31st Parliament, 1st Session

L052 - Thu 17 Nov 1977 / Jeu 17 nov 1977

The House met at 2 p.m.



Hon. Mr. Auld: Mr. Speaker, I have here a message from the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor signed by her own hand.

Mr. Speaker: By her own hand, P. M. McGibbon, the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor, transmits supplementary estimates of certain additional sums required for the services of the province for the year ending March 31, 1978, and recommends them to the Legislative Assembly, Toronto, November 17, 1977.


Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Speaker, I rise in order to correct the record and to explain remarks I made in answer to a question on Tuesday that unintentionally and inadvertently, I believe, misled the hon. member for Ottawa East (Mr. Roy), and as a result, other members of the House.

On Tuesday last the hon. member for Ottawa East inquired of me as to the status of discussions between myself and the mayor of Ottawa as it related to funding for nonprofit housing developments in that city. In response to his question, I advised the hon. member that I had communicated with the mayor of Ottawa and had advised him of a formula that had been worked out that we felt would satisfactorily take care of the problem.

That was not correct. I had written to the mayor of Ottawa and advised him that a formula had been devised in which Central Mortgage and Housing had concurred, but I did not communicate the formula to the mayor. The matters to be discussed required that they be presented to Management Board for their approval prior to being forwarded to the mayor.

I would like to correct the record and I regret any inconvenience that may have been caused to the hon. member. I did attempt to contact him on Tuesday; unfortunately he was busy. I did advise two members of the press gallery representing Ottawa papers of exactly what had occurred.



Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, on November 15, 1977, the hon. member for Ottawa Centre (Mr. Cassidy) asked if in fact this government was reconsidering its decision to move the OHIP headquarters to Kingston. The hon. member went on to indicate that rumours were circulating in the Kingston area to this effect.

It has come to my attention since I first addressed the hon. member’s question in the Legislature that this rumour was in fact started or supported by the hon. member himself on an open-line radio show in Kingston.

Mr. Lewis: How do you have a rumour if someone doesn’t start it?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I would like to reconfirm that OHIP is going to Kingston. There is no truth to the rumour indicating that the government is reconsidering its decision. Indeed, a site has been selected and negotiations are under way between the Ministry of Government Services and the current owners.

Mr. Lewis: I have heard you are closing down the head office in Toronto. It has come to my attention. I have heard that.


Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, an amending regulation on fees for commercial motor vehicles is presently being prepared for 1978 registration year. Included will be a new category of fees for small commercial motor vehicles, such as half-ton pickup trucks, and vans.

Commercial motor vehicles used primarily for personal transportation and recreational purposes, with a registered gross weight of 5,000 pounds or less, will be able to purchase annual registration based on cylinders under the same fee schedule as passenger cars. Persons wishing to apply for this type of registration must complete a declaration form attesting to the personal use of the vehicle and the following fees will be applicable:

In southern Ontario, four cylinders or less, $30; five or six cylinders, $45; seven cylinders or more, $60. Vehicles with an engine displacement in excess of 6.5 litres or 397 cubic inches being registered in Ontario for the first time, $80

In northern Ontario, all small commercial vehicles coming within the category will be eligible for the $10 fee.

Mr. Wildman: It’s time you woke up.

Hon. Mr. Snow: This change will be introduced with the commencement of the 1978 licensing year for commercial motor vehicles. Vehicles licensed in this category will continue to bear commercial motor vehicle plates, which will be identified by a sticker indicating the vehicle is being used primarily for personal purposes. It applies to all of Ontario.


Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, I have a reply to a question by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. S. Smith) which I wish to give as a statement as it is rather lengthy.

On November 10, the hon. Leader of the Opposition asked several questions related to the contract between the Urban Transportation Development Corporation and Hawker Siddeley Canada Limited for the production of 190 streetcars for the Toronto Transit Commission. I provided at that time a partial answer and undertook to obtain additional information. I would like at this time to respond to those questions.

The contract was signed on November 8 and does include an escalation formula. An escalation formula would also have been included in any contract we would have entered into with Bombardier-MLW.

I would point out to the House that the proposals to build the streetcars submitted by Hawker Siddeley and by Bombardier-MLW each contained several qualifications. Among the qualifications were concerns related to the finalization of escalator clauses, methods of payment, clarification of the technical data, the ultimate weight of the cars, delivery of materials, and possible design changes. One of the items negotiated during recent weeks was the escalation formula, which had a considerable bearing on several of the other items under negotiation, such as the method of payment.

The final contract with Hawker Siddeley was contingent on the successful negotiation of the items which were qualified in their bid. I refer the hon. member to the letters between UTDC, the Toronto Transit Commission and myself, which were made public at the time of the announcement that the government would request UTDC to award the contract to Hawker Siddeley Canada Limited. Those letters are dated July 7, July 13, and July 15, 1977.

At that time the president of UTDC, Mr. Foley, wrote to me indicating that there were a number of differences in the bid, but he also indicated his confidence that these items would be agreed upon or eliminated. From the time of the announcement until the contract was signed, these negotiations were intensively conducted.

I would add that it is the normal procedure flowing from the proposal bid to negotiate the details once a choice of contractor has been made, When the bids are received they are analysed. Attempts are made to iron out differences and difficulties. Then there is a zeroing in on the most likely candidates. Finally, a decision is made on which will receive the contract.

But that process does not mean that all the details have been negotiated at that time. In fact, it really launches the final stage which results in the signing of a contract. In this particular instance, after receiving the two proposals, UTDC met with both companies and analysed their bids. It was on the basis of this analysis that UTDC made the recommendation to award the contract to Bombardier-MLW. However, as the House is aware the government requested that the contract go to Hawker Siddeley Canada Limited, subject to the successful negotiation of the outstanding points outlined in the bid.

The completion of these negotiations allowed the contract to be signed. In addition to the contracts, which I am tabling today, I have also received a copy of a letter from Mr. Foley advising the Toronto Transit Commission that with the signing of the contract, the force majeure has been lifted. Therefore, returning specifically to the questions of the hon. member, the escalation formula and the terms of payment are not the same as were outlined in the UTDC request for tender.

The changes flowed from the complete negotiating process extending back to the first submission of bids, well before we designated Hawker Siddeley as the contractor. Then end results are detailed in the contract.

With respect to whether the TTC has been guaranteed a fixed price, I want to clarify what I feel is a possible misunderstanding related to the purchase of the new streetcars by TTC. It must be appreciated that there are two contracts involved, including not only the Hawker Siddeley contract, but also the other components which are necessary to produce the completed streetcars.

One, the Toronto Transit Commission has a contract with the Urban Transportation Development Corporation to be supplied with 196 completed streetcars. Six of these are the Swiss-assembled prototypes. The other 190 car bodies are to be constructed by Hawker Siddeley and assembled with UTDC-furnished equipment.

Two, the second contract is between UTDC and Hawker Siddeley Canada Limited. The UTDC-Hawker Siddeley contract represents 40 to 45 per cent of the total cost of the cars and is for constructing the bodies and the assembly. The remaining cost is contained in equipment such as motors, gear boxes, brake systems, door systems, and ventilation, et cetera, which UTDC supplies to complete the cars.

Escalation clauses are contained in each contract. In the TTC-UTDC contract, the price is established, as is the escalation formula. The contract indicates that in all sub-contracts, the escalation formula must be the same. If there is escalation in cost, the TTC must pay according to the formula in their contract with UTDC.

To summarize and speak specifically to the questions: (a) The TTC will pay escalator costs as outlined in the formula contained in the contract between the TTC and UTDC. The escalation is based on the total cost of the car; (b) I wish to assure the House that any cost related to the difference between the Hawker Siddeley and Bombardier-MLW bids will be paid by the government and not the TTC. This was confirmed in letters made public earlier.

To conclude, Mr. Speaker, I wish to assure the House that all matters relating to the UTDC-Hawker Siddeley Canada Limited contract were exhaustively negotiated between the parties and covered all aspects mentioned by the hon. member.


Mr. Speaker: Before we go any further in our proceedings this afternoon, I’ve just been informed by one of the attendants of this House, in his efforts to maintain decorum and to enforce the rules that apply to this assembly and its precincts, that one member of the press gallery refused to, and in a profane manner told the attendant what he could tell the Speaker to do with one of the rulings.


I want to inform the member of the press gallery right here and now that if he refuses to abide by the rulings and the rules that apply to all members of this House, that he either leave or we will forcefully eject him from the precincts. I want that clearly understood by all members of the press gallery.

Mr. Sargent: Cracking your whip there.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Don’t worry, it’s not that thick.


Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, on July 8 last I advised this House of my ministry’s activities with respect to improved axle and gross weight legislation for commercial motor vehicles.

I am pleased to inform you that after considerable study and consultation with members of the trucking industry, I am now today or will be at the appropriate time, introducing amendments to Ontario’s vehicle weight legislation. This legislation, we feel, will greatly simplify the current complexity of our present legislation.

Since 1971 we have been using the very complex Ontario bridge formula to define maximum allowable vehicle weights. We are replacing this with a set of only 29 tables that define the maximum allowable gross vehicle weight depending upon the number of axles, the intervehicle unit distance, the base length and the front axle weight.

This new system will make enforcement of the legislation easier, reduce confusion in the courts and provide the trucking industry with a much simpler method to determine permitted vehicle weight.

The legislation introduces a new length limitation of 68 feet 10 inches, which is approximately 21 metres, replacing the present maximum allowable length of 65 feet. The western provinces already permit vehicles longer than the standard 65 feet under special permit and we have had representation from the trucking industry that operates through Ontario and western Canada to increase the permitted overall length.

Analysis of the increase in length has not disclosed any significant problem in regard to safety and/or operational characteristics of the vehicle. In fact, it has added some positive contributions to safety. A minor extension in overall length permits a greater spacing between vehicle units and therefore contributes to the safety and stability of the vehicle. Also, with pup trailers and the new liquid carrying trucks, this will lower their centre of gravity, again increasing the vehicle’s stability.

Concern has been expressed by some members of the trucking industry about the possible loss of permitted weight by vehicles designed to the present Ontario bridge formula. To answer this concern we are introducing a grandfather arrangement for these vehicles.

If a trucker finds he will lose 1,000 pounds or more gross weight by using the new tables, he may apply for a special permit to carry the present load. The truckers may apply for this special permit up to July, 1978, and it will be valid for eight years until December 31, 1986.

In the preparation of this new and improved axle and gross weight legislation, my ministry has conducted an in-depth intensive study of the problem during the past three years. We have had excellent co-operation and discussions with the Ontario Trucking Association’s vehicle weight committee and other industry associations. I wish to thank them for their assistance.

I am pleased to report that in our discussions, there was a clear acceptance by the trucking industry of the need to protect our roads and bridges. I’m sure that they welcome less complex and more enforceable axle and gross weight legislation.


Mr. Stong: Had I been in my seat on Tuesday past, Mr. Speaker, instead of being required to visit the undertaker in Orillia, I would have gladly responded to the question of privilege raised by the Hon. Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. W. Newman) with respect to an article that appeared in one of the Toronto papers.

I have had an opportunity to check this matter out with the Clerk’s office, and I am satisfied through my own research and from the office of the Clerk that there is no written rule that would prohibit a minister from introducing a private bill. However, I am instructed and I accept that the tradition of cabinet solidarity lends itself to an unwritten rule that no private bill can be introduced by a member of cabinet. In so far as I reported to the Toronto Star and used the word “present” in reference to the hon. member, I apologize to him for the embarrassment and the inconvenience caused thereby. However, I hasten to add that there is one salutary effect from that article and that is it has finally got that minister off the fence he has been sitting on, with respect to Georgina township, and no doubt his commitment to address the justice committee this afternoon will serve to enlighten all of us.


Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of personal privilege. It has come to my attention this morning that a radio hotliner in Windsor has been utilizing a piece of Hansard in a way which I think was perhaps inappropriate but certainly not intended on my part. On November 15 during the discussion of some problems related to the great metropolis of Windsor, there was an interjection on my part which the hon. leader of the third party spoke about later apparently. I would like to tell you that this remark was made not with any seriousness at all, but in the thrust and parry of facetiousness which so often overtakes this House during question period and at other times.


Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I am terribly distressed that anyone would have thought that I was being serious at that point, and I am particularly distressed that a member of the media would spend the entire morning this morning stirring up the good people of Windsor with this kind of problem.

Mr. Lewis: I heard about that.


Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, if I have in any way offended the people of Windsor, amongst whom I number a great many of my best friends, I would apologize very abjectly. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.


Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Speaker, I apparently was mentioned too and I would like to apologize for nodding.


Mr. Lewis: Mr. Speaker, I put them both on the hook and I am pleased about it.



Mr. S. Smith: If I may engage in some of the cut and thrust of facetiousness, I’ll ask a question of the Minister of Energy which is guaranteed to produce more of the same. The hon. minister perhaps could reflect on this.

Referring to news reports that the ministry was frantically searching yesterday for some government authority or approval of Ontario Hydro’s commencement in January 1974 of Bruce D heavy water plant, can the minister confirm reports that he feels that the Premier (Mr. Davis) somehow approved this plant by his statement to this House in 1973? If he is not using that as his so-called approval, when does the minister claim that the government did approve of this plan?

An hon. member: He nodded.

Hon. J. A. Taylor: Mr. Speaker, I am not aware of any frantic search going on yesterday afternoon; I was tied up in cabinet all day, as the member may or may not know. I do gather there was some confusion in connection with the appellation of the four plants. Apparently plants are built in groups, as I am sure the Leader of the Opposition knows. Plant A, as it was called, was built for AECL and subsequently turned over to Ontario Hydro. That was the first plant, and then you had plants B, C and D all in a row.

Mr. Lewis: Well done. Bravo.

Hon. J. A. Taylor: Can the members picture that? If they could expand their minds, they might be able to picture that.


Hon. J. A. Taylor: B, C and D in a row; C coming between A and D. Can the members conjure that up in their imagination?


Hon. J. A. Taylor: If numerically the same order was taken into account then you’d have: A would be plant one, B would be plant two, C would be plant three, and D would be plant four --


Hon. J. A. Taylor: -- if the Leader of the Opposition is still with me on that. Apparently the cancellation of C confused the order of sequence. So really it was in the order A, B and D, so that D became the third plant and the referral to the fourth plant would be actually C, if it had gone ahead.

Mr. Lewis: Could you run through that again?

Hon. J. A. Taylor: I hope that explains somewhat, if not I’d be happy to take the member for Hamilton West aside and give him a lesson as a father to a son and probably pat him on the head in the process.

Mr. Breithaupt: Only this government can put D in front of C.

Mr. S. Smith: How do you follow an answer like that, Mr. Speaker? Am I taking it correctly, when I assume that the minister is suggesting that because the hon. Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) cancelled plant C, I think it was in 1975 or early 1976, in order to save money in the restraint program, that the Minister of Energy is now claiming the approval which was given to this particular plant D can now be assumed to really have been the approval given to C originally? And is he suggesting that they cleverly anticipated at Hydro that the Treasurer was probably going to cancel C in 1976, so they went ahead and started building D in 1974, being clairvoyant enough to know that he was going to provide the cancellation of one of those plants a little later? Is that basically what you’re telling me?

Hon. J. A. Taylor: No, that sounds more like The Sound of Music.

The project was approved in principle in 1973 -- as the Leader of the Opposition indicated in a statement in this House -- by the Premier at the time the Ministry of Energy was set up.

Mr. Eakins: He is still the best you have got.

Mr. S. Smith: Supplementary, rather than pursue this. Is the minister aware that in the Premier’s statement of 1973 there is no mention whatsoever of D, but in the Hydro report on the policy statement to which he refers, it’s very clear that they’re referring only to the construction of B? Is he aware that the Ontario Energy Board in the letter to the member for Chatham-Kent, August 26, 1974, makes it quite clear the board suggests that before committing the construction of a fourth heavy water plant at Bruce -- and remember, A, B, and C had been approved by then -- they should commission an independent review of heavy water supply and requirements by an agency external to Hydro? All this is long after January, 1974. Would you care to comment on that?

Hon. J. A. Taylor: Yes, I am aware of the whole procedure and catalogue of events. I think the Leader of the Opposition is still somewhat confused in that. But I appreciate the cat and mouse game he’s playing.

Mr. Peterson: You are the rat.

Hon. J. A. Taylor: If he would care to communicate with me directly -- and this is the only occasion when he asks questions, in the House; he never approached me except through the media or via the chairman of Hydro in the past -- I would be delighted to take him through the process again.

Mr. Peterson: We have an hour every day when we ask questions.

Hon. J. A. Taylor: As a matter of fact I wish the Leader of the Opposition wouldn’t keep dragging his feet in terms of the matter being dealt with by the select committee.

Mr. Martel: What happened to your equation?

Mr. Lewis: By way of supplementary --

Mr. Speaker: Final supplementary.

