31st Parliament, 1st Session

L058 - Tue 22 Nov 1977 / Mar 22 nov 1977

The House resumed at 8 p.m.



Mr. McGuigan moved second reading of Bill 100, An Act to amend the Environmental Assessment Act, 1975.

Mr. McGuigan: I rise to propose that this house adopt the provisions of Bill 100, An Act to amend the Environmental Assessment Act, 1975.

The central item of the bill proposes that where citizens of an unincorporated community are about to be affected by an undertaking that the Minister of the Environment shall appoint one or more persons from his ministry staff to counsel the affected group, so they might have the benefit of the ministry personnel’s experience and advice as to how they might prepare the defence of their position at any hearing or appeal conducted under the Environmental Assessment Act.

The undertaking could take many forms. However, the need for this type of assistance was brought to my attention by a group of residents of the village of Fletcher in the township of Tilbury East in the riding of Kent-Elgin. The final report of the county of Kent, city of Chatham, area waste management study by M. M. Dillon Limited, consulting engineers and planners, recommends that a single major landfill site be developed in the vicinity of Fletcher. The report is looking to the next 20 years and they projected 150 acres of land will be required for this period.

The landfill site is not mentioned in the bill, but I am referring to this example to illustrate the need for the legislation in Bill 100. The city of Chatham has conditionally purchased 175 acres adjacent to the village of Fletcher. The capital cost of developing the site is estimated to be $399,000, but the real cost to the 90 residents within one kilometre of the site would be difficult to estimate. The point is that the real cost will be borne by the residents in terms of reduced property values and a reduced quality of their lives.

The report also recommends that under the provincial resource recovery program in 10 years a resource recovery plant be built in Chatham at an estimated cost of $4,255,000. Does it not seem the height of total disregard for village residents to recommend approximately $400,000 capital costs to ruin their environment, and approximately $4.25 million to save Chatham’s environment? If the report were to recommend that the city-county purchase approximately 1,000 acres of land, so that the landfill would be in the centre of a large city-county buffer zone about a kilometre of buffer land in all directions from the landfill, that the city-county would bear the cost of owning the buffer zone including the cost of tree planting and landscaping, then one would have little to complain about.

I know, of course, that no community will welcome a landfill site. A larger site would not encroach on agricultural land, as the unused portion could be rented back to farmers. A thousand acres would likely cost $2 million in Kent county, and the 950 acres for rent would likely cost the owner a difference of $100 per acre between the interest costs and the rental returns. Over the years, capital appreciation would likely wipe out the loss when the property was disposed of when the municipalities moved from landfilling to resource recovery.

The annual loss in the ownership of the land would add about $1.30 a ton to the cost for a total cost of $7.44 per ton, versus an estimated cost, based on 1977 costs, of $6.70 per ton for a recovery system. The members can see from the illustration that if the offending municipalities were to bear the true costs of their undertakings they might be persuaded to look to other alternatives.

I’ve used the case of the proposed Fletcher landfill site to illustrate the feeling that people have about the Environmental Assessment Act, that it is an instrument of the strong against the weak. Small groups cannot begin to raise the money necessary to secure the services of lawyers and engineers, so that their case would be properly put before the Environmental Assessment Board when hearings on the matter are called.

As a private member I cannot put forth a proposal to provide money for citizens’ groups. I have taken the only alternative and that is to propose that the Minister of the Environment shall provide one or more people from his ministry to give counsel to people who wish to protect their interests. I personally have not too much fault to find with this approach.

I believe that if local people have a strong case they will raise some money themselves and that they will use local volunteers to do local research. I know that the people of Fletcher are putting forth a good effort. I also know that they could be more effective and that they would feel less trod upon if they had the counsel of one or more qualified people to simply give them some guidance and direction.

I’m not one of those environmentalists who believes in flights of fancy back to the so-called natural environment. I believe we must have industrial development and full use of our natural resources. But we cannot run roughshod over our people to these ends.

I believe there are many examples in the long tradition of our province to support my proposal. I have had personal experience with the Workmen’s Compensation Board, whereby the board provided free counsel for an appeal I made against a proposed assessment. It is my understanding it also advises employees who are presenting their case to the board.

We are not asking for money in this bill, but I would point out that under the royal commission on the northern environment, otherwise the Hartt inquiry, money is being provided for funding assistance to groups and individuals who speak for various interests. Funds are going for a wide variety of needs; legal counsel, travel, meetings, research and others. The amount allocated for this purpose is $362,000 up to March 1978.

The royal commission on electric power planning, the Porter commission, provides funds for groups and individual participation in the commission. Money has gone for research, transportation, legal advice and other purposes. Approximately $270,000 has been allocated by the commission for that purpose from November, 1975 to March, 1977. There is an open-door policy at the commission headquarters in Toronto, including an unofficial library lending policy of all documents, opening of all files to concerned public and lending expertise to aid researchers and the interested public. This is achieved through correspondence, meetings and other means.

Once again, we are not asking for funds, although we would not oppose such a move by the government. But we are trying in the best way we know how to answer a crying need in our province, that is, for some help for local groups trying to defend themselves. Let me say we do have faith in the objectivity of the civil servants; we believe that they are professional and that they are very capable of rendering assistance. While the bill would require the minister to render such assistance the time spent would still be in his hands, as it properly should be.

In summary, we believe this is a worthwhile piece of legislation that would not be a cure-all but would at least indicate to the people of Ontario that the government does care about the individual and that it is prepared to act. I would reserve whatever is left for rebuttal.

Mr. Speaker: Would the clerk at the table indicate to the hon. member the amount of time he has left?

Ms. Bryden: We support the principle of ensuring that all parties making submissions to the minister regarding environmental assessment or participating in Environmental Assessment Board hearings should be on an equal footing. We do not want a David and Goliath situation, but that is what we get in most cases. We get a small group of citizens against the forces of private developers and private waste disposal firms with banks of lawyers at their command and banks of technical experts and who can charge up to their income tax expenses the costs of their submissions to the Environmental Assessment Board and to the minister.

We are definitely in favour of methods which will equalize the position of people appearing before the board or making submissions to the minister. In order to do that, we need several things. We need the hearings to be at accessible times and places for people, including evening hearings. We need the hearings to be informal and not too technical so laymen can participate. We need funding for people appearing before the board, particularly non-profit organizations, individual citizens and groups. They need funding for technical assistance for hiring consultants, for hiring legal counsel, for publication of briefs. We need the opportunity to present class actions so the interests of a great number of citizens can be brought to bear on a question of environmental assessment. It does not just affect the people in the area where a given development is located.


Looking at the present Environmental Assessment Act, we find that it does not fulfil most of these requirements for putting applicants and interested parties on an equal footing. It is true the Environmental Assessment Board does attempt to have its hearings somewhat informal; it does have some evening sittings but there are still not nearly enough and also there is a great deal of technical evidence which requires legal cross-examination.

The third and fourth points that I mentioned -- that is public funding and the opportunity for class actions -- are lacking altogether in our legislation. We have a precedent for public funding, in the Porter commission and in the Hartt commission, and the Berger commission in the federal field, but we do not have anything in our Environmental Assessment Act to provide public funding for groups on a regular basis. We would welcome legislation which would provide that. We do not have any legislation providing for class actions, and that is an essential part of equalizing the positions.

The member for Lakeshore (Mr. Lawlor) introduced a bill in July authorizing class actions but this has not yet been debated. A year ago the Minister of the Environment, in writing to my predecessor in the Environment critic’s position, Dr. Charles Godfrey, said in October, 1976 that he was considering legislation to bring in class actions. He said: “I am recommending the amendment of our environmental legislation to provide wider scope for citizen prosecution and class actions, as I have stated recently in public.”

A week ago I asked the minister in the House when we were going to see this legislation. He told us that it took things a long time to get through cabinet committees and other committees, but that we might see something next session. We are still waiting, but not with bated breath. The minister has had over a year to get it through various committees and we still haven’t seen it.

Looking at this particular bill I question whether it fulfils the criteria I have set forth, which we need to make environmental assessment available on an equal basis. The bill says nothing about class actions. It says nothing about public funding for non-profit groups to hire their own lawyers, researchers, or technical people. It covers only the provision of free legal and technical resources from the ministry for certain groups.

It seems to me that since the ministry is able to appear before Environmental Assessment Board hearings there could be a conflict of interest if the staff of the ministry were expected to help other groups prepare their presentations and also prepare the government’s presentation.

There is also the problem of how many staff you are going to make available to groups and how many groups are going to ask for it. Is the ministry going to have to keep a large number of people on payroll to anticipate the requests, which could be quite unpredictable as to their number and complexity?

It seems to me completely impractical to expect that kind of assistance to work. There are other shortcomings in the bill. It covers only unincorporated associations of residents of the municipality in which the development is located. There may be incorporated associations of residents which might like to appear before the board and need some assistance. In order to get federal income tax exemptions, groups are usually encouraged to incorporate as non-profit bodies. There may be such groups which would be ruled out by this bill.

There may be groups outside the municipality in which the development is being contemplated which would like to participate, because very many of these projects affect far more than one municipality. If they affect the water table, or the air, or the streams, they can affect a very large area. They can affect the transportation modes in the area, if there’s going to be trucking in of garbage for a landfill site or trucking out of gravel from gravel pits. It seems to me that the legislation proposed is much too restrictive as to the groups that could be helped and that the help is really not the kind needed to bring people onto an equal footing.

I’d just like to refer to the Maple landfill and garbage disposal case. I think it’s a good example of what kind of help is needed. This is an application by a gravel company and a disposal company to use some of the gravel pits for the largest landfill operation in the entire province of Ontario, perhaps in the entire North American continent. It would handle 15 million tons of garbage. Its effects would extend far beyond the area of Maple.

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

Ms. Bryden: It could even affect Metropolitan Toronto because all the watersheds would be affected.

Those hearings began in July 1976 and are still going on. That group has no public funding. Therefore I feel that I cannot support such an inadequate bill and I intend to bring in my own bill as a private member’s bill later on.

Mr. Johnson: I’m pleased to have an opportunity to speak during the debate on Bill 100. However, I have many reservations about this bill, many of which were expressed by the member for Beaches-Woodbine.

Mr. Foulds: It doesn’t go far enough.

