31st Parliament, 1st Session

L014 - Thu 7 Jul 1977 / Jeu 7 jul 1977

The House met at 2 p.m.




Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, the final report of the select committee on the fourth and fifth reports of the Ontario Commission on the Legislature, tabled in the House last spring, included endorsement of a recommendation submitted by a consultant firm that the basic indemnity for a member of this Legislature be raised to $20,000 a year. We have accepted this recommendation, with appropriate refinements to meet the requirements of the Anti-Inflation Board.

The select committee itself recognized the requirement for this conformity and qualified its own recommendation with the statement, and I quote from the report:

“That the increase be implemented in amounts acceptable to the AIB beginning October 1, 1976. This would mean an increase in taxable income of approximately $2,400 effective October 1, 1976, and a similar effective increase October 1, 1977.”

The regulations of the AIB, Mr. Speaker, provide that it is forbidden to increase the total compensation of all the employees in a group in relation to the total compensation of all employees in the base year by an amount which results in the lesser of either of two increases.

Mr. Peterson: That’s a nice rose, Billy.

Hon. Mr. Davis: It was grown in Brampton.

Hon. Mr. Welch: One is an annual percentage rate of increase that is greater than the permissible percentage rate of increase determined for the group. For members of the assembly, this is a maximum of 12 per cent for the year beginning October 1, 1976, and 10 per cent for the year beginning October 1, 1977.

The second increase not allowed is one greater than $2,400 in average compensation for the group in the guideline year.

The effect of these restrictions is to limit to $2,400 the maximum permissible increase to the total compensation of the members in each of these years. What is more, the maximum must be divided between salary or indemnity and the allowances or benefits paid to the member.

The position of the government Mr. Speaker, is that in the year ending September 30, 1977, but pro-rated effectively only on September 15, 1977, an increase of $2,400 be applied to all members’ indemnities and allowances This is about 7.5 per cent of the average compensation of the group.

The September 15, 1977, effective date is in line with the commitment by the Premier in September 1975 to avoid an increase in members’ indemnities for two years.

This increase now proposed would, over a full year of effectiveness, increase the indemnity by $2,200 and increase benefits by about $200 in the form of increased life insurance, medical insurance and contributions to the legislative assembly retirement allowance fund.

It is also proposed that in the year commencing October 1, 1977, and ending September 30, 1978, there will be a further adjustment in accordance with AIB rules.

Provision will be made for a detailed, independent review about adjustment of the members’ indemnity and allowances on an annual basis, or as required, following the ending of the present wage and price guidelines.

Legislative amendments to give effect to these commitments will be introduced later today along with some amendments to The Legislative Assembly Retirement Allowance Act.


Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, later this afternoon, I will be introducing for first reading a bill that rewrites The Municipal Elections Act. As I indicated on April 15 to the provincial-municipal liaison committee, it is our intention that this new bill be held over the summer in order to allow interested parties to examine and comment on its provisions.

In the course of reviewing municipal election procedures, my ministry has received many requests for major changes from individuals, and from municipalities and their municipal associations, particularly on the issues of the election date, term of office and emergency election procedures. We have been meeting, on an ongoing basis, with the joint election committee of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and the Association of Municipal Clerks and Treasurers to discuss more than 50 recommendations for primarily technical amendments to improve election procedures. The very volume of requests for consideration has necessitated the drafting of a completely new Act. The bill I am introducing today incorporates many of these suggested changes and reflects the government’s intention to provide clear and concise election procedures for the municipal governments of this province.

I would like to highlight the significant changes that have been incorporated in the legislation. First, of course, is the change in the election date. We received many requests for a change of date, ranging from early spring through summer and fall, but there has never been a clear consensus.

We continue to hold the view that one date is better than several. It is proposed to change the election date for all municipalities from the first Monday in December to the third Monday in November, which represents a two-to-three-week shift. As it is now, the enumeration conducted by the Ministry of Revenue for both election and assessment purposes is optimally conducted in the fall --

Mr. Sargent: It is none of the Treasurer’s business. Let them set their own dates.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: -- and requires at least one full month to be completed. This, in combination with the variety of other complex, time-consuming election procedures --

Mr. Sargent: The Treasurer has always got to have his finger on everything.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: -- has proved the third Monday in November to be the most feasible date.

Mr. Wildman: October would be much better for the north.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Over time, as the process is refined, it may be that the municipal enumeration and other procedures can be further shortened, and at that time we will be prepared to look again at the issue of the municipal election date. In the meantime, the third Monday in November is the acceptable alternative.

Mr. Wildman: Oh, come on.

Mr. Deans: That’s ridiculous.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: The mandatory advance polls will facilitate voting as early as the middle of November.

We have made no change in the time at which new councils organize themselves. We would like to run through the 1978 elections at least, with the election date on the third Monday in November and the start-up date for councils on January 1. Should this experience indicate that councils may organize more effectively in December for the upcoming term, we certainly would be prepared to look at this matter again, and would do so particularly in conjunction with the possibility of an earlier election date.

The change in date has required changing some election procedures, such as the preparation, posting and revision of the preliminary list of electors. In addition, the nomination period has been reduced to a single nomination day, but individuals are permitted to file nomination papers during the week preceding the nomination day.

The government has considered a number of requests for changes in the municipal term of office. There has been some pressure for change and it may well prove that a longer municipal council term will be appropriate. Mr. Robarts and Dr. Mayo have both advanced arguments for a three-year term, while Mr. Archer advocates retaining a two-year term and the municipalities are split on the question. However, for the purposes of the municipal elections in 1978, we have decided to continue with the two-year municipal term of office.

Members will recall that severe weather during the December 1974 elections created difficulties in some municipalities. Since that time, there has been considerable discussion on the inadequacy of the provisions for the conduct of elections in emergency situations. The legislation now clearly provides that the clerk, as returning officer, has authority to determine and declare an emergency situation and to make necessary arrangements for the safe, secret and orderly conduct of the poll.

A new provision is included in the bill which prohibits any form of campaign literature within the polling place, and the bounds of the polling place have been defined.

Candidates will no longer be required to have their occupations listed on nomination papers or on the ballot.

From now on, municipal candidates are prohibited from acting as election officials, as are provincial candidates in provincial elections.

Provision has been made to require municipal polls to be open from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m., which is consistent with the polling hours which generally apply for provincial elections.

Moreover, there will now be two mandatory advance polls, one on the Saturday, nine days before the polling date; the other on the Monday, seven days before the polling date. These provisions increase appreciably the access of electors to the polls.

Further, the length of time during which a person who has been appointed a voting proxy may apply for the appropriate certificate has been extended by three days.

The authority for a municipality to use bilingual forms prescribed under the Act has been expanded to include any notice required under the Act to be posted or mailed.

Finally, any eligible elector will now be entitled to vote on a money bylaw question, but no corporation will be so entitled.

I would like to mention briefly that we received many requests to require a deposit by candidates for a municipal office, or to require an increase in the number of signatures required on nomination papers. These requests have been rejected. A procedure of deposits by candidates is inconsistent with democratic principles and runs counter to this government’s firm belief that election to public office must be accessible to all eligible citizens.

We have rejected the request to increase the number of signatures required on nomination papers. The possible benefits this might have in reducing the likelihood or number of frivolous candidates is outweighed by our interest in encouraging participation in government. These decisions were taken before receiving Mr. Robarts’ cogent arguments on Monday last. Our position will be re-examined between now and second reading in view of Mr. Robarts’ reasoning and other opinions which will undoubtedly be received.

It should be said in closing that this bill is not going to satisfy everyone in all its aspects. This bill will be held at first reading until the fall in order that we may have the benefit of the further comments of interested municipalities, municipal associations and the public. We hope to meet over the summer with the joint election committee of AMO-AMCTO to receive their further comments and suggestions. It is important that this legislation be considered and finalized in the fall, which will allow sufficient time for all those affected by the Act to become familiar with its provisions prior to the 1978 elections.


Hon. Mr. Kerr: Mr. Speaker, today I am joining with my federal counterpart, the Hon. Romeo LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries and Environment, in declaring the week of July 10 as Great Lakes Water Quality Week.


Mr. Deans: .That will be a big benefit.

Mr. S. Smith: Going to walk across Hamilton harbour?


Hon. Mr. Kerr: Oh, it’s going to get better.

The Great Lakes are more than a dividing line between the dense population centres of both sides of the Canada-US border. The lakes and the lands which they drain is the place where some seven million Ontario residents live, work, and play.

Mr. Breithaupt: They sure do.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Recognizing the importance of the Great Lakes to the people of the drainage basin, the governments of Canada and Ontario will be holding public meetings next week in Toronto and Thunder Bay to review with the people the operations and effectiveness of the agreement between Canada and the United States on Great Lakes water quality, which was signed in April, 1972.

My federal counterpart and I urge the people of the province to take part in the many public events and open houses across Ontario next week, in order that their suggestions and recommendations may be considered during the renegotiation of the Canada-US agreement.


Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker, point of order, just before you call for questions.

Are you able to put before the House your ruling on the matter I raised before you, sir, a week ago today, in my objection to the comments from the Premier (Mr. Davis) indicating that any questions pertaining to the report that he called for on the investigation into Ontario Hydro would be sub judice?

Mr. Speaker: I was prepared to do that today, but in deference to the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry), who I think will be interested in the ruling and who is out of town today, I will be doing this tomorrow. I am assured that the hon. Attorney General will be in his seat tomorrow morning when we sit, and whether or not he is here I will give that ruling then. But I believe out of deference to the Attorney General, because of the involvement of this particular matter, I decided that we should do this tomorrow.

Mr. Nixon: Further to the point of order, I am sure you are aware, sir, that this House is heading towards an adjournment within the next few days, and we on this side feel the questions in this matter are of prime importance. If you have the ruling now, I would ask you, sir, that even in the absence of the Attorney General, you should put it before the House.

Mr. Roy: You are ruling, not the AG.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I think I made myself quite clear that the official ruling, the formal ruling, will be given tomorrow. If there are any questions arising on the matter, we will deal with them at that particular time.


Mr. S. Smith: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, and with every respect for you and the position you hold, I would like to know on what basis you withhold from the House a ruling necessary to the conduct of the question period, simply because one of our esteemed members is unable to be present today. I can’t imagine on what precedents you base such withholding of such vital information.

Mr. Speaker: I think I made myself quite clear. We’ll be delivering the official ruling tomorrow morning, whether or not the hon. gentleman is in his seat.

Mr. Cassidy: On a point of order, if you’re prepared to deliver the ruling tomorrow even if the Attorney General is not present in the House, Mr. Speaker, then given the fact that the ruling can easily be communicated to him or he can be informed through Hansard, when Instant Hansard is available in an hour or two’s time, why could you not give us the ruling today despite the fact that the Attorney General does not happen to be present?

The Premier may not be present tomorrow. We don’t know that, but we do know that he’s here today.

Mr. Speaker: It doesn’t matter. I have assured the House -- and on this matter my decision cannot be debated, I remind the hon. members -- that I will be delivering it one way or the other tomorrow morning.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I will be here.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. This is the Speaker’s ruling and it cannot be debated. We’ll call for oral questions and we’ll deal with any questions pertaining to that matter as they arise. Now the hon. Leader of the Opposition with his first question.

Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I just announced that the ruling cannot be debated at this time. We’ll hear the hon. member’s first question.

Mr. S. Smith: What I’m asking you on a point of order, Mr. Speaker, is whether this is a ruling. If it’s a ruling you’re making that you refuse to give a ruling, then in fact we have an option of challenging that as a ruling. But if it’s simply a refusal to give a ruling, then it’s not a ruling in itself. Consequently, I’m trying to --

Mr. Deans: That helps; that really helps.

Mr. Cassidy: That’s real Liberal insight.

Mr. S. Smith: That’s very important. I would ask you, with every respect sir, could you enlighten us as to what possible redress is open to us if the Speaker simply refuses to give a ruling? Is there any avenue open to a member under those circumstances?

Mr. Speaker: I probably used a poor choice of words when I said the word “ruling.” I will be delivering the ruling tomorrow as indicated. As I said, we will deal with any questions that arise pertaining to a particular matter as they arise.

Mr. Sargent: What’s the reason for the timing?

Mr. MacDonald: On a point of order.

Mr. Speaker: Do you have a different point of order because it’s been debated?

Mr. MacDonald: I have a related point of order. Would the Speaker inform the House as to whether he is doing this of his own volition or at the request of the Attorney General?

Mr. Speaker: No, the Attorney General had nothing to do with it. But what I have to say will involve the Attorney General and out of deference to him he should be here. I’m assured he will be here, as I stated before. If he is not, I will go ahead anyway. The Leader of The Opposition will have his question now.

Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, I have --

Mr. Speaker: Order please. I recognized the Leader of the Opposition.


Mr. Roy: I have a point of privilege, which can be raised at any time, on another matter.

Mr. Speaker: We will hear a point of privilege.

Mr. Roy: My point of privilege, Mr. Speaker, involves my questioning of the Attorney General yesterday pertaining to the rights of Franco-Ontarians and the right to use French in our courts. You weren’t in the chair then, but in any event, Mr. Speaker, I asked certain questions of the Attorney General on this. Last night on CBC television the Attorney General of this province was quoted -- and I’ve not seen this in Hansard -- as saying that any attempt on his part to legislate the rights of Franco-Ontarians to use French in the courts would be, in his words and he was quoted as saying, “window dressing.”

I did not hear him say this in the House but it seems to me if that is the policy, it’s somewhat cynical and an insult to Franco-Ontarians. I want to say that it seems to me net in keeping --

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Why don’t you wait and ask him the question? Ask him the question when he gets back.

Mr. Roy: -- with our attitude or the attitude of this province towards Canadian unity and the rights of minorities right across this country.

Mr. Speaker: I suggest the hon. member may, if he wishes, question the Attorney General upon his return on that matter.



Mr. S. Smith: A question for the Minister of Health: Is the minister prepared to release two reports for which my staff have asked ministry personnel for the last week or two? The one report concerns allegations made by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association regarding improper committal to mental institutions in this province; and the other report concerns ambulance services, dated October, 1975. Can the minister explain whether he is prepared to release them and why such simple requests for such reports always cause us such problems with his staff?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I wasn’t aware that the Leader of the Opposition’s staff had made such simple requests. Were they made to my office or to staff level? Perhaps if he would let me know where they were made, I could find out what the problem is. I am not familiar with the October report; I will find out about that

We are reviewing the submission of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association; and as I indicated in announcing the review of The Mental Health Act we will, where we deem it necessary, introduce amendments; and, in reviewing their submission, we will consider whether we should introduce amendments to the Act, say in the fall session of the Legislature. But, aside from memoranda which have passed back and forth from me to my deputy and various staff members and reviews by the staff, there is not a report as such. If there is any particular information the Leader of the Opposition wants, I will be glad to give it to him,

Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary, I want to be sure I understand correctly. Is the minister prepared to give us these two reports? The one that he has, whether we call it a report or not, is the submission from the Canadian Civil Liberties Association; and there is the ambulance services one, which I think was raised with the minister at some point on a CITY television program, which alleges, whether it is true or not, that many lives could be saved in this province if we concentrated more on care at the scene rather than on rapid transportation? In view of the apparent importance of these reports, could he assure us that we can have them to look at?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: With respect, Mr. Speaker, with regard to the assertions of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, I would have to say I responded to that when I announced -- I think it was in this House -- the review of The Mental Health Act and the services for the mentally ill. Since then, with our staff and in particular with one of the legal staff, we have been considering that submission -- and, quite frankly, other submissions we have had -- in line with my commitment to introduce amendments as necessary rather than waiting for the whole review process to complete itself, as to whether or not we should introduce amendments in the fall.

I will give the Leader of the Opposition a response to that report of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, if that is what he would like. I’d be glad to do that. With regard to the other report, that has been a public document for some time -- so I was advised at the time -- and I’ll get him a copy.


Mr. S. Smith: A related question, but this time to the Premier: In view of the fact that the freedom of information and individual privacy commission will take some time to make its recommendation and, I presume, will be followed by a period of consideration by the government, is the Premier prepared to introduce temporary guidelines to take effect now with regard to the release of information, so as to avoid this constant cat-and-mouse game over individual reports that happen to be in the hands of the ministry and could be of importance to this entire Legislature?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I really don’t know what the Leader of the Opposition means by the introduction of guidelines, Mr. Speaker. I really don’t know how that procedure works. It’s a new one to me, introducing guidelines in the Legislature --

Mr. Swart: Like the food land guidelines.

Hon. Mr. Davis: They weren’t introduced in the Legislature.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I would only say to the Leader of the Opposition it has been my experience that, by and large, when the members opposite or others wish some documentation from the government --

Mr. Cassidy: They get refused.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- that the bulk of it is available.

Mr. Cassidy: Nonsense.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I would also point out that this is why we have established the commission to study the issue; that is, to determine that which should be made public and that which should not be. But my experience has been that there has been very little that hasn’t been made public in one form or another.

Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary, will the Premier consider -- I believe he knows what guidelines mean -- issuing to the civil service some guidelines regarding, basically, the kind of information they can hand out while waiting for the report from the freedom of information commission?

I would remind the Premier, just to give him examples, of the Foisey-Moon report on testing and evaluation, the interministerial report on residential services, and the stalling now on these reports from the Ministry of Health. These are the sort of things that make constructive opposition very difficult on behalf of the people of Ontario, and some temporary guidelines would be of great assistance.

Hon. Mr. Davis: In some instances, there really is no report to give. But, leaving that aside for the moment, I would suggest to the Leader of the Opposition if there is a particular report that he or any member opposite is interested in, if the member is having difficulties -- because public servants are human beings, believe it or not, and there are some sensitivities -- I think it is quite proper for a member to contact directly the minister who is responsible, and he or she may take the responsibility here in the House. I think it is a little bit unfair to be critical in a general sense of the public service because --

Mr. Sargent: What do you do if he sits in his seat and doesn’t answer?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I really won’t answer the interjection from the member for Grey-Bruce.

Mr. Sargent: He chickens out.

Hon. B. Stephenson: Who chickened out? Who was it who chickened out, Eddie?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. Premier is answering other questions.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I am trying to be as helpful as I can on how, if I were a member, I would seek to get this information. I would go directly to the minister.


Mr. Deans: I have a question of the Minister of Labour. I wonder, before I ask, does the Minister of Health have any answer to my question from yesterday yet?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: On Renfrew?

Mr. Deans: Yes.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: There was an answer prepared before I left my office, Mr. Speaker, with which I wasn’t satisfied and I have asked for further information. There is another report coming in late today by another inspector.

Mr. Deans: I just wondered if there was any answer before I asked. Now for my first question.

Mr. Roy: What is your second question?

Mr. S. Smith: What is your second one?

Mr. Grossman: Second question, Mr. Speaker?

Mr. Speaker: This is your second question, I presume.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I would challenge that, Ian.

Mr. Deans: Are you serious? Are you serious that this is the second question?

Mr. Speaker: That’s what you said.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: That is the second question.

Hon. Mr. Davis: You have had three.

An hon. member: Three strikes and you are out.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Deans: You are joking, you are joking.

An hon. member: He’d better be.

Mr. Speaker: Is there some doubt? I understood the hon. member --


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member asked a question of the Minister of Health. Now he has asked another question of some other minister; one, two.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order.