Mr. Lewis: -- why doesn’t the minister just admit to the House, because it doesn’t hurt from time to time to do so, that on Tuesday afternoon after the question had been asked, his ministry was in a positive turmoil, not to say a panic, to find out how this construction had proceeded in early 1974 when it was denied, or announced later on, Hydro clearly having overstepped the bounds again? Simply put: Why doesn’t he fess up? It’s time, in this Legislature.

Hon. J. A. Taylor: If it was in a turmoil I’ve only been acquainted with it now, and if I’d been there and not otherwise occupied I can assure the member it wouldn’t have been in a turmoil.



Mr. S. Smith: A question, Mr. Speaker, for the Attorney General: Would the Attorney General explain to the House what seems to be an apparent reluctance on the part of the Crown in Ontario to lay charges against certain federal agencies, for instance the RCMP and the military as referred to in a couple of stories from yesterday’s Globe and Mail, one about the alleged tapping of the phone of a lawyer, Mr. Ruby, and the other about the accosting of civilians by a group of uniformed so-called militia on school or other non-military grounds? Why are charges not being laid?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, I can assure the Leader of the Opposition that there is no reluctance on the part of anyone in my ministry to authorize or encourage the laying of charges when there is evidence of a breach of the Criminal Code.

In relation to the alleged wiretapping of a Toronto solicitor’s phone, that obviously was a most regrettable incident, to put it mildly; but that, to my knowledge, occurred prior to the present legislation, the Protection of Privacy Act of 1974, so it occurred at a time when it was not a criminal offence.

In relation to the most recent reports of the activities of members of the militia, my local Crown attorneys’ office at this very moment is reviewing the matter with representatives of the Metropolitan Toronto police department to determine whether charges should be laid.

Mr. S. Smith: I thank the Attorney General for his answer. By way of supplementary, regarding this militia matter, is the Attorney General not a little concerned, as I imagine most people would be, that it has taken so long for this internal military investigation to come up with answers; that the civilians who were allegedly accosted have not even been asked for their testimony; that a number of people apparently have been dealt with in a very shameful and aggressive manner, and yet nothing much seems to be happening? Why the delay?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: At this moment I have only a very bare outline as to what was alleged to have occurred. I will inform the members of this House further when I have additional information. I don’t know what delay there was. I really don’t know any details of the particular incident other than what I’ve indicated, that the local Crown attorneys’ office is meeting at this very moment, to my knowledge, with representatives of the Metropolitan Toronto police department to determine whether charges should be laid.

The thrust of the question would suggest that members of the militia unit may have been given some sort of unofficial form of immunity or that there was some problem in relation to proceeding with possible charges because of the fact that they are members of the militia. I can assure members of this Legislature that that fact should give them no immunity whatsoever and should not place them in any different position than any other citizen in this community.

Mrs. Campbell: Supplementary: Is the Attorney General aware of the fact that it is alleged the police have already advised the women involved, the victims of this incident, whatever it was, that the Crown was reluctant to take any steps in this matter? Could the Attorney General then tell us at what point the Crown changed its mind?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I am not aware of any reluctance on the part of the Crown and, if there was, what the basis of the reluctance was. I’ve certainly indicated already that I intend to pursue the matter to determine whether there was any reluctance that was motivated by any other factor than the question as to whether there had been a breach of the criminal law of this country.

Mrs. Campbell: Could I have one further supplementary, Mr. Speaker?

Mr. Speaker: Final supplementary.

Mrs. Campbell: Does the Attorney General not view this matter with a good deal of seriousness, having in mind the question I raised the other day regarding the whole training of lawyers in this province; and would he not look into that aspect of it, since that may be the reason why the Crown is not interested in pursuing the matter?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I can assure the members of this Legislature that that would not be a consideration. I find it very difficult to equate the -- agreed, unfortunate -- incident that occurred at the bar admission course the other day when an instructor made some very stupid remarks -- if the press reports are accurate, I must admit I find it difficult to consider that in the same context as to the possibility of criminal behaviour on the part of members of the militia of this country.

Mrs. Campbell: It is the Crown I’m talking about, and their attitude.


Mr. Lewis: I have a question of the Minister of Community and Social Services. Does the minister know whether or not the observations made by Judge Stewart Fisher in today’s Globe and Mail about the continuing abject and dismal state of appropriate treatment facilities for young children in trouble, or adolescents in trouble, are shared generally by the juvenile court judges in the Province of Ontario? Are we any closer to a breakthrough in the provision of facilities in the province with the consolidation?

Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, I’m not sure that I can answer the first part of that question with any confidence as to how generally that view is shared. I can respond, I think, to the second part of that question more completely.

It’s my understanding as well that fuller information had been made available at the time of the interview with my associate deputy minister which was not used in the course of the preparation of the story. But we have taken steps, up to this point, to meet the needs of those particular children who are especially difficult to place. These, I admit, are interim steps in terms of filling in for the period, or providing for them in the period when our more complete services will be available.

The steps we have taken, for example, are to establish a committee composed of the chief judge of the juvenile and family court, a representative of the Children’s Aid Society and an interministerial representation from the government with the express purpose of receiving from judges and from agencies requests for assistance in the placement of especially difficult to place children such as the child, I believe, to which the judge was referring in the newspaper article.

We have provided, within our ministry, funds expressly for that purpose and have assisted in the special placement, in some cases a unique placement, not necessarily in an existing facility, for children who have been brought to our attention in that way. That’s what my associate deputy was referring to when he said, or was quoted in the newspaper as having said, “they should have contacted us” -- meaning, I think, the committee -- because we have set up a mechanism for assisting with those particular children.

In addition to that, for those children such as this who are perhaps in need of security and treatment our plans are well advanced in a proposal for the establishment of a secure treatment facility for, again, a relatively small but especially difficult to treat group of children.

Mr. Lewis: When?

Hon. Mr. Norton: I will be in a position to make a specific announcement as to location, I hope, in the relatively near future.

Mr. Speaker: Will the hon. minister make his answer a little less verbose?

Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, with great respect, I do attempt to respond as fully as possible to the questions the opposition ask and I think this is a very important question. I’m trying to touch on various aspects of the question that the hon. member asked me.

Mr. Haggerty: Yes or no?

Mr. Speaker: It doesn’t require a review of the entire policy of the ministry.

Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, with the greatest respect again --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I take it the question has been answered. Does the member for Scarborough West have a supplementary?

Mr. Peterson: The minister is boring the Speaker.

Mr. Sargent: Get the sword out.

Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, since you curtailed my opportunity to answer the question, I will abide by the Speaker’s ruling.

Mr. Lewis: I want to ask a supplementary: Is it not true, although perhaps not widely known, that before the transfer to this ministry, a gentleman named Doug Finlay, in the children’s mental health branch of the former Ministry of Health, was doing exactly the job the minister has talked about -- a specific service for referral of difficult kids? Is the minister not saying in effect that nothing has changed with the consolidation, that kids are still going to Oakville, still going to training schools and that we haven’t made any significant progress at all? How come? How has that happened?

Hon. Mr. Norton: If I have the opportunity to respond to the member’s question --

An hon. member: Here we go again.

Hon. Mr. Norton: -- yes, we have made progress; we have made substantial progress. It is true, as the hon. member suggests, that Mr. Finlay was, prior to the amalgamation of children’s services, trying to provide that specific service. We have continued that. The committee was established for that express purpose.

Where these kinds of situations develop and they are not brought to our attention, it is impossible for us to assist. We have tried to make the information available to the courts so they know that the service is available. Why it was not brought to our attention in this particular case, I simply don’t know. But I can assure the hon. member that we are ready and willing to assist in these difficult situations.

Mr. Lewis: That is no way to handle it.

Mrs. Campbell: Supplementary: Would the minister agree with His Honour Judge Fisher, that children in the courts lack appropriate rights? Could we have an answer from the minister on that one?

Hon. Mr. Norton: As I am sure the hon. member is aware, we have in fact indicated that we recognize that there are areas in which the rights of children ought to be reviewed. I have also indicated recently to the hon. member that the package of law reform proposals, which we will be making available very shortly for the hon. members of this House and for public discussion, will address itself to that particular issue.

Mr. McClellan: Supplementary: May I ask the minister what concrete steps he is taking to make sure that family court judges are aware of the even limited service that the ministry is providing and what instructions he can give to family court judges, either directly or through the Attorney General, that children in need of mental health care are not directed into the training school system?

Hon. Mr. Norton: There has been extensive communication between my associate deputy and members of the bench and, as I pointed out earlier, the chief judge of the provincial court is himself a member of the committee. If there are any additional ways that we might attempt to communicate this -- I don’t know, for example, whether the chief judge or my associate deputy has expressly sent letters of instructions and requests to every judge in the province; I will find that out --

Mr. Lewis: They should.

Ms. Gigantes: It would be nice.

Hon. Mr. Norton: All right. If it has not been done, perhaps it should be done and I will see that it is. But I cannot be certain at this point just how express the instructions or requests have been to the members of the bench.


Mr. Lewis: A question for the Premier: Can the Premier recount in some detail exactly what discussions he has had or what representations he has made on the question of the use of Canadian products and steel in the Alaskan pipeline?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I believe the hon. member or one of his colleagues asked this, and I am in the process of getting as much information on that --

Mr. Reid: No, it was the member for Niagara Falls (Mr. Kerrio).

Hon. Mr. Davis: Oh, was it? I thought I got it really from both places; well, from whomever. I am in the process of getting as much up-to-date information as I can, and I will be delighted to share it with the members of the House. I may have it by tomorrow; it may be Monday or Tuesday.


Mr. Lewis: May I ask, sir, have we made a specific representation, since there seems to be the possibility of a fait accompli which would lose us that market at the moment?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I don’t know what one really means by a specific recommendation or request --

Mr. Lewis: Is the Premier fighting for it?

Hon. Mr. Davis: It has been well known by (a) the government of Canada and (b) some of the principals involved in the company that ultimately will construct that line that we in this province would like to see 99 per cent of the purchases made from Ontario companies. That information, that desire, has been known to them probably prior even to the hearings and the decision of the board.

Mr. S. Smith: Will the Premier associate himself with the letter which I directed yesterday to the Prime Minister of Canada on this very topic?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I am not sure what the Leader of the Opposition may have communicated to the Prime Minister of Canada. There are some things with which I might be associated and some things with which I might not be associated. But I can assure him that the Prime Minister of Canada has known for some time the interest of the people in Ontario, not just in Hamilton, with respect to the purchase of material for the pipeline from within Ontario.

I think, with great respect to the Prime Minister, he is well aware of it.

Mr. Swart: In view of the press reports that the Premier will be having dinner later today with the Prime Minister of Canada, would this matter be an appropriate item to discuss with him, in view of the fact that the Welland Tubes in Welland has been down now for a year with 400 people laid off?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I don’t know what press reports the hon. member for Welland-Thorold has been reading. It is not my pleasure tonight to join the Prime Minister of Canada and the Prime Minister of Italy at dinner. I am actually having dinner with the former very distinguished member for that part of eastern Ontario which is still represented on the government side of the House, to which I am sure all members would be welcome in case they haven’t been invited to the Prime Minister’s dinner.

Mr. Speaker: That is really not an appropriate part of the answer.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I am sorry, Mr. Speaker. In other words, I am not going to the dinner tonight.

Mr. Sargent: What time? What time is it?

Mr. Kerrio: Is the Premier aware of a story in the Financial Post that says, “Hungry US Steel Industry Eyes Order for Pipeline,” and that “the behind the scenes battle between Ottawa and Washington is brewing over who will supply the pipe”?

Now, my question to the Premier is -- I am joining with him in wishing it is going to happen, that we will get the order in Ontario -- what I am asking the Premier is, what are we going to do to bring the kind of forces to bear that will give us a greater guarantee that it will happen?

Mr. Martel: Get rid of Trudeau.

Mr. Kerrio: It’s not going to happen -- that order is going to go to the States if we don’t do something about it.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: What nonsense. Nonsense.

Mr. Kerrio: And the Treasurer knows it, too. He knows it. The Treasurer and his free trade. If he knows something we don’t, why doesn’t he share it with us?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Nonsense.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, in reply to a supplementary from the member for Victoria-Haliburton (Mr. Eakins), who suggested I should be having dinner with the Prime Minister tonight because it may be my last opportunity to have dinner with him as Prime Minister, I am interested to hear that point of view. I love to see the party solidarity and loyalty that is exhibited across the House.

I would say in reply to the member for Niagara Falls, I haven’t seen that specific article. I must confess I would be a little surprised --

Mr. Sargent: Darcy has. He has seen it.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- if certain American interests were not making some effort to sell steel. I’d be surprised, as I am sure the hon. member would be surprised, if they didn’t. But my answer to him is the same as the answer I gave to him about five days ago.

Mr. Speaker: That’s enough supplementaries on this question. A new question, the hon. member for York Centre.


Mr. Stong: I have a question of the Attorney General. What steps has the Attorney General taken to resolve the conflict and unrest that is in existence among the Crown attorneys of the Metropolitan Toronto region as a result of the implementation of his program for decentralizing the Crown, and which unrest is apparently indicated with the effective mothballing of acting Crown attorney Peter Rickaby and the resignation from the position of Crown attorney by Mr. Affleck, the senior Crown attorney from the Oshawa-Whitby area?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Do you deal in communiques or do you send letters?

Mr. S. Smith: I think a letter.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I see about three or four questions in relation to that question. With respect to the unrest in the Metropolitan Toronto Crown attorney’s office, I simply do not agree that that is the case. The suggestion that the Crown attorney has been put in mothballs couldn’t be further from what is actually happening.

Mr. S. Smith: Very unhealthy.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: The Crown attorney’s office in Metropolitan Toronto represents a very substantial portion of the Crown attorney system in this province, as you know, Mr. Speaker. When I first started appearing in the courts, there were, I think, eight members in that Crown attorney’s staff. There are now about 60.

The Crown attorney for the judicial district of York is a very major figure in the system, and in order for him to play a more important role than he has in the past with respect to the whole system, he is now performing very important functions in the ministry at 18 King Street East. His responsibilities have broadened and will continue to broaden as a result.

The resignation of Mr. Bruce Affleck, of course, has nothing to do with the Crown attorney’s office in the judicial district of York as he was the Crown attorney in another judicial district, as the member well knows. Correspondence I have from Mr. Affleck would indicate a very cordial relationship between Mr. Affleck and the Ministry of the Attorney General. As a matter of fact, I spoke at a dinner honouring Mr. Affleck not so many weeks ago in Oshawa.

One of the challenges -- and I hope the Treasurer hears this -- one of the challenges in maintaining good Crown attorneys within the system is that sometimes the private sector offers some very substantial monetary rewards. We do lose good lawyers from the government service from time to time as a result of that.

Mr. Conway: I thought you were going to tell us we were going to lose Darcy.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: On a point of order, I would just like to point out the Attorney General underestimates his own ability. That used to be the case. Since he became Attorney General, they’re clamouring to work for him even at low pay.

Mr. Speaker: That’s not a point of order.

Mr. Conway: Good to know you two are getting along now.

Mr. Stong: Supplementary: Mr. Speaker, I’m not sure whether the minister’s disagreement arises out of lack of knowledge or otherwise, but I wonder if he would share with the House the criteria by which he has chosen his department heads, which criteria seem to be other than, and in addition to, years of service and competence in the job.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: As the member knows, the Ministry of the Attorney General’s estimates are currently in the House. I would think that this is a matter that I’d be pleased to discuss with the hon. member opposite during the course of my estimates.


Mr. Deans: I have a question for the Minister of Health. Under what conditions do institutions and agencies of the Ministry of Health make available the personal or medical records of patients or of citizens of Ontario to the police authorities?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: There would have to be a court order, to the best of my knowledge. The only particular section or statute that comes to mind is the section in the Hospitals Act which indicates that the patient would have to authorize someone to reveal the records. Otherwise, so far as I know, it would require a court order.

Mr. Deans: A supplementary question: Will the minister review within his ministry the directions or guidelines that are currently available to all of the institutions and agencies and place those before the Legislature, in order that we can determine how the agencies or the institutions come to the conclusion that they are, in fact, able to make available medical records?

Secondly, will he determine whether or not it is either standard practice or has been the practice within the institutions to make available to the police authorities the original records, thereby removing from the institution any record of the patient either having been there or any record of the medical or psychological condition that affected that patient during the stay?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I take it from the hon. member’s choice of words that he is referring to psychiatric institutions rather than public hospitals?

Mr. Deans: I assume it is in everything.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I’ll provide the information as it pertains to both provincial institutions as well as the public hospitals.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: With the permission of the House, the Chairman of Management Board has an announcement and an introduction.


Hon. Mr. Auld: Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to introduce to the House today a delegation of visitors who are in the Speaker’s gallery. We have with us seven representatives of the American Council of Young Political Leaders. This delegation includes state legislators and administrators, all of whom under the age of 40.

Mr. Reid: That’s much too young to be in politics.

Hon. Mr. Auld: The visitors are: the Hon. Samuel N. Kusic, State Senator from West Virginia; the Hon. Andrew Natsios, State Representative from Massachusetts; the Hon. David Volk, State Treasurer of South Dakota; Joe Farmer, the executive director of the American Council of Young Political Leaders; David Krieder, press secretary to United States Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont; Kathleen Sullivan, assistant to Governor Brendan Byrne of New Jersey, and Rick Anderson.


