31st Parliament, 1st Session

L047 - Thu 10 Nov 1977 / Jeu 10 nov 1977

The House met at 10 a.m.




Hon. Mr. Drea: I will close the old Don Jail on December 31, 1977, forever. I have asked my colleague, the Minister of Government Services (Mr. McCague), to have tenders prepared for demolition contracts.

I see no value in preserving the old Don Jail. To do so would require the taxpayers to pay many hundreds of thousands of dollars to meet acceptable public fire safety standards. Heat and maintenance alone cost nearly $500,000 a year. Without additional expenditures, there would be a persistent pest control problem.

It is repugnant to me that preservation would mean that the curious would line up to see four steel-enclosed death cells, a gallows where 70 persons have been executed and jail corridors and cells which for more than a century have witnessed the worst in the human condition. Upon completion of the demolition work, inmates will develop and maintain a massive flower garden for the benefit of patients of Riverdale Hospital. I regard this as a far better land use.

During its controversial existence, which began in 1865, over one million persons have passed through the Don Jail. The physical limitations of this old jail imposed upon its inmates conditions which are unacceptable.

In addition to the hardships imposed upon the inmates, the outdated facilities have placed stressful demands on the staff. They deserve praise for their dedicated service under trying conditions for so many years. There will be no loss of jobs as a result of this closure. Staff working in the old jail will be transferred to other facilities.

The inmates presently incarcerated in the old jail will be accommodated in the modern detention centres which my ministry opened this year in Etobicoke and Scarborough and in the jail building adjacent to the old jail at its Gerrard Street and Broadview Avenue location. Some alterations to the admission area and to the medical area in the newer jail building will be carried out. Inmate labour will be utilized wherever possible for the work related to these alterations.

In addition to thanking the staff who have worked in the outdated facilities of the Don Jail over the years, I would like to pay tribute to my predecessors in this portfolio who laid the groundwork that has made possible this historic announcement. The impetus for the replacement of outdated local jails was provided in the 1960s by the then minister, Hon. Allan Grossman. Under his leadership the ministry assumed full responsibility in 1968 for the operation of all county and city jails, one of which was the old Don Jail. An immediate program of renovation and replacement was begun, which has already seen the closure of 13 outdated jails and the opening of six modern detention centres. The old Don Jail and Hamilton’s old Barton Street Jail will cease to exist in the new year, with the Hamilton facility being replaced by a modern detention centre.

Each succeeding minister after Mr. Grossman -- Hon. Syl Apps, Hon. Richard Potter, Hon. John Smith, Hon. Arthur Meen, and more recently the Solicitor General (Mr. MacBeth) as acting minister -- made individual contributions to the program designed to provide the province with jail facilities that meet the standards of accommodation and security expected by the Ontario public.

I am sure all hon. members will share my satisfaction that the beginning of 1978 will see the disappearance of this notorious 112-year-old institution.

I would draw the attention of the House to the fact that my director of operations, the man who has wanted the Don Jail closed for many years, Mr. Harry Hughes, is in the gallery, as is Mr. Gerry Whitehead, the last governor of the Don Jail when it was run by the city of Toronto, and Mrs. Whitehead who did yeoman service there on behalf of female offenders.



Mr. S. Smith: My first question is of the Minister of Natural Resources; it is with regard to the subject of wild rice harvesting in northwestern Ontario.

Does the minister not agree with me, and has he not indicated in the past, that as a substitute for the devastated economy, previously related to fish now poisoned by mercury, that in order to become self-reliant Indian people in that area could be encouraged, aided financially and given whatever assistance and advice necessary to become successful business people in the realm of the wild rice harvest? Aside from some small bush logging operations, does he not see this as the one possibility for self-reliance by those Indian bands at Grassy Narrows and Whitedog; and what is he doing about it?

Hon. F. S. Miller: It is not the only one, but it is an important one. One has to realize the wild rice harvest only lasts for a few weeks in the late summer each year.

There are a number of problems. I have had some private chats with the Treaty No. 3 chief on the matter. I went so far as to ask his advice on some proposed changes in wild rice policy. This is something that is not normally done, but I gave him confidential documents on the basis of what staff were thinking, not what policy is but what staff were thinking, simply to have his input before I reached a decision.

Our estimation is that in the northwest there are potentially about 20 million pounds of wild rice for harvest. It varies a great deal from year to year. I am told this was to have been a very good harvest year. I am also told the price this year soared to all-time highs because of competitive bidding from the United States markets. The price got up to $1.40 or $1.50 a pound green, and that is a very high price. There are some problems, however. One is that the Indians have looked upon this as their resource and theirs only.

One has to be careful in saying that any resource is exclusively the right of a given group of people. I said to the Indians I would like them to be the people harvesting the wild rice in northern Ontario and I intend to give them the first option of harvesting the wild rice in Ontario, but I really don’t want to see 95 per cent of it fall into the water each year because it isn’t harvested. I said to them if they are not really able to use modern techniques to harvest the wild rice, because there are modern techniques which they do not wish to use yet, or are not willing to go into those areas and harvest them by traditional methods, surely it is better not to waste a resource and simply let it drift into the water.

Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary, since we must agree with the minister one doesn’t want to see an important resource wasted, does he not agree with me that the ministry should be working hard to arrange for better flood control and better dams to be built on certain small tributaries so that we could have a more stable, year-to-year predictable wild rice yield? Rather than simply ask Chief Kelly whether he intends to harvest a certain amount, shouldn’t the ministry be working hard to assist the Indian people with the mechanization that is required to assist them to set up the corporate structure that might be required? Shouldn’t we be taking advantage of this opportunity and not just pointing a finger at them and saying they are wasting it so we are going to give it to some other people? Should we not be helping them to become self-reliant, good businessmen in this regard?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Certainly. As a matter of fact, I have seen some of the devices we have helped finance up there for this very kind of mechanical harvesting. Sadly enough, I have seen them in pretty poor shape because they have not been maintained. We were leasing back one of the machines this year in an attempt to use it as a demonstration piece of equipment so that it could be used to demonstrate the rapid rate of harvesting -- I think it was in Fort Frances I saw it.

I want to point out something. I am sure Chief Kelly and others are faced with a conundrum almost. They know that the best and probably the only way they can increase their overall yield of the harvest significantly, apart from getting more of the people to go out in canoes and beat it into the boats as they now do, is to go to mechanized equipment. At the same time, knowing that, they are aware that their own people are resisting this change because they see the mechanical harvester as an intrusion on their culture and tradition.

That is a problem the member and I are not really able to solve. I think we have to encourage rather than legislate. I, for one, am going to encourage the Indians to work with us in an attempt to increase their revenue from the wild rice harvest. I am reasonably satisfied it can be done only by the use there of such modern techniques as we have in all other forms of agriculture.

As far as the dams and tributaries go, they may play an important role, but currently we need to learn to harvest the rice that is growing without the assistance of man at all.


Mr. Foulds: Supplementary: Does the minister not think it might be a good idea not to grant any more licences for the harvesting of wild rice until the Hartt commission has made its determination on development in the north?

Hon. F. S. Miller: I don’t know that that's right. I’ve said to the Indians that we have an old agreement in the northwest that basically reserves wild rice for, Treaty No. 3 I believe it is in that general area. There are some existing white licences in the area and they’re pursued reasonably actively. But really, should one waste a resource totally if, in fact, we can get some agreement as to where the Indians are willing to harvest the rice? I suggested to them in this meeting, “Tell me those areas you can’t harvest, knowing you can’t harvest them all, and I’ll be glad to consider only those.” Currently we haven’t made any progress on that because their position has been that there shall be no white licences at all.

Mr. Foulds: A further supplementary: Does the minister not think that it is worth concentrating, first of all, on the labour-intensive aspects of that industry? Is he not aware that the population of the correctional institutions in the northwest drops dramatically among the native population when the wild rice harvest season is on, and is that not an important factor rather than merely the market value that he seems to have his mind cast on?

Secondly, does he not think that the higher the price that can be obtained by the labourers picking the rice, the better it is, socially, economically and culturally, for the people in that area?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Certainly I’m delighted to see the price of wild rice go up, because of course this provides more revenue for the people on the reserves. And I’m told by the Indian people that the harvesting of wild rice, while its work has been one of those traditional seasonal joys they have; they thoroughly enjoy going out and doing it.

I only say that we need to encourage them to do it, whichever way they wish. That still will leave, if they do it by the old methods, a great deal of unharvested rice. If they go to the new methods, it will not leave so much, if any, unharvested rice. I think that choice basically is going to be theirs as to which route they follow. I think I have the responsibility, if there is a wasted resource, of seeing that it is utilized.


Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, a question for the Minister of Transportation and Communications in reference to the contract between Hawker Siddeley and the Urban Transportation Development Corporation for TTC streetcar bodies: Can he confirm that the contract has just been signed and can he tell us whether there is an escalation clause of any description in that contract? Furthermore, can he tell us whether the competitive bidder, Bombardier of Quebec, would also have insisted on an escalation clause?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Yes, Mr. Speaker, I can confirm that the contract with Hawker Siddeley has been signed recently. I believe I can also confirm that there is an escalation clause, but I cannot give the hon. leader specific details; I can get him whatever information he requires. Actually, I believe there was an escalation formula proposed in the call for tenders for these cars. It is a normal process in this type of a contract to include an escalation cost factor in the contract over the period of years that the manufacturing takes place, tied into some specific Statistics Canada or other cost-of- production increases.

Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary, could the minister tell the House whether the escalation formula that was in the call for bids, or at least that he thinks was in the call for bids, is the same escalation formula that has now been accepted as part of the contract? If he doesn’t know that, I would appreciate if he would obtain the information for us.

Can he furthermore tell the House whether the TTC has a guarantee of a fixed price and whether it has been insulated against possible escalation in price or not? Does the minister’s letter to the TTC guarantee, in fact, that it will receive a fixed price or is it subject to escalation in what it has to pay for these car bodies?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, I’ll get all that detailed information. Of course, as I recall it, 75 of the 200 streetcars are being paid for 100 per cent by the province of Ontario. The other 125 are being paid for on the normal capital subsidy arrangement of 75 per cent provincial and 25 per cent TTC. I believe there is also an escalation clause in the contract between TTC and UTDC for the purchase of the cars, so I would expect there could be some escalation clause built in for the 25 per cent TTC portion of the 125 cars. I’ll get the detailed information for the member.


Mr. Lewis: Mr. Speaker, a question for the Minister of Industry and Tourism: Can the minister give us a report on the state of negotiations over the purchase of Anaconda?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, about a week or 10 days ago, the question was asked in the House and I said we would look into it and we have. We have had representatives meeting with the principals in New York city along with representatives of the union that represents the workers at Anaconda. I can’t go into all the details, because there are some negotiations still taking place between the union and the Canadian management arm of Anaconda and they prefer that we not get into any public debate on it at this time. I have said that would be agreeable to us, at least as far as the government is concerned.

At the moment it appears that the union and management have come to an understanding as to an extension on the contract which will afford us some other opportunities to look into the possibility of an extended life period for that particular firm.

Mr. Lewis: Supplementary: Is it not true that the extension of the life of the firm is only meant to last as long as a pursuit is made for possible potential buyers? What I’m really asking the minister is whether there is any reason now for optimism about a potential buyer for that plant in order to preserve the 800-plus jobs?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, the assessment or analysis made by the leader of the NDP is correct. I have not been privy to all the discussions, nor do I believe I should be, but I believe there has been a common understanding that there will be an extension to the contract at least until some time in late spring which will afford the Canadian management, the American management, the federal government and the provincial government of Ontario, an opportunity to continue to seek out a potential purchaser of the assets of that corporation.

At this very moment, I understand, there are at least two, if not three firms or consortia looking at the possibility of the purchase of those assets.

There is a very great concern, Mr. Speaker, by the federal agency, particularly the mint of Canada --

Mr. Lewis: The mint?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: The mint, yes; because it is a large purchaser of copper from that particular concern. The company has been a major supplier to the Canadian mint and in respect of some contracts that the Canadian government has negotiated with foreign countries through the mint, there will have to be a greater supply of copper available to the mint for the production of coinage for other countries if we are successful in winning those contracts.

So the mint is principally concerned that this company stay in existence, both for competitive pricing and supply of material on a potential contract.

Mr. Lawlor: Mr. Speaker, does that ban on export sales to the United States still stand with respect to any potential purchaser?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, at this very moment there is no ban on that company exporting into the United States. About five per cent or slightly better of their sales in 1976 were exported to the United States market. No condition has been set down by the company to the best of our knowledge.

The reason the Deputy Minister of Industry and Tourism of Ontario and the Deputy Minister of Labour for the province of Ontario, in company of the trade commissioner in New York City and the representative of the federal Department of Industry, Trade and Commerce went to meet with the executive of this company, was to make sure that this type of a condition was not encompassed within the terms of reference relating to the sale of the company to a Canadian or other foreign operator.

To the best of my knowledge, it’s very clear the condition is not there. I understand the company has also investigated the fact that if it was here it would have little or no legal possibility of being sustained by them against a new purchaser.

Mr. Lewis: May I ask a very brief supplementary, because I haven’t realized it? What proportion of the purchase of company products does the mint reflect? Is it the major purchaser from Anaconda?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: To the best of my knowledge, in my discussions with people that represent the mint and its purchasing department, I understand it could be as high as 20 per cent of the volume coming out of Anaconda. I know there has been a longstanding relationship between the mint and Anaconda. I also know there is a fairly substantial portion of government ownership of material on hand at Anaconda at the moment.

Mr. Lewis: Mr. Speaker, the other ministers I wish to question are not here. I’ll hope to enter the rotation later.


Hon. F. S. Miller: On November 8 the hon. member for London North (Mr. Van Horne) asked me if I would give the House a complete accounting of the moneys that have been spent on the proposed Komoka Park. I will give the hon. member a copy of this so that he won’t have to copy it all down.

The 67.4-acre Smith property was acquired in July 1974 at a cost of $186,000. The 28.8-acre George property was acquired in July 1974 at a cost of $97,000. The 1.6-acre Vanderydt property was acquired in June 1975 at a cost of $55,420. The 49-acre Restoration Realty property was acquired in February 1975 at a cost of $552,500. The 65-acre Saint property was acquired in September 1977 at a cost of $261,200. The 50-acre Otago Investments property was acquired in September 1977 at a cost of $200,000. The two-acre Crone property was acquired in August 1975 at a cost of $26,250. The 36-acre Cooper-Zabransky property was acquired in December 1975 at a cost of $183,750.

The total acreage acquired to date is 299.8 acres at a total acquisition cost of $1,562,120. In the case of the Saint property, the Otago Investments property and the Cooper-Zabransky property, the value may increase as the final compensation will be determined by the Land Compensation Board.

Mr. Van Horne: I would like to thank the minister for acting on this. I would, however, like to pursue it, at least in part today, and ask a further question. Through the last four years that it has been reported in the press, going back to 1974 in the London Free Press, this has been described as a proposed park site. I would like to ask the minister if it is still a proposed park site? Further to that, if it is in any way, shape or form firming up, could he give us the definition of the boundary of that park site?

Hon. F. S. Miller: I have with me a map of the entire property as originally suggested for park reserve. I think the term park reserve would be the land-use designation we place upon this land until such time as it is formally, by regulation, created as a park. A park reserve, normally, has certain restrictions placed upon the use of the land and is usually done by a deputy minister’s order.

If we follow all three phases, we still have to acquire about 132 acres in phase 1 on the southeast shore, about 105 acres in phase 2 in the southwest section and 620 acres on the north shore to complete the original proposal.


I am told that the north shore has significant aggregate reserves on it and that it was not the intention to convert it to park land until those reserves were used.

Members may have heard that I asked for a complete review of the need for this park some while back because the dollars available for park land acquisition are considerably less than they were at the time this park was announced. I have asked my staff to do that and have received a report. That report was done by the London office, and obviously therefore I was interested in London parks. I have now asked for a comparison of the need for this park versus parks in other parts of Ontario. I should have that early next week. I have been told I will have it for Monday or Tuesday. At that time I am going to relate the costs of acquiring the balance of the land to other needs in the province and decide whether or not this should go forward. I believe the people whose lands in effect have been sterilized have a right to expect them to be purchased.

Mr. Van Horne: Mr. Speaker, I have a further question --

Mr. Speaker: I would like to remind the hon. member for London North that the original question asked for a fair amount of detail which was read into the record, if the hon. member wants any additional information, I think maybe it should be placed on the order paper. It was quite a comprehensive question and a comprehensive reply.


Mr. Lewis: Perhaps I could put this question to the Provincial Secretary for Social Development. In view of what has emerged about the nursing home on Kennedy Road, and in view of what is emerging about nursing homes intermittently in the province, has it been suggested by the Social Development secretariat that an analysis be undertaken in areas of finances, care and staffing of nursing homes and homes for the aged generally, since there are such frequent anxieties expressed?

Hon. Mrs. Birch: As I am sure the hon. member is well aware, it has been done on an individual basis where this kind of thing has been brought to our attention. Certainly we are very concerned with the story in this morning’s paper and I will be discussing it with the minister.

