The House met at 2 p.m.
STATEMENTS BY THE MINISTRY
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, I would like to announce to the House our plans for changes in Ontario’s liquor legislation as part of the periodic review necessary to keep our liquor policy contemporary. Our objective with these changes is a balanced approach which provides the progressive measures the public wants with sufficient safeguards to prevent abuses.
As members will appreciate, liquor policy must be responsive to developments and attitudes within our society.
Mr. Conway: He sounds like Howard Ferguson.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: In recent years, this has meant more progressive drinking laws. The legal age of consumption was lowered to 18 and new legislation was passed easing many of the traditional restrictions on alcohol consumption. These changes reflected a general wish to grant more responsibility to individual citizens and less to government.
We now have had an opportunity to assess this progressive trend. In general, the results are positive. There has been no substantial increase in per capita consumption of alcohol in Ontario in the past three years. In fact, Liquor Control Board’s sales increases have slowed down significantly. We hope this will continue because the effects of consumption in terms of such factors as illness, financial dependency, absenteeism and general social havoc have serious repercussions. It seems that most of us have become our own liquor control board, as the Ministry of Health advised in its education campaign.
There are some exceptions, however. We’re concerned about underage drinking and the impact it is having in our high schools. We are concerned about drinking and driving, especially among young people. We are also concerned that police do not believe current laws can be adequately enforced so as to prevent obvious abuses. We are concerned that a large number of our citizens may be losing respect for law which is not enforced.
These problems have received a great deal of study and we have come to realize that alcohol abuse is in large measure beyond the power of government and the reach of legislation. It is absurd to think that government alone can instil a sense of maturity or a respect for values which are not to be found within the family; nor can we prevent people from abusing alcohol if they really want to do so.
Nonetheless, there is value in government leadership in this area. Defining unlawful or dangerous behaviour and enforcing the sanctions against it will have a deterrent effect. Of course, to be effective, this approach requires that we eliminate anomalies or inconsistencies in our legislation which have proved to be a nuisance and which have encouraged disrespect for the law. Thus, the policy changes which I am proposing today to the Liquor Licence Act reflect a balanced approach to respond to the problems of abuse and also recognize areas where a more progressive approach is required.
Our first proposal is to raise the drinking age to 19, effective September 1, 1978. There is nothing magical or philosophical about this age. It is, however, a realistic and practical way of dealing with alcohol abuse in high schools. All 18-year-olds of legal drinking age will be permitted to continue their eligibility to drink.
Only 2.4 per cent of our high school students in September are 19 and over, compared to 10.8 per cent who are now legally able to drink. A legal age of 19 will substantially reduce the peer pressure on younger students as more than 97 per cent of high school students will be ineligible to drink legally. Obviously this is not a perfect solution.
Mr. Nixon: You are probably right.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Possibly.
There will still be young people in high school old enough to drink legally; there will still be some peer pressure and, undoubtedly, some of those who are not entitled to drink will do so anyway.
However, we believe that this measure will make it easier for many of our students to say no to alcohol consumption. This conclusion is based on the very extensive assessment of student attitudes carried on by the youth secretariat under the direction of my seatmate, the member for Mississauga North (Mr. Jones), whose excellent report on this matter was published a little over two years ago. The Terry Jones report proposes a legal age of 19 and so did the select committee on highway safety in its recommendations published last September.
Mr. Eakins: So did the member for Essex South.
Mr. Kerrio: What about him?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: That committee, which included members from all parties, concluded that the government of Ontario should raise the legal drinking age to 19 because “steps must be taken to reduce access to alcohol for the youngest drivers.” I should pause to note the private member’s bill introduced by the member for Essex --
Mr. Ruston: South.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: South.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: How about the Terry Jones report as well? Highway safety can take care of themselves.
Mr. T. P. Reid: It took you three years to do it.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: The age of employment in a licensed establishment will remain at 18. We do not wish to add to student unemployment, particularly in the resort and tourist industry, at a time when many students are finding it difficult to obtain part-time work. We see no inconsistency in having one age for drinking and another for employment.
To make the drinking age effective, we have to provide suitable identification. Under the act, the only piece of identification which protects the licensee from prosecution is a card provided by my ministry which has the bearer’s photograph On it. To obtain this card, applicants must provide proof of their identity and age, a photograph and $2.
There are now 93,000 in circulation which will continue to be honoured. As part of the Ontario government’s new policy approach, we intend to expand the number of cards in use this summer by hiring teams of students to travel across the province as part of the Experience 78 student summer employment program. These teams will take photographs and issue cards on the spot.
Mr. Lewis: I have heard of make-work projects, but that is the best so far this year.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: We will also encourage increased promotion of this photo card by our licensees, the Ontario Hotel and Motel Association and colleges and universities. In addition, the Minister of Transportation and Communications (Mr. Snow) has already introduced a bill which was passed last week to phase in photographs on drivers’ licences. Not everyone drives, but the licence itself will contain the date of birth, which will be proof of the right of the individual to drink.
The new drinking age will be enforced, and enforced stringently. My colleague, the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry), has asked his crown attorneys to press for higher fines in appropriate cases involving illegal consumption by minors. Currently, it is our belief that the penalties being imposed are often too low to warrant police action or to deter illegal behaviour.
Mr. Warner: Crack down on the bars.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: We are proposing the introduction for the first time of a minimum penalty for licensees who serve a minor. This fine will be $500 for each and every offence, plus an automatic seven-day suspension. The Liquor Licence Board will also have the option to extend the suspension as it sees fit. The maximum fine will be raised from $2,000 to $10,000. We believe these penalties will impress on licensees our serious view on underage drinking.
We will be proposing an amendment to the regulations under the Liquor Licence Act to provide a general obligation on the part of the licensee to request identification from anyone who could reasonably be assumed to be under age. In addition, we propose to write into the law, the present acknowledged right of a licensee to refuse anyone entrance to or to eject anyone from the premises. This is strong medicine, but no other approach is likely to work. Enforcement of these measures will not be expensive or difficult. We can readily identify where underage drinking is occurring and our increased investigations will, therefore, concentrate upon those relatively few problem operators.
Mr. Warner: You haven’t been able to; you don’t do it now.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: It is a matter of making existing police work and board inspections more effective by strengthening the law and increasing the penalties. Most licensees are already acting responsibly and the remainder will get the message.
We also think that education is important in attitudes of young people towards drinking.
The Canadian distilling industry has agreed to finance a conference next year to explore ways to improve curriculum guidelines on alcohol education in our schools. I am pleased to announce this conference will be jointly sponsored with the Ontario Association of Curriculum Development.
In addition, my colleague, the Minister of Health (Mr. Timbrell), will be proposing the allocation of funds to reinstitute a television advertising campaign on moderation in use of alcohol. It is our hope that between the government and industry we can provide the public with more information on the dangers of alcohol abuse for the whole population, not just for minors.
Enforcement will go hand in hand with education. The existing legislation, which focuses on illegal consumption, has created specific difficulties in enforcement for the police. Possessing alcoholic beverages in an open bottle or glass is not illegal. The police officer must actually witness consumption. The legislation will be amended so that open bottles cannot be carried in public places. The police will also be empowered to seize any liquor in the possession of people charged with an offence so that illegal consumption can be stopped when it is first noticed.
A great many complaints have been made by campers about consumption of alcohol in provincial parks. My colleague, the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. F. S. Miller), has, therefore, commenced an experimental ban on the consumption of alcoholic beverages in 11 provincial parks between May 1 and June 18 of this year. Preliminary reports indicate public acceptance of this policy. We will be introducing amendments to our legislation to enable us to reflect the results of this experiment.
Consistent with our philosophy of providing local options in liquor policy, municipalities will also be given the right to pass bylaws making possession of alcohol illegal in specific parks, arenas or stadiums controlled by that municipality.
We are introducing a major new campaign against drinking and driving. The Ministry of Transportation and Communications is developing a new education program for use in schools. We believe a sustained and forceful information program is the most effective way to reduce the alarming upward spiral in automobile accidents involving young drinking drivers.
However, education is not enough. The government has no sympathy for the person who drives and drinks. We believe major steps are necessary to ensure that drinking drivers are taken off our roads and the penalties and enforcement become major deterrents. At present, the Highway Traffic Act provides for an automatic three-month suspension of the driver’s licence with the first conviction for drinking and driving, and a mandatory six-months suspension on the second and subsequent offences. My colleague, the Minister of Transportation and Communications, will be introducing legislation to provide for the first time a three-year automatic suspension on the third and subsequent conviction.
In addition to tougher penalties, we are determined to create a system to help detect drinking drivers. The Solicitor General (Mr. Kerr) will shortly provide more portable screening devices to police for use in patrol cars. This will enable the police to increase protection and prosecution. We want to ensure that the portable units are in more locations more often, and therefore will be more effective across the province.
Furthermore, the government proposes to introduce in the fall legislation to give police officers the authority to issue immediate, on-the-spot, 24-hour licence suspension in cases where the portable screening device has indicated a degree of impairment sufficient to make the motorist a risk, although not legally impaired. A similar system has worked wall in Alberta and British Columbia. We feel it is an effective way to get the drinking driver off the road.
This suspension will not result in a criminal record or any other penalty whatsoever, but it will help to administer a sobering shock to the marginal drinking drivers and get them off the road before someone is killed. Of course, drivers can still choose to go back to the police station for the legal breathalyser and risk a possible charge of impaired driving.
Local authorities will be asked to step up policing of drinking and driving, including greater use of spot checks. The public must perceive there is a good chance of being apprehended before the law on drinking and driving is taken seriously. We must stop the senseless slaughter of people on our highways by those who are irresponsible enough to combine drinking and driving. We believe these measures will help to achieve this objective.
As I mentioned earlier, we also wish to round out the liquor policy by removing the anomalies in the current law. We are, therefore, proposing five progressive changes which will eliminate restrictions now in force. These changes reflect the fact that our experience with more progressive legislation has been largely positive.
Mr. Nixon: We read all about this in the paper yesterday. How come it was released yesterday?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Firstly, we intend to drop the requirement of a sit-down meal with a Sunday drink. The food-liquor ratio provides sufficient control over consumption, so we intend to enforce this restriction instead.
Mr. Blundy: Will I be able to get a drink on the train?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Second, we are removing some of the limitations on the way licensees run their business. For example, we will allow hotels to close the few rooms they are now keeping open just to retain their liquor licence if local municipal council say the rooms are not needed. In effect, this converts some of those small hotels to a tavern.
Thirdly, we propose to allow resorts to apply to the board to allow minors into all licensed rooms in resort areas so that families can be together without restriction. Minors will also be allowed into licensed areas of private clubs if no liquor is being served.
Mr. Conway: How about moonshine parlours?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Fourthly, we are proposing to exempt airlines from the normal restrictions and limitations on hours during which alcoholic beverages may be served.
Fifthly, we are introducing amendments to allow licensed premises and Liquor Control Board outlets to operate on election day as we feel the present legislation is an anachronism in today’s world.
Mr. Breaugh: You guys will do anything to win these seats.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: In summarizing our proposed changes to some aspects of Ontario’s liquor policy, I would like to emphasize that the main feature is a balanced approach.
Mr. Lewis: Why are you opening up the bars on election day? The entire Tory vote will be inside. You will never get your majority back.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: We are looking for tougher enforcement to ensure that the generally positive experience we have had with more progressive legislation is not jeopardized by the irresponsible behaviour of the minority. We see these changes as part of a continuous review of our liquor policy. The door will be open for further changes when required. I invite the comments and suggestions of the honourable members of the Legislature as we proceed with these changes.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, sitting in your gallery today are Mr. Norman Ayoub, campaign chairman of the Medic-Alert campaign sponsored by the Toronto Life Underwriters Association, and two of the association’s executive officers, Mr. Douglas Owen Hicks and Mr. J. L. Arthur Jefferson.
Mr. Foulds: Will the minister stop mumbling?
Ms. Gigantes: We can’t hear him.
Mr. Lewis: It’s his usual affliction; hold the papers away from the microphone and speak more slowly.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Can’t the members hear me? They are here because the Medic-Alert Foundation has designated May as Medic-Alert Month in Ontario. I would like to take a minute to pay tribute to the valuable work of this foundation.
As honourable members are aware -- some of them possibly from first-hand knowledge -- the Medic-Alert Foundation issues identification emblems to people with medical conditions. People involved in accidents or episodes making it impossible to describe their condition might become seriously ill, or even worse die, without this emblem, which is worn as an identification bracelet. Among those who wear these bracelets are skin divers, diabetics, epileptics, haemophiliacs; those who suffer from multiple sclerosis, who have severe allergies to horse serum, antibiotics, bee stings; or who take anticoagulants, cortisone or Antabuse; or who wear contact lenses.
The foundation provides a central registration service with serial number, name file and any additional information a member may record. A 24-hour telephone service is maintained by the foundation. Calls are accepted from doctors and public safety officials from anywhere in the world. An estimated one quarter million people in Canada depend on Medic-Alert for informed, immediate help in the event of an emergency. The Medic-Alert Foundation, an affiliate of Medic-Alert International, is a non-profit organization. It has been providing services in Canada for 18 years.
As Minister of Health for Ontario and on behalf of the Ontario Government, I would like to endorse, and ask the House to join in this endorsement, the contribution to health care in the province made by the Medic-Alert Foundation.
INMATE WORK PROJECTS
Hon. Mr. Drea: Later today the government House leader will be tabling a reply to question 52 on the order paper, outlining projects being undertaken by inmates of correctional institutions operated by my ministry.
I know that honourable members will be pleased to learn the extent of the work projects being carried out by inmates in communities across the province. The detailed list which will be provided, mentions 115 individual projects which have been completed, are under way or are planned outside the confines of correctional institutions. In addition, approximately 50 work projects are being conducted on correctional institution properties.
The type of work which inmates are performing ranges from small projects involving only one or two inmates to sizeable undertakings utilizing large work parties. For example, individual inmates from Maplehurst Correctional Centre work on a one-to-one basis to assist a child afflicted by cerebral palsy who requires a daily exercise program. Similarly, inmates of Thunder Bay Correctional Centre help handicapped and disabled citizens to enjoy the swimming program at a local hospital. Two inmates of the Sudbury jail help with patients of a nursing home; while inmates of the Vanier Centre for Women work in day-care and in nursery school programs.
Hon. Mr. Davis: You forgot to mention the program in Brampton.
Hon. Mr. Drea: A well-established program involving inmates of the Rideau Correctional Centre sees one group of inmate volunteers working seven-and-one-half hour shifts daily with the retarded at the Rideau Regional Centre near Smiths Falls, while a second group works similar shifts in the geriatric ward at the Brockville Psychiatric Hospital. Recently, a similar program was established at the Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital where inmates from Mimico Correctional Centre work as volunteers.
As well as inmates performing on a one to one basis, groups of inmates provide maintenance of grounds at various senior citizens’ homes. During the winter, inmates of Monteith Correctional Centre cut firewood for needy elderly persons in the north. In other communities, inmates shovelled snow for elderly persons and others unable to carry out such tasks. This summer inmates will be mowing lawns for senior citizens.
Inmate work projects which benefit communities as a whole include general cleanups, such as the work now being performed at the Stephen Leacock home in Orillia, restoration of historical cemeteries, the clearing of snow from around the fire hydrants in Millbrook in the winter and the clearing of ice and snow from all of the 246 bus stops and shelters in Barrie.
Kenora Jail inmates have cut logs into firewood which is sold, with all proceeds going to local community centres. A work crew of inmates from the Guelph Correctional Centre is helping the Grand River Conservation Authority prepare the site for the national convention of the Campers and Hikers Association of Canada to be held next year. Inmates from Burtch Correctional Centre are helping to clean up a river island where a benefit concert will be held this summer to help finance a theatre in Brantford for the entire community.
The work projects on ministry property include renovations to convert a former training school facility at Cambridge into the Waterloo Detention Centre. This project also involved the construction of a 20-foot-high security wall. The work was carried out by inmates under the supervision of correctional staff at savings to the taxpayer of approximately $1 million.
Inmates are helping to construct two new dormitories at the Mimico Correctional Centre. Inmate crews will also build recreation facilities inside the walls at Millbrook Correctional Centre, as well as security walls at the Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre and at a former training school at Guelph, which is to be converted into a detention facility for adults to replace the antiquated Guelph jail. In addition to assisting in construction projects at institutions, inmates at 22 facilities are planting and maintaining vegetable gardens to produce fresh produce for institutional use. As a matter of fact, we are now entirely self-sufficient in potatoes and at the end of this summer we will be in cabbages for our institutions.
A great deal of credit for the innovative inmate work projects which have been undertaken has fallen to the minister when, in fact, the real credit should go to the superintendents of our institutions and the correctional officers and staff who supervise and direct these work projects. The superintendents have always said that these kinds of projects could be done on a broad scale and now they are proving it. Incidentally, the projects are not being directed out of the ministry main office; control has been decentralized to allow individual institutions to respond to specific local needs.
I am very proud of the inmates who have always contended that, given the chance to work in the community, they would perform in a reasonable and responsible manner.
They have been given the opportunity and they have come through with flying colours. I think it is especially noteworthy that inmates who have worked in the programs I have mentioned have participated without receiving any payment except the personal satisfaction of helping other individuals and/or the community generally. Many of the inmates who worked on these projects will be released prior to July 1 and will therefore not benefit from the new remission system which comes into effect on that date.
The Ministry of Correctional Services is dedicated to providing a $10 million dividend of free labour to the people of Ontario this year, and we have only begun to scratch the surface. Our goal is to help Canada regain its economic strength. I intend to encourage the continued expansion of inmate work projects that benefit the community.
I want it clearly understood that the utilization of inmates has not taken a single paying job away from anyone. The work that is being performed would not have been carried out, because there were no other people willing to perform the tasks or there were no funds available. Rather than reduce job opportunities, some of the projects which inmates have undertaken have stimulated employment by requiring the purchase of materials which would not otherwise have been sold.
Mr. S. Smith: Too bad that’s the only way to get a job in Ontario.
Hon. Mr. Drea: Since inmates are not receiving remuneration for the work they are performing on behalf of the public, I believe some recognition should be given to their efforts. Therefore, signs which say simply “We’re Working -- Your Ministry of Correctional Services” will soon be erected at sites where inmates are completing projects.
Mr. S. Smith: Nobody else is.
Hon. Mr. Drea: I wish to thank my colleague, the Minister of Government Services (Mr. Henderson), for his co-operation in regard to our new signs, as well as for his assistance in arranging for a number of other government signs to be manufactured by inmates in our institutions as part of their on-the-job training.
Mr. Lewis: If you could find jobs for people who aren’t in jail that would be useful.
Hon. Mr. Drea: Send me to Ottawa. Give me the challenge, and I will.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: On May 13 the member for Port Arthur (Mr. Foulds) asked several questions with respect to bad debt collection. Since the government does business with such a great number and variety of citizens, sometimes the most difficult problem is just to locate a debtor.
As happens also in business, even if they can be traced some payments are extremely difficult to exact, so six or seven years ago an in-house collection agency was set up in the Ministry of Government Services to assist ministries in their tracing and collection efforts. This has proven successful, as the record shows, and an eight-to-one collection-to-salary cost ratio is a credit to that staff.
