31st Parliament, 1st Session

L078 - Tue 13 Dec 1977 / Mar 13 déc 1977

The House met at 2 p.m.




Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, later this afternoon, I will introduce proposed changes to the Mental Health Act. As hon. members are aware, there have been no major changes to this legislation in the past decade; however, during that time there have been significant changes in the philosophy of the delivery of mental health services.

Eight months ago I asked the Ontario Council of Health, the senior advisory body to the Ministry of Health, to undertake a review of the Mental Health Act. I asked them to study certain specific areas of concern.

The concerns I outlined to the council were: Involuntary hospitalization and the right of the patient; the right of the patient to refuse treatment; the right of the patient to treatment; confidentiality of information respecting the patient; special requirements, if any, with respect to minors; appropriate powers and responsibilities of non-medical staff; management of the estates of current and former patients; examination, care and treatment of persons charged with or, convicted of, an offence; the authority and responsibilities of a peace officer in connection with the apprehension and conveyance of persons for the purpose of the Act; the appropriate extent, if any, of immunity of a psychiatric facility and its staff from liability for injury or damage caused by a patient; and any other matters the council wished to consider.

The issues being considered by the council involve matters of far-reaching consequences. The members of the council will require sufficient time to study and deliberate on these issues, and I believe their report will be a major contribution to the health and wellbeing of the people of Ontario. I expect the council’s study to be completed within 18 months, and I should be able to submit legislative proposals for a complete revision of the Mental Health Act after that time.

However, certain amendments are required before the council reports. You will recall, Mr. Speaker, that on April 14 of this year, I announced in this House my intention to introduce proposals for interim changes on aspects of the Act that require immediate consideration.

There are three areas of particular concern. Civil commitment, which involves involuntary hospitalization and the rights of patients; the expansion of the role of the public trustee to extend to out-patients the same services presently available to in-patients; and confidentiality of records, which addresses the issue of protecting a patient’s right to privacy.

Ontario has permitted enforced confinement of a disease or disability of the mind, in the interests of a person’s own safety or the safety of others, for a period of up to 30 days. While the ambiguous nature of the word safety gives physicians necessary latitude in judgement, the lack of legislative clarification has resulted in some confusion.

The new section which I’m proposing attempts to set out in some detail the grounds for action by a physician and the nature of the evidence required.

When a certificate is completed pursuant to section 8, the subject of the certificate can be taken to a psychiatric facility for psychiatric assessment and detained there for a maximum of 72 hours. During that 72-hour period, the individual must be either released, admitted informally or admitted involuntarily.

It is important to note that to complete a certificate of involuntary admission a physician other than the one who completed the application must now conduct the assessment. When the certificate of involuntary admission is completed, the subject will now have an immediate right of appeal to a regional review board.

These procedures afford a sharp contrast with the present Act, under which an individual could be held for up to 30 days on the certificate of one physician, with no right of appeal.

Currently, individuals admitted to a psychiatric facility must be examined as quickly as possible to determine their competency to manage their estates. Where they are incompetent, a certificate of incompetence is issued to the public trustee who assumes responsibility on behalf of the patient.

However, many out-patients due to their incompetence, also need the help of the public trustee, but are unable to qualify. By extending the application of the certificate of incompetence to out-patients, the services of the public trustee will now be made available to more people.

A notice of continuance can permit the public trustee to continue to act on the patient’s behalf for three months after hospital discharge. Often this is not long enough, so a mechanism is included to allow the public trustee to maintain control over the estate of discharged persons by applying to the Supreme Court of Ontario. This will avoid lengthy procedures under the Mental Incompetency Act.

Present legislation permits patients to ask a regional review board to inquire into their competence to manage their estates when a certificate of incompetence or a notice of continuance is issued. This provision has been retained. However, current legislation permits only yearly applications by the patient thereafter. This period has been reduced to once in any six-month period.

With the broader range of professionals now working with psychiatric patients, the potential for improper disclosure by mental health workers becomes critical, and legislative action is needed. In a public hospital, for example, no distinction is made between psychiatric patient records and others. The officer in charge of the government psychiatric facility also has broad discretion in releasing information. However, this legislation affects only government facilities. Many other facilities under the Mental Health Act have little or no guidance in this area. This section will now remove this issue from the area of hospital administration and put it in primary legislation affecting the interests of psychiatric patients.

Along with these provisions, forms for consent and research will be devised in the regulations.

Further, mechanisms have been included in the bill granting a court discretion to keep clinical records that could result in harm if disclosed out of court. The great value of medical privilege lies in the inviolable nature of medical confidences, recognized by law and secure from controversy and interference. Legislative action will now bring recognition of such privilege.

A definition of nearest relative is also provided, to make it clear which individuals can be approached in such an instance and in what order of priority. In regard to this latter concern, the ministry will be issuing directives, consistent with the spirit of this proposed legislation, which will significantly reduce the discretionary powers our psychiatric facility administrators have under the present Act.

We are considering some other interim amendments to the Mental Health Act, in particular the appeal mechanism for involuntary commitment and consent for treatment of the involuntary patient.

Further discussion concerning revisions to the Act is necessary; I have asked representatives from the Ontario Medical Association, the College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Ontario Hospital Association, the Ontario Psychiatric Association, the Canadian Mental Health Association, and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association to meet with staff in my ministry to discuss some of the more contentious areas. I expect to hear from these organizations soon; it is my sincere hope these representatives will be able to resolve these issues.

This bill is introduced at this time for first reading only. In the meantime, my ministry welcomes the suggestions of all interested and thoughtful people. Mr. Speaker, I want to assure the hon. members of my resolve to bring about changes that will reflect the highest standards and values of society, while ensuring the protection and the health of the individual and the community.



Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Labour: In view of her letter to the chairman of Metro Toronto dated November 29 in which she said: “Direct government job creation is not a particularly useful instrument for reducing unemployment”; and given her stated preference to rely on the private sector; why does the government not implement our proposed employment subsidy program whereby a portion of the salary of each new employee would be met by the government, since that, after all, is aimed at increased employment in the private sector, especially among small businessmen?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, the plan which has been proposed by the Leader of the Opposition as an augmented youth employment program, as initiated by the government this spring and summer, is a very interesting concept --

Mr. S. Smith: After our initial speech is the Legislature.

Hon. B. Stephenson: -- but it does have some cost implications. If indeed the government is to restrain itself to growth of spending within a percentage limit as low as the increase in the gross national product, or gross provincial product, and attempt to provide some leadership in the restraint of the growth of inflation it seems to me we must seriously consider such programs, which could potentially add a great deal of cost to the expense of providing government in the province of Ontario.

Mr. Roy: Wasting the taxpayers’ money; the Premier is nodding in approval.

Mr. Lewis: You’ve made a top political decision over there; it’s as cynical as it can be.

Mr. S. Smith: By way of a supplementary: In view of the fact that the government already makes certain modest efforts, in the Ontario Career Action Program for instance, and given the problems in Toronto, can she explain why it is that the Toronto area receives only 75 jobs out of the 1,325 that are part of the Ontario Career Action Program in industry? Does she have any plans to tell the chairman of Metro Toronto how to redress that imbalance?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I can’t explain to the Leader of the Opposition why the proportion in Toronto is small, since the Ontario Career Action Program does not fall under my jurisdiction. I’m sure the minister responsible could explain that to him, but I can’t.

Mr. Lewis: By way of a supplementary, if I may, Mr. Speaker: Does the minister realize that by rejecting Metropolitan Toronto’s request for some job creation, even if it is the availability of municipal works projects now on the shelf, at the same time as the Ontario Municipal Board continues to tie up the hearings where other jobs could be created through the construction industry; does she not recognize, given the above factors, that there is not a single, specific, new initiative coming from her ministry to any area of Ontario’s economy, despite the accelerating unemployment? Does she think that is conscionable at this time?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, the leader of the third party is jumping to a conclusion, which isn’t there unfortunately, and that’s fairly typical of his reaction at times. We have not rejected, in any way, the presentation of Metropolitan Toronto. My response to Mr. Godfrey specifically stated that we would be more than pleased to have discussions with him and with his group about the possibility of job-creation programs, and programs which would be of assistance in alleviating the problems of unemployment in this area.

Mr. MacDonald: For what year?

Hon. B. Stephenson: We shall be pleased to do that as soon as I have heard from Mr. Godfrey in response to the letter which I sent him.

Mr. MacDonald: You’re talking 1979, that’s what you’re talking about.

Mr. Mancini: I have a supplementary: In view of the fact the Minister of Labour goes around the province and makes speeches that she can’t create any jobs, doesn’t she think that’s a complete contradiction to the portfolio she holds? What specific recommendations has she, as the Minister of Labour, made to her cabinet? Tell the House, please.

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I shall be delighted to be directed by the hon. member for Essex South when he is a member of the government.

Mr. Laughren: That’s Tory arrogance.

Hon. B. Stephenson: At the present time, we are making recommendations to the cabinet about which this House will hear in due course.

Mr. MacDonald: Sure, in the year 1979.

Hon. B. Stephenson: They are interesting, and I think imaginative. The member for York South won’t be here.

Mr. Lewis: You are a failure as Minister of Labour.


Mr. S. Smith: As a final supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Since the minister referred to the problems of cost with our suggested program of wage incentive subsidy, may I ask the minister whether or not she’s aware that approximately 17 per cent of the initial cost would be immediately recovered in terms of tax that would he paid by the newly hired employees? There would also be an additional amount inasmuch as the economy would be stimulated. Furthermore, is she not aware that the cost to unemployment insurance -- which granted is federal -- which would then be saved by the public would be greater than the cost of the subsidy itself?

Is she not prepared, under those circumstances, to negotiate with Ottawa to recover some of that unemployment insurance saving for Ontario? Why not look at things constructively? Why not do something meaningful to at least try to alleviate the problem?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, it is very unfortunate that the hon. Leader of the Opposition is not privy to the discussions which we do have with our counterparts in Ottawa. They have, I think, been very productive. I think there will be, in the not too distant future --

Mr. Makarchuk: The unemployment rate has gone up.

Hon. B. Stephenson: -- some information forthcoming, which indeed will show that we have been using an imaginative approach in an attempt to solve some of these problems.

It is the opinion of some economists and some of those who obviously supplied information to the hon. Leader of the Opposition, that the figures which he has stated are factual and supportable. That is not universally so, but we are very willing to look at them, in fact have looked at them and are in the process of having some discussions with Ottawa about this.

Mr. S. Smith: I will look forward to that report from Ottawa. I am delighted the government is discussing the use of UIC money in Ontario, if I heard her correctly.


Mr. S. Smith: A question on a totally separate matter, Mr Speaker, for the Minister of Government Services: May I ask the minister whether the material he was kind enough to send me regarding Hydro’s involvement in purchasing land for the parkway belt represents the full extent of Hydro’s involvement as far as the minister is aware? Further, can he tell us whether all matters in dispute between Hydro and his ministry have been settled; and if not, why not?

Hon. Mr. McCague: Mr. Speaker, I am not aware there are any matters between our ministry and Ontario Hydro that are in dispute. I think what the Leader of the Opposition might be referring to is the fact we have not yet reached agreement on what land Hydro actually is going to keep and what we are going to take back from them.

I am not aware of any disputes; I think there’s an understanding that we will meet in January to settle some of these matters or at such time as the delineation of the parkway belt is complete.

Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary: If this correspondence does not represent the total amount -- it refers, I think to some $12 million -- can the minister tell us exactly the total amount of money involved in these purchases by Hydro of parkway belt properties? Can he further tell us whether any individual parcel of land which Hydro bought in the parkway belt was bought even though no part of that parcel would be used by Hydro for the transmission line; or is the minister sure Hydro has some use for part of every property purchased? Would the minister table the information I originally requested at the time I last raised the question some weeks ago?

Hon. Mr. McCague: Mr. Speaker, certainly the government has purchased lands in the parkway belt under the distress purchase plan but that does not involve Ontario Hydro. As I understand it, the total purchases to date, and this is probably two or three weeks old, were $68 million in the parkway belt. That’s the most up-to-date information I have. Does the member want to know all the properties that are involved?

Mr. S. Smith: Just to clarify -- I obviously didn’t ask the question clearly: How much of that $68 million was actually bought by Hydro? That’s the real question I want to ask. How much has Hydro actually spent to buy land in the parkway belt; and did it buy any land no portion of which would be used for Hydro purposes? -- in other words -- strictly for parkway belt purposes, apart from Hydro’s needs?

Hon. Mr. McCague: Mr. Speaker, my understanding is that Hydro did not pay for any lands through which they did not require a right of way. There are two plans. There is the right of way purchase plan and there’s distress purchase plan. My understanding is that Hydro have paid $68 million for properties in the parkway belt to this date.

Mr. Speaker: Did the hon. member for Grey-Bruce (Mr. Sargent) have a supplementary? The hon. member for Scarborough West.

Mr. Lewis: I hope you draw attention to that, Mr. Speaker. It’s the first time in living memory the member for Grey-Bruce has declined a request to ask a question.

Mr. Sargent: Just trying to keep to the business of the House.


Mr. Lewis: In the absence of the Minister for Community and Social Services (Mr. Norton), may I ask a question of the Provincial Secretary for Social Development: Does the provincial secretary not think it is time to launch a full examination of Children’s Aid Society procedures in the province of Ontario, perhaps through her secretariat, since there seems to be occurring a pattern of unhappy individual tragedies and problems around kids who are either direct wards of the Children’s Aid Society or have been wards of the Children’s Aid Society; the latest tragedy being the death of the young child who was involved with the Lambton Children’s Aid Society?

Hon. Mrs. Birch: Mr. Speaker, through you to the hon. member, I’m sure we all feel greatly appalled by this latest development in Sarnia. There have only been two times, that I recall in recent months, where the Children’s Aid Societies have been involved in this kind of situation, but it certainly is something we will be discussing with the Minister of Community and Social Services.

Mr. Lewis: By way of supplementary, can the provincial secretary recollect that the Peel County Children’s Aid Society, I think it is, has had some difficult internal cases; the Toronto Catholic Children’s Aid Society has had internal problems; the Ottawa Children’s Aid Society staff has requested an inquiry into the activities of the society. Does the provincial secretary not see a pattern evolving in Ontario which suggests it’s perhaps time to come to grips, not in a punitive way but an exploratory way, with the fashion in which the Children’s Aid Societies are operating, and the direction and expertise which come from the top?

Hon. Mrs. Birch: Mr. Speaker, I will certainly be sharing these concerns with my colleague the Minister of Community and Social Services.

Mr. Roy: By way of supplementary, related to the same problem -- certainly an appalling situation: I wonder if the provincial secretary might suggest as well, to her colleague the Minister of Community and Social Services, that he look into the fact that apparently the lawyer acting on behalf of the parents, who were granted temporary custody of the child, was a director of the society. Can the provincial secretary not understand that if there is not legislation dealing with that the court may be under the impression the lawyer in some way represents the views of the society and that there is a conflict of interest involved in that type of situation?

Hon. Mrs. Birch: Mr. Speaker, I’d be very loath to make any judgements on that aspect at the moment. That will be part of the ongoing review by the Minister of Community and Social Services. I’m sure that when he’s in the House on Thursday the minister will be reporting what they have discovered with regard to this particular case.

Mr. McClellan: Supplementary: Given this is the third infant death to be before us this year, not the second -- Vickie Ellis, Tania Lasard, and now Kim Ann Popen -- would the provincial secretary agree that she ought to recommend to the Minister of Community and Social Services the Children’s Aid Societies be directed to take children who have been subjected to child abuse into custody, rather than continuing the current practice of providing treatment to child abuse families, treatment which is clearly incompetent?

Hon. Mrs. Birch: Mr. Speaker, that again is something on which there are many different opinions as to how an abused child should be best treated, whether in the home with the support services being provided or with the child being removed from the family. Again Mr. Speaker, those are questions we will be asking within our policy field of the Minister of Community and Social Services.

Mr. Makarchuk: Supplementary: In view of the fact that there is something wrong with the system and the secretary keeps insisting or telling us she’s asking questions, could she tell the House when she’s going to stop asking questions and start acting?

Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Quinte.

Mr. O’Neil: I have a question of the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr. Grossman).

Mr. Lewis: Point of order, Mr. Speaker; I think I have another question.

Mr. Speaker: I believe you have. It’s my error.

Mr. Lewis: You will notice how tentatively I put the request.

Mr. Speaker: You are so timid these days.

Mr. Lewis: I am indeed.

Mr. Conway: He’s not finished yet.

Mr. Lewis: It is part of the mellowing process, Mr. Speaker.


Mr. Lewis: I have a question of the “minister of management.” I would like to ask her what facts were omitted from the report on mercury which she gave us the other day? Did, in fact, the search for information on mercury which the minister referred to continue right though the year 1977? Was 1977 also part of the study the minister reported on?

Bud Cullen does this too; you call him by another name and he won’t answer the question. So I will put the question to the Minister of Labour, but there is a lot in common between the policies of this ministry here and Bud Cullen’s in Ottawa.