Mr. Speaker: No, the hon. member for Wentworth will proceed, thank you.

Mr. Gaunt: I just changed my vote from Mike to Ian.

Mr. Roy: Get in some supplementaries, Ian.

Mr. Deans: It’s taken me long enough anyway. You might as well have let me ask two questions.

Can I then, by way of a supplementary question to the Minister of Health, ask whether he might be able to tell us what it was in the report that he got that he found unsatisfactory?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: No.

An hon. member: That’s three.

Mr. Deans: This is all to do with freedom of information and care of the public.

Mr. Speaker: Now which question? That was a supplementary, I will accept that.


Mr. Deans: I have a question of the Premier, if I may. Given that the federal cabinet has upheld the CTC ruling with regard to the discontinuance of passenger service from the Sault to Sudbury, is the Premier prepared now to make a statement in keeping with his promise during the election that if the federal government didn’t live up to its obligations to provide adequate transportation in the north he and the government of Ontario would provide adequate transportation, and guarantee those people there will be a service to meet their needs between Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury, since this one is no longer going to be in service?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I think the hon. member in his question said “is the Premier prepared now”. If “now” is defined as meaning “at this moment,” the answer to that part would be no. In relationship to the longer perspective though, as to whether as a government we are endeavouring to seek alternatives, the answer to that would be yes.

Mr. Deans: Supplementary question: Can the Premier indicate whether one of the alternatives is along the lines suggested by the Minister of Housing (Mr. Rhodes) at the time this became a matter of public interest, that the Ontario Northland or some other suitable service by road or by rail should be made available? Has the Premier been able to prevail upon the Minister of Transportation and Communications (Mr. Snow) to see the wisdom of that, as my colleague from the Sault has been attempting to do for some time?

Hon. B. Stephenson: He is not from the Sault, he is from Algoma.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I don’t know which colleague from the Sault the member is referring to.

Mr. Deans: Algoma, my colleague from Algoma.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I didn’t think the member had any colleagues in the Sault as a result --


Hon. Mr. Davis: Well, he certainly hasn’t many colleagues in the Sault, certainly not enough.

I always, Mr. Speaker, listen to the constructive suggestions of the Minister of Housing as they relate to matters concerning his riding and those surrounding communities. They are always very worthwhile and very positive in nature.


Mr. Deans: What did the Premier think of his $600,000 expenditure?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Whether this particular suggestion has practical application, of course, is something that we have to assess.

Mr. Deans: When?

Mr. Wildman: Supplementary: Is the Premier aware that at the time of the original hearing in Sault Ste. Marie in May 1976, the provincial government’s representative, a lawyer for the MTC, stated they were not against the discontinuance because Greyhound could handle the passengers? Is the Premier further aware that the day the announcement of discontinuance was made, Greyhound increased its fares between Sudbury and the Sault?

Hon. Mr. Davis: No, Mr. Speaker, I really am not aware of the fare structure or when it was altered with respect to that service from the Sault to Sudbury. I must confess to the hon. member I am not aware of that.

Mr. Foulds: Supplementary: Mr. Speaker, can the Premier tell us if one of the difficulties the provincial government seems to have in expanding the provincial rail service throughout northern Ontario, which has been to my memory at least since 1970, has been a difficulty in negotiating with the federal government or with CN-CP for track rights along their routes which we would have to use?

Mr. Martel: What about the run you promised to Parry Sound -- North Bay?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, actually, to answer the supplementary question from the member for Sudbury East --

Mr. Speaker: Which wasn’t very supplementary, but if the Premier has a short answer we’ll hear it.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- which had to do with Parry Sound, I’ve got to remind him he didn’t have many colleagues there either. But to deal with the original question, which related to extension of rail service --

Mr. Martel: That railroad you promised.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- obviously part of the problem we face, whether it is with the GO service or any rail service the province of Ontario undertakes, is the cost fact or with respect to either CN or CP; yes, he’s quite right.

Mr. Foulds: How come you can do it for the south but not for rail service in the north?


Mr. Bradley: A question for the Acting Minister of Correctional Services: In the light of the tragic jail fires in Stratford, in New Brunswick and as recently as last night in Connecticut; and considering his view that the Don Jail is no worse than it was 10 years ago, when its closure had already been recommended; and given the city of Toronto report outlining the intolerable shortcomings of the jail; is the minister now prepared to take immediate action to close the Don Jail, so that we will no longer continue to play Russian roulette with the lives of prisoners in Ontario?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Mr. Speaker, like many at the present time, the hon. member for St. Catharines is suggesting we should close the Don Jail immediately. I’m sure that most of the members on this side of the House and all sides of the House wish that that were possible. However, let me remind him that in the last number of years since the province took these institutions over, some eight or nine years ago, we have spent many millions of dollars and done much planning in trying to update the correctional services and jail facilities of this province.

We recently opened an institution in the east end of Metropolitan Toronto for some 200 inmates. Later this month we’ll be opening one in Etobicoke for a similar 200 inmates. Regrettably, because of the increase in the jail population of the Metropolitan area, for various reasons -- one is the reform of the bail Act, which was not contemplated some time ago; that is, the tightening up on bail procedures; another matter is Legal Aid, the long retentions during appeal period where the people want to stay close to their lawyer and therefore are kept in the local jails rather than sent out to where they might otherwise be, in some other correctional institution; and because we are at the height of population of young people at the present time who, unfortunately, end up in our jails as opposed to older people -- there is not sufficient capacity in the Metropolitan Toronto area to hold all of the people.

It’s easy to say close the jail today, but nobody has suggested any alternative for closing the jail.

Mr. Foulds: Try Minaki Lodge.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: I don’t know exactly what we are supposed to do with the people if we close the Don Jail; where do they want us to house these inmates? Whether they are suggesting we should turn them out on society or not, I don’t know.

Mr. Wildman: Why don’t you build a new one?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: It’s very easy for the press and for other people to suggest that we should close the jail immediately --

Mr. S. Smith: And free the prisoners, of course. Yes.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: -- but none of them have given us any practical alternatives.

Mr. Wildman: Build another one.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Now I have said we are building jails just as reasonably quickly as we can.

Mr. Breithaupt: Room for everyone.


Hon. Mr. MacBeth: We opened one last month. We’re opening another one this month. That will look after some 400 people.

The hope was that we would be able to limit the number of people in correctional institutions to some 200 people. One of the things I am examining is the possibility of putting more than 200 people in these new institutions. I don’t know whether it’s possible, but it may be preferable to do that than leaving the overcrowded situation in the Don Jail.

Mr. Cassidy: If it weren’t for crime --

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Taking some of these people out will relieve it, but not to the point where we’ll be able to close the Don Jail completely. We do have plans to get out of there eventually and I hope that we’ll be able to speed that up.

Mr. Sargent: Why don’t you try the old Hydro building?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: But in the meantime, we will have to continue at least to use the newer section of the Don Jail for some time.

Mr. Foulds: This is filibustering.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: But I would remind the member that we took this over some eight or nine years ago. The Toronto jail was condemned many years ago, at the time when the municipalities and the counties had responsibility for it. Now the municipalities and the counties -- many of them and certainly in Metropolitan Toronto -- did very little about improving the facilities of the Don Jail. The province is doing its best and has done far more than the county of York and the city of Toronto ever did to improve the Don Jail.

So I can say, Mr. Speaker, that we are doing our best. We wish to close out that Don Jail just as much as anybody else wants to close it out, but we have to be practical. Now if anybody has a better answer --

Mr. Deans: I doubt if anyone has a longer one.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: -- other than to suggest we build another jail, which we are planning to do in the Mimico area, the Toronto south centre, we’d be glad to hear it.

Mr. Speaker: Supplementary, the member for High Park-Swansea.

I’m sorry. I didn’t notice the hon. member who asked the original question wanted a supplementary. So we’ll allow the hon. member for St. Catharines with his supplementary.

Mr. Bradley: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. A supplementary question: Would the minister provide the House with an up-to-date inventory of the number of prisoners in the Don Jail, together with a list of the offences they have committed; and second, of the number of prisoners in other facilities in and around Metropolitan Toronto? And would he consider relocating some of the prisoners so that the Don can be closed?

Hon. B. Stephenson: He just said that.

Mr. Williams: There’s one less than there was last week anyway.

Hon. Mr. Davis: There is a great transition; they move in and out.

Mr. Reid: The quality has gone up.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Mr. Speaker, without regarding the part of Peel from which some of the members in this House come, if we’re just looking at the city of Toronto, we generally need accommodation for a jail population of around 800 to 900.

Mr. Roy: Is that first class or second class?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: The hon. member asked a number of questions. He asked whether we would be considering relocating some inmates. I’ve already indicated to him in our plan that we do plan to relocate some.

Mr. Martel: We might try opening up Burwash again.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Good idea.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: But as I say, we have accommodation in the Don Jail which is overcrowded, no question.


Hon. Mr. MacBeth: We have built these two new jails and I’m looking to see whether we can’t equalize them out a little bit, but they have to be within reasonable distance of the courts. That’s the whole purpose of it.

Mr. Ziemba: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Does the hon. Solicitor General suppose most of his problem is that he’s throwing people into jail who shouldn’t be there in the first place?


Mr. Leluk: They didn’t keep you long enough.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Only those who arrange to go there, that’s all.

Mr. Ziemba: But what I’d like to ask him is, instead of building more, and bigger and more expensive jails --


Mr. Speaker: Order, order.

Mr. Ziemba: -- what I’d like to ask him is instead of building --

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Those who make their reservations.

Mr. Deans: Where is your sense of humour?

Mr. Ziemba: -- more modernistic and expensive jails, he should be using that same money for alternative programs so that our young people don’t end up in jail and --

Mr. Speaker: Your question?

Mr. Ziemba: That’s the question.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: How about the older ones?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Mr. Speaker, I’m not going to find fault with what my good friend is suggesting. We have in this country a disproportionate number of people in our jails.

Mr. MacDonald: We are almost a match for South Africa.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: One of the reasons the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) and I were down in Ottawa last week was to find out just how we could make amendments to allow for community service orders and things of this nature. And we were promised co-operation -- by way of amendment -- from the Minister of Justice in Ottawa. We ourselves are looking at procedures whereby we can speed up our own system; we’re looking at the problem of the administration of courts.

I would agree we have too many people in the jails of this province, particularly in the holding institutions such as the Don Jail. We are looking for ways in which they will not be overcrowded.

Mr. Speaker: Next question?

Mr. Roy: A supplementary.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. There have been general questions and lengthy answers. If we have time we’ll come back to it, but we’ll get to a new question now. Are there no questions over there?

Mr. Mackenzie: Yes.

Mr. Speaker: I’m sorry. The hon. member for Hamilton East.


Mr. Mackenzie: I have a question of the Minister of Labour concerning the action at a mediation meeting on Tuesday this week, in the dispute with the Catholic Children’s Aid workers, whereby the union, in an attempt to show good faith, withdrew one of the major areas of contention at the meeting, and the response of the management of the Catholic Children’s Aid was to withdraw all offers that it had agreed to up to that point. Would the minister agree that there seems to be a lack of bargaining in good faith and that this is an example of where we can attempt to order them at least to sit down and take a look at what the issues are in this dispute?

Hon. B. Stephenson: The mediators of my ministry have been attempting to do just that but, indeed, if the union feels strongly that the management is not bargaining in good faith, it has a remedy available to it of which it has not as yet availed itself.

Mr. Mackenzie: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker: At what point in time are we going to take a look at what the words, “bargaining in good faith” mean in view of not only this situation but a number of such situations -- whether it’s Custom Aggregates, or the telephone answering service, or you name it? We just don’t seem to have anything which means “bargaining in good faith.”

Mr. Speaker: Order. The question has been asked.

Mr. Martel: When do you defend the workers?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, the definition of the words “bargaining in good faith” is, I think, examined with very frequent regularity within the Ministry of Labour certainly, as a result of the deliberations of the Labour Relations Board.

Mr. Cassidy: And then it’s ignored.

Hon. B. Stephenson: There are instances in which the ministry, I’m sure, would feel strongly that it might counsel --

Mr. Germa: Why does the minister hate the workers?

Hon. B. Stephenson: -- certain parties to disputes to lay the charge before the Labour Relations Board but it is their responsibility. The parties to the disputes do have the responsibility of laying the charge before the Labour Relations Board for the remedy which is available to them.

Mr. Speaker: One final supplementary on this. The member for Hamilton East.

Mr. Mackenzie: Surely the minister realizes that to establish bargaining in good faith, or to establish the refusal to do so, is almost impossible under the current Act.

Hon. B. Stephenson: I’m not sure that that’s a real question. I just disagree with the member’s opinion.

Mr. Speaker: I didn’t detect a question. That was a statement. Order, please.


Hon. B. Stephenson: Yesterday afternoon the hon. member for Hamilton East asked me a question concerning the Custom Aggregates dispute. On April 22 of this year there was an application for de-certification filed before the Ontario Labour Relations Board. The board held its first hearing on this matter in May 9, at which time it referred the file to a hearing officer for investigation and the taking of evidence. The hearings are continuing and I'm informed that the next scheduled appearance before the hearing officer is July 12.

The hon. member also asked a question regarding apparent incidents, or alleged incidents, occurring at the plant, and the allegation that in most cases the workers who were replacing the members of the union came from the province of Quebec. I’ve been informed that there has, indeed, been a continuous turnover of employees at this location since March 16, 1977. However, I am informed that the employees who have worked at this quarry from March 16 to this date come from Toronto, Ottawa, Markham, Cornwall, Guelph, Matachewan, Oakville, Willowdale and Tillsonburg. There is no evidence at this time to support the allegation that most of these workers are from the province of Quebec.

In addition, the company has retained the services of a security company from Montreal -- which has an Ontario licence, I’m told -- solely for the purpose of guarding the property and the equipment. This security force of five people is required, the company believes, because the quarry covers approximately 200 acres and it was decided by the company some time ago to hire the security personnel after there were several incidents of sabotage to the equipment in that quarry.

Mr. Mackenzie: May I answer the minister?

Mr. Speaker: Yes. The hon. member for Hamilton East has a supplementary.

Mr. Mackenzie: Will the minister not ascertain or let this House know whether or not, in the hearings before the officer on the decertification appeal, three of the employees questioned and challenged were employees who were brought in from the province of Quebec, and were not working there before the strike started?

Hon. B. Stephenson: I am aware there is some question regarding the de-certification process and the acquisition of information in hearings before the officer. I do not know the details of that at this time.



Mr. Eakins: A question for the Minister of Industry and Tourism: In reference to his statement that the climatic conditions of this province are partly responsible for the lower tourist trade in the first quarter of each year, would he not agree that perhaps it is time for some of his ministry’s promotional campaigns to capitalize on the unique features offered during our winter season so that we might reverse the declining trend we have experienced in visitors during the first quarter?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: That has really been the direction of our advertising program. I think if the critic for the Liberal Party on the Ministry of Industry and Tourism would look at the advertising program that we have submitted to him, he would see we have put tremendous emphasis on the winter attractions in the province of Ontario to bring people here to ski and to participate in other winter activities.

Mr. Eakins: Supplementary: Given the importance of tourism to the economy of the province in that it represents our second largest industry, and given the fact that the growth rate of revenue as generated from tourism has been declining since 1974, when can we expect to see the results of his ministry’s promotional campaigns, in particular the campaign directed to United States visitors that he announced when we brought this to his attention last November? I emphasize the importance of advertising in the United States because the Canadian dollar took another unexpected decline yesterday and it’s a factor that obviously has some significance on the tourist trade in Ontario.

Hon. Mr. Bennett: A year ago when I was referring to some of the problems we were experiencing in the tourist industry, I related it to the fact that the value of the Canadian dollar versus the American dollar was not very advantageous to bring people into the province of Ontario or into this country and that we expected there would be a down position and devaluation of the Canadian dollar in 1977 that likely would help the tourist traffic.

We do believe in the current year that it will help the tourist traffic. To what extent, we are not positive at this moment, other than to say that in the immediate past weeks there has been a substantial improvement in numbers of people coming from the United States to this province and to this country. I say to the members of this House that Ontario has maintained its very substantial percentage of US visitors --

Mr. Sargent: In spite of you.

Hon. Mr. Bennett: -- in spite of certain people from Owen Sound, I will tell the member. Fifty-six per cent of all Americans leaving that particular country and coming to Canada principally come to the province of Ontario. That’s a marked improvement over the last seven or eight years, about a 10 per cent improvement, which I think is rather substantial. We attribute a great deal of that success to the advertising program.

The advertising program we have had has been redesigned in the last 12 months. We have gone away from television, I said this to the House some days ago, and we have gone into more selective publications in the United States. We believe the people reading those particular magazines and newspapers have a larger disposable income and the likelihood of them travelling into Ontario and Canada is much greater. We think this particular program will be very rewarding for the tourist industry of this province over the next 12 months.

Mr. Wildman: Supplementary: Can the minister indicate what attempts the ministry is making to ensure that the establishments in the province are giving the tourists the exchange rate? One of the major complaints we have in the Sault Ste. Marie-Algoma area is that the tourists are not receiving the proper exchange rate when they do go into retail and accommodation establishments.

Hon. Mr. Bennett: I am sure the member will appreciate that there is no legislation that forces any businessman into honouring the exchange rate.

Mr. Reid: Including the Liquor Control Board.

Hon. Mr. Bennett: Just a moment, I said “honouring the exchange rate.” We have suggested very strongly to the Chambers of Commerce and to the travel associations that they should suggest to their members as forcefully as possible that if we are to continue to have a good image in this province, we should honour the exchange rate on the money so that it is an advantage to bring people to the province of Ontario. That’s the extent to which my ministry has gone through its field operations and directly to the Chambers of Commerce and the travel associations in recommending to them that they carry the message back to their members so that we can use that, and we will use it, as a plus factor for Americans coming to the province of Ontario.


Mr. McClellan: I have a question for the Minister of Community and Social Services with respect to the strike at the Metro Catholic Children’s Aid Society. As the minister responsible for the administration of The Child Welfare Act, can the minister explain to me why he has refused to meet with representatives of Focus and why he has refused to answer their four telephone calls a day since last Monday, July 5? Would he agree, please, to meet with them to review the implications of this strike?

Mr. Wildman: Very poor telephone service.

Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, I have not refused at any time to meet with the group the hon. member refers to. When I was first approached last week, I immediately arranged for a senior official in my ministry to meet with the group. That meeting did take place, and I have been briefed on that.

I was not aware that they had been phoning, as he suggested, four times a day since that time. I would like to assure him I am concerned about the welfare of the children. The question of the dispute in the negotiations is a matter under the jurisdiction of another minister, it is not within my jurisdiction. The staff of my ministry is monitoring the situation so as to ensure that the welfare of the children is not in jeopardy, and I am assured that that is, in fact, the case.

Mr. McClellan: Supplementary: Given the current efforts to review the role and status of Children’s Aid Societies, raised again in the Robarts report, and given that the capacity for sensible and responsible labour-management relations will be an important consideration in deciding whether or not any Children’s Aid Society will continue to enjoy autonomous status, would the minister not agree that it would be useful for him to meet with the management of the Catholic Children’s Aid Society and communicate that reality as forcefully as possible?