Mr. Peterson: A question of the Minister of Energy: Is it true that Hydro has a chartered accountant attending on all the meetings in the House -- for example, the public accounts meetings -- when nothing to do with Hydro is being discussed? Are these people monitoring all of the other procedures of this Legislature?

Hon. J. A. Taylor: Not that I am aware of, Mr. Speaker, but I would be delighted to find out.

Mr. Peterson: Supplementary: When the minister is checking this out would he inform the House of what the obligations are about who reports to who; whether he reports to Hydro or whether Hydro reports to the minister through these various little minions who are running around watching his behaviour?

Hon. J. A. Taylor: Mr. Speaker, I will take that question as being simply facetious.

Mr. Reid: That is how we take the minister.

Mr. Peterson: On a point of personal privilege, Mr. Speaker, that is not a facetious question whatsoever. The minister doesn’t know. He should know. He should find out, and if Hydro had any faith in him it wouldn’t be doing it anyway. I am looking forward to a report from the minister.

Mr. Havrot: You are just being a smart aleck.

Hon. J. A. Taylor: The member is exhibiting infinite ignorance, as far as I am concerned.

Mr. Martel: I have a question --

Hon. Mr. Bernier: The new leader.

Mr. Lewis: He is not even wearing his vest, for heaven’s sake. Leave him alone.

Mr. Martel: I haven’t got my vest on today.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Tory blue.


Mr. Martel: A question of the Solicitor General: As a result of a visit by one of the police commissioners from Sudbury region to the minister’s office recently, indicating that the problems between the police commission and the police association have not been resolved, is it his intention now to honour his commitment to come to Sudbury to try to help to resolve the situation?

Secondly, when the minister had an opportunity to replace one of the police commissioners, whom many feel is responsible for the unrest that occurs there, why, in fact, did he reappoint that individual to another term in office?


Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Mr. Speaker, as my hon. friend for Sudbury East knows, this is a long-standing matter. I did undertake last session that we would send somebody from the Ontario Police Commission to Sudbury to try and pour some oil on troubled waters there. Some of the troubled waters I think have been caused by the personalities involved and the fact that they were going through some negotiations. But in any event, His Honour Judge Graham did go to Sudbury and worked out, I think, a reasonable compromise. I think there is reasonable harmony at the present time, and if some of the politicians both locals and provincial would keep out of the matter I think it would work out pretty well.

Mr. Martel: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker. Is the minister prepared to meet the requests of the region to him that they, in fact, appoint three of the councillors to the commission and the province only be allowed to appoint two of the commissioners?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: From my experience, Mr. Speaker, that would only worsen the matter.

Mr. Martel: Supplementary?

Mr. Deputy Speaker: A final supplementary.

Mr. Martel: When the Solicitor General had an opportunity to replace a second member of that commission recently with someone suggested to him by the region, why did he take another party faithful? Why did he add to the police commission one Mr. Guy Raymond, recommended by the defeated Tory candidate Mr. Cosgrove who, it would appear to be now, is the patronage dispenser in the Sudbury area, as opposed to Red Pianosi and his group.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Mr. Speaker, all I can reply to that is that there has been some question whether the appointment that cabinet recently made was or was not a party faithful.


Mr. G. E. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Transportation and Communications. Keeping in mind the concern of local residents in Oro township for highway safety, the safety of the motoring public, could the minister indicate when he proposes to let the contract for phase two of the realignment of Highway 11 from Barrie to Orillia, that is including the boxbeam barriers and the fly-overs?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, I do not have the exact tender call date. The first contract was awarded early last spring and I believe is completed or nearly completed now.

The second stage which will take the dividing of Highway 11 through to Orillia will be awarded during this winter in order that the contractor may start first thing next spring. Then there are two further contracts to be awarded north of Orillia, between there and the Severn River in succeeding years.


Mr. Mancini: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Transportation and Communications. Further to his report today to the House concerning the Hawker Siddeley contract. I wonder if the minister could advise the House if it is true that many of the technical people that will be employed by this firm are coming from England, and if so, how many?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, if it’s true it is certainly something I know nothing about. As far as I know, the 1,000 or more residents of the city of Thunder Bay who are employed by Hawker Siddeley will be carrying out the contract for the construction of the streetcars the same as they are now carrying out the contract for the TTC subway cars -- I think the last four of those cars are on the line now -- and the double-decker GO Transit cars which are on the line now and which will be completed some time in 1978. The present employees will be carrying on with the streetcar contract.

Mr. Mancini: Supplementary: In view of the fact that I have been informed otherwise, I wonder if the minister could check into this subject and report back to the House?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Certainly I will inquire, Mr. Speaker, but I would draw to the member’s attention that I am not in charge of the immigration policies of this country.

Mr. Breithaupt: That wasn’t the question.

Hon. Mr. Snow: That was the question. The member asked whether the company were importing employees from England to carry out the contract. I can’t guarantee that there isn’t someone working in that plant who came from England or may come from England. I don’t know, but I will certainly inquire.


Mr. Swart: I wanted to put a question to the Premier, but in view of his absence I’d like to put the question to the Minister of Industry and Tourism. Since the announced Inco layoffs and the softness in the metal industry, can the minister tell us what specific steps he has taken, if any, to provide jobs in the steel and pipe industries? And what measures is he proposing to the federal government relating specifically to the use of Canadian pipe in the pipeline?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, the second portion of the question is one that was answered, I think, in rather explicit detail at the time of my estimates. It was a question that was placed by the member for Niagara Falls.

We have met -- the Premier’s office, my office, deputy ministers -- with those in Ottawa responsible for the input towards the signing of the agreement for the pipeline. We have clearly indicated what we as Ontarians believe should be our participation in the making of pipe, both at the plant in Welland and in other steel mills or plants in Ontario.

There are some very great difficulties at this moment; it is not so simple as some would like to think in dealing with that type of a contract. First of all there has not been a firm determination as to the diameter of the pipe they are going to use, nor the pressure under which the gas will flow. Until those two items are determined it is rather impossible at this moment to say whether full production could be entertained in Canadian plants.

We believe technology could be introduced in some of the Canadian plants that could look after the making of pipe, regardless of the pressure, but some of that technology is not presently in place in the Ontario industry.

Mr. Swart: Supplementary: May I ask specifically what representation the minister has made to the government about limiting or preventing the importation of the pipe from other countries, not just from the United States, so we can secure the jobs for the people in this country?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, it would be very kind of the federal government if they would provide that kind of assurance to the minister of this province, or indeed the minister of industry in any province across Canada. We made a very strong, solid input, both to the Prime Minister of Canada’s office and to Mr. Horner, on two or three personal occasions when I’ve met with them. We have tried to secure, to the greatest degree possible at this moment, that the pipe will be manufactured in this country from Canadian materials.

It is very simple to say that we can do it all here, but there are a great number of other trade-offs, I’m told, that are in the agreement that was signed for the pipeline. Those trade-offs will have to be reviewed and have to be looked at very carefully as to where Canadians will participate in the various phases of the building of that pipeline. I give assurance to this House and to all members, and to the people of this province, that this government has been heard by Mr. Horner and the Prime Minister as to our position on what we believe should be our participation as Canadians in the making of pipe for the pipeline.

Mr. Kerrio: Supplementary: The last time such a contract existed the Americans themselves were very disappointed that contract went to Japan. In view of the fact that the options are still open, is the minister not aware that Page-Hersey in Welland can build 48-inch or 54-inch, low pressure or high pressure pipe. There’s 100 feet of it that they’ve run through their mill sitting right in their yard. There’s no question about us having the ability to build that pipe in Welland, Ontario. The question I pose to the minister again -- and I think it’s a very significant question -- does he not feel we should have been guaranteed a reasonable percentage of the production of that pipe in Canada, and does he not think we should bring all pressure to bear to make sure that happens?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, I’m amazed at the remarks by the member for Niagara Falls. I would like to offer him the assurance that even though the government of this country happens to be of the Liberal Party and not of the party that I represent in this province, I give them full marks because their concern for the welfare of Canada and employment in Canada is as great as it is by any member in this House. My understanding has been that those who had an input to the contract tried to extract an assurance and a guarantee that that pipe would be manufactured in this country. But as I’ve said earlier, Mr. Speaker, there are a number of clauses in that agreement, that also had some other trade-offs.

We are given assurance by Mr. Horner and his people -- and his deputy minister is, I think, one of the finest deputy ministers in the federal government -- that they will continue to press in the negotiations that the pipe be made in this country. I realise that pipe is in Welland, and we’ve had that discussion with the hon. member before; just as long as we keep clearly in mind there is some technology we do not at this point have in place in the production system of the province of Ontario.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. At this time I will recognize the hon. Premier.


Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to introduce to the members of this House a very distinguished political leader. I really had thought we might have carried on with the question period for another 10 or 12 minutes so that our guest would be able to understand that politics in Ontario and the legislative process isn’t too dissimilar to that with which he is familiar in his own home country.

Mr. Peterson: More restraint.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I’m not sure that there is more restraint.

But, Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to introduce to the members of the House the Prime Minister of Italy, Mr. Andreotti, who has been in political life since approximately 1948. My colleagues in the House will be delighted to know that he received some legal education, which is not necessarily a prerequisite to a successful political career.

Mr. Reid: It is something to fall back on.

Hon. Mr. Davis: For those in the gallery, who I know will be interested, and who I understand will be entertaining the visiting Italian press -- and I should warn the Prime Minister that if he doesn’t see the Italian press during the rest of the day, it will only be because of the hospitality of our own gallery -- the Prime Minister was also a journalist. That is an interesting combination and one that -- well no, I was going to say something that might be misunderstood, not by our guest but by members in the House.

I had the pleasure of sharing lunch with the Prime Minister of Italy along with the Prime Minister of Canada, and it was an opportunity for me to say to him, and to say to the ambassador, that while there are many Italian people throughout Canada, we in Ontario in particular appreciate the contribution that people from his country have made to Ontario, not just in a cultural sense and not just in an economic sense, but really in assisting in the diversity, the makeup and the mosaic of what we find here in our own province.

The Prime Minister asked me if I had visited Italy and how many communities I had visited, and I said, “Mr. Prime Minister, not only did I visit Italy but I intend to return sometime as Premier of the province of Ontario.”

Mr. Reid: Do you know when the next election is.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I don’t often mention my own staff, but on occasion I do. I related to the Prime Minister that for over 10 years I’ve had advice from a gentleman who happens to have the very onerous responsibility of conveying me from place to place. In our office he is known as the honorary mayor of Pescara. His family comes from that community in the central part of Italy.

The Prime Minister asked me whether I’d just been to Rome, and I said, “No, the people in Metropolitan Toronto and throughout Ontario organized my visit, and as a result I think I visited every small town, village and city in Italy; and of course enjoyed it.” I pointed out to him that I had visited Pisticci and how some 4,000 to 5,000 people from that small Italian community are now residents of Metropolitan Toronto.


Mr. Speaker, it’s a great honour to have the Prime Minister of Italy with us. It is one of the rare occasions that the Prime Minister of that country has visited Canada, although the present Prime Minister was here, as he described it, as a tourist in the early 1950s and he says there have been some changes. I said that some of the changes had been created by his former fellow countrymen.

On your behalf, Mr. Speaker, I say to the Prime Minister of Italy, welcome to our Legislature. I also welcome the ambassador and both of these gentlemen are accompanied by the Minister of Defence, Mr. Danson, who is here representing the government of Canada. On your behalf, Mr. Speaker, welcome to the Prime Minister of Italy.

Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, as Leader of the Opposition, I am delighted to associate myself with the warm remarks extended on our behalf by the Premier. I note that Italian governments have had something of a reputation over the post-war years for frequent changes, and I wonder if he can perhaps infect Ontario with a little of the same virus, because there seems to have been an astounding immunity in this province to this type of problem.

Although the wonderful Italian tongue is not one of the official languages of this Legislature, I hope I may be permitted, Mr. Speaker, to offer a few words of greeting in that language on this occasion.

Signor Presidente, nel nome del partito Liberale di Ontario, é il mio piacere ad augurarla benvenuto alla legislatura provinciale.

Spero che il suo soggiorno in Canada sarà piacevole produttiva e che ritornerà presto.

Thank you very much.

Mr. Lewis: Mr. Speaker, while acknowledging that bravura performance by the Leader of the Opposition, in the name of eloquent authenticity I will defer to my colleague from Downsview.

Mr. di Santo: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I want to thank the leader of my party for deferring to me so that I have the honour of greeting the Premier of Italy, Mr. Giulio Andreotti, in Italian. I want to thank you, and through you the assembly, for allowing me to respond in Italian.

Signor Presidente, ho l’onore di rivolgere il benvenuto nella provincia dell’Ontario a nome dell’N.D.P. il partito che per la prima volta nella storia di questa provincia ha eletto quattro deputati italocanadesi, dando così una legittima rappresentanza alla numerosa comunità degli italocanadesi ed agli altri cittadini che costituiscono il meraviglioso mosaico culturale dell’Ontario.

Per il parlamento dell’Ontario la sua visita rappresenta un alto onore poichè é la prima volta che il primo ministro d’Italia visita questo parlamento, come pure, in segno di amicizia e di rispetto per l’Italia e per la sua persona, é la prima volta che la lingua Italiana viene usata in questa aula.

Noi oggi salutiamo in lei il rappresentante di un paese che ha dato al Canada un milione di lavoratori immigrati che hanno dato un grande contributo allo svilluppo di questo paese e di questa grande provincia, come pure salutiamo in lei lo statista che in tempi di grandi difficoltà sta aiutando l’Italia a risolvere i suoi problemi.

Le auspico che il suo soggiorno sia fruttuoso, e che costituisca l’occasione per aiutare a risolvere i problemi dei lavoratori italocanadesi, nello spirito di collaborazione che certamente non mancherà da parte della provincia dell’Ontario, dove sono sicuro che governo e opposizione agiranno in spirito di co-operazione al di sopra delle convenienze di parte.

Auspico che oltre al trattato bilaterale sulla sicurezza sociale tra Italia e Canada che lei firmerà oggi, la sua visita sia l’occasione, nel suo incontro con il Premier, William Davis, per porre inizio alla soluzione dei problemi della sicurezza sul lavoro e degli invalidi sul lavoro che rientrano in Italia, come pure auspico che nel corso della sua visita abbia l’opportunità di esaminare i problemi dei titoli professionali, delle qualifiche di lavoro, dei ritardi di pagamento di pensioni, delle pensioni CEE, del servizio militare, dei problemi commerciali, del ricongiungimento delle famiglie degli immigrati, e i molti altri problemi che sono sicuro le verranno portati a conoscenza dalla reale comunità italo-canadese -- la massa come lei l’ha definita ieri sera -- negli incontri pubblici che lei certamente avrà.

Di nuovo, Signor Presidente, benvenuto e buon lavoro.

Thank you.



Mrs. Campbell: Mr. Speaker, I suppose at this time I should preface my remarks by saying “Io non parlo Italiano.”

My question is to the Minister of Housing: Would the minister explain to this House what the present policy is in his housing ministry in that he is removing people, or seeking to evict people, who have been eligibly living in housing, in some cases for eight to 10 years? Is it because of the failure of the ministry to produce adequate housing and the desire to keep the list moving around?

Hon. Ms. Rhodes: The answer to the last part of the question, Mr. Speaker, is obviously no. Unless the hon. member can be more specific, I would have to respond by saying that any person who may be being evicted from OHC units would be for due and just cause, but certainly not for the purposes of moving the list around.

Mrs. Campbell: Mr. Speaker, supplementary: Would the minister like me to send him an entire list of the people, only in the riding of St. George, who have been given notice to vacate although they are eligible? In one case in particular a woman was eligible for eight years and has lived there eight years. No circumstances have changed but now they require her apartment. Why, is what I want to know? Will the minister look into this if I give him the list of names?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Speaker, certainly if the hon. member would like to send me the list of names we will look into it. But I draw to the hon. member’s attention, and in fact I do so recognizing that she is well aware of the fact, that Ontario Housing Corporation as a landlord is subject to the Landlord and Tenant Act, just as any other landlord is. If evictions are taking place I am reasonably satisfied, and I certainly will satisfy myself more so, that they are being done within the terms of that Act. If there are evictions taking place I believe we will determine that they are being done quite properly.

Mrs. Campbell: I have advised them to abide by the legislation and to see that the minister does as well, and not to get out just because of his notices.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Speaker, to respond just briefly: It is not my intention, nor is it to the best of my knowledge the intention of any of the people in Ontario Housing Corporation, to evict people from units who do not deserve to be evicted.


Mr. Philip: A question of the Attorney General: Is the minister aware of the operations of a company known as Garfella Investments which is selling a building at 10 Garfella Drive in Rexdale through a real estate firm under the name of N. S. Mitro Limited? And is he aware of the process being used for the sale and being advertised is, “an undivided percentage interest in the whole of the ownership of the property, together with a designation of the vacant apartment to the purchaser”?

