31st Parliament, 1st Session

L073 - Thu 8 Dec 1977 / Jeu 8 déc 1977

The House met at 2 p.m.




Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, last Thursday I promised the House I would report back on the terms of reference for the inquiry to be conducted by Mr. Justice Krever into the confidentiality of medical records. Yesterday the cabinet approved my recommendation that Mr. Justice Krever’s inquiry be conducted under the Public Inquiries Act, with the following terms of reference:

To review all legislation administered by the Minister of Health -- e.g., Public Hospitals Act, Health Disciplines Act, Health Insurance Act and Mental Health Act -- together with any other relevant legislation administered by ether ministers, and any regulations passed thereunder; to determine whether proper protection is given to the rights of persons who have received, or who may receive, health services, to preserve the confidentiality of information respecting them collected under that legislation; to review the legality of the administrative practices under the above Acts; and to report thereon to the Minister of Health with any recommendations for necessary amendments to the legislation and the regulations passed thereunder.

I expect Mr. Justice Krever should be ready to begin his inquiry early in the new year. I have indicated to him the government’s hope that we may receive his report as soon as possible.

Mr. Lewis: Surely the Minister of Labour is going to disown the article in the Globe and Mail.


Mr. S. Smith: I’ll reserve my questions. Is there no one in charge of the government, Mr. Speaker?

An hon. member: You wouldn’t think so.

Mr. Roy: Obviously not.

Mr. McClellan: Here is the doctor. He will take care of it.

Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, is there someone to whom I might direct questions to find out who is answering on behalf of the government? Is there someone in a position to lead?

Mr. Breithaupt: The Premier or House leader.

Mr. Roy: The whole front row is missing.

Hon. F. S. Miller: Address the ministry.

Mr. Reid: We don’t see any leaders over there.

Mr. Lewis: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, if I may, since obviously the preoccupation of the opposition is to be able to ask the Premier about Falconbridge -- Oh, here comes the Premier.

Mr. Speaker: Perhaps while the Premier is taking his place we can have the hon. Minister of Energy give the answer to a question asked previously.

Mr. Lewis: Better he gets it out of the way at the beginning.


Hon. J. A. Taylor: Mr. Speaker, on Thursday, November 24, the member for Halton-Burlington (Mr. Reed) asked me how I justified three 500-kilovolt lines running south from Bruce to Milton at a time when power is demanded in northern Ontario.

I cannot justify and do not attempt to justify these lines because there are not three 500-kilovolt and two 230-kilovolt lines running south from Bruce to Milton. In fact, there is only one 500-kilovolt line authorized but not yet completed to Milton. There are no 230-kilovolt lines constructed or authorized from Bruce to Milton.

The member also stated that the power that is demanded from the station is flowing into northern Ontario. This is not correct. While the system is designed to accommodate the flow of power in any direction, most of the power would be used in southern Ontario.

On Friday, November 25, the member further asked whether I was satisfied with the convergence of five 400-kilovolt lines and two 230-kilovolt lines at Milton in terms of the security of Hydro’s distribution system. The member may have meant four 500-kilovolt lines rather than five 400-kilovolt lines as there are no 400-kilovolt lines in the hydro system. There are, in fact, three 500-kilovolt lines approved but only one line is under construction into Milton station. There are no 230-kilovolt lines from the north or west into Milton station. There are four 500-kilovolt lines approved out of Milton station. Two are under construction. Four 230-kilovolt lines have been approved to go east and south from Milton but are not under construction.

The matter of system security and rights of way for both the 500-kilovolt and 230-kilovolt lines connecting at Milton follow the recommendations of Dr. Solandt in March 1974.

I was further asked if I would examine the consequences of the severing of either the north-south lines or the east-west lines. The severing of either of these 500-kilovolt lines into the Milton station would isolate the Bruce generating station or the Nanticoke generating station from the 500-kilovolt grid. However, Bruce generating station would still supply southwestern Ontario by way of 230-kilovolt lines, and Nanticoke could continue to serve London, Kitchener, Hamilton and Toronto by the existing 230-kilovolt grid system.

Mr. Reed: Mr. Speaker, first of all a point of clarification: Unless there is an error in Hansard -- which there may be -- at no time did I ask the question about 400-kilovolt lines. I am certainly aware -- as is the minister -- that there are no such lines. Certainly I did not ask a question on 400-kilovolt lines. If it is in print in that form in Hansard, it is definitely an error and I would like to go on record as pointing that out.

Hon. B. Stephenson: Why didn’t you correct it in Hansard?

Hon. J. A. Taylor: You should have corrected it earlier.

Mr. Reed: It is quite correct that the minister says there is only one line being applied for.

Mr. Speaker: Question.

Mr. Reed: Is not the long-term plan ultimately to run three 500-kilovolt lines, coupled with two 230s, down that grid? Is not the ultimate corridor width to be a minimum of 750 feet going through Halton, north and south, and up to a maximum of, I think it is, 1,750 feet?

Mr. Speaker: The question has been asked.

Mr. Reed: I realize the application is only for one line initially.

Hon. J. A. Taylor: Mr. Speaker, the member for Halton-Burlington did indeed sit down with Ontario Hydro and I thought he had the answers clear. Apparently he has not.

The answer I gave today in connection with his questions indicates those lines that have been approved and those that are constructed or are being constructed. Any other lines would have to receive approval and they would have to be subject to, of course, the usual public hearing process, including the Environmental Assessment Act. So I can’t give any further commitment in terms of where additional lines might go.

If the member wishes any additional in- formation, I would be delighted to see that he gets it, including looking at a map that I have with me today.

Mr. Speaker: A brief supplementary; a final supplementary.

Mr. Reed: I’m not sure just how to ask this to get the answer, but are not the plans, the ultimate plans, for that kind of a corridor?

Mr. Cunningham: Yes or no.

Mr. Reed: Yes or no, that’s right.

Hon. J. A. Taylor: One cannot commit oneself to something in the future which has not, in fact, been authorized. I’ve given the member specifically the information that he requested. There cannot be any plans until the four lines in any location that he might like to think of -- until those projects, of course -- have been reviewed. As he knows, that’s part of the future planning in any event.


Mr. S. Smith: A question of the Premier: In view of the announcement by Falconbridge of the elimination of another 750 jobs in the Sudbury area, reducing the Falconbridge work force, I believe, from approximately 4,000 to 3,000 in the course of a year, is the Premier now prepared to agree with our position that the select committee which is to investigate the layoffs at Inco should be broadened to examine the Falconbridge problems as well and certain of the common problems in the resource sector, as highlighted by this latest development? Would he be willing to have that select committee look at the Falconbridge matter, and bring Falconbridge people and metal mining experts and so on before the committee so as to broaden its terms of reference?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I don’t want to be misunderstood, but in conversation with I believe the leader of the New Democratic Party a while ago, I said that if the rumours we had all heard with respect to Falconbridge were valid -- and there have been discussions, but with no real figures until Tuesday and Wednesday -- there are some parallels in terms of the situation at Inco and Falconbridge, so that certainly I would envisage the committee would deal with both.

There are some parallels; there are as well -- as members from the area in particular would know -- some differentials in terms of the problems facing those two companies. In my discussions and from the reports I have received from the ministers and ministries who are involved, I find the basic problem for Falconbridge that they have in common with Inco is again the question of the nickel market.

I really don’t think it is a question of having a lot of mining experts, because I think the committee will be dealing with the question of the market; whether there are ways and means of alleviating the difficulty. I don’t think one needs a lot of experts on metallurgy or mining technology to understand that it is basically world market conditions that have led to this situation, or lack of markets.


I think it is important to point out that while there are similarities, there are, as well, some differences with the situation at Falconbridge.

Mr. Martel: They should fire Marsh Cooper for openers.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Well, Mr. Speaker, I think the committee, hopefully, in their discussions with --

Mr. Laughren: They can start by getting rid of Leo Bernier.

Mr. Speaker: Order. Order.

Mr. Lewis: He gave them exemption to create jobs a couple of years ago.

Ms. Speaker: Order. This is not a debating period; it is a question period.

Mr. Laughren: You are the architect, Leo.

Mr. Lewis: It was your refining in Norway that lies at the root of this.

Mr. Wiseman: You gave the jobs away.

Mr. Laughren: You are responsible, Leo Bernier.

Mr. Mattel: The albatross of the north!

Mr. Speaker: Order. Order. Some of the members are hard of hearing today. The only person who has the floor and the only person I want to hear right now is the Premier.

Mr. Laughren: Tell him to say something.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I wish that were always the case. But I should point out one of the main items I discussed with the chairman of Falconbridge, Mr. Cooper, and the area that I am sure concerns us all because of rumours of a possible shutdown of Falconbridge -- reading the early afternoon papers you would sense, not necessarily from the headlines but from the story, that Falconbridge was either going to move or close down -- was the long-term prospects for Falconbridge.

Mr. Cooper made it very clear to me, and I have a copy of the statement that was released, I assume, at 9:30 or 10 this morning, that they intended to stay in business. They did not minimize the seriousness of the situation they faced as a company but they were optimistic about the long-term future of the industry continuing to operate in this province.

I should also point out that while one can argue Norway --

Mr. Laughren: We sure can.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- it is also quite clear that reductions are taking place -- in terms of capacity in Norway.

Mr. Martel: They wouldn’t expand and --

Mr. Laughren: Talk to Leo about it. He’s the one who sold you down the pipe.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I am trying to share with the House as much information as I am permitted to share at this moment.

Mr. Laughren: Don’t apologize for Leo Bernier.

Hon. Mr. Davis: If the hon. members in the New Democratic Party want to interject and say that Norway is at the root of this problem, I don’t purport to be an expert --

Mr. Martel: We sure do.

Mr. Lewis: It is the exemptions.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- but I would say, with respect, it is not.

Mr. Warner: There is the root right there. Let’s start with him.

Hon. Mr. Davis: It is not at the root of the problem. The root of the problem is the same as with Inco --

Mr. Laughren: Leo Bernier is!

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- and that is the reduction in the world demand for nickel. There are no architects of this difficulty, unless one wants to refer to the world economy, the fact that steel mills in western Europe and in the United States are not producing as much steel, and that nickel is a very important ingredient in that aspect.

Mr. Lewis: Give them more exemptions.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Nor is there any debate about the export of 75 per cent matte. I say to the Leader of the Opposition: For Falconbridge it is a very simple case of surviving as an organization and protecting the jobs of some 3,000 people who will continue to be employed.

I also add, because some of this had emerged during the discussions with respect to Inco, and I cannot give you the exact dates, but during the recent period of time, Falconbridge has invested, apart from operating costs, some $280 million in the Sudbury area --

Mr. Laughren: Thanks a lot.

Mr. Martel: The plants never operated.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- and has taken some $36 million out. That $280 million is exclusive of operating costs. That is capital investment. Falconbridge have mentioned to us, and this will be an interesting thing for the committee to come to grips with in terms of both Inco and Falconbridge -- it was part of their release, so I am not saying anything in public that they have not already referred to -- that their new smelter, a $95-million investment capital cost which was partially due to environmental standards that we as a province feel should be there, will lead to a fewer number of employees because of the increase in the technology.

I think when the committee discusses the problem facing the industry in the longer term and the cost of doing business in this province, it will hear something about the requirements for capital investment for environmental purposes. As I’ve said so many times in this House, I think it’s important that we maintain our concern and our progress in environmental matters, but at the same time there has to be a recognition that there is a cost factor involved.

I think it’s fair to state that while Falconbridge has some concern in terms of the capital investment required over the next number of years, that really has not led to the difficulty which it faces at present. It may be a part of their financial problem, but the bulk of their problem is that they cannot sell the products they are producing; it’s really as simple as that.

I should point out, and I want this to be very clear, that we as a government have offered to assist in terms of discussions between the union and Falconbridge on ways and means of alleviating some of the difficulty for the employees, Inco and the union. The committee is not meeting because of a joint request from both the company and the union. My understanding is they are working in this direction as well. Certainly we are more than prepared, as a government, to lend any assistance we can, and of course we hopefully will find some answers, or partial answers, through the committee.

I should point out the figure that we have been given is some 750. This is in addition to certain reductions that were made, I believe, this past fall.

Mr. Lewis: Five hundred.

Hon. B. Stephenson: It’s 405.

Mr. Lewis: Four hundred and eighty-four.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Four hundred and five is fairly close, or 434; it depends how you want to sort out those figures.

Mr. Martel: Wrong again, Bette.

Mr. Foulds: It’s hard to sort it out.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Let’s say about 434.

Mr. Lewis: It’s 1,200 jobs, that’s what it is.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I should point out, just so there is an understanding -- and I don’t say it helps except in terms of those directly involved, I’m not talking about total employment in the Sudbury area -- but of that initial cutback 126 involved employees took early retirement, so their positions were not altered that much. Sixty-nine, close to 70 were --

Mr. Lewis: The jobs are gone.

Mr. Foulds: They have disappeared.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I’m not going to argue that the jobs, for a period of time, are not there.

Mr. Laughren: What do you mean by “a period of time”?

Hon. Mr. Davis: But I am concerned as well, as I’m sure the members opposite are, as to the effect on the individuals. That is what has been troubling me; I don’t say more than the lack of jobs, but the two are somewhat related. I would like to point out that while I’m sure that the figure of 1,200 may be used -- or 1,100 would be closer to being accurate -- but of that number, 126 took early retirement; 74 employees -- so you’re now close to 200 -- were granted leaves of absence; some 69 to 70 left the company through attrition, they left in a normal course of events so that one can’t say they were directly affected.

So while I’m not in any way minimizing the situation --

Mr. Lewis: Sure you are.

Mr. McClellan: You are.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- I think it is important to point out that some numbers of these people, at least in a personal way, will not be feeling the impact as directly as those who, come February --

Mr. Warner: You rationalize unemployment.

Mr. Laughren: So much for the community.

Mr. Warner: They need jobs.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I know about the community. I know the problem it’s going to create. I’m not coming here to say today that we have any solution.

Mr. Warner: Pretty crass.

Hon. Mr. Davis: We cannot produce markets for this product. There is no way the government of Ontario can go into the steel producing or whatever other business it would be --

Mr. Laughren: Thanks to Leo Bernier.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- that would require the use of that product. Some days I wish there were, but there isn’t. I think it’s a reality --

Mr. Lewis: You could have had a refinery.

Mr. Speaker: Order. The Premier now is responding to the interjections.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I will stop there and take supplementaries.

Mr. Speaker: Because the Premier’s response was more in the nature of a general statement, rather than a specific response to a specific question I’m adding seven minutes to the question period.

Mr. S. Smith: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Could I, by way of a supplementary question, ask two questions which probably could be dealt with briefly?

One is, did I understand the Premier to say there would be an expansion of the terms of reference of the select committee to deal with the Falconbridge matter? I believe I did, but I just wanted to be clear on that.

The main supplementary I want to ask is this. There seems to have been -- and I’m no expert in this -- a change in the world market -- the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. F. S. Miller) referred to it during the Inco debate -- in favour of a less refined product. I notice, for instance, that Falconbridge, through a Dominican Republic subsidiary, is selling a class 2 nickel and has earned a profit of $4 million in the first nine months of 1977, while the Canadian operation lost $14 million.

In view of the fact there seems to be some market for the lower grade of nickel, does the government have any information about this apparent change in the world market? Does it have any policy with regard to whether Ontario producers are to be, in some way, encouraged or permitted to compete in that market? Is it considered to be a good or bad thing for us to be competing in that market in the Premier’s view?

Mr. Laughren: You had the answers before. How come you changed your mind, Stewart?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I’m no expert in the field so I’ll give the Leader of the Opposition my information --

Mr. Laughren: He’s apologizing for his previous statements, that’s what the Leader of the Opposition is doing.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- on the assumption that he will understand that I am not an expert. The answer to the first question -- I thought I had said this -- actually we were concerned about Falconbridge at the time the original terms of reference were introduced, but we felt it would not be advisable to add Falconbridge prior to some more definitive knowledge. I think in fairness to both companies, while one talks about management in the corporation you’re still talking about individuals who, I sense, have a real degree of responsibility and sensitivity. There’s no question that Falconbridge has, as has Inco, been working very hard to see if they can’t sell more of their products. So there is no problem about adding Falconbridge to the terms of reference, none whatsoever.

With respect to the nickel industry here selling a different type of product, I believe it is true that the figures from the Dominican Republic in the first period of time appear to be somewhat better. But as I understand it in this instance -- this is not necessarily true in the Inco situation -- we’re talking of some with different products and somewhat different uses.

I’m given the impression by both Inco and Falconbridge that, unlike some of the economic problems we face, there will be a demand for the kind of product they are presently producing. That demand will occur over a period of time and no one can state that period of time. It would be unfortunate if we were to go the route of trying to diminish, shall we say, the amount of refinement that takes place here in the expectation this might give us a better world market position. I think most people would tell you that that would not be the case. It might lead to a greater dislocation in the long run in the Sudbury Basin.

This is something that I’m sure the Leader of the Opposition, perhaps, has now sensed in some of his reconsideration of his former position. I would say I don’t think that lessening the amount of refining or the quality would solve the problem, that is not the impression that I have.

Mr. Lewis: May I make a suggestion to the Premier? Perhaps it’s a little unorthodox in terms of his economics.

