The House resumed at 8 p.m.
BUDGET DEBATE (CONTINUED)
Resumption of the adjourned debate on the motion that this House approves in general the budgetary policy of the government.
Mr. Speaker: We are dealing with the budget debate.
Mr. Worton: Believe it or not.
Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Yorkview (Mr. Young).
Mr. Worton: I think we need a few prayers at this time too.
Mr. Speaker: Maybe the hon. member for Algoma-Manitoulin.
Mr. Lane: Mr. Speaker, I thought I was next, but I believe the member for Carleton East (Ms. Gigantes) was the last speaker.
Mr. Warner: On a point of order, I believe that the member for Carleton East had adjourned the debate.
Mr. Speaker: She had adjourned the debate. I don’t see her in her seat.
Mr. Nixon: Let’s hear it for the member for Algoma-Manitoulin.
Mr. Warner: I think she was deferring her position to the member for Yorkview.
Mr. Speaker: In view of those circumstances, I’ll have to recognize the hon. member for Algoma-Manitoulin.
Mr. Warner: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, does the Chair see a quorum?
Mr. Worton: No, he doesn’t see a quorum.
Mr. Nixon: Well, that does that.
Mr. Speaker: Are you asking that the Chair call a quorum?
Mr. Warner: I asked if the Chair saw a quorum. If not, I’d ask for a quorum bell.
Mr. Nixon: Try to get the member for Carleton East down here, will you?
Mr. Speaker called for the quorum bells.
Mr. MacBeth: Give it to them.
Mr. Lane: Before I make a few remarks on the 1978 budget and some matters that relate to my riding and other parts of northern Ontario, I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate you, Mr. Speaker, your deputy and the chairmen of committees, on the very good way you’ve handled the business of this House on a day to day basis. It certainly is not an easy task. I sincerely appreciate it, as do all the members of the House, I’m sure. I haven’t had a chance to express my congratulations and thanks to you before this time.
To get back to the budget.
Mr. Haggerty: Give us the bad news, John.
Mr. Lane: On balance I think the budget is a good common sense budget. However, I think we all agree that it’s very difficult for many of us to live with a restraint budget. We all have to cut down on plans for things we would have liked to see happen. This has been going on now for two or three years and, of course, in the not far distant future we will be able to have a budget that is not quite as restrained as the one we have this year.
I know, in my riding, and in the ministry of which I am parliamentary assistant, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, we had many projects we would have liked to have moved ahead this year but we are not able to do so at a time when the economy of the country is as it is at present. So I have to agree with the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) that on balance he brought in a common sense budget.
Hon Mr. Snow: Say that again.
Mr. Kerrio: Who did that?
Hon. Mr. Bernier: It’s a responsible budget.
Mr. Lane: I can agree, at least, with part of it. There are two particular things that really intrigued me. They are the opportunity for youth programs and the reduction of sales tax on the hospitality industry. As you know, Mr. Speaker, we have a great many youths in the province and in my riding who are looking for employment this year. Also, my riding, and other parts of the north, are great tourist country and I’m sure this reduction in sales tax in the hospitality industry should improve the tourist industry a great deal. I’d like to talk for a few moments on these two items of the budget.
You will recall the budget provided an additional $13 million in an effort to create an additional 13,000 jobs over last year. With the high rate of unemployment we’re now faced with, this extra effort to assist young people with temporary jobs, especially the Ontario Youth Employment Program, is very commendable. This plan reimburses the employer $1.25 per hour for the extra students that he or she employs this year and the length of employment is raised to 25 weeks. As I understand it, the students who were on this program last year will still be covered as well as the new students who are added to it.
I think that is a tremendous program. I would have thought the federal government would have picked up this program in their recent budget and agreed to help the employer with the payroll if he or she hired someone who is now unemployed. The cost would be less than paying that same person unemployment insurance. It would also increase our productivity and would improve the quality of life in the various communities because where we have high employment, we usually find high quality of life and a sense of well being. However, I am sorry to note that the federal budget did not include this kind of program.
As I mentioned before, one of the things I was really pleased with was the hospitality industry having been given a little boost. I would just like to read a couple of paragraphs from a speech made by the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Rhodes) on March 31, I believe it was, and I quote:
“I don’t have to tell you that the past couple of years have been very tough for Ontario’s tourist industry. There has been no growth in real terms. Costs have risen sharply and not as many Americans have been coming north as we had hoped.
Fortunately, it looks like business is on the upswing. The preliminary figures for January show that hotel accommodations are up. US visits to Canada are slightly higher. We probably hit bottom last year and with some sunshine, good fishing and not too many forest fires, this is going to be a better year.”
Mr. Haggerty: Sounds like a weather forecast.
Mr. Lane: So much for what the minister had to say about the tourist industry.
However, I would like to add that some of the things I said when we debated Bill 3, which was my private member’s bill relating to the price of gasoline in small communities --
Mr. Deans: Is that the one the Tories voted down?
Mr. M. N. Davison: Yes, what happened to that bill?
Mr. Lane: -- in the north will also relate to the success of the tourist industry. As you know, Mr. Speaker, we have many small lakes throughout northern Ontario; these lakes attract most of our summer visitors and in most cases there are no large urban areas nearby. As a result, gasoline prices are ranging from $1 upwards and the tourists are certainly going to have second thoughts about coming to these places in northern Ontario unless we can do something about the prices that are much higher than in other parts of this country and in parts of the United States.
Mr. Deans: We would support you. Bring it back in again. And get your colleagues to support you this time.
Mr. McCaffrey: No way.
Mr. Lane: In any case it’s certainly valid with the tourist industry. We have to be competitive with other areas if we are going to attract tourists.
Mr. Deans: I agree with you. We would be delighted to support you if you could get your own colleagues to support you, for a change.
Mr. Lane: I would like to stray a little from the budget and speak about something that has been very close to my heart in the last few years, something I helped to bring in to this House a few years ago. That is the beef calf stabilization program.
Just recently, on April 7 as a matter of fact, the Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. W. Newman) made a statement in the House regarding this program and, of course, the statement is on the record so I won’t read it again. However, the last part of the statement says: “There was a federal beef calf stabilization plan last year, but it seems very unlikely there will be a federal plan in 1978. Ontario’s beef calf income stabilization program is now four years old. It has proven extremely successful in evening out the income of our producers and helping to ensure a viable beef industry in this province.”
After the minister had made the statement I was able to ask a supplementary question of the minister in regard to the program. I asked the minister if he could tell us what amount of dollars the Ontario government had put into the program over the years and what amount of dollars the federal government had put in. His reply was that he could give me those figures; in the three years, we have paid out $55 million and the payout from the federal program has been about $1.4 million. I think this reflects very badly on the federal government that they are not prepared to make a greater contribution to our beef calf producers.
Mr. Kerrio: Ah, you are copping out again. Why don’t you do your own thing?
Mr. Lane: I notice that Mr. Bill Benson, the second vice-president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, had something to say --
Mr. Deans: Fine fellow.
Mr. Lane: -- that I have been saying over and over again in this House: “Beef producers are losing patience with the Canadian government stalling over import laws,” says Bill Benson. “This country’s protection of our own beef industry is the worst in the world,” charges Benson. “We need just as much protection as do the beef producers of other nations; and they already have it, in many cases, at our expense.”
Benson says, “Canadian beef producers have asked for beef import laws for the past three years. Recent studies show producers lost $400 million in equity in the past four years. During the same time, cheap imported beef was allowed to undermine Canadian markets at the time when Canadian producers were already being driven against the financial wall. Beef prices must be allowed to rise so beef farmers may recoup some of these losses,” he added.
I agree with Mr. Benson, and I think we all agree that any subsidized program is really a stopgap measure. Supply and demand in the marketplace is the real answer and the imports, of course, control the supply and demand in the marketplace. Thank goodness the marketplace is improving somewhat, but it still leaves plenty to be desired.
Our beef producers had asked for an increase this year in the stabilization program from 51½ cents to 65 cents, and of course, because the minister could not depend on anything from the federal government, he was not able to do this with the restrained budget.
I am sure many people would be disappointed if I said a few words in this House and didn’t talk about the Minister of Northern Affairs (Mr. Bernier).
Mr. Deans: We talk about him frequently.
Mr. Lane: For years I was predicting we would have a Minister of Northern Affairs.
Mr. Kerrio: What have we accomplished by it?
Mr. Lane: Well, we got a Minister of Northern Affairs.
Mr. Haggerty: That is about all.
Mr. Lane: One of the things I was saying at the time was that many things that applied in the southern part of Ontario do not apply in the north, and likewise many things that apply in the north do not apply in the south.
Mr. Kerrio: It sounds like an algebraic equation.
Mr. Lane: Some of the things desirable in the north are not acceptable in the south. Maybe an example would be strip development. This certainly is not a desirable thing in an urban area, yet in rural areas in the north a few nice homes along township roads will cause no problems because there is adequate space for septic tanks and there are private wells for water. And there is no expense to the taxpayer to supply these services.
In most rural areas of the north the school bus service, mail delivery, telephone, hydro and other required services already run past the door. So I see nothing wrong with many areas of northern Ontario having some development. As a matter of fact, this is an asset to the municipality because it improves the tax base.
Mr. Kerrio: Darcy will take care of that.
Mr. Lane: So while the Ministry of Northern Affairs is providing many services to northern people that were not possible before the new ministry was brought in, I would hope the minister would address himself to having certain pieces of legislation amended so there are different applications in the north and in the south. I think this is a must.
I am very aware of the tremendous amount of things that need attention in the north, and the great amount of travelling and the workload the minister has, but I would hope he would find time in the not far distant future to deal with some of these problems where we have to have a different application of a piece of legislation in the north than in the south, because it just doesn’t fit.
It appears that in a few weeks we will be voting on a new federal Parliament. The way things appear now, it may even be a double-header. But I would like to go on to say that while we at the provincial level can deal with many matters that are important to the people of Ontario, and in some cases other parts of Canada and other countries, we still have to depend on our federal government for many things. One is, the overall economy of the country.
I for one feel a great deal of concern when I see that the federal government’s spending has increased 230 per cent during the 10 years that our present Prime Minister has been steering the ship, and that the federal civil service complement has increased by many thousands during the same time. Yet how many times in the past 10 years have we been told by the federal government that they are going to cut back on government spending and cut back on staff? Just the opposite has happened, and the facts will bear me out.
