31st Parliament, 1st Session

L022 - Mon 17 Oct 1977 / Lun 17 oct 1977

The House resumed at 8 p.m.


Mr. Chairman: Order. Before the dinner hour we were discussing the estimates of the Ministry of the Solicitor General, and the member for York Centre had the floor.

Mr. Stong: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Just before the dinner adjournment, I believe I had ended up by recommending what, in my opinion, is a necessary creation in the ministry -- the creation of a vehicle whereby the policeman on the beat, the ordinary uniformed policeman who carries with him the authority of the province of Ontario when he presents himself in public, would have a forum whereby he would be understood, would have a better relationship -- a better rapport -- with the powers that be, particularly the hierarchy, because from my interviews and my association with the police departments a feeling of low morale presented itself.

I must say that I’ve only spoken to members of the York Regional Police, because the police force is wholly within my riding. In preparation for these estimates I did spend time with that police force and with the men, and it would seem that the discontent or the low morale filters down from the top. In my respectful submission to the Solicitor General, the minister responsible for this portfolio, I would suggest that that type of vehicle be created whereby the men would have this rapport which they feel is necessary.

There are two other aspects of this portfolio to which the minister directed his attention, and our attention, in his opening remarks. One of them is the Centre of Forensic Sciences. I must say that centre has played a major role in preparing cases for our court systems at all three levels in the province in Ontario, and it has done a magnificent job. If there is any criticism I would level at it, it is simply that there ought to be greater communication between the office of the Solicitor General and the office of the Attorney General in respect to this particular service.

I had occasion recently to employ the services of the forensic sciences centre in prepare in a defence for a charge of dangerous driving. The defence was based simply on a blowout that had occurred in a tire prior to impact; that was the gravamen of the defence. I asked the forensic sciences centre to study the tire and to determine whether in fact the tire had blown out prior to or upon impact.

I must say that the personnel with whom I dealt at the forensic sciences centre were completely co-operative, except they insisted that any information they provided for me be provided to the Crown and to the police, where the reverse is not true. It happened that I was representing a client on Legal Aid, paid for by the government of Ontario, under the jurisdiction of the Attorney General.

It would seem to me that, in preparing for a defence, this service should be opened up to defence on a more equal basis and not be subject to the requirement which restricts it for a defence counsel or an accused who cannot afford to avail himself of all of the facilities that a Crown attorney can. Actually this centre does a fantastic job; it is relied upon, particularly by those who otherwise cannot afford to avail themselves of those services.

That is the only criticism I can level. Albeit it is a weak criticism, nevertheless it is the type of criticism that would seem to undermine the principle that the government espouses and that this House holds to; that is, that a person is innocent until proven guilty. In the preparation of his defence, in my respectful submission to the minister, an accused ought to be afforded the right not to have to disclose his defence, particularly when the Crown does not have to disclose all of its material. It was the only stipulation placed on this case. But then again I believe the reason I was able to avail myself of the forensic sciences centre was because my client was on Legal Aid; if it had been otherwise, I might have been in a position of having had to pay for those services. I think that’s an area that ought to be reviewed and perhaps can be streamlined.

The other area that the minister spoke about in his opening remarks is the area of the Fire Marshal. In preparation for these estimates, I had occasion to speak to a constituent of mine who has his own company which services fire extinguishers. He apprised me of a situation regarding the type of fire extinguisher that is in the home, the portable fire extinguisher that is also found in industry.

In particular, we were talking about a situation that developed at the Buttonville airport. He had occasion to service the fire extinguishers in that airport and found that the portable fire extinguishers that were to be used in the event of emergency were incapacitated by virtue of the fact that the chemical inside had solidified to such an extent that they could not and would not be able to be used. They were useless. But they carried with them a certificate that they had been inspected and refilled not six months before. Under tests of pressure, a crack developed. This meant the fire extinguisher could easily have blown up in the hands of a user.

He recommended to me, and he demonstrated for me what he had found: that if the fire extinguishers sold by the industry in some of our outlets -- although they are a good product at the time of the original sale -- are not serviced sufficiently and properly, they are not useful at all. It turned out that the fire extinguisher in question had been serviced by a freelance or off-duty fireman -- he was an enterprising individual and no one faults him for that -- who, without the requirement of licence, without the guidance of any regulation whatsoever, was able to service this fire extinguisher without really subjecting it to proper pressure tests, and without investigating the content of that fire extinguisher to ascertain its usefulness and safety. The constituent who raised this matter has recommended changes and we are working together on a private member’s bill that I propose to introduce.

The minister was kind enough, in his opening remarks, to suggest that the critics from the opposition parties get together with him with respect to legislation that he is proposing. Perhaps, I can do the same with the minister -- meet with him on this particular bill.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Sounds fair enough.

Mr. Stong: I am proposing that we regulate the sale and servicing of fire extinguishers, and this provides for even those fire extinguishers that are used in the homes, not only those that are relegated to industry. It is an area that people are unaware of, but it is one of those things where, in the event of an emergency, a person might pick up the type of apparatus and have it blow up in his face or not work at all when it’s required.

It seems that is an area which requires regulation and, perhaps, licensing to control it because of the nature of the beast.

Those are basically my opening remarks. I’d just reiterate by saying that throughout these estimates I hope to be able to interweave in these 20 hours what I would like to see eventually transpire. Because of the restraints and the constraints on our budget, we shall direct our attention to the fact that the area of Justice policy -- including the Ministry of the Attorney General but more particularly the Justice secretariat -- the Ministry of Correctional Services, and the Ministry of the Solicitor General, should, in the name of restraint, be confined to and relegated to one particular ministry.

I hope to be able to demonstrate by going through these estimates and through job description and classification that it would be not only economical but advisable, perhaps, that these three areas be amalgamated under one ministry.

Mr. Chairman, those are my comments and remarks.

Mr. Lupusella: Mr. Chairman, I think the member for York Centre raised a few valid points and I’m going to emphasize some of those principles through the course of my presentation. But before doing that, if I may, I would like to bring to the attention of the minister -- whether or not he realizes -- that two copies of the briefing material for the estimates of the ministry were sent to me on October 7, 1977, and I received it in my office a few days later.


The point I would like to make is that it would have been appreciated if this brief of material had been received within a reasonable length of time, so that we could review the ministry’s activities in a thoughtful manner in order to avoid unnecessary pressure and the risk of a superficial analysis. I hope that in the future we will be given the benefit of more time to review this material.

Mr. Chairman, I will now commence my opening statement. First of all, allow me to extend to you my congratulations on your appointment and I hope that you are going to keep the Liberal members in control, especially now that they are representing the official opposition in the province of Ontario.

Before getting into the core of my presentation, I would also like to raise a few observations in relation to the role of the Solicitor General in the Legislature in terms of policy directions which are taking place in the ministry.

I would like to point out to the Solicitor General that in the future I personally would like to see this ministry become more visible. By that I mean we would like to hear from the ministry not only when a particular incident of wide public attention occurs or when a bill pertaining to the ministry is introduced in the House, but on a more regular basis to know the direction of all policies, I programs and so on.

Just to give you an example, when I was putting my remarks together, I went into my files to look for ministerial statements from this ministry and I could not find any. I had to call the ministry and request the news releases that had been issued to get an indication of what the Solicitor General’s activities were. In other words, I would like to hear from this ministry on a more regular basis so as to be aware of its activities. In this way, we would not have to wait for the estimates to become informed.

Mr. Lawlor: Keep a low profile, John. You don’t get into trouble that way.

Mr. Conway: Has the party come to that?

Mr. Lawlor: Almost an invisible man.

Mr. Lupusella: In supply committee of June 9, 1976, the Solicitor General in his statement said that many of the ministry’s activities were the result of the task force on policing in Ontario which completed its work early in 1974. “Of the 170 recommendations made by the task force, 80 have been implemented completely. Sixty-four recommendations were in the process of implementation.” I would like to hear from the minister if the 64 recommendations were fully implemented by providing to this committee of the Legislature some background information emphasizing the various stages of the implementation.

I also would like to hear the minister make some comments in relation to the project which began in 1974 with the hope of encouraging municipal forces to make use of modern communications technology. I am sure the minister has some comments to make as to whether the municipal forces have been fairly receptive of the program and whether or not the program will continue on a permanent basis.

I would like to know what the total cost of the project is and how many municipalities have been responding and co-operating with his undertaking. As the minister knows, the province of Ontario pays 75 per cent of the cost for small municipal forces and 50 per cent of the cost for larger ones. I am particularly interested in the small municipalities in northern Ontario and I hope the Solicitor General will explain to me the effectiveness of this program as it pertains to the northern municipal regions.

I would now like to ask the minister about the extension of the Canadian Police Information Centre as a national data bank for police officers. I would like the minister to tell us how the centre is working out and what the cost of operating is.

As my colleague, the member for Oshawa (Mr. Breaugh) stated on June 9, 1976, in his official opening statement in his capacity at that time as critic for the Ministry of the Solicitor General, I share his view and the feelings he expressed as a critic during the estimates. We are compelled to be judges of the activities and actions undertaken by the police force in the province of Ontario. I hope my constructive criticism will be taken into consideration and some action will derive from it. As an elected representative, it is also my duty to express the feelings of people who have been too often adversely affected by police actions. Therefore, we have to realize that inadequacies and loopholes exist within the system, and there is always room for improvement.

Past history, and especially the Roman people in their own language, clearly states that errare humanum est, it is human to err. Therefore, we shouldn’t be surprised if the police force is often wrong when it is dealing with the public when it is trying to enforce the law. I was always attracted by the police motto, “To serve and protect,” whenever I saw it on a police car. I always thought the motto could be improved by replacing these words and integrating the words, “To educate, to serve,” and maybe you would not need to protect. The police force in the province of Ontario has been seen by the public as agents who penalize people when they are found either guilty or in the process of catching people. I don’t think the public will be convinced otherwise, unless the minister makes some changes, a new policy orientation in the police force, in order that policemen will undertake also the role of educating the public, particularly when minor offences are committed.

A change of attitude is very important to achieve this important goal in order that individuals or the public as a whole won’t be frightened by the presence of the police force and they won’t consider them enemies but as friends. If I am not mistaken, this is the principle which has been implemented and very well received by the public in the United Kingdom. I have been told that Canadian people, going to Britain as tourists, get this impression. However, this is not the image which presently exists in Ontario. I hope the Solicitor General will find the ways, methods and the programs to be initiated in order that the police force will change its image and attitude when it is confronting the public.

If the Solicitor General is interested in undertaking this responsibility, a widespread educational program should take place in the schools. People should be aware from the time they are students about the existing laws in the province of Ontario in order that they will know the detrimental effects that derive from breaking the law. In my opinion, and I don’t want to make any guesses, a lot of people are contravening the law by minor offences just because in many cases they are not aware that they are breaking the law. I will give you an example of what I mean by that. Throwing a cigarette butt out of your car window costs $28. There are a number of obscure violations of the law, such as the example given, when the charges could be avoided if the public were made aware that they were in fact breaking the law.