Mr. Johnson: This bill to amend the present Environmental Assessment Act, would make it possible for groups meeting clearly defined criteria to obtain legal and technical assistance from the Ministry of the Environment in making submissions to the Environmental Hearing Board. Protection of the environment is an issue that most of us have become sensitive to and aware of in recent years. There already exists a good deal of legislation that is designed to guard against damage to the environment, whether that damage arises through air pollution, water pollution, strip mining or other means.

A ministry exists whose role it is to enforce already existing legislation and to advise the government as to what further steps need to be taken or laws enacted. Environmental concerns can and indeed often do conflict with the need for jobs, the economic need to mine our natural resources, the need to transport goods over land and our need to provide housing. It is precisely for that reason the Ministry of the Environment was established, to assist the government in choosing between conflicting needs and to examine possible alternatives.

There is a cost attached to this protection and quite clearly this government has felt that such a cost is a necessary one. There is a social and economic cost involved in delaying housing or the creation of jobs while hearings are held to determine environmental safeguards. The hearings themselves are direct costs to the Treasury of this province, but the government has established its commitment to the environment by saying this is a process that must be followed. Having made that commitment, and having backed it with budget funds, one must then ask where a reasonable balance is struck. We do not have unlimited resources. What we have must be spent wisely.

Although I believe there is good intent behind the bill I must oppose it for several reasons.

Point one: The bill requires the minister to provide assistance from the legal and technical resources of the ministry and for this purpose may designate one or more employees of the ministry or other persons to give legal and technical assistance. However, staff of the ministry are required to prepare a review of an environmental assessment, section 7 (1), and in doing so to co-ordinate the responses of other ministries. This review is designed to be objective but the same staff might also be required under this bill to give technical assistance to an association, which may be opposed to or in favour of the undertaking. The objectivity of the staff in supporting the ministry’s review and, at the same time, the ability of the staff to provide assistance to different associations, would necessarily be prejudiced.

Point two: The effect of the bill is discriminatory. There is no similar provision for legal and technical assistance for associations which appear before the Ontario Municipal Board or other boards or commissions. There is no reason why associations appearing before the Environmental Assessment Board or submitting views on an environmental assessment should be given government assistance, if such assistance is not to be provided for associations appearing before other government boards.

Point three: There are no criteria in the bill for the associations entitled to assistance. Criteria are important so the available resources can be provided in the fairest possible way to ensure effective public participation. This is illustrated by the criteria in the terms of reference for the royal commission on the northern environment. The criteria for the royal commission require that those seeking assistance establish that they do not have sufficient financial resources to enable them to represent their interests adequately, and will require financial assistance to do so.

Bill 100 would require the minister to provide assistance regardless of whether an association has adequate legal, technical or financial resources of its own, thus possibly wasting public funds.

Point four: Because of poor drafting, it is not clear whether the assistance that must be given under subsections 2a and 16a is limited to the legal and technical resources of the ministry -- example, staff and documents -- or whether financial assistance for the employment of outside help is also required. These subsections do not expressly require any financial assistance but they do authorize the minister to designate outside persons to give legal and technical assistance without cost to the association. Thus, the implication is that the minister would be required, upon such a designation, to pay for such outside assistance.

Point five: The bill does not contain any limit to the legal and technical resources of the ministry, or any restriction on financial assistance by the ministry, which must be provided. However, the legal and technical resources of the ministry relative to any particular undertaking subject to that are quite limited. The ministry’s legal and technical staff must support the administration of all the ministry’s legislation and, in particular, the ministry’s programs and assessment board’s work relative to all undertakings in Ontario which are subject to that. Legislation to provide government assistance, whether it be technical or financial or both for associations making submissions or participating in proceedings of the board must reflect the limited nature of the ministry’s resources and contain limits or restrictions on such assistance in order to avoid bringing to a halt the operations of the ministry with respect to the Act.


I might mention in conclusion I requested the opinion of an executive member of the Municipal Engineers Association. This association held a convention in Toronto this past week. I would like to read a few of the comments made by him. I quote, “I very much appreciate receiving Bill Pr100. To say the least, I am appalled to think whet effect such legislation could have on future municipal undertakings. I might add that all of the municipal engineers that I have spoken to during the past two or three days are dismayed at such proposed legislation.”

In summary, the end is commendable, the means of Bill Pr100 are questionable. I cannot support this bill and must vote against it.

Mr. McKessock: Mr. Speaker, I rise to speak on Bill Pr100, An Act to amend the Environmental Assessment Act, 1975, and to support it.

This bill does exactly what the Bayshore Conservation Committee, a group formed in Sydenham township in my riding to oppose the proposed landfill dump there proposed by the city of Owen Sound, has been asking for. It gives them something set up, where a group can go to get specific information and assistance, procedural and legal, giving them direction as to how to object and present their case against the proposed landfill site in the area. They have also asked for money, but in a private member’s bill we cannot ask for money.

I know the Minister of the Environment (Mr. Kerr) is continually saying we must find an alternative to landfill so I feel he will have no hesitation in supporting this bill. If the government would come up with a land-use policy that would protect the five per cent good farmland we have, our problems would be greatly relieved.

Mr. Makarchuk: Do you support it?

Mr. McKessock: It is now costing municipalities thousands of dollars to object and try to keep garbage dumps out of their communities. In the Owen Sound case alone, over $50,000 already has been spent on environmental hearings and they’re not nearly finished. After the environmental hearings come the OMB hearings and on it goes.

The Bayshore Conservation Committee had to bring in Charlie Farquharson last Saturday night to help them raise a few more thousand dollars to pay their lawyers to keep on fighting.

Mr. Haggerty: Leave it to Charlie.

Mr. McKessock: We feel the alternative is incineration. This would cut landfill by 85 per cent and would put the ash in a non-polluting, burying form.

There are companies who manufacture and install incinerators in various sizes to meet the needs of various sizes of municipalities. They can be placed anywhere near the source and save on transportation. They’re non-polluting and can be set up within a town.

For small municipalities, where sorting and recycling is not practical, incineration should be encouraged by the government. The way for the government to do it would be to support this bill and give the groups within the municipalities who have taken the initiative to stand up for the change that is needed the necessary help and direction. Then the government should give 50 per cent funding to the municipalities for incineration, the same way they do for resource recovery systems.

I think we should look at it this way. Incineration is in for small municipalities. If we salvage something from it, this is an added benefit but not a necessity. Extra benefits are heat reclamation, and reclamation of paper, iron, glass, et cetera. We should take the step to incineration first and this would cut off 85 per cent of the land now being needed for landfill. It would cut out the water and well pollution from landfill and the litter connected with landfill.

If the landing on the moon was a giant step for mankind, the passing of this bill will be another step of great magnitude.

Mr. Laughren: Good heavens. That’s called hyperbole.

Mr. Foulds: It is a slight tiptoe forward.

Mr. McKessock: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank you for the opportunity of speaking on this ‘bill and in support of help for the people in the small communities.

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

Mr. Warner: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Now, look, restrain yourself, will you?

Mr. Warner: I was going to talk about the Don Jail.

Hon. Mr. Drea: No, we just passed that one. Will you restrain yourself, please?

Mr. Warner: I will definitely restrain myself.

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to take part in this private members’ period. One of the things that concerned me in the past, and certainly last week, was that there seemed to be a little more of block voting on issues rather than the individual member voting in the way he or she was guided by his or her conscience, which I think is more important.

The government member who spoke earlier surely hasn’t overlooked the serious problems that are related to the Environmental Assessment Act, particularly as we know the difficulties with Reed and Dow Chemical, just to cite two. Reed Paper obviously had a field day. Nobody saw fit to even slap them on the wrist over it. Dow Chemical, of course, despite the comments of the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) last night, seems to be a lost and forgotten case. He claims to be resurrecting the Dow Chemical action and says we are actually going to see some justice over that.

What’s inherent in all of that, however, is some weakness lying in a couple of areas. One area is information or, rather, government secrecy. There are many documents which are necessary and are needed, but we don’t see them; they are claimed to be confidential. On many occasions it has been very difficult to launch class action; in particular, I think of the problem with the smelter in the city of Toronto were we found that the smelter was polluting the neighbourhood. We couldn’t have a class action on that. It was impossible under the present Environmental Assessment Act to have the people who are affected band together and have a class action against the offenders. That’s missing here, and it’s something that should be in this bill; it’s unfortunate that it’s not there.

I certainly like the aspect that has been raised by the mover of the bill, the member for Kent-Elgin, that we should have some involvement of technical and legal advice. As the member for Scarborough Centre (Mr. Drea) knows, the government no doubt is going to have some petitions saying that the Don Jail should be saved. There is going to be a group of folks who are going to come around and say that be done. And as much as you and I say they are wrong --

Hon. Mr. Drea: I have no room for nut stuff -- they’re wrong.

Mr. Makarchuk: Give them a week inside.

Mr. Warner: But they surely have the democratic right in this province to have some assistance in presenting their case.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Are you honestly asking me to give money to a bunch of loonies to try to save the Don Jail?

Mr. Warner: No one would ever say that you should hand out money to loonies, whether they are in your caucus or not. What I am saying -- and the member for Scarborough Centre knows full well my position on this -- is that place should be levelled, and the sooner the better. And if he would be so kind as to invite me on New Year’s Eve, I would be there with one of those sledge-hammers.

Hon. Mr. Drea: It’s at 3 p.m.

Mr. Warner: In the afternoon of December 31?

Hon. Mr. Drea: That’s right. You can take a smash at it.

Mr. Warner: I would be very pleased to be there to assist the minister in levelling that place, which holds nothing but grim memories for this city --

Hon. Mr. Drea: That’s right.

Mr. Warner: -- but what I say is there will be some people --

Mr. Haggerty: That isn’t what your leader said here a year ago.

Mr. Warner: -- who perhaps, under the Environmental Assessment Act, will ask for assistance in presenting the case that that place should be retained as an historical item.

Mr. Haggerty: Where does this come in as the principle of the bill?

Mr. Warner: The Environmental Assessment Act allows for them to use that as a vehicle and they may come to the minister and ask for assistance. They should be allowed that assistance, in my view, because it’s a democratic right and principle. But in fact, the kind of assistance they require, the information and the opportunity for class action, is not provided for in this bill. I find that unfortunate.

We may also have a group of people coming before us about the Grand Prix auto race, which again can come under the Environmental Assessment Act. They also are looking for information which the government has claimed to be classified -- everything is classified, including what the government members have for dinner, I suppose.

