The House met at 2 p.m.
SELECT COMMITTEE ON COMPANY LAW
Mr. Renwick: Mr. Speaker, perhaps as a forbearance before I turn to the matter of privilege, I would like to express to all of the colleagues in the House on all sides who wished me well when I was away by force of doctor’s orders last fall how pleased I am to be able to return and to join in the deliberations of the assembly.
My matter of privilege, and I take the first opportunity to present it, is that the Globe and Mail in articles on January 26 and on subsequent days, through its reporter Yaffe and columnist Webster, implied that I, along with other colleagues on the select committee on company law, were engaged in ripping off the public purse. That implication, Mr. Speaker, is a lie.
I further note that the Globe and Mail in the course of that particular controversy made the value judgement that travels by select committees and in particular the select committee on company law are a useless expenditure of public funds. Such a value judgement may well be made by those who have taken the trouble to follow the work of that select committee over a long period of time. Unfortunately, the Globe and Mail showed little if any interest over 10 years in the work of that committee and, with the exception of the attendance by Mr. Lawrence Welsh, the insurance reporter of the Globe and Mail, at our sittings in Toronto, has on no occasion paid any attention to the work of the select committee on company law, which is now completing the charter given to it over 10 years ago to reform the corporate law of the province of Ontario in all its aspects. That work is nearing completion. The value judgement by the Globe and Mail would be useful, had they had any understanding of the work in which the committee had taken part.
STATEMENTS BY THE MINISTRY
FIRST MINISTERS’ CONFERENCE
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, a week ago today the conference of first ministers on the economy concluded in Ottawa. It was in my view an important meeting, one which I perceive as a turning point in federal-provincial relations in this country.
This afternoon I would like to take the opportunity to report to the House on that meeting and to table a number of documents from it. The documents are the agenda, the final communiqué, two documents presented to the conference by Ontario entitled, firstly, Immediate Actions for Job Creation, and secondly An Economic Development Policy for Canada. I am also tabling notes on three major statements I made during the conference; these were on the economic outlook and objectives, commercial policy, and consultative arrangements on the economy.
Since much of the conference was covered by television, with the exception of the second day for a period of time, and was extensively reported by all the media, I shall confine my comments on this occasion to what I regard as the meeting’s main accomplishments and the considerable Ontario contribution to its success.
The intergovernmental significance of the conference deserved more attention than it received in much of the commentary both before and after the meeting. Let me simply say that in my judgement and experience this was the first time that the government of Canada, whatever its motives may be, has recognized that the economy must be number one on the public agenda in this country, and that national economic policies must be the product of close federal-provincial consultation and co-operation if they are to ‘be effective.
For the past seven years at conferences of first ministers and finance ministers, Ontario has consistently put forward this point of view. Indeed, I made a proposal along these lines in October 1971 to the very first conference of first ministers that I attended as Premier. As recently as last October in this House, I reiterated this view and called for a conference to chart our economic future. The adoption at long last by the government of Canada of this approach should be regarded as a real breakthrough towards improving economic co-operation among the governments of this country for the benefit of all Canadians.
It is my aim over the next several months and at the next conference of first ministers to build on this fresh attitude of co-operation and to secure ways to enhance the quality of our consultative arrangements to ensure that we arrive at clear and effective national economic policies which promote recovery.
A second and equally major accomplishment of the conference was the agreement that was reached on the main directions in which all 11 governments wish to see Canada’s economy develop. These directions, with their strong emphasis on continued public sector restraint and on encouraging the private sector (which communiqué, incidentally, was signed by the Premier of Saskatchewan) to play a more significant role in the economic development of Canada, provide a strong foundation for meaningful co-operation between governments and the activities of business, labour and other private sector groups. This is the only way, in my view, that we will secure the objective of having the whole country move together to strengthen the economy.
I take satisfaction, as I am sure all members of this House do, in noting that our efforts at this conference served to underpin much of the discussion. Moreover, many of the more specific suggestions put forward by Ontario are reflected in whole or in part in the conference conclusions.
In the unlikely event that hon. members think I am exaggerating this promising turn of events, let me read a passage from one notable statement at the conference. There were several notable statements, but I will only quote from one:
“There are many who argue that our governments have grown too fast and too large. They say that in our attempts to provide government services for people we sacrificed economic efficiency and competitiveness. I have some sympathy with this point of view. I recognize, as we all must, that if we are not efficient and competitive, if we do not create wealth in the country, we cannot sustain our efforts to help those who need it and build a more humane and equitable society.
“Our aim must be to constrain the growth of our governments. We must reduce our share of gross national product. But, even more important, we must reduce the intrusion of bureaucracy in the daily lives of Canadians.
“We have got the message. In 1978, for the first time in a long while, governments share of gross national product fell. Federal expenditures, excluding transfers to your governments, grew by less than nine per cent, while gross national product grew by almost 15 per cent. Provincial expenditures followed a similar pattern. In 1977 our growth rate will be very close to the growth in the gross national product and hopefully slightly below. Expenditure restraint will continue.”
Those are the public words of the Prime Minister of Canada on the first day of the conference. I welcome and applaud his conversion to our cause of sensibly managing and encouraging a more flourishing economy.
Mr. Roy: It took you two elections to realize that.
Mr. Conway: That’s why Darcy should be Premier.
Hon. Mr. Davis: It took him a while, but he’s done it. Give him credit.
The Prime Minister went on to cite as a creative model which others might emulate, the introduction by this government of our refundable tax credit system to provide relief from property and sales tax for low- and middle-income taxpayers.
I would be glad to supply a copy to any member who wishes the precise wording used by the first minister of this country. I tell you. Mr. Speaker, it was really a very thoughtful presentation. There were some who suggested to me after it was made that somebody in the province of Ontario had prepared it. We didn’t. I want to make that very clear.
Mr. Conway: We Liberals are eminently thoughtful.
Mr. Samis: You are better off in Montreal.
Mr. Roy: You couldn’t prepare your own failures.
Hon. Mr. Davis: In summary, the conference was a remarkably successful beginning. I am hopeful that it will contribute to restoring the confidence of all Canadians and our friends abroad in the ability of our economy to grow and develop, and of establishing effective continuous arrangements for federal-provincial economic consultations.
Mr. Warner: Tell us about jobs.
Hon. Mr. Davis: However, we do not intend to rest on this initial achievement. In the coming months and years --
Hon. Mr. Davis: Oh no, we’ll keep moving. You fellows may want to slow down.
Mr. Conway: Not if you are going to be Captain Bligh.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I can assure members that in its unvaryingly constructive fashion, the government of this province will be making every effort to ensure that the federal government honours both the spirit and the letter of its new commitment --
Mr. S. Smith: Like Edmonton.
Hon. Mr. Davis: -- to having Canadians and their governments work together so that all of our citizens may enjoy the prosperity which this great country affords.
Mr. Speaker: Before we get into oral questions, I am sure all members would like me to call to their attention that we have an hon. gentleman with us in the Speaker’s gallery, the Hon. G. Mercier, Attorney General for Manitoba. Would you please join me in welcoming the hon. gentleman.
Mr. Lewis: That’s enough. The government members can stop now.
Hon. B. Stephenson: Keep it going.
Mr. Samis: You’ll regret Sterling.
Mr. S. Smith: Before I begin with oral questions, I just want to say a word of welcome if I might to the member for Ottawa Centre (Mr. Cassidy) in his new role. I feel there was a time when I thought to myself that what I really ought to wish for him was that same degree of joy and pleasure that I had during my first couple of years as leader. But then I realized that even here we ought not to inflict cruel and unusual punishment on anyone. So I simply welcome him to the ranks of leader of an opposition party and wish him well.
Mr. S. Smith: I would like to direct a question to the Premier, Mr. Speaker. In the Throne Speech there is mention made of the fact that unemployment among our young people under 25 is the worst unemployment, and in percentage terms and perhaps in social terms, I am sure that is a fact. Can the Premier tell us what measures his government is prepared to take for the other very important and hard-hit group of unemployed -- those in their peak earning years, 25 to 54, who are often the only support for their families and for whom the number of unemployed has actually risen 42 per cent over the last two months, a 47,000 increase between November and January? Can he tell us what measures his government is planning with regard to that very critical and important group?
Hon. Mr. Davis: There are several important critical groups. The Leader of the Opposition has mentioned one. I think the average in that group over the past year was about 3.9 per cent; I think that is the rough percentage figure for the group we have highlighted in the Throne Speech.
Mr. S. Smith: Six point nine per cent.
Hon. Mr. Davis: There will be, of course, amplification in the budget as to the general policies of this government with respect to our financial situation. We highlighted the young people in the Throne Speech because I guess on percentage terms there is about a 13 per cent factor.
Mr. Wildman: You are only giving them summer jobs.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I think with the unemployed women it is probably around seven per cent and then with the males between 25 and 55 or 60 -- whatever the data base is -- it is a much lower percentage.
Mr. Speaker, our hope is that with the restoration of confidence and the investment by the people of this province and, of course, across this country, we can develop economic policies on a co-operative basis that will see a number of these people who are at present unemployed given employment opportunities.
Part of it, as was referred to in the Throne Speech, is alterations in our refraining programs so that in those areas where specific skills are required, and the personnel are not available for them, once again with the kind of co-operation that will be necessary from both business and labour -- I emphasize -- I think we can rectify some of this situation.
I would suggest to the Leader of the Opposition that while we could single out that particular group where there has been some increase -- but in percentage terms lower than the area that we focused upon in the Throne Speech -- with our policies as a government, and this includes our approach and co-operative approach with the government of Canada, if we set our minds to it, we can instil the spirit of confidence that I think is necessary in terms of consumer purchasing and the availability of savings funds, which are fairly substantial at this moment, and we can do much to restore economic activity in this province.
Mr. Cassidy: That sounds like a precis of the speech yesterday.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I was asked about the Throne Speech. I would be prepared to go ahead with a further precis of all those other suggestions in the Throne Speech, if the member likes. I thought the member might be asking me a question or two about it and I was saving some for that occasion. I think I have answered it at sufficient length. If there is a supplementary, I’d be delighted to entertain it.
Mr. Mackenzie: We would need a lot of questions to get any answers out of that speech.
Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary, does the Premier take issue with the figures, which I will put before the House, that in November 1977, taking men and women together as humans with regard to the age group 25 to 54 --
Mr. Foulds: Which is a good way to take them.
Mr. Lewis: The Liberal Party learns, if one gives them time.
Mr. S. Smith: The figures indicate 4.3 per cent unemployment in November 1977 and 6.1 per cent two months later in January 1978, a difference of 47,000 people? Does he have any plans to deal with the desperate situation in our manufacturing sector in Ontario, which affects a good many people in that age group?
Mr. Makarchuk: Tell them about your hopes for the auto pact.
Hon. Mr. Davis: It is abundantly clear that I do differentiate between men and women, not in the same way as others perhaps, but I do. In terms of employment, I do not.
Mr. Reid: That certainly nails it down.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I wasn’t referring to the member for Rainy River. Don’t get so defensive. I would just say that I am not going to debate the figures with the Leader of the Opposition. We have stated and we recognize the need to have further economic growth and employ more of our people, and I do not make a distinction between male and female employment opportunities. What I have said, and I think it is important both from an economic and social standpoint, is that in terms of providing programs, particularly for young people, some of whom are students, this is an area where the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) in his budget will be outlining, we think, some significant issues.
