The House resumed at 8:03 p.m.
MENTAL HEALTH AMENDMENT ACT (CONCLUDED)
Resumption of the adjourned debate on the motion for second reading of Bill 19, An Act to amend the Mental Health Act.
Mr. Sweeney: Mr. Speaker, I rise to speak in favour of this bill, at least to speak in favour of the general principle of this bill. In my judgement, it speaks to perhaps the second most important human right, the first being simply the right to live, the right to exist. The second one is the right to freedom, freedom in many ways. We in our society too often lightly accept the right of individual freedom. Too often in our society we shackle people in one way or another.
In my judgement, the existing legislation with respect to involuntary admission for a person who is deemed to be mentally ill is much too broad. It’s too broad in terms of time. There is no good reason, in my judgement and in the judgement of many professionals to whom I have spoken, for a person to be incarcerated -- and that’s what it is; his or her freedom is taken away for 30 days. At the same time there is an extremely broad definition as to why a person can be involuntarily admitted for potential mental illness.
I would point out, however, that in this bill perhaps the entire pendulum has swung too far in the opposite direction. What I would hope to bring to the minister’s attention is that we frequently do that in legislation in this province and, I suspect, in many other jurisdictions. We have a problem to the far left or right, whatever the case may be, and the pendulum is allowed to swing all the other way.
The bill, as it is written, reduced 30 days to 72 hours. I think there has been a general consensus in this House that 30 days is far too long. I also think that among most people who have spoken to this bill there has been a general consensus that 72 hours is too short. I was quite pleased, therefore, to hear the minister himself say the other night that he is already prepared to extend this to five days. I would be quite prepared to support that. The reasons why those extra few days are necessary have been quite adequately explained by my colleague and other colleagues in other parties in this House.
With respect to the reason for admission, however, I have not yet heard the minister indicate that he’s willing to give a little on that; and I have some reservations. As the bill is written, it would appear that a person can be held only if there is clear evidence that he can create a physical problem for someone else; that he may do physical harm to someone else. What we know about mental illness, and I think we know a great deal more about it in our society today than what we did a few years ago, clearly indicates that is not the only concern. As a matter of fact, in listing that specifically, I wonder whether we aren’t suggesting to the public that serious mental illness and the danger of physical attack on someone else are somehow synonymous. I would suggest that in many cases a much more fearful kind of effect in our society is a mental or emotional one. I have seen examples, as I am sure my colleagues have, of where a person can be injured far more seriously, far more significantly, in ways other than physical.
I think the other point we have to keep in mind is that not only do we want to protect other significant persons in the mentally ill person’s life, if in fact he is mentally ill, but we also want to protect him in some way, even for a short period of time. Therefore, we have to recognize that there are other serious things which could go wrong, other very serious reasons for which competent professionals might deem it necessary to hold this person for a little longer.
The second point I would like to make under this particular heading is that we don’t want to suggest that all we are concerned about is somehow putting someone into a holding tank. Of far more importance is the fact that we do something to help that person, especially that we do something to help that person help himself. Therefore, I think we have to be very careful that we arrange things in such a way that that’s possible to happen. The professional advice I have received is that in the very short period of time, in a very narrow definition, that may not be possible. What we may be doing is taking very dedicated professionals and turning them off and saying: “If you want to restrict me that finely, that closely, I simply can’t do it. I don’t have the professional ability to work within such a tight framework. I need a little bit more leeway.”
I guess what I am coming back to is that the existing legislation is too wide. This legislation, I am trying to suggest, is too narrow, both in terms of time and the reasons for admission. I would like, first of all, to congratulate the minister for recognizing the time factor; and secondly encourage the minister to be open in the committee to which this bill will be taken to a broader definition and a broader rationale as to why some people should be kept.
I would also clearly hope that the minister would appreciate that what we are really after here, above and beyond everything else, is to help the person to get well. That means we must provide our professionals with the opportunity and the time to enable them to do that.
Mr. Williams: The two main concerns of the bill have been expressed by all members of the House and were most recently reiterated by the member for Kitchener-Wilmot. These dealt with the involuntary confinement time consideration, and also the concern which has been expressed with regard to the provisions in the existing section 8 and the amendments proposed under section 2 of this bill.
These are matters that the minister has addressed himself to. He made it clear that because of the import of these two controversial sections it is important to refer the matter to committee to permit a further input. I think that makes good sense.
A number of members have pointed out, and I think it bears reiteration, that the type of assistance and care that is to be provided in this type of situation to persons who have or appear to have mental disorders has to come from the professional sector. When you are dealing with people who have the qualifications and talents to make these professional judgements, they have to have sufficient latitude to apply their views in a practical way, including the necessity in some situations of having authority to bring about involuntary admissions.
Section 2 would indicate that it is somewhat confining, compared to the existing criteria under which a professional doctor can draw this conclusion, that is that an involuntary admission should be made, in that it appears to restrict itself to situations where physical injury will be done to the person concerned or to persons who come in contact with this individual. The existing section seems to be much broader and to give much greater latitude to the professional person to make a value judgement with regard to the individual.
All of these matters will be given further consideration in committee. I think that through the input from the medical profession and other interested persons, it will help us to bring forward a bill in an even better and more refined state that will undoubtedly result in legislation that will prove to be in the best interests of the people of Ontario.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I want first of all to say how pleased I am that there is general acceptance among the members of all parties of a variety of the aspects of the bill -- certainly on the two sections on confidentiality and the role of the public trustee. Also, the question of moving from 72 hours to five days seems to have met with reasonable agreement. We will discuss that further when we get to the standing committee on social development.
I recognize very well from the great number of letters that I have had on the question of the criteria, from members, and particularly from medical practitioners in the province, that there is a fair degree of concern about that. I don’t intend to repeat all of my arguments from first and second reading except to say that the purpose is to clarify the rights, as it were, of the patient, and the basis on which a physician may take away a person’s liberty and confine him, at least for an initial five-day assessment following which the criteria for any further involuntary commitments are to be determined.
The members raised a number of points during debate which, again, I won’t try to answer here because we will have a chance to review them in committee clause by clause. One of the areas that interested a number of members, and one of which we can be proud in this province, is the way in which in the last decade, under the existing legislation, we have been able to turn around the type of mental health system we have in the province.
I can give members some statistics which are perhaps instructive and illustrative of the changes. In 1966 we had almost 14,000 patients on the books as inpatients in our psychiatric hospitals, and by 1976 we had just a little over 5,000. Comparing the two years for admissions, there really wasn’t that much difference -- 13,300 in 1966, 14,000 in 1976. The much smaller number of beds would indicate a much shorter length of stay, indicating the great advances that had occurred in that decade in chemotherapy and various forms of treatment for patients.
In the same decade there was a tremendous increase -- and this is part of the movement away from the large provincial-psychiatric-hospital-centred type of system -- in psychiatric inpatients in general hospitals and other community mental health facilities where we grew from just over 9,000 in 1966 to in excess of 28,000 in 1976. The record goes on from there.
We can be justly proud of the record we’ve established in this province of being in the forefront of progress in mental health programs and mental health legislation, and it is my fervent hope and belief that these amendments will continue.
The hon. member for Niagara Falls (Mr. Kerrio) is concerned about the concerns expressed by a constituent of his, one Dr. Gifford Jones -- that’s his nom de plume. He writes in, I guess the Globe and Mail and a number of other provincial papers. In fact the other evening when we were beginning debate on second reading, Dr. Gifford Jones -- I forget his real name -- was in our gallery.
Certainly, Mr. Speaker, there are a number of points which that gentleman has made in his columns with which I disagree. For example, some of the assumptions about the type of people who could be committed under the present legislation, some of his assumptions about the effects of the proposals in this legislation, particularly in the area of the criteria and the effect on the legal position of a physician. I’m sure my friend the member for St. George (Mrs. Campbell) has seen some of those arguments and they cause me concern, because I think they are invalid in that they presuppose placing the physician in legal jeopardy, which is neither intended nor really, if one looks carefully at the legislation, put into effect by that.
So that’s one person who, I would hope, when the legislation does get to committee, will come forward and present his arguments as he has done province-wide through his newspaper columns and be prepared to discuss those at that time.
The hon. member for St. George did speak about, as did a few others, the problems of mental health in Metro. As she knows, in the last year we have received what is basically a very good report from Mental Health Metro. There are parts of it with which I would disagree and our ministry staff would disagree.
Other initiatives under way -- such as the McKinsey study, which would be in a form to be released within the next few months, not only on the role of the provincial psychiatric hospitals in and around, and all serving Metropolitan Toronto; Lakeshore, Queen Street and Whitby; but also looking at the range of services, including the role of the general hospital -- these initiatives will not only be instructive and go a long way to being complementary to these amendments and others that I would anticipate within the next year or so from the Council of Health, but also go a long way to further improving the quality of mental health services in Metro.
In Metro we have seen in the last number of years the beginning of some pretty solid community-based mental health programs. I am thinking, for instance, of the organization called Spectrum with which my friend from St. George is familiar. The Queen Street mental health centre, the Dundas day centre and others are a credit to the ingenuity and dedication of the people we have employed in the mental health system in this province.
I’m just trying to go over my notes from the other evening to touch on some of the major concerns. The member for Bellwoods (Mr. McClellan) again emphasized alternatives to institutional care. In all of our activities in the health care system, one of the three main thrusts of our policy is to emphasize deinstitutionalization and, wherever possible, to emphasize alternative, less expensive, and in terms of treatment more appropriate, community-based programs, whether it is chronic home care, of which we have some pilot programs in the province now as an alternative to chronic care in an institution, or whether it is community mental health programs throughout the area.
I guess I had heard the expression years ago, but if I had I had forgotten it when the member for Scarborough West (Mr. Lewis) reminded the House that when he came here one of the most commonly used expressions was “pennies for the mind”. I don’t know what the level of expenditures on mental health services was in those days, but I asked the staff recently to put together the best estimate of what we are actually spending on mental health services and programs in the province today. It isn’t always broken out in every budget, for instance in OHIP, what goes for psychiatry, psychotherapy and so forth.
You might be interested, Mr. Speaker, that for the following components: OHIP for physicians and psychiatrists; community mental health services, including those children’s services which are still under us; alcoholism and drug abuse; health resources and development plan; the detox centres; the psych hospitals; the psych units; the general hospitals; various grants to mental health groups; research, including an estimate of the mental health component of our public health services; and the homes for special care, the estimate my staff gave me was that in 1976-77 we spent in excess of $408 million on mental health programs and facilities in the province.
