31st Parliament, 1st Session

L077 - Mon 12 Dec 1977 / Lun 12 déc 1977

The House resumed at 8 p.m.


Resumption of the adjourned debate in committee of the whole House on Bill 98, An Act to revise the Municipal Election Act, 1972.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Is there anything further on this bill?

Mr. Swart: I have an amendment on section 13,

On section 13:

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Mr. Swart moves that section 13 of the bill be amended by striking out, “and ending on the second Tuesday in October in an election year,” in the sixth and seventh lines, and inserting in lieu thereof, “in an election year and ending on the Friday in October that precedes an election day by 17 days,”.

Mr. Ashe: Mr. Chairman, would you have Mr. Swart go over that again and explain it. I’ll be very frank, I thought we were finished and there was nothing else to do with section 13 or anything up to section 22. I don’t have the background to what he’s trying to say.

Mr. Swart: This will likely be acceptable to the parliamentary assistant. He did accept the amendment which provided for the right of an individual to vote provided he was a resident and lived within the municipality up to 17 days before the election. I believe that was a part of section 12. This provides for the same right for the non-resident voter.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Shall the amendment carry?

Motion agreed to.

Section 13, as amended, agreed to.

Sections 14 to 21, inclusive, agreed to.

On section 22:

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Mr. Swart moves that section 22 of the bill be amended by adding thereto the following subsections:

“(1) The assessment commissioner shall cause a list of the electors to be posted in a conspicuous place in the polling subdivision for which the list was prepared, on or before the 35th day after the first Monday in September;

“(2) a notice setting forth the procedures for a re-enumeration revision of the list of electors shall be prepared by the clerk and attached by the assessment commissioner to the outside or cover of each copy of the list that is placed in a polling subdivision.”

Mr. Swart: I would like to promote this motion, Mr. Chairman, because I think it is realistic and carries on with what has been done in the past.

This motion provides that a list of the voters be posted in each of the polling subdivisions. Bill 98 removes from the provisions of the previous Act the requirement that you post a voters’ list in a polling subdivision. Bill 98 simply requires that there be posted a preliminary list of the electors in the clerk’s office and in two other prominent places in the municipality. Although under normal circumstances, with the length of time there previously was between the start of enumeration and election day, a person might have had the opportunity to find out if their name was on the voters’ list and then get it on, it becomes much more difficult under this bill.

The government’s refusal to accept the October election date which I proposed and the procedures related thereto, puts the whole business of election procedures in a pretty tight time bind. Formerly there were some 90 days between the start of enumeration and election day. It always was 13 weeks, short one day; always 90 days. The change we now have means in some years there will be 62 days between the start of enumeration and election day, and in other years there will be 69 days. When there are only 62 days, the time for some of the procedures becomes very short and almost non-existent. The time bind applies in that way; and it also applies in regard to the opportunity for a person to know if his name is on the voters’ list, and if it is not the opportunity to get it on.

It’s probably fair to say the government itself, and the parliamentary assistant, can’t be too happy about the time scheduling in this Act we have before us at the present time. Therefore we are proposing several amendments, including this one to improve the opportunity to get on the voters’ list and the other timings. We think it is very important, in view of the general reduced opportunity to know if one’s name is on the voters’ list, that the list be posted in the local polling subdivision so the elector in that polling subdivision can readily check to see if he is on the voters’ list.

Just let me give this House some of the contrasts in time scheduling that will exist under Bill 98 compared to what existed under the Act which was passed in 1972. The time between the production of the assessment commissioner’s preliminary list of voters and the end of the court of revision was 24 days under the old Act. There are a lot of procedures that have to go on in that period of time. Under the new Act, there will only be 15 days in those years where you only have 62 days between the start of enumeration and election day.

The minimum time for posting of notices under the old Act was eight days. A minimum time for posting of the list of the electors under this Act is five days. Under the former procedures, there were really eight days, although it could be longer than that. The first day wasn’t specified. Under the new Act, the first day is specified. As I pointed out to the member for Durham West (Mr. Ashe), under Bill 98, in those years when there are only 62 days between the start of enumeration and election day, the last day of the court of revision in fact becomes the first day of the court of revision and the municipalities are only required to have a one-day court of revision. That means from the time the lists are posted until the court of revision is held, a person has five days to find out if he is on the voters’ list and to get his name on the voters’ list if it is omitted. We suggest that is just not good enough.

Also under the former Act, the notification of the court of revision, the posting, et cetera, was much broader than it is under the proposed Act before us. It’s quite possible that in many communities where there is no daily paper circulating in that municipality, many people won’t even know of the court of revision.

Bill 98 provides for no special enumeration, as is the case in a provincial election. It is true, of course, that people can vote under sections 33 and 56, but I say that’s where they have to get a certificate or where they have to take an oath, and that is not satisfactory to most people. We suggest that without the posting as proposed in this amendment, the ability for people to determine if they’re on the voters’ list is very limited and it will be difficult for them to get on the voters’ list. Therefore we suggest this provision, whereby the lists are posted should be in the bill, and when it’s going to be such a short period of time, they should be posted in each poll so the voter will know whether he is on the voters’ list and be able to get on that list if he is not.

Mr. Ashe: I don’t support, and hope that the committee does not support, the amendment as proposed, for many reasons. I would hope the hon. members will just weigh the arguments accordingly.

First of all, this particular amendment would put more onus on the assessment commissioner, which I don’t think is really expected, since it puts more onus on the municipality. The joint election committee, which everybody has spoken to at great length in the past, supporting their efforts and what they were doing -- it was a practical committee because it was made up of people who have to work with the various procedures -- is violently opposed to carrying on further or extending procedures relative to posting of lists. We all know if lists posted on telephone poles, et cetera, last a day they are doing well; or even if they do last, who looks at them?

So I think that’s very important. You go back to procedures which I think are outdated, and hopefully Bill 98 is correcting some of these ancient practices, which even the practitioners feel are ancient. It is not the legislators saying this, it is the practitioners who have to work with the legislation.

The particular reference by the hon. member to the one day is incorrect. I stated last time that there is a minimum of five days. I’ll be proposing two slight amendments to sections 24 and 25 when we come to them to clarify it even more. The procedure is already there as five days, but it is granted that maybe the words could be a little clearer, so I’ll be making some minor amendments to that. But as I indicated to the House a couple of weeks ago, I guess it was on second reading, there is a minimum of five days.

More important, the hon. member keeps referring to a court of revision and there really is no court of revision as such. It’s a revision procedure which is not in the context of a court the way we used to think of it, that sat on a certain day from 10 till 12 and 2 till 4 and that was it. The very important consideration of making sure people have eligibility to vote is already taken care of in the Municipal Elections Act, in that people can go into the poll right on election day and be sworn in as eligible to vote, even if they have been left off the list, regardless of reason.

The most important argument, if I may repeat it once again, is the people who have to operate with the system feel the posting procedures suggested here are redundant. There is ample protection and ample opportunity for the electorate to cast their ballots.


Mr. Blundy: Mr. Chairman, those of us in this party agree with Mel Swart that we want to make it as easy and well known as possible for people in the municipalities to get out and vote. We want to ensure that. However, Mr. Chairman, in my opinion, this posting of a list on the pole in the polling subdivision is an antiquated way of doing things. In my own experience and in the experience of most of us in this House, after a day or so, or even the first evening the list is posted, some of the pages are torn off or defaced, and within a few days the list is illegible for anyone trying to find their names. So I don’t see any point in that, it only makes more work. The revision of electors is now carried out, in my opinion, in a much more logical way, and one which is more successful. I think in the past year and in the past election it worked rather well. I believe that in the municipalities themselves, and I know certainly it is the case in my three municipalities, voters are given a great deal of notice through the press and radio, and through the efforts of the various people offering themselves for office, to ensure the people know this is the time they should see they are on the voters list. They know that no matter what you do there will be those who will not get on the list, but as the parliamentary assistant has pointed out they can be sworn at the polling booth on election day. So I really see no purpose in the proposed amendments to section 22.

Mr. Swart: Briefly; again, Mr. Chairman, I think it is correct to point out to the parliamentary assistant the special committee of AMO and AMCTO did not deal with this issue after the decision was made to move it to the second Monday in November, after Bill 98 was brought down. They were dealing with it in the context of the original statement last spring and therefore they did not realise there would only be one compulsory day for revision of the lists. I point out, Mr. Chairman, as assuredly as I can, that in those years when they only have 62 days, there is only going to be a compulsory one day revision period.

I would take you to section 22 of the Act. Section 22 of the Act reads, “The assessment commissioner shall deliver the list of electors prepared by him under sections 19, 20 and 21 to the clerk and, in respect of the locality, to the secretary of the school board on or before the thirty-first day after the commencement date of the enumeration.” That’s 31 days after commencement, If we read section 24(b), it says after receipt of the electors’ list the clerk shall, “fix the places at which and the times when revision of the list will be undertaken, and such revision shall commence no later than fourteen days after delivery of the list to the clerk under section 22.” Now if you add 14 and 31, you get 45.

Then if you turn to section 25(3) you read as follows, “The last day for the filing of applications for revision of the preliminary list shall be the seventeenth day immediately preceding polling day and such applications may be filed with the clerk during his normal office hours.”

If you add 17 to 45 it brings you to 62: that is the exact length of time. So the first day of the revision is the last day of the revision; I suggest it is not five days. There is a compulsory posting of the list with the minimum of five days, but no compulsory revision for five days, it is one day. One day can be the minimum when the revision can be held. I think the Act makes that very clear.

It’s all very well to say -- as the member for Sarnia (Mr. Blundy) stated, and rightly so -- that the radio is announcing “Make sure your name is on the voters’ list,” but if it means you have to drive several miles to look at a voters’ list, if there is none close by you, most people just won’t do it, especially in that short period of time. Therefore, people just won’t get their names on the voters’ list.

As I said, and as the other members have said, it is true you can use section 33, or 56 I think it is, but people don’t like using that. Anybody who has had lengthy experience will know people come into the poll and if their name is not on the voters’ list, two times out of three they will walk out. They will say I am not going through that procedure. I think there is a responsibility on this House not to move backward on the matter of ease of getting names on voters’ lists. We should be making it easier. It is a giant step backwards to substantially contract the time, and take away the posting of the voters’ list in each polling subdivision. It is going to mean more people who want to vote are going to be off the voters’ list. There is no other conclusion to which we can come.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Those in favour of Mr. Swart’s amendment to section 22 of Bill 98 will please say “aye.”

Those opposed will please say “nay.”

In my opinion the nays have it.

Shall we stack this until the end of the bill?


Section 23 agreed to.

