The House met at 2 p.m.
STATEMENTS BY THE MINISTRY
MINORITY LANGUAGE RIGHTS
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I would like to table the statement which I issued on the occasion of the premiers’ conference in Montreal on minority language rights last week, as well as the final communique of that conference. This conference was held to follow up on the discussion on minority language rights which took place at the annual conference of provincial premiers at St. Andrews-by-the-Sea in New Brunswick last August.
Last week we reviewed a report on the state of minority language education in the 10 provinces of Canada which the premiers had commissioned from the Council of Ministers of Education. I am also tabling a copy of that report. The report shows clearly the progress that has taken place in recent years in the provision of schooling facilities in official language minorities, particularly in Ontario and New Brunswick.
At our meeting last week the premiers took one step beyond the agreement of St. Andrews. There was complete agreement on the principle that each child of a French-speaking or English-speaking minority is entitled to an education in his or her language in the primary or the secondary schools in each province wherever numbers warrant. We were unable to agree on specific criteria that would apply equally across the country regarding the numbers required to make the establishment of minority classes mandatory, and so this definition was left up to individual provinces.
Nevertheless, I am convinced that the meeting of last week has resulted in all of the premiers being much more aware of what has been happening in other provinces and will provide the spark for additional measures to be taken this coming year. Members of this House should take the results of this meeting as yet a further indication that the government of Ontario will continue to work towards the improvement of minority language facilities in our own province.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to inform the hon. members that the Ontario Educational Communications Authority, an agency of my ministry, has been officially notified by the Ohio State awards committee that they are the recipients of two prestigious Ohio State awards.
Mr. Cunningham: You mean like transportation man of the year?
Hon. Mr. Welch: Really outstanding awards. Very prestigious.
The first award is for a TV Ontario commissioned program entitled “Symphony” concerning the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra. It just shows you how objective they are -- in Ohio.
The second award is for the OECA-CBC school radio program entitled “The Naturalist Notebook” with Arthur Black. This program won in the category of formal instruction for children and youth.
As the hon. members will be aware, the Ohio State awards have long been synonymous with educational broadcasting excellence and these awards will formally be presented to the OECA tonight at the banquet in Washington. If any of the hon. members would like to view the award-winning “Symphony” program, my ministry has made it available to the legislative library on quarter-inch video tape and I invite everyone to see first-hand the level of excellence which Ontario has now reached in the educational broadcasting field.
Mr. S. Smith: We can see it on the Buffalo channel.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Only if they pay.
An hon. member: That’s not policy, is it?
Hon. Mr. Davis: No, that’s not policy.
Mr. Foulds: Arthur Black is a resident of Thunder Bay.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, I’m anxious that the hon. members would also share in the excitement which is ours in view of some news that has just come to my attention. The director-general of the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto, J. Tuzo Wilson, the Canadian geophysicist who has spent a lifetime piecing together the earth’s jigsaw puzzle of shifting continents, has won Columbia University’s 1978 Vetlesen prize, the premier award in the earth sciences, and that’s just been announced. I’m sure we share in that particular thought as well.
Mr. S. Smith: Before I address a question, Mr. Speaker, may I draw your attention to a prominent visitor in your gallery? He is Mr. Freeman White, a member of the House of Assembly of Newfoundland and Labrador, if he might rise.
Mr. S. Smith: I had hoped to address a question to the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry), but I’ll address it to the Premier. It has to do with this matter of confidential information from the health system which apparently has found its way into the hands of the RCMP. I was wondering if the Premier has by now familiarized himself with whatever information is available and whether he is in a position to explain to the House how it is that such information apparently did get to the RCMP, despite the statement made in the House by the Attorney General that all information was simply bare-bones biographical information, including only address, date of birth and employer. That statement was given to the House on November 25. Would the Premier care to comment on where the matter stands?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I have not had an opportunity to discuss it with the Attorney General. I believe he will be here later on. If he is not, I will make sure that he knows of the question so that tomorrow afternoon he or I can give the Leader of the Opposition an answer
BARRIE ANNEXATION PROPOSAL
Mr. S. Smith: A question again to the Premier in the absence of the Treasurer: Can the Premier tell us what the position of the government is on the matter of the Barrie annexation proposals? I ask this question in view of the recent Ontario divisional court ruling that nullified the OMB decision based on the fact that the minister -- the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) in this instance -- had given an opinion of so-called government policy and, according to the court, had in this way exerted an influence beyond what the court thought to be the case.
Can the Premier tell us two things: first, what will the policy be about the Treasurer’s interventions in the future, and secondly and most importantly, exactly what population target, for that area, represents government policy at this time?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, without disagreeing, because I was not involved in the discussions before the divisional court, I think it is fair to state that ministers of the Crown do have a responsibility to make policy statements and I think that the decision of the divisional court was an important decision. We -- or maybe the municipality -- are presently contemplating the question of the decision of the court itself -- not as it relates to Barrie because that is one part of it only -- but whether this is something that should be clarified with an appeal to a higher court as it relates to a matter of principle; not, as I say, as it relates directly to Barrie.
With respect to the second part of the question, I shall ask the Treasurer if we have a specific population figure. I think it is obvious that in the planning stages certain figures are suggested. I think it is also obvious that with the apparent slowdown in growth generally, throughout this province and throughout the country, that some population figures suggested four or five years ago may not be as accurate as they were at that time. So while, I guess, we could debate in the House whether that figure should be 100,000 or 75,000, I think it is still obvious that the government policy is that Barrie is to be, or should be, a growth area. The specific size is important, I think, but not as relevant as the acceptance of the fact that Barrie, in our view, should be a growth community.
Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary, accepting what the Premier has said without any difference of opinion at all and not limiting in any way any possible appeal that the government or others may wish to launch, would the Premier agree with me that since one of the major matters in question at these hearings was the degree to which the Simcoe-Georgian task force report has been accepted, so as to constitute in whole or in part government policy, and as that is a very important consideration, would the Premier -- if he does agree with me on that -- be willing at some point to issue a statement or have the Treasurer issue a statement as to what parts of that task force report are still presently government policy and what amendments or changes from the report the government views as policy, so that we can eventually have a resolution of this matter without people constantly arguing back and forth about the different population figures and so on?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I think it would be possible to have some redefinition of the report. I think the Leader of the Opposition is somewhat optimistic that this will necessarily diminish in total any debates that may take place within those local communities. I just recall for his own memory the TCR where government policy was enunciated I think in 1969 or 1970 -- the exact date escapes me -- where in some communities, some that I know very well, there is still some debate as to the population densities and the rate of growth. This applies as well to Mississauga and a number of other communities.
I think that one must keep in mind that these planning documents are published in advance, which I think is important. Potential growth that takes place and the possibility of these figures being altered, either upwards or downwards as the case may be, is something the government must always be open to consider.
If the Leader of the Opposition is asking for some updating of the way we see the Georgian Bay area -- the figures that might be involved -- I think that that would be possible for the government to do. I will discuss it with the Treasurer.
Mr. MacDonald: Supplementary to the Premier: Since it is the responsibility of the OMB as a quasi-judicial body not to make policy but rather to interpret and apply policy, while it may be appropriate for the provincial Treasurer to intervene to clarify what the stated policy happened to be, even though it is mistaken, is it not the responsibility of the OMB to reconcile one government with another -- namely, whether or not you should gobble up 20,000 acres of prime agricultural land when there is another stated policy that agricultural land should be protected?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I think -- and I am not familiar with each acre that was under consideration -- that a good part of the agricultural area in that very important part of the province was in fact protected and would be protected under the policies of the government. I think really it would be difficult for the Ontario Municipal Board in terms of its responsibilities to make some of the judgements that the member is suggesting. I am not saying that that should not be part of their considerations, but I think that really their function is primarily -- and I say primarily; I don’t say the other is not part of it -- but primarily, is to determine the extent of the acquisition in this particular case.
I don’t think there is anything to preclude the Ontario Municipal Board from saying, as they have done on a number of occasions, rather than this particular 500 acres it should be some other 500 acres, as long as it was meeting the request made by the annexing municipality. I think, Mr. Speaker, that nothing in government policy has ever precluded the Ontario Municipal Board from that type of judgement.
Mr. MacDonald: A brief supplementary if I might, Mr. Speaker: In keeping with the Leader of the Opposition, would the Premier give a commitment that somebody on behalf of the government would give an up-to-date statement of what government policy is in connection with that proposed annexation and provide an opportunity in the House to debate it, so that we can all be aware of it in its full scope, rather than have all these uncertainties?
Hon. Mr. Davis: I think that would depend on the course of action taken by the government. If -- and I think it is a possibility and, as I say, not just related to Barrie because I think the divisional court had some general statement about policy as it relates to the functioning of the board -- if that matter is under appeal, I think a debate in this House would be probably premature until such an appeal were determined.
Mr. MacDonald: I was talking about the policy, not the procedure.
Hon. Mr. Davis: If the member would like to debate on whether or not this House feels that Barrie should be “a growth centre,” I think that is something to which the member might wish to address his remarks on the Throne Speech or on some other appropriate occasion. To get into a detailed debate on Barrie or the whole Georgian Bay area prior to the determination, if there is to be one, by the courts -- and I expect the government may decide to go that route, as a matter of fact -- I think would be premature.
Certainly if the hon. member has some views on that particular annexation, the Throne Speech debate might be an excellent opportunity for the rest of the House to learn what his views are, although I think I know already.
Mr. Cassidy: A question to the Premier: In view of the fact that the proposed contract with Denison Mines would extract a windfall profit of a bare minimum of $1.6 billion from the taxpayers and hydro consumers of this province, and in view of the fact that the Premier has now received a letter from the chairman of the select committee on Hydro stating that the majority of the committee felt that they were unable to confirm that approving the contracts is in the best public interest, can the Premier say whether the government intends to heed the view taken by this majority of the select committee and reject the proposed contracts?
Hon. Mr. Davis: No, Mr. Speaker, I can’t.
Mr. Cassidy: I have a supplementary, Mr. Speaker. Can the Premier elaborate on that very terse reply and, in particular, say whether the government is also prepared to heed the advice of such well-known people on its side in the past as George Gathercole, people from Consolidated Edison and the Hydro management generally, that it is in the public interest that the uranium assets of Denison Mines or Denison Mines itself be brought into public ownership in order to protect the interests of the people of this province?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, the one part of that question I can answer is the government has and will continue always to do its best to protect the public interest.
Mr. Laughren: Show us how.
Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary: In view of the fact there was a decided difference between that side of the House and between the other parties in this House as to what the public interest entails, and in view of the fact the cabinet is apparently meeting to discuss this question this afternoon, and in view of the fact there is a deadline of tomorrow on the signing of the contract, is there any extension of the proposed deadline in view and can the Premier give a commitment that the contract will not be signed until the opportunity for an emergency debate on this contract is afforded to this House tomorrow afternoon?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Of course, Mr. Speaker, this could all have been solved if the new leader of the New Democratic Party had been up before noon today and had given notice.
Mr. Cassidy: That was a cheap shot and you know it.
Hon. B. Stephenson: Just as cheap as some of yours.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I recognize that he has a lot of responsibilities and 12 o’clock does come early, so I won’t comment any further. I would only say to the member opposite --
Mr. Conway: You were up watching your wife on television. She said some nice things about you.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I didn’t have a chance to watch it. How was it? Was it all right? She was very nervous about it.
Mr. Conway: She was talking about retirement.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I have to tell the hon. member there is no possibility of an extension beyond midnight tomorrow night. Cabinet is meeting today. In case the leader of the New Democratic Party is getting nervous, the cabinet meeting was not called for this particular purpose at all. It happens that we sat last Wednesday afternoon, I had to leave to go to Montreal and, as a result, we didn’t get our full agenda covered. So I don’t expect there will be time, in the limited period this afternoon, to make a final decision on that matter. What the leader proposes to do tomorrow afternoon is totally within his control. As I say, he could have done it this afternoon.
I just want to make it very clear that the whole intent of this government was to have this contract well discussed publicly by members of the select committee, and everything that was available made known to members of the House and members of the public. While I know the leader of the New Democratic Party would like an opportunity to restate once again what some of his members felt, even though they were stated many times in the committee itself, and that he himself would like to have one further opportunity, that’s a decision that he will have to make by noon tomorrow, I guess.
Mr. Cassidy: A final supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Would the Premier give a clear answer as to whether he is at least prepared, on behalf of his government, to listen to what may be said in an emergency debate tomorrow afternoon from the Legislature as a whole and not just the members of the select committee, before the cabinet goes ahead and gives its authorization to signing or not signing this particular contract? Has he that much respect for this Legislature?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I’m always prepared to have any constructive advice from all members of this House. If the leader of the New Democratic Party is saying he has some new and enlightened views --
Mr. Warner: The Premier wants to check with Stephen Roman.
Hon. Mr. Davis: -- that he would wish to present to us that already have not been expressed, I feel very badly that he hasn’t done so. I would assume he has said just about everything that can be said on this particular issue. In fact, I would say he has said everything that can be said on just about every issue, but if he is saying he has some new views, send them to me right away. Take a few minutes and scratch me some notes. I assume the members of his caucus, very able members, were expressing the views of his party. One thing I did learn from the select committee report is that while it was totally objective it did appear to break down on somewhat partisan lines, which perhaps should not have surprised me.
Mr. Martel: Not your members, Bill; not yours, though.
Hon. Mr. Davis: No, no -- totally objective, totally objective.
Mr. Martel: That’s right. Have you got a shovel?
Mr. Deans: I think the word is “objectionable,” not “objective.”
Hon. Mr. Davis: But I would suggest -- I am quite serious in this -- if the leader of the New Democratic Party has some ideas that were not part of the discussions, or weren’t part of the chairman’s lengthy report to me, if he would get them to me this afternoon, I certainly won’t ignore them.
Mr. Reid: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker, to the Premier: Has there been any negotiation, shall we say, between the government and Mr. Roman as to an extension of time for the actual signing of the contract or is tomorrow it?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I would say, to use the member’s own words, that tomorrow is it. There has been no extension, no negotiation for an extension.
Some hon. members: What are you going to do?
Mr. Speaker: A final supplementary.
Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, do I understand the Premier to say that, despite the committee’s rejection of a motion to approve the contracts as being in the public interest, the government is intending to go ahead without even giving the opportunity which does still exist for this Legislature as a whole to debate the issue, and the cabinet is simply disregarding this Parliament in its intention to proceed with the contracts?
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Nonsense.
Mr. Warner: Roman rules the roost.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, this House sat last Wednesday. It sat Thursday. It sat Friday, The hon. member had until noon today and he neglected to bring any notice to the attention of the Speaker.
Mr. Deans: We were waiting to see what you were going to do.
Hon. B. Stephenson: Why?
Hon. Mr. Davis: It is totally within the hon. member’s responsibility that he has not got this motion this afternoon --
Mr Warner: You sell out the province and they applaud it.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I thought I had indicated to the leader of the New Democratic Party that cabinet was not called this afternoon to deal with this issue. I said that. Any suggestion on his part that we were going ahead and signing the contract without an opportunity for a debate is just totally erroneous. It doesn’t surprise me but it’s totally erroneous.
Mr. Cassidy: On a point of order. Mr. Speaker --
An hon. member: You bombed again, Mike.
Mr. Cassidy: On a point of order. Mr. Speaker --
Mr. Speaker: There’s nothing out of order.
Some hon. members: Sit down. Sit down.
Mr. Speaker: There’s nothing out of order. I have listened very patiently to the initial question and the four supplementaries that the member for Ottawa Centre has put to the Premier. You can ask your question in any way that’s in keeping with the provisional orders or the standing orders. The Premier can answer it in any way he chooses within the rules of the House. There is nothing out of order. I will now hear your second question.
Mr. Cassidy: On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker, if I may --
Mr. Speaker: What is it?
Mr. Cassidy: Thank you. The point of privilege is simply to draw to the Premier’s attention that the matter was raised on Thursday --
Mr. Speaker: That’s not a point of privilege.
Hon. B. Stephenson: Nor a point of rule.
ONAKAWANA LIGNITE DEPOSITS
Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Natural Resources, who is now in the House and who was absent on Friday. Can the minister state who are the principals of Onakawana Development Limited, a company which has recently popped into public view as intending to develop the lignite deposits near James Bay; when it intends to begin its process of extracting the coal from that deposit and what guarantees there are about providing jobs for people in the region, in particular for native peoples, in that proposed project?
Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, it’s true I wasn’t here on Friday.
Mr. Warner: Most of your colleagues were away too.
Mr. Reid: Ignore the cheap shots, Frank.
Hon. F. S. Miller: I seldom am away but I happened to be looking at lignite operations on Friday; so I have learned more about this Onakawana project.
An hon. member: After you gave them a licence to mine.
Mr. Martel: It sounds like Wanapitei all over again. You might learn something about that.
Hon. F. S. Miller: The principals of Onakawana Development Limited are Manalta Coal Company, and Manalta Coal Company is a Canadian-owned company. I believe it’s wholly owned in turn by a company called Loram. Loram is owned by, I think, the Mannix family, principally in Alberta. They have been involved in the development work. I believe the hon. member has heard the name Manalta throughout the piece. This company was simply formed to be an Ontario company able to carry out that work here.
There are several phases through which the project is going. These phases will be, first, the work that progressed until about February 1 of this year, which basically I think was hydrological studies to tell them whether the soil was of a type that would allow easy extraction of the lignite. These I believe were quite positive. The second was to determine the qualities of the material. These, I understand, are good.
There are still a number of problems to determine whether the economics are good or not and whether in fact the lignite should be burned on site and made into electricity or sent out in some other form. The company is proceeding along those lines at the present time, and has certain dates by which it hopes to achieve each study’s completion. I think everybody is pretty optimistic right now.
We have discussed the question of local employment, I would say, rather than native employment, because I hope there are opportunities not just for native peoples but for people in the general area of Cochrane and Moosonee. These, the company has assured us, will be given every priority in the hiring process. It is not one of the conditions of the lease, but it is one of the understandings of our agreement that there should be a priority given both to native peoples and local people in the hiring process.
Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Can the minister say whether an environmental assessment has been carried out on the Onakawana site, and if not, how does this particular granting of a lease fit in with the government’s commitment to have projects north of 50 degrees reviewed by the Hartt commission?
Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, I issued a statement some months ago on that, you may recall, when I stated that the exploratory licence was being granted. The lease was signed I think sometime in January. I can only say that the company agreed, and we announced, that a full environmental assessment would take place on that project. I understand the company and the Ministry of the Environment are working on the details of that. It appears that the exploration and the environmental assessment can probably proceed at the same time.
Mr. Cunningham: Supplementary: I would like to ask the hon. minister if the agreement that has been signed would in any way preclude the development of the fire clay deposits which are immediate to that site, which if developed would provide another 25 jobs?
Hon. F. S. Miller: The fire clays were of real interest to us in the whole operation. We certainly hope they can be developed and that they in fact will be used for various purposes in that area and create employment. The real issue is, would you have two people extracting in one pit? I think you will find that the lease requires that one operator extract both the overburdens and the coal for the simple practical purpose that it can only be done that way. But the clays would be made available to people who would like to use them.
Mr. Sweeney: A question to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Mr. Speaker: What action does the minister intend to take on the report submitted to him by Mr. T. W. McEachern with respect to the irregularities in Puslinch township?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, I would like to refresh my memory on that, but I don’t think any action on our part is required. I think the council has dealt with the matter.
Mr. Sweeney: Is the minister aware of the fact that the latest reported irregularity is that a building put up by the Ministry of Government Services, an agricultural building for the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, was overcharged by $4,000 with respect to a building permit? What would the minister intend to do about that?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: I would suspect that this has nothing to do particularly with irregularities by the staff: It would seem to me that question might be directed to the Minister of Government Services (Mr. Henderson) rather than to myself. But the answer to the question is, no, I am not aware of it.
Mr. Sweeney: A further supplementary: Is the minister aware that this particular irregularity was caused by a member of the staff completely contravening a bylaw of the township? That’s part of the whole problem.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: I have already explained that I am not aware of the situation.
BOARDING HOUSE FIRE
Mr. Laughren: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Provincial Secretary for Social Development. In view of the death of six senior citizens in a boarding house fire in Chelmsford on the weekend, and in view of the fact that the boarding house had little or no fire or smoke or heat detection system, would the minister assure us that such boarding houses that accommodate senior citizens, many of whom are not particularly mobile, will be brought under the Homes for the Aged and Rest Homes Act in this province?
Hon. Mrs. Birch: Mr. Speaker, I certainly will be discussing that particular incident with the Ministry of Health and hopefully checking into why such a home was allowed to operate without a licence.
Mr. Laughren: Supplementary: Does the minister have any idea at all how many senior citizens are housed in such accommodations across this province, and who is responsible for their safety? Would she stress very strongly to the Minister of Health (Mr. Timbrell) or to the Minister of Community and Social Services (Mr. Norton) that these people need to be protected, and that it requires provincial legislation that could be passed and supervised by the municipality in which the homes are located?
Hon. Mrs. Birch: I can certainly assure the member that it will be investigated. We do appreciate the responsibility of ensuring that senior citizens have that kind of protection. As I’m sure the member knows, there are a great many programs for senior citizens in this province and it’s rather difficult to ensure that every private home where senior citizens are housed is protected by this kind of fire protection. But we certainly will be looking into it.
Mr. S. Smith: Supplementary: When the minister is looking at this would she also look into reports, which may or may not be factual, that there were a great number of beds available at a nearby home for senior citizens -- in fact 20 or 30 beds were available -- and that these citizens were living in this particular boarding arrangement for reasons unknown, but possibly related to financial criteria and difficulty in obtaining access to these empty beds? These reports may or may not be accurate, but would she be good enough to look into them and report to the House?
Hon. Mrs. Birch: Yes, I will.
Mr. Laughren: Supplementary: Did the minister understand that part of my question when I asked her if she had any idea how many people live in such accommodations in the province?
Hon. Mrs. Birch: I thought I made that very clear. No, I don’t have.
ONTARIO NORTHLAND RAIL SERVICE
Mr. G. E. Smith: I have a question for the Minister of Northern Affairs. Since the decision to withdraw rail passenger service between Toronto and North Bay by the Ontario Northland Railway was taken before the Canadian Transport Commission agreed to underwrite the 80 per cent subsidy on operating deficits, will the Ontario Northland now reconsider restoring this service?
Hon. Mr. Bernier: I am not aware that the CTC and the CNR have come to some agreement with regard to the subsidy. I think there was some passing of the ball in the backfield. There were some overtures that they would assist, but when it came down to the nitty-gritty, as many of the members of this House will know, as to getting any actual commitment the commitment was never forthcoming.
I indicated to the CNR that if they wanted to reinstate and use the Northlander service for the weekends -- because they’re using their conventional systems now -- we would be willing to undertake that particular suggestion. But, at this point in time, I have not heard officially from the CTC that they are willing to accept that 80 per cent subsidy and at what price and what figure.
Mr. G. E. Smith: Supplementary: Assuming that they do accept and the Ontario Northland would then receive the same funding from the Transport Commission as the other two major carriers, will the minister consider reassessing regular stops between Toronto and North Bay not only by the Northlander but the regular Ontario Northland rail service, keeping in mind that the public purse is subsidizing the operation and that Ontario Northland should be assessing where the maximum passenger usage is coming from? Would the minister assure me of that?
Mr. Foulds: Is the member for Timiskaming (Mr. Havrot) listening to this? He is exercising remarkable control.
Hon. Mr. Bernier: I might say, further to this, we’re looking at the overall transportation system in the northeastern Ontario corridor as it relates to rail passenger service, bus service and the excellent norOntair service that operates in the northeast Ontario corridor. The desire and the goal of the ONTC are to provide the service that the people of northern Ontario really want, need and should have. We’re prepared to look at the suggestion that the hon. member has made with regard to additional stops on that route between here and North Bay.
Mr. Eakins: Supplementary: Speaking of service on the Ontario Northland Railway and in line with the Premier’s announcement of buying Canadian, I wonder could the minister tell us is he now serving Ontario wine on the Ontario Northland Railway or is he offering only French wine?
Hon. Mr. Bernier: I’m not sure of that. I think I indicated publicly that we would make sure that Ontario wines would be served.
Mr. Eakins: Buy Canadian.
Mr. Speaker: I take it that was a supplementary, although one would have to stretch the imagination a good deal.
TRANSPORTATION OF HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES
Mr. Kerrio: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of the Environment. Is the minister aware of the fact that in December 1975 I raised a question with the Premier -- and I think I have waited a reasonable length of time for the answer -- as to the release of chlorine gas in Niagara Falls, New York, which killed some four people and hospitalized 80 people? In view of the fact that there have been three very serious accidents within the last week in which many people were killed when a tank car ruptured in the southern United States, I again raise the question -- a very serious question -- is the minister aware of the kinds of substances being transported over the Penn Central railway between Niagara Falls, Ontario, and Detroit, from that huge chemical centre to very densely populated areas in my riding? Is he aware of that kind of transportation of these chemicals?
Hon. Mr. McCague: I don’t recall the question asked of the Premier in December 1975 --
Mr. Kerrio: Would the minister like to look it up?
Hon. Mr. McCague: -- but I am aware that there are chemicals being transported in that area. I presume the member would like them transported by some other route.
An hon. member: What have you got against the railroad?
Mr. Kerrio: Yes. My supplementary question would be: Is the minister aware of the types of substances and dangerous chemicals that are being railed over that route, and would he as an alternative see if he can reroute those kind of chemicals that could cause a disaster -- particularly in the summer months when there are literally thousands of people involved in that area where the tracks go through?
Hon. Mr. McCague: Mr. Speaker, I am sure it would be very difficult to find a route that suits everyone. I will be glad to look into the matter to see if there is anything that can be done.
Mr. Martel: By an Overlander.
Mr. Makarchuk: Supplementary: Can the minister indicate at this time what emergency procedures or personnel he has available to take care of some accident that could happen on that railway?
Mr. Laughren: Send Lorne out.
Hon. Mr. McCague: Mr. Speaker, as the member probably knows, we are at every accident site very quickly. There is an emergency plan.
Mr. Kerrio: Supplementary: Would the minister take action that would cause him to be on the scene before the accident occurs? That is my question.
Mr. Havrot: Great thinking over there.
Mr. Deans: I can’t wait to hear the answer.
Mr. Kennedy: We need a clairvoyant minister.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Vince, you aren’t even smiling.
Mr. Speaker: Order. I can’t hear the answer.
Mr. Deans: Speak loudly. I want to hear.
Hon. Mr. McCague: In the past two and a half years, I can think of a couple of very bad accidents that happened in Niagara.
Mr. Kerrio: Actually, one was in 1975.
Mr. Warner: The one that is here is the good one.
Hon. Mr. McCague: I mean in chemical terms.
Mr. Martel: Are you saying that in French or English?
Hon. Mr. McCague: Mr. Speaker, we will take this under consideration. They must be transported by some means or banned. It is very difficult to say that they won’t be moved in those ways. I think we can probably do better than we have in the past, by warning all kinds of people of the hazards of various materials, and we are working towards an education program in those matters.
Mr. B. Newman: Supplementary: As the railroad tracks that are generally used are the CPR tracks, because of the international railway tunnel, will the minister use his office to see that under no circumstance the tracks use the area that is referred to as the “Powell siding” in the city of Windsor because it happens to be a fairly well developed, fairly heavily populated area, and under no circumstance do the people in the city of Windsor want toxic and dangerous chemicals within 50 yards of their homes?
Hon. Mr. McCague: Mr. Speaker, I will make a commitment to look into the matter.
Mr. Mackenzie: A question of the Minister of the Environment: Can the minister inform the House if employees of the Ferranti-Packard plant in St. Catharines are still repairing transformers containing a coolant containing PCBs? Would the minister inquire into the medical and WCB records of the employees present and past -- including some who have since died -- and report back to the House as to whether or not there were any effects from working with the PCB coolant?
Hon. Mr. McCague: Mr. Speaker, I feel that question is more appropriately directed to the Minister of Labour.
Mr. Deans: No. She doesn’t know the answer either.
Mr. Martel: She is fuming though.
Mr. Mackenzie: I really thought it would be the Minister of the Environment, but I will redirect it to the Minister of Labour.
Mr. Lewis: Good luck.
Mr. Mackenzie: Would she state as to whether or not the employees at Ferranti-Packard are working with this coolant in repairing the transformers?
Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, it was my understanding that there were no transformers either being repaired or built in which PCBs were used. But I shall most certainly investigate to determine whether the workers in those plants are being exposed to PCBs, and will also investigate the medical records of those who have been in those plants and report.
MINORITY LANGUAGE RIGHTS
Mr. Rotenberg: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Premier. I listened with interest to his report on the premiers’ conference last week, particularly discussing the rights of English minorities in French Canada and French minorities in English Canada. But I’m wondering if the premiers’ conference discussed the rights of the one-third of Canadians who are neither English nor French -- particularly the rights of those minorities whose mother tongues are neither English nor French -- and the rights of their children to be educated in the official language of their choice.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, the discussions both in St. Andrews and most recently in Montreal were all based on the language of instruction in the two official languages of Canada, that is, French and English. I think it is fair to state that some observed the interesting and important makeup of the population of this country. It was pointed out in casual conversation the wide differences that exist in terms of population and young people in our school system -- in some of our western provinces for example and, as has been pointed out in this House, even here in our own province. But the subject matter that preoccupied the attention of the premiers in matters of education related to instruction in English or French.
Mr. Rotenberg: Supplementary: I am particularly concerned about the right to have instruction in English by minority groups whose parents’ mother tongue is not English or French, in another province.
Mr. Kerrio: What are you asking this Premier for?
Mr. Rotenberg: At the present time, citizens of Canada --
Mr. Speaker: Question.
Mr. Rotenberg: I am asking the Premier if they considered citizens of Canada whose children are denied the right to have education in the English language in parts of this country.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I guess on two or three occasions I reminded the Premier of Quebec of my concern with respect to the position of minority language education. While one can look back historically in terms of the English-speaking people in our sister province of Quebec, there is no question that in terms of an educational program it has been well established. I have raised with the Premier of that province my concern that a Canadian is a Canadian, and that when a Canadian, particularly in these days of mobility, moves from one province to another, he or she should have the right, irrespective of what the mother tongue may be, to an educational program in whatever province one chooses to locate.
At St. Andrews I pointed out to the Premier of Quebec the very difficult situation for a youngster who, say, is in an Ontario grade 11 or 12 class, a student who perhaps has had some difficulty with English, being a new Canadian. He might be a very excellent scholar in math or science yet perhaps he is forced -- and I say “perhaps” because of the sections in the Quebec bill that could relieve some of these situations if implemented -- into the very difficult academic program apart from anything else that a youngster would have who might be forced into a French-speaking course of instruction with no knowledge of that language at a senior grade level. It’s very different when a youngster starts at kindergarten, but by the time he gets to the senior grades it is very awkward indeed.
I have made this view known to the Premier of the province of Quebec. It’s a view I have held very strongly. In spite of the fact that at the conference -- and I want to make this clear -- the question of a constitutional amendment was not formally up for discussion there because the Premier of Quebec has made it very clear he would not participate in any such discussion, I still feel that, while some other premiers do not yet share this point of view, one of the best solutions which Ontario will continue to support -- and I emphasize this very strongly, in my view, knowing that the constitution provides the educational jurisdiction for the provinces -- could be an amendment entrenched in the constitution providing for minority languages in the two official languages of Canada.
Mr. di Santo: Supplementary: Apart from the fact that the teaching of other languages was not the subject of the conference of the premiers in Montreal last week, does the Premier think that the province of Ontario, on its own, can implement the teaching of other languages through the heritage language program which was introduced last year, removing the difficulties that now make it difficult for boards of education to adopt that program because of the funding formula?
Hon. Mr. Davis: I think that would be a question more properly put to the Minister of Education (Mr. Wells), who has just arrived, and he could take 10 or 15 minutes in a very important answer to that important question.
Ms. Gigantes: Supplementary.
Mr. Warner: He shuffled it off. That’s a copout.
Ms. Gigantes: He never answered.
Mr. Speaker: I think we’ve had enough supplementaries.
FINANCIAL PROTECTION FOR FARMERS
Mr. Riddell: I have a question for the Minister of Agriculture and Food. At a mass meeting of farmers from right across Canada, arranged by the Ontario Federation of Agriculture and held in Ottawa last week -- a meeting which, I might say, two members of this Legislature attended, my colleague from Haldimand-Norfolk (Mr. G. I. Miller) and myself -- there was very great concern expressed about declining farm income. In view of the fact that there was very little mention made in the Throne Speech pertaining to agriculture in this province, is the minister planning any new programs to deal with the serious situation that the agricultural industry is faced with today in Ontario?
Hon. W. Newman: I am fully aware of the meeting that the hon. member was at last Wednesday night in Ottawa. I commend him for going. I commend the Ontario Federation of Agriculture for the four points they made to the National Food Strategy Conference. Some of the most meaningful points made were made by the federation in their brief the next day. I commend them for their action.
As the hon. member knows, as far as declining farm income is concerned, we have a corn stabilization program in place for the 1977 crop. It looks as if there will be a payout on it. We’ve just finished working out a three-year program for the corn stabilization program. We’ve had many other requests for stabilization programs for various commodities which we are now looking at through the commission for stabilization.
We have the cow-calf stabilization program, by the way. The member might not have noticed the news release that came out from Ottawa where, with their great generous heart, they gave our farmers $5 a cow, whereas we paid $38 a cow in the provincial program. I point out to him that we are doing things for the farmers. We are concerned about their declining income. That’s why we’ve brought in many of the programs we have. The stabilization program is a very important program, which is now just nicely getting into position, to help the farmers when they get into low-price situations.
We have the crop insurance program. We have other programs. We had a serious storm recently. I anticipate I’ll be making an announcement on that, as soon as I hear word from Ottawa, because that’s a shared-cost program. We are concerned about declining income and we do have programs in place to try to help the farmers with these programs.
Mr. Riddell: Supplementary: The minister mentioned a lot of old programs. My question was what new programs is he going to introduce? As far as some of the ministry’s newer programs are concerned, I am wondering just how effective they are -- and I am talking now about the Foodland Ontario promotion program -- when I read and hear that at the agricultural conventions being held in Ontario --
Mr. Speaker: Question?
Mr. Riddell: -- imported foods are being used. What is the minister’s response to that?
Some hon. members: Shame.
Mr. Riddell: And how does the minister account for the fact that imported meat is being served in the correctional institutions?
Hon. W. Newman: Mr. Speaker, it is too bad that the hon. member for Huron-Middlesex does not keep up with what is going on today, because if he had been following some of my comments recently in speeches I have made -- I will just quote a couple of figures so that I won’t take too much of the House’s time.
Mr. Martel: They are hard to follow.
Mr. Reid: There’s no shortage of corn there.
Mr. Martel: Don’t be bashful, Bill.
Hon. W. Newman: There were three million pounds more turkeys sold last Christmas than a year ago. That program was working.
Mr. Nixon: Put yourself on the list.
Mr. Foulds: You’re the biggest turkey of them all.
Hon. W. Newman: If the hon. member would like to join me this Thursday in London, I will be telling how the present promotional program is working. One chain of stores has told us it has already sold four times what it sold last year of Ontario winter vegetables because of our promotional program.
Mr. Foulds: How much more bull have they sold?
Hon. Mr. Davis: And the member thought he knew a lot about turkeys!
Mr. Gaunt: I am certainly delighted to hear we are eating more turkey, but I am wondering what effect the Foodland program is having, particularly in view of the fact that in January, at the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association annual meeting at the Royal York Hotel, the delegates were served orange juice for breakfast and imported wine for dinner.
Hon. Mr. Davis: You want imported wine for breakfast?
Mr. Gaunt: Has the minister reviewed his program with all of the major hotels in the city of Toronto, to alert them to his program and to tell them that he would really appreciate it if they would serve Ontario produce?
Hon. W. Newman: Mr. Speaker, I am not quite as acquainted with the hotel business as the hon. member probably is --
Mr. Reid: Just one end of it.
Hon. W. Newman: -- but I can assure him that we are working continually to move Ontario produce into the food chains and in other areas and we will be making a major contribution to the restaurant people during the coming year. About marketing boards, the hon. member will be pleased to know that many of the marketing boards are now setting levies or raising funds to join in our promotional program themselves; they realize that we can grow it but we have got to sell it, so they are joining with us in this program to promote Ontario produce.
Mr. Martel: You have to get out of the bar, Bill, to know what is going on in the other rooms.