Mr. Cassidy: In view of the fact that the government says that its priority is now on the economy --
Some hon. members: No applause?
Mr. Roy: The enthusiasm is overwhelming.
Mr. Cassidy: -- can the Premier explain why this government has so effectively passed the buck to the federal government and to the private sector that the only significant action it has promised in the Throne Speech is a temporary program of employment for young people?
Mr. Mackenzie: At no more than $2.15 an hour.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, if you don’t rule me out of order, I had planned to do this on the member’s first question.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I can’t hear the answer.
Mr. Roy: There is no answer.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I was just going to extend my congratulations and best wishes in a more limited sense, I guess, to the new leader of the New Democratic Party. We had a very brief chat on the phone yesterday and I wished him well -- not too well -- but I want to make sure that he understands. I do understand the onerous responsibilities he has assumed. While I think it is fair to state the new leader and I will disagree on some issues --
Mr. Deans: Everything.
Mr. Breaugh: Sure, he’s going to be right.
Hon. B. Stephenson: Not any oftener than he has been in the past.
Hon. Mr. Davis: -- I do wish him well, and I say that most sincerely. To answer the question, without having to go back too far in my memory, I think the government of this province emphasized the economy well prior to the government of Canada.
Mr. MacDonald: In rhetoric.
Hon. Mr. Davis: It was in our presentation at the previous first ministers’ conference, prior to the one last week and we have been endeavouring to deal with it here within our own areas of provincial responsibility.
Ms. Gigantes: Summer jobs.
Hon. Mr. Davis: We are not, in fact, passing the responsibility to the government of Canada. The fact of the matter is the government of Canada has a very basic responsibility. If one is dealing with the manufacturing sector, there is no question that the competitive aspect of some industries in this province may have to be improved. We have made significant representations to the government of Canada relating to the GATT negotiations at present going on, that will have, I think, some very profound effects on the future of manufacturing in this province.
Mr. Warner: Just confess. You don’t know how to run the store.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Rather than the criticism of passing the buck, yes, we have stated to the government of Canada for some months that they have to come to grips with economic issues --
Mr. Warner: In fact, you’ve mortgaged the store. The store’s empty.
Hon. Mr. Davis: -- and, as I mentioned in my opening statement, we think at long last they too have recognized the importance of this to the future of this country.
Mr. Warner: You’re left with one thing to do. You should resign and get it over with. You can’t manage the store; you’ve mortgaged the store. There’s nothing left.
Hon. B. Stephenson: That was both ethically and morally bankrupt.
Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Scarborough-Ellesmere does not have the floor.
Mr. Reid: Mr. Speaker, I’d like to ask the Premier how much discussion, both at the first ministers’ conference and with the Treasurer, has he had on the structure of Ontario manufacturing, specifically as it relates to the large branch plant economy that unfortunately has grown up in the province of Ontario? What is he going to do about changing that aspect of our industrialization in the province?
Mr. Laughren: That’s a Liberal question? You’re worried about that?
Mr. Warner: It’s now a warehouse economy.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I hear the New Democrats saying that the distinguished member is trying to steal their economic philosophy. I’d never say that of the hon. member. They might, but I never would.
There was some discussion. I think it’s fair to state that it was limited. It was raised by Premier Blakeney, as a matter of fact, I think in living colour.
Mr. MacDonald: He always raises the basic points.
Mr. Breaugh: Always a leader.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Listen, I have great respect for Premier Blakeney. I don’t hesitate in saying it.
Mr. MacDonald: You should. You should.
Hon. Mr. Davis: He knows that I think he’s politically and philosophically misguided but, as an individual, I have great respect for him.
An hon. member: At least he has a philosophy.
Mr. MacDonald: He’s the only intellectual match for the Prime Minister, in a sense.
Mr. Speaker: Just answer the question, please. Ignore the interjections.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I think it is fair to state that the conference itself did not feel that this was the fundamental problem that was facing this country or Canadians, and while there was some discussion, I think it’s fair to state there was no discussion in great detail of that particular facet.
Mr. Peterson: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: I’m just trying to extract the substance out of what the Premier is saying.
Mr. Nixon: It is difficult.
Mr. Peterson: Does the Premier agree with the Treasurer’s stated and quoted view that unemployment is not a provincial responsibility and therefore the Premier has washed his hands of the matter? Is that what he is saying?
Hon. W. Newman: That’s not what he’s saying.
Hon. B. Stephenson: Why don’t you get a hearing aid?
Hon. Mr. Davis: For the hon. member for London Centre, I will go through it again. The hon. member should really pay more attention to what the Treasurer of this province says, because the hon. member would learn a little better.
Mr. Peterson: The Premier had better pay more attention to what he says.
Hon. Mr. Davis: The Treasurer of this province has never said that unemployment is totally a federal responsibility. I have never said it.
Mr. Bolan: You said it yesterday.
Hon. Mr. Davis: What we have said is that we will not solve the problems of this province, or of this country, without a greater measure of co-ordination and co-operation among all governments. That is what has been said.
Mr. Peterson: You have washed your hands of it.
An hon. member: Pontius Pilate.
DARLINGTON NUCLEAR PLANT
Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, a question for the Minister of Energy: In view of the fact that the primary rationale for exempting the Darlington station from the Environmental Assessment Act was the need for this plant to be operating in time to avoid supposed power shortages in the mid-1980s, and in keeping with the new study with regard to the projected growth in electrical power consumption, does the minister now agree that the tremendous degree of rush that was referred to, no longer exists and that it is possible to have that project referred under the Environmental Assessment Act as was originally suggested from this side of the House and that in fact it should be done?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker --
Mr. Foulds: They are trying to give the minister time to think of an answer.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: As perhaps the hon. Leader of the Opposition knows, the projected load for hydro has by no means been accurately assessed by Hydro itself.
Mr. Breaugh: Or anybody else.
Mr. Deans: That’s been the problem for years.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: It is a very complex subject. There are many implications, many ramifications for management. We have been told by Hydro that within the next few weeks we will be getting a detailed report from Hydro as to what will be entailed as far as stretch-outs or curtailment are concerned, depending on their study from the operating side; and only once we have that study will we be able to see what public policies are involved in this. Until such time, I think it would be very premature to try to answer that question or for anyone else, in fact, to try to answer that question.
Mr. McClellan: Just say you don’t know.
Mr. S. Smith: Supplementary to the minister, Mr. Speaker: Is the minister not prepared to say to this House, given the report of Middleton Associates as to the savings that could be brought about by some very minor conservation measures and given the new load forecast of Hydro, that, in fact, the need for Darlington can be put off for at least the amount of time it would take to do the environmental assessment? Is he not prepared at least to tell us that the load forecast recognizes that at least one nuclear station can be delayed at least two years, based on the new load projections?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: I would simply like to say, Mr. Speaker, by way of reiteration, that until we have a full and detailed report from Hydro which we should surely give them proper time to prepare, it would be precipitous on our part to make any statement or to make any decision as far as Darlington or for that matter any other generating station is concerned.
Mr. MacDonald: Supplementary to the original question asked by the Leader of the Opposition: Since the government wasted the two-year period from 1975 to 1977 when they could have done an environmental assessment, and now when they have some prospect in face of the lower forecast for the mid ’80s when allegedly the lights might go out, why don’t they proceed immediately so that they can get their environmental assessment done in time to incorporate any results from it in the construction of Darlington, when and if they ever get around to it?
Mr. Makarchuk: Sounds sensible.
Mr. Martel: Too sensible.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, again I can only answer by further reiteration -- until such time as we get a full report from Hydro there is no way we should be asking for an environmental assessment. This would be simply inappropriate and precipitous.
Mr. Foulds: The minister doesn’t know what is going on.
Mr. MacDonald: Having wasted two years, you are going to waste more.
Mr. Lewis: The Premier should have stayed with Prince Edward-Lennox.
Mr. Reed: Mr. Speaker, do the replies we have heard indicate that the minister does not have any revised load forecast on his desk?
Mr. Foulds: No.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, we do have a very tentative revised forecast --
Mr. MacDonald: The only thing tentative is what to do about it.
Ms. Gigantes: Not tentative; it’s official.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: As everyone here knows, it reached the press. We have that. But they are not detailed. No one has been able to say whether this is a temporary situation.
Mr. MacDonald: It has been consistent for the last two years: going down.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Whether it’s to be a long-term forecast or whatever, we need details, and before we have details we simply cannot in all good conscience take any other action.
Ms. Gigantes: Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the minister why it is that Hydro load forecasts are used as a justification for building plants, but won’t be used apparently by this government as a justification for taking the time to do an environmental assessment for a plant we really don’t need.
An hon. member: Right on.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: I think it is really impossible to answer that question -- as I have said on three occasions now -- until we have the information that we need to make a responsible and a sensible decision.
Mr. Speaker: The hon. Minister of Energy has indicated he is not prepared to add further to his initial answer. I will now recognize the hon. member for Ottawa Centre.
Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I hope it’s like this every day and not just at the beginning. I want to thank both the leader of the Liberal Party and the Premier for their good wishes, and just express the wish that they will feel as kindly about me in one year’s time as they have been in expressing their sympathies here today.
Mr. Sterling: No chance.
Mr. Cassidy: Maybe not, eh.
Mr. Lewis: Calm down over there.
Mr. Speaker: Could we have some order. Perhaps the hon. members will now do us the courtesy of allowing the member to be heard.
Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Ed Ziemba is the only honest guy; he didn’t applaud.
Mr. Makarchuk: At least we woke Paul up.
Mr. Conway: Let’s hear from the grass roots now.
Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, a question of the Premier: In view of the fact that the program which he took before the first ministers’ conference was titled Immediate Actions for job Creation and that it stretched so far as seeing the construction of a deep sea fishing fleet in Nova Scotia, can the Premier explain why no reference was made to an action by the federal government which could have been endorsed by the premiers at the conference, and translated into legislation this very week in order to ensure the creation of more jobs within Canada, namely insistence that the pipe for the new arctic pipeline in the west be made in Canada and not be opened up to the rest of the world?
Mr. Roy: In fact you should have insisted that the pipeline go through Ontario.
Mr. Kerrio: We are even, Mike.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I am delighted to see that the new leader supports in philosophical terms a suggestion made by this province that one way to stimulate the economy in immediate terms is the policy of buy Canadian; that applies to the pipe.
Mr. MacDonald: That is rhetoric, now what are the facts?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I think it is fair to state that the province of Ontario has made it clear, not just at that conference but on a number of occasions -- and others have also made it very clear, including the Premier of Saskatchewan -- that we are very anxious to see that the pipe for the new pipeline is Canadian-made pipe. The government of Canada, in its wisdom, has taken the approach it has.
I think it is fair to state that from my understanding of it, the steel companies in this province feel they are in a pretty competitive position. I read the headlines yesterday, about the possible opportunity for a number of new jobs. This government, through the Ministry of Industry and Tourism, will continue to monitor and to press to make sure that this country, and obviously this province, obtains a very fair share of not only the pipe but other material going into that pipeline.
