31st Parliament, 1st Session

L075 - Fri 9 Dec 1977 / Ven 9 déc 1977

The House met at 10 a.m.




Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, I have some information in response to questions raised by the leader of the New Democratic Party on November 1.

The questions were in relation to his party and any investigation of it by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police during the years 1971 to 1973, inclusive.

In response to those questions I wrote to the Hon. Francis Fox and the Hon. Ron Basford on November 2, asking them for information in this regard. At the same time I provided the leader of the New Democratic Party with copies of my letters to those two gentlemen. Late on December 6, I received a rather short reply from Mr. Fox which said, in part, and I quote:

“I have been assured by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police that they have not conducted an investigation into the activities of the New Democratic Party as such. As I have stated in the House of Commons, however, membership in a political party does not give immunity to anyone who would tend to promote changes brought on by violent and undemocratic means.”

Mr. Fox went on to say in his letter that M. S. Sexsmith, deputy director general, operations, for the RCMP security service, would provide any further information in this regard.

As a result of this letter, I requested the following day that Mr. R. M. McLeod, acting assistant Deputy Attorney General, meet with RCMP officials in Ottawa. As a result of that meeting, a summary of RCMP activity in this regard was obtained. That summary, obtained from the RCMP, is as follows, and again I quote:

“1. The RCMP have not conducted an investigation into the activities of the New Democratic Party.

“2. After a complete review of their files and to the best of their knowledge, Assistant Commissioner Sexsmith and his staff advise that no member or agent of the RCMP has ever committed any illegal entry of any NDP office or other NDP premises anywhere.

“3. The RCMP have always acted in the belief that membership in a political party does not give immunity to anyone who would tend to promote changes brought on by violent and undemocratic means and thereby attract the attention of the RCMP on the interest of national security.

“4. Between 1970 and 1973 the RCMP did conduct investigations into the activities of certain members of the Waffle group while it was still a part of the NDP. This was explained as follows:

“(a) When the Waffle group came into being, it invited persons outside the NDP to join its ranks. These persons included ex-members of the Communist Party of Canada and members of the Canadian Trotskyist movements. The leaders of the League for Socialist Action (Trotskyists), in fact, directed their members to join the Waffle group.

“(b) The RCMP investigation of certain members of the Waffle group established that subversive elements penetrated the NDP through the Waffle in order to gain more respectability, credibility and influence.”

Ms. Gigantes: Subversive elements, huh?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: “Although the RCMP investigation concentrated on individuals of security interest, inquiries were broadened sufficiently to put the activities of these individuals in proper perspective. The investigation was de-emphasized” --and I want to emphasize this -- “the investigation was de-emphasized after the NDP decided to rid itself of the Waffle.

“The individuals of concern to the RCMP, having lost the legitimacy of membership in the NDP, also lost interest in the Waffle. The RCMP concern with these individuals was not reduced, but any concerns that the RCMP had that these subversive elements were using the Waffle as a means of penetrating the NDP and therefore as a means of acquiring credibility and influence was accordingly eliminated.

“(c) During the period referred to in paragraph (b) above, the RCMP concern with individuals in the Waffle was increased when it was found that a Canadian news media person, closely associated with leading people in the Waffle, was meeting clandestinely with Konstantin Geyvandov, a Russian KGB intelligence officer who, between August 1968 and September 1973, operated in Canada as a Pravda correspondent.”

Mr. Nixon: Where is he a member of?

Mr. Gaunt: KGB.

Mr. Turner: We knew it all along.

Mr. Nixon: Was he a British subject?

Hon. Mr. Welch: No, but he had been here for two years.

Mr. Nixon: Pravda.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: “The RCMP investigation confirmed that this Canadian provided reports to Geyvandov during these clandestine meetings and on at least six occasions was paid money by Geyvandov. Amongst other things, the Canadian was specifically asked by Geyvandov to provide reports to him on the NDP and the Waffle.

“(d) The RCMP believed that Geyvandov’s purpose in seeking such reports was to assist the Russian KGB intelligence service in deciding whether the Waffle group or any of its members were worthy of further attention by the KGB.”

Mr. Gaunt: Now a pipeline right to the Kremlin.

Mr. Nixon: They said they would fire him when they got that report.

Mr. Martel: Our KGB will get you now. I am going to turn the KGB loose on the Premier (Mr. Davis).

Hon. Mr. Davis: They were looking for you!

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: “(e) Geyvandov returned to the Soviet Union in September 1973. On January 8, 1974, the USSR Embassy in Ottawa was advised by the Department of External Affairs that because of activities unrelated to his work as a journalist, Geyvandov would not be permitted to return to Canada.

“(f) Consideration was given by the RCMP to the possibility of laying a charge against this Canadian news media person but the conclusion reached was that no charge could be laid.”

Mr. Speaker, that is the conclusion of the summary that was obtained by my office, more particularly Mr. McLeod from the RCMP, in relation to the activity of the RCMP following the receipt of the brief letter to which I referred from Mr. Francis Fox.


Hon. J. A. Taylor: Mr. Speaker, on December 5 the Leader of the Opposition and the member for Halton-Burlington (Mr. Reed) expressed concern that provincial interests might be abrogated by the federal government’s recently proposed Nuclear Control and Administration Act and asked whether there had been meaningful consultation between the federal and provincial governments on this Act.

This has been a major concern of my own for many months now. In fact, the lack of federal-provincial consultation in this area has prompted considerable correspondence on this matter between the federal Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources, Hon. Alastair Gillespie, and myself, dating from April 25 of this year. I have made it very clear in letters and telexes to Mr. Gillespie, dated April 25, June 24, September 9 and November 16, that this is a matter of serious concern to Ontario.

In summary, on three separate occasions I have asked that the substance of this new federal bill be submitted to the provinces for consideration before its introduction into the Commons. I also expressed specific concern over the proposed decontamination fund and the way it would operate.

I expressed concern about the degree of control that the federal government would exercise over heavy water plants. I expressed concern over the possible duplication of hearings, and unnecessary delays which might result from the new hearing process under the Nuclear Control Board. I expressed concern over the extent of the federal government’s authority over uranium as an energy source. I have made it abundantly clear to the federal minister that many aspects of this Act affect the provinces, particularly Ontario, which is undertaking an important nuclear program.

To quote from my most recent telex to Mr. Gillespie, of November 16:

“I can only reiterate Ontario’s concern. Ontario is both a major producer of uranium and the major user. Consequently, we are concerned with both the jurisdictional ramifications and economic impact that the Nuclear Control and Administration Act may have on uranium mines and mills; fuel fabricating; heavy water production; uranium marketing, both domestically and abroad; on nuclear power production; and, of course, on the whole spectrum of irradiated fuel management.”

Also, in a letter of September 9, 1977, to the federal minister, I said: “I do hope ... you will reconsider your position in the light of open disclosure of proposed legislative changes by other parts of the federal government, and make available the key proposed legislative changes in a form which can provide a basis for meaningful assessment and discussion.”

In spite of these efforts, other than peripheral discussions at the staff level about what the bill would likely contain, there has been no meaningful consultation on energy-related matters in the drafting of this bill. I understand that the ministries with other interests, however, have also held discussions with federal authorities with varying degrees of success.

I would also like to point out that the new Nuclear Control Act very clearly separates environmental from energy concerns. Questions on this issue, and as to how the Environmental Assessment Act process should be coordinated with the Nuclear Control Board hearings, ought to be properly addressed to the Minister of the Environment (Mr. Kerr). The Act also clearly discusses occupational health and safety issues which would fall under the aegis of the Minister of Labour (B. Stephenson).

It is a matter of great concern to me, as I expressed at the recent federal-provincial energy ministers’ conference in Ottawa, that the federal government would take such an aloof approach on an issue of such substantive importance to the provinces.


This unilateral action without provincial consultation was very similar to the way the federal government introduced the Canadian home insulation program earlier this year.

I was successful, with the support of the other provinces, in having Mr. Gillespie recognize the error of his ways on that issue. Because of my initiative as chairman of the Council of Provincial Energy Ministers, changes are being made in that program. It now allows for Alberta and Quebec to participate in the insulation program and, in addition, a process to initiate other changes was agreed upon which will broaden the program so that its application will be more meaningful to all sections of Ontario.

I regret the attitude of the federal government on this matter of the Nuclear Control and Administration Act; I have not stopped pressing for more consultation on this and the related matters of uranium and thorium legislation. I hope that, through the new forum of the Council of Provincial Energy Ministers, I will be able to make the federal government come to recognize that there must be more provincial consultation at every stage in the development and carrying out of new policies which so directly affect Ontario and other provinces.

Mr. S. Smith: I’d like to ask a question of the Minister of Transportation and Communications (Mr. Snow). I must say I’m fascinated by this KGB story, but I think we’ll let that go for now.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Why aren’t you asking a question? I thought you might.

Mr. Nixon: Let it sit just the way it is.

Mr. S. Smith: I’ll just wait on that.

Mr. Warner: They’re a paranoid group.

Mr. S. Smith: It seems to me your report is casting a cloud over the press gallery, but we’ll wait.



Mr. S. Smith: A question for the Minister of Transportation and Communications: Does he have anything to report on the intermediate capacity transit project of the Urban Transportation Development Corporation in response to my earlier question to him in the House concerning that? If he does, will he also comment on reports that are circulating now that air cooling of the linear induction motors has been abandoned in favour of liquid cooling? Would the minister agree that this would almost certainly add to the complexity and possibly even to the size and weight of the vehicles? Can he tell us, is he up to date on the problems and can he answer the questions I asked him about 10 days ago?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, I’m getting the information that the hon. member asked for. I would mention that my estimates now are in committee and we have set aside Monday evening next to deal with the UTDC project and with questions that the committee or any member of the House may have regarding UTDC.

As far as the question regarding liquid cooling of the linear induction motor is concerned, I have not heard anything about this aspect. It has not been reported to me at this date.

Mr. S. Smith: A brief supplementary: Although I’ll be very happy to hear the minister in estimates, does the minister not agree that this project, which is costing some $55 million or so as he attempts to reinvent the streetcar and the bus, is surely something that the minister himself ought to be up to date on at all times? Is not 10 days a rather long time to come up with answers to a rather vital question?

Hon. Mr. Snow: I do get periodic reports on the UTDC project, but I am not in touch with the UTDC board or president on a day-to-day basis.

Mr. Philip: Supplementary: I wonder if the minister would comment on the rumour that the cars are being lengthened substantially, which would fit into the question the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. S. Smith) has asked him, namely that we seem to be moving to nothing more than a glorified streetcar, having spent something like $85 million on this project already?

Hon. Mr. Snow: I don’t know where the hon. member gets the $85 million figure, but I’m sure we’ll have ample opportunity on Monday evening to discuss what has been spent on this project to date.

I did state in the House in my preliminary answer to the Leader of the Opposition that there was some consideration being given to some lengthening of the vehicle itself. This has been brought about because of advancements in the design as the project has moved forward. I can’t tell the hon. member exactly what percentage of lengthening is being considered, but we’ll have all that information for him on Monday evening.


Mr. S. Smith: May I ask a question of the Minister of Correctional Services? Could the minister tell us about two reports on his ministry’s activities?

First of all, at what stage is the Ombudsman’s report on provincial correctional institutions? Will we see it before Christmas?

Secondly, has he consulted with his colleague, the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry), to determine when the report of the royal commission on the Don Jail will be ready for us to look at?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Probably by the time it is torn down.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Under the procedures of the Ombudsman Act, his reports go back and forth at the civil service level. The final report is about a week or 10 days away from coming to my office. As I said last night in estimates, I haven’t read it and I won’t read it then. I have to print about 500 to 600 copies for the media, the opposition parties, the Legislature et cetera. I would hope that would be some time in the middle of January, although it’s a difficult time of year in the printing industry. When it comes back, I will consider it received and it will be available within 24 hours.

In my estimates last night I informed the critics of the opposition party and of the New Democratic Party that it would be approximately 10 days or so before the printer would be delivering it. As soon as I can get a relatively firm estimate of when it will arrive, I will tell them so they can be prepared for it. To the best of my knowledge, it will be some time about the third or fourth week of January.

As for the question pertaining to the royal commission, I have had a communication from Judge Shapiro which states that he is proceeding. It is more of a courtesy letter, because he is not responsible to me; it is a matter for the Attorney General.