Mr. Warner: They are both indifferent.

Hon. B. Stephenson: The report which was mentioned -- or I think maligned in the newspaper article -- was a report on 22 autopsies carried out on individuals in the year 1976. That report will be completed by the end of this month and will be published. I did make the statement, not necessarily in the House, but I most certainly made it to the newspaper reporters after, that there are a further number of autopsies that have been carried out in the year 1977, which will be the subject of a further report which will be published some time in 1978.

Mr. Lewis: That is what I was seeking. So it is in fact possible, then, that the reference to mercury poisoning, or consequences of exposure to mercury ingestion, could have occurred in the cases that are forming part of the 1977 report, and that is yet to be concluded?

Hon. B. Stephenson: The information I have thus far about autopsies which have been carried out, postmortem examinations and the careful pathological examination of neuro-tissue, is clearly in support of the thesis that there has, as yet, been no case of mercury poisoning confirmed by any of these examinations. It is, of course, premature to say all of the postmortem examinations for 1977 have been done. We have not reached the end of 1977 yet.


Mr. Bolan: A question of the Minister of Northern Affairs: Can he reconcile the statement made today by the general manager of the Ontario Northland Railway that the Northlander service between North Bay and Toronto is to be discontinued effective January 9, 1978, with his answer in the House yesterday to the hon. member for Parry Sound (Mr. Maeck), when the minister told him, in reply to the member’s supplementary question as to whether or not the minister felt the train from North Bay to Toronto had run long enough to be able to assess its success: “I would have to say, in answer to the hon. member’s question, yes, I do think that once we get past the next few weeks we will have some real valuable information on which to make a decision”? How does the minister reconcile those statements?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: I think the hon. member is aware I made a public commitment in Timmins that we would make a decision on the future of that section of the Northlander train by December 15. That was clear and concise.

Mr. Bolan: What did the minister say yesterday?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: It is obvious that this matter will be brought up during the course of my estimates this afternoon. We arranged for the manager of the ONTC to make the statement in North Bay today, consistent with our policy in Northern Affairs, which is to make those statements that affect northerners in northern Ontario.

Mr. Wildman: What about the minister’s statement yesterday?

Mr. Bolan: The minister said it would take a few weeks.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Sorry fellows; that’s northern Ontario, and that is where it belongs. It also will be discussed, as has been pointed out, during the course of my estimates this afternoon.

Cabinet has concurred with the recommendation of the commission that this service be discontinued because of the number of points I raised in answer to a number of questions that were raised yesterday in this Legislature.


Mr. Bolan: Supplementary: Could the minister tell us how many jobs will be lost as a result of this political decision of his?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: It is certainly not a political decision. It’s a very rational one.

Mr. Bolan: Why did they start it on the day after the election?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: If the member wants to look at it that way, fine, it’s up to him. He is certainly not being realistic when he makes a statement like that. I will have those figures for him during the course of my estimates this afternoon.

Mr. Cassidy: I have a question of the Minister of Housing --

Hon. B. Stephenson: Well, such sartorial splendour.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Pinstripes and suede.

Mr. Speaker: Could we have some order?

Mr. Havrot: It’s a new image.

Mr. Cassidy: Another blow in the leadership race, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: Order.


Mr. Cassidy: In view of the fact that the city council, the community and the elected politicians for the area all support the proposal for 140 units of public housing in the LeBreton Flats area and that it’s a project which is integrated with the LeBreton Flats development in the neighbouring Dalhousie ward, does the government intend to accept or reject the city of Ottawa’s request for these 140 units of public housing? Why has the government taken so long to reply to the city’s request for that approval?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows full well that I have advised the city of Ottawa, as well as other interested groups in the area, that I was not in favour of the proposal that 50 per cent of the housing to be built in LeBreton Flats would be public housing. I have said so quite clearly and quite distinctly to that particular city and to the people who have approached me on the matter. I have also said to the hon. member on other occasions -- and I might say, Mr. Speaker, he has agreed -- that it is far more desirable to have a more fully integrated community rather than having large blocks of public housing in any one particular area.

Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary: In view of the fact that the proposal that has come from the LeBreton Flats area has broad support within the communities affected and from the politicians affected, arid in view of the fact that the housing mix of public housing proposed was required in order to bring the income levels in LeBreton Flats to a comparable mix of the surrounding area and the city of Ottawa as a whole, do the principles of the minister apply in that case as well, or is he prepared to be flexible in order to have a community which is integrated with its surrounding area?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is giving his particular analysis of how he thinks the particular project should be developed. I have decided that I will not support that sort of density and that number of public housing units in that particular area.

Ms. Gigantes: It’s the community which wants it.

Mr. MacDonald: So much for local autonomy.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: At the same time, I should point out to the hon. member -- and I am sure he is well aware of it -- that that particular project is an experimental project by the federal government and that we are only participating with them on the development of LeBreton Flats.

Mr. Cassidy: Final supplementary: Does the minister realize that he is injecting a high income luxury project into an area which is now a low income area? Does that represent integration in his view?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Speaker, that is absolutely incorrect The hon. member knows full well that nothing has been finally decided in that area --

Ms. Gigantes: It has to be high income housing.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: -- and in communications that I know he has received copies of I have indicated to the proponents of this project that we are quite prepared to look at lesser numbers of public housing but certainly to have it properly distributed throughout the area.

Ms. Gigantes: You accused the municipalities of not being willing to have public housing.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: He knows that, because he has received all of the copies of the correspondence. In fact, some I have received I think he wrote.

Mr. Roy: Supplementary: In view of the attitude taken by the ministry about the mix to go in that area, is the ministry and the minister himself in fact not using the excuse about the density of public housing in that area so as not to participate in that project? Is it an excuse not to put any funds in that particular project?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Speaker, that certainly is not the case whatsoever. If the hon. member is aware of what is happening --

Mr. Roy: I am.

Ms. Gigantes: Don’t you accuse the municipalities.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: -- in that particular project, and I trust that he is, he knows full well that the project has been carried on as an experiment by the federal government, CMHC, and that we have been participating with them. We have, without any question, indicated --

Mr. Roy: You have shown a lack of flexibility.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: We have indicated to CHMC that we were not in favour of that sort of density, and I don’t intend to support it. I think, Mr. Speaker, it is unfair for the hon. member for Ottawa East (Mr. Roy) to come here only on one day a week and disrupt the House.

Mr. Cassidy: You are always finding an excuse to say “no.”

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Roy: The minister shouldn’t mislead the House.

Mr. Speaker: Order. Order. If the hon. member for Renfrew South will stop barracking, I will recognize him for a question that he says is urgent.

Mr. Yakabuski: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Industry and Tourism. In view of the fact that Chromasco and its predecessor at Haley Station have mined magnesium ore in Renfrew county since about 1942, and in view of the fact that they have recently entered into an agreement with Sofrem, a French firm, to refine and process magnesium by a new process called Magnetherm, and in view of the fact that they are presently contemplating a $40 million plant in another province, whereby they would extract the magnesium ore from the sacred soil of Renfrew county and move it elsewhere in Canada for refining --

Mr. Makarchuk: Like Falconbridge is doing.

Mr. Yakabuski: -- would the minister put his team and every facility at his disposal, or at the disposal of this government, to work to ensure that the magnesium ore mined in Renfrew will be refined at Haley Station also?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, I would be delighted to make sure that the ministry people are fully informed of the situation, and we will do what we possibly can to make sure the member’s request is fully complied with.

Mr. Laughren: Talk to Leo Bernier about that. What about Falconbridge, Leo?

Mr. Martel: Give them some money and watch them locate somewhere else.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: You guys will kill them with your taxes and your environment restrictions.


Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Speaker, yesterday the hon. member for Etobicoke (Mr. Philip) asked about the anticipated costs of renovations to OHC’s Mount Olive development. The contract for phase one of a major landscaping project was awarded on August 17, 1977, in the amount of $207,809. The second phase will be tendered next year, and OHC cannot predict the exact cost at this time.

The present phase, which is about 65 per cent complete, includes a number of items. The court yard above one of the two underground garages at this site is being landscaped and provision has been made for planting trees and shrubs and grass areas. New sidewalks will be laid, and waterproofing the existing slab over the garages also is part of the contract.

In addition, Etobicoke has new requirements with regards to fire routes. A fire route will be constructed of lockstone paving. New hydrants and associated pipes to the west parking lot will be installed. A total of 44 of the row housing units in the immediate area will have five feet concrete porches installed together with railings.

The second phase scheduled to be tendered next year will consist of work similar to that of the current phase. About 30 row housing units are in the vicinity of the second part of the landscaping project. The designs for the second phase have not yet been drawn up.

The hon. member also asked me to confirm or deny whether the renovation work was put to tender. I can state categorically that the work was publicly tendered on July 19, 1977. Besides the public advertisement for the tenders, 34 companies were advised and invited to tender. A total of 25 tender documents were picked up. We received six bids; the successful bidder was from Mississauga and was the low bidder.


Mr. O’Neil: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations. Can the minister tell us how many employees will be affected by the government’s decision to cut back on operating hours in over 150 Liquor Control Board stores across the province? Can he also tell us when this measure is effective?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: I do not have the details with me. I will try to get them for the member Thursday. The proposals are meant as a cost reduction measure which should not substantially decrease the service to the public, nor will it substantially affect full-time staff. I’ll get those figures for the hon. member, I hope on Thursday, and he’ll be able to assess it then.

Mr. O’Neil: Mr. Speaker, as a supplementary: The president of the LCBO union has informed us that at a very conservative estimate at least 200 temporary and permanent part-time employees will lose their jobs. For many of these people it is their only source of income, and many of those involved are women supporting families; is it therefore government policy to balance the budget at any price?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Of course that isn’t the case. If we were going to do it at any price we could indeed balance the budget, but we’re not balancing the budget because we don’t think that all risks are appropriate. However, where there’s a clear pattern that the usage at a particular outlet is very low, for example on an evening, then I think it’s appropriate for the LCBO -- and it obviously wasn’t me, it was the LCBO -- to look at the usage of the store and not waste money on a large number of employees to serve a very few members of the public.

Those figures will also be available for the hon. member, in terms of the usage of the particular outlet involved; he’ll be able to make his own assessment of the decisions made by the board.

Mr. Warner: A supplementary: Does the minister have any possible rationale for cutting back and putting people out of work at this time of high unemployment, particularly when his government has absolutely no answers for creating jobs? How on earth can he possibly start throwing people out of work?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: The member for Scarborough-Ellesmere should resign, he should resign.

Mr. Warner: Right after the Minister of Housing.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: If, prior to the hon. member’s resignation, he wants to suggest to me that it is the function of the Liquor Control Board to take on innumerable persons who are not required, then he ought to make that proposal.

Mr. Wildman: He doesn’t say “take on”; he said “don’t lay off.”

Hon. Mr. Grossman: I think it is incumbent upon the LCBO at all times to run their operations without wasting money where there’s a clearly identifiable situation --

Mr. Samis: Eliminate the patronage.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: -- in which the numbers of people employed at the stores are far out of proportion to the number of people they’re serving.

Mr. MacDonald: Human beings are expendable in the minister’s approach.

Mr. Samis: How about the patronage in the whole thing?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: I understand what the hon. member is saying, but he should also recall that the amount of money saved --

Mr. Makarchuk: That otherwise is spent in welfare.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: -- that otherwise might be spent in the provision of some useless service might free up some funds for allocation in other areas of the ministry. I am sure the hon. member, and some of his colleagues, would be happier to see some of that money, that is currently being spent needlessly at some LCBO outlets to assist in the sale of liquor to the public, spent in some of the social service areas of the government. I know I’ve sat here and listened to the hon. member say that.

Mr. MacDonald: You are cutting back there too.

Mr. Wildman: Can you guarantee that?

Mr. Kerrio: It doesn’t work that way.

Mr. McClellan: You’re already saving on unspent money in social services.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: This is a measure to make sure we’re not having make-work programs in the Liquor Control Board stores in order to free up that same money for use in some of the social services areas and other responsibilities of the government.

Mr. McClellan: You don’t even spend what you budget in social services.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: If the hon. members are against us doing that, let them stand up and say so.

Mr. Eakins: Mr. Speaker, a supplementary to the minister: In the minister’s list on cutting down hours in regard to the stores, the only one he is closing is in the village of Woodville in Victoria county. Why, after opening this store, would the minister not give it an opportunity to show its full potential? Instead, shortly after its opening he opened another store in this rural area; a few miles away in the village of Cannington, which is in the Minister of Agriculture and Food’s (Mr. W. Newman) riding? Why would he open another store in opposition and not give an opportunity for the Woodville store to develop?

Hon. W. Newman: Cannington’s a good town to live in, I’ll tell you. A lot of good Tories up there too, don’t forget that.

Mr. Speaker: Could we have some order? We’ve got a goodly number of children in the galleries and I’m sure you’d like to create a better impression while they’re here than this.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: There’s a goodly number across the floor as well, Mr. Speaker.

If the member would like us to review the decision made in the particular store he’s referring to -- and I don’t have the details with regard to it -- in order to give the local inhabitants a chance to push usage over the top for this year, then perhaps we’ll have a look at it.


As I say, there is absolutely no secret surrounding the figures upon which the decision was made. If the member wants to look at them and to suggest that maybe his good constituents can see to it they consume enough to continue to employ the staff that’s there, then I might ask the Liquor Control Board to reconsider. I can’t do it, but I might ask the Liquor Control Board to have a look at those figures again and hear what the member has to say about his desire to stimulate the sales.

Mr. Speaker: We’ll have one final supplementary. The member for Grey-Bruce.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: And here is an expert on the subject.

Mr. Sargent: That’s unparliamentary.

Since the minister is so completely fair in his operation and concern for the public, how would he answer this question? During my 14 years here, I’ve never been able to get a person a job in a liquor store who wasn’t a Tory.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: I guess the member doesn’t know any Tories or the ones he knows are already employed, but I would invite him to recommend any names he might have. As he well knows, they are hired on the basis of competence and not political affiliation.

Mr. Makarchuk: That is baloney.

Mr. Warner: How can the minister stand there and say that with a straight face?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: I wouldn’t be surprised if the most competent people the member knows are all Tories.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Cassidy: Why doesn’t the minister change that shabby policy?


Mr. Breaugh: I have a question of the Minister of Labour. Since we’ve already seen a number of layoffs in the auto industry, particularly at Ford in Oakville and at the Chrysler plant in Ajax; and since most of these people are probationary employees who will not be able to participate in the UAW SUB fund but will be directly under UIC after a waiting period, has the minister considered any discussions or any means of rationalizing production to save those jobs we now have in the auto industry itself?

Hon. B. Stephenson: As was requested, I think last week by the member for Hamilton East (Mr. Mackenzie), I have been attempting, in our program to try to find out precisely the reasons for the problem which was demonstrated at the Ford plant, to have a meeting with the executive of that union. I shall be most pleased to meet with the executive of the union at the General Motors plant in Oshawa or in Ajax, if it would be useful, in order to try to develop programs to alleviate the projected layoffs, if that’s possible to do.

Mr. Breaugh: Supplementary: Is the minister saying, then, that she would be prepared to meet with the executives of all four motor production facilities -- there are more than that in the province -- and ask them to change their production schedules so that those jobs may be saved over the winter?

Hon. B. Stephenson: What I said was I would be very pleased to meet with the executives of the unions because they, as the workers, have first-hand knowledge of the ways in which this might be accomplished. I would certainly be willing to act as an intermediary with the companies, if they requested it, to consider the proposals which they have to make in this regard.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. Minister of Labour has the answer to two questions previously asked. Sorry; one final supplementary from the Leader of the Opposition.

Mr. S. Smith: Is the minister totally satisfied with the situation whereby a number of provisionary workers were hired for the Ford jobs and were let go, basically because the gamble Ford had made that it could keep the assembly line going at a certain pace didn’t pay off? These workers are left now with very little in the way of recourse. Is the minister satisfied that when the fault lies with the company the workers ought to be given no more protection than the present law provides?

Hon. B. Stephenson: If I were perfectly satisfied with the situation we would not be attempting at this point to continue to get more information and to have meetings with the relevant groups at the Ford plant.

We have not found, to my knowledge, all of the information that I think we should have at this point, and therefore we are attempting to find out as much as we can about the construction of the line, the facility itself, whether indeed there is not some adaptability which might be introduced which could resolve some of the problem, including the problem which the hon. member for Hamilton West suggests.


Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, on December 5 last, the hon. member for Hamilton East (Mr. Mackenzie) asked me several questions regarding the proposed layoffs of employees at Shepherd Boats in Niagara-on-the-Lake and Smithville, and on December 8 my deputy minister and I met with the president of Shepherd Boats and reviewed the company’s situation completely.

After a thorough review, apparently the company came to the conclusion that the continuation of the operations at these two locations could not be justified in the light of the fact that the market in Canada for the two products made at these installations -- a 54-foot cruiser which was 100 per cent for export trade, and two models of a 36-foot cruiser, 80 per cent of which was for export trade -- could not be justified.

