31st Parliament, 1st Session

L068 - Fri 2 Dec 1977 / Ven 2 déc 1977

The House met at 10 a.m.



Mr. Reid: Mr. Speaker, before we get into the usual business of the House and while we’re waiting for some of the ministers to come in to answer questions, perhaps I could rise on a point of order; it’s really not a point of privilege. There’s an article in today’s Sun that has offended me greatly, branded me with something I thought would never be done and that I’m very upset about. My colleague from Algoma (Mr. Wildman), who is not with us here this morning, has been similarly offended, I’m sure.

Just to set the record straight, an article on page 36 of today’s Sun, “Opposition Irate over Minaki Plans,” identifies me as the NDP Northern Affairs critic and the member for Algoma as the Liberal critic. I feel a great injury has been done to both of us and I thought I’d draw it to your attention, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: That’s a legitimate point of privilege.

Mr. Lewis: On the point of order, in the absence of my colleague from Algoma, he would wish it to be known that he felt honour was done to the member for Rainy River.

Mr. Breithaupt: Speaking to that I suppose it’s a matter of we wouldn’t mind the trade but there are no future considerations.

Mr. Lewis: Only a lawyer will understand that.

Mr. S. Smith: We’ve been placed in double jeopardy.


Mr. S. Smith: I rise on a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker. You were kind enough to send around to all members what you stated was an extract from the minutes of the Board of Internal Economy regarding the use of the members’ accommodation allowance for members wishing to purchase housing accommodation. They would be reimbursed monthly in lieu of rent at a level to be determined by the board on receipt of letters from realtors and so on. If I may say so, Mr. Speaker, you neglected to add, as far as I can make out, the following sentence from that minute, which says: “Mr. J. R. Breithaupt, MPP, dissented and noted that the Liberal caucus could not agree to this amendment.”

As you know, Mr. Speaker, that’s because we do not believe public funds should be used to allow members to reap possible capital gains. We wish, Mr. Speaker, that you might correct that if you deem it fit to do so.

We also wish that you might ascertain the position of the Premier (Mr. Davis) and the government on this matter so that the whole thing could be reconsidered by the Board of Internal Economy, to change it in accordance with what I think would be simply the right thing to do -- to remove that particular extension of the allowance.

Mr. Speaker: I felt obliged to circulate the minute of the board meeting since it affected all the members of the House. It’s not customary to indicate how each member of the Board of Internal Economy voted. We do operate the board democratically and the majority vote rules there as it does in all other assemblies. I didn’t think it was necessary to list the dissenters. Maybe you consider it a point of privilege but I don’t think it’s incumbent upon the Speaker to do anything further. You have brought it to the attention of the House.

Mr. S. Smith: I would certainly like the Premier to comment on this and to let the House know what his feelings are. I hope you might assist in ascertaining that, Mr. Speaker.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I really don’t need your assistance in ascertaining my views. I would point out that I really don’t think this is a matter of privilege. If the member wishes to ask my views, he could very simply ask a direct question, which might be a little difficult for him under the circumstances --

Mrs. Campbell: Why?

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- but I think that would be the appropriate way to do it. I should point out in reply to what may or may not be the point of privilege, that the Leader of the Opposition knows full well we were planning to meet to discuss this and other matters related to the economic situation facing all members of this House. I would have thought, Mr. Speaker, that a reasonable person might have waited until this matter was discussed along with the others that are of interest to all members whether they happen to be resident here in Metro or elsewhere. But the Leader of the Opposition felt it necessary to raise it now, I guess because of some pressure from the press which wanted him to ask me publicly.

We too have pressures from the press and we too react to them from time to time; that’s appropriate. But it has been somewhat traditional in this House to hold discussion when we are dealing with matters that relate to the House because we are the ones who assume these responsibilities, as I expect we will collectively assume them in a few days as it relates to other issues. So perhaps the Leader of the Opposition might have restrained himself until that discussion took place.

So, in reply to the Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Speaker, I am not totally familiar with the activities of the board; I don’t sit on that board. It is somewhat independent of government. It’s represented there by all members of this Legislature. It tries to deal, as I understand the function of the board, as equitably as it can with the legitimate concerns of the members of this House. It is my understanding that a certain precedent had been established and accepted; I didn’t know of this. What is being suggested at this moment is an enlargement that one might argue and discuss.

I think if the Leader of the Opposition were totally objective he would sense there is an argument on both sides. I would hope not an argument, but a point of view that was logical and legitimate.

What I am concerned about is not just what this House decides in terms of what is fair for the members who are here to represent the public interest, but that there be a perception of it being fair and equitable in terms of the public. I would say that by precipitating this discussion in this fashion he has done the members of this House no great service. He has made the task of the board just a shade more difficult -- by introducing the fact--I understand this to be the case, and now you have brought it out -- that the representative on the board of the Liberal Party did not agree with this. I guess that in future the board is going to have some greater measure of difficulty in trying to remain objective and non-partisan. It doesn’t get down to reporting that this party supported that or this party didn’t support that.


Hon. Mr. Davis: Well, I would say to the member for St. George (Mrs. Campbell) she can interject all she wants, but I’ll just tell her this matter is one that I think deserved discussion among the leaders of the three political parties in this House. Her leader knew we were going to discuss this along with the question of salaries and pensions. It’s great for her to sit there and nod her head up and down, but I have to tell her I think it’s a poor way to do business.

No money has been paid out, there has been no finality to this, and I am reserving my statement to the Leader of the Opposition until we have this discussion. If I can give him any advice, I think he should have done the same.

Mr. S. Smith: To set the record straight, it is important for me to point out that, not only did the meeting of the Board of Internal Economy take place on November 15, with the minutes available on the 22nd, but that I sent a note to the Premier --

Hon. Mr. Davis: And I had you talk to the Chairman of Management Board (Mr. Auld), and the member knew we were going to meet on these issues.

Mrs. Campbell: Let him speak!

Mr. S. Smith: I didn’t interrupt the Premier, Mr. Speaker. And the Premier responded that I should speak to the Chairman of Management Board, which I did. I have waited a week for an answer. I said nothing to anyone about the matter, waiting for this discussion to come to some fruition.

The notice by yourself, Mr. Speaker, brought it to the attention of members and to the press. The matter has now become public and I informed the House leader that although I appreciated the Premier’s offer of a discussion -- I look forward to that discussion -- that I believed the matter had waited for so long that unless the Premier would make some kind of statement, and unless the House leader could give me some kind of statement, I would feel obligated, as Leader of the Opposition, to raise the matter in some public way today.

I did so meaning no offence to the Premier as a person, nor did I wish in any way to undermine the functioning of the Board of Internal Economy, or the general business with which the three leaders can deal in a gentlemanly manner, and which I hope will continue. But I did take the time, on instruction from my caucus, to ask for a response from the Premier and the Chairman of Management Board. I have waited over a week now and I regret that I had to make the matter public in order to be a proper Leader of the Opposition. That is how I saw my role and I hope the Premier understands that.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I must say that I don’t totally understand it. I asked the member to meet with or suggested he meet with the Chairman of Management Board. I knew that his caucus was less than enthused, but I also was under the impression that on matters of this kind that affect the total membership of this House -- and the member knew full well we were going to be discussing honorariums of members, and the possibility of pensions -- that this is something that is not unrelated to the economic situation all members of this House face. If the Liberal Party wants to take a unilateral position on this, prior to any discussion among the leaders, that’s fine. I accept that.


If he is looking for me to say today that the government is opposed to that recommendation of the Board of Internal Economy, I’m saying to the Leader of the Opposition, in fairness to all of the members who are affected, I would have preferred to discuss this with him and with the leader of the New Democratic Party to see if we could come up with some rational solution that would be publicly acceptable, because I think there are points of view on both sides of this concern, as there will be on those two other items. I want to suggest that to him and I’ll be interested in his reaction to some of that.


Mr. Foulds: Here comes another Friday morning special.


Hon. Mr. Drea: I wish to announce the intention of my ministry to close three outdated jails early in 1978. Two of these jails, Simcoe Jail, built in 1851, and Orangeville Jail, built in 1881, will be closed effective February 10, 1978. The third facility, the Kitchener Jail, built in 1853, will be closed early in March. All staff whose jobs are displaced by these closures will be offered employment by this ministry elsewhere in the province and, wherever possible, in nearby institutions. The three closures will effect an annual net saving of approximately $1.379 million in operating costs and a saving to the Ministry of Government Services of up to $300,000 in capital costs in the 1978-79 fiscal year.

Simcoe Jail is a small institution holding an average of 30 inmates and employing a staff of 20. Inmates normally housed at this institution will be transferred to the Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre in London and the Niagara Detention Centre in Thorold. My ministry has been under pressure from the local council to vacate this jail; the council has insisted the Ministry of Government Services commit itself to renovations amounting to $100,000 before it will renew the lease. The current 10-year lease expires on December 31, 1977. The annual saving from the closure of the Simcoe Jail will be $377,400, plus a saving to the Ministry of Government Services of $100,000 in 1978-79.

The Orangeville Jail is also a small jail holding an average of 16 inmates and employing a staff of 20. Of the average daily count of 16 inmates, only about six are residents of Dufferin county which the jail serves. The other average daily number of inmates in the jail are from the Toronto area and are housed there because of overcrowding at the Toronto Jail. However, with the opening of the Metropolitan Toronto West Detention Centre there is now adequate space for all of those inmates to be housed there. In addition to the saving in operating costs generated by this closure, a further saving to the Ministry of Government Services of up to $200,000 will be made in planned alterations and additions to the jail that would be necessary if it remained open. The net annual saving to my ministry from the closure of this jail will be $373,300.

The age of the Kitchener Jail and its physical layout make it very costly to maintain adequate security. In addition, this antiquated facility sits squarely in the middle of Kitchener’s new downtown development and the municipality is anxious that we vacate the present site in order that development may proceed. The net annual saving from the Kitchener Jail closing will be $628,800.

As hon. members will know, we have converted Churchill House, the former security unit of Grandview Training School in Cambridge, into a maximum security facility. Inmates of the Kitchener Jail will be transferred to this modernized facility on the former Grandview School property. This new unit will accommodate 62 inmates in individual cells and dormitories. An outdoor recreation area and a chapel will be provided.

Most of the renovations and modernization of the facility in Cambridge were carried out by inmate labour. A 20-foot wall will also be built around this facility by inmates from various correctional institutions in the area under the direction of the bricklaying instructor from Guelph Correctional Centre. The use of inmate labour to complete this project will save the taxpayers approximately $1 million. No maximum security inmate will be transferred from the Kitchener Jail to this facility until the wall is completed. The present wire fence will remain inside the wall.

I am certain that hon. members will welcome the closures of these three antiquated jails in which living conditions for inmates and working conditions for staff are unacceptable. Understandably, conditions at these jails have been attacked by grand juries and public institution inspection panels. Although these groups have criticized the physical facilities they have invariably praised the staff or their conscientious efforts under trying conditions.

The most vocal criticism has been directed at the Kitchener Jail which was described in January 1976 by a grand jury as “a set of chicken cages ... liable to send one into a psychotic state without much difficulty.” The jurors found it “difficult to contain one’s rage and revulsion and to see anything other than man’s inhumanity to man here.” The jury described the conditions as “men stacked in individual cages just narrow enough to contain a cot, a lidless toilet and a tiny space in front of it to put one’s feet and open the door.”

Mr. Sargent: Same thing in Owen Sound.

Hon. Mr. Drea: The jury asked how the staff could endure the narrow corridors “and still retain any sense of being pleasant, normal people.”

These three closures early in the new year, plus those of Hamilton’s Barton Street Jail and Toronto’s old Don Jail, will bring the total of outdated jails closed by this ministry since 1971 to 18.

I believe this government can be justifiably proud of its jail replacement and renovation program which was set in motion when the province took over the responsibility for the operation of 35 county and two city jails in 1968.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Where is the member for Simcoe? Come on now, applaud.

Mr. S. Smith: We have a minister over there who applies closure in the right places.



Mr. S. Smith: I would like to ask a question of the Minister of Health if I might, Mr. Speaker. Was the minister quoted correctly in today’s Globe and Mail in suggesting that the terms of reference for Mr. Justice Krever might not allow him to actually investigate past leaks and past abuses with regard to the lack of confidentiality of certain health, hospital and insurance records? Could he not clear this matter up simply by telling us that the inquiry will take place under the Public Inquiries Act? Can he assure us of that so that witnesses can be called, people can testify under oath, and the judge can have proper latitude to carry out a proper investigation?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, I can’t do that because it hasn’t been decided yet by the cabinet. But certainly there are two things I want; one is the broadest possible terms of reference and second an early resolution to the problem. In other words, I would like to see a report, as indicated to the press, in the spring.

As I read that article -- a very quick perusal of it before I went to a meeting this morning -- it seemed that once again the headline didn’t quite support the body of the article. To look at the problems, whether it concerns access to OHIP files or whether we are talking about psychiatric files or whatever, His Honour will have to look at what the practices have been and look at the particular incidents in order to carry it through to some logical recommendations of whether what we are doing is sufficient or whether there have to be any changes.