Therefore, this goes back to my earlier point about education. How many people are aware of this law? Not many, I would think. Neglect of the law could be avoided in some instances through education. Aside from the fact that the Criminal Code should be revised for minor offences, more emphasis should be given to the issue of education related to penalties and the judicial system which presently exists in this province. In that way and by accomplishing this task, the word “protection” becomes meaningless, because the public will be more aware and more responsible in understanding the importance of the law as a moral device to keeping our society. With this statement I don’t want to sound either parochial or too blind to the reality of the problems which at present exist within our society in the area of law enforcement. I realize it’s a big task for the Solicitor General. But it’s my strong belief that something should be done in the direction which I have outlined. If we want to cure the problems in our system, we should take a look at the origin of the problem by analysing the catalyst factors that originate in the problem at its roots, and that’s the principle which the Progressive Conservative government should bear in mind. As I stated before, nobody’s perfect.

Mr. Nixon: I never heard the NDP admit that before.

Mr. Lupusella: Sometimes new directions and new policies should be experimented with and implemented with some guidelines to attempt to control the current problems and in the long run eliminate the problem at its roots.

My colleague, the member for Oshawa, in his opening statement on June 9, 1976, expressed particular concern in an area which I completely and emphatically support, and again it also reflects the kind of attitude given to the police officers, either through their training courses or by direction of the Solicitor General. The matter relates to police chases.

Even though I didn’t have an opportunity to visit the centres in which police cadets receive their training, when these estimates are over I intend to travel around these centres and to each police station, particularly Metro. I hope the minister will assist me when I am going to undertake a visit in the various branches which fall under his jurisdiction. From what I read from materials received from the Solicitor General, it seems to me the training courses given to the cadets are too short. I hope psychology and sociology are part of the training curriculum. I am inviting the minister to comment on this.

Since my colleague raised the issue of police chases on the highways and the metropolitan streets, more headlines have appeared in daily newspapers indicating people are getting killed as a result of police action. Maybe the Solicitor General has some statistics in relation to the number of deaths which have resulted from police chases. During the summer months I read a number of articles of this nature, and I am sure the minister will agree with me that something must be done. I am sure the police officers are receiving directions from their peers in this area. But in any event the situation must be corrected with some reasonable and sensible thinking before the phenomenon gets out of proportion.

Mr. Gregory: Do you want the cops to stand still?

Mr. Hodgson: Just let them go, don’t bother.

Mr. Lupusella: Again, one has to wonder whether this is a sane and human procedure to follow, considering the total cost which is involved in such an act.

Mr. Hodgson: Just let them go.

Mr. Lupusella: You will have an opportunity to talk. If you are not agreeing with my comments, I think that’s why you are sitting on the other side of the House.

Mr. Hodgson: Nobody else is listening to you anyway.

Mr. Lewis: Quite the contrary.

Mr. Lupusella: Again, one has to wonder whether this is a sane and human procedure to follow, considering the total cost which is involved in such an act and the very tragic consequences which can result from it.

My colleague, the member for Oshawa, last year mentioned the kind of training technique which the officers receive at the college at Aylmer. From his experience and from what he heard at the college, it seems that the program is poorly formed and the officers spent only three or four days out of a two-week period on traffic control. I don’t know if the minister paid too much attention to his comments and whether or not some improvements have been made in this regard.

I would appreciate it if the minister throughout the course of the estimates would make some comments in relation to this particular issue. I hope that somehow a comprehensive program will be initiated at the college at Aylmer in order that the officers won’t be forced into these critical situations and instead can use their own judgement and expertise to get the best results without any further damage.


It is again a matter of new programs and policies to prevent these actions from happening. Another situation which concerns me is when police officers have to draw their firearms. The newspapers are full of articles reporting cases in which people are victims of wounds either fatal or non-fatal. The rationale used by the police officers in these delicate situations should be thoroughly explained by the Solicitor General, considering that most of the time, at least from the articles I read, when a policeman discharges his gun the victims are often shot in vital parts of the body such as the chest or abdomen. I am sure that in most instances these wounds result in death.

My question is, why shoot at the chest or abdomen and not at the arms or legs alone? I realise how delicate and critical these situations involving policemen can be. But it is common sense to realize that the prime scope of police officers in such a situation is first to disarm the person, and when circumstances make shooting inevitable, vital parts of the body must be avoided.

Mr. Gregory: Better tell the crooks that too.

Mr. Lupusella: Another tragic phenomenon which is gradually increasing in Metro Toronto to the extent that it is becoming --

Mr. Hodgson: Better go out and tell them in Collingwood too. Go to Collingwood and tell them that.

Mr. Eaton: That’s right. Bring back the rope.

Mr. Lupusella: You have any particular comment?

Mr. Bounsall: That will answer the whole thing.

Mr. Davison: Bring in the guillotine.

Mr. Chairman: Order, please.

Mr. Lupusella: I am not saying that. Maybe you missed the principle of my statement.

Mr. Hodgson: Just about sounds like it.

Mr. Lupusella: No, you really missed the fundamental principle of my statement.

Another tragic phenomenon which is gradually increasing in Metro Toronto to the extent that it is becoming intolerable relates to racial attacks at the subway stations and in some cases even on the street. It is an unfortunate situation which in practice is a slap in the face to the human and social values of our society. It is also an indication that something is wrong within our system. I am wondering if the Solicitor General has undertaken any particular studies as to whether there are underground organizations that direct these violent racial attacks and how the police are dealing with them.

Written statements on walls such as “white power” are slurs against immigrants from Pakistan. This occurs especially in locations where new buildings are built, and has been going on for a long time in Metro Toronto. It is a situation that greatly bothers me and a lot of other people, and I hope the minister will comment as to what the police are doing in this area.

I have a short comment also on the issue of organized crime. I have never heard the minister make any statement as to whether organized crime is under control by the police in the province. Or should the public believe Solicitor General Francis Fox, telling top policemen in Toronto that they haven’t been doing an adequate job in fighting organized crime?

What is the true side of the story? To what extent is organized crime under control? It is a dilemma to me and to many people because of the lack of statistical data and background information. Perhaps the Solicitor General knows more about it. He can also state once and for all who is right, instead of leaving comments and judgements to chief constables of the police forces.

I hope the Solicitor General is also aware that since May 1977 three people died in Metro police cells. A coroner’s inquest has been held for each case. In each case many good recommendations have been made, but nobody knows whether or not changes are taking place.

To give an example, it was suggested in one of the cases that: “(1) the appropriate authorities continue to develop improvements to the typical arrangement of cells and detention areas aimed at the prevention of attempted suicides -- for example, by research into the practicality of using plate glass panels on the inside of the cell block; (2) that electronic surveillance equipment be installed. It should have a sufficient range to monitor the entire cell.” Without reading the whole recommendation, it goes on to say that all police stations should have on the premises oxygen and portable suction equipment.

My concern is whether or not some of the coroner’s jury recommendations have been implemented, or do we have to wait until more victims are going to die in police cells before something will be done? Again, is there any rationale used by the police officers when a person is arrested, especially in cases of drug abuse, to treat the individual as a sick person by considering the psychological aspects of it, instead of the individual being seen merely as someone who broke the law and who therefore has to pay the price for it?

In other words, are breaking the law and the judicial process more important for the police than the human value of the person, or should the last point not be considered and integrated with the first one for the sake of balanced justice?

By the way, in our judicial process it is the court of law which has the last word to find the person guilty, and not the police. Therefore, the human aspect, for the police force, should be the first approach in the enforcement of the law, and especially in cases where arrests are required. In any event, it is, again, a question of attitudes which must change.

As for the enrolment of people in the police force, I don’t understand why short people can’t be good police officers. It is a point which was raised last year by my colleague, the member for Oshawa. On the whole, I think what counts is the capacity for being a good police officer with good character. The height and the weight requirements may have been a good idea in the past when brute strength was a strong asset, but nowadays, with our high degree of technological sophistication and the new methods of self-defence involving skills and diligence, height and weight should not be the basic requirements. To keep things as they are is to make second-class citizens out of those with less than average weight and height.

In regard to the relationship of the police force and the community, I am happy, in some ways, to see that in the last few years the realization has finally come that police officers can be effective if, and only if, they are members of the community and not apart from it.

The police officer is more often than not perceived as a kind of tax collector in the sense that most citizens come into contact with him only in regard to traffic violation fines. The institution of community officers, if done on a large enough scale and with the proper number of ethnic representatives, especially in the larger cities, is a very educational one, for the police officer as well as for the community.

The crime prevention program has to begin in the community through the education programs and through the re-establishment of the police officer as a trusted and a respected member of the community.

I want to bring to the attention of the minister the grave problem that exists whenever citizens have a complaint as to police behaviour and procedure. It seems that the Solicitor General is going to introduce a private member’s bill in relation to that. At the moment, allegations against the police are investigated by the police. This procedure is not perceived by the public as being fair. If we are to keep faith with the old maxim that justice must not only be done but be seen to be done, then we can easily question the validity of the present method. Furthermore, any such complaint-system must be properly advertised and explained if the public is to make use of it.

On this note, I will curtail my comments to give some of my colleagues an opportunity to speak. I hope to have some useful feedback to my questions on various subjects. It is my sincere hope that these estimates will be very fruitful and productive, and will result in good constructive criticism which will lead to changes in our system, changes that will ultimately benefit all of our society.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Before calling on the next speaker, I would like to thank my colleagues for choosing me to this office. I am fairly new to this House; I hope you will bear with me while I learn the rules. I will do my best to keep the House in order and to keep the proceedings of this committee running smoothly.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Mr. Chairman, I said a few words of congratulations to you earlier in the day. Having been associated with you some years ago on Metro council, I know it will not take you very long to know all the ropes here. I don’t know whether you’ll be able to handle things as well as the member for Lake Nipigon (Mr. Stokes) and the deputy, but certainly in time you’ll be their equal, I’m sure.

Mr. Nixon: That is when you were a Liberal, John.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Yes, but he hasn’t changed, Bob.

I appreciate the comments that have been made by the two opposition critics and will take a few minutes to reply. I will not reply to all of the points that they raised at this time, partly because I think they might be best dealt with under the various votes, but also because I didn’t succeed in making notes on all of the points that they raised.

I appreciated the suggestions by the member for York Centre in regard to the possibility of joining the ministries of the Solicitor General and Correctional Services. I think there is quite a difference in connection with the responsibilities that both of those ministries have. As you know, the Attorney General used to look after those matters that are at present handled by the Solicitor General. It was decided that because of the conflict of interest which people are so conscious of these days, they should separate the apprehension from the prosecution end of it, and I think there are certain benefits in so doing.

Mr. Nixon: From your point of view, we can understand that.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: But the correctional end of it has been separate for a good number of years; I guess, right back to the establishment of this province in 1867. I don’t think it would worry the police too much. But I think, in the interest of the morale of those involved in Correctional Services, they are happier under their own ministry. I know that the Correctional Services have recently been reduced, and they no longer have the young people to look after. But perhaps that’s a question that you can put to the new Minister of Correctional Services (Mr. Drea).

