31st Parliament, 2nd Session

L080 - Tue 6 Jun 1978 / Mar 6 jun 1978

The House resumed at 8:05 p.m.

House in committee of the whole.

Mr. Warner: Perhaps the Chairman could tell us how we can proceed with the bills without any cabinet ministers?

Mr. Kerrio: Did everybody who was late bring a note?

Mr. Ruston: Mr. Chairman, there doesn’t appear to be a quorum.

Clerk of the House: There is not a quorum, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Deputy Chairman called for the quorum bells.

On resumption:

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Chairman, I wonder if I might make some explanation to the committee. It was our plan at the commencement of the evening sitting to start with Bill 85. It is my understanding that the minister is somewhat held up in traffic trying to get here.

Mr. McClellan: You don’t know where he is. You don’t have the slightest idea where he is.

Hon. Mr. Welch: With the permission of the committee, we might start with Bill 95, since the minister concerned is here. Hopefully, when the Minister of Correctional Services (Mr. Drea) arrives, we could go to his bill and then carry on for the balance of the evening.

Mr. Lupusella: Is this a reasonable explanation?

Mr. Foulds: Mr. Chairman, we would willingly agree to that procedure. We only hope that the Minister of Correctional Services has not been detained in one of his own facilities.

Hon. Mr. Welch: I’m sure, in keeping with the spirit of the minister, he may well have been inspecting one.

Mr. Warner: The government is totally confused.

Mr. Haggerty: I hurried back too.


Consideration of Bill 95, An Act to provide Probation Services to Young Offenders.

Section 1 agreed to.

On section 2:

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Mr. McClellan moves that section 2(2) of the bill be deleted.

Mr. McClellan: I spoke at some length during the debate on second reading and I don’t intend to take a great deal of time on the amendment. I think I made our objections to this section fairly clear. If I may, I’ll recap those objections.

We feel very strongly about the inappropriateness of section 2(2) of this bill. Make no mistake about it, section 2(2) gives to the minister an extraordinary power, a power the minister did not possess under the old Probation Act which is being replaced. It is a power which the minister does not possess under the new Ministry of Correctional Services Act, the companion bill to this one, with respect to adult probation services. I stress again that the Minister of Correctional Services has adopted the language of the original Probation Act in re-enacting this section for adult probation services. The Minister of Community and Social Services has chosen to give to himself the power to designate and to appoint --

Hon. Mr. Norton: I’m not on any personal quest for power. You know that.

Mr. Foulds: You are on the biggest power trip around here.

Mr. McClellan: -- for whatever vainglorious reasons, probation officers, apart from the original provisions to appoint under the Public Service Act.

I say again this gives to the minister a power which is undesirable. It gives to the minister the power to appoint to contract positions on the basis of equality with his power to appoint under the existing provisions of the Public Service Act. The minister has given us a rationale that he needs to have the flexibility -- I think that was his word -- to deal with particular situations. He mentioned the instance of an isolated community, wherein he may want to appoint, on a special basis, somebody to provide probation services.

Mr. Warner: The government is confused, totally confused.

I’d point out to you, Mr. Chairman, that the minister has this power under section 4(2) of the Community and Social Services Act which is a catch-all clause. I don’t have the section with me, but it states, in effect, that he can do whatever he needs to do in order to accomplish the purposes of the ministry. Under that section, he has the power to do what he is asking for in section 2(2) of this act.


However, as we know, it is very difficult, and as I think the minister said to me in a conversation, it is cumbersome to act under section 4(2) of the Community and Social Services Act. That is well and good, because that is the power we aren’t anxious to give to any minister, regardless of the merits of the incumbent. It is a power which bypasses the Civil Service Commission. it is a measure that restores to politicians the power to appoint to jobs. We thought we had moved a long way from that.

Hon. Mr. Norton: You make it sound like patronage or something.

Mr. McClellan: I may well make it sound like patronage. Make no mistake about it, it is part of the concern and the concern is not directed to the incumbent or any other individual minister. It is a power that represents a retrograde step. It is a power that represents --

Mr. Foulds: When your former deputy ran the ministry over the bodies of the last three ministers, there was abuse of power.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order.

Mr. McClellan: It is a measure which gives sanction to the rights to contract out service; to bypass the Civil Service Commission; to reduce the career status of probation officers; and to set up, at least theoretically, a counter organization based on the tenuous relationship of contract employment. That’s not suitable. That’s not adequate.

If there are very rare and exceptional circumstances where the minister, for whatever reason, hopefully for clinical reasons, has the need to appoint a probation officer and regular employment procedures don’t work in these extraordinary circumstances let him then use the provisions of the Community and Social Services Act. Let him not come before us and ask for legislation which grants an equal right of appointment to the traditional route which is enacted in section 2(1) under the Public Service Act, and the extraordinary and wholly inappropriate route which is enacted in section 2(2) in this bill.

I made the case on second reading debate, and I don’t feel the need to belabour it. And despite the fact that the Minister of Correctional Services is no more visible than he was 15 minutes ago, I have no intention of filibustering on this section in order to save the Minister of Correctional Services’ face.

Hon. Mr. Norton: Somebody else might want to say something.

Mr. McClellan: I will, out of courtesy, Mr. Chairman, ask a question of the minister. It has been brought to my attention that there has been representation made to the minister on this issue by representatives of a liaison committee which is composed of representatives of the probation officers’ association and an association of judges. I don’t know if this is correct.

I would like to ask the minister whether he has had communication formally, in a written sense, either from the probation officers’ association or from representatives of the judiciary, or through some kind of a liaison body on this matter. it is my understanding that it is a matter that is viewed with alarm, not just by probation officers, but also by members of the judiciary. I’d appreciate some clarification on that from the minister.

Hon. Mr. Norton: I would like to respond to the specific question the honourable member has raised. I have had no direct communication from the groups to whom the honourable member refers and if I am able to read the head-shaking of some of my staff who are in the House this evening, they have not had any formal communication either. I understand there has been some telephone communication between the president of the probation officers’ association and one of the members of the ministry staff. I have at no time had any direct communication from them during the course of the time this legislation has been before the House.

Mrs. Campbell: As I understand the position, it seemed to me to be most reasonable, particularly when one was dealing with a child, that one should be able to improve a relationship if it were in the best interests of the child was what we were seeking to do, and to me the welfare of a child comes before any other consideration. Could the minister answer that question for me?

Mr. McClellan: May I make a comment on that before the minister replies and then he can reply to both of us. Speaking to the matter raised by the member for St. George, it is my understanding that the minister has a twofold power without the additional powers of section 2(2), which he is trying to persuade us to approve here tonight.

First, under section 2(1) it says “probation officers as are considered necessary for the purposes of this act may be appointed under the Public Service Act.” There are ways and means for the minister to make appointments under 2(1) which are not appointments to the civil service, but appointments to the public service. That is one set of powers the minister already has. But there is a check and balance built into the powers under section 2(1) and that is the sense of propriety on the part of the Civil Service Commission. The Civil Service Commission is not happy to see ministers abusing the powers to appoint to the public service apart from appointments to the civil service. There is a check and balance built into that appointment system of which I am sure the member is aware.

In addition to that, the minister has the power under section 4(2) of the Ministry of Community and Social Services Act to make such appointments as he may see necessary.

Now with those kinds of legislative powers already, I can’t see for the life of me why the minister needs the additional powers of 2(2). In view of our concerns in the opposition around the integrity of the Civil Service Commission, I am very reluctant -- in fact unwilling -- to grant the additional powers under 2(2).

Hon. Mr. Norton: I can assure the honourable members that the intent of this provision within the legislation is not to undermine the integrity of the civil service in this province. The member for St. George in fact has zeroed in on our principal concern. The advice from my legal staff is that under the provisions of the ministry act, which are not as broad in this narrow sense, if you wish -- that seems contradictory, but what I am frying to say is that the provisions of the ministry act, as I understand it, do not authorize the minister to appoint a person with the full authority of a probation officer.

We are attempting to provide continuity of service to children -- in many cases in remote communities across this province. Take, as an example, some of the remote Indian communities in the northern part of the province, where the opportunities for a regular full-time probation officer to visit might be at the most once a month or even less frequent than that. If a child or a juvenile is to be under the supervision of a probation officer or under the supervision of anyone with any of the authority of a probation officer during that period of time, it surely is essential there be someone closer to the child on a continuing basis. It often happens in a setting where, because of the numbers of young people involved, it would simply not be possible to provide a full-time probation officer. I am sure the member for Bellwoods would not advocate, nor would he want us to act in such a manner as to provide, that kind of inadequate supervision.

One of the reasons it’s important to have the authority of a probation officer in those kinds of situations is that if a child should require the intervention of the officer, be it the volunteer on the reservation or in the remote community or someone with whom we have contracted for a service, if they do not have the authority of a probation officer it is my opinion that they would not have the authority to, say, apprehend a juvenile when it became necessary for the safety of the child. In some eases that would be necessary if they were to be returned to the court because the court itself could be somewhat remote from the community.

I think if we are to meet the needs of the children, even in the remote communities of this province, we must have this kind of flexibility. I don’t know what more I can say to assure the member for Bellwoods and those of his colleagues who may share his concern that it is certainly not my intention that we undermine the professionalism of our probation service or the civil service of this province. But surely he can recognize the need for this kind of flexibility in those situations.

The other night in our debate on the second reading of this, I used the example where a child might be in need of professional family services and counselling services. It might in some cases be appropriate that the person charged with the responsibility of the supervision of that child’s probation he a member of that agency in a given situation. once again with some umbrella supervision from a professional probation officer. But in terms of the therapeutic setting, there are circumstances under which it might well make more sense that those two roles he combined. Without this flexibility, that would not be possible.

I think the authority the honourable member is attributing to the ministry act is more limited than he and even I assumed when I was talking to him in the conversation that he made reference to earlier. I think that without this we would he seriously handicapped.


Mrs. Campbell: I know my colleagues want to speak to this matter; hut to me it is essential to bring the very best of services to a child in these circumstances. We have many children who require far more intensive care. I am not talking about the north, although I can understand the point. In a place like Metropolitan Toronto, there are children who need very highly specialized care which really would go beyond the normal probation officer’s function or would certainly eat into his or her case load.

I would like to see us with adequate probation services. Nevertheless, I am inclined to feel that if we believe that the welfare of a child is paramount in our discussions -- and I am very free to say that is my choice and my position -- then it seems to me there has to be an opportunity to make use of those who may have special skills for a special situation, but still have that kind of court relationship which can enable them to deal with the court in bringing forward a child.

I go back to my often-expressed concerns over the child we see in our society today who is potentially suicidal. This is not something that a probation officer in the course of his or her duties can adequately deal with. It needs to be someone who can work very closely on a one-to-one basis, both with the child and with the family. I would hate to see us boxed into the position where we couldn’t bring the necessary support to a child. On the other hand, I would be the very first to criticize if the minister were to deem that this gave him power to contract out in any case.

Mr. Foulds: That’s exactly what it is.

Mrs. Campbell: I believe that we have to have a flexibility. I would watch this very closely and I would like to warn the minister that if it were used other than in that sort of very close kind of relationship case, then I would want to see us review the matter. At the moment, I just don’t think the probation officer could perform that function adequately on all occasions.