As I say, until we have settled the terms of reference with His Honour, and until I can go back to cabinet with the completed terms of reference and a recommendation, I can’t say for certain which Act it will be held under. But I want it to be as broad as possible.

Mr. S. Smith: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Given the fact that a good many of these issues may touch on breaches of laws of this province and thus there might be a certain reluctance on the part of people to appear, surely the minister would agree that witnesses should be subpoenaed and asked to testify under oath and given appropriate protection. I’m sure he’d also agree that one is not going to know much about the weaknesses in the system unless one knows how they have been exploited in the past -- and therefore previous problems must surely be looked at.

Finally can the minister tell us whether there is a split in the cabinet, and that is the reason he doesn’t want to have this under the Public Inquiries Act because one needs the cabinet to agree to that?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: First of all, Mr. Speaker, I can assure the member there is certainly no split in the cabinet on any of this.

Mr. Conway: Where is the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry)?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Secondly, the opposition leader is quite mistaken, and with respect, is trying to mislead the House in suggesting I am trying not to have it under the Public Inquiries Act. I am being very frank in saying we haven’t finished the terms of reference. We haven’t, therefore, decided on the means. Certainly the points that the member raises are part of our consideration.

Mr. Lewis: Supplementary: I take it the minister would not preclude Mr. Justice Horace Krever from investigating any matter between the period 1959 and 1977 which he felt impinges on setting up confidentiality for OHIP, public hospital or psychiatric hospital access. The minister wouldn’t begin to preclude his right, surely?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Obviously we are not trying to tie anybody’s hands in this.

Mr. Lewis: Just answer yes or no.

Mr. Foulds: The Premier actually shook his head “no” and mouthed the words.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: No, I’m not about to try to tie his hands. I think we have to sit down and discuss with him how he sees carrying it out in order to finish the job in a timely manner, so that hopefully, say, by the end of March, we’ve got something.

Mr. Lewis: He has capacity. You leave it to him.

Hon. Mr. Davis: We don’t want to embarrass the member for Sudbury (Mr. Germa).

Mr. Lewis: Just don’t hog-tie him.

Mr. S. Smith: Supplementary, if I might. Will the judge also be able to look at the practice of the ministry in having certain data sent to Statistics Canada, psychiatric data in particular? Will the minister be able to make sure that the judge has some power to look at those matters and to see whether any of the leaks occurred from that end?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I indicated yesterday that he would be looking at the Public Hospitals Act, he would be looking at all of the requirements with respect to confidentiality. I should tell the member we are required by a number of federal statutes to provide certain information, so certainly I would expect that His Honour in those instances would be looking at the means by which we do that to ensure that in providing the information, we are not conveying any identifying names, numbers, whatever. He would want to look at that to satisfy himself and the public that we are, in fact, carrying out that responsibility properly.


Mr. S. Smith: I have another question, Mr. Speaker. It would ordinarily go to the Minister of Labour (B. Stephenson), but I gather she is ill, so I’ll direct it to the Premier. In view of the announcement yesterday that the Ford Motor Company plans to lay off employees on December 9, 16, 23 and January 10, for a total of 308 employees, for reasons of production problems rather than lack of demand, could the Premier advise the House whether he knows -- and I suspect he may not, but could be check on it -- whether proper notice to the employees as required under the Employment Standards Act has been given? I ask that question because, on the face of it, it would appear as though eight weeks’ notice should have been given and apparently was not; but I am asking it as a question rather than making a statement.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I am not familiar with this. I will have the Minister of Labour or her office check on this over the weekend and have an answer for the members on Monday.

Mr. S. Smith: I thank the Premier. By way of supplementary, while he is doing that could the Premier formulate in his own mind some impression as to whether, in fact, this layoff is due to management error and management sloppiness rather than any market problems or problems on the part of labour? Could he assure himself of that and let us know what his opinion is on this, and also on whether or not the company would be willing to suspend overtime, rather than lay off these people at the Christmas season?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I will get as much information as I can for hon. members. Unlike the Leader of the Opposition, I really don’t presume to be an expert in the field of management, so I really may not form any such conclusions over the weekend.

Mr. S. Smith: That is evident from the Premier’s management of Ontario.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I do accept my limitations; the Leader of the Opposition some day may recognize his. It may take a while, but he may. So I will get as much information as I can.

Mr. S. Smith: I accept the Premier’s limitations.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Oh, listen, I recognize mine. It will be a great thing for his party when the Leader of the Opposition recognizes his.

Mr. Mackenzie: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: In gathering information, would the Premier please check into the lengthy meetings that were held yesterday morning and yesterday afternoon between the company and the union, at which time the company refused to stop the practice of the line working 48 hours consistently and the maintenance and repairmen working in excess of 60 hours in the Ford plant; the company indicated that it was going to continue that operation in spite of the cutbacks and in spite of a specific request yesterday afternoon from the union to spread the work around?


Mr. S. Smith: I already asked that.

Mr. Mackenzie: You obviously never talked to the unions.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I recognize that the supplementary was more definitive than the original question; I say that with a recognition of how definitive it was. I will pass this question on to the minister and hopefully, as a part of the reply on Monday, will have more specific answers as to whether or not the company met the laws of this province. I will endeavour to do that for the hon. member.


Mr. Lewis: I’d like to ask a question of the Minister of Education. Does his public pronouncement on the value of the Metro Toronto school board mean, in effect, that this part of the recommendations of the Robarts commission will also be scuttled and that despite the vote of the individual boards in Metro -- four of them specifically and probably the other two would now join under certain conditions -- despite that vote of the overwhelming majority of the trustees, the minister has apparently rendered a decision in advance that the Metro school board is to continue?

Mr. Rotenberg: Unanimously.

Mr. Pope: Scarborough is against that.

Hon. Mr. Wells: I would be quite interested in my friend quoting exactly or showing me where I have rendered a decision that the Metro school board would continue. I think the only statement I recall being quoted in one of the newspapers was that I had yet to see conclusive evidence that the Metro school board should be done away with.

Mr. Lewis: That’s what I meant. I know the minister and I know what that means.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Let me tell my friend why I said that, because I read the resolution that the Metro school board passed. It said the Metro school board should be eliminated provided that the province will meet the following three conditions. The first condition was that all capital debenture costs should be equalized across the area. The second was that the quality of education in Metropolitan Toronto should be guaranteed and that the equalization should apply between the boroughs as it should also apply between all the boards in the province of Ontario. The third was that there should be some mechanism set up to maintain co-operation between the chairmen of all the boards.

Mr. S. Smith: What’s wrong with that?

Hon. Mr. Davis: A Metro school board by another name.

Hon. Mr. Wells: I submit to the hon. member that it’s very hard to conclude that the Metro school board really either wants to do away with itself, or else if it does it’s suggesting perhaps total amalgamation which could achieve those three ends. But it’s pretty hard for anyone reading those three conditions to believe that they were really sincere in wanting to do away with themselves.

Mr. Lewis: By way of supplementary, that’s a very interesting commentary on the trustees who debated for hours to come to those conditions, I remind the hon. minister. What the minister is saying, in effect, is that despite the request for separate local school board autonomy, based on conditions which allegedly prevail through the rest of the province, another Robarts recommendation is going out the window. Will there be anything left of that emasculated report?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Do you agree with the boundaries, Stephen?

Mr. Lewis: Actually I thought it was good to get the boundaries.

Hon. Mr. Wells: That’s right. I thought that that was very good.

Hon. Mr. Davis: The member agreed with the Treasurer’s decision.

Mr. S. Smith: He made it a week after I did.

Mr. Lewis: No, no, longer.

Hon. Mr. Wells: I am really trying to be very fair with the Metro school board recommendation. As I said to the press when the recommendation was made it will be considered; it will be given the same weight as all the other recommendations that come in to us. But I will tell the hon. member, just to show him how perplexing the situation is in this particular area, I noted that several members of the Scarborough board of education voted for the motion at the Metropolitan school board meeting.

Mr. Lewis: That’s right.

Hon. Mr. Wells: I also was informed the day before yesterday that the Scarborough board on this Monday night, after the Metro school board meeting, again reaffirmed the wishes of the Scarborough board that the Metropolitan school board remain and that the Scarborough board is also very, very much in favour of a uniform tax rate across Metro for education. I think that the logical conclusion of a uniform tax rate across Metro is some kind of co-ordinating mechanism. All I’m really saying is that --

Mr. Lewis: Is that the minister is keeping the Metro board.

Hon. Mr. Wells: I’m not saying that.

Mr. Lewis: Thank you very much. The minister has answered the question.

Hon. Mr. Wells: I’m not saying that. I’d like to see some more conclusive arguments. If the Metro board had come in with the resolution and then the conclusive arguments as to how they would accomplish their three conditions, I think it would have been much more convincing.

Mr. Lewis: The government will just hire John Robarts again two years from now.

Hon. Mr. Wells: No, we don’t need to do that.

Hon. Mr. Davis: It may be the member for Scarborough West next time.

Mr. Warner: Supplementary: Am I to understand that the Minister of Education does not agree that each of the area boards of Metro should have the same kinds of agreements as do other boards throughout the rest of this province, and that somehow, if the Metro board is disbanded, each of the area boards should be left to flounder on its own without getting the needed help that is available to every other board in the rest of this province?

Hon. Mr. Wells: No. What I believe is that Metro, to some degree, is a unique situation and that Metropolitan Toronto represents one economic unit made up of boroughs and the city of Toronto. For 20 some-odd years we’ve been looking for unique mechanisms to make this system work; the Metropolitan two-tier system of municipal government has been one of those. The member will notice there is no recommendation that it be done away with.

Mr. S. Smith: Things that can be done locally should be done locally.

Hon. Mr. Wells: With great respect to all the other opinions that may be put forward, the Metropolitan school board over some 20 years has made a significant contribution to the advancement of quality education in this area --

Mr. Lewis: Unlike the Conservative Party.

Hon. Mr. Wells: -- particularly in boroughs like Scarborough, York and so forth. The mere suggestion that it should be done away with and that all the equalizing can be done by the province without the kind of local input that is necessary is something that should be carefully studied by Metro.

Mr. Lewis: That’s what we’ve asked for.

Mr. Warner: The minister would rather cut back and let property taxes go up.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Metro has an equalizing procedure and process to carry on within its own boundaries as well as the general equalizing process that we would have to carry on, as we do amongst all boards in the province. I want to make it very clear that the suggestions and recommendations that all these groups have submitted will be looked at very carefully and that we will be making some statements in the new year.

Mr. Warner: The minister wants Metro to do the work for him.

Mr. S. Smith: The minister knows how to pass the buck.


Mr. Lewis: Since the minister answered me so directly on the first question, I’ll take a chance on a second one. Are the rumours circulating adroitly through his ministry valid that he is about to embark on a remarkable and enlightened initiative --

Mr. S. Smith: A leadership campaign.

Mr. Lewis: Not a leadership campaign, no

-- to introduce a program for special education where the province would fund 100 per cent of the initiatives of the individual boards around Ontario in order to overcome these very serious difficulties of children with learning disabilities, emotional disturbances et cetera, rather than the current dependence on the weighting factor?

Hon. Mr. Wells: I really can’t answer that question at this time because there are a lot of discussions going on about the 1978 general legislative grant regulations which set the ground rules for all these payments. We’ve been looking at different ways of doing different things. As I told all the directors of education with whom I met yesterday there is one thing, however, that is constant and that I think must be remembered -- that is there will be $90 million more for general legislative grants next year than there was for this year and anything we do is built within that constant.

Mr. Swart: What percentage increase?

Mr. Foulds: Supplementary: When the minister indicated that he would be doing different things different ways, does that indicate, with regard to special education, he will be taking that out of the weighting factor formula --

Mr. Cassidy: Human need comes last once again.

Mr. Foulds: -- and funding back directly, no matter what proportion he decides on finally?

Hon. Mr. Wells: My friend is getting into a discussion of what the general legislative grant regulation would be and I’m not prepared to do that at this point in time.


Mr. Kerrio: I have a question of the Minister of Agriculture and Food as it relates to Ogoki Lodge, now humorously referred to as mini-Minaki. Is he aware of a report in the Globe and Mail on Saturday, November 26, of a comment made by his deputy minister that there has been a complete audit of the lodge project, including funds contributed by the federal government, but that he refused to discuss its findings or release the report? He commented: “It’s confidential or it’s internal,” which is the same thing as being confidential. Would the minister report on the audit as it exists and will we have it in time for the estimates of Culture and Recreation as it relates to that other ministry?

Hon. W. Newman: Mr. Speaker, it’s like every other branch of my ministry. There’s always an internal audit going on and --

Mr. Ruston: In this case, though, it was federal funds.

Hon. W. Newman: Look, one thing some people forget is that this whole project was done for the native people of this province and they built it and they did a good job. They had their own bookkeepers on the job too, and they didn’t do a perfect job but they did a good job.

Hon. Mr. Davis: That’s right.

Hon. W. Newman: This is very important to them. We had all native people basically involved --

Mr. S. Smith: The natives of New Zealand had some role in it, I understand.

