31st Parliament, 1st Session

L010 - Tue 5 Jul 1977 / Mar 5 jul 1977

The House met at 2 p.m.



Mr. S. Smith: I rise on a matter of privilege, Mr. Speaker. There appears in today’s Star a column under the name of Jonathan Manthorpe which suggests that Mr. Justice Patrick Hartt has taken our proposed amendment regarding the English and Wabigoon River system -- which you know about and which will be coming up later -- as an insult to himself and an indication of lack of Liberal confidence in his abilities. It also said that he felt that my amendment was tantamount to a statement of no confidence in himself --

Mr. Lawlor: Look what you blundered into.

Mr. S. Smith: -- and that he was very strongly hurt by this.

Mr. Lawlor: You have to think before you act.

Mr. Roy: Misguided as usual, Patrick.

Mr. S. Smith: I want to tell you that I have just been speaking with Mr. Justice Hartt and he has indicated that at no time has he felt any of these things attributed to him in the article. He has never considered resigning. He is in no way of the opinion that this was an insult to him or an indication of lack of confidence. And, in fact, he doesn’t understand where this entire article has taken its information from. He’s denied completely the information there.

In as much as being a member of the House, I am quoted here as allegedly insulting a justice of the court and indicating no confidence in him; and in as much as that is, first of all, false, and secondly, denied not only by me but even by the justice of the court, it seems to me that my privileges as a member have been in some way imperiled and I rise on a point of privilege to bring this to the attention of you and the House.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. member has taken the right action by bringing it to the attention of the House.

Statements by the ministry.


Mr. Conway: It’s a dog’s breakfast over there.

Mr. S. Smith: My goodness!

Mr. Roy: Where are all the heavyweights?

Mr. S. Smith: I’ll just stall a little bit. You never know who might walk in.

Mr. Riddell: It is always nice to see the Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. W. Newman), he is carrying on a fine tradition.


Mr. S. Smith: Perhaps I’ll ask a question of the Minister of Housing, for no better reason, Mr. Speaker, than that he’s one of the rare ones who happens to be here at the moment. Is it true that Ontario Housing Corporation is planning to sell small, single-family lots in the Malvern area of Scarborough to builders for $33,000 each, on land which cost the province in conjunction with the federal government, approximately $3,000 an acre to acquire and to hold? Is it a fact the corporation is selling at this price; and isn’t it true that under those circumstances it will be impossible for builders to provide reasonable homes under the AHOP program or any other program to make housing affordable?

Mr. Deans: Isn’t that your normal policy in any event?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: I can’t say the price will be as indicated by the hon. member, that it would be at $33,000. But he is correct that the land would be sold as a result of an arrangement, an agreement, with our partners the federal government and the agency thereof. We had indicated at the time the program came into being that we would be selling the properties at the low end of the market, but I would have to inquire as to exactly what that price would be. I’m not sure the figure of $33,000 would be correct.

Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary, does it strike the minister as being a very reasonable housing policy to bank land for years and years at a very low price in order to let it on the market in dribs and drabs, as any speculator would --

Mr. Laughren: What do you think the speculators were doing?

Mr. S. Smith: -- rather than in fact loading the market --

Mr. Laughren: That sounds like Liberal policy.

Mr. S. Smith: -- with lots which people could afford, under circumstances where they could get a decent home for a decent price?

Mr. Deans: Tell him to look up what Stanley Randall told me in 1968.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: The policy has been as it was announced at the time the program came into being --


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The question was asked of the minister, not the other members. The hon. minister will continue.

Mr. Deans: We know the answer.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: When the program was announced, we stated we would market the land at the low end of the market as it existed in the particular area.

Mr. Wildman: Your markets have no low end.

Mr. S. Smith: That’s for sure.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: The hon. member knows full well that we have never attempted to simply flood the market with lots, and certainly not at the book value.


Mr. S. Smith: A question for the Minister of Transportation and Communications: Will the minister tell the House clearly whether he has ever indicated that if the results of the southern Ontario passenger study were to indicate a need for a second airport, he will resume talks with Ottawa on a servicing agreement for a new airport?

Hon. Mr. Snow: At a meeting held in the board room at Toronto International Airport attended by Mr. Lang, myself and representatives from the tri-municipal committee, I believe they are called, including Mississauga, Brampton and Etobicoke, there were discussions regarding this matter. I can’t tell the hon. member today exactly the phraseology of my answer to a question, but as I recall, it was something along the lines that following the completion of the southern Ontario transportation study, which was entered into in the fall of 1975 jointly by Transport Canada and my own ministry, if that study unequivocally stated, or the conclusion was that there must be a second Toronto airport, then I would be prepared to discuss with Transport Canada the necessary services or provincial responsibilities that would be connected with the same.

That’s how I recall the answer; because when the study was set up, when it was agreed, I believe back in December 1975, that we would set up this joint study to look at all modes of passenger transportation in southern Ontario, one of the conditions of the study placed by Mr. Lang at that time was that the option for a Pickering airport must be maintained during the term of the study. In other words, nothing would be done during the time the study was going on that would prohibit the possible building of an airport at some time in the future, if and when it were needed.

Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary, is the minister basically saying now that, depending on the results of this study he is, in fact, prepared to see the servicing provided for the Pickering airport? Is that not a reversal of the position he took two years ago? One might call it a flop-flip.

Hon. Mr. Snow: What was that word?

Mr. Breaugh: As opposed to flip-flop.

An hon. member: That’s because he does everything backward.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, I didn’t make any commitment to the supply of services at all, or any commitment or suggestion that I felt the results of the study would be such that it would recommend the construction of that airport. I was making a statement that if, after this two-year study is carried out jointly by my ministry officials and Transport Canada officials, and with the use of outside consultants probably, if the result of that study and the recommendations state, whether it be in 1980, 1990 or 2000, that there must be a second airport for Toronto, then I would be prepared, of course, to discuss this with the federal minister. I made no commitment to supply services at all.

Mr. Sargent: As the minister well knows the Island Airport is a very valuable asset to the city of Toronto. What is he going to do about finalizing this project? He’s been talking about it for a long time. What’s coming in the future about this?

Mr. Speaker: Is the member asking what’s going to happen at the Island Airport? If so, that’s not supplementary to this particular question.

Mr. S. Smith: May I ask a supplementary, please, that is supplementary?

Mr. Speaker: Yes.

An hon. member: Try again, Eddie.

Mr. S. Smith: Could the minister explain whether the southern Ontario passenger transportation study, which apparently is now going to be the study which determines whether or not we have the Pickering airport, provides any opportunity for public input? If not, can he give a guarantee that there will be an opportunity for public input before he and his officials agree to service the land to provide for the Pickering airport?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, this study has been going on for some period of time now. It was anticipated when the study started that it would take two years. From the latest information I have, I believe the officials feel that it may be slightly more than two years. The earliest we might expect their report now would be perhaps the end of the first quarter of 1978. Basically, this is a technical study looking into all the different modes of transportation, existing facilities and what might be needed in the future. I’m not aware of any proposed public hearings. They’re not a hearing body. They’re the technical representatives of two ministries carrying out a study and they will put forward recommendations from it.

Mr. S. Smith: So we have no guarantee of public input.


Mr. Deans: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of the Environment. Is the minister aware of the recent statement made by Mr. Edward Turner of his ministry, the assistant director of the pollution control branch, that there are some millions -- ranging perhaps as high as 40 millions to 50 millions -- of gallons of poisonous industrial waste being dumped in the province of Ontario, in fields all across the province; that the ministry is aware this is going on and that the ministry can do nothing to stop it?


Hon. Mr. Kerr: I discussed Mr. Turner’s statement, I think in an interview with a reporter from the Globe and Mail, if it’s the one the hon. member is referring to. One of the points Mr. Turner was making was the fact we have a lot of industrial liquid waste sites around the province, such as the Beare Road site which is something like a landfill site without any mechanical treatment of any kind, where industrial liquid waste is being disposed.

These sites operate under a certificate, they are operating with the approval of my ministry and are operating under surveillance and continuous monitoring. Whether or not there is industrial liquid waste being disposed clandestinely in some way, or illegally in some way, there is no question that some of this is being done. We are attempting to control this by new regulations which we have passed and also by a way-bill system whereby the haulers have to indicate where they are picking up the liquid, where they are hauling it to and where they are disposing it. That is indicated on the way-bill and through the way-bill system.

I have indicated to this House time and time again that our attempts to open up new disposal sites, whether they may be a deep well in Haldimand-Norfolk or a plant in Mississauga, have been met with a great deal of frustration and difficulty because of local objection. I am even having difficulty getting some of these applications to the Environmental Assessment Board because of certain machinations by people who are opposed to the proper disposal of industrial liquid waste. As long as we are frustrated in establishing proper sites, there will be a certain amount of illegal disposal.

Mr. Deans: Supplementary question: Is it not true the liquid industrial disposal sites that are presently in the province of Ontario and being monitored by the ministry would not take any more than half of the total amount of industrial liquid waste that’s being sent out from the various plants in the province and dumped? Whatever became of the minister’s 1971 commitment when he said that if it were not possible, or if it met major roadblocks, he would, as part of the ministry’s program, institute plants for the treatment of industrial waste and he would move on it -- at that point he said with as much haste as possible.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: We do have sufficient disposal facilities in Ontario at the present time for proper disposal.

Mr. Deans: But they are only taking about half of what’s being disposed.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: I know, but the fact is that because there are still some landfill-type of sites which are much cheaper than delivering to a plant which destructs industrial liquid waste, the haulers of course are looking for the cheaper type of disposal. That’s why we have the regulations and the way-bill system. A great amount of this material is also being exported, shall we say, into the United States to a site at Lewiston in New York. In other words, the people that are operating these plants want as much volume as possible to make the plant pay. However, we feel we used more plant-type or mechanical-type of disposal facilities because, for example, Beare Road will close at the end of this year; and certain other deep-well, particularly Detroit formation-type of wells in the Lambton area, will also have to be phased out.


Hon. Mr. Kerr: I hear the member for Lambton (Mr. Henderson).

Referring to the statement made in 1971, that statement was made, but then Tricil built a plant in Mississauga which we thought would be our answer. Unfortunately, because of the degree of combustion, it can’t handle all types of industrial liquid wastes. That is the problem. Hopefully, we can get the company to enlarge that plant. There is a possibility that they will now.

Mr. Deans: When?

Hon. Mr. Kern: This year. I am meeting with them next week. We are also still looking at the Cambrian-well disposal. As I said before, we are talking about something that is about 4,000 feet deep. It’s absolutely safe.

Mr. Cunningham: Halfway to China.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Halfway to Peking, right. We still feel that is a safe method of disposal and that possibly the government itself will have to take over a well, lease a well, and get into that type of disposal. That, of course, will have to be done after proper hearings under The Environmental Protection and The Environmental Assessment Acts; but we still feel that all the information -- technical, scientific and otherwise -- that we have about Cambrian-well disposal is that it is absolutely safe if it is properly handled.

Mr. Speaker: May I also suggest to the ministry that unduly lengthy answers create a certain amount of restlessness, so would you please answer the questions completely but as briefly as possible.

Mr. B. Newman: Supplementary: May I ask the minister what control he has over liquid wastes coming in from the United States and being either trans-shipped from Detroit through to New York, or simply brought into Canada for disposal at some of our sites?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: If the material -- I should preface this by saying that a great volume of our waste is being exported to the United States, so there is a certain amount of reciprocity here.

Mr. Reid: Send them one of your speeches.

Mr. Cassidy: Is it a free trade agreement?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: But the material that is coming into Canada, particularly in the Detroit-Windsor area, is going to sites that have a proper licence and certificate from this ministry. So we haven’t stopped that at this point.

Ms. Bryden: Supplementary: Is the minister not aware, when he talks about enlarging the Tricil plant in Mississauga, that the residents of that area are very disturbed about the present operations at the Tricil plant, in regard to noise and emissions and so on? Before he authorizes the enlargement he should look into the complaints that are registered against the plant at present.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: We are quite aware of the problems that the Tricil plant in Mississauga has been having. They are now under a control order after lengthy discussions with my ministry, and after appearance before the Environmental Appeal Board. We are aware of the problems; they are under a control order; hopefully any problems they have will be solved by the end of this summer -- if they abide by that control order which I expect they will.

Any enlargement will in fact help the situation there. It will increase their combustion and their general capacity to the extent that the odours and other problems coming from that plant certainly will not be anywhere near as bad as they are at the present time.

Mr. Kennedy: Mr. Speaker, could I have a final supplementary on Tricil? Would the minister advise the status of the present control order against Tricil? Could he check into that and let us know the present status of that control order, which I believe is to be completed by this fall?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Mr. Speaker, you can see that the questions I am now being asked confirm my original remarks to the hon. member for Wentworth, that every time we talk about safe disposal of industrial liquid waste --

Mr. Deans: That doesn’t alter the problem.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: -- there are a number of people who are hoping that it will just go away and won’t accept any type of disposal.

In answer to the hon. member’s question, the control order is in fact now “in order.” In other words, the company has met the schedule set in that control order and it is to mature, I believe some time in September, so the requirements of the ministry will be met by that time.

Mr. Roy: You mean you have a control order that is out of order?


Mr. Deans: I have a question of the Minister of Health. Is it true that the mattresses of the type that were used in the jails and that went on fire at Christmas time, are also authorized for use in nursing homes and government institutions in the province of Ontario? If so, why can the regulations not be changed to ensure that mattresses of the non-burning type are made mandatory in nursing homes?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I’ll take that as notice, Mr. Speaker.


Mr. Sargent: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the provincial Treasurer -- we’ll try it again: Regarding the $2 million exemption that he promised the Todghams he would get for them --

An hon. member: Question? Question?

Mr. Sargent: -- in view of the fact that he has concealed this from the House and the public accounts committee and he had to be subpoenaed before the judicial inquiry to get this information, will he tell the House, has any part of this $2 million been received as yet? Also, I’d like to ask him, finally, was it the Attorney General’s office or who was it that directed the courts to call the Treasurer three days after the election, not during or before the election, to give his testimony?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, this is a matter which, as I understand it, is before a royal commission and I don’t think I’ll comment on it.

Mr. Sargent: Supplementary: I’d like to ask if the Treasurer has received any part of the $2 million exemption yet?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, I would simply say to the member that if he would like to repeat outside the House what he is now saying there will be an answer.

Mr. Sargent: The commission is off.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Come on, Eddie; outside.

Mr. Eaton: You are a disgrace to the House.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Sargent: Final supplementary: Who arranged for the Treasurer to appear after the election and not before it? Who arranged that? Who directed the courts to call him after the election?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, I can only repeat what I have said. If the member would like to discuss these matters outside the House in front of the television cameras then he will have an answer.

Mr. Sargent: I’ll look forward to that.


Mr. Wildman: I have a question for the Minister of Transportation and Communications. In view of the fact that the need for a direct highway link between Blind River and Elliot Lake has been repeatedly pointed out by the commuting miners, municipal officials, the mining companies, and myself among others, off and on over the last 20 years; and the fact that MTC has consistently refused to extend Highway 555 --

An hon. member: Question? That’s a speech.

Mr. Wildman: -- since 1968; and the minister’s new position, stated to the Blind River town council on June 7, that conditions had changed and that he had requested MTC officials to immediately review the ministry’s position against that extension; can the minister now report to us on the status of that review and when we can expect the beginning of the construction of the Granary Lake Road?

Mr. Cassidy: Hear, hear; good question.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, the review is under way at the present time. I believe officials of my ministry were meeting with the municipal representatives of both Blind River and Elliot Lake, as I requested them to do. I believe those meetings were held during the last two weeks of June and I expect to have a report in the near future. I haven’t got one yet.

Mr. Wildman: Supplementary: Have MTC officials also met with the mine management and the unions since the election, and if so, what proposals have they made to subsidize a commuter service from Blind River to Elliot Lake in the interim before Highway 555 is constructed, as the minister suggested in his release to the Sault Star June 8?

Mr. Cassidy: Good question.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, the officials were to meet with the mine management and the unions and they were to discuss with the municipalities the possibility of any type of commuter bus operation that might be implemented on the existing highways pending the construction of the Granary Lake Road, if that should be the recommendation.

I hope, in any case, that the officials have not made any commitment for any subsidization of that service.


Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Ottawa West.

Mr. Roy: East?

Mr. Speaker: No west, then east.

Mr. Roy: I was never bothered by his predecessor.

Mr. Cassidy: His predecessor never asked questions.

Hon. Mr. Bennett: Don’t worry about that, Michael.

Mr. S. Smith: It wasn’t seen, that’s all.


Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Chairman of Cabinet. Is it correct, as was reported in the July 2 edition of the Ottawa Citizen, that cabinet reversed an Ottawa municipal bylaw, as well as overruling the decision by the Ontario Municipal Board and the decision by the Supreme Court of Ontario --

Mr. Roy: Marion Dewar didn’t like that.

Mr. Baetz: -- and that the cabinet supported instead a petition by Assaly Construction Ltd. to build town houses and apartments in the Pinecrest-Queensway area of Ottawa West according to the company’s plans? If it is correct, as implied in the press report, that this was an arbitrary and final decision, how does the Chairman of Cabinet reconcile such action with this government’s stated commitment to increase local government and citizen participation, and the respective roles of the OMB and the courts?

Mr. Swart: When is the member coming across the floor?

Mr. Speaker: Now for the answer.

Mr. Roy: Don’t take that, Lorne. You don’t have to take that.

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Mr. Speaker, in responding to this question, I am happy to know there is a difference between Ottawa East, Ottawa West and Ottawa Centre --

Mr. Roy: Don’t worry, Lorne; your voters know the difference.

Hon. Mr. Henderson: -- and that we do have someone who is representing that area.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Sargent: I’m glad you asked that question.

