The House met at 10 am.
OPP ROLE IN STRIKE
Mr. Deans: I rise on a point of order relating to yesterday’s business, if I may, Mr. Speaker. I want to put before you what I consider to be facts with regard to a statement made yesterday. You will recall during the question period I raised with the Solicitor General (Mr. Kerr) a statement which was reported in the press and which was attributed to him. I asked the Solicitor General the following question: “And, further, let me ask you a supplementary question so you can answer both while you are on your feet. Is it true that you said that it was justified because a lot of the employees really didn’t want the union anyway?”
The Solicitor General responded as follows: “Mr. Speaker, I should have probably on a point of privilege while answering the hon. member’s question. I didn’t say that which was attributed to me in this morning’s Globe -- the words, ‘he added that only half the workers of the plant want the union.’ What I said to the reporters was that there was a division of opinion there, that there were some exception by a number of employees whether or not they wanted that strike. That’s what I said.”
As an aside, sir, you’ll appreciate that the English in it is not particularly easy to understand, but that the intent is easy to understand.
I want to draw to your attention, and to the minister’s attention, the fact that there is a tape recording of the conversation that he had and which was reported in the Globe and Mail and by other media. I have here a direct, unedited transcript of what that tape says, and the tape is available for either you or the minister to hear; for the minister to hear and for you to hear. I quote:
“This is a plant that the union is attempting to organize, and apparently there is a split in the feeling of the employees. About half of them are not interested in joining the union, and about half want to join the union.”
Mr. Lewis: Unbelievable.
Mr. Deans: That is, to the best of my knowledge, a complete and accurate quote taken directly from the tape which was used for the purpose of the story which appeared in the Globe and Mail.
It is entirely possible that the minister may not remember exactly what he said; therefore, when he answered the question yesterday perhaps he answered it in all honesty; and I am prepared to accept that. It is entirely possible that the tape recording machine picked up something the minister didn’t say -- although it is very difficult to understand that this might have happened.
But if you would be kind enough, in the interest of making sure that information given to this House is accurate information and is truly reflective of what is being said in incidents and situations as sensitive as the one we are currently dealing with, I would ask either you and the minister, the minister alone or you alone, to listen to the tape and hear for yourself what was said and then deal directly with the answer which was given and which was in direct contradiction, as I understand it, to the facts of the case.
On the same point of order, dealing with the same question, I want to bring to your attention the minister’s statement on page 1510-3 of the draft transcript for March 9, 1978, in which the minister says -- he is speaking to me:
“Dealing with the second question, which I feel is much more relevant, I think the hon. member should realize that some days before the strike took place that a representative of the union attended at the police detachment headquarters ... and asked certain questions regarding picket lines and the conduct of the employees and questions of that nature, very valid questions.”
The member for Carleton East (Ms. Gigantes) said: “Very responsible.”
The minister went on to say: “Those same questions were also wanted to be known by management, and as a result of this the sergeant of the detachment decided that everybody should know what the situation would be ... what their rights would be and what their obligations would be in a situation of that kind.”
It is reported to us, sir -- and I want to ask you to ask the minister with regard to this -- that in fact Mr. Grant Turner, the vice-president of the company, on that same Friday called the workers together while their representatives were bargaining in London. He said to them that he had decided to put an end to rumours about the difficulties which may be encountered and that he had called and asked that the OPP attend at the plant --
Mr. Lewis: That’s right.
Mr. Deans: -- and that he had requested that the lecture which was subsequently given, should be given to the employees.
I raise this matter with you because the information which is being given to this House, perhaps inadvertently, is very inaccurate and misleading and does not reflect in any way the situation as it was or as it is at that plant with regard to the OPP’s involvement
Mr. Speaker: The Solicitor General has not had the opportunity to hear the alleged point of order raised by the member for Wentworth, and I don’t know whether he is in a position to respond at this time. If the Solicitor General would like to reflect upon it over the weekend and perhaps give his version of what happened on Monday, perhaps that would be appropriate and agreeable to all members of the House.
Mr. Renwick: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: Would you just clarify for me what you meant when you said “alleged point of order”?
Mr. Speaker: I am not sure that anything that has transpired here, either this morning or on Thursday, constitutes a point of order; that being something in this House that can be construed or seen as a point of order. There is obviously a difference of opinion as to what was said or what was quoted. That is probably more appropriately a point of privilege. Unless I hear both sides, I am not in a position to say whether it’s a valid point of order. That’s what I meant.
Mr. Peterson: On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker. On February 23 I tabled a question on the order paper, question No. 10; an interim answer was tabled yesterday, March 9, 1978. That interim answer said that there was no answer, that they want more time. I would like your advice on the rules applying to this situation. How much time do they have? Under what obligation is the ministry -- in this case the Chairman of Management Board (Mr. Auld) -- to provide a response to this question? Is this type of response not in defiance of the rules of this House?
Mr. Speaker: Obviously, the standing orders indicate that there are up to two weeks for a reply to something that is on the order paper.
Mr. Peterson: The minister was given two weeks, and the only response -- given yesterday -- after two weeks was that there was no answer and that he needed more time. I would like to know the rules of this House pertaining to how much time he has got. Can he go on doing this indefinitely? Does he have another two weeks? What is the status?
Mr. Speaker: It is my understanding that an answer should be forthcoming within the time specified in the standing orders, and if it is impossible to do so I think the House -- and in particular the member -- is entitled to some kind of explanation as to why it is taking longer than that.
Mr. Peterson: I’m sorry to pursue this, but what, then, are my rights as a member, not having that answer after two weeks? How much longer should I be expected to wait in the circumstances?
Mr. Speaker: If there is some reason why the minister in his own judgement should decline to answer, he need only say that; but if he needs more time, if it is a very detailed answer that requires a lot of research, perhaps the hon. minister responsible could indicate why it is necessary to take in excess of the time allocated. He does have the right to decline to answer if he chooses to do so; but I don’t think that is the case in this instance.
PAPER MILL CONTROL ORDERS
Hon. Mr. McCague: On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker. Last Tuesday, March 7, I gave an answer in the House to the member for Huron-Bruce (Mr. Gaunt) regarding the status of the ministry’s order on the pulp and paper mills of Domtar of Red Lake and Great Lakes Paper Company of Thunder Bay. An error has appeared in Hansard regarding the date by which time two minor lateral connections are to be completed at the Domtar Plant. The company is being required to complete these two connections not later than June 15, 1978, not January 15, 1978 as was recorded in Hansard.
Mr. Sweeney: Mr. Speaker, following my supplementary question yesterday to the Minister of Colleges and Universities, it was suggested that because I had the information only in the morning I didn’t know what I was talking about. I would draw to your attention, Mr. Speaker, that I had indicated that last year the parental contribution table kicked in at $7,300. This year it kicks in at $6,601, and therefore that was reduced. I have those figures in front of me to corroborate what I am saying. I had also calculated that that meant that a family with a net weekly income of $127 was expected to make a contribution. I’ll change that; it actually works out to $126.94. There are the figures.
Hon. Mr. Parrott: The member has missed one significant point in that observation. Last year that would have required the student, part of that family, to make a contribution of $1,000. It was called a loan. Nevertheless the student, a member of the family, was obligated to take a $1,000 loan first, and I think that would logically be considered as a contribution from the family unit.
Mr. Sweeney: That’s not what we’re talking about.
Hon. Mr. Parrott: It’s a deferred payment, but that was required first last year. This year, agreed, the family contribution in that area is lower, the grant kicks in at the beginning, at the very start. Therefore if one views the family, parents and child together, the contribution from that family in that instance is less. I think one has to look at it that way.
Secondly, if one looks at Canada student loans this year and our Ontario student loans this year and compares those, they are indeed at a higher rate. They kick in -- and I don’t have those figures in front of me this morning -- I think it’s $7,600; therefore they are higher this year than they were last. If the hon. member puts those two things together, he will find that the table and the contribution are fairer.
Mr. Speaker: I think we can get into this either in question period or during the estimates.
Mr. Sweeney: You’re comparing apples and oranges.
Hon. Mr. Parrott: They’re all part of the same thing. They come from this place, your and my pocketbook.
Mr. Kerrio: I think the tables are turned. I don’t think the minister knows what he is talking about.
Mr. Lewis: We have lots more points of privilege, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Warner: Point of privilege, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
STATEMENTS BY THE MINISTRY
SOFT DRINK CONTAINERS
Hon. Mr. McCague: Since my appointment as Minister of the Environment, I have been reviewing the government’s policy with respect to the control of carbonated soft drink containers. As part of this review, I have held meetings with representatives of all segments of the soft drink industry with the result that the regulations affecting this industry have been carefully scrutinized in the light of current conditions.
During the past two years, the government has announced a comprehensive program designed to restore the general availability and use of refillable, money-back containers in the soft drink market. The refillable, money-back bottle is acknowledged as the most environmentally acceptable container for soft drinks. For many people concerned about waste and the overuse of throwaway packaging in our society, it stands as a symbol for the whole issue of good waste management.
The government has met many of its objectives in protecting and restoring the refillable bottle and in reducing the waste inherent in the alternative, non-refillable container. As compared with the situation two years ago, we have made this progress:
The consumer can now be confident that the soft drink of his choice is readily available in the container of his choice in most stores which he patronizes. The consumer can now be assured of a full cash refund on every refillable bottle returned to the store where he bought it and in stores which sell the same brands and sizes. The consumer can also make a direct, simple comparison between the cost of a soft drink in a throwaway container and the cost of the same drink and deposit on its refillable bottle. This compulsory price display indicates the economic advantage to the consumer of the refillable bottle.
A major result of this program to date has been a significant increase in the popularity and use of the refillable bottle. It earned an estimated 60 per cent share of the market during the last months of 1977, as compared to about 35 per cent during the same period in 1975.
Members will recall that these measures which we considered essential to a comprehensive program have not yet been undertaken: The proposed five-cent tax on cans was introduced to the Legislature last year. It was not pursued further because both opposition parties made it clear they would not support this measure. Not only would they not support the government’s proposal, they could not even agree among themselves on any practical alternative measure.
Mr. S. Smith: Are we now a coalition government over here? Do we have to agree on all measures?
Mr. Kerrio: Come on; clean up your act.
Hon. Mr. McCague: That’s where we stand as April 1 approaches, the date on which a ban on non-refillable bottles is scheduled to go into effect.
Mr. Cunningham: What about that speech in Dundas? It was a beauty.
Hon. Mr. McCague: Because the tax on cans has not been implemented --
Mr. S. Smith: You can’t govern unless the NDP and our party tell you what to do.
Hon. Mr. McCague: -- this ban could create an unfair disadvantage to a competitive segment of the soft drink industry, the glass container industry. Therefore, we have developed a modified program which is fair and equitable to all segments of the industry and will meet the government’s objectives. The following program will reduce the volume of waste generated by soft drink containers by increasing the availability and use of refillable, money-back bottles. I am amending the current regulation banning non-refillable glass containers, which would take effect April 1, 1973. Under the amended regulation, the industry will be allowed to continue to make and sell non-refillable bottles in these sizes: the 200 millilitre bar-size split; the 750 millilitre and 1.5 litre family sizes.
Where the family-size non-refillables are sold, the same brands and flavours in refillable bottles must be given equal display space. Under this amendment, effective April 1, the previously-announced ban on non-refillable bottles in the 300 millilitre size will be retained. This individual size non-refillable bottle is considered to be a major polluter among containers.
Effective December 1, 1978, retailers must provide display space for 300 millilitre refillable bottles at least equal to the space provided for cans.
I have accepted a voluntary program of self-restraint proposed by the industry. Its representatives have committed themselves to restricting the use of non-refillables to a maximum of 25 per cent of gross gallonage sales by December 31, 1979. My ministry will monitor industry records and performance to ensure that the 75-25 per cent ratio in favour of refillable bottles is met and maintained. As part of the voluntary program, the industry will discontinue all sales promotion activity for carbonated soft drinks in non-refillable containers.
Finally, the industry has recently undertaken extensive programs in support of the collection and recycling of glass and promoting the purchase of soft drinks in refillable containers. A public education campaign based on the theme Many Happy Returns, promoting the refillable money-back bottle, got under way with extensive advertising last week and will continue throughout Ontario.