On section 24:

Mr. Ashe: Possibly it would be better if I put the explanation on section 24 and 25 before members at this time. Mr. Swart also has an amendment related to section 24(a), but we will speak to that when we get to it.

I have a very brief statement, which I referred to a short time ago, relating to sections 24 and 25. I will read it and then place the amendment.

As I undertook in the Legislature on November 22, sections 24 and 25 of Bill 98 have been further examined. It has been determined that my original response was correct. A minimum five-day period for revising the preliminary list of electors is guaranteed under section 25(2) of Bill 98. This section requires that the preliminary list will be posted at least five days before the last day of the revision period, with the covering instruction to electors to examine the list for the purpose of making any changes, additions or deletions before the last day for filing applications for revisions.

However, I am proposing two motions to amend sections 24 and 25 respectively, which will make it even clearer -- and that is all they are intending to do -- that the revision of the preliminary list will commence no later than 14 days after the list is delivered by the assessment commissioner, except that the list must be posted at least five days before the last day for filing applications for revision. Again it is for clarification only. There is no substantive change.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Mr. Ashe moves that clause (b) of section 24 of the bill be amended by inserting after the word “and” in the second line, “subject to subsection 2 of section 25.”

Mr. Swart: We will accept this amendment. In so doing, of course, I would just point out that my original statement was correct; there was no requirement for more than the one day of the court of the revision, and this will bring it about. It’s not a clarification, it’s a change.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: We are still on section 24, and Mr. Swart has an amendment.

Mr. Swart: In fact I have two amendments to section 24, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Mr. Swart moves that Bill 98 be amended by adding thereto the following sections: “24 (a) (1) Any elector whose name is omitted from the list of electors as prepared by the assessment commissioner, or any person who acknowledges the fact that the name or names of any other elector or electors has or have been so omitted, may so inform the clerk, stating the names and addresses of the electors so omitted.

“(2) The clerk shall cause an enumeration to be made of all electors of whom such notice has been given during the period commencing on the 35th day after the first Monday in September and ending on the Tuesday 20 days prior to the polling day; and the enumerator shall visit the addresses and enumerate such electors, and any other electors at those addresses whose names have been omitted from the list of electors.

“(3) The clerk shall appoint enumerator or enumerators for the purpose of (2) from among those who have already acted as such for the pending election.”

Mr. Swart: Mr. Chairman, if I can speak to this at this time. The intent here is clear. We in this party would like to see the procedures of the provincial Election Act apply to municipal elections. Our party feels the Election Act provides procedures for the provincial election which are unexcelled in any other jurisdiction we know. One very important part of that provision is that special enumerators are appointed to go out and pick up the names of people left off the voters’ list when they’re so notified; they pick them up in their home in the same manner the original enumeration was done.

I am told by provincial election officials they get at least two-thirds of all the additions to the voters’ list in this way; those who are missed at the time of the original enumeration are picked up in this manner rather than at a revision. It seems to me there is sound reason why that procedure should be followed in the municipal elections as well as the provincial elections. That is the purpose of this amendment which I’m putting before you at this time.

Mr. Ashe: Actually, many of the comments I made relative to section 22 still apply, as far as the access of the electorate to the poll and their ability to vote are concerned.

There are additional concerns relative to this proposal. One would be the additional responsibility for the clerk to re-enumerate the electors who were missed on Revenue’s initial enumeration. It would be questionable whether they could get Revenue’s enumerators to do the job again. It would also be a costly addition to municipal budgets, and we all talk about decreasing costs not increasing them. This is particularly true, seeing as they would undoubtedly have to pay the same rate the enumerators had been paid by Revenue.

Last but not least, there is no obligation or necessity in the proposal to even notify the assessment commissioner of any change to the list; however I think that’s secondary, that’s a procedural one.

More important, we don’t now, in any way, block the ability of a voter to get to the poll. We are doing that right up to and including election day. Second, it is the feeling, I think shared by the municipalities and by any of those who work on the procedures on behalf of the municipality, that they do not want to burden their busy schedule with a further obligation and its associated costs.

Mr. Blundy: Mr. Chairman, we all know that in the days preceding the election, the city clerk and the people in the clerk’s office are tremendously busy. We have pointed out before, and the parliamentary assistant has pointed out, as have the member for Welland-Thorold and myself, that every effort is being made to make people aware of the procedures and of the election and the period for revision. This will add costs to the municipality in conducting the election, but I think it will also make for a certain amount of confusion and will make it difficult for the returning officer of the municipality. I would go along with it even though it does these things if I thought it were really necessary, but under the other amendments in the Act I believe it will not be necessary and therefore I will not support the amendment, Mr. Chairman.


Mr. Swart: The parliamentary assistant mentioned the responsibility of the clerk would be greater. I suggest it would make it much more simple for him if two-thirds of the names which are left off that people want to have to put on are brought in by the special enumerator rather than having people go into the clerk and have the list revised there. That will ease his load rather than add to it.

Secondly, I suggest the additional cost will be minimal. In most municipalities -- certainly in smaller municipalities -- it will probably mean one special enumerator for one week. In large municipalities it will mean more, but I suggest it’s an infinitesimal cost to the municipality to provide the opportunity for people to get their names on the list easily when they have been left off, perhaps through no fault of their own.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Those in favour of Mr. Swart’s amendment to section 24 will please say “aye.”

Those opposed will please say “nay.”

In my opinion the nays have it.

We will stack this vote as well.

Does the member for Welland-Thorold wish to put an amendment to section 24(b)?

Mr. Swart: No, I do not. The government amendment covered that problem.

On section 25:

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Is the hon. member for Durham West ready to put his amendment to section 25?

Mr. Ashe moves that section 25(2) of the bill be struck out and the following inserted in lieu thereof: “The day of posting copies of the preliminary lists under subsection (1), and of giving notice under section 24, shall be at least five days before the last day for filing applications for revision.”

Mr. Ashe: As I indicated earlier, this is a revision of the words rather than the intent of the words.

Mr. Blundy: I believe the amendment does clarify that particular section of the Act. We will support the amendment.

Mr. Swart: We will support the amendment too.

Motion agreed to.

Section 25, as amended, agreed to.

Sections 26 and 27 agreed to.

Mr. Ashe: With the concurrence of the hon. member for Welland-Thorold, if we could hold section 28 in abeyance, then if in his discussions on section 29 the concept is acceptable, we think it would be better incorporated as a subsection 7 of section 28. On that basis, if it could be held in abeyance for a moment I’d appreciate it.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: We will hold back section 28 and move to section 29. Does the hon. parliamentary assistant wish to speak to section 29?

On section 29:

Mr. Ashe: I think the hon. member for Welland-Thorold has an amendment.

Mr. Swart moved that the following subsection (a) be added to section 28: “Where for any reason the name of a person be deleted from a preliminary list of electors, the clerk shall forthwith cause to be served personally on or sent by registered mail to that person at the address given in the preliminary list a notice indicating the reason for which the person’s name was deleted from the preliminary list, and advising of the voting procedures under sections 33 and 56.”

Mr. Swart: The reason we submit this is that in the very short time frame -- and even if it wasn’t quite so short -- frequently when a name is removed from the voters’ list by the clerk during revision, under the present Act the person is to be notified by registered mail. If he does not appear, then his name may be removed by the clerk in any event, and that is the end of it. Because of the short duration of the court of revision and the impossibility almost during that period of time to get out a registered letter or to notify the voter personally that his name is being removed from the voters’ list so that he could get back and say, “No, you’re wrongfully removing it,” we feel it would be better to notify him by registered mail that he can still vote under section 33 or 56.

Many of the voters would not be familiar with the sections. Therefore, we think it is only fair the voter should know that if his name is wrongfully removed he can go in and get a certificate to vote or can take the oath on election day. If the parliamentary assistant feels it is better placed in section 28, I’m sure we have no objection to that. Perhaps we can work that out and have his suggestion now.

Mr. Ashe: Mr. Chairman, we have no great concern with the proposed amendment other than the recommendation that rather than it being in section 29(a), that it be section 28, a new subsection 7, but with the exact same words.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Is that acceptable to the member?

Mr. Swart: That’s acceptable, yes.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Revise your amendment to be an amendment to section 28, adding subsection 7?

Mr. Swart: Amend section 28 by adding subsection 7 which will be the words I read.

Mr. Bradley: Mr. Chairman, the way this is being revised lends itself to probable support. I would think the number of times this would actually happen would be very few. Therefore, it would not be a burden on the municipality. It is not as though we are going to have a deluge of these cases coming before the city clerk or the county clerk. Therefore, it seems to be a reasonable amendment to have carried. Certainly we would want anyone who is wrongfully removed, or removed for purposes which he feels are wrong, to have the opportunity to be placed back on the voter’s list. This minor amendment appears to be the kind of amendment we could support.

Motion agreed to.

Section 28, as amended, agreed to.

Sections 29 to 32, inclusive, agreed to.

On section 33:

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Mr. Ashe moves that subsection 4 of section 33 of the bill be amended by adding at the end thereof “in election year.” Again, It’s just a clarification.

Motion agreed to.

Section 33, as amended, agreed to.

Section 34 agreed to.

On section 35:

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Mr. Ashe moves that subsection 3 of section 35 of the bill be amended by striking out “six” in the first line and in the seventh line and inserting in lieu thereof “in each instance seven.”

Mr. Ashe: Again it’s just a correction of a typographical error, let’s say.

Motion agreed to.

Section 35, as amended, agreed to.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Section 36 agreed to.

On section 37: Mr. Swart moves that the bill be amended by adding thereto the following section 37(a): “where the number of candidates for an office who are nominated at the end of nomination day is not sufficient to fill the number of vacancies to which the candidates may be elected, the Thursday following nomination day shall be a supplementary nomination day and the clerk may receive and certify additional nominations for the office in respect of which there was an insufficient number of candidates.”

Mr. Swart: Very briefly, Mr. Chairman, the committee AMO and AMCTO asked for this provision to be put in the Act because there are a number of municipalities, usually small municipalities, who get insufficient nominations on the regular nomination day or the two or three days prior to the regular nomination day, to fill the offices. Under the present Act, of course, it means they have to hold another election, if there’s an election held on the regular day where some office has more than sufficient number even though another office has less. They have to hold another election subsequent to that with the additional costs. This seems like a reasonable way of getting those offices filled.

Most of us in municipal life know what would happen. I think those who are concerned about insufficient nominations would go out and encourage somebody to stand for the office and on the supplementary nomination day to save the cost of another election. Then the office possibly could be filled and this would save the expense of another election. I feel this is a reasonable proposal, and one that has been strongly requested by the Association of Municipal Clerks and Treasurers of Ontario and also by the Association of Municipalities of Ontario.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Section 37 has six subsections. Do you want this added to one of those subsections or to be a new subsection?