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Mr. Speaker, I had a phone call this morning from a reporter, Mr. Mark Van Dusen of the Ottawa Citizen. May I just read a couple of lines here: “By reversing an Ottawa bylaw upheld by all three and supporting a developer’s appeal instead, Controller Marion Dewar said on Thursday --

Mr. Roy: NDP candidate.

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Is that who she is? I don’t know.

Ms. Gigantes: You don’t know Ottawa.

Mr. Roy: She didn’t want it to be public though.

Mr. Speaker: Will the hon. minister ignore the interjections please.

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Mr. Speaker, may I point out that the controller either had not read the order in council or certainly could not understand it.


Hon. Mr. Henderson: Mr. Speaker, let me quote from the order in council.

Mr. Wildman: This is a setup.

Hon. Mr. Henderson: I don’t think there is a setup any place when a reporter from Ottawa phoned me this morning --

Mr. Speaker: Would the hon. minister just continue with his answer.

Mr. MacDonald: Ignore the interjections. Can’t you obey the Speaker?

Mr. Deans: Is this your maiden answer?

Hon. Mr. Henderson: This is a quote from the order in council. “After due consideration of the said petition, therefore recommends that pursuant to the provisions of section 94 of The Ontario Municipal Board Act, RSO 1970, chapter 323, there shall be a new public hearing of the application, the subject of the aforementioned decision of the Ontario Municipal Board; dated October 28, 1976.”

So it was not as was reported by the controller. It is referred back to the OMB for a new hearing.

Mr. Conway: Reuben, was the election that bitter?

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Mr. Speaker, there were several reasons, if I might report them to you for this reversal, I mean for this referral.

Mr. Lawlor: Glad you got that straightened out.

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Mr. Speaker, might I quote some of them? There are about five reasons for the referral --

Mr. Speaker: If the hon. minister would get on, please.

Hon. Mr. Henderson: On June 22, 1977 the cabinet did refer this back to the OMB. It was bylaw No. 296 of 1973 of the city of Ottawa.

On October 28, 1976, the Ontario Municipal Board did approve such a bylaw. The effect of the new bylaw was to down-zone the area. Ten acres in the bylaw would permit 90 townhouses and 200 apartment units in place of the previous zoning, which would have allowed in excess of 700 apartment houses and row houses.

The petition of Assaly Construction Limited pointed to several errors in the OMB reasons for the decision.

The OMB referred to the new bylaws as approving 300 apartments and 140 townhouses instead of the actual approval of 290. The OMB referred to research bulletin No. 2 of the city’s planning branch as being the basis for the new secondary plan, whereas this study had not been written when bylaw 296-73 was passed. The OMB had erred in inferring that the new bylaw was based on the recommendations of the planning branch, whereas the branch recommended 300 and 140 units.

Mr. Swart: That’s enough.

Hon. Mr. Henderson: I’m sure there are other members from Ottawa interested.

Mr. Roy: No, no; you have told us enough now.

Mr. Cassidy: Spurious technicalities.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. We are all wasting time here this afternoon.

Hon. Mr. Henderson: The petitioner claims that several years ago he obtained a severance --

Mr. Lawlor: This is a travesty.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The interjections are contributing to the lengthening of the answer. Would the hon. minister please just --


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Will the hon. minister just continue and ignore the interjections, please.

Hon. Mr. Henderson: The petitioner claims that several years ago he obtained a severance from the committee of adjustments in the city of Ottawa, and as a condition it was --

Ms. Gigantes: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: Let the member have a point of order.

Ms. Gigantes: Is it not your opinion, Mr. Speaker, that this statement would be more suited to a ministerial statement?

Mr. Speaker: The Speaker will attend to that matter. The hon. minister will continue.

Mr. Peterson: Poor Reuben will never ask another question.

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Further, Mr. Speaker, the petitioner claims that several years ago he obtained a severance from the committee of adjustments in the city of Ottawa, and as a condition it was required to enter into an undertaking with the city. These undertakings covered the entire parcel of 30 acres, which then included the 10 acres, the subject matter of this petition. They included the granting of land free for road widening and for parks, and the paying for other costs. The land was given and payments were made on the basis of the old bylaw, which would have permitted 700 units from the 10 acres.

Mr. Wildman: This is very effective.

Hon. Mr. Henderson: This would not have been economically justified, on the basis of the first phase of development of some 12½ acres completed some years ago.


Hon. Mr. Henderson: The last one, Mr. Speaker, the petitioner applied for leave from the divisional courts on the grounds that the OMB had made substantial errors, some of which are set out above, and these amount to errors of law. The divisional court on Dec. 10, 1978 --

Mr. Roy: Is that the legal opinion of the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry)?

Hon. Mr. Henderson: -- dismissed the application for leave to appeal saying they were not errors of law, but rather they were errors of fact. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

I think it would only be fair if we added three minutes to the question period because of the length of the answer. I point out that the answer was lengthy, but also, as I indicated earlier, the interjections contributed to that. So we will just add three minutes to the question period.

Now is there a supplementary? The member for Ottawa Centre.

Mr. Cassidy: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. After announcing all of these technicalities which led the cabinet to its decision, can the minister explain why the opinion of both the city council and the Ontario Municipal Board was overruled? How does that square with developing the policy of the government to try and give more local autonomy than exists right now? And how does that square with this government’s determination, which it announces, to let citizens have their say?


Mr. Speaker: Order. There has been a request for fewer interjections; please heed it. The hon. minister with his answer, please.

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. In order to answer the hon. member I have three pages here that I have just read and I would have to read them again. I believe I’ve answered. It will be in Hansard.

Mr. Riddell: You did just about as well as you did in southwestern Ontario during the election.

Mr. Roy: Would the minister send me a copy? I would like to see that learned opinion.

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Read it in Hansard.

Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, if I was a bit confused by the member for Ottawa West it’s because his predecessor would not confuse a minister like this member.

Hon. B. Stephenson: Oh come on.


Mr. Roy: My question, in the absence of the Attorney General and the Premier (Mr. Davis), is to the Solicitor General --

Mr. Nixon: It’s a long way down.

Mr. Roy: -- and Provincial Secretary for Justice. Would he advise if he, as Provincial Secretary for Justice, was aware of this so-called secret inquiry of Mr. Justice Grant, ordered by the Premier? If the minister was aware, can he assist us and enlighten the House as to the findings of this inquiry? Also can he tell us, subsequent to receiving a memo from the OPP -- a memo which contained certain allegations of political finagling, or high jinks to use the minister’s expression -- whether he has ordered an inquiry based on the evidence contained in this memo?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Mr. Speaker, the Premier was asked some questions on that I believe it was last Thursday. He answered them, sir, at that time I have nothing further to add.

Mr. Speaker: Order please. I think I should report to the House briefly that a request was made for me to check and to see if, in fact, the matter was sub judice; the information about the report. I set the wheels in motion to do that yesterday and I expected an answer to report to the House today from the law officers of the Crown. I was informed just a short while ago that it was not ready yet but I expect it by tomorrow. So I hope this matter will be cleared up by tomorrow at the latest, if the hon. member would respect that please.

Mr. McNeil: The hon. member won’t be here tomorrow.

Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, I take it that the whole matter is certainly not sub judice, to use your expression.

Mr. Speaker: It depends on the type of question you ask, but I’m not sure about that until I get the report.

Will the hon. member please be seated when I’m on my feet? Thank you.

I’m not sure about that until I get the report and see the details of this particular matter. Now if you have a question, I’m sure the hon. Solicitor General can use his discretion as to whether it is a question which can be answered or not.

Mr. Roy: Yes, well that’s what I want to make sure of, that it’s at his discretion or whatever, and that the court order is not used as a means not to enlighten the House of certain proceedings.

I’d like to continue on with the next question to the Solicitor General, which has nothing to do, let’s say, with the inquiry. Did he, in fact, receive a memo from the OPP about certain allegations and has he ordered an inquiry based on the evidence contained in these memos?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Mr. Speaker, from time to time I receive a good number of memos from the various police forces of this province. Some of them I am able to make public and others I feel I should not. Coming back to what the Premier said when he last dealt with the matter, I feel I should make no further comment on this one at this time.

Mr. Mancini: He gave you strict orders not to say anything?

Mr. Speaker: Order please. That sort of question I hope will be answered when I report to the House, because I think it is part and parcel of the total instruction which was given to me on Thursday.

Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, if I may make this comment, and I’ve read the transcript --

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Question?

Mr. Roy: I’m on a point of order, in case the minister might not understand the difference. Mr. Speaker, the point I want to make to you is simply this, anything that the judge might have ordered at the preliminary inquiry under section 467 of the Code, prohibits publication by way of newspaper or broadcast. In other words, the curtailment of dissemination of information is on the press only. It’s nothing to do with an inquiry or with something else dealing with allegations into a memo. The Premier has raised a certain point which, in fact he’s mistaken on, because to quote the Premier he says “the order prohibits discussion.” There’s no jurisdiction under section 467 of the Code to prohibit any discussion. The order states very clearly, under section 467: “Shall not be published in any newspaper or broadcast.” It doesn’t prohibit any discussion.


My point is simply that I would hope ministers of the Crown would not hide behind a specific order and then use it as an excuse for not giving us any information which we believe to be in the public interest.

Mr. Speaker: As I indicated earlier, I hope all parts of this matter will be cleared up tomorrow. In the meantime, the minister may answer a question or not answer it as he sees fit.

Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: Bear in mind what has been said in the last moment or so and do not prolong it because the matter should be cleared up tomorrow. We’ll hear what the hon. member for Ottawa Centre has to say.

Mr. Cassidy: Either in his capacity as Solicitor General or in his capacity as Provincial Secretary for Justice, prior to the report that came from the OPP a few days before the election, had the minister any information or did he receive any reports about these particular allegations of influence-seeking by corporations in relation to Hydro contracts?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: The hon. members opposite are becoming very much like the press in regard to some of these questions by putting words in one’s mouth and then expecting one to say aye, yes or no.


Hon. Mr. MacBeth: If I answered that question, I would perhaps be saying things that would be best not said.

Mr. Cassidy: What?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: When the question was originally asked by the member for Ottawa East, he suggested that in the absence of the Premier and then in the absence of the Attorney General it would go to the Solicitor General.

Mr. Roy: And Provincial Secretary for Justice.

Mr. Deans: Don’t you wish you were absent?

Mr. S. Smith: The superminister.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: I think it would be best if they would reserve those questions for the Premier, who was originally dealing with the matter.

Mr. Peterson: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: This will be a final supplementary.

Mr. Peterson: The Solicitor General said in his response that he gets many memos in the course of a day and some he makes public and some he does not make public. Could the minister tell us on what grounds he makes those things public or not?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Surely the member opposite knows the answer to that.


Mr. Martel: I have a question for the Solicitor General.


Mr. Lane: Here is our leadership candidate.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: It is too bad Webster left you out of his column.

Mr. Makarchuk: He didn’t cost us $3 million.


Mr. Maeck: We want a big majority.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: The north is for you.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Sudbury East.

Mr. Martel: In view of the very serious problems between the Sudbury Police Commission and the police association in the regional municipality of Sudbury, and in view of the minister’s letter of September 8 last year that he would appoint someone to look into those problems once the arbitration hearings were finalized, is the minister now prepared to make that appointment so that we can get to the bottom of what’s causing the unrest in the Sudbury Police Association?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: I believe the chairman of the Ontario Police Commission did ask somebody to go to Sudbury and investigate the matter. It seems a great deal of the problem has to deal with what are or what are not management rights in the view of the parties concerned. There has been a great deal of friction over the matter, no question, and I regret that friction. I think there has been fault on both sides and I’m not prepared to say it is solely a matter where the commission or the members of the commission or a particular member is at fault. It has arisen out of bargaining and the bargaining has been hot and heavy, which is nothing new for my good friend from Sudbury East, he knows how these things go. I’m ready to say at this point that it is purely some of the frictions that have arisen over hot and heavy bargaining.

Mr. Martel: Supplementary: In view of the minister’s commitment a year ago, and in view of the fact that the matter hasn’t been resolved to anyone’s satisfaction and the unrest continues to prevail, would he not appoint someone formally then, to do an inquiry into what has to be done and make recommendations to resolve the problems confronting the association and the commission?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: I said that we’d already had an investigation of it through the Ontario Police Commission. I have no hesitancy in getting into it myself --

Mr. Laughren: That’s a joke.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: -- other than it may imply that by getting into it I’m unhappy with the results that have come forward.

Mr. Laughren: I guess you should be.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: As I say, the situation there is that there are people who have definite points of view on both sides of the table. The police association feels it should have more management rights than the commission is prepared to say it should have. Tempers have got hot, and people are upset with the personalities involved.

To go further than that perhaps would make it appear that I was siding with one side or another, and I feel that there’s fault on both sides.


Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, yesterday the hon. member for Wentworth directed a question to the Premier (Mr. Davis) regarding concerns by Mr. John Kelly, president of the Grand Council Treaty No. 3, with reference to wild rice harvesting. The Premier indicated to the hon. member that he would try to have an answer to his question today. As the Premier is not here, he has asked me to respond.

As far as I have been able to ascertain Mr. Kelly has not brought this concern directly to the attention of the government, although it may be, of course, that a letter is en route but has not been received. In any event, I anticipate that I’ll see Mr. Kelly tomorrow at the all-chiefs meeting with the cabinet and I shall take that opportunity to discuss with him, the concerns expressed yesterday by the hon. member for Wentworth.

Mr. Deans: Supplementary: Can the minister indicate who has the right to determine the method to be used in harvesting the wild rice fields? Secondly, how would Mr. Ratuski be going ahead with the development of the machinery necessary for mechanical harvesting if he didn’t already have some commitment to allow him into the fields?

Hon. F. S. Miller: I think, Mr. Speaker, it should be realized that in that particular area, over 95 per cent of the wild rice fields is reserved for the native peoples --

Mr. Deans: It should be.

Hon. F. S. Miller: -- and is not, in fact, open to other licensed people. You must have a licence to harvest wild rice. To this point, only about five per cent of the wild rice was harvested in total last year.

The question of who can use a mechanical harvester is entirely up to the person harvesting. All one must have is a licence allowing him or her to harvest. We, in fact, would encourage the native peoples to use mechanical equipment where possible, for two reasons. First, it increases the yield per acre of wild rice by a factor of three to five, I’m told, or maybe even three to seven. In other words, they get that much more yield per acre. Secondly, it very greatly multiplies the productive effort per day.

Right now, wild rice is bringing, I think, somewhere around 70 cents to the picker, if I’m not wrong; that’s the figure I’ve heard anyway. It’s a very valuable harvest, and we would very much encourage the fuller harvesting of the wild rice crop in that area either by native peoples or, failing them, by licensing of people other than native peoples.

Mr. Deans: Supplementary: Can the minister explain what he means when he says he was encouraging the use of mechanical harvesters when, in fact, it’s been quite clearly stated that the Indian people in the area can’t afford to buy the mechanical harvesters in the first place?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: They have them now.

Hon. F. S. Miller: I have never heard that as a fact. I’m not prepared to refute it and say that it’s totally incorrect --

Mr. Deans: You have never heard it as a fact?

Hon. F. S. Miller: -- but I can say this, when it came to be a question in the White-dog and Grassy Narrows area of whether they could afford equipment for logging, I believe the Ministry of Natural Resources or some ministry of government provided the funds for that purpose. I think the member would find we’d be delighted to give some form of assistance to Indians that would earn them money and provide employment.

Mr. Stokes: Supplementary: What evidence does the ministry have that the use of mechanical harvesters will contribute to regeneration, as opposed to the traditional method of harvesting which obviously contributed to regeneration? Does the ministry have anything to back up its argument that mechanical harvesters will permit natural regeneration?

Hon. F. S. Miller: I was not referring to natural regeneration; I was referring to yield during the harvest. As far as the reseeding process is concerned, which I assume the member is talking about, obviously there must be seeds left behind unharvested to have that occur. I would assume that if one got 100 per cent of the seeds off a given area, he would have some difficulty in regeneration. I’m told we’ve been working on means of helping to improve the growth of wild rice in that area by other than natural means -- by diking in some areas. I believe the member has seen that much better than I have; I intend to see it during this summer to see what we can do.

This crop is potentially worth $20 million in the northwest, as I think the member would agree, and we’re only getting a small part of that at the present time.

When one compares it to some of the other resources up there, it’s away ahead of say fur-bearing animals or trapping, so far ahead of it in terms of potential that I would only hope we could encourage both the better harvesting and the better growth of wild rice.

Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, what research and evidence does the Ministry of Natural Resources have about the damage to wild rice beds by mechanical harvesters, and is there, in fact, the danger that beds would be destroyed if the rice were totally harvested by mechanical means?

Hon. F. S. Miller: I haven’t any evidence at my fingertips. There may well be evidence to show that they are not damaging to the beds. I will be glad to find out.


Mr. Stong: I have a question of the Minister of Housing. In the light of the confusion and lack of progress of the North Pickering royal commission which has seen the only independent commissioner, Mr. David Humphery, resign, and he was independent of the Ministry of Housing, his position was filled by a former commissioner, thereby constituting a commission which was and is unacceptable to the Ombudsman, the landowners whose claims are being investigated and their counsel, does the minister not feel an obligation to take measures to restore some semblance of independence to that commission so that not only will justice be seen to be done but will be done?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Speaker, first of all, I am not too sure that the hon. member can say unequivocally that the present commission is not acceptable to the Ombudsman. Certainly that has not been conveyed to me by the Ombudsman. Secondly, the commission as it is now constituted is exactly in accordance with the agreement that was reached by myself and the Ombudsman, that was accepted and approved by the select committee and brought to this Legislature for approval. That commission is duly constituted and made up of the members, as is indicated in the agreement, and I respectfully suggest to the hon. member that he read the copy of that agreement.

