31st Parliament, 1st Session

L080 - Thu 15 Dec 1977 / Jeu 15 déc 1977

The House met at 2 p.m.



Mr. Sargent: Mr. Speaker, on November 3, I presented to your Chamber a petition of Mr. Clifford Brown shown in votes and proceedings of that day as sessional paper 119. Standing order 5 of the amended rules of the House states that: “The government shall refer all petitions to the House within 14 days.” This order is not qualified in any way with provisions for interim answers or the right of government to refuse to answer. The petition should, therefore, have been responded to by November 17, which is the 14-day limit. As of now, it has not been responded to.

As the Speaker is aware, the petition dealt with Mr. Brown’s right to testify before the Legislature, or one of its committees, on a matter of urgent public importance.

It goes on at length here. I want to say that the failure of the government to respond to this petition constitutes, I suggest, contempt of the Legislature. I ask the Speaker to direct the government to abide by the rules of this House and to respond as soon as possible.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. member does, in fact, have a point of privilege. It is not the responsibility of the Speaker to instruct the government to do anything. The very fact that the member has risen on his point of privilege does draw attention to the fact that the standing orders have not been complied with and I’m sure the government House leader will be responding to it.


Mr. G. Taylor: Mr. Speaker, I also rise on a point of privilege. Appearing in this morning’s Globe and Mail, albeit on the bottom half and not the top half, of the front page is what I considered a defamatory article about myself. Although the Premier (Mr. Davis) last night admonished us to parlay with the press as little as possible because they have the last writing, I notice the Globe and Mail -- I know it has political leanings, but it has leaned me far, far to the left on this occasion.

Mr. Cassidy: I never noticed it there.

Mr. Deans: I think we should rise on the point of privilege.

Mr. G. Taylor: I know it’s just a slight error, and I do have many initials behind my name -- indeed, the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) has graced me with QC in a most gracious January 1 letter that he gives out --

Mr. Roy: That is undeserved, of course.

Mr. G. Taylor: -- but when they put NDP behind my name they have gone far too far.

Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, I would agree they’ve gone too far.

Mr. Havrot: That is a real insult.

Mr. Deans: I think we have the point of privilege.

Mr. Lewis: You are lucky you made the front page of the Globe and Mail, don’t knock it; some of us wait generations for that.


Mr. G. I. Miller: Mr. Speaker, I too would like to point out to the House, in regard to the article in the Globe and Mail this morning, that I will not be making the trip with the select committee to Europe in January.

Mr. Foulds: Anybody else cashing in their tickets?

Mr. Lewis: Can we have a roll-call of the virtuous, please?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Virtuous?



Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to announce today that Canadian National Railways has decided to proceed with the construction of its new intermodal terminal in Brampton early in the new year. This project, estimated to cost approximately $20 million, will in the first phase, beginning early in the new year, provide employment for about 400 people in the construction trades.

In addition, Canadian National estimates that the project will have a multiplier effect requiring more than 1,000 people to supply materials such as rail, concrete, asphalt, signals and other related services. The first stage of the project is expected to be in service early in 1979, providing initial employment for about 100 people. This will grow to 400 as the facility is expanded.

To me, Canadian National’s decision to proceed at this time with this terminal is a positive reflection of confidence in the growth of Ontario and this country as a whole. As Minister of Transportation and Communications, I am also pleased with the Canadian National decision to proceed because the project represents another major addition to our overall transportation network. I am told by Canadian National that the decision to proceed at the Brampton site instead of in other locations will have significant fuel savings benefits because of the shorter distance vehicles will travel to reach the terminal. Canadian National estimates that the fuel savings could amount to as much as 200 million gallons a year when the plant is expanded to its maximum capacity.

Of special significance to the users of GO Transit is the fact that the new intermodal terminal at Brampton will partially facilitate the development of the Streetsville-Milton service by permitting some of the necessary modification in the Union Station area to accommodate this service. This will allow the maximum utilization of the new bi-level cars which are now progressively being received from the manufacturer.

Mr. Speaker, I believe the economic benefits of the project, both in the short and long term, speak for themselves; but equally important, I believe this announcement comes at a time when we all need to he reminded of our potential and success in the area of job creation.


Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, I’m very pleased to inform the members of the Legislature that the children’s services division of my ministry has now completed its first major consultation paper for public discussion.

It is a green paper on the short-term legislative amendments, and I’m making copies of this available to all members of the House today. I’m also making copies available of a special edition of our children’s services newsletter which outlines this paper in some detail. The newsletter will also be distributed to a mailing list of some 19,000 people across the province. This paper does not represent a comprehensive redrafting of the legislation administered by the children’s services division, that will come later. However, this first paper does include 128 recommendations for changes to seven Acts, as well as proposals regarding the rights of children in residential care facilities within our jurisdiction.

The seven statutes concerned are the Child Welfare Act, the Day Nurseries Act, the Children’s Boarding Homes Act, the Children’s Institutions Act, the Children’s Mental Health Services Act, the Training Schools Act, and the Provincial Courts Act as it affects observation and detention homes.

The objectives of this green paper are twofold. First, when my ministry assumed responsibility for children’s services on July 1, 1977, I indicated that a gradual or developmental approach had been taken to the establishment of local children’s services bodies. At the same time, I made a commitment to resolve program policy and legal issues which needed to be faced during the period before such bodies were in place.

The suggested legal reforms are consistent with the long-term objectives of the division and are an effort to deal with needs and issues relating to children identified during the early months of the division’s existence.

Secondly, the changes are necessary to enable the division to implement the new approaches to standards of care and funding which we are developing. For example, we are proposing that the Children’s Boarding Homes Act be altered to form the legal framework for a single comprehensive statute on residential services for children. It would provide the standards required for licensing purposes through subsequent regulations.

These proposals have been put together with the assistance of a 16-member task force on legislation and an advisory group of eight lawyers, both of which began this work shortly after the new division came into existence. In the area of child abuse we have been aided by a 16-member interministerial committee and a four-member task force on legislation, and we have also taken into account the recommendations of coroners’ juries.

Most of the major recommendations deal with the Child Welfare Act. We intend to reduce uncertainty for the child in the care of the Children’s Aid Society by providing parents with the right to ask for a review of their child’s status every six months. This will provide for earlier decisions to return a child to his or her family, or to free the child for adoption. When adoption is contemplated, we are seeking to reduce uncertainty for adoptive parents earlier. When Crown wardship is in effect, we recommend a review of each case and the possible return of the child to his or her parents if no permanent placement has been made after two years.

The issue of child abuse receives special attention in this consultation paper. We are proposing mandatory reporting by professionals, with new penalties for failure to report and increased penalties for convicted child abusers. We are suggesting reforms to make clear the right of judges in child protection hearings to allow evidence of prior abuse in the family. We are suggesting ways to allow Children’s Aid Societies to gain access on the order of a judge to relevant files of other agencies. We suggest clarification of the power of judges to call independent witnesses. We propose new powers for family court judges to require diagnostic assessments of parents or children in protection hearings.

We are also identifying for public discussion three different options concerning the child abuse registry. These options range from measures to encourage local exchange of information to an expanded central child abuse registry, with protections for civil rights included.

Following a recommendation by my colleague, the Attorney General, we seek to provide for independent legal representation of children in protection hearings at the discretion of the family court judge.

We are proposing access for the media to the courtroom to report on the child protection process provided that no identifying information is published.

We propose that all placements for adoption should be made through licensed adoption agencies, including Children’s Aid Societies, and we suggest that adoptions by step-parents or close relatives of the child should be exempt from this proposal.

Other proposals concern the speeding up of budget procedures for Children’s Aid Societies, increased control over the placement of children in care by way of parental agreement rather than court order, and the use of non-ward agreements in exceptional cases involving 16- and 17-year olds are included. In addition, these proposals relate to the right of older children, those 12 years of age and over, to be involved in and to initiate court proceedings.


Recommendations affecting the Acts suggest the following: Increasing the maximum age of children in regular day care from 10 to 12 years; giving authority for the ministry to purchase in-home services for developmentally-handicapped children up to the age of 18; requiring the licensing, regulation and inspection of agencies which provide private in-home day care; tightening controls over children’s boarding homes by requiring licensing of facilities and operators providing care for three or more children not of the same family -- at the present time, the law requires registration of premises where five or more children not of the same family receive care; transferring administrative authority over observation and detention homes from the provincial courts to this ministry, while clarifying the power of the family court judges to control the admission and discharge of juveniles from these homes; and requiring a judicial hearing before a ward is returned from a community placement to a training school.

There is also a section on children’s rights. We suggest there are certain fundamental principles which should be formally recognized for the protection of all children in residential care facilities in Ontario.

These have to do with the following: A child’s right to communicate with his or her parents; a child’s right to follow religious beliefs; a child’s right to receive medical treatment; the rights of parents, the child’s lawyer, and in certain cases the child, to have access to the records of the child’s residential care; clear restrictions on the use of dissociation or isolation; a ban on the use of corporal punishment, only minimal force would be permitted to restrain a child who is causing injury to himself or others; and access to a grievance procedure, including the right of a child to be informed of his or her rights.

I would like to emphasize that these proposals do not represent established government policy in the areas covered. Rather they are suggestions which the ministry is putting forward as a first step in the process of law reform which will ultimately produce one rational set of laws relating to services for children and families.

Much of the work currently being done in the division relates to the areas of standards, information systems, and program change -- work which must precede and complement law reform on a broader scale if the goals of the reorganization are to be accomplished in full.

A number of papers will be released on these issues during the time we are consulting on the legislative proposals, and they will indicate how we hope to build upon the foundation established by the reforms suggested in this document.

We are hoping to receive extensive feedback from those who read and study these recommendations.

Comments, alternate approaches, and criticism will be invited as a means of ensuring that we have adequately considered all points of view, including practical implementation problems. Some of the proposals are undoubtedly controversial and it is hoped that the consultation process will identify these and provide an opportunity for extensive discussion of them. We hope to have the public consultation process completed in time to bring legislation forward during the next session of the Legislature for your scrutiny, and I hope approval.

Mr. Lewis: We will applaud you even if your colleagues don’t.


Hon. Mr. McKeough: I have today deposited with the Clerk of the Legislature a report, Local Government Finance in Ontario, 1975 and 1976. This is done in accordance with subsection 3 of section 223 of the Municipal Act.

Members may note that this report differs from the previous ones in that rather than just a tabulation of raw statistical data, it provides detailed analyses of local government finance. I believe this to be a significant improvement over past publications since it provides, by type of municipality and by geographic location, average taxation and spending figures against which individual municipalities may be compared.

One of the main conclusions to be drawn from the report is that while the increase in local government spending in 1975 was disappointingly high, it moderated considerably in 1976. I suggest that this had a lot to do with our efforts to convince local governments of the need for restraint.

This publication is part of the ministry’s ongoing effort to update the reporting of local government financial affairs. With the introduction of the ministry’s simplified financial information return for this year, it is expected that subsequent reports will be available within six months of the year-end. In accomplishing this, this Legislature, and all other interested bodies, will have a much timelier and more comprehensive view of our success in maintaining a financially sound local government sector.

You may note that the data contained in the report are summary data. The detailed information by municipality is available on request from the ministry.



Mr. S. Smith: I’d like to ask a question of the Treasurer, in the absence of the Minister of Education (Mr. Wells). I think the Treasurer could probably answer this. The Auditor’s report appears to indicate that the province is now obliged to contribute an additional $65 million, on top of $144 million some odd, with respect to the unfunded liability of the Teachers’ Superannuation Fund. That’s not to mention the amount owing the fund to match teachers’ contributions. That makes a grand total of $209 million just for unfunded liability contributions.

Can the Treasurer tell us whether the government has in fact met this obligation referred to by those actuaries who’ve recently looked at the report? What proportion of the total amount of moneys voted in his estimates and in his supplementary estimates will be going toward amortizing the unfunded liability, and what proportion toward matching teachers’ contributions?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, I can’t answer the latter part of the question. I’m sure the Minister of Education can, and I believe he’ll be here a little later. But in respect to the first part of the question, yes, the obligations have been met. As a matter of fact, I think there has been implied criticism in the Auditor’s report that we met them too early in the day.

Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary: Apart from the matter of the unfunded liability, is the Treasurer properly matching teachers’ contributions in light of the actuary’s opinion, reiterated by the Auditor, “that the combined teacher-province statutory contribution rate is now less than the minimum required contribution rate”? Is his ministry falling behind in this area?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: No, we are meeting the deficiency that was found in the fund by the actuary, that is entirely met by the government; which for some unknown reason, going back to 1970 the Premier told me this morning, is considered to be the employer in this case.

The question is are we matching what the teachers are doing: Good Lord; the teachers put in six per cent, we’re now putting in something like 15 per cent.

Mr. S. Smith: Does that include the unfunded liability? Sorry, Mr. Speaker, that’s a separate question.

Mr. Van Horne: Supplementary: On November 4, the Minister of Education was questioned about the whole process of evaluation of the Teachers’ Superannuation Fund. On that particular day -- and I’m quoting from page 1528 of Hansard -- I asked him about an annual evaluation rather than evaluation every three years. He said, “I don’t know that any action is being taken to change it to an annual evaluation.”

I understand that between that time and now the government has changed its mind and will, in fact, have an annual evaluation. Is that true?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, I am not aware of such change in policy. The Minister of Government Services (Mr. McCague) says that this may be happening in the Public Service Superannuation Fund.

An actuarial valuation is a very expensive and time-consuming process. There may have been some change in policy that I’m not aware of. I don’t know if there has been contemplation by Management Board to ask for valuations more frequently than once every two or three years, which is the burden I think we impose on the private sector.

Mr. Van Horne: Supplementary: During the supplementary estimates debate on Monday afternoon it was my understanding from the minister that in fact there was some change planned. Could the Treasurer report back to us on the change?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: The member had better ask the Minister of Education that question. The Teachers’ Superannuation Fund reports to the House through him; if he’s contemplating a change it’s news to me; the member had better ask him the question.

Mr. Peterson: Doesn’t the minister feel, in view of the tremendous jump in unfunded liabilities -- from $550-and-some-odd million in 1972 to $1.4 billion -- that, necessarily, we have to have an annual re-evaluation, an actuarial review so we can get some kind of a handle on these escalating unfunded liabilities for which the taxpayers of this province are going to have to come good at some time in the future?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: No, Mr. Speaker.


Mr. S. Smith: I will ask a question, Mr. Speaker, of the Solicitor General, who if I am not mistaken bears responsibility for the operation of fire departments, the Fire Marshal’s office and so on. Is the Solicitor General aware of matters which transpired at the recent fire of the hydro transformer at 60 Adelaide Street East in Toronto, with the release of highly toxic PCBs into the air? Can he tell the House, if he is familiar with this, what measures were taken to protect the firemen working at the site?

Further, although it is not his own responsibility, perhaps he could also report on what measures were taken to protect Hydro employees on that particular site? To his knowledge were any attempts made to collect the firemen’s gear and clothing afterwards and to do medical examinations on those who may have been exposed to these highly toxic materials?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Mr. Speaker, I am aware there was a fire there, but only through newspaper reports. Ordinarily the matter of emissions of some sort or another would come under the Ministry of the Environment, but I will undertake to get the information the Leader of the Opposition has asked for.

Mr. S. Smith: I will be pleased to receive the answer from the Solicitor General. By way of supplementary, I wonder if, at the same time, he would be kind enough to table or send to me a copy of any manual of procedures that is in force with regard to the need to inform firefighting persons regarding possible chemical hazards or other types of hazards that exist at certain fire sites.

Surely he would agree with me that these courageous individuals at least ought to be told whether to wear their protective masks and other gear and be examined afterwards for signs of contamination? I would appreciate it if he would let us know what the manual requires and whether the procedures were in fact properly carried out with regard to this fire.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Mr. Speaker, I know that at the fire college and other places where firemen receive instructions, they are, of course, given training on all facets and all types of fires, certainly including chemical fires and other fires in which there are toxic substances involved. I assume it is set out in a manual of some sort, we will produce what we have.

Mr. Lewis: I would like to pursue this just a step further. Is the minister saying to the House that at no time in the six days that have now transpired has the Minister of the Environment (Mr. Kerr) or Ministry of the Environment brought to his attention, as the minister in charge of this situation, the enormous hazards -- I don’t want to put it too strongly but I think that is fair -- the enormous hazards to which those firemen were subject; and that no one within his ministry has attempted to initiate a recall of those firemen and all of their possessions that were involved in that? There has been no contact at all between the ministries?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Mr. Speaker, I am not saying that at all. I don’t know everything that goes on in the ministry; I assume that these things have been investigated by the Fire Marshal and that the proper procedures have been followed, but there has been no report coming to my desk.

Mr. Lewis: There has never been a spill like it.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: At the same time I am sure the ministry is well aware.

Mr. B. Newman: May I ask the Solicitor General if he would suggest to the Minister of the Environment that as some transformers do not contain PCBs, all transformers containing PCBs be colour-coded so that in the future any fireman being confronted with this would know that he is being confronted with a special type of hazard?

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: It sounds like a reasonable suggestion. It may be being done now, but if it is not we will take it under consideration.


Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the Solicitor General, at the same time as he is inquiring of the Minister of the Environment about the warnings and what is being done for the firemen, could also inquire whether steps are being taken to discuss with office workers and passers-by as to whether there are any potential hazards from their clothing and that sort of thing. Also, could he find out for us, for tomorrow’s House, what is the present swab count of PCBs at the site? What level has it got down to? It apparently got up to 10,000 parts per million, and 2,000 is the acceptable level.

Hon. Mr. MacBeth: Mr. Speaker, I imagine that first question is probably difficult to answer, that there probably is no trace on the people who may have gone by there; but the Minister of the Environment may have some information on that, we’ll do our best to include this in the reply.

