31st Parliament, 1st Session

L033 - Thu 27 Oct 1977 / Jeu 27 oct 1977

The House resumed at 8 p.m.


Resumption of the adjourned debate on the motion that this House approves in general the budgetary policy of the government.

Mr. MacDonald: Mr. Speaker, obviously we have the cream of the crop here, if not in quantity at least in quality.

Mr. Turner: Thank you, Donald. Thank you very much.

Mr. MacDonald: I don’t know why flattery won’t even evoke some sort of response from the government backbenches.

Mr. B. Newman: Let’s take it as read, Donald. You are not going to convince any of them.

Mr. Turner: We are suspicious.

Mr. MacDonald: In rising to participate in this budget debate, I want first to extend my congratulations and best wishes to the new team who have been given the onerous responsibilities of presiding over this House. I know a little about you, sir --

Mr. Ruston: He won’t say anything --

Mr. MacDonald: -- and I have a great deal of confidence that you will deal perhaps a little harshly on occasion, but at least fairly.

Mr. B. Newman: Tell us the other side.

Mr. MacDonald: I know that the hon. member for Perth (Mr. Edighoffer) and the new chairman of the committee, the hon. member for Wilson Heights (Mr. Rotenberg) will complete your team. Just one further word. This House has sometimes been described, not inaccurately, as the most unruly Legislature in this country. Sometimes it is difficult to deal with the business of the province in the fashion in which it should be dealt with, if there isn’t at least that degree of decorum and firm direction which is needed. Quite frankly I am hoping that we can move into a new chapter. I repeat, I congratulate you on your appointment to that position, and my best wishes for your efforts.

Mr. Deans: You might also tell him to stop telling people to drop dead.

Mr. MacDonald: It has been suggested to me that you might stop telling people to drop dead.

Mr. Speaker: In the cut and thrust of a question period sometimes it is quite difficult to get out cease and desist at the same time. Therefore we got decease.

Mr. Foulds: Not a bad contraction, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. MacDonald: That is what you call alliteration.

I don’t intend to speak at length tonight, Mr. Speaker. I want to deal with only one topic. There are many other members in this House who will be having an opportunity for the first time to speak on the budget. I have had plenty of opportunities to speak on the budget so I shall be glad to leave the time for others between now and Christmas.

The scheduling of the parliamentary year in the Ontario Legislature, in my view, has reached such a nonsensical state that it is worthy of note and condemnation in the hope that it won’t happen next year or ever again. That is the only topic I want to dwell on in 15 or 20 minutes.

What are the facts? Before the House resumed this fall we had sat this year from March 29, to April 29 and after the election from June 27 to July 12, a total of 32 days. There was no valid reason why the Legislature was not called until March was almost over other than to meet the convenience of the government. And having met only six weeks this year by the summer, there was no valid reason for delaying the fall sittings until after mid-October other than, once again, sacrificing the business of the province to the convenience of the government.

If this House sits until the weekend before Christmas, we will have met for about 76 sessional days in 1977. That’s just over 15 weeks or less than four months of the year. Mr. Speaker, you have to go back to the early 1960s for such limited sittings and, considering the greater legislative load that we now have, the situation is much worse than it was 20 years ago.

What is the result? Quite apart from the unfinished estimates, the Legislature is faced with what we were told in advance was going to be approximately 50 bills. And from the outset, the government has had to resort to the plea that half of these bills should be passed before Christmas because of their urgency, while the other half are being put over for committee consideration in the new year before they can be finalized and put on the statute books.

That’s no way to handle the people’s business, the largest and most important business in this province. Despite all the study of the operations of this Legislature -- by the Camp commission and by select committees -- we are going backwards. As far as the legislative year is concerned the Premier (Mr. Davis) has taken us back to the days of Leslie Miscampbell Frost.

For purposes of comparison it might be useful to put this issue in a historical perspective. In his book, “Responsible Government in Ontario,” the first substantive work on the Ontario Legislature, Fred Schindeler noted that the average length of sessions during the first century after Confederation was 44.5 days -- less than nine weeks or a little over two months a year.

Twenty years ago, the story goes, Leslie Frost used to check the date for Easter on the calendar, count back 10 or 12 weeks and call for the opening of the Legislature. Everybody knew that, come what may, the Legislature would be adjourned by Easter. It always required morning, afternoon, evenings and sometimes long night sessions to cram the business in during the final week or so. It was a war of attrition. Everybody was worn to a point of exhaustion. In essence, it was the old Procrustean bed approach: what didn’t get crammed in and was left over at Easter simply got chopped off.

John Robarts, in my view -- I have said it in this Legislature before and I have said it elsewhere in the hope that it may be of note in the academic world -- John Robarts brought this Legislature into the 20th century, not only by providing resources for opposition parties -- they had been denied that prior to his premiership -- and by experimenting with changes in rules and procedures, but in the length of the legislative sittings also. By 1968, the Legislature was meeting 126 sessional days or 25 weeks, just under six months. In 1969, it met 159 days or 31 weeks, between seven and eight months. In 1970, it met 108 days or 22 weeks, between five and six months.

Then we entered the Davis era. In 1971, the sessional days dropped back immediately to only 86 or 17 weeks, just over four months. From 1972 to 1976 inclusive, the length of the sessions were 99 days, 121 days, 118 days, 129 days and 104 days. They never exceeded six months. This year we have dropped back to the prospect of 76 sessional days, less than four months.

That retrogressive pattern doesn’t tell the whole story, Mr. Speaker, as I’m sure you’re aware of. As the sitting days increased throughout the Robarts years, many in the government became restive. The opposition was allegedly wasting too much time. With the exception of the one year, 1969, we never sat for more than six months in what is oft proclaimed as a full-time job, the job of an MPP. Obviously, the government considered that length of sitting as too long. So a number of limitation tactics have been resorted to. It is interesting to just note these.

First, a ceiling of 225 hours was fixed for consideration of estimates. I never agreed with it from the outset to be frank with you, Mr. Speaker. When, as happened in Ottawa and as happened years ago in Westminster, the business of the House ran out the end of the year, so to speak, then there became a necessity for putting on time restrictions. We had never sat for more than six months, with the exception of one year. So the imposition of a ceiling in consideration of estimates, in my view, was not valid from the outset.

The result, however, with that imposition of 225 hours was that they had to be squeezed into that time. Often the most important and/or controversial estimates were left by the government to the end when there would be inadequate time to deal with them.

That was bad enough but it has threatened to become worse. We adopted the practice of sending some estimates out to the committee. It was decreed that 10 hours would be deducted from the 225-hour total for each ministry’s estimates so sent out. Last year 13 were sent out, for a total of 130 hours, leaving only 95 hours left for consideration of estimates in the House itself. That was so obviously inadequate that the total number of hours has now been boosted. In fact, it has been almost doubled to 420. That is perhaps adequate except that now we’re increasingly getting into the pattern of two or three committees meeting while the House is sitting. A two-ring circus is bad enough, a phrase that has been used to describe this House on occasion, this Legislature. A three- or four-ring circus, I submit is absurd. It becomes impossible for members to be present for matters that are of intense interest and concern to their constituents, when they may be under consideration in three or four places at the same time.

The previous understanding that no more than one committee should be meeting while the House is sitting has been wiped out by the schedule imposed by the government this fall. It seems, no matter what improvement is made, some new technique is devised for nullifying in part or in whole the progress it has achieved. The result is that public business is getting shorter shrift in this Legislature than at any time in its history.

I acknowledge that the handling of the business of the House receives the reluctant approval of the opposition parties’ House leaders. But under circumstances such as we’ve had imposed this fall, there is no alternative, other than refusing to co-operate altogether -- a rather common charge that is levelled from the other side of the House --

Mr. Haggerty: They would never do that.

Mr. MacDonald: -- with the result that even less business would be done. It’s the devil’s choice the opposition is faced with. That being the case, it’s absurd that government spokesmen should periodically be laying the blame for delaying legislation on the alleged lack of co-operation of the opposition parties.


Mr. Foulds: Very good point.

Mr. MacDonald: For example, my colleague, the hon. member for Carleton East (Ms. Gigantes), inquired of the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations about a proposed amendment to the Vital Statistics Act. Under the date of July 27 this summer the then minister, the member for Carleton (Mr. Handleman), wrote to her, and I quote: “The legislation is ready for introduction. Scheduling is, of course, a matter for the government and will depend greatly on the agreement between the House leaders as to the time allotted in the fall session. I understand that only 25 hours will be set aside for debate on legislation.” What a distortion of reality.

Mr. Foulds: And truth.

Mr. MacDonald: Obviously, as far back as July, the government had decided that the House wouldn’t be called back until so late this fall that only 25 hours would be available for debate of legislation. This was the grapevine gossip, apparently, within the cabinet. Having made that decision to box the Legislature into an inadequate time frame, the minister none too slyly tried to lay the blame on the opposition House leaders.

Mr. Foulds: Positively shameful.

Mr. MacDonald: That was bad enough, but the Solicitor General (Mr. MacBeth) was back at the same old game during the so-called “late night show” on October 18, just a week or so ago. He attempted to deflect the criticism of delay in bringing amendments to some of his legislation to a lack of co-operation on the part of the opposition parties during the brief summer sittings after the election. Rather coyly, he observed -- I quote: “There was a period in there when we were not moving very quickly, and as I would remind the House, I had responsibility for passage of the legislation and the kind of House that we have at the present time depends on the co-operation of all three parties.”

It is ludicrous that the government should be blaming the House leaders for not getting more legislation passed in those 11 days of sittings after the election. We were attempting to do in 11 sessional days that which should have been done in the couple of months of sittings earlier in the year. And I remind you, the House wasn’t called until March 29.

It becomes even more ludicrous that the government should be paving the way for using the same excuse this fall when the Legislature wasn’t called back until past the middle of October.

There’s an answer to this problem. It can be simply put. This Legislature should be meeting, in my view, at least eight months a year. The rules and procedures should be restructured so as to make the most efficient use of the time. In the introductory chapter of the fourth report of the Camp commission, which I’m sure all members have had an opportunity to peruse, particularly those who have been here for some little time, it was observed, and I quote: “Early in its study, the commission had a clear opinion from the Premier that he was most willing to look favourably on suggestions for better planning of legislative business, even” -- and I draw this to your attention, Mr. Speaker -- “to attempting the establishment of a routine parliamentary year which would spread the sittings and the recesses more evenly over the 12 months.” End quote from the Camp Commission.

I will acknowledge that there has been a vast improvement in the scheduling of business in the House. Enthusiastically, I give credit where credit is due. All the House leaders, and without any detraction from the efforts of my colleague from Wentworth (Mr. Deans) or from the Liberal Party, I give particular credit to the government House Leader (Mr. Welch) because he’s in the driver’s seat. Let us have no illusions about it. But what about this willingness of the Premier to consider, and I quote again, “a routine parliamentary year which would spread the sittings and recesses more evenly over the 12 months”?

The Camp commission took the Premier at his own words and made a general proposal that the Legislature should be convened early after the new year, that it should recess for a mid-term break in the school year, and adjourn for the summer on the last Friday of June, resuming shortly after Labour Day to sit for as long throughout the fall as is necessary to complete the year’s business.

Why has that proposal been so completely ignored? In fact, not just ignored, but defied? Maybe the Camp commission anticipated the reason, for a later paragraph in that report read as follows -- I wonder whether they had their tongue in their cheek when they wrote it: “The commission doesn’t want to suggest, even vaguely, that the ministers in Ontario and their senior officials have any contempt for the Legislature, or view it as merely an inconvenience to be suffered or ignored. On the other hand, it seems clear that the Legislature and its business --”

Mr. Foulds: Let the record show it.

Mr. MacDonald: -- “have nothing like the priority they probably deserve in the plans of those who draft legislation and prepare estimates. That is, we cannot conceive that the senior people in the ongoing government of Ontario give sufficient consideration to the time and purpose of the Legislature.”