Mr. Stong: Supplementary: In the light of the difficulty surrounding this commission and the progress, is it not time that the minister looked into it perhaps with a view to reconstituting the commission so that something will be done?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Speaker, I certainly have no intention of recommending a reconstitution of the commission solely because those persons who are appearing before that commission for some reason have withdrawn from the hearing. The commission was established within the rules and within the requirements of the agreement entered into with the Ombudsman to deal with that particular problem.

Certain property owners were directed to appear before that particular commission to present their cases. Others were given the opportunity to appear before another tribunal, again established within the terms of the agreement with the Ombudsman. I don’t intend to change the commission just because the lawyer for those particular clients that he represents has decided he’s not happy with appearing before the commission.


Mr. Swart: My question is to the Solicitor General. It concerns the lack of police protection at Mosport last weekend, where property was allegedly destroyed and persons injured and where an OPP spokesman said, according to the news media, “Things have gone too far; we can’t police the interior of the track. If we went in, we would never come out.” I want to ask him if he can explain how that situation could occur, and is it not his responsibility to ensure that police protection is provided for life and property at a public place such as Mosport? Given the problem that has been there on previous occasions, why would the OPP not have made plans to deal with it?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Mr. Speaker, when I saw the report in the paper, I too was concerned with it because, as I said in regard to Hamilton some time ago, there should be no place in this province that the police show any timidity about entering. I have asked for a report on it. The report has not reached my desk yet. I do understand that Mosport is protected or guarded by private security agents and that sometimes they don’t always report to the Provincial Police incidents that occur there.


However, we are trying to locate this unnamed OPP spokesman, and if the newspaperman is not intent on protecting his source, if he can give us any information as to who this OPP spokesman is, we will be glad to get some further information. But I can tell the member we are having a little difficulty getting it.

Mr. Speaker: A final supplementary on this.

Mr. Swart: In the report which he has requested, will the minister assure there will be a submission made so that protection can be given in the future in that area? Secondly, is the lack of police protection due to the cutback in funds by the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough)?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: I don’t know that I am prepared to say there was lack of protection. I am trying to get a report on the situation. The senior authorities or other authorities there, even another constable, disagreed with the statement that was alleged to have been made. Yes, there is good police protection there and will continue to be.

Ms. Speaker: The hon. Minister of Natural Resources has the answer to a further question.


Hon. F. S. Miller: Yesterday the hon. member for Huron-Bruce asked if I would indicate the ministry’s view with respect to the removal of the last gas shelter at Inverhuron Provincial Park. The member for Huron-Bruce asked if this signalled the closing of the park to public use.

The agreement between the Atomic Energy Control Board, Ontario Hydro and my ministry permitted day-use activities to continue within Inverhuron Park, but terminated all overnight camping. However, until replacement facilities for camping could be completed at MacGregor Park there was an agreement permitting camping to continue at Inverhuron for the interim period, providing suitable emergency shelters were supplied by Ontario Hydro.

Camping was phased out of Inverhuron by the fall of 1975. The shelters thus became unnecessary and have been removed, as Ontario Hydro found uses for them in other areas. There is no significance to park usage in the removal of the last of these shelters this year, and Inverhuron Park will continue to be available for day-use activities.

Mr. Gaunt: A supplementary: May I just clarify one point. The minister has indicated that the Inverhuron Provincial Park will continue for day camping use. Is it fair to say that it will continue in that respect indefinitely?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Well, as long as we are here.

Mr. Swart: That may not be long.


Mr. Mancini: I have a question for the Minister of Labour. I wonder if the Minister of Labour is aware that there are only two workmen’s advisers for the whole province of Ontario to assist injured workers at WCB appeal board hearings here in Toronto. I wonder if she would undertake to advise the Workmen’s Compensation Board to hire many more so that the injured workers of this province can get a fair hearing when they come down to Toronto.

Hon. B. Stephenson: Yes, I am aware of it and indeed, already we have undertaken to increase the number.

Mr. Mancini: Supplementary question: Could the minister inform the House just how many more she is going to hire?

Hon. B. Stephenson: No, I can’t at this point. It takes a very special kind of person with very special knowledge to do this sensitive job. It is a matter of finding the right people and training them. We shall acquire the number that is appropriate.

Mr. Martel: Give it to Mike Starr.

Mr. Warner: Clean that mess up.


Mr. Breaugh: I have a question for the Minister of Housing which I asked him in the estimates last Tuesday night. Since we don’t have an answer yet, I would like to ask him again to explain the circumstances surrounding the issuance of a special warrant for the sum of $600,000, ordered to authorize the payments for the purpose of providing insurance to the full amount of the deposit and downpayments of condominium purchasers who were either not previously covered or only partially covered by insurance under the HUDAC new home warranty plan.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: I apologize to the hon. member. That response is in my office and I neglected to bring it with me. I apologize and I will have it here tomorrow at question period. In fact, I will make a statement prior to question period in order not to take up the time.


Mr. Sweeney: A question to the Minister of Industry and Tourism: Given the fact that Japanese manufacturers aggressively market their products in Ontario, does his ministry do anything to assist our manufacturers to market their products in Japan?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: Yes, we have had our office in Japan for a number of years and we do market through various means. If the member would take the opportunity of reading the review of the Ministry of Industry and Tourism, and what we have been doing during estimates, on points the member raised prior to this as the critic so far as Tourism and Industry is concerned, I can tell him that within that report we give a complete, detailed analysis of exactly what we do in trying to market products, not only in Japan but in pretty well every country of the world, whether it be behind the Iron Curtain or in a free trading country.

Mr. Sweeney: Supplementary: If that’s the case, why is it that Ontario was not represented in Japan at the International Machine Tool fair held in November, and was not represented at the 12th International Trade Fair in Tokyo just this past April and May?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: I think if the member would analyse the situation, he would realize that all of the trade relationships that happen to be between industry and other countries of the world do not rest on the shoulders of the Ministry of Industry and Tourism. When it comes to trade fairs, generally speaking it is a responsibility carried out on a cooperative basis with the federal government. But I’ll be pleased to look into the two fairs the member speaks of and analyse them to see whether manufacturers in Ontario were offered the opportunity of attending and whether there were some who refused to go for good reason, usually the reason is the economics.


Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, a question to the Minister of Natural Resources: Could the Minister of Natural Resources inform the House how much of the fish stocking program of his ministry takes place in waters that are contaminated and for which warnings have been issued not to eat the fish?

Hon. F. S. Miller: I’d have to take that as notice because as the member knows I wouldn’t be able to have that information at my fingertips.

Mr. Foulds: Supplementary: While the minister is investigating the answer, could he consider how much the stocking in such waters is costing and whether it might not be a more useful expenditure of public funds to spend the money in stocking in non-contaminated waters?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, that would seem reasonable. I can only say that we’re not stocking enough anyway. I’d like to stock more.

Mr. S. Smith: That’s right.


Mr. Reid: I have a question for the Minister of Transportation and Communications, if I could have his attention.

Can the minister tell us if his ministry has reviewed the policy in regard to granting to Indian reserves the right to have the speed limit lowered on provincial highways that run through their reserves; and also could he extend that right and privilege to municipalities that wish to have the speed limit lowered running through their towns?

Hon. Mr. Snow: We deal continuously with requests from municipalities, and also from Indian reserves, for adjustments to speed limits within or adjacent to their municipalities on our provincial highways. Normally I would say about once a month I bring before cabinet an amending regulation to The Highway Traffic Act to implement adjustments as they have been requested and approved.

Mr. Speaker: The question period has expired.


Presenting reports.




Hon. Mr. Snow moved first reading of Bill 34, An Act to amend The Public Vehicles Act.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. Snow moved first reading of Bill 35, An Act to amend The Airports Act.

Motion agreed to.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, the two bills I have just introduced for first reading were originally introduced on April 15 in the last session; I would refer the hon. members to Hansard of April 15 at which time I gave a statement outlining the purposes of the amendments. Copies of the compendium of background information have been delivered to the critics of both opposition parties and to the Clerk of the House.


Hon. Mr. McKeough moved first reading of Bill 30, An Act to amend certain Acts respecting Regional Municipalities.

Motion agreed to.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, at the time of dissolution, I had a number of amendments to The Regional Municipalities Act on the order paper. Accordingly, I wish to reintroduce these this afternoon. As I previously pointed out, they are primarily measures to streamline temporary borrowing provisions. In addition, there is one permitting the 10 regional municipalities to accept money for reward purposes and to be allowed to pay this money to persons who supply information leading to the conviction of offenders. We also propose that a simple majority vote be sufficient to authorize the removal of an auditor with cause.


Hon. Mr. McKeough moved first reading of Bill 37, An Act to amend The District Municipality of Muskoka Act.

Motion agreed to.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, the amendments to this bill are the same as those I have just outlined for The Regional Municipalities Act.


Hon. Mr. McKeough moved first reading of Bill 38, An Act to amend The County of Oxford Act.

Motion agreed to.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, again the amendments duplicate the previous Acts.


Hon. Mr. McKeough moved first reading of Bill 39, An Act to amend The Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto Act.

Motion agreed to.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, all the amendments to The Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto Act are similar to those in the proposed regional municipalities amendment bill with the exception of an additional amendment concerning vote requirements. We propose a simple majority vote to authorize the travelling expenses of Metro councillors and officials and the expenses incurred for entertainment.


Hon. Mr. McKeough moved first reading of Bill 40, An Act to amend The Municipal Act.

Motion agreed to.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, the proposed amendments to The Municipal Act add two further types of money bylaws to the list of money bylaws which do not require the assent of the electorate. These are bylaws for requiring land for housing purposes and bylaws for the construction and reconstruction of highway pavements and bridges.


Secondly, we propose that when a property owner makes partial payment towards tax arrears, the payments shall first be applied in the interest or percentage charges then towards that part of the taxes longest overdue.

At the request of the municipalities we are broadening the per diem system of remuneration for members of a council to allow for payments for attending meetings rather than council meetings.


Hon. Mr. McKeough moved first reading of Bill 41, An Act to amend The Public Utilities Act.

Motion agreed to.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, we propose here that before any public utilities or services are shut off for non-payment, a 48-hour notice be given to the occupant and the owner if he or she is a different person.


Hon. Mr. McKeough moved first reading of Bill 42, An Act to amend The City of Timmins-Porcupine Act, 1972.

Motion agreed to.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, this amendment vests in the city of Timmins the right to collect tax arrears in respect of the unorganized territory which became part of the city in 1973.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I just wanted to ask, through you to the Treasurer, whether the Treasurer has a compendium of information with these three or four bills that he has just introduced?

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

Mr. Cassidy: Well, on a point of order, Mr. Speaker, the new rules do require, or do suggest very strongly, that they be provided.

Is the Treasurer intending therefore to ignore these particular rules that were adopted by the House unanimously a few months ago?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, I am proposing that if the hon. member would be good enough to come to the municipal liaison committee on any second Friday of each month he would hear these matters discussed. He would be aware where the requests come from and he would recognize that providing a compendium of municipal resolutions, supporting or otherwise the various resolutions which come from the councils would generate a great deal of wasted time and money to the taxpayers of this province.

Mr. Cassidy: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: If members of the Legislature wish to attend meetings with the police forces of the province and the Solicitor General, meetings between the various health professions and the Minister of Health and that kind of thing I am sure that they could also be informed about legislation in those respective fields coming before the Legislature.

I would say to you, Mr. Speaker, that the purpose of the compendium is not only to inform the critics of the particular parties who will be speaking about particular matters of legislation, it is also for the benefit of other members of the House who wish to be informed about the matters before the House, even if they don’t happen to be critics for that particular area. The material is also to be filed in the Legislature library for the benefit of members of the public who may wish to know some of the material which underlies legislative proposals before the House. And those requirements are not fulfilled by the minister saying that meetings of the PMLC are open to members of this House.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I would simply point out that meetings with the police force of this province or meetings with a group of nurses of this province are in a slightly different category than meetings of the municipal liaison committee with ministers of the Crown and members of the Legislature in attendance. I think there is a distinction which he might well appreciate.

Mr. B. Newman: He can’t be there and here at the same time.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I think wherever any information is available where possible it should be provided as noted in the new provisional orders.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, is that a ruling from the Chair?

Mr. Speaker: The rules state so but there may be no information to provide. That’s all I can say on this.

Mr. Bounsall: He didn’t say that.

Mr. Speaker: Well, that’s what I said. If there is information then it is supposed to be provided for the assistance of the opposition critics.

Mr. Bounsall: Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker, the minister has indicated that there is some information backing up these bills that was presented at the municipal liaison committee. It seems to me that one cannot have a minister saying, “If you want that background information, rather than my tabling it, you should attend in future the municipal liaison committee -- and why didn’t you in the past?”

The minister has implied there’s information backing up these bills now and that information should now be tabled. To say, “Just go and attend the municipal liaison committee so I won’t have to do it,” is not in accordance with the rules of this House.

Mr. Speaker: I think we’ve heard enough on this subject, and I’m sure all members will get the message. We’ll have the final comment on this.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, if I might just point out, I’m sure the minutes of the municipal liaison committee are tabled in the legislative library. If they are not, I’ll be glad to arrange that. I would also point out that these bills are self-explanatory and hardly require a compendium.



Resumption of the adjourned debate in committee of the whole House on Bill 11, An Act to provide Employment Opportunities for Youth in Ontario.

Mr. Nixon: Haven’t we finished that one?

On section 4:

Mr. Warner: Mr. Chairman, I will be brief. I just have a question with respect to section 4(1)(a). Do I understand from the parliamentary assistant that that particular section, although it does not specifically say so, in fact will provide protection so that no one who would otherwise qualify for this program would in fact be hired by a place where there was a legal strike in progress?

Mr. Jones: Mr. Chairman, we certainly at this date haven’t had any occasion to have that questioned by any employer, or for that matter any potential employee. But if the question is whether there would be someone employed in the course of a strike, I would remind the member that under this program and the subsidy of the dollar-per-hour grant, outside of the outline that’s contained in the bill, the normal processes of employer-employee relationships takes place. We make no design of direction as to how they would take place. They all take place in the normal circumstances in the business community or in the farm community. These are not new jobs that you’d be mentioning, I wouldn’t think, so in that case I don’t know that that would apply under this bill.

Mr. Warner: That was my question -- that you would not determine that because a job was vacant that it was in fact a new job and therefore it could be filled by someone who qualified under this program. That would be my concern. Okay, that’s good. Thank you.

Mr. McKessock: Mr. Chairman, I’d like to ask the parliamentary assistant a question pertaining to section 4(1)(b), as to his thinking in not allowing sons and daughters of business people to be hired by their own parents. It seems to me that this legislation is pointed out to be for employers of business, and farmers especially are mentioned here. This certainly appears to be discriminatory against the farmer especially. I think we are trying to encourage the continuation of the family farm, and yet in the case of this bill, the farmer’s son or daughter would have to go and receive employment at another farm rather than be employed by his or her own parents. I was wondering what the thinking is behind this?

Mr. Jones: Mr. Chairman, the thinking comes from the type of thoughts that we heard in debate yesterday and I suppose on Friday on the principle of the bill, that we wanted -- and the House seems to have underscored that -- that we wanted to be sure that every possible chance for undue abuse would be kept out of the operation of the program. I suppose in mentioning this I’m replying also to a question from the member for London Centre along the same lines. He asked a question -- I think he intended to bring it up under section 3 -- about some rumours he had heard where a farmer on concession three might be having his son work with a farmer on concession four and vice versa, the son of the concession four farmer working on a concession three farm. That, in itself, is not outside the permissibility of this Act. However, if there was a charade set in place where in fact the son of the concession three farmer was working there but ordered in our papers otherwise, then it wouldn’t come within the bill.

We have had the question raised by some farmers but, by and large they have understood as we explained to them why the proviso was there guarding against some abuses in --

Mr. Nixon: Some farmers?

Mr. Jones: Yes, some of the farm community, because some of them could appreciate how that could happen.

Mr. McKessock: I fail to understand why, Mr. Chairman. I would like the parliamentary assistant to explain to me what he means by “undue abuse.”

Mr. Nixon: What’s abuse?

Mr. Jones: The whole principle of the bill, of course, is that these would be newly created jobs that wouldn’t have existed if it wasn’t for the introduction of the Ontario Youth Employment program. The farmers themselves often admit, when they talk to us to ask about it, that they wouldn’t necessarily have the son working for a salary until they come to us under this program to see if they qualify. Then they say: “Oh, well, we just wanted to try and we thought we’d ask you.” The son, naturally, as the hon. member says -- and the government has given evidence in some recent changes in legislation of wanting to continue the family farm situation, but the fact is that there are a lot of other benefits that flow to a son if he chooses to work with his father on the home farm rather than working down the road or over on that other concession I was talking about.

When all is considered under this bill, though, we are dealing with public funds, and I think all of us in this House would agree that we have to protect those funds against the possibility that one of the parents might have access to a social insurance number of children or other relatives and somehow there might be kind of abuse along that line. I’m sure the hon. member can understand how it could happen.

I have to tell the hon. member too that many of the farmers we’ve talked to -- 10 per cent of all the applications that have been approved are from farmers, and they’re quite happy with it -- when the question that he has just raised is answered, they sometimes feel at first that it is perhaps working against them a little bit, but as soon as we explain the other types of businesses where the abuse also could creep in, they agree with us.

Mr. McKessock: Anybody who has been in business for the last 10 years probably would be quite aware that it would be on their books whether they had paid their children or not. But the parliamentary assistant mentioned there were some benefits for farm children working for their parents. If they weren’t getting paid, it would appear that benefit would be working for nothing. I can’t see that as much of a benefit. If they haven’t been paid in the past, I think it would be quite in order for them to be paid now, because if they weren’t paid in the past it is to the advantage of the farmer to pay them and have this on his record of wages paid out as expenses towards him on his farm expenditures.

When the parliamentary assistant says that 10 per cent of the applications are from farmers, I wonder whether they are agreeing with it or whether they are going the other route of manipulating it, as he mentioned previously, by having their sons or daughters work for a neighbour and the neighbour’s sons or daughters for them. Would he not agree with me that if they haven’t been paid in previous years that there would be no harm in hiring them this year under this program?