Mr. Makarchuk: That could stand an environmental assessment.

Mr. Warner: But they are going to come and ask for that information, and they would like it. Maybe that should be classified.

Mr. Makarchuk: The dining room.

Mr. Warner: And they will want a class action on behalf of the residents of the Parkdale area who don’t want these race tracks running through the middle of their community. I agree with them. They shouldn’t have. Labatt’s are in it to make money, sell beer and have a good time. And it’s fine for Labatt’s, but it isn’t for the people of South Parkdale.

But the folks in South Parkdale are going to come and say, “Under the Environmental Assessment Act we would like the information. We would like the opportunity to have some class action against Labatt’s and we need some legal and technical advice.” What we have from Mr. McGuigan, who is the member for --

Mr. Haggerty: You don’t know what the bill is about.

Mr. Warner: Oh, yes, I’ve read it very thoroughly.

Mr. Haggerty: I don’t think you understand that, either.

Mr. Warner: I understand the Environmental Assessment Act, 1975. I may not understand you, but I understand the Act. The member for Kent-Elgin brings forward a fairly decent half-measure. But since it’s always been my policy as a member of this Legislature and prior to that a member of the community, to support only whole measures, I cannot support this bill. What we need in this province before we tackle any of these environmental problems as related to Reed, or Dow Chemical, or the Grand Prix auto race or any of those other problems, is some information.

What we need is a Freedom of Information Act. That’s what we need. Until we get that, there is no point in discussing this bill or anything else even similar, because that’s the starting point. Let’s get the information, let’s take a look at it, let’s understand with what situation we are faced before we try to improve the Environmental Assessment Act.

We move from there to guaranteeing that class action is a possibility and that it will, in fact, be embodied in law when we have problems, so a group of residents can band together to go after a smelter that’s in the middle of the community and poisoning their community, as Toronto Metals was. So the people in South Parkdale can band together in a class action against Labatt’s and make sure there aren’t cars racing through their neighbourhood.

We don’t have that, and we need it. This bill doesn’t provide that and that’s the essence, that’s a very important portion. The member for Kent-Elgin certainly had very high motives in bringing forward the bill and I commend him for it. He obviously is very concerned about a very serious problem.

Mr. Riddell: Why don’t you support it, then?

Mr. Warner: What I am sad about is he has only gone half-way.

Mr. Riddell: Half a loaf is better than none.

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

Mr. Warner: That’s your whole policy over there -- half a loaf is better than none -- and you always settle for the half that’s no good, anyway.

Mr. Riddell: You can’t bring in a private bill that is going to spend money.

Mr. Warner: That’s the Liberal philosophy.

Mr. Martel: Why do it in halves when you can do it in quarters?

Mr. Warner: The member for Huron-Middlesex who has wandered in from dinner --

Mr. Riddell: No, no, I was here.

Mr. Makarchuk: At 8:45.

Mr. Warner: In conclusion, I am certainly glad to see the good attendance from the government, who are responding to Jonathan Manthorpe’s column. That’s heartening to know.


Mr. Speaker: That has nothing to do with the principle of this bill.

Mr. Warner: No, but they have nothing to do with legislation half the time either. It’s with some reluctance I announce as the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere that I cannot support this bill. What I am hopeful of is that either the member for Kent-Elgin or some other member of this Legislature will bring forward the appropriate --

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

Mr. Warner: -- legislation that’s needed on freedom of information, class action and the kind of public funding and legal and technical advice that are needed in amending the Environmental Assessment Act.

Mr. Williams: Mr. Speaker, I find Bill 100 to be an interesting concept.

Mr. Laughren: Time.

Mr. Makarchuk: Dispense.

Mr. Williams: But one must question as to how practical or reasonable such a provision would be in the Environmental Assessment Act. In order really to get a clear perspective on this proposed legislation, one has to relate it to the full context of the existing legislation.

It’s quite clear that the present legislation is extremely comprehensive in nature. Not only does it provide that governmental bodies, the public sector, can be open to and subject to environmental assessment, but as well the private sector in any major undertaking can be called to question.

Mr. Speaker, could I have the courtesy from the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere to cease and desist from the conference in the corner?

Mr. Martel: What about the minister? Would you name the minister?

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order, please. The member for Oriole has the floor.

Mr. Williams: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Laughren: Don’t be so petty.

Mr. Williams: I think it’s important to remind the members of the Legislature --

Mr. Martel: Where did you pick him out of? He’s a reason for retroactive birth control.

Hon. Mr. Drea: That’s below the belt.

Mr. Williams: -- and the proponent of the bill that if we consider section 5 of the Act we can well see that environmental assessment provides for a very broad area of consideration. There are four major areas.

First, a description for the purpose of the undertaking must be presented by the proponent under an environmental assessment.

Second, that party must provide a description and a full statement of the rationale for the undertaking as well as alternative methods of carrying out the undertaking and, indeed, the proponent must be able to suggest alternatives to that very undertaking itself.

A third major component of an environmental assessment is that the proponent must provide a description of the environment that will be affected or will likely be affected. It must make reference to the effects that will be caused or that might be caused or reasonably be expected to be caused to the environment. The environmental assessment must as well consist of the actions necessary or that may reasonably be expected to be necessary to prevent change, and to mitigate or remedy the effects upon or the effects that might reasonably be expected upon the environment.

Fourth, the assessment must provide an evaluation of the advantages and disadvantages of the undertaking to the environment.

These are very substantive requirements at the very outset of a matter that comes under the Environmental Assessment Act. From there flow the controls and powers under the minister whereby he can stop all proceedings until this matter has been satisfied to his satisfaction, namely, that the environmental assessment has been undertaken and filed and the review proceeded with.

That brings us to section 7 of the Act which is totally comprehensive as far as the involvement of not only government, the ministry and the proponent of the undertaking, but also the public at large.

It is quite clear in section 7 preceding the proposed amendment section that there is more than ample opportunity provided to any interested person or persons to become involved in and make representations with regard to any undertaking as defined under the legislation.

Mr. Van Horne: To what end: To get slapped down? Hogwash!

Mr. Williams: Accordingly, it could he said -- and I can say this without fear of contradiction --

Mr. Warner: Without fear of intelligence.

Mr. Van Horne: Without fear of blushing.

Mr. Williams: -- in the Environmental Assessment Act we have one of the most comprehensive pieces of environmental legislation to be found anywhere. One of the major features of that legislation is the extensive involvement provided to the public at large, whether it be individual participation or group participation.

Mr. Haggerty: What happened in the government?

Mr. Williams: I would point out that throughout the whole of the Act from section 7 onward, as the members of the House will well recall, this being such a relatively new piece of legislation, there is ample provision every step of the way, up to and including hearings before the Environmental Assessment Board, for public participation.

Mr. Warner: It doesn’t work very well.

Mr. Williams: Any group or individual can ask for a hearing and can ask the Environmental Assessment Board to hold a hearing.

Mr. Warner: Explain that one.

Mr. Van Horne: To what end?

Mr. Williams: I point this out to both the proponent of the bill and speakers from the New Democratic Party who have suggested there is not sufficient information made available, to the public.

Mr. Warner: It is called secrecy.

Mr. Williams: They should simply refer to section 32, subclause 2 of the Act which clearly provides the minister must provide any documentation or information relevant to an environmental assessment hearing.

Mr. Warner: Try to get that information. Nonsense!

Mr. Davidson: Do you really think that happens?

Mr. Williams: It is interesting that the outspoken member for Scarborough-Ellesmere has such a short memory, not to recall the Act itself does indeed provide for class action --

Mr. Warner: Stop referring to shortness.

Mr. Williams: -- although he suggested on three occasions this evening that no such things existed in the bill.

Mr. Warner: You malign short people.

Mr. Williams: There appears to be no justification for providing additional provisos or conditions in the legislation which already is more than comprehensive enough to meet the needs of a concerned public in dealing with environmental matters.

Mr. Warner: Did the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) write that?

Mr. Williams: I might point out, in commenting on the remarks made by my colleague as to the lack of criteria in this bill, that not only is there no lack of criteria, but the use of words “an unincorporated association representing residents of a municipality” seemed to run counter to situations that have developed before other governmental agencies such as the Ontario Municipal Board. Rulings have been made by that board suggesting that in order for a group of people to come before the board, they should in fact be an incorporated association so they have a clearer identity for purses of dealing with and making representations to the board, so they could, in turn, be clearly identified as to who they represent, whether they are being truly representative of residents in a municipality, or are representing perhaps less than a handful or maybe only one or two individuals, and therefore not being truly representative at all of the people in the community.

Mr. Warner: Name names.

Mr. Davidson: Individuals don’t have the right to object.

Mr. Williams: The Ontario Municipal Board did point out in recent times it was appropriate and necessary such associations should be incorporated.

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

Mr. Warner: What a short memory.

Mr. Williams: If it was found their actions in opposition were, in fact, specious and frivolous, the cost could be held against them.

Mr. Warner: Sounds like a description of your work.

Mr. Williams: The remaining salient point is that it is obvious that to have the Crown employees acting also for those who would be opposing proceedings of the Crown is equivalent in a criminal matter to having the Crown attorney in turn act as well as the defence lawyer in the case. It just doesn’t make sense. That is basically what we have before us this evening, a proposal that the employees of the government will wear two hats. This would create an intolerable impasse and would compromise the employees, which would not be acceptable.

For these reasons I find that I would have to oppose the bill before us this evening as not having a realistic approach to providing improvements to an already well-documented and effective Environmental Assessment Act.

Mr. G. I. Miller: Mr. Speaker, the purpose of this bill is to provide for legal and technical assistance to certain citizen groups in the preparation of written submissions and participation in proceedings before the Environmental Assessment Board. In my area there has been a need for this type of assistance, because we have had two occasions where citizen groups have been brought together for the purpose of protecting the environment.

A Cambrian well was slated to be put in my riding of Haldimand-Norfolk and concerned organizations and citizens, such as Bill Topp, spent considerable time and money looking for direction in order to get information on how it was going to affect the environment. Nothing seemed to be available. Consequently they had to hire their own legal services to oppose this proposed installation. Again, it was brought to my attention in the Nanticoke waste disposal, which was another hearing being held in the riding. Here, again, there had to be a citizen group to initiate it. I believe it is going to cost them something like $6,000 to obtain technical knowledge and legal services. They have asked the various levels of governments for assistance but so far they haven’t been able to come up with any.