Considering the total revenue flow in the province, the current $5.2 million on 7,300 delinquent accounts testifies to the fact that the individual ministries which are responsible for the collection of all moneys due to the government do a very creditable job with a very high success rate. Not only do receivables come from the revenue side, but they can arrive from such things as recovery where a recipient has not complied with the eligibility requirement for grants, student awards; or from recovery of amounts paid to banks under guaranteed loan programs.
The problems of a mounting case load were brought to my treasury division’s attention earlier this year by the management within the Ministry of Government Services, and our staffs conducted an in-depth review of the situation. One significant outcome of the review was that an increasing number of small dollar amounts were being referred to collection services which was overloading their capability to deal with the real payoff situations.
The outcome of this review is now in the process of implementation and it is generally aimed at giving the central collection service a more timely, smaller volume and higher dollar-value caseload, which will allow them to do what they do best while reinforcing each individual ministry’s own collection responsibilities and tuning requirements.
Revised treasury policy statements, which will further clarify these responsibilities and the timeliness and procedures governing the entire receivables processing method, are about to go to print. I understand the public accounts committee requested these of the Ministry of Government Services, and of course they will be glad to supply them.
As to why some ministries may have delayed using the in-house collection services, this mostly reflected a perhaps misplaced reluctance to admit an early defeat in pursuing what they see as their collection responsibility, though I am sure it sometimes reflected less than rigorous follow-up procedures. That issue is specifically addressed in our forthcoming directive.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, on May 17 several questions were raised regarding provincial and Ontario Hydro borrowing.
First, I want to reply to the questions by the member for Waterloo North (Mr. Epp) regarding the recent issue in Europe. To clarify some confusion in the question I want to point out that the issue was floated by Ontario Hydro with a province of Ontario guarantee. It was not a provincial issue on behalf of Ontario Hydro as suggested by the member for Waterloo North. Furthermore, the issue, while placed in Frankfurt, was floated on the Eurodollar market and, therefore, was denominated in US dollars, not Deutsche marks. Regarding the specifics of the issue: the principal is $125 million American; the coupon is 8.5 per cent, priced to yield 8.00 per cent; and the term is seven years, maturing June 1, 1985.
On May 23, the province floated a debenture issue in New York on behalf of Ontario Hydro. This issue produced $200 million American, with a coupon and yield of 9.375 per cent. The term is 30 years, maturing June 1, 2008. The debentures were rated Triple-A by both Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s.
At the same time, the member for Waterloo North requested a prospectus for the Eurodollar issue. I am tabling a copy of the preliminary prospectus for Europe. The final version will be available later this month or early next month. I am also tabling a copy of the final version of the US prospectus.
During the same series of questions, the member for Halton-Burlington (Mr. J. Reed) wanted to know the reason for the borrowing. Both issues noted above were for Ontario Hydro purposes. Capital construction during the current year was generating requirements in the range of $1,500 million to $1,550 million.
Borrowing for Hydro purposes to date in Canadian dollars is $1,035 million. Of this $400 million was raised in Canada and $575 million in US funds. Conversion of the US funds to Canadian dollars has generated approximately $635 million, that is about $60 million over the principal amount of US dollar issues. The remaining requirements of some $515 million for this calendar year is expected to be raised in Canada via bond issues and short-term Hydro notes.
The member for Wentworth (Mr. Deans) wanted to know if the borrowing was to refinance an existing issue. Hydro requirements for 1978 amount to some $204 million. This amount is spread over a number of issues. In view of the borrowing program I have already outlined, it is evident that the borrowing is not designed to refund existing debt.
The member for Wentworth also expressed concern over the policy of borrowing in foreign markets. We are well aware of the risks associated with exchange rate movements and therefore limit foreign borrowing activity. We cannot, however, raise all the requirements in the Canadian market as this would place undue pressure on Canadian interest rates and crowd out many smaller borrowers, that is force them to borrow abroad or reduce their capital expansion.
Hon. Mr. Norton: I would like to inform the House that later today I will be introducing for first reading a new act to provide for the continuation of probation services for young offenders.
Mr. McClellan: What happened to private members’ hour? Why are you trying to prevent the introduction of the bill by the member for York East (Mr. Elgie).
Hon. Mr. Norton: Under the Probation Act, the Ministry of Community and Social Services currently provides probation services for the juvenile court as part of the juvenile corrections program of the children’s services division. As the honourable members are aware, the Minister of Correctional Services (Mr. Drea) has recently introduced an act to re-enact the Ministry of Correctional Services Act. This new statute includes provisions for probation services with respect to adults, and when proclaimed and in force, will repeal the existing Probation Act. The primary purpose of the proposed children’s probation act is to enable my ministry’s probation officers to continue to provide probation services with respect to children.
Mr. McClellan: Admirable.
Hon. Mr. Norton: A definition of the duties and functions of probation officers has also been included. The proposed act does not represent a departure from existing probation programming, rather the act reflects the correct practice of my ministry.
Briefly, the proposed act deals with the following matters: the appointment of probation officers under the Public Service Act and the designation of other persons by the minister as required; the purchase of probation services by my ministry under this act; and the mandatory duties of the probation officer with respect to the juvenile court. These duties include the making of predispositional reports on young offenders, recommendations to the court with respect to disposition and the compliance with terms of probation orders made under the Juvenile Delinquents Act of Canada.
The proposed act also includes provision similar to that in the proposed Ministry of Correctional Services Act, whereby a probation officer may apply to the court to vary the terms of a probation order which may be impractical or impossible for the officer to fulfil; the authority for the minister to prescribe other duties for probation officers; and finally, a description of the probation officers; role as a helping professional. The probation officer is directed to assist the probationer by explaining the court process to him or her, and by counselling the probationer and his or her family.
My ministry feels very strongly that the focus of the children’s probation officer’s work is the child and the family with special needs, and wishes to emphasize this commitment in our proposed legislation.
Mr. Roy: Are you sure you are finished over there. Are there no more statements?
DELAYS IN OMB HEARINGS
Mr. S. Smith: I would like to ask a question of the Premier. Given the obviously drastic unemployment situation in Toronto’s construction industry, and given the backlog of construction projects that have been waiting to go but are held up at the OMB and elsewhere, has the Premier had a chance to react to the suggestion from the city of Toronto’s housing commissioner, Mr. Dennis, that the OMB be beefed up, possibly with additional members if necessary, so as to get on with the job and get that backlog dealt with as quickly as possible, to create jobs and create construction in Toronto? Is the Premier prepared to move to increase the capacity of the OMB to deal with this important logjam which is causing suffering?
Mr. Rotenberg: That is not the logjam.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I believe there are to be some discussions this weekend related to some matters concerning the OMB. I would only make the observation that while part of the problem may rest in terms of numbers of people at the Ontario Municipal Board, I think also part of the problem relates to some of the applications that are there -- some of them at the insistence of the city of Toronto.
Some months ago in discussions with some of the municipal representatives, the government was successful in having certain accommodations made in terms of some projects as they related to the rather controversial bylaw that is presently before the board. I’m not sure it’s as simple as just having two or three more members of the board -- I wish it were that simple. But, certainly, that’s something the government is prepared to explore if that will help.
I just caution the Leader of the Opposition that some of the problems we presently have don’t relate to the numbers of people who are there to hear the applications. When one looks at the length of time, for instance, on the present hearing, it’s not the numbers of the board members, it is the length of the hearings themselves; and I don’t think the city of Toronto can escape totally a part of that responsibility.
Mr. S. Smith: I’m pleased to hear that the Premier will at least look at the possibility of additional members, which might at least help the OMB to hear some of the newer applications and could avoid the logjam that’s there.
May I ask, by way of supplementary, if the Premier is prepared once again this summer to countenance the rather leisurely pace of work and hearings that seems to characterize the Ontario Municipal Board, with its four-day weeks and the whole month of July off and rather few working hours during the day and so on? Will the Premier make certain that the board meets five or six days and takes no lengthy vacations this summer? Is he prepared, by virtue of his conversation with the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough), or by any other means of seeking this information, to make sure that the OMB does not take the whole month of July off again this year? Is he prepared to make sure that the OMB gives its proper attention to what is a very serious matter?
Mr. Bradley: Check with Darcy first.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Part of the problem at the board could have been resolved here. I can’t recall the particulars of the legislation -- which the Leader of the Opposition perhaps voted against; he may recall his position -- as it related to severances, which takes a substantial amount of time of the board and which by legislation we could have resolved here. Perhaps if we were to reintroduce that we might now gain his support in trying to minimize the amount of red tape and the necessity for hearings when they aren’t really that necessary, if I can phrase it as delicately as that.
Mr. S. Smith: Are they going to work in the month of July? Are they going to do five or six days or what? That is the question.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I’m not here defending the Ontario Municipal Board or its hours of work, but the municipal board does work during the summer months. I think the Leader of the Opposition will find that part of the reason is because some of those clients who are appearing before the board, or their counsel on behalf of theft clients, on occasion are themselves taking the odd vacation during July and August. I’m not saying whether this is good or bad; I’m just saying this is a part of the problem during the summer months.
An hon. member: You’re always blaming somebody else.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I think it is also fair to point out to the members of the House, knowing a little bit from some many years ago of how the municipal board functions, that while it is accused on many occasions of delay -- and some of it is justified -- in many instances the blame for the delay could be that of the municipality; it could even be that, on occasion, of the legal profession.
Mr. Roy: Oh no.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I would say this to the member for Ottawa East, I’m sure he himself has been guilty on occasion, not before the municipal board but before other courts that he knows far better, in either getting remands --
Mr. Roy: Not before the board; I’m always on time.
Hon. Mr. Davis: -- because his public responsibilities require his attendance here, although we notice on Mondays and Fridays his practice requires his presence in the courts. We notice that sort of thing on occasion. I would say to the Leader of the Opposition, yes, we are anxious to expedite these things as best we can.
Mr. Roy: You miss me, do you? Half of your members should be away as well, they don’t accomplish anything here.
Mr. Bradley: It’s called quality representation.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I do say on behalf of the hoard that the delays are not always theft fault.
Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I’m a bit concerned at the Premier’s effort to find scapegoats everywhere except in this Legislature itself. As a supplementary, is the Premier aware that it is now six years since the select committee on the Ontario Municipal Board presented a series of recommendations to streamline the work of the hoard and to ensure that the kinds of delays that we are experiencing today would not take place, and that projects would not be blocked because of this kind of red tape erected by the government? The problem has been the failure of the government to take those recommendations seriously and to bring in reforms to the Planning Act in order to ensure that these problems would not exist. The problem is right over there.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: Nonsense.
Mr. Warner: Six years.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I don’t want to be provocative --
Mr. Ruston: Go ahead, go ahead.
Hon. Mr. Davis: -- but I wish the honourable member would go back just a few months. When certain proposed amendments were presented to this House, the New Democratic Party members, along with the Liberal opposition, indicated that they would not support those amendments.
Hon. Mr McKeough: That’s right.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Those amendments would have expedited some of the processes at the hoard. Perhaps he will review those; perhaps he’s saying to us now he’s had a chance to reconsider his position again and he would be prepared to support some of that.
Mr. Nixon: You were taking away the right of appeal.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I would also make this observation to the member -- and I have had some experience, and it is to that party in particular -- this is one of the things that has happened with respect to municipal hoard hearings. His party, time after time, is demanding even greater public participation in terms of the board’s function.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: Publicly funded.
Mr. Makarchuk: So why don’t you deal with it?
Mr. Nixon: Where do you stand?
Hon. Mr. Davis: And I am not quarrelling with the principle, but you have to understand that the greater the public participation and the more people are encouraged in terms of presentations to the boards, the longer the process is going to take. You people have to understand that is now part of what causes some of the delays at the Ontario Municipal Board.
Mr. Nixon: Coming down strongly on both sides.
Hon. Mr. Davis: The members can sit and shake their heads all day long. That happens to be factually the case.
Mr. Speaker: Order. The Leader of the Opposition with a new question.
Mr. S. Smith: I haven’t had my supplementary; I had only the first supplementary.
Mr. Speaker: Yes, you have.
Mr. S. Smith: Only the first supplementary.
Mr. Speaker: You have had a supplementary. Second question.
Mr. S. Smith: I appeal to you Mr. Speaker. It was not our own party that took the 40 minutes of today to read the usual Thursday’s statements.
Mr. Speaker: Order. The question period started at 2:37, we have now spent eight minutes on the first question with one initial question and two supplementaries.
Mr. Nixon: It was the meandering response.
Mr. S. Smith: Those were meandering answers. All we needed was yes or no. Are they going to work the month of July or not?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: They work in July. They do so; you don’t know what you are talking about.
Mr. S. Smith: They didn’t last year and you know it.
Mr. S. Smith: I will ask a question of the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations regarding the statement that he made in committee that there would be no successor legislation to the rent review act until October. Given the fact that, of course, there will be a problem with the 90-day notice unless some successor to the legislation comes forward by September 30, has the minister rethought this matter and is he prepared to give us what method he intends to use to overcome the confusion and chaos that might well result as a consequence of waiting until October to bring in successor legislation? Would he, for instance, like to have an amendment brought forward which would give the government the opportunity, by regulation, to have a short-term extension until the committee has finished its deliberations and the new legislation can be brought forward in the fall?
Mr. Lewis: Another 24-hour shift in policy; amazing.
Mr. Foulds: You have to draft legislation.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: We are aware of that problem and, as the member may recall, when I pointed that problem out -- and it wasn’t at committee, I think it was in debate in the House when we referred the matter to committee -- I indicated that because of that problem, we would, on this side of the House, undertake to let the public know, hopefully in September, but at an earlier enough stage, with regard to our intention so that given the deliberations of the committee, which I hope the third party might continue to participate in after yesterday’s attempt to end it.
Mr. Warner: We are participating.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Given the deliberations of the committee; taken together with the legislation which we announced we will bring forward in September, there may be some predictability as to what to do.
Obviously, what the committee reports and what the government’s response is will dictate the need or otherwise to amend the notice period.
In any case, I am currently giving some consideration to the problem, by way of either bringing in a short bill before the House rises in June to shorten that notice period or perhaps conversely to permit some change so that a rent increase -- for example to come into effect January 1, 1979 -- may perhaps be again adjusted, either upwards or downwards --
Mr. Speaker: Would you try to shorten up the answer too, please.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: --it is a very complex answer, Mr. Speaker -- so that they are not locked into a decision that they have to make in November for a full 14-month period.
Mr. Foulds: You have been pretty slow in bringing forward legislation.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Quite frankly, one of the problems that I identify with shortening that time period for notice this fall is that I see no reason why we should penalize tenants by way of leaving them with a 30- or 40-day notice period simply because the legislative process has been such that we can’t get legislation into the House. I would be pleased to see any suggestions the opposition might have with regard to how we hurdle that problem.
Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary:
Given the fact that the solution suggested by some, that we simply pre-empt and destroy the work of the committee now to prematurely come to some conclusion, is not a reasonable solution.
Mr. Warner: Now you are getting silly.
Mr. S. Smith: Would the minister accept the idea that he might bring an amendment before us --
Mr. Cassidy: That bunch is preposterous.
Mr. Roy: Can’t you control these fellows, Mike?
Mr. S. Smith: -- to give the government the power by regulation?
Mr. Warner: You are abandoning the tenants and you know it.
Mr. S. Smith: I appeal to you, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Mr. S. Smith: Your former colleagues are in disarray.
Mr. S. Smith: Would the minister consider bringing in an amendment to give the government the power by regulation to simply extend the present rent review for the month or two that is required on a short-term basis --
Mr. Foulds: Oh, you would like to give them more power by regulation, would you? Nice move.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Mr. S. Smith: -- so that we can finally bring in the legislation in the fall --
Mr. S. Smith: -- at a time when we will have completed the committee work?
Mr. Lewis: You just threatened a no-confidence motion over giving them more.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Mr. S. Smith: The member is grandstanding.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Mr. Lewis: I will try.
Mr. Speaker: Order. Maybe you could try keeping quiet and give people an opportunity to be heard.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Forgive them. Echoes of their 1975 exploitation of the issue are causing them to fall all over themselves in running for the tenants’ votes while we try and find a solution to the problem.
Mr. S. Smith: They are losing support so rapidly they have to do something.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Now to deal with the problem instead of the politics of the situation. The problem we would have in extending that for the 60 days, of course, is it would lock all landlords and tenants into the current scheme, i.e. six per cent for a further 12 months for all those leases that came up in January and February, since under the legislation they have to stick to one increase every 12 months. So if any lease came out January, it means everyone would be locked in for 12 months from that date.
That is the complexity of the problem and, frankly, I hesitate to opt for anything which sounds even closely akin to the silly solution the third party proposed yesterday of increasing it by pieces for ever and ever, amen. That emphasizes the problem and I don’t think that is the definitive answer.
Mr. Breaugh: I seem to recall that’s what you did.
Mr. Speaker: Final supplementary, the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere.
Mr. Warner: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. While it is enlightening to learn of the change of policy of the Liberal Party overnight --
Mr. Speaker: Question?
Mr. S. Smith: What rubbish.
Mr. Kerrio: Why don’t you resign?
Mr. Warner: -- I would like to know from the minister, since this committee doesn’t report back until June 15 --
Mr. Warner: -- and it appears the House will arise on June 23 and not sit again until October, what specific protection will the minister guarantee for the tenants of this province before the September 30 deadline?
Why can’t the minister simply refuse to extend the rent review legislation up to six months with a real reason for doing so, not the silly excuse he has given us this afternoon?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: For one thing the program was developed as a very short-term program.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: it will reach 41 months by December of this year. I don’t think the people of this province -- be they landlords or tenants or neither -- are at all helped by a short-term program that is extended another six months so it becomes a 47-month short-term program.
Mr. Foulds: You are going to be a short-term minister.
Mr. Breaugh: Why don’t we have another election, it would be the third one in a row?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: I must say we can’t accuse the third party of having a new policy every time we look around. They simply have one blind policy. They won’t look past the problems created by the current rent control scheme.
Mr. Cassidy: Read the presentation. It was constructive.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: They are going for six more months of it, and I say very simply to this House that we are looking for a scheme that is better than the current scheme, as quickly as possible --
Mr. Cassidy: You are looking to get out of it.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: -- and I don’t want to fraudulently hold out to anyone that we are about to encourage the continuation of this scheme for ever and ever.
Mr. Sargent: Build some more apartments, that’s the answer.
Mr. Breaugh: What are you fraudulently going to do?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: However the members opposite may identify the good politics and the attractiveness of sticking to this scheme for ever for the sake of the tenants’ votes --
Mr. Cassidy: You are welching on the tenants of the province.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: -- let me tell them, tenants will be adequately protected under whatever new scheme we develop --
Mr. Warner: When? What are you going to do before September 30?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: -- and obviously we are going to have to develop it without the assistance, advice, or participation of those people, as they scurry for the tenants’ votes.
Mr. Makarchuk: Obviously you haven’t been at any of the hearings.
Mr. Warner: What are you going to do before September 30?
