The House resumed at 8:02 p.m.
ESTIMATES, MINISTRY OF THE SOLICITOR GENERAL (CONTINUED)
On vote 1601:
Mr. Chairman: When the House rose at 6 p.m. the member for Cornwall had asked a question of the Solicitor General. Does the minister have a reply?
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I have some information. If the hon. member finds it not sufficient we can, perhaps, get further information for him if he will let us know. We can get it for him either on or off the record, whichever way he wishes it.
A fair number of Indians have been appointed by the St. Regis Band Council as game wardens, not special constables of the OPP. It is the first year they are enforcing a band bylaw. They are issuing a licence, $5 per day, $50 per season, to cover hunting in the waters, marshes and islands in the St. Lawrence River, from Gananoque east into the province of Quebec.
The Indians have a claim which is currently in the federal courts for all the waters east of Gananoque into Quebec. Most of the problems have been referred to Natural Resources. Hunters must buy two licences. There have been no threats of violence so far. There is nothing that the OPP believe they can do until they receive some complaint of a breach of the Criminal Code.
I don’t have the answers of what they might do if they got that complaint, but I suppose until some actual circumstances are brought to their attention they are hesitant to deal with it in a theoretical way. However, it rises out of the Indian land claims that have not yet been resolved. Whether the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. F. S. Miller) will have more information for you tomorrow or not, I don’t know. I agree, there is confusion over the matter.
Mr. Samis: Can I just follow that up, Mr. Chairman? First of all, my understanding is, having talked to the federal ministry, that the matter is not in the federal courts. In fact no claim has been filed, which further complicates the matter.
I realize the whole question of the claims is essentially federal, for adjudication, and I realize the rights of fishermen and hunters comes more under the Ministry of Natural Resources. But there is a problem because a part of the river is clearly outlined in maps issued by this province as belonging to this province and hunters and fishermen use and purchase their fishing and hunting licences on that basis.
Can you give us any idea if any instructions have been given to the OPP regarding any claims made by the Indians on what are marked by provincial maps as Ontario waters? I might inform the minister that the province of Quebec have given very specific directions to the Sureté de Quebec to protect the rights of their waters which the Indians are challenging and claiming?
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Mr. Chairman, I know of no specific direction that we have given the OPP in regard to Indian land claims. I know there is a great deal of confusion in various parts of the province arising out of the claims they’ve made, including access roads, and now this one on the hunting rights as well. I suppose this is one of the difficulties the police find themselves in. Their position is to maintain the law and sometimes the law is confused. Until the courts clarify some of these points, the police have to do their best with enforcing it the way they see it, but perhaps that’s not good enough under the circumstances.
This is a new problem to me and we will find out just what instructions, if any, have been given to the police, and take under advisement, if none have been given, what we should give them.
Mr. Samis: Could I just clarify it for the sake of my own constituents, Mr. Chairman? Would the procedure be that you would act upon the directives or the suggestions of the Minister of Natural Resources in this regard, if he were to make a request of your ministry that you were to ask the OPP to enforce the laws of Ontario to protect the rights of Ontario residents, would you act upon such a recommendation?
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: I don’t know just where that recommendation would come from. I think we would want to take the Ministry of Attorney General into account as to advice concerning the Indian land claims rather than the Ministry of Natural Resources. I don’t know, frankly, of any subject that is quite so confusing as the matter of Indian land claims. Depending where you seek your advice, you seem to get different answers. But certainly when it comes to a matter of law, our final answer would be the opinion of the Attorney General’s ministry. We might consult with Natural Resources, but our final opinion would come from the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry).
Mr. Samis: Can I ask one final question, Mr. Chairman? Would the minister be willing to check into the matter as to exactly what orders have been issued this year to the Long Sault detachment of the OPP, regarding regulations and enforcement of those regulations on the St. Lawrence River from the Quebec border up to Gananoque?
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Mr. Chairman, I understand that no specific instructions have been given, but I will be ready to confirm that or otherwise by next Friday.
Mr. Chairman: I would just like to inform the committee that we are down to less than 14 hours for the complete discussion of these estimates. I wonder if the committee would be agreeable if we went back to item by item discussion. Would the committee be agreeable?
All right, we are on item 1 of this vote.
Mr. Breaugh: Yes, Mr. Chairman. I would like to address some remarks to something that deals with policy in terms of policing. It also deals with legislation, which comes under this main office vote. Specifically, I wrote to the Solicitor General -- I believe it was August -- detailing some difficulties we were having with a strike situation that we find rather unique.
We are a heavily organized area of the province and we have had considerable experience in strike situations from the trade union point of view, from the public’s point of view, from the municipality’s point of view; and a little more specifically, and I want to deal with this in some depth, from the police point of view.
We have encountered some difficulties that we are not familiar with, quite frankly. It points out some areas where there is a need for legislation, some areas where there is a need, I think, for some further training of police officers in Ontario, and some clearly defined policy set down by local police commissions.
The instigation -- I suppose you can use that word -- of this particular series of thoughts in my own mind came from a strike that is at a small plant in Ajax called Sandra Instant Coffee. It’s a strike situation that has been under way since the latter part of June, all during the course of the summer months and continuing until this morning. There has continued to be some great difficulty in the role played by the Durham regional police. We have discussed this with the chief and with the police commission and with several people involved directly in the strike situation.
It comes down to that irony that you can form a legal bargaining unit; you can run off and try to get yourself a first contract, which is sometimes a very elusive thing; you can have a legal picket line in front of a plant. The problem is, of course, what role does the police force play in that situation? The police are bound by other legislation to provide the company with access to the plant. It points out some rather serious things.
For example, I want to quote to you a headline from the Oshawa Times, not noted to be a newspaper that’s particularly in favour of organized labour at all. This one comes from Tuesday, October 4. The headline is, “Police Corps Thwarts Pickets.” Clearly one of our initial problems is that the police force in the Durham region, attempting to enforce existing legislation, is seen in the public eye to be taking sides.
I talked at some length with the chief and with several of his officers, and that is not their intention at all. Their intention is to maintain order on the picket line; but, of course, there is a basic conflict for anyone in a strike situation. Setting aside the merits of anybody’s case in that particular labour dispute, I would like to try to focus on the role of the police force in that strike situation.
First of all, the picket line itself: Its legal definition is rather dicey. You can have a legal picket line, the purpose of which is to perform some kind of economic sanction against a company in the midst of a labour dispute, but, oddly enough, the police are bound by law to break the picket line. They are bound by law to provide access to the company at virtually all reasonable hours and under most circumstances.
Frankly though, it comes down to a rather ridiculous situation in modern-day society where the police chief, or whoever is in charge of the police operation, takes a look at the picket line, and if he has sufficient manpower to provide access to the company he then proceeds to do just that. On the other hand, if he takes a look at that picket line and it is his judgement that he cannot provide access, he doesn’t.
So you get the kind of irony, in Ontario in 1977, when we think we’re all very civilized and all that, where a police chief is looking at a picket line, which in this case was somewhere between 30 and 59 employees, mostly young and mostly female, and he is also looking at his police force, and he is saying, “Sure I can cross that picket line.” He is, therefore, bound to provide access for the company -- in this case to escort a bus taking people, who are in the colloquial deemed to be scabs and strikebreakers, across a legal picket line and thus ruining the value of the picket line itself.
On the other hand, I can’t recall in recent memory any time when, for example in the case of the United Automobile Workers at Oshawa with a membership of 22,000, most of whom are not female and most of whom tend to be rather on the young and healthy side, the police even attempted to provide access to General Motors in that kind of a strike situation. It’s simply a matter of somebody looking at a picket line and deciding, “Can my police officers provide access to the company by going through that picket line?” If they aren’t very large in numbers and if they aren’t very strong-looking people, he says “yes”; if he is looking at 22,000 auto workers parading up and down Park Road, he says “no”. That strikes me as a particularly ridiculous situation to put anyone into, let alone a police officer or worse yet a police chief in this day and age.
I want to point out some other things that have happened, rather strangely connected to this labour dispute, all of which centre on the actions of the Durham regional police force. I want to make it very clear I am not criticizing, particularly, the work of those individuals; nor am I criticizing the very fine chief of police that we have, because I find him a most reasonable person; nor even the work that is done by the regional police commission, most of whom I know and several of whom I have talked with.
I am focusing on the legislation and the training of police officers, which are very much a part of your responsibility. I find that people on the picket line are charged with some misdemeanour, usually mischief or something of that nature. It usually turns out to be that somebody threw an egg at a truck. That’s all well and good, but they are charged with mischief and taken to a police station. The justice of the peace in that particular jurisdiction has been releasing them on condition they don’t go near the picket line and that they stay away from the strike-bound plant.
That seems to me to be a pretty tough price for somebody to pay. In fact, they are losing their legal rights to picket because they threw an egg at a truck. That is not an exaggeration; that has happened in about 15 or 20 cases. If your trade union local is small for starters and it dwindles as the strike goes on, which is a normal situation in a first contract, then you are looking at maybe 30 people left to form a picket line, of which 15 of them are facing a court order that says they cannot do so. That seems to me to be inequity.
Again, the police officer is charging somebody clearly with mischief, because he has seen it, for throwing an egg at a truck; which strikes me as being nonsensical in the first instance. The ramifications are not. They are put into a police cruiser, which is a threatening thing in itself; they are taken off to a station and given a release. They don’t get out of jail unless they sign a release form which says that they cannot go back to that picket line. Surely that’s a pretty substantial price to pay in legal terms for perhaps a rather thoughtless act but not a particularly dangerous one.
I find, too, that there are several complaints that police officers in that situation are identifying people before they’re charging them. By that I mean very simply that they’re going up to somebody and saying, “You’re going to get it today,” and subsequently they do get charged. A consequence of all that is that they lose another picket off the line. That’s a difficult thing to substantiate, but I have heard enough evidence from people on the picket lines, some of whom are involved in picketing and some of whom are not, to indicate to me at least that there’s a good deal of truth in that approach. Without using the old hackneyed term “harassment,” I don’t think that’s a technique that a police officer should be using.
In areas where we’ve been able to substantiate a particular officer who was having some difficulty with the picketers, I must say that the chief has been good enough to reassign that individual. But it does point out that there are officers on the job in a strike situation who are not discharging their duties in the most neutral way possible, to put it politely -- and one might even say there are officers who are taking sides.
I suppose that with a small group of people picketing and, most of the time anyway, a small group of officers just in general surveillance, it’s natural that there will be some human byplay back and forth, that there will be some hard feelings, that there will be some bent egos in the process. But it points out a very difficult part of a police officer’s training when he is expected to respond in a strike situation, which is certainly far different from most of the things that an officer would be expected to do.