An editorial in the Globe and Mail of October 26 declared that if there is any ministry in the Ontario government which should function on an open basis, which should level with the people, it is the Environment ministry. The ministry is not an old one. It was created in 1971 because of long public concern about pollution -- concern which has become sharply tinged with cynicism, because the public had simply ceased to believe that the government would do anything about pollution.

It is a new ministry. It is a serious problem. The Environmental Assessment Act was only established in 1975. I would hope the ministry could accept constructive criticism to provide a better service for the people of Ontario. A headline in Farm and Country on Tuesday, October 25, referring to hearings, slams waste and cites secrecy. This seems to be the policy of this government to try to keep as much information away from the people and I think this bill would help to alleviate that.

I think it is a step in the right direction and I would hope that the government would give it some consideration. If they do not accept it, it will certainly focus attention on the need of assistance for the concerned citizen groups, who are the backbone of our province and the people we should be listening to.


Mr. Deputy Speaker: I’ll recognize the member for Carleton East and advise her that she has until 9:05 p.m.

Ms. Gigantes: I’m not going to support this bill, but when I listen to the member for Oriole attack it, though I’m not a mean-minded person, it’s enough to make me wish some Minister of the Environment would allow a secret licence for the burning of PCBs in Oriole. Then we’d see how he’d like to have his citizen groups go undefended when it costs $500 a day for decent lawyers in these kinds of hearings.

I’d like to point out that, while the member for Grey mentioned the heroics of Charlie Farquharson on behalf of the environmental group in his area, Charlie Farquharson is not the only hero in Ontario in terms of helping out environmental groups. And they do need help; there’s no doubt about that. If this environmental assessment law is worth anything at all, which one tends to doubt after watching the government allow an exemption for a project of the nature of Darlington, then it has to make provision for the funding of community groups for a decent representation before the Environmental Assessment Board.

Charlie Farquharson is not our only provincial hero. I’d like to point out on behalf of my caucus and with great personal pride in my friendship with this gentleman, that in 1976 the Federation of Ontario Naturalists gave the award of Man of the Year of 1976 to the member for Brantford, my colleague here in this caucus. I’d like you to know, Mr. Speaker, the member for Brantford is not the hero to whom I refer. He has been named a hero by another very well established environmental support group. The hero is a person to whom the member for Brantford gives tribute in the case that they fought together concerning Elora Gorge and whether that project should proceed. The hero in this case was a Mr. Eddie Goodman, well known to members of this Legislature and I’m sure to the member for Oriole too.

Mr. Makarchuk: A very odd couple.

Ms. Gigantes: Mr. Eddie Goodman is not a gentleman who generally does things for free, as we know in this province.

Mr. Van Horne: Or at least reasonably.

Ms. Gigantes: Usually there’s a price attached to what Mr. Eddie Goodman does for one. But in this case Mr. Eddie Goodman provided help which would have cost about $500 a day, maybe $1,000 a day. It might have amounted during the course of the hearing to a gross cost of $10,000 for my colleague from Brantford and his environmental associates to go through the hearing they fought, which I think was a worthy effort, and so did the Federation of Ontario Naturalists.

Mr. Eddie Goodman donated his time, his experience and his skills to help fight that case. They lost it nevertheless and were assessed costs of $18,000. I’m going to assure you, Mr. Speaker, there are very few citizens in Ontario who can afford to take on a case --

Hon. Mr. Drea: If she abuses my friend one more time, she is in trouble.

Ms. Gigantes: -- where a lawyer might cost $10,000. You can’t get Eddie Goodman all the time for free.

Mr. Haggerty: It sounds like she is going to support the bill.

Ms. Gigantes: There are very few citizens in this province who have the courage and perhaps the foolhardiness of people like my friend, the member for Brantford, and the passion -- to take an action of this kind and run the risk of running into debts of $18,000, to say nothing of what the legal fees might have been.

The bill before us is a bill which suggests a kind of public defender on behalf of citizen groups which wish to launch an appeal under the Environmental Assessment Act. The member for Wellington-Dufferin-Peel has made it very clear that the government doesn’t want to see its professionals work for groups of citizens. He’s also made it very clear, and I believe this to be true too --

Mr. Deputy Speaker: The hon. member has 30 seconds.

Ms. Gigantes: -- that the professional engineers don’t like the expectation that they would be in government employ, and have to work on behalf of citizen groups. It’s just not a feasible idea. If we’re going to provide resources for citizen groups that want to make appeals under the Environmental Assessment Act, we have to provide adequate funding. It obviously can’t be done through a private bill.

If the Environmental Assessment Act is ever to be made a worthwhile piece of legislation by this government it has to be amended. It has to be used properly to start with, then it has to be amended to provide adequate funding for citizen groups.

Mr. Van Horne: That will be when hell freezes over.

Mr. McGuigan: I would like to thank the speakers on the left for their somewhat grudging support. I really didn’t quite see this amendment, as my friend from Grey said, as a giant step. I really saw it as probably a small step that might lead to some of the questions that have been raised, providing funding and providing means of class action and so on. As a private member, limited as we are to measures that will not spend money, I thought this was a reasonable step to try to open up the Environmental Assessment Act so that it would be perceived by small groups as perhaps being more their champion than they presently perceive it.

I can agree with the member for Wellington-Dufferin-Peel that it’s a pretty good Act in many respects. There’s a good deal of provision there for public participation and for protection of the public, but in too many cases the public sees the ministry people as its opponents rather than as its helpers. I’m surprised to hear the member raise the question of whether they’re objective or not, because I listened to quite a lecture by one of the engineers in the ministry, who lectured me and others on that very subject. He told us how professional they were, how devoted they were to the truth, how objective they were and that no one should question their objectivity. I’m rather surprised to see that members opposite would question their objectivity, when we think of the wonderful civil servants we have in this province -- many of them paid salaries in excess of the ministers.

Mr. Van Horne: Considerably in excess.

Mr. B. Newman: Doesn’t that make them wonderful?

Mr. McGuigan: I have a good deal of faith in them. My meetings with them so far have impressed me. When we have engineers and so on in lesser positions, who are paid considerably more than back-benchers are, we must attribute some good qualities to these people. So I’m rather surprised to see the government take the view that they could not be objective and could not do the things that we have asked for.

It would seem rather anti-climactic to spend much more time speaking on this subject; it would rather appear that it does not have support. For that, I’m sorry for the shortcomings that you see in the bill. I hope, however, that perhaps it does lead to some thought in this matter and perhaps highlight the need for changes that should be made in the future.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: That concludes the time allotted for ballot item 11. The matter will be deferred until further discussion at 10:20 p.m.


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

Mr. Mackenzie: Mr. Speaker, I think most members of the House are aware that the hours of work have been a long fight in this province and, indeed, around the world. I think establishing standards or maximum hours of work is probably more important today than ever before for a number of reasons that I hope to go into briefly. I do urge the parties seriously to consider supporting this, which is just a step and probably only part of a package that’s really needed.

I would remind some of the members in the House that back in -- I didn’t dig up the exact date -- either the late 1860s or early 1870s, we had workers here in the city of Toronto demonstrating to try to obtain a nine-hour day at that period of time. One George Brown, editor of the Globe and a leading Liberal of that day, not only took it upon himself to break that demonstration but to arrest the workers and do what he could to be assured that they did not achieve a nine-hour day.

Mr. Martel: Nothing’s changed. It’s typical of them.

Mr. O’Neil: That’s why you should be here.

Mr. Martel: Nothing’s changed with the Grits.

Mr. Mackenzie: There was also a politician by the name of Sir John A. Macdonald in that period of our history who was politically astute enough to realize that this was a good issue, and a just issue, I think. He took the side of the demonstrators in the city of Toronto at that time. I might say that he reaped the political rewards.

However, to give due tribute to my colleagues on my right, I’d like to point out that the federal government has now moved to an eight-hour day, 40-hour week, with overtime of time and a half after 40 hours. They may have seen the error of their earlier days, and that’s now federal legislation. It’s possible that the foresight of the Tories back in the 1870s at least had been caught up to, if not surpassed, by the Liberals of today -- federally at least. I’m not sure yet; we may find out what the provincial Liberals will do with this.

As I said in the beginning, there are many and compelling reasons for supporting this legislation as a step in the province at this particular time, but a little bit of history is very interesting. I didn’t have a lot of time, being out of town the last few days, but when I started to look it up tonight there were two or three paragraphs that caught my eye.

It’s interesting that, other than those people who just had to scramble every minute of the day to survive -- and I suppose we could go right back to the beginning of civilization on that story -- the idea that there is no substitute for hard work may be more recent than some of us realize.

I note that Aristotle’s notion of the purpose of work was that it was unimportant except that it enabled a man to achieve leisure in which to recreate himself, restore his serenity and enrich his mind and soul. Throughout most of civilization, leisure was also upheld as beneficial. I found it interesting, when checking it out, that in fourth- century Rome, for instance, the citizens set aside 175 days a year for leisure.

Mr. Haggerty: The good old days.

Mr. Mackenzie: In 13th-century France, a skilled craftsman laboured for only 194 days in a year and spent the rest of his time in vigorous relish of the fairs and festivals that took place in that particular time.

Mr. Laughren: It sounds terrific.


Mr. Mackenzie: I also found, and it really didn’t surprise me, the change, the Calvinistic doctrines, if one likes, of hard work, of long hours, seemed to come about with the birth of the industrial revolution, when we had to put people to work in the sweat shops, when we had to produce. When we think back to the days of child labour, we will realize the beginning of our industrial revolution was also the time we started working people every minute and every hour we possibly could. The motive more clearly defined then than in any time in our history, was the profit motive, the capitalist profit motive.

I am not sure we have left that. It was probably in the 1840s that change started, that people began to think seriously about what our priorities were, what we should be doing, what rights to leisure men and women had in the work place. In the States, the campaign to change some of these long hours and the difficult times that people had, the number of hours they had to put in to make a living started about 1840 to 1850. We also started, of course, developing some of our industrial technology at that time and found while we were still using people extensively, machinery beginning to develop was able to do more and more of the work and produce more and more, technology was really growing.