Mr. Wildman: It is a pipe dream.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Well, it is not.
Mr. Swart: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: I’d ask the Premier if he doesn’t think it would have been preferable for the federal government to have included a clause in its bill which would have provided for the use of Canadian pipe. If he thinks that should have been done, did he make any specific proposal at any time for including such a clause in the bill; and if not, why not?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, actually, the specific piece of legislation was not discussed at the conference. This province has made its representations to the government of Canada; it knows full well our views on this subject. We will continue to press, as I said, for the use of Canadian material in the pipeline.
We have no control over what the government of Canada includes in this legislation. I’m the last one to defend the government of Canada, but I’d be very surprised if they weren’t anxious, in fact I know they’re anxious, that the majority of this material is purchased in Canada. I don’t think there’s any question about that.
Mr. Cassidy: Since this question concerns the glaring omissions in the Premier’s 10-point program before the conference last week, can the Premier also explain why, in his presentation before the first ministers’ conference, he made no reference to the situation in Sudbury and to this government’s deliberate undermining of the recommendations of the select committee of this Legislature, which would have had the effect of preserving and creating jobs for miners in the Sudbury area?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I think there was some discussion as it related to the resource industry generally. There was reference and discussion as it related to the market for not only that resource but others. I think there was -- if the leader of the New Democratic Party was watching faithfully, as I’m sure he was --
Mr. Swart: Apprehensively.
Hon. Mr. Davis: -- a reference to at least one concern that was expressed by all provinces which was the complexity of the taxation laws as it relates to the resource industry. That does not have an impact in immediate terms on the situation at Inco, I don’t debate that for a moment --
Mr. Peterson: Was Reuben speaking for you in that matter?
Hon. Mr. Davis: -- but I think it is fair to state that this government was not undermining, undercutting, or doing anything of that nature to the recommendations of the select committee. I appreciate the effort which the select committee put into its interim report.
Mr. Cassidy: You depreciated them.
Hon. Mr. Davis: What this government was not prepared to do, as was not the government of Canada, was to get into the concept of stockpiling this particular resource.
Mr. Wildman: That is not what we asked.
Mr. Laughren: That is dishonest. There was no mention of stockpiling.
Hon. Mr. Davis: The leader of the New Democratic Party can argue with that.
Hon. B. Stephenson: What are you going to do with it?
Hon. Mr. Davis: I think it is a fair issue to debate, but please don’t suggest we were undermining the committee’s report. We didn’t agree with that aspect and I don’t debate that. If the leader wishes to debate the committee report as it relates to the concept or policy of stockpiling --
An hon. member: You didn’t listen to your own minister.
Mr. Mackenzie: Why didn’t you come up with an alternative then?
Hon. Mr. Davis: -- I think it’s a fair area for discussion.
Mr. Mackenzie: That was just an excuse. You could have turned it down.
Hon. Mr. Davis: But please understand we weren’t undermining or ignoring, although it came fairly late. We were neither undermining nor ignoring; we didn’t agree with that particular recommendation.
An hon. member: Your members did.
Mr. Mackenzie: That was just an excuse.
Mr. Conway: Tell Mickey Hennessy that. He will never come south again.
Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, I have a supplementary of the Premier concerning what he interpreted as stockpiling. Is the Premier aware that the select committee was merely asking for a loan of money to continue the overproduction for a period of only 30 days, coupled to a 30-day work-sharing program, which would have allowed them a 60-day moratorium for the other two items in the select committee report to take effect, all of which were aimed at reducing the overproduction and reaching the level that both nickel companies had to reach in order to satisfy their customers and that what we were asking was merely a loan and we were not talking about stockpiling at all?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I’m not going to get into a semantic argument as to whether it was stockpiling.
Mr. Mackenzie: You couldn’t win it.
Hon. Mr. Davis: If the hon. member is asking was I aware that the one recommendation was related to the other, the concept of work-sharing for a further 30 days, yes, I was aware of that. The government was aware of it. Of course, if that suggestion had come forward earlier, that in itself might have been a partial solution. If it had been accepted by those who were involved in it, that might have provided a partial solution for a period of time. I recognize that was also contained in the report, yes.
Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Ottawa Centre has a final supplementary.
Mr. Cassidy: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. In view of the fact that the government rejected a buy-Canadian policy when it was proposed by the New Democratic Party in the budget debate a year ago, can the Premier say what specific steps Ontario intends to take now to ensure an increase in purchases of Canadian goods and which of these initiatives, if any, Ontario is prepared to take on its own without waiting for federal action?
Hon. W. Newman: We’re already doing it.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Agriculture and Food will tell you we’re already doing this. I heard him from here.
Mr. Foulds: It’s the first time you’ve heard of it, eh?
Hon. Mr. Davis: No, it’s not the first time I’ve heard it. It’s come from the Minister of Agriculture and Food for many months.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I’m trying to go back in my memory again. I don’t think we rejected it. I don’t think it was a question of rejecting it. It was a question, when we went to that conference, of trying, in as constructive a fashion as we could --
Mr. Wildman: It’s taking the government a long time to accept it.
Hon. Mr. Davis: -- to delineate some areas where we think certain immediate actions could be taken to assist in the upturn of the economy. That happens to be one of them.
I think it’s important in the context and in the phraseology of the program that we have suggested that it be a national program with the co-operation of the provinces. Our ministries will be working with the government of Canada to see that this program is commenced. If -- and I emphasize “if” -- if other events intervene, who knows, we will explore ways where we can as a provincial government move, in any event, but I’m hopeful that the government of Canada, because they accepted this proposition, will move with this in a co-operative way which I think would be in the best interests of this province.
Mr. Cassidy: I have a supplementary, Mr. Speaker. I just want to say that many a maiden will say that a failure to embrace is equal to a rejection, and that’s what happened with our proposal last year for a buy-Canadian program.
Hon. B. Stephenson: It depends on whether you are hypersensitive or not.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I have not had that experience.
Mr. Cassidy: You’re not a maiden, I guess.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I hope that is obvious.
Mr. Cassidy: In view of the urgency of the economic situation in the province today, why can’t the government put some real impetus to the direction proposed in the Throne Speech by acting now -- here, at once -- to bring in a comprehensive buy-Canadian program to govern purchases for the public sector in Ontario which are entirely within this government’s jurisdiction?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I find the question interesting and intriguing. I can only restate what I said to the hon. member, that I think such a program would be infinitely better if it were national, with the co-operation of the provinces, and we intend to pursue it in that direction. As I said, if for some reason other events intervene that take up the time of the federal ministers or ministries, we are prepared to see what we can do on our own initiative, but I really think it should be a national program.
Mr. Ruston: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Education. I am sure he is probably aware of the teachers’ strike in the separate school system in the county of Essex. Has the minister been advised, by his Education Relations Commission, of any action he should take? And is the minister concerned that 37 school days have been lost in the school strike?
Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, of course I am concerned that for about 37 days the elementary students in the Essex County Roman Catholic Separate School Board jurisdiction have not been in school. They haven’t been in school because of the resultant strike between the teachers of that jurisdiction and the board, carried on legally under the bill that all of us in this Legislature passed.
What I would like to point out to my friend is that the procedures to end that strike now, within a few hours, remains with those parties. I agree they have been negotiating for over a year, and that they have gone through a variety of processes. They may not be able to arrive at a negotiated settlement but the processes under that legislation are available to them to end that dispute and have the children back in school tomorrow, if they would just do it.
The processes, of course, are third-person arbitration or final-offer selection. The Education Relations Commission is ready to go down this afternoon or tonight to help those parties enact the kind of agreement that would allow that kind of resolution to their problem. That, I think, is the sensible way for that dispute to be ended. Those who feel that it should be ended -- be they parents, ratepayers or any other person concerned in that area -- should direct their attention to both the parties and urge them to do that if they can’t get a negotiated settlement.
I checked with the Education Relations Commission and its members indicate that they have not had any request from either of the parties to hold a hearing to declare that the pupils’ learning process was in jeopardy; the Education Relations Commission has not been asked by either party to hold one of those hearings. I would admit that they have been asked by some of the parents’ groups.
Mr. Ruston: Supplementary. Mr. Speaker: Does the minister not feel that when seven weeks go by, and when neither side will agree to something, it’s time that someone else should step in?
Hon. Mr. Wells: That is exactly what I said, Mr. Speaker. If the member wants my opinion, it’s quite obvious the matter is probably not going to be settled by negotiations between the parties. They should therefore look to the legislation and put into effect the remedies that are provided in the legislation for another party to settle it. But that remains within their hands; they can do that themselves, right away. If they really wanted they could have the schools open tomorrow.
Mr. Cooke: Mr. Speaker, a supplementary for the Minister of Education: Since it appears that the board in Essex county would like to surrender its authority to the provincial government, would the minister make it very clear to the Legislature that he will not bring in legislation to force arbitration in this dispute and therefore make it clear to both parties that they are going to have to negotiate a settlement?
Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I think I have indicated my position in the remarks that I just gave in answer to the previous question.
Mr. Mancini: Mr. Speaker, in view of the fact that for this period of seven weeks both sides have had the opportunity to end the strike or dispute, as the minister has already stated to this House; and in view of the fact that has not been done and very shortly these 10,000 students in the county of Essex will be near losing their school year, does the Minister of Education not feel that it is now his responsibility to intervene and to end the strike with legislation?
Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I don’t like to repeat myself, but I suggest that my friend make these remarks to the Essex County Roman Catholic Separate School Board. He should tell them to get on with the matter and, if they can’t negotiate a settlement, agree that the two parties will go to some form of third-party settlement of the dispute. They can do it today and the schools can be open tomorrow. So why ask us to solve their problem?
Mr. S. Smith: Since it seems perfectly obvious that the two parties to the dispute are at this point stubbornly refusing to engage in the behaviour which the minister has suggested that they might logically engage in; and since neither of them seems to be suffering as much as the children and their parents -- the children have now missed 37 school days; and since I assume that even under the minister’s administration one learns something in 37 school days; is it not time for the minister of request the Education Relations Commission to make an assessment of the harm being done to the education of these children and then to take action as the Minister of Education in this province?
Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I think I’ve answered that question. I don’t feel that it is my place, at this point in time, to ask the Education Relations Commission to make --
Mr. Lewis: You know what they want. They want a bill and they want it tomorrow.
Mr. S. Smith: Why don’t you ask the ERC?
Mr. Mancini: Ten thousand students out of school.
Mr. Speaker: No further supplementaries.
Mr. Deans: Mr. Speaker --
Mr Deans: You don’t know how much you’re loved until you lose.
Hon. Mr. Rhodes: I don’t know; Peterson never gained anything.
Mr. Cassidy: Don’t be so sure.
ONTARIO ECONOMIC STRATEGY
Mr. Deans: I want to ask a question of the Treasurer. I have been following with some interest the Treasurer’s statements of the last two or three months with regard to the state of the Ontario economy. Given that he has been at the helm for at least six years and given that his party has been in charge for at least 35 years, can he tell me how he proposes to bring about any change that would be beneficial, since everything that we suffer from was brought about by him?
Mr. Roy: And you were pulling for him in the leadership.
Mr. Wildman: It’s a federal matter, isn’t it?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, recognizing that my friend has not yet settled down from the rhetoric of the campaign --
Mr. Deans: Oh, I have settled down.