Mr. Foulds: I would be more willing to accept the minister’s explanation of the need for the power he has outlined in section 2(2), if he had that power clearly defined and curtailed within the act to allow him to use that power in the special situation that he gave us in his illustration. What I would like to put to the member for St. George and to the rest of the House is that if this section as it is presently written passes tonight, then the minister, whoever he or she may be, has sweeping powers to do exactly the kinds of things my colleague, the member for Bellwoods, indicated he would have.

Mr. Martel: We might get another Taylor or Scrivener.

Mr. Foulds: I think it is incumbent upon us as legislators, to consider that, because with all great respect to the member for St. George we won’t have the right to recall on this subsection of this bill in the future, even in a minority parliament situation. Once the legislation and the inclusive clause pass, it is passed, and the minister has the authority to act under it, whoever he or she may be.

I would like to put to the minister that he should look at the situation he describes. If we agree that the probation officer system we have developed under the Public Service Act is a good one, and I think by and large we do agree, then it should be a service that is available to all the people of this province.

To put it in harsh terms, I don’t think we should be thinking of a second-class service for people in remote communities in northern Ontario. I am saying to the minister that we should make them an integral part of the public service. It may well be that they would not have a full case load. It may well be that they would not be full-time employees; I’m sure that could be worked out on a pro rata basis with the individual and with the civil service union. I’m sure that in those special circumstances, because the need is apparent and great, it is not beyond the wit of the minister, the Civil Service Commission and the union involved to work out a sensible and reasonable arrangement.

I draw to the minister’s attention, although I don’t like all the parallels, that under the Solicitor General’s office we have developed the special band constable on many northern reserves. There are some inequities in that system but it is a kind of parallel situation that the minister could look at as a possibility, as a model, always paying attention, I would hope, to the safeguards I indicated earlier in my remarks.

I am very worried -- I want to put it in those terms; I do not want to put it harshly -- about the sweeping powers outlined in this section. It is not limited in terms of time. It is not limited in terms of time of the appointment. It is not limited in terms of qualification of any person. It is not even limited in terms of the person this minister wishes to designate being responsible to a probation officer.

Mr. McClellan: The minister is not going to be there for ever.

Mr. Foulds: For those reasons, with good conscience, at this time I would have to wholly support the suggestion --

Mr. McClellan: What if the member for Mississauga South (Mr. Kennedy) or the member for Simcoe Centre (Mr. Taylor) became minister?

Mr. Foulds: -- put forward by my colleague from Bellwoods whom I’m trying to help, and if he would stop heckling while I’m speaking I could assist his argument more fully. I would have to support it at the present time unless the minister were willing to stand down this particular section and bring back to us more specific details along the lines of the illustration that he gave. At that point I think we might be willing to be considerate. But if he is determined to push ahead with this particular section, I think that we, as legislators, have no option but to vote against it.

Mr. T. P. Reid: Mr. Chairman, I rise to support section 2 of the bill. I am quite surprised that my friend from Port Arthur and other northern friends in the NDP would vote against this particular section.

Mr. McClellan: You just found out which way to vote a minute ago.

Mr. T. P. Reid: I wonder if I might beg your indulgence for a moment, Mr. Chairman. In the gallery opposite me are grade eight students from the Marks Street School in Atikokan, the school I attended when I was a few years younger --

Mr. Foulds: We won’t hold that against you.

Mr. T. P. Reid: It has a certain nostalgia for me, and I’d like to welcome them here tonight.

Mr. Warner: You shouldn’t malign the school that way.

Mr. McClellan: Let’s just leave it at that; you’ve made your point.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Would the member for Rainy River please stick to the bill?

Mr. T. P. Reid: Mr. Chairman, I support this particular action for two reasons in particular.

Mr. G. Taylor: Did you graduate or drop out, Pat?

Mr. T. P. Reid: There’s a third one that my friend from Port Arthur seems to be particularly concerned about, and I’ll bring that to his attention.

First of all, it’s obvious that in northern Ontario we suffer from a lack of all social services, probation officers included. It’s necessary that the minister have the flexibility within his ministry to be able to appoint people, and I would presume that he’s going to be appointing people from the children’s aid society and other social services who have some kind of expertise in the problems in which he’s dealing. I would think those of us from the northern areas know it’s sometimes necessary to bring in other people to handle some of the problems the courts have to deal with in regard to probation services for children and the special problems associated with them because of the work load of the people in the northern areas.

I hope that problem will be solved when the economics are such we can have the staffing that’s required. This leads me to my second problem: Obviously, under the present restrictions in place by the government, there is a freeze on civil service hiring. We’re not going to get any more probation officers of any kind in southern Ontario, let alone in northern Ontario.

Mr. Foulds: If you are willing to accept it, that’s a sellout argument.

Mr. T. P. Reid: The minister has to have the ability to appoint these people who, I would hope, have the qualifications to deal with these particular problems.

Mr. Foulds: But you don’t enshrine it in legislation to meet the current crisis in northern Ontario.

Mr. T. P. Reid: I’m not happy about giving the minister these kinds of powers either. I’m not happy that he doesn’t say in the bill at a certain stage, these particular powers will be done away with. But I would also bring to the attention of my friend from Port Arthur -- and here’s where I also have a special problem with all the legislation we pass -- under section 7 of the bill, the minister and the Lieutenant Governor in Council, which is the cabinet, may make regulations respecting the qualifications, duties and powers of probation officers and proscribing the reports and returns to be made by probation officers. I would hope that before this bill receives third reading and royal assent the minister would be able to come to the House and provide us with those regulations so we can feel more secure in our minds that he’s not going out there --

Mr. McClellan: You’ll get them in the Gazette.

Mr. T. P. Reid: -- and grabbing somebody, but that in fact they will have some qualifications to deal with these particular and peculiar problems.

I come back to the argument that particularly in northern Ontario, there must be this flexibility. Otherwise we will have no service at all. For that reason I support section 2 of the bill, not because I particularly want to, but because it’s the only way we’re going to get any service.

Mr. Foulds: You are willing to accept second-class service.

Mr. Warner: I listened very closely to the arguments put forward by my good colleague from Bellwoods, whom I think most members in this assembly would recognize as being an extremely knowledgeable person in this area.

I also listened very closely to the comments from the minister, and I fully understand what he is saying. Part of the difficulty, however, is that I take the comments he made to mean there’s a certain amount of good faith dependent upon his retaining his present position.

But we’re passing legislation that’s going to be on the books for who knows how many years, and this present government may not be here, let alone the present minister.

An hon. member: Could be a Liberal one.

Mr. T. P. Reid: That’s something to look forward to.

Mr. Martel: The only argument we hear -- just stick around.

Mr. Warner: So his argument is a bit weak. The truth of the matter is, as has been stated by my colleague from Bellwoods, this is a threat to the public service of this province. That’s really what it is. Call it for what it is. Aside from the member for St. George, I understand what is afoot with the Liberal caucus.

Mr. T. P. Reid: I am surprised at you.

Mr. Warner: I understand fully what their intentions are.

Mr. Chairman: Order.


Mr. Warner: We went through a similar circumstance on Thursday night. We are going through it again today. We saw it before the dinner break and again this evening.

Mr. Eakins: We are warming up.

Mr. Warner: The strategy here is that the Liberal caucus will not support any initiative put forward by the New Democratic Party. It doesn’t matter what the merits are; they are simply not going to support any initiative put forward by this caucus.

Mr. T. P. Reid: We have yet to hear it.

Mr. Blundy: It isn’t planned.

Mr. Martel: It shows how right we are.

Mr. Eakins: Resign.

Mr. Warner: The unfortunate part about it was that prior to the comments of the member for Rainy River we had a reasonable debate.

Mr. McClellan: I will bet the member for Rainy River is going to leave now.

Mr. Warner: I say that deliberately because I listened carefully to the concerns of the member for St. George, who has always understood the difficulties of young offenders and who has always tried to assist them to the best of her capacity.

We had a reasonable debate on the merits of the legislation and on the merits of our proposal. Then intruded nothing short of crass political motivation on the part of the member for Rainy River, who is the spokesman of the remainder of the Liberal caucus. That bothers me very much because I think what we have in front of us is something --

Mr. T. P. Reid: We always save the best line for the last.

Mr. Warner: -- that is above whatever political situation happens to exist in this chamber. I would ask the Liberal members, particularly the member for St. George and other members who aren’t given to the crass political motives that have been expounded since last Thursday night by the member for York Centre and others --

Mr. Stong: Nonsense. That’s garbage.

Mr. Warner: -- that they consider the problem that exists in section 2 for the public service of this province as well as for the children of this province who are to be served. Let’s just not hope that the good intentions of the present minister are sufficient because he may be a victim of the revolving door on the cabinet room.

Mr. T. P. Reid: Have you heard what the alternative is yet?

Hon. Mr. Norton: Have you heard something I haven’t?

Mr. Blundy: I stand to speak against the amendment that is before us and in support of the bill.

Mr. Ruston: Just tell them the truth; that’s all.

Mr. Blundy: I don’t think our friends over in the third party are the only people who have sincere understanding and so forth of the public service employees. We all have that concern for their continuing welfare. Here we are dealing with an act that has to do with providing probation services for young offenders. In my book, our first responsibility and our major concern must be to the children of the province who are going to be handled in the facility set up by this act. That is my first responsibility.

I have talked to a number of people who are in the service and a number of people in social work. I have found that it is not uncommon and that in certain cases it is found to be advisable to have a probation officer appointed who has a particular quality or training.

I talked to the family counselling services in my own municipality today. They said that on at least two occasions recently they are aware of one of the counsellors was appointed as a probation officer for a child because this person had been dealing previously with the child and with the child’s family. There were certain areas that this person was very conversant with in which he could be of greater help.

We are not saying we do not support the appointment of probation officers from the public service under the Public Service Act. That is natural. But, as the minister has pointed out, there are certain times and certain locations where it would not only be helpful but wise to appoint someone outside the public service who is particularly able to assist in this counselling as a probation officer.

I have been assured by the minister that this is not any great plan to usurp the duties of the probation officers of Ontario, hired under the Public Service Act, but it gives the flexibility he needs to handle, as well as can be handled, the various eventualities that may turn up in probation services in Ontario. Therefore, I will support the inclusion of section 2(2).

Mr. Martel: Mr. Chairman, I am really surprised at what is going on tonight.

Mr. Conway: No!

Mr. Martel: I listened last Thursday --

Mr. Haggerty: Were you here last Thursday?

Mr. Martel: -- as my friend to the right said, “We want a bill but we can’t have it so we’ll let it go.” Blackmail, I think, was the term they were trying to use. Tonight we have the same proposition being put to us.

Mr. Conway: Never has the truth been so blatantly abused.

Mr. Martel: Sean, you would well know it.

Mr. Breaugh: It’s not your turn to speak yet, Sean. Wait until it is.

