31st Parliament, 1st Session

L060 - Thu 24 Nov 1977 / Jeu 24 nov 1977

The House resumed at 8 p.m.


Resumption of the adjourned debate on second reading of Bill 70, An Act respecting the Occupational Health and Occupational Safety of Workers.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: I believe the member for Kitchener-Wilmot adjourned the debate. I will acknowledge the member for Kitchener-Wilmot.

Mr. Sweeney: I am pleased once again through you, Mr. Speaker, to Madam Minister, to have the opportunity to speak on a bill dealing with the health and safety of the employees of our province -- the workers of our province is perhaps a better way of putting it.

I remember, it seems about a year ago now, participating in the debate on Bill 139, which as someone said earlier is either the mother or the father or something of this particular bill.

Hon. B. Stephenson: It’s the parent.

Mr. Sweeney: Mother? Okay. Very good.

Hon. B. Stephenson: No, no. I just call it the parent.

Mr. Sweeney: We’ll call it the mother, then, of this particular bill.

I would like to point out that at that time some significant changes were made in that bill before it was passed. The minister may remember one particular one when she agreed to change one section of the Act where we added the health of a fellow worker, or the safety of a fellow worker, in addition to the worker himself or herself.

I mention that because I and my colleagues have gone on record as requesting, and will be requesting, some changes to this bill. We believe that based upon past experience some changes will be forthcoming.

I would like at this time to suggest that if this bill in fact is a successor or is the follow-up to a previous bill -- and there will probably be other bills -- that we look upon them in an evolutionary fashion. I would like to suggest, though, that when we look at evolution I would have to feel that at this particular stage we should be concentrating more than this bill does on that part of the evolution which deals with prevention.

It has been my experience at least -- and I understand that too from the minister’s own statement -- there have been no, or very few, examples where the workers of this province have frivolously treated the previous legislation. We need to take that factor into consideration because there is bound to be some concern on the part of the employers, the contractors, the manufacturers, the management side, that in fact legislation like this could be abused.

We have had almost a year, now, to take a look at what has happened, and I don’t think the experience would suggest that that is the case.

I would also like to make one observation at this point in time, that like our colleagues to the left, both ideologically and physically, we are not happy with the way in which this bill is set up. We do want to see changes made, but it is our belief that the purpose of the opposition, the purpose of this Legislature, the purpose of the committee meetings which will follow our debating it here, is to make those changes. That’s the purpose for bringing legislation in here. We do not believe that the proper thing is to send it back to the government, to send it back to you, Madam Minister, through you Mr. Speaker, and ask you to make all those changes.

We recognize two things. Number one, that changes are required. We do not agree with the bill as it presently stands. I strongly suspect that Madam Minister recognized that when she brought it into this House. Secondly, we believe that it is the job of this Legislature. It is the job, particularly, of the opposition members of this Legislature -- that’s why we’re here -- to recommend, to suggest, to argue for; to do whatever we can within our realm of power and authority to make those changes. I would like to put that on record. I would like also to put it on record that as my colleague the member for Quinte (Mr. O’Neil) has already stated, we intend to bring in quite a number of amendments to this bill and that in no way are we accepting it as it is now.

We do accept the fact that it is a step forward. It may not be as big a step forward, in fact it isn’t as big a step forward, as what we would like to see. We will try to make it a bigger step.

Coming back to the point that I mentioned a minute ago about prevention, we think that one of the main ways that prevention will occur is if the health and safety committees be made mandatory. I think it’s only fair for us to make it very clear to you that we feel that. Clearly, one of the main ways in which we are going to prevent more health and safety hazards in industry, in our mines and on our construction sites, is if the workers themselves are more involved, if they know right from the very beginning that they have got to be looking for some of the hazards which are facing them. They have got to participate in anticipating some of the hazards which are going to be facing them.

Maybe this is a difference of view between us, but we believe one of the main ways in which that’s going to be done is if in every single work place in this province, no matter how large or small, there will be a mandatory committee; even if it’s only one worker, because surely that one worker has just as much right to be protected.

Mr. Laughren: Why didn’t you support us on Bill 139 then?

Mr. Sweeney: We’re coming, we’re coming. We accept the fact that this is an evolutionary process. We feel that this is the place to do it. Bill 139 is finished; we’re dealing with Bill 70 and let’s deal with Bill 70.

Mr. Laughren: You can’t suck and blow at the same time.

Mr. Sweeney: I make the point though, that we view it as a preventive measure; not just as a mechanical process, but as a preventive measure. May I just step aside for a minute and draw the minister’s attention to the most recent report of the Ontario Cancer Institute? What I’m saying is not new, but in fact it’s being reinforced at this very late date by an institute which receives the support of this government, which is partially funded by this government --

Mr. Laughren: Good to hear you are supporting the amendment.

Mr. Sweeney: -- and which I understand the government accepts. It says, “Evidence from cancer epidemiology suggests that the great majority of human tumours are a consequence of environmental factors.” I’ll just finish that off -- I realize it’s been said before, it’s simply a supporting argument. At the end it says, “If this is so, this would confirm that the environment really is responsible for the great majority of human tumours and would provide an approach to controlling them.” There’s a whole lot of other things in there. I’m not going to bother reading them. The point we want to emphasize once again is that even a report like this from a prestigious research institute like this, supported by your government, is confirming once again that the environment around us is the largest contributor to cancers.

As one of my colleagues said just a little while ago, the whole area on toxic substances must be strengthened. I would suggest very strongly, and this has also been mentioned by my colleagues in the NDP, that the least that you can put into this legislation, and we will argue for this, is the pretesting of all new substances in the work place.

Time and time again as substances are introduced, we find out later there was something wrong. I appreciate that there is no foolproof scheme. Even though we take the very best efforts, something is going to slip through. We are not suggesting it is going to be foolproof. What we are suggesting is that this approach will certainly reduce, within human frailty, the incidence of this.

The third point I think we can look at with respect to prevention is a preview, also, of new manufacturing processes. We are also beginning to learn that as we move into advanced technology that it must become mandatory --

Hon. B. Stephenson: It is.

Mr. Sweeney: I’m sorry; I didn’t read that in the legislation and the minister will have certainly the opportunity to draw it to my attention and that of my colleagues. It must become mandatory when new processes -- and I’m not talking just about chemicals, I’m talking about when processes are being introduced -- there has got to be some mechanism within our society, within the ministry, within industry, within construction, within mining, to examine it first and to the best of our human ability, to try to predict where it may be a hazard. We believe this very strongly.

I would step aside just for a minute. It has been my experience that the majority of the cases, at least the ones I’m dealing with, and I understand many of my colleagues are dealing with at the Workmen’s Compensation Board, deal with back injuries; I would suggest a disproportionate share.

And when we are dealing with this piece of legislation I don’t see anything really being done about it. It seems to me that month after month -- and I was going to say year after year, but I have only been here for two years; although I have talked to some of my colleagues about this and it seems as if it has been year after year -- we keep going back to the Compensation Board, we keep meeting these injured workers and a very high proportion of them involve back injuries. Somehow, some way, I think we have got to come to grips with that. I don’t know what the answer is, I’m not an expert in this area; but I don’t see any evidence that anyone is doing very much about it. Maybe this is the place to take a look at that.

Even from the financial point of view, even if we can’t persuade your ministry or your government or the Workmen’s Compensation Board or industry to take a look at it for other reasons, maybe it should be examined just from the financial point of view. I just draw attention to one little section here from this particular London Free Press statement: “The federal labour department estimates accidents and job-related illnesses or disease cost workers in industry $800 million in lost wages and compensation claims last year.” That represents more days of lost production than our horrendous strike record in this country. So even from an economic viewpoint, we should come to grips with this kind of an issue. Finally, in terms of prevention, I think that we need to do an education job in this province. Education, I would suggest, on more than one front.

First of all, we know that if this is going to be effective we have got to have skilled professionals to move into the field in terms of inspectors, maybe working with the health and safety committees. Yet we know from the experience of the last couple of years that we don’t have enough people here to do that. We have had to import them from England and other places.

We know that our own colleges and universities are not turning out enough of these people. So from a prevention point of view, we have got to get on the bandwagon. I hope that the minister will ask her colleague, the Minister of Colleges and Universities (Mr. Parrott), that programs for these kinds of people must be implemented. And I would like to see some reference to it in here. I didn’t see it. I went through the bill but I don’t see it.

Secondly, if we are really going to have effective health and safety committees, there must be an education job for them as well; whether it is the Ministry of Labour or the Ministry of Colleges and Universities or some branch, I don’t know which one, but there has got to be an educational program developed so that people understand, better than the average worker does, some of the things that they have got to be aware of, some of the things that they are going to be dealing with. I would suggest that education has to take at least that point of view.


I would like now to express a couple of concerns that I have about the legislation itself. First of all, with respect to the exemptions. I notice that the bill pretty well exempts government agencies, government services, the various employment possibilities involving civil servants or people who are funded by the government.

Let me just take a couple of examples that I think we’ve got to take another look at that. There’s recent evidence, Madam Minister, that the labs of our universities and colleges are seriously hazardous places. We have had three reports from universities in this province in the last two or three months, stating that there are real hazards there. In one sense that may not appear to be a work place and maybe even the people who are there don’t see it as a work place; but it’s a work place for the faculty, and in some ways it’s a laboratory work place even for the students because here, surely as part of their education, they should learn proper health and safety procedures..

If we don’t have such procedures there, how can we expect people to go out into industry, go out into the construction field and into the mines without developing that kind of attitude. I don’t think we can afford to leave that out; the university is one of the training grounds for our young people coming out into the world of work, into the world of industry; and it is a work place for the faculty.

Secondly, I’ve had contact with correction officers in the last three or four weeks, and they’ve expressed rather grave concerns to me about the hazard of their job. I think this is becoming general, Madam Minister. Maybe it is an issue you’ve got to discuss with all of your cabinet colleagues. As we tighten the restraint program in this province, I would suggest to you that people who work in government-supported agencies or institutions are going to be facing an increasing hazard in their job. In many cases, they’re going to be doing tasks that they’re not fully prepared and trained for. I would suggest that they’re going to be working longer hours and therefore becoming more tired. There’s going to be a tendency for them to be short staffed, and what I’m trying to suggest is that in this legislation we seem to be ruling those people out -- and you can speak to that if I’m wrong, Madam Minister -- while on the other hand the government is instituting a restraint program which I would strongly suggest to you is perhaps going to increase the hazard of the work place for those kinds of people and for the kinds of reasons that I mentioned. I think we need to take another look at that.

Another thing I’m concerned about in the legislation is the number of places where terminology such as “as may be prescribed” is used. Really, that’s a pretty general term. Let me just give you two examples; there are all kinds and I’m sure you’re aware of them as well.

Section 13(2) starts off: “where so prescribed a constructor shall before commencing any work on a project” and so on. Another one right over on the next page, section 15(i), “where so prescribed provide a worker with written instructions as to the measures and procedures to be taken for the protection of a worker.”

That kind of thing comes up fairly frequently, and I for one, Madam Minister, and my colleague from Quinte, who will be speaking to this in the committee stage even more so, must draw to your attention that we’re a little bit concerned that there are just too many places where it says, “where it shall be prescribed”, or “as may be prescribed.” We’d like a little bit more tightening on that. We’d like that to be a little bit more precise.

I was very pleased, and I would like to go on record as saying it here, to notice section 32(1)d, on page 31, where it talks about confidentiality. Maybe I should half pose a question here, Madam Minister: I’ve run into a couple of cases very recently where occupational health nurses, nurses working in industry, have been dismissed. They’ve been in touch with officials of your ministry and apparently nothing can be done about it. They’ve been dismissed because they insisted upon the confidentiality of the material brought to them by workers. I hope you’ll respond to this. I’m hoping that this particular section is going to protect those people.

I’ve talked to some of the workers in those two plants as well and the response I got from them was, “You know, there’s got to be somebody around here we can go and talk to about particular problems we have, whether it’s an emotional problem, whether it’s a health problem, or whether it’s a social problem, without knowing the person is going to run to the personnel department or run to one of the managers and blab it all over the place.”