Mr. MacDonald: The Treasurer hasn’t settled down since 1971, what is he complaining about?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: -- I suppose I would simply quietly point out to him two things: that in addition to things which I may or may not have been responsible for, there have been a few things going on in the world around us. I would refer specifically to the oil price increases of 1973, by OPEC, which have meant that really the whole western industrialized world has not grown, in the mid-seventies and late seventies, at the rate at which it grew during the sixties and the early seventies. The growth rate in this country for the last three or four years, cumulatively, has been as good or better than most of the western industrialized world.
Our growth rate in Canada last year was not satisfactory to any of us, but I think one can take some satisfaction in the fact -- and if I am to be honoured with the blame or take the abuse I do take some satisfaction in the fact -- that the growth rate in Ontario last year, in real growth, was better than that of every other province except Alberta.
Mr. S. Smith: And for less than the Treasurer predicted.
Mr. Deans: I have a supplementary question. I wonder if the Treasurer could tell me how he rationalizes that position with the statement which he made on February 16, to the Canadian Business Editors Association, in which he points out, “that in a healthy economy by all traditional standards, the paper argues, last year we would still have had a deficit in Ontario of some $369 million and probably closer to $700 million”?
If he is such a good manager, capable of doing all the things he claims he could have done, how can it be that we would have had a deficit of almost $700 million even if the economy had been operating at full tilt?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: I’m glad the member is reading my speeches.
Mr. Deans: I read a lot of what the Treasurer says.
Mr. Nixon: He has a very large mailing list.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: Perhaps the member might precis it for his new leader.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: The point I was attempting to make in that speech -- and obviously the member has grasped it -- is that the answer to our problems --
Mr. Deans: Oh yes, I grasped it; the Treasurer can’t manage the economy.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: -- is not higher and higher government spending, which is advocated by his party --
Mr. Deans: Which he has been doing.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: -- and his party almost exclusively.
Mr. Gaunt: I have a question of the Premier. Will the Premier intervene to hold off any exploratory drilling for uranium in Lake Wanapitei until a thorough environmental assessment of any commercial or industrial development, including drilling in or next to the lake, is undertaken, as was recommended by the Lake Wanapitei study committee?
Hon. Mr. Davis: I understand there may be some litigation on that matter. The hon. minister who is familiar with it will be here. I will look into this; though I won’t be here later on this afternoon or tomorrow. I will get some information to the hon. member even in my absence.
Mr. Martel: Supplementary: In view of his refusal to meet the requests of the regional council to rescind the cabinet order allowing drilling for uranium in Lake Wanapitei, will the Premier, based on the over 10,000 signatures that I am about to send to him petitioning the cabinet to rescind that order, reconsider his position and follow what he did in Elliot Lake and prevent drilling for uranium on the lake which is the city’s drinking water supply?
Hon. Mr. Davis: As this volume of material is coming across to me, I would say to the hon. member first thank you very much for the petition. Second, as I said to the member, I will be looking at this matter and I will have an answer for him perhaps tomorrow or Friday.
Mr. Martel: One further supplementary question: While the Premier is reconsidering his position, in view of the fact that under Bill 164 this government gave to the regional municipality of Sudbury the responsibility for drinking water for the region, should he not think that he would honour that autonomy he gave them, and that responsibility he gave them, by meeting their requests not to allow that drilling to proceed?
Hon. Mr. Davis: I am very sympathetic to the responsibilities of any municipality.
Mr. Laughren: Prove it.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I just have to tell the member I don’t want to go back to some of the inconsistencies his people have presented when they have said to us --
Mr. Swart: What about breaking the Edmonton commitment?
Hon. Mr. Davis: -- “Don’t worry about the autonomy of the municipalities. Move in and hit them over the head and do what you think we should do.” Please be consistent. The member’s party is not always consistent.
Mr. Laughren: Think of our drinking water supply; never mind the red herring.
Mr. Martel: The Premier believes in local autonomy when it’s convenient.
Hon. Mr. Davis: If it suits their interest they want autonomy; if it doesn’t suit their interest they don’t want it.
Mr. Martel: That’s what the Premier does too.
Hon. Mr. Davis: All I’m saying is it is a matter, I think, of great public interest to Sudbury and to others. I will give the hon. member, or some minister will, an answer tomorrow or Friday. I want to make it quite clear that if the member is suggesting that the government is reconsidering, I didn’t say that.
Mr. Mackenzie: To the Minister of Labour: Would the Minister of Labour tell this House why in blazes we have to wait another five months for the miserly increase in the minimum wage; and why it only amounts to less than four per cent over the last two years when inflation has increased at a rate of about 10 per cent a year over the last two years?
Mr. Kerrio: Why isn’t it your $4 plan? You forgot to ask the rest of the question.
Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, it is within the economic interest of those people who are employed in this province, I think, to give employers the longest possible lead time when we are considering moving the minimum wage. It is specifically addressed to the problems of the hospitality industry which is, as every member of this House knows, undergoing some grave difficulty in its direct competition with the hospitality industry in the northern United States.
We therefore feel very strongly that although we must increase the purchasing power of those people who are employed at the level of minimum wage, it must be done at the cost of the smallest number of employment opportunities, for both our young people and those people in the hospitality industry.
An hon. member: To cater to the American tourists.
Mr. Mackenzie: Supplementary: Does the minister realize the number of concessions we have already given to the tourist industry; and when are we going to start considering the low-wage employees in that industry? Will she not also consider carrier boys who are being exploited -- covering them under the minimum wage? What about young people who are trying to remain in school and are going to remain at $2.15 an hour? Isn’t it time we took a look at those situations as well?
Hon. B. Stephenson: I think it is much preferable that those young people have jobs than that they have no jobs at all and no income.
Mr. Deans: Why doesn’t the minister talk to the Treasurer about that mess too?
Hon. B. Stephenson: I would ask the hon. member to list for me all those concessions which he seems to think we have given to the hospitality industry. There is one small segment of that industry to which tip differential is applied -- only one small segment. I would remind the hon. member that in other provinces in this country, and many states in the union, the tip differential applies to all workers within the hospitality industry; and it is much larger than it is in the province of Ontario.
Mr. Foulds: A bad precedent is no precedent at all to follow.
Hon. B. Stephenson: And it will remain much larger even when ours expands slightly.
Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, in view of the fact that the minister is raising the minimum wage --
Hon. Mr. Parrott: Oh, oh. We know where the power is over there.
Mr. Foulds: -- could the minister explain why, in view of the fact that since July 1975 the industrial wage composite has gone up over 20 per cent, the minister did not bring in an increase in the benefits for injured workers? How much longer is she going to discriminate against these people because of their commitment to the work ethic?
Mr. Speaker: That’s not supplementary to the original question.
Mr. Cassidy: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: If we could have our final supplementary then --
Mr. Speaker: You had it; it was out of order.
GLENDALE TRAINING CENTRE
Mr. G. I. Miller: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Correctional Services. It is in regard to the closing of the Glendale Adult Training Centre in Simcoe.
The first question is, has the minister received a copy of the citizens’ committee report which recommends retaining the program? If so, has he had an opportunity to review it? I think all parties in the House have received a copy of the citizens’ committee’s report recommending retention of the program.
Secondly, how can the minister justify doing away with a program which has only been in operation three years and only now appears to be working well; and which has a lot of public support?
Thirdly, in view of the fact that the minister has indicated that Canadian produce is being utilized at these jails, would he say why it appears that offshore beef is being used at this particular facility?
Hon. Mr. Drea: First of all, Mr. Speaker, I have just received the report. Obviously the member forgot to send it.
Mr. Conway: Has the minister been in his office this month?
Hon. Mr. Rhodes: He wasn’t down in Florida getting a tan.
Hon. Mr. Drea: In all fairness, my deputy minister and I met last Friday with the citizens’ committee from Glendale; and even as late as last Friday -- they were in my office for three hours -- they didn’t leave this. I appreciate this copy, coming as it did from the Leader of the Opposition.
Mr. Kerrio: The minister had them mesmerized.
Hon. Mr. Drea: In terms of the second question -- and I would appreciate it if the member would raise the third one as a supplementary; I had some difficulty hearing it.
Question number two was, how could we close an institution that has only been operating for three years? The Glendale Adult Training Centre was a training school for juveniles up until 1974. At that time we did have jurisdiction over juveniles as well as adults and my predecessors in this ministry transferred that institution into an adult centre. The difficulty, Mr. Speaker, is that within those three years a great number of changes have taken place.
First of all, the program that is at Glendale will now be duplicated in the community via community resource centres. A community resource centre is not a halfway house, it is a residence in the community. It is a jail without bars that operates under jail conditions; where the superintendent is in charge. The significant difference is that rather than institutionalizing the youthful offender -- and the entire complement or the entire number of inmates at Glendale are between 17 and 23, first reformatory offence -- they will now remain in the community. They will serve their sentence in that community resource centre and those centres will not be run by the government. Those centres will be run by private social agencies. They will be run by the John Howard Society, the Elizabeth Fry Society, the Fortune Society, St. Leonard’s Society; and indeed, Mr. Speaker, where any one of that particular group, which has laboured very long in this country for penal reform and for community activity, does not exist in that particular community, groups of citizens will band together even without the umbrella tag.
It will be an equal business partnership. It will not be on the basis of funding and so on and so forth, which has ruined and almost put out of existence the private social agency. They will present proposals to us and on the basis of their proposals we will make solid bona fide business arrangements covering a particular period of time. I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, that the private social agencies of this province are extremely enthusiastic about this program.
So rather than continue institutionalizing youthful offenders, which is exactly what we do at Glendale, they will be in the community. I think one of the things that is agreed upon in the corrections field is that the re-entry point of the offender back into the community is the most significant. That’s what makes or breaks; and in that case it will be handled directly in the community.
I apologize, I have a cold and I couldn’t hear the third part of the question. If the member would ask it as a supplementary I would be pleased to answer.
Mr. G. I. Miller: The third question was, does the minister realize that offshore beef is being utilized at Glendale? Since I think he has indicated that Ontario institutions utilize Ontario produce.
Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr Speaker, I can tell you that if there is produce, particularly meat, that doesn’t have its origin in this country, I would be pleased if the member would tell me about it, because I will be down there today --
Mr. Ruston: He just told you.
Mr. Peterson: You don’t even know what a cow is, Frank.
Hon. Mr. Drea: -- I will be down there today, my friend, and there won’t be any offshore beef or anything else.
Mr. Makarchuk: Supplementary: In view of the fact that we do not have the community resource centres, in view of the fact that we do not have the staff out there in the community to look after the people, and in view of the fact that the people the minister is going to shovel off into the community are people with all sorts of emotional, character problems, sex problems and everything else, does he not feel that although his program may have merit eventually in the community, when he has those resources in the community, that at this time it is premature for him to consider closing Glendale?
Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, in all fairness, I have new community resource centres, in addition to the 32 that we have now, coming on stream across this province.
Mr. Lewis: What do you mean, you have?
Hon. Mr. Drea: We are taking proposals from them right now. It disturbs me somewhat that a member would refer to inmates serving a first reformatory or first correctional centre sentence, such as are at Glendale now, as people having severe emotional and other problems. They do not.