Mr. Swart: Perhaps it would be just as wise to add it as an additional subsection. It’s a little different subject, but I think we could add it as a subsection.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: You wish it to become section 37, subsection 7?

Mr. Swart: Right.

Mr. Ashe: Mr. Chairman, no doubt this was a recommendation of the joint committee. It was discussed at our last full meeting with the joint committee and I think we put across to them some of the concerns of the Treasurer and myself. There is a possible opportunity for some candidates to play games knowing there is going to be a supplementary opportunity to be nominated. The other side of that argument is somebody could end up playing themselves right out of a position on the ballot. The smaller the situation the easier it is to play games.

Assuming that nearly all elections, municipalities and candidates are above that is a statement you can challenge, question, and debate about. Looking at the other side, it was recommended by the joint election committee, and there is some support within same regional offices of the ministry. Added to that is the probability of cost savings to municipalities who might, under other circumstances, have had to have a supplementary election. Weighing both those situations, it is felt that is probably an appropriate amendment.

With the agreement of the hon. member for Welland-Thorold, we have suggested wording that is probably more acceptable. It’s recommended by counsel as doing the same job better. With the concurrence of the committee, if I will read what is suggested; then the hon. member can weigh his proposal against this one. Then we’ll hear the position of the hon. members of the opposition relative to the whole concept.

It would start out, “that section 37 of the bill be amended by adding thereto the following subsection 5: ‘Where the number of candidates for an office who are nominated at the end of nomination day is not sufficient to fill the number of vacancies to which the candidates may be elected, on the Wednesday following nomination day, the clerk may, between the hours of 9 o’clock in the forenoon and 5 o’clock in the afternoon receive and certify additional nominations for the office in respect of which there was an insufficient number of candidates,’ and that the present subsections 5 and 6 be renumbered as subsections 6 and 7; further, that subsection 7 as renumbered be amended by adding at the end thereof ‘provided that where the clerk has received additional nominations under subsection 5, a list showing the names of the additional candidates nominated shall be completed and posted by the clerk no later than 4 o’clock in the afternoon of the Thursday following nomination day.’”

It is felt that this particular amendment further clarifies the responsibilities relating to times and further responsibilities of the clerk in the handling of the nomination, and hence, election procedure.

Mr. Swart: Mr. Chairman, I would be prepared on behalf of the party to accept that wording. It does add something to, I do admit, the end of the present section 6. It does exactly the same thing.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: You will withdraw your amendment then, that you put to this section?

Mr. Swart: I will withdraw my amendment and accept that one in its place.

Mr. Blundy: Mr. Chairman, I think the original amendment that was proposed for this section did leave itself open a bit to abuse, and as the parliamentary assistant said, to perhaps the playing of games and so forth, although he knows as well as I do that none of the candidates for municipal office would play such a game. But there is always the possibility that that might happen.

The amendment that is now being proposed fills that gap if it is necessary and it will not be there for people to count on to play around with unless it is necessary. Therefore, we would support the second amendment as suggested.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: The member for Durham West, I gather you will now move the amendment as you previously read.

Mr. Blundy: So this will be the amendment then? The member for Welland-Thorold’s amendment will be withdrawn. Is that correct?


Mr. Deputy Chairman: He has already withdrawn his amendment.

Mr. Nixon: I would like to hear it.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Mr. Ashe moved that section 37 of the bill be amended by adding thereto the following subsection: “(5) where the number of candidates for an office who are nominated at the end of nomination day is not sufficient to fill the number of vacancies to which the candidates may be elected, on the Wednesday following nomination day the clerk may, between the hours of 9 o’clock in the forenoon and 5 o’clock in the afternoon receive and certify additional nominations for the office in respect of which there was an insufficient number of candidates,” and that the present (5) and (6) be renumbered as (6) and (7), and it is further moved that (7), as renumbered, be amended by adding at the end thereof, “providing that where the clerk has received additional nominations under (5) a list showing the names of the additional candidates nominated shall be completed and posted by the clerk no later than 4 o’clock in the afternoon of the Thursday following nomination day.”

Mr. Nixon: I would just like to ask the parliamentary assistant if that amendment means if that ancillary makeup nomination is required, there can never be an election. Could there be an election?

Mr. Ashe: There could very well be no candidates for a particular office on nomination day and on the supplementary nomination day, there might be three. Why they didn’t come forward sooner, I don’t know. But there would only be an opening if there were, in fact, no nominees. There would be no other offices reopened for further nominations. Just those offices where there were no candidates or insufficient candidates. Those sessions would be open. There could be more than one. You are not just buying yourself an acclamation, by any means.

Mr. Blundy: Mr. Chairman, I think what the hon. member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk wanted to ensure was that it didn’t mean another election, but the election would be held on the normal election day already set.

Mr. Ashe: The election would be on the same day. In effect, there would be a shorter campaign period, if you will, for those candidates.

Mr. Ruston: Did the parliamentary assistant intentionally leave off “the clerk may” or did he really think that should be “shall”? If he hasn’t got enough, surely you are not going to leave him the discretion as to what he is going to do.

Mr. B. Newman: It should be “shall.” He shouldn’t have any discretion at all.

Mr. Ruston: It reads, “the clerk may.” I think it should be “shall.”

Mr. Ashe: I understand from legislative counsel that “may” is correct. Now, why?

Mr. Kerrio: There has been an occasion where they have been wrong before.

Mr. Ashe: The connotation of “may”, and I am told by counsel it is correct, is that he may not get any. That is the correct wording.

Mr. Breithaupt: On a point of order, Mr. Chairman, if it is “shall,” then he “shall” in fact accept the ones that he does get.

Mr. Ashe: Yes, but he may not get any that he shall accept.

Motion agreed to.

Section 37, as amended, agreed to.

Sections 38 to 40, inclusive, agreed to.

On section 41:

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Mr. Swart moves that subsection 2 of section 41 of the bill be struck out and the following substituted therefor: 41(2) notice of the time for the holding of the poll notice of the last day for making application to the clerk for a certificate to vote by proxy shall be given by the clerk forthwith after it has been determined that a poll is required by publishing the notice in a newspaper having general circulation in the municipality, and where there is no such newspaper the notice shall be published in such manner as the clerk may direct and shall be posted in at least two conspicuous places in the municipality.”

That is a direct quote from the previous Act and it is different from Bill 98 in that it gives the clerk some discretion. We think that discretion is desirable. Under Bill 98, the clerk must give notice of poll by posting the notices in at least two conspicuous places in the municipality, and where there is a newspaper having general circulation in the municipality, by publishing a notice in such newspaper. That is all it says. If there isn’t a newspaper with general circulation in the municipality, he has no discretion as to how else he is going to notify the people that the vote is taking place.

It seems to me there can be circumstances in some municipalities where he might want to post it on poles, where he might want to use a weekly paper, or by some other method notify the public of the date of the election, that an election is being held and who is running. It just gives a slight bit more discretion to the clerk, which he does not have in the bill before us. Perhaps the parliamentary assistant might want to accept that amendment.

Mr. Ashe: I’m a little caught on this one. I am told that the big difference in this Act versus the old one is that various procedures the clerk is following are very specific. He knows exactly what he is going to do and when he is supposed to do it, whereas under the old Act it was very ambiguous and that, again, this particular --

Mr. Breithaupt: He is a lucky man.

Mr. Ashe: Yes -- section being proposed is unnecessary in that the total procedures are now covered in the Act.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Those in favour of Mr. Swart’s amendment to section 41 of Bill 98 will please say “aye.”

Those opposed will please say “nay.”

In my opinion the nays have it.

Shall the vote be stacked?

Some hon. members: Agreed.

Hon. W. Newman: You are lucky you have got five in here.

Sections 42 to 48, inclusive, agreed to.

On section 49:

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Mr. Swart moves that Bill 98 be amended by adding the following: “49(a)(1) Where by reason of the hours of employment an employee who is a qualified elector will not have three consecutive hours to vote while the polls are open on a polling day of an election, his employer shall at the convenience of the employer, allow the employee such time for voting as is necessary to provide the three consecutive hours.

“(2) No employer shall make any deduction from the pay of any such employee or exact from him any penalty by reason of absence from his work during the time allowed by the employer for voting.”

Mr. Swart: Mr. Chairman, I would point out this clause is exactly similar to the one in the Provincial Election Act. We believe municipal elections are important enough that the same privilege should be given to an employee to vote in the municipal elections. We would ask once again and hope that the parliamentary assistant will accept this. If not, we ask our colleagues on the right to support us on this one.

I would point out that the leader of their party, the member for Hamilton West (Mr. S. Smith) put in clear terms last Thursday night, I believe it was, his view about the equality of municipal elections with those of provincial and federal governments. He said: “the argument is made that municipal elections are somehow less important than federal elections, inasmuch as foreign affairs are not discussed as much as some of the issues which are more tangible, and more local. I say to you that to regard the municipal scene as some kind of minor league, some kind of a sandlot where one learns to eventually play in the bigger leagues, is an insult to municipal government. For far too long municipal government has been the poor stepsister of all governments.” I would suggest if municipal elections carry the same degree of importance as provincial and federal elections, then we should give the same opportunity for people to participate on election day.

Hon. W. Newman: It’s true, you wouldn’t be here.

Mr. Ashe: If the hon. member for Welland-Thorold doesn’t stop standing up on all those little ones, we are not going to give you any more. He should be careful. The only suggestion I have, and we agree in the spirit of this, is I am sure there are some business people who would not be too happy with it.

Mr. Kerrio: It doesn’t cost the hon. member for Welland-Thorold anything to make those amendments.

Mr. Ashe: Considering the hours of polling now there are not that many people, I don’t think, who would not have the opportunity under their normal working day to have the three hours off. But in the spirit that it is similar to other legislation and other election Acts, we have no great problem with it.

The only suggestion I would make on behalf of legislative counsel is that rather than making it a new subsection 49 (a), the exact same words become subsections 2 and 3 of section 49, so that a new subsection 49 (a) is not created. So where your motion reads “49 (a) (1) and (2)” it would just become a part of 49 and become sections 2 and 3.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: And the present would be section 1. What is now printed in the bill --

Mr. Ashe: What is now 49 would remain so, but become section 1. These would become 2 and 3.

Mr. Bradley: We in this party will be supporting this amendment because, with the hours from 11 o’clock in the morning to 8 o’clock in the evening, it will not impose on business in any particular way. Very few people will actually have to use this particular provision, unless they’re working overtime or have special jobs, such as a fireman might have when there’s a long shift.