I also endorse the glass gobbler program, which involves the collection and recycling of discarded glass from licensed premises in major urban centres. I am informed this program will be expanded shortly in conjunction with the Variety Club of Ontario which will support and promote 30 collection depots in Toronto as a fund-raising project on behalf of Variety Village. I hope members will support this excellent project when it is introduced.
To make these new ground rules clear, I’d like to summarize for the hon. members what consumers can expect when they go to the store to buy soft drinks. They can expect that in the small, individual-size containers, they will have at least an equal choice between refillable bottles and cans. In family-size containers, they will have at least an equal choice between refillable and non-refillable bottles. Finally, they will not be subjected to advertising or promotion urging them to buy soft drinks in throwaway containers.
I expect the result to be a marked reduction of waste caused by the use of non-refillable containers and a steady increase in the use of refillable bottles. At the same time, this progress in the battle to curb waste will be achieved without further loss of employment in this industry.
INCREASE IN OHIP PREMIUMS
Mr. Warner: Yesterday I rose on a point of privilege to draw the Speaker’s attention to a comparison between the statement made by the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) contained in the first section on page 15 of his budget paper, and section 54 of the British North America Act and section 18 of our standing orders for this House.
I know that you will be considering the matter, Mr. Speaker. May I ask you to take one further extremely important document into your consideration. That document reads in part that, “No scutage or aid shall he imposed in our kingdom unless by common counsel thereof, except to ransom our person, make our eldest son a knight” -- I don’t suppose the Treasurer intends to do that -- “and once to marry our eldest daughter, and for this a reasonable aid only shall be paid.”
That section is contained in the Magna Carta of King John, A.D. 1215, and obviously is the forerunner of the British North America Act.
Mr. Speaker: Order. I am glad the hon. member has brought that to my attention because I didn’t think it was a part of our standing orders.
Mr. Makarchuk: No, but it is the basis of responsible government.
Mr. Speaker: I will be reflecting on the member’s alleged point of privilege and I will have something to say about it on Monday.
Mr. Cassidy: Scutage is a feudal due and that’s all the OHIP premiums are.
Mr. Lewis: It’s what the feudal barons extracted from working people in 1215. You have made no progress in 700 years.
Mr. Cassidy: You have gone back to the Dark Ages, in fact.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, as I indicated yesterday, I would like to respond to a question raised by the hon. member for Waterloo North (Mr. Epp). The original question actually was directed to the Deputy Premier and government House leader, who indicated that I would be responding to same.
The hon. member, on February 23, asked certain questions relating to expediting hearings of the Ontario Municipal Board. As all hon. members are aware, the Minister of Housing tabled a report of the Planning Act review committee on June 28, 1977, and requested public comment on the recommendations made by the committee. The report contains a complete chapter, namely chapter 10, on the role of the Ontario Municipal Board. The Minister of Housing has received numerous briefs commenting on the committee’s report.
My staff and staff of the Ministry of Housing have met on two occasions with the Ontario Municipal Board to discuss the recommendations of the Planning Act review committee and the briefs received relating to the OMB, with a view to developing recommendations which will improve the procedures of the board to better serve the interests of the public.
I understand that a further meeting is scheduled with the board in April to pursue the search for the appropriate mechanisms to try to speed up the planning processes which flow through the OMB.
As the minister responsible for the administration of the OMB, I am concerned with some of the delays experienced in our planning process and I am anxious to find ways and means by which the planning process function of the OMB can be improved. I would therefore urge the hon. member for Waterloo North to submit any comments he has on the Planning Act review committee report on the OMB or any suggestions he has for improvement of the procedures of the OMB to the Minister of Housing so that they can be considered in the current review.
Mr. S. Smith: Eight-hour days, reasonable lunch hours, meeting in the summer time -- they are a few.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I appreciate that the hon. member for Waterloo North could not be here today, but I gave him a copy of this statement yesterday.
Mr. S. Smith: Five-day weeks perhaps.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Realizing that we could not wait until the government finalizes its response to the Planning Act review committee report to try to expedite hearings before the board, I wrote to the board in April 1977 to request the board’s co-operation in expediting hearings. In particular, I reflected the concern of all of us over the rising rate of unemployment and especially the increase in unemployment in the construction industry. I requested the board to do everything possible to ensure that construction projects are not being delayed by our inability to process the OMB applications within a reasonable time.
It has been my practice in the succeeding months, when I have been made aware of a particular delay, to have my staff contact the chairman of the board to determine the cause of the delay and to request the board to do all in its ability to expedite hearings in the appropriate cases. I am not aware whether the hon. member in his question was referring to any particular matter before the board but I can only suggest that if he has a specific complaint of a delay, that he bring it to my attention and I will attempt to find the cause for the delay and request that everything possible be done to expedite the matter.
I would like to indicate that in my view I believe we are fortunate in Ontario to have a board such as the Ontario Municipal Board, with dedicated members who have considerable experience in planning matters and who in most cases dispense their function in an admirable manner. As in most areas of decision-making, the board is being faced with more complex planning matters, members of the public are objecting more frequently to planning decisions and, as a result, the hearings are becoming more lengthy and complex.
In view of these circumstances it is necessary to wrestle with a methodology to improve the service of the board to the public and our aim, as members of this House, should be to make recommendations which we feel would improve the procedures of the board to the ultimate benefit of the public.
Mr. S. Smith: I guess wrestling with it is better than eating it.
INCREASE IN OHIP PREMIUMS
Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask a question of the Treasurer which basically goes over some of the ground of yesterday; but in view of the fact that the committee on social development of this Legislature now will have an opportunity seriously to consider alternatives to the funding of our health care system, alternatives to the rather drastic and, in my opinion, unfair OHIP increases that he has introduced, is he now prepared to delay implementation of these increases until he has heard from the committee? And would he accept that if the committee can agree on an alternative that is fairer and more equitable, that he would be willing to implement the alternative, instead of the OHIP premium increase that he has already put before us?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: Certainly, if the committee, the House or the government agreed on some alternative method I too would be prepared to consider implementing some alternative method.
Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary: Given the fact that I realize that time may be of some importance in this regard, can the Treasurer give the committee some indication of what a reasonable time limit would be to come up with an alternative proposal that would still allow him to rescind, in part or in full, the premium increase that he has already suggested to this House?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: I would want to talk to the Minister of Health (Mr. Timbrell) about that; he looks after OHIP. But I would think that the order in council raising the premiums would go into effect, and my own judgement would be that the committee would take a period of time and then there might have to be changes after May 1. But if May 1 is to be met, I doubt that there is any time left.
Mr. McClellan: In time for the next election.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: Reasonably, I would think the committee is going to take some weeks. If new billing is to go out on May 1, I would suspect we’ve passed that time already.
Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Ottawa Centre.
Mr. Cassidy: A supplementary: Given the anger about the OHIP premium increase which has come from every section of this province, from employers as well as individuals who have to pay this OHIP premium increase, does the Treasurer not think it is presumptuous for the government to pass the order in council bringing those premium increases into force before the budget has even been debated and before any legislation surrounding the budget has been presented to this parliament?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: I would like to say that this is the only part of my budget of Tuesday night which has aroused some interest from various parts of the province --
Mr. Lewis: I should say; it is the only part, there’s nothing else.
Mr. Reid: There’s nothing else in it.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: Oh, no, there are other comments from other parts of the province, including here.
Mr. Lewis: Except your giveaways, there is nothing of consequence.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: One expects a certain amount of debate and I look forward to it, of course. It begins on Monday and will continue for some time.
Mr. McClellan: Shades of Walter Gordon.
Mr. MacDonald: Or John White.
Mr. Breithaupt: While the Treasurer is discussing this matter with the Minister of Health, could he also discuss with the chairman of the social development committee the timing as to when this discussion on the statement may be held by that committee, with the possibility that the change in dates could be put over to June 1, with ample time yet to get the machinery in operation, in order that the committee would have the alternative available to it and may suggest something that the Treasurer may find of value?
Mr. McKeough: I don’t really think that’s practical.
Mr. Cassidy: A supplementary: given the fact that the tax burden on families of modest income in the province, taking income tax and OHIP premiums together, will be as much as $500 per family more in this province than in other parts of Canada; and given the fact that the effective tax rate increase could be as high as 80 per cent for people in certain brackets in the $8,000 or $9,000 level, and could be more than 100 per cent in certain cases where people are also in rent-to-income housing, does the Treasurer not think that it was presumptuous of this government to act by order in council before the people of this province could even get a letter delivered to their elected representatives protesting this OHIP premium increase?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: No, I don’t think it was presumptuous. And in response to the preamble to the member’s question I would simply say this.
Mr. Warner: You have a heavy hand.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: We have recognized for some time that there is a problem -- and there has been a problem since the beginning of OHIP -- at whatever level we put the cutoff for full premium or partial premium. It relates to the notch provision, and there are always problems with the notch provision. The member quotes examples; we can give chapter and verse of other kinds of examples.
The fact is that roughly at $9,000 a person pays nothing. For a family at $10,000, depending on the family’s circumstances and a whole host of other things, there is a jump. But at some point there must be a cutoff point. We originally had, as I recall, a quarter, half, three-quarters and full assistance premiums; and that, I think, caused more problems than it was worth. We subsequently went to full premium assistance, which some 1,820,000 people receive. A relatively small number, 60,000, are in the half-premium category.
I am quite willing to examine that again, but I would point out that there are misleading tables which can be developed quite easily. My friend the Minister of Health points out that in British Columbia, for example, which appeared more favourably in some tables at the $10,000 level than we did, there is a $5-a-day hospital charge. I am sure the member would not support that, but I think one has to take that into consideration in making a comparison between our premium schedule and the arrangements in some other province.
Mr. Cassidy: There were no premiums in seven provinces.
Mr. Conway: I wonder if the Treasurer can explain how it is that he says on page 15 in his budget that “premiums retain a visible link with the cost of services,” and then on page 33 he says that “almost three-quarters of the increase will be paid for by employers, a reflection of the fact that employers’ subsidization of OHIP is a common fringe benefit in Ontario.” What kind of a visible link is it, insofar as premiums are concerned, when 75 per cent of premium revenue is paid by employers?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: That is another point I would make with respect to the story which appeared in the Globe and Mail. The Globe and Mail obviously found a couple of people this morning whose premiums were not paid by employers. At that level that’s a relatively small --
Mr. Cassidy: There are a lot more than a couple of people. You fellows are so complacent over there, so self-righteous.
Mr. Lewis: Are you ready to be triggered? Are you ready for your morning spasm? Are you exercising enormous self control?
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: I would simply point out to my friend that in terms of the visible link, I think it is fair to say that the people of this province are much more aware than they were before Tuesday night of the problems in health costs.
Mr. Breithaupt: I think it is close to the missing link.
Mr. S. Smith: You sure taught them a lesson and you are proud of yourself.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: Regardless of who is paying the premium or how the money is raised, they are much more aware today of the fact that $3,951,000,000 of the moneys which will ultimately be voted by this Legislature are going into health care. That’s a very large amount.
Mr. Warner: You can’t run the system, that’s the problem.
Mr. Conway: It is not a visible link for you and I because we don’t pay it.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: Then if it isn’t a visible link, I doubt the member would have raised quite the fuss he has raised today and yesterday.
Mr. Speaker: The Leader of the Opposition with his second question.
Mr. Sargent: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker?
Mr. Speaker: We have had enough supplementaries.
Mr. Sargent: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege --
Mr. Speaker: There will be ample opportunity during the budget debate, during the estimates and during the referrals of the annual report of the Minister of Health to the committee for social development or wherever, to get into the measure contained in the budget during the course of this session.
Mr. Sargent: On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker: What is it?
Mr. Sargent: Mr. Speaker, on a matter of $250 million additional tax for people -- now Speakers in the House of Commons allow 10 or 15 minutes of supplementaries on an important matter. I don’t think it’s up to you to rule what should be discussed in this House.
Mr. Speaker: Order, order; I think it is.
Mr. Sargent: It’s the importance of the matter --
Mr. Speaker: If it’s not my responsibility to operate this House in an orderly fashion, whose is it?
