31st Parliament, 1st Session

L034 - Fri 28 Oct 1977 / Ven 28 oct 1977

The House met at 10 a.m.



Mr. Ruston: Mr. Speaker, I wonder if I could rise on a point of privilege in regard to a question I had last Friday, October 21, on gas company profits. In line nine of my question on page 1016 it should read “12 months” in place of “six months.”

Mr. Speaker: That is really not a point of privilege. It is rising for the purpose of clarifying something that was said earlier. It is in order to have done it but it is not a point of privilege. You are correcting the record.



Hon. Mr. Kerr: I would like to make a brief statement to the Legislature today regarding the question raised here on Tuesday involving recent relations between my ministry and the Globe and Mail.

I have now reviewed this situation and studied the report referred to by some members opposite. This report was nothing more than an analysis of newspaper stories on my ministry written essentially by one reporter from April to September of this year. Analysis was compiled on the authority of our director of information services as basis for discussions with the newspaper reporter and his editor.

This action was taken because our people felt some of these stories were only partially complete and were inaccurate in some instances. Civil servants, with their detailed knowledge of the situation, may be more sensitive in this regard than politicians. There was no attempt or intention to muzzle or intimidate anyone. Members of the press gallery know that I have personally always been accessible to them and have gone out of my way to accommodate requests for interviews and information.

There was nothing in the report which could be interpreted as an investigation of the reporter himself. Let me assure hon. members that my ministry only wants to improve our working relationship with this newspaper and its representative. We will co-operate fully with all representatives of the media with whom we deal, to provide the public with accurate and helpful information.



Mr. S. Smith: I rise to ask some questions of the Minister of Energy pertaining to some of the material which he was so anxious to table yesterday to demonstrate to the public that he is on top of the Hydro-Lummus problem.

Will he explain why in his statement and at other times he has referred to a contract between Hydro and Lummus for heavy water plant D at the Bruce nuclear site? Is he not aware, if only by reading Chairman Taylor’s memorandum of my meeting with them on October 13, that no contract for plant D exists?

Assuming him now to be aware of this somewhat startling situation, has he any comment to make on the fact that Chairman Taylor in his letter to the minister of August 26 last, a copy of which was tabled with the material in the House yesterday, said that a contract for the design, construction and project management of plant D was given to the Lummus company? Can he give the House any explanation of how so many millions have been spent and hundreds of millions committed on this project without a contract being signed?

Hon. J. A. Taylor: I think the Leader of the Opposition got close to the answer when he said “a contract being signed.” In other words --

Mr. Wildman: You mean a verbal contract.

Hon. J. A. Taylor: Exactly. You can have a contact without having to have it formalized in terms of the completed documentation. As Mr. Taylor, the chairman of Hydro, explained to the Leader of the Opposition when he sat down with him, the commercial practices in his particular area was such that you didn’t complete your formal documents for some time. That may very well have been because of the engineering and so on that hasn’t been completed.

Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary, given the fact Chairman Taylor writes to the minister in the material which was tabled yesterday, saying that a contract did in fact exist between the two, and seeing that when I asked for that contract he said I couldn’t have it because it didn’t exist, can the minister please work this out between himself and Chairman Taylor and table in this House the existing contract, be it in someone’s mind or in someone’s verbal relationship? If there isn’t any such contract, can the minister explain to this House how he commits hundreds of millions of dollars without any contract whatsoever?

Mr. Wildman: Come on, table your mind.

Mrs. Campbell: That’s right.

Hon. J. A. Taylor: It’s very difficult to inform the Leader of the Opposition in commercial matters when he has no background or experience in that area.

Mr. Nixon: I thought the minister was a sheep farmer from Quinte.

Hon. J. A. Taylor: I think he might have a better appreciation of commercial affairs if he had worked from behind a desk than from a couch.

Mr. Kerrio: That’s why he understands the minister.

Mr. Nixon: The minister is devastating this morning.

Hon. J. A. Taylor: It’s not a question of a single document at all. If the hon. Leader of the Opposition would like to sit down again with the chairman of Hydro, I’m sure he would be delighted to take him by the hand and lead him step by step through all the procedures and all the commitments in terms of the overall contract in connection with Bruce D.

Mr. Reed: Supplementary: Does the minister not consider it normal business practice to have the agreement delineated on paper, especially when it represents in this case hundreds of millions of dollars? Does he not consider that to be normal business practice?

Mr. S. Smith: He is only a farmer. The minister doesn’t have to answer him either.

Hon. J. A. Taylor: Possibly the Energy critic would like to accompany his leader to the chairman’s office, and again all the documents and commitments in regard to Bruce D can be reviewed with him as well.

Mr. Lewis: Supplementary: Is the Minister of Energy saying that he is quite happy with and entirely approves of Hydro’s conduct in the negotiation of this agreement, tentative and final, and in the way the whole matter has proceeded? Is he simply giving a carte blanche approval to their procedures?

Hon. J. A. Taylor: No.

Mr. Lewis: Aha, I thought not. May I ask a further supplementary? Having finally conceded that point, would the minister like to stand up in this House and tell us, as he surely must deem it his right as Minister of Energy, where he disagrees with the procedures Hydro has followed, how it should have been done differently and what he will do in the future to make sure it doesn’t happen again?

Hon. J. A. Taylor: I would like to compare the question that was asked by the leader of the third party --

Mr. Nixon: With a question about beating your wife.

Hon. J. A. Taylor: -- to which I answered “no,” with the subsequent --

Mr. Nixon: You should have said “maybe.”

Mr. Speaker: Would the minister just answer the question, please?

Hon. J. A. Taylor: -- with the subsequent question, because I don’t think that one necessarily follows the other.

Mr. Lewis: Are you going to take this guff on a Friday morning, Mr. Speaker?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I have no control over the way in which ministers answer questions, as long as they are in order.

Mr. Warner: He should just resign.

Hon. J. A. Taylor: The member is a disgrace to this House.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Lewis: My questions follow logically from the minister’s answer.

Mr. S. Smith: My only fear is that the man should resign before I get my question finished.

I have another supplementary from that pile of wonderful material that was tabled. I show the minister attachment No. 8 from that material entitled, “Some Large Construction Projects,” which apparently is intended to show -- I know this is hard to believe, Mr. Speaker -- that construction costs everywhere are going up. I direct his attention --

Mr. Speaker: Would you try to make a question out of it?

Mr. S. Smith: Yes, I will, but I have to tell him what I am asking about.

I direct his attention to item one on the list, wherein it is stated that the first definitive estimate for the Bruce B heavy water plant was $416 million and the current estimate is $506 million. But now I show him a second version of attachment No. 8, also in the material which he tabled, which says the first definitive estimate for the Bruce B heavy water plant was $567 million, which is $151 million higher, and the current estimate is $739 million, which is $233 million higher. I also point out that one of these --

Mr. Speaker: Could I have a question please?


Mr. S. Smith: Yes, can the minister explain how it is that there is such a discrepancy between the two? Is that in any way related to the fact that on one of these attachments is written, in handwriting, “first two sheets only for ministry,” underlining “only.”

Hon. J. A. Taylor: I will take that question as notice.

Mr. Kerrio: Cut his coffee off.

Mr. Eakins: Put him on tea. Save his energy budget.


Mr. S. Smith: A question for the Premier: Can the Premier tell us what steps his government took in 1974 and around that time to protect Ontario consumers from the effect of the international cartel regarding uranium prices, given the fact that that cartel did benefit Ontario industry indirectly, inasmuch as export prices were supported? What steps did he and his government take to make sure that Ontario consumers were not being exposed to the same effects that were in fact being applied outside the borders of this country?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I understand that the Leader of the Opposition’s federal leader has indicated that in the view of the government of Canada there was no such cartel.

Mr. S. Smith: Your federal leader says there is.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I was never privy to those discussions, so I quite obviously can’t comment or pass any judgement. I know that the Leader of the Opposition has been guided by the Prime Minister of this country on a number of other issues. I would assume he would be guided, as he is so often, in this particular situation.

Mr. Nixon: Our trouble is you are guided by Joe Clark.

Mr. S. Smith: You did nothing to protect us. Face it.

Hon. Mr. Davis: The Leader of the Opposition says this government does nothing to protect anybody at any time. The only thing I would say to him is that it is Friday morning, and I don’t want to be provocative -- not much -- except to say to him very simply that one can debate Lummus and one can debate this contract with whomever it was -- I can’t even tell the Leader of the Opposition the name of the firm -- Gulf something or other -- as to the price Hydro may or may not have paid. The only point I would make to the Leader of the Opposition in terms of the responsibility of Ontario Hydro, while he may have all the criticisms in the world and some of them may have validity and some may not, the fact remains they are still the most efficient producer of electricity on this continent.

Mr. Makarchuk: And they are not private enterprise.

Hon. Mr. Davis: That is also correct. I acknowledge to the hon. member --

Mr. Makarchuk: Don’t forget that.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- that it is one of the aberrations that has been singularly successful. I’m amazed you people don’t leap to the defence of Ontario Hydro on every occasion you can.

Mr. Speaker: Order. Please ignore the interjections.

Mr. Swart: Because you don’t want to see it work.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I shouldn’t call Hydro an aberration. I don’t want that to be on the record here.

An hon. member: Would the Minister of Energy be an aberration?

Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary, while the Premier is undoubtedly correct that there are certain benefits to be gained from Ontario Hydro, the question remains -- and I hope he will address himself to it -- as to what steps his government took to protect Ontario Hydro’s consumers from having to pay a much higher price for uranium, through their energy rates, than ought to have been paid by Ontarians. What did he do to protect Ontarians from the international cartel price and does he agree that Ontario Hydro not only had its bid for uranium considered alongside all the other international bids by the cartel, but even ended up paying $2 above the cartel price? What did he do to protect us?

Mr. Deans: And did he know it was happening?

Hon. Mr. Davis: With great respect, the Leader of the Opposition got into this matter with the Minister of Energy yesterday, if memory serves me correctly, and the Minister of Energy undertook to get certain information for the Leader of the Opposition. I’m sure that information will be forthcoming. I think there was an article in the Globe this morning -- I didn’t have ample opportunity to read it -- where Hydro provided some of this information, and I’m sure there will be more.

I would point out to the Leader of the Opposition that we have debated in this House the whole question of a two-price concept. We have, in terms of oil and natural gas, been somewhat in support. I remember the very lengthy dissertation from the energy expert then, the member for London Centre (Mr. Peterson). You people were opposed totally to a two-price system in terms of the production of oil and natural gas in this country.

Mr. S. Smith: It was a mixed blended price we were against, not a two-price. Don’t talk nonsense. No one in Canada accepted the blended price, not a soul. You didn’t even put it forward the next time. You did nothing.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Oh, come on! You people were opposed to it. You didn’t understand it and you’re trying to have it a different way on this issue from other positions you take -- which is totally consistent with the inconsistencies of the Liberal policy of the Liberal Party of the province of Ontario. You never learn.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. This is not a debate; it’s a question period.

Mr. S. Smith: It certainly isn’t an answer period.

Mr. Peterson: You are misleading the House.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I hate to speak in your absence.

Mr. Peterson: I heard it coming in. I couldn’t avoid it.

Mr. Lewis: You should protect the member for London Centre. He’s so vulnerable, Mr. Speaker.

May I ask the Premier whether or not he knew of the cartel at the time? It may well be that he wasn’t any more privy to it than others. In the light of what has emerged, would it not be wise for the government to commission carefully a study of the price impact likely to be felt by the consumers of Ontario from 1980 on, when that uranium is applicable, and indicate quickly what effect for the consumer this kind of cartel arrangement has had and will have and, therefore, perhaps, put an end to that kind of nefarious arrangement?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, the leader of the New Democratic Party is assuming that, in fact, there is a cartel.

Mr. Makarchuk: Sinclair Stevens thinks there is.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I know what some people would suggest. I can assure the leader of the New Democratic Party that this government was not involved in any discussions with respect to the price of uranium. The first I heard of this was when I, along with others, read it in the paper. As I say, it appears to me that the government of Canada is suggesting that, in fact, “there is no such cartel.”

I think it is relevant for the public of this province, through Ontario Hydro, to understand exactly what the cost of hydro will be, related to what Hydro is paying for whatever energy source.

I don’t have this information. I’d be delighted to get it. My own guess is that one can argue whether the price should have been $2 more or less per pound, that in terms of comparative cost with respect to natural gas, oil and coal that the impact of the cost, because this is not the most significant cost in terms of nuclear energy -- the significant cost is in the capital construction of the plant --

Mr. Peterson: You didn’t show very good judgement on that issue.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- and that as an energy source one may find that it has a minimal impact in comparative terms. I’m not saying that any impact is not significant, but I’m saying in a comparative sense.

Mr. Lewis: Can we be told?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I would be delighted to see that the Minister of Energy gets this relevant information for the hon. member so that he’ll have an opportunity to discuss it and perhaps advise his listeners on CHIC, in case he’s asked, because I may even phone him on that station to see whether he has totally understood the information he gets so that he could explain it to me in the process.

