31st Parliament, 2nd Session

L079 - Tue 6 Jun 1978 / Mar 6 jun 1978

The House met at 2 p.m.




Hon. Mr. Parrott: The continued success of manufacturing industries is vital to Ontario’s economic well-being. Many of our industries have suffered critical shortages of skilled trades people and I would like to advise the House of action by my ministry to alleviate these shortages.

Precision metal machining is one of the key groups of trades in manufacturing where skill shortages are often cited. This includes the trades of tool and die maker, mould maker, and general machinist. We hope to see a threefold increase in the number of apprentices working in these three trade areas. This increase should result, in part, from a recent agreement by management and labour representatives regarding training standards. Such an agreement has been sought for many years. I am extremely pleased to announce today that it has been concluded.

Regulations, which have subsequently been approved by cabinet, will enable an apprentice to work towards his certificate of qualification under the Apprenticeship and Tradesmen’s Qualification Act. As the members know, certification has been successfully implemented in the construction trades for many years and needs no expansion at this time. However, to further develop training programs in the manufacturing sector the ministry is mounting an intensive information campaign to promote the merits of apprenticeship to employers in the manufacturing industry.

Our goal is to visit up to 5,000 manufacturing companies not currently engaged in apprenticeship training and to discuss with them the advantages they might enjoy if they mounted training programs. This campaign will build forcefully on the promotional programs aimed at employers which was recently undertaken by my ministry. Currently apprenticeship counsellors throughout Ontario are vigorously following up with the more than 1,000 employers who expressed an interest in apprenticeship as a result of our advertising, direct mail, and other promotional activities.

Another action to expand apprenticeship in Ontario is the decision by the Ministries of Colleges and Universities and Education to build better continuity between technical training in secondary schools and apprenticeship training. A link has been established between senior secondary school courses and the basic college portion of apprenticeship programs for the trades of baker, cook, hairdresser, and motor vehicle mechanic. In other trades we are developing similar linkages in order to reduce the amount of time spent in the classroom where formal apprenticeship training begins.

In addition, the Windsor school board, with the encouragement of both ministries, is realigning its skilled training programs in the metal cutting trades. This realignment will give high school graduates the choice of entering an apprenticeship program in local industry to complete their training on the job, or entering St. Clair College in the second year of the toolmaking technician or plastic mould making technician programs.

This scheme should become a model for other locations and trades. It will enable an apprentice to become a qualified journeyman at a younger age and will reduce employers’ training costs by “freeing up” expensive equipment and supervisory personnel that would otherwise be needed for basic training.

Finally, I would like to refer to a new initiative in industrial training called employer-sponsored training. This scheme has been developed in consultation with labour, private industry, trade associations, community colleges, and other interested groups. It is supported by the Canada Employment and Immigration Commission which under a contract recently signed with my ministry will provide up to $8 million in the current fiscal year for employer-sponsored training projects.

A key characteristic of this new mode of training is that it will respond to locally defined community needs. Community industrial training committees will be established in interested communities and economic regions of the province. These agencies will represent employers, labour, local government, the local office of the Canada Employment and Immigration Commission, local educators, and other training interests in the community. They will determine the type and the amount of training required by the community.

Employers, of course, are vital to this training program. Most training will occur in the workplace and employers will be reimbursed for their approved training costs. This plan will allow employers to help develop a pool of skilled workers without running the risk of losing their investment in training if the trainee leaves to work elsewhere. We believe this program will enable many small employers who have not formerly provided training to get involved in training activities for the very first time.

Employer-sponsored training will recognize that there are different levels of proficiency within trades and will enable trainees to apply the skills they have learned while they work in an orderly way to acquire new skills. Training will be self-paced so that the students with greater aptitude can complete it more quickly.

Discussions are currently under way with several communities to establish employer- sponsored training projects. By this fall we will begin to announce these projects locally as arrangements are completed. Within the next year we expect to see several thousand people go to work across Ontario in employer-sponsored training activity.

In conclusion, I would like to emphasize that this new initiative of employer-sponsored training will not take place at the expense of traditional apprenticeship training in Ontario. The year 1978 is the 50th anniversary of regulated apprenticeship programs in the province. We currently have about 30,000 registered apprentices and one of Canada’s most advanced apprenticeship systems which we will continue to develop.

I have emphasized trades in manufacturing industries in my statement today. Further developmental activity may be directed to other trade areas such as the hotel and restaurant industry. The actions outlined today have been undertaken with the co-operation and support of management, labour, the industrial training council, government organizations, community colleges and other interested groups. With their continued support and assistance, we believe we can make a significant addition to Ontario’s record of accomplishment in the field of industrial training.


Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table today, for the information of the members, a paper entitled Youth Employment and the Ontario Economy, which has been prepared by my staff and which outlines some of the dimensions of the serious job problems of our youth. It has been sent, as well, to participants of the Skills for Jobs conference, which will be convened by the government this Thursday.

While this paper does not deal with all the social and economic consequences of youth joblessness, it does, I think, point out key areas for concern and concerted action. In particular, it focuses on the tens of thousands of Ontario youth who face extended unemployment because of the inability of our economic and social institutions to adapt to changing needs and changing circumstances.

This situation is most serious and without action from governments at all levels, from our learning institutions, from private business and our skilled trade unions, it promises to remain so. At a time when this country is facing competitive challenges and opportunities on all fronts, when the need for innovation and technological advancement is critical, the squandering of the energy and the skills of our youth is a betrayal of the confidence that has been placed in all of us.

We are well aware of the phenomenal surge of young people into our job markets over the past decade. The coinciding of this accelerated growth with our economic difficulties associated with slow growth and high levels of inflation have exacerbated the challenge of youth employment. Nevertheless, our young people have faced an unemployment problem of far more significant dimension than others, and in large part their difficulties have been caused by structural rigidities in our economy.

This staff paper indicates that fundamental changes in institutional policies and priorities are essential. In this respect, I believe the success of the Ontario Youth Employment Program is encouraging. Nevertheless, it is evident that significant reforms in the unemployment insurance program and in manpower planning and funding will be necessary.

It confirms that the task before all of us is immense. I anticipate this study will make a contribution to the important work before us.


Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Speaker, during the past few days there has been some considerable confusion surrounding the recent federal government ban on US commercial fishing.

At the outset I would like to state that the closing of Canadian waters to US commercial fishing simply does not apply to those American visitors who come to Ontario for sports fishing.

When the Canadian waters were closed to commercial fishing by the Canadian federal government, the US government reacted in kind by closing US coastal waters to Canadian commercial fishing. However, I understand that US law does not distinguish between recreational and commercial fishing and this has led to some confusion among American sports fishermen as to whether or not they would be banned from fishing in Canadian waters.

During the past few days I have been in contact with the federal government and have been reassured that American fishermen will still be welcome in Canadian waters. My ministry has already sent Telex messages to all our travel and information centres around the province to inform Americans inquiring about the fishing ban that they are welcome to fish in the Great Lakes bordering Ontario, as well as in all our 400,000 inland lakes and streams. The only provision is, of course, that they obtain and have a valid non-resident fishing licence.

My ministry is also in the process of informing all of Ontario’s fishing resort operators, through the various tourism associations, that they can reassure their guests that the commercial fishing ban does not apply to sports or recreational fishing. As well, we have been in touch with all of the major media in the northern states of the US, informing them that Canadian law does distinguish between commercial and sports fishing and that sports fishermen are still welcome in Ontario.

I am quite certain that neither side in the commercial fishing dispute has any desire to obstruct the tourism business. Figures I have obtained from the Ministry of Natural Resources indicate that more than 627,000 non-resident angling licences were issued in Ontario, representing, I am assured, more than $110 million a year to the province.


I would like to conclude by repeating that the anglers are welcome to fish Ontario waters. There is no ban on sports fishing by Americans on the Great Lakes or on our inland waters. They are as always most welcome.


Mr. Mancini: Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of privilege. Recently all the members of the assembly received road maps, and I assume the government has also sent out these official road maps across the province as the official map of the province. After I had time to study this map, I was able to find out two of the most popular tourist resort areas in the riding of Essex South have been omitted.

First of all Fort Maiden museum, which has visitors in the thousands, has not been placed near the Amherstburg area, and also Bob-lo Island Amusement Park, which has visitors in the hundreds of thousands, has not been placed on the map. I would wish to bring this to the attention of the Legislature so that in next year’s official road map we can continue to encourage tourism in the area of Essex county.

Mr. Warner: Did it include your restaurant?

Mr. Lewis: Do you think it was deliberate?

Mr. Conway: How about the Frank Drea Parkway?

Hon. Mr. Davis: That’s an idea.



Mr. S. Smith: I would like to direct a question to the Minister of Energy who had originally told the House he would have a statement to make on the state of the heavy water plants under construction at Bruce and the situation regarding the surplus of heavy water, but I notice that no such statement has been forthcoming.

Will the minister answer a very simple question? Will he tell us whether there has ever been, to his knowledge, commissioned after the year 1974 an independent review of heavy water supplies and requirements by an agency external to Hydro?

Hon. Mr. Baetz: As I indicated last week to this House, I promised to make a full statement on heavy water this week. It was either going to be today or on Thursday. I will be making that statement on Thursday.

Mr. Riddell: Why did you choose Thursday?

Hon. Mr. Baetz: I will not answer questions on this subject until that time.


Mr. J. Reed: Oh, no.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: I will do so on Thursday.

Mr. S. Smith: Can the minister explain, by way of supplementary, why he is trying to duck what would seem to be a fairly straightforward question, which hardly requires an entire prepared statement by his staff and which simply asks whether, as recommended by the report to the minister by the Ontario Energy Board in August 1974, there has ever been commissioned an independent review of heavy water supplies and requirements by an agency external to Hydro? It requires a simple yes or no, or maybe the minister doesn’t know. It doesn’t require putting this off for a major statement on Thursday. This is a billion-dollar enterprise. The minister ought to know some of the basics about it and be able to tell us about it.

Mr. Yakabuski: Why doesn’t the Leader of the Opposition do his grandstanding on Thursday?

Hon. Mr. Baetz: I would like to assure the Leader of the Opposition and all members of this House that this is not a simple subject; it is a very complex subject.

Mr. J. Reed: Just say no.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: I will not answer until Thursday. I am making a statement on Thursday.

Mr. S. Smith: An answer to the question would be enough.

Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary: When the minister makes his statement on Thursday, would he be kind enough to inform the House why Ontario Hydro has been blocked out of export markets for heavy water produced in this province, and why Ontario Hydro’s own reports are now talking about the possibilities of deferral of projects? Have those decisions been already taken or will they be announced on Thursday?

Hon. Mr. Baetz: That is one aspect of the subject that will be contained in the statement.

Mr. S. Smith: I will try one final supplementary, although I can’t for the life of me see why the minister is afraid to answer such simple and direct questions.


An hon. member: He doesn’t know.

Mr. Havrot: Simple-minded questions.

Mr. S. Smith: Can the minister simply tell this House the first date upon which he personally was made aware of the potential surplus of heavy water in the province of Ontario? What is the first date on which he began to be aware of this?

Hon. Mr. Baetz: That is a very good question. I will answer on Thursday.

Mr. S. Smith: Really, you almost wish for the member for Prince Edward-Lennox (Mr. J. A. Taylor) back here again.

Hon. Mr. Davis: How about the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk (Mr. Nixon)?

Mr. Breithaupt: Where is the former minister when we need him?


Mr. S. Smith: A question for the Minister of Industry and Tourism: Is the minister aware that there are at least 71 large associations that have indicated, in one way or another, that they cannot hold their conventions in Metropolitan Toronto because of the lack of adequate facilities in Metro Toronto, namely a convention centre? Is he aware that these 71 associations collectively could represent an attendance of about half a million people and possibly a market potential of $153 million? Are those figures available to the minister?

An hon. member: Paul Godfrey was here.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: I am aware that there has been some difficulty in getting a number of large conventions to this community due to the lack of those appropriate facilities. I have had discussions with the Metropolitan Toronto representatives, the Metropolitan Toronto convention bureau, and at the present time there is a study going on as to the possible site for such a convention centre. There is some work being done as to the designing of a model of the type of building that would be required. But I completely agree with the Leader of the Opposition that one of the real failings in this area is an adequate convention centre and trade centre. There’s no question about that.

Mr. Lewis: Bring it right into Riverdale.

An hon. member: Scarborough would be nice.

Mr. S. Smith: Supplementary: Given the provincial tourism deficit somewhere, I guess, between half a billion and a billion dollars -- I’m not sure how it is being calculated at the moment -- what precisely is this government prepared to offer and prepared to do to bring about the building of a convention centre in Metro Toronto, as soon as is conceivably possible, and to get on with something constructive in the way of not only creating jobs but reversing this very severe drain on our dollar?


Mr. Martel: You were the ones who wanted to cut the budget.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: The important thing, and I believe the honourable member would agree, would be first of all, to determine the best site for such a convention centre. That would be determined by the local people, of course. Secondly, it would be to design or at least have a model of the type of building and facility required.

Then I think it would be most prudent of us to determine what the overall cost of that facility would be. From there we can get into discussions as to how that particular facility would be financed. But we are working on that with the levels of government locally that would be involved.

Mr. Deans: Supplementary: In making your determinations and evaluating both the need and the appropriateness of building a convention centre in Toronto, will you take into account that you are presently involved in one way or another in the development of such a facility in Hamilton, and the problem that may well flow from having two large trade and convention centres located within 50 miles of each other?

Mr. McClellan: We don’t need two.

Mr. S. Smith: They are different.

Mr. Deans: And whether or not we might be able to do something to bring the two together --

Mr. McClellan: One is enough.

Mr. Deans: -- in order to create some kind of development that will be satisfactory and appropriate for the entire area?

Hon. Mr. Davis: We will build it in Bronte. We will build it in the Bronte park.

Mr. Martel: You announced that a number of years ago.

Hon. Mr. Davis: That was not a convention centre.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: I am not going to quarrel with the honourable member that perhaps there is a need for some kind of convention centre in the city of Hamilton. However, I would suggest --

Mr. Deans: It is being done. It is now being done.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: I am not quarrelling with the fact that it’s required.