Mr. Warner: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Is the minister aware that the Minister of Health (Mr. Timbrell) in the month of July answered my question by saying there had been a full investigation into Kennedy Lodge and that all major faults had been corrected? Further, that the Provincial Secretary for Social Development’s efforts may be deterred at that home because the owner says, and I am quoting from the paper: “This is a private enterprise, not open to public scrutiny, and therefore I don’t have to answer any of your questions.” What will the minister do now?

Hon. Mrs. Birch: Mr. Speaker, I am sure the hon. member is aware that she was speaking to a reporter. She certainly does have to answer to the Ministry of Health and their officials. There are rules and regulations that must be met and we must have that information.


Mr. Sweeney: A question of the Minister of Colleges and Universities, Mr. Speaker: Since the minister’s letter to the Globe and Mail of a few months back saying that the higher tuition fee for foreign students would not restrict those students from coming into Ontario, how does he explain the following: At the University of Waterloo the enrolment of foreign students is down 32 per cent, at Laurier 40 per cent and at Western 20 per cent?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I suspect it has a pretty strong relationship to the fact that the registration at McMaster University is down the same percentage. The hon. member well knows the fee doesn’t apply there, so he shouldn’t try to relate the two of them.

Mr. Sweeney: How would the minister explain, then, the fact that the overall applications of all foreign students are down 21 per cent?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: First of all, there are a lot of factors on university enrolments not related to fees. The enrolment of our own students is down. We are not yet in possession of all of the information.

I think the member is basing his remarks on the number of applications, not the number of enrolments. If he has the actual number of enrolments of all the universities, he has information that I don’t have. One cannot make a decision based on applications; it is on head counts that will be formally submitted a little later on.

Mr. Sweeney: I would ask the minister to respond to my first question on actual enrolment figures, not applications.

Hon. W. Newman: He just said he doesn’t have them yet.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I believe the report on which the member based his remarks was on the number of applications. I can’t be sure of that. I don’t at this moment have the actual numbers; those numbers aren’t in our ministry yet.

Mr. Sweeney: They are the actual figures.

Mr. Bounsall: Supplementary: With the drop in foreign student enrolments and applications, as evidenced by the program, does the minister not realize that with his introduction of the eight eligibility periods for grants we will be getting a similar 18 to 20 per cent drop in graduate students likely in our universities next year?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I think that is a long way from proven, Mr. Speaker. I think it is important that we relate many of the factors. One of the factors that I think should occur, particularly in graduate schools, is that we must place a great deal of importance on academic excellence. I believe, given the increase in graduate scholarships and the importance of academic excellence to a graduate program, there will be no serious decrease in enrolments in graduate studies.

Mr. Sweeney: That is what he said about the foreign students.

Mr. S. Smith: You will have higher standards of financial excellence in graduate schools.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: That is so much nonsense and you know it.


Mr. Speaker: Order. I must remind our visitors in the gallery that no outbursts are allowed. I would ask them to refrain from doing so.


Mr. Roy: I have a question of the Minister of Revenue, pertaining to information and a question I supplied to her yesterday regarding such activities as the ice follies put on by the Minto Skating Club, the only amateur show of its kind in North America. Can she advise whether it is, in fact, the policy of her ministry, as stated in a letter of November 1 from one of her officials, that all performers have to be either residents of Canada or amateurs so that they can qualify for an exemption on the sales tax?

Hon. Mrs. Scrivener: Yes, that is correct, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Roy: Would the minister then explain why in the past these criteria seem to have been excepted for the Minto Skating Club, which was allowed to put on performances when not all were amateurs or residents of Canada? Does she not understand that by this policy she may well deny the holding of this exhibition and, therefore, deny funds to young Canadian amateurs to participate in competition?

Hon. Mrs. Scrivener: Mr. Speaker, yesterday the member sent me a letter indicating all his concerns. I reviewed it here at my desk; I sent him a handwritten note indicating that I understood it, that I was reviewing it, and I suggested to him that he should not be overly concerned; that the subject is now before me in the ministry and he will receive a reply from me in due course.

Mr. Roy: I will admit, Mr. Speaker, that she did write me a very encouraging note. “Please don’t worry,” she said.

Mr. S. Smith: She is getting into my business now.

Mr. Conway: Was it “Dear Albert”?

Mr. Roy: Yes, it was. May I ask this supplementary of the minister?

Mr. Speaker: Please do.

Mr. Roy: I just thought you’d like to hear these little tidbits.

Can I convey the minister’s encouragement, her mot doux and her note to the Minto Skating Club members and say to them that they need not worry, that she will allow them to hold their ice follies this year?

Hon. Mrs. Scrivener: I think the member is trying to provoke me to give him a commitment right now. The fact is that I’m exceedingly sympathetic. I understand full well what the problem is. He will have my response very soon.


Mr. Samis: I have a question of the Minister of Energy. I put it with some trepidation, knowing the possible length of the answer.

Mr. Reid: You mean response, not answer.

Hon. W. Newman: What is the question?

Mr. Samis: In view of the impending serious coal miners’ strike scheduled in the United States for December 6, can the minister tell us what his ministry has been doing to ensure there will be no shortage of coal this winter for Ontario Hydro?

Hon. W. Newman: They stockpiled it long ago.

Hon. J. A. Taylor: I’d be happy to take the member out to our stockpile if he would like.

Mr. Samis: Supplementary: Without asking for a lengthy dissertation inside or outside, could I ask the minister what is being done?

Hon. J. A. Taylor: I hope the member would be intelligent enough to perceive that Hydro does have stockpiles that would carry us through basically for the best part of a year.


Mr. Riddell: A question of the Minister of Agriculture and Food, Mr. Speaker: I wonder if the minister could comment in very simple and general terms on the results of the meeting he had with the Eastern Ontario Vegetable Growers Co-op yesterday; and tell us if, as a result of his meeting with them, it would appear that a solution can be found to the problem, which would not necessitate a great deal of amendments or changes in the legislation? If he does not feel it’s in the interest of the agricultural community to answer the question now, I can appreciate that too.

Hon. W. Newman: We did have a meeting yesterday. We set up a task force to look into the problems. We had representatives from the Eastern Ontario Vegetable Growers’ Co-op, the Vegetable Marketing Board and the processors at the meeting. We had a very meaningful meeting, I must say a very lively meeting. As a result of that we set up a task force. If there’s any legislation coming forward I will be announcing it at the appropriate time.

Mr. Mancini: Supplementary: Is it true that the co-op was built with government money and is now owned more than 50 per cent by a private individual?

Hon. W. Newman: I know there is ARDA money involved. There is federal and provincial money in the project which I might say is operating very efficiently. I can’t say any individual owns 50 per cent of it at this point in time. I do not believe that is correct, but I’ll have to check it out and let the member know.


Mr. Grande: My question is of the Minister of Education. This question is regarding the heritage language program and the funds available to the boards of education to implement the third-language programs.

Is it clear to the minister now, because it wasn’t clear to him during his last estimates, that the boards across Metro and many of the boards across this province are just not setting up these third-language programs? What is the minister doing to meet the legitimate concerns of the boards? What are the reasons the boards are not implementing these programs? What is he doing so that he can assure the hundreds of parents across Metro and across the province, who assumed that the programs would be set up as a result of the government’s tremendous election announcement, so that they may feel that when they do go to the school and speak to the principal --

Mr. Speaker: The question has been asked in three parts.

Hon. B. Stephenson: How about a statement?

Mr. Grande: -- that the parents will feel that the principals will say, “Yes, we are implementing these programs”?


Hon. Mr. Wells: First let’s get it very clearly understood by all: this wasn’t an election promise.

Mr. Roy: Oh no. You don’t make those.

Hon. Mr. Wells: My friend keeps using those words, but he knows -- he sat in this Legislature and heard me say many times that we would have a statement on the whole multicultural policy regarding education. This was part of that statement. It was announced in the Speech from the Throne at the beginning of this year, well before the election was called. So let’s put an end to that nonsense about calling it an election promise.

Mr. Grande: You said that in 1975.

Mr. McClellan: It was an election promise.

Mr. Roy: No, you guys don’t play politics with things like that.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Having said that, let’s also get rid of all this nonsense about the program not being accepted. Many of our educational programs rest with the local boards to use their initiative, working with the parents, to establish the programs; if many of them were as well accepted as this one, I would be very happy.

As my friend knows, there are about 15,000 youngsters in the Metro Toronto area, about 15,000 in the separate school system and probably another 8,000 in this province who will be taking part in programs financed under our heritage language program this year.

Mr. McClellan: Most of them were there before your program was introduced.

Hon. Mr. Wells: I would say that it comes almost dead on with what we predicted would be the first-year figures of people taking the program. I am not dissatisfied at all. We are working through our regional offices to encourage boards to adopt the program if parents indicate there is a need in their community. But I have to say to my friend that his message of gloom and doom about the program is completely unwarranted.

Mr. Grande: Supplementary: Could the minister possibly tell me why the boards of education for Scarborough, North York, Peel, and the Welland County Separate School Board, York and Toronto have said to the ministry, “Put your money where your mouth is; otherwise these programs will not be set up”? I asked for the reasons why these programs have not been set up in these boards, and the minister is evading that question totally.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Is my friend saying in that list -- and I can’t tell him about all that list -- that the board of education for the city of Toronto is not setting up the program?

Mr. Wildman: He didn’t say Toronto.

Hon. Mr. Wells: He did say Toronto. And I tell him he is absolutely wrong. The board of education for the city of Toronto and, I believe, the board of education for York as well as the Metro Toronto Separate School Board and many other boards in this province, are taking advantage of that program.

I will be happy to find out why the board in Scarborough isn’t taking advantage of the program. But, as he knows, the initiative lies with the parents and the local board to move ahead with the program. Of course, if he is saying he is completely against any type of local autonomy or local involvement in education, that everything should be directed from this place and from the Mowat Block, then let him say that. But that isn’t the policy we adopt over here.

Mr. di Santo: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Is the minister aware that the board of education of North York, which is the largest board in the province, has deferred the program because the program is not self-supporting and has suggested that either the ministry pays for the program or the parents be charged? Is he aware that in 27 schools in the borough of North York, the parents themselves had to set up programs financed by themselves; and what is he going to do about this?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: What’s wrong with that?

Hon. Mr. Wells: Under the system we have in this province -- and it is fair game to state one’s political position as to how one thinks the system should work -- all the services in education are shared between the provincial level and the local level, and this is one of them.

Mr. McClellan: The government’s share is peanuts.

Mr. di Santo: The local share is 75 per cent.

Ms. Gigantes: The government pays 25 cents on the dollar.

Hon. Mr. Wells: There is a local share, and a provincial share if there is a continuing education program in quilting, in fishing and fly-casting and so forth.

Mr. Martel: The government is desperate.

Hon. Mr. Wells: All we are saying is that the program is there and the money is available under the continuing education program, but a school board has to agree to pick up the program and to pay its share.

Mr. Speaker: A final supplementary from the hon. member for Oakwood. It was his question.

Mr. Grande: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. What is the minister doing? It’s very hard to know; I have been trying to find out for the past two years what he has been doing. I have been trying to say to him that the boards of education across Metro, and the Toronto Board of Education included, have said to him that they require full funding or at least have --

Mr. Speaker: Question.

Mr. Grande: Yes, Mr. Speaker, thank you. Is the minister giving any thought to having the heritage language programs under a totally different kind of grant, other than the continuing education grant, so that the boards can have a little more funds with which to begin these programs?

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I think that my friend, who is supposed to be very knowledgeable in these matters, should have attended some of the meetings that we attended. I might say that even my friend the hon. member for Kitchener-Wilmot (Mr. Sweeney) took the trouble to attend the meeting of the Toronto Board of Education and is able to tell his colleagues what we are and what we are not doing. I’m afraid the member for Oakwood just doesn’t know what we are doing or what we are not doing; and he just doesn’t know what the boards are doing. Perhaps when he has had a chance to talk to them he will be a little better informed. Perhaps he will then know that we have met with the Toronto board. We have discussed funding; we have agreed that we will look at funding for the future; and we have agreed that the program is going to be taken up.

Ms. Gigantes: Oh!

Hon. Mr. Wells: The member says, “Oh.” We look at funding in terms of all programs for the grant regulations every year. It’s a normal procedure to look at all funding when we develop the new grant regulations, and the new grant program for 1978 will include that.

But the member for Oakwood would know the kind of response from the community groups, he would know if he had met with the Black Liaison Committee, as I have, the kind of arrangements that we are making there. So all I say is get a little informed on what is going on.


Mr. G. I. Miller: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have a question of the Minister of the Environment. I have received information this morning on a contract that has been let for grading and yard service in the city of Nanticoke, a contract to Boschman Contracting Limited for $503,000. Exactly what is that for? It wasn’t clearly stated in the letter.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: As the hon. member said, it is for grading and certain installation of infrastructure. However, I will be happy to elaborate on the letter that I wrote to the hon. member. I usually send him the particulars and details of the contract. If he didn’t get that I will make sure he does.

Mr. G. I. Miller: Is it at the water intake site in the city of Nanticoke? I have a further supplementary if it is.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: I don’t want to say that for sure.

Mr. G. I. Miller: Supplementary: Could I ask, for the information of the House, how much money has been invested in this water intake site at Nanticoke and does that include the lines to Texaco and Stelco? Could the minister provide that information?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: It’s about $500,000, at this stage.


Mr. Philip: A question of the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations: Has the minister seen, in last night’s paper, the comments by Richard Palmer, head of driver education for the Ontario Safety League, that many commercial driving schools treat the lack of government controls on their industry, “as licence to do anything they want to make all kinds of promises they can’t deliver in order to get more customers”? If so, what action does the minister plan taking to prevent consumers from being enticed into worthless insurance certificate programs offered by schools not certified by the safety league?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, first we should have a look at the history of this, which begins when the Premier (Mr. Davis) and the then Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations approached the insurance industry to see if a better deal couldn’t be struck for young drivers. As a result of those initiatives the IAO and other insurance groups did find a way to look after that situation. In accordance with statements made by the then Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations, he reported that the industry had decided, and I’ll read from that statement: “A new driver who has completed an approved driver training course, would now enter the insurance market at level three. The difference in premiums between levels three and zero” -- at which they had entered earlier -- “could be as high as 44 per cent.” It was as a result of that initiative, then, that the IAO began to work with certain driving schools through the vehicle of the Ontario Safety League.

For the member’s information, and directly dealing with the question, it sets out in the report on highway safety on page 2-11: “The committee gave very serious consideration to regulating the commercial driving school industry. The demand for regulation is impressive. The committee has decided, however, that new specific regulation is not needed to deal with bad business practices in the industry or to improve the quality of instruction.”

By the way the member’s colleague next to him was the chairman of the committee.

“With respect to bad business practices, the committee notes the existence of the misleading advertising section of the Combines Investigation Act, along with relevant sections of the Ontario Business Practices Act. It is the view of the committee that if sectors of the industry are engaging in such practices the strict enforcement of existing laws will be sufficient to remedy the situation.”

Mr. Nixon: That was directed at you.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: It goes on to say: “It is important to note that the committee did not receive any evidence to verify a single incident of specific wrongdoing by a commercial driving school.” That’s the report on highway safety.

I want to report that we have had in my ministry one complaint -- sorry, two complaints -- about one single driving school. As a result of our contact with that school they changed their advertising to indicate that the certificate from their course would be accepted by some insurance companies, as promised by the insurance industry, and would effect their new driver rates.

Mr. Philip: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Does the minister not admit, and I happen to have that report of the select committee on highway safety in front of me at the moment that the committee report goes on to say that in fact MPPs have been receiving a great number of such complaints? Would the minister agree with the recommendation on the next page which says: “The government of Ontario should clearly and publicly designate the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations as the appropriate agency for the strict and active enforcement of all relevant consumer protection legislation”? Why is he not doing something about the kind of advertising which seems to be enticing people in, and that MPPs have reported on to that select committee?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, I’ve already indicated that we really didn’t need recommendation 22 in the report to designate my ministry as the organization in the provincial government responsible for active enforcement of “all relevant consumer protection legislation,” that is our mandate.

I’ve also reported to the member that we have had two complaints only in this area, both related to one school, and we rectified that immediately. If the report of the highway safety committee indicates that MPPs gave other reports to them that driving schools are unfairly advertising, then I question why those members haven’t forwarded those inquiries to my ministry pursuant to doing a good job of protecting consumers. Either the MPPs receiving them are not passing them on, or they passed on the two instances and we’ve dealt with them.

I want to say we are watching advertisements. Where they are inaccurate, action is taken, not only at the instigation of MPPs but on our own instigation. We do move in where any of that advertising in this field, or any other field, is unfair or inaccurate. If the member has any specific instances, other than the article he stuffed in his pocket as he stood up to put this question, then he should send them to me instead of reading from someone’s allegation and suggestions that we are not doing the job. Give me specifics and we’ll do the job, or if not he can then stand up and say we’re not.