That puts it squarely. I submit that the challenge lies with the Premier. It is idle to seek and attempt implementation of ways and means for making the Legislature more efficient and the role of the MPP more meaningful -- that was the whole objective of the Camp commission -- if the work of the Legislature is to be crammed into sessions of only a few months’ duration and the work of the MPP is to be turned into a rat race of activities which are simply not manageable.

Mr. Conway: The Tories want a county council.

Mr. MacDonald: We are stuck -- my final word -- and I accept it, with this nonsensical schedule of business for this fall. But let it never be repeated, for it mocks the government’s pretensions at legislative reform. Most of all, it makes it impossible for the Legislature to do justice to the people’s business.

Mr. C. Taylor: I applaud my colleague across the floor from York South for the comments he made. Being a new member here, I’ve had some difficulty myself figuring out the logic and methods that are carried on in the House and whether the procedures follow any logic or not.

Mr. Martel: They don’t have any.

Mr. C. Taylor: I’m new at it. Naturally, I’m trying to learn. I even brought a copy of the budget down. If it’s a budget debate, I assumed we would talk on the budget.


Mr. C. Taylor: The assumption was in error there. When the member for York South says we do the wrong thing, here I am not knowing what to talk about on the budget. You talk about anything under the sun, I understand. I hope the sun is shining this evening so that I can talk about everything under the sun and continue from there.

I’ve read the budget. It’s an exceedingly good one, and I follow it. I think the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) has put forth the ideas of this government, put forth their ideas and philosophy of this party and put forth his ideas on how to get the province back on its economic footing again. We start with a budget that is trying to be balanced in 1981, albeit a hard and difficult task in these economic times. Then we get down to the budget in our area, how it affects my riding of Simcoe Centre.

Mr. Conway: Great riding.

Mr. C. Taylor: It’s a fantastic riding. I’m glad the opposition recognizes that.

Mr. Martel: If it was a great budget there should be no problem.

Mr. C. Taylor: There are very few problems. Every time they send back a PC member, they get fewer and fewer problems in Simcoe Centre.

Mr. Martel: You know it’s hopeless.

Mr. C. Taylor: I look upon this riding, and I’m very proud of the riding. It is a small Ontario because there are not many things we have in that riding that some portion of this government does not affect or lay legislation to.

Mr. Foulds: Unemployment, true, inflation, true.

Mr. C. Taylor: Employment, true. There are exceptional areas for ambitious people, exceptional areas for employment and exceptional areas for those who want to progress in a good climate.

Mr. Foulds: Hardworking people.

Mr. Conway: It sounds like a family compact.

Mr. Foulds: All spoiled by a Conservative government.

Mr. G. Taylor: We start off when I come down from the north.

Mr. Foulds: You call that the north?

Mr. C. Taylor: We sometimes josh in Simcoe Centre that Ontario stops at Steeles Avenue, but I informed my colleagues on this side of the House that it does go further north, Mr. Speaker, and we start there.

Mr. Germa: Goes to Orillia.

Mr. C. Taylor: I have there, Mr. Speaker, an Indian reservation -- fine people, industrious people. They understand the economy. They have applauded this budget. They have applauded the things that this government has done. So we start there and move down into the forest and park areas and beach areas and tourist area and recreation areas. This budget assists them. We have had the summer employment programs.

Mr. Germa: At $2.65 an hour. Tell us about $2.65 an hour.

Mr. Kerrio: Tell us about Reed Paper.

Mr. G. Taylor: I don’t have a Reed Paper in my riding. I am pleased about that.


Mr. G. Taylor: I mentioned the tourist area. This budget has helped the tourist area. It has enlivened that area. It has given the people in that area --

Mr. Makarchuk: You are mad with excitement.

Mr. C. Taylor: -- some cause to support this government in their programs. I have heard applause from all sides on this budget.

Then I move down into the forest areas. There we do have paper; with reforestation, some of it goes to pulp and paper. This budget helps the small industrious person. It helps the small business person, so we have had success in the economic livelihood of that area. Then as I move further south, we get down into the farming areas. Again --

Mr. Haggerty: What about the farm land?

Mr. C. Taylor: -- there has been some assistance in this budget for the farmers of our area, so there again I can be supportive of the budget.

Then we move right into the urban heart of Barrie. There again the small businessman has been focusing upon the aspects of this budget, giving it its support.

The Ontario economic outlook is not good. We do not have all the problems solved but there in Barrie we have expansion of residential areas, expansion of industry, expansion of tourism. We have the problems that are faced by this province of environmental hazards that are looked for and we are trying to take care of in this budget. There are the labour-management problems that have to be looked after and there again, we are not unmindful of the problems that we have in Barrie. So as we continue and the growth of Barrie continues, this budget will assist them in that area.

As I flow further south and get closer to my Toronto colleagues down here, we have the township of Innisfil and all its problems in growth. There, again, we have a Treasurer who is mindful of that growth. The regional priority funds that have come forth for that area, which has been growing, take care of the problems of growth --

Mr. Conway: He’s taking care of them all right.

Mr. Haggerty: Love them in Niagara.

Mr. Mackenzie: You must have a piece of that Innisfil action yourself.

Mr. C. Taylor: Yes, I love Innisfil. It’s a great township. I am glad my colleagues from the other side there recognize the beautiful action that is taking place in the township of Innisfil, the expansion, the dedication of the people to the expansion of Innisfil. There again as we move further south, the farm land is being preserved. I remember during the election how people used to come in and ride buses all over the concrete that was going to pave the entire area of Simcoe Centre.

Mr. Kerrio: Greyhound buses? Gray Coach or Greyhound?

Mr. G. Taylor: We will get to Greyhound shortly.

Mr. Kerrio: The minister is listening.

Mr. G. Taylor: I can assure the members that minister listens -- a fine minister. And when we get on the subject of Gray Coach, I might even talk about it in this budget debate.

There again, we get to the threat that Simcoe Centre was going to be paved over. The people of Innisfil were not taken in by those who came and said it was going to be paved over; they voted the proper way. They will be proud that the expansion and the annexation of Barrie eventually will give them the type of economic and residential life they are looking forward to.

When we come further south we have the township of West Gwillimbury, the Holland Marsh and the farmers there -- good farm land, industrious people, people who have come from other nations and moulded a farming community. This past fall the schools, again in their industriousness and community spirit, have taken the students out on a learning project by helping the farmers in the area. They have picked the vegetables there in a time of need when, because of the rains, they were rotting in the ground.

That again shows the community spirit of a riding both from the north down to the south, where they get together and work and realize that the economy, the economy of the farmers and the economy of those people, rests upon all of the individuals of the riding. The educators there took the students out and helped those in the farming community when workers were not available and it was necessary to get the work done immediately.


I heard one of the opposition members mention Gray Coach. There again I have put forth a position during the election and have repeated my pleas to cabinet on supporting the Cray Coach position because it does affect the people in my riding.

Mr. Kerrio: I hope they are listening.

Mr. G. Taylor: I leave it at that because I do not want to interfere further with the decisions of cabinet. The minister is listening to that. I am sure when it comes time to make that decision, it will be one that will be for the good of the most people of the province of Ontario, including those in my riding.

Mr. Warner: You will be sitting in the fourth row.

Mr. Conway: Listening won’t be good enough.

Mr. Foulds: Lots of luck, buddy.

Mr. G. Taylor: Then when I look at the different ministries that this government is made up of, I say to myself, “Which ones affect my riding?”

Mr. Makarchuk: I say to myself, “What hath God wrought?”

Mr. Conway: What do they think of the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Miller) up in Barrie?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member for Renfrew North has already participated in this debate.

Mr. Cureatz: We would not have known it.

Mr. Warner: We painfully remember it.

Mr. C. Taylor: We look at the different ministries, how they are represented and affected in the riding, and how this budget brings them forth in a time of restraint. We have the Ministry of Natural Resources in the forest areas and I know how they are looked after by the Ministry of Natural Resources. The minister makes frequent trips through my riding. Indeed, I believe once a week he comes out and checks my riding as he heads north. I am pleased that he is concerned and aware of what is taking place in the riding of Simcoe Centre.

Mr. Foulds: Is he planting any trees?

Mr. Mackenzie: He sleeps through it.

Mr. Conway: What you need is a Minister of Revenue.

Mr. C. Taylor: The Minister of Revenue (Mrs. Scrivener), speaking of him -- I mean her, pardon me --

Mr. Conway: You were right the first time.

Mr. C. Taylor: -- has also paid a visit. We have a superhighway going right up to Barrie and the riding, so they all make very many visits. We have a good cottage area and tourist area. My colleagues across the House can be well assured that they pay particular attention to the Simcoe Centre riding.

Mr. Mackenzie: I take it you have never driven back on a holiday weekend.

Mr. C. Taylor: I think one of the fine features about Simcoe Centre is that I am also protected on each side from colleagues from this side of the House on the ridings on each side. I have a nice comfortable path right up there. I don’t need to worry about people overlapping and causing me problems on any of the boundaries.

Mr. Conway: It might hurt your cabinet chances.

Mr. C. Taylor: As I go through, I can mention further items about the ministry, how we are represented by the farm business in the area, and how the Ministry of Agriculture and Food has its farm and experimental station in the Holland Marsh to improve the crops and improve the features of the fanner in that area. These are provided for by the expenditures of the budget.

As I have mentioned, we have forestry which is both managed and there for the luxury and use of tourism. It provides a small industrial base. It also supplies a great deal of recreational facility for the use of the people of the large metropolitan areas surrounding the riding. I am very proud of the Ministry of Natural Resources and what it does for the area.

We have many other ministries represented, not least being the Ministry of Health, running the Penetanguishene hospital. Should my colleagues across in the opposition need any assistance there I am sure they have sufficient beds to take care of them too.

Mr. Makarchuk: Your colleagues would probably feel at home there.

Mr. C. Taylor: The tourism area is expertly taken care of in this budget. In the Penetanguishene area the forts --

Mr. Kerrio: Of course. You’ve got a tourist area and you haven’t got any tourists.

Mr. Cunningham: Who does the advertising?

Mr. C. Taylor: -- and naval establishment are well looked after.

Mr. Speaker, when I speak of Simcoe Centre, I speak of it proudly. I speak proudly of its residents and of the people who come there. It is an expanding riding. It takes in an enormous amount of territory. It is both an industrial base and a commercial base. It has expanding winter and summer tourism. It has an expanding industrial community, the heart of it being Barrie. It has farming. It is what is “small” Ontario and I believe that as Simcoe Centre goes, so does Ontario.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Scarborough-Ellesmere.

Mr. Warner: Thank you, Mr. Speaker --

Mr. Conway: Stand up.

Mr. Warner: I am standing up.

Mr. Conway: Prove it.

Mr. Warner: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to take part in the budget debate. Before I begin my remarks, I wish again to acknowledge as we did last term, the service which you continually and consistently give this House. You always do a fine job and I, for one, appreciate it.

In a certain sense I think the discussion of a budget of this government really should be done where the budget is set and to whom it’s directed, that is, we should all move down to Bay Street.

This budget and all the budgets that went before it are directed in one direction only. The purpose of them is to sustain those corporate pirates out there who have for so long managed to take money out of the hands of the workers --

Mr. Conway: And what would you know about workers?

Mr. Warner: I’ve met some.

Mr. Peterson: You met one once?

Mr. Kerrio: Now that is a good question, Elie.

Mr. Warner: I’ve met some. He wasn’t included.

Mr. Germa: Sock it to him, baby.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order.

Mr. Warner: Mr. Speaker, the budget that we’ve been presented with and the ones that have gone before it over 34 years have been directed towards one segment of this economy. The consistent handouts to those who don’t need them -- the corporate pirates that I referred to earlier --

Mr. Martel: Robber barons.

Mr. Warner: Yes, and the modern-day robber barons --

Mr. Turner: Even your colleagues smile.

Mr. Makarchuk: Right on, Dave.