While I spent some time on that picket line, I found some other things happening. What brought this home to me is that I’ve always been a great supporter of that particular police force and I’m a great admirer of the chief of that force. So I’m not dealing with somebody that I think is an enemy at all. In fact, I think of all of those men and women who work on that force as my friends, because I happen to know a large number of them. It’s not some vague, mysterious police officer that I don’t know. These are human beings that I live and work with and do know.
I looked at surveillance techniques -- and “surveillance” has always struck me as being kind of a very difficult word for me to accept, for one thing, although it seems relatively harmless. However, it has occurred to me as I watch these police officers doing their jobs, filming the picket line and taking still pictures at random, what do they do with all of that information? Where do all those pictures go? In most instances there are no charges laid -- absolutely none -- so what is the argument for saying that that the officer ought to be doing that?
I had a little discussion with the chief about this, and he said, “Well, they need to use surveillance techniques” -- that’s true -- “and they need to use all the modern gadgets that are available to police forces these days.” I don’t really argue with that when they’re chasing criminals or what not. But in a labour situation what is the purpose of taking pictures of people on the picket line? No one is suggesting that they’re all going to be charged. No one is suggesting that they’re doing anything illegal. Why, therefore, do we have police officers doing this kind of work? It strikes me as being particularly inappropriate in that particular thing.
The basic conflict there is the duty of the police officers to provide access to the plant. When that access is going through a line of probably less than 30 people, and a number of them tend to be on the young side and a number of them tend to be female, there’s not a very threatening situation for any police officer to face. Most of them think they can get through that line without any real problem.
There has been a reasonable co-operation. It seems to break down on the line itself. There is some problem in that instance, and in others that I know of, with the role that security guards play. I understand the Solicitor General is prepared to bring in some legislation in Ontario which says that a security guard can’t carry a shotgun and shoot people. That’s all well and good, except I don’t see that as being an immediate problem in Ontario. I have yet to see a security guard carrying a shotgun -- most of the ones that I’ve seen aren’t big enough to carry one anyway -- but I don’t think they would know what to do with it. I would hope that there wouldn’t be much in Ontario along the lines of what we have seen in the province of Quebec.
I appreciate the effort, and I certainly agree that we don’t want armed security guards who are not police officers on the job. But I do say that a number of instances I have seen on that line and in other labour situations point out a need to review substantially what a security guard is.
I see a number of very aggressive young people employed by security firms who are doing some rather strange things. They are participating with the pickets. They are going well beyond guarding the company property and seeing that it is secure. They are going well beyond that into having little discussions with people on the picket line. A little baiting goes on back and forth. A good deal of hard feeling ensues.
We had a rather unique rally in that particular plant some two weeks ago when one of the security guards saw fit to attend the rally. The feeling is rather high among those people who were strikers and supporters that that was an inappropriate thing for that young gentleman to do. He ran down and jumped on to a police cruiser. The officer in charge did not recognize who he was and couldn’t figure out what all the commotion was about.
I think it points up that in addition to some kind of legislation dealing with whether or not they can be armed, you might give some thought to somewhat more stringent regulations about what a security officer can or cannot do and in particular what his role is when the company is in a strike situation. Because a security guard is not there to keep the peace; he is there to keep the property secure, which in large measure means that he has no sensible reason ever to go near the picket line, given that a legal picket line at least does not go anywhere near his company’s property.
I think if you are going to review the legislation under which these security guards function, one thing you ought to do is clarify that in a strike situation they really don’t have any call to be anywhere near the picket line. They certainly do have an obligation to, and they are hired to, keep the property secure. But I think we have to be rather definitive on exactly what they are to do.
The end result in this situation is that a police force that I support wholeheartedly; that I think has done a fine job, that I am aware has good supervision; that works very hard at having officers well educated and well trained; that, if there is an occasional breakdown or problem with its officers, tends to deal with them expeditiously -- that kind of a police force which works very hard at its public image has now got a very bad image. I think in large measure it is not its fault at all; it is the fault of this government and the kind of legislation that they have.
A week ago I introduced some legislation; a private member’s bill -- founded basically on some legislation that is at work in Quebec and a couple of other jurisdictions, toughened up a little bit -- which simply says that a police officer in a strike situation is there to keep the peace. That is his job, nothing more.
In fact he does not have to provide access to the company property, except under conditions that most of us would readily agree to -- that management can go in, that non-union personnel can go in, that you can go in for emergency purposes; a number of extremely valid things. But he does not escort, nor does he have any legal obligation to escort scabs and strike breakers across the legal picket line -- in fact, I simply put in one clause which indicates that a police officer is there and when that happens he would be empowered under the law to charge them with petty trespass.
I think you are going to have to look at that kind of legislation. Whether you choose to support that particular private member’s bill or design one of your own, you are going to have to look at that situation, because as economic conditions get worse in the province of Ontario you are going to find more and more situations like that.
If you open your eyes and look around one of these days, you will see a large number of small companies being organized for the first time, having great difficulty getting a first contract. Long and bitter labour disputes are going to be the order of the day there, because there are severe problems, and police forces, if they are still required to provide access under the laws of the province of Ontario, are going to find themselves right in the middle of a labour dispute where they don’t want to be and frankly where they have no business being.
I think you are going to have to look very seriously at that imbalance. For one thing, at a time when you among others, and the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) in particular, are preaching a good deal of restraint for municipal and provincial police forces, saying that you can’t spend any more money, how sensible is it to have, as they had on this particular morning, “seven cruisers, three paddy wagons and four unmarked cars at the scene”? And the number of police officers, some brought in at time and a half and double time to escort the bus through, was something like 40.
So you have 40 police officers, a large number of cruisers -- seven of them -- three paddy wagons and four unmarked cars at one particular labour strike where the picket line numbers 30 people. That is ridiculous. It is not only ridiculous, it is awfully expensive. That has happened repeatedly at that particular labour situation.
For somebody who is preaching restraint and for somebody who is very concerned about the cost of municipal police operations and policing in general in the province of Ontario, if you want to save a lot of money, there is a simple piece of legislation which would do a number of things. It would get the police officers out of an extremely awkward situation that they don’t even want to be into; secondly, it would save you a good deal of money.
There are a couple of other points I want to bring out in wrapping up this particular discussion. I sense that in this particular situation, under these laws, with police officers doing things they don’t want to do. everybody is unhappy. I can tell you for sure those people who are on that legal picket line are very unhappy. They are seeing their own tax money being paid to assist the company. That’s precisely the way they see it. That might not be totally true, but that certainly is the public perception of it.
I see a police force operating in a strongly organized trade union community where the bulk of the community belongs to some local; and they don’t like it either, the public at large is pretty upset about that. I have talked to the police officers who worked the picket line. Let me tell you they are most unhappy to be put in that situation, because when they leave that line and go back into their own community, they are dealing in large measure with organized labour.
In fact, as a little side note, their police association has used a lot of information, a lot of technique and a lot of bargaining procedures it has picked up from organized locals in the area. They have a good relationship. They are an unhappy group of people just now, enforcing a law they don’t believe in, frankly.
If you look at the company, it’s unhappy because it would like to see more officers there every day. Of course the company is not paying for it. If you wanted to take a half-measure, you might try billing the company for the police services provided.
The last group that most people probably wouldn’t think about, but I did, is that little group of people inside the bus. I wonder if anybody is doing anything for them. Here they are in tough economic times attempting to survive; some of them -- curses to Canada Manpower -- being sent to that strike situation by Canada Manpower under the ridiculous set of rules and regulations by which that particular organization functions.
They are being sent to a strike-bound plant. They are being threatened by their fellow workers, in some instances. They are being escorted by the police force. They are being crammed into a little bus, which currently is varying their hours. Sometimes they go to work at 6 o’clock in the morning; sometimes they go to work at 10 o’clock. Sometimes they come out at 3 o’clock; sometimes they come out at 5 o’clock. They always come out under a situation of considerable emotional stress and strain. They are not exactly being paid large amounts of money, but oddly enough, in that situation people breaking the strike are being paid more than the local was asking for in its set of negotiations.
It strikes me you have a situation where absolutely no one is satisfied with the status quo; not the officers, not the picketers, not the strikers, not the community, not even the people working inside -- and I am told, though I don’t really have this on first-hand knowledge, not even the company is happy with the given situation.
Wouldn’t it be better if we said, “Yes, you have a right to organize”? We do that in Ontario. We make it very difficult for people to organize into a bargaining unit, but we at least acknowledge they have a legal right to do that. We also acknowledge that in most situations they have a legal right to strike.
Wouldn’t it also be a sensible thing to do to say that that picket line has a legal definition, which ensures the police officers functioning in carrying out their duty will not be seen to be taking sides? Set aside whether they actually are or not but they won’t be seen to be, because that is the concern in that particular community. Wouldn’t it give to all concerned a sense of fairness that they are operating under a clearly set out set of rules and that everyone understands the circumstances? I think they do now, but they can function without animosity back and forth.
Let me put it as bluntly as I can. You have taken a police force that had immense respect in its community and tossed them into a situation that is intolerable for all concerned. It is going to be a long time before people in that area, in that community, have regained the kind of respect they had for their own police force some months ago.
Maybe I am a little more concerned than some other people might be. But in my community, where there is a strong trade union influence throughout the community in everything we do, the right to organize is a clearly recognized right. It galls us no end that our tax money and our laws in the province of Ontario are doing things which threaten the livelihood of those people, who had a legal right to organize into a bargaining unit in the first instance. It galls us even more when our own police officers, who are our friends and who have worked long and hard for us, are doing things they don’t want to do because the law requires they do it.
I suggest, Mr. Minister, whether you choose to adapt, rearrange -- whatever, the private bill that I put before this House that it’s high time that you look very closely at that kind of legislation for the province of Ontario. It is my guess that you are going to see more and more of that same situation. We have seen it before in Ontario and it has not been healthy for anybody involved.
I suggest that we need substantial changes in that legislation and that we need substantial changes in the training of police officers who are expected to function in a strike situation. I sense there is a great deal of urgency about it. There certainly is in that one Ajax situation, and I would put the case to you that in tough economic times, you’re going to see more and more of that across Ontario. It’s going to be a matter that deserves your utmost priority.
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Mr Chairman, the hon. member for Oshawa has opened up a wide field for discussion and I’m sure we could all get into it and carry it on for some length of time. Let me, however, read in part from my letter to the hon. member, dated August 30, 1977, in reply to his letter raising some of the questions he has discussed tonight.
I’m quoting: “The role of the police in strike situations is a very difficult one indeed. Police attend at the scene of a strike only if there are reasonable grounds to believe there will be breaches of the law. Police in such situations are there to protect property as well as the rights of citizens, including demonstrators, management and customers.