It probably wouldn’t be too hard to find the figures today, but I was interested also in noting by 1960 in Canada, only 43 per cent of our work force was engaged in producing tangible goods, agricultural products, useful products, industrial products, products we might sell in world markets, you name it. That’s probably considerably smaller today, but we had gone down to 43 per cent. The rest of them were involved in various service trades.

We have to look more and more today at the value of the human being. We have to look at some of the problems related to the hours worked by some of our people in the plants today. We have to take a look at questions being faced, for example, in an automobile assembly line and the question of boredom, regardless of those who say it does or those who say it doesn’t exist.

If one has worked on an assembly line or a production line at all, and some of us have, he or she will realize it’s not the most satisfying job in the world. We have to look at the tensions that build up in a modern society. We have to take a look at whether or not the work we are doing is rewarding and invigorating and whether there are other, more enriching, activities we can put ourselves to in our off-time or in time made available to us.

I really hope what we are starting to look at is a sort of coming of age in terms of dealing with people and the hours they have to work. But at the same time, we have to take a serious look at what’s necessary in this day of plenty to keep body and soul together. All of us should be pretty concerned about that.

I guess in setting the argument I want to make with you just briefly, I would remind my Liberal and Tory friends in this House when we take a look at our economic problems today, if members in this caucus raise questions of government ownership or even government partnership in our industry usually related to some effort to spread the work around to take care of people, or we take a look at equity or argue equity even in industry today, we are accused almost without exception of once again, no matter how we put it or what we are really looking at, of advocating nationalization and it positively scares the members of both the other parties. They, I guess, believe in and march to the tune of private enterprise.

So be it. I have no objection to that at all. I believe in their right to take that approach but I want them to take a serious look at the results today. Take a look at this shrinking number of people producing useful or tangible goods and services. Take a look at the unemployment and the problems with automation we really have become aware of in the last few years and that are growing with us.

Most of you probably aren’t aware in the steel industry -- basic steel, in this province today -- we could produce what we are producing now with less than half the current work force. I had two examples in the trip over the last two days to Sudbury that really took me back.

This morning we were going through the copper refinery at Inco. In one of the most labour-intensive departments, employing 250 workers, we were told by one of the top management people that the production of that refinery, which is about two per cent of the world supply of nickel and was being done by 250 employees, producing the most pure copper products in the world, would be done by no more than 20 in one of the new mills that have just been completed in Japan.

The new mills they are competing with, the Japanese, have a high capital cost that they have to relate to. We are fortunate in that we have paid for the mill, but we are paying he labour cost. It is putting 250 people to work, where it could be done with 20.

We took another look at a strip mill where they will be running strip to make coinage, part of their pride in the Inco operation. We found a plant that was not yet completed and was already costing in excess of $24 million, was going to operate on a total work force of 35 men when completed. The cost will probably be -- who knows -- about $30 million when they finish.

These are just some of the things we have to take a serious look at. I guess in one small way that’s part of this particular bill.

I always wonder why we don’t take the initiative more quickly in ways that don’t necessarily upset the private enterprise approach of the government or of my friends on the right. We are going to have to look at some of their answers, and one of them may be the hours of work in our society. Certainly, if we can produce the goods, as the evidence over the last 20 to 30 years and more shows, with fewer and fewer people, and if that means a growth in service areas -- and it’s usually the tax dollars that finance those -- then we are going to have to take a serious look at how we keep this growing number of people working.

I wonder why the moves to try to assist so far are usually not coming through any initiative of government, but coming at present from the unions. We have this in steel. It is a very small move, but some members are aware of the extended vacation plan in the can industry and some of their plants. I wish they were putting more time and effort into it. But it is a recognition of the need for some leisure time and, in a small way, to stretch out the work force.

We have the example of the automobile workers. I don’t know whether the members are aware of it or not, but if they are able to achieve in Canada the same contracts they have achieved in the US at General Motors -- General Motors alone -- they tell me that the extra days off they are working on, the personal birthdays and the additional 11 to 12 days, the extended time that they are working on, will mean about 800 more employees in their plants.

Part of it is just good business. Not only does it help us if it puts that many more people to work, but it may also be one measure of removing some of the boredom from the assembly-line jobs. But there is a potential of 800 jobs there.

We have the recent IBEW contract here, settling a strike in Toronto. Whatever else one might say, I at least give them credit for moving in an effort to cut down the number of overtime hours they would work in a bid to extend their work force to provide more jobs for their people.

I think it is time the government of Ontario, and the political parties in this House, follow the suggestion that has been made for a long time by the labour movement, in a brief from the OFL, that we take a look at the 40-hour week and overtime after 40 hours. It is time that we moved as some other provinces already have. Once again Ontario is not leading the way.

I mentioned that the federal Liberal government now operates on an eight-hour day, 40-hour week, with time and a half after 40. Manitoba has eight and 40 and time and three-quarters after 40. Saskatchewan has eight and 40, and time and a half after 40. Yukon is eight and 40 and time and a half after a 40-hour week.

So there have been provinces that have moved this way. The limited amount of research I was able to do, did not give me any accurate figures on what might be involved in terms of extra employment. But we did get a bit of information that at least makes me hopeful. We found that in Ontario in 1977 Statistics Canada showed there were 419,000 paid non-agricultural workers who worked between 41 and 50 hours a week -- this was a survey done by Statistics Canada -- and there were 352,000 who worked more than 50 hours a week.

Assuming that the 41- to 50-hour group works an average of 45 hours per week, and the over-50 hour group works an average of 50 hours per week, if 10 per cent of the over-40-hour-per-week jobs were cut back to 40 hours as a result of a cut in the standard work week and the hours of work eliminated by the change were distributed -- I know this wouldn’t happen in every case -- but were distributed to new employees working the standard number of hours, then this alone would create about 15,000 jobs in the province of Ontario.

Hon. Mr. Drea: In road paving? Come on. You know there is a 56-hour week there; your union signed the agreement.

Mr. Mackenzie: Nobody is saying you can give an absolute answer on this; I understand that, but the very fact that this kind of a move could mean 800 jobs in the General Motors plans, say, is an indication.

In the situation we have now, as I think all of the members of this House are aware, it’s usually cheaper for a company to work the overtime -- and in terms of the current legislation it’s 48 hours, even though the average hours worked are 40. But when they have to go into the extra hours -- and this is one of the reasons it’s cheaper -- they can take 48 hours times the entire complement of that plant before they have to start applying for a permit for overtime. That means that in a big plant, like one of the automobile or steel plants, they work one hell of a lot of hours before they even go for the permit to get the extra hours per employee. Certainly the potential is there for additional work in the work place of the province of Ontario.

While this is one small move, and only part of a necessary total package, it’s something that is long overdue. I hope the attitude of members of this House is that it’s an idea whose time has come, and I would ask the members of all parties to support this legislation.

Mr. Maeck: Mr. Speaker, I rise to speak on Bill 106 and particularly as to how it may affect the tourist industry in the province of Ontario. As you are well aware, the major industry in the riding of Parry Sound is the tourist industry --

Mr. McClellan: That’s because Canadian Motorlamp closed down.

Mr. Maeck: -- and what happens in this particular bill is going to have a great effect on the tourist industry.

Before I go further, however, let me say that I sympathize with any well-intentioned attempt to reduce unemployment and to give better working conditions for the workers. I think any member of the House whose efforts are directed towards assisting the unemployed should be commended.

Mr. Swart: And voted for.

Hon. Mr. Drea: The member for Welland-Thorold never worked a day in his life, and he knows it.

Mr. Maeck: At the same time, I think we all recognize that our efforts here must provide real help and in no circumstances must they exact a greater cost than the benefits they provide.

I have undertaken a careful examination of this bill and conclude that a substantial number of firms in the hotel, motel, restaurant, catering and tavern industries would suffer if it were enacted. What is perhaps even worse, the unemployment picture would ultimately not be improved.

Mr. Mancini: Who wrote this for you?

Mr. Warner: It sounds like a speech by the Minister of Industry and Tourism.

Mr. Maeck: The fact is that businesses today, and particularly those within the tourist industry, must operate in as lean and efficient a fashion as they can devise if they are to survive. Accordingly, labour costs cannot he permitted to exceed a given portion of overall expenses.

This is not so much a partisan position as a simple explanation of common business sense. And common sense indicates that if more employees are hired while total man-hours remain the same, then labour costs will increase, if for no other reason than because the employer must increase bookkeeping and support an increased number of benefit packages.

Given that scenario, the small tourist operator, struggling to survive under this additional burden, will be forced to reduce the hours of service he can provide in order to restrain the portion of costs that attach to his employees.

Mr. Warner: That’s convoluted.

Mr. Maeck: It’s not convoluted. Those members opposite who have tourist industries in their ridings will be well aware that they are in trouble already.

There may be some slack in government operations, although here too we have been increasingly careful in our utilization of human resources, but there is no slack in private enterprise operations in the tourist industry.

Mr. Martel: He knows that Minaki Lodge should be nationalized.

Mr. Maeck: To create the slack artificially, to damage the Ontario tourist industry’s competitive position and to legislate needlessly, would be the worst possible response this Legislature could take. Certainly it would damage whatever confidence the electorate may have in us.


Mr. Warner: Ah, your confidence is shaken.

Mr. Maeck: The unemployed in Ontario do not require help from us for tomorrow or next week. That is the function of unemployment insurance. What they require from us is help for the rest of theft lives and we can only provide that kind of support --

Mr. Warner: Offer some jobs.

Mr. Maeck: -- within the context of long-term industrial strategies that recognize economic influence extended far beyond our legislative reach.

Mr. Warner: When do we receive that? Show us some jobs.

Mr. Maeck: In short, we cannot tinker away legislatively. We must examine, the global economic spectrum and carve out for ourselves a strong and secure position. In the meantime, it would be disastrous to damage the economic integrity of business in Ontario -- and I am thinking of the tourist industry especially -- to damage business and to hire an employee next week by denying both the business and the employee their economic viability next year and the years thereafter.

At the same time, there is a positive sense in what we are debating today. Implicit in the bill is, as I have said, a proper focus of concern for the unemployed. This bill may not serve their needs or the needs of the tourist industry in Ontario and the business community as a whole.

Mr. Warner: Or the needs of the working people.

Mr. Maeck: But I thank the member for his effort. One hopes that we will emerge from this debate determined to increase collectively our efforts to reduce unemployment wherever realistically possible.

Mr. Swart: What we need is a minimum wage in Canada.

Mr. Acting Speaker: The member for Essex South.