Mr. Conway: Having watched you, Elie, for these few years --

Mr. Martel: I want to go back, Mr. Chairman, if I might. Back in 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, as a critic of this particular ministry, it became obvious to me that the number of people employed in northern Ontario to meet the needs of those in northern Ontario with problems, the case workers had far larger ease loads than anyone in southern Ontario had. Not only did they have bigger case loads, I say to the minister, they also had greater distances to travel.

The minister gets up tonight and says, “I need this flexibility because there aren’t enough qualified people,” or, “I need this flexibility because there aren’t enough cases maybe for a full-time probation officer to be held in full-time work.” If he wants them, based on the fact we have officers across the north with bigger case loads, then he might have a case worker doing some probation work and easing the burden for those people who are full-time rehabilitation officers with bigger case loads than in Metro Toronto, where there are opportunities for jobs. If you check the statistics, you’ll find I’m right. I think they were almost double.

Hon. Mr. Norton: This may well allow us to do that.

Mr. Martel: No, this might not, because you will end up getting people who are unskilled.

The minister himself is a lovely fellow. He’s just a lovely fellow.

Hon. Mr. Norton: Aw, thanks.

Mr. Kennedy: Are you feeling okay, Elie?

Mr. Martel: I know from my past experience, having dealt with this ministry, that all the ministers haven’t been lovely fellows who deal with people who are in need. I remind you of the former minister who wanted to get at the mothers. He was the fellow who said all women who were on welfare wanted to send their kids out at 9 in the morning and then go back to bed. Can you imagine an individual like that having the power --

Hon. Mr. Norton: Have you never gone back to bed, Elie?

Mr. Martel: -- having the power to appoint every Tory flunky in northern Ontario to a job? It boggles the mind. It really does.

Mr. Conway: I wouldn’t even give that power to Cardinal Drea.

Mr. Martel: Then you’re voting for it tonight.

Mr. Conway: Oh, no.

Mr. Martel: In fact, that’s what you’re doing.

Mr. Conway: No, no, Elie.

Mr. Martel: That’s in fact what you’re doing.

Mr. Makarchuk: We haven’t even got Cardinal Drea yet.

Mr. Martel: You are going to --

Mr. Conway: Finish appointing those enumerators in York North, then talk to us about it.

Mr. Ruston: Then you make them pay back --

An hon. member: Cardinal Drea. Nice.

Mr. Martel: I want to tell you, Mr. Chairman, I listened very carefully to my friends the Liberals, who said --

Mr. Conway: Having once been one.

Mr. Martel: -- “We don’t agree with it, but we’ll vote for it anyway.”

Mr. Conway: Now, now.

Mr. Martel: What a lot of nonsense. If you don’t agree with it you don’t support it. Surely it’s as simple as that.

Mr. Conway: Oh, now Elie.

Mr. Stong: Don’t twist the truth. Give all the facts.

Mr. McClellan: It’s almost as simple as they are.

Mr. Martel: I tried to put it in the proper dimension for my friends to understand.

Mr. Conway: You have no friends here, Elie.

Mr. Martel: You’re right.

Mr. Conway: You left this party 15 years ago.

Mr. Martel: I use the word loosely.

Mr. Conway: Too loosely.

An hon. member: My loose friends.

Mr. Conway: The question is how many friends are seated to your immediate behind?

Mr. McClellan: Lots.

Mr. Martel: Mr. Chairman, I want the minister to tell us what the case loads are for probation officers in northern Ontario --

Mr. McClellan: Or anywhere else.

Mr. Martel: -- as opposed to Metro Toronto. Then I want him to tell me what the distances are that these probation officers have to cover. In fact, probation officers or rehabilitation officers who are under the rehab section of your ministry have had double the case work in the north. Rather than that we should probably have had half. You have to take into consideration the great distances -- there are areas where it could well be that a case worker has 1,200, 1,400 or 3,500 square miles to cover -- even more. Yet they’re expected to have the same case load or greater, unless things have changed dramatically since 1975. I suspect they haven’t because money has been tight since then.

So the case workers and probation officers in the north -- because of distances, because of climatic factors in winter -- should have a reduced number of people under their care than would be the case in southern Ontario. The minister has to document statistically for me what those case loads are and the areas that those probation officers have to cover before I’m even prepared to listen to his other nonsensical arguments about flexibility. I wrote the word down.

He put it in reverse, a thing he does well: “If I wanted a specialist to deal with children” --

Hon. Mr. Norton: Nice guys never put things in reverse. You have got to be consistent.

Mr. Martel: You lost your nice guy image when you came to this point.

Hon. Mr. Norton: You are the one who changed his mind.

Mr. Martel: No, no, you said if a child needs special care then we should have that child obtaining the special care, and you needed that flexibility to ensure that. Surely, it takes a full-time probation officer who has some training to determine whether that child needs special care. That probation officer then, in his wisdom, says: “I need someone else to assist. I need someone who has more expertise in the field, or in the field that the child needs, in order to look after the child.”

How do you know what the child needs? How do you know the child needs help right away, unless you have a skilled person working with the child? Don’t tell me that a part-time probation officer will be able to determine that. In fact, as a teacher, one of the complaints I’ve always had about teacher training is that there has never been enough training in dealing with the psychological aspect of children. There’s very little.

You tell me how you’re going to get some part-time probation officer to understand the complexity of children and determine that some child needs some special assistance. I would ask my friends to my right to vote this down --

Mr. Makarchuk: How right?

Mr. Martel: -- because what you’re condemning us to is part-time probation officers who don’t have the skills necessary to detect the things a child might need.

I don’t really want to get into the argument about whether some other minister takes this minister’s place, because that’s really irrelevant -- except if you have another Taylor, with his attitudes; that could be most detrimental because he can go out and pick anyone he wants. The act really gives him that discretion. You might not use it, but there is someone down the road who might. I really believe the minister on his own, has to withdraw that.


The minister can’t tell me that part-time probation officers, without proper training, without proper courses, can in fact determine those things a child might need. They don’t have the skills; they don’t do it on a full-time basis. I am sure they won’t be brought to Toronto and to other areas where one might want them to take the upgrading courses that constantly go on in this sort of endeavour.

Again I implore the Liberals to alter their position, not to allow part-time probation officers.

You might well say, “It is better than nothing.” I suggest to you it would be more detrimental. It would be more detrimental because we have to force the government to hire the necessary people to meet the needs of these people. We will not meet it with part-time people, we simply won’t.

All kidding aside, I am asking the Liberals to support us. Kill this thing, so this minister in fact has to hire the necessary personnel. He reduces the caseload in northern Ontario to fit in with the climatic conditions, to fit in with distances, to make sure we have trained personnel to do the job.

I say to the minister, I ask the minister on his own to withdraw this sector. As well-meaning as he might be, I ask the minister not to get involved with hiring part-time people. If you want someone who has the flexibility to determine whether a child needs special help, it should be the probation officer who says -- and he does it in that order -- “I need the assistance of a psychologist in this ease” maybe: or “I need the assistance of a psychiatrist in this case. I can’t handle it on my own. Maybe I need someone from Big Brother to give me a hand to look after this child.” if it is a boy, “to give him a part-time Big Brother to do things that boys need assistance on.”

I just say to you, Mr. Minister, that If you carry this, or attempt to carry it, you are inviting disaster. You really and truly are. I understand what you are attempting to do. I have worked with children as long as you, my friend, in fact probably longer.

Hon. Mr. Norton: Probably longer. You are older than I am.

Mr. Martel: Well not that much, and I also have four of my own.

Mrs. Campbell: Compete with that.

Hon. Mr. Norton: I am not going to respond to that one.

Mr. Martel: I say to the minister, having dealt with children as a teacher, I know full well the difficulty of detecting problems; you can’t do it on an ad hoc basis, you can’t get untrained, unskilled people to do it, and with this sort of thing that will happen. Maybe not under your jurisdiction but somewhere down the road.

If it is an economic measure, you didn’t put them lxi place when you had the bundle in 1971 to 1975, in northern Ontario. If you check back in the record -- and my friend the member for St. George recalls when I documented the number -- the minister of the day was from northern Ontario -- and we documented that the rehabilitation officers in Toronto and in southern Ontario had far less arduous caseloads than those in northern Ontario, despite the fact that in northern Ontario they had distance to contend with and they had less opportunities to place people for rehabilitation than was the case here.

Even though the minister was from northern Ontario, he couldn’t get an adequate staff, even to be on an equal footing with what the caseload was in southern Ontario; when it should have been reversed, it should have been less because of the other factors.

You try travelling the 300 miles from Sudbury to Chapleau in winter which is the distance my colleague the member for Nickel Belt (Mr. Laughren) travels regularly. That’s typical of the expanse of territory one has to get across. That is never taken into consideration by your ministry. You send rehab officers from Sudbury to Chapleau in the field of rehabilitation, and yet they have a bigger caseload than in southern Ontario. I believe the last time I checked with them they had an average of 90 cases each.

Hon. Mr. Norton: Both rehab?

Mr. Martel: Yes, rehab. It is really ridiculous. I am saying to you, it should have been reversed. They should have had the smaller caseload because of distances, climatic conditions and the lack of opportunities to place those they are assisting.

That didn’t apply and it should have. It should in this bill, Mr. Minister, that’s why I say it to you. Give me the statistics. Tell me what the caseloads are in northern Ontario for a probation officer as opposed to in the south. I suspect they are greater and I believe it should be reversed. It should be less and you would have the type of staff you need to do the job we want.

I say to you, as I stand here, we will come down if you go through with this. My friends over here do not support me. We in fact will have case after case, in the long run, where children or people with problems will not get the proper supervision. The proper assistance will not be called in because the people will not have the skills necessary to make that determination. I ask the minister himself to withdraw that section, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Stong: I would like to share with my colleagues in the House some experience I have had with respect to the employment of voluntary probation officers. Prior to becoming a member of the Legislative Assembly, in my own practice as a criminal lawyer, I worked fairly closely with the probation officers in York county in setting up a system of voluntary probation officers. I must say one of the reasons the program came about arose out of the very fact there were insufficient probation officers to carry the caseload in this area. I was very impressed, and I am continually impressed, Mr. Chairman, with the calibre of individual who takes up the responsibility to look after a probationer, especially those who come from families, family people who are involved not only with their own children but have decided to accept responsibility toward other people in society, and particularly those who are less fortunate and do not come from strong family backgrounds.

I might say, Mr. Chairman, in speaking to this point, I found out all about it the year before I got elected. I bad 287 brand new cases of juvenile delinquency come across my desk. Of that total, 285 of those young people ended up in my office, and subsequently before the court systems, without the benefit of a father. There was no father in sight coming with those children for interviews in my office to defend them, or subsequently in court before the court.

Now those statistics don’t mean very much except it did point out to me that juvenile delinquents are perhaps the result of the broken home in more cases than we are willing to admit. The volunteer probation officer is a person who is basically and genuinely interested in the individual who is his or her charge. I am very impressed with their ability. They may not have the training in psychology, but they have got training in family background. They have an interest, and that’s first and foremost in my mind, their interest in their fellow human beings, and particularly the young.