In the most recent situation I had the personnel officer of a food-processing plant insisted the nurse in the plant tell her about the health background of several workers. She said, “I can’t. It was given to me in confidentiality. I can’t tell you. I’ll tell you where it’s a problem as far as the process is concerned, as far as the health and safety of this plant is concerned, but I can’t tell you personally.” That lady was fired; she was fired. She spoke to members of the Ministry of Labour and they say, “We’re sorry. We don’t think it should happen, but we don’t have any power to prevent it at the present time.”

So I’m hoping that that’s what this section is for, because I think that’s wrong. I think surely the workers in our industry shouldn’t have to face that kind of hazard.

Mr. Martel: The member should support our reasoned amendment.

Mr. Sweeney: In terms of concerns too, let me put it in another way. One of the personal concerns I have is the number of workers who because of the economic pressures we’re facing today are performing, and I say voluntarily, an excessive amount of overtime. I’ve polled my colleagues here and we have examples of workers taking not two shifts but three shifts. Just common sense tells me no matter what their economic needs are, and I know some of our workers have severe economic needs, the health hazard and the safety hazard under those conditions has got to be greater.

I simply can’t believe those workers can be as alert, and not only for their own health and safety but also for the health and safety of their fellow workers. Just imagine a man who’s operating one of those overhead cranes. He’s got a load of steel he’s moving along, and because he’s tired he pushes the wrong button. Somewhere along the line, I would certainly hope we can discuss it with the working people themselves, because I wouldn’t want to suggest we just sort of slap it on top of them, but I think there needs to be a serious discussion about some limitations with respect to voluntary overtime. I think there’s got to be some real serious discussion on the subject of compulsory overtime, and even voluntary overtime. There’s nothing in here which seems to speak to that.

I’m suggesting to the minister that could be a serious safety hazard. As a matter of fact as one of my colleagues pointed out earlier this afternoon, with respect to agricultural workers there’s a curious phenomenon. Most agricultural accidents occur at 4 or 5 o’clock in the afternoon, because people are tired, because they’re not alert. I think there’s a connection there. I don’t have any statistics at all as to when most industrial accidents take place. Maybe there’s some statistics that would bear me out, but I think it should be looked into anyway.

All in all, I’m pleased to speak to this bill. I think it is a second step forward. I hope we can really start looking at it more from the preventive point of view rather than just the curative point of view. Thank you.

Mr. Bounsall: I rise in strong support of the reasoned amendment put forward by the member for Nickel Belt (Mr. Laughren). I do so in the firm belief that Bill 139, the one we dealt with last November and December is a better bill than this omnibus bill which we have before us, particularly in relation to part of this omnibus bill dealing with the right to refuse work where the worker feels health and safety are in danger. The right to refuse is definitely weakened by the addition, particularly, of section 21(11) under which a worker can be disciplined if it’s found his or her grounds for concern, and his or her grounds for refusing to work, may not have been proven when the investigation has taken place. What this does is definitely establish in this Act a means of intimidation of any worker, an intimidation which is likely to cause workers not to seek the protection which the Act purports to give that worker.

We went through that whole sequence with the legislation we had before, that is, Bill 139. According to the Act under which workers worked previously they could refuse work only to be told, of course, by their foreman, that they had to go to work if in his opinion it was deemed feasible. This was the bill under which they worked prior to Bill 139. If they insisted upon it they were, of course, disciplined.

In Bill 139 we definitely did have a step forward, because on reasonable grounds workers could refuse work. In the Ministry of Labour estimates of this fall we were told, in no uncertain terms, that this section was not abused, had not been abused. Then the minister comes in with section 21(11) in this bill, and this will cause every employer, if it’s finally proven by the Ministry of Labour inspector that whatever site or machine involved is not unsafe, to then invoke section 21(11) against the workers. That’s intimidation.

All you have to do is have it once in one plant. This is the way the Act reads.

Hon. B. Stephenson: It isn’t.

Mr. Bounsall: If it doesn’t do that, then take it out of this Act. Get rid of it so there’s no doubt in the workers’ minds in this province that they have the right to refuse work until that location is proven safe.

The minister’s figures over 10 months have not shown that workers have taken undue advantage of this under the earlier Act, by her own admission and by her staff’s own admission. This is what makes this bill a step backwards, not just a step aside. It certainly isn’t a step forward when you have sections about the basic right to refuse -- the real guts of this bill, in terms of how it affects the lives of workers in that work place -- which make workers subject to intimidation the way the new section of this Act does.

I, along with the rest of my colleagues who have spoken from the New Democratic Party, expected this omnibus bill to be a much stronger bill than it is on the basis of the remarks the minister and one or two members of her staff made at the time of the discussion of Bill 139 last fall. Time and time again we heard from the minister, and a couple of her staff out in the corridor, as we were going through it clause by clause, that it was only an interim bill and what were we doing offering our detailed amendments to it. They said: “Trust us. We will be bringing in the omnibus bill”; or words to this effect.

We were a little leery of that. That’s why we continued with our amendments, only to find this bill before us which, in my opinion, is not a step forward and does not include any of the specific commitments given by them to include some of our concerns. We were told: “Wait until the omnibus bill. We haven’t got much time this fall, but this will work in the interim until we can bring that in. You’ll be surprised, pleased and so forth, at some of the things we’ll have in it.” Those were the words that I heard; yet we have this bill which does not include what we felt to be the key provisions.

Certainly one of them was mandatory health and safety committees, which our reasoned amendment put as point number one. Here again, I simply cannot understand the minister’s or the ministry officials’ attitude.

Mr. Speaker, I will wait until I have the undivided attention of the Minister of Labour. I think it’s only right that she, and not only the staff, hear what I have to say about this bill.


I cannot understand how this minister or the ministry staff does not think it reasonable to make use of all those front line workers out there -- who know the conditions in the plant, who know the conditions in the work place and who already know what should be done to improve working conditions, or with a little bit of training could be brought to that point -- to use these people in ensuring that across Ontario we have more healthful work places. By refusing to make health and safety committees mandatory in our work places across Ontario, you are not giving the opportunity to those people most concerned about their own conditions the opportunity to have input on it. As we have seen in the last 10 months, the minister has really not used her powers to appoint committees of health and safety around this province.

How, except through the creation of mandatory safety committees, will the unorganized workers in this province ever hear about this bill? However circumscribed they might be by section 21(11), how will they ever hear that they have the right to refuse work if they consider the machine, device, thing, or work place unsafe?

Hon. B. Stephenson: We send them copies of the bill.

Mr. Bounsall: You are going to send it to every unorganized worker in the province, are you? You know how effective that is.

Hon. B. Stephenson: Are you suggesting that they can’t read?

Mr. Bounsall: No, I am not suggesting they can’t read, just how you best bring it to their attention. You know that’s not a very effective way, and if that’s your answer, that’s one great big cover-up for not doing anything proper in health and safety effectively in this province.

Mr. Laughren: You don’t even know who the unorganized workers are.

An hon. member: She doesn’t even know what a worker is.

Mr. Bounsall: You are not as serious as some of your staff would like you to be, and neither is the cabinet, about health and safety in this province.

Hon. J. A. Taylor: Shame.

Mr. Bounsall: Darn right it’s a shame. You are guaranteeing me that you have a mechanism, Madam Minister --

Hon. B. Stephenson: Absolute balderdash and you know it; you are standing and prevaricating.

Mr. Bounsall: I apologize, Mr. Speaker, for replying in the context of my speech to the minister’s interjections. She has plenty of time to answer when her own time comes.

Answer this one. You are therefore guaranteeing, by your attitude and your remarks, that virtually no unorganized worker in this province is going to be unaware of the rights he has to refuse work under unsafe conditions.

Mr. Laughren: You are going to send them a bill, are you -- a copy of the bill?

Mr. Martel: You are going to protect them.

Mr. Bounsall: You have a mechanism to ensure that each one of them becomes aware, I gather. You can tell us when it comes time for you to reply, just what mechanism you are going to use to achieve that.

I also feel very strongly that we must actually see in this bill that the coverage has been extended to all groups that are now excluded. We have the minister’s assurances, in estimates and in comments today with reply to other speakers, that coverage will be extended. But I for one will have no assurance whatsoever until I see it in the bill.

We have seen Bill 70 follow Bill 139 with certain assurances having been given at the time of Bill 139, but it does not appear in this legislation, in Bill 70.

I would be interested in the minister’s reply on whether the new section 1(26) of the bill, in which “work place” is defined to include site locations, space, et cetera, “at, upon, in or near where a worker performs work,” in fact will cover some of the exclusions which we have had in the past.

At least one of your ministry staff knows about the situation of the plant protecting workers down at the Chrysler plant in Windsor. They were ordered by the Chrysler Corporation, in the absence of city police from time to time or their lateness at arriving at the job, to go out and direct traffic on the street. Not having had any training, and in the initial instance not having any of the protective clothing devices, one or two of them invoked Bill 139, saying that it was not safe and they were worried about going out there; they tried to achieve their rights. Of course, one finds under Bill 139 that that roadway outside the plant is not the industrial site, therefore it did not cover them.

Since then the workers have been provided with some clothing which reflects light quite effectively, with some proper flashlight devices, and are now getting some training from the Windsor police. But in the initial instance, and for some weeks, that situation prevailed. I would like assurance from the minister that that sort of situation is covered when you say “near a worker’s work place”; that they have the right to refuse should that situation arise.

My colleague the member for Hamilton East (Mr. Mackenzie) mentioned the situation that the workers on the Brewers Retail trucks run into when they come to an establishment where they are unloading their kegs of beer. If there is an unsafe condition pertaining there they have of course been caught out as well.

If those examples are all going to be covered by the wording you have in section 1(26), I would like to have the minister acknowledge that. The Industrial Safety Act apparently pertained only to a particular industrial site itself, but the inclusion of “near where the worker performs work,” means these two situations will in fact be covered, is that correct? If not, let’s see it specifically in the bill.

It will come as no surprise to the minister that I feel the bill must, as our reasoned amendment says, have pretesting of all substances introduced into the work place before their introduction. The toxic substances section of this legislation is extremely weak; standards of course need to be set for a whole host of additional materials, well beyond what is contemplated in this bill.

As do all the members of our party, I feel that this legislation is not sufficient to meet the needs of Ontario. In fact, it has sufficient anomalies in it, particularly section 21(1), that we don’t need to proceed with this legislation until it comes back in a much improved form. We agreed with those sections of the labour movement that have contacted us and said: “We can better live with Bill 139 than we can with this bill.” That is why we have introduced our reasoned amendment asking the minister to go back and get these committees worked in. If the opposition party on our right will accept that, when you bring this bill back in with these directions in it we would have a bill which would be an improvement over Bill 139.

This bill before us is not, in my opinion -- and certainly in the opinion of the sections of the labour movement who have spoken to me -- an improvement. We would be best to live with Bill 139 rather than this bill.

So take your time. Take two, three or four months, if necessary, drafting these amendments -- which you don’t believe in, that’s why it might take you that long to draft them -- before you bring it back to us. In this instance we can wait, from what I see in this bill.

I say to the Liberals, who I understand will not be supporting our reasoned amendment, that this is the only way we can be assured, really, of getting the improvements which we have in our reasoned amendment into this legislation.

Mr. Sweeney: You don’t have any confidence in yourself.

Mr. Bolan: We will do the amendments.

Mr. Bounsall: We will, as you know, move each of these amendments in committee. What we are concerned about is that some of these changes are simply too broad to be in fact in order in committee, because they change the intent of Bill 70 too drastically. We are not about to take that chance.

Mr. Reid: How long have you been here?

Mr. S. Smith: You are wrong as usual.

Mr. Bounsall: I am glad of the reaction over there --

Mr. Mackenzie: It’s time you woke up and came on back.

Mr. Bounsall: -- because the member for Rainy River, and various of the others who have spoken over there and have given this reaction, must then be confident that you are able to support us as we place these amendments and have them carry in committee.

Mr. Reid: Do you think you are the only people in here?

Mr. Mackenzie: We’ll see how you vote the next time around.

Mr. Bounsall: We’ll certainly be interested in seeing how many of these amendments you actually support out there in committee.

Mr. Sweeney: We don’t change it unless it needs to be changed.

Mr. Mackenzie: You didn’t last time.

Mr. Bounsall: You certainly didn’t last time.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order.