COMMUNITY LAW CLINICS
Mr. Lawlor: Would the Attorney General be at all inclined to think that the arbitrary decision cutting off Legal Aid funds to People And Law without reason is precisely that, an arbitrary and irresponsible position? Secondly, would he do anything to amend the regulation governing this situation?
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member for Lakeshore knows, the regulation that provided for the funding of Legal Aid clinics was brought in at a time during which the future of many of these community clinics was threatened by the decision of the federal government to get out of this LIP type of program that had resulted in the formation of a number of these community Legal Aid clinics.
Because of my support for the community law concept, I persuaded the Law Society to agree to a regulation which would provide a better guarantee of ongoing funding for community law clinics. This probably was done in somewhat of a hurry, in view of the fact that there was some urgency involved in relation to establishing this regulation in order to ensure the future of these clinics, which I might say since the introduction of the regulation have increased in number -- probably they have doubled -- and the funding for community law clinics I think has at least tripled during my tenure as the Attorney General.
I say this because I recognize that the regulation in its present form may not be entirely satisfactory and probably should be refined in order to provide better criteria for both the guidance of the clinics that are in operation and for those that are seeking to be funded.
Now in relation to the matter of People And Law I recognize the fact that it would appear that no formal reasons have been given. I have indicated to the Legal Aid funding committee that it would be helpful if formal reasons could be prepared.
Mr. Warner: You should give them the money instead.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: And certainly from what I know of it to date, I am not sure at all that I can agree at this moment that the decision was in any way an arbitrary one. There were many weeks of warning, and it would appear from what I have been able to learn of the matter to date and my information is not complete --
Mr. Warner: It is the law society of upper-crust Canada.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: -- that the People And Law clinic had decided themselves to change their own direction from that of assisting people with legal problems to the assisting and training of clinical workers for community law clinics; they decided on their own, unilaterally, to change this emphasis in direction to matters of law and social reform.
Ms. Gigantes: They should have gone to the Law Society.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: And while it is perhaps a desirable goal in itself, it certainly was not the basis on which Legal Aid community clinics were established, and that is to assist in the delivery of legal services to people who have a need, a specific need, as opposed to the reform of society in general, notwithstanding the fact that some members might decide that this is a desirable goal but it seems to me that there are other forums.
Mr. O’Neil: You must read the Sunday Sun. Who wrote that article in the Sun?
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: That, in brief, is the information that I have at this point.
Mr. Lawlor: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker: Could you possibly find a supplementary to that?
Mr. Lawlor: Would the Attorney General be prepared to meet with this group as they have requested?
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I would like to have more complete information before I decide whether such a meeting would be worthwhile, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Makarchuk: He is asking are you prepared or not?
Mrs. Campbell: In view of the fact that this type of clinic is serving a large proportion of the people in downtown Toronto who feel otherwise no access to the law, be it social or otherwise, would the minister not consider meeting without first being briefed by the Law Society, but rather meet with the people themselves at this point in time?
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I don’t think there is anything that I could add to what I have already said.
Mr. Warner: Listen to the law society of upper-crust Canada.
Mr. S. Smith: A question for the Minister of Labour: Does the minister agree with me that in order to fund for six months, on a temporary basis, until her famous Workmen’s Compensation report comes in -- in order to fund a 10 per cent increase in pensions -- that the cost would be approximately $4.5 million and that that money would go directly into the economy since it would undoubtedly be spent for the very basic necessities of life? Is that the approximate figure and cost that she believes to be involved in, for instance, a 10 per cent increase on a six-month basis until the report is completed?
Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I don’t have my pocket computer with me and I cannot verify that figure. I would think it is probably within the ball park.
Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary -- and again imploring the minister to bring forward exactly that remedy to the present situation -- can she advise the House whether one of the problems with the Workmen’s Compensation fund has not been investments that have paid poorly over the years, such as 25-year mortgages at five or six per cent, some of these investments having been liquidated at a loss of approximately $5 million in 1976 and $4.5 million in 1975? If this investment problem is a real problem for the board, can she justify why people at the very lowest end of the income scale should have to now pay for the unwise investment policy of the Workmen’s Compensation Board?
Mr. Laughren: Blatant discrimination.
Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I do not accept the argument placed by the hon. Leader of the Opposition that this is the reason for any kind of situation. Nor am I aware that, indeed, the Workmen’s Compensation Board investments fared any worse than any other investment made by any single individual or any group of individuals --
Mr. Laughren: Anything the board touches has done badly.
Hon. B. Stephenson: -- in the years 1975 and 1976. But I would remind the hon. member that, indeed, the Workmen’s Compensation Act precludes the possibility of any adjustment to the figures which have been established within that Act, without an amendment to the Act.
Mr. Lewis: So bring it in.
Hon. B. Stephenson: And it is not possible, Mr. Speaker, for the Workmen’s Compensation Board to be responsible for increases in benefits without amendments to the Act.
Mr. Martel: I’ll introduce it if she wants.
Mr. Cassidy: I have a supplementary, Mr. Speaker. Will the minister agree that her comment suggesting that workmen’s compensation recipients who find their income is inadequate should seek welfare is not only gratuitous but it is also inaccurate, in view of the fact that welfare exists to provide income for people who have no income and not for people whose income is inadequate?
Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I have never made that statement. That was a statement made by the hon. members of the third party and not by myself and I do not see any point at all in responding to that question.
Hon. B. Stephenson: I do not see any point at all.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Mr. Lewis: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege. I don’t have Hansard directly in front of me but I remember very clearly that the full import and implication of the minister’s reply was that workmen’s compensation recipients could seek additional moneys through the traditional remedy of social welfare allowances even if she didn’t use the words. She said it clearly and she is misleading the House now.
Mr. Havrot: You phoney bleeding heart.
Hon. B. Stephenson: I did not say it.
Mr. Lewis: I’m tired of the way you toy with that in this House.
Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Hon. B. Stephenson: I’m not like that, gentlemen.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Hon. W. Newman: Come on, Stephen, watch your language.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
It has always been held in this House that no member will accuse another member of misleading the House and I will ask the hon. member for Scarborough West to withdraw.
Mr. Lewis: I withdraw, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. S. Smith: May I just have another supplementary if I might? Since both opposition parties clearly would be willing to support an amendment brought through for the purpose of helping these people get some relief with their pensions, which have not increased for several years now despite inflation, what is stopping the minister from bringing that forward? It would not break the government and it would surely be the proper thing to do at this time.
Mr. Foulds: Just give them what is due to them.
Mr. Martel: It doesn’t cost the government a cent.
Mr. Warner: Try being the Minister of Labour.
Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I am not sure whether the hon. Leader of the Opposition is requesting that we amend the Workmen’s Compensation Act at this time or that we amend some other Act in order to provide for a supplement. That has not been made clear, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Foulds: You do toy with words, don’t you?
Hon. B. Stephenson: I would remind the hon. member that he supported in this House, not longer ago than last Friday, the validity and the necessity for the study which is being carried out. It would seem to me, Mr. Speaker, that it would be entirely irresponsible to suggest amendments to the Workmen’s Compensation Act at this time until --
Mr. Laughren: Nonsense. You’re being irresponsible.
Hon. B. Stephenson: -- we have the full report of that study, which the hon. Leader of the Opposition feels is a reasonable study to carry out.
Mr. Speaker: The time for oral questions has expired.
POINT OF PRIVILEGE
Mr. Lewis: On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker. In Hansard of last Friday, February 24, it is recorded after an exchange between the Leader of the Opposition and Mrs. Stephenson --
Hon. B. Stephenson: I’m not Mrs. Stephenson.
Mr. Lewis: I’m quoting the Hon. Mrs. Stephenson as named in the draft of Hansard. I wouldn’t impute things to the minister that didn’t appear in print.
Mr. Deans: Who are you?
Hon. B. Stephenson: I know who I am -- just because you don’t --
An hon. member: Take off your mask, Ian.
Hon. B. Stephenson: Wash your face, Ian, you might find out.
Mr. Deans: Are you not Mrs. Stephenson?
Hon. B. Stephenson: No, I am not Mrs. Stephenson.
Mr. Speaker: Order. I’d like to hear the point of privilege if there is one.
Mr. Lewis: In Hansard, Mr. Speaker, it is recorded the minister said: “We cannot do it without considering the total impact of whatever modifications may be suggested” -- meaning increasing the workmen’s compensation allowance -- “but I would suggest to the hon. member that if indeed there are problems, there are sources available through provincial funding and federal funding which are available to the families of those workmen.”
What did the minister mean if not social welfare allowances?
Mr. Martel: Come on, tell us.
Mr. Lewis: What else did she mean? I withdrew the word “misleading,” Mr. Speaker, but I did it with regret.
Mr. MacDonald: Mr. Speaker, I have a point I would like to draw to your attention and for your consideration.
Mr. Speaker: A point of what?
Mr. MacDonald: A point of order.
Mr. Laughren: It’s time the minister resigned.
Mr. Speaker: I don’t know that anything is out of order. You may speak to the point of privilege if you wish.
Mr. MacDonald: I will speak to a point of privilege then. Many times in this House, Mr. Speaker, you have quite rightly insisted that when a person says a statement is misleading they must withdraw it, and then when you have documentary proof that they were misleading there is no compunction on the person who was misleading to do anything about it. Would you consider that to see what revision in our rules should be considered?
Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege, I never ever mentioned the words “social welfare.” There are programs which --
Hon. B. Stephenson: Well, if that’s your definition, there are programs of income supplement which are available.
Mr. Lewis: Tell us where they go for help.
Mr. Laughren: Explain yourself.
Mr. Lewis: Where do they go then?
Mr. Speaker: Order, I want to remind all hon. members of the House that the provisional and the standing orders we operate under in this House are not mine. They are the collective property of the House. The rules are quite specific with regard to the use of the word “misleading.” It is my responsibility to ask hon. members to withdraw. With regard to any deficiencies in the standing orders, that’s the problem, collectively, of the House, not the Chair.
Mr. Lewis: On the point, if I may, Mr Speaker, I regret having used the word. I did genuinely and do genuinely believe that there is no other and was no other possible interpretation to the minister’s remarks last Friday. We said so and, in fact, she understood exactly what she meant.
Mr. Speaker: There are many instances where there are differences of opinion as to what was said or what was intended, and it’s not the prerogative of the Chair to interpret what was said.
Mr. Martel: There are no other programs and the minister knows it.
Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker: There is no such thing as a supplementary question on a discussion of this nature. The time for oral questions expired four minutes ago.
Mr. Martel: When did you start getting unemployment insurance when you are on compensation?
Hon. B. Stephenson: You don’t know what you’re talking about.
ORDERS OF THE DAY
THRONE SPEECH DEBATE (CONTINUED)
Resumption of the adjourned debate on the amendment to the motion for an address in reply to the speech of the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor at the opening of the session.
Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker. I rise in support of the Speech from the Throne. May I go through the considered amenities of wishing you well in your latest term, hoping that the distinguished service that you have provided to this Legislature in the previous session will serve merely as a launching pad for the expectations we have both of you and from you in this session.
There is a line concerning my ministry in the Speech from the Throne which notes that several new pilot projects will be introduced in the community work program of the Ministry of Community and Social Services.
Before getting into the actual projects, could I take a few moments to outline the tremendous progress that has been made, not merely in this province but throughout Canada, in terms of having the community in its entirety take more and more responsibility for the behaviour problems, for the particular difficulties of the offender against the Criminal Code who, until the past few years, faced only incarceration, either on a constantly rotating basis or on an ever-increasing basis, as his accountability for his particular deed.
It is interesting to note that at the present time the community in this province accepts six and a half times as much responsibility for the offender as does the jail system. I think it is sometimes lost that where there are today in the vicinity of 4,000 sentenced inmates in the province of Ontario, there are more than 24,000 convicted criminals under probation. The reason I use the term “convicted criminals” is the fact that quite often the public loses sight of the fact that the only way a person can get on probation, including the supervision that is part and parcel of the order, is by being convicted of a criminal offence.
In the last few years, therefore, we have more and more turned to the community -- to the facilities both in terms of the relatively loose supervision that probation does provide, in terms of the resources available throughout the entire community in meeting the particular problems of the offender, be they concerned with emotional, psychological, drug or other behavioural difficulties.
At the same time, it is very interesting that we are now moving into yet another area. The federal Minister of Justice, the Hon. Ron Basford, is moving towards significant amendments to the Criminal Code that will provide the community with an even greater chance to provide the opportunity for the successful readmission of the offender into society. First of all will be the formal legalization, if you want to call it that, or the formal insertion of the community service order, as a valid sentence, in the Criminal Code.
Secondly, there will be a better definition of the fine option in terms of certain offences, in the light of extending more time before a person is incarcerated for failure to meet the particular fine that was imposed upon conviction. The fine option will certainly be brought out later this spring when the Attorney General of this province (Mr. McMurtry) introduces the Provincial Courts Act. But notwithstanding the desire in all jurisdictions to remove the jail option in lieu of fine from the sentencing procedure, the bench must still be provided with some form of deterrent for the offender who violates or simply refuses to pay the fine.
We are suggesting to the federal Minister of Justice that an addition to the present fine option sentence might very well be a community work order, in lieu of the failure to pay a fine that has been imposed. I don’t think there is anyone in this country, or in this province, who does not agree with the general observation that in Canada we are sending far too many people to jail for far too many offences. That isn’t being soft on crime. That isn’t calling for an easier approach to the offender. It is recognizing the significance of the fact that in a great many cases jail or incarceration no longer is any form of real accountability for the offence, quite often works to the detriment of the victim, is an increasingly costly exercise, not just economically but in terms of the confinement of human resources, and that there are new approaches and new alternatives which can provide a more realistic accountability, both for the offender and for the victim.
Hopefully, the amendments to the Criminal Code will provide for direct restitution sentences; that is, direct from the court. As you know, Mr. Speaker, restitution orders under probation are now being appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada, because there is the argument that they may very well be invalid under the federal statutes because property and civil rights are properly the jurisdiction of the provinces.
Notwithstanding the ultimate disposition of that appeal, it would seem far more logical if an offender in a property or a money or in a non-violent or non-injury matter were sentenced directly to restitution rather than being incarcerated, even with the result that in our system at the moment we are prepared to assign the incarcerated offender to a restitution centre. That would be purely for the purposes of going to work and paying back the victim directly. It would make the introduction of the restitution centre much easier, much more practical and much more widespread if there was a movement to direct restitution as part of the court sentence.
I don’t think there is any objection to the concept that restitution in lieu of incarceration is the coming factor in the correctional field. More and more crimes are white collar offences. The victim under our present practices seldom, if ever, can recover the actual amount of the monetary loss. In a great many cases, because of the way protective industries such as insurance work, he indeed pays an additional penalty by virtue of the fact that his premiums quite often go up as a result of the offence being committed against him.
At the same time, in the white collar field we have moved in a great many areas in the past few years to enable the offender to re-enter society and to carry on with his or her occupation. In the past, bonding or the lack of it really was an extreme deterrent against virtually any type of white collar offender ever expecting to return to his previous occupation. That, of course, by and large has been removed as a deterrent, and quite often now the white collar offender can rightfully do so.
We want a correction system that is based upon making the re-entry point into society as easy as possible. Then we are going to have to do something for the victim. The community work order or the community service order in terms of victimless crime is working.
Since the introduction of the pilot projects by my ministry, and by the Attorney General in October, there are now more than 310 offenders on such work orders.
Even on a conservative estimate, at least half of them would probably have been incarcerated in the past. One hundred and fifty offenders are working in the community in their spare time, as well as supporting themselves and staying in the community throughout the period of accountability, and that is the equivalent of a fair-sized new penal institution in this province.
The type of community work order that we are looking at now is only the beginning in this field. Restitution is, obviously, the second and the more sophisticated phase, and, hopefully, the amendments to the Criminal Code, as well as the disposition of the appeal before the Supreme Court of Canada, will expedite the massive introduction of such restitution centres in the communities of this province.
Finally, as you know we are a captive ministry. We must operate under the auspices of the Penitentiaries Act. The federal government in Bill C-51 has changed enormously the scope that will be allowed provinces in the field of correction. We will be assuming responsibility for parole of inmates within the Ontario system; that means two years less a day. We will be negotiating the exchange of inmates between the federal system and ourselves -- most particularly the female offenders from the Kingston Penitentiary for women. Hopefully, by the summer of this year, the Kingston Penitentiary for women will no longer be. I understand the federal government has some other plans for it, but certainly not as an institution for females. We are prepared in this province to take Ontario inmates from that penitentiary and to house them on a fee-for-service basis -- because they are under federal jurisdiction -- within our own female institutions.
I would be remiss if I didn’t compliment the new federal Solicitor General, the Hon. Jean-Jacques Blais who, despite the many pressures of his office and the manner in which he had to assume it, is carrying on relatively fast negotiations with the province of Ontario and with myself to facilitate the takeover of parole, the exchange of inmates agreements, and other commonsense approaches to the matter of how best we can rationalize the use of incarceration facilities within the province of Ontario regardless of whose jurisdiction they come under.
The emphasis upon the community, as the integral part of coming to grips with the problems of the offender -- and not just the youth-oriented offender, as has been the practice in the past, but of the total offender-population wherever possible -- will return the jail or the incarceration system back to its original function; and its original function was the protection of society from the violent.
For far too long we have used jail and the system for other purposes. We have gone far beyond the original intent of containing the violent for the sake of public safety. The community work order, the restitution order, the efforts by the federal government and by ourselves for a more effective and rational use of the correctional system -- and by that I mean primarily in the community and using the jail only as the last and final resort -- will pay enormous dividends in this province in the future, not just in terms of money and new approaches to the problems of the offender, but in the ability of a community to marshal its own resources to return back to it human resources that otherwise would have been consigned elsewhere and virtually wasted because of the inability of the much more inflexible incarceration system to deal with all the vagaries of the human condition.
Mr. Conway: It’s a particular pleasure to follow my fellow Celt from Scarborough Centre in this Throne Speech debate -- Hibernian perhaps.
Hon. Mr. Drea: I thought you called me something else.
Mr. Conway: I read that front page speech in the Catholic Register and I haven’t got over it yet. Mr. Deputy Speaker, I would like to begin my remarks by once again congratulating you on your very appropriate and distinguished re-elevation to the position of Deputy Speaker. I want also to take this opportunity to congratulate a fellow eastern Ontarian, namely the member for Ottawa Centre (Mr. Cassidy), who has been most recently brought to public attention as a surprising, I think, but nonetheless convincing winner in the recent Ontario New Democratic Party’s convention.