FLECK MANUFACTURING COMPANY
Mr. Cassidy: I have a question of the Solicitor General arising out of the incidents at Centralia yesterday, which we were shocked by and which we all on this side of the House deplore. I want to recall to the minister that he stated on March 9 that the commissioner has assured me that his men are acting impartially in this strike and intend only to maintain peace on the picket line.” The minister said that on several other occasions early in March.
Can the minister state why OPP officers were present at the Fleck picket line yesterday in full riot gear, why they struck women and men to the point of making them unconscious and who gave the order to launch this outrageous and completely unprovoked assault?
Hon. Mr. Kerr: The statement just made by the leader of the third party is a result, I would assume, of some press reports he has been reading.
Mr. Lewis: No.
Mr. Cassidy: It’s from the people who were there.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: I have asked the Ontario Provincial Police to comment and report on these allegations. The information I have now and the information I was given yesterday afternoon was that the picket was closed to those people who wanted to go to work on that particular shift. They were not able to do so. They were being intimidated and the police attempted to open that picket line to allow them access into that plant.
Mr. Mackenzie: Who came with the riot gear on and why?
Hon. Mr. Kerr: There was a scuffle, I understand, outside the plant.
Mr. Cassidy: Yes, the ministers people started it.
Mr. Warner: The police were out of control.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: That is a matter of opinion.
Mr. Cassidy: It’s a matter of fact.
An hon. member: He is usually wrong, so don’t worry about it.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: If the picket line is closed, that in itself is an illegal action. The honourable member knows that.
Mr. Lewis: What were they doing there in riot gear, for heaven’s sake?
Hon. Mr. Kerr: I’m just saying that the picket line was closed. This is not something that has happened overnight, as the honourable member knows. The problem at Fleck has been going on now for about two and a half months. There have been very many peaceful days when there haven’t been any incidents of this kind and when the plant has been open.
Mr. Foulds: When there haven’t been any police incitements.
Mr. Lupusella: You have to be responsible and the Minister of Labour as well.
Ms. Gigantes: Police don’t wear riot gear every day.
Mr. Cassidy: There was no provocation.
Mr. Warner: The police were out of control yesterday.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: There have been times when there has been up to 50 or 60 employees working in the plant. However, last week there was an incident, when a number of picketers from Windsor, I believe, attended at the plant. There was a scuffle with workers in the plant. There was some intimidation and there was some property damage.
Mr. Foulds: What do you mean by intimidation?
Hon. Mr. Kerr: Because of that, the police increased the number of people at the site and around the plant to prevent that type of occurrence.
Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary: I am staggered by what the minister has had to say. Can he say what instructions were issued to the OPP constables who were there in riot gear at the Fleck picket line yesterday at the outset that would lead them to set upon the women and men there with their nightsticks -- which are this long -- without speaking to the strikers, without asking them to move aside and without making any indication that they were about to launch that particular assault, particularly in view of the fact that the bus carrying the scabs has been going through on a regular basis and the strikers have been letting that bus through?
Mr. Mackenzie: Haven’t you learned from Hepburn’s Hussars?
Mr. McClellan: He is a modern-day Hepburn.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: On what premise and what information can the honourable member say that the police did not ask the picketer to move aside? How can he unequivocally say a thing like that?
Mr. Mackenzie: Answer the questions.
Mr. Lupusella: By way of supplementary:
Considering that on March 9, 1978, the Solicitor General stated in this House that the OPP role in the Fleck strike was to maintain the peace, to inform workers of their rights and of the law regarding intimidation, mischief, damage, threats and weapons, how can the minister justify the police involvement in the picket line by injuring a few workers? Can the minister explain to this House why the OPP officers on yesterday’s incident were not wearing identification?
Hon. Mr. Kerr: The question of identification is another matter What I said on March 9 still applies.
Mr. Lupusella: Why are you accusing the workers then?
Hon. Mr. Kerr: It still applies. There have been a number of incidents over the two-and-a-half-month period, as the honourable member knows.
Mr. Swart: Why did they have riot gear on?
Mr. Foulds: Why did they have the riot gear on to start with?
Mr. Warner: It’s a sad day in this province.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: There was one other incident, I believe when Mr. McDermott attended at the picket line, or before that, perhaps, when the police were wearing helmets and carrying nightsticks. This is not the first time. This is in reaction to the number of outside people who attend the picket line --
Mr. Cassidy: There were 50 of them.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: -- and who prevent the workers who want to go to work from entering that plant. As the honourable member knows, the law says that workers who want to work must be allowed to cross the picket line. That is the law and it is the duty of the police to attempt to uphold that law.
Mr. Foulds: By violence?
Mr. Cassidy: By violence?
Hon. Mr. Kerr: Now to answer that question, as I have said, based on the reports I have had today -- which is more than I had received up to now about the incidents yesterday -- I have asked about the allegations in respect to so-called violence or the actions of the police in pushing people with nightsticks and things of that nature.
Ms. Gigantes: The “so-called violence”? Beating them.
Mr. McClellan: You’re a so-called minister.
An hon. member: Whacking them down.
An hon. member: Pushing them? Rushing them.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: I just don’t believe that the police officers who were at that particular site, on duty there --
Mr. McClellan: If you’re wise, you’ll stay out of this.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: -- would intend to hurt or strike anybody on that picket line without good and just reason.
Mr. Lewis: How do you hit people on the stomach and the breasts without hurting them, for God’s sake? What is wrong with you?
Hon. Mr. Kerr: The point here is that the picket line was closed. Workers were prevented from going to work, which has not happened on many occasions during the past two and a half months. That, of course, is the type of thing that provokes the type of confrontation that took place yesterday.
Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary.
Mr. Mackenzie: Supplementary.
Mr. Speaker: No. The member for Ottawa Centre with his second question.
SOLICITOR GENERAL’S RESPONSES
Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I want to pose this question to the Premier. We will have some more questions today to the Solicitor General because of our concern about the situation at Centralia, but I suspect that the responses from the Solicitor General subsequently this afternoon --
Some hon. members: Question. Question.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Mr. Cassidy: -- will be no more satisfactory than the ones we’ve had now.
Mr. Speaker: Second question.
An hon. member: Speech.
Mr. Cassidy: In view of the responses of the Solicitor General and the evidence that he is not concerned that the unprovoked violence that was launched by police at the Fleck picket line; and in view of the evidence that the minister has neither adequately informed himself nor ensured that the police are properly under political control in the province of Ontario, I would like to ask the Premier if he will now seek the resignation of the Solicitor General --
Hon. Mr. McKeough: Oh, come on.
Mr. Cassidy: -- and put in his place a minister who can bring the OPP under control.
Mr. T. P. Reid: That’s the stupidest thing he’s come up with yet.
Mr. Conway: Mike is such a friendly fellow.
Mr. Kerrio: Get ready, Lorne.
Hon. Mr. Davis: There are very few occasions when the Premier of this province can give a simple answer. The answer is no.
Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary: In view of the fact that the minister’s responsibility -- particularly in this situation where there have been many warnings from this side of the House, from the union, and from the public about the situation -- is to keep himself informed, to keep this House informed, and to keep the police under proper political control, is the Premier satisfied with the way in which the minister is carrying out those responsibilities? to answer this. I will start at the outset by saying yes, but I want to add further to that that I find it intriguing -- and I’ll phrase it as delicately as that -- that the leader of the New Democratic Party, who should be relatively familiar with some of the problems existing at that particular plant, is suggesting that the Solicitor General of this province (a) is not concerned, (b) is not on top of the situation or is not exercising the appropriate judgement.
Mr. Breaugh: That’s right.
Mr. Warner: He doesn’t have a clue what’s going on.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I would say to the leader of the New Democratic Party that the Solicitor General of this province discharges his responsibilities objectively, responsibly, with sensitivity; and I just wish the leader of the New Democratic Party would learn some of those attributes in the discharge of his responsibilities in this House.
Mr. Mackenzie: Through you, Mr. Speaker, to the Premier: If the Solicitor General is on top of the situation, as the Premier says, then he certainly should resign, because the story we have been given here today --
Mr. Speaker: A new question. I haven’t heard a question.
Mr. Makarchuk: We haven’t heard any answers either.
Mr. Mackenzie: How can the Premier say the Solicitor General is on top of the situation when we have had an escalation in violence whenever there has been an increased number of police there in riot gear and there was not an increased number of picketers on the day that this incident took place? We are not getting the truth in this House.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, If the honourable member wishes to state that the Solicitor General of this province is deliberately misleading the House, then I suggest that he have the intestinal fortitude to stand up and make that allegation.
Mr. Breaugh: He didn’t ask you that. You know that.
Hon. Mr. Davis: The Solicitor General has a responsibility to inform the House on the basis of the information that is provided to him. I am totally confident be does just that.
Mr. Lewis: That’s right and it is not accurate.
Mr. Foulds: Why doesn’t he make sure the information is accurate?
Hon. Mr. Davis: I’ll take just a little longer.
WATERLOO REGIONAL POLICE
Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Speaker, a question for the Solicitor General:
Will the Solicitor General inform the House as to the exact requests made of him by the Waterloo regional police commission for whatever investigation was sought by that commission of the activities of its police force? And will he table that letter?
Hon. Mr. Kerr: Yes, Mr. Speaker. The Waterloo police commission asked for investigation by the ministry or by the Ontario Police Commission. I believe it first asked for investigation by the OPP; then it was pointed out it would be more appropriate to be done by the Ontario Police Commission. This was referred to the Ontario Police Commission and they are now undertaking the investigation.
Mr. Breithaupt: As a supplementary, will the Solicitor General confirm that the costs of the investigation of this police force by the Ontario Police Commission will be fully paid from the consolidated revenue fund?
Hon. Mr. Kerr: No, Mr. Speaker. There will be certain costs that would have to be borne locally. For example, If the police have counsel, things of that nature, that would have to be borne locally. But the actual operation of the hearing, for example -- there will be an open hearing or inquiry -- the general structure and the day to day cost of that would be borne by the ministry.
Mr. M. Davidson: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Did I understand the minister correctly to say that contained in the letter was a further request to take the matter to the Ontario Police Commission? Why could he not follow the request of the chief of police in the area and have the investigation con ducted by senior officers of the OPP? Such an investigation has just been carried out in the Niagara region. Why did he have to expand the scope of the investigation?
Hon. Mr. Kerr: Mr. Speaker, that is a very interesting question from a member of the NDP. Usually he would be criticizing us because of having an in-house investigation -- because the police were investigating the police. I have heard those criticisms before.
Mr. Warner: Just answer it.
Mr. Foulds: Sometimes it is justified.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: As I just said in answer to the previous question, the request was from the chairman to have the OPP investigate the activities of a regional force. That would not be appropriate. That was pointed out to the chairman. Then the request was to have the OPP, as was suggested to him, conduct the inquiry.
The problem as far as the region is concerned, if there is any problem, is that the Ontario Police Commission wants an open inquiry. They feel the allegations are serious enough that there should be an open inquiry, not just a private or in-house investigation. That is the difference of opinion that exists at the present time.
Mr. Sweeney: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Given that the regional police commission, in addition to its request to the minister, also instructed its chief to conduct an internal inquiry, why do the OPP investigators now obstruct that internal inquiry by advising witnesses not to co-operate with the chief? Why would they do that?
Hon. Mr. Kerr: Mr. Speaker, I’m not aware of the OPP telling police officers not to cooperate with the chief.
Mr. Wildman: What are you aware of?
Hon. Mr. Kerr: What the OPP does not feel is necessary now is the type of investigation the honourable member is talking about; in other words, that the police chief should be investigating these charges. The OPP does not feel that is necessary because it has the matter in hand. They are interviewing the police officers involved. They are involving the private citizens who are involved in these allegations. They are conducting the inquiry. It really doesn’t make sense that the chief of police is also conducting an in-house inquiry unless he’s doing it on the instructions of the OPP.
Mr. Sweeney: But he’s doing it on the instructions of his board.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: But I’m not aware that there is a direction to each police officer on the force not to talk to the police. I’ll find that out.
Mr. Sweeney: Would the minister investigate that?
Mr. Speaker: A new question; the member for Hamilton East.
FLECK MANUFACTURING COMPANY
Mr. Mackenzie: Mr. Speaker, what we do want to get at is the truth in what is going on. I would like to know from the Solicitor General how it is that there was a much larger crowd there when the women were down demonstrating just two or three days previously than the crowd that was on the picket line when the incidents took place yesterday. And why were the police there in riot gear, in the numbers they were in, and why did they move in? Who is giving the orders? What is going on? I don’t think the facts are coming out.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: Mr. Speaker, as I indicated before, I will certainly find out why the police officers were in riot gear.
Mr. Laughren: The minister should know that by now.
Mr. Mackenzie: The minister is on top of it; the Premier said so.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: That’s right. But remember the instructions in the operation of that police force are given by the commissioner and the head of that police force. They are looking after this particular situation at Fleck on a day-to-day basis.
Mr. Cassidy: But the minister is responsible for their behaviour.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: A certain amount of information or intelligence comes to them as to what may take place from day to day.
As far as the incident last Friday is concerned, it was known that there would be a group of women attending -- I believe there were around 250 --
Mr. Foulds: And no riot gear.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: -- and it would be assumed that there would be no incidents.
Some hon. members: Why?
Hon. Mr. Kerr: The police were in the area in reserve, shall we say, in the event that there was any problem.
As for the situation that took place yesterday, as I say, I will ask for a fuller report based on the information I h:ave now as far as the dress of the police is concerned. However, they were mostly male picketers who came in yesterday from Windsor, I understand, or from outside of the area -- there were about 70 of them -- and there was some information and intelligence that there could be some problems.
Mr. Mackenzie: Much less than 100.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: I would assume that’s why there was the police present that there was yesterday.
Mr. Warner: They lost control.
Mr. Lupusella: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Considering that we had just 200 women at the picket line last week, can the Solicitor General justify why 35 cruisers were called and two paddy wagons were within the immediate area of the industrial park, and they contained an estimated 75 to 100 officers? How can the Solicitor General justify that?
Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Two paddy wagons?
Hon. Mr. Kerr: Mr. Speaker, that will be part of the information that I will get and give to the House.
Mr. Warner: How long does it take?
Ms. Gigantes: The Solicitor General takes his time, doesn’t he? People could get killed while he takes his time.
Mr. Speaker: The member for Rainy River with a new question.
Mr. Lewis: The minister is preventing a settlement of that dispute --
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: No, I’m not. There’s no reason why they can’t sit down and argue it out.
Mr. Mackenzie: We’re going back to Hepburn’s Hussars again.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Mr. T. P. Reid: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Energy. Did the minister happen to watch Patrick Watson on the CBC last night concerning the oil companies now asking the federal government for an increase in oil exports? Has Ontario a position on this? Will he make any representations to the National Energy Board in Ottawa regarding it?
Hon Mr. Norton: We work so hard we don’t have time to watch television.
Mr. Mackenzie: It doesn’t show in your performance.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, I must admit, as my colleague has just pointed out, that I was working very hard last night and did not have a chance to watch Patrick Watson.
Mr. Breithaupt: He usually bowls on Wednesday nights.
Mr T. P. Reid: Or was he at the baseball game?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: However, I would like to assure him that our government will be appearing before the National Energy Board to make our views known about the whole question of supply and demand in the oil field. As I am sure the member knows, and everyone in this House knows, there are many wild estimates and guesstimates flying about the future --
Mr. Haggerty: Give us some of the facts.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: -- supply of oil and requirements. We heard an outstanding scholar -- at least he’s reputed to be an outstanding scholar --
Mr. Foulds: Why are the lights going out when you are speaking about energy?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: I know the lights went out, that’s all right -- say that perhaps there is enough oil to last several hundred years. I don’t know, I’d hate to bet on that particular problem. But, anyway, the member may he assured that we will be making our case known in a very forthright way and backed by all kinds of data before the National Energy Board during their present hearing.
Mr. T. P. Reid: Supplementary: I wonder if I could ask if the minister can share with the House exactly what those views are? I also ask if the minister is opposed then to the further export of petroleum products to the United States, as the current situation seems to be at least holding down the costs of gasoline and petroleum in Ontario and Canada?
Mr. Nixon: His deputy hasn’t told him yet what he is going to do.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: That was a smart aleck remark. You can keep that. it’s not worth a nickel.
Mr. Conway: Aren’t you glad you didn’t run for us, after all, Reuben?
Mr. Warner: He probably did watch TV last night, but it was turned off.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: We have not yet drawn our conclusions as to what our stance will be when we go before the National Energy Board. We are collecting our data, and from all sources; not only relying on the bureaucracy and my deputy minister, if that is any reassurance to the member.
FLECK MANUFACTURING COMPANY
Mr. Lupusella: Considering that the Solicitor General is on top of the situation, as the Premier stated, I would like to ask him a question. In view of the fact that one of the most important principles of law enforcement suggested by Sir Robert Peel, the founder of the British police force, is the following -- it is a short quote, Mr. Speaker -- “The police are the only members of the public who are paid to give full attention to duties which are incumbent upon every citizen in the interest of community welfare.”
In view of that, can the minister explain to this House how the role of the OPP in the Fleck strike, a role which appears to be one of protecting the employer’s interests and preventing the workers from carrying out their strike in accordance with the law, serves the principle of community welfare as articulated by Sir Robert Peel?
Hon. Mr. Kerr: As I have said on a number of occasions, the required duty of the police is to uphold the law. Whether the member agrees with that or not, that is the fact.
Mr. Cassidy: Not by beating people senseless.
Mr. Lupusella: The police are protecting the employer; that is the dilemma.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: They could be taken to serious task if they don’t uphold the law as required by statute.
Mr. M. N. Davison: When was the last time they beat up on one of the bosses?
Hon. Mr. Kerr: The Criminal Code in this country, as well as other legislation -- the Judicature Act, for example -- says that any worker at a plant where there is a strike who wants to continue working at that plant must be allowed to do so without obstruction and intimidation. That is basically the law in this country.
Mr. Lupusella: The minister is protecting the employers.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: When that is interfered with in any way and workers are not allowed to do that -- and in this case there has at times been a fluctuation from, say, 35 to 40 up to 60 employees of that plant who have been going to work -- if they are obstructed, then the police are called in. I can’t think of any other public agency that should be called in.
Mr. Deans: No, no; that is not how it happens.
An hon. member: Who calls them in? Fleck?
Hon. Mr. Kerr: The police are called in and asked to maintain peace and order on the picket line, and to make sure that there is access to that plant; and that the picketers stick to the law in informing the workers of a strike.
Mr. Cassidy: The police should stick to the law as well.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: They don’t like that role; I’ll tell you that right now. They don’t like that role, but it is their duty to carry it out. Certainly, they are liking less and less what is going on at Fleck. They don’t enjoy that. They are getting sick and tired of it and they want the strike settled, I’ll tell the members that right now.
Mr. Cassidy: Is that your way to get the workers back to work, by clubbing them into submission?
Hon. Mr. Kerr: But as long as the two parties can’t get together they have to be there to maintain the law.