Mr. Sargent: Sometimes you are biased.
Mr. Speaker: The member has said other Speakers have allowed 10 or 15 minutes. We have allowed 11 minutes now. The hon. Leader of the Opposition with his second question.
Mr. S. Smith: Just to be sure I understood, I take it then that there was an agreement that if the committee comes up with a rational alternative the Treasurer would be willing to implement that --
Mr. Lewis: How can he implement it?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: We will consider it, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Cassidy: It’s a sham. The order in council was passed within hours.
ONTARIO ECONOMIC STRATEGY
Mr. S. Smith: My second question to the Treasurer has to do with his program, which is fancifully titled Towards a Balanced Budget. I would ask him to reconcile something here for me. In the budget of 1977, he speaks of his five-year deficit reduction plan and so on, and says that the strategy “assumes that eventual elimination of the budgetary deficit will be realized via expenditure restraint, not via tax increases.” Yet in the 1978 budget on page 7, in the part called Reaffirming the Balanced Budget Plan, it says: “The discretionary revenue increases in this budget, together with continued expenditure constraint, have put the fiscal plan back on target.”
I wonder if the Treasurer can reconcile the difference between a plan that did not envisage tax increases in 1977 and one that has included them in 1978. Can he tell us whether he has simply changed his mind on this matter or whether his flip comment of 1977 has become a flop in 1978?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: I don’t have last year’s budget here in front of me but the figures were in a comparable table and are repeated in table 6 on page 6 of budget paper C. They showed what the original targets were going to be. No, I’m sorry, it doesn’t show the original target in terms of revenue, but as I recall it was something like eight or nine per cent. It was obviously a higher figure in 1977-78 than the 7.5 per cent we achieved in revenues, and it was something less in 1978-79 than the 12.6 per cent that we now forecast.
I don’t remember whether the figures for 1979-80 and 1980-81 have changed, but those two figures, 9.4 per cent and 10.1 per cent, do not envisage further tax increases. On the other hand, if the expenditure levels are higher or if the revenue projections come in lower -- and there is still a determination to achieve the figure by 1980-81 -- then any one of those percentages or variables could change.
Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary, just to make sure I understand the Treasurer, what he is saying then is that when he presented his budget paper in 1977 he thought he would be able to get on a balanced budget target plan without any tax increases. It didn’t work out that way for this year but he is still hoping that in the future it might work out that way and he continues to make the same type of assertion.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: I would point out one other thing, just to set the record completely straight. I think the tables last year in the budget, comparable to table 6, envisaged expenditures in the year beginning April 1 next rising at 6.3 per cent. We were hopeful that there would be a somewhat lower rate of inflation during 1977-78 and beyond than we have now experienced or that we now envisage. Part of that difference certainly is the difference between 6.3 per cent and seven per cent.
Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary: In view of the substantial amounts being spent by the province for capital expenditures on things like schools, hospitals and roads, and for capital loans to municipalities et cetera, can the Treasurer tell this House what proportion of this year’s cash requirements, if any, will be necessary to cover current operating deficits?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: None. I think tables C7 and C8 on page 22 of budget paper C show investments of $1.404 billion and cash requirements of $1.055 billion.
Mr. Peterson: Supplementary: When the Treasurer announced in 1977 that it was his plan to balance the budget by 1981, was it his intention then to sell off the assets of the province in order to meet that goal, or was he trying at that time to reach some kind of meeting between revenues and expenditures; or was he at that time contemplating dipping into his asset pool, putting it into current revenues in order to minimize the size of current cash requirements?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: I don’t know whether I can remember all those questions. No, I wasn’t contemplating it at that point particularly. That is not part of reaching a balanced budget target. As the leader of the third party pointed out, that figure only affects the cash requirements. The sale of a certain part of the mortgage portfolio does not affect the budgetary figures.
By the same token, I wasn’t contemplating a year ago making the switch to front-end financing, which we have done in several areas, the full impact of which will be in the next year rather than in the year beginning April 1. That too changes the figures and increases the budgetary deficit, by I think $66 million in this year, and leaves the cash requirements exactly the same. That figure presumably would go in a subsequent year. So there are changes between the thinking of a year ago and of the thinking now, but the end result is the same.
Mr. Cassidy: Final supplementary: Can the Treasurer say whether the comments given to reporters about possibly not achieving his balanced budget target until 1983 or so were inspired by the Treasurer in case he needed to get off the hook with the 1981 target?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: I would be glad to look at the quote. I don’t recall saying that.
Mr. Lewis: Oh, you are gentle as a lamb; you are. You know, if you bottle it all up this way when it explodes one day the shrapnel will fall everywhere.
Hon. Mr. Davis: You know, Stephen, that’s not true.
Mr. Makarchuk: You’re grooming yourself well, Premier McKeough.
Mr. Cassidy: You’re trying to get approval --
Mr. Lewis: How long, O Lord, how long?
Mr. Speaker: Order, order.
Mr. Peterson: That grey-headed man is interjecting, Mr. Speaker.
Supplementary: In the Treasurer’s defence of these very substantial net cash requirements that we have had over the past seven years his principal argument has been that it has all gone into capital goods. One could argue the definition of some of those capital items that he talks about, but is it not a fact that in the days before the Davis-McKeough regime there were balanced budgets and even then they had capital expenditures, and in the future we are going to have to have capital expenditures, and he is anticipating reaching a balanced budget by 1981, therefore he is using sleight-of-hand definitions to justify the very large deficits of the past six or seven years.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, I think we are into the leader’s speech on Monday.
Mr. Peterson: The financial critic.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: The financial critic -- we wonder over here at times.
Mr. Cassidy: So do we.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: I would simply say this, that I do hope on Monday he will talk about this year’s budget and not what may have happened 10 years ago. That’s what he did last year, but I hope he might come into the twentieth century this year and not be quite as reactionary as he was last year.
Mr. Foulds: Supplementary: I’d like to ask the Treasurer if he took into consideration in his projected revenue for this budget, and presumably his projected revenue for subsequent budgets in meeting his balanced budget target in 1981, the possible reduction of revenue that will arise because of the contemplated changes by his colleague, the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. F. S. Miller), in the Crown Timber Act and the resultant changes in the regulations under that Act having to do with stumpage fees?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: The estimates which are in this budget, and presumably in subsequent budgets, for Crown timber fees have the approval of the Minister of Natural Resources and would conform to the --
Mr. Foulds: The present pattern and the projected changes?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: The changes, yes.
INCREASE IN OHIP PREMIUMS
Mr. Cassidy: A question to the Treasurer: Has the Treasurer computed figures on the overall impact of income tax plus OHIP premiums on taxpayers at different income levels in Ontario, comparing those with the same incidence of income tax plus premiums, if any, in other provinces of Canada, and will he table them in the House? Do they show, as we suspect, that the tax plus OHIP level or load in this province is much higher than for families in the rest of Canada at almost every income level?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: I don’t think that’s correct, I don’t know that we have tables showing that. We’ll be glad to table what we do have at the appropriate time.
Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary: Up to an income of $20,000, will the Treasurer confirm that the tax plus OHIP premium level in this province is much higher than in any other province of the country?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, I’d like to take that under advisement.
Mr. Warner: Take the whole budget under advisement.
Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary: Has the Treasurer made any studies of the effect of the OHIP premium increases on small businessmen who are struggling to get by now --
Mr. Breithaupt: How do you know that?
Mr. Cassidy: -- and who will have to pay an additional cost, both as individual self-payers and through the premiums they pay for their employees?
An hon. member: It won’t hurt as much as the $4 minimum wage.
Mr. S. Smith: Is the NDP sure it is willing to take their money?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: It is certainly the aim and one of the thrusts, not only of this budget but of budgets for a number of years -- and it is the thrust and aim on this side of the House -- that our businesses, small and large, remain competitive. I recognize that the member would load more on to the corporate tax, whether that is for little businessmen or bigger businessmen. We don’t share that philosophy on this side of the House.
Mr. Foulds: But you have just done it.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: I would point out to the member that there are tables in the budget indicating the variety of payroll deductions in the United States as opposed to here. We believe we are competitive. No one likes to pay higher premiums. But I think the method we have chosen is a fair and equitable one.
Mr. McClellan: It’s the opposite -- exactly the opposite.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: Obviously, however, the member is going to have more to say about that on Tuesday.
Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary: Can the Treasurer table information about the effect of the OHIP premium increase on farmers in view of the fact that farm incomes have increased by only two per cent in the last four years but farm costs have risen by 49 per cent?
Hon. W. Newman: They have gone down. Didn’t you even know that?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: No, we don’t segregate out farmers per se in our tax system.
Mr. Speaker: Final supplementary; the hon. member for Scarborough-Ellesmere.
Mr. Warner: Supplementary: Is it the Treasurer’s fiscal policy, and is it to remain in force for ever, that the government should collect more money from the OHIP tax than from corporate tax? Is that the fiscal policy that the Treasurer wants to continue in this province?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: No.
Mr. Warner: When are you going to change it then?
Mr. Speaker: Order. The hon. member for Ottawa Centre with his second question.
Mr. Lewis: You wouldn’t consider one more final supplementary?
Mr. Speaker: No.
Mr. Lewis: Even if it is provocative and inflammatory, Mr. Speaker? Just to brighten up the morning a bit?
Mr. S. Smith: Are you saying your leader is not bright enough?
Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I want to serve notice that we are going to invent the penultimate supplementary in order to get a last one in from time to time.
FLECK MANUFACTURING COMPANY
Mr. Cassidy: I have a question of the Minister of Labour. Can she tell this House if there are any outstanding safety or sanitation orders against Fleck Manufacturing Company Limited in Centralia?
Hon. B. Stephenson: No, Mr. Speaker, I cannot at this point. But I shall check and report to the House.
Mr. Mackenzie: Supplementary: Given the current situation at Fleck, and given that the ministry’s inspectors have been in the plant quite regularly in recent months, have they not made the minister aware of the safety conditions in the plant -- the five girls who have been burned by one spitting mould alone; the injuries received from falling wire racks; the machines, the presses, without guards? Is she aware of the fact that when her ministry’s inspectors are in the plant those presses have been shut down, and when the inspectors have left the plant they have been turned back on?
Is the minister also not aware of some of the sanitation conditions in the plant -- that there are four toilets for more than 100 women per shift, and most of the time only two of the toilets are working; the dirt that is there, the uncollected garbage, and the rat problem?
Has the minister also been informed by her inspectors -- and if not, why not -- that they go in and go around with management and have not yet contacted the workers or their representatives on these tours of the plant?
Can the minister explain some of these things and why, given the situation, she wouldn’t have been brought up to date on some of the reasons for the organization of the plant?
Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I am not sure at all that last allegation is correct but, as I have suggested, I shall check into this fully and report to the House.
Mr. MacDonald: The Ministry of Labour is neutral, but the question is: Who is it neutral against?
Mr. Lewis: Supplementary: Does the minister not think it might be time for her ministry to entertain some significant and crisis intervention in this particular dispute, given the involvement of the OPP officers? In fact, is she not aware that we are now heading into an unhappy phase with the Ford Motor Company, because the workers at Talbotville obviously will not use the materials that are coming out of Fleck during the course of this unfair management position at that plant and that, in fact, 500 to 600 people may man the picket lines next week as a result of the utterly indefensible OPP intervention on the side of management in this particular dispute? When is the minister going to call either for an inquiry into the conditions in that plant and the behaviour around collective bargaining or when is she going to speak to her hon. colleague, the Solicitor General (Mr. Kerr), and tell him to pull the OPP into line before that entire community is disrupted?
Hon. B. Stephenson: I am aware that there was something which I would construe as an unwarranted threat in that community levelled by the Canadian director of the United Auto Workers.
Mr. Lewis: What was the police action?
Mr. Warner: The minister’s impartiality is ludicrous.
Hon. B. Stephenson: I am concerned that he would move in that direction at this time, when he knew full well that yesterday morning --
Mr. McClellan: She should get out of this portfolio.
Mr. Warner: She is the minister of mismanagement.
Hon. B. Stephenson: -- there was the first mediation of this dispute permitted by the UAW to occur.
Mr. Lewis: Permitted?
Mr. Warner: She is a management apologist.