The majority of the boats, as I suggested, produced at these plants are exported to other countries and there simply is not a market at the present time for boats of that size.

The 105 employees in the production unit are represented by the United Steelworkers of America, 20 of them located in Niagara-on-the-Lake and the remainder in Smithville. They are covered by one collective agreement which expires on December 31 of this year, and approximately 75 per cent of the employees were given layoff notices on December 5 to become effective on January 30, 1978. Another group will receive notices on December 12 -- or have -- to expire on or about February 9, and that will leave approximately 10 employees who will be given the appropriate notice preparatory to final shutdown on March 6, 1978.

It’s my understanding that certain employers have already indicated interest in employing some of the skilled tradesmen from the Shepherd Boats works in other areas in the Niagara Peninsula and other areas in the province of Ontario, and as well the company is arranging meetings with Canada Manpower and is prepared to enter into a Manpower adjustment incentive agreement as soon as possible.

Mr. Mackenzie: Supplementary: In the discussions with this firm, did the minister get into the fact that Whittaker Corporation, the parent company that’s closed it down, is advertising its products heavily in the boating magazines, including 36-foot cruisers that are built at the other two plants which that corporation owns?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, it is my understanding that this corporation owns more than just two other plants, not only in North America but in other places in Europe as well, and I gather the hulls which they have been building in Ontario are specific hulls which are not adaptable to the construction of the other types of boats in other areas. We did explore all of the possibilities, all of the permutations and combinations of things which might be done with this plant and with its production, only to find that it was not possible to maintain the plant in its present production capacity and to employ the people who are there at the present time.

I would have to say that this, it would seem to me, is an example of the retrenchment of a basically American company to the support of workers within the continental United States and in support of its own corporate program.

Mr. Mackenzie: Final supplementary: Is the minister also aware that this same company has done the same thing in the textile field in Marysville, N.B., and is it not worth a further look to see whether or not we are just being made the scapegoats for this corporation?

Mr. S. Smith: It’s a branch plant economy, that’s what.

Mr. Wildman: Which you guys support.

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, as I said, we have explored all of the possibilities for these two plants and I can see no possibility of any extension of viability for this company at this site. I am sure that if there was not at the present time some concern about the use of non-renewable energy sources in boat motors, for example, I am convinced that if, indeed, there was more money to be spent generally the viability of this facility could be ensured. I would think that if, indeed, there was some idea that there could be a diversification --

Mr. Speaker: Will the hon. members for Ottawa East and Sudbury East carry on their conversations outside?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, it is my understanding that these two installations do not lend themselves to diversification at this point, and it is also my understanding that there simply is not an export market for the types of boats which they are producing at this point. If there are some entrepreneurs here who are interested in developing new hulls and new craft, that facility is available to them, I’m sure.

Mr. Speaker: No more supplementaries. The hon. member for Simcoe East with a new question.


Mr. C. E. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Health concerning his proposed amendments to the Mental Health Act. Inasmuch as there is a grey area existing between the Mental Health Act and the Development Services Act, whereby former residents or residents of mental health facilities such as the Huronia Regional Centre may be assessed by ministry psychiatrists as being potentially dangerous, but no provision is given for any ongoing supervision or security, will these amendments deal with this type of situation and perhaps prevent unfortunate situations recurring throughout the province, as have in the past?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, hon. members will have a chance to look at the amendments fairly soon. What we’ve done is to try to clarify the grounds on which a psychiatrist can detain someone as an involuntary patient in terms of potential harm to himself or to others. I would hope that, at least in some small measure, that would answer the problem which the hon. member has raised. I would expect that in putting this over for a couple of months, until the spring session, that’s one of the areas that a number of professional groups will want to have in mind when they examine the proposed amendments and give us their comments.

Mr. Speaker, I sent you a note that I have two answers --

Mr. Speaker: The hon. member has a supplementary and then you may give the answers to questions previously asked.

Mr. G. E. Smith: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. In view of the fact I introduced a private member’s bill with amendments to the Mental Health Act which I felt would deal with this type of situation -- I believe it was in the last Parliament -- would the hon. minister have his staff at least assess my proposal and see if it was worthy of consideration?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Yes, Mr. Speaker. In preparing the amendments we’ve looked at a number of earlier proposals, from both sides of the House I might say, and in other jurisdictions.


Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, on November 24, the hon. member for Oshawa, on behalf of the member for Durham West (Mr. Ashe) -- no, I don’t think so, but that’s what he indicated anyway --

Mr. Breaugh: I doubt that I would do that.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: -- inquired if I would investigate allegations that prisoners from Whitby Jail were performing certain duties at the hospital that had been performed previously by hospital employees.

Since March, 1976, about 15 residents of the Whitby Jail have participated in a program of vocational assessment and training at the psychiatric hospital in Whitby. Participants have been involved in the program for periods ranging from three to six weeks. Because of the training component requirements, no more than three people have been employed at a time.

Prior to opening hospital job stations, members of the hospital staff employed in the areas were consulted and agreed to participate in providing rehabilitation and work opportunities to jail residents; in fact it was because of their support and commitment to the programs that it has been so successful to date.

The benefit to jail residents is actual on-the-job training in a real-life setting. I might add that no staff was let go from the areas where present jail residents are working; which includes the ground, truck and laundry crews.


Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, I’d like to also answer the question asked by the member for Kent-Elgin (Mr. McGuigan) on December 5, 1977, about a newspaper article in the London Free Press. The article alleged that a private home in Chatham township is being operated as an unlicensed nursing home.

This complaint was first brought to the attention of my ministry in April, 1977. An inspection team comprised of four ministry personnel inspected a farm house in Chatham township to investigate the complaint at that time. They were in possession of a court order and were accompanied by the OPP from the Chatham detachment. I understand that the farm is owned by Mrs. Carrie Wilson and her son, Lawrence Wilson. The property has two houses, a small new bungalow and an older farm house. The team had more than an hour’s discussion with Mr. Wilson and his mother and then inspected the property.

The unannounced arrival of the rather overwhelming inspection group agitated and alarmed the elderly members of the family in the older home, one male and three females, all interrelated. The nurse inspector was selected to be the only person to enter this home to briefly review the situation. The nurse’s entrance further upset these people, so the visit was short and the inspection team decided not to pursue the inspection further.

Although brief, the inspection indicated that the four elderly residents are related to each other. They were all feeding themselves. They were all ambulatory and they appeared generally self-sufficient. My ministry is of the opinion that since these citizens are related to each other, their decision to share a private home does not constitute a violation of the Nursing Homes Act.



Mr. Reed: My question is of the Minister of Energy: With evidence that there is now some migration in Ontario towards the increased use of electric heat in new construction, as reported in last Saturday’s Star, will the minister consider incentives to consumers of electric power, especially for low- grade heat purposes, to utilize the off-peak potential of Ontario Hydro, which presently represents substantial unused capacity?

Hon. J. A. Taylor: Mr. Speaker, I believe this question touches on matters of costing and pricing of electricity as well, which is currently being discussed before the Ontario Energy Board, I hope to have something more in that regard soon. I don’t know that I can add much more without a more definitive question.

Mr. Reed: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker; do I take it to mean that the minister favours a move that will provide those incentives?

Hon. J. A. Taylor: The member’s question really alludes to the problem we’re facing in terms of peaking and the generating capacity necessary when you have to accommodate peak loads. I think the best solution to that is to eliminate the peaking as much as possible; not to find additional use for that particular peak. In levelling that curve we are trying to accommodate that, and that can be done, as I indicated in the hon. member’s main question, through the process of addressing the costing and the pricing of electricity, which could include time-of-day pricing. Overall, however, the question we are addressing in co-operation with other provinces in terms of setting up a national energy grid, or even an international grid, is that of determining steps we can take to flatten that curve as much as possible.


Mr. Young: A question, Mr. Speaker, of the Minister of Labour, in connection with the death of Amidio DeAcetis yesterday afternoon in an excavation designed to bring services to the Chalk Farm Public School in my riding: Has the minister determined whether or not legislation or regulations in regard to safety were breached prior to this death?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, the inspectors from the construction health and safety branch of the occupational health and safety division are at the present time investigating this matter. When their report is available, I shall be pleased to share it with the House.

Mr. Young: One supplementary: Has it been determined as yet whether the workman in question was in effect at the bottom of an excavation 12-feet-deep without any shoring?

Hon. B. Stephenson: If that rumour is correct, as the hon. member suggests, then of course that is a contravention of the Construction Safety Act. I do not know that that is factual at this point. When I have that information, I shall be pleased to report it.


Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, on December 5, the leader of the third party asked me a question regarding the possible reduction of radiation levels to which workers might be exposed on the basis of an article which appeared in a newspaper. He suggested we should be considering these levels as reported in the newspaper. I have to tell you that I at that point, Mr. Speaker, suggested that we had not been able to get a copy of the paper to which the newspaper article alluded.

I have to report to this House after one week of trying that we still have not been able to receive a copy of the paper. It is said that paper is to be published in a journal, a very reputable journal known as Health Physics, but up to the November issue it has not been so published and it has not been available from anyone except perhaps from a gentleman by the name of Dr. Mancuso, who has not himself been available because he has been out of town.

I should note one thing: radiation standards in this country are not set by the province of Ontario, nor by any province, but by the Atomic Energy Control Board. If we can get a copy of the paper, we will be very pleased to inform them of our concern in this area.

One of the other things the member for Scarborough West suggested was that 40 per cent of the 670 deaths noted in the paper were from cancer induced by low-level radiation at one-tenth of the levels that we permit.

Now I reread that article, and it actually says that 40 of the 670 cancer cases were due to low level radiation, so that would be about six per cent, not 40 per cent. But without seeing the study, it really isn’t possible to know the basis upon which it was determined that these six-per-cent deaths were radiation-induced. We can only presume that it means the researchers found six per cent more deaths than they expected in this particular group. When we manage to get the paper, I shall he pleased to report further in this continuing saga.

Mr. Lewis: Just by way of supplementary: May I suggest, I hope not presumptuously, that the minister do as I did and simply phone Mancuso or write Mancuso and --

Hon. B. Stephenson: We tried that.

Mr. Lewis: Well I did too, and received a copy of the study. It is sitting on my desk. There was no difficulty whatsoever.

Hon. B. Stephenson: Could I have a copy of it?

Mr. Lewis: May I offer the Minister of Labour, and all her vast resources a copy of the study to read?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Yes.

Mr. Lewis: Good, thank you very much. Unbelievable, the whole occupational health branch, unbelievable people.


Mr. Sweeney: A question of the Premier, Mr. Speaker: My question deals with a commitment on the Premier’s part last May in Kitchener to set up a committee of four deputy ministers to look into the activities of Psi. Two questions: how often has that committee met; and given that the Premier set it up, what has it reported to him?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, the hon. member sent me a note from somebody in Kitchener related to a discussion I had during the course of certain events. This organization had something to do with psychological testing or something of that nature.

I don’t really recall saying that I would set up a committee of four deputy ministers to inquire into this question. However, since I got the hon. member’s note, I am trying to find out what it was that was discussed. If he has any fuller information, I would be delighted to pursue it but I don’t really recall saying I would set up a committee of four deputy ministers.

Mr. Martel: What about the Workmen’s Compensation Board facilities in Sudbury while you are at it?

Mr. Sweeney: I understand from some of the other ministers that it has been set up. Given we are talking about approximately seven months ago, that the Minister of Health now has medical evidence of a relationship between Psi and mental breakdown, and they are now setting up children’s programs, would the Premier not be concerned that the time delay is critical?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I will have another word with the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry). I think there has been some study of this matter; I will talk to the Attorney General to see whether he has any information to share.

As I say, I really don’t recall the four deputy ministers that were to meet to solve this problem.

Mr. Conway: The Kitchener voters really shook you up to that extent?

Hon. Mr. Davis: No, no; I think I can recall the meeting. I think I can recall the general areas of discussion --

Mr. Conway: Kitchener is just a little west of here, about 60 miles.

Hon. Mr. Davis: This was really a very specific question raised by a couple of women, if memory serves me correctly.


Mr. Mackenzie: A question of the Minister of Labour: Can the minister inform the House as to whether she has any additional information on the nine-week strike of some 25 women employees at the Canadian Bank Note Company in Ottawa? Is the minister prepared to use her authority to set guidelines that would assure that any appointed arbitrator would have room to deal with all of the issues in dispute?

Hon. B. Stephenson: The mediator in this instance, and the director of industrial relationship services within the ministry, have had several discussions over the last two or three days with a number of individuals within the striking group, with the executive of the union and others. They are preparing a position which hopefully will lead to a solution to this strike. I am most certainly prepared to do whatever I can to assist in finding the solution to this anomalous situation which must be corrected.



Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, I would like to present a petition, addressed to the hon. Minister of Revenue (Mrs. Scrivener), from Mrs. L. Van Santen and 59 other persons in Toronto who have handicapped persons in their homes or who are handicapped themselves, asking for legislation to exempt from assessment for property taxation those home improvements which enable handicapped persons to stay in their own homes and operate independently.



Mr. Handleman from the select committee on Inco layoffs presented the committee’s report which was read as follows and adopted:

Your committee recommends that its terms of reference be amended as follows:

That the committee shall be empowered to inquire similarly into the layoffs announced by Falconbridge Nickel Limited on December 8, 1977.

Your committee further recommends that its time for reporting be extended to not later than two months from the date of its first hearing; and that if the assembly is not in session, that it file its report with the clerk of the Legislative Assembly and it be empowered to release its report at that time.


Hon. Mr. Parrott presented the final report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Algoma University College.


Mr. Villeneuve from the standing social development committee reported the following resolution:

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

Services to education program .......$102,825,000


Hon. Mr. McCague presented the annual report of the Provincial Auditor for the year ended March 31, 1977, and asked that it be referred to the standing committee on public accounts to be appointed in the next session.



Hon. Mr. Timbrell moved first reading of Bill 124, An Act to amend the Mental Health Act.

Motion agreed to.


Mr. Van Horne moved first reading of Bill 125, an Act to provide for the Disclosure of Information relating to the Cost of Government Programs.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Van Horne: Mr. Speaker, the purpose of this bill, as indicated, is to provide for the public disclosure of the cost information upon which decisions to undertake certain government programs are based. The bill requires that the estimated total cost of each program be disclosed and provides for additional scrutiny of program operations if the estimated total cost is exceeded.



Mr. Speaker: Before the orders of the day and pursuant to standing order 28, the member for Port Arthur (Mr. Foulds) has given notice of his dissatisfaction with the answer to his question given by the Minister of Government Services (Mr. McCague) concerning a government building in Thunder Bay. This matter will be debated at 10:30 tonight.

Mr. Roy: He’s not serious.

Hon. Mr. McCague: Where was the member at question period?



Mr. Eaton moved second reading of Bill Pr29, An Act respecting the Township of East Zorra-Tavistock.

Motion agreed to.

Third reading also agreed to on motion.


Hon. Mr. Snow moved second reading of Bill 107, An Act to amend the Highway Traffic Act.

Mr. Speaker: Does the minister have an opening statement?

Mr. Cunningham: We cut him off once before.

Hon. Mr. Snow: I wish to advise the House that in committee of the whole House I will propose four amendments to Bill 107, which deals with my ministry’s improved axle and gross weight legislation for commercial motor vehicles.

One of the amendments will be to section 74. It is intended to make clear the government’s intention to grandfather those commercial vehicles on the road today which are well designed under the present Ontario bridge formula and would lose payload of 1,000 pounds or more under the amendments to Ontario’s vehicle weight legislation. This amendment will apply to trailers since these vehicles have a longer economic life than the motor vehicle which pulls them.

Secondly, because of representations made to me, I am proposing an increase in the maximum weight for one axle on a class B highway. The increase will be from 17,600 pounds to 18,000 pounds.

Thirdly, at the specific request of the Canadian Truck Trailer Manufacturers Association, I will propose that certain amendments in vehicle height, weight and length be postponed until April 1, 1978, when metric conversion legislation will be introduced. Specifically, I will propose that the increase in maximum height of vehicles be struck out and that the height remain at 13 feet, six inches.

Also, I will propose that the increased length for single vehicles remain at 35 feet, the maximum length of a trailer remain at 45 feet and the length of a bus remain at 40 feet. I would like to inform the House at this time that certain changes to effect metric conversion with respect to this legislation will be proposed for April 1, 1978.

Mr. Haggerty: That’s a waste of money.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Therefore, the final amendment will establish the dimensions to be effective April 1, 1978, expressed at this time in exact imperial equivalents. This will allow the manufacturing industry to gear up for the changeover, knowing what the exact dimensions will be on April 1. This is being done to allow the industry this lead time in planning its production for the future.

I also have been approached by the member for Etobicoke (Mr. Philip) and advised of an amendment which he intends to make this afternoon with regard to tires. I would like to comment at this time on the new single-tire development. It has only been lately that we have learned of a new development in truck tires.