“One of the most difficult areas police officers find themselves concerned with is the right of those who are not on strike to enter company premises unimpeded. Wherever possible, persons desiring to enter their place of employment are safely permitted to do so. No person can compel another to abstain from doing anything that he has a lawful right to do, or to do anything that he has a lawful right to abstain from doing.”
Then just carrying on a little further: “I cannot emphasize too much that the police are under a statutory duty to protect persons and property, prevent breaches of the peace and to ensure that the owner and his invitees are not lawfully denied access to the premises.”
As the hon. member knows, the subject he entered into tonight is really a matter of labour law. Police don’t make these laws; it is their duty to enforce the law. I too have spoken to Chief John Jenkins in regard to the matter. He may not be happy with having to do this, but he didn’t express that to me; he certainly didn’t express any difficulty or any lack of understanding what his responsibility was, when he runs into this unhappy situation of a strike.
It would be very easy to take the majority position, and certainly in the strike position the majority of people, certainly those on the scene, would like the picket line protected. That, of course, is the very time when police are in difficulties, when they have to protect the rights of minorities. I think that is a position that my hon. friend is overlooking: that under the present law, minorities have the right to enter that plant and management has the right of access to it.
You speak about the police being bound by law to break the picket line. It’s not a case of breaking the picket line. The picket has no right to try and keep people out who have a lawful right to get in there, and whom the management want to have into that plant. So that is all the police are doing. They are not setting out to break a picket line; they’re trying to protect the rights -- even though they may be minority rights -- of the people who want to enter that plant.
As to whether a plant should be closed or not is an entirely different matter. You mentioned General Motors. My understanding of General Motors and plants of that size is that they just don’t try to operate. They’ve learned long ago that they can expect a few strikes in their lifetime. They are financially geared for them, and as long as the strikes don’t last too long it’s part of doing business these days. The large plants like General Motors, or Ford or Stelco, they just don’t try to operate during a strike situation.
It’s the little plant that tries to operate. It’s a financial war, as you know. There’s no question about it. A strike situation is economic warfare. You say: “Honour that picket line and don’t let anybody through it. Don’t charge the police with the responsibility to let people through it.” Whose side are the police on in that case? You’re asking them to take the side of the picketers at a time when the picketers have no right to restrain people who have a lawful right to get in there from entering that plant. So you were the one who was asking the police to be partial; that is, to take sides.
When we come to this matter of economic warfare, you’re saying to cut the plant off from operating but continue to let those on the picket line take whatever economic means they want, whether it’s taking some other job or doing work at other times. You’re not ready, as I understand it, to say that the picketers will not take up other employment, but you’re ready to say to the business that they must cease operations. I ask you, just how fair is that? However, when I talk that way I know that I’m getting into the field of labour law and that type of question had best be discussed with the Minister of Labour (B. Stephenson) or when your bill comes forward.
As I say, when there is a strike, the majority of people out there are against the company; and when the police are called upon to protect the rights of the company, the owners of the company or those who want to gain access, it is not an easy situation -- and no one claims that the lot of the policeman is easy. But until the law is changed, the police are duty-bound to try to support anybody who wants access to that plant lawfully. I think it is unreasonable for you to suggest that in carrying out that duty they are acting partially in some way under the present law.
Mr. Breaugh: I would like to respond briefly to some of the things you have said.
I have here a picture, which will not go into Hansard, but it shows our own police officers escorting a bus through a picket line. I have been there when it has happened. You say they don’t break the picket line. I’m telling you that the very purpose of having all those police officers there every morning is to break that picket line. That’s precisely what you see them doing. They’re providing an escort service for a company to physically break a legal picket line.
I might add that, when you’re dealing with workers who are particularly young and female, the threat of police officers who are particularly large and male can be a very threatening experience. That is exactly what is happening. It would be fine if we could stay inside this House and not deal with the real world. The real world is that some time tomorrow morning there will be some police officers from the Durham regional force leaning on some very young female workers.
It’s an unpleasant task for the officer to do, that’s true, but take a look at somebody who is on the receiving end of that. It becomes a little more than an unpleasant task. Those officers are well trained; they are physical. Those officers are a threatening sight for someone who weighs 90 pounds. And, unfortunately, they use that particular phenomenon all too well.
You said the companies don’t try to operate. I’m here to tell you that there were occasions in Oshawa when members of local 222 were dealing with a company that was trying to operate and where a police force attempted to cross the picket line and escort scabs and strikebreakers through the line. It doesn’t happen any more, because the last time I recall that, I think, was a strike in the late 1960s at a factory called Duplate -- also a UAW plant -- where something like 200 police officers attempted to drive what is known in the trade as a flying wedge through about 800 auto workers. The wedge went in part way, but did not go all the way through that picket line. Since that occasion, I don’t remember one other instance when the police attempted to escort anybody through a legal picket line in that community. It just does not happen.
You’re saying that perhaps I would put a measure of unfairness against the company. I’m quite prepared to admit my bias about that, but I am making the point specifically, as I did in the bill, that I want police officers -- whether you’re calling it labour legislation or something else, it is the police officer on the street who has to do his duty -- and I am saying I want that police officer, in the eyes of the law and in every respect of the law, strictly neutral so that he does not have to provide access, except under those circumstances where we all agree it is a reasonable thing for him to do.
I think that’s a very serious problem and I want to re-emphasize that it is not an academic argument. I know that tomorrow morning the same thing will happen again that happened this morning. I had people in my office before I left for Queen’s Park today, who again gave me a rather substantial tirade against our police officers.
I attempted to point out that it was not the officers’ fault, that they were simply enforcing the law as they had to. But it did not sit very well with those people to see police officers providing an escort through a picket line. I think you are going to have to address yourself to it in a way somewhat more substantial than you have up until this particular moment.
Mr. Lawlor: It is pure delusion to think you are impartial. You have to choose one way or the other on the issue.
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: I can only reiterate what I have said. My friend seems to say he wants them strictly neutral. In favour of the picketers is the way I interpret that. They are neutral as far as the enforcement of the law is concerned.
Mr. Lawlor: You want them in favour of the company.
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: If the picketers are permitting, as the law provides they do, access to that plant by those people who want to get in and out of that plant, then there will be no need for the police to be there. But when the picketers start interfering with the rights of people to enter that plant, that is when the police are called and that is when the confrontations take place. Maybe you should speak to some of your union people who are the ones that established that confrontation, who say, “We are going to keep out those who have a legal right to enter there.” If you want the law changed, you can bring your bill up.
Mr. Lawlor: That is a regular 19th century, archaic interpretation of property rights.
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: That may or may not be, but the police are there to enforce the laws that exist.
Mr. Lawlor: It is a benighted law.
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Don’t criticize the police for that.
Mr. Breaugh: We are criticizing you.
Mr. Lawlor: We are criticizing you.
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: What are you criticizing me for; because of the law that exists in that regard? Is that it?
Mr. Breaugh: Yes.
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: All right then, criticize me all you want for the state of the labour law of this province, but don’t reflect on the police who are doing their best to remain impartial and enforce the laws that exist. You can put the blame on my shoulders if you want.
Mr. Lawlor: Oh, come off it now.
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: The hon. member for Lakeshore is sufficiently knowledgeable of the law --
Hon. W. Newman: I doubt it.
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: -- to know that for those who have a right to get into that plant that right exists whether the plant is picketed or not.
Mr. Haggerty: I want to ask the minster a few questions. On a number of occasions I have asked the minister in the past about the proposed agreement between the federal government and the province of Ontario on sharing of the police cost. How far has that advanced now for final agreement with the federal government to share the cost? I understand a study was supposed to be continuing for the last three or four years.
The other point I would like to ask the minister about is the matter concerning the amendment to the Municipal Act that will provide some type of control over the matter of questionable entertainment along certain streets; for example Yonge Street, and perhaps in other communities in the province of Ontario. Does he feel that the amendment to the Municipal Act will bring some control over this type of entertainment?
The reason I ask the question is that I think it should be a mandatory law across the province of Ontario. I suggest that perhaps it should come under some sections of the Criminal Code or some provincial legislation without trying to get the municipality involved in cleaning up such a nuisance in any municipality.
I know it wasn’t too long ago there was public interest here, particularly related to Yonge Street. The law enforcement officers gradually got off their good intentions and started to crack the whip and clean up the mess along Yonge Street. I am afraid if it comes under a municipal bylaw, that means that they will have to go out and hire a bylaw officer to enforce it. There are not too many municipal bylaws today that are being enforced by local law enforcement officers.
The third point I want to raise with the minister is the matter concerning the removal of judges from the police commission. I am sure that the minister is well aware of the backlog of court cases waiting to be heard today and I think this is one area where you can put a judge back on the bench to do a job that he was appointed to in the first place.
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: In regard to the first question that the hon. member for Erie asked, on sharing costs: I assume that you mean by that the request that Ontario and Quebec have made -- and have repeated a number of times -- to the federal government to recompense us for the similar duties that the RCMP do in the other provinces.
We are getting nowhere with that request. I made it again to them at a meeting of the Solicitors General and the Attorneys General at the end of June. They listened to it very politely but there was certainly no suggestion that they would react favourably to it. Their reply to it is that they are collecting from the other provinces for the duties that the other provinces might be doing if they were in the same position as Ontario and Quebec.
We disagree with them on that. They are upping their charges, or they propose to increase their charges, to the other provinces for that type of police administration.
Quebec was the most vocal in making this demand at our last meeting in June. I supported Quebec at that time in the position they were taking, but I would not want to indicate to this House that I thought that we were going to recover that amount or any part of it.
I wasn’t sure of your second question, unless it had to do with bylaw enforcement officers and the fact that the OPP are hesitant to act as bylaw enforcement officers. Where we have a contract with a municipality to do their municipal policing for them, then they will act as bylaw enforcement officers. If they are just doing general policing of that municipality as they do in wide areas of the province, then they will not undertake to enforce the municipal bylaws, feeling that that municipality can do that for themselves by employing their own officer. I think that would be the least expensive way for that municipality to handle it.
Of course, if the OPP undertook to do it for the municipalities where they are not being paid to police, then it would increase the need for high-priced personnel -- and generally bylaw enforcement is not that difficult and does not require the expertise of a police officer.
I’m not sure that was your question, but if it is not, you can enlarge upon it.
Judges on police commissions: The bill that I expect to be introducing shortly for the three-man commissions across the province proposes that the appointment of a judge be optional; in other words, if the judge is happy -- and many of them are -- to carry on as one of the persons on that commission the Lieutenant Governor in Council may appoint that judge. On the other hand, if it is a municipality where the judge does not want to assume that responsibility without extra remuneration then the Lieutenant Governor in Council may appoint somebody else in lieu of the judge.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Without trying to limit the debate, we seem to be doing a lot of questioning and discussion on matters other than vote 1601. It seemed to have been agreed a few minutes ago when the Deputy Speaker was in the chair that we would try to confine our remarks to 1601 until we clear that vote. We haven’t been ruling people out of order who may be on other items and that will continue, but I would ask those who can have their remarks attached to a vote later on in these estimates to hold them until we get to that vote, rather than continue raising these matters on vote 1601, if you so desire.