Last week they were severely criticized, not just by the plant managers, but by the public generally, because they weren’t there when there was damage, intimidation, when two workers in the plant were attacked and windshields were broken and plate glass windows were broken. That happened last week. We only had one or two men there, hoping that the same type of atmosphere would have continued that has continued there for two or three weeks. But because of outside workers deciding to go in and attempt to close the plant, there were problems and the police presence had to be increased. There were more people there.
That is the simple answer. I don’t think they’re in contradiction to what Sir Robert Peel has said. I don’t think there’s any -- they attempt to serve the community and be the friend of the public. But they don’t particularly like their role in labour-management disputes.
Mr. M. Davidson: Supplementary to the minister: Is the minister not concerned, as I am and many other people throughout this province are, that the role being played by the OPP at the Fleck strike is destroying its credibility in the eyes of many people throughout the province and reflecting upon every police officer in Ontario? Does that not concern the minister? If it does, why does he not do something about it?
Hon. Mr. Kerr: I think that when the facts are out here --
Mr. Cooke: Why don’t you get the facts?
Hon. Mr. Kerr: -- when the truth is known, when there is a balanced --
Mr. Warner: When do you intend to get the facts?
Hon. Mr. Kerr: -- assessment of the role of the OPP at that strike --
Mr. Cassidy: You don’t even know the facts.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: -- and the problems that have been involved there over this two-and-a-half-month period, I don’t believe the credibility of the police has suffered at all.
MAPLE PARK SITE
Mr. Hodgson: Mr. Speaker, I’d like to ask a question of the Chairman of Cabinet, the Minister of Government Services.
A couple of months ago an application was made by the town of Vaughan to have certain lands in the Maple area rezoned. Concerned citizens in that area and the Ontario Municipal Board ruled in favour of the rezoning of those lands in Vaughan township. A group of concerned citizens appealed to the cabinet to have the municipal board ruling rejected.
I’m asking whether the cabinet or the Chairman of Cabinet has made a decision on that certain request?
Hon. Mr. Henderson: Yes. Cabinet dealt with this yesterday --
Mr. Sargent: Thank him for the question.
Hon. Mr. Henderson: They upheld the decision of the --
Mr. McClellan: Turn around and tell him, Lorne.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: -- Ontario Municipal Board.
Mr. Roy: Were you surprised? Did it come as a complete surprise?
Mr. Kerrio: I have a question of the Minister of Culture and Recreation, if I may have his attention:
Mrs. Campbell: Just a little of it.
An hon. member: The minister of lotteries.
Mr. Kerrio: In view of the fact that the minister is now contemplating a fourth lottery in Ontario -- we might refer to this government now as the “gambling government” -- what are the projected revenues for this new computerized lottery and what purposes does he expect to put the revenue to?
An hon. member: The Las Vegas of the north.
Mr. Foulds: It is called the wipe-out-the-debt campaign.
Mr. Conway: A sellout to sin.
Hon. Mr. Welch: The Ontario Lottery Corporation and the Quebec Lottery Corporation are indeed inviting proposals for certain equipment that’s necessary for this new game. The lottery corporation will be, no doubt --
Mr. Wildman: Gambling with Canada.
Hon. Mr. Welch: -- ultimately sharing with us some further information about that, which I’ll be glad to pass on to the House. No determination has yet been made with respect to the designation of the revenue.
Mr. Kerrio: A supplementary: I would then ask the minister why this Legislature might not have been consulted about the commission’s ideas before a final go-ahead was given? We could expect these kind of decisions to be made without some discussions here in the House in an area that’s becoming quite significant to the people of Ontario.
Hon. Mr. Davis: There are some decisions we do make.
Hon. Mr. Welch: This Legislature was consulted at the time of the introduction of a bill establishing the Ontario Lottery Corporation. If the honourable member will look through the sections of that particular legislation, he will see that the lottery corporation was empowered by this Legislature to do the very thing they’re doing now.
Mr. Kerrio: We are going to have to change all that
FLECK MANUFACTURING COMPANY
Mr. Deans: Mr. Speaker, I also want to ask the Solicitor General a question with regard to the incidents involving the police. I would like to ask whether he would agree to make sure the people who are held accountable within the Ontario Provincial Police, the commissioner or whatever senior officers are in charge of the Fleck situation and any other officers who are required to make decisions, be at the justice committee tomorrow when we are dealing with the Ontario Provincial Police vote. Will they be there in order that they can be questioned directly about their involvement, how they make their decisions, why they feel it necessary to use the degree of force they have used, and what it is in this situation that requires this continual presence of the police in such magnitude? This has unnecessarily created, I think, and I think my colleagues share this view, controversy and violence on many occasions.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: Yes, Mr. Speaker, they will be there tomorrow morning.
Mr. Roy: A supplementary question, Mr. Speaker, if I may, without prejudging either side in this matter, but in view of the great public --
Mr. McClellan: So you are taking a stand on the question?
Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, I usually don’t take a stand until I know the facts.
Mr. Cassidy: Didn’t stop George Kerr. lion. Mr. Davis: You only take a stand once a year, Albert.
Mr. Roy: Are you here Darcy? You’re not very popular in Rockcliffe, I’ll tell you that.
I would like to ask the Solicitor General, Mr. Speaker, in view of the controversy on the use of the police and the great public interest in this situation, why is it that he is not able to stand in the House here today, 24 hours after this incident happened and give us a full and complete report? Don’t these people report to him?
Hon. Mr. Kerr: Yes, Mr. Speaker, as I indicated earlier, I have a report of the incident that took place yesterday. The report does not include some of the things I have read today from press clippings or some of the allegations that have been made in questioning today. I will deal with this added information and these added allegations and report further to the House.
Mr. Cassidy: You started by saying there was nothing wrong.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: I want some detailed information on the allegations, for example, that women were unnecessarily struck and moved and pushed out of the way and things of that nature. I haven’t got that at this time, but I do have a general report of what happened yesterday.
Mr. Cassidy: You started by saying there was nothing wrong. You began with a whitewash.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: I’m not saying that took place, don’t misunderstand. I’m saying that because allegations were made in this House, I want that information and a report on those allegations.
Mr. Foulds: You will want it anyway?
Mr. Cassidy: Those allegations were made yesterday.
Mr. Speaker: Final supplementary.
Mr. Deans: Mr. Speaker, I just wanted to add to my question. Would the minister make sure the officer in charge of the detachment, I believe his name is Glover, is one of those people who appear tomorrow at the committee?
Hon. Mr. Kerr: Mr. Speaker, I will attempt to get Sergeant Glover here, yes. It’s rather short notice, but I will attempt to get him here.
Mr. Deans: Please do.
Mr. Speaker: Point of privilege?
Mr. Lewis: The allegations to which the minister refers were not made simply in this House, they were made explicitly on the front page of the early edition of the Globe and Mail last night. If the minister was about his wits, and the OPP knew what they were about, he would have all the information here today, now.
Mr. Sargent: Mr. Speaker, a question to the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations. Whether we agree with him or not, he says we are going to decrease the accidents in teenage driving by raising the drinking age to 19. What’s more important, or equally as important, is the fact there is great discrimination against young drivers in the cost of car insurance. When is his ministry going to look into the great inequalities here?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: I guess it was a couple of years ago that the Premier of this province took up the matter himself with the insurance companies together with the then Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations.
Mr. Wildman: Did a lot of good.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: The member may recall that as a result the insurance companies agreed to go into a program whereby young drivers who were taking approved courses from the driving schools could, in many instances, with the co-operation of the insurance companies, get up to a 44 per cent reduction in their insurance premiums.
We have said time and again to those young drivers who are beginning to take lessons that if they’ll check carefully and go to those approved driving schools and then insure themselves with those companies which have agreed to participate in the program set up by the Premier and my predecessor, they will face up to a 44 per cent decrease in their premiums.
As always, the problem has been anticipated and acted upon on this side of the House.
Mr. Kerrio: On that side of the House I
Mr. Sargent: Supplementary: In view of the fact that it’s not working, what is the minister going to do about it?
Hon. Mr. Davis: I’ve more teenage drivers than you, so I know that it’s working somewhat.
Mr. Sargent: Some of them are paying up to $1,000 for car insurance to drive a car.
Mr. Speaker: The question has been asked.
Mr. Lewis: Some of them pay more than that.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: The member may wish to consult with his colleagues on the select committee on company law who have canvassed the whole problem of the allocation of insurance rates. They will tell him that if adjustments were made to disproportionately throw the burden of those rates on other drivers, it means that those drivers who are less likely to be involved in motor vehicle accidents would pay higher premiums than they’re currently paying.
The whole principle of the system is that you pay according to the risk you represent; and while the system has its imperfections, I will say that the type of initiative that has been shown --
Hon. Mr. Grossman: -- which permits people to upgrade themselves through things such as driving schools and approved courses is, we think, the fairest scheme.
At the present time, I am undertaking some discussions with a view towards studying the report of the select committee to see if perhaps it isn’t time that the rating structure right across the board be looked at again.
CHAIN STORE DISCOUNTS
Mr. Swart: My question is for the Minister of Agriculture and Food. In the absence of the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry), who has been unwilling or unable to provide the House with the information on which he based his decision that there was no illegality about the kickbacks or the discounts paid to the farm producers; and as the Attorney General said he based his decision on the information which was supplied by the Minister of Agriculture and Food, will that minister now table the information he gave the Attorney General, either here at this time or provide it to the resources committee this evening?
Hon. W. Newman: I’m glad to see the member has it well written out and well-rehearsed.
Mr. Bounsall: That’s better than you ever do.
Mr. Foulds: Maybe you should do that once in a while.
Hon. W. Newman: Sometimes we know what goes on in our ministry.
An hon. member: Not very often, though.
Hon. W. Newman: Mr. Speaker, in answer to the question --
Mr. Foulds: Bill, just get your tongue around those impromptu words.
Hon. W. Newman: In answer to the specific question, the Attorney General informed me this afternoon that he would have delivered to the committee tonight a letter on this matter.
Mr. Foulds: A letter -- what about the evidence?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Wait until you read the letter.
Mr. Gaunt: Great anticipation.
Mr. Swart: Supplementary: In view of the fact that the Attorney General said he had only based that decision on the Criminal Code, the federal combines legislation and the Farm Products Marketing Act, could the minister tell us why he excluded the Farm Products Grades and Sales Act, which is pertinent to this? Will the minister or the
Mr. Makarchuk: For 30 per cent of them.
Attorney General also supply the opinion on whether that act was broken by the kickbacks?
Hon. W. Newman: This whole matter is in the Attorney General’s hands. The Farm Products Grades and Sales Act will be dealt with. I could answer the question, but the Attorney General’s letter will explain it, I think, and the member might understand it a little better this evening.
Mr. Riddell: A question to the Minister of Agriculture and Food: Is he familiar with the recent formation of the Ontario Cheddar Cheese Association and with their concerns over the dwindling milk supply in the 5-A category? Is he aware that the cheddar cheese factory clientele are having to purchase a higher percentage of their cheddar cheese out of the province because of the shortage of milk?
If he is aware of these problems, does he intend to take any action to see that the cheese factories get their fair share of milk in this province; or is he prepared to let the cheddar cheese industry which we have developed over the years, wither and die?
Hon. W. Newman: I am very pleased that the member asked that particular question.
Mr. Foulds: Setup.
Hon. W. Newman: Yes, I would say it was a setup, because I am concerned about the total dairy industry in this province and it is in serious trouble right now under the national supply management scheme. I am not saying that national supply management is not a good idea, it is. But it is inequitable as far as Ontario is concerned today and I have the facts and figures to back it up -- not only regarding cheddar cheese. We don’t have enough milk to produce the cheese for export. We don’t have enough milk to produce the cheese for our own needs here in the province of Ontario.
Mr. Sargent: Cheesy answer, Bill.
Mr. Stong: Full of holes.
Hon. W. Newman: We don’t have enough milk to supply the milk powder and butter needs we have here in the province of Ontario.
Ms. Gigantes: How come Kraft always gets enough?
Hon. W. Newman: I am concerned that we need more basic MSQ from the Canadian Dairy Commission if we are going to survive in all aspects of the dairy industry in the province of Ontario.
Mr. Bradley: Pass the buck again, pass the buck again.
Hon. Mr. Davis: And you people from Essex --
Hon. W. Newman: Furthermore, I have already set up a meeting for June 5 -- providing the committee will allow me to go, with the inquiry and everything else that is on -- with Mr Whelan to put our case before him-
Mr. Roy: Oh, well, we will go with you, Bill.
Hon. Mr. Davis: You will be in Ottawa anyway.
Mr. Roy: That’s right. You are not welcome to Ottawa.
Hon. W. Newman: -- because we realize the seriousness of the total matter.
Mr. Speaker: Supplementary.
Mr. Riddell: Would the minister like me to accompany him on that trip to Ottawa so that I can make his case a wee bit stronger and see if we can’t do something to help the province?
Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Are you starting to support the feds now, Stuart? Are you back on their side again?
Hon. W. Newman: I want to take representatives from the Ontario Dairy Council, the Ontario Milk Commission, the Ontario milk industry, the --
Mr. Warner: You need all the help you can get.
Mr. Foulds: You are really milking this.
Hon. W. Newman: -- Ontario Milk Marketing Board, myself and two other staff. If there is room on the aircraft, we will be glad to take the member.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: If you pay your own way.
Hon. W. Newman: No, seriously, if we could possibly work it in, I would love to have the member go with us. He is welcome to go.
Mr. Kennedy: He can’t go.
Hon. Mr. Davis: The fact that there isn’t room is irrelevant.
Mr. Wildman: I don’t want to go. Is the minister aware that there is such a shortage of MSQ in the northern pool that the latest sale of MSQ out of the Algoma district into the Tritown area was as high as $60 a pound?
Mr. Eaton: That’s cheap!
Hon. W. Newman: MSQ is usually sold at so many cents per pound.
Mr. Wildman: This is “around.”
Hon. W. Newman: You are saying how much -- $60? I think you mean a hundredweight, do you? Okay, that snakes it a little better.
Mr. Wildman: Yes, a hundredweight. Hon. Mr. Rhodes: You had better go back to school.
Mr. S. Smith: Just a small matter.
Mr. Foulds: What is a hundredweight worth?
Mr. S. Smith: Two decimal places and you can’t --
Mr. Speaker: Do you want an answer?
Mr. Foulds: Will the cabinet minister’s own colleagues stop heckling him?
Hon. W. Newman: The control of the distribution of the small amount of MSQ we are given in this province lies in the hands of the Ontario Milk Marketing Board by legislation and regulation. The Ontario Milk Marketing Board, starting off the new dairy year on April 1, said, “If you wish to sell MSQ, market share quota, you must sell half of it to the board at a fixed price.” They allow the other half to be flexible.
Mr. Foulds: I think you are really milking this issue.
Hon. W. Newman: The board now has a handle on at least half the MSQ. That was their decision and they have the power to do it that way. If there is a particular problem with a particular producer, and a lot of them do need MSQ, they should take their concerns to the milk marketing board. By the way, there is an appeal from the board to the Ontario Milk Commission that we are not satisfied.
Mr. Speaker: The time for oral questions has expired.
Mr. Warner: A petition to the Lieutenant Governor --
Hon. Mr. Davis: Are you presenting the Magna Carta again?
An hon. member: You already did that.
Mr. McClellan: An updated version.
Mr. Warner: -- and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in keeping with section 83 of the standing orders of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.
An hon. member: Resign.
Mr. Bradley: Same names, different positions.
Mr. Grossman: Just another citizen.
Mr. Warner: I am petitioning the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly that since it will not be possible for legislation to be drafted, introduced, given adequate discussion and passed between the June 15, 1978, reporting date of the standing general government committee and the deadline of the end of September 1978 which must be met for legislation to take effect on January 1, 1979, that the present rent review legislation he extended for at least six months as an interim measure. The petition is on behalf of and signed by the member for Parkdale (Mr. Dukszta).
STANDING PROCEDURAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
Mr. Breaugh from the standing procedural affairs committee presented the committee’s report which was read as follows and adopted:
Your committee has carefully examined the following applications for private acts and finds the notices, as published in each case, sufficient:
City of Ottawa; Ottawa Charitable Foundation.
STANDING RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
Hon. Mr. Welch moved that the proceedings of the standing resources development committee when considering the annual report of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food be recorded, transcribed and printed by Hansard in the format of the daily House Hansard.
Motion agreed to.
MINISTRY OF INDUSTRY AND TOURISM ESTIMATES
Hon. Mr. Welch moved that the estimates for the Ministry of Industry and Tourism be removed from the standing resources development committee to be considered by the committee of supply.
Motion agreed to.
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS
CHILDREN’S PROBATION ACT
Hon. Mr. Norton moved first reading of Bill 95, An Act to provide probation services to young offenders.
Motion agreed to.
LIQUOR LICENCE AMENDMENT ACT
Hon. Mr. Grossman moved first reading of Bill 96, An Act to amend the Liquor Licence Act, 1975.
Motion agreed to.
Mr. B. Newman: Is that the Mancini bill?
An hon. member: I hope so.
Mr. Rotenberg: Yes, sunset on Mancini.
CITY OF TORONTO ACT
Mr. Rotenberg moved first reading of Bill Pr23, An Act respecting the City of Toronto.
Motion agreed to.
ONTARIO FRENCH LANGUAGE SERVICES ACT
Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, you will recall that last week, on May 16, 1978, I introduced Bill 89, An Act respecting French Language Services in Ontario. At that time, I felt I could not introduce the French translation of the bill. I would like to introduce the French version of the bill now and leave it with the Clerk of the House to form part of that bill, as a translation of Bill 89.
Mr. Speaker: Understood.
EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS AMENDMENT ACT
Mr. Mackenzie moved first reading of Bill 97, An Act to amend the Employment Standards Act, 1974.
Motion agreed to.
Mr. Mackenzie: Mr. Speaker, the purpose of this bill is to require an employer to provide a leave of absence to any employee who has been elected to provincial or municipal office so that the employee may be able to carry out the duties of an elected official.
CONSTRUCTION WORKERS RESIDENCE ACT
Mr. Samis moved first reading of Bill 98, An Act to provide for Residence Requirements for Construction Workers Employed in Ontario.
Motion agreed to.
Mr. Samis: Mr. Speaker, the purpose of this bill is to protect employment opportunities in the construction industry, in areas of the province designated by the minister, for permanent residents of Ontario. May I add that I introduce this bill reluctantly.
HAMILTON CIVIC HOSPITAL ACT
Mr. M. N. Davison moved first reading of Bill Pr23, An Act to revise the Hamilton Civic Hospital Act, 1961-62.
Motion agreed to.
ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ON NOTICE PAPER
Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, before the orders of the day, I wish to table the answers to questions 51 and 52 standing on the notice paper. (See appendix, page 2812.)
ORDERS OF THE DAY
PRIVATE MEMBERS’ PUBLIC BUSINESS
ONTARIO MINERALS CONSERVATION ACT
Mr. Wildman moved second reading of Bill 88, An Act to conserve the Mineral Resources of Ontario.
Mr. Speaker: The honourable member has up to 20 minutes.
Mr. Wildman: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would use a portion of my time now and ask to reserve the rest of it at the end.