Mr. Kerrio: We hear exactly the same thing from your side.
Mr. Lane: Our dollar is not worth very much any more.
Mr. Cureatz: Thanks to those guys.
Mr. Kerrio: We know that. Blame it on Darcy, he is not even here.
Mr. Lane: I’d like to quote a paragraph from a leaflet I have in my hand entitled, Let’s be Honest about Inflation. I’ll be very brief on this quotation. It says, “How does inflation occur?”
Mr. Haggerty: Ask Darcy.
Mr. Cureatz: By voting Liberals in in Ottawa.
Mr. M. N. Davison: They’re as bad as you guys.
Mr. Lane: It goes on: “Only the federal government and the agencies it has created can cause inflation. The process amounts to placing more money in circulation. It’s done regularly to finance deficit spending. As the federal government enacts more and more costly and unnecessary programs, it spends more than it receives and borrowing becomes necessary.
“Borrowing is most frequently accomplished when the government offers bonds which are purchased mainly by private banks. The amount the banks pay to the government for these bonds is used to satisfy the government indebtedness. Many of these bonds are resold to the Bank of Canada by the private banks. The Bank of Canada then issues newly printed paper money or issues credit to pay for the bonds. Thus, by government permission, new money is created, the money supply is increased and the value of all money is reduced.
“Who causes inflation? It is impossible to overemphasize the blunt fact that only the federal government and the agencies it has created can cause inflation. It’s absolutely wrong to lay the blame for inflation on business, on labour or on anyone else. Only government can increase the money supply.” So much for that.
I personally am concerned about the future of the young people of this country and the great load that’s been placed on them to pay for all of their working years. They have to pay unemployment insurance, which has been so poorly handled and abused that it just seems unreal. They must pay for the Canada Pension Plan, for retirement income and sufficient income tax and other forms of tax to keep the country in funds, It’s not too bad for us people of middle age or older because we only pay Canada Pension Plan, unemployment insurance and certain other taxes for a portion of our working years. But our young people just starting out are faced with a tremendous load.
I think great care has to be taken in the future in planning and spending if we’re going to keep this country attractive enough for our young people to believe that they and their children do indeed have a promising future in Ontario and in Canada. I believe, for example, if the federal government had developed a good energy policy for Canada 30 years ago we would not now be paying the crazy prices that we are for gasoline and other forms of energy, also, each province would be so dependent on the other that we would not be concerned about unity.
Mr. Haggerty: Thirty-five years of Tory rule.
Mr. Speaker: On a point of order, the hon. member for Scarborough-Ellesmere.
Mr. Warner: I think the House should recognize a visitor sitting under Speaker’s gallery on the government side, Mr. Keith Russack, the member of Parliament from the State Parliament of South Australia, and welcome him to our Parliament here in Ontario.
Mr. Speaker: I would like to remind our visitors in the gallery that we do have committees meeting concurrently with the House. I wouldn’t want them to go away with the impression that the only members who are working of the 125 of us are actually present here. They do have other responsibilities, and I just wanted to remind them of that.
Mr. Nixon: If those committees weren’t meeting, this place would be crowded.
An hon. member: I’ve heard that song before.
BUDGET DEBATE (CONTINUED)
Mr Van Horne: I am pleased to be able to make a few brief comments on my reaction to the budget for the year 1978-79. I would say to you, Mr. Speaker, and to the members of this House that these comments are a combination of my own personal reactions, not so much as an economist, because I am not an economist, but rather as the reactions of a person who is deeply concerned about the finance of the province and the reactions of those fine burghers of the riding of London North who have elected me. I would say at the outset, when one hears or reads comments such as, and I would quote to you: “I am disappointed that the budget did not include more vigorous measures to cut back spending” one would have to assume that the person who uttered the words was truly concerned about the budget or the finances of our country or our province. In reading that quotation however, I left one word out, and I did this rather provocatively. I left out the word “federal” before budget and the person who uttered these words was the Treasurer of this province who made this comment in April 1977.
I would suggest that the same reflective comment could be made about him. We are disappointed that more effective measures were not taken to reduce the spending in this province. Quite frankly, that is the main factor or criterion in the whole problem package that faces the people in Ontario.
I would suggest that the government is guilty, if one could use legalistic terms, on many charges. The government has not shown any evidence in this fiscal year, 1978-79, of attempting to reduce costs. It has offered a token to the people of the province -- and I see that my fellow Londoner, the member for London South (Mr. Walker) is here and I am pleased that he is here.
Mr. Haggerty: He is nodding his head in agreement.
Mr. Nixon: He agrees he is here.
An hon. member: He’s sleeping.
Mr. Van Horne: He is a proponent of, a supporter of, a promoter of sunset law and I commend him for that.
Mr. Nixon: He was a little late getting on that bandwagon.
Mr. Van Horne: I would suggest that as far as sunset law goes, he is making an attempt to bring both the Treasurer and the cabinet -- in fact the government of this province -- to heel.
Mr. Warner: Not possible.
Mr. Van Horne: One has to wonder how long he could sit on that side of the House without coming to reality and moving to more sensible ground on the other side.
Mr. Warner: Put the Treasurer under public control.
Mr. Van Horne: Having said that partially in jest, because I do know he is sincere, I would suggest that is not the total answer to the problems that we face in Ontario.
I find that as I look through not only the budget, in all its complexities and all its detail and all its charts and all its graphs and all its numbers, I find that when I look at another document called Public Accounts, Details of Expenditures, there are a fair number of inconsistencies in the way we are approaching our economic problems at this time.
I have said in an earlier statement that it is time that this government, that all members, give serious consideration to urging that select committees be used only when absolutely necessary. In my opinion, it’s an insult to the people of this province and a travesty of parliamentary procedure to have a government that would allow itself to sit on an average of only 101 days a year over the last eight years, to have this same government hand to its various and sundry select committees a handful of rather mealy tasks, which in my opinion could well have been accommodated by the standing committees of this House.
Mr. Warner: You don’t know what they gave Judy LaMarsh.
Mr. Van Horne: If one considers, in looking at this document -- and I am using the very basic numbers that are presented in here; that is, without going into detail and looking for accounts that could cover additional funding -- the select committees that are listed in here, in the initial instance, again without doubling over and looking into other accounts in which there may be additional funds, the moneys allotted to daily expenditure and additional travelling or living allowance comes to $1.5 million in one year. The time for that kind of spending has passed, I would submit, and all members of this House have the responsibility to accept more duty as members of standing committees and not of select committees, and to see that this kind of spending is not perpetuated with impunity.
Mr. Warner: Guess the amount of money Judy LaMarsh blew over her budget -- $1.5 million.
Mr. Van Horne: There’s another submission I would make: When one looks through the details of expenditure for one year, if one were to add, from the various ministries concerned, only that amount of money that is called travelling, one would see that the total amount of money comes to in excess of $38.5 million in one year. How many chauffeur-driven limousines, how many trips that have been handled in a rather obtuse and obviously first-class way and could have been handled in a less expensive way, would one find in here?
Mr. Ziemba: Make them walk.
Mr. Van Horne: Unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, this document does not tell all of the details, but it does tell you that in the course of one fiscal year $38.5 million was allotted to and spent on that singular exercise.
Mr. Nixon: In more ways than one.
Mr. Van Horne: Again, I cannot offer my comments with all of the background expertise of an economist, but rather I do so as an average member from an average riding in an average part of a better-than-average province in our Dominion. It grieves me to see that on the one hand we are able to bring the people of Ontario to their collective and respective knees on an issue such as Ontario health insurance premiums, and at the same time ignore, again with impunity, these rather frivolous spendings that our province has perpetuated over the last one, two or three decades.
I suggested yesterday, at the tag-end of the committee meeting on the problem of OHIP, that the Treasurer, who tried to make a point on his lack of concern about the whole public reaction to OHIP, was really not being fair with the committee, because his reference to the rather small number of letters that he had received in complaint of this issue was not necessarily a reflection on that issue but perhaps just as much it could be reflected as the public’s submissive silence to this whole government process arguing and fighting and crying and bleeding over the demands that are put on the public purse.
I would suggest, that in all sincerity, if the government was really sensitive to the feeling of the person on the street right now, it would have to say, “Perhaps we have erred in asking for this premium increase”.
Mr. Haggerty: Put it to the test next week, right, Robert?
Mr. Van Horne: You have to have been here on the evening the budget was presented. Consider the fanfare, the lights, all of the foofaraw that went on while the budget was presented and sit back and consider what the government did not do.
Mr. Warner: It was like the launching of the Titanic.
Mr. Van Horne: And it sank.
Mr. Warner: That’s right.
Mr. Van Horne: What it did not do while it was presenting its priorities was list that number one priority. That is, those specific areas which we as a government are prepared to cut. Sure, one can argue and if I were on the government side I’d be inclined to argue that they have taken this four per cent manpower rule or budgetary manpower rule and made cuts and I could say if I were on the government side this is a logical area to argue in which we have been able to make cuts.
Let me submit that through attrition and a bit of judicious shuffling the government is not proving a point.
I want to see where and how government programs have been cut. I’m speaking, again, as an average member, and I’m speaking on behalf of a whole lot of people and what I consider to be a very good cross-section of the province of Ontario. I am saying to the government that they want to see where and how government programs have been cut. In fact, Mr. Speaker, when you look at this document, when you listen to all of the words that have been said, and when you analyse all of Hansard and everything else that has been presented to this House, anyone with any perception at all would sit back and say, “They haven’t yet told us where or how.”
Mr. Speaker, I would submit to you the time is here, the time is now. The debate coming up next week is obviously going to bring that into focus, It’s going to crystallize that issue for all of us.
I have along with me any number of documents I could make reference to that would indicate the government, in the process of its day to day activities, has been not only less than considerate of the concerns of the people on the street, but, in fact, has been a little bit sloppy. To illustrate my point, let me bring only one example.