Mr. Lewis: I would like to pursue this subject with the Minister of Labour, if I may. Can I ask the Minister of Labour, is her occupational health branch involved, or does she intend it to be involved at all in the health implications of the PCB vaporizing on Friday last?

Hon. B. Stephenson: The long-term studies branch of the division of occupational health and safety is most definitely involved in examination and studies on the human health problems related to PCBs. The branch also functions as a consultative service for other services within other ministries; its role in this area would be in the area of taking tests and measurements, and assessing those tests and measurements and reporting them.

Mr. Lewis: Let me ask the minister, was there any thought of placing the building involved in quarantine for a number of days so the workers there now, the regular employees, federal government officials and others who are in that building I gather, could have some sense of personal security, since obviously at no time through the piece was anyone warned of the danger?

Hon. B. Stephenson: It was my understanding that the Ministry of the Environment had been involved in the cleanup; and indeed the report is that it has been entirely cleaned at this point, but I shall cheek on the questions raised by the hon. member for Scarborough West and report.

Mr. G. I. Miller: Supplementary: Would the Minister of Labour consider the possibility of changing these transformers over to a non-toxic oil coolant so that the danger would not persist?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, this entire subject is a matter of discussion and consideration, as 1 said, by the long term studies branch of the occupational health and safety division. It is also a matter of some concern to the Advisory Council on Occupational Health and Safety. If, indeed, there is sufficient evidence that there is a major human health hazard in relation to PCBs at the levels at which most workers might, in fact, be exposed, then I am sure that both of those bodies will be making recommendations in that area.

I am also concerned that those engineers involved in the development of electrical transmission facilities and mechanisms should be aware of this, and hopefully will be looking at alternative substances to be used in such transformers.

Mr. Gaunt: Supplementary: I gather from the response to my friend from Scarborough West that the building certainly hasn’t been placed under quarantine; does the minister know of any measures that have been taken in the interim to protect the Hydro employees or the firemen who were at the scene Friday morning last?

Hon. B. Stephenson: The measures that were taken, Mr. Speaker, I think were taken by the Ministry of the Environment; I would suggest that question might be referred to that minister.

Mr. Lewis: Could this question be redirected to the Minister of the Environment, now that he is here? I mean, I’m sure it was frustrating for the Leader of the Opposition as well.

Mr. Speaker: Is the hon. Minister of the Environment aware of the questions? Could he perhaps give an answer to them?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: No, I’m not, Your Honour -- or Mr. Speaker, rather.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Before the member asks his supplementary, the Speaker is not on the QC list.

Mr. Lewis: I never even called him that as caucus mate. May I just say that in the original question, which apparently should have been -- well I want to ask the Speaker for clarification, is this considered a second question or is this considered a redirection?

Mr. Breithaupt: Is that a question?

Mr. Speaker: I think it is in order to redirect.

Mr. Lewis: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The questions that have come from this side of the House are to do with the dangers to which people were subject as a result of a transformer burning out on Friday last and the behaviour of this ministry between then and now, in relation to the firemen involved and the possible quarantining of the building to protect the workers. Can the Minister of the Environment deal with that?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Mr. Speaker, in a situation like this, when our ministry is informed of the fire, which it was some few hours after it started, we immediately take over and take action to ensure the safety of the people involved, the workers or the firemen. Also, safety measures are generally taken to contain any loss of contaminated material or toxic contaminant such as PCBs.

The Fire Marshal, through information we provide to Hydro and to the Fire Marshal, either by way of literature or by way of direct contact, is aware of the steps that have to be taken when there is a fire of that kind involving contaminated material.

The Hydro people, of course, know what emergency steps should be taken with the type of equipment they have, such as transformers that may be affected by the fire. Of course, the firemen themselves have the necessary protective equipment for dealing with major fires of that kind with them at all times; so we would expect they would use that equipment in the event this type of material is part of or involved in the fire.

Mr. Lewis: I have one supplementary, Mr. Speaker. Can the minister explain how it was possible for his ministry to be so irresponsible as to be on the spot Friday and yet no specific information was passed to the firemen involved for five full days? Neither was information passed that the count had risen to 10,000 parts per million, which surely the minister recognizes is about the most acute hazard any person could be subjected to with a PCB spill. How does the minister account for his ministry’s behaviour under those circumstances?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned, the fire was at approximately 7 a.m.; our ministry was advised at around 1 p.m. that day. As soon as we arrived at the scene and found that PCBs were involved we advised all the employees and the firemen of what was involved and what precautions should be taken. That information was given on the scene.

Mr. Lewis: To whom?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: To the Hydro employees and to the firemen; that information was passed on immediately by our people from central region, who attended on the scene at about one to 1:30 p.m. that day.

As I say, this information is given long before an incident of this kind takes place. They have it in their handbooks and their regulations. Hydro employees, for example, know the type of equipment they are handling and what is contained in that equipment. They know what precautions should be taken in the event of fire. It is not a question of our ministry advising after the fact what steps should be taken.

Mr. Lewis: The firemen deny it.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: They should be aware of that information immediately they are aware of the type of fire they have.

Mr. Deans: There are no standards.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Just answer the original question and ignore the interjections.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Mr. Speaker, there are steps and precautions that are given to firemen, either by way of handbook or otherwise, to be followed when handling material of this kind --

Mr. Deans: There are no province-wide standards.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Why do they take respirators with them on major fires of this kind, for example?

Mr. Lewis: They weren’t even asked for their clothing.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: They have protective clothing to handle incidents of this kind.

As far as the levels that the hon. member refers to -- the 10,000 parts per million -- this is only a guess, that is not accurate by any means.

Mr. Lewis: It could have been higher.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: It could have been lower too.

Mr. Lewis: That’s true.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: The figure is around 6,000 to 10,000; and that was in soot.

Mr. McClellan: What is the safe figure?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: This is not a question of something being inhaled by the firemen, for example.

Mr. Foulds: Soot gets into the air and you breathe it.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: I would assume when they are pouring water on material that this is soot and would not be a danger to the extent, for example, of somebody being continuously exposed over a period of time to levels of that kind.

Mr. Lewis: It hits the skin and the clothes.

Mr. Mackenzie: Have you destroyed the clothing?

Mr. Foulds: If they rolled in the soot, would they --

Hon. Mr. Kerr: There’s a lot of difference between one or two parts per million of constant, continuous exposure --

Mr. Lewis: Ten minutes is enough at levels of that kind.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: -- and an active incident of that kind.

Mr. Lewis: You’re taking this business far too lightly.

Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary, and this question may have been asked earlier to a different minister, so forgive me if it’s repeated: Can the minister say whether or not the firemen’s gear and clothing have now been called in for some form of examination, and at what point this happened if it has? Secondly, can he answer the question asked by my colleague from Huron-Bruce, which is has anything, basically, been done with regard to following up on these Hydro and fire-fighting employees, any form of medical testing and any decisions made on the form of protection that might possibly be used?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Yes, Mr. Speaker, the firemen who were involved in fighting that fire, as well as the Hydro employees who were on the site that particular day, will be examined. Secondly, we are stepping up again what we thought was an efficient liaison with the Fire Marshal and of course with Hydro itself, regarding the steps that should be taken when there is a fire of that kind involving transformers containing PCBs. Hydro knows full well the steps that have to be taken and the information that should be given to the firemen when they arrive on the scene.

Mr. Foulds: What are you doing with their clothes?

Ms. Gigantes: Is it their fault?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: The firemen, through their instructions, should know what action they take at a fire, or during a fire of that kind involving that material.


Mr. Lewis: A question of the Minister of Community and Social Services; first commending him on his statement and on the green paper, and hoping that it proceeds quickly to legislative implementation. May I ask the minister, in the process of this discussion, is it not now time for him to initiate within the child abuse amendments an inquiry among the various Children’s Aid Societies into the basis on which the professionals in the societies render their judgements when returning a child to a family with a clear history of child abuse?

Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, obviously the whole area of the exercise of judgement in cases like that is a matter of great concern to us, especially in view of the absolutely tragic incidents that have occurred in a couple of cases quite recently. Pursuant to the most recent incident in Sarnia, we have begun a follow-up investigation into what had transpired leading up to that decision with that particular society. The officials of my ministry will be communicating with the Children’s Aid Societies across this province seeking similar information, and directing their attention to this issue in each case where societies are faced with that kind of decision.

I might add that the Association of Children’s Aid Societies will be asked to participate in this as well.

Mr. McClellan: May I ask the minister, in view of the three child abuse deaths which have been before us this year, would he not agree that within his legislative proposals should be a proposal that would require apprehension of infants when there is evidence of physical child abuse?

Hon. Mr. Norton: I believe that in most cases, if not all, where that is perceived to be occurring, that is the initial response today. In fact, in the two recent cases with which we are familiar, where the subsequent decision to return the child to the family resulted in tragedy, the child had already been apprehended at an earlier point. I think the very difficult issue involved here is the question of the exercise of that judgement. I think that to try to control it too rigidly in the sense of saying, “You should not under those circumstances ever return a child to the family” --

Mr. Lewis: That’s right, that’s what the minister should say.

Hon. Mr. Norton: With great respect, there are in the course of a year in this province some 10,000 children taken into care by the Children’s Aid Societies, for a variety of reasons.


Mr. Lewis: But when the child is assaulted at seven months, you don’t return the child; when the child’s arm is broken at seven months, you don’t return the child.

Hon. Mr. Norton: In some cases, in fact in many cases, it is perceived that with some professional help the family can be assisted to adapt to their responsibilities --

Mr. Lewis: Who protects the child? There’s a lovely professional entente between the worker and the parent, but who protects the child?

Hon. Mr. Norton: -- and alter their treatment of the child. In many cases there has been a successful return.

Mr. Lewis: Show us.

Hon. Mr. Norton: I think the problem is not so easily resolved as to say never, if a child is abused, can we ever consider returning that child to the care of the family.

Mr. Lewis: Not if there is that kind of gross abuse.

Hon. Mr. Norton: But I can assure the member the whole question is one of great concern to me. I don’t know that there is any simplistic solution, but I would point out that part of it, I think, lies in a better education and a better awareness on the part of the persons who are working within societies and agencies across the province outside of the Children’s Aid Societies, to recognize and to know how to respond to incidents of child abuse. We are also working, and have been making a very real effort in that direction as well. In fact, we have in excess of 40 planning committees or treatment teams to deal with child abuse in this province, in a program which involves Children’s Aid Societies. In the past there has probably been too little knowledge and too little effort to provide the kind of treatment and education, and create the kind of awareness that is necessary.

Mrs. Campbell: In the material provided today and in his statement, the minister indicates that the legislation is prepared in draft form and apparently would be too important, or too much beyond the heads of members of this Assembly to have it tabled; would the minister reconsider and table that draft legislation in this House?

Hon. Mr. Norton: I’m not aware where the hon. member got the implication that it was thought to be above the heads of the hon. members of the Legislature. I certainly have no hesitation whatsoever in making it available to the members should they wish to have copies of it to review.

It is in proposed draft form for consideration by persons who are interested in looking at that aspect of it.

Mr. S. Smith: We have some interest.

Hon. Mr. Norton: The reason it was not included in the general package which is being circulated was that I presumed the discussion would centre mainly on the principles and issues involved, but certainly the copies of the draft can be made available.

Mr. McClellan: Mr. Speaker, returning to the subject of child abuse: Given that in the cases of Kim Pope and Vicky Ellis we had social agencies experimenting with treatment of disturbed families in a child abuse situation which led to tragedies -- experimenting where they were clearly incompetent --

Mr. Speaker: Question.

Mr. McClellan: -- what measures does the minister intend to introduce to deal with the irresponsible and incompetent experimentation on the part of social agencies that’s taking place in this province?

Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, when the hon. member has an opportunity to review the material circulated today he will see among the recommendations with respect to the court’s role in this, that where it is contemplated that a child be returned to the care of a family where there is supervision from a society, that the criteria for that supervision he clearly spelled out; requiring, for example, such things, I would expect, as regular medical examinations on a weekly or bi-weekly basis; and that the terms under which the worker would operate when visiting the family would be spelled out as well.

There has been a reluctance up to this point to spell out those terms of supervision; I think that, in itself, will be an important step to ensuring a higher standard, perhaps, of supervision in those cases.


Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, on Tuesday, in response to a question from the member for Quinte (Mr. O’Neil), I said I would have details concerning reduced store hours in retail liquor outlets and their effect on employees.

Store hours and consumer usage of outlets have been thoroughly reviewed by the Liquor Control Board with an eye to possible savings. The result is a decision by the board to reduce store hours on a weekly basis where sales do not warrant extended hours. This will start January 3, 1978. It will be accomplished in the following way:

One, five stores will revert to a single-shift operation and extend hours either Thursday or Friday nights. This means that instead of operating from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., which involves a double shift, the stores will now close at 6 p.m. most evenings.

Two, 89 stores will eliminate extended hours on either Thursday or Friday nights; 23 of these stores will also be closed one day each week.

Three, 74 stores will institute a weekly closing day. In smaller communities where there has been a traditional closing day during the week for other businesses, the liquor outlet affected will now be closed that day; otherwise the decision will be based on which day the store has experienced the lowest sales.

This action will not involve closing any stores at this time.

However, in answer now to Tuesday’s question from the member for Victoria-Haliburton (Mr. Eakins) in April of next year the Woodville outlet will be closed due to the steady decline in sales. This involves one permanent employee who will be relocated; special provisions will be made for the one part-time employee.

Reducing the hours in these 166 stores will result in a minimum saving of $500,000. Further savings will be realized in utilities and security costs. This money will be returned to the consolidated revenue fund.

No employees of liquor outlets, whether permanent, part-time or temporary, will be laid off. The decision reduces the amount of overtime worked by permanent staff by 0.4 per cent. It will reduce hours worked by about 515 temporary and part-time staff by three per cent.

Copies of the memorandum from LCBO containing the list of stores which will be affected are available on request, and I am now providing these details to the opposition critics and the member for Quinte. I will send them over now.

Mr. O’Neil: Mr. Speaker, concerning this same problem, first of all did I understand the minister to say there would be no layoffs whatsoever? I would also like to ask him: Did the cost-efficiency study undertaken by the Liquor Control Board take into account the hardships to be suffered by individual employees whom we understand were to be laid off; in many cases women in smaller communities with few other employment opportunities who might be forced to accept unemployment or welfare benefits, thus adding cost to the public?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: As I understand the situation, the change in hours results in fewer hours being required from temporary and part-time employees. That means, of course, that some of them will look elsewhere for employment. Those who don’t will still be available, but there will be a reduced number of part-time hours that will be filled by part-time staff.

Mr. O’Neil: Mr. Speaker, a further supplementary: In view of the fact that salaries and employee benefits represented only 8.17 per cent of the value of sales for the Liquor Control Board for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1977, could the minister not consider means of reducing costs other than by increasing unemployment, particularly at a time when we are trying to find ways to encourage private industries suffering losses not to lay off workers?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: If the member suggests that we should not look at reducing hours and reducing the number of employee hours in the stores as an alternative to saving money, then I think he should state that position clearly.

Mr. Kerrio: He just asked if there is any other way.

Mr. Haggerty: No profit in that.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: We, on the other hand, are taking the position -- or at least the Liquor Control Board is -- that it should reduce costs wherever possible without substantially decreasing the service it provides to the public. I think that’s a fair and sensible way of operating.

Now really, there’s some $400 million profit taken by the LCBO. If the members want to suggest we use more of that $400 million profit to create employment in the stores, then I can assure them we can have a lot more people working a lot more part-time hours and temporary employees in those stores to an unlimited number because there is that amount of profit coming out of them. However. I think that we owe it to the taxpayers of the province, who pay for all the other programs we talk about, to make sure that a reasonably efficient operation is being carried on at the LCBO stores. Whether they are LCBO stores or any other part of my ministry or government, it seems to me we should be running good and efficient operations, not make-work projects.

Mr. Eakins: Supplementary: As a matter of clarification was the store to be closed in Woodville still showing a profit or was it operating in the red?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: I am told the situation with respect to Woodville is that a store has recently been opened in Cannington.

Mr. Conway: What has the minister got against Woodville anyway?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: The Cannington store --

Mr. Conway: Anything to keep the Minister of Agriculture and Food elected.

Hon. W. Newman: Nonsense; that was built long before I was elected.

Mr. Speaker: You are wasting time.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: The Cannington store is in an area which I am informed has a heavier flow of consumer traffic, on major arteries, making it a better centre for the location of a store. That is something, I might add, I don’t think the member expressed any objection to at that particular time. It is a larger store, a permanent store with a bigger selection of stock. It has been in operation for two years.

It all fits in with shopping patterns of both communities affected. I am informed there has been a decrease in the amount of business the Woodville store is currently getting because most Woodville residents are going to the larger centre of Cannington for their purchasing.

I can understand the member would prefer us to keep an inefficient trailer operation open in Woodville; but if we are going to extend that argument, I can assure him his colleagues on that side and my colleagues on this side can suggest to us an infinite number of small municipalities that don’t currently have trailer-type operations with one employee in them where we could locate more and more operations, make liquor more accessible and hire more employees. That is a policy decision which I am not prepared to recommend to the LCBO.


Mr. Bolan: I have a question of the Minister of Housing. What has been the involvement of the Ministry of Housing in the programming and the development of some 450 housing units in Elliot Lake, some of which were allegedly built on a radioactive ore body? Was there a formal environmental assessment done on these lots before the homes were built; is there not a radon gas danger to the occupants of these homes which have been built?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: The ministry has been involved considerably in that particular problem as it relates to applications that have been made to the ministry for subdivision approval. I have stated publicly I would not approve any further subdivisions in the Elliot Lake area until such time as I have been completely satisfied the buildings could be built on them and they could be occupied safely.

The buildings to which I think the hon. member is referring are those that were built on subdivisions that had been approved prior to anyone being aware of the problem with radon gas. My ministry has absolutely no control over preventing development on lots that have been approved for subdivision and development.