Yesterday morning, I met with representatives of the company involved after receiving from them last Thursday, a letter, advising me of their developments. These new tires, it would appear, might be a practical alternative to the dual tires now in common use. They appear to offer promise of improved fuel economy and better vehicle handling characteristics. They are being tested under field conditions by one or more major trucking firms at the present time. I believe six or seven units are being tried with these tires.

Today, these tires are manufactured in France by one manufacturer and imported into Canada, although I understand other manufacturers may be involved in the research and development of such tires. Bill 107 will limit the application of these new tires, and axles so equipped will be limited to an axle weight of 19,800 pounds, while the same axle with appropriate dual tires will be allowed 22,000 pounds.

My ministry is extremely interested in learning more about these tires from three points of view: First, the fuel saving they offer; second, their safety characteristics; and, finally, their effect upon our pavements and bridges. To this end, we have had very preliminary discussions with the trucking industry as to how best to organize an objective examination of the three aspects I have mentioned. If such an examination proves the advantages of these tires clearly outweigh the disadvantages, I can assure this House I will eagerly seek amending legislation to remove any impediments to full utilization of the improved tires. However, I must observe that it is unlikely we would permit any increase in front axle weights because of the use of these tires.

In meeting with the representatives of this company yesterday, I assured them of the full co-operation of officials of my ministry in fully examining the potential of this new tire design. As you may know, Mr. Speaker, at Huron Park our ministry has a considerable facility for researching vehicles, tires and this type of thing. We are set up to test manoeuvrability, skid resistance, braking of trucks, anti-jack-knifing and that type of vehicle research. I hope we will be able to co-operate fully if this company brings forward its proposal to have this new tire tested. But at the moment, taking into consideration the extensive damage to our highways that might result from use of this new development, I would not be prepared to accept these new tires in this legislation before we had an opportunity to do any testing.

Mr. Cunningham: Mr. Speaker, in speaking in support of this legislation I’ll try to be as brief as possible. I do support this legislation in my capacity as the critic of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications for my party. I would like to draw to the minister’s attention, though, several concerns of mine. I might also specifically involve myself with the issue of the tires which he has just discussed.

I, too, have met with the representatives of the particular company, Michelin of Canada, and I must say I’m impressed with the conclusions they have put to me with regard to these tires. The primary advantage I see, of course, is safety. Thereafter, when properly utilized, I think the tires can effect energy savings of up to 27 per cent for a standard trailer operation. From my perspective, I see that as one of the most revolutionary developments in the transportation industry in modem times.

The minister is aware that these particular tires -- these wide-based, single radial tires -- are now mandatory in a number of European jurisdictions, specifically Britain, I believe, and some of the Scandinavian countries. Those jurisdictions have found it necessary to make mandatory that these tires be used especially with combustible materials and dangerous commodities. I think the importance and significance of these tires is something the minister should impress upon our federal friends.

I am appreciative that the minister is going to look into the propriety of using these tires. At the same time, however, I am concerned that there may be some reluctance within his ministry to get involved in what is going to be a very complex study. I would say to the minister that short of allowing the tires to be used on an experimental basis, I sincerely doubt that there is any effective method of testing whether there will be more damage to the highways with a wide-based radial than with two bias tires. The high load capacity of these single tires is capable of considerable development in the future. I think this could be the way ahead for the industry in time. A number of large concerns are already involved with these tires on an experimental basis and have been, I believe, since 1972.

I would like to go on the record at this time by saying I hope the minister will come back to us in a short period of time and say they have done some tests and we may allow these tires to be used in a permissive, experimental fashion, because in the long run they are going to be to our advantage.

This particular legislation is appropriate at this time. It’s long overdue and generally in keeping with recommendations by select committees to the House. I am pleased to see the grandfathering aspect of section 74, which will not apply any undue hardship to people who have equipment at this time.

I am also pleased there will be a delay in the implementation of the legislation as it relates to trailer regulations of April 1, allowing the trailer manufacturing industry to dispose of raw materials they already have.

I have several concerns of a technical nature to which the minister might address himself and which would eliminate any questions I might have during the course of committee debate.

Could the minister see we get a more effective definition of what seems an ambiguous term in section 64(b) of the Act; that is, the term “towing vehicle”? I think it should be “towing unit.” It might help clarify things.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Which section?

Mr. Cunningham: Section 64(b). Also, in section 65 1 think there should be a definition, at least for legal purposes, of what the bill refers to as a “traction engine.”

Again, I would comment that I favour the legislation. I am also appreciative of the concept of shipper liability, which is something that people in the industry have been mentioning for a long time. This in itself, in time, will reduce the costs being incurred by the province with regard to the enforcement of legislation, as the shipper now will be co-liable or co-responsible for overloading. I see that as a very appropriate policing mechanism and one which will serve the interest of the Ontario taxpayers.

Mr. Philip: Mr. Speaker, as with the previous speaker, I welcome the grandfathering clause in section 74. It will undoubtedly make the transition easier on the industry.

I welcome the bill. This is a bill of a very complex and technical nature. It’s not nearly so complex as the system it’s replacing. Up until now, even the courts in their wisdom couldn’t understand parts of the existing system, such as the method of dealing with axle weights. This bill, complicated as it is, will go a long way to simplifying our present legislation.


Probably the only ones who lose by this legislation are the legal profession.

The reduction in the confusion will mean less time in courts and, by the same token, enforcement will be much easier. The minor extension in the overall length is not as great as what some in the industry would have advocated. However, I submit the minor extension will add to the safety of the vehicles, particularly those with pup trailers, by permitting them to have lower centres of gravity and thus increasing their stability.

We recognize that a considerable amount of work has gone into this bill. Ministry officials started discussing the proposed bill about a year ago with people in the industry, and I understand there was some very open and frank discussion, and at times heated discussion, on the matter. Ministry officials had the good sense to respond to the concerns of those involved in the business and incorporate many of their views into this bill.

The result is a bill which is generally accepted by all. While it’s not everything that everyone in the industry has requested, it is none the less a bill that is welcomed by those in the industry. I therefore see no reason to hold up the bill unnecessarily.

However, at some time I would like to say to the minister that, as the NDP transportation critic, I would have appreciated an opportunity to become involved with this bill at an earlier date. I recognize that the minister offered his staff to brief me and the Liberal transportation critic. However, this offer was made at the height of the activity in the House.

As the chairman of one committee and as the critic for the ministry whose estimates are currently under debate, I have a very uneasy feeling that I just haven’t been able to devote the amount of time to this particular bill that such a complex and technical bill deserves. If the ministry can give the industry almost a year to discuss and study as complicated a matter as this, then surely the minister can give the opposition critics a little bit more time to analyse this type of bill. By the same token, I can’t help but think that had this bill been introduced earlier and sent into committee, we might have had more opportunity to have input from those affected.

I acknowledge the fact that after I approached the minister -- and I’m sure he had other approaches about the concerns of the Canadian Truck Trailer Manufacturers Association -- he responded by drafting amendments to the bill; and he will be introducing these amendments. We certainly appreciate his responsiveness in this case. It saves the unnecessary hassle of opposition critics’ having to introduce amendments. Certainly the amendments that the minister is proposing to his own bill will save not only money and materials in the industry but also may well save some jobs.

At the same time, we wonder how many other groups might have concerns that are not known to us. The minister will recall that the Truck Trailer Manufacturers Association only received notice of the bill, and an offer to explore it with them, on November 23. It was only because of the prompt action on the part of the officers of the association that the opposition critics and the minister himself learned of some of the concerns regarding the bill, which resulted in the amendments the minister is introducing to his bill.

I have some concerns about section 72 of this bill; I have shared these concerns with the minister. At first I had intended to introduce an amendment to this section. However, having had conversation with the minister and hearing his comments in the House in introducing the bill, I have decided it will not be necessary, at least at this time. I feel, as does the Liberal transportation critic, that there is enough evidence to justify experimentation with those tires which carry, in single formation, loads equal to the duals.

The present legislation in Bill 72 is restrictive, not withstanding the comments and the offers by the minister to meet with the industry and to allow experimentation to take place and to bring in the necessary amendments following the results of that experimentation. While section 72 does not prohibit research on the larger tires on test tracks, in fact, it does prohibit real testing. We welcome the minister’s assurance that he will work with the industry to go ahead with testing in the real road conditions that exist in Ontario.

The ministry has failed to show to my satisfaction any reason for banning the larger tires. Ministry officials say the tires may create road damage, but they offer no research to back up that contention.

On the opposite side of the issue, Washington State University has conducted an evaluation on flotation tires used on logging trucks. Professors Alexander and Ekse made comparative studies of rebound and dynamic deflection, and they established that the dynamic forces produced by the twin tires were greater than the forces produced by single tires. Similar research done by the same university showed the larger tires fared better than the others on non-paved roadways.

Other studies, for the most part, have been inconclusive. The fact is that some researchers have concluded -- because of the number of variables on highways, including road construction, the equipment being used and climatic conditions -- it is impossible to do definitive research. All you can talk about is the effect of a particular tire or load on a particular road in a particular area. Therefore the only way in which we will ever know the pros and cons of the larger tires is to let them be tested in a real situation, namely on the highways of Ontario.

The larger tires allow for increased distances between suspension springs and, therefore provide lateral stability by increasing the anti-roll couple. As a result, I think there are some very serious safety advantages that may occur from the larger tires.

The previous speaker has talked about the experiments, I believe in Europe, concerning the problems of the dual tires in carrying loads that may be of an inflammable nature. An imbalance in the two tires can often result in a fire in one of the inner tires which is not noted. Therefore, the larger tires in those instances may prove to be of a safer nature than the dual tires.

The minister has informed us he is speaking to the officials of Michelin and any other tire company that wishes to conduct this experiment. We are looking forward to questioning him on the results of these experiments. We will be expecting a report from the minister as progress is made in this area.

I have the feeling we may well be back here in the spring session making other amendments as other interest groups discover the full impact of the bill. This might have been avoided had the bill been introduced earlier and sent into committee, and had the members of this House had an opportunity to hear from groups that may not have been contacted.

I realize the minister has contacted the official trucking associations and that his officials have met with them at great length. However, the very fact that the tire manufacturers and the cab manufacturers have had to come to us at the last minute is a clear indication that had this bill been introduced earlier, and had we had an opportunity to discuss this highly technical bill and to have input from those others in the industry aside from the trucking companies themselves or the trucking company associations, we might have ended up with a stronger bill.

Mr. Speaker, I won’t delay any longer. This is a bill that is welcomed by the industry. No doubt, it will be welcomed by a good many judges in this province. We are in favour of the bill and we very much welcome the amendments the minister is now proposing to his own bill.

Hon. Mr. Snow: I thank the hon. members for their contribution to this bill. I would like to clarify, if I may, some matters with respect to these so-called new tires proposed by Michelin Tires Manufacturing Company. Don’t get me wrong. I haven’t anything against Michelin tires. I bought my first set for my own car in 1965, which I believe was the year Michelin introduced tires of their manufacture into this country, and I have found them to be excellent. In fact, I have been using them ever since. But I do think it would be totally irresponsible for me or my officials to accept into legislation a specification that would allow the introduction of these tires on to our roads when the first we heard of them with regard to wanting to do research or investigation with them was last Thursday when I received a letter.

The company advised me it has only six or seven vehicles in Canada where it has tried these tires. The tires are not manufactured in Canada. They are being imported from France. They do say, rather vaguely, if they are acceptable and if they find them acceptable to the province and to the industry, they would consider manufacturing them here, which would be great.

I was quite impressed with the presentation, brief as it was, discussing the details of this tire. Any new technology we can implement in the transportation industry deserves investigation. The possibility of added safety and fuel savings is certainly worth investigating. I would have to point out to the hon. members, though, that the legislation as written will allow an axle weight of 19,800 pounds with those tires rather than 22,000 pounds. They lose 2,200 pounds on an axle, but I would also point out that our weight legislation in Ontario is considerably higher than in any other province. If any other province allowed them the full weight it allows on dual tires, I doubt they would get 19,800 pounds.

We have no reservations whatsoever in carrying out this study. As a matter of fact, I understand one of our own vehicles, one of our MTC snow ploughs in the Owen Sound fleet, had these tires installed last winter on an experimental basis. I would also like to point out, if in the process of testing and examining these tires it is desired to allow a limited number of vehicles to travel on our highways with the full 22,000-pound weight per axle for testing purposes, we would be able to do this by way of a special permit. We are quite prepared to consider that.

The member for Wentworth North (Mr. Cunningham) mentioned his concern about definitions. I really don’t know how else one would define a towing vehicle other than as a towing vehicle. I have consulted with my officials and with the legislative counsel who are here and we have not come up with any better suggestions as to how to describe the vehicle towing the other vehicle other than the towing vehicle.

Mr. Cunningham: The industry calls it a power unit.


Hon. Mr. Snow: I imagine that is what is in our present legislation. The other thing is the traction engine. There are no great number of traction engines being manufactured or hauled on our highways today. There is a provision in the Act for n traction engine. I don’t know how long it has been there. The only time they are used on our highways today is for steam era celebrations at Milton or other antique parades. But a traction engine is a traction engine, and it has been called a traction engine for the last 100 years. I don’t know how else we could describe it.

In the legislation we have allowed a width of 110 inches without a special permit. It is really almost an obsolete clause in the legislation, but we think it should be there for the few times that we do have fraction engines on our highways.

The member for Etobicoke (Mr. Philip) referred to vehicle lengths. In this legislation we are increasing the overall length of a combination of units from the present 65 feet to the new dimension of 21 metres, which I believe is almost 69 feet -- 68 feet 11 inches and some fraction. This has been done at the request of the industry. Our dimensions are 65 feet at the present time; Quebec and the Maritimes are all 65 feet. Some of the western provinces are 70 feet and some are 65 feet, with the provision of special permits to 70 feet.

With the movement of freight across the border from the western provinces into Ontario, we were approached about a year ago by the Canadian Trucking Association to consider longer lengths in Ontario. It was agreed that a 68-foot length would accommodate the needs of the industry. I believe the select committee also recommended that we should do further investigation on vehicle lengths, although they did not make any recommendation on the length.

For the last six months or so, we have been issuing special permits allowing western Canadian vehicles to come in with the 68-foot length. We have found no problems whatsoever; in fact, my officials advise me that there are numerous safety aspects. So in our new legislation we have provided for this new length and this is, to my knowledge, totally acceptable to the industry.

The hon. member also mentioned he would have liked to be involved in the legislation at an earlier date. I would point out that we did have a considerable amount of consultation with the industry over a period of time, as he suggested. We were discussing details and philosophies of the new legislation with the industry and they did not see the bill before the members of this House had seen it.

It is certainly not my policy to submit to a group the final draft of any legislation before it is introduced into this House. I did offer to have my officials meet with the opposition members, if they wished, to answer any detailed questions. This is a detailed bill and I realize it has not been easy with the time constraints.

I believe there are four trailer manufacturers in Ontario; at least there were four that we heard from. We met with the industry, and their concern is with the changeover and the timing of the change-over to the metric system. One of the companies was anxious to have it as in our bill; the other three wanted the delay.

I think we have been able to settle both interests, because we have continued the present lengths until April 1, 1978, as requested by some of the manufacturers. Many truckers have told me they are delaying ordering equipment until these new lengths are final. So rather than delay the ordering of equipment and cut down on the work in the plants any longer, in this amendment that I will introduce we have also put in the new lengths, not in metric but in direct hard imperial conversion, and they become effective April 1. So we’ve covered both and I think the trailer companies will be quite happy with --

Mr. Makarchuk: Didn’t they ask for July 1?

Hon. Mr. Snow: April 1 was the request that I had, and April 1 is the planned metric conversion date for all other metric measurements relating to the industry.

I would like to point out that for consultation purposes the trailer manufacturers’ association was given the first draft of our proposed material for the change of the legislation in March 1977 and a second draft in April 1977. So I’m a little bit at a loss as to how one can say they did not know of the legislation until it was introduced. They certainly were consulted, as was the Ontario Rubber Association, which is one of the industry associations that my officials consulted in the final development of this legislation. Unfortunately the tire company that has been mentioned here today is not a member of that association, I believe.

Motion agreed to.

Ordered for committee of the whole House.


House in committee of the whole on Bill 107, An Act to amend the Highway Traffic Act.

On section 1:

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment to section 1. Some of these amendments are quite lengthy. I hope you will bear with me.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Hon. Mr. Snow moves that subsections, 5, 6, 7 and 9 of section 65 of the Act, as set out in section 1 of the bill, be amended by striking out “36 feet 1 inch” in the third line of subsection 5 and inserting in lieu thereof “35 feet”; and by striking out “45 feet 10 inches” in the third line of subsection 6 and inserting in lieu thereof “45 feet”; and by striking out “41 feet” in the first line of subsection 7 and inserting in lieu thereof “40 feet”; and by striking out “13 feet 7 inches” in the second line of subsection 9 and inserting in lieu thereof “13 feet 6 inches.”