During the estimates of the Education ministry, all of the committee members who attended felt the moneys included in the estimates -- in other words the budget; what the government was telling the public that it had to spend -- the moneys that were included as the province’s share to the teachers’ superannuation fund were accurately accounted for. Through the whole actuarial and accounting process, they were accurately provided for. Wasn’t the committee that looked into and reviewed these estimates surprised? Wasn’t it surprised to learn some three or four months later that the government was, in fact, coming back to ask this House for permission to add an additional $107 million, because the amount estimated to be necessary to meet the province’s commitment, in fact, was underestimated?
Further to that, and after all the debate that went on in the middle of December about that particular amount, wasn’t that committee surprised again, wasn’t the minister surprised again, when the amount of $102 million more appeared through the publication called Ontario Finance which comes out quarterly? Wasn’t the minister surprised and dismayed to have to acknowledge that this additional fund wasn’t just a duplication of what we saw back in November but was another $102 million? Now, we find that in the course of a very few months, again through the actuarial and accounting process, the government has found itself falling short by the tune of $210 million.
Mr. Haggerty: They’ve been short since 1970.
Mr. Van Horne: In the ensuing debate which took place on March 14, Mr. Speaker, the committee of which I was a member asked questions not only of the Minister of Education (Mr. Wells) but also of the Treasurer of the province. We asked very pointedly about those two amounts of money. I would ask anyone, either in the House or in the galleries, can you imagine falling short $102 million in one fiscal year and then a very few months later finding yourself short again $107 million plus? Add the two together and you’ve got $210 million. When you get down to asking those people, the Treasurer, who had difficulty answering the question, and the Minister of Education, who had difficulty answering the question, who and why and how these amounts were short you get the reply that not only was that the shortfall but, in addition, and I’m quoting from Hansard page 14, March 14, there was an additional $36,913,700 that was added to that same amount through Management Board orders. Add it up. It comes very, very close to $250 million in one account, in one ministry, in one year and that’s too far off the mark.
I would submit to you, Mr. Speaker, and those members present, and to all who may in some future day take the time to listen to or read the record which I am presenting tonight, that for any one account in any one ministry to be short almost one quarter of a billion dollars is proof positive the Treasurer of this province has lost his touch. He’s lost sight of his responsibility. And the province, and the members of both parties in opposition, have every right to look at the Ontario budget for the year 1978-79 and say: “Mr. Treasurer, members of the cabinet, members of the government, please reconsider. Please look at the people who are asking of our province the things you are asking of our province, of the people who are paying the bills, please consider your responsibility as a government and look at every dollar that is spent and beyond that, take a look at this area -- ”
Mr. Kerrio: Is anyone over there listening?
Mr. Van Horne: “ -- in which you are hoping to raise funds -- OHIP, 37.5 per cent -- and ask yourself in all seriousness, in all honesty to yourself and to those people in your ridings, can you sit there as a government and say: ‘Yes, we have missed the mark in this area,’ -- the superannuation fund or whatever it might be; it could be anything -- ‘We have missed the mark there by a quarter of a billion, but by jingles we are going to go at the other side. We are going to go and attack and set our stakes firmly in the ground on that issue and get that $271 million through OHIP premiums’?” That, I submit to you, is total and absolute hypocrisy.
Earlier -- and very likely, Mr. Speaker, you will be happy to hear that I am about to conclude my few remarks -- I submitted to you that the member for London South has been a supporter and proponent of sunset and I am not quarrelling with that. The Lord himself created sunset and at the risk of putting that very supreme person and the member for London South in the same basket, I would submit to you that the province of Ontario needs sunset.
However, there is another proposal that I am happy to have presented to the House which I feel is more important. I would take the liberty of referring very briefly to private member’s Bill 125, An Act to provide for the Disclosure of Information relating to the Cost of Government Programs. The time has long since passed when this government, or any government for that matter, can willy-nilly bring in, to have passed and become effective, programs that cost any number of hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars without any form of prior accountability.
The purpose of making reference to Bill 125 is to submit to you that for many years the government has missed the mark. Any government that brings in legislation involving the expenditure of funds has to be able to indicate, not only to other members in government, opposition or otherwise, but also to the public -- again the public that is paying the bill -- on what information and what decisions they are planning their programs. This bill would require that estimated total cost of any program be disclosed and also provides that an additional scrutiny of program operations be provided; if a program exceeds what the government indicated; it would cost, there would be action taken to stop that excessive spending.
Mr. Kerrio: What would you do with Darcy?
Mr. Van Horne: He would be part of the program wherein people would be superannuated.
I would like to conclude my remarks with a very brief recap. I am concerned when I see a government that does not indicate in these trying times exactly where it is going to cut spending. I am concerned at the same time to see when one looks through the public accounts this past year that no specific items are cut from that. I am concerned when I see a government that says it will support sunset legislation but hasn’t got the foresight to bring in anything else that would put some kind of rein or harness on any new programs that might come in.
I am concerned beyond that to see that a government, after spending almost three and a half decades in its seat of power, has become so sleepy and has become so tunnel-visioned that it cannot see where it is falling short. I use the teachers’ superannuation fund again as the example which has a debt of almost one quarter of a billion dollars, because of its sloppy approach between the years 1970 and 1975. The people of the province of Ontario are going pay interest on this debt and are going to pay principal on this debt well on into 1990. I don’t care what the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) says about balancing the budget, he’s not going to get there unless he cleans up his act. Isn’t it a great reflection that he isn’t here tonight even to listen to these few lucid comments about his act. He should be here and shame on him for not being here.
Mr. Gregory: Why? What’s going on?
Mr. Van Horne: I am pleased to have been able to make these few remarks and to have spoken on behalf of those average, concerned people from my riding, and on behalf of myself, an average and concerned member.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: The member for Yorkview.
Mr. Young: First of all, I want to say my words of congratulation to you on your appointment as Deputy Speaker in this House, and to the hon. member for Lake Nipigon (Mr. Stokes) as Speaker. I must go on to say that both of you are discharging those responsibilities with real ability. Sometimes I wonder at the skill you do possess and show in handling the sometimes obstreperous and rather unruly members of this Legislature; some of them but not all of course.
Mr. Van Horne: All from the Tory side.
Mr. Young: No, there are some on this side of the House too as well as on the Tory side.
Having said my words of congratulations, I want to spend some time tonight, and perhaps a little longer time than I ordinarily spend at this job, in setting the government right on this matter of the budget it brought down recently. I am concerned that it is going off in the wrong direction. I am hoping tonight that I can persuade the government of the error of its ways and convince it that it ought to go in a little different direction than the direction in which it is heading.
Let me quote from the budget these words from the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough). He says: “A concerted national effort to break the cost and wage spiral reflected in the anti-inflation program, coupled with general recognition of the need to restore a balance to our economy, has brought forth a sustained effort to limit the growth of government and reduce its involvement in the economy.”
One of the Treasurer’s speeches goes on to say: “First, there was an obvious need to restrain government spending. Second, there was a need to reduce the government’s cash requirements. That’s not quite the same thing as controlling spending, but the two objectives, of course, are closely interrelated. These first two objectives, if they were achieved, would do a great deal to help achieve the third objective, which was to shift certain resources from the public sector to the private sector as a means of generating employment and economic growth.”
Since the Minister of Transportation and Communications (Mr. Snow) is here tonight, I will also quote words which he used not long ago at the Hamilton Traffic Club. I always read the minister’s speeches with a great deal of interest, so I quote them back to him tonight -- just one small section of that speech.
Hon. Mr. Snow: I’m glad somebody does, Fred.
Mr. Young: Good.
He says, “One of the major encumbrances to the economic wellbeing of this province we have identified -- it’s too much government interference in the private sector; too many regulations and restrictions that serve only to strangle industrial expansion and hinder efficient business operation in this province.” The Hon. James Snow, Minister.
Hon. Mr. Snow: I can understand you reading it, Fred, but I can’t understand you repeating it.
Mr. Young: I want to focus the attention of the House on these statements of the two ministers, because it seems to me that they are pointing in a direction which is spelling a bit of trouble for the future in this province and in Canada.
The question I want to ask, first of all, is why have we had intervention by government in the private sector of the economy? Secondly, why was it that more resources have been transferred to the public sector from the private over the past half century or so?
Hon. Mr. Snow: There are a lot of socialists around.
Mr. Young: The minister has a word to say here, but let’s remember that this government had a great deal to do with those transfers and that interference. It’s been in power here now these almost four decades, and the things that they are now saying are wrong are the very things that they themselves have brought about. In other words, what they’re doing now is fighting themselves and their past record. Let’s remember that, first of all.
Mr. Kerrio: That’s called shadow-boxing.
Mr. Young: Yes, shadow-boxing; whatever you want to call it.
We all remember how, in the old days, the king and the aristocracy corralled the wealth that was produced by the people through the primitive methods of production of the day. Then a couple of centuries ago we got the beginning of steam power and that revolutionized the whole productive process. Along with that came the beginnings of this thing we call democracy. The Tories and the Liberals in those days fighting each other in a genuine scrap, brought the beginnings of democracy under terrific pressure, backing into it rather than believing in it.
But along with that democratic idea came the radical idea that the people producing the wealth also mattered, as well as the king and the aristocrats and those who owned the productive processes. As a matter of right -- and I underline that -- some of the wealth should go to make life better for them and to make better living conditions in their community.
Of course, those in the seats of power fought back desperately. So you had the revolts, the desperate strikes, the revolutions of the times, people starving and yet willing to starve in order to establish something better. You had the co-operators building their co-operatives; you had the labour movements and then the labour unions; the socialist movements and the socialist parties. The governments gradually began to provide some of the things which private enterprise could not and would not provide so they moved in; even the old party governments had to do this.
Let’s remember also that the things they began to provide were things without which the private enterprise system could not operate efficiently. I just bring one or two illustrations to bear.
One was the road system, which even in this province a century ago was maintained by the landowner through whose property the road ran; toll gates which took tolls from the people who travelled over that road system. We found that was a sheer impossibility; and the minister knows the history there, he knows that the time came when we just could not tolerate that system of private enterprise in roads. Governments had to intervene and governments began to take over the road system to transfer that property from the private to the public sector and to operate the road system. The minister is doing that. A man who believes so completely in private enterprise is operating one of the demonstratively successful public enterprises in Ontario.
Mr. Warner: Private enterprise could not do it.