Does the hon. member for Erie have any further questions?
Mr. Haggerty: Yes, Mr. Chairman. The point I wanted to clarify is that I am concerned about this Municipal Act that would provide some control over exotic dancers, perhaps -- questionable entertainment in municipalities. I feel that saddling the municipality with the responsibility for policing just adds a further cost which I believe should be borne by the police association or the police department or the regional police department, whatever it may be -- regional police commission.
The other matter, dealing with the agreement with the federal and the provincial governments; the reason I raise this matter with the minister is that in the Niagara region, for example, the cost of policing in that municipality is perhaps one of the highest items that there is to raise taxes at a local level. I suggest that I think it’s time that we should be changing this. Local taxation shouldn’t be provided to pay for the cost of policing federal legislation as it relates to the Criminal Code. That’s the point I wanted to make to the minister.
The other matter is: The regional municipality of Niagara in 1978 will continue policing all municipalities. I believe there will be a loss of some 40 OPP officers in the community and to replace them I think some reporter has suggested that it would take 60 local police officers. The question is, where are those 40 OPP’s going? Are we establishing another kingdom here someplace along the line, that we’re going to have more civil servants along the line, an overlapping of men throughout the province of Ontario? Where are these men going to be located?
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Mr. Chairman, the hon. member raises three or four new points. I’m not an expert on exotic dancers, but I have seen a few from time to time --
Mr. Lawlor: Have you ever seen yourself dance?
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Yes, I’m dancing right now, I don’t think very exotically.
Mr. Samis: Not aesthetically pleasing either.
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: But I do believe that they are --
Mr. Eakins: Honest John MacBeth.
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: -- probably not breaking any laws at the present time, as they are interpreted, if they stick to dancing. If they get into other fields, then I think the ones that my friend is concerned about may be breaches of the Criminal Code. If they are breaches of the Criminal Code, then of course it is more than we want the bylaw enforcement officers to be looking after. That is a matter for the police.
So if it’s strictly a job of --
Mr. Haggerty: Surveillance.
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: -- supervising these so- called body rub places, then I think that is a matter for the --
Mr. Eakins: No, it’s harassment.
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: -- local bylaw enforcement officers. I doubt if there are very many communities that don’t have their own police forces or who pay the province to do their policing for them, that would have that kind of bylaw permitting these body rub shops -- or outlawing them, either one -- without a licence. But if there are, I’m unaware of them -- and that’s a poor way of putting it. All I am saying is that if it gets into the kind of offence that I think you’re concerned with, then it is a police matter and the OPP are concerned with any breaches of the Criminal Code.
Getting onto federal legislation, and having the RCMP pay for it completely, that’s certainly a concept of law that we haven’t bought over the years under our provincial rights under the BNA Act. The administration of justice has been the responsibility of the provinces. I know we don’t want to pass that responsibility on to the federal authorities. The enforcement of the Criminal Code has always been regarded as a provincial matter.
As I was speaking this afternoon, I said I think there are some fields where I would like to see the RCMP retreat a little and some where I would like to see them advance. Theoretically, I think the enforcement of all laws, whether federal, provincial or municipal, are a matter of the province’s jurisdiction. But traditionally, the RCMP have taken over the administration of certain laws, for example, the Narcotics Act; and they have taken over in the excise and the income tax fields. They are concerned very much with certain kinds of white-collar crime and are taking a more active part there.
As I mentioned this afternoon, they seem to be vacating some of the fields that they used to occupy, such as those under the Navigable Waters Protection Act and the Canada Shipping Act. There is a great deal of confusion about it, but I am not about to suggest that the province should abdicate or hand over to the federal government its long-accepted duty of administering justice, including that of the Criminal Code, even though it is a federal statute.
You asked about some 40 people who, you gave me to believe, would be leaving the OPP in the Niagara Regional Police takeover. I am not sure of that figure. I don’t know whether you got it from me or from the ministry. But presuming it is right, I imagine some of them will be retiring and some of them may be going to the regional force. But many of the complement will be moving into other detachments across the province which are short or understaffed at the present time, and some of the complement will be used for detachments in northern Ontario where we are short. If you want a specific breakdown of where those people are going, I have seen it and I can get a copy of it to you; that is, officer’s name and what is happening to him. But even though the officer may be retiring, the complement will be used elsewhere in the force.
Mr. Davidson: Mr. Chairman, perhaps I should ask you for a ruling. You were mentioning earlier about staying on the vote. Would I be in order to proceed a little further with what the member for Oshawa had to say? Was he in order on his speech?
Mr. Lawlor: Never ask that question.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: I would point out to the hon. member that we have used up seven hours of our time. If you wish to pursue the matter, I will allow you to. If you could hold the item until we get to the proper vote and item in the estimates, it would be preferable.
Mr. Davidson: I will be very brief, Mr. Chairman.
I think perhaps the minister has missed the point that the member for Oshawa was trying to make. I don’t think that he or the minister is in disagreement with the existing law relating to the right of access. What I think he was trying to ask the minister was, do the police forces in this province have the right to act as an escort committee for people who are trying to gain entrance to a plant?
I can give you specific examples, because I worked in the labour movement for 10½ years prior to being elected to this House. I can cite occasions where people who were trying to gain access to the plant met a mile outside of town, and the company phoned the local police department, which lined cars up both in front and in back of the people who were going in and drove with them through that one mile to get into the plant. I think this is what the member for Oshawa was trying to say.
Mr. Samis: Tell them where it was.
Mr. Davidson: Yes, if you’d like to know where it was, it was in Alexandria. It was the Square C Textiles plant, and the dispute was between that company and the Textile Workers’ Union of America. I was in charge of the strike up there at that time and we bitterly disputed with the chief of police what they were doing -- not that we wouldn’t have allowed them through had they come in on their own, because there was no dispute and no picket line friction there. In fact, what had happened was that the company, not wanting that friction to develop, had asked the police if they would mind setting up this kind of an escort system. What I think the member for Oshawa would like to know, and what I would like to know, is, are the taxpayers of the province of Ontario paying money to the police commissions and the police boards of this province for that kind of an escort service? And if so, why are they?
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: I would return to my previous answer: Police attend at the scene of a strike only if there are reasonable grounds to believe there will be breaches of the law. I assume that they would not have organized such a band to cross a picket line if they hadn’t experienced some refusal of access or learned that there was some scheme afoot to refuse access. I don’t think they should do that until they have some reasonable ground to suspect that access will be refused. I don’t know whether in your case they had reasonable ground to expect that.
Mr. Davidson: What you are saying, in effect then, I suspect is that they can act on speculation only and not on fact?
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: I said reasonable ground.
Mr. Kerrio: I just have one question I would pose to the Solicitor General; it concerns the long-term plan for the OPP office at Niagara Falls, which is just about the end of the jurisdiction for the OPP in Ontario. I had heard some discussion about closing that facility. I am wondering about the facility, which seems to be quite a commitment as far as fiscal plant is concerned. I wondered if the Solicitor General could bring us up to date on the future of the officers that are working out of that area and of the plant itself.
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: That again is a rather specific question. I don’t have the answer here with me now. This is a problem in dealing with things a general way. When we come to the OPP vote, there will be officers here who should be able to give me that information. I have made a note of it now and hope to reply to it at that time. There are, as you know, a good number of provincial highways in the Niagara region where it will be necessary to continue patrols, and whether they plan to do that out of the Niagara office or some other office I am not sure.
Mr. Lupusella: I followed with great interest the comment which was carried out by my colleagues in relation to strike-breakers. I don’t want to prolong the discussion. One thing which I would like to bring to the attention of the Solicitor General is that a comprehensive and reasonable bill can be introduced in the Legislature, given the fact that our Solicitor General is also a former Minister of Labour as well.
A point which I want to raise is something which I am completely concerned about. I didn’t touch on this particular problem in my opening statement because I wanted to deal with this particular topic completely away from my opening statement. There was no reference to the native police in my opening statement because I wanted to deal with the topic alone, because different issues are involved and because this is a major topic in itself.
In his opening statement, the Solicitor General did not address himself to the police problems affecting native people. The only comment which he made was a very simplistic one. I am surprised that the Solicitor General in a situation as important as the renewal of the federal-provincial policing agreement, which will expire in five months, on March 31, 1978, made only one comment. I quote from page 14 of his official opening statement: “The Indian policing services of the Ontario Provincial Police continue to expand and to be improved.”
The first question I would like to ask is how can the expansion of those programs be accomplished while in the fiscal year 1977-78 the budgets for native police services is to be reduced by $155,000. If I am wrong in the figure, I invite the Solicitor General to correct me. That is a 20 per cent cut from 1976-77. As the minister must know, and I am sure he does, at the moment we have about 70 native constables. At the end of this year, the target of the Solicitor General’s office is 100; but there will be, in fact, only about 80. The existing agreement provides for benefits to bring constables to the equivalent of that given to the OPP officers; for example, benefits relating to the Ontario Health Insurance Plan, vacation credits and attendance credits. However, it makes no provision for a pension plan or overtime pay. I hope that the minister will insist that a new agreement will include such provisions.
I question the fact that under existing policy the OPP sets aside approximately 6.5 per cent of the salary budget for overtime pay, but at this time they are instead given time off in exchange for overtime work. That’s the present rule. I don’t think you want to continue to follow this routine or that the band constables want it. It is a serious problem.
Rather than cutting the budget by 20 per cent, it’s time that the Solicitor General set aside a certain amount of money for overtime pay, or else he should negotiate with the federal government to include such provisos, and make provision for a pension plan when the present agreement is renewed. I’m really shocked at the fact that this agreement is going to expire on March 31, and the Solicitor General didn’t address himself to this particular problem, because it is really important for the native people and for the agreement itself.
I’m also requesting that a summary of the native people’s policing situation be released by the Solicitor General, in order that each member of the House may have an overall view of the needs of the native people in this regard. I don’t see the reason why we should have secrecy about the overall situation. I don’t see the reason why the Solicitor General shouldn’t speak about it. It’s a particular problem which is affecting the constables who are supposed to look after native people, especially in northern Ontario.
I’m wondering, also, at what stage are the discussions the Solicitor General has undertaken to renew this agreement, and whether or not the minister will try to have included the revisions suggested by the Indian chiefs who are affected by Treaty No. 3. With all respect, I need an answer and I hope the Solicitor General will pay attention to my statement.