Hon. Mr. Norton: I am sorry, I obviously didn’t hear the operative part of the question. I know it was rather a lengthy one, and I hate to ask if he would repeat it, but would he mind? I am sorry.

Mr. Roy: Oh, come on.

Mr. Speaker: Would the hon. member just repeat the question part, please?

Mr. McClellan: The capacity for sensible labour-management relations will be an important determination with respect to the continuing autonomous existence of any Children’s Aid Society, given current review efforts, and the minister should meet with the management of the Catholic Children’s Aid Society and communicate that to it. Would he?

Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, it is not my intention to inject myself into a situation where there is a labour dispute that is not within my jurisdiction. I will continue, through the staff of my ministry, to monitor the situation with respect to ensuring that the welfare of the children is not in jeopardy. It is not my role to intervene in such disputes.


Mr. Reid: I have a question for the Minister of Natural Resources, notice of which he has been given -- 30 seconds ago.

Mr. Stokes: The answer is no.

Mr. Reid: Can the minister expand on his comments last night in regard to an interpretation of The Mining Act in regard to companies making donations to communities in the province of Ontario? I believe he knows what I am talking about in that regard. Also, regarding the mining industry, can he indicate what action has been taken on the Ontario Securities Commission policy 3-02 in regard to the junior mining companies and their financing in the province of Ontario?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Yes, Mr. Speaker. Those are quite distinct questions, I hope the hon. member knows. In effect, he slipped two into one.

Mr. Reid: They are both relating to one area.

Hon. F. S. Miller: That’s very much in keeping with my policy -- two for one.

It happened that Hansard last night incorrectly typed my interjection, and because it knew it had incorrectly typed my interjection, or assumed it had, it was kind enough to send me a rush copy. I just finished explaining the same thing to the member for Lake Nipigon.

My interjection last night, while the member for Rainy River was speaking, to say the least, at length, on various topics --

Mr. Reid: It didn’t seem that way to me.

Hon. F. S. Miller: -- was that in fact the 15/65 rule of mining tax credit compensates for the lack of the social investment allowance in many communities in the north. I probably need some time to explain this, which this period doesn’t allow me to do.

It took me three hours last night, and I had just gone through those three hours as I met the hon. member -- three hours’ listening to my staff explain the calculation of a model mining tax assessment. It’s a very complex thing, and I’d be glad to go through it with the member for Rainy River or the member for Lake Nipigon, because I think an understanding of it would tell them this: We have in Ontario the most enlightened tax credits of any province in Canada.


Hon. F. S. Miller: We’re the only ones allowing, for example, a full 35 per cent of original capital investment per year on northern Ontario investments for refining, concentrating, smelting and processing. It goes on for ever.


Hon. F. S. Miller: We allow this credit to be lumped against the profits earned by a mining company in the mining operations. Eight per cent is the lowest we’ll permit in the calculation --

Mr. Reid: Maybe the minister should send me a letter.

Mr. Roy: Oh, you can’t make that.

Hon. F. S. Miller: Well, the hon. member asked for it. We give them at least 15 per cent credit on the gross profit of the mining and smelting operations to offset the losses they may otherwise have had through not having this credit in the community. So many mines don’t pay any mining tax per se. They only pay income tax.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for --

Hon. F. S. Miller: Am I allowed to answer the other part, Mr. Speaker?

Mr. Speaker: I thought the hon. minister had completed his answer, and I’m calling for the next question.

Hon. F. S. Miller: No.

Mr. Reid: No, he hadn’t.

Mr. Speaker: I think that was your second question, though.


Mr. Laughren: A question for the Premier: Would he indicate to us and to the people in Timiskaming what steps he is taking to ensure that the United Asbestos mine near Matachewan --

Mr. Havrot: Why don’t you follow up first?

Mr. Laughren: -- will be opened, as was promised by his good friend and colleague, the member for Timiskaming, during the recent election?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I will be delighted to discuss that matter with the member for Timiskaming.

Mr. MacDonald: This is a means of you getting together with him.

Mr. Havrot: Why don’t you wait till the creditors get that matter resolved?

Mr. Laughren: Supplementary: Would the Premier assure us, and the good people in Timiskaming, that his delay in making any kind of announcement or in refusing to take any steps whatsoever has nothing to do with the statement by the present member for Timiskaming on the night of the election that the victory was all the sweeter because he’d accomplished it without any visits from the Premier?

Mr. Havrot: I did not say that.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I am delighted the hon. member was able to accomplish it without my visitation.

Mr. Breithaupt: So is he.

Hon. Mr. Davis: And perhaps so is he.

Mr. Havrot: It was a reflection on the previous member, wasn’t it?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I can only say -- and I’m a very modest person -- that in spite of all the difficulties, my visitations produced more than those of either the member for Hamilton West (Mr. S. Smith) or the member for Scarborough West (Mr. Lewis).

Mr. Havrot: Why doesn’t the member do his own homework? They’re really in bad shape over there.

Hon. Mr. Davis: He was so interested in the resource industry that he didn’t even want his leader in Sudbury.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. Acting Minister of Correctional Services has the answer to a question asked previously.


Hon. Mr. MacBeth: I have the answer to a question asked previously by the member for Cambridge regarding the future of Grandview School.

The member will recall that on April 13, 1976, the then Minister of Correctional Services, the Hon. John Smith, told the Legislature that Churchill House, a maximum-security facility, would be converted to accommodate adult offenders; that it was intended to use it as a backup detention centre for inmates from the Guelph and Kitchener areas and thus relieve the overcrowding in those jails.

This is still the ministry’s intention, and we do have a work party of about 12 minimum-security inmates, who have been thoroughly vetted for the job, living at Grandview School and working on the conversion of Churchill House to serve as a detention centre annex. These men are under supervision, of course, both on the job and at night.

The then minister also said that Grandview School proper would be upgraded and altered by an inmate working group for eventual full use as an adult training centre. My staff continues to see the facility as usable eventually as such a centre. In a letter to Mr. Norman Gamble, superintendent of facilities in the Cambridge community service department, Mr. John Jones, the ministry’s regional volunteer co-ordinator, referred to this development as follows: “There are some conversions going on in our ministry regarding the repopulation of the total complex, at which time much greater use of the facility will be made by the inmates.”


I understand this letter received local publicity through the publication of a report of the council meeting in the Kitchener-Waterloo Record. Mr. Jones was indicating to Mr. Gamble that the community could not expect unlimited use of the facilities such as a swimming pool and arena while a conversion is under way to adult use. I agree with Mr. Jones’s conclusion that community use of the Grandview facility will be limited by the reconstruction presently under way, and by any expanded program that might be initiated. The ministry’s record of community use of its facilities consistent with security is a good one, and we will do what we can to assist selected organized groups in those recreational activities that it seems practical to accommodate at the Grandview facility.

If I may just add to that, the member for Kitchener-Wilmot (Mr. Sweeney) suggested to me that we should be using the facility there to look after some of the people we were talking about earlier. I am just saying that this is an example where we are using an old facility and upgrading it to look after some of the adult offenders, but they still must be situated locally so they can be close to the local court.

Mr. Davidson: Supplementary: I take it from the minister’s response that I can now assure the city council that the remaining buildings on that property, other than Churchill House, will not be converted into an adult detention centre for the region?

Mr. Speaker: I noticed the interrogative inflection that time.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: I don’t think I went that far. I think we said we were converting part of it and we were not decided completely what we were going to do with the rest of it, but we were in the middle of a conversion program in making some of it over to adult institutions.

Mr. Speaker: A final supplementary, and ask a question, please.

Mr. Davidson: Can I then ask the minister, if there is consideration or will be future consideration given to converting that into a regional adult detention centre, will the minister also take into consideration that no action such as that will be taken without consulting with the city council of the city of Cambridge?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Mr. Speaker, we will try to consult with as many people as possible, but I don’t think I can bind the hands of any future minister for certain that that consultation will take place.

Mr. Sargent: Resigning, are you?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: We will keep the request in mind and do our best to consult with all those concerned.


Mr. Stong: I have a question of the Premier. In spite of the fact that the Minister of Housing on Tuesday of this week indicated to the House that he had personally not received a notice of dissatisfaction from the Ombudsman with respect to the constitution of the North Pickering royal commission, did the Premier receive a letter from the Ombudsman on April 26 which stated that he was totally and completely dissatisfied with the setup and the constitution of that commission and that he found it completely unacceptable to him because he had not been previously consulted?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I will have to check my somewhat voluminous correspondence with the Ombudsman to --

Mr. Roy: A lot of Tories are mad at the Ombudsman these days.

Hon. Mr. Davis: No, no; he has more difficulty with the Liberals than with us.

I will have to check and I’ll endeavour to answer the hon. member tomorrow.

Mr. Stong: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: While the Premier is checking that, would he also check the date of June 27 past for a letter directed to the Minister of Housing from the Ombudsman? In view of those two letters, and in view of the fact that the select committee of the Ombudsman recommended a change in the constitution of the commission, and in view of the fact that those whose lands are most affected refuse to participate, as well as their lawyer, would the Premier explain why the government is so reluctant or afraid to expand the commission and proceed with a full investigation, rather than having the commission confine itself to proceeding in the narrow manner of an adversarial nature?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I really think the discussion with the Ombudsman didn’t relate to any narrow sort of restriction whatsoever. I have a feeling, if memory serves me correctly, it was more a question of personalities. I will get out the correspondence and be delighted to inform the hon. member; but my best recollection is that it has been the counsel for those people who have interests before the commission who has decided not to appear, and I gather he made that very free choice by his own judgement. Certainly that is the impression I have had, but I will be delighted to get out the correspondence and tell the hon. member as much as I can.

Mr. Stong: Mr. Speaker, a supplementary.

Mr. Speaker: This will have to be a final supplementary. We are running out of time and this is about the second supplementary now.

Mr. Stong: The Premier did not give an answer to the latter part of my question as to why the government is so reluctant to allow a full investigation of this situation, rather than have a commission proceed in an adversarial manner.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, my impression is -- and it’s only an impression; I must confess that I haven’t been to any of the hearings, I haven’t been part of any of the deliberations -- but my impression is that the reference the commission is operating under relates to the agreement that was made between the Minister of Housing and the Ombudsman and I think with the concurrence of the committee. I think the hon. member will find that to be relatively accurate.

Now if the hon. member is suggesting that for some reason or other he now feels the terms of reference are too narrow, I haven’t heard that issue raised. It may have been in one of Mr. Maloney’s letters, I don’t recall it. But I think, really, what the Ombudsman is endeavouring to raise is a question of people, not the structure or the reference.

Mr. S. Smith: Supplementary.

Mr. Speaker: I announced it as a final supplementary. I think we should get on with another question. The member for Carleton East.


Ms. Gigantes: I have a question of the Minister of Health. I would like to ask him what provincial standards are supposed to apply to a residence such as Bellevue Residence, in Orleans, and if information I am receiving about Bellevue Residence, namely that there has been no qualified cook on staff over the last few weeks; that the residents are being served sausages, blood pudding and macaroni as a constant diet; that the septic tank system has been broken for several weeks; and that residents are being transferred to the Maclaren House Nursing Home, perhaps to increase per diem rates available to the operator of Bellevue Residence, Mr. Steve Bordo, who also happens to own the Maclaren home --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. A question please, thank you.

Ms. Gigantes: I would like to ask, Mr. Speaker --


Mr. Speaker: The hon. member, I think, has given enough background material. Would she please ask the question?

Ms. Gigantes: Yes, I would like to ask if this kind of information is of concern to him and what he’ll do about it?

Mr. Roy: Sounds like the legislative dining room.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Naturally, Mr. Speaker, that series of allegations is of concern to me. I’ll ask Mr. Corder, the head of our inspection branch, to report on it.

Mr. Deans: Would the member get the report?

Mr. Roy: Maybe you could send a cook from the legislative dining room there.

Mr. Deans: May we find out what is in the report?


Mr. McKessock: I have a question of the Minister of Agriculture and Food. In view of the fact that this fall the International Trade Commission is planning a trade mission to several European countries, and in view of the fact that other provinces in Canada are financially supporting their provincial Hereford association to send a delegate to this mission, and in view of the fact that the minister has received a request from the Ontario Hereford Association for financial assistance to send a delegate from Ontario, is the ministry going to oblige by assisting the Ontario Hereford Association financially and thereby encouraging the export sales of Ontario livestock?


Hon. W. Newman: In answer to the hon. member’s question, I do not recall getting the letter, although I have a great deal of respect for all the breed herds in the province of Ontario -- and the Herefords, since I keep a few of them myself. But certainly we are very interested in promoting abroad our Ontario commodities and we will take care of that. We will not be sending an individual over.

Mr. Martel: More bull, Bill.

Mr. McKessock: Supplementary: In view of the fact that the Hereford association wants to send a delegation over -- they don’t want the government to -- but they need at least $2,500 to do this and other provinces, such as Alberta and Saskatchewan --

Mr. Speaker: Order. Is that not part of the first question?

Mr. McKessock: -- are giving far larger amounts, would the minister consider at least giving this amount to allow Ontario to promote their export sales as other provinces are doing?

An hon. member: The Hereford breeders can do it themselves.

Hon. W. Newman: Mr. Speaker, I am quite sure the breed association could do it themselves, but since I have not seen the letter as at this point in time, I will certainly give it consideration.


Ms. Bryden: I have a question of the Minister of the Environment. With regard to the ministry’s environmental health bulletin of June 30 on mercury in fish in the Muskoka lake area, which issues some warnings about consumption of fish with excessive mercury levels in five more Muskoka lakes in addition to the three that were covered by an earlier bulletin in February, what steps is the minister taking to publicize these warnings to the cottagers and other visitors to these lakes at this peak vacation time?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: That press release went out to the media, was sent to the tourist association in the north, the hunting and fishing association of the province --

Mr. Renwick: Cottage grapevine.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: -- and it was sent to the weeklies in the area. It gets very wide publicity.

Ms. Bryden: Supplementary: the bulletin also refers to advice on consumption limits to be issued by the occupational health branch of the Ministry of Labour. Can the minister tell us when this advice will be available and how it will be publicized?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: That information will be included not only in the bulletins from the Ministry of Labour but also in the Ministry of Health guidebook which is expected to be out this month. We have that information and it contains more detailed information than the bulletins themselves. If anybody asks for it, that’s available as well.


Mr. G. I. Miller: I also have a question for the Minister of the Environment. He is well aware there is a problem of disposing industrial liquid waste. I was wondering if the minister has records of how much industrial liquid waste is being produced in Ontario at the present time, how much is being recycled and what the capacity is of the Tricil plant at Mississauga?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: The hon. member gave me some notice of this question, for which I thank him. There are about 40 million gallons per year of industrial liquid waste generated in the province. The Tricil plants -- there are two plants, one in Mississauga and the other in Moore township -- are handing approximately 25 million gallons of this. There’s also a plant in Hamilton; and of course there’s the industrial liquid waste sanitary fill operation at the site at Beare Road.

As far as recycling is concerned, it is difficult to give the hon. member an accurate figure. About six companies are involved in the general recycling of organic and inorganic industrial liquid waste. It is being recycled in the metalworking and finishing industries; it is used for phosphorous removal in municipal plants; and the oil refining industry has developed technology to reclaim spent caustic soda, presently remarketing this reclaimed material to the kraft pulping industry. The reason we don’t have an accurate estimate of this is because recycled waste does not constitute a disposal problem, therefore it hasn’t been entirely documented.

Mr. G. I. Miller: Supplementary: Does the minister not feel that it is the responsibility of the ministry itself to recycle, to take care of the waste?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: I don’t think it is the government’s responsibility to build plants to handle industrial liquid waste -- if that is the question.

Mr. Deans: Supplementary: Doesn’t that differ considerably from the position the minister took in 1972, at which time he said, I believe, that if private industry was unable or unwilling to go ahead and provide the recycling operations, the province would move in? Why has it not moved in, since it is obvious that private industry is unable to do the job, though it may well be willing?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: They are not unable and they are not unwilling. The fact is -- if the hon. member had listened to the answer I just gave -- both the Tricil plants are under capacity at the present time, they can handle more waste. It’s a question of whether or not this waste will be disposed on land or whether it will be disposed in plants where the cost to the haulers and to the companies is higher.

Mr. Deans: What is the cost of the alternative to the public?


Hon. Mr. Kerr: I realize that. The answer is to make sure that we enforce our regulations and make certain that the plants that exist at the present time are being utilized by the companies that are generating this waste.

One of the problems is the question of distance. If you have a plant, for example in Mississauga, and if you have another plant very close, such as in Hamilton, because of the lack of volume there isn’t enough business to keep both of them going. If the government got involved in this business and competed with private industry, private industry would probably go out of business and we would end up subsidizing disposal of industrial waste.

Mr. Deans: So you would rather just dump it.

Mr. G. I. Miller: Supplementary.

Mr. Speaker: No, that was the final supplementary.


Mr. Breaugh: I’d like to ask the Minister of Housing, because we’re perhaps adjourning shortly, to table either today or tomorrow the information the cabinet used in deciding to disburse $600,000 to the HUDAC deposit fund to rescue those citizens in the Sherwood Properties development. I’d like to ask him to table the information on which that decision was made so that we may understand how it was made. Secondly, I’d like to ask him to make a slightly more definitive statement as to when that deposit fund will be extended and what the terms of that will be.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: I don’t understand the hon. member’s question as to when the deposit fund will be extended. The fund has been established, it is now a part of the warranty program. As I indicated in a statement yesterday, the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations will be working with the board of the warranty program to bring the continuation of that program into being. I also mentioned in the statement -- and I trust the hon. member has a copy of it -- that there will be an increase in the insurance premium, to continue that fund to protect persons whose units have been purchased prior to January 1, 1977, when the warranty program came into being, and whose deeds were not registered.

We realize that that is going to be a declining number. It will be only those prior to January 1, 1977; those after that automatically fall into the regular program.

Mr. Breaugh: Supplementary: The minister did not indicate whether he would or would not table the information he presented to cabinet upon which that decision was made. Would he be good enough to explain to us why he coughed up $600,000 without knowing how that money would be spent?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: I’ll get what information I can for the hon. member to make available to him. I will give what I can to him because some of it was dealt with in cabinet and is not necessarily going to be made available.

Mr. Breaugh: I thought so.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: I’m sorry, what was the latter part of the question?

Mr. Breaugh: Why did the minister cough up $600,000 before he knew how the money would be spent?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: We understood exactly what the money was going to be spent for. It was for the purpose of protecting those persons who had purchased condominium units prior to January 1, 1977, and whose deeds had not been registered.


Mr. Sargent: I have a question for the provincial Treasurer. I am sorry to flog this, but I have to get it off my mind. Last Tuesday I asked the minister why he concealed from the House the fact that he offered to secure a $2 million tax exemption for the Todghams --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I think that’s imputing a motive which the hon. member should withdraw. He may ask a proper question after he withdraws this.

Mr. Sargent: My question is why he concealed from the House that he had this knowledge, yet the only way --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. That’s an improper motive to assess against anyone.

Mr. Sargent: Why he didn’t reveal it then.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Will the hon. member take his seat in the first place. The hon. member is obviously imputing a motive to another member of this House, and he should withdraw that. If he hurries, we may still get in his proper question. If he will withdraw that imputation of motive then we will carry on.

