman, I don’t know where the member got his list, but I haven’t seen chicken pluckers on any of the lists that I’ve seen.
Mr. S. Smith: What’s wrong with chicken pluckers?
Mr. Jones: I don’t know that there’s anything wrong with them anyway.
Mr. S. Smith: Do you want a mouthful of feathers when you eat chicken?
Mr. Jones: I haven’t seen one so I’m not too worried about that.
Mr. Gaunt: I want to know what is wrong with a chicken plucker.
Mr. Jones: Don’t put down the value of an experience to a young person who is presently suffering frustration. Only now though this plan a new job has become available. So don’t put down the value that person puts on that job being available to him even if it is a first job, even if it were picking and plucking or whatever type of job that has to do with chickens.
Mr. S. Smith: That’s right.
Mr. Gaunt: Picking and clucking?
Mr. Jones: But I know this, be it in a receiving or a shipping side of a company and maybe it is hefting and lifting, the fact is that he has an exposure, he’s learning the basic disciplines of work and he’s happy to have that job and it can lead him on in a career.
Mr. Germa: Chickens are Tories.
Mr. Gaunt: Who does the picking and who does the plucking?
Mr. S. Smith: It is better than a welfare handout.
Section 2 agreed to.
Hon. Mr. Welch: This bill has had second reading.
On section 1:
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order, please! The member for Brock had raised a point of order concerning an amendment proposed by the member for Huron-Bruce. I had reserved my decision on this matter and am now prepared to deal with it.
First may I say that this points out the desirability --
Mr. Gaunt: I know a heavy hand when I see one.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: -- of having amendments before the Chair in the recommended time before the sitting of the committee. The member for Brock, one of Her Majesty’s ministers of the Crown, was concerned --
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order, please. -- was concerned about standing order 86 and the financial initiative of the Crown.
Mr. S. Smith: You are obviously being overruled, Bob, to get all that flattery on the first part.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: It is difficult to imagine any decision of the House which would not have the effect of creating a public expenditure. However, I must rely on the exact words of standing order 86, the key words being, “specifically direct the expenditure of public funds.”
Mr. Nixon: You have read those, have you?
Mr. Deputy Chairman: As was pointed out by the member for Kitchener (Mr. Breithaupt), section 3 is permissive and there is wide latitude for the minister to make restrictive regulations under section 10. While the effect of the amendment is to broaden the definition of those eligible to receive grants, it would not make the payment of them obligatory. In other words, it would not specifically direct an expenditure, although it would permit such a payment should the Crown wish to make a payment. It would appear to the Chair, therefore, that the financial interests of the Crown are protected and an amendment is in order.
Hon. Mr. Welch: He has forgotten.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Does the hon. member for Huron-Bruce wish to speak to his amendment further?
Mr. Gaunt: Mr. Chairman, I have already spoken to it once. I thank you for your ruling, sir. I certainly agree with it, obviously, otherwise I wouldn’t have introduced the amendment.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Where is that in the Act?
Mr. Gaunt: I am certainly not specifically directing the allocation of public funds as you have properly pointed out. I believe the parliamentary assistant has indicated that there will be, has been, in the budget $10 million allocated for this particular program, and it’s within that expenditure framework that I proposed the amendment. Certainly there is no thought on my part to further extend the expenditure of the government beyond the $10 million
Hon. Mr. Welch: Where is the ceiling in the Act?
Mr. Gaunt: So I just wanted to underline that once again. The whole purpose of the amendment is to allow the qualification of employers who up until this point have been in a position of not qualifying because they haven’t been in business for the required one-year period. Many of them have commenced business within the last year. Certainly in many instances people with whom I have talked have said that as far as they are concerned they need this particular assistance more in the startup period than they do later on when they have had a chance to carry on business for a period of time and accumulate the necessary capital and so on that usually goes with an extended period in business.