Motion agreed to.

Section 1, as amended, agreed to.

On section 2:

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Hon. Mr. Snow moves that Bill 107 be amended by renumbering sections 2, 3 and 4, as sections 3, 4 and 5, and by adding thereto the following section:

“2. On the first day of April 1978, subsections 1, 2, 5, 6, 7 and 9 of section 65 of the Highway Traffic Act as re-enacted by section 1 of this Act are repealed and the following substituted therefor:

“(1) Subject to section 66, no vehicle shall have a greater width than 102 23/64 inches while on a highway except.

“(a) traction engines may have a total width not exceeding 110 15/64 inches, or

“(b) motor vehicles and road maintenance machines operated by or on behalf of a municipality or other authority having jurisdiction and control of a highway where such vehicles are engaged in road maintenance including the removal of snow from a highway.

“(2) Subject to section 66, no load on a vehicle shall have a greater width than 102 23/64 inches while on a highway except

“(a) loads of raw forest products which shall have a greater width than 102 23/64 inches at point of origin and which shall not exceed a total of 110 15/64 inches at any time during transit or,

“(b) loads of loose fodder.

“(5) Subject to section 66, no vehicle other than a fire apparatus, a semi-trailer or a bus, including load, shall exceed the length of 38 feet one and 1/16 inches while on a highway; and no combination of vehicles including load coupled together shall exceed the total length of 68 feet 10 49/64 inches while on a highway.

“(6) Subject to section 66, no semi-trailer, other than a semi-trailer designed for the carriage of vehicles, shall exceed the length of 45 feet, 11 and 11/64 inches while on a highway; and any extension in the length of a semi-trailer caused by auxiliary equipment or machinery that is not designed for the transportation of goods shall not be included in determining the length thereof.

“(7) No bus shall exceed the length of 41 feet and one-eighth of an inch while on a highway but an increase in the length of a bus caused by the addition of a liquid-filled or other energy-absorbing bumper, shall not be included in determining the length of the bus.

“(9) Subject to section 66, no vehicle, including loads, shall have a greater height than 13 feet seven and 3/8 inches while on a highway.”

Mr. Makarchuk: Mr. Chairman, I just want to clarify, with the minister, a representation that was made by the truck trailer manufacturing association. I’m referring to the letter that was sent to the minister on December 2. On the second page of the letter it said: “The whole new implementation of the new regulations shall not take place until July 1, 1978.” As I understand it, his amendment reads, “April 1, 1978.”

Could he explain whether in effect he is implementing what they are talking about in the letter -- perhaps not in this amendment but in some future amendment -- or has he come to the conclusion that it should go in on April 1?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Chairman, I didn’t attend the meeting with this group, but I personally discussed the matter, by telephone, with three of the manufacturing companies. They indicated to me they were expecting the change to metric measurement on April 1 and not on January 1. They all indicated to me that April 1 was acceptable.

When the letter did arrive, after all these discussions had taken place -- in fact, I asked the association to submit a brief -- I believe it did say July 1, but there certainly was no indication that April 1 was not acceptable.

April 1 is the date scheduled by the Canadian Metric Commission, for all provinces to implement metric measurements in this type of legislation. If we extended it beyond, I’m sure it would only delay the trucking companies from ordering equipment. Regardless of what happens, I’m sure there are going to be some vehicles being manufactured now that companies, who want that extra length, just won’t buy. They’re going to wait until April 1.

If we were to delay implementation until July 1, companies would get by with the equipment they’ve got until they could get the new lengths on July 1. So I think it’s imperative that we implement this within a reasonable time. I can certainly accept the three-month delay but I wouldn’t recommend any more.


Mr. Makarchuk: I’m not sure whether the minister talked to the manufacturer I’ve talked to -- I refer to Trailmobile, which has a plant in Brantford -- but in my discussions with the people there, I was a bit alarmed that they felt certain companies had a sort of an “in” with the ministry. They felt certain companies were aware of what was going to happen, whereas other companies had not received this information, and that this is the reason they wanted an extension of the date to July 1.

If the minister can give me assurances that he has discussed it with them, and they are happy with the April 1 date, I am not too concerned about it. However, all the information I received from them indicated they would need to have until July 1 to be able to retool and to be competitive in the business for various technical reasons.

They also felt there was some undue competition involved in this case because certain firms seemed to have an “in” or were aware this kind of change was going to come about, while other firms were not aware of this information. Consequently, I feel this element of unfairness -- and it may not be legitimate -- when the government takes the side of one firm is not necessarily in the best interests of anybody in this province.

The other thing pointed out to me was there’s a possibility that because there isn’t an adequate delay, there may have to be some layoffs of people in the plant. Again I am sure the minister is not interested in seeing this happen. Do I have assurance this is not going to happen?

Hon. Mr. Snow: I cannot give the hon. member an assurance there will not be any layoffs in any plant today. I can almost assure him that if we do delay the implementation of this until July 1, there will be layoffs. The trucking companies just will not order units today under the 65-foot legislation if on July 1, or the way the legislation is, on April 1, they can get units of 69 feet 10 and 59/64 inches. I am sure there could be a much higher risk of layoffs. I hope there will be none in the industry, but I am sure there would be a much higher risk of layoffs if the date were delayed.

I would also say that if any company tells you it is not aware of proposed metric measurements coming into force on April 1, they must be living in the dark ages. The schedules for metric conversion set down by the Canadian Metric Commission have been around for some years.

Mr. Makarchuk: It’s not that they weren’t aware of the fact that metric conversion was going on. It seems they weren’t aware of what the exact sizes were going to be when we do get into metric conversion.

I would assume the minister knows what he’s talking about. However, what bothers me about this whole problem is that the manufacturers themselves have said they would prefer the July 1 date. Obviously they know what’s best for their business or they know their business or the minister knows their business. What I’m being told here is that the minister is convinced in his own mind there will be no problems with the April 1 date. I hope he is right, because he certainly has the clout to put this in if he wants to.

Mr. Philip: Mr. Chairman, the kind of confusion surrounding this is a good example of why we would have been in much better shape on this bill if it had been introduced a little earlier and if we had an opportunity to examine it in committee and hear from the various groups that might be interested in the bill.

Having said that, and not wanting to belabour the point I made earlier, I wonder if the minister can answer a question. Having had discussions with people in the industry, and then receiving the letter from the association with the recommendations of the July 1 date, did the minister respond to that association and double-check his communications with the industry? Obviously his understanding was they understood the April 1 date. Their understanding in the letter seems to indicate the July 1 date. I am wondering what steps he took after receiving the letter to get back to the industry and straighten out that confusion.

Hon. Mr. Snow: I spoke personally with three of the companies. My staff met with all four companies, which I believe were present at the meeting when this was discussed.

Mr. Philip: A further question: Did the minister meet with them after he received the letter in which the date of July 1 was put?

Hon. Mr. Snow: I can’t say for sure. I don’t keep a log of every telephone call I make and the dates that I talk to people. But it was all within the same short period of time.

Mr. Makarchuk: I presume the minister did reply to this letter that was sent to him from the trailer manufacturers’ association on December 2. There must have been a reply from his office. What did he tell him and did he receive any kind of comment on his reply?

Hon. Mr. Snow: I don’t recall replying to the letter. We had a meeting with them immediately following that -- or at that time. I believe the meeting was set up when I talked personally to the presidents or sales managers of the three companies. I asked them to put it in a letter, but I immediately asked my staff to set up a meeting with them. That meeting took place about the same time as the letter arrived, I believe.

Mr. Philip: I wonder if somebody on the minister’s staff can give us the information as to whether or not, after receiving that letter, anybody on his staff or he personally contacted the industry and straightened up the confusion over the date. Surely there must be somebody on his staff who has that information and can supply it to us and get rid of the confusion we have over that item.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Unfortunately we don’t have the files and the copies of the letter and our appointment books with us here in the House. I assure the member there has been proper consultation with these people, and I assure you, Mr. Chairman, that if we were to delay the implementation of this until July 1, there would be havoc in the industry right now.

Mr. Philip: No one is advocating, I think, delaying it until July 1. I certainly accept all the reasons the minister has given as to why it needs to be implemented on April 1. It’s a matter of clarifying whether the industry understands those reasons.

Motion agreed to.

Section 2, as amended, agreed to.

On section 3:

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Hon. Mr. Snow moves that section 74 of the Act as set out in section 3 of the bill, as renumbered by amendment by this committee, be amended by adding thereto the following subsections:

“(2) Where the weight permitted under clause (c) of subsection 1 is the least and where the weight permitted a vehicle or combination of vehicles under this subsection as it existed on the 31st day of December 1977 exceeds by 1,000 pounds or more the weight permitted under subsection 1 on or after the first day of January 1978, the minister may grant a special gross vehicle weight authority permitting the vehicle or combination of vehicles to operate on a class A highway at the gross vehicle weight set out in the authority, but no authority issued under this subsection shall permit a gross vehicle weight in excess of 140,000 pounds.

“(3) Subsection 2 does not apply.

“(a) in respect of a single commercial motor vehicle other than a tractor which was manufactured after the 31st day of March 1978, or

“(b) in respect of a combination of a tractor and other vehicles, the vehicle attached to the tractor which was manufactured after the 31st day of March 1978.

“(4) An application for an authority under subsection 2 shall be made in accordance with the terms and conditions prescribed by regulation and shall be made not later than the 30th day of June 1978.

“(5) The driver of a vehicle or combination of vehicles being operated on a highway under an authority issued pursuant to subsection 2 shall produce when demanded by a police officer or an officer appointed for the carrying out of the provisions of this Act the authority or a true copy thereof.

“(6) Every person who operates or permits the operation of a vehicle or combination of vehicles under an authority issued pursuant to subsection 2 where the gross vehicle weight exceeds the gross vehicle weight permitted by the authority is guilty of an offence, and on summary conviction a fine shall be imposed as if the person had not been issued the authority and had been convicted of an offence under subsection 1 in respect of any gross vehicle weight in excess of the weight permitted under subsection 1.

“(7) Where a vehicle or combination of vehicles for which an authority is issued pursuant to subsection 2 is operated upon a highway while the weight of the front axle of the vehicle or combination of vehicles varies by more than 1,000 pounds from the weight specified for the front axle on the authority, then the authority shall be deemed to not apply.

“(8) An authority issued under subsection 2 expires on the 31st day of December 1986.

“(9) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations prescribing

“(a) the manner in which an application may be submitted and the information to be provided;

“(b) the conditions precedent to issuance of an authority pursuant to this section;

“(c) the conditions attaching to an authority issued pursuant to this section;

“(d) fees for processing applications; and

“(e) the gross vehicle weights to be set out in any authority issued pursuant to this section and the method of calculating such weight.”

Hon. Mr. Snow further moves that subsection 2 of section 76 of the Act as set out in section 3 of the bill be struck out and the following substituted therefor:

“(2) For the purposes of this section the minister may designate by regulation the date on which a ‘freeze-up’ shall commence and the date on which a ‘freeze-up’ shall terminate.”

Hon. Mr. Snow further moves that section 76 of the Act as set out in said section 3 of the bill be amended by striking out “17,600” in the third line and inserting in lieu thereof “18,000.”

Motion agreed to.

Section 3, as amended, agreed to.

On section 4:

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Hon. Mr. Snow moves that section 4 of the bill, as renumbered by amendment by this committee, be amended (a) in subsection 1 by striking out “2” in the second line and inserting in lieu thereof “3”; and (b) in subsection 2 by striking out “2” in the first line and inserting in lieu thereof “3.”

Hon. Mr. Snow: This is just to update the numbering of the sections.

Motion agreed to.

Section 4, as amended, agreed to.

Section 5 agreed to.

Bill 107, as amended, reported.


House in committee on the whole on Bill 112, An Act to amend the Highway Traffic Act.

Mr. Cunningham: Mr. Chairman, with your permission I would --

Mr. Deputy Chairman: I recognize the Solicitor General unless you are on a point of order.

Mr. Cunningham: I was just going to indicate, possibly on a point of clarification, that we would agree to third reading of Bill 107 at this time.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: We are now in committee arid the Solicitor General has an amendment to put.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: If you want to go that far, Mr. Chairman, I am pleased to make my amendment. My amendment has to do with the addition of subsection 6. If there are no questions to that point I would be pleased to make it.

On section 1:

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Hon. Mr. MacBeth moves that subsection 52(a) of the Highway Traffic Act as set out in section 1 of the bill be amended by adding thereto the following subsection:

“(6) Subsection 2 does not apply to a person who is transporting radar warning devices in sealed packages in a motor vehicle from a manufacturer to a consignee.”

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Mr. Chairman, this will permit the people who are making them in the province at the present time to transport them without being in contradiction of the statute.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: The words “inside Ontario” and “outside Ontario” in your printed amendment are taken out?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Yes. I understand there are distributors in Ontario who distribute to the United States.


Mr. Stong: I am glad that the minister, in preparing his amendment to this Act, did delete the words about Ontario for the very reasons he has stated. In my opening remarks on this bill yesterday, I indicated we were concerned about distributors being in Ontario. So long as the radar detecting device remains in its sealed package, I think the import of the Act is carried out. We will support the amendment as the minister proposed it.

Mr. Lawlor: I indicated on second reading we had an amendment to subsection 3. 1 won’t discuss that now, Mr. Chairman. I would like to come back to it after discussing what is actually before us. I suppose again you are giving us tough nuts to crack, Mr. Minister, and you are withdrawing some of the chestnuts out of the fire before they really blaze up. Graciously, I suppose, at Christmastime, Bills 113 and 114 have disappeared from the order paper; I suppose in a way that is all to the good. I can understand Bill 114 being taken off. I simply don’t understand why Bill 113 should be taken off.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Bill 114 is the only one that was taken off. We meant to go ahead with Bill 113 but, because proposed amendments were not acceptable, we don’t intend to proceed with that.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Could we stick to Bill 112? That is what is before the House at the moment.

Mr. Lawlor: I will have a private conversation with the minister on Bill 113, thank you, Mr. Chairman.

There is a certain amount of hypocrisy involved in this. We all feel the pinch, to say the least, of unemployment in Ontario et cetera, but it is kind of like giving a carte blanche to raise marijuana on all the deserted lots in Metropolitan Toronto for export to Turkey. We can’t touch the heinous substance ourselves, but we can make it available to numerous others who are not as enlightened as we are in this province, and so manufacture the Fuzzbusters and let all the benighted heathens in the hyperborean regions thereabouts -- Michigan, I suppose, or other places -- be the beneficiaries of what we can’t stomach. From that point of view, one has real reservations about that particular move. However, in the interests of saving time and not flagellating the minister too, much this afternoon, I’ll let that go with the indication that I would like to come back on that subsection.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Mr. Lawlor moves that subsection 3 of section 52(a) of the Act, as set out in section 1 of the bill, be deleted and the following be substituted therefor:

“A constable or police officer may, provided he has reasonable grounds to believe that a motor vehicle is equipped with a radar warning device, require the driver of any such motor vehicle to submit such motor vehicle to an examination and may seize and take away any radar warning device found in or upon said motor vehicle.”

Mr. Lawlor: The minister and I had a brief discussion last evening about this amendment. It’s his submission that subsection 3 in its wording encompasses subsection 2. The minister has a peripheral point which disappears as you look at it more closely into the distance, into a fog. I admit there are probably grounds of legitimate difference between us on straight wording, on the semantics of the thing, but it is sufficiently serious for me to press the point at the present time.

Subsection 2 reads: “No person shall drive on a highway a motor vehicle that is equipped with or that carries or contains a radar warning device.” Subsection 3 goes on: “A police officer may at any time, without a warrant, enter and search a motor vehicle that he has reasonable grounds to believe is equipped with or carries or contains a radar warning device contrary to subsection 2.”

I am going to pause there because it seems to me, on a proper English parsing of the phrase “contrary to subsection 2,” that the phrase or subclause has reference not necessarily to the driving but to the presence of a radar warning device. The emphasis falls on the wrong place. If the minister sees that particular semantic point, then he will --

Mr. Lewis: It’s not semantic; it’s semiotic.

Mr. Lawlor: As my leader says, it’s a semiotic point and a meaningful point.

Mr. Lewis: Absolutely. It is profound and insightful. You deal with illiterate legislative writers.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: I rely on lawyers rather than literary people. That is my problem.

Mr. Lawlor: I don’t know if the minister gives any credence to that at all, but I submit he has to do, because his response has been that the thing we are seeking to do in the deletion is precisely what his intention is, but that is already accomplished. If he is convinced that it fails in accomplishment on this kind of wording, then we are back to square one, saying that vehicles which are stationary with no driver or owner present whatsoever, vehicles sitting out somewhere, may be broken into by the police officer, given complete legitimacy under the section as it now stands, and the device in question removed without any compensation vouchsafed to the individuals whose vehicles are being so treated. I am sure no one wants that. Even however benighted our civil liberties may be in this province at this stage, no one wishes to extend such powers to damage property in order to effect the purpose that would be envisaged, if what I say has virtue.