Mr. Young: He’s doing it and doing it well, and he can take a bow for that.
Mr. Warner: He’s a pseudo-socialist.
Mr. Young: When I think of education, there was a time when all education was provided by the private schools, but only the children of the rich could get the education. Even the business community realized that it was going to have efficiency in the workplace, it had to train people more efficiently. A public education system gradually emerged, not only reading, writing and arithmetic but also the training of technicians in the technical trades and all the rest. That became a public sector and the resources were transferred from the private to the public sector in order to achieve those goals.
I could go on and name plenty of things that today we take for granted; like garbage collection, which was first the prerogative of the private sector and then taken over by the public, or water supplies, libraries, parks -- name them; they are all there. We take them for granted today as part of the public sector because the government had to intervene to make these services effective for the population.
Mr. Warner: They’ve been socialists for years and they didn’t know it.
Mr. Kerrio: No, they didn’t They did it but they didn’t have to. They did it in Britain and they’re all down the drain and the member knows it.
Mr. Warner: Have you ever been there? Do you know anything about Britain?
Mr. Young: Along with that came regulation of conduct.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Mr. Warner: The Tories ruined it after the war.
Mr. Young: This is wisdom coming from the far right. But let’s go on.
Mr. Kerrio: Why don’t you guys go over there? You already have socialism over there.
Mr. Young: Even these minimum interventions on the part of government, regulation and transfer of private matters to the public sector, were not enough to make that private sector efficient. We saw breakdown after breakdown, depression and unemployment, often rescued by war.
Mr. Kerrio: You would share the poverty. That’s what you would do.
Mr. Young: My memory goes back to that last major depression. That’s a thing that most of the people in this House don’t remember because they were a little bit too young, but some of us do, some of the older ones. In 1929, when the private sector had almost full control, it broke down. A million unemployed. Since that time what happened was a very simple thing, I have heard it described and I pass it on to members.
The hive was filled with honey and the bees were fired. The bees were left out in the cold while the few inside, the drones, the queens and whatnot, ate away at the honey until it was gone. Then we saw a change. I remember those years very vividly. Two or three things stick in my mind.
Mr. Kerrio: When you guys run things we’ll all be out in the cold.
Mr. Young: At that time -- the member doesn’t remember it -- Eaton’s was making a parking lot in the uptown store.
Mr. Kerrio: Down with Eaton’s.
Mr. Young: In the thirties, I remember the kids in the cold with the rags, with the old burlap bags, picking up coal out of those cinders which were put there preparatory to paving the parking lot. I remember in the west seeing the trains with the young people riding those trains over those years, and we all remember that sort of thing happening.
I remember seeing the wagons going north from the dried out areas of the Peace River and the Carrot River country, with people desperate and looking for a better life,
One thing that sticks in my mind was the crowning glory of the private enterprise system in those days for the farmer. Two of us took a couple of crates of eggs one day into Ponoka in Alberta to sell for two cents a dozen. We got there and the merchant said to us: “Look, I can only get two cents a dozen out of these eggs. If you want to leave them, I can’t pay you for them but I can sell them to my customers at two cents. It is better than feeding them to your hogs. Come back the next time you are in and pick up the cases.” We left them. We had eggs coming out of our ears because the hens were laying after eating the grain in the fields. That to me epitomizes what that system did and the depths to which it dropped.
Mr. R. B. Bennett, that great radical in those days, tried to get us out of it; he didn’t succeed and the Liberals came back into power. It wasn’t until Mr. Hitler brought war that we saw our way out.
Mr. Nixon: You’re not giving any of the credit to W. L. Mackenzie King at all? Or his dog?
Mr. Gaunt: Or his crystal ball?
Mr. Young: Let me say this about W. L. Mackenzie King, because I was just coming to that. W. L. Mackenzie King saw that to win the war he had to bring massive public intervention into the private enterprise system; so massive intervention took place and massive public expenditures put people back to work. And you know, the money that couldn’t be found to put those million unemployed to work suddenly was found to put them into uniform and to send them out into an occupation which all of us hope will never happen again.
I remember vividly -- I was general secretary of the YMCA in Halifax at that time; I took on the job just after the war broke -- young people coming into that building who were coming out of the breadline, going into uniform and heading overseas. They said to those of us who were a bit older: “Look, my boys, we have gone through these 10 years. We are going out now to fight for the preservation of this country. But let me warn you, we are not coming back to the breadlines. You found the money to fight a war. You can bloody well find it to keep us at work after this thing is over.” That was something; and, fortunately, we found that money.
An hon. member: That wasn’t what Trudeau said, because he wasn’t in it.
Hon. Mr. Snow: Trudeau was over in China.
Mr. Young: The interesting thing was that the idealism of the war, the desperate necessity to provide public funding, the things that had to be done in intervention to save civilization at that moment gave a new point of view to the people of Canada. We saw such things as unemployment insurance, children’s allowances and a better pension system. We saw health plans emerging, first of all in Saskatchewan and then right across this country -- not only hospital and then medical plans, but also prevention of disease. All this was built into a health plan to iron out the havoc which disease was wreaking on our civilization.
We found food standards were possible. We established a central banking system. That was one of the tremendous public interventions in the very heart of the private enterprise system. The stock markets were controlled so no longer people could buy on a 10 per cent margin; and that has been continued.
We found that if the people on lower incomes had to have housing, governments again had to intervene because only middle- and upper-income people were being provided by private enterprise housing, unless it was done through the trickle-down theory where the slums were turned into multiple dwellings for the poor people.
We found safer cars were necessary; and so what the minister is now engaged in, in some respects at least, is seeing to it that safer cars are built, we had to intervene and make regulations saying that the motor-car industry had to do certain things to make the motor car safer.
We looked at environment and found how it was being polluted by the private sector of our economy, and we began to bring regulations there.
All these things were done, and we found a larger and larger section of the gross national product being diverted from the private sector to the public sector. We also found ourselves making more and more regulations, more and more legislation to curb the power of those who up to this time had reigned supreme in the private enterprise sector.
Mr. Kerrio: That’s socialism.
Mr. Young: And again, except for places like Saskatchewan and --
Mr. Gregory: British Columbia.
Mr. Young: -- countries around the world where leadership was given, the Liberal and Conservative Parties did bring these changes, let’s give them credit for that. But they came in bursts and spurts. Just before elections promises were made. The voters took the thing seriously. The old parties took the credit for all these advances -- they called them advances in those days, even though now they’re saying we’ve got to pull away from them. They called them advances; they took the credit; they got the votes; they returned to power; and they carried on.
During those years the gross national product was growing rather rapidly. Those at the top of the heap could maintain their position and so they didn’t object very much when the governments ploughed more and more of the gross national product into measures which benefited the common man. Public regulation of resources used for public purposes kept the system working.
There was some rough planning for full employment. It wasn’t perfect. There was a better educated and trained work force. Too many had to be brought in from outside, of course, because we didn’t train enough technicians, but we had an immigration policy that brought those people in. We had a healthier people and that evened out the boom and the bust cycles and reduced the injustices in the system.
Mr. Kerrio: What do you mean by “we” had an immigration policy?
Mr. Young: Why then did this intervention by government take place? And why the greater use by government of national and provincial resources? The reasons might be outlined this way.
Number one, private enterprise alone could not produce a constant and an adequate flow of wealth. It was constantly breaking down and it was breaking down long before there was government interference. Today we hear so much about government interfering with private enterprise and this causes a breakdown. The breakdowns were there long before this kind of intervention took place.
In the second place, private enterprise alone couldn’t distribute the wealth it did produce in any kind of an equitable fashion. And third, private enterprise alone could not provide employment to the people wanting to work except in a wartime situation.
Because of these and other reasons -- the vivid memories of 1929 and the war years -- people forced their governments to intervene in the system, to regulate excesses and to divert through the tax system and other methods a large portion of the resources of society for social purposes. That’s why this intervention and this transfer, so that society as a whole and not just an economic aristocracy reaped increasing benefits from increasing production.
Changes came after incredible human suffering; and we saw more and more of that suffering because of injustice. Those changes also came through massive human struggle in the economic and the political field, not entirely by parties such as my own but by concerned citizens in all parties who really saw what was happening and saw what was needed and began to think that these changes must come.
If these changes had not come, if we had not moved with the times, governments certainly would have been booted out as they were in some places. But governments generally gave just enough so they could maintain their power and prevent more radical actions on the part of the people concerned.
While this was happening, something else was going on. While the floor was being put under the lower income groups through minimum wages, unemployment insurance, welfare, pensions, health services and this sort of thing, the real difference between the rich and the poor widened during those years. Because of our increase in gross national product we were able to put that floor in there, but those at the upper level were able to maintain their position and increase it.
I have, for example, these figures: In 1951 the upper 20 per cent of the population -- of the highest incomes -- got 45 per cent of the total income. At the same time, in 1951, the lowest 20 per cent got 3.2 per cent in contrast to the 45 per cent of the upper 20. By 1971, 20 years later, the upper group, the upper 20 per cent, had increased its 45 per cent to 49.2 per cent and the lowest 20 per cent had dropped 3.2 per cent to two per cent of income.
Mr. Nixon: What year was that?
Mr. Young: That was 1971.
Mr. Warner: That’s obscene.
Mr. Young: And the gap has widened since that time.
Mr. Nixon: That’s a percentage of a much bigger pie. It is awfully hard to convince us of this class struggle at this stage. I think the classes have changed.
Mr. Warner: The figures just came out. That’s Trudeau’s just society.
Mr. Young: That’s right.
Mr. Nixon: That is how it is. The problem is the redistribution of income has been inadequate.
Mr. Acting Speaker: Order.
Mr. Young: I’m going on to talk about that.
Mr. Nixon: But it is a very different one now.
Mr. Young: The unemployed worker got welfare. It was out there for everybody to see. But business got fast tax writeoffs to buy new equipment, forgivable loans which were really gifts, tax deferrals never to be repaid and other assistance in a multitude of forms but generally hidden in the tax structure so that the general public was not even aware of what was going on.
Mr. Nixon: Mrs. McDougald just inherited $250 million.
Mr. Young: Capital gains, for example, were not taxed until very recently. Now they’re only taxed by 50 per cent. More than that, dividends this year are only being taxed 50 per cent and the first $1,000 of dividends are free of tax.