As I listen to this debate tonight, Mr. Chairman, I am impressed with one thing, and that is, as has been pointed out, that the volunteer probation officers, although they are not trained the same as a probation officer who would be designated under the act, perhaps the problem could he best solved by having written into legislation the requirement that our volunteer probation officers be subject to and under the supervision and guidance of the regular probation officer. Perhaps that would satisfy the inquiries and the concerns that are raised by the members of the third party who have spoken to this bill.

I am not concerned with the calibre of the individual who volunteers his or her service, or their interest, It’s there; it’s genuine and it’s important. They are willing to make a one-to-one contact the basis in their relationships, which is most important. I am also impressed with our own project and our own experiment in York county, the regional municipality of York as it’s called now, wherein this program is working very successfully. The volunteer probation officers are in very close association with the regular probation officers and lift the load.

Perhaps the problem could very well be resolved if it were written into legislation, as I indicated earlier, that the volunteer probation officer be subject to the constant supervision, and answerable to and accountable to a regular probation officer. If we could have that written into this legislation perhaps we could meet all of the concerns expressed by the party on my left.

Hon. Mr. Norton: I won’t yield to the temptation, especially since a number of the previous speakers have now seen fit to leave the House, I would not have tried to participate in the baiting that has been going on across the House, but I can’t miss at least commenting on the hounding of the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere (Mr. Warner), who is no longer here, who was suggesting that members of the Liberal caucus were perhaps speaking out of some kind of political --

Mr. Sweeney: I think he resigned.

Hon. Mr. Norton: Yes, perhaps he resigned tonight, I am not sure.

He implied some kind of political motivation while they were making reference to the primacy of the concern for the child in the system; and at the same time the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere was making reference principally to the protection of the public service.

I am not drawing any invidious comparison there, but as the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere was suggesting that to make reference to the public service --

Mr. McClellan: You should have a little more respect for your own staff.

Hon. Mr. Norton: I have great respect for my staff.

Mr. McClellan: You show it all the time.

Hon. Mr. Norton: I am just suggesting I do not see, in that kind of situation that it is necessarily more charitable and higher minded to be talking in terms of concern for the protection of the public service than it is to be talking about the concern for the primacy of children. I am sure, though, that was the case, certainly with the member for Sudbury East (Mr. Martel) --

Mr. McClellan: You should go up north sometime, you might learn something.

Hon. Mr. Norton: -- who referred to his concern about children. I think we all recognize it is really what we are most centrally concerned about; not that we are not concerned about the excellence of the public service that we have in this province.

I think it is important to remember that in dealing with children and children’s probation, we are not dealing with quite the same situation as we are with adults. We are dealing with a situation where the needs are often quite different. The kinds of service that must be delivered to the children in these situations, given in some cases the greater tenderness of their years and the fact that they are in need of highly specialized care for a short period of time, are not necessarily at this point in time provided within the probation service itself.

Mr. Martel: I didn’t say that.

Hon. Mr. Norton: I know you didn’t say that. I am not specifically responding to your remarks at this point. But recognizing that, I think it is not an unreasonable extension to recognize that we really must have some flexibility in this area.

I guess it was the member for York Centre (Mr. Stong) who suggested it was important there be an assurance of supervision. I noted earlier in the evening, but did not have occasion to mention when I rose to respond, one of the reasons for the designation provision is to ensure a chain of accountability; to ensure that in those specific cases where there is a contractual relationship there is accountability and supervision.

We seem to be focusing almost exclusively on northern Ontario this evening; but that’s not the only situation, as we discussed earlier, in which this might be applicable.

Mr. Martel: That is what you were using to hang your hat on.

Hon. Mr. Norton: Sure I used it.

Mr. Martel: You hung your case on it.

Hon. Mr. Norton: Not entirely. I made reference to other circumstances which perhaps will be more relevant when we get talking about section 3.

Mr. Martel: I want to talk about section 2 -- caseloads.

Hon. Mr. Norton: In those communities where a person might well be designated, while he would be under the supervision of a full-time probation officer in areas where services would be delivered, it would not be possible in some cases for a person to he constantly under supervision if it were a remote community.


One of the honourable members opposite made reference to the fact that in remote communities they would be treated as second class citizens in terms of the level of service they would be receiving. I don’t accept that argument and I don’t think if they think about it for a moment the honourable members opposite would either.

It is highly preferable that a young person have regular and ongoing supervision rather than intermittent supervision. In terms of appointing a full-time public servant as was suggested by one of the honourable members, with an adjustment for something less than a full caseload, it might well work in some communities. But you must remember there are still other communities where the numbers of young people requiring probation supervision --

Mr. Martel: That was the argument today.

Hon. Mr. Norton: -- may at times be none at all in a remote community. At other times there may be a requirement for supervision of one or two or three children in that community. I don’t know how you’re going to get a full-time public servant with no caseload at times to function in that kind of community. I just don’t think that is a reasonable expectation. I don’t have the data the member for Sudbury East requested with me this evening but I will undertake to get that data and review it with him personally.

Mr. McClellan: Your staff do not have the data with them?

Hon. Mr. Norton: They do not have the particular breakdown the honourable member was requesting.

Mr. Martel: We can’t vote on the bill then.

Hon. Mr. Norton: That’s quite understandable that they might not.

Mr. McClellan: You have half the ministry here. Don’t they have any information?

Hon. Mr. Norton: No, not half the ministry -- well actually thank you very much, I know we do have a very modestly staffed ministry, but they’re very competent people. There are three or four of them here tonight, if you think that’s half --

Mr. Martel: No one disputes that. I don’t know how they stay working for that ministry in the conditions under which they work.

Hon. Mr. Norton: Most members accuse us of having too many members of staff.

Hon. Mr. Drea: The rest are mine.

Mr. M. N. Davison: Are they all with you, Keith?

Hon. Mr. Norton: They’re all contract staff, yes.

Hon. Mr. Drea: The big, heavy set ones are mine.

Hon. Mr. Norton: In any event, perhaps in conclusion I could reiterate that surely in looking at this aspect of services to children in this province, our primary concern must be to provide a reasonable level of service to children in all communities of the province; including, in some cases, the special services that might be required by young people in more heavily populated areas of southern Ontario.

It’s a responsibility that I and the staff of the ministry take very seriously; and in order to do that, I really must have the support of the members of this House to allow us the flexibility necessary to adapt the service we deliver to the children whom we serve, regardless of the geographical location of the community in which they may live and regardless of the kinds of specific needs they may have and that we have a responsibility to meet.

I thought the member was finished.

Mr. Martel: No, I wasn’t, being the minister provoked me.

Hon. Mr. Norton: There is one more section.

Mr. Martel: I’m not worried about the next section, I’m worried about this one. I’m worried that the minister can stand in his place and suggest to us we should vote on this, because he hung his case on northern Ontario.

Mr. Warner: Yes; yes, you did.

Mr. Martel: When I entered the chamber and as I listened on the squawk box upstairs, you in fact hung your case on the necessity to have flexibility and in communities where you didn’t have a big enough caseload you couldn’t have a full-time worker.

Hon. Mr. Norton: That was the example I used and the honourable member for St. George used the other example.

Mr. Martel: You in fact were attempting to make the case for contracting out on that particular angle, and you can’t weasel out of it.

Hon. Mr. Norton: It is not contracting out, it is bringing in needed services.

Mr. Martel: If you want to bring in needed services --

Mr. Warner: Darcy McKeough wrote this, Darcy wrote this section.

Mr. Martel: If you want to do that --

Mr. Bradley: He’s the boss.

Mr. Martel: -- then you hire the personnel you need to do the job.

Mr. Warner: He’s in charge.

Mr. Bradley: He’s the real Premier.

Mr. Martel: Because the costs will be greater two years down the road, if people don’t have the proper care now, than it would be to meet the present needs.

Hon. Mr. Norton: I agree.

Mr. Martel: That’s right.

Mr. M. N. Davison: When are you going to quit being Darcy’s boy?

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order.

Mr. Martel: I think what you have to do before we vote on this section, before we pass this section is give me some comparison of what the caseloads are. Don’t ask me in blind faith to support this.

Hon. Mr. Norton: How would it affect your vote?

Mr. Martel: Probably not at all, probably not at all --

Hon. Mr. Norton: What’s the cutoff point?

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Would the honourable minister refrain from interjecting?

Mr. Martel: -- probably not. I’ll speak to you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Please, would you just address the chair and address the clause in question.

Mr. Martel: My friend the minister hung his case on needing this because in northern Ontario there were communities where there were insufficient numbers of eases to have a full-time probation officer. He then hung it on the necessity to have flexibility. You would have to send children out, or if it be young people they would have to go to someone other than a probation officer to get the treatment they needed.

Hon. Mr. Norton: You have tunnel vision.

Mr. Martel: I turned it around. I said that surely it’s a case of a probation officer who is meeting with the child on a regular basis who detects what the child needs in the form of assistance. The probation officer in fact then makes the recommendation on the type of personnel that should be called in.

Hon. Mr. Norton: Tell him how many times it is the probation officer has to fly into the reservation.

Mr. Martel: I’m saying an untrained person -- and you haven’t answered this -- I’m saying an untrained person will not have the skills to detect that in many instances.

Mr. Cooke: They’ve got to know what they’re doing.

Mr. Martel: Look, I have seen it. My friend shakes his head.

Mr. Warner: That’s only because he’s dozing off.

Hon. Mr. Norton: They’re not assessors.

Mr. Cooke: They don’t do anything and that’s the problem.

Hon. Mr. Norton: You don’t have to be a psychologist to help a person.

Mr. Martel: I’m saying that in many instances one doesn’t know that the child is having a problem.

Hon. Mr. Norton: You’re saying our probation officers don’t do anything.

Mr. Cooke: With caseloads so huge, they can’t.

Mr. Martel: One doesn’t always know. Having taught a good number of years, I recognize that. I’m sure your colleagues who are teachers would admit you can’t always determine what the child’s needs are, and you’re trained to some degree to do that.

Mr. Stong: They can provide that.

Mr. Martel: Do you want to tell me you can bring someone in off the street who has had no training and that individual is going to tell you what kind of assistance a child needs?

Come on, what are you trying to do, con the troops? Don’t tell me that type of individual whom you call in on a case once in a while will be able to determine what type of assistance a child needs. Part-time probation officers, who have no training --

Mr. Stong: Have you scrapped common sense?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: It could be fathers or mothers.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order. Would the members please refrain from interjecting and allow the member for Sudbury East to complete his remarks?

Mr. Martel: I say to my friend --

Mr. Stong: He’s not making sense.

Mr. Martel: -- it isn’t just a case of common sense, and if he knew anything about children he wouldn’t make that statement.

Mrs. Campbell: He has enough of his own.

Mr. Martel: He wouldn’t make that statement, because there are many instances --

Mr. Ashe: Got 33.

Mr. Martel: If one looks at the whole realm of children with learning disabilities, one of the problems is that teachers can’t detect it in many instances.

Mr. Stong: That’s right.

Mr. Martel: Those are the very people, if you read the book put out by the federal government called, Those Poor Kids; those, in fact, are the kids in many instances who end up in our institutions.

Mr. Stong: That’s right, that’s right.