Mr. Bradley: My question, Mr. Speaker, is of the Treasurer: It has been the established practice in regions that the regional finance committee and the regional government shall agree upon what shall be the debt level for individual area municipalities. Does the minister agree that the finance committees of the various regional governments should now have the right to veto specific projects of individual area municipalities, and therefore determine the local priorities?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I don’t know that I could answer that with a simple yes or no. I think this was debated at the time of the regional legislation. There’s no question that it is the credit of the region which is at stake. Certainly one of the strong by-products of regional government and restructured government has been the excellent credit ratings achieved by a number of the regions.

The Premier will be interested to know that the region of Peel received a triple-A rating yesterday. It may well be that the principal municipality, in that case Mississauga, might have achieved it on its own; it’s highly unlikely that the other two would have. So in that aspect there is a real advantage of restructuring in terms of the better credit arrangements which the whole region then shares in.

The ultimate responsibility has to be, then, in one place, and that is the region. There is -- what I think we said at the beginning and I don’t think we’ve changed this -- there is in effect an appeal to the board. I’m not entirely happy about that, but I recognize the concern of the member. However, I don’t know that I have a solution, or a yes or no answer to his question.

I think if I were pushed on this, I would probably come down on the side of ultimate responsibility being that of the region. I don’t like to express it in terms of giving them a veto, but I think the ultimate responsibility should be theirs.

The other alternative, of course, which I reject completely, is that the province get much more involved in this. One of the strong reasons for restructured government is to put some of that decision-making closer. Whether the people of St. Catharines would be happier with me or the Ontario Municipal Board making a decision or whether they are happier with a regional council on which they have -- whatever they have, 11 or 12 out of 26 -- I would think they would be happier, or less unhappy, with a local decision than they would be with ours.

Mr. Bradley: Mr. Speaker, a supplementary question: The concern that is being expressed is not specifically with the debt levels. I think individual municipalities realize that the region has the right to establish the debt levels. What I am asking the minister is does he not feel that local autonomy, and by local autonomy I mean that of the area municipalities, is adversely affected if the regional financing decisions determine the specific priorities? Let us say they give $5 million or allow a $5 million debt, if they then determine whether it should be spent on arenas, sewers or some other project are they not eroding the local autonomy completely?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I don’t know the situation, the specifics, but I would think they have a very definite responsibility; a responsibility which in part has been delegated to them by the Minister of the Environment (Mr. Kerr). If they’re putting sewers or sewage treatment ahead of arenas, I don’t know that I would necessarily quarrel with that decision. I think if there is just so much money to go around and they are determining that at this moment the priority might be higher on a sewage treatment plant or whatever than on something else, again I’m not prepared to say in a quick way that is necessarily wrong.


Mr. Foulds: I have a question of the Minister of Natural Resources with regard to his statement of November 1 on Onakawana. Could the minister tell us if the definition he uses for environment on page 3 of his statement, which talks about the environmentally acceptable conditions under which Onakawana would be developed, is the same definition of environment which is used in terms of reference for the Hartt commission?

Hon. F. S. Miller: The definition in the Hartt commission is the definition in the Environmental Assessment Act, if the member recalls. The definition in the Environmental Assessment Act is quite different than that used in the Environmental Protection Act, in that it involves the social and other aspects of life. We have put the Onakawana project under the Environmental Assessment Act, and therefore the definition is the same.

Mr. Foulds: Can the minister give us the assurance that the development of the lignite deposits will coincide and dovetail with the ongoing program and review of the Hartt commission into the environment north of the 50th parallel?

Hon. F. S. Miller: I think I’m going to leave that kind of decision to Justice Patrick Hartt. He is deciding what his involvement should be at this moment. He has made certain statements that he does not wish either to include or exclude projects. I felt that by requesting that this project come under the Environmental Assessment Act, it would get a very thorough review of its total impact and not just the particular effect upon the air, water, et cetera of the area, and therefore, Hartt commission or not, it would pass the scrutiny required.

Mr. Cunningham: Supplementary: I wonder if the hon. minister has determined whether or not the development of the fire-clay resources that are located in the Onakawana area would not be incompatible with his current plans as they relate to the development of lignite coal?

Hon. F. S. Miller: No, they will not be incompatible at all. We hope that the use of those fire-clay resources will result in a secondary industry, perhaps in Cochrane or perhaps somewhere else in the north, Moonbeam. In any case what we have done, as I recall, is allowed that resource to be extracted by the one contractor. If Onakawana Development Limited go ahead with the extraction of lignite and have their machines on the property removing the overburden, which could easily be the fire-clay, there would only be the one set of people working the site, even though that resource would be sold and utilized, if possible, in the construction of fire-brick.

Mr. Cunningham: One further supplementary? Has the minister, recognizing the reluctance on the part of the principal involved in the lignite development, not considered the possibility of bringing in other individuals or other corporate interests to develop that fire-clay industry and develop employment for at least 35 or 40 people there?

Hon. F. S. Miller: First of all, I have to say I have no reluctance at all. In the discussions I have had, I’ve specifically talked about that point to see that that resource is made available. The only issue in discussion was should it be physically removed from the site by one company or two. I would agree, in the interests of managing a resource, the one company should be taking off all the overburden.

Mr. Cunningham: What if one company is not interested?


Hon. Mr. Wells: I was asked by the member for London Centre (Mr. Peterson), during a supplemental question, about the merits of a one-year valuation of the teachers’ superannuation fund. At present, there is a three-year actuarial valuation. This is according to the provisions of the Teachers’ Superannuation Act. It began about 1917 when the fund was established and conforms with the Pension Benefits Act. The actuaries have just completed the 1975 one. It cost about $50,000. Although all the returns are not in, I’ve asked the actuaries and they say that a three-year valuation is a sufficiently good piece of information to allow for good management of the fund. I think any opinions that go beyond that should probably be presented to the commission that’s studying pensions in the province at this time.


Mr. Grande: Mr. Speaker, I’m totally dissatisfied with the answers supplied by the Minister of Education on the heritage language program. I wish the opportunity to debate it at the proper time.

Mr. di Santo: I’d like to give notice that I am dissatisfied with the answer given by the Minister of Education. I’d like to debate it on Tuesday.



Hon. Mr. Welch moved that a select committee of this House be appointed to inquire of senior officials of Inco Limited and its employees or their representatives into the factors and considerations leading to the decision to announce layoffs at the Sudbury and Port Colborne Inco operations;

And further to examine the future plans of the company in relationship to the effect on the Canadian operations; and that the committee report back to the House at its earliest opportunity, but no later than one month from the date of the first hearing, making appropriate recommendations;

And that the committee have power to send for persons, papers and things, as provided in section 35 of the Legislative Assembly Act, and power to retain counsel;

And that the proceedings of the committee be recorded and transcribed selectively, as determined by the committee with its counsel;

And that the committee be composed of 18 members as follows: Handleman (Chairman), Bolan, Hennessy, Elgie, Germa, Haggerty, Kennedy, Lane, Laughren, Mackenzie, Martel, McCaffrey, O’Neil, Peterson, Pope, Reed (Halton-Burlington), Taylor (Simcoe Centre) and Walker.

Mr. Speaker: I must remind the House that under standing order 32(a), unanimous consent is required in order to accept this without notice. Do we have unanimous consent? Agreed. The hon. member for Kitchener.

Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Speaker, at this time I will place amendments to this motion, because there are certain things in the motion that we believe are inadequate under the present circumstances, and that having been done, I will then speak briefly to the motion.

Mr. Speaker: Mr. Breithaupt moves that the motion for appointment of a select committee on Inco layoffs be amended as follows:

1. That the words “and others” be added after the word “representatives” in the third line of the first paragraph.

2. That after the word “operations” at the end of the first paragraph there be added the following: “And further to recommend appropriate government action that would avoid or ameliorate the impact of those layoffs on individual workers and on the Sudbury and Port Colborne areas.”

3. That after the second paragraph there be added the following: “And that the committee then inquire into the state of the resource sector in Ontario and make recommendations thereon.”

Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Speaker, these three amendments have particular purposes which I believe would be served and would be useful to the work of the committee, and I will refer to each of them separately.

First of all, the addition of the two words “and others” would allow other experts or other individuals whom the committee might wish to have before it attend as part of the work of the committee. It is recognized that the committee, of course, has, in its usual powers, the power to send for persons, papers and things, as provided in section 35 of the Legislative Assembly Act. However, I believe that a normal reading of the paragraph as it is now is somewhat restrictive.

It is the intention that senior officials of Inco Limited appear before the committee, because they have the most detailed knowledge which has not yet been available perhaps as public opportunity to review the information they know than has existed heretofore. We have had, by amendment, added on agreement that employees or the representatives of employees be allowed and encouraged to come before this committee, since obviously the union representatives and others would be useful in the deliberations of the committee.


However in addition to those two groups, we believe there must be the opportunity for outside experts or for anyone in a narrow range that the committee might wish to inquire of.

Mr. Lewis: We can seek advice from anyone as a committee. They can he brought before the committee as observers and as commentators.

Mr. Breithaupt: I suggest to the leader of the third party that any reading deals with inquiry of only two groups of persons and that they can be sent for; other persons not referred to in a normal reading of that paragraph, I suggest would not be included. I am suggesting, therefore, that the words “and others” would be a useful addition to the work of the committee.

The second point which I will refer to I believe also sets a completion on the three phases that this committee should do. In the first instance, the committee is going to inquire of certain persons into the factors and considerations leading to certain events. The second thing it is going to do is to examine the future plans of the company. However, I believe there is a third area that it is most important to have tied into this motion, and that area is referred to in the second paragraph. The paragraph I have suggested would tie these first two items together so that appropriate government action could be considered, and as a result a much sharper focus could be placed upon the work of the committee.

It may be said that the committee by reporting back will of necessity make recommendations in those areas. I do not know whether that is so or not. Therefore, I suggest that this additional paragraph would be a useful completion of the three phases that I think this committee should follow.

Mr. Reid: It wouldn’t hurt.

Mr. Breithaupt: The final item, I suggest, is a useful one which would see to the continuation of this committee, that is that the committee inquire into the state of the resource sector in Ontario and make recommendations thereon. There have been a number of comments made in the House, including those in the debate by the leader of the third party yesterday, which referred to a great series of reports that this government has commissioned over the last 10 years or so and from which action has not proceeded.

As a result, the continuation of this committee would be a useful investigative procedure which would benefit the members of the House and as well benefit the people of Ontario, particularly those involved in the resource sector which very often involves a large number of one-industry or one-particular-specialty communities in the northwest and northeast of this province.

Those are the three things I suggest are useful amendments to this motion and will allow the committee to do what it is supposed to do, to come up with serious conclusions after a full investigation of these most difficult facts.

Mr. Deans: I am satisfied that the terms of the appointment of the select committee will meet the objectives we have in examining into the effect of and the reasons for the layoffs by International Nickel at Sudbury and Port Colborne.

Mr. O’Neil: What about all your comments yesterday on resource industries?

Mr. Mackenzie: The important thing is yours, and we heard them.

Mr. Deans: In dealing with the comments of the Liberal House leader, first of all to make it clear that since we have limited the time that the committee will have in looking into these matters, I don’t want to leave the impression that this is to be an all-encompassing review. The purpose of the review is to try to determine what the reasons were for the layoffs and what, if anything, can be done before January 31.

Mr. S. Smith: That’s why we should get experts, get international people.

Mr. Deans: I am sure there will be an opportunity for the good doctor to speak any time after I have finished.

Mr. S. Smith: I certainly shall.

Mr. Deans: I am sure you shall.

Mr. S. Smith: And you are an easy act to follow.

Mr. Conway: Who would want to follow God?

Mr. Deans: It seems to us that the people who would be most likely to have direct input would be the senior officials of Inco and the employees and their representatives. Beyond that, the committee, if it wanted to seek guidance from any other expert, would have the right under section 35 to inquire of that expert, from wherever that expert is, on any matter of his or her expertise. Therefore, I don’t see the reason for including “and others” if we’re attempting to get expert guidance.

Under the section of the motion which says “and that the committee have power to send for persons, papers and things,” the committee therefore would be able to send for any person, any paper and any thing which it believed had any bearing on its deliberations. To add “and others” is therefore redundant. And that’s the interpretation, as I understand it, of the government House leader.

The second point again, as I understand it, is dealt with in the motion. The motion says: “and that the committee report back to the House at its earliest opportunity, but no later than one month from the date of first hearing, and make appropriate recommendations.”

I would assume, since they’re inquiring into the reasons for Inco’s decision and the effect on the workers and the layoffs that are occurring, that the recommendations that would be appropriate would be recommendations dealing with those matters. Therefore, I can hardly imagine why we would encumber the motion by adding any further words such as “and make appropriate recommendations.” That seems to me to be all-encompassing.

Finally, there is the whole matter that deals with whether the committee ought to be able to inquire into the state of the resource sector in Ontario. I don’t think there’s anyone in this House who denies that we are going to have to have a serious review of the state of the resource sector in Ontario. I don’t think there’s anyone in this House who would argue with the committee if, after it has completed its deliberations, it comes to the conclusion that there should be a recommendation saying that a further study is required and that a committee should be set up for the purpose.

But I don’t think that at this point in time we should distract from the immediate problem facing us. The immediate problem is that of the layoffs at Inco in Sudbury and Port Colborne and the reasons for them. After having gone through the deliberations, I feel confident that in fact the committee will suggest that there should be further study undertaken, that some economic plans should be developed and that particular attention ought to be paid to the difficulties now facing the resource sector and the problems of a resource-based economy in many of the northern communities of this province.

Mr. O’Neil: Why don’t you include it now?

Mr. Deans: But since this is an emergency situation, I don’t believe that we should encumber this committee with that requirement at this time. I feel that if we’re going to do that, we should do that with appropriate terms of reference having been drafted. But if we’re going to set up a committee for the purpose of inquiring into the state of the resource sector in Ontario, we should design appropriate terms of reference for that committee; it should speak directly to the problems as we in this House perceive them, and not simply be an adjunct to this important matter which must be dealt with expeditiously.

I would suggest to the committee, if I may -- and it may be a little presumptuous of me -- just as a member of the Legislature --

Mr. Conway: That’s never stopped you before.

Mr. Deans: And it’s not going to stop me now.

Mr. Lewis: And why should it?

Mr. Deans: As a member of the House, I think I can suggest to the committee that during their deliberations they give consideration to what the appropriate terms might be for a further study in order that they might recommend to the House at some point what should be contained in terms of reference for this much larger study of the resource sector and its future as well as its impact and effect on the economy of Ontario.

While the Liberals in their normal fashion are attempting to get everything into one and mess it all up in the way that they usually do, they probably have overstepped themselves just a little bit this time. They have attempted to do what cannot reasonably be done by this committee --

Mr. O’Neil: It is what you were asking for yesterday.

Mr. Deans: They have not yet identified what the problems are to determine what responsibilities the select committee inquiring into the state of the resource sector should be charged with. That requires considerably longer debate because it takes into account a number of things other than simply the Inco layoffs. It has to take into account a much larger problem. That problem includes not only the immediate Sudbury area and Port Colborne areas but all of northern Ontario. It takes into account not only the mineral resource areas of the north but it takes into account depletable resources as well as renewable resources. I think we have to be sure of non-renewable over and against renewable. We have to be sure when we appoint that committee that it knows exactly what its terms are and what is intended to be studied.

I don’t understand why they have moved these. I think the reason they moved them, incidentally Mr. Speaker if you will forgive me, is that before they read the actual motion they had made up their minds what they wanted. They didn’t really understand the motion.

Mr. S. Smith: Stop wasting the time of the House with this garbage.

Mr. Deans: I can appreciate that, because it is the normal practice in the House for the Liberal Party not to read what is put before them. They are trying to play political games and it won’t work.

Mr. S. Smith: That is pretty nauseating.

Hon. F. S. Miller: Standing up to agree with my friends in the ND Party --

Mr. McClellan: You finally got it right.

Hon. F. S. Miller: -- is something that is not common.

Mr. Deans: And not even required.

Hon. F. S. Miller: However, I think one should keep a couple of points in mind. This committee is reacting, as all speakers yesterday agreed one should react, to an immediate problem. The real problem, one which needs study, is being studied right now by the committee of cabinet. This does not in any way preclude future study by the resources development committee or any special committee. But let’s concentrate today on the immediate problem and let’s pass the resolution as proposed.

Mr. S. Smith: I would like to speak to this amendment. I think these matters are crystal clear. I hardly wish to give the member for Wentworth the unnecessarily high recognition of even responding to his comments.

Mr. Deans: Then don’t.

Mr. S. Smith: I would point out to him that the recommendations we have made with regard to this were released by our party in a press release several days ago, long before we even saw the motion that came from either one of these parties.

Mr. Deans: You can’t move now, you are locked in again. After having made a silly suggestion, you can’t backtrack.

Mr. S. Smith: What I would like to make very clear is that some considerable discussion has gone on with other House leaders with regard to this. The three matters that have been suggested as amendments could be, if anyone here so desires, voted on separately. I would like to discuss them separately.