Mr. Nixon: What dividends are you collecting? You are the downtrodden class.
Mr. Renwick: Only social dividends.
Mr. Kerrio: You are one of Morton Shulman’s socialists.
Mr. Martel: We will write the farm off for the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk.
Mr. Young: No matter what dividends any of us may collect, I’m saying it’s wrong to have a tax structure of that kind when the person who doesn’t get dividends or the person on a low income gets no advantage of it.
Mr. Warner: That’s disgusting.
Mr. Young: The other day in the Toronto Star, which is a reputable Liberal paper, I understand --
Hon. Mr. Snow: It used to be.
Mr. Young: -- Richard Gwyn pointed out that even with unemployment insurance, which is there and which is now being very heavily criticized by the well-to-do, the man on an $8,000 income pays a yearly premium of $120 and gets $103 a week in unemployment insurance pay. The man with $50,000, if he’s fired and loses his job, with the arrangement there is within the tax structure, instead of paying $120 which the $8,000 man pays, pays a total of $90 a year and gets $160 a week instead of the $103 the $8,000 man gets.
Mr. Martel: A great system.
Mr. Young: In other words, the unemployment insurance system is geared so that the well-to-do are the people who gain. This process is going on. George Bain put it in an interesting way in the Toronto Star.
Mr. Gregory: I am glad you are here, Elie. This was going to be a real drag tonight.
Mr. Martel: We know how to look after ourselves. We scratch our backs.
Mr. Young: He was commenting on the presentations of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. He says: “These can be counted upon to be sprinkled heavily with dire warnings against government action that would shake the confidence of business. The confidence of Canadian business is constantly in a gelatinous state and beefs about the spoonfeeding of various groups, including the young, the old, the unemployed, the otherwise indigent, the halt, the lame and the blind and other notorious feeders at the public trough. Naturally, transfer payments, things like family allowances, old age and other pensions, unemployment insurance and the extent it is underwritten by the public purse, plainly have to be looked at with pretty cold eyes. They will undercut the initiative, the Christian virtues and all these other things which the chamber holds in such high esteem.
“Curiously, this is not so with very many other programs. Far from causing a debilitating, unhealthy growth of expenditures they are incentives. Just last week, for instance, the Department of Industry, Trade and Commerce brought into Toronto a new service.” This was a few years ago. “It looks like a useful one that has proved so in several other centres. It is called counselling assistance to small enterprise.”
Then he went on to name all the incentives which are offered to business, particularly large business, in Canada, and he said: “It is part of what underlies my faith in the Canadian Chamber of Commerce that its members remain self-reliant and independent in the face, elsewhere, of what would be called, not least by them, molly-coddling; and so they call our unemployment insurance molly-coddling. If it’s tax incentives, if it’s all these other things, then it’s something different again.
This process has been going on undercover for a long time. Along with it came the other thing, the building of monopolies and then of cartels, international combines; where there’s collusion in the setting of prices inside the country, the oil cartel; and territorial divisions. Just the other night on television we had the story of the sugar agreement here in Canada where territories are divided up by the various companies so they don’t compete with each other in prices.
Mr. Nixon: Yes, the sugar is eight cents a pound.
Mr. Kerrio: Just like the trade unions. What’s the matter with that?
Mr. Ziemba: Oh, go back to Niagara.
Mr. Kerrio: I think that’s fair.
Mr. Warner: Why don’t you go under Niagara?
Mr. Kerrio: Where would you guys go if you left this country?
Mr. Ziemba: I can tell you where to go.
Mr. Kerrio: Why don’t you pack your little bag and go?
Mr. Ashe: We will take up a collection.
Mr. Acting Speaker: Order.
Mr. Ziemba: Under a socialist-inspired economy.
Mr. Kerrio: Oh, you are all hanging in here.
Mr. Warner: Only to improve it for you.
Mr. Acting Speaker: Order. Can we have some order in the chamber and allow the member to continue?
Mr. Young: As a result of this, we found a situation in 1961 where 15 per cent of provincial revenues came from individual taxes and 25 per cent from corporate taxes. In 1978, we are getting 11 per cent from corporate taxes and 48 per cent from individual taxes, a complete reversal of the situation. In another speech which I would like to quote --
Mr. Kerrio: I don’t see many of them going the other way.
Mr. Acting Speaker: May I ask the member for Niagara Falls to refrain from further interjections?
An hon. member: Tell him to shut up.
Mr. Young: The member for Niagara Falls, I might say, Mr. Speaker --
Mr. Kerrio: The member for Niagara Falls made his point.
Mr. Young: The member for Niagara Falls has no recollection of the kind of thing that some of us have seen in this country.
Mr. Kerrio: I have done more work by mistake than you have done on purpose.
Mr. Acting Speaker: Order.
Mr. Cooke: Your being here is a mistake.
Mr. Young: Over the years, as a result of these changes which I have mentioned on the part of government, while the gross national product grew through the tax structure and other devices, the incomes of the upper income groups were able to be maintained. But we came to certain problems and what the Treasurer said in one of his speeches was this: “Structural changes in the economy and in the practices of our government otherwise have to come. Otherwise, the untenable wage price-profit spiral that plagued us in the three years before controls will return.”
Now that’s a very interesting statement because the minister was exactly opposite in his listing of what it should have been. I want to quote from Hansard, March 1972, when my colleague, the member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick), brought before this House a report of the Wharton business school journal of the University of Pennsylvania, generally accepted as having a reputation for being fundamentally sound. This was part of the economic report of the President of the United States, at that time one by the name of Nixon --
Mr. Warner: Oh yes, the crook.
Mr. Young: -- transmitted to Congress in February 1971: “Four Serious Causes of Inflation of the Sixties.”
An hon. member: Even trickier, he’s still here.
Mr. Young: First of all -- and this we heard tonight from two of the members -- first of all, is the increase in the money supply; secondly, return on shareholders’ investments, the profits; thirdly, consumer prices; and fourthly, hourly earnings. They come in that order. This was in connection with the inflation we had in the 1960s, which of course was nothing compared to the inflation following 1970.
Mr. Nixon: Five per cent inflation in 1968.
Mr. Young: Well, what we have is this.
Mr. Warner: That’s out of your school.
Mr. Young: In our own inflationary cycle, which is much bigger of course, prices were already rapidly on the way up by 1970. From 1968 to 1975, when price controls -- wage control, really -- came in effect, we had seen a rise from 88.5 consumer price index to 132.4. In other words, during that period, the index went up from 88.5 to 132.4.
The same process was going on, as outlined by my colleague, and by the Nixon report in the United States. From 1974 to 1974 wages went up by 69 per cent; profits when up by 137 per cent; and interest on investments went up by 111 per cent. In 1974, with oil quadrupling in price, profits again skyrocketed and wages began to try to catch up. So we got price and wage controls, after, let me say, profits had gone up 137 per cent. Wages were struggling to catch up, and that’s when the government in Ottawa imposed the controls on wages.
Then the screaming started. Screaming which some of us in this House had pointed out a few years before would start unless action was taken to curb the profiteering and the price rise. Well, it started after the profits were up and the wages were starting up. What was the screaming? The screaming was that wages were responsible; first of all for the inflation -- an inflation which had already taken place before the wage rates started to go up significantly.
But then there’s another villain in the piece, which was talked about time after time, and that by the minister who is sitting across from us here and his colleagues. The cry went up from business that not only wages were the villain, but that governments were the villain. The strange thing is, governments themselves after a while began to pick up that same cry, the very governments that had caused all this trouble if there was trouble. So we had two villains: first, wages; second, government.
Mr. Lawlor: They believe their own propaganda.
Mr. Young: So wages were controlled after profits were stabilized at the very high level. And let me say this: Neither wages, nor government spending, as we heard here tonight, started the inflation.
Mr. Warner: The Tories did.
Mr. Young: That was already started. The money supply had something to do with it; yes, I agree with that. Stretching out the money supply in the early 1910s should have been controlled far more.
But neither wages, nor government, except for that little bit of money supply, was the cause of inflation. Inflation had already taken place when wages started to move up. You know, profits are still high. If I wanted to, I could quote, but I am not going to take the time, a great many clippings which have come here in recent days. One of them, “Profits up 27.4 per cent in the final quarter of 1977”; and for the whole year, “1977 after-tax corporate profit growth pace quickens to 12.2 per cent;” when wages are to be held at four per cent in the public sector and six per cent other than that.
Mr. Nixon: You’ve put a lot of work into this, Fred.
Mr. Young: I said to members I wanted to spend some little time and try to point out to them some of the errors that are being perpetrated and some of the myths that are being mouthed by people who perhaps don’t go back and see what the real causes of these things were.
Mr. Hall: You have got us convinced.
Mr. Nixon: The working man never had more buying power in the history of our country than he has now.
Mr. Kerrio: Where is there a place you’d rather be?
Mr. Warner: We have 1.5 million unemployed. No country would tolerate such a high level.
Mr. Kerrio: What are you talking about? The socialist countries have got more unemployment than that. Who’re you kidding?
Mr. Cooke: You don’t know what you’re talking about.
Mr. Warner: You’ve got to be joking. Name one, name one.
Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, order. Would the members for Niagara Falls and Scarborough-Ellesmere hold their discussions elsewhere?
Mr. Kerrio: He doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
Mr. Young: Sweden now has its unemployment figure going up because a private enterprise government was elected there two years ago.
Some hon. members: Hear, hear.
Mr. Kerrio: Don’t give us that baloney.
Mr. Nixon: Trudeau has wrestled those problems entirely to the ground.
Mr. Young: Mr. Speaker, if I can get the attention of the House once more. Governments, of course, began to believe the propaganda that was being talked about. So in spite of the tremendous wealth and, as has been pointed out by the members to the right here, we are producing more -- as a matter of fact, let me put the figures on the record right now. Our gross national product this year is around $200 billion in Canada. What does that amount to? It’s $10,000 for every man, woman and child in Canada.
Mr. Kerrio: I knew we could do it!
Mr. Young: There is absolutely no excuse for poverty and unemployment in this country.
Mr. Warner: Except for the greedy corporate creeps.