Mr. Martel: Teachers can’t detect they have a learning disability. Tell me how you’re going to get someone who has no skill, no training whatsoever, to detect it --

Mr. Stong: Why don’t you support what we’re doing?

Mr. Martel: That’s where your argument falls fiat on its face, because teachers can’t detect it.

Mr. Stong: Nonsense.

An hon. member: If you want a Big Brother, why don’t you say it?

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order.

Mr. Martel: The report put out by the federal government -- and I suggest you read it, it is only about 50 pages long and called Those Poor Kids -- says that the majority of people who are in our institutions are kids with learning disabilities or low IQs. Yet you want unskilled, untrained people to detect what their problems are. It just doesn’t wash. If my friend protests from now until doomsday he can’t convince anyone who’s been in the teaching profession that you can detect it all.

An hon. member: You want to appoint Big Brother.

Mr. Martel: In fact that’s one of our problems, we can’t detect it. We don’t have the training and the skill, even as teachers, to do it.

Mr. M. N. Davison: This makes as much sense as a Liberal government.

Mr. Martel: That’s why we need more psychologists in the school system, rather than cutting them back as we’re doing at the present time. For my friend to sit in his place and say, “It just takes common sense,” well, that’s crap.

Mr. Stong: It takes interest too, and concern.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order.

Mr. Martel: No, it isn’t just interest. Someone might have all the concern in the world but if they don’t understand what they’re looking for or don’t know what they’re looking for --

Hon. Mr. Norton: A little love goes a long way.

Mr. Stong: So you’re against the volunteer probation officers.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Will the member for York Centre refrain from interjecting please?

Mr. M. N. Davison: Will you throw him out?

Mr. Martel: No, he is actually helping me.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: The member for Hamilton Centre will also refrain.

Mr. Martel: He shows me how little he really knows about it.

Mr. Warner: What about?

Mr. Stong: To the guys who went to school.

Mr. McClellan: What about abolishing lawyers?

Mr. Cooke: Let’s have volunteer lawyers.

Mr. Martel: Now there’s an area. In fact it might help Ontario if we abolished all lawyers for five years. The Minister of Correctional Services agrees with me. If we got rid of the lawyers for five years, Frank, we might be better off.

Hon. Mr. Drea: That might be a good idea.

Mr. Martel: There would be a lot of guys on welfare.

Mr. Cooke: Do I hear any volunteers?

Mr. Martel: The minister in his reply also said that --


Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order.

Mr. Martel: The minister also said you couldn’t divide the work and have someone act part time as a probation officer and maybe do something else as well. I will take my chances on a probation officer who is trained doing something else rather than the reverse. I will take my chances on getting a probation officer who has no skills.

Hon. Mr. Norton: What specific training do you recommend?

Mr. Martel: What are the qualifications they must have now in order to look after the needs?

Hon. Mr. Norton: I am asking you.

Mr. Martel: What about the ongoing courses they can take? You are saying to me accept somebody off the street, virtually, and I say to you that is total nonsense. I prefer that we take our chances with someone whose main role is as a probation officer. If he has to pick up a little extra work within the ministry in some other jurisdiction you should give that individual some extra work there rather than try to bring someone in.

Can you imagine someone in -- how do you pronounce that -- Attawapiskat, looking after a child’s needs away up there?

Hon. Mr. Drea: My guys do it.

Mr. Martel: Your guy is up there? I trust him because you are in charge of him.

Mr. McClellan: You don’t need this extra power, do you, Frank?

Mr. Martel: You wouldn’t want to be appointing people part-time?

Hon. Mr. Drea: He is a part-time man there.

An hon. member: That will fix you. Go get him, Elie.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order: Would the member for Sudbury East stick to the bill and the Minister of Correctional Services refrain from interjecting?

Mr. Martel: As I said earlier, I would prefer the minister to do it in reverse. If you can’t get a full-time probation officer because there isn’t a sufficient caseload you find something else for him to do in the ministry to fill up his spare time.

I suggest that with the statistics, though we could indicate to you that in the north -- because of distance, because of climatic factors -- the work load has to be that much less in order to get around to visit with the people under their charge. You can’t convince me that you can take someone off the street, without the skills necessary -- at the tender age, I believe the minister said, where it is more necessary.

Hon. Mr. Norton: We do not take them off the street.

Mr. Martel: No, you can’t take someone off the street and have them looking after children. In the minister’s own words -- at that tender age, I think he said -- where they need extra loving care you are going to haul somebody off the street to do it part-time. I want to tell you that is a lot of nonsense.

I hope the member for St. George gets back into this battle. Maybe she will bring some sense to her colleague from York Centre. The former member from there had more sense than the present member. I would urge the member for St. George to get involved.

My friend the minister doesn’t want to put statistics on caseload on the record tonight. He says he hasn’t got them. There is a whole staff there to deal with this sort of thing and he can’t tell us what the caseloads are.

Mr. McClellan: They don’t know. There is no use asking them. I put a question on the order paper.

Mr. Warner: Please don’t put a question on the order paper, a question of the minister.


Mr. Martel: I find that difficult to believe, that you have a bill dealing with something like this and the minister and his staff can’t tell me what the caseloads are. That is really stretching the point.

I hope the member for St. George has been able to convince her colleagues to change their minds. Maybe in the interim my friend from York Centre could go up and read the book entitled Those Poor Kids and come back a little more enlightened.

Mrs. Campbell: Mr. Chairman, in view of the discussions that have gone on this evening, and in view of the fact that the minister has said, although it is not a part of the bill, that anyone appointed under this section would be under the supervision of a trained probation officer --

Mr. Martel: In Attawapiskat.

Mrs. Campbell: -- and I would assume, and I hope correctly, that this would indicate a full-time trained probation officer --

Mr. McClellan: There’s no requirement.

Mrs. Campbell: -- would the minister accept the amendment put by my colleague from York Centre or, in the alternative, agree to stand this subsection down so that we might incorporate within this bill the position which the minister has taken in this debate?

I believe the minister means exactly what he says. If he means what he says, it seems to me there is no harm, from his point of view, in incorporating within the bill the very statements that he made to this House tonight. It would give me a greater sense of the importance in his mind of the welfare of the children in the north, because I am not familiar with the situation in the north, even though I have sat on this committee now for some years.

If we assured ourselves that any person designated for a specific purpose would only function under the aegis of a trained full-time probation officer, as my colleague suggests, that should give assurance to the member for Sudbury East and others that the minister means what he says in providing the proper probation services in the north.

I would suggest that either we accept that amendment this evening or the minister gives his consent to standing down this section so that we can all look at an appropriate amendment to incorporate within the legislation the statement which the minister has made and which, properly, in my view -- and I hope the minister agrees -- ought to be incorporated when we look at the Hansard report of tonight’s debate.

Mr. McClellan: We seem to be getting somewhere. We seem to be making some progress here tonight. I would like to make a suggestion to my colleague in the Liberal Party. The logical way to proceed is to support my amendment to have section 2(2) --


Mr. McClellan: Let me finish. Let me make this point before the member judges. The logical way is to support my amendment that section 2(2) be deleted and to add their amendment to section 3 so that persons with whom the minister enters into agreements to provide probation services will act under the supervision of a probation officer, properly appointed. I don’t have any particular objections to section 3, except if section 2(2) is allowed to stand and the minister retains --

Mr. Stong: Section 2(2) is required.

Mr. McClellan: No, it’s not required.

Mr. Stong: Yes, to designate. That’s the life-giving section.

Mr. McClellan: With respect, it’s not required because section 3 empowers the minister to enter into an agreement with respect to the provision of probation services. The concern is that probation services be provided by competent, qualified probation officers who are properly appointed and who have the opportunity for career service. You don’t develop quality services on a contract basis. You simply don’t.

You don’t develop a cadre of highly competent, trained, qualified people who are doing an arduous, difficult job, one of the most difficult jobs that our society asks anybody to do, on an interim basis, on an ad hoc basis without opportunities for career advancement, without job security and without full protection of career status.

Mr. Stong: Don’t give me that stuff.

Mr. McClellan: It happens to be true. If you don’t provide the normal decencies to people who are doing the most difficult human service jobs in this society, you run into enormous morale problems. You run into enormous problems of turnover of staff. The quality of the service suffers. People can sneer all they want, but it happens to be the truth. Those who scoff at it and those who say that the job of providing human services on a one-to-one basis with people in the society who are troubled or disturbed or who have enormous difficulties can be farmed out --

Mr. Martel: On a part-time basis.

Mr. McClellan: -- on a part-time basis or an ad hoc basis or an interim basis or a volunteer basis are wrong.

Mr. Stong: Define “part-time basis.”

Hon. Mr. Norton: You people would like to destroy volunteerism.

Mr. McClellan: Don’t you lecture me about the volunteer sector. I spent my entire life working in the volunteer sector. I know the volunteer sector.

Mr. Stong: Did you do any good?

Mr. McClellan: I’ll be going back to the volunteer sector at some point in my career. I don’t need any lectures from you about what the volunteer sector is all about because I know.

Mr. Stong: Did you do any good as a volunteer?

Hon. Mr. Norton: The member for St. George made a most eloquent speech on the value of volunteerism tonight and you shoot it down.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order. May I ask the members not to interject? Would the member for Bellwoods proceed and speak to the section before us?

Mr. Warner: Would you ask the barrack room lawyers to keep out of it?

Mr. Mackenzie: Will you ask them to leave the red herrings alone?

Mr. McClellan: I don’t intend to belabour the point. I had thought we had reached the point where some accommodation could be made. I still believe that to be true. I’ve listened very carefully to the debate, particularly to the people who have spoken on this side of the House from the two opposition parties. I think there is ground for an accommodation. I would hope we could reach it.

I think that the basis for the accommodation is to proceed as I have suggested and not to give the power to the minister to appoint probation officers on a personal basis, on a contract-out basis, but rather to retain the wording of the original Probation Act which is good enough for the Minister of Correctional Services under his new act. It gives him the powers that he needs to be flexible. Let’s give the same powers to the Minister of Community and Social Services. Let’s not give him additional powers.

Let us add the amendment that the member for St. George and the member for York Centre are suggesting to section 3 that would provide the flexibility to ensure probation services to isolated communities, but would ensure that those services are properly supervised. That’s the concern. We want to ensure quality service.

Mr. Stong: You weren’t here when I made my speech.

Mr. McClellan: The way you ensure quality service is to make sure that if you don’t have fully qualified staff on your front line, you have fully qualified staff in supervisory positions.

Mr. Stong: We’d have support over there.

Mr. McClellan: I’d be interested in hearing from the member for St. George as to whether she would be prepared to move in that direction. I would also be interested in hearing from the minister whether that makes sense to him.

Hon. Mr. Norton: I happen to be a member of one of three parties who is interested in this and I do have something I would like to say at this point, if I may. Perhaps the most reasonable suggestion that has been made in the course of the debate is that of the member for St. George. I concur with her suggestion that section 2(2) might be more explicit. I am not sure of the best wording at this point, but section 2(2), which says “the minister may designate any person, other than a person who is appointed a probation officer under subsection 1, as a probation officer” might be made more explicit with some wording such as “to carry out duties under the supervision of a probation officer appointed under section 1 for the purposes of this act.” Wording such as that would be quite adequate. I believe that would meet her concern, and would still allow for the kind of flexibility that I am concerned about in a situation in a remote community that we have been talking about tonight --

Mr. Martel: Attawapiskat with kids.