Hon. B. Stephenson: I would remind the members of this House that conciliation was rejected on two occasions by the UAW and mediation rejected on two occasions by the UAW as well.
Mr. Lewis: The company said it wouldn’t talk about union security.
Hon. B. Stephenson: The role of the Ministry of Labour is to attempt to resolve the dispute. That is precisely what we are trying to do.
Mr. Cassidy: By sending in the police.
Mr. Warner: By doing nothing.
Hon. B. Stephenson: We shall move in that direction as vigorously as we possibly can.
Mr. Cassidy: It sounds like 1944 all over again.
Hon. B. Stephenson: We cannot do it without the co-operation of the parties to the negotiation. Up until yesterday we did not have that co-operation.
Mr. Lewis: That is balderdash.
Hon. B. Stephenson: I am pleased to say that there was an effective mediation meeting yesterday. I am hopeful about it because I believe this dispute can be resolved in relatively short order if good meetings occur.
Mr. Lewis: It had better be resolved.
Mr. Warner: She ought to be ashamed of herself -- the Minister of Labour, an apologist for management.
Mr. Kerrio: I have a question of the Minister of Culture and Recreation. In light of the unconscionable and crippling increases in OHIP premiums, would the minister consider a fair portion of lottery funds being directed to offset this increase?
Hon. Mr. Welch: As the member knows, the Minister of Culture and Recreation is restricted with respect to the use of the proceeds of Wintario by the Act establishing the Ontario Lottery Corporation.
Mr. MacDonald: Change the bill.
Mr. S. Smith: Change it. We have offered to change it. The minister knows that.
Hon. Mr. Welch: It is for sports, recreation, culture and fitness.
Mr. Ruston: The government can always amend the Act.
Mr. Kerrio: Supplementary: Notwithstanding that -- and as the minister recalls, this is a kind of a perennial question because as things get worse I keep suggesting that the priorities are out of line -- I would like to say that he has suggested it was supported on all sides of the House. I suggest that right today that wouldn’t be necessarily true. So, I would ask if the minister would entertain some suggestions from this side and speak with the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) to see if by May 15 we couldn’t suggest this as an alternative source of income to offset these increases?
Hon. Mr. Welch: Am I to interpret the member for Niagara Falls as feeling that ongoing programs of governments should really be funded from lottery sources?
Mr. Kerrio: Mr. Speaker, may I have one more supplementary? In view of the situation as it exists today, yes, I think we should reconsider.
Hon. Mr. Welch: We don’t plan any amendments to the Ontario Lottery Corporation Act at the moment.
Mr. Kerrio: I am asking the minister if he would.
Mr. S. Smith: Supplementary: Could the minister explain to this House, given that the lottery funds for Wintario are vastly in excess of what they were originally anticipated at the time that the Act was brought in --
Hon Mr. Davis: That’s not true.
Mr. S. Smith: -- and given the fact that the economy has had a terrible downturn since that time, why it is he insists on maintaining so many millions of dollars to send oldtimers hockey teams around or to fund some folk-dancing festival or whatever?
Mr. Havrot: What have you got against oldtimers hockey teams? You may get old some day.
Mr. S. Smith: Why not set aside a reasonable amount of money for those cultural activities and devote the rest of the money, tens of millions of dollars, to the social and health needs of Ontario which are paramount at this time?
Mr. Havrot: Do you think the member for Grey-Bruce (Mr. Sargent) is going to stand for your talking about oldtimers hockey games like that?
Hon. Mr. Welch: I think we had better clear up one misunderstanding on the part of the hon. Leader of the Opposition, that is, with respect to the excessive moneys which Wintario has produced as compared to estimates. That is not the case.
Mr. S. Smith: You expected $20 million.
Hon. Mr. Welch: I don’t think the hon. member would need to be reminded that over the years from the tax sources of this province, health and education and a good many other particularly important services of this government have been well looked after.
Mr. Cassidy: I thought it was the people of the province who paid for that.
Hon. Mr. Welch: There was a general recognition that there was some need to attach some importance to matters of culture and recreation and sports and fitness, and I don’t share his downgrading of those services.
Mr. S. Smith: What nonsense. Forty million dollars would be enough, and you know it.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Certainly, if the hon. member would like to drop over and see the correspondence that I receive from members of his caucus urging me to do even more for the oldtimers and the handicapped people and the recreational life of this province --
Mr. S. Smith: Here we go.
Hon. Mr. Welch: -- he’d understand how important this is. These services are very important to the people.
Mr. S. Smith: Your priorities are cockeyed.
Hon. Mr. Welch: I think ongoing services of government should be provided from taxes and not from gambling or lottery proceeds.
Mr. Lewis: Just get your facts right. You never get your facts right.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Mr. Sargent: Supplementary: May I say to the hon. minister, that he’s the only man in Ontario who doesn’t know that that’s a political slush fund.
Mr. Kerrio: If he does, we won’t get any. The Tories will take it all.
Mr. Speaker: Question.
Mr. Sargent: My question is, why doesn’t he level with the people of Ontario?
Mr. S. Smith: Is the minister finally going to sign rejection letters too?
An hon. member: It’s all part of the pork barrel.
Mr. Speaker: Order. The hon. member for Grey-Bruce has the floor for the purposes of asking a question.
Mr. Sargent: At the current rate of expenditures now, the hon. minister could put $80 million into government-needed services --
Mr. Havrot: Question.
Mr. Sargent: -- and keep $10 million in the pot and not kid the people that he’s using it for political purposes. It’s a total slush fund. That’s what it is. We all know what it is.
Ms. Gigantes: Why don’t you level?
Mr. Havrot: Question.
Mr. Sargent: Why don’t you do that?
Mr. Speaker: That’s not a question.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the fact that I don’t know anything about it. One of the reasons I don’t know is because that isn’t the case. That’s a tremendously irresponsible statement.
An hon. member: That’s an irresponsible minister.
Hon. Mr. Welch: I never cease to be amazed when the clippings come in, to see the opposition members almost knocking over old people to get into the picture as they present the Wintario cheques to the successful recipients.
Mr. S. Smith: When are you going to sign for the rejections too and not just the acceptances?
Hon. Mr. Welch: And the member for Niagara Falls (Mr. Kerrio) is playing both ends. The members should hear what he says in Niagara Falls. He takes credit for the whole program there.
Mr. Lewis: If I may intrude for a moment on the House leader’s leadership ambitions, Mr. Speaker, I’d like to I put a --
Hon. Mr. Welch: I’d just like to draw attention to the fact that we are wearing the same suit today.
Mr. Speaker: Question.
Mr. Lewis: But you see what green corduroy does for you? May I ask a question of the Solicitor General?
OPP ROLE IN STRIKE
Mr. Lewis: Does the Solicitor General really think it is necessary for 25 to 30 OPP officers to be involved in a small dispute involving 100 to 125 women on the picket line? Does that make sense to him in this day and age in the province of Ontario?
Hon. Mr. Kerr: As the hon. member knows, on Monday, I believe, there were about six OPP officers in front of the plant in the area of the picket line --
Mr. Lewis: But there were more.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: -- and because of the incidents that took place that morning --
Mr. Lewis: They brought in the reinforcements.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: -- there were more added on Tuesday morning. As far as the number is concerned --
Mr. Lewis: What about the national guard?
Hon. Mr. Kerr: -- there are, I believe, something like 160 people working in that plant.
Hon. B. Stephenson: It’s one hundred and forty.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: One hundred and forty, I’m sorry. I was including office staff and everything.
Mr. Lewis: It is an informational picket.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: Not having been at the scene when the shifts were going on in the morning, I wouldn’t want to make that judgement of whether or not there were too many. My information is that there have been no incidents during the past three days. There are two shifts a day and there has, to my knowledge, been no problem as far as pushing and shoving, or interference. I would think, if that is the case, the number of police officers there could be reduced.
Mr. Cassidy: There’s been pushing by the OPP.
Mr. Lewis: I am glad to hear that the minister might reduce it. May I ask the hon. minister a supplementary? Since the working people at that plant claim verbal and physical intimidation by the OPP, since there are clear and identifiable examples of the OPP physically handling certain of the strikers and since obviously the police have created the atmosphere of crisis which the dispute itself did not create, does the minister think it is time for an inquiry into the behaviour of the OPP at this plant; or indeed for him to haul them off himself rather than be fed the amount of claptrap which the police are now feeding him to report to this Legislature, and it turns out that the information he has is dead wrong.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: Mr. Speaker, there is information of some incidents on Monday and Tuesday morning.
Mr. Davidson: Why don’t you call in the militia?
Hon. Mr. Kerr: The purpose of the OPP personnel there is to maintain peace on that picket line.
Mr. MacDonald: On behalf of management.
Mr. Makarchuk: How come they were there before the picket line?
Hon. Mr. Kerr: There has been some obstruction, I understand, when people are entering the plant.
Mr. Foulds: It’s the most provocative peace I’ve ever heard of.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: The OPP are not being violent. They are attempting to clear the road when cars or a bus attempt to enter the plant.
Mr. Warner: You don’t have any control over them. They can do what they want.
Mr. Lewis: But they were there before it started. It’s like goons on the picket line and it’s unnecessary in Ontario. The minister doesn’t need that in Ontario.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: As I mentioned before, on the Monday morning there were about six officers there. And because of the fact that there was obstruction --
Mr. Lewis: Obstruction -- there was no obstruction. They were trying to talk to a bus driver.
Mr. Rotenberg: If you believe in that, you believe in tooth fairies.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: I realize that the member doesn’t believe anybody should be allowed to cross the picket line, that no employee should be allowed to cross the picket line. That is an argument we shouldn’t get into today.
All I am telling the member is that the police attempt to keep the roadway open because there are people on foot as well as in cars or buses, and there has been obstruction by some of the picketers. There was a car stopping a bus for example; there was some impediment as far as people entering that plant.
The police role is to clear the roadway so that if somebody wants to go into that plant he can do so unobstructed and unimpeded. The picket line there, as the member knows is to inform the people. I don’t know what the member said; he indicated there was some verbal abuse.
Mr. Lewis: Verbal intimidation. People have been told by the police they should not be on strike. What kind of stuff is that?
Hon. Mr. Kerr: Well, if that is true, that is wrong. If that is true, the police have no business saying that.
Mr. Lewis: Well, then, why is it being permitted? There are affidavits being signed.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: But if the police are saying you are not supposed to be on this roadway, clear this roadway, that may be in your opinion verbal intimidation. It is not in mine.
Mr. MacDonald: Your position is indefensible.
Mr. Lewis: No; verbal intimidation is worse than that.
Mr. Mackenzie: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Will the hon. Solicitor General then question the six officers that he says were involved because at least two of those officers went around to the employees and suggested -- after their leadership were gone I might say -- after they had been arrested, that they go back into the plant, that there wasn’t anything further they could gain and “it was better” to give you an actual quote, that they be “working and making money” than be out on that picket line. Now is that not intimidation and interference by the police?
Mr. Lewis: That’s not the job of the police.
Mr. Mackenzie: Those officers should not still be on that force.
Mr. Havrot: You cannot stand competition.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: The hon. member is getting information second-hand.
Ms. Gigantes: Where are you getting it?
Mr. Mackenzie: Everyone we talked to.
Mr. Foulds: Have you talked to them?
Mr. Cassidy: They were there, you weren’t there.
Hon. Mr. Davis: You weren’t there, Michael.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: If there are employees who say that this in fact took place, then they have a legitimate complaint. The police are not supposed to get involved in the pros and cons of that dispute in any way, shape or form.
Mr. Lewis: That is right.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: What remarks an individual officer may say to an employee I would like to find out, but it would be difficult to establish that unless you talked to the employee directly. It is a small area and probably in some cases they know the employees.
Mr. Lewis: You can’t even remember what you said yesterday on tape.
Mr. Peterson: To the Premier, Mr. Speaker, in the absence of the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough): I am sure he has read the editorial in the Globe and Mail this morning entitled, “And Deeper in Debt,” where there are suggestions that changes of definitions have been employed by the Treasurer in determining percentage data as a percentage of gross provincial product or domestic product. Would the Premier care to comment on that?