Really, the thought behind the amendment is to make this program available to new employers who have been in business for a one-month period or longer. It perhaps can be said that they really don’t have a very long track record at that point, but I think it is fair to say that they do have enough experience and their intention obviously was to go into business before they had any knowledge of this particular program.
I hope the minister will give this some consideration. I know he feels this amendment would cause undue hardship and difficulty in trying to reassess the applications which have already been rejected. It seems to me that that could be rather easily dealt with in that all the ministry has to do is notify the Canada Manpower offices of the change in the requirement. I would presume most of those Canada Manpower offices would know of the applications which have been turned back on the basis of not being in business for a long enough period.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: Nonsense.
Mr. Gaunt: The Treasurer says “nonsense.”
Mr. Nixon: He is just back from the Albany Club. That is what he always gives them down there.
Mr. Gaunt: The program is being worked through the Canada Manpower offices. Surely they have some handle on the program.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: You are the greatest federal Liberal apologist that ever was.
Mr. Nixon: We are going to vote for them, and they are going to win.
Mr. Gaunt: I say to the Treasurer it is nice to have him back.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: They’ll put you in the cabinet. You’ll get your reward.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order, please. Perhaps the hon. members would give the hon. member for Huron-Bruce the courtesy of listening to his debate.
Mr. Gaunt: I say to my friend from Mississauga North, if there is some particular difficulty in reassessing the applications which have already been turned back on the basis of not being in business long enough then let’s hear it, because I really don’t think it presents that great a difficulty.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Just withdraw the amendment.
Mr. Jones: Mr. Chairman, if I may reply.
Mr. Makarchuk: Mr. Chairman --
Hon. Mr. Welch: Adam Smith wants to speak.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Does the hon. parliamentary assistant wish to respond?
Mr. Jones: Indeed. On the comments about the one-year period mentioned earlier, I did say, and I say again, that there is a lot of merit for consideration in a program like that. I would undertake to make sure that in any future program that I might have involvement with that that could be looked at in a very real sense. I do recognize that there are a lot of good new firms that maybe would be able to make use of and give a benefit to the young people.
However, I think the member understands, and we have had it in the debate earlier, that this was not a bill for the benefit of new firms; other sections of the budget as you know dealt with that. Rather it was for the employment, and employment with an experience component wherever possible, of young people. And, of course, the chances are less when you have a brand-new firm, with all the frailties of a new business.
There is a possibility a young person might have the unhappy experience of the firm maybe not having its feet quite down to give him the maximum benefit of time spent with him in learning and training so, hopefully, he could go on.
The other very big matter that causes me considerable concern is that at this point in time -- and we talked about the urgency before -- if we were to have this amendment, I can visualize a horrendous administrative nightmare. If a sense of fair play is involved, I don’t know how we would go back and find all those people who had come through a Manpower office or phoned our office to inquire and we had described the criteria to them but they perhaps had passed on taking on some staff because they didn’t apply. Or how would we say to new people henceforth, “Oh, yes. The bill is in place now; there has been an amendment, so you will be eligible. But your friend has gone without; he called and had to be turned back”?
Hon. Mr. Welch: It is just not fair.
Mr. S. Smith: It is not exactly complicated. If you qualify by the date, you qualify.
Mr. Jones: I think a sense of fair play would suggest to us that we should consider that for future programs or a future plan or that next year is the time we should be considering it. I would undertake to do that, but for this year, for this bill that is already in place, I just suggest that it could be a horrendous nightmare and a sense of fair play is something that bothers me considerably.
Mr. S. Smith: No, it is no nightmare at all.
Mr. Cassidy: You don’t apply that universally, you know.