Mr. Nixon: I thought the Minister of Government Services (Mr. Henderson) had promised this.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: But I think it is fair to say, if you look at the total scene, that the most logical place for a major convention and trade fair centre is Toronto.

Mr. Foulds: Why not Minaki Lodge?

Mr. Deans: “The most logical place for everything is Toronto” -- that is nonsense.

Mr. Lewis: What about Burlington? Half way.

Hon. Mr. Norton: Kingston has a cleaner harbour than Hamilton.

Mr. Nixon: Give it to Sault Ste. Marie or Sudbury.

Mr. Foulds: Float it on the water there.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Foulds: Gogama. Can you move Minaki to Burlington?

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: The necessary facilities such as support motels and other very necessary facilities to properly host a large convention of the type that we are talking about are obviously here in Metropolitan Toronto.

Mr. Deans: Just keep building in Toronto -- everything. That is a good idea.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: I think that is the area we have to work on. To have a convention centre in Hamilton would be a good idea and I would point out to the honourable member --

Mr. Lewis: Diversify around the province for heaven’s sake. Leave Toronto alone.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: -- that some of the unions have indicated to us this is where we should be putting it.

Mr. Martel: I thought you wanted to put it in Minaki, John.

Mr. Eakins: Supplementary: Is the minister aware that approximately 10 per cent of the membership of these international associations’ conventions is made up of Canadians, and is he aware of the incentive which already exists to assist him in bringing these conventions to Ontario?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: I’m sorry, Mr. Speaker, I don’t think I understand the question. Am I aware of incentives to bring conventions to this area? I didn’t understand the question.

Mr. Eakins: Mr. Speaker, 10 per cent of many of these international associations are made up of Canadian membership. I was just wondering whether the minister is aware of the incentive to assist him to bring them here to the province of Ontario?

Mr. S. Smith: That in itself is an incentive.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: There’s no question that there are all sorts of incentives for the people who are involved in these associations and they are working very hard to bring these conventions to Ontario. There is no question at all that we want to work with them and to co-operate to the best of our ability. I think the member will agree that there has been a long discussion about the need for a large convention centre here in this area. Everyone agrees that there is a need for it and now we’re in the first stages of getting everyone together.

There is a committee, under the chairmanship of Alderman Smith from Toronto, which is working very hard on developing the necessary design and the criteria for what sort of facility will be needed. I think we’re making some progress. It’s been a long time coming but it looks like everybody has got his act together.


Mr. Cassidy: I want to ask a question of the Minister of Colleges and Universities regarding the piecemeal expansion of apprenticeship and training programs which he announced in the House today.

In view of the fact that more than 200,000 young people will be entering the labour force during 1978, can the minister say how many additional apprentice training places will be made available as a result of the programs that have been announced in piecemeal fashion today? What is the amount of the additional provincial contribution, if any, which will be made in this area?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: There are many questions in that one, Mr. Speaker. First of all, the number of positions that we will have will depend to a very marked degree on the type of programs that the community committees will establish. We have $8 million and, as I said in my statement, these are indeed funds from the federal government that will be applied to this program. I think it matters nought where those dollars come from, it’s the kind of commitment that we’ve been able to negotiate with the federal government to go into that program. I think it’s a very substantial commitment for a first-year program.

Given that fact, I am very hopeful that it’s literally in the thousands. I can’t say the precise number, but I also draw the honourable member’s attention, not only is it important how many we train, but as the training exercises come to their fulfilment, it will be the spinoff that’s so important in those production jobs that are entirely dependent, in my mind, upon having the expertise to compete in the international markets. With this kind of training program, I think we’ll be in a far more competitive position to compete in the market and, therefore, many thousands of production jobs will result because of it.

Mr. Cassidy: A supplementary: If I can try and pin the minister down to some more specific figures, can the minister say how many apprenticeship places the ministry hopes to see created in private industry through the program of encouragement of voluntary provision of training places which his offices are now undertaking? How many apprenticeship places does he hope will be created in industry by that particular means and will there be any provincial contribution in that area?


Hon. Mr. Parrott: Certainly there will be commitments. As I indicated in the statement, it is the responsibility of our ministry, as on ongoing project, to see that 5,000 employers that we intend to interview in the foreseeable future. How many of those 5,000 will then become involved in the apprenticeship training program is extremely difficult to say. The very fact that we’re going out and promoting on a very direct basis to 5,000 employers, many of whom have never been involved before, should result in many thousands of training positions; but I remind the honourable member that it will depend entirely upon the co-operation of the trade union movement, of management, and of the educational people within the community. Therefore we are establishing the climate and I think a sufficient commitment to make that climate so favourable that literally thousands of jobs will result -- thousands of positions, I should say, will result.

Mr. Sweeney: Given that the minister’s description of the employer-sponsored training part of this program highlights the locally defined community needs, how is he going to assure himself and the students who engage in this program their training will not be so narrow they will in fact have no mobility within the profession or within the trade?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: In the concept we have put forward today to ensure there is portability, the training costs for which we will provide aid to the employer will be based on the portability of the skills that the students will learn; not on skills they learn that are relevant to the employer only but on the portability of those skills. So we are not going to subsidize an industry; it is not on the basis of a subsidy to an industry, no; we are going to assist financially with the training that will go on in the industry, provided the skills which the employee, the trainee, has acquired are portable. Therefore, we think we can assist the employer in those costs and ensure at the same time that the trainee is not locked in and of benefit only to that one company.

We will maintain the normal standards of certification; that is taken as granted, I guess, because the trainee at the end of his or her program will be required to pass all of the normal tests. We have not only built in portability of training but we are building in some of the other concepts of modular training, and so on, that will advance the training program but not lose any of the qualities we already have in the system.

Mr. Cooke: Mr. Speaker, a supplementary to the minister: I would like to ask him with respect to one sentence on page five of his statement where he says: “Future developmental activity may be directed to other trade areas such as the hotel and restaurant industry.” I am wondering if the minister has now changed his position, since he stated in estimates that he felt this type of training should remain in the community college system. Is he now supporting the Ministry of Industry and Tourism’s position that a separate institute should be developed? Could he clarify that for us please?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I really can’t believe that the member could read those kind of inferences into that statement. I don’t think there’s any doubt that officials of the Ministry of Industry and Tourism and myself speak with a united voice on the need for training in this area. I believe it can be done in the systems by all colleges and universities, and in the apprenticeship program; there’s no doubt about that. I believe that the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Rhodes) will accept the basic fact that we need more emphasis on these trades related to the hotel industry. We don’t really care who does it as long as the job gets done.

Mr. B. Newman: A supplementary of the minister, Mr. Speaker: Will the minister provide financial assistance to those corporations and companies which out of the goodness of their own hearts have implemented apprenticeship programs and now see him giving financial aid to new programs, whereas they have been carrying on programs for quite some time at their own expense?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Yes. I would want to say to the member, however, that it depends entirely upon the portability of those skills; that’s a very important factor. Secondly, it will depend upon the local committee we are establishing in various areas to ascertain those costs and to approve those firms. We want it to be based locally, but if a firm has been active in the apprenticeship program, we want to encourage them to do more.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, given the fact that judging by this announcement only a few thousand apprenticeship positions may be created from the ministry with this program, given that there is no clear indication of any provincial commitment in terms of funding to this program, and given the fact that Ontario now has a $5 billion trade deficit in our manufactured trade with other parts of the world; does the minister feel this is an adequate response to the shortage of skills in Ontario’s industry?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I can’t for the life of me understand why the leader of the third party doesn’t accept that an $8 million commitment is a sizeable commitment in the first year of any program.

Mr. Cassidy: Those are federal funds.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I think it matters not to the taxpayers of this province whether those funds are supplied by the federal government, the provincial government or the local government. They are tax dollars that are going into a program.

Mr. Breaugh: I think they might have a comment or two.

Mr. Laughren: Where is your commitment?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Our commitment is in the personnel who will administer this program, and that has taken a good deal of time and effort. I have never said, ever, that there wasn’t a very large financial dollar going into this program from the federal government. Indeed, that’s fair enough, because there aren’t many federal dollars going into our university and college systems. Why are we hung up on where the money comes from? It’s the commitment. In reply to the member’s direct question -- do I think this initiative will prove successful in the long run? -- yes. We have started down a road today that will lead to a very successful program in apprenticeship training.

We haven’t got all of the pieces in place today, nor should we. We are asking the local communities to get behind this concept when there are funds available and to make it a success in those communities. I am convinced they will.


Mr. Cassidy: I have a question of the Minister of Housing. Can the minister indicate whether the government has signed, or is about to sign, a master agreement with the federal government on the new federal housing program package? If he has, will he table a copy of the agreement; and if not, will the minister be pressing for changes in the proposed program when the Housing ministers meet on June 14?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: We have not signed a master agreement with the federal government at this point. As I have said to the House on two or three occasion, we have some very great differences of opinion with the federal government on the proposals they have put forward at this time. As the Minister of Housing for the province of Ontario I invited my colleagues from the other nine provinces, including the federal minister, to meet with us here next Monday and Tuesday to discuss the housing problems the federal minister has brought forward, and also the community service package he has proposed. I would hope that by next Tuesday or Wednesday we shall have some conclusive positions, federally and provincially, in regard to the overall program proposed by the federal government.

Mr. Wildman: Where did you get that tie?

Mr. Mackenzie: You didn’t buy that in Canada.

Mr. Warner: Does that thing glow in the dark?

Mr. Bounsall: He’s killing our tourism with that tie.

Mr. M. N. Davison: Have you bought a new jacket, Claude?

Mr. Foulds: The Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. W. Newman) needs one like that.

Hon. Mr. Bennett: Let me tell members it’s made in Canada; that’s better than most of them do. I wanted to be half-way between the Liberals and the rest of the members, with a little bit of polka dot now and again.

Mr. Cassidy: Given the lack of consultation over the new federal program, and given the considerable opposition which has emerged from co-operative and non-profit housing and from the financial institutions, and most recently from the Municipal Liaison Committee here in Ontario, will the minister undertake to push for a delay in implementation of the new federal housing package at least until the end of the year in order that these very serious objections can be both discussed and responded to?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: Since they announced these new programs February 1, our position to the federal government, put very clearly, has been that they should not be implemented in this particular calendar year, that there should be a period of time for the provincial governments and the local governments to find out exactly what it happens to relate to.

As far as deferment of the program is concerned, I understand from Mr. Ouellet that there will be a period of time before he brings on the new programs.

I am aware of the fact that financial institutions across Canada have had some very strong words in relation to the federal government’s proposals. Indeed, at the mayors’ and reeves’ conference in Edmonton this week, there were some resolutions yesterday afternoon which strongly indicated to the ministers of housing and the ministers of municipal affairs in the 10 provinces that we should not proceed at this time to accept any of the proposals of the federal government until we have a program and a policy that will help the non-profits, the co-ops and the other housing developments in the various provinces.

That is the position that Ontario has taken since last January when the proposals first became known to us. We put that position very strongly on February 1 when the federal minister was present with us. I can tell members of this House that we continue to take that position. We are not prepared to accept what the federal government has proposed at this time because we do not think it’s in the general best interests of the taxpayers of Canada, and more specifically the taxpayers of Ontario.

We do not think it’s going to afford us the opportunity of putting up portable housing in position in this province. Obviously, if the program is not designed and retailored to meet the conditions of this province, indeed the conditions of the other nine provinces, it is really not going to satisfy what we believe are two important needs: housing and employment.

Mr. Dukszta: Is the minister aware of the fact that if the current program ends on July 1, as planned, 811 housing units, valued at $33.6 million will not be built in Toronto alone? If, in spite of all the government efforts, the federal government persists in its intention to terminate existing programs in July 1, is the minister prepared to introduce an Ontario program to replace the old federal program so that the federal Liberal government can be prevented from destroying co-operative and non-profit housing in the province?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: As I’ve already said to the leader of the third party, it’s been our intention to try to get the period of time extended to allow us to implement some of the newly designed programs with the federal government programs, that meet our requirements over a longer period of time.

As to the second part of the question; no, it is not my intention to suggest that Ontario pick up the slack created by the federal government. The federal government does an excellent job --

Mr. Warner: You’ll do nothing.


Hon. Mr. Bennett: The federal government does an excellent job of implementing programs and sticking with them for a year or two and then dropping them and saying it’s now the province’s responsibility. Let me assure this House that we do not intend to take up the slack, for the simple reason that we do not have the financial capacity with which to do it.

Mr. Foulds: So you won’t create affordable housing.

Mr. Warner: You just turn it over to the municipalities.

Mr. Cassidy: That’s the real Claude Bennett speaking.

Mrs. Campbell: What are you doing now?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: A lot more than your federal colleagues


Hon. Mr. Norton: I have a response to the question raised on May 29 by the member for Bellwoods (Mr. McClellan), concerning the numbers of recipients of family benefits and general welfare assistance who are also injured workers in receipt of partial pensions from the Workmen’s Compensation Board.

I’d like to answer by saying that there are about 1,307 family benefits recipients who are also in receipt of partial pensions from the Workmen’s Compensation Board. Of those, about 614 are categorized as GAINS-D recipients. The amount of the allowance payments per month is approximately $289,482, based on our most recently available information.

Mr. Laughren: That’s a disgrace, do you know that? You should resign.

Hon. Mr. Norton: As far as general welfare assistance is concerned there are approximately 530 cases where recipients are also in receipt of payment from the Workmen’s Compensation Board. The allowance for these cases is approximately $78,906 per month.

Mr. Martel: Why doesn’t industry pick up its bill?

Mr. McClellan: Aside from the, I must say surprising and shocking extent of the number of --

Mr. Speaker: Question.

Mr. McClellan: -- injured workers on workmen’s compensation, does the minister not agree that the amount of money that is being paid through your social assistance programs to injured workers who are in receipt of permanent partial disability represents a subsidy out of the general revenue of this province to employers in order to repress the level of their industrial assessment? Does he not agree that subsidy is inappropriate and that the way to pay for injured workers’ pensions ought to be through adequate pensions financed out of adequate industrial assessments though the Workmen’s Compensation Board and not though general revenue?

Hon. Mr. Norton: I would like to say, no. I do wish the honourable member opposite would learn not to ask me those questions which he prefaces with “don’t you agree?” He should anticipate the answer. What I do not know from the data I have available --

Mr. di Santo: The Minister of Labour (B. Stephenson) is responsible.