Mr. Young: But, in spite of that wealth, what are we finding? Instead of using that wealth to make life better for the people, we’re listening to this tripe about being poor and having to cut back; let me read one headline: “Day Care Openings Decrease in 1977, Federal Study Finds.” We find that universities are being cut back pretty dramatically. Hospitals are being cut back.
Mr. Nixon: You have just cut your salary by $14,000.
Mr. Young: Fine. My salary was held pretty tight for some years by the Premier, if I remember.
Mr. Nixon: What wasn’t?
An hon. member: The Liberals want to cut back more on hospitals.
Mr. Nixon: What did you say?
Mr. Martel: The dollar is now worth 86 cents.
Mr. Young: If I can read another paragraph: “More than 18,000 children with learning disabilities are not getting the service and educational programs that they need today. The latest closing of a special education program at Surrey Place Centre in Toronto will result in the termination of nine special educators and the elimination of the educational assessment programming now available to hundreds of families with mentally retarded or learning handicapped children.”
I had a call just yesterday from a person in my own riding. She’s in a wheelchair. She says the cutbacks to universities are resulting in the elimination of the York University centre for handicapped students. The grant was to the Atkinson College, and that has been cut off. That was providing invaluable services for the people in wheelchairs and the handicapped in the university. It’s done because of this idea we have that we’ve got to cut back on services to the handicapped and to other people in spite of all the wealth that we’re producing today.
I agree, and I think this party agrees, with the idea there’s some fat folded into the expenditures of this government -- as well as the government in Ottawa; there’s some fat folded in there.
Mr. Warner: A plague on both your houses.
Mr. Young: We agree that that fat ought to be cut out. Whether you can do as much as the hon. member indicated tonight or certain other speakers have indicated, I’m not so sure. One thing is certain: If the government says there’s fat there, it must be there because, as I said before, they put it there. Let them be very skillful in getting the fat out without cutting the muscle off at the same time.
Let me say this: If this government is concerned that we have efficiency in the public sector, that we’re going to cut back on public sector expenditures, and if we’re going to transfer many of the resources now found in the public sector to the private sector --
Mr. Kerrio: Hear, hear.
Mr. Young: -- then I say, is this government as concerned that the private sector is going to be as efficient as they say the public sector must be?
Mr. Kerrio: More efficient.
Mr. Warner: Not possible.
Mr. Young: Are you concerned that the private sector --
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Mr. Cooke: The member for Niagara Falls should be across there with the Tories. He’s Tory.
Mr. Warner: We’d rather you go that way too.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Mr. Kerrio: I know what’s over there.
Mr. Makarchuk: We wouldn’t take you here.
Mr. Young: Since the member for Niagara Falls is so concerned in cutting back waste in the public sector, is he, along with this government, just as concerned to curb waste and inefficiency in the private sector?
Mr. Kerrio: Yes.
Mr. Makarchuk: No way.
Mr. Lawlor: There isn’t any, Vince. Come on.
Mr. Young: I have a quote from the Minister of Labour (B. Stephenson). She says: “We must direct equal attention to the creation of national wealth as to the distribution of wealth.” We agree absolutely. She said that “instead of arguing about who is to get the last crust of bread, we should be building a bakery.”
Mr. Nixon: That’s catchy.
Mr. Young: My question is: First of all, we have a bakery which is now 20 per cent idle, the productive capacity of our manufacturing sector is 20 per cent idle. Then the second question I asked is: “What are we going to use that bakery for?”
Mr. Warner: McKeough has got the crust.
Mr. Young: To bake cake only for the people at the upper level of the income range? Or are we going to see to it that that bakery provides the bread and the biscuits and the cake for people right across the whole income range?
Mr. Nixon: That’s a crumby analogy.
An hon. member: The Liberals say let them eat cake.
Mr. Bradley: Darcy says let them eat cake.
Mr. Young: What we have to determine is this -- not what private enterprise has always determined, what’s most profitable? That’s the question they ask; what’s most profitable? Is that what we want to ask of this bakery? No, I think what society needs is what should be produced for the good of society and what should not be produced because society doesn’t need it at this time.
Mr. Kerrio: You are going to make dough, Fred.
Mr. Young: In other words, what we should determine is what things should be produced in the private sector as well as the public, and in that government must have a large say.
Mr. Kerrio: Just let us compete, don’t stifle us.
Mr. Young: Just to use one illustration that I used before in the matter of housing: We found that government had to intervene and start to build housing and finance housing for the lower income people. Now this government is determined to get rid of the mortgages it holds, to get rid of the whole housing sector -- Ontario Housing -- give back to private enterprise this housing.
I was listening the other night to Robert Strom of the Urban Development Institute, the vice-president of Cadillac Fairview, so I understand. There are some good people in that organization, I know some of them.
Mr. Warner: A mean and vicious outfit. A bunch of corporate freaks.
Mr. Young: He was talking about housing for the lower-income people and this is what he said, at the very time that this government says we have got to hand housing back to the private sector he says that it is not the responsibility of industry to provide this type of assistance to the consumer, it is the responsibility of the government.
Mr. Makarchuk: Hear that, John?
Mr. Warner: He’s the guy that dismantled it.
Mr. Young: At no time, he says, can the housing industry provide housing for needy people, government has to do it.
Mr. Warner: He turns it over to you and what do you do?
Mr. Young: This is the Urban Development Institute and Mr. Strom of Cadillac Fairview; he is dismissing the possibility of private enterprise providing housing for the people.
Mr. Warner: Turn it over to you and what do you do, you dismantle it and then you’re proud about it; you’re as bad as those economic leeches.
Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, order.
Mr. Young: Perhaps what is needed, Mr. Speaker, is increased co-operation between the public and private sectors in this matter of housing, as it existed in the past and which this government now wants to end.
Mr. Lawlor: How about that, what you need, Kerrio, is a barrel.
Mr. Nixon: Is that a $25,000 house you are talking about?
Mr. Acting Speaker: Order, I realize that in a budget debate there is a lot of latitude, but could we allow the member for Yorkview to conclude his remarks, uninterrupted?
Mr. Young: Mr. Speaker, obviously what has happened is that I am getting to some of the people here.
Mr. Makarchuk: The dinosaurs are restless tonight; they must be in heat.
Mr. Young: Not so much the government people as these people over here. The government over there has, from time to time, seen the light and realized certain intervention must take place in spite of what the Treasurer is telling them now. But these fellows over here --
Mr. Kerrio: You know they have the heat off you.
Mr. Young: -- they have a set of mind beyond my understanding at least.
Mr. Lawlor: We’ve got some real Neanderthals there.
Mr. Kerrio: Took the heat off you, didn’t they?
Mr. Bradley: Point to the second row when you say that.
Mr. Young: First of all, then, I think we have to ask what are the goals, what are the reasons for the existence of the private sector; and will they do the job?
Mr. Kerrio: if you let them do it.
Mr. Young: Secondly, will they provide the jobs we need? Today we have a million people unemployed. We have 20 per cent of the private sector now unemployed and unused as far as machinery and equipment is concerned.
Mr. Cooke: And Vince is angry.
Mr. Young: At the same time, while the private sector is not able, it seems, to cope here and to build up industry to put that 20 per cent to work, to put the million unemployed to work, we get this: Canadians flock to buy Florida real estate, investing in Florida real estate -- condominiums, apartments, shopping centres, business of all kinds.
Mr. Nixon: The Premier (Mr. Davis) has a condominium down there.
Mr. Makarchuk: Is that right? Take note, the Premier has a condominium in Florida.
Mr. Young: Let me read a few things here: Noranda, to whom we look to provide more employment and more processing in this country, planned investment involving a reported $350 million for the various stages of a project in Chile, including an open pit mine, a smelter and a refinery.
Mr. Bradley: What about Cuba?
Mr. Young: In July 1977, a formal contract granting Noranda rights to proceed with its exploration and development was signed.
Mr. Warner: There’s a vicious outfit.
Mr. Young: Now let’s hear this: Noranda will hold 51 per cent ownership while the Chilean government holds 49 per cent. Noranda isn’t a bit afraid of government involvement in Chile.
Mr. Haggerty: The member for Scarborough West (Mr. Lewis) has been telling us the government must help the third world countries.
Mr. Young: Then, following Noranda’s lead, in May 1977 --
Mr. Warner: It’s just like those turkeys in Ottawa to support that Chile government.
Mr. Kerrio: What have you got against the people in Chile?
Mr. Makarchuk: Don’t be so insulting to the turkeys.
Mr. Young: In May 1977, to continue, a Canadian consortium --
Mr. Kerrio: They don’t like the people in Chile.
Mr. Warner: Your government supports the military government in Chile and you know it.
Mr. Kerrio: I thought you were bighearted people, you helped everybody?
Mr. Acting Speaker: Order.
Mr. Young: To continue, in May 1977 a Canadian consortium announced plans for an investment of up to $500 million in the Quebrada Blanca copper area of Chile. Falconbridge Nickel, Canadian Superior Oil, McIntyre Mines and the American parent, Superior Oil, are members of the consortium.
Mr. Makarchuk: They lay off people in Sudbury and they invest in Chile; shame.
Mr. Young: It will hold, again --
Ms. Makarchuk: Let it be known they let Canadian workers go out of jobs.
Mr. Acting Speaker: Order. I will ask the member for Brantford to please desist from heckling.
Mr. Makarchuk: The facts ought to be known.
Mr. Young: It will hold 51 per cent of the new copper project with the government of Chile holding 49 per cent.
Mr. Kerrio: You have a compadre in Chile.
Mr. Bradley: The yachting season is coming up, settle down.
Mr. Young: Again, in May 1976, a line of credit up to $125 million was extended to Chile --
Mr. Kerrio: What a contradiction.
Mr. Young: -- by an international group of private banks from Canada, the Royal Bank of Canada, the Toronto-Dominion Bank and the Bank of Nova Scotia participated. In June, 1977, the Royal Bank participated in a consortium headed by a banking trust of New York to provide $55 million in loans to the Chilean government-owned steel company.
Mr. Kerrio: Nationalize them.
Mr. Young: These are a few of the things. Then again we all know the story of Inco, how it has been using loans from Canada and Canadian institutions, and money made from its own operations here, to go into a foreign area to build jobs there in co-operation with those governments, while --
Mr. Makarchuk: And the Sudbury miners are out of work.