It does comply with the other two levels of government and we, as the member for Welland-Thorold has pointed out -- and I am happy to see he has quoted the leader of the official opposition -- feel that municipal elections are very important and therefore should be accorded the same kind of conveniences as are available in the senior levels of government. This will allow us to be in the position where we don’t have to extend the regular hours such as a further amendment will suggest. If we’re going to provide this necessary three hours for people then it would seem sensible we would not then have to extend the hours later on.

We certainly will be supporting this particular amendment.

Mr. Swart: I have one question of the parliamentary assistant. I’m not sure what his proposal is. Section 49 now has seven clauses. Where are you proposing to put it? I’m pleased you’re accepting the principle, but I’d like to have more --

Mr. Deputy Chairman: These are not subsections. These will be sections under section 49 (1). Those are rules under 49 (1). That will be 49 (2) and 49 (3).

Mr. Swart: Yes.

Motion agreed to.

Section 49, as amended, agreed to.

Mr. Nixon: We’re going to have to close down the Legislature that day of course.

Mr. Bradley: Are you going to move that your customers can vote?

Sections 50 and 51 agreed to.

On section 52:

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Mr. Swart moves that section 52 of the bill be amended by striking out “11 o’clock” in the second line and inserting in lieu thereof “9 o’clock.”

Mr. Swart: That of course means the polls would be open from 9 in the morning until 8 at night, which would be the same hours as we have provincially and generally the same hours as we have federally. Once again, I would point out that persons voting in municipal elections should have the same opportunity to cast their votes as people who are voting in provincial and federal elections. In view of the fact that the member for St. Catharines was so impressed by my quoting his leader --

Mr. Nixon: The ballots are different.

Mr. Swart: -- maybe I should quote a couple of more sentences here where he says --

Mr. Bradley: You got caught last week quoting, Mel.

Mr. Swart: -- “It is just as important surely to have to cast your vote intelligently and with a view to the future municipality as it is provincially or as it is federally. I don’t draw these invidious distinctions between the three levels of vote-casting.”

Mr. Bradley: The master of selective quotation.

Mr. Swart: Nor do I, Mr. Chairman, --

Mr. Kerrio: You’re wasting your time, Mel.

Mr. Swart: -- and suggest that the 9 o’clock opening time will enable some people to vote --

Mr. Ruston: Slave driver Mel.

Mr. Swart: -- or cause some people to vote, who wouldn’t otherwise vote in municipal elections.

Mr. Ruston: You want some people to work 14 hours --

Mr. Swart: It’s true that there has traditionally been a much lower percentage of the public voting in municipal elections, but I would point out that over all these years we’ve had much greater restrictions on them. We’ve been moving away from that in recent times, and I think it’s time to get rid of the final hurdles, which include having the polls open for the same length of time for municipal elections as for the two other levels.


Mr. Ashe: We cannot support this proposed amendment. Everyone recalls that was the original proposal in Bill 49. It was objected to by the joint committee. I would go so far as to use the word “violently” objected to. There are many reasons for the objection.

It creates a very long day for those involved in the municipal election process. It’s fine to say it’s done for provincial elections but it is not the same. The ballot counting and so on at the end of the day are usually much more demanding and much more time-consuming than in a provincial election. An additional expense would probably be involved because the longer day would assume a greater amount of remuneration.

In many instances, one would lose the opportunity of using private homes because of the long day. If there is going to be additional time, maybe at some point in time we should think about adding it on at night when it would be used. In fact, we all know, regardless of what election, you can go into the polls between 9 and 11 in the morning and there has been very little and, in some cases, no activity taking place at all.

Last but not least -- and we always hear the hon. member asking us to be responsive to the municipalities -- 90 per cent of the municipalities that responded with reactions to Bill 49 relative to this said: “No way. We want it put back to 11 o’clock. The two extra hours are not necessary.”

Mr. Ruston: Very good.

Mr. Bradley: I rise to provide for the House the words of the clerk of the city of St. Catharines in this matter. I think they cover this issue rather clearly and point out why we should not be supporting this particular amendment.

I should start off by saying if there were some kind of conclusive proof through federal and provincial elections that a large number of people wished to cast their ballots between the hours of 9 o’clock in the morning and 11 o’clock in the morning, it might compel some of us to look with sympathy upon the proposal to extend these hours. I quote from comments by Mr. Rod Hollick, clerk of the city of St. Catharines on this: “Unlike the provincial election in which there is only one ballot, a municipal election usually requires several ballots and one often finds a far greater number of candidates vying for each office than in the case of a provincial election. Unless a municipality is using some system of automatic vote recording or computer tabulating of voting results, the actual count is an extremely arduous task.

“Generally speaking, the deputy returning officers now work approximately 14 hours, when one considers the instruction time, actually administering the voting procedures on election day, tabulating and balancing the results and returning election materials to the clerk. The addition of two hours will add to this long day and to the costs incurred by municipalities in employing election personnel. It is my opinion that a more appropriate manner of ensuring sufficient time for a voter to cast his ballot might be to legislate the three hours of voting time for electors in the municipal election in the manner that is provided for provincial and federal elections.”

I should also point out that many of the people who work in these elections -- and it’s been traditional and I don’t think it is going to change substantially -- are people who are somewhat elderly and see this as a way of supplementing a pension or something of that nature. They find it almost too difficult to handle the job at present in terms of the hours they have to work. To add these additional hours would eliminate many of these people.

I think we have to look at what is best for the electors and what provides the best opportunity for electors to cast their ballots. If it were to have a significant effect on the number of people who would cast a ballot, I think we might have to overlook what the clerk of the city of St. Catharines had to say and those who would advance the same argument. But because we don’t feel it would measurably increase the number of people participating in the election, we will not be supporting that particular amendment.

Mr. Swart: There obviously is some validity in the argument put forward by the member for St. Catharines and by the parliamentary assistant, but I suggest we have to weigh that against the greater opportunity of people to vote. It is true, of course, that the AMO and the AMCTO recommended against the extension of the hours. I am equally sure if provincial and federal elections were now being run from 11 in the morning even until 8 at night and you consulted the returning officers and said, “We are going to add two more hours to it,” they would say no. They would say it would be very difficult; it would be very hard. We won’t be able to get the people to do the job.

We have to weigh the opportunity of more people being able to vote. We have to weigh the value of municipal elections against provincial and federal elections. When I weigh those and when my party weighs those, we come down on the side of greater opportunity for people to participate in election day. We’re not suggesting it’s going to increase the turnout of electors greatly but there will be some people who will vote who otherwise wouldn’t if the hours run from 11 to 8.

I have been in municipal government for enough years, long enough to remember the days --

Mr. Bradley: Too long.

Mr. Kerrio: Too long.

Mr. Swart: -- when the voting hours were shorter and we used to close at 7 o’clock. I know of many people who either went in the morning or went in the evening because they were accustomed to the hours of provincial or federal elections. They went and the polls were closed. They went home and when you went to see them, they said, “I was up there once and the polls were closed. I am not going to go back again,” or “I’m working 4 to 12, I am not going back again.” Let’s make no mistake about it, a great many people don’t remember the rules of the election from municipal to provincial to federal elections. When we are not going to have any voters’ lists up on the poles with the instructions there, with the hours the polls will be open, it is going to be more difficult for them to know, and it seems to me in that respect alone, it’s worthwhile that we have the longer hours. We have to weigh it in balance and I guess we have our own value judgements here on this issue. But our judgement is those polls should be open the same length of time as they are provincially or federally.

Mr. B. Newman: Normally I would agree with the member for Welland-Thorold except that --

Mr. Bradley: Please.

Mr. Kerrio: What kind of statement is that? He will be quoting that back to you.

Mr. B. Newman: -- I have to speak from the experience of my own community.

Mr Makarchuk: I wonder if we could dispense with this? We want to get the bill through tonight.

Mr. B. Newman: Well, you could have told your own colleague that earlier too, couldn’t you? The amount of time I am taking here is insignificant compared to the amount of time your own colleague was taking.

Mr. Nixon: You are a lot easier to listen to, Bernie.

Mr. B. Newman: Mr. Chairman, the hours from 9 to 8 would extend the hours for the employees, that is the poll clerk and the deputy returning officer --

Mr. Makarchuk: That is what he said already.

Mr. B. Newman: -- another two hours. Remember, when you are running an election in which you may have 40 candidates for eight aldermanic positions; you have up to 22 running for public board of education; you have another 14 to 18 running for separate board; then you have all of your utilities commissioners; to expect the poll clerk and the deputy returning officer to be able to tabulate all of that without making an error, is asking for the impossible for some of them. Most of them will be as accurate as they possibly can, but it is extremely difficult.

Those people have to get home too. They don’t complete their tabulating in some instances until after 2 o’clock in the morning. I am referring to my own community and no other community. You are really imposing something that is extremely difficult for the deputy returning officer and the poll clerk in my own community. I know the hours from 11 to 8 give everyone, in my estimation, sufficient time to cast their ballot. It could be more efficient to have the hours a little shorter and it would still give the individual ample opportunity to exercise his franchise.

Mr. Chairman: All those in favour of Mr. Swart’s amendment will please say “aye.”

All those opposed will please say “nay.”

In my opinion the nays have it.

It is stacked.

Sections 53 to 62, inclusive, agreed to.

On section 63:

Mr. Breithaupt: Just one comment that I might make with respect to section 63, Mr. Chairman. As members will be aware with respect to the amendments I am proposing to another Act, which will be dealt with in this House Thursday, there is a phrase in section 63 which is distasteful to persons who happen to be blind; that phrase is the use of the words, “handicapped by blindness.”

I think this would be an opportunity for the parliamentary assistant to amend that section to simply read, in the second line, “or is blind or has other physical cause to keep him from voting,” something to that effect. If the parliamentary assistant could make an amendment to that effect, then I think it would be well received. Therefore, perhaps the amendment could read, in the second line, “read or is blind or is handicapped by other physical cause.”

Mr. Ashe: Are those words okay to legislative counsel? I have no problem, I think that’s a good suggestion. I would move that amendment. Apparently the wording as proposed is acceptable to legislative counsel.

Mr. Chairman: Did the member for Durham West write that out or the member for Kitchener?

Mr. Breithaupt: I’ll write it out if you wish.

Mr Chairman: The amendment hasn’t been put, but while it’s being written, does anyone wish to make any comments?

Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Chairman, I am able now to place the amendment.

Mr. Chairman: Mr. Breithaupt moves that section 63(1) be amended so that the second line would read as follows, “read or is blind or is handicapped by other physical cause.”