The ministry has been providing Judge Shapiro with additional information and with various other kinds of reports, to keep him up to date. This information has not necessarily been on the Don Jail because, as I understand it, he is looking at conditions in general -- staff and so forth. He assured me in the letter, which I received about three weeks ago, that he was working towards the completion of his report. I don’t know what communications the Attorney General has had with him.

Mr. S. Smith: By way of a brief supplementary, I thank the minister for his answer. Would he be good enough to consult with his colleague, the Attorney General, to determine when this commission, which was established in November 1974 to study allegations of brutality, will present its final report? Although these allegations relate to a jail that is to be closed by the end of the year -- and while I hope it won’t be destroyed, it may well be in the future -- it would be nice to see that report. Could he please make this inquiry of the Attorney General and let us know what the situation is?

Hon. Mr. Drea: Yes, I will.

I would just point out one other thing to the Leader of the Opposition. When studies take this long -- and I’m not casting any aspersions on why it has taken so long -- there is a tremendous difficulty for the critics of the parties for the Legislature and for the media, because they’re longitudinal studies. The people start into them and then find that problems cease to exist or have been corrected. They are very difficult to interpret or to comment upon meaningfully.

I will ask the Attorney General about the status of Judge Shapiro’s report but, just from reading that letter, I would think it would be about five or six years away.


Mr. Lewis: I am afraid I might contaminate the Attorney General, Mr. Speaker, by asking any question at all.

I have just read the Attorney General’s extraordinary statement -- and may I ask him, just out of curiosity, what he thinks about the statement he read? His statement was, as I understand it, largely a report on what the RCMP had revealed to his own staff. What does the Attorney General think about all this stuff? How does he react to all of that as an Attorney General, as a noted civil libertarian, as a man of exquisite judgement, taste and talent? How does he react to this material? I am not going to tell him what I think, but how does he feel about it all?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Flattery will get you anywhere.

Hon. Mr. Davis: You are getting carried away, but you forgot to mention he is an artist.

Mr. Lewis: Yes, and an artist; I am sorry.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Despite all those very complimentary adjectives attributed to my undoubted talents by the leader of the New Democratic Party, I hardly consider myself to be any sort of expert on national security matters.

I was very concerned about the allegation that any police force might be investigating the activities of a legitimate and very important political party. I think my concern was reflected by my immediate request, and I supplied the leader of the NDP with copies of my letters. I hope this indicated my concern in this matter to the leader of the New Democratic Party.

I was somewhat surprised when so many weeks went by. When the leader of the New Democratic Party asked me informally in the House a week or so ago when I might tell the House whether I had received any reply from Mr. Fox, I was rather curious about the delay myself because I had been led to believe, on an almost daily basis, that a letter was forthcoming.

The letter that finally arrived on my desk was not totally satisfactory. I felt that if I had simply reported to the House on the basis of that letter, the leader of the New Democratic Party justifiably would have been quite unsatisfied with my answer.

I read into the record virtually the whole letter from Mr. Fox, which said that they had “not conducted an investigation into the activities of the New Democratic Party as such.” With respect, I didn’t think it would satisfy the members opposite to simply state that that was the response.

I am sure one of the questions would have been, was I satisfied with that response? Obviously not, because I instructed Mr. McLeod, our senior Crown law officer in the criminal field, under the Deputy Attorney General and myself, to meet with the RCMP and obtain clarification as to what they meant by an investigation into a political party “as such.”

I think we all have to be very concerned about maintaining the integrity and independence of political parties. We have to keep them free from any unjust harassment from any quarter, whether it be from police forces or any other quarter.

As a result, Mr. McLeod received a summary which I read into the record in its entirety. Whether or not the RCMP should have been concerned -- which I see as implicit in the leader of the New Democratic Party’s question -- quite clearly is not something that I feel qualified to make a judgement on.

However, I think it is very clear from this report that the RCMP had legitimate concern about certain individuals who may have formed a very small part of a group trying to infiltrate a legitimate political party. Obviously, no political party has any control over the members who may seek to join its ranks.


Mr. Makarchuk: Don’t forget your Western Guard association.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I think it’s quite clear from the RCMP report that it was concerned about these individuals and the fact they might exploit their membership in a legitimate political party. As to whether or not I would agree that their concern was justified, I don’t have all the facts on which their concern was based. I’ve really attempted to communicate to the Legislature all the relevant information I have in this very sensitive matter.

Mr. Lewis: I don’t regard it as sensitive any more -- not after this, I can tell the minister -- but let me thank him.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I wonder if I might comment on that. I hope it has been made abundantly clear by this statement that the RCMP had no grounds at any time to suspect the activities of the New Democratic Party. I just want to underline that.

Mr. Lewis: Nor did they ever thank us, in the interest of national security, for turfing the Waffle out. I never got a letter of commendation from the RCMP.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: That’s something I intended to add in my original remarks.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I look back over there and I am not sure.

Mr. Yakabuski: They’ve still got one there.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I am not in a position to speculate as to the nature of the concern of the leader of the New Democratic Party with the Waffle.

Mr. Lewis: I think they were just silly.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Obviously he had a sufficient amount of concern, if I may say with respect, to stake his own political future and put it on the line in kicking them out, I say to his everlasting credit.

Mr. MacDonald: You watch the Western Guard in your ranks.

Mr. Lewis: I may share with the Attorney General privately that it was a matter of mental health, not national security. It was pathology, not ideology, that was involved.


Mr. Lewis: May I ask a question of the Premier on an unrelated subject, thank goodness? How is the government of Ontario going to respond to the suggestion that came from the federal government in the House of Commons yesterday that somehow it was the environmental standards which we were imposing on the resource companies doing business in Ontario that lay at the root of some of the economic difficulty; and that either we should reduce the environmental standards or perhaps return some of the money which has been paid to maintain those standards? Is it possible to win from the Premier a repudiation of that federal suggestion?

Mr. MacDonald: As he did the Japanese cartel.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I did have occasion, not only to read his remarks, but to observe Mr. Gillespie in action. There are some benefits also, on occasion, from television. Without checking all of the factual and financial information, I really found it regrettable that a federal minister of the Crown would make such observations.

As I said in my reply to the Leader of the Opposition yesterday, I don’t think one can ignore -- nor should we, nor should the select committee -- the balance that must exist between the economic viability of any industry and the need to move ahead with improvement of the environment.

As I understand it in my fairly lengthy discussions with both Inco and Falconbridge, they will acknowledge our environmental controls did impose upon them the need for further capital investments. But they also have stated to me that their present situation, their ability to produce competitively in the world marketplace, at least at this point in time, has not been made much more difficult by our environmental controls. It has had some impact. I think it’s very regrettable that a minister of the Crown in Ottawa would seek to lay the blame on a province that is endeavouring in its own way to move ahead in the environmental field. I guess if I were provoked by some supplementaries I might even use stronger language, but I was very disappointed in Mr. Gillespie’s attitude and I make no bones about it.

Mr. Lewis: By way of supplementary: doesn’t the Premier think that Mr. Gillespie was wilfully and maliciously intruding in the affairs of the Ontario economy in a fashion clearly ultra vires; that, like all other federal Liberals, he just plays games with problems of the economy, games which are mirrored here as well? Can I ask the Premier for a simple yes or no?

Mr. S. Smith: Have you thought of a road show?

Mr. Lewis: Actually, I have a couple of months.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I guess the Liberals are embarrassed by it, as they should be.

Mr. S. Smith: You don’t like what he said either.

Mr. Nixon: Why don’t you say yes?

Hon. Mr. Wells: He is part of their Metro campaign.

Mr. Makarchuk: They probably endorse his views.

Hon. Mr. Davis: No, Mr. Speaker, I am not prepared to say that it was totally wilful or malicious. I might use the word “incompetent”; incompetent might be a better way to describe his sort of instantaneous response yesterday.

Mr. Lewis: I’d accept that, too. Can the Premier be driven further by a further supplementary?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, if one uses the words “malicious” and “wilful,” it means perhaps that person gave it a great deal of thought before he made that response.

Mr. Lewis: Does the Premier think he is incapable of that?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I am not prepared to give Mr. Gillespie that amount of credit on that particular statement.

Mr. Martel: Might I add a little fuel to the fire, then?

Mr. Makarchuk: The pacific member from Sudbury.

Mr. Martel: Will the province, rather than reducing the resource tax as the feds have asked, suggest to the feds that they get out of the imposition of double taxation, which they brought in several years ago in the field that was the prerogative of the province; that is, the taxing of revenues from the mining industry?

Mr. Lewis: Despite the Supreme Court of Canada.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I might suggest that to them. I might suggest getting out of the 10-cent excise tax on gasoline. I might suggest a lot of things to them; in fact, they have been suggested. Of course their response in this particular area demonstrates their lack of capacity to come to grips with basic economic issues, which lack of capacity I think is being demonstrated conclusively day after day in the House of Commons.

Mr. Nixon: The 10 cent tax is federal but the 19 cents is yours. Do we have to go through that again?

Mr. Yakabuski: Don’t defend them; apologize for them.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Kerrio: If anybody is in bed together, it is the Conservatives and the feds.

Mr. Yakabuski: You’re one and the same.

Hon. Mr. Davis: You are running into trouble along with them.

Mr. Yakabuski: They’re afraid of their shadow.

Mr. Speaker: You are wasting the question period.

Mr. Martel: A further supplementary to the Premier: Since the feds have made some suggestion with respect to what the province might do, might the province now ask the feds to stockpile nickel as they stockpiled uranium, wheat and sugar and subsidized gold for many years to keep those industries alive rather than to allow the disaster to occur in Sudbury? Would the province ask the feds to stockpile some nickel?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I understand that suggestion has been made to the government of Canada. To date, I don’t believe they are considering it, but that suggestion was made some many weeks ago.

Mr. S. Smith: What does Joe Clark recommend?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Oh, come on. Never mind Joe. You guys are defending them again. You made that mistake two years ago.


Mr. Speaker: I would like to hear the Minister of Education, if I might.


Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, a few days ago the hon. member for Brantford asked me a question, which I must say gave me some concern, concerning fire evacuation in fire drills at the W. Ross Macdonald School in Brantford. I asked for a complete report on this, and I am informed that the evacuation procedures in the W. Ross Macdonald School have been established and reviewed in cooperation with the Ministry of Government Services’ safety branch, and they have been accepted by the fire prevention officers of the Brantford fire department.

A review of the records has established these two things: 1. At no time was the staff unable to get the children out. 2. The range of time for evacuation is from two minutes and 10 seconds to four minutes and 30 seconds, with an average evacuation time of three minutes for both classroom and residence settings. These statistics also included three false alarms which were inadvertently caused during that period when the records were kept. I am further informed that these evacuation times are acceptable to the school fire safety office.

In presenting this report, I would say if the hon. member knows of any other instance that doesn’t conform to what I have been informed and told, I would be happy to have him give me that information. These are the facts I have ascertained from my review of the situation.

Mr. Makarchuk: Supplementary: Would the minister in that case talk to the staff and the counsellors at the school and particularly investigate the problems they have experienced in evacuating students at night, not during the time when the school was operating and the classes were full?

Hon. Mr. Wells: I particularly asked that question. In fact, I delayed a few days in giving this answer to ask them to be sure there had not been any indications of times when there was a difficulty. As my friend knows, there was the very unfortunate death of the superintendent there and there is now an acting superintendent. However, I think the transition is going well in that regard.

I will be glad to double-check that again because we are certainly concerned about fire safety regulations and the safety of the children, and I want to be sure everything that is possible is done to guarantee that.

Mr. Makarchuk: A further supplementary: The problem arises at night. As I said, the reason for the problem is the lack of staff. As a result, they cannot get the students out of the rooms. I think that is the area the minister should investigate.


Mr. G. I. Miller: I have a question of the Minister of Natural Resources. In view of the fact that approximately 30 land owners along the shore of Lake Erie east of Port Burwell are planning a major suit against both the federal government and the government of Ontario for erosion damage to their property which they claim is caused by the construction of a breakwater at Port Burwell; in view of the fact that one farmer by the name of Mr. John Balthes has lost 75 acres to erosion; and in view of the fact that they are planning to spend up to $15,000 on legal fees, I was wondering if the minister has any program that would be of assistance to these farmers? If so, would he consider meeting with them and discussing it?