Since the total toll on the Sudbury community of the Falconbridge-Inco layoffs, plus the spinoff effects, is likely to be in the vicinity of 8,000 to 10,000 jobs lost by the end of 1978 and mid-1979, and since we have given such extraordinary concessions to Falconbridge to refine and process abroad -- in Norway particularly, and it was extended again in 1975 over grave objection -- and since Ontario has subsidized Falconbridge’s profitable expansion all over the world from the Dominican Republic to southwest Africa, to Namibia, why is it not possible for this government to say to Falconbridge, part of a great multi-national under Superior Oil, it should now subsidize the Ontario operation from the profits it is making in the rest of the world to keep stability in that community?


Hon. Mr. Davis: I am not going to argue economics with the leader of the New Democratic Party, nor am I going to debate with him facts with which he may or may not be totally familiar. It’s great to argue that telling Falconbridge it should no longer operate in Norway could solve or partially solve the problem.

Mr. Lewis: We didn’t say that.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Of course the member’s party has.

Mr. Lewis: We said to build the refinery in Ontario rather than expand the Norway operation.

Hon. Mr. Davis: No, he has said that the company should be out of Norway; refining here.


Mr. Lewis: We never said that.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I think what the select committee will find --

Mr. Lewis: On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker, we have not advanced that position. We simply said the refinery should be built in Ontario rather than expanding the Norwegian operation. That was surely fair.

Hon. Mr. Davis: It’s in their press statement today. They are also reducing their operations in Norway.

Mr. Lewis: The way Inco is reducing in Indonesia.

Hon. Mr. Davis: It’s there. It’s a matter of record and the leader of the New Democratic Party can check this out, but it happens to be a fact. I should also point out that while initially Falconbridge had a capital investment in the Dominican Republic, the fact of the matter is it no longer has that capital investment. I am going by memory only, but I think it was around $17 million and that has been taken out by a consortium, I believe, of some banks. I don’t know who else is involved, but Falconbridge itself does not have that capital investment. As I have pointed out, and I am not here to defend Falconbridge, what I am interested in --


Hon. Mr. Davis: Well that’s fine; members opposite can feel that way if they want.

Mr. Speaker: Just ignore the interjections.

Hon. Mr. Davis: You are quite right, Mr. Speaker. I would make it clear, because they do have a serious problem, as does Inco, I am interested in seeing that the laws of this province and the policies of this province enable us to maintain a healthy nickel industry. I think that requires very careful consideration by all members of this House of all political persuasions. I don’t know that it’s going to be solved by some of the rhetoric and some of the statements that have been made.

Mr. Lewis: We have been begging the government for years --

Hon. Mr. Davis: I would say, with respect, the solution would not have been to say to Falconbridge no work in the Dominican Republic, close it down; or no expansion in Norway.

Mr. Lewis: We are not saying that.

Mr. Foulds: There is no way. The Premier’s rhetoric is very destructive.

Hon. Mr. Davis: What I am saying is that unlike some problems we have, and men in particular, and I think Falconbridge would agree -- it is not because they cannot compete competitively in the world marketplace, I don’t know how many times I need to restate that, the problems in the Sudbury basin really are fundamentally those of a limited market at this moment for the purchase of nickel. If that were not the case, obviously, we would not be debating this particular concern. I can’t emphasize that too strongly.

I wish I had some simple or pat answer, but there is nothing this government can do with respect to the nickel problem that faces the total world economy. it is not something that is within our control here in the province of Ontario.

Mr. Roy: It is obvious the Premier doesn’t have a pat answer.

Mr. Laughren: Supplementary: In view of this layoff, coming on top of the Inco layoff, is the Premier now prepared to revise his rather dismal response to the Sudbury committee, which asked that he intervene in order to create more jobs in the Sudbury basin?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I realize the member for the area would say it was a limited response.

Mr. Warner: “Dismal” was the word.

Hon. B. Stephenson: That just matches the personality of the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere.

Hon. Mr. Davis: A dismal response. I must say those who presented the material to us -- and I didn’t bring those letters in with me -- thought it was more than a dismal response, but then they perhaps have a somewhat different perspective.

As I said to the committee which met with us, we would be quite prepared to discuss and explore the matter with them. We are supporting the task force concept they suggested. We are quite prepared to explore with them any constructive idea that will alleviate the problem. For the hon. member to say it was a dismal response is hardly accurate or hardly fair.

Mr. Kerrio: Mr. Speaker, how might the Premier address himself to maintaining the purchasing of nickel by Atlas Steel in Welland as it relates to the problem that exists in Sudbury, in view of the fact that they are talking about a steel mill in Cuba that will use that nickel?

Hon. Mr. Davis: The hon. member did mention the other day his concern about the development of a steel mill in Cuba. I am not sure how that relates to the capacity of Inco, or Falconbridge, to sell to Atlas. I would assume, obviously, there is no shortage. If the hon. member is suggesting that Atlas is having trouble getting nickel, I know where they can get some. I will continue to explore the concern he expressed to me, that I gather his counterpart in Ottawa has expressed to Mr. Chretien. I will continue to explore that.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. Leader of the Opposition with his second question.

Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order --

Mr. Speaker: There is nothing out of order. If you have watched the clock, we have used 30 minutes on one question. Not denying that this is an important matter; but it has been before the House on at least six different occasions over the past two months. The Premier has gone on at quite some length, giving an overview of what the government is prepared to do and not prepared to do. I suggest that we are not going to get any place. I think that in order to share the question period more fairly, there are more things in the province of Ontario than Falconbridge. The hon. Leader of the Opposition with his second question.

Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, there have been two supplementaries to this rather important question.

Mr. Speaker: There have been four supplementaries.

Mr. Yakabuski: Remove him.

Mr. Speaker: Well all right, it’s your question period. The hon. member for Sudbury East.

Mr. Martel: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. In discussing the financial difficulties of the company, did the Premier manage to discuss with them that they had blown $100 million on a plant in Sudbury, the nickel-iron refinery plant, which never went into production? They blew another $20 million on the Lockerby Mine, which is far in excess of the ore body that is there for the mine structure? Another $3 million --

Mr. Speaker: I thought the member wanted to ask a question.

Mr. Martel: I am asking a question.

Mr. Speaker: You’re not asking a question.

Mr. Martel: I have to put the background to it.

Mr. Speaker: You are not asking a question. Somebody with your academic background should be better prepared to ask a question.

Mr. Martel: I’d like to know, Mr. Speaker, how someone asks the Premier if he discussed the following items, without giving the items?

Finally, did the Premier discuss the $2 million they spent on the Onex shaft, which has never worked? That’s a total of $125 million they blew in the last five years, and now the Sudbury community must suffer. Has the Premier discussed that with them?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Second-guessing.

Mr. Lewis: It is called bad corporate management, which we are paying for.

Mr. McClellan: And you’re apologizing for it.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I am sure that’s something that the hon. member may wish to raise, perhaps in more moderate tones, during the discussions with the select committee.

Mr. Laughren: Never mind trying to weasel out of it.

Mr. Sargent: Would you be showing so much moderation if it had happened in Brampton?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Well I’m a great believer in moderation, I should say to the member for Grey-Bruce, in all things; peace.

Mr. Mackenzie: You think it is a joke, don’t you?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I am a little familiar with the final two items the hon. member mentioned. I did not explore them in depth with the chairman of Falconbridge. I didn’t know what useful purpose that would serve. I think it is common knowledge that the first item he raised, where the company in its wisdom -- and you can question that wisdom --

Mr. Foulds: We’re going to.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- it’s always easy to second-guess -- thought they were making an appropriate investment. The fact that it did not turn out as they had anticipated, or as others had anticipated or hoped, I am sure the people at Falconbridge would be quite prepared to acknowledge --

Mr. MacDonald: Like Minaki Lodge, bad guess.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- but that is not going to solve the problem.

Mr. Martel: Oh, but that’s why they are in financial trouble today.

Hon. Mr. Davis: It’s like a household, you go and buy a house.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Martel: We don’t buy it.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: I know, you rent.

Mr. Martel: I am not like some of you fellows over there.

Mr. Speaker: Order.


Mr. S. Smith: Could the Minister of the Environment tell the House exactly what it is that is referred to in this article in the Globe and Mail regarding mercury measurements and other pathological studies done allegedly on brains and other tissues of certain deceased persons, including perhaps babies, or a baby or a child, and possibly a fetus? Could he in fact tell us about the study done by one Dr. L. Smith -- no relation, I assure you, Mr. Speaker -- and tell us about the so-called numbered reports in his ministry, submitted by that particular Dr. L. Smith? Will he make these reports public, table them in the Legislature, and let us draw our own conclusions about the mathematics and everything else that might be involved therein?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Mr. Speaker, my information is that there was a study under the direction of Dr. Smith involving about 22 northern Ontario residents who had died in 1976. Eleven were from Grassy Narrows or Whitedog. Eleven were from the surrounding communities. Tissue samples were taken at autopsy from the liver, kidney, hair and brain and were analysed for mercury. Tissue samples from the brain were examined grossly and microscopically.

This study really started with the Ministry of Health, and then when that ministry’s occupational health and safety division was transferred to the Ministry of Labour, that group conducted this study under the direction of Dr. Smith. The people involved were from at least three ministries.

It is my information that the report has not been completed and it is my information that contrary to the article in this morning’s paper, it doesn’t involve two studies or two reports. There has been the study I have referred to and the report of that study is being compiled at this time. It is expected to be issued by the end of this year. Certainly when that report is available it can be tabled in the Legislature.

Mr. S. Smith: Supplementary: Given that one of the reasons the claim has been made that there have been no proven cases of mercury poisoning on the reserves is the fact that some of the pathological damage is similar to that caused by alcohol toxicity, and given the fact that we have now been waiting to have results on children, who obviously could not be accused of being habitual imbibers of alcohol, isn’t it absolutely vital that if there is any knowledge in the possession of this ministry indicating mercury toxicity in the brains or other tissues of some children on these reserves, that the minister announce it to this House immediately, because that would in fact be pretty well conclusive proof of methyl mercury poisoning on those reserves, a very fundamental matter indeed? If the minister has that proof, why doesn’t he present it to us here? Why are we having to wait for a full report to be compiled, rather than being given the evidence that, according to this article, apparently has been circulating in this ministry?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: If the hon. member will read this carefully, the question really should have been directed to the Minister of Labour.

Mr. Wildman: We wanted an answer, George.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Just one of the people on this study group was from my ministry. Apparently the so-called informant of the reporter, who is within my ministry, is indicating there are two studies --

Mr. Lewis: That’s right.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: -- or that there is an existing report --

Hon. B. Stephenson: But there are not.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: -- that has somehow been kept secret.

Mr. Lewis: The informant is -- be careful.

Hon. B. Stephenson: There is only one study.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: I have asked for a report from my ministry to find out if there are two studies or if there is an existing report, or if there is information about a child whose brain has in some way been analyzed; and I have asked that that information be made available to me so that it can be made public.


Mr. S. Smith: By way of a final supplementary, and maybe I should more properly direct this to the Minister of Labour: I don’t know if you accept that, Mr. Speaker. Is it not a fact that a Dr. May said that the first report that came out apparently had some problems with the mathematics, that it is not a final report? Given the importance of this, why can’t we see the first report and make up our own minds about this?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Is the hon. member directing that to the Minister of Labour?

Mr. Speaker: No. He can’t transfer from one minister to the other.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: I will redirect it.

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, may I respond to that?

Mr. Speaker: Briefly.

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, there is one study only, there is no report. There have been two drafts of the report to this date.

Mr. S. Smith: Can I see the drafts?

Hon. B. Stephenson: I haven’t seen them yet.

Mr. Martel: They’ve been put through the shredder.

Hon. B. Stephenson: The drafts are being circulated amongst the three peer scientists who are involved in the study. There is one statement I can make which will, I think, alleviate the concern of the hon. Leader of the Opposition, and that is on the pathological examination that was carried out on one infant. The three-month old child was reported to have died of SDS or sudden death syndrome. Neither the chemical tests, nor the brain pathology are in any way suggestive of mercury poisoning.

Mr. Lewis: We really have taken a lot of the question period, but let me come back to the minister on this, because I want to pursue it.

How do we explain Dr. Rodney May’s incredible vacillations when asked direct questions about these studies? How is it that he, as the senior person in the ministry involved, admits to the legitimacy of an original piece of work, and talks about having heard about it and a second piece of work? How are we to reconcile that when it comes from the assistant deputy minister?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, Dr. Rodney May, was referring to the drafts of the reports. There has only been one study. This has been carried out by an official, one of the scientists in the Ministry of the Environment, a Dr. Lesbia Smith, originally within the Ministry of Health and now with the Ministry of Labour --

Mr. Lewis: Leaving for sabbatical today.

Hon. B. Stephenson: -- and a consultant neuro-pathologist at the University of Toronto. Mr. Speaker, as with most scientific papers the information and the statistical data which has been amassed cannot in any way be changed. What has been done is that drafts of the paper have been produced and they have been circulated amongst the three co-authors of the paper. They have provided their input into the writing of the paper and have redrafted it. The final draft will, I think, be available at the end of December and will be very widely published.

But I can tell you right now, if you like Mr. Speaker, that I do have some preliminary results which I should be very glad to divulge to this House at this time.

Mr. Lewis: Well, go ahead:

Mr. S. Smith: Please table them.

Hon. B. Stephenson: I really would have to tell the member that there are no numbered copies of the draft either. That is a fact, because I have looked for them and they are not there; and there is no shredding machine in the occupational health protection branch.

Mr. Martel: The minister borrowed Sidney Handleman’s.

Hon. B. Stephenson: In the 22 cases that have been studied, there is not one which shows either chemical or histological evidence of mercury poisoning. The tissues have been examined, not only within our own laboratory for the chemistry, but they have also been examined, as I said, by a consultant neuro-pathologist one who is very familiar with the kinds of changes which occurred in the acute mercury poisoning of victims in both Japan and Iraq.

No results have been published at this time because, indeed, the paper is not finalized; it will be finalized by the end of this month and then it will be published for all to see.

Mr. Lewis: One quick supplementary, if I may, Mr. Speaker: Since these drafts have been widely circulated.

Hon. B. Stephenson: They have not been circulated widely.

Mr. Lewis: Since these drafts have been seen by senior civil servants of other ministries, is the minister prepared to table the drafts in this Legislature?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I am not at all sure that the statement by the hon. leader of the third party is correct. I am aware that the drafts have been examined by the three authors of the paper.

Mr. Lewis: Who did the drafts?

Hon. B. Stephenson: The author of the paper did the drafts and circulated them; Dr. Smith circulated them amongst the other two. That is the only copy; there obviously was one copy at least. There are no numbered copies. I have not seen it. As soon as the paper is made available to me, I will be very happy to provide it to you.

Mr. Laughren: Are you approving someone to take Dr. May’s place?

Hon. B. Stephenson: No, I am not.

Mr. Laughren: Well, you should.

Hon. B. Stephenson: I should not.

Mr. Lewis: You should. You’ve got problems in your occupational health branch.


Mr. Lewis: A question of the Minister of Health: Since the minister’s statement today on the Krever commission seems to preclude an investigation and a potential finding of fault on the extraordinary kind of police pressure to acquire confidential hospital records that was outlined, for example in the Globe today, what is he going to do within his ministry to initiate such an investigation?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I wouldn’t accept that the terms of reference exclude anything. Basically they are very broad and allow Mr. Justice Krever to investigate whatever he deems necessary to fulfil his role. So I would think he will look at the way in which hospital medical librarians deal with the serving of subpoenas or search warrants.

I was very pleased today to receive from the Canadian Health Records Association an indication that they are very anxious to work with Mr. Justice Krever and to assist with the inquiry. This association represents the more than 2,500 medical librarians in Canada. Given that indication, I really can’t accept that the terms do exclude that.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. Minister of Health has the answer to five questions previously asked; we will hear two of them.


Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I will be slow. This is germane to what I have just been discussing anyway.

On December 5, the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. S. Smith) raised a query about the nature and frequency of police use of search warrants to remove patient files from public and psychiatric hospitals. This was followed by a question about the nature of the information required to issue such a warrant.

When a police officer arrives at a public hospital, or a psychiatric hospital with a search warrant, the hospital is, of course, required to deliver to the officer the material ordered in that warrant by a justice of the peace or a judge. Whether it be a civil or criminal case, the fact remains that once a justice of the peace or a judge is convinced that it is in the interest of justice to issue a subpoena or a warrant, we would be obstructing justice to challenge it.

Normal procedure with search warrants has been to give a copy of the file to the police officer, or the original if he insists, and to keep the original or the copy on file at the hospital. The warrant is attached to that file.

While it would take months to search all the files of public and psychiatric hospitals to determine the frequency of this practice since 1970, we checked with 12 public hospitals in all parts of the province: four of them reported zero; five others reported fewer than six; and three others reported nine, 14 and about 20 respectively, over the seven-year period. This broad sample would seem to indicate that the production of search warrants in hospitals is very infrequent.

Three of our psychiatric hospitals have kept logs, and the results of a check of these logs are as follows.

Queen Street Mental Health Centre reports two search warrants since 1970. St. Thomas Psychiatric Hospital reports none since 1976, when they began to keep their log. Whitby Psychiatric Hospital reports five since 1970. As the member can see, we are unable at this moment to provide the total for the province, but it can easily be seen that it is not a frequent occurrence.