The first one suggests that “and others” be added. We have heard from the wisdom and depth of experience of the member for Wentworth that in his view any other experts desired by the committee could easily be called under section 35. It is my understanding that in point of fact the restrictive nature of the wording in the first paragraph means it will be very difficult for the committee to reach outside the terms of that paragraph to call in experts from other companies, experts from the financial world and experts from the metal markets to check on the kind of information which the committee receives from Inco and from the other representatives who will be there.

It is a very simple matter to be settled as far as I am concerned. If the government House leader is willing to assure this House that his members on the committee will agree that paragraph one not be interpreted in a restrictive manner, and that the committee will have the right to bring before it whatever persons and experts it may wish, then we will be quite happy to withdraw the first part of the amendment.

Mr. Lewis: There is the chairman of the committee, ask him.

Mr. S. Smith: We insist that we have that assurance from the government House leader that this will not be restricted just to big business, from Inco itself, and just to the union people, who we are very happy to see added and were added at our suggestion anyhow.

Mr. Deans: Your suggestion? Not on your life.

Mr. S. Smith: That is correct, my suggestion, yes.

Mr. Deans: Not on your life. You never even put it forward.


Mr. S. Smith: My God, they are insufferable.

The second aspect of the amendment suggests that the committee recommend appropriate government action to avoid or ameliorate the impact. It has been criticized on the grounds of redundancy by the party to my left. I can accept that it may be in some instances, by some interpretation already taken care of in the general point, that the committee may make what recommendations it wishes. Nonetheless, we see no harm in being a little more specific in outlining this, and if redundancy be the only sin with regard to this amendment then I think the people to my left are being exceptionally purist, especially given the lack of support they gave the idea of a core curriculum for the teaching of English in the schools of Ontario.


I would say, as far as the third one goes, that we all agree there is a need for a committee to look into resource strategy in this province. The member for Wentworth suggested that such a committee would have to have very clear and well thought out terms of reference, and of course he is quite right. The fact is that the terms of reference suggested for such a committee could easily be discussed in the committee we are now setting up; that particular committee could come back with the terms of reference for the consideration of the House if it so wished.

In any event, members of the House may be interested to know that our party was quite prepared to accept a situation in which, if the committee presently being struck was to make a recommendation for a select committee to look into the resource sector, if the government would guarantee that such a committee would in fact be struck, we would be quite happy not to put forward this amendment. We received no such guarantee from the government House leader, and I would think that the member for Wentworth ought to recognize that the government has steadfastly refused to guarantee that if this committee we are presently striking were to ask for a committee to look into the resource strategy of this province that it would automatically set up such a committee. It would simply consider the matter in the fullness of time. Under these circumstances, he may be willing not to take this opportunity to get the resource sector looked at and to rely on the good faith of the government. I am not willing to rely on that so-called good faith.

Mr. Germa: You had your chance yesterday and you blew it.

Mr. S. Smith: If the NDP members wish for some unknown reason, on the fictitious grounds of so-called redundancy, to proceed without a guarantee that the resource sector in this province is going to be looked at, then that in view of all their posturing yesterday, they will have to explain that in northern Ontario and elsewhere.

Mr. Wildman: That’s what you are doing today.

Mr. S. Smith: We have an opportunity here to amend the motion in such a way as to assure the people of Ontario that the resource sector will be looked at in this province and, furthermore, that there will not be unnecessarily narrow terms of the present committee that we are striking.

This is a great opportunity. It’s a great pity; it looks to me as though the other two parties have decided to scuttle what could be an excellent opportunity for the people of Ontario.

Mr. Germa: You had your chance yesterday.

Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, I am really amazed at the Liberals’ position, having listened to them yesterday as they ranted and raved. In fact, the only one who spoke any sense was the member for Rainy River.

Mr. S. Smith: Oh yes, a committee we don’t need but an election we need, according to the NDP.

Mr. Martel: He talked some common sense yesterday. The rest of them ran off both sides of their mouths at the same time. When we talk about a review of mining, there was a report tabled in this Legislature in 1973 about mining and a whole series of recommendations, which they all dissociated themselves from yesterday, particularly the member for Nipissing (Mr. Bolan), whose predecessor in that position signed a select committee report which called for equity in mining. Yesterday, listening to the Liberals, it was amazing.

Mr. O’Neil: Get on with the subject.

Mr. Martel: I am speaking to the motion. They are talking in their amendment about a committee to inquire into the state of the resource sector. That was examined in great detail for about two and a half to three years by a select committee, and yesterday the Liberals dissociated themselves entirely from the recommendations which were made by that committee. I remind them that they had two colleagues on that committee -- the member for Nipissing (Mr. B. S. Smith) and Mr. Deacon -- and they dissociated themselves from that yesterday. Even though their colleagues at that time called for a 50 per cent equity in mining, yesterday they flailed around and ranted and raved about nationalization and having no part of it, and here they are today saying --

Mr. Deans: They want to study it again.

Mr. Martel: -- “We want to study it again. We want to study it again.” They had no confidence in those two colleagues.

Mr. Breithaupt: You would rather not study it at all.

Mr. Martel: We studied it for three years. I’m sure we’ve got some feeling for it.

Mr. Lewis: We don’t need another study of the resource sector in this province.

Mr. Martel: I suggested that we did, and you’ve totally ignored it, just as yesterday you wanted to scream that you were free enterprisers.

Mr. Breithaupt: And we are.

Mr. Martel: You ignored that whole study, and you’re going to ignore it again, I don’t doubt it. So the hypocrisy shows. You had your opportunity yesterday and now you want to cloud the water. Let me tell you how.

Mr. Wildman: You want it both ways.

Mr. Martel: I hate to go over what my colleague has said, but I don’t know if you can read. You’re the people who talk about something wrong with our educational system.

Mr. Lewis: You have problems with simple literacy over there. You are a pack of illiterate babble over there.

Mr. Mancini: I object strongly.

Mr. Martel: I want you to get the flavour of this, okay. In the recommendations it says, “and that the committee have power to send for persons, papers and things.”

Mr. Breithaupt: Only those referred to in the first paragraph.

Mr. Martel: Don’t kid the troops.

Mr. Breithaupt: We will see who is right.

Mr. Martel: My friend, if you take that attitude, we have enough votes in the committee to force what we want.

Mr. Breithaupt: Maybe so.

Mr. Martel: Maybe so. Well you can show your true colours there.

In fact as I read that it says, “and that the committee have power to send for persons, papers and things as provided in section 35 of the Legislative Assembly Act, and power to retain counsel.” That tells us that if we need an expert in the field of mining, we as a committee have the power to send for that person to appear before the committee for their expertise in that particular field.

Mr. Breithaupt: That’s your opinion.

Mr. Martel: That’s my opinion and that’s what I have to vote on -- my opinion. But I’m not going to play little games.

Mr. Kerrio: We don’t care if you vote. We want the government to say it.

Mr. Roy: Why not make it clear?

Mr. Martel: It is clear. I suggest that the member read it again, being a lawyer of all people.

Now what else have we got? We’ve got a thing in there that says, “and the committee has the power to make recommendations.” Now how in God’s name do you think that extra clause is going to change anything, when already in the motion it says we will make recommendations is beyond me. All I can see is posturing on all three counts.

Mr. Roy: You wouldn’t know about posturing, would you?

Mr. Lewis: Indeed we would; therefore, we should be able to identify it.

Mr. Martel: It seems to me that when the committee looks at Inco it will, in fact, discuss other things and hopefully come to a recommendation -- such as what’s happening in Falconbridge, where there’s a bigger percentage of the work force being laid off than at Inco.

Mr. Haggerty: You had forgotten them, Elie.

Mr. Martel: No, I haven’t forgotten them at all.

Mr. Haggerty: You’re just worried about Inco.

Mr. Martel: I suggest you might have been here for the debate yesterday. You weren’t even here yesterday.


Ms. Speaker: Order; confine your remarks to the subject at hand.

Mr. Martel: As I understand it, Mr. Speaker, if the member were so concerned he would not have had to fight with his leader, who a couple of weeks ago said we should refine the matte even less, and it would have wiped out Port Colborne totally. That’s your leader. He called for even less refining.

Mr. Kerrio: That has already happened.

Hon. Mr. Davis: The Liberals are going to have to explain to their constituents.

Mr. Martel: He was going to wipe it out. If you think you’re down to 14 years now, you wouldn’t have anyone there --

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Mattel: Mr. Speaker, speaking to the motion --

Mr. Speaker: We’re dealing with specific amendments to a motion that’s before the House; confine your remarks to the amendment.

Mr. Martel: I appreciate your bringing me back to the amendment, Mr. Speaker. I want to say that of the three items that the Liberals have moved, two of them are already in the motion; and surely the Liberal Party can’t usurp the recommendations that the committee itself should be making to bring back to this Legislature for the government to act on. That’s what the Liberals are attempting to do. They are trying to predetermine what the committee should make as recommendations.

Mr. Breithaupt: Your first speaker just said he was going to suggest what the committee should do.

Mr. Deans: I did.

Mr. Breithaupt: That is all right?

Mr. Martel: He said he would suggest it; you want to write the recommendations for us. Obviously, we don’t need to sit, if you’re already going to make the recommendations.

Mr. Deans: They already did.

Mr. Roy: You’re just annoyed because you didn’t think of it.

Mr. Martel: I would ask the Liberals to stop their posturing and let the motion go through.

Mr. Speaker: Is there any other person wishing to speak to the amendment?

Hon. Mr. Welch: May I make one or two comments? I think it would be very presumptuous of me to attempt to guess or to anticipate what this committee is going to recommend to the House. When the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. S. Smith) starts putting on the record some request for undertakings with respect to what this committee might or might not do, I think it would be quite improper of me at this stage to make such undertakings. Under the circumstances the three amendments to the main motion that have been placed have been very well discussed. I do appreciate the comments of the Leader of the Opposition when he points out to the House that there have been a number of sessions, in which we have been attempting to arrive at some consensus to capture both the spirit of the earlier requests that were made during the course of discussion of these very important matters and, ultimately, the response of the Premier to refer these questions to a special committee of the Legislature.

I would think, on a reading of section 35 of the Legislative Assembly Act, that the committee has the powers to do exactly what that section says in response to the general terms of reference which lead to the clause that deals with making appropriate recommendations to the House. I would hope we would proceed to adopt the main motion so that this committee could constitute itself and get on with the immediate job that concerns all members of this House, to get into the Sudbury and Inco operations of Inco Limited so that we are that much better informed with respect to the immediate problem.

Mr. Speaker: Mr. Breithaupt has moved an amendment to the main motion.

All those in favour of Mr. Breithaupt’s amendment will please say “aye.”

All those opposed will please say “nay.”

In my opinion, the nays have it.

Mr. Breithaupt: In order to avoid cutting into the private members’ time, we will not call for a recorded vote.

Mr. Speaker: I declare the amendment lost.

Mr. Conway: Red Tories and blue socialists.

Motion agreed to.



Mr. Eaton moved first reading of Bill 101, An Act to amend the Petty Trespass Act.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Eaton: I feel there has been an ever- increasing increase in trespassing and petty thefts from Ontario agricultural land, and I therefore feel we need a curb on this activity. The purpose of this bill is to remove requirements from the Petty Trespass Act that land be enclosed or that land must be posted before one can be considered a trespasser. It places the onus on persons to ask permission to enter another person’s land and it increases the maximum fine to $1,000 from the present $100. It removes the liability from a property owner for trespassers, unless deliberate intent to do harm to the trespasser is involved.





Mr. Pope moved second reading of Bill 82, An Act to amend the Ontario Food Terminal Act.

Mr. Speaker: I would remind the hon. member that he has up to 20 minutes. If he wishes to reserve some time for a windup or a response to other comments, he may do so by indicating at the end of his opening remarks.

Mr. Pope: Yes, Mr. Speaker, I do intend to reserve some time for a reply. At the outset I would like to thank Jean Charbonneau and Irene Avila for the assistance they have provided to me in the preparation of this amendment. This amendment first started with the Cochrane South Progressive Conservative Association in 1975. I would like to thank them for the research work they and many other people of northern Ontario have provided.

The purpose of this bill is, first, to expand the objects of the Ontario Food Terminal Board to include the establishment of a branch food terminal in the district of Cochrane and, second, to forbid new or expanded wholesale fresh produce operations in the district of Cochrane. Without these two substantive amendments to the Ontario Food Terminal Act, it would be impossible for the food terminal to expand to northern Ontario.

This bill arises from concerns expressed to myself and my predecessors by producers, wholesalers and consumers of my riding of Cochrane South, and indeed of all of northern Ontario, about the state of the agricultural industry generally, and the fresh produce sector of it specifically, throughout northern Ontario.

I would like to share, with the members of this House, my understanding of both the enormity and the complexity of the problem. This understanding, I must admit, has been gained through research of reports and interviews with farmers’ unions, wholesalers, retailers, consumers and government officials as well as university professors.

The vast majority of arable land in northeastern Ontario is located in the great Cochrane clay belt, and in the vicinity of the city of Timmins, to the extent of 2.2 million acres; and in the little clay belt, in the northern end of the district of Timiskaming, to the extent of 391,000 acres. By arable land we mean class two and class three soils as defined by the federal Department of Agriculture or high-soil capability as defined by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.

Of the total of 2.7 million of high-quality arable land in northeastern Ontario as a whole, a mere 918,000 acres -- one-third -- are included in census farms. Further, only 382,575 of these acres comprise improved farm land. Of that improved farm land, only on 252,500 acres were crops of some kind being grown; this was done on 2,850 census farms through which 13,347 people derived direct income.

This base must serve, and be compared with, approximately 559,850 people in the northeastern Ontario market area at present. This population is projected at 779,000 by the year 2001. Note that we have not included the population of northwestern Quebec, which is almost totally served, with respect to food products, through Ontario.

Clearly, northeastern Ontario’s vast agricultural potential is far from being fully utilized. Despite the high-capability land and the large size of farms in northern Ontario, economic output is low: 52 per cent of all census farms have gross annual proceeds of less than $2,500 and, in some districts, including the district of Cochrane, the average farm income for tax purposes is negative.

It is also clear that in northeastern Ontario farm incomes are declining along with farm population, the number of farms and the amount of improved agricultural land. Quite simply, agricultural land in northeastern Ontario is going out of production.

For example, the farm acreage in the district of Cochrane declined by 46 per cent from 1961 to 1911 and by 25 per cent for the whole of northeastern Ontario. In the district of Cochrane, the number of farms declined from 900 in 1961 to 340 in 1971 and from 5,000 in 1958 to 2,489 for the same time frame in all of northeastern Ontario.

A number of reasons have been given for this decline. The consensus appears to be a combination of more remunerative employment opportunities outside of agriculture, high transportation costs to market, fluctuating market demands, competing land uses, lack of storage and marketing facilities and climate.

A farmer in northeastern Ontario generally lacks access to local markets because of bulk-buying practices of chain stores and must ship his produce south to markets, including the Ontario Food Terminal in Toronto, or sell it at discount to a wholesaler to encourage pick-up in the north. It is thus the producer who must hear the transportation cost in order to be competitive with established bulk wholesale prices. This same product shipped south may be marketed here in Toronto and shipped right back up north to wholesalers and retailers there. In fact, we have an enormous transportation system handling fresh produce and potatoes, let alone dry groceries.

The Ontario Northland Transportation Commission through Star Transfer employs 12 refrigerated truck lines full-time on this north-south route. The rates charged from Toronto to Timmins for a 2,400-pound load is $2.01 per cwt, that is $482.40. With respect to a 30,000-pound load, it is $1.65 per cwt, that is $495, and with respect to a 40,000-pound load, $1.54 per cwt, that is $616. Note that this is a one-way charge only.

In addition, wholesalers annually ship from Toronto to Timmins, Cochrane, Kirkland Lake and Rouyn-Noranda approximately 1,400 truckloads of fresh produce. For instance, Jessels ships 400 trucks per year, according to its estimates, to the Timmins area. Porcupine Fruit ships 100 trucks. National Grocers, now located in Cochrane, ships 100 trucks. M and S in Kirkland Lake ships 50. Montemorro Food Stores in the Rouyn and Kirkland Lake area ships 250. Gamble Robinson presently located in Rouyn, doing its purchasing out of the Ontario Food Terminal in Toronto, ships 50. The chain stores, A & P and Dominion, ship approximately 100 truckloads each.

That total, by the way, is 1,150. In addition, there’s approximately an additional 20 per cent of truckloads, or approximately 350 truckloads, of potatoes being shipped north to the Timmins, Cochrane, Kirkland Lake and Rouyn area alone. In addition, there are substantial transportation systems operating into the Sudbury area and the North Bay area. In the Timmins, Cochrane, Kirkland Lake and Rouyn-Noranda area alone, these truckloads of fresh produce, each valued at between $8,000 and $10,000, average a total dollar value in the range of $10 million. I believe the implications are clear. Northern Ontario, in spite of its vast agricultural potential, is not even meeting its own market needs, even in those agricultural products in which it excels.