Mr. Warner: -- those parasitic creatures such as Harold Ballard and others. You know, Mr. Beddoes always had a phrase, “the Carlton Street cash box,” and that very aptly could describe those parasitic creatures who run those types of establishments.

Mr. Turner: Elie, is this for real?

Mr. Kerrio: You have been watching those Japanese movies.

Mr. Havrot: I didn’t know this was Stratford.

Mr. Foulds: You wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

Mr. Warner: It doesn’t bother either the government or their right-wing counterparts on this side of the House -- or what was affectionately referred to earlier as the two right wings of a turkey -- that those budgets are directed in one direction only, that they do not even sustain the average, ordinary person in this province, and that they do not have any relevance to the workers of this province.

That may not bother them one little bit, but I find it absolutely obscene when my colleague reveals a list of people who, during this so-called AIB period, garnered an extra $100,000 in salary above the $100,000 they were already making. I know that there are people in this city who are starving. I know that there are workers who are forced to work at $3,000 a year, $4,000 a year, $5,000 a year --

Mr. Conway: Warner for leader.

Mr. Warner: And while this is going on, the government over there says, “It is absolutely ridiculous that a worker should earn $8,000 a year.”

Mr. Conway: Warner for leader.

Mr. Warner: The Premier of this province stated that it was ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous, that someone should be earning $8,000 a year.

Mr. Kennedy: Oh, come on. That is not right.

Mr. Warner: And the leader of the official opposition -- not the real opposition, we understand the distinction -- made the point that it was absolutely ridiculous. It would drive people out of work and create further unemployment. It would drive businesses out if people were allowed to make $8,000 a year.

Mr. Conway: Warner for leader.

Mr. Warner: You may like controlled poverty, which is what this budget does.

Mr. Cunningham: Now you are getting silly.

Mr. Conway: Warner for leader.

Mr. Warner: As I set out in a very fair and objective way the parameters for the discussion, I am putting it in the framework that I have because the people whom I represent in my riding are not related to this budget. This budget doesn’t have anything to do with them --

Mr. Conway: Just what are they related to?

Mr. Warner: -- except to make their lot in life worse. I resent that. To think that the Treasurer would have the nerve to bring in a budget that is directed in only one way to support his corporate friends; to think that a Treasurer could continue to hand out $160 million every year in those tax writeoffs while denying working men and women the opportunity to earn more than $5,000 a year.

Mr. Bradley: Now be fair.

Mr. Warner: I’ll be fair. The submission by the Minister of Labour (B. Stephenson) back in September, 1976, to the cabinet said, “You should be increasing the minimum wage in this province and those increases should not come any later than February of 1977.” She provided a table that showed Ontario was number nine in a list of 10 of the lowest paid workers in Canada by province. She drew it to the attention of the cabinet. That submission to cabinet by the Minister of Labour was turned down.

It is wise and fitting in the eyes of the cabinet, and this government of Ontario, that workers should only earn $5,000 a year. While that is going on it is quite all right, thank you, for some of those corporate creeps to earn $200,000 a year. Obscene, absolutely obscene.

Mr. Makarchuk: I like that term. That is creeping corporatism.

Mr. Warner: If this government has any ideas about strengthening the obscenity laws, that is a good place to begin.

Mr. Peterson: You are overpaid.

Mr. Warner: And you are under-worked.

Mr. Foulds: Corporate creep has a nice ring to it.

Mr. Warner: The first of the items I wish to turn to is one that affects my riding directly. I was entirely shocked when I learned earlier today that the Treasurer of Ontario has decided to act in the most irresponsible manner that I could possibly describe.

In my riding earlier this year 700 families experienced severe flooding. We had a storm, the intensity of which we had never had since Hurricane Hazel. My riding, and the other parts that lie in Scarborough, experienced over $500,000 worth of damage. The average was $1,000 per home -- per family.

Those families whose homes were devastated by the flooding are not people who can afford to make the necessary repairs; those are working people who live in my riding, people on fixed incomes, people working at the minimum wage. And this Treasurer apparently has decided that there will not be a disaster relief fund set up.

Words fail to describe how irresponsible and how utterly callous that decision is. I cannot understand the insensitivity of the Treasurer of this province.

Mr. Foulds: You did it for Bette Stephenson and your rich corporate owners of condominiums last year.

Mr. Warner: Those people will first be shocked, secondly dismayed and thirdly very angry. They will react in the only way they know how -- by pleading and begging to this government for relief. They probably won’t get it, because of an insensitive Treasurer who can find $160 million for corporate friends but cannot find $1,000 for a family to repair the damage that was done due to natural causes. A shameful behaviour for the Treasurer --


Mr. Germa: Shame, shame, shame. Resign, resign.

Mr. Warner: -- and a shameful behaviour for this government. The whole bloody lot of them should resign.

Mr. Makarchuk: That’s the spirit.


Mr. Warner: I’m sorry, Mr. Speaker, I will withdraw the part about the whole lot of them and just put in the cabinet.

Mr. Foulds: The back-benchers will agree.

Mr. Makarchuk: They always believe there is room for a promotion.


Mr. Warner: I think the latest reject has joined them. I listened very carefully to the announcement made this afternoon.


Mr. Warner: I listened this afternoon to the announcement by the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations on rent review and how he was now going to move to amend it to be six per cent. He was now going to institute, one, what we had told him earlier should be done and was rejected and, two, what was the purported reason for the election. Laughable it may be but in $20 million and a slight shuffle of six seats later we are back at the very point we began from back in the spring.

Mr. Havrot: Who got the $20 million?

Mr. Warner: We told him that that is what should be done. He ignored it, said we had to have an election over it, and then turns around and institutes the very thing today.

And what will happen? You will raise the expectations of people in my riding and others who think that they might get a bigger measure of protection now. What a joke.

From the time that the rent review legislation was implemented we have never hit an average of eight per cent control on rents. The provincial average, it seems to me, and my colleague from Ottawa Centre (Mr. Cassidy) could verify it, but I believe the provincial average is somewhere around 14 or 15 per cent, increases in rent. And do you know why? Because this government never drew up the right kind of guidelines. The guidelines are the same as the kind of guidelines that we see in the budget: protection for those big landlords who own those places.

When you go to rent review on behalf of the tenants you find that the tenants are there at their own expense and the landlord is there at the expense of the tenants, because he can hire high-priced help -- lawyers, accountants and bookkeepers -- and charge the whole thing against the rent review. And the rent review officer, because of the guidelines that are given to him, must accept those charges and build it into whatever rent decision he reaches.

What a system. What a system. Purposely designed. And the message is there. It’s there subtly in those guidelines. It’s there again in today’s announcement. “Hang on fellows over at Cadillac Fairview. Hang on you guys; just a little bit longer. December, 1978 will come and then it breaks loose and you will have a field day.”

Mr. Martel: The catch-up.

Mr. Warner: “You think you had fun before; wait until the lid is off in December 1978 -- “

Mr. Turner: Can’t stand it, eh, Elie?

Mr. Warner: “ -- and you can gouge to your heart’s delight.” And will they? They certainly will.

When we started into the legislation over the rent review process there were a lot of cases that were trotted out by members and explained in passionate terms trying to convince the government that they had to act; they had to protect people.

One of the most interesting cases I ever ran across was one that was never even settled through that rent review process. It involved a building not far from here -- I believe it is in the riding of St. George -- and I know it was investigated well by the excellent member for St. George (Mrs. Campbell). She always has an open and compassionate heart for people. She met with the people in that building and those people told her, as they told myself, the story of how there were some corporate characters over on St. Clair who wanted to turn an apartment building into a luxury resting place. They were able, by pushing the rents up, to push the people out, and as they pushed the people out they renovated the place and turned it into a resting place for their executives. This was at a time when we desperately need affordable housing in this province.

This afternoon we went through a question and answer session with the minister without housing over the Kitchener-Waterloo deal -- and admittedly we need all the figures on that. We don’t know exactly how much money is being spent on that land; we don’t know exactly what those costs are; and we don’t know the precise profit the government will garner from that.

The interesting statistic that came out of that for me is that we spent a great deal of time arguing and squabbling over what amounts to probably 200 units of so called affordable housing -- 200 units. I suspect that last year’s budget has probably produced not much more than 200 affordable units in the province of Ontario. Juxtapose that against a waiting list of 10,000 people in the city of Toronto for public housing and we get 200 units from the government. Shameful.

It reminds me very much of the fights that I’ve had with Ontario Housing Corporation.

Mr. Peterson: You lost them all because you are no good.

Mr. Warner: All of us here I’m sure understood and appreciated the situation of the family who had to pitch a tent on the front lawn of this place a few weeks ago, in a desperate attempt to point out to this government that they did not have housing. They did not have a place to live and the major reason for that was this government --

Mr. Peterson: That’s where I pitch my tent.

Mr. Warner: -- because this government has no responsibility, it feels, towards developing good housing. There should not be affordable housing for the people of Ontario, according to this government, and it never bothers to budget.

I’m willing to make a prediction tonight that a year from now there won’t be any Ministry of Housing. You’re getting out of the business.

Mr. Havrot: Oh yes. Shame.

Mr. Warner: You’re dismantling the thing.

Mr. Peterson: You’re against housing.

Mr. Warner: And you stop and look at it --

Mr. Peterson: That’s where I pitch my tent.

Mr. Havrot: Pup tents.

Mr. Warner: The member for Timiskaming seems to feel --

Mr. Peterson: He thinks you’re crazy.

Mr. Warner: He seems to think I’m crazy. I’ll tell you you’re not alone.

Mr. Havrot: I know, because everybody else agrees.

Mr. Warner: If you think that will deter me you’re crazy.

Mr. Havrot: Thank you, very much.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order.

Mr. Warner: While the member over there may not feel it’s particularly relevant that we talk about the disappearance of the Ministry of Housing, I ask him to take a look at what has happened over the last couple of years.

Where was rent control put? It should have belonged with Housing. I thought we were controlling the rents of a form of housing. No, it was given to the minister of corporate protection.

What happens to the Ontario Housing Corporation? What are they doing? They’re selling off the land. They are getting rid of the land that they presumably were land banking for the use of the people of Ontario.

Mr. Germa: Shame, shame.

Mr. Warner: They are now a developer and a speculator.

Mr. Makarchuk: Gougers.

Mr. Warner: What is happening to the Ontario Housing stock in Metro Toronto? You are turning it over to the trust companies to run for you. I ask you what is left for the minister without housing to do?

Mr. Havrot: Bring out the straitjacket.

Mr. Warner: I ask you, Mr. Speaker, what is left for the minister without housing to do. We’re just lucky there’s no Senate in Ontario.

What is so frustrating is that this government has never really recognized that decent, affordable housing is a right, not a privilege. They have never recognized that. That is why we see the dismantlement of the Ministry of Housing, we see a total disregard for public housing and we see an absolute non-commitment for non-profit housing. The member for Timiskaming (Mr. Havrot) will be enthralled to learn about non-profit housing.

Mr. Havrot: Tell us more.

Mr. Warner: In Sweden, for example, 40 per cent of all housing stock is non-profit.

Mr. Havrot: What about the taxes in Sweden. They are dandy.

Mr. Warner: Yes, I’m glad you raised that question.

Mr. Peterson: What are you doing here? They kicked that government out.

Mr. Warner: In the last survey that was done comparing six different jurisdictions, including Sweden and Ontario, it was found that Sweden had the highest per capita disposable income after taxes; higher than Ontario. Imagine that.

Mr. Havrot: They have the highest taxes in the world and the highest costs.

Mr. Warner: And the lowest taxes of the six jurisdictions; lower than Ontario.

Mr. Peterson: That’s because they changed governments.

Mr. Warner: And the best stock of housing in the world. And, Mr. Speaker, we’ll add to it. Do you know who out of those six jurisdictions had the highest per capita suicide rate --

Mr. Havrot: Sweden.

Mr. Warner: -- among children aged five to 11? Ontario.