Mr. Kerrio: Answer the question. Don’t sing two verses of Ontari-ari-ario to me; just answer the question.

Hon. W. Newman: Yes, there is an internal audit. I said that. I have already answered the question.

Mr. Kerrio: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Would the minister --

Hon. Mr. Davis: They are losing the whole north. The member for Rainy River is getting nervous.

Mr. Reid: We haven’t got much to lose.


Hon. Mr. Davis: You are going to have to take him aside.

Mr. Kerrio: In future, where taxpayers’ dollars are concerned in such investments in this type of venture, would the minister consider expenditure control and progress scheduling so the people of Ontario can predetermine what kind of tax dollars are going to be spent? Certainly the minister should be able to address himself to that kind of responsibility now.

Hon. W. Newman: Mr. Speaker, one thing the member forgets is that this was basically funded by DREE in Ottawa. In fact, 92 per cent of the project was funded by the federal government.

Mr. S. Smith: You have the audit. You know what’s going on.

Mr. Breithaupt: Just because it’s their money, you can’t throw it away.

Hon. W. Newman: Why don’t the members give me some specific questions and I will answer them? Why don’t they ask specific questions?

Mr. S. Smith: Will you table it?

Hon. W. Newman: No, I won’t.

Mr. Kerrio: Mr. Speaker, may I qualify my question?

Mr. Speaker: Do you have a new question?

Mr. Kerrio: The minister suggested that I didn’t pose a question. May I suggest to him that I posed a very valid question. I asked him if in the future he couldn’t consider controls, scheduling controls and controls of expenditures. There was a very specific question. Would he consider doing those things when we take on this kind of a job in future for the province of Ontario?

Hon. W. Newman: Mr. Speaker, we have already said many times, this was originally an agreement with the Ogoki River Guides Limited and it’s like any other ARDA project. It would be a project with them. They were running the project, they were building the project, and the grants came from the province and were reimbursed by the federal government in Ottawa and that’s exactly how it works.

Any time we had any indication that anything was wrong, we had people on the job to try and train and help the native people and that’s exactly what we did do as far as bookkeeping was concerned. A consulting firm was hired in Toronto by the name of Group Thirty Three.

Mr. Breithaupt: Is that like Stop 38?

Mr. S. Smith: Or Catch-22?

Mr. Kerrio: Was there someone there from New Zealand? Did they import some talent?

Hon. W. Newman: No. This consulting firm that was involved did the necessary hiring of the people. As far as the article in today’s paper is concerned, the person who was hired to do the auditing down here for the company that was in charge hired a certain person, and the fellow who was on the project up north didn’t even know that person originally, didn’t even know that person, and if members think something’s wrong with a man and a woman getting to know each other after a period of time then there is something wrong somewhere.

Mr. Gaunt: Did they do that under DREE?

Mr. S. Smith: Under the apple DREE?



Mr. Wildman: I have a question for the Minister of Industry and Tourism. Could the minister confirm that of 18 tourist brochures made available by his deputy minister recently to a francophone interested in Ontario’s attempts to attract and serve Quebec tourists, only four were prepared by Ontario and 14 were prepared by the federal government? And of the four prepared by the Ontario government, only one was bilingual; two were in French, and the other was in English? If that is the case, considering that about one-tenth of the tourists who visited Metropolitan Toronto area last year were from the province of Quebec, does the minister consider that an adequate attempt by his ministry to attract Quebec tourists to this province, in view of his government’s stated commitment to national unity?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: I am not sure of which 18 brochures the member speaks. The overall bilingual program, or the English-French publications of the ministry, is presently under review for a different direction in 1978-79. If the member would give me a list of the brochures he is referring to, I will have them looked at.

Mr. Wildman: Supplementary: I will give the minister that list, but could the minister confirm that nearly all or most of the brochures prepared by the Quebec Tourism ministry, even with a separatist government, are printed bilingually? If that is the case, will he make that same kind of commitment in this province?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: I would not be aware in what language the brochures are printed in the province of Quebec.

Mr. Warner: You’ve visited every other province.

Hon. Mr. Bennett: I would imagine that French is the principal language that is used. Whether they are all in a bilingual form I am not sure, but we can also have that looked at.

We are looking at the overall program of the province of Ontario and its brochure publications, both in the field of industry and tourism, in relationship to the Paris office which we recently opened.


Mr. Yakabuski: I have a question of the Premier. In view of the fact that 75 years or a century ago the Canadian Pacific Railway was granted huge tracts of land for rights of way for railway building and servicing the people of Ontario and other parts of Canada, and in view of the fact that in recent years some of these branch lines have been abandoned and are not being maintained or cared for properly and have been turned over to their real estate branch, Marathon Realty --

Mr. Lewis: Get to the bridge, get to the bridge. Port McNicoll, get to the bridge.

Mr. Yakabuski: -- what can this government do to see that these lands are turned over to the municipalities in which they are located? Presently they are not being cared for or maintained --

Mr. Speaker: The question has been asked.

Mr. Yakabuski: -- and Marathon Realty are asking outrageous prices for their purchase.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I want to assure the members that I had no advance notice of this very important and complicated question. As I understand the hon. member, he is wondering whether -- as it relates to CPR; whether the same would be true of CN, I am not sure -- certain abandoned rights of way or properties within municipal boundaries might be turned over to certain municipalities.

If the hon. member would bring to my attention some more specific suggestions he might have then certainly I would be prepared to pursue it.

I do understand it is the policy of CPR to turn some of these abandoned rights of way over to a firm that is somewhat related, called Marathon Realty.

Mr. Foulds: A wholly-owned subsidiary.

Hon. Mr. Davis: In fairness, it is also true -- and I point this out to the hon. member; I am familiar with one instance in Peterborough and I do not know whether this involved abandoned rights of way -- that particular company has been part of certain urban redevelopment projects in some communities in this province that have been extremely beneficial.

I would like to know just what particular right of way the hon. member is interested in. I would be delighted to discuss it with him and see if it is worthwhile pursuing with that particular organization. If the hon. member might supply me with this information I would be delighted to take it further.

Mr. Yakabuski: Supplementary: The lands in question have no real estate value. They are in the village of Eganville and the township of Grattan, the townships of Bagot and Blithfield and Admaston.

Mr. Speaker: Question.

Mr. Yakabuski: They have no real development value as they may have had in an urban centre. Therefore I would hope that some ministry in this government could be successful --

Mr. Speaker: There’s no question there.

Mr. Yakabuski: -- in negotiating with Marathon Realty to see that these lands are turned over to the municipalities at little or no cost.

Mr. Speaker: There’s no question there. The hon. Solicitor General has the answer to a question asked previously.


Hon. Mr. MacBeth: On Friday last, the member for Port Arthur asked a number of additional questions about the activities of the Ontario Provincial Police security branch on October 14, 1976.

The commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police, through the director of the security branch, is responsible for the security of the Queen’s Park complex. The director is also responsible for the administration of the Ontario Government Protective Service. The director, therefore, was responsible for assigning the security branch members for surveillance on the day in question.

I think that was one of the questions -- who made the assignment.

On October 14, 1976, there were approximately 20 members of the Ontario Government Protective Service on duty at the Parliament Buildings. They are responsible for the security at the buildings only. There were two plainclothes members of the Ontario Provincial Police on duty at the Legislature that day. One was a chief inspector of the security branch whose duty included supervision of the Ontario Government Protective Service. He normally attends at the Parliament Buildings when any demonstration occurs there. The second member was assigned to plainclothes duty to ascertain if any breaches of the peace were planned or intended.

The member of the Thunder Bay unit was at the Thunder Bay demonstration as a function of his normal plainclothes duties and as a member of the security branch. Thunder Bay was not singled out when there were demonstrations throughout the province. It is simply a matter of number of personnel. The security branch of the Ontario Provincial Police has members stationed at Toronto, Windsor, Kenora, Kingston and Thunder Bay.

No information was received concerning possible demonstrations in any of the other locations, so only the officer in Thunder Bay was assigned to monitoring the demonstration there. I trust this additional information will answer the concerns of the member for Port Arthur.

Mr. Foulds: Supplementary: Could the minister, as a matter of policy, tell the House why the director felt it necessary to assign these plainclothes security officers, particularly to supervise the demonstration in Thunder Bay? The minister said the officer in Thunder Bay did this in the course of his normal duties. Why would the supervision of a peaceful, legitimate demonstration, that had a licence for the march, come under the normal duties of a surveillance undercover officer of the OPP?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: I did try to point out that there was nothing special about Thunder Bay on that occasion. As to the general practice of plainclothes officers carrying on this kind of surveillance, they do it in most large public demonstrations. Where there are personnel available, then it’s customary for a plainclothes officer to be there.

Mr. Lewis: Why?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: I suppose to listen to the conversation; to learn what may be going on and what plans they may be making. Because occasionally the most peaceful demonstration, that starts off in that way --

Mr. Lewis: You’ve got the local police.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: -- may erupt someplace, by the spirit of the occasion, into some kind of violence.

Our responsibility is to keep the peace. If by being there and listening to what is planned -- and it may not be planned in advance at all; it may be something that is spontaneous --

Mr. McClellan: General MacBeth.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: -- then we can learn of that and take steps to avoid it.

Mr. Cassidy: What is this? A police state?

Mr. Foulds: Supplementary: Can the minister tell me what one single plainclothes officer could do to keep the peace that 20 uniformed police officers, who were supervising the demonstration in Thunder Bay, could not do? Can the minister tell me that?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: It is fine to say that we should not be doing this kind of surveillance, but I am sure many of the people opposite would be the first to criticize us if we did not have this kind of surveillance. It is in the interests of keeping the public peace.

Mr. Lewis: Oh come on. That’s just nonsense.

Mr. Warner: Utter nonsense.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Just hold on. Mr. Speaker, these people are there --

Mr. Lewis: This is absurd. These people run around and have nothing better to do than attend demonstrations? Cut your budget!

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: If they hear that there is some rumour of proposed violence --

Mr. Lewis: That’s right. For a profit.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: -- then, of course, they will report it. And that is why they are there, to keep an eye on it. If it looks as though things are getting out of hand, that people might be injured, that something of a violent nature is going --

Mr. Lewis: You have the regular police there for that.

Mr. Cassidy: This is like the Mounties -- undercover agents, police spies.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: -- that is what the police force is there for throughout the province, to try and maintain law and order, not wait until trouble starts, until some outbreak, but to try and nip it in the bud.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Grey-Bruce with a new question.

Mr. Lewis: You are not allowing further supplementaries to this?

Mr. Speaker: No.

Mr. Lewis: On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker. Since demonstrations take place at this building regularly in which members of the Legislature are involved, do we not have the right as a matter of privilege to ascertain whether in fact there are plainclothes OPP people present at all demonstrations; for example, at the one which the Ontario Federation of Labour had earlier this week? I’d like to know as a matter of courtesy to the members whether that is common practice.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. member of Grey-Bruce.


Mr. Sargent: A question of the Premier -- this was not a set-up. I didn’t get a new hospital over there. In the light of the upcoming meeting of the first ministers with Prime Minister Trudeau, for which I congratulate the Premier, may I ask our first minister if he would consider a move that could further enhance his position? In view of the drastic unemployment picture in Ontario, what would be wrong with, at this meeting, offering to turn over to the federal government our commitment of $100 million to Syncrude in return for a credit of $100 million to the province of Ontario, to be put back into our economy to create jobs?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, the hon. member does from time to time have some constructive ideas. I haven’t analysed this one yet to really determine whether it is constructive or not.

Mr. Conway: The question is do you?

Hon. Mr. Davis: In that he has become so supportive here this morning and interested in me furthering my position, I must say that this is such a great change on the part of the hon. member; I’m still recovering from the shock. His leader is trying to change my position in another direction and here he is supporting -- well, there is a division in the member’s caucus --

Mr. Speaker: The question was, will you or won’t you?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Or whether or not we should or shouldn’t? I would point out to the hon. member that the rationale for the --

Mr. Ruston: Make sure there’s no division in your caucus, we want to keep you around for the next election.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Oh, the members opposite shouldn’t be too anxious, some of them.

Mr. Reid: The Premier said that the last time.

Mr. S. Smith: And we are still here.

Hon. Mr. Davis: You’re moving around the corner but you’ve got fewer seats.

Mr. Speaker: Just ignore the interjections.

Hon. Mr. Davis: You got a lower popular vote, don’t ever forget it.

Mr. Conway: Three times and you’re out, Bill.

Mr. Kerrio: Johnson thinks Darcy is still in St. Catharines.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, they are interrupting me. It is just as well the member for London Centre (Mr. Peterson) isn’t here this morning to hear this discussion --

Mr. Conway: Where is the old member for London North?

Mr. Reid: Which party is he with?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I could offer a comment on that as well, but I shan’t.

Mr. Speaker: I am sure the member for Grey-Bruce would like to hear the answer to his question.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, the rationale, of course, for the investment in Syncrude -- and I think the hon. member is aware of this -- is to demonstrate in a very tangible way the interest the consumers of the province have in the development of new resource potential in western Canada.