In 1976-77, the budget of the ministry was about $3.4 billion. That is a significant proportion of that budget and indicates a level of government activity to society as a whole and commitment to mental health problems.
The member for Renfrew North (Mr. Conway) expressed concern, with which I agree, about trying to keep the review boards from becoming courts of law in effect. I think that is important. Again, over the last number of years, with the provision of Legal Aid counsel in the psychiatric hospitals and with the development in the last decade of the review boards, I think we have come a long way to ensuring that legal counsel and assistance are available as readily as can be expected in these institutions for people who find themselves in need of that kind of assistance.
The member for Renfrew North also asked about the question of having a section for justices of the peace or police officers, similar to the provision in the bill stating a physician must sign within seven days.
Mr. Sargent: You will have to jazz up your speech because they are all leaving. Put some pizazz into it or something.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Okay.
Mr. Sargent: Tell us the truth.
Mr. Peterson: Hey Eddie, maybe you will speak for a while and bring them all back in.
Mr. Sargent: Come on back.
Mr. Foulds: It is usually worse than this.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Really, I would think such a provision would not be needed in as much as a justice of the peace would have to make a decision fairly quickly. I don’t mean that to sound as though he is going to make a snap judgement; but rather that, presented with the individual and an indication of what the individual has been doing, and making an observation of the individual’s condition, he would have to make a judgement. I am told, and I haven’t talked to more than one or two JPs about this, among JPs this is one of the most disliked aspects of the job, having to make this kind of a judgement. The member for St. George nods her agreement.
Mrs. Campbell: That and bail.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Yes. As for a police officer, of course, they must make an assessment on the spot and carry out the responsibilities which we lay upon them as peace officers. Lord knows that is not easy either. I think they do a tremendous job in very difficult situations. I really don’t know that that would be appropriate for what we are after.
The hon. member for Lakeshore (Mr. Lawlor ) -- coming back to the question of review boards -- made the point that he felt members of review boards must be independent of the psychiatric hospital or the government. They are, we can assure him of that.
The member for Parkdale (Mr. Dukszta) and I have debated on other occasions the question of whether or not our psychiatric system is in fact, what he calls a two-class system. There is no question the psychiatric hospitals and the psychiatric units of general hospitals are looking after people with, by and large, quite different illnesses of the mind. By and large, in the provincial psychiatric hospitals we are having to look after people whose illnesses are more severe, and therefore a great many of whom, but certainly not all of whom, because the average length of stay has come down tremendously, require long-term care; whereas it is the opposite in the psychiatric unit of general hospitals. They are able, as it were, to turn them over reasonably quickly, to get them back into their homes and into the community, and with proper drug treatment or other treatments help them back onto their feet.
The member for Renfrew North made a comment about the Krever inquiry. That, of course, embraces more than just what we are talking about here. We have tried to bring the sections on confidentiality of psychiatric records up to date as much as we are able to at this point. In OHIP there were problems, as the hon. members know, in the fall. We have investigated every complaint that came to light as far as we are able within OHIP, in some cases having to go under the Civil Service Act and make certain inquiries. Within a particular psychiatric hospital, one of the members alleged that a certain patient’s file got out. I must say, not to be overly critical, but I’ve asked that member several times for the name of that patient so that we could confirm or refute that charge and I haven’t had that name yet.
There have been problems with computers and so forth. All of what we have done is in an effort to investigate all of these allegations, arising in the House, in the press and so forth, as far as we’ve been able to. In some cases, we’ve proceeded under the Civil Service Act to conduct even further investigations about particular civil servants. Then what we’ve done is to turn it over to the Krever commission and indicate that if any further action is required in terms of investigation, discipline or otherwise, we’re certainly prepared to do it.
What we’re concerned about here is what happens with psychiatric records, and in particular what happens when a psychiatric record is the subject of discussion in a court of law, something about which we’re very concerned and which we think needs to be acted on now.
So to sum up, I’m pleased with the general support for the bill, and certainly look forward to discussion in the standing committee on social development -- I don’t know what length that’s going to be, five or six weeks I guess -- but that will allow even more time for consideration of and discussion of the amendments. I would just remind the members that hopefully within the year, hopefully not much more than another year, we will have the report of the Council of Health on the entire Mental Health Act and on the whole range of mental health services in the province. By that time we might also have the better part of a year’s experience with these amendments and be able, with that experience and with that review of all other aspects of mental health services and the legislation, to put together a complete redrafting, to bring the system entirely into the realm of our expectations and desires for mental health services and appropriate legislation of the late 1970s and going into the 1980s.
Motion agreed to.
Ordered for standing committee on social development.
Resumption of the adjourned debate on the motion that this House approves in general the budgetary policy of the government.
Mr. Acting Speaker: The member for Mississauga South.
Mr. Conway: Point of order, Mr. Speaker. It seems to me that as the individual who adjourned the debate at 10:30 p.m. on the evening of Thursday, March 30, 1978, I have the right to continue my remarks.
Mr. Kennedy: Mr. Speaker, I understood that the government side of the House had the opportunity, assuming the opposition side had spoken. If it was an adjournment at 10:30, I don’t know whether that’s valid. Would you check it out?
Mr. Acting Speaker: Order. The member for Renfrew North is correct. He moved the adjournment of the debate. The member for Renfrew North has the floor.
Mr. Conway: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. In all fairness to my colleague from Mississauga South, I inform him that I don’t intend to be any more than five or 10 minutes in concluding my remarks.
Mr. Peterson: Take your time. Give us a good speech tonight.
Mr. Conway: I wanted to continue very briefly tonight my remarks which I began on Thursday of last week. At that time I was in the middle of a brief discussion about the budgetary policy announced by the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) on March 7, 1978, which gave effect to the 37.5 per cent OHIP premium increase.
I have been participating the past few days in the hearings of the standing committee on social development, which have not been perhaps the most outstanding example of parliamentary progress this assembly has seen in recent memory. It has been, nonetheless, an interesting opportunity for those of us in this party --
Mr. Foulds: Not from the Liberal point of view.
Mr. Conway: -- to discuss the situation with respect to the general policy criteria that have given rise to this increase in OHIP premiums. It is with some interest that we learned there has been, to date, no evidence from within the Ministry of Health to justify what has been the most controversial aspect of this budgetary policy, namely the OHIP premium increase. As has been well reported, the most interesting evidence provided in the committee dealt with a very strong and serious indictment of the premium mechanism and the premium increase from the Ministry of Health. That matter will certainly be dealt with at some length in the remaining deliberations of the committee.
I must say, in the matter of budgetary policy it relates to OHIP and the healthcare system, the whole debate took a sharp turn for the worse -- under some very regrettable circumstances in a way -- with the innocuous reading into the record this afternoon of a statement by the hon. Minister of Health (Mr. Timbrell) which said, and I quote:
“I am glad to announce the government has reached agreement with the Ontario Medical Association on the increase to be applied effective May 1, 1978, to the schedule of benefits payable under the Ontario Health Insurance Plan. This schedule of benefits will be published by the government. The increase averages six-and-a-quarter per cent for the whole schedule and applies in different amounts to the various specialties and to physicians engaged in general practice.” That’s only a partial quote.
We have learned since that document was read into the record here this afternoon around 2:15 p.m. that there is significantly more to that reference than appears in the statement; significantly more inasmuch as the government has apparently indicated not in this House but in the press area --
Mr. Bolan: They haven’t got the guts to do it in the House.
Mr. Conway: -- outside the chamber, that part of this agreement, effective May 1, is the severing of the old ratio of 90 per cent between OHIP and OMA scheduling.
Mr. Ruston: There was nothing said about that in the House.
Mr. Conway: There was nothing said about that in the House. The import of this statement this afternoon is that the government of Ontario is, as of May 1, seriously and very fundamentally challenging the universality of the health insurance program in this province. It is stating, or so it seems on the basis of the press reports I have heard since 6 o’clock this evening, there will be no need, and there will in fact be no direct relationship, between the OHIP fee schedule and the OMA fee schedule. The net effect of that, as all members know, is that as of May 1 the OMA fee schedule, the realistic fee schedule which they have apparently been working on, is adjusted by the overall general percentages, as had been reported in the press by something in the neighbourhood of 36 per cent, and that we have an increase in the OHIP schedule of payments of some six-and-a-quarter per cent.
Effective May 1, we will not only have a premium increase of 37.5 per cent but we will have a situation where the physicians in this province will be technically able, presumably under the new arrangements, to charge a patient participation fee of a very significant proportion as they see fit, or so it would appear from the early indications of this afternoon.
I suggest to you, Mr. Speaker, and to members of this House, that together with the entire matter of premiums, premium funding and premium increases, this abandonment of the 90 per cent ratio, which effectively brings about a patient participation charge of a quite significant nature, is going to change very significantly the nature of our health care plan in this province. I, as one member, am really wondering just what the government wants this Legislature to degenerate into if in fact this is its approach to health care in this Parliament in this year.
It seems to me, if these facts are borne out, the government of Ontario apparently is quite prepared to proceed to dismantle a very significant and fundamental portion of our health insurance health care program. That is something which I think has grave consequences not only for members of this assembly but certainly for all of those people in this province whom we represent in one way or another.
I wanted to draw that passingly to the attention of the assembly tonight because it was introduced in a most innocuous fashion this afternoon. It was introduced in a statement which, to the reasonable man, I think appeared to say much less. It was introduced in a way which, quite frankly, puzzles me, given the politics of this place, this week. I can assure you, Mr. Speaker, it will provide not an inconsiderable amount of debate in the days and weeks ahead, because this government feels it can approach the premium mechanism and the premium increase with a certain amount of political indifference, knowing as it does know, that because a small minority of people pay directly and therefore a small minority understands the Treasurer’s visible link inasmuch as they see it.
I think even the former Minister of Health (Mr. F. S. Miller) will agree with me when I suggest that it won’t be difficult to translate this kind of patient participation in downtown Bracebridge or Gravenhurst. It won’t be very difficult to tell the people of Ontario what is being attempted in this particular initiative.
I think the statement read this afternoon by the Minister of Health is one which has very serious, very grave social and political consequences that I expect to be dealt with at some length in the remaining days of this session.