Mr. Sargent: I withdraw that, Mr. Speaker. I say to the minister why did he not reveal to the House the fact that he is quoted in the Globe and Mail as telling the Todghams that he saw no problem in getting them a $2 million exemption? Then on April 21 he wrote a letter to Douglas Todgham and advised him that the cabinet had now granted the exemption that day. I ask him why he did not reveal this fact to the House; that he set up the exemption and did not tell the public accounts committee and had to be subpoenaed before a judicial inquiry so this information would come out?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, my answer is the same as it was on Tuesday. This matter is before a judicial inquiry and I leave it at that.

Mr. Speaker: The oral question period has expired.

Mr. Sargent: I have a point of order.

Mr. Speaker: Do you have a point of order?

Mr. Sargent: Yes, I do. Last Tuesday the Treasurer told me he would debate this in front of the television cameras outside. I waited for 38 minutes and he didn’t show up. He hid behind the curtains.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. That is not a point of order. The hon. member will take his seat.

An hon. member: He didn’t say that at all.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: In speaking to the point of order, I did not say any such thing.

Mr. Speaker: I declared there was no point of order.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I have no intention of debating this matter with the hon. member. If the hon. member wants to repeat --

Mr. Sargent: You said you would. You are a chicken.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: If the hon. member wants to repeat before the cameras the charges and the innuendoes which he made in this House he may do so and he will hear from me then.

Mr. Sargent: Come on right out now and do it.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Sargent: When are you going to?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: You’re on your own. You’re a big boy, go on your own.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Not together, you first.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: You are not fooling around with Singer now.

Mr. Roy: The meeting is at dawn, choose your weapons.

Mr. Speaker: Will the hon. member for Grey-Bruce retain his seat? The hon. member for Victoria-Haliburton has a point, I believe.


Mr. Eakins: Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of personal privilege. It follows the remarks of the Premier that information from the ministries is readily available to the members.

I would like to say that I have a question on the order paper concerning Browndale, which was first tabled on March 31, as does the hon. member for St. George (Mrs. Campbell). The interim answer indicated that an answer to my inquiry would be given but did not specify when. I placed my question on the table again on June 27 and it would appear that the government intends to ignore it. Will you rule on whether or not the government is circumventing the spirit or letter of the new House rules?

Mr. Speaker: I will have to consider all of the implications of that but, briefly, if the question was placed again on --

Mr. Eakins: The 27th.

Mr. Speaker: -- the 27th, I think there’s a period of time in which some interim answer must be forthcoming, or a reason for not responding. The two weeks are about up, so I’m sure the hon. minister, whichever one it was, will be guided by that and your words will be taken to heart. We’ll expect an interim response in the meantime.

Mr. Cunningham: Mr. Speaker, I too would like to rise on a point of privilege in a similar vein. I’d like to draw your attention to the fact that I have now had on the order paper, since March 31, a series of questions relating to the operations of the Urban Transportation Development Corporation; and while an interim answer, indicating that more time was required, was given in April, it would appear now, sir, that the government has no intention of answering these questions, which I again tabled on June 27. I would ask you to rule whether or not it is your opinion that the government is thwarting the spirit of the new rules of the House.

Mr. Speaker: I can’t rule on that but I’m sure that the hon. member’s words will be taken to heart. There are still a few more days before the two weeks are up and I would trust that the hon. minister, or at least the appropriate ministry, will take heed.

Hon. Mr. Welch: This is a new Parliament.

Hon. Mr. Davis: We are having to research it all over again.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please, it’s very difficult to talk when there are so many interjections.


Presenting reports.


Hon. Mr. Welch moved that the first four members having precedence in the ballot for private members’ public business shall be authorized to file designated bills or resolutions with the Clerk of the House on or before Thursday, September 1, and the Clerk is authorized to print and distribute these bills as zero-zero bills to all recipients of bills. The designated bills shall be introduced on the first day after the summer recess in the regular way by the members concerned and shall be ordered for debate, notwithstanding the provisions of sessional order 36.

Motion agreed to.



Hon. Mr. Welch moved first reading of Bill 47, An Act to amend The Legislative Assembly Act.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. Welch moved first reading of Bill 48, An Act to amend The Legislative Retirement Allowances Act, 1973.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. McKeough moved first reading of Bill 49, An Act respecting Municipal Elections.

Motion agreed to.


Mr. Lawlor moved first reading of Bill 50, An Act to provide for Freedom of Information.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Lawlor: The purpose of this bill is to provide members of the public with access to government information. The bill is designed to allow maximum accessibility to government documents while at the same time recognizing that it is in the public interest that certain types of information not be disclosed. Where a disagreement arises as to whether or not certain information should be disclosed, the bill provides a mechanism for resolving the dispute.


Mr. Lawlor moved first reading of Bill 51, An Act to provide for Class Actions.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Lawlor: Mr. Speaker, the purpose of this bill is to provide a statutory procedure whereby one or more persons may sue a defendant in the form of a class action. The bill is designed to achieve this purpose by permitting a person who wishes to sue on behalf of a class to apply for a court order authorizing the class action. Once the order is obtained, the action proceeds as a class action and the final judgement fines all members of the class, except those who have been excluded, as well as the parties to the action.



Mr. Lawlor moved first reading of Bill 52, An Act respecting Occupiers’ Liability.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Lawlor: The bill replaces the common law as to an occupier’s duty of care, replacing the common law distinctions between duties to invitees, licensees, trespassers and child trespassers, with one common duty of care applied to the circumstances of each case. The bill is in the form recommended by the Uniform Law Conference of Canada.


Mr. B. Newman moved first reading of Bill 53, An Act to amend The Consumer Protection Act.

Motion agreed to.

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


Mr. Martel moved first reading of Bill 54, An Act to amend The Family Benefits Act.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Martel: The purpose of the amendment is to remove any reference to the sex of the parent, thereby enabling either the mother or the father of the child to be eligible for benefits.

Mr. Speaker: Just before the orders of the day, I would announce to the House that I am today tabling copies of the allowances paid to members for accommodation and travel, legislative office expenses and constituency office expenses for the fiscal year 1976-77.



Hon. W. Newman moved second reading of Bill 45, An Act to amend The Farm Products Payments Act.

Mr. Riddell: Needless to say, this bill is long overdue, in light of the fact that there have been a number of bankruptcies in the processing industry over the last 10 years which have led to tremendous financial losses to the farmers.

To be more specific, the livestock and poultry producers, as well as the community sales barns, have lost $425,000 over the last 10 years. Fruit and vegetable growers have lost $770,000, and the dairy producers have lost in the neighbourhood of $155,000. So really it is time that this government did something about protecting the farmers against the risk of the marketplace.

This bill arises out of the financial protection task force report. As the Minister of Agriculture and Food has stated, it will make it possible for farm commodity groups to set up producer and buyer commodity groups to protect the producers from financial loss in the case of bankruptcies in the agricultural industry.

We recognize the Act as being permissive legislation enabling the government to act by regulation. This Act itself will not provide the financial protection, and again it must be done by regulation.

I repeat that it is inexcusable that the government has delayed for so long in bringing this legislation forward. I think there is no question that a farmer has the right to expect full payment for the products of his labour. But in the past there have been innumerable instances where this has not been the case. The financial protection task force report details these losses and states that losses to Ontario farmers attributed to bankruptcies in the last 10 years have totalled $1.35 million.

I’m happy to see that the minister has finally seen fit to bring in legislation to ensure that farmers in this province are protected in these instances. But it’s rather too bad that we have to deal with important pieces of legislation in such haste. The bill was introduced yesterday. We’re giving it second reading today. I personally feel that we must deal with it before this session of the Legislature recesses -- for very obvious reasons. But certainly the farm organizations have not had an opportunity to peruse the bill and give us the benefit of any comments which they wish to make on it.

Farmers must often operate on a principle of trust in the sale of their products. It is often very difficult for a farmer to evaluate a buyer’s ability to pay. This legislation can go far in eliminating this risk, but as I have stated it is only enabling legislation and I would hope that the regulations pertaining to it are introduced quickly. I believe the two major priorities which are both contained in the enabling legislation and which require immediate action are a requirement for prompt payment and the licensing of processors who purchase farm products.

As the task force report points out, the longer the period between the transfer of ownership and transfer of funds, the greater the risk of financial default. I would agree that the period of payment would vary with the commodity, but there are very few areas, as the task force report points out, where the period cannot be reduced for the purpose of improving financial security for farmers without imposing any undue hardship on buyers.

We support the concept of this legislation, which can go far in helping to protect our farmers from undue losses. But we can only regret that it has taken this government so long in bringing this type of legislation forward.

I did appreciate the opportunity to discuss this bill with the minister early this morning. My colleague from York South (Mr. MacDonald) and I were invited to the minister’s office to talk it over with the legal counsel there and the minister. The meeting was at 8:30 this morning. That’s typical of the early hour that we farmers manage to get started --

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Eight-thirty? You think that’s early?

Mr. Renwick: I have three hours’ work in by that time.

Mr. Riddell: I guess I can include the member for York South in that as well.

Mr. MacDonald: The urban farmer was on time. The rural farmer was late.

Mr. Riddell: But since talking to the minister I did have occasion to speak to the president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture and from the vague knowledge that he had about the bill and from my explanation of it, he said that certainly as far as he is concerned the federation supports the concept of the bill, recognizing of course that it is enabling legislation. He did indicate that he would have liked to have received more specific information on it but realized that each commodity group would be different, that is pertaining to crop payment times, and so on.

Some of the questions he had in his mind concerned levels at which commodities are to be covered. The minister indicated this morning in our discussions with him that he was going to pretty well leave that to the different commodity groups. I believe he stated he wouldn’t like to see the level exceed 80 per cent

In my opinion, and I believe Mr. Hannan agrees with me, we should endeavour to get a commitment that would even reach the 90 per cent level; I don’t think 90 per cent is unrealistic. I know what the minister’s thinking is. He feels we might run into some slipshod businesses if we were to guarantee too high a level. I would like to know what his comment is on 90 per cent coverage.

Section 5(4) of The Farm Products Payments Act states that a board may pay into the consolidated revenue funds any surplus moneys in its fund that are not necessary for the current requirements of the board. My question in this connection always has been why should the funds go back into the consolidated revenue fund? Why not leave these funds in the commodity fund? This would then enable us to reduce the premiums the producers or the processors would have to pay.

Once again, I simply want to reiterate that we support this legislation. I hope we will go forward with the regulations in due haste, in light of recent events and the financial difficulties some of the processors and packing plants are facing today.

Mr. MacDonald: Last week I asked the minister a question as to whether or not he was contemplating bringing in legislation to provide farmers with the guarantee that they weren’t going to suffer losses through the bankruptcy of those to whom they had sold their product. He indicated that that was in the mill, so to speak, and he hoped to have it introduced before this session was over. Obviously, therefore, I welcome this legislation.

Indeed I not only welcome it but with a degree of concern I urge that the House give it passage immediately, because quite frankly I think we would be neglecting our duty if we didn’t pass this bill and have it in effect before we leave for a summer recess.

There is one small packing house or processor that has gone bankrupt in very recent days, fortunately, I am informed, with no losses to the farmers. There is another one that is allegedly in difficulties. That kind of situation is surely enough of a warning that we move before a few more horses escape from the barn, so to speak. I welcome the introduction of the bill and on behalf of the New Democratic Party I indicate to the minister that we will be willing to support it.

The principle of the bill is a fairly straightforward one. It provides enabling legislation for each commodity group to move in and, in conjunction with the buyers of that commodity, provide the necessary moneys for establishing a fund. The government is going to provide seed moneys of up to $25,000, depending on the size of the commodity sales, in order to get this kind of process in operation as quickly as possible.

One of the basic moves that makes all of this effective, in the view of the agricultural community, is that the government is going to license dealers, license those who are involved in this process, and therefore will have some control over the situation. If some individual involved is not living up to the Act, there is a very simple way of coping with the situation; he just becomes unlicensed, loses his licence and therefore you have protected the farmer from any further operations by a person whose financial security is in question.


There is one aspect of the bill, Mr. Speaker, that in general terms concerns me. That is that generally speaking I am not in favour of bills that resort so widely, so extensively, to the use of regulations. However, in this instance I think it is perhaps much more justified than might normally be the case. Here once again we face a well known fact in the agricultural community; that is that you have such a fantastic diversity, not only in the number of products that are going to be marketed but in the condition in relation to each one of those products. Therefore, the only way in which one can cope effectively and realistically with those differing conditions is through regulations that will make it possible for each one of the commodity groups with supervision by the government through the Act, to cope with those varying situations.

As I’ve indicated, the government is going to be putting in seed money up to $25,000 to get each one of these funds in operation, but the remainder of the moneys are going to be raised through a fee which will be levied on the producer and on the buyer of the product. In the first instance, the decision with regard to this, as well as to many other things, is going to be left to negotiations between the commodity group and others with whom they are going to be dealing. There is always the possibility that the packing houses, for example, are going to object to the levying of any fee, as happened in years gone by when a comparable kind of approach was made in the milk industry. The Act therefore gives the government the residual power to fix a fee if there is not an agreement voluntarily entered into between the sellers and the buyers. That, I think, is necessary, because obviously there may be circumstances in which the negotiations will go on so long as to frustrate the whole objective of the Act.

I just want to add a word about the limits of liability that the hon. member for Huron-Middlesex (Mr. Riddell) referred to. That is, once again, going to be spelled out in the regulations. The amendment here is an amendment to section 8 of the original Act, and section 8 deals with regulations. It gives the minister power for, to quote it exactly, “limiting the amounts that may be paid out of a fund to any producer or class thereof, or respecting any dealer or class thereof.”

It seems to me, Mr. Speaker, if the minister has some indication as to what the limits are going to be, that it is only fair that that should be indicated publicly; either in a statement in the House, or perhaps even more preferably in the regulations. There may be varying levels in some instances in which some commodities would want a higher level than another. They are going to negotiate and they have the right to make that negotiation, but it seems to me that it is only, well, common sense if I may put it that bluntly, to indicate something about the parameters the minister is willing to tolerate. After all, it would be rather foolish to permit negotiations in the acceptance of a figure and then have the minister, after the event, intervene and in effect indicate his displeasure and rescind or overrule what has been done.

On the prompt payment aspect of it I was interested, in speaking to a number of farm groups, and particularly having the benefit of a recent visit from the Cattlemen’s Association, to learn from them that they felt that licensing was the first step that was required and prompt payment the next step. In many instances these steps would meet the greater part of the problem. Once again, prompt payment is going to be a matter subject to regulation by each of the individual funds set up by commodity groups, because of the fact that in some instances “prompt” has a different definition. The Cattlemen’s Association, for instance, when they were meeting with us, defined “prompt” payment as being within 48 hours, which limits the time in which a farmer would possibly be losing the value of the cattle they had sold. In other instances, for example dealing with tender fruit, “prompt” payment would have a far different definition because the farmer is not interested, and hasn’t operated on the basis of seeking a payment within, say a 48- hour period. But once again, it seems to me that “prompt” payment tied in with the licensing is getting at much of the problem. The fund is lust to catch the residue of other failures that may have emerged.

One could go on, I suppose, at considerable length, talking about principles that flow from the many details in this bill. I’m not going to do so this afternoon because I think no particular purpose is going to be served. The food producers of the province of Ontario have lived with many hazards, both in the production and the marketing of their food. I would join with the hon. member for Huron-Middlesex in saying that it’s a little overdue, but welcome nonetheless, that this hazard is going to be eliminated. At least when the food producer has sold his product and sold it in good faith he is not going to face the prospect of not getting the money he's entitled to because of the bankruptcy of the firm to which he has sold that product.

Mr. Gaunt: I want to make a few brief comments with respect to this bill. I along with the other two members who have spoken, certainly endorse wholeheartedly the principle of the bill. I think that it’s long overdue, and it’s certainly a welcome feature of this particular legislative session that the minister has seen fit to bring it in at this time, albeit right at the end of the session.

During the election campaign which we recently endured, I had occasion in two instances to talk about the need for such legislation, and I did so against the background of having undergone and suffered with a number of producers who were hurt very severely when Essex Packers defaulted and went into receivership. We had some farmers in our area who were hurt badly. One in particular, I believe ultimately went into bankruptcy because of it. He suffered a severe loss, something in the neighbourhood of $20,000, which was really the straw that broke the camel’s back.

When we were in discussion on one occasion -- this was at an all-candidates meeting -- the matter of prompt payment arose. We had a discussion at that time on how an Act would work with respect to prompt payment. Under the conditions as set out in this legislation -- I believe we were talking about beef -- the Ontario Cattlemen’s Association would operate the fund, and the regulations the minister would draw up would pertain to the marketing of beef and prompt payment with respect to beef. The point I want to make is: If prompt payment is required on the part of a packing house where a farmer sells cattle directly to the plant, then to be fair the prompt payment would also have to be a requirement of the legislation insofar as the chain store is concerned -- the chain store, to the packing plant, to the farmer. Unless that requirement is built into the legislation there’s a possibility that it would put packing firms in a very difficult position, because they are not in a position to require prompt payment from the chain store which buys from the packing plant.

If the packing plant has to pay the farmer within 48 hours, as the Ontario Cattlemen’s Association has recommended -- or in the case of a weekend the following working day. I believe; if the cattle were shipped on the Friday then payment would be required the following Monday -- if that is the case with the packing firm, is there going to be any regulation having to do with prompt payment by the chain store which happens to buy that meat from the packing plant? If not, then I suggest to the minister that this legislation will effectively cut out direct sales from the farmer to the packing plant, because the packing plant really won’t want to take the chance of operating under the requirement to pay the farmer within the 48 hours and then assume the risk of not being paid by the buyer of their meat for perhaps two, three or four weeks.

Perhaps the ministry has given some thought to that and maybe the regulations will cover that problem. I raise it with the minister because I haven’t had any indication that that problem would be dealt with and I wonder if any thought has been given to it.

In summary, I certainly support wholeheartedly the principles of the bill in the terms outlined by my colleague from Huron-Middlesex and my friend from York South. I endorse it. I support it wholeheartedly and it’s just unfortunate we didn’t have it much sooner.

Hon. W. Newman: I appreciate the comments from my friends across the way, Mr. Speaker. I would just like to point out that as a result of the problems we ran into way back with Essex Packers, and as a result of being unable at that point in time to get any amendments to The Bank Act, I set up a financial protection task force to look into ways and means of trying to protect the producers from bankruptcy. Even though only $70 in every $1 million of sales was lost over the last 10 years, and that may not sound like a lot of money, it severely hurt the individuals who were actually affected, which was pointed out by the member for Huron-Bruce, who said that an individual could be hurt very severely.

As a result of that task force, which was set up not too long ago, and as a result of their recommendations, we have this legislation before us today. As for the regulations we were talking about, I think it is very important to leave it open for the various commodity groups we have, because each commodity group probably will want to operate on a little different basis as far as the time-frame for prompt payment is concerned.

The hon. member asked me at what level the payout should be. I would like to indicate that I would want to consult with each commodity group as to what the level of payout should be. It could vary from commodity to commodity, but I would think it could be between 65 per cent and 90 per cent depending on the commodity. I have a lot of respect for our commodity groups; they are self-elected people in their own area of interest, so they have a pretty good idea of how they feel it should work. We want to leave that open to negotiation.