Mr. Jones: I would suggest to the member for Grey that it would be in contradiction of the whole principle of the bill. The purpose of the bill is to create new jobs, to give that stimulus during the first period where jobs for young people wouldn’t have existed except for the stimulus and the grant under this program.


If the son was going to work, as you suggest, and maybe not be paid in that job in the previous summer, then this summer comes to work under a government subsidy with public funds, then I’m sure you can agree that we’re getting far afield from the principle that this grant is for a stimulus to create a job which otherwise wouldn’t have been.

Mr. McKessock: I want to point out that farmers’ sons and daughters don’t work for nothing any more. If they were not paid last year, they didn’t have a job. To me, they should be quite eligible to make application for this grant this year if they were not on the farmer’s books last year.

Mr. Jones: I will make due note of it. As I say we’ve had many inquiries along that line. This is a first and a new program and we certainly will keep that suggestion in mind. We’ve heard it from other farmers and I appreciate the member sharing his thought with us, but that’s what went into the thinking in the design of this program. As you know, there was an urgency to get it in place and we did proceed accordingly.

Section 4 agreed to.

On section 5:

Mr. Germa: Section 5 reads: “Every person who receives a grant or distribution of money under this Act or the youth employment program”; that indicates to me that there are two ways to get money. You either get a grant or distribution, or you get money under the youth employment program. I wonder if the parliamentary assistant could clear up that dilemma.

Mr. Jones: Certainly there’s no intention for there to be two vehicles under the program. There exists but one grant. I would suggest that probably the word “distribution” is in the minds of the legal people, something necessary in order to follow some consistency of wording with other bills similar to this that have proven to require that appropriate mention. I can tell you that most of the sections here have been tidied up from other existing and proven bills. There are no intentions in the bill other than that one dollar per hour grant, with the maximum of six per employer per site.

Mr. Germa: The intention of the bill is not what governs the execution of the bill. There is under this bill provision for a grant to be made. If there is no grant contemplated then I would suggest that the word “grant” should be removed to protect the bill’s integrity. If I might recite section 3, it starts by saying. “The minister may make grants;” so there are two avenues of passing out public funds.

I am just a little bit doubtful that there should be such wide open provisions in the bill. It’s not related. The grant is not related to the one dollar an hour as we understand it; and as is publicly understood, that there is a one dollar an hour subsidy on account of hours worked. You have in there the provision for a grant to be paid; it says it quite specifically without any equivocation. I’m going to ask the parliamentary assistant to consider amending the bill to remove the word “grant” wherever it appears.

Mr. Jones: Mr. Chairman, I don’t follow the member’s concern about there being any large inconsistency with it. The grant is one thing and is used in this context in the legal sense. Once you’ve received a grant -- I think we all understand what that is saying to us -- then there is the distribution of that money under the Act. Perhaps the member could suggest to me just how he would see it being improved by the choice of words such as it just being “distribution” or just being “grant.” Would he not agree that grant is one thing and distribution, as it says money flowing from that grant, are two different things.

Mr. Germa: Could I try to clarify my concern? In section 5, the word “or” is between the statement as it relates to grant or distribution and the youth employment program. When you use the word “or” it implies to me there are two different things we are talking about -- either a grant or the youth employment program. It implies to me there are two ways. You say there are not, but as long as that word is in there, I think we have two options.

Mr. Jones: Mr. Chairman, as I recall, this section 5 is dealing with a requirement that the minister can, in any manner prescribed, have provision here for certain protections, and then there is an offence provided. It says every person who receives a grant or distribution of money under the Act -- either of those two procedures -- and then it proceeds to go on “at such time and such manner as may be prescribed shall make a return to the minister if called upon.” I really can’t see that having any harmful effect or talking about two separate things.

There are the application procedures that would be involved in applying for the grant. There are time sheets that would be completed involving in the distribution of the money. I suggest that they are talking about different mechanics or any one of those mechanics as part of the grant, whether it be at the stage of money distribution or whether it be at the stage of them receiving the grant and making application for the grant. The minister retains the right, again as a check, guarding against abuse, of being able to ask, in the manner prescribed, for returns as to either of those mechanics.

Mr. Germa: Forgetting my first objection to the section, could I ask the parliamentary assistant has he determined what information is going to be asked for when a person makes this return as provided here. You say the time sheets of the employee are going to be part of the return? Is the profit of the company to be examined to ensure that we are not subsidizing an undue profit maker as a result of these subsidized wages? Is the profit of the business concerned going to be part of the return which the minister will demand?

Mr. Jones: There are, Mr. Chairman, provisions as set out, I believe later in the Act here, where anything to support and to ensure that the person qualifying and subsequently obtaining a grant under the bill does indeed qualify. You will notice that in a section to come, there is discussion, indeed a listing, of those type of documents that the ministry can call on -- free access to books of account, cash documents and so on. I think what they are obviously looking for there would be confirmation that there hadn’t been any abuse done to the system. So the profitability from these employees, or indeed the firm’s overall employment, has never been a criterion for the program. If they would merely complete a new job, they then would qualify, subject to all the other criteria that we have discussed in debate, for that dollar subsidy. How profitable they were, whether they lost money or made money, the normal process would take place in that business venture or that farming operation.

Mr. Germa: Mr. Chairman, do I understand then that any excess profit earned as a result of these subsidized wages by the province of Ontario is not a consideration? I find that difficult to accept. If a business is super-profitable, which it very well could be as a result of you and I paying part of the wages, is it proper then for the province of Ontario to pump tax dollars into a business which is already making profit which might be considered excessive?

Mr. Jones: Mr. Chairman, this came up in debate earlier and I felt we had clarified this. This is not a bill intended to stimulate fledgling businesses or businesses that are failing or new businesses that are being created. It is a bill to create employment for a crisis situation where young people are in disproportionate numbers among the unemployed in the province. It is working and working very well, and that’s what it sets out to do. I would think that young people are grateful for the job, be it from a profitable firm and/or whether it be for one that is fledgling and by them joining they have helped in the profitability of the firm. I think it is simply that it is a job and something that they can learn, with that valuable component they need so desperately, namely experience, that they can go on to continue with that firm. I would think that if the firm was profitable, it enhance the chances it could be an onward going job, an onward going possible career. Profitable businesses tend to expand and make opportunities for young people, so I don’t know why we would chastise or discriminate against any firm that happens to do what all businesses are in effect for, namely to make a profit. They do make good employers. Of course, we wouldn’t be discriminating against them just because they are profitable.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Profit is a good word in our economy.

Mr. Germa: Mr. Chairman, this proposition which the parliamentary assistant puts forward is in conflict with the government of Ontario’s philosophy that there should be a means test applied to every handout out of government dollars. In this case they don’t see fit to apply the means test. Every other welfare program in the province of Ontario has a means test.

Mr. Jones: Mr. Chairman, I don’t really understand what the member is saying to us. Is he saying that he doesn’t want us to be involved in this stimulating and creating of new jobs for these thousands of young people who needed those jobs, in this program that is proving itself to be working in supplying to them? I just don’t follow the point that the member is making.

Mr. Chairman: Order, please. I really feel that we are getting off section 5, which really deals with the auditing and showing the return to the government.

Mr. Germa: What we are talking about in the audit, Mr. Chairman, is subsidizing private businesses. That is really what we are doing. I would like to know who we are subsidizing. Certainly we are possibly creating a job, but by doing that we are funnelling money into private business. What I am concerned about is that the private business might get more benefit out of these tax dollars than the student who is going to be employed. They have offered me no proof that this is not going to happen.

Mr. Jones: Mr. Chairman, I would just like to clarify that we are not funnelling profits into any company. These dollars are going toward the salary, and I remind you that the employer is putting the largest part of that salary up before a new job is created.

Mr. Chairman: The member for Grey.

Mr. McKessock: Mr. Chairman, before I ask my question, I would like to have a point of clarification. This bill is going to be a continuous bill that will go on in 1978 as well as 1977?

Mr. Jones: The bill before us deals until September 16.

Mr. McKessock: We understand, then, that this program will end then, it won’t be a continuous program next year?

Mr. Jones: We can’t talk about that at this point in time, Mr. Chairman. We are in this case dealing with the May 30-September 16 date as presented in the bill.

Mr. Chairman: The member for Ottawa Centre.

Mr. Cassidy: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Just very briefly, can the parliamentary assistant explain why the clause that was originally put in the bill before it was reprinted and re-presented, allowing for agreements with Her Majesty in right of Canada, presumably the Canada Manpower service, in relation to this youth employment program, why was that dropped? Did the ministry decide not to go forward with that particular kind of administrative route, which might have had some economies, or were there ether reasons for dropping that particular proposal?

Mr. Jones: As I understand it from the legal staff, it wasn’t necessary. It was found to be unnecessary for the government to continue its intended and onward gaing discussion with the other level of government.

Mr. Cassidy: Have, in fact, any such agreements been struck with the Canada Manpower service or any other similar body?

Mr. Jones: I can’t say, Mr. Chairman, that there have been any specific conclusions drawn, but they are well on their way and have some very encouraging prospects; and as members know, almost all of the program is operating in concert between the two. We are discussing such things as funding.

Mr. Chairman: The member for Riverdale.

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Chairman, I am not talking about legal matters, although I happen to be a lawyer, so please don’t answer me about what the legal staff tells the ministry about it. My colleague, the member for Sudbury, raised a very important point for anyone who simply reads the bill. I take it that under section 3 of the bill, provision is made for the making of grants. My first question is, is there any other way except by grant that moneys can be paid out under the authority of this bill?

Mr. Jones: Mr. Chairman, I know of no other method by which an employer could receive any payment other than in the grant, as we understand it, the dollar.


Mr. Renwick: Then if I can go to section 5, which is the section under discussion, why is there any need to provide the additional words “or distribution of money under this Act”? Is subsection 1 of section 5 supposed to read: “Every person who receives a grant pursuant to section 3 shall at such times and in such manner as may be prescribed make a return to the minister in such form as the minister requires”?

Mr. Jones: Mr. Chairman, if I understand the member’s question we’re back talking about the grant for distribution. I don’t have any knowledge other than legal --

Mr. Renwick: I’m not particularly interested in that. I’m not talking about the value of the bill, or the value of the program, or how good it is, or how bad it is, or what it’s ideological concept is at all. I’m talking about the obligation of the minister responsible for this bill to account accurately for the public funds which are going to be spent. I think one of the accounting provisions is section 5(1), and I want to understand that no money can be paid out under this bill except pursuant to a grant under section 3.

Therefore, as my colleague from Sudbury was saying to the parliamentary assistant, I want subsection 1 of section 5 tightened up to make the provision that every person who receives a grant pursuant to section 3 shall at such times and in such manner as may he prescribed make a return to the minister in such form as the minister requires. That would appear to me to be the way in which we say, “You make the return because you’ve got a grant under section 3 which is the sole authority in the bill to pay out the money.”

Mr. Jones: We would be agreeable to an amendment of that subsection as outlined by the member, perhaps to read: “5(1): Every person who receives a grant of money under the youth employment program established under the Act shall at such times in said manner as may be prescribed make a return to the minister in such form as the minister requires.” I wonder if that might satisfy the member’s point as raised?

Mr. Renwick: I’m satisfied that that’s an improvement over the provision that is there. Of course, it’s not as good as the method that the member for Sudbury and I would like, but we’ll accept that as a compromise.

Mr. Chairman: Is any member going to propose an amendment? Thank you.

Mr. Jones moves that subsection 1 of section 5 be amended by substituting the following: “Every person who receives a grant of money under the youth employment program established under this Act shall at such times and in such manner as may be prescribed make a return to the minister in such form as the minister requires.”

Motion agreed to.

Section 5, as amended, agreed to.

On section 6:

Mr. Bounsall: I have a series of questions under section 6, Mr. Chairman, which expresses some of my concerns. The youth secretary will recall yesterday he responded rather favourably to my suggestion that maybe he should get from the employment standards branch those thick files which they have for the purpose of knowing who to inspect after one has given the grant.

My question is in this regard, how many additional persons are you hiring to do the inspection? If you are not hiring any additional inspectors to do the inspection but are relying upon personnel already there within the ministry, would they from time to time loan those personnel to the employment standards branch on a regular basis so that they may perform the checking under the regular divergences from the normal employment so that they may shorten the time from four to six months that it takes them to check out a case because of their overload? I would just like to know how many there are and if they would be made available to the normal form of job inspection so that an adequate job can be done on a continuing basis in the normal fashion, which I hear from employment standards officers they are so overworked to the point that it takes them four to six months to complete the investigation of a case?

Mr. Jones: Mr. Chairman, I am not familiar with the employment standards branch, and to what extent the officers are overworked. However, I can say that in the administration of this program the youth secretariat has hired 22 people who are working to make certain that there aren’t abuses, to help the most efficient running of the program for the maximum benefit, and the municipal subsidies branch of Treasury, Economics and Intergovernmental Affairs, another 35. Then there is a hard core of very seasoned and experienced people of the type we discussed, available between those two offices who will be working on an onward going basis for, yes, the audit period and, yes, of course, the mechanics of gathering together the criteria and the statistics that we discussed. In fact, I would say to the member that we would have the outline in the type of statistical data that we will be gathering ready within the next couple of days and I would be happy to share a copy with him. That is in addition to the other material I talked to him about.

Mr. Bounsall: I appreciate that.

Mr. Chairman: Shall section 6 carry?

Section 6 agreed to.

On section 7:

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Chairman, I am disturbed by section 7(4), which refers to the secrecy provisions of this particular bill. It seems to be exceptionally rigidly drawn. I am not sure whether the minister’s assistant has had some words with the member for Riverdale about this, but if I can quote it it says: “No person employed in the administration or enforcement of this Act shall disclose information obtained under this Act, except where the disclosure is necessary for the administration or enforcement of this Act or where the disclosure is required by a court.”

Mr. Chairman, as I read that particular section it seems to me what that means is that even the basic statistical information which the assistant was so liberal in promising during the debate yesterday will be denied to this House, because there is no way, after that section of the bill is passed, that any kind of a report can be made. In addition, there are other problems, which I think are more complicated problems, as between the confidentiality which is normally given to people in the private sector generally on the one hand, and the fact that these people are receiving a grant of substantial sums of money -- in some cases I guess they can be eligible to receive up to $3,000 or $4,000; I suppose it is not a lot but it is something -- from the Legislature, and substantial sums of money are involved. Is there not some way that this section could be worded differently in order to ensure, first, that where concerned members of the public do have a particular need to know about money going out into the private sector, that that becomes public, or at least becomes available, second, that that treatment be extended to members of the Legislature, and third, that we and the public become entitled to adequate statistical information on the workings of this particular program, which, as the assistant has said, is new, and that information which would otherwise be deprived if the section stands as it is right now?

Mr. Jones: Mr. Chairman, the speaker refers to subsection 4 of section 7, and under section 1(a) we are talking about free access of books of account, of cash, documents, bank accounts, vouchers and other critical information of that employer if it was called upon by the minister. Of course, that is what subsection 4 speaks to in order to protect the employer. Of course, information can be released in the aggregate, which I was talking to yesterday in debate and again mentioned for the member for Windsor-Sandwich, but not on an independent individual returns basis.

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Chairman, if I just could pick up on that point, I understand the need for confidentiality in The Corporations Tax Act or The Income Tax Act or that kind of statute which deals with the personal or corporate financial secrets of the particular business organization.

I think what is concerning us here is not a roving expedition in order to find out about the business of such-and-such a person, but surely we should be entitled in very bold terms to say to the minister or to the parliamentary assistant, “This program was put into force on such-and-such a date and ended on such-and-such a date. Will you now publish, as indeed may well be necessary in public accounts, the names of all of the persons and the amounts which were received by them by way of grant under this youth employment program, so that we know who the people are who have had the benefit of this supplement for wage purposes?”

I think that is all we are trying to get at in the bill. It seems to us that we should know who receives a grant and how much that grant was for the period of time during which this program is in effect -- which, although the bill doesn’t state it, and we’ll come to it in a few minutes, under the regulatory power is presumably from May 30 to September 16, as was stated by the Treasurer in the budget.

But this seems to preclude, so far as I can see, any need in public accounts for a list to be made of all persons who received these moneys and the amount they received, and seems to preclude us from putting an inquiry on the order paper to the ministry saying, “Who did receive this money and how much did they get?” as part of the information we would expect to get for the purpose of making a review and assessment of the effectiveness of the program for the purpose for which it is being introduced.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Chairman, maybe I could just make this suggestion. To pick up on the point of the member for Riverdale, I think there is a clear distinction, as the member for Riverdale has pointed out, between the general parameters of the plan -- what industry it was, what firm got how much money or what firm had how many people -- and the more specific details. I agree that this is not the place or the Act, and perhaps nowhere is the place or the Act, for the public to have access to the information which the minister’s designate has the right to look at under sections 6 and 7 of the bill. I think that is the distinction to be made.

I was just about to write an amendment, which I would commend to the parliamentary assistant. However, I think if we made one change in section 7(4) it would meet the objections that we have and could be acceptable to the ministry. That is, instead of saying that all information obtained under the Act is absolutely confidential -- including the number of grants, the amount of money spent, and that kind of thing -- it should say: “No person employed in the administration or enforcement of this Act shall disclose information obtained under this section or section 7.”

In other words, the confidential company material to which a minister’s inspector or auditor can become privy when he goes to look at the books of the company, has to be kept confidential except where it is necessary for enforcement of the Act or for court purposes. However it’s not an omnibus kind of control which would impair reasonable kinds of disclosure of information which it seems to me is in public interest.

I will so move, Mr. Chairman, and I’ll write the amendment out right now.


Mr. Chairman: The amendment will not be put until it is received, if the parliamentary assistant would like to make a comment.