Hon. Ms. Norton: -- where the regular visits of a full-time probation officer might be separated by several weeks because of distances that have to be flown in small aircraft and so on, using that as an example. Then someone in that community -- if it were a native community, it might well be a native person -- could act in this capacity, under the supervision of and accounting to a full-time probation officer who would then pay them and the probationer a regular visit; but there would be someone there on an ongoing basis.

Likewise, in the case of the special services that the honourable member referred to earlier in her remarks, presumably it would not be a cumbersome thing for someone who may be with a professional family counselling service, for example, to relate --


Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order.

Hon. Mr. Norton: -- to accountability, if they were so designated in a specific case, with a full-time probation officer who would act as a supervisor in that case. I could accept that quite readily, I believe. I think I have some proposed wording here from my staff, but I will just have a look at it.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Does the minister have a proposed amendment?

Hon. Mr. Norton: Perhaps we could hear the honourable member, Mr. Chairman, as I haven’t had a chance to really look at it.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: All right.

Mr. Sweeney: While the minister is doing that, Mr. Chairman, I was just going to make the observation that if the probation person -- and I will use those words -- under section 2 is going to be accountable to a probation officer as defined under subsection 1, perhaps it would be more appropriate to call such a person an acting probation officer or some other designation. Otherwise I can see great difficulty in distinguishing between the person that the minister appoints under subsection 2, compared with the person he appoints under subsection 1. I think there needs to be a change in designation there.

Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Chairman, my only concern there would be that I am not sure there is any such legal status as that of acting probation officer. One of the reasons I think the designation is important as well is that in a situation where that relationship of probation officer and probationer exists, there may well be times when that person would have to act in the interests of the child, perhaps to apprehend the child if there had been a serious breach or the threat of a serious breach, If they did not have the authority of a probation officer -- and I don’t know of any legal entity as an acting probation officer -- it would be questionable in my mind, and before this evening’s discussion I checked with my legal staff, who concur that we know of no legal authority they might have to apprehend and bring the child before the court or take what other measures might be necessary.


If the member envisages a situation where this person under the supervision of a full-time probation officer might be in a more or less remote community without the full-time probation officer immediately on site, they might have to act in their absence at some time to bring the child or the juvenile before the court. If they didn’t have the full legal status of a probation officer as a result of the designation, I think they might well be subject to civil action if they were to interfere or to take a child before the court. I think that it’s important that they have this legal status in order to be able to act in those kinds of emergency situations.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Does the minister have a suggested amendment that he wishes to put?

Hon. Mr. Norton: Yes, I have, Mr. Chairman. I would move that subsection 2 of section 2 of the Act be amended by adding at the end thereof “that every such designated probation officer shall exercise the powers and perform the duties assigned to the probation officer under the supervision and the direction of a probation officer appointed under subsection 1.”

Mrs. Campbell: Does that mean a full-time probation officer?

Hon. Mr. Norton: Yes, it would be someone appointed under the Public Service Act. That is the amendment I would propose, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Stong: We could support that.

Mr. Martel: That is lovely.

Hon. Mr. Norton: You are kidding.

An hon. member: No, my friends to the left have seen the light of the night.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: I would ask the member for Bellwoods, in light of the amendment by the minister, would be withdraw his amendment to delete the subsection?

Mr. Stong: Yes, be a man.

Mr. Warner: We rescued you.

Mr. McClellan: I am quite pleased with the course of this evening’s debate and I think --

Mr. Deputy Chairman: I would ask the member -- I am not giving you the floor; I simply ask you yes or no.

Mr. McClellan: I can do it in my own way in my own time, Mr. Chairman.

Hon. Mr. Norton: He is telling you the state of his mind.

Mr. McClellan: We have debated for --

Hon. Mr. Drea: Too long.

Mr. McClellan: -- a long time and it’s been very fruitful. We have reached an accommodation and I will withdraw --

An hon. member: He’s really trying to take credit. He can’t do it.

Mr. McClellan: -- my amendment on section 2(2) and I withdraw my amendment on section 3.

It’s clear that our amendments would not carry and that the amendment that the minister has proposed --

Mr. Warner: Talk about reasonable.

Mr. Cooke: He cracked under pressure.

Mr. McClellan: -- is useful because it has served to move the Liberal Party away from their intransigent --

An hon. member: That’s right.

Mr. McClellan: -- and slavish support of the minister.

Mrs. Campbell: Now you are trying to make me mad.

Mr. McClellan: The process of debate on legislation in this House is always a fascinating thing to behold and it justifies itself. It is really worth while putting up speaker after speaker to batter away at foolish laws and foolish measures because in the process laws are changed and laws are improved so I withdraw my amendment and am pleased to support the amendment proposed by the minister.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order. Mr. Norton has moved that subsection 2 of section 2 of the Act be amended by adding at the end thereof that every such designated probation officer shall exercise the powers and perform the duties assigned to the probation officer under the supervision and direction of a probation officer appointed under subsection 1.”

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Shall the balance of the bill carry?

Mr. McClellan: I have a question, not an amendment I did want to make sure that --

An hon. member: The miracle of minority government.

Mr. McClellan: -- I understood the act really well before it carries. I want to ask the minister whether there are any changes in the duties of a probation officer between the original Probation Act and the duties of a probation officer as spelled out in section 5 of Bill 95.

In other words, has Bill 95 changed the duties or the function of a juvenile probation officer in any way? Or do you know?

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Mr. Minister, do you have an answer to the question?

Hon. Mr. Norton: Yes, Mr. Chairman. There is some abbreviation from the previous Probation Act --

Mr. Martel: The answer is on your arm. That is how you passed exams.

Hon. Mr. Norton: Basically, those provisions which related primarily and more clearly to adult probationers have been removed since this is applicable only to juveniles. Would you like me to read to you the portions which do not --

Mr. McClellan: I have all the sections here. I want --

Hon. Mr. Norton: I mean of the previous act?

Mr. McClellan: I have that too.

Hon. Mr. Norton: You have that too. Then presumably you know the answer to the question.

Mr. McClellan: No. That was not a trick question.

Mr. Martel: No. He didn’t ask you if you would agree.

Mr. McClellan: I’ll phrase it another way --

Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order.

Mr. McClellan: -- just so that I may try to understand. It remains the function of a probation officer under the new bill to make a report after a conviction has been made. Is that correct? But not before a conviction has been made.

Mrs. Campbell: The equivalent of a conviction.

Mr. McClellan: Right. The equivalent of a conviction.

Mrs. Campbell: A finding.

Mr. McClellan: A finding has been made by the court. But there is no intention of a report to be made by the probation officer until a finding has been made by the court Is that a correct understanding?

Hon. Mr. Norton: There would be no role that I know of for the involvement of a probation officer until such time as there had been a finding. That is, unless it happened to be in a situation where there might be a charge resulting from a breach of the probation. In that case there may well be some role -- but only of an evidentiary nature, surely, going to some finding by the judge. Otherwise the probation officer’s role would effectively materialize at the time of a finding.

Bill 95, as amended, reported.


Consideration of Bill 85, An Act to revise the Ministry of Correctional Services Act.

Sections 1 to 3, inclusive, agreed to.

On section 4:

Mr. Ziemba: This section outlines all the functions of the ministry and the rights of inmates. I wonder whether the minister is prepared somewhere in this section to bring in either an amendment or provide a regulation regarding the right to vote for inmates who are on remand or are awaiting trial, and who in fact are innocent. That provision doesn’t exist now. I wonder whether the minister has thought about that at all.

Hon. Mr. Drea: This was first proposed, rather a short form of it, by the Ombudsman. I support the concept of inmates in the provincial system being allowed to vote provincially, that’s what he asked. Municipally, it would be very difficult because of address.

It is not within my power. It has to come within another act. But I have supported it publicly and not just for remand inmates. Actually, with a remand inmate it is a double standard, because one may be charged and remanded outside of custody and the person is perfectly free to vote. But if a person is remanded in custody, the only thing preventing that person from voting is the fact that the person can’t be enumerated or visit a poll.

There is also a double standard with the intermittent person because he only serves Friday night, Saturday and Sunday and is usually available at home to be enumerated. Since provincial elections are on Thursdays, he does have the right to vote, notwithstanding the fact that he is under sentence. While I support it and I have been urging my cabinet colleagues to move in that direction, it is beyond my authority within either legislation or in a regulatory way to amend the particular provincial status covering elections.

Section 4 agreed to.

Sections 5 to 8, inclusive, agreed to.

On section 9:

Mr. Bradley: The minister has had representations made to him, as have the opposition critics, concerning the worries of the John Howard Society and the Elizabeth Fry Society particularly, as two groups working with people within our institutions, about serving under the direction of an employee of the ministry.

I think they are hopeful that perhaps an amendment of some sort could be brought forward, recognizing that the ministry probably does not see either of these organizations as being a problem in this area, but may see other problems. I would ask the minister to comment on that.

Hon. Mr. Drea: I understand the John Howard Society has been in touch with our solicitor. They have not been in touch with me and neither has the Elizabeth Fry Society, notwithstanding the fact that I was with the Elizabeth Fry Society as late as late last week. The difficulty is almost the same as was expressed in the debate on the previous bill. It is a matter of supervision.

There is no quarrel or no question about volunteers. One of the reasons I was late tonight was that I was honouring volunteers. We depend upon volunteers and also on private social agencies for a great deal of our work. There is an overriding matter of security. The security arrangements mean supervision inside, although you’re quite right with organizations such as that it is so nominal that it really isn’t apparent sometimes. Nonetheless, the aspect of security is one concern.

Also, from time to time groups come in for a particular reason, not as all-encompassing as the John Howard or the Elizabeth Fry, or Fortune or the Salvation Army. They come in for a specific purpose. What we are saying in essence in this is that we want them to be under the supervision of the person in charge of the institution at that time. If it’s at night time, generally it’s not the superintendent.

It would be very difficult to set up a scale of certain organizations which were not under the supervision. Another group I should mention too is Alcoholics Anonymous. I’m not talking about them as being in a very narrow area; they’re in a very broad area. It would be very difficult to set up a sliding scale that some have qualified and that others hadn’t. Frankly, I think their concerns are not warranted. The fact of the matter is that both are signing contracts with us to run CRCs when they are under specific direction of the superintendent of the institution to which they are attached.

When we’re dealing with sentenced inmates, I don’t think we would want to be in a position where we were delegating our total authority to groups which were not within the ministry. Then we’d be beginning to come perilously close to altering the particular sentence of the court. It’s one thing to have them doing 99.9 per cent of our work, if we can still argue legally that we have retained effective control of the particular sentenced inmate. On those grounds it would be extremely difficult. I don’t think any minister and I don’t think any ministry has ever met as much in the past few months with volunteer groups, and we have set up very specific lines of communication.