I think it is important for the hon. member to remember that probably the main recipient of what is produced by Syncrude will be the consumer of the province of Ontario. This is why the government made the determination to become admittedly a very minor partner in this development, but it was an indication of our commitment to the further exploitation of a resource that was here in Canada, rather than in the future relying to a greater extent on offshore production of this very essential energy source.

While certainly I know the hon. member has thought the idea out very carefully, I would have to say to him I would not want the impression to be left that we are any less concerned about that development and the potential it has for the consumer and the economy of this province. That is why we might be somewhat hesitant to see if someone else would buy out our position for the use of that money in some other area.

I would ask the hon. member, perhaps over the weekend, to reflect on the longer term implications of his question, the need for that resource in the economy of this province, and the fact that if it is successful -- and it appears as though it is moving ahead and will be competitive in many respects -- it will be the economy of this province that will be one of the beneficiaries of that sort of investment.

I know he does look forward. I know he is thinking five and 10 years hence and is interested in the economy of his region, as I am of mine. On careful reflection he might sense that investment should remain there to make sure that our commitment, and as a result the access to this resource, remain within the interests of the people he represents in his own community, as I do in mine.

Mr. di Santo: Supplementary: During the meeting with the Prime Minister will the Premier also raise the issue of the auto pact that this year is reaching a deficit of approximately $3 billion and is causing unemployment, especially in southwestern Ontario?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I have already raised this with the Prime Minister. I really anticipated one or two questions earlier in the week on what the discussions were with the Prime Minister but I assure the members of the House, pursuant to our discussions, I did discuss with him the auto pact.

Before the member for Niagara Falls (Mr. Kerrio) asks a supplementary I also discussed the matter of the procurement of pipe for the Canadian part of the pipeline project.

Mr. Kerrio: We hope.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I received the same optimistic response from the Prime Minister as I gave to the member. We were interested in the parallels of how the official opposition in Ottawa was asking the same kind of questions as the opposition here in Ontario was asking.

Mr. Conway: What do you think of Joe Clark?

Hon. Mr. Davis: We said to ourselves, “Where is their optimism and faith and confidence in the capacity of Ontario industry to compete with anyone?”

Mr. Cassidy: Come on, those are empty words. Empty words without guarantees.


Mr. Swart: My question is of the Minister of Industry and Tourism. It has something to do with this optimism and faith, but perhaps I would like to have some facts on it. He will recall, won’t he, that on Monday of this week he indicated that later this week he would be bringing in a full statement on the capabilities of the Canadian companies to produce pipe to meet the likely requirements of the Alaska Highway pipeline? As this is Friday of this week, what has the minister to report?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: I shall bring in a complete statement on Monday. The one reason I am not reporting to the House today is that at this very hour the deputy minister and assistant deputy minister and those related to the industrial development program of the province are meeting in Ottawa with the federal representatives, and people from the industry as well, in direct relationship to this statement relating to the pipeline and the supply of pipe.

Mr. Swart: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: We have had this topic almost every day and you will be getting a complete report on Monday.

Mr. Swart: This relates to the report, Mr. Speaker.


Mr. Pope: My question is of the Minister of Energy. Recently I raised in this House a question concerning the eligibility criteria for the home insulation program of the federal government, the net effect of which is to deny this assistance program to the people of northern Ontario. I asked the minister to communicate that concern to the federal Department of Energy, Mines and Resources. I asked him if the matter was raised at his recent meeting with the federal Minister of Energy, if the eligibility criteria will be changed, and when the changes will go into effect.

Hon. J. A. Taylor: Mr. Speaker, I was gratified that following yesterday’s meeting of federal-provincial ministers in Ottawa there seems to be some potential for flexibility, so that a meeting will be held with the Ottawa ministers to see if that program can be varied to accommodate the needs of the different regions of Ontario, as of other provinces, to take into consideration those climatic and geographical differences, including home construction. There are some communities in this province, for example, that weren’t even built in 1921. I did point this out at the ministers’ conference and I’m confident that changes will be made fairly quickly to accommodate those differences.

Mr. Kerrio: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: In addition to this kind of agreement that the minister might enter into, is it his responsibility, with the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations, to be certain we don’t have a proliferation of people in that business of putting insulation in homes and not doing an adequate job?

Hon. J. A. Taylor: Mr. Speaker, the Ministry of Energy has been working with the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations to ensure that there is supervision in connection with this matter. As the hon. member can appreciate, we want to ensure that there are no fly-by-nighters who will victimize the public. As to the administration of the program, I also indicated to the Ottawa ministers -- there is another minister involved now, Mr. Ouellette--that we feel that the administration of that program should not be centralized in Montreal, but should be brought here so that we can effect, I think, a more efficient administration of the program.


Mr. Conway: My question is to the hon. Premier and it relates to the matter of the Edwardsburgh land assembly. The Premier seems to be one of the very select few who, some years ago, were part of the original group that gave birth to that very famous project. I wonder if he could explain to me and members of this House how it was that in the context of that industrial development scheme the government of Ontario managed to arrange a group of disparate land purchases, many of which were not connected? Given the industrial future that he had in mind, how was it that the province bought heavily within, for example, the 2,700 acre block now identified by the Dillon report as suitable for nothing more industrial than a wildlife preserve?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I can’t comment in detail on all of the acreage in that particular potential industrial site. I am sure the hon. member has read the report. He certainly has read the story in the Globe and Mail. I, too, read that story and I think it’s obvious that perhaps not all of the acreage acquired is totally suitable for future industrial development.

Mr. Cassidy: That is an understatement.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I would say to the member for Ottawa Centre, I’d be a little careful about understatements these days.

Mr. Speaker: Order. I wish the Premier would ignore the interjections.

An hon. member: He’d have to answer the question then.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, you’re quite right, I should. It’s just that sometimes the interjections are more fun than the questions. And on occasion, they’re more relevant.

Mr. Wildman: They’re more relevant than what you’re saying.

Hon. Mr. Davis: What was it the member did ask? How come there is a certain amount of acreage that may or may not be potential industrial land?

Mr. S. Smith: Why don’t you buy some useless land that was useless from the beginning?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I think that as one looks to the future there may be a portion of that land that isn’t entirely appropriate for industrial use. When one takes into account the potential future value, the price the province has paid, the desirability of having, if possible, buffers between industrial parks and other forms of development --

Mr. S. Smith: A wildlife sanctuary.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- there was perhaps some merit in the initial acquisition.

Mr. Cassidy: It was an incompetent decision, incompetently handled.

Hon. Mr. Davis: If the hon. member is saying that maybe not all of this land will find its way into industrial use, I won’t deny that. I’m not a planner; I’m not an expert. I would only say this doesn’t lessen our commitment to have significant industrial growth take place in eastern Ontario and I’m sure the hon. member has to be in support of that, whether he likes it or not.

Mr. Conway: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: entirely in support of the last part of the comment by the hon. Premier, I would ask further what specifically the government under his direction will offer to the people of eastern Ontario in terms of future dollars to proceed with this industrial showcase, even if to some limited degree? What moneys will he be putting forward -- if I might refer to the article about which he made some reference -- to take this industrial showcase project off the Treasurer’s back burner?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I wouldn’t say that the Treasurer has front and back burners. The Treasurer of this province has all of his burners functioning, thank heavens; unlike some of the members opposite.

Mr. S. Smith: He is probably getting burned by them.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, they do interject. They really provide me with opportunities.

We will move ahead with Edwardsburgh, I can assure the hon. member.

Mr. Wildman: Give us a date.

Hon. Mr. Davis: As to the direct question into the form the plans or the incentives will take, I think the member, being a relatively intelligent individual, recognizes that there has to be, as well, some viable economic operation that we can certainly do our best to attract, to promote, to make certain economic considerations available.

But at the same time, there has to be some desire on the part of industry to locate in that geographical location.

Ms. Gigantes: The Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Bennett) should resign.

Mr. Cassidy: You have nothing but words.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Boy, you should talk. You’re old marble mouth.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, they really are being very impolite over there this morning.

Mr. Cassidy: With justice.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Here I was trying to be a little helpful with a problem that the members may have and this is the kind of response I get from them.

Mr. Cassidy: Our problem is with the Premier and his government. That is the problem of the people of this province as well.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I know the member’s campaign is not going very well but he shouldn’t get frustrated. There’s lots of time yet. He has two months to put it back in shape. I can assure the member that we will do our very best to see that it is, in fact, an industrial showcase.

Mr. Lewis: Why doesn’t the Premier make a contribution and put his money where his mouth is?

Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary.

Mr. Speaker: You’ve already had three supplementaries and you didn’t even have the floor.

Mr. Cassidy: But no official ones.

Mr. Sterling: Mr. Speaker, despite what some of the people in the opposition might say, the people of my riding in south Grenville are satisfied that this government is going ahead. Due to the fact that the Ontario Land Corporation, the township of Edwardsburgh, the CNR, the CPR and the National Harbours Board own 800 acres of the 1,000 acres and all of the waterfront in the industrial area number one as outlined in the Dillon report, I would like to ask the Premier if he would undertake to tell the people of south Grenville that this government will look into acquiring two additional parcels --

Mr. Kerrio: Get the hook.

Mr. Wildman: I thought it was just Bennett who talked this way.

Mr. Sterling: -- of approximately 100 acres to round out this total 1,000 acres.

Mr. Breithaupt: He would be off his rocker to do that.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, the hon. member, unlike the members opposite, has some real knowledge of what is involved. He recognizes the great potential, as do the people in the communities that he represents. As he said, they are completely assured that the government intends to move ahead with this significant project. He does point out that there are a couple of strategic parcels of land that could relate to the initial phase of this development, land which the people of that area feel the government should consider adding to the first phase. I think it’s encouraging to have a local member who is so knowledgeable, so aware and so concerned about his constituents. Certainly, the government will take a look at it.


Mr. Foulds: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have a question of the Minister of Transportation and Communications. Has he yet asked for and has he received a copy of the federal Department of Transportation’s study into airline safety in northwestern Ontario? If he has, does it confirm the stories of overloading, rigged loghooks et cetera, as reported in the press? Is he prepared to ask the federal government for a full-scale public inquiry into air safety in northwestern Ontario at this time?


Hon. Mr. Snow: The answer is yes, we have asked for a copy of that report. The next answer is no, we have not received it and have not been able to ascertain at this time whether we will get a copy of that report or not.

Mr. Foulds: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: If and when he gets a copy, is the minister prepared to use the authority that he has under the Ontario Airports Act to cancel any leases or agreements that he has with carriers who are named in that report as violating the air safety regulations, and cancelling those leases on airports that he runs in northern Ontario with those companies that are named as violating the safety regulations?

Hon. Mr. Snow: First of all, Mr. Speaker, we are attempting to obtain a copy of the report. We have been in touch with the Hon. Mr. Lang’s office two or three times during this week and I believe the latest contact was either yesterday afternoon or this morning. We still have not got an answer. I am most anxious to see that report if Mr. Lang will release it.

Mr. Foulds: Ask the Globe and Mail for their copy.

Hon. Mr. Snow: The first thing I will do if I do get the report is read it, then I would be in a better position to comment on the balance of the question. With regard to the recent amendments to the Airports Act which do allow us to enter into leases with operators on airports operated by the ministry, I am not aware at this time of any leases that we have entered into. There may be some in the preliminary stages but I will certainly look at that aspect.

Mr. Wildman: Supplementary: Could the minister, when in contact with his federal counterpart, request a report to confirm or deny the press story that two jumbo jets almost collided over Sault Ste. Marie?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: They have already denied it.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, I also have read that press report regarding a so-called near miss or near hit, whatever it might be called, at Sault Ste. Marie. As one who spends quite a considerable amount of time in that air space myself, I am very concerned with regard to that. The stories we have heard to date are conflicting. I am sure this matter is being extensively investigated by the federal ministry and by the two airlines involved, who I am sure are also very concerned. I feel this should be looked into very carefully and the association of controllers and the Airline Pilots Association should also be involved in seeing what this problem was.

It is not the first of these instances we have heard about and I am quite sure it won’t be the last, but it may not be exactly as it has been reported either. Although I, as the hon. member I am sure knows, have no jurisdiction in this area, I am most interested and will obtain whatever information I can.


Mr. Haggerty: I would like to direct a question to the Premier as it relates to the possibility of loss of jobs to Gray Coach Lines: Has the cabinet arrived at a decision to rescind a previous decision of the Ontario Highway Transport Board on November 22, 1976, that allowed rights to Eastern Canadian Greyhound lines’ Stock Bros. Bus Lines to operate services over three major profit-producing Grey Coach routes in southern Ontario?

Hon. Mr. Davis: No, Mr. Speaker, we have not as yet.

Mr. Haggerty: Supplementary: When can we expect a decision?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Just as soon as possible.

Mr. Eakins: In the fullness of time.

Mr. S. Smith: You’re bleeding the company in the meantime.


Mr. Philip: A new question of the Minister of Transportation and Communications: Can the minister inform the House of how many new applicants for R licences have been heard by the Ontario Highway Transport Board since the minister made his statement concerning the need for moratoriums on October 21? Can the minister tell us how many new licences have been issued and how many have been denied in that six-week period?