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Breithaupt: There’s one other amendment that I might make, again to consider this matter with respect to blind persons. That is, from a quick perusal of subsection 4 of section 63, the matter there deals with the situation where an individual may act as a friend for more than one blind person. This is a point which has also been raised by various reports and it is one which I think could be attended. Really, since a person might act as friend only once, this might be an inconvenience in homes for the blind or in other circumstances where one might be taking several blind persons to vote.

As a result, I think the practical situation here would be to delete subsection 4.


Mr. Chairman: Mr. Breithaupt moves that section 63(4) be deleted.

Mr. Ashe: I would oppose that amendment. I can appreciate the spirit behind its proposal. I don’t challenge that in any way, but would suggest it could be improperly used in specific circumstances. Albeit it could be inconvenient under certain circumstances to only allow a friend to act and vote on behalf of one person, I think the protection that is built therein is worth that possible inconvenience.

Mr. Swart: We too will oppose this amendment, for the same reason. It could lead to abuse. If we accepted the principle here then perhaps the next step would be to accept the principle of the proxy vote -- that one person could vote by proxy for a number of people who may be in a nursing home or something of that nature.

Mr. Kerrio: Are you suggesting they might put the X in the wrong place?

Mr. Swart: Therefore, although it could be an inconvenience, and is good intent on the part of the mover, I think it is one of those things where for the sake of preventing possible abuse, we can’t support the amendment.

Mr. Chairman: All those in favour of Mr. Breithaupt’s amendment to section 63, subsection 4, will please say “aye.”

All those opposed will please say “nay.”

In my opinion the nays have it.

I declare the amendment lost.

Section 63, as amended, agreed to.

Sections 64 to 66, inclusive, agreed to.

On section 67:

Mr. Chairman: Mr. Ashe moves that subsection 5 of section 67 of the bill be struck out and the following inserted in lieu thereof: “(5) A person who has been appointed a voting proxy may apply to the clerk not later than 5 o’clock in the afternoon of polling day to receive a certificate to vote by proxy for the polling subdivision in which the person appointing the voting proxy is entitled to vote.”

Mr. Ashe: The reason, Mr. Chairman, is to expand to the 11th hour, so to speak, the opportunity to exercise a proxy vote. I understand that this is going to be a recommendation also with The Election Act.

Motion agreed to.

Section 67, as amended, agreed to.

Sections 68 to 84, inclusive, agreed to.

On section 85:

Mr. Chairman: Mr. Swart moves that subsection 2 of section 85 of the bill be struck out and the following substituted therefor: “(2) For the purposes of this section, ‘lot’ means a method of determining the successful candidate by placing the names of the candidates who receive the equality of votes on equal sizes of paper placed in a box from which the name of the successful candidate is drawn by a person chosen by the clerk.”

Mr. Swart: It’s a matter of clarification, Mr. Chairman. We are not going to divide on this, but it seems clearer than subsection 2 which says, “On equal sizes of paper placed in a box and one name being drawn by a person chosen by the clerk.” It could be the name drawn or the one that is left would be the winner. It doesn’t make it clear. We think this would clarify that, but it is not a major amendment in any way.

Mr. Ashe: I guess clarity is a matter of the beholder. I would suggest the words proposed to be enacted in section 85 are clearer in intent than the proposed amendment. I think the mover of the amendment is forgetting that section 85(1) actually defines how it is done. All section 82(2) is doing is defining “lot”. If you read back to section 85(1), it says: “In the case of an equality of votes for candidates for any office for which one person only is to be elected, or for which the holding of any other office is to be determined as a result of a recount or final addition, again, these successful candidates shall be determined by a lot conducted by the clerk.” So all 85(2) is doing is defining the word “lot” I think it is much clearer as proposed than the amendment.

Mr. Chairman: All those in favour of Mr. Swart’s amendment to section 85(2) will say aye.

All those opposed will say “nay.”

In my opinion the nays have it.

I declare the amendment lost.

Section 85 agreed to.

Sections 86 to 91, inclusive, agreed to.

On section 92:

Mr. Swart: I am not moving any amendment to section 92 because the --

Mr. Kerrio: Oh, go ahead.

Mr. Swart: -- non-acceptance of the special enumerators makes that redundant. Section 95 is the next one for which I have an amendment.

Sections 92 to 94, inclusive, agreed to.

On section 95:

Mr. Chairman: Mr. Swart moves that section 95 be amended by adding thereto the following subsection (a): “The council of the municipality may by bylaw provide for limitations on election expenditures by or on behalf of a candidate and require disclosure by a candidate of all his election contributions to his campaign in excess of $100 in the form of money, goods and services.”

Mr. Swart: We feel this amendment is of some very real substance. It does not go as far as the Election Finances Reform Act of the province or of the federal government. It simply makes it permissive for a municipality to enact such legislation. We deliberately introduced it in this manner in the hope that at least one of the other parties would be willing to accept this principle as a start on an election expenses Act at the municipal level.

This House will probably know that the PMLC has adopted a motion from the AMO which call for an election expenses Act for municipalities in their document of September 9. They ask that there be limitations, that there be identification and that there be a tax credit to contributors. As I say, we have not gone that far in this motion but we think it is a reasonable start.

It should be pointed out that there perhaps is a greater need for this kind of legislation, an expenses election Act, at the municipal level in certain areas, in certain sized municipalities, than there is even at the provincial or federal levels. There are two reasons. First of all, most of those who run for public office at the municipal level pay their own expenses or largely pay their own expenses. There are no political parties, by and large, backing them at the municipal level.

Mr. Nixon: I am surprised. How could you sit there and say that? You are a fine one to say that.

Mr. Blundy: How can you stand there and say that?

Mr. Swart: It is largely true, though not always true. If one is running in a large municipality -- the city of Toronto or the borough of York or even the city of St. Catharines -- there are substantial costs involved to the individual if he is going to put on a major campaign.

Mr. Nixon: Their pay is pretty good too.

Mr. Swart: Inevitably the person who has the greatest amount of money to spend has some advantage --

Mr. Nixon: In those regional councils, they end up making more than --

Mr. Swart: -- over those who have a very modest income and cannot spend those large amounts of money.

Mr. Chairman: Order.

Mr. Kerrio: You can’t beat success.

Mr. Swart: Therefore, for these two reasons it seems there is justification for a limitation on expenditures. Certainly with regard to disclosure of expenditures, once again there is every bit as much reason for a disclosure of expenditures at the municipal level as there is at any other level.

I would point out that this is permissive for the municipalities, but we think it is a good start. I hope the majority of the members of this House will support this amendment.

Mr. Ashe: On the basis that this is permissive, and in fact does not put any obligation or onus on the municipal council that does not want to put this in place, and also that it does not put any onus or responsibilities on the province, we’re willing to have this as part of the bill.

The only thing that I would ask would be if the member for Welland-Thorold -- we can still have the discussion now hopefully and see the way it’s going to go -- but I would prefer if the hon. member would agree to withdraw on that particular section. It is again suggested by legislative counsel that the proper location for the exact same words are at section 121 of the bill, and that the subsequent numbers be renumbered. I have an appropriately prepared motion that will do exactly that, using as the section the exact same words with no change.

Mr. Chairman: Does the member wish to withdraw the amendment?

Mr. Swart: We’ll withdraw, if in due course we change it to apply to that later section. I’d prefer that, not that it makes that much difference.

Mr. Ashe: If it’s agreeable then, I’ll put it when we come to section 121.

Hon. Mr. Welch: But the member has to withdraw it now.

Mr. Chairman: Mr. Swart withdraws? Do you withdraw the amendment?

Mr. Swart: I will withdraw, if it’s coming up later. I’ll move it myself.

Mr. Stong: Don’t forget it later.

Mr. Chairman: Shall sections 95 to 118 carry? Sorry. The member for St. Catharines. What section?

Mr. Bradley: Section 95, speaking to the amendment.

Mr. Makarchuk: It was withdrawn.

Mr. Chairman: The amendment is withdrawn.

Mr. Makarchuk: Where are you?

Mr. Bradley: To the new amendment.

Hon. Mr. Welch: It hasn’t been introduced yet.

Sections 95 to 118, inclusive, agreed to.

On section 119:

Mr. Chairman: Mr. Swart moves section 119(2) be struck out and the following substituted therefor: “Any notices required to be posted, published or mailed under this Act, may be printed in both the English and the French languages.”

Mr. Swart: The subsection at the present time reads, “Any notices required to be posted, published or mailed under this Act may, in addition to being printed in the English language, be printed in the French language.” I just suggest to this House that that wording rather clearly implies an inferior position to the French language. In fact, in subsection 1 of this section, you state: “The minister may by order prescribe the forms required for the purposes of this Act, which forms may be in both the English and French languages.”

This may be a very small point, Mr. Chairman, but to many people, especially the francophones in this province, it is a major point at this particular time. It’s only a small change in the wording.

It may be said, of course, that if we make this change it doesn’t require the printing in the English language. That is true, but surely the municipalities that are going to print these forms will be printing them in the English language in every municipality. I think we can leave that up to their good judgement and we can say that they can be printed in both the French and the English languages. It may be printed in both, rather than giving the obvious inferior position to the French language.

Mr. Ashe: Mr. Chairman, I have to oppose the particular amendment. It’s too bad that this kind of situation is brought into it, to try to suggest that the government is against the French language, or francophone and so on; that, of course, is not the case.

The particular amendment as proposed, first of all does not recognize, whether we like it or not that’s kind of the present situation, that English must be one of the languages, must. It is then the option of the council whether they also with to use French.

I understand from legislative counsel that the use of the word “and” in the amendment -- it would say “both the English and French languages” -- that under the interpretations Act “and” can be read as “or,” and the option cannot be there. I am told that it must read “English,” and then the option is there also to use French. There’s no problem with that. We thought it said exactly that, that in any municipality where there was any amount of French or francophone population, that the option is there to use the second language with no problem whatsoever. So on the basis that the proposed amendment is wrong -- and I can’t use any other word -- we have to recommend that it be opposed.


Mr. Breithaupt: May I ask a question with respect to that comment? What I take from your explanation of section 119(1) is that the contents of that subsection only prescribe the form and do nothing at all with respect to the requirement or the opportunity to use either or both of those forms. That is only a prescription at that point and the matter of language choice is solely dealt with in subsection 2. Is that correct?

Mr. Ashe: Yes. I don’t want to mislead you in the sense to say that there is the option in the context of using French or English. It must be English plus the option to use French if so desired.

Mr. Breithaupt: Yes, but your situation in subsection 1 is simply the approval of the form which may be used and does not require that both or -- I was going to say “either,” but I’m wrong in that because subsection 2 does require that English be used and that, in addition, French may be used in the form which you would have approved were you the minister responsible at that point

Mr. Ashe: That’s right.