I talked to the president of the Federation of Agriculture as late as 1:50 p.m. today -- and I do apologize for being a little late in getting this bill in. It is a matter that has to go through the due process, and I am very thankful I was able to get it brought in. I also appreciate the co-operation of the other two parties in letting me bring this forward, because I think it’s important that we proceed with our negotiations with the various commodity groups now so we can get the regulations in place.

One of the things the hon. member talked about was prompt payment as well as licensing; and, yes, I met with the Ontario Cattlemen’s Association last week also, I also think that a fund should be built up in each commodity group. As the hon. member knows, of course, the fund can build up to a certain level and, when it reaches that desired level, then there can no longer be any payments by the producers or by the processors.

There were one or two questions that were brought up by the member for Huron-Middlesex; I think I’ve covered them. The level of coverage, as I have said, would be somewhere between 65 per cent and 90 per cent, depending on the commodity.


As far as the consolidated revenue fund is concerned, which he mentioned we would administer, as he well knows, the fund for the various commodity groups; and yes, the money would be in the consolidated revenue fund, but I believe the consolidated revenue fund would be paying interest on that particular fund.

The member for York South brought up, basically, some of the same ideas. On the $25,000 seed money; yes, this is to encourage the commodity boards to get into it.

One thing that hasn’t been mentioned, there is an interest-free loan provision in this bill, that until the necessary funds are built up to the acceptable levels by the commodity boards there would be loans made available from the consolidated revenue fund of up to $250,000 to deal with any particular bankruptcy that may occur before the funds are built up.

The member for Huron-Bruce brought up another situation which we have considered but is not in this bill. That is the prompt payment, as he says from the chain store back to the packing plants. This bill is designed to protect the producers of the province. When we get into that next sphere, we’re also into the area of responsibility of the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations, and in order to get this bill under way, certainly that would not come under my jurisdiction. This bill is primarily set up to deal with the producers in this province. I’m hopeful that we can move forward fairly quickly with the regulations of the various groups once we can get this bill passed, because I think it’s very important. I don’t apologize for the delay. I think since I’ve been in the ministry we’ve set up this task force and we have brought in the report. We’ve tried repeatedly for many years to get The Bank Act changed to make farmers primary creditors and, to this point in time we have been unable to do that; thus we’re bringing forward this legislation which is a vehicle to build on with regulations for the various commodity groups.

I do appreciate the members’ feeling on the bill, Mr. Speaker. I think it’s a good bill, and hopefully we can get it sorted out before we leave here.

Mr. Sargent: I wonder if the minister would answer a question? I’m sorry I was late getting back in.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Would you make the question very brief?

Mr. Sargent: I have heard three of my colleagues speak on this. In view of the fact that Essex Packers had a $23,000 cheque for a young chap which he never collected -- they forced him into bankruptcy and he’s lost everything -- is there any way the minister can make this reciprocal? Or retroactive, I’m sorry.

Hon. W. Newman: No, it cannot be made retroactive. This bill will take effect from the day it receives royal assent. Nobody is more concerned about some of those producers who took a beating. I know, I have a list of them. Once we get this regulation in place, this sort of thing will not happen.

Mr. Sargent: May I have a supplementary, again?

Mr. Deputy Speaker: I’m sorry, no. The motion is for second reading of Bill 45. Is it the pleasure of the House the motion carry?

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Shall this bill be ordered for third reading?



The following bill was given third reading on motion: Bill 45, An Act to amend The Farm Products Payments Act.


Resumption of the adjourned debate on the motion for second reading of Bill 21, An Act to establish the Ministry of Northern Affairs.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: I believe the member for Nickel Belt was prepared with his remarks.

Mr. Laughren: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I shall, with a great deal of self-discipline, restrain myself in both the length of time --

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Oh don’t do that, don’t disappoint me.

Mr. Laughren: -- and the heat of my arguments.

I thought that the member for London Centre (Mr. Peterson) made a good point in his remarks when he talked about the introduction of this bill being a signal that the government had failed in so many other areas in northern Ontario, because as I read through the bill I don’t see a single thing in this bill that could not be done by existing ministries. That is why we, in this caucus, looked long and hard at the bill, and even had some spirited discussions about this bill to establish a Ministry of Northern Affairs.

We don’t make these decisions lightly, Mr. Speaker. I am sure the minister realizes that. We had to be very careful that this bill would not be a window-dressing bill and used as an election ploy in the recent provincial election.

Mr. Sargent: They are going to make him Premier of Northern Ontario.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: We will accept responsibility.

Mr. Laughren: And yes, you certainly will accept responsibility.

An hon. member: You should.

Mr. Laughren: The minister will, that’s correct. He will accept responsibility for what he continues not to do in northern Ontario. He will have no options over that.

I want to tell you something, Mr. Speaker. Last night during the debate the minister- elect of northern affairs continually referred to the seats the government had gained in northern Ontario. I want to tell you that if the minister thinks those victories were a blanket endorsation of government policy in northern Ontario, he is going to have a rude awakening in the months and the years to come. Because, Mr. Speaker, this bill is the kind of thing that raises the expectations of people in northern Ontario and when the minister doesn’t meet those expectations, which he has caused to rise, then he is going to be in real trouble in northern Ontario, even more than he is at the present time.

An hon. member: Right on.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Thirty-four years, boy.

Mr. Laughren: And I would remind the minister that the proportion of seats that the government holds in the north is nothing that it should be proud of as the government of this province.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: You would love to have a majority.

Mr. Laughren: Well, we would love to have a majority government --

Mr. Martel: You would love to have a majority too, Leo.

Mr. Laughren: You would too.

Mr. Mackenzie: As a matter of fact, that’s the only reason you called the election and it didn’t work.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Nice try.

Mr. Laughren: Mr. Speaker, I would like to address myself to a couple of possibilities that this bill offers to the Minister of Northern Affairs and I hope that he will listen carefully.

I think there are two areas in which we in northern Ontario feel there are very serious problems. One is the provision or delivery of services to people; the other is economic development. The two are related. We make a serious mistake -- and I think this is where the government has failed in the past; they have tended to regard the two as two separate worlds and surely there’s the relationship, or at least should be, between economic development and the provision or delivery of services to people.

In the delivery of services, once again we have two different kinds of problems. One is delivery of services in the established communities -- such as Sudbury, or North Bay, or Thunder Bay, or Sault Ste. Marie and so forth -- and you have the small unorganized communities in northern Ontario.

When we talk about the builtup areas like Sudbury, it’s an indication that something is wrong when we have a region as rich in resources as the Sudbury region with a $30 million backlog in services. This is services to existing communities. I am not talking about laying sewer and water lines in the ground in the York-Durham region the way they have done, but to established communities.

The Minister of Northern Affairs simply must address himself to that problem. We have today in the Sudbury area people who in the wintertime melt snow in order to have water to drink and to wash with and in the summertime haul water in from a fire hydrant. It is a pretty sad commentary that in established communities in northern Ontario, in communities as rich as the regional municipality of Sudbury -- and that’s within the regional municipality of Sudbury -- we have a $30 million backlog of services and at the same time $130 million debt that has been assumed by the region.

The minister is simply going to have to investigate what it is that allowed that to happen in an area that’s created so much wealth for the people of Ontario, all over Ontario. Also he should talk to the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) and to the Minister of Revenue (Mrs. Scrivener) about assessment policies, because what’s happening in places like Sudbury, in a resource-based community with mining installations within its borders, is that there’s very little relationship between capital investment in the community and assessment revenues.

That has simply got to change. We can no longer have, as we have had in the last few years, over $1 billion of assessment come into the Sudbury area in about a five-year period, and yet have the debt increasing while that’s happening so there's almost an inverse relationship between capital investment and the assessment that is available to the municipality for taxing purposes.

One reason for that is the way the mining industry is taxed so that there is very little left in the form of buildings that are of substantial value that can be taxed. The minister simply has to convince his cabinet colleagues that there are other ways of assessing the mining industry. They have done it other ways in British Columbia, in Manitoba and in Alberta. It can be done here, but it is going to take a great deal of pressure from the Minister of Northern Affairs.

The Treasurer has been told this and the Minister of Revenue has been told this many times. International Nickel in the Sudbury area has said let us pay more of our revenues to the local area. I hope the minister will lean on his colleagues to see if that can be accomplished.

On the whole question of jobs in northern Ontario, at this time, in the latest figures I saw, northeastern Ontario had the highest unemployment rate of any region in Ontario. This is an area that is very rich in resources. The northeastern part is the resource heart of all of Ontario, and here we have a very unacceptable unemployment level. We don’t have to look very far to see that.

We know that productivity in both the mining and the lumbering industries has increased substantially, the minister knows this. The tons of ore produced per employee has gone up dramatically in the last 10 years by making the industry more capital intensive. The same applies to the lumbering industry. While there is nothing wrong with making an industry capital intensive, at the same time we must develop some kind of economic policy that will provide alternative employment for those people; and that’s not happening now. The minister and his colleagues have simply done nothing to encourage the further processing of our resources in the north. As a matter of fact, this is what bothers me so much. This is the same minister who in December, 1975, granted Falconbridge an indefinite extension of their right to ship nickel to Norway for further processing and, as though to compound the injury, to write off those processing costs against their Ontario operations.

Mr. Warner: Absolutely shameful.

Mr. Laughren: That’s still going on. Falconbridge is not a penurious little struggling local enterprise. It is part of a large multinational conglomerate. They have been in the Sudbury basin for 45 years and have had every opportunity to build a refinery and process nickel there. The government makes the problem worse. This is what is bothering me. We simply have to look to the minister to turn those policies around. We are bothered because they were his policies to start with. He is going to have to admit he was wrong and change some of those policies. I don’t know if he is big enough to do that, quite frankly.

Mr. Martel: And they expand in Norway.

Mr. Laughren: Yes, that’s correct. They expand their refinery in Norway.

Mr. Warner: Cleanse your soul by resigning. It will make you feel better.

Mr. Laughren: We are not dealing in a closed economy any more. The multinational resources corporations wheel and deal all around the world. If they can hold up the minister for ransom, they will do it. We simply must have the resolve collectively to resist that. We believe it can be done.

Just before I leave that, there is no better example of what this government allows to happen than what happened in the riding of Timiskaming, in the small town of Matachewan, when the United Asbestos plant closed. When I hear this minister, along with the member for Timiskaming (Mr. Havrot), blaming the New Democratic Party for closing the United Asbestos mine, I think that politics has reached a new and lower level.

That’s a shabby kind of politics. The member for Timiskaming promised during the campaign that he would see that that mine was reopened. When I asked the Premier today that very question, he avoided it entirely, because you know and I know he has no intentions of opening that mine.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: The local people spoke on June 9.

Mr. Laughren: Don’t give me that. We are talking about the principle of telling the truth. That’s what we are talking about, and you are not telling it when you imply to the people that that mine will be reopened. That's not telling them the truth. Why don’t you talk to the member for Timiskaming and tell him that?


Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please, the interjections are out of order. Will the hon. member continue his debate without any interjections from the minister or other hon. members?

Mr. Laughren: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It is good to have an ally.

I would just pursue that one bit further because it is one of the problems that this bill doesn’t address itself to, which is an indirect way of saying I am still speaking to the principle of the bill. It’s simply not right. I talked about raising people’s expectations, and that’s what the minister and the member for Timiskaming are doing when they talk about reopening a mine, when they are not prepared to go in there with public money and take part of the action in the form of an equity position in that company. The government is not prepared to do that. You and I know, Mr. Speaker, that that mine was closed because it was over-capitalized, and the Mercantile Bank is the first one to admit that.

I would like to hear the minister’s response to that particular part of my remarks, because I think it is time the people of Timiskaming were told the truth. I would like to hear them told the truth on this particular issue. It would be very interesting to see whether or not the government is prepared to do that --


Mr. Warner: The government never --

Mr. Laughren: -- or whether it is going to continue to, shall I say, fudge the issue. I’ll be very interested in hearing the minister’s response.

Now I’d like to speak briefly about the small unorganized communities in the north, Mr. Speaker. I know the Speaker has a considerable interest in them as well. A couple of years ago there was a bill introduced by the Treasurer, but it was this minister who shepherded the bill through the cabinet.

Mr. Martel: Railroaded.

Mr. Laughren: Railroaded, yes. And Bill 102 was a bill to recognize councils or community organizations in the small communities of northern Ontario that have no municipal stature at all.

The government established a couple of civil servants who tripped all across northern Ontario and held meetings in all of those communities. They found out that the problems were so enormous and the costs to rectify the problems so high, that they let the bill die on the order paper. To this day, small unorganized communities have no normal route through which provincial funds are transferred into their communities.

Mr. Warner: It is unorganized government.

Mr. Laughren: Mr. Speaker, can you imagine the community that you represent existing without provincial grants? The people in organized communities don’t seem to understand that very often --

Mr. Sargent: That’s one guy that’s loaded up there.

Mr. Laughren: Well, he wouldn’t be without provincial grants to his municipality. And to this day -- last night, I almost stood up on a point of order. I almost accused the minister of misleading the House, but I didn’t.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Almost.

Mr. Laughren: I restrained myself.

Mr. Martel: Unlike you.

Mr. Laughren: Because the minister implied --

Hon. Mr. Bernier: You mislead the House. I bring it to order.

Mr. Laughren: The minister implied last night that there were funds available for fire protection for the unorganized communities. That was a -- he really did mislead us. You know why? Because there are some funds available for some communities --

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member will not accuse another hon. member of misleading the House, and I would ask him to withdraw that remark.

Mr. Martel: You didn’t do that the other night to the Minister of Revenue (Mrs. Scrivener). You play a funny game, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Laughren: Mr. Speaker, I don’t know. It may not have been deliberate. But he sure did mislead the House. Well, it’s true.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: On a point of order.

Mr. Breaugh: Are you going to do it again?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: I cannot let this slide without commenting. I said last night that there were funds available to the unorganized communities for fire protection.

Mr. Martel: Some.

Hon. Mr Bernier: There is. It is available. Before the end of March this year alone, we disbursed to those unorganized communities over $230,000 for the sole purpose of buying firefighting equipment, be it portable pumps, be it hoses, be it the erection of a fire station -- all the things that relate to fire protection in unorganized areas.

If the hon. member has an unorganized community in his riding that’s within the terms of reference of the Isolated Communities Assistance Fund and needs fire protection equipment, then I’d like to hear from him.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please. That wasn’t really a point of order. I would ask the hon. member to continue his debate and then the minister can respond at the end of the debate on second reading.

Mr. Laughren: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The minister is handing us out --

Mr. Williams: Mr. Speaker, point of order.

Mr. Acting Speaker: State your point of order.

Mr. Williams: Mr. Speaker, you had asked the member to withdraw his statement that he made with regard to the minister before he continued. He has not withdrawn that statement and he hasn’t complied with your instructions, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Germa: Are you in the chair?

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please. I have understood the hon. member to say that he was withdrawing it. Perhaps I wasn’t listening closely.

Mr. Laughren: On the contrary, Mr. Speaker, the hon. member wasn’t listening closely.

What the minister has told us is total nonsense.

Mr. Gregory: Did you withdraw your comment?

Mr. Laughren: Let the member tell me then. Let him stand in his place, because I’ll yield the floor to him. Let him stand in his place and tell me that there is fire assistance available for all unorganized communities that need it. Let him tell me that.

Mr. Pope: That isn’t what you accused him of. You said there is no money.

Mr. Laughren: There is no program for firefighting protection in unorganized communities. And, as a matter of fact, the program to provide assistance in the purchase of smoke detectors was an insult.

Mr. Pope: Don’t start weaseling out of what you said.

Mr. Laughren: Never, never.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: On a point of clarification. The Isolated Communities Assistance Fund was set up to assist unorganized communities, to assist them all.

Mr. Pope: He said none.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: I met with the UCANO group -- with UCANO East and UCANO West. We have been given $250,000 in the last quarter of 1976-77.

Mr. Martel: That isn’t even enough to buy the pails for them.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: In 1977-78 we have $500,000 to give out to the unorganized communities. We went to UCANO, and we said how should this be spent, and we agreed that the top priority would be fire protection in the form of smoke detectors which they would handle. The next phase of that program will be fire extinguishers on the same idea, and we have also dispersed direct grants --

Mr. Martel: Fire trucks?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Yes.

Mr. Martel: Yes, two of them.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: No, I would be glad to get the hon. member a list of the equipment we have sent out. I will get him a list of the various communities we have assisted where there is a nucleus of a community organization. That is all we need. The application forms are there; they are very simple to fill out. In fact UCANO will help those people fill out the application forms, and we respond very quickly.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please, perhaps the hon. member would continue. Now that the record has been corrected on a point of order we can continue the debate and the hon. minister can respond at the end of second reading.

Mr. Laughren: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The fact still remains that to obtain assistance for fire protection in unorganized communities there is no automatic route to follow. There is no guarantee that any unorganized community will receive assistance for fire protection. There is no guarantee of that. But I am glad to hear the minister making some of the statements he is making today, because that means that the applications will roll in. I would be interested in receiving that list and comparing the list by riding.

The other thing is, of course, that fire protection is only one dimension of the problem. There is the whole question of health care, the delivery of health services in the small communities. That is sadly lacking, as are recreational facilities, as well. I think the minister understands the problems in the small unorganized communities. Perhaps he has been restricted by lack of funds in the past. I hope that will change. I emphasize, as strongly as I can, that what the small communities are asking for, and in some cases receiving, is nothing more than people in organized communities have received for years and years.

Those small communities aided in the development of this province, and they were very conveniently used in those days. Now, when their importance is declining in the overall economic scheme of things -- now that the railroads aren’t being used to develop the province and so forth -- they are very quickly forgotten by this government. There needs to be an infusion of funds in there. And I really do emphasize that it is nothing more than the organized communities have just taken for granted. The small communities have a right to those funds.

The only other major thing I want to talk about is the whole question of the economic development of not just specific communities but all of northern Ontario. Certainly, the Sudbury and District Chamber of Commerce zeroed in on the problem very neatly in a document entitled The Profile of Failure. This was a response prepared for the Ministry of Treasury, Economics and Intergovernmental Affairs by the Sudbury and District Chamber of Commerce. And keep in mind, would you, that the Sudbury and District Chamber of Commerce has traditionally been a very strong ally of the government, and it’s quite something for them to come to this position.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Who wrote the brief?

Mr. Martel: They never accepted my membership.

Mr. Laughren: I want to tell you something -- it wasn’t the New Democrats who had any say in this. Although, I would say that it is simply amazing what publicity the Sudbury Chamber of Commerce gets when it starts saying things that we in this chamber have been saying for 10 years. It is very gratifying, actually, to have a group -- an august group such as the Sudbury and District Chamber of Commerce -- come around to this point of view.

I would like to give you a couple of quotes, Mr. Speaker, because I know that you represent an area that flirts with the north and that you would be interested in this. This is the chamber of commerce’s overview of the problem. They are referring to the northeastern Ontario regional strategy which was the government’s plan. They say:

“The northeastern Ontario regional strategy is devoid of any strategy of development, physical, economic or social. It represents the pinnacle of intellectual bankruptcy of the southern establishment in even analysing the problems of the north, let alone dealing with them effectively. The only way to deal with a northeastern Ontario regional strategy is to let it terminate as an expensive receptacle of dust until it glides gracefully or otherwise into oblivion. The fundamental problem with northeastern Ontario regional strategy can be summed up as the troika of nos -- no strategy, no analysis and no programs -- and, therefore, no use.”