Mr. Makarchuk: I think one of the things this program typifies, Mr. Chairman, is the fact that this is what happens when a government, in an effort to meet an election deadline, brings in half-baked legislation -- not thought out, not considered, not taking into account all the implications that may flow from the legislation. They try to rush it through, announce it before an election, as a gimmick to try to get themselves a majority -- in this case not very successfully -- and then come back to the Legislature and try to fulfil some of their commitments after the program. If the government was serious about this thing, initially it would have dealt with it as it should have been dealt with; it would have brought it before the Legislature, as is expected in constitutional and common sense -- that is, the money comes from here and has to be voted by the people in this place before the government goes ahead and commits itself to spending. If the government had done that, then we wouldn’t have this problem right now of trying to sort out exactly whether or not we are going to give it to the ones who have been in business for a year.
What bothers me about this particular amendment at this time is that it again seems to open the road to abuse of the program. This is what is of concern to me.
Mr. McClellan: It’s already open.
Mr. Makarchuk: We’ve gone through this before, where governments have big programs -- mostly, as I said, the programs using the taxpayers’ funding -- to buy votes for the Tory party, and they are trying to put one in here. Somewhere along the line, I think this Legislature has to call a halt to some of these things and say that if we are going to put in a program, let’s put it in properly and stop these giveaways and nonsense that the government seems to be so fond of.
Mr. Breithaupt: Socialist realism.
Mr. Makarchuk: If there was ever a party for giving away money, it’s the Tory party; let me assure you of that.
An hon. member: Right on.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: Get to the point.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order, please. Perhaps the hon. member would return to the particular amendment that Mr. Gaunt has moved.
Mr. Cassidy: He’s right on.
Mr. Makarchuk: Yes, Mr. Chairman, I will get right back to it.
Hon. Mr. Welch: This bill would have been passed.
Mr. Makarchuk: When we come to a situation where we allow a business that has been in operation for a month, how do we assess that a business has been in operation for a month? Is it the date they are incorporated? If it is a small business, is it the day he opens a bank account for the business? He could have a series of bank accounts -- for pizza takeouts or whatever it is. He could have all sorts of other businesses lying around; he could resurrect one any time he wanted to and say, “Yes, I’ve been in business for two months, three months, etc.” Consequently, I feel that if the amendment is accepted, we are going to run into this kind of problem --
Hon. Mr. Kerr: Horrendous.
Hon. B. Stephenson: Cynical misogynist.
Mr. Makarchuk: -- where people will be taking advantage of this particular program in an unjustifiable way.
Hon. B. Stephenson: He has sauerkraut juice running in his veins; that’s what is wrong with him.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order, please. The Chair cannot hear the hon. member for Brantford. Would the hon. members kindly refrain from all of the discussions in the Legislature?
Hon. B. Stephenson: You should be grateful.
Mr. Grossman: It is worse if you hear it, Gordon.
Mr. S. Smith: Be thankful for small mercies.
Mr. Grossman: Start over. It may be better the second time.
Mr. Makarchuk: Do you want me to start from the beginning, Mr. Chairman?
Mr. Deputy Chairman: No. Order.
Mr. Makarchuk: I have had suggestions that I continue from where I was a little while ago. It is a feeling that is justified on the basis of what’s happened with the home ownership program, the first-time home buyers’ program, and consequently I think we have to look at this rather critically.
The other point I think important in this amendment is that if it was a situation -- and, perhaps, the minister’s assistant can clarify this -- if it was a situation where the total amount of money allocated for this program was not used up by people who have been in business for a year, then perhaps he might want to open up the gates a bit more to allow other people to get in on this program. However, I think when you look at the rather paltry sum of $10 million in terms of job creation, I have a feeling that people who have been in business for a year or more will more than adequately use up the funds available. Therefore, I question the need to support this particular amendment.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Well, join us and vote against the amendment.
Mr. Jones: May I answer a couple of the questions? I have to say I have shared a little frustration at this bill not being in place. I can remember clearly when there was what seemed to me --
Mr. McClellan: You know who to talk to.