Hon. Mr. Norton: -- is the specific nature of the injury the individual had received --

Mr. Mackenzie: Why should that matter?

Mr. Laughren: Why don’t you stand up to the Minister of Labour sometimes?


Hon. Mr. Norton: -- that had caused him to be in receipt of some payment from the Workmen’s Compensation Board. I do not know the individual degrees of disability, I do not know to what extent the injury received in the work place --

Mr. McClellan: It’s assessed by the board.

Hon. Mr. Norton: -- was or was not a contributing factor to the fact that the individual is now in receipt of benefits under legislation administered by my ministry.

Mr. McClellan: Will the minister find out?

Hon. Mr. Norton: Yes, I could, but I want to explain to the member what would be necessary. In order to try to obtain that information, I have been advised would require 12 monthly printouts on the computer at a cost of $250 per printout; and that to acquire the more detailed information -- and that would only apply to our family benefits legislation not general welfare assistance -- would cost an additional $3,000. If the member wished me to pursue that I shall, but I would still not have all of the information he requests.

Mr. McClellan: You are paying $350,000 a month in social assistance.

Hon. Mr. Norton: In order to get the information with respect to general welfare assistance, since the data we receive on general welfare assistance comes from the municipalities, I’m advised it would take approximately two months for us to be able to get that information.


Mr. Conway: My question is to the Premier. Following upon what some of us considered to be a very significant debate in this House last Thursday on Bill 89, and considering the Premier’s statesman-like intervention in that debate, can he guarantee at this point or give us a commitment on behalf of the government that the first report of the Advisory Committee on Confederation will be brought before this Legislature before the adjournment, which is expected later in June, for a full legislative debate, such as was discussed and generally supported by him in this House on May 12, since many of the issues that are raised in that report are of rather immediate and widespread public interest?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I think I indicated when I suggested there should be some discussion here that there was also merit in having this discussion when the second part of the report which deals with distribution of powers is available. I am hopeful that that part of the report will be available some time during the summer,

The honourable member really might be a little more direct and suggest that there is a recommendation in that report which perhaps he would like to see debated again in this House. I have no objection to that: I would only suggest, with respect again, that the bulk of the advisory committee’s report does relate to the question of constitutional reform or constitutional change. While an initial discussion on that could be helpful, I think when it gets down to it, a lot of what is recommended in the report will of necessity, in terms of both its acceptability or otherwise by other provinces and whatever interest there may be on the part of the government of Canada, and certainly I would think in terms of the interests of the people with federalist leanings in the province of Quebec, involve the question of distribution of powers, which is very fundamental.

While I’m not reluctant to have a discussion, I’m just trying to be as constructive as I can and suggest that the second part of the report is necessary for a really meaningful discussion on constitutional change, which is one of the basic considerations in that report.

Mr. Conway: Supplementary: Since the report has been circulated, as he indicated earlier in May to other Premiers -- in fact I think his statement indicated to all Premiers -- for the Regina meeting in August, and since it’s going to be referred to the special committee meeting at Glendon College, I believe in late June, would the Premier not agree that it perhaps would be useful to take that first report and have it discussed in this Legislature? Would he not agree that perhaps sometime in the very near future it is important for the Premier of this province to state, in this Legislature, the position of his government on these matters of vital public interest and concern? Would he not at this point in time --

Mr. Speaker: The question has been asked.

Mr. Conway: -- assure the Legislature that he’s prepared to do this before the House adjourns in late June?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I have already stated in this House my position in terms of general principle. That position has been and continues to be that on the “third option” that most people are talking about in terms of the basic issue facing this country, Ontario has taken the position and will continue to take it that we are prepared to see some change in our constitution, some greater measure of flexibility, some recognition of diversity of this country; although I restate, so that there is no misunderstanding in the minds of any members in the House, that we believe there is a very real role for a strong federal government in some of the very crucial areas. I don’t want anything I say to ever detract from that philosophy.

I would also point out that once again we could debate in this House the concept of the House of the Provinces, we can discuss the question of appointments to the Supreme Court, and many of those other things. If the member for Niagara Falls (Mr. Kerrio) is looking for an appointment to the House of the Provinces, I think that we could do worse.

Mr. Deans: Not much.

Hon. Mr. Davis: We might also do better.

Mr. Speaker: Order. That has nothing to do with the question.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I am just saying that while a lot of those issues are important I think most people discussing the issues facing Canada really want to see the suggestions on distribution. I say that having dealt in this area for so many years; I think that is really quite crucial to the discussion, particularly as it relates to the federalists in the province of Quebec where distribution has been, and I think continues to be, a matter of some concern.

I am only suggesting that I am not reluctant to have a debate but I would like to see that aspect of the report available to us. I think it is going to be difficult to discuss some of the other issues without knowing what the recommendations are on distribution.

Mr. MacDonald: Supplementary: With reference to the Premier’s suggestion that we might postpone the debate until we have the second report from the Ontario Confederation committee on the redistribution of power, how does the Premier reconcile that with the statement on the redistribution of powers that was made to Premier Levesque some weeks ago by Joe Clark, on behalf of all existing Conservative provincial Premiers? Could we not at least have the benefit of that interim position that Joe Clark presented on their behalf with regard to the redistribution of powers?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I think I could get that position for the honourable member if he would like it. My recollection of that position is that it really was stated very clearly after a meeting of the Premiers with our national leader in the great city of Kingston and formed part of that communique. I am only going by memory, but it stated in general terms the need for much closer co-operation and consultation as between the federal government and the governments of the provinces. I don’t think it got into, as I recall it, specific suggestions as to distribution, but I will dig up that communique and give it to the honourable member so that he will be familiar with what I know of it at least, which I think formed the basis of whatever conversation Mr. Clark had with Mr. Levesque.

Mr. Foulds: You are not only a skater, Bill, you are a master of blimpery.


Mr. Martel: I have a question for the Minister of Labour which is really a follow-up on the question I put to her yesterday.

Despite the statement by Mr. Susil of her department, pertaining to the case involving Mrs. Duhaime, which says that charges against D. Brickett are being considered, did, in fact, Susil recommend to the ministry that charges not be laid against this official of Inco for a violation of the Employees’ Health and Safety Act? If so, what bearing on this decision not to have charges laid against Inco is due to the fact that Susil was a former member of the International Nickel Company staff?

Hon. B. Stephenson: As I suggested to the member for Sudbury East yesterday, I would be very pleased to amass all of the information related to this specific incident and I shall present it to the House as soon as it is available to me. The staff is already working on gathering all of the information which is available. I shall be pleased to do so.

Mr. McClellan: In November? December?

Mr. Martel: Supplementary: Is the same Mr. Brickett of International Nickel Company now involved in a second violation against the health and safety act as it was passed by this Legislature some 18 months ago?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, that will be ascertained and will be a part of the report.


Mr. Kerrio: I have a question of the Minister of Culture and Recreation. He is here, Mr. Speaker; he just has to get to his place.

Mr. Conway: He only answers to Deputy Premier, the member for Chatham-Kent (Mr. McKeough) notwithstanding.

Mr. Speaker: He doesn’t have to hear from his own seat, just answer from it.

Mr. Kerrio: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Now that a Metro committee has recommended that the provincial government take over the Toronto zoo and the central public reference library --

Hon. Mr. Davis: And a convention centre. What else is on the list?

Mr. Kerrio: -- and excluding the possibility that the zoo might be included in the Speaker’s responsibility, what is the likelihood of such a takeover?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Not very.

Mr. Kerrio: Supplementary: The first part of my question was, is the minister aware of the fact that a Metro committee has recommended the provincial government take over these two quite large responsibilities?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Yes.


Mr. Wildman: In the absence of the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) I would like to place a question to the Premier. Is the Premier aware of a review conducted by the Royal Bank of Canada of the performance of provincial economies in Canada since 1970? If he is aware of that study, could he comment on its finding that Ontario has had the lowest growth in gross provincial product per capita in this country -- lower than any other province?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I don’t read all of the material from any of the banks. I am intrigued that the honourable member is reading that much material from the bank.

Mr. Makarchuk: Do it all the time.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Perhaps it is a hopeful sign that at least he is listening to others more than traditionally is the case.

Mr. Samis: Answer the question.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I would be delighted to get some further information for the honourable member as it relates to the growth of the provincial product on a per capita basis. I think it is fair to state, and the Treasurer has pointed this out, that we have had slower growth in the past two or three years than we would have liked, but then, of course, we have started from a somewhat different base than some of our sister provinces.

While I haven’t read that particular article from the Royal Bank, nor would I debate it here in the House until I have read it, I can only state once again what the Treasurer said, that our own anticipated growth this year is somewhat higher than the national average. I think the figures indicate that the economy is improving; I won’t say it is because of the enlightened programs of this government, but nonetheless the government has --

Mr. Martel: There aren’t any programs.

Hon. Mr. Davis: The members opposite don’t agree with that?

Mr. Warner: No.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I would say to the member for Sudbury East --

Mr. Speaker: You don’t have to.

Mr. Foulds: Just answer the question.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- he is wearing two hats again.

I would say to the honourable member that I will get some material, or alert the Treasurer and discuss that particular Royal Bank article with him here in the House. As I say, I am encouraged that at least he is reading some other sides of the coin on occasion.

Mr. Wildman: Supplementary: Since the Premier is encouraged by what he calls the enlightened programs of this government, is he also aware that Ontario stood sixth in growth in expenditures on new machinery and equipment, only ahead of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland in this country since 1970?

Mr. Breaugh: We’re struggling for parity with Newfoundland again!

Hon. Mr. Davis: Once again I will not comment on the particulars of the Royal Bank --

Mr. Makarchuk: Obviously the Tories don’t know how to run the province.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I understand that the members opposite would have that point of view. The fact remains that in almost every respect, with the possible exception of Alberta, the economy of this province is relatively healthy.

Mr. Wildman: Saskatchewan is first, by the way.

Hon. Mr. Davis: It is amazing that of the numbers of new people still coming to this country, the majority decide that Ontario is the place they would like to live and do business --

Mr. Warner: Yes, they haven’t heard about you.

Mr. Swart: A number are moving west.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- and that is true of most investment that comes into this country at the moment, with the exception of Alberta, which has a certain natural resource that we haven’t available to us here, unfortunately.


Mr. Peterson: To the Premier: As his previous answer pointed out, the growth of gross provincial product has been below the national average, but is he aware that our compounded annual accumulation of debt has been higher, in fact, than in the growth of gross provincial product? In fact, we are going into debt at a far higher rate than we are generating wealth? Is the Premier aware of that and what is his reaction to that?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I think it is on a comparative basis once again, and I think the member will find that is not factually correct compared to other jurisdictions. I think in terms of the debt of the province, that is one reason the Treasurer has embarked upon a policy of restraint, which the members opposite support when it suits them and object to when it doesn’t, which is politics, which we all totally understand.

Mr. Nixon: The Premier has never changed his thoughts on restraint, has he?

Hon. Mr. Davis: No, I haven’t changed my thoughts on restraint, I am just saying --

Mr. Nixon: How did we get the deficits we have?


Hon. Mr. Davis: -- you people support restraint one day; but if there is going to be a new Hydro plant --

An hon. member: Sensible restraint.

Mr. Breithaupt: That’s a billion and a half dollars.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- in your riding you support it the next day. I understand the polities of that, but I would say to the member that while he may be negative about the economic prospects of this province, I am not, I have total confidence in our ability to deal with these issues.

Mr. S. Smith: You take credit for what is good, eh?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I would only say that my confidence is shared by his father-in-law, who feels the same way.

Mr. Peterson: You know, Mr. Speaker, he is always dragging in my recalcitrant father-in-law -- a Tory -- and I am embarrassed about it --

Hon. Mr. Davis: The member should never be embarrassed by his father-in-law.


Mr. Epp: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Premier. He has been up so much today, I thought I might as well ask him another question. This has to do with property tax reform.

In view of the fact there has been a lot of discussion on property tax reform and market value assessment in the last 10 or 12 years, and fairly intensively the last few months; and given the fact that there are a lot of citizens in the province who are concerned with this matter, and that the cabinet has discussed it on at least two occasions the last month, will the Premier share with this House his thoughts with regard to whether this legislation will be introduced this session; and if so when?

Hon. Mr. Davis: To say that it has been discussed by cabinet on two occasions recently, while not disclosing what goes on in cabinet, is perhaps an understatement. Since I have been in cabinet it has been discussed with some degree of regularity, and I must say to the members that it is still a rather complex issue. I would only say to the member that we are grappling with this difficult issue and when there is a statement of policy to be made we will share it with the member and other members of the House.

Mr. Swart: Supplementary: When the property tax reform is brought before this House will there also be reform in the property tax credit and in the grant program, so that those citizens, some of whom are inevitably going to have an increase in their taxes, will get a greater credit that will mitigate the blow to them?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I think that I really answered that question for the member for Waterloo North (Mr. Epp) when I said that when we have something to say on this particular complicated matter, I or the Treasurer would share it with all members of the House.

Mr. Laughren: In the fullness of time; we know.

Mr. Speaker: The member for Windsor-Riverside, with a new question.

Mr. Cooke: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: A new question. The member for Sarnia.

Mr. Blundy: Mr. Speaker, I have a supplementary question of the Premier, regarding the matter raised by my colleague from Waterloo North. As the Premier knows, the municipalities of Ontario would like to know as quickly as possible, because in the fall they will have to start preparing as far as the assessment department, the tax department and so forth are concerned if they are to be able to take any advantage of these things --

Mr. Speaker: Is that a question?

Mr. Blundy: Is the Premier going to let us know in time to take advantage of any reforms for the taxation year 1979?

Mr. Cooke: That is a supplementary?

Mr. Speaker: Order. The Premier had already indicated that he had nothing further to add.

A new question from the member for Port Arthur.


Mr. Foulds: I have a question of the Solicitor General. Can the Solicitor General indicate to me why he and his ministry support the board of police commissioners of the city of Thunder Bay in its decision not to release publicly the study of the Thunder Bay police department, when the minister had said in his letter to me, dated April 10: “Let me assure you that there is no suggestion in the report of any wrongdoing or corruption by any member of the force. However, certain changes in procedures are recommended which, if released to the public, could lead to the false impression that certain members were not able to perform their duties properly. Because of this possible position, the ministry supports the local board’s decision not to release the document”?