This particular problem is also related to what I said in my opening statement. The Solicitor General should take a more active role on releasing that information and those policies which have taken place in his office, in order that we can follow his undertakings. I never heard about his Treaty No. 3. I had an opportunity to talk with some chiefs representing native people, and that’s how I became aware of the situation.
As I stated previously, it is a very important step which the Solicitor General is going to undertake pretty soon -- in five months, at the end of March 1978. I really don’t see the reason the Solicitor General didn’t make any particular comment in his official opening statement on October 17 when we started the estimates. I would say, as other members have expressed in the past, that the hiring of band constables initiated by the province of Ontario has been very acceptable because of the close relationship between the constables and the native people. I am sure they will continue to gain the trust and the respect of the native community.
The principle has been already established, but there is room for improvement in morale among the band constables and the OPP. I fear that if the Solicitor General will not consider the band constables’ request for the same salary scale, fringe benefits and authority as the regular OPP, then the native police may feel that they are being treated as second-class citizens. In the final analysis, this feeling will reflect on their level of performance, which in turn will affect their communities.
Contrary to the Solicitor General’s official presentation, and I quote, “They carry out all law enforcement duties on their reserves,” in fact, band constables are prevented from exercising certain of the powers of regular OPP officers. I would like to have an explanation from the Solicitor General why, when those constables are receiving the same training as the OPP, they don’t have the same right to enforce the law. I would like to have a clear explanation of why they do not exercise their power just by becoming constables.
For example, the OPP wish to exercise all enforcement under the Highway Traffic Act on reserve property. The band constables, however, are more attuned to the concerns of their communities about enforcing safety standards and speed limits on their reserves. It has come to my attention that in particular cases the OPP has issued statements to band constables that they should cease to enforce the Highway Traffic Act and that the OPP regular officers should take over this work.
I really don’t see the difference. If they represent their people and if there is a highway passing through their property, I don’t see the reason why constables representing native people should not enforce the law on their property. The statement which was made by the OPP is unjustified and, as I stated before, I think that the constables should have the same right in relation to enforcement of the law as the regular OPP officers because they are receiving the same training.
On asking some chiefs the reason for this, they expressed to me their opinion that the OPP has taken this position because they are afraid that the band constables would be more effective and thus demonstrate the OPP’s previous ineffectiveness. If that’s the case, there is something seriously wrong with the OPP’s attitude about efficiency and effectiveness of the band constables’ ability to perform their duty. If it’s true that the band constables are receiving the same training as the regular OPP officers, then I have to question the effectiveness of the training courses. Again, I emphasize I would like to have a clear explanation from the Solicitor General why there is this difference between the band constables and the OPP officers.
A final problem is that the native police see the regular police as acting only for non-Indian people, while all of the band constables work for the native community. This feeling is reinforced by actions of certain OPP officers.
For example, it was said to me that last summer the Nestor Falls OPP, with a local non-Indian, visited the chiefs house at Sabaskong at 7 o’clock in the morning to ask about an alleged theft of a non-Indian’s property. This intrusion was followed by necessary visits to other homes in Sabaskong and Big Grassy reserves. On the other hand, the band of constables was given strict instructions that no band member was to ride in the OPP vehicle used by the constable, not even a band councillor or the chief when attending a meeting with the constable. This sort of double standard served solely to perpetrate the feeling of the native people that there is one rule for the whites and another for Indians.
The reasons for this attitude should be investigated immediately by the Solicitor General and the remedies should be found to reform existing practices. I urge the Solicitor General before this problem grows to ensure that the native organizations meet with him, the Attorney General and the Ministry of Justice officials in order to work out these and other issues and immediately begin to revise the federal-provincial agreement.
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Again, we’re departing a long way from this general vote. We’re into policing and band constables. I think I have most of the information my hon. friend was asking for.
We have recently completed an evaluation of the effectiveness of the band constable program, the evaluation being done in co-operation with the federal authorities. It has been regarded as highly successful. Certainly the OPP, myself as Solicitor General, and the ministry as a whole regard the program as very successful. I know how successful it is because the various chiefs write to me from time to time. When I’ve been doing a little touring of the north and have gone on to some of the reserves, the chief has spoken to me and has asked for increased constables. In other words, they want more of these band constables. We have had a few disappointments but for the most part it has been successful. If it continues in this way, the kind of responsibility that we will be asking them to shoulder will be increased as the program matures.
In so far as payment is concerned, at the present time the federal government is paying 60 per cent of that program and the provincial government is paying 40 per cent. The federal government hopes to work towards less payment on its part and more payment on our part. We are presently in the process of negotiating with them. Their proposal is that next year they will pay 52 per cent and that we will pay 48 per cent. They’re asking for a considerably larger proportion of payment from us in the next year. The agreement hasn’t been reached yet and we’re dealing with the current year’s budget rather than next year’s budget. When next year’s budget comes along, I’m sure you will see a greater amount in it for the native policing program. As I say, we’re presently negotiating with them and they want us to assume more of this responsibility.
The native constables will shortly be receiving overtime pay. That will be retroactive to April 1, and they have been notified of that. Next year we expect that they will be receiving, in addition, pensions, life insurance and some salary increases. As the program progresses, they are coming more in line with what we are doing for the regular OPP constable.
There is, however, this matter of a salary difference. As most of you realize, the native constables are not subject to income tax. Income tax takes a sizable proportion of the pay of our regular constables. You’re all concerned with goodwill in the force and equality. It just doesn’t seem to be just, although we talk about equal pay for equal work, but I think we’ve also got to look at the possibility of equal deductions for equal work. When we look at the amount that is being taken off the ordinary OPP salary and look at the fact that the natives are not having that same kind of reduction for income tax, then we have a real problem on our hands. If you are looking at fairness and net return, as so many of you do, when you look at the net take home pay, the net take home pay of the band constable is not all that bad when you compare it with the OPP. That is a continuing problem, one that we have under the review and I don’t know what the equitable answer for it may be.
Mr. Lupusella: I am glad that some of the loopholes are going to be covered, but I made the specific request that before renewal of the agreement, which will expire at the end of March, 1978, there is an assurance that the minister will get in touch with all the chiefs around the province of Ontario, representing the native communities -- not just once; two or three times -- until he has heard the problems, the comments and the concerns which are affecting the native communities. At least they then will have an impact on relations with the Solicitor General and on the representatives of the federal government, who are going to engage themselves on the new contract after March 31, 1978.
I thought some of those announcements were going to be made when the estimates started. That’s why it was quite critical when I made my first comments about all the activities concerning the Solicitor General in the province of Ontario. I would like to know what is going on and what kind of approaches are coming up -- approaches which fall under his jurisdiction -- instead of waiting. I am sure the Solicitor General was going to comment on that particular item, on the budget which will be introduced next year, 1978-79, and talk about the agreement between Treaty No. 3 and the federal government.
That’s the kind of line which we would like to see -- that the Solicitor General informs us about the steps which he is taking to solve certain problems, certain loopholes, presently existing around the province, especially when certain problems are affecting the native community. I am sure we, as members, are really concerned about the problems affecting the native community.
We should give them an opportunity for a hearing. I am sure they are unhappy about the agreement for Treaty No. 3. I am sure that there are loopholes like the one which I just emphasized. Maybe some of those problems are going to be corrected and they will be advised when the new agreement is going to be signed between the province of Ontario and the federal government.
Again, if we represent certain groups in the province of Ontario like the native people, I think that the Solicitor General, together with the Attorney General and the Department of Justice, should get together with all the chiefs representing the native community around the province of Ontario just to find out what the problems are, what their concerns are. They should be given such an opportunity. We should call them, not just once. I want to emphasize that before criticism arises when the Solicitor General signs the agreement with the federal government in relation to the clauses combined in Treaty No. 3.
I am suggesting to the Solicitor General in a friendly way that he initiates this kind of action immediately. We don’t have to wait until March 31 to hear what the problems affecting the native communities are. I think that we should start now; we should call several meetings in order that we meet the problems affecting them and in order that the Solicitor General can revise the present agreement, because surely there are loopholes involved, loopholes we don’t want to see in that agreement, so that we can really represent and solve and improve the situation between the constables and the native community, and also the good relationship between the province of Ontario and the federal government.
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: To hear my hon. friend from Dovercourt talk about solving the problems you would think that the scheme was an unsuccessful scheme. I want to emphasize that the scheme is a very successful scheme and we are getting great support from the band chiefs across the province. He speaks as though there was no representative of the chiefs. Actually, the chiefs’ association is represented on the tripartite committee. We do hear from them and we work in close co-operation with them.
He is suggesting, I think, that we have rather formal meetings across the province with them. I would like to do that. Time is always an element in the other demands made upon our time. The Justice policy field does have a committee that meets regularly with them. They have attended and spoken to our Justice policy field people. We are spending considerable time on this matter of band constable policing and listening to them and working with them.
I wouldn’t like the opinion to be, or the thought left, that we are not listening to the chiefs. I will take the advice of the hon. member for Dovercourt that we should be doing more of this. Perhaps it is possible that I myself can enter at some time into a powwow with the chiefs and listen to some of their suggestions for improvement.
Mr. Lupusella: Just a short comment, and again I ask your indulgence to justify me; I am really concerned about this particular issue because I received a lot of phone calls from chiefs around the province of Ontario in relation to this issue, affecting particularly the constables and the Treaty No. 3 agreement which eventually will be signed between this province and the federal government.
Actually, I didn’t suggest that the Solicitor General should be going around the province of Ontario. It would be a good approach, but before taking positions and decisions I think that the Solicitor General, in co-operation with the Attorney General and the Ministry of Justice, should invite, several times, the chiefs that represent the native people to Toronto in order that they may discuss clause by clause what is going to be involved in the new agreement; so that at least they have an opportunity to review the position which is going to be taken by the province of Ontario in order that they may have time to go back to their community and can announce to their community what the agreement will be and what kinds of changes have been taken.
Item 1 agreed to.
On item 2, financial services:
Mr. Stong: On this particular item I just wanted to draw the attention of the Solicitor General to the preamble to this vote. Speaking in terms of overlapping and perhaps duplication of services, I know in the preamble to the book that we were supplied with -- I think it is more colloquially called the opposition book -- financial services deals with about four or five items as set out. When we read them, financial services are “designed to assist agency and program management in strategic planning, decision-making, budgeting and cost analysis, the allocation and efficient use of resources and maintaining internal controls.”
If you look back at the preamble to vote 1601, item 1, main office, you will note that the points set out there are covered in almost exactly the same way. For instance, item 1, the main office support, is to “assist the development of policy initiatives and alternatives and then necessary legislative requirements to implement the policy.” I don’t understand, but it seems to me that strategic planning would be about the same thing as that.