If so, would the minister look into whether or not the company is operating in a legal manner, as Garfella Investments are not registered or known by the Ontario Securities Commission?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to look into this matter. I am not aware of the matter; perhaps it is something I should discuss with my colleague, the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr. Grossman).

Mr. Philip: Supplementary: Mr. Speaker: Would the minister, when he is looking into that, also look into the statements made by Mr. Nick Mitro who, referring to tenants who can’t afford to buy or don’t feel that it is a particularly good investment, stated, and I quote: “They will have to move out”? This is in spite of the fact that he says that what is for sale are percentage interests in the building and not apartments.

Would the minister investigate whether or not Garfella Investments is violating the Landlord and Tenant Act?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Yes, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Philip: One last supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Would the minister also, then, take the advice of the mayor of the borough of Etobicoke, who has asked the government, in the case that this kind of sale is legal, to develop the appropriate legislation to plug this kind of attempt to get around the condominium conversion bylaws and sell what amounts to a condominium conversion under a different name?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, I will be pleased to take that into consideration.


Mr. Reid: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Northern Affairs. Has the minister involved himself in the request by the Rainy River, Ontario, Farm Organization for a land clearing project in the Rainy River district to provide jobs and more arable land?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Yes, Mr. Speaker. I can report to the hon. member that we have had some preliminary discussions. I, in turn, had some further discussions with my colleague, the Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. W. Newman). The program, as the member points out, is an excellent one. However, because of constraints and a shortage of funds at this time, the program has been shelved for the time being.

Mr. Reid: I wonder if I could ask a supplementary. Has the minister, along with his colleague the Minister of Agriculture and Food, tried to get DREE funds for this project? Has he approached the federal government in this regard?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Yes, Mr. Speaker. I believe those discussions are a part of an overall package. We will certainly be reviewing the possibility of getting on with the program in the near future.


Mr. McClellan: A question for the Minister of Community and Social Services, Mr. Speaker, with respect to the article in this morning’s Globe and Mail on the $2.6 million cut from this year’s operating day care budget:

In view of the fact that these kinds of unspent day care operating funds over the last two fiscal years now add up to $7.3 million, may I ask him to restore these moneys to the day care budget and to establish a fully-funded provincial day care subsidization program which would end the current humiliating and degrading day care subsidization program which is such an onerous burden, both on municipalities and on day care recipients?


Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, I’ll try not to engage in light rhetoric in responding to the hon. member.

Mr. Laughren: You’d lose anyway.

Hon. Mr. Norton: I think there’s some confusion in the way the matter is presented in the article. The funds were not lost in any sense, as I explained during my recent defence of the estimates of the ministry. They are funds which, according to the rate at which expenditure was taking place through the municipalities, would not be expended by the end of this year. But it does not mean, for example, even if those funds are not expended, that in fact there would be any absolute reduction in the amount spent.

Mr. Lewis: This is not an answer to the question.

Mr. Laughren: Answer the question.

Hon. Mr. Norton: I point out that in 1976-77 our ministry spent $24,733,000 in this program, and in the current fiscal year we will spend in excess of $31 million, which is about a 25 per cent increase. That is our forecast of expenditures by the end of this year.

Ms. Gigantes: He won’t spend that. He will save that and put it in the kitty.

Mr. McClellan: He put $7 million back in the Treasury.

Hon. Mr. Norton: I would point out that there is not any point in my reinstating those funds this year, even if it were possible. The only reason they have been constrained at this point is that they were not going to be expended by the end of this year; the system was not currently able to absorb them.

Mr. McClellan: You are killing day care in Ontario.

Hon. Mr. Norton: No, you are. Keep on the way you are going and you will.

Ms. Gigantes: Supplementary: Mr. Speaker, I’d like to know if the minister thinks that there is no useful way to expend that money within the day-care program in 1978. Why will he not take up the specific suggestion of my colleague from Bellwoods to put that into the degree of subsidy available to families in the day-care program in Ontario.

Mr. Eaton: Spend, spend, that’s all you want to do over there.

Hon. Mr. Norton: I would point out that the degree of subsidy to families who are in receipt of the service in this province at the present time is very substantial --

Ms. Gigantes: People are cut off.

Hon. Mr. Norton: If the hon. member wishes to present a particular blueprint and proposal, then I will respond to the specifics.

Mr. Lewis: Bring back Jim Taylor, for God’s sake.

Ms. Gigantes: How come 10 per cent were cut off this year?

Mr. Speaker: That’s enough supplementaries on that one. We’ve got one minute left. The hon. member for Grey-Bruce with a short question in one minute.

Mr. Sargent: Mr. Speaker, you should be watching the Ottawa proceedings. The Speaker down there gives lots of laxity on questions.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Lots of laxative.


Mr. Sargent: Mr. Speaker, a question to the Minister of Transportation and Communications: I would like the minister to tell me why, every time Mr. Goodman brings a deal to sell a bill of goods to cabinet, they invariably buy it. It’s an insulting thing to me as a taxpayer, sir, when the Greyhound deal is a fait accompli, that the minister still says it’s coming before cabinet before it goes back to the Highway Transport Board. Why have Greyhound launched on a --

Mr. Speaker: The oral question period has expired.

Hon. B. Stephenson: So has Eddie Sargent.

Mr. Sargent: It is a $10-million deal, Mr. Speaker, and you let it go like that.

Mr. Speaker: You can ask it tomorrow.

Mr. Warner: Mr. Speaker, I seek your advice. Having tabled a question on November 3, according to the standing orders I should have received some response within 14 days. That not having occurred, could you guide me as to what shall proceed from here?

Hon. Mr. Welch: What number is it?

Mr. Speaker: Could you identify it by number?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Resign.

Mr. Warner: The Treasurer may want to resign, but the questions were numbered 30 and 34.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, they are being tabled today.

Mr. Samis: Just under the wire.



Mr. Reid from the standing public accounts committee presented the committee’s report which was read as follows and adopted:

Your committee begs to report the following bill with certain amendments:

Bill 43, An Act to revise the Audit Act.


Mr. Philip from the standing administration of justice committee presented the committee’s report which was read as follows and adopted:

Your committee begs to report the following bills without amendment:

Bill Pr25, An Act respecting the City of Sarnia.

Bill Pr34, An Act respecting the City of Sarnia.

Your committee begs to report the following bills with certain amendments:

Bill Pr8, An Act respecting the City of Burlington.

Bill Pr17, An Act respecting the City of Kitchener.

Your committee recommends the following bill be not reported:

Bill Pr13, An Act respecting Sudbury Young Women’s Christian Association.


Mr. Gaunt from the standing general government committee reported the following resolution:

Resolved: That supply in the following amounts to defray the expenses of the Management Board be granted to Her Majesty for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1978.

Management Board

Ministry administration program … $80,661,000

Policy development and analysis program … 4,804,000

Management audit program … 654,000

Employee relations program … 759,000

Government personnel services program … 217,000

Further resolved: That supply in the following amounts to defray the expenses of the Office of the Assembly be granted to Her Majesty for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1978.

Office of the Assembly

Office of the Assembly … $14,621,500



Hon. Mr. Welch moved that supplementary estimates for the following ministries be referred to the following standing committees for consideration within the time already allocated to the consideration of estimates:

To the resources development committee -- the Ministry of Northern Affairs, the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Natural Resources;

To the social development committee -- the Ministry of Culture and Recreation and the Ministry of Education;

To the general government committee -- the Ministry of Treasury, Economics and Intergovernmental Affairs.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. Welch moved that private members’ public business which had been previously ordered for Thursday, November 24, be ordered for consideration at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, November 22, and government business will be considered on the afternoon of Thursday, November 24.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Speaker: While we are on the subject I feel I should inform the House of a difficulty which occurred, probably through an inadvertent lack of communication, in one of the standing committees. I realize, of course, that negotiations and consultations through the usual channels must take place to effectively regulate the business of the House. However, I was distressed to learn that the standing committee on general government had exceeded the time allocated to it for debate on the estimates of the Management Board of Cabinet without an order of the House authorizing this extension of time.

I must caution those concerned that the order of the House allocating time takes precedence, naturally, over negotiations. It is, of course, open to the government House leader at any time to move a motion altering the times allocated for consideration of estimates. I feel if we adhere to a rather strict interpretation of the time allocations, it will avert any misunderstanding which might arise in the future and I know a precedent will not be constituted by the occurrences of Tuesday night and Thursday.

Mr. Gaunt: Mr. Speaker, if I may just give a word of explanation as chairman of the general government committee.

On Tuesday last, the member for Sudbury East (Mr. Martel) came to me and indicated that the House leaders had reached an agreement to add two hours to Management Board and to deduct two hours from the Office of the Assembly estimates. He inquired of me if I had any objection and I indicated to him that I didn’t have any objection under those circumstances. It was not until the committee commenced yesterday that I was informed the motion that should have been put in order to accomplish the agreement that had previously been reached, wasn’t put.

I apologize to the House for that, but it was inadvertent and unintentional. I hope the House gives our committee retroactive sanctions so that our work yesterday won’t be in vain.

Mr. Breithaupt: Perhaps it would be worthwhile to speak to this particular matter only with respect to the timings that have been chosen by the ballot system that is now in effect.

I hope the House will realize that this is really the first opportunity we have had to go through the whole term of estimates under the hours as allocated. As a result, no doubt we will see certain estimates for which somewhat more time might have been given and others which are going to be a bit short of time in the interests of the members of the House. We will certainly attempt in the next session to sort out the hours as assessed to the particular ministries so that we can benefit those which require a bit more time, now that we have had that experience.

Mr. Speaker: I thought it incumbent upon the Chair to draw to the attention of the House the proper way of doing things.

Mr. Lewis: I wish we’d get the business of the House back into the House leader’s hands again.

Mr. Martel: I might apologize, then, Mr. Speaker. In order that we not set a precedent, I was asked to negotiate the change. I approached the House leader for the government and the chairman of the committee and asked for the change at the request of the party. I too don’t want to set a precedent. Therefore, I think you would have concurrence in the assurance of the House that there is no precedent being set. If it need be moved retroactively, we would be prepared to move it.



Hon. Mr. Snow moved first reading of Bill 107, An Act to amend the Highway Traffic Act.

Motion agreed to.

Hon. Mr. Snow: This is the bill I referred to in my statement at the opening of the House. I think that fully explains it.


Mr. Leluk moved first reading of Bill 108, An Act to amend the Condominium Act.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Leluk: The purpose of this bill is to give priority to the lien that a condominium corporation holds against a condominium unit when a unit owner defaults on the payment of common expenses.


Mr. Mackenzie moved first reading of Bill 106, An Act to amend the Employment Standards Act, 1974.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Mackenzie: The purpose of this bill is to reduce the standard work week from 48 hours to 40 hours and to require employers to pay overtime rates for work done in excess of 40 hours per week rather than the 44 hours at present.


Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, this could be the point just to draw the House’s attention to the fact that, with respect to the motion that was carried by the House, this bill will be one of the bills that will be debated on Tuesday evening next as part of the private members’ hours. I think it’s been filed today in its printed form in order to expedite consideration by the House.


Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, before the orders of the day, I wish to table the answers to questions 32, 33, 34, 35 and 36, standing on the notice paper.




Mr. Lewis: Mr. Speaker, it is my understanding that that is not the bill that will be debated at this point in time.

Hon. Mr. Welch: The resolution standing in Mr. di Santo’s name.

Mr. Lewis: There’s a resolution standing in the name of the member for Downsview (Mr. di Santo), which, with unanimous consent of the House, we would wish to proceed with, and my name has been dropped from the list.

Mr. Speaker: There again I think it’s incumbent upon the Chair to draw attention to the fact that by order of the House, Thursday afternoon is set aside for the conduct of private members’ public business and is not available to the government for conduct of its business. I feel I should draw to the attention of the House that any alteration of the business of the House for today will require the unanimous consent of the House. Whether or not that is forthcoming, I do not wish to attempt to influence members in one way or another.

I feel that in future, any alteration of the balloted list ought to be given careful consideration. It is an important safeguard for hon. members to gain legislative time for debate on their items of business. I fully understand that negotiations must, of course, take place from time to time, but I hope this will not become a practice, otherwise the balloted list will become quite meaningless.

I will therefore put the question: Is there unanimous consent to alter the order of business for this afternoon, as indicated by the government House leader? Do we have unanimous consent?



Mr. di Santo moved private member’s motion No. 9:

Resolution: That in the opinion of this House, the Government should give immediate consideration to legislation which would exempt from school board levies the residential property owned and occupied by: 1. persons 65 years and over, in accordance with its election commitment in the “charter of Ontario” “to reduce the municipal tax burden on senior citizens”; 2. persons on disability pensions.

Mr. di Santo: Mr. Speaker, this is the second time I have moved this motion. The last time we debated my motion was on April 26, 1976. That motion was somehow broader than the one we are debating today. We asked at that time, with the member for Beaches-Woodbine (Ms. Bryden), that the government finally undertake a review of the tax system in Ontario. At that time as well as today, we are faced with increasing property taxes -- and not only that, but with a very serious situation for the municipal governments and boards of education, since the provincial government is constantly reducing grants to both levels of government.

The answer of the government at that time was negative, as it has been negative since 1966 when the Smith report was tabled, a report which asked that the government set up a select committee which would work out a fairer system of taxes for the people of Ontario. Then the election came and in the now famous or infamous charter for Ontario, point four, the government made a commitment, one of many commitments made before the election.

Mr. Conway: It’s not worth the paper it was written on.

Mr. di Santo: The paper was quite expensive, in fact, and I think that many of the commitments have already been dismissed by this government.

Mr. Samis: Like the federal Liberal promises of 1974.

Mr. di Santo: The government said, “The government makes a commitment to reduce the municipal tax burden on senior citizens and to work towards the ultimate elimination of this particular tax for the majority of Ontario senior citizens.”

I think that not too many people on both sides of this House are confident that the government will finally face this serious problem. In an extreme attempt to have the government take some action in this area which is becoming really serious for many thousands of citizens, especially citizens in our province, I moved the motion that we are debating today, which is directed only to the education taxes and only to the senior citizens and people on disability pensions.

The reason is that I think that the government doesn’t want to change the tax system in this province. Everybody recognizes that the present tax system is inequitable, yet the government is taking its time and is postponing any kind of reform. Last year we had the Blair commission but the government is not ready to introduce any legislation as a result of that commission because we know what that implies for the government.

My party and I are convinced that we should have an equitable and progressive tax system in this province. We will never have that under the Conservative government.

Mr. Samis: Nor the Liberals.

Mr. di Santo: But since there will not be a property tax reform in the province until circumstances allow the government to impose it on the people of Ontario the same way it did with regional government, then I am proposing to the House -- and I hope that there will be consensus on both sides of the House -- that at least we look at the situation, at the predicament in which the senior citizens find themselves.

The present tax system is regressive but what is more serious, I think, is that it hits more of those people who can least afford to pay. In the last seven years, the increase in property taxes has been amazing. Since 1973, the tax in Metropolitan Toronto, in the public school system, has increased from $475.40 to $721.60 in three years.

Mr. Maeck: How much did wages go up? How much did salaries go up?

Mr. Conway: I can hardly afford my house.

Mr. Samis: Much less.

Mr. Laughren: For senior citizens, do you mean? Not very much. It is directed to senior citizens. Smarten up.

Mr. di Santo: I know that it’s hard for members on that side of the House to understand. I’m talking of the senior citizens whose pensions have been increased by $30 in the same time.

Mr. Laughren: Thanks to the federal Liberals.

Mr. di Santo: By the way, last week by scheduling the GAINS to take full effect after 40 years, this government is reducing even more the supplements for the senior citizens. For an average house with an assessed rate of $5,000, the increase has been from 95.8 to 144.32 mills, which is almost 50 per cent in four years. The reason, as we know, is that the provincial government is constantly reducing the grants to the municipalities and the school boards.

While in 1975 in Metropolitan Toronto the grants of the province amounted to 35 per cent of the Metro school budget, in 1977 the grants have been reduced to 25 per cent. Since schools must operate, then the only easy way out for the boards of education is to go to the home owners and tax them by increasing property taxes. I think that is a situation which is becoming really dangerous. By not taking any action in this specific area, this government is really creating a reign of terror. I wouldn’t be surprised if citizens revolt at one point because they cannot bear any more to pay such high taxes.

Today in the daily newspapers in Toronto we have two articles about taxes in Ontario. One comes from the Metropolitan Toronto council. The Metro chairman said perhaps next year they will need a 10.5 per cent increase in property taxes. The other comes from the president of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation who states that municipal property taxes could rise as much as 30 per cent because of cutbacks in provincial grants to Ontario school boards.

If that happens, we will be faced with a situation that will be absolutely intolerable for the senior citizens of the province of Ontario and for those people on disability pensions, especially those on Workmen’s Compensation Board pensions whose benefits have not been increased since July 1975. They will find themselves in a situation where they won’t be able to pay their property taxes and will be forced out of their houses.