It also disturbs me no end that, of all the places in the House, from the party that led the way for the deinstitutionalizing of the training schools we now have a member saying that I should maintain a post-graduate training school. Mr. Speaker, I do not follow the consistency in that.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: The party of reaction; that’s what they are.
Mr. Makarchuk: Can the minister at this time --
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I can’t hear the question.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: This is the new emphasis on the economy.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Those are your principles. If we don’t like them, you have got others.
Mr. Makarchuk: Can the minister at this time file with the House the addresses or the location of the community resource centres and the personnel associated with them?
Hon. Mr. Drea: Yes, on a general basis let us say that there will soon be one in Barrie -- within the immediate future. There will be two in Toronto; one by the Fortune Society, another probably by one of two social agencies that have made proposals. There will be an additional one in Hamilton. There will be an additional one in Kitchener. I don’t want to mention the agencies that are making the proposals because their proposals --
Mr. Roy: Are secret.
Hon. Mr. Drea: -- may not be acceptable to either one of us. I respect their privacy. We have asked them to make that type of proposal.
Mr. Foulds: How long will they take to get them in place?
Mr. Cassidy: You are closing Glendale now and they’re not ready. They’re proposals.
Hon. Mr. Drea: I will tell the hon. member that by the time on March 31 that my friend and colleague, the Minister of Community and Social Services (Mr. Norton), takes over Glendale and runs it as a juvenile institution --
Mr. Makarchuk: They didn’t even know they were taking it over a while ago.
Hon. Mr. Drea: -- I will have across this province the community resource centres which are perfectly capable of taking the inmates who ordinarily would have been referred to Glendale.
Mr. Foulds: Listen to this. Listen to this, Keith.
Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for High Park-Swansea with a new question.
Mr. Ziemba: It’s not a new question. It’s a supplementary.
Mr. Speaker: We have had enough supplementaries. The hon. member for Bellwoods.
DEATH OF KIM ANNE POPEN
Mr. McClellan: If I may ask the Minister of Community and Social Services a question respecting the investigation into the death of Kim Anne Popen: Firstly, can the minister confirm a story that was reported in the Sun of February 1 to the effect that a Mr. William Higgins, the lawyer for the Popen family in both the family court custody hearing and in the manslaughter trial of Mr. and Mrs. Popen, was at the same time a member of the board of directors of the Lambton County Children’s Aid Society?
Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, to the best of my information at this point the lawyer in question did in fact serve on the board of the Children’s Aid Society, but I understand not at the time of the hearing relating to the custody of the child, Kim Anne Popen. Presumably that and other aspects of the matter are being looked into at the present time by the committee -- I’m speaking now from recollection on the basis of questions that were raised last fall with respect to the role of the counsel in that case.
If there has been any change or updating of that information, I will certainly communicate it to the hon. member, but at this point, that’s my understanding.
Mr. McClellan: By way of supplementary, in view of the fact, as I understand from the minister, that the lawyer did represent the family in the manslaughter trial and there’s some doubt about the custody hearing; and, secondly, as county court judge Meehan has accused the Lambton County Children’s Aid Society of “almost criminal neglect” -- and that’s a quote -- I want to ask the minister would he not agree that he should disband the cosy little in-house review of the matter that he has established under the direction of Margaret Farina of the OACAS and establish instead a proper judicial inquiry under section 3 of the Child Welfare Act?
Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, I would take exception, first of all, to the description that the hon. member has given to the committee. I have, through the representative of our ministry on that committee, been attempting to monitor their progress --
Mrs. Campbell: Still cosy.
Hon. Mr. Norton: -- and I can assure the hon. members at this point that it has been anything but cosy. I think the task they have undertaken, they have taken very seriously. The reporting date, as I recall, is the end of this month and I hope to have some further comments on that more specifically, perhaps before the end of this week.
RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
Mr. Havrot from the standing resources development committee presented the committee’s report which was read as follows and adopted:
Your committee begs to report the following bill with certain amendments:
Bill 70, An Act respecting the Occupational Health and Occupational Safety of Workers.
Ordered for committee of the whole.
ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE COMMITTEE
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 59, An Act to reform the Law respecting Property Rights and Support Obligations between Married Persons and in Other Family Relationships.
Ordered for committee of the whole.
SELECT COMMITTEE ON COMPANY LAW
Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, I move that the select committee on company law be authorized to meet concurrently with the House on Thursday afternoons for the purpose of writing its report.
Mr. Speaker: Mr. Welch moves that the select committee on company law be authorized to meet concurrently with the House on Thursday mornings --
Hon. Mr. Welch: I must apologize. The only reason we would need a motion is if the committee was meeting in the afternoon when the House was in, which was my understanding. If, in fact, they are going to meet Thursday mornings, obviously we don’t need the motion. I wish somebody had communicated that to us.
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS
GASOLINE AND HEATING OIL UNIFORM PRICING ACT
Mr. Lane moved first reading of Bill 3, An Act to require a Single Price for Gasoline and Heating Oil Sold in Ontario by a Wholesaler.
Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, I have no wish to speak on this bill but this is the first opportunity I have had to raise a question of privilege which concerns the order of the private members’ ballot. I suggest to you, sir, that some time next week when time is more available, rather than involving the House --
Mr. Nixon: On a point of order if I may.
Should not the bill be completed before the hon. member takes the floor?
Motion agreed to.
Mr. Handleman: May I speak to my point of privilege, Mr. Speaker? I am speaking on a question of privilege concerning the ballot items 20 and 21 which will be placed on the order paper.
Mr. Conway: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, shouldn’t the member for Algoma-Manitoulin have a chance to speak to his bill?
Mr. Handleman: I am not objecting to his bill. The hon. member will have an opportunity, I suggest, to speak to the bill when I’ve put my question of privilege. I have no intention of speaking to the bill but on a question of privilege which, I suggest to you, Mr. Speaker, precedes that.
Mr. Lewis: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, why do you allow the member for Carleton to sabotage the efforts of the member for Algoma-Manitoulin? Let him speak on first reading and then raise the question of privilege, for heaven’s sake.
Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, if that’s your wish I’m quite prepared to sit down.
Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Algoma-Manitoulin.
Mr. Lane: Mr. Speaker, in reference to the bill I have just introduced, I intended to introduce it yesterday but it got lost en route to my desk, and I was unable to do so. I would hope the House would agree to debate this bill on March 9, even though it’s one day late being introduced.
Mr. Speaker: Do we have unanimous consent?
Mr. Speaker: It’s agreed that it will be brought up on March 9. Now the hon. member for Carleton.
PRIVATE MEMBERS’ BUSINESS
Mr. Handleman: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I certainly had no wish to deny the hon. member the consent that he sought.
I wish to raise a question of privilege but not in detail. I understand the constraints of time for the mover and seconder to the Speech from the Throne, but I want to reserve the position, so that there won’t be a point of order raised later on. I am raising it at the first opportunity, that is, that my privileges as an individual member of the House have been infringed upon by the continuation of the ballot list without an order of this House authorizing that continuation. I don’t want to go into detail on it. I think I would rather raise it when more time is available.
There was no order of the House to continue the ballot order and that is required under the rules which this House has adopted. I’d like to speak to it at greater length some time next week when there is more time to do so.
Mr. Lewis: It’s a good thing he’s out of cabinet. It must have been a nightmare. Does he nitpick like this all the time?
ASSESSMENT AMENDMENT ACT
Mr. Leluk moved first reading of Bill 4, An Act to amend the Assessment Act.
Motion agreed to.
Mr. Leluk: The bill provides an exemption from municipal taxation for additions and improvements to residential property that are designed to aid persons who are physically disabled.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, before the orders of the day, may I draw the attention of the hon. members to provisional order 25 which allocates a minimum of eight sitting days for the debate on the motion for an address in reply to the Speech from the Throne and requires the completion of this debate before the introduction of the budget. As the Treasurer has already publicly announced, the budget will be brought down on Tuesday, March 7, at 8 o’clock in the evening. This will allow the Throne Speech debate to be completed on Monday, March 6.
ORDERS OF THE DAY
THRONE SPEECH DEBATE
Consideration of the speech of the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor at the opening of the session.
Mr. McCaffrey moved that a humble address be presented to the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor as follows:
To the Honourable P. M. McGibbon, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.
May it please Your Honour: We, Her Majesty’s most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario now assembled, beg leave to thank Your Honour for the gracious speech Your Honour has addressed to us.
Mr. McCaffrey: It is an honour and a privilege for me to move adoption of the second Speech from the Throne of this 31st Parliament, constituted of an assembly duly chosen by the people of Ontario.
I believe all of us have just cause to support the approach to the priorities in the province as set out in the government’s program outlined in Her Honour’s address yesterday. The Speech from the Throne made it clear the most crucial challenges facing us are of an economic nature running to the very heart of the forces that make our economy both prosperous and free and that allow us to provide the many services that are essential to the well-being of all our citizens. There remains therefore a clear recognition by this government that only a strong and growing private sector can produce the jobs, the profits, and thus the taxes that the people of Ontario will need in order to improve and develop the social services we all deem to be essential.
Mr. Wildman: Just like Inco did.
Mr. Peterson: Did Darcy write this for you?
Mr. McCaffrey: It is challenge enough at the best of times to convince others in this Legislature of that essential fact.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Especially when they don’t listen.
Mr. McClellan: Don’t drop your script.
Mr. McCaffrey: Our free enterprise system, this rather fragile system, is our only long-term route to a time when we can pay for those social services and programs we all demand. It is an even greater challenge to keep this basic tenet intact when the citizens of this province are caught up in the somewhat more bleak international and national economies of today and when some levels of their governments are still trying to underwrite social programs that the system can’t afford. We in Armourdale are understandably concerned about the state of our national economy. I would go further and say that generally we recognize that things are not what they were. We know that we face difficult times, yet we remain confident that the right, not only the easy, steps will be taken to get us through this period. Generally speaking, in my community our own level of demand for new government services or programs has abated somewhat. The intelligent readjusting or restraint that we practise in our own homes, in our own businesses, is what we expect from all levels of government serving us. What is of particular importance to the people of my constituency is to note how this government responds in the face of these problems, to note how the government sees its role today.
Mr. Wildman: That was shown by your response to the Inco report.
Mr. McCaffrey: I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, that it is refreshing for us to see in the Speech from the Throne a candid assessment of our major problems --
Mr. Wildman: You quite obviously didn’t read the report.
Mr. McCaffrey: -- and an honest series of statements as to how the government must play its particular role. For one thing, there is recognition that capital investment is a key factor in job creation and improved productivity within the growing Ontario labour force. In order to remain competitive the government of Ontario will introduce measures to provide appropriate incentives and to promote Ontario as a desirable investment location.
The government is determined to move more aggressively to deregulate where possible, to make it easier for businessmen both large and small to concentrate on their own affairs. A mechanism will be established to review the operation of agencies, boards and commissions in this jurisdiction. The Leader of the Opposition (Mr. S. Smith) introduced a private member’s bill last session which recognized the need for such a step. Many of my own colleagues, in particular the member for London South (Mr. Walker) have pressed for legislation to enact what is now popularly referred to as a sunset law. So by encouraging investment in this province where possible and by making life a little easier for business this government exercises its proper mandate in a responsible manner and my constituents support this approach.