Hon. F. S. Miller: The details have not been brought directly to my attention, although I am sure my staff are aware of them. I will be glad to look at them before I agree to see them, but normally I would be delighted to see people of that nature.

Mr. G. I. Miller: Supplementary: Is there a program available then that the minister is aware of at the present time that would be of assistance?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Since I have been minister this has not been a problem. In other words, as far as I know, we haven’t advanced money. I understand this was a major problem two or three years ago with the high waters in Lake Erie. I believe there was some federal-provincial money for some dike and shoreline protection. Whether this is carrying on, I am not sure; but again I can check.


Mr. di Santo: I have a question of the Minister of Education. I would like to ask the minister if he can confirm the report which appeared in the Globe and Mail on December 7 in which he is quoted as saying that the North York Board of Education is charging for heritage language programs and that he is not prepared to change the decision made by the ministry. Is he at this time prepared to give assurance to the House that the ministry is willing to make sure the heritage program will be initiated in the largest board of education in the province?

Hon. Mr. Wells: I am informed from my discussions with the North York board that the program will be instituted but that they do intend to charge a $25 fee. There is no legislation that prohibits that at the present time. Therefore, the decision as to whether that course of action is taken really rests with the North York board. As the member knows, this program is under the continuing education program. There are boards across this province -- in fact, probably North York and many of the Metro boards -- that do charge certain fees, but certainly not the full cost of the program for various programs.

We really have nothing except persuasive powers. As I said in that article in the paper, I don’t agree with the fee. I would hope the North York board might consider not charging it, but we have to recognize they are an elected board, just as we are elected, and we have given them the ground rules under which to bring in this program. They then have a certain leeway and, as elected members, have to make their decisions. I think the proper place for the people who feel the fee should not be charged to direct their attention to is the elected trustees of the board of education in North York.


Mr. di Santo: Supplementary: Wouldn’t the minister have the power to finance directly the total cost of the courses? Doesn’t the minister realize that by charging $25 since the institution of the heritage language program, the board of education of North York is charging more than what private groups were charging last year, which was $15? And doesn’t he think this is a shame and the program a failure?

Hon. Mr. Wells: As I said a few minutes ago, I don’t agree with the $25. I would be quite pleased if they did not charge for the program, which is the case in most of the other boards in this province. But the residents who feel that policy is wrong should direct their attention to the duly elected trustees of the North York board.

Mr. Warner: Surely you can pay more than 28 per cent.

Mr. Turner: Why don’t you take him on?

Mr. Sweeney: Supplementary: Is there not a limitation within the Education Act as to how much a board can charge a parent for any program that it offers? It’s my understanding that the limitation would not go as high as $25, but I stand to be corrected on that.

Hon. Mr. Wells: I would be glad if my friend would show me the section. I asked our lawyers whether there was anything that, first of all, prevented boards from charging for a continuing education program. They tell me there is nothing in the Act that prevents boards from charging. It was not drawn to my attention that there was anything that set a limit. Certainly the boards could not charge above what the program was costing, but most of the charges on the continuing education programs are nominal charges, sometimes for supplies and equipment used, and so forth. But I would be glad to look at it.


Mr. Eakins: Mr. Speaker, to the Minister of Industry and Tourism: I would like to ask the minister what action he took in response to a brief, presented by the Sudbury chapter of the Ontario Motor League in 1973, wherein it was predicted that the greater Sudbury area would be faced with extreme financial hardship in the near future because of the decline in the mining operations; and that, because of this fact, the minister could and should effect improvements that would establish tourism more firmly as a major northern Ontario industry in order to compensate for this anticipated loss of revenue. What action was taken on the part of the minister?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, in trying to recall what action was taken on a memo that came into existence in November 1973, I could not be sure at this particular moment what our discussions happened to be at the time.

However, as a result of the input, not only by the group from the Sudbury area but from across this province, there were changes made by this government in various tourism programs to assist the local organizations on a direct funding basis to help them establish their advertising promotion operations in a more concrete way. Indeed, some of the areas of the development corporation were changed to afford greater opportunity for the private sector to upgrade and improve the facilities in the tourist industry and to give a greater number of people the opportunity to become involved in the tourist industry in a very direct way.


Mr. Warner: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Energy. With the knowledge of the tragic death of a baby resulting from a fire in Gleneaden Court in Bramalea, as well as of three house fires in Oakville and a house fire in Milton, where in each case Ontario Hydro had inspected the homes and discovered illegal receptacles hooked up to aluminum wiring, will the minister demand that Ontario Hydro stop its cover-up of this situation and begin helping citizens by replacing the illegal receptacles?

Hon. J. A. Taylor: Mr. Speaker, the member knows very well that a royal commissioner currently is studying this whole matter, reviewing it, hearing evidence in an open and objective way, to determine whether there is any such relationship. I don’t think the member can conclude that, merely because there was aluminum wiring, the accidents, death or fires were attributable to its existence. That is the function of the royal commission that has been set up.

When those recommendations are in, they will be given very close consideration by the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr. Grossman), who is responsible in terms of the building code -- I hope the member appreciates that -- and not my ministry. But Hydro, I can assure the hon. member, will take note of those recommendations.

Mr. Warner: Supplementary: Is the minister not aware that Ontario Hydro had banned the steel screw receptacles for aluminum wiring in 1974, had examined homes in 1976 finding the illegal receptacles but has never reported the same back to the owners, nor have they presented such evidence to the public inquiry on aluminum wiring?

Hon. J. A. Taylor: These are matters that surely should be dealt with by the royal commission. Ontario Hydro inspects wiring in this province; there’s no question about that. If there isn’t proper inspection, then I would assume they wouldn’t get the service hookup. But what happens after that inspection, I suppose, is something else again. I certainly am not going to be drawn into some false conclusion just because of an allegation that the hon. member may make or he may have read.

Mr. Warner: Is the minister not aware that instead of presenting the evidence which it has, Ontario Hydro has spent its time in the inquiry cross-examining witnesses and having foreknowledge of the submissions made by witnesses before those submissions were made to the inquiry? They’ve been busying themselves with cross-examining people instead of presenting evidence which they have themselves.

Mr. Speaker: That’s not a question. That’s a statement.

Mr. Warner: No, I asked him if he was aware of that.

Hon. J. A. Taylor: Ontario Hydro is not on trial in connection with that hearing.

Mr. Warner: Maybe they should be.

Hon. J. A. Taylor: Ontario Hydro is there to be helpful in every way that it can be.


Mr. G. Taylor: Mr. Speaker, a question to the Minister of Transportation and Communications --

Mr. Reed: Oh, this may be a tough one.

Mr. G. Taylor: In view of the fact that I have a community in my riding known as Penetanguishene, and in view of the fact that we have road signs indicating the distance to get there, could I ask the minister -- not that I want a select committee on the matter -- to have somebody from his ministry investigate why the signs giving directions to that community say “Penetang” and not “Penetanguishene,” even though I understand there is a restraint program on?

Mr. Foulds: They can’t spell it.

An hon. member: They can’t get it all on the sign.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, I’m not aware of this particular problem, but since the hon. member has brought it to my attention, I’ll see if we can’t find a little longer board and a few more letters to put the full name on.


Mr. Blundy: Mr. Speaker, I wish to ask a question of the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations. It has to do with the lack of response to the known fact that houses in several areas have been inspected and these homes have been found to have steel screw receptacles. Ontario Hydro inspected these homes in 1976 and has known about it.

My question to the minister is, in view of the fact that the hearing on aluminum wiring will not be reporting until the fall, is he content to let this known hazard in these homes go untouched or unreplaced until next fall, in view of the fact that we now have already one death caused by that particular cause?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: I’m very concerned about the possibility that there may be a dangerous situation continuing while we await the outcome of the aluminum wiring inquiry. Of course, my responsibility through my ministry is only to see that the inquiry proceeds and reports. The action to be taken either before or after that time is a matter for the government at large and some other ministries specifically.

Because of my very great concern with regard to the passage of time, I will be making some further inquiries in the next day or two, in addition to some I have already made to Dr. Wilson, with regard to seeing if he can report earlier than the member has anticipated.

I might say, as a result of some of our earlier inquiries, he will find the hearing will be reporting something some time earlier than next fall. I’m now working on having them report at the earliest possible date and I may be able to report to the hon. member further on my success in those endeavours.

Mr. Blundy: I do not understand whether the minister is suggesting an interim report when he refers to an earlier report than the final report. I would like to ask him, because of the known problem and because of the recent death and the possibility of others, would it not be right to have an interim report on this particular aspect?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: To the best of my information, I think they only have half a dozen or a dozen hearing days left before they sit down to write their report. So while the commission is well on its way towards the stage at which they’ll be writing their report, hearings will be finished by the end of this year -- by the end of this month -- and then they’ll be sitting down to write the report. Hence my suggestion to Dr. Wilson that the writing of the report be undertaken and completed at the earliest possible time.

Mr. Kerrio: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: We’ve had five questions on this already.

Mr. Kerrio: We’ve only had one supplementary on this question.

Mr. Speaker: The two were related -- the question by the member for Sarnia and the question by the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere.

Mr. Kerrio: We have to ban aluminum wiring while this is going on to make some sense out of this deal.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. minister has the answer to a question asked previously.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Yes, Mr. Speaker, it was a question asked by the member for Sudbury East of the Premier. If it would be satisfactory to him, perhaps I could respond to that question. Would that be all right?

Mr. Martel: Yes.


Hon. Mr. Grossman: The member for Sudbury East asked the Premier on Tuesday what I and my ministry were going to do with respect to Ross Shouldice who, according to the member for Sudbury East, is now operating again without a real estate licence in the Sudbury area. He wanted to know whether we would reconvene the Horowitz inquiry into the conduct, both past and present, of Mr. Shouldice.

As the members are aware, Mr. Shouldice was the subject of an extensive investigation by the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations some years ago. The investigation culminated in a proposal by the registrar under the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act to revoke his registration as a real estate broker.

Mr. Shouldice requested a hearing before the Commercial Registration Appeal Tribunal, of which J. C. Horowitz is the chairman. However, Mr. Shouldice subsequently withdrew his request for the hearing and, in view of a divisional court ruling in a similar case, this left the tribunal with no status to proceed. No new application for registration under the Act has been received since that time from Mr. Shouldice.

Dealing with the first part of the question, in a letter which the member for Sudbury East sent to the Premier on October 13, the member asked the same questions. We investigated to determine whether Mr. Shouldice is acting as an unlicensed real estate broker. Our investigation indicates that Mr. Shouldice is active on the business scene, but so far there are no indications that he has contravened the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act.

I have, however, asked the Housing and Urban Development Association of Canada and the home warranty plan to review the registration and activities of Conservative Construction Company, also referred to. I would invite the hon. member or anyone else who has some concrete information which may further assist us to step forward and provide us with those details so that we can continue to look into the matter.

Mr. Martel: I have a very brief supplementary. Is the minister not aware that Ross Shouldice does the negotiations for the sale of real estate and simply has his brother Bev sign the agreement of the sale and uses that vehicle for transacting his business?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: As the member will be aware, an employee of a company, or a principal of a company in fact, may operate in that fashion -- that is, in the sale of real estate -- without a licence.

Mr. Deans: What’s the point of having the whole proceeding then?


Hon. Mr. Grossman: The question is whether he is acting as an independent agent or a broker not related to the vendor company, in which case he would require a licence. But if he is operating as an employee of the building company then he, like anyone else acting for any building construction company, can, as an employee, operate in the sale end of the transaction.

Mr. Martel: You have no control over them, then?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: The member quite properly asks the question as to whether we have any control over it. The control over it, I suppose, would be through the registered company, the builder, which is selling --

Mr. Martel: It is his brother.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Yes, it would be the brother if the member’s information is correct. It would be through the company that is registered, and hiring Mr. Shouldice or whomever as an employee to assist in sales. The practice of employing in-house people to sell property is very common. In fact, builders don’t like to build subdivisions and then pay a five per cent commission to independent brokers on every sale. So the common practice is to use employees.

Because of the concerns raised by the member, and our concerns, we are looking at the activities of the registered company involved. That is why we are going at it through that vehicle, to see what the details of the registration are, what information has been disclosed, and how the registered builder has operated.