Mr. Lewis: Very nice of you. Thank you very much. Would you like the number now?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Oh, I have the number.

Mr. Lewis: You’ve had my number for some time, it strikes me, or we might have done better in the last round.


Mr. Lewis: May I ask a question of the Premier in relation to this, again, continuing pattern of layoffs in the province of Ontario? Is he aware that Emanuel Products Limited, working in the construction, I think, of television cabinets in the borough of York, has now announced a final shutdown for its plant of between 200 and 250 workers, effective on January 31, 1978, a more and more symbolic date in the life of this province?

What is being done in a co-ordinated way by government to attack this question of the roll call of layoffs that we’re now faced with?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I’m not going to minimize the problems faced by some industries, and I think it’s a very legitimate question for the hon. member to ask. I would also suggest to him, though, that one can highlight the difficulties of these situations and perhaps fail to recognize that there are new industries being created which are employing more people.

I have every confidence in the capacity of the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Bennett) and his ministry, to the extent that some of these industries can be saved, to deal with them.

I am not personally familiar with the Emanuel firm as it relates to the production of television cabinets. My own guess is that probably it is faced with a situation whereby -- and it’s only a guess -- offshore imports are making it difficult, and the leader of that particular party probably has a greater sensitivity and understanding as to why at this precise moment we are facing very stiff competition from offshore production.

I don’t think I need remind the House that one of the reasons we face stiff competition from offshore production is because our production costs are a shade higher in some fields than they should be. I think that is evident to each and every one of us and should be particularly evident to the leader of the New Democratic Party. He knows this as well as anyone in this House.

Mr. Wildman: That’s your inefficient cabinet.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I don’t know whether that’s the reason with respect to this particular firm, but I shall endeavour to find out and get a report for the hon. member.

Mr. Lewis: By way of a supplementary, since we now have Inco highlighting what is happening in the resource sector, Anaconda highlighting what is happening to our automotive trade pact and Emanuel highlighting what is happening to the general manufacturing sector as well, is it not time for the government, almost on an emergency basis, to bring the appropriate ministries together to begin to see how we can absorb the consequence of these layoffs? Because, whether or not he attributes it to higher costs of worker productivity or inefficient management productivity --

Mr. Speaker: The question has been asked.

Mr. Lewis: -- can’t the Premier intervene at this point in time and see if there is some way we can cope with it?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I don’t want the leader of the New Democratic Party to be personally oversensitive. I have never suggested that the reason we are less competitive in some products -- and I emphasize “some” -- is because of wages alone. I have never suggested that, and I’m not suggesting it here on this occasion. There are a number of ingredients that go into the competitive position which some of our industries find themselves in. Part of it is a question of wages; I’m not going to minimize that. Part of it is a question of taxation. Part of it is a question of geographic location. Part of it is a question of the size of market.

Mr. Breaugh: And dumb management.

Mr. Warner: He doesn’t have any answers.

Hon. Mr. Davis: There are a number of ingredients that go into it --

Mr. Warner: Management expertise

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- and I don’t think any two situations are necessarily the same.

Mr. Deans: So what do we do?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I want to point out that there is perhaps a difference between what Anaconda is facing and what Inco is facing. I think Inco is facing something in the resource industry which, as I said yesterday -- and I emphasize it -- does not relate to the efficiency of Inco, the productivity of its workers or its ability to compete. I think that is distinct from the problems that are being faced by Anaconda.

Mr. Lewis: Not if you’re a worker being laid off, there ain’t no difference.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I’m quite aware of that particular fact, but in terms of our discussions here I would urge the leader of the New Democratic Party, because he does have this ability, to distinguish between those industries that are having difficulty competing because of production costs for whatever reason --

Mr. Lewis: The consequences are the same for the workers.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- and those industries, particularly in the resource sector -- and there is a difference -- that are being inhibited at this moment because of market conditions, because people aren’t buying their products. I think there is a very distinct difference.

Mr. Lewis: What will the Premier do?

Mr. Deans: Supplementary. Would the Premier agree that part of the problem which he hasn’t identified in the litany of things he says contribute, is that because of the branch plant nature of Ontario’s economy, and Canada’s economy, and because of the fact that many of the parent companies will not permit the branch plants in Canada, and in Ontario in particular, to compete in world markets and for world markets, that we are grossly inhibited --

Mr. Speaker: I haven’t heard a question.

Mr. Deans: You haven’t?

Mr. Speaker: I haven’t heard a question yet.

Mr. Deans: I said, “Would the Premier not agree...?” Is that not a question?

Mr. Speaker: No.

Mr. Deans: Isn’t it?

An hon. member: It used to be.

Mr. Deans: It has been for 10 years.

Mr. Speaker: Try again.

Mr. Wildman: Is it correct?

Mr. Deans: Forget it.

Mr. Lewis: Since Chaucer. Good heavens, wouldst thou not agree?


Mr. Lewis: May I ask the Minister of the Environment, since there is such evident anxiety in Mississauga about the burning of PCBs, and whether it was an experiment or whether it is permanent, can he undertake either to have a public hearing very quickly or to visit himself, with the residents and the council, to clear up what is now reaching levels of public apprehension that are really unsettling?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: I intend to have a public hearing some time next month.

Mr. Lewis: Good. At that public hearing, by way of a supplementary, will the minister be dealing with these certificates of approval and will it be possible to indicate what is experimental and what is permanent in the process he is advocating?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Yes, I would assume the whole arrangement with the company would be explained.

Mr. Lewis: I have one last supplementary and then I will vacate. Is the minister saying that he is now ready, in effect, to proceed -- providing the public hearing gives approval -- with this burning of these toxic substances on a permanent basis in Mississauga?


Hon. Mr. Kerr: Yes, there is still a recommendation of our branch. There are one or two things still to be done resulting from a report which resulted from the experiment. The report recommends better monitoring facilities right at the plant site, in the vicinity of the plant, and also that the company improves some of its storage-handling facilities so that there will be no what they call fugitive emissions from the plant. That work will be done before a certificate would be, shall we say, reopened.

Mr. B. Newman: Supplementary: Would the minister be willing also to have a public hearing in the Windsor area seeing that the citizens are very much concerned with the effects of the burning of PCBs just a mile and a half or two miles away from them in Detroit?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: The hon. member is talking about a facility in Detroit, an American plant. I understand they are at present holding hearings in that city, which I am sure the residents of Windsor could attend.

Mr. B. Newman: They do attend.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: There is no reason why officials of my ministry can’t hold a meeting to explain what is going on in Detroit and also invite the US authorities to that meeting.

Mr. Cooke: Supplementary: I am sure the minister understands that the Ministry of the Environment has considerable influence on that licence application in Detroit. Before the ministry made up its mind to endorse the application, why didn’t the minister have the public hearings at that point? Why does he wait until after he has already made up his mind?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: It wasn’t a question of endorsing the application; we were working with US authorities in Detroit, both the city and state, and I believe the Environmental Protection Agency there, and indicating that if certain things which had been done at the St. Lawrence Cement plant in Mississauga were done at the Peerless plant, if the same type of experiment had been carried out and if the same requirements and conditions were provided, then as far as its licence is concerned, on that basis we were satisfied with that process.

Mr. Kennedy: Supplementary: Would the minister confirm that up to today, through the summer, nothing has happened at the St. Lawrence Cement plant with respect to PCB burning since April when it was stopped and that the only thing that has occurred are the news articles which have appeared in respect to this matter? In other words, there is no activity or there has not been any activity since --

Mr. Speaker: Question.

Mr. Kennedy: -- since April when the burning ceased.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: In answer to the hon. member, I believe on Tuesday or Wednesday I indicated that there has been no PCB burning there since the spring and there is none going on now.

Mr. G. I. Miller: Supplementary: As the minister is aware that they are trying to establish a site in my riding of Haldimand-Norfolk for industrial waste and that the hearing has just been completed, could he indicate to the House and to the public what has been disposed of at Mississauga and what quantity has been disposed of up to this point in time?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: I am a little confused. The hon. member is talking about a hearing in Nanticoke and he wants some information on what has been disposed of in Mississauga?

Mr. G. I. Miller: That occurred to me because I think it’s a way of disposing without disturbing another area and particularly bringing this waste into an area that didn’t have it. It’s a way of disposing of it and I was just wondering what already has been disposed and how effective it has been.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: As to what would be planned for Nanticoke, my information is that the application for a facility at Nanticoke is not the same as for the facility at Mississauga.

I am not aware of any permission to burn PCB material or handle PCB material at the Nanticoke site that was subject to a recent Environmental Assessment Board hearing.

If the hon. member wants to know the quantity of material that has been burned during this experiment at Mississauga, I can get him that information.

Mr. G. I. Miller: Supplementary: I asked what materials have been disposed of at Mississauga.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Waste oils and some PCB-contaminated material. This is material that is being used to generate heat to make cement.


Mr. Kerrio: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. In the absence of the Minister of Culture and Recreation (Mr. Welch), I will put this question to the Premier. Does the Premier recall the question I raised yesterday with that minister in regard to the $29 million increase in Culture and Recreation estimates and his answer that most of it would be attributed to Wintario? Does he recall that question?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I have some recollection of the hon. member for Niagara Falls saying something about Wintario. I can’t help him any more than that. Does he have a question of me?

Mr. Kerrio: I was just teeing up a supplementary.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I fully appreciate that.

Mr. Kerrio: -- and I can now address the supplementary to the Premier. In view of the fact that the minister made the statement that this increase could be attributed in Wintario, and since the cabinet has made it its business to continue to treat Wintario funds as sacred, only to be used in kind of frivolous manner, can the Premier assure this House and the people of this province that as long as the ministry is not willing to spend Wintario funds in a more responsible way, can he guarantee us that we are not going to subsidize Wintario, in the administration of that fiasco, with tax dollars?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I think those are very provocative words. I would only urge that the member chats to some of his colleagues -- and there are a few I know of whose communities were able to rebuild and alter arenas -- and perhaps he might suggest to them that this application of Wintario money was totally irrelevant and unnecessary.


Mr. Speaker: Do the members want an answer to the question?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I would say, with respect, to suggest that some of these grants and the Wintario funds are frivolous in nature -- really, perhaps the member might consult with those who have been the recipients and see if he gets the same point of view. I would start with some of his own colleagues, as a matter of fact.

Mr. Kerrio: Supplementary: The important supplementary has not been answered. I asked if the Premier would guarantee, or promise me, that he will not subsidize the operation of Wintario with tax dollars? That’s the important question.

Hon. Mr. Davis: In that the gentleman who has this responsibility is now with us, and I know the member for Niagara Falls would want to have the most accurate, up-to-date information, I think you would agree, Mr. Speaker, that this question might be redirected. I would be delighted to listen to my colleague’s answer.

Mr. Kerrio: I redirect to the Minister of Culture and Recreation.

Mr. Speaker: Did the hon. Minister of Culture and Recreation hear that?

Mr. Makarchuk: Mr. Speaker, what’s going on? One question at a time.

Mr. Speaker: It is just being redirected.

Mr. Kerrio: Mr. Minister, the question is, are taxpayers’ dollars being used to administer Wintario?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, no.

Mr. Kerrio: You said it was yesterday.

Mr. Lewis: Why are you equivocating? Why can’t you be unqualified?

Hon. Mr. Welch: I indicated --

Mr. Speaker: The question has been answered. I recognize the hon. member for Welland-Thorold.


Mr. Swart: My question is of the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations. In view of the fact that the Minister of Correctional Services (Mr. Drea) -- who, of course, is the immediate past parliamentary assistant to the former minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations -- has now determined, according to this morning’s paper, that his ministry is being ripped off by the coffee producers and “his ministry can’t afford it any more,” will the minister tell the House what information he has had supplied to him? Will he tell us what his government and the AIB have done to protect the consumer since I first raised the coffee pricing rip-off with his ministry more than two months ago?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: I know the hon. member will have been pleased to see the price of coffee start to drop back in the last few weeks and I want to let him know that we have now received responses from, I think, everyone I wrote. There may be one person, one company, perhaps but they have provided full and complete explanations and I hope to get them into the members’ hands some time, maybe as early as later today -- more realistically some time Monday. I think you’ll find they speak for themselves and I’m happy to say that our action apparently has spoken for itself, as well.

Mr. Swart: By way of supplementary, I would ask the minister if he isn’t aware that the rip-off price of coffee to the ministry, about which the Minister of Correctional Services complains, is $2.94 a pound, while consumers have been forced to pay $4 to $4.50 a pound? If he is aware of this, in spite of the fact that he has received these responses -- which, I suggest will not be reducing the price of coffee to anything like that level --

Mr. Speaker: Question.