Mr. Young: -- in this country we are being told government ought to get out of these operations even though these companies are not investing their money to build industry and employment here.
Mr. Bradley: You shouldn’t be criticizing Inco when the member for London South (Mr. Walker) isn’t here to defend them.
Mr. Makarchuk: The Tories and Liberals allow them to do it.
Mr. Kerrio: You don’t like them anyway.
Mr. Nixon: Every day there is this old saw. But it is starting to run down; it has been really good up until now but we have been through this several times.
Mr. Makarchuk: Keep it up; I think it’s getting them.
An hon. member: You should have gone into the bakery business.
Mr. Kerrio: Do your thing, you don’t need those private enterprises.
Mr. Cooke: How does the member for St. Catharines (Mr. Bradley) tolerate the member for Niagara Falls?
Mr. Young: What I am saying is that co-operation of public and private enterprise is not a bad thing.
Mr. Kerrio: Now you are making sense.
Mr. Young: You are saying that the public ought to get out and leave it all to private enterprise.
Mr. Makarchuk: Try to understand that.
Mr. Kerrio: What’s wrong with that?
Mr. Warner: Turn the ship over to society.
Mr. Young: Let me ask this question, again, is this government, and is the member for Niagara Falls, satisfied with this tremendous export of our resources and our jobs, of our capital --
Mr. Makarchuk: Of course they are satisfied.
Mr. Warner: They are glad to see it, they want to do it. Let them pillage the land, right.
Mr. Makarchuk: Vandalize the country, that’s what the Liberals want to do.
Mr. Young: -- while at the same time in this country -- in other words, have we the faith in private enterprise that is being evidenced by this government? They are not providing the homes and other things we need; they are not providing the jobs. They are exporting the capital. And further, can we depend upon them to curb waste and inefficiency?
I hear a great deal said in this House about having a lean and efficient public sector; that’s good, I agree with that. But do we have a lean and efficient private sector to which we are handing over our resources in the deregulating process? Take a look at the packaging in a supermarket. All the different soaps, for example; you name it, the same thing in different packages. Think of the millions that are being spent to advertise exactly the same thing under a different brand name; such as drugs, things which are so fundamental to the health of this society.
Mr. Makarchuk: The Liberals want to legalize marijuana.
Mr. Bradley: No, it’s your party that wants that.
Mr. Kerrio: You guys are high without sucking on marijuana.
Mr. Makarchuk: The Liberals want to legalize marijuana.
Mr. Bradley: I think it’s the NDP wants that.
Mr. Kerrio: You don’t need any over there, you are already on a big high.
An hon. member: The NDP broke the ground on that one.
Mr. Young: I use the illustration --
Mr. Makarchuk: That’s right, the Liberals passed it at their convention. We passed the $4 minimum wage, they passed legislation of marijuana
Mr. Speaker: Order. Will the member for Brantford stop interrupting his colleague from Yorkview?
Mr. Makarchuk: We are supplementing him.
Mr. Speaker: It is not necessary. The hon. member for Yorkview was doing quite well on his own. He may continue.
Mr. Young: Thanks very much, Mr. Speaker. As a matter of fact, the member for Yorkview is doing very well, he is certainly getting the attention of the House tonight; and I appreciate that attention.
Mr. Nixon: All you have to do is look right across there. Three lone Tories in the Legislature for the budget debate, not a single cabinet minister.
Mr. Young: The question I ask of this government, which is so concerned that the public sector curb waste and inefficiency --
Mr. Bradley: Who is in charge over there tonight?
Mr. Warner: There are three Tories here, one of them awake.
Mr. Ashe: I am in charge.
Mr. Cooke: Well you are not listening then.
Mr. Makarchuk: That’s okay, they agreed, the Liberals wanted to legalize marijuana.
Mr. Kerrio: And all you want to legitimize are homosexuals.
An hon. member: Why don’t you shut up?
Mr. Young: I am simply pointing out, Mr. Speaker --
Mr. Bradley: And 50-foot yachts.
Mr. Young: -- that in the private sector the words waste and efficiency are two words which are hardly recognized and hardly known.
Mr. Makarchuk: Where are you going, Vince? Are you going down to Jarvis Street, Vince?
An hon. member: That’s where he belongs.
An hon. member: Put him in the back benches.
An hon. member: Save a seat, it’s more comfortable over there.
Mr. Young: I spoke of the goods which are packaged, I spoke of drugs which are sold under a dozen brand names. It’s the same drug and the advertising people and the salesmen go about persuading doctors and others that these drugs are better than the others. That’s waste and inefficiency; let’s take a look at that.
I saw an ad in the paper the other day which the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk would be very interested in; it’s a picture of his car. It says: “It would cost $22,000 to rebuild this $5,500-car in parts.”
Mr. Nixon: That’s not my car; I certainly wouldn’t put that much money in a car.
Mr. Young: Oh yours is bigger than that.
The fact is that the industry has been more interested in selling parts, such as bumpers, as I’ve said so often in this House, with points, knives and all the rest that cause damage. That damage then turns out to be profitable in the sale of spare parts for the automobile industry.
When I look at some of the TV ads, I find oil companies are not selling their products but they’re telling us what great guys and great fellows they are and how interested they are in building up reserves for industry in this country. The cost of one TV ad for an oil company, shown for one night, would pay for the handicapped centre at York University for one year; it would. Maybe this government should take a look at that to see whether there isn’t waste and inefficiency there in the private sector.
Mr. Haggerty: Look at the jobs they’re creating.
Mr. Warner: Garbage ads.
Mr. Young: When we talk about efficiency, I think of those oil tankers that have broken up in recent days. The companies are not concerned with the safe transfer of the oil.
Mr. Breaugh: Just profit.
Mr. Young: They go to Liberia or Panama, where the standards are low, and register their North American ships in those countries. Then they run on reefs and they collect insurance. The damage in France is likely hundreds of millions of dollars but they’re responsible for only $30 million.
Mr. Warner: Right on. They’re economic leeches, every one of them.
Mr. Young: It’s sheer inefficiency. I could go on and talk about planned obsolescence in the private sector, where they deliberately manufacture goods which are out of date, or break down and then you can’t replace them. Planned obsolescence is a part of the private enterprise theory which this government, in its concern for cutting waste and inefficiency, should be looking at.
Mr. Warner: But it won’t.
Mr. Young: We know what happened in sugar and coffee prices in recent days.
Mr. Nixon: Eight cents a pound for sugar.
Mr. Young: The companies are able to run the price up and gouge the consumer; and then the prices drop back, but never back to where they were at one point. They never go back again; we know the story.
Mr. Haggerty: Coffee was $3.25 a pound right from Brazil.
Mr. Young: We know, too, of the way in which the private enterprisers have combined to set prices and about the dredging scandals that are now being investigated. We know about those. We know about the kind of bribery that’s gone on, even in some of our own public corporations but certainly in so many of the private ones. That’s not efficiency, that is not streamlining the private sector.
Mr. Haggerty: And look at the skeletons that lie in the cupboard in Manitoba.
Mr. Young: Finally, the questions I think this government ought to be asking of the private sector concern wage and salary rates. We’re told that high wage rates are the cause of inflation, even though I have shown that inflation was on its way before the high wage rates started to come in every cycle that’s occurred in the last period of time.
Will private enterprise do what the public sector is now talking about doing in cutting back on those wage rates? I’m thinking not only of the wage rates which are now being held at six per cent, but the wage rates of the upper echelon. I’m wondering whether private enterprise is interested in that.
An article in the Winnipeg Tribune on March 1, 1978 said: “What is relevant in any comparison of public and private sectors is the fact that the public pays for private extravagance just as much as for public waste. Government profligacy shows up in taxes, business waste shows up in the price of everything the consumer must buy. The waste and extravagance in food marketing and in other private enterprise projects has reach appalling proportions.”
I have here a few reports, and I am not going to use more than a couple of them. “Who owns what Neilson knows?” is the question the Financial Post asks. Mr. Feldmeyer, Canadian Superior Oil head, held the distinction of being the highest-paid executive in Calgary in 1976. His direct salary and bonuses totalled more than $450,000, although on retirement his pension drops to $88,000. Canadian Pacific’s Sinclair got $330,000 plus stock options, plus expenses, plus whatever you want -- and that can be duplicated in many places. I am not going to read the others that I have here.
Then we come to expense accounts. I have heard a great deal recently about the expense accounts of the select committees of this Legislature. Okay, we should be looking at those; perhaps there’s waste there. But are we as equally concerned about the expense accounts when private business travels or goes to conventions?
Mr. Ashe: It’s their money.
Mr. Young: I beg your pardon?
Mr. Kerrio: How about your trade union bosses?
Mr. Young: Trade union bosses?
Mr. Kerrio: You are talking from both sides of your mouth and you know it.
Mr. Young: Expense accounts along the line should be looked at, no matter where.
Mr. Kerrio: Why don’t you set the tone?
Mr. Young: Let me read this little bit for the edification of the member for Niagara Falls; this is from the Globe and Mail, February 20, in the column “FYI” --
Mr. McClellan: Is that the new Liberal labour policy, Vince? Slander?
Mr. Kerrio: We just want equal opportunity for the private sector.
Mr. Young: The item reads: “We understand that a recent Imperial Oil convention at the Inn on the Park was budgeted at $1,000 a day per person.” Set that against the select committee expense accounts. “We also understand that the conventioneers were transported from the Inn on the Park to the Prince Hotel, a couple of miles away, for a social function. Because it would have been a bother to don coats and boots at the Inn on the Park and doff them at the Prince, Imperial courtesy provided a covered heated arcade at each end of the journey, allowing passengers to board and leave the buses without having to bundle up.” A thousand dollars a day.
Mr. Warner: A thousand bucks a day for those corporate creeps. They never worked a day in their life.
Mr. Gregory: You haven’t worked a day in your life.
Mr. Young: Just a while ago we had the suggestion that the Premier of this province should have an aircraft to jet about the province. I can’t quarrel with that too much, but it was quarrelled with; so it wasn’t done. When I look at Peter Newman’s book The Canadian Establishment, he lists the $5-million jet planes, equipped -- and he names the company that have them; three pages of companies here that provide their executives with that type of a plane.