Then under item 2 you have “decision making”; while under item 1, we have the “development and maintenance of the planning process, management information systems for monitoring performance, and evaluation processes for measuring performance against objectives.”
Then in item 2 we have another job description -- a description of this particular service -- “the allocation and efficient use of resources.” I don’t find too much difference between that and the job description under item 1 for the main office support. It says that part of its function is the “application of modern management and organization development techniques to produce the optimum organization structure for translating policy into program and most effectively meeting objectives.”
It seems to me that the job descriptions in both these items are almost exactly the same, and yet we have two areas that we’re voting on, both very substantial areas in the estimates -- the main office requiring an estimate of $650,000; financial services an estimate of $786,400. Yet to me, from the job descriptions at any rate, it would seem that there is a duplication of services, if not an overlapping. I wonder if the minister could explain that in terms of personnel, in terms of assisting one another, and in terms of cost of services performed.
As well, I’m interested in the financial services area, this is item 2. I notice we’re speaking here of an estimate of $651,300 for salaries and wages. I wonder if the minister can tell me, in this particular area, how many people are employed and what their job descriptions are.
I also noticed in the 1977 public accounts committee report that the employment benefits listed here and paid out last year were $241,000, and yet we’re budgeting in these estimates for $85,100. I’m just wondering what the discrepancy is there. Why is there such a small amount?
As I read the public accounts committee report, the estimates from last year were $735,000. Management Board had to approve almost another $300,000, making a total of $1,033,000. I wonder why the financial services were so underestimated in the last session and whether the estimate for this session is realistic.
I notice as well that $88,000 has been taken from the services, reducing the estimate to $40,000 because temporary help and photocopy rental services were transferred. I wonder if you could give me some idea of what the need for temporary help is in this particular area? How many people are on temporary help? Are they on a contractual basis or are they regular employees of the ministry? What is the actual cost of the photocopy rental services that are referred to here, as a beginning?
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: A lot of questions have been asked in regard to vote 1601, item 2. First of all, there is the question of overlapping. Under vote 1601, item 1, it is the general ministry secretariat. An example of that is Mr. Gow, whom you see directly opposite me here; he comes under the secretariat and his salary is shown there. But when we go on to item 2, financial services, the people who are under his direction are picked up at that point.
Under main office you will find a duplication of all the things that are carried on individually. In other words, the salaries of the persons responsible to me for those branches are shown under vote 1601, item 1. Then the people who actually carry things out are shown in the items that follow -- item 2, item 3 and so on. That is why you are going to find a great deal of overlapping in the wording.
As far as the various items in vote 1601, item 2, are concerned, I can give you the salaries. You asked for the number of people involved. There was a complement of 49 in 1976-77, and this year there is a complement of 44. I can give you the names of the people involved if you wish, but I don’t think that they concern you. If you do wish them, we have their names. There is a reduction of five, and the five positions have been transferred to supply and office services; you will see them picked up later on.
Dealing with them individually, under regular salaries -- and that includes the 44 permanent personnel -- you will find that the estimate last year, 1976-77, was $509,000; this year it is $648,300. You have the actual figures for last year, I think, and you will find them in the figures you have in front of you.
It is sometimes a little bit difficult when comparing estimates with actuals, but you will have the figures there.
We come to overtime: Last year we estimated $2,000 for that; this year we estimate $3,000.
Thus total salaries and wages were estimated last year at $511,000 and this year at $651,300, which is an increase of some $140,000 as far as estimates are concerned.
I made a general statement when consideration of these estimates began that we had made a mistake last year which not only affected vote 1601 but carried all across the ministry. That accounts for some of the increase -- and you will find that difference picked up in all of the salaries -- but also the salary increases from last year now are in the basic figure for the estimates for this year.
Any increases that may be given in 1977- 78, of course, will be in addition to this figure. They are not shown in the estimates but once those increases have been given, that base figure will increase. So although you have five personnel less, you have an increase here of $140,000, but that deals with the basic mistake that we made, plus the salary increases of last year.
The benefits are calculated at the rate of 13.2 per cent of salaries, and, since salaries are based on actual requirements, benefits are shown as actual requirements. In other words, when you carry them forward to this year, we take in the salary increases from last year. So much for salaries.
There are employee benefits that I just mentioned. They are up $17,000. You wanted to know the amount for Xerox. In last year’s estimates it was $28,000 and that has been transferred to office supplies for this coming year.
For computer and electronic data processing, last year we had a figure in there of $22,000. Experience has shown that that figure should be $40,000. We are up $18,000 in our estimates there. We have taken all the temporary help out this year and transferred them to personnel services. You will find them under personnel services. As far as comparing last year with this year, we show a reduction of $70,000. Office machine contracts have also been transferred to office supply. That has a reduction of $8,000. When you take all of the additions and reductions in, you will find that the 1977-78 estimates are $786,400 as opposed to our estimates last year of $735,000. Most of that is caused by the increased salaries, the increases that were awarded to everybody last year and the mistake that you will find carried all the way through our estimates.
I am sure you are not able to follow that from me telling it to you in this way, and it is not too satisfactory. I don’t know how we can do it. Earlier in the afternoon you asked another question in regard to the first vote. I understand that Mr. Edwards gave you an answer for that. All I can say is that we have all these figures here. It’s hard for me to get them from the desk and present them to you in a satisfactory way because there are transfers. There is not the consistency of the estimates this year against last year, because of the additions of some accounts and the omission of others. I think if you have specific questions like that it might be better to let me have them to be sure that you get the answers; as I understand, Mr. Edwards gave you the answer earlier this afternoon.
Mr. Stong: Just briefly; Mr. Edwards indicated to me that he would supply me with figures for item 1 and I appreciate that. I would appreciate receiving those.
Is it my understanding, then, under item 1, and generally speaking comparing item 1 to item 2, those who were drawing a wage or a salary under item 1 probably fall into a managerial capacity, but those under item 2 are perhaps in an employee-employer relationship? In other words, they are the types of individual who are probably one rung lower than the ones in item 1.
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: That is correct.
Mr. Stong: Just so I understand, as I am having difficulty correlating these figures from what you did say, perhaps in a general sense as I read the public accounts reports of March 31, 1977, it would indicate that the estimates were $235,000 for that year, which is consistent with what you have in your opposition material here; but there was a Management Board approval of $300,000. Did that represent increase in salary alone?
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Salaries and benefits.
Mr. Stong: Does that represent an increase in staff over that time or is that an increase in the amounts paid?
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: My information is that it is caused by the salary revisions. In other words, it is the increase, that is across the board for the past year, plus the error that is carried all the way through. I am embarrassed by having to repeat this error so often. The percentage of that error was a little over three per cent across the board.
Mr. Stong: In your employees’ benefits you indicated that there was an increase of $17,100 in your estimate over last year. But it seems to me that, unless I read it incorrectly -- how did the public accounts committee get the figure of $241,487 that shows in the report, because it does not show in the material that you supplied to us in preparing for these estimates? I can’t correlate those two figures.
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: I understand that was the one per cent escalation that was put through for the entire ministry; it was charged in that place. The 1976-77 employees’ benefit account totals $241,487, since the entire ministry’s share of the employers’ portion of the pension escalation fund was charged to this activity. These payments were required retroactive to January 1, 1976.
Mr. Stong: That basically represents a retroactive amount, because I notice that the estimates for 1976-77 were $86,000; the actual was $241,000 and that represents a retroactive amount, plus an increase of one per cent?
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Yes, but that is, as I understand it, for the whole ministry charged to that account.
Mr. Stong: Okay, that kind of clears that up for me. I wasn’t sure how you related these things. It’s pretty hard. I must admit I did have this material in ample time and I thank you for that. Unlike my NDP counterpart I did get this material on October 7. I thought I understood it, but when I get in here it’s plain to see we don’t understand it.
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: I’ve gone over this twice and still I’m not so sure that I understand it. It is very confusing and I admire the fact that my friend’s got it in such good order as he has. I have had these explanations once or twice and then you ask me the question in just a little different wording than they’ve put the answer to me and I’m at a bit of a loss too.
But I repeat, it is very confusing to try to explain the accounts as you have them with the estimates and the actual figures, when you have to take into account the various adjustments that are made from time to time during the year.
Mr. Samis: You only knew this from the outside, too.
Mr. Lupusella: Just a short comment --
Mr. Stong: If I may just finish; the only problem is that the minister’s job is different to mine. I’m trying to demonstrate how he can cut down on some of his staff and some of the ministries, but it’s making the job pretty difficult. I wonder if you would give me a description of what’s included in services in the amount of $40,000? That’s the last question I have on this item.
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Last year under services we had a good number of items. Last year we had Xerox rentals; we had computer electronic data processing; we had temporary help; and we had the office machine contracts. The only item that is left in there is the electronic data processing, which is the figure of $40,000. Last year we had amounts totalling $128,000 in that account; I don’t say they have been removed from our budget; they have been placed elsewhere. So the only other item you have left in there is the sum of $40,000, dealing with electronic processing.
Mr. Stong: Did that electronic processing serve more than just your ministry? Does it also include Correctional Services, as well as Attorney General? Does the same machinery and apparatus serve all the ministries; and if so, how do you allocate the exact amount of money that it costs each ministry?
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Mr. Chairman, it covers our financial system and our payroll system. It does our accounting for us; actually it is operated by Government Services. Some of the equipment is in the top floor of the George Drew Building. It is, as I say, operated by Government Services. It is a charge that they make to us. I trust it is fairly apportioned throughout the various ministries and I assume it is done on the basis of time and the amount of input that we give it; but it is at the discretion of Government Services. It is an arbitrary figure. If we felt it was too high, I’m sure we’d have the right to object to it; but I assume that we feel that it’s a fair charge.
Mr. Stong: I would be satisfied, Mr. Chairman, if the minister would supply me with figures to back these up, as you indicated earlier.
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: I would be glad to do that, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Lupusella: Mr. Chairman, mine was not a comment, it was an interjection. Given the fact the Liberal critic is agreeing with me that no reasonable time was given on sending us the briefing material, I hope the Solicitor General finally is going to agree that one month is going to be a reasonable time to send us the briefing material.
Item 2 agreed to.
Items 3 and 4 agreed to.
On item 5, analysis, research and planning:
Mr. Lawlor: A couple of things. I don’t know how extensive this is. The notes that you have in the Solicitor General’s annual report, 1976, are identical to that you supplied my friends with. When you read them, it talks about input and output and who got what, when, where -- that kind of thing. What I’m interested in, in this kind of research, is do you ever make any studies, in this area, for instance as to the division of police responsibility? I think it’s an awfully interesting thing to know to what extent actual criminal investigations and police work in the specifically criminal field occupy in the overall police time. This is apart from bylaws, apart from quasi-criminal, the provincial offences; just the Criminal Code offences. I’d like to see that compared, for instance, to surveillance of traffic conditions, to the wide range of domestic and public service that the police do in any community, quite apart from the -- I would like, some day, and I suppose the sooner the better because we all die, to see an allocation made there.