Mr. Roy: In listening to the explanation, Mr. Chairman, I couldn’t help but get up on my feet and make certain comments.

I think it’s a step forward to allow the use of French on forms. It was somewhat ridiculous that when you got into areas like Prescott-Russell, where 80 or 85 per cent of the population speaks French and very little English, that all the forms were in English. It’s a realization of a situation that does exist. I want to say to my colleagues that it also has been an embarrassment to this province for much too long. It’s time we corrected that. I certainly feel it’s a step forward.

Frankly, I don’t quite understand the subtleties of the amendment as proposed but what was of interest to me, as I understood the parliamentary assistant, was that it requires the use of English in this province. If that is the case, I just want to say I don’t particularly take objection to it. Again, while this is a province with an English-speaking majority -- and I think I’m just emphasizing the obvious -- the fact is that we must be careful when we proceed on something like this.

While I don’t take any particular objection to this requirement, I must say I’ve heard many objections in this province to Bill 101 in Quebec, which gave predominance to the French language in that province. People were critical of that. Again, this was a situation whereby the majority was saying. “You should be proceeding in this way.”

I just want to point out that there are certain actualities and factors existing in various provinces which require them to act in a particular way. Let’s not be needlessly critical of certain legislation in other jurisdictions. There are certain things about Bill 101 of which I’m extremely critical, but one of them was not that you had to protect certain factors or the language which is in the minority in certain areas in North America.

Coming back to the legislation as such, I think it serves the purpose. Frankly, I don’t see the need for the subtleties. Possibly my friend from Welland-Thorold can explain it to me. I don’t quite understand what he’s driving at with his amendment.

Mr. Swart: I’d like to explain it a little more fully, Mr. Chairman. There’s no question that the Act as it stands requires the use of English even in predominantly French areas. Even in an area where 80 per cent of the residents are French, it requires the use of the English language. In no place does it require the use of the French language. It leaves it optional to the municipality.

It makes it fairer if we leave it to the municipality to determine whether you have one language or the other or both in a particular municipality. I am convinced there will be no municipality in Ontario that would use only the French language. I would agree with the parliamentary assistant: in this Act, as it is worded, there is a difference between the first clause and the second clause with regard to actual interpretation. But if we are interested in bilingualism in this province, and making it clear to the French that they have their rightful place here -- a little wording and the end result will probably be very little difference -- I think we can show here that we are going to give equality to the two languages in this bill.

It may be subtle, but it is real to the francophone population. They look over this Act and say “Ha! ‘require English’, in every place, even where it’s predominantly French, but they don’t require French in any place.” It’s better if we leave it optional to the municipalities. Let them make the decision based on their own good judgement.

Mr. Ashe: Mr. Chairman, I really don’t like having to respond again, but I have to pass on the concerns of legislative counsel that the use of the word “and” can be interpreted as “or” -- I am not a solicitor -- under the Interpretations Act. That in itself makes it completely wrong.

The other is that it is mandatory that English be used, and the option is there for French. The particular language that’s used was apparently thought out very carefully, to be legal and reflect the option for those councils that wish to use the second language.

Mr. Chairman: All those in favour of Mr. Swart’s amendment will please say “aye.”

All those opposed will please say “nay.”

In my opinion the nays have it.

It is stacked.

Mr. Kerrio: How are you going to have bilingualism if you only print it in French? Use your noodle. That’s bilingualism backwards.

Section 120 agreed to.

On section 121:

Mr. Chairman: Mr. Ashe moves that sections 121 to 127 of the bill be renumbered as sections 122 to 128, and that the bill be amended by adding thereto the following section 121: “Counsel of municipality may by bylaw provide for limitations on elections expenditures by or on behalf of a candidate and require the disclosure by a candidate of all election contributions to his campaign in excess of $100 in the form of money and goods and services.”

Mr. Ashe: Mr. Chairman, it’s the same words proposed by the hon. member for Welland-Thorold, except changing the other subsections that follow, renumbering them and inserting it in the proper location.

Mr. Bradley: Speaking in opposition to section 121, we in this party agree that limitation is required on the amount of money that can be expended, and that disclosure is required. The case has been put well for disclosure, in particular because the moneys donated in a particular election campaign at a municipal level are directly to one particular candidate as opposed to being to a party.

Perhaps we could say the ability to influence one individual running for a position of mayor, for instance, is far greater than it is in affecting an entire party in its particular approach to a problem. I think the member for Welland-Thorold has pointed out quite well the instances in which there have been abuses of this. He has pointed out aptly that while a person can’t always win an election based on the amount of money spent, it does play a rather important part in a campaign, particularly when one of the candidates may have very little money to spend to expose himself or herself to the public.

Mr. Swart: He might even be a student.

Mr. Bradley: It’s a possibility. The problem with it as far as we are concerned -- and I think the member has mentioned that he considers it a step in the right direction -- is that we don’t feel it goes far enough in that it is permissive legislation rather than compulsory legislation. It is our view if we’re going to have legislation of this kind for disclosure and for limitation of expenses in the municipalities, it should not be up to the whim and fancy of individual municipalities as to whether they’re going to implement this particular regulation.

There would have to be a formula developed as we have federally and provincially and it might have to vary in certain circumstances because there are different-sized municipalities and different expenses that would he incurred, for instance, in Metropolitan Toronto as compared to Essex South or Welland-Thorold or something of that nature.

Because we feel there should be a standardized formula, because we feel it should be province-wide, and because we feel it should be compulsory, we will not support this particular amendment.

Mr. Swart: I regret the Liberal Party has decided that it won’t support this. I would point out they’ve had this particular amendment now for four weeks. There have been all kinds of opportunity to work out a formula, if they were serious about wanting to make it mandatory; yet they have neglected to do this. I point out again that this is a step in the right direction. In another year’s time or two years’ time or perhaps even in the spring there may be a private member’s bill or something of that nature which can make it mandatory and set up the formula.

To say now they’re voting against it because it doesn’t go far enough, after having four weeks to move a subamendment to do whatever they like with it, doesn’t sound too sincere to me.

Mr. Nixon: Why should you get excited about it?

Mr. Chairman: All those in favour of Mr. Ashe’s amendment to renumber sections 121 to 127 say “aye.”

All those opposed will please say “nay.”

In my opinion the ayes have it.

Motion agreed to.

Section 121 agreed to.

Sections 122 to 127, inclusive, agreed to.

Mr. Chairman: We will leave section 128. I believe it’s agreed that the committee will report and then go back into committee and have the bell at approximately 10:15.

On motion by Hon. Mr. Welch, the committee of the whole House reported progress.

Motion agreed to.



Hon. Mr. MacBeth moved second reading of Bill 112, An Act to amend the Highway Traffic Act.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: This is, I hope, a tidy little amendment to the Highway Traffic Act. As I say, this is a simple amendment to the Highway Traffic Act to outlaw, I hope, the use on our highways of the radar detecting units that some people carry in their automobiles. It is a bill that is put forward in the interest of safety.

Speed, as we all recognize, is one of the main ingredients towards contributing to highway accidents, and many municipalities, as well as the province, have enacted a good number of speed regulations of one sort or another to control speed, only to find that they are frustrated in their enforcement of these speed regulations by people who buy and use these radar detectors.

To my mind, there is only one reason that a person would have a radar detector as opposed to, say, a CB unit, which has many useful purposes. A radar detector serves only one purpose; that is, to allow the owner or user of that instrument to travel on the highways at a greater speed and when he finds there is a policeman ahead of him using one of these radar units, or a radar trap as they are sometimes called, then his detector will give him notice of that and he, of course, can slow down and avoid any penalty for speeding. So it really has only one purpose: to allow the user to speed with impunity.

As all hon. members know, one of the recommendations in the recent report from the select committee on highway safety was that these instruments should be banned. I think we need to say little more than what is said in that report. The only compendium I included with this bill was a copy of the report on the select committee recommending that these should be outlawed by our laws.

I have one amendment to put forward in the course of the committee review of the matter. At the present time, I understand that these are outlawed in Alberta and Manitoba as well as in Virginia and, I believe, the District of Columbia. However, there are people in the province of Ontario who manufacture these; they have a good business going for them and they employ some people. Since they are lawful in other jurisdictions, we felt there was no point in penalizing our manufacturers here in Ontario, provided they were producing a product that is legitimate in other areas. So I will propose an amendment to allow them to be shipped across the province without incurring the risk of any kind of penalty.

Apart from that recommendation, which I will put in committee, I have little further to say at this time other than to seek the support of all members of this House for this bill.

Mr. Stong: In rising to speak to this bill, I indicate to the minister support from the opposition side of the House to the amendment to the Highway Traffic Act.

Much has been said in respect to radar detecting devices being devices that interfere with radio frequencies or electrical impulses and, therefore, CBs and that type of device ought to be banned as well. However, in my respectful submission to the House, in support of this bill, the purpose of a radar warning device is one and single; that is, to assist the user to break the law. That is not the purpose of a CB and it is not the purpose of any other type of radio equipment in a vehicle.

Since the sole purpose of the device being described in this Act as a radar warning device is to assist an individual to avoid being detected by a radar trap, it breaks the law. Any apparatus that is designed to assist people to avoid regulations or legislation of this province ought to be rendered illegal immediately. That is what this legislation purports to do, and because of that we are prepared to support it.

There is one other matter that I would also like to indicate to the minister, and that is with respect to his proposed amendment that a manufacturer in Ontario be permitted to deliver to a consignee outside of Ontario. We would indicate that although the package is sealed -- and that is the substantive part of that amendment -- we agree. However, I would indicate to the minister that it would be better written by deleting the words “in Ontario” from that particular amendment, so that a manufacturer, say in a province other than Ontario, could deliver across Ontario to a distributor in Ontario or a distributor out of Ontario provided the device remains in a sealed package.

In that type of situation we would have no objection. I think the bill is a good bill, and in principle we are prepared to support it.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Lakeshore?

Mr. Lawlor: Which bill are we on, Mr. Speaker?

Mr. Nixon: The Fuzzbuster.

Mr. Lawlor: I rather guessed that, but it is better to be sure about these things once in a while.

I just recently sent across to the hon. minister an amendment to this particular section. I understand that he is going to bring in an amendment, which shows some degree of enlightenment, but of course it depends upon what the amendment says. It could be even more purblind than the present section. I mean the hon. minister is capable of backward steps.

I would like to bring to the record a few remarks arising out of many hundreds of thousands, if not millions -- Eddie Sargent is not here tonight; he never stands up to make a speech, however short, that the word “million” does not creep in somewhere; I thought I would emulate that particular dignified member this evening.