Mr. Peterson: Scarborough-Ellesmere.

Mr. Havrot: The NDP.

Mr. Warner: There’s a good reason for that; children’s services in this province are an absolute shambles.

Mr. Havrot: You’re driving them all crazy.

Mr. Peterson: If you feel you want to assist, you have our blessing.

Mr. Warner: What are you blessing me on?

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order.

Mr. Peterson: I said if you feel you want to assist you have our blessing.

Mr. Ruston: You should have stayed in the classroom.

Mr. Warner: The government should take those kinds of surveys very seriously and it should take them to heart. Despite what other members over there might feel, I find it very disturbing when I look at a survey like that to discover that Ontario has the worst suicide rate of those six jurisdictions, which included -- and I should name the other ones -- the United States, Canada as a jurisdiction, Ontario as a separate jurisdiction --

Mr. Havrot: What about Russia?

Mr. Warner: -- Sweden, West Germany and Great Britain. To think that out of those six industrial nations, Ontario should have the worst record in terms of child suicides is a very discouraging kind of thing and it needs some answers. It’s up to the government to provide them. They are supposedly in charge.

Mr. Havrot: Yes, the government is supposed to prevent suicides.

Mr. Warner: Most of us wonder, but members over there are supposedly in charge. If they have an extremely high suicide rate among children, explain it please.

Mr. Havrot: It’s up to the parents. It’s not up to the government.

Mr. Warner: That will give us a place to start.

I tell you what I suspect. First of all, children’s services are a shambles, and one of the reasons is that we don’t fund the Children’s Aid Societies properly.

Mr. Turner: Everything is awful.

Mr. Warner: When we get to a Children’s Aid Society which doesn’t function properly, such as the Metro Toronto Catholic Children’s Aid Society, what do we do? We turn our backs and walk away. If you’re the government, you turn your backs and walk away. The government doesn’t bother bringing them under control, make them operate properly and give them the funds they need. It just throws up its hands and says it will sort itself out. Nonsense; absolute nonsense.

I’m glad that the Minister of Transportation and Communications (Mr. Snow) is here this evening --

Mr. Havrot: Here it comes.

Mr. Warner: -- because I have a few little goodies for him. I’m not going to ask that the minister should justify the policy, or what appears to be the policy priority, over the last 20 years. Since he hasn’t been the minister for 20 years that’s hardly fair. I will, before I begin those remarks, certainly acknowledge that the Minister of Transportation and Communications makes a good honest effort at running his ministry and trying to do a good job. I acknowledge that.


What seems to me is the difficulty -- and if I’m unfair about this I want to hear about it -- is that the priority of this government has for too long been with the building and construction of roads and expressways as opposed to the development of good public transit.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Hog-wash.

Mr. Havrot: Hire more donkeys.

Mr. Warner: All right. You say hog-wash, and maybe you’re right. I’m giving you my perspective on that. I’m saying that that’s so.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Do you know what hog-wash is?

Mr. Warner: I will readily admit -- and the minister may or may not be interested to know that I have on public platforms pursued this issue somewhat on your behalf -- that the federal government has a responsibility in public transit, particularly in large urban centres in this country.

In Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Halifax, they have a responsibility, I think, towards capital costs. I think that’s where they rightfully belong with their money. They made a promise that they would deliver $280 million to Metro Toronto during an election campaign in 1974, in the month of July I believe, and never kept the promise. Not one penny has come to Metro Toronto from that supposed $280 million.

Mr. Bradley: But they did put that in.

Mr. Warner: When I listened to the statement that was made by the minister today, he’s absolutely right. I suspect that this so-called revelation that was delivered this morning by the minister -- was it Otto Lang?

Mr. Mancini: I heard it last night. It was a waste of time.

Mr. Warner: That commitment could possibly mean fewer dollars for Ontario than what we have been getting. I suspect that’s what we might end up with.

It bothers me that we haven’t had a stated priority, and the dollars to back it up over the last 10 or 15 years, towards public transit. I know now that you’re in a bind -- and I speak of Metro Toronto here -- and that it’s very difficult to develop a good public transit system with the high capital costs unless the federal government is going to get involved.

I recognize that. I understand it, but one of the things that could offset some of that, particularly for people in Toronto, is if the government would hand the grants over without the strings.

If the government says we’re going to pay 15 per cent of the operating costs, so be it; but where the additional 85 per cent comes from is surely none of your business.

Hon. Mr. Snow: It isn’t. There are no strings.

Mr. Warner: With the greatest respect, when I hear the minister’s friends, such as the Metro chairman and the mayor of all the people, Mayor Crombie, tell me that those are conditional grants and they understood they were conditional grants; and they in fact show me --

Hon. Mr. Snow: You’re totally wrong. Whoever told you that?

Mr. Warner: They showed me a letter from the minister which they construed to mean that it was a conditional grant, that if they did not guarantee that 70 per cent of the operating costs came out of the fare box the province would not hand over the 15 per cent.

Hon. Mr. Snow: That is a downright untruth.

Mr. Warner: Then I will sit and witness the fight between the minister and Paul Godfrey, because that’s where it belongs.

Hon. Mr. Snow: There’s no fight at all.

Mr. Warner: His interpretation is a little different from the minister’s.

Hon. Mr. Snow: If you can’t read, I can’t help it.

Mr. Warner: We’ll get on to the reading portion later, because the minister has fallen down there too.

Right now I want to pursue the policy a bit, because the money over the years has been spent for expressways. When I look at Toronto -- and we know what goes on in Metro Toronto, a few years ago there was a chap who had a great design for expressways in Toronto, we should have one across the top of the city --

Hon. Mr. Snow: You have one.

Mr. Warner: -- one across the bottom, one on each side; and a cross-town expressway.


Mr. Warner: Absolutely, right on.

The Spadina Expressway, that hooked up with the Gardiner; the Gardiner Expressway to the Don Valley and so on. Do you know what they did, very clever chaps?

They got the concept accepted. They then started to buy the land in parcels, a little bit at a time; and pave it, a little bit at a time; so that when you get embroiled in the fight you can say to the citizens: “Look, we are only going to extend it to St. Clair. We are only going to extend it to Eglinton.” And the government of Ontario says: “Look, it’s not a lot of money. We are going to pay x million dollars, because we are only paving it a mile and a half.”

But as you do that, over 20 years, what happens? You end up with expressways crisscrossing your city, runing the city in a way that the people of the city do not want.

The final crowning touch, of course, was the Scarborough Expressway; the Scarborough Expressway which a lot of people think has died. Not so. It is in a state of suspended animation perhaps, but it is not dead. Because you know, Mr. Speaker, probably hidden somewhere in this budget are the funds that are set aside for the Pickering airport.

The first opportunity you get, the airport goes in; and the minute that happens the expressway gets rammed through that residential area.

And you know the kind of expressway they are talking about; elevated. Elevated right across, through and over the houses. That’s the path; the projected, proposed path that it takes.

Destructive, absolutely destructive. But you know you are willing to spend money on that. You are willing to spend money on a Pickering airport. You always have been.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Where did you get that idea?

Mr. Warner: From Dr. Godfrey, I was involved in that fight for a long time.

Hon. Mr. Snow: You know what happened to Dr. Godfrey.

Mr. Warner: You hid behind the fact -- and the next time the airport comes back he will be back here.

Mr. Kerrio: Jim’s the only one here who can’t hide behind anybody.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order, please. The member for Niagara Falls (Mr. Kerrio) is not in his own seat.

Mr. Warner: Very good, and his seat is in the gallery.

Mr. Speaker, in conclusion, I don’t wish to be unfair about it to the minister, but you know if it really is a policy priority to push public transit, I wish he would make it a little more evident to us and to the people out there, and back it up with money and with some statements.

Hon. Mr. Snow: How much money do you want?

Mr. Warner: Does the minister want me to give him a figure? For starters, I think what he could do is increase the percentage of operating costs by two per cent and we wouldn’t have to increase the fares for the TTC; two per cent, that’s all I want.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Another two per cent next year, two per cent the year after.

Mr. Warner: I didn’t say next year, this year; two per cent.

I think the very real fight the minister has to carry on, of course, is with those characters in Ottawa, because they have an obligation, a responsibility. They may not want to live up to election promises; they never do. Nobody expects them to, but they should come across with the $280 million or some similar facsimile.

Hon. Mr. Snow: We put in $230 million last year and $230 million this year.

Mr. Warner: And how much on roads? How much on highways and expressways?

Hon. Mr. Snow: None on expressways.

Mr. Warner: None on expressways, the minister is saving that for next year. Mr. Speaker, I would like to --


Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Warner: You know if I could -- I am finished with that so if you want to leave, that’s fine -- I want to go back to the housing question for a minute. Mr. Speaker, because you know I heard a gentleman on the radio this morning who had a very interesting question. He raised the question, you know, that the province, of course, has not provided affordable housing, they have neglected that. One of the difficulties in affordable housing is the high mortgage rates, and what the gentleman suggested was that since the province won’t do it, since the province will not exert any pressure on those mortgage interest rates, since they won’t even allow credit unions to handle that, perhaps what they could do is take some of the profits from Wintario and set up an eight per cent mortgage fund that prospective home buyers could draw on. An interesting idea. Perhaps the minister of Wintario will think about it.

Mr. Havrot: Real robber barons; shame.

Mr. Warner: That’s kind of an interesting thought, when you mull it over. Mortgages are very high. The federal government has made sure that all those nice friendly people in the banks and the mortgage companies and the trust companies will make handsome profits. They have never bothered to be concerned about the home buyers.

The real answer to that whole business, of course, is that you simply legislate that a portion of those profits be used specifically for low interest mortgage rates. That’s a change in the Bank Act that’s required from the federal government, but they won’t do it.

Perhaps this government could move in by way of Wintario funds and set up a mortgage fund. I leave it for the cabinet to mull over in their extra leisure moments at La Scala.

I would like to move on to the Ombudsman --

Mr. Havrot: Who?

Mr. Warner: Yes, who? That’s a good question. I was part of the group who said that to have an Ombudsman in the province of Ontario is a very good and desirable thing. I felt we should spend some money on it and we should pass some legislation. We should allow the Ombudsman to operate in a somewhat free way to handle the problems of the people in this province when they cannot get redress through the normal channels.

I am becoming increasingly disturbed as the budget grows and we get up around $3 million for the Ombudsman’s office, and I am not seeing results out of that Ombudsman’s office. I have sent people there with some very serious problems --

Mr. McKessock: Why don’t you do your own constituency work?

Mr. Warner: Because I am busy doing yours.

In one particular case, this gentleman had a very real problem with Ontario Hydro. He was a Hydro employee. He had, by mutual agreement, gone to work for two years for another government agency. When he returned to the job, his years of service to be applied against his pension were to start over again.

They then amended that to say “no, it would be all of the years he served with Hydro, but not the two years he had spent with another government agency.”

Very strange. I don’t understand the logic of that. They are two government agencies. He was on loan from one agency to the other, but he misses out those two years of his pension.

Hydro wasn’t about to change their position so I sent him to the Ombudsman. There was nowhere else to send him. The Ombudsman came back with the same answer that I had found for the constituent five months earlier. I am beginning to wonder where our $3 million is being spent, and what kind of results we are getting for it.

I am not saying we shouldn’t have an Ombudsman --

Mr. Peterson: What are you saying, then?

Mr. Warner: Don’t get me wrong -- I think the concept is a valid one. We need an Ombudsman.

Mr. Peterson: What are you saying?

Mr. Warner: First of all, I question the amount of money that is being spent. You know, the opposite side of that is that Morty Shulman said “I could run the show for $100,000.” Probably not $100,000, but I’ll tell you it wouldn’t be $3 million.

Mr. Turner: You know what your caucus told him.

Mr. Warner: Morty could do the job, and would do the job; and he wouldn’t spend $3 million doing it.

Mr. Cunningham: How much would you spend?