With that, Mr. Speaker, I would like to conclude my remarks, brief and restricted as they are. There are a great number of items that I would like to pursue in this particular debate -- the matter of youth unemployment in particular, the matter of regional disparity as it relates to eastern Ontario --
Mr. Foulds: Go ahead, Sean.
Mr. Conway: -- the matter of resource development as it relates to this particular jurisdiction -- but I know, like all other members, we would like to hear the words of wisdom from our esteemed friend from Mississauga South. With those brief remarks, I would end my contribution to this budget debate.
Mr. di Santo: I enter the debate on the budget tonight realizing that perhaps we should have started a long time ago, immediately after the Treasurer introduced the budget on March 7, but I think that at this time we have a situation which has become even more serious than when the Treasurer presented his budget. Therefore, I am addressing myself tonight to the serious structural problems of our economy which underline not only the failure of the economic strategy of the present government, but its inability to deal with the problems of the province of Ontario.
In a speech to the Peterborough branch of the Canadian Manufacturers’ Association, Hugh Stevens, vice-president and director of the CMA, said the Canadian economy is like an inverted pyramid balanced on its tip. I quote from him. “At the tip, one can think of Canada’s resource extraction industries. The next layer, which is a little wider, can be thought of as the resource processing industries. The next layer, still wider, represents secondary manufacturing. Finally, the widest and thickest slice of the triangle represents the service industries sitting on the top. It can easily be imagined that if the narrowest levels at the bottom were to be badly eroded, if we fail to use our resource base to create jobs in manufacturing, the entire pyramid could begin to crumble. I believe we are seeing evidence of this failure now.
“Until now Canada has done well largely because of its resource base, which has been very strong. Now there are signs that the resources we have been counting on may not be sufficient to sustain the whole expensive superstructure, including service, welfare and government. It is about time for Canadians to think very seriously about developing the new manufacturing industries that will prevent the pyramid of our economic structure from falling over.”
I began by quoting at length from Mr. Stevens’ address, because it summarized very clearly the dilemma that now faces our national economy; and because Ontario is Canada’s chief manufacturing province it is appropriate at this point for me to begin to outline in some detail my concern with Ontario’s economic performance. Our hopes for the future, our determination to meet the expectations of the people of Ontario, of the 345,000 workers unemployed, of the people who are looking for jobs, and our call for intelligent resource management, are based on the assumption that we can do something about the deplorable state of the productive sector of the Ontario economy.
Any discussion of Ontario’s economic future must be based on the tangible foundation of our manufacturing sector. Manufacturing is basic to Ontario’s life. The success or failure of the manufacturing sector will largely determine the success or failure of our general economic and social policies.
Speaking last May to the Financial Analysts Federation in Montreal, Carl Beigie, the executive director of the C. D. Howe Research Institute of Montreal, added to the concerns raised by Mr. Stevens. He singled out the critical problem of Canada’s rapidly deteriorating balance of trade in manufactured goods. Last year the deficit in Canada’s manufacturing trade reached an astronomic $10 billion, four times as high as it was in 1970. That deficit amounts to $450 for every Canadian, a deficit unique among industrialized nations.
In his address, Mr. Beigie warned that the deterioration in our manufacturing trade has been camouflaged by the rising surplus for primary resource trade, which has been used as a crutch.
“But,” he said, “the mood of Canada today is that we are running out of crutches.” He then asked the key question: Will a policy be developed so that resources fit into a sound economic theme, rather than be used to bail out an unsound economic theme? You will begin to understand, Mr. Speaker, why the NDP has chosen to make resources a central issue for Ontario.
An hon. member: You want to nationalize them all.
Mr. di Santo: While the concerns raised by Mr. Stevens and Mr. Beigie were framed in national terms, they have a particular relevance for Ontario, the heartland of Canadian secondary industry. Much of Canada’s current economic malaise, a malaise we can ill afford at a time of severe strain in Confederation, can be laid at the door of the indifferent performance of secondary industry in Ontario.
Just how serious is Ontario’s position in the nation’s deteriorating manufacturing sector can be seen from the fact that half of the manufacturing in Canada is done in this province. Just over three quarters of a million Ontario residents are employed in manufacturing industries, which is just over half of the national total. In 1977 Canada imported over $25 billion worth of finished manufactured products, while exporting only $15 billion worth of those products. The $10-billion deficit was concentrated in three major industries that are of critical importance to Ontario.
In the auto industry, including both assembly and parts production, Canada’s 1977 trade deficit with the United States under the auto pact was $1 billion. Of the 107,000 auto jobs in Canada, 90,000 are located in Ontario. In the machinery production industry, Canada’s 1977 trade deficit was over $3.1 billion. In this industry, two-thirds of the nation’s 75,000 jobs are located in Ontario. In the electrical products industry, Canada’s deficit was $618 million in 1974, the last figures available. In this industry two-thirds of the nation’s 116,000 jobs are located in Ontario. These are three major industries overwhelmingly centred in Ontario. They account for just under half of the country’s overall manufacturing trade deficit.
I want to say a few words tonight about the problems of each of these three industries and their prospects for the future. Upon their ability to compete for foreign markets, and more crucially to satisfy the demands of the Canadian domestic market, will rest much of the future industrial performance of this province and indeed of this country. We should be mindful in this discussion of the fact that the Ontario government has a primary responsibility to maintain a climate that is propitious for the development of manufacturing. No other government in Canada, including the federal government, can as single-mindedly address this problem. The federal government has to concern itself with the problems and aspirations of the diverse regions of the country, some with their focus on primary production and others with their focus on manufacturing.
The Ontario government has played an historic role of unmatched importance in the development of manufacturing in this province. That role, whose creative chapter occurred in the first two decades of this century -- the era of Adam Beck in Ontario -- was crucial to making Ontario a manufacturing province. Ontario’s vast industrial greatness has stemmed from the province’s recognition of the unique role it must play in questions of industrial strategy.
No industry is more crucial to Ontario than the auto industry. For three-quarters of a century, Ontario has been the centre of Canada’s vital automobile industry. For a brief time in the 1920s our auto industry produced more autos than any nation in Europe. Its products were exported to the far corners of the British Commonwealth. Today our auto industry is integrated into a continental system of production under the Canada-US auto pact.
In recent years, the pact has turned sour for Canada and Ontario. Following a brief period of heavy investment in the Canadian auto industry in the late 1960s by the major auto producers, investment has turned away from Canada
An Ontario government budget paper published in 1976 stated that in 1907 Canadian auto assembly plants received 26.5 per cent of continental investment and Canadian auto parts plants received 11.85 per cent of the total. In 1970, the proportions were 11.4 per cent for assembly plants and 29.4 per cent for parts plants.
Since 1970, there has been a steep decline in the proportional investment in Canadian facilities.
In 1972, Canadian assembly plants were recipients of only 3.6 per cent of continental investment and Canadian parts plants received a meagre 5.1 per cent.
In 1973, the proportions were 5.4 per cent and 7.6 per cent for assembly and parts.
When we consider the fact that 10 per cent of investment is roughly our fair share of the continental total, the precipitous decline in recent years can be put into perspective. Because the auto industry operates in terms of a continental market, it is a case in which our share of continental investment will have a direct impact on our share of the market. That is why I think the Premier (Mr. Davis) is wrong when he says that if fair market practices prevail, we will have our share of the market.
Whenever our auto industry’s share of continental capital investment falls below 10 per cent of the total for any extended period of time, we know that our share of the continental market will fall accordingly.
What is truly disturbing for the future is that capital investments in the Canadian auto industry has declined as the proportion of the continental total productivity in our auto assembly industry has declined relative to American facilities.
Between 1969 and 1973 Canadian auto assembly productivity declined from 93 per cent of American assembly productivity to 71.4 per cent. In the case of the parts industry the most available data places Canadian productivity at 88.8 per cent of American productivity. This serious productivity gap, which has resulted from the inadequate level of investment in the Canadian assembly and parts industry, creates serious long-run problems for Ontario. I hope the government will understand this, because the auto pact is a free trade agreement in which Canada has only limited employment safeguards. Future investments will tend to reinforce those parts of the industry in the United States that are now productive, apart from political pressures coming from individual states and the American federal government.
There is simply no incentive for the industry to place investments in relatively unproductive facilities. At no time is this productivity gap of more fateful potential consequence than today. This is because the energy policy of US President Jimmy Carter will exert pressure on the American auto industry to retool and redevelop its products to meet gasoline efficiency standards. The response of the industry to this pressure from the American government will mean a new era of machinery, parts, and components in the American auto industry. Unless Ontario gets its fair share of development of new auto-related production we will fall still farther behind in our effort to overcome the trade deficit in auto parts.
Right now the American car makers are spending billions of dollars on new tools and factories to turn out a new generation of energy saving cars. As far as we know, General Motors has already announced that they will invest $5 billion a year in the early 1980s, Ford will spend $10 billion on its own; and we don’t know how much money Chrysler and American Motors will spend because it has not been disclosed yet.
Mr. Ziemba: How much in Canada?
Mr. di Santo: The only answer we have had from our Minister of Industry and Tourism, who at that time was the Hon. Mr. Bennett, was “we hope some of it will be in Canada.” I think that is too little, if we think we can live with that hope. We know what is happening right now at the American Motors plant in Brampton where the American management has decided all at once to change the production of that plant. We know what is happening in Windsor where the truck plant has been shut down because of pressures coming from the United States and Chrysler has decided to build its trucks in older plants in Detroit rather than the one in Windsor.
The situation in our parts manufacturing industry is also very serious. I want to read to you what the Arthur report said in June 1977. “Indeed the motor vehicle manufacturers and eight multinational parts producers, all US controlled and representing less than five per cent of the parts and accessories manufacturers in Canada, account for over 60 per cent of all original equipment parts produced in Canada. Thus some 450 companies are producing for the remaining 40 per cent of the output, and over 260 of these companies are Canadian owned.”
What disturbs me is that we have allowed the auto parts industry to erode to the point that it produces parts worth only slightly more than 50 per cent of the value of Canadian consumption and that is against the spirit and the letter of the auto pact.
Mr. Foulds: It’s positively shameful.
Mr. di Santo: Our ailing parts industry is in no position presently to negotiate the difficult path of innovation that will characterize the next few years --
Mr. Bradley: Who is driving Canadian cars?