If there is a particular difficulty or some kind of impediment we can get it straightened out very rapidly. That certainly has been very fruitful. I think that at the moment is a much more practical way of approaching it than trying to get into a sliding scale of who needs supervision and who doesn’t.

Mr. Ziemba: I would like to amend section 9 by adding at the end, “non-governmental agencies shall direct and be accountable for persons serving as volunteers with them in programs in partnership with the ministry”; and further, “MPPs continue to enjoy unlimited access to all provincial detention centres.”

I don’t see that spelled out anywhere in the bill, and I may as well put that in there now that we have the opportunity. I think the amendment speaks for itself.

Mr. Chairman: Would the honourable member send a copy to the chair?

Mr. Ziemba: There’s no one here. I don’t see why the ministry should have total control over inmates. The people like the John Howard Society and the Elizabeth Fry Society have a very credible record in dealing with --

Mr. Ruston: On a point of order, I wonder if the member could supply a copy of his amendment, please.

Mr. Ziemba: I’m sorry.

Mr. Haggerty: Within 24 hours.

Mr. Chairman: I will read the amendment.

An hon. member: Do you have any more copies?

Mr. Ziemba: Mr. Chairman, I had assumed the minister was going to move that amendment. That was the information I had received, and I was disappointed --

Hon. Mr. Drea: Not from me, you didn’t.

Mr. Ziemba: No, not from you, but I am disappointed that you didn’t introduce this -- because certainly we have to have confidence in these two very progressive organizations, Elizabeth Fry and John Howard.

Hon. Mr. Drea: What are you going to do with the Salvation Army?

Mr. Chairman: Order, please. I think it might be helpful, and could I make this suggestion to the committee, that we stand this section down for a few moments and have copies made?

Mr. Ziemba: Certainly, Mr. Chairman.

Hon. Mr. Drea: May I say before you stand that down, it was in the time of Mr. Grossman as minister that the extension was given that all MPPs could visit institutions at any time. That has never been changed. I don’t think anybody’s ever going to change it. I’m perfectly willing to put it in the act, but I would prefer it to be a privilege of the House and to leave it out of there. It’s just automatically a privilege of being an elected member of the House that you automatically have the right to visit an institution at any time.

Mr. Warner: Spell it out.

Mr. M. Davidson: Let’s enshrine it in the legislation.

Hon. Mr. Drea: It’s enshrined in the tradition of the House by now. I would prefer to leave it there. If you’re so worried about it, I mean, you’ve never tried to visit an institution. You never asked me. Nobody ever bothers. Mr. Ziemba and Mr. Bradley and a couple of others are the only people who ever go. I don’t know why you want it in here.

Mr. Makarchuk: Mr. Ziemba’s was involuntary confinement.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Ziemba’s a professional.

Mr. Chairman: I see there are copies arriving. Would the members of the committee still wish to have a little time to consider it?

Mr. Stong: I don’t think it is necessary.

Mr. Chairman: All right, just for the information of the committee, Mr. Ziemba moves that the following be added to section 9: the words, “non-governmental agencies shall direct and be accountable for persons serving as volunteers with them in programs in partnership with the ministry”; and further, “MPPs continue to enjoy unlimited access to all provincial detention centres.”

Mr. Ziemba: I have one more question of the minister. That’s the business of receiving mail from inmates. A number of us --

Hon. Mr. Drea: That is not in the amendment.

Mr. Ziemba: I’m sorry?

Hon. Mr. Drea: Do you want to stay with the amendment?

Mr. Chairman: I placed the amendment. The hon. member should speak to the amendment.

Mr. Ziemba: I was wondering whether I should expand on the amendment to cover the opening of mail that MPPs receive.

Mr. Stong: What does that have to do with volunteering?

Mr. Ziemba: Seeing as we are on that one point, Mr. Chairman, would that be in order?

Mr. Chairman: That matter really isn’t before the committee nor is it in the amendment. I would ask the hon. member to speak to his amendment.

Mr. Ziemba: I think the amendment speaks for itself. It establishes and suggests confidence in the John Howard Society and Elizabeth Fry Society. It suggests that we should continue our relationship with them and trust them to serve the needs of inmates and not to be answerable to or under the control of some official.

Mr. Germa: I am interested in the access to jails and institutions by MPPs. I fully concur that every elected member should have the right at his will to go in and take a look at these institutions. To this point in time, I certainly have not had any trouble gaining access, but I was a little perturbed by the minister’s statement that no one had approached him and asked for permission. I don’t think that as elected members of the House we should have to go to the minister prior to our visit and seek his permission to gain access. If that is what he is implying --

Hon. Mr. Drea: No, I’m not.

Mr. Germa: -- that we have to do, then it is important that it is enshrined in legislation. I am going to ask the minister to get up on his back legs again and say it as he means it, that we have absolute access to these institutions without reference to the minister at any point in time that we see fit to enter into those places. I don’t know whether the minister meant to say that.

Hon. Mr. Drea: I didn’t say it and you know it. You are just being the usual wise guy again.

Mr. Germa: You did imply that no one had made a complaint to you. I certainly have not made a complaint to you because I have had access. I am perturbed by your statement.

Hon. Mr. Drea: First of all, members don’t have to come to me to go in.

Mr. Foulds: You don’t interrupt the speaker while he is speaking.

Hon. Mr. Drea: I said that. The reason I raised the point was that it seemed to me there was no need to put it into words in legislation since there was no problem. Nobody had ever talked to me about it or asked my permission or anything else.

Mr. Samis: Why should they have to?

Hon. Mr. Drea: They shouldn’t have to. The only reason I raised it was to show that no one had any difficulty. Since the member for Sudbury wants to be a little bit aggressive tonight, the only time I know you have ever been denied anything is when you made a phone call and they said they wanted to see you in person. That was reported to me by you. I accept that as a reasonable security precaution by the staff there. They don’t recognize your voice. They will recognize your face.

Mr. Ashe: Heaven forbid.

Mr. M. N. Davison: I have a question of the minister also involving this amendment and this general field. I am especially concerned about the minister’s comments. I am not sure if I have an exact quote from the minister, but I think he used a phrase such as the traditional privileges of members of the House in regard to the amendment by the member for High Park-Swansea as to the right of members to enter these institutions. Then he touched by way of tangent on the question of mail coming to MPPs from people who are incarcerated. Are you considering that that falls in the same category in terms of traditional privilege of members of the House that we MPPs should receive our mail in an unopened state from inmates?

Hon. Mr. Drea: No, I don’t even receive mail that is unopened nor is what I send back unopened. It is not a traditional thing in the House. As a matter of fact, it is so untraditional that when the Ombudsman Act was written, that was specifically put into the Ombudsman Act, both the coming out and the going in.

If you want it, I am perfectly prepared to introduce an amendment myself. This one is faulty in its language. I know the member didn’t mean to make it faulty, but it says “unlimited access to all provincial detention centres.” I think the member would want “provincial correctional centres”; I think the member wants all of them, and not just the number designated as DCs. If it is the will of the House, certainly I am willing to put it in here.

My only problem is that I don’t like to put into a specific piece of ministry legislation what is a tradition -- mind you, the tradition isn’t that old; I guess 15 years. Nonetheless, it is a tradition and it’s a member’s privilege. I would far rather, as a member, have it reside automatically with the privileges of members of the House, without even having to be written into legislation. I feel it’s stronger when it has that automatic connotation by virtue of the office the member holds rather than specifically putting it into this act. However, I’ll be guided by the House if the members want that. Frankly, I think it should be in another section.

I would also like to talk to this amendment. This amendment would be extremely difficult for us; as a matter of fact, it would be impossible. It says “nongovernmental agencies” -- that means everybody; anybody can have an agency -- “shall direct and be accountable for persons serving as volunteers with them in programs in partnership with the ministry.” They’re talking about a lot of people; for instance, the John Howard and Elizabeth Fry societies, the Salvation Army, the Fortune Society, the St. Leonard’s Society. There are some rather obscure groups that may not be household names, because they happen to be in a particular geographic area or a particular religious denomination, or an offshoot. For instance, do we put in the Church Army? It’s very difficult.

At the other extreme, in terms of nongovernmental agencies, four people can start one up tonight and come down very calmly and say, “We’ve got two volunteers. We want to come in. We will direct and be responsible.” With a sentenced inmate, there is no partnership with the ministry. We fund, in a block manner, the John Howard and Elizabeth Fry societies and the other organizations for their institutional work, exactly the same as does the federal government. It’s just a catchall term, “institutional work.” Whether it’s the Salvation Army, which encompasses both pastoral and temporal care and social work, or the John Howard Society, which isn’t in the pastoral field, it allows them a great deal of flexibility.

They’re not in partnership with us. Where we have a specific written agreement or a contract in the CRC or for a particular social work program, specifically in that contract is the designation and delineation that in the CRC, for instance, the superintendent is in charge. He has to be, because they’re sentenced inmates. They’re not on parole. They’re still sentenced. They’re still in jail, even though the jail is physically separated and doesn’t have bars.

Also, if they really thought about some of the implications of taking full responsibility for a volunteer -- if they happened to get a volunteer who wasn’t up to scratch, which happens from time to time, or if somebody under pressure or, for very obscure reasons, did something -- frankly, I wouldn’t want to be able to not only pass the buck but probably to get somebody involved in a great deal of proceedings on the basis that they were totally accountable.

The protection is that once we let them in, since they are operating under our direction, the social agency isn’t going to incur any liability and isn’t going to get into any difficulty. If something happens inside, they are not going to be in a position where an inmate might choose to enter into litigation against one of their people. The buck stops here. We have authorized the agency and its people. Indeed, what do we do with an ad hoe group that only exists because it has a partial board but it wants to do some work and very good work? I think it’s much better for them to accept the titular direction and supervision from us and then we are responsible for the whole proceedings.


As a matter of fact, one of the things we have now is an indoctrination or a breaking-in course for new volunteers, regardless of who they are affiliated with, because of the fact that people who aren’t familiar with correctional institutions quite often don’t understand many of the restrictions which are based upon security. Quite frankly, to a layman, sometimes they appear to be very obtuse restrictions.

When they go through an indoctrination course and so on, all of the reasons these restrictions are there become very clear to them and they’re able to plan their particular program and so forth around it. So, on the basis that this is so all-encompassing we don’t have any partnerships for many of these things, we would virtually have to let everybody in; and at that point everybody would take responsibility for themselves.

If this was restricted to parole or to outside, after you have ceased being an offender and you have become an ex-offender, then I wouldn’t see too much wrong with it. But when you are a sentenced inmate, bear in mind that we have an obligation to the court. They have imposed the sentence; you are still under that sentence. You haven’t been released from it even partially. Therefore, whatever program we get you into, whether it’s run by government or not, or in conjunction or what have you, we must accept responsibility for it in the same way as we accept responsibility for institutions.

The reason the superintendent of the institution to which the CRC is connected is responsible is how could we allow a sentenced inmate out to a private group? You can’t release a sentenced inmate under the care and custody of somebody. The superintendent has to be responsible until the person passes the legal demarcation line from offender to ex-offender.

Mr. M. N. Davison: Mr. Chairman, I’m not exactly sure that I got the answer I was looking for from the minister. I was hoping that he might expand a bit more on the particular question I was interested in --

Hon. Mr. Drea: The mail?