I do think if we’re concerned with this business of conflict of interest -- and sometimes I think we’re overly concerned with it -- that it is wise to have the police -- the apprehension of it -- separated from the custodial end of it. However, those are questions that you can ask the Premier (Mr. Davis) and I’ll be glad to hear further views on it. But I would have great hesitation in combining the Solicitor General and Correctional Services because of the morale problem at the Correctional Services end of it, and also because of the conflict of interest between the apprehension and the custodial.

Again, the need for the Justice secretariat; you dealt with that for some time. There is a staff in the secretariat; it is relatively small. You can deal with that when you come to the secretariat’s estimates. I’m not sure of the exact number but I think there are only about 12 people on the staff of the secretariat. So you’re not duplicating very many services. It’s true you have two deputy ministers.

Mr. Nixon: Cost -- $200,000.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: But that is not all for salaries. You say $200,000. A lot of that goes for a variety of other work and you must realize -- I have some trouble convincing you of this -- the secretariat does accomplish a few things every once and awhile.

Mr. Roy: Yes, come on.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: It is easy enough for you to say, “Come on.”


Mr. Roy: Don’t get into that or we’ll keep you here all night.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: You can keep me here all night. I expect to be here for a little while anyway.

Again, we’re probably dealing with something that should best be discussed under the secretariat heading but the critic of the hon. member’s own party raised the point -- and I’m giving an answer to it -- that the secretariat does do a great deal of policy co-ordination among all four ministries in the Justice policy field. We do meet most Thursday mornings. We review the policies. We discuss the various pieces of legislation that might be introduced.

We’ve certainly had a lot to do recently in trying to get something going in regard to the Correctional Services program of community service. I think that’s good; that’s one of the matters that has been dealt with extensively over the last few months by the policy field.

The policy field does do something and the only duplication in this policy field, as I see it at the present time, is the matter of the deputy minister.

I’ll have a little more information on statistics. The hon. member wanted to know how statistics are arrived at. At the present time the deputy ministers all across the country are concerned with the statistics for the whole justice field. One of the items that the policy secretariat is looking at is trying to get a combined set of statistics that can be used not only by the police but by the courts and by the custodial people. It doesn’t affect the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations as much, but certainly in the other three ministries there would be great value in having common statistics. The federal people are very much interested in it too for their statistics across the country. I would agree there is some confusion in regard to it, but that is one of the matters we have under study and one that perhaps we can deal with in greater detail later on.

The hon. member mentioned vandalism, as did the New Democratic Party critic, and asked how we are going to deal with it. Some of these things I think I can put down to the permissive society. I know that vandalism is a great problem. I would like to see more done about it in the schools. I agree that the police have a part in education; they are serving a part in education, particularly in safety education. This kind of education belongs in the schools, yes, but I think a lot more of it belongs at home; I think that’s one of the things we’re forgetting now.

If there is no respect for public property or other people’s property at the home level, I’m not so sure that the police, by the time it becomes a police matter, can do very much about it. That is not to say I’m not in favour of them doing all they can, but sometimes I think we expect too much of our police. We expect them to be not only educators and community counsellors as well as the arm of the law. As the arm of the law they must have some strength and some force and not always present a popular picture to people. So when you ask them to do a lot of education, I think maybe it’s a little late.

I am concerned about vandalism; it is a serious problem right across the province. But I say some of the fault is with the family, with the attitudes of society generally today. I agree that more could be done by our educational system.

Going over one or two matters here -- I skipped one or two; the hon. members can raise them later during the estimates -- I admit that the criminal justice system has some shortcomings but let’s look at those later on.

An informed public must also be involved in crime detection. That is one place where we think we are making a little progress. The Liberal critic mentioned what Scotland Yard was doing in Britain in regard to trying to solicit public support for information and that type of thing. We have been running here on Global TV a program called “Code 10-78,” in which the OPP have been co-operating with Global in showing certain crimes. They have been re-enacting certain crimes --

Mr. Lawlor: How many were solved?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: That’s right, and that’s one of the things I was going on to say. So far, it has not met with very much success, but it’s trying to do the thing that the member for York Centre suggested we should be doing, trying to enlist the support of the public, and I believe that’s good. Occasionally, municipalities such as Toronto and the various ones in the Metropolitan area have been sending out through the mail with various water bills and things of that nature requests to support the police and, surprisingly enough, all of the citizens don’t appreciate getting those notices with their bills. Some people resent the fact we are suggesting that one citizen should report on another, so there are degrees to which you can carry that.

As for these re-enactments of crimes, we have had one or two objections -- not many mind you -- from distant relatives. Before we put these on, we get clearances from the closest relatives but maybe somebody just beyond that relationship, not the closest, feels we shouldn’t have re-enacted that crime on TV. There are problems, and I agree with what you are saying. We should do more to try to enlist public support of the police.

I mention those two ways in which it is being done, not without some objections along the line. As for “10-78, Officer Needs Assistance,” I don’t think we have come any closer to solving those crimes that we re-enacted.

Mr. Lawlor: Charlie Chan in the dining room.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: No, I don’t think so. I don’t think of Charlie Chan. It’s putting the police in the proper perspective that the member for York Centre was asking us to do.

Mr. Conway: Did you check with Judy LaMarsh before you showed it?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: No, we didn’t need to check with Judy on that one. I think the acts of violence are pretty well toned down in them.

With regard to the community cop, I agree 100 per cent with what you are suggesting. Again it is a matter of the number of personnel. People say they should have the latest equipment and, of course, the latest equipment involves automobiles, radios and all the rest of it. To my mind, the old policeman on the beat who knew the children when they were going to school and used to chat to them had a great deal of impact in instilling in young people that the policeman was their friend, that the policeman would help them and was somebody to turn to in difficulty.

I remember when the crossing guards used to be policemen. Then you got to know the policemen. It boils down again to the point of can one have somebody being paid $18,000 a year doing crossing guard work? I wish we could. Where it is possible, I certainly think it’s advisable to do so. I would like to see more policemen out of the cars and just walking up and down the street, trying to keep up with modern methods. I tell you we run into difficulties when we try to do that.

Mr. Lawlor: If you like all these things and are Solicitor General, why don’t they ever come to pass? You are a most agreeable guy. That’s your problem.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: I don’t know. The member for Lakeshore says why don’t we do all these things? I suppose the reason we don’t do all of these things is a combination of matters.

Mr. Wildman: The Treasurer (Mr. McKeough).

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Yes, there’s no question that finances is one of our big problems we are facing today.

Mr. Lawlor: It is not fair. You undercut the opposition every time. You agree with everything.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: The police have a few ideas on how things should be done too and the police have a fair amount of autonomy when they are carrying out their various functions. Sometimes you feel I should not have any say on what goes on in the various municipal forces across the province and that they should be running their own show. The next time you think why don’t I give them directions or tell them just how to do these things --

Mr. Lawlor: You should have a lot more to say.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Maybe I should, but that’s not what I think all of the people in the Metropolitan Toronto area particularly believe. They feel the province should not have quite as much to say, that they are paying the shot for it, and they are paying a good percentage of it. So when you say why don’t we dictate to them --

Mr. Lawlor: The problem is you don’t want it because you don’t want the responsibility.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: I am happy to take the responsibility but I tell you in our kind of government, a democracy -- and the member for Lakeshore should know this -- orders just don’t come down from the top to do it that way and that’s the way it’s done. You try to achieve these things by a spirit of cooperation and by a spirit of chatting these things over, and that’s what we are trying to do.

Mr. Lawlor: You have either got some control over the police or you haven’t, and the fact is you haven’t.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Coming to police training, we are trying to recruit people into the force other than people --

Mr. Makarchuk: Like new chairmen of police commissions.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: -- with very basic education. We want to get, as you suggested, accountants -- and we do have some accountants in. Again it is a matter of cost, trying to keep up the salaries with what an accountant, a lawyer, or somebody else can make out in the field. But we have taken a number of police on, and from there, recommended them to go on to some university course or a technical course of some sort, and they’ve come back to us. In the field of organized crime, they are doing quite a good job.

Overcharging in the laying of charges: That’s something that perhaps gets back into the statistics again that you were talking about. But that is something I think you might raise with the Attorney General, because what charges are laid are often, if they are serious charges at all, consulted with the Crown attorneys as you know. That’s a policy that you may, when you come to the Attorney General’s estimates, want to discuss with him.

Mr. Lawlor: Oh, come on. You’re not sloughing that one off, too.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order, order.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: No, police do lay a lot of charges; there is no question about it. But often --

Mr. Samis: You’re provoking him.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: -- what charges are or are not laid are often discussed, as you very well know, with the Crown attorney.

Mr. Lawlor: Not always.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Not always. You’re right, not always.

Now police morale: You suggested police morale may be a little low. I think, again, we are talking about the permissive society and the society that is always a “me” society and complaining about conditions. Just as if you were to go into any office, there are people who complain about the conditions and the fact that they are overworked and that their bosses are not very receptive to new ideas, etcetera, etcetera --

Mr. Conway: I hear the Metro boys like their new boss.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Well, I think their new boss is going to do just very well --

Mr. Makarchuk: You managed to recruit him okay.

Mr. Conway: Do you want to tell us about that recruitment?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: -- but I don’t think that’s any worse today than it has ever been. When I talk to policemen, I suppose it all depends who you are talking to -- and whom they are talking to maybe more particularly -- and how you put the question and what answer they may think you want to get from them. But I think police morale, generally speaking, across the province is in pretty fair shape. I am not saying it can’t be improved, and we will work with you and others to try to prove just that.

Forensic sciences available to the accused: You are quite right, and in our statistics here we will give you the number of cases they helped the accused with. I am glad to know that you made use of that service.

Should reports go to the Crown? Traditionally, I understand that they have not. You have suggested that if they don’t go to the Crown, perhaps the accused’s reports should not go to the Crown -- those investigations done on behalf of the accused. Our policy is, as you know, when we agreed to do it, that we would disclose to the Crown the report that the accused has obtained. I would rather see it work that way.

Again, you might discuss this with the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry). Rather than say that the accused’s reports won’t go to the Crown, I would rather discuss with him -- and I don’t know why it is not done -- that the Crown reports go to the accused’s defence as well. It seems to me that we are looking for the truth here, and the information should flow both ways rather than suppress information on either side. Perhaps you could discuss that with him. I understand they do go if they are requested. That is, if you request the Crown’s report through the Crown attorney very often you can obtain it. But that is something again I suggest you discuss with the AG. But rather than limit one side, I would think the proper approach might be free exchange to both sides.

I am interested in what you say about the fire extinguishers in regard to the Fire Marshal: a good product at the time of sale, not useful if improperly serviced. Again, we can get into regulations re servicing, and I will discuss this with the Fire Marshal and maybe we should be. I didn’t realize that was happening, and I don’t know to what extent it is happening. But, again, it is a case of building up a lot more regulations, which I suppose will add to the cost, not only to the customer but also to the inspection force we might have to have.

If it is extensive, then I think that probably we should get into it. If it is a matter of one or two cases, maybe you have to take that risk, in view of the cost involved. On the other hand, we have got to weigh the cost involved against what we achieve. But if there are extensive risks created by lack of proper servicing and regulations for it, we will certainly look at it and get a report.