Hon. Mr. Snow: I will get that information, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Philip: By way of supplementary: will the minister -- and perhaps he can give this information early in his estimates next week -- also supply us with a comparison with the number of new applicants in a similar period last year and with the number denied during that six-week period? There is a general feeling in the industry that there is no moratorium taking place right now on our licences, other than the normal slowdown that takes place at this time every year.

Hon. Mr. Snow: I will also ask the chairman of the Highway Transport Board for that information. But I would point out to the hon. member that in my statement to the House, I believe I specifically stated -- at least it is certainly my feeling -- that I cannot prevent any individual from making an application. I believe that the so-called moratorium I asked the chairman to impose cannot be imposed on applications.



Ms. Gigantes: I am sending to the Minister of Education (Mr. Wells) a petition signed by parents who are electors of the Roman Catholic School Board of Carleton against amalgamation with the Ottawa Separate School Board. It is signed by 248 ratepayers.


Mr. Foulds: Does the Speaker want me to raise my dissatisfaction at the end of the routine proceedings?

Mr. Speaker: Do it now.

Mr. Foulds: I would like to give notice of my dissatisfaction with the answer of the Solicitor General to the supplementary questions I asked today with regard to OPP plainclothes security officers.

Mr. Speaker: Give your written reasons to the table as soon as you can.



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

Your committee begs to report the following bill without amendment:

Bill Pr4, An Act respecting the County of Peterborough.

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

Bill Pr10, An Act respecting the City of London;

Bill Pr2O, An Act respecting the Township of Georgina.


House in committee of supply.


On vote 1401, ministry administration program; item 1, main office.

Mr. Warner: As I recall, we left off rather abruptly last time at a point where I was asking some questions pertaining to inquiries, using, as a specific example, the aluminum wiring inquiry. I was really wanting to know how the minister perceives that any inquiry under the direction of his ministry should proceed. I chose the example of aluminum wiring because it’s current and because I’m quite concerned about how that inquiry has been going. I take it that it’s general policy to set up a fairly wide scope for an inquiry, and in the case of the aluminum wiring, the ground rules were pretty broad. I understood that it allows for opinions to be rendered, information to be tabled, as well as expert advice.

What I’d like to know is, if that’s the case and the minister becomes aware that the rules are not being adhered to -- the rules which he set up for the inquiry -- what does he see as his alternative? What should he do in the midst of an inquiry, in the middle of it, before it’s completed? What should he do then?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Firstly, I think we should understand that as is the case with, I think, all inquiries of this nature set up by government, regardless of the ministry, we set out the rules for it: the scope of inquiry, really; their mandate. The inquiry then goes on to retain counsel and so on.

On some occasions, some people may have doubts with regard to the progress of the inquiry, those hired and how they are conducting themselves. I recall, for example, when I was on the committee on the Ombudsman, there were -- and still are, I suppose -- a lot of questions raised with regard to whether or not the hearing set up to deal with the North Pickering landowners in fact was as wide as was intended and whether the counsel hired for the inquiry was, in fact, not restricting the scope of the inquiry more narrowly than intended because of his own interpretation of the criteria set down.

That’s always a risk. In those cases in which we have an inquiry set up to deal with a matter, we really hope not just to cover some territory, but to satisfy the public. This is a greater mandate, I suppose, than just filling the bounds of those words set out. It’s clear to us in reviewing some of the transcripts that they appear to be covering the appropriate territory. They appear to be going at all the areas of investigation requested in the terms of reference.

I would agree that we cannot get involved, and I think the member would agree we ought not to get involved, in calling up counsel and telling counsel to the inquiry how he or she ought to behave on a day-to-day basis. If I call on a day-to-day basis, or indeed irregularly, then I’m intervening at some stage, not having sat through the entire inquiry. We have to retain the best counsel we can and hope that counsel will do the job he has been hired to do, within the terms of reference of the committee, with all the training that his legal background can give him. Obviously I can’t ensure that in each case, in each inquiry, counsel conducts himself or herself as I might, as indeed the member might or as indeed the member might prefer counsel to.

By and large, I want to say that in this matter we have gone over the transcripts; it appears to be covering the appropriate territory. Whether the member thinks the counsel in this case has been unduly restrictive becomes at some stage a matter of opinion.

Counsel obviously thinks he has not. I might say the commissioner, Dr. Wilson, obviously thinks he has not. At this stage I think it would only be appropriate to have the inquiry complete its work. That’s the only thing that we can and will do at this time.

It’s quite open to the hon. member, or indeed myself, to reflect upon the scope when the committee comes in and the report is in. If the hon. member is not satisfied at that time with the results of the hearing and wishes to draw to my attention, and the attention of the public, certain facts about what the commission did and did not look into, then that’s not only appropriate but indeed that’s what the member is here for.


You will recall, of course, that this is like all inquiries; it is set up to investigate something and report to us. Whether we are talking about, for example, the Robarts report or the aluminum wiring report, obviously the action the government takes depends upon a lot of factors. One of the factors affecting what we will do afterwards, obviously, will be some reflection upon the scope of the inquiry and how it has gone.

I want finally to say, as I said earlier, that my concern is not simply that the words and letters set out in terms of reference have been followed and followed appropriately and within legal bounds and by good legal counsel, all of which I think is the case -- we have a larger concern when we are dealing with something like this, something which the public is concerned about. The public must feel and know that their concerns have been dealt with and dealt with adequately. There is no point, in my opinion, in having an inquiry unless the public is satisfied that the inquiry has been full, far-reaching, and fair.

As a result of some of the concerns brought to my attention, we have had one discussion with Dr. Wilson and will have another one next week. We are not -- and I want to make it absolutely clear -- we are not about to tell him how to run the inquiry. We are not about to suggest that it has not been run properly. That is a practice we will not get into.

I think it is appropriate, though, that we express some concerns, much like the concerns I have expressed this morning to Dr. Wilson, so he will know of our concern and, indeed, your concern and the concern of the public.

Finally, I have to repeat that we see nothing in their progress that indicates they are not fulfilling the mandate they have been given or that their counsel is not acting properly. The concern has been expressed, and I am sure Dr. Wilson is well familiar with that.

In all of what he might feel to be his justifiable concern with regard to the progress of the inquiry, I am sure the member will remember that he would not want us to establish a precedent, nor should we, of intervening in the day-to-day running of it, saying, “You should have heard this witness or you should not have heard that witness.”

It is to avoid precisely that sort of overtone that the hon. member and others in his party and in my party and in the opposition often ask for independent inquiries and royal commissions. So you get it out into the hands of professionals who are going to do that and do it within certain bounds.

After it is finished, we will assess the progress and it is quite free to the member to comment at that time.

Mr. Warner: With respect, you haven’t really answered my question. I mean, what happens after the inquiry is completed and you become fully aware that your terms of reference were not adhered to? What do you then do?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Looking at any of the other examples -- there have been a lot of them in government -- I can reject it entirely. We can reject the report entirely. We could accept the report entirely if we were satisfied, conversely to what the member suggests. If we are satisfied, obviously, we can adopt the report.

If it is somewhere in the middle, we have many courses of action. We could have a further study done within the ministry on the basis of the research done by Dr. Wilson. We could conceivably appoint a select committee. I want to flag right now that that is not high on my list of alternatives.

We could, indeed, ask for a new inquiry to further two or three matters, if there are two or three matters that may not have been covered or not have been covered sufficiently. We could ask the same people to review two or three items if they would be willing to do so as a result of any of these comments. So I have no special suggestions to offer the member. The member can suggest some alternatives that we might follow at that time.

Again, I would urge the member to keep in mind my remarks with regard to attempting to assure the public that this round is being held widely and fairly. In that regard I would rather see us discuss alternatives if, as and when, and only when, there is some dissatisfaction with the ultimate report. I would urge the member to wait until we get the report; maybe he will be pleasantly surprised.

Mr. Warner: I hope so. Your concern is what it should be, that the public will have had a full and proper inquiry. That is why I find it very disturbing when I learn that some testimony is rejected because it comes from “a housewife.” That really bothers me. You set up a public inquiry, which, I assume, is to invite the public to inquire of the matter before the group that is appearing. Therefore, the public is fully entitled and right to raise concerns and to offer opinions, unless the persons happen to be housewives. That really I find disturbing. Perhaps you can give me an answer to that. Beyond that, I would like to know what involvement Ontario Hydro has had in this whole business in terms of the inquiry. Has it had a lawyer present at each of the hearings? Has the lawyer for Hydro been cross-examining witnesses? I use the term “cross-examining” because I assumed that a public inquiry should not have cross-examination, in the legal sense as we understand it applies to the courts, but that term was, in fact, used by the counsel for the inquiry. When an elected municipal official approached the inquiry to give information, she was then requested to be cross-examined by the counsel of the inquiry. That procedure concerns me as well.

I have raised previously the matter of Ontario Hydro with the minister. I would like some explanation as to its involvement in this whole inquiry because I feel very uneasy about it. Ontario Hydro has something to protect. It would seem quite reasonable that Ontario Hydro could face substantial losses on virtually every house fire in aluminum-wired homes since 1968, should the inquiry find that aluminum wiring is defective and is the cause of fires. Then, obviously, Ontario Hydro leaves itself open to some substantial losses, so it obviously wants to protect itself. Such being the case, I would think it should have a very limited role in terms of the inquiry. That is, it should come and present evidence, as anyone else should be able to do. It should present its views and its opinions, as even a housewife should be able to do. But, beyond that surely --

Mrs. Campbell: What do you mean, “even”?

Mr. Reid: He is being facetious.

Mr. Warner: If you were following before, I’m using it facetiously in terms of what I had raised with the minister, because housewives, it appears, are not particularly creditable people in the eyes of the inquiry. It is considered wrong, absolutely dead wrong, when a housewife says, for example, as Mrs. Elizabeth Clair did, “Weird things happened: lights in house at low power; when the oven switched on, light in the other part of the house went on; when upstairs light was turned on, burner on the stove would heat up, very dangerous if a cloth was left across the burner; clocks went at a slow speed.”

There may be explanations for all of that that are not connected with aluminum wiring; agreed. But surely Mrs. Elizabeth Clair has the right to come in front of an inquiry and tell it what she knows from her experience. She is not an “expert” in aluminum wiring. She is a housewife.

I don’t want to take up the time of the committee unduly, but I would stress again with the minister that I think it’s extremely important for us to know precisely the role that Ontario Hydro has played in the whole inquiry and whether or not the minister views the role that Ontario Hydro has played to be fit and proper. Has there been legal counsel there? Has that legal counsel been cross-examining witnesses in front of the inquiry? Is that a proper thing to do, or does that process really lie with the counsel for the inquiry rather than the counsel for Ontario Hydro? Having posed those several questions, I’d like an answer.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Yes, it’s precisely because the member and I may differ with regard to some of the speculation, for example, on the role of Ontario Hydro, that you do set up the inquiries and appoint counsel. That’s one of the good reasons you appoint counsel, to help with some of these difficult determinations and what role each interested party is going to have and through what vehicle. Cross-examination or submission, affidavit, non-affidavit, expert evidence, non-expert evidence -- all of those considerations are a part of the responsibility of counsel.

In the case at point, I can only say to the member it’s not that different from other inquiries set up by the government. You set them up, this is the mandate, this is your budget, hire staff and do the job. You and I will disagree, perhaps -- I’m not saying we do, but you and I may disagree -- on some of these items, such as the role of Hydro.

The question is, would the member anticipate a situation in government where, when a discussion occurs on the floor of the House or by way of exchange of letters between a member and a minister, there ought to be some intervention by way of the responsible minister getting hold of counsel and saying, “I really think you ought to hear so and so,” or indeed -- to take an example, and I want to make it hypothetical so it doesn’t come out any differently in Hansard -- “I think that Hydro should or should not be entitled to counsel”? That would be highly irregular and, I think, inappropriate for government to get into. That sort of decision, that sort of value judgment, should occur after the fact, when they’ve reported.

You may rise and say, “You would have had a different outcome had you had or had you not had the input of Ontario Hydro,” just to take a specific example, but I don’t think you would want a situation where I was on the phone regularly or irregularly to the counsel or the commissioner telling them how to run the inquiry. I think it’s our responsibility to appoint them, set out the criteria, the mandate, and fund them; and perhaps from time to time to express a general concern.

I think it’s fair for the commission to be aware of a concern I have or that you have and, indeed, the commissioner is no more entitled to have my concern than yours. I don’t look upon my concern as being any better, more important or more persuasive than yours. I think it’s the concern of every commissioner appointed to be aware of the climate within which he’s asked to study something, and if there is a public concern, I can tell you right now, I’m not expressing to Dr. Wilson anything more than the fact that there has been expressed to me a concern.

I’m not asking him to satisfy me at this time. I’m not asking him to make any changes at my direction, but I think he’s entitled to have the information that’s been brought to my attention with regard to a concern. Any more direct intervention by me would leave it quite open to not only you but the public you represent and others to say, “Hey, this thing would have come out differently had the minister kept his darned political hands off it.”