Mr. Conway: I note that some of the loudest applause from this packed House this afternoon emanated from the chair of the member for Carleton East (Ms. Gigantes). I can see that those regional differences that preceded the convention have been ameliorated and now the applause is a complete and happy one.
Indeed, I was thinking with respect to that very famous convention of a situation that paralleled the Pearson years in Ottawa in the mid-1960s. When a certain difficulty and hardship afflicted the Liberal Party, Pearson’s answer was three wise men from the province of Quebec, Pelletier, Trudeau and Marchand.
As I looked at that very surprising convention in Toronto a few weeks ago that produced my colleague from Ottawa Centre as the final victor, I looked and I saw that he had but a corporal’s guard of caucus support. I thought again of three wise men. Two of those wise men are with us today, the members for High Park-Swansea (Mr. Ziemba) and Lakeshore (Mr. Lawlor). I wonder sometimes whether three wise men is not an appropriate place from which to start with leadership and aspirations.
I was away for the convention, but I came back to Toronto to read with great interest an article that appeared in the Fanfare section of the Globe and Mail on February 8. It was written by a certain Norm Snider and I think deserves the attention of all members of the House because it is a particularly witty comment on a very interesting convention.
The Throne Speech that was read here by Her Honour last week is the cause for this week’s debate. I want to highlight in my remarks some of the things I thought were positive and some of those things which I thought were clearly negative. As one member of the Legislature, I appreciated the frank admission by the government in the statement that government intervention will in future be less in general and more selective where it takes place. I want to applaud the government for some very positive initiatives which it has outlined in the Throne Speech as they relate particularly to the areas of job creation, however limited and restricted those initiatives are.
I want also, in the presence of my friend the member for York Centre (Mr. Stong) who I see has just left, to applaud the government for a renewed commitment to the very special requirements of the education of seriously disabled young people in this province. I want to commend the government for its commitment to take seriously the problems of child abuse within our society generally and within our legal system specifically. Those, I think, are very positive things that members of the Liberal Party, and I know members of the New Democratic Party, have long called for. This was the case particularly in the debate we had here not so very long ago insofar as the special education of disabled children in this province is concerned. I would strongly urge the government of the day to very quickly and very thoroughly implement what it outlined in that respect.
But there are some clear indications that, like so many other Throne Speeches from this tired and worn-out government, it is more interested in recycling programs which we have seen before than it is in designing a bold new approach to the problems of our economy and of our society. I, as a Liberal, was particularly pleased to see that the government, once again, has found Liberal policy to be highly recommendable. Specifically with regard to the sunset recommendations which were spoken of in the private members’ hour by my leader some weeks ago, the government has, I know, seen the wisdom of his ways and is promising an initiative in that regard.
As a member from eastern Ontario, I was particularly impressed with the specific commitments entered into in two very selected areas. The first of these promises is to provide “a series of studies relating to a commuter air service for eastern Ontario, linking key agricultural and urban areas to other parts of the province,” and that this “will be undertaken by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications to pursue both private and public options for air travel in that area.”
I want to commend the government for its attention in this respect. As one member of this party from that region, I will be most persistent and positive in my urging that this kind of a regional air program be undertaken for eastern Ontario. I have long wondered why it is that northern Ontario, which has unique regional problems that many members of this assembly have drawn to our collective attention, has been able to qualify for some years now for the special norOntair program while eastern Ontario, with some of the same transportation problems growing out of the regional nature of the community, has not been similarly blessed.
I want, while commending the government, to draw attention to one incident that relates to this specific area. Last spring, the federal government announced that it would be proceeding with a major reconstruction of the Pembroke and area airport, which is in the great county of Renfrew. Operating out of that airport -- and I see the member for Leeds (Mr. Auld) paying due attention -- is probably the largest, or at least one of the largest, regional carriers in the region, namely PemAir.
That airline was seriously and financially jeopardized by the dislocation that was to result by the temporary closing down of that airport to regional air traffic. The people of the community, the people of PemAir and others, had gone to the federal authorities to seek assistance and to some degree they were successful. But recognizing that the Ontario government has a responsibility to the people and the transportation problems in eastern Ontario, some of us made strong representation to both the political and bureaucratic levels of the provincial administration. It was very clear that the government at that time was unwilling and totally unprepared to address a very serious problem that threatened the viability of one of the region’s largest and most useful air carriers.
I wanted to put that on the record because at that time I felt that the government of Ontario had real responsibilities. I saw that those responsibilities were appreciated by the community, by the local municipal authorities, but they were abdicated clearly and without, I thought, proper attention by the Ontario Conservative government.
I applaud this new initiative. I fully expect that my regional carrier, our regional airport, and most importantly, the people of Renfrew county and of eastern Ontario, can expect in the very near future concrete and decisive transportation policies vis-à-vis air travel that will alleviate the distance problem and the other problems that are endemic to eastern Ontario that seem to have missed the attention of the government of Ontario for many years. I wanted to highlight the problems that PemAir experienced not five years ago, not two years ago, but six months ago.
I was interested to see that the Throne Speech offered to all who would listen the usual amount of motherhood. Quite frankly, motherhood is the phrase for what’s being talked of in pages 16 and 17, where the government reinforces its commitment to the family.
I wondered what was in the Throne Speech to keep some of the backbench unhappies, like our friend the member for Oriole (Mr. Williams), content to the degree that he would stay with a party that he must surely be growingly unhappy with and about. But I see it in page 16, where it is affirmed for all and sundry to appreciate that the Conservative government under William Davis believes strongly in the family; right to the point of declaring May as family unity month. I read that and it makes me think of my Catholic upbringing and certain family overtones that in that religion relate to the month of May.
Mr. Speaker, it is with some interest then that the Throne Speech, having made those desk-thumping assertions about motherhood and family, that it goes on in a few pages to talk about the great achievements in Bill 59 which, whatever you think about it, has some rather interesting observations and new legislative requirements that I think impinge very clearly and very directly upon the status of the family.
I presume the speech writer for pages 17 and 18 did not know about what the speechwriter was saying on pages 19 and 20; either that or the Premier has his writers and the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) has his as well.
It was interesting to note -- yes?
Ms. Gigantes: What do you have in mind?
Mr. Conway: Well, I just wanted to draw to the attention of my good and hon. colleague from Carleton East what I saw as a logical inconsistency, in on the one hand a desk-thumping assertion for the great verities of family, and on the other the clear statement of support, as I think it should be, for Bill 59, which I think has about it some clear implications and long-term plans for the future of the family in the conventional sense as we all know it.
Mr. Warner: You have driven all the Tories out of the House except one.
Mr. Conway: I see the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere is here and I am delighted to have his quiet presence with us.
Mr. Speaker, I thought the Throne Speech ended on its most sad and sorry note, and that was the limp-wristed commentary on what this government and what this government party is prepared not to do to address the serious cultural and linguistic problems that beset the Franco-Ontarian of this the central province of Canada and about which I would like to make some commentary a little later on.
I was drawn to the remarks in the Throne Speech as they relate to eastern Ontario for a number of reasons. It has been a time since I have seen a Throne Speech, and I have been here, of course as you know sir, but for three years or three Throne Speeches.
Mr. Warner: That is too many.
Mr. Conway: I do plan, together with the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere, to spend I hope a few more days listening to future Throne Speeches, although I know this, Mr. Speaker, that none of the future Throne Speeches will be authored by that collection on my left.
Mr. Warner: I would not bet on it, Sean.
Mr. Conway: That it will be perhaps a frosty -- I promised not to read Snider and I won’t; but in the case of the NDP I am afraid I have seen the future and it’s failed.
Mr. Warner: If you promise not to read.
Mr. Conway: Mr. Speaker, the eastern Ontario region has finally, I think as a result of two very critical elections, visited itself and its real problems upon this government.
I found some relationship -- as I am sure you did from the prosperity of southwestern Ontario -- a relationship between an article which appeared in our most national paper, the Globe and Mail, on Saturday, February 4, 1978, entitled: “Tory Fortress” -- namely eastern Ontario -- “Feels Taken for Granted”; and some of the direct, if platitudinous, remarks directed to those of us from eastern Ontario in the Throne Speech.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Did you write that?
Mr. Conway: Mr. Speaker, I recommend to my friend the Attorney General, who I hear in the vague, dark corners of Tory power might just have some aspirations, that he might look at Mr. Williamson’s article, where among other things the first paragraph says, and I quote,
“After three decades of drawing on eastern Ontario” -- and I want to say that drawing on eastern Ontario is a very polite way of putting it -- “as the wellspring of a succession of Conservative governments at Queen’s Park, there are clear signs of trouble for the Tories in eastern Ontario.”
Now I want to just recommend that to the future leadership candidates who are with us this afternoon from the government caucus, and to tell them that the initiatives that they entertained in this year’s Throne Speech, limited, as I said earlier, that they are, I think are going to be required to a much greater degree if they expect to survive in any way, shape or form as a viable party in eastern Ontario.
For those of us who come from that area, who don’t know the luxuries of Eglinton or the suburban prosperity of Burlington South, those of us in eastern Ontario under the tyranny of distance and the poverty given to us by 35 years of Tory dynasties here in this building, it is interesting to see what has happened politically in the last few years. We have the political cabinet from eastern Ontario where, as the article points out, they have drawn a veritable well-spring of support. What has happened politically there in the last two or three years, in this region that realizes that with the Conservative Party there can be no effective clout?
We have my good friend from Carleton (Mr. Handleman) resigning in disgust about the directions of the government. We have my equally good friend from Carleton East Mr. A. B. R. Lawrence, a former member of the executive council, resigning in frustration and disgust. We have my equally good friend from Ottawa South (Mr. Bennett) being demoted.
Mr. Warner: I don’t agree with your choice of friends.
Mr. Conway: Worst of all perhaps, we have the member for Prince Edward-Lennox (Mr. J. A. Taylor), lately Minister of Energy, being fired -- or resigning, as the more generous interpretation would have it. I suppose added to that we have the showpiece of their industrial and economic program, namely the Edwardsburgh land assembly, allowed to slide into an unhappy death, being promised instead to us yet another forest experimental station.
I just want to say to that for the edification of, among others, my friend from Carleton East (Ms. Gigantes), that we do agree with the former cabinet minister from Carleton-Grenville (Mr. Irvine) when we say that we have got enough forest in eastern Ontario, what we need are not more trees but more industry.
It is clear that the region from which I come and from which I am proud to say I come, is growing unhappy about the diet of neglect being fed to it by successive generations of Tory bureaucrats and Tory politicians here in this assembly. It was with some interest that I read two studies from the Treasurer’s (Mr. McKeough) ministry in the last two or three months. The first of these was the study in the Ontario Tax Series entitled, “Reassessing the Scope for Fiscal Policy in Canada.” In a not unsurprising fashion, the study allowed as to how the main beneficiaries of Ontario provincial spending are northwest and eastern Ontario, and it goes on to point out that in the area east of Trenton the Ontario government spends more than $1,525 per man, woman and child, a full $143 less than in the northwest region, but significantly higher than in the rest of the province.
Just so that those of us who might from time to time draw to the attention of the government the regional disparities of eastern Ontario, the Treasurer and his ministry happily, if quietly, provide the people in the assembly with a study which highlights the good fortune in which we find ourselves as a result of his economic and fiscal planning. I just want to read what I think is a very appropriate commentary on that from the Renfrew Mercury’s editorial page of February 22, 1978, and it says and I quote, in conclusion of the editorial -- certainly not my speech, lest the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) smile too unhappily -- I quote:
“We have known for many years that our population is sparse compared to the Oshawa-Windsor corridor. We know too how scattered our population is and how much harder and more expensive it is to provide a comparable level of services to people scattered over a large area. The study” -- meaning this particular study, the Ontario government’s taxation study -- “ignores this fact.
“Not only do we have fewer people, but those living in eastern Ontario make less money than the provincial average. This is why we pay $19 less than average in income tax. But it may be reassuring at Queen’s Park to know that eastern Ontario is a main beneficiary of government spending. The people in this area have only to look around them to fully understand just how misleading figures can be.” Concluding, the editorial says, “We may be poor and few in number, but we are certainly not stupid.”
I think that editorial speaks to some of the very serious grievances, both economically and otherwise, the people in that region are ever more prepared to express fully both in a public and private way.
The second study that I think deserves some attention is the demographic bulletin of the Ministry of Treasury, Economics and Intergovernmental Affairs, published in November 1977. It’s a rather quiet document but it draws attention to the population and migration patterns of the period from 1971 to 1976.
I found it very interesting, as one of the two provincial representatives from the county of Renfrew to find that in eastern Ontario the population change in the region was, in absolute terms, an increase of some 78,000 people between 1971 and 1976, meaning there were 78,000 more people residing in the region in 1976 than there were in 1971.
In percentage terms, this reflects a population increase of some 7.3 per cent for the region. But when you get specific and look at the fact that there are only two areas in conventional southern Ontario which have had a negative increase -- in other words, they had fewer people in 1976 than they had in 1971 -- both of those areas are in eastern Ontario. One of them is the county of Stormont, which had a net decline of 0.2 per cent and which is considerably instructive when you consider that the population growth for the region had been 7.3 per cent.
I think it’s useful to use the population growth figure as an indication -- granted, not a perfect or total one, but as an available research and statistical tool -- by means of which to determine the economic viability, progress and prosperity of the region.
The county of Stormont had one of the two net declines in population increase, and its decline was just 0.2 per cent. But most interesting, in terms of southern Ontario, is the fact that the county of Renfrew had fully a two per cent population decline.
It is clear from the government’s own figures that more and more people, given today’s relative migration patterns, are moving out of my particular county. It is clear that more people have moved out of the county of Renfrew than in any other region in southern Ontario.
Mr. Conway: I think, despite the interjections of my good friend from Fergus, that should give this government a particular encouragement to do something special, to do something specific, to take a fresh look at the regional priorities budget, which the Treasurer to his great credit, has directed in some measure to Renfrew county but where at the present time it is bogged down and there is, by at least one recent press account, the possibility that much of the moneys that might be made available will be lost for whatever intergovernmental problems.
I just want to say, as a member from Renfrew county, I am shocked and appalled to know that Renfrew county has the major population decline in all of southern Ontario. It is, I think, a very serious problem -- all the more serious for the young people, myself included perhaps, who have grown up in that area, who want to stay in that area, who want to work in that area, who want to contribute to the general community by working and living in that particular county.
If the government of Ontario needs any encouragement, or evidence that Renfrew county, over and above all others, needs special attention, I simply direct to the future leader’s attention, to the Premier’s attention, to the government’s general attention the demographic bulletin which leaves that very stinging indictment as far as the population and economic health of eastern Ontario is concerned.
Mr. Riddell: There are only three Tories in the House and they’re only remotely interested in eastern Ontario,
An hon. member: And none from eastern Ontario.
Mr. Conway: Given those unique and special problems -- and before I launch into the second part of this -- I want to draw attention to the fact that in the Parry Sound region, which has something to do with the next part of this little discourse, the population change was a positive 8.0 per cent -- significantly different from Renfrew county, which had a negative two per cent. Surely that should be considered when we get into something that becomes very current -- I know it is today and certainly will be on Wednesday -- and that’s the government’s election plan to offer to the people of the Parry Sound region a preferential treatment insofar as the registration fees for automobiles and the like in this province.
You will all remember the trip that was made to Parry Sound in early May 1977 by the Treasurer, among others, with the election barely a week old, where he offered the largess of the Progressive Conservative Party to the particular region and the sitting member who, we were told, properly or otherwise, was facing a very serious political challenge; and those people were drawn into the special consideration being given northern Ontario. I simply want to say to the government that for whatever reasons, political or otherwise, that kind of concession was made to the people of Parry Sound and Muskoka, people in my area -- some of whom live in the district of Nipissing and many who work for the Ontario government who see other people living in the district of Nipissing as beneficiary of this special treatment -- are very unhappy.
They are unhappy not only because of Wednesday, or today or yesterday whenever; they have, unlike their local member, gone and paid the extra dollars. They are unhappy because of the financial burden but they are in many cases more unhappy about the symbolic nature of that decision. They see only a political imperative, governing party or government policy -- and the member for Burlington South (Mr. Kerr) squints in his inimitable fashion.
Mr. Conway: That’s the perception. That’s the trouble with this government in eastern Ontario. You have got figures. You have got facts. You have got all kinds of evidence which directs specifically to the unique problems of Renfrew county. And then we have got to tell those people: “No, you don’t qualify for these special attentions given to your friends across the Algonquin park border, for among other things the population growth figures indicate a help which is not endemic to my region, to my country. You are going to have to pay the $60 or the $80, while they can pay the $10.”
That’s just not good enough. If you are prepared for election purposes to give special attention to Parry Sound, Muskoka, then I am here today to demand equal attention for the only county in all of southern Ontario which is undergoing very serious economic and social difficulties, among which numbers the family court situation in which I know the Attorney General has a particular and special concern.
As I said earlier, the diet of neglect which has been fed to us for 35 years, which is evident by an absolute dearth of political leadership in this cabinet, is simply not acceptable. Mr. Williamson, in his article of February 4, drew special attention to it. The elections of 1975 and 1977 reinforced more clearly than ever before that we are not prepared to accept it. I have got a petition, I have got letters -- which really indicate the growing indignation of people -- and nothing in recent memory has been so obnoxious to the people of the district of Nipissing, and it is my pleasure to represent them -- or the people in the county of Renfrew who make up that portion of the constituency that I represent -- nothing in recent memory has been so absolutely irritating as this very ad hoc decision to draw the line for the preferential licence plates right through the heartland of the district of Nipissing and right through the electoral district of Renfrew North.
You had better take a second look. I am here today to ask sincerely, non-partisanly, that you re-examine that particular commitment. I well realize the financial constraints that are placed on the Treasurer but I am here on behalf of those 28 people in the district of Nipissing, most of whom work for the Ministry of Natural Resources at the Algonquin Park centre in Whitney. They have written to me -- and I may just beg your indulgence, Mr. Speaker, to read what their petition says. It is dated January 27, 1978;
“Whereas the area of the district of Nipissing, south of Algonquin Park is one of the most isolated areas in southern Ontario,” -- and hear, hear, to that -- “90 miles from Pembroke, 120 miles from Peterborough and 65 miles from Huntsville, and whereas there is no public transit” -- repeat, no public transit -- “within 30 miles, the nearest hospital and drug store are 30 miles away and a motor vehicle is a virtual necessity for everyday life” -- and I would almost be prepared to replace virtual with absolute necessity -- “and whereas we already pay northern rates for insurance, hydro, consumer goods and gasoline, we the undersigned petition you and your colleagues, both in the government and in the opposition, to extend the $10-flat rate licence fee for private vehicles to the southern boundary of the district of Nipissing.”