Wholesalers in northeastern Ontario purchase fresh produce from southern Ontario and, because many are not licensed public commercial carriers, do not have full trucks or even part loads heading south. In other words, their transportation systems are inefficient. For many grocery products, the consumers of northeastern Ontario pay comparable prices to those in southern Ontario with a built-in five to eight per cent of purchase price for transportation costs. However, on many other items, northeastern Ontario consumers do pay more.

The construction of a food terminal by the government with space leased to the wholesalers would provide accessible market facilities for producers. It would reduce transportation costs to the producer in obtaining access to markets. Products could be transferred between terminals by the Ontario Food Terminal board according to its present mandate. With steady supply at competitive prices, because of the open market system, local producers could begin to supply the local market. Wholesalers and retailers could still order in bulk and split the source of their orders. In other words, an order could be placed in Toronto for both the southern Ontario market and the northeastern Ontario market. Shipments could be made to the northeastern Ontario market through the northern food terminal.

Storage facilities could be constructed by the Food Terminal Board or by co-operatives of producers or wholesalers. This would help to revitalize the agricultural industry. It would reduce costly inefficiencies in transporting practices of wholesalers and retailers in northeastern Ontario. This should have the effect, it is hoped, of decreasing some food prices to the consumers of northeastern Ontario.

In addition, a greater variety of crops, such as potatoes, cabbages, beets, onions, turnips, carrots and others -- and I don’t think I should mention mushrooms -- could be grown and jobs would be created in agriculture, in processing plants, in freezing plants, and in agricultural service industries.

The implementation of this bill would not solve all the problems of the agriculture industry. We must consider changing policies on disposition or use of arable land by the Crown. We need agriculture research and moneys for the purchase of modern machinery. We need to examine the economies of farm size, we need storage facilities, but we also need, first and foremost, a marketing structure and strategy for agricultural products in northeastern Ontario, thereby creating the necessary incentives to revitalize the agricultural industry.

I believe this bill is a necessary step to begin that process. I hope other members will look upon it in that light and pass this bill through second and third reading today.

Mr. Riddell: In debating Bill 82, An Act to amend the Ontario Food Terminal Act, certainly we in the Liberal Party are prepared to support any means of helping northern Ontario with its agricultural industry, but I think we have to look at some of the problems that are found in that particular area and we also have to look at what the original concept of a terminal system was. The member for Cochrane South talks about all the arable land that is available in northern Ontario and is not being farmed at the present time, but I think he must also realize that it is simply not the land that will produce food, we also have to take a look at the heat units. The fact of the matter is that you simply do not have enough heat units in northern Ontario to grow very many fruits, and I understand that the vegetables that are grown in northern Ontario are pretty well limited to such things as potatoes, and they aren’t grown in any great abundance.

The concept of a terminal system is to bring the most produce and the most buyers to one point. It has the most aggressive buyers and the most variety for the consumer. Remember, I indicated variety. There is something that we could not be able to put through a food terminal in northern Ontario, and that is a variety.

If we start building small terminals around the province it could very well jeopardize the terminal concept, because is there any more justification in putting, say, a food terminal in northern Ontario, where there isn’t a great deal of produce grown and there can’t be a great deal of produce grown because of the heat unit factor, than there is in establishing, say, a food terminal down in southwestern Ontario where we have a lot of this type of produce grown? I think we have got to take that into consideration.

I have also indicated there are very few vegetables grown in the north, not even enough to supply the local market. I got a lot of this information from talking to Ministry of Agriculture and Food officials in northern Ontario. There are some strawberries grown and there are some potatoes grown, but the fact of the matter is there are not enough heat units to produce the fruits and vegetables that are required by the wholesalers and retailers in that part of the country.

This bill, of course, does not cover livestock, because fresh feed comes under another Act. I believe maybe it does cover some canned meats, but I am sure that that is not a major concern from the standpoint of this particular bill and the purpose in establishing a food terminal in northern Ontario.


I think we also must realize that a food terminal in northern Ontario would not be self supporting. I’m sure of this. I also received this information from Ministry of Agriculture and Food officials in northern Ontario.

In many ways I can’t see the justification of the expense to establish a food terminal in northern Ontario. I think that the government should be setting up more vital programs for farmers that would be used, such as storage facilities.

The fact of the matter is, the wholesalers want to buy produce in large quantities and that’s why they rely on the markets here in southern Ontario. They can’t get the amount of produce in northern Ontario they need in any one week. They can’t expect farmers to go to the field and dig potatoes in order to produce the quantities they require in their wholesale and retail outlets in northern Ontario. Therefore, to be sure of an adequate supply, they have to rely on the markets here in southern Ontario. That’s what leads me to believe that wholesalers and retailers would perhaps not support a terminal market in northern Ontario. If they’re not prepared to support it, then there’s no way that that food terminal will be self-supporting.

I’m not too sure, with the restraint programs that we have at the present time, that the government is going to be prepared to keep this food terminal operating. The one here has to be self-supporting and it is. I would expect that the food terminal established in northern Ontario would also expect to be self-supporting.

I’ve indicated that storage for vegetables is a problem in northern Ontario and this is where I think we should be concentrating our effort. We should establish storage facilities so that the producers have a place to store their produce. Then the wholesalers and retailers might be interested in dealing with them, because they can get the produce they need in the quantities in which they need them.

I understand that a study is either being considered or has already been commissioned by the Ministry of Northern Affairs in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food. I say that this whole thing should be studied first, that we should do a cost-benefit analysis before we rush headlong into establishing a food terminal in northern Ontario.

Lastly, I would like to indicate that we probably are inviting imports into northern Ontario -- from Manitoba perhaps, from Quebec, maybe even from the States. If you put up a food terminal there, then I think you’re going to see imports come in and your producers faced with competing with that produce coming in from other countries where some of them can produce it at an advantage you couldn’t get in northern Ontario. I think you’ve got to take that into consideration.

Mr. Foulds: That happens now.

Mr. Riddell: So we’re going to support the bill because certainly if there is any way of increasing the production of agricultural products in northern Ontario, we’re all in favour of it. But I question very much whether you’re going to get the type of support for a food terminal by the wholesalers and by the retailers in northern Ontario that would render that particular establishment self-supporting. Thank you.

Mr. Wildman: I rise in this debate on an Act to amend the Ontario Food Terminal Act to indicate support for the bill in principle. But I have serious questions about whether the bill will have the results that the member for Cochrane South hopes it will have or thinks it will have.

Certainly in northern Ontario we have a viable agricultural industry. We have some of the best soils in the province, as he has indicated. I am reminded that the member for Lambton (Mr. Henderson) one time got up in the House prior to an election and indicated he didn’t think anyone on this side of the House represented an agricultural riding. At that time, of course, Mr. Bill Ferrier represented Cochrane South. Now, suddenly, we have a new member for Cochrane South who is interested in agricultural matters. I hope that he educates the member for Lambton --

Mr. MacDonald: The whole Tory party.

Mr. Wildman: -- as to the fact that there are agricultural rulings in northern Ontario.

Mr. Eakins: The colour of his glasses has changed since then.

Hon. W. Newman: You came close, didn’t you.

Mr. Wildman: No, I didn’t. I went way up. So did the Tories, but not enough.

Certainly we have some of the largest farms in the province and I thank the member for supplying me with his background material so that I could look it over prior to the debate. Some of the things in the background material, though, I think should be looked at in relation to what it says in the bill.

First, certainly we have the soils; the arable soil is there. But the fact is that the background material doesn’t include the number of farmers who actually are making a full-time living on farming. I think it is important to realize that the figures that the member for Cochrane South quoted as to direct income for farmers are very low, certainly when compared with those in southern Ontario. If he feels the setting up of a food terminal in northeastern Ontario would turn that around, I think we are going to have a lot more done to help northern Ontario farmers in order to do that.

I realize he says that this is a first step, and in that sense we are willing to support the bill in principle. But there is certainly going to have to be a lot of other things done because, as the member for Huron-Middlesex said, the land itself will not produce the goods unless we have the farmers who are going to be doing the production and unless we have the number of other factors that are going to make that possible.

One of the major questions I have with the bill, although I said I supported it in principle, concerns the idea of setting up marketing facilities in northeastern Ontario. I support that idea, but my question largely revolves around the location. I have discussed this with the member for Cochrane South and he has indicated that the large number of acres of arable land in the great clay belt was one of the main reasons that he decided it should be in the Timmins-Matheson area. If we are going to do this, I really wonder whether we perhaps should not be setting up a terminal that would serve the whole of northeastern Ontario. I think that is the purpose of the bill.

I wonder if that location is a viable one. Although we support the bill in principle, we would hope that it would go to committee so that study can be done to determine what would be the best location if it is going to serve the whole of northeastern Ontario.

The reason we are in favour of it, though, is that this is something that would help northern producers to give them an opportunity to market locally and to give good-quality produce to northern wholesalers and consumers.

One of the major problems that we have in northern Ontario, especially for farming but for other businesses and consumers generally, is transportation costs. If it is possible, through the development of a terminal, to have larger bulk shipping, and making the terminal board responsible for the shipping, then perhaps there would be a saving in transportation costs. The smaller the shipment, of course, the higher the cost. That probably would be a good thing.

One of the sources the member for Cochrane South pointed to was the strategic land-use plan and a statement made in that document where it states: “There is a great need for storage facilities in the region. Northeastern Ontario can produce outstanding crops, such as potatoes, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries; and vegetables such as parsnips, cabbages and carrots; but the lack of storage makes it necessary to ship these out of the region, often at a loss.”

I think that really points out what the member for Huron-Middlesex is talking about. We need storage facilities. It’s important that we have those kinds of facilities in the north. Again, I want to point out that it must not just be set up in such a way as to serve Cochrane. It seems to me if we are going to establish this kind of facility in northern Ontario, it must not just serve Cochrane but must serve Manitoulin, Timiskaming, Nipissing and Algoma. I am concerned whether that location would be a viable one. I would hope if it goes to committee that question would be studied and we could get some further information on that.

I don’t think it is enough to say the number of possible acres of farm land in a particular district should be the only thing that should determine it. One of the problems we have in the arguments for Cochrane is that there are fewer farms in Cochrane. Although there is a great deal of land which could be arable and which could be used for farming, actually Cochrane has the weakest agricultural base, it appears to me, of all of the areas; certainly when compared with Manitoulin and Timiskaming. I wonder whether the member for Timiskaming (Mr. Havrot) might be interested in having such a facility, if he is in favour of the bill, located in the tri-town area. That might be something to be looked at.

Mr. Bradley: He didn’t promise it in the election campaign.

Mr. Wildman: Nipissing and Algoma also have a more viable agricultural industry than Cochrane does at the present time. I think that really has to be looked at.

The member for Huron-Middlesex, I think, also alluded to the fact that if this is a first step, there are also other things that have to be done, such as looking at the use of Crown land that could be arable. One of the problems we have right now is that the Ministry of Natural Resources has large amounts of land that could be arable, a good portion of it in my area, which at one time was used for farming and has reverted to the Crown for arrears in taxation. For some reason, the Ministry of Natural Resources makes it very difficult for any farmer now in the vicinity to obtain that land and to use it. They can only get a one-year land-use permit, and who is going to fence land for one year.

The transportation costs in general are a problem. That hurts farmers who are shipping not only this kind of produce but who are shipping beef. They have a great deal of shrinkage. They get to the Toronto market and they are stuck. They can’t go home like a southern Ontario producer.

I know these comments may not relate directly to the principle of the bill, but I think that it is important that we realize that transportation costs don’t just relate to this kind of project. They also relate to the question of getting parts. If a farmer has a machinery breakdown in the middle of harvesting, it is very difficult for him to obtain parts in northern Ontario.

We support the bill in principle.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: The hon. member’s time has expired.

Mr. Wildman: We would hope that the bill would go to committee to deal with the question of location so that it could deal with the whole area of northeastern Ontario.


Mr. Havrot: Mr. Speaker, first let me begin by congratulating the member for Cochrane South for presenting this excellent idea. It could have far-reaching effects on the economy of northeastern Ontario and I am naturally very enthusiastic about the whole concept.

Those of us who live in northeastern Ontario are aware that agricultural enterprises have not been flourishing in our area of late. This is not, however, because the opportunity is not there. The major problem facing our farmers or potential farmers is marketing and transportation. If this bill receives approval by the House and if the terminal is built, a shot in the arm would be given to our whole area.

There has been some question about the viability of agricultural activity in the northeast and I would like to put any fears to rest. A recent study by Professor Douglas Hoffman of the University of Guelph Centre for Resources Development indicated there are certainly sufficient quantities of high quality land for agriculture in our area. Our cool climate is the only limiting factor with regard to crop production. However, there are over two million acres of class 3 soils in the great clay belt and in the Timmins region. Only a small amount of this land has been improved, but the potential is there.

Mr. Riddell: Land that will grow hay and grain.

Mr. Havrot: As Professor Hoffman has said, and I quote: “Shorter crop varieties, improved marketing techniques and greater world demand could lead to more agricultural opportunities in the north.”

Of course, we can do relatively little about the world demand, but we can do something about the other two conditions. ‘We have plenty of help in the area of shorter crops, and this bill could go a long way to improving marketing in the northern part of the province.

As more and more demands are made on the available land in southern Ontario we will be looking to the north for increased production. It certainly makes sense to me that we begin now to prepare for those increased demands.

As I said, it is not out of the question. We have the land, the expertise and the farmers. What is required is more sophistication in the marketing end. What is even of more interest to me, as the member from a neighbouring riding, is the possibility for the development of secondary industry as a result of placing a food terminal in the northeast. The opportunities for canneries, storage facilities and meat processing plants are readily apparent. Once the market is established, all of the facilities would be necessary.

It is not difficult, by the way, to see the development of a strong market, with increased marketing power and decreased costs, because we would be eliminating much of the transportation costs. The demand would be there. The increased demand in turn would encourage more and more farmers into production.

There is a great need for storage facilities in our region. As Professor Hoffman has pointed out the northeastern area of Ontario can produce outstanding crops of potatoes, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, parsnips, cabbages and carrots. Unfortunately lack of storage facilities has made it necessary to ship these crops out of the region, and as mentioned before often at a loss.

Proper storage could provide a needed impetus to potato production, which is an important crop in the sandy, silty soils around Englehart and in the Cochrane area. I might add, contrary to the beliefs of the member for Huron-Middlesex, the quality of potatoes grown in my area, particularly in that area of Englehart, is such that year after year the Edwards family in that area of my riding have won first place at the Royal Winter Fair.

Mr. Riddell: What about the quantity? I didn’t say anything about quality, I said quantity.

Mr. Havrot: They are not going to grow quantities if they don’t have the marketing capabilities.

In the matter of secondary development, the possibility of new crops also exist in our area. Opportunities exist, for example, in the production of clover seed, milk, eggs, et cetera. These would be ideal products in the northeast, because they are less labour-intensive. Speaking of milk, I would just like to say that I’ve learned a dairy in New Liskeard has just been given the go-ahead for construction of a facility to produce ultrahigh-temperature, long-life milk.

Mr. Bradley: It is costing you votes.

Mr. Havrot: This will be the only plant of its kind in Ontario, and its approval indicates the strength and the revitalization of the dairy industry in northeastern Ontario, specifically the district of Timiskaming.

Mr. Wildman: No question about that.

Mr. MacDonald: It doesn’t need this bill. That is covered in other legislation.

Mr. Havrot: There is also, I might add, a new interest in the beef industry in the northeast. The potential for slaughterhouses and processing plants is there.

Mr. Riddell: It is still nothing to do with this bill.

Mr. Havrot: In other words, what I am saying is that there is a strong indication that the northeast is awakening to the increased possibilities of agriculture. So is the south. The food terminal suggested by the hon. member for Cochrane South would fulfil a vital role in continuing this stimulation. Of course, I also realize the potential for my own area. The location of the terminal as proposed would be ideal. It is adjacent to Timiskaming and the economic advantages would certainly affect my own riding. A revitalized agricultural industry would reinforce Kirkland Lake’s role in transportation throughout the whole northeastern part of the province, as well as Quebec.

Let me conclude by indicating some of the scope of the advantages that would accrue to the north. Professor Hoffman has pointed out that with renewed production in the north the following areas would be stimulated: canneries for peas, berries, carrots and potatoes; freezing plants for peas, berries, carrots; abattoirs; storage facilities for potatoes, carrots, parsnips and cabbages; service industries; farm implements; fertilizer; feed and seed; co-ops; insurance; building products.

In short, I think the idea to build a food terminal in northeastern Ontario is first class, and I don’t mean that in any selfish way. The benefits which would come from this terminal would find their way to all parts of the province. It is a suggestion that would stimulate many sectors of the economy and I am all for it.

Mr. Bradley: It would ensure your re-election.

Mr. Havrot: I’ll conclude by once again congratulating the member for Cochrane South and by exhorting all members of the House to support the bill.