I think it’s very important for the integrity of the inquiry and its report, whether you agree with it or not in the end, that they be in a position, and it’s important for the integrity of the commission to be in a position to say, “Of course, I had no direction or instruction or intervention by the minister or by any other person in government telling me where to go or what to do.” Again, that’s one of the prices you pay in a sense for putting it out there and having an independent board do it. It’s just that; it’s independent.

I’m going to ensure that commission remains independent and all others we may appoint from time to time. Their independence is the key to the validity of their report. Whether you agree with their report or not is totally open for debate at the end, and we’ll debate it at that time. That will deal with your question with regard to Ontario Hydro as well. It just is not going to be appropriate for me to tell Ontario Hydro they can or cannot participate.

You’ve asked with regard to the extent of their involvement. When we get to the vote -- I think it’s 1403 -- which is the proper vote under which the aluminum inquiry lies, that will be the appropriate time to get some specifics. By the time we get to that vote, particularly at the rate we’re going, I’ll make some inquiries and find out, for example, how many days they’ve appeared, if they have appeared, and whether they’ve had counsel. I’m sure that’s something you can get just by asking, but I’ll be happy to get that information for you. I think it’s fair of you to ask it of me and, when we get to vote 1403, I’ll give you those specifics. Having said that, you know how I feel about retaining the independence of the commission.

Mr. Warner: Recognizing that your concern can certainly be as great as mine, since we’ve been discussing this for a few minutes, I don’t know why we have to shuffle it off for another vote. I simply wanted to know -- and maybe you don’t have the information handy -- if counsel were there from Ontario Hydro and if they had been cross-examining witnesses -- I think that’s extremely important -- and your judgement on that. Once an inquiry is set up, it should be independent and it should operate independently, but surely you have some opinion as to how things are going and that’s very important.

I raise these matters because the whole business of aluminum wiring and the inquiry that’s been set up are extremely important. With the concerns which I’ve expressed this morning, surely the minister realizes he has the possibility of having a failure in terms of that inquiry. If the ground rules aren’t met, if the kinds of things which I’ve mentioned this morning have occurred, then when all is said and done, the inquiry is not particularly valid. Then you have to start over again and go through that lengthy process.

In the meantime, there are thousands of people who are quite anxious about their homes because they have aluminum wiring in their homes and they don’t know, quite frankly, if those homes are safe. They want some answers. That’s why the inquiry was set up in the first place. That’s why I think if something is going wrong, if the inquiry is not proceeding properly at this point, you have an opportunity to rescue it rather than see it through to its conclusion, find out it’s a failure and have to start over again. I just see that the lesser of the two evils in this case is to try to rescue the inquiry at this point. That’s why I think it’s crucial to know, for example, the extent of the involvement of Ontario Hydro, not that they should not be involved but just the extent.

I don’t happen to think they should be cross-examining witnesses. They should be there as anyone else would appear, to offer information, expert advice or whatever. They should come as anyone else would come to that inquiry and let the inquiry which has a right to, and, I would assume, would retain counsel, because that’s needed -- let counsel for the inquiry do the questioning. It’s the procedure I’m raising with the minister. I am asking him if it’s possible for him to give me the answers on those items. Later on when we come to the vote will be fine. I just want to be assured I’m going to have those answers; that’s all.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: The reason I suggested we go to 1403 was that you might want specifics of the numbers of days Hydro’s been there and what they have cross-examined on. I know you wouldn’t expect me to have it right here, but by the time we get to that vote I would undertake to have it. Having said that, my efficient staff is so good that they have been able to supply me with some information for you and I want to tell you --

Mr. Warner: They are always able to prop you up.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: They are doing a good job so far.

Mr. Warner: They are.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: I understand Hydro is there only part-time. To the best of our knowledge they have not been cross-examining so far. Whether they have asked for the right and not been given it, or not asked for it and therefore it is still open, I don’t know.

Regardless of what the status is, I do want to repeat that I am not going to interfere in the procedure. That is up to counsel. It is up to the commissioner. If you have comments on that, I would say to you that perhaps it might be better to let it go until we get the report in. The more furor that is apparently raised, whether it is valid or not, the more it may inhibit a successful conclusion in terms of encouraging more people to come forward. As I said earlier I want everyone to come forward who wants to, so that we will have as complete a report as possible.

So we will get some of those other specifics for you at that time within the ground rules. As I have said, I am really not going to interfere. I think their independence is important to the validity of the report.

Mr. Blundy: Mr. Chairman, I want to raise a matter in which a number of concerns have been expressed to me and to some of my colleagues in one area of work under the jurisdiction of the ministry. That is the concern that has been expressed by people involved in the industry with regard to the suggested possibility of withdrawing or reducing services of inspection and so forth on the manufacturing of boilers and pressure vessels and the pressure piping that goes with this sort of installation.

It has been suggested that if the quality of the inspection and the time spent on inspection is reduced, it will affect us in several areas. I am thinking of the quality of the products, not only for the use of the people and the industries of Ontario but how this will affect our possibility of doing business in the United States and other countries in the world as it affects Ontario manufacturers.

I have had some representation made to me by the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers Union. As you know, pressure vessels and boilers and piping and that sort of thing are a very common part of the industries in my riding. We all have to have absolute faith in the manufacturing of them and the operation of them.

I want to ask the minister if the ministry is considering eliminating or even reducing the present facilities and personnel for inspection? If he is contemplating that, I would like to hear the reasons they would have for bringing this in. We in this opposition party are most anxious to reduce expenditures of any ministry and to cut out anything that is not of need and value to the people of Ontario. But I certainly question whether this is one of those cases. I would like very much to have the minister give us the views of the ministry in this very important field.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Yes, as I confirmed yesterday in question period -- and there was no secret about it because industry certainly knew about it -- we are once again looking at the question of reducing our involvement in this area. It is something that indeed has been around for a few years. The ministry considered it a few years ago and chose not to go ahead with it at that particular time, because of some very good reasons brought to their attention by industry at that time.

We must be aware that the situation is getting to be more crucial because of the great growth in the use of nuclear products. This means that our inspectors, of whom we have 35, need substantial retraining and upgrading and new education in order to deal with nuclear installations. Only eight of our 35 now have any sort of technology or qualifications to look into and properly inspect the nuclear installations. Obviously, we are going to have to increase drastically both the expertise of other inspectors and the numbers of inspectors if we are to stay in the field.

I think we should confirm that we are not about to say that boiler inspection is not going to be required. We are not saying that at all. What we are saying is, should government have the full and complete responsibility for certifying all of those installations? Or should we move to a situation where our people are carrying on with an auditing and monitoring role while people in the private sector are carrying out the inspection functions, getting paid for the responsibility they take in certifying them, and getting paid for the training and expertise they will have to acquire?

It seems to me to be my responsibility to the taxpayers of the province to look not only at this area, but all other areas where government is performing a service. Other than certifying with regard to safety, we are going farther than that in the sense that we are providing a service. We are going out there and doing the field work, we are training people to do that field work, making recommendations on the site with regard to what will be acceptable, and finally putting the stamp on it as approved. That carried with it, of course, governmental approval.

Should the taxpayers of this province be involved in all sorts of those types of activities? If you think about it, there could be an argument raised for our getting into all sorts of new fields where safety is involved. A good argument could be presented for our setting up a whole lot of inspectors, training them and sending them out to certify dozens of products, dozens of installations, in all sorts of fields, as having been approved as safe by government.

That is a precedent we don’t want to establish, especially in an area in which there is an alternative. There are many jurisdictions in which those who are insuring these products, and those who are installing them and those who are buying them, have jointly got together to see that there is an inspection carried out, a service they can purchase. I am thinking now especially of the insurance companies that have set up, in many jurisdictions, an inspection vehicle. Inspectors go out, do the inspection, and I tell you the inspection in those jurisdictions is likely every bit as good as the inspection carried on by my people in my industry.

It is an inspection which is a pure function of training. There is nothing special about having those trained people working for government rather than for a private company. Where we can go into privatization, we can move it out into the private sector without reducing one whit the amount of protection provided to the public in terms of the inspection and the safety of those products.

Where that can be done, as well saving the taxpayers a good deal of money, then I am sure the member would agree with me it would be incumbent upon us at least to investigate, to see whether that sort of move into the private sector is appropriate. That is, can it be done as safely as we suspect it can, because in most cases it would be the same inspectors, I expect, but working for someone else.

Secondly, can it be done less expensively for government? I think the answer to that is probably yes. I think it is my obligation to study that. While we study that, the industry can be well assured that we are not about to move unilaterally, and it is not about to happen tomorrow or next week. Discussions have been going on and that’s why it has been brought to the members’ attention, quite appropriately, by those who are concerned. They are well aware of it.

The next meeting we will be having with industry is sometime next week, I believe, at which time further discussions and comments will be exchanged with regard to the pros and cons. Industry has made some very good points.

The point the member makes this morning with regard to their ability to sell these products outside of the country, without having something indicating the government stamp of approval, is a point that is well taken.


I should add that we are also aware there are some jurisdictions which don’t have government stamps of approval, as it were; where similar products are made and there appears to be no difficulty in selling them. While it’s a very valid concern, in the sense that I suppose someone who has always been buying from Ontario suddenly sees the government stamp of approval disappear, I would want to satisfy myself that it is as real a concern as it appears to be.

Those are the variables that are being turned over right now. I can assure the member it’s not going to happen quickly; but yes, we’re looking into it. It’s something we think we’re obliged to look into within the confines of what I’ve said. There will be no decrease in public protection at all, and probably less cost to the taxpayers of the province; but unless we can do that without causing a situation where industry is adversely affected in terms of its sales viability, then we wouldn’t go ahead. Whether we get out of it a lot or a little, or begin to phase out or whatever, those matters are all up for discussion now and industry is being consulted on literally a day-to-day basis to hear what it has to say about it.

Mr. Blundy: I am reassured a bit, Mr. Chairman, that industry is being considered as a partner in the discussions with the ministry on its move to withdraw or reduce its inspection services. However, I want to repeat to the minister, and to you, Mr. Chairman, that the products concerned are of vital importance to our industries and to our economy and it could be a very hazardous thing if the inspection is not continued.

I personally believe that the people who are involved in manufacturing for export are very much concerned about having that stamp of approval of the province of Ontario on the product. That, over the years, has grown to be a very respected and very highly thought of approval. I just want you to know that people in the industry, particularly many of the people who are involved in the various unions, who are working in industries where these sorts of things are used very widely, are concerned about it. I would like the minister to keep us informed about just what the negotiations are and what the pros and cons are that are put forward in this matter, because I really believe it is something of concern to the people of Ontario.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: We’ll keep the member informed, of course, as the discussions continue.

Mr. Ziemba: I know the minister is fairly new on the job, but from what little I know about him he learns fairly quickly. I wondered if he’s noticed the growing trend on the part of the bars and taverns in this province to cater to the teenage market. Where previously these outlets would feature jazz and traditional singers, we now have open pandering to kids. It’s no secret that young people 15 and up do the rounds quite regularly and, in fact, the dramatic increase in alcohol-related automobile accidents involving teenagers is a direct consequence. The Liquor Licence Board, I believe, has the responsibility to provide some leadership in this regard. I wonder what your ministry is doing by way of charging establishments with selling to underage teenagers, what steps you are taking to prosecute these bars and taverns, and also how many licences have been cancelled over the last few years for this very infraction?

Mr. Chairman: I am just wondering if some of those specific questions should come under a later vote. This is main office and it is on general policy.

Mr. Ziemba: This is general policy, Mr. Chairman. Perhaps I will wait for my answer under the general vote. I have another supplementary.

Now that we have the body rub parlours going underground, I wonder whether the minister has noticed that we seem to have gone full circle again and the emphasis is back to topless waitresses. More and more bars are featuring topless waitresses.

I ran into Mr. Juli Troll of the bartenders’ union at the OFL convention yesterday and he told me the board just looks the other way as far as the degradation and exploitation of women is concerned. I wonder if the minister is prepared to provide some leadership in that regard. If he finds that the board is indeed gutless, perhaps he would consider bringing back Chief Mackey, who took a hard line on that particular practice.

One more supplementary: Just to get away from this degrading aspect of tips that the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Bennett) is always throwing up, why doesn’t the minister provide some leadership? He is a new minister and he could really make his mark by providing some leadership and going after the Minister of Labour (B. Stephenson) to raise the minimum wage so that waiters and waitresses could get a half decent income without resorting to tips.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: I am not sure which part that last thing will fall under, but when we get to that part of my votes, we can discuss it further.

I adhere to the member’s remarks about bringing back Mr. Mackey, who was very fine. I can understand his sympathy. Indeed, he may want us to bring back Judge Robb, who, I am sure, the member found to be quite suitable, as we did at that time.

I want to tell him that we will have some of the statistics he asks for at that time, but I think before he accuses the liquor board rather wildly of not caring or looking away, or whatever silly term he used, he should be aware that a reading of the Act will tell him that the Liquor Licence Board no longer has the power to regulate entertainment standards in licensed premises. It just hasn’t got the power to do that.

When you talk about my having some concern in the area, yes, I do have some concern in the area. Happily the Assembly will have the chance, as you well know, to debate the whole matter of liquor, the availability of licences and a whole range of other matters when the whole liquor package gets to the -- I shouldn’t say liquor package, should I? -- the whole question of liquor.