Mr. Jones: -- very much some grandstanding private member’s debate taking place at a time when I hoped that some of that might be waived and we might have got on. So, it certainly wasn’t an intention on this side of the House to delay things; it certainly wasn’t a political ploy.
Mr. Cassidy: Talk to the member for Brampton (Mr. Davis).
Mr. Warner: Who called the election?
Mr. Jones: As to the member’s question about the amount --
Mr. Cassidy: That is gratuitous, too.
Mr. Jones: -- yes, we do have every indication from the figures I was sharing with the House earlier that those amount of jobs approved seem to more than generate the number of actual jobs that those funds would satisfy.
Mr. Germa: Sure, everybody wants a handout, every businessman in the province.
An hon. member: Are you against the bill?
Mr. Nixon: I want to rise in support of my colleague’s amendment because I would hope that the parliamentary assistant would act on his first response. As I understood him properly, before the House leader went up and whispered to him, he indicated quite clearly that he felt that there was substantial merit to the amendment as was put forward, that his only objection seemed to be an administrative one, and that those people who had applied for this sort of assistance and were turned down because they have not been in business more than a year might feel that they have not been dealt with fairly.
I would suggest to him that this should not be an insurmountable obstacle, that this Legislature was returned by the election with the composition as we know it. It appears that the NDP -- if the member for Brantford is speaking on behalf of that party in this response -- is not prepared to support the amendment. But I see that he is undertaking a little consultation at the present time as well.
And I would certainly suggest to you sir, and to the hon. member for Brantford and the de facto leader of the NDP, the member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick) --
Mr. Grossman: Congratulations, Jim. Speech, speech.
Mr. Nixon: -- the pro tem de facto leader -- to look at the obvious merits of this situation. All he has to do is recall the situation that has been brought to his attention as an hon. member -- where people have been turned down by those administering this program on the basis that they have not been in business for a year. Imagine the outrage they must feel. Look at the circumstances.
One specific case I can recall is of a young couple from London who bought a business in the constituency of Brant-Oxford-Norfolk -- a very wise decision on their part -- and they wanted to expand it. This was an ideal opportunity for them to hire some young people in the community to take on these new jobs. Admittedly, it would be a business advantage for them. But I don’t see why we or the Treasurer, fresh back from dinner at the Albany Club, should object to providing assistance for these young people establishing a new business.
Mr. Germa: Hire somebody in the Albany Club.
Mr. Gaunt: You are against all new business.
Mr. Nixon: If there is assistance for them as an ancillary benefit to this excellent program, surely the Treasurer should be the first to speak in favour of it, rather than to cast his usual aspersions.
Mr. B. Newman: It would be like corporate concentration.
Mr. Grossman: You just lost the NDP.
Mr. Nixon: So I would suggest to you, Mr. Chairman, that this is an excellent opportunity for this minority Legislature to see the advantages that would accrue, not only to the young people which are our primary concern in this legislation, but also to the small businessmen. We could take the responsibility as elected representatives to co-operate with the Manpower office and even the administrators in the youth secretariat to see that those people who had been turned down for what we now feel to be insufficient reason are contacted. We should explain that if the Legislature were to pass this amendment, they would now be eligible. I can assure you that it would be a very fair and judicious way to proceed and I would hope that the parliamentary secretary would indicate that the government would support the amendment.
Mr. Jones: Mr. Chairman, as a point of clarification, it is true that I said there was a certain merit -- there were certain pros -- to this situation in some examples.
Mr. S. Smith: Then you spoke to one of the cons.
Mr. Cassidy: Some prose, but no poetry.
Mr. Jones: And I also pointed out, both here in debate and in discussion with the hon. member moving the amendment, that I also had reservations about it as well -- that there were cons. Some of those and the major of them were, yes, to be sure, the administrative problems of it --
Mr. Germa: The whole thing was a con. You were conned.
Mr. Jones: -- but also the fact that you can best guarantee useful experiences and potential onward-going employment from an established employer.