At the outset, I want to express my appreciation to Mr. Dave Phillips of the legislative counsel and to Grant Wedge, my parliamentary intern this session, for their hard work in assisting me in the preparation of the minerals conservation bill and my remarks in this debate. Both were most helpful.
I have introduced this bill for debate out of a sincere desire to establish some vehicle for rational planning in the mining industry in order to alleviate the boom-bust cycle that plagues all mining communities in this province. Over the years, towns such as Kirkland Lake, Elliot Lake and Sudbury have experienced rapid expansion as production increases by leaps and bounds, then sudden production cutbacks and massive layoffs and dislocations as market patterns change and the resource is depleted.
The boom-bust cycle has been the inevitable result of Ontario’s approach to the development of our resources. This pattern of mineral operations is especially significant in northern Ontario and has resulted in one calamity after another for one community after another. It was the disastrous layoffs at Inco and Falconbridge last fall and winter, of course, which focused my attention on the need to search for some means to end this vicious cycle, a means that might be acceptable to all members of this House.
The protest from the workers, the community, municipal and business leaders, the emergency debate in this House and the subsequent appointment of the select committee of which I was a member, its hearings and, finally, the lack of response by either senior level of government highlighted this need and emphasized the overall ineffectiveness of the government and of all of us as elected representatives, whatever our political stripe, in controlling the rational development of our resources and economy in general. I came to the conclusion that we needed some mechanism for smoothing the peaks and valleys of production levels, stabilizing employment levels in mining communities and conserving our resources for long-term utilization.
Despite the comments of the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. F. S. Miller) during the emergency debate last fall -- “Companies have learned to try to level their production for the sake of profit and also for the sake of their employment work-force” -- I remain convinced that the profit motive will always take precedence over the well-being of the workers and their communities if resource development planning is Mt solely to the private sector. During the Inco committee hearings the minister’s belief proved to be mistaken when it became obvious that the company accepted cyclical production fluctuations as part of the so-called stable employment situation in Sudbury.
Resource export markets are characterized by wide fluctuations in price to which the mining corporations respond with major changes in production, either more rapid depletion or sudden cutbacks, with little regard for the economic and social effects on the community or the province. Most multinationals are more concerned with the stability of their own growth, rather than the long-term stability of the communities from which the minerals are extracted. Thus their interests fundamentally conflict with ours as watchdogs of the public interest.
If the private sector alone is incapable of managing our resources in the best interests of the people of Ontario, then my NDPcolleagues and I are convinced that public ownership of our primary industries is essential if there is to be wise management of this sector, which is so central to a planned industrial strategy for the development of our economy. I recognize, though, that I would be more than naive if I supposed that I could, by means of a private member’s bill, persuade Conservatives and Liberals of this House to accept NDP policy. I hope, however, that the members of the assembly will consider legislation to ensure public accountability by the large resource corporations that develop our minerals.
My three New Democratic colleagues and I proposed this approach in our additional comments appended to the February final report of the select committee on the Inco and Falconbridge layoffs. I hope all members will agree that resource corporations must be required to consult with the government agency with regard to planning and development decisions and will support the principle of this bill.
The present system has proved inadequate since it is obvious that Inco did not consult at all with the government prior to the layoffs and even though the Ministry of Natural Resources had predicted production slowdowns as long ago as February or March 1977, no discussions took place between the company and the government.
Before preparing this bill, I consulted with other jurisdictions and discovered that other provincial governments, non-socialist ones I should add, have shown more concern for the conservation and management of their mineral resources than we have in Ontario.
The Thatcher Liberals in Saskatchewan brought in a Mineral Resources Act in 1965 and the Alberta Conservatives established an Energy Resources Conservation Act in 1971. My bill, though somewhat different in approach, has been developed with similar purposes in mind and I hope that Liberals and Conservatives, as well as New Democrats in Ontario will support it.
To effect management that is in the public interests, and to appraise the extent and value of, and the requirements for, our mineral resources, this bill would establish a mineral management board responsible for issuing five-year producing licences for all mining operations in the province. An application for a licence would be accompanied by a proposed mineral management plan, and an agreement would have to be worked out with the board. That is, a public authority would be consulted about the projected stability of the operation. It would ensure that the production levels approved would be consistent with sound principles of conservation and wise management. Companies would be required to make regular reports and could be subject to inspection to ensure that the conditions of their licences were complied with. The board would have the right to review, revoke or modify producing licences if necessary.
The bill also provides for appeal procedures re decisions of the board and for public input. In this way a public agency would be able to bring an objective, reasoned view on the resource development and production levels, taking into account not only the company’s economic position, but also that of the community and the province at large in setting conditions on producing licences. The government would have access to predictions of fluctuations far in advance and then it could make appropriate contingency plans.
The bill, as it’s prepared, deals in detail with the composition of the board, how it would operate and how there could be public input. It also provides for the appeals to the board’s decision and procedures for that in detail, and establishes a tribunal to which further appeals could be taken. Also, as a final stage, it would allow for appeals to the minister.
I don’t think that anyone could accuse me of being too hard on the private sector in this bill. The attempt is simply to provide for a public agency that has some input into the production levels and that would be able to develop and understand the extent of ores in the province and be able to advise the government, as well as the companies, on how those minerals should be developed in the public interest.
As the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) pointed out in relation to political decisions, in his speech in Vancouver on April 26, 1978 -- and I trust :he would say the same thing here -- “Important decisions cannot be made in private, and will only be accepted when they are made and advocated by those who are accountable.”
In the words of the Ministry of Natural Resources discussion paper on the mining industry which was published in 1977 -- as a matter of fact it also predicted the difficult situation in nickel -- I quote from page 12:
“Mining policy does not and cannot exist in a vacuum. Even the best mineral policy can only be effective, that is, ensure the continued health of the mineral sector, if there is some measure of co-ordination between it and the policies in other areas of concern.. This requires the introduction of the concept of policy accountability of every policymaking unit for the effects of its proposals on the areas of responsibility of the other units. In this way, the inevitable tradeoffs between various conflicting requirements can be made in an intelligent fashion.”
That, I’m sure, must apply to the private sector as well as to the public sector.
I think this bill goes some distance towards fulfilling these needs and I hope that it will gain support in this House. Some may view it as undue government intervention or as undue regulation of the private sector. But let’s be honest and responsible and recognize that it is simple self-preservation and good sense. I hope all the members will give this bill serious consideration and will take this opportunity to establish a monitoring agency to help stabilize the mining industry in Ontario by supporting this bill in principle.
Mr. Acting Speaker: The member for Algoma has nine minutes left. Do you wish to reserve all nine minutes of your time?
Mr. Havrot: I welcome the opportunity to speak on this bill. This is an area in which I have a keen interest and some understanding.
The member for Algoma and I share some similarities. We both represent tidings in which mining is a large industry. We both sit on the resources development committee in which consideration is being given to this valuable industry. Yet I strongly oppose this bill. Let me give you my reasons, Mr. Speaker.
This bill is both naive and retrogressive. It demonstrates an amazing lack of insight into mining as a whole. This rather surprises me, since mining is such an important factor in the economy of the riding of the member for Algoma. He appears to want to direct the mining processes of tomorrow without knowing what happened yesterday and today to produce the industry as it is now.
The lack of assistance of a mining engineer in the preparation of this bill is also evident. The scope of the bill is impractical. It is impossible to draft universal production policy for the different minerals which are listed in the bill. Gold and silver are not geologically the same as iron or nickel.
Mr. Mackenzie: So?
Mr. Havrot: An attempt to treat the different minerals as if they had the same properties and to require, therefore, the same production techniques for them is foolish.
To ask a prospector --
Mr. Foulds: What kind of nonsense is this?
Mr. Havrot: -- to prophesy the amount of gold or silver contained in an area he wishes to mine is impossible.
Mr. Foulds: Have you read the bill?
Mr. Havrot: This brings me to a second area of concern. Yes. Traditionally, it has been the small prospector who has made the mineral finds. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case today.
Mr. Mackenzie: What area of concern is “yes”?
Mr. Havrot: The expense required to obtain the sophisticated technical equipment have all but put the task of exploration and mine development out of the reach of most individuals. The few who remain will be frightened off by extra capital demands required to produce engineering and market studies if this legislation is passed. This leaves only two levels with capital and the technology required for exploration and development -- government and big business.
In the past, the most effective technique for encouraging exploration in mining expansion has been a co-operative effort between government and industry. At present, it would seem like poor timing and exceedingly bad judgement to legislate mineral inventory assessment and market forecasts when good co-operation already exists here.
Mr. Foulds: I beg your pardon? You have got to be kidding.
Mr. Havrot: The fact that a mine has not come into production in Ontario during the last three years should clearly indicate to all of us that the mining industry is reluctant to invest in the search for new mines because of present government control.
Mr. Foulds: Because of present government lack of management.
Mr. Havrot: The proposed bill would bring mineral exploration to a halt in Ontario and encourage mining companies and prospectors to spend their exploration budgets in other provinces.
On this question of timing, I think I might make one other point. The state of the minerals industry is such right now that it would be highly undesirable to further frustrate industry when the market conditions for mineral products is so unstable. The imposition of a mineral management board would be a very bad move at the moment. With world excesses of copper, zinc, and nickel, the market seems to be controlling itself anyway. We have only to look at the situation in Sudbury to realize the nickel resources we possess are in no danger of being bled dry.
This leads me to my biggest criticism of this bill. The people who constructed this legislation seem to have been suffering from tunnel vision. They have become so absorbed with the ideals of conservation and management they have blinded themselves to any of the implications that can, and must, follow from such legislation. The irony of the situation is that the implications which will occur are precisely those which the New Democratic Party is so vocal in criticizing.
The New Democratic Party purports to be the protector of the small working man. This legislation would create another barrier to bar the individual prospector from plying his trade.
Mr. Foulds: How?
Mr. Havrot: The financial strains of contracting engineering and market studies before applying for a mining permit would effectively cut off his ability to participate in mining.
The same prerequisites, plus disclosure of confidential information to another unnecessary level of bureaucracy, would further discourage big business from engaging in exploration and development at a time when world market conditions, as pointed out, make them overcautious.
The New Democratic Party is constantly griping about the fact that they feel the big companies are not reinvesting enough of their profits in Ontario.
Mr. Foulds: Right on.
Mr. Havrot: This act probably would effectively perpetuate a situation that they feel pre-exists and they may even reconsider normal expansion plans.
Mr. Foulds: Why haven’t they been investing in the past?
Mr. Havrot: Probably the most serious implication of this act, if passed concerns jobs and the cash flow that employment creates. The New Democrats are continually criticizing the government for inefficient job creation measures.
Mr. Foulds: Right on.
Mr. Havrot: Perhaps they should take time to seriously consider the implications of this act.
Mr. Foulds: You split your infinitive there.
Mr. Havrot: Exploration and expansion in the mineral resource field means employment. This act would effectively stifle the initiative and the ability of an individual or a company to explore and expand. Therefore: no expansion, no new jobs.
Mr. Foulds: That’s complete and utter nonsense. You know it.
Mr. Havrot: At a time of high unemployment, we should be trying to stimulate, not frustrate, employment. This act would effectively conserve minerals, but it would equally serve to conserve if not magnify unemployment.
Mr. Foulds: Complete balderdash.
Mr. Havrot: The process does not end here either. The capital generated by job creation would assist not only the miners; the secondary industries that process the minerals would benefit, as would all facets of the economy.
Mr. Foulds: If the market is so bad, where are you going to sell it?
Mr. Havrot: The greater the employment level, the greater the cash flow, believe it or not; the honourable member might not understand that.
Mr. Foulds: No. Explain that to me, will you?
Mr. Havrot: The repercussions of this act would have far-reaching effects. In essence, it would stifle an economy that would recover much more effectively and quickly without this unnecessary interference.
In conclusion, I am intrigued by the prospect of seeing whether the New Democrats as a group will support this bill. If they do, they will be supporting the suppression of incentives for the individual and for industry which may aid in the recovery of the mining industry. They will be supporting a measure that will retain unemployment at a high level.
Mr. Foulds: Nonsense. That’s a complete untruth.
Mr. Havrot: They will be retarding the free flow of capital that an improved mining industry would generate for the whole economy, and they would be legislating measures that would discourage rather than encourage large mining companies to reinvest profits in Ontario.
In essence, this bill would effectively create all the situations that the members of the third party have so often verbally deplored in the past. I would blush with shame if I were a New Democrat who supported this bill.
Mr. Foulds: I would blush with shame if you were a New Democrat.
Mr. J. Reed: Mr. Speaker, I believe it was this morning I was listening to the radio and I heard that six new mines have opened in Ontario in the past decade. I do believe that the record prior to that time was about 13 a year. On looking at this bill, I would suggest that if government were ever to introduce a document that would reduce that number to three or four in the next decade, this is probably the perfect medium.
It’s interesting too that the explanatory note says, “The purpose of the bill is to ensure the conservation and wise management of mineral resources in Ontario,” and yet the member presenting the bill said he was first prompted to draft this bill because of the cycle of layoffs in the mining industry.
Mr. Wildman: That is part of my reason.
Mr. J. Reed: It is a rather inconsistent thing. In terms of the cyclic nature of the mining industry in the marketing of metals, I cannot see anything in this bill that would do anything to level out that problem, which I am sure the member for Algoma must agree is a problem that has a world base; it doesn’t have a provincial base. If he feels that the establishment of this board is going to enable the board to order a mine to keep producing regardless and to stockpile or something, then he is naive in the extreme.
Mr. Foulds: So’s Larry Grossman’s bill to raise the drinking age.
Mr. J. Reed: In terms of the interpretation section of the bill, under subsection (b) he interprets minerals to mean gold, silver, copper, lead, iron, nickel and coal. What about all the other minerals that we mine in Ontario, and why did he include coal? Admittedly, I must say that we do have some lignite in northern Ontario. I suppose that if we interpret that in its broad sense, we can call it coal. But what about aggregates? What about cobalt? What about molybdenum? Admittedly, the control of uranium is federal but surely, with the importance of the uranium industry in Ontario, some mention might be made of uranium.
The member for Algoma was railing at the industry because he felt they were really motivated for the sake of profit.
Mr. Foulds: Alone.
Mr. J. Reed: For the sake of profit alone. Let me submit that profits are one of the best mediums for providing incentive for new exploration. They’re one of the best mediums for ensuring employment in northern Ontario. After all, mines need employees. In the technology that’s being used in the mining industry at the present time, they need skilled employees. Prompted basically by the profit motive it’s in the best interests of the mining industry to maintain the employment level at a high uniform rate, if possible.
I think that we should get over this attitude that the word “profit” is somehow a dirty word, because it’s one of the great catalysts that keeps the world turning over and keeps people employed.
Mr. Foulds: That has led us to where we are.
Mr. J. Reed: He talks about a five-year licence. I would like to ask the member for Algoma how he can condone the issuing of a five-year licence when the mining company is probably saddled with a SO-year investment. Why would a mining company make a 30-year investment on the basis of having a five-year licence? I really can’t figure that out.
Mr. Foulds: Never had your mortgage come up for renewal?
Mr. J. Reed: I don’t think there is anyone in this House who is not concerned with conservation of our resources, especially with the conservation of our non-renewable resources, but I submit that the conservation of those resources is going to find its base line with the consumer of those resources and not with the producers of the resources. We are finding some of that influence taking place right now as we have depressed prices for some of our minerals. So that conservation is rather self-regulating.
An hon. member: No.
Mr. J. Reed: We’re all concerned in the House, certainly my party has been very concerned, with the bureaucratization of our province and the fact that we recognize we’re over-governed and over-regulated. We’re controlled to the point where we very often can’t move any more.
The body that is proposed in this bill can, I suppose, be likened to the Niagara Escarpment Commission, or to the conservation authorities -- all of which are formed with good intent but run away with the ball when the thing gets into actual practice.
Mr. Foulds: You would like to do away with them all. Sell out the future.
Mr. J. Reed: When we witness the evolution of some of these controlling boards, what we find is that the control and the conservation was much better performed by the private sector before it was put under public control.
Mr. Foulds: Give us an example of that, will you?
Mr. J. Reed: The Niagara Escarpment Commission, if you’d like an example.
Mr. Foulds: No, no. Give us an example of where private control is doing something.
Mr. Acting Speaker: Order.
Mr. J. Reed: All right. I’ll tell the member that the farmers on the Niagara Escarpment have done a darn tight better job of preserving the escarpment and the beauties of that area than the commission.
Mr. Foulds: Have they --
Mr. Acting Speaker: Order. I remind the member for Port Arthur this is not question period.
Mr. J. Reed: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I’d like to know who’s going to pay for all these levels of bureaucracy that we’re going to create. Naturally, it’s going to be the fellow who goes down in the mine; the guy who does the work ends up paying these taxes.
In conclusion, I would suggest that if the mining industry needs anything, it needs some relaxation of regulations; not the imposition of more.
Mr. Germa: I’m propelled to my feet to speak to this legislation because I think it is probably one of the most important pieces of legislation which has come before this House and one which would have a major impact on the riding that I represent, being that of Sudbury.
I think that most people in this House are aware and know that Sudbury is the biggest mining camp in the world. Make no mistake about that. We might try to pass ourselves off as not being a mining camp hut we are still today, even though we are 160,000 people, basically a mining camp. Sixty per cent of the mineral wealth of Ontario comes out of the Sudbury basin.
Just so that you get an idea of the magnitude of the mining industry, Mr. Speaker, the wealth that came out of the minerals industry in Ontario in 1977 was $2,192,775,000. The total for Canada was $5.6 billion. So we see that Ontario generates almost half of the mineral wealth in the entire country. All of this wealth has been generated without any management whatsoever. Nobody has been minding the store, monitoring our reserves, or calculating what the mining companies are doing to this natural asset which is vested with the government of Ontario and is owned by the people of Ontario.
That is the first thing we have to understand: The ore body that is being exploited is owned by the people of Ontario. Consequently, the government of the day over the past 30 years has abdicated its responsibility in managing this very large asset. This is precisely what the bill would do. It would just bring management to a very important sector in the economy.
Mr. Foulds: Hear, hear.
Mr. Germa: Make no mistake about it. There are a lot of people involved. In 1975 there were 47,196 people in Ontario directly concerned with the mining of metals. There is a spinoff effect to this production of basic wealth, Mr. Speaker, which you could probably multiply by four or five times; this will give you an idea of the magnitude of dollars and people concerned with the wise exploitation and preservation of this natural resource.
As a longtime resident of the city of Sudbury, I have certainly seen that the present laissez faire management of our resource has not been to the best interests of the people in that community or, in fact, the people across Ontario. The management of the resource has been to maximize profits only; profits at any cost -- that is the name of the game; and the member for Timiskaming (Mr. Havrot) chooses to ignore what has happened to his own community of Kirkland Lake when the mining barons went in there and ripped out the ore body, then abandoned him and his people to a substandard form of life after generating billions of dollars in gold production.