Mr. Swart: -- wouldn’t he now agree that this warrants a full inquiry into coffee pricing, instead of just letters to the companies? And will he appoint a select committee or refer the coffee pricing issue to a standing committee of the House for such an inquiry?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: I’m happy to say the member’s colleague, the member for Etobicoke (Mr. Philip), saw the very good sense of first being practical enough to write to see what basic information we could collect before he jumped to the conclusion that we should spend a few hundred thousand dollars -- perhaps sending a select committee to Buffalo, Los Angeles and Miami -- to find out what the coffee prices are there.

Mr. Makarchuk: Go down to the Don Jail.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Instead, my ministry has collected the information and will make the information avadable to the public -- it will be early next week -- and the explanations there may make the member’s comments more timely and more appropriate, or foolish. We’ll wait and see.

Mr. Warner: But you are not going to do anything.

Mr. McClellan: Send a letter to Frank Drea.

Mr. Philip: Supplementary: In reference to that basic information that the minister is collecting, is the minister familiar with the statement by AIB spokesman Allan Donnelly who, when questioned by a reporter about releasing information to this minister, stated, “The AIB must respect the confidentiality of the companies’ internal operations.” And if so, is he prepared to correct his answer to my question on October 18, in which he stated that he had not been refused information by the AIB?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: I’ve not been refused information by the AIB. They sent me a letter which you’ll see Monday and you can comment further at that time.

Mr. Lewis: Supplementary: I’d like to ask the minister, if he agrees with the observation of his colleague, the Minister of Correctional Services, that the prices charged are a rip-off?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: My colleague and others may assume that the price is a rip-off by the sheer size of the charge. In other words, that $5 or $6 is a rip-off. That doesn’t mean, and I don’t think my colleague was saying, that the companies are profiteering or making an enormous amount of money --

Hon. Mr. Drea: Oh yes, I was.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: He said the end price is too much.

Mr. Lewis: Oh no, rip-off doesn’t mean that. I want an answer to the question, Mr. Speaker. None of the minister’s verbal fencing. Does he agree with the Minister of Correctional Services or doesn’t he? Is it a rip-off?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: I think the prices are high. I wouldn’t categorize them as a rip-off.

Mr. Lewis: You don’t agree. Mr. Speaker, I beg of you, extort from this man, his answer.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Lewis: Does he agree with the Minister of Correctional Services?

Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Haldimand-Norfolk with a new question.

Mr. Lewis: I said your tenure would be memorable.

Mr. Breaugh: And short.



Mr. G. I. Miller: I have a question of the Minister of Community and Social Services in regard to the budget of the family and children’s services formerly of the county of Haldimand and now of the region of Haldimand-Norfolk. The question is why was the budget of $178,000 cut by approximately $16,000, a budget that has already been well scrutinized by a board that is running the Children’s Aid Society very efficiently, because I was a former member of the board and know the people quite well? How can the minister justify a cut of this magnitude on such a small budget?

Hon. Mr. Norton: I don’t have before me the details of that particular budget, but perhaps I could give a very brief and general response to the hon. member. Perhaps if he had continued to remain as a member of the Children’s Aid Society, their problem wouldn’t have developed. I can assure him that all of the Children’s Aid Societies in the province during the latter part of 1976 were advised as to the global limitations on the amount of money that was available for Children’s Aid Society budgets in 1977-78. That was approximately an eight per cent increase.

They were subsequently by letter encouraged to bear that in mind in the planning of their budgets. In a few instances, budgets came in requesting substantially more than that, in one case as much as a 60 per cent increase. The process that we engaged in with the society --

Mr. Speaker: I think the question dealt with a specific society.

Hon. Mr. Norton: In that case, Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member wants a detailed and specific response to a specific budget, I will try to provide him with that information at a later date.

Mr. Warner: You inherited the Minister of Energy’s speeches.

Mr. G. I. Miller: Supplementary: I just want the minister to understand that this does cover an area of 15 municipalities and 450 square miles. It has been very efficiently run in the past.


Mr. Deans: I am almost hesitant to ask the question but I’ll try: Is the Premier prepared to make representation to the federal government to try to bring about some guarantees that the pipe used in the Alaska pipeline will be made substantially in Canada, in an effort to protect the workers in Ontario who are involved in the production of that pipe and in order to try to bring about expansion of the industry to make the larger pipe that may not be now made in this country?

Hon. Mr. Davis: My understanding is that part of the discussion and part of the negotiations did relate -- and this has not been confirmed or finalized -- to the bulk of the pipe being made in this country. Fortunately, a good part of that will be in the province of Ontario. I would be quite prepared, or the Minister of Energy would, to make sure, when this arrangement is finalized, that the material used in this pipeline should be made in this province, to the extent that it is possible, and I think a lot of it can be produced here.

Certainly we would support that. My understanding is that this has already been explored and that there is every indication a good portion of it will be fabricated here.

Mr. MacDonald: That ex-Tory Jack Horner is waffling again.

Hon. Mr. Davis: The member may have different information than we do, but we will certainly pursue it because we want to see it made here as well.

Mr. Deans: One supplementary question then: Will the Premier obtain the statement made by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce, Mr. Horner, and find out what he means when he says that there is no guarantee that the substantial proportion of the pipe to be used will be manufactured in this country? And will the Premier take some steps, in the interest of Ontario workers who are at the moment facing a very bleak future, to guarantee that not only a substantial amount but wherever possible all of the pipe that can be manufactured here will be -- even if it means retooling -- so that all the pipe that can be manufactured here will be manufactured here?

Mr. Speaker: The question has been asked.

Hon. Mr. Davis: No doubt at all, Mr. Speaker.


Mr. Eaton: I have a question of the Minister of Correctional Services. Since he is in the mood for restraint, I wonder if he can indicate if the reports of overtime being paid to guards so that residents of his institutions can watch television are true and, if so, in this time of restraint, if he’ll stop that practice?

Hon. Mr. Drea: I presume that the hon. member is talking about the published report that at the Toronto Jail there is a matter of up to $100 of overtime when hockey games go beyond 10:30 at night. On that presumption I would say to the hon. members, that unlike the coffee situation, which is a rip-off, the situation concerning the correctional --

Mr. Lewis: You know, you are a patsy, Larry Grossman? That’s funny, but you are a patsy.


Hon. Mr. Grossman: I have a supplementary.

Mr.. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Unlike that situation, in the correctional officer matter at the Toronto Jail, the payment of overtime amounts at most to $100 and I am not going to discontinue it. It comes about because there is a standard practice with inmates of the Toronto Jail and I presume others. One of the agreements we have with them is that the normal lockup time is extended on nights when there is a hockey game or other major sporting event.

The difficulty with the hockey games is that we have no control over the time-span. If there are a lot of fights or a lot of goals, they go beyond 10:30 at night. I do not feel that I should break the agreement that the ministry has with the inmates because of rowdyism on the ice or other factors and send them back to their cells before the game is over. Furthermore, I think that the amount, which wouldn’t total more than about $3,500 or $3,600 in total over a season, is money extremely well spent.

I believe there is motivational material in watching gentlemen of the description of Mr. Sittler, Mr. Salming, Mr. McDonald and others triumph over adversity while conforming to rules. That is the other Mr. MacDonald.

And furthermore, I would draw to the attention of players that if they want to delay the game by taking a punch at an opponent, the hon. Attorney General will be constantly watching them and I will probably get them, and I will take the $100 out of their hide in the Toronto Jail.

Mr. Eaton: Supplementary: Since this practice is not being carried on at other institutions, will the minister either review the practice there and change it, or allow the same in other institutions, such as London?

Hon. Mr. Drea: They don’t get all the Wednesday and Saturday night games, because they are local.

Mr. Breaugh: You did this, Stephen.

Hon. Mr. Drea: It is my understanding that wherever we have an institution where these programs --

Mr. Speaker: Ignore the interjections.

Mr. Lewis: How can you?

Mr. Speaker: And hurry up with the answer, please.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I don’t regard this as a very facetious thing. I think it’s an honest question.

Mr. MacDonald: Cut off the game once and you will have a riot that would cost you a million.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Wherever there is a sporting event of some magnitude, and every National Hockey League game obviously is that, and so is a boxing match or the World Series or a football game --

Mr. Lewis: What about chariot races?

Mr. Breaugh: You haven’t seen Colorado play.

Hon. Mr. Drea: -- we will follow the practice.

If it requires overtime to be paid to correctional officers -- and I wish the parliamentary assistant in Consumer and Commercial Relations would refer to people by their occupation rather than slang -- wherever there are correctional officers who must be paid overtime, they will be.

Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary: Since the minister has referred repeatedly to this arrangement, to which I have no objection, as part of an agreement with inmates, could he outline for this House --

Hon. Mr. Davis: We can’t produce that contract.

Mr. S. Smith: -- the nature of this agreement and what other clauses may exist in this agreement so that we can actually peruse it?

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, in all seriousness there is no contract. There is no formal agreement. But I believe when we change the rule book in an institution, which means an extended time for watching the televising of a sports event, it is very difficult to say to inmates, who are basically there because they have behavioural problems, that we are arbitrarily going to change the rules of the game just because it conveniences us.

I regard those rules under which we operate in an institution as an agreement of principle by the ministry. We will abide by them and we expect the inmates to abide by them; there has to be an equal partnership.

Mr. MacDonald: The best corrections minister since George Wardrope.

Mrs. Campbell: In view of the answers given by the minister, could he advise the House now as to when he is going to table the Ombudsman’s report on corrections?

Mr. Speaker: That is not a supplementary.

Mrs. Campbell: Yes it is.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Twenty-four hours after I get it.


Mr. Haggerty: I’d like to direct a question to the Premier. Is the Premier aware of the Treasurer’s latest report, entitled “Reaffirming Ontario’s Budget Strategy for 1977,” in which the Treasurer states: “The government’s budget plan for 1977 implements a fiscal policy appropriate to the needs of the Ontario economy. I believe that the recovery trend will continue throughout the year and into 1978. I will be monitoring the situation closely and I am prepared to consider supplementary actions to stimulate the economy in selective areas”?

In the light of those comments, is the Premier considering any labour-intensive programs to assist municipalities that have a higher than normal unemployment rate, such as the city of Port Colborne, due to recent layoffs?

Hon. Mr. Davis: We’re not contemplating any additional programs at this moment.

Mr. Haggerty: Supplementary: Is the Premier considering something such as a winter works program?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I didn’t say that either,


Mr. Grande: My question is to the Minister of Culture and Recreation. Let’s get back to Wintario again. Given the fact that a recent article in the Star made certain allegations that some Wintario grants are given to private organizations and possibly profit-making organizations, what on-the-spot follow-up has the ministry done to ensure that the two Wintario principles -- namely, public accessibility and the non-profit criterion -- are, in fact, taking effect?

Hon. Mr. Welch: I’m very grateful to have this question. The hon. member will know that by a memorandum dated October 26, all members of the House received a fair amount of detail in connection with the Wintario program, particularly as it related to this area. The hon. member, having received that memorandum, will have learned from it that the ministry assumes, and I’m reading from the last page of the memorandum, “that when an organization agrees to the terms of the Wintario program” -- which are spelled out on the preceding pages of that memo -- “it will honour its obligations.”

We rely upon the members of our own audit program -- and we have our own audit procedures -- our field staff and the general public to bring things to our attention and, indeed, we follow up on them.

The hon. member should know, if he read very carefully that article to which he’s made reference, that with one exception -- namely, a small grant of $11,000 to an organization in eastern Ontario -- none of the other organizations to which reference was made has received five cents from Wintario, because they have yet to satisfy us that they have met the conditions, the terms of which are set out in the memo.

Mr. Grande: Supplementary: Could the minister tell us, and I’ll repeat it, what on-the-spot follow-up is there, not only for those five particular private clubs that were cited in the article, but for other clubs and private organizations that receive Wintario money? How does the ministry guarantee that what they say they do, they will indeed do?

Hon. Mr. Welch: I repeat, it starts at the time of the application in consultation with the field staff, who, in consultation with the municipal council, recreation or other appropriate committees locally, satisfy themselves with respect to the adherence to the conditions for grants in this part of the program. Then the organizations involved would sign an undertaking that they, in fact, will maintain those conditions.


I mentioned that through audit, through inspection by the field staff, and indeed through members of the general public, we have an opportunity to have the follow-up and the checks to which reference has been made in this question.

Mr. Kerrio: Supplementary: Would the minister care to comment on the questionable access to some of the private clubs that have been granted Wintario funds? Is he satisfied that the public has access in every instance where Wintario money has been granted to private clubs?

Hon. Mr. Welch: The hon. member will understand that I would want to have a particular organization or a particular file as part of the question, but in general terms I am satisfied that no Wintario money by way of a grant is paid to an organization which has not satisfied the conditions which are set out in some detail in my memorandum to members of this House, dated October 26. Indeed, through the field staff and through the municipal councils, I think we have taken every reasonable step with respect to this question of public access.

The spirit of the program is of course to recognize that in many municipalities in Ontario it would be practicably impossible to duplicate a number of facilities. Therefore, in using the Wintario capital program, we hope to unlock a number of these facilities to a wider public involvement and participation and thereby make it possible for the community there to have that type of activity without having to go to the expense of providing a duplicate type of service.