It cost many millions, it is called the McRuer report, on civil liberties and such matters, which I know in our lofty fashion matters very little to us when we are dealing with matters as eminent as Fuzzbusters and the police.

It has to do with the section that is very close to the one we are dealing with tonight.

The section is 110 of the Liquor Control Act. In that particular section it reads as follows: “A constable or the police officer may at any time without a warrant enter and search any vehicle or other conveyance of which he has reasonable grounds to believe that liquor is unlawfully kept or had for unlawful purposes, and search any person found in such vehicle or other conveyance.”

At 425 of the second volume -- no, the first volume -- McRuer has this to say about that kind of thing: “The exercise of this type of power is a definite infringement of civil rights. In Leigh versus Cole, Vaughan Williams, J. referred to the ‘degradation of being searched.’ Power to search the person should be conferred only with great reluctance and in circumstances where its absence would significantly impede the effective administration of the relevant law. It may be observed that in the enforcement of the criminal law a police officer has no power to search a person except for offensive weapons until a person has been arrested, and even then only in certain circumstances.”

That whole section on search and seizure is pertinent here, and I trust that the minister and his staff, in drafting this legislation, took very fine cognizance of what McRuer has to say about these matters. There is a sense in which legislation of this kind does run against the grain and leaves a kind of alloy in the mouth.

The society is generally growing somewhat tighter, more oppressive. There is always somebody sticking their nose into your business. There is a sense of weight and oppressiveness coming down on all sides. So it is precisely the jobs of Legislatures and Parliaments to forfend against that and watch it very carefully indeed.

The hon. minister, in this particular area, having a sort of temper that -- I trust not like Phil Givens -- in his estimates he straddled the fence nightly as between the citizen on the one hand and the power of the police on the other. Unlike Phil, who having been lifted to high eminence and placed gently on one side of the fence, sits there with aplomb and tells us that any word ventured by any member of this House with respect to the basic decencies, and the gentle but velvet hands that exist where he now sits, are not subject to critique much less to criticism. I really feel embarrassed saying at this time anything that would in the least call the police power into question.

These particular nominations bring twisters to our tongues.

Mr. Mancini: Not yours.

Mr. Lawlor: In any event, what this legislation does is zero in on a very specific area which it is hard to resist supporting; namely, there isn’t any other purpose of having a “Fuzzbuster” than to break the law. I suppose there’s a kind of an Irish recalcitrance; it’s the mere possession of the thing, whether you turn it on or not, that gives you an opportunity --

Mr. Worton: Have you ever had your fuzz busted?

Mr. Lawlor: -- to stick your tongue out. In advance of the event, you feel somehow or other you’re thwarting the powers that be. That gives some of us a tickle on occasion. At heart, way down deep, almost undetectable, we’re law-abiding and law-loving people. But from that undetectable and unfathomable depth all the way to the surface, we’re not. So the little veins of anarchism that run in our nature and which we think give us our sole sense of being free -- imagine being free in a democracy --

Hon. J. A. Taylor: Unheard of. It’s worse than socialism.

Hon. B. Stephenson: Impossible.

Mr. Lawlor: -- tend to peek out in places.

An hon. member: A lot of things in life tend to.

Mr. Lawlor: I can’t stand here without allowing the peeking to take place, even if I’m going to support the wretched legislation with a very substantial amendment.

Being able to enter an isolated vehicle parked on some piece of property, with the device in question showing plainly through the windshield, whether the driver or owner is present or not, allowing the police officer the power to break and enter the vehicle in order to remove the wretched and offensive object, that possibility strikes me as going just a step too far. If the purpose and direction of the minister’s amendment, as ours, is to remove that, under section 55(1) of the Highway Traffic Act, surely the power goes far enough.

As a matter of fact, it goes much too far, as McRuer points out on the Liquor Control Act and as very well could be pointed out with respect to section 55(1). That’s used as a pretext by the police, and all of us know it, whatever the blandishments over there or in the police departments may be. To pursue and stop a vehicle, and claim there is adequate grounds of suspicion and reasonable and probable cause, is something you can’t test. As long as it is argued in the courts, or before a justice of the peace, or elsewhere that they, subjectively speaking, had this feeling on the occasion in question and stopped the vehicle, et cetera, you can’t go behind it.


Surely in that type of subjective judgement is the very thing that places our liberties at stake. In other words, what I’m saying is that on some future occasion section 55(1) should be whittled down in order to set up some tests so as to avoid a situation where a vehicle is stopped because it’s unsafe, which is the grounds of section 55(1), and then is searched for drugs, liquor, hidden females or any number of other things that seem to invest the sympathies of police officers, who then come up with the fish dangling and say: “Look, it’s there,” and lay charges of a totally different nature arising out of what was ostensibly a search for a particular purpose because the vehicle was dangerous or something like that. That is a breach of the basic intent, purpose and desire with which these laws have been passed and means a subversion of their very purpose.

That’s done every day. All of us nod our heads and wink our eyes and we do nothing about it. Again, that means there is a creeping form of authoritarianism that enters our souls and turns them to iron. We don’t like to offend the police powers. After all, they may pick us up as we go home tonight; I don’t know on what pretext, but it’s so easy to do these days, and we’re making it that much more easy under this particular kind of legislation.

In any event, it should be whittled down to relate to the instrument or thing in question, which as manufactured at present is very obvious indeed, and let the police pursue the vehicle or stop the vehicle and with someone present. Otherwise, we’re going to need the addition of a different type of an amendment saying that if the police officers break into the vehicle with a crowbar or in any other way and destroy the lock and find nothing there -- or even if they do -- that the damage, over and above the removal of the Fuzzbuster, must be recompensed to the citizen. There isn’t any such thing as that in the legislation, and that’s carrying it a little too far.

On these two or three points I would ask that minister give good thought to amending the legislation as it stands.

Mr. Kennedy: Mr. Speaker, as a member of the select committee on highway safety, I support that committee’s recommendation for the abolition of the Fuzzbusters. I do, though, recommend acceptance of the proposed amendment by the minister, which will enable Ontario manufacturers to transport their product to offshore markets, if indeed they do have those markets.

I support the bill. I also support the right of the manufacturers to continue their contribution to the productivity of our economy and that this product be allowed to go beyond our boundaries.

Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, I speak in support of the bill, of course. I have had some concerns about the legislation, and I’m pleased to see that the minister will be bringing in an amendment about one aspect of the bill dealing with the transportation of equipment which is not designed to be sold in this province. That certainly makes sense.

My other reservation -- and I’m sure some of my colleagues will state this -- is that it’s another encroachment on our individual liberties. We’ve heard that before in relation to seatbelts; I suppose if one was to go through the whole Highway Traffic Act or the Criminal Code, one would find encroachments on the liberties of the individual.

I am concerned, as are many of my colleagues here, that we’re cranking out more and more legislation affecting in one way or another the freedom of citizens in this province. Having said that, when I first heard about these devices, I could never understand why it was that we permitted in the province an instrument that was clearly designed to circumvent the law.

I want to say to the minister that I recall speaking on this before. This is not a new gadget. This has been on the market now for two or three years. This type of equipment is clearly designed to circumvent the law. Why have the ministry and government people tolerated it for so long? Allowing the manufacturer to export it to areas where it’s going to be legal is one thing but not to allow people in this province to have this type of equipment. I understand from some of the correspondence we have received, there are some 75,000 of these units in motor vehicles. Why has the government taken so long to react to something like this?

Mr. Worton: Revenue.

Mr. Roy: Somebody behind me mentioned revenue. I would rather think it’s something else and that the people involved with the manufacture and sale might have had something to do with it. I can recall at the very time this enterprising lady in the city of Toronto was involved in the business of the distribution of these instruments, her husband was a candidate for the Conservative Party.

Mr. Worton: What’s her name?

Mr. Roy: I always wondered when I saw this because it was inevitable over a period of time we would be talking about this type of legislation. It’s typical of this government that it would wait until 75,000 people or so have the equipment in their cars before moving in. I was looking forward to the day when Mel Lastman would be in here with a terrible conflict of interest speaking for or against this legislation. This would have made for a very interesting situation back home. But, of course, he didn’t make it to this place. My colleague from Lakeshore mentioned the fact that the Tories took care in another way of the individual who kept him out.

Hon. Mr. Drea: You don’t have a friend at all, do you? Imagine saying that about one of your former colleagues.

Mr. Roy: I would say that about anybody who could be sucked in, who could be lured by the niceties and the goodies offered by those on the other side.

Hon. Mr. Drea: You don’t think much of Mr. Givens.

Mr. Roy: I have got to say and I have got to emphasize that where there is unfairness and where the government’s action is worthy of criticism is in allowing individuals in this province to sell this equipment for so long and turning a blind eye and now saying to 75,000 citizens or so that the equipment they have paid for is illegal. That’s where legislation becomes unfair and that’s where in a lot of ways we are retroactively stating that something that was legal yesterday is not legal today.

That’s why it’s important, when there is an instrument such as this or equipment such as this or an infringement of something that appears to be obvious in relation to our laws, that the quicker governments act the better it is going to be. By so doing the government is giving fair warning and advice to people right away that they had better not get involved in this because it is going to be illegal. However, in this case the government tolerated it for so long that it is unfair now for the people who bought it when it was legal. In that sense, it is unfair. I feel bad about it. I think the government should be condemned for having waited so long to move in.

I am concerned as well as others every time we give the police an opportunity to enter and search motor vehicles without warrants. It’s going to be important lest there’s some abuse. If we are going to pass legislation, we have got to give proper power to the police and I can’t see how we are going to give them any power unless we pass this type of legislation.

I found another thing of interest in reading the comments of Marilyn Lastman, some of which are interesting. She’s going to take the minister right to the Supreme Court of Canada. “I will see him in court” was the latest challenge she issued.

Mr. Mancini: Hire a lawyer. Hire the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry).

Mr. Kerrio: Have her kidnapped again.

Mr. Roy: Maybe the Solicitor General should talk to her and get her to save her money and not to waste it, to look at maybe some other legal device rather than waste it on the lawyers to go to court, to the Supreme Court of Canada. Frankly, somebody should tell her that there is a certain paramountcy involved when it comes to this type of legislation, and that the Legislature, the elected representatives of the people, are entitled to enact this type of law.

I think if you were to speak with her --

Mr. Nixon: Is she going to be able to find a lawyer who will give her the other advice, do you suppose?

Mr. Roy: I suppose; and I don’t want to be unduly critical of lawyers, not to my colleague from Brant-Oxford-Norfolk, certainly --

Mr. Nixon: I think if she wants to take it, she’ll get the counsel all right.