An absolutely more reasonable request I cannot imagine. It is to the government’s goodwill that I refer it this afternoon on behalf of those people.
Ms. Gigantes: Eastern Ontario is dying and you want to give them cheap licence plates. All you have to offer is cheap licences.
Mr. Conway: I can understand what the member for Carleton East says. Certainly there has to be more done. But in the practical world of politics she must surely understand, as I know her esteemed and distinguished former leader understood more keenly than the rest of the lot put together over there, that these policy responses, however short-term, are extremely important. I suggest to the member for Carleton East that she reconsider her rather --
Ms. Gigantes: That’s all you are offering? Good grief! Just cheap licence plates.
Mr. Conway: For the consumption of the people of my riding, let it be understood that the NDP representatives from Carleton East and elsewhere oppose the flat rate extension to that portion of the district of Nipissing.
Ms. Gigantes: Is that all?
Mr. Conway: So be it. I well realize they have ceased to be a real political threat in our community, but I really appreciate the final nails being hammered into their coffin by their eastern delegation.
Mr. Warner: That’s wishful thinking.
Mr. Conway: I want to go briefly to a matter I think is of very serious general application to this province. It is something about which my leader, my very good colleague from Halton-Burlington (Mr. Reed) and this entire caucus, not only since yesterday but for many months, has expressed a great deal of concern, and that is about the operations, political and otherwise, of Ontario Hydro. I’m not going, least of all in the presence of that wunderkind from Carleton East, so illustrious a member of the select committee, to entertain a dialogue that --
Mr. McClellan: What is the German for dropout?
Mr. Conway: -- speaks to the specifics of the uranium contracts with Denison and Preston. I just want to register as one independent-thinking eastern Ontario member that I am very unhappy about those contracts.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: I thought you wanted the transmission line out in your riding.
Mr. Conway: I am particularly displeased about, among other things, the recent intervention from my colleague the minister of whatever-he-is today.
Mr. Cunningham: Maybe he had better check his watch.
Mr. Conway: I am displeased to think that the net effect of that deal, entered into I am sure some months ago and signed some weeks ago, is to allow the people of this province, both in the short- and long-term, to be held to ransom -- and a fantastically expensive ransom at that -- by a private concern which is using as its main weapon the resources which fall exclusively within the public domain. I have to think that is about as serious a problem as this Legislature is going to face. I have to express the opposition of this one member to that deal. I almost, in my fancy, agree with the NDP and agree with the Throne Speech. Inasmuch as the Throne Speech enjoins me to buy Canadian and the NDP enjoins me to buy Denison, I am tempted to unite the two in my response to those contracts.
But I was more interested in the role of Hydro in all of this because my grandfather, when he was here back in the twenties, thirties and forties, used to tell me -- not in the thirties, forties and fifties, but in the sixties and seventies -- about the great difficulty their Legislature and their government had controlling the Hydro commission and the Hydro authority of their day. I know the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) with his family past understands those difficulties. I am sure on daddy’s knee those stories were told in a particularly intimate way. It was in that context that I sat on Monday of last week and watched, among others, the Premier (Mr. Davis), joined with his good wife and no one else, and I thought that was an interesting comment on the man’s particular successful political acumen. The Attorney General should take a good look. He may need that some day. The Premier sat there and you could just see a whole generation -- indeed, a whole century -- of Ontario politics crystallize, not only in the comments but in the confrontation. He assured us then, he has assured us today and numerous times in between, that Hydro is certainly under control, that this government and that executive council over which he has complete control --
Mr. Warner: Under the control of Steve Roman.
Mr. Conway: -- knows where Hydro’s at. Then it was with some interest I read the Toronto Star Friday of last week, where my good friend the member for Prince Edward-Lennox (Mr. J. A. Taylor) -- God bless that happy warrior --
Mr. Reed: He found out the truth.
Mr. Conway: He found out the truth. How many of his predecessors in that ministry or related ministries have gone that unhappy way! What does he tell us? I can only take his evidence on the basis of roughly one year’s experience as the Minister of Energy largely responsible for the operation and control of Ontario Hydro. Front page, Toronto Star, Friday, February 24, 1978; James Taylor says, “The public utility has grown so huge it’s all but impossible for anyone to control.”
He goes on to compare it, in his inimitable style and his incomparable mental process, to the Bermuda triangle. It makes me think that those cabinet ministers over there have exotic after-hour reading taste -- the Attorney General and his moral crusade notwithstanding. He talks: “If you present a reasonable thought or directive it gets sucked into the Hydro system and never comes out.” I’d like to see the road map that allowed the minister -- recently demoted or deposed -- I don’t know what road map he used because he clearly got sucked in, but somehow he came out.
“If you asked Hydro,” he says, “to put a battery in your flashlight, it would cost you $100 for the house call.
“Taylor says Hydro’s internal bureaucracy is so tangled that often the chairman of the board doesn’t have the decision-making potential you might think he has.” Isn’t that comforting?
Ms. Gigantes: I don’t agree.
Mr. Conway: While the member for Carleton East says she doesn’t agree I can only imagine what information she might have that the former minister did not have access to.
Ms. Gigantes: We didn’t have access to any of the information.
Mr. Conway: I expect that in the corridors later I will be apprised of those pipelines. I noticed the former minister, in the Picton papers last week, talking about a pipeline that he didn’t seem to have that ran straight to my good leader’s office. So indeed there may be another pipeline into Carleton East about which, among others, my caucus colleagues on that committee would like to know about.
Interesting that the very day the Premier is standing up saying that among other things there is absolutely no question about the integrity of the government’s control over Hydro, we’ve got a situation in which the former Minister of Energy says there is no controlling Hydro, that there is absolutely a bureaucracy so tangled as to confuse any elected official and certainly to befuddle anyone else.
Ms. Gigantes: Do you believe that, Sean?
Mr. Conway: The member for Carleton East asks me do I believe it. You know what I was thinking, and I’m going to --
Mr. McClellan: Sounds like somebody who is talking to himself.
Mr. Conway: I don’t know whether I believed it at the time, but I remember reading a book which I brought for the Speaker’s interest and information. I know the Attorney General and I know the member for Carleton East have read it. It’s a book about Hydro. It’s a book called The Politics of Development.
The member for Carleton East says do I believe it. I wanted to, with your permission Mr. Speaker, very selectively quote from that most impressive, most powerful, study done by one of Ontario’s finest academics. Not the least of the praises came from the member for York South (Mr. MacDonald) whose special privilege it was to review it in that very liberal document known as the Canadian Forum, which I read with great regularity and even greater delight.
Ms. Gigantes: Small “l” liberal.
Mr. Conway: I wanted to simply read from the conclusion of that book, and it will be a quotation of some length. He concludes his study of Ontario Hydro and the resource community generally with the following observations:
“No organization had more influence over the provincial government than the publicly-owned Ontario Hydro-Electric Power Commission. Unlike the mining community, it did not have to rely upon a tenuous bond of friendship with members of the executive for that influence; nor did its patronage depend upon contractual relationships with the government, as was the case with the pulp and paper industry. Hydro was itself a branch of the executive, with delegated responsibility in all fields pertaining to the generation and distribution of hydro-electric power within the province. Since electricity affected almost every aspect of life, that was a frame of reference capable of indefinite expansion. Therefore, on account of its importance and proximity to the political executive, its only shareholders, the Hydro-Electric Power Commission exercised a preponderant influence over the Ontario government, particularly in the definition of the Ontario interest within the Canadian federation.
“The requirements of expert technical and business knowledge that justified and then established the autonomy of the commission also increased the dependence of the political executive upon the integrity and good judgement of the Hydro commission as its operations grew in magnitude and expense for, as we have already seen, the practical independence of the Hydro commission had its limits.
“In the final analysis, the executive branch of the Ontario government had to accept responsibility for its actions.” And how true that is today. “The more complex the recommendations of the Hydro commission, the more the executive council’s approval became an act of faith.” Isn’t that interesting? I think that the member for Carleton East has a pensive stare justified by the very significant comments of Professor Nelles’s remarks.
Ms. Gigantes: Would you dissolve it? That’s what I would like to know.
Mr. Conway: “The more complex the recommendations of the Hydro commission, the more the [government’s] approval became an act of faith.” And one has to wonder about the Denison contract and the act of faith being entered into there.
“The very size and scientific mystery of the organization inhibited constructive independent criticism of its decisions. Yet even public corporations are subject to the follies of error, misjudgement and deceit which usually complicate human affairs.”
Ms. Gigantes: Would you dissolve Hydro? Is that what you are recommending?
Mr. Conway: “As a result of its tempestuous history, the Ontario Hydro-Electric Power Commission had also developed a heightened instinct for self-preservation and a tradition of forceful political activism. The vigour with which Hydro attacked its detractors tended to silence all but the brave” -- none braver than my colleague from Carleton East.
And finally: “Since the Hydro commission was engaged in business pursuits, it asked for and received a veil of privacy that masked its internal affairs from public scrutiny. Thus insulated against criticism, the Ontario Hydro-Electric Power Commission possessed a degree of discretionary power unequalled by any other public agency. The judgement of the Hydro commissioners ought to have been questioned constantly, but the legislative facilities for that purpose did not exist.”
Mr. Warner: Nationalize Ontario Hydro,
Mr. Conway: I think that is an indictment which is as justified today as it was when it was written but three years ago.
Ms. Gigantes: Would you dissolve Hydro?
Mr. Conway: In conclusion, I want to draw attention to a project that was entered into in a similar way by the Hydro commissioners some years ago; it had to do with the availability of excess power and Adam Beck’s desire to use it for a wholesale program radial railways, and he just happened not to take into confidence the government which was paying for it.
In 1919 a Premier could write this to a colleague -- in fact, to the chairman of Hydro. I won’t read much of it but I know my friend from Carleton East will be interested.
Ms. Gigantes: I am much more interested in 1978.
Mr. Conway: The Premier of the day -- a Tory at that -- said:
“I might add further, if further explanation is necessary, that you” -- meaning Adam Beck -- “have never taken me into your confidence in connection with this undertaking. I know nothing of the facts or arguments in favour of the scheme except what I have read in the newspaper. I do not even know the names or qualifications of the experts who have reported on the scheme” --
Ms. Gigantes: Dig up their graves and ask them.
Mr. Conway: “Nor have I been furnished with the report of these experts as to the cost of the railway, the probable earnings of the road and the other data that would be necessary for a Prime Minister or a cabinet minister to have before undertaking to speak on the subject and to give advice to ratepayers who are assuming heavy financial obligations in the matter.
“Surely” -- again to Mr. Beck -- “you would not expect a member of the government to take part, unasked for by anyone to do so, lacking full and complete information relating to the subject.” That was in 1919; it was the Premier of Ontario speaking then and it was the minister speaking but last week. The point is, if my thick-headed friends from the left do not understand, that this great experiment in public ownership, which is socialism at its best --
Ms. Gigantes: Down with Hydro.
Mr. Conway: -- and socialism at its worst in this province presents the problems of human folly, of socialist bureaucracy --
Ms. Gigantes: Hand it all over to Denison, eh?
Mr. Conway: -- of political interference to such a degree --
Ms. Gigantes: Hand it over to Denison?
Mr. Conway: -- that I cannot imagine a better reason for denouncing the socialist nonsense espoused in the speech of Friday in the continuous clap-trapping --
Mr. McClellan: Do you want to sell Hydro? Say so!
Ms. Gigantes: Sell it to Steve Roman.
Mr. Conway: -- of the left in this province. Hydro is at best a necessary enemy for this Legislature --
Mr. McClellan: Sell it to Steve Roman.
Mr. Conway: It has been for 60 years out of control. It must surely visit itself upon my good friends on the left as the best available reason and all the evidence --
Ms. Gigantes: Do you think it is impossible to control it?
Mr. Conway: -- they could want if they are sufficiently interested to caution us in any future endeavours in the public sector as far as economic activity is concerned.
With those quiet remarks, Mr. Speaker, I want to say that as an eastern Ontarian I want to see in the very near future some regional policies that specifically refer to Renfrew county. I can’t think of one better, however much it is denounced by my friend from Carleton East, than removing the penalty of the recent increases for automobile licence plates -- a small unheroic beginning, yes, I well realize, but I think if nothing else a possible immediate response to the regional disparities that we have suffered. We have suffered long enough.
I want to conclude my remarks with those suggestions and I know that among others the Attorney General will recommend those eminently positive and suggestive policies to his colleagues in the executive council. Thank you very much.
Mr. Ziemba: As stated in the Throne Speech and underlined by the Minister of Correctional Services this afternoon the government is considering alternatives to imprisonment. I take this opportunity to call for a moratorium on prison construction. As the minister has indicated, discussions and actions are being taken to reassess our whole prison system right across the country. Now is the time to talk about a moratorium and constructive alternatives to imprisonment. Federal and provincial initiatives in this direction are under way.
The thrust towards alternatives to imprisonment is 200 years overdue, and why is this so? Because prisons are like a sacred cow; prisons are where you stop crime. We have always believed that prisons will rehabilitate the offender, protect society and act to deter future crimes. All these assumptions are a massive deception In fact, prisons breed a climate of hostility and rage. They provide the illusion but not the reality, because about 80 per cent of ex-prisoners wind up back in these same “correctional” institutions.
Who is in jail? Of 90,955 people in jail last year, only 4,784 were charged with violent crimes -- crimes against the person, assault, robbery and rape. This is a little over five per cent of the prison population; 23,066 were charged with crimes against property; 29,774 were charged for traffic offences and 22,721 for liquor offences. These inmates, who make up 96 per cent of the prison population, could be released to a support structure in the community today. Keeping these people out of jail would save the taxpayers a lot of money as well as keep them out of our schools for crime.
Ombudsman Arthur Maloney’s report on Ontario’s prisons makes it obvious that we are sending far too many people to jail. We hear so much about our “soft bail laws,” but Mr. Maloney points out that almost 60,000 prisoners were denied bail and were kept in custody prior to their trial. He quotes the Law Reform Commission that Canada is one of the harshest western countries when it comes to prison sentences.
The sentences are far too long and half the prisoners shouldn’t be there.
This harshness and these long sentences are inflicted on those on the bottom of the social and economic scale. Prisons are used to warehouse native Canadians and other poor and powerless people. Native Canadians have always been overrepresented in our prison system. Alcohol combined with alienation makes them prime candidates for jailing. Seldom do the courts refer native people to any alternatives that may exist.
There are more unemployed young people aged 16 to 24 today than at any other period in Canada’s history. This same age group makes up the largest portion of our prison population. There is a direct relationship between jobs and jails.
We imprison drunks, speeders, minor property offenders, but what about the real criminals in our society? What about the monopolies, the price-fixers, and the false advertisers? What of the tax-evaders? What of the employers whose negligence of safe working conditions results in workers’ disabilities and deaths? And finally, what of the industrial polluters who poison our air, land and waterways? How many of these criminals ever wind up in jail?
The Ombudsman offers us two alternatives. Either we spend $88 million on new jails or solve the problem another way by not jailing as many people. In Mr. Maloney’s words, and I quote, “to decrease the public’s reliance on the highly symbolic but discouraging failure-ridden and costly resort to incarceration either before or after the trial of an accused.” The Ombudsman further states: “I feel that all aspects of community corrections merit the closest attention from the public.”
What I take this to mean is the involvement of concerned citizens in the community, not the continuing reliance on legal and correctional experts. I am not talking simply about sloughing off the offender into a group home in the community with inadequate support services, as we presently see in the field of mental health.
What are community alternatives? That is not up to me as an individual to determine; it is up to the community to determine its own needs and priorities. They would probably be different applications of the ideas of community service orders, restitution and reconciliation programs, as the minister spoke of this afternoon, day-fine systems, decarceration and decriminalization, community parole systems, alcohol and drug treatment centres, and community-controlled resource centres. For instance, the Simcoe community is opposed to the closing of the Glendale adult training centre, because in practice it operates much more like a community resource centre than an ATC. Any system that attempts to reintegrate the offender back into his community in a humane way is what we want to see.
People who wind up in the criminal justice system come from the communities and almost all will wind up back in their community, so why should their stay in the prison system be in isolation from their community? Why must a community surrender its responsibility to, again, “correctional experts”? We must not continue the out of sight, out of mind policies of the past. We must move away from the present dependency-creating prison system and foster a community system that builds self-help and social responsibility.
The Minister of Correctional Services (Mr. Drea) is getting almost daily headlines by boasting about the nickels and dimes saved on coffee and orange juice while millions of dollars are being spent on new and unnecessary jails. The Etobicoke, Scarborough and London detention centres cost $60,000 per cell, for a total of $36 million and this is just the start.
Prison construction is big business. The minister admitted in the December 7 estimates debate, and I am going to quote his words, that “right now it costs you three times as much to build a local jail per inmate as it does a fully-equipped hospital per bed”. In fact, he concludes by further admitting that “this is an appalling cost.” I wholeheartedly agree with the minister. Therefore I would suggest that he pursue the logic of his position and declare a moratorium on any more prison construction and immediately redirect the savings to alternatives to imprisonment. We can save money on detention costs, we can save money on welfare costs, we can save money on subsequent imprisonment, because we believe there will be fewer repeaters.
The Commons subcommittee on penitentiaries agrees with this by stating, and I am going to quote from their report, “Many witnesses testified that if Canada builds more prisons, those prisons will be immediately filled. Conversely, if alternatives for prisons can be found for the majority who are not dangerous, some of the existing buildings will be empty. Thus, before entering into a multi-million dollar construction program, less costly and most productive alternatives should be introduced.”
In spite of this report, the feds are quietly moving on a $460 million construction program to build 26 new institutions, increasing the cell capacity by 4,712 over the next five years. Because the federal government is turning its back on its own subcommittee’s report, and because of a commitment to a moratorium, a number of groups met in Ottawa recently and formed the Moratorium Committee on Prison Construction. They include the Prisoners’ Rights Committee in Toronto, the Civil Liberties Associations in Ottawa and Kingston, L’Office des Droits des Détenus in Montreal, the Law Union of Ontario, Groupe de Défense des Droits des Détenus de Quebec, the social action committee of the First Unitarian Church in Toronto, and the Quaker Committee on Jails and Justice, Toronto.