Mr. S. Smith: We will present the amendments, you support them.

Mr. Mackenzie: Another push me -- pull you, I guess.

Mr. Bounsall: Your first speaker in fact did not support the last one. The last Liberal speaker, if I recall, in his remarks on the section dealing with mandatory safety committees, from what I caught of his speech, did not support such an approach. If that’s not correct, then we’ll be delighted to combine outside on committee on that.

Mr S. Smith: What nonsense.

Mr. Sweeney: Read Hansard.

Mr. Bounsall: There is one key point on which there is no agreement as to whether or not it can be done by committee. This amendment is the only sure way that we will get the regulation before us with the bill.

Mr. Reid: And you would hold it up even longer. It would be held up.

Mr. Bounsall: Yes, you’re darn right.

Mr. Reid: That is the most irresponsible thing you have ever done; completely irresponsible.

Hon. B. Stephenson: Absolutely stupid.

Mr. Bounsall: Bill 139, as it stands, is a better bill than Bill 70; and to proceed with this bill in the face of a better bill already in the statutes, for those who are interested in workers’ safety in this province, is simply not acceptable.

The only way we’ll get the regulations before us, is to have this reasoned amendment carry --

Hon. B. Stephenson: Oh, it is not.

Mr. Bounsall: -- so that we will be able to see the standards, the guidelines and the directions --

Mr. Sweeney: You would let somebody else make the decisions for you.

Mr. S. Smith: You would let civil servants do it for you; we can do it ourselves.

Mr. Bounsall: -- and have them before us at the time that we debate this bill. I would like to see the regulations. I think they’re very important in this bill. This is the only way that we’ll see them in connection with this bill.

Mr. Reid: You won’t see them if you hold up the bill.

Mr. Sweeney: Regulations flow from legislation.

Mr. Bounsall: You sure won’t see them as you go out there making statements to the bill in committee.

Mr. Riddell: I speak for the agricultural industry on this particular bill. I would like to compliment the minister for the approach that has been taken to develop this omnibus bill. Effective legislation is developed when the Legislature provides for open consultation with the parties to be affected by the proposed legislation. A series of meetings were held earlier this year by the minister, which is a good example of such action. When I sat here this afternoon and listened to the leader of the NDP party talk about the --

Mr. Wildman: That is redundant.

Mr. S. Smith: It is indeed.

Mr. Riddell: -- the lack of confidence and trust that the trade unions had in the minister and in the occupational health and safety division of the Ministry of Labour, I just had to think, “Where is the lack of trust?”

Mr. Martel: I’m going to show you in a few minutes.

Mr. Riddell: I’m inclined to think that the labour unions are lacking confidence and trust in that party right there, and they’re starting to look to the Liberals --

Mr. Sweeney: About time they learned.

Mr. Riddell: -- for a way to help them with their problems.

Mr. Bounsall: They sure will need help with you.

Mr. Gregory: They are really in trouble.


Mr. Kennedy: They’ll be in real trouble.

Mr. Riddell: I have to give credit to the minister for seeking the advice, not only from the labour section of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, but from the Federation of Agriculture and the Ontario Farm Safety Council. When she spoke in January to the labour section of the OFVGA, she launched right into her speech without prefacing her remarks with the great things the Tories are doing or have done, or without telling any stories. But the first question she asked was, “Should occupational health and safety standards for the agricultural industry be established by legislation?” And she goes on to say that she wasn’t at the meeting to answer that question but to find answers to the question by those who are directly involved with the agricultural industry.

She asked if there was a need for occupational health and safety standards in the agricultural industry and could legislation fulfil that need? If legislation were introduced would it be successful in achieving its goals? She quoted some statistics indicating that deaths had increased 32 per cent, lost-time accidents were declining, but on the other hand time-lost accidents were increasing. I couldn’t understand what the difference between lost-time and time-lost was, so my good friend the member for Huron-Bruce (Mr. Gaunt) went over and spoke to the minister’s deputy and he came back and said that really there isn’t any difference at all.

Mr. Gaunt: I am the “gopher” for the member for Huron-Middlesex; I go for this and go for that.

Mr. Riddell: After we sorted through it, we found out that there is essentially no difference, but that what the minister was trying to point out was that there were fewer and fewer accidents related to the agricultural industry, but overall industrial accidents were increasing.

It was nice to know that the accident risks in the agricultural industry are declining, yet it still ranks among the most hazardous sections of the Ontario economy. There is no question that there is a need for a special effort to create a safer and healthier agricultural work place, but I just don’t believe that legislation of safety standards will improve the situation.

The reason I say that is because of the complexity of the work place; weather conditions, the seasonal nature of agricultural work, long extended hours during peak periods, machinery and equipment designed and manufactured to different standards for agriculture than for the same equipment used in industry, the fluctuating number of workers involved with the inherent job-training programs -- in other words all these things show that agriculture requires special consideration in the development of occupational health and safety legislation.

The development of such legislation must be by consultation with farmers and farm organizations. As I have already indicated, the minister has sought out the advice of these organizations; and there is no question that farm organizations will support the extension of health and safety legislation to agriculture, provided it is developed by the Ministry of Labour in consultation with an agricultural advisory committee.

I am pleased to see that the minister did follow the directions of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture and the Ontario Farm Safety Association and the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association by naming Mr. Peter Fisher to the advisory board. That was the one name they recommended and that was the name the minister used. You are certainly to be commended for that.

The farm organizations, I can say, support the intent, and realize the need for occupational health and safety regulations in agriculture; so do I. Whether such legislation should be extended to other workers should be a matter for consultation between the Ministry of Labour and the various groups concerned.

The legislation should make provisions for standards of safety by regulation. No part of the bill should apply to agriculture except by regulation.

Mr. Laughren: Oh ho; here now.

Mr. Riddell: Yes, you are going to learn something here about the agricultural industry, Floyd.

Since each segment of agriculture requires particular knowledge and skills, and because work is performed under a wide range of environmental conditions, unsafe conditions in agriculture should be covered by separate regulations.

Unsafe conditions rather than unsafe work should be described. There must be provisions made for exemptions where standards for machines would make the machine impractical or inoperative. An example is the roll bars on the tractors used predominantly in orchard work. I think we’re going to see more roll bars coming out on the new tractors. We hear a little bit about retrofit, where they’re going to try to get some of these roll bars installed on older tractors as well.

Mr. Wildman: What about power take-off?

Mr. Riddell: What about it? Do you know what it is?

Mr. Wildman: Yes.

Mr. Riddell: Okay.

Mr. S. Smith: He has it on his hot wheels toys.

Mr. Riddell: An appeal procedure would be developed by the advisory committee in conjunction with the ministry to hear appeals from both employers and employees as to employees’ refusal to perform work under unsafe conditions.

Protection for the employer against the frivolous or unjustified resort to the right to refuse to work should be established by regulation. Protection for an employee who is unjustifiably disciplined for refusing to perform work under unsafe conditions should be provided by regulation. The employer should have the right, under conditions established by regulation, to provide alternative assignments and/or temporary layoffs. The employer should have the right to assign the disputed work to another employee until the agricultural health and safety appeal committee has resolved the dispute. The objecting employee should have right to full remuneration preceding resolution of the dispute, provided he is willing to perform alternate work during the dispute, and providing there is work available.

The whole concept of joint health and safety committees, and the designation of health and safety representatives, is based on organizational and social structures existing in industry. It does not take into account the organizational and social structures existing in agriculture. There is, however, a need for arbitration, investigation and expert information. The establishing of a body to carry out these functions should not be at the ministerial discretion. The development of the arbitration system should be by the minister in close consultation with the joint advisory committee to which I’ve alluded.

Few, if any, chemicals are used in agriculture other than pest control products. The control of such products and their use is regulated by the Pesticides Act, Ontario, 1973, and the Pest Control Products Act, Canada. Therefore, further regulation is not required at this time. If, however, standards are required in the future, there should be guidelines recommended by the advisory health and safety committee, as indicated by records and experience, for the protection of health and safety.

The advisory council on occupational health and occupational safety should study, research and advise the minister on matters of occupational health and safety. Such a body should have funds available for research projects which may be contracted for with private agencies or universities. Such an advisory body should be composed of at least one representative of farmers, with the support of the advisory committee. The advisory council should be a research and an advisory body for the ministry, and through the ministry to any arbitration system established.

Farm organizations choose not to comment on existing regulations under the Industrial Safety Act, the Construction Safety Act and Mining Act; any omnibus bill should contain provisions for similar requirements to cover agriculture by regulation. Such regulations should be approached from the point of view of ease of implementation, and simplicity of explanation and enforcement, so that the desired objective of overcoming unsafe and unhealthy conditions will be achieved. Separate regulations dealing with unsafe conditions rather than unsafe work should be drafted. Initial regulations should cover protective structures for tractor operations, guarding and shielding of farm equipment -- that’s where you would guard the power take-off --

Mr. Wildman: That’s right.

Mr. Riddell: -- and personal protective equipment. It is imperative that when regulations are in place any established standards must apply to new equipment only.

Exemptions must be established for existing equipment on farms, as well as for new equipment, when standards for such equipment would impede or prevent its operation. Agriculture should be brought under the Act by regulation and by sections as above.

Each section should be considered separate from the others, and regulations appropriate for one section prepared and introduced before attempting to bring other sections under the Act.

Since there are few precedents where health and safety regulation apply to agriculture, and since many of the work conditions in agriculture are beyond the control of either the employer or the employee, contraventions must be dealt with in a manner consistent with responsibility.

Existing provisions with respect to prosecution and remedies upon conviction are not appropriate to agriculture.

The farm organizations recommend the careful study of conditions, followed by the development of regulations by the advisory committee and the establishing of provisions appropriate for the contravention of the regulations. There should be a distinction made between regular work and emergency work. In the event of an emergency, it may be in the public interest to waive conditions.

Compilation of data relating to health and safety in agriculture should be the responsibility of the Workmen’s Compensation Board, the Ontario Farm Safety Association and the agricultural section of the advisory council on occupational health and safety. Analysis of data should be the responsibility of the health and safety advisory council. Dissemination of information to employers, employees, farm organizations, associations and others should be the responsibility of the Minister of Labour, who may use the advisory council and the Ontario Farm Safety Association as the disseminating bodies. Accident prevention associations should continue to promote safety and accident prevention.

These are some of the many recommendations made by the farm organizations, namely the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, the Ontario Farm Safety Association and the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association. I believe the minister has lent an ear to many of these suggestions, and I do hope that she will look favourably upon them.

In conclusion, I just simply wish to state that the farm organizations support the application of health and safety regulations to agriculture, but only after careful study of the effect of such regulations on each segment of agriculture. Such regulations must be introduced over a period of time and under close consultation with the various farm organizations which I’ve already mentioned. Thank you very much.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: The hon. member for Sudbury East.

Mr. O’Neil: He’s going to switch over with us.

Mr. Martel: You’ve got to believe it.

Since 1967, I have spoken about health and safety in the work place. I might say that in conjunction with my friend Paul Falkowski from the United Steel workers, I was one of the first ones involved on cancer related to working in the sintering plant in Copper Cliff, where some 50 men, I guess, have lost their lives. We had to fight like mad; we literally had to fight like mad to get recognition -- despite the government, not because of it. In my opinion, this is the most corrupt government going when it comes to health and safety; the people who have been in some of the various departments of the ministries are a disaster.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and its mine section is the biggest disgrace on the face of this province. We not only got involved in health and safety, my friend Falkowski and I, in trying to bring compensation benefits for the wives of the workers in the sintering plant at Inco in Sudbury, we were also the first ones to be involved in that long dispute at Elliot Lake when the government was so busy covering it up.

For 13 years -- I remind you of the corruptness of this government -- for 13 long years the government hid what was going on.

In 1961, an Ontario Department of Mines report said: “In the Elliot Lake mines there is both a dust and radiation problem.” They indicated at that time something would have to be done, and it would have to be carefully screened based on the experiences from other jurisdictions. That came only several years after the Senate investigation in the United States. For 13 years, this government sat on its haunches and it watched workers die.

They fought us, I remind you, in 1973 and 1974, until the Steelworkers had an illegal strike.

Mr. Laughren: That’s right.