Mr. Speaker: Question.

Mr. Foulds: Could the minister not simply release the document pointing out and clarifying that position?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: This was in the hands of the local police commission. We have no reason to overrule or dictate to the police commission in the handling of that report. Basically, it’s an internal report. It wasn’t the result of any particular allegation or claim or anything of that nature. It was an internal report for the use of the board and of the force. The board has its particular reasons as to why it doesn’t want to make the report public, and I have no reason to disagree with that.

Mr. Foulds: Supplementary: Would the minister not agree that in general principle it is better to release such reports publicly, because keeping them secret simply breeds suspicion amongst the local populace? Would it not be better for the morale of the force, if what the minister said in his letter to me is true, to release it publicly? Would he not encourage the local board of police commissioners to do that?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: I can follow that up with the local board. What I don’t want to do is discourage inquiries of that nature. When there are any problems, whether of morale or otherwise, within a force, it is better to have this type of inquiry and this type of conclusion and report. Then the commission has an opportunity to implement certain recommendations of the report. However, I don’t mind following up again with the chairman of that police commission to see what particular areas of the report he feels are sensitive.


Mr. Riddell: I have a question of the Minister of Agriculture and Food. Would the minister comment on the meeting he had with his federal counterpart yesterday regarding a possible solution to the rather serious problem being faced by the cheese factories in Ontario?

Hon. W. Newman: Yes. I’m sorry we were unable to take the member down but we had a full plane.

An hon. member: Get a bigger plane.

Mr. Warner: Listen to that Tory mismanagement.

Hon. W. Newman: I would like to point out that under the national supply management system in Canada so many million hundredweights of milk are allowed to the province of Ontario.

We went down to Ottawa to meet Mr. Whelan and the Canadian Dairy Commission to point out that we were encouraged for the last number of years to produce more specialty cheese in this province so that we could replace the imports that are coming into this country. We have fulfilled our obligation and that responsibility. We have increased the amount of milk used for specialty cheese by some 60 per cent over the last five years. As a result, it has left the industrial milk market for Canadian Cheddar cheese short by approximately 28 per cent of the quota allocations they need.

Yesterday we went down to present to Mr. Whelan and his counterparts suggestions as to how he could give us additional quotas here in the province of Ontario in order that we can fulfil our obligations to produce the cheese and keep a total dairy industry in this province. We had several suggestions for him. We made a suggestion that we should get a credit for interprovincial export of MSQ or industrial milk from the province of Ontario to other provinces. That would amount to about 39 million pounds of milk.

We also suggested we should have a credit of about 228 million pounds of milk that is exported as dairy products from the province of Ontario outside of Canada, which would not hurt the national supply management program.

We made several other suggestions. One very important one was that we were prepared to discuss with Ottawa its surplus removal program for powder and for butter. We were prepared to say to him, “we will take care of our own surplus here in the province of Ontario if you reduce the in-quota levy, which will not upset the national supply management situation across Canada, in return for adequate milk to produce the cheese we need.” We had several other requests for MSQ, especially for specialty cheese, in order that we could do the necessary research, and we have export markets for that cheese if we can get the MSQ.

I conveyed to the minister in Ottawa that we were at a very critical point in the province of Ontario and this had to be rectified immediately. He has asked me to send him more details. I think he is now aware of the problem and the critical nature of the situation here in the province of Ontario.

Mr. Riddell: Supplementary: What was Mr. Whelan’s reaction to the suggestions the minister made; and furthermore, what are the minister’s reactions to Mr. Whelan’s suggestion that we take some of the milk going into the butter industry and put it into the cheese industry here in Ontario?

Hon. W. Newman: It’s very obvious that in the province of Ontario right now, any powder and butter that’s tendered to the Canadian Dairy Commission as surplus in the course of the year is bought back from the Canadian Dairy Commission; thus we in the province of Ontario do not contribute to the surplus of powder and butter in the province of Ontario. We need that powder and we need that butter in the province of Ontario.

The increase in butter production in the province of Ontario in the last quarter has been about six per cent. In one of the other provinces, it’s as high as 56 per cent, so maybe the Canadian Dairy Commission has some responsibility to tell the appropriate provinces they should be making more cheese instead of selling powder and butter.


Mr. Mackenzie: I have a question of the Minister of Labour. As a result of the lethal effects of asbestos on workers and the overwhelming evidence that after 15 to 35 years the effects start to show, the Health, Education and Welfare Secretary in the United States, Joseph Califano, had the US Surgeon General send a letter to all of the nation’s 400,000 doctors --

Mr. Speaker: Question.

Mr. Mackenzie: -- alerting them to the asbestos poisoning in their patients. Has the minister or the health and safety division of the ministry sent a similar letter to the doctors of the province of Ontario, or asked the Minister of Health (Mr. Timbrell) to do so; and have we also, as they have done, formulated a public information campaign directed at asbestos workers in this province?

Hon. B. Stephenson: We have most certainly developed an information campaign directed towards workers in industry in which asbestos is used. The information facts sheets are published and are updated with regularity and submitted to the trade unions and employers involved for publication or posting for workers in those areas.

In addition, the vehicle that is being used to inform the physicians of Ontario of the potential hazards in occupationally related health problems is the Ontario Medical Review. The medical director of the Workmen’s Compensation Board has been responsible for writing monthly articles in that review to inform the physicians of Ontario precisely of some of the problems they are facing and to stimulate them to consider the potential occupational relationship of certain of the illnesses they see in patients.

Mr. Mackenzie: Supplementary: Given that now is the time many of the workers that were involved in the defence industry would be showing the effects, does the minister not think a direct letter to all of the doctors, as was decided in the United States, would be better than just monthly reports in the Medical Review here?

Hon. B. Stephenson: They are not monthly reports. Indeed they are specific articles related to the problems which physicians see.

There has also been a great deal of publication within the Canadian Medical Association journal, which is read by 85 per cent of all the physicians in the province of Ontario. Indeed we are using all of the methods that are reasonable in terms of bringing the physicians up to date with the problems which their patients may potentially be facing. If there’s any possibility of using any other technique we will most seriously consider it.

We have also made available, or will be making available shortly to all physicians in Ontario, a booklet published by the occupational health and safety division which will alert physicians not only to the problems of asbestos but to all other kinds of occupationally related medical problems about which we are knowledgeable at the moment.



Mr. Van Horne: A question of the Minister of Education: In the light of application forms for ministry special education summer programs arriving late at many schools, certainly in the London district -- either late or right on the deadline date for submission -- can the minister tell us what selection criteria were used for accepting applicants; and on top of that how many applicants were turned down?

Hon. Mr. Wells: I will be happy to get that information for my friend.

Mr. Van Horne: Supplementary: The numbers that I heard on the weekend were very high and distressing to me. In light of the ministry’s stated priority for special education, I am wondering if any plans are being made right now to accommodate these many people who apparently will not be able to get on the summer program.

Hon. Mr. Wells: I will be happy to look into it and give the honourable member some information on it; then perhaps I can tell him whether or not any special accommodation is indicated or needs to be made.

Mr. Conway: Does the minister want to check with the Premier?

Mr. Speaker: The time for oral questions has expired.


Hon. Mr. Wells moved first reading of Bill 110, An Act to amend the Education Act, 1974.

Motion agreed to.

Hon. Mr. Wells: This bill basically contains a number of housekeeping amendments that are necessary because of the Municipal Elections Act, 1977. It needs to be passed before this House adjourns for the summer recess in order that the elections for school trustees can be conducted under that new act next November.


Hon. Mr. Wells moved first reading of Bill 111, An Act to amend the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto Amendment Act.

Motion agreed to.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Likewise, this bill contains several housekeeping amendments in order to bring this bill into conformity with the Municipal Elections Act, and also several other minor housekeeping amendments.


Hon. Mr. Welch: Before the orders of the day, I wish to table the answer to question 62 standing on the notice paper.


House in committee of the whole.


Consideration of Bill 86, An Act to amend the Coroners Act, 1972.

On section 1:

Mr. Foulds: I’d like the minister to explain what the substantial difference is between the previous subsection 3 and the present subsection 3. There has been a change in that with regard to notification, I guess it is, to the chief coroner. Can the minister indicate to me why he felt it necessary to bring in this particular change?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Is the honourable member talking about subsection 3 of section 1 of the bill?

Mr. Foulds: That’s right.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: It’s just a matter of the chief coroner being notified by the College of Physicians and Surgeons where the licence of a coroner for the practice of medicine is revoked, suspended or cancelled. This, then would affect the -- you’re not just trying to delay this thing a little bit, are you?

Mr. Foulds: No.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: That would have some bearing on whether or not the man would continue as a coroner.

Mr. Foulds: What I want to know, if I can, from the Solicitor General, is has it occurred in the past? How many times has it occurred in the past where a coroner has had his licence suspended and has continued to act as a coroner because the chief coroner had not been notified? Were there any instances of that, or is it simply a matter of cleaning up the act? What brought this to your attention that this particular change was necessary?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: I think that would tie in with the amendment to section 1(1)(b) dealing with the revocation, suspension, or cancellation of his licence for the practice of medicine. What we are doing here is enlarging this clause; this is new. The coroner would cease to hold office upon the suspension of his licence for the practice of medicine. Before, we only suspended. Now, he would no longer serve as a coroner upon the revocation, suspension, or cancellation of his licence under the Health Disciplines Act. We’re going a little further in dealing with his licence and we’re also adding the provision as to notice.

Mr. Foulds: If I understand you correctly, you are now irrevocably withholding his privilege to serve as a coroner even if he has only had a temporary suspension of his licence. In fact, you’re toughening up and making more stringent the standards for a medical practitioner to be a practising coroner. Is that correct?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: That’s right. You must remember when a professional man is suspended, whether he’s a lawyer or a doctor, the suspension comes after a very lengthy hearing by his peers, by a discipline committee -- for example, the Law Society of Upper Canada. This is what happens in professions that discipline themselves. Therefore, if he is not fit to practise medicine or law we feel he should not carry on as a coroner.

Mr. Foulds: Do you have handy the figures of how many coroners have been suspended in the past as a result of the suspension of their medical licence?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: I do not. That’s something you can ask me in estimates.

Mr. Foulds: Is that vote still open in your estimates? Fine. Thank you very much.

Section 1 agreed to.

On section 2:

Mr. Foulds: I have a question for the Solicitor General. Has it been the practice of the coroner not to get assistance from the Ontario Provincial Police in carrying out an investigation under the Coroners Act inasmuch as it is not under the usual definition of the term “a criminal proceeding”? In other words, does this expand through an amendment to the Coroners Act the responsibilities of the Ontario Provincial Police?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: As the marginal or explanatory note points out, at the present time the provision is that the “police force having jurisdiction in a municipality shall make available to the coroner the assistance of such police officers as are necessary ... ” What this does is just extend this to assistance from the Ontario Provincial Police as well.

Mr. Foulds: Does this mean the Ontario Provincial Police may be called in as well as the local police where there is a municipal or regional police force? Is there envisaged a sequential order of calling in the assistance or is it envisaged that the two police forces may be acting together concurrently in assisting the coroner with an investigation?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: I would think so. I don’t see any reason why both police forces couldn’t be involved. This isn’t a revised section. This is a new subsection, and for example, as the honourable member knows, the Ontario Provincial Police assist the municipal police from time to time in joint forces operations, such as criminal investigations, anti-racket squads and things of that nature. In a municipality that has its own force, and the chief coroner wants some assistance from the OPP, the new subsection would enable it to take place.

Mr. Foulds: I’d just like to bring to the Solicitor General’s attention that through one act where we wouldn’t normally look we have expanded the responsibilities and the duties of the Ontario Provincial Police. Presumably, their duties and responsibilities would normally be under the act governing that police force. Is there some way that a notation in that act can be made drawing attention to the clause in this act? It is one of those things that legislators and people interested in criminal matters might not be aware of. The Coroners Act isn’t normally considered in investigating criminal matters.

Obviously, it’s a valid use and a very commendable use of the provincial police. It would also, I think, lend credence and stature to the investigation the coroner’s office is carrying out. It’s just that it does seem to be an expansion of the responsibilities and it would be handy to have that notation in the act governing the police force and its responsibilities.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: I’m not quite sure what the honourable member is driving at. As I say, what we’re doing here is formalizing the existing practice. Any police force in a municipality shall assist the coroner in carrying out his duties. However, because of the extraordinary facilities of the OPP in the criminal investigation area, we felt it was important to have this set out in the statute; that in the event the OPP is required, either in place of or in conjunction with the local force, that revision should be included in the act.


It is my understanding that actually the coroner has been requesting the assistance of the criminal investigation branch in complex cases. It is really just a matter of placing that in the statutes and making it known to everybody.

Mr. Foulds: This would include the use of their laboratory facilities as well, I would imagine, which would be very useful in terms of the Coroners Act.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Yes.

Mr. Foulds: Thank you very much.

Mr. Chairman: Shall section 2 stand as part of the bill?

Section 2 agreed to.

On section 3:

Mr. Stong: I have an amendment to section 3(3). If there are any amendments prior to that, perhaps they could be brought forward, but I am prepared to proceed with this.

In its effort to make the Coroners Act and its legislation more understandable, the ministry has to be commended in bringing within the Coroners Act those situations where a coroner’s inquest would be mandatory. There is an effort to transfer from the Mining Act, I understand, a mandatory inquest in the event of an accident and a death arising from that accident which occurs during the course of employment in a mine.

The legislation as introduced by the ministry indicates a compulsory inquest will be held in the event of an accident resulting in death during the course of a person’s employment at a mine, not including a pit or quarry. The minister has to be commended for this move. However, I have one concern. This is the only occasion in the act where an inquest is mandatory during the course of one’s employment. Accidents resulting in death in pits or quarries should also be included. If we are going to concern ourselves with mandatory or compulsory inquests as a result of a person’s death during the course of his employment, we must not only include a mine, but also such other sites as excavations and construction sites.