Under this legislation there would be a monitoring and a wise extraction of the ore body to prolong its life and not have waste. We know that during the Second World War we had such a management hoard. We had in Canada then, to guarantee metals for our war machines, what we called a metals procurement board. The operation of that metals procurement board was similar to what is envisaged in the legislation; that there will be a reporting by the mining companies and an accounting of what they are doing. I defy anyone in this Legislature or in the province of Ontario to go to any central office and find out what the wealth of our known ore reserves are. There is just no way that these things are all brought together, because of the lack of reporting.
Mr. Foulds: Absolutely.
Mr. Germa: I think that is the prime purpose so that we, as the owners of this ore body, as the people concerned in the province, will know what we have in the bank Right now, we don’t know and the federal government doesn’t know, and that is the ironical part of the whole thing.
I know there is somebody in the Sudbury basin, this large mining community of which I am speaking, who knows exactly what is in the bank as far as that vast complex is concerned. Certainly, Inco knows to the last ounce how much nickel, copper, platinum group metals, tellurium, selenium, and cobalt they have. They know all those figures. But will they share them with you and me, Mr. Speaker? They will not share that information because there is no requirement under the present legislation for them to give us that information so, we as a government, can do some planning.
It even goes further than that. As a member of the city council in the city of Sudbury some 10 years ago, we were constantly in trouble trying to gear the development of the community services such as roads, sewers, water and hydro power lines, to coincide with the development in the mining sector, because it was for the miners we had to provide services. We passed motions and resolutions at the council requesting that the International Nickel Company come to the city council and level with us and give us their labour force estimates over the next 10 years. We asked them to give us their production estimates for the next 10 years so we, as a city council, could do some constructive planning to see the city of Sudbury was ready for this influx of workers when Inco decided to take out a particular ore body.
At no time did this company ever cooperate and provide the city council with information so we could do rational planning. Consequently, we are flying in the dark. At one point in time, we will have too many houses. At the next point in time we don’t have enough houses. There is no way a community can function unless we can get the basic information from the mining companies.
Make no mistake about it, the information is there. You don’t need a large bureaucracy, as was cited by the member for Halton-Burlington. That is not what we are all about. It is basically a reporting agency and licensing body, and the reporting of the information, I think, is the most important aspect to the whole bill.
There is also evidence -- and I don’t know why we don’t use this more often. We have this great elephant to the south of us, the United States. They have preceded us in exploitation of their natural resources. Make no mistake about it, that country was once very rich in minerals.
When the Mesabi range, that great iron ore range, was discovered south of Lake Superior about 110 years ago, it was the greatest iron ore deposit the world had ever discovered until that time. The Americans, in their typical fashion, said: We have so much iron that we will never run out of iron. The Mesabi range runs for 300 miles and it is all solid iron. We don’t have to worry our beads about iron ore for ever and ever.”
So they went to work and they built up this great industrial complex of theirs without any conservation, or monitoring, and lo and behold, within 100 years they had run out of iron ore. Where are they now? They are up in Labrador. That is why they are up there. They are not up there because they like to go to Labrador; it is because they exploited a resource. They were not concerned with this wealth. There was so much wealth they could throw it away.
That is what I am trying to say, Mr. Speaker. We don’t want to stop the extraction of a resource, we want to do it on a rational basis, and get the greatest value for the people of Ontario in the extraction of these vast assets we have.
Mr. G. Taylor: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I rise to speak on the member for Algoma’s legislation this afternoon, Mr. Speaker, and express my opposition to the bill as proposed by the member for Algoma. There are many flaws in the logic which has gone into the constitution of the bill and for the next few moments I would like to focus attention on a few of those flaws in the approach to the mining industry in the province.
The premises outlined and the purpose of the bill are laudable, as they usually are, but again they attempt to over-regulate and legislate an area of our economy that may not allow for that. To effect the conservation and wise management of the mineral resources of Ontario, to provide for the appraisal of the extent and value of the reserves and productive capacity of these mineral resources, to provide for the appraisal of the requirements for mineral resources in Ontario and markets outside in Ontario for mineral resources, are some of those premises he has put forward.
The important fact to note is that these three processes are already being done by the Ministry for Natural Resources. At this point, the bill offers nothing new -- possibly something revolutionary, but nothing new.
Mr. Wildman: What? How can they both be the same?
Mr. G. Taylor: What is new is the method proposed to effect the conservation of and wise management of these vast and varied types of minerals that are listed. The member for Algoma apparently feels that a body as large as the Ministry of Natural Resources cannot properly manage the affairs and mineral resources of this province.
Mr. Foulds: They haven’t so far.
Mr. G. Taylor: It is somewhat surprising to me that he does feel that a small board can do this job better. Furthermore, he rejects the abilities of the professionals in the mineral resources branch of the ministry in favour of board members who have no specific background in minerals or mining and who may appoint, from time to time, one or more of their persons having technical or special training.
These suggestions smack of too much simplicity, impracticality, and a duplication of pre-existing services.
Mr. Germa: No. There is nothing.
Mr. G. Taylor: The Ministry of Natural Resources already is involved in the appraisal of mineral resources and the productive capacity through mineral inventory and other studies.
Mr. Germa: No, they don’t.
Mr. Foulds: They don’t have any.
Mr. McClellan: Absolutely wrong. Who writes this stuff, George? Some ministry hack?
Mr. G. Taylor: From past experience, such work has proved most effective when a cooperative sense has been reached between industry and government.
Mr. Germa: Some faceless bureaucrat?
Mr. G. Taylor: Legislation requiring that such work be done under prescribed conditions can only serve to damage an effective working arrangement which pre-exists between these two bodies.
Mr. Foulds: What two bodies?
Mr. McClellan: Name the bodies.
Mr. G. Taylor: As for the appraisal of the requirements for mineral resources, there are already ongoing commodity studies for such minerals as nickel and zinc and this act would only serve to duplicate services already being given.
Mr. Foulds: What service?
Mr. McClellan: Name the services.
Mr. G. Taylor: Besides the duplication of services mentioned above, there is evidence in many places of a serious lack of understanding of the practical workings of the industry.
Mr. Germa: Come on. I have been doing it for 40 years.
Mr. G. Taylor: The mining industry is a rather unique entity. Long periods of time are required to get an operation functional. It takes eight to 12 years to develop any reasonable mineral deposit --
Mr. Germa: Who told you that?
Mr. G. Taylor: -- and a company is generally looking to 20-year operations. In this development context, a five-year licence as suggested in section 5(1) is entirely impractical. The industry’s reaction would probably be to entirely stop exploration and development.
Mr. Foulds: They have now.
Mr. G. Taylor: It doesn’t take an economist to see the error of this article. We should be encouraging growth, not retarding it as this piece of legislation may do.
Mr. Foulds: Sell them out Sell out the riches of the north.
Mr. G. Taylor: Section 5(2) would also anger people in the industry. Sales commitments and contracts are highly confidential information. This information is available to government upon request, possibly, if needed. I see no reason to write legislation which might serve to sour the good working relations which exist between the government and industry at present.
Mr. McClellan: Leo Bernier must have written this.
Mr. G. Taylor: Sections 6(1) and 6(2) are also unnecessary intrusions into the confidentiality of the companies’ records.
Mr. Germa: It’s our ore body. We own it.
Mr. G. Taylor: There is also an element of creating a paper war whereby the companies are required to compile large amounts of data which is time-consuming and of questionable worth to the government.
Mr. Germa: Who owns the ore bodies?
Mr. McClellan: It’s our ore, George.
Mr. G. Taylor: On the practical side, a small board like the one proposed would likely become quickly swamped by these semi-annual reports --
Mr. Germa: It belongs to us. We both own it.
Mr. G. Taylor: -- the data likely becoming outdated before it can be assessed.
An added danger in this reporting of confidential data is the possibility of accidental disclosure during the process of transmission or assessment. This again would cause uneasiness in the industrial sector which could be reflected in reduced or curtailed exploration and expansion.
Mr. Foulds: Why is the confidentiality so important to you if they all have to do it?
Mr. McClellan: If you have nothing to hide, why are you hiding it?
Mr. G. Taylor: What we do not need at the present time is an increase in the uncertainty in the minerals market in Ontario.
Section 7(1) allows government to alter or add new terms and conditions at any time. This section also is dangerous because it creates a sense of uncertainty when industry needs the assurance of predictability from government. This legislation will not allow the predictability needed in the minerals and resources section of our economy.
In section 14(1) a mineral production appeal tribunal is proposed. This would merely add another level of bureaucracy through which industry would have to function. Since industry already has access to courts of law, to the ministers, to cabinet and ultimately to the Premier in matters of appeal, this tribunal seems nothing more than superfluous, a duplication of already existing avenues, an increase in red tape and bureaucracy as we have not seen before.
In overview, this bill adds nothing new or useful to the mineral management program already existing in the Ministry of Natural Resources. At its best, it reflects the positive aspects already in practice at the ministry. At its worst, it proposes amendments which run exactly contrary to the current government policies of removing unnecessary regulations.
It would require an increase in the civil service with a complementary need for greater government to implement and enforce it. Perhaps greatest of all, it would create such uncertainty in industry as to discourage formation of new business and capital investment.
The New Democrats constantly cry in one breath for job creation, for regulations that require greater reinvestment of profits in Ontario and, in the next, propose legislation like this which is entirely counterproductive to their own policy.
Mr. Germa: Profit is a four-letter word.
Mr. G. Taylor: The way to help the plight in the minerals industry is to offer them assistance, not resistance.
This bill should be defeated, and the third party should begin to work on proposing methods of creating jobs and helping the economy, issues in which they claim to be passionately interested, rather than proposing bills like this which are both unnecessary and counterproductive.
Mr. Foulds: Who writes that crap for you?
Mr. McClellan: Disclose the author.
Mr. Foulds: Now you are ad libbing and stumbling.
Mr. G. Taylor: The matter of mineral resources greatly concerns the economy of this province. To put them under the strictures allowed for by this bill would put a great burden upon that industry.
We may have come too far. One member suggested that we had such boards during the war, but this is now some number of years later. We had many boards during the war. We had a common purpose, to defeat an enemy --
Mr. McClellan: We even had day care during the war.
Mr. G. Taylor: -- and many people worked together. But our society no longer works that way. It has no solid purpose. But maybe we are coming back to that purpose again.
Mr. Makarchuk: It doesn’t work -- period.
Mr. G. Taylor: When we look at the years when we had that common purpose, we were all willing to sacrifice many things, the industrial sector, the employee sector, the employer sector. We all had a common purpose. But today, the purpose is individual, everybody wants what they can get as soon as they can get it, in industry, employees, employers, governments and all.
Mr. McClellan: Now we are back to free enterprise.
Mr. Swart: That is why we are going down the pipe.
Mr. Foulds: That is what you call free enterprise.
Mr. G. Taylor: And we are being overburdened today with the amount of government intervention in our economy, to the point the economy is probably bogging down.
We have heard from many avenues that we are overgoverned.
Mr. Makarchuk: It is hogging down because it is mismanaged. You guys never knew how to manage the economy.
Mr. G. Taylor: We have heard from many avenues that we are overgoverned. This would be another of those ever-increasing bricks on that avenue, further burdening an economy already overburdened with government intervention.
One has to look at this bill as another one of those intrusions. We would all like to see our resources totally under our control, but that is possibly a thing that should have happened many years ago. It is beyond our ability today, unless we want to bring down entirely the economy of this province and of this country.
Mr. Foulds: So you would sell them all out.
Mr. G. Taylor: There is no way possible we can exploit ourselves by buying back those industries now in the sector of the economy which best can manage them, with as little guidance as possible from the government of this country.
Mr. McClellan: Soon it will be all gone and we will be broke.
Mr. G. Taylor: They should receive guidance, not total regulation and legislation and takeovers by an indirect method as proposed in this piece of legislation.
Mr. Makarchuk: That is why you have such high unemployment. You guys believe in putting people out of work.
Mr. T. P. Reid: Unfortunately, I must also rise to oppose Bill 88.
I must say I agree with the former speaker’s speech writer. I would give the same reasons for opposing the bill.
The principle contained in the bill of having a central collection of information is helpful and is something perhaps that is necessary in Ontario. However, to go as far as this bill and to provide the powers that this bill does to provide yet another board and commission, I just cannot agree to do.
The government, rightly or wrongly, has set up a group of members of that side to look into the number of boards, agencies and commissions that exist in the province of Ontario with the view I thought even my friends on the left agreed with that we already have too many agencies, boards and commissions. We really don’t need all we have.
Mr. Makarchuk: You don’t have agencies, boards and commissions; you have an Ontario senate, that’s what you have.
Mr. T. P. Reid: It really surprises me, Mr. Speaker -- well I shouldn’t say surprises because, as usual, my socialist friends are out of step with what’s going on with the world. My God, the last thing we need to do to the mining industry in the province of Ontario --
Mr. McClellan: You are drowning, Pat. You are drowning.
Mr. T. P. Reid: -- is to provide yet another layer of regulation on top of what they already have. I would have found it easy to support a bill that would have suggested --
Mr. Foulds: The poor things.
Mr T. P. Reid: -- better provincial-federal co-operation in the way of looking at the taxation structure on the mining business in the province of Ontario. I would have looked with favour on a bill that would rescind, if possible, C. 32 of the Ontario Securities Act which has destroyed junior mining, its development and exploration, in the province of Ontario. I would have looked with favour on some bill that might have rationalized all the problems in the mining industry and which would say, “Here are the guidelines under which you must operate, but these are guidelines and we’re not going to be looking over your shoulder every minute of every day.”
As we know, the mining business in Ontario and across Canada is in trouble. One of the reasons for that, Mr. Speaker, is the fact the Third World countries and South America are heavily subsidizing their mining industry as a tool and weapon of industrial development. They are, therefore, providing massive subsidies and exporting their minerals at a loss to their country to provide some kind of strategy of economic development within their own particular country.
The result of that, of course, is it increases the supply of metal on the market. The other result is because of the world economic situation, the demand has not risen to suck up that extra supply with the result that in many cases Canada and Ontario are at a disadvantage in competing on world markets. So it seems to me we, in this House, should be looking for methods to improve the level of competition that can be provided by Ontario mining, rather than yet putting another restriction and layer of regulation on it.
I have a number of mines in my riding. I have Steep Rock Iron Mines, and Caland Ore iron mines, located at Atikokan, which have announced well in advance --
Mr. Foulds: Not for long.
Mr. T. P. Reid: -- they will be shutting down in late 1979 and 1980. It’s going to put approximately 1,000 men out of work, which won’t mean the end of that particular community because it has the best spirit of any community, I think, in northwestern Ontario. It is causing severe problems.
Mr. Foulds: Wait until the people at Fort Frances hear that, Pat.
Mr. T. P. Reid: Rainy River, Ignace, wherever they like, I say Atikokan -- and not just because I was raised there -- has a tremendous spirit and vitality. I would hope, I’m sure in my own mind --
Mr. Foulds: Probably in spite of it.
Mr. T. P. Reid: -- that that town and community are going to continue, but we have serious problems there. I’m not sure this hill goes any way to help solve them.
I do want to say to my friend from Algoma I agree with the central idea of the registry, of the collection of data, of the catalogue of what is here and the plans, and what the markets are, as far as they can be known. I think that’s a function, and a very important function, that should be carried out under the Minister of Natural Resources and the mining branch under him. We tend sometimes to think that civil servants are not as professional as others, or that they don’t have the competence. But I think there is a great deal of competence in those two ministries to deal with these problems. The trouble is that they don’t get the direction from above, that is, from the minister and the government as a whole.
There are other people who wish to speak. I just want to reiterate that I cannot in conscience support this bill which I think would impose more regulation on the mining industry at a time when we need less. I agree with the central supposition of it but I can't support the concept of a board; certainly not one with the wide-ranging powers that the board would have under this bill.
Mr. Speaker: The member for Algoma has reserved nine minutes. There are about 10 minutes left now. Is there any agreement as to whether or not he would wish to share any of that with the member for Port Arthur?
Mr. Wildman: Yes.
Mr. Foulds: I’ll take about three minutes, if that’s agreeable to the member for Algoma.
I think the debate has been an interesting and enlightening one. I suppose it comes down to the fundamental question of who owns the ore. We in this party say the people of Ontario own the ore in this province. That it should be mined and exploited f or the benefit of all the people of this province. Whether we do that in a mixed economy; whether we do that under some public ownership; whether we do it through mechanisms which the member has outlined, that is the basic principle we see.
We see, in looking over the history of this province, that the mining that has taken place in this province has been done with the idea of exploitation only. To use a phrase used by the member for Rainy River about some of the Third World countries, we have failed to use in the past our mineral riches to develop an industrial strategy for the province as a whole.
Mr. T. P. Reid: I would agree with that.
Mr. Foulds: This bill is an attempt to try to recoup before it is too late.
The example the member for Rainy River uses is a good one. He tells us that two mines in his riding are going to be defunct in a couple of years. What he does not tell us, and what is important in the situation at Atikokan, is that the Bending Lake development is not now going ahead. It is not now going ahead because CP Investments, that controls the mine, has decided it won’t. It has told us that it is uneconomic to proceed with the mine at the present time, given the richness of the ore body. We have no agency, such as the one proposed by my colleague, to verify that. If we bad the agency --
Mr. T. P. Reid: There are also 10 million tons of ore in that north angle, as well, that are easily got at. That is one of the reasons.
Mr. Foulds: That is the kind of information that should be available to the public and to the government on demand, and the agency that my friend is proposing would get that to us.
I just want to conclude by saying that this is a careful and thoughtful bill. It is modelled after legislation that is in place in the western provinces. It is workable and has not developed enormous bureaucracies either in Saskatchewan or in Alberta. If the members who talk about bureaucracy are really concerned about that, I would be glad to sacrifice half of the present boards, agencies and commissions that this Tory government has established in the last 34 years for one good effective agency, such as the one proposed here.
Some of the members who have spoken previously have said that profit is an incentive to development. I say that we cannot afford to have profits at any price. That is what we have bad in the past. We have had profit at the price of mining safety in some cases. We have had profit at the price of high grading. We have had profit at the price of shipping out jobs because we have not used mining, as I said previously, as part of our industrial strategy to create manufacturing jobs not only in the province, but especially in the north.
Mr. Wildman: I want to thank the members for their comments. I’m disappointed so many members disagreed with the bill. I just want to reply to some of the comments that were made.
First, the member for Timiskaming (Mr. Havrot) indicated he strongly opposed the bill and considered it naive. He couldn’t understand why I, as a member from northern Ontario, would introduce such a bill when mining is as important to my area as it is to his. He then went on to say the present system is working well. There is good cooperation between government, big business and the companies now operating. Considering the history of Kirkland Lake in his own riding, he must be very naive if he can say the present system is working well in the interests of the mining communities of northern Ontario.
He did raise some problems in that he thought this legislation would make it impossible for the individual prospector to become involved in mining and to bring mines into production. He then went on to discuss, as did other members, the lack of new mines coming into production in the last few years.
The reason for lack of new mines coming into production would not be exacerbated by this bill. There is nothing at all to prevent prospecting from taking place. As a matter of fact, one of the provisions of the bill is to encourage exploration and to monitor exploration. One of the stipulations for a licence would be that the company be engaged in further exploration. Frankly, we must monitor exploration. One of the best measures of the weakness of the mining industry in this province is the lack of exploration. When we see exploration going down we know there are problems and we must prepare for them.