Mr. Martel: Minister after minister on that side of the House, as I raised these issues, told me I was exaggerating. Allan Lawrence; remember him, the “white knight”? George Kerr; do you remember him? He’s still here. Matt Dymond; do you remember him?

I remember them all as they told me there was nothing wrong with the men who were dying from cancer as a result of working in the sintering plant. If it hadn’t been for one doctor in Hamilton, Dr. Cecilione, these men today still wouldn’t have the benefits, because this government and its lackeys hid the facts.

I’m going to quote some of the letters that came into my possession during those years; then you jokers can tell me to have faith, blind faith and trust in what they’re going to give us. I tell you you’re wrong.

Mr. S. Smith: And you’re the one who is giving it back to them.

Mr. Martel: Don’t be so convoluted.

Mr. Davidson: Tell them how you voted on the last bill.

Mr. Acting Speaker: Order.

Mr. Martel: I read the debates from Bill 139. I well recall you gentlemen voting against those same amendments. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t dribble out both sides of your mouth; you can’t suck and whistle at the same time.

Mr. Riddell: If your car was to break down you’d probably send it back to the factory instead of trying to fix it yourself.

Mr. Martel: You can’t suck and whistle at the same time, and that’s what you want to do.

Mr. Acting Speaker: The member is becoming repetitious.

Mr. Martel: You had an opportunity and you voted against every amendment.

Mr. Sweeney: Take a look at yourself.

Mr. Riddell: You fellows encounter a problem and you don’t try to resolve it.

Mr. Martel: The minister wants us to have blind faith in her and those people.

Hon. B. Stephenson: No, no; I wouldn’t ask that of you, Elie, not blind faith.

Mr. Mackenzie: You were just kidding earlier, eh?

Mr. Martel: In the Elliot Lake situation, had it not been for union pressure and the assistance of this party, the Ham commission would have never come about; and you want me to believe that the unorganized workers are going to somehow be protected.

I remember the battles when I went to the then Minister of Labour and minister in charge of mines and said: “When the men walk off the job will you protect them?” They said: “No.” That was 10 years ago. They had unions; do you want me to believe that the unorganized are going to be able to face the onslaught of a major corporation? Who are you trying to kid?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Nobody, absolutely nobody. Only you would try to kid somebody.

Mr. Martel: Well you certainly are, but we’re going to come to it. We should believe with blind faith and we shouldn’t say to the government: There’s been too much collusion between management and the companies that we can’t have anything unless we write into law what we want. If it isn’t written into law it is not worthwhile having, because your track record is something less than envious.

Let me give you a couple of examples, for the minister’s edification as she sits here. We caught your friends in the mining industry with their finger in the pie --

Mr. Laughren: Guess whose finger was in there with theirs?

Mr. Martel: -- with respect to a number of violations of the Mining Act. Listen to what your inspector said to the “white knight” in his letter, which wasn’t supposed to come into my possession: “Both the hoistmen and the immediate supervisor would have to be summonsed. I do not know if there is a case against the company. I certainly advise that the department should prosecute. The minister would have a difficult time in Parliament answering Mr. Martel if we do not prosecute.”

Did they prosecute? No way. It was a violation of the Mining Act, far in excess of the hours laid down by the minister’s own Act. Did they prosecute? No, not at all; it was never raised. That letter wasn’t supposed to come into my possession. That’s a simple case. It’s a violation of the Act, but there is the minister’s staff saying: “We’ll have difficulty answering Martel if he should raise it in the House if we don’t prosecute.” That the company was violating wasn’t the worry; the worry was that the minister would have difficulty in answering.

Yet you want me to accept your crazy Act; when these people here are the same, when nothing has changed.

Let me give you another nice example. For two and a half years, my friend Paul Falkowski and I fought to try and get the drinking water improved at the smelter in Sudbury, at Copper Cliff. And for two and a half years they told us we were crazy. Allan Lawrence said --

Hon. B. Stephenson: They were half right.

Mr. Martel: Maybe; in your case, they would be totally right.

Mr. Wildman: Did you say they were half-wits?

Mr. S. Smith: You mean they should have done it for five years.

Mr. Martel: You know it might be funny, Stuart, except that they had medical evidence on record over there that people in the town of Lively and the men in the smelters were getting sick --

Mr. S. Smith: I agree with you.

Mr. Martel: -- from the drinking water. And what did these people do? Let me tell you.

“Free potable water at Inco.” A letter from dear Bert Lawrence, Minister of Health of the day, to none other than George Kerr. You know them both. Let me read:

“This is further to my letter of June 2. The staff of my department are aware of the complaints relating to the quality of drinking water, not only in the Copper Cliff operation but also in Port Colborne.

“A meeting has been held with representatives of the water resources commission ... I am pleased to note that this has been done by Mr. Caverly.” They noted the problem. They noted that the medical staff in the town of Lively and in Port Colborne were aware that people were getting sick.

Dear Bert writes back. He said: “Dear George: Thank you for your letter. I have referred the correspondence to my people.”

That went on for a while and then George Kerr writes back to his friend Bert and he says: “Bert: I am attaching hereto a copy of a memo from D. S. Caverly, general manager of OWRC, regarding this matter. You will note that it is a most unsatisfactory report and that it would appear that little or nothing has been done to correct the situation.” Inco, of course, is more or less noted for its apathy to problems such as this.

There was then a memo from Gordon Hampson, who was the executive assistant to George Kerr. Gordon Hampson puts out a little memo in this little escapade and he says: “You will recall numerous complaints by Elie Martel and Paul Falkowski, regarding the quality of drinking water at the Copper Cliff smelter. I have now received the attached report from Dave Caverly which in fact admits that everything these gentlemen have been saying is true. You will note particularly the first paragraph of Mr. Caverly’s memo of May 19 which indicates that complaints have been received for two or more years.”

An hon. member: Elie, she doesn’t have anything to do with this.

Mr. Lewis: That’s quite germane. There have been coverups in occupational and environmental health for years. Why should we trust them now?

Mr. Martel: Two or more years, he said.

And it goes on: “And there are now medical reports to the effect that there has been an increase in stomach disorders in the town of Lively since this water system was connected to the same source of supply.”

He writes further: “I am absolutely shocked to think that all we are apparently doing is requiring Inco to take interim measures to improve the water being distributed in the smelter. You will note in the second paragraph that Inco has apparently done nothing to proceed with the construction of the water treatment plant to improve the system, although a consulting engineer was hired in 1969.”

This is, by the way, 1971.

“It is no wonder that people vote NDP in the Sudbury area.”

That’s Gordon Hampson, executive assistant to George Kerr. Of course this wasn’t supposed to get into our files. It shows you the collusion --

Mr. Riddell: Times have changed, that was 1971.

Mr Martel: -- the absolute collusion between the government of Ontario, knowing full well that people were getting sick, there were medical records on file to indicate this, and this government covered it up.

And the minister says: “Have faith, baby, have faith.” That’s what you have told us all afternoon.

Hon. B. Stephenson: I didn’t say “baby,” not to you.

Mr. Martel: That’s what you told us all afternoon. No, not the “baby” part; but have faith. In whom, might I ask?

Well I’ll tell you about another one. You talk about health and safety, Madam Minister, this one will really intrigue you.

In late 1970, 62 men from the United Steelworkers walked off the job in Sudbury, and the minister of the day was approached. We outlined it to the minister. The company had given warnings to 62 men; they were disciplined. Despite the fact that it was confronted by one of the most powerful unions in Canada, the company disciplined 62 men. We wrote to the minister to try to get this changed, to try to get the government to move in and to assist those 62 workers who were being disciplined.

We wrote the minister a nasty letter and said, “You know, we think there is some collusion on this one between the government and the company.” And Allan Lawrence wrote a nasty letter back to us; oh he was so upset. He said: “In respect of the latest reference in your letter concerning my commitments with the company, the accusation is so ridiculous that no comment is necessary.”

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: That’s not nasty; wait until you get one from me.

Mr. Martel: Now let me read the letter. I want you to listen, John, to the letter.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: I’ve heard it before.

Mr. Martel: I hope you have.

Mr. Lewis: But you enjoy it each time.

Mr. Martel: There was the minister writing to us and saying that we really couldn’t say there was any collusion between the company and his ministry. It was nasty of us to even suggest it.

It says: “Your letter dated August 25 has been received pursuant to mine of July 14.” I must find another letter before I go on, because I want to read the two of them to you.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Jean-Jacques Blais has foiled you again.

Mr. Martel: The mails were being pilfered even in those days, John.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: And you’re on the list.

Mr. Martel: You’re right. There are a couple of interesting letters here. I’ll read a paragraph from one and then a paragraph from the other, so that you will get the full flavour of it.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Tell us which one.

Mr. Martel: I am reading the Minister of Mines’ letter, to us -- the “white knight,” “Lawrence of Ontario.” “Lawrence of Ontario” said to us, in the second paragraph:

“Due to the nature of roasting and smelting operations, and despite thorough and continuing maintenance procedures, conditions involving high SO2 readings do occur from time to time in areas of the roaster building. As the process is continuous and is not amenable to frequent starting and stopping without the danger of damage to installation, it is necessary to keep equipment operating despite these conditions. The occurrence of these conditions is not continuous, however, despite claims to the contrary, and this is indicated in readings obtained to date by our SO2, monitor.” That’s Allan Lawrence’s paragraph.

Now, the other letter --

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Who is that from?

Mr. Martel: I want you to hear the paragraph first, John; listen to the paragraph. I am quoting yet another letter; and you will appreciate this, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: It might be helpful if you spoke to the Chair.

Mr. Martel: I am looking directly at the Chair.

“Due to the nature of roasting and smelting operations, and despite thorough and continuing maintenance procedures, conditions involving high SO2 readings do occur from time to time in areas of our roaster building. As the process is continuous and not amenable to frequent starting and stopping, without the danger of damage to installations, it is necessary to keep equipment operating despite these conditions. The occurrence of these conditions is not continuous, however, despite claims to the contrary, and we feel this will be evident when the readings obtained by the department monitor become available.”

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: It came from Inco.

Mr. Martel: Don’t they sound alike?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: It came from Inco.

Mr. Wildman: He would rather harm people than equipment.

Mr. Martel: Signed by Charlie Hughes, superintendent of safety, in a confidential letter to the “White Knight, Lawrence of Ontario.”

Mr. Laughren: No collusion!

Mr. Martel: No collusion; no, no; no collusion. They just write in a similar style.


Mr. Lewis: And you know why we don’t have health and safety committees in local 6500? Because it continues today.

Hon. B. Stephenson: Balderdash.

Mr. Speaker: The member for Scarborough West has already spoken in this debate.

Mr. Lewis: You’re right. I’m sorry.

Mr. Laughren: Nothing has changed.

Mr. Lewis: Nothing.

Mr. Martel: Nothing has changed.

Hon. B. Stephenson: It certainly has.

Mr. Laughren: It has not.

Mr. Martel: The collusion persists.

Hon. B. Stephenson: You don’t know.

Mr. Laughren: What do you mean, I don’t know? Of course I do.

Mr. Martel: Either that or Charlie Hughes and Allan Lawrence -- their styles were similar -- to the word.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Both lawyers.

Mr. Martel: No, Charlie’s not. I’ll go on -- it’s a good letter: “The source is located and all practical preventive measures are taken as quickly as possible to stop the escape or provide extra ventilation to disperse it.”

Now we’ll read from Charlie Hughes’ letter: “The source is located and all practical preventive measures are taken as quickly as possible to stop the escape of SO2 or provide extra ventilation to disperse it.”

Now there’s no collusion. No, no. There’s no collusion between the government of Ontario and Inco and all the minions that --

Mr. Gaunt: Just accurate telepathy.

Mr. Martel: Very accurate. Right on. And you want us, and you want people in the trade union movement to have faith?

Mr. Laughren: Not a chance.

Mr. Martel: You’ve got to be kidding, baby.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: It’s you, baby -- it’s you, sweetie.

Mr. Martel: I want to tell you, Mr. Speaker, if you think anybody in the trade union movement trusts something that this minister might do --

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: She is lovable, look at her.

Hon. B. Stephenson: That will be enough out of you.