I am offering an amendment to this section, Mr. Chairman. I drafted this amendment keeping in mind the concerns expressed on second reading by my colleague from St. George (Mrs. Campbell) about death in excavation sites; subway construction, for instance.

Mr. Chairman: Mr. Stong moves that subsection 3 of section 3 of the bill be struck out and the following substituted therefor:

(3) The said section 9 is amended by adding thereto the following subsection:

(4a) Where a worker dies as a result of an accident occurring in the course of his employment at or in a construction project or mine, including a pit or quarry, the person in charge of such project or mine shall immediately give notice of the death to a coroner and the coroner shall issue his warrant to hold an inquest upon the body.

Mr. Stong: Very briefly, this section encompasses all construction sites, including mines, pits and quarries. It does not include every place of employment but is limited to those areas where new and advanced techniques for carrying out construction work and construction safety is involved. Because of the advanced techniques in the construction industry, it would seem to me that we would benefit most as citizens of Ontario from an inquest that would be held and from any recommendations that would result therefrom in the event of a death in such a situation.

I would seek by my amendment to make such an inquest compulsory where there is a death arising out of the course of one’s employment in the construction industry, which would include a mine, a pit and a quarry.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: We would support that amendment.

Mr. Germa: The minister said he would support the amendment. I would like to go to one specific word in the amendment and in the legislation, that is, the word “mine.” There is no definition section in the Coroners Act. I presume that passage of this amendment to the Coroners Act would remove that section from the Mining Act which presently covers the situation.

Section 612 of chapter 274, RSO 1970, is the section which presently covers fatalities in mines. I would ask the minister to refer to the definition of what a mine means. I am afraid that the amendment is weak in that it doesn’t cover those other parts of a mining operation as defined. I would like to bring to the minister’s attention and the members of the House what the word “mine” means in the definition section of the Mining Act.

It says: “The noun ‘mine,’ except as defined in part IX, includes any opening or excavation in, or working of the ground for the purposes of winning, opening up or proving any mineral or mineral-bearing substance, and any ore body, mineral deposit, stratum, rock, earth, clay, sand or gravel, or place where mining is or may be carried on, and all ways, works, machinery, plant, buildings and premises below or above ground belonging to or used in connection with the mine, and also any quarry, excavation or opening of the ground made for the purpose of searching for or removal of mineral rock, stratum, earth, clay, sand or gravel and any roasting or smelting furnace, concentrator, mill, work or place used for or in connection with washing, crushing, sifting, reducing, leaching, roasting, smelting, refining, treating or research on any such substances.”

I am concerned that the word “mine” in the minister’s mind and in the Coroners Act is too narrow a definition when he says, “Where a worker dies as a result of an accident occurring in the course of his employment at or in a mine.” The “at or in a mine” is a very narrow definition of the whole mining complex. In fact, probably only 10 per cent of the work force in a mining complex is on the site of the mine as defined by the minister. The hole in the ground is a very narrow interpretation of a mine.

When I include, as the Mining Act does now, roasting, smelting, furnace, concentrator, mill for washing, crushing, sifting, reducing, leaching and all of those other activities that go on removed from the mine site, I think what we have to demand of the minister is that he adopt in the Coroners Act the present definition of “mine” as enunciated in the Mining Act. There is another definition in the Mining Act, and I am quoting: “The verb ‘mine’ and the word ‘mining,’ except as defined in part IX, include any mode or method of working whereby the earth or any rock, stratum, stone or mineral bearing substance may be disturbed, removed, washed, sifted, leached, roasted, smelted, refined, crushed or dealt with for the purpose of obtaining any mineral therefrom, whether it has been previously disturbed or not.”

I think the definition of “mine” is very important in this amendment, so that we do not lose those people who are presently covered under the Mining Act. I don’t want to charge the government with trying to dupe us, but I don’t see the definition of that word in the new act, and if we do remove it from the Mining Act then we have taken away from 90 per cent of the work force in the mining complex the protection they now have under the Mining Act.

Maybe if the minister can assure me that the definition of “mine” as enunciated in the Mining Act is what he terms it to be, then the amendment, in my mind, would be acceptable.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Mr. Chairman, the honourable member knows we mentioned in second reading that this provision is, in fact, being transposed from the Mining Act so that there would be a mandatory inquest in the event of an accidental death in a mine. It is my understanding that the coroner, in performing inquests, has been using the definition that is at present set out in part IX of the Mining Act in acting on these mandatory inquests.

Mr. Lupusella: Mr. Chairman, I would like to extend my apologies for being late while the bill was debated. I want to express the position of my party in relation to that particular section which deals with mines. I don’t think the position which has been taken by the government and the Liberal amendment are going far enough to encompass the whole situation which is taking place in relation to fatalities in the work place.

I move that section 3, subsection 4a be amended by deleting the words “at or in a mine” to “quarry” in lines two and three, after the word “employment” and before the word “manager” in line three, and the following substituted therefor: “in any work place including a mine, pit or quarry”; and at line four, the word “mine” be deleted and the words “work place” substituted therefor.

Mr. Chairman: I would remind the member that we have an amendment before the committee and I believe the amendment you are placing actually deals with the section now in the bill. I just don’t see this as an amendment to the amendment because of the word change in the previous amendment.

Mr. Lupusella: Mr. Chairman, if I can speak to that, I think the amendment introduced by the Liberal Party is not incorporating any work place besides the mine. My particular amendment is going further than that.

Mr. Stong: We say construction site, including mine, pit and quarry.

Hon. B. Stephenson: All you have to say is “in construction sites, mines, pits and quarries.” That’s all you really need.


Mr. Bounsall: Mr. Chairman, I wonder if I could enter the debate here. What happened was that the amendment presented by the member of the Liberal Party simply dealt with one very small sector, adding construction as well as pits and quarries; the amendment placed by my colleague from Dovercourt was a much broader amendment dealing with all work places.

Because of the nature of the amendment, and because the Chairman has had those amendments -- at least those proposed by the New Democratic Party -- for quite some time, looking at the contents of them, it would have been more appropriate to have placed the amendment moved by the member for Dovercourt first, because it dealt with the matter in a much broader way. We certainly would have hoped it would have carried. If it hadn’t, then the amendment moved by the Liberal member dealing with construction and pits and quarries would have been appropriate, which are also the ones I had ready to move plus the amendment in two other areas.

Having taken it in the order that you did, I would certainly hope that you would find an appropriate way to continue with an amendment which should be in this act, so that it would be required to have the jury involved in deaths which occur in all work places, which is the effect of the amendment moved by the member for Dovercourt.

Mr. Chairman: I would say to the honourable members of the committee that I recognized the first speaker who was on his feet in regard to section 3 and requested to speak to the section.

I appreciate the content of the member for Dovercourt’s amendment. However, we do have an amendment before the committee, and I just don’t see how the member for Dovercourt’s amendment amends the amendment. It amends the original section.

In the past, of course, we have voted on an amendment and then the committee agreed to go to another amendment. We could handle it that way.

Mr. Warner: That would seem fine. There is no problem.

Mr. Lupusella: That’s fine.

Mr. Chairman: In the past, I believe, the committee has handled it in that manner; however, if the member for Dovercourt wishes to review his amendment and change the wording to fit into the amendment already placed before the committee, the committee may be agreeable to that.

Mr. Foulds: Mr. Chairman, could I move that we stand down this clause while the members consider this matter and then return to it, say, after we’ve dealt with subsequent sections of the bill? Is that an agreeable procedure for the Chairman and for the minister and the members involved?

Mr. Chairman: I’m in the hands of the committee. If they so desire, would anyone care to speak to that point?

Mr. M. N. Davison: Mr. Chairman, I would suggest that it be stood down until we have completed dealing with all the sections up until section 11, and that before we proceed with section 11, which is the next section, I believe, on which there is an amendment, we come back to this one.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: That shouldn’t take long.

Mr. Chairman: Does the committee agree to stand down section 3?

Some hon. members: Agreed.

Mr. Chairman: All right. Section 3 will be stood down.

Sections 4 to 10, inclusive, agreed to.

On section 11:

Mr. Chairman: Mr. Stong moves that section 22 of the act, as set out in section 11 of the bill, be amended by adding thereto the following subsection:

“3. Notwithstanding subsections 1 and 2, where a person is charged with an offence under the Criminal Code of Canada arising out of the death, and the charge or any appeal from a conviction or an acquittal of the offence charged has been finally disposed of, or the time for making an appeal has expired, the coroner may issue his warrant for an inquest and the person charged is a compellable witness at the inquest.”

Mr. Stong: Very briefly, Mr. Chairman, this amendment to section 11 is simply an extension of the principle that is already contained in section 11 of the bill. Subsection 1 indicates that where a person is charged with a criminal offence, that person is not a compellable witness at the inquest and this naturally is a protection of such a person charged with a criminal offence, so he will not be in a position of having to incriminate himself or find himself a witness at an inquest, when he is facing charges arising out of the same set of circumstances which are to be heard in a criminal court.

However, my amendment would indicate that in the event that criminal charges have been dealt with through the criminal justice system, that person can then be required to give evidence. In other words, he becomes a compellable witness at any subsequent inquest, and cannot hide under the veil that is provided in the section now, of not being a compellable witness at an inquest.

For instance, I am thinking of the situation where a person may be charged with impaired driving, or in the operation of a Towmotor at a construction site, causing death. That person may have pleaded guilty to that offence before the criminal court, and then by virtue of having not exercised any rights to appeal, the inquest would not have been held yet and he could be a compellable witness at a subsequent inquest, provided that the criminal sanctions have been completed.

As the bill stands now, a person who has faced a charge under the Criminal Code is not a compellable witness. My amendment indicates that the criminal sanctions having been executed and exhausted, he becomes a compellable witness at a subsequent inquest.

Mr. Warner: I have a couple of questions about this because the section as put forward by the member for York Centre appears to be contradictory to subsection 1 above, but more than that -- maybe I misunderstood him -- it sounded as though he were saying that a person could then in effect end up testifying against himself, and as the member is well aware, and the Solicitor General certainly is aware, in this country it’s not very clear as to the rights the individual has in court with respect to testifying against himself. It’s clear in the United States where they have the fifth amendment, but here it’s not clear and there are circumstances under which a person has -- I guess the closest thing you could get to having the protection in terms of not testifying against yourself is in some federal cases.

It just isn’t a clear situation, and yet I think it’s safe to say it is an issue which quite a few people in our society are concerned about -- that individuals should not be compelled to testify against themselves. It’s a good safeguard for individuals in a democratic system, in that at some point the laws should be changed to reflect not identically what they have in the United States, but at least something that is similar, something parallel. What I would appreciate, before reaching any decision on this particular matter, is whether or not the member for York North could -- York Centre; sorry about that, they shift around from time to time --

Mr. Stong: Oh no, not for a while.

Mr. Warner: Oh, the member for York Centre is here. I wonder if he might clarify for me first of all his intent, and whether or not he sees that it is a difficulty and that it is not desirable to end up having a law whereby a person can testify against himself in a case. And, finally, could he clarify whether or not the subsection 3 which he proposes is in fact contradictory to subsection 1, in which case he might simply want to amend subsection 1?

Those are my questions. If it is in order, Mr. Chairman, perhaps the member for York Centre could respond.

Mr. Stong: Perhaps I could approach it this way. As the previous speaker, the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere, has indicated, there is an anomaly in our law in many respects. It is uncertain, in fact, in Canadian jurisprudence whether a person can be compelled even at a trial of a criminal nature to give evidence. The common law would seem to support that he is not a compellable witness.

In any event the Canada Evidence Act and the Ontario Evidence Act give a person protection by virtue of any evidence that he may give at any of those proceedings from subsequent criminal or civil action. So there is already protection afforded the witness under the Canada Evidence Act and Ontario’s Evidence Act that would protect anything a witness might say in a given hearing from any subsequent criminal or civil action.

As the section now reads, a person who finds himself in the midst of an inquest and is subsequently charged or stands charged with a criminal offence is not a compellable witness. But once the criminal charge has been exhausted and his route of appeal has been exhausted, then in the interest of truth and recommendations, and in the interest of the betterment of society that person can plead the protection of Ontario’s Evidence Act and the Canada Evidence Act and thereby be protected from anything he says in a subsequent proceeding. But, more important, he can be required, without being fearful of repercussions arising from a criminal trial or a subsequent civil trial, to assist the coroner from his point of view in making those recommendations from which we would all benefit as a result of an inquest.

Basically, any person who is charged with an offence -- and it doesn’t indicate whether the offence has been completed in court or is still outstanding -- so long as that person has been charged pursuant to the bill as it reads, he cannot be a compellable witness. My amendment simply says that after the criminal charge has been disposed of and his rights to appeal have been exhausted, he can then become a compellable witness. He can still plead the protection of those two evidence acts, but we will have the benefit of anything he says for the purpose of making recommendations.

Mr. Warner: What about the contradiction; and why subsection 3 as opposed to amending subsection 1?

Mr. Chairman: Order. The member for Welland-Thorold.

Mr. Swart: There is another dimension to this that I would like to ask the minister about and I may ask it in some ignorance. With regard to section 11, am I to understand that if a person is charged -- even though there may be the expectation that they may charge others -- he can no longer be a compellable witness at the inquest to give evidence relative to others who may have been involved in the crime or accident, or anything of that nature? If so, then does it not deprive the inquest of a witness who otherwise might be able to provide very valuable information relative to others who might have been involved in the incident, whatever that incident may be?


Hon. Mr. Kerr: I assume the honourable member is talking about subsections 1 and 2 mainly, is that correct? Of the present section 22? Yes.

The provision is in the act at the present time, although we are rewording, for example, subsection 1. Instead of using the words, “where a person is charged with a criminal offence arising out of a death” we’re amending that to read “where a person is charged with an offence under the Criminal Code of Canada arising out of a death.”

There’s really no change in the present law which says that only where there is a charge under the code would an inquest be held only upon the direction of the minister. When held, the act says that person charged is not a compellable witness. He may be a competent witness, but he is not a compellable witness. In other words, at this stage he wouldn’t be subject to any type of incrimination. In most cases you’ll find that the criminal charges would proceed before the inquest, in any event.