This resolution is not a partisan one because, as I said before, it is very limited in scope. I really hope from every sector of this House there will be consensus and support.

Mr. Conway: It is like the charter itself.

Mr. Samis: Blasphemy.

Mr. di Santo: It’s like the charter itself, and that was the reason I introduced my motion. I don’t trust the Tory government because it always makes promises but very rarely carries them out.

Mr. Conway: That’s not true. They appointed the member for Elgin (Mr. McNeil) as parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. W. Newman).


Mr. di Santo: I’d like to bring to the attention of the House that there are other jurisdictions in Canada where property taxes are paid out of the general treasury. Nova Scotia was the last province two years ago. It joined Alberta, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. You certainly know, Mr. Speaker, in the province of Manitoba, the entire municipal financing system is being reformed and 2.2 per cent of the personal income tax --

Mr. Ruston: What happened to that government?

Mr. Maeck: What happened to that government? Tell us about that.

Mr. di Santo: -- and one per cent of corporate taxes are devoted to municipalities and school boards.

Mr. Samis: Sterling Lyon supported that.

Mr. di Santo: The new government of Manitoba, the Conservative government, is supporting the same legislation. In the province of British Columbia, the new Socred government, adopting progressive legislation worked out by the New Democratic government has introduced Bill 58, A Revenue Sharing Act, in which they found a new formula for financing municipalities and school boards. On the basis of this formula, they give one income tax point, one corporation income tax point and six per cent of renewable resources, non-renewable resources, and sales tax revenues to municipal and regional district grants. In Ontario, Mr. Speaker, we are still dealing with the market value assessment. We have been dealing with that for years and the government is unable to make any decision whatsoever because they don’t know where to go. They don’t want to touch the existing interests and in the meantime they are making life impossible for senior citizens, people on low incomes, people on fixed incomes and disabled people with a pension.

I would like to bring to the attention of the House, Mr. Speaker, if the government of Ontario adopted legislation exempting senior citizens from paying property taxes, the Treasury of Ontario wouldn’t suffer too much. Actually, the burden would be more equally distributed among those people who can afford to pay, making life more bearable for people who cannot afford to do that. In fact, Mr. Speaker, if we reverted to income tax and to taxes on corporations as well as unincorporated businesses, I think the province of Ontario won’t suffer that much.

In 1977, the percentage of the income tax in each province of Canada was: Newfoundland, 58 per cent; Prince Edward Island, 50 per cent; Nova Scotia, 52.5 per cent; New Brunswick 55.52 per cent; Quebec, 72.03 per cent; Ontario, 44 per cent; Manitoba, 56.045 per cent; Saskatchewan, 58.5 per cent; Alberta, 38.5 per cent; British Columbia, 46 per cent. Ontario is the second lowest province in Canada and we know it is the richest province in Canada. If we cannot afford to do that, how can the province of Manitoba afford to? Why can Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island do it.

Mr. Speaker, education is a public service as well as the right of the citizens of this province and the education system should be financed publicly by the Treasury of this province.

Since this idea is not accepted by the majority of this House, I think at least we should try to reduce the inequities within the system. In fact, property taxation was originally based on the sensible proposition at that time, 100 years ago, that those who benefit should pay. In simpler times, when local governments spent most of their money on such services as roads, sewers, fire protection and garbage collection, there were few complaints, because they were responding to a need and the taxes were paid by the people who were benefiting from them.

But if we look today at school taxes, we will see that people who are 65 or over, people who are pensioners, are really paying for a service from which they are not benefiting. This is the rationale for my motion. I say since they are not getting a service why don’t we exempt them from paying a tax? This stems from the pure, simple, basic small ‘l’ liberal philosophy on which the property tax system was based.

Mr. Conway: Great thing.

Mr. Ashe: Did he say vote Liberal?

Mr. di Santo: I think there should be a consensus on both sides of the House.

Mr. Conway: This sounds like NDP policy.

Mr. di Santo: It isn’t NDP policy, it is only common sense. We had, in Ontario in 1973, 145,700 people who were tenants; and we had 117,512 people who were pensioners and home owners with an income below $6,000. That was in 1973, the last year for which statistics are available. People with an income below $6,000 constitute 78.5 per cent --

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

Mr. di Santo: -- constitute 78.5 per cent of all the pensioner home owners. I think if this motion is accepted we will relieve the majority of low-income people from paying a tax they cannot afford. Also we will allow them use of a home for which they have been working all their lives. Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Ashe: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I wish to thank the member for Downsview for placing this resolution on the order paper. This is a valiant opportunity to reaffirm in this House our commitment to the elderly, contained in the charter for Ontario.

Mr. Samis: Said with a straight face.

Mr. Ashe: It is, and I quote --

Mr. Conway: Two trees for everyone.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Ashe: -- “A commitment to reducing the municipal tax burden on senior citizens and to work towards the ultimate elimination of this particular tax for the majority of Ontario’s senior citizens.” Precise methods with which this goal is to be accomplished are currently under our review. The Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) will be carefully weighing the merits of the alternative ways to achieve this commitment as he prepares for the forthcoming budget.

Mr. Samis: Wriggling out of it already.

Mr. Ashe: I would like to take this opportunity to recall to your attention some of the considerations which will shape the precise method by which this extra tax relief is to be delivered. Ontario’s program of property tax relief for the elderly is one of the success stories of the Ontario government in the past decade. The introduction of the Ontario Tax Credit system in 1972 --

Mr. Villeneuve: Yes, we never hear about that.


Mr. Ashe: Listen, you might learn something across there.

The Ontario Tax Credit system provides property tax relief for all householders in the province on the basis of ability to pay -- and I stress the ability to pay taxes.

Put most simply, this means that those households in the province with the least ability to pay taxes, whether because of income or family circumstances, have received the most relief from property taxes. For the second year of operation of the Ontario tax credit system, in 1973 a pensioner tax credit, which is now $110, was introduced in recognition of the extra burden of property taxes borne by the elderly.

This tax credit replaced and extended the existing selective program of Ontario property tax relief to recipients of the guaranteed income supplement which had been in existence up until that time.

In the spring of 1977 -- this is current history -- Ontario pensioners received total Ontario tax credit relief to the amount of $173 million dollars. This represented 41 per cent of all Ontario’s tax credit payments with respect to the 1976 tax year. Of the total tax credit relief received by the elderly, $21 million is a refund aimed to offset the regressive burden of the retail sales tax. A further $16 million in pensioner tax credit is paid to elderly pensioners who reside with their families or are in institutions. The balance of $136 million is a tax refund of property taxes to our elderly citizens, whether they pay property taxes or pay rent.

Let me put this in terms of more immediate relevance to the individual elderly person. In 1976, the average property tax or property tax equivalent of elderly persons in Ontario eligible to receive Ontario credits was about $434. Setting aside the value of the sales tax credit and looking just at the value of the credits directed to the relief of property taxes, the average credit received by elderly residents of Ontario for the relief of property taxes is $286.

This means that on average our elderly citizens now receive -- now receive, and I emphasize it -- property tax relief of over 60 per cent against the total tax burden -- the total tax burden -- for both municipal and educational purposes. More importantly, those senior citizens with incomes closer to Ontario’s guaranteed income level receive more relief, and elderly citizens with higher average income levels receive something less.

In 1976 we estimate there to have been about 668,000 individuals filing tax returns in Ontario who were 65 years of age and over. Of these, 481,000 either owned their own homes or rented accommodation and had incomes which qualified them for Ontario property tax relief.

The property taxes or rent equivalent to taxes of this group of elderly was about $212 million in 1976. With $136 million of these taxes already refunded through the Ontario tax credit system, full refund of the property taxes of elderly individuals entitled to receive benefits in 1976 would have been a further $76 million.

In designing a program to provide further property tax relief for those of the elderly already receiving Ontario property tax credits one of the most important considerations is to restrict relief to those so that those elderly pensioners with incomes well above that of the average working family in Ontario do not receive disproportionately heavy property tax relief.

In designing an equitable relief structure we have no business providing higher relief to the well-to-do retired than we do to the average working family with children to support. In 1976, 3.8 per cent of Ontario’s elderly tax filers had incomes in excess of $15,000, and 11½ per cent of Ontario’s elderly tax filers had incomes in excess of $10,000. These are individual taxpayers, not families.

As another part of Ontario’s tax relief system for the elderly, the Ontario government also recognized that some municipalities might perceive a need to provide supplementary property tax relief for the elderly. The municipal and school tax credit was created to meet this need,

Those municipalities in Ontario which elect to do so may offer this credit to elderly householders. Under this program one half of property taxes up to $150 are covered. The chief purpose of this program is to assist the most needy elderly to remain in their own homes and, as a consequence, the program represents a lien against the property.

The advances under this program are financed by the Ontario government.

Some years ago the Ontario government responded to the requests of many Ontario municipalities which perceived the need for additional property tax relief for the elderly. The Municipal Elderly Assistance Act enables municipalities to provide further tax relief to the elderly. Each municipality decides the level of the assistance, which is the same for each household. Furthermore the municipality decides whether only the most needy households receive the credit or whether it is available to all elderly householders.


What this combined package of programs means is that many of our senior citizens who must live within constrained incomes and who live in municipalities which also provide property tax relief may receive total -- and I again emphasize total -- property tax relief in excess of the actual property tax bill they have paid. However, this opportunity is not yet available to all our most needy senior citizens in Ontario. It is the purpose of the commitment in the charter for Ontario to fulfill this outstanding need.

I would like to place our commitment to provide further tax relief for the elderly within the broader framework of Ontario’s record and intentions for tax reform. The most effective way to convey to you the opportunities which lie ahead for us is to refer to a portion of a speech which the Treasurer recently made to the Progressive Conservative Businessmens’ Club of Metropolitan Toronto. In this speech, the Treasurer noted new vistas which he foresaw the tax credit system could open up: He noted that after the commitments to relieve the majority of senior citizens of property taxes is complete there will still be scope for further actions; there is still the opportunity to further explore the possibilities of replacing low income housing subsidies with income tax credits; further property tax relief to those on disability pensions is a goal which will find its place among these priorities as we wrestle with the programs for the future.

In summation, this government has shown by past actions that it does recognize its responsibilities to its seniors. This government will continue to do this in the future, with compassion but with recognition of its fiscal responsibilities to all taxpayers.

Mr. Warner: Darcy wrote that; that’s pretty sad,

Mr. Ashe: You just don’t like hearing the facts over there, that is the problem.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please. The member for Grey-Bruce has the floor.

Mr. Sargent: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I must congratulate the member for Durham West. He had a lot of facts and figures.

Mr. Ashe: You don’t like to hear those, they are confusing.

Mr. Sargent: But figures are like a lady of the night, once you get them down you can do anything you want with them.

Mr. Cureatz: Do you know about that?

Mr. Maeck: Are you speaking from experience, Eddie?

Mr. Sargent: Long experience.

The bottom line in this whole bill is the fact that it is degree of hardship we are talking about. For the party over there -- and I assume they are going to vote against the bill -- degree of hardship, as compared to the people we are talking about, relates to the hardship involved in their decision to grant the $2 million tax exemption for Ronto, and the reason there was that they only made a $10 million profit on the land deal.

Mr. Ashe: You just made a $10 million mistake.

Mr. Sargent: They described that as hardship. That is the reason the minister gave the $2 million tax exemption, because the $10 million was a hardship.

So the parallel here is that we have a new member of the House who did an excellent job in his presentation -- much better than I will do -- but he gets up and quotes the party line. He talks about the charter for Ontario they brought out in the last election.

The facts are, not a single member of their caucus, my good friends Osie and Lorne over there, not one of these chaps or the cabinet were involved in the making of that charter. They didn’t know a thing about it. It appeared by magic one day in the newspapers, the think tank said this was their blank cheque on which they were going to be re-elected to majority government in Ontario.

Mr. Reid: And we haven’t heard of it since the election.

Mr. Sargent: They had the whole ball of wax there, the whole kitchen sink was in there: “We will do all these things for everybody.”

Mr. Warner: It’s from 1943.

Mr. Sargent: But the people of this province are not as stupid as they think they are; they didn’t buy this stuff. But here we go again. The member for Durham West says they are going to fix it up in the new budget, they are going to do all these things. The facts are the people don’t believe them any more; they can’t buy votes any more.

The facts are that to own real estate in this province is a hardship. In most cases it is becoming increasingly and progressively a hardship, a negative thing to own real estate, especially for those on fixed incomes and for senior citizens.

If you recall the days when our parents got married, they got a home, which they bought, and they had a big mortgage against it. For about 30 or 40 years my family bought a home; it was many years down the pike before they had their mortgage paid off. But all the time they were paying that mortgage off 50 per cent of their taxes were education taxes. So in effect the whole nest eggs, their total wealth, was in the form of a home that was mortgaged.

All the time they were paying off that mortgage 50 per cent of their taxes were education taxes, but had they had that $50,000 nest egg in the form of stocks or bonds, they would have paid no real estate and thus no education tax at all.

This is the inequity of the whole thing here. All of you fellows know that a $50,000 equity for a family, when I grew up, was a big thing; and because it wasn’t in stocks or bonds or cash but was in real estate they paid the full shot for education tax.

I have always suggested to you and to my people that education taxes are being paid in the main by people who can least afford to pay them. Our educational facilities, I believe, are factories of learning, and the biggest benefit from these factories of learning is in the area of business, so that is where the tax load should be garnered for education costs.

I recall some years ago when the Ontario Federation of Agriculture said to this government: “We refuse to pay our taxes. In fact we demand that 25 per cent be cut off our taxes.” To the credit of the federation, it stood by its guns and all across Ontario the farmers now get a 50 per cent rebate on their taxes for education; so they now are closer to a form of equity.

I say to you, Mr. Speaker, that our party is fully supportive of the NDP motion. I think every member of the government who has served in municipal government, who has had a lifetime of service to people, knows that this is inequitable. We should immediately take steps -- and not the evasive steps the government is taking -- to remove the education costs from real estate and give some relief to those senior citizens and people over 65 who have hardship in paying their taxes.

Ms. Bryden: I rise to support this motion. I know well the plight of many senior citizens and people on disability pensions who are having great difficulty making ends meet in this inflationary situation, some even faced with the prospect of having to give up their homes because of the very severe increases in property taxes that have occurred in the last couple of years.

Relief is very much needed. The present property tax credits are inadequate to provide this sort of relief and the present Municipal and School Tax Credit Assistance Act is also inadequate; it applies, hit and miss, throughout the province.

This motion is simply an implementation of something the NDP has been advocating for a number of years: namely the complete phasing out of the school portion of property taxes and substituting for it a system of raising the money for education through fairer taxes based on ability to pay.

The public appears to be in favour of this kind of trend. My colleague, the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere (Mr. Warner) in his latest riding report, asked the question, “Should senior citizens pay education taxes?” The response was: yes, 13 per cent; no, 81.5 per cent; undecided, 5.5 per cent. 5o there is a great consensus that some special attention is needed in this field for senior citizens.

It appears that time in this debate will not allow further NDP speakers and, therefore, since the member for Ottawa West (Mr. Baetz) has extended the courtesy of sending us a copy of an amendment which he proposes to move to this motion, I would like to speak about the thrust of this motion. I know I can’t discuss it as a motion on the floor, but I’d like to indicate what my reaction to it would be.

In effect, the motion suggests that instead of immediate elimination of the school portion of property taxes for senior citizens and disabled persons, he would substitute a phased program of reducing these taxes and would work towards the elimination of them. The amendment accepts the principle of the motion, and in that sense I think it indicates support for that motion on the other side of the House.

It also specifically mentions school taxes as part of the property taxes that are to be reduced and ultimately eliminated, which the charter for Ontario did not specifically mention. It just mentioned municipal taxes. So that is another recognition that school taxes are a special problem. A phasing-out program is only as good as the timetable. I could support such an amendment only if the timetable is adequate and if there is some commitment to immediate action, because the problem is with us now. The senior citizens will be facing large tax increases again next year. They need relief at once. So if the member for Ottawa West can assure us that he envisages a timetable that will have some action for 1978 taxes, some substantial action, and that it will be a relatively short timetable working towards the replacement of this portion of the property tax by fairer taxes, I could support it.

Mr. Mackenzie: Guarantees, not words.

Ms. Bryden: However, the proposed amendment also limits the application of the motion to a majority of senior citizens and disabled taxpayers. Once again we would like some clarification as to what sort of a means test he has in mind if he is going to limit it. If he is going to simply restrict it to all those in receipt of the guaranteed income supplement, it is unacceptable. Many senior citizens who are somewhat above the guaranteed income supplement level still need relief from the heavy and unfair burden of school taxes on their homes, if we want to enable them to stay in their own homes. I think we all recognize that is the most desirable place for them, and they are less likely to become an expense to the taxpayers if they can do that.

I would be willing to accept some limitation on the exemption that is being proposed in this motion, perhaps restricting it to houses below a certain size or below a certain value. That is not as much of a means test as looking at people’s income. Any restriction of this sort, based on value, would have to vary from urban centre to urban centre, because the prices vary so much and inflation has had different effects.