Ms. Bryden: I have a question of the Provincial Secretary for Resources Development. In his briefing material for his estimates issued this week, the provincial secretary tells us that his secretariat is engaged in a research project to examine the economic and social impact of the extremes in climate on a few selected parts of Ontario; and it plans to devise a number of scenarios for study.

I would like to ask the provincial secretary, has he included the current Toronto weather scenario in his study? But, more seriously, how can he justify spending money on this kind of research when we apparently don’t have enough money to increase day-care places or to look after children with learning disabilities?

Hon. Mr. Brunelle: I have difficulty understanding the member’s question; there’s a bit of noise going on. Did she refer to scenarios about the weather?

Ms. Bryden: Page 8 of the minister’s briefing book says: “The secretariat is currently co-ordinating a study group to devise a number of scenarios which will attempt to show the economic and social impact of extremes in climate on a few selected parts of Ontario.”

Hon. Mr. Brunelle: Was the question, would we include Toronto?

Ms. Bryden: My main question -- the Toronto one was perhaps a facetious one; we do have a scenario in Toronto right now. My main question is, how can the minister justify spending money on this kind of research when we don’t appear to have enough money to increase day-care places or look after children with learning disabilities?

Hon. Mr. Brunelle: We think it is of some importance. The work is being done by an interministerial task force, and we think this is an important part of our work. I would be pleased to send more information to the member on the work being done by the task force.

Ms. Bryden: Supplementary: Could the minister indicate how much money is being spent on this project?

Hon. Mr. Brunelle: To my knowledge, none so far.


Mrs. Campbell: My question is to the Solicitor General: Now that the militia has slapped the wrists of those youthful, high-spirited militiamen who allegedly pointed weapons at women, could the Solicitor General tell me what the police in this city are doing to investigate that incident?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: We are aware of it. The police did do some investigation. It was a militia operation. The militia did carry out an investigation, and it has been reported upon. I think there was concern about the youth of the people involved. They were under some colour of right -- at least they thought they were -- in carrying out this operation.

There is no question they should not have done what they did. I am not trying to defend them in any way. At the same time, as far as criminal action against these young people is concerned, I don’t think we want to do anything that would leave these people with any kind of a criminal record. They’ve been reprimanded, as I understand it, by the military authorities. Their officer in charge was reprimanded. To take criminal action against them at this time would not be warranted.

Mr. Samis: Whitewash.

Mrs. Campbell: Are we then to take it that undisciplined young people in uniform now have carte blanche to go out and terrorize people in this community? Is that the minister’s position?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Absolutely no. There was no suggestion in my reply that this was the case. That’s a ridiculous question and the answer is certainly no.


Mr. Swart: I have a question for the Minister of Industry and Tourism, if I could have his attention. Since Monday I have had the opportunity to look at the statement which he tabled. Though I welcome the final total capitulation of the minister in admitting that we do have the capacity and the technology to produce the pipe for the Alaska pipeline in Canada, the basic question is left unanswered by that statement.

May I put it to the minister in specific terms? What specific measures is the minister insisting be included in the terms and conditions of the United States-Canada agreement now being negotiated to guarantee the use of Canadian pipe, compressors and other equipment in the Alaska pipeline?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: I think if the member has really read over the statement, he would see on page 3 that the specifications for the pipeline, the size of pipe, the compressors and other valves and so on that will be used in the construction will ultimately be the decision of the National Energy Board of Canada. We have made our position very clear, as have the president and chairman of Stelco and the president of Foothills Pine Lines (Yukon) Limited, to the National Energy Board through the Minister of Energy and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce of Canada.

I am not sure we can go a great deal further, other than having made our position clear and having indicated the capabilities of the province of Ontario and its industry in all aspects of the pipeline. The National Energy Board is aware of it. We hope they will, within a realistic period of time -- and that’s within the next year -- come out with the full specifications that will afford Canadians -- rather than being parochial -- the opportunity to bid on the various components of this pipeline.

Mr. Swart: Supplementary: Isn’t there something more involved in this than just the opportunity of bidding? Would the minister not agree that the present agreement gives no guarantee whatsoever -- even no priority -- for the use of Canadian pipe? Secondly, is it not true that a bill will be introduced into the federal House before Christmas relating to the pipeline? So doesn’t the minister think now is the critical time for him to make representation and propose specific clauses in that bill to assure the use of Canadian pipe?

Hon. Mr Bennett: I have mentioned in this House on more than one occasion, and I have mentioned in the estimates of my ministry to this very member and to other members of his party and of the Liberal Party, that we have indicated as a ministry, through the deputy minister and through various specific areas of the ministry, to the federal department which has an input to the National Energy Board, which has an input to whatever conditions will be included in some of the terms of reference to the contract, exactly what the capabilities are in this province in producing it.

The Prime Minister of this country, the minister at the federal level and others have very carefully and precisely explained that there is not the opportunity of writing into the contract that exclusive use will be made of Canadian products. They have said clearly and distinctly, both from a government point of view and from the point of view of Foothills Pipe Lines (Yukon) Limited -- and the Stelco president, I might say, has indicated this -- that they believe Canadians can be competitive with anybody that will quote on this contract.

We have put our position as Canadians and as Ontarians very clearly to the federal government. I believe the competence and the capabilities of the Canadians and the Ontarians to compete on the contract stands there without having specific terms, which are not possible to put into a contract, entered into the contract.

Mr. Kerrio: Supplementary: The minister has made the point very clearly that we can and will be very competitive. I would ask him one question that I think is very important.

In view of the fact that there are many companies with the capability of producing the pipe worldwide--Japanese, German, Italian--that are without work and much interested in this line, and since they may well get supplementary funds from their governments to bring it to our shores, would the minister see to it that we are kept in a very competitive position and that we will not be bidding against foreign producers who have been helped by their governments to bring their pipe to Canada?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: First of all, I cannot say that we will not be bidding against foreign pipe suppliers; that will come in due course. To assure the member and the House, both this government and the government in Ottawa will keep a very close eye on what is happening in relationship to pricing and special treatments which may be afforded companies of various countries in bidding on this contract.

We will keep a very close eye on how it relates to existing world tariff agreements, so there is not a subsidization, a non-tariff position, or grant of capital being given to a company that affords them an opportunity to dump, in a sense, pipe made by companies in other countries of the world on the Canadian market. We will keep a very close eye on it.

We have a rough idea, both federally and provincially -- through Stelco and others -- of what it costs to produce pipe in this country and in other areas of the world. Those prices will be kept very closely under observation as the tenders are brought forward.

Mr. Deans: What possible good will that do? It will have happened by then.

Hon. Mr. Bennett: It won’t happen.

Mr. Makarchuk: Supplementary: Now that the minister has explained to the senior government his views on the pipe, can he explain why he hasn’t discussed compressors and compressor components? Second, now that it has been brought to the minister’s attention, would he assure us that he will also express our views on producing compressors and compressor components to the senior levels of government?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, I am not sure whether the members in that party happen to be listening --

Mr. Ruston: They don’t listen.

Mr. Swart: They don’t hear anything.

Hon. Mr. Bennett: That’s right, they don’t. I said earlier today, and at the time the member attended my estimates session, that we weren’t only looking at the pipe supply of this contract, which is large and very important to the economy of Ontario and Canada. I answered -- I think to the member for Welland-Thorold -- that we were also looking at and making representation on component parts of the pipeline installation in Canada.

That includes compressors, valves, welding and all the other things that go to make a fine and effective pipeline.

I say very carefully and clearly to the House: While the pipe is the principal item, there are a great number of other components that we have been discussing with federal representatives and other people in relation to our capacity to produce for that pipeline.

Mr. Swart: Another short supplementary: Is it not true that President Carter has placed a tariff, based on a trigger price, on the importation of steel into the United States? Would this not be one of the options we should be considering here in Canada with regard to the pipeline? Would the minister make some such proposal to Mr. Homer?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: Without trying to get deeply into what Mr. Carter and the US government have done relating to steel, I think his remarks and his restrictions relate to some very specific flat steel being supplied to the American market by foreign companies.

Mr. Swart: It is pipe steel we are concerned about here.

Hon. Mr. Bennett: As to whether we could implement the same type of action on the pipeline without infringing upon tariff arrangements, that is something we can look at. I wouldn’t be sure of it at this moment.


Mr. Reid: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the minister of natural disasters. Now that the minister has floated his balloons about imposing another tax on the people of Ontario -- to wit, a fishing licence -- can he tell us whether in the spring he is going to impose a fishing licence on the people of Ontario and still do nothing about the fishing?

Mr. Nixon: It depends on whether there is going to be an election or not.

Hon. F. S. Miller: One of my primary natural disasters appears this morning to be speaking more through his nose than usual. I think the member has a little infection somewhere in the upper respiratory tract.

An hon. member: He’s been eating too many fish.

An hon. member: You’re no longer the Minister of Health.


Mr. Speaker: What about an answer to the question that dealt specifically with fish and fishing licences?

Hon. F. S. Miller: He is a bit of a hypochondriac, Mr. Speaker. You have to help him any time you can.

With the co-operation of the federal government, we have been looking at the problems of both commercial and sport fishing in Ontario for some years.

Mr. Kerrio: “With the co-operation of the federal government?” You haven’t been talking to the Premier.

Hon. F. S. Miller: Through that, we have had a proposal called the strategic plan for Ontario fisheries. My staff has been going around the province for several months showing this to interested groups, anglers and hunters and so on. It is the result of years of work and volumes of material. One of the suggestions was a four-point program under which there would have to be some kind of revenue for an improvement in the fishery management system. In their opinion, this revenue most likely could come from the user-pays principle.

It is interesting that those trial balloons the member talks about received very favourable comment from people like NOTOA and from most press people, provided any moneys were used to improve fishing.

One of these days, shortly, I will announce my decision, because my staff has finished this week and come to me and said: “We are now ready to present this to you, Mr. Minister, and have you make your mind up as to whether it should proceed further to cabinet.” I am in the process of making a decision as to whether to make that recommendation, and because of cabinet secrecy, until such time as I have done so I am not prepared to say what I am going to do.

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

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, I wonder if you might allow me to use this point in the proceedings, while we have most of the members here, to make an amendment to the order of business for next week which I announced yesterday. Would you allow that?

Mr. Speaker: Is it agreed?



Hon. Mr. Welch: Under the provision of rules, we announce the order of business for the next week on Thursdays. I just wanted to make known a change that has been arranged. The estimates of the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations apparently will be finished in committee of supply on Monday afternoon at 6 o’clock. Therefore, at 8 o’clock on Monday evening we will be able to devote some time to legislation. I wanted to serve that notice now, that we will have some time Monday evening. We will start with Bill 98, the Municipal Elections Act, hopefully to complete it on Monday night next. Then, if time remains after that bill is completed, we will turn to Bills 112, 113 and 114 standing in the name of the Solicitor General (Mr. MacBeth) as time will allow and, if there were still time, to Bill 115, the amendment to the Condominium Act standing in the name of the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr. Grossman). In fairness I thought we should indicate that change.


Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, there is one correction with that order of business. The bills that will be proceeded with by the Solicitor General are Bills 112 and 113. Bill 114 is only on the order paper for information. We are not calling it for second reading on Monday.


Ms. Bryden: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, concerning what appears to be incorrect or unclear information which the Minister of the Environment gave to the resources development committee this week.

On December 7 in the resources development committee, when the estimates of the Ministry of the Environment were being considered, I asked the minister if the certificate of approval for burning PCBs at the St. Lawrence Cement Company in Mississauga had been withdrawn or was still in effect. He replied, “No, it is not in effect.” This morning I read in the Globe and Mail that, in fact, it has not been withdrawn and there appear to be some legal difficulties in cancelling it.

I think the resources development committee has been given unclear information on whether this order is still in effect legally or not. I would request an explanation from the minister on this matter.

Mr. Lewis: Do you want to speak to the point of order? Defend yourself?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Yes. Of course, the story this morning, particularly the headline, is a distortion. Certainly to the question of whether or not something is withdrawn, if one uses its literal meaning -- in other words, have I in my hand or has the ministry in its possession the actual certificate? -- the answer is no.