I am not capable, within my ministry, of determining what the effects of radon gas are, we do not have that expertise. We are depending upon the Atomic Energy Control Board which has experts in the area. They have stated what they consider to be safe levels. Until such time as I can be assured those safe levels are reachable and can be maintained, I will not approve any further subdivisions.

Mr. Bolan: Supplementary: Is the minister aware of how many provincially-financed houses are presently sifting idle in Elliot Lake because there is a prohibition on their occupancy due to a radiation hazard?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: I am not aware as to exactly how many. I do know there are some that are not allowed to be occupied because of the possibility of radiation. I think that is a wise move. I recognize it is not desirable in that community. I have had very many people contact me and correspond with me urging me to approve a move into these homes. I am not prepared to do that because I don’t think I can tell those individuals it is in fact safe to live in those buildings.

Mr. Wildman: Supplementary: Could the minister indicate to us when he expects a final determination of the environmental hearings into townsite 2A; and if that decision is adverse what plans has his ministry to provide housing in Blind River for workers in the Elliot Lake mines?


Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Speaker, as far as when the particular hearing will be completed, I can’t say. We have, as I think the hon. member knows, requested the board to hold a hearing early, and I understand that may be in January. At that time we feel we can supply some information from our ministry, and from other agencies more competent in dealing with radon and radiation, as to what can be done to reach the safe levels and what type of construction would he permitted in those particular areas.

As to any possible relocation or construction in other areas, at the very first hearing that was held by the board my ministry was requested by the board to do an area survey as to where alternate housing could be built. We have completed that survey. We have looked at the Blind River area. The one thing that gives me concern, though, is that I don’t think anyone has really tested that area to see whether there’s a radon gas problem there. So I’m waiting for that information as well.


Mr. Mackenzie: A question of the Minister of Labour: Would the minister inform the House as to what steps, if any, she is taking to try to protect the jobs of the 475 workers at the International Harvester plant in Hamilton; has she any substantive measures to try to protect the jobs of these workers?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, the employment adjustment service of my ministry has already been in contact with both the employer and the union group at that plant. Both of those groups have signified their willingness to hold discussions in order to attempt to resolve some of the problems. It is my assessment that with that degree of co-operation we will probably be able to be of some assistance to these people.

Mr. Mackenzie: Supplementary: Would the minister obtain for the House information as to the number of hours of overtime that have been worked this year and the number of employees in that plant who have been working overtime right up until the last week? Would she also obtain for this House information on the products that are produced at this plant in Hamilton that are also produced at the United States plants, particularly the Chicago plant; and which, if any, of these products may be brought into the country or imported due to cutbacks at the Hamilton plant?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Yes, Mr. Speaker, I’ll try to get that information for this House.


Mr. Yakabuski: I have a question of the Minister of Energy. In view of the fact I have on a number of occasions brought to the minister’s attention and inquired about the establishment of nuclear generating plants in the Ottawa valley, can the minister tell the House what action he is planning on the resolutions by the county of Renfrew and the corporation of Deep River, inviting Ontario Hydra to build a nuclear or other type of generating plant in their community? Could the minister further tell the House if he will meet with the committee from the Fitzroy Harbour area of Carleton county about the expansion of the Chats Falls generating plant on land which Ontario Hydro already owns, and which proposal I understand is already under active consideration by Hydro?

Mr. S. Smith: The minister should make him parliamentary assistant.

Mr. Nixon: So he can give the money back.

Mr. Deans: If the minister wants my advice, don’t.

Hon. J. A. Taylor: Yes, I’m aware of those representations that have been made. As a matter of fact, the Liberal member for Renfrew North (Mr. Conway) has also contacted me in connection with the resolution from the community of Deep River requesting that a nuclear plant be established in that area, and supporting, of course, that position. I may say that I would be happy to meet with delegations from those communities, in conjunction with Hydro, in regard to their concerns to ensure that consideration is given to the location of a plant in those areas.

As a matter of fact, I believe that Hydra is currently meeting with the people from the Fitzroy Harbour-Chats Falls area.

Mr. Yakabuski: Supplementary: Can the minister estimate how many jobs a nuclear generating station would create in a community such as Fitzroy Harbour or Deep River?

Hon. J. A. Taylor: Mr. Speaker, I gather there was some concern over jobs in that part of eastern Ontario. The county of Renfrew has sent me a lengthy brief outlining the economic conditions in that area and the need for employment. I read in the paper the other day that Sudbury, which is represented by the NDP --

Mr. Cassidy: You gathered that.

Mr. Nixon: They needed a new member or something?

Mr. Roy: Don’t worry, Jim, we will take care of him next election.

Hon. J. A. Taylor: -- has made representation to the federal government and Atomic Energy Canada Limited to locate a management waste centre, a refining facility, in the Sudbury region.

Mr. Speaker: That wasn’t part of the question.

Hon. J. A. Taylor: Mr. Speaker, I was about to address the specific question. I can’t identify, precisely, the number of jobs that would be generated. All I can do is indicate that if you look at the number of jobs expected in connection with the Darlington station, the estimate is something like 3,700 construction jobs which would involve probably $750 million in direct payment and in salaries.

Mr. Speaker: The question has been answered.


Mr. B. Newman: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Transportation and Communications. In view of the ever increasing concern over the confidentiality of personal information contained in the files of the motor vehicle registrations in your ministry, will the minister consider abandoning the practice of selling lists of motor vehicle registrations to individuals and companies?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, I am somewhat at a loss to know just what the hon. member is referring to.

Mr. Roy: The question was simple; you should quit selling the list.

Hon. Mr. Snow: We do not sell lists of motor vehicle registrations to anyone, and we haven’t for some period of time.

Mr. S. Smith: You give them away?

Hon. Mr. Snow: We don’t give them away either.

Mr. Sargent: Do you rent? Some firm has to deal with you.


Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, I may have inadvertently misled the hon. member for Windsor-Walkerville a few moments ago.

Some hon. members: Oh, oh.

Hon. Mr. Snow: No. I stated emphatically, and I say again, that we do not give or sell or lend lists of motor vehicle registrations that contain owner information. We do make available -- by way of a contract, for which we are paid by R. L. Polk Limited -- the registrations as to vehicle manufacture and the type of information that is used for sales records and for production planning by the automotive industry.

Mr. Reid: And sucker lists.

Mr. Sargent: It is a monopoly deal.

Mr. Haggerty: It may not be legal.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, I object to those statements. We do not give names. We have it in our contract with R. L. Polk, because I signed the contract myself about two years ago --

Mr. Sargent: How much money?

Hon. Mr. Snow: -- that they cannot use this information for any other purpose than for the planning of the automotive industry. I say again: They do not get the names -- only the vehicle data.

Mr. B. Newman: Supplementary: In the hearings in Windsor of the Ontario commission on the freedom of information and individual privacy, on November 29, a Mrs. Proulx made mention that information was provided concerning her unlisted phone number and she received 25 calls from insurance agencies as a result of the information provided.

Mr. Foulds: You’d better check that.

Hon. Mr. Snow: I don’t know what information the hon. member is referring to, but I would have to say --

Mr. B. Newman: It even gave her unlisted phone number.

Hon. B. Stephenson: It’s not on the licence plate.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: It’s not on the licence. You can look at your licence. There are no phone numbers on it.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: It must have been in a black book.

Hon. Mr. Snow: I would have to say, Mr. Speaker, that the computer print-out information that is made available, and has been made available by my ministry for the past two years --

Mr. Lewis: Only listed numbers.

Hon. Mr. Snow: -- has not included any of that type of information.


Mr. Bounsall: A question of the Minister of Colleges and Universities, Mr. Speaker: Would the minister assure the House that he does not agree with the royal commission of inquiry report that the undergraduate program of Algoma University College should be terminated, with all the ramifications that has for the jobs of the faculty, for the students who are part way through their programs and for the part-time use the entire community makes of the facilities of that college?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, at this time I would like to say to the hon. member we are only recently in receipt of that report. We met with the board of trustees on Tuesday of this week, and I think it would be premature for me to make a further statement at this time. We recognize that the board is the board of management of the institution and we recognize that we are the funders of that institution. As soon as the board has had sufficient time to consider that report we will be prepared to meet the board to make some joint decisions.

Mr. Wildman: Supplementary: Could the minister indicate what he intends to do, when he is discussing with the board of trustees, to try to alleviate the problem of Canadian students who are being subsidized at Lake Superior State College, which makes it very difficult for Algoma to compete for student enrolment?

Mr. Warner: They offer cut rates. Do something about it.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I am aware that the fees charged to foreign students in the United States vary tremendously. I think it would not be appropriate to single out one institution. We can talk in terms of almost zero tuition fees at certain institutions in the United States. We can point to other institutions where their fees are as high as $5,000 or $6,000.

I am aware of the situation as it occurs at Lake Superior. I am sure the member opposite is aware that is a policy they establish and there is little I can do about their policy.

Mr. Sweeney: Supplementary: What is the minister’s personal opinion on the recommendation which says we should depend upon an American institution to educate our students? What is his philosophical position on that?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I think that is quite another matter. It isn’t quite a supplementary to the other question.

An hon. member: That’s what they suggest.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I am quite prepared to say to this House on behalf of the government that there is absolutely no need for any student in Ontario to seek an opportunity for educational experiences outside this province.

Mr. Sweeney: Then tell us you’ll keep the Algoma University College going.


Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Premier. In light of the Canadian Prime Minister’s recent ruminations in which he suggested that his Solicitor General has less than complete ministerial responsibility for the actions of the police under his authority, does the Premier feel his Solicitor General (Mr. MacBeth) has equally limited responsibility for the police under his jurisdiction?

Mr. Foulds: That’s obvious.

Mr. Conway: Has the member for Ottawa Vest (Mr. Baetz) read the Solicitor General’s white paper?

Mr. Baetz: Or does the Premier continue to subscribe to the more traditional view in our parliamentary system that ministers have full responsibility and that indeed the buck does stop with the minister?

Mr. Lewis: That is a very pressing question.

An hon. member: The member is not going to get into the cabinet doing that.

Mr. Baetz: That was a Liberal Prime Minister.

Mr. S. Smith: What an abuse of a question period.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: It wasn’t written by Greer, anyway.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I want to assure the House that I didn’t have previous notice; as a result, I am taking a few seconds to reflect on just how I might answer this without appearing to be at all partisan in my response.

Mr. Conway: That’s a first on both counts.

Mr. Sargent: The Premier looked good on the Flora show last night.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Where was that?

Mr. Conway: We liked that whisper; you know, that little whisper --

Mr. Speaker: Can we have an answer to the question, please?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I was being asked about a whisper that -- oh, the member saw the film last night.

Mr. Speaker: I didn’t recognize that question.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I didn’t understand it either.

Mr. Lewis: A splendid film.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I would say to the hon. member that this government has always operated on the basis of ministerial responsibility being part of the parliamentary system.

Mr. Reid: Not competence.

Hon. Mr. Davis: All of them discharge this responsibility, including our Solicitor General, in whom I have great confidence to continue to conduct himself in that fashion. I’ll not comment as to what the Prime Minister has said and his observations. That’s for him.

Mr. Roy: May I ask a supplementary, in view of the candour of the Premier this afternoon. If he would talk about ministerial responsibility, how does he explain some time ago when the Solicitor General didn’t even know the OPP were tapping lawyers’ phones. It took the Attorney General two weeks to get the police involved --

Mr. Speaker: That is not supplementary to the original question.

Mr. Roy: It’s supplementary; it’s also embarrassing but it’s supplementary.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Disturbing the House again. One day a week he disturbs the House; throw him out.

Mr. Roy: The Premier talked about ministerial responsibility.

Mrs. Campbell: Challenge the ruling.


Mr. Haggerty: I would like to direct a question to the Minister of Labour. It’s been almost one year since the standing committee on resources development carried a resolution directing the Ontario Workmen’s Compensation Board to establish a comprehensive study relating to the accumulation of many programs available to employees and recommend measures of integrating all present programs of assistance. The object is to provide a measure or means of economic security to injured workers as well as survivors’ benefits, whether injury occurred on or off the job. Can the minister indicate when she will be ready to table that report? I understand it has been completed.

Hon. B. Stephenson: The report is not as yet completed. There are two parts to it. The joint consultative committee of the Workmen’s Compensation Board has been charged with a portion of that responsibility, a major portion. They have reported almost totally on the area for which they are responsible.

The actuarial study of the function, structure, financial viability and integrity of the Workmen’s Compensation Board which we have commissioned has not been completed as yet. We have had one preliminary report and it is anticipated that the remainder of that report will be available to us at the end of December or early in January.

Mr. Laughren: Supplementary: Does the Minister of Labour really need an actuarial study to tell her that since July of 1975 there has been an 18 per cent increase in the consumer price index and a 23.5 per cent increase in the industrial wage composite; and does she not feel that it is now time to end the unconscionable delay in the increase in benefits for injured workers in this province?


Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, there are a multitude of reasons for the institution of an actuarial study, all of which are valid in terms of making any recommendations regarding modifications of benefits of any kind from the Workmen’s Compensation Board.

Mr. Laughren: That doesn’t answer the question.


Ms. Gigantes: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of the Environment. Is the minister aware that the material tabled in this House on Monday by the Minister of Energy proves that there is no need for the Darlington nuclear station to be onstream by 1985? Would he, therefore, reconsider his judgement, that environmental assessment of the Darlington plant under the Environmental Assessment Act could not proceed because of time constraints.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Mr. Speaker, the answer is no. I have not had an opportunity to read the conclusions of the paper tabled by the Minister of Energy, but I doubt that would make any difference in our original decision.

Ms. Gigantes: Mr. Speaker, could I ask the minister to take a look at the projections of demand contained in the material provided by the Ministry of Energy for the select committee on Hydro and to reconsider the possibility of going into an assessment if there is time left to do that?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Mr. Speaker, I understand that the paper tabled by the hon. minister did not indicate there would be any slowdown in the plans for construction of that plant.

Ms. Gigantes: Correct, but there should be.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: The question of capacity, of course, is something else, but the information we have now is that it is imperative that the plant start constructing immediately.

Ms. Gigantes: That is wrong.

Mr. Reed: Mr. Speaker, is the minister aware that the growth rate attained by Ontario Hydro this year is coming in at 3.4 per cent, not the six per cent or the seven per cent advertised so much on television?


Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, on December 12, I believe, the hon. member for Yorkview (Mr. Young) asked a question about a cave-in which occurred at a construction site at 100 Chalkfarm Drive.

There was a major cave-in, as was reported in the newspaper, of a trench which was being excavated for the drainage pipes for an addition to a school at that address. The trench was 20 feet long, 12 feet deep and 25 inches wide, and was being dug in type three soil. The cave-in occurred on one side when the soil slid down from the top, burying the worker in a crouching position. There was no shoring and there was no ladder in that trench.

Mr. McClellan: And there are no penalties.

Hon. B. Stephenson: The rescue crews from the fire department installed shoring in order to try to enable the rescue of the individual, but the worker unfortunately was pronounced dead on arrival at hospital.

This afternoon the officials of the construction health and safety division are examining all of the information and it is my strong impression that charges will undoubtedly be laid.

Mr. Martel: A $500 fine.

Hon. B. Stephenson: That is up to the court.


Mr. Speaker: I’m told by the hon. member for Grey-Bruce (Mr. Sargent) that the hon. member for St. George (Mrs. Campbell) is celebrating her 39th birthday today.


Mr. Sargent: You got the figures mixed up.



Mr. Reid: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to present a report from the standing public accounts committee.

I believe it’s in order to make a few comments, Mr. Speaker, on the public accounts committee report which I just tabled.

Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, on the point of order which I must raise with regard to the tabling of this report by the public accounts committee, I want you, sir, to take under advisement the possibility of issuing a ruling concerning matters which come properly before that committee.

In my view, and on the point of order which I raise, this report contains matters which are not properly before the committee in accordance with its terms of reference. One of your responsibilities, Mr. Speaker, is to protect the members of this House, to ensure that the rules of the House are applied to members and committees of the Legislature. I put to you, sir, that the public accounts committee did not adhere to the rules of this Legislature in dealing with matters which are contained in that report.

I ask you, sir, to go back to the terms of reference of the committee which are to deal with matters referred to it by this Legislature, or which are contained in the Provincial Auditor’s report. The report which has just been tabled contains a recommendation concerning a matter which falls into neither of those categories.

I would point out further that referrals from a previous Parliament to a previous public accounts committee do not run over into this Parliament, sir. They must be again referred.

I make no comment about the merits of the recommendations in the report. I simply say to you, sir, that I think you should rule to the public accounts committee, and all committees of this Legislature, that they must adhere to that rule and they cannot go on fishing expeditions which are beyond their powers.

Mr. Speaker: I take it that the hon. member for Carleton is a member of the public accounts committee?

Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, I raised the matter in public accounts committee. I was upheld by the chairman once and overruled twice on the same point of order.

Mr. Sargent: And he walked out.

Mr. Speaker: If you have any difference of opinion with what has transpired in the public accounts committee, you should have raised it at that time and they could have referred it to the House if they couldn’t resolve it. That is the responsibility of the public accounts committee; the Speaker has no control over what happens in a committee of this Legislature.

Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, further to the point of order, may I take it from your ruling, then, that any committee may by motion do whatever it wishes despite the objections of some of the members, if in fact a majority of that committee passes a motion giving it power to do whatever it wants? I suggest that’s not proper.

Mr. Roy: The member for Carleton just doesn’t like minority government, that’s his problem.

Mr. Wildman: It’s called minority government.

Mr. Speaker: The kind of information that is contained in your point of order makes no reference as to the nature of the material or the matter they discussed that you felt was outside of their terms of reference; I can’t, certainly, act on anything as nebulous as that.