To get this information for the other eight psychiatric hospitals would be a monumental task, but I can assure you that logs will be kept by all hospitals in the future. I will be asking public hospitals with psychiatric units to maintain similar logs.

As I mentioned last week, we will shortly be undertaking, with the co-operation of the Ontario Hospital Association, a survey of security measures in force in public hospitals across Ontario. We will include a request for this information in the survey. and the results will be given to the Hon. Mr. Justice Krever to assist him in his inquiry.

In response to the second question, neither a search warrant nor a subpoena states why it is issued. So hospitals do not know why the police are soliciting this information or the nature of the information required to issue a search warrant.

The same day, the member for Scarborough West (Mr. Lewis) asked if I was aware of warrants issued for purposes other than criminal proceedings and what other reasons have been given to require the production of such records. Again, it would take some time to review all the warrants issued since 1970 to answer this question. Legal staff have advised me that search warrants are used to gain records from public hospitals or psychiatric facilities only pursuant to criminal proceedings.

On November 29, 1977, the member for Wentworth (Mr. Deans) asked how the record of a subpoena could be kept in a file in the hospital if the police had removed the file. A record of the subpoenas received by the hospital has been kept but I think the member might be more interested in files removed as a result of the issuance of search warrants.

A search warrant may require the removal of a file from the hospital but subpoenas are issued for people who bring records to court and who return them to the hospital afterwards. Normal procedure with search warrants has been to give a copy of the file to the police officer and to keep the original. The warrant is attached to that original file at the psychiatric facility. If the officer insists on the original file, a copy is kept with the warrant.

The member’s second question was, and I quote: “Will the minister then order an investigation into all of the files removed from the Hamilton Psychiatric Hospital during 1970 to 1971 to determine whether or not there were, in fact, subpoenas presented that are now on file?”

Yes, the subpoenas presented are on file. My staff has checked with the hospital and found that in the year 1970, five subpoenas were received and, in 1971, seven subpoenas were received. However, as I mentioned, police do not remove files from the facility pursuant to a subpoena. Since no log was kept on search warrants received, I have asked the staff at Hamilton Psychiatric Hospital to search their records for the years 1970 and 1971 and upon receipt of this information I will report it to the House or to the member if the House is not in session.

The third question asked was for further investigation with the staff then at the hospital as to how the original file of a patient could be removed --

Mr. Roy: On a point of order, there were just two questions. The minister just now said, “The third question asked.”

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: The third part of his question on that day -- let me put it that way -- asked for further investigation with the staff then at the hospital as to how the original file of a patient could be removed and never returned. This question cannot be answered specifically unless we know the name of the patient.

If the hon. member is suggesting the entire file has disappeared, I would ask then that he provide me with the name on a confidential basis so we can check it against admission records. In this fashion we will be able to pursue the matter specifically rather than theoretically.

Mr. Deans: A brief supplementary: Did you check with the present administrator of the Hamilton Psychiatric Hospital to inquire of him whether he had any cause during the years 1974, 1975 or 1976 to request of the RCMP that they return a file which had been removed?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, the hon. member asked us to check 1970 and 1971. It so happens that the then administrator of Hamilton Psychiatric in 1970 and 1971 is now a senior official in the institutional branch of the division. So through him we were able to, and with the assistance of the present administrator, Mr. Morin, get the information here today.

What I need from the member in order to pursue it properly and run it straight to the ground is a name. Then I can check that against admission records to see whether, in fact, the file did disappear.

Mr. Deans: Okay.


Mr. Yakabuski: I have a question of the Minister of Correctional Services. In view of the fact that all members of this House, I am sure, and the taxpaying public were jubilant to hear the statement made by the minister with regard to the Ombudsman’s office saving the taxpayers $10 million in his ministry, are we correct in assuming that the budget of that ministry has been slashed by $10 million for each year in which the Ombudsman’s office has been in operation?

Mr. Breithaupt: He is a friend of yours.

Mr. Swart: With friends like that --

Mr. Speaker: Order. I am sure that all members would wish to hear this answer.

Mr. Warner: The price is going down if you want to sit over here.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, what I spoke about in my estimates yesterday morning --

Mr. Deans: What a lot of nonsense.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Your party seemed to like it.


Mr. Deans: I thought it was nonsense.

Hon. Mr. Drea: What I spoke about was in the context of the role of the Ombudsman. I want the Legislature to remember I did not invent the Ombudsman. He is the creature of the Legislature. The members set it up. They set up the whole system. They appointed the Ombudsman.

Mr. Samis: The minister voted for it.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Now the system is in place, bearing in mind that I have umbrella federal legislation controlling me under the Penitentiaries Act, where there is specifically a federal ombudsperson, even though there is no general federal ombudsman, I pointed out very clearly, that mine was a ministry not like other ministries and I cautioned at that time not to make comparisons.

The direct answer to the question is that that money has been saved. If the Legislature wants to take away the Office of the Ombudsman tomorrow then I’m going to come in for supplementary estimates for 420 additional correctional officers.


Hon. Mr. Drea: That represents 10 per cent of my strength across the province. I will document in supplementary estimates what it costs me, as the minister, and my staff to reply to one inmate’s letter. If the Legislature chooses to abolish the Office of the Ombudsman -- and I think this is the question that has been asked -- it will not be reflected in a $10-million saving in my present budget nor the one for next year. It will be an additional cost.

Mr. Breithaupt: The minister didn’t save anything.


Mr. Bradley: My question is for the Attorney General. Is the minister aware of the substantial backlog of cases facing the provincial court in the judicial district of Niagara North? If so, is he prepared to announce the appointment of a new provincial judge in the immediate future to alleviate this situation, which has existed probably for about the last six months since the untimely passing of Judge Hallett?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I expect to make an announcement of the new provincial court judge within the next 24 hours.


Mr. Mackenzie: To the Ministry of Industry and Tourism: In view of the almost daily litany of plant cutbacks and closures and the concern it causes workers, has the minister a response to my question of November 28, concerning the makeup of the Canadian consortium that recommended the development of a nickel-bearing, stainless steel rolling mill in Cuba and suggested federal assistance through CDC? What representations if any has this government made to prevent this move without guarantees to the workers at Atlas in Tracy, Quebec and the taxpayers’ dollars?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: I was of the understanding we had already supplied the answer in written form to the member but I shall check it out further. We have had contacts with the federal government in relationship to the questions and I believe it is all encompassed in the answer to the member.


Mr. Roy: I have a question for the Minister of Education. It pertains to what I consider to be asinine actions on the part of the Ministry of Education in the province of Quebec pertaining to the pamphlets our ministry sent down there which they have recycled into cardboard boxes.

Mr. Reid: They do that with the minister’s speeches.

Mr. Roy: Would the minister advise the House if he was aware that this material, which I reviewed, and there is nothing subversive about this material, would not be distributed in the schools of the province of Quebec? Secondly, has he made any attempts to distribute this literature, which after all is just an exchange of ideas, to the schools directly without going through the Ministry of Education?

Finally, has he expressed to the minister involved his displeasure and certainly the displeasure of all the members of the House about the fact that there appears to be an attempt on the part of the government of Quebec -- at least the Ministry of Education -- to distribute matters in the schools that only follow the party line?

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I was not aware that the pamphlets would not be distributed when we printed them. After they had been shipped to the Province of Québec I was made aware by the minister and some of his staff that they would not be used in the province and the reasons for their non-use were made clear to me.

Subsequent to that, we agreed to meet to work out a program that would be acceptable. As I was quoted in the newspaper clippings, what really matters to me is not the wording on the pamphlet but that we have a school twinning program between the province of Quebec and the province of Ontario, and the benefits that will accrue to both provinces and the children of those provinces.

Mr. Reid: Nobody knows about it.

Hon. Mr. Wells: I’m fully convinced, whether we like it or not, that to have an effective program in Quebec we have to have the support of the Ministry of Education in that province at this particular time.

As my friend knows, the principals and teachers in the schools are probably more separatist than a lot of the members of the Party Quebecois, who form the government.

Mr. Roy: Sure they are.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Therefore, we have to have a program that reaches the kids and sets up a person to person relationship between the students in the schools in Quebec and students in Ontario. We have to have the kind of program that will allow for interchange, exchange of letters, and so forth, so students can get to know one another and the thoughts and feelings they share will not be filtered through their teachers in the schools. That, I think, we can achieve.

We are presently working on another arrangement under the aegis of the Ontario- Quebec permanent commission, which is a group that has been in operation for quite a number of years. We’re presently working on a school twinning program that we hope will be acceptable both to the Ministry of Education in the province of Quebec and to us. I believe that as it unfolds we’ll be able to achieve the aims of Project Canada.

Mr. Roy: Could I ask one quick supplementary on this, Mr. Speaker?

Mr. Speaker: A very brief one. The member’s original was a four-part question.

Mr. Roy: I appreciate that but I was very patient during some of those long-winded answers from across the way this afternoon. I’m not saying the minister’s was. He had some predecessors who took a bit of time.

I want to ask the minister, did they make an offer to return these pamphlets to him prior to deciding to recycle them? Again, I want to re-emphasize, does he not disapprove of the fact that there appears to be some effort on the part of the Ministry of Education in the province of Quebec to impose only material on the schools that toes the party line, something that would be totally unacceptable in this province?

Mr. Foulds: Do you want to bet?

Hon. Mr. Wells: I will answer the member’s last question. Of course it would be unacceptable in this province and we wouldn’t attempt to impose upon the schools only material and information that toes the party line.

Mr. Roy: The government tried it.

Mr. Foulds: We are just more sophisticated about it.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Even in the classroom.

Hon. Mr. Wells: My friend from Port Arthur would know that, he’s been around teachers’ rooms in schools as I have, and if you see the material there you would know it certainly doesn’t praise our party line.

I don’t know whether we were asked if we wanted the pamphlets returned or not. I suspect that if the pamphlets were not going to be used we didn’t have any use for them in this province and probably --

Mr. Roy: They could use them in this province. The Franco-Ontarians could use them.

Hon. Mr. Wells: The pamphlets are available for this province in a bilingual version. You have the French only version?

Mr. Roy: Yes.

Hon. Mr. Wells: That we provide a French only version rather than a bilingual version was, again, a special request of the province of Quebec. We have a bilingual version available for the province. We didn’t need those others, so we wouldn’t want them back if we’re not going to use them.

Mr. Samis: Can the minister assure us that this particular problem won’t jeopardize the future of the twinning program in general?

Hon. Mr. Wells: I indicated, a few minutes ago, that a new proposal through the Ontario-Quebec joint commission is being worked on and I am hopeful that it will go ahead within the next few weeks or so.

I want to make it clear that in my discussions with the Quebec Minister of Education they were not opposed to a school twinning program, it was some of the wording and the reasons for the program in the pamphlet that bothered them.

Mr. Roy: You said it was political. There is nothing political in this.

Hon. Mr. Wells: They agree, I think as we agree, and they’re quite happy to have a school twinning program. It’s my belief that we can only have an effective one that involves the majority of the schools in the province of Quebec with the support of the Ministry of Education in that province.


Mr. McClellan: I have a question for the Minister of Community and Social Services with respect to social assistance rates. Given that the rates were last raised in April; and given that social assistance recipients were given an eight per cent increase to cover the period May 1975 to April 1977 during which time the consumer price index rose 15.5 per cent; and given that in the last six months since April 1977 the consumer price index has risen an additional 4.5 per cent, may I ask the minister whether he intends to raise social assistance rates in Ontario to restore this lost purchasing power and when he intends to raise them?

Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, I believe that although the announcement occurred in April the actual rate increase occurred at the end of June or July 1, depending upon which program the member is referring to, but granting that there has been a time lapse since --

Mr. Foulds: Yes, before the election and after the election.

Hon. Mr. Norton: -- in specific response to the hon. member’s question at this point I have no specific plans or no specific provisions within the budget allocation for this year for a further increase.

On the question of whether or not there will be an increase, I can assure the hon. member it is something which is constantly under review and of continuing concern to me.

Mr. Speaker: The time for oral questions has expired.


Mr. Reid: On a point of order, before the orders of the day, Mr. Speaker.

Before I put my point of order, I would like to draw to your attention that an old friend and colleague of ours is in the gallery, the Hon. Donald Irvine. It is nice to see him back. We haven’t forgotten you, Don.

Mr. Speaker: Along with the former member for Simcoe Centre.


Mr. Reid: You are better at looking into dark corners than I am, Mr. Speaker.

My point of order relates to the question I put to the Minister of Education on December 6 concerning an article that had appeared in the Globe and Mail. In the minister’s answer he referred to the Interface study and indicated to the House that the Interface study minimized the difference in marking standards in the various schools across the province. I would like to quote from the Interface study to indicate that what the minister told us was not what the Interface study said and that, inadvertently perhaps, the minister misled the House.

In that regard I quote from page 74:

“On the other hand, the degree to which secondary schools vary in the marks they award for comparable performance is substantial enough to affect whether or not a student is accepted into a post-secondary institution, if that institution admits students on a competitive basis and does not control for marking standard variation when considering candidates from a variety of schools.”

As well, on page 25 -- and I won’t quote the whole part -- the Interface study also suggests that there is a very serious question about the marking standards: “Nevertheless post-secondary educators, like those secondary school teachers who indicate the desire for external evaluation to determine the student proficiency in compulsory subjects, most often select an external method in combination with an evaluation by teachers,” underlining the fact they feel that there is some problem with the marking standards in the schools.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I don’t know what point my friend arose on, but I think if he reads my --

Mr. Speaker: He called it a point of order. It escaped me.

Hon. Mr. Wells: It escaped me also, because I think that he’s trying to justify one position. I think if he reads my statement, what I said in fact summarized briefly what the Interface said about grade 13 marks. You really have to read several chapters and paragraphs to get the whole thought of the feeling. You can’t pull out little sentences.

Mr. Foulds: You have to read all four parts of the report.


Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Rainy River has accused the minister of misleading the House. There is a difference of opinion here, quite obviously, but I wish you would withdraw that.

Mr. Reid: I would be glad to. I meant in my earlier remarks that he had done so inadvertently, but I will withdraw the remark and say that perhaps out of misunderstanding and ignorance we had a difference of opinion.



Mr. G. E. Smith: I would like to table a petition signed by approximately 633 provincial civil servants in my area calling for the adoption of a full employment program.


Ms. Gigantes: I am sending a petition with 11,232 signatures to the Minister of Education. It is a petition sponsored by the Ontario Association for Children with Learning Disabilities in favour of mandatory special education in Ontario.

Hon. Mr. Wells: On a point of order -- I don’t know whether this is a legitimate point of order -- I would like the House to record that this petition has already been presented and was received by myself on behalf of the Premier (Mr. Davis) two days ago.



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

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

Bill Pr11, An Act respecting the City of Windsor.

Bill Pr27, An Act respecting the City of Windsor.


Mr. Havrot from the standing resources development committee reported the following resolution:

Resolved that supply in the following amounts and to defray the expenses of the Ministry of the Environment be granted to Her Majesty for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1978:

Ministry of the Environment

Ministry administration program … $ 6,477,000

Environmental assessment and planning program .............................. 16,044,000

Environmental control program … 236,799,000

Resource recovery program ….....8,108,000

Resolved that supply in the following supplementary amount and to defray the expenses of the Ministry of the Environment be granted to Her Majesty for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1978:

Ministry of the Environment

Environmental assessment and planning program ..........................$1,670,000


In the absence of Mr. Villeneuve, Mr. Elgie from the standing social development committee reported the following resolutions:

Resolved that supply in the following amounts and to defray the expenses of the Ministry of Culture and Recreation be granted to Her Majesty for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1978:

Ministry of Culture and Recreation

Ministry administration program … $ 5,048,000

Heritage conservation program ...15,833,000

Arts support program .................28,035,000

Multicultural support and citizenship program .............................6,327,000

Libraries and community information program ..............................39,682,000

Sports and fitness program..........11,785,000

Ministry capital support program… 23,278,000

Wintario program................ 36,000,000

Resolved, that supply in the following supplementary amount and to defray the expenses of the Ministry of Culture and Recreation be granted to Her Majesty for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1978:

Ministry of Culture and Recreation

Wintario program............... $29,000,000



Hon. Mr. Welch moved that the estimates of the Ministry of Northern Affairs be withdrawn from the standing resources development committee and referred to the standing social development committee.

Motion agreed to.



Hon. Mr. McKeough moved first reading of Bill 120 An Act to amend the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto Act.

Motion agreed to.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, as a result of discussions between the Metropolitan Toronto Zoological Society and the municipality of Metropolitan Toronto, the government has been requested to amend the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto Act concerning the management of the Metropolitan Toronto Zoo. The amendment I am now introducing is intended to give legislative authority to the new arrangements that have been worked out between the zoological society and the Metropolitan council.


Mr. Williams moved first reading of Bill 121, An Act respecting Family Day.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Conway: Motherhood and apple pie.

Mr. Williams: Mr. Speaker, the purpose of this bill is to provide for a public holiday known as Family Day.

Mr. Foulds: I thought that was Sunday.

Mr. Williams: Family Day is established as a day to celebrate the institution of the family and will be held on a day to be named by the Lieutenant Governor.

Mr. Kerrio: Simcoe Day.


Mr. Hennessy moved first reading of Bill Pr36, An Act respecting the City of Thunder Bay.