But what I said in the estimates is, as the hon. member has said, that the certificate is not in effect. In other words, the company does not have the right to burn PCB-contaminate material at this point. As I have indicated over and over again, there has not been any burning of PCB-contaminated material since last April.

If the member wants to use the literal meaning of the word “withdrawn” then she is right. It hasn’t been withdrawn, but it certainly has been cancelled and, as the story indicates, there are two or three ways in which we can formally withdraw that particular certificate, which we intend to do.

As a matter of fact, we still expect the certificate will be voluntarily surrendered by the company. It is a matter of getting it in the mail. But if there is any problem with that, we can issue a condition, or an order, or a direction, to the company indicating that as of a certain date, that certificate no longer is in effect. So there is no problem, there is no confusion nor is there any --

Mr. Lewis: Oh, yes.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: -- error or confliction in what I have said.

Mr. Lewis: You are guilty of a clear case of acute imprecision.

Mr. Kennedy: Mr. Speaker, on the point of order, could I have a word, please? I, too, saw the article in the Globe and Mail and the fact is that, certificate or no certificate -- I spoke to the manager, and the minister has confirmed it -- certificate, licence, whatever, there is no burning of PCBs going on at that plant nor will there be. The manager told us this and in this respect the article does imply it is taking place, because it says a number of other options are open to stop the burning of waste oils containing PCBs. The fact is, they are not being burned.



Mr. Havrot from the standing resources development committee presented the committee’s report which was read as follows and adopted:

Your committee begs to report the following bills without amendment:

Bill 102, An Act to amend the Farm Products Marketing Act.

Bill 103, An Act to amend the Milk Act.


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

Resolved: That supply in the following amount and to defray the expenses of the Resources Development policy secretariat be granted to Her Majesty for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1978: Resources Development policy program, $3,126,000.



The following bills were given third reading on motion:

Bill 102, An Act to amend the Farm Products Marketing Act.

Bill 103, An Act to amend the Milk Act.


Resolutions for supply for the following ministries were concurred in by the House:

Ministry of Health;

Ministry of Agriculture and Food;

Office of the Ombudsman;

Office of the Ombudsman (supplementary);

Office of the Assembly (supplementary);

Ministry of the Environment;

Ministry of the Environment (supplementary);

Ministry of Culture and Recreation;

Ministry of Culture and Recreation (supplementary);

Provincial Secretariat for Resources Development.


Mr. Hodgson, on behalf of Mr. Turner, moved second reading of Bill Pr4, An Act respecting the County of Peterborough.

Motion agreed to.

Third reading also agreed to on motion.


Mr. Rowe, on behalf of Mr. Walker, moved second reading of Bill Pr10, An Act respecting the City of London.

Motion agreed to.

Third reading also agreed to on motion.


Mr. B. Newman moved second reading of Bill Pr11, An Act respecting the City of Windsor.

Motion agreed to.

Third reading also agreed to on motion.


Mr. Rowe, on behalf of Mr. Rotenberg, moved second reading of Bill Pr18, An Act respecting the City of Toronto.

Motion agreed to.

Third reading also agreed to on motion.


Mr. Hodgson moved second reading of Bill Pr20, An Act respecting the Township of Georgina.

Motion agreed to.

Third reading also agreed to on motion.


Mr. B. Newman moved second reading of Bill Pr21, An Act respecting the City of Windsor.

Motion agreed to.

Third reading also agreed to on motion.


House in committee of supply.


On vote 1402, commercial standards program; item 4, Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund:

Mr. B. Newman: Mr. Chairman, I wanted to ask of the minister what the disposition of the case of Mr. George Jenkins was? He was the individual who in 1957 was involved in a motor vehicle accident. He assumed the insurance covered everything. He was a student at Assumption High School at the time in 1957. He joined the US military services, came back into Ontario, and then just recently had his licence lifted by the local police and was assessed charges of approximately $1,300.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: I know the member won’t be surprised to know that I don’t have the details of the ultimate disposition just offhand. That figure sounds horrendous but I do recall hearing that figure. I don’t have the specifics of the case but I’ll try to get that for the member for our continuation on Monday, although we won’t be on this vote. I’ll try to have something for him on Monday on that.

Mr. B. Newman: I appreciate that. Is there any way of avoiding a similar problem taking place in the future? Surely, after being originally convicted in 1957, to have his licence now lifted by the police 20 years later shows there’s something wrong in the ministry as far as follow-up is concerned.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: There is something wrong with that happening. I’m not sure it’s in the ministry but I’ll report to you. That shouldn’t be happening and I’ll find out why.

Item 4 agreed to.

On item 5, companies:

Mr. Davison: Mr. Chairman, I’m concerned about the registrar of partnerships requiring certified cheques for registration. Two cases have come to my attention that have shown this practice to be causing some problems. I would like to read you two short paragraphs from a letter by a citizen of the province which explains fairly well the frustration he faced after having sent his cheque, which had been good for 25 years in the community he lived in and with people in the province that he worked with. He was engaged in a series of letters back and forth between himself and that part of your ministry. Finally, he was so frustrated that he penned lines as follows:

“I must say that your stupidity, red tape and petty nitpicking certainly leaves much to be desired. However, when dealing with the government I guess one should know by now that this is what is to be expected. It makes one wonder if it pays a person to try to do the right thing when they get hassles like this.

“In closing, please be advised that you have cost the taxpayers of this province $10, as I have no intention of continuing with this hassle of registering my business, for I shall just carry on without the registration.”

I don’t know how prevalent that frustration is. I suspect it’s not something we find with every person who tries to register; but why the insistence on a certified cheque? Is that really necessary?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: No doubt it is more efficient than spending money on chasing down NSF cheques which would pop up from time to time. Ultimately, we would have to make the decision as to whether we were going to spend a lot of money chasing NSF cheques, or whether we were going to do without the money when the odd cheque bounces on us. That’s the answer, I think. It’s a responsible fiscal position for the government to take and it’s not unusual in the case of a lot of government registrations and filings. It is highly unusual in the sense of ordinary demands made in commercial transactions between lawyers, law firms and real estate closings and so on.

Mr. Davison: All right, we won’t get into a discussion about the value of lawyers, government and so forth. I’m afraid we’ve engaged in that before.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Better not.

Mr. Davison: But it’s not as if we’re selling a product where the guy has the goods and we have to track him down. It’s simply a case of not allowing the registration to go through until the cheque has been cashed. Or you can take away the registration. This citizen is very frustrated about it and it strikes me as a rather unnecessary kind of frustration that he has gone through. All these long letters, after his credit has been good for 25 years, to find out that he has to have a certified cheque. I don’t know how many people it disturbed, but it disturbed him. If this is one citizen who is holding back $10, I don’t know how many there are. I thank you, though, for your answer.

Are you concerned about the subject of lawyers -- the current mood in the legal community towards the incorporation of lawyers? What do you think about it, as the minister? Do you have any comments you would like to make at this time about proposals from certain people in the legal community?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: As the minister I can only say that if a decision was taken -- I think it was a federal income tax decision -- then as the minister responsible here, we process those applications for incorporation as we process all the others. As a lawyer, rather than as the minister, I may have a lot more to say, but I know you are not interested in that today.

Mr. Davison: Is the extent of your interest as the minister just the technicalities involved?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: That’s my authority.

Mr. Davison: Just two other questions on the companies branch: I have had some cases that I had to go to the companies branch with. It strikes me as a rather lengthy process for little feedback. The extent of the action that seems to be taken is that we can cut off their registration. Two companies my constituents have had problems with are a company by the name of Treasurettes and another company by the name of Steel City Wreckers.

We have been working on the first case since June, and we are now into the latter part of the year. The extent of our progress is, we have been able to get the ministry to hold a hearing, because the company officials have disappeared along with the company and along with all the money from the people they took money from. So far we have the willingness on the part of the ministry to hold a hearing into the matter of the registration, which I realize is the procedure in the Act. It is not going to result in any great benefit to my constituents though.

It would be more helpful to my constituents if we could have a more active process in the ministry. I realize you are not a group of private detectives or police officers, but would it be possible, with some modest changes in direction, to make the branch a bit more meaningful in the service it can provide to people who have been defrauded by fly-by-night corporations who quickly disappear?

The Treasurettes case has been a very long process. At the end of the tunnel there is not much benefit your ministry can provide to my constituents.

The case of Steel City Wreckers which is another fly-by-night corporation in Hamilton is a case of a demolition company that didn’t pay its employees. Because of the regulations you operate under, they didn’t even have to be licensed by anybody, which enabled them to operate as they wished, without any control from your ministry or the local municipalities. If you could address yourself to the question of companies or operations that seem to get along without accountability to your ministry, what would you do in terms of changing modestly some directions in this particular part of your ministry, to provide a more active pursuit of fly-by-night companies?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: In the pursuit of fly-by-night companies -- whether registered as limited companies or as a partnership, sole proprietorship, or indeed, unregistered, or as an individual -- there is no difference. It doesn’t vary over that spectrum. Those people who are ripping off, cheating, fly-by-nighters, I hope are caught under the business practices legislation we have -- the Business Practices Act and so on. It matters not, of course, whether it’s a limited company or not.

Under this particular vote, therefore, the activity of the corporations branch, the companies branch of my ministry, is not that sort of activity. It’s not a policing activity to stop fraudulent activities as they are occurring over the counter, or from door to door in the marketplace. The marketplace’s control and protection is in the business practices branch of the ministry.

The actions taken by the companies branch provide that the companies branch shall hold those hearings and cancel certificates of incorporation for things such as failure to file annual returns, or failure to file the requisite notices under the corporations information branch. In other words, the cancellations and hearings involve failures of the incorporated companies to supply the ministry with the type of information they must supply to the ministry, so there will be information on hand for the benefit of persons who come to the ministry seeking, quite properly, the corporate information that they are entitled to under the Act.

Where companies are failing to make disclosures, as required under our legislation for the benefit of consumers, then the companies branch will move against those companies. Where they are carrying on unfair business practices, then the business practices division of my ministry will go after those limited companies.

Mr. Davison: I understand that. It’s not so much the fact that they were carrying on unfair business practices, as the fact that, in the middle of the night, they disappear; nobody can find them. The extent of your ministry’s capacity seems to be only to decertify them, which just doesn’t help my constituents who get involved with these companies.

I didn’t receive any great amount of help from the business practices people, which seems to indicate there is nothing you can do within your ministry to change that process, so the person, I take it, then has to seek action or recourse outside of your ministry?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: If the member has any constructive suggestions as to what the companies branch or the business practices branch might do to make sure that companies don’t fold up and disappear in the middle of the night, or in fact to make sure individuals who are not incorporated don’t disappear overnight to Brazil or wherever, in order to abscond with the money, then I’d be more than happy to hear it. It’s no different from a lot of other legislation. There are indeed criminal laws in the Criminal Code against rape, murder and bank robbery. We haven’t yet found a system whereby we can make sure that people still don’t commit those crimes.

I’d be more than happy to hear any suggestions you might have which will stop people -- whether they’ve paid with an NSF cheque or a certified cheque or are incorporated or unincorporated -- from folding up in the middle of the night and disappearing.

Mr. Davison: Before we move on, there are areas in your ministry where efforts have been made -- in the travel industry, for instance -- to assure some kind of continuity, some kind of protection. Has the minister thought of extending that kind of concept to other fields, such as fly-by-night companies?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: I think -- and I hope the member will agree -- that the appropriate way to approach that is on an industry basis, rather than say, for example, that all incorporated companies shall pay into a fund from which members of the public who have been ripped off by any one of those companies -- and there are, by the way, 220,000 in Ontario -- would be compensated.


What you would really be advocating -- and you may want to make the argument here and in other places -- is that there should be a general compensation fund, not only for limited companies, but for people who are sole proprietors and people who are carrying on business without any form of registration, as they are entitled to, and that everyone in the province should pay into a fund either through tax dollars or directly for the right to do business, if you wanted to argue that. There would be a huge compensation to refund people out there and we would then set up perhaps an extension of the New Zealand injury compensation scheme.

There is no place in the world that has such an all-embracing fund to compensate consumers. What we think is a preferable approach is to look at it on an industry basis and see what industries from their track record are apparently prone to that sort of behaviour, because it is easy to effect the collection of money up front because of the nature of the business, and to see also where there is no existing compensation fund or any insurance backup or any mechanism whereby restitution becomes meaningful.