I can only reiterate that on any sensible reading or in any event if it is ambiguous, if it permits of a second reading and if the police department and the courts could legitimately construe the clause along the lines I have indicated, then it is in our power here and now to remove and make it crystal clear. That is our responsibility so to do.

If the minister accedes to the basic propositions being put forward, then I would ask him at this time to lift the veil, to make it sensible and wholly meaningful as things stand, by moving either to the wording as I have presented it to the House or to some other form of wording that is more palatable to him, but not the very wording we have before us at this time which, I predict, will lead us into severe difficulties and require the minister to bring back this section, probably in the spring session, to alter the wording and to clarify the intent of his legislation. None of us in this House wishes to pass legislation which on its face and even on interrogation is confusing or misleading or leaves the room open to acts, that can take place and be justified on the wording, which we would not want to see brought to pass.

If there’s any modicum of common sense in what I’m saying in this particular regard, I would seek to prevail upon the minister to either adopt the amendment or introduce an amendment of his own in this particular regard. I prevail upon him to do so, not in terms of good cheer but in terms of good law.

Mr. Stong: With respect to the amendment that is proposed by my friend from Lakeshore, I might say, as I read Bill 112, the substantive offence is created by subsection 2. It’s a moving offence.

I know my colleague from Lakeshore is concerned about stationary vehicles. It’s obvious from a reading of subsection 3 -- and I might say the member for Lakeshore gave me the benefit of having his amendment earlier than just this afternoon; I received it from him last night -- that subsection 3 refers back to the substantive offence, which is a moving offence.

Inasmuch as it does refer to subsection 2, the police officer acts at his own peril and his own risk if he does take action towards the stationary vehicle. Not only that, but subsection 3, as it is written in the bill, requires that the police officer have reasonable grounds to believe that the vehicle -- and that’s a moving vehicle or a vehicle in which there is a driver -- contains a device as defined in subsection 1. If the officer cannot demonstrate a reasonable belief, he acts at his own peril and the victim, or the owner of a parked car, is thereby protected by this legislation, as it is already written.

The difficulty I have with the amendment offered by the member for Lakeshore is that it casts another duty upon an already overburdened police force. It requires a police officer to use his time in another administrative function; that is, to require the driver to attend at a service station or other area for an inspection and a subsequent follow-up. In other words, to use his time, at taxpayers’ expense, to follow that vehicle through an examination centre, a service centre or whatever. I think the police department has enough duties now and does not need the extra burden of becoming a mechanical inspector.

In that sense, I think the legislation as it exists is sufficient to meet the exigency brought forward by the member for Lakeshore, namely the stationary vehicle because, in my estimation, a police officer can only act in relation to a moving vehicle pursuant to the Act as it is written.

Mr. Lawlor: Without prolonging the fuzz, or fuzzing it any more than it already is, and possibly even busting it by bringing it to an end -- if I go on like that we can talk forever. I sometimes say in this House, “Preserve us from all lawyers, including myself.” I can’t read into this what the hon. member has just said -- taking it to some kind of station and having a mechanic check it; all he has to do is examine the vehicle. The monstrosity is sitting in front of him. It’s either there or it isn’t there. It doesn’t require minute, microscopic, much less telescopic, examination to discover whether there’s a Fuzzbuster on the premises.


If I may usurp my colleague, I was going to suggest that -- what I’m after here is the word “enter,” you see. If you put the word “stop” in there, what I’m very much concerned about is that while the police officer has sovereign jurisdiction to examine the vehicle, he may examine it on the road or, as I read this thing, he may examine it off the road; he may examine it with a passenger or a driver, or with no driver or passenger; he may examine it, period. That can lead to very serious abuses with respect to the extension of the powers of search and seizure in this particular regard. As I say, it comes down to a matter of construing that phrase and saying, “What does the reference, contrary to subsection 2, mean?” If there is any area of doubt about it, then that doubt can be easily obviated by altering some wording. That’s as much as I’m asking for.

Mr. Foulds: As you well know, Mr. Chairman, and as the members of the House well know, I’m not a lawyer, but I have studied the language at some length. I suggest to you that, in structure, all of the clauses in the section are parallel. They are not dependent, in terms of the structure of the legislation and in the structure of the sentence. That is, subsection 3 is not dependent on subsection 2. Subsection 3 is parallel to subsection 2. There is no link in the legislation between subsection 3 and subsection 2.

I would suggest subsection 3, as it stands, allows -- as my colleague has said -- a police officer to, if you like, break and enter a stationary vehicle. The word “enter” has a very specific meaning in law, as I understand it.

I would suggest to you that the second suggestion my colleague has made, that we cross out the word “enter” in line two of subsection 3 and use the word “stop” would then link subsection 3 and subsection 2. Then, in meaning, the word “drive” in subsection 2 would be linked in meaning to the word “stop” in subsection 3. That would, I think, relieve our anxiety to some small extent, although not to the extent my colleague has suggested in his own amendment.

I would, for a moment, like to put that to the minister and to his officials to consider very seriously, because the examination can be done by the police officer on the spot. Surely in this day and age, when individual rights and civil liberties aren’t thought of highly in the land, we should avoid as far as possible infringing on those.

We should avoid, frankly, giving to police blanket authority that can be abused. In the vast majority of cases, I would suggest that authority would not be abused. If the authority is there to be abused, you can be sure there will be one or two, or maybe three or four minor incidents. Frankly, that is too many for this Legislature to allow to pass. We should be in the job of passing legislation that protects rights as well as limiting unsatisfactory practices.

We agree, in this piece of legislation, that we are trying to limit an unsatisfactory practice. We should not in the course of that limit the property rights, if you like, of the owner of a motor vehicle. I’m afraid subsection 3 as it is currently written does limit those property rights.

Mr. Stong: Mr. Chairman, with respect to the member for Port Arthur’s comments, I think I agree with what he has said with the exception that it seems clear enough to me as it’s written. I don’t think a court would have any difficulty in interpreting it. However, so the people out on the street understand our legislation, perhaps we should spell it out and make it perfectly clear. I would have no objection to the inclusion of the word “stop,” but I would include it and I would not delete any words from the subsection. In going along with what the member for Port Arthur said, I would have it read:

“A police officer may at any time, without a warrant, stop, enter and search” -- rather than delete the words “enter and search,” I would agree to the inclusion of the word.

If we are talking about legislation leading to litigation, the words “to submit such motor vehicle to an examination” could open the door to such litigation. For instance, take the case of a driver who is very proud of his car. He has a $10,000 car. A police officer stops him and wants to search, and he says: “Oh, no. I require you to take my vehicle to a qualified mechanic before you dare search this. Are you a mechanic? No. All right, I am going to insist you take my vehicle to a service station.” A court could very well be called upon to interpret “submit such motor vehicle to an examination” in light of that. That’s why I do not favour the member for Lakeshore’s interpretation. However, I would go along with the inclusion of the word “stop” in subsection 3.

Mr. Lawlor: If the minister is disposed to place the word “stop” in, either in the terms just delineated or earlier, then I would withdraw my amendment. But I can’t let it go.

If the hon. member will look at the Liquor Control Act or a list of Acts as long as your arm, the language used in instance after instance has to do with submitting to examination in order to locate, say, a bottle of liquor. It will not require the expertise of the finest wine taster in southern Ontario in order to be taken to be in his presence, but I will leave it. I hope the minister will go that far.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Mr. Chairman, legislative counsel naturally gave a great deal of consideration to this before they produced it, but I have been impressed by the literary eminence of the members of the NDP. I have also consulted with my legal advisers in connection with the recommendation made by the hon. member for Lakeshore. If we can incorporate the suggestion of the member for York Centre as well, so it would read “stop, enter and search,” we would be very pleased to accept that amendment.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Mr. Minister, are you moving that amendment?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: I thought the member for Port Arthur, who made it, should take credit for it.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Mr. Foulds moves that subsection 3 of section 52(a) of the Act as set out in section 1 of the bill be amended by inserting the word “stop” after the word “warrant” in line one and before the word “enter” in line two.

Mr. B. Newman: Mr. Chairman, I want to ask the minister, in the light of the comments made by previous speakers, if the police officer confiscates such a device after finding it, would they be confiscating the devices of Americans coming into our country? Would they be doing that even though the device is legal in their state and even though they may have removed it from operation and may have it in another place in the car, even in the trunk?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: First, the police will not be confiscating them. The police would seize them, but it would be the courts that would confiscate them on conviction. All the police can do is seize it, and they need to seize it as a matter of evidence. If they weren’t given the power of seizure, then they would probably have a pretty tough time trying to prove in court that this was in fact what the policeman alleged it to be.

You ask specifically about tourists. As I said in my opening remarks, we don’t want to do anything to discourage tourists. At the same time, when they come into this province, they are not allowed to use studded tires and there is a variety of differences in our laws from whatever jurisdiction they may come. We would propose there would be ample warning at the border that these devices are illegal in the province of Ontario. We would suggest they be disconnected and put in the trunk, or something of that nature.

I agree that doesn’t get them out of the Act. We will be issuing to police officers, who have discretion on their own, a suggested procedure to follow so we won’t become offensive to our good tourists who visit us from time to time.

Mr. B. Newman: Would the tourist, finding out at the last minute when he is going through customs inspection that he has a device that is illegal in our jurisdiction, have the opportunity then of removing the device, storing it in his trunk if he so wished, and making it inoperative? And if the device were to be seized by your officers, would he have the opportunity of getting that device back as he returns to his home in the United States?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: That’s the way I hope it would be administered, yes.

Mr. Stong: I would like to ask the minister if he is contemplating the imposition of demerit points for a conviction under this particular Act against licensed Ontario drivers.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: No, sir.

Mr. Lawlor: I can’t help but again comment, ironically, that while what the minister suggests in this little directive to the police -- take it easy; ignore the tourist, the foreigner, et cetera -- is eminently practical, it’s legally ludicrous.

It’s like saying, again, for those people, say from Minnesota, you may murder blue-eyed people with dark hair in Ontario but not others, while still somewhat restricting those murders by Ontario citizens. What I’m trying to say is it’s all right to do those things, but you should never talk about them.

The minister’s directives are quite questionable and he, my lord, is the policy master of the whole judicial system here in Ontario.

By the way, we’ll never get to his estimates this time. Isn’t he breathing out loud?

Anyhow, how does he justify all this?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Mr. Chairman, I really can’t justify it. I think the member for Lakeshore put a little different connotation on the word; he referred to it as a directive, I think I referred to it as a suggestion. As far as the police are concerned, I agree they have this discretion to exercise themselves. We can give them a little guidance, but certainly the minister cannot direct them how to interpret the law. That’s for the courts.

All I suggest is that we might send out a suggestion to them as to how to be kind to people visiting Ontario.

Mr. Lawlor: These Fuzzbusters are going to destroy our whole legal system.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Could I ask the member for Lakeshore, in view of the amendment put by the member for Port Arthur, is he now withdrawing his amendment?

Mr. Lawlor: I so withdraw.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: The amendment is withdrawn.

Is Mr. Foulds’ amendment agreed to?

Motion agreed to.

Section 1, as amended, agreed to.

Sections 2 and 3 agreed to.

Bill 112, as amended, reported.

On motion by Hon. Mr. Welch, the committee of the whole House reported two bills with amendments.



The following bills were given third reading on motion:

Bill 112, An Act to amend the Highway Traffic Act.

Bill 107, An Act to amend the Highway Traffic Act.


Resolution for supply for the following ministry was concurred in by the House:

Ministry of Education (supplementary).


Hon. Mr. Grossman moved second reading of Bill 115, An Act to amend the Condominium Act.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: This bill is a bill dealing with one urgent and important aspect of the very many problems surrounding condominiums. It is, of course, intended to provide immediate relief and protection in the cases in which there are common expense arrears continuing to mount and pile up.

The Kealey report on condominiums, the condominium study group report, which has been some time in coming, will be tabled by me later this week.

I hope to be able to move from the tabling of that report, over the next few months, to the presentation, to this Assembly in the spring, of an entirely new Condominium Act, based in a large measure, I would suspect, upon the report and subsequent meetings, conversations, and input I might receive with regard to the implications of that report, both from the people living in and running condominiums, as well as the financial institutions and members of the Assembly.

Now rather than say to the very many condominium owners who are facing difficulties because of mounting common expense arrears, that we can’t assist them in their problems until we have gone through the paper work and the draftmanship resulting from the condominium report later this week, I think it is important that we move immediately to at least protect those who, in the interim, are in need of protection.

Consequently this Act will provide protection, I would hope from and after January 1, 1978, in order to give priority to the common expense arrears arising from and after that date, provided of course the condominium associations take the necessary action under this amending legislation.

The net effect should be that not many more foreclosures would result, and we anticipate fewer instances of arrears. We suspect there will be better and more careful financial management; and that there will be more understanding among purchasers of condominium units with regard to their direct and immediate obligations and the size of those obligations.

We have taken careful steps to protect the mortgagees as well, who may in circumstances like these say the rules have been changed after their mortgages have gone on. But we have, we think, provided sufficient protection of these mortgagees; and they appear, I might add, to be rather understanding and appreciative of the steps we have taken.

In the Act, for example, mortgagees can in fact pay the arrears of common expenses, add them to the outstanding amount of the mortgage, declare the mortgage in default take immediate steps under the mortgage. The mortgagees will also be entitled to notice of the claim for arrears, the lien for arrears of common expenses; and by notice I thought it appropriate not simply to go through the ritual of requiring registration in the registry office, but rather to require real and actual notice be sent to the mortgagees. If we had not followed that approach, the mortgagees would have to be running to the registry office every month to do a sub-search, to check and see if there was any trouble in the unit. So we have required that actual notice be provided to the mortgagees.

In any event, I would draw to the attention of the House that by the time the first three-month period, which is the period of time that condominium associations have to register on title and give notice to the mortgagees in order to protect arrears, has expired, we will be well on the road toward the new Condominium Act,

Before very many of those actions end up in the courts, as they may, we will be back in this Assembly having another crack at the whole area of condominiums. In fact I would suspect we will be repealing this very section for re-enactment in a whole new Condominium Act. So if there are any difficulties in the implementation of this short amending Act, we will be able to rectify them in the spring.

I want to assure the House we have taken very great care to make sure the Act, as drafted, provides the necessary protection at this time. With that in mind, I would like to take this opportunity to specifically acknowledge the input we received from the Ontario Federation of Condominium Associations, and as well the financial institutions. Both of them provided us with important input and co-operation. I look forward to meeting with those groups and others, such as the Condominium Managers’ Association, and any other persons and bodies which may be interested in the whole area of condominiums over the next few months, so that in the spring we can provide fuller and better protection for condominium owners and associations in a complete and an entire package.

In any case, Mr. Speaker, I would also like to acknowledge the co-operation of the opposition parties. I have spoken with them and they have indicated their co-operation and desire to provide this interim measure of protection to condominium owners. I would like to thank them for their concern and co-operation.

Mr. Blundy: Mr. Speaker, we in the official opposition welcome this bill to amend the Condominium Act. We are aware there are many areas within the existing Condominium Act that do have to be corrected. We look forward to the presentation later this week of the Kealey report. The consequent study of that report and the implementation, hopefully, of many of the things recommended in the report will better the lot of the people of Ontario who have chosen this particular style of home life, and make a pleasant atmosphere for them, one that will be financially beneficial to them.

There is one thing I must say at this time; after having said we are going to fully support this bill, I just cannot understand why it has taken the government so long. I am not speaking so much of the present minister but more properly of his predecessors. This has been a great bone of contention for many years for condominium owners. It has brought great worry and trial to many of the condominium corporations and to the individual members of the corporation.

There are incidents known to all of us where various condominium corporations have come to the brink of bankruptcy because of the accrual of unpaid common expenses when a condominium unit is being abandoned. We look at this as a necessary loophole to plug. This bill is going to do that.

There will be many other amendments suggested, I know. We look forward to cooperating with the ministry and the government to carry out these things.

There is one thing I would like also to say while I am standing and speaking in support of this bill. I don’t believe sufficient emphasis has been given by the government, and the ministry in particular, to some of the advertising that accompanies the sale of condominiums, principally initial sales. I don’t believe the common expenses component is sufficiently spelled out, principally in the initial sales of condominiums. I don’t say they are misleading, but they just don’t go into them deeply enough for the prospective buyer or home owner to appreciate what is entailed in the common expenses.

I do hope this will be one area in which we will be able to have some input when the more comprehensive bill dealing with condominiums in Ontario is brought in. There is no doubt of the urgency of this particular amendment. I think the sooner it is passed the better for those condominium corporations that have been affected so seriously in the past.

We have had the opportunity to talk to condominium corporations, condominium owners and lawyers representing these people; and as rather a novice in this field I have appreciated that very much and want to recognize that contribution.

Without going into great detail, I am sure the principle of the bill and the mechanics of the bill are quite well known to us. We agree it does appear to be the way to solve this problem now.