Mr. Martel: That might be the case. Unfortunately, the minister might not be there five years from now. On our past experience with Allan Lawrence and with George Kerr and with A. B. R. Lawrence, and every cabinet minister responsible we have found collusion.

Mr. Laughren: Nothing has changed.

Mr. Wildman: What about a guy like Leo Bernier?

Mr. Martel: Bernier? My God, it was even worse. It’s even worse.

Mr. Laughren: That was collusion combined with confusion.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Hold on -- no reference by name -- come on.

Mr. Martel: You talk about us being demanding, everything written in the bill. We have no options. We simply don’t. Because there is that case, with a union as big as the Steelworkers and as strong as the Steelworkers, 62 men were penalized. And you tell me, where the people are unorganized, who is going to protect them?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: And no alternatives.

Mr. Laughren: Not the minister.

Mr. Martel: Who is going to protect them?

In this case the gas was so bad that the workers were getting sick, and I talk about workers who were used to that type of gas. Some of the members who were in Sudbury on Monday and in the smelter for a very short time -- I saw them as they grasped the railing when the gas got too bad. They coughed, they wheezed, their eyes ran -- and they were there five minutes.

Mr. Lewis: Unfortunately, you all came up.

Mr. Laughren: The member for Armourdale (Mr. McCaffrey) almost passed out.

Mr. Martel: Yes, he’s right.

Mr. Kennedy: I didn’t go.

Mr. Laughren: He grabbed hold of me and said, “Get me out of here.”

Mr. Martel: So the minister can see she can’t expect us to rely on this government to write a bill in a way that is going to provide any type of protection for the workers.

Let’s go through it.

We’ve got our thing on Redsell. Our reasoned amendment says that there should be mandatory health committees. I’ve never seen so much stupidity in my life as what is emanating from over there.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: How unparliamentary can you get?

Mr. Martel: If the minister just made it mandatory that any plant with maybe 10 workers, as in Saskatchewan, automatically has a health and safety committee, she then doesn’t have to hire a whole troop of inspectors to go out and even see if they need it. That should be left to the workers. It’s their lives.

Mr. Laughren: We know why you won’t do it.

Mr. Martel: How can the minister send enough people out to visit all of the plants? If there are no bad conditions, there will be no problems. But the committees should be in place.

I remind the minister that as we fought the battle of getting a monitor in Inco to monitor the SO2, the Steelworkers’ jobs were threatened, man after man, when they in fact took in Drager meters in their lunch pails to measure the gas, because the government inspectors couldn’t be trusted to do it. Man after man took his job in his hands, in a sense, and took his Drager in the lunch pail to work. Management threatened to fire anyone they caught with a Drager meter, just in an effort to illustrate what the gas conditions were like within the plant -- management threatened to fire them. Again, we are dealing with a very strong union. Let the minister tell me, who is going to protect the unorganized worker in the small plants against that type of conduct?

Mr. Martel: Not this minister and not this government.

Mr. Laughren: Another form of collusion, you know.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Send Trotsky home.

Mr. Martel: Now, the minister could simplify it and say any plant with 10 or more employees automatically has a health and safety committee.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: You make Marx look like a John Bircher.

Mr. Martel: No sweat. We don’t have to get approval from the minister.

Mr. Sweeney: What about less than 10?

Mr. Martel: We don’t have to get approval from anyone; automatically by law there is a committee? If there are no problems there is nothing to fight about.

Mr. Sweeney: What about less than 10?

Mr. Martel: Well, the minister can move in with other types of regulations. I am saying the minimum. But the minister has the right -- and in fact, regulation must come from the minister. Who is going to help the unorganized? You haven’t got the work force to get into those plants.

Mr. Sweeney: Not organized workers.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Address the Chair.

Mr. Martel: I am attempting to.

I am talking about unorganized workers.

Mr. Sweeney: Less than 10 workers.

Mr. Laughren: All workers.

Mr. Martel: I am suggesting the minister could start with 10. Because I don’t know how many plants there are with fewer than 10 in number.

Mr. Sweeney: That is double talk.

Mr. Wildman: What are you hung up about?

Mr. Martel: All workers, right. My colleague says all workers are still covered. But it certainly would minimize the number of places the minister’s boys would have to run out to see.

Hon. B. Stephenson: They run out to see them anyway.

Mr. Martel: And girls. Yes, well, they are going to write in -- companies are going to say here is a committee.

Mr. Laughren: Yes, sure.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: You think you are kidding?

Mr. Laughren: I can imagine you pushing them out there too. We will believe that when we see it.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Nice control, Elie.

Mr. Laughren: Not this minister.

Mr. Martel: Right, well. And out of the monitoring in Sudbury -- I am going back to where they were threatened -- they gathered the expertise very quickly to do a study, area by area, and eventually the government put in its own monitors. The conditions were so bad they had no option.

Why should the workers have to go through that -- the threat of losing their jobs? Don’t tell me companies can’t find all kinds of reasons for firing people. They can trump them up. The Minister of Labour has seen it. Her people in the employment end of the ministry have seen it over and over again. People have been fired when they tried to organize or people have been fired for any number of reasons.

Don’t say the companies are not going to fire employees because they are demanding improvements which are going to cost money to the corporation if they have to clean up conditions. They will. And certainly the minister can’t be that naive as to suspect they won’t.

The simple way out is to not increase the ministry staff four or five times -- which the minister is not going to do. The way out is simply to get as many plants as is possible to cover by some number and then move in and have the inspectors visit the smaller areas, if that is what the minister wants to do, to get the health and safety committees established. Anything less is a disaster for working people. And for us to be led to believe we should have faith is total nonsense, total nonsense, because, in fact, history has proven over and over again to me in the number of years I have been here that won’t occur.

Let me give the minister another example. In 1970 or 1971 we debated The Mining Act. We brought forward, you will recall, Mr. Speaker -- I believe you were there -- a number of changes we wanted with respect to the workers having the right to monitor and to force change. And sitting at the meeting was none other than Mr. Douglas and Mr. Smith. You remember them.

We were trying to gain the right for workers at that time not to have to work if it was unsafe -- to say no, or even to close it down. And sitting on that committee was Mr. Smith, the chief mining recorder for the province. He didn’t tell us throughout that whole debate -- and it lasted three or four months -- that in fact in the United States many years ago they had the right to close the coal mines down when gas got too bad. If the workers felt it was dangerous, the union could say, “No, we’ve had enough,” and they shut it down. And then they brought in the inspectors. Smitty didn’t tell us that.

And when Smitty and Douglas left, do you know where they went, Mr. Speaker? Both went to work for a mining company in Quebec where they came from originally. It’s so perverse. One could go on all night illustrating the collusion that has gone on over the years.

I recall the first question I raised in the Legislature, when I asked the Minister of Mines: “Was there an investigation in the coal plant on a certain date?” because there had been two major explosions at the coal plant in Sudbury. He said: “I don’t know the answer, but I can get it for the member.”

The reason I had raised the question was because friends of mine from the union phoned me on a Sunday and said: “The crews are working overtime. In fact they’re working around the clock. We’ve had two explosions, we suspect an investigation. We suspect a mine inspector will be in. We suspect that the company is trying to clean the place up.”

So I said to the union president: “Send me a telegram today, Sunday. I must get it.” Which he did.

I raised it here and, lo and behold, that Monday there was an investigation. There they were, a whole group from the Ministry of Mines and they were all there doing this wonderful inspection. How did they know? How did Inco know to keep its workers round the clock to clean the place up?

Mr. Laughren: Nothing’s changed.

Mr. Martel: And nothing has changed. But we should keep the faith, shouldn’t we? We should keep the faith. But the Ministry of Mines had notified dear old Inco.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: The civil servants.

Mr. Martel: Yes, Allan Lawrence gave the instructions to someone else.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Can you prove that?

Mr. Martel: Yes, because Allan then said to me: “You really don’t want the plant cleaned, do you? That’s what you’re objecting to.”

I said: “No, I want the plant cleaned. I just don’t want management to know ahead of time. I want the mine inspectors to see the mines as they are every day, the conditions under which workers work every day, not when the management has been tipped off and you can get the place cleaned up and you can have a nice inspection.”

That’s why you need mandatory health committees regardless of the numbers, so you don’t have to wait, you don’t have to force it in. So you don’t have to say to the minister: “Conditions are bad,” and she’ll say, “We’ll send somebody out and maybe we’ll agree.”

They should be there in place by law. If there’s nothing wrong then the management has nothing to worry about and the workers are protected. If the minister can’t see that I’m sorry, there’s something wrong. There really is. There is something terribly wrong. There will be no abuse of it, if there are no problems. But why should one have to fight like hell when there is a problem to get this government to even recognize that there’s a problem? It just can’t be that way.

The minister simply can’t say: “I’m going to have enough inspectors to spread them out around the province to investigate each of these situations.” The workers should investigate the situations which affect their lives and if there are bad conditions it’s up to the ministry, along with those committees and the management, to get it cleared up. Anything less can’t be acceptable.

That’s the first part of our reasoned amendment; the second part would fall into place if it were accepted that the committees be mandatory. The second part of our reasoned amendment would fall into place, because of the fact you’d have all the workers covered. They aren’t under this bill, but they would be and there would be no need to play the childish little games. There would be no need to fight your guts out to get recognition of unsafe conditions.

The workers would report if the conditions were bad and that’s the way it should work. It shouldn’t be deigned from on high from the deity and the minions who run around in the Ministry of Labour and in particular from people who are supposedly interested in health. My experience tells me that some of the good doctors who have been involved in Health should have given up the practice of medicine a long time ago. Really should have, they’re a disgrace to the profession, particularly in that ministry.

I can name them. Remember the Muller report? I remember it well, in Elliot Lake, the report said, three to one. You’d think those doctors would have come out screaming to protect those workers, but no way.

Mr. Lewis: That’s right, a scientific paper in France, not in Ontario but in France.

Mr. Martel: Boy, I’m telling you, doctors -- a good horse doctor would have done more for horses They would have shot them.

Mr. Laughren: They’d have done more for people.

Mr. Martel: Those people are a disgrace to the profession.

The second point is that we’d have everyone. We wouldn’t have to worry about it.

Pretesting is the third point we raise. Certainly even today it’s a fight for workers to see their health records. I want to recall another case.

Hon. B. Stephenson: It won’t be under this bill, Elie.

Mr. Lewis: It has to be under this bill. Where else?

Mr. Martel: Fifty or 60 men died in the sintering plant. Is that not right? Fifty or 60 men died.

Do you know, Mr. Speaker, that for at least two years we attempted to get from men the list of names of the workers who worked in the sintering plant, and we have not got them all yet.

In fact, a man from Newfoundland contacted me recently. He has had a lung removed, and I have a man from my colleague from Nickel Belt’s area who came to see me. He was with a construction company when they built and started up the sintering plant, and he ultimately went to work for Inco. The minister said earlier tonight that workers will know about these health and safety committees. We’ve given it much advertising in the Sudbury area, the United Steelworkers’ newspaper has carried it monthly and has launched a campaign to find these workers, yet here’s a man right in the Sudbury area who comes into my office six months ago because he’s got a lung removed and he couldn’t get his claim established. Then he said to me, “But I worked in the sintering plant.” Oh! He’s in the Sudbury area and he didn’t know, despite all that publicity. There he was in Sudbury, and we couldn’t get from Inco the list of all the workers --

Mr. Haggerty: Is Falconbridge that clean, Elie?

Mr. Martel: No, no.

We couldn’t get a list from the company of the various employees who worked in the sintering plant, despite two years of trying. And we’re still digging them out.

Mr. Wildman: What was the point of that comment, Mr. Haggerty?

Mr. Martel: They’re looking for a red herring, a way out.

Mr. Mancini: Oh, come on, Elie.

Mr. Martel: And that’s what happened. Yet the minister says, “Well, they’ll all know about health and safety.” They won’t because a campaign like the United Steel workers put on to find the sintering plant employees was in every newspaper, was on television, was on radio, for years, and the cases are still showing up. As I said earlier, those people in the Ministry of Health who are supposedly doctors, who for years were responsible for reporting these things, did not help us.

Hon. B. Stephenson: You are a disgrace, Martel, really.

Mr. Martel: If I’m a disgrace, I want to tell the minister that the medical profession in this instance should hide its head.