One must keep in mind, in so far as the capital program is concerned, that the grant is only one-third of the cost and half in other parts, and there is still of course the sharing principle; so the members of the non-profit organization are in fact making some contribution for the public as well.

To go back to the hon. member’s question, I rely on the administrative support that we have, both here and in the field, and in consultation with municipal organizations, municipal councils and committees, to satisfy me that these conditions are being met and an undertaking is signed. If we have any evidence that these are not being honoured, we have legal recourse to reclaim these funds.

Mr. Grande: Supplementary: In view of all the publicity this is receiving -- and adverse publicity, as far as I’m concerned and in view of the fact that the minister was very careful in setting out this memorandum so that no such confusion would arise, does he not think that it’s just about time that a select committee of this Legislature really takes a look at Wintario from the time that tickets are sold to the time that the --

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Another select committee. We have one a week.

Mr. Kerrio: Make an application to Wintario.

Mr. Speaker: The question has been asked.

Mr. Grande: Mr. Speaker, there’s a second part to my question; that is, that this select committee will have the power --

Hon. Mr. Grossman: To go on a trip?

Mr. Eaton: Where do you want to travel to?

Mr. Grande: -- to take a look at the Ontario Lottery Corporation Act with a view to proposing amendments to that Act?

Hon. Mr. Welch: I don’t feel that we need a select committee to go into this matter. My estimates will be before the members before long and there will be ample opportunity to ask all kinds of questions.

The hon. member fails to share with this House that almost immediately on being advised that he was the new critic, he was invited over to our ministry. Every Wintario file is wide open for anybody to see.

He’s been over there and he has spent a great deal of time. Notwithstanding what he refers to as adverse publicity, if in fact one really believes -- and I’m talking about myself -- that what we are doing is quite open, quite proper and quite helpful, then if there are those who wish through any type of publicity to discredit the program, I can’t stop that. But I tell the hon. member, this program stands ready to be examined by anyone, any member of this Legislature, with respect to how it operates, what its aims and objectives are and what the criteria are. Every file is available. The file is made available to any reporter who calls me about any file.

With respect to this matter, I would hope that if there are some questions, some comments and some constructive suggestions, we will have that exchange before the standing committee on social development, when the estimates of this ministry will be there.


Mr. Eakins: I have a question of the Minister of Industry and Tourism. How does he explain the further decline in visitors to the province this year over 1976 -- which, as we know, has been a disastrous year for tourism in the province -- when just last year he optimistically responded to my question on the drop in visitors by stating there was a change of direction in the tourist industry and that he thought we’d see a marked improvement in the tourist traffic in the second and third quarters of this year?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: It’s very simple. Ontario and Canada are not alone in the world situation in tourism. While projections a year ago by political forces around the world were being made that we would see an improvement in tourism, economic conditions have not brought that about. Very simply, in view of the amount of disposable income, the attitude of consumers has been to save even to a greater extent than they did before and they are not travelling.

Mr. Eakins: I have a supplementary. My figures indicate that by the end of August this year the total was 16 million compared with 16.2 million for the same period in 1976. What specific measures is the minister taking to change this or to bolster the tourist industry?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: I have said on various occasions -- and I’m sure we shall discuss this at great length in the next few hours since we start estimates this morning -- that through our advertising program and redirecting of advertising promotion by the provincial government, by co-operation with the federal government of Canada, by co-operation with the government of the province of Quebec and by co-operation with the Canadian airlines and those lines that are associated with Air Canada, we will try to redirect our advertising dollars into more lucrative markets, where we believe disposable incomes are sufficiently high to warrant or justify or afford people the opportunity to travel in Ontario and other parts of Canada.

Mr. Wildman: Considering the fact that the minister said one of the problems or the major problem is the fact that the economy has not recovered and there is insufficient disposable income, does he still subscribe to the statements he made or that were made by his ministry in its review in July 1976, that the economy was inherently strong and will continue to prosper and grow?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: I’m not going to draw back from that position. I think if the member would refer to what I said, it was that people with large disposable incomes, as Mr. Chretien said a week ago in the House of Commons of Canada, are not encouraged to spend. They have been encouraged to save. He has said from a Minister of Finance’s point of view, and Mr. Horner has said from the point of view of the Minister of Trade for Canada, if Canadians would start to spend and buy some of the consumer products and do a little more travelling rather than continuing to save, then the economy of this province and country might be somewhat better.

Mr. Martel: Don’t go to Florida any more. Stay here and travel.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I will remember that.

Mr. Martel: Come to Sudbury.



Mr. Eaton moved first reading of Bill 87, An Act to amend the Liquor Licence Act, 1975.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Eaton: The purpose of this bill is to raise the legal drinking age in Ontario, at which time alcoholic beverages are allowed, from 18 to 20. I think it is in recognition of the wishes of the majority of the people of this province and certainly of my constituency, and also, I would say from discussions, a fair majority of people between the ages of 18 and 20.

Mr. Cunningham: You are an idiot.


House in committee of supply.


On vote 1602, public safety program; item 3, fire safety services:

Mr. B. Newman: Mr. Chairman, I wanted to raise a few items with the minister.

Mr. Lupusella: Mr. Chairman, on a point of order, I had the floor.

Mr. Chairman: I am sorry. Did you have the floor when we recessed? Last week?

Mr. Lupusella: Yes.

Mr. Chairman: I will recognize the member for Dovercourt.

Mr. Lupusella: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Pursuing the same argument about the coroner’s recommendations -- that’s the argument I was pursuing last week -- I was particularly concerned about the recommendation --

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: What vote are we on?

Mr. Chairman: Order. The Solicitor General has asked what vote we are on. We are on vote 1602, item 3.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: That is possible, sir. I understood my hon. friend from Dovercourt was dealing with coroners, which is the following vote.

Mr. Lupusella: Okay.

Mr. Chairman: Under those circumstances, I will again recognize the member for Windsor-Walkerville.

Mr. B. Newman: Mr. Chairman, the previous member couldn’t have been on when we wound up on the last day because we didn’t get as far as he assumed we did.

I wanted to raise with the minister the problem of the frequency of fires back in the Windsor-Essex county area. Apparently, we do seem to have more than normal. Just this past week there happened to be one in which a meat-packing concern suffered approximately $1 million in loss of product and also to the building. Over the past three years, approximately, some 15 hotels have burned down, if I am not mistaken. The city has asked for a permanent full-time fire marshal in the area.

Would the minister not consider their suggestion in light of the overabundance of fires in the area many of which are, we assume, of an incendiary nature? Could the minister reply? Then I have another question.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: I have quite a long report here -- about a page and a third; it might be helpful if I read it into the record. It deals with the number of fires in the Windsor area and it may give rise to a supplemental question.

“Due to the extensive publicity on the number of hotel fires in the Windsor area, an in-depth investigation was conducted by the Ontario Fire Marshal’s investigation services. The OFM intelligence officer, in conjunction with the Windsor police and fire departments, conducted extensive inquiries to determine if fraudulent fires were occurring in the Windsor area.

“During 1976, nine hotel fires occurred in the Windsor area. Five of these fires were investigated by the fire investigation services who determined that two were incendiary, one undetermined and two of accidental origin. This investigation has established that there is no widespread problem of fraudulent and incendiary fires in the Windsor area.

“A number of hotel fires have occurred, however. Part of the fire problem has resulted from the gradual deterioration of the buildings, contents, heating systems, electrical wiring and electrical distribution equipment. The Ontario Fire Marshal’s intelligence officer brought the investigative agencies together. Better communications between the fire and police departments and the LLBO inspectors has been established.

“In 1975, fire investigator D. F. Campbell of our Windsor district office investigated 99 fires in both Kent and Essex counties, including the city of Windsor. On July 1, 1976 a new district office was opened in Mount Forest, at which time Kent county was removed from the jurisdiction of the Windsor office and given to the London district office. This reorganization has reduced fire investigations by our Windsor office from 99 in 1975 to 81 in 1976. The reorganization of the area will allow more time to conduct fire investigations in the city of Windsor area.

“The Ontario Fire Marshal’s fire investigation service is training the senior officers and firefighters of the Windsor fire department on how to determine fire cause, fire-crime detection, and continuity of evidence. Training is also provided to the Windsor police department on fire investigation procedures.”

Mr. Chairman, that would indicate we are concerned with the number of fires in the Windsor area, which have been sufficiently significant to make us want to send more firefighting staff there -- although the report, as I have said, states that only two of the fires were determined as incendiary and one undetermined.

Mr. B. Newman: I wanted to bring this to the attention of the minister and ask for his comments. I am reading from a press story of June 15, 1977: “One Fire Marshal inspector covers Windsor and Essex county. His office is in the basement of his home. He has no clerical help. His telephone is a private number and is not listed in government listings.” Is it your intention, Mr. Minister, to overcome that problem?

The article continues: “One of the complaints coming out of the Windsor fire department is that Mr. Campbell has no replacement in the area. Often when he is summoned to a fire, according to one official of the Windsor department, he is out on another fire, or it is his day off or he is on his vacation or he has been called out of town. The Windsor fire official claims that it is sometimes days before the other inspector arrives.” Would the minister care to comment on that startling report in the Windsor paper of June 25, 1977?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: It may be that his number is not in the telephone book; I am not sure of that. But my advice is that it is quite possible. The number is, of course, well known to those who need to know it -- that is the police and the various fire chiefs and fire offices about that area.

As regards the need for more service, I have already dealt with that in what I read to you: that we have rearranged the boundaries down there to provide more time. I will certainly inquire into the business of telephone numbers being listed. It seems to me that it should be listed somewhere in a place where the public can find it. I would gather that people -- other than the police and the chiefs -- should know about it. I will make inquiries into that.

I won’t, however, promise you any more service than that which we have arranged for by the adjustment of the boundaries, because of our budget restrictions. But, in any event, I will certainly investigate the telephone matter.

Mr. B. Newman: The other question I wanted to raise with the minister is that of the use of smoke detectors. Is it the intention of the ministry to ask that legislation be passed making it mandatory for the installation of smoke detectors in homes, public places and so forth?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Mr. Chairman, it is my understanding that it is already mandatory in the construction of new homes and buildings to install smoke detectors at that time. Our ministry and, certainly, the Fire Marshal’s office support the use of smoke detectors. We have tried to encourage the use in northern Ontario, in the unorganized communities, by way of a grant to help in the distribution of them. I am sorry that that program has not been more successful.

I think under that program we have distributed only about a thousand of these smoke detectors. But throughout the province, generally, there has been a great demand for them. I understand the companies that make them -- and some of them are here in Ontario -- are hard-pressed to keep up with the demand. I have spoken about them from time to time when I have been addressing various groups -- encouraging the use of them -- and the Fire Marshal’s office is encouraging their use, so I think we will be doing everything short of making them mandatory. There is no plan at the present time to make them mandatory in existing homes or buildings.

Mr. B. Newman: I have one other topic that I would like to raise with the minister and that is the Fire Marshal’s report. I’ve had the occasion where a constituent of mine had his business burn down completely. Because the Fire Marshal’s report said it was suspected arson, the individual as a result had the greatest difficulty in obtaining fire insurance.

Nothing had been proven that it was arson, and because of that simple comment in there, the man practically had to get on his hands and knees to get any company to even consider it. If I’m not mistaken, he stayed without fire insurance for some three months.

The difficulty with that is, the bank will not provide any mortgage unless there is fire insurance. Shouldn’t there be something done so that if there is a comment that simply says there may have been arson involved, that type of comment should not necessarily be contained in there unless you can actually prove it, because the insurance companies take full advantage of that.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: I understand that that is one reason our reports are not made public. I don’t know how that report was obtained and how the insurance companies got that information. Maybe it’s worth following up. If you’ll give us some more information, I’ll be glad to do so.

But there’s a conflict, of course, of wanting to make our reports factual and honest. If we have to cloak them in discreet language in case somebody else reads something into them, then they lose their effectiveness for the purposes we want to use them. The answer is, it shouldn’t have been made public and as I say, we’ll be glad to follow it up.

Item 3 agreed to.

On item 4, coroners’ investigations and inquests:

Mr. Lupusella: I’m particularly interested about coroners’ investigations. In my opening statement, I made particular reference to three people who have died since May in police cells.

I see the validity of this particular branch -- the forensic sciences centre. It seems they are quite busy investigating cases. In fact during the year 1976 the coroner’s office investigated 27,700 sudden deaths. Of this number, they ordered 8,800 medical/legal autopsies, which were carried out by 250 pathologists. I see the function. I see what they are doing. I see also the importance of the recommendations which they are making.

In my opening statement, and I want to clarify the record, I raised the particular point, and I’m quoting from what I said, “I hope the Solicitor General is also aware that since May 1977, three people died in Metro police cells. A coroner’s inquest has been held for each case. In each case many good recommendations have been made, but nobody knows whether or not changes are taking place.”