With those few words, I would like to put forth the view that the official opposition does endorse and does support this bill.

Ms. Davison: If I might make a few remarks on behalf of the almost official opposition, perhaps the real opposition.

Mr. Blundy: Oh now don’t put it that way.

Mr. Davison: We’ll join our colleagues in supporting this amendment to the Condominium Act. We will put no amendments to this bill. That should not be taken as an admission the bill is perfect and viewed as such by us.

The specific problem the minister has addressed himself to is a serious problem and a real problem. Many condominium corporations have found themselves in serious difficulties as a result of the individual unit owners defaulting on common expense payments, and subsequent foreclosures have put the corporations in a position where the money couldn’t be recovered.

By moving this lien, which is effectively what we are doing, nearer to the top of priorities, we’ve been able to meet the specific need, and in that sense we’ve solved the problem. It’s interesting to note, at the same time, we have found a way to offer some protection in the amendment to the mortgagees involved, to make sure they don’t lose any great amount by this change.

Unfortunately, as the minister hinted today and admitted in his statement on November 29 where he introduced the bill, there are and can be some unfortunate side effects to the amendment. I would draw to the minister’s attention two of those side effects, both of which I am pretty sure he is familiar with.

The first problem, as he said, is this amendment could cause mortgagees to put forward tougher requirements on people who are potential condominium buyers or owners. This can and will have the effect of further limiting those numbers of people in our province who can find for themselves the capacity to own their own home. That is indeed both unfortunate and undesirable.

It seems a further problem may arise out of section 3 (a), albeit not a major problem; that is that the mortgagee will be able to require prepayment of the common expenses. The section puts no limit on how far in advance the prepayment of the expenses can be collected. It does, however, fortunately, require the mortgagee forthwith and immediately to give such money to the corporation. If there is indeed any windfall gain or windfall profit, it will at least accrue to the condominium corporation rather than the mortgagee. However, it would always be preferable not to have such situations, because it’s very difficult to make ends meet in that first year after buying your own home. Dual payment of any expenses be they taxes or be they common expenses, is always an extra hardship in that initial year when it’s always so difficult to keep things together.


There are other side effects which are apparent now or which will become apparent in the future. However, as the minister correctly points out, we’ll have the opportunity in only a few months’ time to deal with and solve those problems. I appreciate that.

The minister informed us on November 29 -- perhaps I could read back to him the words in his statement:

“I don’t like piecemeal legislation and would have preferred to introduce a new Act in its entirety ... but the import of this particular issue is so critical that we felt that we had to move immediately to protect those members of the public living in or contemplating the purchase of a condominium.”

I might, if I could, associate myself with those remarks. I would, however, like to make certain that none of us are in doubt as to what is meant by the remarks. It might be possible for some people, previous to the minister’s statement today, to have interpreted the second part of that paragraph to mean that it was the ministry which found this unrealized problem and proposed and is in the process of implementing a solution, when a great deal of the credit should be given, as it was today by the minister, to the Ontario Federation of Condominium Associations for the substantial contributions its members made to bringing this legislation before us. I was very glad to hear the minister give such recognition to them.

The second point I wanted to make in regard to that statement is the problem of having to deal with this in terms of piecemeal legislation. I think it’s important we recognize the reality. Why do we have to deal with this in terms of piecemeal legislation? Very simply I think it’s because of the long delay in our receiving the report of the Ontario Residential Condominium Study Group. That report was originally intended to come before us late last summer. It now, as we’ve been told in the past few days, will arrive in the next few days as a Christmas present.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: A Hanukkah present, actually.

Mr. Davison: Yes; post-Hanukkah, pre-Christmas. I would suggest the proposals for major changes to the Act wouldn’t have been delayed if we had had the group’s report when we originally expected to receive it this summer.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Aren’t you glad I’m here?

Mr. Davison: Yes, as a matter of fact, but I will suggest that if the government hadn’t appointed a Tory candidate to run the study during an election year, the work may well have been done and the report submitted so we could have dealt with the problem earlier.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: How were we to know he’d turn up as a candidate?

Mr. Davison: I thought you chaps on the other side were omnipotent. I thought you knew who your candidates were.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Relax, if we were he would be in office; he would have been elected.

Mr. Davison: If we’d had that report we could have moved. We wouldn’t have to be dealing with piecemeal legislation just before Christmas. I don’t really mean to state that as a criticism of the ministry or the government, but it is a significant fact. If one regrets the necessity of dealing in terms of piecemeal legislation and if we have to place blame, let’s place the blame in the proper spots.

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I have four points. We support the bill; we’re happy to see it; we will offer no amendments; we look forward with delight to receiving the Christmas present from Mr. Kealey, even though we would have preferred to have had it in the summer.

We are also anxiously awaiting the massive legislative initiatives that will be forthcoming from the minister in the spring in regard to condominiums.

Mr. Leluk: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am pleased to rise in support of this bill, and wish to commend the minister on introducing this important amendment at this particular time.

As the minister stated earlier in his remarks --

Mr. Warner: We need more like him.

Mr. Leluk: -- when he introduced the bill, he didn’t like piecemeal legislation and would have preferred to introduce a new Act in its entirety, but the importance of this particular issue was so critical he felt he had to move immediately to protect the members of the public living in or contemplating the purchase of condominium units.

I know this news was well received by condominium owners in my riding, in York West, as well as by those, I am sure, in the rest of the province. For some considerable time I have involved myself with many of my constituents who own condominiums. They have told me about some of their difficult experiences in their particular corporations, including the very problem we are now trying to solve, that of unpaid common expenses and the problems this has created for a number of condominium corporations.

Since mid 1976, I have introduced four private member’s bills related to internal operations of condominium corporations.

Mr. Philip: But this is so much better than Cranston’s bill.

Mr. Leluk: Mr. Cranston didn’t have anything to do with my bills, my good friend. I am pleased to say the last bill which I introduced this session, an Act to amend the Condominium Act, dealt with this very principle. Like my colleagues on the other side of the House, I am also looking forward to the tabling of Mr. Kealey’s report later this week.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: As promised.

Ms. Gigantes: You’re kidding.

Mr. Leluk: The minister promised it would be delivered on time and so it will be.

Ms. Gigantes: Last March.

Mr. Warner: Yes, before the election; even caterpillars climb uphill faster.

Mr. Leluk: This important amendment will relieve some of the present difficulties which are being experienced by condominium corporations. In practice the problem that exists at the present time is there is no priority established for liens. Where we have had default on payments of common expenses, the remaining unit members or owners in the particular corporation have had to pick up the tab, so to speak, and this has placed a financial burden on them.

I feel this has been and could be a disincentive to those who have in the past paid these expenses to consider not making them in the future. This situation also leads to the creation of social animosity within the corporation; and hence the very decline of cooperation, which is the central principle of the condominium lifestyle. Such thinking could threaten the financial integrity of any condominium corporation and in the process contribute to the loss of property ownership.

I know of one particular example where a condominium owner has outstanding some $2,000 in maintenance costs, which represents approximately 30 per cent of that corporation’s outstanding common element debt. Not only is the corporation losing out in collecting this money, but it requires further financing for lawyers’ fees and court costs, et cetera, which is money which could be put to better use in the improvement of the property. The failure of an owner to pay common expenses cripples also the corporation’s capability of levying a special assessment for emergency purposes.

With this amendment we will now have established priority for liens with respect to common expenses over all other registered encumbrances, with the exception of land taxes and a few other statutory liens. This will provide condominium corporations with a speedy means of recovering common expenses owing them, and hopefully will discourage default of payment of common expenses.

I would like to say a few words about mortgage lenders at this time. From all the indications I have had, mortgage companies have been very reluctant to become involved in any way with condominium corporations after they have been registered. To my way of thinking the Ontario mortgage community should take a leaf from the book of their American counterparts in making themselves readily available to help condominium directors and management when a financial crisis arises. In this way they would forestall some of the potential foreclosures which they are undertaking, because they have immense experience in financial management, experience which would be most helpful to condominium owners in the management of their corporations.

Had these mortgage lenders been involved in the operation of condominium corporations during the past decade, then in all likelihood the minister would not have had to introduce this particular bill.

I must say I was rather disturbed with the reported remarks of Mr. R. T. Ryan, president of the Mortgage Insurance Company of Canada, in the December 6 issue of the Globe and Mail. Did the minister see those remarks?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: I did.

Mr. Leluk: He stated that mortgage lenders will now be reluctant to provide financing for condominiums because of this particular amendment. I feel that by taking such a backward step, the mortgage community does not help future condominium owners. In the long term, if the Ontario mortgage community follows Mr. Ryan’s lead, it will only intensify the future housing shortage, because I believe condominiums will increasingly become one of the most attractive forms of housing for the citizens of this province.

It’s always been my feeling, that it is one of the most exciting and forward-looking approaches to utilizing space and precious land resources, efficiently, socially, and economically. In saying this, I’m not closing my eyes to the current over-supply of condominiums in this province.

I’m making this reference, about the placing of liens ahead of mortgages, because recent statistics -- I saw these about a month ago in the business section of the Toronto Star -- clearly show that in 1977 the number of foreclosures on condominium units is substantially lower than on the more conventional forms of housing. To my way of thinking, if the condominium owner is making his mortgage payments on time, the mortgage lender can sleep peacefully at night and not have to worry about condominium foreclosure.

In closing, I would urge all members of this House to give speedy passage to this bill so that it will become law before the House prorogues on Friday.

Mr. Philip: Mr. Speaker, as a condominium owner and as a representative of my own condominium association in the Association of Etobicoke Condominium Associations, I can’t help but think that perhaps I’ve just received an early Christmas gift. The real heroes in this whole issue, though, and the series of issues surrounding this bill, are really the executive of the Federation of Ontario Condominium Associations.

Andy Wallace and his executive -- not really anyone in this House -- are the people who can really take credit for this bill. I was pleased to have been part of the delegation of the Federation of Ontario Condominium Associations that met with the minister on November 14 to plead with him to introduce what amounts to piecemeal legislation.

It’s piecemeal legislation, in the sense that it had to be introduced in the absence of the Kealey commission report, but it is nonetheless very necessary legislation.

The other people who I think can take credit for this bill, are those condominium owners who have suffered all the problems resulting from the lack of such legislation in the past. I refer not only to the major examples of the problems, such as the members of Halton Condominium Corporation 46 -- and I’d hate to see their legal bill -- but also the other condominium association members who have fumed, and coaxed, and sought legal advice, and in the long run lost money trying to collect moneys owing to them.


Many condominium corporations in my own riding have been unable to collect unpaid expenses. This has been particularly true during the recent slump in real estate values. In many of these cases rising maintenance fees, which can be directly related, I would suggest, to the reluctance of the previous Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations to do anything about rip-offs in the development industry, have been added to by these extra costs arising from default in payments.

This bill really is testimony not to the success of a particular bill but to the failure of this ministry. I have before me a statement by the previous Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations dated November 24, 1976. It announces the appointment of Darwin Kealey as chairman of the condominium study group. Little did we know on November 24, 1976 that it was really the kickoff of Darwin Kealey’s election campaign -- unsuccessful election campaign I am happy to add.

Mr. Speaker: What has that got to do with the principle of Bill 115?

Mr. Philip: That has everything to do with it.

Mr. Speaker: It is not even mentioned in the bill.

Mr. Davison: It is mentioned in the minister’s statement.

Mr. Philip: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, it is mentioned in the minister’s preamble in which he refers to --

Mr. Speaker: It’s not in the bill. I’ve got it before me.

Mr. Davison: The minister was allowed to speak about it.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: The minister was preambling.

Mr. Philip: I find it hard to understand why we are still waiting for the Kealey commission report. Perhaps when it is released, tomorrow or the next day, at a time when we can’t ask any questions in the House or debate the particular report, it will be clear to us why it was released at that time.

This bill is welcome. It is piecemeal legislation. it is testimony to the failure of the government to do what was necessary to get the Kealey commission report tabled at an earlier time. It is testimony to the failure of the government to live up to the promises it made when the Kealey commission was first appointed. Nonetheless it is a very welcome bill and we will support it.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: I have just a few comments. The member for Hamilton Centre (Mr. Davison) was commenting that one of the drawbacks of the legislation might be that there could be tougher requirements for buying a condominium unit or perhaps getting the financing. In view of what has happened over the past few years, it is clear there was, if anything, an abuse the other way in terms of not enough scrutiny being given to those who wanted to purchase, and not enough information being available to them or explained to them by the various persons involved. If the net result is perhaps a little tightening of requirements, I think that might be for the benefit of all those who already have purchased and those who will be purchasing units with an appropriate amount of ability to carry the unit themselves and not at the expense of their neighbours.

I have had an opportunity to take up the problem raised by prepayment of common expenses in the last little while after it was drawn to my attention by the member for Hamilton Centre. I am assured that because of the wording of the particular section of the bill, it shouldn’t turn out to be a problem. In terms of what major financial institutions have been doing over the last little while, which is to avoid a situation in which they are having to hold and pay out a large amount of funds over a long period of time, they will probably frown upon doing this and not get into the business to a large extent.

The member for Etobicoke (Mr. Philip) acknowledged his presence in the delegation that met with me on November 14. I make no bones about the fact it was the representations made to me on the evening of November 14 by the condominium federation that resulted in today’s legislation. In spite of the fact he was a member of the delegation, I thought I’d go ahead anyway. The presentation made at that time was a fair, decent and reasonable one, and I thought it would be appropriate to move with this bill immediately to provide for the benefit of the owners the protection referred to by the members opposite.

Finally, the member for Etobicoke just can’t resist saying the report won’t be tabled until it is too late to ask any questions. Quite frankly, that wouldn’t bother me a twit, because whatever questions might be asked after the tabling of the report I would obviously simply say those are the recommendations of the study group. We will be considering them over the next few months and we will let you know what determinations we make as a result. You can take that as the answer to whatever question you might have asked, had the report been available prior to today’s date.

I might add that for whatever reasons it has been delayed up until now, we did in fact do some arm twisting with the printer to get it in time for the House rising. Lest there be any suggestion we have delayed it until the end of the House, in fact we moved it up in order that it would be available to the House before the House rises, which I think is appropriate.

Motion agreed to.

Third reading also agreed to on motion.


Mr. Ashe, on behalf of Hon. Mr. McKeough, moved second reading of Bill 120, An Act to amend the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto Act.

Mr. Warner: I have a few comments with respect to this Act to amend the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto Act. The purpose, as we all understand, is to bring the Metropolitan Toronto Zoo under the control of the council of Metropolitan Toronto. What I would like is some comments from the parliamentary assistant who is here as to whether or not he sees this as the very first real action related to the Robarts report. Will this mean we have perhaps a board or commission under more direct political control, as was suggested by the Robarts report?

If we took the Robarts report’s suggestion embodied in recommendation 6.1, we would not even need to see this legislation. That recommendation is that the corporation of Metropolitan Toronto should have the right to set its own bylaws, provided those bylaws do not conflict with the existing provincial legislation. If that were the case, then Metro Toronto could simply decide it was going to operate the zoo within its boundaries and would be able to do so.

That, perhaps, is a very progressive kind of thinking in terms of the operation of municipalities. I would appreciate some comments from the parliamentary assistant in that regard. Surely the sooner we see the enactment of recommendation 6.1, the sooner we can dispense with the kind of bill we have in front of us and allow the municipality of Metro Toronto, and other municipalities, to carry on business in the way in which they see fit as duly elected people.

I think it is important to trace back for a few moments the history and the importance of this zoo which is located in the borough in which I reside, Scarborough. It is not only for the residents of Metro Toronto, but anyone else who comes to visit. We hope people who visit our city from all over the province and from outside the province, will come and visit the zoo in Metro Toronto. It some day will be one of the better zoos in the world, ranking along with San Diego and some of the zoos in Europe, and certainly, the London Zoo.

In that regard, it seems to me the province of Ontario has neglected some of the things which it could have done and hasn’t, in particular the development of light rail transit straight through to the zoo area as a way of promoting the opportunity for families to visit the zoo at a very reasonable cost.

We also need some comment on the development of the Finch transit line, because that’s important. If the transit line extends beyond the zoo out to the Pickering area, obviously it can help service that area and bring people, particularly families, to the zoo.

In the bill the corporation is entitled to any surplus and is responsible for any deficit resulting from the operations of the board of management. Quite frankly, I take it that’s an area of potential involvement for the province of Ontario through the Ministry of Culture and Recreation.

I would think it possible for family passes to be available for a nominal fee through the Ministry of Culture and Recreation, so people can visit. It’s a very important educational pursuit, for youngsters in particular to be able to visit a good zoo, and the one in Metro Toronto is excellent. It’s a good educational opportunity for children and for families, and the government should make visiting it possible.