Mr. Handleman: I would prefer, Mr. Speaker, that you made a ruling in general that committees could not deal with matters which are not referred to them. However, to be specific, in this report there is a matter dealing with Ronto Development Company, a matter which was not before the committee properly; and this morning, a matter concerning the Ontario Educational Communications Authority was not before the committee properly.

On both occasions I raised the point of order, sir; and as I say, on one occasion, the chairman, the member for Rainy River upheld my point of order. On two occasions the chairman, the member for Rainy River, and this morning the vice-chairman, the member for London Centre (Mr. Peterson), overruled my point of order. I therefore have no option but to bring it to you, sir, in your capacity as Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: Now that I have something specific to work on, I will take it under advisement. Now I’ll hear the hon. member for Rainy River.

Mr. Reid: I wonder if I could address myself, first of all, to the point of order. I was not in the Chair this morning when the motion was put and I’m not exactly sure of the terms the hon. member for Carleton put it in, but I was not contradicting my original position. I do feel the public accounts committee should have the widest possible latitude in looking at these matters. I’ve undertaken to check to see how they operate in Ottawa as to these matters, because it has to be clarified.

Mr. Turner: Don’t go by Ottawa.

Mr. Wiseman: Don’t go by them.

Mr. Breithaupt: That is from an opposition Chairman, too.

Mr. Reid: That, of course, does not bind the committee.

Mr. Speaker: We don’t want a debate on the point of order raised by the hon. member for Carleton. I promised to take it under advisement. If the hon. member has something that’s germane to the tabling of this report, be may put it to the House.

Mr. Reid: I do have a few such comments. Because of the shortness of time, we weren’t able to meet more than a dozen times, I believe, in the fall session. There are matters that we did not have time to pass motion on. I would hope that those matters would be referred to the public accounts committee and that the new one in the February session would be able to deal with those matters, particularly dealing with OHIP.


Mr. Gaunt from the standing general government committee reported the following resolutions which were read as follows and adopted:

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

Ministry administration program....$ 28,555,000

Planning, research and development program ……. 28,478,000

Safety and regulation program …….. 32,032,000

Provincial roads program ……………. 391,567,000

Provincial transit program ……………. 62,000,000

Air program …………………………………… 2,516,000

Municipal roads program ……………. 341,761,000

Municipal transit program …………… 174,479,000

Communications program ……………… 1,758,000

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

Planning, research and development program …….. $ 9,200,000

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

Intergovernmental Affairs program .…. $ 500,000


Hon. J. A. Taylor: Mr. Speaker, in June 1976 the select committee of the Legislature investigating Ontario Hydro recommended that all new multi-unit residential buildings be individually metered for electricity and that existing bulk metered units be retro-fitted.

In response to this recommendation, my predecessor, the Hon. Dennis R. Timbrell, accepted an undertaking by Ontario Hydro, the Ontario Municipal Electric Association and the Association of Municipal Electrical Utilities of Ontario to investigate the advantages and disadvantages of banning electrical bulk metering in Ontario for new construction of multi-unit dwellings.

I am tabling today the final report of the tri-partite committee on electrical bulk metering. The committee’s findings and recommendations are the result of the most comprehensive and exhaustive study ever conducted on the subject of electrical metering. It involved communities of all sizes across Ontario, a total of 1,111 apartment buildings and 48,632 suites. I know members will be interested in the findings of this committee.


In addition, as part of my consideration of these recommendations, I am sending copies of the report to a number of interested groups and individuals across the province and inviting their comments on the recommendations. I have requested that the comments be returned to me by the end of February. Subsequently, I intend to bring forward policy recommendations to cabinet.

Unfortunately, the report is not finally printed as yet, but because I wanted to take this earliest opportunity to table its contents for the members’ benefit before the Christmas recess, I am providing copies of the document to each party today and to the press gallery. Printed copies will be available next week.


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

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

Ministry administration program $ 3,963,000

Northern communities assistance program ....... 37,584,000

Regional priorities and development program .......... 79,081,000

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

Regional priorities and development program ............. $ 5,590,000


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

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

Bill Pr36, An Act respecting the City of Thunder Bay.

Mr. Philip from the standing administration of justice committee also reported the following resolution:

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

Ministry administration program $ 7,349,000

Rehabilitation of adult offenders program ............. 110,143,000

Rehabilitation of juveniles program ............ 36,379,000


Mrs. Campbell from the standing members’ services committee presented the committee’s report which was read as follows:

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

That the members’ services committee be empowered to act as an adviser to Mr. Speaker and the Board of Internal Economy on the administration of the House and the provision of services and facilities to members and to make recommendations to this House on matters of special consideration.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, I would like to speak to this. On the invitation of the members of this committee some of us who serve on the Board of Internal Economy met with members of this committee. This matter was discussed. My only point is that as a matter of courtesy we should perhaps discuss it with the Board of Internal Economy as the Board of Internal Economy. Personally, as I indicated to the Chairman and other members of the members’ services committee, I have no objection to utilizing the advisory capacity of this committee. I am wondering whether or not it would be proper simply to move the adjournment of the debate to provide us with an opportunity to review this with the Board of Internal Economy, all of the members of which were not at that meeting that particular day.

Mrs. Campbell: May I address myself to this matter? I think it has been quite clear that this committee has been labouring under grave frustrations and difficulties for some time. We did invite all of the members of the Board of Internal Economy to our meeting and we regret very much that all could not be there.

The reason for the urgency -- and it was not meant as any calculated discourtesy -- was we did feel there should be a further meeting of the committee following the meeting with members of the Board of Internal Economy, since it would be the last meeting of this committee as presently constituted. We were of the opinion that it was important that we take a step which would be of assistance to the new committee so that it could start off on the right foot and be able to get into dialogue with the Board of Internal Economy, otherwise we would go through the kinds of procedures we did go through in recommending the appointment of the parliamentary librarian. Without that kind of liaison between us, particularly as so many matters before the committee involve the expenditure of moneys, we were of the opinion that we should follow the procedures of the opposite number committee in Ottawa, a committee which is working very well and which has this jurisdiction.

I would hope that the recommendation of this committee and its report would not be blocked at this time; or should the House leader of the government feel that there should be an opportunity for full discussion, I would hope there might be some preparation for some sort of amendment of this nature to be brought in when the committee is reconstituted so it doesn’t flounder as we have been doing during this period of time.

Hon. Mr. Welch: I don’t know what the rules are as to the number of times you can be involved. I think it is a bit unfortunate to even hint that anyone is trying to block the motion. I think the spirit of the meeting, to which I have already made reference, was excellent; I really, personally, feel we have got to find some way for this particular standing committee to feel very much a part of the responsibilities which they have been asked to carry by the House.

As we know, when the next session of this Parliament meets, we will in fact be reconstituting the standing committees of the House. It was my thought, after I left that meeting, that we in fact would have to give some consideration to an amendment to the terms of reference of that standing committee; and that perhaps rather than -- and I only speak to the point of having had no notice until now -- that perhaps the most convenient way would be for us to take some time to make sure we capture something of the spirit of this and have it in its proper form. I am not taking any objection to the principle, I am just wondering whether or not, if the hon. member and the members of her committee would be satisfied at this time with that understanding, that we would attempt to reflect this -- following consultation on all sides of the House -- reflect this concern in the terms of reference which would be agreed upon by the House at the time of the constitution of the standing committees of the next session.

Mrs. Campbell: If I may, I was asked a question by the minister: I have looked at the members of my committee. I do not see the mover of the motion in his place, but his colleague has nodded in the affirmative; the member for Middlesex (Mr. Eaton) has nodded in the affirmative. It would appear that our committee is quite prepared to accept the undertaking, as I take it to be, that some such phraseology will be used in reconstituting the committee.

On motion by Hon. Mr. Welch, consideration of the committee’s report was adjourned.


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

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

Ministry administration program ..... $20,892,000

Land management program ........... $87,255,000

Outdoor recreation program .......... $53,886,000

Resource products program ........... $53,396,000

Resource experience program ......... $ 9,217,000

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

Land management program .......... $ 4,000,000

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

Your committee recommends that the estimates of the Ministry of Natural Resources for 1978-79 be dealt with early in the Second Session of the 31st Parliament.

Mr. Speaker: Is there adoption?

Mr. Havrot: No.

Mr. Foulds: I was mover of the motion that arises in this report.

Mr. Speaker: There is really no motion; it’s the tabling of a report.

Mr. Foulds: Regarding the recommendation arising in the report, I’d like to point out that because of the stringencies of time in this short session, we were not able to examine the last two votes of the Ministry of Natural Resources at all, and they contained two issues most contentious and important to the people of the province. They are the mineral and the timber products votes.

It seems to me we should therefore have the review of those estimates very early in the coming session so that we can get those issues discussed fully within the next six months.



Hon. Mr. Welch moved that notwithstanding the prorogation of the House, the standing administration of justice committee shall continue for the purposes of examining Bill 59, An Act to reform the Law respecting Property Rights and Support Obligations between Married Persons and in other Family Relationships; and the standing resources development committee shall continue for the purposes of examining Bill 70, An Act respecting the Occupational Health and Occupational Safety of Workers; such committees to sit consecutively.

Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Speaker, if I might speak to the item, might I suggest to the government House leader it might therefore be opportune to remove resolution 5 presently standing on the order paper, so that there will be no confusion and we’ll be quite clear as to the plans and the manner in which those two bills will be dealt with?

Mr. Roy: I just want to say, Mr. Speaker, on the motion itself, that we of course are in agreement with the motion and are very supportive. We’ve been waiting anxiously for some time to deal with that family law bill, and those of us in this party are in full agreement that we follow the most expeditious way possible to deal with that bill.


Hon. Mr. Welch moved that notwithstanding the practice of the House and notwithstanding the prorogation of the House, Bill 59, An Act to reform the Law respecting Property Rights and Support Obligations between Married Persons and in other Family Relationships, shall remain referred to the standing administration of justice committee for clause-by-clause examination to be completed not later than Friday, January 27, 1978; and upon the commencement of the Second Session of the 31st Parliament, the bill shall be deemed to have been introduced and read the first time, be deemed to have been read a second time and referred to the standing administration of justice committee.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. Welch moved that notwithstanding the practice of the House and notwithstanding the prorogation of the House, Bill 70, An Act respecting the Occupational Health and Occupational Safety of Workers, shall remain referred to the standing resources development committee for clause-by-clause examination to be completed not later than Friday, February 17, 1978; and upon the commencement of the Second Session of the 31st Parliament, the bill shall be deemed to have been introduced and read the first time, be deemed to have been read a second time and referred to the standing resources development committee.

Motion agreed to.



Hon. Mr. Welch moved that the following substitutions on committees of the House be made:

On the select committee on company law; Mr. Warner for Mr. Laughren, Mr. G. E. Smith for Mr. Grossman, Mr. Hodgson for Mr. McCaffrey.

On the select committee on Inco and Falconbridge layoffs; Mr. Wildman for Mr. Germa; Mr. Wiseman for Mr. G. Taylor; Mr. Sweeney for Mr. Reed; Mr. Conway for Mr. Peterson.

On the select committee on Ontario Hydro; Mr. Belanger for Mr. Handleman; Mr. McNeil for Mr. Lane.

Further, that the following substitutions be made on standing committees:

On the standing resources development committee; Mr. Davidson for Mr. Charlton, Mr. Lupusella for Mr. Bounsall, Mr. Laughren for Mr. Samis, Mr. Martel for Mr. Ziemba, Mr. Mancini for Mr. Bolan, Mr. Hall for Mr. Reed, Mr. Baetz for Mr. Hennessy, Mr. Eaton for Mr. Lane, Mr. Johnson for Mr. McNeil, Mr. Rowe for Mr. Pope, Mr. Sterling for Mr. Yakabuski.

On the administration of justice committee; Mr. Bounsall for Ms. Gigantes, Mr. Swart for Mr. Lawlor, Mr. Ziemba for Mr. Warner, Ms. Bryden for Mr. Lupusella, Mr. Johnson for Mr. Cureatz, Mr. Rowe for Mr. G. Taylor, Mr. Turner for Mr. Handleman, Mr. Havrot for Mr. Williams.

Mr. Deans: Before the member for Ottawa East gets up and makes a fool of himself again, I want to --

Mr. Roy: I am still cheering for him for the leadership.

Mr. Kerrio: You could do that sitting down.

Mr. Speaker: Are you addressing yourself to the motion that is before the House?

Mr. Deans: I’m trying.

Mr. Speaker, I wanted to make sure the House understands that even though these standing committees will be sitting during prorogation, there will be the power to substitute.

Mr. Roy: That’s important. We’d have missed that you know, if he hadn’t picked that up.

Mr. Deans: Yes, you would have missed it.

Mr. Martel: You wouldn’t know the rules.

Mr. Deans: You wouldn’t even understand it.

Mr. Speaker: Is that understood?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Yes. I understand from the clerk at the table that power is already given to the committees.

Motion agreed to.



Mr. Williams moved first reading of Bill 126, An Act to amend the Labour Relations Act.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Williams: Mr. Speaker, the bill requires a trade union to provide additional information about its financial affairs to members and to the Ontario Labour Relations Board. The union must prepare a statement of salaries, expenses, fees and commissions, and a statement of investments to be provided to its members. An audited financial report must be filed annually with the board and the members of the trade union may obtain copies of the statement from the union upon request and without charge.

In addition, the bill limits the amount of union funds provided by Ontario members that may be transferred outside of Canada, and requires that investments made of union funds be of a type authorized by the Trustee Act and the Pension Benefits Act.

Mr. Warner: Extend that to Inco; and send a message to George Weston.


Hon. Mr. McMurtry moved first reading of Bill 127, An Act to amend the Municipal Act.

Motion agreed to.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: There are two main purposes to this proposed bill. One is to extend the existing powers of councils and municipalities to pass bylaws to regulate and control the so-called body-rub parlours.

Mr. Foulds: It says “adult entertainment parlours” in the explanatory note.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: The other purpose of the bill is to confer new powers on municipalities to license, regulate and control establishments which are not in the business of operating body rubs but in which sex-oriented activities are carried on or sex-oriented goods are sold.

Mr. Conway: You are a brave man given the present headlines.

Mr. Foulds: What does this do to the drug stores?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Perhaps I can comment very briefly on the history of this legislation. In 1975 amendments were made to the Municipal Act to permit municipal councils to pass bylaws for licensing, regulating, governing and inspecting body-rub parlours. The experience of some municipalities, particularly the municipality of Metropolitan Toronto -- in the two years since the legislation was enacted would indicate that existing legislation does not go far enough in giving the municipalities the powers they need.

My ministry and the Ministry of Treasury, Economics and Intergovernmental Affairs have received requests from the municipality of Metropolitan Toronto, city of Toronto and others for legislation granting of further powers. The municipal bodies concerned have been consulted at each stage in the development of the legislation and have concurred in its form and content.

Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, I draw to your attention the definition section of this bill should become a best seller.


Hon. Mr. McMurtry moved first reading of Bill 128, An Act to amend the Landlord and Tenant Act.

Motion agreed to.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: This bill is complementary to the amendments to the Municipal Act which I have just introduced. It provides that in every tenancy agreement involving commercial premises there shall be an implied term that if the tenant operates a body-rub parlour or an adult entertainment parlour without a licence for himself and his employees as required by municipal bylaw the landlord may re-enter the premises and terminate the tenancy.


Mr. Speaker: Before the orders of the day, and in view of the fact that sooner or later this session will came to an end, we would like to recognize the very great efforts of the group of young people, our pages, who have served since the House came back in October.

As is the custom, I will read their names into the record for posterity and will send them a copy of Hansard when that is printed.

We have: Peter Atkins of Markham, Terrie-Ann Butler of Port Severn, Erin Code of Perth, Andrew Cortens of Dryden, Americo Dean, III, referred to as Mark, of Belle River, Evan Ewasko of Sarnia, Kent Frame of Woodbridge, Douglas Dow Gibson of Sudbury, Lisa Gregson of Oakville, Robin MacKay of Freelton, William Marchant of Georgetown, Martin Maurer of Goderich, Catherine Purser of Lakefield, Leslie Sims of Whitby, Darryl Hannington Stauth of Mississauga, Lisa Stirling of Cobourg, Karyn Stock of Windsor, Cathy Strickland of Willowdale, Jay Swanborough of Burlington, Evelyn Ten Cate of Brockville, Susan Wandless of Toronto, and Wendy Wilson of Oakville.

Mr. Ruston: Just before the orders of the day, I would like to mention as a note of interest that Mark Dean’s father was a page boy here a few years ago.


Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, before the orders of the day, I wish to table the answers to questions 68 and 69 standing on the notice paper.



Mr. Lane moved second reading of Bill Pr9, An Act respecting the City of Sault Ste. Marie.

Motion agreed to.

The bill was also given third reading on motion.


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

Mr. Foulds: This is one of those rare and pleasant occasions when in spite of political differences, the member for Fort William (Mr. Hennessy) and the member for Port Arthur agree. I commend the bill for quick passage by the House.

Motion agreed to.

The bill was also given third reading on motion.


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

Ministry of Transportation and Communications;

Ministry of Transportation and Communications (supplementary);

Ministry of Treasury, Economics and Intergovernmental Affairs (supplementary);

Ministry of Northern Affairs;

Ministry of Northern Affairs (supplementary);

Ministry of Correctional Services;

Ministry of Natural Resources;

Ministry of Natural Resources (supplementary).


Resuming the adjourned debate on the motion for adoption of the November 15, 1977, report of the standing procedural affairs committee.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, when this report was submitted we felt it would be wise to provide some time for all three parties in the House to give some consideration to the provisional rules. This is basically a motion which extends the provisional rules for the next session of this Parliament. I think now that everyone has had the opportunity to consider the provisional rules, it will simply be a routine matter to adopt this report. It will have the effect of extending the provisional rules.