Hon. Mr. Davis: No, Mr. Speaker, I wouldn’t. I rarely comment on Globe and Mail editorials.
Mr. Peterson: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker: The hon. Premier has indicated he doesn’t wish to comment on it, let alone comment further.
Mr. Peterson: I’d like to extract one out of his hide, Mr. Speaker. That certainly is my right. This in my judgement is a very serious charge of fudging the numbers by the government. Would the Premier be prepared to make a statement, or have the Treasurer make a statement, to this House on the changes of definitions that have been employed as per this article?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, this government never fudges the figures. I’m sure if the hon. member’s contribution on Monday is going to rely on the sometimes enlightened editorial comment of some newspapers, so be it. I would suggest that Monday afternoon we will all listen very carefully as he reads editorials from here, there and everywhere else. The only advice I would give him is that sometimes his own judgement is better than editorials -- not always, not often, but on occasion. I would hope he would contribute some of that on Monday afternoon.
Mr. Peterson: If the government is looking to me for the leadership that is so sadly lacking --
Mr. Speaker: Order. That’s not a supplementary.
Hon. Mr. Davis: If the hon. member is saying he is looking for leadership, we all know on this side of the House that he’s looking for leadership. We’ve known that for two years.
Mr. Renwick: Mr. Speaker, by way of supplementary, is the Premier prepared to confirm that the Smith committee limitation of nine per cent on the basis of consistent accounting is today at least in excess of 12 per cent?
Hon. Mr. Davis: No, Mr. Speaker, I am not prepared to confirm that.
SOFT DRINK CONTAINERS
Ms. Bryden: I have three questions for the Minister of the Environment arising out of his statement on soft drink containers. Has the minister monitored the retail stores in Ontario to back up his statement that the soft drink of his choice is readily available in most stores in both refillable and non-refillable forms? If so will he table the reports of such monitoring?
Secondly, is the minister prepared to change his regulations to make it easier for consumers to return refillables by requiring standard sizes and shapes of all bottles and by requiring stores to accept all bottles regardless of where they were purchased?
Thirdly, what is the minister doing to increase facilities for the recycling of any containers that are not refillable?
Hon. Mr. McCague: Mr. Speaker, I would have liked to have checked the wording of my statement. I gave it to Hansard with the assurance that it would be right back and it hasn’t arrived here yet.
Mr. Peterson: You should remember it, George.
Ms. Bryden: Do you really know what you said? I can read it to you, if you want.
Hon. Mr. McCague: With regard to the availability in stores of both kinds, the non-refillable regulation was not to come into effect until April 1 of this year, and our ministry has not spent great sums of money monitoring what is going on in the particular industry. But there are surveys done by Neilson which we think it is more prudent to rely on than to go out and do the surveys.
Your third question was what are we doing about recycling. We would have liked to have had a small five-cent tax on cans at one point to help with the recycling.
Mr. S. Smith: To help with revenue, not recycling.
Hon. Mr. McCague: We were not successful in that. I do notice that the NDP at their convention passed a motion saying there should be a small tax on cans. We don’t intend, at this point, to single out any one segment of polluters. Now that I hope we have the matter of soft drink containers set aside for a few years, I would like to see the waste management committee get on with the job of waste management in total and not just zero in on one particular aspect of it. We will be doing that.
Mr. Haggerty: Write the LCBO.
Hon. Mr. McCague: I am sorry -- the second part of the member’s rather long question has slipped my mind.
Ms. Bryden: I asked if the minister is prepared to change the regulations to make all containers of standard sizes and shapes, and to make it easier for consumers to return refillables by requiring stores to accept all containers.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Patrick Lawlor would oppose that.
Mr. Foulds: No, not so. He would support that.
Mr. S. Smith: Patrick would oppose most of your policies.
Hon. Mr. McCague: No, Mr. Speaker, that’s been discussed. There is a size qualification. We’re not saying that they all have to be the same shape. I believe the regulation does allow for bottles to go back to a store that sells the same kind of bottles, I’m not so naive as to think that isn’t being abused somewhere sometimes, but it’s our wish to encourage everybody to take back those kinds of bottles that they sell.
Ms. Bryden: Is the minister not aware that the present regulations require equal space for refillables and non-refillables and Pollution Probe has made various surveys showing that equal space is not being provided in a great many stores, certainly in the Toronto area? What is he going to do to ensure that equal space is available?
Hon. Mr. McCague: Mr. Speaker, I’m not sure what we’ll do if that is being badly abused. I’ve had two letters since I became minister complaining about this. We are working towards self-regulation rather than a lot of regulation; that 75-25 per cent, the business will probably handle that itself.
Mr. Gaunt: Supplementary: The minister has indicated that the refillable bottle has about 60 per cent of the market as of December 31, 1977, which means the can and the non-refillable have about 40 per cent of the market. Could the minister indicate the percentage breakdown as between the can and the non-refillable bottle with respect to that remaining 40 per cent?
Hon. Mr. McCague: Mr. Speaker, I wouldn’t want to be tied to a figure. If the member would like me to give an estimate I would say that of the 40 per cent, 25 per cent is cans and 15 per cent non-returnable glass.
Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I’m sorry I am unable to recall whether it was Friday last or Monday of this week that the hon. member for Brantford (Mr. Makarchuk) raised the question of layoffs at Massey-Ferguson in Brantford.
There are layoffs at Massey-Ferguson in Brantford. In fact, there are about 200 on temporary layoff right now, but all of those layoffs are, indeed, temporary. The four plants in Brantford employ about 3,500 hourly and 400 salaried employees and there will be, it is anticipated, a further number of layoffs of a temporary nature at the plants in Brantford over the next several months.
It is anticipated that many of those who are presently laid off will probably be recalled by late May or early June of this year and that, indeed, all of those presently laid off will be recalled totally by the end of this year.
I should point out that these, as I mentioned earlier, are temporary layoffs and in situations such as this there is not a legal requirement for the company to inform the ministry of its actions because, indeed, in these instances the company still continues to provide a measure of support to the individuals who are laid off temporarily.
Mr. O’Neil: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Health. The question has to do with the Trenton Memorial Hospital, which, in comparison with other hospitals of the same calibre, operates at a lower cost than many other hospitals of the same size.
The 1976 hospital statistics show the gross operating costs to keep one person at the Trenton Memorial Hospital for one day as $104.03 while the average cost per day for general hospitals with 100 or more beds is $127.17 and the average cost across the province is $149.84. Why is it that a hospital such as Trenton Memorial Hospital, which has worked year after year to cut its expenses, is penalized with only a 3.5 per cent increase on the present budget while hospitals with larger budgets, which have not cut expenses, have their increase based on budgets sometimes inflated in preparation for percentage increases such as this?
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member will take a look at the material that was sent out to all members on how the budgets were arrived at, he will realize that for all hospitals of 50 beds or more, the average increase in budget is 4.5 per cent. In fact, the emphasis there should be on the word “average,” because what we have tried to do is to take into account staffing patterns at December 31, 1976.
We then look at the various factors that contribute to the budget, such as when contract dates come up. For instance, if a hospital has all of its contracts coming up in the first quarter of the year, compared to a hospital whose contracts all come in the last quarter of the year, obviously it is going to require more money since staffing accounts for anywhere from 70 to 80 per cent of a hospital’s budget.
Then we look at other things, such as administration, materials and so forth, all of which is factored in and all of which can vary by plus or minus a percentage point since no two hospitals are exactly the same. In fact, the hon. member mentioned per diems, which of course is a calculation at the end of a particular budgetary year. Once you know how many patient-days they had and you divide that into the global budget which is approved, you find that no two hospitals are exactly the same -- even side by side, community to community.
In the case of Trenton -- and I corresponded recently with the lady who is the chairman of the board there; she is a very fine lady. I visited that hospital, as a matter of fact --
Mr. O’Neil: During the election time; I remember that.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: It is one of a number of hospitals that I have had a chance to visit. I met the hon. member’s mother-in-law in the cafeteria that day, as a matter of fact; she is a very nice lady.
Mr. O’Neil: She told me she fed you well.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: She didn’t feed me at all. Doesn’t it show?
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I see, I see. As a matter of fact, while I am speaking about that hospital, I have to commend them because that’s one of the hospitals where they have gone to a commercial operator for their cafeteria services -- if I remember correctly, it’s Versafood Services -- at that hospital. They are running a good operation.
Mr. O’Neil: Don’t beat around the bush, Dennis. I just want to know if you are going to increase their budget.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I think we knew that’s what you wanted to know. Why didn’t you ask that?
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: In some other hospitals, for instance, it has meant some RNA programs have been taken out of the Ministry of Health’s budget and they are now going to be funded by the Ministry of Colleges and Universities. There are a number of factors. But I can tell the hon. member that we have tried, as much as it is humanly possible, to spread the available funds equitably.
I find it a little odd that the hon. member can scream and try to put on an act about being concerned about the increase in the OHIP premiums and then try to say that we should spend more money. And while I am on my feet, let me say how much I welcome the petition which was presented here yesterday.
Mr. Kerrio: You’re stick-handling all over the place now.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: We have been working in my ministry for nine months, looking at various alternatives to a premium system which we will be more than happy to share with the social development committee. We have come up against two problems, and I would welcome the participation, particularly of the hon. member’s party and of the third party, as to how we overcome those problems.
Mr. di Santo: What’s this, a statement?
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: One is that as we move away from a premium system to anything --
Mr. Speaker: What has that got to do with the hospital at Trenton?
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, it has a lot to do with the financing, which contributes to the question of how we make up the budgets. The one is that in moving --
An hon. member: You’re out of order.
Mr. Kerrio: You’ve stick-handled yourself right out of the rink.
Mr. O’Neil: You’re getting yourself in deeper. Dr. Potter would never have taken that guff for a minute.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, the hon. member obviously isn’t interested in the subject at all --
Mr. Foulds: You are more articulate when you mumble.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: -- but as we moved away from the present premium system to a payroll tax or to an income tax system, we would have to dismiss 625 staff from OHIP.
Mr. Speaker: Order. That has nothing at all to do with the original question. Does the hon. member have a supplementary question?
Mr. O’Neil: Yes, I do have a supplementary question; I feel I have to ask it on this matter. The first part of my supplementary question would be: Is the minister going to reconsider the budget that has been established for Trenton? The second part is: Does the minister not feel that, with the present system in his ministry, he is encouraging hospitals to maintain those high budgets so that when the minister comes out with his percentage increases they get a high budget and they aren’t cut. That’s what the minister needs to look at.
Mr. S. Smith: That’s what he does; he rewards the fat hospitals --
Mr. Speaker: Do you want an answer to the question?
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: No. That’s exactly the point. They do not particularly want an answer, because they have never been interested in the facts. In 13 months as Minister of Health I have yet to see a definitive policy on anything to do with health care come out of that party -- not one single thing.
Mr. O’Neil: Here’s one right here.
Mr. Kerrio: That’s your job.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: It’s still nonsense today.
Mr. Speaker, to answer the question --
Mr. Speaker: Okay; fine.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: To answer the question, what we indicated to all of the hospitals is that the money that has been allocated is all the money there is; and unless there’s a mathematical error, that we would not change the amount. There is some money built in for new programs and during the year there will be some new programs, although not a lot, approved and some expansion of existing programs around the province.
The second thing is that if the member will look at the facts and take the time to sit down and look at the way it is set up, he will find that a lot of what we would call the ‘fat cats’ or the ‘high rollers,’ where we think that there is more fat than in others, are being hit very hard.
Mr. O’Neil: That’s not so.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I would emphasize one other thing -- recognizing two things, namely, the relative lack of flexibility in the very small hospitals and the future need for growth in chronic care services -- that the average increase for hospitals under 50 beds or under a $1.7 million budget, such as McCausland Hospital, Mr. Speaker, in your own riding, and for chronic care hospitals is six per cent.
ARVIN AUTOMOTIVE DISPUTE
Mr. Philip: I have a question of the Minister of Labour: Is the minister aware that in spite of the offer by the United Steelworkers Local 8341 to keep workers on the job at the old rate while bargaining with Arvin Automotive of Canada Limited, the company’s new US-based owners have locked the employees out as of January 30 and are reportedly sustaining the lockout by importing products from the US parent company?