The travel industry is a pretty good example where it is easy to go into the business. One doesn’t necessarily have an amount of expertise involved. Money must be paid up front to make the necessary arrangements, reservations and so on. It’s an area which is susceptible to that sort of activity and also where it is difficult to effect restitution where they leave. Where we identify industries -- and you may have some suggestions -- where that activity would warrant a compensation fund, then we would investigate those. Indeed we have implemented a few of those over the years. I think that’s a preferable way to approach it.

Mr. Davison: Perhaps over the next period of months I will suggest some areas where you could move like that. Does the minister have any areas he has found to be problem areas in the business world, where he is thinking of getting involved in this kind of situation?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: There are some that are continuing causes of concern. Whether they are areas in which a compensation fund is the appropriate remedy or not, I would question. There is no disputing the fact, for example, that dance studios would give us some problem. It’s a recurring problem susceptible to bait-and-switch tactics and a recurring pattern of that. We are continually moving into those areas. It is safe to say I am looking at the general pattern in dance studios. There are some others you may wish to refer to me.

The real estate business is obviously a situation where substantial deposits are paid and held in trust accounts, but where someone, as the member for Hamilton Centre says, is perhaps going to fold up and disappear in the middle of the night. We perhaps would want something to protect the prospective home owner who has laid up money into a fund, money that may have been saved up over a period of years to help towards the purchase of a home, when suddenly the money has disappeared. If it has disappeared it has probably disappeared out of the country and it is probably a substantial amount of money. There is an area where we are looking at a compensation fund as well.

There are probably some other examples I could get you out of our files. In any event, if you want to discuss it further under the business practices vote of the ministry, that might be appropriate. If you have any suggestions over the months, please let us know.

Mr. Blundy: In talking about this particular area of the ministry, I would like to draw to the minister’s attention, and hopefully to his concern, the great proliferation of home improvement companies that seem to be arising throughout all our municipalities. It seems to me many people who haven’t any other jobs band together and have home improvement companies. I am thinking about people such as siding contractors, who are dealing with a home owner who is really not very knowledgeable about the subject. Currently, one of the greatest matters is the installation of insulation in older homes and so forth. The average home owner knows nothing about how it is or should be done, or what is a good or bad job. All he wants is the hoped-for effect.

Among paving contractors there are little companies, often what you call “fly-by-night,” who come into municipalities and take advantage of the expected ignorance of home owners. I have personally had a number of complaints about groups who are really preying on the home owner to do home improvements. Then, after they have flown the coop, there is evidence the work they did was inadequate, and when it came to the matter of insulation in older homes, in some cases even wrong. Has the minister anything to say about that? Is there something to which I could refer these people? Is there something the minister plans to do in this matter?

Mr. Chairman: I wonder if the minister could delay the answer until the proper vote, the next item?

Mr. Ziemba: Just one question, Mr. Chairman: Has the companies division changed its policy with regard to the files of incorporated companies? Is it now the policy that files only go back five years rather than, as previously -- whatever it was, 20, or almost indefinitely -- since companies were first incorporated?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: I am informed the annual returns are kept. Of course they don’t file returns any more. But the ones that are there are destroyed after five years. So you would only now find them going back five years.

Mr. Ziemba: When was that decision made to destroy records after five years?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: It would be almost exactly one year ago.

Mr. Ziemba: Don’t you think this runs counter to offering protection to consumers, to citizens of Ontario? Some people might suggest it was a coverup. Questionable operators are given a blanket amnesty if records are kept only for five years. I wonder if your ministry has ever heard of microfilm. What would be the reason for this decision?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: You may want to refer to the Corporations Information Act which requires that the information made available to the public is up to date with regard to the ownership of a company. It requires that companies only let us know with regard to their up-to-date information. Therefore, of course, we have gone away from the annual returns, for example.

As I say, it is an Act which is drawn up to allow you to know what the current status of a company is. If there is an argument to be made for amending the Act that was passed in this Assembly in 1976, then I would be pleased to hear that argument.

Mr. B. Newman: I wanted to ask the minister if pyramidic sales operations are under control in the province. The minister may recall that not too many years ago it was the “in” thing.

Mr. Chairman: This, I believe, would come under item 6.

Mr. B. Newman: All right.

Item 5 agreed to.

On item 6, business practices:

Mr. Blundy: I believe the minister will understand the intent of the questions I asked earlier and I would be very happy to hear his views now.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Yes, the problem is of increasing concern to us. It is admittedly a difficult one because there are people who go throughout the province dealing with home improvements. Some people may decide to go into the business tomorrow morning simply because, for example, they have been laid off at a construction job or whatever. These people describe themselves as home improvement people but they are not registered anywhere. They simply go out door to door.

We try a bit of preventive medicine -- a lot of preventive medicine. The member will remember, for example, the matter of home insulation. The ministry dealt with that a few weeks ago when it became apparent the federal government was determined to proceed with its energy bonus program. It was a program we were concerned about because it was announced rather late in the year and it obviously would encourage a lot of people to get into home insulation who ordinarily would not have contemplated insulating their homes. That is what the program was designed to do and I am sure it is doing it.

As a result, of course, a lot of people decided they were suddenly home insulation experts and went into the business. Our records indicate there are something like five to six times the number of people that there were just 12 months ago saying they are in the business and willing to install insulation. It strains my imagination to believe all those people are experts whereas they weren’t 12 months ago.

To try to grapple with the problem, we took a couple of steps. One of them was the information release that we put out in very great numbers, and rather successfully, I might add. There were 30,000 distributed throughout the province; we did get a fair amount of media assistance and coverage on the matter.

It cautions consumers with regard to what they should be aware of. For example, one of the things we always talk about is the necessity of getting some details about the fellow or person who is at the door. You should ask, “Where else have you installed insulation? ... Are you registered with any associations? ... Does the Better Business Bureau know about you?”

If you are going to go ahead with it, get it all in writing. Make sure you don’t pay very much up front, if anything at all. Find out when he is going to be back to make the installation. Make sure that the contract you enter into specifies the “R” factor, the quality of the insulation -- not just the inches involved, which are sometimes misleading. In any case, it’s a very informative piece and has proved to be somewhat successful. As well, we’ve been running a substantial advertising campaign to deal specifically with insulation, not only by way of this brochure, but in newspapers, weeklies and so on.


Quite some time before I became minister, we were into the whole matter of home repair ripoff artists. Those are the exact words used in this sample advertisement which ran throughout the province above the name of my predecessor. It says, “Home owners beware of home repair ripoff artists. There are things you can do to protect yourself.”

I won’t take time to read all the advice we give consumers, but to let you know how extensively something like this is distributed, it appeared in something like 1.8 million copies of newspapers. So you’d have to believe that a very substantial number of consumers had the opportunity to be aware of some of these problems.

As well, under the Business Practices Act, there have been a fair number of prosecutions just recently. I have some details before me. November 30, 1971, the charge concerned the renovation of a home where the work being done was substandard and incomplete. The accused was Ronald Wood, Richmond Hill, Ontario; fined $500 or two months in jail. October 3, 1977, P. A. Hope Construction, St. Catharines, convicted under the BPA, fined $6,000 and ordered to make restitution in the amount of $5,175. The charge concerned the building of a home for a consumer and the work performed was substandard.

November 4, 1977, Wayne Barnes, Hamilton, Ontario, was fined $500 or 30 days on each of two charges under the BPA. The charges were laid to a driveway paving contract which was not performed and work completed was substandard. I think he’s one of the member for Hamilton Centre’s (Mr. Davison) supporters. Patrick Paulin, Windsor, Ontario -- one of yours too --

Mr. B. Newman: That’s why I asked you the question the other day.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Do you know this fellow?

Mr. B. Newman: I don’t know that one.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Sure. May 1977, sentenced to three months consecutive on each of five charges under the BPA concerning several home repair contracts where money was taken and the contract either was not performed or was inadequately performed.

I could go on. I see I have two more from Hamilton and one more from Windsor.

Mr. Blundy: Sarnia?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Nothing from Sarnia, as could be expected; and very few from Toronto. No, there are several from Toronto, of course. In any case, there’s a fairly extensive list of prosecutions that have been undertaken. So really we’re into a fair amount of preventive medicine.

What I didn’t mention to you on the insulation matter was that we have been encouraging the long-standing people in that business to set up a trade association. I’m told it has commenced operation. So there is a trade association, something we often counsel industries to develop. Now a home owner can say, “Are you a member of a trade association, or the trade association?”

A trade association has certain standards and can, of course, not permit people who have a bad record in insulation installation -- list them, put them out and so on. That sort of trade association is very helpful and important and I might say it was with our ministry acting as a catalyst that it developed in the context of this year. We initiated that development.

I hope that’s dealt in some measure with what we can and have done in the area. We’d be happy to hear and consider any suggestions you might have with regard to how we can get out on every street in the province to deal with what is admittedly a not- unheard-of practice in the home improvement field.

Mr. Williams: I’d like to spend a few moments with regard to the Travel Industry Act and I’d like to --

Mr. B. Newman: I would like to follow up on the home improvement problem rather than go into your item at this time -- we’d get that out of the way.

Mr. Williams: Fine.

Mr. B. Newman: Yes, I had asked the minister, in the question period on November 24, about this same problem. The reason for it is, just as you had indicated, the fly-by-nighter or shoddy worker who comes into the community, or may even be a resident of that community, performs some type of service, or so-called service, and leaves a citizen with substandard or subpar work. As a result, he generally takes advantage of those who can least afford it.

The minister mentioned the newspaper ads and everything of that sort. They’re commendable, however newspapers aren’t as effective as they think they are. They are so supersaturated with ads that we skim them unless we’re interested in some specific items. As a result there has to be some other type of an approach. I can’t suggest the approach, by any stretch of the imagination, because on any one that would be suggested there could be some improvements, but there have to be some suggestions from your ministry as to how home improvement contractors or individual workers can band together, form associations, and maybe even request bonding; as well as some protection through your ministry, say by listing them under itinerant salesmen or some such method, which as I said may provide some protection.

I know a group in my own community headed by Joe Greco, a very reputable businessman in the aluminum siding application business. He operates a very efficient business. He’s attempted to get the home improvement groups in the community together. They suggest that all home improvement contractors be registered as itinerant sellers under the Consumer Protection Act and that there be a prohibition on operating from any place but a business office. Many of the fly-by-nighters operate from a home and they put down any address. How do you trace them? I don’t know if these are the answers but these are suggestions that he made.

Possibly bonding would be effective; although the bonding procedure, in some instances, is substantially too small. If you bonded them at $5,000 and they take a $25,000 job and disappear, the bond isn’t sufficient. There must be some preventive measures to protect the average individual from being ripped off, as your ad indicated, by ripoff artists.

Can you suggest something to them, Mr. Minister? Should the individuals in the business band together, form a good association and keep these fly-by-nighters and shoddy operators out of the business?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: There is no question that the development of a trade association would be a very desirable thing. We would not only encourage it but assist in every way possible; and I mean every way possible, through publicity, meetings, encouragement and any backup we can provide to the development of a trade association, especially in this field. We would be more than happy to provide it, there is no question about it. Any suggestions that the people in the industry may have with regard to the role we may play will be very well received by us.

Mr. B. Newman: Would you send someone from your ministry down to meet with the association if they so requested?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Absolutely. We’d be happy to do that.

I might say, in dealing with this, I always have some hesitancy in suggesting to the public that registration is a be-all and end-all. It has very severe limitations and carries with it, of course, that very great concern that registration will appear to provide a government stamp of approval -- as we discussed earlier -- to someone who has met what in most cases must be a rather minimum standard for registration; because we can’t really get involved, and I don’t think you would want government to get involved, in value judgements with regard to whether a person is a good fellow or not.

In any case, I would be happy to discuss the concept of registration. Your question is really pointed towards the development of a trade association and I think you realize that would be a very important mechanism.

On the subject of registration with respect to itinerant selling, and bonding, the Consumer Protection Act would require that most home renovators register. They would qualify under the definition in the Act as itinerant sellers. This is perhaps what wasn’t terribly clear when you asked a question in the House. I responded by trying to discuss the problems with the registration that is now in effect. The registration now in effect does call for registration and $5,000 bonding. The problem is getting all those people out there filed and registered because of the sheer number of them.