Mr. Warner: However, at this point I want to remain objective about it. We need, perhaps, to give the office a little more time; but I think that we have to have a pretty detailed examination of where that money is going, and of the results. Like the other 124 members, I got the report of the Ombudsman, and those little numbers don’t do me much good.


There has been sleight of hand in this budget, as there was in last year’s budget. A lot of taxpayers in my area and in the rest of Metro think their taxes have gone up because of the local spending on education. But it isn’t so. This government in the last two years has reduced its expenditure on education for Metropolitan Toronto by 10 per cent.

Mr. Havrot: It’s about time.

Mr. Warner: Only 22 per cent of our educational dollars are now coming from the province of Ontario, and the remainder is raised by the property tax. They do that sleight of hand because it isn’t obvious to the people out there. Their tax bills come from the municipal politicians; so, when the education tax goes up, they blame the municipal politicians. Well, the blame rests over there, because it’s this Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) and this budget that has helped to increase the property taxes, and in particular the education tax.

Mr. Havrot: You’re all wrong.

Mr. Warner: Thank you. That makes two of them. There was one guy down here.

That kind of sleight of hand isn’t going to wash forever, because the taxpayers are beginning to get the message.

Mr. Ashe: In Manitoba too.

Mr. Peterson: You’ve got your metaphors mixed.

Mr. Warner: Last night I attended a meeting to deal with education and there were close to 1,000 residents there.

Mr. Cunningham: I thought you bowled on Wednesday nights.

Mr. Warner: They wouldn’t let me in the same place where the member goes.

Mr. Mackenzie: You guys have got a long way to go.

Mr. Warner: That’s right. They’ll never pin that one on me.

At the meeting last night, where there were approximately 1,000 residents who had come out to discuss the education portion of the Robarts report. The statement was made there, not only by myself but by others, that the real problem in all this finance rests with the government of Ontario because they’re the ones who have been cutting back on expenditures and forcing the property taxes upwards.

Do you know something, Mr. Speaker? There wasn’t one person in that audience of 1,000 who disagreed -- not one -- because they’re beginning to get the message. As those property taxes skyrocket, they know who is to blame.

Hon. Mr. Snow: You wouldn’t mislead them, would you?

Mr. Warner: Is the minister kidding? I don’t play his game.

Talk about sky-rocketing taxes, the next little goody the government is going to toss at us -- and according to the Treasurer it will either be just before the winter recess or in the spring -- is the Blair commission stuff: market value assessment. Isn’t that going to be a goody? Some of the figures are in now --

Mr. Kerrio: Dave, are you going to run out the clock?

Mr. Warner: Sure. Why not?

Mr. Peterson: If you are, we’re all going home.

Mr. Warner: I share the hon. member’s trepidation that I may not have enough time, but I’m quite willing to resume next Thursday.

Mr. Peterson: We are having a lot of trouble holding a quorum; that’s why.

Mr. Warner: They have trouble holding a caucus, let alone a quorum.

When you talk about the Blair commission and market value assessment, Mr. Speaker, do you know that some of the figures are in, indicating that -- and catch this one -- a house with a 15-foot frontage in downtown Toronto will see a $500 increase in taxes? I’ll tell you right now, Mr. Speaker, the people who live in those houses cannot afford a $500 increase in their property taxes.

Mr. Peterson: You are right. I live in one. You are quite right. Keep it up.

Mr. Warner: The member lives in one? He probably has one for a dressing room.

I don’t know what it is that motivates this government to foist a $500 increase upon working people who can’t afford that. I don’t understand that.

Mr. Peterson: They hate people in 15-foot houses.

Mr. Warner: I don’t know why they persist, for example, in punishing senior citizens by heaping the education tax on them.

There is a resolution on the order paper by my buono companio from Downsview which reads that education tax should be taken off for seniors. I started that fight three years ago prior to the 1975 election and have carried it on ever since, and will continue. This insensitive government sits there and says it’s fine to drive elderly people out of their homes; that it is all right, there is nothing wrong with it.

Mr. Baetz: What about property tax credits?

Mr. Warner: Property tax credit, the man says! Do you know how much that is? At best $180 a year -- big deal -- for someone who is on the old age pension. Absolute peanuts.

Mr. Havrot: It’s peanuts to you, I guess, but it’s a lot of money to other people.

Mr. Germa: Why do you hate old people?

Mr. Warner: Do you know why I say it is peanuts? Unlike you, I have contact with those senior citizens --

Mr. Havrot: Oh, you do? You aren’t the only one who has contact.

Mr. Warner: -- who are told by this government “Sell your house.”

Mr. Havrot: You have got a priority on virtue -- do-gooder.

Mr. Mackenzie: At least we know you haven’t.

Mr. Warner: No, I don’t have a corner on the market, I just understand it. It really galls me to think when any person, but particularly a senior citizen, phones the government, which he expects is going to have some dispassionate, but objective and feeling remarks to make, and the government says to him “If you can’t pay the bills, sell your house.”

Mr. Cunningham: Stephen sold his.

Mr. Warner: He wasn’t a senior citizen.

Mr. Conway: Oh, but he is growing old.

Mr. Warner: That treatment of senior citizens is absolutely wrong. There just aren’t words to express the anger that I feel when I have a senior citizen in tears tell me that.

Mr. Conway: Did the member for Yorkview (Mr. Young) have you in tears?

Mr. Warner: No, but you will. Some of the members over here appreciate it and understand it.

Mr. Conway: I am old but not that old.

Mr. Mackenzie: You are about the oldest member in the House.

Mr. Conway: The Geritol caucus.

Mr. Warner: Some of the worst situations in Ontario today are for women around the age of 50 to 55 whose husbands suddenly die and there is no life insurance, there is no job and there is no income. No matter what social benefit you go to in this government, there isn’t a sufficient amount of money to meet the needs of those women. Do you know what the government says then? “Sell your house.”

Mr. Conway: So, in conclusion.

Mr. Warner: Last week I fell asleep during the member for Renfrew North’s speech. I’d appreciate a similar return.

Mr. Conway: It is not that your speech doesn’t deserve it.

Mr. Baetz: You can keep your house and still get welfare benefits.

Mr. Warner: Baloney.

Mr. Baetz: Baloney nothing.

Mr. Warner: With the greatest of respect, you should be the Minister of Agriculture and Food.

Mr. Peterson: There is a real Tory speaking.

Mr. Warner: That is a solid Tory through and through. He should be the Minister of Agriculture and Food. He has learned how to grow baloney,

Mr. Cunningham: You are being silly again.

Mr. Havrot: You should know where baloney comes from too.

Mr. Makarchuk: The new technology -- he grows baloney.

Mr. Peterson: If he could do it, he would be Premier.

Mr. Mackenzie: He thought he was going to be in the cabinet.

Mr. Warner: One of the most disturbing things that has happened in the last few weeks, and it is related to this budget, was the announcement by the Treasurer of Ontario to the Provincial-Municipal Liaison Committee that they could expect the generosity of a 5.3 per cent increase in the transfer payments next year. You and I both know what that means, Mr. Speaker. The municipalities have programs which must be fulfilled. Many of those programs, I remind you, are ones that the province lured the municipalities into. Once the programs are going, the government of Ontario gets out and the municipality is stuck with carrying on the program.

A good example is the day care. That is what happens with daycare centres. We’ll give you the money to start them up; once you get them going we will take the money out and you run them. Fine, you run them; but where is the money?

Those daycare centres get operating and then the Treasurer says you are going to get five per cent increase next year. Five per cent: that is not sufficient. You know it and I know it. The Treasurer knows it and won’t admit it, because what he says is those municipalities are irresponsible, they don’t know how to manage their budgets, they don’t know how to spend their money.

Mr. Conway: Insensitive Tories.

Mr. Warner: That’s absolute nonsense. In the city of Metro Toronto, for example -- and I’ll give you a very real problem that we face; and if this government doesn’t believe it now, perhaps they will in a short while when the report is released on racial violence in Toronto. We have a serious problem in the city of Toronto, and one of the answers to it, as identified by the Metro Toronto police force, is that we need an extra 100 officers. And many of those officers should be community liaison officers; we need community workers working in the community to help relieve the racial tension that has built up.

Mr. Conway: Give Phil a pistol.

Mr. Warner: Will we get the money? Absolutely not. I’ll tell you right now, although this city identified the need for 100 extra police officers we won’t hire one, not one, because of the Treasurer of Ontario. And as the racial problems build in Metro, as they get worse --

Hon. Mr. Snow: Darcy never was a policeman.

Mr. Baetz: Very inflammatory; you are building it up.

Mr. Warner: The duke of Chatham-Kent probably wasn’t much of anything, but then again that is his problem.

But we live with it, because the budget comes back to us and we are told in Metro Toronto you are going to have an increase of only five per cent and you can run all those programs we set up for you. Handle the racial problems; try to run the transportation system; try to run the school system -- and we don’t have the money to do it. And the crunch comes back --

Mr. Conway: Is the educational system getting along without you, David?

Mr. Warner: Not as well. They are surviving, but just.

It comes back on the property tax -- I see this whole dialogue has attracted yet another member.

The particular remarks although they are always understood and appreciated by the previous occupant of the Speaker’s chair will have an even more definite meaning to the present, who has resided in this city for a long time, who has dealt with some of the problems that I have just finished outlining --

Mr. Conway: Vernon Singer has lost weight.

Mr. Kerrio: We won’t hold that against him.

Mr. Conway: Is it true he is running for mayor?

Mr. Warner: I am sure, Mr. Speaker, you will make every conscious effort possible to persuade the Treasurer of Ontario that his budgeting is wrong and that Metro Toronto needs more money, because we have problems that we cannot solve without the additional funds.

I would like to touch upon another area that is hit by those budget cutbacks. What happens when you start to load the taxes onto the property, what happens when you increase the property tax and decrease the amount of money which is spent on education, is that you hurt some of those -- boy, it’s bringing them from all over the place; how about that.

Mr. Makarchuk: A real, honest-to-goodness cabinet minister.

Mr. Warner: I welcome the minister who needs correction.


You know, as you cut back in the educational system, the first to get hurt are those children requiring special education. In particular -- and I wish the member for York Centre (Mr. Stong) were here because he would appreciate these remarks. The member for York Centre -- the other members of the House may not be aware of this -- spent a great deal of time working on the difficult problem that children with learning disabilities face.

Mr. Havrot: I see you have that problem too.

Mr. Peterson: Was he your teacher?

Mr. Warner: So the flunkout from the gong show is still here.

As the member for York Centre knows very well those children who have learning difficulties have been abandoned by this province, absolutely abandoned.

Mr. Conway: He is a great member.

Mr. Warner: I believe the member for York Centre has taken at least one of these cases to court as a legal representative.

Partly because there are too many children in classrooms, the child with the problem doesn’t have that learning difficulty detected early enough. He or she goes through, perhaps, some remedial classes, but without anybody really detecting what the difficulty is. When it is finally unearthed, the answer comes back, “I’m sorry but there really isn’t very much we can do for you here in Ontario, because Ontario does not deal with this problem. But there is a place where your youngster can go to school and get the kind of specialized schooling which is needed.” That is, to some of the special schools, such as Gow school in New York state, or other schools throughout the United States. The child can attend there; it will cost the family approximately $5,000 per year, but they can send the youngster there.

Because the government abrogates its responsibility in this regard, the parents are left to fend for themselves. You and I might think this particular expenditure and this particular concern should come under the Ministry of Education, but it doesn’t. A child with a learning disability is not considered to be part of the educational system. Do you know the only people in this whole government who can help him? Rehabilitation officials in the Ministry of Community and Social Services. Somehow it’s a social service if we help children to learn to read.

What nonsense. Because this government cannot take on the responsibility of educating every child in this province, parents are left saddled financially and emotionally with a very severe problem and that youngster, if he’s to get help, goes to the United States.