Hon. B. Stephenson: No, I am not aware of this. The company is Arvin?
Mr. Philip: Arvin Automotive of Canada Limited.
Hon. B. Stephenson: I shall look into that.
Mr. Philip: Supplementary: Can the minister at the same time look into why it took her ministry from January 30 to February 21 to meet with the company and why her officials have not met with the company since then? Does the minister not feel that some action can be taken by her ministry to force the company to meet with union officials and bargain in good faith?
Hon. B. Stephenson: We most certainly can attempt to persuade the company that meetings are essential. In this action in almost all instances in the past we have been successful. We shall pursue that.
POLLUTION BY HOLIDAY INN
Mr. Stong: I have a question of the Minister of the Environment. Mr. Justice John Osler of the Supreme Court of Ontario has rendered a less than complimentary judicial interpretation of the role played by the ministry to date in fulfilling its responsibilities towards environmental protection. I quote from a report of that hearing conducted by Mr. Justice Osler into an application by Holiday Inn near Huntsville to discharge sewage into nearby Fairy Lake, wherein he observed: “The provincial government carries out environmental protection in an ad hoc manner, instead of by regulation. It is extraordinary that there are no regulations and that the minister is able to free-wheel all over the place.” He said it amounted to the minister saying as well: “As long as I am talking about water, I am completely untrammelled and can do anything I want.”
When will the minister make and enforce regulations designed to protect the environment from attempts by such private interests as Holiday Inn to pollute our lakes and destroy our drinking water?
Because I am short of time, I will ask another question. Is the minister prepared at this time to implement the recommendation of the Environmental Assessment Board which would require Holiday Inn to follow the safer route of spraying treated effluent into a properly prepared and adequate bush area, rather than dumping the sewage into our lakes?
Hon. Mr. McCague: As far as the judge’s report is concerned, he is critical of the ministry because we don’t have one water quality for all of Ontario. I am looking into that matter. I think the hon. member can understand that it is very difficult to have one standard right across the province. I think it leads to a lot of problems.
Mr. Kerrio: You should have one rule: You can’t pollute.
Hon. Mr. McCague: It is true that the minister has some jurisdiction. As for the matter of what Hidden Valley will do with their sewage, we are looking at that also but I am not prepared to report at this time.
Hon. Mr. McCague: As requested by the hon. member for Beaches-Woodbine (Ms. Bryden), I wish to table two certificates issued by my ministry to the St. Lawrence Cement Company in Mississauga. The first certificate was for the burning of chlorinated organic compounds including PCBs. This certificate has been surrendered by the company and returned to the ministry.
The second certificate allows the company to burn waste lubricating oils and makes no reference to the content of PCBs. Although they were not requested, I am also attaching three additional certificates issued to this company which allow for the burning of chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbons and chlorinated aromatic hydrocarbons.
Hon. Mr. Welch moved that the standing administration of justice committee and the resources development committee may meet on Wednesday morning, March 15.
Motion agreed to.
Hon. Mr. Welch moved that the standing social development committee may meet on Monday evening, March 13.
Motion agreed to.
Hon. Mr. Welch moved that in compliance with section 81 of the Workmen’s Compensation Amendment Act, 1973, the annual report of the Workmen’s Compensation Board for 1976 be referred to the standing resources development committee for consideration at its meetings of Wednesday, March 15, the proceedings of which shall be transcribed by Hansard and appended to the Hansard proceedings of the House.
Motion agreed to.
Hon. Mr. Welch moved that supplementary estimates be referred to committees as follows: Supplementary estimates for the Ministry of Education to the standing social development committee; supplementary estimates for the Ministry of Agriculture and Food and the Ministry of Northern Affairs to the standing resources development committee; supplementary estimates for the Ministry of Treasury, Economics and Intergovernmental Affairs to the standing general government committee. All supplementary estimates are to be completed by Wednesday, March 15, and reported to the House on Thursday, March 16.
Motion agreed to.
Hon. Mr. Welch: I wonder if the House would allow me just to amend the motion. In addition to the supplementary estimates for the Ministry of Treasury, Economics and Intergovernmental Affairs, those of the Ministry of Government Services as well are to go to the standing general government committee.
Mr. Speaker: Is that agreed? So ordered.
ORDERS OF THE DAY
FAMILY LAW REFORM ACT (CONTINUED)
Resumption of the adjourned debate in committee of the whole House on Bill 59, An Act to reform the Law respecting Property Rights and Support Obligations between Married Persons and in other Family Relationships.
Mr. Lawlor: It is probably better, in arguing for legislation, to remain objective, impersonal, above the mere emotionalism of a situation. However, for a moment I would ask for your indulgence to inject a personal note or to continue one.
This legislation has been rough for me -- very difficult. I suppose to place it in an overall context it somewhat comes to this: We are no longer at midnight with respect to the interrelationship between human beings, particularly between two sexes. The legislation that has been brought before us is probably at about 7:30 in the morning, or 7:45. It has passed dawn. We have broken through and the light shines, but it is still a little early in the morning. The amendment we propose on this section takes us up to about eleven o’clock. It still isn’t high noon. There is quite a bit to go to reach that climacteric.
And then what a legislator has to do is gauge at what time in history there is a consensus. At what time does the largest number in the population -- people of goodwill, men and women -- feel that a particular recognition of work, dignity and what not, has reached a particular place in the evolutionary cycle. The Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry), and, until recently, myself -- not necessarily us personally, but in our assessment of the minds and hearts of the people we represent -- have thought how they would react to it. And it is, in my opinion, probably still fairly early in the morning. I haven’t changed that view.
On the other hand there are occasions with legislation when we are expected to forge ahead to be daring, forward, and to give leadership in the particular area and to carry it the extra hour or two forward seems to me beneficial.
I will share with you some of my misgivings about this legislation. One of them has to do with the business community -- and by business community, I do not necessarily mean big businessmen at all; quite the contrary. I am thinking of small, single proprietors who run their own business -- either male or female. I am thinking of the partnership context, et cetera. I am also thinking of those entrepreneurs, or -- even at a step or two down -- the fellows who sit all day long, every day of their lives, with their feet up on a spitoon at the various offices of the stock exchange, calculating infinitesimal fractious of shifts in shares. Nevertheless, they have this shareholding. And while it is deferred community property, and they may continue to manipulate or to bargain across the counter as they see fit, on a breakup there is a question of tying of hands, et cetera, a question of disruption in the market. And a disruption with respect to the small variety store on the corner.
Nevertheless, that has been a real problem, and we will admit it is a problem. It has certainly puzzled me. As lawyers, we deal with a large number of small business concerns, sometimes incorporating them, sometimes we even sew up a partnership, depending on the circumstances. And we worry about the consequences -- even in economic terms -- of the business operation.
But then there are two ways out with respect to this legislation if our section was accepted, one of them being the contract; and it seems to me since the contract notion is enfranchised in this legislation, and since it is an ongoing development, anyhow, in many portions of the western world, we are going to come to the contract very soon as an acceptable, ordinary, commonplace mechanism whereby business operations are carried on.
Let’s get to it. It won’t upset all the apple carts at the end of the day or even tomorrow morning if we put this through and it will be simply a swift accommodation. It is going to come anyhow. It is going to come within five years, as things stand. That was the basis of my resistance at this particular time, because this is an idea whose time has come. Consider the waits in history with respect to black people, with respect to people who are kept down and in any degree oppressed. There are good things operating in the world too, along with all the melancholy and mischievous things that we encounter more often than we encounter the good in this House. So that’s the first device.
The second one is the discretionary formulas written into the legislation. When I say we’ve come to high noon that would mean that we would have to move in on that discretionary formula to a greater extent than presently. It would have to be restricted, refined and probably more delimited. That would be in the cards. Surely it is not the end of the world if you should see fit to accept that at this eleventh hour?
Another point which is bothering me is the prolongation of this legislation, at least in my experience. I am sure never in this House have we had legislation so long on our plate. Such a meal, you know, does get stale. It does begin to take on some kind of flavour after a while and unless you masticate the object while it is available then you begin to turn it to dog’s food.
That’s a part of the reason our party on a couple of occasion has qualifiedly accepted this legislation, though some of our members never have. They have at least been consistent in that, and I credit them for it. I mean, they have stood their position throughout. The member for Windsor-Sandwich (Mr. Bounsall), particularly, introduced a bill a long time ago, which I checked out the other day, a private member’s bill for doing precisely what we are asking to be done today.
Another reason it bothers me is that when you do look to community law legislation we have been concentrating upon the intricacies, such as they are, of your legislation. Yours is a quite ingenious scheme. I said so at the beginning. It intrigued me. I mean, you jettisoned the Law Reform Commission. You didn’t go to the federal Law Reform Commission nostrums, the surveillance of numerous restrictions with all their diverse forms of community property, and there are half a dozen at least of them. You ingeniously trod tippy-toe among the various notions, a little here and a little there, in placing it together in some kind of bouillabaisse that we have stirring before us at the present moment.
In order to work that out, in order to refine that, in order to bring that up to its optimum point has preoccupied all our attention, and it’s a regrettable thing in a way that more attention hasn’t been paid to what is being proposed to you today. The community property deferred notion that is embodied in this particular amendment hasn’t been given the scrutiny by the Attorney General that I am sure it deserves and that I know it hasn’t been given by me, and on further thought you see what has happened to the ghostly machine; it got out of the closet.
But I still bother. Take a jurisdiction like California: We have no studies before us from the California jurisdiction, but it’s a tripartite type of jurisdiction. There is separate property and both spouses have a community property concept ab initio of the marriage, with the ability to opt out by way of marriage contract -- at least over a wide range of things.
From what I’ve learned, largely from reading Time magazine, as to what happens in a number of situations in the marriage relationship, it frankly bothers me. The only thing I’ll say here is this is not that situation. That should be studied in depth to find out what evils it bred, because every system of human devisement breeds some consequences in terms of bedevilment -- some ill to some human beings. The whole purpose of law is to have no human being hurt -- not a single one. Until we achieve that --
So what do you do? You weigh bedevilments. You say which one has the least harmful consequence? At least that tends to be the negative way the legal profession looks at things. Others may be more blithesome and positive and say, “Oh, look at all the good it’s doing.” I’ve never been particularly struck by that as a member of this House. If I’m a philosopher in my own study, I could see benign things happening with human beings, but when I become engaged in these particular things, all the rankles and sores of humanity begin to reek.
So on this particular score, I suspect this legislation may not go through in the form in which we want it. I don’t ever stand up in this House when I don’t want legislation to go through just as we want it. That’s another element of irresponsibility that can be practised on various sides of this House -- namely that you know in advance that you’ll fail, and therefore proceed to do something which in your heart you really don’t desire. You may really desire it or you know it won’t yet come to pass.
That’s a kind of cushion of the soul. That’s not necessary. If that’s the position, it’s a hypocrisy. Either we want it, and the government should bring it in precisely as it stands, or we should keep our mouths shut. I don’t consider this so catastrophic. It’s a shift in emphasis rather than a redirection of principle that we’re calling for in the legislation before us.
The next point that would bother me is what if the Attorney General acceded to a little pact at 7:30 in the morning, and arrived around 8 o’clock somewhere. Suppose he said, “Fine, I’ll go along.” He may argue that that would be dislocative of the legislation as it presently stands and that it would require a fairly substantial revamping.
That was a bugbear with me. Here we’ve got this far. Here we’ve had these prolonged hearings -- a certain weariness assails me at the mere thought of them.
I remember at one time as chairman of that committee -- it seems aeons ago now -- when I did my level best to get this legislation through before Christmas, if you’ll remember. But our attitude at that time -- you didn’t have to be a genius to know it -- was that the prolongation of this thorny kind of problem was to be avoided. Let’s have done with it. Let’s hit while the iron is hot.
The legislation is admittedly, in my opinion, a considerable advance. It is fairly neutral legislation on top of it. Many law reform commissions have worked it over and they are ostensibly neutral. They haven’t got any axes to grind and you are simply the vehicle of that. Therefore, there isn’t the partisanship written into it, and so it’s advancing legislation. It would have been better than to have this almost arduous, tortuous, labyrinthine pap that we’ve talked in bringing this into being.