Have you ever made such a study and would you be amenable?
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Mr. Chairman, I’m sure various municipal forces do just that. The OPP have estimates of that nature. I’m not so sure they have it as detailed as my hon. friend might like to see it, but when we come to their vote you’ll see how they’ve got on traffic and how much they have for other types of policing; that is traffic as opposed to regular daily policing.
I’m not so sure they have a breakdown when a policeman goes to a call whether it’s on a criminal matter or, as you say, a household matter. To get that kind of information back from the police would require a great deal more bookkeeping than we like to put the constables to,. Certainly they make reports that call X was in regard to a domestic matter, that call C was a break and enter, or whatever else is done. But the OPP do have a productivity study; it’s being implemented and it will be dealing with some of the detail you are asking for.
That, however, is not the main work of the vote that we’re presently studying. We are looking at it from the point of the police statistics you were talking about earlier and your dissatisfaction with them. They keep track of how we are living up to our budget; how much we are spending of that budget and the value that we’re getting for it. We have what they call management by results and they keep an eye on that sort of thing.
They also have spent some time in this past year dealing with metric conversion. We don’t have a great many people in that department. There was a complement of four last year and a continuing proposed complement of four. It is an internal analysis that they do. They do keep track of the money we’re spending on various programs and how we might get more value through it and plan accordingly.
Mr. Lawlor: I take it, then, you are saying that vote 1604, research and planning, would be directly in point as to what I’m after here, as to all areas of study and research that the police do as to upgrading techniques, and studying other police forces around the world in order to maximize their productivity?
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: You are correct. Vote 1604, under the OPP budget, would be the place where it would be done. The Ontario Police Commission may have some information for us on it as well.
Mr. Ziemba: I’d like to ask the Solicitor General why it is that police take pictures, both still and film, of picket lines; and what they do with them once they do take them. I’d like to take the Solicitor General back four years when he was the Minister of Labour and Toronto saw one of the most bitter and violent picket lines. The Artistic Woodwork picket line saw over 100 picketers charged. I think about half of them were convicted for various minor offences. Almost all of them appealed their convictions.
The government did nothing for four years; they just let the matter sit. Now, when witnesses’ memories are hazy and many witnesses have moved away, the government has started to move in and these appeals are being heard. I suggest to the Solicitor General that the time for justice has long passed. These picketers aren’t seeing justice done because of the long delay in their appeal. I’d like the answer to the first question. On this picket line, a number of the picketers had their pictures on films that were on file, and their fingerprints on file. What was the purpose of that?
Second, would you consider a meeting with the Attorney General and allow the appeals to go through uncontested in view of the fact that four years have gone by?
Mr. Chairman: It was just drawn to my attention that that type of question should be asked and answered under vote 1604. Would the minister hold that answer in abeyance until vote 1604?
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Yes.
Mr. Stong: With respect to vote 1601, item 5, I wonder if you could give me some idea of whether, in fact, the actual police officer who has experience out on the beat is involved in this research and planning, particularly the planning aspect? How many of the actual police officers, who have undergone training as constables and subsequently followed through ranks and got promotions, are involved in the planning as referred to in vote 1601, item 5?
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: My information is that in that complement of four there are no ex-police officers. These people are civilians. They consult and talk to the police, but they are not themselves police officers.
Mr. Stong: Could you give me any idea of their number of years of experience in this type of planning? How do they make use of police experience in assisting the forces?
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: As to their association with the ministry, I understand the director himself has only been with us six years. That doesn’t show a great deal of police background or experience, but in this function they are performing it’s more of a statistical background that they are required to have rather than a police background. The information they get that requires, say, police background, can be assimilated by them very quickly; so it is not a case of having a great deal of background in police work but more in case of having background in the gathering and interpretation of statistics.
Mr. Stung: I don’t want to take anything away from the ministry, but I have always been of the opinion that if you want to know where problems lie, you speak to the people who are suffering those problems. Likewise, if you want to assist yourself in arriving at solutions to a problem, you go to the person who is suffering that problem as well. Those people usually are able to give you assistance with ascertaining and defining a problem and then offering a solution.
I am wondering whether it would not be advisable for the ministry actually to have a person who has been trained on the beat in that area of planning rather than to draw solely on civilians, particularly in planning and research when we are talking about apprehension of criminals and crime detection as well as subsequently dealing with crime in the courts and community protection.
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Again, I say, if you are talking about that kind of planning, you will find under vote 1604 that the OPP actually do the research and planning that is directed specifically to police work. What we are looking at here is not just for the police; it has to do with the gathering by the ministry of, say, fire statistics and coroners’ statistics -- it covers the whole gamut. I get a report on a quarterly basis from them as to how many dollars have been spent by the ministry under such and such field of operation and how many dollars are left.
I do get some police statistics along the line as to the number of charges and the increase or decrease of certain kinds. It is those kinds of statistics, the kinds of statistics that Ottawa might deal with from Statistics Canada, and planning within the ministry -- not police planning as such, but planning from our administration end -- that these people deal with.
Again, I think the kind of question you are asking as far as police planning is concerned would come under vote 1604, which is where you will actually get police personnel involved with it.
Mr. Stong: It was probably a result of my misunderstanding of the scope of this particular item, but am I to understand that this is the item wherein we discuss statistics and the compiling of statistics from the crime rate as to whether there’s an increase or decrease? Is this where the four people are involved? Is this the division that decides those types of statistics and makes them public?
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: They are on the receiving end of these statistics that come from the police, but I think the question we got into the last time we dealt with estimates a week ago today was the basis of how these statistics are compiled; in other words, the possible duplication of charges and whether they only showed the ones that they were convicted on and that sort of thing. That would be more properly dealt with under one of the vote for the Ontario Police Commission or the OPP vote.
Mr. Lupusella: Under vote 1601, item 4, in relation to transportation and communication, the actual cost in 1975-76 was only $657. There was a jump to $15,000 in 1976-77 and a reduction to $10,000 in 1977-78. Can I have some explanation about this amount, even though there was this kind of reduction of $5,000 --
Mr. Chairman: Can I call the member to order for a moment? I believe we have carried item 4 and we are now into item 5.
Mr. Lupusella: I am sorry, Mr. Chairman. It’s just a simple question to the minister.
Mr. Chairman: We gave ample time for general questions on item 1. I think now that we are going to try to stick to the item we are on. We are now on item 5.
Mr. Lupusella: With the permission of the members of this committee, will they allow me? The minister can answer.
Mr. Chairman: Will you make it a very short question, because you are out of order.
Mr. Lupusella: It is just a short question, and I would like to have a short answer as well, as to how this money is spent in relation to transportation and communication. Who is using this money and how is it spent? There seems to be a great difference from 1975-76 from $657 to $15,000 and now to $10,000. Can I have just an explanation for that?
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Just briefly, we have movement of personnel across the province, transferring them from one location to the other. We bear certain of those costs and it reflects a reduction in the anticipated cost of those moves.
Item 5 agreed to.
On item 6, legal services:
Mr. Stong: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Just briefly, I was given to understand during the recess that those legal services included the salaries of two lawyers and a secretary on hire from the Attorney General’s ministry. Is that correct?
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: The three people involved are John Ritchie, who is attached to the Attorney General’s office; David Spring, another lawyer attached to the Attorney General’s office; and one secretary who is also attached to the Attorney General’s office.
Mr. Stong: Are these people full-time employees of the Ministry of the Attorney General, or do they divide their time and talents between the two ministries?
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: They are full time with us, sir.
Mr. Stong: I don’t think you pay the lawyers enough.
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: They don’t think so, either.
Item 6 agreed to.
On item 7, audit services:
Mr. Lupusella: Again I speak in relation to transportation and communication. My attention is drawn to the point that from $2,865 we are jumping to $8,000 for 1976-77 and back to $4,000 for 1977-78. My particular question is how come there is this overspending in 1976-77 and a further reduction in 1977-78? Has the service changed? I would like that kind of information.
You gave previous information that those people need transportation and communication expenses to travel around the province of Ontario. What are they doing around the province? What kind of service are they carrying out? Give me those answers, please.
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: I am trying to get the answer as to why the amounts vary.
We have three people involved in this sub-vote and they not only audit the various accounts any place the OPP may have accounts, but they check up on coroners’ accounts and they check the accounts of the various ministry offices across the province. It requires some travelling to do it. The actual figure in 1976-77 was $2,491, so that on the basis of last year’s actual they have reduced the amount this year to $2,200 on the basis of the experience. You may find that they will overspend that a little bit. But it is to travel around the province and do the auditing that is required.
Item 7 agreed to.
Vote 1601 agreed to.
On vote 1602, public safety program; item 1, program management:
Mr. Lupusella: On this item I’d like to talk a little bit about the George Drew building. I think that I am on the correct item, am I? The George Drew building -- the forensic centre?
Mr. Deputy Chairman: That would be on item 2. Item 1 is program management. Do you want to hold the forensic centre till we get to item 2?
Mr. Lupusella: Okay.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Any comment on item 1?
Item 1 agreed to.
On item 2, Centre of Forensic Sciences.
Mr. Lupusella: I think that in my opening statement I made particular reference to the coroners’ investigations and inquests. I think that is a very important sector of investigations which is valuable to the province of Ontario and in which each branch of each ministry can use the expertise of those coroners’ investigations and inquests.
I made a particular reference in my opening statement and, with all respect, I didn’t get any answer from the Solicitor General. I made particular reference to those three people who died in police cells. I read just a portion of the verdict of the coroner’s jury, so I didn’t emphasize my point that mechanical or electrical surveillance was going to be required. This is just to keep the record straight.
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: If I might just interrupt, this is where it gets somewhat difficult. Actually you are talking about coroners --
Mr. Lupusella: Coroners.
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: -- and that is a later vote. Under forensic science we are dealing with the scientific analysis of various pieces of evidence that may be used either in Crown cases or defence cases, generally of a criminal nature.
Mr. Lupusella: Okay, maybe I can postpone my comments until the right item comes up.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: If you are on coroners’ inquests it will be on item 4 in this vote.
Mr. Lupusella: Thank you.
Mr. Lawlor: Just one question on forensic sciences. It is the policy of Mr. Lucas and others to permit outside counsel to come in and have analysis of weapons and poisons and any number of things -- fingerprints, shoe prints. Can you give us any indication of how much that service was used -- not by Crown attorneys, et cetera, but by outside solicitors -- this year up to the date of the end of the fiscal year over against the previous fiscal year?
I want to find out if it’s extensively used.