Then Community and Social Services complain, and rightly so, that they are spending an inordinate amount of their budget on what really shouldn’t be their problem. They’re supposed to be rehabilitating workers. Why are they having to spend money on children? There’s a loophole in the law, a spot in the courts; and that’s where the money is for this assistance, if you can get it. But they shouldn’t have to be spending the money on that, it’s a function of education.

However, we cannot convince the government. In all fairness, I do not blame the Minister of Education (Mr. Wells). In my own opinion, with some exceptions, the Minister of Education has a very firm, compassionate understanding of the needs of education in this province.

Mr. Havrot: Right, way to go.

Mr. Warner: But the problem comes to rest on the entire cabinet, because obviously the argument --

Mr. Havrot: That was a left-handed compliment.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Not me.

Mr. Warner: Not the minister because he has just arrived in cabinet, and he may be part of the revolving door routine, we don’t know.

Hon. Mr. Drea: If you are ever in one of my revolving doors --

Mr. Warner: The problem has been put before Community and Social Services, by members of this House, through the court system and through constituents, and yet the government refuses to do anything about it.

We’ve got another bill on the order paper, one that’s been here for some time; it appears every year. It says that every child in this province has the right to an education. I don’t know when this government is going to accept it. It hasn’t done so over 33 years but at some point it has to because every child does have a right. The government has to meet the individual needs of each child in education, and it has to fund it properly and stop pushing that expense back onto the taxpayers. It’s not going to wash forever.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Where do you think that money comes from?

Mr. Ashe: It grows on trees.

Mr. Warner: We could probably start with the minister’s salary, but I’m not sure that’s fair.

I keep getting more samples of potash.

Mr. Elgie: Sammy’s waiting to speak.

Mr. Cureatz: Just five minutes.

Mr. Peterson: Let Sammy run.

Mr. Warner: I will leave that to be decided by the whips. You decide when I should stop, okay? I’m just getting started; I’m just getting warmed up.

An hon. member: Our whips have all gone.

Mr. Warner: Your whips have all gone? Terrific.

While I follow through on Metro, I was talking earlier about the racial problems that exist here --

Mr. Peterson: But not well. You haven’t talked about it well.

Mr. Warner: -- and are going to be underscored pretty heavily when that report comes out from Mr. Pitman in the next day or so. The Ontario Human Rights Commission has tried --

Mr. Peterson: They feel very sorry for us listening to this speech.

Mr. Warner: File a complaint.

The commission has tried over the years to work through some of those problems. Do you know the story, Mr. Speaker? It doesn’t get enough money. The Human Rights Commission doesn’t have the officers to pursue those cases. It doesn’t have the investigative staff.

Mr. Havrot: Oh, come on.

Mr. Warner: Talk to Mr. Armstrong --

Ms. Gigantes: You know that’s true.

Mr. Havrot: Just come to the estimates discussion and find out how much money they have.

Mr. Warner: Talk to Bromley Armstrong and Dr. Wilson Head, as I have, and the hon. member will find that the story is partly financial. They don’t have the officers to pursue those cases.

Mr. Havrot: Where were you during the Labour estimates?

Hon. Mr. Drea: Everybody in this world tells you they haven’t got enough money.

Mr. Warner: Listen, I know the minister is busy trying to lock up women. It’s okay.

Hon. Mr. Snow: There’s one over there you can start with.

Mr. Warner: He’s got a brand-new jail in his riding to do it with.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Don’t you like that jail?

Mr. Warner: By the way, what ever happened to the courthouse? I thought we were getting a courthouse in the minister’s riding?

Hon. Mr. Drea: You are. You are. You are. That’s three times I have said it.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please. Could I ask the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere to continue with his speech --

Hon. Mr. Snow: What?

Mr. Acting Speaker: -- without listening to the interjections? I would ask the hon. minister to cease interjecting.

Mr. Warner: I would be glad to continue with my eloquent remarks. Thank you.

It’s a very curious kind of spending that goes on. Most people here, other than the member for Scarborough Centre, are not aware of the exact geographic boundaries of my riding, but when they go to put a building in, there’s no way it’s going into my riding. It goes on the south side of Eglinton Avenue, which is Scarborough Centre.

Hon. Mr. Drea: That’s not true.

Mr. Warner: The courthouse goes on -- the east side of McCowan Road?

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, the detention centre is not in my riding. The detention centre on Eglinton Avenue is in the riding of the leader of the NDP.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Drea: I would suggest that the member keep that straight --

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please. That is not a point of order. If you disagree with what a member says, you can raise it at another time, but that is not a point of order. The member may continue.

Mr. Warner: Mr. Speaker, although it’s not a point of order, I stand corrected and I appreciate it having been pointed out to me.

Hon. Mr. Drea: If you don’t even know where your own leader lives, my friend, you’re not in much of a position to argue.

Mr. Mackenzie: That’s why he wants to filibuster.

Mr. Warner: We talked earlier about the minimum wage and the fact that this government feels that $5,000 is a reasonable amount of money for a person to try to exist on today and that $8,000 a year is unreasonable, extravagant, way too high. While the government is doing that, it is helping to undermine the moral fibre of the people who work for a living. You don’t require much moral fibre if you’re George Weston, because you can be an economic leech and be praised for it.

There is no moral fibre required if you’re an E. P. Taylor because, again, you can have parasitic paralysis set in on the nation and you get cheered for it. But the worker who goes to work day-by-day and works for $2.65 an hour, or $5,000 a year, is told that he really shouldn’t be making any more.

What that does is say to that person that he’s not worth very much; that society doesn’t consider him very important. He reads in the paper that there are people who not only are earning $100,000 a year but get a $100,000 increase -- it’s obscene, it’s absolutely obscene -- but you’re earning $5,000 and you can’t get a cent more. That’s wrong.

While we’re with labour, and the amount of money that is spent on that ministry, I really wish -- and I had the most dramatic case brought to me today to prove it -- that the Workmen’s Compensation Board would stop persecuting people. The person who came to me today has a case that goes back six years. He’s had the most expert medical diagnosis available in this province. I choose those words very carefully, Mr. Speaker, because I researched that case very thoroughly.

Mr. Ashe: Are you sure it wasn’t the Ombudsman?

Mr. Warner: After six years of being hospitalized every year for a certain length of time, and after having been thoroughly examined, today the Compensation Board says to him. “You’re fit for light work.” The man is lucky if he can walk from one place to another. He’s racked with pain unending. He was diagnosed that way by the most competent medical experts -- not Compensation Board lackeys, real doctors -- and yet the board told him: “We’re going to cut your pension.” That miserly amount is going to be cut.

Where is the increase for the injured workers to begin with? In the budget we find money for those corporate characters who want an extra $160 million, but we can’t find an extra $50 a month for an injured worker. That’s obscene, it’s absolutely obscene and shameful.

While you’re at it, for the one cabinet minister who is left and hasn’t been driven out of here, speak to the Minister of Labour (B. Stephenson) and tell her that she’s got to do something about outlawing strikebreakers in this province. I suspect that the member for Scarborough Centre is aware of this particular incident. I sketch it out briefly to prove my point. The Becker strike. Oh, it’s a good friend of the party in power. The president, Mr. Lowe, had his picture on the Tory campaign literature in Scarborough West. He’s a good man.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Not in Scarborough Centre.

Ms. Gigantes: So what is the minister going to do about it?

Mr. Warner: They get into a labour dispute and there’s a strike and the first thing they do is hire strikebreakers. The police, of course, as usual assist them through the line. Try and stop strikebreakers when they’re in a diesel Mac truck, that’s a fun exercise. You’ve got a diesel Mac truck on one side coming out and you’ve got police on horseback on the other side. The member for Scarborough Centre recalls that I raised that issue the very next day here in the House and the following day the horses were removed, thank goodness. What a vicious kind of thing to do.

You know what happened through all of that? You allowed the strikebreakers in, for starters, when it should never have happened, and when the strike was over and settled, 29 of the people who were legally on strike were not taken back. Workers who were on a legal strike, had withdrawn their services legally under the Act that is defined by the Legislature of this province, can’t have their jobs back. That’s wrong. Mr. Lowe and company will get away with it because that vicious outfit, Beckers, has the full weight of the laws of this province on their side. It had the full weight of the government, irrespective of any campaign literature with the man’s picture on it.


An hon. member: Lock him up.

Mr. Warner: When I think about the difficulties we face in our hospitalization system and the inadequacies of the budget to meet those problems, I cannot for a moment understand why the province insisted on raising the premiums. This province decided to raise the premiums to the highest level for medicare of any province in Canada.

An hon. member: Right on.

Mr. Warner: And while they were doing it, one province was abolishing the premiums entirely

An hon. member: Alleluia.

Mr. Warner: -- and another was reducing them almost to the oblivion mark. Those two provinces were progressing towards doing away with the burden and finding that they could not only lower the premiums but at the same time they could increase the coverage. They could bring in dental care for children -- and that’s the first place to start; surely children should he getting good dental care, yet at the rates that are charged in this province most people can’t afford it. They were expanding their medical program to better the lot for people in the province and lowering the premiums at the same time.

And what was this province doing? Reducing its service and increasing the cost. While we are at it, we should all remember that although there are large sums of money in this budget for the health care system in Ontario, most of the system is in private hands.

While we are at it, and it’s very much a financial matter, I cannot let the opportunity go by without raising what I think is very much a serious moral issue with respect to the laws in this province.

My colleague the member for High Park- Swansea (Mr. Ziemba) saved the government of Ontario $2.6 million. He individually was responsible for recouping $2.6 million of money which had gone to those private labs and the province collected the money. The reward for that was that he went to jail and the crooks were out on the street. What kind of a province is this that says we reward your efforts for saving taxpayer dollars -- $2.6 million worth -- by putting you in jail and the guys who caused the problem are out on the street.

In addition to that -- I was not here that day -- but I understand that the day the member for High Park-Swansea, was able to come back here --

Mr. Ashe: He looked pale.

Mr. Warner: -- after having protected our rights as members of this Legislature, he did not receive applause from every member in this House. That’s shameful. He protected our rights. Because of his efforts, the courts are now going to look at our rights and privileges and see whether or not we can accept privileged information. I don’t know about other members in the House, but I suspect most of them -- I would certainly include myself -- have had people who come and give information and ask that the source be confidential.

Mr. Peterson: If it was good I hoped you would use it in this speech.

Mr. Warner: I would be glad to send you copies of all those speeches. You will need a truck to carry them away, mind you.

I took information that was given to me in one particular case -- it’s no secret at this point, it involved the Toronto General Hospital -- and I turned the information over to the Attorney General, without mentioning names, simply that it involved the Toronto General Hospital. I gave him the information and asked him if he would investigate, which he did. As it turned out there was not a sufficient amount of evidence to lodge a charge.

The point of it is that through that procedure, had I been pushed I would, I assume, have been asked to reveal the name of my source. It so happened that the source worked at the hospital at that time, and that person’s job might have been in jeopardy. I wasn’t about the reveal that source. I guess that under the silly laws that we have I would have gone to jail.

But I didn’t have to do that -- much to the chagrin of my colleagues on the right; and maybe some over here, for all I know.

But one of our members -- I mean one of the 125 -- stood up for that privilege and went to jail for it; and the crooks were free. It has to be changed. But more than that, I certainly applaud him, belated as it is, for having the courage to stand up for all of us, the 125 of us.

I look at the social services and the money we spend on social services, and I can’t help but say every time a dollar is spent on social services it has stamped all over it, “This is a handout.”

The procedures that people go through are demeaning. When you go to welfare -- and that’s not directly your responsibility, the money flow through welfare, I understand that -- but I have had too many constituents come in and I have had to phone the welfare department to tell them: “Look, I think you should shape up or ship out. Because you have to have some common decency when people come in to see you.”

It’s a demeaning kind of process to go to a welfare office and say: “I am destitute. I don’t have any money and I have children who need clothing, who need to be fed; rent that needs to be paid. But I don’t have any money and I don’t have any job. I need welfare.”