In replying to my statement, the Solicitor General, talking about the particular item of those three people dying in police cells, said, “As a result, all of these things in police cells or otherwise make life a little less tolerable for the prisoner. We’re trying to take precautions against suicide.” He didn’t specify what kind of precautions are taking place. “Then,” you say, “‘why don’t you have them under electronic surveillance?’ It’s not everybody who wants to be under electronic surveillance. They regard that as an infringement on their right to privacy even while they’re in jail.”

With all due respect to the minister’s statement, I didn’t suggest that electronic surveillance is forced to take place. In fact, in my statement I was reading from the inquest into -- and I don’t think it is necessary to mention the name -- a person who died on May 3, 1977, in a police cell. The verdict of the coroner’s jury was:

“We, the jury, further find from the evidence submitted that Mr.” So-and-so “came to his death by apparent suicide by strangulation with his own shirt, twisted in a rope fashion and used around his neck, the ends being tied to the horizontal bar of the doors, 22 inches from the floor of cell No. 1 in Metro Toronto Police Station No. 13.”

By getting into the whole issue of recommendations, Mr. Chairman, what I would like to see is the implementation of those recommendations. In the annual report, it seems that the role of the forensic pathology agency, and I am reading from the annual report, 1976, “is to assist in determining the courses of and the mechanisms of deaths in unusual circumstances and to aid the law enforcement agencies throughout the province in their interpretation of certain aspects of sudden death through the application of expertise in forensic pathology. The objectives can be achieved by providing an advisory service to police, coroners and pathologists in the province, developing training programs in forensic pathology and carrying out forensic pathology examinations in difficult or complex cases.”

Recommendations have been made. Since May, three people died in police cells. I didn’t suggest that electronic surveillance is supposed to take place to eliminate the problems. They made valid recommendations, and just to clarify the record, I hope the Solicitor General is going to give me an answer to what his ministry has been doing to see that those recommendations are implemented in order that we will not see other people dying in the police cells.

I quoted the following recommendations: “(1) That the appropriate authorities continue to develop improvements to the physical arrangement of cells and detention areas aimed at the prevention of attempted suicides -- for example, by research into the practicality of using plexiglass panels on the inside of cell bars.”

Then there is the recommendation of the electronic surveillance, and I didn’t suggest that is the route which must be followed. If the Solicitor General interpreted my comment that people in police cells are supposed to be controlled by electronic surveillance that is his prerogative to think like that, but I didn’t make such statement.

I don’t want to go through all the recommendations. The principle involved in that particular case is that those recommendations are supposed to be reviewed by the ministry and followed up. Otherwise there is no sense in coroners making all of those investigations. It seems that the number is quite high, especially in 1976; 27,700 deaths investigated by the coroner’s office.


If there is all of this work involved, I think that the Solicitor General must have an obligation to follow the recommendations, in order that somehow -- and it is not my duty to do that because I think members of the Legislature are not aware of what kind of recommendation the coroners are going to make. I reported those three examples in which I made a particular request to the Solicitor General. Otherwise, I wouldn’t even have known that those recommendations were made.

So it is not my responsibility or somebody else’s responsibility to recommend the right route in order that certain recommendations are supposed to take place. It’s the Solicitor General’s duty to establish some kind of group in his ministry to review those recommendations and pursue from that in order that the recommendations will be implemented. And that’s the first principle.

The second idea or the second method which I would like to suggest to the Solicitor General is to make a report in order that members of the Legislature and the public will know what kind of recommendations are going to be made by the coroners’ investigations. Then at least we can have an opportunity to follow those recommendations to find out which ones are the best and which ones are not suitable for implementation, in order that we at least can have a say.

At the moment from the annual report -- and I don’t want to repeat the same figures -- what we know is that the coroner’s office made 27,700 investigations. That’s what we know. We don’t know anything about the recommendations which they are making in order that future problems can be eliminated. They are going to disappear when the same events are taking place here in the province of Ontario.

If the Solicitor General doesn’t want to pay so much attention to that particular item, then I think the work of the coroner is becoming in some way useless. I think the coroners make good recommendations, and as I said before, the Solicitor General either will report to the House or to the Legislature or to the members what kind of recommendations were made in order that we can follow them up in some way. I am sure not all of those recommendations are falling within the jurisdiction of the Solicitor General, but it is the duty of the Solicitor General to find out whether and in which ministry those recommendations are taking place.

So the Solicitor General at the end of the year might come to the Legislature, as he has been doing, and state that the coroner’s office has been very busy. It has been very busy because the numbers of cases in 1976 and 1977 has been very high. With all due respect, they are doing the work, but the particular principle involved on the coroner’s office is the recommendations in order that in the future the same events don’t take place. The Solicitor General has an obligation to make us aware of those recommendations. I would like to give an opportunity to the Solicitor General to reply to that comment, and find out about the three cases which I just mentioned. What kind of recommendations have been implemented?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Mr. Chairman, dealing first with the responsibilities of the coroner arising out of inquests, section 4 of the Act says, “The Lieutenant Governor in Council, may appoint a coroner to be chief coroner for Ontario who shall” -- and, under section 4(d) -- “bring the findings and recommendations of coroners’ juries to the attention of appropriate persons, agencies and ministries of the government.”

I think we do that rather effectively. Dr. Cotnam, who is here before me at the present time, has an excellent record across the province for the thoroughness with which he and his coroners investigate the deaths that are brought to their attention and the soundness of the recommendations that are made by the juries involved.

In other words, without some kind of direction, coroners’ juries could make some pretty unreasonable suggestions from time to time. I have been impressed by how practical are most of the ones I have seen and I can tell this committee that 75 per cent of the recommendations made by coroners’ juries are carried out. One could ask, “What’s the matter with the other 25 per cent?” But, of course, the coroners’ juries are just individual citizens. Although they have the guidance of the coroner, they are of course not bound by his instructions and occasionally, without seeing the overall picture, they can make some recommendations that are not necessarily able to be implemented for one reason or other.

I recall that they used to make recommendations often for stop-lights to be put in at a certain corner just because a particular fatality had taken place on that corner. Of course, if you collected enough of those fatalities, I suppose you would find stop-lights at almost every intersection in a municipal area.

While there are some problems and not all coroners’ recommendations are too sound, I’m pleased to say, as I have said, that 75 per cent of the coroners’ juries’ recommendations are carried out.

Neither the coroner nor I, as Solicitor General, has any power to enforce the various bodies to whom recommendations are directed to carry out the suggestions therein. The coroner distributes them to all the people he thinks could be concerned with them at all, whether it’s a municipal authority, a private business or, of course, various government agencies. There’s no responsibility at law for him to follow up, other than a moral responsibility, but he does do a follow-up to see which recommendations are or are not carried out. I’m quite pleased and I feel that with 75 per cent success, Dr. Cotnam’s recommendations are being taken seriously and put into operation.

The member for Dovercourt dealt at some length with some deaths in our correctional institutions. I have detailed reports on each of the three that he has referred to. It might be wise to take the time of the committee and read them. Let me read one of them anyway and then we can decide whether we want anything on the others. This one refers to the death of an inmate by the name of Savoie:

“Because of the potentially lethal and unpredictable effects of a combination of alcohol and drugs, there should be a more thorough search of all prisoners at the station. A more thorough search is particularly important in areas where citizens are known to combine alcohol and other drugs. If a combination of alcohol and drugs is present or suspected, the prisoner should be given immediate medical attention.”

What I have just read was the recommendation of the jury in the Savoie case. The reply we’ve got hack from Metro Toronto police is that, “More care will be taken in the future in searching such persons and in providing immediate medical referral.” This always is a difficult problem for the police and other authorities when they pick somebody up. But the member is quite right that care should be taken. It’s a case of impressing the need for this care on the individuals who are carrying it out.

I suppose if the police had had a series of drunks in a particular area one night and another is picked up with, maybe a combination of alcohol and drugs, it’s not always that easy to detect. That kind of care is a demand on our police; we are constantly warning them to watch for this, and here is another recommendation from a coroner that that should be carried out.

Passing to another inquest -- Gray -- this is the recommendation: “That the appropriate authorities continue to develop improvements to the physical arrangement of cells and detention areas aimed at the prevention of attempted suicides -- for example, by research into the practicality of using plexiglass panels on the inside of cell bars.” I believe this is the one that my friend the member for Dovercourt (Mr. Lupusella) referred to.

“Ongoing developments have been taking place in the design of cells.” In quotation marks, they’re called “fronts.” “The cell in which the tragedy occurred had been constructed with a front that contained only one horizontal crossbar. This bar had been located just 22 inches from the floor in an effort to lessen the likelihood of suicide.

“All police cells with conventional type bar or grille fronts depend on the free movement of air through the open cell fronts for proper ventilation. To install plastic panels on the inside of these cell fronts would seriously affect this air movement and would make confinement in the cells intolerable at most times. To change the air handling system in all existing police cell facilities to accommodate solid cell fronts would require an extremely expensive program of major alterations.

“The fronts of all the cells installed at the new 52 Division station at 255 Dundas Street West in Toronto do, in fact, have solid panels of the laminated glass and plastic. Being an entirely new facility, the air system has been designed to permit this type of cell construction. An evaluation is now taking place on these cells and, when concluded, should establish whether they are the long-sought ‘suicide-proof cell’.”

“That whenever electronic surveillance equipment is installed, it should have sufficient range to monitor the entire cell, either by placement of the camera or use of wide-angle lens and remote control of camera movements.”

The answer: “A wide angle lens has been installed and the camera does now provide full coverage of the cell.”

There are others. I think maybe I’ve read enough of that to show you some of the problems involved. The authorities have long been aware of the problems of suicide in our jail cells; and there is an example, the only bar they had was one that was 18 inches off the ground and yet the facile mind of somebody who was contemplating suicide could do what some of us who are not familiar with these things would think would be impossible, to hang yourself from a bar 18 inches off the ground.

Every time the authorities or the designers come up with what they think is something to make a particular cell suicide-proof those in it in some way find ways to commit suicide just the same.

The suggestion has been solid fronts. They have their disadvantages, as I have said. They would be very costly to install. The average inmate is not contemplating suicide, he is more concerned with his comfort in that cell. I think they appreciate the openness of the cells rather than the closed-in effect and the lack of air circulation that would result if you did close them in in some of our older buildings.

We deal with electronic surveillance. I don’t think I was being critical of the member for Dovercourt when I talked about electronic surveillance. I think I was simply trying to point out that although we do have electronic surveillance in some of our jails, and generally speaking it is a good thing; but it too has disagreeable effects, one of them being, as I mentioned the other day, the fact that you have male police keeping surveillance in some cases over female prisoners; and also, as I said, that some people don’t want to feel they’re being watched all the time, even though they are in prison.


We’re looking for ways to keep them under constant surveillance without interfering with their rights of privacy. We’re looking for the kind of cell accommodation where suicide will become impossible, and yet we want to consider the comforts of the prisoner. We are concerned that they should have some comforts in the cells, that those comforts should not be done away with particularly.

To return to the original question, 75 per cent of coroners’ recommendations are carried out.

Mr. Lupusella: Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the comments of the Solicitor General. As I stated before, I do not argue about the kind of work which the coroners are performing. It seems that, considering the number of investigations that they are performing in one year, 27,700, I guess that they’re doing their work.

About the kind of recommendations: We have statistics released by the Solicitor General that 75 per cent of those recommendations are, in fact, implemented. I don’t think I should depend on the words of the Solicitor General to be informed that those recommendations are being made. The principle which I raised previously was that those recommendations are supposed to be known to the members of Parliament and to the public as well.

To go back to the point of electronic surveillance, I didn’t even suggest that; I was just reading through the reports the Solicitor General read as well. We have those problems in different areas, we realize that. But one aspect of the problem, and it’s comparable to those problems of which we read from time to time in the newspapers, is that certain people are dying in police cells. I think more attention should be given to those people who are not really committing crimes, maybe the police arrest them for drug abuse or alcoholism, and they put them in jail for two or three days and then they release them.

My personal and particular opinion is that, in fact those people do have those psychological problems which are supposed to be considered by the police when they arrest them and put them in police cells. Maybe it’s an aspect to which the police are not paying so much attention, so they leave those people in police cells. Maybe if a person is drunk and is taken there for one or two nights, he might have a psychological crisis and he might hang himself in the cell.

That’s the social problem which, maybe, the police are not considering when they arrest those people. Maybe they should not be in cells at all. Maybe they should be taken to a hospital instead of being taken to police cells. It’s the social aspect which is not considered by the police. I’m sure about that, otherwise those things would not take place.

That is why, in my opening statement, I suggested the police should educate themselves, throughout their training course, in social problems which are taking place in our society. I am not suggesting they are supposed to be psychiatrists and solve the problems; it’s just a question of the kind of consideration which should be given when they are dealing with those people.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: I don’t know how I can answer that question. As I said when we were dealing a little earlier with general matters, so many people expect so much from the police.

You say you don’t expect the police to be doctors or psychiatrists. I am not so sure that you are not asking them to be doctors and psychologists.