One or two things perhaps should be said very briefly at this time with respect to our understanding of the situation. Although not necessarily related to the motion itself, the following things have generally been agreed:

First, in the selection of estimates in the next session, the estimate choice will be by policy field, that is within the policy fields.

Secondly, we will extend to the next session the ballot which has already been completed as far as this session is concerned so that members will maintain their order. We will simply carry on next session with the balloting order already determined, with one exception; namely, we will provide for a ballot at the beginning of the next session for those who did not take advantage of the ballot for this one. That order will be determined and they will be added to the already agreed upon list of private members.

Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Speaker, just with respect to that; I thank the government House leader for those comments about the two agreements which were reached. As I recall, we would have the opportunity, as we are dealing generally with the rules, to refer to an additional item I believed he was going to speak to. With respect to the bills that are standing in committee and were considered to be private members’ bills, I understood these would stand over, with the opportunity that committees might be able to deal with them in the next session. If the minister would like to speak to that now, then I think that will complete all the outstanding items.


Hon. Mr. Welch: I thank the hon. member; actually I had my fingers set to cover three points, but I missed that one.

The third point was that insofar as private members’ public bills are concerned -- is that the proper reference to them? -- on private members’ public bills presently on this order paper, it’s understood that if the movers of those bills so desire, at the beginning of the next session we could go through whatever formal steps are necessary at that time to place the private members’ public bills in the same position on the new order paper as they now bear.

Mr. Breithaupt: That will include, I trust, the two items which we may discuss today if they proceed.

Hon. Mr. Welch: That’s correct, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Conway: Mr. Speaker, I would like to commend the government House leader for that point, particularly about the balloting procedure, which I see as a very useful and positive change. I would ask, realizing I have not discussed this with my friend from Kitchener, whether or not there will be an overhauling of that procedure to more formalize the balloting procedures and to remove the rather anomalous conditions that exist at present.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Once the provisional rules have had an opportunity to work for a full session I think there will be a number of us in the House who might have a considerable amount to say about them. In fact, the clerk and others at the table, as they watch the working of the rules, will have some advice for us, and indeed we’ll have ample opportunity to go through this.

Motion agreed to.



Mr. Breithaupt moved second reading of Bill 116, An Act to amend the Election Act.

Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Speaker, I’m pleased to have the opportunity to make some remarks with respect to Bill 116, as it includes a number of areas in which I have been particularly interested. In the notes that are in the front of the bill, members of the House will be able to see that we deal with a number of particular themes.

The first theme, of course, is to some extent a repetition of the opportunities we had to deal with a certain item when the Municipal Elections Act, Bill 98, was before the House just last week. That suggests that the term “or other British subject” should be removed from the qualifications for voting in provincial elections.

This matter has been discussed in the House on a number of occasions. Back in May, 1972, and again in May, 1974, amendments to the Municipal Elections Act were brought forward and this general theme of citizenship as a qualification for voting was discussed by the House at that time. I might refer the House to the remarks which I made then, on page 2435 of Hansard on May 24, 1974. The comments and the principles were to some extent repeated in the opportunity to debate the recent changes which this House referred to as Bill 98, but there are just a few things that I feel are worthy of repetition on that particular theme.

We believe, Mr. Speaker, that Canadian citizenship should be the only criterion on which a person should have the right to vote within an Ontario election. I suppose that over the years, and we have made these arguments when the bills have been brought forward from time to time, there were the historic reasons, because of our traditional immigration patterns, that would have led us to believe that persons naturally familiar with our election procedures and practices, since they came from the British Isles, would be able to fit into the Ontario scene perhaps more easily than those who came from other countries of the world.

However, that historic pattern of immigration has substantially changed, and now we find that we are, in fact, benefiting some persons by maintaining that phrase and we are discriminating against certain others. The amendments have been dealt with from time to time, as I have said, and in May, 1974 we were even at the stage where the minister charged with piloting the bill through the House, was prepared to change the Municipal Elections Act in order to remove the phrase, “or other British subject.”

Obviously cooler, calmer or other heads prevailed when this matter came to the cabinet, and in the next week the amendment was withdrawn and the bill was not changed.

Last week we again had the opportunity to deal with that bill at the municipal level, but the House decided that was not satisfactory at that time.

I suggest the first thing we should do in this circumstance is to look at the federal election law. There we find that Canadian citizenship is the only criteria for voting in federal elections. There was a five-year period of grace granted in which this procedure could take place so that no one would be disenfranchised; but as of June 26, 1975, any subsequent elections was to be open only to persons who were Canadian citizens. As a result, the federal election, which we may expect in the coming year, is going to have Canadian citizens as the only group of persons who can vote.

This is surely an important decision. It is one that has not been entered into lightly; but it is one of which every immigrant to Canada since that time is aware, and which has been put in in a manner to allow persons who have come to Canada to complete their immigration requirements and become citizens. Surely there can be no rational reason for any other alternative for voting in federal elections; similarly, there can be no rational reason for any other criteria to be in place in Ontario in 1977 for voting in provincial elections, other than being a Canadian citizen.

There can be, I suggest to you, no middle ground on this point. The federal election law has been changed; the citizenship requirements have been changed; and yet we are advised there are persons from some 40 nations in the world who, by coming to Ontario, can vote in the Ontario elections.

These people are from states within the Commonwealth, all recognizing Her Majesty as the head of the Commonwealth, but probably not recognizing anything much else in common.

Remember the tradition of the British Empire. That tradition was a most honourable one; but indeed at the present time the phrase “ ... or other British subject” really has absolutely no meaning, because the phrase is no longer “British subject;” the phrase is now, “Commonwealth citizen.” Obviously we must welcome Commonwealth citizens and others into our communities and encourage them to become Canadians.

I recall, Mr. Speaker, just recently an occasion in Kitchener where some 63 Ugandan refugees became Canadian citizens. They were very pleased at the opportunity and at the welcome which they had received. They had come here as refugees from Uganda, from difficult times and from a country whose recent history has been a most unhappy one. They have now stepped forward and have become Canadian citizens. They are, of course, proud of their background and history; many of their parents or grandparents had come to Uganda originally from India. They have now decided to become Canadian citizens, and that is of course the kind of encouragement which this bill would bring forward.

I suppose it’s really all summed up in an editorial which appeared in the Sault Daily Star of November 23. I’d like to just read a portion of that editorial for you:

“The legislation covering federal elections restricts the right to vote to Canadian citizens and there seems no reason why the provincial and municipal elections should not be confined to Canadian citizens.

“The right to vote is an important one, but it should be conferred only to those who are committed to this country to the point where they have embraced Canadian citizenship. Most Canadians would accept this qualification for voting. Equally important, it is probable that most people living in this country who are not Canadian citizens would accept the stipulation that they not have the right to vote in elections in this country unless they become Canadian citizens.”

I realize it may be difficult for some members to support this particular amendment. I can only encourage them to stand up and put their responsibilities as Canadians first. I do believe that this amendment brings forward an idea whose time has come and I hope that members will be able to support it.

My bill has another important theme which I hope will be supported by all members of the House. That theme deals with the accessibility and the general rules that cover those persons in our society who have physical handicaps or who are in hospital at the time of elections, or who may happen to be blind. The Chief Election Officer is by these amendments, given authority to set standards for convenient access to polling places by persons who are physically handicapped. In addition, the bill provides that so far as is reasonable, all polling places should be, and all advance polls must be, accessible to persons who are physically handicapped. In addition, those persons who are physically handicapped are permitted to name voting proxies up to and including the date of the election.

Finally, the restriction which presently exists that allows a blind person to be able to have a friend, but only one friend, vote at an election is removed. You will recall in the debate on Bill 98 the parliamentary assistant had suggested that this was a matter that could be open to abuse where one friend might vote separately and be the proxy for a number of blind persons. I don’t think there will be any abuse if this does take place. I believe that one person could most honourably be able to vote and follow the instructions of a number of blind persons.

I hope the House will be able to see some reason, therefore, to support those amendments which deal particularly with the difficulties that handicapped persons have within our society. We obviously must encourage the voting and the active citizenship of these persons as well as of those of us who are able to move more easily to polling stations in order to exercise their own franchise.

There are three other changes which I am suggesting as improvements to the Election Act.

The first is that the political affiliation of candidates would be shown on the ballot. The second is that campaign material would be prohibited from being brought into or placed near a polling station on election day. The third is that the procedure for establishing the qualifications of a voter, commonly known as “vouching,” that exists in rural areas would also be extended to urban polls.

The major importance for this last point lies in the difficulty of enumeration, particularly in the large apartment buildings where we hear from time to time of a whole building being missed at an enumeration, or of a floor in the building being missed; or indeed possibly even a block within an urban area being missed by the persons who are charged with preparing the voters’ lists.

As a result, people who through no fault of their own have been missed would have the opportunity of having their names placed on the voters’ list and being able to vote on election day where they are vouched for by their own neighbours whose names would be on the voters’ list. I do not think it’s a matter which is going to be open to abuse. Indeed I suppose the original legislation was probably put into place because it was thought that good rural citizens could vouch for their neighbours but one might well have to watch the city slickers who could be up to some tricks in encouraging voters who were not qualified or were not resident within that poll.

Mr. Conway: That’s why those farmers in Prince Edward-Lennox are still trying to figure out who their member is and where he came from.

Mr. Breithaupt: That may well be the reason.

Hon. J. A. Taylor: They are not as dense as you are. They all know and they are quite happy with him.

Mr. Warner: They want you to resign, they keep sending me letters.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order.

Mr. Breithaupt: I suggest that the opportunity has now come to deal with this theme at this time so that we will be able to encourage more qualified citizens to vote easily, particularly where they have been missed and where the procedures at the present time do not allow them to vote on election day.


Therefore, there are three themes. I have referred to the first, the matter of citizenship; I have referred to the second, the matter of accessibility and convenience for our blind and handicapped persons; and thirdly I have mentioned particular items, especially the one of vouching. I suggest if the members of the House wish to encourage a greater involvement of people on election day, the passage of these amendments will have that beneficial effect. I hope all members of the House will be able to support this bill.

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

Mr. Breithaupt: No, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Warner: I rise in support of the bill, an Act to amend the Election Act, put forward by the member for Kitchener. I wish to say at the outset that throughout the debate which took place last week, despite the difference of opinion which existed, the concern which the member expressed was evident and appreciated. We may differ on points, but I always think it is very healthy when we see a concern and have it expressed in the way in which it was expressed by the member for Kitchener.

I would hope members of the House could appreciate that there really is a difference between municipal elections and provincial elections, as to what matters they address and why we perhaps should have different rules apply to each. It seems to me we should be moving to expand the franchise at the municipal level, while seeking to amend it in the way which is suggested here for provincial elections.

Municipal elections deal with those items which are immediate and close at hand, such as water, sewers, garbage collection, the school system and so on. It makes good sense to me that anyone who has resided in a community for at least two years has evidenced a concern and some connection with the community and should have the opportunity to vote, regardless of citizenship. I think that is extremely important.

When we come to provincial elections, however, I think we are dealing with matters which are not quite so immediate and quite so direct. They often deal with a wider scope of measures, and voters really should have a greater kind of commitment, that is to say, Canadian citizenship, which now fortunately is available after three years. I have for some time been hoping they would reduce the number of years, and they have, from five to three; that’s applaudable. Now we should conform in provincial legislation to say that the rules which apply for federal elections will apply here.

I have a caution in all of this. I would ask the mover of the bill to consider seriously the date of implementation. The experience, as he knows from the changes which were made in 1972 with respect to federal legislation caused problems because the federal government, unfortunately, did not deal with the situation very well. People were not informed, and suddenly, at election time they became aware their franchise had been removed.

I went through that experience very directly, as I was a federal candidate in the election of 1972. I remember meetings where there were hundreds, literally hundreds of people who were having their franchise removed and who were very annoyed and angry about it. The federal government had not informed them what was taking place. It seems to me there are several things that need to be done.

If we are going to change the rules, that should be made apparent through the information that is handed out in Canadian immigration offices, both here and in other countries, so that before someone contemplates coming to Ontario they know through the immigration office in their country of origin that the rules in Ontario are that you must be a Canadian citizen before voting in a provincial election.

I think also that the province should make sure that the information is disseminated to the community information offices -- we have a large number of those in Metro Toronto -- and in many languages, so that the citizens who are now residing in our city are well aware of what’s required. That wasn’t done in 1972 when the federal government decided to change the rules. Surely we can do things better.

Other things mentioned here are also an improvement over the present situation. The proxies for physically handicapped persons; I cannot underscore too heavily that the present system is inadequate. It poses great problems for the people who wish to vote and are physically handicapped to the point where they cannot leave their residence. I recall vividly in two elections, in 1975 and in 1977, the same two people residing in a house in my riding had enormous problems in trying to conform to the rules and in actually getting to vote. In one case we did manage to get a proxy vote for them; in the other we were too late, it didn’t work. It’s a problem and it should be overcome and it can be overcome.

I’m concerned about the location of polling places. Witness my own riding with 150 polls; in an area with a population of 75,000 we have 49 polling locations. In the one particular area where we have 8,000 people, we have one polling location, the remainder of the people must travel close to half a mile to vote, and these people live in high-rise buildings. Under the present legislation, before locating a polling station in an apartment building you must obtain the permission of the owner. We have a lot of apartment buildings where there are absentee landlords and where the property management people just don’t seem to be particularly concerned about locating a polling station in their building.

I would like to see, if this passes and goes to committee, that we amend the bill to say that the decision about locating a polling station in apartment buildings be left to the tenants of the building; that they decide whether or not they wish to have a polling station located in their building, provided there is at least a minimum number of voters; and we can establish a minimum number for the building.

I like the idea of placing the party affiliation to the ballot. I think that would be helpful. Some members may actually lose votes by that, but it might be a good way to get rid of some Conservatives.

Mr. Sargent: Wouldn’t you like to put Liberal after your name, David?

Mr. Warner: I have a greater sense of pride than that, Eddie.

The present rules for voting really do make it quite difficult for handicapped persons to actively take part in the voting process. One of the things that needs to be done, of course, as the member suggests, is to make sure that our polling places are accessible to people who are handicapped.

Beyond that, what really needs to be done is quite obvious. The budding codes need to be changed and the courses of instruction for architects and others need to be changed as well so that we design our buildings from the outset to accommodate people who are handicapped. It should not be an after the fact process, which is what we do now. I think that’s essential and we just haven’t done it up until now.

In conclusion, while I support the bill, I would hope -- and I know the member has foregone any opportunity to respond at the end of this debate -- that he would very seriously consider the date of implementation, particularly if this bill is passed and goes to committee. We’re not going to deal with that until the spring, so everyone can be properly informed and we won’t have the same fiasco which occurred in 1972 when the federal government decided to change its rules.

There are reasons for having a differentiation between municipal elections and provincial elections. At some point this government really does need to expand the franchise at the municipal level, but first we need to change these rules as they apply to the provincial elections. Hopefully that process will begin today when all members in this Assembly will support the legislation put before us.

Mr. G. Taylor: Mr. Speaker, may I address myself to Bill 116 and the member for Kitchener? I am very pleased to see such a bill come forward. In my own opinion of what private members’ legislation should be, this bill is one that fits that category entirely. It is one that is bringing attention to complications in the Elections Act and is bringing to our attention the complications that people have in exercising their franchise in this province.

Let me first deal with the physically handicapped. Although he has put a definition in his bill of the physically handicapped, and I may comment upon that later, he has not defined what those physical handicaps might be.

Even today I am labouring under a physical handicap, a cold, but I am sure we would not include that, Mr. Speaker. He has a type in mind, and when and if this bill comes to committee would he put forward possibly a greater definition of those who might be physically handicapped? Many of us have the concern that it could be extended to maybe a meagre hang-over in the morning, rather than those whom we know have genuine physical handicaps.

The other thing on that same topic of the physically handicapped is that it says “physically incapable of attending a polling place.”

There again, I express the same comments; that might apply where one might be physically incapable of attending a polling place, but might not be physically handicapped. I know the member has not reserved time for rebuttal on that, but he might explain that at some future date in committee, whether it is inclusive of both of them or one excludes the other, because one might genuinely have a physical handicap but it might not include that of being physically incapable on the day of voting.

It might particularly apply to those who are immediately hospitalized, and that happens frequently. As you are coming up to the voting date, you might not always know that you will have to attend hospital on an emergency basis, but you might still be physically incapable of attending, yet capable of voting. There again, the proxy situation that he puts forward at a later time is very laudable.

Also, the designation of the physically handicapped using the international symbol is of great assistance. Many of our buildings, be they public or otherwise, do not have this on them and are not built that way and constructed to take care of the physically handicapped. It is becoming more and more a manner of construction, indeed the symbol is becoming more and more common throughout our public areas.

But we must keep in mind when we put forward this idea, when we give that, power to the Chief Election Officer to set the standards, and those standards do go down to his designations as the election comes forward, that because indeed the Chief Election Officer could not view all these places the standards should not restrict the use of many buildings which are presently available to us today, such as schools, community buildings, arenas, apartments and homes.

If the regulations were to be applied too stringently, or the standards set too stringently, we might disenfranchise many voters just because the distances are too great. Those who might be physically handicapped may not want to travel the distances to a polling booth that was located in a building that met the standards of the Chief Election Officer, should those standards be too stringent and not enough buildings available.

As to the proxies, Mr. Speaker, I think this is a very excellent idea. We have had great difficulties in the past with proxies. Although he is reducing the requirement as set out in the Act in its present form, where you get a medical practitioner vouching for the physically handicapped, I do not think he needs to go that far on the proxy. Maybe just to keep the checks and balances in our voting system would be enough, because some people do play free and easy with the voting when it comes time, what with their zeal and their anxiousness for their particular candidate or their party. We might just leave that in there. Then when it comes time at committee stage there might be a greater safeguard for the proxy, rather than just somebody saying he is physically incapable by way of affidavit or some other oath. So a medical practitioner may be sufficient safeguard on that and perhaps we do not need that section repealed.