Mr. Jones: Perhaps while the member is writing that out we could ask him to reconsider its necessity in the light of my comments. First, as I mentioned, I think the main purpose we were discussing in debate yesterday was the knowledge that could come as a side benefit out of this program. We have early figures I’ve already shared to some extent in the debate and I have made a commitment to make those figures available in aggregate terms.

Further, I think it’s quite within the scope of this program that we could provide information to an individual member of the House if he requested it at any time in confidentiality -- not to be published. I think that’s the intention. A well-known pickle company, for example, may not necessarily want to have statistics that they might supply to us printed and appearing in some kind of newspaper discussion about their internal affairs.

We have as our primary intention under this bill the provision of jobs. In recognizing that we’re doing that in partnership with the private sector we’re anxious not to discredit the program. We don’t want to frighten away bona fide employers who do have the capacity and would join us in providing new career opportunities and in putting some vitality back into the business economy where young people might have been missing heretofore. And, of course, businessmen do have some guarded thoughts when it comes to supplying some of that material. They’re happy to do it, as we’ve seen in our applications.

I think the minister is prepared to say that we could provide to individual members of the House, if requested in confidentiality, any of the information that they might want to satisfy themselves about that company with those six employees -- and as the member mentioned it’s probably something like $3,000 at the very maximum that they could be receiving. That would be made available.

I might also say that is why we have, as it happens, not only the Manpower facilities checking the legitimacy of these firms; also we have the Youth Secretariat doing so, because we have some social conscience about the nature of the jobs. Then, of course we also have a follow-up of the municipal subsidies grant; you have some long-standing expertise in checking that. Now if that helps the member, or whether he still wants to proceed with his amendment --

Mr. Renwick: I heard the parliamentary assistant; I think what bothered me was the “in confidence” part of it. I am a great believer in transacting public business in public.

It seems to me that I don’t see any interest that is hurt in any way by an inquiry being put on the order paper by a member of the assembly, asking the ministry to list all of the grantees under this Act and the amount that they received. I don’t know any way in which a person who is making an application for a grant can be hurt by that kind of public disclosure. But at least the knowledge that that information would be available is an added protection to the Treasury against people trying to rip the system off. It is a way in which we will be able, with that information to ask in an objective sense for the kind of additional information from the ministry from their monitoring processes that tells us we expended this number of dollars, we created this number of youth job employment opportunities for this period of time.

Then you can talk in accounting terms about sort of the cost benefit of the program. Did it work? Did it make sense? Is it a viable one? Because one of the things which is obvious about this bill is that there’s no self-destruct provision in the bill. When this summer is past and September 16 has come and gone, this Act will remain on the books for next summer. The only thing that ties it into summer is section 2 which refers to “summer.” So I don’t think it can be used for job opportunities at other times in the year, but I can see that it’s going to continue on the books and next year there’ll be a new statement about summer job opportunities for youth; so this has a continuing effect.

If we are launching upon a series of summer job opportunity programs for young people, which is certainly envisaged by the fact that the bill doesn’t self-destruct, then I think we in the assembly have got to be in a position where we can get the basic information, with the guidance and the assistance of the ministry, to make the assessment that is necessary about the value of spending this number of dollars to do this job of work. That is our sole and only reason, and therefore I’m always worried when something is disclosed to me in confidence by the government. We’ve had that problem before, and it’s always a mistake for a member of this assembly to receive information in confidence about public matters in that sense.

If the parliamentary assistant’s statement to us could stand clearly on the record without the words “in confidence” in his remarks, then I’m quite happy to let the record stand so that we can get the information in the assembly.

Mr. Jones: Mr. Chairman, first I would merely explain that our concern is not that we’d sensed any reluctance by these employers we’ve been in contact with to share this information, merely that we did want to make certain that we didn’t turn off any potential jobs to the young people.

In any event, there is one thought that strikes me, and perhaps the member would give me his learned opinion on it. Subsection 4 reads: “No person employed,” which does not preclude the minister from making available that information obtained under this Act.

Mr. Chairman: Shall section 7 carry?

Mr. Renwick: No, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Chairman: No? The member for Riverdale.

Mr. Cassidy: Are you making that as a motion or as a suggestion?

Mr. Jones: No, I was asking the previous speaker if perhaps he wanted to pass comment on that.

Mr. Cassidy: Are you suggesting that ministers are super-human?

Mr. Jones: No, I’m merely saying --

Mr. Cassidy: Inhuman.

Mr. Jones: -- it does not include the minister as written. But to satisfy the members who have talked to this subsection --

Mr. Cassidy: What happens when you get into a telephone booth, Bob?

Mr. Jones: -- we would be happy to make an amendment, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Renwick: I would be quite happy. I’m not a grammarian, but I would assume if subsection 4 read: “No person other than the minister.” -- no; “No person employed in the administration or enforcement of this Act other than the minister shall disclose the information obtained under the Act.” Presumably we could ask the minister then for information. Subject to your support.

Mr. Jones: I would so move, that in section 7(4), second line after the words “of this Act”, the words “other than the minister” be inserted.

Mr. Chairman: The Chair would be glad to accept that in writing.

Mr. Cassidy: The Chair is being obstructive.

Hon. Mr. Welch: This bill runs out in September, I hope we can get it carried by then.

Mr. Cassidy: We may make it.

Mr. Gaunt: What is this requirement about two hours’ notice?

Mr. Peterson: Mr. Chairman, in fairness, on a point of order, don’t you need the general consent of the House at least to introduce an amendment with no notice; under the new rule? You created a horrible fuss for my friend from Huron-Bruce the other day.

Mr. Chairman: With respect to the member for London Centre, I believe it says “wherever possible” in the rule. I realize there was a bit of a problem at the last sitting of the committee.

Mr. Jones: As I set this in writing, Mr. Chairman, I wonder if I might ask the members’ indulgence and consideration of this amendment as an alternative to our insertion after the word “Act” in section 7.

I would move that subsection 4 of section 7 of the bill be amended by striking out “this Act” in the third line and inserting in that line the words, “section 6 of this section.”

Mr. Cassidy: That is what I moved 10 or 15 minutes ago, Mr. Chairman, and it’s obviously acceptable to us.

Mr. Peterson: Would you repeat that?

Mr. Renwick: If I may, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Chairman: Excuse me. May I just put the question? Then we can discuss the amendment.

Mr. Jones moves that subsection 4 of section 7 of the bill be amended by striking out “this Act” in the third line and inserting in lieu thereof “section 6 of this section.”

Mr. Cassidy: “Of this Act.”

Mr. Chairman: May I ask the parliamentary assistant, did he say “section 6 of this section”?

Mr. Jones: “Of this Act,” Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Chairman: So it’s corrected to read: “... and inserting in lieu thereof ‘section 6 of this Act.’”

Mr. Jones: Just to clarify it, Mr. Chairman: “Section 6 or this section.”

Mr. Renwick: Yes, that’s fine.

Section 7, as amended, agreed to.

On section 8:

Mr. Renwick: On section 8, Mr. Chairman, I was able to have a brief word with the legal adviser to the parliamentary assistant and whatever other capacity he operates in. All I want to do is to read into the record a portion of the memorandum which was given to the parliamentary assistant in connection with this bill so that everybody understands clearly that it has this effect. I quote from that memorandum of today’s date to the parliamentary assistant:

“Section 8, subsection 1, creates an offence for a false or misleading statement in any document required by the Act. A statement can be false or misleading by reason of one of two factors: (a) a positive false statement or (b) the omission of a material fact. The saving provision in subsection 2 of section 8 is broad enough to cover any false or misleading statement, whether made as a result of a positive statement or the omission of a material fact.”

I simply wanted to put that on the record because a number of people not knowledgeable in the arcane science of the law believe that if they omit to state something, they can’t be held responsible for that omission. I’m quite happy with the explanation which we have received but I did want the record to show that is the net effect of the whole of section 8.

Section 8 agreed to.

On section 9:


Mr. Peterson: I regret that I missed out on the discussion on section 3 earlier. Much to my embarrassment last night I thought we were still discussing this section. I am just not satisfied and I want to hear from the parliamentary assistant what pre-audit condition and terms are being imposed here. Are you asking for affidavits upon application?

I go back to that very hoary memory that I have about the first-time home owners’ grants. It is great to talk about all these charging sections after the fact, but it would be much nicer to make sure that none of these things happen. Certainly the experience there was not so much deceit or malice aforethought; it was just a lack of understanding of the legislation and lack of understanding of the rules, and we saw a tremendous number of problems resulting therefrom.

I just want to be very clear in my own mind. If I am asking for you to repeat, I apologize for that. What percentage are you checking, how are you checking, and what kind of pre-audit system are you using?

Mr. Jones: Mr. Chairman, yes, the comparison was made in debate of the home buyers’ grant. Indeed, this Act does provide for much broader audit and inspection powers, and in fact they are taking place. They commence originally with the employer going to the Manpower student centre. The application was especially designed for us to convey both verbally and by the application just what the requirements are, plus there is the material for that employer. However, there is also a telephone clarification and check and discussion with that employer at that early stage before any acceptability.

Mr. Peterson: By whom, to whom?

Mr. Jones: That is by the municipal subsidies branch people. Then the application is returned to the Manpower office where it is recorded, and it is there for several reasons. One is, the young people can go there and ask. Of course, the local Manpower office also clearly knows the circumstances of that employer in its particular region. Then it comes to the Ontario Youth Secretariat where it is again checked and then it goes to the subsidies branch of TEIGA. At that point, yet again there is the final clarification before it is sent back as having been approved.

That is followed up by a visitation of staff to the employer, and that might take the place of a phone call in the early stages if there is just one employee. Maybe the firm is well known to the people working in that community, who might well have visited him to encourage him to take advantage of the plan and might know his circumstances. Then there is the auditing both on a spot and onward-going basis and there is a proviso for a wrap-up complete audit at the end of the program.

Mr. Peterson: On what percentage of the cases do all those checks and balances take place -- in every single instance of an application or just 10 per cent or 15 per cent? You are telling me that in 100 per cent of the cases the employer has to go to the Manpower office, sit down with the Manpower officer and fill out the application form in conjunction with him? Is that what you are telling me?

Mr. Jones: Mr. Chairman, he may not physically go to that Manpower office. He very likely has a Manpower representative calling on him on a regular basis if he is an employer of any substance and it may be that several applications are brought to him and other large employers in the area.

Mr. Peterson: But you are saying the Manpower officer is there in 100 per cent of the cases.

Mr. Jones: In the early stages they have been able to do that with the manpower that we have available from the two different levels of government that are working on it. I won’t undertake to say that every one of them is going to have that complete audit, given the numbers that we are now starting to deal with, as we have approved no less than some 13,000 applications representing some two jobs.

We may not have that capacity to do them all but I certainly would hope that the high percentage that we have been able to maintain -- which would run I would guess somewhere in the order of 100 per cent as far as the telephoning that has taken place is concerned, probably I would think at least 50-and-better per cent of actual visitations -- I hope we will be able to maintain that though the rest of the summer, because it is also a fact-finding and gathering mission that we are on and there are a lot of other benefits that flow from it. So it is a very high percentage. I hope we can maintain it.

Mr. Peterson: Are you planning post-audit for a percentage of them, or what plans do you have for that?

Mr. Jones: There will be a complete post-audit taking place and, of course, we will be marrying into that all the on-spot ongoing audits that have taken place during the course of the program.

Mr. Peterson: I pass on for whatever it’s worth a reaction that I had from looking at that first-time home owner’s grant -- and the member for Riverdale may or may not agree with me; I would be interested in his comments on it -- that had there been an affidavit attached to the application it probably would have impressed applicants. One can argue about the legal efficacy of swearing an affidavit. On the other hand, it seems to me that it would have impressed the solemnity or the seriousness or the gravity of the situation more on the applicant, and I tend to think personally there may have been fewer abuses. The great problem in that one, in my judgement, was just poor administration and ignorance of the program throughout the system, and of course no pre-checks. That seems to me one easy, simple little cheek that costs no money, that perhaps is not on the applications and there is nothing we can do about it now, but had I been asked, it would be a suggestion that I would have had at that point. Do you have any reaction to that, or maybe the member for Riverdale has a reaction to that?

Mr. Jones: Mr. Chairman, if I may, I would remind the member that we have already had a 10 per cent rejection, so I think you can tell that this is being very carefully handled. I can tell you another thing, I think it was mentioned before several times, that we have three levels of government. For the most part, these people are familiar with such a program, they do have banks of people who are quite capable. I don’t know of any program, certainly not the home buyer’s grant, that had three different sections of government dealing with it from a different slant of expertise in it. On the application, incidentally, in a very prominent way at the very start of it, there is the declaration that the signature of the employer must be attached to. “I declare that the employment of persons under this program will not result in dismissal, layoff, reduction in regular hours and periods of work of any existing employees. I declare that all information given above is true and complete in all respects.” It goes on: “I understand that the amount of any grant given on the basis of an application containing false or misleading information is subject to repayment with interest I further understand that it is an offence under The Youth Employment Act, 1977, to knowingly give false or misleading information, and all information provided in connection with this application is subject to verification and audit.”

I think that puts it very clearly in an otherwise simplified application, which we intentionally did try to design, so nobody is being kidded either way.

Mr. Peterson: I accept that and I know you have thought it out I just want to express my own reservation that I think in that particular case the government invited all of the abuses that it received, and it still isn’t cleaned up after the fact. At this late date, all I can say is I hope you put the attention into that that it requires, because government can make people into cheaters and liars, if they are not very careful. We must avoid that at all costs. I am satisfied.

Section 9 agreed to.

On section 10:

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Chairman, I would like a statement under section 10, which is the power to pass the regulations -- although the bill is couched in very general terms, and as I said a few minutes ago, has no self-destruct provision in it and will be an ongoing bill that will remain on the statutes -- that the one and only program the government now has in mind to be covered by the regulation which the parliamentary assistant assured us last night would be promulgated within a few days after the bill receives royal assent and comes into force, the program we are talking about is the one described by the Treasurer in his budget statement in 1977 on April 19, and more elaborately set forth in appendix B to that budget statement, referring, of course, to the $1 supplement per employee hired under the employment opportunity program, and refers to the time period of March 30 to September 16.

Mr. Jones: Indeed, as the member outlined, there is no authority at this time for the regulations until the bill is passed. But as discussed in last evening’s debate it will be going forward immediately, within a couple of days, to the regulations committee.

Yes, the background paper is in the budget, in appendix B -- I believe it was budget statement 39 -- and therein it does set out such things as the date the hon. member mentions, May 30 and it runs to September 16.

There are also such other items as the dollar, as mentioned, and such items as the employer restriction to six, I believe, six jobs per site.

There is indication the employer will be required to submit monthly statements signed by the employer and the employee jointly to verify hours and wages. All that’s set out in that appendix that the member refers to, yes.

Mr. Walker: I’d like to raise questions with respect to the regulations. I presume it’s the intention of the parliamentary assistant to have a program that will be governed by regulation in the sense of a start-up period. The start-up period is written in in section 10(2); and the finish period, which would presumably be September 16 this year, that would be done by regulation.

What I’d like to have clarified is whether or not this program is intended to be an on-going program. If so, perhaps we can deal with it on that basis. But if it’s intended to be a once-in-a-lifetime program perhaps this is where we should be writing in a terminal date, perhaps in one of the later sections; or perhaps in section 10(2), the regulations section.

This sort of relates to the question of a sunset law that I’ve been promoting for the last couple of years. I was very pleased to see the Liberal Party adopt part of my platform this year in their most recent election effort.

Mr. Peterson: You’re a real leader in your own way.

Mr. Cassidy: They’ve already dipped below the horizon.

Mr. Walker: So I’m wondering if it would be appropriate to write in a termination date if this is intended to be a program that will fall by the wayside this year.

Mr. Eakins: We’re setting your termination date.

Mr. Walker: If such is not the case we should at least be aware that it could be ongoing and forever. Frankly, I do not like programs that continue on and on and would prefer some form of terminal date. If there is reason to bring a new program on stream in another year -- 1979 or 1988 or whatever it is -- then instead of relying on the previous legislation a new Act could be introduced to cover that particular situation.

There is a value, Mr. Chairman, I think, in legislation dying after a while. Frankly, we have so many programs on the books it becomes absolutely impossible to keep track of what we do have in the form of legislation and regulation.

Mr. Cassidy: It’s the dead hand of government being extended by Conservatives.

Mr. Walker: As my friend mentions, it is just the kind of thing that ensnarls small business.

Mr. Cassidy: The tentacles of statism.

Mr. Walker: But in any case, I would be pleased if the parliamentary assistant would respond to that question and consider whether termination date would be appropriate at this time.

Mr. Jones: Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the comments of the member. The bill is, as has been mentioned in debate, an onward-going one, and the dates being dealt with for this year are as contained in the regulations.

I think it’s very difficult for us -- and we’ve seen it in this debate -- given the changes that are taking place in the work place as they affect the youth unemployment problem. We know it is of international magnitude and is very difficult. We hear talk of it peaking in 1980 and 1981 as the postwar baby boom clears through that young go-to-work period. It is very difficult to achieve that. The bill is planned as an onward-going program, and the government would have to determine the extent and the scope of any changes in design that might be found to deal with other circumstances that may exist next year or in some other period of time. But I think it’s clearly said, as the bill has stated, and of course in the regulations --

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Chairman, I’d like to comment, because it came from the member for London South. In his 22 months in the wilderness he’s moved to the right, even further than I thought; and his allusion to the Liberal Party puts him in that camp. As a matter of fact the Liberal Party may get Gordon for Marvin; you never can tell.


Mr. Peterson: Throw in a case of beer with it.

Mr. Walker: Mr. Chairman, are we to interpret from what the parliamentary assistant is saying that this program will in fact be in place next year, 1978; and that the youth of Ontario can expect that same type of dollar-match program?