Mr. Lupusella: They should know how.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: I just say we have a great police force here, or most of them, in this province, but I think when you ask them to look at a prisoner, many of whom are violent and need to be locked up, and you suggest some of these should be examined in some way by the police and that they decide they should go to a hospital rather than behind bars, you are just asking too much of the police.

I think you are asking too much of anybody. I am not going to suggest that the police should have the kind of expertise to determine, in the circumstances that the police have to deal with these people, which one needs mental treatment, which one doesn’t need mental treatment, which one is liable to commit suicide and which one is not liable to commit suicide, and which one should be sent off to hospital. You are just asking the police officers of this province, who are reasonable and rational people but in no way experts in the kind of field you want them to be experts in, to do what I regard as the impossible.

Mr. Lupusella: On the last comment which I made, given the fact that those problems are taking place, in particular in Metropolitan Toronto, and if we are going to compare the kind of training which is given to the police officers acting under the jurisdiction of each municipality and the OPP, I think there is a different level of training entirely. I am sure the Solicitor General will realize that.

Also, the Solicitor General made a particular comment that from time to time the municipal police officers are going on a regular basis to Aylmer College to be trained and to get expertise. I am not saying they should be doctors or psychiatrists -- far from it -- but knowing about psychology or having a course in it, or in sociology, at Aylmer College is something which would bring the police officer closer to the community and closer to the people. That’s the kind of education which I was talking about, because more understanding will come if they are going to get the right expertise.

The community does not see policemen as just officers who are supposed to implement and enforce the law. I think we debated this principle in a quite extensive way when we made the opening statement. This kind of education should take place in order that they will eventually educate the community to have more understanding in order that people won’t commit certain crimes in our society.

I see the role of the policeman as an educator in our society and not just as the person who is enforcing the law and is taking people to court. This kind of image is supposed to change in the province of Ontario, Mr. Chairman, and I hope the Solicitor General will find ways and programs in order that those principles are going to be implemented.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Mr. Chairman, I do appreciate what the member for Dovercourt is saying. We do have this type of course in Aylmer and the various police training establishments. They are addressed by experts in the field. They do have extensive training in resuscitation methods. They do have extensive training in St. John Ambulance methods. We are doing everything that is practical in that way.

I just feel that the member for Dovercourt is asking for perfection in an imperfect world. There is no reason why we shouldn’t strive for perfection, but to suggest that we have this intensive training that he’s asking for, and the intensive knowledge that he expects the police and the jail custodians to have; if he thinks we are not going to have any more suicides in our cells, although we are striving to achieve that I just don’t think it is going to happen, but we will keep striving for it.

Mr. Lupusella: Mr. Chairman, I would like to say that I am not looking for perfection in police officers, but I think if we are going to engage in those kinds of programs, then the attitude of the police officer in our society will change. I can see some effective changes taking place in relation to attitude.

I think I developed this kind of principle when I made my opening remarks. Citizens are all concerned about the attitude of police officers. I have a particular concern; it bothers me when a police officer shows an evasive attitude when he is dealing with me or with someone else. I am sure if it bothers me it bothers a lot of other people too. I think policemen should follow intensive programs of retraining in order to somehow change their attitude in our society.

I don’t want to prolong this argument, because I think I dealt with those principles before. I hope that in some way I will reach the Solicitor General so that he will undertake programs to produce a future change in attitude.

When the royal commission was called to ascertain whether or not -- and I don’t want to use the word brutality, let’s say force -- whether force has been used by the police officers in Metropolitan Toronto, it seems this kind of problem does arise. People are quite dissatisfied with the attitude of the police officer. I want to draw to the Solicitor General’s attention the fact that in my constituency office a lot of people call me complaining about the attitude of police officers.

I am sure that the Ministry of the Solicitor General spends a lot of time and a lot of money to educate the public in crime prevention. We have to analyse why these crimes are taking place in our society. I don’t think the Solicitor General will achieve his goal of doing something about crime prevention just by making sure that $10,000, for example, is going to be spent on TV commercials. I have seen those commercials in which the Solicitor General is trying to reach the public on crime prevention; I don’t think they are effective. In my own opinion, I don’t think the public will be educated by the kind of message being put across by a commercial on TV. I don’t think that is the right route. I see this as a role to be developed and performed by the police force as well, instead of spending time and money on trying to reach the public on TV and hoping that in some way the goal will be reached.

Mr. Conway: Now Tony, really. I think the Solicitor General is a wonderful fellow.

Mr. Chairman: Order, please.

Mr. Lupusella: I hope, Mr. Chairman, that the Solicitor General really considers these recommendations. I am sure a lot of people are more inclined to commit more violations just because of the attitude of the police.

I think we have to emphasize this, the attitude of the police. I said it before, and I want to repeat it, the police officer is not the judge on the street. Of course, the attitude goal can easily be reached if they get the right training from the right courses, as well as through the other courses that are going to be implemented.


Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Mr. Chairman, I have asked the chief coroner of the province to make note of those comments in regard to policing. Maybe he can work them into some of his recommendations.

Ms. Bryden: I would like to ask the minister what he is planning to do in regard to the recent statement of the chief coroner, Dr. H. B. Cotnam, that transplant organs are in such dire shortage in Ontario that hospitals are having to buy them from the United States, and that it costs $5,000 to bring a kidney up from the United States.

Dr. Cotnam said that this is due to lack of public information about the donations of organs under our Human Tissue Gift Act, which comes under the Solicitor General. The current program of putting a consent form on a driver’s licence is a beginning, but only a small beginning, because most families don’t know what to do in the event of death. And, I understand, there are some problems if the death occurs outside a hospital.

Moreover, there is no machinery for obtaining consents from non-drivers, who could represent a substantial part of the population. Further, there is no government publicity campaign to let people know about the crying need for transplant organs. There are over 300 waiting for kidneys and 400 for heart tissue; and the need for the pituitary gland to prevent dwarfism is a particularly serious one. The Hospital for Sick Children said that it could have used 10,000 in 1976 and got only about 4,200.

The only publicity campaigns that appear to be undertaken are by private, voluntary health bodies, such as the Eye Bank and the Kidney Foundation of Canada, and they’re each working in their own field and unco-ordinated.

Dr. Cotnam did report that the Ministry of Transportation and Communications was planning to include in the next drivers licences a note asking people to contact the coroner’s office for complete information. As you know, very few people write in for information or for pamphlets. Much more must be done in the way of publicizing the need and the procedures to be followed in the event of death when a consent form has been signed.

I realize that a program of this sort would probably have to be worked out with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, but I think the primary responsibility rests with the Solicitor General’s office which administers the Human Tissue Gift Act.

I would like to ask the minister what his plans are to respond to this need, and stress the urgency of carrying out the suggestions the chief coroner made for making the need much more widely known, for getting many more consent forms and for improving the machinery to get the organs to where the need is.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: The member for Beaches-Woodbine has asked an excellent question, and one that I don’t think we can give too much publicity to.

Our ministry at the present time is engaged in the preparation of a program for doing just the things she is suggesting we should be doing. I realize the great need for these various organs that are required across the province for medical transplants of one sort or another.

As I understand it, there is no shortage of bodies for use in the universities, but there is a shortage of various types of glands for transplants. The Human Tissue Gift Act used to rest with the Ministry of Health. It was thought, because of Dr. Cotnam’s position, that it had best be dealt with by the Solicitor General. So we took it over a year or so ago, and in the interval we have been trying to organize ways of publicizing this.

You may have heard of the first real shot on this that Dr. Cotnam gave us the other day, when he was speaking to the coroners across the province. They were gathered here from all across the province and he spoke to them at that time, seeking their help and co-operation. I had a few words with him myself along the same lines. I understand that it has improved in the last little while, particularly for pituitary glands; there is more response from the public and that situation is improving. As a result of Dr. Cotnam’s report in the paper just the other day, I understand that 500 inquiries have come from that one news item. So we are grateful for the help the press gave us on that occasion.

We do have consent forms in both French and English available from Dr. Cotnam’s office for non-drivers. Our problem is to try to get this great need across to all the citizens of the province, because I am convinced that if the citizens of this province knew how helpful this could be in saving the lives of others, they would be only too happy to take part and would donate various parts of their bodies after their own demise. So the first shot has been fired in the campaign to give this kind of publicity.

I should deal for a moment with the licences. The licences are presently being revised and, as you correctly stated, there will be instructions to contact Dr. Cotnam. I think most people who are serious about it will do just that; they will take the time to write for further information. But the licence form itself will be set up with all the information that the average person needs as to how to make a donation and how to fill out the form. We are instructing our police officers and people such as coroners across the province -- anybody who might be in attendance at the time of a sudden death -- to look for a consent form either on the driver’s permit or somewhere else. They will look for that and immediately take the necessary steps to get that body where the organ can be removed and the donation completed.

So any publicity any of us can give to this is certainly in humanitarian interests. It is in the early stages, but we will have more information in printed form to the public very quickly. The forms you asked for are now available and the licences with more detail on them will be issued, I think, within the next month, probably. I am sorry, I am too optimistic; it’s January 1.

Ms. Bryden: Thank you, Mr. Minister, I am very glad to hear there is some action in this field. I would still think we must get the consent forms much more widely disseminated. I wonder if you have considered trying to get them put into banks -- most people go into a bank sooner or later -- and other places where we distribute government documents; or whether they could go out with mailings that go to large numbers of people.

Also, I would like to ask whether there is any staff in the ministry, or in the coroner’s office particularly, which is spending full time on publicizing this program, on the development of pamphlets and programs generally to spread the word about the need?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: As to where these forms will be put, Dr. Cotnam, I think, is a little more reserved in his approach. He thinks they should be in doctors’ offices and places like that. But I am sure he is open to any kind of suggestion; and if they don’t go into the banks, sooner or later I think they will go into the liquor stores. I wouldn’t be opposed to putting them in that type of location, because I think, and I am agreeing 100 per cent with you, what we need is publicity on this matter.

You ask about full-time employees; no, we have no full-time employees doing it. Dr. Cotnam is presently doing it with his existing staff; they are sharing the work. But he was concerned about this the other day; about how it would be taken care of if this publicity brought forth a rash of inquiries. I assured him that despite our restrictions this was one place where we would not have restraints. If he needed new personnel to handle it, we would certainly see that he got them.

Mr. Germa: Mr. Chairman, I would like to ask a couple of questions about coroners’ juries. I recognize that most of these inquiries don’t go on for a very long period of time, but every once in a while there is a major inquest that goes on for several months. I’m thinking now about the inquest that was held in the city of Sudbury as a result of the death of 24 people in the Sudbury General Hospital, which I understand was due to a cross-up between the oxygen line and another line. That inquiry went on for several months and it did wreak hardship upon those citizens who were on the coroner’s jury.

I wrote to the Solicitor General of that time and brought to his attention the hardship these people faced. I don’t know what the daily rate is now but I think it was about $7 then -- this was a couple of years ago. It is a mandatory thing, not only in this instance but even in the courts.

An ordinary person is required to do this job as a citizen practically for nothing -- $7, $8 or $10 a day -- when everybody else participating in the inquiry is a $100-a-day guy. The coroner is appointed at $100 a day. Every solicitor who was at this particular inquest I am talking about was getting $100 a day, and the jury was going broke. They had to give up months and months of pay.

I wonder what the minister’s story is. How can he let it continue? People are willing to serve, every citizen recognizes his obligation -- but one should not be put to financial hardship. It’s not a big thing, because most of these inquests go through in one day or two days at the most, but I would like to hear the minister’s comment on that.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: I have not much disagreement with what the member for Sudbury is saying when it comes to these long inquests. Certainly some different arrangement should be made. I do not feel that $6 a day is unreasonable for the person who is asked as a citizen to do it just for, as you say one or two days, as so many of the inquests do require. I admit that I have had no recent discussions as far as finding some solution for the longer inquests is concerned. The restraints, of course, have been one of the things that have delayed us. We would certainly like to see not only the usual $6 fee increased to at least $10, but I would like to see some provision for special cases when the inquests go on and on, as that Sudbury one did.

All I can say on this matter is that I will take it under advisement and see if we can’t make some further progress despite our financial restraints.

Mr. Germa: Could I ask one more question relative to this situation? It has to do with an inquest that went on in Sudbury as a result of three deaths at a steel mill in October, 1976. The jury recommendations were such that I was of the opinion criminal charges should be considered by the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry).

Over the past nine months I have been sporadically asking the Attorney General if he has come to a determination whether criminal charges should be laid against the manager and owners of Sudbury Metals Limited. Each and every time the Attorney General tells me, “I am waiting for a transcript of the proceedings.”

I am going to ask the Solicitor General why it takes a year to get a transcript into the Attorney General’s hands. That’s the last story I had from him, just a couple of months ago. Where is the transcript? Are you just putting me on? Are you trying to get it ready? Try to tell me what the delay is all about in a fashion that I will accept.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Mr. Chairman, it is up to the Crown attorney who is at all of our inquests to decide whether he wants to prefer charges as a result of the evidence that comes out at that time, or that coupled with other evidence he may have.