Again, speaking on the very excellent portion dealing with Canadian citizenship, we have come a long way since the days when British subjects were the original colonials, many of our forefathers came from the British Isles and a British subject was a label that meant, as the speaker for the bill has said, he was attuned to our political background and to our political ways and traditions.

When we get to Canadian citizenship I think that is a very prime concern and one of mine. I think if a person is interested enough to be putting forth his effort for this country, he or she should become a citizen. One should not be able to vote for the type of government we have in this province, both federally and provincially, without being a Canadian citizen. I’m sure if the member for Renfrew North (Mr. Conway) were speaking today he would go back through the history of how between the First and Second World Wars we were gaining independence. This was also true even during the wars -- when our forces fought under our own flag, as one unit, not under the paternalism of the British forces.

It would appear that some would like to continue that paternalism now by leaving the term British subject in legislation. I feel we have come a long way in getting ourselves out from under that paternalism and out of that puberty and into adulthood, where we can put forth our mandate on our own as Canadian citizens, not being hampered by “or British subject.”

I would definitely support his section on the British subject part of the Act, I think it should coincide with the federal legislation. I don’t think all our provincial legislation should necessarily coincide with federal legislation, but in this case it does give some conformity to our electoral procedures so that one knows he is a Canadian citizen.

I am sure those who are British subjects who live in countries other than the British Isles, if we went to many of their jurisdictions surely the fact of citizenship is one of their most prime concerns in voting in their country. Surely not just an itinerant person who happens to be passing through under the label of a British subject or a British passport should be able to vote for the government of this province or of this country.

Some of the other features of this bill I am sure can be corrected in the committee stage; some are redundant in that they have been taken care of in the original legislation. The mover of this bill has added words to it and he has amplified it, but I think by the time it reaches the committee stage it will form a very good addition to the Election Act. I am sure if it does not come to its final reading that the government and the clerk, who I understand in putting forth some suggestions for amending the Election Act itself, will give great consideration to these features in the changes in that Act if this bill does not become legislation.

Mr. Conway: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I am very pleased to rise in support -- not only in support of Bill 116 but perhaps with equal enthusiasm in support of my colleague from Kitchener, who has, I think, over the years made somewhat a personal crusade of improving our election process in this province. I certainly want to commend the hon. member for Kitchener for a very important focus on an extremely sensitive area of our political process.

I must say, Mr. Speaker, that having gone through two provincial elections I have been impressed generally by the degree in which our electoral process works in positive terms. The system really does seem to work, by and large, with great effect. I can well recall a friend of mine being involved in a disputed election and in the recount procedures and the like, and expecting to find many sinister things. He was able to comment when it was all over that, really and truly, the electoral process in this province is a credit to the people of the community.

I speak as someone from Renfrew county where elections and the process which surrounds them has probably got a special flavour. One of my good Conservative friends in the most recent election was reminiscing one day about how someone had once told him that the tradition in our area had been on election day one voted early and voted often.

But there are some disturbing trends in modern elections and I suppose in modern provincial elections. For example I was looking at the return from the records, which of course is that sessional paper published after each election in this province, which gives among other things the statistics on voter turnout. It disturbs me, because I think surely the principle that is most important in Bill 116 is, as my colleague for Kitchener has so eloquently put it, that we must make the process as available and as accessible as possible.

When I look down the list and see, for example, in the recent provincial elections of 1963, 1967, 1971, 1975 and 1977 that we have had voter turnout of only 63.5 per cent in 1967; 66.2 per cent, 1971; then 73.5 per cent and down now to 65.6 per cent. I think those are, in a sense, alarming trends for me, that only two-thirds of the electorate are participating. I know there may be some here who feel that is relatively speaking --

Mr. Foulds: There aren’t two-thirds of the members in the House today.

Mr. Conway: -- a good turnout because I realize that in recent American presidential elections the turnout has really been shockingly low. At least I think that in the 1976 case it was lower than it had been on many occasions.

Looking at the individual constituencies, Mr. Speaker, I am sure, like all members here, you are alarmed to realize that on June 9, 1977, less than 60 per cent of the good burghers in Chatham-Kent turned out to re-elect our friend the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough).

Looking down the list there are a number of constituencies where the turnout was significantly less than 60 per cent. That is a trend, I think, that has some alarming implications about it, and I think Bill 116 as it seeks to make the process more accessible and make the participation greater than it has been, is for that purpose eminently laudable.

I think, as the member for Kitchener has said, that surely there is a responsibility for those of us in this chamber, at least in the electoral process to unify and make uniform the qualifications of voting for all citizens in all elections in this province, whether they be municipal, federal or provincial.

That, of course, takes me to section 5 of the bill, which seeks to remove the British subject qualification. I don’t intend to review the very excellent debate of a week ago to which there has been reference made by my friend the member for Simcoe Centre (Mr. G. Taylor) and also the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere (Mr. Warner). I want to say that I think the comments made by the member for Simcoe Centre are extremely appropriate. I know they are comments shared and felt by all members of all parties.

I was impressed, Mr. Speaker, to receive from my good friend, the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk (Mr. Nixon), a written submission from the Treasurer in response to an order paper question tabled by him some days ago which was an inquiry of the ministry to the effect: “For the purposes of the municipal and the provincial elections Acts, what countries are included as the homelands of British subjects?” The review that was provided makes, I think to say the least very interesting reading. It seems to me, if my conversations have been accurate, that what is really being told to us by various officials is that as it presently stands, the “British subjects” category is quite unenforceable and basically meaningless.

Mr. Foulds: What does that mean?

Mr. Conway: We’re simply told it cannot be enforced, at least that was one of the implications. But to the extent it can be, I want to review for the member for Port Arthur some of the homelands of British subjects in terms of provincial elections. Three of the countries listed, I think, are very interesting: South Africa, the Republic of Ireland, and Rhodesia.

I see that as a very significant concern for members of this Assembly, at least for any member here who would feel obligated to defend that principle, because quite frankly all of us, I think, have probably, from time to time expressed in private or public serious concerns about what is going on in at least two of those jurisdictions, South Africa and Rhodesia. I think it’s the ultimate hypocrisy to allow a provision which would make it possible for South Africans and Rhodesians to vote in our provincial elections. I don’t think that’s something we would want to allow.

I think because the British subject provision is non-reciprocal it’s certainly not relevant in the modern context; and I’ve been led to believe by certain members that it is basically unenforceable in terms of the election process. For those, and many of the reasons expressed by my friend from Simcoe Centre it certainly should be allowed to lapse.

Section 6, Mr. Speaker, deals with the provision that the ballot shall contain the names of the candidates and their political party affiliations. I speak with very positive vigour in support of that, because I had a personal experience in 1975 which I think would make me want to support that for personal reasons. In my first run at elective office in that election, there were basically three new candidates whose names were in order on the ballot: Conway, Sean; Cotinam, Robert; Cox, Robert. For the average citizen in the constituency, who really didn’t know any of us outside of the brief period of the election campaign, that was a very confusing ballot. I am sure that had the --

Mr. Martel: That’s why you won it.

Mr. Conway: -- party affiliation been identified, I would have won by --

Mr. Nixon: A landslide.

Mr. Conway: -- considerably more than 183 votes that were afforded me on that occasion.

Mr. Nixon: The people who know quality knew.

Mr. Conway: I want to say that I would strongly support that particular provision from my own personal experience.

Mr. Martel: You would never have made it if they knew you.

Mr. B. Newman: They’ve selected quality.

Mr. Conway: Section 10 which seeks --

Mr. Foulds: They would not have voted for you if they knew you were a Liberal, no way.

Mr. Conway: Mr. Speaker, I don’t know why whenever I try to speak in reasonable and moderate terms I am incessantly heckled by members, particularly of the left.

Mr. Nixon: Good question.

Hon. J. A. Taylor: It is the only time they exercise good judgement.

Mr. Conway: Section 10 deals with the provision that no persons shall bring or place near a polling place any campaign material displaying the name of the candidate or any political material. I don’t know whether other members faced what I did in the June 9 election in 1977, but I distinctly recall, in a great number of polling stations which it was my considerable privilege to visit on that famous day, the government candidates having these extraordinarily expensive election-day kits which were festooned in those elaborate and unforgettable colours now symbolic of that failing attempt -- red, blue and white, and emblazoned on the scrutineer’s book was something like, “Your future, Your choice”; and then a few other things. I thought, “You know if I’d been following the campaign I might have been influenced by that.” Perhaps that was a contravention of the Act as it was. I saw a great deal of that and I wondered if indeed that was a proper thing. I would strongly support this particular section.

Finally, I feel very strongly that the proxy provisions deserve tightening. I don’t know whether other members faced difficulties with university students, for example, in the June 9 election. They really found themselves, rightly or wrongly, in that neither fish nor fowl category. The election was called when the universities were breaking up and the vote was taking place when many of them were far distant from both their universities and the residences of their parents.

In summation, I want to say I feel very strongly that this is an eminently recommendable piece of legislation, deserving the support of all members in this House to not only make the election process in this province uniform --

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

Mr. Conway: -- but certainly to make the process most accessible so that we can truly have, in that famous Liberal phrase, an honestly participatory democracy.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: I would like to inform the members of the House that this debate must conclude at 4:55. The member for Beaches-Woodbine.


Ms. Bryden: This bill is a bill which gives members schizophrenia because it has eight different major proposals in it, all of which really require debate at considerable length; yet we have less than one hour to deal with all eight of them and only a very few members can participate in that time. It is not the same as a second reading of government bills, where any member who wishes to participate in second reading does have an opportunity, if he disagrees with parts of the bill, to inform the House as to why he disagrees and why he is voting one way or the other.

I think also a private member’s bill of this sort is really an abuse of the system of private members’ bills. The idea is to allow discussion of new proposals, new legislative ideas and new principles the government hasn’t seen fit to embody in its legislation so far. If we’re going to do that seriously, we have to deal with one principle at a time. It is unfair to members and incorrect use of the private members’ hour to ask members to try to make up their minds whether on the eight items presented they are for five and against three, or for three and against five, and then decide to vote.

Fortunately, I’m in the position where I’m able to say which ones I support and which ones I oppose, but most of my colleagues are not because time does not permit that. They’re going to have a very difficult time, I’m sure, weighing up how to vote on this bill. I don’t think the vote will mean that much for that reason.

Let me just give you my box score on the bill, Mr. Speaker.

I find that I’m for three clauses without much change. I support the two that deal with increasing access for the handicapped, which is certainly something that we must arrange. Some of the ways of arranging it have been mentioned by the other speakers. Also, I support the one about putting party labels on the ballot. In fact, I can’t understand why the government has never done this in its 34 years in office. It must be ashamed of that Progressive Conservative label and afraid the voters might not vote for them if they saw the label there.

Those are the three clauses I would support without very much argument.

There are three other clauses I would support, but with some modifications perhaps of a minor nature. One is the one regarding proxies for handicapped persons. In principle it’s good, but I wouldn’t suggest a person can come into the polling booth and say: “John Jones out there who is on the list is handicapped and unable to come to the polls. I have his signature saying I can vote for him. I will sign a proxy for him and vote for him.” The returning officer has no way of knowing whether John Jones has a bad cold or whether he is really physically disabled. I think we have to have some form of verification of the handicap otherwise we’re just opening it wide to abuse.

The same applies to the question of blind voters. If you allow one person to vote for any number there is a danger that somebody will come in representing all the residents, say of an institution for the blind and vote for them, when it should be a very personal matter between the blind person and a friend.

Then on the question of literature being in the polling booth or near it, there doesn’t seem to be any real definition of what “near” means. That’s something that would have to be changed. We certainly don’t think there should be any literature in the polling booth, but whether it can be across the street from it or on the next lot is a question that must be defined.

My score so far is for three and for three more with modifications. The other two present even more problems.

The one about allowing urban voters to have the same rights as rural voters in establishing their qualifications when they have been omitted in error, is something which requires a great deal of further study. This apparent discrimination was definitely put in because conditions are very different in urban polls where people don’t know each other as well and where there are much greater opportunities for abuse. We would have to look at all the possibilities and ways of avoiding any abuse before we could adopt or even endorse the principle of that particular clause.

Finally, on the question of British subjects, while I support the principle that citizenship should be the criteria, we also have to look at the need for a grandfather clause or some sort of provision whereby people who have been accustomed to having the franchise for years, who are British subjects and who have been here for a long time, should not be disenfranchised immediately or should not be disenfranchised at all if they have been here for a very long time. Our citizenship courts are very overloaded right now, especially since the number of years required in order to obtain citizenship has been dropped from five to three. We should not completely or automatically disenfranchise all British subjects who have been here for a considerable time, but we should notify new immigrants coming in that they will be required to obtain citizenship before they vote, regardless of where they come from.

So, Mr. Speaker, I am, as I say, schizophrenic on how to vote on this bill, because I’m for it and against it at the same time. I hope in future private members will not try and cover eight principles in one bill.

I also hope the government will take cognizance of the fact one should amend Election Acts as soon after the last election and as long before the next election as possible in order to give ample time for changes to be known and to be debated. I hope we will see government legislation implementing some of these principles as soon as possible, giving us an opportunity to debate them more fully.

I also hope the government will look at the companion piece of legislation, the Election Finances Reform Act, and bring in long overdue amendments to that Act. I understand the Commission on Election Contributions and Expenses has recommended very substantial changes in that Act to this government several times and the government has never brought them in, which must indicate perhaps it isn’t interested in seeing that bill improved. It’s a new bill and it stands to reason it needs improvement after operating for the few years it had been in effect.

So, Mr. Speaker, I will have to ponder my schizophrenia between now and the vote as to how I am going to support this bill.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: The member for Durham East has about one minute.

Mr. Cureatz: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I must thank the hon. member for giving me such a long length of time to express my views on the member’s bill.

Mr. McClellan: Fifty-nine seconds too much.

Mr. Cureatz: With a minute left, I won’t have the opportunity of examining each section phrase by phrase. Let me say I am in partial support of Bill 116. There are a number of specific sections in the bill that do attract me, but there are a few other sections which do not attract me. Unfortunately, as was previously expressed, I cannot divide myself equally on all the sections and I am torn. What am I to do in this situation?

Mr. McClellan: Vote against it.

Mr. Conway: We hear you had quite an election down there on June 9; maybe that’s why you are torn.

Mr. Cureatz: The electorate were torn too, I might add.

To highlight some aspects of the bill: The citizenship item certainly worries me in regard to retroactively or immediately cutting off those franchised; I hope that possibly a grandfather clause might be appropriate.

I do compliment the member in regard to the handicapped. In our present day society we have gone a long way in helping handicapped people to ordinary access to public buildings, libraries, museums and the like. Further access to polls, is complementary. The one major concern, though, is giving the Chief Election Officer --

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

Mr. Cureatz: -- a very wide discretion in regard to access to polls. As the situation stands in the bill, unfortunately I will not be able to support it.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: That concludes the time for ballot item 17; it is deferred now until 5:30 p.m.


Mr. Martel moved second reading of Bill 54, An Act to amend the Family Benefits Act.

Mr. Conway: I wish to welcome back the hon. member for Sudbury East.

Mr. Martel: Thank you, it is nice to be back with this august body.

Mr. Conway: Do you want Uncle Paul here for this?

Mr. McClellan: Let the record show the yak is absent.

Mr. Martel: No, I’ll try to restrain myself tonight.

The purpose of the bill is very simple; it is to remove references to the sex of the parent, so that either parent, be it the mother or the father of the child will be eligible to obtain benefits. It is really aimed at one particular bit of discrimination which presently exists against the father-led single-parent family.

I might say in over four years as critic of the Ministry of Community and Social Services, I have repeatedly made the effort to have this bit of discrimination removed. Over the years we simply got the answer that it’s very complicated and very complex, and we had to study family law before we in fact could remove it. I have never been able to get anyone to take it beyond that and explain to me what all the complication is about.

In the final analysis, why the government, I believe, didn’t want to bring in the bill was simply they felt too many men might stay home and they would have to support them, and that wasn’t cricket. I think that’s the only reason the government failed over the years to respond, despite telling us over and over again -- as my friend the member for St. George (Mrs. Campbell) knows -- that it was a very complex matter and we didn’t understand it. No one ever told us what it was we didn’t understand. I suspect the reason is the one I have just given.

The problem is a simple one. If a father, for any number of reasons, chooses to raise the children on his own, he cannot obtain financial assistance to raise the children properly as he sees fit. He might get short-term benefits in the form of general welfare for three months, but in fact he cannot get or qualify for family benefits. Even that is a misnomer, because he can qualify if he raises enough Cain. I’ll come back to that in a few moments.

Now if he chooses to raise the children for the following reasons: “Who is a single parent with a dependent child and who is a widow or a widower” -- that is what we want in the Act now removing the discrimination that exists in the other Act; “Whose spouse has deserted the family for three months or more; whose spouse is a patient in a sanatorium, hospital or similar institution; whose spouse is in prison in a penal institution and at the date of the application has a term of imprisonment remaining to be served of six months or more; who is divorced from the parent of the dependent child and has not remarried; or a mother whose dependent child was born out of wedlock.”

It seems to me it isn’t just in the event of the death of the mother, but there are a whole series of reasons for which a father might attempt to qualify in order to raise his children as he sees fit. Yet as simple as that might be, this government has failed to move on it over the years.