Mr. di Santo: -- in North America as our society moves towards more efficient autos. This impedes our efforts, not only to overcome a very serious trade problem but also to achieve our goal of job creation. According to figures from the president of the auto parts manufacturing industry, Mr. Patrick Lanelle, for a deficit of $3 billion that we had last year we lost here in Ontario almost 45,000 jobs.
If there is a single strategic weakness in our industrial economy, it is centred in the machinery production sector. Historically, this country’s dependence on imported technology has been linked to a related dependence on imported machinery. In 1977, that dependence in a $3.1 billion trade deficit.
This industry, centred in Ontario, has become ever less capable of meeting domestic needs. In the years since 1960, as the major industrial nations have pioneered in the evolution of new capital equipment, our capacity in this sphere has fallen steadily behind. We are becoming a province dependent on outmoded technology, even more dependent on a lifeline to other countries to provide us with machinery. Maintaining this lifeline has now become an intolerable burden on our economy. We simply cannot afford a trade deficit of over $3 billion a year to meet our requirements for machinery.
Finally, we come to the case of the electrical products industry, and this is the third industry that I am examining. As a sectoral study of this industry produced for the Ministry of Industry and Tourism for this province pointed out, our electrical products industry is becoming less and less capable of meeting the needs of our domestic market.
Between 1964 and 1974, our trade deficit in these three industries widened from 14.5 per cent of the total industry shipments to 24.6 per cent. If we allow the deficit to continue to grow at the pace of the last decade, it will reach 35.6 per cent of shipments by 1985.
Mr. Foulds: Scandalous; absolutely scandalous.
Mr. di Santo: In that year, the deficit would reach over $2 billion. These are facts and not individual opinions.
Mr. Foulds: Right.
Mr. di Santo: As the Canadian Electrical Manufacturers Association has pointed out, our domestic market has been wide open to foreign imports while other markets have been relatively closed to our industry. The result has been the ever larger loss of our own market to outside competition without the compensation of satisfactory levels of exports.
In my judgement, if Ontario is to provide leadership to the nation in the development of manufacturing, as it has in the past, many of its efforts will have to be centred in these three strategic industries, whose cumulative employment totals over 200,000 in Ontario. If we are to have success in this endeavour, we will have to cut our way through some of the myths that surround the discussion of industry in Ontario. It is conventional wisdom, in fact, to say that while our citizens have been innovative in resource industries, we have been slow to develop viable ideas in the manufacturing sector. It is conventional wisdom to say that our domestic market is simply too small to allow us to achieve sufficient efficiency of production to allow us to expand into new fields and remain competitive.
A study carried out by the Science Council of Canada concluded that the problem of lack of innovation in Canadian industry in comparison to industry in other western countries was rooted in the structure of Canadian industry, in particular its heavy reliance on imported technology through the medium of foreign-based end-product manufacturers. The study concluded that most existing programs aimed at promoting more innovation of new products by Canadian manufacturers fail to come to terms with this structural reality. The study also concluded that market size is by no means a crippling problem for our industry, since efficiency of products in industry does not increase as a straight line in relation to the length of product runs.
Cost of production per unit of output falls rapidly in the first stages of increased output, but much less rapidly as volumes increase.
Darcy McKeough’s view that the larger the market the greater the efficiency of production has more to do with rationalizing Ontario’s disappointing industrial performance than it has to do with reality of the product in process. In short, we often have a tendency to give up without a fight when it comes to industrial strategy in Ontario.
Despite his call for an industrial strategy in his budget, Darcy McKeough and the planners in his department appear to have given up the battle for the manufacturing sector in Ontario; that’s the truth.
In a report issued by Darcy McKeough’s treasury department entitled, A Long-Term Projection of Ontario’s Industrial Development Pattern, we can see what the assumptions of the government really are with respect to future employment trends in various sectors of the economy in the province of Ontario.
Mr. Bradley: Every time you mention Darcy you get 10 more votes.
Hon. Mr. Parrott: For us.
Mr. di Santo: The report points out that while in 1961 the manufacturing sector of Ontario’s economy employed 30.7 per cent of the labour force, by the mid-1970s this proportion had fallen to 24.6 per cent. Darcy McKeough’s rhetoric about the productive --
Mr. Acting Speaker: May I point out to the hon. member that he must not refer to members by names but only by their riding or by their office.
Mr. di Santo: The Treasurer’s rhetoric about the productive sector aside -- the Hon. Darcy McKeough --
Hon. Mr. Parrott: No, the hon. member for Chatham-Kent.
Mr. di Santo: -- the hon. member from Chatham, that’s much better, the Duke of Chatham.
The report predicts that by 1985 only --
Mr. Lupusella: You won’t change Darcy McKeough anyway just by making a particular reference to his riding.
Hon. Mr. Parrott: Stand up when you say that.
Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, please.
Mr. Lupusella: Mr. Speaker, why don’t you keep the minister under control? On a point of order.
Mr. Acting Speaker: Order. Would the member for Downsview please continue and ignore the interruptions?
Mr. di Santo: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The Treasurer’s rhetoric about the productive sector aside, the report predicts that by 1985 only 20.1 per cent of our provincial employment will be in the manufacturing sector, down from 30.7 in 1960; and by 1995, it goes on, the proportion will be down to 16 per cent. What does this mean for job creation in the eyes of the Treasurer?
While in the 1960s annual employment in manufacturing grew in the province by 2.3 per cent, in the 1970s the growth rate has fallen to 0.7 per cent a year. Since 1974, in fact, there has been no growth at all. For the future, the treasury department’s report projects that job creation will be much below that of the 1960s and output growth in manufacturing will continue to slow down over the next two decades.
Where will the growth in employment be over the next two decades according to the report of the Treasurer? Ironically despite his daily rhetoric, the Treasurer’s department predicts much of it will be in the government sector. That’s really ironic and a condemnation of the daily performance of the Treasurer and of the government in this House.
During the 1970s, while manufacturing employment has stagnated, government employment has grown by 6.6 per cent per year. Over the next two decades, the report predicts, the government sector, will continue to grow by three per cent a year and by 1995 government employment will comprise 8.2 per cent of the total employment, half as much as the manufacturing sector in the province of Ontario.
Despite all the talk about industrial strategy and creating jobs in the manufacturing sector, the provincial government does not believe its own rhetoric. It believes instead that the manufacturing sector will continue to shrink while the government sector expands. The programs of the Minister of Industry and Tourism, in theory designed to have an impact on the climate of industrial development, have had almost no perceivable effect on the structural difficulties that face Ontario industry. The rather low priority afforded such programs is evident from the fact that the ministry’s budget constitutes less than one per cent of the provincial government’s spending.
To a considerable extent existing government programs fail to come to terms with the particular problems that confront the evolution of a successful industrial strategy in Ontario. One of the most serious problems, a problem of great importance in the three industries I have discussed, has to do with the sourcing of new technology for the Canadian market.
Normally when an end-product manufacturer develops a new product, the manufacturer works closely with other firms to develop related parts and components needed for the production of the end product. Parts producers which find themselves removed in distance or across an international boundary from the end-product manufacturer have a real disadvantage in availing themselves of the opportunity to serve as the source of components and parts for new products.
A Science Council of Canada background study defined the problem in these terms: “For parts, components, material and industrial equipment manufacturers, it is especially important to develop a very close relationship with the lead end-product manufacturer, because without the demand pool they provide and without a definition of need to guide development, meaningful innovation is virtually impossible. Developing this kind of relationship can present a difficult problem for a small Canadian company, and if it must deal with a headquarters outside of Canada, the problem can become monumental.
“In most cases,” the study continues, “those responsible for developing or engineering a new product will, many months and sometimes years before the product is due for a release, expose their anticipated needs to some trustworthy friends who are responsible for providing the needed technology in the supplier companies. The end-product manufacturers will do this to determine what they can reasonably expect from their suppliers from a technological point of view and to ensure that their parts and materials requirements can be satisfied when the time comes to go into production.
“For suppliers, this kind of information is vital, for it allows them to orient their development programs along meaningful lines. The suppliers who are made privy to these needs of leading manufacturers will quite naturally have a tremendous advantage over those who are not.”
Because in the case of Ontario industry -- and this is true of the three industries I have discussed -- a large proportion of dominant end-product manufacturers have head offices outside of Canada, it is difficult for our industries to establish themselves successfully in the chain of production. The vital link between the end product manufacturers and an Ontario firm interested in supplying parts and components is difficult to establish. Let me cite two examples from the Science Council study to which I referred, because they are very interesting and both examples deal with the auto parts industry.
Mr. Samis: Very revealing, too.
Mr. di Santo: Here is the first example, and I quote from the report:
“As a result of the Canada-United States auto agreement, a large US manufacturer of an automobile subassembly has located a plant in the Toronto area. This plant is responsible for manufacturing a very substantial portion of North American requirements for the subassembly in question. However, the Canadian operation involves only assembly, and all of the other functions, including engineering and quality assurance, remain in the United States.
“A Canadian supplier, knowing that parts go into this subassembly, attempts to sell to this plant. The Canadian supplier is told that his product is not approved and that he must submit samples for approval. The Canadian supplier complies and provides samples. One year and many inquiries later, the Canadian supplier is still not approved. The engineer ostensibly in charge of approvals for the Canadian automotive subassembly manufacturer is evasive when asked why approval is not forthcoming. After some digging, the Canadian parts supplier realizes that all approvals are granted by the quality assurance laboratory in the US Midwest; and the Canadian engineer was reluctant to give this information and thus reveal his limited authority.
“The sales manager and the chief engineer of the Canadian supplier journey to Chicago to the man in charge of approvals. The meeting is cordial, and within an hour the Canadian supplier is approved to supply parts to a plant a few miles from home. This particular example has a happy ending. But how many cases are there in which the supplier never identifies the problems and thus never gets the business?”
The second case illustrates what happens when one link in the chain of production is broken. “Prior to the auto pact, General Motors Canadian automobiles were not built entirely to US-generated specifications. One area in which those Canadian autos were different was in the paint. The paint which was used at that time was developed by CIL’s paint research and development team in Toronto in collaboration with General Motors. However, as a result of the auto pact, specifications were standardized for all of North America, and US-generated specifications for paint were applied in Canada. CIL could no longer supply and was displaced by the subsidiaries of the supplier in the US. Its paint development then became superfluously large and had to be cut. The reduction in the size of R and D activity in Canada did more than affect CIL’s capability merely as it applies to the auto industry; it affected its capability in paints generally.