Mr. Lewis: That’s right. That’s true. You know that.

Mr. Laughren: That’s absolutely right.

Mr. Martel: Because one doctor helped us to break it, Dr. Cecilioni.

Mr. Lewis: We had a real problem getting the doctors on this --

Mr. Martel: Don’t tell me about being a disgrace.

Mr. Lewis: -- a very great problem getting the co-operation of the doctors.

Mr. Germa: And the Minister of Labour is the former president of the OMA.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: We hear the Falkowski speech. Every time he shows in the gallery, we get the same speech. Every time.

Mr. Martel: John, go back to the Liberal Party, will you?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Oh, drop dead, why don’t you? You are such an expert.

Mr. Laughren: Is that parliamentary, Mr. Speaker?

Mr. Martel: I’m not an expert.

Mr. Germa: It’s because you’re so incompetent that he looks like an expert.

Mr. Speaker: Could we have some order, please? We’re dealing with Bill 70.

Mr. Wildman: What about the foundry in Algoma, John? Look at your own backyard.

Mr. Martel: We have the goods on you guys.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: You are the last one to talk about incompetence.

Mr. Martel: The minister is slightly exercised, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Wildman: Look at the foundry in Algoma. Look at your own backyard.

Mr. Speaker: The member for Algoma doesn’t have the floor.

Mr. Wildman: Neither does the member for Sault Ste. Marie.

Mr. Martel: The minister is slightly exercised, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Laughren: Guilt.

Mr. Martel: He should not be proud of what his government has allowed to happen to workers in this province. He should not. And the minister should not try to slander me because everything I’m saying has been documented over the years.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: You are giving the Falkowski speech. Four times in a row I have heard it.

Mr. Martel: One wonders why we’ve had to fight. One wonders why the workers will not be given the names of all the new substances, for example, and whether or not they’ve been pretested.

Hon. B. Stephenson: They will. They will.

Mr. Martel: We’re still trying to get the workers to see their records with respect to their work place.

Hon. B. Stephenson: But the members have to pass this bill so that it can happen.

Mr. Laughren: I have faith in you. I’ve heard that before.

Mr. Martel: A friend of mine is slowly dying from cancer. He’s a man who worked for 20 odd years as a welder. In the United States he gathered all of the fluxes and what not and the writings on the labelling. In the United States, even for welding material, they say this is dangerous. It is not so in Canada. It is not so in Ontario. My friend is absolutely convinced that he got cancer from using various fluxes. Why does the US label them and not us if they are a danger and protective devices should be worn? But my friend Peter is dying. He’s absolutely convinced that that is what is killing him.

Mr. Lewis: Look at Aime Bertrand, for heaven’s sake. How can anyone have trust given that case now?

Mr. Laughren: It is still being ignored despite all the new evidence.

Hon. B. Stephenson: What new evidence?

Mr. Laughren: The minister knows full well what new evidence. The evidence piles up and she ignores it.

Mr Martel: My friend is absolutely convinced he’s dying from these things. He puts it altogether. He’s not a very sophisticated fellow, but he sees all the labelling and says to himself: “Why do they label it as dangerous in the United States and not in Canada?”

Hon. B. Stephenson: I’m looking at the evidence and not just on one side.

Mr. Martel: “Why have I got cancer?” he asks.

Mr. Speaker: Will the minister and the hon. member for Scarborough West carry on their private conversations outside the chamber?

Hon. B. Stephenson: He won’t talk to me outside the chamber.

Mr. Lewis: Don’t be so foolish.

Mr. Martel: He’s too proud and I don’t blame him.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: He is afraid of being put on the record.

Mr Lewis: I will talk to her anywhere.

Mr. Laughren: On the beaches?

Mr. Martel: We have the history. The member for Sault Ste. Marie said: “That’s 1970-71.” I remind the minister that in 1975 in Matachewan we couldn’t get all the statistics as to what the men were exposed to. They far exceeded the limits and where was the government? They still won’t give us the rolls of Reeves Mines.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: We shut that down. That is what you wanted. You wanted it closed and we closed it.

Mr. Martel: What did Ham say? Let me tell you what Professor Ham recommended about the materials and what should go on with respect to the environment, the hazards of the work place:

“That there should be a statutory requirement for a metallurgical audit of origin, holdup, destination of potentially dangerous and minor elements such as lead, mercury, arsenic, selenium, tellurium, cadmium and so on, to be conducted quarterly in all reduction plants on the basis of extended standard monthly sampling and analytical procedures. That a copy of this audit be sent to the occupational health and safety authorities.

“That there be a statutory requirement for an annual audit of use by mass of toxic and hazardous reagents and that a copy be sent to the occupational health and safety authorities.

“The pilot plant studies used to develop processes and preliminary operating procedures be extended to include the measurements of factors likely to have an impact on the health and safety of the environment.

“That there be a statutory requirement for each mining company to maintain a register of servicing chemicals involved in any personal encounter associated with the medical aid or compensable injury. That the registry specify both trade name and chemical composition, and identify all known toxic chemical constituents. That the register include an audit by mass of annual use and that a copy of this register be provided to the occupational health and safety authorities.

“That there be statutory requirements for each mining company to give the occupational health and safety authority notice of intent to introduce any new reagent or servicing chemical, whose toxic characteristics are not known.”

Hon. B. Stephenson: It’s in the Act, Elie.

Mr. Lewis: That’s not in the Act.

Mr. Martel: This should, in fact, be passed on to the workers. This should be passed on so they would know what chemicals they are confronted with every time they enter the work place. But they won’t. The workers will not find out. Then Ham said there should be a file on each worker, so they would know his work history. Do you know, Mr. Speaker, that the battle still goes on, and only in the last year have we been able --

Hon. B. Stephenson: It doesn’t. All you have to do is pass the Act and it will be right there.

Mr. Martel: -- to get the Ministry of Labour to insist that the workers get their audiological test given to them?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Have you read this, Elie?

Mr. Martel: Oh, yes, I’ve read it. I’ve reread it and I see how paltry it is.

Mr. Kennedy: Read it again, Elie.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Why don’t you send a copy to Falkowski and let him read it?

Mr. Martel: Why don’t you just leave, John?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: I can’t stand any more.

Mr. Martel: Thank God. You haven’t contributed anything. You haven’t contributed much for the past five or six years so you should just leave.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: You haven’t. Where’s Havrot? He’ll take care of you.

Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, I wish you would bring that fellow under control.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please, order. I would like some assistance from the members of the House. I would like to determine whether or not there was any agreement with regard to the allocation of time. I can recall there was an agreement that they would call for the division on the reasoned amendment at 10.15. Was there any all-party agreement as to the sharing of time up to 9.55?

Mr. Riddell: Unfortunately not.

Mr. Makarchuk: Mr. Speaker, as far as we know, the only agreement that was made this morning was that the debate would probably terminate about 10.15.

Mr. Lewis: That in itself was a mistake.

Mr. Speaker: If you have set any time limits I suggest that the time should be allocated more evenly among all parties, but I am in the hands of the House.

Hon. B. Stephenson: That would be an excellent idea, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Lewis: Why don’t you wind up when Elie has finished?

Hon. B. Stephenson: I’d be happy to, if Elie ever winds up.

Mr. Haggerty: Mr. Speaker, I have a suggestion at this time. May I add a point at this particular time?

This is rather an important bill. We spent some two days on the Municipal Act, but this is rather an important bill and I feel if you are going to have a time limit on it, each member should be treated alike. I would like to speak on the bill and so would my leader.

Mr. Lewis: That is why we shouldn’t have agreed to 10.15.

Mr. B. Newman: If I may, Mr. Speaker, since the supper break at 8.25, allowing my leader 15 minutes to speak, the time would have been allocated equally between the Liberal and the New Democratic parties. That would still have allowed the minister to start at 9.55 to wind up for 10.15. The member now has used more than his fair share of the time.

Mr. Speaker: As far as I can determine, there has been no agreement as to when the vote should take place and unless I hear something definitive by way of an agreement, it’s quite obvious that the vote will not be taken at 10.15. I leave it to the members themselves as to how they should share whatever time they choose to speak to this bill.

Mr. Maeck: Mr. Speaker, if I might speak to that point just for a moment, there was an agreement amongst all parties that the vote would be taken at 10.15. There was no agreement as to the amount of time that would be spent by each party in the discussion or in the debate.

Mr. Speaker: Under the circumstances, I have no alternative but to recognize each member as they rise to speak.

Mr. Martel: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I want to speak to two final points briefly.

Mr. Mancini: Talk out the clock, Elie?

Mr. Martel: I could if I wanted to. Would you like me to?

Finally, Mr. Speaker, the real killer in the bill is, of course -- and the minister is aware of the feeling of just one union, the one I was with in her presence, the Mine Mill and Smelter Workers, who said the bill was taking them back 35 years. You recall Mr. Nitchil, don’t you, when we met down the hall? He was very upset with this section of the bill. He feels that workers will be intimidated if the company has the right to go after workers if it can prove that the worker, in a facetious fashion, utilized that section of the bill giving them the right to refuse work.

The minister might call on another part of her department in the Ministry of Labour to find out how many workers have been set up and fired for trying to organize unions in other areas. She knows, and I know, that management doesn’t need that clause, that that clause could well be deleted so that the workers would not be intimidated. In fact it’s an intimidating clause. It says to the worker: “You put your job on the line.” You really do, because the minister knows how long the arbitration process is. First of all, what does the person who doesn’t have a union do? He’s got a long process ahead of him and what does he eat in the interim while it’s being heard?

Hon. B. Stephenson: He has two choices.

Mr. Martel: He has two choices, right. He cannot complain about the problems or he can complain and take it through the legal system the minister is going to establish. In the meantime he goes on unemployment insurance or he goes on welfare. I say to the minister that that clause is not necessary. The workers have not abused it; she knows this. Why she put that little hooker in there is beyond me.



Mr. Martel: No, no, forget the explicitness. Delete it. If the minister is going to err, if she is going to come down on someone’s side, for a change, as Minister of Labour, come down on the workers’ side. I have listened to every cabinet minister --

Hon. B. Stephenson: Oh Elie, why don’t you shut up?

Mr. Martel: Is that parliamentary for the minister to tell me to shut up?

Mr. Kennedy: It is a good idea, though.

Mr. di Santo: It’s filthy language.

Hon. B. Stephenson: For you it is parliamentary.

Mr. Martel: This is from the lady who objects when you use the term “BS.”

Hon. B. Stephenson: Those are my initials. That is why I object to it.

Mr. Martel: That’s right, there’s lots of it around. The minister knows the workers have been threatened and fired in this province for a variety of reasons.

Hon. B. Stephenson: For this?

Mr. Martel: Not with this. I am saying in other areas -- and that management can find reasons and ways for getting rid of people who cause problems. I am saying under this, when a worker starts to complain in a plant that is unorganized that worker will have no protection against the onslaught of that company, unless he is prepared somewhere down the road to get some relief. I am saying that that little hooker will cause more people to shy away from complaining about adverse conditions; it will cause more people to shy away from utilizing the Act than anything else in the Act. I ask her to get rid of it.

Finally, just on the regulations. The member for Rainy River (Mr. Reid) might understand this. There was a regulation passed recently -- in May, to be precise -- which did away with the policy where the government was sending doctors to northern Ontario. That’s been done away with by regulations. None of us knew it. They’re not sending doctors to northern Ontario under the underserviced area plan any more. I didn’t know it, until I had a doctor that wanted some help. Then I found out that the regulation had been changed. How many of us here knew that the regulation had been changed?

That’s what happens with regulations, you see. They get changed. They did away with the program for doctors in underserviced areas and none of us knew. And do the members think it can’t happen in mining regulations? With the track record of that group? My God. If that can happen in a regulation as important to northern Ontario as that, and none of us is aware of it -- I suppose those people who are on the regulations committee didn’t even know it was happening. But it went through. And if the government can change it there, it sure as heck can change it in the mining regulations.

Mr. Lewis: Or you can fail.

Mr. Martel: Yes, I am saying to the minister that the regulations must become part of this bill. There is just no way that this government can be allowed, in something as important as health and safety, to allow people to play around in the back rooms with regulations -- changing them, altering them at will.