Mr. M. N. Davison: -- which is the mail. Could you expand, Mr. Minister, in this field?

First of all, do you think it would be a good idea if we members of the provincial parliament were able to receive unopened mail from inmates within your jurisdiction?

Second, I was a bit puzzled about a letter I received from your ministry a short time ago, which was a letter written to me from a former constituent who was currently within your broader constituency. He was writing about something that had nothing to do with the reason for his being in jail. He was writing to express a concern about a community problem.

I opened the letter from your ministry, in your ministry’s envelope, and on a piece of ministerial stationery was an explanation as to why this poor soul happened to be incarcerated. Then there was the opened envelope that the inmate sent to me with his little note on the community concern he had raised. I really had a lot of trouble, frankly, connecting the two: Why the ministry would tell me why this person happened to be in jail. Frankly, I am not all sure that I really liked the idea of that mail coming to me in that fashion at all.

Hon. Mr. Drea: First of all, the second one was in error. I had asked for some documents and part of what was to come to me went to you in error.

Mr. M. N. Davison: Oh, you are familiar with the particulars?

Hon. Mr. Drea: Yes, I get these. I read every one of them.

Mr. M. N. Davison: Oh, so it was simply an error?

Hon. Mr. Drea: Yes, oh yes.

Mr. M. N. Davison: That answers the second question.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Now, the reason for the mail being opened, mail going both ways with the exception of the Ombudsman’s, is the question of contraband; it’s a question of security. Who knows where an envelope bearing either the signature or the letterhead of an MPP came from? Quite frankly, it’s opened -- not for reading, nobody cares about the reading -- they are glanced at from time to time; just a glance to make sure that it really is from an MPP.

Mr. M. N. Davison: I am concerned the other way around.

Hon. Mr. Drea: The other way around is to make sure that there isn’t contraband coming out.

Mr. M. N. Davison: To the MPP?

Hon. Mr. Drea: It may very well be that they’re writing to an MPP and there’s another envelope inside, et cetera, that contains contraband. The letter to the MPP says: “Would you please forward this letter to so and so?” Even the letters that come to me are opened -- I shouldn’t say opened, they are pre-censored or whatever you want to call it; however, they are read. It is a question of security and a question of contraband. The inmate is made aware of that.

The general practice, if you want to get into looking at mail from a sentenced inmate, is that once you get on the list and they know your wife’s name or they know to whom you are writing, after you have written them a couple of times, they just look at the letter to make sure there is nothing in the envelope that shouldn’t be there and let it go ahead. When another name comes on, they want to establish who it is. It is a security measure that I am not prepared to take off.

They write to me and there is no question that they have every right in the world to write to me. I read it and I write them back. At both ends, it is read before it goes out, or at least the envelope is opened and maybe the letter is scanned. That doesn’t bother me one whit. It didn’t bother me one whit when I was a private member.

The Legislature and the inmates are fully aware of it. The Legislature has said there is a special category that even the bounds of security don’t touch, that is, the Ombudsman. I agree with it. If they want to write a letter of complaint, quite frankly, I would rather they write to the Ombudsman than to me. I eminently prefer they go to the Ombudsman. Then it is totally impartial and they are satisfied in their own minds. I think that is very important. The Ombudsman does an excellent job with those letters.

When it goes to him, they are handed the paper and the envelope. The envelope is sealed and is delivered to the Ombudsman untouched. When the Ombudsman sends back a reply, it is delivered to the inmate untouched.

In terms of the security arrangement for letters to MPPs, I wouldn’t be prepared to alter things. I know to an MPP this seems an infringement. We have a number of people on the inside who are remarkably clever about how they get out particular types of communications. They are not complaints about conditions, they are not complaints about the system, they are generally setting up what is tomorrow’s score and telling you where to be on certain occasions. We are going to continue to do it in the name of security.

Mr. Warner: On complaints about the minister.

Mr. M. N. Davison: I just have a final comment, if I may. I understand what the minister is saying. I think he has a reasonable point, although personally, as an individual member of this House, I disagree with him quite strongly on that point. I suspect, however, I am in a minority or that would not be.

Mr. MacBeth: You sure are.

Mr. Ashe: Hopefully.

Mr. M. N. Davison: Fair enough. I find it an abuse of my privileges, if only a mild one, that any of my mail is opened. I accept being in a minority on that and I accept the will of the majority.

Mr. MacBeth: You should think less of your privileges and a little more of your responsibilities over there.

Mr. M. N. Davison: Did you have a liquid supper tonight?

Mr. Warner: When you wake him up he gets grouchy.

Mr. M. N. Davison: I understand the minister’s sensitivity on the issue and I thank him for his careful response to my concern.

Hon. Mr. Drea: I just want to make it very clear that there is no question about trusting you. I trust you; I just don’t trust the other end. Also, I will be honest with you. If we didn’t have the Ombudsman and the Ombudsman legislation, I think I might be prepared to take another look at it. That is there and I think that is the proper vehicle for the inmate to use rather than the members of this House.

First of all, the Ombudsman has a full-time correctional staff. They investigate most fully and most promptly. The situation in Ottawa, for instance, was settled to everybody’s satisfaction. Those charges were not true. If we were still on the old system, it probably would have taken us many months with a great deal of impact upon the community. I think, through Mr. Patterson in the Ombudsman’s office and his correctional investigators right across the province, that the present system works very well.

Mr. Ziemba: I am not prepared to surrender my authority to the Ombudsman. I haven’t had mail opened. I assumed that whenever an inmate wrote to me that it would come sealed, that this was the normal course of events. I know for a fact it is the case with federal institutions. Why should your officials be opening our mail? Surely to God prisoners can confide in their MPPs. That’s what we are here for. I am not prepared to surrender that authority to the Ombudsman. If we have to put that into an amendment, we darn well will, but I don’t believe the member for -- where are you from? --

Mr. M. N. Davison: Hamilton Centre.

An hon. member: From nowhere.

Mr. Ziemba: -- Hamilton Centre is in a minority at all. I think I speak for all members on this side of this House when it comes to our mail privileges. We don’t want our mail opened and we are not afraid of receiving contraband from prisoners; but we are interested in their comments on the institutions and any complaints they might have.

Mr. Ashe: Did you write when you were on the other side?

Hon. Mr. Drea: I don’t find it offensive. I want to make it very clear the letter isn’t stopped. In many cases the letter is just scanned and the envelope goes out. I am going to state my case that I regard it as very fundamental to the security in our institutions.


Hon. Mr. Drea: I don’t care two whits what the federal government does. They run a second-class system as far as I am concerned. It’s going to remain, I want to put it to you, on the basis of security.

An hon. member: A cheap shot, Frank.

Hon. Mr. Drea: It is needed.

An hon. member: You have enough trouble with the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) now.

Mr. Germa: Mr. Chairman, I am a little reluctant to rise to my feet again after the rebuff I got from the minister on my first presentation when he charged me with being aggressive. Little does he know --

An hon. member: Never.

Mr. Germa: -- that I am one of his greatest supporters. I don’t know how many times I have --

An hon. member: You are in trouble, Frank.

Mr. Chairman: Order.

Mr. Foulds: There goes his credibility with the rest of his colleagues in the cabinet, right down the drain.

Mr. Germa: This is right from the heart. I don’t know how many times I have supported this minister in his recent activities since he has taken over this very important portfolio.

An hon. member: He’s trying to think of one.

Mr. Germa: All of those progressive things he’s done -- they know that in my riding of Sudbury.

Hon. Mr. Drea: I’ll never be able to do another one.

Mr. Germa: Yes. The guys come to me and say that Frank Drea is really doing good. I say “yes, sir; that’s one of the best ministers we have in Ontario.” Then for him to attack me and accuse me of being aggressive --

Mr. Bounsall: He doesn’t read your press releases.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: He is going to lose his nomination if you keep this up.

Mr. Germa: -- I just can’t understand it.

Mr. Chairman: Order, please.

Mr. Germa: As long as we have this minister in Correctional Services I can accept his word that precedent will prevail and we will have access to institutions. But is it written any place in his manual of administration or his manual of operation, so that when we lose this very good minister, this 100 per cent minister, and we get some other irrational person in his portfolio --

Hon. Mr. Grossman: For example, a new government.

Mr. Germa: -- is our access going to be denied?

Let me tell you how some other ministers operate. The Burwash Correctional Institution, which closed down some three and a half years ago, had been used to going through that gate when --

Mr. Stong: Every day or on the weekends?

Mr. Germa: Not every day. When that institution was --

Mr. Stong: It was called intermittent serving of sentence.

Mr. Germa: -- under Correctional Services there was no problem. I used to go in and out of that place, and then they closed it down --

Mr. Walker: Probably had a day pass.

Mr. Germa: -- and it fell into the control of the Ministry of Government Services. You know who it was at that time, eh? It was the member for St David (Mrs. Scrivener).

Mr. Samis: Oh, oh.

Mr. Germa: So here is this deserted institution -- 35,000 acres of empty land. I had reason again to go into the institution. By one means or another I had got through the gate and the word got back to Toronto here to the member for St. David’s, who was the Minister of Government Services --

Mr. Rotenberg: There isn’t a St. David’s in this House.


Mr. Germa: She found out half an hour after I had entered the property that I was on her property and she made a public statement she’s going to charge me with trespass; and the place is empty.

You see, we can’t depend on ministerial words. I have no doubt that, as long as this minister is in that post, I will have unrestricted access.

Mr. Stong: To Burwash.

Mr. Samis: And there could be another Scriv!

Mr. Germa: I know the minister is an honourable man; I agree with him and I believe him; but what I am afraid of is that at some point in time we might get another minister like the one we had in the member for St. David (Mrs. Scrivener), and I might go into the Sudbury jail and be a trespasser --

Mr. Foulds: And he would be incarcerated and watched by the member for St. David.

Mr. Germa: Is it written in regulations, in operations, or where is it?

Hon. Mr. Drea: I understand that it is now in our manual of administration, which is binding upon superintendents. It has been there for some time. I would be very glad to file that with the Clerk of the House. That might take care of it.

However, as I said before -- and we will obviously be coming back on this -- if it is the feeling of the honourable members that they would prefer to see it in the ministry act, it will probably be the simplest amendment we will ever have put through. I can understand the feelings of the member for Sudbury -- not completely, but I can understand his concerns.

Mr. Bounsall: He wants to be your friend.

Mr. Germa: I want to be your friend.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Oddly enough -- and I know we’re late -- I thought it was in legislation myself until I found out it was strictly an order by Mr. Allan Grossman when he was the minister and it bad carried on. So it is up to the member. It is filed in the manual of administration, which is binding upon superintendents. We would be prepared to file a copy with the Clerk of the House; that might satisfy everybody.

Mr. Chairman: I would remind the committee, it is now past 10:30 p.m. Will there be further comments on this amendment?

Some hon. members: Yes.

On motion by Hon. Mr. Welch, the committee of the whole House reported one bill with amendment, and reported progress on two others.

On motion by Hon. Mr. Welch, the House adjourned at 10:33 p.m.