This government recognizes, and it was again reflected in the Speech from the Throne yesterday, that we must co-ordinate our initiatives with the federal government. All Canadians witnessed last week at the first ministers’ conference in Ottawa --
Mr. Wildman: You leave it all up to them.
Mr. McCaffrey: -- what Ontario citizens have known for years, that a rational program for national economic growth originated with this government. Now we in Ontario are accustomed to seeing good federal programs originate with this government, but our ability to exercise some form of national leadership has never been more urgent. More importantly, it was made clear in yesterday’s address that our government does not intend to wait for Ottawa to unveil their economic strategy for us. We are told that our Minister of Labour will shortly convene a conference with college and university personnel, representatives of labour and business as well as provincial and federal officials directly concerned.
I am confident that all members of the Legislature will applaud and support this initiative by the minister and the government. This minister can’t wait and won’t wait to get on with the job of identifying our national labour market needs in order to satisfy our more provincial objectives.
No discussion of the role of government during a period of general economic slowdown would be complete without reference to a continuing responsible restraint program in the area of government spending.
I find it amusing that a discussion about restraint in government spending in this Legislative Assembly sounds redundant and certainly in this jurisdiction it is old news. We could only wish that all other levels of government in this country had adopted a stance as early as this government did.
The Speech from the Throne restates this government’s long-term objectives. The generation of workers’ jobs and incomes, while primary targets of government action, will be met through alternatives to a doctrinaire reliance on public spending, alternatives which we have mentioned, alternatives like encouraging capital investment in this province and deregulating where possible to ensure that the burden of growth in Ontario is carried by the private sector.
An intelligent, responsible restraint program does not preclude this government from again using taxpayers’ dollars to help create the greatest number of short-term jobs when circumstances judge that to be wise. That this government can assume a flexible and I would call it a progressive role in job creation is reflected in the determination to follow up on last year’s success in providing incentives to the private sector to create new jobs for young workers in our province.
I know all members of this Legislature will support the spending of $26 million this year to help provide 36,000 jobs under the Ontario Career Action Program and the Ontario Youth Employment Program.
Mr. Wildman: A gum drop instead of a pill.
Mr. McCaffrey: These successful programs provide excellent present day illustrations of how the best traditions of the Progressive Conservative Party can serve our present and future needs.
Ms. Gigantes: They’re not just illustrations, they’re all you’ve got.
Mr. McCaffrey: Our party has always known that the government can and must exercise its muscle when no other agency or group is able to solve the problem.
The success of last year’s programs to help create new jobs for young workers can be surpassed this coming summer. While assisting the young people in our province, this government also challenges today’s youth with the very real need to reassess the role that alcohol has played in their lives. Faced with the all too prevalent fact of alcohol abuse in our society, the government proposes to attack the problem in a stem but equitable manner and we are confident in our party that the young people will accept their new responsibilities.
Mr. Wildman: Get them more jobs.
Mr. McCaffrey: The government is to be congratulated for refusing to merely isolate the young drinker. Rather, a broader package of initiatives will be introduced that speak to the serious problem of alcohol abuse by all ages. The people in our community wanted, and are going to get, more strict enforcement of liquor legislation and more severe penalties for drunken drivers of every age.
There will understandably be criticism of some of the government’s proposals on specific economic or social programs --
Mr. Wildman: Oh, I doubt it.
Mr. McCaffrey: -- as outlined in yesterday’s address and these differences will be debated in this Legislature in the months ahead. It is understandable too that some of the differences between the three parties’ positions will be pretty fundamental ones and that the debate should be heated. On a more personal note, I hope that the discussions to come on national unity and on the question of minority language rights in this province shall be constructive and not too heated.
Let me say as candidly as I can that I am concerned about this issue of French language rights in our province and the manner in which it be handled in the days ahead. The Premier of Ontario in a speech made earlier this month restated several basic positions which are supported by our party. “The principle of bilingualism,” he said, “the notion of co-equal respect and opportunity for both major language groups, is a basic principle of Canadian society. In Ontario, the national principle of bilingualism must be preserved in the provincial jurisdiction through our French language service program. That program, guaranteeing equal educational opportunity, access to services in areas of Ontario where population justifies it, and an increasing scope of French language guarantees in respect of health services and the courts, has progressed steadily since the 1960s. No English-speaking province has spent more per capita or proceeded in practical terms more intensively than Ontario.”
Mr. Wildman: So has separatism.
Mr. McCaffrey: Later on in the same speech, the Premier stated very simply what his government’s role has been, and stated a position that I hope all members here will support: “Ontario has chosen moderation, careful progress and practical programming in this area.”
I had never run for public office before the June election last year. The question of national unity was discussed often during those summer weeks of campaigning. Let me say that I was not only proud to be a candidate for the Progressive Conservative Party in our constituency, and proud to be associated with the Premier’s remarks on the issue of national unity during that period, I was proud in a broader sense to be a small part of a provincial campaign where all three leaders spoke intelligently -- and, I would say, with some sensitivity -- to this issue. I hope, to put my concern simply, that that same constructive attitude dominates our deliberations to come.
Almost immediately after the June election this Parliament met, and I don’t mind admitting that the manner in which all members of this Legislature approached the difficult problem in Essex county had a profound effect on me. I think what we did here in the summer of 1977 was right and proper, and I know it was not an easy or popular matter for many.
Ontario is a jurisdiction that has long enjoyed a government capable of resisting shortsighted impulse, and capable of responding to tomorrow’s needs and problems with consistency in leadership. As a member of the Progressive Conservative Party and as a supporter of this government, it is a privilege, indeed, to share in the determination of our future. This is a time when the qualities of discipline, courage and compassion must serve to shape the path our province and nation will follow.
The remarks of Her Excellency, the Lieutenant Governor, charted a course for Ontario, a course characterized by sound and strong decision. A government capable of such direction is one which I am honoured to serve and for whose Throne Speech I am pleased to move thanks.
Mr. G. Taylor: Naturally, it is an honour for me to second the motion that a humble address be presented to Her Honour the Lieutenant Governor. It is traditional that the mover and seconder of the motion be younger or newer members in this House. Since I qualify on both counts -- despite the grey hair --
Hon. Mr. Grossman: One out of two isn’t bad.
Mr. G. Taylor: -- I am happy to rise at this time, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Kerrio: You have to be a newer member to say that.
Mr. G. Taylor: I recently sent out a questionnaire to many of the people in my riding, and on that questionnaire I bad one brief question: “You have been elected Premier of Ontario; what would your first priorities be?” One of the answers that came back was: “Commit suicide.” It was followed by, “What if you became a member?” And that was, “To commit murder.” It didn’t suggest upon whom, but to commit murder.
I am reminded again of the Premier’s words of welcome to the new members on June 28. He spoke that a member would go through three stages, and that we would all go through these three stages in this House. The first stage, for those of you who may have forgotten the Premier’s words on that occasion and have forgotten your earlier stages in this House, would be as you saw some strange goings-on and would wonder why you left that peaceful, tranquil life back in the riding. You may indeed wonder why you are here.
The second stage, as you be more expert in the programs and more knowledgeable in what was going on, is, you’d wonder why all the other members were here. Then that last stage -- why you cannot bring yourself to leave. I’m not sure what stage I’m at yet or what stage some of the other members in this House are at, but I do not want to leave yet, nor do I want this government to leave.
One thing I am sure of is that there are 58 Progressive Conservative members here who are working hard, working diligently to bring about some good legislative programs -- sometimes with the assistance of the opposite side of the House. This party continues to give strong, sensible leadership to the province of Ontario. I know that, the people of my riding of Simcoe Centre know that, my colleagues on this side of the House know that.
A central section of the Speech from the Throne dealt with the crisis of confidence, and we all know that so well. I would like to state right now that we in Simcoe Centre have confidence. We have confidence in this government, we have confidence in the government of Canada, we have confidence in the people and the workers of the province of Ontario and in Canada. We have faith that whatever crisis afflicts Canada, it will be weathered and that we will prosper and bring prosperity to the province of Ontario. That confidence is based in no small part on the leadership and stewardship of this government and in the resources of the province of Ontario.
Sometimes I think Ontario is a very blessed place, blessed with great richness. We do have complaints about taxation. We do have complaints about cost of living. We do have complaints about some of the items that go on as legislative processes in this province.
I have just returned from a much-criticized but sometimes, I believe, worthwhile study trip to some of the nations of Europe and the Middle East, and I have seen some of their standards of living. I have seen some of their governments, some of their world leaders, and truly we’re blessed with some of the greatness and beautiful items of the province of Ontario that many of those people envy us for.
We have an excellent educational system. We have first-class health care, first-class roads, reasonably priced food. I’m sure when I make that remark that one of the members who travelled with us would remember the cost of coffee in Copenhagen.
On one of these tours you are often blessed with major events. You see what we have here -- the loads of water and what it would mean to an impoverished nation such as Israel was and is. When you have been down to the River Jordan, and there to have been baptized by the member for Lakeshore, you realize how blessed we are in Ontario.
Mr. Lawlor: You need a little more holy water.
Mr. G. Taylor: It was just a small spattering of water.
When you look at this River Jordan, when you have seen it and heard about it in history and through the Bible and see that it is, by our standards, a meagre stream, you marvel at what they do from this water. You see the flourishing crops they bring forth from the desert. Here we are blessed with great things in our province and sometimes we do not do enough with our resources.
But I’m hoping that with this new proposal, with the material that we have, with the form of government legislation that will come forth, that we will bring forth from this province the good things and the good life that the people in this province and this country desire.
Mr. Warner: Singular applause.
Mr. Eaton: What about the good Jaffa oranges?
Mr. C. Taylor: I believe the reason Ontario has played a central role in the --
Mr. Germa: Who wrote that for you? You’ve acquired a Darcianic complex.
Mr. Warner: The heavy hand of Darcy McKeough.
Mr. G. Taylor: It’s the company I’ve been keeping with the member for Lakeshore. When you’ve been baptized, it comes upon you, this religious fervor for the province of Ontario. These words come forth, I say to the member for Lakeshore.
Mr. Warner: You wrote the speech and then threw the pen away.
Mr. Conway: Tell the truth: It was the trip to Jerusalem.
Mr. G. Taylor: I point out, however, that Ontario has been and continues to be well governed. I believe it is partly for that reason the province of Ontario played a great part in the conference in Ottawa last week. The other provinces know that on the basis of performance the government of Ontario is sensible, sober and successful. We are able to urge restraint in government spending. Because we have been so successful in restraining the spending in Ontario we have created jobs, and in creating these jobs we have been able to create an increase in excess of 140,000 jobs in the past year -- a remarkable performance.
Mr. Conway: It is a remarkable speech.
Mr. G. Taylor: In short, the consensus reached on Ontario’s proposals at the federal-provincial conference can be interpreted as acknowledgement of Ontario’s governmental record. The contributions we make in this country are many, and it is the quiet strength of the government and of Premier Davis that is recognized from coast to coast and was recognized in the federal-provincial conference. I think it is only reasonable, therefore, that the programs of this government as contained in the Speech from the Throne be given confidence, and they should merit the confidence of all members of this House.