I might turn, for just a moment, to the member for Dovercourt. He did raise the question, and accused the ministry, of late arrival of material. My information was it was hand delivered on October 7 to your caucus office; so that why you didn’t get it till October 10 I don’t know, but I suggest maybe that is an internal matter for you to follow up rather than ourselves.

Along the same lines, why I’m suggesting it might be an internal matter with you, I think your suggestion was that you could not find any releases. I didn’t know whether you said any or many, but if the word was any, then I would suggest the fault might be in your office; because although we haven’t put out many, we have certainly put out some. So if you couldn’t find any releases, then I suggest your filing system is perhaps not what it should be.

Mr. Lupusella: Point of order, Mr. Chairman. I think the point which I made --

Mr. Chairman: Order, please.

Mr. Lupusella: Point of information, Mr. Chairman, if I may.

Mr. Chairman: Order, please. I wish you would remain in your seat until the minister has finished his remarks and then you can question him further.

Mr. Lawlor: Point of personal privilege; the member was insulted.

Mr. Lupusella: It’s a correction of what the Solicitor General just stated.

Mr. Chairman: Order, please. Is it a point of order?

Mr. Lupusella: Point of clarification.

Mr. Chairman: Order; order, please. A point of clarification? I think you could make that at a later date in your further comments. Mr. Minister.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: To turn now to the task force on policing, Mr. Chairman. Just because the task force on policing made many recommendations, I don’t think the ministry has indicated at any time that we were going to carry out all of those recommendations. I think the task force on policing has probably had a greater percentage of recommendations accepted than most governmental reports; that is except the new one coming in on traffic safety from the member for Yorkview (Mr. Young). I hope that a good number of his will be adopted.

But as far as recommendations for policing are concerned, I think we’ve come just about to the end of those recommendations that we intend to implement. However, there are some. In regard to taking over small police forces, we would like to do more of that. We have one or two requests before us at the present time. That is a matter of financing, and as you know we have some restraints, and I support those restraints but they have some limiting effects as far as our being able to carry out all of the things we would like to do.

There are one or two small forces in the province that have presently requested consideration that we should take them over. However, there are a few other small forces -- when I say take them over, that the OPP should take over their policing -- there are also some small forces across this province who are quite happy with both the cost and the kind of service they are getting and they have no wish to have us take them over and we have no plan at the present time for forcing that kind of take-over.

You mentioned some of the various costs of municipalities, the percentages that were paid to them. I’m not sure exactly what you meant by that. I mentioned in my original chat that we have a grant per population, depending on whether you are a regional municipality or a smaller, unregionalized municipality, so much per head for those grants. They are unconditional grants and they go to that municipality. You mentioned percentage costs, so that’s something we’ll have to enlarge upon when we come to the police grants; or at least later on in policing, actually the police grants are handled by the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) but we can discuss that later on under the policing terms.

You asked about the Canadian Police Information Centre, known as CPIC, who shares that cost. The Ontario Police Commission has $600,000, you’ll see in the budget, for that. As I understand it, we pay -- that is, the Ontario Police Commission pays -- for all the CPIC terminals in Ontario, and of course they pay the federal people who run that system.

I dealt with the matter of education as part of the police role. I would like to see the police do more education, but again I suggest that that belongs at earlier levels before they get into trouble with the police, except perhaps in the field of safety where we are doing much. Certainly it is a motherhood matter, and the more we do it the better.

The hon. member suggests it should be “educate and serve,” and that we wouldn’t need “protect” in there. I am afraid I don’t take quite as simplistic a view of society as he does. I think his thought is that if everything was perfect we wouldn’t need any police, and if the government was doing its job everything would be perfect. I am not so sure that Utopia is about to come. I think society is going to need police forces for some time to come and, regardless of what education goes on, the police are here to stay for a few years. I think we had better leave their “serve and protect” and leave the main part of education to some other agency of the community.

Mr. Makarchuk: Then there are those people who think just the opposite.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: They are entitled to their thoughts in that regard, and I give them credit for being visionaries and people of high ideals. But there are some of us who are perhaps a little more practical.

Mr. Makarchuk: Is the minister saying that the police are ... social reformers?

Mr. Chairman: Order, please.

Mr. Lupusella: He is rejecting the program in the schools to educate the children --

Mr. Chairman: Order.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: I am not objecting to education. I am just questioning how far it becomes a police role. Too many people now expect the police to be all things to all people. They have a function in education, but I think society is not going to come to the point where we won’t need that word “protect” in there.

Minor offences: I suppose what is a minor offence is in the eye of the beholder. The hon. member suggested that perhaps the police and the courts were dealing too harshly with minor offenders or that there might be other ways of dealing with them. But there are various kinds of what the hon. member might call minor offences, which the person on the other side regards as quite serious. I am thinking of a delegation that the Attorney General and I saw some months ago in regard to the theft of farm produce in the market gardening areas of the Niagara Peninsula and southwestern Ontario, specifically in the apple orchards. I know that it used to be regarded as a bit of a prank to steal a few apples or something of that nature. But when you have communities encroaching upon farm land as much as they do in the Niagara Peninsula and certain other parts of this province --

Mr. Wildman: Who is to blame for that?

Mr. Nixon: Because of bad planning.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: That may or may not be bad planning, but that is not the point I am dealing with. The point I am dealing with is the reality of the situation. Very often you have very heavily populated areas right next to orchards or vegetable farms, and no longer do those people who produce those farm products regard the theft of a few apples or vegetables of one sort or another as a minor theft. It is a real economic loss to them, and one for which they have a great deal of concern.

Mr. Warner: You push the farmer to poverty.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: I don’t know how we deal with theft of farm produce. We could suggest that maybe the courts should be taking a stronger view in regard to it rather than just dismissing them with a warning.

Vandalism is another matter that might be regarded by some as a minor offence. But in my eyes, and certainly in the eyes of the member for York Centre, vandalism is a serious matter. Petty trespass, depending on what the purpose of the petty trespass is, I guess can be regarded as serious or minor. The hon. member objected to somebody throwing a cigarette butt out of the window. But in the eyes of an environmentalist that might be a pretty serious offence.

Mr. Lupusella: That is just an example. That is why the minister has rejected the idea of educating people in the schools; maybe they wouldn’t commit those offences.

Mr. Chairman: Order.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: I haven’t rejected the idea of education in the schools. But if people don’t know better than to throw cigarette or cigar butts or anything else out the window --

Mr. Lupusella: It is just an example.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: -- by the time they are old enough to smoke them, I suggest it is not a matter for the police to try to educate them; the education was lacking either in the schools or in their own homes somewhere.

Mr. Lupusella: Programs should be integrated between --

Mr. Chairman: Order, please. The member for Dovercourt had his chance to speak.

Mr. Makarchuk: We will let Willie take care of that.

An hon. member: It’s Bill’s fault. Bill takes care of the apples.


Mr. Chairman: Order.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: In regard to the possibility of visiting the various establishments --

An hon. member: There are a lot over there.


Mr. Chairman: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: We would have a lot more to sell if it wasn’t for all of the petty trespass and theft that is going on. We’d have a lot more vegetables to sell over there.

Mr. Warner: Your offenders should be punished by having to read Claude Bennett’s speeches.


Mr. Chairman: Order.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: It would be nice if we lived in a society where we didn’t have to punish anybody but, as I say, I think that is a little way away.


Hon. Mr. MacBeth: However, I would be happy to facilitate your visit to any of our establishments, whether it is the police college at Aylmer, whether it is any of our OPP detachments, the fire college up at Gravenhurst --

Mr. Makarchuk: Morty used to go there by himself.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: -- and I would be glad to arrange that. As I said in my opening remarks, maybe we could do that. I am sure you will find them most interesting, not that any of them can’t be improved. We’ve got things we would like to do at Gravenhurst. We are trying to update the facilities at Aylmer. As you know, we have a nice new building there --

Mr. Warner: When are you closing the Don jail?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: -- with many facilities. I shouldn’t say so much the facilities, but more the amount of time that the students or the various police people can stay both at Aylmer and at the fire college in Gravenhurst. We’d like to increase that but, again, it’s a case of money. And all of these things can be done if you have enough money to do them.

Longer courses at police college -- yes, I would be in favour of that. But, as I just said, there are some limitations.

Police chases, I don’t know. We went into polices chases when I first became Solicitor General. We had a rash of police chases. Thank goodness we haven’t had quite so many in the last few months. We are giving them courses, insofar as you can give courses to the police in that sort of thing.

The member for Dovercourt suggested that we train the men to use their own judgement, and that is exactly the position that I have taken all the way along. You can give them all the help and instruction and practical training in police chases but right down at the end it has to be a matter of personal judgement on the scene. And that is exactly what we are training them to be best equipped in -- to use their own on-the-spot judgement. It is easy for us to sit back in this chamber and be critical of them after the fact but we are doing our best to train them so that they will be able to exercise the best judgement possible in the case of a police chase or, additionally -- as you said -- in the matter of firearms, which amounts to much the same situation.

You suggested that they should not shoot for a vital part. At the same time, when somebody is standing in front of you with a gun and you order them to drop it, very often you have little choice. Regretfully, I point to the situation at Collingwood last week where, certainly, the policeman had very little chance to decide what he should do under the circumstances when he didn’t even have his gun drawn or expect that sort of a reaction.

Radical or racial attacks -- the good member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick) spent a lot of time on that matter in our estimates last year. Again, I don’t know what you can do about it. I don’t think it’s the role of the police to educate the public. They do their best in that regard.

It is so easy for all of us to try to make the police the scapegoat of society. If things go wrong, whether it’s a racial attack or there’s somebody pulling a firearm or disobeying the speed limit, it’s so easy to blame the police for it. And if there is trouble with the morale, maybe it’s because so many people in society take that attitude with the police -- that it is the policeman’s fault, that it is not society’s fault.

Surely, somewhere in the home, somewhere in our schools, somewhere in our churches, somewhere in our public press media there is a place for trying to overcome this matter of racial slurs and racial attacks. The Human Rights Commission is doing its best to deal with it. The police are working with the various factions. The member for York South (Mr. MacDonald) has had some experience with me on that. I met with him regarding an incident on Weston Road some time ago, and the member for High Park-Swansea (Mr. Ziemba) was involved, too. They were working with the police. Regretfully, the police are in when the action is started; they are in when it is too late to change human attitudes. But they are doing their best and will continue to do that, but I don’t like to see the police blamed for the fact that racial attacks go on.

Mr. Lupusella: I don’t see from your statement how the principle of the prevention of crime makes sense.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: We can get into it a little later on in more detail.

Mr. Lupusella: If the policemen are supposed to get there --

Mr. Chairman: Order, please.

Mr. Lupusella: -- when the action is imminent, where is crime prevention?


Hon. Mr. MacBeth: You’re suggesting that if we had proper policing, as you might suggest, there wouldn’t be any crime. Again, that is a pie-in-the-sky hope but I would like to think that that society is just around the corner.

Mr. Lawlor: That is not what he said at all.

Mr. Lupusella: That is disintegrating the two principles.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: It didn’t happen in Manitoba, it hasn’t happened in Saskatchewan and I don’t think it’s about to happen in Ontario, that we’re not going to have any crime in this province.

Mr. Lawlor: You simplify everything.