Mr. Warner: Let the Liberal voice of labour stand up.

Mr. Mancini: Mr. Speaker, maybe your first job should be to quieten the people on the left so that I can properly address the House.

Mr. Swart: We don’t want any good ideas coming forth, do we?

Mr. Warner: The only sign is the volume, not the wisdom.

Mr. Mancini: How did you guys get the member for Welland-Thorold in here this evening? I guess the 8 o’clock news is over. It is good to see him.

Mr. Foulds: The member for Welland-Thorold spends more time in the Legislature than you.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please. Will the member for Essex South please continue the speech and ignore the comments to his left?

Mr. Swart: He is the one who makes the comments.

Mr. Mancini: I rise to support Bill 106. I have to say that as usual, when the member for Hamilton East stands to put forth a proposal, unlike many people from the left side of the House, he is usually careful with his words. I have to say he is one of the more believable people they have in their party. They should be happy they have him.

Mr. O’Neil: Is he running for leader?

Mr. Mancini: Anyway they are in third place and they are slipping fast so it does not matter. I can recall in my early days in high school --

Mr. Gregory: Last year.

Mr. Samis: Smart man.

Mr. Mancini: -- when we were taking English history, reading in the history books about child labour in England and the abuse that the working people had to take at that time. I would like to say I am glad we have moved so far away from that type of thought and from that type of action in the work place. I think we need to continue to move in the direction of a 40-hour work week. I support the basic principle in Bill 106 that the work week should be 40 hours.

Mr. Germa: You are going to get thrown out of your caucus.

Mr. Mancini: Oh, goodness.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order.

Mr. Mancini: I would also like to say, if my friends on the left will let me, that I am not exactly sure how many jobs this bill will create. I don’t know if it will create any at all. I do think that the basic principle and the basic thought behind the bill is a good one. That is why I support it.

Mr. Samis: Convince the member for Quinte now.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please. Could I ask the members for Scarborough-Ellesmere and Cornwall particularly to pay attention to the speaker and keep order?

Mr. Mancini: I don’t know, Mr. Speaker, if this bill will provide a single job in my riding. I know many of my constituents have a choice as to whether they work more than 40 hours; they have a choice as to whether they want to increase their income through overtime. I know many of them do and I know many of my constituents want that choice; they want to increase their income through overtime. I also know many who want the privilege of not having to if they don’t wish to do so.

I have two or three small concerns about the bill. I am not sure of the effect it will have on small business. I had hoped the member for Hamilton East (Mr. Mackenzie) would have some material from his research staff to put before the House with respect to the effect this bill would have on small business, if indeed it would create some type of hardship, as some members and some small business owners suggest; I am not sure about that. I am not sure, further, what type of support it has among people in the area of tourism, as was stated before. Those points should be considered though.

I would like to close by saying people in my area who are represented by the UAW and people like that, don’t need the assistance of this bill; but there are many people out there who are not organized and who are not protected by large and powerful groups. These are the people to whom the bill is actually directed. I choose to support the bill, and possibly in the future the member for Hamilton East could give us more facts and statistics on how the different groups I mentioned might be affected. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Davidson: It is a pleasure for me, Mr. Speaker, to rise in support of Bill 106 as put forward by the member for Hamilton East. Let me assure members, as he pointed out, this bill is long overdue in being enacted in this province. I am not going to use the approach he used, because I am one of those, contrary to the Minister of Correctional Services (Mr. Drea), who came from the work force; and when I went to work I worked a 52-hour week. I came from an industry where even today people are working a 48-hour week and they are doing so because of the law that exists in this province.

Let me assure you the 40-hour week will do much more than free people from the industrial bonds that held them down. It will also do much to develop a better society in which to live.

You may question that. Let me put it to you this way. Many of the children in our society are known as latch-key children. They are children whose parents, both parents, find it necessary to go to work in order to sustain themselves and their families. As a result of parents having to go to work and having to work excessive hours, many of the children are left in their homes prior to going to school in the daytime and come home in the evenings and still have to wait around for another hour or an hour-and-a-half for their parents to return from work.

That is the fault of the society in which we live. It is not the fault of the children; it is not the fault of the parents because both parents find it necessary to work. I would suggest to you that in the industry from which I came, in which the vast majority of workers are women, there are, even today, in unorganized textile plants right here in this city of Toronto and throughout the rest of this province, women who are finding it necessary, because of the law in this province, to work a 48-hour week.

Because they are compelled by the law of this province to work a 48-hour week, we have what is known as latch-key children. I’m quite certain if the Minister of Correctional Services and the Minister of Community and Social Services (Mr. Norton) were in this House that they would be well aware of what it is I am speaking of when I talk about latch-key children. Because it is those kind of children growing up in our society who are being put into correctional institutions, who are being put under the care of Community and Social Services. The reason is a lack of parental guidance throughout their growing up years, caused by a society that compels parents to work additional hours, compels both parents to work so they are able to survive as a family. This in itself is a crime against humanity as far as I’m concerned.

Now, going to a 40-hour week, you might say: “Well, what will that do?” By going to a 40-hour work week, if it is necessary for both parents to work, at the very least you could have women going to work at eight o’clock in the morning and coming home at four o’clock in the afternoon, which means that they would leave work at approximately the same time their children go to school and that they would return home from work at approximately the same time as their children. This in itself is not a total answer, but it would be a partial solution the problem of dealing with latchkey children.

For those who doubt what I’m saying you don’t have to run around your own riding, you don’t have to say I don’t have time to run around my riding and see what’s happening, I suggest what you do is put aside part of an afternoon, as many of you over there and in the other benches in this Legislature apparently do on occasion -- I don’t know what you do with your time, you may go downtown or somewhere else -- but take part of the afternoon to go down to one of the textile mills or other plants, shoe factories or whatever, not too far from this building, and talk to some of the workers in the sweat shops that exist down there on University Avenue and Spadina Avenue. You will find out from workers there exactly what it is I’m referring to when I talk about the hours of work they are forced to put in.

These are some of the problems that exist. As I said earlier it may not be that we can solve all of the problems of the children in our society, but we may help to cure some of them.

The member for Parry Sound (Mr. Maeck) suggested that if we put a 40-hour work week into effect in Ontario -- somehow or other Parry Sound was going to disintegrate into the ground, and that it will no longer exist because it will lose the tourist trade in the province. I would suggest to him that in the provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan they still have a viable tourist industry; it still exists, even taking into account the fact that they have a 40-hour work week. It has not disappeared at all; in fact if anything it’s strengthening itself.

Mr. Swart: There’s less unemployment.

Hon. Mr. Drea: And what happened to the Premier of Manitoba?

Mr. Davidson: I don’t really know if I could support some of the statements that he made.

Hon. Mr. Drea: You don’t know. That is why he is in the Scott Mission line.

Mr. McClellan: Be careful, Frank, your old self is showing.

Mr. Davidson: I don’t really know if I could support some of the statements he made, knowing full well that the people who work in the tourist industry -- and I mean work in it, not own it -- the people who work in the tourist industry rely on tips in order to survive because of the wages that are allowed to he paid in this province. They have to work a 48-hour week in order to make a living, and they have to get the tips in order to exist; that, to me, is wrong also.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Just say it right now, are you against tips?

Mr. Martel: On the horses, yes.

Mr. Davidson: If the minimum wage in this province were adequate enough you would not have to rely on tips in order to survive.

Hon. Mr. Drea: I would like it recorded that he did not answer.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order, order.

Mr. Davidson: I would also like to point to the member for Essex South (Mr. Mancini) even though I congratulate him on having the insight to support this bill, that this is not in fact strictly a job-creating bill. It is a bill to bring some sense of justice into the Employment Standards Act of this province; and I think it’s about time the people in this Legislature took a good look at what is happening around them and voted in favour and in support of this bill.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.


Mr. Gregory: Mr. Speaker --

Mr. Samis: Oh, no; here’s the right winger.

Mr. Gregory: -- it gives me a great deal of pleasure --

Mr. Warner: Five out of eight; that’s not bad.

Mr. Gregory: -- to speak in support of defeating this bill.

Mr. Germa: In support of defeating?

Mr. Gregory: I thought the member would like that.

The party to which the member for Hamilton East belongs has certainly no monopoly on concern for the plight for the unemployed.

Mr. Warner: No, but we do something about it.

Mr. Gregory: Unemployment is a national problem which concerns us all and which requires national strategies for its eventual resolution. While it is certainly true the unemployed have rights which we must protect and underline with our support, something must also be said, Mr. Speaker, about the rights of the employed. If this bill is passed, the free enterprise of every man and woman in this industrial democracy of ours would be contained and circumscribed yet again by the burden of more government legislation. The business community already is forced to waste a tremendous reserve of energy simply complying with government regulations before it can produce the wealth to pay our salaries and underwrite government costs. It is not as if the business community has been sitting still. In October, 1976, 3,689,000 men and women were gainfully employed in honest job positions in Ontario. By October, 1977, that seasonally adjusted figure had increased by an impressive 142,000 job positions in one year.

Mr. Germa: Have you ever been seasonally adjusted yourself?

Mr. Samis: And the unemployment was as high as well.

Mr. Gregory: Did you ever think of going back down in the mine?

Mr. Mackenzie: He could survive there, you couldn’t.

Mr. Germa: Wait until that happens to you, you’ll get adjusted.

Mr. Gregory: That kind of increase was not achieved by sacrificing our productivity for short-term advantage, it was achieved --

Mr. Foulds: How does this bill sacrifice productivity?

Mr. Gregory: -- with our commitment to increase productivity, to gear ourselves to the eventual changes in tariff structures, which will otherwise overrun our economy, and to realign industrial growth to meet increasingly tough and more effective world competition. Today, the decline in Canadian dollar value has afforded us a strategic new opportunity to regain our competitive position.

Regrettably, this bill shows no sympathy for those realities. It reflects no appreciation for the magnitude of the task before all governments to house the unemployed within a sound and vibrant economy. If it were as simple to ameliorate the position of the unemployed as this bill suggests, Mr. Speaker, it would be a wondrous thing indeed. But even the most casual scrutiny of this spread-the-work-around ethic compels us to the opposite conclusion. If a snail business in Ontario were forced to hire an additional worker, not because it needed one but because the member for Hamilton East said it must do so; and if that business in fact required only the few additional man-hours achieved by current overtime practices, then far from expanding job spaces --

Mr. Warner: Who’s going to drag you into the 20th century?