Section 22(2) uses the words “during an inquest” if a person should be charged under the Criminal Code arising out of a death. Then the coroner should discharge the jury and close the inquest. He should then proceed as if it had been determined that the inquest was unnecessary. But again, the minister has the prerogative of reopening the inquest upon the same conditions as provided in subsection 1. If there is a charge, that person, if he gives evidence, is not a compellable witness.

The amendment, as submitted by the member for York Centre, deals with a situation that arises after that -- after the criminal charges have been fully dealt with, one way or another. The person then would not necessarily be testifying against himself but he would be giving evidence to the coroner to assist in ascertaining the cause of death and other circumstances that are required to come out of a particular inquest.

The honourable member mentioned the Ontario Evidence Act and the Canada Evidence Act. I also might mention section 34(1) of the Coroners Act where the witness in any event would be provided protection.

Mr. di Santo: I wonder whether the minister can clarify for me a point in relation to section 11(1). I understand the amendment which deals with the situation when the charges have been disposed of one way or another. But section 11(1) says that “an inquest shall be held upon the direction of the minister.”

In a recent case, the chief coroner, Dr. Cotnam, recommended -- I’ll read the recommendation: “At the present, by arrangements between the chief coroner and the Ministry of Labour, an inquest is not called into the death of a construction worker on the job if charges are pending. We recommend that this procedure be discontinued and that, if after two months from the date of death charges have not been formally laid, an inquest should be called.”

I wonder whether the minister can explain to us whether by regulation this aspect is taken into account or whether while charges are pending there is an indefinite time that can be considered for calling an inquest?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: All I can say is to repeat what I’ve said before. When there is a criminal charge directly related to what would be the cause or the main reason for an inquest, that is, arising out of a particular death, it is for the most part the practice of the coroner’s office -- I may be corrected in this -- that the criminal charges go ahead and that they be proceeded with, before an inquest is held. The person who may be charged as a result of that death, if there is an inquest, would not be a compellable witness.

I’m not quite sure if that answers the honourable member’s question, but there’s really no reason to have two hearings or two tribunals, one quasi-judicial and one an actual trial, going on at the same time. It is better to proceed in many instances with the criminal charges in court, particularly if there is a direct relation with the person who’s charged. That person may or may not be a witness at an inquest.

I would suggest that all this, as I’ve said before, is a matter of re-enactment of a few words of the section to clarify the intent that a criminal offence means in effect an offence under the Criminal Code. That is the real sum and substance of the amendment contained in section 11 of the bill, except for the amendment of the member for York Centre who is adding another subsection.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Are there any further speakers to this amendment?

Mr. di Santo: Probably my question wasn’t very clear, but the answer of the minister doesn’t clarify my point. My point was that since the chief coroner asks that this procedure be discontinued and that an inquest should be called, as he says, when charges are pending, after two months, I would like to ask the minister, why would the coroner recommend that? In the particular case that happened on September 2, 1975, at the Bell Canada building site, 226 Simcoe Street, apparently the coroner was unable to collect all the information and evidence that he needed.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: I am not familiar with the particular case the honourable member is talking about. The honourable member knows that inquests are sometimes held six months or a year after the death which is subject to an inquest. Criminal charges are usually laid within a very short period of time, and the matter is brought at least to a preliminary hearing within a matter of weeks. So that’s why these provisions are in the legislation at the present time.

There is no reason for any delay once the criminal charges have been laid and the case has been dealt with. However, as provided in subsection 2, if because of the investigations surrounding the case no charges are laid for some reasonable time, and the coroner’s office and all those involved in the investigation of the case have sufficient information to conduct an inquest or to at least start an inquest, and during the course of that inquest a charge is laid against a particular person, then the existing legislation gives the coroner the power to discharge the jury and close the inquest.

I suppose this is because usually the criminal proceedings in the event that criminal charges are laid proceed prior to an inquest.

Mr. Lupusella: Mr. Chairman, we are in support of the amendment placed before us by the member for York Centre.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Shall the motion carry?

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Stong: I believe credit should be given where credit is due. The minister was very co-operative with this amendment and legislative counsel certainly did help in drafting it. I proposed an amendment that probably wasn’t quite as clear as the one legislative counsel came up with. I thank them for their co-operation.

Mr. Foulds: They’re very good chaps.

Mr. M. N. Davison: Mr. Chairman, you weren’t in the chair at the time when the committee had agreed that upon conclusion of section 11, we would revert to section 3(3).

On section 3:

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Are you now prepared with a new amendment or new wording?

Mr. M. N. Davison: Mr. Lupusella would --

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Fine, then we will revert to section 3.

The member for Dovercourt, if you have an amendment. There is also an amendment by the member for Windsor-Sandwich. Are these to be collapsed into one?

Mr. Lupusella: No, after this one, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Mr. Lupusella moves that the words “at or in a construction project or mine including a pit or a quarry,” in the amendments before us be deleted and replaced by the words, “in any work place”; that the words “project” or “mine” be deleted and the words “work place” be substituted therefor

That would be an amendment to the motion by Mr. Stong. That will be in order. Is there any further discussion to that amendment?


Mr. Lupusella: I would like to speak to the principle of my particular amendment because it’s important that the minister understand its content.

First of all the minister should know that the total number of fatalities from 1935 to 1977 -- and I think this statistical data is particularly related to mines -- was 1,511. And I am sure no inquest has taken place in relation to all the deaths that took place from 1935 to 1977.

Our particular amendment goes further than the amendment placed before us by the member for York Centre. It seems that the minister is going to accept the amendment which was placed in the Legislature by the Liberal Party. I am expressing both my personal opinion, and the position of the New Democratic Party when I say that we are pleased with the content of that amendment.

I hope that with my statement I will convince the minister that this is important and it would be to our detriment if this Legislature did not act responsibly in regard to these deaths which take place in the province. During the estimates of the Solicitor General, I had ample opportunity to express the concern of the New Democratic Party in relation to this important item, and how serious we are when we are talking about industrial deaths.

We have been voicing this concern over the years, but it seems that the government will not move far enough to eliminate this problem, which is a big problem for the workers of the province. When the minister suggested a particular amendment to incorporate deaths which occurred in mines, it was a welcome amendment, and I told the minister that during the estimates. I was quite pleased with the content of that particular amendment.

The government, and the Solicitor General in particular, is aware that the idea to incorporate that amendment in the Coroners Act didn’t come from the government itself. It was suggested by the Steelworkers union, which through the years really has put a lot of pressure on the government to amend the Coroners Act to require a mandatory inquest.

I want to emphasize that the Steelworkers union is not really pleased because the government suggested to the union that they were going to incorporate pits and quarries as well in the amendment, and when the bill was introduced in the Legislature, there was particular exclusion of those two words. I don’t think the amendment which has been introduced by the Solicitor General is fair because it does not incorporate the position of the union which through the years really put on a lot of pressure in order that this particular piece of legislation would encompass the principle suggested by the union.

Therefore, in the name of and on behalf of the union, I would like to place before the minister their regret in relation to this particular betrayal which took place when the minister dropped this particular piece of legislation. I don’t think it was fair to take that particular position when the union wanted to incorporate pits and quarries, which was a reasonable position put forward by the union.

Besides that particular comment, I would like to convince the Solicitor General and the Liberal Party that, if my amendment is going to be passed by this Legislature, I don’t think the Solicitor General should worry about the bureaucratic process that might take place in the coroner’s office. That’s not a realistic fear. Last year, when we dealt with the estimates of the Solicitor General, we were made aware that 27,000 inquests took place in Ontario -- inquests that were not related to industrial deaths at all.

If we are going to incorporate the principle encompassed by my amendment, Mr. Chairman, let me put before you some statistical data in relation to industrial accidents that are taking place in Ontario; and I am talking strictly to the issue of fatalities. In 1977, we had just 226 deaths in Ontario; in 1976, the previous year, we had 297 deaths. If we are going to make a particular comparison in relation to the number of inquests that have taken place in Ontario and are not related to industrial deaths, we are talking about 27,000 inquests every year which are called to investigate unknown deaths that have taken place in the province.

I do not understand the position of the government. I also hope the member for York Centre is going to express the position of his party as well, when we are dealing with 226 fatalities taking place on industrial sites around the province, as to what kind of an extra bureaucracy is going to be created through the process of those particular inquests.

In the light of these particular statistical data, I hope that at least I am able to convince the Solicitor General that a mandatory inquest should be required in any work place in Ontario so that this particular problem will be thoroughly investigated to find out the causes of those industrial accidents. That is where the principle lies. I think it is important for the government to eliminate the problem at its origin. I think the coroner’s inquest is going to play a really important role when an industrial death has taken place in any work place to find out what the unsafe conditions are and so that the government will follow the coroner’s recommendations and so that improvements on those industrial sites also will follow.

During consideration of the estimates of the Solicitor General, I expressed this particular position before the minister was going to introduce this particular amendment in the Legislature. In some way he was completely shocked. He said to me: “What the hell are you talking about? How many inquests do you want to call in the province of Ontario?”

Mr. Foulds: He said that? That was a direct quote?

Mr. Lupusella: We have the statistical data which was released by the Workmen’s Compensation Board. He knows the figures. He knows he has to deal with 226 fatalities. I think the Solicitor General, in co-operation with the Minister of Labour, has an obligation to investigate those fatalities in any work place in the province of Ontario, and to understand the origin of the problem and the unsafe working conditions which exist throughout Ontario. This way the recommendations which will come out from those investigations can be implemented so no other fatalities take place.

That’s the principle which the Solicitor General and this government should understand if this government is really serious about approaching the particular problem of accidents which is becoming a disgrace for this government in relation to the number of people getting injured every year. I think that’s the principle the Solicitor General should understand. We want to alleviate the situation which presently exists.

I think it’s also a disgrace for this government that the Minister of Labour is not introducing Bill 70 in this Legislature in order that those particular sections incorporated in that bill be implemented as soon as possible in order to reduce the number of accidents in Ontario.

But, Mr. Chairman, I want to show my frustration that this government, when it deals with the accidents on the job in the province is not really serious about them. Otherwise, this government would do something about it.

To correlate this particular principle, Mr. Chairman, and to show the importance that inquests be called in any industrial deaths in the province, let’s also talk about another side of the statistical data which is in front of me.

Since 1977, the total payments arising out of industrial accidents -- and I mentioned those particular figures to the Solicitor General and to the Minister of Labour when we dealt with the particular item of accidents on the job -- and occupational diseases increased from $260 million to $800 million in 1976. That’s why you should be concerned about studying the facts which surround those industrial deaths in order that this amount of money may eventually be reduced.

Compensation payments to injured workers have also increased dramatically and have reached $17,000 a year in some provinces. Of course, we are not talking about fatalities in those statistics. We are talking about accidents. The principle which I want to emphasize in relation to that is how costly it is to the employers in the province when those accidents take place and when industrial deaths occur as well. There is no reason in this world to scream about this extra burden of a premium which is raised from year to year to the employers because the cost of accidents is increasing.


I think the main approach which should be used by this government is to study the unsafe conditions of the work place in order that strict recommendations be implemented. Then at least we don’t have to see this financial disaster which is taking place in the province of Ontario in relation to fatalities and accidents.

I want to conclude my presentation of the subamendment to the Liberal amendment. I hope that the Liberal Party is going to sympathize with the position which we took on amending its amendment and that the government is going to respond in a positive way to pass this particular amendment because it is really important.

Mr. Stong: I think that I probably do sympathize with the position as held, but when the member for Dovercourt began his remarks he quoted statistics dealing with mines and the mining industry. The bill itself dealt with mines and the amendment that I have offered expands that to the construction industry.

I have one concern with respect to the compulsory nature of inquests in every situation. When inquests are commonly held or placed commonly, they become commonplace and are rendered really insignificant and no one pays attention to their recommendations.

It seems to me that if we are going to speak in the interest of meaningful recommendations, then we should be more careful when inquests should be called. Rather than fetter the coroner’s discretion by expanding the list of compulsory inquests, I would prefer to protect the importance and the significance of recommendations arising out of inquests by leaving basically the coroner’s discretion unfettered on every occasion.

It seems to me we do not need inquests arising out of death in every work place. The amendments that I offered, expanding it to construction where greater advances and technology and techniques are being employed every day, would satisfy the needs of our community and our society at this time.

Mr. Foulds: I would like to recommend to the House and to both the Liberal and the Conservative parties the importance of the amendment put forward by my colleague from Dovercourt. Let me put it very simply. A death is a death is a death. If that death can be avoided, then we must do everything in our power to avoid it if we can by a coroner’s jury. Surely one of the major principles of a coroner’s jury is to make recommendations to avoid situations occurring again that caused a certain death. Surely the area in which deaths are most preventable are those that occur in the work place.

I have had some direct personal experience in this matter of deaths that occur in the work place, in the pulp mill and in the bush. Two cases in particular that have come to my attention in the recent past as constituency cases from the widows could have been well served by an immediate and mandatory coroner’s inquest. I say to the member for York Centre with great respect and with the utmost pleading to accept the expansion of the compulsory coroner’s inquest in every work place death, because they are preventable.

In the two cases that have come to my attention recently, the widows would have been well served by an inquest in order to get their death benefits from the Workmen’s Compensation Board. The evidence that would have come out and could have come out would have assisted them with their claims. In both cases, they are now settled. But in one case the young widow is still requesting of me -- and I have had to advise her -- that she still wants an inquest into her husband’s death. She has made that request verbally to the coroner in the area. It is now almost two years since the incident, and for various reasons she has to make a formal request to the coroner for that inquest. I don’t think she or her family should have to go through that. I think it should be an automatic process.

If we are talking about remedial action, basically that is the purpose of coroners’ inquests: to advise government and whatever bodies are responsible of remedial action. Whether a death occurs in a mine or on a construction site, or whether it occurs, as I say, in the bush or in a pulp mill, that remedial action should be taken.

I want to point out that the figure my colleague from Dovercourt quoted: the 226 deaths were the total number of deaths that took place in the work place in 1977 -- he has very up-to-date statistics. We are saying to the Solicitor General and to the coroner’s office, we believe it is worthwhile to increase your work load by one one-hundredth -- that’s all we’re asking.