One of the things I am most pleased about is the government’s leadership in that it will not be tempted to play with the economy of the province and the policies that have given us good government in the past. I am sure, as this session unfolds, our legislation will be well received by those who understand that we have given good leadership.
Mr. Reed: That is the joke of the year.
Mr. G. Taylor: In this vein I am also happy to see the general concept of deregulation and that it will be embodied in the establishment of a mechanism to review the operation of agencies, boards and commissions.
Mr. Reid: More red tape.
Mr. C. Taylor: We have had a member on this side of the House, the member for London South (Mr. Walker), who has put forward these plans.
Mr. Reid: And the leader of the Liberal Party. If you were around at the last election, you heard it there first.
Mr. G. Taylor: And for those who do not understand the review of agencies, boards and commissions, that can be translated into a term so all can understand -- sunset.
Mr. Reed: In other words, a Liberal policy.
Mr. Reid: At the rate you are going it will be sunset before we hear anything new.
Mr. Warner: Why don’t you sink slowly in the west?
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order, please.
Mr. G. Taylor: One might hope that the sunset would occur on the opposite side of the House so that in the morning the sun would come upon them and shed some light. Once again Ontario has an excellent opportunity to practise what it preaches, by providing a means whereby unnecessary activity can be halted. The hallmark of the sunset concept is efficiency, and if we are urging business to be efficient, we must provide that same efficiency in government.
Incidentally, I might point out that the Leader of the Opposition, as he was then -- he was also the Prime Minister at one time -- urged a conservative notion by saying, “The true conservative does not fail to lop the withered branch.” Mr. John Diefenbaker is said to be the author of that.
Mr. Reid: That is what Joe Clark has been trying to do to him ever since.
Mr. G. Taylor: In our sunset provisions, should we reduce the inefficiency of government boards, I am sure we shall be more than happy on this side.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: Don’t let the sunset provisions apply to the old Dief now.
Mr. G. Taylor: I am most happy that the Speech from the Throne included references to increased emphasis on energy conservation and renewable energy projects. There again, these can be aided by tax concessions that may be forthcoming in the budget to come on March 7.
Mr. Reed: Another Liberal policy.
Mr. Martel: We’re being blackmailed over oil now.
Mr. G. Taylor: Many of us continue to take our fuel, our hydro and other sources of power for granted. We forget to shut off our unneeded lights. We forget to turn down the heat. We forget and waste water. We must practise in our own lives that care and that conservation so it will save us millions of dollars.
Mr. Martel: That is what John White said: Put another sweater on.
Hon. Mr. Henderson: Were you here that day?
Mr. Martel: I was here that day.
Mr. Conway: Is Stephen Roman around?
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order, please. The member for Simcoe Centre has the floor.
Mr. G. Taylor: The economic world is slowly coming to realize that many schemes produce lasting jobs for us -- but with some of those schemes where the government gets involved to too heavily a point, they do not. So we are emphasizing the productive roles of job creation in the private sector. That is why in the main our incentives will be for ongoing enterprises to grow and expand.
Mr. Warner: Is the member talking about Ontario Hydro?
Mr. G. Taylor: At the same time, new industry will be stimulated by enhancing the opportunities for investment in the province of Ontario.
Mr. Warner: Turn over Ontario Hydro to private enterprise.
Mr. G. Taylor: I am gratified to see the establishment of Ontario’s position on “Buy Canada.”
Mr. Warner: Americans already have. They have bought practically all of it.
Mr. G. Taylor: I agree with supporting our domestic products, products that are manufactured here in Ontario and in Canada, and our agricultural products.
Mr. Conway: Buy Canada; buy Denison.
Mr. G. Taylor: We will build a demand and growth on economic strength in our province. I have seen the economic possibilities in my own riding. There we have many products. I do not remind the members lightly that we have new industries growing in Simcoe Centre and in Simcoe county all the time. Indeed, we have such products as toilet seats --
An hon. member: Fur lined?
Mr. G. Taylor: -- where the Moldex company has given us a slogan, “Born in Barrie, raised everywhere” -- one that the manager hopes to transfer throughout the world from the Mecca of Barrie.
Mr. Warner: You should mail them a copy of your speech.
Mr. G. Taylor: We also have such other industries there as a new industry for boats. They make custom tops for boats.
Mr. Reid: If we only had more members like the member for Lambton (Mr. Henderson) we would have a bigger industry.
Mr. G. Taylor: There again, recently the man has launched upon a program to go about the world selling his boat tops rather than just in this vigorous area of Simcoe Centre and that of Canada.
Mr. Conway: Born in Barrie, raised in Barrie.
Mr. G. Taylor: Deregulation is another one that was put in our Speech from the Throne.
Mr. Bradley: A pack of slogans.
Mr. G. Taylor: There again in the area of small businesses, deregulation is a very pertinent thing for those who carry on their business by day and their books by night. We had recently in my town of Barrie the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations with his much talked about road show. He’s here in the House today.
Mr. Reid: Travelling circus.
Mr. Conway: Do you mean you couldn’t get somebody important?
Mr. Warner: The minister of corporate protection.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: He was in Israel and I was in Barrie.
Mr. G. Taylor: I left my riding in good hands. The minister lent me his cap and off I went to Israel.
Mr. Reid: Tell them how you walked into the River Jordan. You didn’t have to be baptized.
Mr. G. Taylor: He looked after Simcoe Centre while I was away but he received much information from the small businessmen there.
Mr. Reed: They told him they were going to vote Liberal.
Mr. G. Taylor: Again I am sure some of that will be translated into easing the problems of carrying on business in the small business sector --
Mr. Martel: Who put all those regulations there in the first place?
Mr. G. Taylor: -- the Ma and Pa businesses where the persons work too diligently on filling out government forms.
Mr. McClellan: Whose government?
Mr. Martel: That was the former Minister of Revenue who did that.
Mr. Conway: Are you born again?
Mr. Reid: Born-again-George, they call him. It is too late for that.
Mr. Conway: I want to hear about Jordan.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: The member for Simcoe Centre has the floor.
Mr. G. Taylor: Not only that, Mr. Speaker, they are making a mess of my transcript for the people of Simcoe Centre. Some members do send these out to their constituents and some constituents read them.
Hon. B. Stephenson: That’s why they are doing it.
Mr. Warner: Don’t worry, they’ll never understand it anyway. No one understands your speeches.
Mr. Reid: If they read the first three lines, they wouldn’t worry about the rest.
Mr. G. Taylor: They’ll know that I am the only sensible one down here after they read these interjections.
Mr. Reid: You don’t have to worry. We are mailing it out to them.
Mr. G. Taylor: I might continue here and talk a little bit about my riding of Simcoe Centre.
Mr. Warner: After all, they talk about you.
Mr. G. Taylor: I hope, and I have been working to have it included, because although the people are industrious and hardworking they do not gain some of the benefits because we are so close to that large metropolitan area that they think we have their riches.
Mr. Peterson: Poorly rated, that’s why.
Mr. Martel: You just said things were so good -- but. It’s an old Tory speech. It’s a great riding and everything’s good -- but.
Mr. G. Taylor: However, there in the riding of Simcoe Centre and county of Simcoe we would like to be included -- and of course I have requested of my ministers that we be included -- in the Wintario grants for eastern Ontario so that we get the same benefits they do in capital spending.
Mr. Conway: Anything there would be an improvement.
Mr. G. Taylor: It’s the same thing with Industry and Tourism. I hope the new minister there will consider my request to have us included in the Eastern Ontario Development Corporation so that we may have the same benefits as those people in the east do.
Mr. Eakins: How do they feel about the new licence fees, tell us?
Mr. G. Taylor: Again, after mentioning those two little items --
Mr. Conway: And they are little.
Mr. G. Taylor: If the interjections are reduced, we may get away earlier today than regularly scheduled, so that those members may get back and prepare their replies to the Speech from the Throne.
Mr. Martel: Slightly different than yours.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Are you going to prepare this year, guys?
Mr. G. Taylor: I want them to have much longer to prepare theirs. They need the time.
Hon. B. Stephenson: It doesn’t do them any good.
Mr. G. Taylor: I’m certain that with the government and industry and general public working together we can significantly reduce the rate of growth in energy and the demands made upon our energy field so that we can conserve, as the Minister of Energy has said --
Mr. Warner: Sure, shut down all the plants.
Mr. G. Taylor: -- and conservation is one of those points in the speech. Again, though, it takes a very determined attitude on the part of the public to reduce these demands on conservation. As I said earlier, it will be a very difficult task for us all to reduce those things that we have been accustomed to and cut back a little bit of our pleasures so that we all may move ahead in the years to come. We grew accustomed to great growth patterns in the 1960s when our institutions grew by leaps and bounds. Those days are over now. As was put so clearly in the message from Her Honour, the challenge is to do better with relatively less.
Mr. Martel: You obviously didn’t prepare for the bad days.
Mr. G. Taylor: We all know that some of our institutions are feeling the pinch. We can read the complaints daily in our press. That is only natural. Any program of restraint which follows on a period of boom will bring some dislocation and grumbling. It must be realized, however, Mr. Speaker, that the efficient management of resources will have long-term benefits for our society and restraint does not have to mean diminution. The government is committed to progress in facilitative terms.
Mr. Conway: Give the resources all away to Stephen Roman if you can.
Mr. G. Taylor: This approach is typified by the government’s intention to increase funding for expanded special educational services. Early identification of those children with learning disabilities should prove of enormous benefit to the children, their families and society in general. Possibly had we looked at those early problems and had early identification, maybe some of the members on the other side of the House would not be here today.
As well, by making sure that all school boards provide adequate and appropriate levels of service for all students with disabilities and handicaps, the government will be contributing to the overall opportunities to be gained by all of our children.
In the matter of health care, I think it is both appropriate and fair that individuals, patients and health care practitioners alike will be asked to assume a more personal responsibility for the demands we make on our excellent system. By engaging in activities that promote good health such as exercise programs and watching our diets we can reduce some of the demands on our health care system and leave more of our resources for the development of excellence. The old axiom that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure should take on new meaning for all of us.
One of the central themes in the Speech from the Throne is a commitment for improv in the quality of life for all of us in Ontario. There is perhaps no place that that commitment will be more appreciated than in the measures to be introduced regarding the family.
Mr. McClellan: Measures? There are no measures.
Mr. Warner: It’s all hot air.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: You want to nationalize them too, eh guys?
Mr. G. Taylor: We are all aware of the strains that have been placed on our family institutions.
Mr. Conway: John Rhodes, take a bow.
Mr. Martel: It’s called the year of the dragon.
Mr. Peterson: I thought this was the year of the horse, not the year of the kid.
Mr. G. Taylor: Economic conditions have dictated in many instances that both parents must be working parents in today’s family. Many marriages have not been able to withstand the pressures and the figures for separations and divorces have increased dramatically and bear this problem out.
Mr. McClellan: What has your government got planned for the families?
Mr. Martel: Why do the wives have to work in this affluent society of ours?
Mr. G. Taylor: Quite apart from the emotional and psychological damage such ruptures promote in the individuals considered, especially when children are involved, the central fact is that more and more family services are demanded every day.