We are currently on a push to get the people in this particular industry to register; that is, to do what the Act requires them to do. Admitting the shortcomings of registration, we still think it would be helpful if they registered. They ought to be registering if the Act is in place. I wouldn’t be terribly honest with you if I suggested that is going to make enormous strides in solving the problem. It would help somewhat.

Mr. B. Newman: At least, the person coming to the door and attempting to sell some home improvements would have some identification, having been registered with your ministry. It would scare some of them off, I think.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: The problem, as we have discussed, is that most of the people out there would end up being registered. That may, in fact, make it easier for the guy who wants to cheat and rip off the consumer to get in the door by saying: “Of course I am all right. You don’t have to call the trade association and you don’t have to call the Better Business Bureau. Grossman says I’m okay. Here’s his signature and here’s the card.” That presents some problems. What I am saying to you is that not one of these solutions is enough in itself. Frankly, we don’t know whether an enormous drive to get them to register is going to be very effective at all in terms of what it would cost us to administer and what would happen on the streets. We do have that drive on because it would be better than nothing.

Mr. B. Newman: Would you consider a pilot project in the community?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: We will look into it. I’ll discuss that with my staff. It might not be a bad idea. Have you got any particular communities in mind?

Mr. B. Newman: Naturally I’d prefer my own; but if you wish to go somewhere else go ahead.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: It would be cheaper than mine, I can tell you that.

Mr. B. Newman: Go ahead; that’s quite all right.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: In any case, those are constructive suggestions and I very much appreciate them. We’ll be developing those over time.

I should flag for you the fact that the Consumer Protection Act, which is the Act under which the itinerant sellers must now register, is undergoing very extensive review. Hopefully in the next 12 to 18 months we might have a comprehensive new Consumer Protection Act for the consideration of this Assembly, in which case we could implement at that time any of the suggestions we might receive. That is all under way. I hope you will take back the message to your local trade association that we will get something going.

Mr. B. Newman: I thank the member for Oriole for permitting me this intrusion; I appreciate it.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: The member for Oriole may continue.

Mr. Williams: I wanted to ask a few questions with regard to the Travel Industry Act, focusing basically on two areas. I want to make a determination as to exactly how successful the Act has been in accomplishing its purposes, which were to protect the travelling public that has relied upon the services of people in the travel industry who set up agencies and services for that purpose.


Obviously, it has had a much desired effect and has provided protections that prior to the legislation were non-existent. In recapping that success and pointing out any apparent weaknesses that may have evolved through administering the legislation, you could touch on one or two things specifically. How many licences, since the inception of the Act, have been suspended or revoked by the registrar?

While the legislation wasn’t specifically designed and directed to this purpose, it was thought a desirable end result would be to curtail the tremendous proliferation of travel agencies. Built into that significant quantitative change was a tremendously varying qualitative factor. While many of the agencies had well-qualified people, educated to the industry in question, it has become fairly apparent that there have been those who have been somewhat short on the expertise and talent the travelling public would assume is vested in all of the travel agencies registered under the Travel Industry Act.

You have a varying degree of expertise in the industry, which is a problem the industry itself has to sort out. But it has become so extensive that it’s a matter that may have been under discussion between ministry people and representatives within the industry. As a private sector industry I’m sure they would be the last to want unnecessary further government controls. Certainly there was a great hue and cry at the time the wheels were put in motion for the enactment of the Travel Industry Act. It was not well received in the industry, while it was applauded by the public.

Its benefits have been well demonstrated, but there may be weaknesses that have arisen. I would like you to address yourself to those, if they have in fact arisen, while touching on those specific questions I asked about the number of suspensions or revocations of registered agents.

Speaking again to the problem of the proliferation of agencies it’s my understanding that the number has increased in excess of three-fold since the enactment of the legislation. If agencies have been setting up at that fast a clip, surely some of the concerns I have expressed must have substance. I have heard there is concern within the industry with regard to the varying degree of experience of employees of these agencies that have been set up to properly advise and deal with the travelling public.

In addition to the problem of the proliferation, or in conjunction with it, is the question of varying standards, which is one that must be addressed. As I have indicated, I would certainly prefer to see the industry police itself, so to speak. But, the government may have to intervene if the public at large is put into jeopardy and doesn’t have the assurance that moneys deposited or put down or turned over to an agent are protected, or that other features of the services are going to be delivered to those who are relying on them for guidance, accommodation and direction when they are travelling in other countries.

If there is any indication in the ministry that these standards are so variable as possibly, in your mind, to be creating concern about jeopardizing the travelling public in this fashion, then you might indicate whether you deem the time has come, perhaps reluctantly but nevertheless necessarily, to expand the terms of reference of the existing legislation to the establishment of guidelines in the nature of standards to which the people in the industry would comply. What has been happening in the industry and the relationship with your ministry would be of interest.

I understand too that the problems are further compounded by the fact that because of so many agencies becoming established so quickly there is no control over the rates or fees that are being charged. Indeed it has become fairly well-known in the industry that there is a great deal of discounting and that the problem is further complicated by the fact that some of the major carriers, the airlines and perhaps the shipping lines as well, are themselves getting into the industry to compete with the agents through whom they used to deal at one time themselves. While it is not our problem to sort out the problems of the industry, I think it is our problem if it is in any way going to create problems with the travelling public.

It is about that matter I express my concerns. I would hope this industry, like any other industry, is mature enough to manage its own affairs, to conduct itself in a responsible fashion and to maintain a high standard of service to the public. These are the concerns I raise with you. I would appreciate your comments and observations with regard to that.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: I’ll try to remember all those questions. I made notes on a lot of them. I will see how many we can answer. First, I should report to the House the industry is quite happy with the operation of the Act, as is the ministry. Second, we don’t have any evidence of a proliferation of agents, of people registering under the program.

At the present time, I would report there are some 1,830 registrants. This figure includes agents, wholesalers and branch offices. Allowing for the fact some agents hold a dual registration, both as travel agent and wholesaler, we have some 350 branch offices and our estimate is that we have approximately 1,350 different firms registered. Our estimate as to the number of agents in 1975 was between 1,100 and 1,200. It is up only around 10 per cent in two years. We are aware the criteria for registration need to be reexamined. We have already held several informal meetings and are awaiting the submission of a paper covering some of these points.

We have made an examination of the ratios of population to agents. We have more agents per capita than any other province. The ratio varies, of course, from town to town, city to city, the greatest density being here in the large urban market. This would be offset by the fact there’s a larger proportion of travellers in the major urban centres. As a rule of thumb, a travel counsellor should do about $240,000 worth of business. There are about 2.5 counsellors per agency in Ontario, resulting in a computed volume per agency of $600,000. The average agency volume of sales is $585,000, close to the amount of business required for a solvent operation. While it is an average figure, it indicates a good balance.

In the last reporting year under the Act, July 1, 1976, to June 30, 1977, the gross volume of business was $1,078,000,000. The value of validated claims against the fund was $295,000 or approximately one quarter of one per cent of gross volume. That’s pretty good.

The number of agents and wholesalers whose operations ceased was 46, of whom exactly half left claims against the fund to be adjudicated. This should be viewed against the registration figure given earlier of some 1,800.

There has been a reduction in the number of failures as a result of the legislation. The number of written complaints received and closed in 1975 was 106; in 1976 it was 276, and we estimate in 1977 it will be 350. The amount of redress effected as a result of our intervention between agents and customers was $10,000 in 1975; in 1976 it was $33,413, and we estimate it will be $75,000 in 1977. That is a figure not to be confused with the $295,000 figure earlier given for validated claims against the fund.

In 1975 there were 30 inspections, in 1976 there were 72, and in 1977 an estimated 100.

These resulted in four prosecutions in 1976, and we estimate about 15 in 1977.

We have more figures, but I think that gives a fair cross-section of the performance of the Act -- the number of failures which are, and more important which aren’t, occurring; and the number of registrants we have. We have traced the proliferation; it seems to be very little. We have also ascertained that the figures are in order in terms of the population being serviced by those agents. I hope that’s covered most of the questions asked; I think it has.

Mr. Williams: Supplementary, if I might: At the time we were enacting our legislation the province of Quebec had implemented a similar type of bill. I’m not sure whether they were just before or just after us. In recent months the province of British Columbia has also enacted a bill which is comparable to ours, the Travel Agents Registration Act. I have had an opportunity, because of my interest in this matter, to look at the bills. Reviewing them in a cursory fashion, they appear to be essentially the same in that they address themselves primarily to the question of financial responsibility of travel agents, and their accountability in the way of establishment of trust funds and so forth.


But having said that, Mr. Minister, it has been suggested to me not too long ago, in conversation with a party who is involved in this industry, that the Quebec legislation has proved to be somewhat more helpful in controlling the number of entrants into the industry. From looking at the legislation, I can only conclude that it must be through some form of tighter regulatory procedures that they have under their particular Act. I haven’t had an opportunity to study those regulations so I don’t know. For that reason I pose the question to you as to whether you are aware of a tighter control being held on the industry to the benefit of the public at large in that province; or is this an exaggeration that has been conveyed to me without foundation in fact?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Yes, we are aware of the Quebec experience, only we would not report it as glowingly or as being as successful as the member has been informed. We don’t think in this province we want to be into a system where we have overly high entrance requirements into an industry so that we close it off, run a closed shop. We wouldn’t want to restrict an industry to those who have the financial capability that we would deem, rather arbitrarily, sufficiently high to permit them to go into business.

In fact it is due to our very concern for the viability of small businesses that we have not chosen that approach at the present time. We think that small businessmen -- for example, a husband and wife going into operation as a small travel agency -- should not be hampered by overly high financial requirements, substantial bonding provisions or any of these regulations. We think these costly, and in many instances -- certainly in the case of Quebec -- unavailable procedures to get into the business would be inappropriate. In simple terms, we are not in the business of restraining trade or closing off access of small businessmen to an industry; and we are not about to do that.

What we do think is that our system works very well. It is one that was worked out with industry. The performance, I think, speaks for itself in terms of the information I have given the House. We are in the midst of negotiations and discussions with the industry regarding the necessity for higher financial requirements; all that within the context of our desire to not make them so high that it is in any way prohibitive for a small businessman.

We are not taking the approach of just having government swoop down and set an arbitrary figure; nor are we about to. An industry’s members may have some desire to protect themselves and their own quarter of the industry. Certainly that is the experience you often face with professionals -- the desire to close off the accessibility to their already- established clientele from new people. So we aren’t about to turn that decision, either, over to industry. So we are discussing the thing together. Industry is, in fact, now conducting an independent survey. They are going to be reporting to us shortly after the new year.

I want to express the concern that we have with regard to requiring audited financial statements annually from small operators. Such statements would be very expensive, considering that audits today may run from $700 upwards, depending on the size of the agency and the types of records they keep. So it causes us some concern, particularly in an era in which I am in a careful review of all parts of my ministry to make sure that we don’t have unnecessary regulations and paperwork already in place.

I think that puts a better light on where we stand vis-à-vis the Quebec legislation, and our concern that the Quebec legislation has proven to be overly restrictive in terms of the number of people who can get into the business.

Mr. Williams: I would just like, if I may, to clarify one point on that. Are you saying that the Quebec legislation, in your judgement, is overly restrictive because of the criteria it establishes as far as licensing is concerned? Restricting it solely on financial requirements? Or do they also make requirements that the party seeking registration must have attained a certain level of training in the field, equivalent to what we might ask of the real estate brokers; to meet certain standards based on examination, either within their own industry or as prescribed by regulation?

I wasn’t clear on that point. Do you consider the Quebec situation to be overly restrictive solely because of its higher financial requirements or because it goes into this other field; namely that they have to qualify based on experience in the field or meet certain prescribed examinations and qualify in that fashion?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: I’m rather hesitant to get into a critique of the Quebec Act versus ours. I don’t want to go farther than to say that we think the scope of the Act and the approaches they use are indeed overly restrictive. It’s a value judgement. Ours is that the approach they’ve taken is overly restrictive. I don’t really want to criticize all the details of their Act.

They decided to take -- I think they would probably acknowledge -- a more restrictive approach than we’ve taken. We think our approach is healthier from the standpoint of permitting more people to go into the business and to survive, while obviously not affecting the amount of consumer protection available, because our records are pretty good and you see the amount of failures as rather low.