The welfare people view you with suspicion, with indifference; and they give you the third degree as though you were trying to rip off the government for huge sums of money.

You know something, in a city of Metropolitan Toronto they have just finished doing an exhaustive and extensive search of their social services budgets on the amount of money that was spent and where it was carelessly spent. You know what they found in terms of fraud and the sort of common story that’s out there; you know how many people ripped them off and for how much? I am just recalling from memory, but it seems to me the figure was something like $126,000 they have been ripped off for by 137 people -- which is an average of less than $1,000 per year. Do you know what it represented in terms of the total number of people who were on welfare benefits? Point zero three per cent; three one-thousandths, 0.03 per cent.

We are ripped off by the economic characters on Bay Street for more than that per day. But that’s quite all right, thank you. Every time we get ripped off by the coffee price in a store -- I think the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr. Grossman) is aware of that now -- but every time we get ripped off by a coffee price in a store nobody gets upset.

Hon. Mr. Drea: I do, and you’ll read about it.

Mr. Warner: Well, the minister does, but he cares about coffee. Nobody really gets upset and does anything with those corporate creeps, but some poor soul rips off the government for $1,000 over the course of a year and the full weight of the government will come crushing down upon him. It’s like the story of the Boy Scouts now, the Blair commission and all those austere gentlemen say we should tax all the property of the Boy Scouts in Ontario.

Well bully; bully! And they had better pay up or go out of business, because that’s what will happen. You really have three choices; you either pay up, go out of business, or get the municipality to pay it. If the municipality has to pay you know where it comes from -- the property tax again. Those Boy Scouts had better shape up or the full weight of the government is going to come crushing down on them.

Do you know what else Blair and those austere Tory gentlemen seated alongside threw in there? They said we should do the same thing with the YMCA --

Mr. Philip: And the CNIB.

Mr. Warner: And the Canadian Institute for the Blind and every charitable community group. Tax them, and if they don’t pay their taxes let them go out of business. What a cold, callous government.

This government does not understand the problems of working mothers, especially working mothers who are the single parent of a family.

There are daycare needs. I had a constituent come to me and say she had worked it all out. She had landed a full-time job; a reasonably well-paying, full-time job for her, in her mind at $105 a week. Do you know something, Mr. Speaker? It was going to cost her $3 a week over what she was presently getting through mother’s allowance, because the cost of day care for her two children, plus bus fare, were more than what it would benefit her to be working.

The system was saying to her; “Stay at home and collect mother’s allowance, a mere pittance though it is, because we’re not going to guarantee you any more money in the work place and we are going to force you to pay exorbitant rates for day care.”

Ms. Gigantes: Is the member for Ottawa West (Mr. Baetz) listening?

Hon. Mr. Drea: Yes, I am.

Ms. Gigantes: The member for Ottawa West.

Mr. Baetz: Yes, I am listening.

Mr. Warner: Those are very real problems and the government members -- of whom there are only three present right now, let it be recorded in Hansard -- do not understand.

When I toured the campuses of each college and university, of which there are 40 in this province, over and over again I got the same story from women who were desperately struggling to get a better education, because they needed to arm themselves with a better education in order to get a decent job to support their families.

They were deserted by husbands. Because of the laws in this province, a deserted husband who chooses not to make the payments goes scot free. Do you know what these women found? Barriers every place they turned. There were barriers at the university level; they couldn’t get grants, no budget for that. You can’t get a grant if you’re taking part-time studies. You can’t get any assistance with the purchase of your books. You can’t get any day care for your children.

On top of that, the woman is faced with the situation that she has not been in school for many years, feels very lonely and feels it to be a very difficult situation. She’s in classes with people who are 10 and 15 years younger than she is. This government never raises a finger to help.

Ms. Gigantes: You are going to do something about that?

Mr. Warner: The plight of women in this province is still as bad as it ever was. The member for Scarborough Centre may shake his head, either in disagreement or to get rid of the cobwebs, I don’t know which; none the less he shakes his head.

International Women’s Year accomplished nothing. Nobody listened over there. Do you know what affirmative action means, Mr. Speaker? To this government, it means affirmative inaction. Take a look at the number of women who are in positions of authority in the civil service. Compared with two or three years ago the record is just as bad, if not worse, than it was then. And it’s not getting any better.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Not in my ministry.

Mr. Warner: Do you know what happens in industry? It doesn’t mean that the women’s wages go up, but in a lot of cases that the men’s wages come down to what women’s were. That’s equality, according to the government; and it is not prepared to do anything about it.


Mr. Baetz: We have more women in our caucus than you have.

Mr. Warner: The member for Ottawa West is probably aware of what the good Treasurer of this province (Mr. McKeough) stated in this budget, Mr. Speaker: “Women are secondary wage earners.” You tell that to a women with two children, who is struggling on her own to maintain a family, that she is a secondary wage earner. What a perverse way to look at things, absolutely perverse.

Ms. Gigantes: The Minister of Correctional Services thinks it is funny, because his is the only ministry that is progressing.

Hon. Mr. Drea: We are progressing and you know we are.

Mr. Warner: Sure, why pay them more money when you can lock them up?

Hon. Mr. Drea: Not true, that’s not true.

Ms. Gigantes: That is where we are making our advances.

Hon. Mr. Drea: In mine, that’s right.

Mr. Philip: If they put you in a different ministry every year we’ll make progress in 20 years.

Mr. Warner: Mr. Speaker, before I continue, I wish you to know that this is the first opportunity since the opening of the House that I have had to express my views to you. I want you to know that I, as a member for Scarborough-Ellesmere, am very proud that you have been appointed to the position which you now hold. I wish you to know, sir, that I have a great deal of respect for your ability; for your objectivity; and for the wisdom which you bring to your office; and in addition for your sense of humour, which was very well displayed this afternoon. Some of us may actually wish that those two leaders “decease” -- I don’t know, that’s probably a good idea -- however I congratulate you, and certainly the Premier (Mr. Davis), and the Leader of the Official Opposition (Mr. S. Smith) who seconded the motion for your appointment. I know that you will conduct the affairs on behalf of all of us, and for this Legislature, in a very good and dignified way.

Mr. Speaker, I was about to explain, particularly for the benefit of the member for Timiskaming (Mr. Havrot), who I know won’t make any remarks because he is not in his seat --

Mr. Samis: The anti-Davis member.

Mr. Havrot: That is why you are going after me.

Mr. Warner: He understands the House rules that you make comments from your own seat.

Hon. Mr. Drea: That has never stopped you.

Mr. Warner: A very curious thing happened to some people in my riding. They had been told, through the Ontario budget 1975, that there would be a home buyer’s grant of $1,500 available to them if they did not own a home anywhere else in Ontario. “In Ontario,” printed in the budget paper 1975 in black and white, and given to the real estate folks. Here is your advertising gimmick: Tell all the people that as long as they haven’t owned a home in Ontario, they are eligible for a home buyer’s grant of $1,500.

When the legislation came in that little caveat about “In Ontario” was missing, and the implication was anywhere in the world. So now, constituents in my riding get letters saying give back the money, pay it back to the Treasurer of Ontario, the $1,500. I asked the gentleman why. Because they claimed he owned a home elsewhere. He was told by an official government document, remember that as long as he didn’t own a home anywhere else in Ontario he could collect the money. Do you know where the gentleman owned his house? His house was a cottage in England, which he sold, and can verify the sale thereof for 400 pounds English sterling. Do you know what 400 pounds is? Not even the air fare for his family to come to Canada; and for that the Minister of Revenue (Mrs. Scrivener) now wishes to collect. Because the government made a mistake the citizens of my riding should pay for that mistake; ridiculous.

What are we doing about it? First of all, the government is not doing anything about it, except they are trying to collect. My advice, and I think sound advice for any member in this House, is don’t pay the money. Let them sue you.

Mr. Makarchuk: Garnishee them.

Mr. Warner: Take them to court and we’ll fight it in the courts. How else can you confront an insensitive government? Not totally insensitive, because that home buyer’s grant was available to Otto Jelinek. Ah yes, the famous skater of ice and politics.

Mr. Samis: A man who needs welfare.

Mr. Warner: Yes, in desperate need of help. He should be on skates, all right; roller skates and headed south.

Mr. Samis: He has to resign first.

Mr. Warner: I think that through this budget discussion we need an answer from the Minister of Revenue, because I don’t think those indiscriminate persecutions should continue. How on earth can you say to people who were lured into buying by the ad that said as long as they didn’t have a house in Ontario, people who would not have otherwise purchased that home, that because of a government error they should give back the money? How on earth can you do that? It’s wrong.

Since I have just learned that all of the members in the cabinet have duly noted my comments and are furiously and frantically working on the solutions and will probably continue to do so into the wee small hours of the morning -- and using their wee small minds to do so -- I think that -- and this will certainly wake up somebody -- I wish to conclude my remarks.

I think the member for Renfrew North (Mr. Conway) just fainted.

This budget provides the final chapter, the explanation, the conclusion to the decay of the economic system in this province. We are watching the government --

Mr. Samis: Only in Peterborough.

Mr. Warner: In the last little while we have dealt in a very highly charged way with the issue of the Sudbury basin and Inco. In some sense that whole thing is symbolic of what is happening to the economic system, which has never been strengthened by any budget in this province over 34 years; don’t ever think for a moment that any budget brought in by a Tory government has ever strengthened the economy of this province, because it never has.

Mr. Havrot: Richest province in Canada.

Mr. Warner: It has handsomely lined the pockets of many on Bay Street and elsewhere, but it has never strengthened the economy. If it has, we would not be talking about Inco today; but because the government so easily discharges its responsibilities in economic planning, we watched the system in the Sudbury basin crumble. We have been so content to let all of that ore and the nickel be dug out of the ground and shipped off elsewhere for processing, with a few minor exceptions, and to allow other countries to dominate the major sections of our economy because we have allowed the multi-national corporations to control what goes on in this province of ours, we are now witnessing the desserts of that: that is that the economic system should start to crumble. It isn’t just Sudbury and it isn’t just Port Colborne.

An hon. member: It’s Peterborough; Outboard Marine.

Mr. Warner: Outboard Marine is a good example that as you start to look everywhere across this province, Mr. Speaker, the manufacturing sector fails. Electrohome is in the process of going out of business. Look at every portion of that manufacturing sector and it is failing. Why is it failing? Because the government allowed foreign domination of our system.

Mr. Havrot: The robber barons of Bay Street.

Mr. Warner: As that economic system crumbles about it, the government continues blithely to state its platitudes about how we must boost up, we must boost up the economy with such direct, hard-nosed measures as tax write-offs for machinery; big deal.

Mr. Speaker, the budget is totally inadequate. It does not answer the problems of Ontario. It may be viewed with either pleasure or amusement by those corporate creeps down on Bay Street, but I’ll tell you right now, Mr. Speaker, that means not a jot to the worker of this province, because no Tory budget ever could. Someday we’ll have the opportunity to right those wrongs and get this province back on the track and back to work.

Mr. Cureatz: I first want to thank very much the hon. member for Scarborough Ellesmere for that two hour warmup, allowing me the opportunity of finishing my choice verbal jewels.

Mr. Warner: Do you want me to go past the warmup? I will do encores next week.

Mr. Cureatz: I rise with distinct pleasure to participate in the budget debate representing the good citizens of my riding of Durham East.

Mr. Peterson: Is that a new suit for the occasion, Sam?

Mr. Cureatz: I might add their wise decision to engage Progressive Conservative representation is a reflection, I think, of their support of this government’s commitment to eastern Ontario.

Mr. Makarchuk: It cost them $4 million to get you elected.

Mr. Cureatz: That commitment did not begin yesterday, I might add. I want to review with you, and members of the House, our progress to date in developing and implementing specific strategies for this important region of the province.

The eastern Ontario Development Corporation is a case in point. Since 1966 it has provided loans of more than $87 million; in some cases that assistance was critical in convincing firms to move into my region, and in other cases it enabled firms to expand operations significantly.