It has been very interesting. A number of years ago I think there were seven orders in council passed. My colleague tells me the score is now eight. In each of those instances I guess what had to happen was the government said, “Well, special circumstances.” The special circumstances, really, have been that if the fellow who was looking for benefits could raise enough Cain; if he could get members of the Legislature to speak out on his behalf; if he could get television coverage; if he appeared on the Ombudsman show; in any variety of ways he could qualify for benefits. It wasn’t really the “special circumstances,” in my opinion, that led to granting these benefits, but in fact the old Tory game. And that is what you do is you take those few who are raising Cain and you grant them the family benefit allowance by order in council. You silence them and don’t endanger the thing by going beyond one case at a time. It limits the amount of pressure that might be exerted on the government. Over the years we have now managed to get eight fathers, I believe, to receive family benefits.


Hon. Mr. Norton: Twenty-five.

Mr. Martel: Twenty-five? My, we’re really moving.

Mr. McClellan: Isn’t that wonderful, 25. Lucky 25, big 25. What a generous minister.

Mr. Martel: I’m glad the minister corrects me. I appreciate being corrected and now know that there are 25 fathers who qualify --

Hon. J. A. Taylor: What do you want, to put every father on it?

Mr. Martel: -- for family benefits under the Act; not really under the Act but who have special circumstances and qualified by order in council. It’s interesting that we have one former ComSoc minister here and we also have the present minister; maybe they can tell us how complicated it is.

What really bothers me is that we talk about privacy for people to obtain those benefits but in the cases I’ve seen there has been less than privacy in order to obtain the benefits necessary to raise the children. They’ve really had to put themselves out on a limb.

I recall the famous Currie case, the gentleman from Penetang whose story appeared in the press. The question was raised in the Legislature and it went to the Ombudsman. Mr. Currie was attempting to look after the children. In fact there wasn’t, in his opinion, anyone he felt he could trust with the children at that tender age, no one to raise the children in the manner he wanted. After the case got a great deal of flak and after all kinds of people got involved, the government knuckled to the pressure and it passed an order in council.

I ask members: What does that do, first to Mr. Currie; second to his children; and third to men as a whole who under certain circumstances are forced into a position where they must raise the children? Heaven forbid; I stayed home a couple of days to look after the kids and I want to tell you I was so glad to get out of the house it wasn’t even funny.

I say that giving respect to the women who have made it their business to stay home and look after children. I sometimes wonder how they can stand the pressures when the fathers who stay home for two or three days are absolutely delighted to get out once the circumstances which have caused them to stay home have gone by. I just give the mothers credit. I give fathers credit who have chosen to look after their children because of the departure or the death of a spouse, I give credit to those men.

In our society we really don’t look at it that way. The ministry’s approach over the years has been just the opposite. They don’t give them any credit. What we hear from back-benchers is that they’re lazy and they don’t want to go to work. That’s nonsense. Some men have chosen to raise their children in the type of atmosphere they want.

There was a second case in 1974-75 and it too came to the Legislature. I don’t want to mention this gentleman’s name. He didn’t want it raised then, I don’t expect he wants it raised now. But he was attempting to educate himself, and his wife left him and went off to another country. He couldn’t get her to come back. He ultimately had to drop out of school. He could have finished, and has since I understand, and is not only paying back to society -- because he has a good job -- far more than he received, but at the same time he has raised the children who were left with him when the wife departed.

The ministry had -- I don’t want to use the word but I will -- a hooker in that one too. It said that because the wife had visiting rights, that he and she in fact had signed a separation agreement and therefore he wasn’t eligible for benefits. Really, it was just any old thing you can hang your hat on by the Ministry of Community and Social Services to not give the head of a father-led family the benefits by which he could raise his children.

It seems to me to be really backward in this day and age. I think we should be encouraging more fathers, should the need arise, to look after their children, rather than put them in a type of foster situation. It’s much more preferable, I think, that the father do the job -- particularly in the formative years -- rather than some outsider or a series of outsiders who might have to stay with the children while the father is working afternoons or if he’s on shift work or working weekends. Very often, when the children should be with someone like the natural father, they are with a total stranger. I don’t think that’s proper. Surely the father should have the option. I don’t think it is going to escalate. As I said earlier, most fathers are absolutely delighted after three or four days, to get away from having to look after three or four children.

I want to wind up, because I understand the minister is going to take part in this debate later on. I am waiting to hear what he has to say. I hope he is going to support the principle as I hope members from both sides of the House will support the principle. It is a very simple principle. It is simply to remove discrimination in yet another place in this ministry. I would prefer to see it come in holus-bolus and remove all of the discrimination in all of the Acts which pertain to people in the province, rather than do it piecemeal. In the final analysis it would make it a lot better if we did it that way. But I am hopeful that I will get the support necessary to give this bill second reading.

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

Mr. Martel: Not really, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Baetz: It is difficult to oppose the objectives of Bill 54. Good legislation should reflect the prevailing values of the society which it governs. It is almost trite to say that a predominant value, although admittedly still an emerging value in today’s Canadian society, is that of equality of the sexes.

The Family Benefits Act, by excluding male heads of one-parent families, is outdated in that it reflects the values of a now bygone period and a lifestyle where men generally were the sole breadwinners of the family. The difficulty, of course, is to translate these desirable objectives into practical measures through Bill 54. I am sure the Minister of Community and Social Services (Mr. Norton) will be pointing to some of the administrative and practical difficulties, and I am sure he will also be referring to some of the financial implications. But financial expenditures, substantial as they might be, are by no means formidable in my view.

Although provincial expenditures would rise if heads of one-parent families were included under the provincial Family Benefits Act, the cost to municipalities would decline. This is because quite a number of these families now do receive, under special arrangements and in a somewhat hit-and-miss way, some short-term help from some municipalities under a shared cost municipal- provincial arrangement.

I think too, in estimating the net costs of Bill 54, we should take into consideration that expenditures are now being carried by the Children’s Aid Societies which frequently must care for children where a father has been deserted or widowed and who simply cannot cope either financially or otherwise by himself.

The unit cost of keeping these children in care in a Children’s Aid Society is likely to be higher than if the cost of that child were covered by a reformed Family Benefits Act.

I am also convinced that the new family support legislation under Bill 59, sponsored by the Ministry of the Attorney General, will keep costs down if fathers are to be included under the Family Benefits Act as Bill 54 proposes. The reason for my optimism is that under Bill 59 mothers who have deserted their husbands and dependent children in future, unlike today, can be ordered to help support financially their husbands and children if it can be proved that they can afford to do so. Because of the high rate of participation by women in the labour force, many will be able to afford to do so.

No one can predict with 100 per cent accuracy how many deserted fathers with dependent children would, as a result of their inclusion in the Family Benefits Act, quit work and rely on the public Treasury for the support of themselves and their children. My own hunch is that very few do so, even if in many cases their payments from family benefits might be as high or even higher than income which they could earn through employment. We know there are thousands of families now, the so-called working poor, where this is the case.

To sum up, I am not only in philosophical agreement with the objectives of Bill 54 but I am also convinced that the financial implications would not be formidable. What does bother me very much however, is that once again we are dealing with a private member’s bill which is clearly a money bill. This is the second time in as many weeks I have debated a private member’s bill which is clearly a money bill.

Mr. McClellan: You never act on these things.

Mr. B. Newman: All bills are money bills.

Mr. Martel: It’s not a money bill.

Mr. Baetz: Last week, if you will recall, we debated Bill 109 on special education which had vast financial implications. We keep dealing with private members’ bills such as Bill 54 which are money bills, even though the opposition members know full well they are clearly inappropriate.

Mr. McClellan: Let the government bring in some bills then. They have been talking about this for five years.

Mr. Baetz: The fourth report of the Ontario Commission on the Legislature, September 1975, dealt at length with the role of private members and private members’ bills and made a number of recommendations which have been accepted. That commission noted, and I quote:

“For a private member, two major constraints are in operation. He may not introduce any bill whose passage would result in the expenditure of public funds since, in the parliamentary system’s view of responsible government, the ministry must retain control of the purse strings.”

Mr. Bolan: That’s the point. Responsible government.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. Order, please. I think the member is straying from the bill.

Mr. Baetz: The report also noted a further constraint that has been placed on a private member’s bill by the convention or tradition which has developed in this Ontario Legislature and which precludes the taking of a vote during private members’ hours. Because we are operating on the basis of that commission’s recommendations, I wonder what we are doing debating Bill 54 or, for that matter, any other private members’ bills with money implications. I wonder if it is to give opposition members a public platform to grandstand, or to recite sanctimoniously in this House, their deep sense of humanity and wisdom about all that is wrong with society in Ontario.

Mr. Roy: What do you think you’re doing?

Mr. Baetz: When we on the government side support the objectives and principles enunciated, but then raise the practical financial questions which sometimes lead to our opposing the measure, we are angrily accused, as I was last week by the leader of the NDP, of the worst sort of double-talk and hypocrisy.

Mr. Bolan: You don’t want to legislate; we have to do it through private members’ bills.

Mr. McClellan: You got the patent on that.

Mr. Baetz: The old adage says, “Make me a fool once, shame on you. Make me a fool twice, shame on me.”

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order.

Mr. Roy: You are out of order.

Mr. Baetz: As much as I support the objectives of Bill 54, I will not allow myself to be tricked into what might appear to be double-talk.

Mr. Martel: That isn’t what you told me last Friday.

Mr. Baetz: I will, therefore, oppose Bill 54 and will join those who will rise to veto it today. I am doing so not to hinder the objectives of Bill 54 but, on the contrary, to facilitate the earliest implementation of those objectives.

Mr. Kerrio: That’s 35 years you’ve had. You’ve been at it 35 years.

Mr. Martel: He was supporting it on Friday.

Mr. McClellan: You’re a Fascist.

Mr. Baetz: But the route to that goal, I suggest, is not the dead-end road which leads to the inevitable distinction of private members’ measures with money implications. There are other ways to achieve implementation of Bill 54 --

Mr. Martel: How?

Mr. Baetz: -- which I could support and will support.

Mr. McClellan: What a sell-out you are.

Hon. J. A. Taylor: It doesn’t cost anything. What are you worried about?

Mr. Baetz: One way, as I am sure the legislatively battle-scarred veteran from Sudbury East (Mr. Martel) knows, could be to introduce a resolution in this Legislature, because a resolution is not financially restrictive.

Again, to refresh our memories, I quote from the Ontario commission report:

“A member who wishes the House to consider an action with financial implications can circumvent the prohibition on money bills by introducing a resolution calling for House to endorse the action.”

Alternatively, therefore, if the hon. member for Sudbury East wishes to pursue the objectives of Bill 54, he should introduce a resolution, which I would support, to refer the matter to a standing or select committee for study and report.

Mr. Martel: Oh, that’s a red herring.

Mr. Kerrio: Weak argument.

Mr. Martel: Last Friday you were supporting it.

Mr. Baetz: Finally, another route -- and the most appropriate one -- would be for the government itself to introduce legislation amending the Family Benefits Act, which it should do, along the lines proposed in Bill 54. That would bring family benefits legislation into harmony with our new family law legislation and make it more consistent with this government’s commitment to enshrine in our laws the principle of equality of the sexes.

By refusing to support Bill 54 in any way, shape or form, I hope to contribute to a decision we must take, that during the next session we will cut out this farce, the futile charade of debating private members’ bills with money implications.

Mrs. Campbell: Mr. Speaker, after more than 35 years of neglect of this legislation --

Hon. J. A. Taylor: More than 39 years? You are only 39 today, it was said in the House.

Mrs. Campbell: All right, 39 -- however long it is.

Mr. McClellan: Bring back Louis P. Cecile.


Mrs. Campbell: When we come to a statement which means we cannot introduce in any appropriate way -- a resolution doesn’t achieve what the member is suggesting -- anything to try to shame this government into eliminating discrimination, perhaps we have to forgive the member. He hasn’t been here long enough --

Mr. Baetz: I have read your report.

Mrs. Campbell: -- to face the frustrations which we have faced in trying to measure up to the problems of discrimination.

Mr. Pope: Oh, yes. We’re all frustrated.

Mrs. Campbell: Of course I endorse the principle of this bill. I endorse it fully because I have spent my lifetime fighting discrimination wherever I see it. When a person says to me there is discrimination but it would cost too much money to correct it -- that’s what the minister told me in the estimates --

Mr. Baetz: That’s not what he said.

Mr. Martel: The hon. member for Ottawa West has found another red herring.

Mr. Roy: I didn’t think he would come up with a phoney excuse like that.

Mrs. Campbell: -- then it’s time we stood up as opposition members to declare that we do not subscribe to that theory.

Mr. Martel: They whipped the hon. member for Ottawa West into shape, didn’t they?

Mr. Samis: It didn’t take long either.

Mr. Roy: The hon. member for Ottawa West won’t get in the cabinet if he’s going to buck the government.

Mrs. Campbell: Mr. Speaker, I have only one regret to express, and that is that the member for Sudbury East, who has fought vociferously indeed for this amendment, has neglected other areas of discrimination in this bill. I see now we are simply playing a game, because they’re going to veto it. Let them also veto this one. Section 7(1) of the Family Benefits Act provides for disability allowances. That bill does not create discrimination. In the casual kind of way in which we deal with regulations under Acts, I submit the government has brought in a regulation that is illegal under the Act, because the regulation creates the discrimination. The regulation states that whereas a dependent male spouse may apply for disability pension, a dependent female spouse may not.

That is provided not in the Act, but by regulation. I’d like the member to realize this, because that is the sneakiest way to create discrimination I can possibly contemplate. I challenge that regulation and I trust the committee will take it under advisement and throw it out. I submit that you cannot provide for discrimination under a regulation when the section does not provide discrimination. Were it to go to committee, I suppose I could bring in a resolution. The Tories could then not veto it, but they could bury it, as they’ve buried every attempt we’ve made, certainly since I’ve been in this House.

I referred to the fact that this minister -- and I understand; he’s faltering, bumbling -- hasn’t taken over his ministry and he doesn’t know what’s going on in it. But in estimates when this came up he said he recognized this was an anomaly but it would cost too much money to give equality to the women under this bill.

Mr. Roy: Same excuse as the member for Ottawa West.

Mr. Martel: The member for Ottawa West should be ashamed of himself.

Mrs. Campbell: That is the minister’s answer and all his protestations are not going to win a thing when the minister takes that position.

Mr. Roy: The member for Ottawa West is hiding behind a red herring.

Mrs. Campbell: Perhaps if we had a new and enlightened minister such as the member who has just spoken we might have more hope.

Mr. Roy: You’re phoney.

Mr. Pope: What about the public accounts committee?

Mr. McClellan: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to join this debate in support of Bill 54, which I had the honour to second.

I want to start by making some comments about the incredible performance of the member for Ottawa West. He was the director of the Canadian Council on Social Development and he came to this House with the reputation of that organization, the voice of social justice in this country attached to him.

Mr. Baetz: I still have the same commitment.

Mr. McClellan: But for two weeks in a row he has given us an apology for discrimination and injustice, which is a simple disgrace. It’s totally inappropriate, and a complete sellout of everything he has professed to represent.

Hon. J. A. Taylor: Shame on you.

Mr. Roy: What caused the member for Ottawa West to change his mind since last Friday?

Mr. Baetz: I want us to reach an objective.

Mr. Martel: It got to him.

Mr. McClellan: I understand that on Friday the member for Ottawa West indicated support of this bill. So much for that.

Mr. Baetz: It is a dead-end approach. It leads to extinction.

Mr. Roy: As long as he is in the cabinet he’s got to toe the line. You know that.

Mr. Baetz: That’s the name of the game.

Mr. Martel: The member for Ottawa West should be ashamed of himself.

Mr. McClellan: The bill before us is not a money bill. What this bill does is eliminate discrimination and injustice which is outmoded and intolerable.

Mr. Mattel: That’s all.

Mr. McClellan: The member for Ottawa West chastises the opposition for bringing in a private member’s bill. We’ve been fighting on this issue for at least six years. I’ve been the critic for two years. My colleague was the critic for four years prior to that. Each and every year we have demanded that this discrimination and injustice be eliminated by successive ministers. We stand here in 1977 and we’re no farther ahead today than we were six years ago. And the member for Ottawa West has the gall to criticize the opposition for trying to bring about a remedy of this injustice and discrimination. That’s simply intolerable.

Mr. Martel: By calling it a money bill.

Mr. McClellan: His job is to support this bill. We heard reference earlier this afternoon to the number of single-parent fathers who had been granted family benefits by order in council, by the benevolent paternalism of the Tory cabinet -- a grand total of 25 in the province.

There are thousands and thousands of single-parent fathers in this province. Many of them are impoverished and many of them are on general welfare assistance, where they get second-class treatment and second-class benefits; they’re subject to the harassment and whims of general welfare assistance administrators. They do not have the stability or security of obtaining an income so they can look after their children if they so choose. This bill would end that.

This bill would make it possible for single-parent fathers to receive a stable income in order to assume a child-care responsibility. They would still have to qualify, as all recipients would, under the legislation. There are 25 single-parent fathers and 45,000 single-parent mothers on family benefits in this province.

I want to point out something that may be a surprise to some of the members of this House. The Conservative government in the province of Alberta has already wiped out this double standard that’s still in the Ontario legislation. In the province of Alberta benefits are paid by the province to single parents, regardless of sex, if they are supporting children. This is in the Conservative province of Alberta. I quote from the Deputy Minister of Social Development and Health in Alberta, Mr. David Stolee. He says that in his province “a father is entitled to the same benefits as a mother.” He doesn’t know how many single male parents are receiving such benefits but he thinks it would be very few. He goes on to say:

“There are other cases where the single father is working and, because he earns low wages, the province supplements his income to help pay the cost of hiring homemakers.”

It’s too bad we still have such a reactionary government in this province. It’s a shame they are unwilling to allow even this small amendment to be voted on; and if it were voted on, I have no doubt whatsoever that it would pass.

The time is right for this amendment. There is an understanding that the legislation operates unfairly and unjustly; that the legislation is forcing children into unnecessary institutional care; that the legislation forces single-parent fathers who have assumed responsibility for child care onto an unstable and inadequate form of income support, general welfare assistance; and that this small amendment would wipe away many of those inequities.