We just think that the scheme we’ve selected is better. Let me put it this way: it’s working in our province and not inhibiting small businessmen who want to go into the business. Rather than get into a critique of whether ours is more or less restrictive, I think our approach has proven to be rather successful in our province.

Mr. Davison: Mr. Minister, if I might, could I offer you a positive suggestion on some changes in your legislation? The question of price stickers on cars is causing some concern around the province. When a car leaves the factory, it has on it a price sticker which includes the basic price of the automobile, a list of the options and the price of the options, shipping charges to the dealer, et cetera. In many cases, because it’s not illegal, that sticker gets removed before the car goes on the showroom floor or on the lot at a particular car dealer.

I know people in the United States have been concerned because they’ve outlawed that practice and made it compulsory for the dealer to leave the factory sticker on the car. The concern I would offer to you is that when a consumer goes to buy a car, he goes into an area of sales that is very high pressure, as we’re all aware, for obvious reasons. That pressure comes through the human contact at the dealership. If the cars would have on them the stickers that are there when they leave the factory, the consumer could make a much more relaxed judgement as to the car he’s looking at. This would be preferable to having to go in and sit down in an office with one of the salesmen, which is a much more high pressure kind of selling.

I’m wondering if it might be possible for you to make some kind of amendment to the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act in that regard. It’s a rather simple amendment that would make it compulsory practice to leave that sticker on the car.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: First, the practice has not been made mandatory in any jurisdiction in Canada.

Second, I think we’ve got a larger principle to consider; and that is, obviously, should the wholesale price be left on any or all items? If the answer is yes, we should have it posted and listed on all items, the cost price or whatever, then how would the member define which items are high-pressure?

For example, should it be on aluminum siding? Should it be required to be disclosed at the door on encyclopaedias; or pots and pans? He may be able to make that argument. I would just refer him to the precedent. I suppose people could argue that in some instances car sales are less high pressure than some of the ones I’ve referred to.

So I would draw your attention to the principle involved, which is whether we’re going to shift around the marketplace -- I guess I’m speaking for this side of the House -- shift around the marketplace in our free enterprise system, in that the cost price or wholesale price is not now shown on the ticket -- whether it be tomatoes, or indeed even coffee or whatever item is the subject matter -- as I say whatever the item, we would have to define high-pressure goods to determine whether the list price or the cost price is going to be put on the ticket.

It is a practice, not legislated but it is a practice, that many dealers do follow; for whatever reason they have. I certainly don’t mean to discourage the practice. For those who do it, for whatever reason they see fit, that’s great. It permits the consumer to have a better analysis of the ratios involved and, I suppose, of what a car is intrinsically worth.

It’s certainly not a practice we’d discourage; whether we should make it mandatory in this product or any product gives me rather large cause for concern.

Mr. Davison: I think an equally important principle is the right of the consumer to know what he’s getting and what he has to pay for it. That’s probably a great deal more significant than any concern about potential implications from doing it in this one particular case. I don’t think we should shy away from providing consumers with the greatest amount of information we can.

In most of those dealerships where stickers are not left on they’re either kept in a book somewhere in the showroom or they’re available to the salesman if the consumer asks; the consumer can almost invariably get them.

What we’re talking about, though, is that this practice is being used by some car dealers as a way of getting people to sit down with the salesman. In many cases we’re talking about the high-pressure kind of sales in the car business.

I hope that most dealers leave those stickers on so they can help the consumer make a rational choice as to what car he or she is going to buy. I don’t see what’s stopping us, in this particular case, in this particular instance, from making an amendment that would make that practice compulsory right across the industry in terms of new car sales.

I don’t see what the great difficulty is there. Surely that kind of information should be available to the consumer and it should be available right up front. He shouldn’t have to go into the back room and sit down with the salesman to get that; we could surely avoid that. I don’t see that it has any great implications for pots and pans, quite frankly.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: I’m sorry, the member’s subsequent remarks just now indicate that he is talking about the retail list price; for example, options on a car that are often on stickers. Am I right?

Mr. Davison: Yes. The stickers include all of the price. You see them when you go in to buy a new car. They’re eight and a half by 11 inches.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: I see. There is nothing that I would find wrong with requiring or urging dealers to disclose the number of items that are on the car the customer is seeing in the showroom. We would hope that most dealers are disclosing the list price of those items and not marking them up. I suppose the member’s concern might be that they may be indicating the list price as higher than it actually is so as to encourage a consumer to think that he is getting a bigger bargain than he is. If that’s occurring it’s probably an offence under the BPA, so that sort of an offence would disappear.


Where there can be substantial abuse in the absence of the stickers, I am not terribly sure, because the number of items a purchaser is buying obviously is disclosed in the contract. The list price of those may or may not be relevant, because they may become a matter of negotiation; the dealer may boost the price of the car or whatever, or deal with it in another fashion. In any case, the principle involved doesn’t give me a great deal of trouble.

I would refer you to the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act and the regulations thereto; regulation 9871, paragraph 16: “Where a new motor vehicle is sold, the sales or purchase order shall show (a) the name and address of the purchaser; (b) the date of the sale; (c) the make of the vehicle; (d) the model year; (e) the manufacturer’s serial number; (f) the body type; (g) the manufacturer’s suggested retail price; (h) an itemized list of the manufacturer’s suggested retail price of all extra equipment to be sold to the purchaser, or installed by the motor vehicle dealer according to the agreement made at the time of the sale.” It goes on and on. There are about 16 or 17 items. They are enumerated.

I suppose what you are saying, then, is what we now require, that the sales or purchase order shall be shown on the windshield. You are not asking, I don’t think, for any more disclosure; you are asking that it be shown on the vehicle before it gets into the nuts and bolts of what colour car would you like. That’s not a bad suggestion, and I am going to discuss it with the representatives of the industry.

Mr. Davison: Thank you.

Mr. Worton: I would like to draw two items to the attention of the minister, on both of which I have been in touch with his ministry. One is in regard to home insulation; I think it has recently been raised by the member for Windsor-Walkerville (Mr. B. Newman).

Unfortunately, there are a few bad apples in the business. About six months ago, a lady from my community wrote to the ministry to complain about an insulation job and she was referred to the London office. They investigated and were of the opinion that all was well with the job the person had done. However, the lady was still experiencing dampness in spite of this insulation, and she decided to call in a local building inspector from the city of Guelph. They indicated to her that the insulation was put on with the vapour barrier on the wrong side, which caused the moisture to float down into her living room. Second, where they had blown insulation in, they had blown it into the ventilators which plugged up the ventilation. Third, they had put the ventilators on top of the shingles rather than underneath so that water pours in there too. I drew this information, with more detail and the building inspector’s report, to the attention of your ministry in this past week.

It seems unfortunate we should have to go to the extent of bonding everybody who wants to do business, that to protect people we have to get into more government involvement; but I do think, sir, you have to come up with a solution. Unfortunately, they take advantage of people who are retired and haven’t got the time or the expertise to find out if they are getting a good job done.

As I say, there are many in the industry who do a good job, but one or two of them certainly make it very difficult for a few people who, unfortunately, get taken through the wringer. This case happened two years ago, I don’t know whether the lady will have any recourse at all, but I have drawn it to your ministry’s attention, and hopefully they will talk to the Kitchener firm involved, and see if it will reconsider its position and do a better job for her.

The second item is in regard to a Toronto-based delivery firm which did business with a Guelph firm and other firms in our community. A girl who worked in the office of one of the Guelph firms said: “Now that I’ve had my wedding, rather than send them back by post office or express, this is a nice time to send three wedding suits back to Tuxedo Junction using the delivery service.” Evidently the salesman or the driver, or whatever name you wish to use to describe him, said: “Yes, here’s your slip for three suits.” There was no value put on it. It ended up she was getting letters from Tuxedo Junction indicating she had better return the suits or come up with some $600 or $700.

She went to Purolator and said: “What about this?” They said: “We’ll send you a cheque for $21.” The reason they gave was that there was no value on the slip. She said she followed the advice of the salesman who had said there was no need to put the value on the slip. It wasn’t a one-shot affair for Purolator because it did business with the firm where the girl worked. There’s an argument going on now as to who’s going to pay the $600 or $700 for these outfits they got for the wedding.

Hopefully your staff is very co-operative and as helpful as possible. I just wonder whether some of these firms shouldn’t have some of their regulations changed so that they should be made to inform the people in a more dramatic way that the value should be put there, if that is the way the law is, so that they can’t escape the responsibility of just saying: “We got the order slip, or the invoice, but there is no value on it so we’ll just give you $21.” That isn’t actually enough to cover the rental for one day for a suit, let alone to pay for the suit.

I would like to bring those few remarks to your attention to see if you have any solution for them,

Hon. Mr. Grossman: On the second matter raised, obviously I don’t have all the details of what happened. I might say as a lawyer, not as a minister, if I had my choice of clients I would rather be representing your constituent than Purolator. I would rather be taking that side of the case to court. Of course, your constituent may not prefer to have me as her solicitor.

Mr. Worton: Do you concede that the constituent is right then?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: No. I would say from what you’ve said it would seem to me that on balance, if I had my choice of clients, I’d rather be representing the plaintiff in that case. From what you’ve told me -- and I must preface it by saying from what you’ve told me -- it sounds like the firm is using, I shouldn’t say a loophole but a practice which obviously is meant to restrict the right of a consumer to be protected.

There are instances in which a person carrying on a business may quite properly say: “Look, this is the extent of what I’m offering you today.” It may be either a money-back guarantee or it may not be; or something that can be exchanged in 48 hours. There are all sorts of things they may or may not offer. This seems to me to be a different situation, where it’s one of those fine-print type of deals where you can have protection but only if you do this and this.

In the case you’re presenting to me not only is that the situation, but also the agent or representative of the firm discouraged the consumer from taking the necessary steps to achieve protection, which may be available but is only available if one takes a positive step. That sounds, to me, to be what happened, therefore I’d prefer to have the plaintiff’s side in that case.

I think this is an appropriate time to repeat something I’ve been saying publicly, on several occasions; that is that caveat emptor, I hope, is dead and that consumers are entitled to a little bit more than just gambling in the marketplace. Consumers are entitled to more than, well, if I end up with the product and take it out of the store I’m a dead duck, that’s it.

Mr. Bradley: That’s right.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: They are entitled to more than that. It seems to me they are entitled to full disclosure. They’re entitled not to have to read every piece of fine print in every document. It seems to me they’re entitled to rely fully upon what is presented to them up front and fairly, and not have to hire an Osgoode Hall lawyer to figure out what their rights are and what steps they have to take to acquire a reasonable amount of protection. I see absolutely nothing wrong with a consumer being entitled to presume that when he or she takes dresses, suits or whatever, and hands them to a courier, they are not restricted to $21 worth of protection -- is that the figure you gave me? -- I think the consumer is entitled to more than that.

Mr. Bradley: The lawyers don’t like you now.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: So we in the ministry are looking at everything we have in terms of legislation to see that concept is legislated if necessary and is certainly practised between now and the time we move legislatively.

That is why I had no hesitation yesterday in saying to a group of businessmen they just have to do more than play a game.

It is not a game out there. Consumers are entitled to reliable products; they are entitled to products which work, they are entitled to restitution if they don’t work; they are entitled to speedy access to a place at which restitution can be achieved, and they are entitled to peace of mind that they are not in a game of legal manoeuvres. We are about to make sure that that is what occurs out in the marketplace.

On the specific, I hope you will provide my people with the details, although in fairness, we wouldn’t have legislative authority to get right into it. We would like to make some calls and speak to the people.

Mr. Worton: I will give that to Mrs. Mien and I am convinced she will do everything she can. The other one will go to Mr. Radford. Somewhere along the line there should be dramatic action taken -- that would be the word -- to make sure these people don’t try to squeeze out on some little detail that they have missed.

Mr. B. Newman: Easily done.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: I agree. The consumer is entitled not to feel that he or she is in a game of checkers or chess every time they do business in the marketplace.

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


Hon. Mr. Grossman: With the consent of the House, and in the absence of the House leader, I wish to table the answer to question 50 standing on the order paper.

On motion by Mr. Grossman, the House adjourned at 12:58 p.m.