Mr. Warner: Just disgusting.
Mr. Kerrio: That’s what you call efficiency.
Mr. Warner: That’s disgusting, absolutely obscene.
Mr. Kerrio: What do you want him to do, walk?
Mr. Young: No. All this is paid for in the price structure of these corporations -- just the same as the expenses of the select committees, the expenses of the cabinet, the expenses of these members, the expenses of any public group are paid for in the tax structure. In other words, the consumer ultimately pays for both.
My concern is that while this government and the member for Niagara Falls are so concerned with cutting down and making this public sector lean and efficient --
Mr. Kerrio: Right.
Mr. Young: -- let’s have the same concern for the private sector of this province. That’s all I am asking.
I want to ask this government, is it satisfied that private enterprise will apply the same standards not only to the workers but to executives, to professional fees -- the lawyers, the engineers and all the rest.
Mr. Warner: Especially lawyers.
Mr. Young: One of the strangest things that I see occasionally is a $100-an-hour lawyer fighting a battle to prevent workers from getting an extra 20 cents an hour, that’s one of those strange phenomena.
Hon. Mr. Drea: You’re absolutely right.
Mr. Young: Yes, Frank knows the story, and he resents that too.
Some day we are going to come to our senses and realize that this kind of increase in the private sector creates inflation, just as the poor man getting an extra 10 cents an hour on his wages, and likely more so.
Hon. Mr. Drea: As a matter of fact, the province would be a better place if we did put restrictions on that type of fee.
Mr. Young: So we have one ally on that side, and I know he’s going to take to the government my words of wisdom, which are dripping like pearls here tonight before this Legislature.
An hon. member: Put a restriction on the minister’s fees and his big Cadillac.
Mr. Nixon: That’s the stuff. Driving around in those big limousines all the time. They even have telephones in them, I understand.
Mr. Young: The result of all this is that private enterprise is now failing to provide for society’s needs, failing to provide the jobs in Canada and providing them outside Canada. It is failing to curb waste and inefficiency. It’s failing in a dozen ways, which we say, and you say, must be brought into control under the public sector of this province, and rightly so.
Mr. Kerrio: It will never happen.
Mr. Young: Instead of cutting public spending, instead of transferring these large amounts for the public to the private sector, I think there should be more co-operation between the public and private sectors. As a society we should assess what we want to give our people in the way of an adequate lifestyle, as adequate as our production will allow, and then plan to achieve it -- just as efficiently as General Motors, for example, plans its multi-faceted corporate production to achieve its goal. This is something that we should be doing in government.
In other words, first of all we should be setting public goals; and secondly, we should be setting up guidelines within which both the public and the private sectors should operate. Along with that there should be consultation and there should be co-operation.
What we are doing now in this budget is turning private enterprise loose again, as it was loosed years ago -- and most of you don’t remember -- and we are financing it largely through the public purse. What is wrong, if we are going to pour so much public money into the private sector, in taking an equity position in the corporations we help and thus participating in their planning and their programs?
Let me read to you a bit of wisdom, and I would like this to be listened to particularly by the member for Niagara Falls. It says this: “I suspect that the Syncrude type of venture in which government and private sector work together is the wave of the future. I look at what has happened elsewhere and discover that Canada is an island in a sea of change. The leading British oil company and the leading German oil company both are mixed public-private enterprises. The leading French and Italian oil companies are wholly government owned. And in all cases these are enormous companies.
“We are all familiar with the manner in which the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries are taking over the producing companies that operate within their borders, to the unhappiness of most of us. That tends to be a special case”, it is said here, “but in the big operations in the North Sea, the Norwegian government own 50 per cent of each drilling venture in its sector and the British government is assuming 50 per cent ownership in its fields and using their resources for the benefit of the people.
“The entire coal industry of Britain and France is owned by the public. The German coal industry is, for all practical purposes also publicly owned. The leading steel industry in Italy is publicly owned. The entire steel industry in Britain is publicly owned. To a varying degree, the same is true of France, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium. In the aluminum industry there are important government-owned or mixed-ownership aluminum companies in Germany, Norway, Austria, Spain and Italy.”
Just before somebody has a conniption fit, or whatever one might call it, let me tell members who is the author of these words, and then I want to read a bit more. The author of these words is none other than the member for Don Mills (Hon. Mr. Timbrell), then the Minister of Energy, to the Business Press Editors Association.
Mr. Warner: Great socialist.
Mr. Nixon: Fine fellow.
Mr. Young: Right. He went on to say: “In France, the leading automobile manufacturing firm is government owned. The number two company in Italy is also government owned and the leading German company -- ”
Mr. Kerrio: That’s why they make such terrible cars.
Mr. Young: “ -- which produces the Volkswagen, was government owned and is now mixed ownership.
Mr. Nixon: Hitler designed them.
Mr. Young: “In Britain, the government is deeply involved in that part of the industry that is not American controlled. The story is the same in the aerospace companies. It is largely true in computers.”
Mr. Kerrio: Who are the best auto makers in the world? General Motors and Ford.
Mr. Young: That can be challenged.
Mr. Kerrio: Not those Mickey Mouse socialist countries.
Mr. Young: To continue with the minister’s quote: “If you cross over to the Pacific, you’ll find that in Japan the state and the large private companies are so tied together and interlocked in terms of planning, finance and foreign trade policy that it’s hard to tell when the policy of the corporate boardroom ends and the policy of the government begins. Over the last quarter of a century the story of Japan in world competition has been a dramatic record of production, productivity and success. In major nations such as Britain and Italy, almost a third of the gross national product results in the activities of government or mixed ownership companies.”
Then he went on to say: “I’m not saying if this interlocking of business and government is good or bad. I’m saying it is happening in the industrial countries of the world and seems to be happening at an increasing rate. It frequently appears to be the pragmatic response to reality rather than a response of doctrinaire predisposition and government opportunism.
“In the United States, the financial problems of some of the big railroads resulted in the creation of Conrail, which is mixed public-private in the rail business. Of course in Canada we’re developing VIA rail.
“I repeat I have no disposition to argue if this is a good thing or a bad thing” -- he’s very careful here -- “but it exists. It is happening in other countries on a relatively grand scale and seems to be gaining some momentum here. This we can all observe. Today I am doing nothing more than to make it explicit. There is little purpose in pretending that reality does not exist.”
At this very time, this government is trying to turn the clock back and get out of government co-operation with industry and trying to transfer resources from the public to the private sector, although that never can be done completely. To be fair, I agree that this government will always retain a good deal of intervention and a good deal of activity in the public sector, but these things are happening around the world and I don’t think they should cause us the concern that the member for Niagara Falls seems to feel.
Congratulations, Madam Speaker.
Mr. Bradley: You’re not supposed to say that.
Mr. Young: We appreciate the order which you are going to bring to this session here tonight.
Mr. Warner: Yes, keep the member for Niagara Falls under control.
Mr. Young: We look forward to your keeping the members for Niagara Falls and Scarborough-Ellesmere and others under control.
Mr. Kerrio: Only if you don’t provoke us.
Mr. Warner: Vince Neanderthal.
Mr. Young: In conclusion, Madam Speaker -- I knew that would bring real applause here because --
Mr. Warner: That means they want more.
Mr. Young: -- as I’ve said before, I’ve been getting to these boys pretty deeply.
Mr. Warner: They have been encouraging you.
Mr. Young: As far as this budget is concerned, turning the clock back is not the way to go. The government has its eyes firmly fixed on the past and is trying to get back to the good old days, which may have been good for those in control of the economy but certainly were not for those who were the victims in an economy where private enterprise was supreme and called the tune. We never can go back. Democracy and the vote will make sure of that.
The economic establishment can restore its power only by destroying democracy. It has happened in Germany, Spain and other totalitarian nations --
Mr. Bradley: Czechoslovakia.
Mr. Young: -- we could think about. That struggle is on. I don’t think that could ever happen here, because I think the power of our democracy is going to see to it that the wealth production capacity of this nation is going to be used for the good of the people and not just simply for the manipulation of the international consortia. Surely here in Ontario we can achieve a strong, healthy and equitable society through co-operation of government and the private sector.
The path of this government in this budget is taking us into more unemployment and more inflation. It is cutting essential services in the public sector without commensurate gains in the private sector. It is denying the whole trend of human progress towards using our great resources for human betterment.
We have a rich country. As I pointed out, our gross national product is $200 billion; $10,000 for every man, woman and child in Canada. There is no excuse for unemployment or poverty here, but we need governments with guts to stand up to the cartels and the international consortia manipulating our economic life for their own purposes. It will mean more regulation of private interests, rather than less.
Mr. Bradley: Bill 29?
Mr. Young: It will mean more resources in the public sector, rather than fewer, It will mean a resumption of the march that this government is trying to arrest; the march of the people of this province and this land towards the use of our vast resources to make life better for all of us.
Mr. Gregory: Ms. Speaker -- is that proper, Ms. Speaker? Or would you prefer to be known as Mr. Speaker, or Madam Speaker, or whatever? Well Ms. Madam Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity, of course, to congratulate Mr. Speaker. This is the first opportunity I have had to do so -- it looks like I blew this one since Mr. Speaker is not here.
Madam Speaker: I am sure he will appreciate your statement.
Mr. Gregory: Would you accept from me my congratulations to the Speaker in his assumption of the chair, and as well to the member for Perth (Mr. Edighoffer) for his position as Deputy Speaker and as well to the member fur Wilson Heights (Mr. Rotenberg) for attaining the position of Deputy Chairman of the committee of the whole.
I have listened with a great deal of interest for the past hour and a half to the member for Yorkview, who expounded at great length about the share the wealth philosophy of the New Democratic Party. They may believe in sharing the wealth, but they don’t believe in sharing the time, because I find myself in the unfortunate position of having to give an address -- not that long, a sensible length of about half an hour, which is a third of his speech; and mine was intended to be a little more sensible.
So, Madam Speaker, rather than begin with my address and have to break it in 15 minutes, I would at this time like to move the adjournment of the debate.
On motion by Mr. Gregory, the debate was adjourned.
On motion by Hon. Mr. Brunelle, the House adjourned at 10.15 p.m.