I for one, along with my colleagues, realize that this can happen. I hope my friends to the right realize, as I have tried to document briefly, the types of collusion that go on -- the types we can document. Imagine if we could get into the files. This is what came to us inadvertently. Imagine if we had the files.

Mr. Laughren: You shudder.

Mr. Martel: God help me. It would make your hair stand on end. It really would.

Those are the only ones the government has over there like that, is that it? We were lucky enough to get just those cases? Yes, the only ones that happened.

Mr. Lewis: You would have been horrified as a practitioner, never mind as a minister.

Mr. Martel: I urge my friends to the right to say to the government, “Take your hunk of junk back and bring back a bill which protects workers, which gives them the right to protect their lives.” Don’t leave it up to this motley group who over the years have demonstrated a lack of concern the likes of which you wouldn’t believe.

The minister can get up and defend them as long as she wants, but I remember the cancer cases in the sintering plant; I remember Gus Frobel, I remember him well.

Mr. Lewis: Johns-Manville.

Mr. Martel: I recall Johns-Manville. We were involved in them all. I remember the miners taking their jobs on the line every time they took a Drager meter in so that they wouldn’t be gassed to death. I remember it all. I know that the occupational health people of the day, in whatever field they were in -- whether it was environment or the Workmen’s Compensation Board -- were aware of it. They weren’t bringing it forward.

The minister can tell me I’m a disgrace, that doesn’t bother me. I’ve had minister after minister tell me I was exaggerating. But you know, a couple of weeks, a couple of years later it all came out and I wasn’t exaggerating. If I am exaggerating, I’ll surrender my seat.

Mr. Lewis: Sure.

Hon. B. Stephenson: You’d better do it now.

Mr. Martel: But the minister can’t fool me about what’s gone on, because, I’ve been here 10 years. I have fought this battle for 10 years. I have had minister after minister make wild accusations that I was irresponsible. But I want to tell the minister, each of those cases have come out in the end and we’ve been right. And I’m asking this minister --

Mr. Lewis: Every one.

Mr. Martel: Even the deaf cases -- the industrially deaf cases.

I suggest to this minister she take this back. I ask my friends to the right to help us to make this a decent Act by letting the minister take it back for another two weeks. In fact, she could write it between now and tomorrow. It wouldn’t take much to change it.

They know it’s necessary. She knows it’s necessary. All that’s needed is the will. I don’t think the minister has the guts for it.

Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I deeply regret the amount of time taken by the previous speaker to make his remarks. The member for Rainy River and the member for Erie have been unable to have their opportunity to speak on this bill.

I do want to mention, however, that the member for Erie in November 1970 presented an amendment at that time to set up a safety committee to be established in every mine, comprising equal representation from management and labour to ensure the safety provisions of the Act were complied with. At that time the speaker from Sudbury East, the very same member who has just spoken, would not support that amendment on the basis that it didn’t allow for equal participation of labour and management in the actual making of the legislation.

It’s obvious to me that the member for Erie was well ahead of his time with a very reasonable amendment, which, had it been carried at the time, might well have improved the situation --

Mr. Martel: Why didn’t you read the rest of the amendment?

Mr. S. Smith: -- for working people in Ontario.

Mr. Lewis: Absolutely.

Mr. S. Smith: I would like to address myself briefly to the matter at hand because I do want to give, with respect, the minister a chance to make remarks about the bill and to wind up the debate as it is her right and prerogative to do.

I do want to tell you, Mr. Speaker, that I entered politics a couple of years ago and one of my very first reasons for doing so -- as a physician -- one of my very first speeches in the city of Hamilton had to do with the fact that I was not prepared to stand back and permit our breadwinners, our working people, to be constantly exposed to the kinds of hazards which were damaging their health, stealing their life and breath day by day, while the government seemed to feel far more involvement on the side of protecting management than of protecting the working people of Ontario.

It seems to me that the record of this government is in fact a disgraceful record. It is very true that it is only the pressure brought by opposition members and by labour unions that finally, belatedly and tragically late, has brought the government at least to the point of bringing forward some bill with regard to occupational health and occupational safety.

The minister knows I’m not criticizing her in this regard. I think her performance has been much better in this regard than any of her predecessors, although in my opinion it still has a way to go before it is totally acceptable to us.

It’s not as though this is new in Ontario. Everybody in the mining industry knew years and years ago that it was not wise to hire a miner who had worked in Elliot Lake. That was common knowledge among personnel directors in the mining industry -- and don’t tell me the government didn’t know that. Yet they acted as though this was a great surprise to them and they had to be dragged kicking and screaming every time a compensable type of illness, a work-related illness, was brought to their attention, and it has remained so today.

With regard to the actual bill, the fact is that this bill, although a step forward in some ways, is in some ways not as good as the bill that preceded it.

Mr. Lewis: Precisely.

Mr. S. Smith: Furthermore, the bill requires a lot of improvement. We have thought for a while as to what to do with that bill. We remember the farm income bill, where the appropriate thing to do at that time was to hoist the bill and bring it back, because there was no option of amending it in committee. The fact is that any sensible amendment would have been completely out of order at the time. However, we have studied this bill. We have studied this bill with almost the entire executive of the Ontario Federation of Labour. We have studied this bill with the benefit of some of our counsel and legal opinion.

We believe it is possible to achieve all the aims, which I believe we have in common with our friends from the New Democratic Party, by means of amendment in committee. We respect the view of the member for Nickel Belt. We think he is on the right track in many ways. We respect what he wants to do. In many ways we share this. But we truly believe that the way to do it is not to give the bill back to the very government that has been high-handed and basically misused this entire field; it is to do it ourselves, discuss it here and present our own amendments.

When I talked to the Ontario Federation of Labour I found they were very receptive to that area. I found they were very interested in the idea of amending the bill rather than hoisting it, and I want to stand up here and amend it.

Mr. Wildman: Obviously you didn’t understand them.

Mr. S. Smith: We in the Liberal Party are now drafting amendments, somewhere around 13 to 17 in number, which will be presented here in this House.

Mr. Laughren: And the government may fall on it.

Mr. S. Smith: Without changing the principle -- therefore they will be in order -- they will fundamentally change the thrust of a good many sections of this bill. There is hardly a section that can go without being amended.

Mr. Lewis: About 45 amendments are needed in all.

Mr. S. Smith: Well, it may be that some can be combined. I say to the hon. leader of the New Democratic Party, it may be that we will accept some of his and he will accept some of ours. But I am convinced that as people of good will we can amend this bill and make it a truly historic bill for the working people.

Let me speak briefly as to the coverage of the bill. There are a lot of workers left out by this bill. Frankly, I don’t understand why they have to be left out. One thinks, after all, of hospital workers, hotel workers, inside and outside municipal workers, teachers, support staff in schools and colleges and so on; staffs of provincial hospitals, of institutions of various types, of correctional facilities; workers in medical labs, and farm workers.

In the case of farm workers, we are persuaded that provided action is taken quickly, in consultation with the farm organizations, then we are prepared to accept that there are peculiar circumstances there which might be better dealt with in another bill. But I am by no means persuaded that they shouldn’t come under some kind of bill very quickly. We hope this consultative work will take place -- as the minister seems to have already started, and I commend her for that -- and that there will be a bill brought forward to cover those who work in our agricultural industry.

As far as the standards for toxic substances are concerned, the minister well knows from my discussions with her -- I am convinced that the minister knows -- that there are in existence already many standards for many toxic substances, not just a few major substances. Some of these are American, some are Canadian, some are foreign to North America, but surely they should be enshrined in the legislation. Surely we shouldn’t have to depend on some type of largesse on the part of the minister to inscribe them by regulation from time to time, either in the open or any other way. They should be in the bill.

Some of them are not excellent, some of them are not perfect; but at least we know now what at this day and age in 1977, however ahead we may be, should be put into the bill. Of course it can be changed by regulation, but it should be in the bill.

Mr. Lewis: “Standard,” not “guideline;” a standard that is perfectly reasonable.

Mr. S. Smith: I am sure the minister agrees with me in her heart when I say I have never understood why we have always protected those who somehow ingest substances by mouth, through the oral cavity -- they are protected by pretesting legislation, by a demand that there be at least some evidence that the thing isn’t poisonous, and we even do the same for substances applied to the skin and so on -- ... yet if a person inhales it, if it comes through a different orifice in the head, if it comes through the nose or the mouth and goes in the trachea rather than the oesophagus, under those circumstances we don’t protect anybody. I’ll help Hansard with those terms later.


You’re allowed to inhale poisons, but you can’t eat them. Now where is the logic to that? If you have to pretest for things you eat, you should have to pretest for things you breathe. It seems absolutely inane to me that we should not have some pretesting provision in this bill with real teeth in it. The time has come, after all, to recognize that the distinction is ridiculous. Hundreds of new chemicals come into the work place every year and I truly believe the minister in her heart must surely agree that these chemicals should have at least some kind of evidence that they are not directly toxic; some kind of evidence they’ve been pretested.

The Environmental Protection Agency in the United States is already doing a pretesting program. Why don’t we go into partnership with them? Why don’t we pay our share of the cost?

Hon. B. Stephenson: We do; that’s exactly what we do.

Mr. Lewis: No, we don’t.

Hon. B. Stephenson: You don’t want to know.

Mr. Lewis: What do you mean? You won’t accept simple reason.

Mr. S. Smith: Why don’t we permit, therefore, the pretesting results -- some of them to be done here, some of them to be done in the States -- to be included in this bill? We will amend the bill to make sure that happens.

The inventories that various companies have should be registered. We should know the chemicals that are on the premises, and that way we’ll know what the hazards are. The processes should be registered. The companies frequently say these processes are secret and they can’t tell anybody. Let’s get it into the bill.

As far as employee participation goes, we believe it’s important for the employees to have the right to participate in the monitoring. We think they should have knowledge of the monitoring equipment. They should have use of the monitoring equipment. They should be able to lease or loan the monitoring equipment to non-unionized shops so that people can take courses in how to use it and protect themselves.

We believe the time is long past for some expert to come in and do all the monitoring and for workers to be left out. We think they must know the results at all times, and how to interpret the results. They must have access to the results at all times. There must be mandatory safety committees in all reasonable-sized establishments. The member for Sudbury East (Mr. Martel) suggests 10 workers or more; we might agree with that; we might say fewer. But the fact is we have to have those committees.

Surely when a work person is looking for an opportunity to report something in the way of a dangerous work place, he should have the right to have his union representative with him or her at that time. There’s no reason to remove that right from a person. Why would you take a thing like that away from a person? If I’ve misunderstood the bill, I apologize to the minister and she can correct me and I will be corrected.

As to the right to refuse work, of course none of us wants the right to be used in a frivolous manner, but so far that hasn’t been the case.

Mr. Lewis: That’s right.

Mr. S. Smith: We agree, however, that in some conceivable circumstances in the future, in some bitter dispute on some other topic between union and management, as has frequently been the case in this country, it’s a potential weapon. Clearly, something should be done to make sure it’s not a potential weapon. But surely the onus should not be on the worker in the way it is in your bill. Surely they should not have to fight for reinstatement through a lengthy procedure that most of them couldn’t possibly survive. Surely he shouldn’t have to fear for his livelihood whenever he thinks there’s a hazardous situation that he wishes to report. He ought to make errors if there have to be errors; and, naturally, in any reporting mechanism, a person can be honestly mistaken.

Mr. Haggerty: Remove the adversary clause.

Mr. S. Smith: The error should be made on the side of excessive safety, not excessive fear on the part of the worker. It seems to me, therefore, that that has to be changed and we will propose some amendments to do that. We also believe that prevention and education are not well enough dealt with in this bill.

However, just to summarize and to hasten my remarks to a close, the fact is that this is an eminently amendable bill. I expect most of the amendments will be accepted by the government only after they’re out-voted by the two opposition parties. Others, perhaps they will accept simply by way of co-operative action. But I say to the House it is an eminently amendable bill.