This method would be a way of removing from the well-off the exemption that is proposed in the motion. I would really prefer a more progressive income tax as the way to get back the benefit from the well-to-do, but in the absence of a more progressive income tax I could contemplate such a restriction. On those terms I would be prepared to consider the amendment of the member for Ottawa West (Mr. Baetz), if he could clarify those points for us.



Mr. Acting Speaker: One moment please. Earlier today, the Chair neglected to place a question concerning the disposition of Bill 43, An Act to revise the Audit Act, which was reported by the public accounts committee. Shall the bill be ordered for third reading?

Mr. Makarchuk: No.

Mr. Reid: No. Mr. Speaker, if I may, the bill has some amendments forthcoming from the Treasurer; committee of the whole House, please.

Ordered for committee of the whole House.


Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, it’s a pleasure to address a resolution on a subject which is so close to both my professional experience and my heart. The resolution is a further example where a social objective, namely financially assisting senior citizens and the handicapped, is to be pursued through the taxation system. Traditionally it was assumed that the fields of social security and taxation operated in two airtight compartments or two separate worlds: the social security system paid out and the taxation system collected the necessary revenue.

During my 15 years as executive director of the Canadian Council on Social Development, I became increasingly convinced of the central role which the taxation system could and indeed must play if we were to achieve our goals of equity. During those years on that council, I took part during the long drawn-out debates on federal tax reform and through a comprehensive review of our country’s income security system.

It was during these periods of intense inquiry of both Canada’s income security system and its taxation system that I became more aware of the independent and pioneering path which the Ontario government alone was pursuing. It was apparent that leaders in the Ontario government were recognizing the interrelationship of these two systems: the taxation system and the income security system.

The Ontario government also recognized very early that the device which could bring together and orchestrate social and fiscal policies was the tax credit. I was delighted to note that our Treasurer continues to pursue and develop that device.

Mr. Makarchuk: How come our taxes are going up?

Mr. Baetz: As we all know, the Ontario government has not only pioneered and theorized on the new approach to taxation and social security but, as we have heard from my colleague, the hon. member for Durham West, our government has also taken some concrete steps in implementing good ideas.

Mr. Warner: They should take steps in concrete.

Mr. Baetz: It’s against this long background of pioneering, planning and concrete action that I am looking at the resolution before us.

I am fully supportive -- and I know many of my colleagues share this view -- of any step taken by government to further examine and implement ways and means for relieving the tax burden on our senior citizens and the handicapped. However, in the light of the repeated commitment by our government, not only to the principle of achieving equity through an integrated tax system, but in terms of the concrete steps already taken and further steps actively being planned, I cannot help but feel that the resolution has an air of redundancy about it -- unless it’s in the spirit of a jockey urging his horse, who is already in the lead, to run still faster.

What I find even more troublesome with the resolution as it now stands is that it is one more piecemeal approach, one more bit of ad hoc-ery, one more fragment in an already highly fragmented picture. That’s precisely the fragmented approach we’re trying to rectify to bring about a more comprehensive, integrated and equitable pattern.

Tax relief for one group, in this case the aged and the handicapped, will inevitably have an impact on all other taxpayers because tax relief is an illusion. It’s a myth. It’s really a tax shift, it is shifting the burden on to others, many of whom have equally inadequate incomes, including the thousands of the working poor.

Mr. Mackenzie: You shift from the rich to the poor all the time.

Mr. Warner: That’s right; try taxing the rich for a change.

Mr. Baetz: Surely we must avoid violating the principle of equity, the objective of trying to be fair to all concerned.

I’m also deeply troubled by the resolution because it clearly proposes a further universal measure. All aged and all handicapped, owning and occupying their own homes, regardless of their income, are to receive total relief. Although the percentage of those with low incomes is much higher among the aged than those in the active labour force, and even though we’re fully aware of the erosions of real income for those aged with fixed incomes due to inflation, there are happily a considerable number of aged whose incomes are higher than the average.

Moreover, I’m aware, representing a riding heavily populated by retired federal servants with indexed pensions, that not all senior citizens are on fixed incomes. The point is simply that universal programs do not meet the essential criterion of helping those who need it most. Indeed, they stand this principle on its head and help most some who don’t need it at all.

Further, universal programs such as the one proposed in the resolution are needlessly inefficient, the loss of revenue which is really an expenditure is massive in light of the numbers helped who really need help. It was in recognition of this that our charter for Ontario very clearly and deliberately avoided a universal approach; when it spoke about the ultimate elimination of this tax it clearly said elimination for the majority, not for everybody.

In response to the question raised across the House, I would say that while we have no fixed percentage as to what constitutes the majority, we see a graduated scale which provides less and less relief as other income rises, and finally a level where no help would be given at all. There are certain millionaires and other very wealthy aged in this country who surely don’t need this kind of tax relief.

Mr. Mackenzie: Quit dragging out that red herring.

Mr. Makarchuk: Give relief to the others, including the billionaires.

Mr. Mackenzie: The new right wing Tory party.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Baetz: Finally, the resolution as it now stands has a serious, an almost fatal flaw in it. It is highly discriminatory against the aged and handicapped who live as tenants in rented quarters and who don’t, as the resolution calls for, live in residential property owned and occupied by them. In our centres, more than half of the aged rent their places of residence. The resolution would provide no relief for them at all, although they too carry a part of the school tax burden.

While I’m morally in tune with the objectives of the resolution, I cannot in good conscience support it as it stands because it simply doesn’t meet the essential criteria of sound social policy.

Mr. Mackenzie: That moral help doesn’t put groceries on the table.

Mr. Warner: You abandon the old people.

Mr. Baetz: I would move, therefore, in order to keep this vital subject alive and have it brought to the immediate attention of a government --

Mr. Makarchuk: Until the next election anyway.

Mr. Baetz: -- that does care about the aged and the handicapped, that the following amendment be made. In introducing this amendment, I would, in response to the question raised across the floor --

Mr. Mackenzie: I have heard everything now.

Mr. Baetz: -- say that I have no mandate to promise a precise schedule of implementation of any new regulations, all I can convey to members is that there is a sense of urgency on this side of the House to do something to help the aged and the handicapped.

Mr. Makarchuk: In the next election you’ll have another charter for Ontario.

Mr. Warner: It’s the same old story.

Mr. Makarchuk: What a pile of baloney.

Mr. Baetz: I would appreciate the opportunity to respond on the amendment as well. I would plead that we in fact carry the amendment so that this very important piece of legislation not be dropped here today.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Mr. Baetz moves that the resolution embodied in private member’s motion No. 9 be amended as follows:

“That all the words after ‘consideration to’ in the second line be struck out and the following substituted therefor: ‘reducing the municipal and education tax levy on senior citizens and those on disability pensions with the ultimate goal of the elimination of this particular tax for the majority of Ontario’s senior citizens and handicapped’.”

Mr. Baetz: With that amendment the resolution will now read:

“That in the opinion of this House the government should give immediate consideration to reducing the municipal and education tax levy on senior citizens and those on disability pensions with the ultimate goal of the elimination of this particular tax for the majority of Ontario’s senior citizens and handicapped.”

I believe that with that amendment we could reach consensus here, because I think there is a consensus of spirit in this House. Thank you very much.

Mr. Sweeney: Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of this motion.

Mr. Acting Speaker: You have about eight minutes.

Mr. Sweeney: Thank you. It comes to mind, though, as I listened to the two members on the government side, that I have some qualms.

Mr. Makarchuk: That sounds like a deathbed repentance.

Mr. Sweeney: The first one is the reference by the member for Ottawa West, who indicated government members would like to see this issue dealt with with some dispatch. I would remind the member unfortunately the reason this motion had to be brought forward by a member of the opposition was the fact we have now waited six months for the government benches to do something with it.

I know in my own riding, and I expect in many of your ridings senior citizens of this province have been asking continuously -- daily, weekly, monthly -- what is happening. They were told something was going to happen; they are still being pressed with the burden of property tax. So I say to the hon. member it was necessary, not redundant as he said, it was necessary for a member of the opposition to bring such a motion forward because there is clear evidence that left to its own devices this government will not do it, or clearly will take too long.

We talk in terms of time. I would remind the hon. member that this government has been in power for 34 years.

Mr. Makarchuk: George Drew promised it.

Mr. Sweeney: If they truly believe something like this should be done, they could have done something long ago. I sympathize with you, sir, but such is the reason we have to support this motion very strongly.

I would also mention, Mr. Speaker, the first spokesman for the government side, the member for Durham West, who gave us a well-presented recitation of, for want of a better expression, cold sterile facts. We are not dealing with facts here; this is brought forward as a motion because we want to deal with the spirit of the issue.

I was pleased, genuinely pleased, to hear the member for Ottawa West in his summation, end with the words, “Let’s deal with the spirit.” I would add to that, let us deal with the spirit of this, and the spirit is that in this province large numbers of our senior citizens through one method or another, are being forced day-by-day out of their homes and into some form of institution. They are being forced; you yourself admitted --

Mr. Warner: The government’s done it; it takes them out of their homes.

Mr. Sweeney: -- well over half of our senior citizens now have to live in rented quarters.

Mr. Maeck: Now live.

Mr. Sweeney: It is clear that in the last number of years, in the last decade, they have had no other choice. As a matter of fact it has been the practice and the procedure of this government to encourage them to do so. If they move into an Ontario Housing unit they are subsidized; if they move into a home for senior citizens, once again they are heavily subsidized. But the subsidy they receive if they want to stay in their own homes is minimal.

What your government is clearly saying is if you get out of your own home, if you go into an institution we will heavily subsidize you, but if you want to stay in your own home, the home for which you have spent a lifetime working, a lifetime earning, then we are not going to support you to the same extent. So what message do the senior citizens of this province get? It’s the desire of your government to move them out of their homes.

That’s in the spirit of what we are talking about. If on all sides of this House, we really believe, as we all so piously express at election time that we want to do something for the senior citizens of this province, Mr. Speaker, then let’s take advantage of this. We especially plead with the members of the government side as the motion says, to “give immediate consideration.” That’s all we are asking, give immediate consideration to this.

Let’s look at another factor, Mr. Speaker. Let’s just deal with the educational portion of this tax. We are talking about people -- I am only dealing at this point in time with the senior citizens, I will get to the disabled in a minute -- we are talking about people aged 65 and over. We are talking about people who have worked and earned, and who have paid into this province and into their local municipalities for at least 40 years, even if they went to university. They may have contributed through rents -- we know very clearly now through the rent review board that taxation is a definite component of rent; or through direct tax on homes of their own; but we know they have all been paying educational tax. Over 40 years that would represent three generations of students in our schools; on a maximum of 13 years each, we are talking of three generations.


What we are saying is that these people aged 65 have already paid back the cost of their own education, first generation; they have paid the cost of their children’s education, second generation; and they have paid the cost of their grandchildren’s education, third generation. How much more can we legitimately ask of them? That’s a point I think we have to consider. Somewhere along the way we have to say that some members of our society have paid their fair share. That’s the point we want to bring out.

The figures that were mentioned by the member for Durham West indicated that for those senior citizens who are in most financial need there is already a fairly substantial contribution. I recognize that. As I understand the present tax credit plan they can get $180 plus 10 per cent; we are talking of about $200, some of them will get a little bit more. What we are recognizing now is that many of our senior citizens are paying taxes in the $800 range. With the educational tax being at least half in most municipalities, we are talking of at least $400. What is already happening clearly isn’t enough.

A second point: As we look at the effect of market value assessment in this province, as it was clearly brought to my attention only in the last couple of weeks, the people who are going to be most negatively affected by the introduction of market value assessment are those living in older homes in the cores of our cities; for the most part our senior citizens, that’s where they traditionally are located.

So not only are they being seriously affected now, they are going to be even more seriously affected when market value assessment is brought in. That again gives stress to the words of the motion “give immediate consideration.”

I would like, in closing, to support very strongly the spirit of a statement which the member for Ottawa West made. I agree with him we have to bring a stop to some of these universal plans. I support that. I believe that the help we are talking about today should go to those people who need it most.

If there is some fair way, some just way, in which this government will bring in a bill, whatever it is, along those lines I, for one would support it; but I would say that at the present time the overburden, of education taxes in particular, is crippling our senior citizens. The one thing we are doing is driving them out. We are making them dependent when surely we want to give them their independence for as long as possible.

Mr. Acting Speaker: The member’s time has expired. This concludes the debate on this item.


Mr. Cureatz moved second reading of Bill 89, An Act to amend the Planning Act.

Mr. Cureatz: The purpose of this bill is to set out specifically the criteria that should guide a committee of adjustment, a land division committee or the minister when deciding whether to grant a consent under section 29 of the Planning Act.

In regard to my section 1, the existing section 29(12) of the Planning Act invokes considerations relating to subdivision agreements and applies them to giving of consents. The section, as amended, contains a list of criteria that have particular reference to consents. I might point out that most of the considerations are developed from a list contained in the present section 33(4) of the Planning Act. Another consideration is drawn from section 42(3). The amendment also requires the committee of adjustment, land division committee and the minister to consider the community needs for housing, commercial and industrial development.

In regard to my subsection 12(b), this is a re-enactment of the later portion of the existing section 29(12) concerning the attachment of conditions to consensus, merely a procedural section.

For my second section 2, the amendment deletes the words that are presently in existence in section 42, subsection 3, which read as follows: “provided that the committee is satisfied that a plan of subdivision under section 33 of the land described in the application is not necessary for the proper and orderly development of the municipality.” This has been deleted. The phrase is unnecessary because it has been included in one of the criteria listed in the amended section 29(12).

Under the current Act, we have to apply the criteria set down for planning a subdivision when we wish to consider land division. I would submit to this House that land division is different from plans of subdivision and that it is such an important issue that it should be considered separately under the Act.

Also, subsection 12 of section 29 has been amended to include my own clause (c) which reads: “That the community’s needs for housing and commercial and industrial development should be a part of the consideration.” This will give greater scope when considering severances and allows recognition of the fact that severances are different from subdivisions. I would suggest that we really are considering totally different things and that a subdivision cannot fairly be compared to a severance in terms of impact or amount and type of land under consideration.

Mr. Wildman: What about agricultural land?

Mr. Cureatz: I recognize, speaking of agriculture, that those who argue that all land should be frozen do so out of a desire to protect our farm lands, and I am particularly sympathetic towards that objective. However, with respect, I suggest that property rights are a vital issue and concern that is just as legitimate, and I believe we should allow the availability of some severances, particularly when referring to bush lots or possibly ravine lots on farm property.

This proposed amendment to the Planning Act will not hamper the preservation of our farm land, but will allow for some flexibility, which I believe is much needed. I should also add that under my proposed bill, I have inadvertently deleted the reference to road access in clause (b) of section 33, subsection 4 of the present Act, and this should be retained in the proposed bill.

Mr. Speaker, I should like to reserve the time I have left and use it in later discussion of the bill.

Mr. Wildman: George, are you going to speak on this one?

Mr. Hall: I’m pleased to address the House on the subject of Bill 89. There’s no question the matter of land severances is a difficult problem. I’m sure that rural members get calls on this subject frequently. However, I don’t feel that the bill addresses itself too thoroughly to the many problems that exist, and there are many, dealing in form and function, guidelines, variance between municipalities and so forth, just in that package alone.

Over the past several years the provincial association of committees of adjustment and land division committees has done a lot of good work in education and information of the proper approach among the membership. However, there is still a long way to go. I frequently hear stories of dissatisfaction with the quasi-legal approach that is adopted by some, or the lack of public announcement of decision at the right time, as opposed to a completely different procedure that might exist in another municipality.

On the basic philosophy itself, I think we’re all aware that there are very strong feelings with regard to land severances. One takes the traditional view of the public good, that there is a desire to preserve farm land and that there should be orderly development of land in a time when services such as sewers and water are important in our society, instead of having scattered development which doesn’t permit these more sophisticated engineering benefits.

As we move to control our development, tell people where they are going to live, make certain they are fully watered and sewered and lit, and that the proper access roads are there and what-have-you, it makes further away the day when rural areas can see growth. So for many reasons some of the benefits of our society are causing centralization at a time when we don’t necessarily think that centralization is too attractive. In these rural areas it is impossible to meet a lot of the higher standards that are required under subdivision agreements and environmental standards that have been imposed.

On the other hand, dealing with the philosophy of the rights of the property owner, there are many serious matters that honest committees of adjustment are wrestling with. Certainly it is very hard for a man to have farmed in a community all his life and yet not have easy access to a severance and be able to live in a retirement home on the same property, in the community where his family resides and where all the family social ties and social work and church work are centred; to suggest that he be denied that opportunity to stay in the community; that is a terrible dilemma in itself, in my opinion.

The agricultural paper suggested by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food suggests that maybe trailers should be considered as accommodation for this person so that he doesn’t put a permanent house on this agricultural land. I don’t feel that this is too satisfactory, either.