Mr. B. Newman: I will do it for you.

Mr. Roy: The last thing I want to say about this is in regard to some of the correspondence we have received on it. I think there were a couple of firms involved in the manufacture of the units, and some of that correspondence I found interesting.

First of all they said of the radar devices used by police to catch you speeding, the radar traps, they say: “More bluntly put, police use radar to spy on motorists.”

Sure they do; what else is new? Law enforcement people, I suppose to some degree every time they enforce the law are in some ways spying on people; but I find that interesting when they speak of it in that fashion.

Then they go on to say: “Despite the fact that a radar warning system helps promote safe driving by making the driver more conscious of his speed than otherwise he would be, the Ontario Legislature seems to feel that radar receivers are licences to speed and represent a significant danger in Ontario.”

What stupidity, really, to suggest that this system in fact was promoting safe driving. Frankly, when you get to a situation where you’ve got a device which is going to tell you where the traps are, what do you think it’s there for? It is to tell you to speed in any place where there are no traps. To suggest that in fact it is to promote safe driving is really not representative of what the instrument was intended to do.

Then they say: “This device, by contrast, is not a licence to speed. It is a warning device that promotes safety and protects drivers from errors made by police radar.” I suppose there are errors. Every time you have any equipment, or any law, it’s only as good as the individuals using the equipment or the individuals enforcing the law.

But by and large it’s been our experience that police officers working within the law, working either the breathalyser or radar equipment and this type of thing, have been pretty good. To suggest that the device is simply intended to protect one against errors by the police, again in my opinion is ridiculous. Clearly the instrument was intended to circumvent a radar device. Just as a radar device was intended for law enforcement, to get people to follow the speed limit, this was intended to circumvent it. It’s purely and simply that; and we should be in support of this legislation.

Mr. B. Newman: I rise to support the bill, but I want to bring to the attention of the minister the embarrassing position that police in border towns are going to be confronted with. Unless you’re going to require them to stop every American coming through customs and/or immigration, check that vehicle, tell him to remove his radar detecting device, and either leave it at the customs or leave it with the police officers and then pick it up on his return. Unless you do that I’d be quite concerned.

If you allow them to bring it into the country, then you’re going to ask the police to sort of flout the law, not enforce the law. I don’t think you intend that to happen at all, Mr. Minister.

I’m also a bit disturbed about what effect it may have on the tourist industry. I would assume that in states in which the device is legal, a lot of those individuals coming into Canada might find themselves in a very embarrassing position, either told to remove that device or to turn around. For good public relations, and for the betterment of the tourist industry, I think you’ll find yourself in a very embarrassing position.

I agree with the idea of banning the device, but I wish you could get some way in which you wouldn’t put the police in an invidious position as to enforcing the law strictly. If you could find some type of device that could lock or seal the device so it could not be used while they’re in the country even though the radar device is in the car, and then unlock it when he is leaving Canada and returning to the United States, all well and good. I bring this to the attention of the minister hoping he has some answers for the concerns I raise here this evening.


Mr. Gregory: Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to add a few words in regard to this bill.

I am very pleased that the hon. minister has seen fit to bring it forward at this time. I take a certain amount of pride in the fact that I brought this matter before the Solicitor General back in June 1976 during the committee of supply dealing with Solicitor General’s estimates. I can appreciate there has been a thorough investigation since that time to determine the validity of this type of bill.

I think, and I think it has been said by all parties tonight, that there is only one reason for a radar detection device, and that is to escape or to beat the law, to speed and not be caught doing so. I really don’t give too much credibility to the remarks about the invasion of privacy. I don’t think we would take the same view, if a police officer chose to investigate a car to determine if there was a gun in it, and to my way of thinking this type of device is a licence to break the law. It could be a licence to kill, if a man does it as a result of an accident while he is speeding up and slowing down every time he gets buzzed on his radar device

I would hope the minister will consider some provision that will enable manufacturers to ship their product out of the province. Just because we decide this device should be illegal and not allowed on Ontario’s highways, we can’t dictate to other communities.

Mr. Reid: Sin is bad as long as it is somebody else’s.

Mr. Gregory: I would expect -- if they don’t choose to make them illegal, Pat, why should we do it for them?

I suspect if a manufacturer is making these products and they are marketable in some other community, there is absolutely no reason why we should refuse this. I would hope the minister will consider this.

Mr. Mancini: I rise to speak on Bill 112, An Act to amend the Highway Traffic Act. I guess, Mr. Speaker, the main question in this debate has to be why it took the Solicitor General so long to take action. Why did two or three years have to pass, and many hundreds of jobs be created, with many thousands of these Fuzzbusters sold to the public of Ontario --

Mr. Bradley: They needed a candidate in Armourdale.

Mr. Mancini: -- before this government decided to take action. I guess the only reason we are going to allow these instruments, which are not legal in the province of Ontario, to be sold outside of our jurisdiction, is because we are concerned about the jobs that have already been created in our province, and with unemployment the way it is we are willing to sell devices which are not legal in our province to other jurisdictions.

Although I am going to support the amendment, that aspect has a tone to it, Mr. Speaker, that I don’t think is very befitting to this Legislature; that is for us to take the attitude that sure it is not legal here in the province of Ontario but we are willing to sell it to truck drivers in Manitoba and to people in the United States. They are certainly going to use these devices when they come to the province of Ontario, and I don’t think we should be contributing to help people from outside the province of Ontario to come into our province to break the law.

However, as I have said before, we have put ourselves in this very poor position because of this government’s failure to act. Probably one of the most interesting things I have heard in this debate, since it started a couple of weeks ago, was when I was driving up to Cornwall with some of my colleagues and we heard Mrs. Lastman on the radio. She was informing the public how she had three or four letters in front of her written by the member for St. Andrew-St. Patrick, the new Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr. Grossman), and the minister at the time was quoted as saying in his letters that he felt this legislation was not needed and it was not necessary.

Mr. Kerrio: Is that true, Larry?

An hon. member: Oh, but it is.

Mr. Mancini: We are glad that the minister who is supposed to be protecting -- it just seems funny, Mr. Speaker, that the minister who is supposed to be protecting the consumers would write letters to the effect that these things, which allow people to break the law --

Mr. Kerrio: Are you planning to make Fuzzbusters, Larry?

Mr. Mancini: -- are all right to be manufactured and sold here in the province of Ontario but, as we know, I believe the minister has now changed his mind because of pressure from his colleagues and he also is going to vote with us in the passage of this legislation.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: That was before.

Mr. Kerrio: He saw the light.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk.

Hon. W. Newman: Oh, we’ll be here for the rest of the night.

Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker since the Minister of Agriculture and Food for the first time has deigned to attend an evening session, he will find out what happens here. I thought he would he home milking the cows or whatever he does in the evening when we don’t see him around here.

Mr. Speaker: Bill 112, please!

Mr. Nixon: Yes, Mr. Speaker. I would just like to point out to you, sir, that it may well be that this bill will not be necessary since I understand that the police forces are equipping themselves with a new type of radar, shaped like a gun, would you believe? They simply point it at the car and if it doesn’t stop -- no, no, it’s not that. They simply point it at the car, pull the trigger, there is an outburst of energy of some sort and it registers the speed --

Mr. Lawlor: And the car evaporates.

Mr. Nixon: -- and the Fuzzbuster or whatever it is doesn’t have a chance to warn the driver so that he or she can slow down to evade the collar. There may be some municipalities that are not equipped with this yet, although I understand that a progressive area like Brantford has it. Some of my constituents have been complaining that they feel the police are aiming guns at them; one of them even went into the ditch when she looked up and saw this police car with the big gun pointing at her out the window --

An hon. member: Have you ever seen one?

Hon. B. Stephenson: It is not that big.

Mr. Nixon: However, it is a very effective means, no doubt, of determining the speed. I must admit to certain misgivings in my own mind about the banning of the machinery, because I think the statute will be largely redundant in a few weeks or months. However, I intend to support the legislation even with those misgivings.

Now wasn’t that worthwhile?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: I will be brief in the hope that we can get second reading of this bill this evening.

Mr. Mancini: Tell us how you convinced the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: I appreciate, first of all, the support that all sides have given to this bill. Most of the remarks I will deal with in the amendments but there are parts that I don’t intend to deal with in the amendments. The member for Windsor-Walkerville expressed concern about tourists. I am concerned with tourists as well. The legislation reads: “A police officer may ... ” I understand, as Solicitor General and through the Ontario Police Commission, that I may gently suggest how they deal with tourists without getting myself into trouble and breaking the law. So I think we can handle the tourists all right.

There was criticism that we have been so long in getting this in. I announced it in January of this year, and I admit it has taken us 11 months to do it. The member for Mississauga East did bring it to my attention in June 1976. At that time we really did not think it was a serious threat. Since then we have decided that it was, that these detectors were very effective and that we should do something to outlaw them.

On the one hand the member for Ottawa East criticized me because we are not rushing into legislation. On the other hand the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk brought it in too soon. So I can’t keep the two of them happy. We have studied the matter, and I think that the 11 months that we took to study it is reasonable --

Mr. Nixon: The gestation period of an elephant.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: -- and if we wait another month or another year, I am sure there may be other means of detecting it but I think we should press on with this bill now.

Motion agreed to.

Ordered for committee of the whole House.


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

Mr. Chairman: There’s one section remaining

Section 128 agreed to.

Mr. Chairman: We have five stacked amendments to Bill 98.

The committee divided on Mr. Swart’s amendment to section 22, which was negatived on the following vote:

Ayes 16; nays 60.

Mr. Chairman: I declare the amendment lost.

Section 22 agreed to.

The committee divided on Mr. Swart’s amendment to section 24 (a), which was negatived on the same vote.

Mr. Chairman: I declare the amendment lost.

Section 24, as amended, agreed to.

The committee divided on Mr. Swart’s amendment to section 41 (2), which was negatived on the same vote.

Mr. Chairman: I declare the amendment lost.

Section 41 agreed to.

The committee divided on Mr. Swart’s amendment to section 52, which was negatived on the same vote.

Mr. Chairman: I declare the amendment lost.

Section 52 agreed to.

The committee divided on Mr. Swart’s amendment to section 119 (2), which was negatived on the same vote.

Mr. Chairman: I declare the amendment lost.

Section 119 agreed to.

Bill 98, as amended, reported.

On motion by Hon. Mr. Welch the committee rose and reported one bill with amendments.


The following bill was given third reading on motion:

Bill 98, An Act to revise the Municipal Elections Act, 1972.

On motion by Hon. Mr. Welch the House adjourned at 10:37 p.m.