Mr. Cunningham: Did you say “when” or “if”?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: When. Pursuant to the Premier’s (Mr. Davis) statement of November 10, which I know you read carefully, when we get the matter before the Assembly sometime in the spring, I believe there will be a rather wide-ranging discussion of these matters, with the end in mind, of course, that that is the forum in which the member may express some desire to change the laws, and may argue that we should have the power to regulate entertainment standards.

I can’t pretend to you that I am not concerned about the entertainment that goes on in some of those places; of course I am. At the moment I don’t have power in this area. Whether or not we should have power, in view of the fact the Assembly really moved us out of it in 1975 with the new Act, is a matter for the Assembly.

When we get to the liquor vote in our estimates, we may wish to discuss the whole matter of what powers we ought to have, rather than the powers we do have. With the powers we do have -- I have just told you what they are -- we just can’t move on entertainment standards. Whether we should I would be pleased to debate with you when we get to that vote, or indeed in the spring.

Mr. Davison: Mr. Chairman, on the subject of liquor, before we leave it until later, I would like to raise with the minister the problem presented to this committee by the position of the LCBO. I understand they don’t fall within the vote of the Liquor Licence Board but rather are an independent section loosely connected with your ministry that doesn’t really fall into your estimates. In that sense how, when and where will we be able to discuss the Liquor Control Board?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: If you want to discuss something such as Liquor Control Board stores, you won’t find it in my estimates. If you want to discuss liquor policy generally, licensing, enforcement and even the drinking age, it may be an appropriate subject -- I direct this to the chairman of the committee -- to discuss it under my estimates. I can’t tell you that Liquor Control Board stores, their policies and their outlets, come within my estimates, because they don’t.

Mr. Davison: Mr. Chairman, my concern is in the field of the purchasing procedures followed by the LCBO, in regard to the fact that they fail to use the central purchasing agency of the government of Ontario, the Ministry of Government Services.

Mr. Chairman: I think the minister just said this would not come under these estimates. I have just been informed it is a Crown agency.

Mr. Davison: And therefore comes under nobody.

Mr. Chairman: And therefore does not come under these estimates.

Mr. Davison: What I want to raise with the minister, if I might, Mr. Chairman, is what I have raised with the Minister of Government Services (Mr. McCague), namely, that the Minister of Government Services sit down with the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations, and possibly with somebody from the LCBO, to talk about that problem with the LCBO.

I am wondering, while we are on the subject of policy, if we could perhaps get from you a commitment to involve yourself with the Minister of Government Services in that issue.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: I am not sure I can be helpful to the member, except that I wouldn’t like him to think there is nowhere he can go. I will pursue it with the Minister of Government Services and get back to you, saying we can or we can’t and this is the route you might follow. I will try to help in that respect.

Mr. Davison: Thank you. That is the commitment I would like from you. Finally on the administration program, I want to raise a question about the relationship between the ministry and the Provincial Auditor. Will that fall under financial services or audit services, or under the vote we are currently on?

Mr. Chairman: It sounds to me as if it would be under audit services, item 7 of this vote.

Items 1 and 2 agreed to.

On item 3, supplies and office services.

Mr. Warner: This is my opportunity, I suppose, to raise again the business about aluminum wiring?

Mr. Chairman: No.

Mr. Warner: I’m sorry. I haven’t got a book in front of me. We are still on vote 1401, I take it?

Mr. Chairman: We are still on vote 1401, item 3.

Mr. Warner: My apologies, Mr. Chairman.

Item 3 agreed to.

On item 4, personnel services.

Mr. Davison: I am concerned about the questions that were raised in the last estimates, and really never answered to my satisfaction, in regard to the hiring policies of the ministry and its various branches, and connected organs and elements. I was particularly concerned about the fashion in which the rent review program set about hiring its staff through Drake Personnel. I wonder if you could explain to me if that is, as I hope, a total oddity and something that occurs nowhere else within your ministry?


Hon. Mr. Grossman: We are not about to tell you anything that you won’t find in last year’s estimates. All management staff is contract and they are not from Drake. The bargaining unit people do come from Drake. That frees the management end to look after the administrative part of the program and, in fact, as I think it says -- I recall I think I sat through the estimates last time -- that means that in essence it is cheaper to buy that service from Drake than it would be if our administrative staff in a short-term program undertook all of the personnel and day-to-day operative and hiring procedures and set up something to do it themselves.

I think we have only two complement positions in rent review. So with regard to Drake -- in fairness, I am not about to add anything that was not set out last time -- we buy from Drake that sort of administrative overhead cheaper than we think our management people could do it themselves. As you know, the situation would not have changed much from the initial hiring to the present time, because obviously the program is in place and, if anything, the numbers have been reduced.

Mr. Davison: I understand what was in the debates of the estimates last time. I do not know how short-term the rent review program is -- I do not have the same crystal ball the ministry has -- but my concern was not so much with the rent review program, which I think I understand, but with the rest of the ministry and all of the odd little groups, organizations, et cetera, that come within the confines of this ministry. Are there any programs or any other places in your ministry where you follow the procedure that was followed in the rent review program? Or is the rent review program the only place where Drake Personnel or like companies are involved?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Generally speaking, no. Obviously, from time to time we may hire an individual person for an individual job through a private agency.

Mr. Davison: Could you expand on that perhaps? Do you deal with one particular personnel agency that you have let a contract to or you have tendered a contract to? Or do the personnel companies approach your office to assess your needs? Could you expand on your comment?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: The main agency we deal with is the one for the government of Ontario, “GO Temp” as it is referred to. From time to time, we also go to other agencies when the need arises. There is no overall policy in this sense. When a particular need comes up where an agency may be an agency most suited to supply that sort of person because of his or her particular expertise, we may go to that agency and ask for its assistance in filling that role.

Mr. Davison: Finally, while we are on the subject, do you use the services of Canada Manpower before you go to these particular personnel agencies?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: The answer is on many occasions we do.

Mr. Warner: Not all?

Mr. Davison: Is there a specific reason for your not using Canada Manpower in all cases? Is there an example of the kind of case you could tell me that would explain that?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Almost invariably, I am assured, we do check with Canada Manpower. I’m told, to be fair, that there are some times cases where a specific skill is sought and the particular Manpower office in that particular part of the province may, to the knowledge of our people, just not have that sort of information on hand to permit them to fulfil the need we’re asking about.

I should say to the member it’s something that I recall having been dealt with in last year’s estimates, and it’s something that I’m going to have one more run-through on with regard to just exactly when we do and when we don’t go to Manpower.

Mr. Davison: Finally, Mr. Chairman, when the minister does look at this matter, he might consider issuing a directive that in all cases where we go outside government to a private personnel agency, regardless of how we do it, we first go, in all cases, to Canada Manpower. That way, any potential problem that may arise, or any potential criticism of the ministry that may arise, won’t happen, because you’ll have gone to Manpower first. I just offer that as a consideration for a policy in the ministry.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Just so that we’ll have the record straight, I want to reaffirm that all our vacancies are listed with Manpower at the present time. With regard to specifically asking, I want to assure the member that it’s something that I did recall from estimates last time; specifically, yes, we will take steps to ensure that Manpower is consulted first in all cases.

Item 4 agreed to.

On item 5, information services:

Mr. Blundy: Mr. Chairman, item 5 under information services is up substantially -- significantly, I would say -- from the actual of 1976-77. I am not sure just what comes under “information services.” I wonder if the minister could tell us. Does this mean the provision of information on existing laws for the protection of the consumers in Ontario, the promulgation of information under the Business Practices Act, how the Consumer Protection Act will protect the consumers, and so forth? Is this the sort of thing; and if so what is the minister going to do to make more information available to the public on how they are protected and how they can protect themselves?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: The member has on previous occasions quite eloquently pointed out some of the problems in letting people know about the Business Practices Act and some of the other consumer protection offered by the ministry. In short, this is information services. It’s the key function of this branch to help us communicate with the public with regard to those specific resources that are available to the consumer through our ministry. I recall, for example, that the member quite appropriately pointed out the other day that one of the most effective ways of getting to the public is through television.

One of the major reasons for the increase in the estimates as shown is a series done on OECA. The most recent was on view last night, as a matter of fact. It is a series in which each of the different areas of consumer protection available through our ministry, from motor vehicle to the Travel Act, from insurance onward, each branch was allotted an evening on the program. It’s half an hour, and we had the full series running this fall, which we believe has gone reasonably well. It’s certainly something that is easier for the viewer to consume than some printed material.

This is something we discussed earlier. That is a major part of the increase in expenses as shown in the estimate, and frankly is something that I’m happy about. It’s an increase that I think is well justified in terms of not only the OECA portion but everything else we’re into.

We talked the other night about some of the publications we were into. I don’t think we need to cover that territory again, but if the member would like more details of where we’re spending that money in terms of getting it across to the public, I’d be happy to provide it.

Item 5 agreed to.

On item 6, analysis, research and planning:

Mr. Davison: Yes, Mr. Chairman; I would appreciate a further explanation of this program other than the description that appears in my book because, for this item like the last item, the only description is as follows:

“This program consists of activities representing the administrative and supporting services for the operating programs of the ministry.” I wonder, perhaps, if you could expand a little bit on what you’re doing in this particular program?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Yes, it happens to be not so high profile, but it’s a very important part of the ministry. It provides advice and support to the ministry generally, myself, my deputy and the division managers, on all aspects of systems analysis, systems development, data processing and consulting in the ministry. Some of the activities include developing a policy for the organization, use and control of systems resources in the ministry; feasibility analyses to determine future systems and business practices and, for the registrar general, participation in land registration management committee to determine the nature of future land registration systems -- obviously something which is something very important -- and evaluating computer technology vis-à-vis data conversion needs in the ministry, data conversion for the PPSR system and data capture plus financial recording for the finance branch.

In essence, this program helps us keep up to date with technology systems, be they computer, information systems or whatever, which will enable us, over the next period of time, to make sure that some of the very complex matters dealt with by the ministry in terms of sheer volume, information, statistics and so forth, are done efficiently and up to date and as modernly as possible. The day-to-day savings of this, obviously, are not shown in any one year but if you have a good land registry system in 1985, if you’re able to deal with the registrar general’s information efficiently in 1981, it will be because our systems have been currently monitored, reviewed, updated and analysed and also assessed as against current modern technology.

Item 6 agreed to.

On item 7, audit services:

Mr. Davison: Mr. Minister, I was quite concerned about an item that appeared in the 1976 report of the Provincial Auditor. I’ve raised it with the Provincial Auditor and he’s been kind enough to answer what questions I had of him in regard to his involvement in the case. I wonder if you, through your checking with your officials who were there at the time, can offer me some explanation of the involvement of your ministry. It’s on page 69 of the report and it’s item 96: “Unauthorized expenditures re the Liquor Licence Act, 1975, Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations.”

The Auditor has, in fact, pointed out the issue in the second paragraph. I might read it to you: “Section 2(9) of the Liquor Licence Act, 1975, provides that ‘the expenditures of the board shall, until the first day of April, 1976, be paid out of the consolidated revenue fund.’ The 1975-76 expenditure of the Liquor Licence Board was therefore authorized by statute. The Act, however, makes no reference to the expenditure of the Liquor Licence Appeal Tribunal. As a result, there was no apparent authority for the expenditure of the tribunal for the period ended March 31, 1976. This matter was brought to the attention of the Deputy Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations. On July 7, 1976 he responded as follows,” et cetera.


Of the two areas on which I would like answers, one is how, in fact, did your internal audit miss this? It looks, to somebody who had absolutely no involvement in the problem, like something that should have been picked up fairly easily in the internal audit, because in government we are very careful; before we go out and spend money we look for authority to spend it. It’s a reasonably rare occurrence in government when a minister or an agency or a board spends money without legislative authority. It is not something that happens every day.

So that’s one area I would like some comments about. How did you miss it internally?

The other area concerns the response of the then deputy minister; is that the same deputy minister as we have now?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: No.

Mr. Davison: Okay, the former deputy minister. What I can’t understand is that after your ministry received the comments of the Provincial Auditor, instead of implementing the necessary change, you referred the matter to the legal staff of your ministry. I take it you got some kind of report and then referred it to the legislative counsel of the Assembly for his comments and explanation and understanding.

I was concerned about that and I raised it with the Auditor, because I know the Auditor, on most occasions when there could possibly be any doubt whatsoever as to a recommendation he might make, he always checks with the Attorney General and receives his opinion. I asked the Auditor only last week, or the week before, if he had checked with the Attorney General in regard to this opinion and he said no.

I said, “Well why not? Obviously the ministry thought there was some question as to whether or not you were right, because they went through the process of checking with their legal staff and their legislative counsel. Why didn’t you check with the Attorney General?”