“The development carried out for the auto industry quite naturally spills over into other areas and reinforce total activities. We must also consider that the paint manufacturers played the same role towards the suppliers of the paint industry that the auto industry plays towards the paint manufacturers. The lost opportunities are thus transmitted down the line and the suppliers of pigments and other materials used in paints will have less opportunity for their interaction with which they require to keep abreast of the advancing technology.”
The problems which arise as a result of the sourcing of so much of the new technology outside Canada are central to the three major industries which we have been talking about. It should be pointed out that the difficulty that Ontario’s industries have in becoming the source for parts and components for end-product manufacturers based outside Canada makes our industry less profitable.
It is because in the life-cycle of a new product profitability is highest in the relatively early stage, before maximum levels of production are reached and competition with other firms is established. Missing out on this early stage of production is a very serious impediment to many Ontario manufacturers. This province is negotiating a very difficult period in its industrial history. In an age of complex technology and worldwide markets, our industrial power has not been maintained. The government of Ontario has revealed an uncertainty about how to stimulate the growth of jobs in productive industries that our economy needs so badly. The Conservatives have accepted too many traditional wisdoms about our inability to overcome the problems of our manufacturing sector.
In planning the industrial future of this province, we must be mindful of Ontario’s past, mindful of the human and natural energy that has made this province the productive centre that it is. We should not forget that Ontario’s past development was no simple accident of circumstance. In making Ontario the workshop of Canada, the manufacturing centre of the nation, great industrial and collective initiative was needed. Vital to the development of Ontario’s industrial strength was the presence of a creative and innovative provincial government.
Despite its high reputation of economic management, today’s Conservative government has forgotten that the basis of Ontario’s economic strength is its manufacturing capacity. Under the Conservatives, Ontario’s industry has stagnated, becoming ever less competitive, ever further behind other industrial regions, and its technology ever less capable of innovative advance.
Today I want to suggest a solution to one aspect of this problem that is in keeping with our commitment to a commonsense approach to the issue. The aspect of the problem I want to centre on is that of product innovation, the capacity of Ontario’s industry to participate much more effectively in the development of new technology that responds to real areas of demand.
The crippling trade deficit in the three industries I discussed tonight are to a great extent centred in the pronounced tendency of end-product manufacturers to import parts and components from firms with which they are associated at the place of their head office, outside Canada. In other words, much of the deficit is not attributable to a direct purchase of foreign-produced end products by Canadian consumers, but it is attributable to the reliance by the end-product manufacturers located in Ontario on outside sources for parts and components.
Because of this, we are giving up access to a large part of the market that counts most for Ontario industries, our own domestic market. The battle to make our industry competitive must be fought first in our own domestic market. A good place to begin that effort is to make use of government to assist industry in overcoming the break in the link between end-product manufacturers and domestic part producers. If we can overcome this broken link, we can enable Ontario industry to express its capacity for innovation, a capacity that is now blunted because present government programs tend to conceive R and D in a vacuum, separate from product demand and industrial structure.
We are proposing the establishment of an agency, the Ontario product innovation agency, that would report to the treasury minister to carry out this task. The agency would have two major functions, an economic function and a technical function.
Its economic function would be to advise the minister on developments in key industries in the area of sourcing of new technology to allow the government to use its weight effectively, to lobby both end-product manufacturers and governments to ensure that Ontario manufacturers operate in a climate which is conducive to their efforts to link their R and D activities to the product plants of end-product manufacturers.
The technical function would involve a direct effort, in conjunction with specific industries, to provide a link with leading end-product manufacturers to ensure that our industries have every advantage in lead time in making themselves available as the sources of new parts and components in the manufacturing process. We think that this would be a more effective way to deal with research and development, as the provincial government has done virtually nothing. In the last budget there is absolutely zero in the area of research. The federal government, which is proposing to spend only $50 million for research, won’t do much for Canada and for the province of Ontario, which accounts for 50 per cent of the manufacturing in the country.
What we want to do through this agency is to provide a link in the productive and innovative process, where a link often does not now exist. This is in our view a commonsense approach that deals directly with the problem. It is not as doctrinaire as the Conservative government’s because they are relying in almost dogmatic terms on private enterprise without looking at the serious structural problems that we are faced with. This is in our view a good approach and this is our proposal which is indicative of our approach to the manufacturing sector of the Ontario economy.
Unfortunately, we cannot express any confidence whatsoever in the government because of its inability in the past to deal with the major problems of our economy. It is an inability which shows the total bankruptcy of ideas and total subservience to the bankrupt policies of the federal government, which is even more responsible than the government of Ontario for our present troubles. We are offering, however, our ideas in an effort to create a focus in the province which will attract the attention of the people of Ontario, thus creating the premise for rescuing the economy of Ontario, and indeed of Canada.
Mr. Kennedy: It is always a delight to talk to a very attentive Hansard. It is always listening to what you say. I am pleased to rise and participate in the budget debate this evening.
First, I want to commend the hard-working Treasurer. He has a very onerous task that I don’t think is appreciated by the members of this House. I think that his job is second to none in any western jurisdiction. These are difficult times for governments and he is doing an excellent job. He has got the onerous task of balancing the books, restraining public spending and at the same time creating jobs.
Mr. Lupusella: You forgot the 37.5 per cent increase in OHIP premiums.
Mr. Germa: Tell about the 30,000 out of work.
Mr. Hall: Is that a new suit?
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order.
Mr. Kennedy: Mr. Speaker, it is just delight; we’ve had everyone very somnolent since 8 o’clock.
Mr. Bradley: Somnolent?
Mr. Kennedy: Since 8:30, pardon me.
Mr. Lupusella: He was talking commonsense; you are talking nonsense.
Mr. Kennedy: The bill that was heard earlier brought some attention.
Mr. Bradley: You’ve ruined the whole night.
Mr. Kennedy: And then hon. members lapsed into silence --
Mr. Germa: Mr. Speaker, I am fed up with this guy.
Mr. Kennedy: -- both of them.
Mr. Germa: You get on the floor and the whole thing falls apart.
Mr. Kennedy: I’m glad that we are now having a bit of a revival session here.
Mr. Ruston: Is that the same suit you had at the start of the day?
An hon. member: Tell us about last night in Mississauga.
Mr. Kennedy: Last night we got another potential federal member nominated, yes; and one the night before. So there are two more on the march for Joe Clark; we’re coming up you see.
Mr. Ruston: What happened to Gillies? You had a good man and he quit.
Mr. Kennedy: Two more coming up.
Mr. Hall: Lots of potential? Gillies didn’t run.
Mr. Kennedy: Two more coming up; I’ll keep you posted on nominations.
All this is in the face of the fact that funds for legitimate social and economic goals are limited.
Mr. di Santo: You didn’t release them.
Mr. Kennedy: All this in the face of the opposition critics having nothing to offer, nothing to offer but further inflationary schemes which look appetizing on paper but do not take into account the price of a meal.
Mr. Germa: Who wrote that for you? Darcy?
Mr. Kennedy: The position of the leader of the third party and his fellow colleagues shows their lack of concern about costing out their ideas.
Mr. Lupusella: You don’t understand the program.
Mr. Kennedy: It really must be a luxury to sit in opposition, Mr. Speaker, free from the consequences of calling for hundreds of millions of dollars more for government job creation, and pretend that we on this side of the House can find those extra dollars with a massive increase in corporate taxes, It can’t be done,
Mr. Germa: What is wrong with that?
Mr. Lupusella: You don’t know how to run this government.
Mr. Kennedy: I suppose, however, they would enjoy such a radical shift in priorities, and this type of thinking would cause such a radical shift in priorities, it certainly would create a different future for this enterprising and resourceful province --
Mr. Ziemba: You are only creating jobs for developers.
Mr. Germa: And also a lack of activity.
Mr. Kennedy: -- and not one I am sure that most people in Ontario would support or could even live with. Such policies would only serve to swell the already swollen public sector.
Mr. Lupusella: On the contrary.
Mr. Kennedy: I feel the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) was not only responsible but also realistic in stating in his budget that a long-term employment base can only be built up with a new private sector investment for our rapidly expanding labour force.
Mr. Ziemba: You don’t believe that, do you? Who wrote that for you?
Mr. Kennedy: For the fourth successive year provincial expenditure growth is down -- not up but down -- and the provincial deficit has been reduced by some $237 million.
Mr. Foulds: Better check that.
Mr. Kennedy: For this fiscal year the expenditures of the government will grow only seven per cent, which is significantly less --
Mr. di Santo: Which book did you read?
Mr. Kennedy: -- than the 9.8 per cent expenditure growth --
Mr. Foulds: What about your contracting out?
Mr. Bradley: What about all the contract employees?
Mr. Kennedy: -- estimated by the federal government for the same period.
Mr. Germa: We are in provincial politics; never mind the feds, talk about the province, talk about Ontario.
Mr. Ziemba: What about Drake Personnel?
Mr. Kennedy: Compared with a 12.5 per cent nominal growth in Ontario’s gross provincial product this seven per cent growth in provincial expenditures means the government of Ontario is effectively battling the fight against inflation.
Mr. Bradley: On the backs of the municipalities.
Mr. Kennedy: Municipal grants are up, and you know it.
Mr. Bradley: And the council gets the blame at municipal tax time.
Mr. Kennedy: It is also important to note that last year spending by all levels of government in this province took only 33.4 per cent of the gross provincial product, compared with 42.8 per cent in the cost of Canada.
Mr. Foulds: Shameful, that is.
Mr. Kennedy: In 1978, government expending is expected to drop to 32.9 per cent of the gross provincial product.
Mr. Foulds: That is a whole one-tenth of one per cent.
Mr. Kennedy: Further, Ontario’s year-end final spending for the 1977-78 fiscal year that has just ended will come in a full $95 million below original budget.
Mr. Foulds: How would you like to place a little bet on that?
Mr. Kennedy: This is a continuing process which the government began some time ago; namely opening up new room for private sector investment and increasing incentives for new private developments in the province.
Mr. Lupusella: Nonsense.
Mr. Foulds: Notice how they are rushing into the breach in Sudbury.
Mr. Kennedy: This process is a clear indicator of the extent to which Ontario policy is open to new economic growth.
Mr. Germa: It is really booming.