That member is a prisoner of the biases of the government and of business and the corporate elite. This bill is not directed just at conservation, which will provide for more unemployment as he suggests, but is a management bill, a bill that is determined to have fair management and good management which would mean longer term employment, not short-term employment.
The member for Simcoe Centre (Mr G. Taylor) indicated this is a redundant bill because all the functions suggested by the board have already been carried out by the Ministry of Natural Resources. Look at the history of Sudbury. If those functions have been carried out by the Ministry of Natural Resources they were not carried out very well.
It’s a fact that almost a year prior to the announcement of the layoffs in Sudbury the MNR did know and did predict slowdowns in production in nickel, but nothing was done by the government. If there is a good working relationship between the government and the mining industry as the member suggests, then that relationship is exemplified by cosy agreements which benefit the companies to the detriment of the mining communities in northern Ontario. It’s not something I would want to perpetuate. He suggested our society has no solid or common purpose. Well, if that’s the case, it’s hardly something my bill can be expected to rectify.
He suggested companies need as little guidance as possible and that this bill is an indirect takeover. How he can consider this indirect takeover, I don’t know. This would not prevent the companies from making a profit. The companies would continue to operate, and would be encouraged to operate in a longterm utilization of our resources and the development of those resources. He suggested at the same time, that the bill is nothing new but is revolutionary and then criticized me for flaws in logic. I suggest that that is quite a flaw in logic in itself.
The member for Halton-Burlington (Mr. J. Reed) suggested that the industry is cyclical. It is indeed. He wondered why a company that is going to have a longterm investment would be interested in a five-year licence. The reason for the five-year situation is simply because the industry itself has indicated that, certainly as far as nickel is concerned, the market seems to operate in cycles of four to six years. That’s the reason for the five years. I should emphasize that licences under the bill would be renewable, There is nothing to stop longterm development of a resource at all.
To suggest conservation should be part of a self-regulation of the industry is ridiculous, frankly, because the reason it may conserve minerals now is there is a slowdown in the market. As soon as the markets turn up again there will be tremendous increases in production. We can see again what happened in Kirkland Lake.
Lastly, I am gratified the member for Rainy River (Mr. T. P. Reid) thinks the central idea of the bill is a good one. Unfortunately, I can’t agree with him that it goes too far. There is legislation in other provinces. A Liberal government in Saskatchewan has brought in similar legislation and a Conservative government in Alberta, that is really concerned with its energy resources, brought in similar legislation. I just wish and hope the Liberal and Conservative members in this House will be as concerned with their resources as the Liberals and Conservatives in those provinces.
CHILDREN’S RIGHTS ACT
Mr. Elgie moved second reading of Bill 57, An Act respecting Proceedings on behalf of Children who are Maltreated.
Mr. Speaker: The honourable member has up to 20 minutes.
Mr. Elgie: I’m pleased to speak on behalf of Bill 57, An Act respecting Proceedings on behalf of Children who are Maltreated. As a neurosurgeon dealing with brain and spinal cord injuries I have, unfortunately, during my practice been exposed to some of the most horrifying examples of child abuse.
It’s incredible, for example, to believe an abusive parent could go to the point of actually breaking a child’s back over his knee, but that and even worse things do happen. We, as legislators, must continue to upgrade and revise the laws dealing with child abuse to attempt to control and prevent these tragedies. Our efforts, and the efforts of society in general, must be aimed not only at crisis intervention, but at early identification and prevention, objectives which I know the Minister of Community and Social Services (Mr. Norton) shares with all of us.
As a parent of loving and loved children, I find, as I know we all do, that the whole problem of child abuse is abhorrent and incomprehensible. Kahlil Gibran has written that “children are not your children. They come through you, but not from you, and they are with you, yet they belong not to you.” Still the centuries old concept of children as chattels lingers on in the subconscious, and sometimes not so subconscious.
Mr. McClellan: Sometimes even in the green papers.
Mr. Elgie: You’re commending the minister for the efforts in the green paper?
Mr. McClellan: I am agreeing with you.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: That’s good.
Mr. Elgie: That’s surely an unusual event in this House, we should have a drink over that.
Mr. T. P. Reid: I would worry about that. I just changed my vote.
Mr. Elgie: You may not support it.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: It’s okay, Bob; he recognizes greatness when he sees it.
Mr. McClellan: Oh yes, he’d be a superior minister.
Mr. Speaker: Order. The member for York East has the floor.
Mr. Elgie: We can look back in dismay today at early Roman law, for instance, which gave a father absolute authority over his children, even to the point of allowing him to inflict capital punishment. Even early English law, not too many years ago, still gave a father complete control over his children, without regard to their welfare. For innately, this situation has gradually changed over the years so now parental authority does have some legal limits.
However, the mere statement in references I’m sure all of us read from time to time, that parental authority has legal limits tells a bit of a story in itself. Children still do not have well established legal rights as individuals, a situation which is presently being addressed by the Canadian Council on Children and Youth in their recent report entitled The Child as a Citizen. It is a study that will reportedly go far beyond the question of legal rights of children before the courts. It has been said by one reporter: “It will upset our smug assumptions that children in Canada never had it so good and will challenge our very preconceptions about the nature of childhood.”
Mr. Speaker, Bill 57, the bill before us today is entitled, an Act respecting Proceedings on behalf of Children who are Maltreated. At the outset, let me make it very clear that it is not intended that his bill will in any way deal with or resolve the problem of child abuse. Legislation regarding the reporting and management of child abuse already exists, and as members know, it is anticipated that revisions will be placed on that legislation before this House in the near future.
Bill 57 concerns itself with the rights of abused children and civil law. In other words, the right to be compensated for injury, a right that exists for all other citizens. By emphasizing the existence of this right, it is my sincere belief and hope that awareness of child abuse by society and abusers will be heightened and the incidents thereby reduced. In other words, I hope that heightened awareness of the civil rights of children will help produce a deterrent effect. I believe many people would desist from battering their children if they were more aware of the rights children should have.
It seems incredible that children who have been battered by their parents in the past have not been able to sue in tort. Had they been injured by anyone other than a parent, there is little doubt that civil legal action would have ensued. The reasons for this deficiency are interesting and have been reviewed by Prosser in his handbook on the law of torts. Prosser is a renowned American jurist who has stated, and I quote:
“The chief reason offered is that domestic tranquillity and parental discipline and control would be disturbed by the action, on the theory that an uncompensated tort makes for peace in the family and respect for the parent, even though it be a rape, a brutal beating, and even though the relationship itself may have been terminated by death before the suit.”
Another American lawyer, Muriel Crawford, has added the following comments, which I think are of interest: “Moreover, none of these arguments have been used to bar suits by children against parents for a tort against property, nor to bar personal injury suits between siblings, even though the arguments should he equally applicable in all of these instances”.
With the passing of the Family Law Reform Act in this province in 1975, this government and this Legislature made very clear its position regarding the right of the child to bring an action against the parent. Chapter 4, section 3, states that “no person shall be disentitled from bringing an action or other proceeding against another by reason only that they stand in the relationship of parent and child.” The principle is clear; in practice, however, there are some problems.
Firstly, civil actions in court by children are brought on by what is called a next friend and this next friend is usually the parent. For example, if my child was struck down today by a motor vehicle or injured by another person, as the parent of the child I would commence an action as next friend on his or her behalf against the person who caused the injury. Since the majority of child abusers are the parents, this first step becomes a hurdle usually not overcome unless the official guardian happens to be made aware of the situation.
Secondly, there is no legal requirement that those who are aware of an abuse must notify the official guardian, although in practice they sometimes, and indeed often, do.
Thirdly, there is no legal requirement that the official guardian must be the next friend, since the present Judicature Act requires that he do so only in accordance with any act, rule or order of a court or judge. There is no such act in existence and, therefore, it depends on a rule or order of a court or judge. There is, therefore, no well defined responsibility to report abuse and no well defined requirement that action take place as a result of that report.
Bill 57 is an omnibus bill which proposes amendments to both the Judicature Act and the Child Welfare Act. The main changes contemplated by the bill are as follows:
Firstly, under the existing Child Welfare Act, section 4(1), reports of child abuse “shall be rendered to the children’s aid society or crown attorney.” Bill 57 requires that such a children’s aid society or crown attorney that has reasonable and probable cause to believe that a child has been abused emotionally or physically “shall report the information to the official guardian.” The official guardian thus becomes aware of the situation in a more formal reporting setting.
Secondly, the existing Child Welfare Act refers to physical ill-treatment. Bill 57 would propose substituting the term “physical or emotional maltreatment” to broaden and to expand the concept of child abuse.
Finally, the Judicature Act would be amended to require that “where the official guardian is of the opinion that an infant has a cause of action” -- thus there have been two checks, keep that in mind; there was a probable belief in abuse by the children’s aid or crown attorney, and now the official guardian has to feel there is a cause of action -- “against one or more person, or another right of recovery by reason of physical or emotional maltreatment inflicted upon the infant, the official guardian shall institute and conduct a proceeding as next friend for the recovery of damages or other compensation in respect of injuries sustained by the infant, unless,” -- and this is the key phrase -- “in the circumstances such a proceeding would not be in the best interests of the infant.” There’s no question of whether it’s in the best interests of anybody else. It’s a question of whether it’s in the best interests of the infant.
Some of these changes proposed in the Child Welfare Act may, of course, have to be reviewed and revised once the proposed children’s legislation has been presented to this House. In the meantime, the requirement that a children’s aid society or a crown attorney report to the official guardian seems to me to be a pretty straightforward approach. I did not specifically insert a requirement that various professionals must report, nor did I insert a penalty for such failure. It is my belief that such a section will be included in the proposed children’s legislation package, and if it isn’t perhaps such a section should be added to this bill.
The substitution of physical or emotional maltreatment for the existing physical ill treatment phrase is, to my mind, an important one. It is true, and we all know this, that physical abuse is more easily defined and more easily recognized: the child’s behaviour, repeated unexplained bruises, repetitive visits to doctors or emergency departments with odd injuries, strange fractures showing up on x-rays and other similar criteria help observers reach conclusions regarding physical abuse. It seems clear that neglect, emotional abuse and sexual abuse are as prevalent, or indeed more prevalent, and can have equally devastating consequences.
Dr. Bates, who is director of the child abuse clinic at the Hospital for Sick Children, has even gone so far as to state: “Emotional deprivation or neglect can be far more devastating than physical abuse to the child at an early age.” Another pediatrician in Metropolitan Toronto, Dr. Ray LaForest, suggested at a recent child abuse conference that physical abuse constitutes less than five per cent of abuse. Certainly it’s impossible to get a good handle on the extent of emotional abuse, since it really presents great problems, not only in definition hut in identification. However, there is literature on the subject. For example, :a book entitled Emotional Neglect of Children by Robert M. Fulford of the children’s division of the American Humane Association offers several definitions of emotional abuse. It is my feeling that we should not ignore this aspect of abuse simply because it is difficult to define. What constitutes emotional abuse would, of course, be settled in common law jurisdiction such as this by the first legal precedent.
But in any event, I recognize that it is a difficult problem and I would sincerely value comments from members of this House about this difficult definition problem. The revision of the Judicature Act requires that the official guardian, if he is of the opinion that an infant has a cause of action, shall commence such action or proceeding. It is my hope that this section will also allow the official guardian to bring an application before the criminal injuries compensation board in appropriate cases.
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Board Act, interestingly enough, under section 1(1)(d) defines injury as actual bodily harm and includes pregnancy, mental or nervous shock. So the concept of some emotional elements is there.
Under section 5 it is stated that “where any person is injured or killed by any act or omission in Ontario by any other person occurring in or resulting from, the commission of violence and so forth and so inn there shall be the right to recover.” So I believe the legal machinery is there to allow such a recovery from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board in cases where there has been a criminal conviction.
The final proviso of that revision of the Judicature Act is that the official guardian may decide not to bring such action or application if, in his opinion, such a proceeding would not be in the best interest of the infant. The feeling here is that the decision would be based upon the interests of the infant, and it contemplates situations where families have recognized the problem and have clearly demonstrated a change in attitude and behaviour.
In conclusion, may I say that I recognize the futility of many civil actions against parents, we all do; but does that mean that children should be deprived of that basic right? I think not, and I look forward to hearing members views on those various matters.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Acting Speaker: Does the member for York East wish to reserve time at the end?
Mr. Elgie: Yes, if there is any.
Mrs. Campbell: Mr. Speaker, I rise to support this bill with every part of me involved, because it is a long time in coming before this House. The principle of the bill surely is one that has to have unanimous support. I recall some years ago when, as a member of the Metropolitan Children’s Aid Society, we engaged in seminars on the subject, trying to wrestle with the best way to approach child abuse.
At that point we had some very fine speakers from the United States, who I must say rather frightened me a little in this approach. At that point they stated they found that where you had mandatory reporting, there seemed to be an increase in the loss of the child completely. I bore that in mind in approaching this particular bill. Certainly if it has that effect, then we have to rethink it.
But there has to be a method of reporting child abuse cases. As I have seen them in the courts, I don’t think there is anything that so appals a judge as facing a case with evidence of child abuse. At this point, I'm speaking largely of physical abuse, of course. But we did see other areas where we were unable to bring any kind of assistance to the child because the evidence wasn’t clear enough as to the emotional effects of a parental attitude.
One of the problems I envisage with this bill is that we may find we have, as I had in one case, a mother who so overwhelmed her son that he became, in a very bizarre fashion, very much a part of that mother. It’s hard to approach that problem, because that mother had no comprehension of what she was doing to that child. But the child’s rights simply have to be protected.
One of the problems I have with the bill is that, as the mover of the bill has suggested, we have to go into the whole area of prevention. This bill does not do that. For years, ever since I came into this House, and through a series of ministers, starting with the member for Cochrane North (Mr. Brunelle) and moving through his successors, we have begged for this government to take some action on the prevention of this sort of maltreatment. We have not succeeded, and that’s why I have not been so impressed with the will of this government in that area.
We begged that financing would be put in place for the Sick Children’s Hospital so that they could enlarge the Denver Module which they were using and which seemed, at the time at least, to be one of the most successful areas of prevention which we knew at that point. Instead of that, money was frittered away -- a little bit here to this single-parent group, or a little bit there to somebody else -- and obviously the total effect of the money was not seen to be used in the most efficient fashion.
The question ill compensation is, of course, a very difficult one. I had the opportunity of speaking with the member about my concerns with the wording of this bill in the compensation area, and I’m delighted that he has clarified for the House the fact that one might proceed either by way of a tort action for damages, or certainly in the alternative, where it is indicated, through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board. It’s interesting that I have had some discussions with Mr. Allan Grossman with reference to this very matter. I would hope that together we might move.
One of the problems again is, the reporting. There really isn’t a good system by which abuse, be it physical or anything else, is properly reported. I feel that the children’s aid societies would welcome the kind of direction which this bill gives, because in many cases the parents are not brutal and horrible. This sounds dreadful, but they’re not.
I can think of a mother whose one child died and the other one was before me. She said to me: “You don’t understand. I love my child.” We have to understand the whole context of this kind of situation.
Certainly, with the children’s aid trying desperately to retain some kind of relationship, I think that society needs this kind of direction. I know they would surely welcome it, so their role might be very clear and very precise, and leave to others the opportunity to bring about some kind of conciliation, if that’s possible in some of these cases.
Without question, children must have recognized rights in our society. When they are damaged, they must certainly have the opportunity to he heard. I gave some thought to the question of the role of the official guardian in such a matter, and while I am not certain that is the best road to go. at the moment it certainly is better than what we have.
Even though we now have a mother entitled to be a next friend of her children -- we’ve come a long way, baby, now a mother can be a next friend -- it certainly puts her in a desperate situation if the damage to the child has resulted from actions of the father. To have someone in the role of an official guardian able to move into the scene is of tremendous importance in these areas.
I would want to see this bill go to committee because I think it can be improved as we discuss it. I would hope, perhaps we might be able to build into it in some form, not just the action indicated here but also including the element of prevention.
I would like to see, in some place, someone undertaking a really educational role. In some cases, a parent coming to this country is coming into a new culture, a different approach, and doesn’t quite understand how we view the question --
Mr. Acting Speaker: The member’s time has expired.
Mrs. Campbell: -- of parent and child. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am supporting this bill with everything I have.
Mr. McClellan: I am rising, also, to support the bill --
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Great.
Mr. McClellan: -- the member will be pleased to know. I don’t support it with the same degree of enthusiasm, if I’m not being unfair, as the member for St. George. I will support it on second reading, but unless the bill was changed substantially in committee, and I’ll try to deal with my concerns, we would have to vote against it on third reading. I want to try to explain why.
Because of the time constraints, let me try to deal with four points.
The question of the extension of civil rights to children is a useful reform. I’m not sure I can say too much more than that, because I do not believe the matter of child abuse is dealt with in any substantial way through the reform. It is a reform, and it is worth supporting because it is a reform, but I’m not sure you can say a whole lot more than that. I’m not sure it’s a significant measure. I don’t think, quite frankly, there are many people to whom the reform would apply. The fact that there are some makes it supportable.
Mrs. Campbell: A lot.
Mr. McClellan: Those who have more experience with the courts, and perhaps even the member himself because of his background as a doctor, would have better knowledge than myself with respect to how many people would be affected by this particular measure. My own feeling is there aren’t many who would have the financial resources to compensate a battered child for the injury sustained. If the intent is to try to redress that injury through the use of the personal financial resources of the battering parent, I say again I’m not sure how useful that is. I suspect the compensation can only come from public sources.
The second point I want to make is with respect to the definition of abuse in section 2 of the bill. While I applaud the extension of the definition of abuse to include emotional maltreatment, I would be unable to support a final bill that didn’t have complete definitions attached both to the notion of physical abuse and to the notion of emotional abuse.
Addressing firstly the question of physical abuse, there is a certain ambiguity even within government circles concerning physical abuse. The member for York East began by setting nut a very good statement with respect to the need to move away from the traditional concept of children as chattels, to move away from the traditional notion of the pm-eminent right of the natural parent. I applaud him for those sentiments and agree with him, but when we look at the green paper, the consultation paper on short-term legislative amendments, we find the ministry position really entrenches and reiterates very traditional concepts of the tights of the natural parent with respect to the child. We see that concept of natural rights pushed to an absurd extreme in the bizarre sections on adoption within the green paper. I think that’s been withdrawn, but it illustrates the point that there is a lack of consensus within government circles. I hope the view of the member for York East prevails in the discussion. Pardon?
Hon. Mr. Norton: You don’t know what a green paper is.
Mr. McClellan: Oh, I do know what a green paper is; and I know what the minister’s green paper is all about. I know what the minister’s advisers think and I know he has been forced to reject a lot of that advice. Even within the green paper the definition of physical abuse is quite inadequate.
Hon. Mr. Norton: You think if it looks white it is not a green paper.
Where do you get all this incorrect knowledge that you purport to --
Mr. Lupusella: Mr. Speaker, can you keep the minister in order?