I urge the members from all sides of this House to go back to their constituents and tell them of the true costs of imprisonment, both in dollar terms and in terms of human suffering, and oppose any new prison construction in their riding.
There is absolutely no need to build even one more new jail in this province and perhaps we could begin dismantling more of the present ones.
The time has come for a moratorium on prison construction. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Kennedy: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to join in the Throne Speech debate at the commencement of this session and speak on behalf of the people of Mississauga South and of the province of Ontario. From my soundings of the riding, they are impressed with the government’s policy package as it is being unfolded both through the first ministers’ conference and in the Throne Speech. They come to me to convey their pleasure as to what the government has done and what is has announced in the Throne Speech. They are very encouraged and they are happy to know that the socialists are held at bay.
Mr. McClellan: You must talk to the wrong people.
Mr. Kennedy: Following the Throne Speech debate, on March 7 I believe, the budget will be brought down as part of this package.
Mr. McClellan: You should talk to the real people.
Mr. Lawlor: You will be brought down.
Mr. Kennedy: Ross, you will be out. You might get a little insight into the free enterprise system and how it works.
Mr. Lawlor: How great do you think the debt is going to be this year?
Mr. McClellan: Talk to the real people in Mississauga some time.
Mr. Kennedy: Members should surely understand that the direction this government will pursue in the months ahead, as I have just mentioned, is not restricted only to those intentions contained in Her Honour’s Speech from the Throne.
Mr. Warner: There are some hidden ones.
Mr. Kennedy: Direction is also to be found in our strong and decisive presentation to the conference of first ministers in Ottawa. The blue booklet, entitled An Economic Development Policy for Canada, became the basis for discussion by all provincial leaders as they looked for medium- and long-term ways to improve the economy.
Without burdening this House with a full account of their success, consensus was achieved in the final communique of the first ministers’ conference. This was in holding down public spending, setting up a buy-Canadian campaign, stepping up major energy developments to provide more jobs and trying to gain a bigger share of the tourist industry and the expanding automobile industry for Canada.
Obviously, the Throne Speech was not designed to duplicate the blue book nor was it designed to replace the provincial budget, the third major component, as I have mentioned, in a matter of just a few weeks, to be presented by the government next week. However, I want to refer for a few minutes to an item from the Throne Speech that is of interest to me, and that is air travel. There is reference in the Throne Speech to a study to be undertaken for eastern Ontario. I would like to discuss for a few minutes two areas that are not really closely related to the Throne Speech reference. In many respects, we know, air travel is a federal responsibility, but the impact of air travel in Ontario is major and so I believe appropriate for discussion in this forum.
The two items I do want to discuss for a few minutes are the high-fare structure established by the Canadian airlines, particularly Air Canada and CP Air; along with the proposed takeover of the Ontario Transair routes by Air Canada with applications, I understand, also by Great Lakes and Nordair, and the proposed takeover of Nordair by Air Canada. Air Canada has after several years turned a profit, which is commendable; but they have had more or less the lion’s share of the market, along with CP Air, and this perhaps accounts for it.
However they have achieved it, it is to be commended, but I think there is a better way of doing this. I am certainly not going to knock good management, but I think they could have achieved the same results by reducing fares and by increasing ridership. In my view, these airlines are charging higher fares than are warranted. They are operating under quite a cozy arrangement with the Canadian Transport Committee, which seems to rubber-stamp their applications for increases.
Despite this, it is very interesting because of public concern and the fact that the heat was on the federal cabinet on that Saturday night I was jolted out of a reverie watching the CBC news to hear the brief, curt announcement that Air Canada was reducing rates. No further details followed and I did not see anything in the daily papers today, so there seems to be a lot of behind-the-scenes activity.
Another interesting feature was that Wardair applied for an increase of tour charters -- ITCs as they are called in the trade -- a little while ago. I am not sure of the details, but I know it was turned down by the transport committee. But then the turndown was reversed by the federal government and they were granted this. This seems to support my view as to where CTC sympathies lie.
I want to take a few minutes to compare some regular travel rates one way, both here and in the United States, to develop this comparison.
There was an article in the travel section of the Toronto Star on December 17, 1977. This had the eye-catching headline: “The Air Fare Ripoff.” This is my source for these figures. There are variations, and we need to take them in their proper context depending on the travel days.
Ottawa to Toronto is listed as $45 regular fare for 226 miles. One of the members from Ottawa told me that about six years ago, I believe, the fare was in the order of $25, so this shows how swiftly the fares have increased.
Toronto to Montreal is an interesting one. For 315 miles it is $54 plus eight per cent departure tax, which totals $58.30. Toronto to Windsor is 195 miles -- I presume that this is as the crow flies in each instance -- and, it is no less than $41. To compare these with a couple of routes in the States, the rates are about half those I have quoted for the same distances. They’re both shown in Canadian dollars to match as closely as can be.
Los Angeles to San Francisco is 337 miles and the fare is $31. This is roughly the same as Toronto-Montreal at $58.30. Houston to Dallas is 212 miles with a regular fare of $27. They have the lowest fare -- in this article, it gives the lowest fare -- of only $16. This is only nine miles less than the Toronto-Ottawa distance with its regular fare of about $45 and the lowest of $34. So it is more than twice the rate of Houston-Dallas for about the same distance.
Mr. McClellan: You should run for federal office.
Mr. Deans: You should run for the States.
Mr. McClellan: Or in the States.
Mr. Kennedy: I know these aren’t totally equitable comparisons because we have higher operating costs.
Mr. Deans: That’s true.
Mr. Kennedy: I don’t think anyone questions that. There’s snow removal, higher fuel costs, airport taxes --
Mr. McClellan: You should take this to Ottawa. Trudeau needs to hear this.
Mr. Kennedy: He will. I’m sure he’s waiting for these words. To continue, Mr. Speaker: -- and the highest departure tax of anywhere I know of in the western world. That’s the eight per cent tax. In the US it’s $3, and even in European countries --
Mr. Deans: It costs $60 for a car licence in southern Ontario. Speak to that.
Mr. Kennedy: I don’t know about you drivers but we don’t fly our cars. We’re talking about airlines.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: May I ask the member for Wentworth to wait his turn to ask questions?
Mr. Kennedy: But nevertheless, these factors that I’ve mentioned should not mean double the air fare. Also, at the same time -- and it’s hard to understand just exactly what’s going on -- Air Canada and CP Air, in a couple of articles I saw, have tried for a further four per cent increase in their fares. They cite the reason as higher airport landing fees, airport fees and fuel costs. Not to criticize CP Air or Air Canada, because the airlines have no control over taxation. We understand that the excessive departure tax and so on is a federal tax measure and you can’t blame the airlines for that.
So I don’t know how this four per cent application for an increase in fares will fit in with the Saturday announcement of reduced Air Canada fares. Maybe they’re selective, I don’t know.
But I believe the people of Ontario would respond to reduced fares, and that through increased numbers of travellers the profits would look after themselves. This was demonstrated by Southwest Airline when it tripled the ridership between Dallas and San Antonio by a substantial reduction in fares.
Incidentally, a couple of weeks ago I was in Florida where the weather was somewhat similar to here and I heard an announcement on the radio that a Florida-based airline -- at least an airline flying out of Florida -- was reducing fares by something like $244 to $140. Imagine the significant drop there by an airline flying somewhere up into the midwest.
This is what they are doing down there. The CAB looks on these things very sympathetically and seems to have a different approach to it than the CTC.
In addition the likelihood of increased ridership has been demonstrated right here by Wardair, Nordair -- and of course Laker, we know about Laker Airways’ substantially reduced fares. I think the CTC should favour more competition, not less, and this is what will occur if there’s an approval of the takeover of Nordair by Air Canada, and also if they are granted landing rights in the part of the Transair route in northwest Ontario from Toronto to the Manitoba border, if indeed this goes through.
I don’t think the CTC has demonstrated that it is consumer-oriented at all. Rather it’s protective of existing air routes. I think what we need are a couple of Max Wards in Ontario.
This leads me to the second point that I mentioned: Air Canada’s proposal to take over Transair’s Ontario route and the takeover of Nordair.
Mr. McClellan: Why doesn’t the government intervene in Ottawa?
Mr. Kennedy: Pacific Western was to take over Transair if they could drop the Ontario route -- Dryden, Thunder Bay and the Sault, I presume; wherever they land. Air Canada applied to take these over, as subsequently I understand have Great Lakes and Nordair. When Air Canada put forward their proposal they wanted to replace the Ontario part of Transair’s service, but the schedule they laid out for replacement was deemed to be totally inadequate and so the province of Ontario intervened. Then Great Lakes and Nordair got into the act; they also want these routes. These hearings, I understand, are now going on.
Ontario intervened with the CTC at the time Pacific Western was to take Transair over and drop the Ontario routes, which Air Canada would take up. They weren’t very pleased with the service that Air Canada had offered and so they were making their presentation on that. But what this government failed to do, in my opinion, was to intervene -- at least to date -- with the proposed takeover of Nordair.
Mr. McClellan: You mean your government.
Mr. Kennedy: The whole situation is pretty difficult. I wish the government had done this. Even at this late date I wish they would, because I don’t think it’s in the public interest that Air Canada tighten down its existing monopoly. They haven’t demonstrated that we are better off for the firm position they have in the industry. I think the application should be rejected. I don’t think we should be so protective of the existing airlines which would work out to the detriment of the public. That I think would be the end result.
I fear for the consumers if these applications are approved -- not only on the rates but particularly for the smaller communities where air service perhaps might be curtailed or eliminated. We want to be assured that these services are expanded, not reduced.
I haven’t heard that any consumer organization has raised their voice against this. Perhaps they have. The PWA-Transair hearings I understand are in Winnipeg. It may be they have come forward there, but if they have I don’t know. I think that if this were going on in the private sector we would have the combines people taking a look at it.
I think air travel in Ontario and Canada has a tremendous potential. There is a great untapped market of travellers out there ready for both Air Canada or other national airlines, and for regional airlines. That is why I was pleased the budget had provided at least for another step in the direction of development of air service, although it is a small step, and that is the study announced for eastern Ontario. I know MTC has done some work in this area of air travel; and we of course have a relationship, the Ontario government has, with norOntair and a couple of other smaller lines. We are very interested.
But I think the study that was mentioned in the Throne Speech on this very complex subject should encompass the entire province rather than just that portion of eastern Ontario . That’s good, but I think it should go further, for the reasons I have cited. Ontario must become interested in what is going on. I think we should make strong representations to CTC to ensure not only that our interests are protected, but also to recognize that there is room for Ontario to move forward in this field, to take air travel within Ontario to its full potential. I think any terms of reference for a study should include the whole subject.
I say too, as I mentioned, we need a couple of Max Wards. I think the private sector can do it best.
Mr. Warner: Got a great record. A million out of work; a great track record.
Mr. Kennedy: If we can develop this and bring it along to have a viable, strong, active air industry here, it will mean reduced deficits in our tourism and foreign trade, aid the economy and business activity, and it will result in a measure of job creation. We do it by removing this near monopolistic control of our air routes and by encouraging entrepreneurship.
Mr. Deans: It used to be that way.
Mr. Kennedy: I want to move on and comment on a few other Throne Speech items. I digress to say that at a later time, perhaps with ministries or in the House or in estimates, I want to take up some local issues that I think some of the members are aware of here -- PCB’s, Tricil, GO-train service. I have a lot of flak over the quality of the GO station at Clarkson; and traffic metering which I think in all equity should be extended further west. I will be taking this sort of thing up individually as time permits.
Mr. Deans: Given that they are provincial responsibilities, don’t you think you might have dealt with them instead of the other?
Mr. Kennedy: I didn’t hear you.
Mr. Deans: Given that they are provincial responsibilities, don’t you think that you might have dealt with them first?
Mr. Kennedy: Just for clarification, there is ongoing dealing with them almost day by day, hour by hour.
Mr. Deans: It doesn’t say much for your capacity to deal with them, they are still a big problem.
Mr. Kennedy: They are a big problem and we are working on them, and I will tell the hon. member we are going to solve them, I am committed to that.
Mr. Deans: When, in your lifetime?
Mr. Kennedy: I’ll keep you posted.
Mr. Deans: We’ve been here about the same length of time. They were problems when I came into the House and they are still problems.
Mr. Kennedy: No, they were not. We’ve moved forward so far with environmental programs that you’re left far behind. You’re still back in 1967, we’re way ahead of that.
Mr. Deans: No, no. The same problems exist, they still exist.
Mr. Kennedy: One major direction in which this government will continue to move relates to the employment and placement of young people in productive occupations. Members will recall that last year this government decided to help create new jobs for the young workers by offering incentives to the private sector. Employers were encouraged to provide on-the-job work experience through the Ontario Career Action Program. They will continue to receive increased encouragement from the government this current year. Last year it was a very successful program. The Ontario Youth Employment Program, designed to help provide summer employment for students, provided a wage subsidy of $1 an hour by direct payment to the employer.
Mr. Warner: Cheap labour; forced, cheap labour.
Mr. Kennedy: All of us, I’m sure, understand the importance of the government’s intention to enrich these two programs by providing for the creation of 36,000 jobs in 1978 at a total cost of $26 million, as is stated in the Throne Speech.
Mr. Grande: I thought the government didn’t create jobs.
Mr. Kennedy: For those who are already employed it has been announced that the Ministry of Labour will continue efforts to improve employees’ working conditions throughout Ontario through the help of the quality of working life advisory committee. The pilot projects in industry that will emerge as the result of this initiative should not only increase job satisfaction but might improve productivity as well. Such carefully considered programs are appreciated by the citizens of Ontario and give them reason for optimism about the course we have embarked on.
Mr. Young: That isn’t private enterprise; that is private enterprise dipping into the public purse.
Mr. Grande: You’re the only one who’s optimistic.
Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please.
Mr. Warner: Public subsidy -- cheap labour.
Mr. Kennedy: We’ll get around to a lesson in basic economics and socialism a little later.
Mr. Conway: Life is too short to embrace that kind of thinking.
Mr. Kennedy: For small business -- here’s the part you want to hear, Mr. Speaker -- for small business, the government’s determination to remove unnecessary red tape is certainly welcome. This deregulation, which will involve the participation of all ministries, is a healthy exercise for government periodically to undertake.
Mr. Deans: Given that they created all the red tape in the first place.
Mr. Kennedy: It should also be of benefit to individual members of the public who deal with the government. Every time we can get out of the way of an honest businessman and let him get the job done without unnecessary hindrance, I believe we are helping concurrently to improve our economic performance and to create jobs.
Mr. Warner: Does Stephen Roman fall in that category?
Mr. Kennedy: I have had occasion to write various ministries on behalf of small business who have pleaded, “Will you get out of our area and leave us alone?” I couldn’t be more supportive of those positions.
Mr. Warner: They know what a mess you made of your constituency.
Mr. McClellan: They want you out of there.
Mr. Kennedy: Our area is impressed with the direction the government has given with respect to education; people there speak specifically of the emphasis on special education, which was discussed here last fall. This, in elementary and secondary schools, will enable children with learning disabilities to be identified earlier than before and will ensure that our school boards help all students to their capacity, regardless of their disabilities and handicaps.
As I say, we debated this last fall. We have an association in our area that will be very supportive of this. On television last night there was a very good program explaining some of the problems of children with learning disabilities. I was delighted to see this reference in the Throne Speech.
Mr. McClellan: We’ll believe it when we see it.
Mr. Kennedy: I know that it has 100 per cent support and I look forward to supporting it as the session goes on.
Mr. McClellan: Let’s wait and see before we cheer it.
Mr. Kennedy: It’s got my support.
Mr. McClellan: Let’s wait and see what it is.
Mr. Kennedy: Sure. We’re going to have a demonstration school -- the hon. member should read the Throne Speech then re-read it; it will get through to him -- for limited numbers of children with severe learning disabilities who require services which can only be provided in a residential facility.
Mr. Warner: Who sold you that?
Mr. Kennedy: The future of health care looks promising too, if it involves a move away from institutions and into the community. I have always believed that community and residential forms of care brought out the best in people and they tended to increase the role and scope with volunteer work, which all too often has not received the attention and support it deserved.
Again, in our area a volunteer service was established which has a large number of women involved; they go out and assist on an organized basis with agencies which can use such assistance. It’s working very well. They work hard at it and they have had three or four successful years. They recognize the community is ultimately a group of neighbours. and this volunteer work enables them to show their tangible concerns for the welfare of one another. It is just very pleasing that those who started this volunteer service have been supported, as the record shows, and they have done a really good job. If I am stressing the community it is because that is precisely what we are here to foster -- the values which those who pay our salaries want to have preserved.
Some newspapers, have made some cynical remarks about some of the Minister of Correctional Services’ (Mr. Drea’s) initiatives. He was out in our riding and received a standing ovation. Through that applause they showed him what a good job they thought he was doing --
Mr. Warner: Tell us about Etobicoke.
Mr. Kennedy: -- and I congratulate him on the intention to introduce some of these pilot projects in the community work program --
Mr. Warner: And put people out of work.
Mr. Kennedy: -- and we are planning to share in one of those.
There is always room for new ideas. I wish we could get some from across the way.
Mr. Warner: They loved him in Etobicoke.
Mr. Lawlor: What specific one are you going to share in?
Mr. Warner: Putting people out of work.
Mr. Kennedy: Oh, put forward some ideas; not harebrained ones, good ones.
Mr. Lawlor: You are just too vague. What is it you are going to do?
Mr. Kennedy: Another member I want to commend is my colleague and neighbour, the member for Mississauga North (Mr. Jones).
Mr. Lawlor: Accusing others of being vague.
Mr. Kennedy: His efforts over the past year or two to shed some light on the interrelationship of alcohol and youth provided much of the background needed to proceed with a series of initiatives against alcohol abuse at all levels of society.
Mr. Conway: How much drinking is there out in Mississauga, Doug?
Mr. Kennedy: It is a problem that my community like others is concerned with, particularly as it affects the future of our children.
Mr. Lawlor: I am in a dry area.
Mr. Kennedy: And on the subject of children I would direct the House’s attention to the significant legislation which will be introduced to deal with child abuse, improvements in the licensing of group homes for children, and additional protection of the rights of children in residential care facilities.