Mr. Warner: Take the wax out of your ears.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: That brings me to the matter of organized crime.

Mr. Lupusella: You are putting words in my mouth.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: I suppose as Solicitor General that no crime is under control if it exists, and that’s the position that I want to take. You say, “Is organized crime under control?” My attitude is that if crime exists it’s not under control. But I’m realistic enough, and I think you should be too, to realize that we’re going to have various types of crimes with us. When you get the kind of society we have here in Metropolitan Toronto and in the other intensely populated areas of this province and where there’s easy money to be made and people who are gullible enough to go for it, then we’re going to have organized crime, whether it’s prostitution, whether it’s loan sharking or whether it’s through pornography.

Mr. Warner: Send them copies of Hansard.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: The police are doing their best to control it, but again don’t blame the police that these things exist. Look around at the society in which we live and each of us as individuals. Many precautions against suicide are taken in our various jails and they are not without difficulties in carrying them out. There are all sorts of things removed from those jails which make the prisoners’ life a little less tolerable because we have removed them. In other words, you take all glass out of the jail and anything they might hang their clothes on that has any rigidity to it. You take all that out so that they can’t use it to hang themselves by.

As a result, all of these things in police cells or otherwise make life a little less tolerable for the prisoner. We’re trying to take precaution against suicide. Then you say, “Why don’t you have them under electronic surveillance?” It’s not everybody who wants to be under electronic surveillance. They regard that as an infringement on their right to privacy even while they’re in jail. We have some problems when we have women in our jails and maybe have only men there to look after them. So they can’t be under electronic surveillance all the time.

Mr. Lupusella: Select the best recommendations.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: There are some problems in regard to these things. If you’ve got any suggestions how we can overcome some of the problems in regard to suicides in our various lockups, we will certainly look at them.

As for height and weight requirements, I don’t think the fact that they are requirements for the job makes anybody a second-class citizen. Every job has its rights and privileges attached to it and every job has responsibilities and its restrictions attached to it. Simply because you don’t qualify for every job that is available, that doesn’t mean that you’ve become a second-class citizen. I don’t think we can open up our police forces across the province, whether we’re talking about municipal which set their own, or the OPP over which we have some guidance, and say that we will have no height or physical restrictions. I don’t think the citizens of this province want that kind of a police force.

I admit we have far more highly trained people in our forces today and are striving for greater achievements in that regard. At the same time, when you get into a beer room brawl, it’s very handy to have the policeman on your side with a little weight and a little force behind him. We don’t want to have to resort to guns and other kinds of weapons. Whether it’s a billy or what it is, it’s nice to have a big policeman when you’re in trouble.

We are making alterations. We’re making alterations to permit more women into the force and to permit new nationalities who traditionally are not as tall as other nationalities. We’re making provision for them on the police forces. But I’m not going to suggest that people who don’t meet those requirements are second class in any way or that we are going to remove any kind of physical restrictions at all.

Finally with regard to the complaint procedure, I hope to introduce again into the House a bill to amend the Police Act which will deal with complaint procedure. It is a relatively long bill and I know it will have some discussion in the House and probably go to the committee stage where I hope the public and the police, because there are many people that are interested in it, will be brought into the discussions.

I don’t know when that can be done, knowing the amount of business that the standing committee on justice has to deal with, but I hope to present the bill. That is one of the matters I will be wanting to speak to the two critics about, to see how quickly we can move that bill. If we can’t move all of it, maybe we can move certain sections of it.

Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Chairman: That completes the opening remarks. We will now discuss the estimates vote by vote and item by item.

On vote 1601, ministry administration program; item 1, main office:

Mr. Stong: I am indebted to the minister for the comprehensive explanation that he gave me. As a matter of fact, if on or about the bottom of page five an amount of money appeared I would say that if that were a lawyer’s or an architect’s or an engineer’s bill it would be a padded bill. It’s very wordy and although it is helpful somewhat, it doesn’t explain everything. Perhaps I could get some assistance on some of these items.

For instance, we’re dealing with vote 1601, item 1, the main office. The first item that appears is salaries and wages. Perhaps the minister could give me some assistance with respect to the number of personnel that are involved in the main office. Does the increase from 1976-77 to 1977-78 reflect an increase of salaries or has the inflationary aspect of this matter taken over, with a corresponding decrease of personnel? Or how is that figure arrived at?

I’m also concerned with the item marked services. There’s $154,000 allocated for that I would like to have some assistance with respect to exactly what that $154,000 is directed to.

Those are the main items under item 1 that I’m concerned with.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: In regard to the personnel, there was an increase of one person, accounting for $27,500. It was a transfer of somebody who had been at EMO and who has been looking after our gun control regulations at the present time, or working with the federal government in regard to the matter of gun control.

The other item -- you’ll find an increase in many places throughout the budget when it comes to salary, and let me read this little note: “Additionally, the 1976-77 estimates reflect a shortfall in most activities caused by a budgeting error during the preparation of those estimates. This shortfall was corrected during 1976-77 by Management Board order. Therefore, the 1977-78 estimates for salary and employee benefits reflect not only the base for 1976-77 and the budget shortfall, but the actual requirements based on the pay lists and complement.”

What happened there was that when our budget for last year was before the Management Board, there was a matter of some $3 million that was taken off twice because of a shift back and forth. As a result of that, all of our budget came out in the various parts of the estimate that much short. So in each of the salary figures, you will find that the actual is considerably over last year’s estimate. You’ll find that explanation applies all the way through the estimates of the ministry.

You asked about the $154,000. I can give you those matters if you want. There’s an item there for 1977-1978 estimates for catering $500; repair and maintenance, $1,500; advertising, $79,000; production of films, $40,000; law enforcement and safety announcements, $8,000; ministry brochures, $1,000 and public relations, $24,000. I believe that they will add up to $154,000.

Mr. Stong: What is the number of employees that are in the main office collecting salaries and wages? Would you explain more fully the role played by this new member with respect to the gun control legislation?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: There were 16 and there are now 17. That’s the complement of the minister’s office, the deputy minister’s office and what we call the secretariat. There are three in the minister’s office, three in the deputy minister’s office and 11 in the secretariat which includes the office management people.

Mr. Timmerman is the man who came to us from the old Emergency Measures Organization. During the past year he has been working with Ottawa. When I say working with Ottawa, it is not that they have been consulting him so much but that he has been keeping his ear to the ground and keeping in touch with the progress of Bill C-51 through the federal House. He is now working with them in regard to the establishment of regulations which are in the process of formation.

We have recently announced our provincial gun control officer, who is the person who formerly was doing it for the OPP. We have combined that in the one person. They are both now working with Ottawa trying to establish regulations, making sure that the implementation of those regulations will be financed as Ottawa has agreed to do. That is the work that he is doing.

Mr. Stong: I don’t mean to begrudge a man his job but did you not have sufficient expertise within the OPP itself to be able to have that function filled by one of your own personnel? I understand that that’s a $27,500 salary, did you say?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Perhaps we could have done some of that work by the OPP. There’s no question of that. You may not recall, and probably won’t, that at the time the Emergency Measures Organization was disbanded certain commitments were given that these people would be retained on staff and jobs would be found for them and that they wouldn’t be let go. This man I mentioned is reaching retirement age shortly and it just fitted in nicely that he could move from EMO and work out these regulations. About the time those regulations are completed, his retirement will come up.

It might have been that somebody in the OPP could have done some of that work and had the basic knowledge of it, but certainly this man who moved over from EMO and whose job was guaranteed has filled the position very well. Maybe it was at a little more money than he might otherwise have been paid, but that was a commitment that was given.

Mr. Stong: Does that same individual do any work for the Ministry of Correctional Services or the Attorney General? If so, is part of his salary paid from those ministries?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Not that I know of. He works solely in our office.

Mr. Stong: I also have some questions with respect to the other item down in this same vote.

Mr. Chairman: We will continue with item 1. That’s the item I called for.

Mr. Lawlor: I have just a single question arising out of that and I am going to put it under main office, I believe. We have just finished debating it. It had to do with the status of the report on policing. That report did leave an awful lot of items hanging. I simply would like to know from the minister about the status as I wouldn’t know where else it would be placed. It is true that of the 64 matters, some of them obviate themselves. This update that you were good enough to give us at an earlier time was dated May, 1975. I am suggesting, without recapitulating the whole thing, that you bring the update up to date and that we be clued in on all those items that were not finalized.


I could start by reviewing, say under the economics section, recommendation after recommendation which have received no determination at this particular time. Promises were made that it was under review, that implementation would be expected when something else was done -- any number of things. I don’t think it’s permissible in the opposition to leave things in that sort of limbo, and I am going to seek to prevail upon the minister to clear the decks, let us know what precisely was brought to pass and what wasn’t at this date, and at least we’ll know to what extent this report on policing became efficacious or did not do so in the province.

I don’t think we can do it for this particular debate, but we can for some subsequent Solicitor General’s estimates. All I am trying to do is to extract a promise from you on this occasion.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: The hon. member for Lakeshore said I was very agreeable, and I won’t change that. I will be very agreeable to do so. I think we could do it for you for Friday. The latest update we have is June 1976, but certainly we’ll have it before these estimates are over. As you know, we don’t go on with them day by day -- they are Mondays and Fridays -- so I assume you won’t let me off the hook for a little while, and before I am off the spot here we will be glad to give you an update.

Let me say this, they might more properly be raised perhaps under the work of the Ontario Police Commission. So by the time we get there, maybe we’ll have that update for you.

Mr. Ziemba: In this vote, main office, would it be correct for me to discuss the community relations officers as well as paddy wagons? I’ll start and you can interrupt me if I’m out of order.

You will probably agree that community relations officers are in the front line of the war on racism here in the city. I met with the Solicitor General during the last session, together with the member for York South (Mr. MacDonald), in regard to racial difficulties in the borough of York, and the community relations officers were able to resolve them. But there is a problem with this group of men. First of all, they are a small number, and secondly, there is a bit of mistrust in the community.

It seems that while they are young and they are from visible minority groups, they are also policemen and they collect information. They compile files on people, and many of the people they work with rather resent being in the police files, especially if they are young. So there is a bit of antagonism there and a bit of suspicion. I think the Solicitor General can appreciate that. I would hope that perhaps these community relations officers would be given a bit more freedom and a bit more flexibility with regard to regular police duties, and not report in the normal fashion by explaining who they talked to on a particular evening and collecting massive dossiers on people.

Secondly, they are difficult to get hold of. It is difficult for me to get hold of them on occasion, and I am sure that the people who are having difficulty with harassment -- immigrants -- are also in that same position. The people in Riverdale especially make a point of this. One storekeeper says he has had his window broken three times and he is now almost forced to arm himself to protect his store. Another East Indian taxi driver was beaten up travelling in the riding of Riverdale, and there is an East Indian in the borough of York who just the other day had a molotov cocktail planted in his front yard.

These people would certainly like to get hold of our community relations officers, and I wonder if they could be made more available in a sort of storefront operation in the way that the legal aid system is. The Parkdale Legal Aid Bureau might be assigned a few community relations officers to work right out of there or out of our constituency offices or to staff their own storefronts or something but to be available to people who really need them.