There was no sense fulminating of course, and if I did fulminate at the moment I’d probably enjoy it. But Jeremiah may sit down on his toadstools and weep. He may not even have any friends, so to speak -- and Job on his dunghill. But that’s okay. Job prevailed, you know. The going back on it is really neither here nor there. Here we are. And since we have come this far and since we have wrangled so much and since we gained so many insights and since we were able to balance off the pros and cons with greater discernment than we started, then let’s move in closer to noon. Again, it won’t be all that disruptive.
I thought initially that I wouldn’t speak on the legislation, for obvious reasons given. But then it struck me that, for what it is worth, my absence might be construed as lending undue support to one side or the other and because in trying to assess the ills and benefits here, I think they overbalance in favour just a bit -- but enough -- on the side of moving into the area recommended and envisioned by this particular amendment before you. Lump the property, divide it down the mid- die, subject to those circumstances -- and there will be many. I am surprised in a way that such good faith is proposed by the judiciary to be able to discriminate thus nicely and to weigh in an objective and clear fashion the antagonistic interests of the spouse. But it is less discretionary and it is less insidious and less carping than its contrary, because the contrary does involve what my friend said with respect to the Ward-Price gallery inventory of goods that is required all the time ab initio in every case.
The other way of doing it means that a great deal of litigation will be eliminated. The weight will shift the other way and you relieve the courts and relieve married couples of a great deal of contestation and post-marital anguish; and that is really part of our responsibility if we can possibly do it.
I have one final word to say to one of my colleagues about his standard form contracts. I defy him to draw up a standard form contract for the quarrelling spouses. And with that little note, I sit down.
Mrs. Campbell: Mr. Chairman, not only last night but today, I have been invited by the member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick) to respond to his statement and position which, as always, was a very well-considered position.
I would like to say a small word about some of his remarks because I would not like this House to think that I was responding in any way to flattery. Let me put it this way. I know my friend from Riverdale is not a chauvinist, but sometimes when you put on such flattery to a woman you really are in essence denigrating her.
Mr. Lawlor: Why don’t you flatter him for a while? He needs it.
Mrs. Campbell: There is no one in this House who believes -- and certainly I don’t and I know the member for Riverdale doesn’t -- that I had such power in this House on this particular amendment.
Mr. Renwick: You’re the key to it and you can’t deny it.
Mrs. Campbell: He did continue with a request for a very reasoned debate on the matter, taking it out of the barracking, and taking it out of all the partisanship that might be present, and he asked me for a very reasoned response.
He wanted to know if there were any way we could close the gap in our thinking. It is for this reason that I am going to do something I really don’t like to do in the House. I’m going to talk, first of all, about discrimination itself because that is the key to the position I take.
I don’t know who has been the instigator of some of the material that I’ve had since I have indicated my position on this section. It’s one of those things where it seems to be a buildup of some kind which I don’t think is a matter which one normally faces from individuals. The suggestion is -- and it’s one that is totally abhorrent to me -- that because I made it I have no sympathy for other women.
When I look back over my career in the law, I have faced discrimination on a very personal basis, and I want every member in this House to know that when you do face discrimination it is a soul-searing thing. It makes you determined that so far as you can you will spend the rest of your life fighting for the individual, for human rights, and for civil rights because you know that anything less than that is totally unacceptable.
I would like to give some examples and I would like to think that because of people -- not me alone, but women like me -- things have improved somewhat. Let me take you back, because it’s the time to take you back, to a time when you entered the law full of enthusiasm, full of a very real commitment that this is the route to go if you do have a concern for people, to a time when you are a law student, as I was seeking an office in which to article. But I wasn’t the child of a lawyer. My mother was a client of the Fasken firm and it was my family firm but that firm at that time was completely disinterested in women in the practice of the law. So you got whatever you could get in order to have an education in the practicalities of the law.
I recall a much publicized incident of June 17, 1937, the day I was called to the bar, the day I was the only woman taking a June call, going into weekly court when the presiding judge asked “the gentlemen” to rise. I had been a gentleman around Osgoode Hall for three years. It didn’t offend me at that point to rise with my other gentlemen. But when he continued to say: “I said ‘gentlemen’ advisedly. I do not approve of women in the practice of the law,” it was a very dramatic experience because I had built up with hard work to a point where I thought I had the right.
Mr. Renwick: What was his name, do you remember?
Mrs. Campbell: Yes, I remember. He is still alive and still highly respected. I don’t think I should give it but I will give it to you privately.
At that point I wanted to cry out to the Attorney General. I was given some very wise advice by people who were my friends. They said: “Look, the Attorney General will simply laugh it off. He will not do anything about it and you may hurt your career by being a troublemaker at the very beginning of it.” So, it went on.
Because I was president of the Women’s Law Association I had the right to go to the mid-winter meetings of the Canadian Bar Association. I accompanied Judge Helen Kinnear. We were not quite equal because, while we were permitted to speak, we were not permitted to vote.
One eminent counsel moved at that time a resolution which said that all law students should pay in a mandatory fashion the fees for the Canadian Bar Association as part of their tuition fee. I wasn’t very experienced. I got up to support the resolution. Stupidly, I gave my reasons. I didn’t know I shouldn’t do that. The reason was that I could support this wholeheartedly because, if it were a mandatory, imposed fee, there could no longer be discriminations against women in the profession entering into the full activities of the Canadian Bar Association. I never saw two lawyers act so fast, the mover and the seconder, to withdraw the motion.
Then there was another time when I was asked to speak to the mid-winter meeting in Niagara Falls on the subjects of taxation and support payments. I’m going to tell you I worked hard on it because always women have been under the gun to do better, to work harder to gain the same results. Apparently I did all right, because as a result of that paper the taxation section, together with the accountant, made their submissions to Ottawa and support payments in family court, alimony payments not granted in divorce actions, were finally exempted so that women could get the money that the courts ordered to them.
Following that I had a beautiful letter from the taxation section and it said: “Because of your superb” -- and they did overestimate it -- “presentation, we are inviting you as our honoured guest to dinner” on such and such a night “at the Lawyers’ Club.” The letter was addressed to me as “Dear Mr. Baird,” and the signals were up, because I knew what Dr. Galbraith has been through and I really didn’t want to be humiliated on a public sidewalk. So I phoned and I said: “Are you sure you mean me?” “Well, of course. It’s a result of your paper.” I said to the young man: “Please check, will you?” I really felt desperately sorry for that young man because he called back and he said: “Oh Miss Baird, it is our loss. Of course, unfortunately you cannot come to the Lawyers’ Club.” I am saying these things because people believe that this doesn’t happen, and it happens today and I am bringing it into the present day.
I met with a woman just the other day, a single head of family, who was deserted 14 years ago, being left with three children. She said: “You know, I just felt I can’t do it,” and then she came to the view that her children were entitled not to have both parents opt out. She worked, and she’s worked hard for 13 years, and she decided it was in the best interests of the family to purchase a home. She was applying for a home buyer grant and was delighted that the government was not making any distinction between her and someone else, but she needed some additional mortgage financing and the first lender she approached said they would give consideration to her application for a mortgage if she would produce two male co-signers. That, of course, she wouldn’t accept.
Subsequently there was one who said if she would get her mother to co-sign they would give her the loan. Her mother had no money and no income other than old age pension. The mother was not one who was expected to make any financial contribution. She went to the government and told her story and she said: “I want to buy a house but I want you to know that my mother did own a house,” and she put it in writing. She got the grant. Now, of course, she’s asked to repay it.
The member for Lakeshore (Mr. Lawlor) has talked about disruption; and this is where I have such honest and sincere problems with this amendment. Surely, after what I have said here today, it is apparent to anyone that, philosophically, I believe this amendment should carry. But I have to place it in the context of our today’s society.
I made a mistake the other day, I say to the member for Carleton East (Ms. Gigantes). In giving an example of women entering into a partnership, I mentioned two lawyers because I was so delighted that partnership between women in law is becoming more commonplace. I shouldn’t have done that, because to the member for Carleton East I was elitist. I only gave it as an example; I wasn’t talking about university people or people who had inherited wealth. I was just using an example.
But let us look at the balance between the story of the single head of family. It is not covered here; that is long past. What frightens me terribly about this amendment is not the amendment itself in any way, shape or form; it is what can happen if women want to establish themselves in business where the prejudice already is there on assisting them financially and when, with this added dimension, they may not be able to establish businesses of their own of whatever kind.
On top of that, I am worried -- and the member for Lakeshore dealt with it, if I may say, from a different point of view; he tended to think we could overcome. But I think of the small businesses in our communities today; I don’t think anyone here is in any doubt that many of them are suffering financially and many of them have financial problems. If there were only some way that we could call some kind of a moratorium to give this Act the time to work, so that those in the lending business might not view this as so dangerous that they would call their loan, or that suppliers wouldn’t worry so much about calling in their money, I think I could support this amendment, without question, because it is so infinitely a part of what I believe.
I guess I put it badly the other day, because the member for Welland-Thorold (Mr. Swart) thought that when I spoke about the business I felt there was not enough left of the business for the man. It’s inconceivable that I should have spoken so badly, to be so misunderstood; my fear is that there just won’t be a business for anybody.
I am not worried about the courts in this context, and I agree with my friend the member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick) that it does improve the context. It gives much better thrust for judges, there isn’t any question about that; but what I’m worried about is are we talking about assets that are really academic once this passes.
The member for Riverdale referred to partnership agreements and to corporate bodies and he dismissed those lightly, in my estimation. But as I understand it, perhaps he was more familiar with Brazilian Traction as a corporate customer or client, while I was more familiar with the small artisan who wanted to move out of the employment area and into a partnership. These are not people who could be taken care of out there. They weren’t part of the wealthy community, they were simple people wanting to do something about a partnership. If that partnership were in place today and they were still struggling financially, I can answer for what might happen.
The member for Riverdale spoke about the partnership agreements which provide for widows. I am familiar with that type of agreement, I have drawn many of them. One of the things that I found, and one of the cases that disturbed me mightily, was what happened when the widow became part of the partnership on the death of her husband. It was not a successful experiment. Not because of any lack of talent in her, but because the remaining partner had gone into partnership with a specific person with a specific interest, there was an empathy between them; it just didn’t work with the widow as partner.
I have tried desperately to find a way to support this amendment without what I see as a very possible breakdown for both the male and the female in our society. I have suggested my amendment, recognizing as I do that it views the matter from a different point of view. But it does to me give this kind of advantage: It can give a time for the Act to work; it can give a time so that those who are financing various businesses may not be overly alarmed. It does provide for the breakdown and what happens at a breakdown.
I can only say that I have now expressed, as best I know, both my concerns and my very real commitment to equal rights; and my very real and personal concept -- not only from my own experience but that of women with whom I am in contact every day -- that what you can do in this amendment is to disadvantage not only those who would like to go into business but also those who are in the home and who, by this, may suffer.
The member for Riverdale has suggested that all of these things can be covered by agreement. I would say that in the future that is probably quite true. But the incidence of breakdown of marriage and any effects of that under this Act will take effect for those small businesses as of the date that it comes into operation; and it is quite possible at that time that there is no way to come to agreement.
The member for Riverdale also suggested that only a small percentage of the public has business assets. I know there are a great many in this province who do not have business assets, but there are far more than I think the member for Riverdale indicated in his address.
I want to say that in no sense am I standing here, taking this position, on a partisan basis; in no sense. In no sense am I mouthing anybody’s philosophy -- except, perhaps, my own -- in trying to ensure that women will have the practical, factual protection that you and I want under this bill.
If the member for Riverdale can suggest some solutions by way of amendments to this bill to cover the points which I have raised -- and I can’t think of them, short of some moratorium -- I am certainly prepared to listen to a person whose quality of mind I very deeply respect, as I think all the members of this House do. I can find no alternative, except that which I have proposed, to protect to the best of my ability the very rights that are so personally dear to my heart.
Ms. Gigantes: I would like to add one more comment to this debate as it has proceeded on the amendment that is before the House now. It seems to me, as I reflect on the contributions that have been made to this debate, while it is clear that we may be reaching the point where we are overcoming the feminine mystique, we have a new hurdle to jump, and that’s the business mystique.