Mr. Cunningham: That’s what he said.

Mr. Jones: If we have these needs that we are experiencing now I can certainly say that we in the Youth Secretariat will be looking forward to seeing the program operative again next year, given the success that we have here.

Mr. Renwick: I want to comment on this section because of the remark made by the member for London South and because of the remark made by the parliamentary assistant.

One of the values of the system that we have as set out in a clause which we’ll come to in a minute is that we don’t need sunset laws. We don’t need specific dates in them because the moneys can only be made available if they are voted by this assembly. Therefore you can always stop a program if you actually face up to your responsibility at the time and don’t vote the money for the program.

It’s very easy to do it that way, rather than to hide behind a date which we would now fix for the so-called sunset date on which there will be no youth unemployment problem. The problem in the United States, where the term “sunset law” came from, is that the funding of those programs are ongoing without any method of stopping them. We can stop them every year in the estimates by not voting the money to be appropriated for that program. We, therefore, under our system of government accept that responsibility and don’t duck it. We stop programs when they are no longer necessary.

Mr. Walker: That would be a confidence motion.

Mr. Renwick: It would not be a confidence motion at all. If the assembly didn’t vote the funds by way of appropriation, then the moneys would not be available. If the government chose to treat it as a matter of confidence, that would be fine. It’s a matter of judgement and responsibility.

Mr. Peterson: Is the member for London South moving an amendment or what exactly is he doing?

Mr. Walker: No, Mr. Chairman, I am content to hear that the program is going to be ongoing and that in fact the youth of Ontario can expect that the same program will be there in 1978 and 1979, unless repealed in the meantime.

Mr. Renwick: No, they can’t.

Mr. MacDonald: The member hasn’t grasped it.

Mr. Peterson: Unless he is electioneering, he totally misunderstands what the parliamentary assistant said and the whole object of the bill. It is going to have to be a function of a new allocation of funds in the future and the mechanism is there. Are you saying the mechanism should be abolished, or are you saying we shouldn’t vote funds --

Mr. Chairman: Order, please, would you direct your question through the Chair to the parliamentary assistant?

Mr. Eakins: The parliamentary assistant is advising --

Mr. Peterson: Would you direct my questions over to the member for London South?

Mr. Chairman: No, I wouldn’t.

Mr. Jones: Mr. Chairman, on a point of order, I wonder if we could get back to the clause by clause. I do believe that we’ve satisfied most inquiries that it isn’t an ongoing program. Next year there would be an assessment in due course and I think I’ve given our indication how we feel on the program and how it might have improvements from the benefits of the knowledge as we come to know about it. I think we’re all pretty well clear on that, if we could move on.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Chairman, a brief question on section 10. The unemployment rate for young people who were students in May was 13½ per cent, 38,000 out of 280,000 who were in the labour market. Has the parliamentary assistant a figure for the number of young people, students in particular, who were unemployed in June and what other provisions have they forecast for the rest of the summer?

Mr. Jones: Of course, there are no statistics available now that the students have come into the market. We haven’t had the benefit of those. However, we have had actually a reduction of the unemployment figures relative to young people as a whole. That includes the student population, which was calculated in them previously. February was probably our peak as we see it. We’ve had a reduction in the May figures, but nevertheless they remain very high and very serious. We know that this year’s numbers coming into the work place for full-time -- we were touching on it yesterday -- was that figure of 197,700 and a participation factor of some 60 per cent of that.

We do have reduced figures, and we have some projections that have come from the federal level of government as well, which we have been able to work with, that clearly show, as was recorded in the last three or four years, that we will have a decline in the tail end of June, through July, through August, into and including September. Then we will see that graph take off again as somehow in October the summer employment figure seems to rise again. It was 12.9 in May -- and that would be for youth, of course, not students -- and then all the summer employment programs come into play.

But perhaps we could provide you, as we were going to be doing in the next two weeks, with some of the material that I was saying we used in the design of this program. We would have the update material I would think by then and we could pass that along to you.

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Chairman, I think it’s worth a comment that in section 11 we are imposing a limitation period of two years from the event, so that in fact if there is any fraud under the program or any misrepresentation that could lead to charges of any kind, the Legislature is establishing a limitation period of two years. For want of anything better I accept that, but I think the House should be aware that that limitation is contained in the bill.

Mr. Jones: I believe that in other bills of this kind the statute of limitations would be something in the order of six months. It was felt necessary to see it go to the two years in the audit period to make certain of any lack of abuses.

Section 10 agreed to.

Sections 11 to 14, inclusive, agreed to.

Bill 11, as amended, reported.

On motion by Hon. Mr. Welch, the committee of the whole House reported one bill with certain amendments and asked for leave to sit again.


The following bill was given third reading on motion:

Bill 11, An Act to provide Employment Opportunities for Youth in Ontario.


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

Hon. Mrs. Scrivener: Mr. Speaker, Bill 12 proposes amendments to The Retail Sales Tax Act in order to meet certain objectives of this government’s budgetary policy as follows:

As we all know, the need to conserve energy and explore new energy alternatives is critical. This bill proposes to exempt from retail sales tax, thermal insulation materials used in buildings and certain alternative energy sources such as solar panels designed to collect energy.

This bill also proposes to increase the exemption level for retail sales tax purposes on charges for admission from 75 cents to $3. It is hoped this will be of considerable assistance to local social, charitable and athletic organizations in their efforts to raise funds for their own support.

Tourism is one of Ontario’s largest industries and must remain competitive with that of other jurisdictions. Accordingly, this bill proposes two items:

1. A complete exemption from retail sales tax for certain disposable items used in hotel, motel and similar establishment guest rooms (examples are disposable sewing kits, facial tissues and bar soap); and

2. An increase in the exemption on prepared meals from $5 each to $6 each.

In recognition of increased costs, this bill also proposes an increase in the amount of compensation paid to vendors for collecting the retail sales tax. The new rate is four per cent of tax collected up to $700 in a year. This is a one-third increase in the rate and a 40 per cent increase in the maximum.

These changes reflect the government’s recognition of changing social priorities in the case of energy conservation and of the need to help keep Ontario industry competitive with other jurisdictions.

Mr. Petersen: On a point of order -- and I want your advice on this, Mr. Speaker -- it seems to me when we are dealing with this bill it should stand down, particularly behind the bill to impose on certain pollutants, because what we’re talking about in this particular case is a tax on a tax and it seems to me some of the sections here are dependent on what happens with that particular bill. It is my understanding that there is a considerable amount of disagreement, particularly from the opposition, on that particular bill. It seems to me that we would be in a better position to discuss this bill, having disposed of that bill, which I believe is numbered 53.

Hon. Mr. Welch: The member for Sarnia (Mr. Blundy) has already served notice as to what he is going to do with it. Has the hon. member seen it?

Mr. Peterson: Yes, we’ve served notice that we are going to amend. But, just to carry on with that, if Bill 53 passes, it may affect the judgement on this particular bill. I’m saying that to regularize the order, we would be better off to discuss this bill behind Bill 53. I’m just trying to be helpful and constructive here and I think the government House leader, if he thinks about it, will probably agree with me.

Mr. Acting Speaker: May I draw to the hon. member’s attention that the Chair does not make the decision on calling the order of business and unless the government House leader wishes to comment further, perhaps we should proceed.

Mr. Cassidy: On the point of order -- and I guess the government House leader would say this as well -- if no tax is payable under The Environmental Tax Act as a result of actions that are taken by this House this evening or within a couple of days then, as the member for Lakeshore (Mr. Lawlor) would say, this particular amendment at the beginning of Bill 12 becomes nugatory and doesn’t really count. Therefore, it is quite appropriate to proceed at this time on this bill. Obviously the major principle is not that particular section but the other sections that the minister referred to.

Mr. Peterson: Just to respond to that, we are then going to end up with a statute that’s got excess verbiage in it referring to a nonexistent statute --

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please. The government House leader has called the order of business. I think there has been discussion on the point of order. I would ask the hon. member for Sarnia to continue with his debate.

Mr. Blundy: In my remarks on Bill 12, Mr. Speaker, I was going to raise the same point that the hon. member for London Centre has already raised. However, I would like to make some comments following the minister’s brief comments on the bill.

We are very happy to see that there will be exemptions for thermal insulation and other materials to help conserve energy in this province. This is very important to us and we are very happy to see that in this bill.

The matter of the compensation payable to the vendors who are the collectors of tax, in my opinion and in the opinion of many of us in Ontario, is long overdue and will be welcomed by them. It is a compensation that is well deserved, in my opinion.

To be quite brief in my response to the bill, we in the official opposition agree with all of the items included in this bill for the amendment of The Retail Sales Tax Act, except for section 1(1)(ba). As you know, Mr. Speaker, I have already given my notice in writing to amend this bill, and the amendment would be to delete section 1(1)(ba).


We in this official opposition do not agree with what is proposed in The Environmental Tax Act, the tax on cans. We are hopeful that will be withdrawn or defeated. It seems to me that we ought not to be placing in this bill a tax on that proposed tax, which I don’t believe will ever come into being.

Secondly, I don’t think that it is even constitutional. I don’t believe that we are able to impose a tax on an existing tax. However --

Mr. Roy: Good point. You should know that; it’s true.

Mr. Blundy: However, Mr. Speaker -- I’ll get used to those interjections shortly.

Hon. Mr. Welch: They are all coming from your side.

Mr. Blundy: However, Mr. Speaker, I am now giving notice of amendment to delete section 1(1)(ba). Otherwise, we support the bill as placed before us. Thank you.

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

Mr. Makarchuk: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. In rising to discuss this grab-bag collection of nonentities which is being passed on as a major policy statement of the government -- actually the bill represents, I think quite accurately, the major tax statement of the government, but there’s really nothing in it that is going to change anything or improve anything.

I think there are some specific little sections that will provide some assistance to some people. Particularly I welcome the increase in exemption on the entertainment tax. I think there are little drama groups around the province, tractor-pulls, fairs, community shows and so on, that will probably find this a useful tax exemption increase and it would help them.

In terms of the meals, I think that again this is the minister’s thrust, or the government’s thrust to try perhaps, and I think the Treasurer said this in his speech, to improve the tourism trade in Canada. I think you’ll find that any meal under $5 or under $6 these days, if you can get it for $2.25 or $2.50 it’s reasonable, and anything that is a little better is over $6, so in terms of the total effect on the restaurant industry, I just can’t see it having any advantage whatsoever. I’m sure the hon. government House leader knows that it’s very difficult to get a decent meal these days under $6 and most other members around here have similar experiences.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Great quality meals at Niagara-on-the-Lake though.

Mr. Swart: You get a special rate, Bob.

Mr. Makarchuk: The minister waxed euphoric over the conservation of energy and it seems the minister has come to the conclusion that energy is critical. I’m sure that’s an amazing revelation to her at this lime. So as a result of this rather amazing revelation, what do they do? They’re going to take the tax off thermal insulation.

We can’t argue with that. I think that it’s not a bad move; it’s a move in the right direction. It’s something that should have been done a long time ago, something that’s been advocated and discussed on many other occasions.

I think, however, that we should put a little clause in there to the effect that perhaps this insulation should be produced in Canada. I think that’s one way of taking some advantage, or providing some kind of a tax incentive to our own industry. I think that’s an amendment that should be considered for that particular section.

Mr. Makarchuk: In terms of heat pumps, I doubt if there are 100 heat pumps sold in Canada in a whole year. The people who have the money to install the heat pumps can well afford to pay the tax. Heat pumps are not very cheap. It’s a very expensive installation and generally this is the kind of a tax that’s really to the benefit of the wealthy. The average individual in Ontario is not going to be buying a heat pump, he has problems getting a house. And the apartment dweller, what kind of a heat pump is he going to use?

Mr. Roy: Do you have a heat pump?

Mr. Cunningham: On your boat?

Mr. Makarchuk: Once again, just looking at this particular section, it mentions heat recovery units. That’s interesting because, in looking at the technology that’s available in terms of heat recovery units, it’s really not the kind of equipment that’s readily available to the average home owner. It’s equipment that will have to be specialized, and certainly most homes do not provide too great an opportunity for the installation of this kind of equipment.

Another exotic little gimmick mentioned here is “solar cells to be used to produce directly from sunlight electricity to charge batteries.” How many people does the minister really think are going to take advantage of this? Is this her answer to the energy crisis, a little tinkering here and a little tinkering there? How many people in Toronto are going to rush out tomorrow or the day after to buy solar cells to charge up their storage batteries, which they’re going to use to heat their homes or something of that nature? It’s ludicrous. It’s damned impossible to operate under that kind of a system.

The same thing is true of solar furnaces and solar panels. Admittedly, there are going to be some experimental projects and some people working in this area but, again, these are the kinds of gimmicks, in terms of energy conservation, that will be meaningless in the total energy picture. We won’t even notice the conservation we’re going to create out of that. Really, this is for the ones who can afford it. Again, it indicates the direction of this government, that the ones who get any kind of breaks are the people who can afford to experiment with these rather exotic things.

The same applies to windmills and wind-power generators. Time-controlled thermostats is a more reasonable suggestion; I would agree that there is a possibility of using that kind of equipment, which could be installed in homes.

Wood-burning stoves and wood-burning furnaces: Again, I’m sure there will be a mad rush to get wood-burning stoves! I can see certain advantages in a wood-burning stove. If you have a hot water system you could hook it up to a wood-burning stove; it might take a lot of do-it-yourself technology to do it but, on the side, you could probably use it as a still or something like that. That would probably be beneficial, although I really can’t see it.

There are, shall we say, some firms that are moving into the stove construction business. I think that stoves are being sold these days for something like $1,000 or more. There’s a firm in Guelph that is building them. For $1,000 or less, you can install a very efficient gas or oil furnace in the average home.

Basically, the problem with this sort of approach to energy is that it doesn’t do anything in terms of conservation of energy. Secondly, where any kind of tax exemptions are provided, they generally will apply to the people who can well afford to pay their share of taxes as opposed to the rest of us.

The increase in compensation from $500 to $700 for people who collect sales tax is of course not a bad idea, considering the mess, the agony and the problems they went through after the government put it on and then took it off. Giving them $200 to forget about the election activities may not be such a bad little bribe; that may pacify all those people who used to phone their members and ask: “What do we do with the cigarette tax? Do we collect it now? My customers are refusing to pay it. I paid it to the wholesaler but the wholesaler refuses to return it.” All that chaos and nonsense developed in the election.

Elsewhere, the bill states: “Where any person, without reasonable excuse, has failed to remit to the Treasurer moneys as required under this section, the minister may apply before a judge of the Supreme Court for an order directing such person to remit the moneys which he has failed to remit.”

I see that the minister is going to take a stance, but I question the treatment of these people so gently if they collect the tax and refuse to remit it. I’m not sure what the meaning of the section is. However, my feeling is that if a person collects tax and doesn’t remit it, there’s cause to have him charged with theft through conversion. Why this kindness? I would have liked to have seen in there something to the effect that perhaps a Minister of Revenue who refuses to collect taxes should be jailed as well. That might not be such a bad idea and it could apply to some of the situations that have gone on in this particular House.

All in all, it is a nothing bill which touches on various things. It naturally has to go into committee; it has to be examined. There have to be some amendments to it, perhaps to provide some direction and some assistance; particularly in the energy field where I feel if we are going to give out any money at least we insist that products for tax exemption should be made in Ontario.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Is there any further discussion? The hon. member for Victoria-Haliburton.

Mr. Eakins: My colleague has stated our position. I just want to make a brief comment in relation to the tourism aspect.

I am rather disappointed that more imagination and initiative has not been shown to support tourism in Ontario. We know that since 1973 tourism in Ontario has been decreasing very sharply. While it has, perhaps, increased from overseas, visitors from the United States have been decreasing very sharply indeed. I feel that we should be doing more to support tourism in Ontario. We can do it at times to help the automobile industry, the write-off of machinery. I think we should be doing more to help tourism in Ontario.

Certainly while the steps you have taken are of some help, I think they are very small. I wish the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Bennett) had recommended to the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) for his budget some support for the removal of accommodation tax, especially from the months of, say May until October. Perhaps he did make the recommendation and the Treasurer did not accept it. I feel that certainly stronger support must be given to tourism in Ontario.

Ms. Bryden: This bill was brought in, I think, to provide a few pre-election goodies for the taxpayers and residents of Ontario. When the election was called on April 29, the Minister of Revenue decided that she should issue a statement on the implementation of the 1977 budget. She said, and I quote: “It is particularly important to clarify the government’s intentions concerning the tax measures proposed in the budget.” If she had clarified the government’s intentions or the situation, she should have said that because the government had chosen to call what appears to have been an unnecessary election the entire legislative process connected with the budget had been sabotaged and none of the pre-election goodies were in effect, and the citizens of Ontario would just have to wait for those goodies.

However, this is not what the minister said. She went on to say: “Briefly, we intend to proceed on the practical basis of implementing all the tax proposals with the exception of the increase in tobacco tax and the new environmental tax. These two measures will be re-introduced with new effective dates when the Legislature is next convened.”

She went on to say: “This approach means that taxpayers can be reassured that they will enjoy the benefits of increased exemptions and tax cuts affecting energy conservation materials, restaurant meals, entertainment admissions, succession duties and gifts.” She also went on to mention that the small businesses would benefit from the capital tax changes and succession duties.


But I am talking now about the retail sales tax changes. I think this illustrates the contempt of the Legislature by the government. It seems to me very arrogant to assume that this Legislature would adopt all of the budget’s tax measures or even that there would be a continuation of the Conservative government. To have announced to people that they could claim all the exemptions and all the tax cuts regardless of whether the law was passed or not, seems to me to be bypassing this Legislature. I think that is something that we should not tolerate.

However, we are now at the stage where we are faced with retroactive legislation. I know this is not unprecedented in budget implementation, but I think it is the first time that I have known the actual tax changes to have been announced to be in effect to the taxpayers before the legislation, with the retroactive clause in it, was passed.