Those are strong words for the Sudbury Chamber of Commerce. For any chamber of commerce, those are strong words. I give them credit for coming out foursquare and talking about development the way it needs to be talked about and talking to the minister in a language that perhaps he can understand. He understands those strong words, being a northerner, and I hope he will take them to heart.

The chamber went on and said many things. They said, for example: “On careful evaluation one has to conclude that the northeastern regional strategy views the north as a supplier of raw materials for the Golden Horseshoe and as a market for its manufactured goods and services.”

Mr. Martel: It sounds like the Thoman plan.

Mr. Laughren: And further the chamber says: “In the absence of any meaningful strategy of development, the northeastern Ontario regional strategy has to be labelled as a textbook case of an upper class welfare project.”

I hope the minister takes that to heart because he talks about providing increased grants. All the time it’s grants, it’s never development and it’s never growth for northern Ontario. It’s never directing economic growth to the north, it’s always grants. It’s reached the point where the communities up there are dependent upon the provincial grants for their very existence. That’s in the short term because they have no alternatives. The government could very well create much more growth in the north than it is. The Falconbridge exemption was a classic example. That didn’t create any jobs -- none at all. As a matter of fact, it’s exporting jobs.

Mr. Martel: Five hundred were laid off.

Mr. Laughren: We’ve got to create new wealth in the north, not just change around what is already there. The minister has a major responsibility to do that. And I hope he will.


Mr. Laughren: The northeastern Ontario regional strategy had some valid objectives. There was nothing wrong with the objectives as they laid them out to the Treasury department. They said these are the objectives: greater stability, increased diversity, improved productivity and increased employment. Those are the four major economic objectives and there is nothing wrong with those. But when the northeastern Ontario regional strategy brought forth its analysis, it was simply childish. What better way to put it than the chamber did about an upper-class welfare project? That’s the kind of abysmal analysis that’s done for northern Ontario.

The chamber itself didn’t stop by just criticising; it offered some recommendations. I would like to tell you, Mr. Speaker, what the chamber recommended and this ministry could play a major role in this. They recommended aid from the province to lagging regions such as the northeast; that means involvement in the economy. Further, the province should focus on regional economic development through creation of new employment and use existing policies and programs to upgrade the human resources. Also the province should vigorously move in the direction of the relocation of jobs away from the Golden Horseshoe.

There’s one the minister can chew on. The Treasurer had the opportunity to direct the Steel Company to locate not at Nanticoke to make the Golden Horseshoe even bigger and take a wider sweep, but to go on the north shore or at Sault Ste. Marie. Don’t forget the ore comes from Wawa for that operation. There was every opportunity there for this government to move in and say it’s about time we did start to relocate industry in this province because it’s lopsided the way it is now. The government had an opportunity there and it failed miserably.


The central issue as described by the Chamber of Commerce is this -- and I think it’s a nice summary paragraph: “Stripped of all shibboleths, the central issue confronting the province is simple, the creation of wealth. This creation of wealth has two components. First, the utilization of wealth generated in the northeast for northeastern development. Second, a concerned effort to examine locations in the northeast whenever investment decisions are made at the provincial level. Unless the province confronts this critical issue and resolves it in favour of the northeast, the creation of the new ministry will only result in the legitimization of another fiefdom to oversee a vast wasteland.”

That’s how strongly the Sudbury and District Chamber of Commerce feels about it. They feel strongly about it because they’ve been promised all sorts of things over the years and nothing ever changes. Very little ever changes, and they are tired, as we are tired, of nothing but promises. Nothing changes in the policies of this government. I think it should discard forever --

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Three members changed.

Mr. Laughren: Not in the Sudbury region.

Mr. Martel: Holy smoke, listen to who is talking. Ever been to Kenora? The roads are paved with gold -- in and out of Kenora.

Mr. Laughren: There is a rumour as well that if you pave another mile of Manitoulin Island it will sink.

Mr. Martel: During the last two elections, they came too close together.

Mr. Laughren: I just want to say to the minister that we’re supporting this bill on second reading and we think that there is potential. We hope very much that the government will not just arbitrarily discard the amendments that will be introduced by my colleague from Sudbury East. A lot of thought went into them and they make a lot of sense.

The reason I wanted the Chamber of Commerce’s views on the record -- I put them as directly as I could -- is that I think after this many years in government the Conservatives tend to regard the opposition as always posturing and never really having anything to offer of substance. I think that’s unfair. Those of us in northern Ontario ridings do have something to offer in terms of suggestions of how to make improvements in the north -- both in the unorganized communities and in the economic development of the north.

We’re serious about it. We have the interest of our constituents at heart as government members do for theirs. We think that it’s time they sat back and said, “It’s not just the opposition. It’s not just because they’re New Democrats that they are talking about more government intervention in the economy in northern Ontario.” Because here is a body like the Chamber of Commerce that is saying the same thing.

Maybe that’s what it will take to make the government see that there is some common sense in the policies that we propose -- that it isn’t just some kind of knee-jerk ideological reaction that we have, when we talk about the development of the north. There’s a lot of common sense to it, and certainly I think the government would be the last one to accuse the Chamber of Commerce of lacking in common sense. I would encourage them to seriously consider our amendment and get on with the job of creating a better northern Ontario.

Mr. Martel: You spoke to them, didn’t you, Leo, when you were in Sudbury?

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

Mr. Reid: There is a great northerner. North of Bloor Street.

Mr. Williams: Mr. Speaker, the enactment of this proposed bill will undoubtedly herald a new era of opportunity and well-being for all of the people of northern Ontario --

Mr. Reid: Let’s not overdo it.

Mr. Williams: -- by reinforcing the co-operation and assistance that has been provided to the people of northern Ontario by all the ministries of this government.

Mr. Laughren: Now I know what Hugh Segal is doing now.

Mr. Mancini: Don’t you think it is going too far, Leo?

Mr. Reid: Why do we need it if it has been such a great help?

Mr. Williams: I would hasten to say that this does not mean that there have not been significant accomplishments made in the past through the initiatives brought forward by this government as far as providing the services and support for the people of northern Ontario is concerned.

Mr. Martel: John, would you talk to him?

Mr. Williams: Last evening I listened with interest to the criticism of those accomplishments made both by the member for Sudbury East and the member for Rainy River. I won’t dignify with a response the boorish and insulting remarks made in the Legislature last evening by the member for Sudbury East, but I will comment on those observations and criticisms made by the member for Rainy River.

Mr. Laughren: Hop into bed, John.

Mr. Williams: It was pointed out by that member that he was disappointed in the past accomplishments -- he suggested in fact, that there hadn’t been any -- with regard to the three main industries of the north. He spoke at some length about the mining industry, the forest industry and the tourist industry.

He suggested that the government hadn’t been doing enough with regard to support of the mining industry, and yet we well know that the province of Ontario continues to remain as the main base mining resource area, perhaps second to none anywhere in the world. It’s acknowledged that the mining industry isn’t the healthiest at this time, probably attributable largely to the fact that we have depressed prices for precious and other metals throughout the world; and this indeed has been a nagging economic problem.

Mr. Reid: And some of the policies of the present government.

Mr. Williams: But no other government, I suggest, has provided as much backup and support to assist the private sector in the development of mining in the north to bring it to the position it holds in the world today.

Mr. Laughren: Let them ship the ore down. That is how you help them. Keep shipping it out.

Mr. Williams: I would point out too that the member was highly critical of the alleged lack of initiative taken by this government with regard to support of the forest industry in Ontario.

Mr. Martel: Leo, you need his help like you need a hole in the head.

Mr. Williams: At that time he suggested all this government had done had been to provide study after study after study with regard to the problems in the north without any action thereon. Obviously, the member’s comments were making light of the facts that are before us. I only have to refer to one specific study as an example of the distortion of fact into fiction. One of the studies that perhaps he was alluding to last evening was the 1972 management policy study entitled, Forest Production Policy Options for the Province of Ontario. I point out that that was in 1972 --

Mr. Stokes: Roy, was that ever off the mark. You wouldn’t quote that one.

Mr. Williams: -- and lest the idea be left that nothing has flowed from those studies, such as that one, for the record I would simply point out that as a result of that study, and through the initiatives of this government, we have attracted an expansion in the north unheralded with regard to the pulp and paper industry. I refer to the Spruce Falls Power and Paper Company’s Kapuskasing facility involving a capital investment of $3.8 million. There was the Great Lakes Paper Company project, a stud and tie mill operation at Thunder Bay, at a cost of $4 million. We encouraged the Pope and Talbot $2.5-million facility at Hudson as an expansion of their sawmill.

Mr. Reid: We won’t go into that one.

Mr. Stokes: You are embarrassing the minister.

Mr. Williams: We have the Weldwood of Canada project at Longlac, which is an expansion of their waferboard plant facility. We encouraged Eddy Forest Products with regard to their sawmill operation at Nairn Centre. We had a $4-million expansion of the sawmill facilities at Newaygo Timber Company at Mead. Then, too, there was the Macmillan-Bloedel facility at Thunder Bay, the flakeboard plant, a substantial $8-million facility employing in excess of 70 people.

Mr. Stokes: And they have been flaking the suppliers ever since.

Mr. Williams: As another example of action -- and this will be of interest to the member for Lake Nipigon, who just interjected -- at the Kimberly-Clark facility at Terrace Bay --

Mr. Reid: We’ve heard about them.

Mr. Williams: -- there was an expansion of their stud mill facility there. Then, too, there was the Malette Lumber operation at Timmins. I would point to the Sklar Furniture Limited operation at Mattawa --

Mr. Martel: All that expansion and fewer jobs.

Mr. Williams: -- the Rogers Lumber facility at Alban, a $1-million sawmill facility employing over 100 people.

Mr. Martel: Don’t talk about that one.

Mr. Williams: And while it may be laughable, and understandably so, to the member for Sudbury East --

Mr. Martel: Maybe you should know what is going on. Any donkey can stand and quote.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order please. The hon. member for Sudbury East will not interject.

Mr. Martel: He should know what he is talking about.

Mr. Williams: Based on his performance last evening, Mr. Speaker, it’s understandable --

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member will ignore the interjections. They’re out of order.

Mr. Williams: Then, too, there’s the Spruce Falls Power and Paper Company facility at Kapuskasing with their newsprint expansion there. Finally, I would point to the Cochrane Enterprises sawmill facility.

Mr. Reid: You forgot the pulp and paper mill at Atikokan. You are not very well informed.

Mr. Williams: So there are more than a dozen facilities that have flowed through the initiatives of this government.

Mr. Reid: Oh, baloney -- the initiatives of this government!

Mr. Williams: There are more than a dozen facilities that have been brought forward through the initiatives of this government, working in conjunction with the private sector, to bring much-needed employment to northern Ontario emanating from one of the many studies that were criticized by the member for Rainy River last evening.

Mr. Reid: I wonder, Mr. Speaker, if the member would accept a question?

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please, no. The question would be out of order.

Mr. Reid: Oh, well, we don’t know that until we hear it. It probably would be.

Mr. Williams: Mr. Speaker, if I might continue.

Mr. Reid: Let’s take a vote on it.

Mr. Williams: The member, last night, made reference as well to the tourist industry and suggested that --

Mr. Reid: Where is the wood going to come from to serve all these mills?

Mr. Williams: -- not much was being done to assist the tourist industry in northern Ontario. Yet, I can well recall during the last session, particularly with regard to the hearings held before the public accounts committee, from some sectors there was a great deal of criticism of the government’s financial support policy with regard to this base industry in the north country, to the point where it was suggested that it should be totally withdrawn.

Mr. Reid: There is another one.

Mr. Williams: I can only suggest to you, Mr. Speaker, that if it were not for the government’s initiative and financial support for the tourist industry in the north that --

Mr. Reid: If you are talking about Minaki Lodge you are right. That is Leo’s white elephant.

Mr. Williams: -- it would not be today where it is.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: The Liberal candidate in your riding wanted to finish Minaki Lodge.

Mr. Mancini: You weren’t a big hit in my riding either, so don’t feel bad.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please. The interjections are entirely out of order. The hon. member will continue please.

Mr. Williams: So, to suggest that the government has limited itself to studies of the north without acting on the findings and identifying the problems through those studies is completely erroneous.

Mr. Reid: Ask the minister what the problem is. He knows what the problems are.

Mr. Williams: What the member also identified as a major problem in the north, as he saw it, last evening, was the question of communication and transportation. I think, while the member did acknowledge the difficulties experienced in an area so vast, with such a sparse population, where we have 90 per cent of the geographic area of the province located with less than 10 per cent of the population, indeed, it’s not an easy task to service those widespread communities that are so sparsely populated.

But, while the member was critical of that situation, which I think is a fact of life, he did not choose to comment on the successes that have been achieved in the north, again through the initiative of the government. I found it interesting that he chose not to make reference to the successes accomplished under the jurisdiction and authority of the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission. Of course, through that facility I would suggest there’s no other jurisdiction in the world that provides so much in the way of transportation service to such a large area so sparsely populated as here.

The member was critical of the lack of transportation facilities, yet he saw no cause to make reference to the Northland’s very successful operations with regard to bus and rail service. He did not choose to make comment on the fact that this year, in fact, there will be the introduction -- and I understand, if it’s on schedule, it will be this Saturday -- of the Northlander project. This will provide, through the use of the new equipment that has been introduced by the Northland Commission, a new set of --

Mr. Martel: In fact, John, we are getting too much in the north.

Mr. Williams: -- passenger units. There will be four train sets available --

Mr. Reid: Yes, and you bought the equipment in Europe. It could have been made in Thunder Bay.

Mr. Williams: -- each providing a capacity of 114, with dining car and other facilities, that will greatly enhance the existing facilities for the people of the north country.


He did not make reference to the fact that through the norOntario service the passenger service has increased in the past 12-month period by 31 per cent, servicing more than 82,000 passengers during that period.

I think these are glaring omissions that were made last evening, Mr. Speaker, and because of that did not truly represent what accomplishments have been made in the north country. These are only some of the examples, Mr. Speaker, there are others.

Mr. Reid: Did you ever hear of reforestation?

Mr. Williams: He made reference to lack of communication facilities, telecommunication facilities, and by so doing chose not to acknowledge the fact that there has been a considerable expansion of direct distance dialing facilities north and west of the Cochrane area, and that new microwave systems north of Timmins have been introduced and that in fact there are continuing microwave facilities being provided in the farther northern regions of the province to assist in communication between those widely spread, geographically speaking, sparsely settled communities.

These I think are the things that have to be said to give a proper perspective to the matter and to point out that while this bill will provide greater opportunities for initiative by this government, it clearly points out that much has been achieved in the past.

Before leaving the successes of the past and coming to what is anticipated in the future because of the enactment of this bill, I would simply also point out that the member simply glossed over the successes that have been accomplished in the way of endeavouring to introduce other industry into the north, to complement and act as secondary to the base industries, through the efforts of the Northern Ontario Development Corporation.

Mr. Laughren: Time!

Mr. Williams: While he made reference to the corporation, he chose not to in any way elaborate upon its successes and the way in which it is endeavouring to assist the private sector to --

Hon. Mr. Bernier: It’s refreshing to hear the truth.

Mr. Martel: That’s what’s wrong with you being in charge of that ministry.

Mr. Williams: -- growth and industry in the north and to improve its economy.

Much criticism has been directed at the substance and content of this bill. It has been suggested that it’s too broad, which I find interesting, because one of the ways in which a new ministry can most effectively operate is to have the broadest possible terms of reference so that it will not be inhibited or restricted in any way from meeting the anticipated and unanticipated needs of the areas for which it will be responsible.

The bill highlights the co-ordinating and accessibility features of the new ministry. This is really the main, important feature of the legislation --

Mr. Martel: Did you hear that, Leo? The co-ordinating part is the main part of the ministry, that is what he said.

Mr. Williams: -- that the co-ordinating activities that will flow from the new ministry are to enhance the co-operation and assistance that has been available there in the past from the various ministries. This, of course, will pull it all together and make the various arms of government much more readily accessible through this central facility.

The member for Rainy River was critical last night of the fact that only two regional offices have been set up already, before the ministry has even been formally created. I suggest, to the contrary, that this shows the speed and earnestness with which this government intends to see that the new ministry is meaningful and operative from day one.

We have the new facility in the Sault, which is a central and appropriate location for a regional office. It couldn’t be more centrally located, geographically speaking, to serve the north. And, of course, the regional office in Kenora will serve the northwesterly sector of our province.

The broad terms of reference as spelled out under section 8, Mr. Speaker, will I suggest provide the latitude necessary to this ministry, in the same way that the broad terms of reference to deal with social and economic needs and concerns as presently exist under our Planning Act legislation give planning boards and local councils the opportunity to deal in broad ways with the broad issues of the particular jurisdiction for which they are responsible.

Mr. Laughren: Time!

Mr. Williams: So, I think the form which the bill takes is most appropriate to deal with a very broadly-based situation that affects areas so widely apart and so diverse in their social and economic considerations. I am sure the co-ordinating facilities of this new ministry will help to alleviate the disparities that may tend to presently exist or that require immediate response from the ministry.

A major complaint that has existed in the past is that the people from the north have had to come to Toronto to get any action or to be heard. And, of course, with these new facilities in the north country and with the ministry in their own backyard, so to speak, these criticisms undoubtedly will be put aside.

I was most impressed last year, as a member of the select committee on the highway transportation of goods, in visiting the north country to find in fact what successes had been accomplished through the Ministry of Natural Resources, which was at that time responsible through its 25 officers in the various areas of the north and how they had been able to cope with and service the needs of the people in that area. But I think through this legislation we will have a much more sophisticated and broadened facility.

Of course, we have to look at the personalities that will be involved in the administering of this program. I suggest to you, Mr. Speaker, that there could not have been a better choice of ministers than that found in the member for Kenora, because I know of no other member of the House who has as much sensitivity, as much knowledge and understanding of the north country than the hon. minister.

Mr. Cunningham: Now we are getting ridiculous.

Mr. Williams: He is a man who does know the difference between a spruce and a jackpine.

Mr. Mancini: Leo, what is the difference between a spruce and a jackpine?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Come on up and I will show you what it is all about.

Mr. Williams: He is a member who does know where Red Lake is --

Mr. Mancini: I knew they made you the minister for some good reason. I couldn’t figure it out at the time, but now I know.

Mr. Williams: -- and I suggest to you that he is a member who does understand the significance of closing down a major tourist facility has an impact economically upon an area such as the city of Kenora. So it is appropriate and fitting, I suggest to you, Mr. Speaker, that the member for Kenora will be the minister for that area.

My last observation is this, Mr. Speaker, that while we have a very competent and capable member who will act as the minister, I am delighted to know that behind him --


Mr. Williams: -- behind him I know that we will have a shadow minister --

Mr. Laughren: A big shadow, anyway.

Mr. Williams: -- in the presence and personage of the member from Manitoulin Island, a man who perhaps did more to --

Mr. Laughren: That bothers us too.