Mr. Stong: Much of what I have to say with respect to this amendment has already been said by the member for St. George, with whom I fully concur. I will be brief, but I do have some comments to make on this particular amendment. Despite philosophically what is involved, that is equality and the recognition of equality in marriage, with respect to this particular amendment, as the member for Carleton East has just alluded, basically the business mystique is what it is all about.
Mr. Swart: Not all.
Mr. Lawlor: There is a little left over there somewhere.
Mr. Stong: I think we have to remember that the amendment which would include commercial assets acquired during marriage or in contemplation of marriage and which also includes a crude appreciation of all property and assets owned by the spouses prior to the marriage, is very encompassing. This amendment is a two-edged sword. Those in the party to my left who would champion themselves as being the only representatives of women’s rights are overlooking one thing, that is that this amendment does not advance women’s rights one iota in the business world.
It’s tough enough out there in that world for anyone, and a woman particularly, who has accomplished and achieved a professional status, whether it be an engineer, a doctor, a lawyer, a truck driver or a teacher. It is tough for her out in that world and it’s tough for her out in that business world to get started. That is where the opposition to this and the problem with this amendment is going to arise.
I suppose really to understand the business world you would have to have been a person who ran his or her own business and had to meet a paycheck every Friday and had to go with your hat in your hand to investors and money lenders to ask for money to get started.
All this amendment is going to do is call upon the ingenuity of the legal profession to concoct contracts to have women opt out or contract out of any rights that they have under the laws which now exist.
I can see bankers or moneylenders saying, “I will lend you the money.” But the purpose of lending the money is to make profit down the road, and the way you make a profit in lending money is by keeping your costs down. All we are doing with this amendment is encumbering the business community, which will then have to go to work to draw up contracts to say to a woman or a male who wants to borrow money: “We will not lend it to you because farther down the road we are going to have to face perhaps some problems in a marital contract or some problem arising out of a marital split-up. What we want you to do at this point is enter into this contract which would vitiate this loan for instance in the event of a marriage breakup.”
That is not how business can work. It is not how a professional, a woman doctor or a woman who wants to get into business, is going to be able to make it at all. I might say that in speaking to this particular amendment, there are women out there who have had to make it on their own.
I was speaking just the other night to a woman who indicated to me that her husband had been drunk for half his life. He was a taxi driver. She took over the taxi and she drove that taxi. She supported her five children from the proceeds of driving that taxi. She said to me: “If we split up, if there’s a division, do I have to give half of what I have earned over these years that I have worked to support my family to him? Do I have to give it up to him?” It’s a two-edged sword in business and I think we have to be very careful of where we’re going.
Mr. Swart: Do you know what section 4 says?
Mr. Stong: Yes, I support the member for St. George (Mrs. Campbell) in her amendment to section 4 because it recognizes input and value of input, and that’s very important in this economic relationship.
Mr. Swart: It’s the principle that we’re talking about.
Mr. Stong: But not only that, the member for Ottawa East (Mr. Roy) in directing himself the other day to this particular amendment -- indicated that if it goes through in its present form -- because it deals with talking about the splitting up of assets and the sharing of assets -- what about the liabilities that are also incurred with respect to those assets and with respect to that business. Although much has been said, I must say that this amendment in its present form will really be caught and dealt with by the proposed amendment to section 4 by the member for St. George.
Mr. Bounsall: No way.
Mr. Stong: This particular amendment will do nothing for those men or women, partnerships or sole proprietorships, who are trying to make a start in the business world. This is a hindrance and not an advancement of that cause.
Mr. Swart: The principle is equal division of assets.
Mr. Renwick: Mr. Chairman, I’d just like to respond briefly. I must say in all politeness to my friend, the member for York Centre (Mr. Stong), that I regret that he was not in the House last night to have sensed the dynamics of the debate which took place. I think his remarks this morning show an abysmal ignorance of exactly what this Legislature was talking about last night, as well as a selective ignorance of the provisions --
Mr. Kerrio: It’s a pity we get the name-calling part of it.
Mr. Renwick: -- of the Act as a whole and the express provisions of section 4. I regret having to say that, but I do hope that if and when the member for York Centre has the leisure to do it, he will take the time to read the debate which took place last night, and perhaps at some future time we can have a discussion about the matter.
I do want to say to my friend, the member for St. George, that the remarks I made about her last night were remarks of my esteem for her and I regret if in any way she equated those remarks with flattery. I simply did not intend in any way to flatter.
Mr. Reid: Why not?
Mr. Renwick: I think of all the people that I know, she is one of the people who does not need flattery and she does me a disservice to say that I would have to flatter her.
Mr. Lawlor: She is absolutely unflatterable.
Mr. Renwick: My remarks were made out of respect.
Mr. Reid: It’s a very fine line.
Mr. Renwick: I listened, as she very kindly did to me last night, with great care to what she said this morning, and I respect and admire the way in which she went about expressing her views about it. I’m sorry that she has come to the decision that her answer must be no and that her caucus will not support the amendment. I regret that very much, because what the member for St. George has unwittingly done is to enshrine judge-made intricacies that the courts had to face in dealing with problems such as those which arose in the Murdoch case. She has placed every single woman in the future who is a Mrs. Murdoch under the obligation to go to court in order to get her fair, equitable share. She starts always as a suppliant, always as a plaintiff, always as an applicant. I’m simply drawing attention to the desperate efforts which the courts took, despite the problems that were faced, to finally work out within the court system a recognition -- to come some way into the modern age with respect to the contributions made by women in the marriage relationship. You have said, “We’ll call a halt there. We will take no further step. We will not, in this Legislature, do anything at this time but freeze, without any hope of thawing for many years, the result of those cases.”
I understand the immense problem involved with women, credit and financial institutions. I have no problem with that. I simply refer again to what I said last night -- the only thing that the financial institutions understand is property. I simply fail to understand your logic, reiterated by the member for York Centre, that somehow or other giving women under this Act equal participation in property -- that is as a result of a partnership between men and women in marriage while they are residing together -- in some way detracts from their capacity to negotiate credit or other assistance from the financial institutions.
I recognize the problem but the problem is an entirely different problem. You misunderstand the system under which we live if you believe for one single moment that to enshrine Murdoch and the subsequent cases into law is in some way a reflection of the modern need. You know as well as I do that one of the major problems the courts have is to adjust to changing conditions. You know as well as I do that they are always behind.
I admire them for having come so far. But to freeze the law of the province in this fashion, so that every woman is a suppliant, every woman is an applicant, every woman is a plaintiff in a court action, in order to get a decision with respect to her property rights, then I say with the greatest respect again, to the member for St. George and to the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry), who is the person I was trying to persuade by transference last night, you do a disservice in the province; you do a disservice because you will not have the intestinal integrity to bring this Act bath again.
I would guess the Attorney General and the member for St. George and I will be long gone from here before there is another revision of this concept. It is not something to say, “Let’s take this step because we are going to take the next step.” We are not going to take a next step. We are going to wait for a long period of time before there is any change.
I had hoped that in the course of this debate we might have found an answer, even if it required a little give on our side, a little give on your side; some way to bridge what appears to me to be such a narrow gap. The member for St. George re-echoed that philosophically she believes in the amendment. This little insurmountable barrier which has been erected in the discussion leads me to believe that we have simply failed, and that failure is a momentous one and is one which we here certainly will regret.
I only wanted to speak very briefly because everything appears to have been said that can be said on this issue. The answer from the member for St. George speaking on behalf of the Liberal caucus is obviously no. They want Murdoch and the subsequent cases of Murdoch. They do not want equality in the law.
Mr. Kerrio: That’s the next thing, the shameful NDP conduct in the House and about as responsible.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: That’s nonsense. You know it’s nonsense.
Mr. Renwick: They want to distort things, as the Attorney General has distorted these matters, by taking the extreme cases, always the extreme; always ignoring that section 4 of the bill provides the court as a method of determining the equity and justice of whether or not a 50-50 sharing of all assets is the fair and proper way. That’s what it’s about, and section 4 is well drafted.
I would regret we were unable to persuade the House to make the necessary change.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I had not intended to speak again and I’ll be very brief. I am certainly not going to attempt to repeat any of the statements made by the member for St. George, because I think her heart-searching eloquence simply cannot be improved upon. I have to say, despite my great respect for and personal affection for the member for Riverdale, I really expected a little better of him in this particular issue.
I hate to drag out those unhappy ghosts of the past, such as the Murdoch case, and suggest to the people of this province that the failure of the member for St. George to support this amendment is somehow supporting the Murdoch concept. I just think with all due respect that is desperately unfair to her and indeed to all of us in this House --
Mr. Swart: But it is right on.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: -- who desperately want the equality of which you speak. With respect, when it comes to the issue of litigation and encouraging litigation, or when as you say the woman must therefore again come to the court as a supplicant, I suggest to you with respect that if you look at some of the comments that have been made by fairly knowledgeable people on this subject, the deferred community of assets system, in my respectful view, has the potential to generate much more litigation than what is proposed under the bill as framed.
The accounting problems are obvious. You talk about Ward-Price type of problems in relation to family assets. Under the deferred community of property regime, the problems and the accounting problems -- and we’re dealing with all existing marriages -- would be horrendous.
There was wide consultation with the people of the province of Ontario. My predecessor travelled widely throughout the province in discussing these issues. Men and women of the province, the overwhelming majority of these people who are interested, made very clear their concerns with respect to this deferred community of property proposal. With respect to this equality, which I know the member for Riverdale and his colleagues seek as we all do, I would ask him with the greatest respect to look at the experience in Quebec and California, for example, where there has been a rigid approach with respect to all non-family assets. The effect of that law has been to make it almost mandatory in every case for couples to enter into marriage contracts with respect to what would in our legislation be non-family assets.
It’s the sincere belief of myself and my many very dedicated advisers who have worked so hard in the preparation of this bill, that the deferred community of property proposal as contained in this amendment would invariably lead to less sharing rather than more sharing. I think it’s absolutely important that those who misunderstand this legislation look to other jurisdictions for guidance to see what has happened there. This legislation has been very carefully wrought and it is geared to produce -- and I sincerely believe this -- more sharing than that which is available in other jurisdictions where the more rigid approach has been adopted.
Only experience will tell us whether we are correct in this matter. But I can say, Mr. Chairman, I’m quite confident that experience will satisfy us in the months and years ahead that this legislation, as presently framed, will produce much more sharing between married couples, when there is an unfortunate marriage breakdown, than what has been the experience in other jurisdictions which have adopted the deferred community of property approach.
Mr. Renwick: Mr. Chairman, in expressing my frustration about my disappointment in the failure of the amendment, I overreacted in remarks which I made about my friend and colleague, the member for York Centre; and I apologize to him for the rather stronger intent of my remarks than I should have allowed myself to express.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: I have an amendment by Mr. Bounsall. Mr. Bounsall moves: That clause (b) of section 3 of the bill be deleted and the following substituted therefor:
“Family assets means all property and assets, including commercial assets acquired during the marriage or in contemplation of a marriage, and the accrued appreciation of all property and assets owned by the spouses prior to the marriage; but does not include any damage award, insurance claim, insurance benefit, gift, inheritance or trust benefit conferred upon a spouse with the express or implied intention of benefiting that spouse exclusively or the accrued appreciation of same.”
Shall the amendment carry?
Some hon. members: No.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Shall this vote be stacked?
Some hon. members: No.
The committee divided on Ms. Gigantes’ motion that clause (f) of section 1 of the bill be amended by adding thereto the subclause, “(iv) is a widower or widow,” which was negatived on the following vote.
Ayes 20; nays 54.
Section 1 agreed to.
The committee divided on Mr. Bounsall’s amendment to clause (b) of section 3 of the bill, which was negatived on the same vote.
Section 3 agreed to.
On motion by Hon. Mr. Welch, the committee of the whole House reported progress.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: I beg to inform the House that in the name of Her Majesty the Queen the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor has been pleased to assent to a certain bill in her chambers.
Clerk of the House: The following is the title of the bill to which Her Honour has assented:
Bill 10, An Act to amend the Discounting of Income Tax Refunds Act, 1977.
On motion by Hon. Mr. Welch, the House adjourned at 1:20 p.m.