Although I accept the reasonable thinking of the member for Nickel Belt (Mr. Laughren), I do not believe it makes sense to give this bill back to the government for more civil servants to work on it, and then they’ll bring back another bill. I’d rather have this House work on it, in the open, with input from labour and from management. With input from knowledgeable individuals we can amend it ourselves; it’s quite amendable, according to the legal opinion that I have had. Let us have it before us in committee. Let us amend it, and let us give the breadwinners and the working people of Ontario a bill that will be a meaningful step forward and a monumental step in the recognition of their right to health as they go about earning their livelihood.

Mr. Lewis: You know, it’s going to be a different bill. It’s a pleasure; it’s an absolute pleasure.

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of Bill 70. It’s one bill which I believe has been developed in this country as a result of full and complete consultation with both parties to the effect of the bill. It supports very strongly the philosophy established by Dr. Ham as one of the most important bases for the development of health and safety legislation -- that is the philosophy of dual responsibility.

Mr. Lewis: No, it doesn’t.

Hon. B. Stephenson: It does, I believe, fairly clearly set out that there are responsibilities on both sides -- on both the side of the employer and the side of the employee. It also defines some of the responsibilities of government very clearly as well.

There apparently are a number of areas in which there is some confusion about what the bill says. Our activities in translating those salient sections of Bill 139 to this one were confined only to clarifying what Bill 139 actually said. Indeed, there is no change at all in the right to refuse. Indeed, there is no increased intimidation of the worker in the area of the right to refuse.

Mr. Lewis: Oh, come on.

Hon. B. Stephenson: Indeed, there is no increased activity in coercion on the part of the employer than was implicit in Bill 139.

Mr. Laughren: Disciplinary measures?

Hon. B. Stephenson: They are simply spelled out more clearly than they were before.

As far as increased coverage is concerned, we have looked very carefully at this and decided that the expansion of coverage would be best done in co-operation with both the employers and the employees in those parts of the industrial sector in which it was considered wise to expand the coverage. Therefore, we’ve made overtures to the agricultural community through the Agricultural Advisory Committee and the Advisory Council on Occupational Health and Safety to begin this in the agricultural area.

We intend to do precisely the same thing in the other areas which have been mentioned, particularly in those areas related to ministries of the Crown that function as client groups or are responsibilities of the ministry. So both the employers and the employees -- such as school boards and their employees, hospital boards and their employees, boards of other institutions and their employees -- can sit down together with the assistance of the ministry and work out the appropriate regulations for the extension of coverage in health and safety to those groups.

Much has been said about the lack of inclusion of standards, particularly for toxic substances and other materials which might be of hazard to a worker within the bill. It’s almost impossible to include those as standards within a bill. They require rapid changes from time to time and must be amenable to those changes. They must be available to be changed as well.

Mr. Lewis: That’s not what was said.

Hon. B. Stephenson: If we have to bring the bill in every time a substance is going to be designated, so that it may become standardized, then it’s going to be an extremely cumbersome and non-protective mechanism for workers.

Mr. Reid: That is a red herring if there ever was one.

Hon. B. Stephenson: No, it is not.

Mr. Lewis: Make them standards, not guidelines. That’s what we said to you.

Hon. B. Stephenson: Indeed, what the bill already says, and I would like to point this out very clearly to my colleagues in the House, is that this program in occupational health and safety includes five major features. It includes prevention, primarily because it prescribes the way in which certain substances and materials will be handled. Second, it’s advisory to both employers and employees on the standards which are set. Third, it is supervisory in nature, in order to ensure that there is compliance with the legislation on both the part of the employer and the employee. Fourth, it is remedial, in that directions are left when that compliance does not occur. Fifth, it is regulatory in that it establishes audits, standards, monitoring, inspection and enforcement.

It also provides for information, education and training, perhaps not quite as rigidly as some of my colleagues would suggest, but I would remind them that under the regulations which have been established -- and I think we should make this very clear -- the protection is provided by the use of the standards which have been set by ACIGH and by other regulatory bodies throughout the world with whom we have constant communication and that TLVs and guidelines have been established for a large number of substances.

Those, of course, will continue to be used until there are modifications made because we learn more about what the protective mechanisms should be. But in any substance, whether it be biological, chemical or physical, under this Act records are prescribed to be kept and made, kept by both owners and employers, and that information must be available to the workers.

In addition to that, the Act regulates or prohibits the handling or exposure to use, and disposal of any material biological, chemical, physical agent or combination thereof. It regulates and prohibits atmospheric conditions to which any worker may be exposed in a work place. It prescribes the methods, the standards, the procedures for determining the amount, the concentration or the level of any atmospheric condition, or any biological, chemical or physical agent or combination thereof. It prescribes, as well, any biological, chemical, physical agent or combination thereof, as a designated substance.

It not only identifies but it does, also, prescribe the way in which these things will be kept in records, will be utilized and the way in which the worker will be protected against them, whether it is a designated substance or not.

There is no Act anywhere which will protect the worker as well as this one will in terms of toxic chemicals. There are provisions under the Act for enabling the pretesting, in so far as it is possible to do, of new materials. But I would remind the members that it is prescribed in the Act that every new process and every new combination or single chemical which is to be introduced in the work place, must be reported to the Ministry of Labour so that it can be examined and tested to see whether, indeed, it is likely to be toxic or not.

Mr. Lewis: Only if they are thought to be dangerous.

Hon. B. Stephenson: No, no. We can use those communication connections which we have established with other sources of such information, and which can be done very rapidly --

Mr. Lewis: That’s not the way it reads.

Hon. B. Stephenson: -- in order to ensure it will not be introduced if it is likely to be of great hazard, or that if it is hazardous there will be protection for the workers in those instances.

Mr. Laughren: And who knows? There is the hooker again, the old hooker in this legislation.

Hon. B. Stephenson: We have not specifically prescribed within the legislation the way in which the ministry will be supporting educational programs, but indeed, not only are we doing it now, but this program will be enhanced. We have not, for example, said exactly what the educational program will be that the Ontario Federation of Labour and the community colleges are going to establish jointly, with the funds granted this week under the lottery program by the Ministry of Labour, because the OFL wanted the capability to develop the programs in the way they felt would he most appropriate for the workers they choose to become involved with them. We respected that kind of attitude and that feeling that it was their responsibility, with whatever assistance we could give them, to develop those kinds of educational programs.

In addition, our major thrust in funding, as well as at the community college level, will be directed both to workers on the job and to those individuals who want to upgrade their capabilities in occupational health and safety in order to function better in the area of health and safety committees and also at the university level for the training of the required number of professionals of which we have a great dearth. We feel very strongly about our responsibilities to education and are doing all we can in order to improve our role in this area.

There has been a good deal said about an occupational health institute in the province of Ontario. There was a statement made by the Premier (Mr. Davis) that one would be established. Such a commitment, of course, must be reviewed periodically and it was reviewed specifically --

Mr. Martel: Around election time.

Hon. B. Stephenson: -- with the federal Minister of Labour when he began to discuss the possibility of establishing what would be much more rational -- a national institute of occupational health and safety. The problems in that area do not simply affect the province of Ontario, but affect all provinces and all workers across Canada. As a result of our discussions with the federal minister, we have been attempting to ensure that there would be no duplication of effort.

Mr. Laughren: Why do you apologize for the Premier? Let him apologize for himself.

Hon. B. Stephenson: The kind of things which we are trying to fund through our contract research in the province of Ontario will be utilized right across the country rather than just in the province.

I understand there are to be five regional centres associated with the national one. If, indeed, there is not to be a centre in the province of Ontario, with which we would be co-operating and assisting, we will be re-examining our commitment to the national centre.


I think it’s very important that the members of this House recognize we have carried out all of the activities in the development of this bill in the light of the communications we have had from those people who are specifically concerned about occupational health and safety, in addition to our own staff and to my own personal commitment.

Mr. Laughren: A record of broken promises.

Hon. B. Stephenson: We have felt very strongly that we must indeed support the concerns and the expectations of all the people who work in the province of Ontario. I have also one small contribution to make to the reading-in of material in this debate this evening -- one letter which I think is significant and which I would like to have recorded in Hansard.

The letter is addressed to me, dated October 25, 1977. It is from the University of Toronto school of graduate studies and it says, and I quote:

“Dear Dr. Stephenson:

“I have now had an opportunity to examine Bill 70, An Act respecting the Occupational Health and Safety of Workers. I believe it to be an excellent bill which, if passed and implemented in essential substance, will serve well the working people of Ontario. May I congratulate you and your staff on its formulation.

“Yours sincerely,

“James M. Ham,

“Dean of Graduate Studies,

“University of Toronto”

Mr. Speaker: Hon. B. Stephenson has moved second reading of Bill 70. Mr. Laughren has moved that the bill be not now read a second time but the bill be referred back to the government to have incorporated therein various measures.

The House divided on the question, shall the bill be now read a second time, which was approved on the following vote:








































Miller, G.I.

Newman, B.












Smith, S.

Smith, G.E.






Taylor, J.A.

Taylor, G.



Van Horne














di Santo




















Ayes 69; nays 26.

Ordered for standing resources development committee.



Hon. Mr. Welch: Perhaps we might take advantage of this point to discuss the order of business for next week. On Monday afternoon and evening, and on Friday morning, the House will be in committee of supply. Tuesday, being legislation day, we will take into consideration Bills 91, 88, 98, 97 and 94. On Thursday afternoon we will do private members’ ballot items 13, standing in the name of the member for Middlesex (Mr. Eaton), and 14, standing in the name of the member for Wentworth North (Mr. Cunningham). Thursday evening the House will take into consideration the final report of the Morrow committee.

Mr. Speaker: Under standing order 28(a), an order for adjournment has been deemed to have been made. I will recognize the hon. member for Downsview for up to five minutes.


Mr. di Santo: Mr. Speaker, the minister has obviously copped out, but I want to make my argument because I think --

Mr. Speaker: Order. I think in all fairness, maybe if the hon. member for Downsview can wait just a minute until other members have made their exit, it may be easier for him to be heard.

An hon. member: Maybe the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) will get in here too.

Mr. di Santo: Mr. Speaker, I don’t understand the reluctance of the Attorney General to answer the question that I have asked twice. Above all, I don’t understand why today he refused to clarify a question that I think is very important. The prosecutions I was talking about in my question were the result of a long investigation by Judge Harry Waisberg into the construction industry and episodes of violence and illegality that took place in that industry early in the seventies.

The question I asked the Attorney General was, why was it that the Crown attorney chose to prosecute the bribee in the case of the company, Marion Constriction, and Melvin Kurtz, and not the briber?

In his answer, the Attorney General said one of the reasons was that in the Crown’s view it was necessary in this case to refrain from prosecuting one or the other of the giver or receiver in order to have the evidence of one to have a successful prosecution.

I submit that in this case this is not true because, on page 179 of the report, it is said of Mr. Melvin Kurtz: “He admitted receiving $19,500 from Marel Contractors and $8,350 from Juliani Construction,” so there was no reason in this case that one of the two parties would not admit their culpability.

Moreover, the case was very clear because Judge Waisberg writes in his report that “the attitude of the employers is summed up in the following evidence of Marco Muzzo, one of the larger drywall contractors.”

Transcript volume 7, page 583:

“Mr. Humphrey: So you were not opposed to the general practice of bribery, you were only concerned whether it worked or not?

“Mr. Muzzo: That is right. It goes without saying that this attitude is quite cynical and improper and in some circumstances illegal. It should be clearly understood that those who give are at least as blameworthy as those who take.”

I think there was a very clear pattern in this case of the people who committed illegalities and there has been a very clear choice on the part of the Crown attorney. He chose to prosecute an employee of the company who was giving jobs to the contractor. In fact, that was the only reason the bribery took place, as Mr. Muzzo admitted to Judge Waisberg, and again it’s documented in his report.

I think the reason only the bribee was chosen and not the briber, was not only a legal one, nor was it for the purpose of finding evidence to get a successful prosecution, but there are other reasons. In fact, the president of Peel Village, the company for which Melvin Kurtz worked --

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

Mr. di Santo: -- said, “I can fire him any time.” I want to remind the Attorney General that it’s much easier to prosecute striking workers than the people with whom we dine quite often.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Again I have nothing to add to the very lengthy and comprehensive answer that was given to a relatively unintelligible question from the member for Downsview.

An hon. member: Oh, shame.

Mr. Speaker: I deem the motion to adjourn to have been carried.

The House adjourned at 10:42 p.m.