Mr. McGuigan: Mr. Speaker, I’m probably the only member in the House who took an active part in the old St. Lawrence Market here in Toronto. Certainly it’s one of the jewels in the crown of the government of Ontario that it took the move to the Ontario Food Terminal, going from a sort of rat- infested, very antiquated market to one of the most modern markets in North America, one that has been emulated by Americans and by people from Europe and from all over the world who have come to look at our terminal system. I’ve seen many markets in North America and other parts of the world and the Toronto wholesale terminal is one of the most outstanding markets in the world, and it’s made so because it was given the benefit of government legislation and government protection.

If we in the Liberal Party could extend any of these benefits to our fellow farmers and growers in northern Ontario, Mr. Speaker you can be sure we would. As for the horticultural industry, while members of the horticultural industry at times may do some infighting, in the general sphere we feel that the more producers we have and the more impact that we can have upon the Ontario scene, the greater strength we’re going to give to that Canadian industry.

While it has been so successful here in Toronto, I have some of the fears that have been raised by my compatriot from Huron-Middlesex about the viability of a terminal market in the north. You have to look at the question of what a terminal market is. A terminal is really sort of the end of a seaway or the end of a railway line, and in not too many years gone by only railway cars were allowed into terminal markets. Trucks were not permitted. It’s only in recent years that they have allowed trucks in. So the concept of terminal markets very often becomes a concept of imports, products brought there by railway. Therefore, we have to ask the question of whether this is going to be set upon rail lines that would facilitate the importation of foreign -- especially American and to a lesser extent Mexican -- produce.

In southern Ontario it has been a benefit to have the terminal -- to have a wholesale farmers’ market where farmers from the surrounding areas bring their produce. They have lived together in a compatible system and this has really strengthened the hand of the Ontario producer. But you wonder if that will happen in the northern part of the province where we are limited so much by climate -- not so much by soil -- in the amount of produce that can be produced.

There’s presently a great system of trucks, as the member has pointed out, coming down from the north to pick up Ontario products and imported products. We wonder if the net effect of this would be a lesser use of Canadian-grown or Ontario-grown products.

So we have these questions of whether or not there will be a farmers’ market, the question of imports, the question of trading area and the size of population that would be served. We would hope that discussion of these points in committee could give us a number of answers. Certainly, on behalf of my riding, and I think I can speak on behalf of many of the fruit and vegetable growers of Ontario, we would certainly do all we could to help our fellow producer in the north.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Before recognizing the hon. member for York South I would like to advise him that the member for Cochrane South has reserved nine minutes and that time will come about at 12:36.

Mr. MacDonald: That means I have about eight minutes?

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Right.

Mr. MacDonald: Good.

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member who introduced the bill started out by drawing attention to the fact that there had been a great deal of research done in this matter. For example, he said his Conservative riding association in Timmins had studied it -- that they had gone to academics, that they had gone to wholesalers and things of that nature. May I suggest as kindly as I can that I think that statement is, in fair measure, a bit of grandstanding.

I was interested to learn earlier this week that the main body they should have gone to to discuss this, namely the food terminal, had never been approached. It strikes me as rather remarkable they never did that. If you’re going to amend the food terminal bill and you’re going to extend it to include northern Ontario, I think the first people you would have discussed it with, if you were dealing with it substantively and not just as political grandstanding, would be the food terminal.

Mr. Wildman: They went to them last.

Mr. MacDonald: He went to them last, some time since I spoke with him earlier this week. There are a lot of other things in which the research has been rather thin. I’m not blaming the hon. member. He is trying to voice some of the long unmet needs of northeastern Ontario and he is looking for slogans and an appearance of coming to grips with it.

He says he’s gone to the wholesalers and the wholesalers are in favour of it. Did he ask the wholesalers whether or not they were willing to pay for it so it could be self-supporting? I’ll bet he didn’t. And would they then have said yes, they were strongly in support of it?

He can take the figures from Stephen Rodd or others at Guelph with regard to the potential million acres up there, but has he taken into account the transportation costs that will likely be very prohibitive unless this government is willing to subsidize transportation from the north? Has he discussed it with Darcy McKeough as to whether they will subsidize transportation from the north so that they can get the products into that part of the province?

If he’s going to make that land into prime agricultural land, and not just class three agricultural land, if he was to calculate the amount of subsidies that have to go in for drainage, and the upgrading of the land, I suspect it would take literally billions of dollars to turn that reserve the Minister of Agriculture and Food likes to talk about into something that could replace lost prime agricultural land in the south. So my first point is that a lot of research has gone into this but it’s pretty superficial propaganda research rather than substantive research.


The second point is this. It is rather ironical to have this debate the day after we had a debate in which we focused attention on the inadequacies of this government, its sins of omission primarily, as well as commission, over all of the years with regard to the development of northeastern Ontario industrially and generally economically. There was a reminder, for example, by the leader of the New Democratic Party that we have had an unending series of studies, starting in 1958, about what can and should be done in northeastern Ontario. Yet nothing has happened. When we have an emergency like Inco, the government two weeks afterwards has nothing specific to offer, other than a building which was authorized two or three years ago which it has now reauthorized.

Here today we have a government backbencher coming in and, in effect, underlining the failure of the government in what he thinks is a key, important aspect of the economy of northeastern Ontario, namely, the agricultural sector. It is very interesting indeed. We appreciate the assistance the hon. member is giving us in documenting what we were making yesterday. All the member is indicating is that the government’s failure to develop the potential of northeastern Ontario is total. It includes agriculture as well as the broader aspects of the economy.

Let me come to another point. With respect to the hon. member who introduced the bill and to the hon. member for Huron-Middlesex, they talked about the fact that if there was a food terminal up there, that might provide an opportunity for marketing local produce. I suggest they are chasing something at the end of the rainbow. The hon. member for Timiskaming who sat down a moment or so ago talked about the need for having more sophistication. May I suggest the problem in the marketing of food is that we have too much sophistication already? Do you know what the sophistication ends up with, not only in northern Ontario but even in southern Ontario, Mr. Speaker? The wholesalers and the supermarkets aren’t interested in buying the product that is grown locally and is available for a six or eight-week period or something of that nature. They have long-term contracts they sign for the year and they bring in the produce from the southern United States or from Mexico or from somewhere of that nature.

Let’s put this proposition in the context of reality instead of wishful thinking. Even with the food terminal in southern Ontario, only 30 per cent of the produce handled is local Ontario produce. Seventy per cent of it is imported. In other words, it’s a wholesaling agency that is not really going to meet the needs, particularly of northern Ontario, unless the government comes to grips with the so-called sophistication of the marketing procedures and the normal operations of the supermarkets. While I am only guessing, my guess is that if there was a branch of the food terminal in northern Ontario, there might be something like five per cent or maybe 10 per cent at the outside that would be locally grown produce, handled through the food terminal. The rest of it is going to be imported.

Something may be done -- and this is why I am going to agree with everybody who has spoken up until now and will support the thing in principle -- to rationalize the imports of produce so they can get it in quantity -- coping with the transportation cost problem and, hopefully, reducing it -- and in quality in northeastern Ontario, because in too many instances I don’t think they get the kind of produce they are entitled to or of the quality that is available elsewhere.

The fourth point I want to make is that again I understand the motivations of the hon. member who wants to put it in the district of Cochrane. He comes from the district of Cochrane and, not to get a difference in the family, I can understand the hon. member for Timiskaming congratulating him and saying it’s a neighbouring riding and it will help him because it’s close by. But, quite frankly, I am not sure that the appropriate site for a food terminal branch, if we are going to have it, is in the district of north Cochrane. It may conceivably be, if it doesn’t offend the hon. member who is now looking at me, in Timiskaming because there is presently a greater active farming community in Timiskaming.

Let me take another example up in northeastern Ontario. If the government were really trying to develop the market it might not only have provided storage, it might have provided slaughtering facilities. If it provided slaughtering facilities, far more important I think, the siting of them would be in North Bay or in Sudbury, because the major population concentrations are there. It may be an encouragement for the beefing up of the beef industry in that area if we could have slaughtering facilities nearby.

In short, just let me conclude, we support this in principle because we think that unwittingly the hon. member has hung an argument for the development of agriculture on too narrow a base, namely a food terminal, and I don’t think that food terminal is really going to develop the agricultural base. There are far more important things that have been ignored in his research.

We agree that agriculture has been neglected in northeastern Ontario just like everything else in northeastern Ontario has been neglected. If supporting this bill in principle is going to provide us with an opportunity to take a look at the whole problem up there and come up with a solution so that northeastern Ontario won’t continue to be neglected in the future as much as it has been in the past by a Tory government, we will support it.

Just as a final word, Mr. Speaker, we have done our best to give support to this because we think there is at least a core worthy of support. We wish sometimes on private members’ bills and resolutions that the government members wouldn’t look for any excuse to vote against something that comes from this side of the House.

Perhaps in our efforts to give them some support in meeting their problems, they might not follow the dictates of their Whips, which lash them into opposition of an idea that doesn’t come from their side of the House, perhaps in the future they may support an idea that at least has a modicum of common sense in it if it emerges from this side of the House. The member’s idea has a modicum, but not much more, because of the inadequate research.

Mr. Acting Speaker: The member for Cochrane South for nine minutes.

Mr. Pope: Mr. Speaker, if it would be appropriate, with the consent of the House, I would deal with my reply for eight minutes and I believe the hon. Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mr. W. Newman) has a brief word, if that’s acceptable.

There were a number of points raised. First, with respect to the hon. member for York South, I don’t want to get into a partisan debate on northeastern Ontario. I’ll do it at another time if the hon. member wishes --

Mr. Foulds: You did it yesterday and you will do it again.

Mr. Pope: I will do it again. This is a private member’s hour in which private members’ bills are debated. A private member has the right to bring localized policies --

Mr. MacDonald: What motivated your solid support against the private member’s resolution last week? Was it partisan?

Mr. Pope: -- which he thinks are appropriate before the House. I might add that the hon. member for York South was saying that the research was rather thin, but he didn’t point out any inaccuracies in it.

The hon. member for Huron-Middlesex pointed out a couple of issues. First of all, there were not enough vegetables grown to supply the local market. I admit that is true, but again that gets into what I guess I could call a chicken-and-egg argument. In the 1920s and 1930s there were a lot of farms in production in the northeastern Ontario region. A significant portion of the population in northeastern Ontario was involved in agricultural production and the local market was being supplied by local producers.

The problem arose, for a number of reasons, in the 1940s and the 1950s, and since that time, as is indicated by any of the statistics I have, there has been a decline in the number of farmers and, therefore, in their capacity to supply the local market.

The hon. member for Huron-Middlesex also mentioned the heat unit argument. There is a debate, of course, involving heat units and daylight hours and whether or not there is a relationship between the two. I don’t wish to take issue with him, other than to say that the report Professor Hoffman prepared for the Municipal Advisory Committee for Northeastern Ontario enunciated several products which he felt could be profitably grown in northeastern Ontario, including potatoes, peas, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, parsnips, cabbages, carrots -- and he goes on to list many more. He also refers to which of these products could be processed as well as marketed in northeastern Ontario, again profitably.

The other issue raised by the hon. member for Huron-Middlesex related to whether the food terminal would be self-supporting. That’s a fair question to raise. I would say that the discussions I have had -- and the hon. member for York South wondered if I had discussed it with anybody; I’ve had discussions with Jessels, Porcupine Fruit Stand, M and S of Kirkland Lake and Montemorro of Rouyn, together with the farmers’ union from the Val Gagné-Monteith area -- indicate that it would be self-supporting.

Those same wholesalers also indicate that they would be willing to rent premises from the Ontario government in a northern Ontario food terminal.

While I’m on the point, perhaps the hon. member for York South could inquire of the food terminal board as to whether or not it has had discussions about a northern Ontario food terminal with a Mr. Petroska and Mr. Brown in the last year and whether or not the food terminal board was aware at that time that they were engaged in those discussions on my behalf.

The other point I want to make is about why I suggested the district of Cochrane as the location. Incidentally, we are talking about only 30 miles if hon. members are worried about the district of Timiskaming as opposed to the district of Cochrane. I have provided the hon. member for Algoma and the hon. member for Huron-Middlesex with a copy of the soil capability study, and I would refer them to it. It clearly shows, I would estimate, that about 90 per cent of the arable land in northeastern Ontario is located in the area of the district of Cochrane and district of Timiskaming.

I refer also to the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission servicing maps and the system maps for the CNR, the ONR, and the CPR. If one overlays them, one will see that from the Porquis Junction-Iroquois Falls area down to the Matheson area, there is ready access by Highway 101, Highway 11 and Highway 144, plus access to two CNR lines in proximity and the ONR spur line into Timmins as well as the main ONR line. There is also, I would submit, access to the Quebec market in rather close proximity to that location.

Those were some of the discussions. In all honesty, I had originally considered just having a general resolution calling for the establishment of a food terminal in northeastern Ontario. The reason I could not do it is because of the second substantive part of the bill, which dealt with the fact that new wholesalers could not come in; I couldn’t justify that kind of a provision for all of northeastern Ontario.

Hon. W. Newman: Mr. Speaker, I would like to take exactly one minute to point out to some of the members opposite who have been talking about a food terminal in the north that it’s a concept we appreciate and we support. We realized it was going to take a lot of time because it has to be self-sufficient. We will be certainly looking at it and we’re going to endorse this bill in principle. But what I would like to say to some members opposite who don’t know anything about the north is that it has a great potential and they can grow the vegetables and the crops -- I could list them off here. I’ve been writing them down while we’re sitting here. They have a great potential in the future.

Mr. Wildman: That’s right.

Hon. W. Newman: I say to those members opposite, don’t talk to me about the north. The potential is there and I hope they realize that.

Mr. MacDonald: We have known that for years.

Hon. W. Newman: The hon. member for York South is the agricultural critic for his party; he should know that the potential is there.

Mr. MacDonald: I do know. Most of the minister’s colleagues have only learned now.

Hon. W. Newman: Keeping in mind that a food terminal must be self-sufficient and that it would require a great deal of study to make sure that all the wholesalers and other people are interested in this, we are going to support this bill in principle. But I have to say, don’t start knocking the great potential of the north. It bothers me, because there is potential there and we should recognize it.

Mr. MacDonald: Good for you; you have finally found out about it.

Mr. Pope: The hon. member for York South has never been up there.

Mr. MacDonald: What do you mean? I have been up there more than you have -- infinitely more.



Mr. Mancini moved second reading of Bill 76, An Act to amend the Liquor Licence Act, 1975.

Mr. Mancini: I am certainly pleased to rise to speak on Bill 76. As you know, Mr. Speaker, this bill was introduced by myself for first reading about 10 days ago. Before I get into the main subject of this bill, let me say its purpose is not to offend my colleague, the member for Grey-Bruce (Mr. Sargent), or have him lose any of his business up there. It certainly is not to give any members of the cabinet heartburn. I am sorry if I caused them any of those problems.

At this time I would like to acknowledge the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk who seconded my bill. I would also like to thank Sandy Giles of the Liberal research department, who has worked very hard in helping me gather material for this bill. I would like to take one moment to reiterate what was said earlier. I feel it is very important for the private members’ lottery bills to have a free vote in this House.

I can recall about a year ago the select committee of the Legislature returned from England and came back with this tremendous idea. The backbone of the private members’ lottery bills and the spirit of that backbone is for all members in this House to have a free vote. I would like to say as an ordinary back-bencher this has really added a lot to my responsibility and to the responsibility of all other back-benchers in this House. It makes the legislative process a little more interesting and a little more demanding. I am sure the members of the House will agree with what I have said about the free vote aspect.

I would like to mention I have personally canvassed as many of the individual members of this House as I possibly could, and I would like to thank them for their co-operation and for their time. I would like to say that I have had the opportunity to canvass all three government leaders of all three parties, and I wish to thank them. I especially wish to thank the Premier (Mr. Davis) who said in his usual straightforward manner that he would let me know.

Mr. Lewis: What about your producer, your director and your script assistant?

Mr. Mancini: I would like to take a minute to explain Bill 76. Bill 76 is a very straightforward document. It asks that the Liquor Licence Act, 1973, be amended. It asks that the figure 18 be stricken out, inserting in lieu thereof the figure of 19. The bill asks that this take effect on March 1, 1978. I feel it was necessary to give the alcohol industry some lead time. I also thought it was necessary not to postpone it too far into the future because I consider the matter urgent.

Thirdly, in section 1(7) we have included what we call a grandfather clause. This will give everyone who has already received the right to drink at the age of 18 the opportunity to continue to keep that right and privilege. Anyone who turns 18 on or after March 1, 1978 will not have that privilege until 19.

We checked with the Saskatchewan Legislature and we found they felt it was necessary also to include this grandfather clause and that it sincerely helped their legislation. Talking for only a moment about the Saskatchewan incident or affair, as we can call it, it was very interesting to find that in the province of Saskatchewan they have had much debate on the drinking age. They lowered their thinking age originally from 21 years down to 19. A further bill lowered it to 18. Then in September, 1976, the Saskatchewan Legislature thought it was very necessary to raise the drinking age back to 19 years old.