Mr. Peterson: Why don’t you make the single members get married and show a little leadership?
Mr. G. Taylor: The government is well aware of these demands and will shortly undertake a thorough review of all our policies and programs that affect the family. This will be in addition to the specific measures --
Mr. Martel: You are going to raise the family benefits to a decent level for openers.
Mr. G. Taylor: -- contained in the comprehensive package of family law reform introduced by the Attorney General.
In the same vein, I must commend the government’s approach to the problem of alcohol abuse. There again we have had many instances in this past session and forthcoming in this session to bring forth a package of laws concerning the drinking age, advertising and alcohol.
Mr. Eakins: Oh, the ball parks you mean.
Mr. Martel: Tell me about the ball parks.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: You abuse free speech.
Mr. G. Taylor: My friend from Victoria-Haliburton (Mr. Eakins) -- these double-barrelled names are far too difficult for me -- remarked that while in attendance in Israel they gave us one statistic. The community there, perhaps because of their religious background, but in Israel they have no drinking problems.
Mr. McClellan: Except for visiting Canadians.
Mr. G. Taylor: Indeed, their statistics, unlike ours, where we keep them and daily become inundated with higher and higher statistics for drinking and driving problems, there they have stopped keeping statistics on drinking and driving problems because they are so insignificant that they are no longer recognizable and are very difficult to keep. There again there is a nation to be seen and watched for its background.
Mr. Peterson: If you revoked the licence at the Albany Club you would cut out half the consumption in this province.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: How about the London Hunt Club?
Mr. Warner: We should never wake you up.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: He’s almost as bad as you are, David.
Mr. Conway: Bette the Bear is back.
Mr. Speaker: Order, order.
Mr. Conway: I just hope you read those Globe editorials and do something about it.
Hon. B. Stephenson: I thought the cartoons were better.
Mr. G. Taylor: Mr. Speaker, if I might bring to the attention of this House an even more pressing problem that is not in the Speech from the Throne but I am sure it will come up as we move along and that is there is presently a royal commission going about the province called the Haley commission on suggestions for pensions. There again, I have many people in my riding, particularly retired civil servants, who come to me and say, “I can no longer live on the pension I have been provided with. Can you do something about that?” I hope that when the recommendations come in from that royal commission they will listen to those civil servants who ask why, when we increase our pensions and give an across-the-board increase of eight per cent to those retired civil servants, or whatever the figure is, why are they across the board? Surely when one retires one’s usefulness to the government and to the previous employer is then ceased? Should we not give pensions to those people and increase those at a greater rate at the lower scale where they need the money than at the higher scale where they do not need the money? So I would say I hope that the commission will review that and will consider those features.
Ms. Gigantes: Great idea. Tell Darcy.
Mr. Warner: Tell Darcy about it.
Mr. Peterson: How do you feel about ex-cabinet ministers on pension who work for the government? You’re a lousy counsel. They’re going to kick you out of there, George.
Mr. Martel: You will have to trade places with Bruce.
Mr. G. Taylor: Again, to come back to my area of Simcoe Centre that I so dearly love, I was down there and we were speaking of world competition. We must got into world competition with our product and be competitive. In that riding they are. We have, as I mentioned, the boat dealer who is going out to sell his tops across the world and going into that competitive market. The toilet manufacturer is not to go unforgotten. The vegetable grower at Bailey River Farms where I opened that processing plant last year, Speaker, there again he is delivering a product, if you can imagine, delivering vegetables from the market garden of the Holland Marsh. He was delivering those vegetables and competing with California by selling those vegetables in Texas, in Arizona, in Florida. So there again we can become competitive if we go about it and do it as that family, the Arrigo family, carried out in that operation.
Mr. Warner: That’s right. It’s bologna anywhere.
Mr. G. Taylor: I look upon deregulation of the trucking industry as a godsend for our area because many of them take their trucks out of the Barrie area, go elsewhere, deliver their product and then deadhead back at great cost to us. It’s difficult for conservation, expending our valuable oil reserve. There again, I hope when we deregulate that trucking industry those people will benefit from it, and I am sure they will.
Compulsory auto insurance was mentioned in the Speech from the Throne. That’s another area that I had put forward to my Premier in our caucus before. Why should those people that are driving automobiles pay for those that will not take out automobile insurance?
Mr. Peterson: Up in Parry Sound you get a licence, I tell you that.
Hon. B. Stephenson: Only a devious Liberal would do a thing like that.
Mr. Conway: George, it sounds like part of that fox hunt in Griffith Island.
Mr. G. Taylor: It is not a right but a privilege to drive on our roads, and with that privilege goes the responsibility of requiring compulsory auto insurance.
Mr. Warner: They’ll still be able to do it until 1980.
Mr. G. Taylor: That portion of our expenditures for the automobile which is ever increasing, that unsatisfied judgement fund as it is so often called, should be reduced more and more. The person taking the risk should pay for those risks and those causing the increased auto insurance costs should pay for them. So I’m glad to see that the government has taken a step towards compulsory auto insurance in the future.
I see the member for Ottawa East (Mr. Roy) is not here. I was hoping he would be, but I guess he is exercising his new QC and is off playing with it. But I see that the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) is bringing forth the new Provincial Offences Act. He is going to simplify it and streamline it to help my friend from Ottawa East so he will be able to spend more days in the House with that new simplified and streamlined procedure that is coming forth from the new Provincial Offences Act which the Attorney General is coming forth with.
Mr. Bradley: He is not here either.
Mr. Cunningham: When do you get your QC?
Mr. Conway: They gave one to Grossman.
Mr. G. Taylor: The Minister of Correctional Services (Mr. Drea) again has some new programs that have been of great help to us --
Mr. Ruston: They love him in Simcoe.
Mr. G. Taylor: -- in Simcoe Centre. Because we have so many people who come through, commit offences; and because of our super police forces there, they are convicted, tried, and sometimes sentenced, we must have these community resource centres. First in Barrie on an experimental basis to try those tourists who do come through now and then and commit criminal acts.
Again on the Ministry of Correctional Services, we did benefit, as did many of the people even from the large metropolitan areas here to the south, from the new programs put forth by the Minister of Correctional Services. At the most recent Barrie winter carnival some prisoners from Camp Hillsdale did volunteer to go out and put up some of the fencing for the sports events in the carnival. We appreciate greatly the service provided by those inmates of Camp Hillsdale and the Ministry of Correctional Services.
Mr. Bradley: What about that carnival in Georgia?
Mr. Conway: Was the minister the star attraction at that carnival?
Mr. G. Taylor: I am able to inform this House that the Minister for Correctional Services was able to be a firsthand witness to the system carried out at the Barrie winter carnival.
Mr. Bradley: Careful, he is in the House now.
An hon. member: He has just arrived.
Mr. Martel: He was leading the chain gang.
Mr. G. Taylor: He did come to Barrie and attended the winter carnival in very formal dress and was immediately jailed for offences to the winter carnival spirit by wearing a shirt and tie. So, like some other colleagues in this House, he also has firsthand knowledge of jails.
Mr. Martel: That goes way back.
Mr. Warner: It is called inside experience.
Mr. G. Taylor: All right, Mr. Speaker, I’m sure my next words in conclusion --
Mr. Martel: Well, they meet with approval.
Mr. G. Taylor: -- will be received I’m sure by my colleagues with great sympathy.
We come back now to one of the other features of the Human Rights Code amendment that was put forth. There again I plead that those amendments will come forth quickly, and will take care and some cognizance of the physically handicapped -- those of us who are less fortunate with some type of handicap -- that may bring job --
Mr. McClellan: What is your handicap?
Mr. Conway: What’s your handicap, George?
Mr. Warner: Having to make speeches.
Mr. Conway: Is speechmaking the handicap?
Mr. G. Taylor: -- opportunities that are not available to many of us. They will get those opportunities in a much better way if it is put in the Human Rights Code so employers can see that they are able to carry out a job because there are many jobs they can carry out.
Indeed, I was just so pleased to learn that one of my constituents who was physically handicapped now has a taxi dispatcher’s job which is suitable for that individual. Indeed, when they are able to perform like that and show that they can perform some tasks, when they come in a wheelchair they should not automatically be dispelled with the words: “We cannot employ that individual.” There are jobs for those individuals; and if the amendments come to the Human Rights Code to protect those people, it will be greatly welcomed by them.
Mr. Davidson: It took you 35 years to realize that, to realize that disabled people could work.
Mr. G. Taylor: One of the final items put forth in the Speech from the Throne was that of Canadian unity. Canadian unity, Mr. Speaker, should be dear to all of us in this House. I’m sure that it is. We have a great nation here. We are recognized throughout the world -- as, indeed this province is recognized throughout this world --
Mr. Warner: You guys know zilch about it.
Mr. G. Taylor: We have put together in a period of years, a little over 100 years, a nation. It was put together with a constitution. Indeed, that constitution may from time to time need some revision; but we have worked, as all people have worked in this country, putting together ribbons of steel -- through water channels, through canals; we now have ribbons of asphalt, ribbons of airlines that bring this nation together; and, more modern, ribbons of communication.
Mr. Peterson: Sounds like a big bouquet.
Mr. G. Taylor: And those ribbons of communication are the ones that will keep this nation going forward; those between the different provinces; and indeed with that province -- the province of Quebec --
Mr. Warner: You should cut your speeches to ribbons.
Mr. G. Taylor: -- which demands certain things, requests certain things, pleads for itself some of those jurisdictions that the federal government so possesses unto itself as if they were locked in with some chastity belt and could not be given off to any other jurisdiction for fear that it could not be handled properly. They must come to learn that when the provinces speak they usually speak with a unified voice; that some of these items all the provinces desire, all the provinces want; and that all the provinces can work better should they have those jurisdictions. They can plan for them; they can plan for their people of their provinces so that they can --
Mr. Bradley: You sound like Rodrigue Biron.
Mr. G. Taylor: Shall I keep going with my Canadian speech?
Canadian unity is not only language, not only culture that keeps us together; it is common desires, common goals; common privileges, rights and laws. Some of these will have to have some changes made to them; they’re desired by all provinces. We have a changing pattern and that has been our strong point over the years, that we can adjust to these changing patterns.
We are such a young nation compared to many. We are going through the strife and problems of a young nation. Some nations older than ours are going through the same problems. But, Mr. Speaker, when we look forward to meeting these challenges, meeting the challenge of change, why can we not go forward with a spirit of co-operation, a spirit of --
Mr. Warner: You could start the change by resigning.
Mr. G. Taylor: -- Canadian unity should pervade all of our thoughts when we go forward --
An hon. member: You haven’t given up yet Warner?
Mr. G. Taylor: -- with legislation here in this Legislative Assembly for the forthcoming session.
It has given me great pleasure, Mr. Speaker, even with all the interruptions that I’ve had. I’m sure it added greatly to the thunderous words that I’ve put forward, words that will fall upon this House and carry forth this House in its endeavours in this session, so that --
Mr. Warner: That’s right, we hope you come forth.
Mr. G. Taylor: -- we might have the legislation that is desirable for the people of the province of Ontario. Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, for your attention.
Mr. Nixon moved the adjournment of the debate.
Motion agreed to.
On motion by Hon. Mr. Welch, the House adjourned at 4:10 p.m.