Motion agreed to.


Mr. McCaffrey moved first reading of Bill Pr38, An Act respecting the Borough of Scarborough.

Motion agreed to.


Mr. Mackenzie moved first reading of Bill Pr37, An Act respecting Loubill Hobbies and Sports Limited.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, before the orders of the day, I wish to table the answers to questions 46, 49 and 51; and the interim answer to question 52 standing on the notice paper.




Ms. Gigantes moved second reading of Bill 109, An Act respecting Special Education Programs.

Ms. Gigantes: I rise in support of Bill 109, An Act respecting Special Education Programs. Simply put, the purpose of the bill is to require the school boards of Ontario to provide adequate educational services for all children of Ontario. The bill speaks specifically of those children who are not now receiving adequate educational services: the child who is chronically physically disabled; who is deaf, blind, autistic or mentally handicapped; who suffers from a learning disability; or is exceptionally gifted.

Mr. Speaker, every member in this House knows some of these children. Every member in this House has come across heart-rending cases of children who are having learning difficulties for any one of a multitude of reasons and who have not had access to the kinds of special education help they need. Every member of this House has experienced a sense of shame that such children have been ignored all too frequently in our education system, that they have been frustrated and traumatized by their experience, and that their families have been forced to a bitter choice between angry confrontation with the education system or a sense of resigned guilt.

The time has come for us to end this miserable pattern. This is 1977 and we in this province are ready to accept that children do not fall into only two categories, normal and abnormal. We recognize children are individuals and that the education system must reflect our determination that little individuals get the kind of learning help they need from that system.

I have a close friend who adopted a child a few years back. Mark was a bright, attractive baby and the darling of his parents’ eyes, but by the time he was a year and a half old it was becoming clear that he was having more difficulty than most children of that age in responding to his parents’ communications. His speech was not keen in forming particular words.

After much testing his parents were finally told that Mark has a severe hearing problem. The whole family swung into action, taking courses and informing themselves about all that medical science can offer the hearing handicapped. Mark and his mother enrolled in special private training sessions and Mark was equipped with the best kind of modern hearing aid machinery.

After three years of this kind of special help Mark was ready for kindergarten and there the new battle began. The education system was not prepared to allow Mark to enter a regular kindergarten. Mark, it seemed, was allowed to go to school but only to a school for the deaf.

So the battle lines were drawn, and it was an extra, hard battle my friend had to fight. She is an intelligent, well-educated person, and very determined on top of that, so she won. But they have to move now and she will probably have to go through the same fight with a different school board right from the start. Don’t get me wrong. I am not suggesting that school boards are made up of stolid, insensitive people. They are just ordinary, mortal politicians like the rest of us. They hear the expressions of need from the people they represent, they pay attention to those requests and then they look at their budgets.

They haven’t been doing too well on their budgets recently because the province has been shifting back the burden of education costs to municipal pockets as deliberate policy for the last several years. These elected trustees look at their electoral mandate and they look at their local mill rate. They make the hard decision that the minority of children who are suffering neglect in our educational system might tend to be too expensive to service and do not represent the majority of children in this system, which is run by majority ballot.

But let me say, through you Mr. Speaker to the Minister of Education (Mr. Wells), that I supported his Essex county bill on the same grounds that I fight for this one. In the case of the Essex county bill, to create a French-language high school, I supported the Minister of Education, reluctant though I was because of the failure of this government to enunciate the Conservative principles of individual and community rights, which he had to be forced to support. I supported the Essex county bill because I believed that a civilized majority must support minority rights. I am fighting for this legislation because I believe the true test of a majority democratic society is the way it treats the minority groups within it.


The minority of whom I speak today is a group composed of children who have had to grow up in a regularized society. Has there ever been a more difficult time for children to grow up? It has not been the socialists who have created the hostile climate for children to struggle to find their feet. It is the private planning of the private parties of the private enterprise system that have created this environment for our children -- these children of ours who hardly have an inch of green grass to see, or hardly are allowed a moment of exuberant yelling in their young, constricted lives. I speak for these children.

I appeal to this Legislature. Let us, as they used to say “stand up as a man” and say that the education system shall do better. I quote from an ancient document, the CELDIC report of 1969, an ancient document sponsored by the Canadian Association for the Mentally Retarded, the Canadian Council on Children and Youth, the Canadian Education Association, the Canadian Mental Health Association, the Canadian Rehabilitation Council for the Disabled and the Canadian Welfare Council. The year is 1969. I quote from their report entitled One Million Children.

It recommended that: “Curricula contain programs designed to meet the needs of children with emotional and learning disorders… recommended that, because of the negative effects of separate special education facilities, educational authorities minimize the isolation of children with emotional and learning disorders.”

I read that to mean all children who are experiencing difficulty learning in our educational system.

It goes on to recommend: “That the educational authorities should plan programs for them; that, as far as possible, they retain children within the regular school curricula and activities.”

It is my deep belief, borne out and reinforced by open conversation with concerned adults, parents, specialists and teachers, that we could choose to prevent many of these childhood learning problems if we were ready to cut the size of the classes in the education system, particularly in the primary grades.

In that ancient document of 1969, the CELDIC report, many an august organization supported the recommendation that “in the early grades of school, the maximum classroom enrolment be 20 children.”

When I went to grade one 29 years ago, there were 30 kids in the class. I counted the familiar faces in a class picture not long ago. Most of those 30 did not get their junior matric. In fact, most of them had dropped out by grade eight. It is now 29 years later and there are still 30 kids in every grade one class, but we are paying for remedial English at university and in high school. We are also paying for community and social services to fund the active, articulate parents who send their kids to high-priced residential schools for the learning disabled in the United States.

When are we going to wise up? I would like one person in the Legislature to stand up and say he can teach 30 children how to read in grade one. Anyone who has ever been in a primary classroom will admit it is an impossible task.

I don’t want province-wide testing in grade three. I want primary classrooms with one teacher and 10 children. Let’s talk about that and then let’s talk about the costs of special education. Until we get to that stage, I don’t think we should discuss costs. There are children in need of decent access to educational services in this province, thousands of children. In a private member’s bill, where I am not permitted to discuss the allocation of provincial government funds, I can think of no better way to force the issue of the needs of thousands of our children and the families who support and love them, than to ask this Legislature to approve the indirect application of political pressure on the government that is represented in this bill. I trust in the wisdom of the individual members, Mr. Speaker. Thank you.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Does the hon. member wish to reserve any time?

Ms. Gigantes: Mr. Chairman, I think that we will have three speakers. I will not speak again.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Thank you. The member for York East.

Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, members of the House, I am pleased to rise and speak to this bill today. I must, at the outset, indicate that my comments will relate primarily to the principle involved and not the content, since as I am sure the author appreciates, the bill as written is inadequate in some areas. Particularly with regard to the proposed method of funding, it is even quite inappropriate and unacceptable.

In a general way I feel that this Legislature --

Mr. Foulds: There is no reference to funding. Funding comes into his estimates.

Mr. Elgie: The children’s hour comes later.

In a general way I feel that this Legislature, the school board’s and the people of this province can look with pride at the achievements in special education that have already been accomplished over the years. There are special programs for the deaf and the blind, including those who are emotionally disturbed; special programs for the retarded, with recent emphasis on the transfer of these programs to the regular school system; special programs for the physically and emotionally disabled, both at the provincial and the school board level; and with regard to the learning disabled, whom we are really discussing today, and the gifted children, many or most boards already provide programs for them.

The main element lacking in order to make the system uniform and accountable is the mandatory aspect.

Mr. Mackenzie: Why don’t you throw in our triple A rating?

Mr. Elgie: Indeed, as I understand it, some 12.5 per cent of the total school population in this province is in some sort of special education program. When one realizes that in the United States the widely acclaimed Bill 94142 sets a ceiling of 12 per cent of the number of children to receive funding under that legislation, then one can’t help but look with some degree of satisfaction at the strides made in this province up to this point in time.

But like the member for Carleton East (Ms. Gigantes), and indeed most of the members in this House, I’m concerned today with discussing the principle of the bill, a discussion dealing with appropriate educational services for the handicapped, including gifted children. I propose to discuss this principle, setting aside concerns that any of us may have regarding constraints or the availability of public resources at this time. In other words, it will be a discussion based upon the philosophy that man’s reach must exceed his grasp or what’s a heaven for.

I must at this time as well express my own sincere appreciation to the many groups and organizations representing the interests of the handicapped who have contributed so much to the political process by bringing these problems, in a very honest and forceful way, to our attention. How fortunate they and we are to live in a democratic system which allows this free interchange and exchange of views, and which on the whole eventually seems to lead to correct solutions.

I agree that mandatory legislation should exist in this province to assure the availability of appropriate public education for all handicapped children of compulsory school age. I even look forward to the time when early screening techniques may allow us to detect these problems among pre-schoolers and thus alleviate the pupil, parent and teacher frustrations that seem to flow from situations where the educational process is not appropriate in view of the child’s handicap.

I would, however, point out that such legislation must allow for adequate lead-time into the program so that appropriate diagnostic facilities and personnel may be made ready; so the teacher training program may be upgraded, if that’s necessary in all areas; and so, indeed, that the whole school system, where it had not already done so, may be geared up to and excited about the whole concept.

I look upon education as a continuous process whereby individuals learn to cope and function within their environment, regardless of that environment. Under this definition, as proposed by the Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Children and accented by the courts in Pennsylvania, all children have the capacity to learn something, be it ever so little or amazingly much. The role of special education is to provide specifically-designed instruction programs and support services to meet the unique needs of handicapped children. Let’s also clearly understand that not all children who have a disability require special education. Many are able to, and indeed should, attend school without any program modification. Many children simply require support services that give them access to existing school programs.

Mr. Foulds: It is called special education.

Mr. Elgie: For example, the orthopaedically handicapped rarely require a special education program but simply a special means for getting into that classroom. Indeed, a paraplegic patient of mine, with assistance, was able to complete law school. All he needed was help to get to the class- room and a dictating machine with which to record the notes and write his exams.

There are, however, a great number of children who do require special education and related support service. As I mentioned before, an incredible number of children are already receiving this kind of program and this kind of support.

Before such ambitious legislation can be realistically implemented, the rights of the child to what I will call a non-discriminatory evaluation of his or her handicap must be ensured. By this I mean testing and evaluation by more than one measure that is appropriate to the child’s linguistic, cultural, physical and emotional circumstance, administered by qualified personnel.

Also, we must assure the right of handicapped children to this appropriate education. In the United States, for instance, public law 94142 requires that each child be provided with a written, individualized education program to ensure delivery of the specially-designed instruction referred to in the definition of special education.

Special education is special, it involves instruction which is specially designed and directed to meet the unique needs of that particular child. Thus, for many children, special education will not be the totality of their education, simply a part of it, and that special part must proceed from the basic, expected outcomes of general education.

It does not promise to work miracles or to enable all children to learn at the same rate, or to attain the same level of learning. It does not promise an equal outcome for all children within the educational process. Special education should, however, safeguard the quality and the appropriateness of the education; but it does not guarantee equal final levels of achievement for all children.

In essence, then, the great value of an individualized educational program is that it is addressed to the educational needs of a single child rather than to a group of children. Just as the treatment program for a child with a fever varies from person to person, so the educational program for a handicapped child must vary from child to child. If this concept of an individualized education program is to be accepted, legislation must ensure that the parents are involved in this process along with representatives of the local school boards.

The final step in the whole process, of course, is accountability. To ensure accountability, it is necessary that the parents understand and agree to the individualized program, that the child’s progress in the program be reviewed and evaluated at least annually, and that the individual program be revised, if necessary each year, by the same due process; again involving the parents. The aim is to ensure continuing appropriateness for the child given his or her current stage of educability.

I am concerned that this bill, as presented to this House, does not assure appropriate education to all handicapped children, because it does not insist on this non-discriminatory evaluation, on individualized educational programs, on accountability for delivery of special education and related support services. Nor does it insist on some process of revision or the safeguard of more than one appropriate measure being mandatory before a child can be labelled handicapped.

Section 4 of this bill needs much more discussion. The process through which it is determined that a child’s appropriate education can only be provided in an educational institution not under board jurisdiction -- in other words in a private school at public expense -- is not clearly spelled out. Surely placement in such programs at public expense should not occur simply as a parental option. It should occur when it has been determined, either through public school recommendation or as a result of some other due process that such a setting is required. In addition, section 4 makes no reference to the question of accountability, evaluation and monitoring of private institutions which are not under board jurisdiction. Surely these institutions, if they are to receive public funds, must be accountable.

Finally, I want to comment briefly on what I consider to be the inappropriateness of Bill 109 as a private member’s bill. As the member for Carleton East well knows, section 86 of the standing orders of the Legislative Assembly states that no bills shall require that the government impose a tax or direct allocation of public funds unless it’s introduced by a minister. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Van Horne: It’s a pleasure for me to stand in support of this bill, and I would urge all members of the House to do so. In spite of the technicality raised by the member for York East (Mr. Elgie), I would suggest, as he did at the very beginning, that indeed it is a matter of principle we are discussing.


Mr. Conway: Tell it like it is, Ron.

Mr. Kerrio: Common sense will prevail.

Mr. Van Horne: I would like to congratulate the member for Carleton East for having the courage to do this. I realize at the same time that I should be giving some kind of commendation to my friend and colleague the member for York Centre (Mr. Stong) who is also concerned through his private member’s bill about the needs of children for special education.

Before going over the bill item by item, which I would like to do, I would like to make a few observations about special education in our province. One cannot help but be saddened by the very fact that we are here today, we members of both opposition parties, still trying to push for what we think is the right of every child in our province, and that is the right to an education; an education to accommodate her or his own special needs. I do agree with what the member for York East said about the availability of many programs now. He mentioned some examples -- the School for the Blind and the Robarts School -- for those with little or no hearing. But I would suggest to him, too, that in spite of this there are still many young people in our province whose needs are not being met.

One would have thought, had there been any feeling, empathy, sympathy -- whatever you wish to call it -- on the part of the ministry, that after the Ontario Supreme Court case in the spring of 1975 regarding the Brewin application to the Ministry of Social and Community Services, the Ministry of Education would have reacted to the obvious public sympathy, if not to the needs of the specific family itself; and that it would have reacted in such a way that the Education Act would be changed. Unfortunately, this has not been done.

There is further evidence of what I would like to call a lack of concern. If one looks at this document, Education in the Primary and Junior Divisions and its supplementary smaller document, referring to the programs for children in our primary and junior divisions one might find some very small references to special needs -- witness pages 11 and 12 as an example. But really, not a very significant comment is made in support of the needs of those children we call “special” within our system.

It goes without saying that we all know that section 147, subsection 1(40) is the issue; this is permissive legislation. It now says, “a board may.” Surely the minister should by now have changed that one very operative word in the whole consideration. That word “may” should have been changed to “shall.” “How many times do statements like this have to be made?” -- and I am reading now from the communiqué of the Ontario Association for Children with Learning Disabilities. “How many times do statements like this have to be made” -- this is from the No. 4, June, 1977 issue -- “until school boards are compelled by legislation to provide special education appropriate to a student’s needs and to utilize funds allocated for special education for this purpose alone, statements such as the following have no teeth, and the cause of the learning disabled child in Ontario has not been furthered.” Then it goes on with those statements with which I will not take members’ time at this point.

Again, the issue is that groups and individuals have said time and time again that a change should have been made. It hasn’t, and that is why we are here now.

I would hope that the minister doesn’t excuse his lack of action by suggesting that this is a matter for local autonomy. If in some cases local autonomy is not willing to provide special education for those who need it, then they must be told to do so. The rights and privileges of these children must be protected and must be provided for.

At the same time I say that, I do realize and recognize the efforts of many very dedicated and well qualified teachers. The concern that they have shown in working with children with special education needs cannot go unnoticed at this time; but by the very same token, I am suggesting to you, Mr. Speaker, that there are some jurisdictions that are not acknowledging the needs of the special children within their systems.

I would like now to spend just a moment looking at the main sections of this bill. Section 1 is the interpretive section. I don’t think too much comment should be made there, except that perhaps if we are lucky enough to get this in committee and recommend some amendments, I would suggest here a full definition of “special education,” along with the definition or interpretation of “board.”

In section 2 the operative word is “shall.” I would suggest that the subsections require a little bit of work. I would suggest to you that a lot of effort and time are needed to clear up what is not being done for gifted children. One doesn’t have to look too far through the various curriculum guidelines. I have a few examples going back to 1962, 1969 and right up to 1977, picked at random. You won’t find in any of these curriculum guidelines what I consider to be any accommodation for the gifted child.

Curriculum guidelines, it seems, are designed for the average. Beyond that it’s up to the individual teacher to provide for the needs of the gifted child in whatever way possible. Again, it’s true that there are a few boards that do have some limited program for gifted children, but there are precious few of them and many of our gifted children go unassisted. I would suggest, then, in that particular section, that we build a little bit on the further definition, not only for the gifted child but the curriculum needs. In section 2(c), “to establish and administer tests” suggests to me that boards would go willy-nilly on their own designing tests, and I’m not sure that that is the intent of the author of this bill. I would suggest that a little rewording is needed there.

In section 3 I’m not sure that it was intended, but there is the fairly lengthy and complete list, of the various atypical children if you will. I would suggest that the shopping list of the old Shoprite or Simpsons catalogue approach is not really appealing to me. I would like to see a whole section defining the various exceptionalities rather than having them just listed as they are there.