Mr. Williams: -- bring about the discussion of this bill today than any other person in this Legislature. I think it would be totally inappropriate not to give due recognition to the member for Algoma-Manitoulin (Mr. Lane), because I can recall sitting both on the estimates committee and as a member of the select committee for the highway transportation of goods when that member made impassioned speeches, and very informed speeches, on the needs of the north. He brought to the attention of members who have not had the privilege of residing in and serving that area how important were the needs of that area and how important it was to make government more accessible to the people of the north.

It was through his efforts, certainly, that I came to better appreciate and understand, as a member for a southern, metropolitan, urbanized riding, what the real needs and accomplishments of the north were. So I have to, in closing, compliment that member for the initiatives that he took and which led I think in large measure to the introduction of this legislation today.

The last observation I have, Mr. Speaker, is that the new minister will have not only the member for Algoma-Manitoulin there to assist him, but also the enlarged membership from within the government caucus to support him from all sectors of the north, both experience and new members, who will bring new dimensions of support and guidance to that Ministry of Northern Affairs.

Mr. Reid: Whose side is he on, anyway?

Mr. Williams: So as I said at the outset, undoubtedly the introduction of this legislation will herald a new era of opportunity and well-being for the people of the north. With that we should speedily enact this legislation.

Mr. Bolan: I might say at this time, Mr. Speaker, that I agree with the bill, if for no other reason than it’s a start toward better things, I would hope.

What I planned to do when I first saw that this was on the order paper was to go into the bill in detail. However, I find that it’s very difficult to go through it in detail because, frankly there really is not that much to the bill. Nevertheless, in spite of its lack of substance, I will try to go through it after making some general observations.

My first observation to make is with respect to the platitudes which the hon. member for Oriole has bestowed upon the government on its activities in northern Ontario over the past number of years. And it really does surprise me that he extols the virtues of the government when the very fact that the bill is being introduced is an admission on the part of the government that it has failed in its dealings with the people of northern Ontario. If this bill were that important then it would mean that the government had looked towards northern Ontario over the past number of years and had done something concrete.

Is there a minister for southern Ontario? Is there a minister for southwestern Ontario? Is there a minister for southeastern Ontario? Of course, there isn’t. And the only reason why there is a designated Minister for Northern Ontario is because of the acknowledgement of this government, after many years of failure, that it must do something to try to alleviate the problems which exist in northern Ontario.

A word of caution to the minister-designate. It’s to remind him of the fate which befell his predecessor, the Hon. Allan Lawrence. The advice which I give to the minister-designate is not to seek higher office, because we all know what happened to the Hon. Allan Lawrence, who occupied the position of Minister of Mines and Northern Affairs. We all saw what happened to him when he dared rear his head and tried to obtain the Progressive Conservative nomination.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: He was promoted.

Mr. Bolan: Not only did he lose the nomination, he lost the ministry. So a word of caution to the minister in the event that he is looking for higher places of office.

Mr. Sargent: Got to get on the end of the line-up there.

Mr. Bolan: Now, Mr. Speaker, let’s look at the bill in its entirety. And it is most amusing to see that paragraph 2 reads as follows: “There shall be a ministry of the public service to be known as the Ministry of Northern Affairs.” How nice.

Then we go on and we get into the definition sections. And then we get into section 6.


Mr. Martel: The great seal; don’t forget the seal.

Mr. Bolan: Section 6 reads as follows: “The Lieutenant Governor in Council may authorize a seal for the ministry.”


Mr. Bolan: Not only that, “The seal may be reproduced by engraving, lithography -- “

Mr. Reid: Are these trained seals?

Mr. Bolan: “ -- printing or other methods of mechanical reproduction and when so reproduced has the effect as if manually affixed.” That is section 6 of the bill.

Then there is section 7 which deals with the delegation of duties. I suspect that will be the primary function of the minister -- to delegate duties.

Then we get to the section which is really the working section of the bill -- section 8. It is most interesting, because it says this: “It is the function of the ministry to co-ordinate the activities of the government in northern Ontario.” Then it goes on to include what it is to co-ordinate.

Actually, what section 8 says is this: it says to the other ministries, “I will go to you with hat in hand and beg to get something for the people of northern Ontario.” And that is precisely what it is -- it is nothing more than a beggar clause. Because in order for the minister to get anything from the other ministries, whatever his grandiose plans for northern Ontario may be, he has to co-ordinate these plans with the other ministries.

He has no moneys in this bill that authorize him to go out and do something for northern Ontario. He has to do what the people of northern Ontario have to do today, right now, to get something out of the government; and that is to come down here to Queen’s Park with hat in hand and beg for what we are justly entitled to.

That is section 8 of the bill. That is the working section of the bill. The other sections, Mr. Speaker, are meaningless. And it is to co-ordinate endeavours, to co-ordinate the plans which the minister has.

Where is the budget in the bill? There is no budget.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: The member has to be kidding.

Mr. Bolan: There is not one cent --

Hon. Mr. Kerr: It’s in the budget, not in the bill.

Mr. Bolan: -- other than to pay the countless numbers of bureaucrats who will be required to be hired.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Tell that fellow where he is going.

Mr. Sargent: Where is the money coming from?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: It’s in the budget.

Mr. Bolan: Let’s look at some of the problems of northern Ontario.


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

Mr. Bolan: Here are some of the problems which have been created by the government over the past number of years --

Mr. Sargent: Right on target.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Is there a seat at the airport?

An hon. member: Leo doesn’t want to make a ministry, he wants to make a dictatorship.

Mr. Bolan: The greatest problem in northern Ontario is the lack of jobs and the lack of opportunities for people to work in northern Ontario. Where are the provisions in the bill that create employment in northern Ontario? I am not aware of them. Unemployment in northeastern Ontario is over 13 per cent. Unemployment in my riding of Nipissing is 11 per cent. Is there anything in the bill to provide for that, to provide for the creation of jobs?

Mr. Hodgson: Merle Dickerson would change that.

Mr. Bolan: These are not promises which Merle Dickerson is giving out, although what the government is trying to do here is, in a backhanded way, doing what Merle Dickerson has been trying to do for a number of years.

Mr. Eakins: Does Merle look after the pork barrel now?

Mr. Bolan: The people of northern Ontario want to work. They don’t want to go knocking on doors. They don’t want to stand in breadlines.

The people of northern Ontario want to work. If there is anything that I did find out during the last election campaign it is that when you ask people what they want -- they want to work. They don’t want to be paid for doing nothing. They want to be paid for doing something. And it is the responsibility of the government to provide employment for them to keep busy, to do something.

What about small businesses in northern Ontario? What about the development of small businesses in northern Ontario? Is there any program in the bill to provide for loans for small businesses? And never mind NODC. NODC is controlled so tightly and rigidly that you are better off going to a finance company before you can get money from the government through it. Where are the moneys for that? There are no provisions in the bill to deal with that.

Mr. Martel: We are going to move that; I hope you support them. Leo’s supporting them.

Mr. Bolan: There is a need to stimulate the economy in northern Ontario, and you don’t stimulate it by bringing in General Motors or Ford. We don’t want big business up there, because that again attracts big unions; and big unions, of course, mean that moneys are siphoned off to the NDP through union dues.

Mr. Martel: You must come from North Bay.

Mr. Bolan: We don’t want that.

Mr. Swart: You want it, and can’t get it.

Mr. Bolan: What we want are small businesses, which are the backbone of a community.


Mr. Cunningham: You don’t take money from unions, do you, Elie?

Mr. Bolan: Let’s look at tourism in northern Ontario. It was this government which, to appease certain members of this government who were from northern Ontario, sought some time ago to devise a scheme for the creation of a tourist complex called Maple Mountain.

Mr. Sargent: There’s a winner for you. There’s a good one.

Mr. Bolan: They were going to pump millions and millions of dollars into the middle of the wilderness, and from this they were going to create hundreds of jobs for the residents of Timiskaming.

Mr. Eakins: They diverted that to Minaki Lodge instead.

Mr. Bolan: Instead of getting into that, why doesn’t the government take a proper look at northern Ontario and see where the base of the tourist industry is? It’s Lake Nipissing; that’s where it is. The government doesn’t have to go any further than that. Instead of diverting moneys into the middle of the bush, it should go to an area where there is a proven tourist attraction; build on that and make it inviting so that the people will go there. That’s the way to develop tourism. Go with the assets we already have; don’t start from scratch. If you know you have an area that is sound and good, you go there and build up from there.

To get there, I would urge the minister-designate to approach the Ministry of Transportation and Communications to co-ordinate the continuation of the building of Highway 11 and four-laning it into North Bay. Instead of waiting to build it all the way up, why not start from North Bay and go down towards Huntsville?


Mr. Bolan: These are the things which should be done but which are not provided for in this bill.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. May I suggest to the hon. member that the principle of this bill is the setting up of a ministry; it’s not to discuss the various problems of the north --

Mr. Cunningham: We don’t have enough time for that.

Mr. Nixon: This is a maiden speech.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Bolan: Mr. Speaker, if I may, on a point of order --

Mr. Speaker: With respect, the principle of the bill is setting up the new ministry. If the hon. member would really try to keep --


Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Bolan: If it were a question of criticizing what has gone wrong, Mr. Speaker, I’d be here for two weeks, I’m sorry to say. However, I will get on.

Mr. Speaker: There has been quite a bit of straying, and although we allow a certain amount of leeway -- perhaps too much, and I think quite often too much -- really the principle of the bill

Mr. Sargent: There are some pretty dull decisions in Hansard, too, made by the Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: Thank you very much! Would the hon. member please keep his silence? The interjections, if he were to read them in Hansard, really make very poor reading.

If the hon. member will continue, will he please keep to the principle of the bill, which is setting up the new ministry.

Mr. Sargent: Pretty dull decision in Hansard, too.

Mr. Speaker: That’s right.

Mr. Sargent: Made by the Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: I think the hon. member should take that part back.

Mr. Sargent: I said there are some pretty dull decisions. I won’t take it back. I mean it.

Mr. Speaker: Then I will name the hon. member.

Mr. Sargent: You’ve got to --

Mr. Speaker: No. Order, please. I’ll give the hon. member one more opportunity to withdraw his remark.

Mr. Sargent: Ah, come on. I said the dull decisions of the Speaker. You don’t like that?

Mr. Speaker: No.

Mr. Sargent: I will withdraw it. You are getting pretty touchy.

Mr. Speaker: Well, I have noticed a certain amount of sensitivity elsewhere.

The hon. member for Nipissing will continue but I would ask him to try to keep to the principle of the bill.

Mr. Bolan: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I’ll try, although it is very difficult.

Mr. Martel: The member for Oriole read out a list a mile and a half long.

Mr. Bolan: Going back then to the principle of the bill, which is to assist northern Ontario. I believe that is one of the principles of the bill, Mr. Speaker -- to assist northern Ontario. One of the ways to assist northern Ontario is the creation of jobs. How do we go about creating jobs?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Is development in northern Ontario mentioned specifically in the bill?

Mr. Bolan: One of the ways you’d do it is by providing industrial expansion.

Mr. Speaker: May I respectfully suggest to the hon. member that this is not what this bill is about. We allow a certain amount of latitude, especially with a new member, but really we are getting on to other problems, which are important problems but really the principle of the bill is just the setting up of this ministry.

Mr. Cunningham: Why do you allow other speakers --

Mr. Nixon: This is a maiden speech.

Mr. Speaker: We’re allowing interjections now, and the hon. member should respect that.

Mr. Bolan: It is my feeling. Mr. Speaker, that what the ministry should do to really add teeth to this bill and to add teeth to its position is to create jobs. I say there are no provisions in the bill to create jobs. There are provisions in the bill to co-ordinate activities relating to the development of northern Ontario and one of the ways of developing northern Ontario is to create jobs. May I further say that this is an item which was discussed at some length last night when the bill was being debated and it was also discussed earlier this afternoon. I am merely trying to attempt to continue in the same vein and to afford the government what I consider to be constructive criticism as to what should be done with the bill, and what should be done with the ministry once it is established.

I realize that the bill is being debated for the purpose of establishing the ministry. But in order to establish the ministry you first of all have to define what it is about. You have to find out what is going to happen to it. You have to find out what are its terms of reference.

I suggest that one of the terms of reference of the bill is the development of northern Ontario, and as I said earlier, one of the items which contributes to the development of northern Ontario is the creation of jobs. To that end, I say that for the purpose of developing jobs what is needed in the bill is a plan for industrial expansion. There are no plans in the bill for industrial expansion, and it is industrial expansion that creates jobs, that creates security.

There was some mention last night about ghost towns in northern Ontario. I know what ghost towns are like because I used to live in one. It was called Cobalt, and it was a ghost town. There was another one mentioned last night by the hon. member for Sudbury East -- Blind River. You can’t even find a stray cat in Blind River. There is nothing in Blind River.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Careful.

Mr. Bolan: This is in northern Ontario. This was allowed to happen by this government because of its inability to cope with the problems of northern Ontario over the past number of years. There should be a plan, there should be a blueprint in this bill, for the development of northern Ontario, yet there are no provisions for it.

We do approve of the bill because at least it’s the beginning of something which we hope will add to the betterment of the people of northern Ontario. Another thing which is required up there, and which should be in the bill -- and this all ties in with the idea of decentralizing what’s going on down here in Toronto -- is a decentralizing of the government. From the fact that this ministry is being created the government is starting to decentralize, because the head office of it, as I understand, will be in Sault Ste. Marie. There’ll be branch offices in other areas. But there should be more ministries decentralized and more attention paid through the distribution of these ministries in the province of Ontario.


I was sitting in on the estimates for Housing last week and I was astounded to find that in a little place called North Pickering the government to date has spent some $200 million to acquire lands which for all intents and purposes lie fallow. They lie fallow because of the shallow thinking of the government in acquiring them in the first place. These lands, on which hopefully we are going to build industries and towns, are costing us $20 million a year just for the interest debt on it, and nothing is going to be done with them until the year 1980 or the year 1981.

Instead of these massive sums of money being spent to create satellite towns and satellite cities in this area, why don’t we do the same thing in northern Ontario? Why don’t we build a new economic base in northern Ontario? Again, that has been the failure of this government and it’s been reflected by the fact that this bill is now required to cure the ills and their sins of the past.

May I also say in closing that the greatness which was to be the hallmark of this province during the 1970s has been lost through default. This default is the result of the ineptitude of the government of Ontario during the 1970s and also the result of the gross negligence of the handling of provincial affairs. What really was supposed to be a dream in this province in 1970 has turned into a nightmare.

Mr. Stokes: I am happy to participate in this debate which will mean the establishment, hopefully, of something that will alleviate at least in some measure some of the social and economic problems that befall that area lying north of the French River.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: They include Parry Sound now.

Mr. Wildman: They include Parry Sound now.

Mr. Nixon: They’ve got cheap licence plates down there in Parry Sound now.

Mr. Stokes: I read with a good deal of interest the opening remarks of the minister and the two leadoff speakers for the opposition parties. I wasn’t able to be here in person because I was in the estimates committee on resources development. I did, however, get in time to listen to the newly elected member for Fort William (Mr. Hennessy) where he plagiarized to a large extent the opening remarks of the minister. I just thought how different, if one listens astutely enough and one listens long enough, it is as to how the wheel turns in terms of the kind of reaction you get from members from the government side over there.

I want to quote, Mr. Speaker, from Hansard of March 17, 1970, when the last Conservative member who represented Fort William riding took advantage of the opportunity to rise and speak about the establishment of a new ministry of northern affairs. In contrast to what the present member for Fort William said last evening, I would like you to listen, Mr. Speaker, to what his predecessor said on March 17, 1970. It was Mr. Jessiman for those who don’t recall that far back.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: That was some years ago. Things have changed.

Mr. Stokes: He said: “Needless to say, I was most pleased to learn of the creation of the Department of Northern Affairs.” He didn’t say it was an information vehicle at all.

Mr. Nixon: He didn’t understand the difference.

Mr. Stokes: He said: “I was pleased too that this government had the wisdom to contain the function within another department. We could easily have done what the federal government has chosen to do and raised the taxpayers’ money by setting up another separate department and creating another extravagance that the people in the province or country could not afford.”

Hon. Mr. Bernier: That was seven years ago.

Mr. Swart: You are on a restraint program now.

Mr. Stokes: It only took seven years for the Conservatives in Fort William riding to come to the realization that all was not well in northern Ontario. I’m not going to go into the exercise of trying to second-guess why this government in its wisdom set up a new Ministry of Northern Affairs. I’m not even going to attribute any motives to them. All I want to caution the minister about is that if he is genuinely interested in and serious about addressing himself and attracting the attention of his government to the problems in the north in a much more meaningful way than has ever been done before, I want to assure him that he’ll get the co-operation at least of the member for Lake Nipigon.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Don’t separate yourself now.

Mr. Stokes: I want to assure the minister that if it’s strictly a pork-barrel exercise where he’s going to pay attention to those areas of the province that supported the Conservative Party in the last election that’s fine, but he’ll do it at his own peril because, as he well knows, the people in northern Ontario are a breed apart from voters and electors generally in the province of Ontario.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: It will be all the north, the whole north.

Mr. Hodgson: You’re starting to see the light.

Mr. Stokes: Will you stop mumbling?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member for Lake Nipigon only has the floor.

Mr. Hodgson: You don’t like that. I said you were starting to see the light.

Mr. Stokes: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Hodgson: You are not the Speaker now.

Mr. Stokes: I would like to have an assurance from the minister that he’s genuinely interested and concerned about addressing his new ministry to the problems, social, economic and to some extent cultural. Even though I don’t think it’s part of his terms of reference, it’s almost inevitable that if he is going to act in an operating role and in a co-ordinating role, he is going to be faced with some of the cultural problems that are facing a fair number of the people who reside in northern Ontario. I’m sure he has had an opportunity and has availed himself of the opportunity of reading the brief that was presented to the cabinet last night.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: I was there.

Mr. Stokes: You were there yourself? That particular problem is not going to go away. I see this ministry playing an extremely important role in bringing that segment of our population in northwestern Ontario into the mainstream of things socially, culturally and economically.

I listened to the member for Oriole with a great deal of interest when he talked of the successes with regard to the better utilization of forest products. While I don’t think it was germane to this debate, it was allowed by the Speaker and I think it calls for some kind of reaction on behalf of members over here on this side. It is quite all right for the government to have taken credit for the expansion and the greater utilization of our forestry resources. It is quite all right for it to take --

Hon. Mr. Bernier: We did it.

Mr. Cunningham: Taking credit for the English-Wabigoon too, Leo?

Mr. Stokes: Just a moment. You are trying to anticipate me.

The government’s job is only half finished. What is going to happen five, 10, 15 and 20 years down the road when people start coming to this government saying, “Where are the inventories? Where is the supply of wood of various species that’s going to allow us to operate in perpetuity?” The minister, if he’s honest, since he held that portfolio previous to this one and the present minister who has said his policy is still two for one -- even though he has been repudiated by several of his own cabinet colleagues who say it is unrealistic in the foreseeable future.

I want to caution the minister that if it is an unrealistic goal in the short term, a good many accomplishments of which the member for Oriole (Mr. Williams) made mention of 15 or 20 minutes ago mean there’s going to be an awful lot of red faces in the new Ministry of Northern Affairs, and indeed throughout that entire ministry over there, wondering what we were doing in the early 1970s about paying some attention to our needs in the future.