There is another item that I wanted to ask about in connection with this bill. The original Bill 47, presented with the budget on April 19, had a clause in it which indicated that the government was going to repeal a section of The Retail Sales Tax Act which provides for ministerial exemption for Canadian performances from the admissions tax. This clause said that if the minister was satisfied that the performers in a theatrical or musical performance in a place of amusement are “residents of Canada, performing under the management of a person resident in Canada,” and that the performance will not be presented with the showing of a motion picture or a carnival or a circus and so on, that, “the minister may, in his or her absolute discretion, exempt the purchaser from the payment and the vendor from the collection of the admissions tax.”

I think this was a very desirable clause to have in The Retail Sales Tax Act. It encourages Canadian performances and it encourages producers to hire Canadians when they are producing any kind of a production in Canada of a theatrical or amusement nature. But the original version the Minister of Revenue presented was going to delete this clause.

I guess some of the people who were concerned about Canadian art and culture got to the minister’s ear or to the government. At any rate, that particular clause has been dropped from the new version of the bill and I am very glad to see that it has been. I just wonder why it was ever contemplated that it should be abolished in the first place. Perhaps the minister can enlighten us on what was behind the proposal to remove this discretionary ministerial exemption, which I understand in most cases was given fairly freely.

I wanted to comment on the point raised by the member for Sarnia (Mr. Blundy) about a tax on a tax. I am not a lawyer, so I don’t know whether it is unconstitutional, but I think it is highly discriminatory to suggest that there would be a tax on the can tax, if there were a can tax. There is no tax on the gasoline tax. There is no tax on the tobacco tax. Those are specifically exempted under The Retail Sales Tax Act, so I don’t see why the can tax should be singled out for this special treatment. It would add to the cost that the can tax would add to the cost of bottled drinks.

However, since there is some doubt whether the can tax will ever see the light of day, I don’t know that we have to worry about it too much at this stage, although I think we would probably support the amendment to delete that section from the Act.

Those are the three points that I wanted to raise, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Williams: Mr. Speaker, in listening to the remarks made by the hon. member for Brantford (Mr. Makarchuk) this afternoon, I think the criticisms and objections that he has applied to this bill simply highlight the importance of the two aspects of the bill, the benefits of which he seemed intent on minimizing, ridiculing the intent and purpose of those sections.

In particular, he spent some time in minimizing the effects that would flow from the extension of the exemptions for thermal insulation materials. I find it rather interesting, if not somewhat confusing, to hear those comments made in the House today by a member of the third party in view of the inconsistency which apparently now exists between that stated position and the position taken by what I presume to be the official position of the third party in light of the views that were expressed in committee last year before the Ministry of Energy by a senior member of the third party.

The then member for Windsor-Riverside (Mr. Burr) spoke so enthusiastically about many of the energy conservation measures that his party was committed to. I can recall him speaking at length, at great length, about the advantages to be gained from encouraging the public to experiment with the use of solar panels and to get involved in the use of wind power, either domestically or commercially; to consider the use of heat pumps as something that had substance and was not to be considered far out and something to be scoffed at. Yet we have that very type of statement and attitude being expressed by a junior member of that party in the House today.

So, I find this to be a great inconsistency which requires some explanation. But bringing that inconsistency to the attention of the House simply points out the importance placed by the Minister of Revenue in granting this exemption to encourage the public at large in Ontario to make extra efforts toward energy conservation. Also, those statements contradict the concerns expressed by our Minister of Energy (Mr. J. A. Taylor) in trying to encourage the public in Ontario to take advantage of some of these new techniques in providing energy and contributing toward energy conservation as it relates to the traditional sources of energy. So, I am somewhat perplexed by that inconsistency, but I felt compelled to point out that inconsistency in this debate today. It seems that one can be inconsistent if it’s only for the purpose of bringing a critical and negative comment on legislation being presented in the House.

The other area in which I think there is some inconsistency -- and this, I think, would be of great interest to the Ontario Tourist Association and the other tourist associations throughout the province -- was to hear again comments made by the member for Brantford as to the insignificance he applied to the proposals being put forward in this legislation. I think be addressed himself simply to the variance in the exemption for meals -- the tax on meals from $5 to $6 dollars -- without really addressing himself to the more equally important clause (d) which deals with the exemption that would be applied to tax relating to a disposable tangible personal property, which will be a very significant saving to the small and large entrepreneurs in the tourist industry.

In making his remarks, I don’t think he really considered the enormous ramifications and benefits that will flow to the tourist industry, perhaps one of the most hard-pressed industries in Ontario today, an industry which like the farming industry, has to concern itself not only with the natural elements but is also facing dire economic times and a very difficult competitive situation as it pertains to our neighbours to the south and in other provinces where it seems that their net charges to the consumer are able to be less because perhaps their operating costs are not as great as they have experienced within Ontario in recent months, and in the past two-year period in particular.

So I think it has not been the most enlightened statement made by the third party with regard to criticism of this bill. I can’t see them but surely they should have addressed themselves to more substantive, positive criticism rather than that picayune type of negative response --

Mr. Cassidy: It’s a lot more than any the member for Oriole gives the House. The member has never made an enlightened statement in his life.

Mr. Williams: -- that again runs against and is inconsistent with more profound statements that have come from that side of the House.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Perhaps the hon. member for Oriole would return to the principle of this particular bill.

Mr. Williams: Mr. Speaker, the reason I highlighted those issues is because I think, as I pointed out at the outset, that in a roundabout way it simply points out the very important features of this bill that the members of the government party, of course, wholeheartedly endorse --

Mr. Lawlor: I just think you are rubbing in a little soft soap, Oriole. Soft soap!

Mr. Williams: -- and which I think will go a long way to assist in encouraging the people of Ontario to participate in energy conservation and to assist the hard-pressed tourist industry.

Mr. Roy: I’d just like to make a few comments on some of the matters that have been raised by some of my colleagues, especially the member for Sarnia, about section 1(1) of this bill.

Mr. Speaker, you have been around this Legislature for some time, I have had just a few years here myself, and it wouldn’t be the first time that this government has brought in legislation which was questionable on legal grounds or on constitutional grounds. I see the Minister of Revenue, who unfortunately very often is facing attacks and having to bear the brunt of criticism and abuse for something that was thought up by another ministry, basically the Treasury.

I can remember her predecessor, Mr. Meen, going through the speculation tax Act. When the government brought forward what we currently call the speculation tax Act, we had brought to the attention of the minister that it would have been wise to seek a legal opinion or some arrangement with the federal government. The tax that was to be imposed at that time -- I think it was at the rate of 50 per cent -- on speculative profit, added on to the federal tax meant you could possibly pay up to 110 per cent tax on the sale of a piece of property.

We asked the minister at that time if he had made arrangements with the federal government. Apparently he had not and, of course, the government had to backtrack.

I thought it was sad that we had spent so much time -- I think about a month -- debating that famous bill in the House, trying to bring forward amendments, with no sort of flexibility at all emanating from the minister to amend his bill.

I outline this because we are facing a similar situation here, Mr. Speaker. The constitutionality or the legality, as you will, of this particular section is very questionable. If one reviews the BNA Act and the powers given to the various legislatures or bodies of government that are entitled to impose taxation, it is questionable whether this type of tax, as outlined in section 1(1), is in fact legal. And I would say to you, Mr. Speaker --

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order please, I would just draw to the hon. member’s attention that perhaps this should be covered in the clause by clause debate in committee, rather than during debate on second reading which is on the principle of the bill. Perhaps the hon. member would return to the principle.


Mr. Roy: With greatest respect -- and you know I have all the respect in the world for you, Mr. Speaker, and if I did not feel I was right would not dare challenge your ruling. But the point is simply that this is an important aspect of this bill. Surely when we are discussing a bill as important as this one, one of the things that we can discuss is the legality or the constitutionality of certain sections of the bill. Certainly that is in keeping with the spirit and the principle of the bill. Especially, Mr. Speaker, after I’ve heard the comments from the member for Oriole, who spent all his time talking about another member and not about the bill at all. I would have thought that my comments were, in fact, certainly discussing the principle of the bill.

But in any event, Mr. Speaker, I can assure you I won’t be very long. As you know, my legal arguments are always succinct and to the point and I don’t --

Mr. MacDonald: Tra la, tra la.

Mr. Roy: -- intend to belabour it at length, because as you can see, as I read from sections 91 and 92 of The BNA Act, it will be very clear to you, Mr. Speaker, that the constitutionality of this particular section of the bill is questionable.

So I come back and just say very simply that under the BNA Act certain powers are given to the federal Parliament and certain powers are given to the provinces and section 91 decides the powers that are given to the federal Parliament.

An hon. member: Is that true?

Mr. Roy: And I must say, Mr. Speaker, not only will this be enlightening to you but even to my colleague from London. I think he will get a lot of merit out of this; he will finally find out what this Act is all about that we have been discussing for so many years, the BNA Act.

So, if I might just outline to you some of the things that are permitted under the BNA Act, subsection 3 of section 91 states that the federal Parliament has the power of “the raising of money by any mode or system of taxation.” So the federal Parliament, Mr. Speaker, has wide-ranging scope for raising taxes, whereas the province is limited to raising taxes strictly in a direct fashion.

And as I read section 92, subsection 2, it states that the province has power for “direct taxation within the province in order to the raising of a revenue for provincial purposes.” In other words, it has to be a direct tax.

This is where the problem comes in in this particular section: There is a form of taxation imposed by another Act, The Environmental Tax Act, a particular Act which will be imposing, I think, five cents per can as a form of taxation. And this bill comes along, Mr. Speaker, and imposes a further tax on that tax. And I am saying --

Mr. MacDonald: How direct can you get?

Mr. Roy: Yes, well, I don’t think the courts have interpreted that as being all that direct; it is not direct like buying a loaf of bread and paying seven cents on the price of that loaf. Here we have one tax brought in and another tax over and above the original tax. I say, Mr. Speaker, that that form of taxation is questionable.

The point I want to make on the principle of the bill, and to the minister, is simply this:

Has the minister received legal opinion from the law officers of the Crown stating that that form of taxation is within the jurisdiction of the province? It seems to me that that should be one of the essential things that the ministry should have done prior to proceeding with this type of taxation. I would like to have the comments of the minister as to whether that legal opinion has been obtained.

And I say that with a certain amount of reservation because the legal opinions of the officers of the Crown are not 100 per cent either. We’ve seen in the past where they’ve, as you know, Mr. Speaker, the Supreme Court of Canada --

Mr. Eakins: Hospitals.

Mr. Roy: Well, my colleague mentions the question of hospitals. The legal opinion of the law officers of the Crown on that occasion was lost nine-zip as we called it in the Supreme Court of Canada.

So, even having said that and having certain question marks about, let’s say, the effectiveness or the -- I don’t want to criticize the law officers of the Crown, they are all well-meaning people. It’s just that the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) sometimes, like all of us humans, has certain failings and on that occasion, of course, he had some problems.

So, I bring this to your attention, Mr. Speaker, and to that of the minister, asking her to advise the House whether in fact she has received legal opinion that this type of taxation was constitutional. And, of course, Mr. Speaker, we as the official opposition always strive to bring forward legislation which is in the best interest of the province. We are taking our role seriously. It wouldn’t be the first bill, Mr. Speaker, that this party has had to pick up, put together --

Mr. Cassidy: Yes, Mr. Speaker, the Liberal Party never takes its role in legislation seriously.

Mr. Roy: -- amend and do things like this.


Mr. Roy: You see that? I woke him up. I finally woke up the member for Ottawa Centre. The truth really gets him riled.

Mr. Cassidy: I have never seen the member for Ottawa East take constructive interest in legislation.

Mr. Roy: He figures that because he’s sitting there behind a whole stack of books, he knows what he’s talking about. And unfortunately that is not the case.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Perhaps the hon. member will return to the principle of the bill.

Mr. Roy: Yes, Mr. Speaker, I was talking about the great merits of the people in the official opposition. I wish I wouldn’t always be cut off by members of the third party, even though that particular member does have leadership aspirations.

Mr. MacDonald: You cut yourself off more often than anyone else.

Mr. Roy: So, Mr. Speaker, having made these comments and having --

Mr. Cassidy: Me? You are not able to carry through on a train of thought.

Mr. Roy: No not at all.

Mr. MacDonald: You finished a long time ago --

Mr. Roy: See, he won’t listen either. You’re not running for the leadership again are you? No; okay, because I’m supporting the member for Ottawa Centre, I want to tell you that.

Mr. MacDonald: Back to the principle of the bill.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order please.

Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, having made these comments, I would hope that the minister would enlighten us --

Mr. MacDonald: You have said that five times already.

Mr. Roy: and tell us on what basis she feels that this type of legislation is constitutional. Thank you Mr. Speaker.

Mr. MacDonald: Mr. Speaker, I would just like to make some comments on one section of the bill -- the extension of the exemptions to deal with energy conservation measures. I’m sorry -- no, he’s still there; I was going to say that the hon. member for Oriole (Mr. Williams) had left, because it’s just possible that I can rescue him from some of the calculated obfuscation and confusion on the issue that he introduced --

Mr. Williams: I stayed, the member for Brantford (Mr. Makarchuk) left.

Mr. MacDonald: -- when he was referring to the remarks of my colleague from Brantford. We have been trying for years, not just the former member for Windsor-Riverside (Mr. Burr), to waken this government to some realization of energy conservation that might be realized through solar energy and things of that nature. We’re glad that the government has finally caught on.

But the point that was being made by my colleague from Brantford is that solar cells and heat pumps are a very small aspect of what the great range of citizens in the province of Ontario are going to be able to engage in. Only those who happen to be in a very high income bracket and have combined with that an interest in experimentation are going to be able to reap the benefits of this legislation.

However, I’m not going to pursue that give and take, which is a bit off the principle of the bill, Mr. Speaker. I want to focus on the main area where there can be sonic really effective contribution to energy conservation, and that is in the extension of the exemption for thermal materials, insulation materials. What is disturbing me is the reply we got from the minister the other day when we asked clarification on how Ontario’s program might fit in with the program that had been enunciated in Ottawa.

I agree that if we are going to effect any significant amount of energy conservation tax incentives are one of the gimmicks, the carrots, if you will, that will persuade citizens to take the initiative which they themselves are going to reap the benefit from in terms of lower energy bills a year or two or three from now. The problem is that we have both governments having belatedly awakened to this situation and both of them moving in a somewhat uncoordinated way. When we asked the Minister of Energy what meshing there was between the federal program and the provincial, or to what extent the federal program might be applied in the province of Ontario, or to what extent there might be a supplement by the initiatives of this government, he pointed out that three of the four stipulations that have been spelled out by the federal government had already been met or could be met, and on the fourth one there were some difficulties.

What I would like to see on the part of this government or on the part of this minister, is that if we really want to make this effective, we want to encourage as many citizens on their own initiative, because of the tax incentive, to move towards the insulation of their homes, I suggest to you that the possibility, for example, of a federal program that is going to start with homes that were older than 1921 and then gradually move up through the decades to 1977 is a pretty slow approach to energy conservation.

Surely the time has come, if the minister wants this section of her bill to be really effective in terms of energy conservation, for this government to take the initiative in seeking to sit down with the people in Ottawa and perhaps get some amendments to the proposals that they have made so that there can be a much wider acceptance of Ottawa’s proposals here in Ontario. Then when we find out to what extent we can get a liberalizing of their program so that it can be more widely accepted in Ontario, we should consider the supplementation that is involved here in tax exemptions and other supplements, so that we can really get an effective energy conservation program.

In short, Mr. Speaker, to sum it up, what I’m saying is that the confusion, the lack of adequate co-ordination of the federal and provincial programs, is going to create a very serious inhibition in the use of this tax exemption and therefore in any really effective, or as effective as possible, energy conservation.

Energy conservation has now become motherhood, everybody’s in favour of it. But let’s see if we can’t get the other actions that are required to make this particular section of the Act before the House at the moment a really effective implement for energy conservation.

Mr. Acting Speaker: The hon. member for Ottawa East? Centre.

Mr. Cassidy: Centre. He’s east, I’m centre and he’s west, Mr. Speaker.

I have two or three comments. First, to pick up on the comments raised by the member for York South (Mr. MacDonald), and perhaps in response as well to the member for Oriole (Mr. Williams), I would point out that as recently as during the period of the election campaign and the budget debate, this party had been very actively advocating energy saving grants and energy saving loans. In the budget debate, we recommended that in addition to anything that was recommended in the budget in terms of the tax exemptions which are here in this bill, that there be direct grants of as much as $500 in southern Ontario and $750 in the eastern and northern parts of the province in order to help and encourage people to provide for better insulation in their homes and also to provide a major means of job creation in the province. I, for one, regret the fact that this was not adopted by the provincial government.

During the course of the election campaign, Stephen Lewis, on behalf of the New Democratic Party, recommended that we do three or four things in the field of energy, specifically, using the $200 million-odd which Ontario Hydro was being given permission to invest in further energy generating projects. We recommended during the campaign that $100 million be put into home insulation, that money be used for the pilot production of methanol, that money be used for the installation of solar heating units with a major grant that would be sufficient to make that particular new form of heating much more attractive than is being done with the sales tax remission which is provided for in this particular bill. We also recommended that money be used to generate electricity from wastes, which I are now simply dumped in our countryside.

The point about this, Mr. Speaker, is we’ve had promises from the Minister of Energy during the course of the campaign, and I know the Minister of Revenue will be able to comment about those particular promises insofar as they relate to this particular bill. We’ve had promises from the federal Minister of Energy as well, with a number of conditions for action by the provincial government. We have this particular bill and no other action, however, on the part of the province of Ontario.

It seems to me it’s time more was done. It seems to me that it’s time that Ontario put its money where its mouth is in terms of much more vigorous and active encouragement of conservation than is provided in simply saving people $25 or $50 on a solar heating system, a wood stove or other kinds of energy-saving devices.