Mr. Kennedy: As you are aware, or should be aware by now, the government tabled a set of proposals at the recent first ministers’ conference in Ottawa --
Mr. Foulds: With features for every place but Ontario
An hon. member: $124,000 worth of coffee was consumed.
Mr. Kennedy: -- which were designed to put new muscle into medium term policy for the national economy. Even our opposition friends applauded that.
Mr. Germa: So did all our leaders.
Mr. Kennedy: I am pleased to see that Mr. Chretien, in his budget, made at least an effort with his sales tax proposals to link Ottawa’s economic management efforts with the other provinces.
Mr. Lupusella: What about the jobs? Tell us about the jobs.
Mr. Kennedy: To this effect, Ontario has introduced legislation to cut its sales tax from seven to four per cent for a six-month period.
Mr. Germa: We don’t want to hear about the sales tax. We know about that.
Mr. Foulds: How about jobs they created in the hospitality industry?
Mr. Kennedy: I’m pleased to see that Ottawa decided to provide tax breaks to companies engaging in research and development.
Mr. Foulds: Oh yes.
Mr. Kennedy: We have a considerable interest in this with the Ontario Research Foundation and I know it is a positive move. It’s one we advocated in our select committee on economic and cultural nationalism. I was glad to see a move forward. The hon. member for London South (Mr. Walker) --
Mr. Bradley: Mr. Sunset himself.
Mr. Kennedy: -- was a very excellent contributor to that committee and it was one of the areas we were able to get our teeth into and do quite a fair assessment on.
Mr. Foulds: Too bad the government hasn’t implemented any of its recommendations.
Mr. Kennedy: I’m pleased this breakthrough has occurred -- this acknowledgement. But we’ve got to recognize it won’t have an economic impact overnight. It’s a longer-term thing, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction for this country.
As indicated in the provincial budget, the Treasurer of Ontario has informed the Treasurer of the federal government --
Mr. Foulds: Minister of Finance.
Mr. Kennedy: -- the Minister of Finance -- that Ontario is willing to assist in the formulation of a powerful incentive program for industrial research and development. More recently, the Premier (Mr. Davis) reiterated this --
Mr. Foulds: Oh, when was that?
Mr. Kennedy: -- and other proposals associated with Ontario’s programs. If the member would follow what’s going on in the world of politics, he would know these things.
Mr. Foulds: I don’t read every last speech that Davis makes.
Mr. Kennedy: You’re so wrapped up in social programs and socialistic measures that you don’t know what’s going on in in the real world of the private sector and private enterprise.
Mr. Foulds: I would just like a footnote. I’d just like to know when the date was so I can look up the speech and read it in detail.
Mr. Kennedy: -- and other proposals that are associated with Ontario’s program for immediate job creation in a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau. Whether or not the present federal government in the light of an impending general election gets the chance to act upon some of these initiatives remains to be seen, but we know Joe Clark and his Conservatives will.
Mr. Kerrio: Joe Who?
Mr. Foulds: What initiatives?
Mr. Germa: Why don’t you talk about the province? Leave the feds alone.
Mr. Kennedy: I know the member from my neighbouring riding, Mississauga North (Mr. Jones), the member who’s responsible for the Youth Secretariat, is pleased with Ontario’s part in increasing its own expenditures --
Mr. Bradley: He’s got a new suit too, I see.
Mr. Kennedy: -- on employment programs for young people. The leader of the third party -- the party of the third part -- on April 14 mentioned that only 13,000 --
Mr. Foulds: New Democratic Party. Is that so hard to say?
Mr. Kennedy: -- summer jobs will be created for students. I don’t know if it’s intentionally inaccurate that he put this in the record, but nevertheless it’s there. The fact is the government will be providing for over 60,000 summer jobs at a cost of $78 million --
Mr. Lupusella: We have 368,000 people unemployed in Ontario.
Mr. Kennedy: -- which is $13 million more than last year, and only $16.5 million less than the federal government will provide for youth employment across the entire country.
Mr. Ziemba: What do we do the rest of the year?
Mr. Kennedy: Moreover, for this summer the innovative Ontario youth employment program which pays an incentive grant to private sector employers for new jobs created for young people during the summer months --
Mr. Germa: Private wages now.
Mr. Kennedy: -- will have its grants boosted from $1 per hour to $1.25 per hour --
Mr. Foulds: It’s called free enterprise.
Mr. Kennedy: -- and the effective term extended from 16 to 25 weeks.
Mr. Germa: It’s called propping up the free enterprise system with public money.
Mr. Kennedy: I mentioned about the NDP’s failure to cost out its proposals for job-creating activities --
Mr. Foulds: No, we costed them out.
Mr. Kennedy: -- but looking at the official opposition’s approach, it is not any better over there either. I don’t blame them, however, because their package of proposals is very vague and it’s about impossible to cost it out. We just don’t know.
Mr. Ziemba: If you are so smart, why are you bankrupt?
Mr. Kennedy: But they do point an accusing finger. They point an accusing finger over here --
An hon. member: Why can’t you cost it out?
Mr. Foulds: Even with Gordon Walker around there are still 65,000 civil servants.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order.
Mr. Kennedy: -- and ridicule our spending restraints. If that party wishes to be taken seriously as an alternative government, its leader and financial critic should enlighten all members of this House as to where they intend to find the money for their proposals.
Mr. Ziemba: He will.
Mr. Kennedy: The Treasurer has asked for that; it isn’t forthcoming. What services would be terminated to generate further substantial cuts? There’s been no answer.
Mr. Germa: Tell us how to live on $2.65 an hour. Tell us that one.
Mr. Ziemba: You have nobody to blame but yourselves.
Mr. Kennedy: The opposition has stated that they would expand apprenticeship training programs and provide more funds to subsidize jobs in the private sectors. During the last election, the Liberal Party announced it would spend another $200 million. The member for London Centre (Mr. Peterson) in response to the budget, repeated this idea and repeated the criterion -- 20 per cent of salary for each new job up to $10,000 a year per firm -- but placed no ceiling on the total cost each year.
Mr. Bradley: Of course, that generates more tax revenues.
Mr. Kennedy: It’s very easy to put these forward. Where is the money coming from?
Mr. Kerrio: Darcy could find $200 million overnight. Darcy could find $200 million just like that.
Mr. Kennedy: One thing we’re doing is, my colleague the Minister of Colleges and Universities (Mr. Parrott ) --
Mr. Foulds: Where is he tonight?
Mr. Kennedy: He’s around. He was right here. He’s listening outside -- in co-operation with representatives of Ontario’s business sector, has just returned from Holland. I had some consultation with people --
Mr. Foulds: From Holland? I thought this was a time of restraint. He spent the money to go to Holland, did he?
Mr. Kennedy: -- in my riding, who were very interested in this program and will be getting in touch with the ministry. He’s just returned from Holland where he investigated the training methods used to teach apprentices over there.
This type of investigation is just another example of the government getting together with industry in a continuing effort to seek better alternatives to our present job situation.
Mr. Ziemba: Just another junket.
Mr. Lupusella: To increase the deficit.
Mr. Kennedy: I look forward to the minister’s impending announcement concerning new initiatives, which will raise the profile of the apprenticeship program in this province.
Mrs. Campbell: We can’t criticize them. They are still too vague.
Mr. Kennedy: I was puzzled, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Foulds: That’s not hard.
Mr. Kennedy: I reread Hansard and with respect to the Liberal critic’s statement that “Ontario does not have a thriving entrepreneurial class and we must develop one” --
Mrs. Campbell: That’s true.
Mr. Kennedy: -- I don’t know what he means by class. If it means class distinction --
Mrs. Campbell: You know what entrepreneurial means.
Mr. Bradley: That wouldn’t be taken out of context, would it?
Mr. Kennedy: -- are they all coming together and having a little club; I don’t know, but we certainly support entrepreneurship on this side of the House.
Mr. Foulds: You can’t even pronounce it.
Mrs. Campbell: He knows about class distinction.
Mr. Kennedy: The Liberal policy paper was mentioned with respect to small business. I confess I haven’t studied that at this moment. I don’t know how that fits in -- maybe it can be clarified -- with their private bill on small business, a bill which was supposed to help small business but which, under examination --
Mr. Ziemba: You voted for it.
Mr. Kennedy: -- with all the restrictions imposed and all the bureaucracy and intervention by government, rather than help small business, would stifle it.
Mr. Ziemba: You voted for it.
Mr. Foulds: Why did you vote for it?
Mr. Kennedy: Mr. Speaker, I know many entrepreneurs. They’re the ones who really built this country. If they’re declining in numbers or static in numbers, I haven’t heard of it. If they are, I think it’s because successive governments, and particularly the opposition’s counterparts in Ottawa --
Mr. Ziemba: You don’t even know what you’re talking about.
Mr. Foulds: Yes, name one.
Mr. Kennedy: -- have simply had social policies that have weakened the fibre of this country. The policies of government moving to more and more intervention encouraged people to turn to the government. People I have spoken to say --
Mr. Ziemba: Talk about your own policies.
Ms. Gigantes: What do you think about Mac’s Milk?
Mr. Kennedy: -- “Would you just leave us alone and we’ll get on with building and creating and employing.”
Ms. Gigantes: We know your kind of Canadian industry: Mac’s Milk and Pinto.
Mr. Kennedy: I would expect the member for London Centre’s own family would fall into that category and perhaps a discussion there might clarify that point and, in fact, shore up --
Mr. Foulds: What do you mean?
Mr. Ziemba: You’ve driven him out of the House.
Mr. Kennedy: -- what I have said as to the value of entrepreneurship. There is a good example.
Ms. Gigantes: London Life Insurance Company is what you mean. Right?
Mr. Kennedy: Big firms start by small people working and building.
Ms. Gigantes: You’d protect Mac’s Milk and Pinto. That’s entrepreneurship in your eyes.
Mr. Kennedy: I didn’t hear that, Mr. Speaker, and I don’t think I missed anything.
I could go on at length about the inability of members on the opposite side of the House to come forward and provide constructive criticism -- maybe they will, but they simply haven’t come yet -- to deal with the problems facing the province, but I want to turn to another subject that has been on our minds for some years.
Mr. Bradley: Regional government.
Mr. Ziemba: Let’s hear about the speculators in Mississauga.
Mr. Kennedy: It’s not just as visible here at the moment but it’s very real and very much with us; that is, the question of national unity, and the Premier’s tabling of the first report of the Advisory Committee on Confederation, which this government appointed last spring under the chairmanship of Ian Macdonald of York University.