These are the people who should be dealing with the race problems in the city -- not the regular police force. One of the papers, in an editorial the other day, made a very good point in saying that when members of the regular force go out on an investigation, they seem to be aloof and insensitive to the concerns of the immigrants. I think there has to be a bit more sensitivity, which can only come from these specially trained men.

I would be interested in learning how many officers of any kind were hired from the minority groups, the visible minority groups, over the past five years. I would also be interested in finding out how many left the force for one reason or another over the past five years. That would be a very interesting statistic.

Mr. Chairman, if you were to find yourself in a paddy wagon on your way to court, as very many people do in this city on occasion --

Mr. Kerrio: Speak for yourself.

Mr. Conway: So we hear.

Mr. Samis: On the way to Queen’s Park.

Mr. Ziemba: -- you would find yourself handcuffed to the chap next to you; and there are usually three or four people handcuffed together on both sides of the paddy wagon. When the paddy wagon takes off, there are two spotlights that come on --

Mr. Conway: Didn’t I read this in the Star?

Mr. Ziemba: You’ll read it tomorrow.

As the paddy wagon takes off, these spotlights are supposed to highlight whatever goes on in the back of the wagon. What happens in many cases, especially if there is a prisoner from a visible minority group, an East Indian or a black, is that scores are settled at that point.

I have talked to one young fellow who is being held at the Metro West Detention Centre. He’s there today. He was severely beaten by a group that identified themselves as the OHIP Gang -- these people apparently drum up business for OHIP by beating up prisoners -- and he had his nose broken. He’s had two black eyes and he hasn’t been guilty of a thing. He’s still before the courts.

I would like to get back to that, but there’s another chap, a Trinidadian, who is being held at the Scarborough East Detention Centre. He was severely beaten at the Don Jail and he was put under protective custody.

Mr. Conway: Did the Ministry for Correctional Services (Mr. Drea) hear that?

Mr. Ziemba: Again, this chap is really in terror when it comes to being transported from one jail to another tied to a group of other men who, for one reason or another, may attack him.

I would like the Solicitor General to table in the House the number of injuries that have been reported. I’m sure the police do report injuries; they are responsible for people who are being transported to and from court, to and from the jails. It would be in the corrections’ interest to get those statistics.

If a man leaves in good shape and comes back badly beaten, that would be reported and I’d like to get that figure. If it is a problem -- and I really think it is -- perhaps there should be alternatives to the present system of paddy wagons. Perhaps cruisers should be used or the policemen themselves, a couple of policemen, asked to sit in the back with the prisoners to make sure that law and order prevails at this most crucial of times. Those were the two points I wanted to bring up.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: There being no further speakers, shall --

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: I don’t know whether he wants a brief statement. Perhaps I am at fault, Mr. Chairman, in letting it go on quite so long, because it probably more properly belongs in the vote of the Ontario Police Commission. As the member knows, the various forces get their guidance, not from head office but through the OPC; they are the ones who might be able to give him more specific information.

We’ll try to get some figures on the paddy- wagon problem that he raised.

Mr. Conway: Get that smile off your face.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: It could happen and we’ll try to get him some figures on it. Again, the community relations officers are generally with the larger municipal police forces. We do have people doing community work with the OPP. Of course, that would come under their vote.

I do have attached to my office, but on the payroll of the OPP, a Detective Inspector Smith who does a lot of co-ordination with the various forces across the province. He can, in many cases, act as my community relations officer and get this kind of information for me. So, specifically, in regard to the transportation of prisoners -- and a lot of that is done by the police, some by Correctional Services, but a lot of it by the police -- we will try to get those figures from the OPC and have them for you.

Community relations officers: I know an awful lot of the forces have them. But again, even under their own responsibilities, I think when times get a little tough maybe some of the community officers are the ones who are withdrawn from that to other fields of service; and maybe that is not wisdom on their part. But whether or not they have community relations officers depends on the various forces. We have them in the OPP in certain areas, and they are doing a good job.

Mr. Stong: Mr. Chairman, though you to the minister. I just wanted to get clarification on the services item.

As I understand it, you indicated that there was $79,000 allocated to advertising, and $24,000 allocated to public relations. I would like a breakdown of the difference between advertising and PR. I don’t mean in terms of money but in terms of role and what was accomplished.

With respect to advertising -- what did that consist of? And was there any co-operation between the ministries with respect to advertising the different roles in brochures put out by the ministries of the Attorney General and of Correctional Services? Could there not have been a saving in advertising costs by combining this activity?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Mr. Chairman, with regard to the $79,000 for advertising -- that is done in just that way, by trying to put the ads together in these various ethnic presses; and of course, some of that covers police work. It has tried to put them all together in a way that they will cover all of the various ministries and co-ordinate them to the best advantage.

In regard to public relations -- not a large amount is specifically earmarked for that. I think we have a breakdown of that $24,000. It is, I am told, a $2,000 monthly payment to the public relations firm which does a certain amount of co-ordination for us in the way of public relations; they handle various press releases; although some of that is done within our own ministry. They write the odd speech for myself and for various other members of the staff in the ministry.

Mr. Lewis: A public relations firm writing your speeches? What do you pay your staff for?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: There is the odd one. I don’t give that many speeches.

Mr. Lewis: That is why it is reprehensible. Your speeches are odd enough as it is.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: I would agree with that. I use the firm on very rare occasions; but they are there for advice. I think last year they probably did about two talks for me.

Mr. B. Newman: What is this one?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: They are used by the ministry. They are used on a consultative basis. They are used in connection with our publicity program; some of the things we were talking about earlier -- the films that are produced; they are consulted on films. They are also consulted on the matter of the brochures; and we did supply you with some of the brochures that we put out. It is a consultation fee.

Mr. Lewis: What is the name of the firm?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Public Relations Services Limited.

Mr. Lewis: PRSL is on your payroll too! Boy, oh boy!

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order, please.

Mr. Lewis: Remember Peter Bruten?


Mr. Warner: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Before I begin I wish to congratulate you on having been appointed to your position. I know you will carry out your duties quite admirably.

Through you, Mr. Chairman, to the minister there are a couple of issues that I would like to raise. First, I want to put forward that policing is too important to be left to the police, too important to be left even to the police schools.

This does not mean that it is not a special art and that it does not require special skills or that there is an unnecessary elitism involved in restricting the policing of the community to a qualified class. What it does mean is that all of us, police and non-police alike, have a continuing interest in the quality and effectiveness of our police system, particularly because our form of political organization, through which we give expression and force to our law, is based on public participation in political and social processes, on freedom to debate public issues, and freedom to examine and evaluate public institutions, including the policing of the community.

I do not take credit for those words. They come from what is commonly known as the Morand report. One suggestion that flowed from that was that we should have a citizen complaint bureau, and secondly, as interpreted by the former Premier of this province, that we should have the policing system in the city of Metro Toronto come under the more direct control of the council, the elected people of Metro Toronto. I would like to know from the minister when he intends to see that happen.

I realize that in the instance of Metro Toronto he can simply refer to the fact that all of those comments are going to be dealt with by the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) and that there will be some legislation coming forward in the spring, but I am thinking that he can still deal with that concept as it applies to all of the province of Ontario, not just the city of Metro Toronto, because it is a very important one.

If we are concerned that we have proper policing and it is part of our social system in this province, then it rightfully belongs connected to the political system. That means that we deal with it directly through the elected people in the municipalities and not so much through the appointed commissions. It’s a very important link for citizens to have.

Secondly, I assume from your remarks earlier that what you were alluding to is that we are at long last going to see what has been promised for some time now -- a citizen complaint bureau. I am wondering if the minister can be more explicit when he talks about a piece of legislation that he is going to introduce. Are we actually going to see the citizen complaint bureau? It’s long overdue.

I want to underscore it in terms of what is happening in this city. I think the minister is well aware of the problems which exist. We have some very serious difficulties for ethnic people in the city of Metro Toronto. Quite frankly, they are not being dealt with adequately by the Toronto police force. I think the minister realizes this as well as I do.

Part of the answer may lie with the Treasurer, agreed. The Metro Toronto police force has indicated that it requires an additional 100 people and that many of those people need to be employed as community relations officers, that they need to be working in the communities, that they need to be working with the various ethnic people in Metro Toronto, and that they need to be working with the police forces themselves, because many of the biases --

Mr. Kerrio: The new police commissioner is going to straighten them all out.

Mr. Warner: -- which people in our community are living with and are accustomed to, spill over into the police forces. I think the minister is well aware of that.

It needs to be dealt with directly. I don’t think that in all fairness the Metro Toronto police force can be expected to handle the entire situation, if it identifies the need for an additional 100 officers but the Treasurer is going to prevent that happening. Clearly, his budget, which allows something in the neighbourhood of a 4.6 per cent increase for Metro Toronto, will not in any way allow the Metro Toronto police force to do the hiring that is necessary.

I’m wondering if the minister is now prepared to go to the Treasurer and say that we have identified a very special need in Metro Toronto with respect to racial problems, where we want to deal with it effectively and directly; that the Metro Toronto police force is not at this moment entirely capable of dealing with this situation and that we require some extra funds to be spent directly on that problem to do the kind of hiring that’s needed and to hire the community officers that are needed to work within our ethnic communities.

To underscore the problem even further -- and it requires, I think, some comment from the minister -- I take it the police force in Metro Toronto are so harried at this point in time because of their lack of manpower that they are now selective about what incidents they write up and what ones they don’t.

Mr. Kerrio: The new police commissioner is going to straighten that out.

Mr. Warner: I can cite, for example, an incident which occurred in my riding where someone was chased after, caught and beaten by two security guards. When the people who witnessed this phoned the police department, the police arrived and made no report. I assume they thought that was the end of it. The citizens obviously had sense enough to call their good elected member who followed it down and found out that indeed the incident had occurred. The security people later admitted to it.

The police said that they had been told to try to ascertain which incidents were of greater importance and that only those of greater importance should be written up. I find that rather shocking to tell you the truth. If it is the result of the fact that the police officers are overworked and overburdened and that they can’t possibly handle all of the situations they’re given, then that once again tells us that Metro Toronto needs more officers. If it’s something other than that, I’d like to know, because it seems to me that that’s a pretty poor way to carry on things.

Mind you, I fully realize because of the person who was involved and the neighbourhood in which the incident took place that it really is just the sustaining of the two sets of laws that we have. I realize all of that. One can’t expect when a court system upholds two sets of laws, one for the rich and one for the poor, that when these kinds of incidents occur in a very poor neighbourhood the police are going to do anything other than ignore the report. There’s either that side of the question or they simply don’t have the manpower to do the job they’re supposed to do. In either case, obviously the government loses because the responsibility does come back to the ministry.

I’m asking also if the minister could comment on one of the comments raised by Mr. Robarts in his report, and I quote: “In view of the importance of policing to the local community both as a service on its own and in its interrelationships with other local services, steps should be taken to increase the accountability and responsiveness of policing local government.” I assume that that applies to all communities across Ontario.