Mr. McClellan: It is inadequate in that it defines physical abuse in terms of serious physical harm or sexual molestation. In other words, a child has to suffer severely before the protection of the child abuse laws can be applied to the child, and I don’t think that’s good enough. I wouldn’t support legislation which left physical abuse undefined and I would not support legislation which left emotional maltreatment or emotional abuse undefined.
I am not prepared to leave it to the courts; that is a real copout. It’s a bad way of passing law; and I say this to the member with respect. It is our duty to say what we mean when we pass law, and if we can’t say what we mean we shouldn’t pass the law, we should not leave it to the courts --
Hon. Mr. Norton: That is because you don’t understand the tradition of the courts in a free, democratic country.
Mr. McClellan: -- to interpret a question as crucial as what is physical abuse or what is emotional abuse. We have to define it. We can’t just say physical abuse and leave it undefined.
The third point I want to address is the reporting provisions of the bill. As the minister knows, we are strongly in favour of the reporting provision and penalties because we don’t feel that a reporting provision without a penalty is an effective reporting provision. If there is no penalty, I am afraid there will be no reporting. I would not be prepared to support a bill on third reading that had a section dealing with obligations to report child abuse but which didn’t have penalties attached to it, because I think in some ways that’s a step backwards. I expect the ministry to do what it said it would do in the estimates debate last year and bring in legislation that will have substantial penalties attached to the reporting provisions.
The final point that I wish to make, very briefly -- and we’ll have lots of opportunities to debate this both in the estimates and on the legislative reform packages -- is the matter of prevention of child abuse and this government’s commitment to the notion of prevention. Prevention is not a matter of law, I don’t believe, prevention is a matter of services; and until there is a network of services in place in this province which can shore up the needs of families under stress, and provide real and concrete help to families under stress before child abuse begins to occur, or to become significant, then we’re not doing anything at all in the area of prevention. Out of, I think, a budget of some $80 million in child welfare last year, there was something in the order of $800,000 allocated specifically to preventive child welfare services; that’s simply absurd.
Hon. Mr. Norton: Plus $25 million. Get your facts straight.
Mr. McClellan: Visiting homemaker services, for example, have been severely cut by this government. There is no more effective preventive social service to deal with the problem of child abuse than visiting homemaker’s services, and yet that is an area where there have been major cuts by this government since 1975.
Hon. Mrs. Birch: That is not true.
Mr. McClellan: Until we see services in place and until we see resources going into preventive social services in the child welfare field, all of the lawyers’ reforms under the sun are not going to address themselves to the problem of child abuse.
Mr. Acting Speaker: The member’s time has expired.
Mr. McClellan: We will simply continue with the present crisis orientation. We will continue this in the estimates and on the reform package.
Mr. Jones: I rise today, recognizing the importance of this piece of legislation that’s before us, and I compliment the member for York East. I know we all sense the very real sincerity with which he has presented it to us for our consideration.
Mr. Conway: He is a lonely progressive over there, I can tell you, a lonely progressive.
Mr. McClellan: Elgie for minister.
Mr. Jones: However, as we look at this legislation he did invite us to give our comments towards it, to give our full thoughts and deliberation, and I’m happy to have the opportunity to do so.
I think all of us, of course, were, in a very real way, shocked as he opened his introduction to the bill by giving us a first-hand insight into a very severe situation in which a parent, a mother, broke her child’s back over her leg. That has to shock all of us. I’m certain that no language is too strong when it comes to the maltreatment of children and the righteous indignation that it stirs in us as legislators, and indeed as members of this society.
Mr. Bradley: Does that mean there is no guillotine this week?
Mr. Jones: I have an opportunity of working in a particular section of this government, the youth secretariat where we deal with ages that go down to youngsters in this category and today we are concerned that young people all have equal opportunity and not have scars as they come in to take their rightful role in society. We turn our thoughts to a host of things. These young people that I have the pleasure of working with, I assure the House when they are called upon’, that generation will be capable of managing the affairs of Ontario and dealing with the current issues, as we are this day.
As I work with these young people in such programs as venture capital and I see their unbridled optimism and enthusiasm, it gives one reason to he encouraged and to be protective towards those types of backgrounds that they would have and those stumbling blocks that might hinder them in making their full progress.
The Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr. Grossman) announced this afternoons a number of components of that package of alcohol --
Mr. McClellan: This has nothing to do with the bill. Have you read the bill?
Mr. Jones: I would think we would be wrong not to take a look at the studies available where they have identified alcohol as being a factor in some of the issues that have resulted in child abuse and the other types of mistreatment of youngsters. So I was happy to see the government coming forward with a very responsible attitude towards alcohol, calling on society as a whole --
Mr. McClellan: You haven’t even read the bill.
Mr. Bradley: Dragged in, kicking and screaming.
Mr. Jones: -- and making a lot of specific changes in that direction, because the maltreated and abused child is an aberration of our society. We must do everything in our power to see that abuse of children, both physically and emotionally, is purged from Ontario. However, I agree with what the Minister of Community and Social Services said on April 19: “We, of course, do not have the right to legislate the family experience.” That reply was a comment he made to someone making a specific inquiry.
I feel that the bill before us presents the threat of a very real intrusion into the affairs of the family in Ontario. There are a couple of highlights, as I see them, and I would like to express them this afternoon.
Mr. McClellan: Here comes the schizophrenia.
Mr. Jones: The family in Ontario is in a transition and the Provincial Secretary for Social Development, as the members know, has posed the question of how the social policy of Ontario can best support the family. The theme that the provincial secretary has taken is that the government recognize the importance of dealing with the family as a unit rather than a group of individuals when we design or evaluate our social programs.
The legislation that the member for York East has introduced says “one member of a family” -- and I am questioning this -- “one member of a family could perhaps be set against or at odds with another.” Perhaps the reconciliation would better serve the interests of the child. We as a government have recognize that there is no way any agency can fulfil the needs that the family can provide. I think we can all agree on that. Perhaps this is due to the seemingly unbreakable bond between parent and child. Admittedly, it is difficult to convey the nature of family bond in words, because it is a bond based on emotions. This difficulty appears also in Bill 57.
What can we define as emotional abuse? Other speakers before me have referred to this, and indeed the member introducing the bill has admitted the problem. At what point does parental discipline become abuse? Is the child who is forced against his or her will to take piano lessons, say, abused? If so, we would probably have no pianists. The point that I mean to convey is that all relationships between family members are developed without thought or preteens and all parental discipline is based on emotion. Is this emotional harm? That is the question. I think not.
We must place more emphasis on the parents to teach a respect for authority. With this, perhaps, we would see fewer instances, for example, of youth in conflict with the law and some of the other negative things they see themselves confronted with in today’s society.
Mr. McClellan: This is Ontario’s youth policy?
Mr. Jones: I believe the dispensing of parental discipline, in the vast majority of cases, is judicious and responsible. In the majority of cases, the attitude that “this hurts me more than it hurts you” is true. Hopefully, parental discipline has a shared effect that strengthens the bonds of the family in the long term.
A problem I have with this bill is that it leaves the observer to report the incidence of emotional abuse. I believe this imposes the values of the observer on the family unit.
Mr. Cooke: They don’t make the judgement.
Mr. Jones: This is a weakening of the individuality of the fundamental unit of our society. The children’s aid society -- and this has been mentioned by earlier speakers, including the member for St. George and, indeed the mover of this bill -- has the authority now to investigate and act on cases of maltreatment of children. This bill proposes to establish a parallel body within the legal guardian’s office to determine whether civil action for damages ought to be brought.
Mr. McClellan: What confusion within the social development field over there. This is really nuts.
Mr. Jones: I cannot reconcile this duplication for reason of costs during a period of constraint --
Mr. McClellan: Do you guys ever meet?
Mr. Jones: -- or for the reason of the conflict that might occur between the agencies.
This is private members’ business and I am expressing my private opinion on this.
Mr. McClellan: You are the youth secretary.
Mr. Bradley: The member for York East is making a face when you’re saying that.
Mr. Elgie: A smiling face.
Mr. Jones: Imagine the children’s aid society encouraging therapy in order to keep the family together while concurrently, the legal guardian proposes to bring charges against the parents on behalf of the child.
Mr. McClellan: This is the youth secretariat of the province.
Mr. Jones: It seems to me that, while I support the bill in principle, these are parts of this bill that, indeed, will have to be examined as it goes forward to committee.
Mr. Mancini: Is it going to go forward like my bill?
Mr. Jones: As I said earlier, I appreciate what the member for York East is saying as he refers, perhaps, to the welfare of children in the sense of parents who do not fit that norm I referred to earlier. Hopefully, the present therapeutic and counselling bodies of the province are capable of dealing with them.
My conception of our civil justice system is it is a last resort to be utilized when all other negotiations and reconciliations fail. To implement this bill as proposed would, however, encourage the use of the courts before all other negotiations and proceedings are exhausted --
Mr. McClellan: You haven’t even read the bill; you are totally confused.
Mr. Jones: -- partially because the crown and not the injured party would be empowered to initiate the proceedings. That is in the bill.
Mr. McClellan: You are going to get heckled from behind in a minute.
Mr. Jones: While I support the bill, in principle, I have some very real problems with the specifics. The final reason I am opposed is that --
Mr. McClellan: It’s time for Barry Goldwater to come out.
Mr. Jones: -- any awards made would be limited, in practice, by the parents’ ability to pay.
Mr. Speaker: The honourable member’s time has expired.
Mr. Jones: I would close by saying most of the parents who come into mind in the incidents, and this is borne out by the report, are not necessarily people from those income brackets where this would be a factor.
Mr. Bradley: Who said Attila is dead?
Mr. Sweeney: I rise to support this bill with no qualifications and with no reservations.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: That’s great.
Mr. Sweeney: I say that for two reasons. The first is, I find myself in general philosophical agreement so frequently with the member for York East I feel he must be in the wrong party.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Come on over.
Hon. Mr. Norton: You are welcome, John. Two of your colleagues have already offered to come across today.
Mr. Sweeney: As my colleague from Renfrew indicated earlier, if the member for York East must be in that patty, surely it’s because of the “Progressive;” not because of the “Conservative.”
Secondly, I appreciate that what we’re dealing with at this particular point in time is the principle of the bill and we will have opportunity in committee later on to amend it, to fine tune it and to take into consideration some of the reservations to which several of the previous speakers have alluded.
I support this bill, as I say, because of the principles involved. I would like to touch on a couple of those. The first is that parents don’t have absolute chattel rights over their children, they may not do whatever they choose to do with them. I say that as a parent. I say that as a father in a family -- and I say “in” not “of,” in a family, as a member of that family. I don’t believe that I have those kinds of total, unlimited rights over my children: I think we have to say very carefully that we don’t believe that other parents do. I also say, in reference to the immediate past future, that I don’t want to see any unnecessary intrusion into family life in this province.
In most cases the families are able to look after themselves. But it is clearly evident, not only from the incidents that were brought to our attention by the mover of this bill but others that many of us are aware of, that there are some horrendous and unforgiveable things happening to some children in some families in this province. We must surely stand forward and be a protector for them.
Therefore, the second principle of the bill which is enunciated, is that we say defence-less children and infants in this province have a right to a protector. It has often been said that the quality of any civilization is the degree to which it protects its defence-less -- whether children, the aged, or the handicapped. That principle I see in this bill.
The third principle that I strongly support is the use of “shall” in reporting -- not “may,” not “should,” but “shall.” If there is one thing that has held so many people back, it is the natural human fear of reprisal in some form; reprisal, in that maybe they might be wrong, reprisal of suit, reprisal of ridicule, whatever it happens to be.
I would sincerely hope that the implementation of this bill, or some other bill like it -- maybe at this point I could strongly suggest to the minister that maybe even a stronger bill coming from him or his parliamentary assistant is what we need.
Surely we need to say “shall.” We need to give people who would want to report the assurance that they are doing the right thing, that they will be supported and that we don’t expect them to be absolutely perfect or that they can’t make a mistake.
I was pleased to hear the member for York East make a couple of references. He said, for example, that what we needed to be concerned with is the best interest of the infant or child, not somebody else’s best interest.
He also pointed out that in ancient times -- I believe he was referring to Rome -- that a father had absolute authority over his child, even to the extent of capital punishment and being able to destroy that child. We know that in ancient Sparta a father would have the right to take a defective child out in the mountains and leave it there to the elements to die.
Mr. Foulds: Down with Sparta.
Mr. Sweeney: People in this day and age think that that kind of practice is barbarous; but the member for York East may remember that only a year ago in the summer of 1977 a church committee in this country recommended that defective babies be allowed to die. There was a wave of revulsion and horror sweeping this country. Yet what many people don’t realize is that that precise practice has been going on for years. As a matter of fact, the December, 1974, edition of the journal of Paediatric Medicine clearly identified that of the last 50 infants who were taken to the Hospital for Sick Children and who had an intestinal obstruction which would not permit them to accept food and who also just happened to have Down’s syndrome -- in other words they were retarded -- of those 50, 21 were not operated on at the decision of the parents. Those 27 infants, without anyone else to protect them, were stack in a corner of that hospital and allowed to starve to death. We need protection for that too.
The member for York East referred to maltreatment. I would hope that eventually this bill would also include lack of treatment. There is enough evidence that there are children who are being refused treatment. There are enough children who are being maltreated, either physically or emotionally, who need assistance.
In closing, I want to support the contention of the member for Bellwoods (Mr. McClellan) that legislation like this has really no weight if we are not prepared to go one further step. That is to provide as much assistance and support as we possibly can to the family units of this province that require it.
It is hypocritical of us to say to members of family units, “you shall not do this,” and “you shall not do that,” even as we recognize the terrible internal pressures which are driving many of these families to do things they would never do under normal circumstances; driving them to abuse their own children against their own deepest instincts. Yet the pressures on some families do exist. Surely, therefore, either within this bill or in companion legislation, we must make provision for such eventualities, and also, as the member for York East said, prevent what could happen. If we don’t do that, then we are being hypocritical, even with an excellent bill like this.
Mr. Elgie: In the very short time remaining I want to extend my thanks to members who have supported the bill in principle and to those who have supported it in more than principle.
I wish the honourable member for St. George were here. She mentioned the difficulty she had with a troublesome case of emotional abuse, and I’d like to tell her this story.
Last week, the son of a friend of mine, who is a social worker, told me the trouble he was having. He was advised of a case of emotional abuse and went to visit the home. He was greeted at the door by a mother who said: “Okay, I knew you were coming. Look at the kid. You won’t find a mark on him. I feed him three meals a day; but I hate him.” That’s emotional abuse, I say to the member for St. George, and that’s not hard to identify.
Mrs. Campbell: You’re right.
Mr. Elgie: The problem is the definition, and we all know that; but I appreciate her remarks very much.
I won’t take time to go over all of the comments of the member for Bellwoods, but I do appreciate them, and also his criticism.
I take it all in the way he intended, assuming it was well intended.
Mr. McClellan: Absolutely.
Mr. Lawlor: You don’t like emotional abuse?
Mr. Elgie: I’m not as obsessed as he is with the need for an exact definition, because I like to feel that the courts have a pretty good capability for making a good determination on issues such as this. However, I did mention earlier that it was a problem we had to face and could face in committee.
Finally, with regard to the comments of the member for Mississauga North I wish to say that no one could object to his view that we shouldn’t intrude into the life of the family. But I would like to quote to him a study entitled: Protecting the Battered Child, which states it has been well established that 90 per cent of the families involved already have serious social problems; we’re not intruding into a healthy situation.
The member also made a comment about the income level of such families. The interesting thing about this study is that financial difficulty was a problem in only 22 per cent of the lengthy series reported in Protecting the Battered Child. I would submit :to you that child abuse is not the domain of any one socio-economic group.
Mr. Speaker: We have about a minute and a half. Would the member for Windsor-Riverside like to make a brief comment?
Mr. Cooke: Sure.
I had prepared a more lengthy talk on this bill, but maybe I can make just one point, coming from the children’s aid society as an employee before being elected. I’d like to mention to the sponsor of this bill some of the problems being faced with this problem of child abuse.
This is the problem of prevention versus protection. The problem in children’s aid societies right now is that the workers in the societies don’t know what their role is. The Child Welfare Act provides for both protection and prevention. The workers go out, do investigations; and then their role becomes prevention -- preventing the child coming into care.
The end result is that crown wardship or some type of temporary wardship seems to be viewed as a failure. Children are being returned to parents, being returned to their families, and then we have these tragic cases that have taken place and received a fair amount of publicity and attention in this House over the last few months.
The government has to come to grips with the two jobs of children’s aid societies, they have to be separated. We have to have an agency or someone in charge of being an advocate for the children to make sure that someone is looking after their interests, not an agency’s interests and not their own personal interests. We have to have someone out there who will take the case to court, will fight it, and will appeal it too.
When cases go to court under the Child Welfare Act, children’s aid societies very seldom appeal the case if they lose. That’s another aspect, and it’s a very important one.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please.
MINERAL RESOURCES OF ONTARIO CONSERVATION ACT
Sufficient members having objected by rising, a vote was not taken on Bill 88.
CHILDREN’S RIGHTS ACT
Mr. Speaker: Mr. Elgie has moved second reading of Bill 57.
Motion agreed to.
Ordered for standing committee.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, may I take the few remaining moments to indicate the order of business for the balance of this week and next week?
Tonight, at 8 p.m. sharp --
Mr. Foulds: With a full quorum.
Mr. Conway: Larry did it so well.
Hon. Mr. Welch: -- and we do have some reserved seats left; here, at 8 p.m., the budget debate; the budget debate from 8 to 10:30 tonight -- at which time those of you who are here may have a preview of the Montreal victory tonight as well.
Mr. Conway: What does Sidney think about that?
Mr. Handleman: Those are my kind of Canadians.
Mr. Roy: You like winners, don’t you?
Hon. Mr. Welch: Friday morning, that’s tomorrow morning, the House will be in committee of supply and will continue its consideration of the estimates of the Ministry of Northern Affairs.
The business schedule for the week of May 29 is as follows: On Monday, the House in committee of supply considering the estimates of the Ministry of Northern Affairs; Tuesday, in the afternoon, we will take into consideration legislation, the following bills in this order: Bills 35, 90, 91, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84; in the evening, the following bills in this order --
Mr. Nixon: Oh, Lord.
Hon. Mr. Welch: -- 85, 92; following which we will continue with any of the bills which we have set out for the afternoon which were not completed in the afternoon, that is any of the bills between 80 and 84.
Wednesday, the general government committee, resources development committee and the justice committee may meet in the morning.
Thursday afternoon, the private members’ public business will be Bill 89 standing in the name of the member for Ottawa East (Mr. Roy); and ballot 24, being a resolution standing in the name of the member for Beaches-Woodbine (Ms. Bryden). In the evening on Thursday we will continue with legislation not concluded on Tuesday, following which we will then call the 21st order, as it’s recorded on today’s order paper, being the adjourned debate on the report of the standing members’ services committee. On Friday the House will be in committee of supply, again considering the estimates of the Ministry of Northern Affairs.
If there are no further questions on that, may I call, then, for the evening attraction, the third order?
The House recessed at 6 p.m.