The specific question that might fall into our ministry is why it takes so long to supply a transcript. I don’t recall the hon. member for Sudbury asking me that specific question at any time.

I just whispered to Dr. Cotnam to ask if he knew this case, but he wasn’t particularly aware of it. However, I am informed that a court reporter in Sudbury has the transcript; so the court reporter in Sudbury is responsible for that. Some court reporters are independently employed and some of them work for the Attorney General, so the inquiry can be made through his office.

Mr. Germa: It is true that I have not been directing the questions to you, Mr. Minister, because I think your ministry had done its job. You held the inquest. Therefore, I was asking the Attorney General, who was consistently telling me that he was waiting for a transcript from the coroner’s office. Now you deflect it back into the Attorney General’s ministry. Who is responsible for making up a transcript after an inquest? Is it the responsibility of the Attorney General’s ministry or does it lie with the court reporter?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: It’s the court reporter’s responsibility. Anybody can order a transcript of evidence, and there’s a fee involved in it. But as to this particular court reporter, as I say, I don’t know whether he or she was an independent reporter nr on the payroll of the Attorney General. In any event, we’ll follow it up from our end and try to find ont who that court reporter is and give you some more information on it. Can we have the name of the case again?

Mr. Germa: It was a blast at the Sudbury Metals plant in Falconbridge on October 14, 1976. The parent company is Allis-Chalmers of Milwaukee. Three men were killed in the blast.

Items 4 and 5 agreed to.

Vote 1602 agreed to.

On vote 1603, supervision of police forces program; item 1, Ontario Police Commission:

Mr. Nixon: Mr. Chairman, since this is the item of $2.8 million for the Ontario Police Commission, I thought it might be appropriate at this time to say something about the commission, its composition and in particular its chairman. I understand that Mr. Bell is still acting in that capacity but has informed the government that he will be withdrawing from the chairmanship and returning to private practice.

Mr. Bell has had an interesting career on the Police Commission and certainly in the political life of the province. I can remember the first occasion when I met him after I first entered politics myself. I believe it was in the county of Huron; a by-election was on at the time. I was asked to go up to represent the good guys -- that is the Liberals -- in some kind of a public confrontation. Mr. Bell, as president, was the spokesman of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party at the meeting.

I can always remember how effective he was when he drew to the attention of the people there that although he was just a poor country lawyer from Mitchell, Seaforth or Exeter -- one of those grand old towns -- I, on the other hand, was one of these high-powered politicians from Toronto. In fact, I had just been doing the milking and had driven up from Brant county, but he certainly started off one up on me.

We had an interesting discussion at that time, and I’ve always felt that although he was never a member of this House, his influence was often felt. I believe further that his record of service has been an excellent one, both on the Police Commission and in his other important duties.

I am not aware of his reasons for retirement, but I suppose like many people he feels he’s got time left for a return to a career in his profession of law. Whether or not he returns to Exeter for that, I for one certainly want to wish him well. I don’t know what the government is going to do about filling that position, but when I see its procedures recently in positions of similar importance, I know that many of my colleagues hold themselves ready for the call.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: What about yourself?

Mr. Nixon: No, I’m otherwise occupied in matters, let’s say of equal importance.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Mr. Chairman, that does indeed call for a few comments on my part. Certainly Elmer Bell will be delighted to receive those words, and I believe they were words of commendation, from the former leader of the Liberal Party. Elmer Bell has made more mileage, I think, out of that phrase “small country lawyer” than just about anybody.

Mr. Nixon: You know where he learned it? Les Frost.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: That could be, but he was a great student of Les Frost then --

Mr. Maeck: You didn’t do bad on it either, Bob.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: -- and I think maybe Elmer worked it a little harder and travelled a little further on it than maybe Les Frost did.

Mr. Conway: To say nothing of Joe Greene.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: The people of this province still love a small country person --

Mr. Nixon: Hear, hear.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: -- whether they’re lawyers or doctors, or whatever they are.

Mr. Nixon: Jack, you will agree with that.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: I certainly say that. I know, coming from an urban area, that if you can tell the people of this province you’re a country boy, they’ll love you.

Mr. Nixon: People would believe you came from the farm, John.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: I didn’t come very far from the farm, Bob. I guess that’s the problem.

We’re sorry to lose Elmer. Elmer actually has given his notice and it’s past due. He is still acting in the capacity of chairman past his wished or desired date of retirement. We’re going to miss him. He’s done an excellent job for the Police Commission.

He had the ability to deal with people, as you know, always with the friendly approach. He also had the ability to deal with the officer on the beat as well as the various police authorities; and in a difficult task, where he had to judge, on many occasions, on disciplinary matters, between the commission and the ordinary policeman, I think he did as good a job as anybody can do in a judicial position.

He will certainly be looking forward to getting a copy of Hansard with your remarks in it. I’m afraid my ministry is going to spend all its postage budget this year in sending out copies of Hansard to people the hon. member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk has made reference to.

Mr. Nixon: I don’t know whether I can let that go by just that way or not, but I did want to say something further about the Police Commission. Does the commission have the responsibility to approve the plans for new facilities that are put up by the police forces and under the jurisdiction of local commissions across the province?

I’m thinking of two specifically, both of them that I’ve mentioned previously in my remarks; one in the town of Paris, which, with what I thought was a reasonable budget, converted an old house in the downtown area into what has turned out to be a very effective police headquarters for the community. The other one I was thinking of was the one in the region of Hamilton-Wentworth, which I understand is going to have a total cost of something over $15 million. Is the approval of such a project the responsibility of the commission?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Mr. Chairman, I understand that in so far as the various buildings, police buildings, are concerned, the OPC is consulted only in regard to the design of the lockup areas. It has no power to direct, but I guess its advice is generally accepted in regard to the security part of the various buildings.

Mr. Nixon: I’d like to ask further, does the minister or any of his colleagues have the right to be consulted by a regional government when it undertakes these expenditures leading to the building of new facilities for law enforcement? It seems to me, particularly since we have really four offices associated with law enforcement and corrections, that there has to be some uniformity in approach, certainly in the lockup section which the minister has already mentioned, but also some uniformity in the way in which the various forces are organized, if co-operation among them all and with the OPP and with the RCMP is going to have any significance.

I certainly do not put myself in a position where I’m an expert in these areas. As a matter of fact I’ve only seen the inside of a lockup as a visiting politician. I was concerned that the region of Hamilton-Wentworth, and I understand other regions, are undertaking these tremendously expensive programs, almost mindless of expense, so that it seems that somebody has decided the very best in the world has got to be brought together for the provision of law enforcement in these communities. I hate to sell any of these communities short in their efforts and their anxiety in providing the very best in police protection, but I have the distinct impression there is a tremendous overlapping of responsibility and an unconscionable waste of money.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: I understand they are not obliged to consult with us in any way, nor do we have any power of veto over their actions to build police stations or police accommodation of any sort. That is purely within the discretion of the municipality responsible for it, whether it be a local municipality or a regional municipality.

Having said that, the provincial government has made certain unconditional grants to the regional governments to cover startup costs. We also make per capita unconditional grants. The idea originally was that they were for police work. The size of those depends on whether it’s a regional municipality or a local municipality. They are unconditional. Some of that money may be used in building the police accommodation, but apart from that we are not involved either in the financing or in the approval.

Mr. Nixon: I have a further question in this connection. Would the police commission of the Hamilton-Wentworth region, established by Act of this Legislature, take the initiative to provide this? Would they have the position where they would approve the payment, or is their responsibility exclusively with the administration of the police force itself?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: No, it would be done originally, in this case, back before the region was established. I was at the official opening of the new police accommodation there, the police headquarters building. It is an elaborate building. I won’t comment on whether I think it’s too elaborate or not because I didn’t see the entire building. It is a modern building. From appearances it seemed to have all up-to-date facilities.

Listening to the people that day, I understand that the need and the acquisition of some of the land for this building went back long before the regionalization of the Hamilton-Wentworth area, that this was a culmination of many years of planning. I’m not so sure but that it originated with the council of Hamilton, but I’m sure the regional police commission did nothing to stand in its way. It would have to originate with a request of the police commission acting in conjunction with the local council.

Mr. Nixon: On a matter which we’ve already discussed, at least to some extent, I want to caution the minister that these regional forces, particularly when they are growing in size and in cost so rapidly, can’t help but undermine, and to some extent weaken, the centralized overall control of the law enforcement efforts that we’re very proud of in this province. I’m not talking specifically about the Ontario Provincial Police, because we’ve already referred to the feeling in the Legislature, which I believe was supported on all sides, that we must not allow them to be reduced in importance, and certainly not allow the expenditures allocated for their support to be in any way reduced or their quality reduced.


One of the strongest parts of our democratic method of government is that the police forces, with all of their facilities and apparatus, their uniforms and their cars, their strength and their expenditure, of course come under the direct supervision and control of people directly responsible politically. While I don’t want particularly to compliment the minister, because I think that his political career might have been directed in an even more effective way, still when I see him in the House and hear him respond to questions and so on, I feel that at least there is a political person there who is very much in the tradition of civilian control and gives a sensitive response, I suppose, to many of the problems, and emerging problems, in our police system.

I hate to think that our procedures through regional government are dispersing this control to an extent, which I hope will never be dangerous, but it at least concerns me that these large regions, as they are established, with independent control at least in this area of their budgetary decisions, can establish forces which are extremely large and independent in their own way, and to a great extent, perhaps more remote from the political control than I would like.

I have always felt that in this province, formerly through the Attorney General, and then after some of the changes, through the Solicitor General, this House did maintain at least a basis of control on the decisions which would provide the facilities and govern the actions, the training, the goals of the police in the province.

I have felt this for a number of years, but I don’t want this occasion to go by again without recording at least some concern in this connection. The minister has indicated there will be amendments to the statute which establishes police commissions, and this has changed over the years. I understand these police commissions are responsible publicly, but even the police commission members themselves are usually, or at least the main spokesman, is usually not a political person. I guess in almost every case now the main spokesperson is either a judge or someone else in the community, and quite often he cannot be criticized directly in the same way that a politician can.

They don’t have the proper forum, even, to disseminate another view in opposing criticism that may be directed at them. For example, I suppose the chairman of the commission of Toronto, if he were attacked in the future on some decision that he made, would have access to the media. He no doubt wouldn’t hesitate to call a press conference, which he could do very effectively and very properly, but I have often felt that the main control should reside in a person who is directly responsible politically in some kind of a forum like a Legislature or a council, so that people in the community have the kind of redress which is most readily understood in a democratic society.

This, of course, contains no criticism whatsoever of the present commissions. I am sure I have made that clear, that I have had no indication at any time that the individual citizens, myself included, should have anything but confidence in those people who have responsibility under the commission system, but I just want to say that as our community becomes larger and the aggressive tendencies in certain parts of the community become more difficult to contain, and perhaps even to understand, the radicalism in certain parts of the community becomes more difficult to respond to in a non-aggressive way. More and more the politicians, all of us included, are going to have to stand ready, I suppose, to support the police but also to be sure that in the traditions of our community, those elements that some people may call aggressive or radical and seek to somehow contain in an unwarranted way, those people too have a clear access to public policy and participation.

As I say, I wanted to express some concern, particularly as the police forces in the regions get the bit in their mouth, become extremely large, and by government policy replace the provincial police for the policing of more and more people, and of course larger and larger territories. The police commissions to which they are responsible, and which must be autonomous, become, therefore, more important and more influential, and wield tremendously large budgets; soon to be as large or larger than the Ontario Provincial Police budget I suppose. This fragmentation is not necessarily in the best interests of preserving good policing, or even preserving the best interests of the citizens in our democratic society.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: The member has been dealing with the very basic problems which our ministry has been wrestling with in connection with amendments to the Police Act. They are basic, and I am not going to suggest to you there are no differences of opinion on this side of the House, as I am sure perhaps there are in his own party, as to the proper constitution of boards of police commissioners, and the matter of regional police and the matter of local police.

All of us, I am sure, would like to return to the days when the policeman on the beat knew everybody, knew who he was dealing with, knew the families involved, and could perhaps pat one person on the head and another on the bottom and send the latter home to mother for a further pat when the child got home, as opposed to picking every child up now and putting them through the formalized system of our family courts.

Regrettably, that day has gone, and I am afraid the kind of policing that went with it has gone too. When we get into the highly sophisticated kind of equipment that regional police have today, and the cost involved with it, I think sophisticated crime can perhaps only be dealt with by the larger units, certainly in an area like Metropolitan Toronto or metropolitan Hamilton.

On the other hand, we would all like to have that close touch. This is the problem of trying to balance the attributes of a large force against the disadvantages of a large force. I agree with much of what the member from Brant-Oxford-Norfolk said in regard to the desirability of keeping them close.