We’re not asking for a big burgeoning of the bureaucracy. We’re increasing the work load by one one-hundredth. We believe that economically that is worthwhile, because we believe the recommendations of the subsequent coroner’s jury would avoid enough future deaths so that in crass economic terms -- and if the government understands no other argument, surely they understand the argument of economics -- the contribution that the survivors would make, the people who would not now die, would be beneficial to the province in economic terms. They would be contributing to the economy. We would not be having to pay the widows compensation benefits. I urge you to do it on those grounds. I also urge you to do it on humanitarian grounds.

Mr. M. N. Davison: I think this is a very important amendment to the legislation. With the absence of Bill 70 we will go some long time before we find in this House legislation that is more important to working people’s health and safety. I for one would like to congratulate my colleague from Dovercourt for bringing this amendment forward to the Legislature. I believe that we in all three parties would be well advised to accept this amendment.

This amendment does not address itself to a large number of cases. The point has been well made with 1977 statistics that are quite accurate: we are not even talking about 226 deaths in that year, because 35 of those deaths were in the mines. Thus it is indeed much less than 200 deaths that are in dispute. If we accept this amendment and widen the scope to all or any work places, we shall be talking at the most, I would hope, of perhaps 200 further inquests in the province, and I suspect a good deal less.

The inquest is terribly important for one good reason: we hope that out of that inquest will come some information that will protect somebody else in a similar situation at another point in time. That’s the whole purpose of an inquest, in my opinion; that by learning the lesson of a tragedy we can protect another workman at some other time.

Sure, it costs money. No one is going to stand up in this House and say that it doesn’t cost money to have an inquest. This is one of those occasions when the members would be asked to put values in terms of dollars on human lives, on workers’ lives. I suspect on occasion in this province there seems to be a difference between humans and workers, but that’s another matter.

If this government, through its agencies such as the Workmen’s Compensation Board, can blow thousands of dollars on those fatuous, self-serving, bizarre commercials directed at the foolish workman on the construction site, they can afford, and we the people of Ontario can afford, to have some money spent on something that will really protect working men and women in this province.

Perhaps there aren’t too many of us in the House who came directly from the factories of this province to this Legislature. Before I came here I worked for five years in a factory. I’ve worked beside these men and women we’re talking about today. They’re my former workmates, they’re my friends and they’re my neighbours.

Mr. Mancini: Go back.

Mr. M. N. Davison: Remo, at least they would take me. You wouldn’t know a working person if you fell over one.

Mr. Mancini: I think I would.

Mr. M. N. Davison: Those people matter a great deal to me personally. Frankly, I resent the implication involved here that we can’t afford to shell out a few dollars to help those people.

I believe, as my colleague from Port Arthur said, that when we’re faced with legislation like this that involves the health, safety and perhaps the very lives of working men and women, we have upon us as legislators a very deep moral obligation to support such legislation.

I would like to ask my colleagues in the Liberal Party, especially Mr. Stong, who well understands these matters, and the people across the way, especially the Solicitor General, who on occasion has shown some sensitivity and warmth towards working men and women, that those two parties reconsider their positions. I do believe it is incumbent upon us to do what we can today to help protect the health, safety and lives of working men and women in this province.

Mr. di Santo: I would like just briefly to comment on the amendment presented by my colleague the member for Dovercourt.

I’d like to say I really don’t understand the rationale behind the minister’s amendment and also behind the member for York Centre’s subamendment. In fact, I don’t understand why it is that you want to restrict inquests to mines, pits, quarries and construction sites.

I think my colleagues have put the case quite clearly. The intent of an inquest is to find out why there was an accident and the circumstances of the accident. An inquest also provides the widow or widower with the Workmen’s Compensation Board benefits; and what is more important, provides the Ministry of Labour with recommendations which will prevent future accidents. In the case I mentioned before, the chief coroner, Dr. Cotnam, provided the ministry with 19 recommendations, all of them directed to preventing future accidents.

Why is it that you are so worried about the discretion given to the coroner to initiate an inquest in the areas the member for York Centre is suggesting in his subamendment, but not in every work place? As was said before, we had 226 fatalities in 1977. Thirty of them happened in mines. So the number of inquests is not that large.


I don’t think we should be worried about the time spent and we shouldn’t be worried about the amount of money spent. We know the purpose of an inquest and its values in terms of saving human lives, preventing future accidents and also of saving money for the economy of the province. I really don’t understand the worry of the member for York Centre or the minister’s rationale in restricting the areas in which he wants inquests to take place.

I would really ask you to reconsider your position. Unless you give us a very strong case against having a coroner’s inquest in each fatality in each work place, I think your position is wrong with due respect.

Mr. Bounsall: I rise, of course, to support the amendment to the Liberal amendment placed by my colleague from Dovercourt. Again, I’d like very much at this point to speak to the Liberal critic in the area and to the minister, to convince them to accept this. I guess it’s the numbers which make a very convincing case here -- 27,000 inquests held per year. Those were figures which came out in the estimates.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Investigations, not inquests.

Mr. Bounsall: All right, how many inquests?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: About two hundred and eighty-two.

Mr. Bounsall: Two hundred and eighty-two in total?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: That’s for last year.

Mr. Bounsall: Those are --

Mr. T. P. Reid: Not out by much.

Mr. Bounsall: Two hundred and eighty-two, eh? How long is the investigation?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: I don’t know how long. It depends on the coroner.

Mr. T. P. Reid: He’s going to be our new Treasurer.

An hon. member: That makes the case even better. What are you talking about?

Mr. Bounsall: I can’t make the case so strongly on the figures, but you then make the case in principle.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Certainly can’t.

Mr. Bounsall: I just received some additional information from the Workmen’s Compensation Board. In 1977 there were 226 deaths attributable to the work place. The total of all deaths in the work place was 226. Of those 226, only 182 were traumatic. In other words, there were 44 compensated work place deaths attributed to an illness or a disease picked up in the work place. We’re proposing to ensure in this legislation that all of those 182 do, in fact, have a coroner’s inquest.

I have no idea what proportion of those 182 were investigated and had a coroner’s inquest associated with them -- I would bet virtually all of them. All right, then I don’t know what on earth we’re arguing about or why the minister should, from time to time, appear so exercised about one compelling them. I understand -- and this is the same document made by the member for York Centre -- he would leave discretion to the individual coroner whether or not to proceed. The way one does this is by not requiring him to so do.

I would prefer to have it the other way. He’s not required now and he has the discretion to go in and do it. The discretion used last year, according to the minister, was to investigate every one of them. Just to make sure there is no uninvestigated workplace death which should be investigated, take our amendment that they all be investigated and add another line to it, “unless the coroner has good reason to choose or decide not to.” That will give him the discretion, and the onus is on the coroner’s inquest to take place in a workplace death, or every workplace death, unless the coroner has good reason to choose not to have it.

I would sooner the onus be that way than the reverse as it would now pertain. I would suggest to the minister or to the member for York Centre that we would be quite happy to have added or accepted into our amendment one which says they will all be investigated unless in the opinion of the coroner there are good reasons not to have that inquest. It still gives him the discretion but it is a discretion which he must exercise, unless he has his reasons not to, rather than as at present in the act not requiring him to do so, but leaving it completely to his discretion whether to do so.

His discretion, based on the minister’s figures for last year, has been wisely used. The coroners across Ontario investigated each and every one of them, we gather from the minister. In essence, we don’t have that much of a problem. It is a case of where we want the onus. In terms of fairness, in terms of a traumatic workplace death or a death resulting from an industrial disease or an industrial illness, because those facts surrounding those deaths are to be reported to the province of Ontario or should be as a result of that inquest or are available to become so known from recommendations flowing therefrom, surely, the onus should be to have them all investigated unless a coroner in his discretion has good reason not to do so.

That’s where the onus should be. We would be quite willing to incorporate into our amendment, if the minister or the member for York Centre would feel it would be useful, to build in the discretion not to so do so that the onus is on the proper place.

We move these amendments with no feeling of mistrust or distrust of the coroners in the province of Ontario. Obviously, last year they investigated every workplace death, according to the minister. Therefore, we feel not at all uneasy about giving him the discretion right here in the bill not to investigate if he has good reason to so do. But clearly up front would be the requirement to so do unless he could state those reasons.

I would be interested to hear from the minister or from the member for York Centre that that additional phrase would make our amendment acceptable to either or both of them.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: I suppose I could repeat a lot of things I said when we debated this bill on second reading. I will say again, however, it is important to realize -- and we have a tendency not to do that as I noticed I did in reading Hansard -- that when we say investigation or we say inquest there is a mandatory requirement on the coroner of this province to investigate all accidental deaths.

If he decides, based on the criteria of the legislation as to finding the cause of death and other circumstances, that there should be an inquest, there will be an inquest. If there is any question about how that person died, the circumstances surrounding the death, when, why, how and things of that kind, then there will be an inquest. Certainly, as has been the case with the chief coroner, when there is any mystery surrounding the death or anything that should be embodied in a recommendation to assist in preventing that death in the future, an inquest is usually held.

In saying that, I must say it is not the responsibility of the coroner to enact safety legislation in Ontario. That is the responsibility of the Minister of Labour. Many of the recommendations that come out of a coroner’s inquest result in certain actions and steps being taken to avoid that type of accident in the future.

The honourable member referred to figures in supporting the amendment that there should be inquests in all work places.

All I want to say, Mr. Speaker, according to the figures of last year, as already has been said, there were 26,985 investigations and out of that there were 282 inquests.

All I am saying is, the information I have from the coroner is that if we have inquests in every accidental death, instead of 282 inquests you are talking about 5,000 or 6,000 inquests. That is the difference.

Mr. Lupusella: That’s impossible.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: It is the coroner’s feeling that many of these inquests would be unnecessary.

Now, the honourable member referred, I believe, to 226, Workmen’s Compensation Board injuries --

Mr. Bounsall: And work place deaths.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: -- and work place deaths. I would suggest if not all, nearly all of those would have been subject to an inquest. Certainly, with the amendment proposed by the member for York Centre, I would think just about 100 per cent of those would be subject to an inquest.

When the honourable member is talking about the work place, he is talking about a cab driver, he is talking about a store clerk and he is talking about somebody working in a restaurant. If a doctor or coroner attending that investigation said, “Well, I know how this woman or this man died. There is no question, from the information I have, as to how that woman died,” regardless of that, you are asking that there be a mandatory inquest, and there be a jury and panel and all the structure of an inquest for three or four or five days.

As the member for York Centre suggests, people will be getting sick and tired of hearing about inquests. You won’t get the coverage and the importance attached to an inquest that you get today with the selective procedure that is applied by the chief coroner.

Mr. M. N. Davison: What about the factories?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Certainly, where you want recommendations, valid recommendations to prevent a recurrence, prevent that type of accident, those inquests will be held. But you are saying all work places. When you say that I think you are going to undermine what very positive objectives you may be trying to achieve.

All I am saying is rather than double the staff of the coroner’s office and have inquests 365 days a year, the amendment proposed by the member for York Centre covers those areas where the member for Dovercourt expressed some concern to me after we have finished the debate on the second reading.

The provisions, the criteria and the legislation at the present time, in my opinion, coupled with the fact of the minister’s option and the option of the next of kin, provides that where inquests should be held, they are held.

Mr. Bounsall: Let me just reply very briefly to the minister on that.

I am still a little confused as to why the minister is taking such a hard line on this. He reports 282 inquests took place this past year. He says that of those 226 deaths which did occur in the work place, the vast majority of them would have been investigated and, therefore, would have been part of that 282.

Mr. Lupusella: Where is the problem?

Mr. Bounsall: Where is this doubling of staff? Where is this great loss in press coverage which is going to occur if we require it in this bill, when he says it is his very good guess that most of those 226 deaths will in fact be part of the 282?

We are not talking of a very big additional number, if any, that haven’t been investigated.

We have asked the minister, from the second reading debate right on, including today, why doesn’t he build in a discretionary phrase for the coroner? We are quite willing to accept that.


In that very obvious case -- and I am not sure what it would be -- that needs no inquest after the investigation, the coroner can, right in this bill, be granted the discretion not to continue with an inquest. Very few would fall into that category because the minister himself makes a very good guess that most of those 226 deaths are included in the 282 figure of last year. He’s consulted with his staff several times this afternoon, and that must have been one of the questions being transferred back. If this committee stage were taking place outside the House in committee, we would no doubt be asking the staff and the chief coroner just exactly how many of those 226 deaths which occurred in the work place are included in the 282. That is an easily obtainable answer. It wouldn’t be a good educated guess by the minister but an exact number. We would know whether we’re talking about eight, 10 or 12 as that difference, which I would guess is the number we’re talking about.

Does the minister have the exact number difference? He said he is sure most of the 226 deaths are encompassed in the 282 already done. Does he have the actual figure? It should be very easily obtainable.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: I’m not sure if we have that. I can get that for the honourable member, but that isn’t the point. I’m not concerned if that figure of 282 was 300. That isn’t what is concerning me about the amendment proposed by the NDP. I’m looking at the figure of 26,985. That’s the number of investigations.

It is my information that of that figure, about 5,000 to 6,000 could have been accidental death investigations. If your amendment carries you’ll have to have 6,000 inquests. That’s what I’m saying.

Mr. Lupusella: What you are talking about is impossible.

Mr. Stong: Nonsense.

Mr. M. N. Davison: Let’s see the statistics. Why don’t you table these statistics?

Mr. Deputy Chairman: The member for Hamilton Centre.

Mr. M. Davidson: The amendment relates to a work place.

Mr. M. N. Davison: The amendment very clearly says in the work place. Your figure of 5,000 or 6,000 accidental deaths is not the figure we should be talking about. The only figure we should have in mind today is the number of accidental deaths in the work place.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Right.

Mr. M. N. Davison: If you have some statistics from 1977, or from this year, that show that figure is substantially higher than 226, please table them and then it may well be that this party might reconsider its position. But if all you can offer is a set of statistics, 5,000 or 6,000 accidental deaths which have no relevance whatsoever to the point at stake today, I think you should accept the amendment.

Mr. Foulds: If I could help clarify the minister’s fuzzy thinking, I think his worry is that maybe someone should accidentally die in a shopping mall, for example, which is a work place, who is not a worker in that work place.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: No, no; I am talking about a clerk working in the work place.