Further, in section 4 I think the hon. member for York East has pointed out a few concerns that I think are legitimate concerns and I will not dwell on those.

Section 5 I would agree with. I would suggest that there is need, however, to make some kind of provision for the youngster who is adjusting when he is reintegrated, and that there be some interim provision made. Beyond that we should include in that section some reference to the reviewing of and reporting to parents -- the reviewing of progress and the reporting of it to parents -- at least in the first year of reintegration.

In conclusion, and I guess I say that, in deference again to the member for York East, it just amazes me that the large number --

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

Mr. Van Horne: One final word, then: With the number of concerned parents and people who have felt short-changed over the years -- if they were all to have marched on this place rather than having lobbied and used their common sense I’m sure we would have had something like an aerial view of downtown China out here -- but the people who have worked, like the ACLD and others mentioned through the CELDIC report reference, should be congratulated for their lobbying and I hope we can all agree that this bill deserves passing.

Mr. Foulds: I rise in enthusiastic support of this bill. I am delighted that my colleague, the member for Carleton East and the present education critic for the New Democratic Party, has seen fit to bring this bill to debate on second reading. Although this is a private member’s bill, I think I can say without hesitation it embodies a principle my party wholeheartedly endorses. The fact that I as education critic introduced a similar bill several years ago and that our leader hopes to wind up the debate for us, indicate our commitment to the principles embodied in this legislation. I would say we are not alone, because the member for York Centre has introduced a similar bill that would achieve the same results. The opposition seems united on this question.

Mr. Conway: As always.

Mr. Foulds: In fact, if the Conservative government stall, delays, defeats or kills this bill at this time, we on this side of the House will introduce a similar bill again and again and again until it becomes a reality.

The principle and the commitment are clear. The bill seeks to make education a right, now a privilege. It is that simple and that important. The bill seeks to ensure that every child in our society, no matter what his or her capability, does receive the education he or she is entitled to.

It is one of the great ironies and great tragedies of our present educational system that the Education Act requires parents to send children of compulsory school age to school, but it does not require the educational system to provide those children with an adequate education. In fact, many can be and are excluded from the educational system at the present time. What is sometimes even worse, the present educational system by its present methodology often compounds and makes more serious a difficulty that a child in the system may have. This bill is not aimed at any special interest group, although naturally many individuals, many parents and groups are especially active and concerned about those with learning disabilities; many children will benefit from the bill.

The minister may very well say that the bill is not the answer. I freely admit that alone it is not. But if the Legislature passes this bill, the government then has the duty to implement it properly. It has the duty to train teachers and other personnel to carry out properly the programs and the proposals this bill makes. And if they fail to do that, then I admit this bill will fail.

Even more important, there must be a commitment that we not establish special education ghettoes in our educational system. It is important to make special education, whether for those who have difficulties or those who are gifted, a natural and regular part of our regular school system. The options must be available within our regular school system.

That means three things. The ministry, working co-operatively with boards must dramatically reduce class size in the early years of the regular educational system so that the proper identification of children and their learning difficulties or their learning gifts takes place, the proper testing takes place and the proper program is designed for these children. It is often said, there are no learning disabilities, there are only teaching disabilities; and that has a certain amount of truth.

Two, it means for those special cases where intense residential tutoring is necessary we must devise a new, more humane system of a limited number of provincial schools, hopefully on a regional basis, to provide that particular kind of education; particularly for those children, say over 12, who often do need that special kind of tutoring. But by and large, we should try to establish a facility in the boards, in the homes and in the places where the child can have reinforcement from his family during his educational experience.

Three, those boards that cannot individually offer special education programs need to be encouraged by the ministry to establish joint ventures, if you like, with other school boards nearby. Thus, in the regulations arising naturally from this bill, they would have been deemed to have provided and “established, special education programs” under section 2 of the bill.


May I say to those who have quarreled with the definitions and the wording in this bill, that can be remedied very quickly in committee; fundamentally, those things can be defined in regulations arising out of the bill.

We have all, I am sure, had examples of children who in fact have been maimed by our standardized educational system. I won’t go into specific details about cases today because time does not permit. But many of my colleagues, the member for Etobicoke (Mr. Philip), the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere (Mr. Warner), the member for Sudbury East (Mr. Martel), the member for Carleton East (Ms. Gigantes), the member for Scarborough West (Mr. Lewis), have all had such cases and fought that issue.

The member for Etobicoke can’t be here for the debate today because he is chairing the justice committee, but he circulated on behalf of the United Church Women a brief that outlines this issue. All of these people, and many other members of this Legislature, have fought cases before the review board of the vocational rehabilitation branch of the Ministry of Community and Social Services. Primarily those cases have been with regard to children with learning disabilities. But they, with the families, have had to fight tooth and nail so that adequate education, only available in private and often foreign institutions outside of Ontario and the country, would be made available to those children as a natural right.

It should not be happening that way. We should be providing that education for these children right here in Ontario; and from the beginning of their educational lives not after 10 years of damage has been done. If this were done, in this way, it would save enormous frustration and anguish on the parts of the parents, teachers, students, and the children involved. It would enable the children to be productive members of our society, and in the long run could save the enormous toll taken on many who are now neglected because of the totally in- adequate patchwork of programs provided by the Ministry of Community and Social Services, the Ministry of Correctional Services and the Ministry of Education.

If this bill is passed, it would in future avoid the buck passing that takes place at present between the ministries. Human beings, human curiosity, human creativity, human productivity is at stake. If education is about anything, it is about liberating the minds, the hearts and the spirits of human beings, so those human beings can then use that, not only for their own benefit but for the benefit of their fellow man. This bill would help to do that with an enormous number of children who are not given the liberation of an education.

I plead with all members of this House to support the bill. I plead with this House to make education in Ontario, finally and irrevocably, universally accessible. I plead with the government and the cabinet, not only to allow this bill to pass, but to adopt the spirit of its provisions and implement the programs it envisages. I plead for this bill to be called for third reading by the government House leader before Christmas and I plead for the bill to get royal assent in time for the coming school year. If this government fails this, it will have failed the children of Ontario. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, Bill 109 creates a real dilemma for me. On the one hand I find it difficult to oppose the principles and general objectives of the measure, because I have been actively engaged in promoting special education programs here in Ontario and elsewhere in Canada for more than a decade. I believe that of all the social problems encountered by parents and their children in modern society, none leads to more frustration, more anger and more sorrow than the cases of children afflicted by emotional and learning disabilities.

It was this recognition that led six of us, executive directors of national voluntary agencies in 1966, to band together and sponsor the Commission on Emotional and Learning Disorders in Children. That three-year study and subsequent report produced by the commission which has since become known as the CELDIC report, has, I believe, been something of a landmark in generating public interest and the development of special education programs across this nation, notwithstanding the remarks made by the hon. member for Carleton East.

I believe, Mr. Speaker, it is also relevant to note at this time, the vital role played by someone else in making that report possible. The published report acknowledges that person’s help in the following sentence: “It was only with the endorsement of the study by the Hon William Davis when he was chairman of the Council of Ministers of Education in Canada -- “

Mr. McClellan: Tell us how you are going to vote?

Mr. Baetz: “ -- that led to contributions from the departments of education in the provinces that financial support was assured.”

In the seven or eight years since the publication of the CELDIC report, I believe progress has been made in special education programs in this province as elsewhere.

It is at times like this, as we look ahead and as we look to the mountain peaks -- the goals yet to be achieved -- that we also look back and try at least to get some honest, wise perspective as to where we have come and what progress has been made to date.

I am not going to recite the litany, in statistical terms and facts, of programs --

Mr. McClellan: Are you for or against it?

Mr. Baetz: -- of the progress made here, although I could do so. Some of the facts have already been presented by my colleague to my left.

Certainly in terms of dollars there has been a trend toward ever more money being spent on special education, as I believe it should have been.

For the elementary level, the amount recognized and paid out through special education weighting factors was $15 million in 1974. In 1977 it will be $51.7 million. For the secondary panel, the 1975 figure was $700,000 compared to the 1970 figure of

$6.5 million. I suggest some progress is being made; but money, essential as it is in the expansion of special education --

Mr. Van Horne: Not very much in the secondary schools.

Mr. Baetz: -- obviously is not, and cannot be, the only ingredient. There are at least three other essential requirements.

These are: One, a cadre of specially trained personnel; two, research and planning; and three, sufficient degree of public understanding and support to be willing to pay the bill, because good special education increases initial public expenditures, even if in the long term social and economic benefits more than compensate for the initial outlay.

Teachers have to be trained, and teachers of teachers have to be trained. All of that takes time. We are making some progress.

Mr. McClellan: How many decades?

Ms. Gigantes: Why don’t you start?

Mr. Baetz: In 1975, well over 1,500 teachers enrolled in special courses in special education to qualify for additional professional certificates.

Mr. Van Horne: Because they didn’t get it in their basic training and the ministry hasn’t done a thing about it.

Mr. Baetz: Also in recent summers, some 30 per cent of all teachers enrolled in all the courses were taking special education programs. Progress is being made.

Only through careful planning and research will we be able to clearly determine the precise direction and priorities which should guide our special education programs for the future. That also takes time and patience. Those of us active in this field are only too aware --

Mr. McClellan: What a sellout you are, Reuben.

Mr. Baetz: -- of the disasters, in both financial and human terms, which have occurred where one or another form of intervention was given either too little or too high a priority. Fads and quick solutions are rampant in this field and must be treated cautiously.

Mr. Stung: It is a question of priorities.

Mr. Kerrio: Too little, too late.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr. McClellan: You should be ashamed of this, Baetz.

Mr. Baetz: There is probably substantial consensus that the majority of young people requiring special education can be helped in one or more of three different ways. As we have heard, one is through the help of a resource teacher; another is through attendance in the special class for a number of years before returning to a regular classroom. The third is, through alternative schools for a minority who cannot be helped otherwise.

Mr. Kerrio: Another senseless bill.

Mr. Baetz: But to translate these general priorities into precise programs in communities across Ontario simply takes time and careful planning. It takes money, trained personnel, research and planning, and an understanding general public.

Mr. McClellan: And a new government.

Mr. Baetz: These are the four essential factors required in moving ahead in our special education program.

It is the recognition of the complexity and the multi-faceted nature of the programs which creates --

Mr. McClellan: Oh, come on, this is disgraceful.

Mr. Kerrio: Are you ever trying to justify your position.

Mr. Baetz: -- my dilemma about Bill 109.

I can support it in its general objectives, in principle, and today I will support it in principle. I cannot and I will not support some of its major features if and when the bill should receive further consideration by this Legislature.

Many of the specific weaknesses have already been ably pointed out by my hon. colleague from York East and by the hon. member for London South (Mr. Walker).

Ms. Gigantes: Support it.

Mr. McClellan: I withdraw all my nasty remarks.

Mr. Baetz: I believe these weaknesses are merely symptoms, merely manifestations of the more fundamental and fatal flaw in this bill, that is simply that this bill tries, through a private member’s bill, to introduce a major expansion in a government program and a change in some policies, with attendant financial implications. A private member’s bill is not meant to do that. That is the fundamental flaw in this piece of legislation.

Ms. Gigantes: Is the member going to vote for it or not?

Mr. McClellan: The flaw is the government.

Mr. Baetz: It is inappropriate to include money matters in a private member’s bill, as I’m sure the sponsor fully recognizes. The financial implications and recommendations for the provincial government are side-stepped in this legislation.

Mr. Foulds: Get the Minister of Education (Mr. Wells) to bring in his bill on Monday and we’ll pass it on Tuesday.

Mr. Baetz: This is done presumably by foisting another $25 million to $35 million on local school boards and taxpayers, which these new policies would likely cost. We sidestep that issue.

Mr. Foulds: How does the member arrive at that figure? Prove it.

Mr. Baetz: In fact, with heavy school taxes, such a move could only be regarded as unrealistic and even ludicrous.

Mr. Warner: Nonsense.

Mr. Mackenzie: The member is an Ottawa redneck.

Mr. Baetz: There could hardly be a better way to destroy public support for special education than the imposition of such a tax by ordering school boards at this time to pay another $25 million to $30 million for special education.

Mr. McClellan: The social worker with a hard hat.

Mr. Mackenzie: Now I know why the member’s staff were so glad to get rid of him.

Mr. Baetz: The threadbare wording throughout this legislation, which gives too much and too little all at the same time, shows a lack of the required research and planning. It cannot be expected that a private member’s bill can have the adequate research and planning to go with it.

Mr. Van Horne: Don’t talk to us about the lack of research and planning.

Mr. Deans: If the government would give us more staff, we could do it.

Mr. Baetz: In conclusion, therefore, I hope I have demonstrated that not all of the knowledge about the needs for special education, nor all the concern and compassion for the families and young people beset with learning disabilities --

Mr. Warner: Don’t be so silly.

Mr. Baetz: -- nor all the conviction to press on in solving the social problem, rests with members and their parties opposite in this House. I will today support the bill in principle because I believe in its general objectives.

Mr. Foulds: Just vote for it.

Mr. Baetz: At a later date, however, I will oppose many of its features, if that is necessary --

Mr. Mackenzie: Why did the member run? Was he going to get fired?

Mr. Baetz: -- because they are weak, and above all because I’m convinced that special education in this province warrants far greater measures than a private member’s bill.

Mr. Warner: Then do something.

Mr. McClellan: Speak to the Minister of Education then.

Mr. Kerrio: The government has had 35 years to do it.

Mr. Stong: Since 1975, I have introduced three private member’s bills, Bill 23, Bill 192, and presently Bill 66, all of which seek to amend the Education Act -- because that’s the ministry that’s really involved in this area -- each of which guarantees the right to an education to every child, and each of which would make special education mandatory in our system. Because of the luck of the draw, none of my bills came up for debate; and if it weren’t for bad luck I’d conclude I have no luck at all in that regard.

By and large, gifted children are better off in our school system than those who suffer from a learning disability.

Mr. Lewis: Don’t bet on that, believe me.

Mr. Stong: So I would relegate my concerns this afternoon on this vote to the sorely inadequate facilities and the lack of qualified teachers to deal with the problem of children with specific learning disabilities.

The real problem, as I see it, is that although many think they understand what a learning disability is, when questioned ignorance prevails. The Ontario Association for Children with Learning Disabilities defines the learning disabled child as a child who exhibits a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or using spoken or written languages. The incidence varies according to the criteria used to define the disability, but the Canadian Association for Children with Learning Disabilities placed the incidence at approximately 10 per cent to 12 per cent of the total childhood population of Ontario.

If we were to examine the inter-personal relations of the learning disabled child and his educators, perhaps we would discover the learning disabled’s motivation to direct his delinquency tendencies towards society, whose major childhood institutions also reject him, because nowhere in life will his deficiencies be more manifest than in our school system.


In the materialistic society in which we live, one of the highly valued traits of that society which is stressed is the concept that academic achievement is the key to success. Therefore, the role in which we cast our young is that of a serious student striving for academic excellence. From age five onward, the school becomes the major arena of the child’s socialization process. It is here that the under-achiever is stigmatized, often to the extent that his entire life may become permanently warped by his feelings of inferiority.

Instead of developing a healthy attitude of, “I am one who succeeds,” he develops the defeated notion of, “I am one who fails.” The child who is ultimately defeated in his attempts at academic mastery, who drops out of school at the age of 16 possibly with no more than an elementary school education, is almost certain to be denied many of the rewards that society bestows on its better educated members. Furthermore, our advances in the technological society are simply not structured to assimilate many members who do not learn well; but this is the unfortunate plight of the learning disabled child.

Education can give the student a sense of emotional satisfaction in the achievement of skills. It can arouse socially acceptable ambitions. It can put him into contact with persons with whom he can identify and strive to emulate. On the other hand, it can leave scars on the psyche of the growing child which may well be related to the development of anti-social attitudes and to ultimate defiance of all authority.

The frustration that accompanies the learning disabled who is of normal intelligence as opposed to the apparent contentment of those with more generalized, low intelligence, is undoubtedly the factor which triggers aggressive behaviour.

Usually and not uncommonly, learning disabilities are associated with emotional disturbances, but that is not a medical fact. Learning disabilities are not emotional but are actual physical disorders affecting one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or using spoken or written languages.

As former critic for my party of correctional institutions and as present critic of the Solicitor General, and drawing on my professional experience, I have become more and more impressed by the correlation of the learning disability and criminal delinquency. Kiwanis International, which has undertaken to sponsor learning disabled programs internationally, has compiled a publication called The Younger Years. This publication is to be used as a directive to participating clubs. The publication relies on separate studies in three American states which indicate that 80 to 90 per cent of juvenile delinquents committed to correctional institutions have clinically proven learning disabilities.

The New York Times ran a series of articles on what is termed dyslexia. That is a term more or less equivalent to MBD or LD. One of these dealt with delinquency, and the following is a quotation:

“Some of the most disturbing statistics about dyslexia were officially reported to the United States Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare in 1970 by a special national advisory committee of 21 experts. The group found a shocking correlation between dyslexia and juvenile delinquency. An estimated 75 per cent of the nation’s delinquents are reading retarded by at least two years.