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Yes, I know I had that information and I think if you just wait for a minute I can probably get a note from the side giving me the exact figures, or certainly the percentage of how often it was used.
I have it here. Civil cases. Civil cases are undertaken by the centre when the director has been satisfied that no other agency or laboratory exists in the province which can adequately handle the request. A schedule of fees has been established for these cases, with the fees being paid to the Treasurer of Ontario.
In 1976 the centre undertook the examination of material in 57 civil cases, for a total revenue of $6,000. But I think you were asking about criminal cases, were you not?
Mr. Lawlor: Yes.
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Criminal cases in 1976 where they helped with the defence. The number is not large -- nine. Civil cases in 1976, 57.
But let me just speak and enlarge upon what I have said. Those services in criminal cases are available and I mentioned this the other day. They are available, as I understand it, free of charge. Of course, Mr. Lucas wants to make certain that there is some reason for the examination because these examinations do take time, but I don’t think he’s in the habit of denying the defence this kind of service.
I mentioned when I was dealing with it last Monday that the report of the forensic laboratory was made available to the Crown attorney even when it was prepared for the defence. I understand in talking to Mr. Lucas since that time that that report goes to the defence counsel. It is up to the defence counsel to send it over to the Crown on the same basis that the Crown may send reports to defence counsel that Crown counsel has obtained from the forensic laboratory. The member for York Centre indicated the procedure was a little unfair in that automatically the Crown got defence reports but the defendant did not automatically get Crown requested reports.
My information that I have since received is that the system works the same in both cases, that the report is given to the counsel requesting it and the responsibility for passing it to the opposition is in the hands of the counsel who requested it.
Mr. Lawlor: Just one question. Would the Solicitor General be inclined to agree with me that he is perhaps a little surprised at only nine? Considering the volume of criminal cases going through in just the county of York alone, the defence counsel obviously doesn’t revert on many occasions to the forensic sciences people. My impression would be that it is because they probably don’t know about it. Is the criminal bar not particularly aware of it? Or do they prefer their own ballistic experts? There are any number of fields. Is it your impression, in short, that the criminal bar generally is thoroughly aware of this service?
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Let me read a paragraph that has just been handed to me. Defence counsel in criminal cases on occasion submit material for analysis. This work is undertaken upon the understanding that a copy of the findings will be forwarded to the Crown attorney concerned. Any other agency with a legitimate demand upon the services of the centre is treated in like manner with complete impartiality being maintained. Although this service to defence counsel is not advertised, the policy is mentioned in all lectures to lawyers, including an annual lecture to the bar admission course at Osgoode Hall. During the course of the year, defence counsel submitted nine cases.
I was surprised when I got the slip handed to me that had the figure nine on it. I thought it would be more than that. I suspect it is a combination of things. First of all, the availability of this may be mentioned in bar admission courses, but probably not advertised subsequently as much as it should or could be. So probably some defence counsel don’t know it is available.
Secondly, I suppose some defence counsel would rather obtain their own advice or their own experts. I am smiling when I say this, but maybe they would like a little partial advice when they put their experts forward. Thirdly, I suppose that defence counsel would not have the same need for this kind of analysis that a prosecuting Crown attorney might have.
I would suggest it is a combination of those three. I would agree that we should probably do more to advertise that this service is available.
Mr. Lawlor: I have just one final thing because the minister seems to contradict himself. I am now confused. He said that the report, if it was adverted to by a defence counsel or sent to him, was also automatically sent to the Crown. Then another time he said no, it would be up to the defence counsel in his discretion as to whether or not it was sent. Which one is it? The last statement is that it was automatically sent.
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: My information, as late as this evening at the supper hour, was that both reports are given to the counsels concerned, the counsels who request them, on the understanding that they are to be made available to the opposing counsel.
Mr. Stong: On that point first, I indicated last week that I had had occasion to use the forensic centre. I sing very high the praises of that centre because of its impartiality, to which the minister has referred, but I was given the clear understanding that before I could avail myself of those services I had to -- it was required of me -- provide the Crown with the result. It’s true I got the copies to send to the Crown, but I was only able to avail myself of those services on the understanding and the undertaking that I would provide the Crown with the result. It doesn’t work the other way.
I liked your solution last week better, Mr. Minister. That is a requirement that the Crown provide the defence with the result of whatever examination it does -- and the contrary as well, that the defence provide the Crown with the results.
My understanding when I asked for assistance was that I had to supply the Crown with the result of the examination, otherwise I could not avail myself of those services. That was the clear understanding that I received from the forensic centre. As I indicated, I prefer your approach to it as you indicated last week, that both sides be required to provide the results.
Another thing that I wanted to mention while I was on my feet was a new science, the science of applying dentistry and related knowledge to the detection of crime -- better known as odontology. I became interested in this in dealing with the forensic centre on a case some four years ago, prior to my entering the political arena. It involved a situation where I knew that the police were looking for a person -- they didn’t have a name but it was a person who was charged with the kidnapping and killing of one of the young girls. I don’t believe it was the Hanson case; I just forget now, but it was four years ago anyway.
I happened to be in a courtroom one day and I noticed a picture on a wanted poster. The picture that I saw on the poster was such a clear facsimile of a person that I was representing on an impaired driving charge that it almost shocked me when I first looked at it. Your imagination kind of runs away and everybody likes to play detective naturally, and I allowed my imagination to run away with me and I began to imagine that my client was the one who was being sought by the police for the commission of this kidnapping and subsequent murder. I phoned one of the detectives of the York regional police and I apprised him of the situation and I told him that I had a client who looked exactly like a poster of a man they wanted. I gave him the name and address of my client and I told him what date we would be going back to court.
In the interim the detective sergeant set up a stake outside my client’s house and watched him as he got up in the morning and left for work and came back. He was sufficiently convinced that this person was worth investigating that he solicited my support. I didn’t know whether I was breaching a client-solicitor relationship, but I did the best I could not to.
Of course, I didn’t divulge anything about the charge I was up on except what the charge was and anyone can find that out, but he said he wanted me to help him get evidence that was required. Apparently they had a specimen of the saliva of the suspect. It was my job to try to obtain a saliva specimen for the detective sergeant and one of the ways they could obtain it was off a cigarette butt. I didn’t even know whether my client smoked or not. And so the next consideration was whether in fact I could obtain the saliva short of having him spit on the floor in the courtroom.
I trundled off to court with a package of cigarettes in my pocket. I didn’t know if he could smoke and I was hoping if I could make him nervous enough he would ask for a cigarette. I suppose it was easy to do knowing that I was the one who was defending him; you could get really nervous. But at any rate, it turned out --
Mr. Cureatz: Did they charge him?
Mr. Stong: But at any rate, it turned out that the client did smoke. This I suppose was the first time I became really associated with the forensic centre, because I learned at that time that they did tests down there on saliva -- not on teeth but on saliva. I had an opportunity to speak to the officials at the forensic centre and at that time they were aware of odontology, which is the study of teeth. Teeth are almost as good as fingerprints, almost better than fingerprints because teeth do not deteriorate under severe and intense heat.
Mr. B. Newman: You can take them out and send them to them.
Mr. Stong: You can take them out, as my colleague says, and send them to them.
As it turned out this client was not the person. They did a test and they subsequently found the suspect in one of the insane institutions north of here.
I was concerned at that time and expression was made of the fact that it would have been better, in the case of apprehension and detection of crime, if facilities were provided and expertise was provided in the institute for the use of teeth and the study of teeth in investigating the crime. I’m wondering, now that this science is becoming more expert and more complete, whether any steps have been made by your ministry to set up that type of division in the forensic centre to use this type of evidence more readily in evidence in court cases.
As I spoke earlier in my opening statement, I know that we have to employ more sophisticated methods of crime detection. This is one of those methods I had intended to refer to and that’s why I refer to it on this vote. Can you tell me whether facilities are being established at the forensic centre for the study and later use of odontology?
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: You were talking in part under two votes here. I don’t want to get technical about it but I did question the member for Dovercourt getting into coroners’ work. I know there’s a confusion here.
When you talked about saliva tests, we certainly have under the forensic laboratories the ability to do that. I don’t know how many we do, but I presume we do them from time to time.
When you come to odontology we have been using that in the coroner’s office. I understand we’ve been doing it for some eight years. I don’t think the coroner has a special branch established to conduct it. The various coroners are familiar with it and are educated in the science. Just this week the coroners from across the province have been meeting at the Westbury Hotel under Dr. Cotnam’s guidance. One of the people speaking to them was a dentist from the city of New York speaking on just that subject. It’s a matter that both our director of pathology and our coroners are aware of and are putting to very active use and practice.
Mr. Stong: I may be out of order dealing with coroners’ inquests. As I understand it, I know on occasion that saliva samples are evidence that police use in investigating crime and later on in the court case. In many cases of victims in rape cases particularly, there may be bites and there may be saliva deposits that can be studied. From this type of evidence, evidence can be obtained that later was used in the courtroom. It’s not in terms of the work done by coroners that I refer to in odontology; it’s in terms of police work and detection of crime. Apparently, from a bite -- from the skin -- the experts are able to obtain evidence to identify a later suspect.
Hon Mr. MacBeth: I did miss the point and you’re quite right that this is done in Ontario courts. As I understand it, it is not done through our forensic laboratory but through independent dentists. In other words, there are many who are equipped to give this kind of evidence practising in the private field. Various private dentists are brought in from time to time to give evidence, I gather, not only in criminal cases but in civil, if applicable.
Mr. Lupusella: I will be relatively brief, otherwise we are going to continue sometime on Friday. In item 2 the astronomical amount of money which we are dealing with is more than $2.5 million. The Solicitor General and a lot of members of this House see the necessity of this centre. My particular concern, and I hope the Solicitor General will agree with me, is that I think it’s time the centre or this agency releases on a yearly basis the kind of activities which are taking place there.
Will the number of investigations which are carried on, all of those statistical data and the background information, come out as a form of a summary which would be released at the end of the year? This is the only way we can pursue and we are going to engage ourselves to convince the centre under the jurisdiction of the Solicitor General to release this kind of information which I am sure will be valuable to the public and to us as well.
Hon. Mr. MacBeth: A short answer: There’s nothing secret about the work that we do under forensic sciences. We’re glad to release all of that information. As a matter of fact, we have statistics here which we can give you and would be glad to supply to you. A lot of it is in the annual report, but as far as I know -- of course, there’s in-progress investigation that may be secret, but the statistics and the amount of work, there’s nothing secret about that at all. Most of it is in the annual report. Anything else you want, we’ll be glad to give it to you.
Item 2 agreed to.
On motion by Hon. Mr. MacBeth, the committee of supply reported progress.
On motion by Hon. Mr. MacBeth, the House adjourned at 10:30 p.m.