For thousands of Toronto families it isn’t possible to visit the zoo because of the fees charged and the inadequate transit facilities. Not everyone in this city has a car; there are thousands of families which cannot afford an automobile. The government, in bringing forward this legislation, is supporting the concept of the zoo; we should have representation from the Minister of Culture and Recreation (Mr. Welch) as to how his ministry intends to make it possible for families to visit the zoo. We should hear from the Ministry of Industry and Tourism as to how they intend to promote the zoo. Of course, I take that again to mean they will help make it possible for families to attend. The Ministry of Transportation and Communications should also state how they intend to develop light rail transit so people from the city of Toronto can easily and inexpensively visit the zoo.

I have some questions with respect to particular sections. Perhaps the parliamentary assistant can address himself to section 1(4). I would like to be assured that section 1(4) in fact guarantees that the council of Metro Toronto will have some direct control, that there is direct responsibility to the council in keeping with the Robarts report recommendation.

I would like some explanation of section 1 (14). As I read that section and section 8, concerning the animal acquisition committee, I wonder if the government sees potential abuse or conflict of interest in the sale and purchase of animals.

[Microphones in the House fail.]

Mr. Warner: Without amplification, I think I can still make myself heard.

Mr. Nixon: This might not be going on tape either.

An hon. member: There goes his home mailing.

Mr. Warner: It might not. Well, this is true. With the permission of the House, may I speak from my colleague’s microphone?

Mr. Speaker: Please move over.

Mr. Warner: It’s some sort of subversive Tory plot. As long as Hansard is recording it at the desk, Mr. Speaker, the tape may not be working.

Mr. Turner: They don’t really do that.


Mr. Warner: I would like some explanation from the parliamentary assistant with respect to section 114 and any potential relationship it has to section 18. Could there be some potential conflict of interest by those members who would sit on the board of management, and those members sitting on the animal acquisition committee with respect to the sale and purchase of animals or other items which are necessary for the operation of the zoo? Is that the reason for the insert of section 14 into part I. I find it an unusual kind of paragraph to have in the legislation. I really ask why it’s there? Is there some concern for potential abuse?

Finally, I have a question related to the section which follows, 209(a), parts I to VI. I’d like to know why those sections are included, rather than simply saying the present contract agreement which exists between the zoo and CUPE should be simply adhered to in the transfer from its present situation to the corporation of Metro Toronto. Is there some particular reason why it is outlined in six sections?

Secondly, do the six sections include all of the items of the present contract which the employees are now under, so that we are assured when the transfer takes place all of the rights and benefits accorded to the employees will be honoured and protected?

It should be noted that when the zoo was in financial trouble earlier, employees of that union banded together, and made an offer to put in some of their salaries to offset the deficit. They also agreed not to have an increase in pay in order to keep that zoo going. Obviously, the government would want to send our good wishes to that union for acting as good citizens in our community in helping to keep that zoo alive, in which case, it becomes extremely important for the government to explain in detail the items I mentioned in relation to section 209(a), parts I to VI.

I have no further questions, but later I’d like some answers from the parliamentary assistant.

Ms. Bryden: I don’t know whether the blackout on the sound indicates --

Mr. Speaker: The console isn’t picking up your voice. I would ask the members of the House to be quiet so the interjectionist might capture every word being said.

Ms. Bryden: -- government nervousness about Metropolitan Toronto as being another fairly large government. At any rate, I presume this legislation was mainly at the request of the municipality of Metropolitan Toronto. I’d just like to ask if there is any variation in the legislation from what the municipality requested?

What it does is establish a board of management, which is a sort of municipal Crown corporation as I read it, to operate the Toronto Zoo in place of the Metropolitan Toronto Zoological Society which is presently operating it.

The society did yeoman work in getting the new zoo initiated, planned and constructed. I think they should be congratulated on the outcome. Without them we probably would not have a new Toronto Zoo.

One of the things they did was involve a great many citizens of Toronto in the planning. They also involved the school children of this city, many of whom raised money to buy a particular animal. As a result, they became very interested in the zoo and in what zoos are all about.

They gave us a zoo which is one of the great zoos of the world and something of which we in Metro Toronto can be very proud. They gave us a new concept of a zoo, one which tries to create a habitat for the animal as close to the natural habitat as possible. I hope the new board of management will preserve this approach and preserve the involvement of citizens in the planning of the zoo.

The operation, however, is another question. Perhaps it is better to have it in the hands of a body more closely accountable to the Metropolitan council since the Metropolitan council is, in the last analysis, responsible for what is known these days as the bottom line in the zoo operation. That is why we accept the idea of the establishment of a board of management to operate the zoo.

I have finally broken through the fog, have 1?

Mr. Foulds: The member broke the sound barrier.

Ms. Bryden: We notice there will be four nominees of the Zoological Society out of the nine members appointed by Metro council to the board of management. I think that will ensure citizen involvement and a continuation of the tremendous work the Zoological Society has done in moulding the design and planning of this zoo.

The legislation does not indicate whether the other five members have either to be elected members of Metro council or whether they are chosen according to any qualifications or criteria. Perhaps it is desirable to leave it to the Metropolitan council in its bylaws or in its discretion to choose the other five members with complete freedom. J would hope some of those five members would be elected members of the Metropolitan council in order to preserve a channel of reporting direct to Metro council and to increase the accountability of the board of management to Metropolitan council.

Perhaps the parliamentary assistant could clarify whether there was any request or understanding that there would be a certain number of elected members appointed to the board. The legislation doesn’t tell us whether the appointees are to be full-time or part-time; or whether they are to be remunerated or what the rate of remuneration is. Once again it may be the intent of the legislation to leave that to the Metropolitan council to cover through its own bylaws, which are authorized in this legislation. However, I would like to be assured the legislation does give them authority to set full-time and part-time requirements and rates of remuneration.

My colleague has dealt with the question of whether the guarantee of employment and of conditions of employment cover all the present terms of employment in the union contract or in any other contracts that people have who are not in the bargaining unit. We would certainly want to preserve all the rights of the present employees.

With regard to section 1(14) on the conflict of interest question, members of the board of management are exempt from the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act according to this clause. Is this clause parallel to similar exemptions being granted to other boards of this nature in Metro council, such as the TTC or the exhibition board, or is this something that is particular and special to this board of management?

Those are my main questions. I would hope the legislation will ensure we have the zoo operated in accordance with the original concepts so that it continues to be one of the great zoos of the world.

Mr. Ashe: I will attempt to cover the points that were raised. I do not intend in any way to go into any great detail regarding the philosophies of rapid transit and so on. I don’t think they relate at all to this particular bill and therefore really are not properly before us.

I think I should clarify first of all why this bill is here. There is obviously some misunderstanding by some hon. members as to what we are really doing. There is an inference here that this is provincial legislation, hence we are supporting what has been done, and giving indications of financial commitments to come. This is far from the truth.

The only reason this particular legislation is here is because the municipality of Metropolitan Toronto operates under a piece of legislation known as the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto Act, and in the existing legislation the ongoing association between the corporation and the operation of the zoo by the Zoological Society is recognized. Before the new arrangement that was negotiated between Metropolitan council and the Metropolitan Toronto Zoological Society can be put into place, which is in fact the setting up the board of management, that particular association and removal of the previous association in the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto Act has to be accomplished in this way. Really, that is all.

The amendments before the House were in fact suggested, as was previously indicated, by the Metropolitan council. There have been some changes made from their original recommended legislation; if members will it was exactly that, it was only recommendations. There were some changes made. These have of course been discussed with Metropolitan Toronto and they are in agreement to these changes. As a matter of fact they were pretty well designed to give more flexibility, not only to the present Metropolitan council but future metropolitan councils; particularly relating to coincidental terms of office, for example, of the council. A new council should have the right to make changes was our philosophy.

Dealing with the appointment of, in effect all nine members by the metropolitan corporation -- albeit they have already negotiated, if you will, that four of those appointees would be those four recommended by the Zoological Society -- in the original draft suggested by Metro they indicated they should have five appointees, of which no more than two shall be elected members of council. That was removed to give the council the complete option of appointing, if they will, and in the wisdom of future councils, all five elected members; or one, two, three or four; or in fact none.

So these were the kind of changes that were incorporated in the legislation before the House. As I say, they have been agreed to and accepted by Metro as being progressive changes to what was originally proposed.

Relating to the specific references, by members: Section 1(4) reads: “The board of management shall be composed of the nine members ...,” I guess I pretty well covered that in the explanation I just finished. The option is there, but there is not the restriction on Metropolitan council as to who they shall appoint, now or in the future.

There was a concern expressed relating to the conflict of interest reference in section 1 (14). All that is in and only relates to one particular circumstance. The Municipal Conflict of Interest Act still applies. What this is saying is only in the association between the board and the society -- in other words if somebody carries the Zoological Society card, that in itself does not put them in conflict because of their association on the board of management. That’s all that section, in effect, negates, as far as the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act is concerned, that and no other. I think that’s so that nobody in the future would challenge that there was a conflict just because a person was a member of the Zoological Society.


As far as protection of employees and the wording used, it is being checked as to when the contract with CUPE expires. I don’t yet have confirmation, but it is thought it goes to the end of 1978. Possibly before my remarks are concluded I will have some confirmation of that.

The particular references here indicate -- the various sections include sick leave credits, holidays with pay, and pension benefits -- that all people who were employed by the Zoological Society on July 1, 1977, are in effect guaranteed their employment, other than for dismissal for cause, until the end of 1978. This is not inconsistent with the kind of protection that was employed in bills establishing regions as they talked about the protection of municipal employees in disappearing municipal jurisdictions. The actual wording was along those lines, I think.

As to whether appointees to the board of management will receive remuneration or not; these are not full-time positions, as I understand it, and whether there is remuneration or not is within the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan council, where it should quite rightly be. What they will do in that regard, of course, I have no way of knowing.

There is constant reference on all sides of the House to giving more responsibility to municipal councils. I think this is another area, albeit this was prompted by the metropolitan corporation, of giving a municipality more flexibility and control. This is still a special purpose body in the sense that it is not a direct operation by the council or a committee of council; but at least it goes a long way towards giving ultimate control to the Metropolitan council, which ultimately has to be responsible for the financial commitments. That is why in the bill the metropolitan corporation is responsible for deficits and the recipient of any surpluses. Everybody hopes it ultimately might be the latter rather than the former, but don’t keep your fingers crossed.

Mr. McClellan: The Minister of Culture and Recreation (Mr. Welch) will bail us out.

Mr. Warner: He should.

Mr. Martel: I wish he’d help now.

Mr. Ashe: I think I have covered most of the questions. I think it would be presumptuous to suggest this bill is prompted directly by the Robarts report. Everybody is well aware of the problems between the council and the Zoological Society over the past year or two. This particular amendment to the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto Act really comes about more because of the negotiated truce between the two combatants. It was ultimately solved amicably, and this particular legislation is enacting that settlement rather than because of any reference to similar problems as indicated within the Robarts report. I wouldn’t want anybody to misconstrue the proposed legislation as being a partial enactment of the Robarts report.

I am told the contract with CUPE only goes to March 31 of 1978, so I think members can appreciate that the dates indicated in the legislation give protection beyond the expiry date of the existing contract, in that the protection, guaranteed employment and other benefits go through until the end of 1978. I would assume that is one further reason why reference to the contract was not made, because it was felt the length of time left in the contract was not sufficient guarantee of similar working benefits and employment. The bill takes it nine months beyond the end of the current CUPE contract.

Mr. Speaker: Does the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere have a point of order?

Mr. Warner: I wanted to pursue one of the answers which the parliamentary assistant gave.

Mr. Speaker: You cannot do it on second reading. It is not permitted on second reading.

Motion agreed to.

Ordered for committee of the whole House.


Hon. Mr. Welch moved second reading of Bill 123, An Act to amend the Legislative Assembly Retirement Allowances Act, 1973.

Mr. Martel: I want to speak briefly to this particular bill, because what the government has failed to do after three studies is to provide a mechanism whereby members can get away from having to raise their own salary.

We started in 1971 with the Camp commission. We then followed that with the Morrow select committee which in turn sent it to Hickling-Johnston. Recommendations were made back to the government with respect to some type of mechanism by which we would not have to be responsible for raising our own salaries every year or every four years with all that that conjures up in the public mind.

If you look at the various press statements with respect to the raise members are about to vote themselves, Mr. Speaker, it is interesting to note that nowhere -- and maybe I have missed it -- do I notice one person from the press gallery saying the last time members got a raise was in 1973. In fact, they have made statements which imply that the members gave themselves a whopping raise back in October, followed by yet another whopping raise now. Not one press statement I have seen says it goes back to 1973. If one figures it out, we are talking four years then and another two or three years down the road before there is another raise.

The press doesn’t print it that way because that does not turn the public on. I just resent being caught in the crossfire all the time. I resent being one of those who works on a committee which makes recommendations and gets shot at in a cheap fashion. We must go back to 1975 to recall that little episode here in the Legislature. I remember my friend, the member for Oriole Mr. Williams) did not want a raise. He then went on a committee to get some extra pay.

An hon. member: He is a skunk.

Mr. Martel: I say to the government House leader it is just not satisfactory that here in 1977, after six years of study, we are left exactly where we were with respect to remuneration. I don’t know how many hundreds of thousands of dollars we have spent getting to the zero point.

It really is unacceptable. If the minister is prepared to tell me that, come April 1, the Premier is prepared to go along with what was recommended in Hickling-Johnston, if the government is not going to put a device in that a very selective committee made up of people from the outside is going to do an ongoing review annually and make recommendations to the Legislature, then that is fine. But to put us back into the bind where we have been for the past six years is just unacceptable to the members of the Legislature. I think that is the view from all sides of the House. I would urge the government House leader to indicate to us what the government is prepared to do, in view of the fact that it has not accepted the recommendations of three different committees.

I urge this to get us out of this bind because the press has a field day every time we do this. It is interesting in the case of the federal people that because of their mechanism it took effect some three weeks ago, and we hardly heard a ripple in the press. Certainly they are not writing that the members gave themselves a Christmas present that we are getting here now. It went through, there was nary a ripple in the press and there was no adverse comment from the public, while here we are back to square one, after six years of study.

I’m prepared to move an amendment if the government isn’t prepared to give us some type of assurance. My amendment would call for a combination of the consumer price index and the corporate industrial wage to get us out of the bind once and for all. Surely that’s not asking too much. We shouldn’t have to be embarrassed by talking about raising our own pay as all of us are wont to do, and very few to get up publicly and say it. I say it, because I’m not about to play games with it, but in fact it’s distasteful.

I would urge the government House leader to give us some indication now about what the government is prepared to do lest we have to prepare some sort of an amendment over the supper hour to try to get the government to move to tell us what it is prepared to do to get us out, once and for all, of this rather ridiculous position we find ourselves in.

There is one other point I want to make with respect to the bill. I would ask the government House leader to explain to us what happened to that $2,400 raise, that mammoth raise the press gallery likes to speak about. I see a representative from the Toronto Sun who doesn’t write articles that give all the facts -- just what they want the public to hear.

Mr. Ruston: That wouldn’t be Claire Hoy, would it?

Mr. Martel: I’m sorry, Claire; I shouldn’t have said that.

Mr. Conway: He’ll probably write a column now.

Mr. Martel: Oh, it’ll be a nasty column tomorrow. I expect it. I got it the last time around; so I don’t want to change.

Mr. Speaker: If the hon. member would direct his remarks to the Chair, please?

Mr. Martel: Would the government House leader be prepared to tell us what happened to that increase that went from $2,400 to $2,042? I really don’t know how $2,400, which I thought was going to be brought in, dwindles down to $2,042. There may be an explanation.

I would ask the government House leader to comment on whether the government intends to indicate what it proposes to do either now or in the very near future, and to give that explanation.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, I would like an opportunity to review the information which is required by that last question. If we could leave that until after the supper recess, perhaps I’d be able to give the details which the hon. member has asked for.

On motion by Hon. Mr. Welch, the debate was adjourned.


Hon. Mr. Welch: It is my understanding that during the course of the discussions which have just been going on as far as Bill 123 is concerned, the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere has satisfied himself with respect to one or two questions dealing with Bill 120. If the House would concur, perhaps that bill could go to third reading and be given third reading now.

Mr. Speaker: Bill 120 was directed to committee because the hon. member for Scarborough-Ellesmere had some questions. I understand those questions have been answered. Can we have unanimous consent to order Bill 120 for third reading?

Mr. Warner: Mr. Speaker, if I could, I would simply like to put on the record that a new contract may be negotiated following March 31, 1978. This new contract would not be in contravention of the bill which is before us. That’s all that I require on the record and we can pass it.

Mr. Ashe: Mr. Speaker, if I may, I’d be glad to put on the record that at the expiration of the present contract, which I understand is March 31, the normal negotiating procedures are open and there are no restrictions under this legislation. It is strictly a guarantee under this legislation that any employee will not suffer a regression in salary or benefits, at least until the end of 1978.

Mr. Speaker: Shall Bill 120 be ordered for third reading?



The following bill was given third reading on motion:

Bill 120, An Act to amend the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto Act.

The House recessed at 6 p.m.