“The study went on to review figures on all of the convicted criminals incarcerated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons and found dyslexia four times more common among prisoners than among the general population. The prisoners had a non-verbal mean IQ of 102, but had reached an educational level of only a fraction of a year beyond the seventh grade.”

The article goes on to point out that dyslexia does not inevitably lead to criminal activity but states that without essential treatment, the dyslexic child is trapped in daily failure and may well vent his frustration in anti-social ways. The manifest purpose, I put to you, of our educational institutions is to socialize society’s youth in the customs and manners and knowledge of our culture. Yet even the best-equipped school boards offer only token facilities for the remediation of learning disabilities. Most learning-disabled children are left without help in the normal classroom to sink or to swim; unfortunately many of them sink. As soon as they do they become stigmatized, lose their self-esteem, and the resulting frustration drives them to some form of defiance.

They are intelligent and sensitive to the negativism directed towards them, and they are highly motivated to get even with a society which has failed to understand them from birth. Thus the seeds of criminal behaviour are formed.

The Ministry of Education must immediately introduce comprehensive courses to train teachers to recognize and detect, in the early years of our educational system, the child with a learning disability. The government must immediately introduce more extensive apprenticeship or internship, which must concentrate on placing the most qualified teachers in junior kindergarten, kindergarten and grades one, two and three.

Although experts differ as to whether the learning disabled child ought to be segregated from or integrated into the regular class, the cost of financing a learning-disabled program in our educational system would be best served at this time by a program of integration. It would be a beginning, and a step in the right direction.

The real basis of a program for dealing with most of the learning-disabled children is to be found in teacher training, as opposed to setting up sophisticated and segregated facilities. So I urge the ministry to accept its responsibility; quit passing the buck and act now. Set up the programs required; guarantee a right to an education to every child in Ontario. Three children in every class suffer a specific learning disability. The government should act immediately on this bill. I have no hesitation in supporting the bill that is before us in principle.

Mr. Lewis: I am very delighted to enter this debate in support of my colleague’s bill. Both my colleague from Carleton East and my colleague from Port Arthur (Mr. Foulds) have put to you very strongly the rationale and principle behind this bill. I don’t think it is a matter of dispute among many members of the Legislature.

I appreciate some of the interventions I have heard, publicly and privately, from members of the government. As a matter of fact, the member for York East was kind enough to write me, not very long ago, a thoughtful and feeling letter which showed an appreciable grasp of precisely this kind of problem.

I am making, pointedly and deliberately, a notable exception. What really bothers me, are the kinds of speeches we hear from the member for Ottawa West (Mr. Baetz), which worry me when dealing with legislation of this kind. My colleague from Ottawa West has become the master of ambiguous, circumlocutious equivocation. I’ve never heard anything in this House like it.

If ever there was a person who has taken on artful rationalization and made it a fine point of his career, it is the member for Ottawa West.

I appeal to him to cut it out. With respect, when he retires from politics he should take on a job like executive director of the Canadian Council for Social Development. That namby-pamby miasma would love him. It is something worth thinking about.

Mr. McClellan: He can speak out of all sides of his mouth at once.

Mr. Lewis: What this piece of legislation is meant to do is provide for all the children in this province --

Mr. Baetz: Who’s arguing with it?

Mr. Lewis: -- exactly what they are entitled to as a right. It is as simple as that. It is the simplest principle that could be put. There is no reason in the world for the government to resist and oppose it. The government should embrace it; conscious, as government members, that where these injustices exist they should be dealt with.

There has been some talk in general terms this afternoon. Let me talk to members in very specific terms.

Recently I appeared at the Social Services Review Board with my colleague from Kitchener-Wilmot (Mr. Sweeney), who was kind enough to be there, and I salute him for it, on behalf of a little 14-year-old boy in my own riding named Stephen Cook, who had been refused, as so often happens, by the rehabilitation branch of the Ministry of Community and Social Services. His parents then had to go -- with a lot of advance pain, anguish and frustration, let it be said -- to appear before that board to make an appeal on behalf of that lad.

The member for Kitchener-Wilmot intervened very effectively, and I made some personal intervention myself as the member representing this young man. Lo and behold, Mr. Speaker, no sooner had that been done, or had that case been heard, than a few weeks later the funding was granted. The boy is off in Pine Ridge, Vermont, there being no education available to him in the province of Ontario because he’s a profoundly learning disabled child. Even in a board of education as strong and sophisticated as that of Scarborough, there was still no possibility for that young lad to have an adequate educational environment.

Mr. Stung: Nothing north of Steeles Avenue.

Mr. Lewis: I spoke to his mother yesterday morning. I didn’t call her, she called me out of the blue to tell me that this 14-year-old boy has been made an honour student in Pine Ridge, Vermont; that his entire personality has changed in a matter of months and that this desperate, frantic young adolescent feels a total sense of personal vindication because he’s having a decent educational experience.

Mr. Baetz: That’s progress.

Mr. Lewis: The member thinks that’s a first-rate thing, doesn’t he? Well then, I have a question to ask. Why can’t it be done in the province of Ontario? Why do we have to export our kids to Vermont? Why do we, as members of the Legislature, have to intervene in this fashion to exercise our considerable political clout in order to effectively get some money for these kids?

The next case I have I got by a little --

Mr. Baetz: Why don’t you introduce private member’s bills?

Mr. Lewis: I think I hear the whimpering of the sheepish; is that what’s coming across the floor?

The next case I got came to me via a little program I do on radio. It came from Brant county, from the Odegarde family. They had been in touch with the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk (Mr. Nixon) as well as myself. They were all set to go before the Social Service Review Board. They, too, had to go through the pain, the frustration, the anguish of forever battling with the local board of education to get decent services for their kid, whom they had to send out of province.

Finally, even though the local board of education or the administration, wasn’t so happy about it -- as my colleagues will tell you is frequently the case -- they got to the trustees. The trustees, to their credit, signed a letter which said, “We cannot, in Brant county, give this young lad an education.” The hearing was set at the Social Services Review Board.

It was well known that the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk would be there. I had told the family I’d like to be there myself, and lo and behold -- would you believe it -- before the hearing was held, the Odegarde family heard that funding was coming through by the rehabilitation branch and a hearing would not have to be held. Another child is paid for out of the province of Ontario as a result of forced political intervention.

Then, Mr. Speaker, being terribly personal again -- you’ll forgive me for this -- I had occasion to come into contact with a family from the riding of the Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. W. Newman). On the child’s behalf, the Minister of Agriculture and Food himself intervened by way of letter, as did a number of celebrities from June Callwood on. They’d also spoken to my colleague from York Centre about coming to a hearing on behalf of that young woman named Donna Mae, about whom I once wrote a column. I had indicated I wanted to go as well. A lovely, bright young 18-year-old who was forced out of the province of Ontario to get an education.

The hearing was to be this morning. Two days ago the family heard by phone that the hearing was cancelled. Why? Because the rehabilitation services branch had decided to fund the girl fully and the review wouldn’t be necessary.

Mr. Stong: But what about the ones who don’t get it?


Mr. Lewis: That’s first-rate, that’s excellent, because it’s merited. But I want to understand what kind of a province it is where one has to exercise this kind of political pressure in order to get simple justice for our children. It is wrong, people over there. It is dead wrong and the government should face up to it.

We are asking in this private member’s bill, which is a splendid bill because it covers exceptionality of all kinds, only that the government give to the children what they are entitled to as of right.

Mr. Baetz: But no money.

Mr. Mackenzie: That is all the member ever thinks of.

Mr. Lewis: I want to say to my colleague from Ottawa West, he of the omniscient discursion, if the government has money to buy land in Haldimand-Norfolk, money to buy land in Edwardsburgh, money to waste on Minaki Lodge and money to throw away in North Pickering on a community and an airport that will never be built, it can darn well find the money for kids with learning disabilities in Ontario.

Mr. Gregory: You use Minaki Lodge in whatever subject you are talking about.

Mr. Lewis: What I am putting to you, Mr. Speaker, is don’t talk to us about lack of funds, talk to us about social and human priorities, and then we will listen.

Mr. Mackenzie: It hurts, doesn’t it.

Mr. Lewis: You are very shortly going to tell me that I only have a very short time left. I want to end simply in this way. By and large, the educational system of Ontario is designed for the mass. I am one of those people who doesn’t feel so kindly towards the educational system of Ontario.

Mr. Acting Speaker: You have one minute.

Mr. Lewis: I am not as much a devotee of it as others are, but let us say it does a serviceable job for the mass of children. What it does not do is an equally good job for the children who particularly and especially require intense sensitivity, and a profound and feeling human response. The measure of a good educational system is the way in which it deals with exceptionality.

Our response to those who are most vulnerable is always the measure of the best educational systems. It is the best educational system my colleague from Carleton East is putting before you, Mr. Speaker, in this private member’s bill today. The government should hang its collective head in shame as 20 of its members rise to block it, as I am prepared to predict they will undoubtedly do.

Mr. Kennedy: I have some experience in this area of activity in our educational system. I rise to support the principle of this bill, as do my colleagues and as each speaker did who has participated. There is no doubt the thrust of the bill is sympathetically and understandably received by everyone. The major thing is turning provisional or discretionary legislation into mandatory legislation. That is the thrust of the whole exercise.

I did want to make just a couple of comments on the deficiencies in it. One of the problems I see we face, despite the assertion by the member for York Centre, is the need to have an all-encompassing definition of learning disabilities. My experience is that some are relatively easy to identify, to categorize, to provide for and to develop programs for, while others are most difficult. It requires a discussion with parents, with boards and with the ministry.

Mr. Kerrio: And the desire to want to do it.

Mr. Kennedy: And the desire to want to do it; the member is quite right.

Mr. Kerrio: That is what we need, a desire to do it.

Mr. Kennedy: It is just not so simple that tomorrow morning we start providing for all the persons or the categories that are here.

Mr. B. Newman: The government has had 35 years.

Ms. Gigantes: Let us begin.

Mr. Kennedy: I know, but I don’t think we are that far advanced, from my discussions with people who are sincerely interested and involved in this program.

Mr. Mackenzie: That is the weakest “but” I have ever heard.

Mr. Kennedy: I tell the hon. member there are some areas in some of these categories where there are not just pigeonholes for everyone down the line.

Mr. Cooke: Who is trying to pigeonhole anyone; let us just try to do something.

Mr. Kennedy: I’m telling the members it is simply not in place.


Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please. Would the member ignore the interjections and continue.

Mr. Kennedy: I assert that and that is fact.

Mr. Deans: Why don’t you just pass the bill and we will go to committee and discuss all of that?

Mr. Foulds: Put it into committee today.

Mr. Kennedy: But what I want to say, Mr. Speaker, is the members opposite have been quite critical of this government in the area of special education for those with learning disabilities. I don’t think this is quite fair. I have four sheets that relate some of the progress that has been made in this area. It really started with the retarded, when the late Premier --


Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please; the member has one more minute.

Mr. Kennedy: -- actually the very much alive former Premier, the Hon. John Robarts, when he was Minister of Education, opened the Red Oaks school in Mississauga.

Mr. Lewis: Is that a wish you have?

Mr. Kennedy: No wish, he is very much alive, as you know.

Those with learning disabilities involve some 12.3 per cent of the students in our school system. A great many of those are provided for under the discretionary rules now in place. But I do say, and support the member in this, that I would like to see the government continue this forward progress. I could relate, if I had the time, the chronology of progress in this area.

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

Mr. Foulds: You could do it in the next ten seconds.

Mr. Kennedy: I would like to see it continue, as soon as it is feasibly sound, and enshrine it in legislation --

Mr. Stong: That’s enough.

Mr. Kennedy: -- and I urge haste in expansion of the program.


Mr. Speaker: I beg to inform the House that in the name of Her Majesty the Queen, the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor has been pleased to assent to certain bills in her chambers.

Clerk of the House: The following are the titles of the bills to which Her Honour has assented:

Bill 88, An Act to amend the Corporations Tax Act, 1972.

Bill 94, An Act to amend the Negligence Act.

Bill 111, An Act to provide for Municipal Hydro-Electric Service in the County of Oxford.



Mr. Jones moved private member’s motion 14:

Resolution: That in the opinion of this House, the government should give immediate consideration to legislation which would eliminate increases in property tax assessment for persons who install solar energy systems in their places of residence.

Mr. Jones: Mr. Speaker, as we propose this resolution to the House, and it reads for the immediate consideration to legislation, we do so as we think in terms of what we saw in the recent 1977 budget. We feel this motion of today supplements the initiatives in that budget. On April 20, we made retail sales tax exemptions for solar electrical cells, solar furnaces and solar panels and heat recovery units; today we feel we must add to the momentum created by those initiatives.

In my riding of Mississauga North, a family is living a few blocks from me in a home which derives 60 per cent of its energy needs from the sun. These people are seen, I suppose, as pioneers. I am happy to have them as neighbours.

However, Mr. Speaker, knowledge of the capability of the sun’s rays is not a new phenomenon and any surface exposed to the sun will rise in temperature when it absorbs radiant solar heat. Yet we have concentrated our energies and our energy development in the area of fossil fuels which are increasingly costly, rapidly depleting and are polluting our atmosphere. We know these fossil fuels are by-products of the sun through photosynthetic process, and rather than utilizing these by-products, with the implementation of solar technology we have today we can capture the force that helps create them.

Mr. Speaker, this province continues in both public and private sectors to develop sources of non-renewable energy. I find it illogical that we can continue to exhaust non-renewable resources without giving the greatest inducements and incentives possible to the development of renewable resources.

Therefore, I salute those ministries which are seeking out solar technology, which is effective in practice and in cost, and those who demonstrate the role of this technology. I see the Minister of Energy (Mr. J. A. Taylor) in his seat, and indeed I especially applaud his efforts and the efforts of his ministry as they co-ordinate the many works taking place between the various ministries involved.

The Ministry of Education, for example, is presently involved in the design and installation of a 900 square foot water-preheating solar system at West Humber Collegiate in Etobicoke; the Ministry of Agriculture and Food is designing a practical, economic, and energy-conserving, solar greenhouse suited to Ontario’s climatic and crop conditions; the Ministry of Government Services has issued tenders for the construction of court-houses, with solar boosts to their heating systems, in Scarborough and in Newmarket; the Ministry of Housing has issued tenders for the construction of a 30-unit senior citizen residence in Aylmer that is totally solar heated.

The Ministry of Housing project will complement its contribution to the 100 per cent solar-heated Provident House in King City. The Ministry of Housing is also studying the installation of a low-cost solar collection and modular storage system on existing housing units.

The Ministry of the Environment is investigating the feasibility of solar heating for a sewage treatment plant in Ontario.

These are but a few samples of many projects under way throughout the Ontario government. One of the goals of this work is to develop policies necessary to expedite public acceptance of solar technology in the marketplace.

I believe that the resolution before us today will induce greater demand by the residential consumer for solar equipment by reducing the financial burden carried by people who desire the use of solar equipment. In this, it will stimulate an industry that is in its early stages in Ontario, and it will promote further residential use, since each new purchase would induce and create a practical demonstration of the benefits of solar energy.

The cost involved in installing solar equipment in residences is considerable. To cite some examples of that, according to a Ministry of Energy observation using 1976 equipment and installation cost factors, estimates show that when these costs are applied against the costs of conventional heating systems and their fuels, the payback period is somewhere in the order of 20 to 21 years. However, by 1980, as solar technology advances, this period is expected to reduce considerably and the projections now see something like 15 to 16 years.

This technology will make further advancement. I know this from opportunities I have had to investigate the development of solar technology. The Ontario Youth Secretariat’s Experience ’77 program, in conjunction with the Ministry of the Environment, sponsored a solar investigation project at Algonquin College in Ottawa. The dedicated young people there showed me their efforts toward the development of low-cost solar components that, when perfected, will further reduce the cost recovery period.

However, this is not enough. A group of companies practicing professional consulting reported to the Porter Commission on Electrical Power Planning, that emphasis must be made to stress the extreme importance of government legislation and financial incentives as a major influence on the rate at which heat conservation and solar heating system installation may be expected to take place. The group reported that legislation to ensure that property taxes would not be raised as a result of conservation and solar installation investments is highly important to protect the substantial dollar investments required for such installations.


A 1977 report of the Institute of Policy Analysis of the University of Toronto concluded the following: “Our results demonstrated that the inclusion of solar equipment in the assessed value of a house represents a major deterrent to wide-scale solar implementation in Canada.”

The report went further to state: “In only one comparison case, the packaged or the standardized solar system versus electricity in heating, was the effect of property taxes overcome.”

The study showed that with the inclusion of property taxes in lifetime costs of solar heating systems, solar heating was 48 per cent more expensive than oil heating. With the exemption of property taxes, the inferior position of solar heating was reduced to 21 per cent. Significantly, in that same study, when the solar equipment involved was exempted, solar heating was seen to be approximately 30 per cent cheaper than electrical heating over the life cycle of the system involved.

I know that report dealt with a figure of some six per cent as an expected escalation in those particular energy costs. We see them ranging as high as 11.6 per cent. Without a crystal ball, it is pretty hard for us to predict, but I was trying to be consistent in those comparisons that the report drew.