As regards composition of police commissions, I will be introducing a bill -- I hope next month -- and I am sure the matters that you have raised will be discussed there. Our police commissions across this province have worked, and worked very well, and I am loath to upset something that has proved itself. Very rarely do you hear about any kind of improprieties on the police commissions. You may not agree with the policies they produce, with the expenditures that they make, you may not even agree with the disciplinary procedures that they establish; but thank goodness the police commissions, and generally speaking the police of this province, have been free of the improprieties that we hear about from time to time -- though not completely free, I admit that.

To suggest that we should make them more locally political -- and I am not talking against local politicians, I have been a local politician -- I know the influences that are on all of us as politicians to do favours for a friend. I am not suggesting it in any improper way, it is just human nature. So-and-so is there, speak to him and see if he can do something to help you. That kind of pressure is there on all of us. I sometimes think when you are dealing with police commissions, it is perhaps wise to have those kinds of pressures dispersed, instead of locating them all in one place.

I know the Treasurer of this province is concerned with making municipalities responsible for their budgets; and in that same way he is concerned with police commissions, which get their money from municipalities -- and the jails you were talking about, and the headquarters you were talking about is an example of it -- and if the police commissions have this responsibility then perhaps they should be more politically accountable for their financial operations as well.

I think I’ve said enough about it. It’s the key to the problem we’re dealing with on the police commission system.

We have our bill, which will be produced shortly. I’m looking forward to the debate at that time. We are trying to keep a balance between local control and this uniform provincial control. When it comes to provincial control, I think most of the questions I receive as Solicitor General are questions arising out of local police force action of one sort or another. Some of them are OPP, but I think the majority of them are probably local police forces.

I think it’s wise that the province should have, for the sake of uniformity in law enforcement, some control over all of the forces in the province. The way it’s done, and it’s not a very direct control, is through the regulations under the Police Act. It is also in one sense done in that we have an appointee on most of these commissions. I know there are pressures to remove that appointee and make them all local people. It’s a case of trying to keep a proper balance, both in size and cost of operation, as well as political responsibility for all this. I’m looking forward to the debate when we bring that bill in.

Mr. Lawlor: What role did the Solicitor General have in the appointment of our friend Phil Givens to the Metropolitan Toronto Police Commission?

Mr. Conway: Great fellow.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: A primary role of recommendation, but that’s as far as it went. The final decision was a cabinet decision.

Mr. Conway: Let’s make a deal.

Mr. Lawlor: Speaking on it as a personal matter, I find that a -- shadowy, I think is the word I would choose -- a shadowy decision.

Mr. Conway: That is easy.

Mr. Lawlor: In the kind of job fulfilled by a police commissioner, the sort of level of openness and integrity enjoyed -- and it must be enjoyed to bring the full weight of that office into being -- is of a very exquisite kind. It’s not like an ordinary appointment at all. Along with it is conferred a judgeship and all that the panoply is supposed to bring into being. When it’s done in this particular way, under a shadow or a cloud of some kind, tied in with political advantage or disadvantage, accruing either to the government in power; or to the detriment of a political party in this House; all that surrounding circumstance raises, if not a stench at least a suspicion.

Mr. Conway: Are you pushing for the member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick)?

Mr. Lawlor: I noticed that dear Phil didn’t enjoy the fullest amount of appreciation from the police chief and from the top echelon in Metropolitan Toronto.

Mr. Swart: And from the working slobs.

Mr. Lawlor: He had taken positions in the past, apparently, which ran somewhat contrary to the grain of the upper echelons.

Mr. Nixon: His statements have always been very supportive of the police.

Mr. Lawlor: Since his appointment as a politician, and being a very politic gentleman indeed --

Mr. Worton: You are smiling now.

Mr. Lawlor: -- he has made various statements, for instance on capital punishment, designed -- he very well may believe these things, I wouldn’t know -- in any case they curry favour with the powers that be in the department.

Mr. Nixon: It’s incredible that knowing him you would in any way question his sincerity.

Mr. MacDonald: We leave that to some of your colleagues.

Mr. Conway: Did you want to nominate Vern Singer?

Mr. Lawlor: Recently he has taken grave issue with people having the effrontery to lay what he calls frivolous charges against the police in Metropolitan Toronto. Now he doesn’t have to do that sort of thing. The police stand on their own feet, are fully competent to defend themselves on this particular thing and have a battery of lawyers, one or two of whom do absolutely nothing else but defend the police in the courtroom. Because disgruntled citizens lay charges, who are we to ferret out which one is legitimate and which one not? Is the commissioner of police competent, sitting in this position, to do so? It’s the job of the courts.


If the charges are frivolously laid, adequate powers lie in the hands of the provincial judge who normally hears these cases, and adequate powers on the sides of the Crown attorneys to lay charges of public mischief and vexatious conduct, and any number of things.

But I find this whole thing questionable. I think it is our responsibility as paid and elected members of this House when we feel this way about something to say so. It will win me no accolades, but since the opportunity has arisen I don’t think you should pursue that course, particularly in this area vis-à-vis politicians coming from this assembly or from any other quarter. It is invidious with respect to your own members.

It may even be more questionable in seeking to traduce -- seduce -- whatever it is you are doing -- with respect to entirely independent members of this other field, who don’t want your wretched jobs. If we are to have any integrity over here we mustn’t be cajoled, tempted or in any other way prostituted in our basic -- whatever shreds of decency we have left, we will have to use as a fig leaf with which to clothe ourselves.

Mr. Conway: Now to Dr. Faustus.

Mr. Lawlor: All right, we will let that go for now. The Ontario Police Commission hear complaints, and you have a special consultant appointed. I am looking at your 1976 report; that is the most recent one I have in front of me. In that particular report year, 80 cases were reported to you, of which I think 55, as I remember, were given hearings, et cetera. Quite a number obviously were jettisoned along the way and not heard, although investigations were apparently made.

I would like you to report a bit as to the operations of that particular complaints bureau -- how it finds itself in line with the Morand report and the Maloney report. How many cases were reported in this last fiscal year? What dispositions are made? Could we have a breakdown?

Mr. Conway: Now, about Phil.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: I will be pleased to say just a few remarks about that.

Mr. Conway: Was there a deal?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: No such thing at all. I think you do your previous member a disservice in suggesting that sort of thing.

Mr. Conway: I am not suggesting anything.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Phil Givens, if I may say that, had reached the point where he had decided he didn’t want to serve in this House any more, and said that he was available. That was the approach to me. Knowing Phil’s integrity and his honesty over the years I was pleased to recommend him to the Premier (Mr. Davis) and to the cabinet.

Having said that, it was not all that easy to --

Mr. Lawlor: You also managed thereby to get rid of a dangerous opponent.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: You can place that interpretation on it if you wish.

Mr. Chairman: Order.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Certainly, that was not the approach made to me by the member.

Mr. Lawlor: It didn’t occur to you? It didn’t cross that innocent mind?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: He indicated that he was not running, in any event. It is not all that easy to find good people to take these senior posts.

Mr. Swart: Within your own party.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: First of all, I think to have public confidence you have to have somebody who has established a reputation. If I appointed today as the police commissioner of Metropolitan Toronto, someone whom none of the public knew or had established that reputation, I think that that would not be doing the kind of service to the police commission that you need. You need somebody who is known favourably in the community, and I think Phil Givens was that.

He certainly has an independent mind and I think that is what we want. He happens to be from a minority group in one sense of the word. The criticism of the police commission of Metropolitan Toronto had been that it was too establishment oriented. I am not suggesting that Phil is not a member of the establishment but that he has always been outspoken for minority groups and if he was a member of the establishment he certainly wasn’t in his origins. He made his place there on his own.

He is a publicly known figure and one, to my mind, who had both integrity and independence of mind and would not likely become a military image person, as some of the criticism that was being levelled against the metropolitan police had it. I think he is working well.

As far as his ideas on certain things, he is now an independent person on that commission and under no strings from the government of Ontario. He expresses whatever his opinion is. If he wants to speak out on capital punishment that is his right and I think his duty to do so. If he wants to speak out on what he considers frivolous charges, again I think that is his right and duty to do so.

I think I can be criticized on the matter of charges, that there are some of these frivolous charges, in that perhaps we haven’t made greater progress with our citizens complaint bureau, because I would hope when that is established it may be able to weed some of these frivolous complaints out in front of a civilian adjudicator who can then remove that responsibility from the police commission itself and, I would hope, from the courts.

Mr. Lawlor: Are you bringing in legislation on that too?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: All on the Police Act, yes. Citizens’ complaints and the composition matter will be dealt with in the police bill.

The Ontario Police Commission does not in itself run a complaints procedure. Maybe some time ago it should have established such and we might not have had the problems that we have been dealing with. It does, however, get complaints registered with it from time to time and its door is open for that. For the most part, the OPC has a person who hands those complaints on, but it follows them through with the various police departments involved, and I suppose in that sense its replies are somewhat restricted by the results of the investigation that is conducted by the various police forces involved.

Although the commission does have contact through one of its own people who follows them up with all of the various police forces, it does not have the aura of independence that I think is required and that the new bill will provide for it.

Just to follow up the statistics, you wanted the number of cases of complaints handled?

Mr. Lawlor: Yes.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: His Honour Judge Graham has told me about 180 in the last 18 months. So that would be about 10 a month.

Mr. Lawlor: That’s quite an increase. How many have been disposed of?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: We don’t have the exact figure of how many are disposed of. You mean by that, I suppose, how many have been settled or the file closed on? A lot of them, of course, are never completely disposed of to the satisfaction of the complainants, or many of them keep coming back from time to time and use every chance they get to renew the complaint. As for the number of files closed as far as the police commission is concerned, we will get that information for you.

Mr. Conway: Mr. Chairman, I want to begin by supporting wholeheartedly the comments of my colleague from Brant-Oxford-Norfolk (Mr. Nixon) with respect to the retiring chairman of the Ontario Police Commission, and I would like to perhaps pursue for a brief moment some of the comments made by the member for Lakeshore.

Given the rather considerable controversy that surrounded the appointment of the present chairman of the Metropolitan Toronto Police Commission and, indeed, the sensitivity to that very important post now, I wonder what, if any, comment you might have to make about the criteria that your ministry will use or that the government might bring forward in respect to selecting a replacement for the very distinguished and retiring chairman of the Ontario Police Commission. Given the public debate and the sometimes political controversy surrounding such appointments recently, I wonder whether or not the Solicitor General might advise us whether he has special criteria, outside perhaps of some obvious considerations, for the selection of a new chairman of the Ontario Police Commission?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Mr. Chairman, first of all, let me say that I don’t rule out anybody who has been a politician just because he has been a politician, whether in this House or in some local political arena. Politicians are the ones who have shown a concern for community interests and public affairs; in doing so, they are a likely field from which to choose, whether they are from our side of the House, from my friend’s side of the House or from the municipal level. I don’t rule any of them out because, as I say, these people very often are known and are proven for something. Just to go out and pick somebody who has no record or somebody the public doesn’t know about, involves some dangers.

Mr. Lawlor: There are lots of good people around.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Certainly there are lots of good people. There are lots of good people in the labour movement. There are lots of good people in private industry. But they are not known by the public. One of the things in selling anybody, no matter whether you’re selling a political candidate or what it is you are trying to sell, is trying to bring forth somebody with a proven record.

Mr. Lawlor: I think the new chairman should be a movie star.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: If he had a good record, such as Shirley Temple had, maybe we’d be all right.

Mr. Lawlor: Shirley Temple!

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: In any event, the member asked me what the criteria are. There is no set of job specifications, but certainly integrity, a great deal of common sense and maybe a little bit of intelligence are the ones I would put foremost.

Mr. Conway: In view of the position stated, I believe, by certain people in opposition to the gentleman who was subsequently chosen as Metro’s new police commissioner, for example, will there be any kind of formal consultative process with those principals involved before the new chairman is chosen? Or will it be done on the prerogative of the executive council without any formal consultation with the principals involved? I speak particularly, of course, of the police.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: I’m not sure exactly what the hon. member means. Is he asking whether we would consult with various police governing authorities or the police associations?

Mr. Conway: No. I wonder whether or not there is a procedure by means of which the minister entertains the opinions of at least selected people in all facets of this particular enterprise before he makes an appointment because, as was well known, before the appointment of the new Metro police commissioner there were certain representations made that would lead one to believe that there was strong opposition to that appointment. I just wondered what is the process. Is there an arrangement by means of which the minister does entertain consultation from all parties involved?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: No, only an informal political one of having your ear to the ground. There certainly is no formal presentation. It’s a decision made by the cabinet. The various people may have certain suggestions to make in cabinet, and they certainly come to me from outside. I’ve had a few people indicate an interest in serving on the Ontario Police Commission, but not necessarily as chairman.

There is no formal process, as I say; it will be discussed in cabinet and with the Premier, and the recommendation will eventually come from the Premier.

On motion by Hon. Mr. MacBeth, the committee of supply reported a certain resolution.

On motion by Hon. Mr. MacBeth, the House adjourned at 1 p.m.