Mr. Bradley: I thought the member for Dufferin-Simcoe (Mr. McCague) was your chairman.
Mr. Kennedy: The report has just been released, and I haven’t had the opportunity to study the proposals --
Mr. Foulds: Oh, you haven’t? I’ve got a copy right here.
Mr. Kennedy: -- but we, as members of the Legislature, must continue to inform our neighbours, to be informed ourselves, to embrace the personal politics of commitment for harmony, whether it be in English or in French.
Ms. Gigantes: What does that mean?
Mr. Kennedy: If any strong and truly forceful case for Canadian federalism is to be made for keeping Quebec within Confederation, it is the economic performance of the Canadian economy, which will prove to be as influential as French-language rights in Ontario and all the other provinces.
Ms. Gigantes: We have lost more investment than Quebec has. Do you know that? And your Treasurer can name how much we have lost: five cents out of 12, he says.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order.
Mr. Kennedy: In which language was the hon. member speaking? I didn’t hear her.
Ms. Gigantes: English. You have trouble with that.
Mr. Kennedy: Oh, I couldn’t hear her.
Regarding language, Mr. Speaker, it is now quite apparent that bilingualism and the millions of dollars expended thereon is a failure, and it’s a costly failure.
Mr. Bradley: Is that what Robert Stanfield says?
Mr. Kennedy: At that time, if even a portion of that money had been spent towards French instruction, starting at the lower grades in our schools, we would be much further ahead today.
Mr. Foulds: Why didn’t you do it?
Mr. Kennedy: There’s a bit of hindsight there, but I have got some more to say about this. Keith Spicer recognized this in his 1976 report, and the Prime Minister of Canada reluctantly had to concede that this was so.
Ms. Gigantes: Boy, are you ever catching up fast.
Mr. Bradley: And what does this have to do with the provincial budget?
Mr. Kennedy: Despite the claims from those opposite, Ontario has had a consistent history of working with Quebec.
Mrs. Campbell: It certainly has had a consistent history.
Mr. Kennedy: It is discouraging that these have made no impression on the present government of Quebec, which is dedicated to separation. Quebec has set out very clearly that it is going to move to unilingualism, French. We want to save Canada.
Mr. Bradley: Now back to OHIP increases.
Mr. Kennedy: We want Quebec to stay with us. We don’t want a fragmented country.
Mr. Foulds: Howard Ferguson made a positive contribution to that, didn’t he?
Mr. Kennedy: Thomas D’Arcy McGee, father of Confederation, said on July 17, 1867: “The morbid anatomy of nations, the causes of their decline and fall do not much interest me. What we in Canada should study is their rise to greatness.” Ontario can and must and is playing a major role towards resolution of our Confederation difficulties.
Ms. Gigantes: How?
Mr. Kennedy: Many people in our province, confused and angered by what they think they are hearing from French Canada, are saying -- and I have heard it in this House: “Go ahead; leave, and see what happens.” We have an obligation to arrest these fears. We must not let these people be fooled by the notion that Quebec wants out of Confederation and that’s the end of it. I don’t believe it’s so. I don’t believe the Parti Quebecois was elected so that French Canada could separate. They were elected because many people in Quebec felt the government in power at that time needed to be turfed out, and it was.
Opinion polls show that prior to that Quebec election, only 18 per cent of the voting population believed in separation, which is less than one person out of five.
Ms. Gigantes: What are you offering?
Mr. Kennedy: After November 15, 1976, the Gallup Poll found that only 11 per cent of Quebec’s population, less than one person in 10, wanted to separate.
Ms. Gigantes: Who are you trying to convince?
Mr. Kennedy: These are the facts we must keep in perspective.
Mr. Bradley: What percentage of Ontario’s population wants regional government?
Mr. Kennedy: I believe that the challenges facing us now should be instrumental in bringing Canadians together in a sense of purpose, commitment and understanding. The whole issue should be discussed in an open, friendly, objective and co-operative way --
Ms. Gigantes: What do you suggest?
Mr. Kennedy: -- with a goal of reaching common ground whereby Confederation can be maintained. If you would listen, this is what I am saying. Premier Davis has been a leader in this respect, and that’s not just a partisan statement.
Ms. Gigantes: He has been. Where is he now?
Mr. Kennedy: An editorial in the Toronto Star on April 12 had this comment, following his tabling of the first report of the Ontario Advisory Committee on Confederation: “Premier William Davis and all thoughtful Canadians have reason to be pleased with the first report of the Advisory Committee on Confederation” --
Mr. Foulds: Did he say that?
Mr. Kennedy: -- “chaired by York University president H. Ian Macdonald.”
Ms. Gigantes: You haven’t read it yet, you told us. We’ve read it; you haven’t read it.
Mr. Speaker: Order. The hon. member for Carleton East will have an opportunity at a later date of contributing to this debate.
Mr. Kennedy: “Along with clarity, there is a degree of boldness, which is welcome from Ontario, a province usually considered to have the most reason to be satisfied with Confederation as it stands.”
I am quoting from an editorial that comes from that great Metropolitan Toronto journal, and I can read. The editorial applauds the committee’s recommendation that Canada needs a strong, central government to maintain and develop the national economy and to enhance a sense of national identity and purpose.
That was very interesting to me because here in this House in 1971 I spoke on Confederation. At that time, Rene Levesque was surfacing and it was quite a current topic across the country. I referred then to what was called self-determination or separatism in this way: “I would like to challenge Rene Levesque’s assumption that when he forms his government and begins his negotiations for a separate and independent Quebec that these negotiations will be between himself and the federal government only, as he evidently stated at one point.”
Ms. Gigantes: He wouldn’t have Trudeau as leader anyway.
Mr. Kennedy: I suggested that since it was the provinces that put this country together in the first place, it must be the provinces, as well as the federal government, which negotiate with Quebec regarding any terms of separation.
Ms. Gigantes: You will let Trudeau speak for you again.
Mr. Kennedy: There is no established mechanism for this in our constitution, as has been determined last year.
Ms. Gigantes: Does Trudeau speak for you?
Mr. Kennedy: I went on to say that our French-speaking friends should understand and be prepared to pay the cost which this special type of nationhood would involve. I suggested the current situation in Quebec and Levesque’s goal of separation ignore or gloss over the benefits which have accrued to Quebeckers, to all of us, in the past through Confederation.
Ms. Gigantes: What have you paid?
Mr. Kennedy: I am still quoting from that time and that era. I said: “This will continue as long as we are prepared to accept reasonable and practical compromises between English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians both in Quebec and outside.”
Ms. Gigantes: What are you compromising?
Mr. Kennedy: To be perfectly frank, when I made those remarks in 1971, and when I think back to that time, I had no idea that in the fullness of time we would see Levesque and a government committed to separation now elected. I confess I am a very surprised Canadian and surprised at my own clairvoyance.
Ms. Gigantes: Lack of.
Mr. Kennedy: I do support, and said so at that time, the recommendation of the Advisory Committee on Confederation for a strong central government, strong through co-operation with the provinces. The federal government of whatever party needs the support of the provinces to maintain its strength. Support from the provinces can be achieved by treating provinces fairly and equitably. We are all one country. We want to remain so.
Ms. Gigantes: Southern Ontario can say that.
Mr. Kennedy: In order to maintain a vibrant and enthusiastically united Canada, the distribution of economic opportunities must be consistent and it must be equitable. The only way to achieve that goal is to build a climate of confidence and vigorous individual initiative within well established and fair rules which all citizens and groups recognize and understand. That is the tradition of Canadian private enterprise.
Ms. Gigantes: That’s why it’s failing. That’s milking --
Mr. Kennedy: That was the reality, those were the policies, that made Canada what it is today. No matter what those purveyors of doom and gloom say --
Mr. Foulds: And you just told us it’s a mess.
Mr. Kennedy: -- we have one of the best countries in the whole western world. And don’t you forget it.
Ms. Gigantes: In spite of what’s gone before.
Mr. Kennedy: To phrase it another way -- no federal or provincial ministry in 1867 established towns or determined which industry would be located where. Thrifty and self-sufficient pioneers did these, and thousands of other tasks to lay the foundation for ensuring a united Canada. Our economic and social system reflects the product of hard work and great risks taken at tremendous odds by our ancestors, by entrepreneurs.
Mr. Foulds: Like the CPR which was guaranteed by the taxpayers?
Ms. Gigantes: Like Mac’s Milk?
Mr. Kennedy: Listen, if you had half the courage of those people who built the CPR we’d be better off --
Mr. Foulds: Yes, the people who built it. Not the entrepreneurs whom the people subsidized.
Mr. Kennedy: -- than listening to you people preach doom and gloom all the time you are in here. I’ll tell you something -- the people of Canada are coming to realize that --
Mr. Kennedy: -- and the next time around your ranks are going to be thinner over there.
Mr. Foulds: On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker. I would like the hon. member to know, and this chamber to know, that I’ve built more railway track in my lifetime than that member ever has.
Mr. Speaker: That’s hardly a point of privilege.
Mr. Kennedy: To respond to the point of privilege, Mr. Speaker --
Mr. Foulds: It’s true.
Mr. Kennedy: I very much doubt the member would know how many railroads I’ve built.
Mr. Speaker: He probably was privileged to have done so, but it was hardly a point of privilege.
Mr. Kennedy: You don’t know how many railroads I’ve built. I’ve planted a lot of trees, built a lot of houses.
Mr. Foulds: Have you laid any railway track?
Mr. Kennedy: No, I have picked them up and used them. That’s hard work, too. You did a rotten job. They had some that were waste. We used them for fuel.
Ms. Gigantes: The guys who made the money out of the CPR didn’t build the track. Come on.
Mr. Kennedy: The CPR now is Canadian owned, by Canadians, after many years -- for the last 10 years.
Ms. Gigantes: Is that who built the track? The guys who made the money out of it were not Canadian.
Mr. Kennedy: Mr. Speaker, I have wanted for some period of time to put on the record those comments --
Mr. Kennedy: -- for whatever help they might be in overcoming the jeopardy in which Canada finds itself today. I hope perhaps it may make some small impact toward asserting our intense desire to maintain this country as a free, vibrant country that will go forward. Sometimes the past mirrors the future. If we look back, we haven’t done at all badly --
Mr. Foulds: Except for William Grenville Davis.