Quite frankly the Auditor, in the very plain and simple way that only the Auditor can put it, said, “Well it was as plain as what was written on the paper. There was obviously no need for a legal opinion.” I wonder, Mr. Minister, if you could respond on how your internal audit missed this problem; and secondly, why we had to go through the process, I am not sure how complex or how long, of getting these opinions from your legal staff and the legislative counsel?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: With regard to whether there is or is not a legal question or a legal problem, I am simply informed that initially the funds in the estimates for that year were lumped together under the Liquor Licence Board. That caused somewhat of a legal problem in terms of the authority to then transfer it into the Liquor Licence Appeal Tribunal; that’s a source of legal problems.

In point of fact, it’s going to be sorted out whether it’s in the Attorney General’s office or not. As the member knows, it is not a question of a misappropriation. It’s simply a matter of proper legal authority for what was done, and for which obviously there would have been no problem getting legal authority at the time.

I would think the key question is how was it missed initially. The answer is, as happens occasionally but really very rarely, it was missed. I think you will appreciate that with the number of branches my ministry has we are doing a heck of a good job if the only thing we have missed is something two years ago with regard to a new board that had legal problems being set up. Of course the Auditor has not had the slightest comment since that time in regard to any of the auditing procedures carried on by the ministry. I mean it was just simply missed. We are sorry. It shouldn’t happen, but the record is pretty good; and it will not happen again.

Mr. Davison: What you are saying then, is that the involvement of the ministry’s legal staff was to see if there was some way in which the money could be transferred from the licence board to the tribunal? Is it correct that they were looking into the legal problems involved in transferring from the global budget into a specific account?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Yes, I think it’s that simple. There was no authority at that time under the Liquor Licence Act to transfer funds to the Liquor Licence Appeal Tribunal. You recall there were no appointments to the tribunal until April, 1976. That’s a legal problem, that’s all I can tell you at this time.

Mr. Davison: My interest in the matter simply arose, I guess, because of the second paragraph of the letter from the deputy minister to the Provincial Auditor, in which he said, “After examination of the legislation, they concluded” -- that’s your ministry -- “that the position you have taken, that there is no apparent authority for the expenditure of $20,170 for the tribunal for the period ended March 31, 1976, is correct.”

I suspect I have really misinterpreted the meaning there. It wasn’t in fact a question of your ministry people looking at the Auditor’s opinion to see if the Auditor was correct, but rather looking at the overall situation to see how the problem could be solved. I take it I now understand it properly.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Oh yes; we weren’t really in a debate so much as doing a constructive analysis of what happened and how to do it properly.

Mr. Davison: I think that clears it up, Mr. Chairman; thank you.

Mr. Reid: I have just a couple of matters I’d like to raise in this first vote, more or less --

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Generally?

Mr. Reid: Generally, yes.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: I knew it wasn’t on audit services.

Mr. Reid: The first, Mr. Chairman, is --

Mr. Deputy Chairman: I might tell the hon. member we are dealing with audit services of the ministry, which is item 7, vote 1401.

Mr. Reid: I’m sorry, I thought we were still on the first vote.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Anything further on item 7?

Item 7 agreed to.

Mr. Reid: Mr. Chairman, can I make some general comments here?

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Well, if you can fit your general comments in as we go through the balance of these estimates; I am sure you will be able to find comments for each particular vote as it arises.

Vote 1401 agreed to.

On vote 1402, commercial standards program; item 1, securities:

Mr. Reid: I presume this is the Securities Commission we are dealing with?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Yes.

Mr. Reid: One of the general comments I wanted to make is in this area. This matter was raised earlier, within the last two or three weeks. It concerns correspondence that has been received by members of the House on all sides concerning charges that have been made against a member of the Ontario Securities Commission and certain allegations therein referring to the effect decisions of the Ontario Securities Commission have had on the mining industry in the province of Ontario.

In response to a question from my colleague from Kitchener, your reply was that you carefully monitored all the correspondence, that you had taken into consideration more or less where it had come from, and no further action on the part of the ministry was required.

I find it somewhat strange, in view of the charges and allegations made, that should be the minister’s simple response. I am concerned about the state of the mining industry in the province of Ontario. I have spoken in this House on a number of occasions concerning the effect it has had on the junior mining development, and exploration which of course is a part of that development in Ontario.

The allegations have been quite specific in the letters, and the bottom line of those letters as well has been that this has destroyed the junior mining industry in the province of Ontario. I’d like to set aside, if I may, the allegations about a specific member of the Ontario Securities Commission, and ask if the minister, either by himself or in conjunction with the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. F. S. Miller) and the Minister of Northern Affairs (Mr. Bernier), can give us any information today as to the effect that ruling -- I forget what the number is now -- in regard to the financing of junior mining exploration in the province has had on that industry.

I realize we’re in somewhat tough economic times. I realize the market demand for minerals is generally down. It seems to me those regulations, that came out some two and a half or three years ago, have had a depressing effect on exploration and on the development of junior mines in the province of Ontario.

I don’t say that lightly, because I come from an area that is heavily dependent on the mining industry and heavily dependent on the financial benefits accruing from exploration in our part of the country. I wonder if the minister can indicate if he has done any research, or if other ministries related to this have done any research, that can give us some facts and figures as to the effects of the operations of the Ontario Securities Commission and the passing of that regulation in regard to the financing of junior mines in the province of Ontario.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Policy 3-02 is the one in question. The policy, as the member knows, was adopted by the commission in April, 1976. It has been reviewed from time to time and a number of recommendations have been made by my colleague, the Minister of Natural Resources.

Following discussion of some of his recommendations with the Prospectors and Developers Association, the commission did adopt some amendments to the policy, together with explanatory notes as to the policy’s true intent. This process continues at all times. The commission attempts to ensure a fair shake for all participants in junior exploration financing and a fair shake for the investors, prospectors, promoters and underwriters.

This policy is not only under continuous review by my staff, but we did so in cooperation with the industry and industry associations. I must say that the policy of the Ontario Securities Commission does not and has not attempted to favour mines per se, or industrial companies per se, or finance companies per se. The commission, by virtue of its very presence and mandate, is there to provide investor protection. The trick is not to provide small investor protection in such a fashion that you have killed off an industry.

I think the member would agree with me -- and I’m not an expert in problems of mining, northern mines and junior mines specifically -- that there are matters other than the current policies of the Ontario Securities Commission which are affecting the situation with regard to the development of junior mines. We believe the rules in place are those necessary to protect small investors and that they aren’t inhibiting any good, legitimate or true investment that would otherwise take place.

I’m also told there is a special junior mining study going on at the Ministry of Natural Resources and the University of Toronto. It was commissioned by the Minister of Natural Resources to report early in 1978, which will give us, I suppose, some more information on the subject. If the results of that study indicated that any particular policy was having an inappropriate inhibiting role with regard to that development of northern junior mines, then we would look at that specific policy again.

I’m not saying we drop it, because we do have to protect the small investor, but we will certainly specifically look at any rule or regulation or policy that is in effect and is felt to have had an inhibiting effect.


Mr. Reid: I appreciate what the minister has said. I was not aware of the study in conjunction with the University of Toronto. I presume that will be made a public document when it is available.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: As always, yes.

Mr. Reid: Perhaps you can enlighten me, or your officials can enlighten me, as to what changes were made in that particular policy.

For instance, I have a constituent who has written the Ontario Securities Commission on a number of occasions asking to be provided with a list of underwriters who would handle underwriting for the issuance of shares to the public. That list, unless I am misinformed, was never forthcoming.

A couple of people were contacted in the city of Toronto. One of the problems, one of the end results of your policy, it seems, is that it has made it impossible, according to the brokers who otherwise might handle the underwriting, to make any kind of decent profit on the underwriting; therefore they are not willing to handle it, which leaves a small prospector or developer out there, with an investment of sometimes up to $100,000, in a position where he finds it extremely difficult to get the necessary financing to proceed with further exploration or do some development on his own.

One of the aspects of that policy that I found particularly offensive was the fact that there would be someone sitting in the Ontario Securities Commission, in his nice, warm, little office, passing judgement on whether or not there was feasibility of a mine being developed, say north of Atikokan or in the Sioux Lookout area, or around Ignace. This OSC official in Toronto would be passing judgement on the geological reports that would be provided from the field by the person or company that wished to develop the mine. I wonder: Is that aspect still in place? Can you just give me a yes or no on that?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: I am informed that there has been a change made and that isn’t the policy any more. The fact is those matters are now referred to an independent committee, headed up by a member of the Prospectors and Developers Association, together with some people from the professional engineers association and the Ministry of Natural Resources. That is, an independent review goes on to determine the last matter you spoke of. It is no longer handled in the office of the Ontario Securities Commission.

This was a policy designed to provide an independent and well-educated assessment of the matter you have referred to. We feel that this policy, which was designed first to protect the prospector from the broker-dealer, second to make it possible for money to be provided for a company and third to give all broker-dealers, promoters rand prospectors a fair profit, is working fairly successfully. It has been moved out to independent people who know the industry or are interested in the industry.

If the member has any comments on how this new approach is working, we would be happy to hear them. I might add you can be assured neither predecessors in the Ontario Securities Commission nor the incumbent work in any gilt-edged offices.

Mr. Reid: Gold-plated. I just have two short questions. I wonder if the minister could provide me with the changes or amendments that were made to that policy so that we could save some time here. The second thing is: could you check with your officials at the table to see if there is a list of brokers or stock market people who handle the requests or requirements of people who wish to raise financing for exploration and development?

Do they have such lists? Do they exist? Do they have concrete evidence that these people are working with the prospectors and developers in the field? If so, could I have such a list and the names and addresses of those companies that are prepared to assist in financing?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Happily, yes; there is such a list and you can have it. If you will bear with me as I read though some handwriting which will give you the details of the policy changes, we’ll both have them.

First, escrow shares were abandoned in favour of a special class of shares for the promoter, to protect his interest; second, prospectors can negotiate their own deals for cash and for shares and for royalties; third, broker-dealers are prohibited from wearing more than one hat.

I am sure that will elucidate and enlighten the whole picture.

Mr. Reid: I wonder if I could ask one further question, Mr. Chairman, with your indulgence. I can appreciate what was going on and why the Ontario Securities Commission felt it had to bring in this regulation. I have had some dealings myself, I used to be in the penny stock market myself; but then when you brought in Wintario the payoff seemed to be a little better.

There was a book published a few years ago -- I’m sure your officials have probably got gilt-edged copies -- called Mining Promotion in Canada, about the boiler rooms and all the rest of it.

Interestingly enough, lawyers and doctors seemed to be the biggest suckers for this kind of thing, and it seemed to me that was only a fair sharing of the wealth, actually; perhaps there was some kind of justice in that respect. I am not, of course, against protecting the public in this regard, but I do feel the commission maybe went a little further than it should have.

My question is this: Do those regulations come to you? Are they discussed -- in this particular case -- with the Minister of Natural Resources to see what effect the passage of such regulations is going to have on the industry? I am not talking just about the mining industry in this case but the economy generally.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: The discretion, I am informed, is within the commission. Therefore, while I am informed of these policy changes and so on, they are referred to me and I see them, the discretion does lie within the commission. No, they are not referred for input to the Minister of Natural Resources.

Mr. Reid: I must follow this up, Mr. Chairman.

In that case it seems to me we have to work out a much better mechanism for establishment of these regulations and requirements. I may not go as far in my criticism as the miners or the Prospectors and Developers Association, but it is a little frightening when civil servants can pass regulations that can have the impact on an industry that this particular regulation had. As I say, I appreciate the international situation as well, but it seems to me that you have a responsibility, as minister, to have control over what the Ontario Securities Commission is doing, so that their regulations and rulings are not going to damage any part of the economy. These matters should be reviewed with you so that you can get input from the industries directly associated with these regulations. Then if there is any problem the responsibility lies where it should -- with you as minister and with the government as a whole -- and we don’t have somebody isolated from the more practical aspects -- if I may put it that way, no disrespect intended of course -- of these regulations on the industry, whether it be mining, industrial or otherwise.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: I should make it clear that when the proposed policy changes are handed to me I am not in a position to take them to my cabinet colleagues to get some input and go back; but the Ministry of Natural Resources does have substantial input along the way in terms of access to development of the policy.

For example, policy 3-02, I am informed, was developed after two weeks of public hearings, six months of discussions with Prospectors and Developers Association, the Ministry of Natural Resources --

Mr. Reid: And all disagreed with the policy.

Hon. Mr. Davis: They didn’t agree among themselves.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: -- and the Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario. So the Ministry of Natural Resources had much input at an early stage. The drafts which came out of that series of hearings were then taken back to those same people, including Natural Resources.

Lest we have a misunderstanding with regard to just where government policy would fit in, the obvious reason the drafts and the policies are shown to me before they come out is so that if there is something there which obviously contradicts government policy, or that causes me to raise my eyebrows a little bit, I may well call my colleague, call the Ontario Securities Commission, and express my concern to make sure that they are aware of all of these matters. Ultimately, it’s up to the commission to reconcile it, but our policy role and the government’s presence in the development of all of those things is very much there.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Just one short question here. We are approaching the hour.

Mr. Davison: I’m concerned with the involvement of Inco with the commission. Perhaps I’ll wait until Monday.

On motion by Hon. Mr. Grossman the committee of supply reported progress and asked for leave to sit again.

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