Mr. Speaker, I wanted to raise three or four other points but I’ll do so fairly briefly. One is that I have to confess to having rather a finical view about the reduction of amusement tax which is provided for in the bill. The bill provides that amusements below $3 will no longer be subject to the amusement tax, where previously the limit was 75 cents.

My observation was that in the week or two after the budget, when my kids went up to the cinema, that for that brief period of time the cost of their admission to the cinema was dropped by 10 cents or so, reflecting the fact that the movie theatres were no longer being charged this particular tax. Right after that though, in fact even before the time that we actually entered into the election campaign, the price for admission to cinemas somehow crept back up to the level that it was at before. In other words, there was no permanent benefit of any sort for the consumer insofar as cinema admissions were concerned. That’s a major area where tax was previously levied and where it became exempt as a result of these particular amendments announced in the budget.


I asked the minister yesterday if she would table a compendium of information related to this particular bill. Her reply was that she had sent a consolidation of The Sales Tax Act to the critic, the member for Brantford -- and, I presume, the Liberal critic for revenue matters -- and that for the rest, the compendium was in the budget itself. However, in the budget all that we have on this amusement tax is the Treasurer’s proposal for the exemptions from sales tax on admission to amusements and his estimate that the tax saving to consumers will be, “around $10 million in 1977-1978. This measure will simplify the procedures involved in administering the tax and it will also provide relief to many thousands of charitable and non-profit organizations in Ontario and assist the promotion of public events such as agricultural fairs and exhibits, in museums and art galleries.”

I think the Treasurer’s statement was, at best, misleading. That is one reason I regret that no information of the type requested has so far been tabled. I hope the minister will talk about that during the course of second reading debate and will produce the material by the time we go into committee stage on the various clauses of this bill.

Any organization which knew the ropes and knew how to make an application to the minister 10 days or so before their event took place was eligible for the exemption from the sales tax if they were carrying on the event for charitable or non-profit purposes. Those powers existed in the Act, and therefore the exemption that the minister talks about is not really very valuable to them. I grant the measure will probably simplify the procedures involved in administering this tax. You will agree, though, Mr. Speaker, that that’s true of any remission of tax, any lifting of exemptions. If we entirely eliminated the income tax for the province of Ontario, I think you would agree that the procedures for collecting income tax in Ontario would be greatly simplified.

The estimate of $10 million of tax-saving to consumers should be defended. I believe the working papers that allowed that estimate to be created should be tabled in the House. It’s my contention that $10 million is not a remission that consumers are benefiting from but that it is a handout to the amusement industry, which I’m afraid is largely foreign-dominated. The cinema proprietors, Famous Players, other owners of cinema chains and people like that, these are major beneficiaries of this particular tax remission.

The speed with which those tickets went back up in price to the former level was unprecedented. If the government wanted to take some constructive measures, it could well have taken that amount of money -- if that amount of money was available -- and poured it into encouraging the creation of jobs in Canada by such things as support for an Ontario film industry and to encourage various international film producers to locate more of their film-making in this province rather than doing it in Tahiti or in Tehran or in, Trenton, New Jersey, rather than in Toronto. But they didn’t take that approach; they gave out a handout which was ostensibly for consumers, but which I’m afraid is winding up in the hands of the companies.

I want to turn to one other point, Mr. Speaker, the small retailers. They are being given an increase from $500 to $700 in the amounts they’re being allowed for the collection of the retail sales tax. It’s clear that as far as the Treasury of the province is concerned, election time is the time when retailers get some attention. It’s one of the few things that’s ever done for small business. It’s noteworthy that in 1975, just before the 1975 election, there was also an increase in the amount paid to retailers for collecting this particular tax. I suppose that if a majority government had been elected we wouldn’t have had this particular change as early as we do. Many of the retailers I’ve talked to were absolutely up to their necks with the amount of disruption which was created for them because of the “on again”, “off again” nature of certain taxes that was created because of the budget and the subsequent calling of the election by the Conservatives. This was mainly because they had to relabel their tobacco stocks three times, due to the up and down nature of that tax. However, the $500 or $700 that they receive is in effect a payment, not just for collecting the retail sales tax but also for collecting the tobacco tax, and I suppose also for collecting the environmental tax on cans if that tax ever comes to be passed.

I think that more consideration should be given to the fact that small retailers are still essentially unpaid tax collectors on behalf of the government. The $700 they are paid right now in many cases doesn’t come anywhere near remunerating them for the cost of additional labour that they have to hire in order to cope with all of the complexities of tax collection on behalf of the government.

I want to say a word as well about that particular change, the change in the amusement tax exemption and the change in the exemption on meals. I relate this to the official opposition party and its policy that no tax increase should exceed eight per cent because that’s the AIB guideline.

They are not so consistent when it comes to tax decreases or to changes in tax exemptions. When there was a 20 per cent increase on the exemption in succession duty, the Liberal Party didn’t object. When there is a proposed 20 per cent remission in the exemption level on prepared meals, the Liberal Party doesn’t object. When there is a 300 per cent increase in the exemption level on the amusement tax, the Liberal Party doesn’t object.

Frankly, I think that’s a hypocritical attitude on their part, because when we have asked them, “Where are you going to get the money that you are not collecting by limiting certain tax increases to eight per cent?” they have failed to come up with an answer. They are quite prepared to say, “We will get it from cutting out government fat,” or that kind of thing.

When it comes to giving taxes away, on the other hand, the Liberal Party has no regard for the fiscal probity of the province. They are quite prepared to give money away in tax exemptions and tax reductions without saying where that money is going to come from. I would say this is an irresponsible attitude, because on the one hand they won’t say where they will get the money that they forgo, and on the other hand they are prepared to go along with every tax cut which has been proposed by the government.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please. Will the hon. member return to the principle of this bill instead of discussing party philosophy?

Mr. Cassidy: On the specific matter of the increase in the exemption level for prepared meals, Mr. Speaker, I would suggest that to be consistent the Liberal Party should propose that that exemption level go up by only eight per cent; that is to $5.40 or perhaps, to stretch things, to $5.50. I think that is perhaps a touchstone of their credibility and of their sincerity in proposing this eight per cent guideline, because if it is going to work on things going up, it should also work on things going down. We have yet to see that kind of consistency on behalf of the Liberal Party.

Mr. Grossman: Right on.

Mr. Cassidy: What’s that?

Mr. Grossman: We agree with you.

Mr. Cassidy: You agree? Okay. Make a speech.

The final point I want to raise is that the sections which relate to amusements seem to have left out one particular group who I think have raised some fairly legitimate kinds of objections and complaints. As I understand it, the government’s remission power previously extended to sales tax collections which were remitted or waived for semi-amateur hockey clubs when their ticket prices happened to exceed the level at which sales tax was being required.

These clubs are caught right now because, as I understand it from talking with several of them, during the course of the season -- with the new proposals that are here -- they won’t have to pay tax, They charge a couple of dollars, maybe $2.50, for admission to their games. That is enough money to pay for the coach and to pay a certain minimum amount of subsistence to the players in certain cases and to pay for the cost of buses, transportation and equipment.

The one time that any of these teams has a chance of making its budget balance -- and they are not essentially profit-making operations, apart from the teams that are owned by the member for Ottawa South -- the one chance that these teams have of making ends meet is during such events as the Memorial Cup playoffs and the playoffs in their particular league. At that time the fans are all hotted up. In certain cases they can charge $3.50, $4 or even $5 for tickets but suddenly, whammo, they become liable to tax at the behest of the minister.

As I read these sections of the particular bill there is a general exemption power related to special circumstances exempting purchasers from having to pay a tax but no general exemption power on a vendor from having to collect a tax. That is not corrected through the amendments which are before us today. I hope the minister would talk about that, and could indicate that something was done for that particular group, given the fact that the ballet, musical events, plays, theatre and other live entertainment are eligible for exemptions, whether essentially for a non-profit purpose, but sporting events do not appear to be included unless they are included as live entertainment.

I don’t subscribe to the idea -- although I know the professional leagues do -- that these things are entertainment. I see them as recreation, and I think there should be some changes in the bill in order to take account of that particular point.

Mr. Speaker, we have already indicated that we will support the bill. We regret in particular the fact that more is not being done by the government, and being done with a real sense of urgency, with regard to the need to take vigorous leadership in the area of promoting energy saving and energy conservation.

Mr. Peterson: I must say that listening to this whole process, through all these bills that we’ve been passing, has been very enlightening as to NDP economic philosophy. It seems to be the most coagulated mess that I have ever run into in my entire life, Mr. Speaker.

I just want to say this, which is commensurate with our particular view, that the government is taking more than its fair share of take-out from the economy. I want to direct my remarks specifically to one iniquitous section that we do not like.

My colleague from Sarnia has already served notice that we are going to move the deletion of this section. But in effect what happens here is that we are imposing a new tax -- the so-called environmental tax, and what that tax has to do with the environment, I will never understand -- nevertheless, on top of this five cent tax on every seven-cent item, and a can costs roughly seven cents, there would be five cents on top of that. What disturbs me in this particular case is that another seven per cent is going to go on top of that. What in effect we have here is a surtax. We have a tax upon a tax on a very low-cost item. We are going to project it, with a compilation of taxes, into a very high-cost item. I will have a great deal more to say on this whole matter later, particularly on the environmental tax, but I just want to speak now on how the retail sales tax relates to that.

What disturbs me is this tax on a tax. It is sneaking through in an iniquitous and circuitous sort of way another $2 million or $3 million worth of retail sales tax revenue on top of the already projected some $25 million worth of revenue. On top of that, what with adding all of these taxes together, it is making the retail margin of roughly 20 to 25 per cent, depending on the retailer, that much higher a base to work from; and it is probably going to cost industry another $6 million to $7 million when all of them are added together.

It is our view that the environmental tax, so-called, is bad, and we will be voting against that. But in addition to that, it is particularly iniquitous to put the retail sales tax on top of this environmental tax. We think it is a bad precedent. We think it is a bad way to go about running the finances of this province. That is why we stand very firm against that. I just wanted to be on record, lest anyone be deceived, that the government’s intention is to have a tax on a tax, and to sneak through another $2-million worth of revenue because of another tax that they are proposing at roughly the same time.

I would like to say one more time that I think the government House leader miscalled the order on these bills. We should have discussed the environmental tax before we discussed this, because it has such a deep bearing on it. Depending on what happens here and what happens with our friends down there and who supports our particular amendment, we will have to come back and clean it up. We recognize also that section 9(5), according to our advice from the legislative counsel, does not have to be amended or deleted. But we do recognize that that section speaks to subsection 1 of section 1. I guess it just dies on the piece of paper. We’ll take advice from legislative counsel on that, but it does relate to the section that we are going to move to be deleted.


Mr. Acting Speaker: Is there any further discussion on second reading? The hon. minister.

Hon. Mrs. Scrivener: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the members for their comments and for their contributions in second reading on this bill. There is a great variety of viewpoints I find and a great many epithets to describe the various contents of the bill.

I was pleased to learn from the member for Sarnia that the opposition party intends to support the bill but will bring in an amendment. We can come to that later when the bill is in committee.

The member for Brantford referred to the bill as a grab-bag. I thought his remarks were rather surprising. His ridicule in his remarks on energy conservation was unbecoming considering the policy of his own party and the remarks of other members of his party which followed him.

I got the impression that if something was not within the experience of the member for Brantford then it couldn’t be any good. He ridiculed woodburning stoves and I doubt if he realizes just how many people there are in this province who have woodburning stoves or want to acquire them. He had a lot of hard things to say about solar energy, a heating mode of the future. He had other remarks of that nature to make which I thought were rather unbecoming, all things considered.

He made some remarks about the changes in exemption for meals. He apparently did not realize that this exemption increase was in part a response to the restaurant industry. They consider that this would be a most important increase to them and would be of great assistance to them in maintaining their competitiveness. I think it most certainly should cover, too, not only people who are travelling but the many people who have to have meals when they’re on the road, such as truckers and so on, and who require good meals that are inexpensive.

The member for Beaches-Woodbine wanted to describe some parts of the bill as containing pre-election goodies. She forgets that most of the pieces that were contained in the bill were already contained in the budget. The budget, of course, is a most important statement of how this government is going to exercise and complete its policy as set out in the Speech from the Throne.

These are not pre-election goodies and never were -- not by any stretch of the imagination.

Mr. Cassidy: That was before the election, wasn’t it?

Hon. Mrs. Scrivener: Briefly, the reason for the remarks in my tax bulletin which was issued to the retailers was that we wanted to reassure them that we intended to proceed on the practical basis of implementing our proposals as contained in the budget. There was no contempt expressed at all; I deny that categorically. But there was most certainly an appreciation for the feelings of people, the desire to remove confusion and uncertainty.

My reason for issuing that bulletin was to provide a reassurance of our intent. The retroactivity was applied to the introduction of the budget and was to be maintained and still is being maintained.

As to the Canadian content involved with our exemptions on amusement, that has not changed and never has changed. I think the member for Beaches-Woodbine is reading something in that does not belong in this kind of debate. it is a fact that we decided to make some certain changes in the bill. It seemed to me that these provided some confusion and so we have simply reverted to the original procedures, that’s all. The Canadian content has never been changed and has applied continuously.

Ms. Bryden: It was proposed to be changed.

Hon. Mrs. Scrivener: The member for Ottawa East and others have expressed concern with what they consider to be a tax on tax. This is commonly referred to as tax pyramiding, and it is prevalent in all tax systems. It is a very common approach. It is an entirely legal procedure, I assure you. It is prevalent in all tax systems in Ontario.

The retail sales tax applies on final prices which include costs of all stages of production, and, also, are included in such costs as the many taxes levied by the federal, provincial and municipal governments, as for instance would be the federal and provincial corporations taxes, federal excise and manufacturer’s tax, federal property tax, gas and diesel taxes.

As to the constitutionality of this provision, the constitutional limits to provincial taxing power is in terms of raising only direct taxes. I am sure the members must know that. That is, when I say direct taxes I mean those taxes which are levied directly on, say income, like corporation or personal income tax, or transactions as at final or retail levels. So provincially there is no limit to piling a tax on tax. Only the federal government may tax both indirectly and directly, we do not have that right.

As to legal opinion; yes, we did obtain legal opinion from the Attorney General’s department, and this procedure and the way we have prepared this bill is entirely in order.


Mr. Acting Speaker: Order. Perhaps the hon. minister would continue.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Members can’t speak more than once on second reading.

Mr. Stokes: Interjections are out of order.

Hon. Mrs. Scrivener: The member for Ottawa Centre stressed NDP policies which we have heard in recent weeks concerning energy conservation and outlined them in some small detail. I would point out to him that the exemptions we provide are very real and positive steps in our desire to encourage energy conservation measures. I think they are steps that are important and most definitely do assist people to achieve their ends and to undertake the expenditures that are required. This applies, of course, to new homes as well as the older homes.

Mr. Cassidy: It is a start, we grant you that. But what else are you doing?

Hon. Mrs. Scrivener: Certainly, and I think he should allow that. Re the matter of a compendium which he raises: I believe he knows, as do others here, that there was an agreement between House leaders that the budget would be the compendium; that is the compendium and it is very fully prepared.

Re compensation to retailers: the member raised this whole matter, he was concerned about compensation on inventory for tobacco tax. The tobacco tax has a separate set of commissions, that is separate from retail sales tax. The wholesalers get four per cent of remittances, the same as for retail sales tax, and the wholesalers also get five per cent of the inventory tax. This time the tobacco retailers, while they don’t ordinarily get such commissions on inventories, did most certainly get five per cent on their inventory tax collections. So his remarks and his concerns in this particular instance, while maybe fairly raised, are not correct.

Mr. Acting Speaker: The motion is for second reading of Bill 12. Shall the motion carry?

Motion agreed to.

Ordered for committee of the whole House.


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

Hon. Mrs. Scrivener: As you are aware, Mr. Speaker, since 1974 this government has imposed a special tax on land acquisitions by non-residents in Canada. The purpose of this tax has been and continues to be twofold: first, to ensure the preservation of the rightful heritage of all citizens of Ontario in terms of land ownership; and, second, to discourage foreign speculation in Ontario real estate.

This tax policy has been successful. However, in line with changing economic circumstances, the bill proposes to amend The Land Transfer Tax Act by providing additional focus for the policy.

First, the bill continues to provide restrictions on the acquisition by non-residents of Canada of recreational and agricultural land -- land that is not unrestricted. Such acquisitions will continue to be subject to the special 20 per cent rate of tax.

Secondly, the amendments will clearly indicate that non-resident investment in commercial, industrial or residential property, particularly apartments, continues to be welcome in Ontario. Acquisition of these types of properties will be exempt from the special rate of tax automatically. They will, of course, be subject to the regular rate of tax.

These changes will ensure the preservation of the heritage of all people in terms of land ownership while at the same time encouraging needed investment in Ontario which will produce both jobs and housing.

Mr. Blundy: The Liberal Party on many occasions in the past, before I was here as one of its members, has been talking about the need for changes in this Act so that land would be more readily available for development, particularly for apartment dwellings and so forth.

Mr. Peterson: Takes them a while to see the light.

Mr. Blundy: I am very pleased to see that the government has finally decided that this was indeed a very worthwhile thing to do for the people of Ontario and has included this amendment to The Land Transfer Tax Act.

Non-residents who acquire lands for recreational purposes and so forth will continue to pay the tax at the higher rate, which of course is in keeping with what we have been advocating for some time. We want our farm and recreational lands, particularly our lands around our lakes and rivers, to be principally or -- and, hopefully, held for -- the people of Ontario for their use, and not for those people from out of the country.

We certainly support the changes in the numbers in the bill. The lessening of the percentages and so forth is, I think, very worthwhile. As far as we are concerned, we support the changes that are laid out in this bill.

The House recessed at 6 p.m.