We have, however, been interpreting in the fairest of manners just what is a year and what is a new employer. I’ll give you two points as examples. As one example, you would take a situation where there’d been an established business and there had been a new proprietor come to that business maybe two months ago. Already there has been approval of that type of situation.
Again, you might have an example where there was someone that had been an established business person in one line of endeavour who had gone out and established another business. Maybe it hasn’t been a full year in the new one, but they continue to have the interest, they do have their roots and they do have that established employer background experience. We have been allowing them.
So this is why I am saying we haven’t been disallowing every situation where they are not a full year in place.
Mr. Worton: Now the truth is coming.
Mr. Jones: What I was saying to the member was that it had a lot of merit and that I would carry it forward to another program. But taking the pros and the cons of it, I would very strongly prefer not to see the amendment to this bill, with the program already in full flight and added to those other reasons --
Mr. Worton: It is not what you know; it is who you know.
Mr. Jones: -- added to the big problem of administration -- on top of the other cons.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Question.
Mr. Warner: Mr. Chairman, in no way can any of us over here condone the fumbling and bumbling that’s gone on with this business from its very inception. But at this point in time it seems that perhaps at least some members on one side of the House have mistaken the purpose of the bill, and that is to supply job opportunities for youth. That is different from trying to prop up a small business.
If the government were really concerned about small business, they would do something about it. They certainly wouldn’t go increasing their property taxes by 21 per cent. They would supply the assistance that’s needed.
Mr. Nixon: Falling in love again.
Mr. Warner: But in this particular instance, we have some legislation in front of us whose primary concern is for job opportunities for youth. It is in that light that we must make every attempt to protect those young people who are seeking jobs. Surely it would be entirely cruel to allow someone to be hired by some fly-by-night operator who’s been in business for a month only and has not established any credibility in the community.
Mr. S. Smith: Oh, what nonsense.
Mr. Warner: Surely the requirement of being in business for one year is a reasonable requirement. I see absolutely no reason for changing that. At the same time, the government should --
Mr. S. Smith: A buck an hour. Really. How many references should he need?
Mr. Warner: Certainly not a reference from you. At the same time, the government should clearly recognize its failing in not having dealt with this long before this date. If you were really serious about creating job opportunities, you would have done so many months ago when the planning should have been done. So I don’t accept the excuse that you’ve already put the program in place and, now --
Mr. MacDonald: Not just as a pre-election gimmick.
Mr. Warner: -- part-way through you can’t go changing those rules about the one-year eligibility. I think the only safe grounds to stand on are those that, surely, a year to be in business is a responsible kind of precept to accept. On that basis, obviously, the only reasonable and sound thing to do is support it.
Mr. Nixon: Just to vote with the Tories. You should resign.
Mr. Warner: Who said “resign”? I was saving that for the parliamentary secretary, who has bumbled this whole thing.
Mr. Peterson: I just want to add one word in support of my colleague. It seems to me that it’s just a very little to offer fledgling entrepreneurs, people that are trying to get started. Good God, the Treasurer is always yapping about free enterprise.
Mr. S. Smith: That’s right. That’s all he does is yap.
Mr. Peterson: He is always making noises about it, but doing nothing to foster it. I can tell you right now that the whole system as we know it is going to fail without people developing new things, the entrepreneurial spirit, and giving a little bit of help to some of those people that are starting sometimes.
It’s not a dramatic program. It’s just a little program. But it’s not going to take very much more from you, with all of the administration that you have, to make this thing adaptable along the lines my colleague is suggesting. Good Lord, we should be going to young people and saying: “Start your own thing.” We should be assisting with those kinds of things.
We should be assisting those new young businesses that need help at the critical time. This is part of that whole package, and I say to you that the spirit of this thing is very important. I think what you end up with is the old argument about supporting the status quo. You have an opportunity here to do something new, to give a little bit of help when it’s most needed to some kinds of new businesses. According to you and, I’m sure, according to us, it won’t be that many. But let us not be so niggardly. Let’s give the people a hand who need a hand.