Electrical heating has been highly promoted in this province and has a significant share of the heating market. If, as we have seen, solar heating is competitively cost-efficient, it should be promoted and receive inducements such as the one we see here before us, because of its comparative benefits. We as legislators, are not alone in the consideration of measures such as we see today. Manitoba has enacted similar legislation and the Nova Scotia House is considering a proposal before it. In the United States no less than 25 states, including our neighbours in New York and Michigan, have enacted legislation, and eight other states have proposed legislation of this type. All of the measures have come forward since 1914 in those jurisdictions.

In August, 1976, the American Bar Foundation initiated a study in light of these developments. It reasoned that solar systems and their exemption from property taxes add no additional burdens to the community. In fact, they stated it reduced the community’s financial burden by lessening air pollution, cutting the amount of energy needed to transport conventional fuels and decreasing related spending.

This proposal has considerable support within the communities of Ontario. For example, the city of Ottawa is resolved to ensure participation in solar space and water-heated housing developments. The council of the municipality of Metropolitan Toronto adopted, in September, 1976, a recommendation of its resources recovery, energy and environment committee that reads: “That the province of Ontario be requested to exclude from the assessed value of real property, the increased value of the property resulting from the inclusion of a solar heating unit.”

In the brief to the Metro council that made this recommendation, Alderman Tony O’Donohue described the use of solar energy systems incorporated into the new Massey Hall development. He said, at that time, “I sincerely hope that this will be the first move in an opening of the door to massive programs of energy conservation and a deceleration in use of our limited fossil fuel reserves.”

Mr. Speaker, this resolution is not the first we have seen concerning solar energy; it certainly will not be the last. At some point in I hope the very near future, this House will propose such items as access to sunlight legislation and measures concerned with the very large field of passive solar development. Though that is not our task today, I would like to state very briefly that some of those things that will be part of passive solar development -- and that this government will have to play a role in helping advise and to inform on -- are very simple, some of them are not very expensive. They are something the Ministry of Energy is constantly trying to provide by way of information to new home purchasers, to builders, and to people in general as we have the very large and very real debate about our energy uses, needs and sources for the future.

Some things are very simple, such as which way a house faces; overhangs to protect from the summer sun in light of large energy usage for air conditioners these days. Some of the very simple systems include use of thermal-mass principles since we know that big fireplaces, for instance, act as heat sinks; evergreen trees in the north of one’s house act as wind breaks; and berming, which can be done in increasingly sophisticated and of course very realistic and yet aesthetically pleasing ways: these are some of those things we will see, I would trust, debated in this House in the near future. These are things I see our society having to increasingly turn their attention towards.

I recognize that this measure we are talking of today may be inconsistent with the aim of property-tax reform that intends to eliminate exemptions. Therefore, any exemptions that result from this resolution should have time constraints placed on them. We must provide, for example, that exemptions not extend beyond the minimum cost recovery period. I see this measure as an inducement rather than as long-term support.

Mr. Speaker, we must establish a practical demonstration of solar energy systems in the private sector, and I believe any measures resulting from this resolution will be a tool in the development of that objective.

I mentioned at the outset that I was privileged to have in my riding a home where people are actually living and studying use of solar energy; we are all learning from that particular home. We also see fledgling companies; we see a lot of young people increasingly concerned about environmental effects and the loss of fossil fuel. We all have to consider the increased cost of those fossil fuels, which we have in great abundance provided new development keeps pace with use.

Mr. Speaker, this resolution is an urgent step we as legislators should take towards what has to be the encouragement, the bringing about of and the second phase towards the increased use of our renewable resource, namely solar energy.

Mr. Speaker: Is the hon. member reserving four minutes for a response?

Mr. Jones: Yes, Mr. Speaker, I would like to reserve the final time.

Mr. Speaker: You will have four minutes.

Mr. Reed: Mr. Speaker, I would like first to commend the member for Mississauga North for this very timely resolution, and suggest to him that he stands out as a rose among the thorns on that side of the House when it comes to an attempt at progressive --

Mr. Warner: A lot of thorns over there.

Mr. Reed: -- thinking regarding the need to encourage renewable resource development in the province of Ontario. The truth is that Ontario is probably second only to Prince Edward Island as the most vulnerable in terms of the traditional energy forms that we rely on so heavily at the present time.

But I want to caution him about one thing. Before he waxes too euphorically about the wonderful achievements of his government in this regard, I would like to point out a couple of things. First of all, he mentioned the Aylmer senior citizens project; he mentioned, I am sure unintentionally but erroneously, that it is 100 per cent solar- heated. I am sure the Minister of Energy (Mr. J. A. Taylor) will confirm with the member that it is, in fact, not. The interesting part of that is that the supplementary heat being used on that very commendable project is a demand electric heat, which I pointed out in the House a few days ago is probably the worst possible use of thermally- produced electricity in existence. Therefore, the Minister of Energy, in his consultation with various ministries and advising them on energy conservation, would do very well to upgrade that program as well.

The other thing I would like to mention to the member for Mississauga North is the $50,000 commitment that was made, I think two years ago, in assistance for the development of what is now called Provident House up in King, which is a 100 per cent solar home. On the basis of the $50,000 input cost of the solar panelling in the storage system and so on, the then Minister of Energy, the member for Don Mills (Mr. Timbrell), said that solar power was of virtually no significance before the end of the century.

So I would just caution him to be realistic. I am very much encouraged by any move forward that I can see on the part of the government in the development of renewables, but let us not get carried away with all of the wonderful things that have happened in the past.

As recently as two years ago, as I said, there was a total of $50,000 committed for renewable resource development, that went into Provident House. Last year the book showed, I think, $350,000. We know that it has got to be substantially improved above and beyond that. If it was more than that, I stand corrected, Mr. Minister, but it seems in the estimates --

Hon. J. A. Taylor: It is $4.4 million.

Mr. Reed: For next year.

Hon. J. A. Taylor: Yes. About $4.4 million for renewables and $2.5 million for solar.

Mr. Reed: But those estimates have not come before us yet, as the minister well knows.

Another very interesting thing is that in other jurisdictions, particularly the United States and the ERDA program -- the Energy Research and Development Agency program -- a commitment was made to the development of renewable resources. Goals were set, and as a matter of fact, in the United States, federally, a goal was set that by the year 2020, 25 per cent of the energy mosaic, or the energy makeup of the United States, should come from solar energy.

Up to and including the ministry’s most recent assessment of the energy picture, solar energy was put much further back on the backburner than that. For that reason, I am pleased to see the member for Mississauga North bringing it forward.

There are a couple of other considerations. I would not like to express so much as concerns, but when the ministry is considering legislation of this kind they should add these into their deliberations. One is that to exempt the solar retrofit on an existing home tends to discriminate against the home that is solar-oriented or solar designed, as you talked about, that is the passive solar system.


I think it’s in the best interests of us all to encourage the changeover in construction to homes that are solar oriented, because we know the passive solar home is now an economic reality. In spite of the fact that we’ve got economic fringe problems with solar retrofits, we don’t have such economic problems with solar orientation. We know that if we can design and build a home -- using two by sixes in the walls, and insulating the north wall, and the berms, and the evergreen trees on the north side, and the deciduous trees on the south side, and the overhangs, and the trombe walls and so on -- all which the member for Mississauga North referred to, there is a very positive cost recovery connected with those things simply because they do not necessarily add substantially to the overall cost of the home.

We also know that solar orientation, in a passive system, can reduce the demand for energy in the home by upwards of 50 per cent. So I ask when this kind of legislation is being considered, incentives to get the builder and the home buyer into the business of orienting new house construction in this way be also considered.

One of the suggestions that might be valid and worth considering would be an energy rating for every home in the province of Ontario. An energy rating could be included in the listing of a house by a real estate agent. That would be an official rating, probably determined by CSA, as they do various kinds of equipment. That energy rating might apply to every dwelling in the province as requested by the owner. Certainly the value of the home would be reflected to an extent in its energy efficiency or in the amount of energy we’ve got to expend per square foot in a given dwelling.

I think this is the kind of progressive step we look forward to as well.

I also inject this note of caution: One of the things we found out recently is that some of the retrofit panels that are constructed at the present time are in sum energy-negative. That is, the energy required to produce the equipment is greater than the possible recovery over the anticipated life expectancy of the hardware.

Whether this is actually important at the present time or not I don’t know, because we’re still in the process of the research and development of this equipment. But it is a fact, and it’s probably a caution that should be considered, that some of this hardware actually takes more Btu’s to make than are going to be recovered.

It is a further substantiation, of course, for the conservation. I don’t think we can apply ourselves to this kind of consideration without the same kind of vigorous approach to conservation. I have told representatives of Ontario Hydro and the Ministry of Energy before that we have a tremendously long way to go in terms of our potential for conservation, particularly with our electric power system. When you consider roughly 50 per cent of the power production at the present time is used for low-grade heat, the potential for conservation is enormous.

So let’s look at the broad picture when we’re considering this kind of incentive.

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

Mr. Reed: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Simply in conclusion, I would commend the member for this resolution, and he certainly has my support.

Mr. Samis: I too rise in support of this resolution. We, in this party, have consistently supported greater emphasis on any and all forms of renewable energy. We have had grave reservations, I must point out Mr. Speaker, about the policy of this government to rush headlong into the expensive and expansive nuclear option to the extent that it has for the remainder of this century, and obviously for this decade as well, without giving what we would regard as attention to other and alternate sources of energy.

We obviously would support any form of assistance to people seeking to install solar heating. We think it is worthwhile, beneficial and laudatory. But I must tell the member from Mississauga I do have some reservations and some concerns about this resolution. First of all, it is a fact of life that over 99 per cent of our residents today do not have any form of solar heating. They rely on the traditional forms of home heating. It’s my feeling we should be doing a lot more to make those existing heating and insulation systems, more efficient and more effective than we are presently doing. I have grave concerns about the cost of the conversion process for retrofitting. The cost of installing a solar heating system would be a limiting factor for people on lower, limited incomes. I have a fear the people who would benefit most from this resolution would be those who are able to pay for it in the first place. Those who couldn’t afford the initial outlay because it would be beyond their means, would not even proceed to install any form of solar heating. I noticed a pamphlet put out by a company called Solartech Limited in which they estimate on the average, the present cost of insulating a hot air system to use solar heat would be between $5,000 and $6,000, and they emphasize that would only handle 50 to 60 per cent of the heating needs of the average-size house today.

I also noticed a statement by Dr. E. P. Cockshutt, energy co-ordinator of the National Research Council of Canada, in which he says it is highly unlikely there will be any large-scale source of solar energy in mass use before 1985. He estimates the average cost per home to install solar heating would be around $10,000, not including the inflation factor.

I readily admit the pay-back factor outlined by the member from Mississauga has validity, but I want to emphasize that the initial cash outlay is considerable. I have grave doubts, that this resolution would benefit the vast majority of people in Ontario. They would have to go into debt. Solar heating in our view, is certainly a viable alternative but not all the problems have been worked out yet, especially when we are talking of general usage. It is not a cheap or economical alternative at the present time for the average person in Ontario.

I question how much money we are presently spending in this province in the field of research into solar energy and other forms of renewable energy. You might ask, Mr. Speaker, if it is around $100 million; nay. You may say, well maybe $50 million; nay, again. In total desperation, you may ask if it is around $5 million; and I have to inform you nay again. In 1977 we are only spending $4.4 million on research into all forms of renewable energy, and only $2.5 million on solar.

If there was ever a need to spend money to ensure that solar systems become viable and affordable, and I emphasize those two points, on a general basis, it is in this field of research. The minister may claim we are spending 492 per cent more this year than last year, but that is only an indication that what we spent last year was an absolute disgrace and virtually non-existent.

I compare what is being done in the province of Ontario with what the new administration has proposed in the United States. Most people would acknowledge that the Americans are ahead of us in research and overall energy programs. In terms of solar heating, for example, I noticed President Carter has a proposal before the American Congress whereby there would be a $2,000 tax credit; 40 per cent of the first $2,000 outlay, and 25 per cent of the next $6,000 to a maximum of $2,000 in total. That is on top of the proposal they also have for a general home insulation program, where 25 per cent of your first $800 spent and 15 per cent of the next $1,400 spent would be eligible for a tax credit.

I want to get back to the question of insulation, but the fact is the Americans are ahead of us. They have taken two important initiatives in terms of solar heating and general home insulation.

I was rather interested to read that in Michigan the public utilities have a program of their own whereby for someone interested in solar heating they sponsor a loan program if an individual wishes to retrofit or install some form of solar heating. Once installed, the home owner repays the loan on his monthly bill. Obviously, when the loan is repaid the bill is reduced because the costs have been reduced.

While repaying, even though you have to repay the capital and pay your interest, your costs have not really increased because your fuel consumption has been considerably reduced. Consumers’ Gas has a similar program in this province, but I think it only covers something like 1,500 homes in the province. I was rather disheartened to read that they charge their customers an exorbitant 18 per cent on that program.

Let me say, Mr. Speaker, we can never accept such an exorbitant rate. We would prefer to work in conjunction with OHARP for those who are less affluent and leave it to the private sector for those who can afford to pay the rates and interest charges being levied by the private sector.

One key point I really want to emphasize, Mr. Speaker, is the insulation program. I remember this government promised during the last election a major initiative, and since then it has been cancelled, shelved, buried and forgotten.

Hon. J. A. Taylor: Why?

Mr. Samis: “Why?” the minister asks. There are a number of circumstances that have changed the situation. I think that was a terribly short-sighted decision. I noticed the minister was criticized on all sides and by all newspapers and by all observers on this particular question. This decision means increased heating costs to Ontario consumers this year and for upcoming years. It is contributing to greater consumption in this province and a greater waste of precious nonrenewable energy resources. They leave it all to the feds, yet at the same time they criticize the feds because it leaves out 75 per cent of Ontario’s housing stock. They admit and we all admit it is a patchy, inadequate, rather hastily-arranged program that was foisted on the provinces.

The decision was short-sighted, in that the original program proposed by the Minister of Energy did not include grants anyway. It involved low-cost loans to home owners. So when the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) talks about a $5 million saving, really we would have had that money back, not at the same interest rate as some other investments quite possibly, but still the fact is that money would have come back to the province. We would have made significant changes in that program to make it more available to home owners. We would have worked in liaison with the municipalities through OHARP, and we would have injected $100 million into the program to cover 100,000 homes in Ontario, because much of it would have been in the form of low-interest loans, which obviously would have been repaid, enabling us to have insulated 200,000 homes by the year 2000.

I am not totally blaming the minister, because I think the Treasurer wielded the mighty axe on him, and although he is not known for his compassion or his progressive views on a variety of matters --

Mr. Reed: That is a sore point.

Mr. Samis: -- I think the minister’s heart was in the right place.

Mr. Reed: You couldn’t have gotten it through the Hydro Commission.

Mr. Samis: The program was inadequate. But the axe was laid upon him by the Treasurer. We wonder how it is that $5 million is so important to the Treasurer when we can do all sorts of other things. We can spend $9 million on an industrial waste land called Edwardsburgh in eastern Ontario that nobody wanted. We can spend over $250 million on a Pickering or a Townsend or other things of that sort. We can waste $20 million on a completely unnecessary election. We can give the corporate sector over $500 million in tax credits --

Mr. Kerrio: That’s a low blow.

Mr. Samis: -- tax breaks and tax incentives in the last three years. We can spend $5 billion on a Darlington project. We can spend all this money, but we cannot find $5 million for an insulation program, and we can only give $4.4 million for research into renewable sources of energy. The priorities are out of whack, Mr. Speaker, something is wrong somewhere.

As I say, I would support the principle of this resolution. I think it is a forward move, but I really want to emphasize that I would like to see this resolution implemented in the context of a proper home insulation program, a meaningful research program into renewable sources of energy and some sense of a meaningful conservation program, not separate from those three considerations but in the context of those other three. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Gregory: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak in support of the resolution introduced by my colleague, the hon. member for Mississauga North. We have been living with the rhetoric of the energy crisis since 1973, and while there may be disagreement on its severity or the number of years we have before our unrenewable resources run out, there is general agreement that the time for specific action is now.


Mr. Swart: Don’t worry about farm land; they wait until it happens.

Mr. Gregory: You’re even heckling me on this one, Mel?

Mr. Swart: I just got in.

Mr. Gregory: This resolution seeks to have the government eliminate increases in property tax assessment for persons who install solar energy systems in their places of residence.

Solar energy is not a new concept. It has fascinated men for years, and experiments in its use have been going on for generations. Both serious scientists and determined amateurs have discovered various ways of tapping this potential source of unlimited energy. Until now, these methods have remained in the background of public attention, treated as rather fascinating, but basically impractical information.

The events of 1973 have changed that attitude considerably. We have for many years operated under the belief that there was enough gas and oil in this country to provide for all our needs for centuries to come. Now, almost overnight, we find that within our lifetime those supplies may run out. Experts do not agree on the time frame, nor do they agree on the amount of reserves that remain, but they do agree that we need to begin now to find alternatives.

We in Ontario, have always considered ourselves -- and I think it’s fair to say we have been considered by others -- to be one of the have provinces. When it comes to energy, however, we find that, with the exception of uranium, we are one of the have-not provinces. We must import into Ontario approximately 80 per cent of our energy. That should surely indicate that any step we take to develop alternative sources must be considered in the public interest.

I would like to deal briefly with some aspects of solar energy.

Just as the sun itself has generated a powerful mythology, so too solar energy has become clouded by a firmly held but poorly founded set of beliefs. It is said solar energy is too diffuse to achieve the power needed by a modern energy-intensive society. It is said it is impractical because it is unavailable at night and on cloudy days. It is also said the equipment is too expensive.