I have introduced this bill for two specific reasons. Firstly, I feel it is absolutely essential to remove the influence of alcohol consumption from our secondary schools. Just for the information of the members of this House, I am sure they already have this information, but 97 per cent of all secondary school students are 18 years of age or under.

Secondly, I introduced this bill for the purpose of public debate on the whole issue of alcohol consumption. I believe it is very important for us to understand that we do have an alcohol consumption problem in this province of Ontario. If it were not so, I do not believe that the Ministry of Health last year would have spent a total of $600,000 of taxpayers’ money to ask people and to encourage them to moderate their consumption. So, the bill has a two-fold purpose. I think that by the debate that we have already spurred in the media it’s already served its second purpose.

Just let me go back to my first point. Being only recently a graduate of a high school, I can recall some seven, eight or nine years ago what it was like. At that time the legal drinking age was 21. I can recall the peer group influence. I can recall what it was like, I’m sure a lot better possibly than --

Mr. Lewis: Than I can, yes.

Mr. S. Smith: You were the peer group influence.

Mr. Mancini: -- the member for Scarborough West, who is the leader of the third party. I can certainly recall that. I know how important it was, having been involved in many student activities at my particular high school, General Amherst, how I felt when a school dance was successful and how I felt when we had a good turnout for a very important football game. I knew how important it was to the social fabric of that school.

Today I say this is not happening. The senior students of our secondary schools are not participating in the social functions of those secondary schools the way I believe they should, because they are being influenced by their peers and they are spending their time at house booze parties and down at the local pubs, and they are returning to the dances late in the evening and are usually a very disruptive force.

Let me say that I can recall, when I was a member of the standing resources development committee only a couple of months ago, this all-party committee had the opportunity to travel to some parts of our fine province. I can recall one evening, after we had finished hearing the submissions of different unions and different management groups, that we went down into the local pub under this fairly large hotel where we were staying. The crowd in that pub was basically very, very young. I am sure many eyes would have been opened if any kind of liquor inspector or anyone from the police department would have walked in and would have demanded IDs.

The most despicable part of over-consumption of alcohol is usually the ugly violence that follows. I can recall sitting in that lounge surrounded by many, many young people. It was getting close to closing time. The first thing you knew, four or five young fellows off to my left were ready to break bottles and chop each others’ faces up. I would just like to mention that we left as soon as possible. So the ugly violence that follows young people consuming alcohol is probably the most despicable aspect of the whole situation.

I am not alone in suggesting that the drinking age should be raised to 19. Only recently a student from the Ottawa area, a young gentleman by the name of Thomas Lowden, had received a grant from the Department of National Health and Welfare and did his own study on 291 students of four different high schools in the Ottawa area. He has spoken with our research staff and he personally strongly recommends that the drinking age be raised to 19. His report says that 50 per cent of all the students interviewed frequented the pubs and drank at least once a week. And 25 per cent of the 50 per cent who drank once a week would drink during the day at lunch hour. Then they would return to the schools. I say to the members of this House, that is a practice that we have to stop.

Secondly, Dr. Reginald Smart of the Addiction Research Foundation stated on page 3 of his book, The New Drinkers, and I quote: “However, it would be difficult to make a strong case for changing it back to 21 again.” He means the drinking age. “It will, however, be argued that raising the age to 19 may overcome the most pressing problem which involves drinking by high school students during the day.”

Also in September 1977 we received the report of the select committee on highway safety. Members know this report was written by the members from all sides of the House and every member on this committee, except the hon. member for Oshawa (Mr. Breaugh) agreed the drinking age should be raised to 19 and they gave some very good statistics why. They felt, and they stated in their report, that the amount of alcohol-related incidents as far as traffic collisions were concerned had increased very substantially. I believe the figures were that in 1967 approximately 1,000 of the alcohol-related accidents in the province of Ontario were caused by young people from 16 to 19 years of age. But as of 1974 I believe that total had risen to over 5,000. This was 37 per cent of all alcohol-related accidents in the province.

Fourthly, I have done my own survey in the great riding of Essex South. I certainly know that the hon. member for Sault Ste. Marie (Mr. Rhodes) knows that the good people of Essex South do think on their own. I can recall when he was down in my riding before the election -- and he was making cabinet ministers before people were elected. It didn’t work, did it?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: You are wasting your time.

Mr. Ruston: You are the one who should stay home next time.

Mr. Conway: That is the kiss of death.

Mr. Mancini: When I put before the people of the riding of Essex South the question of whether the drinking age should be raised, 79 per cent answered yes, 19 per cent answered no, and approximately 1.5 per cent were not decided.


Lastly, Mr. Speaker, probably the most comprehensive and the most influential report, as far as I’m concerned, was done by the hon. member for Mississauga North (Mr. Jones), and I would like to commend the hon. member for his fine work.

Mr. Conway: We thought it was a cabinet appointment.

Mr. Mancini: Let me quote a few things from this good report. Let me quote some of the terms of reference. “To explore, document and summarize relevant data and public attitudes regarding alcohol abuse among the youth” -- and this is the important part -- “for the purpose of aiding the government of Ontario in formulating appropriate measures to curtail such abuse.”

That’s a pretty strong mandate. I would say that the member’s cabinet colleagues have let him down.

On page three of the Jones report, we once again have the percentage figures for those 16 to 19 years of age involved, as drinking drivers, in traffic collisions. I’ve already given the House those facts.

I would now like to turn to page 10, paragraph three of the report: “In 1974, a Toronto high school study also showed that 25 per cent of those students surveyed drank as often as once a week, approximately eight per cent drink two to five times a week and 2.4 per cent drink every day.” If these figures indicate a trend, the near future could reveal problems of an immense proportion regarding alcohol abuse and subsequent treatment requirements.

Paragraph four: “Since 97 per cent of the high school student population is 18 years of age or younger, and since the act of drinking among young people is predominantly a group activity” -- and that’s very important -- “raising the age to 19 would virtually remove legal drinking from the high schools.”

But just raising the drinking age to 19 is not going to solve all the problems in the high school. I realize that and the fine member for Mississauga North realizes that.

In view of that, some major recommendations were made to cabinet, and I would have thought that these would have been undertaken. I would like to read those four major recommendations because my bill will not mean a darn -- it won’t mean anything -- unless these recommendations are implemented by the government of Ontario.

On page 10, recommendation 8: “The Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations should separate the legal drinking age from the 1971 age of majority.” Very straightforward.

Mr. Acting Speaker: The hon. member has one more minute.

Mr. Mancini: Fine, Mr. Speaker. I would just like to say that all the hon. members can find those recommendations in the Jones report.

I would like to conclude by saying that I ask the hon. members of this House to give serious consideration to giving this bill third reading today in the same manner as the members of the House gave third reading to the bill introduced by the good member for Wellington-Dufferin-Peel (Mr. Johnson), which concerned advertising in weekly newspapers at election time. If the hon. members of the House cannot bring themselves to bring third reading of this bill today, I would ask that the bill be sent to committee of the whole House with the promise from the Premier and his cabinet that it will be brought before the members of this House before we adjourn at Christmas.

Mr. Riddell: I’d like to rise on a point of privilege just to clarify one matter. The member indicated that all members on the select committee, with the exception of one, voted in favour of raising the age to 19. I would like to indicate to you, Mr. Speaker, that when a vote was taken in committee a majority of members indicated they would like to see the age raised to 19, but not all members.

Mr. Mancini: On the point of privilege, Mr. Speaker, I’m sorry if I’ve offended any members of the committee. I withdraw my remarks.

Mr. McClellan: All of them?

Mr. Davison: I rise to offer, if I might some sober and temperate observations on the question of Bill 76. First of all, I would like to commend the member for Essex South for introducing this bill. I can see quite plainly that in his mind it will present a solution, or partial solution, to a very serious problem.

Bill 76 has now become for us the focus of a debate that is the result of six years of experience with the lower drinking age and is the result of a large number of reports and studies on the issue and concerns raised by many individuals and groups throughout our province. The debate, however, has to address itself to not one issue but three issues. The three issues are perhaps interrelated but, none the less, they are distinct.

Bill 76 addresses itself specifically to one of those issues, that is, the question of the legal drinking age. The other two issues are not contained in the bill but are rather the reasons behind the bill and its companion bill that will be coming up later. Those issues are the whole question of alcohol abuse in our society and the very serious problem of the drinking driver.

If I might put it another way, this bill seeks to limit the carnage on the highways and to combat alcohol abuse, in our high schools in particular and in our whole society in general, by raising the legal drinking age from 18 to 19. It would be helpful to members of the House if they would view the debate and the bill in that perspective. While limiting alcohol abuse and trying to stop the problems caused by the drinking driver are both worthy goals, that doesn’t mean in itself that raising the drinking age is a worthy goal but rather a perceived solution for the other problems.

Whenever we as legislators consider, as we are considering today, repressive legislation, it’s incumbent on us to ask ourselves if the perceived solution or the perceived good that will come about from this solution outweighs any negative aspects that could result from our decision. We have to ask ourselves are there any ways in which we can accomplish this goal.

Will Bill 76, if enacted, contribute substantially to solving alcohol-related problems in Ontario or in our high schools? Many believe it will and many believe it won’t. I would like to share a couple of opinions with my fellow members in the House. In the Kitchener-Waterloo Record last week the Waterloo regional police chief, Syd Brown, said that raising the drinking age would do no good.

Mr. Lewis: You would quote Syd Brown in this House on that side?

Mr. Davison: I’m sorry, I didn’t see my colleague from Scarborough West in the front bench there. I thought he’d sneaked out for a coffee or something.

Mr. Lewis: There are limits.

Mr. Davison: Then our dear friend, Mr. Brown, goes on to properly identify the problem as the abuse of alcohol.

While we’re on the topic of studies, we’ve heard about a number of studies involving alcohol and young people and the lowering of the drinking age. Could I refer the attention of the member for Essex South to a study done by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation which said: “Lowering the drinking age has no discernible impact in traffic deaths among young drivers in Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and New Brunswick”? Finally, I bring to his attention the recent vote in the Prince Edward Island Legislature in which, by a free vote, the members decided to maintain the drinking age at 18. The Justice minister of the province said: “Prohibiting 18-year-olds from drinking is a means of finding a scapegoat and at the same time a way of allowing parents and the adult community to shrug off their responsibility in this matter.”

The argument that I think has the most credibility is the argument that we will be able to remove alcohol from the high schools, from the hands of the students, by raising the drinking age, and a lot of attention is focused on the Addiction Research Foundation’s 1976 survey. It’s interesting to note, though, that that survey indicates that 86 per cent of high school students drink although less than 25 per cent are eligible to. From that study and from my own experiences, I can only conclude that the bill is much more likely to have the effect of criminalizing an activity that will continue to go on, rather than removing liquor from the hands of students.

I think that’s a negative effect of this bill. I think there are some other negative effects. Unfortunately, some of the critics of this bill have been a bit simple-minded and have said things like, “An 18-year-old can go to war, therefore an 18-year-old should be able to drink,” or they have said, “If an 18-year-old can get elected to this House, he would need to drink.” Unfortunately that kind of ridicule --

Mr. Samis: If he didn’t, he would be driven to it.

Mr. Davison: That’s right. Those arguments serve to hide a real and serious consideration buried within, and that is this, what this bill says to 18-year-olds is, “You have shown yourselves to be irresponsible, and therefore we are going to remove the consumption of alcoholic beverages from your legal rights.” If 18-year-olds are that irresponsible, then let’s remove the rest of those rights that we grant with adulthood. Why should we allow those irresponsible 18-year olds to vote?

An hon. member: If they vote the right way it’s okay.

Mr. Davison: Why should we allow that?

Mr. Foulds: Or to be Premier.

Mr. Davison: That’s right. We should never allow that. It’s a question of trust and, quite frankly, if we can’t trust our young people what kind of future do we have?

Mr. Speaker, I want to bring two other things to your attention. In Ontario we have very strict laws governing impaired drivers, and they should be stringently enforced in this province. There should be a police crackdown on drinking drivers, and that would go a long way to reducing the numbers of accidents we have. If our laws aren’t strict enough and if our penalties aren’t stiff enough, then there are other jurisdictions that have stronger legislation. Let us follow their example, and let us implement that kind of legislation.

I also want to say that I would be in favour of a ban on all liquor advertising, especially that very subtle, very effective lifestyle advertising which is used so cleverly by the liquor industry. I think that would be a positive step and I think it would be a lot more effective in solving the real problem than raising the drinking age to 19.

In conclusion, the bill is, at its best, going to be of limited assistance in reducing alcohol abuse and drinking-driving. It shows what I feel is an unfortunate lack of trust in young adults and I believe it’s a poor excuse for the kind of legislation we need to effectively combat the harmful effects of alcohol.

Mr. Jones: Mr. Speaker --

Mr. Lewis: I want to support this bill. Don’t you deter me. You just be careful.

Mr. Jones: I join in the debate, Mr. Speaker, with a sincere recognition of the importance of the legislation proposed by the member for Essex South known as Bill 76. As I listened to the most recent remarks of the member for Hamilton Centre I sort of noticed the type of debate that unfortunately is tending to swirl around the purpose of this bill as proposed to the House.

Some of the discussions I consider to be irrelevant, such as the argument about people being qualified to serve their country in war. How long has it been since the young people of this province have been called to go to war?


Then there’s the talk about the fact that young people have the right under the age of majority to vote and hold seats in this House. Indeed that’s true, but I would just suggest to the member that it strikes me there’s a very great difference.

If some were irresponsible in their voting -- voting for the wrong person, I suppose, could have some harmful effects -- but they don’t become alcoholics, they don’t kill themselves and they don’t kill others. This is the heart of the issue, as I address the member’s bill today.

I fully understand also that the problems of alcohol are not peculiar to the young people; they are but a part of an overall problem affecting all the many age groups. We recognized that in our report from the very outset in the studies that we did in the Youth Secretariat for the advice of government. I believe, though, as we debate this issue, it is important to remember that as legislators we have the responsibility to make our decisions based on those conditions that prevail today, not as they prevailed in 1971 when the age of majority was lowered and thus the reduction of the legal drinking age took effect. This House legislated in good faith then, and they must legislate in good faith now.

There are three major considerations, to my mind, as we approach this decision. I would ask that the members not let them be out of their minds as they approach this crucial decision today.

We know from the most recent study of the highway safety select committee that alcohol-related accidents is the largest single killer of young people under 25 in this province today. We can also look at consumption rates, and I am not going to bandy around a host of statistics, but the fact is that they are all on the increase. They have skyrocketed with young people.

Paramount, thirdly, I believe the effect -- yes in our high schools, but indeed at even younger ages than that -- the rippling effect so-called -- has occurred since the age was reduced. Now younger and younger people are getting into very real problems with alcohol. Talking with ARF and other agencies that advises us, one of the most shocking statistics to my mind is the fact that no less than 16 per cent of the young people in our high school system in a study done in February 1977 were found to be drunk in the previous month.

Mr. Lewis: It says a lot about the school system as well -- the stimulation and creativity of the school system. Yes, it’s wonderful.

Mr. Jones: We were looking at the school system, and given some 618 young people in that system, that gives us a figure in excess of 100,000. Add to that the potential for tragedy of young people mixing drinking with their driving -- as indeed do the other age groups, but particularly the young people as new drivers. I recognize that social pressures are complex for young people, perhaps as never before in our history.

In the Youth Secretariat a part of our study dealt with the pressures of future job insecurity, et cetera, and I know these concerns are very real. I would remind the member for Essex South, as he touched on the report that I had the privilege of presenting, that he should also look at the early stages of the report. There we made a statement that the Youth Secretariat of this government intends “to determine and develop many new initiatives focusing mainly on endeavours in the field of unemployment, career guidance and development, to help improve some of the basic causes that so often are manifesting themselves in young people being involved with alcohol.”

I see the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) here in the front row, and I don’t know how he is going to vote on this occasion --

Mr. Lewis: Oh, yes you do. He will vote against the bill. He has got some principle. He is a principled fellow. He is not like I am --

Mr. Turner: Just as well.

Mr. Jones: -- but he was the man who introduced in the last budget no less than $68 million of initiatives for young people addressing themselves to their concern about jobs and the need for experience as they look forward to that transition from school to work.

I am constantly amazed about how many people seem to forget just what this peer pressure, that is so often referred to in this debate, consists of and how it fits in with the proposal by this bill as it affects age. There probably is no ideal age, I would think. However, this has to be the one best suited for serving the purpose of helping alleviate alcohol consumption, as it curbs availability in the high school system. You will remember, as when we discussed the change of age in that Youth Secretariat report, there were also 32 recommendations. The age, as has been mentioned by other speakers, was but one recommendation. In answer to a couple of the comments I’ve heard, I can tell you that the government has initiated certain actions in and attaching to these proposals.

It started with some of the early policy decisions that have come forward. I need only mention such things as the baseball issue and the fact that the government obviously saw some of the effects it would have as it led on into young people’s activities, in other parts of their social and, of course, their sporting activity.

Mr. Conway: Very selective judgement.