The Ontario Federation of Agriculture in many respects assumes the conscience and the responsibility for preservation of agricultural land in this province. Again, in my opinion, it seems to be somewhat divided. Certainly it is against anything that is going to damage and fragment the good soil of this province. Yet these same members are also ruggedly independent people. Speaking to them individually I get some consensus that they still do believe in property rights, that they feel they should have the right to do what they want to with the land they have worked and paid taxes for, et cetera.

This is a particular problem for them. As farmers they know that vastly increased quantities of food could be grown on many of the farms if markets were available. They are torn because they sometimes face, in their declining years, an economic need to sell part of their land and get financial assistance as their own private form of pension for their old age, and yet as true stewards of the land they feel that agricultural land should be preserved.

The matter of the bill itself, as I look at it, seems merely to move requirements in section 33(4) and section 42(3) of the Planning Act to an amended subsection 12 of section 29. It really lists only one new criteria that I can see, and I think it’s pure words. I refer to clause (c), “the community’s needs for housing and commercial and industrial development.”

I don’t really think that putting this in print in the bill is going to change the ball game very much. It does leave out present sections 33(4) (c) dealing with suitability of land; (d) the adequacy of roads; and (j) the dedication of land for highway purposes. I suggest that the adequacy of roads and the dedication of land have both been used frequently as conditions and circumstances by various land severance committees in their work.

I appreciate that the member has mentioned that he inadvertently left one of these items out, and I certainly have to agree. I do know of circumstances where not too many years ago a demand could be made for a severance on an unopened road allowance and before too long the municipality found itself faced with a considerable road building cost. In this day and age, it is not fair to pass that cost on to the general taxpayer in the community. It should be tied to the use of the particular site.


We have had instances of checkerboarding too in the past, which have led to very flagrant problems having to do with road access. Certainly in my community, whether or not it’s spelled out, land severance committees have never hesitated to accept a dedication of a road allowance to further their programs for the highways in the area at the time of granting a severance.

Subsection (i) at the top of page 2 of Bill 89 seems to me generally to be taken from section 42(3) of the Planning Act. It does seem to me to go against the recommendation of the Comay report, which in part says: “Committees of adjustment and land division committees should be authorized to grant consents for the separation of land where they conclude that a registered plan of subdivision is not necessary for the proper and orderly development of the land in question, rather than for the proper and orderly development of the municipality, as the Act now provides.”

This concept is a major thrust of Comay in that he recommends, I’ll put it in other words, that the onus be on the objector to show why a proposal should be rejected, rather than requiring a proponent to justify a proposal, which is presently the case.

Mr. Speaker, I suggest that the proposed bill remains silent on several aspects of land severance which are pertinent. I’ve suggested a few of them. I will touch on them again: the matter of agricultural lands, the matter of getting down to the specifics of a farmer and his need to obtain a severance; under what conditions shall it be recognized that a son or a daughter is entitled to a severance --

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

Mr. Hall: Thank you, you’ve slowed me down here.

Quite briefly: Comay is in the works, the report of the committee has been sent out to all municipalities of Ontario. They’re entitled to an answer; I feel that very strongly. These people have done the work and they deserve to be heard.

I feel the bill doesn’t accomplish a great deal, and major surgery is needed. The experts are finally assembling all the views on a major work, I think it’s untimely to merely shift clauses from one page in the book to another; therefore I’m afraid I can’t support the bill. Thank you.

Mr. Makarchuk: Mr. Speaker, in rising to speak on this bill, I want to state to the member there’s absolutely no way we can support this piece, really of planning ad hoc-ery that he advocates for Ontario. There’s no question that planning in Ontario is in a mess, that a lot of your planning is on an ad hoc basis, that you have no major land-use plan for Ontario, that you really in many cases do not know where you are going or why you’re going, and if you do you don’t know how you’re going to get there.

I think the member introduced the bill probably on the assumption that if we free up more land somehow we’re going to get cheaper land for houses, that it would provide lower costs in housing. This is the line that’s used continuously by the Urban Development Institute when it goes around lobbying and trying to justify why it is ripping off the consumers, the people who buy homes, why it is ripping them off at such atrocious prices for housing. The big argument, of course, is that if only they’d let us get the subdivisions through fast, if only they’d let us do this or that, we would get the land on the market faster and then the price of housing would go down. This is absurd and totally false.

If you look at the situations that exist in various communities in Ontario, you find out that in most cases, if not in all cases, there are plans of subdivisions available in which all the owner of that particular plan of subdivisions has to do is go to the municipality, take out a building permit and start building in those areas. This applies to cities like Guelph; it applies to Galt; it applies to Kitchener; it applies to Brantford; and it certainly applies in many cases to Toronto.

The reason they don’t do it is because they know very well by holding the land off the market, by playing, by putting so many lots on the market they’ve got a nice cash flow that goes on day in and day out. They also know that under those kind of conditions, they can keep the price of housing where it is. It’s totally atrocious and it’s out of reason.

To an extent there’s no question that it is because of the failure of this government, of the Tory government in Ontario, to really deal with the housing problems that we have this high cost of housing. We also have this effort on the part of the member to sort of bring in a cutesy little bill through the back door to make things easier for major land holders and speculators and no one else.

If the government of Ontario was serious about housing what they would have done, and what they could do even now, is to ensure that the land they hold in land banks, is put on the market as serviced land at cost.

I remember my own personal experience when I had to deal with Ontario Housing. We offered them 160 acres or thereabouts to put on the market. The only stipulation we asked of the Ontario Housing Corporation was to put this land on the market at what it cost to buy the land, or the cost of the land plus the servicing costs. They said, “Oh, we can’t do that. This is going to affect the market.”

That’s exactly what we’re all about. We’ve got to affect the market. In this particular case, we could have put fully serviced lots on the market for about $6,000 or $7,000. Across the road, a similar lot, the same size and everything else, was being sold for about $21,000 or $23,000 -- exactly identical land.

That is, shall we say, the real problem in the whole housing situation. There’s the area you have to attack if you’re going to deal with the housing problem, and not by trying to bring in the sort of cute little bill you have here.

I would suggest to the member that he look at Saskatoon, or look at Lethbridge, where the municipalities went into housing and intentionally acquired land and put it out for housing at cost. The housing costs in those areas are much lower and there’s an adequate supply of land. If you look at the Ontario experience you find the land surrounding the communities is owned by major developers who hold it and release it as they see fit; and generally when they see fit is when it will maximize their profit. They’re not at all interested in lowering the cost of housing.

This particular bill, Mr. Speaker, just opens the doors to a lot of rather irrational nonsense. It opens the door to favouritism. What it’s going to do is allow four or five or seven people on the adjustment committee or land division committee to decide just about everything. They will decide how subdivisions are going to go and the number of units in the subdivision; there are no restrictions. Right now the municipalities, although they vary, insist that if you have a plan for more than six houses you have to draw up a plan of subdivision, otherwise you may go to the committee of adjustment or a land division committee. Under this situation you will leave this door open to five, six, or seven people who generally do not have a concept of what planning’s all about. Generally these are appointed hacks of a municipality, who meet occasionally when the mood strikes them; who have no depth and no understanding of planning in many cases. These are the people who are going to decide the future of Ontario.

What these people ignore is the fact, that when you come to things such as schools the school board has to be brought in and all the other agencies dealing with schools. You have to take into account projections on students in that area. You also have to take into account how other planning is going to go and you have to relate one plan to the other plan. This is not taken into account.

You have the same problems with highways, you have the same problems with railways, you have the same problems with the shape of lots, and grades; you’ll have problems with water, you’ll have problems with sewage. Even in this day, when you still have a great deal of control and a great deal of examination of a plan of subdivision, you find subdivisions go in where these problems still persist. We have noise problems, we have drainage problems, we have sewage problems and everything else. You have problems with grades, you have problems with snowclearing and all these things.

Can you imagine the sort of havoc that would be caused in Ontario if this matter was left to about four or five nice, decent elderly gentlemen who met when they felt like it? They sort of have an afternoon off and they say: “Boys, let’s go and see how many subdivisions we can give out today.”

The other element that comes into this is the fact that you will have a nice, friendly developer wandering in there and saying, “Hey, Joe, I need about 30 units” or “Give me a chance to subdivide about 30 units,” because it’s nice. He can put in 30 units this year; that will give him a cash flow of about $300,000 or up to that point, and there will be something else next year. It just keeps going on this way; there’s no rhyme or reason, no attachment, no consideration for anything else.

Earlier, when the member spoke, he said: “We have to take into account the property rights of people.” Quite right. We have to take that into account. But one of the things that will happen under this bill is that people who live in an area and who have committed themselves to paying a hell of a lot more than they should for housing and are paying through the nose, may find that they can get stuck with a horrible subdivision right beside them which, whatever one says, is going to devalue their property. The member doesn’t consider their property rights whatsoever. If we’re going to do it one way, we’ve got to consider it on all sides.

The other problem, of course, is that this bill will open up strip development -- the bane of the landscape, the insult to the landscape, the most disgusting form of development that we can have in Ontario. Under this bill, the committee of adjustment can have the right to allow any kind of development -- it could be a little commercial development, a major development or any other kind of development -- to proceed on a strip basis. This is very valuable, of course, because then we can have a series of hamburger stands, pool halls and various other things. This is what the member wants on the Ontario landscape and, under this legislation, this is entirely possible and feasible.

The matter of garbage collection is the other problem. Once we get strip development or scattered kinds of developments, which, again, this bill opens up, we have a problem of garbage collection. Who collects the garbage? Who pays for the collection, et cetera? Where do we put it? Again, these problems will develop.

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

Mr. Makarchuk: I’d like to conclude by saying that planning in Ontario is bad and, if this bill goes through, it will become worse. Why it was introduced at this time, when we have a review of the Planning Act coming in, is beyond me. For those reasons, we will not support the bill.

Mr. G. Taylor: Mr. Speaker, I rise to support the bill of my colleague from Durham East, Bill 89.

Mr. McClellan: Shame.

Mr. Wildman: We want to hear what the member for Dufferin-Simcoe has to say on this one.

Mr. G. Taylor: It may be cute and it may be little, but I believe it’s a bill put forward in all sincerity in the spirit and essence of the private members’ provisions of this Legislature.

For the short period of time I’ve been here, I’ve watched the amount of bills that are going through and, with no disrespect to the opposition, each week we see them getting into what might be considered major policy fields of the government -- not ones where one can purely come forward as a private member and correct some matter that is concerning one and his constituents. Each week we watch them try to play government with no responsibility for one hour.

Mr. Riddell: If it wasn’t for this side, you people wouldn’t have anything.

Mr. Warner: Just turn it over to us; we could run it.

Mr. G. Taylor: I’m sure it would have been turned over to them had the people of Ontario appreciated what their policies were. They did appreciate them and didn’t turn it over to them.

Mr. Makarchuk: You had a couple of chances in the last three years and what happened?

Mr. Wildman: You forget we voted for the member for Dufferin-Simcoe because of his private member’s bill.

Mr. G. Taylor: But this cute little bill does give what is needed for the land division committees and the committees of adjustment in this jurisdiction of Ontario. We have them referred to another section but it isn’t complete, and often with those people who have had experience going before these committees, naturally they do not always have the expertise. When they say, “Okay, we’ll look at the subdivisions,” it isn’t a subdivision we’re going for here. There is not the necessity of all the material that a subdivision needs. It’s the land division committee.

Although they may be hacks, as described by an opposition member, they do do their job in all sincerity and they try to do it as best they can. This is a bill providing them with further tools and guidance to carry on that work that they are trying to do on behalf of their municipality. It’s done locally. It’s in the local hands. They appreciate the work they have to do. They appreciate the concerns of their community. It’s what they want, not what Queen’s Park wants -- not trying to freeze it all and work it all from here. It’s local planning done by a committee of adjustment or a land division committee by those very hacks who understand their community; it’s done by those very hacks who, I am sure, do not wish to be described that way, but those very hacks who understand what they need and what they want and not what is determined by some other source.


Mr. McClellan: Let’s hear it for the hacks. More power to the hacks.

Mr. G. Taylor: Here we have a few provisions set out for their guidance and often times they need that guidance in the form of a legislative piece of machinery --

Mr. Lewis: A ridiculous bill.

Mr. G. Taylor: -- those who may be making policy decisions, not by what somebody might suggest by letters or other correspondence, but there in the form of a piece of legislation. It is a bit of housekeeping, one might suggest, but a necessary part of housekeeping that is rather important to those small and concerned people of local municipalities.

It does not breed strip development, as one member may suggest, but it gives them some guidance in the area they have to work from. Not all strip development is bad, not all subdivision planning is bad, not all the work these committees do is bad. I would suggest that the bill, in giving them guidance, improves their lot and would create for them an atmosphere of information as to what they should look for.

If we go to the very important clause that my colleague from Durham East has added, clause (c) it says: “the community’s needs for housing and commercial and industrial development.” Here again, it points out to them further information they need to conduct their community spirit and to conduct how they want to live within their community. With that extra information, it provides for them the guidance they need.

The other matters of “health, safety, convenience and welfare, of the future inhabitants,” coupled with clause (c) of that, gives this land division committee the information on the two major features any land division committee must work within, information to guide them in the spirit of the legislation to carry on what they want for their community.

It has been suggested that the Comay report may be intruding upon this very shortly. However, as we all know, some reports take a little longer to get there than is sometimes necessary, sometimes because the government does not act as swiftly as one would want, sometimes because there is opposition to the report and often times because it is studied, worked on and brought forth in probably its most ideal shape. But in between that time and when the Comay report comes in, we can have this little cute bill add to the efficiency and the courtesy in the manner --

Mr. McClellan: A cutesy hack bill.

Mr. G. Taylor: -- in which the land division committee and committee of adjustments may have to conduct their proceedings.

I submit that with this we will be taking one step further in assisting communities in their local planning -- and I emphasize that the planning to be done locally so that they may conduct themselves for the best in their community.

Mr. Riddell: In rising to speak to this bill, which I really didn’t have any intention of doing an hour or two ago but I was asked to make a few comments, I find it unbelievable we can waste so much time and so many words on a bill which in my way of thinking is redundant. We have all the provisions of this bill already incorporated in the Planning Act, with the exception of the one clause which several have alluded to, that is, the clause (c) of section 1(1), the community’s needs for housing and commercial and industrial development.

I did take the time to phone back to the county planner in Huron, and I also talked to the clerk-treasurers in both the county of Huron and the county of Middlesex. They couldn’t believe we would waste time on this kind of a bill when everything in the bill is pretty well included in the Planning Act. It’s confusing to know just what changes are being proposed.

There has been some mention made of the Comay report, which is being studied by the various municipalities across Ontario -- and I believe that there is also an actual report now -- and they have pretty well adopted the recommendations made by the Comay committee. They suggest that urban and rural severances be treated differently. I believe they also suggest that the province should establish a basic rural severance policy.

The fact of the matter is that this government is pretty well bankrupt of any policies. They have done very little planning and what planning they have done has created undue hardship. I just wish that some of the members had joined with the Liberal task force in Owen Sound yesterday and heard the reasons why the tourist trade has declined considerably there. The members should hear the way they talk about the Niagara Escarpment commission and what that commission has done to stifle any initiative in that part of the country. They can’t do a thing: there’s a ministerial order on most of the land in that area. The most recent road map shows private property as belonging to the government -- as provincial park. Campers move on to this property and the person who thought he owned the land would tell the camper that it was private property. The camper replies, “I am sorry, take a look at the map. It shows this property as belonging to the government.”

Planning leaves quite a bit to be desired in this province. Again, in Bruce and Grey counties, where there is land which could be used for development purposes -- this land certainly can’t be farmland and never will be because of the rock outcrops and so on, yet once again it is frozen, under some kind of ministerial order. I see no reason why some of this land could not be developed for commercial, or industrial or residential purposes.

Mr. Makarchuk: Right on the principle.

Mr. Riddell: Getting back to the principle of the bill --

Mr. McClellan: No, stay on that.

Mr. B. Newman: Continuing with the principle.

Mr. Riddell: -- and as I have indicated, I haven’t been able to ascertain what the principle is, so it is really pretty hard to talk on a bill which is meaningless. It is absolutely meaningless.

Mr. Lewis: It is a disgrace, this bill; a disgrace to the Legislature.

Mr. Riddell: Disgrace is right.

Mr. Cureatz: I will take that back to the farmers of Durham East.

Mr. Lewis: That’s fine. It is not helping the farmers of Durham East.

Mr. Riddell: I don’t know whether the member for Durham East is trying to secure his position there, but if he is he had better be bringing in something more meaningful than this Bill 89. We can’t support it on this side of the House.

Mr. Germa: I object to this bill. I just didn’t expect that the member for Durham East could be that kind of a person. I think most people who have spoken have missed the really dangerous part, section 2 of the bill, repealing subsection 3 of section 42 of the Act, which of course is that the committee of adjustment does not have to comply with the requirements as enunciated in section 33 of the Planning Act. That is where the danger could be. What the mover of this bill has done, is to remove from consideration all of those things under section 33 of the Planning Act which through long periods of time have been built up to include those things of concern to people living on adjoining lands; to the total health, welfare, and protection of the entire community.