I’m wondering how the minister is going to respond. How does he intend to increase the accountability and the responsiveness of police forces to the local community and their elected people? I have no more questions at this point. Perhaps the minister can respond.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Before the minister responds, I’d like to point out to the committee that the hon. member was really talking on vote 1603 rather than 1601. I allowed him to continue though many of his remarks should have come at a later stage of these proceedings. As we proceed in this committee, I’ll try to ask the members to keep to the particular item and they can come back on each item.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: He started off on a matter that might be under 1601, but in making some general comment in regard to the entire matter of policing, he covered more, as you say, than the particular vote at issue.

Citizens’ complaint bureau: I commented on that in my opening remarks and suggested that I hope to be bringing in legislation later on in this session in regard to the proposals we have but, as I said, I intend to discuss those proposals with the critics of both the Liberal and New Democratic parties. The bill is such that I think it should go to committee.

At the same time there are other matters which perhaps should be dealt with more expeditiously such as the ones the hon. member is raising about the composition of police commissions. That brings us to two types of commissions, one dealing with regional municipalities and the other dealing with the other municipalities, which have three-man commissions as opposed to five-man commissions.

The commissions of most of the regional municipalities are set up in their own bills, so I would like to get the standard or three-man commission cleared up first. The main problem there, of course, is that the present Act requires a judge to be on the commission. We’ve had great co-operation from the judges, who no longer are able to receive extra remuneration for serving on these commissions, but they have continued to do so now long past the time that they were able to receive extra remuneration -- many of them as a sense of duty or because they enjoy the work on the police commissions.

Many municipalities believe that a judge or somebody who is recognized as impartial should serve on those commissions, and they are quite happy with that. Others, such as Metropolitan Toronto, have suggested in recent years that they don’t want that sort of situation; they want more appointees by the council itself. There are two schools of thought on it, and at the present time the school that says, “Keep them removed from the direct political connection or one source of political connection” seems to be gaining a little more momentum than it did two years ago. But there are two distinct schools of thought and both have some very strong reasoning that they can back up their positions with.

As the hon. member knows, Mr. Robarts recommended one thing in his Metropolitan Toronto report, and we’ll be considering that when we deal with the regional municipality of Metropolitan Toronto. But in the meantime, dealing with the other forces, it would be my hope to keep a judge as permissible. A lot of our communities are quite happy and content with that. If that’s the case, one of the other two would be the mayor of the municipality and the other, I think, would be a provincial representative.

When the hon. member says, “Make them all municipally appointed,” most of the questions that I get asked in this House are questions dealing with actions of various municipal forces. Certainly some of them are OPP, and some of them deal with fire and forensic services, but most of the questions I get are questions relating to actions of municipal forces. Remember that we do pay a grant of some $10 per head to help with the policing. I know in many cases it’s not a large percentage but it is a percentage.

In the sense that we must have some uniform policy of policing -- and both opposition parties are saying to me today, “Why don’t you tell municipal forces to do such and such?” -- one way we can tell them is through the Ontario Police Commission and then possibly through our representatives. I don’t mean we put any influence on our representatives in that way at all. We don’t. But we hope to get people there who are not responsible to the municipal council, who have a certain independence, who can know what the policy of the Ontario Police Commission is and in that way follow it through.

Sometimes the municipal representatives are pretty independent souls; that’s fine, but they are not quite as ready to take directions from the Ontario Police Commission as others are. So having a municipal representative and a representative from the province with the impartial judge, if they choose to continue and the municipality wants them to continue, I think makes a pretty good mix for the three-man commissions.

Mr. Conway: Have you found a replacement for Elmer yet? There must be a Tory somewhere to fill that chair.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Oh, there are lots of good Tories. But, as the hon. member knows, we just don’t restrict our vision --

Mr. Conway: I hear --

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order. Order, please.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: -- to the Tories of this province. If we can find good people someplace else, they may get the call.

Mr. Conway: I hear Marvin Shore is available.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: He may get the call. Who knows?

I’m saying that we’ll hear more about the composition, certainly of the three-men police commissions. I doubt if we will do anything about the regional commissions for a while.


Mr. Samis: Where is John Smith when we need him?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Lack of manpower: I think there is again a school of thought that all the crime in the province, within the municipalities of this province, can be solved or considerably done away with by hiring more policemen. I don’t necessarily buy that theory. I don’t say that if you had even 100 per cent police that you would have no crime at all, because regrettably occasionally we get a few misdemeanours among the police themselves. But I come back to the point that you need some public morality to support the police and if you don’t have that public morality going for you, then the police, no matter how many and how good they are, are going to be in difficulties.

If you say that we have ethnic problems here in Toronto, and that is doubtlessly true in many cases, I don’t think all the policemen in the world are going to solve those problems alone. I am not prepared to go to the Treasurer and say: “Mr. Treasurer, if you gave me some special funds for Metropolitan Toronto that I could apply to the police of Toronto, they would be able to clear up or suppress the ethnic problems.” It goes deeper than policing and that’s the point I tried to make earlier. It’s a community sickness and not one that the police can themselves correct, so I am not prepared to go to the Treasurer and ask for special funds for that matter for Toronto.

They have some 5,500 people on the Metropolitan Toronto police and I think the force is quite capable of looking after the major matters that we expect it to look after. In other ways we hope to make it easier, as I mentioned in my opening remarks, to ease pressure on the police forces such as through their appearances in court and things of that nature.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: The member for Ottawa East.

Mr. Conway: The Monday night special.

Mr. Roy: Mr. Chairman, first of all I do want to join my colleagues here in congratulating you on your appointment. You will receive my wholehearted support, especially when you take active part in curtailing the activities of the member for Renfrew North (Mr. Conway). You will get my wholehearted support for this.

I just want to make a few brief comments on this vote because I think it’s difficult to situate it in any other specific vote. The comments I want to make are in reference, first of all, to the opening comments made by the minister. Possibly the first question I should ask the minister is about this PR firm that wrote this speech here, or the comments that he made at the opening of the estimates. Like many of my colleagues here, I just find it strange. I can’t for the life of me justify why a Solicitor General who is surrounded by assistants and then deputies and people all the way down the line would require the services of a PR firm to write speeches. That’s what I understood, Mr. Chairman, to be the --

Mr. Wildman: Who owns the PR firm?

Mr. Conway: The Tories believe in sharing the wealth.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Maybe that speech would have been better if it had had the assistance of a PR firm.

Mr. Roy: Well, I don’t know. Frankly, I haven’t seen any of your speeches which smack of the expertise of a PR firm. I don’t think the Solicitor General of the province should be using such services. You tell the facts the way they are. I mean, why do you have to jazz up a speech by a PR firm, especially when we know that this particular firm appears to be on the payroll of every ministry of this government?

Mr. Makarchuk: Maybe he’s running for the leadership of the Tory party.

Mr. Wildman: Does Dalton Camp own it?

Mr. Roy: I frankly don’t see any justification whatsoever for this ministry to use it. I could see the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Bennett) needing some PR.

Mr. Warner: He needs help.

Mr. Roy: You’ve got to do a bit of jazz and you’ve got to soup it up a little bit to get the tourists into place, but why the Solicitor General should require --

Mr. Conway: Who is your barber?

Mr. Roy: He’s been commenting on my haircut. I keep telling him I go down to the small claims court in Ottawa every day to get a trim.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Your barber is worse than my speech writer.

Mr. Makarchuk: Does the Minister of Industry and Tourism get his cut there too?

Mr. Roy: Having said this, possibly one of my colleagues, the critic, may have something to say about this $24,000. I really see no justification whatsoever for it.

Mr. Warner: He needs help.

Mr. Roy: The Premier might need some jazzing up, some PR stuff. But for the Solicitor General of this province, I frankly see no justification for it. I really think that the members here in the Legislature would be doing the province a service by cutting out that what we consider to be excess or a waste of money. After all, the Treasurer is telling us that we are facing an extra $300 million and some deficit in addition to what he has already proposed. How much is it?

Mr. Lewis: It is $375 million.

Mr. Roy: And we are paying this firm $24,000. I think it’s time that we start cutting out some of that chaff. It is unnecessary.

Mr. Lewis: I’ll do a couple of speeches for you each year.

Mr. Makarchuk: For half the price.

Mr. Lewis: For no retainer.

Mr. Conway: If that leadership race doesn’t pick up, you won’t have the time.

Mr. Roy: The second thing I wanted to mention pertaining to the minister’s opening comments is that in his speech on page eight he talks about organized crime. I suppose in every estimate I’ve been in since 1971 somebody has mentioned the question of organized crime. We have always had the same response. The minister says, “No, in Ontario it’s not necessary. Maybe it’s necessary in some other jurisdictions, but not in Ontario. We don’t have a problem.”

He doesn’t say we don’t have a problem, but he says the problem is not such that it requires this type of inquiry into the question of organized crime. Yet from year to year we seem to have evidence at least that organized crime is getting more involved and that there is more activity in the major centres of this province. Yet we keep getting the answer, “It’s under control. We have no problem and we don’t need this.”

The thing that I find interesting is that on page eight it states: “Such an inquiry would certainly impair the effectiveness of police investigations which rely on undercover surveillance activity that cannot be made public.” The suggestion is that in a jurisdiction like Quebec the inquiry into organized crime has impaired the function and activity of that jurisdiction in combatting organized crime. They had a public inquiry and from time to time they are not afraid of reviving the inquiry. I don’t see that at all.

I want to say to the minister that it may be at this particular time you are not organized to have this type of an inquiry. If you are going to have a public inquiry, you have got to work towards it over a period of years in the sense that you have got to build up your evidence. You can’t just decide to have an inquiry and not have any evidence to present to the inquiry.

The reason for the inquiry in the first place is because the normal methods of combating organized crime are not effective enough. One of the most effective weapons in these circumstances is bringing this type of activity into the public light. Sometimes this type of inquiry educates not only the public but very often some of your own police forces who are not aware of particular activities of organized crime. Very often the officer on the beat may see a particular activity and never associate it with organized crime. He’s looking for someone breaking windows or breaking doors or robbing banks. Often he is not in a position, without proper education or without proper enlightenment through an inquiry, to see the type of activity that’s involved in organized crime.

I am saying basically to the minister that we should, on the long term, quit kidding ourselves in this province. The fact that we keep going around saying, “No, we don’t have a problem; it doesn’t exist,” doesn’t mean to say it’s not there. The evidence seems to indicate, and I think anyone involved in the administration of justice or in enforcing the laws here in this province realizes it, over a period of time, that any time you get a conglomerate of people and any time you have a lot of money in a particular area, then this is a prime area for organized crime to get established, and Ontario is no exception. If it is it’s the only exception, I suggest, in all of North America.

I would like to hear the minister saying, “Yes, maybe in the long term we’re working towards possibly organizing an inquiry. Yes, at this point we’re possibly building up evidence.” He will recall the inquiry in Quebec, for instance. They had all the wiretap evidence and they were able to organize witnesses; they had been working at that on a long-term basis.

I suggest to the minister that the inquiry into organized crime in a jurisdiction like Quebec was an exercise that was beneficial, not only to the public but to all the police forces. In that sense, when this thing was brought out publicly, it curtailed the activities of many of the individuals who were involved in this type of activity.