I understand that legislation will also be introduced to protect children caught up in family disputes.
Mr. McClellan: That’s what it says.
Mr. Kennedy: It would be far better if this kind of firm but compassionate legislation were never needed. But since it is, it is essential that we protect the rights and, as has been demonstrated, the lives of children.
The children, of course, are the centrepiece, the strength, of family units and in these times of rapidly changing cultural values, our affluent society and so on, the government has sought to reaffirm its support of families as the cornerstone of society. Some pretty cheap shots have been taken at this stance, but let me assure you, Mr. Speaker, we are not preaching rhetoric as far as I am concerned.
Anyone with a grain of insight will recognize that some of the illnesses that have gained high profile in our courts and our society might have been avoided with more demonstrated support by all of us to the responsible social groupings in our communities.
I understand legislation will be introduced for interim improvements to the Mental Health Act to ensure the highest standards of design and operation in the province’s mental health facilities.
Mr. Speaker, I didn’t know it was coming but the concept of compulsory automobile insurance is one that I know will find the support of my constituents.
Mr. Conway: Despite Sidney Handleman.
Mr. Kennedy: I notice the member for Lakeshore hasn’t made any comment or interjection. Because I presume, Mr. Speaker, this will be instituted by the private sector.
Mr. Lawlor: It would be unmannerly to interject every time I disagreed with you.
Mr. Conway: That’s never stopped you in the past.
Mr. Kennedy: No, but you could once in a while when you agree with me.
Mr. Lawlor: I am listening to you, Kennedy, and you are very fortunate.
Mr. Kennedy: So this insurance is to be developed and brought in by the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations.
Mr. Warner: It will cost all of us a lot more -- millions.
Mr. Kennedy: We’ve got a base of support, I know, for it from the member for Lakeshore and the member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick). We’ll build around that and away we go.
Mr. Warner: You tread on thin ice. Take a look at the report.
Mr. Conway: Tory socialism.
Mr. Kennedy: We have created in Ontario one of the finest health care delivery systems in the world.
Mr. Warner: And the most expensive.
Mr. Kennedy: Its very success has engendered difficulties which this government is swiftly attempting to bring under control.
Mr. Warner: You’ve been in charge for over 30 years.
Mr. McClellan: Schizophrenia.
Mr. Kennedy: In this area, we are oriented to corrective medical service. I am no health faddist nor do I go on diet kicks or anything like this, but I really believe if the medical profession would take some time and give some advice on good diet, that would be preventive medicine which would pay off. We hear about the junk foods in the schools and various other --
Mr. Lawlor: Have you talked to the Minister of Labour on this?
Mr. Warner: In fact, you should just stop eating.
Mr. Kennedy: -- commodities and foods of low nutritional value. I think there is a big educational job to be done on diet. I mean this sincerely.
Mr. Reed: Are you looking at me when you say that?
Mr. Kennedy: I think we could make some real steps forward with the knowledge of the value of diet, which has changed so much over the years that it seems as if one is fighting the other with all the modern foods that are brought out. Someone said a million dollars is spent on our programs explaining good diet but there is some $90 million spent by the producers of these junk foods to promote their products. I would call that a bit of an imbalance.
Mr. Riddell: Go fight it out with George Weston.
Mr. Kennedy: I think there is work that can be done in that area and we’d be healthier for it if we looked a little closer at our diet.
Mr. Lawlor: What do you think of Kentucky fried chicken?
Mr. Kennedy: We are active on so many fronts in restraining the growth of government while improving the delivery of services --
Mr. McClellan: You are attacking yourself from the rear.
Mr. Warner: This is much better than a serious speech.
Mr. Kennedy: -- that I found it difficult to believe my ears when the Leader of the Opposition got up last week and claimed the Throne Speech offered no direction. There’s direction on every page of it. Not only have we offered provincial direction but we have also offered suggestions for the direction the entire country should take if we are to resolve our difficulties --
Mr. Warner: Down the pipe.
Mr. Kennedy: -- particularly the major ones, our economic concerns.
Mr. Grande: What did you do about that?
Mr. Kennedy: Opposition speakers in both parties like to give the impression that if they were in control of the government --
Mr. Riddell: Which we will be after the next election.
Mr. Kennedy: -- we’d have full employment next week, straight away. It’s bad enough for citizens to be confronted with genuine economic problems but to compound our difficulties by trying to sell the silly idea that there is a simple answer to everything --
Mr. Conway: Get rid of the Tories.
Mr. McClellan: That’s the best simple answer we’ve seen.
Mr. Kennedy: -- if only the government would legislate away our problems is distressing and intellectually dishonest.
Mr. Conway: Who wrote that one?
Mr. Warner: Did the Treasurer give you these lines?
Mr. Kennedy: Her Honour and I wrote it together.
I want to put this point another way. Even if all of us in this House -- in fact, if all of the parliaments in Canada found agreement for a common course of action and even if that direction were supported by the media as well as business and labour, we would still only be at the beginning of a very large task indeed.
Mr. Conway: You don’t believe the charter? What happened to the charter?
Mr. Kennedy: There would still be many aspects of the problem beyond our capacity to control. The opposition can’t fool the people of Ontario into thinking that this government, as they have claimed, was responsible for the soft international market, that this government was responsible for drastically altered energy costs --
Mr. Warner: We don’t try to fool the people.
Mr. Kennedy: -- that this government was responsible for the baby boom -- we are even blamed for that --
Mr. Conway: The member for Renfrew South is just behind you.
Mr. Kennedy: -- and the attendant diversion of government funds or any of the other host of difficulties with which we have had to contend.
Mr. Warner: You’re going to tell us you’re not responsible for anything?
Mr. Kennedy: There was a time when government was responsible --
Mr. Bradley: Does that mean you’re irresponsible?
Mr. Warner: Do you call that irresponsible?
Mr. Kennedy: Will you listen for a while? There was a time when government was responsible for doing a few specific things. It was great. Does the hon. member remember when -- it was before he was born perhaps -- all the Ministry of Health did was ensure there was a nurse in the schools? That’s about all they did.
Mr. Warner: You’re proud of that?
Mr. Kennedy: Think about what the ministry is now. It is the biggest spending one -- it even surpasses education spending.
Mr. Warner: You’re proud of that, no public health insurance?
Mr. Kennedy: That just illustrates the change of government involvement in working for the people.
Mr. Warner: You should be ashamed of yourself, but you are proud of that.
Mr. Kennedy: We’re now the court of last resort to all groups in society, it seems to me, who have any complaints, regardless of whether it represents a legitimate concern of government or whether it doesn’t. I’m confident the people of Ontario, while supportive of our government’s compassion for those who need our help --
Mr. Davidson: They haven’t been in the last two elections.
Mr. Kennedy: -- are equally supportive of the need for a new level of personal resourcefulness in our society. Where this government can help that resourcefulness, as with incentives to the private sector, it will continue to do so.
Mr. Warner: It’s called abdicating your responsibilities.
Mr. Davidson: Tell that to the 316,000 unemployed.
Mr. Kennedy: Where legislative injustices exist or rights are not protected, changes will be made. But attitudes must change as well, particularly among the opposition, whose apparent plan that we should be all things to all people is a dangerous misrepresentation of our proper function in society. It’s time those fellows understood it.
Mr. Bradley: That happened in the last election -- all things to all people.
Mr. Kennedy: The people of Ontario do not seek representation by a government that thinks of them as wards of the state, as the NDP would say.
Mr. Conway: Are you paying Kealey 30 grand for that?
Mr. Kennedy: The hon. members opposite can’t seem to get that into their heads, and it’s time they did.
Mr. Lawlor: There’s a roof falling in on you.
Mr. Kennedy: My community and my province is composed of individuals who can make their own way in this world very nicely. They only ask of the government that it treat them with maturity.
Mr. Davidson: If you provide the opportunity, which you’re not doing.
Mr. Kennedy: We are doing it. We’re doing just that.
Mr. Riddell: Where did you find Segal after he was let go from the Premier’s office?
Mr. Kennedy: Our approach at the conference of first ministers was mature. Our budget of March 7 will also reflect a realistic, mature economic position and our Speech from the Throne is a part of that tradition.
Mr. Warner: Three hundred thousand out of work and you have no answer -- nothing.
Mr. Lawlor: One of the weakest speeches ever given.
Mr. Riddell: Now for some words of wisdom.
Mr. Reed: Mr. Speaker, it’s a privilege to rise in reply to the speech of Her Honour. Before I get into the body of the few words that I was intending to exchange, I have to respond to some of the words of the member for Mississauga South. First of all --
Mr. Riddell: Don’t waste your time.
Mr. Reed: Well, he said some things that must not go unchallenged this afternoon.
Mr. Kennedy: It was a good speech.
Mr. Reed: I’ll let him off easy on the first, because it was a reference to diet. I hope he wasn’t looking across the House straight at me when he was making those references.
Mr Lawlor: You’re too self-conscious.
Mr. Reed: He and I will concur on the advisability of good dietary practices, I’m sure.
He made another reference, though, which is probably the greatest single demonstration of the hypocrisy of that party on the other side. Sooner or later each member gets up and makes his little pitch for the free enterprise system --
Mr. Kennedy: Are you against it?
Mr. Reed: -- and how it’s time we had more free enterprise and we left people alone.
I couldn’t agree more. The Tory party does not have any exclusive jurisdiction over the free enterprise system or the free enterprise idea. I would just like to point out a couple of things to him about his espousal of free enterprise that he might be interested in knowing. The first involves a report that I read and was very disturbed by this afternoon -- the preliminary proposals of the Niagara Escarpment Commission. You’ve heard of the Niagara Escarpment Commission, I am sure.
Mr. Kennedy: Good program.
Mr. Reed: One of the very interesting approaches of the Niagara Escarpment Commission is to pull one of the greatest reversals of the free enterprise system that we have ever seen. It imposes control; it designates. And the greatest pain of all was something I read on these preliminary proposals on page 49, regarding the Bruce Trail.
The Bruce Trail, as you know, runs for a good many miles and originally came about through the generosity and good will of farmers and landowners along the escarpment. It does not exist in legislation but it was the result of handshake agreements and good will. And as a result of the subsequent abuses of the privileges that were extended by those handshake agreements, some farmers and landowners have seen fit to cancel those privileges extended not through any coercion but out of the goodness of their heart. To me, that is an example of free enterprise.
But what do I see recommended on page 49 of this preliminary proposal? It says, and I quote, “The provincial government may resort to expropriation only in cases when all reasonable efforts to acquire trailway lands or interests therein by negotiations have failed.”
Mr. Lawlor: Oh, come off it. The subdividers have cut them out and they have to get back.
Mr. Reed: It just goes to show that, here they are, carrying the great flag for free enterprise --
Mr. Lawlor: They would take their bloody houses to the lip of the escarpment. Cut them out.
Mr. Reed: -- but at the same time, introducing socialism just about as fast as they jolly well can.
Mr. Lawlor: Balderdash.
Mr. Bounsall: Resign.
Mr. Reed: You know, I would like to talk about another little area of free enterprise, and it is in connection with the Ministry of Energy. The Minister of Energy (Mr. Baetz), through the Throne Speech, announced that the moneys available for renewable resource development would be upgraded this year.
We are not too sure where they will be upgraded from or to because his predecessor, the member for Prince Edward-Lennox (Mr. J. A. Taylor) announced in the House last December that the new budget would contain an amount of $4.4 million for renewable resource development, and I think that included $2.5 million for solar projects and the balance for other forms of renewable resources.
It came to me from various knowledgeable people that that amount of money might be cut back. We might not get the $4.4 million. So I would be very interested in asking the government whether this so-called upgrading which is so highly touted in the Throne Speech is an upgrade from $4.4 million to something greater than that, which is what we recommended to the government two years ago, or if it is an increase over the $350,000 which was the amount made available for renewable resource development last year?
And in that respect, I should point out that of all that money, not one copper is available to the free enterprise system. Not one plugged nickel is available as seed money to private development, to private companies, to private investment.
So think about free enterprise and when you are carrying this great torch for the free enterprise system, just remember some of the things that your own government is doing in that regard.
An hon. member: Are you against it?
Mr. Conway: They are all McMurtry socialists over there. You can tell.
Mr. Reed: Mr. Speaker, we are about to have a decision from the Premier as to whether or not he will sign two uranium contracts which amount in total over the next 30 to 35 years to over $7 billion. These are the largest contracts of their kind in the history of uranium business; the largest in the world, so far as we know.
Mr. Conway: A real sellout.
An hon. member: Are you helping them?
Mr. Reed: They are negotiated for the purpose of supplying fuel to five committed nuclear engine complexes which are either constructed now or will be constructed by the middle of the next decade.
The select committee, of which I was privileged to be a member, spent an agonizing five weeks trying to learn about these contracts, study them and draw some intelligent conclusions. I realize that may be difficult for me to do, but I think as a large body we do have that capability. It is unfortunate that the debate that ensued from the testimony seemed to disperse along party lines. Rather than having the kind of objective conclusions that we would hope to have when we are studying something of this magnitude, it seemed that the NDP opted for nationalization and the Tories opted for signing of the contracts.
Mr. Reed: The only party that could try to present a constructive position was the Liberal Party.
Mr. Conway: As always.
Mr. Samis: You offered no alternatives. In other words, you were speaking from both sides of your mouth.
Mr. Reed: I have to tell you, Mr. Speaker, that if these contracts are signed, and I say this with the gravest of concern, they stand to commit the people of Ontario to $2 billion of excess, unnecessary profit over and above what could be considered a reasonable profit over cost.
Mr. Warner: That’s called free enterprise.
Mr. Riddell: They get some of that back in the Tory coffers.
Mr. Reed: Do you know what they are saying on Bay Street about these contracts? Steve Roman really put it over on Bill Davis. I admit that the Premier has not signed these contracts as yet.
Mr. Lawlor: He will.
Mr. Reed: But it would appear that he is going to go ahead and do it. The argument on the other side is that security of supply is more vital than the price being paid because, even if these exorbitant profits are paid, the monthly rate will only amount to 75 cents or $1 a month per household for the next 30 years. That is the way our Hydro rates have been going up for the last six or seven years. It has been 75 cents a month, a couple of dollars a month and a dollar a month here. We say it’s time that was stopped.
We cannot afford the kind of extravagance that these contracts represent. When one considers the price as opposed to security of supply, one sees obviously that during the most important years of the contracts -- the first 15 years -- there will not be enough uranium delivered in those contracts to satisfy the requirements of the machinery. There is even a shortfall. The contracts don’t even provide the basic direction which the federal government lays down, that is, that 15 years’ supply of fuel should be secured for every committed nuclear reactor. They do not even do that. Yet here we are prepared to give away the store out of fear.
In 1973, George Gathercole, who was then the chairman of Ontario Hydro, said that acquisition of an ore body or acquisition of a mine was the route to go.
Mr. Warner: It is called public ownership.
Mr. Davidson: Public ownership from George Gathercole?
Mr. Reed: We have got one of the largest utilities in the world now under public ownership and I must admit it is subject to some concern on my part with the contracts about to be signed.
Mr. Bounsall: We may have to sell it, is that what you want?
Mr. Warner: To the lowest bidder.
Mr. Reed: Hydro went in in fear, with all of the armament that they could have used taken away from them by the Treasurer, then the Minister of Energy, and they came out with what they considered to be the best deal under the circumstances. I agree that it probably was the best under the circumstances but there is one hole you could drive a truck through in that argument. That is that there is no reason why the circumstances should not have been changed.
The government has done virtually nothing in this regard. I’ve seen chapter and verse of the letters, Telexes and so on that were exchanged between the federal and provincial governments in order to try and change the federal policy which is an outdated, antiquated policy formulated in the time when nuclear fissile material was used for the construction of bombs.
Mr. Grande: 2000 BC.
Mr. Reed: It was 1948, I believe, which was the basis for that federal policy. We looked at the chapter and verse and even looked at the last Telex that was sent by the new Minister of Energy to the federal Minister of Energy to get a confirmation of the federal position on this whole thing. This was one of the appeals that the provincial government was making to the federal government to change the policy and it read something like the vacuum cleaner salesman going into the lady’s house and saying: “You don’t want to buy a vacuum cleaner, do you?” That’s the kind of effort that the government made.
The Premier, through two elections, has never made a public policy statement on uranium. Yet here we have Ontario Hydro committed to a nuclear-or-bust program between now and the end of the century. We’ve gone through two elections and no statement of provincial public policy has been made. I wonder what kind of leadership we are experiencing.
Mr. Grande: None.
Mr. Conway: Absolutely none.
Mr. Reed: in terms of our energy future -- and I am privileged to be the energy critic for my party -- I would like to say a few words about the situation we are faced with now and, I think, in the future.
The first is that the evolution we have experienced in the past, since the advent of the industrial revolution, and the use of the kind of energy that we’ve discovered in the ground, the petroleum and the coal, has speeded up as the years have gone on. It seems that we are moving towards a point where we are going to pass through one phase and into another very, very quickly.
It’s very difficult for the human mind to comprehend that kind of change because our evolution as people, as human beings, or our social evolution, has really not kept up. Just as an example, one would have to point out that we still look to philosophers who lived 3,000 years ago -- and rightly so I suppose -- for the philosophical base. Yet, if we look back on our technological base we go back to the invention of the internal combustion engine. It’s that kind of relative speed with which our technology has evolved that is cause for many of us to wonder how much more quickly it’s going to go and where it can go.
One of our responses as human beings has been to continue to try and expand the institutions that we come to know, because those are the concepts that we understand most easily. An example is that we project expansion for our nuclear capacity in Ontario because we say the growth is going to be and continue to be exponential -- that is it’s going up on a gradually increasing scale. If you look at Hydro’s long-range forecasts, what you find is that a new nuclear plant in the 1990s will be coming into existence every nine months.
You know and I know that the province can’t afford it. But we also know that our standard of living has, up until this time, depended on consumption. It has been the norm upon which we based our economy.
We have been prepared to pay for that kind of approach by accepting escalating pollution and in spite of the halting attempts of the government. They really do nothing about the pollution in our environment whatsoever. The new Minister of the Environment (Mr. McCague) went on record, two days after he was sworn in, as saying that pollution standards would have to be relaxed in the coming months in order to facilitate employment. I had the experience of being with one of the NDP members, speaking to the Environmental Law Association who also espoused the same kind of philosophy. It was interesting to see the NDP and the Tories in bed together.