Mr. Bounsall: I would suggest that the government is “right on” in not supporting this amendment --
Mr. Cassidy: No, that’s a surprise.
Mr. Bounsall: -- because of the very late date it’s now coming before us. As the secretary would know, we wanted as much as he did to have this bill debated on May 2. It was a decision which, of course, was taken out of our hands, the fault of which must rest at your feet over there, collectively, amongst the front row of the cabinet benches.
But the reason which, of course, I would give for not changing the program at this particular date is the way it would screw up your statistics-gathering program which you’ve so carefully laid out, and will be presenting to us.
The very carefully thought-through collection of data which was gathered from the tail end of the Experience 76 program, and which we will all have in our hands in an organized form within a few days, as you promised.
I think changing it at this point -- having no idea of how many of those people had inquired before that you can’t get back to again and which Manpower, in its customary way, has kept no record of, and so on -- would be a grave mistake.
I support the government for that particular reason and for that attitude.
Mr. Hennessy: Mr. Chairman, with all due respect, the opposition have mentioned that they want to cut it from one year to one month. They have no figures to verify whether it’s 800 people affected, four people, no matter what it is. They haven’t got any figures whatsoever. All they want to do is bring it from one year down to a month, without any figures whatsoever. We don’t know how many people are affected by this.
Mr. Cunningham: But they never stop the Treasurer.
Mr. Hennessy: What I’m saying is that in your argument if you had some facts -- but you haven’t got any facts whatsoever. Don’t get mad, fellows, it’s the truth. Don’t get mad about it. You’re filibustering and you’re talking about it. But you have no facts and no figures to back up your statements. I say you’re completely wrong.
Mr. MacDonald: They are flying by the seat of their pants, just like you are.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Is there any further discussion on Mr. Gaunt’s amendment?
Order, please. Does the committee wish the Chair to reread Mr. Gaunt’s amendment?
Shall Mr. Gaunt’s amendment carry?
All those in favour.
All those opposed.
In my opinion, the nays have it.
I declare the amendment defeated.
Does the hon. member for Ottawa Centre have any further discussion on section 1?
Mr. Cassidy: Very briefly, Mr. Chairman --
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order, please.
Mr. Cassidy: Very briefly, Mr. Chairman, I just want to reiterate --
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Which subsection?
Mr. Cassidy: After two hours on their amendment, they want us to stop talking.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order, please. Which subsection?
Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Chairman, I did mention that I had another point to raise on that same subsection and it was agreed that I could raise it.
Just very briefly, it is obviously too late to make any changes to it now, but if this is ever done again, I do urge the government to consider the municipalities, which can responsibly be involved in this kind of a program as well.
We think it is wrong -- we think it is desperately wrong for the government to have ruled out the possibility of municipalities participating in this particular program for youth employment. We think that they have legitimate and valid job opportunities to offer. We think that a number of the arguments that have been offered for the private sector to allow young people to get involved and to learn certain skills can surely apply at the municipal level as well.
I see the Treasurer is beginning to foam at the mouth about this particular program. I put it to the youth secretary, who is perhaps a bit more sympathetic.
Section 1 agreed to.
On section 3:
Mr. Renwick: Mr. Chairman, I would like to ask the parliamentary assistant what the amount of the grants that have already been made may be.
Mr. Jones: At this point in time, I wouldn’t suppose that any cheques have gone forward, if that’s what the member is referring to. However, the best we have is, of course, these figures we were giving you of those applications from employers that have been approved. I suppose we can calculate some dollars to them, if the maximum is utilized.
Mr. Renwick: So I take it that no actual payments have been made to any of the persons who have applied under this program at the present time?