We are faced with something fairly sad if we are seeing the government reverting to the practice of guillotining private members’ bills, as the member for Ottawa West suggested the government is prepared to do on this one. I think that would be a sordid performance and I hope it doesn’t happen. I hope the Tories will have the courage and the decency to allow minority government to express itself and to allow the members of this House to decide on this matter and live by the results. That’s what democracy is all about. It’s not about the government vetoing legislation that removes discrimination.

Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, I wish to address some remarks to the bill that is before the House and I will try to keep them brief. I am sure it’s a matter we could discuss far beyond the 10 minutes that is allocated to each of us.

First of all, I would like to make it very clear that I support the concern which I am sure motivates the hon. members who have moved and seconded this bill; that is, a commitment to the equality of our citizens before the law and the equality of access to the programs and benefits that are made available to the residents of the province of Ontario.

I recognize that in addition to the specific area of bias that has been addressed by this legislation, there are, as the hon. member for St. George has indicated, a number of other areas as well. It’s at least worthy of note that these biases are not restricted by any means -- and I am not using this as an excuse -- to the legislation of this province. In the last short while I have also consulted with other provinces, including Alberta -- and I acknowledge what the hon. member has said about that province. But even in provinces where the legislation itself does not reflect the bias, if one looks at the practice, the application of that legislation in most provinces of this country unfortunately still reflects a bias of the type addressed by this legislation by imposing things like work availability tests and so on which are not applied equally to both spouses.

As I indicated to the hon. member for St. George and others during the course of the estimates when this matter was being discussed, I have directed a review of legislation within my ministry --

Mr. McClellan: You said that last year. You will be saying it next year and the year after that.

Hon. Mr. Norton: -- with a view to singling out or bringing forward any instances of such discrimination or such bias that exist. I can assure the hon. members that is well underway under the co-ordination of our legal services branch.


I think it is also important to point out that our government in this province has clearly indicated its stance on the equality of the sexes, and that is evident from the pioneer work that is being done in the area of family law reform. That commitment continues and that commitment remains.

I also want to caution the hon. member for Sudbury East that his bill may not redress the concern that I believe he has. If the bill should pass second reading, I believe it would be imperative that it go to committee; there are a number of amendments that ought to be added to it to ensure that it does what he would hope it do. There are things like definitions which are inconsistent as a result of this amendment. There are a number of other things within the bill. I don’t think this is the appropriate time to discuss them. There are other amendments that would have to be made to ensure that it accomplishes what he is suggesting.

Mr. Martel: I have no objections to all of that.

Mr. McClellan: That is all we are asking.

Hon. Mr. Norton: Although I share the concern -- and I indicate now, as I have before, an intention to pursue this matter -- I think we must also bear in mind that it is not always possible to approach change on a wholesale basis. I share the desire for that; I share the same impulse that was expressed by the hon. member for Bellwoods (Mr. McClellan). I think there are times, when one is charged with this responsibility, that one must approach it from the point of view of establishing priorities. That is one of the things I would hope to do following the review of the legislation which is underway at the present time in the ministry.

Mr. McClellan: This is a tiny step. This is not wholesale change.

Hon. Mr. Norton: For example, I would suggest that there may be other areas, such as the one the hon. member for St. George (Mrs. Campbell) has cited.

Mr. McClellan: You are not dealing with that either.

Hon. Mr. Norton: In fact, if we have a limited amount of money with which to proceed at a given time, it may be a higher priority than this. I am not passing judgement on that at this point until I have had a chance to assess all of the areas in which change ought to be effected. But to approach it without establishing those kinds of priorities is something less than responsible, if we know there may well be a shortage of funds with which to effect all of the changes at the same time.

The other matter to which I would like briefly to address some remarks, reiterating that I do share this concern and it is my intention to pursue it, is my concern about the principle that was touched upon by my colleague with respect to the implications of bills -- in this case, a private member’s bill -- which, although perhaps not technically a money bill in the sense that it specifically directs the raising or levying a tax --

Mr. Martel: It is not a money bill at all.

Mr. Kerrio: Then you can stand against any bill we put.

Hon. Mr. Norton: -- it clearly calls upon the government to expend moneys --

Mr. Kerrio: Don’t go through the hypocrisy of the private members’ hour.

Hon. Mr. Norton: -- to redirect or reallocate moneys whatever.

Mr. Martel: Ah, that’s different.

Hon. Mr. Norton: That may be different, but if it is really being done responsibly, I would like the hon. member sponsoring this bill, on the assumption that the additional funds may not be available, to tell me from where they would effect the transfer.

Mr. Kerrio: Wintario.

Hon. Mr. Norton: Would they, for example, do it in the area of day care? Would they do it in the area of children’s mental health? Or would they tighten the regulations upon single mothers?

Mr. McClellan: How about the funds in your ministry? How about the $37 million you didn’t spend in 1976-77?

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. The member for Bellwoods had a chance to speak previously.

Hon. Mr. Norton: The reason they haven’t done that is they know clearly that would be a money bill. By avoiding that aspect of the responsibility, they are saying it’s not really a money bill.

Mr. Martel: We can’t play that game.

Hon. Mr. Norton: I want to make one thing very clear to my colleagues across the House. The task we have before us is sufficiently complex in terms of establishing priorities, in terms of trying to ensure the most effective allocation of the resources we have at our disposal, that I can say this: As long as I am charged with this responsibility, I will resist efforts to skew the priorities that we are working upon or that we have established.

Mr. McClellan: Horatio at the bridge.

Hon. Mr. Norton: There is an avenue open to the hon. member if he is not happy with those priorities or if he is not happy with the way in which I am attempting to approach these within my ministry.

Mrs. Campbell: Not when you muzzle debate on them.

Hon. Mr. Norton: The hon. member has only to introduce a motion of no confidence and support it. That avenue is open to him if he wants to change the priorities on this side of the House.

Mr. Martel: You have really gone to pot.

Mr. Gaunt: Stop posturing.

Mr. Cunningham: That is a silly statement.

Mr. Makarchuk: Who do you think you are, Mohammed Ali or something?

Hon. Mr. Norton: Otherwise, my friends opposite are trying to change the whole constitutional tradition of parliamentary democracy through the private members’ legislation. They know that’s not a legitimate way in which to do it.

Mr. Makarchuk: Throw down the gauntlet.

Mr. Martel: The minister can’t even find the right section in that bill. There is not even a money section in the bill, and he knows it. He brings a red herring into it.

Hon. Mr. Norton: It is not a red herring. It is an essential element of responsibility and one that my friend is ignoring.

Mr. Makarchuk: What colour is it? It is a blue herring then?

Hon. Mr. Norton: If the member wants me to do these things, then let him tell me where we’re going to get the funds and where we are going to reallocate.

Mr. Makarchuk: No matter what colour it is, it smells.

Hon. Mr. Norton: Let him stand up and tell the people of this province he is going to take money away from existing programs. Let him take that responsibility upon himself. It is a critical challenge he is facing.

Mr. Foulds: Did you ever think of expanding your revenues? Bring back the member for Prince Edward-Lennox (Mr. J. A. Taylor).

Mr. Deputy Speaker: The hon. minister has one minute.

Mr. Martel: He is not for real.

Hon. Mr. Norton: That responsibility, that same challenge, I would extend to the hon. member for St. George.

Mr. McClellan: Let the record show the minister is laughing.

Hon. Mr. Norton: It’s one thing for her and the other member to stand up and abuse my colleague here. But it’s quite another matter to abuse my colleague about his convictions and his commitment to the social concerns of the people of this province. I’m not going to stand for that either.

Mr. Foulds: Wipe that smile off your face, you young pup.

Mr. Martel: You don’t have any convictions.

Hon. Mr. Norton: It’s easy to be irresponsible, but let the member stand up and tell the people of this province precisely how he proposes that it be implemented and I will support it.

Mr. Foulds: What year?

Hon. Mr. Norton: Until then, I will continue to resist it. When I come in with my proposals as a result of the review I have implemented, I hope the member for Sudbury East and the member for St. George will have the good grace to support the efforts we will be making then to redress this particular problem.

Mr. Foulds: How long, O Lord, how long?

Mr. Martel: The member for Ottawa West (Mr. Baetz) was supporting it last week until they got to him. He sold his principles down the drain.

Mr. Kerrio: I rise to support this bill in principle. I don’t have any problem or any question about the validity in placing this bill as such.

Hon. Mr. Norton: Obviously not.

Mr. Kerrio: I have one very grave concern; that is, that private members’ hour has degenerated to what we see here. We’ve had some stonewalling and now we have a couple of hatchet men. I think that term is very able and well put in this particular instance. That’s all it amounts to.

Mr. Mackenzie: He is not very good at it.

Mr. Kerrio: For the government members to have interpreted this as a money bill is really reaching in the sense that any bill put to this House could be interpreted at any time as a money bill.

Hon. Mr. Norton: What is $5 million, eh?

Mr. Kerrio: We know it and the minister knows it.

Mr. Foulds: It costs money to print the damn thing.

Mr. Kerrio: If the government members don’t want to stick to debating the principle of the bill, they should just say so. They shouldn’t beat around the bush and attempt to twist the facts. I think the member for Ottawa West is still hurting, and very justifiably so, from the kinds of comments that were made by the leader of the third party on a bill of such significance that it would be very difficult to have anyone stand on the floor of this Legislature and oppose it.

Mr. Pope: Did you look at the bill at all? Do you know what you are talking about?

Mr. Kerrio: The government members are really reaching in order to bring the arguments forth that have been brought here today and in order to go against two bills for which they know very well the people of the province have waited for many years. They have told us we’re going to have a resolution and they have put forward an argument that the only reason they can’t support it is because it’s a money bill.

Mr. Foulds: A specious argument.

Hon. Mr. Norton: There is an issue of priorities and things too.

Mr. Kerrio: Minority government certainly has wrought some wonders in this House. The government members had better learn to reassess the whole kind of concept they have about Tory government. Private members are elected from all parts of this great province. We stand and tell the government what the people need and what the people want. For government members to turn a very important and significant bill into arguing the merits of whether it is just a money bill instead of addressing themselves to what the bill is intended to do is surely abrogating their responsibility to the people who elected them.

If they are demanding how the people on this side of the House would find the funds to support this very able bill, we could tell every minister who sits on that side, one at a time, and in every one of their ministries, where we can bring out some of the money.

Mr. Pope: So it is a money bill.


Mr. Kerrio: They talk about priorities.

Hon. Mr. Norton: Tell us. Where?

Mr. Kerrio: The minister is asking where and I will tell him a place. The government gave a 15 per cent increase to the Arts Council of Ontario -- $1.5 million on a million budget. There’s where they throw their money.

Mr. Foulds: The member goes too far. We have to have food for the soul and the mind as well.

Mr. Kerrio: There’s $1.5 million. I tell the government, with respect, it doesn’t have priorities on that side. We could go right through that whole area over there and find the money if it’s needed.

Hon. J. A. Taylor: The member doesn’t know what he is saying.

Mr. Kerrio: I happen to think that the responsibility we are talking about is already taking place. We are talking about better management and acknowledging the fact that in some special cases the man would stay at home and look after the children. Are the government members suggesting to me now that we are not looking after them and that it is not costing anything? What we are suggesting is that to keep the family together is to do something meaningful on that side.

Don’t tell us it is just a money bill. The government has had many years to do it and it hasn’t done it. We are putting the pressure on the government now. They ask us where the money will come from. There is a great deal of money being put into very bad projects on that side. There’s a lot of money that could be brought to bear.

Mr. Martel: Why doesn’t the government sell Minaki Lodge?

Mr. Wildman: And Edwardsburgh.

Mr. Makarchuk: Sell the Cayuga town-site.

Mr. Kerrio: They know it and we know it. They are hatchet people. If that is the only kind of an argument they have, I feel very bad about what they are going to do when to apply themselves diligently to do something about the matter we are concerned about. If that is all they are going to think about, then they are not going to do anything about it. We know that and they know that.

In conclusion, the bill is well put.

Mr. Walker: Well put where?

Mr. Kerrio: We all understand what the bill is about. I can’t believe there is money needed of any consequence to talk about in putting this bill in place. If there are moneys needed, that government wastes more money in a short space of time than could be put to this very good use.


Mr. Kerrio: It’s time they realize on that side they are going to be put to the test more and more as the realities of minority government become known to many of them on that side.

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Tomorrow is the member’s chance. There is a vote tomorrow.

Mr. Martel: Another veto. He has already said it.

Hon. Mr. Welch: The member will have to wait and see.

Mr. Mackenzie: The member for Ottawa West wasn’t very good on that last week. He was up and down like a top.

Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, this bill is so long overdue it has whiskers. It must be at least four times that the member for Sudbury East has introduced it. It was in 1972 that the word “sex” was added to the Ontario Human Rights Code so that it now reads: “It is public policy in Ontario that every person is free and equal in dignity and rights without regard to race, creed, colour, sex, marital status, nationality, ancestry or place of origin.”

I do not see how the minister can stand up and admit he is willing to continue to be in contravention of the Ontario Human Rights Code by refusing to change the legislation.

Mr. Martel: Did the Minister of Community and Social Services hear that? Does he want me to send him a copy of that?

Mr. Mackenzie: It doesn’t bother him in the least.

Ms. Bryden: I understand in the estimates committee the minister has said he has set up a committee to study what he calls the gender bias in the Act. I don’t quite know why he is afraid of sex.

Mr. McClellan: What has he got against it?

Ms. Bryden: That is going to take a long time and it might be delayed because he may have to decide whether he can afford to bring justice into his legislation and to adhere to the Ontario Human Rights Code. This is simply not acceptable. Surely we do not measure justice in terms of dollars. It is not a great expenditure we are talking about. It is an expenditure that will bring justice to a particular small segment of the community which is being discriminated against at present. That is the purpose of the bill.


When the minister suggests he is prepared to meet a want-of-confidence motion on this, he is suggesting that he is willing to spend $25 million on an election, and yet he cannot spend a small amount of money to bring justice to single male parents.

Therefore, I would challenge the minister to stand up and vote for his principles to show that he is interested in changing this legislation. The question is, when?

Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, I have decided to take the last few minutes with your indulgence --

Mr. Speaker: If there are no other members who wish to speak, I will hear the hon. member for Sudbury East, who I understand did not reserve any time.

Mr. Martel: That’s right. I apologize. You see, Mr. Speaker, what happened is my friend from Ottawa West came to me last Friday --

Hon. Mr. Norton: Don’t abuse him any more. Address the principle of the bill.

Mr. Martel: -- and he said: “This is such a good bill, I’m going to support it.” But, in fact, someone has got to him since last Friday, because it is not a money bill.

Hon. Mr. Norton: Address the principle. Stop discussing personalities and convictions.

Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, the bill simply removes the discrimination against males. They will still have to go through the taking of an application as they do now for family benefits. We are not suggesting anywhere any type of favouritism. If they don’t qualify under the terms of the Act as it exists, they will not obtain the benefits that they would have received if it had been a woman who applied.

Mr. Warner: Straight money bill.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Resign.

Mr. Martel: Now the minister says to me, “Where will I get the money?”

Mr. Makarchuk: Sell Cayuga.

Mr. Martel: As the member for Ottawa West himself said, “If you take a child and put him in a foster parent home, the cost is much higher in the foster parent home than it would be if the child stayed with the natural father.”

Mr. Makarchuk: The Tories never see the economics anyway.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Knock it off.

Mr. Martel: If you have three children in their teens or much younger in a family setting, and they have to be removed and put it a foster home, the cost would run about $425 to $450. A single-parent father looking after three children on his own would not receive any more than that. I say to the minister that all of the prattle he made this afternoon is a determined effort not to grant to single-parent fathers the right to look after their children on their own.

Hon. Mr. Norton: That’s not what I said at all. The hon. member is distorting what I said. What has he got to say about the hon. member for St. George, about her concerns?

Mr. Speaker: The hon. member has one minute.

Mr. Martel: For the government to come in here -- and as the member from Ottawa said a few moments ago they’re going to veto the bill; he gave it away. He was supporting it last week but they’re going to veto it. I tell the House leader for the Conservative Party, for them to predetermine what they are going to do as a party with bills is certainly a destruction of the whole intent of the private members’ hour. Poor Reuben shouldn’t have told us that was what you were going to do, but he did. You are destroying the intent, Mr. Speaker, through you to the House leader, you’re destroying the intent of the private members’ hour.

Mr. Speaker: Order. Will the members take their seats.

Sufficient members having objected by rising, a vote was not taken on Bill 116.

Sufficient members having objected by rising, a vote was not taken on Bill 54.

Mr. Speaker: That discharges the order of business.


Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, before the supper hour perhaps we could share some understanding with respect to the format of the discussion this evening on the 15th order.

It was felt advisable, and therefore we have attempted to respond in this way, that the ministers or their parliamentary assistants referred to in the report would in fact take the early part of the discussion in order to respond to the particular recommendations of the select committee making reference to them or their ministries.

So from a time point of view, the first hour, from 8:00 to 9:00, was to be divided equally between those cabinet ministers or their parliamentary assistants who would, in fact, be responding to the specific recommendations contained in the reports being considered by the House tonight.

Mr. Conway: Since you ruined the private members’ hour, why should we give you a cabinet ministers’ hour, you hypocrite.

Hon. J. A. Taylor: Withdraw, withdraw.

Mr. Van Horne: You ought to be ashamed.

Mr. Speaker: The member for Renfrew North doesn’t have the floor.

Mr. Kerrio: Too bad.

Hon. Mr. Welch: The remaining time, from 9:00 to 10:30, would be divided equally among the caucuses to discuss the report, and they would have the advantages of the responses which the members of the cabinet had made earlier in that debate.

Mr. Bolan: You don’t deserve it.

Mr. Kerrio: Give it to us again.

The House recessed at 5:52 p.m.