Agriculture, of course, is one of the vital economic elements in my part of Ontario. There has been much federal, provincial cost-sharing devoted to the development of agriculture in Durham East. Agricultural and regional development agreements have provided $30 million in assistance to farmers to increase the number of workable acres.

There has also been help under ARDA for the improvement of forest stands and for the development of resource processing industries.

Mr. Haggerty: All federal money.

Mr. Cureatz: Money well spent. Manufacturing has not fared too badly either in the region. In the three-year period from 1971 to 1974 the number of employees involved in manufacturing increased by about 12 per cent, or slightly more than the provincial rate of increase.

Mr. Samis: How many laid off?


Mr. Cureatz: I don’t want to minimize the difficulties that have confronted specific industries, but I think they must be placed against the broader perspective of the relative economic strength supported by an increasingly reliable industrial infrastructure.

I don’t want to digress too far afield here, but when I speak of infrastructure, I think I should mention a concrete example that perhaps separates my views of Durham East’s future from those of the opposition. I am referring to the Darlington nuclear station, a key component to Ontario’s guarantee to its private and industrial citizens that the supply of energy can be relied upon to serve my region’s legitimate future developments.

Mr. Samis: How much?

Mr. Cureatz: The opposition would like us to believe that Durham East feels somehow threatened by this development and of an increase in energy capability in the region, and that the project will in some fashion compromise our environmental integrity.

Mr. Speaker, that is simply not true.

Mr. Samis: Is that why you are satisfied with it?

Mr. Cureatz: The opposition parties will remain --

Mr. Haggerty: Out the window.

Mr. Cureatz: -- on that side of the House --

Mr. Samis: What percentage of the vote did you get?

Mr. Cureatz: -- for as long as they are unable to make those kinds of difficult decisions of leadership. It would have been only too easy for us to have demanded an environmental assessment hearing --

Mr. Samis: Where did the Liberals stand on it?

Ms. Gigantes: Why is your wife getting hysterical?

Mr. Cureatz: -- and it would have been politically fashionable. But it also would have been wrong.

Mr. Samis: What percentage of the vote did you get?

Mr. Cureatz: When faced with the timeframe conflict of an environmental assessment hearing and the lead-time restrictions of the project, and when confronted with the realization that the project had been proposed long before the existence of the Environmental Assessment Act --

Ms. Gigantes: All the projects were. Every one.

Mr. Haggerty: The way the provincial economy is going, you won’t need any more generating stations.

Mr. Cureatz: -- and upon consideration that other nuclear stations --

Hon. Mr. Drea: Just against feds.

Mr. Cureatz: -- namely in the riding of Durham West, constructed in Ontario with much less first-hand experience, had not damaged the environment or have hurt the people, the government made the politically tough decision to allow Darlington to proceed.

Mr. Kerrio: The tough political decision was the election.

Mr. Cureatz: The people from Durham East appreciate that kind of mature performance from their government, and I expect they will continue to receive it.

Ms. Gigantes: Why are you giggling?

Mr. Samis: You’ll hear from them next time.

Mr. Cureatz: One of the gratifying aspects of the government’s support in my area is that it forms part of a broader economic structure.

Mr. Samis: What percentage of the vote did you get?

Mr. Cureatz: In April 1976 the Treasurer released a planning proposal entitled, “Trends and Opinions.” It was a study of population distribution and economic development.

Mr. Peterson: Nice piece of work.

Mr. Cureatz: It dealt with the need to support the decentralized development of some of the sophisticated economic activities that have tended to concentrate in the Metropolitan Toronto area.

Mr. Samis: What have we got since?

Ms. Gigantes: GO trains.

Mr. Cureatz: The study spelled out the desirability of encouraging in urban centres across Ontario, such as Oshawa and in the town of Newcastle, the establishment of computer installations, research facilities, consulting organizations, and advertising and accountancy firms. It also discussed the possibility of further development of social services, major libraries, recreational, medical and cultural facilities.

Mr. Philip: Women’s lib.

Mr. Cureatz: The study suggested that such facilities would not only be viable in themselves, but they would also be an incentive to future growth because they would attract new investment and new enterprises.

Mr. Samis: Anyone talk about eastern Ontario?

Mr. Cureatz: That kind of long-range thinking fares much better than the management by crisis that the opposition so often tends to proceed on.

Ms. Gigantes: It’s your crisis. It’s all yours.

Mr. Samis: Election goodies. In your case, every two years.

Mr. Cureatz: The attitude towards future growth in Ontario is not one of confrontation, but co-operation as shown by the Partnership for Prosperity conference convened by the Premier this spring.

Mr. Peterson: Leave him alone, Evelyn. It’s his maiden speech.

Mr. Makarchuk: How can he be a maiden?

Mr. Cureatz: It offered business, labour and government an opportunity to sit down and try to come to grips seriously with our economic problems.

Mr. Kerrio: Where are you going to file this?

Mr. Cureatz: We made a good start at answering some fundamental problems that require co-operative solutions. Part of the solution is to decentralize government offices, and I would remind members briefly that this process is already under way in the city of Oshawa and in other sections of the riding of Durham East.

Other aspects of the solution await more favourable conditions. In future, I will want my government to examine the role which expanded transportation facilities could provide in the riding -- I trust the Minister of Transportation and Communications is listening -- notably, an extended GO train operation which could be an assisting asset to my area.

Mr. Lawlor: He never listens.

An hon. member: Send him a copy of Hansard.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Let the record show he is.

Mr. Cureatz: The message of Ontario’s Treasurer is not simply the call for restraint. It is the demand for clarity in our thinking. Our position on regional economical development is a reflection of just such clarity in government policy. It is a kind of disciplined economic approach that the times require.

Mr. Makarchuk: Back to R. B. Bennett.

Mr. Cureatz: In concluding, I would like to remind the hon. second opposition that if the former member for Durham East had done his homework successfully, he might have been here this evening.

Mr. Samis: What percentage of the vote did you get?

Mr. Cureatz: As was the case, he’s not here this evening, but I do wish that former member --

Mr. Makarchuk: You’d better enjoy it. You’ve not going to be around too long.

Mr. Cureatz: -- the best in his new position in the managerial spot with United Parcel Service where, I’m sure, all those wonderful hon. members will be supporting him most grandiosely in the future.

Mr. Havrot: An NDP member turning capitalist.

Mr. G. I. Miller: It’s certainly a pleasure for me to rise to participate in this budget debate. First of all, I’d like to congratulate you, sir, our Speaker of the House and the choice that the government, our party and all parties have supported because I know you are going to do a creditable job. I would also like to say thanks to the past retiring Speaker, the member for Northumberland (Mr. Rowe), for the exceptionally good job he did. His job was not made easy by the members who sit on either side of the House, particularly in the situations that we had been involved in. There may have been the odd time when he supported the government a little more than we would like to see, but I would like to congratulate him for a job well done.

Again, we are in difficult times at this particular stage in the history of Ontario. The economic conditions come clearly home, particularly with Inco and the anticipated layoff of 2,800 workers. The past election, which was really not needed, indicated that the Premier was more concerned for the welfare of his party than he was for the concerns of the people of Ontario.

Mr. Samis: Always is.

Mr. Ruston: Right on.

Mr. Samis: That’s why he called the election.

Mr. G. I. Miller: The people did speak out and indicate that they were fairly well satisfied with the minority government.

I would like to point out that these problems are not going to go away. They’re not going to be easily resolved. After 34 years of one particularly government, it is perhaps time someone came up with some new ideas. We’d like to feel that the Liberal Party would be capable of doing that and, at least, having input into this minority government as it’s working now.

It was interesting to note today, as it came clearly through to me, rather than let the opposition question the government, the government came through with many statements by the ministry which indicated they were purely political. They were statements that could have been given at times other than the question period.

Mr. Haggerty: Right on.

Mr. G. I. Miller: Even the Minister of Transportation and Communications came in to make a statement at a prime time when I think questioning at this time would have been more beneficial.

Mr. Haggerty: He didn’t want to spend $200 million.

Mr. G. I. Miller: I would just like to return to the election of June 9, I say it was a pleasure for me to be elected as the representative for the riding of Haldimand-Norfolk.

Mr. Peterson: They love you. It’s a great riding.

Mr. G. I. Miller: I appreciated the support I received. I appreciated the opposition and the campaign we had in our riding. It was a fairly run campaign. My main opposition was Gordon McNern. I recall quite well when the leader of the Conservative Party --

Mr. Conway: Who’s that?

Mr. G. I. Miller: -- was in Simcoe, he indicated to the people at that time that the opposition was “Gord who?” and I think he was referring to myself. Anyway, our job is to resolve the problem; it is going to be difficult. I think our critic for the budget on behalf of the Liberal Party, the member for London Centre, indicated that the Treasurer deliberately painted a falsely optimistic picture of the province’s financial situation in his April budget for purely political purposes in view of the then anticipated provincial election.

Mr. Conway: Shame.

Mr. G. I. Miller: He denied that he had deliberately overestimated our anticipated revenues. However, in September, less than half-way through the financial year, he admitted that his revenue projections had been overestimated by some $309 million.

Mr. Peterson: Disgraceful.

Mr. G. I. Miller: I think this is an increase of 34 per cent --

Hon. Mr. Drea: Once we get the corrected figures from Ottawa.

Mr. Conway: Tory hyperbole.

Mr. Peterson: Did you check the retail sales tax estimates? It is --

Mr. Speaker: I am sure the member for London Centre would want his colleague to continue.

Mr. Peterson: I would indeed. I am sorry.

Mr. G. I. Miller: On opening the fall session, the Premier called for a full scale federal-provincial conference on economic recovery, at the same time disclosing the latest bad news on Ontario’s economy. I would like to say that we want to be constructive and that we do have to take some tough measures. Going back again to the election, unemployment is a problem, and we had a program which we felt would be constructive --

Mr. Conway: Great program.

Mr. G. I. Miller: -- and we would hope that the government may take a look at it to provide employment. I think we also pointed out that our education system, and it is an expensive one -- I think it takes up 25 per cent of the budget -- which despite good teachers, and I will say we do have good teachers, but it --

Mr. Conway: Including the member for Cornwall.

Mr. Samis: The students from Renfrew need only look at the behaviour of the member for Renfrew North.

Mr. G. I. Miller: -- does not give the students the basic skills they need to compete in the job market, and we have spent millions of dollars training young people for jobs that don’t exist. I think that was brought clearly on to me last night when I had the opportunity of going down to the Chamber of Commerce in Simcoe --

Mr. Conway: Great place.

Mr. G. I. Miller: -- and they had a speaker there, a Don Crossley, who had come up with tremendous ideas where we should be blending our education system with the apprentice approach. He also pointed out the fact that we have to emphasize that everyone can’t be a white collar worker -- that the blue collar worker perhaps is as important as any.

Mr. Conway: Hear, hear. There are some us left.

Mr. G. I. Miller: I would like to point out an instance where I had a call from a young chap who had gone to Fanshawe college in Port Dover. He took a welding course, he has his ticket, and he has been trying to get a job and he can’t come up with one.

As we pointed out to the Minister of Labour last Friday, there is a need for something like 285 pipefitters and welders in my riding of Haldimand-Norfolk in the Texaco oil refinery. They have applied for people for this position and haven’t been able to locate them. They have imported 60 from the United States and there is still a need for something like 200 to fill those positions.

I suggested to the Minister of Labour that perhaps a crash program would be a good thing at this time and I still think it would. However, when I got home, I got a call from the union -- some of the people who are working on the site and who belong to the pipefitters union -- and they indicated to me that they are concerned about overstaffing -- too many pipefitters and welders -- which would put their jobs in jeopardy.

Mr. Speaker: Would the hon. member find it a convenient place to break his remarks?

On motion by Mr. G. I. Miller, the debate was adjourned.

On motion by Hon. Mr. MacBeth, the House adjourned at 10:30 p.m.