Mr. Gregory: -- the incapacity of the small businesses to function profitably or function at all would of course cause a reduction in job spaces.

Mr. Warner: Why don’t you bring back child labour?

Mr. Gregory: You have a big mouth. You never listen, that’s why you don’t know anything. Maybe if you shut up once in a while you would learn something.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please; order.

Mr. Foulds: He’s playing to the galleries.

Mr. Swart: If he’s going to pick a time to listen it shouldn’t be now.

Mr. Gregory: The member for Welland-Thorold might try it, he hasn’t shut up all day.

Asking business, especially small business, to worsen its own position time after time cannot lead to an improved employment picture. I await with some scepticism the day an NDP member will ask himself thoughtfully: “How can I help small business? How can I reduce its costs, encourage its growth and competitive position, and influence the creation -- “

Mr. Warner: Easy, get rid of this government.

Mr. Foulds: Not on the backs of the workers.

Mr. Makarchuk: Or by reverting to slavery.

Mr. Gregory: “ -- of honest and meaningful jobs in our economy?” When some members of the NDP caucus announced their candidacy for the leadership of that party --

Mr. Makarchuk: You could really cut down on the overhead that way.

Mr. Gregory: There’s the man who stopped the Elora Gorge project. He deserves a lot of credit for that, a lot of credit. I think his delay cost $20 million.

Mr. Makarchuk: I should hope so.


Mr. Acting Speaker: Order.

Mr. Gregory: Mr. Speaker, do you have any control at all over these people?

Mr. Acting Speaker: Would the member please continue?

Mr. Gregory: As I was saying, when some members announced their candidacy for the leadership of the NDP party, I recalled some sort of assurance --

Mr. Makarchuk: It’s NDP not NDP party.

Mr. Gregory: -- that they would demonstrate economic realism, that they would show Ontario how they could run the store as well as anyone. You don’t run a store with a bill like this one.

Mr. McClellan: You couldn’t run a peanut stand.

Mr. Makarchuk: When was the last time you met a payroll?

Mr. Gregory: You’ve never had a job even at that.


Mr. Acting Speaker: Would the members to my left please allow the speaker to continue? Would the member for Mississauga East please ignore the interjections?

Mr. Gregory: Will I get extra time because of these interruptions?

Mr. Acting Speaker: Please continue.

Mr. Gregory: I would like to conclude my remarks with some observations.

Mr. Makarchuk: We’re overjoyed.

Mr. Gregory: At least you’re paying attention for the first time tonight. Upon examination of the bill before us, the first thing one analyst from the Ministry of Labour noted was that contrary to the theoretical notions of the opposition, the third party that is, there is in fact not a single review of empirical data which would support the NDP position that the work would be spread around to the unemployed of the work force. Most damning, though, is the comment of another research analyst who estimates the establishing of the work week in this fashion would tend to hit those lowest on the income scale more than anyone else.

Mr. Speaker, with this bill which damages the capacity of small business to survive in this province, which damages Ontario’s competitive position and threatens her economy, and which hurts the small income earner with an honest job more than anyone else, it is difficult to imagine how the NDP could have presented a more carelessly constructed proposal for the consideration of this House.

No doubt the opposition will say to the unemployed of Ontario: “We tried to help you, but got no support from the government.” I say to the unemployed of Ontario: “We respect your serious difficulties and will never offer quack remedies for the cure of an illness which ultimately affects us all.”

The issues raised by Bill 106 involve extremely complex ramifications for the province’s labour force. As the Minister of Labour (B. Stephenson) has stated in the House, these issues are being considered by an internal employment standards review committee. The committee’s task in this area is to carefully weigh job creation potential against potential negative results. Among questions being considered by the committee are the following: Would the reduced work week and the enhanced overtime payment provisions encourage employers to introduce technological improvements to replace workers, thereby adding to the unemployment problem; how does an across-the-board adjustment of the hours beyond which overtime must be paid affect enterprises where overtime is scheduled sporadically to meet special demands or peak load requirements; in these situations would the proposals contained in the bill increase employment opportunities at all, or would they merely disrupt production with adverse consequences to both employers and employees?

Mr. Warner: Did Eddie Goodman write that?

Mr. Gregory: No, he’s working for you for free, you told me that a minute ago.

Mr. Makarchuk: He is more progressive than you are, he is a progressive part of the Conservative Party.

Mr. Gregory: Even if it is to be assumed that a reduction of the work week would create further employment opportunities, are there sufficient numbers --


Mr. Acting Speaker: Order.

Mr. Gregory: It’s a good job you fellows can hear through your mouth or you wouldn’t know what was being said.

Mr. Mackenzie: Attila the Hun.

Mr. Gregory: Even if it is to be assumed a reduction of the work week would create further employment opportunities, are there sufficient numbers of persons now unemployed with appropriate training and skills to meet the demands or would the reduced work week simply create bottlenecks for particular industries?

In raising these questions, I do not wish to suggest that any firm conclusions have been reached. However, I do wish to emphasize that there may be a superficial simplicity to Bill 106.

Mr. Acting Speaker: The member has one minute.

Mr. Gregory: The government feels strongly that the matters referred to must be carefully assessed in the total context of the employment standards review procedure before any piecemeal changes can be made. In the long-term, the interest of the employees of this province will not be served by changes which will endanger the viable and competitive position of Ontario industry. That is why the matter must be approached with caution, and a decision made only after exhaustive consideration of all available research material.

Mr. Ruston: I would like to direct my remarks to you, Mr. Speaker. I would hope we wouldn’t have too many interjections so that we can continue to move along as time is getting on. I will try to add something to the debate.

With regard to Bill 106, my first inclination was that this bill in some way would increase employment, but I am not sure that it will. I studied it over the weekend and met with some of my colleagues, people in my area who are familiar with labour legislation and so forth and are active in their own unions, wherever they happen to work. I didn’t really get very much support from them with regard to this bill.

Most of them, I must admit, are working on a 40-hour week in industry that pays time-and-a-half for anything over 40 hours. One of the concerns they had was that they are finding, in some segments of the automobile industry, there are people working as many as 80 hours in a week. This bill wouldn’t solve that, because that is voluntary overtime.

I had one particular case where they told me a man had worked 36 hours straight through in one of the automobile plants. I can’t imagine any industry allowing this, but in some cases apparently they allow this, which is absolutely ridiculous. It’s dangerous to the worker and dangerous to his fellow workers, dangerous to all concerned.

An interesting point one of them who is very active in the plant union made was that his assessment on overtime was that about 75 per would take it or leave it. I mean they would take it if it was there for at least one day, maybe, not necessarily wanting it all the time but being willing to work overtime regularly to some extent.

About 10 per cent of them didn’t want anything to do with it. They absolutely didn’t want anything more than a 40-hour week. They felt that was all they wanted to work. They wanted to be home, or whatever the case might be, rather than have any overtime.

Then there was 15 per cent, he was telling me, who would take any amount of overtime that was available. It didn’t matter how many hours it was, they would work 12 hours a day straight through for seven days a week, which some of them have done. I don’t know how one controls that type of thing, because some people have an incentive to want to work and want to get ahead; it would be difficult to restrict that. On the other hand, maybe at times when unemployment is high, that is something to think about in the future.

I see in the Bell telephone union, some have been working 48 hours. A number of them are concerned about that. In an account in the Toronto Star of last week one man had worked his 48 hours and then the company insisted he work longer. There have been some problems there. I am wondering whether there’s any solution to these long hours; there definitely has to be something.

What we are all looking for right now is some way of increasing employment. What concerns me with some of the small industries where there may be only 10 employees, or where they are working 44 hours a week and not receiving any overtime for those four hours at the present time, I wonder whether they would have problems in competing at a compulsory 40 hours a week. We are seeing cases now in Windsor and the Detroit area -- I was reading about it in the Detroit News this weekend -- where plants have been moving. Some of them have moved out of Michigan and gone to the southern states where they can operate a little more cheaply.

It is not necessarily the per hour rate; the cost of operations are a little less because of heat and so forth farther south where it’s warmer to operate these plants. The wage scale of course is somewhat lower because of circumstances in that area.


I would be reluctant to support this bill at this time, when the main thrust of anything to do with the government should be to increase employment. This bill does not really do that, although a few minutes ago one of the members -- I think it was the member who introduced a bill or one of his colleagues -- said it wasn’t really the intention of the bill to increase employment; it was to bring about a fairer work week for non-unionized people.

That might be fine but, as I mentioned before, we have got to consider what can we do at this time to increase employment and to bring that eight per cent down to whatever is considered a reasonable figure. I suppose there are different levels, or that no level is good, but if we could get it down to four or five per cent, we would have a pretty good economy.

I am concerned that this might disrupt some of our small industries, and those employing less than 50 people probably would be affected more than others. But, in the automobile industry, I know of some people who work there part-time and go to university. I know one chap who works on the afternoon shift every Friday in one of the automobile industries, and he goes to university steady. That is because of absenteeism on Friday. They can get a number of these students in to work at any particular spot where somebody is not in on a Friday night. People doing shift work find it gets pretty monotonous at times, and for them it’s kind of nice to have a night off. This creates some employment, of course.

If there was some way we could keep a reasonable overtime for times like this, it probably would help considerably. But on the other hand, as I say, some people like to work and work. To compare it to farming, one farmer may buy 150 acres of land and be content to farm that 150 acres forever, whereas his neighbour may buy 150 acres and five years later he will buy another 100. Just as in anything else, it is a matter of incentive: if you have the ambition and incentive, you may get ahead. That is something we don’t want to stifle either.

I think the Ministry of Labour should be looking at the number of hours that some people are working in many of the major factories. This really should be checked into and investigated, because I am concerned that it is unsafe for those putting in the long hours and for those who may be working around them.

I would be glad to support this bill if I thought it would create any employment. But the way this bill reads I just don’t think will help us in creating any new jobs at this time. I am afraid that I can’t support it.

Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, I rise to enthusiastically and wholeheartedly support the bill.

The bill does a very simple but very dramatic and necessary thing for the working people of this province: it reduces the standard work week to 40 hours and it makes time and a half compulsory for overtime after that time.

The bill is necessary for organized labour so that they can then concentrate in their collective agreements, on negotiating social concerns, working conditions and health and safety matters, which are of great importance in this day and age, as is becoming more and more apparent to us.