Mr. Warner: You had better clarify that.
Mr. Reed: Well, the hon. member should ask the member for Nickel Belt (Mr. Laughren) exactly what he said. He should also ask his friends from the Ontario Federation of Labour; the treasurer, who was there, talked proudly about marching with the demonstrators at the Darlington site.
Mr. Warner: That has nothing to do with pollution standards, and you know it.
Mr. Reed: The truth is, we have to take a new look at our consumption --
Mr. Bounsall: The march was by those wanting pollution standards and environmental assessment.
Mr. Reed: I wish I had heard that.
Mr. Lawlor: He is saying it’s just the reverse of what you are saying.
Mr. Reed: We have to take a new look at the way we approach consumption and at the way our society approaches consumption. We know that the opportunities to conserve our resources are enormous; we are just beginning to learn what they are and where we can apply them most easily and quickly.
One of the frustrations is in watching probably the largest bureaucracy in North America or the world, Ontario Hydro, not being able to come to terms with the obvious necessity of moving into a conserver society in the next decade. The approach that Ontario Hydro takes is that it is not within its mandate to do anything tangible in terms of conservation measures. The select committee on Ontario Hydro directed that utility to take some steps in that regard. But when you get down to the nitty-gritty, the president of Ontario Hydro will tell you, as he has told me in Energy estimates, that it is not within their jurisdiction to do certain fundamental things and therefore they simply ignore them. They consider their mandate simply to build to meet what is considered to be projected demand.
What is the result of that? The result is, now that we are out of the hydraulic generating base -- since less than half of our electric power is generated hydraulically -- we are into primarily a thermal configuration. If anybody knows a little bit about the conversion of energy to produce electricity in a thermal system, he knows that a nuclear plant converts it at about 27 per cent efficiency, that a coal plant converts it at roughly 35 per cent efficiency and that a natural gas consuming generating plant burns it at about 40 per cent efficiency. That means roughly two-thirds of the energy that is put into those thermal generating plants is ejected directly into the biosphere. For the 3,000 megawatts at Bruce operating on the base load every day, 6,000 megawatt-hours are being ejected in the form of cooling water into the Great Lakes.
Hydro says it really doesn’t have a mandate to look after the total picture. Its mandate is only to generate electric power. It is our belief that all future thermal plants should be considered only in combination with the end use of the by-product heat. This is a technique that’s old hat to all of the jurisdictions in Europe that have been into thermal generation of electric power for many years, because they simply were not blessed with the kind of wonderful falling water that we have been blessed with here in the province of Ontario.
As we go along, over the next 30 or 40 years, if we are going to use -- as Hydro tells us -- 200 million pounds of uranium, it means that the energy potential of 140 million pounds of that uranium will simply be shot. It will be wasted in the Great Lakes. And, you know, there are environmental consequences. I don’t suppose that the new Minister of the Environment would be really concerned that there are environmental consequences, because he has as much as said so. Ontario Hydro is the biggest waster of its own energy.
There are two kinds of conservation that should go on record. One, of course, is the conservation of quantity; conservation where we use a little less. We know that we can go from one point to another with half the Btu consumption that we use at the present time. We know that we can design our homes to use half of the heating requirements at the present time and with little or no extra cost. There are so many things that we understand that we can do.
But there is another form of conservation that probably has the potential of having far more impact than the quantitative conservation. That is the selection of energy sources for their highest end use. For instance, we know that we convert natural gas in an electric generating plant at about 40 per cent of thermal efficiency. If we put that same natural gas through a water heater in a domestic residence, we convert it at about 78 to 80 per cent of thermal efficiency.
To this date there has been virtually no attention paid to this form of energy conservation. All we have heard about is the advertisements on television -- which are grossly inaccurate, incidentally, or at least they are misleading -- that project backwards a growth rate of seven per cent per annum for Ontario Hydro. Since 1970, Ontario Hydro has really not had a growth rate of that magnitude. Last year the overall growth rate was 2.2. per cent.
The renewable resource budget of the minister’s has another very interesting aspect, and that is its potential for the future of this province in terms of its commerce and industry If we accept the fact that we are gradually phasing down our use of non-renewable energies and that we are gradually phasing up our use of renewable resources -- when we are learning to live from our energy incomes, rather than our energy capital as we have been doing for so long -- then we have to consider the potential for industry, for employment, for invention and for patent that can keep Ontario’s share of the industrial potential in this change-over era.
Two years ago we proposed to the then Minister of Energy, the member for Don Mills (Mr. Timbrell), that an amount of money roughly equal to the amount of money per capita spent by ERDA -- that’s the American Energy Research and Development Association -- be spent in Ontario for precisely the same thing, where we could develop our own patents, our own hardware and where we could take our place in this change-over process. I expressed the fear to him at that time that if we did not we would end up doing exactly the same as we have done so many times before, and that is wait for our neighbours to the south to develop the technology and then we would simply buy theirs. What happens is that the brains trusts, the creative abilities, all migrate away and we continue to be hewers of wood and drawers of water.
Last week in the House my leader asked a question about the Darlington nuclear plant. We have a new load forecast about to be presented publicly, which according to reports will reduce the increase in electric power consumption up until 1986 a total of 3,000 megawatts annually. In our opinion, this would allow us to reassess the Darlington plant in terms of the Environmental Assessment Act. We understand, as the Minister of Energy pointed out on a radio station last night, that in order to apply the Environmental Assessment Act one has to go back to the beginning and do the considerations right from the very beginning. But I would submit that because of this new load forecast we indeed do have the time. We have the time to give it the most earnest consideration. If the Environmental Assessment Act is to mean anything at all, it’s got to apply to government projects just as much as it has to apply to private projects. We can’t have it both ways.
The government so far has made such a mockery of the Environmental Assessment Act that, first of all, it has been rendered virtually meaningless; and secondly, it’s been nothing but a hollow public relations tool that’s been used by the government.
Mr. Conway: A hollow reed.
Mr. Havrot: Apt description.
Mr. Reed: Mr. Speaker, where are we going? We are passing the Environmental Assessment Act, but we are not applying it because of the urgency of time. We’re continuing to expand our energy systems because those are the things we know, and we think that if we simply apply what we know now we can satisfy our needs and requirements. But I would submit to this House that the time is long overdue when we have to move into these new areas and we have to move into them very quickly. The conserver society, the elements of conservation, will be part of the means by which we can move from the kind of consumption society that we’re involved in now to a new society based on new technologies.
It was interesting to note the other day when the Premier came to the select committee on Ontario Hydro affairs that he was in the company of his good wife. It was appropriate, of course, that she should be there. It was even more significant to me though that he was not in the company of his children. Because I would submit to the Premier that the way he’s taking this province, especially with them contracts, if he signs them tomorrow, it’s his children who are going to have to pay for that decision.
Mr. Warner: Mr. Speaker, do you wish me to begin now or should I wait another couple of minutes until all the members have had a chance to get in and sit down?
An hon. member: Let me say it for you --
Mr. Deputy Speaker: I would suggest to the member that he commence immediately.
Mr. Sterling: Resign now.
Mr. Lewis: Julian, you could stop those contracts if you wanted to.
Mr. Riddell: I have heard of Tory arrogance, but that beats it.
Mr. Lewis: You could stop those contracts if you wanted to. Is it worth a non-confidence motion to you, Julian, for the future of the children?
An hon. member: What do you say, fellows?
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. The member for Scarborough-Ellesmere has the floor.
Mr. Lewis: Don’t give us that children stuff when you are not prepared to go down the line.
Mr. Reed: At what price?
Mr. Lewis: Aha! So that’s what it is? Your political seats but not the contracts.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order.
Mr. Warner: Mr. Speaker, this is the culmination of the argument that went on between the member for Halton-Burlington (Mr. Reed) and the member for Mississauga South in trying to determine who was more Tory and who was more capitalist than the other.
Mr. Lewis: I vote for the member for Halton-Burlington.
Mr. McClellan: He has five children.
Mr. Reed: If you say “more capitalist,” I will accept it. Don’t say “more Tory.”
Mr. Warner: This is much like the two officers trying to decide which one of them should be the captain of the Titanic. And it won’t make any difference which one of them is selected, because that boat is going down.
An hon. member: You guys would know all about that. That is something you could comment on.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. The member for Renfrew North is not in his seat.
Mr. Warner: I didn’t want to mention that, but if he wants to make comments perhaps he could take his seat. And I could suggest where he could take it.
I am assuming too that we are going to have a full and proper debate on the subject of that contract. What is so disturbing about the comments of the member for Halton-Burlington -- and I realize he has spent a great deal of time and is quite learned on these matters -- is that while he fully recognizes it was of necessity that we established a public corporation in the province to administer the affairs of Hydro, because that is very properly a service to the good people of Ontario, he is not prepared to say that the ingredients needed to make that system work -- for example, the uranium -- should not also come under the public ownership of the people of Ontario. Without that ingredient, we are left at the mercy of Steve Roman. It’s very simple. It’s very clear.
Mr. Warner: The people of this province will pay a handsome price for many years, for decades, because the member for Halton-Burlington and others in the Liberal Party are fully prepared to give Steve Roman a windfall profit of millions of dollars, all at the expense of the public of Ontario. It is unfortunate, because the Liberal Party obviously has a chance to stand up and act on behalf of the people of Ontario and not in the interests of Steve Roman and others of his ilk who would pillage this country.
Mr. Reed: How much a share are you willing to pay now?
Mr. Warner: In terms of the Throne Speech, I wish to enter a quote -- probably a well-known quote at this juncture but nonetheless important: “After eight spectacularly dull years of unimaginative yet expensive government, Davis has reached a redundant low in boredom and banal generalities.”
Mr. Gregory: Did you write that?
Mr. Warner: No. That came from a defender of the democratic socialists, Mr. Claire Hoy, that eminent reporter from the Toronto Sun who recognized the Throne Speech for what it was. It is more than simply dull and banal; it is more dangerous than that, quite frankly, because it didn’t address the single most pressing problem that faces our nation and faces the people in Ontario: jobs. Aside from the one comment on providing jobs for youth in the coming summer, there is no other specific recognition of this single most pressing issue. And so somewhere in the neighbourhood of 300,000 people in Ontario are faced with the prospect of continued unemployment, and perhaps a worsening situation.
Now we add to that a couple of ingredients. One is that if the people of Ontario are upset about the unemployment problem, one way out of it is to relax our pollution standards; that will create jobs. And so we enter into a debate of trying to trade off pollution standards versus jobs. What a ridiculous argument to get into.
Surely there should be protection for the people, not only the people who are in the community but the people who are working there. If, for example, you relax the standards so as to provide jobs, then what of those people who are taking these new-found jobs in areas not protected by pollution standards? Are they to more easily contract industrial diseases? It’s a ridiculous kind of argument to get into but the government wishes to enter into that kind of argument.
Secondly -- and this is in keeping with the so-called “buy Canadian” theme -- what the government means to say isn’t “buy Canadian” at all but “buy Canada,” because they’ve been offering to sell it for quite a few years. Along with the federal Liberals, the Ontario Conservatives have now decided to more actively pursue the business of selling out Ontario, probably not even to the highest bidder but to the lowest.
The new Minister of Industry and Tourism, (Mr. Rhodes) last Thursday evening at the Royal York Hotel addressed a group of businessmen from Japan, the Japanese Trade Mission. In part he said that we in Ontario make it possible for investors to realize a more than ample return on investment capital. And I go to the rest of the speech -- there’s no point in reading all of it -- “We want you in Japan to come and invest more and more and more in Ontario.” And the corollary to that is pretty obvious, as you realize Mr. Speaker, that the profits from that investment go back to Japan; they don’t reside in Ontario.
And even within the context of the so-called free enterprise system -- and I have never believed for a moment that it was free -- but the enterprise system to which the government adheres and to which the Liberals adhere in a more right-wing fashion, even in that context am I to assume that it is a free enterprise system for everyone outside of Ontario but not for the people in Ontario; that this government isn’t interested in encouraging investment of its own people here within the province but has to go out to try to round up investors from the United States and Japan and so sell out some more of our resources? That is in fact what is happening. And that is in fact what they seem to be encouraging from the Throne Speech.
The direction is pretty obvious. And it bothers me greatly, because instead of developing a good solid industrial base in this province with other than simply the extraction of the natural resources, we are still willing to sell off those natural resources. And so we will never have our own independent economy -- never, so long as the Tories are in business.
There is something else that disturbs me from the Throne Speech and that is that we have in Ontario an extremely serious housing problem. We have, for example, in Metro Toronto, over 10,000 people on the waiting list for Ontario Housing. We have a growing number of families who are seeking accommodation, and yet the government didn’t see fit to address that problem in the Throne Speech. I submit that in addressing it, it could also have talked in terms of jobs. Surely for the government to be involved directly with funds in either encouraging industry to actually build units or to do some of it themselves or to promote the growth of non-profit co-operative housing would not only have met some of the crises in the housing field, but would have provided jobs -- thousands and thousands of jobs. And that’s what we need.
There are close to 100,000 people in the city of Metro Toronto without work, and many of those people living in my area in Scarborough are desperately seeking work and they can’t find it. At the same time, they know there’s a desperate shortage of housing, which they can’t find either. What they’re looking for is some government leadership which says, “We know there’s a problem and we’re going to meet it. We’re going to provide housing. We’re going to make sure that the job gets done. We’re not going to let greedy developers gobble up all the land and sell it for whatever highest price they can get, but we’re going to make sure that those land prices remain constant.”
Mr. Reed: Freeze it until you can buy it back cheap.
Mr. Warner: “We’re going to make sure that the mortgage interest rates are pegged at a proper level,” as they have done in many jurisdictions. The federal government of the United States, for example, guarantees 7.75 per cent mortgage interest. But not over here. We’ll gouge the public for whatever we can get. So goes the government philosophy.
That leadership is needed in the field of housing and, I submit, by so doing you would also be meeting that very serious problem we have of unemployment. We’re not getting that. In fact, we’re getting the opposite reaction.
At some point, I think we need a direct confrontation over the Workmen’s Compensation Board. We have to find out once and for all whether it’s government policy that there shall not be any increases to those injured workers -- and that every one of us as members should advise those people who come into our office that if you’re starving, go onto welfare. If you’re an injured worker and you have given a portion of your life to the workplace and you’ve been injured, this government coldly and callously says to you, “You don’t get any more money than that pittance that we’re giving you now. Go onto welfare.”
I cannot but interpret otherwise the statements that were made by the Minister of Labour on Friday last. I sat here and heard those words in utter disbelief, that a Minister of Labour, someone who presumably is concerned about the workers of this province, should make such a statement.
Perhaps the minister should consult with her colleague who sits just beside her -- the new Minister of Industry and Tourism. He says that we have one of the finest work forces in the whole world, and I assume that means they should be treated with some dignity. He claims, and rightly so, that Canada’s productivity is equal to that of the United States. I quote: “Plant floor productivity is equal to that of the Americans for equivalent technology ... Provincial statistics clearly show that 95 per cent of management-union disputes in industry are settled without labour resorting to strike action ... We have an enlightened and much-admired labour-management relationship.”
That can be challenged. But he pays tribute to the workers of this province, and rightly so. That tribute’s long overdue. If he believes that, perhaps he should have a little chat with the Minister of Labour. She should either understand something about the workers of this province, or quit the job and give it to someone else who can. But I, for one, as a member of this assembly, am horrified when I hear the statements that were made as they were on Friday. Surely that kind of attitude cannot be tolerated and surely it has to be changed.
Mr. Lewis: Made on Friday and denied Monday.
Mr. Warner: I am deviating from what I had set out to say because there were a couple of things I wanted to talk about as they were related to the Throne Speech. But I could not help but to make comments upon the activities and the actions of the Minister of Labour both on Friday and again today, because it disturbs me very deeply that workers especially those who have been injured in the workplace, who have given of themselves physically, should be abused in such a cold way.
Mr. Lewis: We are establishing a bureau of accuracy for the Ministry of Labour over here. The Minister of Revenue might convey that to the cabinet.
Mr. Laughren: There needs to be a bureau of honesty.
Mr. Lewis: We prefer to call it a bureau of accuracy in the first phase. I approach these things in an evolutionary way.
Mr. Warner: There was one interesting point from the Throne Speech. As a member of the select committee on company law studying the auto insurance industry, I found it very interesting that the government should commit itself to compulsory auto insurance. What I also understand is that there is only one reason which holds the government back from fully endorsing and embracing a public insurance scheme. That is their rigid dogma -- the rigidity that they cannot be flexible even in the face of facts.
The last time I made these comments or comments to this effect, you will recall, Mr. Speaker, was just before the House rose in December. There were a couple of members on the other side who took some exception -- a couple of members indeed who were awakened by my remarks. What they did not realize was that the consultants’ reports, those good defenders of socialism called Woods, Gordon, underscore heavily that a public auto insurance scheme is more effective, more efficient and cheaper than a private one.
We are not just talking about a few dollars but in the millions of dollars. In fact, the consultants’ report draws the conclusion that in the province of Ontario, if we were to have a public car insurance system, the people of Ontario would save tens of millions of dollars annually because of the more efficient car insurance scheme. Those remarks were upheld in Manitoba under that new Conservative government and in British Columbia under that new Social Credit government; which also said, by the way, that private enterprise could not possibly run the thing as well. They were the exact words of Mr. DeGeer, the honourable minister in charge of the program.
Mr. Conway: It’s McGeer.
Mr. Warner: Sorry McGeer. The other chap is in London. It is only their rigidity and their inflexibility which hold them back from adopting that which is reasonable, that which the people of Ontario want and that which, it seems now, they will only get when we form the government in this province. I make the promise that this party has always done, that when we form this government in Ontario the people will be treated to a good public car insurance system.
Hopefully, in conclusion, the next time when a Throne Speech is made, and I assume that will be under a different direction --
Mr. Conway: Yes.
Mr. Kennedy: We won’t hold our breath.
Mr. Warner: -- the final line will not apply, the final line being the wonder that Lieutenant Governor Pauline McGibbon managed to stay awake when she read it. Our Throne Speech will be exciting. It will promise leadership and it will show direction so that people are again working in this province and the economy rolls along the way it should despite the 35 years of Tory mismanagement. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Riddell: It is always nice to end up on a humorous note.
Hon. Mr. Maeck moved the adjournment of the debate.
On motion by the Hon. Mr. Maeck, the House adjourned at 6 p.m.