Mr. Jones: No, the program came in on May 30 and I wouldn’t think there has been time for any payments to have been made. I might just add, strictly for the benefit of the House, that most of the employers, when we said to them that they could have their grants within the four weeks, said they would be happy to wait for the 12 weeks or the 16 weeks -- whatever they were entering for that employee.
Mr. Renwick: Is it the parliamentary assistant’s intention that there be any further check on the bona fides of the applicant before the actual payments are made as authorized by this bill?
Mr. Jones: Yes, on a constant basis.
Mr. Renwick: What would that be?
Mr. Jones: We have a combination -- visitation is probably one of our main ones and a phone system in addition to the application procedures. One of the main checks is that we visit every one of the employers singly.
Section 3 agreed to.
On section 4:
Mr. Bounsall: On section 4(1)(a), the youth secretary will recall that on second reading I commented on my concerns about the dismissal and suspected dismissals in order that other people be hired on jobs, reclassified and renamed and reshuffled in order that that be hidden. I caught his remarks just before supper time where he indicated that this was not his experience with employers -- this was not what the chambers of commerce were telling him about the types of job that would be created.
Several of his colleagues, when the hon. member for Brantford was speaking, were expressing some surprise and dismay about the type of employer which he referred to who could resurrect bank accounts and what have you that would qualify them within the year. One of those persons was the Minister of Labour.
I asked the parliamentary assistant, was he doing any checking with the employment standards branch for those employers who consistently, in the normal routine of business, have infractions of The Employment Standards Act in the normal course of employment, so that under this section, and under the penalties section referred to in a later section of the bill, section 8, those employers could be carefully scrutinized.
I am not saying that one should not, perhaps, approve the application. But then one should immediately start making the checks. As the Minister of Labour should know, if she has ever sat down with the employment standards branch, they classify employers by both employer name and by firm name. And when you, as I have for five and a half years, have brought infractions to their attention, in half of the infractions they say, oh yes, our file is very thick on that employer. It is that type of employer. When you ask the employment standards branch to give the names of the owners and the establishments on which they have a thick file, that would be a profitable list that I think you should scrutinize; those lists of persons who appal the very people in the chambers of commerce that you have been talking to and who are asking you to run this particular program.
I would like the parliamentary assistant to comment on that, and would he speak to the employment standards branch and immediately get a handle on those employers. The hon. member for St. Andrew-St. Patrick was appalled, of course, at the examples raised by the member for Brantford. Of course, there are no employers of that kind in St. Andrew-St. Patrick. I might say there are no employers in Windsor-Sandwich of that type. They are now all in Windsor-Walkerville, the boundaries having been redefined.
But I would like to hear whether the parliamentary assistant will, in fact, avail himself of that kind of information which is readily available now in the employment standards branch.
Mr. Jones: No, we haven’t as yet. I think I described all the other mechanisms in place through Manpower and through our checks and that of the subsidies branch. But we will take it under advisement. It sounds very worthy, and we will bring it forward for consideration. Thank you for the thought.
Mr. Peterson: I made a mistake. I was under the impression that the member was speaking to section 3. I just have a couple more questions on No. 3. Is that permissible?
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Well, the section was carried.
Mr. Peterson: I apologize, but I was under the impression that you were speaking to that.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: The section was carried. It would be up to the members of the committee whether they wished to revert, but technically the section has carried.
Mr. Peterson: Well, I am in your hands.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: It would seem that the committee has not given consent. It isn’t unanimous. Perhaps we should go on. Any further discussion?
Hon. Mr. Welch: I would just like to consult with the House. It is 10:30, adjournment time. We should normally rise and report. I thought if this bill was very close to being completed, in order to expedite consideration of other bills, we might try to finish it. But I would have to have the unanimous consent of the House. Is there a lot more discussion to go on this bill?
On motion by Hon. Mr. Welch, the committee of the whole House reported progress and asked for leave to sit again.
On motion by Hon. Mr. Welch, the House adjourned at 10:30 p.m.