Mr. Kennedy: -- and I hope we will continue to recognize this, to put any differences apart and all work together for the betterment of this country.
Mrs. Campbell: Mr. Speaker, I trust it is not a condition precedent to my being allowed to enter this debate that I should have laid railroad track. I want to make it absolutely clear that I have never laid any railroad tracks. If that is a true confession, I don’t know --
Mr. Foulds: We won’t hold that against you.
Mr. Speaker: It is not essential but it helps.
Mr. Eakins: But Margaret is always on the track.
Mrs. Campbell: I would like to address myself briefly to this particular debate because I feel there are some very serious issues which have to be enunciated in this House at this time.
I would like first of all to address myself to the question of the unity of my country because I have always been a very proud Canadian. I am saddened that the Premier of this province (Mr. Davis) would wish in any way to create an impression of partisan discussion in this matter.
You may recall, Mr. Speaker, that my leader asked on more than one occasion that the Premier would give consideration to establishing a committee of this House, a committee which would have all parties represented, so that there could be input and consensus flowing officially from this House throughout the province as a testament of our firm belief in the unity of this nation, and at the same time expressing, I would hope, the very special bouquet that Quebec lends to this nation. We have been seeking improvement in services to those in our province who are Franco-Ontarians. We have felt this should be enshrined in legislation so that their right to services are strictly maintained by the legislative process. Unfortunately, this has not been done.
We have had incidents in this House, and certainly they flowed from the government side, of people who are speaking in the province in a way which is most divisive, and in my view a singular disservice to the cause of unity in this country. I suppose it is always easy to say one believes that maybe some mistakes have been made. Perhaps they have been made; but I would suggest the intent and purport of the programs was not in any way a mistake. It may have been in the fashion in which those programs were implemented, if indeed such error existed.
In any event, there is no doubt where we as Liberals stand on the whole matter of Canadian unity and in our firm desire to join in any way we can to bring the kind of consensus opinion from this House which, in my view at least, would have a tremendous impact across the province.
We have had in the last few days, in my opinion, in this House, the kind of performance which I feel should shame every single one of us. I have not been proud of the performance in this House this week. However, I have to lay the blame squarely where it belongs and this is undoubtedly on the government side.
We have seen the Treasurer of this province (Mr. McKeough) bringing forward a budget which in effect says, “We, the government of the province of Ontario, believe that in order that we may collect revenue, in order that we may move down a road when some time we will balance the budget,” we see him enunciating for the whole province the Tory philosophy that it is quite appropriate that a person on $8,000 a year income shall pay the same premiums as the person on $80,000 a year.
Mr. Ruston: Shameful.
Mr. B. Newman: Shame.
Mrs. Campbell: That has been what has created the problems here. And, yes, it is true the Liberal position has been that if this Treasurer is so mindless, so unable to understand what he is doing to people, yes, we will bring forward alternatives and my leader has explained to the Treasurer the date on which those alternatives will be announced.
I know the members are all waiting with bated breath, because obviously the Treasurer needs help. That’s what this is all about. The Treasurer stands in this House and belabours the Liberals because they dared to ask the question and, in the course of his political eruption; managed -- and I am sorry that we cannot call a spade a spade in this House, but if I can call a spade a shovel, he managed to bring forward an untrue statement, as reported in Hansard.
Now today, having had a 37% per cent increase in premiums, at least for the time being, we get another announcement -- an announcement that the government is withdrawing from 90 per cent to 70 per cent, for an increase -- and true, the fee schedule is not yet available, which is suggested to be 36 per cent will be agreed to and perhaps has been. Perhaps the regulations have already gone through. So we have people in this province who will apparently pay the additional increase in premiums while at the same time losing perhaps 30 per cent of the value.
If the government wanted a 30 per cent deterrent fee, why didn’t it come out and say so? That is not the way one does it. It just isn’t the way one does it. The government tried to cover up in a statement which seems to be fairly innocuous. They don’t come out and say they’re hitting the same people twice. No, no, no. This is budgeting? This is the way to run a peanut stand, let alone this great province?
Ms. Gigantes: They steal from the NDP.
Mrs. Campbell: It would be easy to say a pox on all their houses over there. Frankly, that’s the way I feel. On the other hand, it doesn’t resolve at this point in time the fact that the increases are in effect. But there comes a time when enough is enough. The deterrent fee should have been spelled out in the budget as part of the budget document. How many more little pieces of this kind are we going to get dragged in piecemeal until we really see the full package?
There will be a lot of people very deeply hurt by what has been announced here today. I recognize it wasn’t part of the budget and that, therefore, technically I’m straying from it. On the other hand, this is a budget matter and desperately important to the people of this province. It is distressing to view the members across there who can so easily, apparently, accept these two principles. I don’t understand it. I could almost not believe it; yet there it is. Both of these serious matters can be achieved by regulation. What a way to weaken parliamentary democracy!
If you look around the world at this point in time, Mr. Speaker, it’s rather shattering to notice how many nations, one after the other, have lost their democratic rights. Certainly some of those have been parliamentary democracies. I want to tell you what I have viewed in the last little while in this House is the revocation of the parliamentary doctrine of ministerial accountability and ministerial responsibility.
Mr. Speaker, I see you with a very great onus at this time in our history because this is all in your hands. You are the protector of that very democracy that we have or have had in this province. I think it is one of the most serious matters which has faced this House, certainly since I’ve been in it. I don’t know how you restore it, and it worries me.
Ms. Gigantes: Vote NDP.
Mrs. Campbell: At least it’s a step forward if the Tories recognize the frying pan. That’s one major step forward. We see the fire.
I address the position as I’m doing simply because I would like somehow to raise the debate, the standard of concern, the principles in this House and trying to take it away from the kinds of cheap shots, the kinds of personality involvement, because to me this goes far beyond that kind of debate. That’s why I said in opening that I was so very much ashamed by even being present in this House for a portion of Tuesday afternoon.
At this point in time, of course, it lies squarely with the government to correct the situation. It is possible that it won’t be too long a time before others have the opportunity to do just that.
It seems to me that we could set aside a time -- and it’s unfortunate that we haven’t been permitted to do so -- a time when we perhaps could help to look back into these principles, because maybe from time to time when you’ve lived with the principle so long you begin to forget what the principle is all about.
In our form of government, ministerial accountability is absolutely essential if we are to continue. I would hate to think that some of those countries lost because of the breakdown within the assembly, but it can happen, and it could happen.
I hope Mr. Speaker will have the opportunity to give some thought to what I’ve said because, as I say, in the final analysis it rests with him to protect each member of this House and the principles upon which we stand.
Since I’ve been here, I have really felt that, notwithstanding that we are three different parties with three different approaches, we have been united on one principle and that is the protection inviolate of the rights and privileges of this House. I feel, Mr. Speaker, that that can no longer be said. I trust that the government, which has been so mocking concerning our position in the OHIP matter, will indeed look at that which we will be bringing forward; will look at it with a view to a fair and reasonable analysis.
I would trust that they would realize the seriousness of the position in this House today and this evening. I hope they will take it back and perhaps think again about the added little business of the OMA schedule and the drop from 90 to 70 per cent. I don’t think you can live with that one on top of the OHIP increases.
Mr. Speaker, it has been a pleasure entering this debate. Thank you very much.
Ms. Gigantes: Mr. Speaker, I obviously can’t make a long contribution to this debate this evening.
Ms. Gigantes: Thank you for your applause. But coming out of the philosophic discussions that we have had from the two previous speakers, what comes to mind is the old adage that God helps them who help themselves. While one can be very moved by the thoughts -- and they are very deep, personal and reflective -- that come from the member for Mississauga South (Mr. Kennedy) and the member for St. George (Mrs. Campbell), I stand here tonight to say very briefly in my contribution to this debate that it’s time we helped ourselves and that God smiled on Ontario a little more than he has recently.
The member for St. George tells us it lies now squarely before the government to correct the situation where, as she most tellingly spoke, our democratic privileges are in jeopardy. I believe that to be true. As long as I have known you and much as I respect you, Mr. Speaker, I do not think that we call upon you to solve that problem for us. We are here not to have you solve our problems, but to attempt as best we can to speak on behalf of the people we represent so that those people can solve their own problems; and that’s the essence of what democracy is about.
The member for St. George is quite accurate when she looks at the world and feels downcast about the turmoil that exists there now and the power situation that exists in this world. The fact is that the people with the money and the guns are really doing very well in this world today, and the member for St. George is quite right to speak of that as a framework in which we operate as democratic representatives.
This budget is a demonstration of the power of money, and that is demonstrated at the Conservative level here in Ontario. If the member for St. George would reflect, she would remember the power of guns in this country we live in and the situation we confronted back in 1970, which we all feel very deeply about now -- the member for Mississauga South, the member for St. George, the member for Carleton East and, I am sure, the member for Lake Nipigon (Mr. Stokes).
We had guns expressing power in this country in 1970, and we may well again, unless we think again and reflect upon the lessons in 1970 and remember, when the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) comes out with his guns blazing to tell us about the power of money in his budget, that these are two kinds of problems we have to face as democrats living in 1978 and looking forward to a life for our children in the 1980s and beyond.
These are very significant problems for people in this province and this country in 1978 when we think ahead and we reflect on what we’ve gone through in the past. Money and guns have been much too powerful in this world, and the people who have exercised control over money and guns in this province, in this country and in this world, are now on the march. When the RCMP should be prosecuted these days for infringement of parliamentary laws, well passed and well supported by the representatives of people in this country, the Liberal Party at the federal level can find a false strawman, a Conservative, to prosecute in Ontario -- whom I would suggest to you, Mr. Speaker, is not one of the great freedom lovers of this country, not one of the best democrats known to you or to me or to members of this House.
The people with the money and guns in this world have ruled far too long. The member for St. George is quite accurate to put things in this budget in this perspective; but she should name names and she should ask herself what party she is in; and so should the well-intentioned member for Mississauga South.
I come from a very confused area of the country, Mr. Speaker, as you know. It is called Ottawa. It is a company town, and it is only when I think of it as a company town I can talk to many other people in many other company towns in this province. There are people out there in this province who know about company towns and the power of money and guns. That’s what the budget is about; that’s why I will not support the budget. I thank you for these few moments.
On motion by Ms. Gigantes, the debate was adjourned.
On motion by Hon. Mr. Parrott, the House adjourned at 10:33 p.m.