So, while the government can take credit for greater utilization, I want it to analyse the number of new jobs that have actually been created as a result of that. While ministries of the Crown will point to the fact that they are ahead of the timetable set for the establishment of new jobs in the forest industry, as called for in Design for Development, those jobs, if one wants to analyse it closely, aren’t there. The Minister of Northern Affairs, now and in his previous portfolio, bragged of 5,000 new jobs in the forestry sector in northern Ontario. Those jobs aren’t there. They just aren’t there.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: They are. Do a check and you will find they are, sir.

Mr. Stokes: I have checked, and they aren’t there. Due to the highly capital nature of the forest industry and because of increased mechanization, they are laying claim to the establishment of many job opportunities in the forestry sector that just haven’t materialized.

The same thing can be said for the mining industry. Due to the highly capital nature of that industry, there has actually been a net decrease in the number of job opportunities in the mining sector. If the minister doesn’t believe me, let him ask his own people in the resources development sector.

The member for Oriole has said that the climate for expansion in the mining industry in Ontario, and in particular northern Ontario, was never better. I don’t know who he’s listening to and I don’t know where he’s getting his advice from and I don’t know who is writing his speeches, but he doesn’t have to take the word of members over here. All he has to do --

Mr. Williams: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Roy: Ah, sit down, you have had your chance.

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

Mr. Williams: Yes, Mr. Speaker. The statement attributed to me is completely erroneous, and I wish the member had listened to my remarks more carefully.

Mr. Wildman: It is hard to listen to you.

Mr. Germa: You are being nonsensical anyway.

Mr. Speaker: I am not sure whether the hon. member was being quoted or interpreted.

Mr. Foulds: That’s right -- quoting him quite accurately.

Mr. Speaker: I am sure the hon. member who was speaking would know which it was.

Mr. Stokes: Pardon?

Mr. Speaker: I am sure the hon. member, that’s yourself, would know whether he is quoting him or misquoting him or whether he was interpreting, in his opinion, what he said. I will leave it with the hon. member.


Mr. Stokes: All I want your assurance on is that I am in order. I’ll ignore the interjections.

Mr. Speaker: I am most sorry. The Speaker’s attention was momentarily distracted. I am not sure whether you were quoting the hon. member. If so, he has a right to rise if he was misquoted. I am not sure whether you were quoting him or not.

Mr. Stokes: That’s your decision to make.

Mr. Speaker: I am sorry that I didn’t hear. Was the hon. member quoting you?

Mr. Williams: I took it as a quote and it was a misquote, if it was.

Mr. Speaker: You have corrected it then. If you were misquoted, you have taken the necessary step to correct the misquote.

Mr. Williams: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Stokes: Getting back to where I left off when I was so rudely interrupted, I heard very clearly the member for Oriole say that the climate vis-à-vis the mining industry in Ontario was never better. All I want to say to the member is that he doesn’t have to take my word for it. All he has to do is read the latest report that was put out from the mineral section of the Ministry of Natural Resources, which is highly critical of the taxation policies in the province of Ontario which are not conducive to mineral exploration in northern Ontario at the present time.

All he has to do is look at the Northern Miner and see how critical they have been of policies of this present government that are not conducive to the maximum development of our mineral wealth in the province of Ontario at the present time.

Mr. Williams: I did not say that the mining environment in Ontario was never better.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. You have stated that. The hon. member did not give a direct quotation, I listened very carefully this time. He gave an interpretation of some remarks which the hon. member for Oriole probably made. It was an interpretation; it wasn’t a quote or therefore a misquote. He is in order.

Mr. Stokes: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Roy: As a lawyer, the member should know better than to get up like that.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member for Lake Nipigon will continue.

Mr. Stokes: I wanted to get back to something I mentioned earlier when I was distracted by the member for Oriole. I want to say something to the minister if he wants to maintain credibility with the people in the north. I went over his remarks last night in Instant Hansard. He quoted quite extensively from editorials from a good many of the newspapers in the north which said: “It’s a step in the right direction. Let’s get behind it and let’s support it.” Let’s hope that it is the vehicle whereby we can realize many of the kinds of things we have been talking about over the years, regardless of what our political affiliations are in this Legislature.

If the minister is genuinely interested and concerned, the major portion of the budget that is going to be given to him is for transportation services, whether it be for the regular transportation services to improve communications between the widely spread communities in the north, or to increase the opportunity for greater communications among our people using all of the technological advances that are available now. The ministry is a vehicle to co-ordinate an industrial strategy with his counterparts down here. When I say the co-ordination of an industrial strategy, I am not just talking about Design for Development for Northeastern Ontario. The latter was designed in 1969 and accepted as government policy in 1970. He and I know that those documents are completely irrelevant.

Mr. Germa: Say it again.

Mr. Wildman: Say it again.

Mr. Stokes: They are completely irrelevant today.

Mr. Reid: Why isn’t he updating them then?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Those were resolutions and they have been acted upon, and the member knows it.

Mr. Stokes: They are completely irrelevant today. All he has to do is look at the documents that have been prepared with regard to health services and the documents that have been prepared by the Ministry of Natural Resources for an industrial strategy for northwestern Ontario, and he wouldn’t recognize those documents that are being prepared today. If the minister looks at those documents, he will find that the conventional wisdoms which may have been appropriate -- and I’ll admit that possibly they were appropriate in the late 1960s -- are completely irrelevant today. It’s a whole new ball game.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: You supported Design for Development.

Mr. Stokes: That’s right. But the thing is, nothing ever remains the same. As the lead minister for northern Ontario, the minister has to be prepared to play not only a co-ordinating role but an operational role with regard to a good many of these programs, not the least of which is the regional priorities budget. Built into the discretion that the minister is going to have, in concert with his colleagues, there is going to be sufficient flexibility with regard to anywhere from $50 million to $60 million, which is not an insignificant amount.

If the minister can use those dollars wisely, he can have a very profound effect on an industrial strategy for all of northern Ontario. Whether it is spent in northeastern Ontario, the Sudbury basin, Rainy River, Kenora or Pickle Lake, $50 million or $60 million of new money spent in the right way can have a very profound effect on the economic life of all of northern Ontario.

When I’m talking about how the minister is going to allocate those funds to get the biggest bang for his buck, he is going to have to do something that I suggest should have been done many years ago. We have a resource-based economy at the present time. The minister should listen to what has been said by the Department of Regional Economic Expansion as a voice from the federal level and to the Ontario Economic Council as a voice at the provincial level, and add to that what his colleague, the Treasurer, said during the recent campaign. They said that with the present economic conditions and with the high cost of transportation, the kind of development that he and I would aspire to, as representatives of the north, are just not going to happen if the government maintains the status quo.

Consider that as far back as 10 years ago we were promised an industrial strategy for the entire province of Ontario; six or seven years ago we were promised a land-use plan for the province of Ontario. We have neither today. How in God’s name are we in the north going to try to develop an industrial strategy for that segment of the province which so badly needs it when we have nothing with which to relate?

We are not completely isolated in a social and economic sense. Geographically, we are. But in a social and economic sense there is no way that we can divorce ourselves from what is going on here in southern Ontario and think that things that happen in southern Ontario have no impact on what is going on in the north. I don’t know how the minister is going to attempt to devise an industrial strategy for northern Ontario without knowing where we’re going in an overall provincial sense. I just don’t think it’s possible.

I don’t know how it’s possible for us to aspire to the kinds of things that they have in such abundance in southern Ontario, whether it is jobs, the availability of educational opportunities or a lot of the infrastructure amenities that we find in such abundance in southern Ontario because they have an adequate tax base.

The one community, outside of Hudson, of which the minister is probably most aware is Sioux Lookout. Let’s look at the community of Sioux Lookout, which traditionally is a turnaround point for Canadian National Railways. That was its reason for being there. It is one of the two communities in northern Ontario, the other one being Ignace, that are for all practical purposes in receivership. Which means that --

Hon. Mr. Bernier: You are wrong.

Mr. Stokes: I am wrong?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Sioux Lookout is in good financial position.

Mr. Stokes: That must have changed within the last six months.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Last year.

Mr. Stokes: That must have changed within the last six months, because I can remember quite distinctly that when they wanted to borrow money for some road-building equipment the province moved in through the regional representative from Treasury, Economics and Intergovernmental Affairs and they said, “No. You don’t spend one penny unless we authorize it.” Essentially they are in the same position as the town of Ignace was.

We always use this word “unique” or “special circumstances” for northern Ontario. But I don’t know how else one would describe a community in the north that is the bedroom community for literally hundreds of workmen who commute to jobs every morning and every night, and that community is forced to provide the services -- whether they be educational services, water, sewer, medical services -- all of the services that people have come to expect and demand in this day and age. Unless they have the necessary tax base in order to provide those services they are going to be second class communities. I wanted to dissociate myself from the remark that was made by the former speaker, the member for Nipissing (Mr. Bolan), when he said “you can’t even see a cat going down the street in Blind River.”

I have been through Blind River and I know that it is a typical community in northern Ontario. It is struggling for survival. They do have their difficulties in much the same way that people in Ignace and the people in Sioux Lookout do.

Mr. Wildman: That’s right, Jack.

Mr. Stokes: But to suggest that they are ghost towns, this creates a false impression of the kinds of things that we are attempting to do on behalf of all communities in northern Ontario. I think that any member from anywhere in the province who stands here and creates that kind of an impression of a northern community does a disservice to the north and the people he represents.

I would like to have an assurance from the minister that he is genuinely interested in finding new ways and taking new initiatives in bringing a better level of services to people in the north. That gets me to the next point, Mr. Speaker, which is a sort of chicken and egg thing. What do you do? Do you try to convince this government to put some of their own funds in to act as an incentive to get industry to locate in northern Ontario; or does a particular community that thinks they have economic development potential on its doorstep build the services into that community to make them attractive and then try to develop an industrial strategy for that particular area?

As the minister well knows, a good deal of the problem we have in northern Ontario is attracting professional people, whether they be doctors, dentists or engineers of any variety needed in the primary resources sector. We have a turnover of as much as 200 to 300 per cent in certain segments of our industrial complex in the north because of our inability to retain people once we get them into many northern communities.

As corny as it may sound, it all gets back to this quality of life thing that we all are so anxious to use. It seems to me that the only way the government is going to materially and fundamentally change the opportunities to attract industry in the north is in the forestry sector to allocate a sufficient amount of dollars to do all of the things that all of the professions, whether they be in the academic community or whether they be in your ministries or whether they be out in the private sector, agree must be done in order to assure a good healthy and vibrant future for our forestry sector.


Mr. S. Smith: A point of privilege.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Yes, the hon. member may state his point of privilege.

Mr. S. Smith: A little earlier, the present speaker, the member for Lake Nipigon, suggested that our member for Nipissing was incorrect in suggesting -- I think his exact words were “It’s wrong to call Blind River a ghost town.” I wish to quote from last night’s debate in which the member for Sudbury East (Mr. Martel) said, “What has the government done to prevent ghost towns.” The hon. minister said, “Where are the ghost towns.” And the member for Sudbury East said, “Blind River, where there isn’t an industry left and you’ve had years to do something about it.”

Mr. Acting Speaker: The hon. member for Sudbury East is rising on a point of privilege?

Mr. Martel: Yes, to speak to the Leader of the Opposition’s point of privilege: I suggested last night that the government had failed to respond to the needs and was elaborating that there were no industries left. That, in fact, is what I was alluding to. There are no industries left in Blind River.

Mr. Roy: You said ghost town.

Mr. Martel: And I think the Liberal Leader should read the rest of it rather than take a few lines out of context.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Martel: The Leader of the Opposition is pretty smooth at that.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member has stated his point of privilege. The hon. member for Lake Nipigon will continue.

Mr. Stokes: In order to ensure long-term security and perpetuate life for the communities in northern Ontario that rely wholly and solely on the forestry resources, you are first of all going to have to make much better use of the funds that are already available to ensure a sustained yield and a high allowable cut in all the areas that are being harvested.

The second thing your ministry must do pertains to those communities that depend for their existence upon a finite and non-renewable resource. The largest community in my riding owes its existence principally to two mining companies. One of them closed down in March leaving 173 people without a job. About 20 of those people were absorbed locally. The other 150 people --

Hon. Mr. Bernier: It is bigger today than it was then. Geraldton is bigger today than it was then.

Mr. Stokes: I’m not talking about Geraldton. I am talking about Manitouwadge. Willroy Mines closed in Manitouwadge, throwing 173 people out of jobs. Some of them were absorbed locally. The vast majority of them have already moved out or are in the process of moving out.

The last remaining company still operating in that community has about 525 employees. It’s a wholly-owned subsidiary of Noranda Mines. We were told as late as a year ago that there was a sufficient amount of ore to sustain that operation for 25 to 30 years. About two weeks ago, I read the annual report for the Noranda group, and the latest estimates are between 10 and 15 years.

Now that’s 10 or 15 years down the road. There is a very real possibility that we are going to have to find an alternative for sustaining the economy of that community within that time. What’s going to happen to the most affluent community, with the largest population in the riding of Lake Nipigon, unless you plan to do something about it right now?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: We want to do something for Red Lake but you won’t let us.

Mr. Stokes: You can do something for Red Lake, as long as you do it properly. I’ve always said that at any time I have ever had an opportunity to speak about it in this Legislature.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Your leader is against it.

Mr. Wildman: Do you mean you are against the Hartt inquiry?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: No, not at all.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please, the hon. members will refrain from interjecting in order that the member for Lake Nipigon can continue his remarks.

Mr. Stokes: What is going to happen to a town like Atikokan, when Caland Ore moves out and Steep Rock moves out? Some of those with jobs will be absorbed by the generating plant proposed by Ontario Hydro. That’s one community that has a partial solution to a major problem in that one community, but what are we going to do to assist most of the communities in the north unless we change our thinking with regard to the allocation of taxes?

The resources sector in times like this is on the bottom end of a very cyclical kind of operation, that’s inevitable when it comes to primary resources; but what happens down the road?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: How about the principle of the bill, Mr. Speaker?

Mr. Stokes: The principle of the bill? The minister has been extolling the virtues of all of the programs within the various ministries over there and now I’m asking him to get involved.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Taxation is not my bag.

Mr. Stokes: Taxation is not part of his bag. I’m telling him it’s going to have to be part of his bag.

If we’re going to have the same kind of non-answers to very important problems all the way down the road; if the minister is not going to be accountable in a very major way and in a very direct way for the policies that have such a profound effect on those dormitory communities in the north, all of which owe their existence to our ability to manage our resources sector; if he’s not going to address himself to those problems; if he’s not going to act as a co-ordinator and come down and convince his cabinet colleagues, whether it be the provincial Treasurer, whether it be the Premier or whether it be the secretaries of the various resource secretariats; if he isn’t going to act as our spokesman, I say there’s no reason for his being, absolutely none.

It’s that lack of co-ordination in the past that has led to the kind of laissez-faire attitude toward northern communities. What those people have done in the past is sit down here in isolation and designed programs they think in general terms meet the needs of the greatest number of people in the province of Ontario. Then they send their people out to try to find people who will conform to those concepts they have down here and those programs they’ve designed.

What the minister has to do is to analyse the special problems that places like Red Lake, places like Atikokan, places like Manitouwadge and places like Ignace are faced with now and are going to be faced with in the future and design programs that are going to alleviate those problems so that we don’t have the kind of effect that has been the case in the past with regard to the Blind Rivers, with regard to the Cobalts, with regard to the Geraldtons and to the Beardmores. We just can’t allow that to happen.

Let me give the minister one example, Lake St. Joe: If that were to go in the next five to 10 years, since Canadian Pacific Railway have got involved there is going to be a brand new community with a brand new population of 5,000 to 10,000 people at least 50 miles from any existing community, it’s just inevitable that there is going to be a brand new community. We’re going to have people walking away from existing communities with millions and millions of dollars in infrastructure. A good many of them will be walking away from the only equity they’ve ever been able to build up over a lifetime of work, that is their home. We’re going to have small businessmen picking up roots, leaving everything they’ve got behind and trying to make a new life 50 or 100 miles down the road. That isn’t what we want in northern Ontario, that is no longer acceptable.

All the minister has to do is look at what his friend Peter Lougheed is doing out in Alberta. He knows with regard to finite resources that he’s going to reach the inevitable day when he’s going to have to look for an alternative for his people; when all of the natural gas is gone, when all of the oil is gone and all of those things that make them look as though they’re riding high right now are exhausted. He has a Heritage Fund. It’s well in excess of $2 billion, He just loaned some of it to Frank Moores out in Newfoundland.

He knows that somewhere down along the road, whether it’s 10 or 50 years, he’s going to have this nest egg that he can rely on to be able to provide alternatives to his people.

But that’s not what we’re doing in northern Ontario. When the finite resources are all gone -- all the non-renewable resources -- then what do we do? What are the people going to say about the stewardship of the Hon. Leo Bernier 15 or 20 or 30 years down the road? What was he doing when he was the Minister of Natural Resources? What was he doing when he was the new Minister of Northern Affairs?

Mr. Wildman: Who knows.

Mr. Roy: Oh hell, they’re saying that right now.

Mr. Stokes: What are they going to be saying?

Mr. Roy: They’re saying that now, right now. They’re not saying very good things about him.

Mr. Stokes: Well I’m not going to be that uncharitable. I’m going to say that we still have time to address ourselves to those kinds of problems.

Mr. Wildman: Repent.

Mr. Stokes: But those problems are not going to go away by themselves. It ill behooves the minister to hide his head in the sand and say, “Let somebody else take care of it.” He is the fellow on the spot, because he has the responsibility for the management of our primary resources right throughout this province. He has had that responsibility.

He thinks that he has laid the groundwork for his successor. I would question whether he has laid the groundwork very well, because I read the charter that contained the two-for-one concept for the planting of trees, for the good husbanding of our forestry resources in the province of Ontario. I was kind of curious about it, because in two lines they say -- notwithstanding the good shape of our forestry resources, notwithstanding everything that’s been said by Armson, by Kennedy, by Hedlin-Menzies, by the Ontario Economic Council, by the Brodie report -- they say we are going to plant two trees for every one we cut down.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please. I draw to the hon. member’s attention the time. Perhaps he could either conclude briefly or adjourn the debate.

Mr. Stokes: All right. I just want to contrast that with the way Premier George Drew said that in 1943. He said it so much better in 1943 -- and it makes interesting reading, what he said with regard to an overall strategy with regard to the management of our resources -- he said it so much better and I’d just like to remind the members that this was something, as I said, that was said much better 34 years ago; nothing ever changes.

Mr. Acting Speaker: The chair recognizes the hon. member for Algoma-Manitoulin. If he would adjourn the debate.

Mr. Stokes: No, I am not finished.

Mr. Acting Speaker: I stand corrected. I do not need to have the hon. member adjourn the debate. The chair will recognize him after the dinner hour.

An hon. member: No, he is not finished.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Oh. I understood the member for Lake Nipigon had completed his remarks.

Mr. Stokes: No.

Mr. Acting Speaker: My apologies to the hon. member for Lake Nipigon; I thought had concluded.

The House recessed at 6 p.m.