What he’s done, then, is remove section 33 of the Planning Act from consideration as far as this bill is concerned.

Mr. Lewis: Shame. My God, it gets worse and worse with every speech.

Mr. Martel: The speculators will like you.

Mr. Lewis: You just want to give the farmland away.

Mr. Makarchuk: The speculators’ friend.

Mr. Germa: For instance, what he is really asking us to do --

Mr. Makarchuk: -- Frank Drea would never do a thing like that.

Mr. Germa: -- is not to take into consideration the purpose for which the lots are to be used, which is included in section 33 now. That is one of the considerations that’s paramount in any land severance; you must know the purpose for which the lot will be used. But this member did not include that in his bill.

Mr. Lewis: Incredible.

Mr. Wildman: The farmer can already get an intra-family severance.

Mr. Lewis: Have a by-election in that seat.

Mr. Germa: Section 33 also provides that --

Mr. Cureatz: I don’t know if you are going to find Doug Moffatt now that he is with UPS.

Mr. Lewis: We’ll look for him. We’ll look for him.

Mr. Germa: We caught the member for Durham East with his hand in the cookie jar this time. Yes, sir. He got caught with his hand in the cookie jar on this one. We’ve seen through this sneaky little clause, section 2 of the bill. Everybody didn’t see that in the bill.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Nobody else has.

Mr. McClellan: I’ll bet George McCague didn’t see that.

Mr. Germa: Another thing we’re going to disregard as far as this bill is concerned is the nature of existing uses of adjoining land. We certainly have to take that into consideration wherever we’re doing any severances. He also wants to disregard the approximate dimensions and layouts of the proposed lots.

Mr. Lewis: Incredible. Paul Wessenger would have seen that clause.

Mr. Germa: Sure he would have.

Mr. McClellan: Paul Wessenger wouldn’t speak in favour of a bill like this.

Mr. Germa: Under this bill the committee of adjustment will not have to take into consideration the availability and nature of domestic water supplies; the nature of the soil; the municipal services available or to be made available to the land to be subdivided.

Presently section 33 calls for a regard to health, safety and convenience and welfare of the future inhabitants and also that it conforms to the official plan; if the use of these lots conforms to the official plan.

The member for Durham East is asking us not to take that into consideration. Whether the severance is premature or unnecessary, the suitability of the land for the purpose for which it is being severed -- I think that’s paramount. We have to know if the land is suitable.

Mr. Lewis: This is a reversion to 300 years ago, for God’s sake. Why don’t you just auction the land off to the highest bidder?

Mr. Germa: There is no consideration taken for the conservation of natural resources and flood control --

Mr. Martel: Withdraw the bill.

Mr. Wildman: George McCague is having to leave.

Mr. Germa: -- the adequacy of utilities and municipal services --

Mr. McClellan: Even your one supporter is abandoning you.

Mr. Lewis: Even the Niagara Escarpment Commission was better than this.

Mr. Germa: -- school sites -- we don’t even have to consider school sites.

Mr. Lewis: Isn’t this humiliating for you?

Mr. Warner: You should withdraw the bill or resign. Or both, preferably.

Mr. Germa: It also disregards the fact that you can appeal to the Municipal Board. The court of last resort is now eliminated if we go along with your bill.

Mr. Hennessy: You are disrupting your man.

Mr. Germa: I just don’t know how the member for Durham East could come to the conclusion that we have to dispense with all those present safeguards we’ve had. I have to oppose this bill violently, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Hennessy: Don’t get mad.

Mr. Germa: As far as the Comay report is concerned, I don’t agree with one of the projections in the Comay report which is incumbent in the bill.

It says in the report in Housing Ontario, June 28, 1977: “Committees of adjustment and land division committees should be authorized to grant consents for the separation of land where they conclude that a registered plan of subdivision is not necessary for the proper and orderly development of the land in question, rather than for the proper and orderly development of the municipality.” I cannot separate in my mind the orderly development of the municipality from the orderly development of a piece of land.


If a piece of land is contained in the municipality, and every piece of land must be, then you have to have concern for the entire municipality. That is paramount, because as each piece of land is used, so it determines what type of a municipality we are going to live in. The one is inseparable from the other.

The bill also speaks to the Comay report. I believe that is where Comay was wrong in his theory -- that the use of a piece of a land is not connected to the viability of your community. In my view they are one and the same consideration. I am also reluctant to give so much power to what was described as these political hacks on the committee of adjustment.

Mr. G. Taylor: Just hacks.

Mr. Germa: I think anything as serious and important as land use must be left to people who have accountability and a person appointed to a committee of adjustment just doesn’t have the kind of accountability the minister would have, as required under section 33 of the Planning Act at present.

Mr. Lewis: Absolutely. As a matter of fact, hacks can’t even count.

Mr. Germa: So, I will have to reject this bill.

Mr. Speaker: I will remind hon. members that there are about 17 minutes left before the vote is called.

Mr. Martel: The member for Fort William wants to speak.

Mr. Speaker: Order. Mr. Cureatz has reserved 16 minutes. If he wishes to have all of that time he can have it. If, however, he would like to share some of that time with the hon. member for Grey who is the only other member on my list --

Mr. Cureatz: Mr. Speaker, I will share a portion of that time. I’ll take approximately 10 minutes.

Mr. Speaker: All right then. The hon. member for Grey.

Mr. McKessock: I appreciate the member for Durham East giving me a few minutes. I probably will agree with him more than any of the other speakers on this side so it’s lucky for him he gave me a bit of time.

As I listened to the member for Durham East explain Bill 89, it appeared to me that he was trying to do something that is of interest to me, that is freeing up severances in an area where they won’t do any harm and are needed. With a few minor changes, such as if he proposed in the bill to get rid of the Niagara Escarpment controls, I would have no problem supporting it.

Mr. G. Taylor: Rural people understand.

Mr. McKessock: In the rough land, in bush lots, if the local township is agreeable, nothing else should be necessary for allowing these severances. You can’t expect the same rules and regulations on land use to suit every area of the province. This is why it should be left up to the local township. Grey riding is 90 miles long, so what is good for one part isn’t necessarily good for another.

Mr. Martel: Strip development isn’t good for anybody’s riding.

Mr. McKessock: The contour of the land is different and the land use is different, so each municipality should be able to decide what they want to do with this rough land or bush lot land. Of course, we have another stumbling block in our area to getting a severance. The main one is the Niagara Escarpment Commission, as the member for Huron-Middlesex mentioned.

It is really because of the Niagara Escarpment Commission that we cannot get severance. The Niagara Escarpment Commission won’t agree with that. What happens when the commission make their submission to the land division committee is they say they won’t allow a development permit on that land. Therefore, after receiving this submission the land division committee will not issue a severance because it would be pointless. It means a person would be given a piece of land he couldn’t develop. So indirectly the Niagara Escarpment Commission is the cause of not allowing severance in most of Grey riding.

I have one example which shows how unjust it is. One person was given a lot by a friend; he has applied for a severance and has been turned down twice. The lot opens onto a township road that is seldom used. The land is rough. It isn’t farmed and it’s ideal for somebody to build a home on and live out in our beautiful country. But the Niagara Escarpment Commission feels this land should be saved for somebody, someday who might happen to drive down that road. I suppose they prefer to look at the weeds along the road rather than at a nicely built home someone else could be enjoying 365 days of the year.

So, Mr. Speaker, I’m pleased to say a few words on this bill. I think the member has some good thoughts in mind. I would hope he might persuade the government to come in with some bills that might do us some real good, especially in my area. I would hope one of these things would be to get rid of Niagara Escarpment controls.

Mr. Cureatz: Mr. Speaker, I want to first thank all those members who participated in the debate for some of their kind words and unkind words. It’s always gratifying to have some input into legislation during private members’ hours.

I’d like to first comment to the member for Lincoln (Mr. Hall). Unfortunately, he’s not in the House, but I’m glad the member does acknowledge that indeed farmers in rural communities -- he’s now back -- are concerned about the retention of their property rights. All too often I’m approached in regard to “What do we do with our property?” As are any members who have had the opportunity of driving through the rural communities or while campaigning in them.

As I mentioned in my opening remarks, we’re all concerned about saving valuable agricultural land. However, I think it should be stressed we should be taking a reasonable approach to try to accommodate not only those people concerned about saving agricultural land but also those people who own the property. If I’m able to bring to the attention of the Ontario people and especially to the legislators here, that there are farmers out in that area who are concerned about rights, at least I’ve done my function and of that I’m proud. I’m proud of representing those farmers in that particular part of my riding, who are --

Mr. Makarchuk: Is this E. P. Taylor and friends?

Mr. Cureatz: -- complaining to me about the restrictions being placed on them, day in and day out, by municipalities, by provinces and by the federal government. But I do want to say to the member for Lincoln that I did not intend to create a major policy change in the Planning Act, or in the criteria set out.

Mr. McClellan: Then withdraw the bill.

Mr. Cureatz: I did intend to place emphasis on the importance of severances in rural communities and to once again bring to the attention of the land division committees that indeed we do respect the kinds of responsibilities they have to the community. That responsibility is so great in dividing up agricultural land, it should be designated in a separate section under the Planning Act and not under the section concerned with plans of subdivision. Speaking of plans of subdivision, I feel the hon. member for Brantford was stressing too heavily my bill in conjunction with plans on subdivision. That’s not the point at all,

Mr. Makarchuk: But you will let them; you have the power to put in something else.

Mr. Cureatz: We’re not speaking of plans of subdivision and we’re asking for a reasonable approach, again, to severances for farmers in rural communities.

Mr. Makarchuk: How many severances, 40, 50, 100?

Mr. Wildman: They already can get one or two severances.

Mr. Cureatz: I’m afraid I also must disagree with him in regard to his position or thoughts, on the members of the land division committees being hacks of the community. It certainly is an unfair statement.

Mr. Germa: Tory hacks.

Mr. Cureatz: No, they are not Tory hacks, to the member for Sudbury. They are quite often professional people, rural people, appointed by their own local municipal councils. They’re quite concerned about the happenings taking place in their own communities.

This is why I wanted to bring to their attention the concerns that are continually arising, because this group of people quite often is not in the political arena. They are appointed people.

Mr. Martel: Not answerable to anyone.

Mr. Cureatz: They do not quite often have the pulse of the community. If I’m able to bring that pulse to those members of the land division committee through this Legislature, then again I feel I’m doing my job as a representative from Durham East.

An hon. member: Withdraw the bill.

Mr. Cureatz: As for the Comay report, I say this as a private member and not as a member of the government. Quite often I have little faith in the kinds of reports that come forward. We all hope for immediate action. If I had an opportunity to bring forward a little cause of complaint immediately, then I did that because, with all due respect, I think that report will be quite a long way down the tube in implementation.

The member for Sudbury thought he found all the cute little tricks I avoided in regard to my bill, but most of the areas he mentioned were already covered in my own section 1 (12). All the little points about concerns about community adjustments with subdivisions, health and welfare are all covered in those various subsections. I wasn’t trying to sneak anything through. I feel I wasn’t caught with my hand in the cookie jar.

Mr. Wildman: Yes, you were.

Mr. Cureatz: As for the comments of the member for Grey, I’m very pleased there is one legislator on the other side who can appreciate the kinds of concerns that are now taking place in rural communities.

Mr. Wildman: He wants to licence farmers.

Mr. Cureatz: I want to bring forward that kind of concern in a letter addressed to me by a farmer gentleman from Norval. I’ve never met him personally but he wrote a letter to the Toronto Star about reactions to land freezes. His name is Mr. G. B. Branch. He wrote: “Some four years ago a group of us in Halton opposed those who were willing to sacrifice the free enterprise system and farm for land freeze with compensation. The next move by the exponents of land freeze was to throw a scare into the general public by the issue of disappearing farm land and future food shortages. Both issues are pathetic. However, they continue to be brought into the limelight through meetings, conferences and seminars where the stage is all too frequently set by excluding from the list of speakers or panels those of us who support a free enterprise system and who -- ”

Mr. Martel: How did you get that in?

Mr. Cureatz: “ -- are ready and willing to give ample proof why farm land freeze will not produce the results which the pro-freeze advocates expect.”

I’m surprised that many of the members on the other side have forgotten the true tradition of our common law spirit that has been brought forward from England in regard to property rights. There was a comment by the hon. member for Scarborough West: “What are we doing? Returning to 300 years ago?’ He’s forgotten, in my estimation. the tradition of our law and the tradition of our land and property rights.

Mr. Lewis: And what is that tradition?

Mr. Cureatz: There should always be a voice in respect of those people who own property to remind other people who are attempting to infringe on those kinds of rights that indeed we still respect them in 1977.

Mr. Lewis: You are bound to feudalism, my friend.

Mr. McClellan: Get out your suit of armour.

Mr. Makarchuk: Call him Squire Cureatz.

Mr. Lewis: That speech is what you call “1066 and All That.”

Mr. Martel: Is the Minister of Housing (Mr. Rhodes) going to support this?


Mr. Speaker: There are five minutes left before we put the questions to the House.

Mr. Martel: You’d better give us the question right now.

Mr. Lewis: Let’s put it anyway.

Mr. Makarchuk: Let’s have some Tory speakers in support.

Mr. Lewis: I move we put the question, Mr. Speaker.

We can’t do that? This is a shambles. Everything’s stopped.

Mr. Speaker: According to the standing order, we can’t put the question before 5.50.

Mr. Wildman: I didn’t intend to speak on the bill but since we need to fill up some time, I’m willing to make a contribution to this debate. I just wanted to speak briefly on a couple of comments that have been made by the member for Durham East in regard to farmers and the need for more flexibility in obtaining land severances. I think that any rural member in this House recognizes that there is some difficulty, sometimes, in obtaining land severances for farmers and that has to be weighed, along with our desire to preserve prime farm land.


However, I think that the members should recognize that in most municipalities in relation to most plans, farmers who want to obtain one or two severances -- especially if it involves a member of their family -- can do so.

What we’re concerned about is the fact that there is no limit in this bill, or appears to be no limit, on the number of severances or how the divisions will be made. For that reason I can’t support the bill, and I hope that the bill will be defeated.

Mr. Lewis: Mr. Speaker, may I ask that you seek the unanimous consent of the House to take the vote now?

Mr. Speaker: I think that we should have unanimous consent to put the question before 5.50. Do we have the unanimous consent of the House to do so?

Some hon. members: No.

Mr. Lewis: Then get up and support it.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, may I rise?

Mr. Speaker: Order. The hon. Minister for Correctional Services will speak for two minutes.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the bill presented by my colleague. I think it is an excellent bill. I think it comes to grips with one of the apparent problems in the planning process, particularly at the level where most people are involved -- and that is at the committee of adjustment.

I can understand the reluctance of many to dismantle the bureaucracy, especially when bureaucracy is close to their soul, but I believe an examination of the merits of the bill by my colleague from Durham East will show that it will be beneficial, that it will improve the Planning Act process whereby people can obtain remedial action, and that it does deserve the support of the House.

Mr. Speaker: Order. There are several questions to be decided at this time.

The House divided on Mr. Baetz’s amendment to private member’s motion 9, which was negatived on the following vote:
























Newman, W.







Taylor, J. A.

Taylor, G.
















di Santo















Newman, B.







Smith, S.




Van Horne




Ayes 36; nays 39.

Mr. Speaker: I declare the amendment lost.


The House divided on private member’s motion 9, which was approved on the following vote:

















di Santo






























Newman, W.

Newman, B.











Smith, S.






Taylor, J. A.

Taylor, G.


Van Horne










Ayes 74; nays 1.

Mr. Speaker: I declare the motion carried.

The House divided on the motion for second reading of Bill 89, which was negatived on the following vote:

























Newman, W.







Taylor, J. A

Taylor, G.
















di Santo















Newman, B.







Smith, S.




Van Horne




Ayes 36; nays 39.

Mr. Speaker: I declare the motion lost.


Hon. Mr. Welsh: May I indicate the order of business for next week.

There are two or three changes next week which have been necessitated in order to accommodate the activities of the newly-formed select committee dealing with the Inco situation.

On Monday in the House we will do the estimates of the Attorney General.

Tuesday’s agenda is changed. In the afternoon on Tuesday we will continue with Bill 98. Once it has had second reading we will then go into committee of the whole to complete the work on Bills 99 and 98. Then, as already indicated by a motion earlier today, in the evening at 8 o’clock we will go through the private members’ business dealing with the ballot items standing in the names of the members for Kent-Elgin (Mr. McGuigan) and Hamilton East (Mr. Mackenzie).

All day Thursday, afternoon and evening, has been set aside to, hopefully, complete the second reading debate on Bill 70, on which I have the understanding there will be a division bell at about 10:15 p.m.

On Friday, we will continue the estimates of the Attorney General. This is House work in addition, of course, to the committee work which has been posted.

The House recessed at 6:05 p.m.