I’m suggesting to the minister that the time has come to quit kidding ourselves about this. For him to say it’s a unanimous opinion that a public inquiry is not necessary and to suggest that a public inquiry somehow would hamper the activity right now of the police, I just have to wonder. It may be that he does have that type of plan and he feels it’s not in the public interest to reveal it, but I find that this kind of statement is not in conformity with the facts, at least in other jurisdictions.

The final point I would like to mention on this vote -- and I don’t really know where it would go except to mention this directly in the ministry vote -- is the question of crime statistics as brought out by various police departments.

The minister may be aware that in Ottawa recently some defence counsel got together and looked at the statistics being brought out by the police, who were saying, “There’s an increase in serious crimes or in violence, there’s an increase in murder of such a percentage, there’s an increase in rape and violent crimes, and so on.”

When the counsel got down to study each one of these offences, they realized that in fact the statistics the police were putting out did not conform at all with the conviction rate of these individuals. In some offences the difference was as much as 80 per cent. In other words, on many charges of murder the accused ended up being convicted sometimes of assault causing bodily harm, and yet the statistics for murder had not been changed.

There was also another situation -- and I think some of my colleagues mentioned this -- where in one particular instance an accused was charged alternatively with three different types of serious offences. Obviously he could not be convicted of the three offences and a couple of charges were withdrawn. The statistics, at least those the police were putting out, showed certain rates and the public was left with the opinion that there’s a great increase in crime.

Of course, it’s helpful in some measure to the police, because they can go to their politician and say, “Here is the tremendous increase in this area. We need better equipment. We need more manpower. We need more of this and more of that.” In some ways it intimidates those in authority to say, “Yes, we’d better give in, because we face a serious problem.”

I suspect that this goes on right across the province. The minister says of the serious offences that the police sometimes have to charge alternative offences because they’re not really too sure at that point what an accused is going to be convicted of. Just as an example, if an accused is stopped while he’s been drinking and driving his car and he is charged with driving while impaired or, under section 236, driving while his blood alcohol level is over 0.08, obviously he can’t be convicted of both, yet it’s registered as two offences.


This goes on all the time. An accused is charged with rape and, at the same time, indecent assault and maybe assault causing bodily harm; so we get this duplication of charges. In that sense, when statistics are kept on those charges, it is erroneous. We should attempt to have statistics as accurate as possible. I appreciate there are some circumstances where the police have to lay alternative charges, in cases where it is difficult to say. But to suggest that there has been an increase in murder of such a percentage, and then they find out it is maybe 50 per cent. According to an Ottawa survey, about 60 per cent of people charged with murder were, in fact, charged with murder of a certain degree and they ended up not being convicted of that at all. Yet in the statistics it came out that you had this large increase.

I think it is erroneous. I think we should strive to tell our police forces that we should be careful about that. We should try to have statistics which reflect reality, figures that are not inflated.

Having made these comments on these three points, I look forward to receiving the remarks of the minister, Mr. Chairman.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Lest you think that my speeches are costing the citizens of this province $24,000 a year -- my staff are anxious to have that matter clarified. I think, probably, the consultants did two speeches for me in the course of last year. I don’t remember exactly, but I think over the course of my time in the Solicitor General’s ministry I have had them prepare three speeches. I don’t know in which financial year those three speeches may have fallen. However, their main work is in giving advice on and assistance in the preparation of crime and fire prevention brochures. I gave the opposition critics copies of some of this work.

In the drafting of film scripts for fire prevention and crime prevention: The film script Doing It Wrong was a very successful film that our ministry produced and is one I referred to in my opening remarks. It deals with young people who get off to a bad start on a weekend with liquor and a few other things; it shows the consequences of their actions. That is the kind of advice they give. They advise on that; also on radio scripts for some of our various safety measures.

The public relations firm initiates a few speeches. They have done two or three for me over the course of my time in the ministry, and maybe one or two for others.

In community crime prevention, they do some of the work that one of the NDP members was asking us to do; they advise on that, as well as public relations material for the OPP community services, for schools and community meetings.

So some of the things that you said the police should be doing, that is exactly where the public relations people are serving us. The thought is that if we didn’t have them we would need another one and a half people in the ministry to handle public relations. We presently have one public relations officer, Mr. Sidney Allinson, and he has one secretary working with him. We feel that we are saving a possible one and a half by using this outside consultant; and the work they do for me personally is a very minor part of what they do.

The member for Ottawa East, of course, has come back to his favourite subject, organized crime. We have a gulf of difference between us on the way to approach this. I have questioned the procedure that most of these commissions use. In other words, you suspect a person of being involved in crime, but you haven’t got enough evidence to lay charges so you start some public inquiry whereby you might hope to get him to commit himself out of his own mouth, or if he refused to give answers that might make him commit himself.

Mr. Samis: That is not a fair representation.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Then you go on from there and suggest that he should be locked up for contempt of court or for some other thing.

That is not the way we like to see justice done in this province. I don’t like to go so far as to say there is never a place for these inquiries, because the situation might be that in the public interest we should have one; and we have had them in the past. But they are very costly. Last year, you might recall, we estimated that one of these commissions

-- particularly in the manner that Quebec has been doing -- would run into millions of dollars. If that was the case, the police said they would rather have the expenditure in more up-to-date equipment and more personnel. Last spring we arranged for just that. There is some inconsistency.

Mr. Samis: How many millions for the election?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: At the present time we are looking at ways to curtail expenditures in the police, but at the same time I am hoping it will not affect the kind of people who are engaged in active police duty on organized crime or the major crimes.

Organized crime certainly is a problem, but I think it is under as much control as any other crime. We know, as I said in the opening address, who the main people are. Our problem is to try to get the evidence.

Mr. Wildman: Who is controlling it though?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: I keep coming back to the fact that although Quebec produced a lot of evidence in connection with its inquiry, as to the actual convictions and the police work in connection with those convictions, much of it was done in the province of Ontario.

Crime statistics are in the news today. They are in the news because the deputy ministers of the Attorneys General and Solicitors General, and indeed Correctional Services across the country, have been talking about the problems in regard to statistics. That is not to say that present statistics are a shambles. They are not. There is a formula for statistics, but like any statistics they can often be mixed up depending upon who is doing the interpretation of them. I quite agree that sometimes police statistics are used in the way that the member for Ottawa East suggested that they were used, to suggest that there is more crime than is in actual existence, and therefore that we should be spending more money in fighting that crime.

A little earlier I said I didn’t think all crimes could be put out of the way simply by employing more police. Crime is a much deeper thing than just that. I would agree that the statistics should be examined. Our Justice policy field has been looking for ways in which we could get one basic statistic for the Justice field, as I said earlier, to deal with both the courts and the various correctional institutions that these people may end up in. Very often they go from institution to institution and very often they are not only picked up once but they are picked up a number of times -- recidivists, as you know. If we could have the same kind of information for the police as well, we would have one set of information that we would have for these people and have it all computerized in one way or another.

So it’s in the news and you are reading about it because it is under study, We realize the problems involved. Not only is it a Canada-wide problem but it is certainly a problem that our own ministries are dealing with and they hope to present some better answer to the matter of statistics very shortly. In the meantime, certainly the police have a formula and I’ll be glad to produce that formula for you.

Mr. Roy: Mr. Chairman, on that question: First of all, on the $24,000 that I talked about for speeches, I’m glad to hear that it wasn’t only for speeches. If I had the minister’s assurance that the emphasis actually is on brochures and on assistance in the PR end of it -- whether it be radio, television, crime prevention, that sort of thing -- I can see some logic in that. I frankly had been led to believe by your earlier comments that what these people were doing was writing speeches for you and I thought $24,000 was just a bit much.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: For the kind of speech I give, I would agree with you.

Mr. Roy: I don’t want to be provocative, to use your leader’s words. You are a pretty good fellow but it’s pretty tough to get overly -- well, I shouldn’t say enthusiastic, but the type of stuff that the leader, or the former leader, or the leader of the NDP, I should say --

Mr. Breithaupt: Leader pro tem.

Mr. Roy: -- would get involved in doesn’t come out of your ministry. It’s hard to get all flamboyant and have all sorts of PR lights flashing all over out of your ministry. You’ve got to be serious and you’ve got to be sort of dour to some degree, I suppose, to become effective as the Solicitor General of the province.

Mr. Conway: What two speeches didn’t you write? Those are the two I want to hear about.

Mr. Roy: I do want to say this to the minister on the question of organized crime. You brushed off too lightly what I’ve been suggesting. I think you do a disservice to other jurisdictions to suggest that the only purpose for a public inquiry is to get certain people up there and then, when they don’t answer questions, find them in contempt of court and send them to jail for a year. I think you are doing these people a disservice.

I watched on television some of the activities of the Quebec commission. I watched the three presiding judges who were at the hearing. The evidence brought forward was in fact wiretap evidence. They weren’t just calling in anybody and saying, “What have you got to say?” and when the fellow didn’t want to answer find him in contempt of court and cart him off for a year. They had solid evidence and they wanted some explanation. When it was clear there was a refusal on the part of certain individuals about which they had very strong evidence of certain activity, backed up not only by wiretap evidence but by evidence of certain other witnesses, then at that point, after a thorough investigation, some of these people were found in contempt of the commission.

My discussion with the people in Quebec involved with this inquiry brought out the fact that, first of all, there was education of the public and then there was education of various police forces. It may well be that the OPP and the large metropolitan forces are equipped to deal with that and have certain expertise within their police departments, but many areas of that department are not aware of this and many smaller forces are not aware of certain activities. That’s an education for them as well.

Finally, they wrote a lengthy report with certain recommendations, about how you could curtail certain types of activity. If I recall, in Quebec, I think they said the most effective way to curtail a lot of activities was through the income tax laws. So I think by your sort of summary dismissal of an inquiry, you’re saying, “We work another way more effectively by certain good equipment and we get certain convictions.” I think there is something good to be said about both. What I’m saying to you is that I clearly have the feeling, and I think many of my colleagues would agree with me, that Ontario has basically taken the approach that “they’ve got all these problems in Quebec with organized crime, but in Ontario we don’t have that sort of problem. We don’t need an inquiry. We’ve got the thing under control.”

Yet we clearly have the impression that it’s spreading, that it’s getting better organized, and that in fact it’s getting involved in more areas. Somehow the police who are giving us assurances all the time that they’ve got it under control don’t seem to have the type of control that the minister is satisfied with.

Mr. Conway: The Attorney General will find a few headlines.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: I don’t think I can add much. I’ve noted what the member says in regard to organized crime. I haven’t outlawed it, nor has the Attorney General outlawed the possibility of it. As I say, we are still taking our advice from our senior police and people in the Attorney General’s office. Their present position is still that it would do more harm than good. But I haven’t outlawed it as an ultimate tool that might be used.

On motion by Hon. Mr. MacBeth, the committee of supply reported progress.


Mr. Speaker: This afternoon we received a report from the standing committee on resources development and the report was adopted, but we neglected to ask whether the bill in question should be ordered for the committee of the whole House or third reading.

Mr. Breithaupt: The committee of the whole House.

Mr. Speaker: The committee of the whole House. Is that agreed, just so that we can have that in Hansard?


On motion by Hon. Mr. MacBeth, the House adjourned at 10:28 p.m.