Even more important than for organized labour, this bill will be a great step forward for the unorganized workers of Ontario.

While it is important for the industrial unions, as my colleague from Hamilton East pointed out, it is even more important for those people working in the service industries who often work long hours and for low and unacceptable pay. It is a side effect of the bill, not a primary purpose but a side effect of the bill; it is a good side effect and it will create additional jobs.

We have heard from the opposition benches, and from the Conservatives, that we need to have lean and efficient operations in Ontario in terms of corporations. I have been seldom more offended than I have been offended by the arguments put by the member for Mississauga East (Mr. Gregory). The logical extension of his argument, and his argument was solely that the workers, that labour, must bear the brunt of making industry efficient and lean in Ontario, the logical extension of that argument is that we should go back to slavery, because that’s the most efficient way of reducing the cost of labour; that should be put firmly on the record.

We have to consider that there are three elements that make an industry efficient and lean, there are three components: labour, capital and management. I suggest to you that if any industry in this province is so sloppy in its management, and so delinquent in its capital, that it relies solely on labour to make the cuts that are necessary for it to survive, then that industry does not deserve to survive in this province or in this country or in the 20th century.

The bill is important also for unorganized workers. We know how difficult it is to organize workers, because the labour laws of the province and the country are stacked against arriving at a first contract. In a small way this bill helps in that respect as well.

Even more important are the human effects of the bill, Surely it is about time, in a civilized society, no matter how tough the so-called economic conditions are, that we use the technology of the industrial revolution, and we use the technology of the 20th century, to the benefit of mankind, to the benefit of working men and women. We should not be using humanity, working men and women, as cannon fodder, as the prime force making them subservient to our technology and to the industrial revolution.

The important social side effects have been most eloquently expressed by my colleague the member for Cambridge (Mr. Davidson). Might I just relate my own personal experience?

We get a lot of sympathy, as members of the Legislature, because we have to spend a lot of time away from our families and children. My father happened to be a CNR section man and never in his life, after working 47 years, did he earn more than $5,000 in a year. Even more important, to achieve that level of income in the so-called booming ‘50s, he had to work extraordinary hours of overtime, because he happened at that point in his life to be a section foreman and earning the magnificent salary of $1.17 an hour. Whenever there was a train wreck along the line, and he happened to have a certain expertise, he would go and work on that wreck to get the tracks in shape and to get the trains moving again, often for 24, 36 and 48 hours at a time; grabbing an hour’s nap here and there.

It is a corollary that the imposition and the necessity of overtime artificially keeps down the level of wages for regular pay. I submit to you that it is absolutely essential that low pay not be the primary consideration or the most important factor in keeping the economy of this province going, and that we not rely --

Mr. Eaton: Is that for farm work too, and the low cost of the food?

Mr. Foulds: -- on unnecessary overtime; because as I said, one of the most important side effects of the bill is that it will create jobs.

This bill does not cut productivity. What this bill does is bring equity and justice to the work place, and as a side effect it creates jobs. And for those many reasons, Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to support it.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I want to speak to this bill in a very firm and a very straightforward way. But first of all I would like to point out that I am probably the only cabinet minister in this government, or any other government in Canada, who has lost his job because of the non-economic viability of the enterprise. I will be quite frank with you, Mr. Speaker; that colours my views toward the problem of people who are going to lose their jobs.

I really don’t care whether they lose their jobs because of what the technological people or the economic people describe as “viability.” I don’t care whether they lose their jobs because of plain business mismanagement. I don’t even point the finger today, seven or eight years afterwards, at a stupid union. I regard that as part of the human condition. But I can talk about people who are unemployed.

I also want to talk to the House very straightforwardly tonight as the man who brought in the minimum wage for men in the province of Ontario -- not a political party. I take the members back to the days of the late 1950s; there wasn’t a minimum wage for males in this province. People forget that. There was a 75 cents an hour minimum wage for females but nothing for males.

I used the instruments that were available to me at that time, which was the press. Out of that came the Goldenberg royal commission and out of that came the first male minimum wage in this province. So I can talk first-hand about unemployment and I can also talk first-hand about the question of perhaps not a decent wage in terms of all the things that we look at when we think of a decent wage, but at least a basic wage for men and women who went to work.

I must say that I am going to point the finger a little bit tonight, because I think this debate on unemployment has been a bit of a circus.

Mr. Nixon: It looks like the block is in, anyway.

Hon. W. Newman: Glad you recognize it.

Mr. Nixon: Either that or it is pay day.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Were those lawyers talking to you?

Hon. Mr. Drea: I am not going to attribute any motives nor am I going to point the finger of any credibility about the member who brought in the motion. But surely at a time when a nation is in a moment of peril, economic and social and political, the question of the unemployed worker, male or female, in 1977 deserves a lot more attention than it received in this House tonight.

I want to say to you that I am an employer as the Minister of Correctional Services. I have a licence plate facility. I have a textile plant -- and I heard all about the textile industry tonight. I have the best mattress factory, not only in this province but in the country. As a matter of fact we are doing things that will make sure people don’t die from a faulty type of mattress which is all too prevalent in institutions today.

Mr. Ziemba: You are a little late there.


Mr. Nixon: That is the Drea we know. Take him outside.

Hon. Mr. Drea: I want to talk about the fact that I have a metals plant where we recycle metals.

I recycle the metals that were used in old jails and we put them into new jails and they are a gift to the taxpayer. We do that, so I am an employer, as well.


Mr. Havrot: Recycle your tongue over there.

Hon. Mr. Drea: I want to say to you, Mr. Speaker, that the unemployment problem in this country is not a matter of how many hours, whether it is 48, or 44, or 40, or 38, or 36 or zilch.

Mr. Germa: Zilch?

Hon. Mr. Drea: The fundamental problem with unemployment in this country is very plainly and simply --

Mr. Martel: It is not working.

Mr. Germa: Unemployment is not working.

Hon. Mr. Drea: -- that through a number of factors we have priced ourselves out of the market. And not once tonight -- not once tonight -- have I heard a single constructive suggestion --

Mr. Makarchuk: That is not what Darcy says.


Hon. Mr. Drea: One of the constructive suggestions is I do not have a low wage mentality. I believe the worker in this province and this country should get the highest possible value for his input.

Ms. Gigantes: What?

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, not once tonight have I heard about productivity.

Mr. McClellan: Yes, you have; weren’t you around?

Mr. Foulds: What do you think I talked about?

Hon. Mr. Drea: I have heard about the fact that in Japan they have new strip mills for their steel industry. Very humbly I suggest to you tonight that in terms of the capital investment required for a steel strip mill -- and I come out of the steel workers’ organization -- I know what it costs the company and I know what it costs the union in terms of productivity. Not once, tonight have I heard about the capital investment.

Mr. Foulds: Yes, you did.

Mr. Wildman: The member for Port Arthur spoke about it.

Hon. Mr. Drea: One silly New Year’s Eve speech and people will not invest in this country; this is why people are unemployed today, not because of the fact they are working a number of hours.


Mr. Makarchuk: That is verbal and economic myopia.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Every member in this chamber has a right to be heard.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I want to talk in a very straightforward manner tonight, and I am going to point the finger right now. Where is the ghost of Larry Sifton? Larry Sifton wouldn’t have made the kind of speeches that were made tonight from the member’s party, he should be ashamed of himself.

Where are the people who built the textile unions in this country? They wouldn’t have made that kind of a speech and the member knows it.

Before we come to grips with the unemployment problem in this country -- and to me it is a very desperate problem. It is an individual problem; it is the loss of dignity, it is the loss of belief in a system; it is the loss of belief in a country that was held up to you as the place where you could raise your family in dignity, where your children could be better off than you were.

Mr. Germa: Darcy screwed it up.

Mr. McClellan: Now for the truth; tell us about the 40-hour week.

Hon. Mr. Drea: To me during this whole exercise tonight, and I say this with a great deal of sadness, much more with sadness than I say it with criticism, we haven’t done one single thing for one unemployed person; except to heap more criticism on him, to put an even bigger burden upon his shoulders, to show him that even where there is the best talent and the best brains in this province, and I believe that, that we haven’t a single alternative.

As I said, I speak somewhat out of sadness, but I would hope before the next time we indulge in this kind of exercise there is considerable thought given to the type of bill and to the type of speech put forward. The government doesn’t have all the answers, and neither does the Liberal Party and neither does that party; but for heaven’s sake when we are dealing with humanitarian items, such as the point of the unemployed in Canada in 1977, then, sir, I suggest to you with all due respect that a great deal of thought be given, a great deal of preparation be given, and then we can do better than the circus that appeared here tonight.

Mr. Mackenzie: There is one thing I want to say, Mr. Speaker -- I probably wouldn’t have ended this way, but I think it is appropriate -- one of the things Larry Sifton did all of his life, apart from possibly getting rid of the member opposite in the House, one of the things that he did all of his life was fight for working people, and fight at a very ordinary level; and one of his passions was a 40-hour week. The Minister of Correctional Services should be honest with his comments. We dealt with economics, and with the capital cost of plants; we did. I used it and gave him a couple of examples in my remarks, but obviously he wasn’t listening.

Mr. Havrot: They are tools of the American unions.

Mr. Wildman: What about American companies?

Mr. Mackenzie: While there may be appreciation for some of the work being done, members should be careful they don’t break their arm patting themselves on the back.

As I said very clearly at the beginning, this bill may not provide X number of jobs, but it’s likely to help. It is a positive step. It does prevent some of the situations where the 48 hours is used across-the-board, and it’s long overdue.

Mr. Speaker: There are two items of business for the House to consider at this time.


The House divided on the motion for second reading of Bill 100, which was negatived on the following vote:















di Santo




















Miller, G. I.


Newman, B.














Van Horne







































Newman, W.














Smith, G. E.








Taylor, J. A.


Taylor, G.



















Ayes 27; nays 65.

Mr. Speaker: I declare the motion lost.


The House divided on the motion for second reading of Bill 106, which was negatived on the following vote:



















di Santo




































Newman, B.












Van Horne



Miller, G. I.


Newman, W.


















Smith, G. E.






Taylor, J. A.


Taylor, G.

















Ayes 36; nays 56.

Mr. Speaker: I declare the motion lost.

On motion by Hon. Mr. Welch, the House adjourned at 10:36 p.m.