Mr. Jones: We have never said, from the first, in our report or recommendations that age in itself was a silver bullet and a cure-all to the very real problems that young people are having with alcohol.

But some progress is being made, including recommendations to introduce a probationary rather than a full licence to those between the legal drinking and driving ages, which the appropriate minister has brought forward to this House; the proposal to include photographic identification on driver’s licences which, to my mind, will have to come; and the action by the then Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations to bring about the age-of-majority card -- the only recognized evidence of age -- for the purchase of alcohol at all outlets, has had an effect. From 3,000 cards in circulation, no fewer than some 80,000 have come about. To my mind, that’s important in concert with the increase of age that we’re talking about in this debate.

All the actions that we must consider need to be done in a very real, sober, reflective and responsible way. In my opinion, the knitting together of each of the various recommendations to strike that proper balance will give the maximum benefit to young people in helping with their alcohol problem as it relates to them. In each of these areas, and I say this scanning over the many recommendations and being familiar with how the government is moving on many -- and yes, in- deed, there are more that require our attention -- there is a complex network of factors going back to the social problems of young people, indeed, in our society as a whole.

But as I said at the outset, given again the problems of today and the involvement of very negative things and the effect they can have on young people, and given what we want for these young people -- who are, in my opinion, the most precious natural resource of this province -- I’m urging my colleagues in this House to support this bill; I also say this in the context of being an advocate of youth in this province. I want them to have their focus straight, their attention unwavering so that they can attain their goals -- with the assistance of the government -- and overcome some of the unique pressures that exist for them today.

I believe, through today’s debate, we can add one extra year -- and a very crucial extra year -- in which young people can accentuate the positive future that awaits them, and relieve a lot of that pressure and potential disaster that abuse of alcohol can bring to them in today’s demanding society.

I will be supporting this bill, urging my colleagues to reflect most soberly and to recognize, as other speakers have said --

Mr. Speaker: The hon. member’s time has expired.

Mr. Jones: -- that we must continue to push for this whole package of recommendations that the government has in front of it.

Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker, I was Leader of the Opposition in 1971 when this House voted, without any significant objection, to support the government initiative to lower the drinking age to 18. I was convinced then that it was the right thing to do. For that reason, I have had to consider very carefully my own personal position as I looked at the facts and figures associated with the result of that decision, and I am now prepared to support the motion put forward by my colleague from Essex South.

My conversion to that point of view took place in the select committee on highway safety when we were visited by a delegation from the Addiction Research Foundation headed by the chairman of a committee, Dr. Reginald Smart. The most vocal proponent of changing the drinking age was Dr. Paul Whitehead. In his researches, and in stating them to the committee he convinced me that a mistake had been made in 1971 and that we should not only rectify it but that we should do it without delay.

It is not my intention to quote from their report extensively, but just two paragraphs from the part that concerned me most deeply. I quote from page 13 of the submission to the committee by the Addiction Research Foundation:

“Extrapolating these figures to all of Ontario, we find that 4,450 automobile collisions would not have occurred in Ontario between August 1971 and July 1972 had the drinking age not been lowered. Other researchers have estimated that 28 persons would not have died in automobile crashes between August 1971 and July 1972 had the drinking age not been lowered. Our data suggest that the cost in lives is greater in succeeding years.”

When these people said that to our committee, I realized that I could no longer justify keeping the drinking age at 18. These people were not basing their arguments on anything but the statistical researches which we fund from this House and which we have funded over a number of years.

The Addiction Research Foundation is a world-class organization. As people concerned with highway safety visited our committee, they always referred to that foundation as the kind of facility that they wished they had in their jurisdiction. Well, we have it here, and we have been paying large sums of money to pay for its research and to get its advice.

Frankly, I have objected in the past that their advice seemed to be equivocal. But on this it is quite clear. They were saying that this law is killing young people and that the rate at which its depredations are exerted in the community is increasing and will continue to increase.

It is for this reason, as I have indicated, that my views are in support of the motion. But I am not so naive as to think that the passage of this bill will solve the problems; of course, none of us would be so naive. I would hope, however, that the members of this House who are coming in gradually to take part in the debate and take part in the vote, which we will have shortly, will do so on a basis of conscience, with the understanding that something more than a vote of this House is necessary: if we decide to go forward with raising the drinking age, we should not delay it in any significant way.

I believe the age should be raised. There is some argument as to whether it should be 19 or 20. As we know, the hon. member for Middlesex (Mr. Eaton) has another bill before the House which would raise it to 20. The only argument for raising it to 20, in my view, involves the high-school situation. The report from the Addiction Research Foundation states -- this is the only other quote that I want to give you from the report, Mr. Speaker; and I quote from page 14: “The lowering of the drinking age made the secondary school the prime link between licit and illicit drinkers.” We can understand that. I don’t have to explain it; I believe that is true.

For that reason, the second aspect of any program to reduce the terrible problems with drinking in general, and particularly in this age group, should lie with getting it out of the high schools if possible. For that reason, I suppose serious consideration must be given to raising it to 20, not just 19. I believe that 19 would be sufficient; anything higher than that would mean we would simply be increasing the number of people drinking illicitly rather than coming to grips with the problem as we face it. But I am sure other people have other opinions than that.


It could be that a program -- which the government undoubtedly is considering and may, in fact, be announcing some time in the near future -- must have, as probably the second basis of its goal, to remove drinking from the high schools wherever it is possible. It is here that the connection with the very young people, under 18 down to 12 probably, takes place. If we can use the powers that are at our disposal, then surely we can accomplish something in that regard.

My colleague from Essex South said when this bill is approved -- and I trust it will be or something very close to it -- we must have a package that is entered into by a number of government ministries at the behest of this House, representing the people of the province. Raising the drinking age is simply the first step to correct mistakes that have been made in the past. The second must be to reinforce the proof of age regulations that we presently have. I think they are effective but they must be reinforced in every way we can through inspection and through the control we have over the retail outlets.

I also believe, and I have stated it in this House now for a number of years, that we can, through the powers that we have, remove the pressures from advertising, particularly television beer advertising, which are impinging on young people more and more. I have heard the arguments put by the advertising lobby that this has never been shown to increase drinking but simply to adjust brand performance. I cannot accept that. I think that that is a most cynical approach to this problem. We, as a Legislature, must take strong steps to remove that unjustifiable pressure from the advertising media, particularly on young people. We normally call it the quality-of-life style of advertising. This is surely the third step.

The fourth one is perhaps less clear and definite. I believe we can use our school systems much more effectively than we have in the past to assist the young people -- and we are giving them now an extra year to make up their minds -- on what modern drinking actually can be. It does not necessarily have to have the depredations in the community and in the young people that we have seen it does have. A properly constructed curriculum, something that is going to be used in every school and with all of our young people, should be the fourth part of an initiative taken by members in this House to attempt to control a situation that has largely got out of hand.

I close with one last quote from the report to the highway safety committee, on page 12: “We find the following increases in alcohol-related collisions among young male drivers. Alcohol-related collisions increased 162 per cent among 16- and 17-year-olds” -- illicit drinkers -- “339 per cent among 18-year-olds; 346 per cent among 19-year-olds, and 156 per cent among 20-year-olds. These increases are in marked contrast to the increase of only 20 per cent experienced by 24-year-olds, a category of people not affected by the change in the drinking age.”

In summation, I say the statistics provided by the foundation have made it clear that a mistake was made in 1971 and that we can correct it, at least in part, by adopting the bill before us or something close to it. The bill before us, I think, contains the provisions which are fairest and most reasonable in this connection. Beyond that, a package of programs, regulations and intentions must form the policies, not just of the government but of every member of this House speaking for the whole community.

Mr. Young: As I rise to take part in this debate, I realize it is a difficult and very vexed subject, as there are those on both sides of the issue who feel very strongly and who talk in terms of saving life or saving civil rights. There are people with divergent points of view but all, I think, with sincere motivation. Some of us in this party believe this bill should be passed and others that it should not. So we have a division here, as we have, I think, in nearly all parties. But the fact is that the present problem arises right out of the attitudes of society itself.

Do the members remember, during the sixties, we had a real problem with the drug culture? Young people were getting high on all kinds of things. They still are to some extent, but in those days it was a very serious problem. We railed against that and we tried our best to find a way out of it. Finally what we did, I think, was to persuade them as a society that they should drop their drugs for the adult drug of alcohol, which they did with great enthusiasm. Then we lowered the drinking age from 21 to 18, and as a result of that we have a problem which became horrendous in this province and right around the world when this sort of thing happened.

I have in my hand a very definitive study which was done just after the first year of the lowered drinking age in several jurisdictions. This was published in the Journal of Legal Studies, in the University of Chicago Law School, done by several people, one of whom, Leon S. Robertson, some of us have met in the Institute of Highway Safety. This research looked into border states and Ontario, three of which had lowered the drinking age and three of which had not.

I just want to read two or three excerpts. “In the total number of drivers 15 to 17 and 18 to 20 involved in fatal crashes, the statistics rise and fall rather inconsistently in the three years prior to lowering the drinking age. After the law was changed, in both the 15-to-17 and 18-to-20-year-old groups it rose consistently.” Then in the night-time and single vehicle crashes, again the proportions show inconsistency in the years just before the decrease in the age, but increased consistently after the change, and that rather sharply. Again in the single vehicle fatal crashes, the proportions involving 18- to 20-year-olds in law-changed states increased significantly, concurrently with the reduction in the legal drinking age in those states.

The conclusion of this study is this, that in this finding in a comparison before and after, the increase in accidents and death occurred not only among the 18- to 20-year-olds to whom the law change applied, but also to a somewhat lesser degree among the 15- to 17-year-olds when alcohol became available legally in the 18-to-20-year-old group. So they say that there can be little doubt that reducing the legal minimum drinking age in a society carries a price -- increased fatal motor vehicle collisions.

That was up to the end of 1972. But as we all know at that time, according to all our investigations, the number of crashes involving drinking teenagers and the death rate among those people took off dramatically after that period, and now stands at 37 per cent of all accidents and is increasing at a very great rate.

What I want to say today is, as has already been emphasized, lowering or raising the drinking age does not have as much effect as we might think. But we do say -- this is my point of view -- that we should now raise it to 19, and along with that should come the package that has already been mentioned by at least two of the members here today.

This is only part of it. We must, of course, get rid of this slick advertising. I don’t think any of us realized, when we lowered the age to 18, that the industry concerned with the sale and use of alcohol would move in in such a dramatic way as it did and, through the skilful lifestyle advertising, brainwash not only the teenagers but every youngster who is watching television.

This industry was building up in a whole generation an attitude that only by the use of alcohol could happiness, good times, all that’s good in life, be attained, and the two became linked irrevocably in so many of our young people. When the time came when they could legally drink, and even before it, they were reaching out for that joy-giver, that happiness-broker, which was promising to them the great quality which life could give them. That has to be one of the steps that has to be taken.

The probationary licence which has been spoken about is essential. Let our new drivers earn their right to solo, to get a permanent licence. They need careful supervision during that period -- supervision, as I said before in this House, which is sympathetic but which is tough, so that we have some assurance when they get their licences that they know how to drive and drive well.

Along with that should be a very intense stepping up of our driver instruction and the training of our driver instructors, as well as, in the third place, a very tough test at the provincial level when these people come to sit those tests.

Then I think our law enforcement agents have to do the thing which has been recommended by the select committee on highway safety: young people who are caught driving under the legal age should have the licence suspended for at least three months and then their probationary period extended perhaps by another year if the court so decides. In other words, there has to be a tough enforcement of that law.

Also, we must have the equipment in the hands of the police, the ALERT devices, the breathalysers, which can, on proper occasions, rule the person off the road when he does not have the full 0.08 blood alcohol content but he becomes dangerous, so the police with these devices can prevent an accident occurring. We think this is a vital part of this whole business.

The high incidence of drinking is from Friday evening sundown until Sunday morning some time -- 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning. That’s the period when police forces should be out there and when there should be much more careful supervision, along with the ID cards, in the drinking locations, so that young people leaving the taverns are apprehended before they get out there and cause the difficulty.

I know that it’s not only young people who cause accidents, but don’t forget this -- and this I want to stress -- we give the young person the chance to drive at 16 and then a chance to use alcohol at 18. Unfortunately, starting at 16, his accident rate does not drop until it is down to the average until about 20, but it does drop significantly from 18 to 19. He’s much more mature at 19. He can’t handle the alcohol as well at 18 as he can at 19 perhaps, that’s true, but also he can handle the motor car much better at 19 than he can at 18.

Mr. Eaton: Mr. Speaker, I rise to support the principle of the bill of the member for Essex South, and that’s the principle of raising the age at which a person can legally drink alcoholic beverages.


As you know, as was mentioned by the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk, I’ve introduced a bill suggesting the age should be 20.

My reason for doing this is an attempt to get the legal drinking of alcohol beverages out of the high schools. I know there are many who feel that raising the age to 19 will accomplish that, but if one follows the natural course of events through school to grade 13, there are many students who turned 19 between January 1 and the time they graduate in the grade-13 year.

I will therefore move an amendment to the bill in committee to bring about a vote on the age of 20 and give the members of the House the opportunity to vote on that age at the same time.

Mr. Riddell: Maybe we could do away with grade 13, though.

Mr. Eaton: My reason for going to 20 is not just to deprive those in that 18- and 19-year group the privilege of being allowed to drink alcoholic beverages, but it’s to try to make it less available to those younger people who are getting it illegally. If those in the 18- and 19-year-old group can get it legally then, naturally, it’s going to come in contact with the younger ages because of parties, et cetera, that they will be involved in together. The peer pressures to share with their friends under those circumstances are tremendous. I think this will remove that temptation.

Let us not kid ourselves. Some will still get alcoholic beverages illegally as they have always done, but I assure the House the incidence will be less. The fact that they still want to get it and will get it, I think, points out a far greater complexity of problems that we must face.

Many recognize there are other problems and are calling for action. The vast majority of people are calling for action simply by raising the drinking age. I believe we must address ourselves to some of the other complexities, the whys of the desire of the young people to want to drink illegally. Perhaps it’s the lifestyle advertising that’s been mentioned. I think we should take a look at it and see how we can control it. In fact, maybe it’s more than just the advertising. It’s been mentioned that if you watch some of the TV programs carefully, it’s a normal thing to see a reference made during the program, “Let’s have a drink.”

Mr. Speaker: Order. The hon. member has one minute.

Mr. Eaton: The fact that some will knowingly provide alcoholic beverages points up a need to look at the penalties, to look at the enforcement and, probably, to look at the educational end of it. I know we have had much support to increase it to 20. The support comes from the school boards. I think they can take a role in the educational part of it.

In regard to the total area of alcohol, we must review many of the things involved, perhaps the age of majority. Those students who are responsible and who have handled the situation do not seem to object to the age being raised, and perhaps even the age of majority too, So I therefore ask you to support this bill, to support the amendment which I will put to it in committee, and to join together to get on with dealing with the other problems associated with it.

Mr. Speaker: There are two items of business before us at the present time.

Mr. Pope moved second reading of Bill 82, An Act to amend the Ontario Food Terminal Act.

All those in favour of the motion will please say “aye.” All those opposed will please say “nay.”

In my opinion, the ayes have it.

Motion agreed to.

Ordered for committee of the whole House.

Mr. Speaker: I understand from the course of the debate that the pattern of voting on Bill 76 will not follow party lines. Therefore, I propose to alter our system of voting somewhat. As I put the last question, I will ask all members who are in favour of the motion or who are opposed to the motion to rise together and remain standing until the Clerk has called their names. It is my hope that this will avoid the possibility of confusion.

The House divided on the motion for second reading of Bill 76, An Act to amend the Liquor Licence Act, which was approved on the following vote:














































Miller, G. I.

Miller, F. S.

Newman, W.

Newman, B.












Smith, G. E.




Taylor, J. A.

Taylor, G.


Van Horne















di Santo














Smith, S.






Ayes 72; nays 29.

Mr. Speaker: I declare the motion carried.

Ordered for third reading.


Mr. Speaker: Before the House adjourns for what I know will be a busy, but I hope a reflective, weekend for all members, may I draw to the attention of members concerned that all committee chairmen, the House leaders and whips are requested to meet with me in committee room 1 at 11:30 a.m. Monday morning to discuss the business of the House? I hope all of those mentioned will make themselves available.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, prior to the adjournment, may I now take this opportunity to discuss the business of the House for next week?

Tomorrow being the day of remembrance, we will pause to reflect upon the significance of those events.

Next week, in addition to the committee meetings which are well advertised on the notice board, perhaps we could go directly to the legislative program for next Tuesday, when we will do Bill 99, Bill 98 and Bill 70. If the House has dealt with those three pieces of legislation and time remains, it is understood we will then revert to the first order and discuss the budgetary policy of the government.

On Thursday afternoon, private members’ business will include the bill standing in the name of the member for Scarborough West (Mr. Lewis) and the member for Durham East (Mr. Cureatz). The House sits, of course, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

On motion by Hon. Mr. Welch, the House adjourned at 2 p.m.