On examination, these arguments against solar energy do not bear up. If we look, for example, at our present means of heating our homes, we find that we burn oil at temperatures of approximately 500 degrees Fahrenheit to produce 70 degrees of heat in our houses. We are using high quality energy to accomplish a task that could be accomplished just as well by a low quality energy source. We are, therefore, heating our homes in an inefficient way.

Solar energy operates the other way around. Solar energy reaches the earth at rather low temperatures in comparison to conventional energy sources, and is suitable for tasks such as heating water or space, which require low quality energy. Most of us, at one time or another, have used a magnifying glass to concentrate the sun’s rays on a piece of paper. We know that such a method will sufficiently increase the temperature to burn the paper. This is the basic principle of solar heating systems, and it is one which, from a thermodynamic point of view, is much more efficient than our current systems are. Added to that benefit is the fact that this kind of heating can be used without chemical combustion and the release of harmful chemicals into the environment.

The matter of storage is of concern to many who want to know what happens during those times when sunlight is not available. There are a variety of methods, already devised, by which solar energy can be effectively stored for several days. By using a combination of solar energy and conventional energy sources to provide heat as needed, people get the best mix of the two, and yet have gone a long way to help conserve our non-renewable sources.

It is interesting to note that solar energy has been successfully utilized in the past. A solar still for producing fresh water from bait water, covering 50,000 square feet, was built and operated in Chile in 1872. A solar steam-engine ran a printing press at a Paris exhibition in 1878. A four and one-half horse power solar steam engine was operated in Pasadena, California, in 1901.

Mr. Reed: It’s a good idea for a still.

Mr. Gregory: Did I give you an idea for a still there, is that what you said?

Mr. Reed: We were worried whether he would by it.

Mr. Gregory: A 20-horsepower engine was operated in St. Louis in 1908, and a 50-horsepower engine pumped irrigation water from the Nile in 1913. So the use of solar energy is not a frivolous dream, but a realistic and practical possible answer to some of the problems we face today. For the householder, the purchase of a solar heating unit could immediately begin to reduce his fuel bills and also relieves him of the spectre of constantly rising bills in the future. It enables him to establish a hedge against inflation by allowing him to invest in a product that will retain its use in the inflated future. Unlike oil refineries or nuclear power plants, solar systems are relatively simple to construct and would create a demand for diverse kinds of labour.

I believe any measure we can take as a government to encourage the development of alternate sources of energy is a measure that will repay us all amply in the years ahead. This resolution is one that will not cost the government money, but is one that can produce much benefit to our communities. No one is suggesting that solar energy is the only answer to our energy needs, but it can be part of the answer and I strongly support my colleague’s resolution in this regard. Thank you very much.

Mr. Blundy: Mr. Speaker, I certainly appreciate you recognizing me when I was not in my seat. It shows that there mustn’t be many speakers on this particular bill.

However, Mr. Speaker, I would like to compliment the member for Mississauga North on having the initiative to bring in this resolution. We in this chamber today probably don’t realize how truly significant this resolution could be to the people of Ontario a few years from now when we will all be faced with the need to reassess how we are going to be using energy in Ontario and particularly how we as individuals, are going to be using energy in our homes.

I personally believe that we are going to see a great deal more of solar energy devices in Ontario homes. But it isn’t going to come if we all just sit back and say we think it will happen. In order to really give the impetus to this sort of thing, to put the stamp of approval on this sort of heating, to really do what we can to encourage people to do this, then there’s going to have to be more done than what is proposed by this resolution. I am not in any way cutting down this resolution. I think this is a very good first step and has brought this matter now to the attention of this House, hopefully to the attention of the government and I really do hope to the attention of the people of Ontario.

Solar energy is going to be a part of our future. I know that it is going to have to be preceded by encouragement on behalf of all three levels of government. This government of Ontario is going to have to, as the member for Cornwall (Mr. Samis) so aptly said before, increase its commitment and its funds to research. The idea of solar heat is a relatively new concept. Some people of course, are very familiar with it, but there must be research. Then there must be education promulgated for the public to understand and fully appreciate what this can do for us. We know that the fossil fuels are going to continue to increase in price and perhaps become more scarce in the years to come. The sun, of course, is one of the answers at which we must look.

But I would like to state that in supporting this resolution, I hope I can put across to the government that there must be more research; technology must be more clearly defined; there must be a good deal of experimentation that is discernible to the public. This alone will help bring solar energy into wider use.

I want to say one thing that carries this idea a little bit further. It is something in which I have been interested and I would like to bring it to the attention of the government and the member for Mississauga North -- wind energy. We in southern Ontario live in an area which is much influenced by the Great Lakes system. We, in southwestern Ontario, have one of the highest incidences of consistent winds, of varying degrees of force. We have winds almost continuously in southwestern Ontario.

I happen to live in the grandest place in Ontario, right on the beach of Lake Huron. Never a day goes by but there is a wind of some degree of force there.

This brings me to the second point I want to make. It is one thing for all of us to determine we want to support other sources of energy, such as solar energy suggested by this resolution, and wind energy and so forth; but it is another thing to prepare ourselves for it. When I say prepare ourselves for it, I am thinking about matters that would be within the purview of all three levels of government -- federal, provincial and municipal.

For instance, a few minutes ago I mentioned wind energy. If I wanted to build a 100-foot windmill on my property at the lake, which is in an R-1 area, I couldn’t. The zoning bylaws of the city and the province would not permit it, there is no question about that.

There are certain solar devices that may not be permitted by our building codes as they now stand. The siting of the house on the lot, which my hon. friend mentioned before might be so very important to the full use of the sun in heating the house, might not be possible under some existing zoning bylaws.

We must, on all three levels of government, show so much interest in developing alternate forms for heating our homes and our other buildings that we are prepared for the implementation of these heating systems. Right now I would have a tough time supplementing the heat of my home by the ever-generous wind blowing off Lake Huron because I couldn’t build a windmill on my land; they wouldn’t permit it.

Similarly, you can see I might build a solar energy panel on my house to take advantage of that form of heat to supplement the heating of my house, but I would have no protection in the event my neighbours might plant trees on their side of the lot line that would detract from or eliminate those precious rays of sun so necessary to my equipment.


All I want to say, Mr. Speaker, is that I personally believe in this. I think the government of Ontario should do everything it can to encourage solar heating. We should look at the whole package and how it is going to fit into our lives, because it is a new way of doing things. It is going to require new types of building and so forth.

I support the matter of eliminating increasing the property tax assessment because these things are done. In a few simple words, I hope that because of this debate in the House today, and because of the many very interesting comments that have been brought up by the others who have spoken, that there will be a new foresight in this field and that the government of Ontario will help its people to appreciate what solar heating can do for us in the province of Ontario.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Windsor-Sandwich.


Mr. Bounsall: Thank you, Mr. Speaker and members of the House, for that welcome this afternoon. My next remarks will be even more welcome, because I intend to speak very briefly on this resolution.

In speaking to this resolution I might say that anything that reduces the increase in property taxes on any energy device should be supported. I find the bill a little limiting in its scope in that it only deals with solar energy devices. I’m sure the member introducing the resolution, the member for Mississauga North, has heard this from other speakers today. A bill of this sort, which purports to reduce any increase in property assessment as a result of instituting this particular energy device, should be extended to all other energy-saving devices. However, I will quite gladly admit that a solar energy device often results in much more substantial changes to the house which would result more obviously in higher property tax increases than any of the other devices that one might think of installing. Nonetheless, if any other energy-saving device, apart from a solar-energy device, was added to a piece of property which would therefore increase the property taxes thereon, I would be in favour of seeing the principle extended to all of those devices as well.

There may well be across Ontario -- it’s not too applicable in Windsor, where I come from -- areas in which wind energy devices would be appropriate for installation and help considerably in providing energy. I would hate to see a municipality, particularly as we go to market value assessment, end up penalizing the person by increased property assessment to it.

The resolution, if one wanted to speak for a considerable time on it, lends itself very easily to lengthy discussion in that it opens up the whole area of property assessment. It also opens up the whole area of energy. I gather previous speakers have talked about the type of research we should be continuing in all sorts of substitutes for our normal energy sources. Wind energy is obviously one. I can go on at some length, at the merest suggestion that I do so, on systems we should be using to replace our natural gas systems as they tend to dry up.

The electrolysis of water with the production of hydrogen and the subsequent burning of that hydrogen is a very obvious one. We’re only a few years away from achieving the technology to make this economically feasible. I’ve spoken many times about Ontario getting into the technological development of this area so that it would own the patents on it and have the patent rights flow to the province as a result of this technology being developed and put into use. However, I won’t speak any further on that, although the resolution does open up this entire area.

The other area which the bill opens up is the discussion of property taxes. We could outline again our policy for the shift away from property taxes, property taxes being an inequitable tax even with the rebate which the Ontario government provides. One has done the calculations over on this side, and there is still a retrogressive tax -- not as much as without the property tax rebate but nonetheless still a retrogressive tax. We could outline our party’s doctrine and attitude towards the property tax and its elimination, and a shift from that property tax to a fair income tax scheme which the province of Ontario through a rebate system can really effectively control.

But on the face of it, the bill says if you take your residential property and install solar energy devices -- which in many cases would make quite substantial changes to the residence, changes which would, because of the capital cost of solar device installation, increase the market value of the house -- there should be no increase in property tax. That principle is one which I can very readily support, and I will certainly be voting for this resolution at the appropriate time later this afternoon.

Rather than going into more detail on energy points or attitudes towards property tax, I will end by saying that I will support this bill, even though I find it rather limited in scope. I would have hoped the member would have cast the net a little wider in the framing of the resolution. Nonetheless, I can vote for this resolution as it stands. Thank you.

Ms. Ashe: Mr. Speaker, I rise in personal support of the resolution put forward by the hon. member for Mississauga North.

Mr. Reed: Oh make it government policy, not just personal.

Mr. Ashe: The reason I say that is because the ministry of which I am the parliamentary assistant does have a few concerns. The reason they do was probably --

Ms. Reed: Here comes the hooker.

Ms. Warner: Here’s Darcy’s message.

Mr. Ashe: -- touched upon by the hon. member for Windsor-Sandwich when he said the bill was too specific. I think that is one of the pluses of the bill, because if you widen it, where do you stop?

Ms. Bounsall: You don’t.

Ms. Ashe: You could put into the same category storm doors, storm windows, double-glazed windows, et cetera. I am not sure the municipalities, which derive much of their income from said assessment and said taxation --

Ms. Swart: Practically all of it.

Mr. Ashe: -- would be very happy with that particular decline in their sources of revenue.

Mr. Warner: We are not happy with you.

Mr. Ashe: So, while we are supporting this particular resolution because of its energy conservation, we have to encourage municipalities to also be in support of the principle, albeit they will pay the price for a few years by their endorsation and encouragement of this policy.

My own concerns relating to the program would be more on the basis of implementation. I don’t really feel it would be --

Mr. Reed: I thought the government was finally for it?

Ms. Ashe: -- equitable, for example, to have a permanent exemption. At the same time you have to have some appeal to a particular or prospective home owner that would make it attractive to consider this form of energy. An exemption from increased assessment for a prescribed period of time would probably be more equitable to his neighbours and fellow taxpayers, possibly something in the order of five or possibly as long as 10 years. But I don’t think this kind of exemption from assessment, even on a portion of the structure, should be in perpetuity, because I don’t think it would be very fair to the neighbours.

I think we have to be very careful. We all know that some people have a tendency to try to play games with exemptions of this nature. For example, they would look upon the installation of solar energy units and say that it is a very compatible necessity at the same time to add four more rooms on to their home and the total cost, therefore, should be waived in terms of extra assessment.

Once again, I think we would have to be very careful for the benefit of our taxpayers to make sure that any regulations or any legislation as such would he very definite in the areas of postponement of a portion of the assessment that only relates to the installation and the cost of installation of a solar system. I also think that at the same time, probably thinking administratively, it would be very difficult in many instances to actually arrive at an assessed value of a solar system whether it be a complete solar system or one that is designed to do a partial heating job in a particular residence.

Probably the most feasible and practical way, and the one that would give everybody an idea of what they are talking about, whether it be the assessor, the municipality or the prospective home owner or home renovator, would be to come up with some kind of particular table showing that if you have so many energy cells, or what have you, or relate it to the value, your exemption relates accordingly.

Ms. Reed: An energy efficiency rating.

Mr. Ashe: I think that would be the only area that would be equitable and would let everybody know where they stand right from day one. I don’t think we want to add anything to our assessment procedure or reassessment procedure that would cause more harangue and misunderstanding between home owner, the assessment department, and ultimately the municipality that is going to have to benefit or not benefit by any particular amount of assessment on a given property.

As I indicated at the start of my brief remarks, I will be supporting the resolution. In principle, we should support and encourage, in all ways, people to look at alternate sources of energy and conserve the scarce energy forms that we now use in abundance. Yet at the same time, I think we have to recognize that anything that takes away a tax revenue means that it has to go somewhere else. So equity also has to be a prime consideration in drafting or enforcing any particular legislation.

In closing, Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the member for Mississauga North on his resolution and am looking forward to the vote of the House in that regard. Thank you.

Mr. Jones: Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank all those who participated in the --

Mr. Kerrio: Point of order, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: If the hon. member for Niagara Falls wants to enter the debate he has one minute.

Mr. Kerrio: Thank you, very much, Mr. Speaker. I had better go, eh?

Mr. Jones: You missed the last one.

Mr. Laughren: Time off.

Mr. Kerrio: There was one very important point I wanted to make and I can make it in one minute. Any kind of bill that would allow us to bypass Hydro as a middleman -- in this case instead of getting heat generated by hydraulic power we get it from solar power and tap that resource -- I am for it. In this case, that is exactly what is going to happen. I am a little disappointed the resolution deals directly with residents because I think one of the very meaningful and really economical things that can be heated with solar heat is a pool. While there may not be that many in existence, many of them are heated electrically and I am certain that solar heat would be the route to go in that particular area. Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: You are quite welcome. The hon. member for Mississauga North.

Mr. Samis: That’s concentration.


Mr. Jones: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would just like to say that I appreciate the comments and participation of the various members of all three caucuses who spoke to the resolution.

I would like to just touch on one point of clarification for the member for Cornwall. He mentioned some concern that solar energy was some kind of an elitist matter and not a benefit he could foresee coming for people in low-income categories. This one particular study I referred to made comparisons, the one which said there was a 30 per cent saving on the cost period we were talking about took into account such things as mortgage variables. In low cost housing the figures in one mortgage worked out at $6,884. Admittedly, those are 1976 figures and would be increasing. It certainly took into account a very average home situation and the type of installation that could be a part of it.

I would also remind the House that these costs are being rapidly reduced to lesser figures than those of just a few short years ago.

There was some discussion that this resolution didn’t embody some of the aspects of other renewable energy forces that the members would have liked to have seen discussed. I think we recognize that. Today we did deal specifically with the solar energy aspect, but that’s not to say the government isn’t equally concerned about other forms, such as wind. I’m looking at a clipping here

-- and again I refer to my riding -- about some concepts that are being brought on stream for very practical use. I see the picture of the Minister of Energy as he opened the new concept in the riding of Mississauga North where wind units --

Mr. Samis: Did you get an eight by 12 over there?

Mr. Jones: -- will be married up with generators. So that can be used. In fact on Centre Island there’s a program his ministry is conducting right now which can be readily adopted for some of the northern and western areas where high winds prevail.

I would again like to thank the members who took part in the debate, to encourage all of them in their roles as members of this House and, since we’ve had a discussion on this resolution, to remind them we’ve a big job to explain and expedite public acceptance of solar technology in its total sum. I’d like to see encouragement of some of the many other areas we touched on. We touched on passive energy savings, some of which are very basic. We have new ones we know are available to us now at a relatively small cost, such as solar film for windows, radiation heat and some other vital areas we are going to have to turn increasingly towards, as we do in this resolution to the increased use of solar heat and its inducement.

Mr. Speaker: There are two questions to be decided by the House at this time.


Mr. Speaker: The vote is on second reading of Bill 109, An Act respecting Special Education Programs.

Motion agreed to.

Ordered for committee of the whole House.


Mr. Speaker: Mr. Jones had moved private member’s motion 14.

Resolution concurred in.


Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, as per our custom, may I take this particular point this afternoon to indicate the order of business for next week.

On Monday the House will be in committee of supply. On Tuesday we have legislation; Bills 107, 112, 115, 113 and 110. Thursday afternoon we have ballot items in the names of the members for Kitchener (Mr. Breithaupt) and Sudbury East (Mr. Martel); Thursday evening we debate the report of the select committee on the Ombudsman. On Friday we have supply.


House in committee of the whole on Bill 98, An Act to revise the Municipal Elections Act, 1972.

Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Chairman, the member for Waterloo North (Mr. Epp) of course had expected to complete his remarks with respect to the matter of the three-year term, so that the vote could be put, and of course the House had expected that this matter would be continued at 8 of the clock. I am wondering if we could agree to call it 6 of the clock at this point so that we might return at 8 in order to deal with the brief comments from the member for Waterloo North that will complete that specific item.

Mr. Chairman: There appears to be agreement.

The House recessed at 5:54 p.m.