Mr. Foulds: A clerk is a worker, who is working in the work place; but you are worried we will have to have an investigation if there is a customer involved.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: No, there has to be an investigation now; it is the inquest that you clarify. It is investigated, most investigations are mandatory now; you want an inquest in each case.

Mr. Foulds: Okay. You are worried there will have to be full inquest for every accidental death that takes place in the work place, whether it is a worker or not.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: No, only if it is a worker.

Mr. Foulds: Okay; what you are saying is you don’t want workers’ deaths investigated. Is that what you’re saying? You don’t want an inquest.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: No, I’m not saying that. They are all investigated. That is what you can’t seem to clarify in your thinking.

Mr. Foulds: You do not want an inquest into all workers’ deaths in the work place, is that what you’re saying?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: That’s right.

Mr. Bounsall: It isn’t though.

Mr. Foulds: Then I’m saying to you, you are using false and misleading statistics, because in the definition my colleague is using -- he’s using the word “worker” and “in the work place,” and because they are both used in the same clause his figure of 226 is the sound and correct figure. Your figure of 5,000 is highly and erroneously inflated.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: The member for Dovercourt.

Mr. Lupusella: If I may, Mr. Chairman --

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Before you speak, might I caution the members that the debate is getting somewhat repetitive and the rules indicate that when persons speak again --

Mr. Walker: Totally repetitive.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: -- they must have new information.

Mr. Lupusella: Mr. Chairman, with respect, it seems that the Solicitor General is trying to confuse the issue using the wrong figures.

Mr. Walker: Totally repetitive, you are right.

Mr. Lupusella: The 226 deaths taking place every year in the province of Ontario is the figure that has been released by the Workmen’s Compensation Board so we are not inventing this total number of industrial deaths.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: It is only the Workmen’s Compensation Board, not a dolly in a store.

Mr. Foulds: The what in a store?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Not a worker in the store.

Mr. Foulds: Dolly, did you say?

Mr. Lupusella: We didn’t invent those numbers, and if you want a breakdown on those accidents, those industrial deaths --


Hon. Mr. Kerr: Stick to your figures, stick to your statistics.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order.

Mr. Lupusella: Mr. Chairman, if the Solicitor General would like to have a breakdown about those industrial deaths: in 1977 we had just 35 mining deaths, 35; let’s see what other people died on the job. Seven people died in farming; 41 people died in construction and 67 died in manufacturing industries, industrial accidents. We are not talking about the small store or a plaza where people do their shopping. We are talking about the work place.

I am sure in a little store you will never find people usually -- and I want to underline the word “usually” -- dying as a result of an accident. That is understandable. I don’t see why you should appear really up tight about this particular situation.

On the figure released by the Solicitor General on the previous estimates -- that 26,900 cases had been investigated by coroners -- I am sure the 226 people dying on the job which we are now talking about had been investigated in 1977 anyway.

The only difference, the principle which is incorporated in our amendment, is that we are calling for an inquest to find out the cause of the death so that those particular recommendations coming forward from that inquest will serve this government to implement regulations so that no further deaths will take place in the work place.

Why should you feel uneasy about it? It is really important, because the Coroners Act speaks to the principle that we have to investigate deaths to preserve people’s lives. Our amendment, Mr. Chairman, through you to the Solicitor General reflects the principle by which the coroner operates in the province of Ontario.

How can you preserve people’s lives when you don’t want to call an inquest or you don’t want to investigate these deaths? It’s against the principle in which the coroner is acting, and that’s why our amendment speaks to the principle. I really do not understand why the Solicitor General feels uneasy about this particular situation.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: The member for Hamilton Centre.

Mr. Warner: It’s a filibuster.

Mr. M. N. Davison: Could the Solicitor General please -- I am sorry, it’s not meant to be a filibuster to whoever it was over there; this is a serious issue.

It’s a serious issue and when in a few moments we take the vote, there should be no doubts about the statistics that have been flying around this room today. I would just like to clarify with the Solicitor General exactly what the statistics are. When you use the statistic, which was about 26,000, what kinds of deaths are those?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: I don’t know. I’m just saying that of the figure of approximately 27,000 investigations, it is my opinion -- borne out by some professional opinion within the chief coroner’s office -- that with the amendment you are proposing --

Mr. Lupusella: You are investigating these cases?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Of those 27,000 investigations, you could have 5,000 or 6,000 inquests under your legislation.

Mr. Lupusella: Which is not true.

Mr. M. N. Davison: I cannot for the life of me understand that a --

Hon. Mr. Kerr: When I am saying that --

Mr. M. N. Davison: Mr. Chairman, I suspect I have the floor at this moment.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: -- there is no reason to include the 226, I am including the 226.

Mr. M. N. Davison: I am not talking about the 226.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Right, so don’t mix these up.

Mr. M. N. Davison: I don’t understand how it is that the Solicitor General can come into this House today, in committee, and toss out the figures of 26,000 deaths per year in the province and not know what that means. What kind of deaths? Are they deaths into which you had an investigation? Do you investigate every death in the province?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: No; they were accidental deaths for the most part.

Mr. M. N. Davison: So we can assume that this figure, 26,900, refers to accidental deaths. You’re quite sure that’s what it means? For the most part they are accidental deaths?

Mr. Lupusella: No. They are investigating even industrial accidents, they are included in that number.

Mr. M. N. Davison: Some, but not all of those, I take it, are deaths by natural causes. So the figure 26,900 refers to deaths into which the coroner’s office has launched an investigation and all accidental deaths were in that group; and some of that group are deaths from natural causes. That, then, is a portion of the total number of deaths in the province.

Then you toss out a figure, approximately 5,000 to 6,000 deaths in the province into which there is an investigation but no inquest. They are part of the 26,900 and are dealt with, as are the majority of the 26,900. You suspect, perhaps, that those are deaths in the work place, in your definition of whatever a work place may be. Is that correct? Then from the statistics of the compensation board we find out there are indeed 226 deaths per year in the province, which are cases where a workman dies from an accident in the work place.

I would assume the Solicitor General would have some vague idea of what work places are covered by the Workmen’s Compensation Act before he comes in here and gives all these sets of statistics to which he isn’t at all sure what meaning to give.

I think if the government party votes against the amendment put forward by my colleague from Dovercourt, based on statistics put forward by the Solicitor General which are so meaningless that he doesn’t even understand what they represent, they would be doing so blindly; and I think that would be a travesty.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Mr. Stong has moved that section 3(3) of the bill be struck out and the following substituted therefor:

“3. The said section 9 is amended by adding thereto the following subsection 4(a): When a worker dies as a result of an accident occurring in the course of his employment at or in a construction project or mine, including a pit or quarry, the person in charge of such project or mine shall immediately give notice of the death to a coroner and the coroner shall issue his warrant to hold an inquest upon the body.”

Mr. Lupusella has moved an amendment to the amendment, that the words “at or in a construction project or mine including a pit or quarry” in the amendment be deleted and replaced by the following words “in any work place”; and the words “such project or mine” be deleted and the words “such work place” be substituted therefor.

The committee divided on Mr. Lupusella’s amendment to Mr. Stong’s amendment to section 3(3) which was negatived on the following vote:

Ayes 28; nays 55.

Mr. Chairman: Mr. Bounsall moves that the amendment to section 3(3) be amended by adding the words “in a factory or shop” after “quarry” in line three.

Mr. Bounsall: Again I draw to the attention of the minister and the official opposition that I hope they will be able to accept this amendment. The minister has indicated he would be willing to accept the amendment to which this amendment is attached. This would require that a coroner’s inquest be held in those accidents which occur in the construction industry -- in 1977, 41 in all.

In the industrial sector as covered by the words “factory or shop” there was an even greater number, 67. It seems to me that if one is willing to expand the section according to work place, by where in the work place if there is an industrial accident resulting in death, a coroner should hold an inquest, it would surely be in that group in which there has been the largest number of deaths.

Mr. Martel: That’s common sense.

Mr. Bounsall: In 1977, there were 67 deaths in the industrial sector, as defined by the term “factory or work place” and only 41 in the construction industry. I say particularly to the critic for the Liberal Party, that if for some reason he felt justified in covering a situation in which there were 41 deaths, surely he would feel even more justified to cover a work place in which there were 67 deaths in the year 1977.

Mr. Bradley: Their leader is not listening to you.

Mr. Bounsall: I do not see the logic that would require you to do anything else when it’s the same kind of death. You can’t differentiate between the type of death which occurs in the construction industry and the type of death which occurs in an industrial accident, they are very similar. Those 67 deaths are all traumatic deaths, not deaths resulting from an industrial disease or an industrial illness. They are clear cut traumatic deaths, as the Solicitor General is willing to accept in the initial part of the amendment by agreeing to the words “construction industry.”

I will not make the argument which we have made again and again in --

Mr. Chairman: Order. There are a number of private conversations which make it very difficult to hear.

Mr. Nixon: Yes, but we’ve heard this before.

Mr. Bounsall: You weren’t even here, you didn’t get the sense of the subdivision. The member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk did not hear the number 67 until I got up to speak. This encourages me to go on longer; we’ll stay until 10:30 tonight.

I don’t quite understand why the Solicitor General is being so stubborn on this issue. He is willing to accept 41 deaths in the construction industry. Hopefully, he will accept 67 in the industrial sector as defined by “factory or shop.” The work place is very clear cut and defined. There should be absolutely no problem in the minister’s mind, nor in the chief coroner’s mind, as to exactly what kind of work place we are talking about.

Mr. Martel: Come on, George, accept it.

Mr. Bounsall: There should be no difficulty with that whatsoever. If there is, to make it very clear we are talking about those 67 industrial work places in which deaths occurred and which the Workmen’s Compensation Board accepted as fatalities for which they would compensate.

If that’s the only hangup, to make it exactly clear as to what work place, so there is no disagreement whatsoever, we would be quite willing to make it that clear by placing that amendment.

When we are all finished discussing the very valid reasons on this side as to why this amendment should be included, I would like to hear the minister’s reasons why this is not reasonable to include. I would also like to hear from his staff or from the chief coroner any problems or difficulties he is having with the definition of work place as it relates to the exact wording of the amendment, “factory or shop.” There should be absolutely no problem whatsoever with that definition and the clarity of that wording.

Mr. Lupusella: He doesn’t know the definition, that’s the problem.

Mr. M. N. Davison: During the debate on the first subamendment, which was defeated and which spoke to a similar principle, the Solicitor General engaged in an outpouring of statistics. The statistics he used, as I recall them, were 26,900 investigations into deaths; and I believe he said most of which were accidental and some were natural, but I would wait until I saw Hansard before I make that statement with great certainty. He then went on to suggest there were 5,000 to 6,000 accidental deaths in the work place which were investigated.

I would like to offer to the Solicitor General some real statistics from this government and from the federal government. Perhaps he could benefit from understanding the real statistics and would no longer engage in putting out fuzzy, ill-defined statistics, meant, apparently, to suggest something other than what the statistics really indicate.

I would like to tell the Solicitor General that in terms of total deaths in the province of Ontario, in 1975 there were 60,604 deaths; in 1976, 60,710 deaths; and in 1977, 61,380 deaths. I offer those statistics to the minister so he has some idea of the way in which the death rate climbed generally and specifically.

I would then like to hear a comment from him about the 1974 death rate in Ontario, which was as follows: In 1974 in Ontario there were 5,217 deaths. That is very similar to the number the minister referenced as accidental deaths in the work place. There were 5,217 deaths that resulted, Mr. Solicitor General, from all accidents, poisoning and violence.

Can you tell me, sir, how you could purport that that figure has anything to do with the debate we have been engaged in today? I would really like to know, because I believe at least 1,200 of those deaths were the result of automobile accidents. We saw a very shameful exhibition earlier on today when those statistics were thrown out with such reckless abandon. I would urge that the Solicitor General be more careful in the future.

Mr. Chairman: Any further comments?

Mr. Foulds: Accept it, George.

Mr. Chairman: Shall the amendment carry? All those in favour of Mr. Bounsall’s amendment to the amendment please say “aye.”

All those opposed will please say “nay.”

In my opinion, the “nays” have it.

An hon. member: Same vote.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Wait a minute. There may have been some members who have left. Could we not assume that the bell has rung and have a vote on this before 6 o’clock? Would that not be reasonable? May we vote?

We could have either the same vote as previously, or have a five-minute bell.

Mr. Nixon: Just have it.

Hon. Mr. Welch: I would be satisfied with the same vote.

Mr. Nixon: I must say it is a strange alteration.

Mr. Chairman: It is the duty of the chair, I believe, to call in the members and when the whips appear at the door -- it can be a very short bell.


An hon. member: A 30-second bell.

The committee divided on Mr. Bounsall’s amendment to the amendment to section 3(3), which was negatived on the following vote:

Ayes 18; nays 40.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Another vote?

Mr. Chairman: There is an amendment before the committee. Do members with to continue? It’s 6 o’clock.

An hon. member: The amendment is carried.

Some hon. members: No.

Mr. Stong: Why not?

Mr. Bounsall: I have yet a further subamendment to the amendment which is before us, which will be placed at the appropriate time.

Mr. Havrot: Grow up.

Mr. Bounsall: What’s the matter over there? You don’t believe in amendments being made to bills? You don’t believe in it?

Hon. Mr. Welch: In view of the further surgery that some want to do on this bill, we perhaps should indicate that it was our intention at 8 o’clock to go to Bills 85 and 95, because that was the agreed upon time.

Mr. Hodgson: What about Bill 66?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Yes. We will have to adjourn consideration of this bill, and at 8 o’clock we’d like to start with Bill 85, followed by Bill 95. Then perhaps there is time to come back to Bill 86 and Bill 66. It’s that order starting at 8 o’clock -- Bills 85, 95, 86 and 66. If there is time, we start the municipal bills.

Mr. Hodgson: On a point of privilege. The order paper says we call 66 as the next bill. I wonder why --

Mr. Eaton: That was this afternoon; we’re in the evening now.

Hon. Mr. Welch: If I could speak to my colleague: it was made quite clear last Thursday night that at 8 o’clock, no matter where we were in the order, we would go to Bills 85 and 95.

An hon. member: That’s what it says.

The House recessed at 6:02 p.m.